Transcript for House Republicans respond to articles of impeachment
This is an ABC news. George Stephanopoulos. Welcome back our special coverage of the impeachment of president trump house Republican leader Kevin McCarthy now responding to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both announcing this mix of free trade agreement. And the articles mention against us and trying to point out. They created a timeline to impeach president trump the she said started two and a half years ago. Many you know this time I'm because once they took the majority they had to decide who become chairs of their committee. Impeachment committee leader sharing. Who could win. Jerry Nadler campaigned on that he would be the very strongest member to lead a potential impeachment. On the day of swearing in these new freshman gave them the majority the mere few hours after being sworn in. Congresswoman Talib proclaimed who we are going to impeach the mother. That Al Green. Admitting that the Democrats have true fears that they do not impeach president trump that he would win re election. And now and today. We watched them introduced two articles of impeachment. Change the course of congress to take away due process for any point of where we are. Into the fear that Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton had came to fruition. In this congress. I just hope no congress ever repeats what we're going through today. That a lot of members on their side very concerned. 'cause from the moment they started impeachment and letting the American public see what they believed. And keep changing the term of what they thought was out there it has been falling in the polls. If you need any more evidence of how unpopular impeachment yes. Watch the two press conferences today. After announcing impeachment within less than an hour. The speaker finally relented and said she would bring US NCA a she is held for more than a year making America weaker and our negotiations. With China are number one and number two trader in Mexico and Canada was being held up. Within and our own agreement. But those who are vulnerable. In this vote for impeachment continuing to make the argument as the rest of America was too. At no time when she would bring this bill up when there's ever a fear of not passing. But the only reason she would finally relented. Because the unpopularity. Of impeachment itself. We watched in a hearing. A Democrat constitutional scholar. It did not vote for president from. Say this was the weakest the thinnest the fastest impeachment in the history of America. He then went to say if there was an abuse. It be abuse on the Democrats to move forward. The speaker must not have listened. To that here. If the speaker had only waited 48 hours to release of the transcript. America would not be put through the nightmare. That the speaker would pause. And read the IG report the inspector general. To thank and a place of America. That we would have a law enforcement agency spy on a presidential campaign. Mourned 51 instances. Not hold up to the rules Lawler change. All the information and evidence. To be able to move forward on something they knew our should have known was not true. Is a sad day for America. To compound that. With the idea just 'cause you created a timeline to impeach a president that you disliked. You ignored facts. We would never be here if they paid attention to the facts of the hearings. This is not a day that America will be proud about it's not a day that history will write that anybody wants to be peaked. Alexander Hamilton warned us that this day would come. That a majority would use their political power. Just for politics. Even though we all raise our hands to uphold the constitution. I just hope no congress. The green garden as who's in the majority. Or ever take us down this path again. We have such great potential in this nation but to have wasted a majority on this. It's an embarrassment to this congress. Question just met. Make it harder to defend the president wings personally for me is still traveling Ukraine. Investigating. The Bible he claims he wants to get some sort of presentation about the congress. That does not it is not hard to defend this president surely on the facts of what's out there. I think it's hard for the Democrats to move for when they start what a quid pro quo to bribery to every other element they go it's hard for the Democrats. To continue this when the people they bring forth in their hearings are pretty much donors. There expert witnesses when it comes to their scholars. Were donors to presidential campaigns. The idea that the got to change the course of history that staff is gonna interview staff and then them come out with articles of impeachment. What power do members of congress who run direct present their districts have that they take it away. The idea that Democrats could control who can ask questions inside a hearing. Are how the structure would go. That's an embarrassment so no it is not difficult to defend this president because this president did nothing that's impeachable. It's hard to defend Democrats on how they're running this else and what they're doing inside their majority but that's the difficulty that I had but yes question. Is an individual citizen that is not the question that we have before us it's about impeachment. You've got to understand what impeachment means. Impeachment is the removal of the highest elected person in this land. I don't care if you think Americans who support. President trump are deplorable. Which you do not have the right to disqualify their vote just because you do not like president trump. We are a nation of law and the idea