LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — While he believes President Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses, newly reelected Congressman John Yarmuth said he did not think impeachment should be something the House of Representatives pursue now that Democrats have regained the majority.
"Impeachment is a political process, and not a legal one, and in order for it to have credibility in the country it has to be bipartisan," Yarmuth said. "There’s no chance there’s going to be a bipartisan impeachment effort knowing what we know now, so I don’t think we should pursue that.”
Instead, the soon-to-be Chair of the House Budget Committee said he wants to focus on passing legislation after two years of little bipartisan action.
“We need to seek out opportunities where we know there’s some common ground," Yarmuth said.
Yarmuth said he believes infrastructure, criminal justice reform and immigration reform could be bipartisan issues that might unite Democrats and Republicans in the next two years.
Yarmuth also said that Trump's lack of a political philosophy could help Democrats in the upcoming legislative sessions.
“I think there is an opportunity to get things done," Yarmuth said, "and I say that because Donald Trump, who has really no core values in sense of a political philosophy, is someone I think who’s pretty transactional, and if he sees that passing some legislation — doing some things in a constructive fashion — will enhance his reelection efforts, then I think he might be willing to work with us."
While Yarmuth is not focused on impeaching Trump, he said he was frightened by Trump installing Matt Whitaker as acting Attorney General.
“Of all the people Donald Trump could’ve appointed to oversee the Justice Department after Jeff Sessions, he was probably the one that raises the most red flags," Yarmuth said.
Yarmuth said Whitaker is a political operative who has no real judicial experience, and Yarmuth fears he will affect the Special Counsel's investigation into any foreign government efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
"He’s clearly expressed himself publicly in a way that I think many people would lose confidence that the investigation is going to have a chance to proceed," Yarmuth said. "I worry about him ending the investigation and then precipitating some kind of constitutional crisis."
Still, Yarmuth said he wants Americans to feel hopeful — that there is an opportunity to get things done in the next two years — as he attempts to work on budgetary matters and spending agreements with fellow Louisvillian Mitch McConnell.