CNN’s Blitzer Pushes Guests on Trump Impeachment; ‘Are We Getting Closer’ to Impeachment?

During Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN host Wolf Blitzer repeatedly nudged guests to accept the notion of impeaching President Donald Trump following a New York Times piece claiming that Trump told then-FBI Director James Comey in February to end the Mike Flynn probe. 

Blitzer was speaking to liberal Senator Angus King (I-Maine) when he played the role of lawyer in leading King to the conclusion about Trump being impeached, first asking “what should happen” to Trump if the Times story “is all true and confirmed.”

King then hinted at the process of impeachment, stating that “you’re getting very close to the legal definition of obstruction of justice and what happens next will rest largely in the House of Representatives.”

After King incorrectly claimed that only two Presidents have been impeached in Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon (when it was just Johnson and Bill Clinton), Blitzer tacitly promoted impeachment:  

I just want to be clear. If, in fact these allegations reported first in The New York Times and now being confirmed by CNN and other news organizations, if these allegations, Senator, are true, are we getting closer and closer to the possibility of yet another impeachment process?

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King replied: “Reluctantly Wolf, I have to say yes, simply because obstruction of justice is such a serious offense and I say it with sadness and reluctance. I’m not — this is not something I advocated for.”

Blitzer upped the hysteria a few moments alter with CNN correspondent and former Obama official Jim Sciutto:

Jim, what a moment right now coming — what? Only a couple days before the President is scheduled to leave the United States for his first overseas trip beginning in Saudi Arabia, then Israel, then the Vatican, then Italy. This is — this is a — this is a moment in American history.

Speaking to former Obama official Susan Hennessey (without disclosing her Obama connection), he again invoked the i-word:

Susan, The New York Times, as you know, they first reported this. They have a quote from the memo that Comey wrote a memo that President asking Comey, “I hope you can let this go.” Do you believe that if this is accurate, this would be obstruction of justice and could it be impeachable? 

Blitzer again tried right before the 7:00 p.m. Eastern mark with former Nixon official John Dean. The CNN host alluded to Dean’s role as Nixon’s White House counselor and asked if “what's happening now in these past couple of hours, does this seem familiar to you.”

“Oh, boy, does it. If you'll think back, Wolf, this is a direct parallel to what was in the smoking gun tape where the President asked the CIA to intervene and halt the FBI investigation and that, of course, ended his presidency,” Dean responded.

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on May 16:

CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
May 16, 2017
6:18 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: If that is all true and confirmed, what should happen to the President? 

INDEPENDENT SENATOR ANGUS KING (Maine) Well, if that's true and confirmed, I think you’re getting very close to the legal definition of obstruction of justice and what happens next will rest largely in the House of Representatives. It could come here to the Senate. This is very serious stuff and we should be very careful about this. We don't want to get into the situation where we're changing our President based upon any kind of political considerations. The Constitution was very clear. It has to be high crimes and misdemeanors. It is not something that we differ politically or we think a President is taking positions that we don't agree with on policy. It has to be, as I say, high crimes and misdemeanors is the definition. We've only had one President impeached in American history. Actually, we’ve had two. Johnson and Nixon. Nixon was not convicted. As you know, he resigned, but obstruction of justice is a very, very serious matter and we’re going to have to wait and see what the — what the terms were. We have to hear from Director Comey and also, if the White House has been saying all day that this never happened, then I think they should come forth with whatever evidence that they have, whether it’s tapes or notes made by someone at the White House to contradict this because, as I say, Jim Comey has a pretty serious credibility with everybody who I know that's ever worked with him. 

BLITZER: Yeah. President Bill Clinton, as you know, he was impeached in the House of Representatives but not convicted, acquitted when it came up it a formal trial in the United States Senate. I just want to be clear. If, in fact these allegations reported first in The New York Times and now being confirmed by CNN and other news organizations, if these allegations, Senator, are true, are we getting closer and closer to the possibility of yet another impeachment process? 

KING: Reluctantly Wolf, I have to say yes, simply because obstruction of justice is such a serious offense and I say it with sadness and reluctance. I’m not — this is not something I advocated for and the word has not passed my lips in this whole tumultuous three or four months. But if indeed the President tried to convince the FBI Director who worked for him that he should drop an investigation, whether it was Michael Flynn or some investigation that had nothing to do with Russia or politics or the election, it’s — that's a very serious matter. 

(....)

BLITZER [TO JIM SCUITTO]: Jim, what a moment right now coming — what? Only a couple days before the President is scheduled to leave the United States for his first overseas trip beginning in Saudi Arabia, then Israel, then the Vatican, then Italy. This is — this is a — this is a moment in American history.

(....)

BLITZER [TO SUSAN HENNESSEY]: Susan, The New York Times, as you know, they first reported this. They have a quote from the memo that Comey wrote a memo that President asking Comey, “I hope you can let this go.” Do you believe that if this is accurate, this would be obstruction of justice and could it be impeachable? 

(....)

BLITZER: John Dean, our viewers, of course, remember you were White House counsel during the Nixon administration. So what's happening now in these past couple of hours, does this seem familiar to you? 

JOHN DEAN: Oh, boy, does it. If you'll think back, Wolf, this is a direct parallel to what was in the smoking gun tape where the President asked the CIA to intervene and halt the FBI investigation and that, of course, ended his presidency. 


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