Politics

Joe Biden says Congress should pursue impeachment even if it hurts 2020 Democrats

Key Points
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden said Congress should investigate President Donald Trump even if an impeachment inquiry damages 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.
  • "No matter what it does to the 2020 election, it's a requirement, a constitutional obligation that we take a look at this," Biden said in an MSNBC interview Tuesday.
  • Biden's remarks come as the House plans a vote on a resolution to move forward with the impeachment inquiry.
Democratic presidential candidate, former vice President Joe Biden addresses a crowd at Wilson High School on October 26, 2019 in Florence, South Carolina.
Sean Rayford | Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Congress should investigate President Donald Trump even if an impeachment inquiry damages 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.

"How can one let the conduct of a president inviting at least three foreign governments to interfere in our elections not go investigated?" Biden said in an MSNBC interview Tuesday. "This is the only president that, to the best of my knowledge, who's ever asked three different countries, foreign governments, to get engaged in the political apparatus and the political affairs of the United States," Biden continued. "And to this day, he has not acknowledged that Putin got involved in the 2016 election."

A White House spokeswoman did not immediately respond to CNBC's request to comment on Biden's statements.

Biden's remarks come as the Democratic-held House plans a vote on a resolution to move forward with the impeachment inquiry. The chamber is looking into whether Trump abused his power to influence the 2020 election by urging the Ukrainian government to investigate the former vice president and his son Hunter.

"This week, we will bring a resolution to the Floor that affirms the ongoing, existing investigation that is currently being conducted by our committees as part of this impeachment inquiry," Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues made public Monday.

The resolution on impeachment has drawn criticism from Republicans, who have criticized Democrats for what they call a secretive process.

Trump has repeatedly called the impeachment inquiry a "witch hunt," and the White House has said it will not cooperate with the probe, arguing it is a Democratic effort to undo the results of the 2016 election. Trump's lawyers have also said that if the president were to shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, he could not be held accountable under the law while serving in office.

"He's shooting holes in the Constitution right now," Biden said. "No matter what it does to the 2020 election, it's a requirement, a constitutional obligation that we take a look at this."

Biden called for Trump's impeachment earlier this month, using more pointed language in his speech denouncing Trump than ever before. "In full view of the world and the American people, Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, betrayed this nation and committed impeachable acts," Biden said. Previously, the former vice president only expressed support for an impeachment inquiry.

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Key Points
  • House Democrats are poised to hold a vote to move forward with the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed Monday. 
  • Pelosi had previously brushed off the calls from Republicans to hold a vote formally authorizing the impeachment probe. She accused them of attempting to avoid the allegations against the president by focusing on the impeachment process.
  • Republicans have complained that Democratic leaders — especially Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff — are conducting the investigation in the dark.