Seven Republican senators voted Saturday to convict former President Donald Trump — more than expected in the deeply partisan trial that weighed whether the president incited the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol while Congress was verifying his electoral loss.
The Republican “guilty” votes came mostly from lawmakers who are retiring or have several years until they face re-election, where the former president’s wrath could be particularly problematic in a primary race.
Here’s who voted to convict Trump, and what they’ve said about their decision:
Richard Burr, N.C.
Burr is retiring and will not be on the ballot in 2022. He voted to dismiss the trial as unconstitutional, but said since the motion failed in the Senate, he made his final determination based on the facts of the trial.
“As I said on January 6th, the president bears responsibility for these tragic events. The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors,” Burr said in a statement. “I do not make this decision lightly, but I believe it is necessary. “
Bill Cassidy, La.
Cassidy, who was re-elected last year, surprised onlookers when he voted last week that the Senate does have the power to convict a former president.
“Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person,” Cassidy said in a 10-second video posted on Twitter. “I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”
Susan Collins, Maine
Collins won re-election last year as well after fending off a strong Democratic challenger in the primary.
“In this situation, context was everything. Tossing a lit match into a pile of dry leaves is very different from tossing it in to a pool of water, and on January 6th the atmosphere among the crowd outside the White House was highly combustible,” Collins said in a floor speech after her vote to convict.
“Instead of preventing a dangerous situation, President Trump created one. And rather than defend the Constitutional transfer of power, he incited an insurrection with the purpose of preventing that transfer of power from occurring,” she added.
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
Murkowski, who was observed by reporters rocking back and forth in her chair during House manager Jamie Raskin’s closing remarks, is the sole Republican who voted to convict who will be on the ballot next year.
“The evidence that has been presented thus far is pretty damning,” she said this week.
Mitt Romney, Utah
Romney, a frequent Trump critic, was the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial last year.
“After careful consideration of the respective counsels’ arguments, I have concluded that President Trump is guilty of the charge made by the House of Representatives,” he said in a statement. “He did this despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day. President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the Vice President, and others in the Capitol. Each and every one of these conclusions compels me to support conviction.”
Romney, who is popular in his state, won re-election in 2018 and won’t be on the ballot again until 2024.
Ben Sasse, Neb.
Sasse, another regular critic of the president, also won re-election last year; his term doesn’t expire until 2026.
In a statement, Sasse excoriated partisan tribalism, Democrats and the former president, but ultimately said he believed it was his duty to convict.
“I promised Nebraskans I’d always vote my conscience even if it was against the partisan stream. In my first speech here in the Senate in November 2015, I promised to speak out when a president — even of my own party — exceeds his or her powers. I cannot go back on my word, and Congress cannot lower our standards on such a grave matter, simply because it is politically convenient,” he said. “I must vote to convict.”
Pat Toomey, Pa.
Toomey is also retiring from the Senate; his seat expires in 2022.
He told reporters only that the vote to impeach was the “right call.”
“As a result of President Trump’s actions, for the first time in American history, the transfer of presidential power was not peaceful. A lawless attempt to retain power by a president was one of the founders’ greatest fears motivating the inclusion of the impeachment authorities in the U.S. Constitution,” Toomey said in a statement, noting that he’d voted for Trump’s re-election. “His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction.”