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Hillary Clinton has come out in favor of impeaching Donald Trump.
Shortly before Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced this afternoon that the U.S. House of Representatives would begin an inquiry that could result in impeachment, Clinton told People magazine that she thought the president should be impeached. "We are in a crisis," Clinton said.
"I'm in favor of moving toward impeachment," she continued. "I did not come to that decision easily or quickly, but this is an emergency as I see it. ... This latest behavior around Ukraine, trying to enlist the president of Ukraine in a plot to undermine former Vice President Biden or lose the military aid he needs to defend against Trump's friend Vladimir Putin -- if that's not an impeachable offense, I don't know what is."
According to a whistleblower, Trump, in a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the summer, pressured Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter regarding work Hunter had done for a natural gas company in Ukraine. Major media outlets have found the Bidens were not involved in any questionable practices, but Trump implied that they were. The pressure, the whistleblower said, came with a threat of withholding aid to Ukraine.
Trump has denied that he did anything inappropriate during the call, although his own description of it suggests otherwise. "The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place, was largely the fact that we don't want our people, like Vice President Biden and his son, creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine," he told reporters Sunday. But he has said any decision about aid, which he had frozen before making the call, was unrelated.
Joe Biden is a front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, meaning he could be running against Trump next year. Clinton lost the Electoral College to Trump in the 2016 presidential election despite an advantage of nearly 3 million in the popular vote.
Trump has been tweeting about the impeachment investigation, calling it "presidential harassment" and a "witch hunt," the latter being one of his most frequently used terms. The investigation may or may not result in the House bringing articles of impeachment, which it can do by a simple majority vote. If it does, a trial would take place in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority is required for conviction. Two presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, have been impeached over the course of U.S. history, but neither was convicted.
Hillary Clinton told People that impeaching Trump is clearly warranted. He is "a reckless, corrupt human tornado who cares only about himself" and "a clear and present danger to the future of the United States," she said. She further commented that he "is betraying our country on a daily basis."