The Republicans' early response to impeachment: discredit, doubt, delay

WASHINGTON — There are plenty of signs that the Trump administration has been caught off guard by the explosive events of this week. The president’s lawyer trading barbs on Thursday with fellow Republicans over who was to blame for Trump’s Ukraine predicament, and the president himself talking in wild and ominous tones of “spies” inside his own government, are the clearest signs that the Republicans don’t yet have a coherent strategy.

Republicans have only begun to sketch out the rough outline of what their response will be to House Democrats’ official impeachment inquiry, which was announced Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That response appears focused on a three-pronged strategy: discredit the whistle-blower, cast doubt on the most explosive elements of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and slow down and weaken the Democrats’ process in the House with procedural and historical arguments.

Rudy Giuliani, an attorney and adviser to Trump, said Thursday that the whistleblower was basing his allegations on second-hand information, a criticism that was picked up and repeated by Republican leaders.

“His information is questionable. He says ‘I was not a direct witness...’ and additionally states over 20 times ‘I was told,’ ‘I am concerned,’ ‘I learned,’ and not once did he say ‘I know,’” Giuliani tweeted.

“Under Anglo-American law, that is described as hearsay. Inadmissible because it is inherently unreliable,” Giuliani added.

31 PHOTOS
Donald Trump faces impeachment inquiry
See Gallery
Donald Trump faces impeachment inquiry
ARCHIVO - En esta foto de archivo del 30 de noviembre de 2018, la entonces embajadora de EEUU en Ucrania, Marie L. Yovanovitch, habla en Kiev. Yovanovich declara el viernes 11 de octubre de 2019 ante las comisiones del Congreso que investigan al presidente Donald Trump antes de posiblemente iniciarle juicio político. (AP Foto/Efrem Lukatsky)
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, center, arrives on Capitol Hill, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington, as she is scheduled to testify before congressional lawmakers on Friday as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
FILE - In this March 6, 2019 file photo, then U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, center, sits during her meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, Ukraine. (Mikhail Palinchak, Presidential Press Service Pool Photo via AP)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the House impeachment investigation during a formal signing ceremony for the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement at the White House in Washington, October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence Committee speaks to the media before a closed-door meeting regarding the ongoing impeachment inquiry against US President Donald Trump at the US Capitol October 8, 2019 in Washington,DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben McAdams, of Utah, addresses the media at Midvale Senior Citizens Center Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, in Midvale, Utah. McAdams is changing his position to support the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. He said Friday he has not made a decision on whether the president should be impeached, but he supports investigating what he calls serious allegations. McAdams was previously one of a small handful of undecided House Democrats. He says he changed his mind because the Trump administration is unlikely to cooperate with an investigation unless it's conducted as an impeachment inquiry. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Staunch Trump ally Sen. Chuck Grassley pushes back against calls to out whistleblower
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., listens as Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., and other House Democrats discuss H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which passed in the House but is being held up in the Senate, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks to reporters after the Trump administration blocked U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland from giving testimony in the House of Representatives' impeachment investigation of Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: Tourists make photographs inside the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on October 01, 2019 in Washington, DC. Under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the House of Representatives has opened an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump following revelation that a whistleblower filed a complaint that Trump was seeking damaging information about a political opponent from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30 : President Donald J. Trump talks to reporters about the whistleblower after participating in a ceremonial Swearing-In of the Secretary of Labor Gene Scalia in the Oval Office at the White House on Monday, Sept 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - OCTOBER 01: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the media on October 1, 2019 in Kiev, Ukraine. Ukraine has been at the core of a political storm in U.S. politics since the release of a whistleblower's complaint suggesting U.S. President Donald Trump, at the expense of U.S. foreign policy, pressured Ukraine to investigate Trump's rival, Joe Biden, and Biden's son, Hunter. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on September 24, 2019 shows US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, on September 24, 2019 and US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, September 20, 2019. - Amid mounting allegations of abuse of power by the US President, Pelosi announced the start of a formal impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives, the first step in a process that could ultimately lead to Trump's removal from office. (Photos by Mandel NGAN and SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN,SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., reads a statement announcing a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., steps away from a podium after reading a statement announcing a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts to audience applause after his address to the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to address the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
WASHINGTON, DC - September 24: Surrounded by journalists, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (D-CA) emerges from a meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, before the delivers a speech concerning a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Tuesday September 24, 2019. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Members of the White House press corps - holding in the Trump Bar at Trump Tower - watch U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) live on television as she announces an impeachment investigation of U.S. President Donald Trump in New York City, New York, U.S. September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump ATTENDS a bilateral meeting with Iraq's President Barham Salih on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks to news reporters following an impeachment proceeding announcement, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) walks through a House corridor following an Impeachment Proceeding announcement, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL.) speaks to news reporters following an Impeachment Proceeding announcement, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 1125 -- Pictured: Host Jimmy Fallon as Donald Trump during the "Trump U.N. Speech" Cold Open on September 24, 2019 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Protesters with "Kremlin Annex" call to impeach President Donald Trump in Lafayette Square Park in front of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 24: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to the media in response to an announcement by Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) at the Capitol Building September 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry today after allegations that President Donald Trump sought to pressure the president of Ukraine to investigate leading Democratic presidential contender, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, which was the subject of a reported whistle-blower complaint that the Trump administration has withheld from Congress. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 24: Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) walks with her press secretary, Connor Joseph, to a House Democratic caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol where formal impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump were announced by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi September 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Spanberger is one of seven freshman members of the House with national intelligence or military backgrounds who recently spoke out in an opinion piece calling for an investigation of Trump. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 24: Reporters and congressional staff members wait outside a House Democratic caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol where formal impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump were announced by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi September 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry after allegations that President Donald Trump sought to pressure the president of Ukraine to investigate leading Democratic presidential contender, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, which was the subject of a reported whistle-blower complaint that the Trump administration has withheld from Congress. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 24: Reporters crowd around Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., as he leaves the House Democrats caucus meeting in the Capitol on impeachment of President Trump on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 24: Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, arrives for the House Democrats caucus meeting in the Capitol on impeachment of President Trump on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Protesters with Kremlin Annex with a light sign that reads "NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW" call to impeach President Donald Trump in Lafayette Square Park in front of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, used the same language in a press conference with reporters. “Not one thing is from a primary source,” McCarthy said. “It’s hearsay.”

