House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, was called out by CNN on Sunday over his past comments on impeachment that stand in stark contrast to what he is doing today in pushing for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
In 1998, during the impeachment of Democratic President Bill Clinton, Nadler said, “There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political parties, and largely opposed by the other. Such an impeachment would lack legitimacy, would produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come.”
CNN’s Dana Bash played the clip for Nadler on Sunday, saying, “So, right now, you are moving forward with impeachment proceedings against a Republican president without support from even one congressional Republican.”
“Is it fair to say that this impeachment, in your words from back then, will produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come?” Bash asked.
“No,” Nadler replied, claiming that Trump was the one who was responsible for the “bitterness and divisiveness into our politics.”
“So, you are willing to impeach the president with no Republican votes, correct?” Bash pressed.
“We’re going to impeach the president – if we’re going to impeach the president, we will impeach him on adequate and urgent grounds to defend our democratic republic,” Nadler responded.
“And if there’s no Republican votes, so be it?” Bash asked.
“It’s up to them to decide whether they want to be patriots or partisans,” Nadler responded.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) December 8, 2019
Not only do all Republican oppose Democrats’ impeachment attempts, but even some Congressional Democrats oppose the politically divisive move.
Democrat Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ), who opposes impeachment, said last week that Democrats should “be careful what [they] wish for” because impeachment “is tearing the nation apart.”
In an interview last month, Van Drew said on the issue of impeachment, “To some folks, that’s reminiscent of what was done to kings and queens many years ago. Everything our country doesn’t stand for.”
Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) warned his party this week, “I do think that it’s the right thing to do to remove him from office. I believe he is an imminent danger to this country and to our democracy, but I was saying that the political consequences may not be very good for the Democrats. I will guarantee you the Republican Party would not nominate Mike Pence to succeed him. They would nominate someone like Nikki Haley who would be much more difficult for Democrats to defeat.”
In late November, Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI) said on a podcast that Trump should be censured but not removed from office.
“You can censure, you don’t have to remove the president,” Lawrence said. “We are so close to an election. I will tell you, sitting here, knowing how divided this country is, I don’t see the value of kicking him out of office, but I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable.”