Joe Biden argued in a new interview that Congress would have “no alternative” but to begin impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump if the President obstructed justice in the special counsel investigation.
The former vice president, however, stopped short of calling for the impeachment process to start immediately against Trump in an interview with ABC News that aired Tuesday.
Asked of his initial reaction to the report’s findings, Biden said, “There was Russian interference — without any question.”
He argued that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report lays out “seven or eight things that are left undone” that Mueller felt “was not within his purview to investigate.”
“The Congress is attempting to take that up, and what the Congress should do, and they are doing, is investigate that,” Biden said. “If, in fact, they (Trump and associates) blocked the investigation, they (Congress) have no alternative, but to go to the only other constitutional resort they have is impeachment.”
“But my job, in the meantime, is to make sure he’s not back as President of the United States of America,” Biden said of Trump.
In his redacted report, Mueller wrote that the investigation into possible collusion found that Trump campaign members knew they would benefit from Russia’s illegal actions to interfere in the 2016 election, but didn’t take criminal steps to help.
The report also details several cases in which Trump directed his aides to take actions that would have obstructed the investigation, but stated they were unsuccessful because the aides refused his orders.
Mueller examined 10 episodes involving Trump and “elements of an obstruction offense,” according to Attorney General William Barr. Though Mueller said he thoroughly investigated the obstruction question, he did not interview Trump. He left the question of what to do up to Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who chose not to prosecute.
Mueller wrote he accepted the Justice Department precedent that a sitting president cannot be indicted. He, however, rejected the Trump team’s legal argument that a president cannot commit obstruction of justice, leaving the door open for Congress to continue to investigate Trump.
CNN’s Jeremy Herb and Laura Jarrett contributed to this report.