ABC, CBS Eager to Find Out the Status of Trump’s Impeachment By Dems

With the Thursday release of the Special Counsel report reiterating that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and at least partially explaining why there was no charge on obstruction, the next concern for ABC and CBS was the status of Democratic efforts to impeach the President.

The CBS Evening News closed out their Mueller Report coverage with a segment designed to only highlight the reaction from Congressional Democrats. As they were wrapping up that segment, anchor Jeff Glor simply asked chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes: “what are Democrats saying about impeachment right now?

Cordes seemed to lament that there was nothing in the works right now, but seemed optimistic Democrats could find something with enough digging:

Well, it appears to be off the table for now, especially because the President wasn't found to be charged with anything. But there are still seven committees in the House alone that are looking into potential wrongdoing by the President and his administration. And the Democrats who lead some of those committees, Jeff, said just because the President's actions weren't found to be criminal doesn't mean they weren't improper and worthy of more scrutiny.

 

 

ABC congressional correspondent Mary Bruce was a little subtler about pushing the Democratic policy of impeachment, during World News Tonight. She played this soundbite of another reporter asking House Judiciary Committee chair, Jerry Nadler (D-NY) about it:

NADLER: The responsibility now falls to Congress to hold the President accountable for his actions.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does that mean impeachment?

NADLER: That's one possibility. There are others.

In addition to that subtle nudge for impeachment, Bruce was also a megaphone for Democratic talking points. “Democrats say the report is damning, and far worse than what the Attorney General told the American people,” she echoed. “Tonight, in a statement, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer say Mueller's report paints a 'disturbing picture of a president who has been weaving a web of deceit, lies and improper behavior.'”

Unlike CBS, ABC actually had a soundbite from a Republican that didn’t work for the White House. Bruce played one lightning-fast clip of Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, saying, “I think, generally, people are ready to move on.” CBS on the other hand, allowed a long soundbite of Nadler slamming Attorney General William Barr.

While the topic of impeachment wasn’t directly brought up on NBC Nightly News, Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt talked about how, “all of it adds fuel to the several investigations that House Democrats already have underway. Into everything from the President's finances to possible abuse of power.” Democrats hoped those would give them the ammunition they needed to move forward on impeachment.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
April 18, 2019
6:41:04 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Tonight, Democrats on the Hill are furious, arguing that the Mueller report is far more damning than what the Attorney General told the American people weeks ago. And they're already asking Robert Mueller to testify now before the American people. So, how soon could we see that? ABC's Mary Bruce on the Hill tonight.

[Cuts to video]

MARY BRUCE: Tonight, Democrats want Robert Mueller to explain, before the American people, why he stopped short of making a call on obstruction of justice. And if he agrees with the Attorney General that Trump should be cleared.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): The Attorney General did a grave disservice to the country by misrepresenting significant parts of the Mueller report.

BRUCE: They want Mueller to testify on the Hill next month, and Barr says he isn't going to stand in his way.

(…)

BRUCE: Democrats say the report is damning, and far worse than what the Attorney General told the American people.

(…)

BRUCE: Tonight, in a statement, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer say Mueller's report paints a “disturbing picture of a president who has been weaving a web of deceit, lies and improper behavior.” But they say, “you wouldn't have known any of that, because Mr. Barr has been so misleading.” Democrats have been demanding the full report and the underlying evidence.

(…)

BRUCE: And now, they plan to subpoena to get it.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): The responsibility now falls to Congress to hold the President accountable for his actions.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does that mean impeachment?

NADLER: That's one possibility. There are others.

BRUCE: But Republicans say it's time for Democrats to let it go.

SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO) I think, generally, people are ready to move on.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: He says it's time to let it go. It's clear the Democrats are not ready to move on, Mary. Would appear they want an unredacted version of the Mueller report. They also want Mueller on the Hill, answering questions in front of the American people. They want to ask him, and we heard this from so many people today, Mary, did he want Congress to answer the question of obstruction? And was he okay with William Barr's clearing of the President?

BRUCE: Yeah, David, key questions that Democrats want answered. Now, tonight, both the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees have sent formal requests to Mueller, asking him to testify here on the Hill before the end of next month. Now, we reached out to the Special Counsel's office to see if Mueller plans to accept, and tonight, David, they are not commenting.

MUIR All right, Mary Bruce live on the Hill tonight. Mary, thank you.

 

CBS Evening News
April 18, 2019
6:38:36 p.m. Eastern

JEFF GLOR: Democrats in Congress responded. Here is Jerry Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

REP. JERRY NADLER: (D-NY): Attorney General Barr appears to have shown an unsettling willingness to undermine his own department in order to protect President Trump. Barr's words and actions suggest he has been disingenuous and misleading in saying the President is clear of wrongdoing.

GLOR: Nancy -- Nancy Cordes, given those comments from Jerry Nadler, what is the Democrats' next move?

NANCY CORDES: Well, first and foremost they want to hear from Robert Mueller in the flesh. And you already have multiple committees calling on him to testify here on Capitol Hill as early as next month. Beyond that, they really want to get their hands on the unredacted version of this report. And a short time ago the Attorney General said that key lawmakers from both sides will be able to view some of that sensitive material in secure reading rooms here on the Hill next week.

GLOR: And Nancy, what are Democrats saying about impeachment right now?

CORDES: Well, it appears to be off the table for now, especially because the President wasn't found to be charged with anything. But there are still seven committees in the House alone that are looking into potential wrongdoing by the President and his administration. And the Democrats who lead some of those committees, Jeff, said just because the President's actions weren't found to be criminal doesn't mean they weren't improper and worthy of more scrutiny.

GLOR: Nancy Cordes, thank you.

NB Daily Events Mueller Report Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Trump-Russia probe Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Mary Bruce Robert Mueller Nancy Cordes Kasie Hunt Donald Trump Bill Barr

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