Muhammad breaks into top 10 most popular US baby names in 2019 | For the first time, Muhammad makes list of top 10 baby names, after steady climb in BabyCenter's annual list.

Muhammad breaks into top 10 most popular US baby names in 2019

Muhammad breaks into top 10 most popular US baby names in 2019

Muhammad breaks into top 10 most popular US baby names in 2019

Muhammad breaks into top 10 most popular US baby names in 2019

Muhammad breaks into top 10 most popular US baby names in 2019

Muhammad breaks into top 10 most popular US baby names in 2019
Muhammad breaks into top 10 most popular US baby names in 2019
  • By: Al Jazeera English
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For the first time, Muhammad makes list of top 10 baby names, after steady climb in BabyCenter's annual list.
Biden's Iowa skirmish highlights the perils and promise of his candidacy

Biden's Iowa skirmish highlights the perils and promise of his candidacy

Biden's Iowa skirmish highlights the perils and promise of his candidacy

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Joe Biden goes off on voter over Ukraine question
Joe Biden goes off on voter over Ukraine question

    JUST WATCHED

    Joe Biden goes off on voter over Ukraine question

MUST WATCH

Joe Biden goes off on voter over Ukraine question 02:57

(CNN)Joe Biden's feisty exchange with a retired Iowa farmer on Thursday perfectly captured the perils and the potential of his candidacy.

In a human moment defending his son, Biden showed the authenticity, emotion and readiness for a fight that appeals to so many Democrats as they look for someone who can take on Trump.
At the same time, the elder statesman who is supposed to be the antidote to President Donald Trump was undisciplined and undeniably macho -- reminding voters he's an at times undisciplined contender who almost seemed ready for fisticuffs with a hostile questioner.
Thursday afternoon's exchange could benefit Biden at a time when Democrats say toughness is one of their most coveted assets in their battle against Trump.
    It could help Biden allay the doubts of Democratic voters who have continually complained in interviews that the former vice president is too soft-spoken; too slow compared to his pace in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns; and too flat-footed when attacked during debates by the likes of Kamala Harris and Julián Castro.
    Though most political consultants would counsel their candidates not to personally attack voters as Biden did Thursday, he at least looked like he wouldn't shy away from the fight.
    At a deeper level, Biden knows that one of his biggest challenges is the relentless effort by President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and other Republican leaders to falsely define him as some kind of corrupt operator who sought lucrative gigs for his son in Ukraine.
    Trump has shown a unique talent for that kind of attack on his opponents. One needs to look no further than the field of fallen 2016 GOP candidates and his relentless jibes against "crooked" Hillary Clinton and her missing emails to see the damage he can inflict.
    As much as Biden has tried to avoid getting tangled up in Ukraine conspiracy theories, GOP members mentioned Joe and Hunter Biden countless times during the impeachment hearings on Ukraine, leaving some Americans confused about the Bidens' ties to the controversy. Clarity in squelching unsubstantiated charges will be key to whether Biden can survive.
    He was easily provoked Thursday because the retired farmer who confronted him essentially outlined Trump's false accusations against the former vice president.
    The exchange unfolded at a town hall in New Hampton, Iowa, on Thursday afternoon when Biden's 83-year-old adversary inaccurately accused of the former vice president of arranging a job for his son Hunter at a Ukraine oil company, thereby "selling access to the presidency," and punctuated his charges by asserting Biden was just "too old" to be commander in chief.
