With the Senate impeachment of President Donald Trump, former Rep. for South Carolina Trey Gowdy explained what he believes will be the best evidence defense lawyers could use to prove the president’s innocence on the charges against him—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“The transcript [of the phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president] is the best evidence the president has,” Gowdy said, referring to a summary of a call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelenskiy that triggered the charges by the Democrats, who impeached him in the Democratic-majority House.
The comments were made by Gowdy in an interview on Fox News‘ “American’s Newsroom” program.
The Democrats allege that President Trump was demanding a politically motivated investigation of Joe Biden and his son by Zelenskiy while withholding military aid funding to Ukraine.
“Who brought up Rudy Giuliani’s name? [President Trump’s lawyer] It wasn’t Donald Trump. It was Zelenskiy,” Gowdy explained.
“This was the second call, not the first call. If President Trump were really hellbent on ensuring that Ukraine investigate the Bidens, would he not have brought that up in the first telephone call we had with Zelenskiy? I mean why wait until the second?” Gowdy added.
“I think the transcript is the single best piece of evidence that the president has, laying aside the reality that there was no announcement of an investigation, there was no investigation, and the aid was ultimately released, so I don’t think the Democrats have a great case for conviction,” Gowdy said.
On Sept. 24, 2019, the White House released the transcript of the phone call. President Trump called it “the biggest witch-hunt in American history,” saying that the interaction with Zelenskiy did not involve any kind of pressure and that everyone can see for themselves in the declassified document.
However, many media outlets removed extracts from the transcript, and even the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), made a ‘mockery’ of it.
According to an official spokeswoman, the Justice Department reviewed the official record of the call in August and determined that “there was no violation” of campaign financing and that “no further action is warranted.”
After a series of public and closed-door hearings on the Ukraine issue, the Democratic-controlled House voted last month to remove the president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The Democrats sent the two impeachment articles to the Senate Wednesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried to negotiate with Senate Republicans to agree to their impeachment terms.
It should be noted that no Republicans in the House voted to impeach President Trump, as did three Democratic representatives and one congressman also abstained.
The matter must now be settled in the Republican-majority Senate.