- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2019

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday downplayed reported testimony from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman that key words and phrases connected to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and his son were omitted from a White House readout of a call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky.

“That’s fine, but he’s not the only one listening to the call. There are a number of individuals listening to the call, and they put the transcript together,” Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, said on “Fox & Friends.”

“So if one person disagrees, it’s a collective group that decides — not the president. But you know what? The rest of America and the rest of the world has seen this call — you’ve read the transcript,” he said. “There is nothing impeachable about this.”

The New York Times first reported that Col. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, testified to House investigators on Tuesday that he tried but failed to make corrections to a reconstructed transcript of the call released by the White House.

He said that Mr. Zelensky said the word “Burisma.” That’s a reference to Burisma Holdings, the energy company where Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, had a lucrative seat on the board. The reconstructed transcript instead refers to “the company.”

Col. Vindman also said that in a part of the transcript where ellipses appear, Mr. Trump said there were tapes of Mr. Biden, apparently referring to the candidate’s threat to withhold loan guarantees to Ukraine if the country didn’t fire a prosecutor who had reportedly been eyeing Burisma.

Mr. McCarthy also predicted that Republicans will retake control of the House and said some Democrats are coming around on impeaching Mr. Trump to head off criticism from their left flank.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, is “going to” lose the speaker’s gavel, he said.

“It only takes 19 seats to win the majority. They have 31 Democrats sitting in seats that President Trump carried, and we’re going to carry those again,” Mr. McCarthy said.

“More importantly here — watch the Democrats,” he said. “They now approve of impeachment every time they get a primary opponent.”

“You watch Max Rose … who said impeachment was wrong,” he said, referring to the freshman Democratic congressman from New York. “Now he’s changed the entire system that you’re not innocent [until] proven guilty. He said the president says he’s innocent — he has to prove it.”

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