Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday urged Democrats to exercise caution in calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, saying the legal standard hasn’t been met and the issue shouldn’t be politicized.
But the mayor also spoke at length about how he is “angry” at the president, singling out the city’s immigration lawsuit against the Justice Department during a downtown symposium presented by online media company Axios.
“This is a serious legal and Constitutional, not a political, issue,” Emanuel told Axios editor Mike Allen. “And my view is, there’s nothing there to date that we know.”
“You don’t just flippantly say ‘We’re for or against (impeachment),'” the mayor said. “When — I’m angry at what he’s done, but it is a legal and Constitutional standard.”
When Allen pressed him on whether Democrats should run on the issue in 2018, Emanuel said: “This is a case where the best politics is good policy.”
Emanuel also noted he served in the White House under President Bill Clinton, who was impeached by the Republican-controlled U.S. House on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in the investigation into the Monica Lewinsky affair. Clinton was acquitted following a Senate trial.
And he said Democrats have to “offer people a vision” for how they and their children can get good jobs in the modern economy, rather than just relying on anti-Trump campaigns for success beyond 2018.
“Ideas, ideas matter,” he said. “And now, in 2018, opposing Trump on a whole host of things that he’s done which are wrong will be the right strategy. 2018 to 2020, when you’re running for a national office, you’re going to have to have a pro-active agenda that has a vision of the future.”
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez was among a half-dozen Democrats who last year introduced articles of impeachment against Trump.
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