Dems united in support of impeachment process at debate

Time-lapse: Democratic presidential debate stage setup

Democratic presidential candidates stood united at the CNN/New York Times debate in supporting the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Here’s what the dozen 2020 Democrats at the debate said on Tuesday night about the impeachment process, in order of when they were asked:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

“Sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics, and I think that’s the case with this impeachment inquiry. When I made the decision to run for president, I certainly didn’t think it was going to be about impeachment. But when the Mueller report came out, I read it, all 442 pages. And when I got to the end, I realized that Mueller had shown, to a fare-thee-well, that this President had obstructed justice and done it repeatedly.”

“And so, at that moment, I called for opening an impeachment inquiry. Now, that didn’t happen, and look what happened as a result. Donald Trump broke the law again in the summer, broke it again this fall. You know, we took a constitutional oath. And that is that 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 without consequences. 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. The impeachment must go forward.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont

“In my judgment, Trump is the most corrupt President in the history of this country. It’s not just that he obstructed justice with the Mueller report. I think that the House will find him guilty of, worthy of impeachment because of the emoluments clause. This is a President who is enriching himself while using the Oval Office to do that, and that is outrageous.”

“The idea that we have a President of the United States who is prepared to hold back national security money to one of our allies in order to get dirt on a presidential candidate is beyond comprehension.”

“I look forward, by the way, not only to a speedy and expeditious impeachment process, but (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell has got to do the right thing and allow a free and fair trial in the Senate.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden:

“I said from the beginning that if in fact Trump continued to stonewall what the Congress is entitled to know about his background, what he did, all the accusations in the Mueller report, if they did that, they would have no choice, no choice but to begin an impeachment proceeding, which gives them more power to seek more information.”

“This President … is the most corrupt President in modern history and I think all of our history. And the fact is this that this President of the United States has gone so far as to say, since this latest event, that in fact he will not cooperate in any way at all, will not list any witnesses, will not provide any information, will not do anything to cooperate with the impeachment. They have no choice but to move.”

Sen. Kamala Harris of California

“Well, it’s just being observant, because he has committed crimes in plain sight. I mean it’s shocking, but he told us who he was. Maya Angelou told us years ago: Listen to somebody when they tell you who they are the first time.”

“During that election, Donald Trump told us he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. And he has consistently since he won been selling out the American people. He has been selling out working people. He has been selling out our values. He’s been selling out national security. And on this issue with Ukraine, he has been selling out our democracy.”

“Our framers imagined this moment, a moment where we would have a corrupt President. And our framers then rightly designed our system of democracy to say there will be checks and balances. This is one of those moments. And so Congress must act.”

“But the reality of it is that I don’t really think this impeachment process is going to take very long, because as a former prosecutor, I know a confession when I see it. And he did it in plain sight. He has given us the evidence, then he tried to cover it up, putting it in that special server. And there’s been a clear consciousness of guilt.”

“This will not take very long. Donald Trump needs to be held accountable. He is indeed the most corrupt and unpatriotic President we have ever had.”

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey

“First of all, we must be fair. We are talking about ongoing proceedings to remove a sitting President from office. This has got to be about patriotism and not partisanship. Look, I share the same sense of urgency of everybody on this stage. I understand the outrage that we all feel, but we have to conduct this process in a way that is honorable, that brings our country together, doesn’t rip us apart.”

“Anybody who has criticisms about a process that is making all the facts bare before the American public, that works to build consensus — that’s what this nation needs in what is a moral moment and not a political one. So I swore an oath to do my job as a senator, do my duty. This President has violated his. I will do mine.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

“We can do two things at once. That’s our job. We have a constitutional duty to pursue this impeachment. But we also can stand up for America because this President has not been putting America in front of his own personal interests.”

“He has not been standing up for the workers of Ohio. He has not been standing up for the farmers in Iowa. And I take this even a step further. You know, when he made that call to the head of Ukraine, he’s digging up dirt on an opponent. That’s illegal conduct. That’s what he was doing. He didn’t talk to him about the Russian invasion, he talked to him about that.”

