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Sen. Kamala Harris calls on Congress to take steps toward Trump impeachment

Key Points
  • White House hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., says she supports the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
  • "I believe Congress should take the steps toward impeachment," Harris said in response to a question at a CNN town hall in New Hampshire.
  • Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., became the first 2020 presidential candidate to call on the House to begin impeachment proceedings.
  • Harris said she's "a realist" and recognizes the Democratic-controlled House probably will look at the impeachment issue differently than the GOP-led Senate.
Sen. Kamala Harris launches her campaign for president of the United States at a rally in her hometown of Oakland, California, Jan. 27, 2019.
Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters

Sen. Kamala Harris late Monday said she would support Congress starting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

That comes on the heels of fellow Democratic presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren last week calling for impeachment.

"I think we have very good reason to believe that there is an investigation that has been conducted, which has produced evidence that tells us that this president and his administration engaged in obstruction of justice," Harris said in response to a question at a CNN town hall in New Hampshire. "I believe Congress should take the steps toward impeachment."

Harris, the junior senator from California and a member of the Senate's Judiciary Committee and Select Intelligence Committee, said the report released following Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election made it clear there was "good evidence" to make a case for obstruction of justice.

"For those of us who have been following the investigation, and have seen any part of that report, it's very clear that there's a lot of good evidence pointing to obstruction and obstruction of justice," said Harris, a former prosecutor who once served as district attorney in San Francisco and later as California attorney general.

Added Harris: "I believe that we need to get rid of this president."

Similarly, Warren last week urged Congress to begin the process of impeachment action against Trump. The Massachusetts politician thus became the first 2020 presidential candidate to call for impeachment proceedings.

"To ignore a President's repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future Presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways," Warren tweeted Friday. She also called on elected officials in both parties to "set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty."

Aside from Harris, Warren also was one of five 2020 Democratic presidential candidates participating in Monday evening's New Hampshire town hall event. Others were Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar as well as Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind.

Warren reiterated her call for impeachment in Monday's town hall, saying the impeachment process is a "tool" of accountability Congress is given. "This is not about politics. This is about principle."

Despite calling for impeachment, Harris told the town hall audience that she's "a realist" and recognizes the Democratic-controlled House probably will look at the impeachment issue differently than the Republican-led Senate.

"When I look at what has been happening over the last two years and some months that I've been in the United States Senate," Harris added, "I have also witnessed folks in the United States Congress, and in particular in the GOP, who have been presented with many reasons to push back against this president — and they have not."

Harris said an investigation by the House of Representatives "is very likely to happen" and would require a simply majority vote. Still, she noted that even if the House does vote to impeach, the next step would be up to the Senate.

"I've not seen any evidence to suggest that (Senate Republicans) will weigh on the facts instead of partisan adherence to, to being protective of this president," said Harris. "And that's what concerns me about what will become the eventual outcome. So we have to be realistic about what might be the end result, but that doesn't mean that the process should not take hold."