Senate

Coons after Russia probe: House Dems need to use power in focused and responsible way

Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) on Saturday said that House Democrats must use their oversight power "in a focused and a responsible way" as they go forward with investigations involving President Trump, cautioning to not "overdo it."

Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the remarks a day after special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his highly anticipated report to Attorney General William Barr, marking the end of the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election that has dominated much of Trump's presidency.

"We have to be careful to use the resources and the abilities of the House majority in a focused and a responsible way," Coons said on CNN's "Smerconish." "We need to focus on things that are relevant and matter to the average American."

The senator said he agrees with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that Democrats need to be able to explain what they are investigating. Pelosi said earlier this week that impeaching Trump is "not worth it" without bipartisan support. 

"I support Speaker Pelosi's view that we ought to be able to explain what we're investigating and why," he said. "There are lots of issues that we've known over the last two years, whether it's Trump's taxes and the allegations of some impropriety there or it's ways in which his decisionmaking and policy is unpredictable or even inappropriate." 

"There's plenty of things for us to be debating in terms of policy, and there are a few things that deserve focused and ongoing investigation. We should not overdo it," he added.

Coons, who is among those seeking reelection in 2020, said that in light of the upcoming elections, Democrats should focus on issues beyond certain investigations.

"The question the average American is going to ask is not about any of these investigations," he said. "They're going to ask, 'What would you do, Democratic party, that would make a difference in my life?'"

Coons is set to host a conference call on Mueller's report later Saturday morning.

Since taking over the House majority, Democrats have used their committee powers to launch sprawling investigations into Trump, his administration and his finances. The Judiciary Committee in particular has requested documents from 81 people and entities in a far-reaching probe. 

Updated: March 23 at 6 p.m.

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