    "You're a damn liar man," Biden said, addressing the allegation about Hunter with a flash of anger in his eyes. "That's not true and no one has ever said that."
    He answered the man's attack on his age and his mental agility by showing the streak of unvarnished masculinity that has long been part of Biden's public persona.
    "You want to check my shape -- let's do push-ups together man. Let's run, let's do whatever you want to do," Biden said.
    The mano-a-mano moment was reminiscent of Biden's exchange during his 1988 campaign with New Hampshire voter Frank Fahey who asked Biden where he went to law school and what his class rank was.
    "I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect. I went to law school on a full academic scholarship," the then-Delaware senator replied. "I'd be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours if you'd like."
    It also had the red-blooded ring of Biden's challenge to Trump when he said in March 2018 that if he and Trump were in high school "I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him."
    It's an open question how Biden's machismo will go over with suburban women looking to turn the page beyond the patriarchy. And Biden's approach could turn off younger voters and female voters who want to the Democratic Party go in a more progressive direction and build on the gains of the many female leaders at all levels of government who were elected in 2018.
    Biden's reaction on Thursday also clearly stemmed from his sensitivity to criticism of his family, a through line throughout his career.
    After defending his own fitness for the White House, Biden circled back to defend his son, who served on the board of the Ukraine energy company known as Burisma while Biden was vice president. Hunter Biden recently told ABC that he showed "poor judgment" by taking the post. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden, however.
    The retired Iowa farmer had pushed back on Biden's denials of helping Hunter Biden by saying he'd seen the arrangement described on TV, adding that he wasn't accusing Biden of anything.
    "You said I set up my son to work at an oil company. Isn't that what you said? Get your words straight, Jack," the former vice president said to the retired farmer. "You did not hear that at all."
    "It looks like you don't have any more backbone than Trump has," the man replied, as the rest of the audience groaned. "I'm not voting for you anyway."
    "You think I thought you'd stand up and vote for me," Biden snapped. "You're too old to vote for me." (Again, probably not the smartest thing to say to a voter -- but authentically "Joe.")
    After the event, when reporters asked Biden why he got so frustrated with the retired farmer, the former vice president acknowledged his competing instincts to defend his son or play it cool.
    "I have overwhelming respect and love for my son. And I find myself occasionally getting frustrated with assertions that have been made -- that are simply not accurate," Biden said. "But as my son would say, 'Dad, just keep your cool, just don't let it get to you.'"
    "What I wanted to do is shut this down," Biden said, reflecting on his effort to avoid playing Trump's "game" and his realization that the President is most "comfortable mud wrestling."
      "Let's keep our eye on the ball here," he said. As for the voter who served as his antagonist Thursday, a reporter told Biden the retired farmer acknowledged he'll vote for the former vice president if he becomes the Democratic nominee.
      "Well, God love him," Biden replied. "Big heart."
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          Joe Biden goes off on voter over Ukraine question
          Joe Biden goes off on voter over Ukraine question

