S.C. lawmakers play a large role in impeachment discussion

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 8:48 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The U.S. House of Representatives is poised to take up another Article of Impeachment against President Donald Trump this week, and South Carolina lawmakers are playing a major role in the public discussion surrounding this historic move.

High-ranking Democrat Rep. James Clyburn said over the weekend he supports the House moving to impeach President Trump but proposed waiting before sending the Article to the Senate for a vote.

“Let’s give President-Elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running,” Clyburn said to CNN.

University of South Carolina Political Science Professor Bob Oldendick said Clyburn’s words carry a lot of weight in this instance considering his close relationships with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President-elect Joe Biden.

Oldendick said Clyburn’s idea makes sense considering Biden’s priorities for his first 100 days in office.

“Whether it’s dealing with coronavirus or getting his nominees for various positions in the Cabinet confirmed. There are a lot of other things, very important things, the Senate would need to be concerned with at one point,” Oldendick explained.

On the other side of the aisle, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has faced backlash from supporters of the President after voting in support of last week’s electoral college count. At the airport on Friday, people harassed the Senator and called him a “traitor.”

If the Article of Impeachment reaches the Senate quickly, Graham will still be in his role as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and would proceed over any impeachment proceedings.

Graham will not keep that role once both Democratic Senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris assumes her role as the President of the Senate, according to Oldendick.

On Monday Graham tweeted, “I’m disappointed to hear the House is proceeding with a second impeachment given there are only nine days left in a Trump presidency. It is past time for all of us to try to heal our country and move forward. Impeachment would be a major step backward.”

The senator’s newest colleague in the House agrees with him.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) has spoken out against the rhetoric she says fueled the riots on Capitol Hill but disagrees with Democrats on impeaching the President again.

“One of the issues I have right now is further dividing the country and putting gasoline on a fire,” she said in an interview.

Oldendick noted that other South Carolina lawmakers are strong supporters of President Trump, so he plans to watch the whole delegation for clues on what’s to come.

“We need to pay attention to how the South Carolina delegation acts because they really are very important to this whole process,” he said.

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