Biden says impeachment of Trump could happen ‘very quickly’

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Berlin on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. By Paul Steinhauser—For the Monitor

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Berlin on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. By Paul Steinhauser—For the Monitor

For the Monitor
Published: 6/4/2019 5:39:43 PM

Former Vice President Joe Biden – in some of his strongest language to date – argued that Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who are investigating allegations Republican President Donald Trump obstructed justice are getting stonewalled and impeachment proceedings “could come up very quickly.”

Biden, the clear front-runner right now in the race for the Democratic nomination, made his comments in an interview Tuesday with the Monitor, following a town hall-style gathering in Berlin. The former vice president capped his day in the First-in-the-Nation presidential primary state with an event at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers state headquarters in Concord.

Biden said there may be no alternative but to move toward an impeachment hearing as congressional Democrats vow to investigate the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report.

Biden told the Monitor that House Democrats are getting stonewalled and argued they have a duty to act.

“They have a responsibility to move if, in fact, they are unable to get the data that is totally within their power to be able to subpoena before the Congress to make a judgment,” he said. “And if they stonewall that, the only other constitutional avenue for them is impeachment.”

In Concord, Biden said impeachment proceedings would usher in a difficult period in America politics.

“I’m not looking forward to an impeachment process, and I really mean it. I think it will be a gigantic distraction on things that we should be focusing on getting done. And the truth of the matter, though, is there is a constitutional obligation. My job is to impeach in a different way: beat him,” said Biden.

Mueller’s public statement last week emphasized that his report did not exonerate the president of obstruction of justice accusations, which triggered an avalanche of calls from Democrats in Congress, as well as some Democratic presidential contenders, to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump. But Biden had been more reluctant to join the calls.

That chorus of calls is making it increasingly hard for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to continue questioning the political wisdom of moving forward. Even if they impeach, Democrats do not appear to have the votes in the Senate – where a supermajority is required and Republicans have control – to remove Trump from office.

That lack of a clear path to removing the president from office has caused friction among Democrats and differing views from their supporters.

Marc Nozell of Merrimack said Congressional Democrats should act more decisively on impeachment.

“I think people that are outside Washington are more interested in starting the impeachment process,” Nozell said at the Concord event. “I wish (Biden) was stronger in how he said it.”

Concord’s Rick McPartlin, who attended the Concord event with his son, said he is more in line with Biden’s more measured approach.

“I really agree with him,” McPartlin said. “The line for impeachment is pretty far because it will rip our country apart.” 

Biden’s appearance in New Hampshire comes three days after he was indirectly attacked by some of his rivals, who were campaigning at the California Democratic Party’s annual convention while Biden was speaking to the Human Rights Campaign annual gala in Ohio.

Biden told the Monitor he will try to remain above the fray.

“I think the worst thing we could do is get into a match where we’re going after each other in the Democratic Party,” Biden said. “So I’m going to try my best not to be negative relative to my opponents.”

He said he plans to approach the upcoming Democratic primary debates the same way if he gets attacked.

“Just like I’m not going to go down to Trump’s level when he starts his attacks, I’m not going to go down to anybody else’s level when they start attacks,” Biden added.

Hours before Biden arrived in the Granite State, he unveiled a wide-ranging plan to combat climate change and transform America’s economy.

Using the Green New Deal as a framework, Biden announced he’s “calling for a Clean Energy Revolution to confront this crisis and do what America does best – solve big problems with big ideas.”

The price tag for the proposal – named “The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution & Environmental Justice” – is $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years. Biden’s campaign said this would be supplemented by leveraging more than $5 trillion in additional private sector and state and local investments.

Biden highlighted the plan at his event in Berlin and later stopped at the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative, a nonprofit that promotes conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

 

(Jake Sheridan contributed to this report.)




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