Top Armed Services Republican: Trump's Ukraine call 'inappropriate' not 'impeachable

Top Armed Services Republican: Trump's Ukraine call 'inappropriate' not 'impeachable
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberryHillicon Valley: Schumer questions Army over use of TikTok | Federal court rules against random searches of travelers' phones | Groups push for election security funds in stopgap bill | Facebook's new payment feature | Disney+ launch hit by glitches Retirements pose threat to cybersecurity expertise in Congress Trump urges allies to not 'be led into the fools trap' of saying Ukraine call 'was not perfect, but is not impeachable' MORE (Texas), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said Sunday that President Trump’s call with Ukraine's president, which is at the center of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry, was “inappropriate” but not “impeachable.”

ABC “This Week” host Martha Raddatz pressed Thornberry on the Republican strategy to combat the substance of the allegations against Trump as the impeachment inquiry enters the public phase this week with key witness testimony. 

“I believe it's inappropriate for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival. Now that leads to a question if there's a political rival with a family member who is involved in questionable activity, what do you do?” Thornberry said.

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“Just let them alone. But set that aside. I believe it was inappropriate. I do not believe it was impeachable,” he added. 

Thornberry also repeated the Republican attack heard throughout the inquiry, lamenting the process as a tainted “one-sided, partisan approach.” 

The impeachment inquiry centers on a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked Zelensky to look into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE, a leading 2020 candidate, and Biden’s son. 

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House Democrats allege Trump withheld foreign aid in return for the investigation into the Bidens. 

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and most Republicans have continued to defend the president’s actions.