Appearing Friday on CNN’s New Day, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) called for the U.S. Constitution to be changed if Congress fails to impeach President Donald Trump.
"This is a vote of conscience," says Rep. James Clyburn about why he's not whipping votes for impeachment. "We have to leave members up to their own consciences, their own constituents and what they think is in the best interest of their love for country"https://t.co/UW4S2RusDc pic.twitter.com/ojUDgyHYvd
— New Day (@NewDay) December 6, 2019
A partial transcript is as follows:
JOHN BERMAN: You say that you are not whipping on the impeachment vote, you are not pushing your members on this. What do you mean, exactly, and why?
HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP JAMES CLYBURN: I mean simply that this is a vote of conscience. I do believe that when it comes to something as divisive as impeachment, we have to leave members up to their own consciences, their own constituents and what they think is in the best interest of their love for the country. I think it would be a bit unseemly for us to go out and whip up a vote on something like this. This is too serious, this is too much about preserving this great republic and I think we ought to leave it up to each member to decide how he or she would like to vote.
BERMAN: You’re not whipping, but I do imagine, to a certain extent, you are counting. I know of two Democratic members who are a “no” or are unlikely to vote yes on impeachment. How many Democrats do you expect to lose on the impeachment vote?
HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP CLYBURN: We do expect to lose some, and that’s why I said it’s a conscience vote and it’s with their constituents. We have a very diverse caucus. I share six counties with a Democrat in South Carolina. I share the part of those counties that is much different from the part that [Rep. Joe Cummingham (D-SC)] has, and we may be voting differently. I have no idea. He’s probably talking to his constituents. They know where they would like to see him stand on this question, and I suspect that’ll be the way he would vote. I’m not going to urge him the way I’m going to vote. I think I’ve heard enough, seen enough, and I believe that this president — if we cannot vote to impeach with what we had in testimonies last week and what we’ve seen in news reports this week — then we ought to just modify the constitution and get rid of impeachment algother.