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Hillary Clinton hasn't been elected, but some in GOP are already talking impeachment

Some top Republicans are already floating the idea of impeaching Hillary Clinton and yet she hasn’t even been elected president.

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, brought up that scenario in an interview Wednesday.

“Assuming she wins, and the investigation goes forward and it looks like an indictment is pending, at that point in time, under the Constitution, the House of Representatives would engage in an impeachment trial. It would go to the Senate, and impeachment proceedings and removal would take place,” he said.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, who is in a tight reelection race, told a local paper Monday that Clinton’s actions involving her private email servers as secretary of state are impeachable offenses.

“She purposefully circumvented it (the law), this was willful concealment and destruction,” he said. “I would say yes, high crime or misdemeanor, I believe she is in violation of both laws.”

In an interview with The Washington Post, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, the chairman of a House Judiciary subcommittee, said he’s personally convinced she should be impeached because of her influence deriving from the Clinton Foundation, the report said.

“It is my honest opinion that the Clinton Foundation represents potentially one of the greatest examples of political corruption in American history,” he said. “Now that perspective may be disproven, time will tell. But given that conviction on my part, I think all options are definitely on the table.”

Even Donald Trump has hinted at it on the campaign trail.

“Here we go again with Clinton, you remember the impeachment, and the problems? She’s likely to be under investigation for many, many years, also likely to conclude in a criminal trial. This is not what we need in this country, folks,” he said at a rally Thursday in Jacksonville, Florida.

But other top Republicans are saying it’s too early to be raising the idea.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, the former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said everyone should “calm down.”

“Okay, I’m gonna say, be the adult in the room and say, ‘Calm down, back off, it’s not gonna happen,’” Issa said Wednesday on the “Brett Winterble Show” on KFMB San Diego, according to The Huffington Post. “The fact is we have impeached and removed from office nine federal judges in our history, no members of the executive branch, not a president, not a vice president, not a cabinet officer, so floating that word is usually a fairly reckless thing.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the majority whip, said it’s “premature” speculation.

“Well, I think that’s premature myself, to be talking about that because of course she hasn’t been elected or sworn into office,” Cornyn said Tuesday in an interview with “The Wells Report” on 660 AM The Answer. “And unless there is some additional evidence that the FBI director and the [Justice Department] would take to a grand jury, then she is not likely to be convicted of a crime.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, blasted Republicans in a statement Thursday for discussing impeachment.

“In addition to there being no grounds for impeachment to begin with, moving to impeach President Hillary Clinton for alleged activities from before the election would be a brazen attempt to nullify the vote of the American people, outside our constitutional framework and destructive to the Framers’ intent,” she said.

Election Day is Tuesday. 

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.