Update: The amendment was voted down later Thursday by a party-line vote of 23-17.
Representative Jim Jordan (R., Oh.) introduced an amendment to abolish the first article of impeachment leveling “abuse of power” at President Trump, saying the article “ignores the truth.”
“Four facts, five meetings have never changed,” Jordan said, referencing prior House testimony. “Article One in this resolution ignores the truth, ignores the facts, ignores what happened and what has been laid out for the American people over the last three weeks.”
The articles of impeachment, which state that “using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election,” link a desire from the White House for a public statement on investigations to a withholding of Ukrainian military aid as the basis for “abuse of power.”
Jordan said that, based on the call transcript, there are “four facts that have not changed, will not change, will never change.”
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) December 12, 2019
The Ohio Republican stated the call showed “no quid pro quo,” that both Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have both said “no pressure, no pushing, no linkage whatsoever between security assistance money and any type of an announcement of an investigation,” that the Ukrainians did not know the aid had been held up at the time of the call, and “most importantly, we know the Ukrainians took no action” in starting an investigation. Jordan also detailed five meetings between American and Ukrainian officials in which military aid was never discussed.
Following Jordan’s announcement, Democrats quickly denounced his “facts” as inaccurate, while Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) pointed out the fact that the aid was released after the president knew of the whistleblower.
“Why was the aid released? Because the president was caught red-handed trying to pressure a foreign government to target an American citizen,” Jeffries said.
News broke Wednesday of a memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget casting the delay in the provision of military aid to Ukraine as a routine exercise intended to assure that the funds would be properly spent. This account pushes back on Democrats’ assertion that the aid was delayed for political reasons.