Mary Margaret Olohan on October 22, 2019
Democrats compared former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment to lynching as they debated whether to impeach him in 1998.
Representatives heatedly debated whether or not to remove a president from office in December 1998 for the first time since the House voted to impeach former President Andrew Johnson on Feb. 24, 1868, according to The New York Times.
Multiple representatives compared Clinton’s impeachment to a lynching, and several others condemned it as a Republican attempt to remove Clinton from office.
Democratic Illinois Rep. Danny K. Davis condemned the impeachment trial as “a lynching,” and former Democratic Rhode Island Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy called it “a political lynching.”
Former Democratic Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. said that he was seeing a “Republican coup d’etat” — a phrase that Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler of New York and Maxine Waters of California both used as well.
”Impeachment was designed to rid this nation of traitors and tyrants, not attempts to cover up an extramarital affair,” Conyers added in 1998.
Republicans want to “decapitate their Commander in Chief,” former Democratic Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton said, and former Democratic New Jersey Rep. Steven R. Rothman bemoaned the “Republican juggernaut, driven by the right-wing.”
President Donald Trump compared the Democrats’ impeachment probe to “lynching” in a Tuesday tweet, saying, “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!”
Democrats met the president’s comments with derision.
“You are comparing a constitutional process to the PREVALENT and SYSTEMATIC brutal torture of people in THIS COUNTRY that looked like me?” tweeted Democratic California Rep. Karen Bass, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Lord give me the strength to not take the bait but hold this man accountable for every single thing he says and does,” tweeted Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley.
Trump also told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Monday night that the Democratic impeachment inquiry is focused only on politics, explaining to Hannity examples where former President Barack Obama was involved in scandals that could have gotten Obama impeached.
“They could have impeached in Obama for the IRS scandal,” Trump told Hannity. “They could have impeached him for the guns, for whatever, when the guns went all over the place and people getting killed … fast and furious. They could have impeached him for many different things. They didn’t impeach him. Then never even thought of impeaching him.”
Democrats have yet to vote to open a formal impeachment inquiry and are holding a series of depositions with ambassadors involved who Democrats believe were involved in Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
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