Rep. David Cicilline on Democrats split over whether to push for impeachment
While House Democrats are expected to vote on contempt resolutions for Attorney General Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn, Speaker Pelosi continues to discourage talk of impeachment; insight from Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline, Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., is defending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after comments that she wanted to see President Trump in prison rather than impeached.
“I don’t have any difficulty with those words,” Cicilline, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.”
He added: “It’s kind of rich to have the president complain about this when he began a campaign with ‘lock her up’ as his bumper sticker and led an effort to delegitimize the first African-American president.”
NANCY PELOSI TOLD DEMS SHE WANTS TO SEE TRUMP ‘IN PRISON’: REPORT
During a meeting with the House Judiciary Committee chairman, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and other committee heads last week, Pelosi made the case that she would rather see Trump voted out of office and “in prison” than merely impeached, according to a report in Politico. A person familiar with the exchange confirmed the account to The Associated Press.
Pelosi’s comments come following months of grumbling among rank-and-file Democrats that Pelosi wasn’t taking efforts to remove Trump from office seriously enough and was too concerned with getting members of her own party re-elected in 2020.
House Democrats have scheduled a series of hearings this coming week on the special counsel’s report as they intensify their focus on the Russia probe and pick up the pace on an investigative “path” — in the words of Pelosi — that some of them hope leads to impeachment of the president. In doing so, they are trying to draw the public’s attention on the allegations that Trump sought to obstruct a federal investigation and they want to highlight his campaign’s contacts with Russia in the 2016 election.
The House Judiciary Committee plans to cover the first topic at a Monday hearing on “presidential obstruction and other crimes.” The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday intends to review the counterintelligence implications of the Russian meddling. Mueller said there was not enough evidence to establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but he said he could not exonerate Trump on obstruction.
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On Tuesday, the House has scheduled a vote to authorize contempt cases against Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Donald McGahn for failing to comply with subpoenas from the Democratic-controlled House.
Barr defied a subpoena to provide an unredacted version of Mueller’s report, along with underlying evidence. McGahn, who is frequently referenced in the report, has defied subpoenas to provide documents and testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
Pelosi’s comments last week appear to have temporarily satisfied the restless House Democrats.
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who pleaded with Pelosi last month to start an inquiry, said the votes and hearings are going to be enough, for now, as they wait to see what happens in court. “I am very satisfied that things are moving in the right direction,” Raskin said. “And I think the American people are getting increasingly educated and engaged about the lawlessness of the president.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.