Administration

Panetta: Dems shouldn't get ahead of themselves on impeachment

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said Sunday morning that Democrats should not get ahead of themselves when it comes to trying to impeach President Trump.

"I think the most important thing that the Democrats could do is to allow [special counsel] Bob Mueller to complete his work," Panetta told ABC's "This Week."

"I think Bob Mueller's report will ultimately determine what additional steps need to be taken against the president," Panetta continued. "And they ought not to get ahead of that report because that will be the key to determining what happens in the future."

Panetta went on to say that he believes the evidence is piling up for a case that Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice.

"They are getting very close to making a case for obstruction of justice," Panetta told ABC.

He pointed to the president's demeaning comments about the investigation as well as statements from Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, regarding his efforts on behalf of the president.

"I think they have to be very careful of using this tactic to undermine the special counsel and the special prosecutor," Panetta said.

The issue of impeachment has gained prominence since Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight counts two weeks ago, including one charge of violating campaign finance law, in which he implicated the president.

However, Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis, an opinion contributor to The Hill, has also said that there may be no corroborating evidence that the president violated campaign finance law.

Some Democrats, including Reps. Al Green (Texas) and Maxine Waters (Calif.), have said the Cohen plea deal means that the president's impeachment is imminent if the Democrats take back Congress in the midterm elections.

Others, such as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and former President Carter, have cautioned that the discussions about impeachment on the left are premature.

Carter said last Tuesday that he thinks the outcomes of the midterms are as of yet too uncertain to seriously discuss impeachment.

Swalwell said last Sunday that there is simply not enough evidence for impeachment proceedings at this time.

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