Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) grabbed a bullhorn during an event over the weekend and inadvertently revealed his plan for when Democrats finally take control of Congress: impeachment. And “the sooner, the better.”
Schumer made the off-the-cuff comment during a Labor Day parade in Brooklyn, Fox News reports, after being asked about impeachment by a bystander.
“When are y’all going to impeach Trump?” someone lined up against the parade barrier can be heard shouting at Schumer, who is holding a bullhorn.
“The sooner the better,” Schumer replied enthusiastically.
Weirdly, the man asking the question wasn’t satisfied with Schumer’s answer and retorted, “‘The sooner the better?’ That’s not answering the question.”
Schumer then elaborated. “We gotta get a few Republicans,” he says through the bullhorn. “Democrats are on your side.”
He’s technically right, as Fox News indicates. If they retake the House, Democrats could impeach President Trump with a simple majority. But to remove him from office, Schumer would need the support of at least 20 Republicans in the Senate, which he likely doesn’t have.
But, it seems, he’s working on it, contrary to statements he and other Democratic leaders have made over the past several months, passing on the question of impeachment over fear that the American people might be less likely to vote in a Democratic Congressional majority if they believed the top priority left-of-the-aisle was to remove the president from office.
Schumer’s statement to a parade-watcher appears to indicate that when he’s not under public scrutiny (or when he believes he’s not), his take on the issue is a little different.
When Fox News approached Schumer’s office for clarification, they were told that Schumer had simply misheard the question and that he has no intention of beginning impeachment proceedings unless the country is on board and he has evidence from the Department of Justice.
“After a number of questions along the parade route about the fate of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, the Senator believed he was being asked, ‘when will you defeat Trump,’ and responded, ‘the sooner the better,’ noting that we need Republicans to defeat the nomination,” Schumer spokesman Matt House said. “As he has said many times and continues to believe, talk of impeachment is premature, and Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation should be allowed to continue without any interference.”
This is a fair explanation, except that Schumer appears to have answered follow-up questions.