North Carolina's Richard Burr was among seven GOP Senators who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial, a move that was swiftly condemned by state party leaders.
In a lengthy statement released after the vote, Burr said that the facts are clear the president promoted unfounded conspiracy theories that cast doubt on a free and fair election, then directed supporters to disrupt the certification of votes on Jan. 6.
The insurrection turned violent. Five people died and several law enforcement officers were injured.
Michael Whatley, state GOP chairman, called Burr's vote “shocking and disappointing.” He said it was contradictory given that Burr had earlier sided with those who considered the trial unconstitutional. A committee of the North Carolina Republican Party is expected to vote Monday on whether to censure Burr for his vote.
Burr is not running for re-election in 2022.
North Carolina's other GOP Senator, Thom Tillis, voted to acquit.
That split vote reflects the political paradox of Donald Trump in North Carolina. Many Republican candidates believe they need to show support or lose loyal Trump followers. But his enthusiam within the party is overmatched by opposition to him among independent and Democratic voters.
A recent poll found Trump's approval rating has slipped by 10 points in North Carolina since the election. His campaign record at this point is two popular vote losses – and the GOP's loss of control of the U.S. House, Senate and White House under his watch.
The final vote tally in Trump's second impeachment trial was 57-43, short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict.