Rep. McClintock Says Trump's Language Was the 'Blunt Talk of A Manhattan Businessman'

Posted: Dec 01, 2019 2:55 PM

On ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) defended President Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and said he believes it to be in the president's advantage for the president's attorneys to participate in the upcoming impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. 

Host Martha Raddatz asked the California conservative if there was anything in his mind regarding the president's involvement with Ukraine that he considers wrong or that concerns him in any way.

"Well he didn't use the delicate language of diplomacy in that conversation," McClintock told Raddatz. "He also doesn't use the smarmy talk of politicians. What you hear from Donald J. Trump is the blunt talk of a Manhattan businessman. He says what he means. He means what he says. That's the only thing that's remarkable about that conversation, but he was entirely within his constitutional authority and was following the statute that Congress adopted in granting aid to the Ukraine."

The National Defense Authorization Act that was passed in 2018 requires the president to certify that a country is rooting out corruption before the president can send that country taxpayer money.  

Rep. McClintock is a member of the House Judiciary Committee. On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee panel is expected to release their final report on their investigation of Trump's handling of foreign aid to Ukraine. After a 24-hour review period, the report is expected to be approved by a vote along party lines and make its way to the House Judiciary Committee for further consideration. 

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler has given the president a deadline of 5 p.m. EST on December 6th to inform the committee on whether or not the president's attorneys plan on participating in the committee's hearings. 

Nadler also wrote a letter to House Judiciary Committee Ranking Republican Doug Collins, similarly giving Collins a deadline to submit any request for presenting evidence and issuing subpoenas. Under House rules, the chair of the Judiciary Committee must approve any such requests made by minority members on the committee. The House Judiciary Committee is holding its first hearing on the constitutional basis for impeachment on Dec. 4.

Rep. McClintock told Martha Raddatz that he did not know whether the president's lawyers plan on participating in the Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled this week, but did say that he thinks "it would be to the president's advantage to have his attorneys there." 

"That is his right," McClintock said. "But I can also understand how he is upset with the illegitimate process that we saw unfold in the Intelligence Committee. The big question is going to be whether Jerry Nadler continues that into the Judiciary Committee's hearings or whether he respects the due process rights of the president, not only to be represented by counsel but also to have the unrestricted right to call witnesses in his defense and to confront his accuser."

"So you think they should bring in lawyers," Raddatz asked?

Rep McClintock said, "I think it's to his advantage. Yes."