Senator Richard Burr Censured by North Carolina GOP for Voting Like a Democrat

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via AP, Pool

Yesterday, the North Carolina GOP Central Committee voted unanimously to censure North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr for crossing over to vote with Democrats to convict President Trump. That vote was cast despite Burr having voted twice in as many days that the entire proceeding was unconstitutional.

The North Carolina Republican Party’s central committee voted Monday night to censure Sen. Richard Burr for his vote to convict Donald Trump after the former president’s impeachment trial, adding to the growing list of Republican members of Congress facing consequences for moves against Trump.

This is the statement issued by the NCGOP:

“Tonight, the North Carolina Republican Party Central Committee voted unanimously to censure Senator Richard Burr for his vote to convict former President Trump in the impeachment trial which he declared to be unconstitutional.

The NCGOP agrees with the strong majority of Republicans in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that the Democrat-led attempt to impeach a former President lies outside the United States Constitution.

Now that the Senate has voted to acquit President Trump, we hope that Democrats will set aside their divisive partisan agenda and focus on the American priorities of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, safely reopening schools and restarting the economy.”

Burr, being the whiny little, I’d have to ban myself if I used the word, that he is, responded in his “forgive them for they know what they do” tone:

It is truly a sad day for North Carolina Republicans. My party’s leadership has chosen loyalty to one man over the core principles of the Republican Party and the founders of our great nation.

I guess Burr is sort of right to feel miffed over this. Burr was up to his eyebrows in an insider trading scandal (read Tucker Carlson Takes a Flamethrower to Richard Burr Over Insider Trading Allegations)…a scandal that has somehow disappeared…and the NCGOP didn’t say boo about it. Burr covered for Mark Warner trying to meet with key players in the Russia Hoax without demanding answers (see Why Did Mark Warner Try to Secretly Meet With Trump Dossier Author and a Blacklisted Russian Oligarch?). Burr engineered the extension of the disastrous FISA law used to spy on the Trump campaign and transition team (see Richard Burr Dares President Trump to Veto Extension of FISA). No one in the NCGOP raised any public objection to Burr acting as a Democrat proxy. Over the past four years, Burr showed himself to be squarely in the quisling wing of the Senate GOP. As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he spent more time acting as Mark Warner’s sockpuppet than he did in performing any useful service to anyone but Warner. It was left to Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson to unravel the Russia Hoax while Burr covered it up.

I’d like to say this is a hopeful sign that state and local Republican organizations are beginning to do something more than slavishly follow behind whatever bloviating empty suit that happens to be a senator or representative because that is what they do. But I don’t think it is.

Burr has said he will not run for reelection in 2022, so the NCGOP is taking some credit while risking nothing. But it may also tip their hand that they are coalescing behind a 2022 candidate: President Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump. And they don’t seem to be alone.

“My dear friend Richard Burr, who I like and have been friends to a long time, just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs,” Graham said on Fox News. “And I certainly will be behind her because she represents the future of the Republican Party.”