Clyburn walks back comments about impeachment

Clyburn walks back comments about impeachment
© Stefani Reynolds

House Majority Whip Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnThe absolute farce that was the Biden-Lemon town hall Ohio becomes battleground for rival Democratic factions Internet service providers spent 0M on lobbying, donations: report MORE (D-S.C.) on Monday walked back comments he made the previous day suggesting he believes Democrats will eventually impeach President TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit 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 PelosiHouse to resume mask mandate after new CDC guidance McCarthy pulls GOP picks off House economic panel GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger 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.

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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.

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“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 JeffriesJeffries: 'Sick and cynical' for GOP to blame Pelosi for Jan. 6 Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker Progressive fighting turns personal on internal call over antitrust bills 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 HoyerHoyer urges conference talks on bipartisan infrastructure bill Hoyer suggests COVID-19 rules will stay — and might get tougher Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill 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 ClarkSelect committee member thanks officers who responded Jan. 6: 'You were our last line of defense' Pelosi signals no further action against Omar Progressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias 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 WarrenOn The Money: Schumer, Warren call on Biden to extend student loan pause | IMF estimates 6 percent global growth this year Schumer, Warren call on Biden to extend student loan pause and wipe out K per borrower Senate confirms Biden's Air Force secretary MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer Congress can make progress on fighting emissions with Zero Food Waste Act MORE (D-N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWant to improve vaccine rates? Ask for this endorsement Biden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Will Pence primary Trump — and win? MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHouse panel looks to help military sexual assault survivors To make energy green, remove red tape Equilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — Clean power repurposes dirty power MORE (D-N.Y.). As recently as this weekend, Pelosi said the party’s focus should be on building an “ironclad” case against Trump.