A Democratic House impeachment manager essentially admitted that efforts to impeach President Donald Trump are all about the 2020 election.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that it would have been “almost moot” for Democrats to have waited until after the November election to impeach Trump.
The California Democrat, and only member of Congress to have worked on the impeachments of both former Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, made the comments while discussing why Democrats rushed into impeaching Trump before Christmas and did not turn to the courts over subpoenas.
During her appearance on Sunday’s broadcast of CNN’s “State of the Union,” Tapper asked the congresswoman about her comments during the impeachment trial urging senators not to “surrender to the president’s stonewalling.”
“But what do you say to those who say, that’s exactly what the House Democrats did by not going to court to try to force subpoenas and force witnesses?” Tapper asked.
“We did go to court, as you know,” Lofgren replied.
“But you didn’t pursue it in court. You ultimately withdrew the cases and went to the Senate,” Tapper noted.
“Ultimately, we realized we had the evidence we were going to get, and that it was sufficient to prove our case,” the House impeachment manager asserted.
“But didn’t you surrender to the president’s stonewalling, in that sense?” the CNN host pressed.
“Well, in that — I guess, in that sense, we did,” Lofgren conceded.
“Because, if we had waited for three or four years, the election would be over. The issue would be almost moot,” she admitted. “If he is committing a high crime and misdemeanor now, and continuing to do it, we need to act.”
Led by Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., House Democrats concluded delivering their case before the Senate on Friday. The president’s legal team, which began his defense on Saturday, is set to resume arguments on Monday.
Deputy White House Counsel Patrick Philbin slammed the impeachment as the “fastest investigatory process” during Saturday’s remarks before the Senate, arguing Democrats ultimately “don’t have a case.”
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 21, 2020
Trump’s defense has argued that the subpoenas sent to the president are not valid as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a press conference rather than a full House vote when announcing impeachment proceedings, Democrats did not take up the issue of enforcing the subpoenas by going to court, choosing instead to slap the president with an “obstruction of Congress” charge.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone contended during the trial Saturday that “for all their talk about election interference,” Democrats targeting a president for impeachment during an election would be “the most massive interference in an election in American history.”
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