McCarthy also argued that the reconstructed transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky did not show the president asking for any kind of “favor” that was inappropriate.

“The president did not ask [Zelensky] to investigate Joe Biden. What he asked the president of the Ukraine to do is to participate in an open — from the AG — investigation of what transpired in 2016,” McCarthy said.

Trump’s comment to Zelensky — “I would like you to do us a favor” — was followed by a request “to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it.”

Broken syntax aside, the mention of Crowdstrike is apparently a reference to an unfounded conspiracy theory, previously referenced by the president, that Ukraine had a role in hacking into the Democratic National Committee and releasing thousands of internal e-mails.

“That is lawful, for us to look to another government to actually participate in an open investigation of what happened in 2016, because we want to make sure that never happens again,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy also tried to create distance between Trump’s mention of former Vice President Biden and Trump’s request for “a favor” from Zelensky.

“When he said, ‘I have a favor’ … [it’s] 540 words later before Biden ever comes up,” McCarthy said. “Everybody has been misquoting here about what transpired afterwards: participate in an open investigation by the Attorney General, which is totally lawful, of something that transpired in 2016. Nothing about a further election. Nothing about Biden and the further election.”

McCarthy’s office has also been at the helm of a push to argue that Democrats should hold a vote in the full House of Representatives before proceeding with an official impeachment inquiry.

“The Constitution does not demand any procedural requirements on the House regarding impeachment—including any requirement of adopting a formal resolution. No votes are needed at this time,” a House Democratic leadership aide told Yahoo News.

But House Republicans are pointing to the 1998 impeachment of Democratic President Bill Clinton. The GOP controlled the House at the time, and passed a resolution to authorize the Judiciary Committee “to investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States.”

The resolution passed 258 to 176, with 31 Democrats joining the 228 Republicans in favor. Only one Republican, Rep. Deborah Pryce of Ohio, did not vote.

