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Rep. James Clyburn. Photo: Cheriss May/Getty Images

Last week's assault on the Capitol felt personal to Black Americans, who found the violence similar to what they experienced during the civil rights riots of the 1960s, Rep. James Clyburn told Axios.

Why it matters: Clyburn said the pitched assault by President Trump's supporters, some of whom have ties to white supremacist movements, has prompted an important question for him and many African Americans: "Are we getting ready to repeat some history that we thought we'd successfully gotten behind us?"

The answer is not what some might expect.

  • The South Carolina Democrat said impeaching Trump for helping trigger the mayhem represents a "renewal" for the country after four years of questioning "whether democracy is on the wane" because of the president's unchecked actions. 

Background: The country's seat of government was targeted by mobs carrying Confederate flags and shouting racist attacks, including some directed at Black U.S. Capitol Police officers. Those acts infuriated Black lawmakers.

  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said during a Congressional Black Caucus briefing Wednesday that "this president is headed toward a civil war, and we are the object of their hate."
  • During the impeachment remarks on the House floor, freshman Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) called Trump "a white supremacist president who incited a white supremacist insurrection."

What they're saying: In a phone call with Axios on Thursday, Clyburn said that even if the Senate doesn't convict him, Trump "has not gotten away with" the charges or the resulting stain on his political legacy. 

  • "The Trump presidency reminded us that there are a lot of things from our past that we could very well revisit, and I think he set out to do that," Clyburn said. "I might not be so concerned about these things if I had not spent my entire life studying history."
  • "Woodrow Wilson got away with it, and I was hopeful Trump wouldn’t get away with it," said Clyburn. Impeaching him, Clyburn said is "what I mean when I said, ‘renewal.’” 

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.