Sen. Richard Burr’s surprising decision to break with his party and vote to convict former President Donald Trump has cleared the path for Lara Trump to win his seat when he retires in 2022, Sen. Lindsey Graham said. As far as Graham, a staunch Trump supporter, sees it, Burr’s vote means there will be a push to get more pro-Trump candidates elected in North Carolina and the former president’s daughter-in-law will benefit from that dynamic.
“The biggest winner of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump,” Graham said on Fox News Sunday. “My dear friend Richard Burr, who I like and have been friends to a long time, just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs.”
Lara Trump, who is Eric Trump’s wife and grew up in Wilmington, has been pushing the idea that she could succeed Barr for months. And Graham made it clear that she would have his support. “Certainly, I would be behind her because I think she represents the future of the Republican party,” the South Carolina senator said.
Burr was one of seven Republican senators to vote to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial. That led to a condemnation from North Carolina’s GOP. “North Carolina Republicans sent Senator Burr to the United States Senate to uphold the Constitution and his vote today to convict in a trial that he declared unconstitutional is shocking and disappointing,” North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley said in a statement.
If Lara Trump does decide to run, she will face some competition as others are already trying to seize on Burr’s vote to gain support. Former Rep. Mark Walker sent a fundraising email criticizing Burr shortly after the end of the trial. “Wrong vote, Sen. Burr. I am running to replace Richard Burr because North Carolina needs a true conservative champion as their next senator,” Walker tweeted.