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Republican Who Backs Senate Trial for Trump Impeachment Conviction Has ‘Weird’ Response to State Censure Motion

    Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse has a message to state Republicans who are moving forward with a censure motion against him:  “Politics isn’t about the weird worship of one dude.”

    “Let’s be clear: The anger in this state party has never been about me violating principle or abandoning conservative policy — I’m one of the most conservative voters in the Senate — the anger’s always been simply about me not bending the knee to one guy,” Sasse also said.

    It appears, therefore, from Senator Sasse’s flippant and rather irrelevant remarks that he is supporting the Democrats’ opportunistic drive to exact revenge against Donald Trump with an impeachment conviction; in defiance of the facts that show the president could not have “incited an insurrection” with his speech for the pre-planned attack on the capitol building.

    Nor is it a “high crime and misdemeanor” to dispute the results of a presidential election. If that were the case, Hillary Clinton would have been “locked up” long ago.

    The Nebraska GOP issued a “Resolution of Censure” that listed over a dozen complaints in its condemnation of Sasse:

    A RESOLUTION OF CENSURE AGAINST U.S. SENATOR BENJAMIN ERIC SASSE
    by Declaration of the State Central Committee of the Nebraska Republican Party

    Whereas, on 26 January 2021, 55 U.S. Senators voted to reject a Point of Order, raised by Senator Rand Paul – that impeachment of a private citizen is unconstitutional; and that among those senators objecting were five Republicans, including: Senator Susan Collins (ME), Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK), Senator Mitt Romney (UT), Senator Ben Sasse (NE), and Senator Pat Toomey (PA);

    Whereas, on 8 January 2021, as reported by Grant Schulte, of the Associated Press (‘Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse says Trump incited Capitol Riot’)  – in response to President Donald J. Trump’s speech, given 6 January 2021 at the ‘Save America’ rally, at Ellipse Park in Washington, D.C – Senator Sasse publicly declared that the president incited a riot at the U.S. Capitol building, accusing him of “pouring gasoline on these fires of division,” and further asserted that the president deserves some blame;

    Whereas, on 8 January 2021, as reported by Lexi Lonas, of The Hill (‘Sasse says Trump was “delighted” and “excited” by reports of Capitol riot’), during an on-air radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, Senator Sasse stated: “As this was unfolding on television, Donald Trump was walking around the White House, confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was, as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building,” Sasse asserted of President Trump “He was delighted” [about the riot.] Senator Sasse continued: “I’m sure you’ve also had conversations with other senior White House officials, as I have” – but the senator did not name which officials said Trump was “delighted;”

    Whereas, on 8 January 2021, as reported by Lexi Lonas, of The Hill (‘Sasse says Trump was “delighted” and “excited” by reports of Capitol riot’), during the interview with Hugh Hewitt, Senator Sasse attacked the integrity of Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), the first senator to announce he would object to the Electoral College results. Senator Sasse called it “a really dumbass stunt, based on lies that the election was fraudulent;”

    Whereas, on 8 January 2021, in an interview with CBS This Morning, Senator Sasse stated: “The American people have been lied to, chiefly by Donald Trump, and lies have consequences, and those consequences are now found in five dead Americans, and a Capital building that’s in shambles. Legislators should not be aiding and abetting those kinds of lies. The president has disregarded his oath of office … The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move; because, as I’ve told you, I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office. He swore an oath to the American people to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. He acted against that. What he did was wicked;”

    Whereas, on 15 October 2020, in a Washington Post story – ‘GOP Sen. Sasse says Trump mistreats women, flirts with white supremacy and secretly mocks evangelicals’ – WP reporter Colby Itkowitz wrote the following: Sen. Ben Sasse eviscerated President Trump during a phone call with constituents, in which the Nebraska Republican accused the president of cozying up to dictators, mistreating women, flirting with white supremacists, and irresponsibly handling the corona virus pandemic.

