GOP lawmaker defends Trump by dubiously claiming he didn't kill anyone when he blocked Ukraine aid
US President Donald Trump speaks about the impeachment inquiry during a tour of the Flextronics computer manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas (AFP Photo/MANDEL NGAN)

At Wednesday's impeachment hearing, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) tried to defend President Donald Trump's conduct by suggesting that nobody was killed by his decision to withhold military aid while trying to extort Ukraine into helping him dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden's family.

"We can make up facts or not make up facts, but there is one fact needs refuting that's the idea that lives were lost during the pause," said Collins. "Undersecretary Hale testified that the funds were prospective, bear in mind, in future — this is future assistance. This is not keeping the army going now, it's to help them in the future. To be careless with the facts on primetime, to say people's lives were lost in this, is categorically wrong."

In fact, many soldiers died during the window that Trump froze the aid. It is true that the aid wouldn't have brought extra firepower for the Ukrainians immediately, but there is no way to say it did not contribute to the deaths, because the failure to release it may still have emboldened enemy forces. Additionally, whether the delay actually resulted in deaths is not material to the question of whether holding it up was an abuse of power.

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