Mueller’s statement: Will the needle move on impeachment?

Do you think that after Robert Mueller’s statement will voices asking for starting a process of impeachment of President Donald Trump increase in the Democratic Party but party leadership will still resist this? (Probably no reason to expect any movement on this within the GOP as only Justin Amash is asking for an impeachment). Read few comments.

Ex-FBI Director and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Credit: https://www.justice.gov

Matthew Eshbaugh-SohaAssistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of North Texas

No movement at all.  Both sides are hunkered down.  Both sides have already formed their opinions.  This will certainly give Democrats fodder for a few days of 24-hour news shows.  But I do not think this moves the needle much on impeachment.  Just add it to the reasons that pundits and politicians will use!  But it also put the White House and administration allies on defense, so they will be looking to find a key set of talking points that will unify their message and undermine the potential value of Mueller’s comments.  I suspect we will hear a good deal of “no collusion” repeated and repeated.

It is quite striking, though, to have the special prosecutor emphasize the key findings of his report and, in many ways, “clarify” the administration’s interpretation of the findings.

Even if the House moves with impeachment, the president will not be convicted by the Senate.  The better strategy for Democrats is to continue to pursue information from the White House to keep the president on the defensive throughout the presidential campaign season.  Thus, the 2020 campaign will allow the American people to vote to convict…or acquit.

David RedlawskProfessor and Chair, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware

The pressure will increase on Speaker Pelosi to allow an impeachment inquiry to be opened. She is not one to give in to pressure, however. If she thinks it is politically the right thing to do, she will do it. But otherwise, she is balancing many considerations, including the fact that there remains little likelihood that the Senate would convict Trump and an impeachment case and trial would greatly overshadow the upcoming presidential election.

Robert SchmuhlProfessor of American Studies, University of Notre Dame

Robert Mueller wants to close the investigation and return to private life. The problem is that there are so many unanswered questions about possible crimes committed by President Trump.

Since the president can’t be indicted, impeachment is the only available process. That, however, could prove favorable to Mr. Trump. Public opinion is against beginning an impeachment inquiry, and back in 1998 Republicans paid a high political price for impeaching the Democrat Bill Clinton.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces an almost impossible decision. Mr. Trump will never be convicted in the Republican Senate, and impeachment could actually help President Trump’s re-election chances.

Steffen Schmidt, Lucken Endowed Professor of Political Science, Iowa State University

Mueller made a statement that suggested the only reason he did not charge Trump because a sitting president cannot be charged. BUT it’s not clear how the Democrats will squeeze “high crimes and misdemeanors” the conditions for impeachment out of the Mueller report.

So a majority of Democrats will still resist starting the impeachment process. Probably Speaker Pelosi will still resist. She argues that New York State may provide New York Trump taxes and that other investigations may provide more hard evidence necessary to impeach.

I am, however seeing more “defections” from the leadership towards starting impeachment. I think there is now a 50-50 chance that there will be impeachment just to keep the flame alive especially with the concern that there will be election interference in American 2020 elections similar to what happened in 2016. Numerous serious election experts are recommending impeachment.

Mueller at least stirred up interest and kept the fire on this issue going!!

Gennady RudkevichAssistant Professor, Department of Government & Sociology, Georgia College & State University

That is exactly what I think. The louder voices in the Democratic Party – including many of the people running for president – will increase their calls for impeachment, but Pelosi is going to stick with her position that impeachment proceedings would benefit Trump (he’ll claim it’s part of a witch-hunt against him). Until a substantial number of Republicans call for impeachment, Pelosi’s strategy won’t change. The fact that the response to Amash from Republicans has been overwhelmingly negative (he now has several primary opponents), I don’t see too many others following in his footsteps.

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