President Trump on Sunday took aim at the Democrats pushing to advance impeachment proceedings against him as the dust settles from special counsel Robert Mueller‘s report on Russian election interference.
“How do you impeach a Republican President for a crime that was committed by the Democrats? MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted shortly after arriving in Washington following an Easter Sunday spent at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Trump’s tweet came after several Democratic leaders in Congress made clear on Sunday that the possibility of impeachment was still on the table, despite opposition from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and others.
“Impeachment is likely to be unsuccessful,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC’s “This Week,” before adding, “It may be that we undertake an impeachment nonetheless.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, expressed similar views on the Sunday show circuit, insisting Democrats would continue to look into the issue.
The possibility of impeachment gained new urgency after the release of Mueller’s redacted report on Thursday. Though the special counsel’s team concluded there was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, it also outlined in vivid detail ways in which Trump had possibly sought to interfere with the investigation, raising questions over whether he obstructed justice.
Mueller himself declined to draw a conclusion one way or the other on that matter. But the open-ended nature of that section of the report has led to renewed calls by congressional Democrats to look into whether Trump should be impeached.
Shortly after the report’s release, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), arguably the most influential of the current crop of progressive lawmakers on Capitol Hill, said she would sign on to a resolution from Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) that would examine the issue of impeachment.
Then, on Saturday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) became the first 2020 presidential hopeful to explicitly call for the House to begin impeachment proceedings.
Those new calls are likely to cause friction with Democratic leaders such as Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who have sought to quell talk of impeachment, arguing it would be too divisive going into a heated presidential election.
Pelosi has repeatedly said pursuing impeachment against Trump “is not worth it,” echoing the argument made by figures who have said the best way to defeat Trump is to vote him out of office, including former FBI Director James Comey, who played a key role in Mueller’s investigation.
That view was also endorsed by a more moderate 2020 hopeful, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who on Sunday argued Congress should not pursue impeachment just yet.
“Let the process play itself out,” Ryan said on CNN. “And let’s educate the American people too. This is a very nuanced document. Let the American people really see what’s going on here.”