Under President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Leon Panetta was a top-ranking White House official. He served as a defense secretary, as well as the CIA director under former President Obama. He also served as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff during Clinton’s presidency.
According to a report by ABC News, Panetta has some very specific thoughts on how impeachment proceedings should move forward, or if they should even move forward at all. In a recent interview, the former White House official warned Democrats to hold off on moving toward impeachment. Even if Democrats win control of the U.S. House of Representative in the upcoming midterm election, this November, Panetta believes it’s wise to wait for special counsel Robert Mueller to come back with a conclusive report.
Mueller’s ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign regarding potential Russian collusion, he says, should be the deciding factor on how to move forward.
“I think Bob Mueller’s work will ultimately determine whether or not there are going to be additional steps taken against the president and they ought not to get ahead of that report because that will be the key to determining what happens.”
He was later asked his thoughts on whether or not Trump’s legal team might be demonstrating examples of obstruction of justice, to which Panetta was somewhat less cautious in answering that question.
“They’re getting very close to making a case for obstruction of justice, not only by the steps that were taken in terms of the president demeaning and attacking a ‘witch hunt’ but also the fact that [Donald Trump’s lawyer] Rudy Giuliani himself said the whole purpose of their effort is to undermine the credibility of the special counsel.”
Robert Mueller has not yet provided any specific indication as to when he expects to wrap up his investigation of the Trump campaign.
Disgraced and discredited Bob Mueller and his whole group of Angry Democrat Thugs spent over 30 hours with the White House Councel, only with my approval, for purposes of transparency. Anybody needing that much time when they know there is no Russian Collusion is just someone....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2018
....looking for trouble. They are enjoying ruining people’s lives and REFUSE to look at the real corruption on the Democrat side - the lies, the firings, the deleted Emails and soooo much more! Mueller’s Angry Dems are looking to impact the election. They are a National Disgrace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2018
Trump and his legal team have recently been trying to put the pressure on Mueller, citing the upcoming midterm elections as a reason to, at least temporarily, keep the investigation quiet. Trump often remarks via Twitter that he believes Robert Mueller is compromised by Democrats.
Reports have recently come out about a rumored announcement from Robert Mueller regarding the ongoing Russian probe and have been making headlines over the last few days. So far Mueller has kept quiet. To date, Mueller has handed out a number of subpoenas in the high-profile investigation. Recently Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, pleaded guilty to charges surrounding campaign finance violation. Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty on charges of lying to the FBI.
More subpoenas are expected to come in the future.