White House hopeful Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE has condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE for likening the impeachment inquiry to a “lynching,” though he made a similar comparison when describing the impeachment investigation against former President Clinton.
“Even if the president should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that in fact met the standard, the very high bar, that was set by the founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense,” then-Sen. Biden (D-Del.) said in a 1998 interview with CNN, which was unearthed by CNN’s KFile.
While Biden has called Trump’s lynching comments “abhorrent” and “despicable,” in 1998 appearance on CNN, Biden said impeachment could end up being viewed as a “partisan lynching.” https://t.co/4jGo8hSQSZhttps://t.co/6p210g7M6l pic.twitter.com/UkJiXLsHOG
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) October 22, 2019
The report comes as Democrats rage against Trump’s usage of similar terms to describe the House’s current impeachment investigation over his dealings with Ukraine.
“Impeachment is not ‘lynching,’ it is part of our Constitution,” Biden tweeted Tuesday. “Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable.”
Impeachment is not “lynching,” it is part of our Constitution. Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable. https://t.co/QcC25vhNeb
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 22, 2019
The Biden campaign declined to comment both to The Hill and CNN.
The former vice president took to Twitter not long after footage from the 1998 interview reemerged, writing, “This wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that.”
“Trump on the other hand chose his words deliberately today in his use of the word lynching and continues to stoke racial divides in this country daily,” he continued.
This wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that. Trump on the other hand chose his words deliberately today in his use of the word lynching and continues to stoke racial divides in this country daily. https://t.co/mHfFC8HluZ
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 23, 2019
Democrats lashed out against Trump on Tuesday, saying his comparison of the House’s impeachment probe to lynching ignored the painful racial history associated with the term.
Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassFloyd’s brother urges Congress to take action House GOP delays police reform bill NYC Police Union head: Media portraying police ‘as the enemy’ MORE (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, blasted Trump for “comparing a constitutional process to the PREVALENT and SYSTEMATIC brutal torture of people in THIS COUNTRY that looked like me” Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonWatchdog: CBP money meant for food, medical care for migrants was spent on ATVs, dirt bikes Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Hillicon Valley: Senators raise concerns over government surveillance of protests | Amazon pauses police use of its facial recognition tech | FBI warns hackers are targeting mobile banking apps MORE (D-Miss.), the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, also decried Trump as “racist and unfit to serve.”
Some Republicans also rebuked Trump, with Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerRepublicans walk tightrope on police reform The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: National Portrait Gallery’s Kim Sajet says this era rewiring people’s relationship with culture, art; Trump’s war with Twitter heats up Cheney says Trump should stop tweeting Scarborough conspiracy MORE (R-Ill.) calling on the president to retract his statement and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRepublicans prepare to punt on next COVID-19 relief bill Trump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans Trump’s tweet on protester sparks GOP backlash MORE (R-Maine) saying that “the President never should have made that comparison.”
The GOP was quick to defend the president, noting that other lawmakers in 1998 used similar language to refer to the House’s impeachment probe into Clinton, including Reps. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksHighest-circulation Kentucky newspaper endorses Charles Booker in Senate race To move the recovery forward, invest in transportation infrastructure Sanders endorses Engel challenger in New York primary MORE (D-N.Y.), Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPhilonise Floyd asks Congress to deliver justice for his brother Floyd’s brother to testify in front of House Judiciary Committee hearing on police brutality House Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on police brutality next week MORE (D-N.Y.) and Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.).
Democrat Rep. Danny DavisDaniel (Danny) K. DavisDemocrats urge Treasury to assist Social Security recipients who miss key coronavirus payment deadline Democrats urge administration to automatically issue coronavirus checks to more people Illinois governor endorses Biden one day before primary MORE (Illinois) on the impeachment of Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonWill the ‘law and order’ president pardon Roger Stone? Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden The sad spectacle of Trump’s enablers MORE: “I will not vote for this nightmare before Christmas. I will not vote for this lynching in the people’s House. I will vote against these resolutions.” pic.twitter.com/TgmAwXCQHu
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 22, 2019
An old New York Times report also resurfaced that showed former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), a nephew of former President Kennedy, speaking of “a political lynching.”
A Washington Post report emerged later Tuesday saying at least five House Democrats likened the Clinton impeachment investigation to a lynching.
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