A senior lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Sunday that President Donald Trump “richly deserves” to be impeached.
“My personal view is that (Trump) richly deserves impeachment,” said Jerry Nadler to CNN. “He has done many impeachable offenses, he’s violated the laws six ways from Sunday.”
The investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller found that there were multiple contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia, and found several ways the president tried to obstruct Mueller’s probe.
Nadler, who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is looking into Mueller’s report, as well as the notion that Trump’s businesses are profiting from his presidency.
He told CNN that those issues will have an impact, even after the 2020 election.
“We have to defend the Constitution against these kinds of unconstitutional and illegal deeds,” Nadler said. “And we have to make sure that a president who does that pays a penalty so that kind of conduct is not normalized and legalized in effect for the next president.”
The committee began the process on Friday in federal court to obtain the secret grand jury material underlying Mueller’s report, according to CNN.
Nadler has not made any moves to initiate an impeachment committee. The chairman said that the panel needs more evidence to be sure they are on solid ground before any steps are taken in the impeachment process.
“The history of impeachments is that sometimes the House has authorized the Judiciary Committee to begin impeachment inquiry. Sometimes the Judiciary Committee has done it on its own,” Nadler said.
Democrats have been grappling with impeachment since taking control of the House. More than a third of House Democrats publicly support opening an inquiry.
A controversial impeachment vote could harm Democrats representing districts that voted for Trump — thus risking the House majority.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has divided her party while trying to restrain Democrats from initiating the process against Trump. Pelosi wants to first ensure public support.
Pelosi has warned that any impeachment proceedings would play into Trump’s rhetoric going into the election, according to The Guardian.
The House voted on July 17 to table a resolution from Congressman Al Green to impeach Trump over comments he called racist that the president made about four Democratic congresswomen of color, according to CNN. The vote was struck down.
According to ABC News, over 100 House Democrats support impeachment, including the 15 House Judiciary Committee members. This number has gone up from the 95 members who voted in favor of impeachment on July 17. On that same day, 332 voted against impeachment.