            JUST WATCHED

            Joe Biden goes off on voter over Ukraine question

          MUST WATCH

          Joe Biden goes off on voter over Ukraine question 02:57
          Joe Biden goes off on voter over Ukraine question

            JUST WATCHED

            Joe Biden goes off on voter over Ukraine question

          MUST WATCH

          (CNN)Joe Biden's feisty exchange with a retired Iowa farmer on Thursday perfectly captured the perils and the potential of his candidacy.

          In a human moment defending his son, Biden showed the authenticity, emotion and readiness for a fight that appeals to so many Democrats as they look for someone who can take on Trump.
          At the same time, the elder statesman who is supposed to be the antidote to President Donald Trump was undisciplined and undeniably macho -- reminding voters he's an at times undisciplined contender who almost seemed ready for fisticuffs with a hostile questioner.
          Thursday afternoon's exchange could benefit Biden at a time when Democrats say toughness is one of their most coveted assets in their battle against Trump.
            It could help Biden allay the doubts of Democratic voters who have continually complained in interviews that the former vice president is too soft-spoken; too slow compared to his pace in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns; and too flat-footed when attacked during debates by the likes of Kamala Harris and Julián Castro.
            Though most political consultants would counsel their candidates not to personally attack voters as Biden did Thursday, he at least looked like he wouldn't shy away from the fight.
            At a deeper level, Biden knows that one of his biggest challenges is the relentless effort by President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and other Republican leaders to falsely define him as some kind of corrupt operator who sought lucrative gigs for his son in Ukraine.
            Trump has shown a unique talent for that kind of attack on his opponents. One needs to look no further than the field of fallen 2016 GOP candidates and his relentless jibes against "crooked" Hillary Clinton and her missing emails to see the damage he can inflict.
            As much as Biden has tried to avoid getting tangled up in Ukraine conspiracy theories, GOP members mentioned Joe and Hunter Biden countless times during the impeachment hearings on Ukraine, leaving some Americans confused about the Bidens' ties to the controversy. Clarity in squelching unsubstantiated charges will be key to whether Biden can survive.
            He was easily provoked Thursday because the retired farmer who confronted him essentially outlined Trump's false accusations against the former vice president.
            The exchange unfolded at a town hall in New Hampton, Iowa, on Thursday afternoon when Biden's 83-year-old adversary inaccurately accused of the former vice president of arranging a job for his son Hunter at a Ukraine oil company, thereby "selling access to the presidency," and punctuated his charges by asserting Biden was just "too old" to be commander in chief.
            "You're a damn liar man," Biden said, addressing the allegation about Hunter with a flash of anger in his eyes. "That's not true and no one has ever said that."
            He answered the man's attack on his age and his mental agility by showing the streak of unvarnished masculinity that has long been part of Biden's public persona.
            "You want to check my shape -- let's do push-ups together man. Let's run, let's do whatever you want to do," Biden said.
            The mano-a-mano moment was reminiscent of Biden's exchange during his 1988 campaign with New Hampshire voter Frank Fahey who asked Biden where he went to law school and what his class rank was.
            "I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect. I went to law school on a full academic scholarship," the then-Delaware senator replied. "I'd be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours if you'd like."
            It also had the red-blooded ring of Biden's challenge to Trump when he said in March 2018 that if he and Trump were in high school "I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him."
            It's an open question how Biden's machismo will go over with suburban women looking to turn the page beyond the patriarchy. And Biden's approach could turn off younger voters and female voters who want to the Democratic Party go in a more progressive direction and build on the gains of the many female leaders at all levels of government who were elected in 2018.
            Biden's reaction on Thursday also clearly stemmed from his sensitivity to criticism of his family, a through line throughout his career.
            After defending his own fitness for the White House, Biden circled back to defend his son, who served on the board of the Ukraine energy company known as Burisma while Biden was vice president. Hunter Biden recently told ABC that he showed "poor judgment" by taking the post. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden, however.
            The retired Iowa farmer had pushed back on Biden's denials of helping Hunter Biden by saying he'd seen the arrangement described on TV, adding that he wasn't accusing Biden of anything.
            "You said I set up my son to work at an oil company. Isn't that what you said? Get your words straight, Jack," the former vice president said to the retired farmer. "You did not hear that at all."
            "It looks like you don't have any more backbone than Trump has," the man replied, as the rest of the audience groaned. "I'm not voting for you anyway."
            "You think I thought you'd stand up and vote for me," Biden snapped. "You're too old to vote for me." (Again, probably not the smartest thing to say to a voter -- but authentically "Joe.")
            After the event, when reporters asked Biden why he got so frustrated with the retired farmer, the former vice president acknowledged his competing instincts to defend his son or play it cool.
            "I have overwhelming respect and love for my son. And I find myself occasionally getting frustrated with assertions that have been made -- that are simply not accurate," Biden said. "But as my son would say, 'Dad, just keep your cool, just don't let it get to you.'"
            "What I wanted to do is shut this down," Biden said, reflecting on his effort to avoid playing Trump's "game" and his realization that the President is most "comfortable mud wrestling."
              "Let's keep our eye on the ball here," he said. As for the voter who served as his antagonist Thursday, a reporter told Biden the retired farmer acknowledged he'll vote for the former vice president if he becomes the Democratic nominee.
              "Well, God love him," Biden replied. "Big heart."
                Pelosi town hall shows she played impeachment masterfully

                Pelosi town hall shows she played impeachment masterfully

                Pelosi town hall shows she played impeachment masterfully

                Errol Louis is the host of "Inside City Hall," a nightly political show on NY1, a New York all-news channel. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.

                (CNN)"Can we not have any more questions about impeachment?" Nancy Pelosi asked halfway through her CNN Town Hall meeting.

