House Republicans on Thursday said they would be willing to go on the record as saying that President Donald Trump did nothing worthy of impeachment.
On Thursday, the House voted along party lines to advance a resolution to formalize the impeachment inquiry, laying out the process for holding open hearings and rules for calling witnesses or requesting documents.
During a press conference after the vote, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was asked if Republicans are willing to go on the record saying Trump did nothing worthy of impeachment. His response, which was echoed by a chorus of lawmakers standing behind him, left no question:
“Very clear, yes.”
"Will you all go on record and say that the president did nothing inappropriate?" @marykbruce asks Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as Trump pushes GOP to defend him more forcefully.— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 31, 2019
"Very clear yes," McCarthy says as other GOP lawmakers echo his response https://t.co/s2vl1BsoyD pic.twitter.com/VunS9pJzpE
McCarthy blasted House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif), and his staff over reports that the whistleblower had communicated with Schiff’s office about his complaint before it became public.
Schiff’s staff has admitted that the whistleblower, who brought to light Trump’s now-infamous phone call with the Ukranian president, reached out to a House Intelligence Committee aide about his complaint.
McCarthy also slammed the Democrat-led closed-door hearings, pointing out that there have been “selective leaks” of damning information. But, he added that to his recollection none of the witnesses have said there was a quid-pro-quo.
“No one — is my understanding — down there has said there was a quid-pro-quo.”
In a speech on the House floor before Thursday’s vote, McCarthy said Democrats have refused to accept the results of the 2016 presidential election and are trying to remove Trump for purely political reasons.
“For the last three years, they have predetermined the president’s guilt. They have never accepted the voters’ choice to make him president. So, for 37 days and counting, they have run an unprecedented, undemocratic, and unfair investigation. This resolution only makes it worse. “
Watch his comments here:
McCarthy went on to accuse Democrats of trying to subvert the will of the voters:
“But Democrats are working to prevent that choice from being a free choice. That is the takeaway from today’s disastrous vote. Democrats cannot trust the American people to make their own decisions. Why?”
While House Republicans stood by their claim that Trump did nothing impeachable, Senate Republicans appeared to be growing concerned about the president’s conduct.
“The question on the table is impeachment, and that’s the question we should get an answer to, and the answer so far is ‘For what would we impeach the president?’ And the answer is ‘I don’t see anything for that.'”
Shortly after the vote on the impeachment resolution concluded, Trump lashed out at House Democrats calling their impeachment probe, “The greatest witch hunt in American history.”