Some of the top House Democrats were walking carefully on Sunday around the question of pursuing impeachment proceedings against President Trump. They were treading lightly following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
“That’s going to be a very consequential decision and one that I’m going to reserve judgment on until we have a chance to deliberate about it,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Schiff, a Democrat of California, relayed that even if the House voted to impeach Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate would not. And this is despite the “serious and damning” findings in Mueller’s 448-page report.
“I think what we are going to have to decide as a caucus is, what is the best thing for the country?” Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Is it the best thing for the country to take up an impeachment proceeding because to do otherwise sends a message that this conduct is somehow compatible with office, or is it in the best interest of the country not to take up impeachment that we know will not be successful because the Republican leadership will not do its duty?”
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, said a decision can’t be attained until Congress sees the entire report without redactions and hearing from Mueller and Attorney General William Barr.
“Some of this would be impeachable,” Nadler of New York said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable.”
Nadler, who heads up the committee where impeachment proceedings would begin, said an inquiry hasn’t begun.
Mueller’s report found that there was no evidence that Trump or his campaign associated conspired with the Russians during the election.
But the report wasn’t as clear on the matter of obstruction of justice.
In the report, Mueller said if his team had confidence after “a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”
Key Democrats have been putting pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pursue Trump’s impeachment. This group has included Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a presidential candidate, and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
But Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democratic presidential candidate from Ohio, urged his colleagues to hold off.
“Let the Judiciary Committee look at this,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And let’s educate the American people, too. This is a very nuanced document, let the American people really see what’s going on here.”
Credit: NY Post