"Were you surprised to see a Republican congressman, Justin Amash, say so overtly that the president did engage in impeachable conduct?" Alysin Camerota asked Sen. Chris Coons about the statement tweeted by Amash.
"I was surprised to see a Republican congressman saying publicly what many are thinking privately. Those who have read the Mueller report cannot avoid the conclusion that the president and some of his absolutely core advisers engaged in profoundly disappointing, reprehensible conduct that would rise to the level of obstruction of justice if he were anyone other than the president of the United States," Coons said.
"You don't think Republicans are thinking that privately, do you?" Camerota asked.
"What makes you say that?"
"So it's not so private."
"There are very few who would be willing to say publicly this conduct is reprehensible for a president."
"You have spoken to Republicans who think it is impeachable."
"There is a big difference between thinking the Mueller report reveals conduct that is deeply disappointing, inappropriate, borderline or actually illegal, and saying they would vote to remove the president," Coons said.
"I haven't spoken to any Republican senator who would vote to remove the president. Many revealed concerns privately about the Mueller report in part because of the gap between what attorney general Barr characterized as being in the Mueller report, and what was actually in the Mueller report for those who have taken the time to read through it."
"He laid out evidence of behavior that at least our legal analysts say for any other American would be prosecutable," Camerota said.
"I think that's an unavoidable conclusion. There are quite a few in the Senate who are former prosecutors themselves," Coons said.
"Do you agree with Congressman Justin Amash that it rises to impeachable conduct? I don't think you have gone so far to think it is impeachable."
"There is a conclusion I've reached, which is that impeachment is a political process. The likelihood the known jury -- the Senate of the United States -- would remove the president is close to zero. If the Mueller report produced a bombshell, there was a chance that the Republican majority Senate might have removed the president. In the absence of that, we have a simple choice to make. Do we spend the next year and a half trying to legislate and putting forward proposals to solve middle Americans' daily problems, or do we spend a year and a half fighting over a political process that won't produce removable."
"Do you think that Justin Amash's comments change anything?"
"I think it's going to raise a question in the minds of voters. Is my congressman or congresswoman willing to stand up to the president when it's really in the best interests of our country, our system, rule of law? Are they willing to level with me and tell me honestly when the president does something?" Coons said.
See, here's the part that really pisses me off about Democrats and their obsession with the prevent defense. You can't start impeachment because it won't pass in the Senate, but you can spend the next 18 months pushing legislation that also has no chance of passing in the Senate?
Sometimes you have to give up on trying to game the odds, holding your finger to the wind, reading the polls, and just LEAD. Republicans do it all the time and it works! They do know how to market their ideas, as terrible as they are. There's no reason at all to conclude the public won't follow the path laid out for impeachment if the Democrats actually lead them.
Refusing to impeach Trump and making public comments like this actually undermines public faith in the Democrats and their ability to stand up for the rule of law.
And that's a very dangerous game.