The North Carolina Republican Party is expected to vote Monday on whether to censure Sen. Richard Burr over his vote to convict former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial.
A day before the vote, South Carolina Repubican Senator Lindsey Graham made waves by suggesting that the big winner from Burr’s surprise vote is Lara Trump - the former president’s daughter-in-law - who has been considered a leading candidate to replace Burr in North Carolina.
"The biggest winner I think of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump," Graham told Fox News' Chris Wallace. "If she runs, I will certainly be behind her because I think she represents the future of the Republican Party."
Lara Trump is married to Donald Trump's younger son Eric and played key roles in both of Trump's presidential campaigns - in 2016 and 2020. Lara Trump campaigned in 2020 with far-right, Islamophobic conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer as part of Loomer's bid for Congress in Florida.
North Carolina Republican Party spokesman Tim Wigginton told multiple news outlets Sunday that the group’s central committee would meet for the vote Monday night.
Burr, who is retiring in 2022, is one of seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump of “incitement of insurrection.” Burr initially voted against the trial’s constitutionality, but said he resolved to be an “impartial juror” once the full Senate decided to proceed.
North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley said in a statement Saturday that Burr’s vote to convict “in a trial that he declared unconstitutional is shocking and disappointing.”
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Burr said in a statement after the trial that Trump “bears responsibility” for the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“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 stated Saturday. “Therefore, I have voted to convict.”
Ultimately, Trump was acquitted of the charge because the 57-43 vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for conviction.