In a new interview with ABC’s The Investigation podcast, Greg Craig, special counsel to Bill Clinton during his impeachment and Obama White House counsel, weighed in on President Donald Trump’s impeachment and advised House Democrats to focus on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine rather than the Mueller report. Throughout the interview, Craig compared the current impeachment inquiry into Trump with his experience advising Clinton during his impeachment.
In the interview, Craig told hosts Chris Vlastro and John Santucci he believed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was taking the right approach in leading the impeachment inquiry against Trump. He said, “I think [Pelosi] should be focusing on exactly what she is focusing on now, which is whether there was efforts by the president to have a foreign government intervene in our political process by investigating one of his political adversaries.”
The House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry into the president on September 24, following a whistleblower complaint issued by a member of the United States intelligence community. The complaint centered on reports that Trump had repeatedly requested that the president of Ukraine open an investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. The complaint accused Trump of “solicit[ing] interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
Reiterating his opinion, Craig told the hosts, “I think it is clearly becoming the focus of this Ukraine conversation, the use of the presidential power in ways that are unacceptable and inappropriate and unconstitutional and inconsistent with his oath.”
When asked about whether Democrats should also use the Mueller report, Craig stated, “The president’s theme with respect to the Mueller report was ‘no collusion and no obstruction.’ What we have developing now is evidence of both collusion and obstruction.” He went on to add, once again, that Democrats will have to focus their investigation on Ukraine.
Regarding Trump’s recent comment about China investigating the Bidens, Craig was hesitant to comment definitively on whether it was grounds for investigation. “If it comes out that he in fact had the same kind of conversation with the Chinese and used the same kind of leverage and abused the powers of his office the same way with the Chinese, as he has apparently done with the Ukrainians, that would be an appropriate article to include in the articles of impeachment,” the lawyer said. He qualified the opinion, adding, “I don’t think it means that by making that one comment that he is engaged in wrongdoing that rises to the level of the impeachment.”
Craig also told hosts that he believed Pelosi was aiming to begin a trial in December so as to have as little conflict with the 2020 election as possible. He also said that, “the misconduct at issue here has to do with the election itself, and that it could not be ignored.”
Craig was also critical of Trump’s actions since the investigation has begun. He criticized the president for “adding more fuel to the fire of those people who are thinking about removing him from office. I think the strategy that he’s adopted over the last three or four weeks has not worked for him to date.” He later offered very simple advice, “When you’re in a hole, I would stop digging.”
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