Following a report that President Donald Trump told the FBI director to end its investigation into Russian ties to the Republican presidential campaign, U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said late Tuesday that impeachment is possible.

During a television interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Maine’s independent junior senator was asked if Trump is getting close to a possible impeachment.

“Reluctantly, I have to say yes,” said King, who is up for re-election in 2018.

A New York Times story published Tuesday said former FBI Director James Comey was told by Trump to let the investigation go after the firing of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lying.

“I’m floored by that,” Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, told The Wall Street Journal. But, she added, she wanted to learn more before commenting because “there’s so much floating around — some of it’s true, some of it isn’t.”

King, though, was ready to go further.

“Obstruction of justice is such a serious offense,” King said. “And I say it with sadness, and reluctance.”

“This is not something I’ve advocated for, the word has not passed my lips in this whole tumultuous, three or four months,” the senator said.

“But 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.”

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a 2nd District Republican, said that if the allegations are substantiated, they “raise grave concerns. It is incredibly important our investigative agencies like the FBI have the impartiality to conduct their business independently and always in the best interest of our nation.”

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a 1st District Democrat, said that “every day we learn more disturbing details about how the president has interfered in the investigation of his ties to Russia.’

She said in a prepared statement that the story in The New York Times about Trump’s talk with the now-fired FBI director “begs more questions and causes Americans to feel less safe and lose faith in the institutions which uphold our democracy.”

Pingree said that an independent investigation is necessary to find out what went on between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Poliquin said he is looking forward to the House Oversight Committee’s review of the matter a”nd specifically of the memo that’s been reported by media outlets, to gain clarity on the situation.”

In addition, he said, “it will be important now especially for the Senate to do its work in fully reviewing the candidates for the next FBI director.”

U.S. Sen. Angus King


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