U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump depart the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
April 24, 2019
By Susan Heavey
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday to fight all the way to the Supreme Court against any effort by congressional Democrats to impeach him, even though the U.S. Constitution gives Congress complete authority over the impeachment process.
Trump’s threat, made in a morning tweet, came as the White House launched a fierce legal battle to fight subpoenas from Democrats in the House of Representatives for documents and testimony from his administration.
Democrats remain divided on whether to proceed with Trump’s impeachment after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia inquiry. Trump defiantly proclaimed on Twitter that the investigation “didn’t lay a glove on me.”
“If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court,” the Republican president, who is seeking re-election next year, said without offering details about what legal action he envisioned.
The Constitution gives the sole power of impeachment and removing a president from office to the House and the Senate, not the judiciary, as part of the founding document’s separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have remained cautious over launching impeachment proceedings against Trump ahead of the 2020 election, although they have left the door open to such action. Others in the party’s more liberal wing have demanded impeachment proceedings.
Mueller’s findings, released in a redacted report last week, detailed about a dozen episodes of potential obstruction of justice by Trump in trying to impede the inquiry but stopped short of concluding that he had committed a crime.
The report said Congress could address whether the president violated the law. Mueller separately found insufficient evidence that Trump’s campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia in the 2016 presidential race.
House Democrats have stepped up their oversight of the Trump administration since taking control of the chamber in January, from Trump’s tax returns and White House security clearances to the investigation into Russian interference in U.S. politics.
Trump has ordered officials not to comply with subpoenas, and has filed a lawsuit to prevent material from being turned over to lawmakers.
“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.
Under the Constitution, Congress is a co-equal branch of government alongside the executive branch and the judiciary.
The Constitution empowers Congress to remove a president from office for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The House is given the power to impeach a president – bring formal charges – and the Senate then convenes a trial, with the senators as jurors, with a two-thirds vote needed to convict a president and remove him from office.
The Constitution gives no role to the Supreme Court in impeachment, though it does assign the chief justice the task of presiding over the Senate trial. Conservative John Roberts currently serves as chief justice.
That would not preclude Trump from proceeding with litigation to tie up the issue in the courts, despite Supreme Court precedent upholding congressional impeachment power. In 1993, the nation’s top court ruled 9-0 in a case involving an impeached U.S. judge that the judiciary has no role in the impeachment process.
Lawrence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard who has been critical of Trump, said the U.S. founding fathers had considered but ultimately scrapped the idea of allowing the Supreme Court to have any role in the impeachment process.
“Not even a SCOTUS filled with Trump appointees would get in the way of the House or Senate,” Tribe said in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
Some congressional Republicans have urged the country to move forward after the Mueller report, while a few, including Senator Mitt Romney, have condemned Trump’s actions. Some conservatives outside of Congress have urged congressional action in the wake of Mueller’s report.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Steve Holland, Roberta Rampton and Makini Brice, Writing by John Whitesides, Editing by Andrea Ricci and Alistair Bell)
Despite evidence that millions of Hispanics and immigrants could go uncounted, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority seemed ready Tuesday to uphold the Trump administration’s plan to inquire about U.S. citizenship on the 2020 census in a case that could affect American elections for the next decade.
There appeared to be a clear divide between the court’s liberal and conservative justices in arguments in a case that could affect how many seats states have in the House of Representatives and their share of federal dollars over the next 10 years. States with a large number of immigrants tend to vote Democratic.
Three lower courts have so far blocked the plan to ask every U.S. resident about citizenship in the census, finding that the question would discourage many immigrants from being counted . Two of the three judges also ruled that asking if people are citizens would violate the provision of the Constitution that calls for a count of the population, regardless of citizenship status, every 10 years. The last time the question was included on the census form sent to every American household was 1950.
Three conservative justices, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, had expressed skepticism about the challenge to the question in earlier stages of the case, but Chief Justice John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh had been silent, possibly suggesting a willingness to disrupt the administration’s plan.
However, over 80 minutes in a packed courtroom, neither Roberts nor Kavanaugh appeared to share the concern of the lower court judges who ruled against the administration.
Kavanaugh, the court’s newest member and an appointee of President Donald Trump, suggested Congress could change the law if it so concerned that the accuracy of the once-a-decade population count will suffer. “Why doesn’t Congress prohibit the asking of the citizenship question?” Kavanaugh asked near the end of the morning session.
Kavanaugh and the other conservatives were mostly silent when Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer, defended Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ decision to add the citizenship question. Ross has said the Justice Department wanted the citizenship data, the detailed information it would produce on where eligible voters live, to improve enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.
