House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said Democrats are not going to wait for special counsel Robert Mueller to conclude his investigation to move forward with their investigations into President Donald Trump.
Nadler told CNN that once the House Judiciary Committee receives Mueller’s final report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election that “we will make sure it is public.”
However, “we are not going to wait for the Mueller report. There is plenty for the Judiciary Committee to look into right now,” the New York congressman said in an interview Friday with CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”
“Specifically the attempt to have a massive fraud on the American people in terms of rigging an American presidential election and undermining the integrity of the election,” he said. “And we have to look into that, whether it’s by hush payments or by collusion with Russians or by any other means.”
In a case Mueller’s team referred to the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty in August to two campaign-finance violations tied to payments he made or orchestrated to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal to stay silent about alleged sexual encounters with Trump.
Prosecutors have said that in executing the payments, Cohen “acted in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, who has denied having the affairs with the two women.
But, Nadler’s eagerness to investigate Trump doesn’t mean he wants to rush toward impeaching the President as some other House Democrats do.
After being sworn into Congress on Thursday, Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib said of Trump, “we’re going to impeach the motherf****r.”
Nadler disagreed with Tlaib’s use of profanity and her push for impeachment, saying, “it’s much too early to talk about that intelligently.”
“That’s why it is important to protect the Mueller investigation and important to do our own inquiry,” he told CNN Friday. “We have to get the facts. We will see where the facts lead. Maybe that will lead to impeachment. Maybe it won’t. It is much too early.”
He argued that impeachment should not be pursued “unless you believe that you have such great evidence of such terrible deeds that when that evidence is laid out to the American people, you will probably get an appreciable fraction of the voters who supported the president to agree that you had to do it.”
“Impeachment can’t be partisan,” he added.
Asked if he has evidence to push for impeachment, Nadler said, “No, we do not yet. That’s why I said we are far from finishing the inquiry.”
“We have to see what the Mueller report says,” he reiterated. “That has to come to the Judiciary Committee so that we can relay to the American people and we can look into it. And we have to do our own investigations. There’s a lot of smoke, how much fire has yet to be determined.”