Sen. King: Third of the Country Would See Impeachment as ‘Revenge,’ ‘Coup’

Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Angus King (I-ME) warned that if impeachment is moved forward on the current evidence, “at least a third of the country would think it was just political revenge and a coup against the president.”

Host Chuck Todd asked, “Given that the government has–is now saying, the weight of the government is behind the charges that the president helped to direct Michael Cohen to commit that crime, and as you said there are still a defense there for the president, he can claim he didn’t know it was a crime or at least a breaking of a campaign finance crime. Do you believe there’s already enough to start an impeachment inquiry? That doesn’t mean he would be impeached. In fact, is Congress almost obligated to open an inquiry at this point?”

King replied, “I don’t think so. I think impeachment is entirely different from criminal prosecution. And as you know, the Justice Department made a decision years ago, in an opinion, that a sitting president could not and should not be indicted. And so whether the president will ever face criminal charges with regard to this matter is an open question. But impeachment essentially, Chuck, is a political issue and I don’t think that the — well, let me put it this way I don’t think that there’s evidence yet available to the public where there would be more or less a consensus that this was an appropriate path.”

He added, “My concern is that if impeachment is moved forward on the evidence that we have now, at least a third of the country would think it was just political revenge and a coup against the president. That wouldn’t serve us well at all. The best way to solve a problem like this to me is elections.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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