- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 3, 2019

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews says it may be time to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Mike Pence over fears he engaged in “the nasty business of oppo research.”

The “Hardball” host warned multiple guests that Democrats must concentrate on an entire “cabal” of men who are linked to President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“This is not fun. It’s serious,” he told Delaware Sen. Chris Coons on Wednesday. “But the vice president now according to reporting seems to be engaged in the same thing Trump was engaged in which is basically shaking down a foreign leader to get dirt on a political candidate, the candidate you’re supporting, Joe Biden. Shouldn’t he be the subject of an impeachment inquiry as well at this point?”

Similar statements were made with Sen. Kamala Harris.

“I realize he’s got William Barr, the attorney general in cahoots with him. He’s got secretary of state, Pompeo, in cahoots with him,” he told the California Democrat. “Now, he’s got the vice president dragged into this cabal. They all working together to get dirt on one of the presidential candidates, Biden. It seems like it’s all now to the nasty business of oppo research run by the president with these guys, men, behind him. They’re not just sycophants like Lindsey Graham. They’re in it. What do you make of it?”

The media watchdog NewsBusters noted that Mr. Coons seemed “confused” by the size of the host’s impeachment dragnet.

“I think it’s important we focus on the facts,” the Democrat said in reference to Mr. Trump’s phone call, which was made public to counter claims by a CIA whistleblower.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that [Joe] Biden stopped the prosecution [into Burisma Holdings] and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,” Mr. Trump said during the call. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution. See if you can look into it…it sounds horrible to me.”

“I’m talking the facts,” Mr. Matthews insisted. “He’s got secretary of state, Pompeo, in cahoots with him. Now, he’s got the vice president dragged into this cabal.”

The Justice Department’s Criminal Division concluded that President Trump did not violate campaign finance laws during his call with Mr. Zelensky.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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