Pennsylvania Republican wants senator's resignation for doing 'the right thing'

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The Washington County GOP chair wants Republican Sen. Pat Toomey punished for voting to convict Trump.

A Pennsylvania county Republican Party chair suggested that GOP Sen. Pat Toomey should resign over his vote to convict Donald Trump. Doing so could give Democrats another seat in the closely divided chamber.

In an interview with a Pittsburgh television station, Washington County GOP Chair Dave Bell lambasted Toomey for voting to allow an impeachment trial and to convict Trump of inciting an insurrection.

"Four years ago, when we voted for Pat Toomey, we sent him to Washington to represent our interests. He was our representative in Washington. We did not send him there to vote his conscience, we did not send him there to 'do the right thing' or whatever he said he was doing," Bell complained. "We sent him there to represent us and we feel very strongly that he did not represent us."

Asked if Toomey, who is in the final two years of his term and has said he will not seek reelection, should resign, Bell embraced the idea. "We certainly wouldn't be unhappy if he did."

Pennsylvania's governor, Tom Wolf, is a Democrat and would be able to appoint a temporary replacement until a special election was held. This could further cement the Democrats' control of the Senate; with 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, they currently rely on Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote for a bare majority.

Bell acknowledged that Toomey was unlikely to step down.

Republican officials across the state are pushing to censure Toomey for his guilty vote.  Trump lost Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes but falsely claimed to have been the true winner.

"I was one of the 74 million Americans who voted for President Trump, in part because of the many accomplishments of his administration. Unfortunately, his behavior after the election betrayed the confidence millions of us placed in him," Toomey said in a statement Saturday explaining his vote. "His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction."

Pro-Trump party officials around the country have pushed to punish the seven GOP senators and 10 Republican representatives who voted to hold Trump accountable for his role in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

To date, none of the congressional Republicans who voted to let him off the hook have faced any backlash from their party — but may pay a price in their next elections. A poll released Monday found nearly 60% of Americans believe Trump should have been convicted.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.