By Emily Drooby
President Trump is now responding to critics who want him impeached due to his conversation with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Democrats charge that the president threatened the Ukrainians with a cutoff in aid if they did not investigate former Vice President Joe Biden for corruption. Now an official impeachment inquiry is underway in the House.
“The president himself just came out with a statement saying there was absolutely no pressure put on him, and there wasn’t,” said Trump of Zelensky. “Just so you understand, it is the single greatest witch hunt in American history, probably in history, but in American history.”
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham argued that a transcript of the call doesn’t support that move.
“Underwhelming. If you’re looking for a circumstance where the president of the united states was threatening the ukraine with cutting off aid unless they investigated his political opponent, you’d be very disappointed. that does not exist,” Graham said. “So, from my point of view, to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, strongly disagrees with Graham.
“It is shocking at another level that the White House would release these notes and felt that somehow this would help the president’s case or cause. Because what those notes reflect is a classic mafia-like shakedown of a foreign leader,” he said.
The transcript does show that Trump sought a review of Joe Biden’s family dealings related to the Ukraine, but he did not directly link starting a Biden investigation with granting U.S. military aid to the country.
“A lot of european countries are the same way, so I think it’s something you want to look at but the united states has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very, very good to Ukraine,” Trump said during the call.
On September 25, Trump and Zelensky appeared together at the United Nations, with the Ukrainian backing up the U.S. president, and Trump defending himself.
“No, you’re sure that we had, I think, a good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things. So I think, and you read that nobody pushed me,” Zelensky said.
“In other words, no pressure,” said Trump.