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House Republicans Outline Impeachment Defense with ‘Four Key Pieces of Evidence’

President Donald Trump looks on during a ceremonial swearing-in for Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia at the White House, September 30, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

One day before public impeachment hearings are set to begin, a new memo detailing House Republicans’ messaging strategy centers on “four key pieces of evidence” that they claim prove “fatal” to the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

“Stripping away the hyperbole and the hysteria, these indisputable pieces of evidence show that there was no ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ as required by the U.S. Constitution,” reads the document.

The four pieces of evidence Republicans cite are the White House transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump doesn’t mention military aid; confirmation of “no pressure on the call” by Zelensky; Ukraine’s lack of awareness that the military aid had been withheld at the time of the call; and the administration’s decision to release the aid in September without Zelensky acceding to the alleged demands.

“The evidence shows that President Trump had a deep-seated, genuine, and reasonable skepticism toward Ukraine, and a vocal position that Europe should contribute more to regional defense,” the memo reads. Republicans mention that 2016 election interference from within Ukraine makes Trump’s much-discussed Ukraine strategy “entirely reasonable.”

President Trump took to Twitter Tuesday morning to echo the Republican sentiments, as well as claiming that both former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter should testify “in this No Due Process Scam!”

The memo closes by criticizing the release of House testimonies by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), arguing that “transcripts cannot be a substitute for live witness testimony,” and condemning Schiff for a “one-sided, partisan, and fundamentally unfair” process.

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