Maine GOP Votes Against Censuring Sen. Collins Over Trump Impeachment

March 28, 2021 Updated: March 28, 2021

The Maine Republican Party rejected a motion on March 27 that would have censured Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) over her vote to convict former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge.

The party voted 19–41 on the motion.

“Party leadership considers this matter settled now, and the team is moving on to preparing to win elections in 2022,” Jason Savage, the Maine GOP’s executive director, told CNN.

Collins said in a statement that the decision “is a testament to the Party’s ‘big tent’ philosophy that respects different views but unites around core principles.”

“Our party has been most successful when it has embraced this approach to advance our shared goals of providing tax relief to families and small business job creators, pursuing fiscal responsibility and government accountability, promoting personal responsibility, protecting constitutional rights, and ensuring a strong national defense,” she said.

Collins was one of seven Republicans who joined all 50 Democrats and independents to vote to convict; Trump was acquitted because 67 votes were needed to convict. Five of the seven Republicans were censured in their home states.

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President Donald Trump arrives on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24, 2017. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Collins had faced backlash from the Maine GOP after the vote.

The state party organization said in an open letter to Collins that the trial itself was unconstitutional because Trump was no longer in office and there were serious concerns with how House impeachment managers “altered video of President Trump to cast his speech in the worst possible light, ignoring his calls for peace, similar to the way a campaign might cut a dishonest 30-second campaign ad.”

Trump was charged by the House of Representatives with inciting an insurrection, primarily because he spoke near the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in the leadup to the breach of the building. Critics pointed to phrases he uttered such as “fight like hell” to paint his words as incitement, while supporters noted he urged the crowd to remain peaceful when they marched to the Capitol.

Trump later condemned the violence at the building and urged people to vacate the premises.

“We have now set a precedent that we fear will undermine the foundation of our country and could greatly diminish our status and integrity into the future,” the Maine GOP wrote last month.

Collins, 68, won reelection to her fifth term in 2020, defeating the state’s House speaker, Sara Gideon, by about 70,000 votes.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.