Pelosi, Schumer Refuse To Endorse Impeachment After Mueller Statement

Now that a few hours have passed, the subtext of Robert Mueller's first-ever public statement about the Russia probe is starting to sink in for both Democratic presidential contenders and the press (though comparing Mueller to a professor chiding his students for not 'doing the reading', like Buzzfeed did, misses the point).

Blaze media critic Robert Eno hit the nail on the head when he pointed out in a tweet that Mueller didn't just restate the findings from his report: His statement was larded with hints appearing to goad Democrats into pursuing impeachment.

This message wasn't lost on the contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination, many of whom swiftly demanded that the House begin impeachment proceedings immediately.

Even the Biden campaign said impeaching Trump 'may be unavoidable'.

And AOC, who isn't seeking higher office this election cycle, reiterated her calls for impeachment and also accused Mueller of "playing a game of Taboo with Congress," which is actually a fairly apt comparison.

But despite growing support for impeachment, members of the Democratic Congressional leadership sounded conspicuously restrained.

Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi's statement on Mueller's remarks was surprisingly restrained. Though the leader of the Democrats in the House acknowledged that the president should be investigated, she stopped short of calling for impeach:

It is with the greatest respect for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the deepest disappointment in the Department of Justice holding the President above the law, that I thank Special Counsel Mueller for the work he and his team did to provide a record for future action both in the Congress and in the courts regarding the Trump Administration involvement in Russian interference and obstruction of the investigation.

Special Counsel Mueller made clear that he did not exonerate the President when he stated, 'if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.' He stated that the decision not to indict stemmed directly from the Department of Justice's policy that a sitting President cannot be indicted. Despite Department of Justice policy to the contrary, no one is above the law - not even the President.

The Special Counsel's report revealed that the President's campaign welcomed Russian interference in the election, and laid out eleven instances of the President's obstruction of the investigation. The Congress holds sacred its constitutional responsibility to investigate and hold the President accountable for his abuse of power.

The Congress will continue to investigate and legislate to protect our elections and secure our democracy. The American people must have the truth. We call upon the Senate to pass HR 1, the For The People Act, to protect our election systems.

We salute Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team for his patriotic duty to seek the truth.

Schumer's response was similarly restrained.

There was at least one member of the Democratic leadership who appeared open to impeachment: Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said 'all options are on the table' when asked about impeachment, adding that Mueller has demonstrated that Trump clearly lied. 

The message is clear: Despite growing support for moving ahead with impeachment proceedings among some of the 2020 candidates, Pelosi, Schumer and the rest of the leadership are sticking with their plan to forego impeachment proceedings to try and avoid inflaming Trump's base before the election.

Pursuing impeach very well might turn out to be a political trap for the Dems, but if Pelosi & Co. continue to push back against it, they could be setting themselves up for a showdown with left-wing Democrats.