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The Impeachment Wars and the House Judiciary Committee

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Chabot: Certainly it would have weighed. Yeah. I can’t say definitively it would have changed where I ultimately came down. But I certainly would have great weight in making a decision.

Berman: You’ve said Congress should move on. Do you think the committee needs to hear from Mueller?

Chabot: I have no objection to the committee hearing from Mueller. I have no problem with that at all.

Berman: You’ve said you don’t regret your vote and you still think Clinton committed impeachable offenses.

Chabot: Yeah, I do.

Berman: With the benefit of 20 years of hindsight, do you think the Republican Party made a mistake in pursuing impeachment in the way that it did?

Chabot: I don’t think it was a mistake, and I can only speak for myself. I thought it was the right thing to do because I thought the president had committed perjury and therefore deserved to be impeached. That was the decision I came to, and I’ve stood by that, and I still do. Were the Republicans hurt politically because of that? Yeah, we probably were. We were expected to pick up seats that year and we ended up losing seats. Newt Gingrich probably lost his speakership because of that. Politically, it probably did harm the party, but nonetheless, you shouldn’t just do things based on politics. You do things based upon what’s right.

Berman: Between Clinton and Trump, do you think one is more honest than the other, or one lies more than the other?

Chabot: I would only comment on whether they perjured themselves or not. And I think one did and one didn’t.

Berman: So you’re not saying Trump has never lied. You’re just saying he’s never lied under oath?

Chabot: I would not contend that probably most politicians haven’t lied. I try not to, and I can’t think of another time that I have, but … we ought to be truthful. We ought to tell the truth all the time. All of us. And I think there are quite a few that that’s not the case.

Berman: Was there any particular thing in the report that caused you to say, “That’s pretty close. It might not be a crime, it might not be impeachable, but that was wrong”?

Chabot: I would just say that we ought to, at all times, be honest about all matters, particularly if they’re involved in representing the public in some capacity. That ought to be the way we operate all the time. And I’ll just leave it there.

Berman: So you don’t want to go a step further and say that perhaps the president has not been honest at all times?

Chabot: No, I’m not prepared to go there.

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