Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she still supports removing Trump through impeachment, but recognizes it almost certainly won't happen

UNITED STATES - MARCH 14: From left, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., are seen during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building to discuss preparations for the 2020 Census and citizenship questions on Thursday March 14, 2019. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross testified. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday morning that removing President Trump from office is not realistic with the Senate's current Republican majority.
  • Impeachment is just a form of censure, while removal is a step taken by the Senate.
  • Freshman Democrat Rashida Tlaib is already circulating a letter to get the ball rolling on impeachment after the conclusion of the Mueller report.

WASHINGTON - Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said Tuesday morning that removing President Donald Trump from the White House is not a political reality, citing Republicans' firm majority in the Senate.

Ocasio-Cortez, along with several other Democrats, have openly backed impeaching the president, despite attempts from Democratic leadership to quell such action. In the event the House does impeach a president, the Senate has final say on whether he is removed from office.

Read more: Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib bucks Pelosi, urges Democrats not to take Trump impeachment off the table even after Mueller findings

"I think what's tough is impeachment is something that I openly support, but it's also just the reality of having votes in the Senate to pursue that," she said.

Ocasio-Cortez also noted she is looking over the letter her fellow Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib began circulating to colleagues on Monday asking lawmakers to get on board with a resolution directing the House Judiciary Committee to pursue investigations of and decide on impeachable offenses committed by Trump.

The letter, first reported by INSIDER, came one day after Attorney General William Barr sent a summary of the now-folded special counsel investigation headed by Robert Mueller, which cleared Trump of allegations of colluding with the Russians during the 2016 campaign, but left open-ended questions about potential obstruction of justice.

Democrats have been demanding the public release of Mueller's final report, which he submitted to Barr on Friday. The House already passed a non-binding resolution 420-0 expressing their desire that the report be released for full viewing, but it remains at Barr's discretion.

Read more: Nancy Pelosi pours cold water on the idea of impeaching Trump: 'I don't think we should go down that path'

House and Senate committees are already preparing for public hearings with Barr as the primary witness, in which they will no doubt question him on the report and its many details.

But until then, Democrats are focused on getting the full report from the Justice Department for their own viewing, despite an unclear timeline and strict red line on impeachment talk from leadership.

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