GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin: Adam Schiff Is "Cherry-Picking Leaks... Withholding Facts... Just Outright Lying" About President Trump | Video | RealClearPolitics

GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin: Adam Schiff Is "Cherry-Picking Leaks... Withholding Facts... Just Outright Lying" About President Trump


GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin blasted the impeachment inquiry into President Trump led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"What Adam Schiff wants is to get the United States of America drunk on his favorite cocktail," Zeldin said. "There are three ingredients. One is cherry-picking leaks, second is withholding facts, and three is just outright lying."

ABC NEWS, JONATHAN KARL: So Congressman Zeldin, let me get to you. A lot of your Republican colleagues have had a hard time answering a very simple question. Do you believe that it was appropriate for President Trump to ask the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden? Do you think that was an appropriate request?

REP. LEE ZELDIN (R-NY): I absolutely believe that our countries should be working together to get to the bottom of what happened, whether it's Burisma, it’s Joe Biden, it’s Zlochevsky, it’s Hunter Biden, that there shouldn't be an immunity from scrutiny just because Joe Biden is running for president.

KARL: Well we're not talking about immunity from -- so let me -- so would you -- would you ask a foreign leader to investigate one of your political opponents?

ZELDIN: Well you have to answer in this particular -- I haven't but in this particular case, the threshold question is what did Burisma, Zlochevsky, Joe Biden and Hunter Biden do? And in this case, I have a huge issue with the fact that Hunter Biden, with no energy experience, with no Ukraine experience gets paid at least $50,000 a month from a corrupt company run by a corrupt oligarch solely because he is the vice president's son. The vice president, who literally was the most conflicted guy out in the Obama administration --

KARL: And -- and this issue’s been raised, it was raised before the president brought it up, but again, it’s about the president going to a -- a foreign leader and asking them to investigate a -- a rival. How --

ZELDIN There is -- I -- I am also --

KARL: That's OK?

ZELDIN: -- just like -- just like President Trump, I am greatly concerned by that arrangement. It is either illegal or it should be illegal, what they did. We might have a policy conversation --

KARL: The president’s -- the president's request of great concern?

ZELDIN: No, I -- I believe that we should be working with our governments with regards to these allegations, with regards to Burisma, which has been corrupt for a long time with regards to this oligarch the fact that they would hire Hunter Biden, the fact that Joe Biden would be selected to run point to be in charge of the grants to Ukraine, be in charge of the loans and so much more, and then go to Ukraine and threaten to withhold $1 billion from Ukraine unless they immediately fire the state prosecutor, who by the way, happened to be investigating Burisma and Zlochevsky. But the way, those are all facts. There are people out in the media saying it's been debunked, it's not true. Everything I said is 100 percent accurate. I have a problem with that as well.

KARL: Let me ask you about the -- the former ambassador. Did you find her to be a -- to Ukraine. Did you find her to be a credible witness?

ZELDIN: Sure, and I wish that over the -- I mean there’s some issues where she contradicted herself during her testimony. I -- I believe that every single word in real time should have been in front of the American public so that you knew exactly everything that she said. Instead there was --

KARL: So you’re OK with all -- all the transcripts coming out? You want to see Fiona Hill, who’s testifying next week, you want to see all -- all the people that the administration does not want to testify, you want those transcripts to be out?

ZELDIN: No, the president wants there to be a process. The president is saying that there should be a vote for an impeachment inquiry, as you just pointed out with Congressman Himes, there should be a process. The minority parties should have subpoena power. The president should have counsel present. He should be able to cross-exam witnesses; he should be able to present evidence. There should be a process, but instead what Adam Schiff wants is to get United States of America drunk on his favorite cocktail. There's three ingredients. One is cherry-picking leaks, second is withholding facts, and three is just outright lying. I mean he is -- he lied about his whistleblower contact, he lied when he gave his opening statement in front of the Acting Director of National Intelligence, he lied when he said that President Trump requested President Zelensky to, quote, manufacture dirt. Now, if we all had Ambassador Volker's testimony, we would know that that's not true. We would also know that it obliterated the quid pro quo charge, that fairytale, that President Trump supposedly demanded that there would be an investigation open against the Bidens in order to get aid from the United States to Ukraine.

KARL: It's clear that he brought this up exactly when the issue with aid to Ukraine was raised.

ZELDIN: No -- well let's -- this, what Ambassador Volker's transcript would show you substantively.

KARL: I mean do -- do -- the president -- let me just ask you. The president says that was a perfect phone call. Do you think that was a perfect phone call?

ZELDIN: I think that there was a lot of really important, great things that were discussed in that call.

KARL: Do you think that was a perfect call?

ZELDIN: I -- you, again, I believe that that conversation -- the only thing that's being criticized, which, by the way, definitely isn't impeachable conduct, the fact that we're tearing the country in half, trying to bring down a sitting president, because we've pledged -- many in the House to resist, oppose, impeach and obstruct everything and anything --

KARL: All right.

ZELDIN: -- I have a problem with that. We should be passing USMCA, we should be lowering the cost of prescription drug prices.

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