Sen. Elizabeth Warren opposes Trump impeachment — and wants to protect Mueller 

  • Elizabeth Warren says she does not support impeaching President Donald Trump.
  • The Democratic senator from Massachusetts wants to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from firing and then draw a conclusion when his Russia probe is done.
  • Democratic leaders have tamped down talk about impeaching Trump ahead of November's critical midterm elections.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren may be one of President Donald Trump's most vocal critics. But she does not want to boot him out of office, yet.

Ahead of November's critical midterm elections, billionaire former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer has piled more than $20 million into his campaign to impeach the president. Asked Thursday evening if she agreed with the mega-donor's effort, Warren answered, "Nope."

The Massachusetts Democrat said she wanted to see special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation come to a close before she draws a conclusion. The former FBI director is looking into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin.

Warren said she gets "worried" about the president trying to fire Mueller when he rages against Mueller or the Justice Department that appointed him. She urged congressional Republicans to take up legislation protecting Mueller.

"The investigation then can be completed, and once the investigation is completed, then we know what we've got in front of us," Warren said during a New York Times TimesTalks event.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Warren's comments reflect the prevailing attitude among notable Democrats in Congress, who have tamped down talk of impeachment ahead of the midterms. Democratic leaders worry the divisive notion could turn away the independent and Republican voters they need to win swing districts and take a House majority in November.

A few Democratic members of Congress, notably Rep. Maxine Waters of California, support booting Trump from office. But the vast majority of the party's lawmakers and candidates in battleground races oppose impeachment as of now.

The Democratic rhetoric on impeachment could change, depending on whether the party takes a House majority and what Mueller's investigation concludes about Trump's conduct during the election. Mueller's investigation has led to the conviction of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort and a guilty plea from the president's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. Neither of those men faced charges related to coordination with Russia during the campaign. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York acted against Cohen after a referral from the special counsel.

Last month, Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and said Trump directed him to pay off women who alleged they had affairs with the president in order to influence the election. Manafort in August was tried and found guilty of tax and bank fraud. He reached a plea deal on Friday on separate charges in Washington. The president has not been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing.

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