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Palmieri: Democrats Shouldn’t Start with ‘Impeachment Trials’ if Party Wins Majority

Hillary Clinton speaks with Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri before a rally in Las Vegas on Nov. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON – Jennifer Palmieri, director of communications for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and author of Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World, said Democrats shouldn’t start with “impeachment trials” if they take back the majority in Congress.

“From what I can tell, I think you can’t run away from holding the president accountable because that’s Congress’ job, right, it’s written in the Constitution and all. I think too often Democrats can be scared of it and think, well, we don’t want to make it seem political by going after Trump. Well, it’s not political. He’s actually a danger to the country and it is their job; that’s what Congress is supposed to do,” Palmieri said in response to a question from PJM after speaking about her book earlier this spring at the Politics and Prose bookstore.

“So I think accountability of Trump has to be part of their message. I do think Trump is sort of baked into the electorate’s mind, so if I were running a campaign I would make sure my candidate kept their message and their focus very low to the ground in whatever district or state they were running in,” she added. “And even if you are running for Congress, you need to have answers for how you are going to make your community better outside of Congress because people don’t have any faith, rightly so, that Congress gets anything done.”

Heading into the midterm elections, Palmieri suggested that Democratic candidates focus on how they plan to make improvements in local communities to grow the economy. She predicted that Democrats would win back the House.

“You don’t start with impeachment trials but start with a serious process that’s Congress doing its job, where they’re conducting a serious investigation on Russia and obstruction of justice and, you know, letting that go where it may,” she said. “But this guy is a dangerous threat, an extraordinarily dangerous threat to our country.”

Palmieri also said she has “bottomless disappointment” in congressional Republicans for not holding Trump accountable.

“I don’t understand what it is, why they won’t hold him accountable,” she said.

During her speech about the new book, Palmieri recalled watching videos of Hillary Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign to improve her “likability factor” among the electorate. Palmieri said she watched a man-on-the-street-style video from the past where many voters stated that they “didn’t like” Clinton but could not say why. She said she hopes the next female presidential nominee does not struggle the same way as Clinton.

In the future, Palmieri said that “alarm bells” should go off when someone states they do not like a female candidate without specifics.

“This is something we have to evolve to understand,” she said.