Utah Republicans Censure Mitt Romney One Week After Booing Him At State GOP Convention

The Republican Party in Weber County, Utah, issued a formal censure of Senator Mitt Romney for his multiple votes to convict former President Donald Trump during his impeachment trials.

The move comes a little over a week after Romney was booed vociferously at the Utah Republican Party’s organizing convention.

“The Weber County Republican Convention censures Mitt Romney for his votes to convict President Trump in two U.S. Senate impeachment trials,” the censure reads.

The censure resolutions claims both impeachment efforts “denied the President due process, allowed falsified evidence, did not provide adequate time for an investigation, and did not follow the U.S. Constitution…”

The censure resolution was passed by a vote of 116-97.

RELATED: Trump Cheers Utah GOP That Booed ‘Stone-Cold Loser’ Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney Censure Vote Fails

The successful vote to censure Mitt Romney comes after a similar effort fell short at the Utah state GOP convention on May 1st.

That vote failed by a tally of 798-711.

What the Utah Republican convention did succeed in doing, however, was making headlines by reigning boos down on the anti-Trump senator as he attempted to speak.

“I don’t hide the fact that I wasn’t a fan of our last president’s character issues,” Romney told the crowd as the booing grew ever louder.

“Aren’t you embarrassed?” he asked the Trump supporters.

RELATED: Mitt Romney Is Awarded JFK ‘Profile In Courage Award’ For Impeachment Vote

Trump: He’s A ‘Stone-Cold Loser’

Trump could hardly contain his excitement when seeing that Romney had been shouted down at the Utah Republican convention.

He issued a statement about the incident shortly thereafter.

“So nice to see RINO Mitt Romney booed off the stage at the Utah Republican State Convention,” Trump said.

“They are among the earliest to have figured this guy out, a stone-cold loser!” he added.

ABC 4 reports that nearly 600 Weber County Republican delegates attended the Utah convention, both in-person or online.

Weber County GOP Chairman Jake Sawyer believes the vote to censure was “respectful.”

“From the top down, we need to be able to voice our opinions agree with each other, and still come up with a solution at the end of the day,” said Sawyer.

He did admit that the vote is little more than symbolic.

Weber County becomes the second to pass a censure resolution against Romney in Utah, joining Washington County in April.

The news for the Senate Republican hasn’t been all bad since he joined Democrats in trying to impeach Trump on frivolous charges.

He was awarded the Profile in Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Library for his “historic vote” to impeach Trump during his first trial.

“He reminds us that our Democracy depends on the courage, conscience and character of our elected officials,” Caroline Kennedy, former Ambassador and daughter of President Kennedy, said in a statement.

Shortly after the election, conservative actor Scott Baio threatened to move to Utah and run against Mitt Romney in an effort to unseat the Republican senator.

 

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Trump Fires Back At Liz Cheney, Calls Her A ‘Warmongering Fool’

On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump released a statement in which he called anti-Trump Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney a “warmongering fool” who only teased she might run for president because she might lose her congressional seat. 

Cheney has repeatedly attacked Trump in recent months, blaming the former President for the violence at the Capitol on January 6th.

On Tuesday, Trump responded to Cheney’s attacks.

RELATED: Gov. Cuomo Denies Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Says ‘People Want Attention, People Are Jealous’

Trump Blasts ‘Warmongering Fool’ Cheney

“Liz Cheney is polling sooo low in Wyoming, and has sooo little support, even from the Wyoming Republican Party, that she is looking for a way out of her Congressional race,” Trump said in a statement.

“Based on all polling, there is no way she can win,” Trump continued. “She’ll either be yet another lobbyist or maybe embarrass her family by running for President, in order to save face.”

Trump then become even more aggressive in his rhetoric.

“This warmongering fool wants to stay in the Middle East and Afghanistan for another 19 years, but doesn’t consider the big picture—Russia and China!” Trump said.

Cheney Received Backlash From Republicans For Impeachment Vote

When asked on Monday if she ever considered running for president in 2024, Cheney told a reporter, “I’m not ruling anything in or out — ever is a long time.”

Cheney is still part of House GOP House leadership despite almost facing censure for voting to impeach former President Trump in the wake of the January 6 Capitol Hill riot.

Mrs. Cheney also suffered backlash from Republicans in her home state for her stance on Trump.

