- The Washington Times - Friday, April 19, 2019

Rep. Jamie Raskin said Friday lawmakers “shouldn’t be afraid of impeachment” following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and any obstruction by President Trump’s campaign.

“Impeachment is part of the Constitution, we shouldn’t be afraid of any part of the Constitution … and I’ve said from the beginning it should not be a fetish for anyone on our side but it shouldn’t be a taboo, either,” the Maryland Democrat said on CNN’s “Newsroom” show.

“We need to follow the evidence where it takes us and from my perspective, the factual gathering is just beginning right now. Remember for two years the Republicans in the Judiciary and the Oversight committee did no investigation. They said ‘let’s wait for the special counsel report,’ then they did everything in their power to undermine the special counsel and not they’re saying it’s all over,” he continued.

Mr. Raskin added Democrats would pursue impeachment only if there was “overwhelming evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor and some bipartisan support.”

“We need to see that the Republicans actually have an open mind about the situation rather than acting like members of a religious cult. So far no Republicans seem to be saying ‘yeah there’s serious stuff in there.’”

Mr. Raskin also said he accepts there was no evidence that people on Mr. Trump’s team conspired with Russia but asked, “Do others accept that there is overwhelming evidence the president tried to obstruct justice?”

The Justice Department released the 448-page redacted report Thursday. Mr. Mueller concluded that Mr. Trump did not conspire with Russia to try to subvert the election — but the special counsel also said the steps the president took to try to undermine the subsequent investigation into that baseless claim could seem fishy, depending on one’s perspective.

Stephen Dinan contributed to this article. 

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