James Comey, the former FBI director who was fired by President Donald Trump, made a surprising statement about impeachment that might stun some Democrats.
Comey says that he is opposed to impeachment because it would be so divisive to the country.
"I hope that Mr. Trump is not impeached and removed from office before the end of his term," he said in an op-ed in the New York Times.
"Because if Mr. Trump were removed from office by Congress," he explained, "a significant portion of this country would see this as a coup, and it would drive those people farther from the common center of American life, more deeply fracturing our country."
Comey did not suddenly become a Trump supporter, however. He opined that he would prefer the president be tossed out of office in the next election. That way his defeat will be "much harder to distort, or to nurse as a grievance" than if he were impeached.
"We need a resounding election result in 2020," Comey explained, "where Americans of all stripes, divided as they may be about important policy issues — immigration, guns, abortion, climate change, regulation, taxes — take a moment from their busy lives to show that they are united by something even more important: the belief that the president of the United States cannot be a chronic liar who repeatedly attacks the rule of law."
The former FBI director has been a vehement critic of the president since his ouster in May 2017.
Comey's comments mirror what has come out of other Trump critics, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said that she was opposed to the campaign to impeach the president.
Here's what Trump said to the impeachment threat:
President Trump on impeachment comments from Rep. Rashida Tlaib (C-SPAN) www.youtube.com