Carbon County GOP Chairman Joey Correnti IV said in January, “Our representative did not represent our voice.”

RELATED: Simon & Schuster Employees Demand Book Publisher Cancel Authors Associated With Trump

Cheney also received a challenger for her seat, Republican State Sen. Anthony Bouchard.

But none of this has stopped Cheney from continuing to denounce Trump and Republicans who still support the former president.

“I think that we’re going to be in a good position to be able to take the White House,” Cheney said. “I do think that some of our candidates who led the charge, particularly the senators who led the unconstitutional charge not to certify the election, you know, in my view that’s disqualifying.”

 

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Nearly Every Senator Who Voted To Convict Trump Faces Censure Or Has Been Censured

As of today, nearly every Republican Senator who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his impeachment conviction trial has either been censured by their Republican voters or faces censure in the near future.

On Saturday, the U.S. Senate voted to acquit Trump on the charge that he incited the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot. The 57-43 vote to convict failed to reach the two-thirds majority required in the upper chamber.

Joining all fifty Democrat Senators who voted to convict were seven GOP Senators:

  • Susan Collins of Maine
  • Mitt Romney of Utah
  • Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
  • Richard Burr of North Carolina
  • Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
  • Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and
  • Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

All have either been censured or are facing censure at home by at least one county Republican committee, save for Murkowski, who is up for re-election in 2022, so far.

RELATED: Dem Congressman Files Lawsuit Against Trump For His Alleged Role In Capitol Hill Riot

Republicans Making Their Feelings Known

The seven Senators who voted to convict join several of their colleagues in the House who also are facing not just unhappy voters at home, but in some cases, already have primary challengers in 2022 for their votes to impeach.

One of the most high profile House members to face backlash which includes a primary challenger is Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). Cheney was also called out by fellow Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) , who went to Wyoming to support constituents who want to replace her in Congress.

In the House, in addition to Cheney, South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice was also censured at home.

Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) has not only taken heat at home from constituents for his vote to impeach, but several members of his own family have called him an ’embarrassment.’

RELATED: Donald Trump Surprises Supporters By Showing Up At Presidents’ Day Rally In Palm Beach

Pro-Impeachment Senators All Facing Backlash

According to a report from Vox, the Republican Parties of Louisiana and North Carolina wasted no time in blasting Bill Cassidy and Richard Burr, respectively. 

“The Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Louisiana has unanimously voted to censure Senator Bill Cassidy for his vote cast earlier today to convict former President Donald J. Trump on the impeachment charge.”

The feeling in North Carolina was essentially the same. In a statement issued by NCGOP Chair Michael Whatley, he stated that Burr’s vote was “shocking and disappointing.”

“North Carolina Republicans sent Senator Burr to the United States Senate to uphold the Constitution and his vote today to convict in a trial that he declared unconstitutional is shocking and disappointing.” 

Burr and Senator Pat Toomey have already announced that neither would be seeking re-election, which perhaps might have given both the feeling of having a bit of wiggle room when it came to pleasing or displeasing constituents.

Washington County Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Dave Ball stated of Toomey that “As far as we’re concerned, his political career is over in this state, even if he were to try to run again. His legacy is tarnished beyond repair.”

Sasse was censured by his fellow Nebraska Republicans for what they cited as “dismissing the legitimate concerns of Nebraska’s Secretary of State, and a huge majority of Republican voters regarding allegations of fraud in November’s presidential election.”

In response, Sasse released a rather condescending video to Nebraska Republicans explaining to them what was “conservative” and what was not.

In Maine, censure resolutions are being considered.

In Utah, Republican voters are circulating a petition online calling to censure Mitt Romney, though that state GOP has defended ‘diversity of thought.’

RELATED: Robert DeNiro’s Ultra-Luxury Restaurants Took Millions In COVID -19 Relief Money

Will Voters Hold Them Accountable At The Ballot?

There are several things that might make Senators taking heat for their conviction vote interesting.

Of these seven, only Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is up for re-election. Burr and Toomey are retiring, and Romney is in the middle of his first term.

The rest were all just re-elected. 

Another interesting factor is  two Senators who have not been censured by their own voters – the two Republicans who challenged the electoral college votes.

