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No. 3 House Democrat says he believes Trump will eventually be impeached

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said it was important for the public to first understand the need for impeachment and that Democrats are working to “bring the public along.” | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said Sunday he believes President Donald Trump will eventually be impeached but cautioned that Democrats need to first lay the groundwork and educate the public on the process.

“I have never said he should not be impeached. What I have said time and time again is, [special counsel Robert] Mueller has developed the grounds for impeachment. The House has to determine the timing for impeachment. There’s a big difference,” he said.

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The South Carolina Democrat appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday and was asked whether he believes Trump will be impeached and whether impeachment proceedings will begin in the House “at some point, but just not right now.”

“Yes, that’s exactly what I feel,” Clyburn responded. “I think we have already begun. We have got all of these committees doing their work. We’re having hearings. We have already won two court cases. And there are other cases that are still to be determined.”

Clyburn added: “We are winning this issue. Why should we go out and make missteps and cause us to lose a court decision that will have people saying, ‘Why didn’t you take your time?'”

Adam Schiff

His comments come amid growing calls from Democrats to launch impeachment proceedings against the president in the aftermath of the special counsel investigation — calls that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has so far resisted.

“All it takes is 218 votes to effectively impeach the president. That doesn’t say that it will be the efficient way to do it,” Clyburn said. “What Nancy Pelosi 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.”

Clyburn added it was important for the public to understand the need for impeachment first and that House Democrats are working to “bring the public along.”

“We do believe that, if we sufficiently, effectively educate the public, then we will have done our job and we can move on an impeachment vote, and it will stand, and maybe it will be what needs to be done to incent the Senate to act,” he said.

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