Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said in an interview broadcast early Monday that he would vote to remove President Trump from office in the upcoming impeachment trial if he were a member of the Senate.
The former New York City mayor told NBC News that the evidence collected by House Democrats convinced him that Trump had acted “inappropriately” and that he would vote to convict the president, who has been accused of abusing his power and obstructing Congress.
“I was asked if I were a senator, how would I vote? And I’d have to swallow two or three times, but I would say I would vote to convict because there’s just so much evidence that he acted inappropriately,” Bloomberg told NBC’s Craig Melvin on the “Today” show.
At the same time, Bloomberg said that he believed impeachment generally is “not good” and that voters should decide who is the president.
“I think that impeachment is a political process. It’s not good. We’d be much better off letting the voters decide who is president in this country,” Bloomberg told NBC. “But the president’s actions eventually, as information came out, it convinced me that he should be impeached and that this should be a fair trial.”
“I would say I would vote to impeach, vote to convict, because there’s just so much evidence that he acted inappropriately.” @MikeBloomberg on how he’d advise senators involved in President Trump’s impeachment trial pic.twitter.com/bxTn7PTour
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 20, 2020
The Democrat-controlled House voted in December to approve two articles of impeachment against Trump. The charges center on a July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Ukraine’s president to look into the dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter as well as a debunked theory that Kyiv, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election.
Trump has insisted he did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine, describing the phone call as “perfect.” Trump’s attorneys on Saturday denied the allegations of wrongdoing by Trump and argued that the charges themselves do not amount to impeachable offenses and therefore violate the Constitution.
Trump’s legal team accused House Democrats of a “brazen and unlawful attempt” to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election.
A number of senators participating in the impeachment trial are either current or former candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination, including Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Warren has already said she’s seen enough evidence to convict Trump, though the others — while they have been critical of the president and expressed support for impeachment — have been quiet about how they may vote.
The Senate trial is set to begin in earnest on Tuesday, as the chamber debates and votes on a resolution laying out the rules.
Bloomberg’s remarks to NBC come after the president has criticized the former mayor on Twitter.
Trump tweeted Sunday that “Mini Mike Bloomberg” is “against” the Second Amendment, after the former mayor remarked that is the job of law enforcement, not average citizens, to decide when to shoot a gunman posing a threat to others.