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) were blamed by Democrat Senators for the riot and there were calls by many for both to resign or be expelled

And in what might the most intriguing aspect of the “Gang of 7,” is that in the wake of Burr’s retirement announcement, there will be a vacancy in one of North Carolina’s Senate seats.

Former Representative Mark Walker has thrown his hat into the ring for 2022, but another name is floating around, that of Lara Trump.

The North Carolina native and wife of Eric Trump recently got a huge boost from Lindsey Graham, who described her as the “biggest winner of the impeachment trial.”

As Americans get more and more tired of sending people to Washington who do not reflect their wishes, the Gang of 7 and those like them may just be the last of a dying breed. 

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Sen. Ben Sasse Joins List Of Anti-Trump Republicans Censured By Their Own Party

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), a vocal critic of former President Trump, was censured on Sunday by the Lincoln County, Nebraska Republican Party. Chairwoman Carol Friesen said that the vote on the measure was unanimous. 

The resolution to censure Sen. Sasse chastises him for “dismissing the legitimate concerns of Nebraska’s Secretary of State, Attorney General, and a huge majority of Republican voters regarding allegations of fraud in November’s presidential election.”

In addition to Lincoln county, other Nebraska counties who have passed similar resolutions include Hitchcock, Scotts Bluff, and Sarpy.

The Nebraska State Republican Central Committee will meet on Saturday to consider a resolution to censure.  

Sasse had been among a handful of GOP Senators who had objected to the challenges of electoral votes by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO and Ted Cruz (R-TX). He went as far as to call Hawley’s actions “really dumbass.”

RELATED: Here Are The 6 Republicans Who Voted That Trump’s Impeachment Trial Is Constitutional 

The Beginning Of A Trend?

Ben Sasse is not the first Republican to face censure from the home crowd.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has also been censured by several county Republican committees and her state party in her home state of Wyoming for her vote to impeach former President Trump.

Also coming under fire at home, for his vote that the Senate is constitutionally allowed to hear the impeachment trial against a former President Trump is Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who was one of six Republican Senators to vote for hearing impeachment, even after he voted against it last week. 

Of the 10 House members that voted for impeachment, seven of them, including Cheney, already have primary challengers.

Could average Americans be trying to tell the folks they sent to Washington D.C. something?

Could be.

There has been much speculation over what Donald Trump may decide to do in his post-presidential life. Starting a third party has been on that list. 

In a report from The Hill, a new Hill/HarrisX poll finds that 64% of registered Republican voters would join a new political party started by Donald Trump. 

RELATED: Jim Jordan Claims Democrats Are ‘Scared’ Of Trump

A View From The Swamp

There are a lot of people on both the left and the right who are quick to talk about things that Donald Trump did as president.

“He lied, he started a riot,” and on and on.

Whether you agree with those accusations is not the point. What he did do, that even more people don’t like, is that he exposed the system that is really exists in Washington D.C.

And the people who don’t like it are exactly the same ones Americans sent to represent them in the nation’s capitol, Democrat and Republican alike.

Call it the old guard, call it the establishment, whatever it is, it is a group that not only seems aligned with each other regardless of party, but they are also aligned with each other against average Americans.

RELATED: Trump ‘Not Happy’ With His Legal Team’s First Appearance In Impeachment Trial 

Are Americans Waking Up?

Donald Trump exposed Democrats and Republicans for being one and the same, a “uniparty.” We send them to Washington, they go into the House or Senate and pretend to argue, then they all go out for drinks.

What’s missing? Carrying out the will of their constituents.

More Americans of all political stripes are seeing a clear split between the Ben Sasse, Liz Cheney, and Mitt Romney types who delight in telling us, the great unwashed, how wrong we are for supporting an ogre like Donald Trump.

After all, they know better, and they are less and less afraid to convey that.

We already knew a long time ago that our representatives are no longer going to Washington to cast votes on behalf of we the people. They are casting votes for themselves. 

Liz Cheney said on a recent appearance on “Fox News Sunday” that Donald Trump “does not have a role as a leader of our party going forward.”

Newsflash Rep. Cheney: that is not for you to decide.

Ben Sasse put out a video addressing his fellow Nebraska Republicans. In it he said, “Personality cults aren’t conservative, conspiracy theories aren’t conservative, lying that an election has been stolen isn’t conservative, acting like politics is a religion isn’t conservative.”

Presuming to give people a litmus test on what is conservative isn’t conservative.

