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Ocasio-Cortez says pressure to impeach Trump mounts along with evidence

2019-06-16

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said on Sunday that pressure to impeach President Trump was mounting along with evidence to support it. (Jeff Bachner/for New York Daily News)

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Sunday that pressure to impeach President Trump was mounting along with evidence to support it, citing Trump saying he would accept dirt on political opponents if it was offered by foreign powers.

“I think every day that passes the pressure to impeach grows and I think that it’s justifiable," the freshman lawmaker from New York told host Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “The Week with George Stephanopoulos.” I think the evidence continues to come in and I believe that with the president now saying that he is willing to break the law to win re-election ... that transcends partisanship ... this is now about the rule of law in the United States of America."

On June 12, Trump said in an Oval Office interview with Stephanopoulos that he would accept information from foreign governments on political opponents. Calling it “oppo research,” Trump said he would not necessarily tell the FBI about it.

Trump’s comments drew intense criticism, coming in the wake of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Significant elements of that probe dealt with interactions between Russians and people in Trump’s inner circle including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, all of whom were senior members of Trump’s 2016 campaign.

On Sunday, Karl pointed to a new NBC News poll showing support for impeachment expanding among Democrats.

“It should not be about polls,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “It should not be about elections ... this is about the presence and evidence that the president may have committed a crime, in this case more than one.

"I believe that our decision on impeachment should be based in our constitutional responsibilities and duties, and not in elections or polling.”

Still, Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged the significance of the poll. “I think the American people are now recognizing ... the depth and the severity of the misconduct coming out of the White House and a demand to protect our institutions and protect the rule of law in the United States.”

She said at the very least an inquiry should be opened into possible misconduct.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has steadily pushed back against calls for impeachment, saying it is divisive and should not be politically motivated.

Asked about Pelosi’s reluctance to move forward with impeachment, Ocasia-Cortez said, “We come together as a caucus and we have these conversations, as the speaker likes to say, they are family conversations, they are ones that are held in confidence ... I’ve said it privately, I’ve said it when we subpoenaed the attorney general ... this is about the rule of law” and holding the president and government as accountable.

Any vote to impeach would have to pass the House and the Senate. While Democrats control the House, the Senate is controlled by Republicans and the possibility of a super-majority in the Senate voting to impeach are low.