Ocasio-Cortez downplays possibility of impeaching Trump

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOmar: Biden not the candidate to 'tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have' Ocasio-Cortez calls out Democrats for refusing to impeach Trump Ocasio-Cortez reveals new policies for campaign aides with children MORE (D-N.Y.) downplayed the possibility that Democrats will impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE on Tuesday, telling reporters that her party has to consider the reality that Republicans have the Senate majority.

The freshman lawmaker said she supports impeachment in principle, but the tenor of her comments were more in line with those of Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRomney: Trump asking Ukraine to investigate political rival 'would be troubling in the extreme' Pelosi: Whistleblower complaint 'must be addressed immediately' Democrats must embrace Israel and denounce anti-Semitism in the party MORE (D-Calif.), who has repeatedly suggested that impeachment of Trump is unlikely.

“I think what's tough is, impeachment in principle is something that I openly support,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters after a House Democratic Caucus meeting. “But it's also just the reality of having the votes in the Senate to pursue that. And so that's something that we have to take into consideration.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s comments are notable for a few reasons.

They come days after Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrTrump walks tightrope on gun control Feinstein calls on Justice to push for release of Trump whistleblower report Clarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump MORE released a four-page summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE’s findings that revealed the investigation did not find a conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Moscow in the 2016 presidential election. Mueller also did not make a finding on obstruction of justice, though Barr’s summary said he also did not exonerate Trump.

The White House has seized on the end of the Mueller probe to blast Democrats for airing conspiracies about Trump, and it was widely seen as undermining efforts aimed at impeaching Trump.

Ocasio-Cortez is an ally of fellow freshman Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTlaib says she's 'in such disbelief' Pence brought eight cars to Michigan island where they are banned Pence's eight-car motorcade ruffles feathers on Michigan's Mackinac Island, where cars are banned Democrats must embrace Israel and denounce anti-Semitism in the party MORE (D-Mich.), who is circulating a letter to gin up support for a resolution calling on the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether Trump has committed impeachable offenses.

Asked about Tlaib's effort, Ocasio-Cortez was noncommittal and said “we're taking a look at it.”

Tlaib's resolution would call for investigating whether Trump is violating the Constitution's Emoluments Clause by taking money from foreign governments through his businesses; whether Trump “committed crimes to defraud the United States” with hush money payments through Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenMichael Cohen denies Omarosa advising him in prison Trump sues to block NY prosecutors' subpoena for his tax returns Senior HUD official reprimanded for making political statements on the job MORE to silence women alleging affairs; and whether the evidence found by Mueller's probe amounts to obstruction of justice.

Pelosi has pressed for Mueller’s full report to be released, a point she reiterated during Tuesday’s Democratic caucus meeting.

But she has been very cautious on impeachment, arguing there would need to be bipartisan support to move forward with the effort and suggesting her focus is on defeating Trump at the ballot box in 2020.

Democrats control the House and might be able to win a majority vote on impeachment in the body.

But to secure a conviction in the Senate, they would need a two-thirds majority vote. That would require 20 Republicans to back impeachment of a GOP president.