Beto O'Rourke on impeachment: 'There is enough there to proceed'

Beto O'Rourke on impeachment: 'There is enough there to proceed'
© Greg Nash

Texas Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeTrump 'simply wants to keep people out' of US, says recently elected Texas Dem Incoming Dem lawmaker from Texas says Nielsen should be replaced as DHS chief Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February MORE (D) said Thursday during a CNN town hall he has not changed his mind about impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations: 'I have never struck a woman' Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa MORE but said Democrats should wait until the results of Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's special counsel investigation are revealed.

Asked by CNN's Dana Bash whether he had changed his mind about voting for articles of impeachment in the House after initially saying in July that he would do so, O'Rourke said that he had not.

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"I haven't. Let me put it this way. There may be an open question as to whether the president, then the candidate, sought to collude with the Russian government in 2016," O'Rourke told the audience, before explaining that Trump's defense of Russia during a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin earlier this year was "collusion in action."

"[And when in] broad daylight, on Twitter, he asked his attorney general, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsCongress is going to make marijuana moves Trump throws support behind criminal justice bill Bill to protect Mueller blocked in Senate MORE, to end the Russia investigation, I would say that's obstruction in action," O'Rourke 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 said.

When pressed on why he would vote for impeachment without seeing the investigation's results, O'Rourke responded that enough public evidence already existed to convince him of Trump's potential guilt.

"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 said.

Dozens of House Democrats signed on to an effort to introduce articles of impeachment against the president earlier this year, but the effort has yet to gain any traction among Democratic leadership.

If Democrats were to pass articles of impeachment upon potentially taking the House in November's midterm elections, the president would face a trial in the Senate that could lead to removal from office.

O'Rourke is running against incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke receives invite to visit Iowa from Democratic Party in Des Moines O'Rourke and Cruz run into each other at Texas airport Texas congresswoman-elect says she would ‘love’ to see Beto run in 2020 MORE (R) for in next month's midterm. Recent polls show Cruz holding a single-digit lead.