House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) remains a hard pass on impeachment even after acting ambassador Bill Taylor dropped an explosive new claim during his public testimony Wednesday.
Taylor revealed a previously unknown phone conversation in July that his staffer overheard between President Trump and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, which more closely ties Trump to the Ukraine pressure campaign.
At his weekly news conference Thursday, a day after the public testimonies featuring Taylor and top State Department official George Kent, McCarthy immediately railed against Democrats’ “home field advantage” where “they got to change the course of the rules of how to handle a meeting itself.”
McCarthy added that Democrats “tabled the opportunity for a whistleblower to come forward” — which Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also took issue with — and argued that the public testimonies Wednesday revealed “nothing new.”
When pressed about the possibility of Sondland’s upcoming public testimony next week changing his mind on impeachment, given how Taylor testified that his staffer overheard Trump asking Sondland about the status of “the investigations,” McCarthy said that he would not be swayed.
“You have a phone call where the President asked about an investigation — an investigation that’s already going forward that I think most of America wants to know what transpired. An investigation that the attorney general is working on,” McCarthy said. “None of that is impeachable. So the answer is no.”
Last month, in response to Taylor’s closed-door impeachment testimony, McCarthy argued that there could not have been a “quid pro quo” because the Ukrainian government never gave into Trump’s demands of digging up false allegations against the Bidens or allegations of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 elections.
Watch McCarthy’s remarks below:
McCarthy says Taylor's explosive new claim doesn't change his mind on impeachment pic.twitter.com/M0ADm9HEv0
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) November 14, 2019