Jake Tapper Pins Rep. Sherman on Impeachment: ‘Don’t You Think You’re Undermining the Case You’re Trying to Make?’
On CNN’s The Lead, host Jake Tapper interviewed Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) Tuesday about the divide among Democrats over whether or not to impeach President Trump. Sherman was an early proponent, having introduced articles of impeachment in 2017, and argues it is still viable and necessary.
First, Tapper read out Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s comments against impeaching, which she made on Monday. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path,” said Pelosi, in the quote Tapper read to Sherman.
“You disagree,” said Tapper. “Why?”
“Well first, he met the legal standard,” said Sherman. “He’s committed several felonies including violation of §1512(B)(3) of the Criminal Code, obstruction of justice, on at least two occasions, probably three, and that’s in the first six months.”
“That’s in your opinion. No legal source has said that he is guilty of obstruction of justice,” Tapper objected.
“No legal entity is said to the contrary,” replied Sherman. He said there are “scholarly articles” that have been published on the subject, and added that without the threat of impeachment Trump would have “done God knows what” already. But he ultimately added the caveat that impeachment and removal from office won’t happen without public support.
“That probably isn’t going to happen until we develop more facts. That’s one of the reasons we need to investigate,” he said.
When Tapper pointed out that Sherman was past the “waiting for facts” stage, having already filed articles of impeachment back in 2017, Sherman replied that “you don’t have to wait until you know every felony the president has committed.”
“Sir, with all due respect, you keep saying that he’s committed felonies. There’s not one legal entity that has said he committed felonies,” said Tapper.
“Not one legal entity that said his firing of Comey was not a violation,” said Sherman.
“That’s not how the law works,” Tapper pointed out.
Sherman replied that “there’s no other body other than the House of Representatives” that would have jurisdiction for impeachment or to determine if crimes were committed, which if true would certainly raise the question of why the FBI investigation and the Special Counsel exist.
They then discussed whether it is impeachment can go anywhere with a Republican Senate, with Sherman arguing that Republican votes were needed for Nixon’s impeachment, and Tapper pointing out that that’s not the same thing as facing a Republican-controlled Senate.
Tapper really got Sherman on the ropes over the political nature of his position. He pointed out again that Speaker Pelosi is arguing that it would be divisive to bring impeachment without the public support and without the ability to see it through with a Republican senate. When Sherman suggested that even if it couldn’t succeed, just “letting him know” it is on their minds will “act as a way to confine the harm” Trump does, Tapper circled the point in.
“Don’t you think by filing articles of impeachment in the House in 2017, coming out and talking about it strongly now today even before the Mueller report has dropped, even before the House intelligence committee and Senate intelligence committees’ reports have come out, don’t you think you’re undermining the case that you’re trying to make to the American people, in that you’re already getting out there and saying ‘I want him impeached now, even before the facts come in’ making it look very political?”
Sherman said that it’s hard not be called political when doing things in D.C., and then repeated that “the fact is you do not have to wait until you can identify all felonies a president has committed in order to impeach for the felonies that are already on the record.”
“So the felonies are there, whether they, whether we have public opinion on our side, I don’t think we’re there yet,” he said. “But we reached the legal standard long ago.”
“Just as a point of fact, and I appreciate your coming here,” said Tapper. “You keep asserting that the president has committed felonies, and I will just keep saying that’s your opinion, but zero legal entities have found the president guilty of felonies.”
“Zero legal entities have considered the issue,” said Sherman, who earlier asserted that no other legal authorities have any standing to do so anyway.
Watch the clip above, courtesy of CNN.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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