Trump impeachment: Beto O'Rourke claims keeping president in power is the 'end of this democracy'

2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke has renewed calls for impeachment against President Donald Trump - with a dire warning about the consequences of not doing so.

Mr O’Rourke stressed to late night host Stephen Colbert that his calls for impeachment weren’t just about “getting rid of the president.”

Rather, he believes impeachment proceedings could lead to “finding the facts, getting to the truth, ensuring that there’s accountability and justice for what happened to this democracy in 2016.”

“If we set the precedent that some people are above the law, or beyond the reach of the law, by not impeaching this president, not getting to the facts or the truth, I think that begins the end of this democracy.”

In early May, Mr O’Rourke changed his tune regarding impeachment, as he had previously told reporters that it was not his place to comment on whether he believes President Trump should be impeached, saying “I’m going to leave that to those members of the House who as they review those findings can make that decision. But ultimately at this point I believe that this is going to be decided in November 2020.”

But in an interview with the Dallas Morning News, the young presidential hopeful said: “We’re finally learning the truth about this president. And yes, there has to be consequences. Yes, there has to be accountability. Yes, I think there’s enough evidence now for the House of Representatives to move forward with impeachment.

“This is our country, and this is the one chance that we get to ensure that it remains a democracy and that no man, regardless of his position, is above the law.”

Mr O’Rourke, who is currently polling at about 2 per cent, was defeated in the 2018 midterms by Texas Republican and 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

When Colbert asked why Mr O’Rourke was running for the White House rather than a Senate seat, the former Texas State Representative said that he wanted “to be in the most consequential position to make sure that I do everything I can to deliver for this country”.