President Donald Trump’s interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos invoked swift condemnation from congressional Democrats.
Stephanopoulos asked Trump if a foreign country offered his campaign information on a political opponent, “should they accept it, or should they call the FBI?”
“I don’t — there’s nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country — Norway, ‘We have information on your opponent,’ oh, I think I’d want to hear it,” Trump said. “It’s not an interference, they have information, I think I’d take it — if I thought there was something wrong I’d go maybe to the FBI.”
The Federal Election Campaign Act makes it illegal for a foreign national to provide any contribution — whether financial or anything else of value — in connection with an election in the United States.
U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., tweeted “It is shocking to hear the [p]resident say outright that he is willing to put himself indebt [sic] to a foreign power… not to mention the foreign interference in an American election part.”
Several Democratic presidential candidates have previously called for the beginning of an impeachment hearing regarding Trump’s actions.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., all reiterated their calls for impeachment hearings.
Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he was “astonished” at the outrage in reaction to Trump’s statements, according to WeAreIowa.com.
Trump, for his part, took to Twitter early this morning, quoting Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz as saying “Unless there is compelling evidence, [i]mpeachment … is not [c]onstitutionally [p]ermissible.”
The Constitution outlines impeachable offenses as “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” and does not provide a definition of high crimes or misdemeanors.