WASHINGTON – Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan got into a heated debate on Sunday with CNN’s Jake Tapper while discussing whether President Donald Trump improperly used the U.S. diplomatic relationship with Ukraine as leverage to push for an investigation of Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential frontrunner.
Appearing on CNN on Sunday, Jordan, a vocal defender of the president and member of ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, dismissed concerns over the president asking a foreign government to investigate one of Trump’s political foes, which led to the formal launch of an impeachment inquiry, and instead pointed to Biden’s conduct and argued the whistleblower complaint, which brought to light a phone call where Trump asked the Ukrainian president multiple times about an investigation into Biden, was from someone without first-hand knowledge and mere hearsay.
“What I have a problem with is what the Democrats are doing,” Jordan said, arguing that liberals wanted to move forward with impeachment before seeing the evidence and facts in the episode. Jordan argued the whisleblower “has no first-hand knowledge.”
Tapper pointed out that while the complaint was filed by someone who did not have first-hand knowledge, everything in the complaint thus far has been true.
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A summary of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was released showing Trump brought up investigating Biden multiple times and the White House acknowledged that the call was stored on a more secret system, one used for classified matters.
“Those are the two main charges and they’re both true,” Tapper said.
As the conversation veered toward Biden, Jordan pointed to the former vice president holding up aid to Ukraine unless the country’s top prosecutor, who had investigated Biden’s son, was fired.
Tapper then hit back, saying that Biden wasn’t the only person asking that this prosecutor be fired. The U.S. government, along with the European Union and a variety of others wanted this official fired because he was not prosecuting corruption.
“You’re suggesting that Biden called for the prosecutor to be fired to protect his son. That’s not what happened,” he told Jordan.
Tapper also said according to Ukraine, the investigation into the gas company where Biden’s son served as a board member, was “dormant” at the time the prosecutor was fired.
A former Ukrainian prosecutor has previously said that he was unaware of “any possible violation of Ukrainian law” by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
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“It’s amazing the gymnastics you all will go through,” Jordan said, dismissing Tapper’s argument.
“Sir, it’s not gymnastics, it’s facts. And I would think that somebody who’s been accused of things in the last year or two, would be more sensitive about throwing out wild allegations about people,” Tapper shot back, pointing to allegations that Jordan faced last year that he was aware that a doctor at Ohio State University had sexually abused more than 150 male athletes. A report released earlier this year said there was no proof showing Jordan knew about sexual abuse allegations.
Jordan said he has faith that the American people “will see this for what it is” and won’t believe this conversation merits overruling the electorate and removing Trump from office.
“Democrats just put us through three years of this phony Russian collusion investigation, and now on the heels of that they come right back with this,” he said. “We’ve all seen the transcript. There’s nothing there.”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rep. Jim Jordan, CNN’s Jake Tapper spar over Trump-Ukraine scandal