Democrat Says Removing Trump From Office May See Him Succeeded by Nikki Haley, Who Would Be 'Difficult' to Beat

A House Democrat has warned that removing President Donald Trump from office may result in him being replaced by someone the Democrats would find it harder to beat "like Nikki Haley."

Speaking in an interview with CNN on Monday, Democrat Rep. John Yarmuth commented that Vice President Mike Pence would not be the obvious choice to succeed Trump if he was impeached and removed from office.

"I do think its the right thing to do to remove him from office—I believe he is an imminent danger to this country and to our democracy but I was saying the political consequences of that might not be very good for Democrats," Yarmuth said, further explaining comments he initially made to The Hill in November.

"If we remove him from office, I will guarantee you the Republican Party would not nominate Mike Pence to succeed him.

"They would nominate someone like [former UN ambassador] Nikki Haley who would be much more difficult for a Democrat to defeat. But again, I don't think this is about politics and I don't think we should consider politics. I just think it could be bad politics," he added.

Yarmuth's comments come as the House Intelligence Committee prepares to release its Impeachment Report on Tuesday evening ahead of the inquiry being transferred to the Judiciary Committee, with the first Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

However, the White House has announced that it will not be participating in Wednesday's hearing, CNN reported, with White House Counsel to the president Pat Cipollone writing to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler to say: "We cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the President a fair process through additional hearings.

"More importantly, an invitation to an academic discussion with law professors does not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process. Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing," the letter added.

The report is a result of several months of information gathering as part of the initial stage of the impeachment inquiry, prompted by a whistleblower report that raised concerns about a July phone call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

In the phone call, Trump is accused of pressuring Zelenskiy to investigate his political rivals, allegedly withholding aid to the country and dangling the prospect of a White House visit to incentivize such an investigation.

However, Trump has denied there was any pressure or quid pro quo in the phone call, and has dismissed the impeachment inquiry as a "witch hunt."