(CNSNews.com) – Democrats seized on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s statement Wednesday with one thing on their mind – impeachment.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) issued a statement Wednesday, saying, Mueller “was unable to pursue criminal charges” against Trump so “it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing.”
“In his statement this morning, Special Counsel Mueller reaffirmed his report, which found substantial evidence that Russia attacked our political system and that the President sought to obstruct Mueller’s investigation over and over again,” he said in a statement.
“He also confirmed three central points: he did not exonerate the President of the United States of obstruction of justice, obstruction of justice is a serious crime that strikes at the core of our justice system, and the Constitution points to Congress to take action to hold the President accountable,” Nadler added.
“Although Department of Justice policy prevented the Special Counsel from bringing criminal charges against the President, the Special Counsel has clearly demonstrated that President Trump is lying about the Special Counsel’s findings, lying about the testimony of key witnesses in the Special Counsel’s report, and is lying in saying that the Special Counsel found no obstruction and no collusion,” he wrote.
“Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump – and we will do so. No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law," Nadler added.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said Congress “has a legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings.”
“Robert Mueller’s statement makes it clear: Congress has a legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately,” Booker tweeted.
Another Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), reacted to Mueller’s statement, saying what he did was “return an impeachment referral.” She called it Congress’s “constitutional obligation” to start impeachment proceedings.
“What Robert Mueller basically did was return an impeachment referral. Now it is up to Congress to hold this president accountable. We need to start impeachment proceedings. It's our constitutional obligation,” Harris tweeted.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted, “Mueller’s statement makes clear what those who have read his report know: It is an impeachment referral, and it’s up to Congress to act. They should.”
“Mueller leaves no doubt: 1) He didn't exonerate the president because there is evidence he committed crimes. 2) Justice Department policy prevented him from charging the president with any crimes. 3) The Constitution leaves it up to Congress to act—and that's impeachment,” she tweeted.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), the only Republican thus far who has called for Trump’s impeachment, had just one thing to say, tweeting, “The ball is in our court, Congress.”
As CNSNews.com reported, Mueller said Wednesday that charging Trump with a crime was not an option the special counsel’s office could consider, because “longstanding” DOJ policy makes it unconstitutional to charge a president with a federal crime “while he is in office.”
“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime,” Mueller said.