Democrats flooded cable news on Sunday to spread their calls for full transparency concerning special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election, possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, and possible obstruction of justice.
Democrats reiterated their demand for the full public release of Mueller’s report, which was submitted to Attorney General William Barr Friday, and for Congress to be provided all “underlying evidence” collected by Mueller’s team that may be relevant to their investigations into potential wrongdoing by the president and his inner circle.
They argued that it’s too early to discuss impeachment, but that any attempt to avoid full transparency would amount to a “coverup” on the part of Trump and his administration.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler said that Democrats will do their best to negotiate the report’s full release, but said they’re willing to issue subpoenas if the Justice Department rejects full transparency, and that, if necessary, they’ll take the matter to the Supreme Court.
Nadler argued that it’s “way too early” to talk about impeachment and that Congress needs to investigate “all the evidence” before it can move forward.
“Our mandate is not to impeach the president,” Nadler told “Fox News Sunday.” “We have to look into abuses of power. Obstruction of justice.”
Nadler said he believes Trump obstructed justice and that there’s plenty of public evidence that Trump campaign officials colluded with Russia to influence the election.
“Regardless of the special counsel’s findings, wrongdoing had already been made public,” Nadler said. “Maybe it’s not indictable, but we know there is collusion. And the question is to what degree and for what purpose.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, echoed Nadler’s claim that there is “significant evidence of collusion.” He cited the Justice Department policy that holds that no sitting president can be indicted.
“We know that the special counsel was not permitted to indict a sitting president, and we ought to see what evidence he produced both on the issue of conspiracy as well as the issue of obstruction of justice,” Schiff told ABC News’ “This Week.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that her party should make it a top priority to protect the Constitution and the rule of law by fully investigating the president’s potential wrongdoings.
“We need to get the information, we need to lay it out for the American people, we need to see where it leads, and then be committed to putting country over party and really stand up for the Constitution,” Jayapal said.
Some Democrats are criticizing Mueller’s methods, suggesting that the special counsel may have been overly cautious in his investigation of the president and his inner circle.
Schiff reiterated his belief that it was a “mistake” for Mueller to allow Trump to provide written responses to his questions, rather than interview the president in person.
“It was a mistake to rely on written responses — that’s generally more what the lawyer has to say than what the individual has to say,” Schiff told ABC News. “I can certainly understand why the lawyers like Giuliani were fighting this because the president is someone who seems pathologically incapable of telling the truth.”
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