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 TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? 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) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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 NadlerHere's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer Activists see momentum as three new states legalize marijuana Supreme Court expansion push starts to fizzle 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 TlaibOmar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water Ohio becomes battleground for rival Democratic factions 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 WarrenPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia Warren-backed amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to defense bill 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.