Governor Hutchinson, interviewed yesterday on MSNBC about the Ukraine caper and President Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate, expressed some disapproval of the president but opposes impeachment.
Hutchinson said that he would not want to vote for someone who made foreign aid contingent on investigating personal political enemies, but he said that Trump’s alleged behavior did not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.
Asked whether he would like to hear testimony from former National Security Advisor John Bolton, Hutchinson said, “Well, I can see where he would have relevant information that pertains to what happened on the call with the president of Ukraine. But you have to look at every allegation that the House has made. … In my judgment, it does not arise to a high crime or misdemeanor.”
“You can say that’s not an ideal call,” the governor said of Trump’s chit-chat with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. “I don’t think that I’d want to vote for a person that made that kind of suggestion on a telephone call with a foreign leader.”
“You can make that judgment,” Hutchinson continued, “but it’s not a basis to remove somebody from office.” He expressed doubts that witness testimony could “lead to information that might constitute a high crime or misdemeanor.”
Asked whether Trump did anything wrong, Hutchinson reiterated: “That’s not an ideal call in my judgment.” He said that inquiries about potential investigations should have been handled by the attorney general rather than Trump, but repeated that the allegations against the president did not rise to an impeachable offense.
Hutchinson was the trial manager during the impeachment of Bill Clinton. That was different, Hutchinson said:
One, there was a more complete investigation on the House side. .. Secondly, we survived a motion to dismiss filed by Sen. Robert Byrd, where it led us to witnesses. Let’s see if they can meet that same burden of proof.