'Important' that Mueller investigation info get to Americans: Rep. Jerry Nadler

Rep. Jerry Nadler was interviewed on ABC's "This Week."

July 28, 2019, 11:35 AM

Robert Mueller's testimony was "very important," Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said on ABC's "This Week," because the former special counsel, "broke the lie that the president, and the attorney general have been saying to the American people."

When ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos asked on Sunday if it was a mistake to have the former special counsel testify given his reluctance to do so, Nadler said no, calling President Donald Trump’s repeated statements that Mueller’s report found no collusion, no obstruction and totally exonerated him, "lies."

"It was very important for Mueller to get up there and say just that," Nadler added.

Following Mueller's testimony, the House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit on Friday for grand jury material underlying Mueller's report. When asked if the filings would be stronger if they were part of an official impeachment inquiry, Nadler said he didn’t think so.

"The history of impeachments is that sometimes the House has authorized the Judiciary Committee to begin impeachment inquiry. Sometimes the Judiciary Committee has done it on its own," he said, adding that "impeachment isn’t a binary process."

In response to statements from Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., to ABC News that Pelosi should move on from impeachment in September if there’s no consensus by then, Nadler said "we know how we are proceeding, I mean we’ve reached that conclusion and that the committee is investigating impeachment resolutions and whether to report them to the House or not."

PHOTO: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) holds a news conference to discuss the Committee's oversight agenda following the Mueller Hearing in Washington D.C., July 26, 2019.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) holds a news conference to discuss the Committee's oversight agenda following the Mueller Hearing in Washington D.C., July 26, 2019.
Erin Scott/Reuters

During his testimony on Wednesday, Mueller reiterated the details of his 448-page report, saying that it did not exonerate Trump and pushing back against claims that the investigation was a hoax.

When Nadler asked the former FBI director on Wednesday if the report did not conclude that Trump had not committed obstruction of justice, Mueller said, "That is correct."

Nadler and other Democrats had hoped that the hearings would be a turning point for many Americans. However, it remains to be seen how much the hearings changed public opinion on impeachment.

In a new ABC News /Ipsos poll, released on Sunday, 47% of those who saw or heard part of Mueller's testimony said it had not changed their views about impeaching Trump. However, partisanship colored the impact of the hearings -- 48% of Democrats said the hearings made them more likely to support impeachment, while 42% of Republicans said the hearings made them less likely to support it.

More than 100 House Democrats now publicly support impeachment, including 15 House Judiciary Committee members, up from the 95 who voted in favor of impeachment on July 17.

On "This Week," Nadler also said Trump "is, as he usually is, or often is, disgusting and racist" following his recent attacks on House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

Trump called Cummings a "brutal bully" and accused him of corruption on Twitter Saturday, and then went on to describe Baltimore, part of which Cummings represents, as "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess." The president singled out Cummings' district as "the Worst in the USA."

Trump continued to tweet similar messages on Sunday morning.

Nadler called Trump’s statements baseless and a distraction from the allegations in the Mueller report.

"He’s just trying to change the subject, which is what he usually does," he said.

When asked if the House would pass a resolution condemning the president's tweets, Nadler said "I don’t know, it wouldn’t be a bad idea."

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