- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 23, 2019

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg on Thursday said he would support Congress’s starting impeachment proceedings against President Trump at some point, but that he would leave it to lawmakers to figure out exactly how and when to proceed.

Mr. Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said it’s very clear Mr. Trump ”deserves impeachment,” and that the case is being “built each passing day by the White House.

“As to when and how the House goes about launching those procedural steps to get the inquiry up and running, I’m going to leave that to the House,” Mr. Buttigieg said at a Washington Post event. “Because I know that regardless of how that process unfolds, we got a political job to do as well.”

He said there’s a sequence to be followed, and that House Democrats are not going to allow people to say it was a “knee-jerk” reaction.

“They’re exercising unbelievable discipline, given that we are well past the point of what would ordinarily be tolerated,” he said.

He called impeachment “a fundamentally political, not legal process - because it comes down to the votes of politicians.”



“What will really matter most is the conscience of Republican senators,” he said. “If anything is going to reunite them with their conscience in the long run, in my view, it is a decisive electoral defeat for Republicans in 2020, which is what I’m of course trying to deliver by running against this president.”

Even if the full House ultimately voted to impeach Mr. Trump, it’s all but certain there would not be the two-thirds majority in the GOP-controlled Senate that would be needed to convict him of any charges tied to alleged efforts to hamper the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, or otherwise.

Mr. Buttigieg and other 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls have been weighing how to address the impeachment issue, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tries to fend off calls from her left flank to move more quickly.

“As a young Democrat, I’ve learned to think cautiously before offering advice to Nancy Pelosi,” he said.

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