- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Sen. Rand Paul says a Senate impeachment trial for former President Trump is hypocritical kabuki theater by Democrats who called for supporters to get physical with Republican lawmakers.

The Kentucky Republican called it farcical for his Democratic colleagues to claim “incitement to violence” by Mr. Trump on Jan. 6 near the Capitol when explosive rhetoric by Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Maxine Waters appears to be a non-issue. 

“What of Democrat incitement to violence? … No Democrat will ask whether Cory Booker incited violence when he called for his supporters to get ‘up in their face’ of congresspeople — a very visual and specific incitement,” Mr. Paul said. “No Democrat will ask whether Maxine Waters incited violence when she literally told her supporters, and I quote, that ‘if 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?”

Mr. Paul also cited his hairy run-in with an Antifa mob leading up to the 2020 election, along with the June 2017 shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, as examples where the rhetoric of Democrats did not prompt investigations by Republicans. 

“My wife and I were pushed and surrounded and screamed at by this same type of mob that Maxine likes to inspire,” Mr. Paul added. “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’d survive even with the police protection. But no Democrat has ever considered impeaching Maxine for her violent rhetoric. In fact, Republicans, to our credit, have never once thought it legitimate to formally censure 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 $1 billion of destruction, looting, and property damage. Not one Republican said ‘let’s impeach the Democrats who are inciting this’ because it would be ridiculous.” 

The Republican then warned Democrats that going down the “low road” of impeaching political opponents for combat metaphors was a long-time recipe for disaster.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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