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Nadler says House Judiciary is 'in effect' already conducting an impeachment inquiry

The House Judiciary Committee is filing an application for the Mueller report's underlying grand jury material as Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) says Democrats are "in effect" already conducting an impeachment inquiry.

Nadler in a press conference on Friday said that the information that Democrats are now seeking is "critically important for our ability to examine witnesses, including former White House counsel Don McGahn, and to investigate the president's misconduct." Nadler also said that Democrats expect to file a suit to enforce a subpoena for McGahn's testimony.

Democrats in this petition to receive the grand jury material, Nadler said, specifically mention that they're considering "whether to exercise its full Article I powers, including a constitutional duty, power of the utmost gravity, a recommendation of articles of impeachment," CNN reports. It also says "articles of impeachment are under consideration as part of the Committee's investigation, although no final determination has been made."

Nadler on Friday argued that "too much has been made of the phrase impeachment inquiry," but when asked if what Democrats are currently doing is essentially the same as an impeachment inquiry, he said that "in effect" it is, although with the "one difference" being that their investigation is not just "limited" to the possible outcome of impeachment.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) also said that Democrats are conducting an "impeachment investigation," calling this the "first time" the committee will "telegraph to the court that one of the remedies that we have is impeachment." Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) concluded the press conference by saying Democrats are now "crossing a threshold ... and we are now officially entering into an examination of whether or not to recommend articles of impeachment."