Judiciary Democrat says House should focus on Ukraine, avoid Mueller report in articles of impeachment

Judiciary Democrat says House should focus on Ukraine, avoid Mueller report in articles of impeachment
© Greg Nash

Rep. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems to lay out impeachment case to senators next week Seven things to know about the Trump trial House delivers impeachment articles to Senate MORE (D-Calif.) said the House Democrats should focus on the Ukraine controversy and avoid the Mueller report when drafting articles of impeachment.

The Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee said on ABC’s “This Week” that she thinks the House should focus on claims backed up by “direct evidence,” and “there is a lot of direct evidence” of abuse of power in the Ukraine scandal. 

“The Mueller report is a report,” she said. “We don't have a direct witness testimony for most of that, so I think we'd be on firmest ground to move forward where we have direct evidence as with the report we will receive tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. from the Intelligence Committee.”

ABC's George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosPelosi: Trump is 'impeached for life' National security adviser: US embassies not evacuated because 'we're not going to cut and run every time somebody threatens us' Pelosi on Trump: 'Every knock from him is a boost' MORE also asked Lofgren about witnesses, like former White House counsel Don McGahn and acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyDemocrats file brief against Trump, 'the Framers' worst nightmare' Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Trump trial poses toughest test yet for Roberts MORE, who haven’t testified in the inquiry. Lofgren said she does not want to wait 18 months like “the last time we fully litigated” against the president’s claim of executive immunity.

“And so the question is, with the evidence we have, can we make a sound conclusion?” she said. “I think we can, but when we get our presentation tomorrow from the Intelligence Committee … can we reach a conclusion and move forward as our responsibility under the constitution provides, and I think the answer is likely yes.”

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Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiREAD: House impeachment managers' trial brief Desperate Democrats badmouth economy even as it booms Pelosi offers message to Trump on Bill Maher show: 'You are impeached forever' MORE (D-Calif.) announced last week that the House will draft articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE

The House began its official impeachment inquiry into the president after a whistleblower report accused Trump of asking the Ukrainian president for information on former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger pens op-ed in defense of Biden: 'I stuttered once, too. I dare you to mock me' MORE and his son, days after withholding military aid from the country.

House Democrats have debated whether details in former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by Trump, released earlier this year, should also be included in the articles of impeachment.