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O'Rourke: Trump should resign

O'Rourke: Trump should resign
© UPI Photo

White House hopeful Beto O’Rourke on Saturday called on President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE to resign amid mounting scrutiny over his dealings with Ukraine.

The former Democratic congressman from Texas argued at the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival that "the best possible path" for the country would be for "this president to resign, allow this country to heal and ensure that we come back together with the greatest, most ambitious agenda we’ve ever faced."

"None of it possible while he remains in power," O'Rourke added.

O’Rourke and several other Democrats both on the presidential campaign trail and on Capitol Hill have backed a new effort launched by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 After vote against coronavirus relief package, Golden calls for more bipartisanship in Congress Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (D-Calif.) to initiate a formal impeachment investigation into Trump.

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Democrats have cited Trump's suggestion to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Ukraine open an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors Biden celebrates vaccine approval but warns 'current improvement could reverse' MORE, the current 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner.

A public memorandum of a July phone call between the two presidents showed that Trump lobbied Zelensky to work with his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiBiden administration buys 100,000 doses of Lilly antibody drug NAACP president accuses Trump of having operated under 'white supremacist doctrine' MyPillow CEO says boycotts have cost him M MORE to investigate Biden.

A declassified copy of a whistleblower complaint regarding the call said that a future phone call or meeting between the two presidents “would depend on whether Zelensky showed willingness to ‘play ball,’” and that “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge” of the call were alarmed that Trump appeared to be using his office for his personal political gain.

Trump has denied wrongdoing over the Ukraine conversation and has blasted the whistleblower who filed the complaint against him, questioning whether the individual was a "spy" or "partisan" by raising alarms about his call.

O’Rourke panned Trump earlier this week over the developments, comparing the scandal to Watergate. 

“If you looked at the polling on impeachment around [former President] Nixon at this point in the investigation, it wasn’t the most popular thing in the country. Yet with the vantage of hindsight, we know that it was absolutely the right thing to do, and President Nixon did the right thing and resigned before it moved to a trial in the Senate,” O’Rourke said on CNN. 

“I’m calling upon those who are close to President Trump now … who right now are complicit in what the president is doing to advise him to do the right thing and to resign from his office,” he added. 

O’Rourke shot to national prominence last year with an insurgent Senate bid against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance MORE (R-Texas) that hauled in a record amount of donations, but he has seen his presidential poll numbers plateau near the bottom or middle of most national and statewide surveys.

Despite his lagging polling numbers, O'Rourke on Saturday dismissed speculation that he could head for the exits soon.

“I’m in this thing until the very end,” he said. “I’m in all the way.”