WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito is calling the impeachment inquiry by House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Congressional Democrats a ‘political instrument.’
Capito and Congress members across the country are reacting Wednesday to the released transcript of the July telephone conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that cause such an inquiry to get underway.
She appeared on Wednesday’s MetroNews ‘Talkline’ and said the transcripts are not the same as what was originally reported.
“Eight times supposedly the president asked for this, I don’t see that in here,” Capito said. “I don’t see a quid pro quo in here. I see a conversation between two leaders that is pretty broad-ranging. I just don’t think this rises to impeachable on the conversations I’ve read.”
Pelosi announced the inquiry on Tuesday after a whistleblower report that Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President and current Democratic Presidential Joe Biden and his son’s business dealings with Ukraine.
For Pelosi, she has said that Trump’s acknowledgment that he spoke to Zelenskiy about an investigation charged her mind when it came to impeachment. While many have been seeking impeachment for a while, Capito said it doesn’t seem to her Pelosi is fully behind this.
“In my view, I think Nancy Pelosi just finally threw up her hands,” Capito said. “She doesn’t look too enthusiastic, in my view yesterday (Tuesday), knowing her as well as I do to be proceeding in this. Remember, she still doesn’t have the majority of her caucus who have said this is a good idea.”
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) September 25, 2019
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D, W.Va.) released a statement on Wednesday following the release of the transcripts.
“Any allegation of misconduct with a foreign country must be investigated. I firmly believe it is premature to jump to any conclusion until an investigation of the facts is complete. As a U.S. Senator, I take my responsibility in the process very seriously. The Senate’s role is to evaluate the facts. It would be irresponsible of me to comment on each piece of the process until all of the facts come out and the Senate begins to review the findings.
“I’m hopeful the Senate will rise above party and politics and consider what’s in the best interest of our country; I promise you I will.”
West Virginia’s 2nd District Congressman, Alex Mooney (R., W.Va.) appeared on Wednesday’s MetroNews ‘Talkline’ and said there is no evidence of impeachable offenses.
“Presidents of the United States, Republican and Democrat, for centuries have spoken with other heads of state,” he said. “To get to a point where you can’t’ have a conversation or somebody is going to say something. Somebody who wasn’t even in the room, this so-called whistleblower wasn’t even there for the conversation.”
Mooney said some Democrats have tried this before with the Muller report and failed. He said he would like to focus on the current tasks at hand and the average West Virginian is not concerned with this.
“They want to know what am I doing for the opioid epidemic. I had a meeting this (Wednesday) morning with folks talking about student debt and how private companies might do some debt payoff programs. We are talking about getting roads built,” Mooney said.
“That’s what I hear about when I travel West Virginia, getting things done for our state and for our country.”
Capito shared similar remarks, saying the inquiry has become a distraction in Washington.
“I want to talk about the transportation bill we got out of my committee, I want to talk about the Homeland Security bill we got out of my committee, I want to talk about the good things going on,” she said.
“Everybody wants to know about the transcript and now it isn’t enough, we have to see the whistleblower report.”