If Democrats win in 2018 we will see 'a move toward impeachment': ABC's Cokie Roberts

The Powerhouse Roundtable dives into the week in politics just days before President Trump's first State of the Union.
7:57 | 01/28/18

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Transcript for If Democrats win in 2018 we will see 'a move toward impeachment': ABC's Cokie Roberts
And we're back now with "The roundtable." ABC news political analyst Matthew dowd. Susan Glasser. Senior political writer at fivethirtyeight, Perry bacon Jr. And ABC news cokie Roberts. I want to touch quickly on immigration. You saw the huge long drive on the the border. Welcome to Texas. I love Texas. It's a huge, huge state. Just a huge state. Tell me, Matt, do you think presidenttrump's proposal. You heard Lindsey graham, too, has any prayer? No. Because the hard right hates it. And the left hates it. I think that starts off already are a block of both they're not going to get. It's just so ludicrous that we're in this position. When 90% of people want to do something on DACA. We're arguing over a wall that most people think is not needed. Think the understanding is, America and Texas. I was thinking about Texas other day, if we didn't have oil, air conditioning, and immigrants, we wouldn't be Texas. They'll pass something. It won't be the trump bill. I want to turn back to the Mueller. Very, very serious stories this week. Not just "The New York Times the. "So many people report it. Including us. What is your take on how important, how serious this 1? I think it's serious. It's not just the wanted to fire Mueller and apparently Rosenstein. It's his whole attack on the department of justice. And a misunderstanding of what the department of justice is supposed to do. He things they're supposed to be his lawyers. And defending him. He was referring to it as trump's justice department. My generals. My justice department. Maybe his congress. That would be interesting. The fact is that this all sort of piles on top of itself. And what you end up doing is, even if there was nothing there in the first place. By the time you're done, there's something there. But the texts. Very legitimate issue right now to talk about. Those texts are not helping from the FBI. Officials. No, they're not helping. But the overall, if you look at this week, Christopher WRAY, the administration not happy with him either. I'm not a lawyer. They Dade good job of that. As a Normal human being, is Donald Trump cooperating or trying to impede the investigation? I think the answer is, he's often doing things that appear to impede the investigation, from firing Mueller, to questioning the FBI. Trump is not cooperating. The idea that he'll testify willingly seems ludicrous if you look at his behavior up until now. As a political matter. Divide it from a legal matter. As a political matter, what does this mean. What happens? I think what we're seeing this week is a very clear demonstration that at least on the house side, among certain Republicans, they're acting very much as the president's defense lawyers. In this political war over how to interpret the ingags, which, in the end, with ve no idea what Mueller is going to conclude around the allegations of not just obstruction but potential collusion with Russians on the hacking. We have no idea what the evidence is. But already, think this week, we saw very clearly, a strategy by Republicans to muddy the waters. To murky it up. To cooperate with Donald Trump in his attacks on the institutions. In the same way the Democrats did with Ken Starr and bill Clinton. This is -- Ken Starr said something I completely disagree with. Which, I think in a Normal world is accurate. He said the president has this power and the congress is vested with the power to control the president. The problem is, we don't have a constitutional crisis today. We have constitutional rot. The rot is that congress is now unwilling to provide the checks and balances to the presidency of the United States. The president is allowed to do stuff. Our only solution today it seems like is to go the a special counsel and try to pursue it that way. The congressional house committees refuse to do anything. So our constitution is now rotting because of that. I don't disagree. The biggest check is the voters. And we have an off-term election coming up. And our off-year elections. A lot of damage can be done every two and four years. I understand that. Off-year elections can serve as a parliamentary vote of confidence. If the Democrats are able to win, you'll see a move towards impeachment. We have seen again and again the astonishing revelations that inside his own administration, basically in the absence of congressional accountability, the FBI director, Christopher WRAY, the former FBI direct erks James Comey. His own white house Connell. In one year in office have had to threat on the quit in order to stop what they viewed as potentially illegal or problematic actions on the part of the president. We have an astonishing fact set in one year in office. It does raise huge concerns. About the Republican as Donald Trump is president. Speaking of the Republican, Tuesday night, state of the union. President trump will give his first state of the union. He goes before congress. He was before congress lapg year, not officially the state of the union. We have heard from white house officials on background that it will be more uplifting and unifying. We heard that before the inaugural, too. Will it be different? I do think he's going to try to say, morning in America. Look at the hiring, the tax bill. The bonuses. This will not be American carnage. This will be look at my first year and how we did. I do think no matter what he says, impressions about him are very set. This is about September, about between 35% and 40% of people approve of him. And about a 55% of people disapprove. Those numbers are stuck where he is. So no matter what is said -- One speech is not going to change people's impressions. We see the gentlemen Nair ba -- generic ballot, which party would you like to control congress? The difference is smaller when he behaves. Hen he misbehaves, it's bigger. When he seems like a regular president, it shrinks to about a six-point lead. It will begin and end that night that something different will happen the following morning. And with a tweet. What is your take on his speech? What it will be? I think in this relentless news cycle, I'm hard pressed to say we'll remember this speech a few weeks from now. We remember American carnage because it was so dramatically different from previous inaugurations. In the end, trump is facing a big problem, which is aside from the -- what's on his agenda? He'll talk about infrastructure. Immigration. National security. Strongest military. But if practical terms, there's very few deliverables that they expect to take to voters this fall. Think that's where having no real content, even if it's more reassuring, means it might be a wash. I remember a president doing something smart. Having Joe Kennedy give the response. Joe Kennedy III. He's not only a Kennedy. He's young. Gnat's been a big rap against the democratic party is that the leaders are too old. He's a young, attractive guy, whose name is Kennedy. And he'll use a moral voice. Very important today.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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