Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke on the floor of the US Senate on Tuesday to slam Democrats for pursuing impeachment, which he said was "nothing more than a partisan exercise designed to further divide the country."
Paul said that "Democrats claim to want to unify the country, but impeaching a former president, a private citizen, is the antithesis of unity."
He said that Democrats "brazenly" appointing a "pro-impeachment Democrat to preside over the trial." Paul told his fellow Senators that this is not in any way impartial, and it's a far cry from unity.
"If we are about to try to convict a president, then where is the chief justice?" Paul asked. "If the accused is no longer president, then where is the constitutional power to convict him?"
He decried this effort to impeach a private citizen, as former President Trump now is. "Impeachment is for removal from office, and the accused here has already left office."
Paul stated that "Hyper-partisan Democrats are about to drag our great country down into the gutter of rancor and vitriol, the likes of which have never been seen in our nation's history."
And he slammed them for prioritizing the impeachment of a departed president over the work of actually legislating. "Instead of doing the nation’s work with their new majorities in the House, Senate, and executive branch, Democrats are wasting the people’s time on a partisan vendetta against a man no longer in office."
Paul claimed that the Democrats barely no how to govern in the absence of Donald Trump, who they spent four years railing against. "Without him as their boogeyman," he said, "they might have to legislate, and actually convince the public that their policy prescriptions are the right ones."
Paul said that this action is "something no self-respecting senator has ever stooped to. They are insisting the election is actually not over, and so they insist on regurgitating its bitterness. In the past, calmer heads have typically prevailed in our history and allowed public opinion to cast blame where blame is deserved."
And he called the pending impeachment a "sham," saying that Trump's words were the opposite of incitement, quoting Trump as having said on Jan. 6 "I know everyone here will soon march to the Capitol to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard."
"Those are hardly words of violence," Paul said. Then he quoted Democratic lawmakers whose words could be considered an incitement to violence, though these Senators and Congresspersons were never charged.
"But what of Democrats' words?" Paul asked. "What of Democrats' incitement to violence? No Democrat will honestly ask whether Bernie Sanders incited the shooter who nearly killed Rep. Steve Scalise and a volunteer coach of the congressional Republican baseball squad.
"The shooter nearly pulled off a massacre, all because he fervently believed the false and inflammatory rhetoric spewed by Sanders and other Democrats — lines such as 'The Republican healthcare plan for the uninsured is that you die.' As this avowed Bernie supporter shot at us, he screamed, 'This is for healthcare!'"
Paul brought up Cory Booker and Maxine Waters, both of whom asked for their constituents to confront legislators and government officials.
Speaking to supporters at the 2018 National Conference on Ending Homeless and Capitol Hill Day, Booker called for those who attended his speech to go to Capitol Hill and "get up in the face of some congresspeople."
"That's my call to action here," Booker said. "Please, don't just come here today and go home, go to the Hill today. Please, get up in the face of some congresspeople."
Paul also quoted Waters, who said, also in 2018, "Already you have members of your Cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants, who have protesters taking up at their house saying 'no peace, no sleep,' 'no peace, no sleep.' And guess what? We're gonna win this battle because while you try and quote the bible, Jeff Sessions and others, you really don't know the bible.
"God is on our side," Waters said, invoking an age-old mantra to gain supporters to a cause. "On the side of the children, on the side of what's right, on the side of what's honorable, on the side of understanding that if we can't protect the children we can't protect anybody. And so let's stay the course.
"Let's make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, at a department store, at a gasoline station, let's stay the course! Let's make sure we have to show up wherever we have to show up!"
"And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, at a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them that they're not welcome anymore, anywhere..." Waters said.
And Paul brought up the instance in August, when he and his wife departed the Republican National Convention in Washington, DC, only to be confronted and nearly assaulted by leftist protestors.
"My wife and I were pushed and surrounded by the type of mob Maxine likes to inspire. It's terrifying to have a swarm of people threaten to kill you, curse at you, and literally hold you hostage until police come to your rescue."
"No Democrat has ever considered impeaching Maxine for her violent rhetoric," he said.
Paul went on to say that it never occurred to Republicans to "formally censure or impeach these Democrats for the words they said or the violent ways in which their supporters reacted."
"No Republican has sought to use government to hold these Democrats responsible for the Antifa and Black Lives Matter violence that consumed our cities last summer, resulting in over $1 billion in destruction, looting and property damage," Paul said, noting that the words of these Democratic lawmakers were applauded by their colleagues, including Vice President Kamala Harris.
Paul brought up Harris' funding of bail funds for criminals, saying "Vice President Kamala Harris famously helped to raise money for the bail for those arrested for violent offenses. I wonder if she will be brought up on charges of inciting violence for that, now that she is the Vice President? Should she be impeached?"
He noted those Democratic executives in left-leaning cities across the country who willingly advocated for intensive and violent protests in their cities, such as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, "who incited and condoned violence by calling the armed takeover of part of the city a 'a summer of love.'"
The "summer of love" across the nation resulted in the injury of "more than 700 law enforcement officers," as reported by the Department of Justice, as well as "at least 19 murders, including that of 77-year old retired police officer David Dorn."
"Yet," Paul went on, "Democrats insist on applying a test of incitement to a Republican that they refuse to apply to themselves." He called them "angry, unhinged partisans, deranged by their hatred of the former president," and called the pending impeachment a perversion of a constitutional process.
Paul said that he will "insist on holding a vote that makes every last senator vote on whether they believe this proceeding — the impeachment of a private citizen — is unconstitutional, illegal, and essentially a bill of attainder; on whether there is any fairness or due process in having a partisan Democrat already on record as favoring impeachment presiding over this trial; and on whether this is how our politics should be."
Paul finished his tirade by proclaiming that the "trial is a sham, a travesty, and a dark blot on the history of our country," and called on his colleagues to "reconsider this kangaroo court and move forward to debate the great issues of our day."
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