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 TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 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) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump 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 NadlerREAD: White House letter refusing to participate in impeachment hearings White House tells Democrats it won't cooperate in impeachment hearings Democrat says he expects to oppose articles of impeachment against Trump 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 TlaibHouse approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump House moves ahead on long-stalled resolution supporting two states for Israelis and Palestinians GOP leader says he had 'a hard time' believing Pelosi 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 Ann WarrenArtist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 Democratic strategist: 'Medicare for All' exposes generational gap within party Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations 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.