Democrats Call for Impeachment After Mueller's Statement - Rolling Stone
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Democratic Candidates Amplify Calls for Impeachment Following Mueller’s Statement

Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Pete Buttigieg all boarded the impeachment train on Wednesday. Nancy Pelosi remains at the station

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Cory Booker, speaks to members of the media during a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada.Cory Booker election campaigning, Cheyenne High School, Las Vegas, USA - 28 May 2019Senator Booker spoke to attendees about his gun violence prevention plan and reproductive rights proposal.

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Cory Booker, speaks to members of the media during a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock

On Wednesday morning, Robert Mueller spoke publicly for the first time since he was appointed to lead the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the relationship between the Trump campaign and the foreign adversary. Mueller took the opportunity to resign from the Justice Department, and also to explain both that his team did not have “confidence that the president did not commit a crime,” and that because of the DOJ’s policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted, “Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.”

Though Mueller revealed little that hadn’t already been made apparent in his report, a redacted version of which was released to the public last month, many felt the comments underscored the argument that the report was essentially an impeachment referral. Senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker took the occasion to call for impeachment for the first time.

“I’ve been asking for Mueller’s testimony — today he made his views clear,” Booker added. “This Administration has continued to stonewall Congress’s oversight. Beginning impeachment proceedings is the only path forward.”

As recently as late April, Booker said that more investigation was needed before impeachment proceedings could begin, and that he didn’t think it was time to be “having that conversation.”

Joining Booker were Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who also called for Trump’s impeachment for the first time on Wednesday.

Several other candidates used Mueller’s statement to reiterate previous calls for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. “There must be consequences, accountability, and justice,” Beto O’Rourke wrote on Twitter. “The only way to ensure that is to begin impeachment proceedings.”

O’Rourke called for the president to be impeached for the first time last week during a town hall event hosted by CNN. “If we do nothing because we are afraid of the polls or the politics, or the repercussions in the next election, we will set a precedent that, in fact, some people, because of the position of power and public trust that they hold, are above the law,” he said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the first presidential candidate to call for impeachment in the wake of the release of the Mueller report, reiterated her previous claims. “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,” she wrote. “They should.”

Julián Castro, who was the first to candidate to call for impeachment, said again that “Congress should begin an impeachment inquiry.”

So did Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). “We need to start impeachment proceedings,” she wrote on Twitter. “It’s our constitutional obligation.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he is preparing for impeachment proceedings to begin. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) called for them to begin “tomorrow.”

Though calls for impeachment continue to grow louder, the person who will ultimately dictate whether proceedings begin is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has so far been bullish on the prospect, arguing that it would distract from Democrats’ agenda in 2020. Shortly after Mueller concluded his statement on Wednesday, Pelosi released a lengthy statement, writing that “Congress holds sacred its constitutional responsibility to investigate and hold the President accountable for his abuse of power,” and that “Congress will continue to investigate and legislate to protect our elections and secure our democracy.”

“Many constituents want to impeach the president, but we want to do what is right and we want to get results,” the House speaker added later while speaking at the Commonwealth Club.


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