Dems on the House Judiciary Committee make bid for grand jury info
House Judiciary Committee Democrats announced Friday they are proceeding with what they called an “impeachment investigation,” insisting former Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered damning testimony against President Donald Trump this week.
The news comes despite concerns from many on the left that Mueller’s appearance during the hearings was faltering and broke little new ground.
Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) announced that the committee would file a petition in court on Friday as a major next step.
The move aims to obtain grand jury materials from the former special counsel’s Russia Probe.
Nadler claims the grand jury materials are “critically important” for their investigation.
Democrats on the committee noted in the petition that the House of Representatives is “the only institution of the federal government” that can hold Trump accountable.
Dems say this is because Justice Department policies do not allow the prosecution of a sitting president.
According to Fox News, Nadler also said the committee would seek to enforce subpoenas for former White House Counsel Don McGahn, in another escalation of their anti-Trump probes.
But while Nadler and other senior Democratic leaders made clear they’re keeping impeachment on the table.
Without committing to it publicly, colleagues who spoke alongside him at the same press conference described these investigative steps as a clear precursor to a formal decision on recommending impeachment articles.
“We are crossing the threshold,” Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, said.
“When you think about the mode we were operating under before, it was an oversight.
“This is now crossing the threshold with this filing, and officially entering into an examination into whether or not to recommend articles of impeachment—I just want to make that point clear.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., added that the petition marks “the first time” that the committee is sending a “telegraph to the court that one of the remedies we have is impeachment.”
“This is an impeachment investigation, on whether we should introduce articles of impeachment to Congress,” he said.
And Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said that the petition to the court Friday will help the committee “delve even further.”
“We are not running away from articles of impeachment,” she said.
“We are building it on a trail of misconduct that was evidenced very deeply on Wednesday.”