Collins avoids state-party censure after voting to convict Trump
Sen. Susan Collins avoided censure from her state party on Saturday, escaping the fate of other Republicans who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his most recent impeachment trial.
A 41-19 majority of the Maine Republican Party voted against censuring the moderate fifth-term Republican, according to a release from her office.
“Today’s decision is a testament to the Republican Party’s ‘big tent’ philosophy that respects different views but unites around core principles,” Collins wrote in a statement Saturday. “Our party has been most successful when it has embraced this approach to advance our shared goals of providing tax relief to families and small business job creators, pursuing fiscal responsibility and government accountability, promoting personal responsibility, protecting constitutional rights, and ensuring a strong national defense.”
Some of Collins’ six other Republican Senate colleagues who voted to convict Trump, who was charged with inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection, have faced rebukes from their state parties.
The Louisiana GOP quickly censured Sen. Bill Cassidy after his vote, and the North Carolina Republican party did the same to Sen. Richard Burr just days after his vote. In the House, the Wyoming GOP censured No. 3 House Republican Rep. Liz Cheney for voting to impeach Trump.
The Alaska GOP also recently moved to censure Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) for her vote and have called for her to no longer run as a Republican.
Among other Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump, Sens. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) were rebuked by their state parties but narrowly averted censure, while the Utah GOP defended Utah Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote.
Collins has defended her decision, saying Trump failed to uphold his oath of office.
“His actions to interfere with the peaceful transition of power — the hallmark of our Constitution and our American democracy — were an abuse of power and constitute grounds for conviction,” Collins said on the Senate floor.
After a near double-digit re-election victory in November, Collins has played a significant role in a divided Senate.
Trump, who still has broad support among GOP voters, has targeted Republican lawmakers in both chambers who voted to impeach or convict him, reading the names of every GOP lawmaker to do so at his Conservative Political Action Conference speech in February.
“Get rid of them all,” Trump said.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Tom Emmer has warned Trump against trying to primary these GOP lawmakers, saying it won’t be helpful.
“He can do whatever he wants,” Emmer (R-Minn.) said in an interview. “But I would tell him that it’s probably better for us that we keep these people and we make sure that we have a majority that can be sustained going forward.”