Booker calls for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings

Booker calls for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential hopeful Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOvernight Defense: Two US service members killed in Afghanistan | Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS | Pentagon scraps billion-dollar missile defense program ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate Sanders targets gig economy as part of new labor plan MORE on Wednesday joined other Democrats in calling for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE.

The New Jersey senator endorsed the idea of impeachment shortly after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony 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 WarrenKrystal Ball: Elites have chosen Warren as The One; Lauren Claffey: Is AOC wrong about the Electoral College? Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Rising Warren faces uphill climb with black voters Inslee drops out of 2020 presidential race MORE (D-Calif.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin Messam2020 Democrats release joint statement ahead of Trump's New Hampshire rally The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump claims support in Congress for background checks Moulton campaign makes formal case to DNC to be added to debate stage 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 PelosiCutting tariffs is better than cutting payroll taxes to boost the economy Pelosi speaks with Israeli president after Trump controversy In debate over internet speech law, pay attention to whose voices are ignored 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.