A United States senator, who recently described Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as “dumb” for supporting an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, compared the supposed lack of due process given to the president on Thursday afternoon to that of Japanese Americans who were subjected to internment during World War II.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) was speaking to reporters at the U.S. Capitol when he was questioned about the impeachment inquiry. Right before he departed from reporters on an elevator, he criticized House Democrats for failing to give Trump enough due process.
“It looks to me like, so far, [House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff] and the speaker are going to give about as much due process [to the president] as the federal government gave our Japanese American friends during World War II,” Kennedy said, according to HuffPost politics reporter Igor Bobic, who tweeted about the exchange.
Sen. Kennedy still not happy with the impeachment process.
"It looks to me like, so far, the chairman and the speaker are going to give about as much due process [to the president] as the federal government gave our Japanese American friends during World War II."
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) November 14, 2019
The comparison between Trump’s treatment during impeachment and Japanese internment will likely land Kennedy in some pretty hot water.
A total of 117,000 Japanese Americans were ordered removed from their homes, their property seized in the process, during World War II, as part of an executive order made by President Franklin Roosevelt at the time in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Many were malnourished after being displaced, and about 1-in-10 died of tuberculosis and other health-related factors. Two-thirds of those who were forcibly removed from their homes were American-born citizens. Due process was definitely ignored during that time.
Comparisons to that era of American history and Trump’s impeachment inquiry would probably be laughed at by historians and legal experts were they not so serious and disrespectful. As reported on in previous reporting from HillReporter.com, most legal scholars have said that complaints against Trump receiving no due process at this stage are invalid, as the Constitution does not require such legal rights to the president when it comes to impeachment. Others have compared the impeachment inquiry as akin to that of a grand jury investigation, where facts are gathered but a trial has not yet started.
In a number of ways, some experts say, Trump is actually being afforded more due process than he would be in a grand jury situation. Republican lawmakers who are allied with Trump are allowed to question those involved in impeachment depositions, which wouldn’t be something ordinarily granted to subjects being investigated by a grand jury.