by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
As House Democrats launch impeachment investigations into President Trump, their party’s presidential candidates are squabbling over who had the idea first.
Four candidates are claiming the mantle of the first to take a risky but noble stance on removing the 45th president from the White House.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren received ample media attention when she came out in support of impeachment proceedings on April 19, shortly after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. …
… But former Housing Secretary Julián Castro’s team says that he was the first to support impeachment. “Five months ago @JulianCastro became the first 2020 candidate to call for impeachment. Today a formal inquiry was announced,” Castro spokesman Sawyer Hackett tweeted last week. “Also the first to call for AG William Barr’s impeachment,” he added in a subsequent tweet.
An hour after Warren’s April 19 series of tweets calling for impeachment, Castro shared a clip from a CNN appearance earlier that day. “Earlier today, I told @AC360 that I think it would be perfectly reasonable for Congress to open up impeachment hearings against President Trump. Robert Mueller clearly left that option in the hands of Congress.”
Beto O’Rourke shared video clips last Tuesday dating his support for impeachment to more than two years ago. …
… Billionaire businessman Tom Steyer may have one of the strongest claims to early support for impeachment. Steyer founded super PAC Need to Impeach in October 2017, and it has spent more than $ 26 million on its campaign to impeach Trump, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.