Senate Republicans not buying the Democrats impeachment narrative
Weeks of leaked witness testimony from the House impeachment investigation may have painted an unflattering picture of President Trump in the media, but it has failed to weaken his GOP wall in the Senate, where lawmakers have shrugged off the proceedings.I think they see the Schiff coup attempt as a bad faith maneuver by Democrats. They are right about that. Sen. Cornyn has made similar statements to the effect that even if there was a quid pro quo it does not create an impeachable offense.
“Unless there is something else that shows up somewhere, we don’t see this as an impeachable offense,” Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota said Wednesday.
Democrats running the impeachment proceedings staggered the release of deposition transcripts this week for maximum effect — unmasking the testimony most damaging to Trump.
On Tuesday, they publicized the transcripts of U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gary Sondland. The transcript showed Sondland revised his earlier testimony to acknowledge that he told Ukraine government officials they must publicly agree to investigate Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, in order to receive critical security aid.
The admission, Democrats said, confirmed the "quid pro quo” they say existed but which Trump has repeatedly denied.
“Even if there were a quid pro quo that does not rise to the level of impeachment,” said Sen. David Perdue, a Georgia Republican.
Senate Republicans don’t seem to care about the conditions Trump set for delivering Ukraine aid and argued both political parties engage in quid pro quo negotiations with foreign countries seeking help from the United States.
Rounds pointed to Biden, who was recorded in 2018 bragging about using his role as vice president to force Ukraine to fire a certain prosecutor.
Biden didn’t say why the Obama Administration wanted the prosecutor removed, but the prosecutor happened to be targeting the Burisma gas company that employed Hunter Biden.
“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.”
Republicans said Wednesday that constituents tell them they want to see action on the U.S. Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, which has stalled in the House, as well as legislation addressing the high cost of health care and prescription drugs.
Few constituents are asking lawmakers to eject the president from office.