During a meeting earlier this week Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly told senior Democrats: “I don’t want to see [President Donald Trump] impeached, I want to see him in prison.” On Sunday, two prominent Democrats were asked about Pelosi’s remarks and both were unflinching and used the word “crimes” while responding.
On Fox News Sunday, Democratic congressman from Rhode Island and member of the House Judiciary Committee, David Cicilline, was asked if he agreed with Pelosi’s wants and Cicilline said, “I don’t have any difficulty with those words.”
Cicilline pushed it further, comparing the Speaker’s alleged comments to Trump’s constant refrain of “Lock her up” when speaking about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign saying, “It’s kind of rich to have the president complain about this when he began a campaign with ‘lock her up’ as his bumper sticker.”
Prior to saying that, Cicilline broke down what most would consider actual crimes committed by the president, saying, “Let’s remember this, we have reviewed the Mueller report. The president of the United States directed Don McGahn to fire the special counsel and then to prepare false documents to deny that he was told to do that. He directed an outside person, Cory Lewandowski, to direct the attorney general to limit the special counsel’s investigation and a number of other instances of obstruction of justice that are detailed in this report. These are specific things the president did.” Cicilline continued, “These are criminal acts, obstruction of justice, clearly impeachable offenses.”
Rep. David Cicilline: "I don't have any difficulty with" Nancy Pelosi's 'prison' remark.
"It's kind of rich to have the president complain about this when he began a campaign with 'lock her up' as his bumper sticker."
Via Fox pic.twitter.com/hzbzLxnPnr
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 9, 2019
Also on Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was asked on ABC’s This Week if he agreed with Pelosi’s remarks and if he thinks the president committed crimes that could be prosecuted. O’Rourke said, “He did” commit crimes and went on to say, “I think that’s clear from what we have learned from the Mueller report. But I think those crimes might extend beyond what we’ve seen in the Mueller report.”
"He did," Beto O'Rourke says when asked if Pres. Trump committed crimes that can be prosecuted.
"I think that's clear from what we have learned from the Mueller report, but I think those crimes might extend beyond what we've seen in the Mueller report" https://t.co/g7HX8Iddm1 pic.twitter.com/Xrb3FRHTiX
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 9, 2019
O’Rourke went further and explained what he sees as possible criminal behavior, saying Trump used the presidency “for personal gain for himself and for his family.” O’Rourke continued, “The relationship that he has with Vladimir Putin, which has never been properly explained. From the invitation as a candidate to have Russia involve itself in our elections, his efforts to obstruct justice, the fact that he called Vladimir Putin after the Mueller report was released, called it a hoax, thereby giving him a green light to further participate in our democracy and in our elections.”
“If we do not hold the president accountable we will have set the precedent that some people in this country, because of their position of power, are in fact above the law,” O’Rourke said.
Not long ago both Democratic office holders and candidates alike were hesitant to speak this boldly about possible criminality of the present occupant in the White House. Many thought that the Mueller report would speak clearly enough and that would save them from having to go out on any sort of political limb. That clearly is not the case, and now the talk has shifted. And with that shift, the reality of impeachment hearings are no longer a matter of if, but when.