Emanuel cautions fellow Democrats to drop impeachment talk

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he may be angry with President Donald Trump’s political actions, but that isn’t grounds for impeachment. He i shown here shortly after Trump’s election, declaring that Trump’s victory would not impact Chicago’s commitment as a sanctuary city for immigrants. | Teresa Crawford/Associated Press

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday he “couldn’t be angrier” at President Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean it’s time for his fellow Democrats to talk about impeachment.

The almighty “I” word — and the perils of impeachment for Democrats pushing the envelope before it’s time — came up during a conversation hosted by Axios and the U.S. Conference of Mayors on the impact of innovation and automation on cities.

Axios Executive Editor Mike Allen asked Emanuel whether impeachment was a “good issue” for the mayor’s fellow Democrats to use against Trump.

“This is a serious legal and consequential, non-political issue. And my view is, there’s nothing there today that we know” that rises to that standard, Emanuel said.

“I couldn’t be angrier at Donald Trump. … I can’t be angrier about how he uses `other’ to organize his base — anybody who doesn’t look and act like us,” Emanuel said. “I’m angry at what he’s done. But, [impeachment] is a legal, constitutional standard. When we get to it, we collectively as a country will know it — as we did with Richard Nixon.”

Emanuel was a brash young staffer working under former President Bill Clinton when Clinton was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives after the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but not convicted by the U.S. Senate.

The mayor never mentioned that in his recitation of impeachment history that included former President Andrew Johnson, whom Emanuel initially identified as James Buchanan before correcting himself.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, a Republican, offered a dramatically different view of Trump, particularly when it comes to the president’s passion for tweeting.

Bynum acknowledged he has a special alert set up on his cell phone that lets him know immediately whenever Trump sends out a tweet.

“I’m a huge history buff. And if you set aside all of the partisanship and everything else, it is pretty cool to live at a time when many of the thoughts that are running through a president of the United States’ head on a daily basis, you have instant access” to, Bynum said.

As the audience dissolved into derisive laughter, Bynum added: “It’s true. Imagine what history would be like if Thomas Jefferson [had been tweeting]. I like the transparency of it.”

Allen replied: “It’s not every day that the president is compared to Thomas Jefferson.”

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