Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa, a candidate for California governor, said Wednesday that President Donald Trump should quit or be impeached if media reports on his activities are accurate.
“If the facts are as reported, yes, the president should and will be impeached if he doesn’t resign first,” Villaraigosa, a former Los Angeles mayor said in response to an inquiry from The Sacramento Bee of leading Democrats in next year’s race. “Asking the director of the FBI to drop a criminal investigation and then to fire that director when he refuses is obstruction of justice.”
Villaraigosa also called for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate whether Trump did, as The New York Times and others have reported, ask FBI Director James Comey to halt the probe into Russia. Villaraigosa added: “If that is found to be the case, the president should resign or be impeached.”
Treasurer John Chiang called for immediate and thorough hearings to determine whether Trump obstructed justice with intent to break the law, contending that, if so, it’s grounds for his removal.
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“But before we jump to this, we need to thoroughly look at the evidence first and be very measured,” Chiang said. “An impeachment would have such disruptive ramifications on our country, but then so does Trump’s lack of leadership we are experiencing every day.”
Their remarks come ahead of the California Democratic Party convention in Sacramento, where the issue of impeachment is expected to be among the hottest topics of discussion. On Wednesday, state Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, introduced a nonbinding resolution asking Trump to resign, and urging Congress to impeach the president if he doesn’t leave office.
“Americans have had enough of Donald Trump’s unrelenting scandals,” Low said in a prepared statement. “Amid the gross incompetence, recklessness and overwhelming conflicts of interest, we can’t wait for the next shoe to drop. We have expressed concern over his actions for months now. It’s time to stand up and do something about it.”
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who is scheduled to address the more than 3,000 party activists on Saturday, has not pushed impeachment.