Former FBI Director James Comey, who has previously called on voters to oust President Donald Trump from office in 2020, said Wednesday that recent developments in the Ukraine scandal means “we may now be at the point” where Congress must impeach the President.
Comey, a staunch critic of Trump, appeared to shift his views hours after the release of a White House transcript of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday in which Trump repeatedly pressured his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“Some media are quoting me from last week about my hope that America will remove Donald Trump by an election, not impeachment,” Comey said in a Twitter post. “But we may now be at the point where members of the House and Senate can’t uphold their own oaths to support and defend the Constitution without acting.”
When asked in an interview with CNN affiliate KCRA last week if he thought Trump should be impeached, Comey said Congress should figure out whether alleged actions mentioned in the Mueller report would “trigger impeachment,” but as a citizen he hoped Trump would not be impeached.
“Because I think the American people would be let off the hook if Donald Trump were impeached and removed from office, and a lot of his supporters would think some kind of coup had taken place,” Comey said in the KCRA interview. “We need to take responsibility for this and vote next November and show that we have a certain set of values and we insist that our leaders reflect those values. So we need an inflection point. An impeachment would deprive us of that and we need to show what we stand for.”
According to the transcript, Trump repeatedly pushed for Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son during a July 25 phone call. The transcript also reveals the President also asked the Ukrainian leader to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and US Attorney General William Barr on the issue.
There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
Trump fired Comey as FBI director in 2017, citing his handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, though he later said “this Russia thing” – referring to the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election – was a factor as well.