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 BidenBudget official says he didn't know why military aid was delayed: report Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide READ: Foreign service officer Jennifer Williams' closed-door testimony from the House impeachment inquiry MORE has condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election 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 BassHillicon Valley: Google buying Fitbit for .1B | US launches national security review of TikTok | Twitter shakes up fight over political ads | Dems push committee on 'revenge porn' law Democratic lawmakers call on Judiciary Committee to advance 'revenge porn' law Lawmakers come together to honor Cummings: 'One of the greats in our country's history' 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 ThompsonTop House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Bipartisan bill to secure election tech advances to House floor Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary 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 KinzingerHonoring service before self House approves Turkey sanctions in rare bipartisan rebuke of Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ill.) calling on the president to retract his statement and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Senate confirms controversial circuit court nominee Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families 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 MeeksCNN: Biden likened Clinton impeachment to 'partisan lynching' in 1998 House Democrat urges anti-Trump resistance within administration to come 'out of the shadows' Ten notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment MORE (D-N.Y.), Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse to vote on bill to ensure citizenship for children of overseas service members As impeachment goes public, forget 'conventional wisdom' What this 'impeachment' is really about — and it's not the Constitution 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.