Waters Celebrates Calling for Impeachment Before Any Allegations Emerged

'Nobody really took me seriously'

Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) celebrated the launch of impeachment inquiries against President Donald Trump by pointing out that she supported such a move before any evidence of alleged misconduct emerged.

Waters told MSNBC's All In that she was "way ahead of all of this" because she called for impeachment shortly after Trump's inauguration in January 2017. She emphasized that she was thwarted by Democratic House leaders, but that changed when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) announced the launch of an impeachment inquiry following a whistleblower complaint over Trump's phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

"The difference is the speaker of the House of Representatives is now onboard for a formalized impeachment inquiry and she has her caucus support in doing so," Waters said. "I started a long time ago right after the president was inaugurated, talking about impeachment and saying that he was dishonorable. He was a con man. We could not trust him, and of course I was way ahead of all of this, and nobody really took me seriously."

Waters went on to say she knew Trump was "so brazen and so disrespectful of the Constitution" that he would continue to "abuse the presidential power."

"Now I think that everything that we have discovered in the past—it does not even measure up to what we have just discovered over the past few days about him and his attempt to leverage and get the president of Ukraine to do his bidding and find dirt on his political opponent," Waters said.

Waters, who has been one of the harshest critics of Trump's presidency, has repeatedly called for his impeachment over the last two years, including during a eulogy at the funeral of civil rights activist Dick Gregory in September 2017. Three weeks after Trump was sworn into office, she was asked about impeachment, prompting her to say, "I'm ready to talk about it."

The White House released a transcript of the July conversation in which President Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate the dismissal of a local prosecutor who was digging into a gas company tied to former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter.