Addendum: Something I forgot to mention, folks. Sen. King is discussing the overall debate about impeachment, not if he or other members of the Senate will be taking that up because they can't. Just adding this for clarification.
@mVespa1 Technically, Senators can't come close to impeaching anyone.— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) May 19, 2017
With The New York Times reporting that President Trump might have acted improperly to influence the FBI investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Democrats are beginning to board the impeachment train. Granted, some members, like Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), are more rational, saying that all the facts need to be reviewed before such an action can be considered. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter to the FBI demanding that they turn over all documents relating to any communication between the president and Mr. Comey. In all, it’s now a wait-and-see game. Fox News confirmed that the memo by Mr. Comey does exist.
On Tuesday night, Sen. Angus King (I-ME) told CNN's Wold Blitzer that we are unfortunately heading closer towards impeachment due to the allegation that the president might have obstructed justice with his interactions with Mr. Comey regarding the Flynn investigation (via TPM) [emphasis mine]:
“If indeed the President tried to tell the director of the FBI who worked for him that he should drop an investigation, whether it was Michael Flynn or whether it was some investigation that had nothing to do with Russia or politics or the election, that’s a very serious matter,” King said on CNN.
“If these allegations, Senator, are true, are we getting closer to the possibility of yet another impeachment process?” Wolf Blitzer asked.
“Reluctantly, Wolf, I have to say yes, simply because obstruction of justice is such a serious offense,” King said.
He said it “was in fact one of the offenses that was listed in the last two impeachments that have gone on” in Congress.
“I think we have to be a little bit cautious. This is of immense importance,” King said. “It’s one of the most important things that I’ve been involved with in my political life.”
"Reluctantly I have to say yes." -- Angus King on whether impeachment is on the table if the Comey memo is accurate— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) May 16, 2017
Sen. Angus King asked if we are nearing an impeachment process. Says that “sadly,” the answer is “yes.” @CNN— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) May 16, 2017
Sen. Angus King, member of intel committee: "Entirely consistent with Comey's style" that he would keep detailed memos of Trump meetings— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) May 16, 2017
Yet, the next morning King said that he’s just not there yet on the impeachment question, though he added that they need more evidence to debunk the claim that Democrats are doing for this for purely political reasons (via WaPo):
Sen. Angus King, a political independent from Maine who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he’s “not there yet” when asked whether he wants President Trump impeached.
“I think we’ve got a long way to go,” he said. “We’ve got to take a deep breath. We really need the facts. We need to see the memos. We don’t even have Jim Comey authenticating the memo. We have the White House denying the memo.”
King said more evidence will help refute any belief that impeachment is merely a political ploy.
“A lot of folks who support Donald Trump think this is some kind of Democratic plot to nullify the election and snatch away what (Republicans) won,” King said. “Sixty-plus million people voted for Donald Trump. The country is split down the middle.”
Frankly, it’s sort of hard to take the latter part of that statement seriously when Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has all but said that this is a political project for her. She said that the firing of Comey was problematic because Trump did it, but she would have supported Clinton dismissing the former FBI director if she had won the election. It doesn’t get any more political than that, folks.
Longtime presidential adviser David Gergen, who has worked with Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton, said that we have entered impeachment territory, noting that obstruction of justice is what brought down Nixon and almost destroyed Bill Clinton’s presidency. He added that to a layperson it looks as if the president tried to use his power to influence and investigation and when that didn’t happen—he fired his FBI director.
There’s still a lot of questions and analysis that needs to be done with these new developments. Let’s just let things play out. Let the facts come forward, and let things marinate before we thrust the nation in a bitter impeachment fight waged by actors who might not be doing this for the good of the country. The partisan noise is about to be turned up to eleven.