U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, right, poses for photos during a stop at the Texas A&M-San Antonio, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in San Antonio. Hurd, one of President Donald Trump’s few Republican critics in Congress is trying to hang on for another term in a Texas swing district.
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, spoke to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday to discuss the IG report.
It’s especially interesting to hear what Hurd had to say, because his vote against the President’s impeachment was by no means assured. He has been a frequent critic of the President and he is not seeking reelection next year. In November, Hurd indicated he planned to listen to the testimony before making his decision. He takes his job seriously. And in the end, he did not hear anything that convinced him Trump had committed an impeachable offense.
Tapper opened the interview by asking Hurd if he was at all worried that a vote against impeachment “would essentially be seen as a green light for every president in the future to use their power to ask foreign leaders to investigate their rivals.”
Now that’s a leading question. Hurd remained unphased. He responded, “No, I don’t believe that. You can vote against impeachment but still disagree with some of the policies and some of the behavior.”
He continued, “My fear is that you weaponize impeachment for political gain in the future. Just like now we have budget debates that become weaponized. Voting for Supreme Court justices has become weaponized. My definition of impeachment is a violation the law.”
Tapper could not believe Hurd did not consider Trump’s request to Ukrainian President Volodymyr to be bribery or extortion. He rattled off all of the Democratic talking points and finally said “It opens up a Pandora’s box. I’m sure you see that.”
Actually, he didn’t. Hurd pointed out that there are other tools in their toolkit, seemingly implying there was no reason to go from zero to impeachment.
The two discussed FISA reforms to ensure that what was done to Carter Page does not happen to anyone else in the future.
Tapper pointed out that the IG said that the investigation had been launched properly.
Hurd noted that the bar for opening an investigation was very low.
The real question is why were there 17 lies in this report. You had a guy who was helping one branch of the government while another branch was using that as an excuse to say he was committing espionage. As a former intelligence officer, that’s absolutely outrageous. If the roles were reversed,..I don’t understand why more people are not outraged. I don’t understand why chairman Schiff’s not upset. Because he was lied to by folks. The media was lied to. If Horowitz would have come back and said that the Steele dossier was 100% true, I would be apoplectic because would have lied to me and I would be dragging them to the Hill to answer questions.
I am baffled by Hurd’s concern that Schiff and the media had been lied to. Schiff and the media believe whatever is necessary for them to advance their agendas. I’m pretty sure neither Schiff nor any members of the mainstream media ever asked the FBI any difficult or penetrating questions in their search for the truth. Rather, I think they avoid asking questions they may not want to hear the answers to.
Further, I was taken aback at how programmed Tapper is to frame his questions in such a way as to elicit a desired response. One can almost imagine CNN conducting classes on how it’s done.
Maybe they do.
(Watch the full interview here.)
“The real question is why were there 17 lies in this report … As a former intelligence officer, that’s absolutely outrageous,” GOP Rep. Will Hurd says about the IG report. “I don't understand why more people are not outraged” https://t.co/Zgn5GmwScY #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/9eBVU4v6X1
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 15, 2019