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 TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away 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) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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 ManafortLobbyist Tony Podesta returns to work for Huawei Former bank CEO convicted of bribery in scheme to land Trump admin job Trial begins for Chicago banker who exchanged loans with Manafort for Trump job MORE met with a Russian associate, Konstantin KilimnikKonstantin KilimnikTreasury: Manafort associate passed 'sensitive' campaign data to Russian intelligence FBI offers 0K reward for Russian figure Kilimnik Putin is no ordinary threat to America 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 PelosiCapitol riot defendants have started a jail newsletter: report On The Money: Biden asks Congress to extend eviction ban with days until expiration | Economic growth rose to 6.5 percent annual rate in second quarter Top Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure MORE (D-Calif.) has clashed with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBiden backs effort to include immigration in budget package Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Britney Spears's new attorney files motion to remove her dad as conservator 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 AmashAmash warns of turning lawmakers like Cheney into 'heroes' Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP Biden: 'Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK' 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."