Despite some criticism surrounding Democrats’ approach to impeaching President Donald Trump, one of the leading members of the House’s majority took the time to explain the method to what some folks have described as madness. And in typical form, Trump’s supporters took extraordinary measures and used racially charged language to slander a Black man who poses a threat to the president.
South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn visited CNN on Thursday morning to provide some missing context to the reports that House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi was considering keeping the articles of impeachment from being submitted to the Senate … for now. That strategy would effectively place the impeachment process on hold until Mitch McConnell agreed to a fair and impartial trial that would include witnesses testifying, something the Senate Majority Leader said was out of the question.
When CNN’s John Berman asked if Pelosi’s statement meant that the articles of impeachment might “never” be submitted to the Senate, Clyburn, without specifically mentioning McConnell by name, explained he was leery of willingly entering a process that he felt would be rigged against the Democratic process — and Democrats.
“The majority of the Senate has made it very clear that he’s not gonna be impartial; he’s not gonna be fair; he will collude, if you please, with the White House — at least the White House’s attorneys — to decide how he would go forward,” Clyburn told Berman. “Why would the Speaker of the House [Pelosi] step into that without trying to determine exactly what the majority leader plans to do?”
Clyburn said he applauded Pelosi’s shrewd move before continuing.
“Until we can get some assurances from the majority leader that he is going to allow for a fair and impartial trial to take place, we would be crazy to walk in there knowing he set up a kangaroo court,” Clyburn said while adding that Democrats were committed to holding out on submitting the articles of impeachment for “as long as it takes.”
But it was what Clyburn said next that Trump’s MAGA minions operating a verified Twitter account took 100% out of context and ran with, spreading some of the fakest news the country has seen outside of Facebook’s timelines heading into the 2016 election.
Speaking hypothetically, Clyburn compared McConnell’s sabotage-fueled impeachment strategy to effectively inviting Democrats to hang themselves.
“If you know and he’s told you what [McConnell is] going to do, it’s almost like ‘let’s give him a fair trial and hang him,’” Clyburn said while projecting what he imagined Republicans wanted Democrats to do.
That prompted the Twitter account called Trump War Room to tweet out a 29-second snippet of Clyburn speaking that twisted his words to fit a false narrative of Democrats wanting to hang Trump, claiming the Congressman’s “hatred and anger is out of control!”
In all actuality, it’s been Trump’s supporters who have long called for violence against people who oppose the president.
Because of Republican’s blind loyalty to a president who openly admitted his role in orchestrating a quid pro quo that would extort Ukraine with a financial ultimatum in exchange for helping to influence the 2020 U.S. election — and then obstructing Congress’ investigation — Democrats seemed to simply be giving the GOP a healthy dose of its own quid pro quo-esque medicine by threatening to withhold the articles of impeachment from the Senate.
That threat must have really gotten under the skin of pro-Trumpers, who immediately went on the defensive by launching a campaign to spread misinformation using racially charged language about comments from a Black congressman.
This is America.