Some Republicans are expressing frustration toward their party for censuring GOP senators who voted to convict former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial.
Last weekend, seven Republican senators joined all Democrats to find the former president guilty of inciting an insurrection against the U.S. Capitol on January 6. They were Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Mitt Romney of Utah, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Each senator has since defended their decision by stating their vote was constitutional and based on significant evidence, but the blowback from breaking with the Republican party has been severe.
Five of those seven lawmakers-all but Collins and Romney-have since faced local censures, or formal rebukes, from GOP groups in the states they represent. Republican officials have condemned the GOP senators by stating that the decision to convict was not representative of the party.
Other Republicans, however, have since criticized the party for participating in “cancel culture” and being intolerant of diverse opinions.
Republican Senator John Thune, who voted to acquit Trump, defended his colleagues who sided with Democrats and warned the party against shutting out dissenting voices.
“There was a strong case made. People could come to different conclusions. If we’re going to criticize the media and the left for cancel culture, we can’t be doing that ourselves,” Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told the Associated Press.
Similarly, Quin Hillyer, a former leader of the Louisiana Young Republicans who writes commentaries for the Washi