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Report: Democrats Have A Back-Up Plan That Might Still Bar Trump From Running Again If Impeachment Fails

Congressional Democrats are reportedly considering a back-up plan – a censure resolution against Donald Trump should this week’s impeachment trial result in acquittal for the former President.

The resolution, according to McClatchy, would bar Trump “from holding future office over his role in the U.S. Capitol riot.”

The Senate impeachment trial began on Tuesday with opening statements and debate between House impeachment managers and the former President’s defense lawyers.

Trump’s lawyers argue that the House impeachment charge is unconstitutional and are calling on the Senate to acquit the former President.

His acquittal seems all but assured with 45 Republican Senators having already voted on a point of order that the trial is unconstitutional.

RELATED: Trump Lawyer’s Demand Senate Impeachment Trial Be Dismissed, Top Dem Admits ‘Not Crazy To Argue’ It’s Unconstitutional

Democrats Have Back-Up Impeachment Plan – Censure Trump

The Democrat attempt to censure Donald Trump – who is now a private citizen – would invoke Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

It is a rarely cited Civil War-era provision that bars people from holding office if they “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

Pushing forward with the plan seems to be a foregone conclusion, as McClatchy notes “the debate among members of Congress is now whether to push for the resolution early this week — as the impeachment trial is first starting — or towards the end.”

Some Democrat lawmakers are hoping the trial itself will “build public support and political momentum” for the censure resolution.

“The reception has been lukewarm so far from Democrats, who would prefer to see the former president convicted in the impeachment trial, and from Republicans, who fear political consequences in barring Trump from office,” McClatchy observes.

Senator Tim Kaine adds, “Right now there’s not enough support on either side.”

If the Senate acquits Trump, however, bitter Democrats could conceivably coalesce behind such a censure resolution and they wouldn’t need any help from the Republicans.

A resolution to censure Trump would require a simple majority vote to pass in the House and Senate.

RELATED: Squad’s Ayanna Pressley: Capitol Riots Gave Me ‘Deep And Ancestral’ Terror From ‘White Supremacist Mob’

It Could Backfire

The report indicates that Democrats may be playing with fire if they plan to censure Trump following the Senate impeachment trial.

“Some Democratic lawyers warn the strategy could backfire if taken to court and provide Trump with a rallying cry to run again for president in 2024,” it reads.

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley has argued that censuring Trump is a “dangerous” tactic for the nation.

Barring the former President from running again in the future based on a rarely cited provision of the 14th Amendment, without a trial and supermajority vote could open up the floodgates for party’s in power to keep their political opponents out of office.

“The party in control could bar dozens of its opponents from running for federal office,” Turley explains. “Some Democrats are now demanding such action against Republicans who challenged the election of Joe Biden.”

Indeed, how often have we heard Democrats demand Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz be expelled from Congress?

“This is common in authoritarian countries such as Iran, where leaders often bar their opponents from office,” Turley adds.

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Liz Cheney Censured By 10 Wyoming County Republican Parties Over Impeachment Vote

The Republican Parties of ten different Wyoming counties have voted to censure House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney. According to the Casper Star-Tribune, that number could still rise.

Since Cheney and nine other Republicans voted in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump, who they blame for inciting the Capitol Hill riots on January 6, Cheney has faced significant criticism in Wyoming and Washington, D.C.

RELATED: Mitch McConnell Voices Support For Liz Cheney As Calls Grow For Her To Be Expelled From GOP Leadership

County GOP: Cheney ‘Betrayed The Trust’ Of Her Voters

Wyoming Republicans haven’t minced words in their descriptions of Cheney’s behavior.

The Sweetwater County Republican Party censure states that Cheney had “betrayed the trust and failed to honor the will of the very large majority of motivated Wyoming voters who elected her.”

Part of their statement read:

“Because she voted in an anarchic proceeding against President Donald J. Trump which was conducted in contravention of established principles of due process — a proceeding that provided no probative evidence for consideration, called no witnesses to testify under oath, permitted no questioning of the accusers by the accused — Representative Liz Cheney stood in defiance of the quantifiable will of the substantial majority of Wyoming citizens and devalued the political influence of the State of Wyoming.”

Cheney On Impeachment Vote: ‘This Is A Vote Of Conscience’

Over half of the House Republican Conference has said they plan to vote to remove Cheney from her leadership role.

