Sen. Moran: Impeachment talk is ‘pulling us apart further’


Easton Thompson

United States Attorney General William Barr speaks about reducing violent crime in Wichita on Wednesday during a visit to the Law Enforcement Training Center at Wichita State’s main campus.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) voiced his reservations about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump Wednesday after a law enforcement roundtable with Attorney General William Barr at Wichita State.

“This latest conversation about impeachment is pulling us apart further,” the second-term senator told reporters.

“We elect a president for four years. He or she, barring some major issue, should be able to complete their term.”

Moran said he and Barr, who spent the day at engagements in Wichita and Topeka, did not discuss Ukraine or the whistleblower complaint that spurred the latest push for impeachment.

“No conversation occurred between the attorney general and I in regard to the topic of Ukraine, and so I know nothing more today, at the end of this day, than I did this morning,” Moran said.

Members of the press were informed beforehand that Barr would not take questions. After opening statements, Associated Press reporter John Hanna asked Barr if he had discussed Ukraine with Trump. Hanna was escorted out of the room by a  public relations officer with the Wichita Police Department as other reporters gathered their equipment and filed out.

Moran later held a brief press conference, which was dominated by impeachment questions.

“It seems to me that some Democrats in the House have been interested in impeaching President Trump almost since the day he was elected,” Moran said.

“‘Wolf’ has been cried so many times in regard to impeachment — it really is time for us to work together. What I would say is, there’s an election around the corner.”

Moran said he has read the whistleblower’s report. Asked if he was troubled by Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he pressured the foreign leader to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son, Moran said he hasn’t seen any evidence of improper behavior.

“I don’t see that, and I’ve read what’s been available to me,” Moran said.

“I’m not of the view that there is a conclusion that impeachment should occur. I don’t see that evidence.”

Barr has not recused himself from handling the whistleblower complaint, which refers to him by name. Moran said he doesn’t see that as an issue either.

“At this point, I don’t know anything that the attorney general would recuse himself from,” Moran said.