Tuesday on “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” Sen. Angus King (I-ME) said it would not be an impeachable offense if President Donald Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.
Partial transcript as follows:
HEWITT: It’s a conversation. Let me talk to you now about the Special Counsel investigation. And I’m going to ask this of Lindsey Graham next hour. If Mr. Mueller was fired, would you consider that to be an impeachable offense?
KING: No. I would consider it a crisis. I would want to think about it in terms of all the other material that we’ve seen. High crimes and misdemeanors is the standard for impeachment, and I have a high standard for impeachment. I don’t think impeachment should be used to change a government you don’t like. I think going back to Andrew Johnson in, you know, 1867, this is something we’ve got to be really careful with. We don’t want to change our form of government. But the problem is that if the President does this, I think it is a huge mistake. It adds weight to the argument that there’s been an ongoing obstruction of justice of trying to basically quash in investigation. I think it’s, I wouldn’t say it rises to the level of an impeachable offense, but I certainly think it’s going to create a real problem. And I think, I went down the list yesterday. There are 8 or 9 senators, including people like Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley and John Cornyn who have said this would be a huge mistake. Newt Gingrich said it would be a disaster. Lindsey said he thought it would be the beginning of the end of his presidency. So I think everybody’s concerned about this, and I think it would be a huge mistake from his point of view. If he’s really, if he’s innocent, which he keeps saying that he is, he ought to want this thing to go forward and be as thorough as possible so the American people can get the results, can be, have confidence and say yeah, look, this Mueller guy did a tough job and a thorough job, and there’s no evidence. That’s the result the President should want. If he cuts it off, half the country’s going to think hey, he’s trying to hide something.
HEWITT: I agree with you. I think it would be a disaster to fire the Special Counsel, and I believe the reason he hired the people that he did is because they’re professionals, and at the end of the day, no one, even the most extreme critic of Donald Trump, will be able to argue with their conclusion that no collusion occurred, if that is in fact their conclusion.
KING: That’s right.
HEWITT: And therefore, he ought to leave him alone and just hurry it up.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN