'Just impeach him then': 5 perspectives on impeaching Trump as Pelosi announces inquiry

USA Today Politics 1 month ago

It's been a busy week for those watching for updates on a House Democrat impeachment investigation into Donald Trump, who has reportedly pressured a foreign leader to investigate 2020 opponent Joe Biden. And it's only Tuesday.

Today the list of Democrats who have publicly supported an impeachment investigation into Trump has grown considerably, with tweets and statements of support pouring in.

The president has had to defend himself against a whistleblower complaint alleging that he made an improper promise to Ukraine's leader and pressured the official to look into Biden and his son's involvement in Ukraine during the Obama administration. 

Here are five perspectives on impeachment from both sides of the aisle:

'No one is above the law'

Pelosi's stance on impeachment has evolved from cautious over the past several months as Democrats have pushed for formal impeachment proceedings.

Pelosi said previously in a statement that if the Trump administration continued to stonewall the whistleblower complaint investigation, “they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation.”

Even as investigations into Trump's business dealings and relationships with foreign powers have been pursued, Pelosi has hesitated in the past.

"Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country," Pelosi said to The Washington Post in March. "And he’s just not worth it."

But Pelosi announced Tuesday evening that Democrats will begin an impeachment inquiry, after meeting with her caucus.

"The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law," Pelosi said.

The time is now

For Democrats like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman in Congress, the time to act is now.

Building on her long-held stance that Trump needs to be removed from office, Ocasio-Cortez said on Tuesday "In addition to impeachment, we must also pursue long-term changes to keep this from happening again."

Biden also said that Congress will have "no choice" but to proceed with impeachment if the administration does not cooperate with investigations.

Impeachment would be "a tragedy of his own making," Biden said of Trump.

Georgia Rep. John Lewis announced a stance in favor of impeachment on Tuesday. 

"I truly believe the time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come," Lewis said. 

Vote next November instead

One Democratic presidential candidate, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, is not with many of her opponents. She said on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning that impeachment would be "terribly divisive for the country."

"Hyperpartisanship is one of the main things that is driving our country apart," Gabbard said. "I think it's important to defeat Donald Trump, that's why I'm running for president, but I think it's the American people who need to make their voices heard in making that decision."

James Comey, who was fired by Trump as the director of the FBI in 2017, reiterated similar feelings in an interview with KCRA.

"I think the American people would be let off the hook if Donald Trump were impeached and removed from office, and a lot of his supporters would think some sort of coup had taken place," Comey said.

He said rather than an impeachment, Americans need to "show what we stand for."

"We need to take responsibility for this and vote next November and show that we have a certain set of values," Comey said.

'Just impeach him then'

Even Meghan McCain, co-host of ABC's "The View," has said Democrats should proceed out of sheer exhaustion from the conversation. 

"Unleash the Kraken," McCain said on the show Tuesday. 

She said that if Democrats don't listen to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has cautioned against impeachment in the past, they will see political consequences for it.

"See what happens politically, because what happened with Clinton in the 90s really ended up hurting Republicans, I think, and many historians of politics believe that hit helped get Clinton re-elected," McCain said.

In fact, Clinton's impeachment proceedings happened after he had already been elected for a second term. 

"Just impeach him then, because quite frankly, I'm sick of hearing everybody bitch about it," McCain said.

Though McCain is an outspoken critic of Trump, she denounced the spectacle that the Democratic Party has made of the relationship with Ukraine.

"I'm sick of hearing the infighting with Democrats," McCain said.

Democrats on a 'witch hunt'

Trump and his political allies claim the impeachment conversation among Democrats is a ploy to get him out of office because they are worried about losing the 2020 election.

“It's a witch hunt,” Trump said Tuesday while at the UN General Assembly. “They have no idea how they stop me. The only way they can try is through impeachment.”

He later added, “They’re going to lose the election.”

“They say it’s a positive for me," Trump said.

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, a Republican, tweeted Tuesday, "Reminder: this is how Washington Democrats view impeachment. 'I'm concerned that if we don't impeach this President, he will get re-elected.'"

Trump announced Tuesday he will release a transcript of his phone call with the Ukrainian president tomorrow. 


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