The first two public hearings of the House’s impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump were held last week — and if there were expectations of some sort of bombshell revelation that would convince the American people of the necessity to remove Trump from office, Democrats were likely quite disappointed.
According to Breitbart, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) alluded to as much during an appearance Sunday on ABC’s This Week, when he asserted that, in his view, the evidence for impeachment is “crumbling” rather than growing stronger.
Evidence building? Not so fast
According to The Hill, Stewart’s remarks came in response to an assertion from ABC host George Stephanopolous that the evidence of supposed wrongdoing by President Trump is “building.”
The host specifically referenced the recent closed-door depositions of State Department aide David Holmes — which unsurprisingly was immediately leaked to the media — as well as testimony from former National Security Council official Tim Morrison.
“The evidence is building about the campaign to trade military aid and a White House meeting to investigations directly to President Trump. It’s tied directly now to President Trump, isn’t it?” Stephanopolous said.
“The evidence is crumbling”
But Stewart, who has sat in on many of the hearings, disagreed. “I don’t think the evidence is building at all,” he said. “And I’m being sincere in this — I think the evidence is crumbling.”
The congressman went on: “I think the Democrats know they’re in trouble on this, which is why we keep moving the goalposts. We went from some supposed quid pro quo, and as you said, tying these investigations to withholding military aid, but we know that didn’t happen. And now Ms. [Nancy] Pelosi and says, well, we’re [going to] impeach and remove the president for bribery.”
Stewart pointed out that Stephanopolous hadn’t played a pertinent clip from Friday’s hearing with Marie Yovanovitch in which the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine had twice answered “no” to direct questions from Stewart about whether she had any evidence of the president committing bribery or any other crime.
“The longer these hearings go on, I think the less the American people are going to support impeachment,” Stewart said, “because I think the evidence just doesn’t support it.” Take a look:
GOP Rep. Chris Stewart disagrees on mounting evidence suggesting a trade of military aid for investigations with Ukraine: “I don’t think the evidence is building at all–and I’m being sincere on this–I think the evidence is crumbling.” https://t.co/zflbfadCRH pic.twitter.com/ClTsHvwi1i
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 17, 2019
Rep. Stewart is correct in his assessment that the “evidence is crumbling” with regard to impeachment. Indeed, the bulk of the testimony seen thus far — both from the public hearings and transcripts of closed-door depositions — does more to undermine the narrative against Trump than support it.
The Democrats are definitely in trouble.