PoliticsAnalysis: House Dems shift back to reality in aftermath of Mueller probe

15:06  27 march  2019
15:06  27 march  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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Democrats attempted to shift the conversation back to their "For the People" agenda Tuesday as the Mueller report continued to reverberate throughout the Now that Attorney General William Barr has released a summary of Mueller 's findings that indicate Donald Trump's campaign didn't conspire with

Mueller confirmed that the FBI uses drones for domestic surveillance during the hearing on FBI oversight. As House Democrats gear up to launch investigations into President Donald Trump, they’re faced with a sticky situation: how to leave Special Counsel Robert Mueller alone to finish his

Analysis: House Dems shift back to reality in aftermath of Mueller probe© Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during the AIPAC annual meeting in Washington, DC, March 26, 2019.

As special counsel Robert Mueller's findings on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential electioncontinued to reverberate throughout the capital, Democrats attempted to shift the conversation back to their "For the People" agenda Tuesday, touting their efforts derived from a comprehensive legislative playbook — from healthcare to the economy — in the new Democratic majority.

Now that Attorney General William Barr has released a summary of Mueller's findings that indicate Donald Trump's campaign didn't conspire with the Kremlin in 2016, the pivot was an attempt to move past Democratic rhetoric that attempted to tie the president to Russia.

Mueller's most devoted fans anxiously await his report

Mueller's most devoted fans anxiously await his report For devoted Democrats, special counsel Robert Mueller has become a sort of folk hero.

Mueller should go back to his old job of playing Darren on Bewitched. Speculation Mueller has early Alzheimer's or dementia is overwrought–there's no way his wife & daughters wd have let I did notice how he seemed not so senile during the Dem questions – even though most of their “questions” were

Julie Pace ( analysis ): Mueller paints a damning portrait of the president. Harry Litman: The most important day in the Mueller probe was deeply > White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sarah Elizabeth Sanders McEnany stamps her brand on White House press operation Sanders

Beyond demanding the public release of the Mueller report by April 2, Democratic leaders are taking a "wait and see" approach with respect to their oversight of the 22-month investigation, while eagerly highlighting kitchen table topics from their agenda.

(MORE: Trump says release of Mueller report 'wouldn't bother' him at all)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday emphasized that impeachment is "not on the table until it is on the table," adding that Democrats remain committed to pushing for the release of the full Mueller report.

"We don't need an interpretation by an attorney general, who was appointed for a particular job, to make sure the president is above the law," she said. "We need to see the report. So that is my message to our members."

Trump, Congress brace for Mueller findings

Trump, Congress brace for Mueller findings President Trump and Congress are bracing for the conclusions of Robert Mueller's investigative report, which the special counsel submitted to the Department of Justice on Friday. Attorney General William Barr has received the confidential report, but its contents remain unknown to both the president and the American public. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill will get a glimpse of Mueller's findings as soon as this weekend. The report will present a massive test for Trump, who has consistently maintained there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow and regularly derided the investigation as a partisan "witch hunt.

As Congress returns from recess, for the first time ever, House Dems are taking formal steps towards impeachment, laying out specific procedures governing Rutgers Professor Brittany Cooper argues, though the procedure is promising, Dems must go ‘all the way’ or ‘or else this becomes the aftermath

Trump has repeatedly bashed Mueller ’s probe as a "witch hunt," and his appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general has renewed fears Trump has denied this, and called a question Friday about whether he wanted to rein in the probe a “stupid question.” Whitaker has spoken of

At a briefing for reporters in his Capitol office Tuesday morning, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., stressed Democrats don't know the full details of what's in Mueller's report.

(MORE: The Note: Trump moves to weaponize Mueller report)

"We need to review and analyze the full report, and the supporting documents and communications and testimony that was received by the special prosecutor, so that we can make our own judgment," said Hoyer, the No. 2-ranked House Democrat.

(MORE: Mueller is done, but DOJ probe of alleged bias on Mueller and FBI teams is not)

Following a caucus meeting Tuesday, House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., told reporters that Democrats are not focused on impeachment.

"We didn't run on impeachment. We didn't win the House of Representatives on impeachment. We're not focused on impeachment," Jeffries said. "What is clear is that the overwhelming majority of the House Democratic Caucus want to drive our ‘For the People' agenda."

The Latest: Mueller had no input on summarizing report

The Latest: Mueller had no input on summarizing report Attorney General William Barr's letter summarizing the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller was released to Congress and the public without any input from Mueller. So says a senior Justice Department official. 

Special counsel Robert Mueller ’s testimony is delayed because Mueller and the House Judiciary Committee are at loggerheads over making his hearing public. According to CNN and the Washington Post, Mueller is reluctant to publicly testify on his sweeping Russia probe and its findings.

Mueller ’s probe is independent from the congressional probes into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and indeed has a much broader scope. Sanders was referring two stories, mentioned earlier in the interview, which the White House has said shift suspicion away from President Donald Trump

That tone is a striking departure from the party's messaging over the past two years, when Democrats pressed the Trump-Russia question to justify their demand to review the president's tax returns.

"What is the hold that the Russians have on President Trump that is dangerous to our democracy and dangerous to our national security?" Pelosi said on Feb. 16, 2017, after the president fired his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, less than a month after taking office. Democrats later bolstered the case for seeing the president's tax returns after an October 2018 New York Times report that Trump helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents' real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, "sharply reducing his tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings."

The new Democratic House majority brought lofty aspirations of impeachment to Capitol Hill, leading dozens of Republican veterans to retire long before the blue wave arrived in November.

