The Maine GOP is considering censuring Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) over her decision to side with Democrats and vote to convict former President Trump for incitement of insurrection in connection to the January 6 protests at the U.S. Capitol.
Maine GOP chair Demi Kouzounas acknowledged that many members were “upset after what happened” following Collins’ vote to convict on Saturday and told them to remain “prepared for an emergency state committee meeting in the near future.”
“Rest assured, we hear you, we understand how you feel, and we will be having an open and robust discussion about it as a committee,” she told members in an email, according to the Bangor Daily News.
GOP leaders met with county Republican chairs on Monday to discuss a possible censure, which, according to the outlet, “could come in a special meeting of the state committee by month’s end”:
People in the meeting said afterward that they were not at liberty to discuss the meeting. The party bylaws lay out the process to call a special meeting, which needs 17 signatures from committee members from six counties. One county chair said the signatures are in hand, though it is unclear whether censure language has been drafted.
According to the outlet, local officials have been bombarded with complaints from Maine conservatives, outraged over Collins’ vote to convict the former president for incitement of insurrection. Collins, however, has continued to defend her decision.
“That attack was not a spontaneous outbreak of violence. Rather, it was the culmination of a steady stream of provocations by President Trump that were aimed at overturning the results of the presidential election,” she said during a Senate floor speech on Saturday.
“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,” the Maine Republican determined.
Six other GOP senators joined Collins in her vote to convict Trump, including Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Mitt Romney (R-UT).
The Louisiana GOP quickly voted to censure Cassidy, and the North Carolina GOP censured Burr on Monday. Utah Republicans are also considering a censure for Romney as grassroots pressure continues to mount.