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Next Step, Impeachment? Democrats Divided

04-22-2019
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WASHINGTON, DC - Democrats are wrestling over the impeachment question as they move forward with plans to investigate key parts of the Mueller report.

"If proven, some of this would be impeachable, yes. Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable," Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) told Meet the Press.

The 448-page Mueller report lays out 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice from the president —  indicating Mr. Trump was thwarted by aides, like White House counsel Don McGahn who refused to follow his directives. 

"Do you believe Don McGahn when he says the president tried to get him to fire Bob Mueller?" ABC News' Martha Raddatz asked Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway.

"I believe the president was frustrated about the investigation from the very beginning and knew it was ill-conceived," Conway said. 

One of Trump's personal attorneys Rudy Giuliani says regardless, there is no case for obstruction.

"He is the president of the United States, Mueller is not an independent counsel, Mueller works for the Justice Department. Mueller could've been fired at any moment," Giuliani told Meet the Press.  

He also says it's okay to accept information from the Russians, although he would've advised against it.

"There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians. It depends on where it came from. It depends on where it came from. You're assuming that the giving of information is a campaign contribution," he said to CNN's State of the Union.

In the meantime, House Democrats are marching forward with investigations, subpoenaing US Attorney General William Barr for the unredacted report and saying that's only the beginning.

"We have to hear from Barr, we have to hear from Mueller, we have to hear from other people like Don McGahn who we are going to call. We have to get the entire report including the redacted material so we can evaluate it," Nadler said.

And while Democratic presidential candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro are calling for impeachment, some congressional Democrats aren't ready to take that step.

"I'm not there yet, but I can foresee that possibly coming," said House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD).

"We have to be very careful here. The American people, a lot of them, clearly still don't believe President Trump is doing things to destroy our democracy," he continued.

Still, he maintained it wasn't completely off the table.

"Even if we did not win, possibly, if there were not impeachment, I think history would smile upon us for standing up for the Constitution," said Cummings.

Republicans say they do so at their own peril.

"Politically speaking it would be a mistake for them to do it," advised Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is holding a conference call with caucus members Monday to discuss the path forward. As for the president, his team originally planned to release a counter report to address the obstruction accusations but say so far they don't think it's necessary.

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