Pelosi perpetuated the impression that something just wasn't right about the president's camaraderie with Russian President Vladimir Putin, repeatedly asking, "What do the Russians have on Donald Trump, politically, financially and personally?"

Analysis: With Mueller report in, nothing's over. But for Trump, everything has changed

Analysis: With Mueller report in, nothing's over. But for Trump, everything has changed Only highlights of Mueller's report are out, and investigations into Trump continue. But the political landscape has shifted. USA TODAY's analysis.

The unremarkable conclusion of the Mueller probe has been a heavy blow for MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who by some accounts shed tears live on television as she came to terms with her indictment-deficient reality . Maddow ‘holds backs tears’ as she discusses end of Mueller probe (VIDEO).

House Judiciary Committee Democrats are set to vote on a resolution laying out impeachment procedures against President Donald Trump, who also came under fire for saying he had planned to meet with Taliban leaders. JUST WATCHED. House Dems move forward with impeachment probe .

Even as recently as Jan. 31, Pelosi teased the ominous narrative that Putin had compromising information on the president.

"I've been asking that question for two years," Pelosi remembered.

She began to publicly put the brakes on the caucus's bullish charge toward impeachment proceedings earlier this month, when she said that impeaching Trump "is not worth it" in an interview with The Washington Post.

(MORE: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposes impeaching President Donald Trump as too divisive: 'He's just not worth it')

Still, a few Democrats want to continue the impeachment discussion.

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, who has introduced articles of impeachment against Trump, tweeted that he would be meeting with pro-impeachment activist Tom Steyer for lunch at the Capitol.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who announced, "we're going to impeach the mother-----" at an event shortly after taking office, has introduced a resolution to begin impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee. The resolution is focused on whether the president obstructed justice in the Mueller probe, what role he played in hush-money deals with two women who claimed having affairs with him and whether he violated the Constitution's foreign emoluments clause by benefiting from the patronage of foreign dignitaries at the Trump International Hotel.

Bannon: With Mueller probe over, Trump ‘is going to go full animal’

Bannon: With Mueller probe over, Trump ‘is going to go full animal’ Donald Trump “is going to go full animal” now that he sees himself no longer under the shadow of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, former White House adviser Steve Bannon said last weekend. “When I saw no new indictments—I thought, Oh My God! They didn’t indict anybody regarding the Flynn investigation, they didn’t indict Don, Jr.! Maybe [Mueller] could have details about obstruction of justice that are not indictable, but are meaningful. But right now it looks like they have nothing.

House Democratic leaders have signaled little appetite for the resolution, which is non-binding and would face a GOP roadblock in the Senate.

(MORE: GOP decries Pelosi's muted reaction as Dems deflect profane impeachment buzz)

Throughout the Mueller investigation, Trump has maintained there was "no collusion" and "no obstruction."

"There was no collusion with the Russians. There was nothing. There was no obstruction," Trump said May 4, 2018. "If somebody says something wrong, and you fight back, they say that's obstruction of justice. It's nonsense."

Trump has denied the affairs, and attorneys for the president appeared in court earlier this month to argue against claims he violated a constitutional clause that prohibits elected officials from doing business with foreign governments, saying that attorneys general from Maryland and Washington, D.C., don't have the authority to sue him.

(MORE: Trump International Hotel at the center of appeals fight in lawsuit)

"Congress can provide an open and transparent process with the sole goal of ensuring we know the truth and make sure it does not continue, nor happen again," Tlaib, D-Mich., wrote in a letter to colleagues.

But even some of Tlaib's allies on the left suggested Democrats are better focused, at least for the moment, on their priorities and the release of the Mueller report, over impeachment.

"We need to be running on our agenda, we need to be running on health care," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said. "If folks are running on this president, I hope we run more on ideas."

As Special Counsel, Mueller Kept Such a Low Profile He Seemed Almost Invisible

As Special Counsel, Mueller Kept Such a Low Profile He Seemed Almost Invisible Most Friday nights as he conducted his investigation, Robert S. Mueller III drove seven miles from his offices by the Capitol to Salt & Pepper, a dimly lit, mostly empty restaurant near his home, settling into a wooden booth partly covered by a dowdy red curtain. The ritual — usually undertaken with two friends, a glass of white wine, a plate of scallops and no security detail — was perhaps the most public contrast to the way Americans came to know Mr.

Analysis: House Dems shift back to reality in aftermath of Mueller probe© Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listens during a House Oversight Committee hearing with U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., March 14, 2019.

"With respect to any of those kinds of proceedings, we can walk and chew gum at the same time," Ocasio-Cortez added. "I think that right now, in the short term, what we have control over is bringing bills to the floor that embody our values."

With the Mueller investigation over, Democrats deny playing an outsized role in drumming up chatter about the Russia investigation, insisting their focus has been — and continues to be — on the economy and health care.

"This was a defining issue of the 2018 midterm elections," Jeffries argued. "We embraced this fight because House Democrats were given the majority in order to defend health care on behalf of everyday Americans and that is exactly what we are doing."

Hoyer, citing hearings on pre-existing conditions and prescription drug costs as concrete examples on their campaign rhetoric, said, "This just does not require a pivot, and the reason it doesn't require a pivot is because we are focused very, very strongly and our committees are focused.

"We have been in a place for a long period of time where we said impeachment was a distraction and that we were not pursuing impeachment."

It's also a reality of divided government, with Democrats conceding there is not bipartisan support to impeach Trump, or vote to convict him in the GOP-led Senate.

"I think what's tough is impeachment, in principle, is something I openly support, but it's also just the reality of having the votes in the Senate to pursue that," Ocasio-Cortez said. "And so that's something that we have to take into consideration."

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