Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered remarks about his report related to the two-year Russia probe Wednesday morning.
This emboldened Democrats to release statements exclaiming that Congress must now continue the job against President Trump that Mueller could not do but it also made House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s job much harder.
After weeks of asking her caucus to have patience over the issue of impeachment, Pelosi now must contend with another fresh round of her own members coming back from recess next week demanding Trump’s impeachment after hearing Mueller speak.
Just one week before Congress recessed, several House Democrats demanded clarity from Pelosi on where the caucus stood on impeachment.
August recess is not that far away and their constituents will want answers…
The Washington Post reported early last week that House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler and other top Democrats have been pressuring Speaker Pelosi to consider impeachment against Trump even if it never leads to articles of impeachment against the president.
Pelosi managed to tamp down the public call for impeachment by her own members at the end of the week, but the statements released by her, Nadler and other Democratic members today show their division on the matter remains.
Although Mueller’s 8-minute comments confirmed his original report but presented nothing new, Democrats seized upon the opportunity to do the job that Mueller claimed he was not able to do—hold the president accountable.
“Special Counsel Mueller made clear that he did not exonerate the President when he stated, ‘If we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.’ He stated that the decision not to indict stemmed directly from the Department of Justice’s policy that a sitting President cannot be indicted. Despite Department of Justice policy to the contrary, no one is above the law – not even the President,” Pelosi said in her statement immediately following Mueller’s remarks.
She added, “The Congress will continue to investigate and legislate to protect our elections and secure our democracy. The American people must have the truth.”
Nadler viewed Mueller’s remarks as an opportunity to rev up Democrats to pursue criminal investigations into Trump. His statement reads in part, “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.”
Rhode Island Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, the lawmaker who handles caucus-wide messaging used an opportunity on Twitter today to support impeachment against Trump after Mueller spoke.
If any other American committed these acts, they would be indicted and prosecuted.
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) May 29, 2019
Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, a member of the House Judiciary Committee said, “As the Special Counsel leaves the Department of Justice, it is time for President Trump to stop lying and stop stonewalling congressional investigations. Congress’s role is not a do-over of the Special Counsel’s criminal investigation but an inquiry into whether the President of the United States violated his oath of office, broke the public trust, and committed high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Additionally, Democratic 2020 hopefuls are not making Pelosi’s job any easier. New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker piled on the impeachment train.
Mueller didn't say anything that wasn't already in the report. https://t.co/2clvY4C8wt
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) May 29, 2019
Will all sixteen Democrat freshmen in Trump won districts, who remain relatively quiet about impeachment, eventually jump on the impeachment train as we head into the 2020 elections? August recess is not that far away and their constituents will want answers.