Special Counsel Robert Mueller has reported and Washington is bracing for what comes next. The Mueller Report did not conclude that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia, but it also didn’t exonerate him of obstruction of justice, leaving a path open for Congress to investigate further.
The Mueller Report outlined several troubling instances where Trump appeared to want to interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation, including ordering White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller. The report also suggests that Congress can draw its own conclusions.
While Democrats in the House will open a wide range of investigations into Trump, including his tax returns, many Democrats remain lukewarm on impeachment. Democrats will hold a conference call at 5pm ET Monday to discuss their strategy and have meetings in the coming weeks. The decision may ultimately be made by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who wields significant power over her party.
Impeachment would be a risky strategy for Democrats. Republicans still control the Senate and it’s likely they would vote along party lines against impeachment, handing Trump a victory he could then use in the 2020 election. However, if Democrats do nothing to censure the President, they risk looking weak in the eyes of voters ahead of crucial election year.
The Democrats’ main focus over the next year will be defeating Trump and putting a Democrat back in the White House, closely followed by taking back the Senate. A long, drawn-out impeachment proceeding could sap voters’ interest and animate Trump’s hard core supporters. Democrats have some tricky waters to navigate.