After more than two years of keeping a low-profile, outgoing special counsel Robert Mueller finally spoke publicly about his investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 election.
At a Justice Department news conference on Wednesday, Mueller said, “We did not…make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime,” Mueller clarified, later explaining that the constitution “requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse the president of wrongdoing.”
Mueller’s comments, seen as a reference to the ability of Congress to start an impeachment process, has emboldened many Democratic presidential candidates to amplify calls for Trump’s removal from the White House.
“There must be consequences, accountability, and justice,” Beto O’Rourke said in a tweet on Wednesday. “The only way to ensure that is to begin impeachment proceedings.”
O’Rourke joined other Democrats last week in calling for Trump’s impeachment during a CNN townhall.
Another Texas candidate for president, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, also doubled down on impeachment following Mueller’s public testimony.
“Mueller made clear this morning that his investigation now lays at the feet of Congress,” Castro said in a tweet. “No one is above the law—Congress should begin an impeachment inquiry.”
It’s been a little more than a month since Mueller released his findings, which said that the Trump campaign expected to benefit from emails stolen by Russian hackers.
Since then, the issue of Trump’s impeachment has divided many Democrats, like House Leader Nancy Pelosi who has repeatedly said she is against beginning impeachment proceedings.
Other Democratic candidates who have joined in on the call for Trump’s impeachment following Mueller’s Wednesday comments include Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.