CNN’s Tapper Presses Sen. Klobuchar on Commitment to Convict Trump

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After speaking with two of President Trump’s Republican 2020 challengers (former Congressman Joe Walsh and former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford) on CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper went to one of Trump’s Democratic 2020 challengers, Senator Amy Klobuchar. His goal was to see if the Senator would commit to convicting Trump if the House voted to impeach the President.

Tapper kicked off the Sunday interview by telling Klobuchar that one of her Democratic Senate colleagues and 2020 rivals had already come out for Trump’s conviction. “I want to ask, your fellow Democratic senator and 2020 opponent Elizabeth Warren said on Friday that she had seen enough evidence to convict President Trump at an impeachment trial in the Senate,” Tapper noted before playing a soundbite of Warren.

Here’s that soundbite:

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You've seen enough evidence to convict yourself?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So you would vote right now to remove a president?

WARREN: I think the evidence is clear. When Donald Trump released the transcript in which he solicited a foreign government to interfere in the 202o elections, he broke the law.

Senator, would you vote to convict President Trump right now,” Tapper inquired.

 

 

Klobuchar was non-committal on conviction but wanted to get some shots in on Trump. “Jake, I have been very clear, I think this is impeachable, that the case should be heard by the House and it should come over to the Senate. Now, I don't know what counts they're going to have or how they do this, but my focus is on the fact that you've got a president that is acting like a global gangster,” she decried.

To Tapper’s credit, he did ask a serious question about whether or not it was responsible for senators to come out for conviction this early. “I understand that you’re a believer in the process. Do you think it is irresponsible for senators who will essentially be jurors to say, right now, they would vote to convict? Is that irresponsible,” he wondered.

But the better question would address to the obvious conflict of interest for the two Democratic representatives and six Democratic senators who were looking at possibly impeaching and trying their chief political opponent for president in 2020. There were another two representatives and one senator that dropped out of the race. Should they have to recuse themselves from the impeachment and removal process?

“I think people will say different things. I think personally, as a former prosecutor, I like to look at all of the evidence because you might convict on a number of accounts and not another one,” Klobuchar explained to Tapper.

Klobuchar’s concern was getting Republicans to come around on impeachment: “But that is not the point here, Jake. The point is that we have some of our Republican colleagues that are basically treating this as a joke, with very few exceptions. And they are the ones that’s going to matter because we’re going to need something like 20 Republican votes to get up to 67.”

Help fight back against the media's impeachment crusade.

The transcript s below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’s State of the Union
October 6, 2019
9:19:01 a.m. Eastern

JAKE TAPPER: Joining me now 2020 presidential candidate and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Amy Klobuchar. Senator, thanks for joining us.

AMY KLOBUCHAR: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: I want to ask, your fellow Democratic senator and 2020 opponent Elizabeth Warren said on Friday that she had seen enough evidence to convict President Trump at an impeachment trial in the Senate. Take a listen.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You've seen enough evidence to convict yourself?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So you would vote right now to removing a president?

WARREN: I think the evidence is clear. When Donald Trump released the transcript in which he solicited a foreign government to interfere in the 202o elections, he broke the law.

TAPPER: Senator, would you vote to convict President Trump right now?

KLOBUCHAR: Jake, I have been very clear, I think this is impeachable, that the case should be heard by the House and it should come over to the Senate.

Now, I don't know what counts they're going to have or how they do this, but my focus is on the fact that you've got a president that is acting like a global gangster. He is basically going to one leader after another trying to get dirt on his political opponent. I consider that a violation of our laws. I consider it a violation of the election laws. You’ve got the smoking gun document but now you're getting reports of another whistleblower that is going to back-up what the first whistleblower said.

So, I am really, really focused on getting the evidence out for the American people and really calling on our Republican colleagues to take this on in the serious matter, to put the country in front of their own partisanship as we get this very serious case that I believe will come over from the House.

TAPPER: That is right. And just to reiterate for those just tuning in, the whistleblower attorney Mark Zaid, who represents the first whistleblower, has confirmed he's now representing a second whistleblower, somebody who has spoken to the Intelligence Community Inspector General and has firsthand accounts that black up the whistleblower.

But let me ask you, your answer there sounded like you were saying the impeachment process should go forward, this is impeachable, but you didn’t say you would be ready to convict right now. I understand that you’re a believer in the process. Do you think it is irresponsible for senators who will essentially be jurors to say, right now, they would vote to convict? Is that irresponsible?

KLOBUCAR: I think people will say different things. I think personally, as a former prosecutor, I like to look at all of the evidence because you might convict on a number of accounts and not another one. But that is not the point here, Jake. The point is that we have some of our Republican colleagues that are basically treating this as a joke, with very few exceptions. And they are the ones that’s going to matter because we’re going to need something like 20 Republican votes to get up to 67.

(…)

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