Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Mpi43/MediaPunch/IPX)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "Every day that passes, the pressure to impeach grows..."

On Sunday Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News that "every day that passes, the pressure to impeach grows"


Matthew Rozsa
June 16, 2019 4:30PM (UTC)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told ABC News on Sunday that the movement for impeaching President Donald Trump continues to grow.

"I think every day that passes, the pressure to impeach grows, and I think that it's justifiable," Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl. "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 reelection, that — that goes — that transcends partisanship. It transcends party lines, and this is now about the rule of law in the United States of America."

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When Karl discussed the influence of polling on concerns that impeaching Trump could be politically risky for Democrats, Ocasio-Cortez argued that the issues are larger than immediate political considerations.

"I think for me this question has — should not be about polls. It should not be about elections," Ocasio-Cortez told Karl. "I think that — that impeachment is incredibly serious and this is about the presence in evidence that the president may have committed a crime, in this case more than one. And so I believe that — that our decision on impeachment should be based in our constitutional responsibilities and duties, and not in elections or polling."

She added, "That being said, with the increase in polls, I think the American people are now recognizing in a much broader scale 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, and at least opening an inquiry into possible misconduct."

When Karl asked about the progressive base's reaction to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's continued unwillingness to consider impeachment proceedings against the president, Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged that there was some ill will.

"I think it's quite real. I believe that there is a very real animus and desire to make sure that we are — that we are holding this president to account," Ocasio-Cortez explained. She refused to go into excessive detail, however, telling Karl that there are "family conversations" among Democratic congressmen that out of necessity are "held in confidence."

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Ocasio-Cortez's comments echoed observations that she made last month to a reporter on Capitol Hill.

"I trust the speaker is taking a measured approach to ensure that we're moving everyone forward," Ocasio-Cortez told a reporter about the possibility of impeaching Trump. "I know that, you know, being a speaker is hard. Holding this party together is a difficult task, but I think that we know what we need to do. I personally believe that we have to move forward."

Her views have been echoed by esteemed American University political historian Allan Lichtman.

"Nancy Pelosi seems to think that some history would celebrate not Catherine the Great, but Catherine the Faint-hearted," American University political scientist Allan Lichtman told Salon last month. "She is leading the Democrats down the primrose path of playing not to lose, of being timid, of being afraid, the path that has always caused the Democrats to lose. This is a truly turning-point historic moment in the history of the United States."

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He added, "We now have a rogue president. Absolutely right about that, but we have a rogue president who cannot be checked by what Nancy Pelosi is proposing. The only way to check this president is to hold him accountable, to strike at his power and his brand, and that can only be done by beginning an impeachment investigation. The argument that the House should not impeach because the Senate might not convict is constitutionally unsound, politically unsound and morally bankrupt. It is not the responsibility of the House to look into a crystal ball and try to figure out what the Senate may or may not do."


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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