CNN: Biden likened Clinton impeachment to 'partisan lynching' in 1998

CNN: Biden likened Clinton impeachment to 'partisan lynching' in 1998
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White House hopeful Joe BidenJoe BidenLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Ex-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Parnas says he doesn't think that Joe Biden did anything wrong regarding Ukraine MORE has condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president 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.

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.

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"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."

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."

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"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.

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 BassOmar calls on US to investigate Turkey over possible war crimes in Syria McConnell takes heat from all sides on impeachment Sunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial 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 ThompsonHillicon Valley: Trump turns up heat on Apple over gunman's phone | Mnuchin says Huawei won't be 'chess piece' in trade talks | Dems seek briefing on Iranian cyber threats | Buttigieg loses cyber chief House Democrats request briefings on Iranian cyber threats from DHS, FCC Democrats sound election security alarm after Russia's Burisma hack 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 KinzingerPentagon exodus extends 'concerning,' 'baffling' trend of acting officials in key roles Republican group asks 'what is Trump hiding' in Times Square billboard Koch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill MORE (R-Ill.) calling on the president to retract his statement and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPoll shows Collins displaces McConnell as most unpopular senator Collins says she's 'likely' to support calling witnesses for impeachment trial Democratic group plans mobile billboard targeting Collins on impeachment 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 MeeksOcasio-Cortez defends decision not to pay dues to House Democratic campaign arm Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Facebook deepfake ban falls short | House passes bills to win 5G race | Feds sound alarm on cyberthreat from Iran | Ivanka Trump appearance at tech show sparks backlash House Democrats urge financial regulators to defend against Iranian cyberattacks MORE (D-N.Y.), Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMcConnell locks in schedule for start of impeachment trial Pelosi: Trump's impeachment 'cannot be erased' House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate MORE (D-N.Y.) and Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.). 

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.