Mississippi's senior U.S. senator, Roger Wicker, claimed in an interview on Sunday that he saw no "direct evidence" that President Donald Trump did anything wrong when he pressured Ukraine to open investigations into former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
The Republican senator, who is a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also helped boost a Russian-planted conspiracy theory despite warnings from U.S. intelligence officials.
"I'm nowhere close to seeing proof" that Trump did anything wrong, Wicker told "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd.
At one point, Todd played a clip in which Wicker, then a congressman, argued fiercely for Democratic President Bill Clinton's impeachment after he lied under oath about having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, then a White House intern.
"The rule of law means that the commander-in-chief of our armed forces could not be held to a lower standard than his subordinates," Wicker said in a 1998 clip. "The rule of law is more important than the tenure of office of any official."
Wicker told Todd that the evidence against Clinton "was overwhelming," but in the case of an impeachment inquiry against a president of his own party, Wicker said he is "nowhere close to seeing ... proof." If the U.S. House votes to impeach Trump, the Senate will hold a trial in which Wicker and his fellow senators will serve as jurors, deciding whether or not to ultimately remove the president from office.
In congressional hearings over the past two weeks, current and former members of the Trump administration described a plot in which the U.S. president and his allies sought to hold up congressionally approved military aid unless Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, agreed to publicly announce two sham investigations.
Wicker Claims Call 'Legitimately About Corruption'
The U.S. has been providing Ukraine with significant military assistance since Russian President Vladimir Putin