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House Dems circulate talking points to combat GOP impeachment defense


The move comes after Republicans sent out a memo of their own.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats wasted little time sending out an internal talking points memo to caucus members on Tuesday, laying out the response to Republicans' defense of President Donald Trump in the ongoing impeachment probe.

What are the details?

Monday night, top Republicans from three committees involved in the impeachment investigation sent out a staff memo detailing "four key pieces of evidence" that they believe dismantle Democrats' allegations against the president.

Democrats responded by sending out a memo of their own on Tuesday — on the eve of when public hearings in the probe are scheduled to begin — rebutting Republicans' arguments, The Hill reported.

While Republicans say the July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky contains "no conditionality or evidence of pressure," Democrats claim the call "shows clear evidence of pressure and conditionality."

Republicans point out that both Zelensky and President Trump have "said there was no pressure on the call," but Democrats say "Ukraine's president felt pressured."

The GOP's position is that "the Ukrainian government was not aware of a hold on U.S. security assistance at the time of the July 25 call," while Democrats argue "Ukraine knew about the hold on security assistance before it became public."

Finally, the GOP's memo states that "President Trump met with President Zelensky and U.S. security assistance flowed to Ukraine in September 2019 — both of which occurred without Ukraine investigating President Trump's political rivals." Democrats say "security assistance flowed only after Congress intervened."

The Democrats' memo goes on to further state that President Trump "continued to withhold a White House meeting" and argued that "Ukraine is currently following Trump's order in reviewing past investigations."

Democrats noted that those past investigations include looking into corruption allegations against Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas firm where Hunter Biden sat on the board until just this year. The final line in the memo states, "There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Vice President Biden or his son."

Anything else?

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is leading the impeachment proceedings, announced Tuesday that the witnesses who will testify next week "have already given closed-door depositions," Reuters reported.

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