Live updates: Beto O’Rourke CNN town hall

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Cris Wildermuth, an associate professor at Drake University, asked Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke what his stance is on beginning impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

“We should begin impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump,” he said.

O’Rourke added that it’s “not something that I take lightly.”

“It is an incredibly serious, sober decision to make as a country,” he said.

O’Rourke cited the White Houses’s refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas and Attorney General William Barr’s failure to show up at a House hearing in his rationale for calling for impeachment proceedings.

O’Rourke has previously called for Trump’s impeachment. He said Tuesday that Democrats should not worry — as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said — that doing so could energize Trump’s base ahead of the 2020 election.

He said Democrats should “look past those short-term consequences” and focus on obtaining documents and evidence. The only way to do so, he said is, to “compel the testimony, the furnishing of those documents, through impeachment proceedings.”

At stake, O’Rourke said, are “very sanctity of the ballot box and the very future of the world’s greatest democracy.”

“If we do nothing because we are afraid of the polls or the politics, or the repercussions in the next election, we will set a precedent that, in fact, some people, because of the position of power and public trust that they hold are above the law,” he said.

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