As House Democrats prepare on Wednesday to begin holding open hearings into their impeachment inquiry involving President Donald Trump, Republican leaders have released a memo of “key points” aimed at defending the White House.
The memo to GOP members of the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees, which was written by top Republicans on those panels who were involved in the closed-door impeachment hearings over the past month, details “key points of evidence” to use in the president’s defense.
The document argues that Democrats have not presented any evidence of a quid pro quo that they say occurred during a July 25 phone call between the president and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Also, the memo’s authors argue that though the hearings are going public, they will still remain “one-sided, partisan, and fundamentally unfair.”
The memo’s key points include:
- The Trump-Zelenskiy call showed no conditions placed or pressure in exchange for Ukraine conducting investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter;
- Zelenskiy and Trump both said there was no pressure involved;
- Ukraine’s government was not aware that there had been a hold on placed on aid at the time of the phone call;
- The hold on security assistance was lifted on Sept. 11.
Also, the authors noted that there will be no due process for the president in the hearings, adding there aren’t any guarantees that House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) will allow witnesses to testify that Republicans are attempting to question.
Schiff has already denied a GOP request to call in the anonymous whistleblower whose report allegedly led to the impeachment inquiry.
President Trump had a “deep-seated, genuine and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine and U.S. taxpayer-funded foreign aid” the memo states, because of the “pervasive corruption” in the country since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The memo also states that some Ukrainian officials interfered in the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.
Politico reported on that interference in January 2017, before Trump was inaugurated.