Collins Avoids Censure From Maine GOP After Trump Conviction Vote

Republican Sen. Susan Collins speaks to workers at Reed and Reed, a contracting company, while campaigning Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in Woolwich, Maine. Collins is seeking re-election against Democratic challenger Sara Gideon, the speaker of the Maine House. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Republican Sen. Susan Collins speaks to workers at Reed and Reed, a contracting company, while campaigning Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in Woolwich, Maine. Collins is seeking re-election against Democratic challenger Sara ... Republican Sen. Susan Collins speaks to workers at Reed and Reed, a contracting company, while campaigning Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in Woolwich, Maine. Collins is seeking re-election against Democratic challenger Sara Gideon, the speaker of the Maine House. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) MORE LESS
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March 27, 2021 4:33 p.m.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) staved off censure from the Maine Republican Party on Saturday, after some state party leaders condemned her for voting to convict President Donald Trump during his Senate trial last month.

The fifth-term Maine Republican avoided censure after her state’s GOP voted against the motion in an overwhelming 41-19 vote, first reported by Politico.

“Today’s decision is a testament to the Republican Party’s ‘big tent’ philosophy that respects different views but unites around core principles,” Collins said in a statement Saturday.

The news comes after Collins became one of seven Senate Republicans who joined Democrats in voting to convict former President Donald Trump in February of inciting an insurrection on the Capitol. 

In a floor speech explaining her vote, Collins said that the Jan. 6 Capitol attack “was the culmination of a steady stream of provocations by President Trump that were aimed at overturning the results of the presidential election.”

“Instead of preventing the situation, President Trump created one,” she added. “And rather than defend the constitutional transfer of power, he incited an insurrection with the purpose of preventing that transfer of power from occurring.”

Days after the vote, members of the Main Republican Party’s state committee posted a letter to Facebook condemning Collins for crossing Trump.

“We vehemently disagree with your vote on this matter and condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” members of the committee — including the state party’s chair and vice chair — wrote in the letter last month.

Of the group of Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump last month, at least two are retiring and only one — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK) —  faces her state’s voters in the next election cycle, 2022. The Alaska GOP has responded by censuring her and called on her not to run as a Republican

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) were quickly censured within days of their convictions votes, while others like Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) narrowly avoided similar fates in their states. 

The Wyoming GOP censured Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) for voting with House Democrats to impeach Trump in January. South Carolina Republican Party’s executive committee made a similar move to censure Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) for his impeachment vote. Other House Republicans among the fledgling group of 10 who voted to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection, have also faced public rebuke for their votes.

In the wake of his departure from office, Trump has repeatedly vowed to exact revenge on those who have crossed him. 

His fixation on his critics was particularly apparent when he used a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month to attack his detractors.

“Get rid of them all,” Trump said at the time. 

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