After Mueller, Nadler Persists: 'We Have to Educate the American People'

By Susan Jones | July 26, 2019 | 10:12am EDT
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) chairs the House Judiciary Committee. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

( - Democrats hoped former Special Counsel Robert Mueller would help them "educate" the American people about President Trump's actions, as outlined in the report that bears Mueller's name.

However, two days after Mueller testified, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is still talking about the need to "educate" the public.

"Before we can do anything else, we have to educate the American people, not only as to the allegations and to the conclusions of the Mueller report, but as to the evidence underneath it," Nadler told CNN's "New Day" on Friday.

"That's the precondition for doing anything. Because as I said, you can't tear the country apart. That's our immediate task, and that's what we're going to do and that's why we're going to court today."

Democrats on this Friday will ask a court to release grand jury information that, by law, was redacted from the Mueller report. And on Monday and Tuesday they'll go back to court in an effort to enforce the subpoena for former White House Don McGahn to appear before the Judiciary Committee.

McGahn is considered a key witness in the obstruction of justice scenario outlined by Mueller's team -- a team of Democrat contributors and Hillary Clinton supporters.

Nadler is confident Democrats will win their court fights, because of the "extraordinarily weak" legal arguments produced by the White House.

"When we win that, it'll open up the flood Gates to enforce all the subpoenas and get all the testimony because they're all the same nonsense legal arguments. So we'll be going into court today and again on Monday or Tuesday to start bringing that up so we can lay the evidence in detail before the American people."

Nadler said Democrats will request expedited decisions, because of  "the obvious importance of timing."

Nadler said he thinks Mueller's testimony "will gradually be absorbed by the American people. Our task now is to get the evidence out to the American people, and we will do that starting today."

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), a member of the House intelligence committee, told CNN on Thursday her fellow Democrats better hurry up with impeachment proceedings:

"We should be required at this point in time to take action," she said, referring to impeachment. "Now, if we don't take action come September 1st, then we should shut it down, because we're not going to be able to do anything at all. I feel strongly that we should, but I think we're running out of time.

Host Jake Tapper asked Speier what more Democrats can do to get public opinion behind impeachment?

"I would say that after going home and spending five weeks in their constituencies, if that doesn't motivate them to do it, then I think we need to shut it down, because frankly, none of the other work we're doing is getting any traction whatsoever.

"We have passed over 100 bills that have been taken over to the Senate where they're lying dormant, one of which is on security of election systems. And I think -- I'm beginning to think there is an interest by some within the administration, starting at the very top to allow the Russians to continue to intervene, because it worked out well for them in 2016," Speier said.

Democrats are now pushing bills that would allow greater federal intervention in state-run elections -- requiring back-up paper ballots, for instance, and requiring political campaigns to tell the FBI if foreign powers try to influence them.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked such legislation, saying "there's no doubt that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election," but that's no reason to give Washington politicians "greater control over something this important."

He notes that the 2018 midterm election had fewer hitches than the 2016 presidential election, given all the steps that have been taken since 2016 to improve election security. Those steps include money for local election authorities to install stronger cybersecurity measures; and streamlined information sharing between federal-state-local officials.

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