On the same day that the House Intelligence Committee began circulating “Chairman Adam Schiff’s impeachment report” on President Donald Trump, top congressional Republicans released their own report disputing everything in Schiff’s report.
“The evidence presented does not prove any of these Democrat allegations, and none of the Democrats’ witnesses testified to having evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanor,” their 123-page report reads.
Numerous witnesses admitted point-blank last month that “no quid pro quo,” “no bribery” and “no extortion” occurred during the president’s controversial July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
And while the Democrats’ star witness, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, did state during his own testimony that “yes,” the president’s interactions with Zelensky did involve quid pro quo, he later admitted under Republican questioning that this assertion was a presumption, not a fact.
Turner: So you really have no testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for these investigations?
Sonland: Other than my own presumption
— Lola Netty (@TXTrumpette89) November 21, 2019
“The evidence does not support the accusation that President Trump pressured President Zelensky to initiate investigations for the purpose of benefiting the President in the 2020 election,” the GOP’s report continues.
“The evidence does not support the accusation that President Trump covered up the summary of his phone conversation with President Zelensky. The evidence does not support the accusation that President Trump obstructed the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.”
Read the full report below:
Written by the ranking members of the House Intelligence Committee, House Oversight Committee, and House Foreign Affairs Committee, the report by, respectively, Republican Reps. Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan, and Michael T. McCaul continues by noting that the key piece of evidence in the matter — the transcript of the call — “shows no quid pro quo or indication of conditionality, threats, or pressure — much less evidence of bribery or extortion.”
“The summary reflects laughter, pleasantries, and cordiality. President Zelensky has said publicly and repeatedly that he felt no pressure. President Trump has said publicly and repeatedly that he exerted no pressure,” the report reads.
And regarding the president’s request to Zelensky that he initiate investigations into credible allegations of corruption surrounding the 2016 presidential election and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, the Republican congressmen note that Trump has long been concerned about Ukraine’s track record of corruption.
And regarding the president’s alleged refusal to provide military aid unless Zelensky agreed to these investigations, the Republican congressmen note that Trump has likewise long been concerned about American money being wasted overseas.
“Understood in this proper context, the President’s initial hesitation to meet with President Zelensky or to provide U.S. taxpayer-funded security assistance to Ukraine without thoughtful review is entirely prudent,” the report continues.
Plus, the president eventually released the aid after Zelensky demonstrated “his commitment to promoting reform, combatting corruption, and replacing” his corrupt predecessor’s holdovers within the government.
All these facts strongly undercut the claims contained in Schiff’s report. While his report hadn’t been publicly released yet as of Tuesday morning, it was reportedly expected to accuse Trump of a variety of crimes, including even Russian collusion …
Reports claim that Democrats’ impeachment report will include charges that Trump colluded with Russia to win in 2016
Adam Schiff refuses to give up on the Russian Collusion hoax
So maybe he should show us the “bombshell” evidence he claimed to have for 3 years
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) December 1, 2019
Speaking with conspiracy theory-peddling MSNBC host Rachel Maddow late Monday, the House Intelligence Committee chair doubled down on his dubious accusations.
He also reportedly issued a formal statement pushing back on the GOP’s fact-based report.
“The Minority’s rebuttal document, intended for an audience of one, ignores voluminous evidence that the president used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rival by withholding military aid and a White House meeting the President of Ukraine desperately sought,” his statement reads.
“In so doing, the President undermined our national security and the integrity of our elections. Tellingly, the Minority dismisses this as just part of the President’s ‘outside the beltway’ thinking. It is more accurately, outside the law and constitution, and a violation of his oath of office.”
But to hear Republicans say it, the lawless reprobates who undermined America’s national security are the “unelected bureaucrats within the foreign policy and national security apparatus who fundamentally disagreed with President Trump’s style, world view, and decisions” — i.e., the partisan whistleblower and his allies — while the ones undermining America here and abroad are the Democrats themselves.
“The unfortunate collateral damage of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is the harm done to bilateral U.S.-Ukraine relations, the fulfillment of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s desire to sow discord within the United States, and the opportunity costs to the American people,” the report concludes.
“In the time that Democrats spent investigating the President, Democrats could have passed legislation to implement the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, lower the costs of prescription drugs, or secure our southern border. Instead, the Democrats’ obsession with impeaching President Trump has paralyzed their already-thin legislative agenda. Less than a year before the 2020 election and Democrats in the House still cannot move on from the results of the last election.”
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