Lower courts found that Ross’ explanation was a pretext for adding the question, noting that he had consulted early in his tenure with Stephen Bannon, Trump’s former top political adviser and immigration hardliner Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state.
The liberal justices peppered Francisco with questions about the administration plan, but they would lack the votes to stop it without support from at least one conservative justice.
“This is a solution in search of a problem,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court’s lone Hispanic member, said of Ross’ decision.
Justice Elena Kagan chimed in that “you can’t read this record without sensing that this need was a contrived one.”
Roberts appeared to have a different view of the information the citizenship question would produce.
“You think it wouldn’t help voting rights enforcement?” Roberts asked New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, who was representing states and cities that sued over Ross’ decision.
Underwood and American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Dale Ho said the evidence showed the data would be less accurate. Including a citizenship question would “harm the secretary’s stated purpose of Voting Rights Act enforcement,” Ho said.
Census Bureau experts have concluded that the census would produce a more accurate picture of the U.S. population without a citizenship question because people might be reluctant to say if they or others in their households are not citizens. Federal law requires people to complete the census accurately and fully.
The Supreme Court is hearing the case on a tight timeframe, even though no federal appeals court has yet to weigh in. A decision is expected by late June, in time to print census forms for the April 2020 population count.
The administration argues that the commerce secretary has wide discretion in designing the census questionnaire and that courts should not be second-guessing his action. States, cities and rights groups that sued over the issue don’t even have the right to go into federal court, the administration says. It also says the citizenship question is plainly constitutional because it has been asked on many past censuses and continues to be used on smaller, annual population surveys.
Gorsuch, also a Trump appointee, also noted that many other countries include citizenship questions on their censuses.
Douglas Letter, a lawyer representing the House of Representatives, said the census is critically important to the House, which apportions its seats among the states based on the results. “Anything that undermines the accuracy of the actual enumeration is immediately a problem,” Letter said, quoting from the provision of the Constitution that mandates a decennial census.
Letter also thanked the court on behalf of Speaker Nancy Pelosi for allowing the House to participate in the arguments.
“Tell her she’s welcome,” Roberts replied.
Source: NewsMax Politics
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledges that the Senate is unlikely to convict President Donald Trump if he is impeached, but it is still “important to hold the president accountable for what happened,” Rep. Ro Khanna told Fox & Friends on Tuesday.
Khanna, a congressman from California, made the comments after he took part in an hour-and-a-half conference call involving some 170 Democratic House members with party leadership to talk about what to do following the release of the redacted Muller report. He said Pelosi unequivocally stated her opposition to starting impeachment proceedings against Trump, calling it “divisive” and “just not worth it.”
Khanna stressed that Pelosi set the tone on the issue, saying “we need to be deliberate and methodical. There shouldn’t be any rush to any judgment.”
He added that “what we need to do is have Bob Mueller testify… We just got the report a few days ago or a week ago and the committee should do their work.”
The California representative emphasized that “One of the things I think we can all agree about is the Mueller report’s conclusion that there was sweeping and systemic interference in our election by the Russians. I’m working actually with [House Minority] leader [Kevin] McCarthy and others to find some ways of protecting American democracy from future interference. And that’s a place I think many Americans would agree.”
Source: NewsMax Politics
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows the ramification of impeaching President Donald Trump, as she knows that attempt will be seen by half of Americans as a “limp attempt at a soft coup,” talk show host Joe Concha said Tuesday.
“It’ll all be for show anyway,” Concha, a media reporter for The Hill, commented on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.” “People want lawmakers, Democrats who took the house in November, to solve problems, not go down this road. There’s no appetite for it.”
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, by making a quick call for Trump’s impeachment, is throwing a “Hail Mary,” even though it’s early in the primary game,” Concha added.
“If you look at the polling, it’s a rudderless campaign,” said Concha. “She doesn’t seem to get any traction.”
Meanwhile, Pelosi was in Washington during the impeachment proceedings for then-President Bill Clinton, at a time when Republican cited obstruction of justice as one reason they wanted him removed from office.
“Everybody knew it was all for show because there was no way at that time lawmakers were able to get two-thirds of the Senate to remove that president,” said Concha.
The day after Clinton was impeached, his Gallup approval rating was at 73 percent, and when he left office, it was at 65%, because he was seen as a sympathetic figure, he added.
“It led to the launching of another political career in Hillary Clinton because she was seen as a sympathetic figure,” said Concha. “Nancy Pelosi has seen this.”
Source: NewsMax Politics
Rep. Eric Swalwell, who is campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination, rejected the idea that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has dismissed the idea of impeaching President Donald Trump, and predicted he’ll be removed from office before being elected to serve a second term.
