One of Oregon's most powerful Democratic political consultants today severed ties with U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) after the congressman reportedly described a rushed impeachment of President Donald Trump as a "lynching."
Winning Mark, the progressive consultancy firm run by Mark Wiener, announced this afternoon that it would no longer assist Schrader's campaigns.
"Effective immediately Winning Mark will no longer work with Congressman Kurt Schrader," the firm wrote Jan. 8. "Comparing the impeachment of a treasonous President who encouraged white supremacists to violently storm the Capitol to a 'lynching' is shameful and indefensible."
Effective immediately Winning Mark will no longer work with Congressman Kurt Schrader.— Winning Mark (@winning_mark) January 8, 2021
Comparing the impeachment of a treasonous President who encouraged white supremacists to violently storm the Capitol to a “lynching” is shameful and indefensible.
Wiener confirmed to WW that his firm's tweet was accurate. He declined further comment.
Schrader's comments, relayed to several reporters Friday, fall in the wake of a failed coup at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in which an armed mob of Trump loyalists stormed the building in an attempt to overturn the certification of ballots cementing Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s win as president.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called on the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and immediately remove Trump from office. If that doesn't happen, the lawmakers said they intended to proceed with impeachment.
Schrader reportedly made the comment on a Jan. 8 call with Democrats. According to an ABC News reporter, Schrader said on the call that "without due process we are no better than Republicans," and that an impeachment would further sow division across the U.S.
Dem. Rep. Kurt Schrader tells Democrats on call he is against impeachment. Compares it to a "lynching" and says "without due process we are no better than Republicans" and that it will divide the country, according to sources on the call.— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) January 8, 2021
During his tenure in Congress, Schrader has regularly bucked the party line. Last month, he was one of two House Democrats to vote against $2,000 checks for Americans, and in 2018 he voted against Nancy Pelosi's run for House speaker.
A spokesperson for Schrader did not respond immediately to WW's request for comment.
Update, 3:15 pm Saturday, Jan. 9: Schrader has apologized for his analogy.
I take complete responsibility for the language I used on the Caucus Conference call this afternoon. My words were wrong, hurtful and completely inappropriate. I sincerely apologize to my colleagues, constituents and friends for the pain I caused.— Rep. Kurt Schrader (@RepSchrader) January 8, 2021
Update, 7:01 pm Saturday, Jan. 9: Schrader says he will support impeaching President Trump.
"This President is a clear and present danger to our country," Schrader wrote tonight on Twitter. "While I have pushed other remedies for his criminal conduct, impeachment is the tool before us and warranted for his seditious acts.
"I will be voting yes on impeachment when brought to the House floor."