More and more Democrats have been calling for President Donald Trump‘s impeachment following the release of the Mueller report, and now one Republican who used to work under Trump is joining them, saying the Mueller report was his “tipping point.”
J.W. Verret briefly worked for the Trump transition team as the deputy director of economic policy. In an op-ed for The Atlantic published Monday, he described his “awkward” experience working for the Trump team.
“I could not honestly say I admired him,” Verret wrote.
While Verret was never the biggest fan of Trump, he still supported him in other ways and said he was never part of the “never Trumper” group of Republicans.
That all changed last week.
Verret first tweeted out his thoughts on Saturday, saying he read the Mueller report in its entirety two times.
“I don’t say this lightly, as a life long Republican, former R Hill staffer, and someone who has worked on every R campaign and pre-transition team for the last ten years,” he wrote. “There is enough here to begin impeachment proceedings.”
Finished a second read through the Mueller Report. I don’t say this lightly, as a life long Republican, former R Hill staffer, and someone who has worked on every R campaign and pre-transition team for the last ten years. There is enough here to begin impeachment proceedings.
— J.W. Verret (@JWVerret) April 20, 2019
“If you think calling for the impeachment of a sitting Republican president would constitute career suicide for someone like me, you may end up being right,” he said about the tweet in The Atlantic.
Nevertheless, Verret felt the need to express his unpopular view with fellow Republicans.
“Politics is a team sport, and if you actively work within a political party, there is some expectation that you will follow orders and rally behind the leader, even when you disagree,” he wrote. “There is a point, though, at which that expectation turns from a mix of loyalty and pragmatism into something more sinister, a blind devotion that serves to enable criminal conduct.”
He continued (emphasis added):
The Mueller report was that tipping point for me, and it should be for Republican and independent voters, and for Republicans in Congress. In the face of a Department of Justice policy that prohibited him from indicting a sitting president, Mueller drafted what any reasonable reader would see as a referral to Congress to commence impeachment hearings.
Few Republicans have criticized Trump following the release of the report, and most GOP lawmakers in Congress, with the exception of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), have either echoed Trump’s calls of “no collusion, no obstruction” or stayed silent.
Congressional Democrats, on the other hand, are split following the report’s release. Lawmakers like Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have since come out in support of impeachment, while others, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), are erring on the side of caution.