Still, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has implied that he will not support ousting Cheney from her post, and Cheney herself declared last month, “I’m not going anywhere.”

“This is a vote of conscience,” Cheney added. “It’s one where there are different views in our conference.”

She did not explain how President Trump was responsible for some people breaking in to the Capitol building.

RELATED: Pelosi, Schumer Begin Process Of Potentially Bypassing GOP To Push COVID Relief Through Congress

McConnell Supports Cheney

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave his support to Cheney on Monday, describing her as an “important leader.”

“Liz Cheney is a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them,” McConnell told CNN.

“She is an important leader in our party and in our nation,” McConnell added. “I am grateful for her service and look forward to continuing to work with her on the crucial issues facing our nation.”

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, a regular Cheney foe, traveled to Wyoming last week to denounce her to the cheers of many Trump supporters.

Donald Trump To Focus On Defeating ‘Never Trump’ Republicans

Gaetz isn’t the only Republican taking steps to defeat Cheney in her 2022 re-election bid. 

Former President Trump, considering his political future, had reportedly talked of creating a third party. 

However, he is apparently changing that focus in favor of primarying ‘Never Trump’ Republicans – like Liz Cheney. 

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House Republicans Call For Cheney’s Removal From GOP Conference Chair After Impeachment Vote

Over half of House Republicans have called for the removal of Liz Cheney (R-WY) from the Chair of the House GOP Conference.

According to The Hill’s Juliegrace Brufke, Republican aides say that over 115 GOP members are supporting a move to express a vote of “no confidence” in Cheney’s leadership after her recent vote to impeach President Trump.

The vote would be done by secret ballot.

As GOP Conference Chair, Cheney is the third highest ranking Republican in the House of Representatives.

RELATED: If Republicans Put America First, They’ll Remove Liz Cheney, Not Donald Trump

Move To Censure

Currently, more than half of House Republicans are on board with the censure of Cheney. Veteran and newly elected Representatives alike have called for Cheney to step down.

Matt Rosendale (R-MT) said, “Rep. Cheney did not consult with the rest of our conference before supporting impeachment.”

He went on to say that, “She failed to abide by the spirit of the Conference rulesand is ignoring the preferences of Republican voters. I’m calling on her to step down as Conference Chair.”

Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) said, “The reality is, she’s not representing the Conference. She’s not representing the Republican ideals. And I think that’s a problem…I’m not alone in that sentiment.” 

Rep. Matt Gaetz said that, “Cheney has left the America First movement.”

RELATED: Poll: Republican Voters Are Siding With Trump Over Mitch McConnell

Cheney In Trouble At Home

While a formal censure in the House has not yet happened, Cheney’s Wyoming constituents are not happy with her choice to vote for impeachment.

On Tuesday, Carbon County Wyoming Republican Central Committee unanimously passed a resolution to officially censure Cheney.

“Representative Cheney ignored and violated caucus rules by disclosing her intent to join the Democrat Party’s proposed move to vote for impeachment to the media prior to having any evidence presented to the body. 

“Representative Cheney did vote in favor of the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump despite the lack of any formal hearing being held, evidence being presented, witnesses being sworn to testify, or accusers being questioned.”  

The resolution went on to say that Wyoming voters went to the polls in November to, “express their will, their values, and their stated preference in re-electing President Donald J. Trump by a larger margin, and in greater numbers, than those who re-elected Representative Cheney.”

Carbon County GOP Chairman Joey Correnti came down hard on Cheney, saying she has refused to answer angry constituents regarding her vote.

Correnti said, “People in the county party have attempted to get ahold of Rep. Cheney through email, phone calls-and I think only one person got a response from a staffer and it was pretty short.”

RELATED: Liz Cheney Voting To Impeach Trump Backfires On Her As She’s Censured By Wyoming Republicans

Possible Challengers For GOP House Chair And 2022 Implications

There are several Republicans who have been mentioned, or are actively considering challenging Cheney for her Chairmanship. Among the names mentioned are, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and Elise Stephanik (R-NY).   

Back home in Wyoming, a possible 2022 primary challenger has already emerged in State Senator Anthony Bouchard (R).

