A U.S. Republican lawmaker from Georgia said on Wednesday, ahead of an impeachment vote accusing President Donald Trump of abusing his power and obstructing Congress, that Jesus received a more fair trial ahead of his crucifixion.
"When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers," congressman Barry Loudermilk said on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
"During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than Democrats have afforded this president in this process," the lawmaker added.
Loudermilk, a conservative Republican first elected to the House in 2014, made his remarks during a multi-hour debate in the Democratic-controlled House ahead of the historic vote.
The legislator represents a solidly Republican district in the Atlanta area. A Baptist, he authored the book And Then They Prayed, featuring stories of historical American figures at prayer.
After the House vote, which broke along party lines as expected, the Republican-controlled Senate will conduct a trial with lawmakers 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.
Loudermilk is not the only Republican to draw a vivid historical analogy during the impeachment process.
Trump said in an angry six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday that "more due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials."The Salem Witch Trials of individuals accused of witchcraft took place in Massachusetts in the 1600s. About 20 people were executed, mostly via hangings, according to historians.