House Dem: Trump could start war with Iran to thwart impeachment

House Dem: Trump could start war with Iran to thwart impeachment
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A House Democratic lawmaker said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE could launch a war with Iran for a purely political reason: to deter Democrats from impeaching him.

“I believe that the president of the United States is on the cusp of taking us to war without the consent of Congress because he fears impeachment. And we all know that if we are at war, the American people would not agree that you should be impeaching a president,” Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment Assault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress Democratic rep reconsiders wearing trademark hats because of 'racists who taunt me' MORE (D-Fla.) said in an interview in her Capitol Hill office.

“I believe he sees the fence, the walls closing in, that we're circling the wagons, and the circle is getting smaller and smaller. And he thinks we're going to impeach him,” Wilson added. “If he sees the impeachment movement getting too close and too popular, and the American people beginning to side with the Democrats in the House of Representatives, then he will take us to war.”

Wilson’s remarks came a day after Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump isolated amid Syria furor | Pompeo, Pence to visit Turkey in push for ceasefire | Turkish troops advance in Syria | Graham throws support behind Trump's sanctions Graham: Erdoğan pledged to Trump to stay away from Kurdish territory in Syria Trump honors Stanley Cup champions, talks impeachment, Turkey MORE and other top Trump administration officials briefed all House and Senate lawmakers about efforts to de-escalate ongoing tensions with Iran. The U.S. recently deployed military ships and other resources to the Persian Gulf to deter potential threats against U.S. personnel from Iran, raising concerns from Democrats about Trump’s strategy in the Middle East.

“I think he's squeezing Iran with sanctions, and he's sending warships to intimidate them to sort of aggravate them and to cause them to react to he's like a bully. He's bullying them to the point that he wants to go to war,” Wilson said, envisioning what a war would look like with Iran. “So just think about it: Now we're at war with Iran. Everybody is afraid of Iran. We have Israel over there who is at risk of this war with Iran. The whole Middle East is in turmoil. And we are impeaching a president?"

“That’s Trump’s safety net,” she said.

The outspoken Florida congresswoman’s comments also came amid high tensions between Trump and the Democrats who are investigating his administration and business entities. House Democrats huddled earlier Wednesday to discuss the status of multiple House investigations into the administration as well as to debate whether the party should launch an impeachment inquiry into Trump.

Pelosi has been trying to tamp down the impeachment talk in her rowdy 235-member caucus, but this week saw the number of impeachment hawks grow to 30 after former White House counsel Don McGahn ignored a subpoena requiring him to testify before Congress.

Wilson, a five-term lawmaker who represents parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties, is not yet among the 30 calling for the House to launch an impeachment inquiry.

“I think that they have every right to say that because that is what the evidence is showing us. I just think that we need to be very careful not because of impeachment itself but because we have an unstable president who would do anything, including taking us to war,” Wilson said in the interview.

“I'm nervous. ... What I just told you has me shaking in my boots, and I'm just wondering, am I the only person who feels this way?” she said.