                The answer, of course, was "no."
                Hours earlier, Pelosi had stood on the Speaker's balcony, and announced on live television that the House Judiciary Committee and other house chairs will draft articles of impeachment against President Trump. The statement brings us closer to the third presidential impeachment in US history, and naturally became the focus of the town hall.
                Errol Louis
                Pelosi said, with a straight face, that the impending impeachment of President Trump, which she has ordered and directed, was not about politics.
                  "It's about honoring our oath of office," she told the audience. "Politics is not even a consideration in this."
                  That is the kind of thing that leaders like Pelosi say when they know the politics are lined up in their favor. And, of course, Pelosi has clearly considered the politics: Her decision to push forward with impeachment is a sure sign that Democratic leaders believe voters will support and reward their actions.
                  Polls indicate that more Americans support impeachment than not. Support for removing Trump from office has increased in the last two months, thanks to Pelosi's methodical staging of tightly-managed public hearings designed to make a public, easy-to-understand case that Trump has abused power, obstructed Congress and violated his oath of office.
                  Along the way, Pelosi's own stock has risen. As CNN's Harry Enten noted in October, "Pelosi is arguably the most popular nationally-known politician currently holding federal elected office," and has higher favorable ratings than Trump or Pence.
                  That didn't happen by accident.
                  Pelosi has served in the House for 32 years. She was born into a political dynasty: Her father and brother both served as mayors of Baltimore. She is the first female Speaker of the House, and the first person in nearly 60 years to hold the office twice.
                  It's safe to say that Pelosi does not get out of bed in the morning without considering the politics of putting on her slippers.
                  Since impeachment enjoys considerable public support, thanks to her political acumen, Pelosi has room to speak like a statesman.
                  Over and over during the town hall, Pelosi cited the Founding Fathers, describing impeachment as a constitutional obligation forced upon members of Congress by Trump's actions.
                  She referenced an oft-cited quote -- "the time has found us" -- from the author Thomas Paine, who said that history had forced him and his fellow Revolutionary War-era agitators to take a stand.
                  "I truly believe the times have found us to protect and defend our democracy," Pelosi told the town hall audience. She also reminded them that in 2008, during her first tour as Speaker, Pelosi shot down efforts by liberal House Democrats to remove then-President George Bush from office over the Iraq War.
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                  Sign up for CNN Opinion's new newsletter.

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                    Back then, Pelosi bluntly declared impeachment to be "off the table" and allowed a motion for impeachment by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to die in committee.
                    This time around, Pelosi has no such qualms. "I have to admit that today was quite historical," she said at the end of the town hall. A bit of modesty from the most powerful woman in America.
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                        Errol Louis is the host of "Inside City Hall," a nightly political show on NY1, a New York all-news channel. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.

                        (CNN)"Can we not have any more questions about impeachment?" Nancy Pelosi asked halfway through her CNN Town Hall meeting.

                        The answer, of course, was "no."
                        Hours earlier, Pelosi had stood on the Speaker's balcony, and announced on live television that the House Judiciary Committee and other house chairs will draft articles of impeachment against President Trump. The statement brings us closer to the third presidential impeachment in US history, and naturally became the focus of the town hall.
                        Errol Louis
                        Pelosi said, with a straight face, that the impending impeachment of President Trump, which she has ordered and directed, was not about politics.
                          "It's about honoring our oath of office," she told the audience. "Politics is not even a consideration in this."
                          That is the kind of thing that leaders like Pelosi say when they know the politics are lined up in their favor. And, of course, Pelosi has clearly considered the politics: Her decision to push forward with impeachment is a sure sign that Democratic leaders believe voters will support and reward their actions.
                          Polls indicate that more Americans support impeachment than not. Support for removing Trump from office has increased in the last two months, thanks to Pelosi's methodical staging of tightly-managed public hearings designed to make a public, easy-to-understand case that Trump has abused power, obstructed Congress and violated his oath of office.
                          Along the way, Pelosi's own stock has risen. As CNN's Harry Enten noted in October, "Pelosi is arguably the most popular nationally-known politician currently holding federal elected office," and has higher favorable ratings than Trump or Pence.
                          That didn't happen by accident.
                          Pelosi has served in the House for 32 years. She was born into a political dynasty: Her father and brother both served as mayors of Baltimore. She is the first female Speaker of the House, and the first person in nearly 60 years to hold the office twice.
                          It's safe to say that Pelosi does not get out of bed in the morning without considering the politics of putting on her slippers.
                          Since impeachment enjoys considerable public support, thanks to her political acumen, Pelosi has room to speak like a statesman.
                          Over and over during the town hall, Pelosi cited the Founding Fathers, describing impeachment as a constitutional obligation forced upon members of Congress by Trump's actions.
                          She referenced an oft-cited quote -- "the time has found us" -- from the author Thomas Paine, who said that history had forced him and his fellow Revolutionary War-era agitators to take a stand.
                          "I truly believe the times have found us to protect and defend our democracy," Pelosi told the town hall audience. She also reminded them that in 2008, during her first tour as Speaker, Pelosi shot down efforts by liberal House Democrats to remove then-President George Bush from office over the Iraq War.
                          Get our free weekly newsletter

