Clyburn walks back comments about impeachment

Clyburn walks back comments about impeachment
© Stefani Reynolds

House Majority Whip Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Israel denies Omar and Tlaib entry after Trump tweet Democrats race across country to woo activists MORE (D-S.C.) on Monday walked back comments he made the previous day suggesting he believes Democrats will eventually impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE, according to Politico.

“I’m probably farther away from impeachment than anybody in our caucus,” Clyburn, the number-three Democrat in the House, told reporters Monday night. “We will not get out in front of our committees. We’ll see what the committees come up with. I’ve said that forever.”

Clyburn met with House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden blasts Trump, demands he release transcript of call with foreign leader Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week MORE (D-Calif.) and other party leadership earlier Monday, with Pelosi affirming her opposition to impeachment. Pelosi has consistently called to let the Democratic House’s various investigations into Trump’s White House and businesses play out.

Asked Monday if he believed impeachment was inevitable, Clyburn said he did not, according to Politico.

The remarks contrasted comments the the third-ranking House Democrat made while speaking with CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday. Clyburn said during an interview that he believed the Trump would be impeached "at some point" but that Democrats needed to build an effective case first. 

Asked by Tapper if thought Democrats would launch impeachment proceedings against Trump, Clyburn responded, "Yes, that's exactly what I feel."

"What [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.] is trying to do, and the rest of us in the House of Representatives, is to develop a process by which we can efficiently move on this issue so that when we get to a vote, it would be something that she calls ironclad, I call effective. And that is why we are trying to take our time and do this right," Clyburn added.

Other members of leadership distanced themselves from Clyburn’s initial remarks, some of the strongest in the direction of impeachment so far from a House leader.

“Jim Clyburn is a well-respected member of Congress, someone whose shoulders that we all stand on, and I’ll let him speak for himself,” said Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesBadrun Khan to challenge Ocasio-Cortez in Democratic primary Lewandowski, Democrats tangle at testy hearing Words matter, except to Democrats, when it involves impeaching Trump MORE (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “My position has not changed, which is we’re going to continue to proceed aggressively and methodically.”

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrat accuses GOP of opposing DC statehood because of 'race and partisanship' News outlets choose their darlings, ignore others' voices Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (D-Md.) simply said “We’re not getting into that” when asked Monday night if the House intended to eventually take up impeachment proceedings, according to Politico.

Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries Fourth-ranking House Democrat backs Trump impeachment MORE (D-Mass.), vice chairwoman of the Democratic Conference, said party leadership and the more vocally pro-impeachment rank and file members of the party had similar agendas.

“I think we have one clear shared goal, and that is to get this president out of office as soon as possible,” she said, according to the publication. “I certainly understand people’s thoughts about this, but I think it’s important to remember impeachment is a tool, not an end goal itself.”

More than 50 House Democrats have come out in favor of impeachment thus far, as well as several presidential candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE (D-N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Gillibrand Gillibrand relaunches PAC to elect women Analysis: 2020 digital spending vastly outpaces TV ads Two years after Maria, Puerto Rico awaits disaster funds MORE (D-N.Y.). As recently as this weekend, Pelosi said the party’s focus should be on building an “ironclad” case against Trump.