The Republican Party in one Nebraska county has chosen to censure GOP Senator Ben Sasse for supporting the impeachment trial of former President Trump in the Senate, and a number of other committee delegates throughout the state are reportedly thinking about doing the same. The Nebraska Republican Party will be holding a meeting later this month to discuss “possible action” related to Sasse’ votes in the Senate and his continual anti-Trump remarks.
The Scotts Bluff County Republican Party chair told the local Star-Herald newspaper regretfully that state law prevents them from recalling the senator.
Sasse is one of only five Republicans that voted with Democrats last week to table Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) point of order to dismiss the trial as unconstitutional.
The Never-Trump senator has repeatedly blasted Trump in the wake of the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, putting the blame squarely on the former president for what transpired.
“The President had a rally hours before this happened where he is telling them to go to the Capitol and to go wild,” Sasse said in one interview. “This is a part of a pattern. The guy is addicted to division. This is a deep brokenness in his soul.”
After the House voted to impeach Trump, Sasse released a statement strongly condemning him.
“Everything that we’re dealing with here—the riot, the loss of life, the impeachment, and now the fact that the U.S. Capitol has been turned into a barracks for federal troops for the first time since the Civil War—is the result of a particular lie,” Sasse said in the statement.
“President Trump has consistently lied by claiming that he ‘won the election by a landslide,’ and by promoting fanciful conspiracy theories about dozens of topics and people connected to the November 3rd election,” he said. The senator added, “it’s been obvious that the President was derelict in his duty to defend the Constitution and uphold the rule of law.”
Scotts Bluff County GOP Chair Kolene Woodward explained the decision to censure in an open letter to Sasse.
Sasse has a record of bashing President Trump. Well, in the movement, Trump didn’t find us, we found him. We found a voice for our political views, and someone who would actually advance that voice, and Sasse is going completely against that. No matter what Trump does or whatever, going forward, there are 75 million people who want that voice to continue. Him (Sasse) not representing that is kind of our problem.
Everybody tries to say, ‘Trump and his followers.’ No. His followers created Trump because we’re the ones who wanted a voice, and he was our voice. What we want out of the country is still on the table.
That’s why we voted Republican, because we wanted that agenda followed, make America great, put America first. Even our Republican elected officials aren’t doing that, so by ignoring and dismissing 75 million people, I think we’re pretty ticked because we are the Republican Party, not the crummy leadership we have right now.
Woodward told the Star-Herald that Nebraska Republicans have been unable to reach Sasse to express their concerns.
“We’re terribly frustrated that he’s just ignoring us, so we thought if we put an open letter, perhaps someone on his staff would read it and let him know, we have introduced a resolution for our state central committee meeting next weekend at the county level to censure him,” Woodward said. “I know a lot of counties have, but that’s why we did what we did.”
The GOP official went on to express frustration that there is no way to recall Sasse from the Senate.
“Unfortunately, in Nebraska we do not have recall,” Woodward said. “We don’t have any way of recalling someone who goes to D.C. and does whatever they want, so we are also looking at [whether we can] add that in the future.”
“At this time, all we can do is censure him, and let him know we are unhappy. If he cares, it will bother him. I don’t see that happening, but it is a public thing, a very public thing to say, ‘We’re unhappy with you.’”
The GOP chair told the Star-Herald that she hoped the censure would lead to a change in approach from Sasse.
“It’s that he would stop, he wouldn’t vote to convict President Trump,” she said. “That he would stop trying to side with Democrats on everything and actually stop their agenda, which will negatively impact his state.
The Nebraska Republican Party invited Sasse to a scheduled February 13 meeting where his recent public comments and further action by state delegates would be discussed, Newsweek reported.
“As you likely know, I have received word from a number of the State Central Committee delegates who are interested in including in the agenda discussion and possible action related to your votes in the Senate and public remarks over the past several months. I would be remiss if we did not extend to you the opportunity to be a part of that discussion,” Dan Welch, chairman of the Nebraska Republican Party, said in a letter obtained by Newsweek.
Several other notable Never-Trump Republicans have faced blowback from local GOP groups.
According to Newsweek, “at least 10 county-level Republican parties in Wyoming have censured Representative Liz Cheney, the No. 3–ranking GOP lawmaker in the House leadership, following her vote to impeach Trump.”
Additionally, as American Greatness reported, the Arizona Republican Party last month passed resolutions to censure Gov. Doug Ducey, former Sen. Jeff Flake, and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain for their “opposition to Trump and for supporting globalist interests.”