Clyburn Defends Dem Leadership Approach on Impeachment: It ‘May Be the Answer,’ We’re Not There Yet
House Majority Whip James Clyburn this morning defended the approach from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership in the House, despite more Democrats and even one Republican congressman coming out in support of beginning impeachment proceedings.
On MSNBC this morning, Joy Reid brought up the ongoing fight between the House and Trump administration, saying, “They’re just literally defying both you guys and the courts. So if impeachment is not the answer to that, and I think it’s clear you guys in leadership don’t think impeachment is the answer, what is the answer?”
“Impeachment may be the answer,” Clyburn responded. “I don’t think that those of us in leadership are saying that impeachment is not the answer. I think from the report, from all that I’ve seen and heard for the last several years, I do believe that impeachment may be the answer. Those are the grounds.”
He went on to talk about when the “proper time is” to begin that process and how they can’t get ahead of it and instead focus on continuing to investigate and hold hearings.
“Then we may have reached the time to launch the impeachment inquiries. I don’t think we’re there yet,” Clyburn added.
Reid asked if there’s a concern that all the hearings will end up being tuned out by a lot of the public, which would benefit President Donald Trump.
Clyburn brought up the Nixon impeachment process to argue that they could “very well through these hearings come up with that smoking gun that will do for us today what those tapes did with Richard Nixon before.”
At one point Reid argued that Trump would be going into 2020 feeling “invincible” and that “I’m not sure how not impeaching him alters his behavior, he’s getting away with everything he’s doing.”
“He’s gotten away thus far,” Clyburn said. “That doesn’t mean he will be getting away in the fall of the year or the first part of next year. I do believe that we are on track to getting to where we need to be to bring the public along with us and to even change some of the minds in the Senate.”
He even suggested that Mitch McConnell and others would sit down with Trump “and tell him the jig is up.”
Reid asked if he really thinks McConnell would do that.
“I think Mitch McConnell,” Clyburn responded, “if the folks in Kentucky were to rise up and say, ‘Hey, guy. You have got to fulfill your responsibilities.’ I don’t think he would lay himself on the altar of Donald Trump. I know Mitch McConnell a little better than that. I’m not a big fan of Mitch. But I know that Mitch would never lay himself on the altar of Donald Trump.”
You can watch both videos above, via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
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