Risch AP

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is questioned by reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 5.

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U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, shortly after reviewing the now-unclassified whistleblower complaint and a rough transcript of a call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine that’s at the heart of an ongoing impeachment inquiry in the House, urged Idahoans to read the documents for themselves.

In an interview with NewsTalk 670 KBOI host Nate Shelman, Risch, R-Idaho, said, “Let me give some advice to your listeners, this is really simple. The Democrats are saying this is terrible, the president is a traitor, and we Republicans say, ‘Get outta here, there’s nothing there there.’ So, look: Don’t take my word for it, I’m a partisan. Don’t take the Democrats’ word for it, they’re partisans.”

“Certainly don’t take the national media’s word for it, they are really partisan, they’re full of hate and vitriol for this guy,” Risch continued. “Read it yourself. … It’s online, every word. … It’s really easy to read, it’s not legalese or diplomatese. It’s just two people talking. And you can understand it crystal clear and can make up your own mind. I mean, there’s just nothing there.”

Risch, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is an ally of Trump who speaks frequently with the president.

“There’s nothing wrong here. There’s nothing out of the ordinary,” Risch told Shelman. “But don’t take my word for it. People should read it for themselves, very simple.”

Asked about impeachment, Risch said, “I have seen nothing that is impeachment-worthy to this point. Now remember, I’ll be a juror on it in the Senate, and I’m keeping an open mind in case they come up with something else. But they got nothing so far.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated with the correct name of the interviewer.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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