Quigley on CNN: I believe the president has abused his powers. I also believe in the process.
LEMON: Now I want to bring in Congressman Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat who is a member of the Intelligence Committee. Congressman, I appreciate you joining us here as well. What’s your response to what you just heard from Congressman Sherman about impeachment?
QUIGLEY: You know, I tell my colleagues on the far right -- is -- you tank the Mueller -- you tank the investigation on Russia, and then you halted it, and you tried to shut down Mueller. That’s wrong. But, I tell my friends who were filing articles of impeachment over a year ago is, had you done that successfully, we never would have learned about everything we’ve learned from Mr. Cohen, Mr. Manafort, and other court proceedings. Let Special Counsel finish his job. There are criminal investigations taking place right now, and the House and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have just begun their work again. Especially the House, we have the gavels now. If you only focus on impeachment, which it shouldn’t be, you would have missed your chance. If your only focus is on impeachment, you’ve got to realize you maybe, maybe get one shot at it. But clearly the American public’s voice on this is going to matter a great deal, and you cannot come off as carrying torches to the castle. This is extraordinarily serious. I do believe the president has abused his powers. But, I also believe in the process.
LEMON: Well, let me ask you this, then. Because considering that Speaker Pelosi has said that the president – President Trump is ethically, intellectually, and curiosity-wise unfit for office. If evidence does exist of wrongdoing why keep someone like that in office, if you believe all those things?
QUIGLEY: Well you’re very, very close to an extraordinarily large addition in my mind of evidence toward that end, and that's Special Counsel's report. In addition, again, the House Select Committee on Intelligence has just started to reopen that investigation, and I think there’s real information to be found of the president and those around him, wrongdoing. Again, you’ve got one shot at this. If you leap ahead before you have that information, you're certainly not going to succeed. And, I think more importantly the American public will never find out fully what took place, what the Russians did, and who was involved. Now, what we know so far is the president was surrounded by people who were committing crimes. We need to know if the president was involved in that. Maybe more important than all of this is was American policy influenced by this? Flynn with Saudi Arabia, Cohen telling us about Trump Tower in Moscow, Manafort with a Ukrainian peace plan trying to help the Russians out – these are important things. This can’t be rushed. I clearly understand the frustration and anger, but I think we’re a lot closer to a lot more information right now.
LEMON: Congressman, you said the American people will never know, you mean if not for the full report? Is that what you’re saying?
QUIGLEY: If we’re not allowed to complete our investigation -- first of all, the Special Counsel report will come out, and we're going to learn a lot more. But if the House doesn't complete its investigation, I don’t think the American public will fully find out everything because appreciate they are very separate missions, what they’re trying to do.
LEMON: Do you think that this is – some have said that Nancy Pelosi’s saying this and some Democrats are taking this stance on not impeaching the president because there’s no smoking gun when it comes to the Mueller report. Is that true?
QUIGLEY: No, I think what you’re seeing here is a focus on – there’s a lot of other things to focus on. We can’t be seen to the American public as a single issue party, only going to try to impeach the president of the United States. There’s a whole country to run and a president who I think is unfit for office, and we need to stop his extraordinary policies. That has to be our focus. I think that’s what you saw with Ms. Pelosi’s statement today and her remarks today. Impeachment’s clearly out there, but let’s get the complete body of information so we know exactly what we’re dealing with. Because again, if that’s all you’re focused on, you get maybe one shot. You’d better have all the ammunition you have.
LEMON: Congressman Quigley, thank you.
QUIGLEY: Anytime. Thank you.