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Democratic debate starts with immediate question on Trump impeachment

Democrats united at the beginning of the fourth Democratic presidential debate as candidate after candidate backed the impeachment of President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE.

Asked in the debate's first question why Trump should be impeached instead of facing voters at the polls in a little more than 12 months, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Government watchdog to investigate allegations of Trump interference at CDC, FDA MORE (D-Mass.) made the case for impeachment.

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"This issue is bigger than politics," said Warren, who has had momentum in the Democratic race recently. She then criticized Trump for breaking law after law in making the case for impeachment. 

“No one is above the law and that includes the president of the United States. Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over again without consequences," she added. "This is about Donald Trump, but understand it’s about the next president and the next president, and the next president, and the future of this country.”

Other candidates were asked similar questions and offered similar answers.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE (I-Vt.) told moderators that House Democrats had no choice but to impeach Trump, while former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE, who called for Trump's impeachment for the first time last week, called Trump "the most corrupt president in modern history." 

"He’s been selling out working people, our values and national security, and on Ukraine, he’s been selling out our democracy. Our Framers imagined when we would have a corrupt president," said Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter As VP Kamala Harris could be a powerful voice for women's retirement security The clock is ticking and Trump is still taking a shellacking MORE (D-Calif.). 

 

 

Businessman and activist Tom SteyerTom Steyer2020 election already most expensive ever TV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month Inslee calls Biden climate plan 'perfect for the moment' MORE, who appeared on the presidential debate stage for the first time, and who launched the "Need to Impeach" campaign after Trump was elected, called Trump "a criminal." 

The debate started just more than an hour after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE (D-Calif.) said the House would not hold a formal vote to launch an impeachment inquiry.

Democrats in the House say they started an impeachment process weeks ago over allegations against Trump related to Ukraine, and they have been actively taking depositions from witnesses.

Republicans and Trump have said they should hold a formal vote and the White House has said it would not cooperate with the inquiry without a vote.