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 TrumpMitt Romney invokes late father during the Civil Rights Movement amid protests White House wanted to deploy 10,000 troops to control protests: reports Zuckerberg, Chan-funded scientists pen 'letter of concern' over Trump, misinformation 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 ManafortTrump taps Lewandowski, Bossie for Commission on Presidential Scholars Harris, Jeffries question why Manafort, Cohen released while others remain in prison Cohen released from federal prison to home confinement due to coronavirus concerns 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 PelosiLiberals: Which 'science' are we supposed to believe? Pompeo blasts China: 'Callous attempts to exploit George Floyd's tragic death' NRCC turns up heat on vulnerable Democrats over Omar's call to abolish police MORE (D-Calif.) has clashed with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis Nadler Floyd's brother to testify in front of House Judiciary Committee hearing on police brutality House Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on police brutality next week House Judiciary to hear whistleblowers on 'politicization' of Justice Dept under Trump 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 AmashMark Cuban says he's decided not to run for president Amash readying legislation allowing victims to sue officers The Hill's Morning Report - Trump mobilizes military against 'angry mob,' holds controversial photo op 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."