Republicans are justified in their criticism that House Democrats are pursuing "impeachment in search of a crime," according to former Whitewater prosecutor Robert Ray.
"A misguided partisan effort that is ultimately doomed to failure as an impeachment proceeding, I submit, is not in the country's best interests," Ray told Sunday's "The Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM-N.Y.
Ray added to host John Catsimatidis, "a lot of this is much ado about nothing" for political purposes on behalf of the House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
"She's doing exactly what she said she would never do: Drag the country through a partisan impeachment inquiry that would not be in the interest of the country because it would tear the country apart," Ray said.
The effort is falling short of accusing President Donald Trump of an actual crime, much less proving one was committed.
"Adam Schiff signaled even before the public phase of this began that they were pointing in the direction of bribery, but he was forced to try to argue, 'Well we are not suggesting bribery in the sense of what would constitute bribery under the federal bribery statute,'" Ray said.
"As the week unfolded, their next tact seem to be, 'Well, we know we can't prove bribery, so what we will attempt to try to show is attempted bribery.' That was a very confusing message."
Bribery requires the exchange of something of personal benefit, but Ray said that will be a difficult burden to overcome in their legal argument.
"They're attempting to proceed apparently along theory that what occurred here was attempted bribery," Ray said.
"The Democrats are relying on essentially trying to prove that the value to the President was the political value of an investigation against his political opponent. The trouble with that is that the Justice Department has already opined that that would really not ever constitute sufficient personal benefit to the president that it would warrant prosecution."
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