Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul accused Democrats of having a double standard when it comes to speech and inciting or condoning violence.
Paul was discussing the impending Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” Wallace asked the Kentucky senator if the president bears “any responsibility” for the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
While Paul called any attempts to overturn the November election “misguided,” he pointed to “inflammatory” double-standard examples like when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch were going to “pay the price” for “awful decisions.”
“I think if we are going to criminalize speech and somehow impeach everybody who says, ‘oh, go fight to hear your voices heard,’ really we ought to impeach Chuck Schumer then,” he said. “So if people want to hold President Trump accountable for language, there has to be a consistent standard, and to my mind, it’s a partisan farce.”
Paul went on to suggest that Trump’s defense team will likely bring up videos of Democratic examples of inciting and condoning violence, such California Rep. Maxine Waters and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who he stated was “wishing and celebrating the violence that happened to me when I had six ribs broken and part of my lung removed.”
“I think you’re going to see all of this and people are going to have to judge for themselves, are we going to impeach and potentially criminally prosecute people for political speech when they say ‘get up and fight for your country, let your voices be heard’?” he said. (RELATED: Liz Cheney: Trump ‘Does Not Have A Role As A Leader Of Our Party’)
“Has nobody in this country heard of figurative speech?” Paul continued. “You could argue his position was wrong and it was misguided. I accept all of that, but if you’re going to criminalize his speech, you have to do it with the same standard. You can’t just criminalize Republican speech and ignore all the Democrats who have incited violence.”