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 BidenCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Biden to host 'virtual fireside chat' with donors Esper faces tough questions on dismissal of aircraft carrier's commander MORE has condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Outgoing inspector general says Trump fired him for carrying out his 'legal obligations' Trump hits Illinois governor after criticism: 'I hear him complaining all the time' 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 BassBiden congratulates Trump on implementing Defense Production Act House Democrats press Barr to protect inmates from coronavirus CBC chair endorses Biden 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 ThompsonPelosi forms House committee to oversee coronavirus response Democrats introduce bill to set up commission to review coronavirus response Hillicon Valley: HHS hit by cyberattack amid coronavirus outbreak | Senators urge FCC to shore up internet access for students | Sanders ramps up Facebook ad spending | Dems ask DHS to delay Real ID deadline 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 KinzingerLawmakers urge EU to sanction Putin associate for election interference Blagojevich calls himself a 'Trumpocrat,' praises Trump after release from prison Sanders slams Trump pardons as part of 'broken and racist criminal justice system' MORE (R-Ill.) calling on the president to retract his statement and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis GOP senators begin informal talks on new coronavirus stimulus GOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post 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 MeeksBiden rolls out over a dozen congressional endorsements after latest primary wins Democrats balk at Trump's payroll tax cut proposal The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Facebook — Washington, Wall Street on edge about coronavirus MORE (D-N.Y.), Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Pelosi rejects calls to shutter Capitol: 'We are the captains of this ship' 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.