“She’s saying, do it right,” the California lawmaker told CNN’s “New Day.” “Let’s not take it off the table. If you contrast with reaching a conclusion without evidence, I can see how you’d say, why aren’t they moving that fast? We don’t move like that. We still believe in a rule of law and an order of things. We’re going to get this right.”
Further, Swalwell said he’s “confident” that Trump will be removed from office, whether it’s by Congress or by voters in November 2020.
“We’re near the end of Donald Trump,” Swalwell said, adding that he thinks “we’re on that road” toward his impeachment.
Meanwhile, there are still many steps that remain before proceedings could start, he acknowledged, but he does think Trump must be “held accountable,” because if he isn’t, the standard for future presidents will be lowered.
“The first is to get the full [Robert] Mueller report,” said Swalwell. “About an eighth is redacted. Second is having Mueller testify…of course, there is Don McGahn and other witnesses who will need to supplement [his testimony.]
Swalwell also spoke out about points presented by several candidates participating in Monday night’s series of town halls on CNN, especially on Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who argued in favor of allowing prisoners the vote.
Source: NewsMax Politics
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump attends the 2019 White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
April 23, 2019
By Tim Reid
(Reuters) – A group of Democratic presidential candidates were divided on Monday over whether Republican President Donald Trump should be impeached, reflecting a broader split in the Democratic Party over how to react to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian election meddling.
Answering audience questions at a televised CNN event in the early voting state of New Hampshire, three Democratic 2020 candidates shied away from calling for Trump’s impeachment.
Another, California U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, said Congress should “take the steps towards impeachment” but believed such an effort would likely fail.
Only one candidate at the event, Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, issued a full-throated call for Congress to try and remove Trump from office.
“If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they would be arrested and put in jail,” Warren said. Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and another 2020 hopeful – who was not at the CNN event – has also called for Trump’s impeachment.
In the report released on Thursday, Mueller portrayed a president bent on stopping the probe into Russian meddling. But Mueller stopped short of concluding that a crime was committed, leaving it to Congress to make its own determination as to whether Trump obstructed justice.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House, and some other Democratic Party leaders have been wary of impeaching Trump before the November 2020 presidential election.
They believe there are not enough votes in the Republican-controlled Senate to remove Trump from office, and that such a move could play into his hands. They also remember Republican efforts to impeach former Democratic President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, which backfired politically.
But prominent liberals have demanded the start of proceedings to remove Trump from office since the release of a redacted version of Mueller’s report last week.
In a letter to fellow Democratic lawmakers on Monday, Pelosi did not rule out impeaching Trump, but said it is “important to know that the facts regarding holding the president accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.” She added that Trump engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior “whether currently indictable or not”.
Reflecting the divide in the party over how to proceed over Mueller’s findings, the five 2020 candidates, who appeared at back-to-back events before an audience of young voters, were also split.
Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said: “If for the next year and a half all the Congress is talking about is ‘Trump, Trump, Trump,’ and ‘Mueller, Mueller, Mueller’ and we’re not talking about the issues that concern ordinary Americans, I worry that works to Trump’s advantage.”
Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar said she did not want to “predispose things” over the question of whether to impeach Trump and left that question up to the U.S. House of Representatives, where impeachment proceedings are initiated.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg said Trump “deserves” to be impeached, but he would leave it to the House and Senate. He said politicians have to stop talking about Trump so much, and the best thing for Democrats would be to deliver “an absolute thumping” to Trump at the ballot box next November.
(Reporting by Tim Reid; Editing by Michael Perry)
A House chairman on Monday subpoenaed former White House Counsel Don McGahn as Democratic leaders moved to deepen their investigation of President Donald Trump while bottling up talk among their rank-and-file of impeaching him.
Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler was one of six powerful committee leaders making their case on a conference call with other House Democrats late in the day that they are effectively investigating Trump-related matters ranging from potential obstruction to his personal and business taxes.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged divided Democrats to focus on fact-finding rather than the prospect of any impeachment proceedings after the damning details of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Nadler and the other chairmen made clear they believe Trump did obstruct justice, according to people on the call who weren’t authorized to discuss it by name. McGahn would be a star witness for any such case because he refused Trump’s demand to set Mueller’s firing in motion, according to the report.
“The Special Counsel’s report, even in redacted form, outlines substantial evidence that President Trump engaged in obstruction and other abuses,” Nadler said in a statement released as the conference call got underway. “It now falls to Congress to determine for itself the full scope of the misconduct and to decide what steps to take in the exercise of our duties of oversight, legislation and constitutional accountability.”
