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WATCH LIVE: HOUSE JUDICIARY DEBATES ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT

House Judiciary Dem Tells Ari Melber: 80-90 Percent of Dems on Committee ‘On Board’ for Impeachment

House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) told MSNBC’s Ari Melber that “80, 90 percent of the [Democrats on the] committee are on board to go forward” with an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Speaking on The Beat with Ari Melber, Cohen estimated that, of the 24 Democrats on the committee, only two of them were still hesitant to pursue impeachment. The few committee holdouts among his party, Cohen explained, were particularly close to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has publicly shied away from talk of impeachment. In total, the House Judiciary Committee is comprised of 41 members of Congress, so if 22 Democrats were in favor of impeachment, that would constitute a bare majority.

“I can’t speak for the chair [Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)], but I know they’re in that position,” Cohen said of his rough whip count of Democrats on the committee. “Most of us are lawyers. We have the Constitution in our heart and most of us have probably had more interaction with the Mueller report and the facts than most of the rest of Congress because it has come to us.”

Melber then asked Cohen point blank if he thought a majority of members of Congress had read the Mueller report. Cohen’s blunt answer: “No, I don’t.”

Following up, Melber asked if this Congressional disinterest in the details of the Special Counsel’s 400-plus-page report were hampering the chances for impeachment.

” I think it is,” Cohen responded. “If you read the Mueller report, you will see that the only reason [Trump] was not, Mueller didn’t recommend an indictment for ‘Mr. Bad Example,’ the president, was because the Justice Department has a policy that you cannot indict a sitting president. [Mueller] made it clear that he was going through traditional means and that that was one of them. And therefore, they could not [indict] because [Trump] couldn’t defend himself. [Mueller] thought fair play would say that it was to defend himself, which you do in a court of law or an impeachment hearing.”

Watch video above, via MSNBC.

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