Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke said on Thursday he would vote to impeach President Donald Trump if elected.
O’Rourke, who’s running against incumbent Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, reiterated his belief at a CNN town hall that Trump should be impeached, saying “there is enough there” to begin the impeachment process.
“I haven't,” he replied to a question whether he changed his mind since he called for the president’s impeachment last summer after the Trump-Putin summit in Finland. He explained that the summit was “collusion in action.”
“There may be an open question as to whether the president, then the candidate, sought to collude with the Russian government in 2016,” the Democrat continued, pointing to the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.
“[And when in] broad daylight, on Twitter, he asked his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to end the Russia investigation, I would say that's obstruction in action,” he added. “The best course to get there so that every member has all the facts and that they are compelling enough to do the right thing is to allow the full Independence and integrity of the Bob Mueller investigation.”
O’Rourke was pressed whether he would still vote for impeachment of the president without seeing the conclusions, to which O’Rourke answered that there’s enough proof to begin the impeachment process.
“I would liken impeachment to an indictment. There is enough there to proceed with the trial for a full vetting of the facts and to make the best-informed decision in the interests of this country and our future,” he said.
"I would liken impeachment to an indictment. There is enough there to proceed with the trial for a full vetting of the facts and to make the best informed decision in the interests of this country and our future."
O’Rourke’s unapologetic support for Trump’s impeachment signals the changing tide among Democrats. While a number of Congressional Democrats introduced efforts to impeach the president, the Democratic leadership is wary of such drastic measures amid fears it will backfire politically.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday dismissed the efforts to impeach Trump. “I think an impeachment, to use that word, is very divisive,” she said. “That isn’t a path that I would like to go down.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview on Wednesday that he hopes the Democrats won’t try to begin the impeachment process if they retake the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.
“I hope they don’t,” Biden said told “CBS This Morning,” before adding that his party should wait for the conclusions of the Russia probe. “I think we should wait until [Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report] comes out.”
A recent Quinnipiac poll shows Cruz leading the Senate race by 9 points, but O’Rourke holds a 24-point lead among Hispanic voters.
Fox News’ Benjamin Brown contributed to this report.