49 PHOTOS
Bill Clinton through the years
See Gallery
Bill Clinton through the years
American President Bill Clinton gives his weekly speech for the radio, at the White House. (Photo by Jeffrey Markowitz/Sygma via Getty Images)
Bettmann
Presidential candidate Bill Clinton campaigns in New Hampshire. Clinton would win the 1992 presidential election against incumbent George Bush, and be elected to a second term in 1996. (Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Presidential candidate Bill Clinton talks with reporters while campaigning in New Hampshire. Clinton would win the 1992 presidential election against incumbent George Bush, and be elected to a second term in 1996. (Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Bettmann
Presidential candidate Bill Clinton campaigns in New Hampshire. (Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Bill Clinton greets a crowd of supporters in Hannibal, Missouri. Clinton on his Mississippi River Tour to campaign for the 1992 presidential elections. (Photo by � Ralf-Finn Hestoft/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
3/21/1979-ORIGINAL CAPTION READS: View of Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas at podium.
Presidential hopeful Bill Clinton is joined by his daughter Chelsea (L) and wife Hillary during his campaign for the presidency. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma via Getty Images)
Jesse Jackson (right), Baptist minister and two-time presidential candidate, listens as Arkansas governor Bill Clinton speaks to the press just before Clinton announces his candidacy for the US presidency. (Photo by ?? Jacques M. Chenet/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Presidential hopefulls Bill Clinton and Robert Kerrey speak during a meeting of candidates for the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the USA. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma via Getty Images)
Pres. Bill Clinton speaking at Family Leave Bill signing ceremony at WH, framed by listening VP Al Gore. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: U.S. President Bill Clinton (C) chats with New York Governor Mario Cuomo (R) 31 January 1993 at the White House while watching Super Bowl XXVII on television. At left is Texas Governor Ann Richards. Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, sits in the foreground and holds her cat, Socks. (Photo credit should read ROBERT GIROUX/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : US President Bill Clinton speaks to the press at the White House in Washington 02 March after the defeat of the Balanced Budget Ammendment in the US Senate. Clinton, who was opposed to the ammendment, told reporters that the reason the defeat was the failure of Republicans to provide Democrats with a simple guarantee to protect Social Security. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, CANADA - FEBRUARY 23: Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien (L) escorts US President Bill Clinton (2nd L) and first Lady Hillary Clinton (R) accompanied by Chretien's wife Aline (2nd R ) 23 February during a state dinner at the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec, CAN. (COLOR KEY: Aline wears violet dress). AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read PAUL J.RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Hong Kong legislator Martin Lee (L) mtg. w. Pres. Bill Clinton (R) & & VP Al Gore at White House as return of Hong Kong to mainland Chinese rule draws near. (Photo by Diana Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, UNITED STATES: US President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton wave as they board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base 14 September in Maryland. The Clintons are heading to New York for a fundraiser. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Joyce NALTCHAYAN (Photo credit should read JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : US President Bill Clinton speaks to the National Farmers Union 15 September in the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, DC. Some Republican members of Congress have suggested today that a formal Congressional censure would not be punishment enough for Clinton's alleged crimes. AFP PHOTO/STEPHEN JAFFE (Photo credit should read STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 19: President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at news conference at the White House. (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: US President Bill Clinton (C), First Lady Hillary Clinton (L) and daughter Chelsea(C) hug after the president delivered his speech to the Democratic National Convention 14 August 2000 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO/Scott NELSON (Photo credit should read Scott Nelson/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: US President Bill Clinton speaks to the Democratic National Convention 14 August, 2000, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO Lucy NICHOLSON (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Boris Yeltsin (R) hugs U.S. President Bill Clinton before their talks at the Kremlin September 1. Yeltsin greeted Clinton with a bear-hug at the start of their two-day summit, which is expected to be overshadowed by discussion of Russia's worst crisis in years. MF/JDP
U.S. President Bill Clinton has a quiet word with his wife Hillary during a candle-lighting ceremony at the Israeli president's residence December 13. Clinton began today his uphill battle of salvaging the Wye RIver peace accords in the shadow of U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee vote to proceed with impeachement proceedings against him. DPS/ME
U.S. President Bill Clinton answers a question as he stands beside South Korean President Kim Dae-jung during a joint news conference at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul November 21. The two leaders discussed reports of North Korea having a secret underground nuclear complex, among other issues. BPS/JIR/KM
U.S. President Bill Clinton attends Jordan's King Hussein's funeral at an Amman royal palace February 8. World leaders are attending the funeral for King Hussein, who died of cancer February 7 after a turbulent 47-year reign at the heart of the Middle East politics and was succeeded on the throne by his politically untested son Abdullah. ES/WS
U.S. President Bill Clinton eats dinner with troops who are taking part in Operation Allied Force during his visit to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany May 5. Earlier in the day, Clinton met with the three U.S. soldiers who were freed earlier in the week by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. KL/ME
U.S.President Bill Clinton shakes the hand of a supporter while addressing American farmers in Shakopee, Minnesota, May 12, 2000. The president highlighted the economic benefits to American farmers if permanent normal trade relations with China were passed in the U.S. Congress. REUTERS/Larry Downing LSD/SV
U.S. President Bill Clinton holds the hand of nine month-old Sandhya Balakrishna after he administed an oral polio vaccine to the baby during his visit to Mahavir hospital March 24. In a speech to employees of the hospital, Clinton said the diseases still plaguing India brought "human tragedies, economic calamities". Holding the baby is her mother Pushpalatha Balakrishna. KL/AA
U.S. President Bill Clinton grimaces on the first tee as he watches his ball land along the fairway at the Bellevue Country Club in Skaneatles, New York, August 31. The first family will spend the rest of the week vacationing in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. LSD/SV/AA