                          Sign up for CNN Opinion's new newsletter.

                          Join us on Twitter and Facebook

                            Back then, Pelosi bluntly declared impeachment to be "off the table" and allowed a motion for impeachment by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to die in committee.
                            This time around, Pelosi has no such qualms. "I have to admit that today was quite historical," she said at the end of the town hall. A bit of modesty from the most powerful woman in America.
                              Mueller report's resurgence gives Democrats new dilemma on impeachment

                              Mueller report's resurgence gives Democrats new dilemma on impeachment

                              Mueller report's resurgence gives Democrats new dilemma on impeachment

                              (CNN)Democrats are debating a risky step that may immeasurably bolster their impeachment case but could multiply the political price for ramming it home.

                              Including elements of former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report suggesting President Donald Trump was guilty of obstruction would help arguments he did exactly the same in the Ukraine investigation.
                              But reviving the controversy over the special counsel's probe could blur the much clearer current abuse of power case and play into Trump's claims that both Washington intrigues are all part of the same "hoax."
                              Such an accusation would not be based in fact, but it would surely increase the exposure of swing state Democratic House members already facing an existential vote over impeachment.
                                Still, putting the nation through the trauma of impeaching a President partly for obstruction, and ignoring a detailed assessment of the repeated and high-level commission of the same offense would seem illogical. It would also be a missed opportunity for Democrats to indict the President before public opinion and lay down a marker for history.
                                House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to confirm that Mueller's findings on obstruction would find their way into the impeachment charges against Trump during a CNN Town Hall on Thursday evening. But she made no attempt to rule out the idea.
                                "We are not writing the articles of impeachment here tonight," she said.

                                The Mueller case on obstruction

                                Democrats warned in their report on the House Intelligence Committee's Ukraine investigations that the President was engaged in an attempt to obstruct Congress of historic magnitude.
                                "The damage to our system of checks and balances, and to the balance of power within our three branches of government, will be long-lasting and potentially irrevocable if the President's ability to stonewall Congress goes unchecked," the report said.
                                Mueller laid out 10 possible examples of obstruction of justice in his report published earlier this year. They included Trump's pressure on former FBI Director James Comey to end the investigation into ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn.
                                Perhaps the most well-known example of alleged obstruction was Trump's dismissal of Comey and subsequent remark in an NBC interview that it was because of the Russia investigation.
                                Mueller did not offer a definitive conclusion on whether Trump committed the crime of obstruction. But he also did not exonerate him. And he pointedly mentioned that Congress had discretion to investigate and impeach a sitting president in commenting that "no person is above the law."
                                Some Democrats believe that party leaders in the House should add the Mueller evidence into an article of impeachment accusing Trump of obstructing Congress by claiming "absolute immunity" and blocking key witness testimony and other evidence.
                                "I don't know how you look at Volume 2 where Bob Mueller says there are 10 instances of obstruction of justice, a crime that would send every other American to jail ... and say 'yea, we just ought to let that slide.'" Democratic Rep Jim Himes, a Connecticut Democrat, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."
                                Democrats are not considering bringing reams of Mueller's evidence into the impeachment case based on Trump's pressure on Ukraine. The aim would be to prove he has a habitual record of obstructing justice and investigations into his conduct.
                                "The argument here is not to include everything from the Mueller report but instead to select those few episodes related to obstruction of justice that demonstrated that the President had committed crimes, that he'd met all the elements of the statutory definition," said CNN legal analyst Susan Hennessey.
                                One benefit of such a step would be to counter an emerging GOP narrative that there is not a sufficiently developed record of obstruction in the Ukraine saga.
                                "That is definitely not the case in the Mueller report," Hennessey told Blitzer. "There is a very, very developed record."

