Kucinich Doubts Democratic Impeachment Efforts Against Trump: 'I Don't Know if There Is a Sufficient Case'

Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich / Getty Images
October 12, 2017

A former Democratic congressman who sought to impeach George W. Bush doubts current Democratic efforts to impeach Donald Trump will work, saying he does not know if there is a "sufficient case" to merit it.

In the aftermath of Rep. Al Green's (D., Texas) presentation of articles of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday, former Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) told the New York Times he wasn't sure they would receive widespread party support.

"There is tremendous animosity toward the president, and I understand it," Kucinich said. "But I don’t know if there is a sufficient case to warrant a process as vigorous as impeachment."

While special counsel Robert Mueller carries on his investigation of allegations of collusion and other aspects of Russian election interference, Green's impeachment measure focused on accusing Trump of inciting racism and white supremacy.

Kucinich brought 35 articles of impeachment against Bush in 2008, although none of them ever progressed to a House vote despite Democratic control of the chamber.

Left-wing billionaire and megadonor Tom Steyer demanded this week Democratic lawmakers and candidates support impeachment of Trump, but Democratic leaders have cautioned against pushing for impeachment too hard and too fast, the Times reports:

Thus far, Democratic leaders in the House have urged their colleagues to wait for investigators to do their work. For one, pushing impeachment too early could weaken Democrats’ hand if investigators turn up persuasive evidence of "high crimes and misdemeanors" that could compel bipartisan action. Too great a focus on impeachment could also distract from Democrats’ attempts to put forward a strong economic message.

"The Democratic Party had best be identified with something more than impeachment," Kucinich said.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D., Calif.) brought impeachment articles forward in July, and Rep. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.) said he plans to soon. None of the measures have any current chance of advancing in the House with GOP control of the House Judiciary Committee and the House of Representatives.

Some Democrats fear pushing for impeachment could seek to ignite Trump's base; Bill Clinton's popularity numbers rose despite the fight to impeach him in the late 1990s.

The Times reported recent polling shows 40 percent support for Trump's impeachment, but former Barack Obama aide Bill Burton cautioned that support was mainly in deep-blue districts.

"There is a growing appetite for impeachment in the most Democratic parts of the country," he said. "But what is good for downtown L.A. is not what’s good for Bakersfield."