South Carolina GOP Censures Rep. For Crossing Trump In Impeachment Vote

FLORENCE, SC - FEBRUARY 23, 2017: U.S. Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) (L) addresses a crowd at a town hall meeting at the Florence County Library on February 23, 2017 in Florence, South Carolina. Hundreds of constituents atte... FLORENCE, SC - FEBRUARY 23, 2017: U.S. Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) (L) addresses a crowd at a town hall meeting at the Florence County Library on February 23, 2017 in Florence, South Carolina. Hundreds of constituents attended the event to ask questions and voice their concerns to the lawmaker. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 30, 2021 2:53 p.m.

The South Carolina Republican Party’s executive committee formally censured Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) on Saturday over his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

“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,” said SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick in a statement Saturday. 

“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,” he added.

The censure for the representative of South Carolina’s 7th district,  passed Saturday at the SCGOP State Executive Committee’s quarterly meeting.

Rice was one of just 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president in a move has drawn ire from a majority of House Republicans who have appeared to pledge their continued support for a departed president whose rhetoric and falsehoods provoked deadly consequences on Jan. 6.

Republican conference chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (WY) who headed up the effort by urging her GOP colleagues to make a “vote of conscience” has also been widely criticized by a majority of House Republicans who according to reports have indicated they would support a vote to remove the No. 3 Republican from her post on a secret ballot.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) a Trump loyalist, even delivered an anti-Cheney speech at an event her state on Thursday and later ramped up his crusade against the congresswoman for crossing Trump by telling Fox News in an interview that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) needed to “hold a vote on Liz Cheney.” 

The handful of other Republicans joining Cheney and Rice in voting to impeach the ex-president, have also faced a barrage of attacks, including death threats. 

Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) said in an MSNBC interview earlier this month that tension in the wake of the Capitol riot, has prompted him, and others, to consider purchasing body armor while also changing up their routines to thwart potential acts of violence for breaking with their party.

In the wake of his own impeachment vote, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) acknowledged his increasing alienation from his party over breaking with Trump, noting in an interview with the Washington Post that he was prepared to “blow this whole thing out of the water at all times,” regardless of his vote’s impact on his political career.

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