In an interview with MSNBC broadcast Saturday, former Bush White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter warned that the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is not moving fast enough, Mediaite reports.
The lower chamber, according to the former Bush White House official, already has plenty of evidence of the president committing impeachable offenses, which is why it is not necessary to continue with the wide-ranging investigations.
“We can investigate the crimes of Donald Trump for the next four or five years, and if we do we will be going into a second term,” Painter said.
He argued that the House of Representatives cannot afford to wait any longer, suggesting that Trump should have been impeached two years ago.
“This president committed impeachable offenses in 2017,” he said.
The Trump White House has been subpoenaed, but it is yet to turn over the documents it had been asked to provide to Congress, and this could slow down the impeachment process.
If Trump and his allies refuse to comply with the subpoena, Painter said, Democrats need to move forward quickly and “go to court.”
House committees investigating the president “can continue to gather evidence” on Trump, according to the former Bush White House official, but Democrats need to hold an impeachment vote as soon as possible.
“It needs to happen very soon,” he stressed.
Unless the House holds an impeachment vote soon, warned Painter, the Democrats will “probably” lose the presidency, and lose in the United States Congress.
“If they don’t impeach Donald Trump, we will probably see the Democrats lose the House of Representatives and the presidency. This needs to happen, and the members of the House need to vote in favor of impeachment.”
The House launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump on September 24. The decision came following allegations that the president is using the power of his office to damage a political opponent’s campaign.
According to a complaint filed by an anonymous whistleblower, in an attempt to harm Joe Biden’s White House bid, Trump pressured the government of Ukraine to investigate the former vice president’s son Hunter.
According to the whistleblower, the president threatened to cut military aid unless his requests are fulfilled.
Trump denies any wrongdoing, but he has publicly urged Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, alleging that the former vice president is corrupt.
Biden has strongly pushed back against the accusations, suggesting that Trump is scared of running against him in 2020.
Even if the House votes to impeach the president the Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to convict him.