Nadler said that he hopes to bring special counsel Robert Mueller’s report “to life” by having him testify and provide some of his underlying evidence in front of a televised audience to gather their support.
“Impeachment is a political act, and you cannot impeach a president if the American people will not support it,” Nadler told WNYC. “The American people right now do not support it because they do not know the story. They don’t know the facts. We have to get the facts out. We have to hold a series of hearings, we have to hold the investigations.”
Nadler suggested that Mueller’s hearing could help clarify questions about the president’s conduct that were featured in the special counsel’s final report “to have a dialogue with the American people so people can make informed decisions and know what’s going on.”
“It’s very important that he, to a television audience and to the American people, state it and answer questions about it, even if there is no new information,” he said.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic House leadership have thus far beaten back the calls for impeachment from reaching a fever pitch, worrying such a move could jeopardize House Democrats and consolidate Trump’s base, choosing to double down on the existing investigations instead.
READ MORE: Reading Between the Lines: Democrats Zero In on Impeachment After Mueller Speech
Nadler, however, decided not to close the door on impeachment, saying proceedings could possibly begin next year if necessary, even as the presidential election is underway.
“There might still be a point to it. That point is to say to future presidents you cannot do this, to vindicate the Constitution and say there are certain things that can’t be done,” he said. “Even in those circumstances, it might be well worth carrying on impeachment.”
“I think that he could’ve accused him anyway,” Nadler said, adding, “That is his interpretation of his ethical duty under the Justice Department guidelines.”
The Mueller report, released in April, concluded that President Donald Trump's campaign team did not collude with Russia. However, the report also described 10 episodes regarding Trump's actions that may constitute possible obstruction of justice. Russia has repeatedly denied any claims of interference in the US political system, stressing that the allegations were made up to excuse the election loss of Trump's 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, as well as to deflect public attention from actual instances of election fraud and corruption.