On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) laid into President Donald Trump for his assertion that he would happily use dirt from a foreign adversary again.
"If anyone is asleep, if anyone hasn't been paying attention to a President of the United States that has no respect for our democracy, has no respect for the checks and balances, and clearly has no understanding of his role of President of the United States, this is clear," she told anchor Erin Burnett. "He didn't stutter. He said, the FBI probably wouldn't understand it. And he made the allegation that members of Congress do this all the time."
Lawrence immediately shot down the idea that taking intelligence from a foreign government is, in Trump's words, opposition research.
"Opposition research is when you go on Google and read newspaper clips and find out where individuals you're running from — where they stand," said Lawrence. "We don't go to outside countries and ask them to provide information ... What this man is talking about — and he is the President of the United States — is how he can violate the rules and policies of our country."
"It is — it is past sad," she said. "It is past frustration. This is criminal. This is criminal."
And yet, she noted, impeachment is likely to hit a roadblock because the Republican Party is willfully refusing to confront any of this.
"This is — this issue, our country, the citizens, our democracy, is bigger than Donald Trump," said Lawrence. "And we need to act — I mean, that should be scary. That should frighten people. And we need to do our job."
"I sit on Oversight," she continued, "And we went through six hours of hearings today where the other side ... were obstructing and stalling, saying that a joint bipartisan request subpoena for documents that the president is now saying under executive order — executive privilege, you don't have to give anything to Congress — and didn't say to the Democrats. Because the Republicans signed on too. He said you do not have to give it to Congress. Wake up.