U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and Bulgarian President Petar Sotyanov wave to the crowd after Clinton addressed tens of thousands gathered in front of Alexander Nevski Cathedral in central Sofia November 22. Clinton will travel to Kosovo tomorrow, the final day of his 10-day Mediterranean tour. KL/MMR/ME
President Bill Clinton waves to bell ringers atop Christ The Saviour Cathedral with the Kremlin in the background, June 4. The Cathedral was recently rebuilt after the original was destroyed by the Soviets in 1933. RTW/RCS
Tennis great Billie Jean King waves to the crowd after remarks honoring her by former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) during a tennis match at Madison Square Garden in New York March 2, 2009. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES)
US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) laughs as former U.S. President Bill Clinton returns McCain's notes which he accidentally picked up off the lectern, before speaking during the Clinton Global Initiative, in New York September 25, 2008. Established by Clinton in 2005, the event is designed to bring donors together with people in need to try to solve global problems. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)
US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (R) (D-NY) gets a kiss from her husband, former President Bill Clinton, at the National Building Museum in Washington June 7, 2008. Clinton endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) to be the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate on Saturday and suspended her own White House bid less than a week after the Illinois senator secured enough support to win the nomination. Clinton's endorsement of Obama in a speech at the National Building Museum marked the beginning of efforts to reunite the Democratic Party after a long and divisive campaign battle that ended on Tuesday when Obama won the support of enough delegates to clinch the nomination. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)
Chelsea Clinton (L) and former President Bill Clinton, listen as Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks to supporters at her New Hampshire primary night rally in Manchester January 8, 2008. Clinton defied the polls and narrowly upset Barack Obama in New Hampshire on Tuesday, breathing new life into her U.S. presidential campaign after finishing third in Iowa. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (UNITED STATES)
Chelsea Clinton (L) and former US President Bill Clinton watch as US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks at the National Building Museum in Washington June 7, 2008. Clinton endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) to be the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate on Saturday and suspended her own White House bid less than a week after the Illinois senator secured enough support to win the nomination. Clinton's endorsement of Obama in a speech at the National Building Museum marked the beginning of efforts to reunite the Democratic Party after a long and divisive campaign battle that ended on Tuesday when Obama won the support of enough delegates to clinch the nomination. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA) BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledge the crowd as U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama waves during the Clinton Global Initiative in New York September 23, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Microsoft founder Bill Gates (L) and former U.S. President Bill Clinton speak during the Clinton Global Initiative in New York September 23, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton greets students and officials at Edison Middle School before speaking about the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in Miami, Florida January 21, 2011. The Alliance, a non-profit organization founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, announced industry agreements with 13 leading school meal manufacturers to combat childhood obesity by making available healthier choices in school meals across the country. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS EDUCATION HEALTH FOOD IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton embrace during the opening plenary session labeled "Reimagining Impact" at the Clinton Global Initiative 2014 (CGI) in New York, September 22, 2014. The CGI was created by former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2005 to gather global leaders to discuss solutions to the world's problems. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks with Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group, during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York, September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former U.S. President Bill Clinton at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, November 20, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY PROFILE)
Chelsea Clinton holds her newborn son Aidan Clinton Mezvinsky with her husband Marc Mezvinsky, as U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton pose together as they exit Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, U.S., June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her husband former president Bill Clinton react to the balloon drop after she accepted the nomination on the fourth and final night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton greets Melania Trump ahead of the start of the first debate between Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and former U.S. President George W. Bush participate in a moderated conversation at the graduation class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program at the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas, U.S., July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Brandon Wade TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Five former U.S. presidents, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, speak during a concert at Texas A&M University benefiting hurricane relief efforts in College Station, Texas, U.S., October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Richard Carson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former President Bill Clinton delivers a keynote address at Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service symposium to mark the 25th anniversary of President Clinton's 1992 presidential election victory in Washington, U.S., November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

McCarthy’s office pulled up old quotes from Pelosi and other Democratic leaders from 1998 decrying what the current House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, called a “partisan” and “exceedingly unfair” process.

Rep. Jarold Nadler, a New York Democrat who is now directing the impeachment inquiry from his position as chair of the House Judiciary Committee, was even more explicit in 1998.

“There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by the other. Such an impeachment will produce the divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions,” Nadler said.

It is too early to say how many Republicans might support impeaching Trump, but right now there are no signs of support within the GOP for such a move.

_____

Download the Yahoo News app to customize your experience.

Read more from Yahoo News:

 

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.