Politics

Impeachment Trial Or Campaign? Amy Klobuchar Tells Jake Tapper It’s ‘An Easy Question’

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor

Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar made it clear Sunday that she would fulfill her duty as a senator even if a possible impeachment trial put a damper on her presidential campaign.

Klobuchar told CNN’s Jake Tapper during an appearance on “State of the Union” that she had a “constitutional duty” to be a part of any such trial, regardless of when it was held.

WATCH:

Tapper pointed out the fact that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had acknowledged the possibility of an impeachment trial that began as early as December — which would be a very important time for any presidential campaign to be gaining ground in Iowa and other early-voting states.

“Is it more important for to you be listening to the evidence on the Senate floor as a juror in Washington, D.C., or in Iowa running for president?” Tapper asked. (RELATED: Warren Skirts Question On Taxes, And Buttigieg Takes The Fight To Her)

“Well that is called an easy question, Jake, because I have a constitutional duty to take part in that trial,” Klobuchar responded. “That is what you do when you’re a U.S. senator and such an important case comes before you. I think that’s — it is going to change things. We will be there in Washington if that is the schedule. We don’t have a choice.”

Klobuchar went on to say that she felt comfortable with her progress in Iowa thus far, adding that campaign surrogates could fill in for her at events on the ground if she was needed in Washington. “That is just what will have to happen. Because this is a very serious thing,” she said.

Tapper pushed back, saying that returning to Washington at that point in the campaign — even if surrogates were available to fill in on the ground — could destroy her momentum. “You call it an easy question but I have to say, like, it could mean that whatever momentum you’re able to achieve by December disappears while all of the candidates who are not senators or who don’t hold the same view as you do about the importance of the impeachment trial run around the state of Iowa and get support,” he said. “So you’re willing to commit — you’re going to be in Washington no matter what even if it costs you your presidential ambitions in 2020?”

“Listen, I have a constitutional duty but I can do two things at once,” Klobuchar said, arguing that she had already been able to draw large crowds of voters who were “tired of the noise and nonsense” and beginning to see her as “someone that can actually get things done and has their back.”