What quid pro quo? Congressman King says ‘no basis’ to impeachment inquiry

Outgoing Long Island Congressman Peter King. (Photo: Mark Hallum)

King said he is ‘defending’ the president.

As long-time Republican Congressman Peter King prepares to settle into retirement, he shared some choice words on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

During an appearance Monday at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, King said Trump did nothing wrong in discussions with the Ukrainian president, and that the Democratic arguments against the administration are driven by conspiracy theories.

“I’m defending the president. To me there’s no basis for the impeachment – I voted against Bill Clinton’s impeachment. To me, impeachment is the most drastic remedy to be used,” King said. “I see nothing at all remotely impeachable with the call to the Ukraine or the whole area around it. People may not like the way he does the job and people may not like his style, but the fact is this is not impeachable. You have to have something much more substantial than a conversation with the president of Ukraine.”

The Long Island congressman reflected on the call for a special counsel, Robert Mueller, and the investigation into Trump’s campaign and their relationship with the Russian government deeming this to be conspiracy theory from the Democrats.

King brushed off the basis of the impeachment inquiry as yet another inflated attempt to undermine the Trump administration — citing a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory which House Republicans used as a defensive tactic during the first public impeachment hearing last week.

“People say that but the biggest conspiracy theory of all was by the Democrats – that Russia somehow got in control of President Trump. That’s the ultimate conspiracy theory and there was never anything to it,” King said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that on some level Ukraine was involved against President Trump during the campaign, but again, that was not significant but there was some question of that. I think it’s important to get everything out there but I don’t believe President Trump was … Hillary Clinton would have been elected because of the help she got from Ukrainians.

King further claimed interference from foreign governments in elections, in one form or another, is nothing new as groups overseas compete for influence.

“By the way, it’s not that uncommon. Governments try to predict who the winner will be and they want to get in good with that person. There were people from the Ukrainian embassy who did get involved but nothing significant,” King concluded.

King says that Although he is the 20th Congress Member this year to announce retirement, it has little to do with the current deeply polarized political climate in Washington.

“I wish it wasn’t that way, but [the political climate] doesn’t bother me. I’m willing to take it on,” King said. “It’s mainly personal issues after 28 years and being away from home 4 days a week for 28 years and having grandchildren I don’t see as much… It’s really as simple as that.”

Mark Hallum