House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Thursday afternoon that it’s “not worthwhile” for the Democratic party to try to impeach the president following the release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation report.
“Based on what we have seen to date, going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile at this point. Very frankly, there is an election in 18 months and the American people will make a judgement,” Hoyer told CNN’s Dana Bash.
Other Democratic leaders stayed quiet on the subject of impeachment on Thursday.
Mueller did not come to a legal conclusion over whether Trump obstructed justice in his handling of the investigations into himself and his team. And the special counsel team didn’t find sufficient evidence to charge the president or his aides with colluding with Russian officials to influence the election.
Some Democrats and legal experts believe Mueller’s findings on the issue of obstruction of justice offer Congress a clear roadmap to pursue impeachment proceedings.
Legal analyst and journalist Jeffrey Toobin cited a particular line from the report as “all but an explicit invitation for Congress to impeach the president.” The line in question reads, “The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”
Toobin, a legal analyst and journalist, called the above-mentioned sentence “all but an explicit invitation for Congress to impeach the president.”
Some outspoken Democratic activists agreed — and slammed Hoyer for his statement.
“Steny Hoyer should be removed from House leadership,” progressive pollster Matt McDermott tweeted.
Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau and “Pod Save America” co-host also tweeted in response to Hoyer, “This is unbelievably disappointing. Even if you don’t ultimately pursue impeachment proceedings, why on Earth would you say this today?”