GOP congressman claims impeachment inquiry will lead to dictatorship and war

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Despite the constitutional origins of impeachment, Rep. Louie Gohmert believes it will trigger "communism" in America.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) claimed this week that the impeachment inquiry currently underway in the House of Representatives would lead to a civil war and a dictatorship in the United States if Donald Trump were removed from office.

Gohmert made his comments Thursday night while guest-hosting the radio program "Breitbart News Tonight," which is part of the controversial conservative Breitbart News.

Earlier in the day Gohmert said in Congress that the inquiry was "push[ing] this country to a civil war."

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He expanded on that take during Thursday night's radio show.

"What is a better description than civil war is actually — this is a communist revolution," said Gohmert.

"Next thing you know you've got Trotsky over convincing the soldiers to support the Lenin of the place, and then boom, you have what people think will be a benevolent dictator and get things back on track and restore people's rights," he said. "But you've just lost everything, that Caesar has now crossed the Rubicon, you've lost your republic, the little experiment in self-government, and now you’re dealing with a dictator."

In reality, impeachment has been enshrined in the U.S. Constitution since its ratification in 1788. Article II, section 4 of the Constitution lays out the power of Congress to remove officials including the president and vice president for "high crimes and misdemeanors."

The Constitution does not associate these powers with civil war or communism, or any particular political ideology.

Gohmert's usage of a nightmare communist scenario is not an outlier when compared to the rhetoric that has been deployed by Republican leaders.

Protesting the inquiry's closed-door depositions, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the minority whip, referred to the effort as a "Soviet-style process."

The description is inaccurate, particularly since Republicans are part of those closed-door hearings and are free to question witnesses. The process for calling witnesses was in fact laid out by Republicans when they were in the majority before the 2018 election.

A federal judge recently ruled that the impeachment inquiry is legal, deflating a line of argument that Trump and his congressional defenders have made.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.