Hill editor-in-chief: Buttigieg could benefit if impeachment reaches Senate

The Hill’s Editor-in-Chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial Both sides of the aisle call for local, state, federal cooperation on homelessness The Hill's Editor-In-Chief: New concerns that Biden is Hillary 2.0 MORE said Friday that former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBiden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina Sanders says gender 'still an obstacle' for female politicians Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders MORE’s presidential campaign could stand to benefit if the impeachment battle reaches the Republican-run Senate. 

Cusack noted that if House Democrats vote to impeach President Donald Trump, which is likely, all of the senators in the Democratic primary would have to leave the campaign trail and return to Capitol Hill to take part in the Senate's impeachment trial. 

“When the impeachment moves over into the Senate, who’s really going to benefit from that because I talked to a couple of members in the Senate who say they have to be there six days a week, so that’s Bernie, that’s Warren, that’s Klobuchar, that’s Booker, that’s Harris,” he told Hill.TV. “They have to be there.”

Cusack added that Buttigieg, who has seen a bump in key early voting states, could “move up even more” due to their absence. 

A Monmouth University poll this week found Buttigieg with 22 percent support among likely Iowa caucusgoers, which marked a 14-point bump since August.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina MORE placed second with 19 percent support, followed by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina MORE (D-Mass.) with 18 percent and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina MORE (I-Vt.) with 13 percent.

Buttigieg also saw a boast in New Hampshire. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Monday, Buttigieg surged into third place among New Hampshire voters behind Biden in first place at 20 percent and Warren in second at 16 percent.

Though Buttigieg started as a relative unknown, Cusack argued that the former South Bend, Ind., mayor has since become a formidable presidential contender.

“Some people go after his youth and inexperience — he's just a mayor but he knows the issues inside and out and I think he’s one of the best candidates overall,” Cusack told Hill.TV.

Cusack’s comments come after House Democrats concluded their first round of public hearings as part of their investigation into whether Trump used military aid to pressure Ukraine to open investigations into his political opponents. 

William Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchHouse Democrats may call new impeachment witnesses if Senate doesn't Giuliani: 'I'd love to be a witness' at Senate impeachment trial Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial MORE, meanwhile, appeared before House lawmakers on Friday. 

House Democrats are slated to resume their public hearings on Tuesday, with a slew of diplomats and national security officials scheduled to appear over the course of next week. 

—Tess Bonn