News Local/State

Davis Says Impeachment Testimony Transcripts Don’t Tell Whole Story

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) meeting Thursday with members of his Veterans Advisory Coalition at the Urbana VFW Post. Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) says it’s a good thing that House impeachment investigators have begun releasing transcripts of closed-door testimony. But Davis says the testimony doesn't give a full picture, since testimony from other witnesses remains secret.

“A transcript of an individual is their perspective," said Davis, a Taylorville Republican who represents Illinois' 13th U.S. House District. "And that perspective has to be balanced with the perspective of others. And that’s I hope they release every transcript, not just selectively leaking witnesses that they think help build a case for impeachment.”

Davis says the White House’s rough transcript of the July 25 conversation between President Donald Trump and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine is evidence that House Democrats have no grounds for impeachment.

“I don’t see anything that’s criminal wrongdoing in that transcript,” said Davis of the record of the conversation. In it, President Trump asked the Ukrainian president for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

Testimony transcripts from six witnesses have been released this week, including Thursday’s release of testimony from George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. The transcript of that testimony shows Kent questioning the legality of the president asking for an investigation into a political rival.

Davis says he’s looking forward to next week, when the House impeachment investigation begins hearing testimony in public.

“I’ve been talking to my colleagues who are on those committees of jurisdiction,’ said Davis, “and they tell me a much different story than what the selectively leaked comments are telling certain media outlets in the past few weeks. So bring out the transparency.”

Davis commented Thursday morning during a visit to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 630 in Urbana, where he met with members of his Veterans Advisory Coalition.