MSNBC: What More Do Dems Need to Hear to Impeach Trump?

During MSNBC’s 2:00 p.m. ET hour on Thursday, fill-in anchor Kasie Hunt impatiently wondered: “What more do congressional Democrats need to hear before they make a decision about impeachment?” In the segment that followed, she pressed Congressman Hakeem Jeffries on when liberal lawmakers would start proceedings against President Trump.

“Congressman, why not begin impeachment proceedings?,” Hunt began. Jeffries actually had to talk the MSNBC host down:

Well, I certainly understand the frustration that many people have with the President, with the Attorney General, with the Treasury Secretary. They’re all out of control. And there’s a temptation to want to storm the castle. But we also need to recognize the fact that our responsibilities under the Constitution are solemn. And what Bob Mueller indicated yesterday is that he did not exonerate the President, but he also did not make a determination that the President has committed criminal activity.

 

 

Undeterred, Hunt demanded: “At what point do you guys have to make a decision one way or the other, either rule it out or get it started?” After Jeffries claimed that Democrats were “still in evidence-gathering mode,” Hunt interjected: “Are you willing to punt this question even if you never see the unredacted Mueller report?...some Democrats are arguing behind the scenes that you have to launch impeachment proceedings just to see that grand jury information.”

Wrapping up the interview minutes later, Hunt again tried to force the issue: “...is there any drop deadline for deciding to launch impeachment proceedings if you haven’t made a decision by the conclusion of this summer and we’re heading into the heat of the election year, is that too late? What is the deadline in your mind?”

When Democratic politicians have to be the voice of moderation on MSNBC, it tells you just how invested the media are in getting Trump impeached.

Here is a transcript of the May 30 exchange:

2:07 PM ET

(...)

KASIE HUNT: So our big question today is what more do congressional Democrats need to hear before they make a decision about impeachment? Joining me now, New York Congressman Hakim Jeffries, he is the chair of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the Judiciary and Budget committees. Congressman, it’s always great to have you on the program, thanks for being here.

REP. HAKIM JEFFRIES [D-NY]: Great to be on.

HUNT: Congressman, why not begin impeachment proceedings?

JEFFRIES: Well, I certainly understand the frustration that many people have with the President, with the Attorney General, with the Treasury Secretary. They’re all out of control. And there’s a temptation to want to storm the castle. But we also need to recognize the fact that our responsibilities under the Constitution are solemn.

And what Bob Mueller indicated yesterday is that he did not exonerate the President, but he also did not make a determination that the President has committed criminal activity. And so now the baton has been passed to the House of Representatives and Chairman Jerry Nadler, I believe, has appropriately said we’re going to hold hearings on obstruction of justice, hold hearings on abuse of power and hold hearings on the culture of corruption that appears to exist at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, follow the facts, apply the law, and be guided by the Constitution and we’ll see where that leads us.

HUNT: He has said that it has not been ruled out. Nancy Pelosi has said the same. At what point do you guys have to make a decision one way or the other, either rule it out or get it started?

JEFFRIES: Well, it is not on the table and it’s not off the table because we are still in evidence-gathering mode. We still want to see the unredacted Mueller report because we can’t trust the so-called Attorney General to have made presumptively legitimate –  

HUNT: Are you willing to punt this question even if you never see the unredacted Mueller report? I mean, Jerry Nadler has – and some Democrats are arguing behind the scenes that you have to launch impeachment proceedings just to see that grand jury information.

(...)

HUNT: And, Congressman, quickly before I let you go, is there any drop deadline for deciding to launch impeachment proceedings if you haven’t made a decision by the conclusion of this summer and we’re heading into the heat of the election year, is that too late? What is the deadline in your mind?

JEFFRIES: Well, I don’t think there’s a hard political deadline and I think that would be inappropriate. We’ve got about 23 or 24 Democrats running for president as far as I can tell. That’s going to take a while to sort itself out. So we have a lot of time to be able to govern, to pass legislation, to do oversight and investigations, and to litigate as we have been doing. As you know, we’ve won two court cases confirming our ability to aggressively pursue oversight as a separate and co-equal branch of government. We’ll continue do that.

(...)

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