Fresh off watching Robert Mueller make it clear his investigation did not completely exonerate President Donald Trump of wrong doing, U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., is again calling for impeachment of the president, this time even more loudly.
“The president’s false claim that he has been exonerated is not true,” Demings insisted on Wednesday. “In fact, Special Counsel Mueller, who rarely speaks in public, wrote letters and called today’s press conference to make absolutely sure that the American people fully understand that he did not clear the president of criminal activity.”
She is ready and willing to hold those hearings and start the impeachment process as soon as the House Democratic leadership agree.
“This is a challenging time for our country, but also a great opportunity. Congress must secure our elections against future interference and hold President Trump accountable. Our families, freedoms, and futures depend on building a country where the rule of law matters. Our republic is a fragile thing, but worth protecting. We have a chance in the coming months to prove that in America, truth, justice and accountability really do matter,” Demings said.
To justify her position, Demings is using Mueller’s words from his Wednesday press conference, noting he said “if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so” and “we did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
Mueller went on to explain that “under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office,” and that “it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution.”
Demings is also citing the Mueller report itself, with 13 different examples of pages where she believes the report supports the move to impeach the president, including this passage:
“Our investigation found multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations. The incidents were often carried out through one-on-one meetings in which the president sought to use his official power outside of usual channels.”
In calling for impeachment hearings, the congresswoman made it clear that she believes it is the job of Congress to move forward and that the main reason no criminal charges have not been brought against Trump yet is that Mueller did not believe it was legal for the U.S. Department of Justice to bring those charges against a sitting president.
“Mr. Mueller found that Russia attacked our election, and President Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack. The Mueller Report documented 11 instances of obstruction of justice, but Mr. Mueller was barred from criminally charging the president for his corruption and criminal cover up. President Trump and his collaborators, five of whom have pleaded or been found guilty of federal crimes, sold out our country for their own gain,” Demings noted.
So far, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has been reluctant to start the impeachment process.
Reach Mike Synan at Mike.Synan@floridadaily.com