The candidate backed by the Democratic Socialists of America, who trounced one of Congress's top Democratic leaders in a stunning primary challenge, said Wednesday she would support President Donald Trump's impeachment, citing violations of the Constitution's Emoluments Clause.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old who shocked Representative Joe Crowley in New York's 14th District, put the political establishment on notice and even took a position that many Democrats have avoided.
"I would support impeachment," she told CNN. "I think that we have the grounds to do it."
Ocasio-Cortez specifically cited the Emoluments Clause, which restricts federal officials from receiving any sort of gifts from foreign governments while in office. She stated that "from day one" Trump had committed "violations," also noting the ongoing investigations into the president's 2016 campaign for the White House.
"I think that there are serious grounds in violations of the Emoluments Clause from day one," she said. "I think that is, first and foremost, one of the basic elements and violations. And then, once again, it's hard to predict what's going to happen over the next few months. There are one or more investigations happening. But I think from day one we have had violations of the emoluments clause with the presidency."
Since he entered office almost 18 months ago, Trump, along with members of his family hired to work in the administration, has faced conflict-of-interest accusations between his presidency and his global real estate empire.
In particular, foreign dignitaries have stayed at the president's Washington, D.C., hotel, and the Republican National Committee has also held lucrative fundraisers at the Trump establishment.
Roughly 200 Democratic lawmakers went before a federal judge this month, arguing the hotel and Trump Tower in New York serve as emoluments violations.
But Ocasio-Cortez's stance on impeachment differs from that of some high-ranking Democrats, especially House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The California congresswoman has tried to convince fellow Democrats not to run a campaign based on impeachment and Trump's removal from office, saying it would be a "gift" to Republicans.
Still, other Democrats have pushed hard for such a campaign, and even put articles of impeachment before Congress earlier this year. With no majority in either legislative chamber, the impeachment efforts have gone nowhere but remain a major talking point among voters and Trump opponents.
The president appeared to refer to impeachment Wednesday morning when he blasted Pelosi and Representative Maxine Waters, both of California, and pronounced: "I'm not going anywhere!"
"Congratulations to Maxine Waters, whose crazy rants have made her, together with Nancy Pelosi, the unhinged FACE of the Democrat Party. Together, they will Make America Weak Again! But have no fear, America is now stronger than ever before, and I'm not going anywhere!" Trump tweeted.