Top Democrat in U.S. Senate wants hearings before any impeachment effort

FILE PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks with reporters following the weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate said on Tuesday that Congress should thoroughly investigate the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller before deciding whether to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

“I believe that we should have hearings. We should thoroughly investigate the Mueller report. We ought to see every aspect of the Mueller report and then we can make a decision,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday sought to slam the door on further investigations of Trump by declaring “case closed” after a two-year probe of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections. [nL2N22J0KY}

However, battles between the White House and congressional Democrats over documents and testimony related to the Mueller investigation showed no signs of abating.

Some Democratic lawmakers continue to call for Trump’s impeachment. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and longtime Trump critic, called for his impeachment on the Senate floor after McConnell spoke.

She said the Mueller report on Russia’s role in the 2016 election that put Trump in the White House made clear the Republican president tried to obstruct justice.

“We took an oath not to try to protect Donald Trump. We took an oath to protect and serve the Constitution of the United States of America,” she said. “And the way we do that is we begin impeachment proceedings now against this president.”

Reporting by Amanda Becker and Makini Brice; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Andrea Ricci

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