Political News

Booker on Trump-Ukraine scandal: 'If you come after Joe Biden, you're going to have to deal with me'

Posted October 6, 2019 9:50 p.m. EDT

— Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker came to the defense of his 2020 rival former Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday as Biden continues to face unfounded attacks from President Donald Trump.

"I've said time and time again that this is unacceptable, that if you come after Joe Biden, you're going to have to deal with me in this case. There is no — as you said — these are baseless, unfounded, scurrilous lies, plain and simple, trying to undermine the character of one of the statesmen of our country, not our party, but our country. And so, yeah, you've got a problem with me," Booker told CNN's Ana Cabrera on "Newsroom."

"I can't speak for this in a political context," the New Jersey senator added. "This is just me as an American to see these kinds of attacks and whether it's the lies this President tells about Joe Biden, or lies that he tells about other American citizens, to demean and denigrate them."

Booker's comments come as Trump continues to lash out at Biden and his son, Hunter, after a House impeachment inquiry was launched last month. The inquiry came in the wake of a whistleblower complaint that alleges Trump abused his official powers "to solicit interference" from Ukraine in the 2020 election and that the White House took steps to cover it up. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

A rough transcript released by the White House shows Trump repeatedly pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July phone call to investigate Joe Biden and his son.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.

CNN reported Sunday that the lawyer for the first whistleblower is now representing a second whistleblower regarding the President's actions.

Booker would not say if he would vote to remove Trump from office if an impeachment vote moved forward to the Senate.

"I am a juror and I want to look at what the articles of impeachment are. I want to look at all the evidence," he said. "But I'm just going to tell you, just as an American this is just not offensive, I think it's grounds for impeachment. So I'm looking forward to the fullness of this coming out."

When pressed, Booker repeated that he wants to see all the evidence first before saying what he would do if Trump is impeached, which would lead to a trial in the Senate.

"But if you want to ask me what I believe right now, what he has done is pretty damning," he said.

Booker's impeachment answer echoed 2020 rival Amy Klobuchar. The Minnesota senator told CNN earlier Sunday, "I, personally, as a former prosecutor, like to look at all the evidence, because you might convict on a number of counts, and not another one."

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