Former vice president Joe Biden posted to Twitter Tuesday about President Trump’s characterization of the House impeachment investigation as a “lynching.”
“Impeachment is not ‘lynching,’ it is part of our Constitution,” Biden tweeted.
“Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable,” he wrote.
Senator Joe Biden discussing former president Bill Clinton’s impeachment with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in 1998: “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, in fact, met the standard, the very high bar, that was set by the founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense.”
It took about two nanoseconds for folks to put the two together, forcing Biden to address the apparent hypocrisy and apologize. Of course, Biden’s “partisan lynching” reference was a simple slip of the tongue, while Trump is fanning the flames of a race war, he alleged.
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
“This wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that,” Biden tweeted. “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.”
Trump faced a massive backlash from Democrats this week over a Twitter post that likened the secret impeachment proceedings ongoing in the House to a political lynching, a term most commonly tied to the hanging of black men in the south following the Civil War.
The NAACP’s “History of Lynchings” makes it clear many whites were also lynched between 1882 and 1968. At least seven states recorded numerous white executions but no black lynchings, according to the site.
“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!”
As Biden demonstrated, invoking the lynching reference is nothing new, and he’s not the only Democrat with a history of deploying the racially charged language to defend Bill Clinton, at the time the world’s most powerful white politician.
Democrat Rep. Danny Davis (Illinois) on the impeachment of Bill Clinton: “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
Democrat Rep. Jim McDermott compared Clinton’s Impeachment n 1998 to #Lynching:
“We’re taking a step down the road to becoming a political Lynch Mob… We are going to find a rope find a tree and ask a bunch of questions later..”
I heard clapping not outrage.. pic.twitter.com/CxUjtv3gMF
— ALX 🇺🇸 🎃 (@alx) October 22, 2019
Fox News reports:
Among those Democrats are two African-American representatives still serving in the House, as well as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and presidential contender Joe Biden.
Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., called Clinton’s impeachment a “persecution” and a “political lynching” on the House floor in 1998. And Danny Davis, D-Ill., condemned what he described as a “lynching in the People’s House.”
Washington Democrat Jim McDermott took his lynching analogy even further during the Clinton impeachment debacle, drawing applause from the House floor.
“We’re taking a step down the road to becoming a political lynch mob,” McDermott said. “We are going to find a rope, find a tree, and ask a bunch of questions later.”
Then Democrat Sens. Harry Reid and John Kerry also used the word.
Nadler, who now chairs a committee investigating Trump, said in 1998 that he’s “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,” Fox News reports.
“In pushing the process,” Nadler said of Clinton’s impeachment, “in pushing the arguments of fairness and due process the Republicans so far have been running a lynch mob.”