GOP lawmaker blasts Democrats hypocrisy amid impeachment fallout

Rep. Bruce WestermanBruce Eugene WestermanHouse Republicans propose carbon capture and sequestration legislation Overnight Energy: Trump credits economic progress to environmental rollbacks | Vote to subpoena Interior delayed by prayer breakfast | Dems hit agency for delaying energy efficiency funds Trump credits economic progress to environmental rollbacks MORE (R-Ark.) ripped his Democratic counterparts amid the first round of public impeachment hearings, calling their inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants 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 BidenBiden leads Sanders by single digits in South Carolina: poll Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Biden will go after Bloomberg, Sanders at Las Vegas debate, aides say 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 YovanovitchThe Hill's review of John Solomon's columns on Ukraine Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength Congress looks to strengthen hand in State Department following impeachment 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 SchiffTop intelligence community lawyer leaving position Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (D-Calif.) and other Democrats have condemned Trump's attack, saying it amounted to "witness intimidation." 

—Tess Bonn