Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has attacked Democratic lawmakers, including House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler, for their effort to push forward with efforts to impeach Donald Trump, pointing to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s failure to provide any substantive new evidence against the president during last week’s testimony to the House.
“[Nadler] is falling over himself to become more and more progressive, in order to try and keep his job and not lose to the next to the next AOC,” Mulvaney said, speaking to Fox News on Sunday, referring to freshman New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her repeated calls to impeach Trump.
“This is not over in their minds, which is absolutely bizarre,” Mulvaney added, referring to Democratic suspicions of illegal behaviour by the president.
“This is over. Most folks know it is over,” the senior Trump official stressed.
No Deadlines for Impeachment
Earlier Sunday, in the wake of Mueller’s Wednesday testimony in the House, which Republicans insisted only exonerated Trump again, Nadler told CNN that his committee, charged with initiating any possible impeachment proceedings, does not believe in the idea of a deadline for launching such proceedings ahead of the 2020 race.
“We have to defend the Constitution against these kinds of unconstitutional and illegal deeds,” Nadler said, referring to allegations against the president, including whether or not Trump obstructed justice by allegedly seeking to derail the Mueller investigation and to fire the special counsel. “We have to make sure that a president who does that pays a penalty so that kind of conduct is not normalised and legalised in effect for the next president,” he added.
According to the senior House lawmaker, Trump “richly deserves impeachment,” with Mueller's Wednesday testimony serving as an “inflection point.”
“The question is: can we develop enough evidence to put before the American people? Nadler added.
Regarding the Mueller report's claims about Trump’s possible obstruction of justice, and his conclusions that his report did not “exonerate” the president, Mulvaney stressed that in the US legal system, “You don’t get 'exonerated', you are innocent until proven guilty.”
During Wednesday’s testimony, Mueller reiterated while Trump could be charged for his alleged offences after leaving office, existing rules prohibit the Justice Department from indicting a sitting president.
About 100 Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives out of a total of 235 have now either voiced support for impeachment proceedings or supported an impeachment inquiry. Asked how such a case would develop given that impeachment supporters would require two-thirds support in the Republican-controlled Senate, House leader Pelosi said that if House proceedings moved forward, the failure to convict Trump would make the Senate 'look bad.'
Mueller’s Wednesday testimony before the House Judiciary Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence has been dismissed as a waste of time with Mueller deflecting or declining to answer questions a total of 198 times, according to a count by NBC News.