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Liz Cheney Voting To Impeach Trump Backfires On Her As She’s Censured By Wyoming Republicans

Last week, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who is the third-highest ranking House Republican, broke with her party last week when she was one of ten Republicans to vote with Democrats in impeaching President Donald Trump.

This has already come back to bite her, however, as she has just been censured by Wyoming Republicans for making this vote.

Liz Cheney’s Impeachment Vote Backfires

The House voted to impeach Trump for a second time by a vote of 232-197. Prior to the vote, Cheney released a scathing statement blaming Trump for the Capitol riots. She claimed that Trump “summoned” the rioters and then “lit the flame of this attack.”

“Everything that followed was his doing,” she added. “None of this would have happened without the president. The president could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not.”

This backfired on Cheney on Monday, when the Republican Party Central Committee in Carbon County, Wyoming voted unanimously to censure her for supporting impeachment.

“Representative Cheney has violated the trust of her voters, failed to faithfully represent a very large majority of motivated Wyoming voters, and neglected her duty to represent the party and the will of the people who elected her to represent them,” the censure resolution declared.

Related: If Republicans Put America First, They’ll Remove Liz Cheney, Not Donald Trump

“The Carbon County Republican Party does hereby censure U.S. Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming for her actions on Wednesday, January 13th 2020, as those actions stand in contradiction to the quantifiable will of the majority of the electorate of Wyoming, and for devaluing the political influence of the State of Wyoming by voting in favor of a process that followed no known hearing process, provided no evidence to consider, called no witnesses to be sworn, and allowed none of the accusers to be questioned by the accused,” the resolution added.

Things Get Worse For Cheney

Carbon County GOP Chairman Joey Correnti blasted Cheney to the Washington Times, saying that she has thus far refused to answer constituents angry over her vote.

“People in the county party have attempted to get a hold of Rep. Cheney through email, phone calls — and I think only one person got a response from a staffer and it was pretty short,” Correnti said. “We haven’t heard anything.”

The Wyoming Republican Party had already released a statement that slammed Cheney for voting in favor of impeachment.

“The wind in Wyoming has been horrendous today — with gusts up to 65 miles per hour,” the party said. “That is nothing compared to the whirlwind created by Representative Cheney’s announcement that she would be voting to impeach President Trump, and her subsequent follow-through of doing just that.”

“There has not been a time during our tenure when we have seen this type of an outcry from our fellow Republicans, with the anger and frustration being palpable in the comments we have received,” the statement added. “The consensus is clear that those who are reaching out to the Party vehemently disagree with Representative Cheney’s decision and actions.”

Pressure has been mounting for Cheney to resign, with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) saying that she does not represent Republican ideals.

“The reality is, she’s not representing the conference, she’s not representing the Republican ideals,” Biggs told Fox News. “And I think that that’s a problem…I’m not alone in that sentiment.”

Read Next: Republicans Call For Liz Cheney To Resign Leadership Post After Calling For Trump’s Impeachment

This piece was written by James Samson on January 19, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Freshman GOP Rep Admits Voting To Impeach Trump May Have Destroyed His Career
Katie Couric Asks How We’ll ‘Deprogram People Who Signed Up For The Cult Of Trump?’
Rival Senate Trial Concepts Roil DC

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Some Democrats want to move past Trump. But ignoring his seditious acts threatens American democracy

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries delivered a message Monday about the posture of House Democrats' leadership team regarding Donald Trump's relentless attempts to engineer a fascist takeover of the American republic. 

“We’re not looking backward," Jeffries told reporters during a press conference. "We’re looking forward to the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20th.” 

That forward-looking vision came less than 24 hours after the Washington Post posted smoking-gun audio of an hour-long phone call in which Trump (aka Mafia Don) attempted to threaten and cajole Georgia's top election officials to "find" enough votes to overturn the state's election results. 

Nonetheless, Kate Bedingfield, an adviser to President-elect Joe Biden offered a similar take to Jeffries, saying, "The country is ready to move forward."

