WASHINGTON (WCSC/AP) - U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace says the way in which the House is moving to impeach President Donald Trump is unconstitutional because it bypasses due process.
Mace voted against the impeachment Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s a complicated issue, because with impeachment generally we have something in the rule of law in our Constitution called Due Process, and the way in which the speaker is going about this particular impeachment is that there is no due process,” she said. “So they brought the Articles of Impeachment, they bypassed the Judiciary Committee, they’re doing a few hours of debate on the floor and then wiping their hands with it like that’s that.”
The House crossed the necessary threshold of votes to impeach Trump, making him the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice. He faced a single charge of “incitement of insurrection” in connection with the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Mace said she believes the House of Representatives has every right to impeach the president, but the way they are going about it “sets a very grave precedent for due process for any American citizen going forward.”
Mace said while she believes Trump should be held accountable or the events leaving up to a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol one week ago. She also says she believes members of her own party are also partly to blame.
“I have held the president accountable through my words, and my voice over the last week, the media is holding him accountable. It looks like we’re seeing capitalism hold the president accountable as well,” she said. “And I do hold not only the president accountable for what happened, but also members of my own party, I do believe contributed to the event, to the rally, to that violence based on the things they were saying. Real words have real consequences in this country and we saw that last week.”
She said she wants “every single person investigated from the president on down to members of Congress.”
“If they contributed to the acts of violence and anarchy last Wednesday, they need to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” she said.
But she says she felt a Congressional censure is a better way to hold Trump accountable.
“There has been a bipartisan, bicameral meeting, both a U.S. Senate and the U.S. House effort between Republican and Democrat lawmakers, that would like to censure the president and ban him from running for office again,” she said. “But because impeachment is primarily political, [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] will not bring censure up to be debated or even for a vote on the floor.”
She says the bipartisan alternative of censure would hold Trump accountable without “adding gasoline to the fire,” which she feels impeachment would do at this point with former Vice President Joe Biden’s inauguration one week away.
Mace said she gave her first speech on the House floor Wednesday during the debate on the upcoming impeachment vote.
“I asked that members of Congress, that we recognize, number one, that we have a problem with the divisiveness with rhetoric in this country. Acknowledge the problem. That’s the first thing,” she said. “The second thing we need to do as Republicans and Democrats as leaders of our country we need to take responsibility for the problem. And that means holding our members accountable for their words and their actions. And then, third, stop being part of the problem Stop being so divisive, stop being part of the problem start being part of the solution. I’m going to be very focused on those things the days weeks and months ahead.”
She said she “doesn’t have a lot of patience” for the divisiveness after the events of last week.
Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time, with an afternoon vote expected in the House. He faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.”
Security is exceptionally tight at the Capitol, beefed up by armed National Guard troops, with secure perimeters set up and metal-detector screenings required for lawmakers entering the House chamber.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Mace’s aides confirmed the First District Congresswoman will not attend Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. They cite security concerns as the reason she would not attend.
Mace said she spent the night in her office the evening of the Capitol assault after receiving death threats.