Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed impeachment and claimed that President Trump did nothing wrong in pushing Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
Leading howls of partisan outrage, McCarthy called the launch of an impeachment inquiry as a “dark day for America” and predicted Democrats would pay a high price at the ballot box.
“It was a dark day that you were willing to endanger the national security of our country because of your political bias,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy was flanked by GOP leaders including Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and conservative Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as he insisted that Democrats acted without evidence that Trump broke any laws or violated the Constitution.
“It’s a dark day for the rule of law that a president is going to be found guilty without any proof,” McCarthy said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the transcript “underwhelming” and suggested that the push was a Democratic charade.
Rep. Pete King (R-Long Island), one of the few GOP lawmakers in the metro area, echoed Republican talking points that there was “no quid pro quo” revealed in the transcript.
Nothing remotely impeachable in transcript. Ukrainian President brought up Giuliani before @POTUS Trump mentioned Biden. No quid pro quo. Pursuing impeachment is indefensible.
“Nothing remotely impeachable,” King wrote on Twitter.
Although most Republicans lined up in lockstep with Trump, there were some voices of dissent.
Again, it’s not just about a call, but even the call is a devastating indictment of the president.
Trump: We do a lot for Ukraine.
Zelenskyy: We are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.
Trump: I would like you to do us a favor though.
Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), a conservative who quit the GOP over his support for impeachment, called the transcript a “devastating indictment” of Trump. That was apparently an unintended pun, as Justice Department rules bar indictment of a sitting president.
Elder statesman Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said he “remains deeply troubled” over the allegations against Trump and is awaiting the whistleblower’s testimony.