- Democratic presidential candidates are torn over the politics and consequences associated with impeaching President Donald Trump.
- Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are the most high-profile 2020 candidates to announce their support for beginning impeachment proceedings against Trump following the publication of the Mueller report.
- But other prominent candidates, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, are concerned that impeachment proceedings could hurt Democrats’ chances of winning back the White House in 2020.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
Ever since the Justice Department released special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation report last week, Democrats have become increasingly divided on whether to immediately move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
Those divisions are most visible among the nearly 20 Democrats running in the 2020 presidential primary.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren became the most prominent Democrat and first presidential candidate to call on the House to begin the impeachment process last month
Warren made her case the day after the release of the Mueller report, which did not find sufficient evidence to accuse the president of conspiring with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.
But, Warren pointed out, Mueller did not come to a conclusion on whether Trump illegally obstructed justice in his handling of the investigation and explicitly names Congress’ authority to investigate and hold the president accountable in this situation.
Warren argued that it’s Congress’ constitutional duty to pursue impeachment.
“There is no political inconvenience exception to the United States Constitution,” she said.
Sen. Kamala Harris became the second major 2020 candidate last month to come out in favour of beginning impeachment proceedings, arguing that Mueller has laid out substantial evidence of the president obstructing justice.
But several other Democratic presidential candidates don’t support moving forward with impeachment proceedings immediately. They say it should stay on the table, but that Congress needs to investigate Mueller’s findings further before moving on impeachment.
Sen. Bernie Sanders said last month that he’s concerned impeachment would distract from the Democratic party’s 2020 message on policy issues like healthcare, making it more difficult to win back the White House.
“At the end of the day, what is most important to me is to see that Donald Trump is not re-elected president,” Sanders said.
Here’s a rundown of the 2020 Democrats who have taken a public stance on impeachment:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the first 2020 candidate to call for impeachment: “If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they would be arrested and put in jail.”
Sen. Kamala Harris announced on Monday night that she supports beginning impeachment proceedings: “There is an investigation that has been conducted which has produced evidence that tells us that this president and his administration engaged in obstruction of justice. I believe Congress should take steps toward impeachment.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders says Congress should keep investigating, but not necessarily move forward on impeachment: “At the end of the day, what is most important to me is to see that Donald Trump is not re-elected president.”
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg says it’s up to Congress: “I think [Trump’s] made it pretty clear that he deserves impeachment, but I’m also going to leave it to the House and Senate to figure that out.”
Sen. Cory Booker is against impeachment at this stage: “There’s a lot more investigation that should go on before Congress comes to any conclusion.”
Source: The Associated Press
Former Rep. Julián Castro supports impeachment proceedings: “I think it would be perfectly reasonable for Congress to open up those proceedings. And it is clear that Bob Mueller in his report left that in the hands of Congress.”
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke doesn’t support moving forward on impeachment right now: “I’m no longer sure that’s the fastest way for us to get there.”
Source: NBC News
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says Congress needs to hear from Mueller and the attorney general before it can decide on impeachment: “I think it’s important to keep [impeachment] on the table, but I think we need a process.”
Rep. Seth Moulton is a ‘yes’ on impeachment proceedings: “I think we’ve waited way too long to seriously start debating whether to impeach this president … [Trump] is subject to the same laws as the rest of us are and that’s why we should move forward with this debate.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: “I don’t think that we should defeat Donald Trump through impeachment.”
Source: Fox News
Sen. Amy Klobuchar isn’t pushing for impeachment. “I believe that I am the jury here, so I’m not going to predispose things … The impeachment proceedings are up to the House. They’re going to have to make that decision.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell says Democrats are “on the road” to impeachment. He argues “doing nothing is not an option” and “this president needs to be held accountable.”
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper isn’t ready to make a decision on impeachment: “We have to really push for an un-redacted copy of the report that goes to Congress. I think Mr. Mueller should testify in front of Congress, and then we can see in gory detail and in high-contrast colour more clearly what went on and make a decision about impeachment.”
Andrew Yang, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, told Business Insider Today, that “it’s Congress’ job to decide whether or not [Trump] should be impeached.”
Source: Business Insider Today
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