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Tim Ryan doesn't back impeachment proceedings against Trump

Tim Ryan doesn't back impeachment proceedings against Trump
© Greg Nash

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said Sunday that he does not believe Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE.

Ryan, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said he wanted to defer to the House Judiciary Committee's assessment of 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's report before Congress takes decisive action. 

"This is very, very, very serious. I believe that the first step is to have Rep. Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn Democrats accuse GSA of undermining national security by not certifying Biden win MORE (D-N.Y.) continue to open up this investigation to better understand this. We are just getting this document," Ryan said on CNN.

"Let the Judiciary Committee look at this. There's a process in place here. I trust Jerry Nadler, he's one of the smartest guys in the United States Congress, I think that's the natural next step and let's see where that leads," he added.

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"So you do not support impeachment as of right now, but you want the … investigation process to begin?" CNN "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper asked. 

"Let the process play itself out," Ryan responded. "And let's educate the American people, too. This is a very nuanced document, let the American people really see what's going on here."

Tapper pressed Ryan on whether he believed his colleagues in Congress who are pushing for impeachment "are making a mistake," referencing an impeachment resolution introduced by Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (D-Mich.) late last month.

"I personally think that there's a lot of obstruction here, so I understand their move to try to impeach. I would just rather us take this next step, educate the American people, really get these details out, let the Judiciary Committee do its work … and let the country start functioning normally through these processes that we've established and then we'll go from there. Everyone's welcome to do what they want, and I feel the sentiment," he added. 

Ryan's comments came days after fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenKamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach No, the government cannot seize, break or 'bypass' pharmaceutical patents — even for COVID-19 MORE (Mass.) became the first major party candidate to call for the House to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Warren cited a portion of Mueller's report in which he wrote that Congress has the authority to conduct obstruction of justice investigations, saying that such probes can provide a check if a president is corrupt. 

"Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress: 'Congress has authority to prohibit a President's corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.' The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment," she said in an email announcing her position.