Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine reacted to remarks by special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday by calling for the House of Representatives to move toward an impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

During a 10-minute news conference, Mueller emphasized that his report on the Russia investigation did not exonerate the president. Mueller also said that it was up to Congress to hold Trump accountable because the Justice Department prohibits the prosecution of a sitting president.

Pingree, a Democrat representing Maine’s 1st Congressional District, agreed with Mueller that Congress has the explicit authority and responsibility to investigate the president regarding whether he obstructed justice in the Russia investigation.

“The 116th Congress has been stonewalled at every turn by President Trump and his allies as we’ve exercised our legitimate oversight power seeking answers on Russian interference in our elections and other matters,” Pingree said in a statement Wednesday night. “The president’s unwillingness to cooperate with Congress, particularly on a matter relating to a foreign attack on our democracy, is an insult to our system of coequal branches of government.

“The Constitution provides a process for Congress to hold the Executive accountable for wrongdoing because no one is above the law. As dozens of serious investigations into President Trump and his business interests are underway in state and federal courts, I believe it is in the public interest that Congress continue its own investigations in the face of unprecedented obstruction and move toward an impeachment inquiry.”

Other members of Maine’s congressional delegation had a more measured response to Mueller’s statements.


Republican Sen. Susan Collins did not address the possibility of impeachment in a statement she issued Wednesday night. She called for the country to secure its electoral process from future interference by the Russians.

“The special counsel today reiterated many of the same points he made in his report, including that the Russians were relentless in their efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections and undertook a sophisticated effort to influence and divide public opinion in our country,” Collins said. “The Senate Intelligence Committee will shed more light on Russian interference when it completes its separate counterintelligence investigation. Although there is no evidence that the Russians changed vote outcomes, it is imperative that we take action to secure our electoral process, the cornerstone of our democracy.”

Collins and Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, are both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been conducting its own investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

King was traveling overseas on Wednesday as part of a Congressional delegation and was unable to be reached for comment, but his staff provided an excerpt from a May 7 interview King did with CNN. The interview focused on King’s analysis of the 400-page Mueller report.

“I think the information (in the Mueller report) is pretty damning, and it should be out there,” King said. “My recommendation is read the report. It’s pretty readable, it takes maybe a couple of days on a weekend, but it’s stunning and it’s full of very disturbing information,” King told CNN.

Rep. Jared Golden, D-2nd District, was traveling Wednesday night, his spokesman said, and hadn’t issued a statement regarding Mueller’s remarks on the Russia investigation.

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