Sanders calls for an impeachment inquiry

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Unemployment claims now at 41 million with 2.1 million more added to rolls; Topeka mayor says cities don't have enough tests for minorities and homeless communities MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday called for an impeachment inquiry against President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America 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 PelosiMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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.