Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., accused President Trump of being "scared" and "desperate" ahead of the 2020 election as the Ukraine controversy led to a formal impeachment inquiry in the House.
"He is a lawless president. He literally is," the presidential candidate told MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Thursday. "He believes, obviously, that he is above the law, that he's beyond reproach, that he could do anything and get away with anything."
"Is this guy running a criminal enterprise in the White House? Is this a racket?" Matthews asked.
"It's certainly a racket," Harris responded. "It certainly reeks of corruption. It reeks of self-service. It reeks of a president who is not truthful, he is lawless and he is running an administration that reeks of corruption."
"Here's the other thing you've got to understand; the guy is scared 'cause he knows that he's going to be defeated in this election. He is desperate and so his natural behavior that is about lawlessness- it has now blossomed into having a conversation with a foreign head of state in front of many people who have taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, where he is bartering U.S. aid to support a democracy over what he wants in terms of an investigation into one of his political rivals.
"He's no better than any other dictator when it comes to using the resources of the people and in the name of the people for self-aggrandizement and for personal benefit."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., launched the formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday -- a move backed by a slew of Democrats on Capitol Hill as well as most of the party's 2020 presidential candidates.