Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) on Thursday, Dec. 12, emphatically stated in the House Judiciary Committee that former President Barack Obama’s administration had sought foreign help to investigate then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2016.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) had challenged the Republicans if anyone of them was willing to defend the idea of the president asking a foreign government to investigate a political opponent.
Ratcliffe faced up to Johnson’s challenge.
“I want to recognize my colleague from Georgia, Mr. Johnson’s question, that he asked before. ‘Is it ever okay to invite a foreign government to become involved in an election involving a political opponent?’” said Ratcliffe.
“The answer is yes! It better be,” said Ratcliffe, adding, “We do it all the time.”
“Have you that quickly forgotten how the Trump/Russia investigation proceeded?” enquired Ratcliffe, who had the answers ready.
“The Obama administration asked Great Britain and Italy and Australia and other countries to assist in its investigation of a person who was a political opponent from the opposite party,” said Ratcliffe.
“President Barack Obama’s administration had asked a foreign power to investigate then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016,” tweeted the Breitbart News on Ratcliffe’s retort to Johnson.
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 12, 2019
Ratcliffe hammered his point home.
“I keep hearing over and over again, ‘You can’t investigate political opponents.’ We have a member of this committee [Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.)] who was—as a member of this committee and the intelligence committee—investigating his political opponent, Donald Trump, at the very moment he was running to replace him as president.”
He elaborated by bringing up a second example. “My colleague on the Intel committee, Mr. [Joaquin] Castro, was investigating President Trump at the same time his brother [Julián] was running to replace President Trump,” said Ratcliffe.
“President Trump is the only one with the really legitimate reason to be doing it,” said Ratcliffe. “He is the chief executive. We are in the judiciary committee, right?”
The congressman asserted, “We do understand the Constitution, we do understand that the president as the unitary executive is the executive branch, and all power of the executive branch derives from the president. And the president can and should ask for assistance from foreign governments in ongoing criminal investigations.”
Ratcliffe also pointed out, the “ongoing criminal investigation” into what had transpired in 2016.
“The Attorney General, [William] Barr, at the time of the July 25th call [with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy] had, long before that appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate exactly that issue,” stated Ratcliffe.
“It wasn’t just appropriate. It was absolutely the president’s constitutional duty,” declared Ratcliffe.
Ratcliffe alluded to the “prima facie” case of corruption against the Bidens, specifying the conflict of interest in the son of then-Vice President Joe Biden being a highly paid board member of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, when Biden instructed the Ukrainian prosecutor, who was investigating the case, to be fired.
Ratcliffe’s key point was that the Obama administration had sought foreign governments to investigate President Trump in 2016 during his presidential campaign.