CNN’s Dana Bash put House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler on the spot Sunday, asking him to address his own comments about the impact of a highly partisan impeachment.
Bash, guest-hosting “State of the Union,” introduced an old clip of Nadler by saying, “I want you to listen to something you said during the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998.”
“They must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political parties and largely opposed by the other. Such an impeachment would lack legitimacy and produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come,” Nadler said in the 1998 clip.
Bash responded to the clip by putting a comparative question to Nadler. “So right now you’re moving forward against impeachment without support from one Congressional Republican. Is it fair to say that this impeachment, in your words back then, will provide divisiveness and bitterness for years to come?” she asked.
“No, I think that what puts bitterness and divisiveness into our politics is the conduct of the president who questions the patriotism of people who don’t agree with him, who calls political opponents human scum, who talks about the fake press, who derides the judiciary, who attacks all of our Democratic institutions,” Nadler responded.
Nadler continued by immediately questioning the patriotism of the people who didn’t agree with House Democrats, adding, “And, yes, it will be up to — it is up to us now in the House and presumably up to the senators to see if we will and if the senators will put the welfare of the country and patriotism above partisan considerations or not.”
“So you are willing to impeach the president with no Republican votes, correct?” Bash pressed.
“We’re going to impeach the president,” Nadler declared, then corrected by qualifying, “If we impeach the president, we’ll impeach him on adequate and urgent grounds to defend our Democratic Republic.” (RELATED: ‘Courts Take Months And Months’: Nadler Admits He’ll Keep Impeachment Out Of Court For The Sake Of Speed)
“And if there are no Republican votes — so be it?” Bash asked again.
“It is up to them if they want to be patriots or partisans,” Nadler concluded, once again appearing to do exactly what he had accused Trump of doing — questioning the patriotism of those who did not agree with him.