House Majority Whip James Clyburn claimed Sunday that the impeachment proceedings were bipartisan because “we’re not limiting that to Congress.”
The South Carolina congressman spoke with “State of the Union” guest host Dana Bash about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s promise that any move to impeach would necessarily be bipartisan. (RELATED: Bernie Snaps At CNN’s Bash: ‘Dana, Last I Heard The Election Was 8 Months From Today’)
Bash began the segment by reading Pelosi’s own words on the subject. “Here is what she said. She said ‘impeachment is so divisive to the county unless there is something overwhelming and bipartisan I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country and it is just not worth it.'” Bash read. “And this week as you’re well aware the House voted to impeachment procedures and would you move forward if that remains true, if you have no Republican support?”
Clyburn said that the House would move forward without Republican votes, suggesting that public opinion should be counted with regard to whether or not the move was truly bipartisan. “Thank so much for having me, Dana. But we would, absolutely. I think when we talk about bipartisan support, we’re not limited to that to the Congress,” he said. “I’ve been watching the polls all over the country, there is rising support within Republican voters in favor of moving forward. Independents seem to be, a majority of them, seem to be in favor of moving forward. And certainly overwhelmingly Democrats.”
Clyburn went on to suggest that Speaker Pelosi was operating under the same reasoning, adding, “So I think what the Speaker was saying, there needs to be bipartisanship, I don’t think she was limited that to the Congress. She knows that Congress very well and she knows how Republican colleagues are prone to vote on these issues within the party.”
“A vast majority of Republicans — A vast majority of Republicans oppose impeachment,” Bash pointed out.
“That may be true. But what is that level that we have to get to for them to change?” Clyburn went on to argue that they had to go forward with the investigation because that would be what turned the tide among Republicans. “So I do believe that there is a lot of smoke, that all of us see, there should be some fire somewhere and we should find a source of that fire and find the level of it to see what needs to be done to extinguish it and that is exactly what we’re doing here if I might use that as a metaphor,” he explained.