Washington Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti said that Rep. Will Hurd's (R., Texas) Thursday closing statement could indicate what defense Republican lawmakers will make of their eventual votes against impeachment.
"Throughout all these hours of testimony, the most important words may have been Will Hurd's closing statement, because if there were a Republican who would shift toward the impeachment column, it would be someone like Hurd," Continetti said during an appearance on Fox News's Special Report. "He is moderate, he is retiring, he has no skin in the game. And yet even he found that it does not rise to the level of impeachment."
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Continetti argued that Hurd's statement suggests that the defense for wavering Republicans will be that Trump's call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was "inappropriate," but was not worth removing the president "less than a year before an election."
Hurd, who has announced that he will not seek reelection to his congressional seat, said he needs "compelling, overwhelmingly clear and unambiguous" evidence on impeachment.
"I have not heard evidence proving the president committed bribery or extortion. I also reject the notion that holding this view means supporting all of the foreign policy choices we have been hearing about over these last few weeks," Hurd said during his closing statement.
Thursday's testimonies mark what will most likely be the end of the public hearings phase of the impeachment inquiry. The House of Representatives is expected to prepare to vote on articles of impeachment to send to the Senate.