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GOP Leader Really Doesn't Want to Answer Whether It's Ever OK for President to 'Ask a Foreign Country to Investigate a Political Rival'

CNN

Shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that representatives would begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took the podium to defend the President and the Republican party as a whole.

It could've gone better.


When CNN Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju asked McCarthy if it was okay for a President to solicit a foreign power to investigate his political rival, McCarthy's answer was...long.

Watch below.

Instead of "yes" or "no," McCarthy responded:

"Let's stick to the facts the President asked a country to participate in a case that happened in 2016. that one hundred percent legal that happens every day in America."

Raju then pointed out that the President is on record in his own transcript invoking former Vice President Joe Biden and his son to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky while urging him to open an investigation.

McCarthy then said that the witnesses Democrats "started this all with" couldn't name an article of impeachment on which Trump should be tried. He neglected to mention that the early witnesses in the inquiry were fact witnesses, not legal scholars, and therefore could only speak to events that transpired, not to speculate on the law.

Three constitutional scholars in front of the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, however, named several articles on which Trump could be charged, including bribery and obstruction of justice.

McCarthy then invoked Alexander Hamilton, said it was a sad day in history, and left the podium.

At no point did he say that it wasn't okay for a President to solicit a foreign government to investigate his political rival.

People noticed.




It's worth noting that McCarthy was caught on tape saying in 2016:

"There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump...Swear to God."

McCarthy claimed this was a joke, but his evasiveness to Raju's question said otherwise.



Not a good look, Kevin.