Democrats are expressing outrage over President Trump’s comparison of the ongoing impeachment inquiry to “lynching,” but a top House Democrat — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) — made that same comparison himself in 1998 during Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
According to an October 4, 1998, Associated Press article that touted Nadler’s role as a top Clinton defender, the then-51 year-old congressman said:
I am the president’s defender in the sense that I haven’t seen anything yet that would rise, in my opinion, to the level of impeachable offense. …
I wish we could get this over with quickly. … In pushing the process, in pushing the arguments of fairness and due process the Republicans so far have been running a lynch mob.
Despite this, House Democrats have rushed to condemn Trump’s comparison of impeachment to lynching and demanded an apology.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said Tuesday, “The president should not compare a constitutionally mandated impeachment inquiry to such a dangerous and dark chapter of American history. It’s irresponsible for him to do so and I hope that he will apologize.”
The New York Times’ Twitter account tweeted that Trump was using a term that “invokes the decades-long racist history of white mob murders of black people.”
President Trump called the impeachment inquiry into him "a lynching," using a term that invokes the decades-long racist history of white mob murders of black people to describe a legal process laid out in the Constitutionhttps://t.co/w7WXHAe99x
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 22, 2019
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said Trump comparing the impeachment inquiry to lynching was “beneath the dignity of the office of the President of the United States”:
House whip Jim Clyburn says this morning that Trump’s tweet comparing the impeachment inquiry to a lynching is “beneath the dignity of the office of the President of the United States.”
“I happen to be a native of South Carolina… I know the historical context of that term.”
— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) October 22, 2019
CNN commentator Keith Boykin tweeted:
Trump tweeted today that the impeachment process against him is a "lynching."
No, sir, this is what a lynching looks like. Thousands of black people were lynched in America from the 1870s to the 1960s. And it happened because of racist, cowardly white men like Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/2Nu76DYHYV
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 22, 2019
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has also taken some heat for defending Trump’s comparison:
Sen. Lindsey Graham backs Trump on calling the House impeachment process a “lynching.” Graham says: “This is a lynching in every sense.”
— Alex Bolton (@alexanderbolton) October 22, 2019
Nadler also said in 1998 that impeachment “could be the most divisive thing in American politics since the Vietnam War.”
“You get a large segment of the American population saying ‘You’ve staged a coup d’etat, you overthrew the election unfairly.’ The other part of the American people say, ‘No, we didn’t,’” said Nadler.
He also warned Republicans against running a “partisan witchhunt.”
“So far it’s been done very wrong and very unfairly,” he said then.
Follow Breitbart News’s @Kristina_Wong.