By Jack Phillips
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said some Democrats are starting to second-guess the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, as well as the direction the Democratic Party is going in.
“I had a Democrat come to me today to tell me—he even questioned if he should stay a Democrat or reregister,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) claimed on Wednesday evening on Fox News. “He said, ‘This is not the party I know.’”
On Twitter, McCarthy elaborated, saying that “he was considering re-registering as a Republican.”
The person also told him that the “direction that they’re going is totally wrong.”
I had a Democrat come to me yesterday to tell me he was considering re-registering as a Republican. He said: “This is not the party that I know. The direction that they’re going is totally wrong.” pic.twitter.com/QuSBZcx8ct
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 14, 2019
He didn’t name the lawmaker in question.
Republicans, during the House impeachment inquiry hearing on Wednesday, highlighted that witnesses Bill Taylor and George Kent didn’t have firsthand knowledge, or even second-hand, of the whistleblower’s allegations, which triggered the impeachment inquiry into Trump.
“We got six people having four conversations in one sentence, and you just told me this is where you got your clear understanding,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Taylor. “I’ve seen church prayer chains that are easier to understand than this.”
The focus of the impeachment inquiry is a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and the former vice president’s son Hunter, who had served as a board member for a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma. Trump also asked Zelensky to investigate whether Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.
The House Intelligence Committee on Friday is due to hear in a public session from Marie Yovanovitch, who Trump removed from her post as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in May.
Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani at the time was working to convince Ukraine to carry out the investigations. Yovanovitch, a holdover from the previous administration, spoke to lawmakers behind closed doors on Oct. 11.
Ukrainian officials have denied that Trump exerted pressure on Kyiv to carry out investigations in lieu of military aid.
“Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigations. You should ask him,” Ukrainian foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko said about central impeachment figure Gordan Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, reported Reuters.
“I have never seen a direct relationship between investigations and security assistance,” Prystaiko also said. “Yes, the investigations were mentioned, you know, in the conversation of the presidents. But there was no clear connection between these events.”
Reuters contributed to this report.