GOP lawmaker blasts Democrats hypocrisy amid impeachment fallout

Rep. Bruce WestermanBruce Eugene WestermanHouse Republican compares impeachment inquiry to 'mad soap opera' GOP lawmaker blasts Democrats hypocrisy amid impeachment fallout The Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today MORE (R-Ark.) ripped his Democratic counterparts amid the first round of public impeachment hearings, calling their inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE “hypocritical." 

Westerman defended Trump's interactions with Ukraine as being motivated by concerns about corruption, as Democrats continue to investigate whether the president withheld military aid in exchange for a Ukraine investigations into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNew York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Graham invites Giuliani to testify about recent Ukraine trip Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications MORE and 2016 election interference.

"We use foreign aid because we are trying to move U.S. policies in foreign countries. We are trying to use our foreign policy to get outcomes that we want to see ... There is corruption in Ukraine. I don’t fault Biden for trying to stomp out corruption,” Westerman told Hill.TV.

“But I do fault the Democrats for being hypocritical and blaming President Trump for something Joe Biden did in the open,” he added. “Trump was transparent — he released the transcript of the phone which is still the best record that we have on what actually happened.”

Trump last month released a July 25 transcript of his conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in which the president asks for help in pursuing investigations into the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee server as well as the Bidens. Trump has defended the call saying he did nothing inappropriate.

As Democrats ramp up their impeachment probe, Trump has also accused Biden of seeking to force out a top Ukrainian prosecutor in order to thwart an investigation into an energy company in which his son served as a board member. The former vice president has denied these allegations, saying the Obama administration sought his ouster because of concerns over corruption. 

Westerman spoke with Hill.TV shortly before former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchSenate confirms Trump's Russia ambassador The State Department: Nonpartisan service on behalf of America Nunes: 'Sickening' that Schiff obtained his phone records MORE was set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.

The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine described being "shocked and devastated" when she saw that Trump had brought up her service in Ukraine on a July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

Trump lashed out at Yovanovitch during Friday's hearing, claiming that she had performed poorly during her career as a U.S. ambassador.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial Supreme Court takes up fight over Trump financial records Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote MORE (D-Calif.) and other Democrats have condemned Trump's attack, saying it amounted to "witness intimidation." 

—Tess Bonn