Fitzgerald calls Trump impeachment inquiry a ‘political witch hunt’

Photo by Michelle Stocker, The Capital Times

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he believes the impeachment inquiry by House Dems into President Trump’s involvement in Ukraine is a “political witch hunt.”

The Juneau Republican, who last month launched a campaign to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner in the 5th CD, was asked by reporters about the impeachment push. The inquiry centers on the allegation that Trump pressured the newly elected president of Ukraine to do him a “favor” by investigating political rival Joe Biden and his family.

But Fitzgerald told reporters after a news conference Tuesday that he didn’t believe Trump had done anything wrong.

“It sounds like everything that was done within that discussion was in the purview of what a president of the United States should be able to do with any foreign diplomat, and it shouldn’t necessarily be made public,” he said.

Fitzgerald told reporters that there are “members of Congress now that are saying they still believe it’s kind of a political witch hunt and that they’re going after the president.” When asked if he believed the inquiry was a “witch hunt,” Fitzgerald replied, “I do.”

“I think it’s just another story that’s going to perpetuate itself probably between now and the end of the election that (Dems are) going to want to investigate,” he said.

The Juneau Republican also suggested Trump wasn’t serious in his public calls last week for China and Ukraine to investigate the Dem presidential frontrunner.

“I think a lot of people would take exception to anyone calling for a foreign government to investigate any political opponent, I get that,” Fitzgerald said. “I think what he was suggesting was something off the cuff that I don’t know that anyone would take it seriously.”

But while Fitzgerald said “everything should be vetted,” he also cast doubt on the legitimacy of the investigation.

“You can continue down the path of exploring all these different items, but whether or not they’re legit, there’s a whole different question or whether or not they’re politically motivated,” he said.

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