Cohen (D): Public Will Support Impeachment After More Hearings

Increases pressure on Speaker Pelosi to begin impeachment proceedings

July 26, 2019

Rep. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.) called Friday for the House to pursue impeachment of President Donald Trump, arguing that the American public would be more supportive of impeachment if further hearings were held.

In an appearance on CNN two days after Mueller's testimony on the Hill, host Fredricka Whitfield asked Judiciary Committee member Cohen what he thought of Nancy Pelosi's approach to investigating Trump. Speaker Pelosi has been under pressure from members of the House Democratic Caucus who have called for immediate impeachment proceedings.

Cohen began by praising Pelosi as a "zen master" for her skill in working with people on issues, but admitted he did not share her reticence towards initiating impeachment proceedings against Trump.

"I think we should go forward with impeachment because I think as we bring out the facts in an impeachment inquiry about the violations of the emoluments clause, about what Mr. Mueller helped us see that was in the report about obstruction of justice, it lets us see the other things he's done that have been violative of the Constitution concerning attacks on the press, attacks on the judiciary, attacks on different racial groups, that the American public will warm to impeachment and be in favor of it," Cohen said.

"But I think you have to have those hearings and I think it'll be helpful, and I don't think the Senate — if the Senate doesn't vote for it that's their fault," he continued.

While pro-impeachment Democrats hoped Mueller's testimony Wednesday would spark a groundswell of national support for impeachment, many instead saw the hearings as extinguishing the momentum for impeachment. Media members branded the hearings a "disaster" and a "bust" for Democrats.

Cohen pushed back on this view of the Mueller hearings. "I think the hearings were very good," Cohen said. "It was six congresspeople came out for impeachment. The papers immediately wrote afterwards only one congressman came out, so it was a failure. Well, six finally did come out. Six, that's pretty strong, puts us over a hundred."