Trump erupts over impeachment as congressional proceedings loom: 'You can’t impeach'

Tom Embury-Dennis
Monday 22 April 2019 15:59
Donald Trump says he's 'having a good day' following Mueller report release

Donald Trump has launched a fresh diatribe over moves to impeach him after evidence in the Mueller report indicated he had repeatedly attempted to obstruct justice.

"Only high crimes and misdemeanors can lead to impeachment," Mr Trump tweeted on Monday morning. "There were no crimes by me (No Collusion, No Obstruction), so you can’t impeach.

"It was the Democrats that committed the crimes, not your Republican President! Tables are finally turning on the Witch Hunt!"

It followed a tweet on Sunday evening in which Mr Trump asked how a president could be impeached "for a crime that was committed by Democrats".

The baseless claim Democrats committed unspecified crimes related to the Russia investigation comes following a weekend feverish with talk about Mr Trump's impeachment.

Democratic leaders have refused to rule out proceedings to remove the president from office after a heavily-redacted version of the Mueller report was released on Thursday.

Some prominent party figures, including 2020 presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro, have gone further by making outright calls for the impeachment process to begin.

House judiciary committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, whose panel would spearhead any such proceedings, said Democrats would “see where the facts lead us” after completing their own investigation.

“Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable,” Mr Nadler told NBC’s Meet the Press.

It came following the release of a redacted version of Robert Mueller's report, which investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Mr Trump attempted to obstruct justice by impeding the probe.

Mr Mueller's team provided more than 10 potential instances of the president trying to obstruct justice, including one in which he asked his White House counsel to order the acting attorney general to fire Mr Mueller.

Crucially, Mr Mueller failed to exonerate the president, and noted Congress has the power to address whether he broke the law.

“That’s going to be a very consequential decision and one I’m going to reserve judgment on until we have a chance to fully deliberate on it,” House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff told Fox News Sunday regarding Mr Trump's impeachment.

Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, planned a conference call for Monday afternoon to discuss their next steps in response to the Mueller report.

Mr Nadler issued a subpoena to the Justice Department to hand over the full, unredacted report and underlying evidence by 1 May.

Before drawing any conclusions, he said Democrats wanted to hear from Mr Mueller and attorney general William Barr, who is scheduled to testify in early May.

Mr Trump has claimed complete vindication from the Mueller investigation after a summary of findings was released by Mr Barr in March.

However, since more details on the conclusions have been made public, the president has also attacked the report, describing its authors as “Angry Democrats” and "Trump Haters”.

He has called for an investigation of how the FBI began the probe, and has also tried to blame Democrats, accusing them of spying on his campaign.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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