AUGUSTA, Maine — According to a release by Maine Senator Susan Collins' office, the Maine GOP voted not to censure Collins over her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump. Collins defender her vote on the floor of the Senate nearly six weeks ago.
"My vote in this trial stems from my own oath and duty to defend the Constitution of the United States," she said at the end of the trial.
According to the release, the Maine GOP committees voted 19-41 on Collins' censure vote.
The committee also voted against censuring Kevin Raye and Roger Katz.
Maine GOP Executive Director Jason Savage was quick to move forward from the vote.
"It’s an internal matter," Savage told NEWS CENTER Maine's Hannah Dineen. "Leadership of the party believes it’s settled in time to move forward with the 2022 elections in mind."
Senator Collins was happy with Saturday's vote.
"Today's decision is a testament to the Republican Party's 'big tent' philosophy that respects different views but unites around core principles," said Senator Collins. "Our party has been most successful when it has embraced this approach to advance our shared goals of providing tax relief to families and small business job creators, pursuing fiscal responsibility and government accountability, promoting personal responsibility, protecting constitutional rights, and ensuring a strong national defense."
Republicans in Maine Sen. Susan Collins' home county of Aroostook voted last week to censure her for her decision to convict former President Donald Trump.
"We want to hold them accountable," said Aroostook County Committee Chair John DeVeau, referring to the Maine Republican Party. "Nobody has taken any actions to hold [Collins] accountable for her decision, and many of us in the party feel like we're being disenfranchised. Some are even talking about leaving," he said.
Signed by 19 members, the censure resolution states that, "Senator Collins public statements in support of the language, actions, and promotion of an illegal, unethical, unconstitutional 'impeachment' of former President Trump, undermines the conservative and ethical values promoted by the Aroostook County Republicans and the Maine Republican Party and as demonstrated, is a purely self-serving, vindictive and punitive action by those with establishment political objectives."
In response to the censure, Collins defended her decision to vote to convict Trump in a statement to NEWS CENTER Maine last week. Again Collins said her vote was "based on my duty to uphold the Constitution and to render impartial justice, rather than on partisan political considerations."
"I have cast three votes on presidential impeachments; each time I voted based on the Constitution, the evidence, and my conscience—not my party affiliation," Collins said last week.
After Trump was acquitted, Collins faced down the backlash among Maine Republicans over her "yes" vote by saying the evidence was "very strong" that Trump incited an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The Maine Republican Party issued a letter to Collins a month later condemning her vote "in the strongest possible terms," but it came only in the wake of widespread demands by Maine Republicans for the state party to take action.
Collins discussed the possibility of being censured with NEWS CENTER Maine's Pat Callaghan back in February.
FULL INTERVIEW WITH MAINE SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS ON CENSURE VOTE
In the February interview, Collins said the Republicans should focus on growing their party and focus on the party's "guiding principles" rather than on one particular leader.
"I think that we need to send a message that you can be a good Republican and not necessarily agree with every position taken by the party," Collins said in February.
Collins was among seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict; two—Richard Burr of North Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana—have already been censured by their states' Republican parties over their votes.
She said at the time her vote has gotten mixed reactions from Mainers.
"Obviously there have been some Republicans who are very unhappy with my vote and have let me know that as well," Collins said. "So that's more or less what I would expect on a vote of this consequence. What I just wanted to assure people is that I took it my constitutional duty very seriously. That this came down to my fulfilling my oath to the Constitution, and it was a vote of conscience."