For 1st time, Joe Biden calls for President Trump to be impeached

Joe Biden - AP image

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Wednesday for the first time that President Donald Trump must be impeached for abusing the powers of his office to help his own reelection.

Posted: Oct 9, 2019 1:47 PM
Updated: Oct 9, 2019 3:08 PM

ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Wednesday for the first time that President Donald Trump must be impeached for abusing the powers of his office to help his own reelection.

Biden made the remarks as part of a blistering 25-minute speech in New Hampshire, departing from his usual campaign pitch and signaling that he will aggressively confront Trump as the president pushes unfounded accusations that the former vice president and his son had nefarious dealings in Ukraine.

Trump is "shooting holes in the Constitution," Biden said, by asking foreign powers to interfere in the 2020 election by pursuing dirt on the Bidens and then refusing to cooperate with a resulting House impeachment inquiry.

"This is a president who has decided this nation doesn't have the tools, the power, the political will" to punish bad behavior, Biden said, cataloguing a litany of Trump's actions that the former vice president said warrant impeachment.

The speech comes as Biden's campaign continues internal deliberations over the best way to handle Trump's broadsides and an impeachment inquiry that could last months — and potentially never result in the Republican-led Senate removing Trump from office even if the Democratic-led House impeaches him.

"He's not just testing us," Biden said. "He's laughing at us."

Before Biden had concluded in New Hampshire, Trump retorted via Twitter. "So pathetic," he wrote, to see Biden calling for his impeachment. The president maintained that he had done nothing wrong.

In a July 25 phone call to Ukraine's leader, Trump asked for "a favor" of investigating Biden and his son Hunter, who previously served on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm that had drawn scrutiny in that country.

Without evidence and contrary to the accounts of several Ukrainian officials, Trump insists that Biden used his role as vice president to protect his son from corruption investigations when he pressed for the firing of the top Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, during President Barack Obama's second term.

Ukrainian officials, including one Shokin successor, have disputed Trump's theories, and Biden has previously noted that the Obama administration's position was supported by many other Western governments, who saw Shokin as incompetent or corrupt.

Biden on Wednesday again blasted Trump's "lies and smears and distortion" and said the president peddles them because he fears facing Biden in a general election.

"He's trying to create a campaign where truth and facts are irrelevant," Biden said, adding that the spectacle covers the president's "manifest incompetence."

"We're not going to let Donald Trump pick the Democratic nominee for president," Biden added. "I'm not going to let him get away with it. He's picked a fight with the wrong guy."

In New Hampshire, Biden noticeably did not mention the Senate or its potential role in deciding whether to remove Trump from office.

Some Biden aides note that the situation underscores the fundamental argument that the former vice president has made about Trump from the start of his campaign, a point the candidate himself made Wednesday. "When I announced my candidacy," he recalled, "I said I was running in order to restore the soul of America. That wasn't hyperbole."

But his advisers also point to the 2016 presidential campaign, when Trump dominated media narratives of the Republican primary and the general election against Democrat Hillary Clinton with a barrage of attacks on his opponents that forced them to campaign on his terms.

The former vice president nodded at that reality, as well, promising that he won't let that get in his way.

"I'm not going to be distracted," he said. "None of these attacks are true, and I'm going to stay focused on your lives. That's what this election is about," he continued, saying the country "can't wait" for action on health care, education, gun regulations and the climate crisis. "The world can't wait for America once again to lead a stable, peaceful international order."

Biden got an enthusiastic reception, including from some New Hampshire voters who hadn't considered him their top choice in the nation's first presidential primary state.

"He spoke with conviction. He answered some of Trump's charges, and he got some good shots in at Trump," said Bill Hurley, a 71-year-old Democrat who named Biden his second choice behind Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

One undecided voter, Virginia Schonwald, a 63-year-old retired school librarian, said she liked that Biden was "very fact-based and that he was forceful." She said she is now considering voting for Biden in the Democratic primary.

"I don't think I was when I got here," she said. "But I think I am now. ... His speech made me more confident about him as a candidate."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 556381

Reported Deaths: 7098
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1158471682
Ramsey47939856
Dakota42586422
Anoka38655415
Washington24993274
Stearns21052219
St. Louis16821298
Scott16013117
Wright14818127
Olmsted1276297
Sherburne1064880
Carver984945
Clay783490
Rice7649101
Blue Earth698640
Kandiyohi628181
Crow Wing618186
Chisago550650
Otter Tail543973
Benton532297
Mower451132
Goodhue444172
Douglas442870
Winona438649
Nobles400648
Morrison396059
McLeod395255
Isanti378259
Itasca373653
Beltrami372957
Polk366067
Steele364014
Becker356048
Lyon348648
Carlton329452
Freeborn328129
Pine312321
Nicollet307542
Brown294739
Mille Lacs282150
Le Sueur270822
Todd268830
Cass250426
Meeker237437
Waseca231421
Martin213429
Wabasha19953
Roseau197818
Renville172543
Hubbard172341
Dodge17193
Redwood166335
Houston162614
Cottonwood157021
Fillmore15179
Pennington151019
Chippewa146537
Wadena144621
Faribault144019
Sibley136410
Kanabec131721
Aitkin128736
Watonwan12569
Rock123019
Jackson117410
Yellow Medicine110819
Pipestone109926
Pope10306
Murray10269
Swift100018
Marshall85617
Stevens82210
Lake78419
Clearwater77814
Koochiching77313
Wilkin77012
Lac qui Parle73622
Big Stone5644
Lincoln5592
Grant5498
Norman5229
Mahnomen5088
Unassigned50378
Kittson46822
Red Lake3877
Traverse3605
Lake of the Woods3073
Cook1460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 358085

Reported Deaths: 5821
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk56023604
Linn20310330
Scott19111234
Black Hawk15560306
Woodbury14906221
Johnson1405881
Dubuque13162202
Dallas1090196
Pottawattamie10763162
Story1031547
Warren555686
Clinton537790
Cerro Gordo522986
Webster508391
Sioux506673
Marshall477274
Muscatine460796
Des Moines441965
Wapello4254120
Buena Vista421940
Jasper407670
Plymouth397479
Lee368555
Marion354575
Jones293155
Henry286337
Bremer279360
Carroll279351
Crawford261840
Boone258833
Benton250355
Washington249550
Dickinson242343
Mahaska224850
Jackson218242
Kossuth213063
Clay211225
Tama206671
Delaware203039
Winneshiek194433
Page190421
Buchanan188831
Cedar184423
Fayette183041
Wright180435
Hardin179942
Hamilton178149
Harrison176473
Clayton167155
Butler162534
Mills158720
Cherokee157138
Floyd155442
Lyon154841
Madison154119
Poweshiek152733
Allamakee149151
Iowa145524
Hancock143734
Winnebago136131
Grundy135332
Cass134654
Calhoun133211
Jefferson131035
Emmet128740
Shelby128637
Sac127319
Louisa127249
Appanoose126647
Mitchell125341
Union124132
Chickasaw122615
Humboldt118326
Guthrie117929
Franklin112821
Palo Alto111022
Howard102822
Montgomery100637
Unassigned10050
Clarke98323
Keokuk94730
Monroe94128
Ida89733
Adair84532
Pocahontas83721
Monona81230
Davis79924
Greene76710
Osceola75516
Lucas74923
Worth7098
Taylor65312
Fremont6139
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53623
Wayne52123
Audubon4939
Adams3284
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