During a Friday night appearance on “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” Democratic California Rep. Ted Lieu said that he doesn’t think there is currently enough evidence to impeach President Trump.
Ted Lieu commented on the case just few hours after special counsel Mueller signed the end of the investigation into Russian collusion with the President.
“What’s the next step? I mean you’ve got the Congress decides on impeachment. The Speaker said it’s off the table. Is it back on the table or still off the table? Where’s impeachment? It’s now March, late March. Is it something that’s going to come up in the next couple months or not?” asked Matthews.
“The mission of special counsel Mueller is fairly narrow, right? He’s looking at whether he can get enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone committed a federal crime,” Lieu answered. “The committees in Congress have a much broader mission. We want to know, ‘Did Donald Trump, his family or associates commit any crime, whether or not it was related to Russia? Second, did they engage in any ethical misconduct whether or not it rose to the level of a crime?’”
He continued, “Third, how to keep this from happening again and how to explain it to the American people? So our investigations are going to continue. Based on what we find, we’ll have a conversation with the American people and decide should we go forward or not with impeachment but we don’t have enough of a record to decide that question yet.”
Matthews followed up, “What’s winning right now? The case for impeachment or the case against it? What’s winning as of tonight?”
“I don’t think we have enough facts to go forward with impeachment,” Lieu concluded.
On Friday, the special counsel submitted the report to Attorney General William Barr. Now it is up to him to determine what lawmakers will see and when. William Barr stated that he could share the report with lawmakers as soon as this weekend.
Throughout the course of the investigation, the special counsel indicted or obtained guilty pleas from 34 individuals. As many as 6 Trump associates were indicted or pleaded guilty in the probe, however, none of them faced charges related to conspiracy with Russia.
Reportedly, Mueller didn’t recommend any additional amendments prior to the conclusion of the investigation.