Rep. Meadows: Release of Volker Testimony Transcript Would ‘Exonerate’ Trump

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., talks with reporters following a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, for the House Republican leadership elections.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

WASHINGTON, DC — The full transcript of the testimony provided to House Democrats pursuing the impeachment inquiry by former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker last week would clear President Donald Trump of any wrongdoing, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) argued Tuesday.

Rep. Meadows, who witnessed Volker’s testimony, told reporters, “The full text of Amb. Volker’s testimony last week would’ve exonerated this president, let’s release it.”

Other Republican lawmakers have also called on the Democrats to release the full transcript of Volker’s testimony.

Meadows, joined by Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Scott Perry (R-PA) briefed reporters on Tuesday about U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to block U.S. European Union Amb. Gordon Sondland from testifying before the House panels pursuing the impeachment inquiry. The Republican lawmakers, with the exception of Gaetz, serve in the House committees leading the investigation.

Jordan asserted the transcripts prove President Donald Trump did not pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son in exchange for aid.

The Ohio Republican, who was also present when Volker delivered his testimony, told reporters:

Why not release the transcripts so you can all see what Amb. Volker told us? There is no wrongdoing [by Trump]. He [Volker] was completely as clear as could be, no quid pro quo whatsoever … Democrat chairmen after they read the transcript, said no quid pro quo whatsoever, but Adam Schiff doesn’t want that information out there. So, he is holding up the transcripts.

Zeldin, who also witnessed Volker’s testimony, maintained that the information the former envoy provided “obliterated” the Democrats’ quid pro quo offer claim.

He described the impeachment inquiry as a “fairy tale,” adding that the process is akin to a “kangaroo court.”

The Democrat-led House Committees on Oversight and Reform, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs pursuing the impeachment inquiry refuse to release the transcript of the more than eight hours of testimony provided by Volker last Thursday.

Instead, Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Eliot Engel (D-NY) have chosen to release bits and pieces of the evidence provided by Volker, namely a series of texts, to fuel their impeachment agenda.

Schiff (Intelligence), Cummings (Oversight and Reform), and Engel (Foreign Affairs) are the chairmen of the House panels conducting the impeachment investigation.

Volker proclaimed in written testimony that the texts were evidence that the Trump administration did not push Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son.

Nevertheless, the Democrat leaders cherry-picked and mischaracterized the texts, releasing a “subset” of the communication exchange that favored their impeachment efforts.

Asked why the Trump administration is preventing Sondland from talking to House lawmakers, Congressman Perry said:

To give the majority enough time — the maximum amount of time — to release the [full transcript of Volker’s] testimony that happened last week.

So we have that information out there and we know, in good faith, that they, in good faith, are going to release the testimony for the American people to see as opposed to parsing out little pieces that support their narrative.

Echoing his Republican colleagues, Perry indicated that if the Democrats release the transcript, the Trump administration would likely cooperate more with their impeachment inquiry.

“If they are willing to do that, then I think the administration will be willing to do more moving forward,” he said, referring to the release of the transcript.

The GOP congressmen blasted the media’s lack of interest in the full transcript.

“Adam Schiff is misleading you and you’re playing along with it, many of you are, and the American people are then getting deceived,” Zeldin told reporters.

Schiff delivered a statement about Sondland not testifying, but refused to take questions from reporters. In a joint statement, Schiff, Engel, and Cummings described the decision to prevent the ambassador from testifying as an attempt to “to impede and obstruct the impeachment inquiry.”

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