Clyburn walks back comments about impeachment

Clyburn walks back comments about impeachment
© Stefani Reynolds

House Majority Whip Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnGOP senator blasts Dem bills on 'opportunity zones' Harris: Suggestion that older African Americans are homophobic 'just nonsense' Buttigieg pushes back on Clyburn's suggestion that sexuality is issue for some black voters MORE (D-S.C.) on Monday walked back comments he made the previous day suggesting he believes Democrats will eventually impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report 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 PelosiSchumer calls on Trump to testify as part of impeachment inquiry Sunday shows — Spotlight shifts to Sondland ahead of impeachment inquiry testimony Perception won't be reality, once AI can manipulate what we see 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 JeffriesUSMCA deal close, but not 'imminent,' Democrats say House Democrat's Halloween display mourns passed bills that die in McConnell's 'legislative graveyard' Democrats unveil impeachment procedures 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 HoyerLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms The Hill's 12:30 Report: Former Ukraine envoy offers dramatic testimony Hoyer calls GOP efforts to out whistleblower 'despicable' 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 ClarkThe Hill's Morning Report - Fallout from day one of Trump impeachment hearing 'Squad' members recruit Raskin to run for Oversight gavel House passes third bill aimed at preventing foreign election interference 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 WarrenBiden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' Democrats seize on report of FedEx's Elizabeth Warren tax bill to slam Trump's tax plan Warren 'fully committed' to 'Medicare for All' MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBiden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne MORE (D-N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisIf we want to save earth, we need to change how we eat New poll shows four top-tier 2020 candidates in Iowa The Democratic race for president may not sort itself out MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandMaloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump Senate confirms controversial circuit court nominee She Should Run launches initiative to expand number of women in political process MORE (D-N.Y.). As recently as this weekend, Pelosi said the party’s focus should be on building an “ironclad” case against Trump.