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Vulnerable House Democrats tread carefully in wake of Mueller report

Vulnerable House Democrats tread carefully in wake of Mueller report

Reuters
washington
Vulnerable House Democrats, mindful of President Donald Trump’s continued strength among Republican voters, are using caution in how they respond to the special counsel’s report, which detailed Trump’s efforts to thwart the investigation into Russian efforts to help him win the White House.
More than 30 Democratic representatives, many of whom are in their first term, represent districts that supported Trump in 2016. The party’s chances of keeping control of the U.S. House of Representatives likely hinge its ability to defend those seats.
In the report released on Thursday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller said Trump may have obstructed justice and portrayed a president bent on stopping the probe into Russian meddling. But Mueller stopped short of concluding that a crime was committed, leaving it to Congress to make its own determination. That is putting pressure on congressional Democrats to decide whether to pursue impeachment charges against Trump, whose continued popularity with his Republican base could weigh heavily on Democratic lawmakers in swing districts. Those incumbent Democrats may have to strike a delicate balance on the campaign trail next year. Too much bashing of the president could turn off voters more interested in kitchen-table issues and motivate Trump sympathizers to rally around him.
Hours after Mueller’s findings were released, Abby Spanberger, a Democratic congresswoman from Virginia, held a town hall that saw virtually no discussion of the report. She knocked off a Republican incumbent last year in a district that favored Trump by more than 6 percentage points in 2016. The 39-year-old representative told reporters before the event that she was more interested in preventing Russia from attacking the electoral process than in “re-litigating” the 2016 presidential contest.
“Regardless of what actions the president did or didn’t take... understanding in far greater detail the aggression of a foreign adversary nation against our election’s infrastructure should ideally help us avoid such circumstances in the future,” she said.

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