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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  December 9, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PST

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the ukrainian government adopted a unilateral position in favor of one candidate. more than that, certain oligarchs certainly with the approval of the political leadership funded this candidate or female candidate to be more precise. and if there was ever any doubt about who benefits from this unfounded theory put forward by president trump and his associates, president putin made it clear very recently when he said -- thank god no one is accusing us anymore of interfering in u.s. elections. now they're accusing ukraine. in the face of clear evidence, not only from intelligence community experts, but from his own national security team that russia, not ukraine, interfered in the 2016 election for the benefit of donald trump, president trump still pressed the ukrainian government to announce an investigation into this conspiracy theory. why? because it would help his own
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political standing. president trump even saukt sought to with hold an oval office meeting from the president of ukraine until he fell in line with president putin's lies. the leader who actually invaded ukraine. the second demand that president trump made of president zelensky during the july 25th call was to investigate the front-runner for the democratic nomination for president in 2020. former vice president joe biden. and his son hunter. president trump stated -- the other thing, there's a lot of talk about biden's son, that biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me. witnesses unanimously testified that there was no factual support for this claim. rather, they noted that vice
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president biden was acting in support of an international consensus and official u.s. policy to clean up the prosecutor general's office in ukraine. despite these facts, by the time of the july 25th call, mr. giuliani had been publicly advocating for these two investigations for months while also using back channels to press ukrainian officials to initiate them in support of his client donald trump. ambassador sondland understood mr. giuliani's role very clearly. he testified, mr. giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states. and we knew these investigations were important to the president. to others, mr. giuliani was working at cross purposes with official policy channels across yamada even when he was working on behalf of president trump. according to former ambassador john bolton, mr. giuliani was a,
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quote, hand grenade who is going to blow everybody up, unquote. near the end of the july 25th call, president zelensky circled back to the pre-cooked message that ambassador volker had relaid to president zelensky's top aide before the call. president zelensky said, i also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the united states, specifically washington, d.c. on the other hand, i also wanted to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and we will work on the investigation. in other words, on one hand is the white house visit. while on the other hand he agreed to pursue the investigations. this statement shows that president zelensky fully understood at the time of the july 25th call the quid pro quo between these investigations and the white house meeting that president trump required and that ambassador sondland had
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testified so clearly about. numerous witnesses testified about the importance of a white house meeting with the president of the united states. specifically a meeting in the oval office, an official act by president trump. as david holmes, senior official in the u.s. embassy in ukraine said, it is important to understand that a white house visit was critical to president zelensky. president zelensky needed to show u.s. support at the highest levels in order to demonstrate to russian president vladimir putin that he had u.s. backing as well as to advance his ambitious, anti-corruption reform agenda at home. in other words, the white house visit would help zelensky's anti-corruption reforms. and that support remains critical as president zelensky meets today with president putin to try to resolve the conflict
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in the east. now the day after this phone call president trump sought to ensure that president zelensky got the message. on july 26th, u.s. officials met with president zelensky and other ukrainian officials in kiev and president zelensky mentioned that president trump had brought up some quote, very sensitive issues, unquote. after that meeting, ambassador sondland had a private one-on-one meeting with andre yermak, president zelensky's top aide. during which ambassador sondland said they probably discussed the issue of investigations. at lunch right after that with mr. holmes and two other state department officers, ambassador sondland pulled out a cell phone and called president trump. somewhat shocked, mr. holmes recounted the conversation that followed. i heard ambassador sondland greet the president and explain he was calling from kiev. i heard president trump then clarify that ambassador sondland was in ukraine.
