Hmmm… you don’t suppose she’s thinking of running for President, do you? Naw. Perish the thought.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) showed up on Sixty Minutes this weekend and was happy to serve up the usual round of hints suggesting some impeachment/removal talk which is always sure to spice up any slow political news cycle. Of course, we’ve had Democrats calling for Trump to resign since before he was even sworn into office, but the reasons change from month to month. So what is it this time? Ah, yes… it’s the #MeToo movement. (The Hill)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said Sunday she believes Congress should hold President Trump accountable for the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him.
“I think he should resign, and if he’s unwilling to do that, which is what I assume, then Congress should hold him accountable. We’re obligated to have hearings,” Gillibrand said in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
Gillibrand, who was among the first to call for former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to resign due to sexual misconduct allegations, was also one of several Democratic senators who late last year said Trump should resign due to sexual misconduct allegations that surfaced during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The Hill makes a point of talking about how Gillibrand was “among the first” to call for Franken’s resignation, presumably to establish her nonpartisan bona fides when covering her call for Trump to step down. Of course, while she may have been “among the first” that wasn’t her initial reaction. When several women accused Franken, she initially said she found the accusations “deeply concerning,” and that she expected, “to hear more from Sen. Franken.” Weeks later, on November 30th, after saying that Bill Clinton should have resigned, the Senator was again asked if Franken should resign. She responded by saying, “It’s his decision.”
By December 5th, coming up on a month after the story began and five women had come forward, Gillibrand was given another bite at the apple and had no comment beyond, “I’m not going to say that today.” Of course, she eventually did come out and call for him to resign, but many of her colleagues expressed remorse over the move.
So what sort of “action” does she plan to take when the President inevitably ignores her demand and fails to slink away and hand the keys over to Mike Pence? She’s still not saying The I Word and isn’t even suggesting some sort of 25th Amendment workaround. What she wants now are hearings. Of course she does. If there’s one thing better than driving a president of the opposing party out of office, it’s clogging up the news cycle all through a midterm election year with hearings about his alleged bad behavior.
If we’re being fair to the Democrats here, though, it probably does strike some observers as curious that there aren’t any hearings going on regarding Trump’s female accusers from the past. Nearly everyone else in politics who has been accused has either resigned or faced some sort of inquiry. But Trump has maintained his desired status as Teflon Don and has avoided that particular spectacle.
It’s unclear at this point if Gillibrand could actually force any sort of action in terms of hearings. But given the tension over the upcoming midterms and her own, often rumored plans to try for Trump’s job in 2020, you can bet we’ll be hearing more from her on this in the future.