The Slatest

Key Democrats Say Impeachment Is a Possibility, But Far From Certain

President Donald Trump walks to speak with supporters after arriving on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport to spend Easter weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort on April 18, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
President Donald Trump walks to speak with supporters after arriving on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport to spend Easter weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort on April 18, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Speaking on the Sunday talk show circuit, key Democrats refused to be pinned down one way or another when it came to the question of whether they will be pursuing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump following the release of the redacted report by special counsel Robert Mueller. “That’s going to be a very consequential decision and one that I’m going to reserve judgment on until we have a chance to deliberate about it,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Fox News Sunday.

Speaking on ABC’s This Week, Schiff said that the reality is that the Republican-controlled Senate would mean any impeachment effort would be unsuccessful. But that ultimately may not be a deal breaker. “I think what we are going to have to decide as a caucus is, what is the best thing for the country?” Schiff said. “Is it the best thing for the country to take up an impeachment proceeding because to do otherwise sends a message that this conduct is somehow compatible with office? Or is it in the best interest of the country not to take up impeachment that we know will not be successful because the Republican leadership will not do its duty?”

On NBC’s Meet the Press, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler also refused to rule out the prospect of impeachment. Before that question can be answered Congress would first have to get the unredacted report and hear testimony from Attorney General William Barr and Mueller. “Some of this would be impeachable,” Nadler, whose committee would oversee any impeachment proceedings, said. “Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable.”

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, meanwhile, cautioned that Congress has to be “careful” but did say he could “foresee” impeachment proceedings in the future. Personally though, he insisted he was “not there yet,” suggesting that much of the pubic likely falls in that category. “The American people, a lot of them, clearly still don’t believe that President Trump is doing things to destroy our democracy and has done a lot of things very poorly,” Cummings said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “And so I think that number one, we need to make sure the Congress has all the information and then we need to be able to have the public know that information so that they can see that they have a president that basically has been about the business, I think, of doing great harm not only to our country but to our democracy.”