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ambassador sondland replayed, yes, he was in ukraine and went on to state that president zelensky, quote, loves your ass, unquote. i heard president trump ask, so he's going to do the investigation? ambassador sondland replied that he is going to do it, adding that president zelensky will do anything you ask him to do. after the call, ambassador sondland told mr. holmes that president trump did not give a bleep about ukraine and only cares about the big stuff that benefits the president himself, like the biden investigation that mr. giuliani was pushing. to repeat, and this is very important, ambassador sondland spoke to president trump before the july 25th call with president zelensky and relaid to ukrainian officials president trump's requirement of political investigations in exchange for a white house meeting. and during that call, president trump asked for the favor of
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these two political investigations immediately after the ukrainian president brought up u.s. military support for ukraine which president trump had recently suspended or put on hold. and at the end of the call, president zelensky made a point of acknowledging the link between the investigations that president trump requested and the white house meeting that president zelensky desperately wanted. then the following day, ambassador sondland confirmed to president trump on the telephone in person that the ukrainians would indeed initiate the investigations discussed on the call, which was the only thing about ukraine that president trump cared about. now, it's very important to understand that this investigation revealed that the july 25th call was neither the start nor the end of president trump's efforts to use the powers of his office for
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personal political gain. and you have to look at all of the evidence in context as a whole. prior to the call, the president had removed the former ambassador maria va onvich to spearhead his corrupt agenda in ukraine. secretary perry, ambassador sondland and ambassador volker, all of whom attended president zelensky's inauguration on may 20th. all political appointees, they proved to be more than willing to engage in what doctor hill later described as an improper domestic political errand for the president. on april 21st, president zelensky won the ukrainian election with 73% of the vote. he had two primary platforms to resolve the war in the east with russia and to root out corruption. that same day, president trump called to congratulate him on his win. even though the white house press release following the call stated that president trump
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expressed his shared commitment to, quote, root out corruption, unquote, president trump in fact did not mention corruption at all on this call, just like he did not mention corruption on the july 25th call. shortly after this call, president trump asked vice president mike pence to attend president zelensky's inauguration. but on may 13th, president trump did an about face and directed vice president pence not to attend. an adviser to vice president pence testified the inauguration had not yet been scheduled and therefore the reason for the abrupt change of plans was not related to any scheduling issues. so what had happened in the three weeks between april 21th and may 13th when vice president pence was originally invite and then disinvited or removed from the delegation? a few things. first, on april 25th, vice president biden formally announced his bid for the
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democratic nomination for president. then about a week later on may 3rd, president trump spoke with president putin on the telephone. one senior state department official testified that the conversation between president trump and president putin included a discussion of ukraine. third, on may 9th, mr. giuliani told "the new york times" he intended to travel to ukraine on behalf of his client, president trump, in order to, quote, meddle in an investigation, unquote. but after public backlash and apparent push back from the ukrainians, mr. giuliani cancelled his trip the next day, claiming that president zelensky was surrounded by enemies of president trump. at a critical may 23rd meeting in the oval office, president trump said that ukraine was corrupt and tried to take him down in 2016. the same false narrative pushed by president putin and mr. giuliani. in order for the white house
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meeting to occur, president trump told the delegation they must talk to rudy to get the visit scheduled. these comments from president trump were the first of many subsequent indications that in his mind corruption equals investigations. in the weeks and months following, mr. giuliani relaid to both ukrainian officials and the government officials that president trump had designated at the may 23rd meeting to take a lead on ukraine policy. the directive from president trump that a white house meeting would not occur until ukraine announced the two political investigations that president trump required. and well before the july 25th call, ambassador sondland and volker also relaid this quid pro quo to the ukrainians, including to president zelensky himself. ambassador volker conveyed the message directly to president zelensky at the beginning of july, urging him to reference
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investigations associated with the giuliani factor with president trump. meetings at the white house on july 10th, ambassador sondland told other u.s. officials and two of president zelensky's advisers including mr. yermak he had an agreement with acting chief of staff mick mulvaney that the white house visit would be scheduled if ukraine announced the investigations. one witness testified that during the second of the meetings ambassador sondland began to remove what the deliverable would be in order to get the meeting. referring to an investigation of the bidens. the witness told the committee that the request was explicit, there was no ambiguity. and that ambassador sondland also mentioned barisma, a major ukrainian energy company that hunter biden sat on the board of. to the witnesses who sat on the committee, the reference to barisma was shorthand for an
