Pennsylvania GOP Official Says Senator Wasn't At Trump Trial To 'Do The Right Thing'

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Hayley Miller
·Senior reporter, HuffPost
·3 min read
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A Pennsylvania GOP official became the subject of online mockery Tuesday after bashing Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) for voting to convict former President Donald Trump during the impeachment trial last week.

Washington County GOP chair Dave Ball, during an interview with local CBS affiliate KDKA, said Pennsylvania voters didn’t send Toomey to Washington to “vote his conscience” and should have stood by Trump.

“We did not send him there to ‘do the right thing’ or whatever he said he was doing,” Ball said. “We sent him there to represent us.”

Twitter users seized on Ball’s apparent suggestion that Toomey should have ignored doing “the right thing” and voted to acquit Trump.

“Reminds me of what an Iowa GOP voter said during my primary challenge to Trump,” tweeted former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, who ran a long-shot campaign against Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination.

“She asked why I’d run against Trump,” he continued. “I said because it was the right thing to do. She screamed at me ‘We don’t want you to do the right thing. We want you to stand with our President. No matter what!’”

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Ball’s statement “just about sums up everything you need to know about Trump Republicans.”

“A valueless void,” Scarborough tweeted.

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Toomey was one of seven Republican senators to join all 50 Democrats in voting to convict Trump of inciting the deadly insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Though a majority of senators (57) declared Trump guilty, a conviction requires a two-thirds majority of votes, so the former president was acquitted with the support of the remaining 43 GOP senators.

Now, those seven senators are facing backlash in their home states. The Louisiana Republican Party censured Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.) on Saturday, hours after he voted to convict Trump. The North Carolina GOP did the same to Sen. Richard Burr on Monday.

The Pennsylvania Republican Party is reportedly gearing up for a vote on whether to censure Toomey after several county-level committees have already done so.

Allegheny County GOP chair Sam DeMarco has cautioned against taking such action against Toomey, in part because the senator announced last year that he won’t seek reelection in 2022.

“Every minute that we spend sitting there and fighting amongst each other and going back and trying ... to censure somebody who has already announced they’re retiring and they’re leaving is I think a moment where we’re not focused on the future,” DeMarco told KDKA.

The Utah Republican Party said in a statement Monday that it would not censure Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) for voting to convict Trump. The state’s other senator, Republican Mike Lee, voted to acquit the former president.

“Our senators have both been criticized for their vote,” the Utah GOP wrote in its statement. “The differences between our own Utah Republicans showcase a diversity of thought, in contrast to the danger of a party fixated on ‘unanimity of thought.’ There is power in our differences as a political party, and we look forward to each senator explaining their votes to the people of Utah.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.