    Sasse’s comments were disclosed by the Washington Examiner, which obtained an audio recording of the call, a campaign telephone townhall with Nebraska voters.  Sasse’s spokesman verified that the reporting was accurate, but declined to answer more specific questions such as when the call happened. … In the call, Sasse unleashed a torrent of criticisms at Trump:

    “The way he kisses dictators’ butts. I mean, the way he ignores the Uighurs, or literal concentration camps in Xinjiang. Right now, he hasn’t lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong-Kongers. The United States now regularly sells out our allies, under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor. The ways I criticize President Obama for that kind of spending; I’ve criticized President Trump for as well. He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors. His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He’s flirted with white supremacists.”

    The senator criticized the president’s handling of the corona virus pandemic on the call… Sasse said Trump mishandled it from the beginning. “But the reality is that he careened from curb to curb. First, he ignored covid. And then he went into full economic shutdown mode.  He was the one who said 10 to 14 days of shutdown would fix this. And that was always wrong. I mean, and so I don’t think the way he’s led through covid has been reasonable or responsible, or right;”

    Whereas Senator Ben Sasse has persistently engaged in public acts of ridicule and calumny against President Donald J. Trump, through both the spoken and written word, questioning the president’s agenda, decisions, motives, and competency;

    Whereas Senator Ben Sasse has publically shown contempt for Donald J. Trump, and likewise he has made disparaging remarks towards the Trump family;

    Whereas Senator Ben Sasse has repeatedly, through imprudent public remarks, demonstrated a general disrespect for the Office of the President, and likewise for the reputation of his fellow Republican senators, mocking their integrity;

    Whereas Senator Ben Sasse shows indifference to the factual evidence of illicit acts, as were committed during the 3 November 2020 election, 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.

    Whereas 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.

    Whereas 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;

    Whereas Senator Ben Sasse, in defiance of the Constitution’s plain meaning, as to the penalty incurred by impeachment and conviction – removal from office (Article 2, Sec. 4, and Article 1, Sec. 3, Clause 7), now seeks to impeach the private citizen, Donald J. Trump – and thus we now have cause to wonder whether Senator Sasse would willingly violate the prohibition against Bills of Attainder (Article 1, Sec. 9, Clause 3);

    Therefore be it resolved: in consideration of the remarks and actions of Senator Sasse, as stipulated above in this complaint, and following from our formal deliberation, we the undersigned, individually and corporately, agree and declare that Senator Benjamin Eric Sasse warrants and shall incur the penalty of CENSURE, and further we declare such penalty is now imposed by this lawfully convened body –The Nebraska Republican State Central Committee.  CENSURE is decreed and so moved, this day, 13 February 2021.

    Ben Sasse had more to say in his sassy response to the motion to censure him over his views on Trump impeachment conviction.

    “You are welcome to censure me again, but let’s be clear about why this is happening: It’s because I still believe — as you used to — that politics isn’t about the weird worship of one dude,” Sasse said in the video. “The party could purge Trump skeptics, but I’d like to convince you that not only is this ‘civic cancer’ for the nation, it’s also terrible for our party.”

    “Personality cults aren’t conservative,” Sasse also said. “Conspiracy theories aren’t conservative. Lying that an election has been stolen is not conservative.”

    Sasse might want to look more into those “conspiracy theories” on the 2020 election.

    A Nebraska Republican who is supporting the state party’s motion gave his reasons for supporting the censure.

    “Sasse has a record of bashing President Trump,” Scotts Bluff County GOP chair Kolene Woodward told News Channel Nebraska Central.

    “Well, in the movement, Trump didn’t find us, we found him. We found a voice for our political views, and someone who would actually advance that voice, and Sasse is going completely against that. No matter what Trump does or whatever, going forward, there are 75 million people who want that voice to continue. Him (Sasse) not representing that is kind of our problem.”

    Sasse was one of five Republicans who did not back Senator Rand Paul’s motion to dismiss the impeachment charges against the former president, now private citizen, Donald Trump, along with Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. An impeachment conviction would require the support of all Democrats and 17 Republicans, making the “trial” of Donald Trump a vain and divisive exercise in public shaming.

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    OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.