Whether you think they are “The Magnificent Seven” or a bunch of Quislings, at least two of the Republican Senators who voted for conviction took a political risk and one was a surprise vote to convict. They were all on the losing side, as the Senate on Saturday afternoon voted to acquit Trump 43-57, 67 votes needed for conviction.

The seven Republicans senators voting to convict were Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. Romney, Murkowski, and Collins are known rebels. Toomey and Burr aren’t running again, though both will take great heat for about the next two years. But Sasse and Cassidy will feel intense pressure for a while, as they stay in the Senate. They will also both likely by primaried, if current factors hold true, by Trump supporters if they run for reelection.

Four of the seven explained their votes. Burr was the surprise vote to convict. He had given no indication he was voting that way. Cassidy was a recent convert to conviction.

Cassidy: “Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”

Romney: “After careful consideration of the respective counsels’ arguments, I have concluded that President Trump is guilty of the charge made by the House of Representatives…President Trump incited the insurrection against Congress by using the power of his office to summon his supporters to Washington on January 6th and urging them to march on the Capitol during the counting of electoral votes. He did this despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day. President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the Vice President, and others in the Capitol.”

Burr: “The President promoted unfounded conspiracy theories to cast doubt on the integrity of a free and fair election because he did not like the results. As Congress met to certify the election results, the President directed his supporters to go to the Capitol to disrupt the lawful proceedings required by the Constitution. When the crowd became violent, the President used his office to first inflame the situation instead of immediately calling for an end to the assault…As I said on January 6th, the President bears responsibility for these tragic events. 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. Therefore, I have voted to convict.”

Sasse: “On election night 2014, I promised Nebraskans I’d always vote my conscience even if it was against the partisan stream…I cannot go back on my word, and Congress cannot lower our standards on such a grave matter, simply because it is politically convenient. I must vote to convict.”

This piece was written by David Kamioner on February 14, 2021. It originally appeared in DrewBerquist.com and is used by permission.

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