Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who is mounting a longshot bid against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in this fall’s midterm election, says he’s already seen enough evidence to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
“The answer is yes,” O’Rourke told a Texas radio host Monday, when asked whether he saw enough evidence to impeach Trump. “Because I want to be straight with you. I’ve seen an attempt, no matter how ham-handed, to collude with a foreign government in our national election. I’ve seen an effort to obstruct justice in the investigation of what happened in the 2016 election.”
But the Democratic congressman, who has shattered state fundraising records in his campaign to oust the conservative incumbent, quickly added that the opening of impeachment proceedings against the president ought to wait for the conclusion of the Russia probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“Impeachment as I understand it is tantamount to an indictment,” O’Rourke said. “It says that this should be decided by the Senate. As a prospective senator, we must await all the facts, all the truth, all the information forthcoming from the Bob Mueller investigation. The most important thing to me is to safeguard the independence and the integrity of the Mueller investigation.”
O’Rourke also said that enough Republicans must be on board with impeachment.
“Impeachment doesn’t make any sense right now, until you have reached the point that the facts are so compelling that a Republican colleague, it may be [Texas GOP Rep.] Jodey Arrington, it may be someone else, is able to come before their constituents and explain how they voted to impeach the president of their own party,” he said. “We are not there yet. So I’m going to stay focused on the issues that we can make a difference on right now. And we’ll leave this until we get the conclusion of that investigation.”
While few Democrats have gone so far as to call for Trump’s impeachment, Republican leaders have begun warning that Trump could face immediate impeachment proceedings if they lose the House in November, according to The New York Times. The tactic is reportedly meant to galvanize complacent GOP voters ahead of what is shaping up to be an extremely tough cycle.
David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to Barack Obama, urged Democrats “NOT commit to impeachment unless & until there’s a demonstrable case for one.”
This story has been updated to include more quotes from O’Rourke’s interview.