Nov 10, 2019 - Politics & Policy

GOP Rep. Will Hurd: A Ukraine quid pro quo would be "violation of the law"

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) said on "Fox News Sunday" that it would be a "violation of the law" for "a president or any official" to withhold aid from a foreign country in exchange for investigations into political rivals, though he stopped short of saying President Trump had done so with Ukraine.

The exchange:

CHRIS WALLACE: "Specifically, sir, the question is if there was a quid pro quo — U.S. aid for Ukraine was going to depend on their doing these investigations of political rivals of the president — is that an impeachable offense?
HURD: "I think if you're trying to get information on a political rival to use in a political campaign is not something a president or any official should be doing. I think most Republicans have said that that would be a violation of the law."

Why it matters: Hurd is a Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee. Witnesses interviewed in the House's impeachment inquiry have so far testified that there appeared to be a quid pro quo involving a White House visit for Ukraine’s president, conditioned on the announcement of investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden and alleged interference in the 2016 election.

  • However, they differ on whether military aid was used as leverage. Some key figures, including Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, believe it was.

The big picture: Hurd, a moderate Republican who has criticized Trump at times, said he would "truly consider" whether impeachment is the "correct tool" to use if evidence of a quid pro quo emerges.

  • Hurd is also a former CIA officer and said that the identity of the Ukraine whistleblower whose complaint set off the impeachment inquiry should be protected.
  • Overall, however, the congressman criticized the inquiry as a "partisan exercise" and said that he agrees with other Republicans on the committee who called on Saturday for Hunter Biden to testify.

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