                                Democrats appear ready to expand the case

                                Democrats provoked fresh speculation that they were moving towards admitting some Mueller evidence by scheduling a Judiciary Committee hearing for Monday with staffers from two committees: Intelligence, which investigated the Ukraine scandal, and Judiciary, which dealt with allegations of obstruction in the Mueller report.
                                This followed comments by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, that could be taken as a hint that Democrats were examining the Mueller option.
                                "President Trump welcomed foreign interference in the 2016 election. He demanded it for the 2020 election," Nadler said in his committee's opening impeachment hearing on Wednesday.
                                "In both cases, he got caught. And in both cases, he did everything in his power to prevent the American people from learning the truth about his conduct."
                                But in a situation as emotionally and politically fraught as an impeachment, confronting each action can provoke a politically damaging counter-reaction.
                                Democrats who wanted to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump after the release of the Mueller report failed to convince a critical mass of their own leadership that the case was sufficiently clear to the American people.
                                That was one reason why Pelosi held out so long against rising pressure in her own caucus for an effort to oust the President, amid fears of a political backlash.
                                In the CNN town hall, the speaker suggested that the Ukraine case was far more black and white.
                                "It wasn't so clear to the public," Pelosi said, referring to Mueller's findings. "The Ukraine (situation) has removed all doubt, it was self-evident that the President undermined our national security, jeopardized the integrity of our election as he violated the oath of office."
                                The President and his supporters, perpetrating a massive disinformation campaign to create uncertainty and ambiguity about the Ukraine case, has been trying to brand it as an extension of the Mueller saga.
                                Folding in the special counsel's evidence could help do his work for him.
                                For instance, in the first televised House Intelligence Committee hearing last month, the panel's top Republican, Rep. Devin Nunes, told witnesses: "the main performance — the Russia hoax — has ended, and you've been cast in the low-rent Ukrainian sequel."
                                  There is some squeamishness amongst some Democratic lawmakers about the prospect of referencing Mueller in the articles of impeachment — factors Pelosi and her top committee chairs must weigh as the mull next steps this weekend.
                                  "I was opposed to this previous to Ukraine — be cognizant of that," said freshman Rep Max Rose, saying he would read the eventual articles of impeachment before deciding what to do.
                                      House investigating whether Trump lied to Mueller

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                                      (CNN)Democrats are debating a risky step that may immeasurably bolster their impeachment case but could multiply the political price for ramming it home.

                                      Including elements of former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report suggesting President Donald Trump was guilty of obstruction would help arguments he did exactly the same in the Ukraine investigation.
                                      But reviving the controversy over the special counsel's probe could blur the much clearer current abuse of power case and play into Trump's claims that both Washington intrigues are all part of the same "hoax."
                                      Such an accusation would not be based in fact, but it would surely increase the exposure of swing state Democratic House members already facing an existential vote over impeachment.
                                        Still, putting the nation through the trauma of impeaching a President partly for obstruction, and ignoring a detailed assessment of the repeated and high-level commission of the same offense would seem illogical. It would also be a missed opportunity for Democrats to indict the President before public opinion and lay down a marker for history.
                                        House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to confirm that Mueller's findings on obstruction would find their way into the impeachment charges against Trump during a CNN Town Hall on Thursday evening. But she made no attempt to rule out the idea.
                                        "We are not writing the articles of impeachment here tonight," she said.

