GOP lawmaker: 'There is no quid in the quid pro quo if Ukraine ultimately got the aid'

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) said Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE could not have engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukraine if the European nation ultimately received the military aid that he withheld before asking for an investigation into a potential 2020 election rival.

Banks told Hill.TV that he would be more open to discussing the impeachment proceedings against Trump if that hadn't been the case.


“If this is about quid pro quo, there’s no quid in the quid pro quo if Ukraine ultimately received the aid, which they did,” he said.

The Indiana Republican said because there is “no quid in the quid pro quo,” he couldn’t identify “the high crime or misdemeanor or what the impeachable offense is at this point.”

Banks added that the allegations outlined in former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE's investigation were “a lot more serious” than those against him for the dealings with Ukraine. He also advocated for letting the American people decide if they want their president removed from the White House next year in the election.

“I know I’m oversimplifying it, but what we have to get back to is where is the high crime and misdemeanor that justifies impeaching a president and undoing the will of the American people through the election process?” the lawmaker asked.

“Why would we take that away from the American people and go through an impeachment process instead?” he added.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate Tech legal shield included in USMCA despite late Pelosi push GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' MORE (D-Calif.) launched the impeachment inquiry last month after a whistleblower report detailed Trump’s ask to the Ukrainian president about former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Top Zelensky aide refutes Sondland testimony The great AI debate: What candidates are (finally) saying about artificial intelligence MORE and his son, Hunter. The president and several GOP lawmakers have argued that Trump did nothing wrong, since there was no explicit deal made on the call to trade an investigation of Biden for the hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid.

The House’s impeachment inquiry has so far taken place behind closed doors, but the chamber on Thursday approved the impeachment inquiry process for the first time in a floor vote.