Speaking on MSNBC’s “The Beat” with leftist host Ari Melber, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) compared President Trump to a mob boss, saying, “I’ve used examples where you’ve had mob bosses who have committed atrocity after atrocity, have violated our criminal codes of conduct, and we got them on one narrow case, but they get to serve time.” When Melber gushed that Omar was “artfully making a comparison on the legal precedent to this president and Al Capone,” the murderous mobster of the Prohibition Era, Omar answered, “Yes.”
The exchange went like this:
Melber: Let’s get right in to what the Intelligence Committee is doing and the Judiciary. What do you see as the case for impeachment? What happens next?
Omar: So the intelligence committee is about to issue their report tomorrow and we will have an opportunity to vote on it and send it to the Judiciary. We will hear from constitutional scholars and have an opportunity to really lay out for the public what kind of articles of impeachment could be drawn up in this process. And, you know, you have to remember, right, this began in a way for us to give the public an opportunity to understand and move along in this process with us. And as we go into the second phase, they will get to do that more.
Melber: You have previously advocated for impeaching this president on other grounds before the Ukraine bribery plot was exposed; what is your current thinking on how narrow or broad to advance impeachment? I’ll mention, as you now, your colleagues have had some of this debate; we’ve seen discussion of Ukraine, obstruction of justice, do you include Mueller or not; the issues around corruption and emoluments as well as the question of whether the president’s exposed bigotry and racism including, we should mention, against you among others, should be included. Do you have a view of how broad the articles should be?
Omar: I’ve said for a really long time that it wasn’t going to be — if the president was getting impeached it was going to be when. I believed that there were multiple reasons for us to move impeachment on this president, and right now I think it is really important for us to have it be narrowed because this is a very concise case, regardless of the shenanigans that the Republicans are engaged in at the moment.
The public can clearly understand where the violations are and can follow this case as you have now done in the previous segment. Case after case has shown similar cases that give us precedent. The public gets to do that and gets to understand why this particular case with Ukraine is a clear example of how this lawless president has taken advantage of the public trust, has violated his oath of office, and why it’s important for us to impeach him so that we can restore the integrity and the honesty and the trust of the presidency.
Melber: So to make sure I’m hearing you right on that; you would say, on say, the bigotry that you discussed before, the Mueller stuff, you would say, leave that out.
Omar: I think there are other opportunities, but right now we have a clear case, and I believe that we should follow this one. You know, I’ve used examples where you’ve had mob bosses who have committed atrocity after atrocity, have violated our criminal codes of conduct, and we got them on one narrow case, but they get to serve time. And what’s important right now is that for this particular president, that we know has many cases where we can impeach him on, that we focus on the one that the public is paying attention to and impeach him on that.
Melber: Congresswoman, it sounds like you are artfully making a comparison on the legal precedent to this president and Al Capone —
Melber: —without technically saying Al Capone.