The Latest: Candidates united in calling for Trump’s removal

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic presidential debate (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

As the national impeachment debate turns toward the U.S. Senate, the Democrats vying for their party’s nomination to replace President Donald Trump are united in pushing for his removal from office.

On the debate stage Thursday night, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota says Trump’s situation is even more serious than the events that brought down Richard Nixon, calling Trump’s alleged misdeeds “a global Watergate.” Referencing the 1974 book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, Klobuchar wondered of Trump, “If he is so innocent, then why doesn’t he have all the president’s men testifying?”

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — who, along with Klobuchar, will likely participate in an impeachment trial early next year — are focusing on the need to eradicate what they see as Trump’s corruption. Former Vice President Joe Biden is calling Trump’s removal “a constitutional necessity.”

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7:55 p.m.

Seven candidates are taking the stage for the final Democratic presidential debate of 2019.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are clustered at the top of the field. They are being joined by South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer.

The Los Angeles debate in the heart of the holiday season is overshadowed by Congress’ historic impeachment vote, raising the prospect that it may draw the smallest audience yet. But the stakes are not small in the broader tug-of-war between passionate progressives and pragmatic moderates who are battling over the party’s positions on core issues like health care, immigration, education and trade.

Categories: National News