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Rep. Ted Lieu: Not "unreasonable" to think impeachment inquiry could begin in the fall

Rep. Ted Lieu doesn't believe it would be "unreasonable" to think that an impeachment inquiry against President Trump could be opened in the fall. Lieu, a Democrat from California who has previously said that he supports opening an impeachment inquiry, spoke with CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett on this week's episode of "The Takeout" podcast.

"Would you predict, Congressman Ted Lieu, sometime in the fall an impeachment inquiry will be impaneled?" Garrett asked.

"I don't think that would be unreasonable," Lieu replied. Lieu sits on the the House Judiciary Committee and was among the lawmakers who questioned former special counsel Robert Mueller Wednesday about Russian interference in the 2016 election. For Lieu, Mueller's testimony confirmed that Mr. Trump did commit obstruction of justice in attempting to limit the investigation, even though Mueller did not — in either his report or congressional testimony — make a determination about whether Mr. Trump had obstructed justice.

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"It's very clear from these hearings that the president committed felonies," Lieu told Garrett. "What the American people and other members of Congress choose to do with those facts, we'll see in the upcoming days and weeks."

Lieu was engaged in one of the most memorable exchanges in Mueller's testimony on Wednesday. He asked Mueller whether the special counsel declined to bring charges against Mr. Trump because of Department of Justice guidelines that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

"The reason again that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of the OLC opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president. Correct?" Lieu asked.

"That is correct," Mueller responded, sparking immediate reaction online.

But Mueller later corrected this statement, clarifying that his office "did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime."

However, Mueller did confirm that a president could be indicted after leaving office. Lieu told Garrett that he expected "the Department of Justice to pursue charges against anyone who committed felonies."

"Whether a Democrat president would want to pardon Donald Trump is up to that person," Lieu continued. "It's very clear that Donald Trump committed multiple acts of obstruction of justice and those are felonies."

Lieu also discussed election interference and said that the U.S. needed to prepare for potential meddling by Russia in the 2020 election.

"Russia interfered in the election," he said, "and if you don't believe that, you're an idiot."

For more of Major's conversation with Ted Lieu, download "The Takeout" podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com. And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).

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