GOP Presidential Candidate Joe Walsh: ‘This President Deserves to Be Impeached’

By Melanie Arter | October 7, 2019 | 1:11pm EDT
Republican presidential candidate and former Rep. Joe Walsh

( – Republican presidential candidate and former Rep. Joe Walsh on Sunday called President Donald Trump a “traitor” who should be impeached for his phone call with Ukraine.

“This president deserves to be impeached. Jake, nobody from the White House and no high-level Republicans are on this show today because there is nothing to defend. This president betrayed his country again this week. Would I vote if I were in Congress on the inquiry? There is enough we know now to vote to impeach this president,” he said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union with Jake Tapper.”


“He stood on the White House lawn this week, Jake, and told two additional foreign governments to interfere in our election. That alone is impeachable. This is a strong term I'm going to use, but I'm going to say it on purpose: Donald Trump is a traitor. Now, I know there is a lot of talk about treason, right? People on both sides, Jake, have been irresponsible using that word treason,” he said.

“I'm not accusing this president of treason. Our founders were very specific as to what treason is, but when you look at traitor more broadly defined, this president betrayed our country again this week, and it is not the first time he did it. Excuse me. I don't know that we should move forward incrementally. This president needs to be impeached, Jake, just based on what he himself has said, and Republicans better get behind that,” Walsh said.



Republican presidential candidate and former Rep. Mark Sanford said there needs to be a vote before going into an impeachment inquiry and the process should be formalized instead of having an “open-ended process.”

Sanford said he doesn’t know if “impeachment is the best way to go.”

“I think probably censure is, given the fact that we're this close to an election, but that's a larger conversation,” he said.

Sanford said he disagrees with Walsh.

GOP presidential candidate and former Rep. Mark Sanford (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)

“In other words, the nature of the process is not to come to the conclusion at the beginning of it, and for people to just step out and say he needs to be impeached is to actually diminish and discard with the very process that is laid out by our founding fathers, and so I do think we ought to be incremental. Are there very troubling charges out there? Yes. Do they need to be investigated? Yes,” Sanford said.

“But to jump to conclusions and say, he needs to be impeached, what he's done is treasonous, is to say, we're not going through the very process that the founding fathers laid out,” he said.

“But again, Mark, with all due respect, the president of the United States -- and this is not the first time he's done it -- is telling foreign governments to interfere in our election. And here is another thing. He asked China this week to investigate his fellow Americans? If that alone -- and that is what our founders feared, Jake. Mark, if that alone isn't impeachable, then nothing is. Yes, begin the process,” Walsh said.

“But let's begin with the end in mind, which is, again, are there troubling charges? Yes. Could you make the argument that you are making? Yes. But do you think you could get 20 Republican senators to go along with that argument? The answer is no,” Sanford said.

“That is why David Brooks wrote an eloquent column last week saying that, while there was certainly reason to move forward, it didn't make it politically prudent, because, ultimately, an impeachment inquiry is not a legal inquiry. It's not in the judiciary. It is a political move,” he said.

“And so the question in this political season is, do we want to completely wipe out the Democratic debate that is taking place amongst the Democrats and some degree of Republican debate that we're trying to have, Joe, as to what we believe as a country, where we want to go, what is important to us, because the giant sucking sound will be this impeachment inquiry sucking every other piece of debate, both in Washington and outside of Washington, out the door?” Sanford said.

“And the question is, from an elitist standpoint, should 100 senators make the call on whether or not this president stays in office, or should we, in fact, have that query come -- come next November? think that is legitimate, and I think that there is precedent here. Andrew Jackson in 1834 was censured, and, again, it said, we're not going to say nothing, but we don't know that we can actually pull off a change. Therefore, we are going to let the people decide,” he added.


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