Lindsey Graham Says Lara Trump Could Enter Congressional Race in North Carolina

Senior Republican Lindsey Graham has suggested there is a clear path for Donald Trump's daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, to become a Senator in 2022.

Graham, Senator for South Carolina, made the claim as conservative voices rounded on the seven GOP Senators who—unsuccessfully—voted to convict the former president over a charge of inciting the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

Retiring Senator Richard Burr, for North Carolina, was among those who sided with Democrats to convict, sparking an angry backlash from his local Republican party which condemned Burr for what it called a "shocking and disappointing" vote.

Amid the backlash, Graham was quick put Lara Trump at the center of debate around who will replace Burr.

Speaking to Fox News Sunday, he suggested the backlash to Burr's vote could help her, should she decide to run when Burr's current term

"My friend Richard Burr just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs."

Trump, a former television producer who is married to Donald Trump's son Eric, has been heavily-linked with a North Carolina Senate run since working as a campaign advisor for her father-in-law's failed 2020 re-election bid.

Asked about the rumours in a December interview on Newsmax, the Wilmington-native said North Carolina "will always be home to me," adding: "I've seen the really positive ways that you can impact people's lives thanks to this President, and it would be an honor to do it."

Other candidates, including North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker, have already declared intentions to run for the Senate seat, following Burr's 2016 that he intends not to seek re-election when his current term comes to a close next year.

Burr's vote to convict Donald Trump was something of a surprise on Capitol Hill, with the the former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee having twice previously voted that the impeachment trial was not constitutional.

Hours after the deciding vote, North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley released a statement criticizing the senator who has served for 15 years.

"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," she said in a statement.

Representative Dan Bishop, a Republican for North Carolina's 9th District, retweeted a post calling for Burr's censure, saying "second," voicing his approval of the idea.

Burr later released a statement of his own, defending his vote and calling the January 6 riot an attempt to "undermine our democratic institution and overrule the will of the American people through violence, intimidation and force."

Lara Trump at the RNC 2020
File photo: Lara Trump pre-records her address to the RNC from inside an empty Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., on August 26, 2020. The daughter-in-law of Doanld Trump has been repeatedly linked with a run for office. Chip Somodevilla