Sarbanes: President Trump's Misconduct Can't Go Unchecked
Tyler Waldman, WBAL-AM
Rep. John Sarbanes said Wednesday that Democrats are largely united behind the two articles of impeachment announced Tuesday.
"As I think you've heard many Dems say, it's not an action that we take lightly, but I think our constitutional oath of office requires us to stand up in this way," the 3rd District Democrat told Bryan Nehman. "And if you look at the president's conduct, this idea that you would put your own personal and political fortunes ahead of the national security interests really does represent an abuse of the office of the presidency, and it's not something that we can leave unchecked."
Though there were suggestions that bribery, an offense the Constitution spells out as impeachable, along with treason and "other high Crimes and Misdemeanors," would be among the articles of impeachment, the resolution introduced Tuesday was limited to accusing President Donald Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Sarbanes said the abuse of power charge encapsulates what the president did in leveraging his office to seek an investigation of a political rival, as witnesses have testified.
"I think the abuse of power [charge] captures better the conduct of the president, because this really is an office of public trust and how you use it," Sarbanes said.
He said taking action on the claims against Trump can't wait for next year's election.
"They actually have to do with interference in the election and, therefore, you have to worry about, if he goes unchecked and he doesn't think he did anything wrong, apparently, is [if] he going to go and engage in that behavior going forward in a way that puts a free and fair election at risk," Sarbanes said. "If he doesn't get removed, there's an election and the people go into the jury box and they render the verdict on this president."