House Republicans serving on the three committees involved in the impeachment inquiry released a memo Monday night laying out their case against impeaching President Donald Trump.
The 18-page memorandum offered by GOP members of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Government Reform, and Foreign Affairs committees offers “four key pieces of evidence that are fatal to the Democrats’ allegations” of wrongdoing by the president involving his July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Stripping away the hyperbole and hysteria, these indisputable pieces of evidence show that there was no ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ as required by the U.S. Constitution,” the memo reads.
First, the Republicans point out, the call summary “shows no conditionality or evidence of pressure” to investigate Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, regarding their dealings in Ukraine.
Second, “President Zelensky and President Trump have both said there was no pressure on the call.”
Third, “The Ukrainian government was not aware of the hold on U.S. assistance at the time of the July 25 call.”
Finally, Trump met with Zelensky at the United Nations in late September and released the foreign aid Sept. 11 without Ukraine having opened an investigation into the Bidens.
“These four key points undercut the Democrat impeachment narrative that President Trump leveraged U.S. security assistance and a presidential meeting to force Ukraine to investigate the President’s political rivals,” the memo reads.
The Republicans noted in their memo (page 15) that both acting U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Bill Taylor and former special representative for Ukraine negotiations Kurt Volker testified in closed-door hearings, being overseen by Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, that the Ukraine government was not aware of the aid being held up until late August.
The implication is if Trump was trying to demand a quid pro quo, implied or otherwise, on his call, the Ukrainians did not understand it that way.
Further, Volker, along with Fiona Hill, former senior director at the National Security Council, confirmed the president’s skepticism about Ukraine aid, given the country’s pervasive history of public corruption (page 4).
In the conclusion of their memo, the Republicans took Democrats to task for the unfair process of their impeachment proceedings to date.
The GOP lawmakers pointed out that 15 witnesses have testified behind closed doors, with the American public only able to learn of what transpired through “selective leaks of cherry-picked information.”
They highlighted that as the impeachment inquiry moves into public view, the proceeding is one-sided with the Republicans not allowed co-equal subpoena power and no due process protections for Trump.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Schiff said, “This inquiry is not, and will not serve, however, as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the President pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit, or to facilitate the President’s effort to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm.”
The Republicans argue in their memo that the facts do not support Schiff’s claim.
“Simply put, the evidence gathered to date does not support the Democrat allegation that President Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate the President’s political rivals for the benefit in the 2020 presidential campaign,” the memo reads.
“The evidence gathered does not establish an impeachable offense.”
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