Booker calls for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings

Booker calls for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential hopeful Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use MORE on Wednesday joined other Democrats in calling for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE.

The New Jersey senator endorsed the idea of impeachment shortly after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE addressed the findings of his two-year probe for the first time Wednesday.

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"Robert Mueller’s statement makes it clear: Congress has a legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately," Booker tweeted.

"This Administration has continued to stonewall Congress’s oversight. Beginning impeachment proceedings is the only path forward," he added.

 

Booker weighed in shortly after Mueller held a press conference saying existing Justice Department guidelines prevented him from considering an indictment for Trump.

Mueller reiterated Wednesday that his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election 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," Mueller said.

Booker joins a number of other 2020 White House rivals who have called for impeachment in the wake of Mueller's 448-page report released earlier this year.

Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (D-Calif.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg to debate; Warren on separate night MORE have all come out in support of impeaching Trump. Several other candidates have deferred to the House about whether impeachment proceedings should begin without weighing in on the prospect one way or the other.

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

Calls for impeachment from House Democrats grew after Mueller’s report was released in April. They have reached a near fever pitch in recent weeks as the White House fights off subpoenas from several committees for documents and testimony from a slew of current and former administration officials.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCalifornia Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry California Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments MORE (D-Calif.) and other top members of House leadership have so far been able to keep the impeachment push at bay, saying instead that Democrats should stay the course of investigating the White House and that any impeachment attempt would be quashed in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Updated at 12:15 p.m.