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Beto O’Rourke: Congress Should Begin Impeachment Proceedings, Trump Can’t Be ‘Above the Law’

At a CNN town hall in Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke issued an unapologetic call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

If we do nothing because we are afraid of the polls or the politics or the repercussions in the next election, then we will have set a precedent for this country that, in fact, some people because of the position of power and public trust that they hold are above the law,” O’Rourke explained. “We cannot allow that precedent to stand. There must be consequences, accountability and justice. The only way to ensure that is to begin impeachment proceedings.”

O’Rourke was quick to clarify on Tuesday that he had thought through the implications of his position. “[It’s] not something that I take lightly. It is an incredibly serious, sober decision that we should make as a country, really the last resort, when every other option has failed us.” Back in March, however, O’Rourke had said voting out Trump in the 2020 election was the best course of action, even though he concluded that the president had committed impeachable offenses. 

O’Rourke has joined several other Democratic presidential candidates, among them Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and former Rep. Julian Castro (D-TX), who have called for immediately beginning impeachment proceedings against Trump. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has also said Trump “deserves impeachment” but that he’s willing to “leave it to the House and the Senate to figure that out.”

Pressed by CNN moderator Dana Bash, O’Rourke acknowledged the reluctance of other Democratic presidential hopefuls and some notable House Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), to push for impeachment out of fear that the move might backfire politically.

I understand the political implications of this, but I think this moment calls for us to look beyond the politics and the polling, and even the next election,” O’Rourke said. “The only way we will get the documents and the facts and the truth to be able to pursue them as far as they go, as high up as they reach, is to compel the testimony, the furnishing of those documents through impeachment proceedings. It is the only way that we’re going to get to the facts necessary to have that accountability and justice.”

Watch video above, via CNN.

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