Politics & Policy

Hawley Blasts Dems over Impeachment: ‘The Whole Thing Is a Joke’

Sen. Josh Hawley during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., December 11, 2019 (Erin Scott/Reuters)

Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) issued a stern rebuke to Democrats over impeachment in an appearance on The Ingraham Angle Monday night, calling the process a “kangaroo court” and saying “it’s time to get the president exonerated.”

“The facts are that the House has no evidence of any impeachable offense,” Hawley said. “They put their evidence out there, they issued their reports, we’ve all seen the hearings, and look — there’s nothing there.”

Hawley also responded to Democratic claims that the process was being “rigged” in the Senate by the Republican majority, accusing the Democrats of impeaching the president when Trump “hasn’t committed any impeachable offenses.”

“They didn’t even charge a crime, Laura, I mean this is what it comes back to,” Hawley said. “They’ve had their chance, they had their kangaroo court, they had their show, their circus for weeks and weeks and months and months, and there just isn’t anything there.”

Trump tweeted his approval of Hawley’s comments, quoting the senator on his criticism of Democrats.

Asked his thoughts on the details of a trial, including the potential calling of witnesses by Republicans, Hawley affirmed that he’d like to call both the whistleblower and Hunter Biden to testify as “absolutely relevant and material” to the trial.

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump was eying a Senate trial as a chance to “be vindicated,” and hoped for witnesses to be called over a simple acquittal — a central point of uncertainty ahead of Wednesday’s House vote.

In November, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) told reporters that the main question of a Senate trial was “how long does the Senate want to take?” Last week, McConnell said Republicans would work in close coordination with the White House on a line of defense, saying “there will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.” On Tuesday, McConnell rejected Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s suggestion that the Senate agree to call certain witnesses as part of negotiations over trial parameters.

Hawley seemed to agree with McConnell’s position, telling Ingraham that “I think the president is entitled to due process.”

“He is entitled to a full and fair defense,” Hawley added. “He has been denied that at every turn, the House Democrats denied him the ability to meaningfully participate in their ridiculous show trial over on their side — departing, by the way, from all of the procedures and precedents from the past. So the president deserves a full defense in the United States Senate and I am confident that he will get it.”

Reached for comment on whether Hawley preferred calling witnesses over a quick trial, the senator’s office pointed National Review to an answer the senator gave December 12 to Fox & Friends.

“I’d be ready to vote right now because I think that you can see that these articles of impeachment that the Democrats have put up are just a joke. I mean they don’t even allege a crime, so it’s a total joke,” Hawley said at the time. “But listen, if we get to the point where we’re going to call witnesses then I would absolutely support calling Hunter Biden and I would absolutely support calling the whistleblower. I would vote for that you bet because I think they’re absolutely relevant, absolutely material.”

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