Former President Bill Clinton, the only living president to have endured impeachment, advised President Donald Trump via a CNN interview not to let impeachment hinder legislative progress.
Clinton was impeached in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice, and acquitted in 1999 by the Senate. He said despite the conflict between himself and Congress, those two years were still productive.
"Well, my answer is, look at how much we got done in 1998 to 1999," Clinton said. "And even in '97. We had very productive actions in all three years."
So, Clinton said, President Trump should allow his legal team to handle impeachment while he focuses on improving the country.
"My message was — would be — look, you got hired to do a job," Clinton told Jake Tapper. "You don't get to — every day's an opportunity to make something good happen. And I would say, 'I've got lawyers and staff people handling this impeachment inquiry and they should just have at it. Meanwhile, I'm going to work for the American people.' That's what I would do."
Legislative progress has stalled in Washington while everyone's attention is focused on the House impeachment inquiry, which just commenced with public hearings Wednesday and will continue at least through next week, after weeks of private witness depositions.
Clinton called in to CNN to discuss a recent shooting at a Los Angeles-area high school that occurred as Clinton was set to receive an award for his work on gun control. After mass murders in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas in August, the political environment seemed right for progress on the issue of guns, but nothing has happened.
Attorney General William Barr said President Trump is still interested in making progress on gun control, but blamed impeachment for derailing those efforts.
Clinton said that was no excuse, saying he "just kept working" with Congress even while impeachment was in progress.