And off to the state GOP doghouse they go for daring to buck former President Trump.
Shortly after voting to convict the former president for the second time on Saturday after the deadly Capitol insurrection last month, Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) have already found themselves in hot water with Republicans in their respective home states.
Burr and Cassidy were one of seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump on the charge of “incitement of insurrection.” Burr and Cassidy’s votes in favor of impeaching the former president came as a surprise, with Burr having voted twice that the trial was unconstitutional. Cassidy also issued a surprise vote earlier in the week declaring that the trial is constitutional — a reversal of his vote last month in support of Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) motion to dismiss the trial, arguing that it’s unconstitutional to put a former president on trial.
The Senate voted 57-43 to acquit Trump, however. Burr and Cassidy joined Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) in voting to convict Trump following the deadly insurrection at the Capitol last month that left five dead.
Within hours of Burr and Cassidy voting to convict Trump, state Republicans poured in their condemnations of the GOP senators for bucking the former president.
The North Carolina Republican party issued a statement slapping Burr on the wrist for voting in favor of Trump’s conviction. In a statement following his vote, Burr said Trump bears responsibility for the Capitol attack and that he found the House impeachment managers’ arguments “compelling.”
“North Carolina Republicans sent Senator Burr to the United States Senate to uphold the Constitution and his vote today to convict in a trial that he declared unconstitutional is shocking and disappointing,” North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley said in a statement hours after the vote on Saturday.
The Louisiana Republican Party also swiftly moved to censure Cassidy on Saturday following his vote to convict Trump during the former president’s second impeachment trial.
“The Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Louisiana has unanimously voted to censure Senator Bill Cassidy for his vote cast earlier today to convict former President Donald J. Trump on the impeachment charge,” the Louisiana GOP said in a statement.
Shortly after voting to convict Trump, Cassidy explained his vote in a brief statement on Saturday, saying that “our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person” and he voted to convict Trump “because he is guilty.”
Cassidy doubled down on defending his vote to convict Trump during an interview on ABC News the following morning.
TPM reached out to Burr and Cassidy for comment.
The official condemnations against Burr and Cassidy by state Republicans come on the heels of state-level Republicans rising to the occasion to fill the Trump-sized void by echoing the former president’s extreme rhetoric. A few days after President Biden’s inauguration last month, state Republicans in Arizona, Hawaii, Texas and Oregon made efforts to prove their loyalty to the former president by bolstering Trump’s falsehoods of widespread election fraud.