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 TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report 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 Ann WarrenDemocrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Overnight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Krystal Ball credits Gabbard's upswing in 2020 race to 'feckless' Democratic establishment 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 SandersDemocrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Overnight Health Care: Top health official defends contract payments to Trump allies | Vaping advocates confident Trump will turn from flavor ban | Sanders gets endorsement from nurses union Krystal Ball credits Gabbard's upswing in 2020 race to 'feckless' Democratic establishment MORE (I-Vt.) told moderators that House Democrats had no choice but to impeach Trump, while former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report Giuliani pens op-ed slamming 'unprecedented' impeachment inquiry 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 Devi HarrisOutsider candidates outpoll insider candidates Poll: Buttigieg leads Democratic field in Iowa Press: Another billionaire need not apply MORE (D-Calif.). 

 

 

Businessman and activist Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerSteyer scores endorsement from key New Hampshire activist Excitement over Bloomberg's trial balloon should concern Democrats New Quinnipiac poll finds Biden leading in New Hampshire 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 PelosiGiuliani pens op-ed slamming 'unprecedented' impeachment inquiry Brindisi, Lamb recommended for Armed Services, Transportation Committees Overnight Health Care: Top health official defends contract payments to Trump allies | Vaping advocates confident Trump will turn from flavor ban | Sanders gets endorsement from nurses union 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.