Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) on Thursday released a video directed at leaders of the Nebraska Republican Party over reports that the party planned to censure him for his criticism of former President Donald Trump.
Sasse is among the few GOP senators who have supported moving forward with Trump’s impeachment trial after the former president incited a deadly riot on the Capitol last month.
The Nebraska Republican Party’s State Central Committee has drafted a resolution for censure to be formalized on Feb. 13, citing more than a dozen complaints against Sasse according to a draft copy of the two-page document obtained by News Channel Nebraska. Chief among them, was Sasse’s backing of Trump’s impeachment trial.
In the video Thursday first reported by the Washington Post, Sasse said he wouldn’t try to convince the committee leaders not to censure him, acknowledging a past streak of angering the party for refusing to back Trump’s election efforts.
“Now, many of you are hacked off that I condemned his lies that led to a riot,” Sasse said. “Let’s be clear: The anger in this state party has never been about me violating principle or abandoning conservative policy. I’m one of the most conservative voters in the Senate. The anger has always been simply about me not bending the knee to one guy.”
Among its gripes about Sasse’s behavior, the committee cited the senator’s persistent “public acts of ridicule and calumny” against Trump.
The resolution draft also refers to Sasse’s history of “questioning the president’s agenda, decisions, motives, and competency” in addition to having “show contempt” for the ex-president while also making “disparaging remarks towards the Trump family.”
Sasse showed no signs of backing down, however, in his video which clearly identified Trump as the key instigator of the riot — pointing at how Trump’s lies about the election catapulted a mob of the former president’s supporters to storm the Capitol.
“He lied about the election results for 60 days, despite losing 60 straight court challenges — many handed down by wonderful Trump-appointed judges. He lied by saying that the vice president could violate his constitutional oath and just declare a new winner. He then riled a mob that attacked the Capitol,” he said.
Sasse also criticized committee leaders for affording Trump a pass because he is a Republican.
“If that president were a Democrat, we both know how you’d respond. But, because he had ‘Republican’ behind his name, you’re defending him,” Sasse said.
Sasse is just one of growing group of Republicans who are facing punishments from their local GOP for breaking with their party in speaking out on the validity of Trump’s forthcoming trial and impeachment for his role in last month’s insurrection.