Incoming CBC chairwoman says Dems could have no choice but to impeach Trump

Incoming Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said in an interview that aired Tuesday on Hill.TV’s “Rising” that House Democrats may have no choice but to move to impeach President Trump.

“Whether or not articles of impeachment get introduced and followed up on, I think time will tell,” Bass told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons on Monday. “We could very easily be in a place where we have no choice.

“Because if it keeps coming out of evidence of criminal behavior from this White House, it’s going to be hard for us not to do that,” she continued.

But Bass noted that the likelihood of impeachment proceedings moving forward in the Senate was extremely slim due to the upper chamber’s Republican majority. 

“Realistically speaking, you know, you know we can impeach in this House, but it can’t be followed through because there’s not a supermajority over in the Senate,” Bass said. “So I think impeachment might come up, but I guarantee you it is not the first item on anybody’s agenda that would be chairing these committees.”

Bass’s comments come days after special counsel Robert Mueller released a heavily redacted filing on Friday, detailing allegations that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to prosecutors about his contacts with the White House and an associate with suspected ties to Russian intelligence after signing a plea agreement with Mueller’s office.

Federal prosecutors also signaled on Friday, without naming Trump, that the president had directed his onetime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to pay off two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. In a court filing, prosecutors implicated Trump in directing Cohen to make illegal campaign contributions.

The filings from Mueller and federal prosecutors sparked outrage among Democrats, but members have still remained cautious about the issue of impeachment. 

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), likely the next chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that it would “certainly” be an impeachable offense if it’s proven that Trump directed legal payments during his campaign, but added that it was important to question whether the payments were important enough “to justify an impeachment.”

— Julia Manchester