President Donald Trump is an “illegitimate” leader and needs to be impeached, a former Republican congressman argued on Friday.
“Tonight a former Republican congressman says it’s time to impeach President Trump,” CNN anchor Erin Burnett reported.
Former Rep. Tom Coleman (R-MO) published a powerful op-ed in The Kansas City Star laying out the case for impeachment.
“What if House Democrats decide not to embark on impeachment?” Coleman asked in his column.
“If that were the case, I believe the public would conclude Democrats are no better than the Republicans who have enabled Trump for the past two years, putting party above country,” Coleman warned. “It could hand Trump a second term.”
“Failure to pursue impeachment is to condone wrongdoing. To condone wrongdoing is to encourage more of it. To encourage wrongdoing is to give up on the rule of law and our democracy. To give up on the rule of law and democracy invites autocracy and eventually dictatorship,” Coleman warned. “History has taught us this outcome. In my lifetime, it has occurred in other places including the Soviet Union and Germany, as well as in Russia and Venezuela today.”
“Congressman, what is the main reason why are you calling for impeachment now?” Burnet asked.
“I’m calling for impeachment now because the Mueller report is out,” Coleman replied. “And in it, he describes ten obstructions of justice charges that he could not bring because of a Department of Justice rule and regulation that says you can’t indict a sitting president. That’s number one.”
“Number two, I believe this is an illegitimate president because he welcomed help and influence from the Russians in his campaign,” he continued.
Coleman also explained his motivations in speaking out against Trump.
“I’m doing this for three people for sure — my three granddaughters, because they have a right to live in a country that’s free in a democracy,” he explained. “This president is dismantling our democracy everyday brick-by-brick. His actions, his lies, his abuse of power — all of your whole show was a build up to impeachment, Erin, because of what he does.”
“I am so concerned about the risk to our democracy that I’m speaking up,” Coleman said. “And I would hope that the people in the Congress who took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution would get that Constitution out again and read it and find out what their responsibilities are as the first article in that Constitution.”
CNN’s Elie Honig praises DOJ lawyers for revolt against Barr: ‘Like students rising up against the oppressive headmaster’
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig on Thursday heaped praise upon Department of Justice prosecutors who disregarded many of the changes to sentencing guidelines for convicted Trump ally Roger Stone that were made by Attorney General Bill Barr.
When asked by CNN's Kate Bolduan for his reaction to the prosecutors' actions, Honig responded enthusiastically.
"I applaud what this prosecutor is doing," he said. "And as a DOJ alumni on the front lines trying cases, I'm so impressed by this. This is like the scene [in a movie] where the students rise up and push back against the oppressive headmaster."
‘Barr is a toady’: Jeffrey Toobin says talk of attorney general resigning is ‘just a big show’
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says he doesn't believe Attorney General William Barr when he claims he considered resigning from the Trump administration.
Sources close to Barr told ABC News that the attorney general had contemplated quitting because President Donald Trump's tweets make it difficult for him to do his job.
"Barr is a toady," Toobin explained during an appearance on CNN. "Barr is doing what he's told. He had this one statement, 'Oh, whoa is me, it's hard for me to do my job when the president tweets.'"
‘That’s how authoritarian countries work’: CNN’s Toobin warns Trump is acting like a dictator
On CNN Wednesday, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down the significance of President Donald Trump's decision to pardon several high-powered friends accused of political corruption and tax crimes.
"There is no doubt, under the Constitution, the president has the power to do this," said Toobin. "This is not legally a — an open question. And there is a history of controversial pardons, whether it's President Clinton pardoning Marc Rich, a fugitive financier, or George Herbert Walker Bush pardoning the Iran-Contra people on his way out of the office."
"So what makes this so troubling is in the middle of his term, here he is assigning friends, basically friends and friends of friends, to get pardons and clemency, which is how authoritarians behave, which is playing favorites with your personal friends at a time when you are playing with the opposite of favorites with prosecutorial decisions," said Toobin. "I want these people prosecuted, these people freed — that's how authoritarian countries work. Countries where there is the rule of law, there are systems in place for who gets prosecuted, who gets clemency. This is a very individually-focused way to run a presidency."