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South Florida Congressman Wants More Investigation Before Impeachment

Congressman Ted Deutch shows excerpts of the Special Counsel's report at a town hall meeting Thursday.
Gerard Albert
Congressman Ted Deutch shows excerpts of the Special Counsel's report at a town hall meeting Thursday.

It's still too early for impeachment proceedings, U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch told the crowd at a packed town hall meeting Thursday in Oakland Park.

The Broward-Palm Beach County Democrat wants to educate people about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report first. 

"The purpose of these investigations is to follow them wherever they lead and ultimately, as the Mueller report tells us, to ensure that no one in the country, including the president of the United States, is above the law," he said.

The House Judiciary committee, on which Deutch serves, will start going through the Mueller report next week in an attempt to bring more of the findings to the public.

"We think it's imortant to actually show people what's at stake here," he said at the town hall.

People who attended the meeting filled out question cards for the congressman. Many of the more than 100 cards were focused on impeachment.

Questions about statute of limitations, subpoenas and executive powers made up a chunk of the cards.

A small "Lock him up" chant grew from the back of the room of over 200 people.

Deutch knew impeachment would be a topic on most people's minds so he brought with him a PowerPoint of excerts from the Mueller report. The brief slideshow highlighted landmark findings in the case including the President firing then-FBI Director James Comey and attempting to fire the Special Counsel.

"The President called McGahn and directed him to have the Special Counsel removed," read an excert projected on the wall.

Deutch shares his relcutance to begin an impeachment inquiry with most other Democrats in the House of Representatives. Of the 235 Democrats in the House only 59 have said they support starting the impeachment process, according to the latest CNN tally.

Deutch also criticized the current immigration policy and called for a more welcoming one.

"We need a humane immagration policy that provides a path to citizenship for immigrants who have been in our country, who have been contributing to our country," the congressman said.

The crowd was mostly friendly and applauded as the congressman went down the list of legislation that he had co-sponsored and passed in the last two years.

That included the STOP School Violence Act, which increases funding for school security, and the Background Checks Act, which requires a background check for every gun purchase, both in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas last year that left 17 students and faculty dead.

The congressman, whose district includes Parkland and Coral Springs, credited the political activism of young students who organized after the shooting.

"Young people helped pass meaningful gun safety legislation," Deutch said. "Thanks to the young people who started here and built a movement and reached out." 

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Gerard Albert III is a senior journalism major at Florida International University, who flip-flopped around creative interests until being pulled away by the rush of reporting.
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