Here's What Every Democratic Senator Running for President Has Said About Trump's Impeachment

President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is inching closer to the starting line, meaning that several Democrats running to take him on in the 2020 election will have to stop campaigning just before the early-voting primaries in order to decide his fate.

Five Democrats will have to return to Washington D.C. when the proceedings begin: Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The Constitution states that the Senate has the "sole power" to remove impeached officials with lawmakers effectively acting as a jury in an impeachment trial. In order to vote on Trump's fate, senators will have to be on Capitol Hill during the proceedings—but it's unclear how long the trial will last.

During former President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial, senators met every afternoon for six days a week (Monday through Saturday) for more than a month. The 1999 trial lasted from January 7 to February 12.

If the Trump trial lasts for that long, the five senators will miss their chance to finish campaigning in Iowa, arguably the most important caucus in the Democratic primary. The battleground state will hold its caucuses on February 3 and polling shows it's still anyone's race.

The House impeached Trump in December on two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Democrats charge that the president tried to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate political rival Joe Biden in exchange for the release of nearly $400 million in military aid. Trump has denied the charges and dismissed the impeachment inquiry as a "witch hunt."

Every Democratic senator running for president has voiced support for the House's decision to impeach Trump. But many haven't said how they will vote and say they will enter the Senate trial with an objective point of view.

So far, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has delayed sending the impeachment articles to the Senate (which would allow the trial to begin) until she knows the terms of the trial. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he has enough votes to set his own guidelines for the proceedings—which will likely mirror that of Clinton's trial—without any Democratic support.

Here's what every Democratic senator running for president has said about Trump's impeachment:

Michael Bennet

Following the House's approval of two impeachment articles, Bennet released a statement calling the vote a "solemn day for America." He added that there is clear evidence that "President Trump abused his office and obstructed Congress."

When it comes to the Senate trial, the Colorado senator said that it's "critical" for lawmakers to "fully assess the evidence and any witnesses presented" regardless of political party.

Bennet said he's likely to vote for the president's removal as long as there is no new evidence introduced that goes against what the House discovered during its inquiry.

"If there is no evidence that's contrary to the evidence we've already heard in the House and the president continues to obstruct and continues to stonewall the legitimate questions that Congress has had, that I'm likely to vote to convict," he told Colorado Public Radio last month. "If the facts change from where they are today, I could change my mind about that. But that's where I am today."

Cory Booker

The New Jersey senator called the House's impeachment vote a "sad moment for our country." Booker added that he will uphold his oath to "protect and defend the Constitution" as the Senate takes over to decide whether Trump should be removed from office.

"This trial demands an impartial & thorough review of the evidence. We must be presented with relevant witnesses & documents, and follow the evidence where it leads," he tweeted.

Booker told NBC's Meet the Press a few weeks ago that he would "evaluate the fact objectively" while acting as a juror in the Senate trial. But he did admit he'd rather see Trump defeated during the election than through impeachment.

"As a guy who is a big competitor, I want to beat Donald Trump mano a mano, I want to face him down on a debate floor. So this is not something that I want to do," he said.

Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar has said that she believes Trump's dealings with Ukraine were impeachable conduct, dubbing it a "global Watergate." She also called it a "constitutional obligation" to step off the campaign trail to participate in the impeachment trial.

The Minnesota senator made headlines last month for questioning why the Trump administration would want to block witnesses from testifying in the Senate trial, arguing that it goes against the president's claim of innocence.

"I think what is shocking to me is, right now, despite the president claiming his innocence, claiming that he wants to present witnesses, he's the one blocking the witnesses," she told CNN.

impeachment activists ahead of house vote
A group of activists gathered outside the U.S. Capitol on December 18, 2019 to show lawmakers that the American people want the House to vote to impeach. Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Bernie Sanders

After the House approved two articles of impeachment against Trump, Sanders wrote on Twitter: "Today is a sad but necessary day for American democracy. The U.S. House has voted to impeach President Trump, and that is the right thing to do."

The tweet also included a video statement, in which Sanders said the country "cannot have a pathological liar in the White House."

Sanders' campaign adviser Jeff Weaver has said that the candidate has the resources and the energy to balance the campaign and his congressional duties.

"They're not going to be meeting at night [for the trial], so we can obviously fly from D.C. to states and hold events in the evening and fly back, you know, so he can be back in the morning to do his work in the Senate," Weaver told NBC News in a report published Tuesday.

Elizabeth Warren

Warren has said she supported the president's impeachment ever since former special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation came out in April 2019. After Trump was impeached by the House in December, she said the chamber took an "important step to hold him accountable."

The Massachusetts senator has also made headlines over the past few days for questioning the timing of Trump's Iran strike that killed a top Iranian general. The Trump administration has faced many questions that the strike was maybe an effort to distract from the president's impeachment crisis.

"Next week, the president of the United States could be facing an impeachment trial in the Senate. We know he's deeply upset about that. And I think people are reasonably asking, 'Why this moment?'" Warren said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.

"Why does he pick now to take this highly inflammatory, highly dangerous action that moves us closer to war?" she added.