Watch: Warren, Harris, Klobuchar explain why Trump should be impeached during 2020 debate

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Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren schooled CNN's Anderson Cooper at Tuesday's Democratic debate.

Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate began with a series of skeptical questions about why each of the candidates support impeachment of Donald Trump.

First, moderator Anderson Cooper asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) why she wanted the House to impeach Trump rather than wait for the 2020 elections and let the American people decide his fate.

Warren responded that "sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics. And I think that's the case with this impeachment inquiry."

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"When I made the decision to run for president I certainly didn't think it was going to be about impeachment. But when the Mueller report came out, I read it, all 442 pages. And when I got to the end, I realized that Mueller had shown to a fare-thee-well the president had obstructed justice and done it repeatedly. And so at that moment, I called for opening an impeachment inquiry."

Warren then observed that because Congress did not act at that time, Trump was emboldened: "Look what happened as a result. Donald Trump broke the law again in the summer, again this fall. You know, we took a constitutional oath, and that is that that no one is above the law. And that includes the president of the United States. Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences. This is about Donald Trump, but understand: It's about the next president and the next president and the next president and the future of this country. The impeachment must go forward."

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was asked whether it was "fair to the president" that she has already said she has seen enough to remove Trump from office.

She responded that noting that Trump had engaged in impeachable conduct was "just being observant."

"Because he has committed crimes in plain sight. I mean it's shocking, but he told us who he was," Harris continued. "Maya Angelou told us years ago, 'Listen to somebody when they tell you who they are the first time.' During that election, Donald Trump told us he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. And he has consistently since he won been selling out the American people. He's been selling out working people, he's been selling out our values, he's been selling out national security, and on this issue with Ukraine he's been selling out our democracy."

She then predicted that the process would be quick, noting that "as a former prosecutor I know a confession when I see it." The former California attorney general said that Trump "did it in plain sight, he has given us the evidence and tried to cover it up putting it in that special server and there's been a clear consciousness of guilt. This will not take very long: Donald Trump needs to be held accountable. He is indeed the most corrupt and unpatriotic president we have ever had."

Cooper then asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) whether impeachment was a distraction from other important policy issues.

Klobuchar quickly explained, "We can do two things at once. That's our job."

"We have a constitutional duty to pursue this impeachment, but we also can stand up for America because this president has not been putting America in front of his own personal interests he has not been standing up for the workers of Ohio," she continued. "He has not been standing up for the farmers in Iowa. And I take this even a step further. When he made that call to the head of Ukraine, he is digging up dirt on an opponent. That's illegal conduct. That's what he was doing. He didn't talk to him of the Russian invasion. He talked to him about that. So I'm still waiting to find out from him how making that call to the head of Ukraine and trying to get him involved in interfering in our election makes America great again." She noted that, on issue after issue, Trump has put his own private interest ahead of the nation's interest. 

All 12 Democratic candidates have endorsed the House impeachment inquiry and all expressed on Tuesday that they saw this as important for the future of the republic.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.