There are many unresolved questions about the rapidly unfolding impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. How quickly will the House of Representatives move? Will the Republican-held Senate will drag its feet on a trial? And how will the Trump administration react?
Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a frequent critic of Trump, says while he’s not necessarily all in on impeachment, he fully supports the impeachment inquiry.
“You are involving a foreign government in digging up dirt on a potential American political challenger … that’s worthy of an investigation,” Emanuel said.
“Unlike everything prior to this, this is an act in the White House,” Emanuel said. “If you go back to the Mueller report, it’s about a presidential campaign and things that happened there. This is about something he did in the presidency … and he was doing it for his personal gain.”
While the rough transcript released Wednesday of Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s new leader doesn’t appear to show a quid pro quo offer of American aid in exchange for an investigation into Trump’s potential presidential rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Emanuel says the implication is clear.
“First of all, you shouldn’t be raising (Biden). Full stop,” Emanuel said. “No president’s ever raised something about another American citizen being investigated. … The entire (foreign aid) effort with Ukraine is to get politics out of their criminal justice system. What is President Trump asking them to do? Put politics back into the criminal justice system.”
Emanuel served as senior advisor to former President Bill Clinton when Clinton was facing possible impeachment, and left the White House shortly after the House voted to impeach. He says Trump’s politically motivated response stands in contrast to Clinton’s approach.
“We assiduously said to Bill Clinton, whenever you get a question, (respond), ‘You got your job to do, I respect that. I got my job to do on behalf of the American people and I’m going to do that.’ And he left all the questions in and around anything to deal with the impeachment or the inquiry by Ken Starr to the rest of the staff. We walled it off from the president so he could stay focused.”