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Former, current congressmen for Rowan County opposed second impeachment

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Two North Carolina congressmen who voted to contest Electoral College votes cast for President-Elect Joe Biden on Jan. 6 condemned the House’s decision on Wednesday to pursue another impeachment of President Donald Trump.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 232-197 to impeach President Donald Trump, charging him with “high crimes and misdemeanors” for inciting a mob of supporters to assault the Capitol on Jan. 6. Wednesday’s vote makes Trump the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

The article states that Trump gravely endangered the security of the nation and its institutions of government as he “threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and imperiled a coequal branch of government.”

“He thereby betrayed his trust as president, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” the resolution states.

The vote was simultaneously the most bipartisan impeachment ever and almost entirely along party lines; all 222 Democrats supported the charge and 197 Republicans voted against it. Four Republicans did not cast a vote, including Rep. Greg Murphy, who represents North Carolina’s 3rd congressional district. However, 10 Republicans joined Democrats on supporting the impeachment charge, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House. None of those 10 Republicans were from North Carolina.

Rep. Ted Budd, a Republican who represents North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, voted against the impeachment, as did Rep. Richard Hudson, a congressman who formerly represented parts of Rowan County. Hudson’s district was moved out of Rowan County starting this year because of redistricting.

In a statement, Budd blamed Democrats for “again ratcheting up the political volume” by voting for impeachment with just one week left in the president’s term, particularly “at a moment that calls for calm and peace.”

“A move like this will do nothing other than further inflame tensions and divide our country,” Budd said. “If President-elect Biden and Democrats are serious about national unity, then they should end these political tactics and focus on the needs of the American people.”

In the same statement, Budd condemned the violence that erupted at the Capitol, calling it unacceptable and wrong. He added that he supports a full investigation into the events and that anyone who participated in the incident, broke laws, destroyed or stole federal property and harmed Capitol officials, no matter their political affiliation, “should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Ahead of the House vote, Hudson said Tuesday the rushed impeachment is not serious, likening it to a political move by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.

“This rushed impeachment is not serious. Speaker Pelosi says it’s urgent because President Trump is so dangerous he has to be removed from office,” Hudson said in a statement. “Yet, she knows full well the vote to remove him cannot and will not happen before the president leaves office in what he has said will be a peaceful transfer of power in a matter of days.”

Hudson added that rather than lashing out at political opponents, “every one of us needs to ask ourselves what we can do to tone down the temperature of the rhetoric, the rancor and the violence.”

“Whether it is groups on the left that rampaged in cities across the country for seven months, or thugs who stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday, we must unite and condemn political violence,” he said in his statement.

Despite the House support and that Biden’s inauguration is this week, it’s unlikely the Senate will remove Trump from office. The Senate, however, could hold a trial on the matter after Biden takes office.

North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley on Wednesday said it was unfortunate that instead of “acting on their calls for unity and healing, congressional Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and cheered on by President-Elect Joe Biden have voted on a rushed and ill-considered impeachment resolution.”

“At a time when an overwhelming majority of Americans want to see a peaceful transition of power and a lowering of political rhetoric in Washington, it is completely irresponsible for the Speaker to move forward with impeachment a mere eight days before the end of President Trump’s term,” Whatley said in a statement.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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