NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Following Thursday’s historic vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, those on both sides of the aisle are reacting.
Both New Hanover County Democrats and Republicans condemn the violence and chaos that took place at the Capitol last week but have very different viewpoints as to whether impeaching the president was an appropriate response.
“I think the Democrats just played politics again,” said New Hanover County Republican Party Chair Will Knecht. “It’s unfortunate for America and it’s unfortunate for our future that we will be embroiled in this turmoil for the next coming weeks and possibly months all for political expediency.”
“We think that the impeachment is entirely justified,” said Democratic Party Chair Richard Poole. “We can’t have a precedent where a president gets to attack an election after he loses and isn’t punished.”
Knecht says the majority of Trump supporters who made their way to Washington, DC were peaceful protesters.
“There was a small number who violently attacked the Capitol, and we should prosecute them,” Knecht said. “In no way did the president intend to incite what happened at the Capitol and I will never believe that.”
Poole, on the other hand, says the New Hanover County Democratic Party views the situation differently.
“A whole bunch of people and not a couple dozen, more like a couple thousand tried to invade the Capitol,” he said. “Donald Trump was responsible for it.”
Next comes a senate trial, which will likely take place after President Trump has left office. Poole hopes the senate will uphold his impeachment.
“If he is impeached, it requires as I understand it just a majority vote to prevent Donald Trump from ever again serving as president or running for office,” Poole said. “That would be a good thing.”
“The constitution clearly states what the senate’s responsibility will be, and until that happens it’s all hearsay and it’s not worthy of our discussion,” Knecht said.
Knecht says he wants the country to unify and focus on the peaceful transition of power.
Poole says he looks forward to the future of a Republican Party without Donald Trump.