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Klobuchar: ‘I don’t see’ voting to acquit Trump if impeachment moves to Senate trial

Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Sunday that she can’t see herself voting in President Donald Trump’s favor should the House impeachment inquiry into the President move to a trial in the Senate.

Asked by CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” whether she would vote to acquit the President, Klobuchar said: “At this point, I don’t see that.”

“But I’m someone that wants to look at every single count,” Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. “I’ve made it clear I think this is impeachable conduct.”

The House Intelligence Committee is expected to allow members to review the committee’s impeachment report Monday ahead of a vote scheduled on Tuesday to approve the report, which details the committee’s findings from the impeachment inquiry into Trump and Ukraine, CNN has reported.

The report is expected to be transmitted to the House Judiciary Committee ahead of its first impeachment hearing on Wednesday and serve as the basis for articles of impeachment that the panel will consider.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Klobuchar called Trump’s actions related to Ukraine a “global Watergate,” referring to the scandal that led former President Richard Nixon to resign before he could be impeached.

“I see it simply as a global Watergate. Back then, you had a president in Richard Nixon who was paranoid and he delegated to some people to go break into the headquarters and get into a file cabinet to get dirt on a political opponent. That’s basically what this President has done on a global basis,” Klobuchar told NBC News.

The House Democrats’ impeachment investigation is centered on a whistleblower complaint alleging Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate a political rival to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid, while withholding security aid to Kiev. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and argued that he has the “absolute right” to ask other countries to investigate corruption.

Congress is moving toward the next phase of the impeachment inquiry and lawmakers are prepping for a potential trial in the Senate that could take place around the time 2020 candidates would be stumping in Iowa.

Multiple aides previously told CNN that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, has been having conversations with 2020 contenders, who may be glued to the Senate chamber well into December and January, about the next phase.

Klobuchar, who is vying for the Democratic nomination for president, said it would be her “constitutional obligation” to step away from 2020 campaigning if impeachment proceedings move to the Senate.

Asked if it would be a disadvantage for her to leave the campaign trail, Klobuchar said, “I will meet whatever obstacle is put in front of me.”

“And this is more than an obstacle, it is my constitutional obligation,” she added.

The Minnesota senator said there are “many people out there” to represent her case to voters if she can’t leave Washington “for a few weeks,” pointing to her daughter, her husband and her endorsers as possible surrogates.

CNN