Buttigieg says he would support impeachment proceedings against Trump

Buttigieg says he would support impeachment proceedings against Trump

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegEight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE said on Thursday that he would support an impeachment inquiry against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE, but added that he would leave it to Congress to decide when those proceedings should begin.

Asked in a live interview with The Washington Post’s Robert Costa whether he supports impeachment proceedings, the South Bend, Ind., mayor replied that “of course” he does, but stopped short of saying the House should begin the process.

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“As to when and how the House goes about launching those procedural steps to get the inquiry up and running, I’m going to leave that up to the House,” he said.  

Buttigieg added that he is more concerned with defeating Trump at the ballot box in 2020, arguing that the disconnect between Democrats and Republicans on the issue of impeachment would only be resolved if the GOP suffers an overwhelming defeat next year.

“What really will matter most is the conscience of Republican senators,” he said, later adding: “If anything is going to reunite them with their conscience, it is a decisive electoral defeat in 2020.”

So far, only one House Republican, Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashLawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Sanford headed to New Hampshire amid talk of challenge to Trump MORE (Mich.), has said that he believes that Trump has engaged in conduct worthy of impeachment, a remark that drew intense backlash from conservatives.

Buttigieg said Thursday that Amash’s comments and the ensuing Republican backlash made the Michigan congressman “the exception that proves the rule” that the GOP as a whole is not willing to grapple with the president’s alleged ethical and legal failings in office.

Buttigieg’s comments come as a growing number of Democrats in the House have backed the prospect of impeaching Trump. Democratic leaders in the chamber, however, have been wary to start those proceedings, worrying that doing so could prompt a political backlash in the 2020 elections.

Fueling the recent push for impeachment are questions about whether Trump sought to obstruct special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as the White House’s recent defiance of congressional oversight demands.

A handful of Democratic presidential contenders have come out in support of impeachment proceedings, arguing that Mueller’s investigation provided substantial evidence of possible wrongdoing by Trump.

— This report was updated at 9:50 a.m.