The subpoena angered Republicans even as it functioned as a reassurance to impatient Democrats.
Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary panel, pointed out that McGahn sat for 30 hours of interviews with Mueller and said Nadler was asking for some items that he knows cannot be produced.
Trump himself insisted he wasn’t worried.
“Not even a little bit,” he said when asked Monday whether he was concerned about impeachment. However, his many tweets seeking to undermine the report’s credibility indicate he is hardly shrugging it aside.
“Only high crimes and misdemeanors can lead to impeachment,” he said Monday on Twitter. “There were no crimes by me (No Collusion, No Obstruction), so you can’t impeach. It was the Democrats that committed the crimes, not your Republican President!”
On the other end of the scale, Pelosi’s approach disappointed some Democrats who are agitating for impeachment proceedings. According to her spokesman, Rep. Val Demings of Florida said she believed the House has enough evidence to begin the process.
McGahn was a vital witness for Mueller, recounting the president’s outrage over the investigation and his efforts to curtail it.
The former White House counsel described, for instance, being called at home by the president on the night of June 17, 2017, and directed to call the Justice Department and say that Mueller had conflicts of interest and should be removed. McGahn declined the command, “deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre,” the Mueller report said.
Once that episode became public in the news media, the president demanded that McGahn dispute the reports and asked him why he had told Mueller about it and why he had taken notes of their conversations. McGahn refused to back down, the report said.
Nadler’s announcement was one of several leadership moves aimed at calming a struggle among Democrats to speak with one voice about what to do in light of Mueller’s startling account of Trump’s repeated efforts to fire him, shut down his probe and get allies to lie.
After Mueller’s report was released last week, the most prominent of the Democratic freshmen, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, signed on to Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s resolution calling for an investigation into Trump’s conduct and the question of whether it merits a formal impeachment charge in the House.
“Mueller’s report is clear in pointing to Congress’ responsibility in investigating obstruction of justice by the President,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
On Monday, Pelosi’s letter made clear there was no Democratic disagreement that Trump “at a minimum, engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior which does not bring honor to the office he holds.” But she acknowledged the party’s officeholders have a range of views on how to proceed.
She counseled them repeatedly to go after facts, not resort to “passion or prejudice” in the intense run-up to the 2020 presidential and congressional elections. She is the de facto leader of her party until Democrats nominate a candidate to challenge Trump, so her words echoed on the presidential campaign trail.
“We all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth,” Pelosi wrote. “It is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the president accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.”
As the conference call got underway, Nadler’s subpoena announcement was made public, an indication that the facts-first approach was moving ahead. Pelosi, calling from New York City, spoke briefly. Then she put a show of leadership force on the line — six committee chairmen, some of the most powerful people in Congress — to give more details, according to people on the call.
Nadler went first. Others who followed were Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings, intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Water and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal. The call lasted about 90 minutes and included about 170 Democrats.
During a series of town hall events on CNN Monday night, several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates weighed in. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren repeated her call for an impeachment vote, saying that if lawmakers believe the president’s actions were appropriate, “they should have to take that vote and live with it.”
California Sen. Kamala Harris said she believes “Congress should take the steps toward impeachment.”
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Trump should be held accountable, but she stopped short of calling for impeachment.
There’s more coming to keep Trump’s reported misdeeds in public. Congressional panels are demanding the unredacted version of the Mueller report and its underlying material gathered from the investigation. Attorney General William Barr is expected to testify in the House and Senate next week. Nadler has summoned Mueller to testify next month, though no date has been set.
In the face of the intense run-up to the 2020 election, Pelosi implicitly suggested Democrats resist creating episodes like the one in January in which Tlaib was recorded declaring the House would impeach Trump.
“We must show the American people we are proceeding free from passion or prejudice, strictly on the presentation of fact,” Pelosi wrote.
Source: NewsMax Politics
House Democratic leaders are urging their colleagues to tone down the impeachment rhetoric as it relates to President Donald Trump.
During a Monday evening conference call, high-ranking party leaders tried to squash talk of pursuing impeachment at this time.
According to The Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others expressed their concern over jumping on the impeachment bandwagon without concrete evidence Trump might have committed an impeachable offense.
“We need to hear from [Attorney General William] Barr and [special counsel Robert] Mueller – and we need to see the unredacted report and the documents [that] go with it,” House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said. “We cannot allow this president to continue going down this course.”
Other lawmakers said it is time to pursue impeachment.
“I think we have great evidence that the president has blatantly violated so many laws. It’s just ridiculous,” Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., said, The Hill reported. “I think we have enough” to start the impeachment process.
