The House of Representatives impeached President Trump on Wednesday for the second time in 13 months. It was the first time a president has been impeached twice.
The measure came after last week’s violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. The article of impeachment charged Trump with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in riling up supporters at a rally outside the White House on Jan. 6, before members of the crowd stormed the Capitol as Congress was in the process of certifying the election the president lost.
All North Carolina's House Democrats voted for impeachment. With the exception of 3rd District Republican Greg Murphy, who didn't vote, all of the state's GOP members opposed impeachment. In South Carolina, the state's lone House Democrat, Jim Clyburn, voted for impeachment, and all but one of its six Republicans, Rep. Tom Rice, voted against it. Here’s a quick look at what some members of Congress from the Carolinas had to say.
Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C.
Rep. Alma Adams of North Carolina's 12th District, who represents most of Charlotte, urged peers to vote for impeachment, saying it would show that “attacks against our most sacred institutions will not stand.”
“Make no mistake, the choice is clear: We either stand as guardians of justice and democracy, or as appeasers of fascism, autocracy, and white supremacy,” Adams said in a statement.
Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C.
Rep. Dan Bishop of the 9th District voted no. The Charlotte attorney has said the election was rigged. On the House floor Wednesday, Bishop said the impeachment articles charge “incitement to insurrection” but, in his view, fail to identify “inciting” language.
Rep. G.K. Butterfield Jr., D-N.C.
First District Rep. G.K. Butterfield Jr. voted to impeach.
“Any president, any member of Congress who obstructs the Electoral College or attacks judges and the court system where there’s no evidence to support their contentions undermines the public’s trust and confidence in the judicial process,” Butterfield said Wednesday.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C.
Newly elected Rep. Madison Cawthorn of the 11th District spoke at the "Stop the Steal" rally Jan. 6 before the mob of right-wing extremists stormed the Capitol. He’s selling T-shirts with the catchphrase “Cry more, Lib.” But on Wednesday he called for unity — though not unity in the form of an impeachment vote.
“I urge my colleagues to vote against this divisive impeachment and realize that dividing America will not save this republic,” Cawthorn said.
Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C.
South Carolina’s one Democrat in Congress, Rep. Jim Clyburn of the 6th District, supported a second impeachment.
“The survival of our Democracy depends on defeated candidates accepting their defeats, as has been the case in every presidential election since 1864,” Clyburn, the House majority whip, said Wednesday. “Our Jan. 6 joint session is a vital part of the transfer of power — not a contest for power.”
Rep. Richard Hudson, R.-N.C.
Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina's 8th District, which includes areas near Charlotte, was against impeachment. On Tuesday, Hudson said in a statement that while Americans are "outraged and sickened" by last week's violence, the country should be working to "tone down the temperature of the rhetoric, the rancor and the violence." He said the impeachment push was "not serious" because a trial won't occur until after Trump leaves office anyway.
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C.
Newly elected Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina's 1st District joined other Republicans from the state voting against impeachment, saying that she felt the process was being rushed. She did, however, have harsh words for Trump.
“I believe we need to hold the president accountable,” Mace said. “I hold him accountable for the events that transpired — for the attack on our Capitol last Wednesday. I also believe that we need to hold accountable every single person, even members of Congress, if they contributed to the violence that transpired here.”
Rep. Kathy Manning, D-N.C.
Rep. Kathy Manning, newly elected to the 6th District of North Carolina, voted to impeach, accusing Trump of engaging in “dangerous efforts to derail the peaceful transition of power.”
“This president is unfit to lead our nation and unable to discharge his duties of office,” she said.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.
Rep. Patrick McHenry of the 10th District, which includes several counties near Charlotte, was the only North Carolina Republican House member not to object to certification of the Electoral College votes last week.
He said in a statement Wednesday that he wishes “President Trump would have forcefully condemned the violent actions of that mob.” But he said that the timing of the vote — a week before Joe Biden's inauguration — makes impeachment “absurd.”
Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C.
Rep. Ralph Norman, who represents the part of South Carolina closest to Charlotte, including Rock Hill, said he was in “strong opposition” to impeaching Trump with just a week left in office.
Rep. David Price, D-N.C.
Rep. David Price of North Carolina's 4th District called for impeachment. In a speech on the House floor Wednesday, Price accused Trump of conduct that was "profoundly threatening" to American democracy.
"He pressed state officials and members of this body to overturn a legitimate election and keep him in power," Price said. "The then invited and activated a violent mob to invade the Capitol to achieve his desired result by insurrection. If that is not impeachable conduct, I don't know what is."
Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C.
Rep. Tom Price of South Carolina's 7th District turned heads when he voted for impeachment. Only a few days before, he'd said he opposed impeachment, leading the Post and Courier of Charleston to call his vote Wednesday "a stunner."
In a statement Wednesday evening Rice said, "I have backed this president through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But this utter failure is inexcusable."
Rep. David Rouzer, R.-NC
Rep. David Rouzer of North Carolina's 7th District voted against impeachment. In a tweet Wednesday, Rouzer called the effort “a knee-jerk reaction grounded in anger and disgust.” But he argued those were not “legitimate” reasons to impeach.
Rep. Deborah Ross, D-N.C.
Rep. Deborah Ross, newly elected to the 2nd District of North Carolina, voted for impeachment.
“The president has had multiple opportunities to modify his behavior to bring this country together,” Butler said Wednesday on the floor. “Instead he uses his power to further divide us. He is unrepentant. Congress must act for the good of this country.”
When a president is impeached by the House, it’s up to the Senate to hold a trial and decide whether to convict him. Trump’s 2020 impeachment trial resulted in his acquittal. This time around, the Senate won’t hold a trial before Trump leaves office, the chamber’s Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, indicated on Wednesday.
But several senators have been outspoken about the impeachment process, including both of South Carolina’s. Here’s a look at what they had to say.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted Wednesday that he thought supporting Trump’s impeachment “will do great damage to the institutions of government and could further incite violence.”
“The process being used in the House to impeach President Trump is an affront to any concept of due process and will further divide the country,” Graham tweeted.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
Sen. Tim Scott issued this statement Tuesday, the day before the impeachment hearing in the House: “President Trump has eight days left in his term and has promised a smooth and peaceful transition of power. The Democrat-led impeachment talks happening in the House right now fly in direct opposition to what President-elect Joe Biden has been calling for all year. An impeachment vote will only lead to more hate and a deeply fractured nation. I oppose impeaching President Trump.”