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Would impeachment in a Republican Senate mean anything?
Lawmakers continued to react to the 400-plus page Mueller Report a day after the Justice Department made public a partially redacted version of the document.
While Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s probably garnered the most public attention with her Good Friday announcement on Twitter that she supports the start of impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump for the offenses special counsel Robert Mueller cataloged in his report, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continued her more go-it-slow approach to Trump’s alleged transgressions.
Special counsel Robert Mueller wrapped up in March his two-year probe into potential conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016, as well as subsequent obstruction of justice.
Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who is one of a field of approximately 20 seeking the nomination to take on Trump next year declared: “Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress: ‘Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.’ The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment.”
Impeachment, however, would necessarily begin in the House, and Nancy Pelosi has been noticably averse to impeachment even before her Democrats took the House majority and that hasn’t changed since she was elevated once again in January to become speaker.
Her office only released a “Dear Democratic Colleague” letter about next steps post-Mueller, saying only that House Democrats would discuss the issue the Monday immediately following the Easter holiday.
“Today, Attorney General [William] Barr presented a disrespectfully late and selectively redacted version of Special Counsel Mueller’s report,” the letter began.
“This report includes several alarming findings, including that ‘the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.’ It also explicitly states that the president’s campaign took actions with an expectation that ‘it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts,’
“In his summary letter and press conference, Attorney General Barr presented a conclusion that the President did not obstruct justice. The Mueller report appears to directly undercut that claim.
Our Chairmen are studying the report, and have released a joint statement. As we continue to review this document, we will have more to report and will update you on the next steps that must be taken,” the letter continued. “The Caucus is scheduling a conference call for Monday to discuss this grave matter, which is as soon as our analysis and this Holy Season’s religious traditions allow.
“The Mueller report states, ‘We concluded Congress has authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,’ which ‘accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.’ Congress will not be silent.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has already announced major new hearings in which he plans to call Barr and Mueller separately as star witnesses.
What else Pelosi and her team could do, short of impeachment, is not immediately clear.