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 rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' 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 WarrenNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina 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 SandersNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina MORE (I-Vt.) told moderators that House Democrats had no choice but to impeach Trump, while former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina 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 HarrisParnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE (D-Calif.). 

 

 

Businessman and activist Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerBiden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina Buttigieg to attend MLK Day event in South Carolina after facing criticism Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg 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 PelosiDemocrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public Schiff huddles in Capitol with impeachment managers Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle 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.