Current 2020 presidential contender and former Vice President Joe Biden has added to Democrats’ calls for impeaching President Donald Trump, albeit conditionally, in the wake of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
“There are elements of the report, about seven or eight things, that were left undone, that were not in his authority to investigate, he thought,” Biden said of Mueller’s 448-page report Tuesday on “Good Morning America.”
“The Congress is attempting to take that up, and what the Congress should do, and they are doing, is investigating them. And if, in fact, [the Trump administration] blocks the investigation, they have no alternative but to go to the only other constitutional resort they have, which is impeachment,” he said.
While Mueller chose not to issue any further indictments at the probe’s conclusion ― nearly three dozen had already been announced ― his report specifically did not exonerate Trump from accusations of obstructing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller’s team analyzed 10 of the president’s past actions that could have amounted to obstruction of justice, but it declined to prosecute any of them. According to the report, most of Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice were simply foiled by his own staff refusing to follow his orders. But reports about his attempts to interfere continue to fuel an ongoing controversy over whether the president should be impeached.
Top Democrats have sought to tamp down impeachment talk, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi coming out ardently against it.
“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it,” she told The Washington Post Magazine in March.
Earlier this month, another Democrat vying for the party’s 2020 nomination, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), called specifically for impeachment proceedings to begin in a string of strongly worded tweets.
“Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress: ‘Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.’ The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment,” she argued.
Polling has consistently found most Americans to be opposed to impeachment. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week found 56% opposed to beginning impeachment proceedings, with 37% in support.