Democratic leaders are still hesitant to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, but a growing number of the party’s 2020 presidential hopefuls have been explicit in their calls for Congress to do just that.
In case you’re keeping count, 11 Democratic presidential candidates have expressed full-throated support for immediately starting impeachment proceedings against Trump.
Other contenders, including former Vice President Joe Biden, have shied away from outright endorsing the idea, but have said they would support an impeachment inquiry should it prove necessary. Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said he believes Trump “deserves impeachment,” but will leave it to the House to decide “when and how” the inquiry is launched.
Here’s a running list of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who have called for impeachment proceedings to start posthaste:
The Massachusetts senator has said Congress should launch impeachment proceedings “now.”
Reacting to Robert Mueller’s public statement last week about his inquiry into possible obstruction of justice by Trump, Warren said the special counsel made “clear what those who have read his report know: It is an impeachment referral, and it’s up to Congress to act.”
And “they should,” she added.
Castro, who served as President Barack Obama’s housing secretary, was one of the first 2020 candidates to support impeachment.
He said back in April that it would be “perfectly reasonable for Congress” to move forward with impeachment proceedings. “They should do that,” Castro told SiriusXM radio host Michelangelo Signorile.
He doubled down on that conviction last week.
Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida, said in April that Trump “should be placed under impeachment proceedings and let the weight of the full report carry out the justice the American people deserve.”
At an April town hall, the California senator said she believed Congress “should take the steps 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 at the time, CNN reported.
“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,” she added.
The former Texas congressman said in May that the time had come for impeachment proceedings to begin against Trump ― regardless of the political risks.
“It’s not something that I take lightly. It’s an incredibly serious, sober decision that we should take as a country,” O’Rourke said during a CNN town hall when asked about impeachment. “If we do nothing because we are afraid of the polls or the politics or the repercussions in the next election, then we will have set a precedent for this country that, in fact, some people because of the position of power and public trust that they hold are above the law.”
The New Jersey senator, initially hesitant to support an impeachment inquiry, said last week that Mueller’s public statement prompted a change of heart.
Mueller’s remarks make it “clear,” Booker tweeted, that “Congress has a legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately.”
Gillibrand also took a firmer stance for impeachment after Mueller’s statement.
The New York senator initially sided with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s calls for caution on the issue, but said Mueller’s words strengthened her resolve.
“It’s time for Congress to begin impeachment hearings and follow the facts,” Gillibrand tweeted last week. “Robert Mueller clearly expects Congress to exercise its constitutional authority and take steps that he could not. We can’t let the president defy basic accountability measures built into our Constitution.”
The former Colorado governor said Mueller’s statement also convinced him that an impeachment inquiry was inevitable.
“At this point, I think it would be crazy not to go forward and open an impeachment inquiry,” Hickenlooper told ABC News, though he noted that such a process may not actually lead to removing Trump.
“But I think we owe it to the American people to try and make sure we get all the facts,” he said.
On the heels of Mueller’s statement, Moulton said last week that “impeachment hearings should begin tomorrow.”
“Mueller did his job. Now it’s time to do ours,” the Massachusetts congressman said.
The independent senator from Vermont had resisted calling for Trump’s impeachment for fear of aiding the president’s reelection. Last week, the day after Mueller’s remarks, Sanders endorsed a House impeachment inquiry.
“I believe the Judiciary Committee should begin impeachment inquiries,” Sanders said at a campaign rally in Henderson, Nevada, on Thursday. “That is inquiries, not impeachment, to determine whether or not Trump has committed impeachable offenses.”
The Ohio congressman became the 11th Democratic presidential hopeful to support impeachment proceedings when he announced at a CNN town hall on Sunday night that “we need to move forward with the impeachment process.”