The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Sunday he can “foresee” impeachment proceedings against President Trump down the road, but urged his party to take caution.
In an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, expressed concern about pursuing impeachment, saying that because the American people are still deeply divided over the contents of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on investigation of Russian election interference, Congress must do more probing of its own.
Mr. Cummings said those investigations should include an examination of the president’s finances and firing of key officials, as well as hearing from former White House counsel Don McGahn. Mr. McGahn told investigators that he threatened to resign from his post in June 2017 after the president asked him to fire Robert Mueller.
“We need to be able to have the public know that information so that they can see that they have a president that basically has been about the business, I think, of doing great harm not only to our country but to our democracy,” Mr. Cummings said.
The Justice Department released a redacted version of Mr. Mueller’s report on Thursday. The pages show that the special counsel did not find sufficient evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians, but intentionally left the question of obstruction open-ended to protect Congress’ ability to move forward with impeachment if they choose to.
Some prominent Democrats, including freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have called for the House to begin impeachment proceedings.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has argued in the past that Democrats need to make sure they have bipartisan support for impeachment before they begin proceedings.
Mr. Cummings, however, suggested Democrats may take on impeachment even if its likely to fail, because otherwise Mr. Trump and Russian agents will be “emboldened.”
“I think even if we did not win possibly, if there were not impeachment, I think history would smile upon us for standing up for the Constitution,” he said.
“You know I hear a lot of people say that they’re tired of hearing about the Mueller Report. Well, we don’t have time to get tired because the Russians aren’t getting tired,” he added.