Several Republican lawmakers reacted to the release of President Donald Trump’s phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, pointing out that there are “ZERO grounds for impeachment” based on the content of the conversation.
Trump authorized the “complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript” of the conversation on Tuesday, and it was released subsequently on Wednesday.
“You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo!” Trump previewed. “This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”
The transcript shows Trump asking Zelensky to “find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike”– a reference to ongoing questions surrounding election meddling and hacking efforts.
The transcript reads:
President Donald Trump: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a
lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess
you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the·whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, ·it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.
President Zelensky: Yes it is. very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to·open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United· States and Ukraine.· For that·purpose, I just recalled our.ambassador from the United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer.
Hunter Biden was brought up after the fact:
Trump: … I just want to let you know that’s the other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you ·can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.
Republican lawmakers across the board agree that there is no smoking gun and “zero” grounds for impeachment.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said he is “incensed by the Fake News media and Socialist Democrats’ distortion of truth” after reading the full transcript of Trump’s conversation and urged Americans to read it for themselves.
He outlined some “noteworthy observations”:
First, President Trump asked about Ukraine investigating “Crowdstrike” (an investigation unrelated to Biden). It was Ukraine President Zelenskyy, not President Trump, who first brought up investigations beyond “Crowdstrike. Only thereafter did President Trump mention then-Vice President Joe Biden’s possible illegal interference in a Ukraine prosecutor’s investigation of Biden’s son (who was allegedly involved in corrupt practices and may very well have been prosecuted for corruption but for then-Vice President Biden’s monetary threats, coercion and intimidation of Ukraine’s political leadership).
Second, in no way, shape or form did President Trump ask Ukraine President Zelenskyy for “campaign help.” There is no request for campaign contributions, campaign volunteers, yard signs or anything else of a campaign nature. Rather, President Trump’s request is very straightforward and an effort to root out and uncover corrupt practices that may (or may not) reach all the way to America’s White House under President Obama and V.P. Biden.
Third, I would hope and encourage every President of the United States to root out and uncover corrupt practices in the United States, or by any American citizen anywhere, particularly when the allegations reach to the highest levels of America’s government— the White House!
Finally, the Fake News Media and Socialist Democrats are engaged in a fake “Russian Collusion Scandal 2.0,” albeit this time involving Ukraine. The Fake News Media and Socialist Democrats should apologize to the American people for their intentional and knowing distortion of the truth. They won’t, of course, because they care more about advancing a hyper-partisan, Socialist, anti-America agenda than they do telling the American people the truth.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) concurred. “I’ve read the transcript in its entirety. It shows that there was no quid pro quo. The Ukrainian President admitted problems with corruption in the country and agreed that the issue at hand warranted looking into further,” he said in a statement.
He continued in part:
The firing of a prosecutor looking into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son following pressure from Mr. Biden himself is worthy of investigation. That a president who ran on an anti-corruption platform would look into this matter is unsurprising and is in both the U.S. and Ukrainian national interest.
For years, Democrats have decried foreign interference in U.S. elections. But this seems to be a one-way street. Democrats are wholly uninterested in looking into past Ukrainian efforts to help former Vice President Biden, as well as the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, which reportedly used Ukraine to undermine the Trump campaign. That’s not how the rule of law works.
National media attention to only one side of this issue is disappointing even if unsurprising. The Obama administration used the Department of Justice and its intelligence agencies to investigate a political opponent in then-candidate Trump while using foreign government sources to further the investigation. But it’s supposedly unacceptable for the Trump administration to encourage a foreign nation to look into a matter that it was prevented from fully investigating by the previous administration with clear conflicts of interest. That’s not a standard that makes any sense.
“Just read transcript of POTUS’ call w/Ukraine Pres. Absolutely ZERO grounds for impeachment and I agree w/ the President that US-Ukraine should investigate,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) wrote.
“This is absurd how Congressional Dems & many in media are trying to spin this all!” he added.
Just read transcript of POTUS’ call w/Ukraine Pres. Absolutely ZERO grounds for impeachment and I agree w/ the President that US-Ukraine should investigate. This is absurd how Congressional Dems & many in media are trying to spin this all!
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) September 25, 2019
“In my point of view, to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (D-SC) said.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 25, 2019
“Wow. Impeachment over this? What a nothing (non-quid pro quo) burger,” Graham added in a tweet. “Democrats have lost their minds when it comes to President @realDonaldTrump.”
Wow. Impeachment over this?
What a nothing (non-quid pro quo) burger.
Democrats have lost their minds when it comes to President @realDonaldTrump.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 25, 2019
“The special counsel wrongfully flipped the legal burden of proof to require President Trump to conclusively determine his innocence. Now Democrats have done the same thing to our national security,” Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) said in a statement.
