Former South Carolina Republican governor Mark Sanford, who is challenging President Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination, said Monday that the president should be impeached based on an anonymous whistleblower complaint.
Appearing on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” Sanford made clear that the House of Representatives should proceed with the process, but added that “at first glance,” the president should be impeached based on the recent allegations charging the president with conspiring with a foreign leader to meddle in the next U.S. presidential election.
“Do you think what he did with Ukraine was appropriate?” Noah asked Sanford on the program, referencing the July phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky .
“Absolutely not,” Sanford said.
“Do you think it was an impeachable offense?” Noah followed up.
“I don’t want to prejudge the process,” Sanford replied. “It would seem to me that the logical answer is yes… I want them to go through their process. Again, I’m not going to prejudge the process.”
“What you don’t do as president of the United States is say ‘Why don’t we get our attorney general involved with a foreign power to help wipe out a domestic political foe.’”
Sanford’s comments come as the former governor fights an uphill battle to unseat Trump in the Republican primary while the president faces the most serious threat to power yet in the form of an official impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats.
Sanford cautioned earlier in the day on CNN that the impeachment process will be bruising for both major parties going forward.
Last week, a complaint from an anonymous whistleblower was made public based on a recently declassified and unredacted transcript of a phone call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart. The complaint charges Trump with asking Ukrainian officials to keep investigating potential corruption in Ukraine linked to Democratic frontrunner and former Vice President Joe Biden.
House Democrats rushed to impeachment early last week before both the transcript and the complaint were even released to members of the House, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announcing the beginning of proceedings on Sept. 23.