Support grows among Nebraska Republicans for censuring anti-Trump Ben Sasse
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February 3, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Republicans in Nebraska are currently building support to formally censure one of the state’s U.S. senators, Republican Ben Sasse, over his support for impeaching former President Donald Trump and his attacks on Republicans who have raised questions about the 2020 presidential election.
The proposed censure resolution faults Sasse for being one of just five Senate Republicans to vote against Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) motion to reject the impeachment as partisan and unconstitutional; for blaming Trump in part for the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill; for accusing Trump of being “delighted” by the riot (allegedly on the basis of conversations with unnamed White House officials); for accusing fellow Republicans such as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) of promoting “lies” about the election; for accusing Trump of “flirt[ing] with white supremacists”; and more.
Sasse “shows indifference to the factual evidence of illicit acts, as were committed during the 3 November 2020 election,” the resolution reads, “including: affidavits from individuals who witnessed intimidation, irregularities and fraud in the submission and counting of ballots; malfeasance, committed by elected and appointed officials within the executive and judiciary branch of state governments — as occurred in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan — in violation of state election laws and / or constitutions, usurping the plenary power granted to state legislatures by the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Sec. 4, Clause 1, and Article 2, Clause 2) in determining the manner, time and place of elections, and the manner in choosing electors.”
“Senator Ben Sasse disregards or is inexcusably ignorant of the laws governing speech, specifically that test established by the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision Brandenburg v. Ohio 395 U.S. 444 (1969), which set forth the elements required to judge whether a person’s words violate the criminal code against inciting violence,” the resolution continues. “In light of Brandenburg and the Court’s unchallenged unchanged precedent thereof, President Donald J. Trump’s speech of 6 January 2021 does not meet the prescribed elements that establish, in fact and law, an act of criminal incitement.”
Sasse responded to the censure push with a five-minute video message, in which he did not address the particular grievances listed in the resolution — such as answering for his personal attacks on colleagues, justifying his promotion of unsourced claims against Trump, or explaining his alleged “indifference” to election fraud — but instead claimed “anger in this state party” has “always been simply about me not bending the knee to one guy.”
Nevertheless, the Omaha World-Herald reports that the GOP organizations of Nebraska’s Sarpy, Scotts Bluff, and Hitchcock Counties have all endorsed the censure resolution, which will receive a vote at the Republican State Central Committee meeting on February 13.
In the first year of Trump’s presidency, Sasse was among the most vocal “Never Trump” Republicans. But from 2018 to 2019 (with his GOP reelection primary looming in May 2020), Sasse tended to ignore Trump in favor of focusing on issues popular with both conservatives and moderates, such as anti-infanticide legislation).
Bingo— Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) September 24, 2019
Over the course of the past year, Sasse resumed his anti-Trump stridency, eventually blasting Trump for a wide variety of issues in an October 2020 teleconference with constituents (which is one of the examples cited by the censure resolution). Among them, Sasse faulted Trump for going into “full economic shutdown mode” over COVID-19. But a search of Sasse’s Senate website shows no examples of Sasse speaking out against the shutdowns or urging Trump to disregard the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci at the time.