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Nancy Pelosi refuses to budge as more Democrats want to impeach Trump

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Democratic lawmakers and activists are escalating their calls to open an impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump following former special counsel Robert Mueller’s in-person public statement on Wednesday.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to change her tune on Wednesday, arguing that House Democrats will continue their multiple investigations into the president and go where the facts take them.

Pelosi praised the majority of House Democrats for not pushing her on impeachment and she noted that fewer than 40 members in her 238-member caucus are calling for an impeachment inquiry.

“Many constituents want to impeach the president, but we want to do what is right and what gets results,” Pelosi said, repeating, “what gets results.”

But many prominent Democrats differ with Pelosi on strategy.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey changed his position on impeachment following Mueller’s statement, in which the former special counsel said that formally charging the president with a crime is up to Congress.

“Robert Mueller’s statement makes it clear: Congress has a legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately,” Booker tweeted Wednesday.

“I’ve been asking for Mueller’s testimony — today he made his views clear,” he went on. “This Administration has continued to stonewall Congress’s oversight. Beginning impeachment proceedings is the only path forward.”

Several other 2020 candidates and prominent Democrats had already called for the initiation of impeachment proceedings. Some of them repeated their calls on Wednesday.

“What Robert Mueller basically did was return an impeachment referral,” Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat and 2020 candidate, tweeted shortly after Mueller’s statement on Wednesday. “Now it is up to Congress to hold this president accountable. We need to start impeachment proceedings. It’s our constitutional obligation.”

Read more: Mueller revealed why he didn’t charge Trump with a crime — and it wasn’t because of a lack of evidence

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York voiced a similar sentiment.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
ANDREW KELLY/Reuters

Some prominent Democratic activists and former advisers to President Barack Obama are also pushing party leadership to begin impeachment proceedings.

“I am very sympathetic to the political concerns of the House Leadership and the consultant class, but it’s becoming clear that dodging an impeachment inquiry would be a grave moral, constitutional, and political mistake,” Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, tweeted Wednesday.

Progressive pollster Matt McDermott tweeted, “Mueller, summarized: WHAT’S THE HOLD UP, HOUSE DEMOCRATS? IMPEACH HIM.”

But other high-profile progressive Democrats, including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, are reluctant to get ahead of House leadership on impeachment. Sanders has suggested that impeachment would hurt Democrats’ chances in 2020.

“Given the reality that we have a president who believes he is above the law, Congress must continue its investigations,” Sanders tweeted Wednesday. “If the House Judiciary Committee deems it necessary, I will support their decision to open an impeachment inquiry.”

Read more: ‘Impeachment is inevitable’: More Democrats push for impeachment as Nancy Pelosi accuses Trump of ‘engaging in a cover-up’

On Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee member Jamie Raskin told CNN that increasing numbers of Democrats are “signing on” to the movement to open an impeachment inquiry into the president — but he didn’t call for it himself.

“There is a lot of momentum towards an impeachment inquiry, even as people go home over this break, they are hearing more from their constituents about it and more people are signing on to it,” he said.

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