The topic of impeachment dominated the opening segment of the fifth Democratic debate on Nov. 20, just hours after the latest public testimony in the Democrat-run impeachment inquiry.
All of the candidates onstage had called for impeachment proceedings to begin before the House of Representatives voted to authorize the inquiry.
Former Vice President Joe Biden was one of six candidates who were given an opportunity to comment during the debate on the impeachment hearings. Bidens name is at the epicenter of that investigation because President Donald Trump specifically mentioned the names of the former vice president and his son Hunter Biden during a call with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I learned something about these impeachment trials. I learned, number one, that Donald Trump doesnt want me to be the nominee. Thats pretty clear. He held up aid to make sure of that, while at the same time, innocent people in the Donbas are getting killed by Russian soldiers. Secondly, I found out that Vladimir Putin doesnt want me to be president,” Biden said, before changing topics.
The Democrats running the impeachment inquiry allege that Trump sought to boost his reelection chances by withholding aid from Ukraine in order to pressure the nation into investigating the Bidens. The Ukrainian president and prime minister have both said they were never aware of a link between the hold on aid and the investigation that Trump inquired about.
Four of the Democratic senators—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)—also weighed in on the inquiry. In the hypothetical case that the House impeaches the president, the four would be in a unique position of presiding as jurors at the Senate trial of the president, while also campaigning to face him in the general election in 2020.
“I have made it clear that this is impeachable conduct, and Ive called for an impeachment proceeding. I believe our job as jurors is to look at each count and make a decision,” Klobuchar said.
“We cannot simply be consumed by Donald Trump, because if we are, you know what? Were going to lose the election,” Sanders said. “What the American people understand is that Congress can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time. In other words, we can deal with Trumps corruption, but we also have to stand up for the working families of this country.”
Harris, a former prosecutor, appeared to have already made up her mind about the case even though some of the key witnesses, including the president, havent testified in the inquiry.
“We have a criminal living in the White House, and there is no question that in 2020, the biggest issue before us, until we get to that tender moment, is justice is on the ballot,” Harris said.
“And what we saw today is Ambassador Sondland, by his own words, told us that everyone was in the loop. That it means it is a criminal enterprise engaged in by the president, from what we heard today, the vice president, the secretary of state, and the chief of staff.”
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testified during the impeachment hearing earlier in the day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence, and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney were all “in the loop” about a connection between Trumps request for Ukraine to make a public statement about the Biden investigations and the hold on aid to Ukraine.
Sondland later clarified that he was “presuming” when he made the connection, and never heard Read More – Source