Reps. Budd, Hudson vote ‘no’ on impeachment

Published 9:20 pm Wednesday, December 18, 2019

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — After an hourslong debate on the U.S. House floor, Reps. Ted Budd, R-13, and Richard Hudson, R-8, voted “no” on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump..

Rowan County’s two members of the U.S. House were joined in voting “no” by other Republicans from North Carolina — Reps. Virgina Foxx, Mark Meadows, Dan Bishop, George Holding, Patrick T. McHenry, Gregory Murphy, David Rouzer and Mark Walker. Democrats from North Carolina — Alma Adams, G.K. Butterfield and David Price — voted for both articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of power.

The vote was mostly partisan. Two Democrats voted “no” on the first article. One voted “present.” On the second article, three Democrats voted “no.” No registered Republicans voted “yea.”

During Wednesday’s debate, Budd only spoke briefly to say he opposed the articles of impeachment and ask that his vote be recorded in the congressional record.

He voiced his reasoning on social media earlier that day.

“As a member of Congress, there are votes that you sometimes struggle with, but today’s vote on impeachment is absolutely not one of them,” Budd said. “What we are seeing today is Democrats who did not prove their case, and they’re simply trying to do now what they did not at the ballot box in 2016. I think it’s time that once we get through this is to get back to work for the American people.”

Hudson stated there was “zero evidence” that the president committed a crime or an impeachable offense.

“Our founding fathers warned of the impeachment process being abused for partisan purposes. In Federalist Papers No. 65, Alexander Hamilton warned, ‘there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstration of innocence or guilt,'” Hudson said in an emailed statement. “Washington Democrats just passed two articles of impeachment with zero evidence President Donald Trump committed a crime or an impeachable offense.”

Hudson said the case against President Trump is “demolished” by four items. Hudson said the call transcript between Trump and the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky shows no conditionality, Trump Zelensky both say there was no pressure, Ukrainians were not aware the aid was withheld from Ukraine and the country later received the aid.

The articles of impeachment will now move to the U.S. Senate, where North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican who’s up for re-election in 2020, quickly spoke out against impeachment after the vote.

“House Democrats ran this blatantly partisan impeachment process like a kangaroo court, presuming the president was guilty and shamefully denying the President and the minority basic due process rights,” Tillis said. “In spite of the lack of evidence they gathered and the facts not being on their side, they still voted to impeach the president to pander to their fringe base.”

Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican who says he does not plan to seek re-election, has not issued a statement about his opinion.

North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley released a statement Wednesday night, saying the impeachment is is about overturning the 2016 election and voiding the votes of 63 million Americans.

“Rather than move on following the collapse of the Russian collusion investigation, congressional Democrats have concocted their current impeachment inquiry out of whole cloth, ignored facts, disregarded House rules and thrown out due process,” Whatley said.

The N.C. Democratic Party Chairman, Wayne Goodwin, also released a statement in which he said no one in America is above the law.

“It’s now incumbent on the Senate to hold a fair and transparent trial instead of rushing through a sham process that covers up the president’s abuse of power and obstruction,” Goodwin said. “Unfortunately, Senator Tillis continues to show he’s just a partisan rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell and can’t be trusted to be an independent voice for North Carolina or the rule of law.”