California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, the leading candidate to replace Governor Jerry Brown after the 2018 elections, has declared that he wants Congress to impeach President Donald Trump.
“He does believe it is time to pursue impeachment,” said Newsom’s spokesman, Dan Newman, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
“He thinks that while impeachment should never be casually invoked as a political tactic, President Trump’s actions are so egregious and his rhetoric is so deceitful that we should begin the process to obtain the facts and the truth.”
Newsom appears to be the first of California’s gubernatorial candidates to urge Congress to impeach the president, though Democrat mega-donor Tom Steyer called for Trump’s impeachment last weekend.
Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is running a close second behind Newsom in the latest polls, has been somewhat more cautious about the prospects of impeaching Trump.
In an interview with the Sacramento Bee last month, Villaraigosa said: “If the facts are as reported, yes, the president should and will be impeached if he doesn’t resign first.”
According to the Mercury News, a spokesperson for Villaraigosa further qualified that statement: “But the Mayor also believes we must allow the Special Prosecutor [sic] to do his job and finish his investigation, as well as let the Senate Judiciary Committee continue to gather evidence.”
Similarly, Villaraigosa is staking out a more moderate stance than Newsom on other issues, stating last month that while he favors universal healthcare, he was not convinced the state could afford it. “Let’s not sell snake oil,” he told Southern California public radio station KPCC, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Newsom, by contrast, favors a single-payer system.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.