On Sunday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Dana Bash to discuss the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Bash first asked Meadows if it was “appropriate” that “the president asked a leader of a foreign country to investigate his political rival.”
Meadows countered Bash’s premise, saying that Trump “didn’t do that … he talked about investigations.” The congressman then pointed to the transcript of the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Bash and Meadows then engaged in a back-and-forth about the context of what was said in the transcript, with Meadows maintaining that the president didn’t do anything wrong, while shifting the focus onto former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
BASH: I just want to ask about this – just the appropriateness of asking regardless.
MEADOWS: The appropriateness of making sure that an investigation of anyone who had wrongdoing – we know that Joe Biden was involved with Ukraine, dozens of contacts with Ukraine. At a minimum, he should have recused himself from anything that related to his son. And I think you can agree with that.
Bash then asked Meadows about the way some of his colleagues in the House of Representatives have attempted to defend the president.
BASH: Your fellow Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry said that July 25 phone call, which I just read to you, where he asked to look into it, was inappropriate. Republican Congressman Mike Turner said it was alarming and not okay.
BASH: They’re wrong?
MEADOWS: They are wrong. Listen, with all due respect to my two colleagues, I was in the deposition, over 100 hours, and myself, Jim Jordan, Adam Schiff are the only three that I know of that actually attended everything.
And when you look at the context of that, when you look at actually what happened – let’s talk to Ambassador Volker, who knows more than anyone else what happened and what didn’t happen. And yet somehow they wanted to dismiss this? Or let’s go to President Zelensky. Are you saying that he’s lying, that somehow he … is saying that he wasn’t pressured, that somehow he’s lying?
“He didn’t do that. I don’t agree with your premise.” — @RepMarkMeadows on President Trump asking the President of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. “Are you suggesting that someone who runs for President shouldn’t be investigated?” https://t.co/hiwZnb3lxU pic.twitter.com/wJZPDzY5cC
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 8, 2019
On November 10, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” where he was asked about the impeachment process.
When host Martha Raddatz asked how one can “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…
.@martharaddatz presses Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Rep. Mac Thornberry on the Republican strategy to manage the substance of allegations in the impeachment inquiry: “I believe it was inappropriate, I do not believe it was impeachable.” https://t.co/kLSp2fgDiG pic.twitter.com/iA9seNehYW
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 10, 2019
On November 17, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) appeared on “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper.
Tapper laid out the allegations against the president, such as they were at the time, and asked Turner if he was troubled.
Well, of course, all of that is alarming. And as I have said from the beginning, I think this is not okay. The President of the United States shouldn’t even, in the original phone call, be on the phone with the president of another country and raise his political opponent. So, no, this is not okay.
Turner then defended the president:
But if you look at Sondland’s testimony, which is also public, he says that the direction that he received from the United States was “no quid pro quo,” and that, in fact, that he said he wants nothing. He just wants him to do the right thing.
So, Sondland actually testified. And this is the first time, by the way, that you have direct testimony of someone speaking to the president and relating what the president has said. And what he says directly contradicts … these statements that are largely hearsay, of someone saying, “I heard from someone else who heard from someone else.” When you ask Sondland – and you have got his testimony … he actually says, I was told by the president of the United States: I want nothing, no quid pro quo. I just want him to do the right thing.
“Well, of course, all of that is alarming. As I’ve said from the beginning, this is not okay,” GOP Rep. Mike Turner says of Ex-NSC official Tim Morrison’s testimony on the Ukraine scandal #CNNSOTUhttps://t.co/Huku07KLYt pic.twitter.com/ZrT3OjzS1q
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) November 17, 2019