Politico is reporting that Democrats just made the first big move toward impeaching President Donald Trump. On Friday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler announced that the House is formally seeking special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury information. The move is widely seen as the first move to form a legal base in potentially impeaching the president.
Though an impeachment process has not been formally announced — due partially to the reticence of House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi — Nadler himself acknowledged that the move was “in effect” part of an impeachment inquiry.
“We are continuing an investigation of the president’s malfeasances,” Nadler said. “And we will consider what we have to consider, including whether we should recommend articles of impeachment to the House. That’s the job of our committee.”
Texas Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar added that Democrats were “crossing a threshold” with the recent filing.
“We’re now crossing a threshold with this filing, and we are now officially entering into an examination of whether or not to recommend articles of impeachment.”
The petition hopes to disclose all the evidence seen by the grand jury in the special counsel investigation into whether Trump was abetted by the Russian Federation to win the 2016 presidential election. This evidence has so far been kept confidential.
“[T]he House must have access to all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article I powers… including approval of articles of impeachment,” the petition read.
Nadler’s petition comes shortly after the head of the special counsel, former FBI director Robert Mueller, testified before Congress on his 400-plus page report. As reported by The Inquisitr, many in the media considered Mueller’s appearance a flop, with #muellerhearingdisaster trending for nearly 48 hours during and after his testimony.
However, despite the optics of the hearing, Democratic lawmakers seemed to have been invigorated after the testimony, and seven more Democrats were inspired to support impeachment, bringing the total up to 100.
This is bad news for House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has been loath to heed calls from the more progressive members of the party to take legal action. It is possible that Pelosi’s resistance has been influenced from the numerous polls that suggest that a majority of Americans do not favor impeachment, even in light of Mueller’s testimony, per The Washington Post.
Nonetheless, it remains to be seen whether Judge Howell will agree to the Judiciary Committee’s request. Democrats are currently hoping that the court petition will be considered the same legal category as the petitions that sought evidence on Watergate during the Nixon era.
In the meantime, Nadler has said that the Judiciary Committee will continue its investigation during the House’s summer break.