Kildee: Trump could be impeached for crimes unrelated to Russia

Dan Kildee (left) and Donald Trump (right)

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) was asked on MSNBC Monday evening about conservative commentators insisting that majority U.S. House Democrats are planning to impeach President Donald Trump.

Kildee said that’s not true, and seemed to allude to his Michigan colleague, freshman U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), who said in January, “We’re gonna impeach the motherfucker!”

Dan Kildee on MSNBC, March 4, 2019

“There are members of Congress who’ve used colorful language to say that they want to impeach the president of the United States,” said Kildee, who’s the caucus chief deputy whip. “There are members who clearly want to do that. But I don’t think it’s anywhere close to a majority. What we want is transparency.”

Host Kasie Hunt asked if “high crimes and misdemeanors” have to be related to Russia in order for Trump to be impeached or if alleged payoffs to women and his domestic actions might be enough.

“I think it’s possible,” Kildee said. “I don’t think it has to be Russia-related collusion in order for us to take a step. I do think it’s important — we keep hearing [Trump] say, ‘No collusion!’ — when nobody’s asking about collusion. One might conclude that the president has collusion on the brain. Perhaps he’s protesting too much.”

Earlier in the interview, Kildee said that U.S. House Democrats don’t expect that Trump will just give up his tax returns “so we need to be able to defend against what will inevitably be a pretty big fight.”

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) speaks at a press conference featuring House Democrats at the U.S. Capitol April 20, 2016, in Washington, DC | Win McNamee, Getty Images

“Some have been critical. They thought we should have asked on day one. I don’t agree with that. … We’re going to be measured for many, many years and I think we have to be careful,” he said.

Kildee said that the U.S. House Oversight Committee hearing last week featuring Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, buoys the case to get the president’s tax returns. The congressman said that the president may have been involved in fraudulent activity while in the White House regarding payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, with whom he allegedly had an affair.

“The fact that he never did distance himself from his own financial interests the way past presidents have also, I think, begs the question of whether the president continues to act in a way that is really in his personal self-interest — really trying to guard his own wealth rather than the American people,” Kildee said.

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Susan J. Demas is a 17-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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