The ongoing impeachment inquiry remains a serious threat to President Donald Trump, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said Tuesday, but he noted that Democrats have not surfaced any evidence of an "impeachable crime."
Ruddy suggested that the impeachment process may surface "unknown unknowns, to quote Donald Rumsfeld," Ruddy told CNN International's Christiane Amanpour.
The New Yorker writer Susan Glasser also joined the program.
Ruddy noted that so far we have learned that no one involved in the case, including State Department diplomats, National Security Council officials, and others, actually filed a formal complaint over the president's action. Ruddy pointed out the whistleblower was not involved in the matter at all and heard about it second hand.
Ruddy observed that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, while testifying Tuesday, never used the word "criminal," nor said the president broke any law.
Instead, the NSC aide overseeing the Ukraine, used the words "inappropriate" or "not proper" when describing the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
"I agree with some of that sentiment," said Ruddy, adding he thought Vindman took a proper step by asking White House lawyers to review the matter.
Ruddy noted it is OK for officials to raise concerns about executive action.
Ruddy said he believes that the White House should comply with most of the congressional subpoenas unless there is an executive privilege issue.
"I do believe in congressional oversight," said Ruddy, adding that he thinks the investigation into Trump and Ukraine should have been handled as an oversight process before reaching a conclusion the President committed an impeachable offense.
But he said the House Democrats decided President Trump should be impeached before they even opened such an investigation.
Despite all the testimony, Ruddy said that there has not been any evidence that Trump demanded a quid pro quo from Zelensky in exchange for releasing military aid.
"In [Gordon] Sondland's testimony, he said he asked the president point-blank" if there was to be a quid pro quo, and Trump did not respond or say yes, said Ruddy. "We also know the Democrats have invented this bribery issue."
Glasser, however, said she believes there are Republicans in the Senate who will conclude that there were inappropriate actions taken, even if they are not impeachable.
She also noted that the climate in the House is very partisan and Republicans are not "really questioning basic facts" in the case.
She added that Trump is "winning" by keeping the proceedings a partisan issue.
"This is the first time an American president is apparently going to be impeached while seeking re-election," Glasser said.
Ruddy also addressed the comments Trump has been making on Twitter about the witnesses, saying that he does not think the attacks "seem to be a thing any lawyer would advise him to do."
At the same time, though, people know that Trump is "very transparent" and likes to speak his mind, and with his tweets, "he's just letting loose, letting off steam."
Glasser responded that in her years covering the White House, she knows that the fact that Vindman went to the NSC to report the call makes it "unprecedented, unusual stuff."
Ruddy also rejected an argument presented by Amanpour that Trump is attacking female witnesses more than he is the men involved in the case.
"He is an equal opportunity offender," Ruddy said with a laugh. "He criticizes everybody."
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