Democrats are reading into now-former special counsel Robert Mueller’s comments on Wednesday as a call to Congress to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
And Speaker Nancy Pelosi may not be able to stop this runaway train.
In his remarks, Mueller spoke of not being able to indict a sitting president with a crime because of DOJ policy, adding that they did not make a determination in that regard.
“If we had confidence that the president did not commit a crime we would have said so,” Mueller stressed. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
And with that, Democrats who have been clamoring to impeach Trump were off and running.
"If we had confidence that the president did NOT commit a crime, we would have said so."
Mueller literally couldn't make this any more obvious. Failing to impeach Trump would be an unprecedented, historic dereliction of duty.pic.twitter.com/9I76bynNxq
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) May 29, 2019
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., was quick to respond, saying Trump was guilty of “lying” and while Mueller couldn’t pursue criminal charges against the president, “we will do so.”
In effect, Nadler suggested by Mueller not declaring Trump innocent, he was guilty.
“In his statement this morning,” Nadler said, “Special Counsel Mueller reaffirmed his report, which found substantial evidence that Russia attacked our political system and that the President sought to obstruct Mueller’s investigation over and over again.”
“He also confirmed three central points: he did not exonerate the President of the United States of obstruction of justice, obstruction of justice is a serious crime that strikes at the core of our justice system, and the Constitution points to Congress to take action to hold the President accountable,” the Democrat continued.
Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump – and we will do so. No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law. https://t.co/w61a8rRQeK
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) May 29, 2019
“Although Department of Justice policy prevented the Special Counsel from bringing criminal charges against the President, the Special Counsel has clearly demonstrated that President Trump is lying about the Special Counsel’s findings, lying about the testimony of key witnesses in the Special Counsel’s report, and is lying in saying that the Special Counsel found no obstruction and no collusion,” Nadler said. “Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump and we will do so. No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law.”
In a later press conference, he stopped short of calling for impeachment, but said “all options are on the table.”
Nadler also repeated his claim that the president is lying, as he interpreted Mueller’s statement to fit his agenda.
.@RepJerryNadler says Mueller's statement today proves that Trump is lying about his findings.
"He is lying in saying that the special counsel found no obstruction and no collusion." pic.twitter.com/DZtd2UANiX
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 29, 2019
Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, appeared on Fox News to say that by not making a decision on obstruction, Mueller was making a decision.
He also commented on Mueller’s assertion that he couldn’t indict a sitting president.
“A sitting president can’t be charged,” Giuliani said. “If that’s the case, why did he offer all those opinions? Why did he offer all those recommendations and suggestions? Why did he investigate?
“The reality is that he gave us his opinion on collusion and obstruction. His opinion is you can’t bring a case.”
Giuliani also ripped Nadler for his statement, saying he should be removed from the House Judiciary Committee.
“He just proved he shouldn’t be the chairman of that committee by saying that,” said Giuliani. “Jerry Nadler has figured out already without an investigation that he will respond to the crimes of the president? Even Mueller didn’t say that. Mueller said he couldn’t reach a conclusion. Jerry has already reached a conclusion.”
And the calls for impeachment are coming fast and furious.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., was just as quick to call for Trump’s impeachment, tweeting that Mueller “made his views clear,” adding that “beginning impeachment proceedings in the only path forward.”
This Administration has continued to stonewall Congress’s oversight. Beginning impeachment proceedings is the only path forward.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 29, 2019
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who is also running for president, called for the beginning of impeachment proceedings against President Trump — a call she made some time ago.
Warren interpreted the smoke signals from Mueller’s statement as an “impeachment referral.”
“Mueller’s statement makes clear what those who have read his report know: It is an impeachment referral, and it’s up to Congress to act. They should,” she tweeted.
Mueller leaves no doubt:
1) He didn't exonerate the president because there is evidence he committed crimes.
2) Justice Department policy prevented him from charging the president with any crimes.
3) The Constitution leaves it up to Congress to act—and that's impeachment.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 29, 2019
Reading from the same script, president candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., also said Mueller had just returned an “impeachment referral.”
What Robert Mueller basically did was return an impeachment referral. Now it is up to Congress to hold this president accountable.
We need to start impeachment proceedings. It's our constitutional obligation.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 29, 2019
Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, another 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, is on the impeachment train as well.
There must be consequences, accountability, and justice. The only way to ensure that is to begin impeachment proceedings.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 29, 2019
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., who is chairman of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, also called on the House Judiciary Committee to open an impeachment inquiry.
“The next step is for the House Judiciary Committee to open an impeachment inquiry to formally begin consideration of whether or not articles of impeachment should be filed,” Cicilline tweeted.
“The opening of this inquiry will allow the Committee to collect evidence, compel the attendance of witnesses, and decide how to proceed,” he added.
The opening of this inquiry will allow the Committee to collect evidence, compel the attendance of witnesses, and decide how to proceed.
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) May 29, 2019
Of all the online reactions to the impeachment calls, the most relevant are seen below. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi already knows, the Republican-controlled Senate will never go along with the efforts to remove the president.
Robert Mueller breaks his silence and reiterates what he already said in his report. Big question remains whether House Democrats are dumb enough to impeach Trump, which he clearly hopes happens, because it aids his 2020 re-election efforts.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) May 29, 2019
Go ahead and impeach him. He can’t be removed from office without Senate approval and that’s not going to happen so he will win re-election next year. This will also lead to the democrats losing the house. #MAGA
— Ken Platt (@KenPlatt45) May 29, 2019
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