COLUMBIA, S.C (WPDE) — Members of the South Carolina Republican Party voted Saturday to formally censure Rep. Tom Rice after the lawmaker voted to impeach former President Donald Trump a week after the riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Rice was one of 10 Republicans to vote in favor of impeaching Trump. Rice said the president's speech on Jan. 6 outside the U.S. Capitol incited the potential for violence.
After the vote, a letter and potential resolution at the grassroots level started forming in the South Carolina 7th Congressional District, the SCGOP said.
"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. "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.
Since the attack on the U.S. Capitol, Rice said he's received backlash, oftentimes from people he said he doesn't even represent, about his decision to vote to impeach formerTrump.
“I am not going to stand by and watch any man trample on our Constitution. I take an oath. I will defend the Constitution. I don’t take an oath to Donald Trump. I don’t take an oath to the Republican Party. I take an oath to defend our Constitution and that’s what I will do," said Rice.
At times, Rice said he thought he might lose his political career. Recently, he was appointed to the Problem Solvers Caucus which is a bipartisan group made up of 28 Democrats and 28 Republicans. He was voted in by other members of Congress. Ever since then, Rice said he’s moving forward and focusing on his wife, sons, and the people he serves.
Rice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.