In an appearance on ABC News’s “This Week,” Schiff said that although the findings of the Mueller report are “serious and damning,” he does not believe the Senate would convict Trump if the House were to impeach him.
“Now, it may be that we undertake an impeachment nonetheless. I think what we are going to have to decide as a caucus is: What is the best thing for the country?” he said.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) also declined to rule out impeachment, saying Sunday that “if proven,” Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice “would be impeachable.”
“We may get to that. We may not,” he said. “As I’ve said before, it is our job to go through all the evidence, all the information we can get.”
Democrats have been divided over impeachment since the Thursday release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
On Friday, two 2020 Democratic presidential contenders — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Julián Castro, who was housing and urban development secretary in the Obama administration — seized on the report’s findings to make the case for impeachment.
But others, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), have urged members of their party to hold off on any impeachment proceedings and instead continue their investigations of Trump.
The Democratic split grew Sunday as another presidential candidate, Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio), said it was too soon to formally open impeachment proceedings.
Ryan said that it was “pretty clear” the president obstructed justice and that the Mueller report portrayed a “very, very, very serious” set of circumstances, but that House committees should continue with oversight of Trump.
“Let the Judiciary Committee look at this,” Ryan said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” stressing that Democrats need to “educate the American people” on the investigation. “Let’s see where that leads.”
Trump has sought to discredit portions of the Mueller report, including in a Friday tweet in which he dismissed statements made about his conduct as “total bullshit.”
Michelle Ye Hee Lee contributed to this report.