The Slatest

No. 3 House Democrat: Trump Will Eventually Be Impeached

House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) leaves after a House Democrats meeting at the Capitol May 22, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) leaves after a House Democrats meeting at the Capitol May 22, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, the third-highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, said that he believes President Donald Trump will be impeached at some point. At least by the House of Representatives. Before that happens though, Congress must first “effectively educate the public” on why the move would be justified.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Clyburn pushed back against claims that he did not support beginning impeachment proceedings against the president. “I have never said he should not be impeached,” Clyburn said. “What I have said time and time again is, Mueller has developed the grounds for impeachment. The House has to determine the timing for impeachment. There’s a big difference.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked the South Carolina Democrat whether he believed “that the president will be impeached, or at least proceedings will begin in the House at some point, but just not right now?” Clyburn said that was “exactly what I feel.” He then went on to defend the strategy being pursued by the leadership in the House. “What Nancy Pelosi is trying to do and the rest of us in the House of Representatives is to develop a process by which we can efficiently move on this issue, so that, when we get to a vote, it would be something that she calls ironclad, I call effective,” Clyburn said.

Ultimately, “We think that we have to bring the public along,” Clyburn said, emphasizing Democrats aren’t looking at the Senate as a gauge of what they should do. “We aren’t waiting on the Senate. We’re trying to make sure that we do what is necessary to educate the public, make sure that the public understands exactly what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, so that people won’t misinterpret this as being a political move on our part,” he said.