In a staff memo circulated to GOP committee members Monday night, House Republicans outlined “four key pieces of evidence” that they believe are “fatal” to the Democrats’ allegations of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
The memo, written by top Republicans from three committees involved in the impeachment investigation, also excoriated Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for improperly conducting the inquiry from his “Capitol basement bunker.”
“The fact-finding is all unclassified, so the closed-door process is purely for information control,” the memo said. “This arrangement has allowed Chairman Schiff — who has already publicly fabricated evidence and misled Americans about his interactions with the anonymous whistleblower — to selectively leak cherry-picked information to help paint misleading public narratives while, at the same time, placing a gag order on Republican Members.”
With the inquiry now moving to public hearings, the Republican memo was designed to update members on key points of evidence learned to date from the closed-door testimonies.
According to the memo, the four key pieces of evidence go as follows:
● The July 25 call summary — the best evidence of the conversation — shows no conditionality or evidence of pressure;
● President Zelensky and President Trump have both said there was no pressure on the call;
● The Ukrainian government was not aware of a hold on U.S. security assistance at the time of the July 25 call; and
● President Trump met with President Zelensky and U.S. security assistance flowed to Ukraine in September 2019 — both of which occurred without Ukraine investigating President Trump’s political rivals.
In a section titled, “Background,” the memo sought to provide context to accurately “asses the President’s state of mind” during his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The memo writers argued that “Trump had a deep-seated, genuine and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine and U.S. taxpayer-funded foreign aid” due to its “history of pervasive corruption” which operated “independent of and preceding any mention” of Ukraine’s alleged 2016 election interference and Hunter Biden’s involvement with Burisma.
An Axios report suggests “the memo fails to consider counterarguments that Democratic members have been making in the media for weeks” such as reports that top officials involved in Ukraine policy, Bill Taylor and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, “were under the impression that there was a quid pro quo involving the aid.”
Public impeachment hearings are set to begin Wednesday.
Author: Phil Shiver