Clyburn Says The House Will Impeach Trump Eventually


House Majority Whip James Clyburn told CNN's Jake Tapper Sunday morning on "State of the Union" that he thinks Democrats will impeach President Trump eventually.

When Tapper asked Clyburn if impeachment "proceedings will begin in the House at some point, but just not right now," Clyburn replied: "Yes, that's exactly what I feel."

"I have never said he should not be impeached," Clyburn also said. "Haste makes waste. Let's take our time and do this efficiently, not just effectively."

JAKE TAPPER, CNN: OK. Let's move on.

Let's turn to the growing calls for impeachment proceedings against President Trump among Democrats. Now, you have said that you think that, if President Trump weren't the president, he would have been indicted for obstruction of justice, but you also do not support impeaching President Trump.

So I think a lot of people might be wondering how to square those two positions. Why should President Trump not be impeached, if you think he committed a crime?

REP. JAMES CLYBURN, MAJORITY WHIP: Well, Jake, I have never said he should not be impeached.

What I have said time and time again is, Mueller has developed the grounds for impeachment. The House has to determine the timing for impeachment. There's a big difference.

I was telling one of my daughters earlier this morning, the longer I live, the more I get in touch with what those Gullah-Geechee parents and grandparents used to tell us all the time. Haste makes waste. Let's take our time and do this efficiently, not just effectively.

All it takes is 218 votes to effectively impeach the president. That doesn't say that it will be the efficient way to do it. What Nancy Pelosi is trying to do and the rest of us in the House of Representatives is to develop a process by which we can efficiently move on this issue, so that, when we get to a vote, it would be something that she calls ironclad, I call effective.

And that is why we are trying to take our time and do this right. So I don't see this as being out of whack with what the people's aspirations are.

TAPPER: I'm trying to figure out the gauge for your timing. Are you waiting for the public to support impeachment in majority numbers? Are you waiting for Republicans in the Senate to come on board, so that he gets convicted as well?

What exactly is your gauge here if you support -- if you think that he -- that he broke the law and would have been indicted if he weren't president?

CLYBURN: We think that we have to bring the public along.

We aren't particularly interested in the Senate. We do believe that, if we sufficiently, effectively educate the public, then we will have done our job, and we can move on an impeachment vote, and it will stand, and maybe it will be what needs to be done to incent the Senate to act.

So we aren't waiting on the Senate. We're trying to make sure that we do what is necessary to educate the public, make sure that the public understands exactly what we're doing, why we're doing it, so that people won't misinterpret this as being a political move on our part.

We believe that, if we do it efficiently and effectively, it will be one that the public will understand and will support. If the public ever feel that we are being political with this, we will have done a tremendous harm to the country, to the Constitution, and to the people that we are sworn to serve.

TAPPER: But it sounds like you're -- you think that the president will be impeached, or at least proceedings will begin in the House at some point, but just not right now?

CLYBURN: Yes, exactly what I feel.

I think we have already begun. We have got all of these committees doing their work. We're having hearings. We have already won two court cases. And there are other cases that are still to be determined.

So, why should we get out in front of this process? Why don't we just continue to go along? And we are -- right now, we are winning this issue. Why should we go out and make missteps and cause us to lose a court decision that will have people saying, why didn't you take your time? Why did you get out in front of this?

It's kind of interesting to me, as I talk to people, when you ask them what they think we ought to do, they agree with what we're doing. It's just that, emotionally, they would like to see something done and see it done quicker. But people want us to be effective in what we do.

TAPPER: All right, but the -- Majority Whip, they're just suggesting that you believe that the president will ultimately be impeached at some point.

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