Hours after Donald Trump created a national furor by suggesting Russia find Hillary Clinton's 30,000 missing emails, prominent Democrats began suggesting that the Republican presidential nominee be investigated — and possibly prosecuted — for it.
None of the Democrats I spoke to at the party's national convention in Philadelphia could say what laws Trump might have broken with his controversial comment.
Trump told reporters on Thursday morning that he was simply being "sarcastic."
But his words about the Russians possibly going through Clinton's private emails (some of which were made public earlier through WikiLeaks) fueled talk of an investigation and possible legal action by Democrats in Philadelphia.
"A lot of people are saying that this [Trump's comments] went too far and some action should be taken," Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada told me minutes after his address to the convention Wednesday night.
Reid's words were echoed by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
"There should definitely be an investigation," Stabenow said, adding that Trump's comments "raised some serious questions."
Prominent Democrats outside Congress also weighed in a probe of whether Trump broke any laws.
Tom Barrett, longtime mayor of Milwaukee and two-time Democratic nominee for governor of Wisconsin, told me Congress "ought to be looking into what he said to see if there was a violation."
Other Democrats were more guarded in calling for an investigation of Trump. Former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, a past president of the American Bar Association, told me "I don't have any idea whether what he said violates any law. But it certainly confirms my belief that he has no business being pPresident of the United States."
"I don't know if there is any legal argument or not that he is in violation of the law," said Rep. Steve Israel of New York, a former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "But there certainly is a moral argument here. It is that no candidate for President should invite a foreign intelligence agency to spy on us."
Former Sen. Mary Landrieu disagreed with most of her fellow Democrats on the convention floor that Trump should face investigation and punishment.
"No, he should not be prosecuted," Landrieu told me, "But I do hope people will now understand how unqualified he is to be president and how unhinged he is. The American people must reject his buffoonery."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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