Sen. Cory Booker took the case for impeaching President Donald Trump to Fox News Wednesday morning, laying out the case on the president’s favorite morning show for the Congressional inquiry announced one day earlier.
The New Jersey senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate’s Fox News appearance came on “Fox & Friends,” the morning cable news show where the president is the regular recipient of flattering coverage. But Booker, in a one-on-one interview with host Steve Doocy, argued in favor of Trump’s impeachment, a step the senator has long endorsed on the primary campaign trail.
“This is not a gleeful moment for this country,” he said. “This is a very sad moment. This is not about politics. This is about patriotism.”
Trump has come under heavy criticism over the last week over revelations that he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a top contender in the Democratic primary field, and his son, Hunter Biden. The president has insisted that his conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart was totally appropriate but has thus far refused to release an intelligence community whistleblower report on the call, although the White House has signaled that it may do so.
Democrats have argued that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is legally obligated to hand over the whistleblower report to Congress, an assessment the Trump administration has disputed.
“The public doesn’t know the truth yet,” he said. “Release his report. By the way, not doing it is a violation of the law.”
That pressure crested Tuesday evening with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that Congress would begin a formal impeachment inquiry into the president, alleging that he sought to pressure a foreign government into digging up political dirt on a potential 2020 rival.
Booker echoed the call of many fellow Democrats for the White House to release the transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky, a step the Trump administration took later Wednesday morning.
He also pushed back against Doocy’s argument that the impeachment inquiry is premature because Congress had not yet seen the call transcript, retorting that former President Richard Nixon enjoyed initial public support until impeachment proceedings uncovered information related to the Watergate scandal that led to his resignation.
Doocy pressed Booker to consider the Republicans’ argument about whether Joe Biden was involved in corruption in Ukraine.
“This is almost like saying okay, here’s a firecracker over here,” the senator replied. “Pay no attention to nuclear bomb going off that a president of the United States of America, in order to pursue his own personal benefit, withholds aid from an ally under attack.”
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine