Pennsylvania Republicans are lashing out at Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) after he became one of the Republicans who voted to convict former president Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol last month.
“We did not send him there to vote his conscience. We did not send him there to do the right thing or whatever he said he was doing,” a GOP chair in Washington County, Dave Ball, told local CBS affiliate KDKA in an interview Monday. “We sent him there to represent us.”
Washington County, Pennsylvania, GOP Chair: “We did not send him there to vote his conscience. We did not send him there to ‘do the right thing’ or whatever” https://t.co/YQIsMP1xGm pic.twitter.com/FKgN1hJxFl
— J.J. Abbott (@jjabbott) February 16, 2021
The comments come after the Philly Inquirer reported that Republican state party chairman Lawrence Tabas told committee members of his plans to call a meeting to “address and consider actions related to the impeachment vote” amid a growing push to censure the senator.
Toomey, who opposed Trump’s first impeachment, joined six other Republican senators who voted to convict him during the Senate impeachment trial on Saturday.
Parties in a number of counties throughout the battleground state had already censured Toomey for his vote, alleging in at least one draft resolution that Toomey had “violated the trust of his voters…and neglected his duty to represent the party and the will of the people who elected him to represent them.”
The growing criticism of the long-serving lawmaker who announced in October he would not seek reelection, highlights how loyalty to the former president has remained a defining characteristic of the GOP in the wake of Trump’s departure.
Although the outgoing senator ultimately supported Trump in both 2016 and 2020 he was the only Pennsylvania Republican in Congress who supported the second impeachment after opposing efforts by Trump and his allies to toss out Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes.
Toomey explained his vote in a statement on Saturday, rebuking Trump for “dishonest, systematic attempts” to convince his voters he had won the 2020 election, and for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
“His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction,” Toomey said Saturday. “Had he accepted the outcome of the election, acknowledged defeat, and cooperated with a peaceful transfer, then he’d be celebrated for a lot of the accomplishments that he deserves credit for. Instead, he’ll be remembered throughout history as the president who resorted to nonlegal steps to try to hold on to power.”