Politics

President Trump compares impeachment to ‘lynching’

President Trump.
Jabin Botsford
President Trump.

President Trump said on Twitter Tuesday morning that he is the victim of a “lynching,” comparing the impeachment process to the brutal killings of thousands of African-Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The tweet came as Trump complained that he was not being given due process in the inquiry, though Congress holds broad powers over how to conduct an investigation into wrongdoing by the president.

Trump’s decision to compare Congressional investigation into his potential wrongdoing and the murder of African Americans drew a swift rebuke even from some conservatives, including Erick Erickson, who urged Trump not to “start dropping words that are important with real historic meaning.”

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Boston Democrat Ayanna Pressley urged her nearly 500,000 Twitter followers not to be distracted from the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

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“Lord give me the strength to not take the bait but hold this man accountable for every single thing he says and does,” Pressley tweeted. “Don’t take your eye off the ball family. A major witness is testifying today and he’s using a predictable play to try to distract & divide.”

Representative Bobby Rush, an Illinois Democrat, expressed outrage over the characterization:

“You think this impeachment is a LYNCHING? What the hell is wrong with you? Do you know how many people who look like me have been lynched, since the inception of this coutry, by people who look like you. Delete this tweet,” Rush wrote on Twitter.

Former Obama Cabinet official and Democratic 2020 hopeful Julián Castro also condemned Trump’s word choice, calling it “beyond shameful.”

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One Republican, Senator Lindsey Graham, told reporters Tuesday that Trump’s description is ‘‘pretty well accurate,’’ adding that the effort is a ‘‘sham’’ and a ‘‘joke’’ because the president doesn’t know the identity of his accuser and the process is playing out in private.

Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill that, ‘‘This is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American.’’

The tweet bemoaning an alleged lack of due process stands in contrast to Trump’s past urging of extrajudicial violence against those accused of crimes, protesters, and migrants.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com.