As damning information continues to emerge from the Mueller probe, more Democrats have begun to call for impeachment proceedings. Yet the party leadership — particularly Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — remains opposed.
This is the first in a series of articles on where the 2020 presidential candidates stand on a variety of issues.
The ambivalence is reflected in the 2020 candidates for President.
Here’s a breakdown of where every Democrat running to challenge the President in 2020 (all 19!) has staked out their position on whether to impeach President Trump.
1. Cory Booker
While campaigning in Nevada, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said that impeachment was premature and that he wanted lawmakers to interview Robert Mueller. “There’s a lot more investigation that should go on before Congress comes to any conclusions like that,” Booker told the Associated Press. Booker is prioritizing criminal justice in his platform, including pot legalization and the expungements of records for pot crimes.
2. Pete Buttigieg
The Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg said that Trump “clearly deserves” impeachment. But he didn’t demand that Congress initiate proceedings.
“I think he’s made it pretty clear that he deserves impeachment,” Buttigieg told CNN.
“But I’m also going to leave it to the House and the Senate to figure that out because my role in the process is trying to relegate Trumpism to the dustbin of history, and I think there’s no more decisive way to do that—especially to get Republicans to abandon this kind of deal with the devil they made—than to have just an absolute thumping at the ballot box for what that represents.”
3. Julian Castro
The former Mayor of San Antonio told CNN Friday that impeachment was “perfectly reasonable.” He did not push Congress to initiate proceedings. “And it is clear that Bob Mueller in his report left that in the hands of Congress,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
“They’re going to decide whether they go down that route. For me, I’m running for president and there’s an election in November of 2020. And one of the things I believe the American people want is somebody that will restore honor and integrity to the White House.”
4. John Delaney
“The one conclusion that every American should reach from the Mueller report is that we are better than this,” Delaney, former US Representative from Maryland, posted on Twitter.
“We deserve a President free on conflicts, conducting themselves with honor and integrity, and possessing a moral compass that guides their actions. We have to win in 2020.”
The one conclusion that every American should reach from the Mueller report is that we are better than this. We deserve a President free on conflicts, conducting themselves with honor and integrity, and possessing a moral compass that guides their actions. We have to win in 2020.
— John Delaney (@JohnDelaney) April 18, 2019
5. Tulsi Gabbard
Rep. Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who holds a host of controversial positions on foreign policy, has come out against impeachment, telling Fox News “the conclusion that came from that Mueller report was that no collusion took place. Now is the time for us to come together as a country to put the issues and the interests and the concerns that the American people have at the forefront, to take action to bring about real solutions for them.”
Gabbard added, “I don’t think that we should defeat Donald Trump through impeachment. I think it’s really important for us, in this country, to come together and have the American people vote to take Donald Trump out of office in 2020.”
6. Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has referenced “next steps” but has not called on Congress to impeach.
“I want the American people to get to hear [Mueller’s] words and hear what he says,” Gillibrand told the Des Moines Register.
7. Kamala Harris
The Senator from California said Monday that Congress should move towards impeachment.
“I think we have very good reason to believe that 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,” Harris said in a New Hampshire event Monday. “I believe Congress should take the steps towards impeachment.”
“I believe that we need to get rid of this President. That’s why I’m running to become president of the United States. That is part of the premise, obviously, of my plan.”
The former prosecutor, who sits on the Senate judiciary committee has been a harsh critic of President Trump’s associates, as Congress has delved into potential wrongdoing by the Trump administration.
8. John Hickenlooper
The former Governor of Colorado has not yet commented on whether Congress should start impeachment proceedings. But he did criticize Attorney General William Barr ahead of the release of the report.
“AG Barr should work to protect the interests of the people, not the President,” he Tweeted. “It’s clear from this morning’s press conference where his allegiances lie. The American people deserve answers.”
AG Barr should work to protect the interests of the people, not the President. It's clear from this morning's press conference where his allegiances lie. The American people deserve answers.
— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) April 18, 2019
9. Jay Inslee
Governor Jay Inslee of Washington noted that the President appears implicated in wrongdoing based on the Mueller probe and is not counting out impeachment.
It is clear that the president tried and tried and tried to stop the Mueller investigation. Congress needs to get to the bottom of what’s going on here. Impeachment should not be off the table.https://t.co/ScPHa6eW6N
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) April 19, 2019
10. Amy Klobuchar
“As a former prosecutor I believe you look at the evidence … so if the House brings the impeachment proceedings before us we will deal with them,” she said. She also emphasized the other investigations bedeviling the Trump administration, including probes in the Southern District of New York.
11. Wayne Messam
On Monday, Wayne Messam — Mayor of Miramar, Florida — announced that he’s in favor of impeachment.
“Based on what is available I believe the President should be placed under impeachment proceedings and let the weight of the full report carry out the justice the American people deserve,” Messam told the Hill.
12. Seth Moulton
On NPR’s “Morning Edition” Tuesday, Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts said the House should begin impeachment.
13. Beto O’Rourke
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) has said that voters appear more concerned about the issues.
“I don’t know that impeachment and those proceedings in the House and potential trial in the Senate is going to answer those questions for people. I think we can solve this once and for all in November of 2020,” he added.
14. Tim Ryan
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is wary of launching an impeachment at this juncture.
“Let the process play itself out,” Ryan told CNN Sunday.
“It’s pretty clear that the President obstructed on several different occasions,” Ryan but cautioned against jumping the gun.
“Let the Judiciary Committee look at this. There’s a process in place here,” Ryan said.
“I think that’s the natural next step, and let’s see where that leaves.”
15. Bernie Sanders
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledged the disturbing nature of Mueller’s findings. But he observed that Democrats could not win over the Mueller report alone and should not let drama around the probe distract from issues like health care, racism and the minimum wage.
“At the end of the day, what is most important to me is to see that Donald Trump is not re-elected president, and I intend to do everything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said at a CNN town hall Monday.
“But if — and this is an if — if for the next year, year-and-a-half, going right into the heart of the election, all that the Congress is talking about is impeaching Trump and Trump, Trump, Trump, and Mueller, Mueller, Mueller, and we’re not talking about health care, we’re not talking about raising the minimum wage to a living wage, we’re not talking about combating climate change, we’re not talking about sexism and racism and homophobia, and all of the issues that concern ordinary Americans, what I worry about is that works to Trump’s advantage.”
16. Eric Swalwell
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) did not come out in favor of impeachment but has not ruled it out following the release of the Trump report, either
“We’re certainly having a conversation about how we hold this president accountable,” Swalwell said on ABC News podcast “The Investigation.”
“I wouldn’t say impeachment is off the table.”
17. Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called on the House to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump last Friday. She was the first Democratic candidate to do so.
18. Marianne Williamson
Oprah’s spiritual guru Marianne Williamson said Sunday that Trump had committed impeachable offenses.
“Do I feel that he has committed impeachable offenses? Absolutely. I think this president clearly has fascist leanings, and I think that all of us, conservatives as well as liberals, need to stop pretending that this isn’t true,” Williamson said in a CNN town hall. “So there are many things about the president behavior, his policies and so forth I would consider impeachable offenses.”
19. Andrew Yang
Businessman and tech start-up founder Andrew Yang denounced the Trump administration following the release of the Mueller report, but shifted focus away from impeachment and towards electoral defeat.
“I am glad that the Mueller Report has been made public,” Yang tweeted. “It’s important to the American people. My focus is on beating Donald Trump at the ballot box and solving the problems that got him elected in the first place.”
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