WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican Congressman Dan Bishop (NC-09) explained why he voted “NO” on an article of impeachment against out-going President Donald Trump in a statement released on Wednesday (Jan. 13).
The House voted on Wednesday to impeach President Trump, making him the first President in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
Bishop, an attorney, said impeachment is a “gravely serious” instrument used in removing a leader from office.
“...The article charges ‘incitement to insurrection’ while failing to identify ‘inciting’ language. Constitutional law is settled: to supersede First Amendment protections, incitement must include inciting words urging unlawful action, yet this article includes not a single inciting phrase,” Bishop said.
President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 20.
Amber Phillips of the Washington Post explained why it is unlikely the U.S. Senate would vote on an impeachment before President Trump’s term ends in less than a week.
Phillips wrote: “... If [Mitch] McConnell decides to vote to convict the President, he could bring the necessary 16 other Republicans along to convict him. That means it’s possible Trump could be the first President in American history to be impeached twice — and the first President to be convicted … From there, only a majority vote is needed to prevent Trump from ever serving in office again.”
Neither N.C. Republican U.S. Senators Richard Burr nor Thom Tillis have announced their stance on the impeachment as of Thursday (Jan. 14).
Bishop condemned the riot last Wednesday (Jan. 6) when a violent and destructive mob left President Trump’s rally/speech and then stormed the Capitol building. Five people died, including two Capitol Police Officers, and at least 60 other officers were injured during the hours-long attack on the Capitol.
“Last week’s violence was abhorrent, and the perpetrators must be prosecuted,” Bishop said. “The President’s speech can be condemned or censured. But you cannot, consistent with the rule of law, punish that which the Founders say is protected. I am voting ‘NO’ on this article of impeachment and encourage all who took an oath to our Constitution to do the same.”