Sanders calls for an impeachment inquiry

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden, Sanders lead Democratic field: poll The Memo: 2020 Democratic tensions burst to surface Sanders should fix the child food programs we already have before creating new dysfunction MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday called for an impeachment inquiry against President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems want tougher language on election security in defense bill Five aides to Van Drew resign ahead of his formal switch to GOP The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE, becoming the tenth 2020 presidential hopeful to do so.

“I believe the Judiciary Committee should begin impeachment inquiries,” Sanders said at a campaign rally in Henderson, Nev. “That is inquiries, not impeachment, to determine whether or not Trump has committed impeachable offenses.” 

“This president is not above the law, no president is above the law. This president must be held accountable."

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Sanders also warned that pursuing impeachment could play into Trump's hands.

“But here is the danger, which I think is why Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump-Pelosi trade deal creates strife among progressives Trump: Pelosi's teeth were 'falling out of her mouth' during press conference Schiff: I 'hope to hell' I would have voted to impeach Obama if he had committed same actions as Trump MORE and many people are struggling: It may well be that Donald Trump wants to be impeached because he knows that in the Senate … there are 47 Democrats and not all of them today would impeach Trump," he explained, referencing the Speaker of the House.

“The challenge will be to walk down two paths simultaneously … We cannot make ordinary Americans think we have forgotten that they are working longer hours for lower wages, that they can’t afford health care, that their kids can’t go to college, that climate change is a huge issue." 

Sanders previously said that Congress should continue investigating Trump, but had not explicitly called for an impeachment inquiry.

The Vermont lawmaker's remarks come a day after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE addressed the findings of his two-year probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election for the first time.

Mueller reiterated that his investigation into election interference and possible obstruction of justice did not exonerate the president.

"After that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so," he said.

Mueller's report, released last month, found insufficient evidence to charge Trump with conspiring with Moscow to interfere in the 2016 elections but declined to make a prosecutorial decision about whether to the president obstructed subsequent investigations into the interference, instead outlining 10 “episodes” of behavior that were possibly obstructive.

Many Democrats have called for impeachment in the wake of the report, but party leadership has maintained that Democrats should stay the course of investigating the White House and that any impeachment attempt would be quashed in the GOP-controlled Senate.