Beto O’Rourke Bluntly Answers Whether Trump Committed Prosecutable Crimes: ‘He Did.’
Former Texas Congressman and current Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke had a simple and unequivocal answer when asked if President Donald Trump has committed crimes that could be prosecuted: “He did.”
But when asked if he would seek charges against Trump as president, O’Rourke’s answer got more complicated.
On Sunday morning’s edition of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, host George Stephanopoulos asked O’Rourke about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi‘s reported comment that she’d rather see Trump in prison than impeached.
“We heard Nancy Pelosi — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi say this week that she wants to see the president in prison,” Stephanopoulos said, and asked “Do you think the president committed crimes that could be prosecuted?”
Without hesitation, O’Rourke replied “He did.”
“I think that’s clear from what we have learned from the Mueller report,” O’Rourke continued, adding “But I think those crimes might extend beyond what we’ve seen in the Mueller report. Using public office for personal gain for himself and for his family, the relationship that he has with Vladimir Putin, which has never been properly explained, from the invitation as a candidate to have Russia involve itself in our elections, his efforts to obstruct justice, the fact that he called Vladimir Putin after the Mueller report was released, called it a hoax, thereby giving him a green light to further participate in our democracy and in our elections.”
“If we do not hold the president accountable, we will have set the precedent that some people in this country, because of their position of power, are in fact above the law,” O’Rourke said. “And if we do that, we will lose this democracy forever. So regardless of the popularity of the idea or what the polling shows us, we must proceed with impeachment so that we get the facts and the truth and at end of the day there is justice for what was done to our Democracy in 2016 and the other potential crimes that this president has committed.”
“It’s pretty clear that even if the House impeaches, the Senate is not going to convict the president,” Stephanopoulos said. “So if you win, if you become president in 2020, would you want your Justice Department to pursue charges against President Trump?”
O’Rourke backed off slightly from his original answer.
“I would want my Justice Department, any future administration’s Justice Department, to follow the facts and the truth and to make sure at the end of the day that there is accountability and justice,” O’Rourke said, adding “Without this – without this idea, this experiment of American Democracy comes to a close.”
Watch the clip above, via ABC.
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