Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker said Sunday that he’d rather see President Donald Trump defeated at the ballot box than removed from office.
“As a guy who is a big competitor, I want to beat Donald Trump mano a mano, I want to face him down on a debate floor. So this is not something that I want to do,” the New Jersey senator told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Regardless, Booker said he won’t flinch from doing his duty as a juror in Trump’s pending Senate impeachment trial.
“Yeah, I’m going to evaluate the facts objectively and honor the oath that I swore even though I think Donald Trump has violated his oath of office,” Booker said.
The House approved two articles of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday, voting almost entirely along party lines. The next step in the constitutional process — once the House sends the articles to the Senate — is for the Senate to hold a trial, to be presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Booker emphasized that he didn’t think the impeachment process is good for anyone: “I’ve heard from my Democratic colleagues, folks just tell me this is just not a good thing for America. I don’t think the colleagues that I know that are my friends in the Senate on both sides of the aisle think this is a good thing. None of us are happy about this.“
Some Republicans have said Trump’s July 25 phone call with the president of the Ukraine — the crux of the impeachment matter — was justified because of corruption concerns involving Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Booker dismissed that notion out of hand.
“I’m exhausted, frankly, of the Biden aspect of this,“ Booker said. “This does not speak in any way that’s germane to the President’s behavior. Did the President or not — and there were witnesses in the room — did he violate his oath? Did he violate national security? Did he pursue his own personal interests with our taxpayer dollars counter to the mandates of Congress?“
He added: “All of us, on both sides of the aisle, we’re just fatigued of this.”