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Trump Tweets ‘NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG’ After Republicans Offer Mixed Defenses Of Him On Morning Shows
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
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On Sunday, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” and was asked about the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

After playing clips of multiple Republican lawmakers defending the president in various ways, and following a verbal skirmish over process concerns, host Martha Raddatz asked: “How do you defend against the substance?”

Thornberry replied:

I believe that it is inappropriate for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival. Now that leads to a question, if there’s a political rival with a family member who’s involved in questionable activity, what do you do? Just let them alone. But set that aside. I believe it was inappropriate. I do not believe it was impeachable. And process – you know, you all always want to say substance, not process. There’s a reason we let murderers and robbers and rapists go free when their due process rights have been violated. We believe the integrity of the system, the integrity of the constitution, the integrity of the processes under our legal system, is more important than the outcome of one particular case. So, I don’t think you can sweep process under the rug, because it is part of an impeachment decision, which has a constitutional requirement: bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors, but also a political element about whether it’s good for the country to pursue it under these circumstances…

Thornberry later added that “the constitution is very specific – bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors, which basically means felonies. So, that’s what you have to prove as a threshold question. The second question is, under the circumstances, do you believe that it’s good for the country to proceed with impeachment. I would suggest a couple of circumstances are relevant here, number one, there’s not anything that the president said in that phone call that’s different than he says in public all the time. So, is there some sort of abuse of power that rises to that threshold that is different than the American people have been hearing for three years? I don’t hear that.”

Thornberry also suggested that because we’re so close to an election year, the American people should be the ones to decide if Trump is removed from office via the ballot box.

Appearing Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) went with a slightly different defense tactic, first saying that the “quid pro quo … is a red herring.”

He continued:

Here are the two possible scenarios. Number one, the president asked for an investigation of a political rival. Number two, the president asked for an investigation of possible corruption by someone who happens to be a political rival. The latter would be in the national interest. The former would be in the president’s parochial interests and would be over the line. I think this case is going to come down to the president’s intent, his motive. Did he have a culpable state of mind? For me, Margaret, there are only two relevant questions that need to be answered. Why did the president ask for an investigation? And number two, and this is inextricably linked to the first question, what did Mr. Hunter Biden do for the money?

As the impeachment inquiry against the president moves forward at breakneck speed, some have accused Republicans of shifting the goalposts in their defense of Trump.

For his part, President Trump doesn’t seem at all pleased with the “not great, but not impeachable” argument, or the argument that his motive must be sought out before rendering a judgment.

On Sunday, following both Sen. Kennedy and Rep. Thornberry’s appearances on the morning shows, the president Tweeted:

The call to the Ukrainian President was PERFECT. Read the Transcript! There was NOTHING said that was in any way wrong. Republicans, don’t be led into the fools trap of saying it was not perfect, but is not impeachable. No, it is much stronger than that. NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG!

President Trump hasn’t made any follow-up remarks as of publication.

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