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Rand Paul delivers scorching speech against Democrat-led ‘sham’ impeachment proceeding

'It’s almost as if they have no ability to exist except in opposition to Donald Trump,' the Republican senator said.
Tue Jan 26, 2021 - 8:23 pm EST
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Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky speaks forcefully against the impeachment of former President Donald Trump. C-SPAN

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 26, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky delivered a scorching criticism of Democrats’ intent to impeach former President Donald J. Trump for a second time, calling their effort “unconstitutional” and “a partisan exercise designed to further divide the country.” 

He later called it a “sham,” a “travesty,” and a “dark blot on the history of this country.”  

“Democrats claim to want to unify the country, but impeaching a former president — a private citizen — is the antithesis of unity,” began Sen. Paul. “Democrats brazenly, appointing a pro-impeachment Democrat to preside over the trial is not fair or impartial, and hardly encourages any kind of unity in our country.” 

“Hyperpartisan Democrats are about to drag our great country down into the gutter of rancor and vitriol, the likes of which has never been seen in our nation’s history,”said Paul.  

“It’s almost as if they have no ability to exist except in opposition to Donald Trump,” he declared. 

Paul then launched into a litany contrasting President Trump’s direction to the crowd on January 6 to proceed “peacefully” and “patriotically,” with several blatant examples of Democrat members of Congress and others employing real vitriol that incited violence.  

  • Should Kamala Harris be impeached for offering to pay for violent people to get out of jail who have been burning our cities down? No. 

  • “No Democrat will honestly ask whether Bernie Sanders incited the shooter that nearly killed Steve Scalise and a volunteer coach. The shooter nearly pulled off a massacre — I was there — because he fervently believed the false and inflammatory rhetoric spewed by Bernie and other Democrats such as ‘the Republican healthcare plan for the uninsured is that you die.’”

  • “No Democrat will ask whether Cory Booker incited violence when he called for his supporters to ‘get up in (the) face of congresspeople’ — a very visual and specific incitement.”

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  • Should Republicans impeach the Democrat Mayor of Seattle who incited and condoned violence by calling the armed takeover of part of her city a “summer of love?”

  • “No Democrat will ask whether Maxine Waters incited violence when she literally told her supporters, ‘When you see a member of the Trump administration at a restaurant, at a department store, at a gas station, or anyplace, you create a crowd and you push back on them.’ Is that not incitement?” 

Paul also described how last summer in Washington, D.C., he and his wife “were pushed and surrounded and screamed at by this same type of mob Maxine likes to inspire.”  

“It’s terrifying to have a swarm of people threatening to kill you, cursing at you, and literally holding you hostage until police come to your rescue,” he continued. “That night we were assaulted by the crowd, I wasn’t sure if we would survive even with the police protection.” 

Paul then called for a vote “to affirm that this proceeding we are about to enter is unconstitutional, that impeachment of a private citizen is illegal and essentially a bill of attainder, and that no sense of fairness or due process would allow the judge in the proceeding to be a partisan Democrat already in favor of the impeachment.”

The Senate ended up tabling Sen. Paul’s motion, voting 55-45 against, with five Republicans crossing party lines to vote with Democrats. The Republican senators who sided with Democrats were:

  • Mitt Romney of Utah;

  • Ben Sasse of Nebraska; 

  • Susan Collins of Maine;

  • Lisa Murkowski of Alaska;

  • Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

The vote is a clear indication of which senators believe that a Senate trial to impeach President Trump after he has left office is constitutional and those who do not. 

The impeachment trial is slated to begin the week of February 8, with the most senior Democrat, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, presiding over the trial. 

****

Full text of Senator Paul’s floor speech:

This impeachment is nothing more than a partisan exercise designed to further divide the country.  

Democrats claim to want to unify the country, but impeaching a former president -- a private citizen -- is the antithesis of unity.  

Democrats brazenly, appointing a pro-impeachment Democrat to preside over the trial is not fair or impartial, and hardly encourages any kind of unity in our country. 

No, unity is the opposite of this travesty we are about to witness. 

If we are about to try to impeach a president, where’s the Chief Justice?  

If the accused is no longer president, where’s the constitutional power to impeach him?

Private citizens don’t get impeached. Impeachment is for removal from office, and the accused here has already left office. 

Hyperpartisan Democrats are about to drag our great country down into the gutter of rancor and vitriol, the likes of which has never been seen in our nation’s history. 

Instead of doing the nation’s work with their new majorities in the house, the Senate, and the Executive Branch, Democrats are wasting the nation’s time on a partisan vendetta against a man no longer in office. 

It’s almost as if they have no ability to exist except in opposition to Donald Trump. 

Without him as their boogieman, they might have to legislate, and to actually convince Americans that their policy prescriptions are the right ones. 

Democrats are about to do something no self-respecting Senator has ever stooped to.

Democrats are insisting that the election is actually not over, and so they insist on regurgitating the bitterness of the election. 