The transcript conclusively determines, despite Democratic promises to the contrary, that there was no quid pro quo. No mention of military aid. No violation of the law. But to conclusively prove his innocence, a classified and privileged conversation between a foreign head of state and our president is now in the public view. In their desire to undo the 2016 election and destroy President Trump, Democrats have today unequivocally and irreparably harmed our national security and compromised an important ally. Instead of forming an impeachment line, Democrats should consider forming an apology line.”
In their desire to undo the 2016 election and destroy President Trump, Democrats have today unequivocally and irreparably harmed our national security and compromised an important ally. Instead of forming an impeachment line, Democrats should consider forming an apology line.
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) September 25, 2019
— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) September 25, 2019
“The transcript of the President’s phone call shows no wrongdoing, “ Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement.
“The real scandal here is that Democrats are using this issue to distract from wrongdoing by Vice President Biden and his son as they continue to relitigate the 2016 election and attempt to undo the will of the American people,” he added.
— Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) September 25, 2019
THIS is why @SpeakerPelosi launched impeachment? REALLY?
-No quid pro quo
-No discussion of foreign aid
To top it off, President Trump was asking Ukraine to look into serious and troubling issues regarding foreign interference in American elections.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) September 25, 2019
Dems launched an impeachment inquiry based on a rumor instead of waiting for the facts.
It's now clear: there was no quid pro quo. @realDonaldTrump didn't break any laws.
But this has never been about facts or laws for Dems & the media—they just want to undo the 2016 election.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) September 25, 2019
Seeing some try to spin this section of the call into "quid pro quo" and it's laughable. To put it mildly. https://t.co/ELkGXDvYmA
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) September 25, 2019
As the left now tries to move the goalposts, remember that for days, all we heard was that @realDonaldTrump offered quid pro quo to trade foreign aid in exchange for investigating the Bidens.
It was wrong. Again. Another day, another conspiracy theory debunked.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) September 25, 2019
Blatantly false and misleading tweet. The "favor" President Trump mentions is in regards to helping investigate 2016 election meddling.
Only after President Zelensky brings up Rudy Giuliani and "the investigation" does the Biden conversation happen. https://t.co/1gbTlFFQbC
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) September 25, 2019
The transcript between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky reveals that Democrats have again leapt to conclusions before looking at the facts. Full statement below: pic.twitter.com/7R1YhH308z
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) September 25, 2019
NOTHING in this transcript warrants impeachment. Just another witch hunt by the Dems who still refuse to accept the results of the 2016 election. Transcript DOES show the need for a serious investigation into the Bidens and their actions in Ukraine.
— Bradley Byrne (@BradleyByrne) September 25, 2019
On the other hand, it looks like #Biden is damaged goods!
— U.S. Representative Bill Flores (@RepBillFlores) September 25, 2019
Nothing remotely impeachable in transcript. Ukrainian President brought up Giuliani before @POTUS Trump mentioned Biden. No quid pro quo. Pursuing impeachment is indefensible.
— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) September 25, 2019
Unprecedented and unpatriotic.
Nancy Pelosi undermined the solemn duty of impeachment that a future House may have to undertake if there is something ACTUALLY wrong. The Left couldn’t even wait for the #UkraineTranscript before calling for a fact-free #TrumpImpeachment pic.twitter.com/uHwwjeBKJy
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 25, 2019
Instead of working in a bipartisan way to solve problems, Washington Democrats are on a political vendetta against President @realDonaldTrump and want nothing more than to undo the will of the American people.
— Richard Hudson (@RepRichHudson) September 25, 2019
Reading the transcript & getting the facts. Democrats have hinged their political capital & the integrity of their party on a transcript that lacks the quid pro quo they have been searching for. It's not there. The time for showboating is over. Let’s get back to legislating. pic.twitter.com/ZhNZkJrWuB
— Chuck Fleischmann (@RepChuck) September 25, 2019
GOP Sen. Capito in Trump transcript: “I don’t think it rises to the level of an impeachable offense at all. I was expecting much more from the pre-reports. It sounded like the president”
“Much, much, much less hysterical than what we were led to believe”
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) September 25, 2019
After all the bluster, the #UkraineTranscript turned out to be empty of even the slightest hint of wrongdoing by President @realDonaldTrump. If it wasn’t clear before, it is now plain as day that the Democrats continue to place politics above what’s best for the American people.
— Rep. Pete Olson (@RepPeteOlson) September 25, 2019
Here is the full transcript. This is what House Democrats upended the Congress for.
This is why our workers won’t see better trade deals, lower drug prices, or more economic opportunities.
Impeaching President Trump is their only agenda. https://t.co/EdDL4VJ7mY
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) September 25, 2019
.@Speakerpelosi could spend her time bringing bills to the floor that would create better lives for Americans, instead she wastes the American people’s time by continuing the never-ending witch hunt of @realdonaldtrump. The Dems have misled the public for over 2 yrs. It must end.
— Buddy Carter (@RepBuddyCarter) September 25, 2019