House Republicans have a plan to defend Trump during impeachment hearings – it’s all about his ‘state of mind’
US President Donald Trump, embroiled in a scandal over his communications with Ukraine, is facing growing calls from opposition Democrats for impeachment proceedings to be launched against him AFP / SAUL LOEB

Rather than act as impartial investigators, dedicated to ascertaining the facts of the President's actions, and whether or not those actions were legal, or are impeachable, House Republicans will stick to a plan that focuses on his "state of mind" and other intangible arguments.


"Confronted with a mountain of damaging facts heading into tomorrow's opening of the public phase of impeachment, House Republicans plan to argue that 'the President's state of mind' was exculpatory," Axios reports, noting it has obtained an 18-page GOP memo that was sent out to House Intelligence Committee members Monday night.

"To appropriately understand the events in question — and most importantly, assess the President's state of mind during his interaction with [Ukrainian] President Zelensky — context is necessary," the memo reads. "The evidence gathered does not establish an impeachable offense," it insists, wrongly.

Also wrong, or immaterial, are these four critical points the memo directs Republicans to make during the hearings.

"The July 25 call summary — the best evidence of the conversation — shows no conditionality or evidence of pressure." (False.)

"President Zelensky and President Trump have both said there was no pressure on the call." (True, but immaterial.)

"The Ukrainian government was not aware of a hold on U.S. security assistance at the time of the July 25 call." (False.)

"President Trump met with President Zelensky and U.S. security assistance flowed to Ukraine in September 2019 — both of which occurred without Ukraine investigating President Trump's political rivals." (Immaterial. Doesn't matter. Attempts to commit crimes are still crimes.)

You can read the full memo here.

The impeachment inquiry hearings with live, televised witness testimony, begin Wednesday.