“I’m still waiting to find out from him how making that call to the head of Ukraine and trying to get him involved in interfering in our election makes America great again.”

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro

“We can walk and chew gum at the same time. And all of us are out there every single day talking about what we’re going to do to make sure that more people cross the graduation stage, that more families have great health care, that more folks are put to work in places like Ohio, where Donald Trump has broken his promises because Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania actually in the latest jobs data have lost jobs, not gained them.”

“Not only did the Mueller report point out 10 different instances where the President obstructed justice or tried to, and he made that call to President Zelensky of the Ukraine, but he is … in an ongoing way violating his oath of office and abusing his power. We have to impeach this President, and the majority of Americans not only support impeachment, they support removal. He should be removed.”

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg

“It’s a mistake on the part of Republicans who enable the President, whose actions are as offensive to their own supposed values as they are to the values that we all share. Look, the President has left the Congress with no choice. And this is not just about holding the President accountable. For not just the things emerging in these investigations, but actions that he has confessed to on television.”

“It’s also about the presidency itself. Because the president 10 years or 100 years from now will look back at this moment and draw the conclusion either that no one is above the law or that a president can get away with anything.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii

“If impeachment is driven by these hyper-partisan interests, it will only further divide an already terribly divided country. Unfortunately, this is what we have already seen play out as calls for impeachment really began shortly after Trump won his election. And as unhappy as that may make us as Democrats, he won that election in 2016.”

“The serious issues that have been raised around this phone call that he had with the President of Ukraine and many other things that transpired around that are what caused me to support the inquiry in the House. And I think that it should continue to play its course out.”

“To gather all the information, provide that to the American people, recognizing that that is the only way forward. If the House votes to impeach, the Senate does not vote to remove Donald Trump, he walks out and he feels exonerated, further deepening the divides in this country that we cannot afford.”

Businessman Tom Steyer

“Two years ago, I started the need-to-impeach movement because I knew there was something desperately wrong at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that we did have the most corrupt President in the country and that only the voice and will of the American people would drag Washington to see it as a matter of right and wrong, not of political expediency.”

“Impeaching and removing this President is something that the American people are demanding. They’re the voice that counts, and that’s who I went to: the American people.”

Businessman Andrew Yang

“I support impeachment, but we shouldn’t have any illusions that impeaching Donald Trump will 1. be successful or 2. erase the problems that got him elected in 2016.”

“We’re standing in the great state of Ohio, the ultimate purple state, the ultimate bellwether state. Why did Donald Trump win your state by 8 points? Because we got rid of 300,000 manufacturing jobs in your towns. And we are not stopping there.”

“Amazon alone is closing 30% of America’s stores and malls, soaking up $20 billion in business while paying zero in taxes. These are the problems that got Donald Trump elected. The fourth industrial revolution. And that is going to accelerate and grow more serious regardless of who is in the Oval Office. The fact is, Donald Trump, when we are talking about him, we are losing. We need to present a new vision, and that even includes talking about impeaching Donald Trump.”

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas

“I think about everyone who’s ever served this country in uniform. We have two examples here on this stage tonight, Mayor Buttigieg and Congresswoman Gabbard. Those who have willingly sacrificed their lives to defend this country and our Constitution. We are the inheritors of their service and their sacrifice. And we have a responsibility to be fearless in the face of this President’s criminality and his lawlessness.”

“The fact that as a candidate for the highest office in the land, he invited the participation, the invasion, of a foreign power in our democracy. As President, he lied to investigators, obstructed justice, fired James Comey, head of the FBI, tried to fire Mueller, head of the investigation, then invited President Zelensky to involve himself in our politics, as well as China in exchange for favorable trade terms in an upcoming trade deal. If you do not hold him to account, if there is not justice, not only have we failed this moment, our Constitution and our country, we have failed everyone who has sacrificed and laid their lives down on the line. And we cannot do that.”