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investigation into the bidens. ambassador bolton as well as his staff members objected to this meeting for an investigations trade and ambassador bolton told dr. hill you go and tellizenberg, the legal adviser for the national security council, i am not part of whatever drug deal mulvaney and sondland are cooking up on this. you go ahead and tell them what i heard and what i've said. yet this was not a rogue operation by mr. giuliani and ambassador sondland and volker. ambassador sondland testified, everyone was in the loop. including mr. mulvaney, secretary pompeo, secretary perry and their top advisers. on july 19th, ambassador sondland emailed mr. mulvaney, secretary perry, secretary pompeo and others after speaking with president zelensky. the subject was i talked to
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zelensky just now. and ambassador sondland wrote, he has prepared to receive potis call, president of the united states. will assure him that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will, quote, turn other every stone unquote. both secretary perry and chief of staff mulvaney quickly responded to the email, noting that given that conversation a date would soon be set to schedule the white house telephone call. the evidence also unambiguously shows that the ukrainians understood this quid pro quo and had serious reservations, particularly because president zelensky had won the election on an anti-corruption platform. in fact, a few days before the july 25th call, ambassador william taylor, the acting u.s. ambassador to ukraine and the former permanent ambassador to ukraine texted ambassador
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sondland and volker. rather he satated in his testimony on july 20th i had a phone conversation during which was conveyed to me that president zelensky did not want to be used as a pawn in a u.s. re-election campaign. but president trump's pressure campaign on president zelensky did not relent and just four days later president zelensky received that message via kurt volker that he needed to convince president trump that he would do the investigations in order to get that white house meeting. as i have described president zelensky tried to do exactly that on the july 25th call with president trump. in the weeks following the july 25th call, president zelensky heeded president trump's request, sending his top aide, mr. yermak to madrid to meet with mr. giuliani. in coordination with mr. giuliani and president trump's hand picked representatives, they continued this pressure
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campaign to secure a public announcement of the investigations. now, according to ambassador sondland, and this is very important, president trump did not require that ukraine actually conduct the investigations as a prerequisite for the white house meeting. instead, ukrainian government needed only to publicly announce the investigations. it is clear that the goal was not the investigations themselves or not any corruption that those investigations might have entailed, but the political benefit that president trump would enjoy from an announcement of investigations into his 2020 political rival and against a unanimous assessment that showed that he received foreign support in the 2016 election. for that reason, the facts didn't actually matter to president trump because he only cared about the personal and
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political benefit from the announcement of the investigation. over the next couple of weeks, ambassador sondland and volker worked with president trump's aide, mr. yermak to draft a statement for president zelensky to issue. when the aide proposed a statement that did not include specific references to the investigations that president trump wanted, the barisma and biden investigation and the 2016 election, mr. giuliani relay leied that would not be good enough to get a white house meeting. and here you can see a comparison on the left of the original statement drafted by mr. yermak, the top aide to president zelensky and on the right a revised statement with mr. giuliani's requirements. and it says we intend to initiate and complete unbiased all available facts and episodes. here is the critical difference, including those involving barisma and the 2016 u.s. elections which in turn will prevent the recurrence of this
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problem in the future. the only difference in the statement that giuliani required and the statement that the ukrainians had drafted was this reference to the two investigations that president trump wanted and told president zelensky about on the july 25th call. now ultimately president zelensky's administration temporarily shelved this announcement, though efforts to press ukraine would remain on going. by midaugust, ukraine did not make an announcement that president trump required and as a result no white house meeting was scheduled. by this time the president was pushing on another pressure point to coerce ukraine to announce the investigations. the hold on the vital military assistance that the president had put in place for more than a month, still without any explanation to any of the policy experts. our investigation revealed that a number of ukrainian officials had made quiet inquiries to various u.s. officials about the
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aid as early as july 25th, the day of the phone call. inkbierryes by ukrainian officials continued in the weeks that followed until the hold was revealed at the end of august, but this is important. it was important for the ukrainian officials to keep it quiet because if it became public then russia would know that the u.s. support for ukraine might be on ice. so by the end of that month the evidence revealed several facts. one, the president demanded that ukraine publicly announce two politically motivated investigations to benefit his re-election. two, a coveted white house meeting was expressley conditioned on ukraine announcing those investigations. three, president trump had placed a hold on vital military assistance to ukraine without any explanation and not with standing the uniform support for that assistance from the
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relevant federal agencies in congress. ambassador taylor testified that this quid pro quo between the investigations president trump wanted and the security assistance that president trump needed was crazy. he told ambassador sondland as i said on the phone i think it's crazy to with hold military assistance for help with a political campaign. now in an effort to move the white house meeting and the military aid along, ambassador sondland wrote an email to secretary pompeo on august 22nd. he wrote, mike, should we block time in warsaw for a short pull aside for potus to meet zelensky. i would ask zelensky to look him in the eye and tell him that once ukraine's new justice folks are in place, par enthe seize,ed my september, z president zelensky, should be able to move forward publicly and with confidence on those issues importance to potus and to the
