Mac Thornberry: Trump's Ukraine Call Was "Inappropriate" But Not Impeachable | Video | RealClearPolitics

Mac Thornberry: Trump's Ukraine Call Was "Inappropriate" But Not Impeachable

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Rep. Mac Thornberry said Sunday that President Trump's call with Ukraine's president was "inappropriate" but does not warrant impeachment proceedings.

"I believe that it is inappropriate for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival," Thornberry told ABC's "This Week" host Martha Raddatz.





REP. MAC THORNBERRY: I don't think you can sweep process under the rug, because it is part of an impeachment decision, which has a constitutional requirement: bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors, but also a political element about whether it's good for the country to pursue it under these circumstances.

RADDATZ: Why is what you have seen not a clear abuse of power? I know you've said it's inappropriate, his remarks, but not impeachable. Why is what you've seen thus far, and the transcript of those phone call, which we discussed, not a clear abuse of power or bribery as the constitution lays out?

THORNBERRY: Yeah, you're right, the constitution is very specific -- bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors, which basically means felonies. So, that's what you have to prove as a threshold question.

The second question is under the circumstances do you believe that it's good for the country to proceed with impeachment. I would suggest a couple of circumstances is relevant here, number one, there's not anything that the president said in that phone call that's different than he says in public all the time. So, is there some sort of abuse of power that rises to that threshold that is different than the American people have been hearing for three years? I don't hear that.

But secondly we have an election coming up. So, doing it at this time -- and make no mistake, the Democrats are rushing this through by Christmas so they don't interfere with their candidates being in Iowa and New Hampshire and so forth this year. Let the American -- put everything they've got out there, fine...

RADDATZ: Let me ask you quickly, sir.

THORNBERRY: ...let the American people decide this in less than a year.

RADDATZ: Let me ask you quickly, do you believe the whistle-blower should testify? And do you believe Hunter Biden should testify?

THORNBERRY: I have not been in the room for all -- like most members of congress, I've not been in the room for all these hearings and secret proceedings. So, I don't really know who the proper witnesses ought to be.

I mean I think what Jackie Speier said is right, the whistle-blower basically has third-hand information.

RADDATZ: So not necessary?

THORNBERRY: I don't know to what extent -- I don't know to what extent he or she may have information that relates to other people's information.

So, I can't make that call. I think it's got to be the people in the room who make the call. But, again, there has to be a fair way to arbitrate, to decide who the witnesses are.

We have had none of that so far.

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