A Republican memo released late Monday to GOP lawmakers outlined critical issues with the Democrats impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump and blasted Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff for a “one-sided, partisan, and fundamentally unfair hearing,” process.
The memo, issued by Republican staff of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Committee of Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, points to numerous pieces of evidence from the closed door impeachment hearings. Republican’s note that evidence contradicts and repudiates the Democratic narrative that Trump “jeopardized U.S. national security” when he spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July, 25.
It also reveals that there was ‘no quid pro quo’ to withhold any military aid from the country unless there was an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden, as suggested by Democrats.
The body of evidence to date does not support the Democrat allegation that President Trump pressured Ukraine to conduct investigations into the President’s political rivals for his political benefit in the 2020 election
Trump’s recently released the transcripts of his private phone conversation with Zelensky was the most substantial piece of evidence, say Republicans. The phone call revealed no evidence that the Trump administration threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine if there was no investigation.
However, Democrats have called roughly 15 witnesses testify at the closed door hearings but have kept the most critical witness the ‘whistleblower’ from Republicans. Numerous questions linger about the whistleblower and his connections to Schiff, the Democrats, as well as his work with former senior Obama Administration officials who have targeted Trump for more than 3 years.
Selective leaks of some parts of the testimony, mostly containing interpretations of what some of the witnesses believed Trump was saying to Zelensky were released to the public. Later, some of the transcripts were released. On Wednesday, the hearings (part two) will begin again and this time for the public. Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor and George Kent, a high-level State Department official, will testify.
What was evident during the ‘bunker’ hearings, however, was that information was selectively leaked. The witnesses, many of who did not have first hand knowledge , only gave their interpretations of that they thought Trump was doing. For the most part, the public has no idea what was going on inside the hearings because Republicans have a gag order issued by Schiff.
Republican’s argue that the hearings are nothing more than a political scheme by Democratic leaders to impeach a duly elected president without any evidence of wrongdoing.
Four Key Pieces of Evidence Against Democratic Narrative (Republican Memo)
- 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.
Trump’s Concerns Regarding Ukraine Are Validated
Further, they argue, Trump’s concerns regarding corruption, are not without merit. Ukraine has been plagued with corruption and it is one of the reasons previous administrations have had difficulty in providing the necessary foreign aid.
Numerous analysts have noted that Trump asking to investigate corruption is not an impeachable offense by any means and that no-where in the transcript did he threaten to withhold aid. In fact, Zelensky stated publicly that he was unaware of any military aid being withheld on the condition that he investigate the circumstances surrounding the Bidens.
Hunter Biden accepted a paid position on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. His firm Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, “received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia,” according to an investigation by John Solomon at The Hill.
“Capitol basement bunker”
The Republican memo also argues that the closed-door impeachment hearings, which began roughly 50 days ago when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff would lead the inquiry, have been held in the “Capitol basement bunker.”
“The body of evidence to date does not support the Democrat allegation that President Trump pressured Ukraine to conduct investigations into the President’s political rivals for his political benefit in the 2020 election,” the Republican memo states. “The body of evidence to date does not support the Democrat allegations that President Trump covered up misconduct or obstructed justice.”
The Republican leaders also note that the “fact finding is all unclassified, so the closed-door process is purely for information control,” the memo states. “This arrangement has allowed Chairman Schiff — who has already publicly fabricated evidence and misled Americans about his interactions with at 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 present.”
Several senior Republican lawmakers told this reporter that Schiff’s tactics have removed any right to due process for the President and trampled the rule of law for purely political purposes.
Critical Points From Republican Memo
- Fact finding is unclassified. The closed door hearings are purely so Rep. Schiff can control information flow.
- Schiff has already fabricated evidence in the past and leaked to the media. He is doing it again with the impeachment inquiry.
- Democratic closed door hearings are misleading the public.
- Democrats have placed a gag order on Republican members present during the hearings.
- Schiff has denied Republicans ‘fundamental fairness and minority rights.’
- Schiff directed witnesses ‘called by Democrats not to answer Republican questions.’
- Schiff withheld deposition transcripts.
- Schiff broke with precedent and offered ‘no due process protections for the President.’