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u.s. hopefully that will break the log jam. ambassador sondland testified that this was a reference to the political investigations that president trump discussed on the july 25th call, which secretary pompeo ultimately admitted to that he listened to in realtime. ambassador sondland hoped that this would help lift the log jam, which he meant the hold on critical security assistance to ukraine and the white house meeting. what was secretary pompeo's response three minutes later? yes. after the hold on military assistance became public on august 28th, senior ukrainian officials expressed grave concern. deeply worried, of course, about the practical impart to fight russian aggression and this is why it remains confidential also about the public message it sent to the russian goth. on september 1st, at a
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prebriefing with vice president pence before he met with president zelensky, ambassador sondland raised the issue of the hold on security assistance. he said, i mentioned to vice president pence that i had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations. vice president pence simply nodded in response expressing neither surprise or dismay at the linkage between the two and following vice president's pence's meeting with president zelensky, ambassador sondland went over to mr. yermak again, president zelensky's top aide and pulled him aside to explain that the hold on security assistance was also now conditioned on the public announcement of the burisma biden and the 2016 election interference investigations. ambassador sondland then explained to ambassador taylor that he had previously made a mistake in telling ukrainian
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officials that only the white house meeting was conditioned on a public announcement of the political investigations beneficial to president trump. in truth, everything the white house meeting and the vital security assistance to ukraine was not conditioned on the public announcement. president trump wanted president zelensky in a public box. a private commitment was not good enough. nearly one week later on september 7th, the hold remained and president trump and ambassador sondland spoke on the phone. the president immediately told ambassador sondland there was no quid pro quo but -- and this is very important -- president zelensky would still be required to announce the investigations in order for the hold on security assistance to be lifted. and he should want to do it. in effect, this is the equivalent of saying there is no quid pro quo, no this for that,
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before then demanding precisely that quid pro quo. immediately after this phone call with president trump, this was the precise message that ambassador sondland passed directly to president zelensky. according to ambassador taylor, ambassador sondland also said that he had talked to president zelensky and mr. yermak and told them that although this was not a quid pro quo if president zelensky did not clear things up in public we would be at a stalemate. and i understood a stalemate to mean that ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance. needing the military assistance and hoping for the white house meeting president zelensky finally relented to president trump's pressure campaign and arrangements were soon made for the ukrainian president to make a statement during an interview on cnn where he would make a public announcement of the two investigations that president trump wanted.
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in order for president zelensky to secure the white house meeting and for ukraine to get that much-needed military assistance. although there is no doubt that president trump had ordered the military aid held up until the ukrainians committed to the investigations, on october 17th, acting chief of staff mick mulvaney confirmed in public that there was such a quid pro quo. let's watch what he said. >> that was -- those were the driving factors that he also mentioned to me in the past the corruption related to the dnc server, absolutely. no question about that 467 but that's it. that's why we held up the money. now, there was a report -- >> so, the demand for an investigation into the democrats was part of the reason that he -- >> it was on -- >> ordered to with hold funding to ukraine. >> the look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation. that is absolutely appropriate. >> there you have it.
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by early september, the president's scheme was unraveling. on september 9th, the intelligence oversight and foreign affairs committees announced an investigation into president trump and mr. giuliani's efforts in ukraine. later that same day the intelligence committee learned a whistleblower filed a complaint nearly a month later related to some unknown issue by which the president and the white house knew was related to ukraine and had been circulating among them for some time. then two days later on september 11th, in the face of growing public and congressional scrutiny, president trump lifted the hold on security assistance to ukraine. as with the imply mentation of the hold, no reason was provided. put simply, president trump got caught, so he released the aid. but even since this investigation began, the president has demonstrated no contrition or acknowledgment that his demand for a foreign country to interfere in our
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election is wrong. in fact, he has repeat lid called on ukraine to investigate vice president biden, his rival. these and other actions by the president and his associates demonstrate that his determination to solicit foreign interference in our election continues today. it did not end with russia's support for trump in 2016 which president trump invited by asking for his opponent to be hacked by russia. and it did not end when his ukrainian scheme was exposed in september of this year. president trump also engaged once this investigation began in an unprecedented effort to obstruct the inquiry. and i look forward to answering your questions about that unprecedented obstruction. but in conclusion, i want to say that the intelligence committee has produced to you a nearly 300-page report. and i am grateful that you have offered me the opportunity today to walk you through some of the evidence underlying it.
