Mike Lee says it would be a "mistake" for Democrats to pursue Trump's impeachment

Lee: "Mistake" for Dems to pursue impeachment

Last Updated Apr 21, 2019 5:48 PM EDT

Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it would be a political mistake for House Democrats to launch impeachment proceedings and try to remove President Trump from office following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's long-awaited report.

"I think politically speaking it would be a mistake for them to do it," Lee said Sunday on "Face the Nation." "It sounds like some of them are inclined to go down that road. But what we've got to remember, Bob, is that the No. 1 takeaway from this report, is that there was no collusion."

"It's time to move on," he added. 

While his investigative team did not find the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow, Mueller described in his highly anticipated report multiple efforts by the president to hinder — and even shutter — an investigation he believed would precipitate the end his presidency. The actions Mueller analyzed in his probe into whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice, which he did not reach a conclusion on, have been cited by some Democrats who have broken with party leadership and called for the president's impeachment. 

Lee, however, said the main takeaway of the report is that the special counsel did not accuse any member of the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia, which the Utah senator said was an allegation Democrats incessantly leveled against the president. 

"We've got people, who for the last two years have been using the Russian's attempt to undermine the legitimacy of our electoral process as an effort within this country to undermine this president, and the process by which he was elected," Lee said. 

On Friday, Mitt Romney, Lee's colleague and Utah's junior senator, issued one of the most scathing statements by a Republican about the actions by the president described in the Mueller report. Although he said it was "good news" that special counsel investigators did not establish the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election, Romney said he was "appalled" that some Trump campaign associates "welcomed help from Russia" and "sickened" by "the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection" by the president and other federal officials. 

"Reading the report is a sobering revelation of how far we have strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders," the former 2012 Republican presidential nominee wrote, prompting a rebuke on Twitter by Mr. Trump. 

Asked if he agreed with Romney's statement, Lee demurred and said none of Mueller's findings have changed his impression of Mr. Trump. 

"There's nothing in this report that changes my view of this president," Lee added. "I don't think most Americans, I don't think most senators, most members of Congress, I don't think most Americans will have their view of the president of the United States changed by this report. There's just nothing in there that should do that."

Richard Escobedo contributed to this report.