Should Donald Trump be impeached? That’s a good question, and one that every Democrat running for president in 2020 and many other party leaders have been asked for months. The answer is yes, but for the Democrats that point of view is far from unanimous.
For a moment, today, following a press conference where Special Counsel Robert Mueller publicly (and verbally) repeated many of the same points he had already outlined in his written report, it looked like the impeachment train was finally going to leave the station.
Here’s Cory Booker, formerly of the opinion that starting impeachment proceedings was “premature.”
Booker was not alone! Here’s Pete Buttigieg, who previously said that Trump “deserves impeachment” but that he would let lawmakers “figure it out.” He is now essentially telling Congress in slightly more concrete terms that he would like them to impeach the president.
If only there were strong party leaders who could bring all of these viewpoints together! Alas, we are left with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Pelosi responded to Mueller’s conference with a continuation of the same thing she’s been saying for months: that Congress would “continue to investigate.” And Schumer made impotent promises about “following the facts wherever they lead” (they have led to an explicit case for impeachment).
This ambivalence has rubbed off on some of the more lackluster presidential candidates as well. Here’s NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio trying out a new insult and saying nothing else of consequence:
Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, for what it’s worth, would like to make it very clear that they supported impeachment before it was cool, and still do:
Bernie Sanders, who previously said that impeachment could be counterproductive, then said it might be time to “begin the process,” has yet to firmly come down on one side or the other. Joe Biden, meanwhile, is talking about mud wrestling. Strong points made by all.