According to CNN’s Manu Raju, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said she is still in favor of impeaching Trump but she is not actively trying to recruit other members to join her effort.
Mueller recently completed his investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He did not find evidence Trump conspired with the Russians to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton, but he was unable to determine whether Trump obstructed justice.
Since a redacted version of the report was released last week, Democrats are pointing to evidence that shows Trump may have tried to interfere with Mueller’s probe.
Source: NewsMax Politics
FILE PHOTO: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stands during a meeting with European Parliament President Antonio Tajani on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo
April 22, 2019
By Susan Cornwell
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Democrats are divided over whether to proceed directly to impeach President Donald Trump after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, but they can still hold Trump accountable without impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday.
In a letter to fellow Democratic lawmakers, Pelosi said it is “important to know that the facts regarding holding the president accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.” She added that Trump engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior “whether currently indictable or not”.
Pelosi and some other Democratic Party leaders have been wary of impeaching Republican Trump just 18 months before the November 2020 presidential election, although prominent liberals have demanded the start of proceedings to remove Trump from office since the release of a redacted version of Mueller’s report on Thursday.
Senior congressional Democrats have left the door open to pursuing impeachment but have also said they would first need to complete their own probe into whether Trump obstructed justice in Mueller’s investigation.
“While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth,” Pelosi said in her letter.
During a conference call of House Democrats on Monday, House committee chairmen discussed moving ahead with various investigations of Trump to see where the facts lead, lawmakers said afterwards.
“Not fact-finding as a means of punting … but as a means of determining how best to fulfill our responsibilities,” Representative Tom Malinowski said. “There’s no question that Mueller referred this to the Congress, and none of us want to drop the ball.”
Mueller’s report concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election “in sweeping and systematic fashion,” but that there was not enough evidence to establish that Trump’s campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Moscow.
However, the report outlined multiple instances where Trump tried to thwart Mueller’s probe. While it stopped short of concluding Trump had committed a crime, it did not exonerate him. Mueller also noted that Congress has the power to address whether Trump violated the law.
Impeachment advocates also spoke up during the Democrats’ conference call, but “I would say that was a minority point of view,” said Representative Gerry Connolly. He said Democrats would continue various investigations of Trump, including of his tax returns and financial dealings, but any quick move to impeachment could “truncate” those probes.
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell in WashingtonEditing by James Dalgleish and Cynthia Osterman)
A person in an Easter Bunny costume looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump attends the 2019 White House Easter Egg Roll in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
April 22, 2019
By David Alexander and Alexandra Alper
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump dismissed questions from reporters on Monday about his staff’s reluctance to carry out his orders and the chances of impeachment proceedings in the U.S. Congress, days after the Mueller report highlighted both issues.
The 448-page report from U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election revealed staff and associates sometimes ignored requests from Trump to deliver messages, including one to fire Mueller.
“Nobody disobeys me,” Republican Trump said when asked if he was worried about his orders not being followed. He made the remark at the White House during an annual Easter celebration.
Mueller’s report said that the 22-month investigation did not establish that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russians during the 2016 election campaign, but Mueller did find “multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations.”
According to the report, White House Counsel Don McGahn had been on the brink of resigning when Trump told him to ask Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller. Trump then denied using the word “fire,” according to McGahn’s retelling to Mueller.
Trump lashed out at the report on Twitter later on Monday.
“Isn’t it amazing that the people who were closest to me, by far, and knew the Campaign better than anyone, were never even called to testify before Mueller,” Trump wrote.
Mueller’s report drew upon interviews, notes and communications with Trump advisers. Trump’s personal lawyer during the campaign, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to crimes as did campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Mueller’s report drew upon dozens of interviews, notes and communications with White House advisers.
Asked on Monday whether he was concerned about the threat of impeachment on allegations of obstruction of justice as some Democrats have called for, Trump said, “Not even a little bit.”
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, on Friday said Congress should begin the process of removing Trump from office. Other Democratic leaders have played down talk of impeachment, just 18 months before the 2020 election.
Republicans have stood by Trump and while an impeachment effort might succeed in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, it was unlikely to do so in the Republican-led Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday House Democrats’ views vary on how to proceed.
Trump, speaking from the White House balcony on Monday, returned to favorite topics of his by touting the strong United States economy and saying his administration was rebuilding the military “to a level never seen before.”
“Our country is doing fantastically well, probably the best it has ever done economically,” he said.
(Reporting by David Alexander and Alexandra Alper; writing by Caroline Stauffer; editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Grant McCool)