With special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation report finally released to the public Thursday, members of the Democratic Party are scrambling to make determinations on what their next steps should be.
While some have begun backtracking on claims that President Donald Trump committed acts of treason and obstruction worthy of impeachment, others are going all-in.
One such figure is Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a Democratic presidential candidate who doubled down on impeachment rhetoric at a campaign stop Saturday morning.
“I know people say this is politically charged and we shouldn’t go there, and that there is an election coming up, but there are some things that are bigger than politics,” Warren told supporters at Keene State College in New Hampshire.
“We cannot be an America that says it is OK for a president of the United States to try to block investigations into a foreign attack on our country or investigations into that president’s own misbehavior — so I have called on the House to initiate impeachment proceedings,” she said.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren doubled down on her call on the House to start impeachment proceedings for President Trump: “We cannot be an America that says it is okay for a President of the United States to try to block investigations into a foreign attack on our country” pic.twitter.com/fWwj0pGUrC
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 20, 2019
According to Warren, the issue at hand was not whether Trump or his campaign advisers had conspired with Russian agents to interfere in the 2016 presidential election — a charge the special counsel report found no direct evidence of.
Instead, she said impeachment efforts should be directed at details found in the Mueller report that suggest measures undertaken by the Trump administration in 2016 to potentially impede the progress of special investigators.
Such obstruction-related details found in the report indicate the president had attempted to have then-White House counsel Don McGahn push the acting attorney general to see Mueller unseated as the special counsel, citing alleged conflicts of interests.
However, per the more than 400-page report, the special counsel decided not to draw conclusions on this — and similar incidents — leaving that decision to newly confirmed Attorney General William Barr. Barr indicated in a news conference Thursday morning, before the report’s release, that he did not find that these incidents amounted to obstruction of justice.
According to CNN, Warren told reporters following her event at Keene State that she felt it was her “responsibility to speak out,” regardless of what other members of her party choose to do.
“I took an oath to the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution makes clear that the accountability of the president is — lies through Congress, and that’s the impeachment process,” Warren said.
This was not the senator’s first attempt to call for Trump’s impeachment since the release of the redacted report.
In fact, Warren began making such a push early Friday afternoon on Twitter.
“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,” she tweeted.
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.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 19, 2019
The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty. That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 19, 2019
Warren went on to say that should Trump not be held accountable for what she claims is damning evidence of obstruction, it would set a dangerous precedent for future leaders.
“To ignore a president’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways,” she said.
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