MSNBC’s Steve Schmidt Warns US Faces ‘Very Grave Moment’: If Trump is Not Impeached, the Republic Ceases to Exist


MSNBC political analyst Steve Schmidt said that the country faced a “very grave moment” on the day the full House passed a resolution moving forward with investigating Donald Trump, warning that Republic could cease to exist if the president is not impeached.

Schmidt made his comments to MSNBC host Nicole Wallace, who pointed out the near-unanimous Republican dismissal of the mounting testimony that the Trump White House demanded a political quid pro quo related to Ukraine military aid. In addition, not a single Republican voted for the full impeachment procedural vote that many in the party had been demanding for weeks.

As a result, Wallace said the president would be more likely to dig in and dare the Democrats to impeach him. “I think that the next phase is more likely to yield a ‘Damn right, I called the code red’ than it is some sort of exculpatory piece of evidence against Donald Trump,” she predicted.

“I think you are right about that. I think that the conduct from what we know about the testimony is pretty clear,” Schmidt acknowledged. “It’s utterly lawless. And so this is what the impeachment provisions in the Constitution were written for. If you go and you read Federalist 65 and 66 authored by Alexander Hamilton, he writes specifically and directly about the type of president envisioning sometime in the future that we have now in office. So this is a very serious matter. It’s a very grave moment. This will cause even worse division in the country. And it’s hard to imagine we could be more divided.”

Nevertheless, Schmidt, a former Republican campaign operative and a stalwart Never Trumper, said the country cannot abide the prospect of endorsing unchecked presidential power.

“Does the oath that these members took to the Constitution have any meaning?” Schmidt asked. “What we have to face here is the possibility that there are members in Congress who believe a president can do whatever he wants. And if in fact what happened is what we all think happened, and that does not meet the criteria for impeachment, what possible thing could he do that would?

If the answer to that question — as Trump’s own lawyers have argued in court — is nothing, then Schmidt warned: “We don’t live in the American republic that existed from 1787 until 2017. It’s a different type of country. And that’s why this is such a grave day because the question that’s coming is one of the most important questions that the country has ever faced.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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