Cedric Richmond says Trump's impeachment is "best way to get all the facts out"

Richmond: Impeachment "best way" to get facts out

Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said impeachment proceedings against President Trump could be the "best way" for Democrats in Congress to "get all the facts out" about the details outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller's report

"I think it should," Richmond said on "Face the Nation" Sunday when asked if impeachment should be considered. "I think it's the best way to get all of the facts out. I also believe that at some point we have to hear from this president, whether he's lying to us or not."

The Judiciary Committee has the authority to draft articles of impeachment against presidents and other federal officials. Richmond said the committee's Democratic majority has a duty to "dig into" the actions by the president detailed in the Mueller probe. 

"This president has attempted to collude, if that's the word he wants to use. He's attempted to obstruct justice at the least. At the worst, he's obstructed justice," he added. 

Earlier in the month, the Justice Department released a redacted version of Mueller's 448-page report, which did not establish any Trump campaign associate conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 election, but nevertheless described the president's repeated attempts to impede and thwart the special counsel's investigation. 

Richmond denounced Sen. Lindsey Graham for saying earlier on "Face the Nation" that Mr. Trump "did nothing wrong," unlike former President Bill Clinton, that merits impeachment. The Louisiana Democrat noted that the president, unlike Clinton, did not partake in a sworn in-person deposition. 

"We have not heard from this president under oath. So the best person we can hear from is Attorney General Barr to find out why, one, his summary, a Cliff Notes version, was so different from the facts and two, why won't he just release the unredacted report?" Richmond added, referring to Barr's scheduled testimonies before the House and Senate Judiciary Committees this week.   

Richmond said his chief objective is to make sure the president does not secure a second term, and that he is "comfortable" accomplishing that effort either through impeachment or helping former Vice President Joe Biden defeat Mr. Trump in 2020. 

"I am very concerned about this president's fitness for office. I'm very concerned about the crimes that I believe that he has committed or that the report certainly suggests that he has committed," Richmond said. "So I'm fine going either way but my goal is for him not to be president next term."