MURPHY: So, listen, I think you are beyond the stage that led to impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, whether or not you think that was worthy of impeachment or not. I still think it’s important for Congress to get all of the underlying facts and data and evidence that the special counsel has before we make that determination.RADDATZ: In other words, before Mueller comes out completely, nothing should be done?MURPHY: No, absolutely. I think we should wait for Mueller's investigation.But I would also counsel the special investigator to show his cards soon. I mean I think it's important for the special investigator to give Congress what he has sometime early in 2019 so that Congress can make a determination.If the president did, in fact, collude with the Russians to try to manipulate the election, or engage in multiple felonies with Michael Cohen, it doesn’t really make sense for Congress to get that report from the special investigator in 2020, we need that next year. We need that as soon as possible.
NADLER: Well, I think what these indictments and filings show is that the president was at the center of a massive fraud -- several massive frauds against the American people.And it's now our job, the job of the Justice Department, the special prosecutor -- the special counsel, and the Congress to get to the bottom of this, to find out exactly what was going on, to find out the extent of the president's involvement, to find out basically what the president knew and when did he know it, so that we can then hold him accountable.JAKE TAPPER: If it is proven that the president directed or coordinated with Cohen to commit these felonies, if it’s proven -- and I understand it has not yet been -- it’s been alleged by the prosecutors, but has not been proven.If it's proven, is -- are those impeachable offenses?NADLER: Well, they would be impeachable offenses.Whether they are important enough to justify an impeachment is a different question. But, certainly, they would be impeachable offenses, because, even though they were committed before the president became president, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office. That would be the -- that would be an impeachable offense.But the fact of the matter is that what we see from these indictments and charging statements is a much broader conspiracy against the American people involving these payments, involving an attempt to influence the campaign improperly, with improper payments involving the Russians trying to get influence in the campaign, involving the president lying for an entire year about his ongoing business arrangements, business dealings with the Russians, involving obstruction of justice. . . .You don’t necessarily launch an impeachment against the president because he committed an impeachable offense. There are several things you have to look at.One, were there impeachable offenses committed, how many, et cetera? And, secondly, how important were they? Do they rise to the gravity where you should undertake an impeachment?An impeachment is an attempt to, in effect, overturn or change the result of the last election. And you should do it only for very serious situations. So, that's always the question.
- Will there be compelling evidence Trump committed one or more crimes that rise to the level of an impeachable offense?
- Will that evidence force Republicans to abandon him? (If so, impeachment/removal or resignation could follow)
- If the GOP refuses to acknowledge substantial evidence of criminality, do Democrats attempt to impeach Trump even if removal is impossible?
We have to find out exactly what was going on. We have to look at these crimes, and what did the president know and when did he know about these crimes? You have to look at the Russian interference with the campaign, and what did the president know about that, and to what extent did he cooperate with that, if he did?We have to look at his business dealings and his lying about that. We have to look at the fact that he surrounded himself with crooks. His campaign manager, his deputy campaign manager, his national security adviser, all of them, and a host, a bunch of other people, they all were meeting with the Russians. They all expressed interest in meeting again.None of them reported it to the proper authorities. They have all been indicted for one crime or another. The president invent -- created his own swamp and brought it to the White House. These are all very serious things.And we have to get to the bottom of this, find out what all the facts are, we and the special counsel, and then make decisions.