Ex-GOP lawmaker says Trump 'illegitimate president,' should be impeached

A former Republican congressman who served for nearly two decades in the House slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE on Friday as an "illegitimate president" and called for his impeachment.

"I'm calling for impeachment now because the Mueller report is out, and in it [special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE] describes 10 obstructions of justice charges that he could not bring because of a Department of Justice rule and regulation that says you can't indict a sitting president. That's number one," former Rep. Tom Coleman (R-Mo.) told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

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The longtime GOP lawmaker, who left the House in 1993, said his other reason for calling for the president to be removed was because Trump "welcomed help and influence" from Russians during his campaign.

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Coleman pointed to how Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortCuomo signs measure allowing New York to press charges despite presidential pardon Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter He who must not be named: How Hunter Biden became a conversation-stopper MORE met with a Russian associate, Konstantin KilimnikKonstantin KilimnikRobert Mueller soon may be exposed as the 'magician of omission' on Russia Trump campaign contacts with Moscow to be focus for Democrats Key figure that Mueller report linked to Russia was a State Department intel source MORE, in New York in August 2016 and discussed the campaign’s strategy for winning Democratic votes in Midwestern states.

"It's wrong, and it needs to be handled and looked at by the Congress because I believe it's an impeachable offense," Coleman concluded.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLawmakers, social media users praise photo of Pelosi confronting Trump Trump turns Pelosi's 'meltdown' criticism around: 'She is a very sick person' Trump threat lacks teeth to block impeachment witnesses MORE (D-Calif.) has clashed with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBarr to speak at Notre Dame law school on Friday The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment Ignore the hype — this is not an impeachment inquiry MORE (D-N.Y.) this week over calls for Trump’s impeachment, which Pelosi has resisted.

Coleman said that the Constitution’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” clauses defining impeachable misconduct by a president is often interpreted as too narrow.

“I think there is some confusion that it has to be a crime to be impeachable,” he explained. “You know, abuse of power, lying to the American people were two grounds for Nixon’s articles of impeachment before he resigned. ... It’s not a crime to the lie to the American people, but if you do it every day 10 or 20 or 50 times, then you’re getting into the area where you should be impeached.”

Coleman first made the case for impeachment in a Wednesday op-ed for The Kansas City Star

Another Republican, Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria pullout Grand Rapids synagogue targeted with anti-Semitic posters on its door MORE (Mich.), tripled down on his calls for Trump’s impeachment this week, citing some “inherently corrupt” actions noted in the Mueller report.

The report following the nearly two-year investigation found that Russia sought to help Trump win in the 2016 presidential election but that the Trump campaign did not directly assist in that process.

Mueller, however, noted that the Trump campaign "expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts."