The Note: Mueller fuels impeachment fervor among Democrats

PHOTO: Special Counsel Robert Mueller makes a statement about the Russia investigation, May 29, 2019 at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. PlayChip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WATCH Calls for Trump's impeachment grow among Democrats

The TAKE with Rick Klein

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By saying almost nothing new, special counsel Robert Mueller told Democrats just about everything they needed to hear.

In the space of a few hours, after what might be all Mueller has to say about his report, three senators who are running for president -- Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand -- moved substantially toward endorsing the impeachment of the man they want to defeat next year.

What was a novel and provocative position in the presidential race and on Capitol Hill just weeks ago has become something approaching consensus in the race. It could push candidates who were out in front on the topic to go further than calling for proceedings such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

On this issue, for now, the polling front-runners -- former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders -- are increasingly isolated in hesitating on impeachment, even though they are acknowledging it's an option.

One big question to watch: Who wants to be the last major Democratic candidate to land where the party is headed? Do any of them come into debate season ready to argue that President Donald Trump should not be impeached?

PHOTO: Special counsel Robert Mueller speaks at the Department of Justice, May 29, 2019, in Washington, about the Russia investigation. Carolyn Kaster/AP
Special counsel Robert Mueller speaks at the Department of Justice, May 29, 2019, in Washington, about the Russia investigation.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

The list of 44 House Democrats who support launching impeachment proceedings against Trump include some freshman firebrands as well as some senior stalwarts.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., is the only African American woman in Democratic leadership. Fellow veteran Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., also on the list, is the chairman of the House Budget Committee. Freshman Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon is the vice chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, where an impeachment inquiry would likely kick off in the House.

In fact, 10 other members of that powerful committee also agree that some form of impeachment proceedings should be begin.

House Democrats still may decide not to go down that route, for any number of reasons, but it's hard to imagine they throw up their hands and that the storyline regarding Trump's possible obstruction of justice ends here.

It also does not seem likely given the White House's stonewalling of investigations -- and the frustration that's causing for Democrats -- paired with the passions from the Democrats' base.

PHOTO: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi departs after meeting with all the House Democrats at the Capitol in Washington, May 22, 2019. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi departs after meeting with all the House Democrats at the Capitol in Washington, May 22, 2019.

The TIP with Cheyenne Haslett

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is not shying away from her policy to break up big tech ahead of her visit to the Bay Area this weekend for the California Democratic Convention, which will take place on many of the nation's most powerful tech companies' home turf.

A billboard, which debuted on a busy street corner in San Francisco on Wednesday, is plain and simple: a profile shot of Warren next to four words: "Break up big tech."

"Elizabeth's plan would help ensure tech giants do not crowd out potential competitors, smother the next generation of great tech companies and wield so much power that they can undermine our democracy," a Warren aide said upon the billboard's debut.

Warren's tech-busting policy, announced in March, would break apart some of the nation's most successful companies -- and specifically goes after Amazon, Facebook and Google. It falls in line with her push to redistribute wealth, a popular platform with progressives she'll speak before in left-leaning California.

Warren, scheduled to sit down with the hosts of ABC's "The View" Thursday morning, heads to Oakland on Friday.

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at the National Action Networks annual convention on April 5, 2019 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at the National Action Network's annual convention on April 5, 2019 in New York City.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Thursday morning's episode features ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran, who tells us what stood out from Robert Mueller's statement yesterday. Then ABC News Deputy Political Director MaryAlice Parks tells us that some 2020 candidates are now ramping up their calls for impeachment. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

ABC News' "The Investigation" podcast. After submitting a 448-page report that summarized the findings from a 674-day-long investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller finally broke his silence. Hosts of "The Investigation," led by Chris Vlasto, break down Mueller's press conference with ABC News Contributor Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey and a former U.S. attorney. As for whether Democrats will pursue impeachment proceedings, Christie said: "I would say game on. Bring it on if you want to do it -- that's your constitutional right to do." http://tun.in/pjiFt

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • President Donald Trump addresses the U.S. Air Force Academy Graduation Ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., appears on ABC's "The View" at 11 a.m. EDT.
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar hosts a veterans roundtable discussion with the Nevada Democratic Veterans and Military Families Caucus at 8 a.m. local time.
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders holds a senior community meeting in Henderson, Nevada, at 7 a.m. and then heads to Las Vegas for a town hall meeting.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden travels home to Delaware for Memorial Day commemorations.
  • Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet will participate in his first nationally televised town hall hosted by CNN at 10 p.m. EDT.
  • Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive it every weekday.