The United States continues to deal with the ripple effects of Special Counsel for the Russia investigation Robert Mueller dropping his final report on the Justice Department last week. On ABC’s This Week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) asserted this weekend that without the facts of that report and its underlying evidence in hand, it’s impossible to accurately assert that President Donald Trump is off the hook, no matter what points his allies are making from developments like the absence of any further criminal charge recommendations from Mueller’s office.
As of Sunday morning, no version of the report had yet been made public. Although Schiff asserted recently that without any “bombshell” in the report there should be no impeachment proceedings, the Congressman asserted this Sunday that the absence of further indictments doesn’t necessarily qualify as a bombshell free ride.
As he explained it:
‘There could be overwhelming evidence on the obstruction issue, and I don’t know that that’s the case, but if there were overwhelming evidence of criminality on the president’s part, then Congress would need to consider that remedy if indictment is foreclosed. It’s really too early to make those judgments. We need to see the report.’
Schiff reiterated his intent to get that information in question in the first place, having previously suggested he’d be open to bringing Mueller in for questioning in front of Congress if House Democrats couldn’t get the information he wanted. He told George Stephanopoulos this weekend that he’s ready and willing to go so far as to take the Justice Department to court if they’re not forthcoming in their release of material from the Mueller investigation, adding that he’s confident he’d win at least in part because of the transparency precedents set by the document dumps for the previously Republican-controlled House.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has already asserted that she rejects the opportunity for a classified briefing on the Mueller report so that authorities can’t rely on that for their disclosure responsibility.
Her fellow House Democrats will be continuing to investigate the president and his team following the effective conclusion of the Mueller investigation in line with what Schiff says is Congress’s responsibility “to tell the American people — these are the facts, this is what your president has done, this is what his key campaign and appointees have done.” Although the president’s behavior may have not reached the level of criminality, Schiff asserted this weekend that essentially, the only standard presidents should be held to is NOT whether or not they can be proven to have committed an on-the-books crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Trump and his team members have engaged in widely documented covert communication and cooperation with the Kremlin.
Trump is also facing further investigations from federal prosecutors in New York and state authorities there and elsewhere into issues like his tax schemes and possibly corrupt inaugural committee.
Surprisingly, the only thing Trump himself had tweeted as of around 11 a.m. Eastern time on Sunday — two days after the Mueller report dropped — was his campaign slogan and the hilariously outlandishly out-of-character “Good Morning, Have A Great Day!”
Featured Image via screenshot from the video