Obama-era Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday claimed that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on now-debunked allegations of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia show “grounds for impeachment.”
“There are grounds for impeachment” based on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, Holder said in an interview with NBC News. “There’s no question that obstruction of justice does exist in the findings that Bob Mueller reported, and in painstaking detail. And that in and of itself would be the basis for impeachment.”
Asked if House Democrats should begin impeachment proceedings, Holder cautioned that lawmakers should allow Mueller to testify first before reaching a “reasoned decision” on the process to remove the president.
Holder was then asked if believes the United States is experiencing a constitution crisis — a claim being tossed around by top Democrats such as House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY). “Not yet” — but “it’s forming up,” the country’s former chief legal officer said.
“I’m concerned about the state of this nation and the way in which the Trump administration is reacting to the legitimate request from Congress,” he added. “We could be in a constitutional crisis, but I don’t think we’re there quite yet.”
Last month, Holder contended that any “competent” prosecutor would be able to make a successful obstruction of justice case against President Trump based on the findings outlined in the Mueller’s report. “ANY competent public corruption prosecutor would bring obstruction charges against Trump/and win. Only reason Mueller did not was because of the flawed DOJ [Justice Department] restriction against indicting a sitting President. He said so (below). Congress now has a constitutional responsibility,” Holder tweeted April 19th.
Notably, the House voted in June 2012 to hold Holder in contempt of Congress due to his failure to hand over documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal in which the ATF “purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders and arrest them”
The Obama-era official’s comments came one day after the Justice Department released a redacted version of the report, which specifies the two-year Russia probe and details how Team Mueller found no evidence of collusion involving the Trump campaign before the election.
Though Mueller laid out ten episodes in which the president directed others to influence probe after the special counsel’s May 2017 appointment, he was unsuccessful in doing so. “With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,” the 448-page report reads. Mueller states that such efforts “were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”