Following weeks of witness testimony, leaks to the media, and unveiled transcripts regarding an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Senate Republicans appear unfazed.
“Unless there is something else that shows up somewhere, we don’t see this as an impeachable offense,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said Wednesday, reported the Washington Examiner.
Democrats have claimed there was clear “quid pro quo” in a July call Trump made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, alleging that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to force Kyiv to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, his son.
Trump has repeatedly denied the claims, urging the public to read the publicly available transcripts of the phone call themselves. In the July call, Trump makes a request for Zelensky to “look into” the business activities of the former vice president and his son, who was on the board of Ukraine-based energy company Burisma at the time.
“Even if there were a quid pro quo that does not rise to the level of impeachment,” Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) told the Examiner.
“You have to understand, Joe Biden suggested they had six hours to respond to his demand they fire a prosecutor or there would be consequences,” Rounds said. “This type of diplomacy is hard to watch but nonetheless has existed and hardly rises to an impeachable offense.”
Meanwhile, Republicans said that not many of their constituents are asking them to remove Trump from office.
“I don’t imagine the country is as fixated with this as we are,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), according to the report.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters that nothing that the House transcripts have revealed so far would merit the Senate removing Trump from office.
“If it were today, I don’t think there is any question it would not lead to a removal,” McConnell said.
Another Republican lawmaker said that the fact that Biden’s son secured lucrative business deals with Ukraine and China could be a problem.
“You know what that message sends to the world? That America can be bought like a sack of potatoes,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) told the news outlet. “That is relevant. And I don’t see how you can litigate the president’s guilt or innocence without litigating whether he had a good faith basis for believing there could have been corruption.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s most vocal backers, outright dismissed a statement from House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
“The whole thing is being driven by partisans in the House. Adam Schiff is not looking for the truth. And the testimony is incoherent. It depends on who you talk to,” Graham told Fox News on Wednesday. “But there is one common theme here, the president of the Ukraine and the president of the United States — both said there was no quid pro quo.”