(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News Thursday night that Democrats who are trying to impeach the president are focused on "shiny objects."
"They're looking for new, shiny objects, moving goal posts -- quid pro quo last Sunday, morning news shows about extortion, then yesterday and today, it's about bribery. And they don't have the evidence to actually convict the president on bribery. So I don't know what they're going to do next.
"But they're going to have to move the goal posts yet again. I thought yesterday's (Wednesday's) hearing that took place with their star witnesses felt totally flat."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Trump of bribery on Thursday, because that word is "in the Constitution," while "quid pro quo" is not.
According to Pelosi, "The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That's bribery," she said.
Except -- that's not what happened.
Trump never mentioned military assistance in his July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky. Zelensky, at that time, had no idea that U.S. military aid was being withheld. The aid was released on Sept. 11. Zelensky never made a public statement about the investigations in which Trump was so interested; and those investigations did not happen, as it turns out. Both presidents expressed satisfaction with the July 25 phone call.
So what's the big deal? Republicans are asking:
Zeldin said he thinks there were "high expectations" for the first public impeachment hearing, where State Department official George Kent and Ukraine Charge d'Affairs William Taylor testified, based on their own conclusions and perspectives. Neither man ever met Trump or talked to Trump. And much of their information derived from what Zeldin called "fourth-, third-, second-hand, no-hand information."
People who expected first-hand information and a connecting of the dots were disappointed, Zeldin said. "Didn't happen."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) echoed Zeldin's theory of "new shiny objects."
"Each week will be something new," McCarthy told Fox News's Laura Ingraham. "Because each time they fail to prove anything.
But it really goes to the court. I always wondered, why does Adam Schiff lie so much? Why would he say, I have proof beyond circumstantial? Lie about meeting with Glenn Simpson? Lie about knowing the whistle-blower? Lie about the transcript?
"He wants to impeach this president so badly,” McCarthy said. “I mean, they are afraid to face him at the ballot box so they want to frame him. And that's what they'll continue to do. Whatever it takes to impeach this president will start something new each day."