President Donald Trump’s mention of his political opponents to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelinskiy, and pressure on Ukraine to announce corruption probes ahead of military aid is “alarming” but not impeachable, Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said Sunday.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Turner said testimony of William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, offered “nothing new.”
“He offers the same information, still no quid pro quo,” said Turner, a member of the House intelligence Committee. “Still no smoking gun. Still the same information but according to the Democrats, because they’re leaking information to you, it’s a bombshell.”
Pressed on Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s reported advice to Ukraine that if it wanted promised military aid to be released, it would have to announce corruption probes that include an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Turner said “all of that is alarming.”
“The president of the United States shouldn’t even in the original [July 25] phone call [to Zelenskiy], be on the phone with the president of another country and raise his political opponent,” he said. “So, no, it’s not okay.”
But, he added, “if you look at Sondland’s testimony, which is public, he said the direction he received was no quid pro quo and he said [Trump] wants nothing, he wants him to do the right thing. … and what he says directly contradicts these statements that are largely hearsay.”
He said he also thinks Trump’s angry tweet during the testimony of former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yavonovich “generally unfortunate,” but that “it’s certainly not witness intimidation… It wouldn’t have prevented her from testifying.”