A Republican congressman said Wednesday that he believed “members [of Congress] will act” if there is “clear and convincing and impeachable” evidence against President Donald Trump.
It was a bold statement from Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), though he hedged to CNBC that it was “too soon” for an impeachment inquiry.
“I’ll leave that to the Judiciary Committee,” Cole said, warning that Republicans shouldn’t occupy a “fantasy world” with regard to the Trump, despite the tendency to “give the President of your own party the benefit of the doubt.”
The allegation that Trump told his former fixer Michael Cohen to commit crimes, Cole said, was “potentially very dangerous.”
“You can’t dismiss it as a witch hunt,” Cole told CNBC, referring to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, and to the eight counts on which former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on Tuesday.
“Yesterday was a pretty sobering day,” Cole said. “The Mueller probe needs to be allowed to proceed.”
Separately, Cole told the New York Times that it had been “a really bad August.”
“Where there’s smoke, and there’s a lot of smoke, there may well be fire,” he said, referring to the President and leader of his own party.
“Anybody who says this is not disturbing is not being honest,” Cole added. “So my advice to any candidate would be: Keep your powder dry and don’t rush to attack or defend anybody because you just don’t know enough to have a reaction that you can still defend three months from now.”
“Every now and then,” Cole concluded to CNBC, “you have a legacy moment.”