World / Crime & Legal

Candidate Joe Biden to back impeachment if Trump does not cooperate with U.S. Congress

Reuters

Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden will say on Tuesday that he is in favor of impeachment of Donald Trump if the Republican president does not comply with congressional requests for information on Ukraine and other matters, a spokesman said.

Biden, the former vice president, has become swept up in a political furor over reports that Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden and his son, an issue that has intensified Democratic calls for Trump’s impeachment.

Congressional Democrats have sought information related to Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Trump has acknowledged he discussed Biden in the call, but denies he withheld nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine as leverage to get Zelenskiy to launch a probe that would damage Biden.

Biden is set to deliver a statement on the issue on Tuesday afternoon, where he will say “Trump’s latest abuses are on top of all of his prior abuses,” a campaign spokesman said.

“He’s going to call on Trump to comply with all of Congress’ outstanding lawful requests for information — in the Ukraine matter, and in the other investigations — and if Trump doesn’t comply, Congress has no choice but to impeach,” the spokesman said.

Biden, who leads polls in the Democratic race to pick a challenger to Trump in the November 2020 election, has said before that impeachment might be necessary if Trump refused to cooperate with ongoing investigations.

But the statement on Tuesday will be the first time he has made the call since the controversy over Ukraine surfaced last week.

Most Democratic presidential contenders support an impeachment inquiry, including U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar; former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro.

“The House must impeach,” Warren, the first major contender to call for impeachment in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

In Washington, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, was to meet later on Tuesday with Democratic lawmakers to consider impeaching Trump as more lawmakers voiced support for the action.

Trump on Monday said he did not try to coerce Zelenskiy in the July 25 phone call to launch a corruption investigation into Biden and his son in return for the U.S. military aid.

At the United Nations before his speech to the annual General Assembly, Trump said he had wanted the money for Ukraine frozen, saying European countries should provide assistance to Kiev, but changed his mind after “people called me.”

But Trump also has called Biden and his son, Hunter, “corrupt” without providing any evidence.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has suggested Biden improperly used his influence to get Ukraine to dismiss its top prosecutor, who was investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings. The prosecutor had also been criticized by the U.S. government and the European Union for larger issues.

Biden and his son have denied the charge.

Coronavirus banner