that they would use their power. They would lie. And they would continue to like just because they dislike this president they would change the course of history where they would move from judiciary. Into the Intel committee. They would disallow individuals to even ask questions they would disallow the president to have due process to ask a question they would not allow minority to have witnesses. And they're proud about that. The idea. Of a vote of impeachment. The only higher vote I think we'd have a member of congress whether we send women or men out to war. But the way they have handled this from the very beginning. I know they set a timeline and they wanted to keep their timeline. They just never paid attention to the facts. So they change the rules to meet their timeline. They may think it's not important. But it goes the sheer fact of the country of who we are. One of our greatest stage franks is the rule of law. Other countries admire us because we believe in the rule of law we believe in due process. But not in Nancy Pelosi house when she becomes speaker. She has waived in hinged her entire majority on the impeachment of the president. When she selected Adam ship to be the Intel chair and kept them there after he lied to the American public. That he had proved beyond circumstantial. When we walk down to a nightmare. Spent millions of dollars went took fourteen different countries and found that was a lie. You had an inspector general just give you a report yesterday. To show that a law enforcement agency spied on a presidential campaign and when they couldn't get their own facts they changed it to go to a secret court and flies it to try to spy further. They base that all on something that the Democratic Party spent money on. That was a lie to try to discredit somebody running for office. How would he used the majority to clean that up. To go back to the rule of law. I would not use the majority simply for your own political gain if you can't meet your time might change all the rules it does history has ever seen. So no it is not difficult to defend this president but it is very difficult to defend this congress on what they have done and history will not be kind to them. Or defense of president transferred from the house Republican leader Kevin McCarthy saying in his view the president is not committed impeachable offenses this congress the majority in congress. But by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is abusing their power by pursuing this peach an impeachment and what he says is undoing. An American election owner bring in. Melissa Marie constitutional up faster at NYU will one of the arguments you saw there is mostly an attack on the process but has Democrats but also from the number two Republican hustings coolly saying this is an MP from where there's no underlying violation. Of law that's the standard charge they're trying to set. Well we've seen this throughout the public hearings this idea that there has to be some kind of underlying caught trying. That would then be pegged to an impeachable offense but that's not what the framers had in mind in fact the framers didn't actually have a body a federal statutory criminal law to go wet. They weren't thinking again the sort of public abuses of public man misuse of office so there doesn't actually have to be a statutory or ordinary criminal law predicate for impeachment. It just has to be one of these high crimes and misdemeanors which are pegged to the abuse of power the abuse of office. And those in the articles he the house Democrats about lying today want to bring in Jon Karl. And as well John caught the last one of the split screen days we've had so many of them in Washington both. The house democratic leaders and house Republican leaders even as they're taking opposing views on impeachment. Touting their agreement now on a major goal of president trump cius Mexico Canada agreement. Trade agreement yes it's extraordinary moment George this is something that had been a top priority for the White House something they had pushed hard for. That that the president getting a victory here this was. One of the first things he did as president was to say that he wanted to replace. The North American Free Trade Agreement he negotiated. Subsequent agreement with Canada. And end with Mexico and needed to get it approved it's been pushing for this for months and literally. An hour after Democrats announce. Go they're going forward with articles of impeachment they have a subsequent press conference with speaker Pelosi announcing this agreement on on the trade agreement. So why are quite a day and its interest in George because. The president had said earlier this year. That if the eight Democrats gruden go forward what he called their phony investigations. That he was gonna refuse to work with them he actually. Walked out of a meeting back in May of this year with speaker Pelosi out the White House. And win out and hell held a press conference declaring the Democrats essentially had a choice to make either. Continue to investigate or work with him to get things done substantively. Now you have this agreement clearly both sides. All of this the Democrats and the Republicans have an incentive to show that they can continue to work for their constituents while these involving impeachment process goes forward. And that is what has happened to their gonna return our car regular programming that includes the view and Good Morning America for many of you first will be a photograph of a fall this tonight. I will miss and I would give you have a good day. This has been a special report from EB.
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