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Newly uncovered videos reveal the mortifying hypocrisy of top Republicans on impeachment

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Republicans have a problem: They want to claim that impeaching President Donald Trump is completely ridiculous, but just a few short decades ago, they were driving the push for impeaching President Bill Clinton.

And in that process, they said a lot of things that will likely come back to haunt them.

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Take Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), for instance, who said Monday that it’s time to “move on” from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — even though we only got the exhaustive 448-page report last week. He seems to think the extensive case for obstruction of justice laid out in Volume II of the report should just be ignored.

But MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” showed that, in 1998 when it was Clinton under investigation, McConnell was, by contrast, deeply concerned about the integrity of the presidency.

In a speech at the impeachment hearings, McConnell said he wanted to draw attention to a “serious and deeply troubling crisis” in the country. “This is a crisis of confidence, of credibility, and of integrity. Our nation is indeed at a crossroads: Will we pursue the search for truth, or will we dodge, weave and evade the truth.”

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At the time, Clinton was under fire for lying to investigators about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, which was, undoubtedly, wildly inappropriate. But now that Trump stands accused of obstructing a national security investigation, McConnell appears unable to muster up any indignation or outrage.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has become one of Trump’s closest congressional allies, similarly seems to have lost his passion for restoring the dignity of the White House.

“You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determinates that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role,” said Graham in 1998. “Because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office.”

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In another clip from the time period, Graham made clear that what he was concerned with was Clinton’s obstruction of justice — precisely the charge Trump faces:

“I’m telling you momentum is shifting toward impeachment, because people are looking at facts and coming to realise the President committed serious crimes and it is not just about sex. The idea that this is an accusatory function here. We are not the trial, the trial is in the Senate. Our job is to find credible evidence if there is warning impeachment from that evidence; grand jury perjury, obstruction of justice by the President, I think are high crimes and misdemeanours. The only thing to change my mind would be direct, honest candour on his part. The President has to earn censure.

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Of course, it’s not just Republicans who will be embarrassed. Democrats such as Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) who in 1998 attacked the impeachment push against Clinton may now find themselves contradicting their prior claims. But they, more credibly, can point to an important difference. While Clinton was impeached over his obstructive lies about a consensual, though wrongful, sexual relationship, Trump’s conduct relates much more directly to an issue of national importance: Russia’s attack on American elections and the investigation into that matter.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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2020 Election

He’s trying ‘to get under Trump’s skin’: Reporter Olivia Nuzzi outlines Joe Walsh’s impact on 2020

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Republican strategist Shermichael Singleton explained during an MSNBC panel discussion that former Rep. Joe Walsh isn't likely to peel away many voters from Trump as someone who is "Trump-light." New York Magazine reporter Olivia Nuzzi, however, thinks Walsh with have a more significant impact, whether or not he can win the primary race.

During a CNN panel discussion, Nuzzi similarly noted that Walsh's primary purpose could be to troll the president.

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CNN

Boris Johnson ‘tremendously humiliated’ Donald Trump on a global scale at G-7 meeting: CNN analyst

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United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of President Donald Trump's favorite people to take over for Theresa May when she resigned this summer. But Johnson also mocked the U.S. president and humiliated him on a global scale, said New York Magazine reporter Olivia Nuzzi.

During a panel discussion on CNN Sunday, CNN's Ryan Lizza opened by saying that Johnson is in a tight spot as he's trying to negotiate Brexit while serving as an international leader to the G-7. Johnson also needs to negotiate a trade deal with Trump, but he clearly is going about it in the worst possible way.

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Trump allies acquiring ‘dirt’ on journalists to take them down during the 2020 election

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President Donald Trump's war against the media has taken a next step. According to The New York Times, Trump's allies have been compiling information on reporters at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times to strike back because the president believes they "aggressively investigated" him.

The information was revealed Sunday using information disclosed by associates of conservative Arthur Schwartz, who is spearheading the project. Schwartz is an adviser to Donald Trump Jr. and previously worked with Steve Bannon.

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