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Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton: U.S. is facing a constitutional crisis

Austin Thomason
Michigan Photography

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed a filled auditorium at the University of Michigan on Thursday. 

Although she spoke on a wide range of mostly foreign policy issues, she did respond to a question from the audience about impeachment, saying the actions of President Donald Trump merit an impeachment inquiry.

"The Ukraine phone call, the whistleblower report, the additional information now coming out certainly in my view meets the definition of an impeachable offense, if it's proven," Clinton said. 

"If he (Trump) wants to contest the evidence, if he wants to present contrary evidence to the House, that is his right," said Clinton.

But she objected to the Trump administration's refusal to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, calling it "totally out of bounds."

"If you were to believe that no President could be investigated for wrongdoing while in office, if you were to believe that the President was above the law," said Clinton. "We would lose our democracy right then. We would be on the road to tyranny."

Clinton also said the U.S. has a lot of repair work to do to restore its global leadership role, and she blamed actions taken by Trump.

She said people overseas are going to start hedging their bets if they can't count on the U.S.

"We're becoming less and less relevant in the world," she said. "We are losing our leverage along with our credibility."

Clinton called on other elected officials and business and citizen leaders to speak up "so that people around the world will know that the America that they used to count on, that represented the values they aspire to, will be back."

Clinton also criticized the failure of the Trump administration to speak out against human rights violations in Hong Kong. 

"When America is silent about these fundamental human rights, nobody else is going to speak up," said Clinton. "Nobody else has a voice loud enough to be heard." 

Clinton said she was worried about the security of our elections, when asked what should be done to prevent foreign interference in them.

"First, accept the fact that it happened," said Clinton. "Don't argue about it. It happened. Just this week, the Senate Intelligence Committee, on a bipartisan basis, issued a report going into detail about how much the Russians interfered in our elections in favor of Donald Trump and against me."   

She said the only institution capable of stopping foreign interference in our elections is the federal government, but "there seems to be very little appetite by the federal government to do anything about it."