According to Devin Nunes, the country's first president also tried to pressure foreign countries to investigate Joe Biden.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, offered a new defense of Donald Trump at Wednesday's public impeachment hearing.
Trump has been accused of using his own back channels — specifically, through his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani — to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations into his political opponents. According to Nunes' opening statement, that's essentially what George Washington did too.
"The Democrats' fake outrage that President Trump used his own channel to communicate with Ukraine. I remind my friends on the other side of the aisle that our first president, George Washington, directed his own diplomatic channels to secure a treaty with Great Britain," Nunes said. "If my Democratic colleagues were around in 1794, they'd probably want to impeach him too."
The allegations of Trump's wrongdoings have nothing to do with treaties for the country. Trump has been accused — in a whistleblower's complaint, as well as by many witnesses who have testified behind closed doors and in public — of using the Oval Office to "solicit interference" from Ukraine to help him win reelection in 2020.
Those witnesses have said Trump withheld a White House meeting with Ukraine's president, as well as $400 million in aid that had already been promised to the country, demanding that Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son, as well as debunked conspiracy theories that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 election to help Hillary Clinton.
As House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff stated at Tuesday's hearing, his Republican colleagues "seem to be upset" not about what Trump did but that he was caught.
"Their objection is that someone blew the whistle, and they would like this whistleblower identified," Schiff said. "And the president wants this whistleblower punished, that's their objection."
Contrary to Nunes' statement, the country's first president was never accused of attempting to extort a foreign country for his own political gain. But as other defenses of Trump are undermined by public testimony, and his impeachment looks increasingly inevitable, Republicans on the committee — as well as Trump himself, who claimed this week that the founders never thought impeachment was even "possible" — are offering increasingly creative new defenses.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.