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‘It doesn’t matter anymore’: House Republicans pivot to new strategy after quid pro quo confirmed

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Now that evidence of a quid pro quo arrangement has been established in the impeachment case against President Donald Trump, congressional Republicans are changing their tune.

House Republicans have insisted they would not tolerate the president withholding congressionally approved aid from Ukraine to force an investigation of Joe Biden, but that no longer matters to them after multiple impeachment witnesses described just such a scheme, reported the Washington Examiner.

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“Asking people to do something in order to get the foreign aid, that’s a relatively common occurrence with all of our foreign aid,” said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. “You could say all of our foreign aid is quid pro quo.”

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) confirmed that House Republicans no longer care about the existence of a quid pro quo, after State Department and National Security Council officials have told the House Intelligence Committee that the aid was conditioned to announcing an investigation of Biden.

“It doesn’t matter much anymore,” Cole said.

Trump has denied holding back the aid to pressure Ukraine’s president to announce the investigation, but witness testimony and a call summary released by the White House shows his strong interest in investigating Biden and a conspiracy theory linking Kyiv to 2016 election interference.

“Is there anything about their conversation that merits throwing out the votes of 63 million people?” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL). “That’s the bottom line.”

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House Republicans have so far dismissed the evidence as second-hand hearsay testimony, but they’re already signaling that first-hand testimony won’t change their minds on impeachment.

“Even if the Democrats’ fact pattern that they’ve laid out turns out to be 100 percent correct, it does not matter,” said a House Republican who requested anonymity. “The law permits the president to withhold money.”

Congressional aides admit the GOP strategy has shifted as the facts began tilting against the president.

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“It has gone from, ‘There is no quid pro quo,’ to, ‘there’s a quid and a quo but not a pro,’ to ‘even if there was a quid pro quo, it’s not that bad, this is just how things are done,” one GOP aide said. “You can say it’s bad, but it’s not impeachable.”


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Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

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Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

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Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

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Florida Republican Matt Gaetz admits Trump’s legal defense was ‘like an 8th grade book report’ — only worse

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) admitted that President Donald Trump's team of lawyers weren't quite the legal eagles that he thinks they might be, said Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio.

Questioned about his take on the way the case is unfolding in the Senate, Gaetz said that the House presented it like it was going to be on "cable news." For many that may be an insult, but it appears to Gaetz that was a compliment.

Desiderio said that Gaetz then lamented that the White House presented their case more like “an 8th-grade book report.”

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