Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) backed away from his measured approach to impeaching President Trump, declaring on Sunday that he is actively looking forward to seeing Trump impeached “as soon as possible.”
“I look forward to seeing Donald Trump impeached as soon as possible,” Sanders wrote:
I look forward to seeing Donald Trump impeached as soon as possible.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 29, 2019
The remark stands in contrast to the more measured position the socialist senator articulated last week, expressing a fear that the impeachment effort could ultimately lead to Trump finding and claiming vindication after the likely scenario of an acquittal in the Republican-led Senate.
“Here’s the dilemma that you have,” Sanders said last week, according to BuzzFeed News. “Now I don’t know — I’ll tell you that my gut is that the average Republican in the Senate and the House is totally intimidated by President Trump.”
“And at this particular point, I have my doubts, like you all. I have my doubts that any Republican, or very few, would vote against him,” he continued.
“I know and you know what [Trump] will do: ‘I am vindicated! … I am vindicated!’ And I think that is a fact that has to be taken into consideration,” Sanders said.
“But what do you do when you have a president who has acted in an unconstitutional way? If that is the findings,” Sanders continued. “Again, I don’t want to judge it. I think that is the face. But there is a process that has to take place.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) — who recently claimed that impeachment would be “terribly divisive” for the country — switched her position based on the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The conversation showed no quid pro quo or “pressure” as Democrats suspected.
“Up to this point, I have been opposed to pursuing impeachment because it will further divide our already badly divided country,” Gabbard said in a statement:
However, after looking carefully at the transcript of the conversation with Ukraine’s President, the whistleblower complaint, the Inspector General memo, and President Trump’s comments about the issue, unfortunately, I believe that if we do not proceed with the inquiry, it will set a very dangerous precedent.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 27, 2019
Even Zelensky denied being pressured by the president.
“I think you read everything. I think you read text. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved to democratic open elections, elections of USA. No, sure, we had I think good phone call. It was normal,” he told reporters at the United Nations last week.
“We spoke about many things, and I — so I think and you read it that nobody pushed me,” Zelensky added.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Alley on Monday and confirmed that the upper chamber would have a constitutional duty to “take up an impeachment resolution if it came over from the House.”
“How long you are on it is a different matter,” he remarked: