CNN's Cuomo: Impeach Trump to Figure Out If He Deserves Impeachment?

On Cuomo Prime Time Tuesday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo weighed in on the impeachment debate; pointing out the pluses and minuses of going down the impeachment road. According to Cuomo, impeachment “could be the best way to get you the information you deserve so that you can decide if there were an actual abuse of power here by the President.” In other words, Congress must impeach President Trump so that way they can figure out whether or not he deserves impeachment.

Cuomo began the segment by playing clips of two Congressional Democrats with differing views on the impeachment question, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He then made his point highlighting impeachment as “the best way” to help the American people “decide if there was an actual abuse of power” by President Trump. Ironically, Cuomo played a clip of Democratic Congresswoman Katie Hill; who rebutted his statement by saying “we don’t need impeachment at all to be able to move forward with the…investigation.”

Another “upside” of impeachment, according to Cuomo, would be the acceleration of “some of the legal battles that this President is throwing up all over the place as challenges.” Cuomo pointed out that “the AG is already in contempt, Don McGahn may be next.” For the record, Attorney General Bill Barr has only been held in contempt of Congress by the House Judiciary Committee, not the House of Representatives as a whole.

 

 

After going through the polling among Democrats and the American people as a whole when it comes to their feelings about impeachment, Cuomo warned that impeachment could have negative political consequences for the Democrats. Cuomo proceeded to refer to President Trump as a bully: “There is a real risk of making the bully in this so far, this President, look like a victim.”

Cuomo pushed back on President Trump’s characterization of Congress’s Russia investigation as a “do-over” of the Mueller investigation by making a semantic argument that it’s actually a “redo.” Cuomo pointed out that under this “redo,” “it’s a different standard. This is not about a reasonable doubt. It’s about beyond what the country wants in a President.” Cuomo want on to slam President Trump’s “gross abuse of power” while expressing hope that it “disgusts enough of you to influence lawmakers.”

At least Cuomo admitted that the impeachment process is all political, not legal. He also reminded his audience that the Congressional investigation “doesn’t put this President behind bars,” while attempting to show them a silver lining: “but it could bar a second term, especially if people hear and see what key folks have to say.”

A transcript of the relevant portion of Tuesday’s edition of Cuomo Prime Time is below. Click “expand” to read more.

Cuomo Prime Time

05/21/19

09:14 PM

 

CHRIS CUOMO: To be or not to be? That is the question for Democrats on impeachment. Leadership says slow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I don’t have to have a position. I’m waiting for my…first we want…as I said to Katie, we want to see what we can get respectfully.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: But the vocal minority says let’s go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Choosing to not impeach when there’s an abundance of evidence could also be construed as, as politically motivated as well. And we can’t be scared of elections. We need to uphold the rule of law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: All right. So let’s take you through the plus-minuses. Impeachment has upsides. Like what? Well, potentially it could be the best way to get you the information you deserve, so that you can decide if there were an actionable abuse of power here by the President. Impeachment proceedings may also accelerate some of the legal battles that this President is throwing up all over the place as challenges. The AG is already held in contempt, Don McGahn may be next. Let’s see what happens with Hicks and Mueller. But on the other hand, Democrats just got a big decision against the President’s tax prep people pretty quickly; which leads many Democrats to say this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Our process is working well and ought not be disturbed. Let’s just keep grinding it out. We’ll win it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: The grind takes time even if Clyburn is right. Win when? In time for the election? No guarantee. And if they swing, they have to deliver. All right? Take a look at these polls. 69 percent of Democrats say they want impeachment. But what they really want, they likely won’t get, which is removal. So going through the effort and not delivering could cost them with this group and many beyond. Takes us to the second poll, when you talk all Americans, that “please impeach” number drops to 37 percent. All right? So you’re seeing a split. And that split is why you’re hearing stuff like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): The President of the United States of America needs to be impeached.

REP. KATIE HILL (D-CA): We don’t need impeachment at all to be able to move forward with the…the investigation.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

CUOMO: All right so you got exposure, you’ve got some legal advantage; pluses. Minuses, you got to look at the political reality, because it’s an unknown. All right? And there is a real risk of making the bully in this so far, this President, look like a victim if you overreach in the name of oversight like he keeps saying.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: This never happened to any other President. They’re trying to get a redo. They’re trying to get what we used to call in school a D-O; a “do-over.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Maybe that’s what he used to call it in school, when he was at Fordham; before he went to Wharton, he called it a “do-over.” But that’s not what it is, it’s a redo. It’s a different standard. This is not about beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s about beyond what the country wants in a President, gross abuse of power that disgusts enough of you to influence lawmakers. It doesn’t put this President behind bars and nothing will, but it could bar a second term, especially if people hear and see what key folks have to say. So where does that take us? Cautionary note about the upcoming elections: managing expectations. First example on that is the Mueller report. Too many on the left fueled too high a set of expectations for the outcome. The President has been playing to advantage with no collusion, no obstruction. But here is the good news for Democrats. He also overplayed once again and lied once again. Here’s what we know. There is plenty of attempted collusion and actual wrongdoing that the country may well care about in that report. The best question…or the question is the best way to get the answer to you. However, that may not be about a how, but about a who. I suggest this. If you get Mr. Mueller on the stand, and he says what he found, how he found it and why he explained it the way he did, the path forward from there will be clear. Now let’s put it up for the political minds. Should Democrats take the risk or would they be playing right into the President’s hand if they make an impeachment move? That’s the great debate and it’s next.

 

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