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North Carolina GOP votes to censure Burr for vote to convict Trump

The North Carolina Republican Party's central committee voted unanimously on Monday to censure Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrRick Scott caught in middle of opposing GOP factions Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks Republicans, please save your party MORE (R-N.C.) over his vote on Saturday to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE

The committee announced the censure in a statement that argued Burr's vote to convict went outside the authority of the Constitution. 

"Tonight, the North Carolina Republican Party Central Committee voted unanimously to censure Senator Richard Burr for his vote to convict former President Trump in the impeachment trial which he declared to be unconstitutional," the committee said in a statement, adding that "the Democrat-led attempt to impeach a former President lies outside the United States Constitution."

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"Now that the Senate has voted to acquit President Trump, we hope that Democrats will set aside their divisive partisan agenda and focus on the American priorities of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, safely reopening schools and restarting the economy," it concluded. 

Burr, who has said he does not plan to run for reelection, initially voted that trying Trump in the Senate was unconstitutional because the former president was no longer in office. But he ultimately joined six other Republicans to vote to convict Trump.

“It is truly a sad day for North Carolina Republicans," Burr said in response to the censure. "My party's leadership has chosen loyalty to one man over the core principles of the Republican Party and the founders of our great nation.”

Republicans who voted to convict Trump are now facing fierce criticism from conservatives and Trump allies within their party. 

Burr's censure comes as Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDemocratic centrists flex power on Biden legislation Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Romney's TRUST Act is a Trojan Horse to cut seniors' benefits MORE (R-Utah) and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Murkowski votes with Senate panel to advance Haaland nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior reverses Trump policy that it says restricted science | Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination | Republicans press Biden environment nominee on Obama-era policy MORE (R-Maine) are facing calls to be censured over their votes to convict.

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The Louisiana Republican Party censured Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyTrump was unhinged and unchanged at CPAC Republicans, please save your party Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra MORE (R-La.) over the weekend and several county-level GOP parties have censured Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeySasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Philly GOP commissioner on censures: 'I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying' Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.). 

The North Carolina Democratic Party blasted the censure, with Chair Wayne Goodwin saying in a statement that the state's GOP is "is in an all out civil war."

"Today’s censure vote against their senior Senator for a vote of conscience in the most bipartisan conviction of a president in history proves this is the Donald Trump Party above all else," Goodwin said in a statement. "North Carolinians are already fleeing the party by the thousands, donors are closing their checkbooks, and political leaders are withdrawing their support after North Carolina Republicans helped incite a dangerous attack on our Capitol, and the fallout is only growing."

Senators voted 57-43 Saturday on whether to convict Trump for “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States,” falling 10 votes short of the required 67 votes for conviction.

Jordain Carney contributed.