Supercut: Dems in ‘98 Make the Case Against Impeaching Trump
Democrats aiming to impeach President Trump over his relations with Ukraine will face one big obstacle: Their own record.
Many of the politicians leading the current impeachment push were in office 22 years ago when President Clinton was fending off his own impeachment effort. In defending the then-Democratic president, these lawmakers used arguments that Republicans could easily use today.
The popular contention at the time was that Republicans were acting over politics, not principle — out of “hatred,” not the rule of law.
“We are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton, and until the Republicans free themselves of this hatred, our country will suffer,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) argued during a 1998 floor speech.
Bernie Sanders, then a congressman in Vermont, said: "Bill Clinton acted deplorably in his personal behavior, but what the American people are saying loudly and clearly is let's get on with the business."
Then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) said: "This is their president we are talking about. And we in Congress had better be very careful before we upset their decision and make darn sure that our decision to impeach him was based upon principle and not politics."
Perhaps most presciently, then-congressman Chuck Schumer warned that one day the tables may turn.
"My fear is that when a Republican wins the White House,” Schumer predicted, “Democrats will demand payback."