Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker dismissed the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump because he doesn’t see that there was any crime committed.
“What is the crime?” he asked in a discussion with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Thursday, noting that “abuse of power” is not even found in the federal code.
(Video: Fox News)
Whitaker contended on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” that after watching House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s press conference on Thursday, it was clear the Democratic leader “had not watched yesterday play out and didn’t realize how actually weak her case is,” referring to the opening day of pubic hearings in the impeachment investigation.
“The reason that hearsay evidence is not admissible in federal court or state court is because it’s not reliable. These witnesses heard from somebody who heard from somebody who overheard a phone call that may have been somebody,” Whitaker said, referring to testimony from William Taylor, the acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.
Democrats were slammed Wednesday as their star witnesses in the impeachment hearings delivered an endless round of second and third-hand information.
‘Heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend’ witness hypes another NEW Trump phone call https://t.co/vnLPwjWApS
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 13, 2019
Democrats “have wasted a lot of time and taxpayer money on something that ultimately is not going to be successful,” Whitaker told Cavuto.
The Fox News host recounted Whitaker’s previous comments “even if it were an abuse of power, which I think you distinguished was not the case here, it wouldn’t be a crime,” referring to President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky which prompted a whistleblower complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry.
“In my experience, and in this case, if you’re going to impeach the president, there should be some crime that has been pointed out… I could get into a Founding Fathers debate with those on the left–” Whitaker replied before Cavuto interrupted.
“But is abuse of power a crime?” he questioned.
“It is not, which means it’s not found in the federal code. There’s no elements with which you can line up the facts. We have facts that are alleged,” Whitaker explained. “What is the crime? What is the elements that could be held out to those facts to see if the president actually did something wrong?”
Cavuto asked if Whitaker had seen anything in the president’s discussions in which he was trying to establish a “link” between withheld aid to Ukraine and an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.
Noting that the president has repeatedly contended, and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has concurred, that there was no quid pro quo in their discussions, Whitaker reiterated that “there was no investigation that was launched” and Ukraine received the aid “consistent with what Congress has authorized.”
“I know what Congress is trying to do here. They are trying to politically weaken the president. I’m worried about the precedent this is going to set for future administrations,” the former acting AG said.
“You are saying since the aid ultimately was delivered and it turns out that the dirt or whatever you want to call it on the Bidens was not, then there is nothing there?” Cavuto asked.
“I know the criminal code, and I don’t see anything that would make this a high crime or misdemeanor consistent with the Constitution,” Whitaker replied. “If the Democrats want to impeach the president for anything, just a fact pattern that they are finding here, they certainly politically can do that.”
“Egregious behavior…isn’t necessarily a high crime or misdemeanor in your eyes?” Cavuto pressed, appearing to be looking for a soundbite from Whitaker.
“I don’t think so,” Whitaker responded. “Egregious behavior, abuse of power – those are just baskets with which things can be placed in that is in the eye of the beholder. That’s never the system that we’ve developed here.”
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