House Democrats aren’t the only ones who seem conflicted about whether lawmakers should move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
Last night, five leading candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination weighed in on Trump’s culpability following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the 2016 election. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg shared their positions during a series of back-to-back town hall events in New Hampshire.
Earlier in the day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told caucus members that party leadership had no immediate plans to impeach Trump, but said it would continue to investigate the president.
“While our views range from proceeding to investigate the finding of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democrats. “We must show the American people we are proceeding free from passion or prejudice, strictly on the presentation of fact.”
Here’s where the candidates stand on the issue:
Warren doubled down on her calls last week to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump following the release of Mueller’s report. In her town hall, she rejected claims that doing so would imperil any member of the party seeking the White House, saying it was Congress’ job to rein in the president.
“There is no political inconvenience exception to the United States Constitution,” Warren said. “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.”
Harris made a concrete pronouncement in support of impeachment on Monday, saying Americans had “very good reason to believe” that Trump and members of his administration had “engaged in obstruction of justice.”
“I believe that we need to get rid of this president,” Harris said.
Buttigieg lambasted Trump following the release of Mueller’s report, saying the findings laid out in the document “made it pretty clear” the president “deserves impeachment.”
“I’ll leave it to the House and Senate to figure that out because my role in this process is trying to relegate Trumpism to the dustbin of history,” Buttigieg said.
Sanders declined to express a firm opinion regarding impeachment during his town hall, saying he was concerned that doing so could imperil the bid of anyone working to unseat Trump in the next presidential election.
“Here is my concern: 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.
“I think there has got to be a thorough investigation,” he added.
Let the House take care of it.
Klobuchar said the Mueller report contained “very disturbing” details and that Trump needed to be held accountable, but lobbed the responsibility for doing so over to the House.
“The impeachment proceedings are up to the House. They’re going to have to make that decision,” she said. “I am in the Senate and I believe that we are the jury. …So if the House brings the impeachment proceedings before us, we will deal with them.”