A US Republican congressman has said Donald Trump has been treated less fairly than Jesus ahead of his crucifixion in an extraordinary speech ahead of the president’s expected impeachment.
Barry Loudermilk, who is from Georgia, was speaking on Wednesday ahead of an impeachment vote accusing Trump of abusing his power and obstructing Congress.
“When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers,” Loudermilk said on the floor of the US House of Representatives.
“During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than Democrats have afforded this president in this process.”
Loudermilk, a conservative Republican first elected to the House of Representatives in 2014, made his remarks during a multi-hour debate in the Democratic-controlled House ahead of the historic vote.
Meanwhile, Republican representative Mike Kelly compared the impeachment to the Japanese attack on the US naval base at Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor in 1941, calling the House proceedings another “date that will live in infamy”.
The comment echoed the words Democratic president Franklin Roosevelt used to describe the raid that led to America’s entry into the Second World War.
Speaking against impeachment, another Republican representative, declared that he had “descended into the belly of the beast.”
“I have witnessed the terror within,” said Clay Higgins of Louisiana, “and I rise committed to oppose the insidious forces which threaten our republic.”
In yet another biblical allusion, Democratic representative Gwen Moore of Wisconsin warned members against gaining the world and losing their souls as they pondered how to vote on impeachment.
After the House vote, which is expected to follow party lines, the Republican-controlled Senate will conduct a trial with politicians there acting as jurors and House members as prosecutors.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Wednesday that the trial would be as short as possible. The calling of witnesses is not expected.