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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 BidenConfirmation hearing for Biden's DNI pick postponed Biden's Sunday inauguration rehearsal postponed due to security concerns: report Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again MORE has condemned President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-Trump lawyer Cohen to pen forward for impeachment book Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again Man known as 'QAnon Shaman' asks Trump for pardon after storming Capitol 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 BassRep. Bass tweets photo of Trump in response to FBI call for information on rioters San Francisco mayor says Harris replacement pick 'a real blow to the African American community' Newsom picks Padilla for California Senate seat 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 ThompsonActing DHS chief Chad Wolf stepping down Security boosted for lawmakers' travel around inauguration: report COVID-19 is wild card as Pelosi faces tricky Speaker vote Sunday 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 KinzingerUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Kinzinger says he is 'in total peace' after impeachment vote MORE (R-Ill.) calling on the president to retract his statement and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time McConnell says he's undecided on whether to vote to convict Trump 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack 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 MeeksTrust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots Lawmakers push back on late Trump terror designation for Yemen's Houthis House Foreign Affairs Committee Democrats support impeaching Trump MORE (D-N.Y.), Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi names 9 impeachment managers Republicans gauge support for Trump impeachment Clyburn blasts DeVos and Chao for 'running away' from 25th Amendment fight 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.