Collins, who won a competitive reelection last fall in a state that President Joe Biden carried, escapes censure as some of her Republican colleagues in Congress have faced backlash at home, including censures from their state parties, for bucking the former President.
The committee’s final vote was 19-41 to censure Collins, her office said in a statement, which the Maine Republican Party also confirmed to CNN.
“Party leadership considers this matter settled now and the team is moving on to preparing to win elections in 2022,” Jason Savage, Maine GOP’s executive director, told CNN in an email Saturday.
In a statement Saturday, Collins called the committee’s vote “a testament to the Republican Party’s ‘big tent’ philosophy that respects different views but unites around core principles.”
In February, some members of the Maine GOP state committee condemned Collins’ vote to convict Trump as they were reportedly weighing a formal censure.
“We vehemently disagree with your vote on this matter and condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” some committee members — including the state party’s chair and vice chair — wrote in a letter to Collins at the time. Some members thought Trump’s second impeachment trial was politically motivated and unconstitutional considering Trump was no longer in office.
They added that they had heard from Mainers all over the state who were “almost universally outraged at this action and have demanded we take action in response.”
But committee members also said they “want to continue to work” with Collins “to help expand upon this electoral success and replicate it in other races in Maine and across New England.”
Collins, the only Republican from New England remaining in Congress, was elected to a fifth term in November. She isn’t up for reelection until 2026.
On January 6, a mob attacked the US Capitol attempting to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election. A week later, the US House charged Trump with one impeachment article of incitement of insurrection. The Senate voted to acquit Trump in February. Collins was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict him.
The moderate GOP senator has defended her vote. In a February 13 speech on the Senate floor, she said that Trump’s “actions to interfere with the peaceful transition of power — the hallmark of our Constitution and our American democracy — were an abuse of power and constitute grounds for conviction.”
Some of the senators and representatives who voted this year in favor of Trump’s impeachment or conviction have been or are facing censure from their state party. GOP Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who’s not running for reelection, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana were censured by their respective state Republican parties for their votes to convict Trump.