If you were wondering whether the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump over the Ukraine phone call is merely the most recent excuse that Democrats are using to reach their long-held goal of removing Trump from office, look no further than Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
On Monday, Omar suggested that impeaching Trump over Ukraine is similar to Al Capone’s conviction for tax evasion. Democrats need to “focus on the one what the public is paying attention to and impeach [Trump] on that,” even though there are “many cases” worthy of impeachment, Omar told MSNBC’s Ari Melber.
Focus on Ukraine
In a Monday appearance on MSNBC’s “The Beat,” Omar was asked for her take on the current standing of the impeachment inquiry process, which is about to move from the House Intelligence Committee to the House Judiciary Committee, where specific articles of impeachment will be drafted.
“You have previously advocated for impeaching this president on other grounds before the Ukraine bribery plot was exposed. What is your current thinking on how narrow or broad to advance impeachment?” Melber asked, noting that Omar has stated in the past that Trump should be impeached for things like obstruction of justice in the special counsel probe, violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, and even his “bigotry and racism.”
Omar replied, “I’ve said for a really long time that it wasn’t going to be if the president was getting impeached, it was going to be when. I believed that there were multiple reasons for us to move impeachment on this president.”
“Right now, I think it is really important for us to have it be narrowed, because this is a very concise case, regardless of the shenanigans that the Republicans are engaged in at the moment. The public can clearly understand where the violations are and can follow this case,” she added and suggested that past precedent would help the public see that “this lawless president has taken advantage of the public trust” and violated his oath of office.
A comparison to Al Capone
In search of clarification, Melber asked, “To make sure I’m hearing you right on that, you would say on, say, the bigotry that you discussed before, the Mueller stuff, you’d say leave that out?”
“I think there are other opportunities, but right now, we have a clear case, and I believe that we should follow this one,” Omar replied. “You know, I’ve used examples where you’ve had mob bosses who have committed atrocity after atrocity, and have violated our criminal codes of conduct, and we got them on one narrow case. But they get to serve time. And what’s important right now is that for this particular president that we know has many cases where we can impeach him on, that we focus on the one what the public is paying attention to and impeach him on that.”
Melber said, “Congresswoman, it sounds like you are artfully making a comparison on the legal precedent to this president and Al Capone, without technically saying, Al Capone?” With a smile, Omar replied, “Yes.”
The mobster Al Capone was accused of numerous crimes including murder and robbery, but it was a charge and conviction over simple tax evasion that landed him behind bars. In a sense, that appears to be what Democrats are attempting to do to President Trump, letting slide all of the other purportedly egregious violations in order to obtain a conviction and removal from office related to the Ukraine controversy.
This suggests the Ukraine issue isn’t as big or bad of a deal as Democrats say it is, but merely provides the best opportunity to “get Trump,” which they have long sought to do.