Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday inched closer to supporting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, saying “it may be time” for the House Judiciary Committee to determine whether to start the process.
“I do understand where House members are coming from. And you’ve got this guy who is refusing to respect the Constitution, equal powers, and is rejecting requests for members of the administration to come forward,” the 2020 Democratic White House hopeful said on CNN.
“So, you know, I think it may be time at least to begin the process through the Judiciary Committee to determine whether or not there are impeachment proceedings.”
Calls by Democratic lawmakers to launch an impeachment inquiry have ramped up since Monday, when the administration directed former White House counsel Don McGahn to defy a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee to testify publicly and produce documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The White House has attempted to block Democrats’ inquiries into Trump, including his financial records and actions detailed in Mueller’s report.
While White House contenders such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have called for Trump’s impeachment, Sanders has been more cautious, as have House leaders such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Sanders said Wednesday that if Trump “continues to not understand the Constitution of the United States, the separation of powers, the fact that the Congress has every right to subpoena,” it might be time to start the impeachment process.
Sanders, a Vermont Independent, also said House Democrats must remain focused on progressive legislative priorities.
“The House has got to continue going forward, raising the minimum wage to a living wage, making sure that all of our people have health care, dealing with climate change, dealing with voter suppression,” Sanders said. “If all we talk about is Trump, Trump, Trump, I think he benefits.”