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Top Democrats Shy Away from Impeachment

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, top congressional Democrats and Democrats running for president are shying away from talk of impeaching President Trump.

“Based on what we have seen to date, going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile at this point,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told CNN on Thursday afternoon. “Very frankly, there is an election in 18 months, and the American people will make a judgement.”

Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, the man responsible for overseeing any possible impeachment hearings, said it is “too early to talk about” impeachment. Echoing comments from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Nadler said Mueller should first testify to Congress.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted out a video of Republicans calling for President Clinton’s impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice in the 1990s but now opposing the idea of impeaching President Trump for process crimes. Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet did not explicitly call for Trump’s impeachment.

Former vice president Joe Biden, who has not announced a presidential campaign but leads most Democratic primary polls, did not have a comment on the Mueller report late Thursday afternoon. “I haven’t had a chance to see it,” Biden said, according to Bloomberg News.

Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate running slightly behind Biden in the polls, tweeted on Thursday: “It is clear that Donald Trump wanted nothing more than to shut down the Mueller investigation. While we have more detail from today’s report than before, Congress must continue its investigation into Trump’s conduct and any foreign attempts to influence our election.”

But Sanders, like other 2020 Democrats commenting on the Mueller investigation in this New York Times round-up, did not explicitly mention impeachment.

A Monmouth poll from early March found that voters opposed impeachment 54 percent to 42 percent. But David Axelrod, the former Obama adviser, tweeted Thursday that the Mueller “report provides a conundrum for Congress by virtually inviting an impeachment probe around the obstruction issue.” For now, it appears congressional Democrats think they can move forward with further hearings without holding a vote on impeachment that could hurt them in the 2020 elections.

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