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GOP lawmaker floats impeachment for Clinton

The Hill logo The Hill 10/20/2015 Jesse Byrnes
GOP lawmaker floats impeachment for Clinton © Provided by The Hill GOP lawmaker floats impeachment for Clinton

A Republican lawmaker is floating impeachment for Hillary Clinton, should the Democratic presidential candidate lock up her party's nomination and go on to win the White House. 

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said in a phone interview with The Hill late Monday that he believes Clinton improperly handled classified information on her private email server used during her time as secretary of State.

Brooks said that Clinton "would be subject to impeachment," adding, "subject to impeachment means that should the House and Senate so choose, she could be impeached based on offenses, high crimes and misdemeanors, that she has in all probability already committed."

Brooks pointed to a section in the federal code that prohibits the "unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material," though suggested other areas could also apply to Clinton.

"I don't know, off hand, whether her commission of these offenses is a legal barrier to running for president. But if Congress should so choose, it would be a legal basis for her removal from office," Brooks said later in the interview.

"Why do you think Joe Biden is thinking about running for president?" Brooks asked. "To a large degree, he's waiting to see if Hillary Clinton gets arrested or indicted."

Brooks caught headlines on Monday when The Huffington Post highlighted his remarks from a recent radio interview when he floated the prospect of impeachment for Clinton on her first day in office.

Clinton, amid a federal probe into her email arrangement, has maintained that she never sent or received information that was marked classified when she was secretary of State. 

Her use of a private email server has dogged her Democratic presidential campaign since it was first publicly revealed in March, weeks before she launched her 2016 White House bid. 

"If we had an unbiased judicial system, not run by this particular White House, in my opinion, she would have already been arrested," Brooks told The Hill.

"There's plenty of evidence to establish probable cause, which is the legal standard for an arrest warrant or an indictment," added Brooks, a former prosecutor and district attorney.

"The only issue is whether Barack Obama and the White House will try to suppress a thorough investigation with resulting prosecution or get out of the way and let our prosecutors do their jobs, the FBI do their jobs, unfettered by any political constraint," he said.

Asked if he would like to see the situation resolved before the question of impeachment was raised, Brooks said, "I would like to see Hillary Clinton treated like every other American citizen would be treated if they had improperly taken classified documents" and then improperly stored them. 

Clinton is headed to Capitol Hill this week and is slated to appear Thursday before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, where she is expected to face questions on the attack as well as her private email.

Democrats have gone on the offense ahead of her testimony this week to say that Republicans have "no evidence" to support claims she was responsible for the deaths of four Americans during the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. 

Republicans have sought to keep a focus on the 2012 attacks in Libya while also stressing the issue of Clinton's private email server from her time as secretary of State, from 2009-2013.

Brooks pointed to his work handling classified information as part of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees, saying in his four years in Congress, "I never get it electronically, never."

"If it's not protected, you are creating a significant risk of a loss of many American lives," Brooks said. "It's national security. There are bad people out in the world who would love to have this information."

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