But the problem with simply rushing past Mafia Don's political grave is that ignoring his seditious acts is as much a threat to the future of American democracy as Trump's failed efforts were in the first place. In short—seditious, traitorous acts left unchecked beget seditious, traitorous acts. In fact, Senate Republicans with the twinkle of 2024 presidential bids in their eyes are already lining up in support of Trump's effort to tear down democracy in order to maintain his grip on power. Trump's final gambit is all but certain to fail on Wednesday during a joint session of Congress to certify the election results, but the major takeaway is that plenty of future GOP Trumps are waiting in the wings to trash representative democracy on the way to meeting their own political ends unless a price is exacted for doing so. And the lesson those Republicans have learned so far—just as Trump learned from his acquittal—is that there's no serious price to pay, political or otherwise, for betraying the country.

Both the incoming Biden administration and Congress have a role to play in safeguarding our democracy for generations to come. One is criminal and the other is a matter of governance. Biden must appoint smart, resolute leaders to the Justice Department and then simply get out of the way and let them do their jobs. Hamstringing justice in any way with regard to Trump's endless assault on the law and the Constitution would be disastrous for the country's future. But Biden can easily make those appointments to the Department of Justice and then rightfully send the message that his administration is focused on the task of righting the ship in regard to the pandemic and the faltering economy. 

House Democrats, however, cannot afford to simply move along, as if the threat to our democracy ends once Trump is summarily booted from the White House residence. That is a patently false contention given the upheaval we are already witnessing in the Republican party. Trump must be held to account. That can be done in several ways, a couple of which are already in process.

One way is by making a criminal referral to the FBI over Trump's attempted election crimes, an investigation that Reps. Ted Lieu of California and Kathleen Rice of New York are already urging FBI Director Chris Wray to undertake.

Another possibility is censuring Trump over his call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson introduced a censure motion on Monday with the support of 90 of his colleagues. That number will likely grow in the coming days and weeks as Congress gets back to work—or at least, it should grow, since there are presently 222 Democratic members of the House.

Impeachment is another potential option, but to what end at this point? Trump is just over two weeks away from removal and, as we have already seen, the effort would surely be blocked by the GOP-controlled Senate. Heck, more than a quarter of the Senate Republican caucus has jumped aboard Team coup at this point. 

What does seem a worthy effort, however, is continued investigations of Trump and his minions. Not only do the facts need to come out, but if Democrats are to draft legislation to safeguard our democracy against future Trumps, they will need to know exactly what actions he and his enablers took in their extensive efforts to kneecap America's institutions and systems of governance. 

But none of those three options—a criminal referral, censure, and ongoing investigations—amount to simply "looking forward." What is past will haunt the nation and Democrats, in particular, if it is buried before an autopsy can be conducted and people held to account for their roles in assaulting and undermining America’s democracy. 

Sen. Manchin calls for censure of Trump. Bet you Senate Republicans are too weak to even do that

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia called for a censure vote of Donald Trump on Monday from the well of the Senate floor. It's nowhere near as good as removal from office, to be sure. And under any normal circumstances, it could be seen as a gift to Senate Republicans, giving those who are bear hugging Trump a chance to vote against it while offering GOP members who need to signal disapproval for electoral reasons a way to claim they held Trump accountable.

But guess what? This is going to squeeze all the GOP squishes who have spun their no-witness vote by saying what Trump did was inappropriate but not impeachable. Okay, then: Put your money where your mouth is.

Just off the top, that list of GOP senators includes Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Marco Rubio of Florida, and perhaps others. 

Sen. Alexander, for instance, led the way in justifying his vote against hearing witness testimony in the Senate trial by admitting that Trump's actions were improper but asserting they didn't rise to the level of removing him from office. “I think he shouldn't have done it. I think it was wrong,” Alexander told Meet The Press Sunday. "I don't think it's the kind of inappropriate action that the framers would expect the Senate to substitute its judgment for the people in picking a president,” he added, saying voters should make the final determination this November.

Great! If it's wrong and Trump shouldn't have done it, let's make that crystal clear, amiright?

Manchin has already written the resolution, but he will need agreement from GOP Leader Mitch McConnell to put it to a vote. In theory, this should be a no-brainer for Senate Republicans. They would all get to vote their conscience without a total governmental disruption, and it could help insulate some vulnerable GOP senators that are up for reelection this fall. But in practice, this Republican Party is just too subservient to Trump. Trump insists his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was a "perfect call" and he would blow a gasket if any Republican senators voted to censure him (immediate enemies list status!).

So go ahead and watch Republicans squirm out of this one. In all likelihood, McConnell will kill it as soon as possible, so no one in his caucus has to answer for it.