White House

House Republicans Defend Trump in New 123-Page Impeachment Report

President Donald Trump talks about imposing fresh sanctions on Iran as Vice President Mike Pence looks on in the Oval Office, June 24, 2019. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

House Republicans continued to hold firm in their defense of President Trump in a new 123-page report, which is designed to preempt the House Intelligence Committee’s report which will be released Tuesday and will lay out conduct that could serve as the basis for articles of impeachment.

“The evidence presented does not prove any of these Democrat allegations and none of the Democrats’ witnesses testified to having evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanor,” the report reads.

The report centers around the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and objects to the allegation that Trump pressured Ukraine into investigating the Bidens in exchange for the release of $391 million in aid that had been placed on hold.

“The summary of their July 25, 2019, telephone conversation shows no quid pro quo or indication of conditionality, threats, or pressure—much less evidence of bribery or extortion. The summary reflects laughter, pleasantries, and cordiality,” the report says. “President Zelensky has said publicly and repeatedly that he felt no pressure. President Trump has said publicly and repeatedly that he exerted no pressure.”

House Republicans argue that the Bidens were only mentioned “in passing” on the call and claim that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani acted legitimately in Ukraine “because the Ukrainians knew that he was a conduit to convince President Trump that President Zelensky was serious about reform.”

“President Trump has a deep-seated, genuine, and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine due to its history of pervasive corruption,” the report states.

Giuliani has come under fire for working with two foreign-born Americans, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who are accused of attempting to dig up dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine and helping to oust former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch over business interests.

Appearing in court on Monday on charges of campaign finance violations, Parnas’s lawyer said the Ukrainian-American can’t cooperate in the impeachment inquiry because federal authorities seized “the lion’s share” of information requested in a House subpoena.

Republicans end the report by arguing that the Ukraine affair represents a foreign-policy disagreement between career foreign officials and the White House, not corrupt conduct or an impeachable offense.

“The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry paints a picture of unelected bureaucrats within the foreign policy and national security apparatus who fundamentally disagreed with President Trump’s style, world view, and decisions. Their disagreements with President Trump’s policies and their discomfort with President Trump’s actions set in motion the anonymous, secondhand whistleblower complaint,” the report concludes. “Democrats seized on the whistleblower complaint to fulfill their years-old obsession with removing President Trump from office.”

Late Tuesday afternoon, President Trump tweeted his support of the report after landing in London for NATO talks set for tomorrow.

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