Politics

Oregon US Rep. Kurt Schrader apologizes after likening second possible Trump impeachment to ‘lynching’

By Lauren Dake (OPB)
Jan. 8, 2021 9:17 p.m. Updated: Jan. 8, 2021 10:33 p.m.

The comment on a call with other House Democrats drew immediate criticism from some of Schrader’s allies.

Rep. Kurt Schrader's congressional district includes Chemawa.

U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader is reported to have likened impeaching President Donald Trump for this week's Capitol insurrection to a "lynching"

Alan Sylvestre / OPB

U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, considered the most moderate Democrat in Oregon’s Congressional delegation, reportedly told House Democratic colleagues on Friday that he was against impeaching President Donald Trump for inciting the mob that broke into the U.S. Capitol.

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Then Schrader likened the attempt to remove Trump to a “lynching,” according to reports from ABC News.

The comment on a caucus call drew immediate criticism from some of Schrader’s allies.

Mark Wiener, a powerful Portland political consultant who has worked for Schrader for years dating back to when the congressman served in the Oregon Legislature, quickly tweeted out that his company, Winning Mark, would be severing ties with the legislator.

“Comparing the impeachment of a treasonous President who encouraged white supremacists to violently storm the Capitol to a “lynching” is shameful and indefensible,” Wiener tweeted.

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U.S Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Portland, also blasted the comments.

“Our nation has an unforgivable history of murdering Black men and women. Comparing a lynching to holding the President accountable is hurtful and insensitive and ignores the overt white supremacy on display during the insurrection Wednesday,” Bonamici wrote in an email.

In a statement to KOIN 6 News, Schrader apologized for his comments.

“My words were wrong, hurtful and completely inappropriate. I sincerely apologize to my colleagues, constituents and friends for the pain I caused,” he said. “I recognize the horrible historical context of these words and have started to reach out to my colleagues personally to express that I understand the harm caused. I will work hard to rebuild trust and again, I humbly apologize.”

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said on Friday she would move to impeach the president for inciting the violent attack on the Capitol and urged him to resign immediately.

Schrader is known for departing with his Democratic colleagues, most recently when he was one of just two Democrats to vote against a bill that would increase stimulus checks taxpayers will receive in the next year from $600 to $2,000.

His district touches the Portland suburbs and a long stretch of coastal and Central Oregon. He easily won reelection in November despite a primary challenge from the left.

This is a developing story. Watch for updates.

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