Beto O'Rourke says Mueller report solidifies need for impeachment

Report shows president obstructed justice, he says

By Annie Grayer, CNN
Getty Images

Beto O'Rourke

Beto O'Rourke said Sunday that the Mueller report solidified his position on impeaching President Donald Trump because it revealed to him that the President undoubtedly obstructed justice in the investigation to determine if Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

O'Rourke has previously called for impeachment when he was running for Senate in Texas in 2018, but said the special counsel's report showed Americans what has to be done.

"I think that this Mueller report, absolutely exhaustive, from one of the most trusted people in this country, now gives Americans, regardless of party, the information they need to make the best decision for this country," O'Rourke told reporters in Iowa during his third trip to the early state as a presidential candidate.

"And for me, that means that we decide that we are a nation of laws. That no man is above the law," O'Rourke said. "Impeachment proceedings in the House ensure that more of these facts come to light, ensure that the Senate can make a very informed decision about the consequences for this President."

Listing Trump's previous actions of firing former FBI Director James Comey, asking former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Mueller investigation, and siding with Vladimir Putin over the US intelligence community during their joint press conference in Helsinki as reasons he had called for impeachment previously, O'Rourke said the Mueller report takes the conversation to another level.

"I spoke about it as something that we all need to be thinking about and asking our elected representatives about," O'Rourke said of how he talked about impeachment previously. "Now there is the report that we'd been waiting for."

O'Rourke's calls for impeachment differ from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has consistently discouraged impeachment proceedings.

In an interview with the New York Times published Saturday, Pelosi said that instead of focusing on impeachment, Democrats should "own the center left, own the mainstream" and focus on winning.

Asked by CNN to respond to the position laid out by Pelosi, O'Rourke said, "I mean, we're two different people. And I really respect the Speaker and what she's been able to do, but when asked my opinion, I've got to give my opinion and not anybody else's."

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.