Leading up to the official public impeachment inquiry, President Trump has been blasting away on Twitter with even more frequency than he’s famous for doing. In a series of tweets starting on the eve of the inquiry, which kicks off on Capitol Hill Wednesday, the president highlighted arguments and quotes from various Republicans and political commentators making the case that the Democrats are engaged in a “partisan sham” based on an accusation that the evidence shows is “fraudulent.”
The Democrats’ impeachment effort centers around a whistleblower complaint about Trump’s July 25 call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “look into” the corruption allegations involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. The transcript of the call released by the Trump administration shows no “quid pro quo” arrangement, as the whistleblower and the Democrats have alleged. Still, the Democrats, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) maintain that Trump was attempting to force Ukraine to look into his political opponent by withholding U.S. military aide — aide that was ultimately granted without an investigation being conducted.
Trump has repeatedly underscored a key argument made in defense of his handling of Ukraine: the transcript of the call shows no quid pro quo, a point several political commentators have likewise made.
“This ridiculous Impeachment is a travesty, it’s not an inquiry. Just read the transcript,” said Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs, a quote Trump tweeted Tuesday.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that,” Trump told Zelensky. “So whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”
Further undermining the “quid pro quo” argument is that Ukraine received the $391 million in U.S. military aide early and without conducting any investigation into the Bidens and that Ukraine was not aware that the aide was being withheld or for what reason for weeks after the call.
“When you hear Schiff use all these words like quid pro quo, it is because they can’t specify that Donald Trump broke any laws or did anything wrong, and they have to move away from quid pro quo because there was no quid, and there was no quo,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, citing Fox & Friends’ Charles Hurt. “Ukraine got it’s money (3 weeks early), and there was no investigation.”
Another argument against the impeachment inquiry stressed by Trump and Republicans is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s consultation with the whistleblower before filing the initial complaint. Trump pointed to Schiff’s problematic conduct again Tuesday by posting a video put together by the House Oversight Committee Republicans highlighting Schiff’s shady involvement with the whistleblower and his infamous “summary” of Trump’s call on the House floor:
Schiff's Sham Impeachment. pic.twitter.com/pmLfx30YZL
— Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) November 12, 2019
Republicans have also argued that the Democrats have managed to control the narrative on the initial impeachment interviews by selectively releasing only parts of the testimony. “The Democrats have stacked the deck against President Trump and the Republicans. They have leaked out everything,” Trump wrote Wednesday morning, citing Fox & Friends’ Steve Doocy.
The public inquiry, Trump’s favorite Fox News host Sean Hannity argued Tuesday in a quote posted by Trump, will be nothing but a “phony showtrial” with “zero due process,” based on “yet another fraudulent hoax conspiracy theory.”
“The Left has never accepted the results of the 2016 Election,” said Hannity.
Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh agrees that the whole thing is a “sham.”
“Millions of Americans will see what a partisan sham this whole thing is,” said Limbaugh in another quote tweeted out by Trump Wednesday morning.
“Why is corrupt politician Schiff allowed to hand over cross examination to a high priced outside lawyer,” Trump asked after quoting Limbaugh. “Did that lawyer ever work for me, which would be a conflict?”
“READ THE TRANSCRIPT!” Trump tweeted emphatically Wednesday.