• Trump, GOP lawmakers, not on same page for impeachment defense

    By: Jamie Dupree

    Updated:

    Just days before impeachment hearings are set to begin the U.S. House, President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress continued to be on different pathways when it comes to defending the President's conduct, as Mr. Trump on Sunday again maintained that he did nothing wrong in his phone call with the leader of Ukraine.

    "The call to the Ukrainian President was PERFECT," Mr. Trump tweeted from Trump Tower in New York. "Read the Transcript!"

    But Democrats said the transcript showed behavior which was not acceptable - and there were some GOP lawmakers agreeing in part.

    "I believe it was inappropriate," Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) said of the President's request in a July phone call for the government of Ukraine to launch investigations which would have benefited Mr. Trump politically. 

    "I do not believe it was impeachable," Thornberry said on ABC's "This Week."

    Mr. Trump argued specifically against that.

    "Republicans, don’t be led into the fools trap of saying it was not perfect, but is not impeachable," he tweeted.

    The White House document detailing the call - which is not a full, word for word transcript - shows the President clearly asking the leader of Ukraine to investigate the son of Vice President Biden, along with probing the assertion that Ukraine - and not Russia - had hacked Democrats in the 2016 elections.

    While the White House and Republicans tried to sort out their impeachment arguments, Democrats were blasting the GOP.

    "Witness testimony shows that everybody involved in the President’s pressure campaign knew what he wanted," said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-I), "political investigations to undermine our free and fair elections."

    "Republicans cried for weeks for open & public impeachment inquiry hearings," said Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA). "Now that public hearings begin this week, Trump & GOP don’t want them."

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