Former Republican Congressman Joins Call To Impeach Donald Trump: 'The Survival Of Our Democracy Is At Risk'

A former Missouri congressman has joined fellow Republican Justin Amash in calling for President Donald Trump to be impeached by Congress.

In an op-ed published in the Kansas City Star, former Rep. Tom Coleman said that special counsel Robert Mueller's report clearly outlines that the president committed impeachable offenses and that Congress must move forward with removing Trump from office.

"The political calculus not to pursue impeachment is understandable. Current polls show a majority of voters do not favor it. But critical times require exceptional leadership. Lawmakers of both parties should not blindly follow the polls but instead follow the evidence and their conscience. Politics should not rule the day. Partisan politics is what got us to this dangerous place — so dangerous, I believe, that the survival of our democracy is at risk," Coleman wrote.

The comments from the Republican say that though Mueller's report did not find evidence that president or his campaign had broken any laws, "the net effect was that the Trump campaign encouraged a foreign adversary to use and misrepresent stolen information on social media platforms to defraud U.S. voters. Because the presidency was won in this way, the president's election victory brought forth nothing less than an illegitimate presidency."

"Mueller presents a strong case that in addition to receiving campaign help from Russian operatives, the president obstructed justice — a crime in itself. Mueller declined to charge the sitting president because of current Department of Justice regulations that prohibit it," Coleman wrote, adding that the regulations prevented a sitting president to be indicted should be changed "in the future when reason and rationality return to our politics."

Coleman's comments align with those presented by Rep. Justin Amash last week when he became the first Republican to publicly call for Trump to be impeached.

"Here are my principal conclusions: 1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller's report. 2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct. 3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances. 4. Few members of Congress have read the report," Amash wrote as the beginning of a Twitter thread on Saturday.

The Michigan congressman repeated some of his sentiments with another Twitter thread Thursday, saying in part, "Mueller's report describes a consistent effort by the president to use his office to obstruct or otherwise corruptly impede the Russian election interference investigation because it put his interests at risk. Some of the president's actions were inherently corrupt. Other actions were corrupt — and therefore impeachable — because the president took them to serve his own interests."

Following the initial comments, Trump responded by tweeting about Amash on Sunday, calling the lawmaker "a total lightweight" and saying that he has never liked the congressman.

"Never a fan of [Justin Amash], a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy. If he actually read the biased Mueller report, 'composed' by 18 angry Dems who hated Trump, he would see that it was nevertheless strong on NO COLLUSION and, ultimately, NO OBSTRUCTION…" Trump said. "Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponent's hands!"

Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Amash said that some Republicans have privately sympathized with his viewpoint and admitted they need to read Mueller's report with more care.

"I believe the only viable option available is for the House of Representatives, under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, to open its own investigation, hold public hearings and then determine if they should pursue removal of the president through impeachment," Coleman wrote in his op-ed. "There is a trove of evidence in the Mueller report indicating Trump has committed multiple impeachable offenses, including abuse of power and lying to the American public. Both were part of the articles of impeachment brought against [former] President Richard Nixon. This process would allow a full public review of wrongdoing, while providing Americans an opportunity to obtain a better understanding of the consequences to our national security and the lingering threat to our democracy."

Coleman goes a step further, calling Vice President Mike Pence illigetimate to assume the presidency should Trump be impeached as Pence has also been "been disgraced and discredited" through his association with the president.

"To hand the presidency to an illegitimate vice president would be to approve and reward the wrongdoing while the lingering stench of corruption would trail any Pence administration, guaranteeing an untenable presidency. .... The vice president should resign or be impeached as well if for no other reason that he has been the chief enabler for this illegitimate president," Coleman said.

Under the U.S. Constituion, the third in line for the presidency would be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Coleman concedes that it is unknown if Pelsoi would agree to become president or if a majority in the House of Representatives would want her to be commander in chief.

Coleman's op-ed also proposes that the House appoint a "nationally-known individual" who would "appeal to the vast majority of Americans" as Speaker of the House.

"What if House Democrats decide not to embark on impeachment? If that were the case, I believe the public would conclude Democrats are no better than the Republicans who have enabled Trump for the past two years, putting party above country. It could hand Trump a second term. Failure to pursue impeachment is to condone wrongdoing. To condone wrongdoing is to encourage more of it. To encourage wrongdoing is to give up on the rule of law and our democracy. To give up on the rule of law and democracy invites autocracy and eventually dictatorship. History has taught us this outcome," Coleman concludes.

Coleman served as the Representative for Missouri's sixth district from 1973 to 1993. Prior to his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, he served in the Missouri House and also was the state's attorney general from 1969 to 1972.

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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks in support of farmers and ranchers in the Roosevelt Room at the White House May 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. As the U.S.-China trade war continues to hurt American farmers with tariffs on everything from peanut butter to soybeans and orange juice, the federal government announced Thursday it will give an additional $16 billion bailout to those most affected. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Former Republican Congressman Joins Call To Impeach Donald Trump: 'The Survival Of Our Democracy Is At Risk' | U.S.