Former Ohio governor and CNN commentator John Kasich said Friday that President Donald Trump should be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives on grounds of “abuse of power.”
“I say it with great sadness,” Kasich said on CNN. “This is not something I want to do … This behavior, in my opinion, cannot be tolerated and action should be taken.”
Kasich, the last Republican candidate to drop his challenge to Trump in the 2016 presidential primaries, stopped short of saying Trump should be convicted and removed by the U.S. Senate.
The remarks from the frequent Trump critic came after Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney talked Thursday of withholding U.S. military aid to Ukraine in dealings with the country. Mulvaney later tried to walk it back. Kasich said it confirmed a quid pro quo deserving of impeachment.
“It pushed me really across the Rubicon,” Kasich said. “Withholding military aid, vital military aid to a nation like Ukraine, which has Russian troops inside its territory, that’s threatened all the time, that withholding it so that a political operation can take place, investigate this thing around the server … and we’re going to withhold the aid until you did that. To me, it’s totally inappropriate, it’s an abuse of power.”
Kasich, who famously refused to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016 at which Trump was nominated and instead voted for the late John McCain, was asked if Trump should be removed.
“But if you’re asking me if I was sitting in the House of Representatives today and you were to ask me, how do I feel, do I think impeachment should move forward and should go for a full examination and a trial of the United States Senate? My vote would be yes, and I don’t say it lightly,” Kasich said.
The former congressman departed office in January after two terms as governor.
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