South Carolina GOP Censures Rep. Tom Rice Over Trump Impeachment Vote

South Carolina GOP Censures Rep. Tom Rice Over Trump
Impeachment Vote 1

The South Carolina Republican Party (SCGOP) has voted to formally censure Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), who voted with Democrats to impeach then-President Donald Trump earlier this month.

Rice was one of ten Republicans who joined Democrats in impeaching Trump for a second time, in a 232–197 vote in the House on Jan. 13. The chamber alleged that Trump incited an insurrection that resulted in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a statement, Drew McKissick, who currently serves as State Chairman for the SCGOP, noted that after the impeachment vote, an effort to condemn Rice emerged at the grassroots level from a county in his district.

The resolution passed through various committees before reaching the SCGOP State Executive Committee, whose members then voted for it to pass.

“We made our disappointment clear the night of the impeachment vote. Trying to impeach a president, with a week left in his term, is never legitimate and is nothing more than a political kick on the way out the door,” McKissick said.

“Congressman Rice’s vote, unfortunately, played right into the Democrats’ game, and the people in his district, and ultimately our State Executive Committee wanted him to know they wholeheartedly disagree with his decision.”

Rice’s office did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

The Republican House members who voted to impeach Trump have faced criticism for their decision, with some already facing challenges for their seats. Several Republicans in South Carolina have said that they are looking to run against Rice. One South Carolina state lawmaker has said that he has formed an exploratory committee for a potential run against Rice in his district.

A day following the vote, Rice acknowledged to The Associated Press that his vote could cost him reelection. But he said that to impeach Trump was more important to him, because of what he described as Trump’s inaction during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach.

“I can’t imagine another president in my lifetime that would not have tried to intervene there, would not have tried to say, ‘Hey, this needs to stop, and you need to go home,’” Rice told the newswire in an interview.

The media, lawmakers, former officials, and other critics have put the blame on Trump for the Jan. 6 incident. The president had addressed a crowd in Washington D.C. where he reiterated his allegations about election irregularities and fraud and his dissatisfaction for the media and several lawmakers.

Protestors began their demonstration at the U.S. Capitol before Trump completed his address at the rally. Trump had also been posting on Twitter throughout the afternoon urging his supporters to remain peaceful. He eventually released a video, which was taken down by Twitter, that called on his supporters to “go home now.”

“You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order and great people in law [enforcement],” Trump said in a video address at the time.

Similarly, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 ranking Republican in the House, is also facing a challenger for her Wyoming seat by State Sen. Richard Bouchard.

In announcing his bid for her seat, Bouchard called Cheney “out-of-touch” with Wyoming, where Trump won about 70 percent of the votes in 2020.

Other members facing challengers include Reps. David Valadao (R-Calif.), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio).

The unprecedented nature of the upcoming impeachment trial has raised questions over its constitutionality.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are arguing whether the impeachment trial can go ahead given that Trump had already left office and is not a private citizen.

Chief Justice John Roberts has decided not to preside over the proceedings.

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