Former Vice President Joe Biden has warned Democrats not to begin impeachment proceedings until Special Counsel Robert Mueller has presented his findings on possible collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.
With Democrats increasingly confident of winning a majority in the House of Representatives at the midterm elections, there is mounting speculation the party could move to impeach Mr Trump following the 6 November vote.
But Mr Biden told CBS This Morning it would not be the right time to take such action.
“I hope they don’t,” Mr Biden said of the possible move by his party’s lawmakers.
“I don’t think there’s a basis for doing that right now. I think we should wait until the (Mueller) report comes out.”
Asked whether Mr Mueller – reportedly close to concluding his investigation – should issue findings before the midterms, Mr Biden said his report should not be rushed.
“I think it should be issued when they finish the investigation,” he said. “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 until it’s finished, and let’s see what it has to say.”
Mr Biden did criticise Mr Trump in his CBS interview, condemning the president for his friendly relations with “autocrats”.
The Democrat also expressed concern over the president’s handling of the diplomatic crisis sparked by the suspected death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – allegedly murdered at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.
Mr Biden said Mr Trump “was already making excuses” for the Saudi authorities “before the facts are known”.
He added: “I’m very worried that the president seems to have a love affair with autocrats.
“I just don’t know why this administration seems to feel the need to coddle autocrats and dictators from (Vladimir) Putin to Kim Jong Un to (Rodrigo) Duterte.”
A poll released on Sunday showed Mr Biden is the preferred candidate for the 2020 presidential election among Democrat voters.
The former vice president has 33 per cent support, ahead of Senator Bernie Sanders on 13 per cent.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies