Impeachment Manager Zoe Lofgren: Impeachment Would Be "Almost Moot" After 2020 Election | Video | RealClearPolitics

Impeachment Manager Zoe Lofgren: Impeachment Would Be "Almost Moot" After 2020 Election

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House impeachment manager Zoe Lofgren said Sunday during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper that it would have been "almost moot" to wait until after the 2020 election to pursue impeachment against President Trump.

She said House Democrats surrendered to Trump's "stonewalling" of witnesses by not pursuing subpoenas in court because it would have taken too long, perhaps until after the 2020 election.

After the Watergate burglars were arrested in June 1972, the press discovered their connection to the Nixon campaign before the November election, but impeachment proceedings did not begin until 1973 -- after Nixon had won a landslide re-election victory.

"If we had waited for three or four years the election would be over. The issue would be almost moot," Lofgren said. "If he is committing a high crime and misdemeanor now, and continuing to do it, we need to act."

“Ultimately we realized we had the evidence we were going to get, and that it was sufficient to prove our case,” Lofgren said. "Now, the McGahn subpoena -- we subpoenaed him last April -- we're not going to get an answer on that probably until next year."

The president's counsel argued during the defense opening statement on Saturday that "for all their talk about election interference," Democrats seeking to impeach a president during an election would be "the most massive interference in an election in American history."

Lofgren is the only member of the House impeachment managers team to have been involved in the Nixon impeachment, as a staffer to a Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee.

JAKE TAPPER: Congresswoman, you -- you told senators this week -- quote -- "Don't surrender to the president's stonewalling" -- unquote. But what do you say to those who say, that's what exactly what the House Democrats did by not going to court to try to force subpoenas and force witnesses?

REP. ZOE LOFGREN: We did go to court, as you know.

TAPPER: But you didn't pursue it in court. You ultimately withdrew the cases and went to the Senate.

LOFGREN: Ultimately we realized we had the evidence we were going to get, and that it was sufficient to prove our case.

TAPPER: But didn't you surrender to the president's stonewalling, in that sense?

LOFGREN: Well, in that -- I guess, in that sense, we did, because, if we had waited for three or four years, the election would be over. The issue would be almost moot.

If he is committing a high crime and misdemeanor now, and continuing to do it, we need to act.

Now, the McGahn subpoena -- we subpoenaed him last April, and we're not going to get an answer on that probably until next year.



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