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 TrumpCensus Bureau intends to wrap up count on Oct. 5 despite judge's order Top House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documents New Yorkers report receiving ballots with wrong name, voter addresses 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 PelosiAirline industry applauds Democrats for including aid in coronavirus relief package Democrats unveil scaled-down .2T coronavirus relief package Trump tax reveal roils presidential race 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 BidenTop House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documents Judge's ruling creates fresh hurdle for Trump's TikTok ban Harris says she hasn't 'made a plan one way or another' on meeting Supreme Court nominee 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.