Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke said on Thursday that he stands by his earlier support for an effort to impeach President Donald Trump.
What did O'Rourke say?
During a CNN town hall meeting in McAllen, Texas, Dana Bash asked O'Rourke whether or not he had changed his mind about his call to impeach the president in July.
"I haven't. Umm. Let me put it this way. Umm. There may be an open question as to whether the president, then the candidate, sought to collude with the Russian government in 2016," O'Rourke responded.
The U.S. representative went on to say that he believed Trump's statements during a joint news conference with Vladimir Putin following their first summit this summer was "collusion in action."
"[And when in] broad daylight, on Twitter, he asked his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to end the Russia investigation, I would say that's obstruction in action," O'Rourke said.
“The best course to get there so that every member has all the facts and that they are compelling enough to do the right thing is to allow the full independence and integrity of the Bob Mueller investigation,” he added
Bash pointed out that short of a full investigation, O'Rourke has already committed to voting for the impeachment of the president without any charges of treason, bribery or a high crime and misdemeanor, which is required according to the Constitution.
"Which one of those do you think the president has committed?" Bash asked.
"I would liken impeachment to an indictment. There is enough there to proceed with the trial for a full vetting of the facts and to make the best informed decision in the interests of this country and our future," O'Rourke responded.
Some Democrats have said they would push forward efforts to impeach the president if they take over the majority in the House but the effort hasn't gained traction among the party's leaders, The Hill reported.
On Thursday, former vice president Joe Biden (D) cautioned Democrats against pushing for impeachment until the full report is released by the Mueller investigation.
"I hope they don't. I don't think there's a basis for doing that right now," Biden told CBS “This Morning.”
If O'Rourke wins his current race against incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R), he will no longer be eligible to vote for impeachment, which is a function of the House of Representatives. But he would be in the Senate, which would sit in trial of the president if the House does move forward with impeachment.
Cruz declined CNN’s offer to appear in separate segments at the town hall in McAllen.