Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Thursday House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) showed “complete hypocrisy” by opposing his amendment to increase the sentence term for lynching.
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing last week to amend the House Democrats’ Justice in Policing Act. The House plans to vote and likely pass the Democrat policing bill on Thursday afternoon.
Gohmert offered an amendment to the Justice in Policing Act that would place stricter sentencing on lynching, as defined by the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act. The House passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act in February, and it is awaiting action in the Senate. The legislation would cap the federal punishment for lynching at ten years in prison.
Gohmert charged that the penalty for lynching ought to be the death penalty.
“I do believe lynching, that is murder in the course of kidnapping, ought to be a death penalty case,” Gohmert said during the Judiciary Committee hearing.
Nadler countered, saying that the death penalty is “barbarous” and “systemically racist.”
“It is essential that we make lynching a federal crime, which we do in this bill. We are not going to contaminate the great act of making lynching a federal crime,” the New York Democrat said.
Gohmert offered a compromise, saying that he would offer an amendment making lynching punishable by a life sentence instead of the death penalty.
Gohmert’s amendment mandating a maximum life sentence mirrors Rep. Bobby Rush’s (D-IL) bill, which would establish a life sentence for lynching.
Nadler and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) objected to Gohmert’s amendment.
“I think it does exactly what we want it to do,” Nadler explained.
Gohmert told Breitbart News that Nadler objected to his amendment to prevent Democrats from voting on a harsher amendment than the Democrats’ proposal.
He said Nadler did not want to put “Democrats in a position on having to vote against an Emmett Till amendment that was more serious and would punish that heinous and more appropriately than a ten-year maximum sentence.”
“That showed complete hypocrisy by Mr. Nadler and Mr. Cohen, and I was frankly surprised that no Democrat spoke up in defense and no Democrat felt Emmett Till deserved more recognition than a slap on the wrist, ten-year maximum sentence,” Gohmert said.
The Texas conservative said that he feels “sympathy” for Rush because he has been working on establishing a life sentence for lynching for “so long.”
Gohmert said he will continue working with Rush to make lynching a federal penalty and to establish a life sentence for the crime.
“Hopefully, Republicans will be in the majority, and I will push for the death penalty on a federal lynching bill,” Gohmert said.