'This Is an Urgent Threat'
Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton issued a strong warning to Democrats about jumping too quickly into an impeachment of President Donald Trump. She called the Mueller report "a warning about the future," while calling for televised congressional hearing similar to what Congress did during Watergate.
"A crime was committed against all Americans, and all Americans should demand action and accountability," Clinton says in a Washington Post op-ed Wednesday. "We have to get this right. The Mueller report isn’t just a reckoning about our recent history; it’s a warning about the future."
"Unless checked, the Russians will interfere again in 2020, and possibly other adversaries, such as China or North Korea, will as well," Clinton, who broke the record for number of countries visited by a U.S. Secretary of State, writes.
"This is an urgent threat. Nobody but Americans should be able to decide America’s future. And, unless he’s held accountable, the president may show even more disregard for the laws of the land and the obligations of his office. He will likely redouble his efforts to advance Putin’s agenda, including rolling back sanctions, weakening NATO and undermining the European Union."
Clinton acknowledges that "this is personal for me, and some may say that I’m not the right messenger."
But she offers reasons why she may be uniquely qualified to weigh in, noting, "my perspective is not just that of a former candidate and target of the Russian plot. I am also a former senator and secretary of state who served during much of Vladimir Putin’s ascent, sat across the table from him and knows firsthand that he seeks to weaken our country."
And she reminds she's done this before.
"I am also someone who, by a strange twist of fate, was a young staff attorney on the House Judiciary Committee’s Watergate impeachment inquiry in 1974, as well as first lady during the impeachment process that began in 1998. And I was a senator for New York after 9/11, when Congress had to respond to an attack on our country. Each of these experiences offers important lessons for how we should proceed today."
Calling the Mueller report "a road map," she says "we have to remember that this is bigger than politics. What our country needs now is clear-eyed patriotism, not reflexive partisanship. Whether they like it or not, Republicans in Congress share the constitutional responsibility to protect the country."
And Clinton says "Congress should hold substantive hearings that build on the Mueller report and fill in its gaps, not jump straight to an up-or-down vote on impeachment."
She calls for a commission similar to the 9/11 Commission that produced a bipartisan plan to protect the nation from another major terror attack.
Lastly, she reminds Democrats to "stay focused on the sensible agenda that voters demanded in the midterms, from protecting health care to investing in infrastructure."
Read the full op-ed at The Washington Post.
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