By Tia Lynn Ivey
While 10 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted for the second impeachment of President Donald Trump, Georgia representatives towed party lines, with Republican representatives voting against impeachment and Democratic representatives voting in favor.
On Wednesday, Jan. 13, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 232-197 to impeach Trump “for incitement of insurrection.” U.S. Congressman Jody Hice, whose district includes Morgan County, voted against the presidential impeachment last week and is still alleging widespread voter fraud, despite Georgia election officials’ denunciation of such claims.
“I opposed their misguided impeachment effort because I believe that we, as federal elected representatives, should concentrate on restoring calm and de-escalating – not scoring cheap political points,” explained Hice. “As shameful and tragic as Jan. 6 was, it does not change the fact that tens of millions of Americans believe the Nov. 3 general election was fraudulent.”
Morgan County’s delegation, compromised of State Senator Burt Jones and State House Rep. Dave Belton, did not get a vote in the impeachment hearings, but Jones voiced his opposition to it and Belton has not issued a comment.
Jones, who supported Trump’s efforts to delay certifying the election results for President-Elect Joe Biden, acknowledged Biden’s incoming administration but criticized the impeachment proceedings.
“Jan. 20, you’re going to have a new administration. I think today is a waste of time,” said Jones last week.
Belton did not return a request for comment about his opinion of the impeachment proceedings, but issued several statements condemning the Capitol siege.
As the violence unfolded on Jan. 6, Belton posted to Facebook a plea to all rioters to cease the attack against the nation’s Capitol building.
“This is not who we are. The violence in our U.S. Capitol is anti-American and unacceptable. I urge all protestors to immediately leave the building,” Belton posted at 4:09 p.m. on Jan. 6.
A few days later, Belton issued another statement addressing the Capitol riot.
“Not since the invasion of the British during the War of 1812 has our US Capitol been so violated. There are now more soldiers stationed in Washington than Iraq and Afghanistan put together, a grim reminder of the ills of mob violence,” said Belton. “I criticized last summer’s violence that caused dozens of deaths and $2 billion in damages. I also condemned – in real-time via social media – the unpatriotic assault on our Capitol last week.”
Hice also released a a lengthier follow-up statement condemning the violence that unfolded amidst the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
“This never should have happened, and we must ensure it never happens again,” said Hice in a written statement. In an earlier statement, Hice alleged that some of the rioters were imposters “masquerading as Trump-supporters.” To date, the FBI has found no evidence of that.
Hice said he wants to see all rioters held accountable for their roles in the Capitol riot.
“We need to fully investigate who these individuals were, how they were organized, how they entered the Capitol in such large numbers, who is responsible for the explosive devices discovered, how the security perimeter collapsed so quickly, and so on. Ultimately, whoever these people are and whatever cause they claim to support, I reject and condemn both them and their actions, and I look forward to seeing them prosecuted fully,” said Hice.
Moving forward, Hice pledged to oppose “socialism and Marxism,” which he believes is at the heart of the Democratic Party’s policy agenda.
“As Americans, we must decide whether we will preserve our way of life, keep the values and principles we hold dear, and defend the liberty we inherited from our forefathers or will we embrace the radical platform of Socialism and Marxism that has seeped into our politics,” said Hice. “No matter how ferocious the debates become, we must remain peaceful and abide by the rule of law –and we must use every legal means to stop the rising tide of Socialism and Marxism. That is how we win. That is how we preserve our Republic.”