Democrat confident majority of caucus will be in favor of impeachment after Mueller testimony
Robert Mueller’s much-anticipated testimony may have been delayed for a week, but at least one Democrat has already made up his mind on what should happen after the former special counsel speaks on the Hill.
House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth D-Ky., said he’s confident at least half of the Democratic caucus will come out in favor of impeaching President Trump if Mueller‘s congressional testimony goes according to plan.
Yarmuth made the prediction during a Monday podcast appearance and said he’s already convinced Trump should be impeached.
“There was corrupt intent — in other words, the president intended to change, to effect an ongoing proceeding. So when I read [Mueller’s report] I said, this isn’t even a close call,” Yarmuth said
“[Mueller] basically lays out 10 provable acts of obstruction of justice on behalf of the president. And to me, anybody who reads that has to say, you cannot avoid impeaching him for that.”
Yarmuth went on to say that although he has not spoken with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., directly about the issue, he claimed she knows where the impeachment process is heading and is strictly focused on timing.
“She has not said this to me — but I am convinced that she knows exactly where this is headed and that she knows we are going to have to bring impeachment proceedings or initiate them, and she’s playing the timing to make sure there is enough agreement in the caucus to do it,” he said.
“The worst thing that could happen if we did it — if we initiated impeachment proceedings and then … we can’t get even a majority of our own caucus to vote to impeach.”
The Democrat also said those in his party should have acted sooner on impeachment but reiterated his belief that it won’t impact the electorate enough to make a real difference. He also claimed Democrats have already convinced enough swing voters to abandon Trump, making the impeachment process moot.
“I think earlier would have been better,” he said. “But here’s the way I look at it from the electoral standpoint. There is not one Hillary Clinton voter in the United States who is going to vote for Donald Trump regardless of what we do and when we do it on impeachment.
“So I just don’t buy all this theory that this is somehow going to change the electoral calculation.”
Yarmuth also spoke about the recent divide between the progressive wing of the Democratic party and its leadership saying, members like Ocasio-Cortez have a large following but are used to governing in a symbolic manner. He also said no one in the party has a solution for how to unite both sides of the schism.
“We have about two-thirds of our caucus … [that] have never been in the majority. So they’re used to basically doing a lot of symbolic rhetorical things because we’ve never been able since 2010 — been able to pass any legislation of our own,” he said.
“The new members, I think out of the 63 new freshman Democrats, 35 of them have never served in any public office before so we’ve got a lot of people who are on a steep learning curve when it comes to actually running the House and governing and legislating … and that issue is much broader than just ‘the squad.’ ‘The squad, they’re basically the avatar for a segment of the caucus that is real progressive, that really doesn’t want to compromise — that thinks because we run the House we are going to get everything we want
“They would rather pass very, very extreme legislation — not compromise, even though they know down deep [sic] that what’s going to end up, if anything, ultimately [what’s] enacted, is not going to be what they want.”
Yarmuth said Pelosi’s comments about the four progressive members attempted to minimize their impact and were irrational, ill-advised statements.
“When you have four and a half million Twitter followers as Ocasio-Cortez has, you’re a force. You command an awful lot of attention,” he said. “I’m not sure there’s a solution that’s obvious. All I can say is we keep doing the work and then see what the result is.”