Sen. John Kennedy said Sunday he believes that the impeachment probe against President Donald Trump for allegedly threatening to withhold aid from Ukraine unless that government investigated Democrat-linked collusion in 2016 is “as rigged as a carnival ring toss.”
“And we both know that,” the Louisiana Republican told NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.
“Have they allowed the president to call his own witnesses? No. Have they allowed him to have his lawyer present? No. Have they allowed him to offer rebuttal evidence? No. Have they allowed him to cross-examine the witnesses that were hand-picked by Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi? No,” he continued.
Democrats claim that the evidence shows Trump engaged in a “quid pro quo” attempt to “bribe” Ukraine to respond to his demand that Kiev launch investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and Democratic National Committee efforts to solicit political dirt on 2016 Trump campaign officials on behalf of the party’s presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Republicans counter that a transcript of a July 25 phone call which a CIA whistleblower cited in a complaint against the president released by the White House does not contain any evidence of a quid pro quo or threat.
As for Kennedy, pressed by Todd as to whether he was doing Russia’s bidding in shifting blame for 2016 election interference from Russia to Ukraine, he responded that both countries meddled.
Kennedy cited reports claiming that then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attempted to help elevate Clinton over Trump, whom he viewed as unfit for the White House.
Also, previous reporting by POLITICO and others provided details of how Ukrainian government officials worked to help Clinton because they assumed she would win.
“Russia was very aggressive and they are much more sophisticated,” Kennedy said.
“But the fact that Russia was so aggressive does not exclude the fact that President Poroshenko actively worked for Secretary Clinton,” he added.
As for any quid pro quo, Joe Biden was captured on video last year at an event sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations bragging about how he threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from Ukraine unless that government fired the country’s chief prosecutor who was investigating corruption allegations tied to an energy firm employing his son, Hunter, at the time as a board member.
Hunter Biden’s salary was reportedly between $50,000 and $83,000 per month.