MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Thursday marks one year since thousands of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn 2020 election results.
U.S. Congressman Tom Rice, the Republican representing South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District, and his colleagues were ushered out of their respective chambers and into safety once rioters breached the Capitol.
Rice said some members of Congress, himself included, hid in nearby office buildings.
“And you didn’t know if the rioters were going to turn their attention to the office buildings or what, so when you heard people coming down the hall, you didn’t know if it was a rioter or a Capitol Police officer or some Congressperson or what, so I was looking for a weapon,” Rice said.
Rice was one of ten House Republicans to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump for his role in the insurrection. One year after the attack on the Capitol, Rice said time has only reaffirmed his vote.
“It becomes more and more clear that I made the right vote,” Rice said. “The President, and the White House, and the people around him were very involved in the planning, but I still don’t know the full extent of it.”
Rice said President Trump should have been on every TV screen telling people to stop the violence instead of watching television himself.
“Unforgivable, that the President, knowing that all this was going on, would not lift one finger to try to quell the tension to try to stop the violence,” Rice said. “He sat there, and he watched TV and watched it unfold with pride.”
Rice called the entire experience unnerving and said in a statement that Jan. 6, 2021, “tested the fibers of our democracy and very well could have brought down our country.”
The night of the attack, when Congress reconvened to certify results, Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R)-SC, said his relationship with Trump was over.
“I hate it to end this way,” Graham said. “Oh my God, I hate it. From my point of view, he’s been a consequential president. But today… first thing you’ll see. All I can say is count me out. Enough is enough.”
Graham returned to supporting Trump by the summertime, telling FOX News’ Jeanine Pirro he’d be “shocked” if Trump didn’t run in 2024.
“This is the party of Donald Trump,” Graham said. “If you think otherwise, you’re in for a rude awakening. He believes he can put the country in a better position than Biden has it, and I agree with him.”
Former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador under President Trump Nikki Haley told Politico shortly after the insurrection that Trump could not be part of the Republican Party’s future.
“He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have listened to him,” Haley said. “And we can’t let that ever happen again.”
In October, Haley told The Wall Street Journal that “we need [Trump] in the Republican Party.”
To date, 11 people from South Carolina face charges for the riot last year. 17 people from North Carolina face charges.