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Biden hopes Democrats don't impeach Trump right away

Posted at 8:02 PM, Oct 17, 2018

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he hopes Democrats do not impeach President Donald Trump right away if they take control of the House, arguing they should wait until the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to determine their approach.

"I hope they don't. I don't think there's a basis for doing that right now," Biden said in an interview with "CBS This Morning" co-host Nora O'Donnell. "I think we should wait until the report comes out."

Asked if Mueller should release his report before the midterm elections, Biden said, "I think it should be issued when they finish the investigation. I've been around a long time. You wait until the investigation's finished. You don't put an arbitrary end to it. You wait till it's finished, and let's see what it has to say."

While some Democrats, including billionaire donor Tom Steyer, are pushing for impeachment, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who could become speaker if Democrats win back control, has tried to quiet impeachment speculation.

"Our priority (is) unifying. Impeachment is a very divisive approach. Elections should determine who is in office," Pelosi told CNN last month. "If the President has broken law, he's not above the law, but that remains to be seen."

A CNN poll conducted by SSRS last month found that nearly half of Americans in the poll -- 47% -- said Trump should be impeached and removed from office. That figure was up from a June poll that found 42% said Trump should be removed from office.

In the same interview, the former vice president also criticized Trump's handling of the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia's government, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"I'm very worried that the President seems to have a love affair with autocrats," Biden said. "The idea that he's already making excuses before the facts are known ... it's typical but it hurts us internationally."

Biden said his doubts about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman have "been confirmed."

"My doubts are that there is very little sense of rule of law, respect for human rights, dignity and you know, the allegations that are made so far -- I don't know yet -- are not inconsistent with the way the kingdom would act," he said.

The former vice president argued there should "absolutely positively" be consequences if it is found the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's apparent murder and floated the cancellation of US arms sales to Saudi Arabia as a possible retaliatory measure.

Asked to explain Trump's behavior, Biden said, "I don't want to speculate on my worst fears but either he doesn't know what he's doing or he has an absolutely convoluted notion of what allows America to lead the world."