- The Washington Times - Monday, June 19, 2017

Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota has a message for fellow Democrats who yearn for President Trump’s impeachment: Be careful what they wish for; they just might get it.

Mr. Franken told the International Business Times on Monday that those hoping that the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s attempts to influence the November presidential election will pave the way for impeachment should consider Vice President Mike Pence’s policy preferences.

“Pence ran the transition and some of the very worst nominees, I felt — [Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott] Pruitt, [Education Secretary Betsy] DeVos, [Health and Human Services Secretary Tom] Price, [Office of Management and Budget Director Mick] Mulvaney — were Pence selections, clearly, I think,” Mr. Franken said, IBT reported Monday.

“He’s ideological, I consider him a zealot, and I think that in terms of a lot of domestic policy certainly would be worse than Trump,” said Mr. Franken, taking a break in Denver while promoting his book “Giant of the Senate” to discuss work in Washington.

He elaborated that while Mr. Pence would probably be a better alternative than Mr. Trump on foreign policy, a serious threat of impeachment could prompt a wag-the-dog scenario.

“If you’re talking about how we handle North Korea or something like that, I’d probably be more comfortable with Pence ultimately making those decisions than Trump, because of Trump’s personality and character,” the Democrat said. “I think that [Mr. Trump] is so outside the norm in his behavior that that actually does concern me, and it concerns me that I don’t know what he will do if he looks like he’s going to be impeached and he wants to deflect. I don’t know what he’s capable of, and that really does concern me.”

Mr. Trump’s critics claim that his firing of FBI Director James B. Comey was politically motivated because of the agency’s ongoing investigation into Russian hacking during election season. Special counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, has continued the probe since Mr. Comey’s termination.

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