This acrimony they are about to unleash has never before been tried. Why?

Because calm heads have typically prevailed in our history, and allowed public opinion to cast blame where blame is deserved.

This sham of an impeachment will ostensibly ask whether the president incited the reprehensible behavior and violence of January 6th, when he said, “I know everyone here will soon walk to the Capitol to peacefully, and patriotically make your voices heard.”

“Peacefully” and “patriotically;” hardly words of violence.

But what of Democrat words? What of Democrat incitement to violence?

No Democrat will honestly ask whether Bernie Sanders incited the shooter that nearly killed Steve Scalise and a volunteer coach. The shooter nearly pulled off a massacre — I was there — because he fervently believed the false and inflammatory rhetoric spewed by Bernie and other Democrats such as “the Republican healthcare plan for the uninsured is that you die.”

As this avowed Bernie supporter shot Scalise, nearly killing him, and shot one of our coaches and two or three of our staff, he screamed, “This is for healthcare.” 

Ask me or anyone if that’s incitement. 

No Democrat will ask whether Cory Booker incited violence when he called for his supporters to “get up in (the) face of congresspeople — a very visual and specific incitement.

No Democrat will ask whether Maxine Waters incited violence when she literally told her supporters, “When you see a member of the Trump Administration at a restaurant, at a department store, at a gas station, or anyplace, you create a crowd and you push back on them. Is that not incitement?

My wife and I were pushed and surrounded and screamed at by this same type of mob Maxine likes to inspire.  

It’s terrifying to have a swarm of people threatening to kill you, cursing at you, and literally holding you hostage until police come to your rescue.  

That night we were assaulted by the crowd, I wasn’t sure if we would survive even with the police protection.  

No Democrat has ever considered impeaching Maxine for her violent rhetoric. In fact, Republicans, to our credit, never once thought it legitimate to formally censor or impeach these Democrats. 

No Republican has sought to use the government to hold these Democrats responsible for Antifa and Black Lives Matter violence that has consumed our cities all summer, resulting in over a billion dollars of destruction, looting, and property damage.

Not one Republican said, “Let’s impeach the Democrats who are inciting this,” because it would be ridiculous.  

Many on the Democrats’ side of the aisle cheered them on.  

Kamala Harris famously offered to pay the bill for those who were arrested.

I wonder if she’ll be brought up on charges of inciting violence for that now that she’s vice president. 

Should Kamala Harris be impeached for offering to pay for violent people to get out of jail who have been burning our cities down? No. And no Republican has offered that because we’re not going down the road the Democrats have decided, this low road of impeaching people for political speech.

Should Republicans impeach the Democrat Mayor of Seattle who incited and condoned violence by calling the armed takeover of part of her city a  “summer of love?”

Any Republicans try to impeach her?

On June 8th the New York Post, citing U.S. Justice Department statistics reported that more than 700 law enforcement officers were injured during the Antifa/Black Lives Matter riots. There were at least 19 murders, including 77-year-old retired police officer David Dorn. 

Yet Democrats insist on applying a test of incitement to a Republican they refuse to apply to themselves. 

I want the Democrats to raise their hands if they have ever given a speech that says “Take back. Fight for your country.”  

Who hasn’t used the word “fight” figuratively. And are we going to put every politician in jail? Are we going to impeach every politician who has used the word “fight” figuratively in a speech? 

Shame. Shame on these angry unhinged partisans who are putting forth this sham impeachment, deranged by their hatred of the former president.  

Shame on those who seek blame and revenge and who chose to pervert a constitutional process while doing so. 

I want this body on record — every last person here: Is this how you think politics should be?  

Look, we’ve now got crazy partisans on the other side of the aisle trying to censor and remove two of the Republican Senators for their political positions.

Now look, I disagreed. I don’t think Congress should overturn the electoral college. But impeaching or censoring or expelling a member of Congress you disagree with … is the truth so narrow that only you know the truth?

We now have the media on your side saying there is only one set of facts, one set of truth and you can only interpret this way. 

Now we have seven senators on the other side trying to expel, censor, or impune two senators this side. And I defend them, not because I defend their position — I disagreed with their position —  but you can’t impeach, censor, expel people you disagree with.  

What’s this coming to?  

In a few minutes I will insist on a vote to affirm that this proceeding we are about to enter is unconstitutional, that impeachment of a private citizen is illegal and essentially a bill of attainder, and that no sense of fairness or due process would allow the judge in the proceeding to be a partisan Democrat already in favor of the impeachment.  

A sham, this is. A travesty. A dark blot on the history of this country.  

I urge my colleagues to reconsider this kangaroo court, and move forward to debate the great issues of our day. 


  ben sasse, bernie sanders, cory booker, democrats, donald trump, impeachment, joe biden, kamala harris, lisa murkowski, maxine waters, mitt romney, pat toomey, patrick leahy, rand paul, susan collins, u.s. senate

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