Former Federal Prosecutor and Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld says it's time for an impeachment inquiry, which he says will take at least until April 2020.
June 6, 2019

Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld is a primary challenger to Trump. He also joined a thousand other former prosecutors in signing the letter affirming that the Mueller Report shows obstruction of justice by this so-called president.

Weld announced on "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" that he is now in favor of an impeachment inquiry, and that the inquiry process alone takes the Congress past Super Tuesday, 2020.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Let's go straight to the question of the day. Are you for impeachment of this president?

BILL WELD: I've been slow to come to there conclusion, but I've finally come to the view that it is time. I won't say past time. But it's time for the house judiciary committee, not the whole house to launch an inquiry, not take a vote but inquiry into impeachment of this president. I say that for two reasons. One in recent weeks, 1,000 former federal prosecutors, not ten, not 100, but a thousand have signed a document saying that the evidence of president trump's obstruction of justice us the in the Mueller report senior not even a close case. It's overwhelming, and I agree with that, and I signed that document. Number two, I think people have lost sight of the timeline here. The Nixon impeachment started in October of '73. President Nixon finally lost that in August of months later. Well, ten months from today would put us into April which is well past it the super Tuesday of the presidential primaries in 2020. We probably would already know who the nominees are going to be or have a pretty good idea. And that's not the ends of it at that point, if the House voted to impeach, the house would then appoint six managers as prosecutors to go try the case in the Senate. That's a minimum of another six, eight months. And I can tell you as a former quite veteran prosecutor, a complicated investigation white collar with long lead time; grand jury investigations take 12 to 18 months. It doesn't make six months. So if the Congress doesn't act at all now, this whole thing may be over before they can act. That's a pretty powerful motivator.

O'DONNELL: I think what you just said, first of all, you're breaking news here tonight as a Republican candidate for president saying that this president should be the subject of an impeachment inquiry by the house judiciary committee. How are you going to bring that to Republican voters in these Republican primaries?

WELD: Well, again, I'm just saying 1,000 prosecutors say this is a criminal offense. You never had that before. You didn't have that with dick Nixon. He had carried 49 states. You know, things change in national politics. My friend and hero, George Bush 41 was at 91% favorable rating in December of 1991. Pat Buchanan won 30 something% of the vote in the New Hampshire primary two months later. And that was the beginning of the end for my friend bush 41. And you know, it's not my job to carry it to Republican voters. I don't mind citing the 1,000 federal prosecutors and saying that I know what they're talking about because I do. But beyond that, if people won't be persuaded, they won't be persuaded.

O'DONNELL: It seems in the reporting that Democratic leadership in the House are worried about those swing voters in districts that, congressional districts that were formerly Republican, people who voted for a Republican member of Congress but their last time voted for a Democrat. They're worrying about alienating them. You would be trying to appeal to exactly the same voter. Holding the position that there should be an impeachment inquiry. What does that do to your path to the convention, to your ability to pick up delegates going into that convention?

WELD: Lawrence, the unstated premise of your question I think is that nothing's going to change after the House committee launches its inquiry. Inquiries have a way of unearthing information. And voters, generally, if new information comes to light, they're going to pay attention to it. And the next on impeachment, Nixon was hugely popular. I was advised not to take a position in that inquiry even though I was on the Republican side. They said 'kid, it's going to be the end of your career because the president is so popular. He just won 49 states.' Mr. Trump has not 'just won 49 states' and he is not at 91% approval of both parties as Bush 41 was. But nonetheless, you know, you don't know what the inquiry is going to turn up. That's the point of an inquiry. I'm not saying the House should take a vote. I'm saying the committee and that's the relevant committee, Peter Rodino's committee that I served on was House Judiciary, that they should just be permitted to proceed. I'm sure they'll have subpoenas. I'm sure there will be fights. President Nixon wound up being an article of impeachment was obstruction of the subpoenas by the house judiciary committee. That could well come again because Mr. Trump is 'not going to cooperate with nobody no how' if we investigate him or his family or his administration at all. That's breathtaking. That's never been said before by a president. We'll see where that goes.

I'm starting to think I think Nancy Pelosi is just playing two-dimensional chess, banking on the fruit fly attention span of the beltway media, and delaying Trumpergate Summer until 2020. "Death by a thousand cuts" as Rick Wilson says.

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