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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the past repeatedly taking impeachment off the table–most notably telling reporters at one point that Donald Trump just wasn’t “worth” impeachment–Democrats increasingly seem to think that the conclusions in the Mueller Report make Trump’s inauguration all but inevitable.
Up until now, Pelosi and some other Democrats have resisted talk of impeachment as a politically “no-win” situation. Although Democrats likely could approve articles of impeachment in the House, chances are that Republicans in the Senate would not vote to remove Trump from office.
Although that political calculus likely remains the same, the evidence presented in last week’s release of a redacted Mueller Report is overwhelming that Trump attempted to obstruct justice multiple times.
Democrats seem to think that evidence forces their hand and makes impeachment a nearly foregone conclusion.
“Now the public has this long report before it. And I think Mueller bet on the public. He bet on the faith of the public that they will read this report. They will look at it. They will look through these devastating details about what the president has done and the president has gotten away with a lot of stuff for the last two years from Charlottesville to taxes to trade and lying and all that,” said attorney Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general during the Obama administration and helped draft the rules which guide the work of special counsels like Robert Mueller. “Here you have people, witnesses, including the president’s staunch allies like his White House counsel, Don McGahn implicating the president in the commission of crimes. It will be much harder for him to dismiss. I think there is only one course of action for the Congress to take ultimately, and it is going to be to impeach this president.”
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, also seems ready to move forward with impeachment.
“The fact of the matter is, I think that when you look at this report, you can see that there is enough information there not only on obstruction of justice but also on collusion or conspiracy, whatever you want to call it, to move forward with impeachment on this president,” she said.
However, there is but one member of the House aside from Pelosi who carries more weight, and that is House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), as impeachment necessarily would originate in his committee.
Asked about impeachment by a reporter, Nadler called it “one possibility.”
“There are others,” he added. “We obviously have to get to the bottom of what happened and take whatever action seems necessary at that time. It’s too early to reach those conclusions. It’s one reason we wanted the Mueller Report. We still want the Mueller Report in its entirety, and we want other evidence, too.”