WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) questioned Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) during today’s colloquy on the Democrats’ march towards impeachment of President Donald Trump, despite zero evidence of collusion. He called on the Democrats to instead investigate the Russians’ direct election interference under President Obama’s watch. He then asked Leader Hoyer when Democrats will finally address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border that desperately requires attention.
See highlights from the colloquy below.
On the Democrats’ moves towards impeachment of the President:
“We then want to shift over and talk about what else is going to be on the floor next week, and that’s going to be this contempt resolution.
“I haven’t seen the language, I don’t know when your side plans to file, but I’d ask the Majority Leader – it’s clear that there is a march to impeachment that this starts, maybe the formal march to impeachment on the House floor. But just this Sunday, the Majority Whip was asked on a TV show if he felt the House was going to impeach the President of United States and he said yes.
“There’s been no evidence that would necessitate an impeachment. We had this nearly two year investigation by Mr. Mueller and it was all about whether or not there was collusion between the President and Russia. They looked into whether or not there was any kind of interference with Russia in our elections and of course he did find that there was interference with Russia. Russia tried to meddle with our elections while Barack Obama was President of the United States. Now, what did Barack Obama do to stop that? I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s going to be investigated. It should be. Whether or not the President did everything in his powers at the time to stop Russia from interfering with our elections.
“We know what happened and we need to work together to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That should be our focus.
“There was no collusion by the way, and they found that. You know, there was no obstruction of justice and I know the [Judiciary] Committee wants to keep focusing and looking into everything that they can to try to find more evidence that wasn’t there.”
On the Democrats’ failure to address Russian interference in U.S. elections under President Obama’s watch:
“When the Mueller investigation was completed, first of all, Mr. Barr, the Attorney General had an opportunity to review that report and give a summary to Congress. During that period, Mr. Barr invited Mr. Mueller to review the report, to review his summary. Mr. Mueller chose not to participate in that and so ultimately the attorney general then gave Congress a summary which made it crystal clear there was no collusion after almost two years and over $30 million of taxpayer money looking into this. The President fully complied and his administration fully complied. They were probing everything under the sun.
“Anybody that wants to use the term ‘cover up’ ought to be very cognizant of what they’re talking about when we talk about that investigation. Because that investigation was as thorough as any that we’ve seen and the attorney general and the special counsel were both involved in reviewing it. The special counsel had an opportunity if he found wrong doing to file charges. He could have filed charges and he filed absolutely no charges. There were no charges filed because there was nothing wrong that was found.
“The task was to see if there was any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign while Russia was interfering with the elections. We know Russia interfered with the elections. Why did the Obama Administration allow Russia to interfere with the elections? That’s a question we should be probing. Why? Not just to go back in time, but to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“How much time is being spent going and looking to see just exactly what Russia did to interfere in the election while Barack Obama was President? They’re not doing that. They want to go after all these witch hunts and was there more collusion. There was no collusion.
“They tried for two years. You had members of your own leadership team saying they had evidence of collusion and yet there was no evidence of collusion. They’ve never come forth and said they were wrong. They’ve never brought forward what their mysterious evidence was because there was no evidence because there was no collusion.”
On the need to solve the border crisis:
“It’s a serious crisis because we don’t have control over our border yet. We need to get control over our border, but in the next two weeks, literally in the next two weeks, the Department of [Health and Human Services (HHS)] is about to run out of money to deal with this crisis.
“The President of the United States submitted a supplemental request to this majority asking for additional funding, so that we can take care of those kids that are coming over every day in the thousands, the unaccompanied children. The Department of Health and Human Services is about to run out of money to take care of those kids. So what happens to those kids?
“If they come over illegally the law says what Homeland Security has to do. If they come over and they’re sick, which some of them are coming over very sick, they’re turned over to HHS where HHS takes care of them, and HHS has told you they’re about to run out of money. Not a thing has been done.
“In fact, when the Labor-H bill was in subcommittee, one of our members actually filed an amendment to try to include the money so that we can keep taking care of the health needs of those kids that are coming over illegally, and that was rejected on a party-line vote. Your party voted against that.
“In the committee of jurisdiction, instead of focusing on how to solve this problem, how we can help resolve this problem in a bipartisan way, which it should be bipartisan–we all ought to care about these kids that are coming over that have a lot of health issues that we’re trying to address–but they’re about to run out of money. What are we going to do about it? We’ve asked that this majority do something to address that request that was sent down from the President weeks ago.
“We’re literally facing a crisis in a matter of days where they will run out of money. When is that going to be addressed by this majority? We’ve asked for it to be addressed and it hasn’t.”