Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) on Sunday slammed the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and accused them of chasing a “red herring” when attempting to figure out whether the president allegedly linked military aid to Ukraine to investigate his election rivals.
“Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi is acting in a manner that is insincere, even by the standards of Congress,” Kennedy told Fox News. “She is turning impeachment into a routine political weapon.”
On whether there was quid pro quo, Kennedy said there are other mitigating factors at play.
“According to Speaker Pelosi, President Trump asked for the investigation of a political rival. There’s another scenario, and that is that President Trump asked for an investigation of possible corruption by someone who happens to be a political rival,” Kennedy told the news outlet. “The latter, if proven, would be in the national interest. The former would be in his parochial personal interest.”
Kennedy added that there is no evidence following two weeks of hearings.
He added, “Many of my friends in the media say, well, there’s no evidence of any impropriety by Hunter Biden. And my response to that is that the absence of evidence is not necessarily the evidence of absence if you don’t look.”
In the interview, Kennedy also said he wants to know how Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, earned the high-paying role at Burisma Holdings, asking, “What did Hunter Biden do for the money?”
The focus on the impeachment inquiry was a July 25 phone call between Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where Trump asked him to “look into” the Bidens and alleged 2016 election interference in Ukraine. Democrats said Trump waged a pressure campaign via Rudy Giuliani and other officials, which Trump and Giuliani have denied. Ukrainian officials, including Zelensky, have also denied the claims.
Some Republicans have called for Hunter Biden to testify in the Senate along with the whistleblower who alerted officials about the phone call. Trump—who recently said he wants a Senate impeachment trial—over the weekend called for House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to testify.
Schiff told news outlets on Sunday that the impeachment inquiry will move forward.
On “Meet the Press,” Schiff claimed that the Democrats “view this as urgent, we have another election where the president is threatening more foreign interference.”
“But at the same time, there are still other witnesses, other documents that we’d like to obtain. But we are not willing to go the months and months and months of rope-a-dope in the courts, which the administration would love to do,” he added.
However, he said that the inquiry “investigation isn’t going to end” and he does not “foreclose the possibility of” other public hearings.