A congressional Republican on Wednesday invoked the story of Jesus‘ trial in the Praetorium before Judean governor Pontius Pilate. Those remarks came by way of Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Georgia) during a debate before the House of Representatives’ vote on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Loudermilk argued that Jesus was afforded more rights than Trump has been.
“I rise today in opposition, not only to these articles of impeachment, but in strong opposition to the process that has brought us to this point,” Loudermilk began. “Our Constitution and Bill Of Rights are all about process. Our founders knew that a government without constraints could accuse anyone of any crime at any time even without compelling evidence. That’s why the 5th and 14th Amendments established a principle of innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. ”
“But on November the 14, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi informed the press that the president should prove his innocence. When she stated: ‘Mr. President, if you have anything that shows your incident–your innocence–then he should make that known.’ The Constitution also guarantees that the accused can call witnesses to testify on their behalf but Republicans and the president were continually denied that right throughout this process. The 6th Amendment guarantees the right of the defendant to face their accuser. But not only have the Democrats prohibited Republicans and the president from questioning the so-called whistleblower, his identity has been kept secret.”
Loudermilk then said the following:
Before you take this historic vote today–one week before Christmas–I want you to keep this in mind: When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this president in this process.
In response, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) responded that Trump had, in fact, been offered the opportunity to defend himself in front of the Judiciary Committee but expressly declined to do so.
[image via screengrab/CSPAN]