Sunday on ABC’s “This Week, Sen. Ted Cruz defended President Donald Trump’s effort to investigate Hunter Biden’s deal with Burisma.
Host George Stephanopoulos questioned the motivations of the investigation. He dismissed the allegations leveled at the former vice president’s son, to which Cruz noted there had been no sworn testimony from Hunter Biden regarding the matter.
Partial transcript as follows:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Senator Cruz, as you know in that phone call, the president never mentions the word corruption. He talks about CrowdStrike. He talks about the Bidens.
And back in September, you actually said that you wish the president didn’t go down that road to look into the Bidens, to call for investigations into the Bidens. So, what’s changed?
CRUZ: Well, look, what I said is there’s an appearance of impropriety, and that allows opponents to exploit it, to turn it into the kind of circus we’ve seen. But what I also said is there is real prima facie evidence of corruption.
You take, for example, the Bidens. We know that Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, was receiving up to $83,000 a month to serve on the board of the largest natural gas company in Ukraine, Burisma. Eighty-three thousand dollars a month, that’s a million dollars a year. That’s nearly ten times as much as ExxonMobil pays its directors.
And Hunter Biden — look, I’m from Houston. I know lots of people who serve on the board of natural gas companies. You know what they tend to have? They tend to have a background in geology and geophysics. They tend to know something about — about actually drilling for natural gas.
Hunter Biden had none of that experience. But his dad, he was vice president of the United States, and we have Joe Biden on film publicly and proudly bragging about how he threatened Ukraine with withholding $1 billion in foreign aid unless they fired the prosecutor that was potentially prosecuting Burisma, the company on which his son sat on the board.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And —
CRUZ: Now, that’s not just a little bit of evidence of corruption. That’s serious evidence of corruption.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, as you know —
CRUZ: And I think the president was perfectly within his authority to say, you need to investigate that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, as you know, there have been investigations and there’s no evidence of wrongdoing. The prosecutor was not looking into Joe Biden and Burisma at the time, and, Senator, the Vice President Biden —
CRUZ: Wait a second, George. Who is investigating it? When you say there’s no evidence of wrongdoing — Hunter Biden hasn’t testified.
On its face, there’s a lot of smoke there. Whether that was corrupt at the end of the day, I don’t know, but there’s more than enough evidence to investigate corruption.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Right. And that investigation apparently is continuing now. The president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani reporting back to the president. The president wants him to report to senators.
As you heard, Chairman Nadler says that’s a crime in progress.
CRUZ: So, look, Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff are interested in one thing which is their partisan attacks. You notice they have zero interest in any actual corruption.
They don’t want to know what happened during Burisma. In fact, they say, if you investigate what happened with Hunter Biden, that’s a crime in progress. They have zero evidence.
You brought up the inspector general report. Listen, two things happened this week of great consequence. Number one, the inspector general report which is unbelievably damning of the Department of Justice and FBI. The abuse of power that occurred there is stunning.
But number two, we actually saw the House of Representatives articles of impeachment, and their entire partisan case collapsed. For weeks and months, they have been promising evidence of criminal conduct. They abandoned all of that and admitted that the evidence doesn’t support all of — all of their attacks that have happened before.
I think this is the beginning of the end for this show trial that we’ve seen in the House. I think it’s going to come to the Senate. We’re going to have fair proceedings, and then it’s not going anywhere because the facts aren’t there.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, just to be clear, then you think there is nothing wrong with the president continuing to ask and having his personal lawyer continuing to ask for investigations into Joe Biden and the Democrats?
CRUZ: I think it is perfectly within the authority of the president to investigate corruption, and to investigate corruption with allies. We’re doing it every day. And, by the way, we did it every day under Barack Obama, under Bill Clinton, under George W. Bush.
The U.S. Justice Department cooperates with the justice departments — when I was at DOJ, I flew to Rome to meet with the Council of Europe, to meet with justice departments all throughout Europe, focusing on cyber-crime. That’s a big part of how you enforce the law.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you can cook up fraudulent attacks on your opponents. This would be a very different allegation if someone was say — if the president had said, please concoct something that isn’t real, that — that would be qualitatively different.
That’s not what the transcript says. The transcript says, investigate what happened. Find out what happened.
And the House Democrats, they don’t want to find out what happened. They stopped Republicans from calling Hunter Biden. They wanted no witnesses who would say anything to disrupt their narrative. And it’s a one-sided partisan narrative that I think a lot of the American people are frustrated with and are ready to move on.
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