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Oregon Democrat apologizes after comparing second Trump impeachment to an ‘old-fashioned lynching’

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An Oregon Democrat has apologized after he criticized the House effort to return new articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump after using language associated with the targeting of blacks in previous centuries.

Rep. Kurt Schrader was blasted by colleagues, including from his own congressional delegation, after comments he made in a private phone call with House Democrats on Friday following rioting at the U.S. Capitol Building.

Though most Democrats appear to be in favor of pursuing a second impeachment of the president, Schrader warned his party the effort could backfire politically.

He went on to describe a new impeachment as an “old-fashioned lynching” he believes will tear apart the country, given the deep political, cultural, and societal differences that already exist, Politico reported.

“I don’t want to breathe life into the corpse of this president, I don’t want him to become a martyr,” Schrader noted further.

But it was the lynching comment that drew instant pushback. The lawmaker’s longtime political consultancy, Winning Mark, announced on Twitter it won’t be working with the Oregon Democrat moving forward.

“Comparing the impeachment of a treasonous President who encouraged white supremacists to violently storm the Capitol to a ‘lynching’ is shameful and indefensible,” the company wrote.

In addition, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, another Oregon Democrat, put some distance between herself and her congressional colleague.

“Our nation has an unforgivable history of murdering Black men and women,” Bonamici told Oregon Public Broadcasting. “Comparing a lynching to holding the president accountable is hurtful and insensitive, and ignores the overt white supremacy on display during the insurrection Wednesday.”

Following the Friday call, Schrader issued his apology.

“My words were wrong, hurtful and completely inappropriate,” Schrader said in a statement posted to Twitter. “I sincerely apologize to my colleagues, constituents and friends for the pain I caused.

“I recognize the horrible historical context of these words and have started to reach out to my colleagues personally to express that I understand the harm caused,” he added. “I will work hard to rebuild trust and again, I humbly apologize.”

Schrader is considered a more moderate Democrat who recently broke with his party and was one of two who did not vote for $2,000 COVID-19 stimulus checks. He did, however, vote to impeach President Trump the first time.

To that end, House Democrats are likely to introduce a new impeachment resolution on Monday that accuses him of “incitement of insurrection.” Among his alleged high crimes and misdemeanors is a Democrat claim of “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States.”

The four-page resolution also hits Trump for his Jan. 2 phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he appealed to the Republican official to “find” votes to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s reported victory in the state.

Those and other actions demand that he be removed from office along with “disqualification” to ever run for the presidency again.

“I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday after urging Trump to resign.

“It’s hard to exaggerate the culpability of this unhinged person,” Pelosi told Democrats on the private call, which Politico said lasted about three-and-a-half hours. “We cannot empower him.”

Jon Dougherty

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