‘He’s shooting holes in the Constitution, and we can not let him get away with it…’
(AFP) Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden said Wednesday for the first time that Donald Trump should be impeached, arguing that the president has “betrayed this nation” and violated his oath of office.
“To preserve our Constitution, our democracy, our basic integrity, he should be impeached,” Biden, the former vice president whom Trump has repeatedly sought investigations of for potential corruption, told supporters at a rally in New Hampshire.
“He’s shooting holes in the Constitution, and we can not let him get away with it,” added Biden, without offering any evidence where Trump has run afoul of America’s founding document.
Biden is the longtime favorite who is now neck and neck with Senator Elizabeth Warren in the race to take on Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
The remarks mark a significantly tougher stance by the Democrat.
Even after it was revealed that Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into Biden and his son Hunter — who held a sweetheart position on the board of a gas company for a reported $50,000 per month — the senior Democrat had been more restrained than most other White House contenders.
But the gloves came off Wednesday, one day after the White House announced it would not cooperate with the impeachment investigation launched by House Democratic leaders last month.
“He believes the entire United States government can be corrupted into furthering his personal political needs,” Biden said, again without citing any examples of such conduct on Trump’s part.
“He’s even willing to hold Congress and congressionally appropriated aid to a foreign nation hostage to his personal political demands,” he added, referring to accusations that Trump’s call with Zelensky was an abuse of power because he allegedly tied Ukraine aid to investigating the Bidens, which contradicts a transcript of the call.
Biden sang a different tune as a U.S. Senator in 1998, when Republicans in the House were driving towards the impeachment of Democrat President Bill Clinton. In a speech, he invoked the Founding Fathers, warning about a partisan legislative body that threatens to ignore the will of American citizens.
“We’re concerned that any process whereby the Legislative Branch—the branch they deemed the most dangerous—could sit in judgement of a president would be vulnerable to abuse by partisan factions,” Biden said at the time.
Trump denies any quid pro quo, but has made no secret of calling on Ukraine and China to investigate whether the Bidens engaged in corruption.
Before Biden had finished speaking, Trump took to Twitter in a direct attack on him and his “failing campaign.”
“So pathetic to see Sleepy Joe Biden, who with his son, Hunter, and to the detriment of the American Taxpayer, has ripped off at least two countries for millions of dollars, calling for my impeachment — and I did nothing wrong,” Trump said.
© Agence France-Presse, with additional reporting by Liberty Headlines.