CNN’s Chris Cuomo squared off on impeachment Wednesday with American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp.
Schlapp repeatedly pressed Cuomo to “name the crime” that would be listed on the articles of impeachment for President Donald Trump. “There’s no need for a crime,” Cuomo responded.
Schlapp argued that House Democrats were not going about the process of impeachment properly, instead holding closed door interviews and refusing to hold an official vote on the floor. (RELATED: Cuomo Interview With Giuliani Quickly Spirals Out Of Control: ‘I’m Embarrassed For You’)
“The idea of due process during an investigation, no defendant gets to have a hand in their own investigation,” Cuomo said.
“That’s not what we’re asking,” Schlapp fired back. “We’re not asking for the defendant to be able to set up what the process is. But the defendant needs to know what the process is.”
Schlapp pointed out the fact that thus far none of the impeachment-related hearings and interviews had gone through the Judiciary Committee.
“Why not pick one committee, it could be a select committee, pick one committee, right, with a dedicated staff. That staff will have plenty of lawyers. Those lawyers will work out these subpoenas and what information flows back and forth with the White House, Schlapp suggested.
He then went on to suggest that the House Democrats were pushing forward because the Mueller investigation had not netted the results they wanted. “Chris, if you say that this has nothing to do with the Mueller investigation and the Russia hoax, what’s the crime they’re going to write an article of impeachment on?”
“Here’s what I’ll tell you. There is no meaning —” Cuomo began.
“There’s no crime,” Schlapp interrupted.
“There’s no need for a crime,” Cuomo said.
“There’s no crime,” Schlapp repeated.
Cuomo argued that impeachment was for what he referred to as “political crimes” rather than the type of crimes that might be tried in a court of law — but he still did not mention any specific political crime that might appear on an articles of impeachment.
“If there were a crime, it would be prosecuted in the criminal justice system. Impeachment is for removal of people in an office for abuse of their power,” Cuomo said. “Read Federalist Paper 65 from Hamilton. He says in caps, political crimes. Political crimes.”
“My copy is dusty,” Schlapp laughed. “What you’re trying to do is to give cover for the fact that the Democrats can be as political as they want because our Founders thought that was fine. That is not true.”