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Buttigieg says he would support impeachment proceedings against Trump

Buttigieg says he would support impeachment proceedings against Trump

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE said on Thursday that he would support an impeachment inquiry against President TrumpDonald TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump's former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors' probe: report 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 AmashAmash warns of turning lawmakers like Cheney into 'heroes' Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP Biden: 'Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK' 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) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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.