Maine senator calls impeachment 'last resort': 'We may get there, but we’re not there now'

Sen. Angus KingAngus KingShakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' On The Trail: How Nancy Pelosi could improbably become president Angus King: Ending election security briefings 'looks like a pre-cover-up' MORE (I-Maine) said Sunday that he doesn't support opening an impeachment inquiry against President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE at this point, warning that doing so based on publicly available evidence would be viewed as politically motivated.

King said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that it's possible Trump will face criminal charges at some point over allegations he directed former attorney Michael Cohen to violate campaign finance laws during the 2016 campaign, but disputed that impeachment proceedings would be a proper response. 

"I don’t think that there’s evidence yet available to the public where there would be more or less a consensus that this was an appropriate path," King said. "My concern is that if impeachment is moved forward on the evidence that we have now, at least a third of the country would think it’s just political revenge and a coup against the president."

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"I’m a conservative when it comes to impeachment," the senator added. "I think it’s a last resort and only when the evidence is clear of a really substantial legal violation. And we may get there, but we’re not there now."

King's comments came after a week that saw three separate legal filings related to former Trump associates.

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE said in a filing early in the week that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn had cooperated extensively with the investigation into Russian interference, and recommended no jail time.

The special counsel later in the week detailed allegations that former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortOur Constitution is under attack by Attorney General William Barr Bannon trial date set in alleged border wall scam Conspicuous by their absence from the Republican Convention MORE lied to prosecutors after reaching a plea agreement.

On Friday, prosecutors in Manhattan filed documents that claimed former Trump attorney Michael Cohen violated campaign finance laws at the direction of then-candidate Trump.

Trump has denied wrongdoing.

Democrats have grappled with the question of impeachment for months. Dozens of Democrats previously voted to move forward with impeachment proceedings in the House, though the measure was soundly rejected.

Democratic leaders have largely voiced concerns about moving forward with impeachment, but have vowed to use their newly won majority to investigate the president's finances and ties to Russia