By Chris White
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders warned lawmakers Sunday to avoid jumping headlong into filing impeachment charges against President Donald Trump.
Democrats should wait for special counsel Robert Mueller to complete his investigation against the president before seeking impeachment, Sanders said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He was referring to a Democrat-led resolution to impeach Trump that died on the House floor Friday.
“I think Mr. Mueller is doing a very good job on his investigation,” Sanders said. “If Mueller brings forth the clear evidence that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, I think you have grounds for impeachment.”
There is a “process” that must be followed before a president can be ousted, Sanders reminded his counterparts in the House. He has ratcheted up his anti-Trump rhetoric since the former reality TV star became president last year.
Sanders urged Trump to resign earlier this month because the president “acknowledged on tape that he assaulted women,” a reference to a video widely shared during the 2016 presidential campaign that some believe is evidence the president sexually assaults women.
He also suggested that stepping into an impeachment campaign without incriminating evidence could backfire. People want Trump gone only if the president somehow colluded with Russia to defeat his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, Sanders added.
“If we’re going to go forward with impeachment, I want the American people clearly to understand why that is the case, why it makes sense, why it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think we’re there right now,” he said. “That’s what the Mueller investigation is all about.”
Democratic Rep. Al Green of Texas kickstarted the campaign, that was eventually tabled by a vote of 364 to 58. Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager and liberal mega-donor, is one of the leading moneyman behind the crusade.
He financed a nationwide ad campaign in October to remove Trump from office for a variety of alleged offenses, including collusion with Russia and heightened tensions with North Korea. He put $20 million behind a national ad campaign urging impeachment, that includes both television and digital ads.
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