Politics

2020 Vision: Warren is first major candidate to call for impeachment as Mueller fallout continues

Warren speaks at North America’s Building Trades Unions conference in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., became the first major 2020 Democratic candidate to call for President Trump’s impeachment, breaking with the party’s leadership in the House of Representatives.

“The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty,” wrote Warren on Twitter late Friday afternoon. “That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.”

Read Also: Alexandria Ocasio Cortez Says a Biden presidential run doesn’t ‘animate’ her.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have both downplayed the idea of impeachment, with Hoyer calling it “not worthwhile” and Pelosi saying she wouldn’t move forward without a bipartisan consensus. Former Housing and Urban Development secretary and presidential hopeful Julián Castro said earlier Friday afternoon on CNN that it “would be perfectly reasonable to start [impeachment] proceedings.”

All the candidates running for the 2020 presidential nomination issued statements responding to special counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia and President Trump’s repeated attempts to thwart the investigation. Most of them focused on Attorney General William Barr’s press conference 90 minutes before a redacted version of the report was released to the public.

“We can’t trust Trump’s handpicked AG to be transparent about the Mueller report,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., tweeted. “Congress needs to see it in full — and the public needs to know whether Trump obstructed justice.”

“The American people deserve the truth,” Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., wrote on Twitter. “Not spin from a Trump appointee.”

“Attorney General Barr has made it clear he is not impartial when it comes to this investigation,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., tweeted. “Now that we have the report, we should hear from Robert Mueller himself in public hearings. Our democracy demands it.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said that Barr “must resign.”

“You can represent the people OR you can represent the President,” Swalwell tweeted. “But you can’t do both.”

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg joined Swalwell in calling for Barr’s resignation.

“He’s put himself in this incredibly humiliating position,” Buttigieg told reporters in Londonderry, N.H., Friday, adding: “I think given the legitimate concerns whether as attorney general his true loyalty is to the president or the Constitution … I would advise him to step aside.”

Biden to announce bid next week
After months of varying updates on the status of former Vice President Joe Biden, there are now multiple reports stating that Biden will officially enter the race. Originally reported by the Atlantic on Friday morning and subsequently confirmed by Associated Press and CNN, Biden is expected to launch his campaign on Wednesday with a video message.

Biden still leads in most early polling but came under fire earlier this month when seven women came forward to say that he touched them inappropriately. Biden declined to apologize, and even joked about the allegations, but promised to do a better job of recognizing people’s “personal space.” A Politico/Morning Consult poll taken after the allegations were made public found half of Democrats saying the allegations made no difference in their vote while 29 percent said they made them less likely to support him.

Biden previously ran for president in 1988, when he dropped out after a plagiarism scandal, and in 2008, when he withdrew following the Iowa caucuses.

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