Despite her claims that expulsion after her convictions on fraud charges was racist, Democrat Katrina Robinson was expelled from the Tennessee state Senate on Wednesday.
The 27-5 vote fell along party lines, according to WHBQ-TV.
Robinson was found guilty on four counts of federal wire fraud last fall, according to WHBQ-TV. Robinson was accused of misusing federal money to pay for her wedding and other personal expenses. Although two of those counts were later dropped, a judge refused to drop the other two.
She will be sentenced in March. Her supporters had called for a delay in expulsion, claiming that she would resign after sentencing.
During Wednesday’s session, Robinson called the process a “procedural lynching,” leading to a disruption in the Senate chamber, WHBQ-TV reported.
“While the expulsion of a Senator for the first time in history was not something any of us wished to see, it was a necessary action,” Republican Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said in a statement, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “The integrity of the Senate is of paramount importance. Senator Robinson was given every consideration and due process.”
McNally explained the Senate could have acted immediately following Robinson’s conviction, but they wanted her to have “time to reflect and resign.”
“She declined that opportunity,” McNally said.
Robinson claims she did nothing wrong.
“I refuse to resign because I do not want to succumb to the narrative that has been put out in the media and that you all have been swayed by,” Robinson said before the Senate vote, “I am not guilty of a crime, and I maintain that.”
“I think the vote today was an attack on the Black vote, Black political power,” she said, according to The New York Times. “I think it is misogynistic. I think it was racist.”
and it is so https://t.co/IEzkSyFQau
— Senator Katrina Robinson (@katrinafortn) February 2, 2022
Republican Senator John Stevens said Robinson was judged in her trial by fellow citizens, according to Newsweek.
“They determined she violated a criminal statute. A federal judge did not disagree with that determination. How can we demand that citizens respect the integrity and reputation of the Senate if we disrespect them by ignoring their determinations,” Stevens said.
Robinson said she did not expect to win Wednesday’s vote.
“I knew the day that I received that letter from the ethics committee that they were going to go there,” Robinson said, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “Why? Because they have a history of wielding their power to do things, just like this: unconstitutional, against the will of the people and just because they can.”
Robinson has never admitted any crime.
“I entered this process knowing that I am innocent, and still I maintain that I am innocent,” Robinson said after the verdict against her, WHBQ-TV reported.
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