A GOP lawmaker has decried allegations that President Donald Trump is guilty in the call with Ukraine and argued that even if there was a quid pro quo, it definitely wasn’t a good one.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) explained during a Sunday, Nov. 3, interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he is not convinced of the accusations that the president had withheld military aid from Ukraine as leverage to pressure President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“Concern is different than rising to the level of impeachment,” Cole told host Chuck Todd on the show when asked about allegations of President Trump withholding aid to pressure Ukraine to probe into the Biden family.
Cole then pointed out that Zelenskiy himself denied of any wrongdoing by President Trump and that said there was no pressure for him to involve himself in American politics.
President Trump too said he was not at fault and that the phone call was “good.”
The military aid too was eventually released to Ukraine free of condition.
“I look at it this way: The aid is there and the investigations didn’t happen,’ Cole said. “So if there was a quid pro quo, it certainly wasn’t a very effective one.”
Cole suggested that the public should inform themselves of the White House’s transcript of the July 25 call between Presidents Trump and Zelensky, and decide on their own whether what was discussed over the phone is really worth putting the country through the “incredibly divisive” process of impeachment.
“I think the best thing for the public to do is read the transcript. It’s the closest thing we have to the record,” Cole reasoned. “You make a judgment as to whether or not you think what happened there is worth putting the country through an incredibly divisive experience that’s stopping everything else from happening.”
Cole firmly believes that Senate Republicans will never vote President Trump out of office, adding that House Democrats are aware of the fact and pointing out that Democratic lawmakers should have taken this into consideration before abruptly proceeding to impeachment procedures.
“We know how this story is going to end,” Cole said, adding that it is extremely unlikely that the president will be removed. “We made a political decision to put everything on hold, divide the country for an outcome we know … what’s going to happen, and we’re doing it essentially a year before an election.”
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) also dismissed allegations of the president engaging in activities that involved a quid pro quo, saying during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” that President Trump talked about other things over the phone with Zelenskiy.
“Even when the president said will you do me a favor, he then went on to ask about Crowdstrike, that wasn’t about Joe Biden,” Scalise said. “That wasn’t, first of all, about political opponents. The law, George, requires President Trump, or any president, when they’re sending foreign aid, taxpayer money, to another country, to ensure that that country is rooting out corruption. He and Zelenskiy were talking about that on the phone call.”