HARRISBURG, Pa.: Pennsylvania’s Republican Party is planning a meeting to potentially censure U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey amid a growing GOP backlash over his vote to convict Donald Trump during the former president’s second impeachment trial, county party officials said Monday.
County party chairs said the state GOP chairman, Lawrence Tabas, emailed them shortly after Saturday’s impeachment vote to tell them that a meeting is being planned to discuss the Senate’s action.
That meeting is expected to involve a discussion about censuring Toomey for his vote, which made him one of seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump of incitement of insurrection.
Tabas did not return messages Monday, but a number of county parties in the presidential battleground state have already moved to censure Toomey, even before Saturdays vote.
A resolution to censure Toomey came up for discussion at the state party’s leadership committee meeting on Feb. 6, weeks after Toomey had said Trump committed impeachable offenses in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. They decided against bringing it to a vote by the full state committee after speaking with Toomey about it, county party chairs said.
Toomey told them that he would consider voting against the constitutionality of the impeachment proceeding and, if the Senate deemed it to be constitutional, that he would consider voting to acquit Trump, county party chairs said.
Toomey who is not running for re-election in 2022 last Tuesday voted to back the constitutionality of the impeachment trial before voting to convict. Toomey’s aides did not comment directly on the backlash growing against Toomey, but pointed back to his comments about his vote.
In his comments, Toomey excoriated Trump for a dishonest, systematic effort to convince supporters that he had won the election, pressuring state and local officials to reverse the election outcome and, ultimately, summoning thousands of supporters to Washington, D.C., where he inflamed their passions by repeating disproven allegations about widespread fraud.
He urged the mob to march on the Capitol for the explicit purpose of preventing Congress and the vice president from formally certifying the results of the presidential election,” Toomey said.
Toomey was the only Republican from Pennsylvania to vote in favor of impeaching Trump. Ultimately, Trump was acquitted of the charge because the 57-43 vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for conviction.