Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday called for the Democratic-led House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump, making her the most prominent Democrat to move toward ousting the president over evidence from the special counsel’s investigation that Mr. Trump attempted to undermine that inquiry.
Ms. Warren, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination to face Mr. Trump in 2020, laid out her arguments in a multi-tweet thread, saying the report documented efforts by Russia to elect Mr. Trump and “Donald Trump welcomed the help.” Ms. Warren said “once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack.”
“To ignore a president’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future Presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways,” Ms. Warren wrote on Twitter.
Democratic leaders are sharply divided on whether to pursue an impeachment effort against Mr. Trump, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several presidential candidates uneasy about a Democratic-led impeachment attempt and preferring to let voters judge Mr. Trump in the 2020 election.
Democrats are mindful that the Republican-led impeachment of President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s was a political boomerang on the G.O.P. that contributed to the party suffering deep losses.
But some progressives are appalled at the prospect that Democrats would turn a blind eye to what they believe is criminality in the Oval Office, even if it may complicate their electoral prospects next year.
[Keep track of the latest politics news with our newsletter.]
Ms. Warren’s call for impeachment comes as she is laboring to stand out in a sprawling Democratic field and is looking for opportunities to create contrasts with her rivals in the primary.
Her comments stood in contrast to much of the rest of the Democratic field, as several other candidates for president have treaded carefully around the impeachment question since the Mueller report was released.
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington has said “impeachment should not be off the table.” And while former Mayor Julián Castro told CNN that impeachment would be “perfectly reasonable,” both he and former Representative Beto O’Rourke also said the issue should be left in the hands of Congress.
[Who’s in? Who’s out? Keep up with the 2020 field with our candidate tracker.]
An aide to Ms. Warren said the impeachment call will not change the campaign’s overall message, which has focused on structural changes to the American economy to combat inequality and corporate greed. Ms. Warren read the special counsel’s report on the plane back from a recent campaign trip to Utah and Colorado and spoke out after feeling its contents required action.
Ms. Warren argued that an impeachment effort was warranted by the evidence laid out in the report by Robert S. Mueller III, which was made public in redacted form on Thursday.
“The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty,” Ms. Warren wrote on Twitter. “That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.”