                                        The Mueller case on obstruction

                                        Democrats warned in their report on the House Intelligence Committee's Ukraine investigations that the President was engaged in an attempt to obstruct Congress of historic magnitude.
                                        "The damage to our system of checks and balances, and to the balance of power within our three branches of government, will be long-lasting and potentially irrevocable if the President's ability to stonewall Congress goes unchecked," the report said.
                                        Mueller laid out 10 possible examples of obstruction of justice in his report published earlier this year. They included Trump's pressure on former FBI Director James Comey to end the investigation into ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn.
                                        Perhaps the most well-known example of alleged obstruction was Trump's dismissal of Comey and subsequent remark in an NBC interview that it was because of the Russia investigation.
                                        Mueller did not offer a definitive conclusion on whether Trump committed the crime of obstruction. But he also did not exonerate him. And he pointedly mentioned that Congress had discretion to investigate and impeach a sitting president in commenting that "no person is above the law."
                                        Some Democrats believe that party leaders in the House should add the Mueller evidence into an article of impeachment accusing Trump of obstructing Congress by claiming "absolute immunity" and blocking key witness testimony and other evidence.
                                        "I don't know how you look at Volume 2 where Bob Mueller says there are 10 instances of obstruction of justice, a crime that would send every other American to jail ... and say 'yea, we just ought to let that slide.'" Democratic Rep Jim Himes, a Connecticut Democrat, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."
                                        Democrats are not considering bringing reams of Mueller's evidence into the impeachment case based on Trump's pressure on Ukraine. The aim would be to prove he has a habitual record of obstructing justice and investigations into his conduct.
                                        "The argument here is not to include everything from the Mueller report but instead to select those few episodes related to obstruction of justice that demonstrated that the President had committed crimes, that he'd met all the elements of the statutory definition," said CNN legal analyst Susan Hennessey.
                                        One benefit of such a step would be to counter an emerging GOP narrative that there is not a sufficiently developed record of obstruction in the Ukraine saga.
                                        "That is definitely not the case in the Mueller report," Hennessey told Blitzer. "There is a very, very developed record."

                                        Democrats appear ready to expand the case

                                        Democrats provoked fresh speculation that they were moving towards admitting some Mueller evidence by scheduling a Judiciary Committee hearing for Monday with staffers from two committees: Intelligence, which investigated the Ukraine scandal, and Judiciary, which dealt with allegations of obstruction in the Mueller report.
                                        This followed comments by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, that could be taken as a hint that Democrats were examining the Mueller option.
                                        "President Trump welcomed foreign interference in the 2016 election. He demanded it for the 2020 election," Nadler said in his committee's opening impeachment hearing on Wednesday.
                                        "In both cases, he got caught. And in both cases, he did everything in his power to prevent the American people from learning the truth about his conduct."
                                        But in a situation as emotionally and politically fraught as an impeachment, confronting each action can provoke a politically damaging counter-reaction.
                                        Democrats who wanted to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump after the release of the Mueller report failed to convince a critical mass of their own leadership that the case was sufficiently clear to the American people.
                                        That was one reason why Pelosi held out so long against rising pressure in her own caucus for an effort to oust the President, amid fears of a political backlash.
                                        In the CNN town hall, the speaker suggested that the Ukraine case was far more black and white.
                                        "It wasn't so clear to the public," Pelosi said, referring to Mueller's findings. "The Ukraine (situation) has removed all doubt, it was self-evident that the President undermined our national security, jeopardized the integrity of our election as he violated the oath of office."
                                        The President and his supporters, perpetrating a massive disinformation campaign to create uncertainty and ambiguity about the Ukraine case, has been trying to brand it as an extension of the Mueller saga.
                                        Folding in the special counsel's evidence could help do his work for him.
                                        For instance, in the first televised House Intelligence Committee hearing last month, the panel's top Republican, Rep. Devin Nunes, told witnesses: "the main performance — the Russia hoax — has ended, and you've been cast in the low-rent Ukrainian sequel."
                                          There is some squeamishness amongst some Democratic lawmakers about the prospect of referencing Mueller in the articles of impeachment — factors Pelosi and her top committee chairs must weigh as the mull next steps this weekend.
                                          "I was opposed to this previous to Ukraine — be cognizant of that," said freshman Rep Max Rose, saying he would read the eventual articles of impeachment before deciding what to do.
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