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Judiciary Democrat says House should focus on Ukraine, avoid Mueller report in articles of impeachment

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said the House Democrats should focus on the Ukraine controversy and avoid the Mueller report when drafting articles of impeachment.

The Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee said on ABC’s “This Week” that she thinks the House should focus on claims backed up by “direct evidence,” and “there is a lot of direct evidence” of abuse of power in the Ukraine scandal. 

“The Mueller report is a report,” she said. “We don’t have a direct witness testimony for most of that, so I think we’d be on firmest ground to move forward where we have direct evidence as with the report we will receive tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. from the Intelligence Committee.”

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos also asked Lofgren about witnesses, like former White House counsel Don McGahn and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who haven’t testified in the inquiry. Lofgren said she does not want to wait 18 months like “the last time we fully litigated” against the president’s claim of executive immunity.

“And so the question is, with the evidence we have, can we make a sound conclusion?” she said. “I think we can, but when we get our presentation tomorrow from the Intelligence Committee … can we reach a conclusion and move forward as our responsibility under the constitution provides, and I think the answer is likely yes.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced last week that the House will draft articles of impeachment against President Trump

The House began its official impeachment inquiry into the president after a whistleblower report accused Trump of asking the Ukrainian president for information on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, days after withholding military aid from the country.

House Democrats have debated whether details in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by Trump, released earlier this year, should also be included in the articles of impeachment.

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