Sen. Kamala Harris believes that Congress should take steps toward impeaching Donald Trump, she said at a CNN town hall Monday night, days after the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential obstruction of justice that occurred during the investigation.
“We have very good reason to believe there is an investigation that has been conducted that has produced evidence that tells us that this president and his administration engaged in obstruction of justice, and I believe Congress should take the steps toward impeachment,” Harris said in response to a question.
Harris is the second major presidential candidate to call on Congress to start impeachment proceedings after Sen. Elizabeth Warren made that move on Friday. During her own CNN town hall earlier Monday night, Warren reaffirmed her position, despite House leadership so far staying away from the possibility of pursuing impeachment.
“So here’s how I see this: 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,” Warren said.
"If there are people in the House or the Senate who wants to say that’s what a president can do when a president is being investigated for his wrongdoings, then they should have to take that vote and live with it for the rest of their lives,” Warren added later.
Even as she embraced moving toward impeachment, Harris said that she is a “realist” and that she hasn’t seen any evidence to suggest that Republicans in the Senate “will weigh on the facts instead of on partisan adherence” to Trump, and that the country has to be realistic about the outcome of possible impeachment proceedings.
Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar took a markedly different approach to the possibility of pursuing impeachment against the president in their Monday night town halls.
Sanders told the audience he worried that if Democrats in Congress focused on impeachment over the next year that it could offer Trump an advantage in the 2020 election.
“What is most important to me is to see that Donald Trump is not reelected president and I intend to do everything I can to make sure that that doesn’t happen,” Sanders said. “But if for the next year all the Congress is talking about is 'Trump, Trump, Trump' and 'Mueller, Mueller, Mueller' and we’re not talking about health care and raising the minimum wage to a living wage and we’re not talking about climate change and sexism and racism and homophobia and the issues that concern ordinary Americans, I worry that works to Trump’s advantage.”
Klobuchar called on the House and Senate to hold hearings with United States Attorney General William Barr and Mueller but stopped short saying the House should start impeachment proceedings.
“So I believe very strongly that President Trump should be held accountable. When you look through that report, it is appalling some of the things that were going on,” Klobuchar said, noting that impeachment is the House’s decision.
“I believe I’m the jury here, so I’m not going to predispose things,” she said. “I’m not going to say whether it is or isn’t.”