Senate

Sasse on vote to convict Trump: He violated ‘a president’s oath of office’

Greg Nash

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) on Saturday explained why he voted to convict former President Trump on the charge that he incited violence during the U.S. Capitol breach, stating that Trump violated “a president’s oath of office.”

Sasse was one of seven GOP senators who joined Democrats who voted to find Trump “guilty” of “willfully inciting violence agains the Government of the United States.”

He had previously voted that the trial was constitutional on two different occasions.

In an emailed statement on Saturday, the Nebraska Republican said that Trump repeated lies that widespread fraud cost him the 2020 presidential election, adding that attempts to overturn the election results based on those claims had consequences. 

“Those lies had consequences, endangering the life of the vice president and bringing us dangerously close to a bloody constitutional crisis,” he continued. “Each of these actions are violations of a president’s oath of office.”

Sasse also claimed that Democrats ignored the violence that occurred in Portland, Ore., last summer, but that  should not give Republicans license to ignore what happened on Jan. 6.

He stated that Congress needs to “respect itself enough to tell the executive that some lines cannot be crossed.” 

“On election night 2014, I promised Nebraskans I’d always vote my conscience even if it was against the partisan stream. In my first speech here in the Senate in November 2015, I promised to speak out when a president – even of my own party – exceeds his or her powers,” Sasse said.

“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,” he said.

The Senate voted 57-43 to acquit Trump in the afternoon Saturday for inciting the Jan. 6 attacks.

Other GOP Senators who voted to convict Trump were Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

Tags Ben Sasse Bill Cassidy Capitol breach Donald Trump Lisa Murkowski Mitt Romney Nebraska Pat Toomey Richard Burr Susan Collins Trump impeachment

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