'There are grounds for impeachment' in Robert Mueller report: Former US Attorney General Eric Holder

Former US Attorney General Eric Holder
Former US Attorney General Eric Holder has said that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the investigation into the Donald Trump campaign and alleged Russian election interference revealed "grounds for impeachment."

The former Obama administration attorney general told NBC News on Thursday that instances of potential obstruction of justice pointed out by Mueller's findings could qualify for impeachable offenses.

"Oh, I think there are grounds for impeachment" in the report, Holder said. "I said, if you look at the second part of the report, there's no question that obstruction of justice does exist in the findings that Bob Mueller reported, and in painstaking detail. And that in and of itself would be the basis for impeachment."

"But I think the House needs to gather evidence, we need to hear from Bob Mueller," Holder continued. "They need to get the entirety of the report, and then make a reasoned decision."

"I'm concerned about the state of this nation and the way in which the Trump administration is reacting to the legitimate request from Congress," Holder said. "We could be in a constitutional crisis, but I don’t think we're there quite yet."

House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) argued earlier this month that the Trump administration had caused a "constitutional crisis" by blocking Attorney General William Barr from releasing an unredacted version of Mueller's report.

"We’ve talked for a long time about approaching a Constitutional crisis. We are now in it,” Nadler said at a press conference.

"Now is the time of testing whether we can keep a republic, or whether this republic is destined to change into a different, more tyrannical form of government," he added. "We must resist this."

House of Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) introduced a resolution in late March that urges on the Judiciary Committee to examine whether the House should impeach Trump. Several House lawmakers have backed Democratic efforts to introduce articles of impeachment against Trump, but top Democratic leadership has so far been adamant about opposing the tactic.

Tlaib on her first day as a member of Congress earlier this year told a crowd "We're going to impeach the mother***r," in reference to Trump.

Congressional Democrats have taken a legal step to see all of Mueller’s evidence from his inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The redacted edition of the much-anticipated 400-page investigation, covering Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, as well as Trump and his team’s wrongdoings and possible presidential obstruction of justice, was released in Mueller's report last month.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General Barr in contempt of Congress after his refusal to provide an uncensored copy of Mueller’s report on alleged ties between Trump and Russia.The 24-16 vote along the party lines came after the highest US law enforcement official defied a subpoena to hand over the report and underlying evidence, in an apparent attempt to withhold damaging information that could be used against the president.

The Democratic-led committee’s vote means that the full House of Representatives should now vote on holding Barr in contempt.

Democratic leaders have said it's too soon to pursue impeachment and want to move forward with their investigations.

"The president is almost self-impeaching because he is, every day, demonstrating more obstruction of justice and disrespect for Congress's legitimate role to subpoena," Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a press conference last week. "This is very methodical, it's very Constitution based, it's very law based, it's very factually based. It's not about pressure, it's about patriotism."

Pelosi advised Democrats against rushing for impeachment to hold Trump accountable.