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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Renews Call for Trump’s Impeachment After Mueller Report, Cites Lindsey Graham’s Comments

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday renewed her call for Congress to impeach President Donald Trump following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's findings of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. 

In what she dubbed a "Throwback Thursday" tweet, Ocasio-Cortez resurfaced a video clip of Senator Lindsey Graham talking about the role of impeachment in government. She wrote that the South Carolina lawmaker's own words "established a standard that demands Trump’s impeachment."

"You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional Republic," Graham said in the 1999 video. "Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office."

In 1999, Graham was a member of the House of Representatives, and one of 13 Republican legislators who argued at the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton that the president should be removed from office. Clinton was ultimately acquitted by the Senate on all charges. 

Graham's office did not comment on Ocasio-Cortez's tweet about impeachment when contacted by Newsweek but sent a statement from the South Carolina legislator. 

"I applaud Attorney General Barr for his commitment to transparency and keeping the American people informed, consistent with the law and our national security interests," the statement said.

GettyImages-1136153554 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listens during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on April 10. Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Other Democrats responded strongly to the Attorney General William Barr's press conference ahead of the release of the Mueller report, saying that Barr's actions were tinged by partisan interests and a desire to protect the president.

"It's a disgrace to see an Attorney General acting as if he's the personal attorney and publicist for the President of the United States," Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts tweeted.

"Even the redacted Mueller report reveals serious misconduct reached the highest levels of the Trump campaign & administration. The president then demeaned his office & the rule of law by attempting to interfere with the investigation," Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont wrote.

Fox News host Chris Wallace also questioned Barr's conduct at the press conference.

"The attorney general seemed almost to be acting as the counselor for the defense, or the counselor for the president, rather than the attorney general," he said. "I suspect that Democrats’ heads on Capitol Hill were exploding, and they are going to come down very sharply about the way that Bill Barr today laid this out."

Barr said in prepared remarks at the press conference that "there was in fact no collusion." 

Republicans used Barr's comments as proof that the investigation had been an unwarranted quest to bring down the president. Some called for an investigation of Democrats, who they claimed were guilty of "real collusion."

Critics pushed back against Barr's framing of the report's findings, noting that it said, "In sum, the investigation established multiple links between Trump Campaign officials and individuals tied to the Russian government. Those links included Russian offers of assistance to the Campaign. In some instances, the Campaign was receptive to the offer, while in other instances the Campaign officials shied away. Ultimately, the investigation did not establish that the Campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities."

Commentators also pointed out that the report did not explicitly clear Trump of misconduct, only that the special counsel did not offer a conclusive finding.

"If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state," the report says. 

This article has been updated to include a comment from Senator Lindsey Graham.

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