House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said Thursday that nothing in the 400-plus page special counsel report changes his impression that Democrats should move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
“Based on what we have seen to date, going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile at this point,” Hoyer told CNN. “Very frankly, there is an election in 18 months and the American people will make a judgment.”
Robert Mueller’s painstakingly detailed document concludes that there was insufficient evidence to determine that Trump collaborated with Russia to swing the 2016 election, and that he cannot say, given existing Justice Department guidelines on indicting a sitting president, whether Trump obstructed justice.
But the report is rife with damning evidence about Trump’s abuse of the powers of his office. Countless advisers were asked to derail, obfuscate or end the Russia investigation, but refused Trump’s orders.
Hoyer’s remarks sparked instant backlash among prominent Democratic commentators. Ex-Obama aide Jon Favreau called the remark “unbelievably disappointing.” Adam Jentleson, former chief of staff to ex-Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), said it was “an abdication of Congress’ oversight responsibility” not to pursue impeachment proceedings in the wake of the report.
“The impeachment process is an investigation,” Jentleson said on Twitter. “If Congress won’t even take that step, it will replace one of the Founders’ most important checks with the precedent that Democrats will never impeach GOP presidents.”