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Conservative podcast host Steve Bannon mocked House Republicans for selecting a witness who testified at the first impeachment inquiry hearing that there was not enough evidence to vote to impeach President Biden.
Bannon, a longtime ally of former President Trump, criticized Republicans leading the impeachment inquiry for not verifying what Jonathan Turley had planned to say ahead of the first hearing Thursday.
“That’s maybe not a witness I call initially to lay out the case. Maybe my staff should have gone through and asked questions like that in making sure in the traditional preparation of the witnesses,” Bannon said on his podcast.
“And if that was the professor’s thought, and that’s what he believes, maybe we sit around a conference table and say, ‘Hey, well, we have on the whiteboard that professor’s name. Why don’t we put him on the ‘maybe’ category? Why don’t we, maybe we bring him in in a couple of weeks. Maybe we don’t start with him.’ It’s just an idea,” he continued.
At various points in the House Oversight Committee hearing, Turley, a frequent witness invited by Republicans to testify before Congress, cast doubt on whether there was enough evidence to support an impeachment of Biden.
“I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment; that is something that an inquiry has to establish,” he said. “But I also believe that the House has passed the threshold for an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Biden.”
In an exchange later in the hearing, Turley told Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) that he would vote “no” if there were an immediate vote on impeaching Biden, noting that the purpose of the impeachment inquiry is to find the evidence that could, in theory, support an impeachment vote.
“The key here that the committee has to drill down on is whether they can establish a linkage with the influence peddling, which is a form of corruption, and the president — whether he had knowledge, whether he participated, whether he encouraged it,” he said.
On whether there was sufficient evidence at the moment, Turley said: “We simply don’t know, and we don’t even know if this was an illusion or not, but you can’t find the answers to that. I mean, the backend of these financial transactions, which I have read is where the committee is going, may shed light on that, but without that type of nexus, then no I don’t.”