Maxine Waters: If There Was "Collusion" With Russia, Trump Committed Impeachable Offense

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said Donald Trump may have already committed an impeachable offense, even before he has taken office as president of the United States. Waters said if it is found out that the Russians were in collusion with the Trump campaign to strategize and come up with terms like "Crooked Hillary," the President-elect did something "impeachable." From Monday's edition of <i>Hardball</i> on MSNBC: <blockquote>CHRIS MATTHEWS: Is Trump going to be a legitimate president of the United States, actually a president of United States, or not? And are there questions about what role the Russians played in this election? I personally believe they are separate questions, but do you? REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): No, absolutely not. And I think when John [Lewis] talked about him being illegitimate, he really was talking about the fact that the questions are still out there about whether or not the Russians did play a role in determining what happened in our elections and also I think John was talking about there are going to be more investigations to determine whether or not Trump or his advocates, people associated with him on his staff, in the campaign, whether or not there was some collusion, whether or not there were some exchanges of information, whether or not they were strategizing together. And I think that's what he was trying to describe. Other people are trying to talk about this democracy and whether or not once you question whether someone a legitimate that you are questioning whether or not the democracy works. People, you know, don't want it to be that you're deciding that somehow the electoral system doesn't work, that democracy doesn't work, et cetera, he's really talking about this unusual occurrence where in fact we know that the Russians played an important role and they tried to support Mr. Trump and they tried to make sure that Hillary Clinton didn't get elected. And so I think that's a legitimate discussion. CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let's talk about where that leads to, Congresswoman. You've raised a good point here, I guess for you it is important. If we find out that somebody on behalf of Donald Trump was on the phone or in e-mail relations with somebody in Russia or the Ambassador from Russia to America and there was some sort of collusion, then what, does that make Trump subject to impeachment? What do you mean by not legitimate? Just generally, what do you mean by the term? If you find out there's a connection, collusion, your term? WATERS: Well, here's what I'm trying to get to. If we discover that Donald Trump or his advocates played a role in helping to devise strategy, if they are the ones who came up with 'Crooked Hillary,' if they are the ones who came up with 'she's ill,' 'something's wrong with her energy,' and the way that he basically described her in the campaign, I think that is something that would put the question squarely on the table whether or not he should be impeached. MATTHEWS: So you think you could have an impeachable offense before you take office. WATERS: Well I think at the point that investigations discover and can confirm and document any of that that they had a role in helping to strategize, they had a role in attempting to determine the outcome that in many ways that they used the information that they got from DNC when they hacked into our e-mails, et cetera, if that was used against Hillary Clinton in some ways, yes, I think that's impeachable.</blockquote>