Trump's impeachment needs to start immediately -- even if Senate GOP won't remove him: Atlantic editor
President Donald Trump, speaks to the media in the Rose Garden at the White House after meeting with Democrats to discuss the ongoing partial government shutdown. (Michael Candelori /

Senior editor of The Atlantic Yoni Appelbaum on Thursday defended his public call to impeach President Donald Trump, telling MSNBC leaving him in office was more dangerous than trying to remove him.

"Is your argument that Donald Trump should be impeached, convicted and removed from office," asked host Joe Scarborough. "Or is your argument mainly that just the process of beginning impeachment proceedings would act as a check on his worst instincts and force this debate to be front and center in Congress and all across America?

"I think there's no question that if you simply start the process of impeachment it yields a variety of benefits, whether or not it goes through to removal," Appelbaum said, acknowledging that although there was no appetite among Senate Republicans to convict the president, impeachment proceedings would deliver "real concrete benefits for the system as a whole that stand whatever the outcome."

"Not to bring this debate into Congress is what's dangerous," Appelbaum added, listing the many ways Trump's presidency is harming the United States.

"We see unelected bureaucrats disregarding the president's orders. His senior aides leave and tell us to judge them not by what they've done during their time in office, but by what they stopped the president from doing," he said. "That's really dangerous because we're not having the debate where the Constitution told us to have it."

Watch the video below.