Democrat Joe Manchin: 'Ill-advised' to impeach Trump now

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Sen. Joe Manchin said House Democrats would be “ill-advised” to follow through on their threats to move toward impeaching President Trump in the coming days.

The centrist West Virginia Democrat told Fox News anchor Bret Baier that he thinks now is not the best time to file articles of impeachment against Trump because the Senate is not likely to convict him and President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office in less than two weeks.

“I don’t see any of that because there will be 48, still 48 Democrats, until we seat Warnock and Sen. Ossoff,” Manchin said when asked if he sees any scenario where Trump would be convicted by the Senate. He referenced incoming Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who won their runoff elections in Georgia last week.

“So, until that happens, you need 67 votes. I think, my arithmetic, that means we have 19 Republicans. I don’t see that,” he said. “And I think the House should know that also. We have been trying to send that message over. They know the votes aren’t there.”

“I think this is so ill-advised for Joe Biden to be coming in, trying to heal the country, trying to be the president of all the people, when we’re going to be so divided and fighting again,” Manchin continued. “Let the judicial system do its job … We’re a country of the rule of law. That’s the bedrock of who we are. Let that take its place. Let the investigations go on. Let the evidence come forth, and then we will go forward from there.”

Manchin also emphasized there is “no rush” to impeach, leaving the door open to proceedings after Trump’s time in office has ended.

“I don’t think that, basically, you can ever condone the type of actions that’s happened, the insurrection that’s happened to our country and to our Capitol,” the senator said.

Five people died during last week’s chaos, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.

There have been calls from Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for the president to either be impeached or for the 25th Amendment to be invoked, which would replace him with Vice President Mike Pence until Biden takes office.

Trump was impeached by the Democratic-controlled House on two Ukraine-related articles in December 2019 but was acquitted by the GOP-led Senate.

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