October 15, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez: Impeachment is not about elections

Ocasio-Cortez: Impeachment is not about elections

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday repeated her call for impeaching President Donald Trump, saying that the matter transcends party lines and that progressives were getting frustrated with the lack of motion on the issue.

"This question should not be about polls. It should not be about elections. I think that impeachment is incredibly serious and this is about the presence of evidence that the president may have committed a crime," the New York Democrat said on ABC News’ "This Week," adding “in this case, more than one.”

When asked about progressive members’ feelings about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision not to pursue impeachment, Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged they were frustrated but that tides are changing in their favor. The freshman congresswoman pushed back on the notion that freshman members who flipped formerly Republican seats were virtually all opposed to impeachment, saying "some of these dynamics are changing" and many of those members are warming up to at least opening an inquiry.

Ocasio-Cortez also brushed off concerns that the Republican-controlled Senate would simply stop an impeachment from bearing any fruit, saying that the House’s responsibility is to impeach objectively.

"This is about us doing our jobs, and if we’re talking about what’s going to be a victory for Trump and what’s not going to be a victory for Trump, then we are politicizing and tainting this process," she said.

Responding to calls from some of her fellow Democrats, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, to prosecute Trump after he leaves office, Ocasio-Cortez said that was also outside of the House’s duties. Harris, who is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination, said that her Justice Department would have "no choice" but to charge Trump if he loses in 2020 based on the findings of former special counsel Robert Mueller.

Ocasio-Cortez, however, wanted to focus on impeachment now rather than pursuing criminal charges in the future.

"We have power now," she said. "And to bump it to when we don’t have power doesn’t make a whole lot of sense."

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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