Watch: Tense moments at House hearing after Republican accuses Dems of 'lynching' Justice Thomas

Watch: Tense moments at House hearing after Republican accuses Dems of 'lynching' Justice Thomas
U.S. Supreme CourtJustice Clarence Thomas in 2007, Wikimedia Commons

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert accused Democrats of a "lynching" on Wednesday during a hearing on court reform.

The House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing titled, "Building Confidence in the Supreme Court Through Ethics and Recusal Reforms." The hearing occurred after Justice Clarence Thomas refused to recuse himself from cases on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — even though text messages have revealed his wife Ginny Thomas was a QAnon cultist pushing Mark Meadows to overturn the election results.

For Gohmert, the problem was not the clear appearance of impropriety. Instead, the former Texas appeals court judge was outraged over criticism of Thomas.

Referring to the 1991 confirmation hearings for Thomas, when he was accused of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, Gohmert invoked his Black friends.

"Justice Thomas knows what all of my very conservative, dear Black friends know is," the white Texan began, "nobody is treated more brutally in this country than a conservative Black."

"And it's just like Justice Thomas said at his hearing, he was the victim of a high-tech lynching and I would submit, anyone that continues that abuse, is further contributing... to the same high-tech lynching," he argued.

Gohmert was followed by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a Black Democrat from New York, said the remarks were "quite extraordinary."

Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said "few things rile me up more than the claim by political men accused of wrongdoing that they are victims of lynching."



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