Special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election as released on Thursday, April 18, 2019, is photographed in Washington. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
Mueller: Report 'does not exonerate' Trump on obstruction
03:49 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday that she would support impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump after reading special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Ocasio-Cortez’s comments differ from Democratic leadership opting not to encourage impeachment. The report indicated that Mueller was unable to conclude that ‘no criminal conduct occurred’ on the issue of obstruction – and deemed Congress capable of determining that Trump obstructed justice.

“Mueller’s report is clear in pointing to Congress’ responsibility in investigating obstruction of justice by the President. It is our job as outlined in Article 1, Sec 2, Clause 5 of the US Constitution,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, promising to sign on to impeachment proceedings led by fellow freshman Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Ocasio-Cortez added, “While I understand the political reality of the Senate + election considerations, upon reading this DoJ report, which explicitly names Congress in determining obstruction, I cannot see a reason for us to abdicate from our constitutionally mandated responsibility to investigate.”

The New York Democrat stressed that she has taken “no pleasure in discussions of impeachment” in office or on the campaign trail, and preferred to focus on her signature issues of “Medicare for All” healthcare policies and advocating for the Green New Deal to combat climate change.

“But the report squarely puts this on our doorstep,” she said.

Special counsel prosecutors determined that Congress still has the ability to find the President obstructed justice.

“With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,” the team wrote.

More senior House Democrats took a more cautious tone than Ocasio-Cortez in interpreting the redacted report’s release. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told CNN earlier Thursday that “impeachment is not worthwhile at this point,” while House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said that impeachment is “one possibility” among others that the caucus could use to hold Trump accountable.