Joe Kennedy says it’s too early to say whether Trump should be impeached

Rep. Joe Kennedy III doesn’t like shortcuts — not on policy-making, not on passing legislation, and not on issues of presidential impeachment.

When asked this week on “The Takeout” podcast whether he’ll heed billionaire Tom Steyer’s call for Democrats to demand President Donald Trump be impeached, the Massachusetts congressman from a family with famed Democratic roots, says he wouldn’t go that far.


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“Look, when you start talking about the impeachment – the early removal of power of the President of the United States – it behooves the American public – or our government – to make sure that this isn’t something that’s going to be used taken lightly,” Kennedy said. “You want to have the process play out before you call somebody guilty or innocent.”

Last week, Democratic billionaire donor Tom Steyer initiated a $10 million ad campaign calling for the president’s impeachment.

“A Republican Congress once impeached a president for far less,” Steyer’s ad says. “Yet today, people in his own administration and Congress know that this president is a clear and present danger who is mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons and they do nothing. Join us and tell you member of congress they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what’s political and start doing what’s right.”

“Do I think he’s a clear and present danger to the American public?” Kennedy posed. “I do not believe that the values vision and policies put forward by this administration are reflective of the best that America has to offer and will take us in a good direction. I have a strong concerns with the way he’s doing it. Does he pose a clear and present danger to the United States? I’m not sure I’d go there yet.”

On Thursday night, the National Archives released 2,800 previously classified records from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Rep. Joe Kennedy’s great uncle.  

Earlier this week, the younger Kennedy said he tends toward the disclosure of government-held documents but that “it would have been nice if there were some communication between this administration and members of our family.”

He told “The Takeout” hosts, CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett and political director Steve Chaggaris, that statement doesn’t necessarily mean everyone in his family agrees.  

“One thing that you learn pretty quickly in my family is that if you try to be a spokesperson for all hundred and, probably 80, of us, there is no set spokesperson, he said. “There’s a lot of people there with divergent views and viewpoints.”

More documents will be released next year. The White House announced Thursday agencies will have until April 26, 2018, to review redactions to ensure no national security secrets are made public in the documents.

For more from Major and Steve’s conversation with Kennedy, download “The Takeout” podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, or Spotify. New episodes are available every Friday morning.

Also, you can watch “The Takeout” on CBSN Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm ET/PT. For a full archive of “The Takeout” episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com.

Producers: Arden Farhi and Katiana Krawchenko

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