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Leading House Democrat admits impeachment could backfire on Dems in 2020 — but that won't stop them from pursuing it


'I believe that this whole process, to me, is about preserving this republic'

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the House Majority Whip and third-ranking House Democrat, admitted Sunday that pursuing the impeachment of President Donald Trump could backfire on Democrats in 2020 — but stated that they will continue to pursue it, anyway.

Recent polling indicates that voters in key swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin generally oppose impeaching Trump and removing him from office. When confronted with that fact on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, Clyburn acknowledged the political dangers of pursing impeachment.

"Is it possible that this could have a negative impact on your party's prospects in 2020?" host Dana Bash asked.

"Sure, it could," Clyburn admitted. "And that would make this whole process much more political than I would like for it to be."

The 14-term congressman explained that Democrats will continue to pursue impeachment even without bipartisan support because, for him at least, the process is about "preserving this republic."

"I believe that this whole process, to me, is about preserving this republic, protecting the democracy that we hold dear. And I do not believe that we ought to allow our political feelings to get in the middle of this," Clyburn said. "This country is worth saving. And I do believe that we are in a crisis, much like that Thomas Paine wrote about back in 1776, when he talked about summer soldiers and sunshine patriots."

Interestingly, Clyburn also admitted that he has "no idea" what crime, if any, the president has committed. However, he stressed that is exactly why the impeachment inquiry is necessary — to determine if the president has cleared the constitutional hurdle for impeachment.

'Sure it could': House Democrat admits Trump impeachment could backfire on his party in 2020 www.youtube.com

Analysis by the New York Times shows that registered voters in the six closest 2016 battleground states generally favor the impeachment inquiry — 50 percent to 45 percent — but those same voters oppose impeaching Trump and removing him from office, 53 percent to 43 percent.

However, registered voters nationwide support Trump's impeachment and removal from office.

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