GOP Rep. Says Trump’s Actions on Ukraine Are ‘Inappropriate’ But Not Impeachable

GOP Rep. Says Trump’s Actions on Ukraine Are ‘Inappropriate’ But Not Impeachable

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, used a line repeated by several Republicans who are having trouble defending President Trump: what he did was “inappropriate” but not impeachable.

“I believe it’s inappropriate for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival,” Thornberry told ABC This Week host Martha Raddatz. “Now that leads to a question if there’s a political rival with a family member who is involved in questionable activity, what do you do?”

“Just let them alone. But set that aside. I believe it was inappropriate. I do not believe it was impeachable,” he added.

Thornberry went on to normalize the president’s public behavior.

“There’s not really anything the president said in that phone call that’s different from what he says in public all the time,” he said. “So, is there some sort of abuse of power that rises to that threshold that is different than [what] the American people have been hearing for the last three years? I don’t hear that.”

Thornberry also shied away from answering questions on substantive concerns raised throughout the impeachment hearings, opting to hammer procedural points.

“And process — you know, you all always want to say substance, not process,” he said. “There’s a reason we let murderers and robbers and rapists go free when their due process rights have been violated.”

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt is a writer and editor from New Hampshire whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, Slate and Areo Magazine, among other places. He holds a BA in Political Science and History from Boston University.