House Democrat calls Mueller testimony 'emphatic step forward'

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinDemocrats debate fate of Trump probes if Biden wins Congress must repeal tax breaks for the wealthy passed in CARES Act COVID-19 and the problem of presidential succession MORE (D-Md.) pushed back against criticism over former special counsel Robert Muller’s testimony before Congress, calling it an “emphatic step forward” for shedding light on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Pa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: report MORE’s conduct in the White House.

“You can call it a dud I suppose if you’re talking about Broadway values or something,” Raskin, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, told Hill.TV, referring to criticism from political pundits on both sides of the aisle.

“But if you’re looking at the Constitution, I think it was a very emphatic step forward in terms of our understanding of criminal misconduct in the administration,” he continued. “There are specific allegations of criminal misconduct — high crimes and misdemeanors outlined in the report and there are some critical figures we need to hear from.”

Raskin, a member of the congressional progressive caucus who supports pro-impeachment efforts, echoed calls from fellow House Democrats, saying lawmakers still need to hear from former White House Counsel Don McGahn.

During Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation, McGhan had told investigators that the president, on multiple occasions, ordered him to fire the special counsel. Trump has repeatedly disputed these claims, saying he “was never going to fire Mueller.”

“We need to get Don McGahn to come and testify before a committee — the administration is fighting that,” he told Hill.TV, adding that the move is “unacceptable.”

Raskin’s comments come after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn Democrats accuse GSA of undermining national security by not certifying Biden win MORE (D-N.Y.) announced on Wednesday that the House panel plans to go to court to enforce a subpoena seeking McGahn’s testimony before Congress.

McGhan was subpoenaed by the committee earlier this year over the Russia probe, but President Trump later instructed his former top advisor to ignore the subpoena in May. At the time, the administration had argued that McGhan and other top presidential advisors were “absolutely immune” from congressional testimonies.

A growing number of Democrats have come out in support of impeachment in light of Mueller’s marathon testimony before lawmakers this week.

Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet House Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last MORE (D-Mass.) on Thursday became the fourth Democrat — and highest-ranking member among House Democratic leadership — to endorse an impeachment inquiry.

"Revisiting the President’s obstruction of justice during the Special Counsel’s testimony was disturbing,” she said in a statement announcing her decision. “However, the moment that truly stunned me was when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFive things to know about Georgia's Senate runoffs Obama chief economist says Democrats should accept smaller coronavirus relief package if necessary Memo to Biden: Go big — use the moment to not only rebuild but to rebuild differently MORE blocked a vote on an election security bill the same day Mr. Mueller warned that Russia interfered in our elections and is continuing to do so.”

So far, more than 90 lawmakers have called for an impeachment inquiry, but it’s still less than half of the 234-member caucus.

—Tess Bonn