HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — On Monday, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), a candidate for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up in 2020 currently occupied Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), downplayed the latest attempt by his House Democratic colleagues to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
Byrne hosted a town hall in the North Alabama city and fielded questions from potential GOP primary voters. One of those questions dealt with the Russia investigation and when or if the public might get some relief from it.
According to Byrne, after having read the report submitted to Congress by Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller, he concluded there was no crime committed by Trump or his 2016 campaign.
“I’m one of the few people in Congress that’s actually read the Mueller Report – cover to cover,” Byrne said. “And let me save y’all some effort: There’s nothing in it. I’ve read it cover to cover. I’ve had friends of mine who are prosecutors. I asked questions about stuff that I didn’t necessarily understand. I actually looked up the law. Read the law.”
“There’s no crime in there,” he continued. “There’s no collusion or conspiracy crime. There’s no obstruction of justice crime.”
The Alabama GOP U.S. Senate hopeful discussed House Democrats’ revamped efforts to pursue impeachment coming out of the August recess. He pointed to where they were now focused as a sign that even Democrats acknowledge no collusion or obstruction of justice.
“Now, let me tell you how you know that’s true,” he said. “Congress is coming back this week and the Democrats that run the Judiciary Committee in the House – that’s where impeachment is supposed to start. They laid out what they want to investigate. They’re no longer investigating collusion or obstruction of justice. They’re investigating a bunch of other things, like whether the president violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution.”
Byrne told his town hall attendees that based on that this “fishing” effort, Trump’s rights were being violated.
“They are fishing,” he said. “They’re trying to find something. Now the sad story here is not just that we are wasting precious time and energy in the Congress. The sad story here is that President Trump, who enjoys the same rights as any citizen – his rights were breached. This investigation should never have been started.”
Byrne asked what the reaction might be if a Republican administration had acted as the Obama administration had toward Trump’s campaign.
“I want to imagine this – I want you to imagine if President Trump’s Justice Department next summer, just a few months before a general election, presidential election, starts investigating the Democratic nominee for president,” he said. “I want you to imagine what they would do. What a hue and cry you would hear from the national news media and the Democrats.”
“Well, that is exactly what happened in 2016, just a few months before the presidential election – a Democratic president and his Justice Department started an investigation of the Republican nominee,” Byrne continued. “Now that should chill every one of us that any president, any Justice Department, any party would do that. And more troubling is the fact that the basis on which they proceeded with that investigation was at very best questionable.”
The Alabama Republican touted his “Investigate the Investigators” effort and predicted that ultimately the truth would come out.
“Somebody needs to be held accountable, maybe somebodies need to be held accountable for what they did because it was wrong and I suspect it was illegal,” Byrne added.
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