Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) went after Democrats for wanting to change the charges for the basis of the impeachment inquiry from quid pro quo to bribery.
Ratcliffe pointed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) press conference last week where she said, "that President Trump committed the impeachable offense of bribery, evidenced in his July 25th call transcript with President Zelensky. In concert with that, multiple Democratic members of this committee gave T.V. and radio interviews over this past week discussing how the president’s conduct supported his impeachment for committing bribery."
Ratcliffe said the shift in what Democrats are trying to impeach Trump for, "struck me as very odd because for the longest time this was all about quid pro quo, according to the whistleblower complaint, but after witness after witness began saying there was no quid pro quo or even that quid pro quo was not even possible, we saw a shift from the Democrats."
Ratcliffe had stacked ten of the released deposition transcripts on his desk to illustrate how bribery is not mentioned to describe Trump's conduct in the six weeks of interviews. He said the two witnesses appearing on Tuesday, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and State Department employee Jennifer Williams, also have not used the word "bribery."
"In fact, in these 3,500 pages of sworn testimony in just these ten transcripts released thus far, the word 'bribery' appears in these 3,500 pages exactly one time. And ironically, it appears not in a description of President Trump's alleged conduct. It appears in the description of Vice President [Joe] Biden's alleged conduct," he said.
"This is important because as early as next week, my Democratic colleagues are going to say, 'We need to vote on the evidence from this impeachment inquiry on the impeachment of the president for bribery,' and they're going to send a report to the Judiciary Committee. Because there’s more Democrats than Republicans, it’s likely going to pass. When that happens, the American people need to be clear that when the Democrats, what they are describing as bribery, not a single witness is describing as bribery," Ratcliffe continued.