MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Following reports that Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down an investigation into Michael Flynn, South Florida lawmakers believe the president is stepping into impeachable territory.
“I see bombshells dropping everywhere. And from what I understand and what I have read and seen, our president needs to take an 8th grade civics course because he doesn’t understand government,” said Rep. Frederica Wilson. “You cannot obstruct justice. You cannot threaten people.”
A senior law enforcement source and a source familiar with the matter confirmed the existence of a memo in which Trump asked Comey to end the probe. The memo was first reported by the New York Times.
According to a source who is familiar with the matter, Mr. Comey wrote the memo after the a Feb. 14 meeting at the White House because “Comey is a careful lawyer” and he knew he had to be careful with this situation.
Wilson said she hopes Comey will “spill his gut” so that we can learn “about Russia’s tie to our election and the president’s ties to Russia.”
She then said President Trump needs help.
“He doesn’t realize he is on the brink of impeachment. And people will begin to call for him to be impeached,” she said. “Tomorrow, the Democrats will be signing a discharge petition to make sure that we have an independent investigation because this has to stop.”
Wilson went on to say she is “convinced that he did obstructed justice.”
“This is just the tip of the iceberg. I think there is so much more we are going to learn in the coming days,” she added.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo wants Comey to testify before Congress and hand over the memos.
“These allegations are serious, they are unproven at this point, but they cannot be dismissed,” he said.
Curbelo then began to talk about a possible impeachment.
“We need to get to the truth. Now, this is what I do know, obstruction of justice – and those of us alive during the Clinton presidency know well that obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense – so that’s is an allegation we have to take very seriously,” he said.
He then called for “Republicans and Democrats to work together to find the facts.”
Congressman Ted Deutch also spoke out Tuesday evening.
“Look, this is very simple. If the president asked for an investigation to be stopped, then that’s obstruction of justice,” he said.
Deutch said what makes this worse is that Trump fired former Attorney General Sally Yates and Comey, who were both leading investigations into possible Russian ties.
“This is obstruction of justice, and it’s important to point out obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense,” he said.
Deutch then called for unity between all parties.
“This is a really important moment for the country. This is an important moment for people to put their politics aside and to actually stand up and demand a full investigation and full accountability,” he said.
Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart said he needs more details.
“As more concerning details emerge it’s important to reserve judgement until all of the facts are clear. I hope to get a full and complete briefing on said details when they become available,” he said.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz told CBS4 News, “If this is true, it’s the most disturbing of the allegations against President Trump.”
She added, “Donald Trump is single-handedly corroding the rule of law.”
She called for an independent, impartial investigator to get to the bottom of the allegations involving the president.
Sen. Bill Nelson said, “If true, this is another piece to the puzzle and it does not look good for the White House.”
Congresswoman Lois Frankel released a statement, which read:
“The latest report that President Trump asked former FBI director Comey ‘to forget about Mike Flynn’ is just the latest string of disturbing occasions of this President abusing his power. It’s clear we need an independent investigation of whether there is connection between the Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign.”
Caroline Mala Corbin teaches constitutional law at the University of Miami.
“I think the question on many people’s minds is this grounds for impeachment?”
She said impeachment would center on obstruction of justice.
She said that would amount to answering whether the president meddled or interfered in any kind of official investigation or proceeding.
“If there was an attempt to stop an investigation, that would certainly count as obstruction of justice,” she said.