“Look, I fought with people on air over, ‘Is there a quid pro quo’ and ‘Does this rise to the level of impeachment.’ I now believe that it does,” Kasich said during an interview on CNN. “And I say it with great sadness. This is not something I really wanted to do.”
John Kasich tells Ana Cabrera that Trump should be impeached. "I say it with great sadness. This is not something that I really wanted to do. ...But this behavior, in my opinion, cannot be tolerated." pic.twitter.com/12YjAGPErM— Rebecca Buck (@RebeccaBuck) October 18, 2019
The former governor, who ran for president in 2016, said he would vote to advance the impeachment inquiry, but would want to read and carefully consider the articles of impeachment and see how House Democrats make their case before voting to remove Trump from office.
Kasich said acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyJan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - To vote or not? Pelosi faces infrastructure decision Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 11, including Pierson, other rally organizers MORE’s comments yesterday indicating the Trump administration held up aid to Ukraine to ensure it investigated issues related to the 2016 election were a breaking point in his view on impeaching Trump.
“I heard what Mulvaney said, the chief of staff of the president, it pushed me really across the Rubicon,” Kasich said.
“And I’ll tell you why. Withholding military aid, vital military aid to a nation like Ukraine which has Russian troops inside its territory, that’s threatened all the time, that withholding it so that a political operation can take place — investigate this thing around the server, and we’re going to withhold the aid before you do that — to me it’s totally inappropriate. It’s an abuse of power,” he added.
Kasich said “this kind of behavior this behavior … cannot be tolerated” and action must be taken.
Mulvaney on Thursday acknowledged that aid for Ukraine was tied to Trump's desire for the country to open a probe into the 2016 election. The admission stunned Washington. Mulvaney later walked back his comments in a statement, accusing the media of “misconstruing” his remarks.
But Democrats pounced on the comments.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Sunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist Jan. 6 panel may see leverage from Bannon prosecution MORE (D-Calif.) said Mulvaney’s “acknowledgement” means that “things have gone from very, very bad to much, much worse."
Schiff added Friday that he didn’t find the walkback “the least bit credible.”
The House officially launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump last month over a call with Ukraine's leader in which Trump pushed the country to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a top Democratic 2020 contender. Trump denies that he withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Kiev as leverage.
Nearly all House Democrats are united behind the impeachment inquiry, but Republicans have overwhelmingly stood behind Trump.
Kasich has been an outspoken critic of Trump.
His new book, "It's Up To Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change," is out this week.
Updated at 3 p.m.