House Democrat calls Mueller testimony 'emphatic step forward'

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinThis week: Congress returns for first time since mass shootings Trump probes threaten to overshadow Democrats' agenda House Democrats planning to hold hearings regarding Trump's role in hush-money payments: report 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 TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border 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 NadlerLewandowski says he's under no obligation to speak truthfully to the media Katie Pavlich: The Democrats' desperate do-overs Lewandowski refuses to say whether Trump has offered him a pardon 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 ClarkTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries Fourth-ranking House Democrat backs Trump impeachment 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 McConnellDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Democrats press for action on election security Hillicon Valley: Election security looms over funding talks | Antitrust enforcers in turf war | Facebook details new oversight board | Apple fights EU tax bill 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