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admittedly it is a lot to digest. but let me just say this, the president's scheme is actually quite simple. the facts are not seriously in dispute. it can be boiled down to four key take away. first, that president trump directed a scheme to pressure ukraine to opening two investigations that would benefit his 2020 re-election campaign and not the u.s. national interest. second, president trump abused his official office and official tools of u.s. foreign policy with holding of oval office meeting and $391 million in security assistance to pressure ukraine into meeting his demands. third, everyone was in the loop, his chief of staff, the secretary of state, and vice president. and fourth, despite the public discovery of this scheme, which prompted the president to release the aid, he has not given up. he and his agents continue to solicit ukrainian interference in our election. causing an imminent threat to
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our elections and our national security. members of the committee, president trump's -- >> time has elapsed. >> gentleman's time has expired. mr. deutsche. >> mr. chairman, i have a motion. >> gentleman will state his motion. >> i move the committee will be in recess subject to the call of the chair. >> i move to table. >> move -- >> move to table the motion. >> privilege motion it is not debatable. all those in favor of the committee recess -- >> aye. opposed nah. the aye's have it. role call? call the role. >> mr. nadler? >> aye. >> ms. lofgrin. >> aye. >> so they're doing another role call, jeffrey toobin. this time whether to take a little recess surprising. usually the chairman can just say let's take a little break and we'll resume in a few minutes but this time they're doing a formal role call again.
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>> this is a metaphor about how you can fight about absolutely everything. but it certainly does seem like they will take a break at some point soon since the democrats have the majority, it looks like they will push through the recess. >> it's a fore gone conclusion. democrats have the majority. they will win. they'll take a break right now. let's talk right now about what we just heard. we heard a very, very powerful statement from daniel goldman on intelligence making the case that the president of the united states abused his power and should be impeached. >> an extremely dense and fact-based summary of the evidence that the intelligence committee heard. i just like to make one observation about this. i know it's a lot to absorb, but one point that i thought daniel goldman made very well was that the president didn't want an
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investigation of the hunter biden's role in ukraine. he wanted the announcement of an investigation. in other words, the president wanted to be able to say during the upcoming campaign that the biden family was under investigation. he didn't know. he didn't care whether biden himself did anything wrong, but the announcement of the investigation -- and that's one thing that comes through in all of the testimony, the emails that were disclosed, the witness testimony, that the president and the people doing his bidding were not concerned -- >> hold on one second. >> an actual investigation. >> mr. chairman, 24 aye and 16 noes. >> the motion to recess at the call of the chair is -- >> how long do we anticipate the recess? >> how long is the recess? >> the gentleman will suspend. >> i would like to know. >> the gentleman will suspend. >> it's until their done with their press conferences. >> the gentleman will suspend. the committee will stand in recess for 15 minutes.
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i will announce also that we've been in session about 2.5 hours. after the conclusion of the testimony the cross exams will be another 2.5 hours and stand recess then before the commencement of the five-minute round of questioning. i would ask that people remain in their seats while the two witnesses are given an opportunity to leave. i would remind people in the audience that if they leave they may not have their seats back when we reconvene. the committee will stand in recess and we'll reconvene in 15 minutes. all right so there you have it. 15-minute break usually dana and you covered congress for a long time, those 15-minute breaks can turn out to be 20 or 25 minutes. >> that's right. it's a good thing we have a lot to talk about. >> give us your thoughts on what you just heard. >> jeffrey just said is so interesting because we heard so much about the president,
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obviously at its core the president is did the president direct this quid pro quo but more specifically the ukrainian leader to conduct this investigation. the point that he made does change it a little bit and make it much more clearly in the political realm, that it's just about having dirt on his opponent, an investigation. but more broadly, look, this is and always has been a very tough sell to change public opinion that has already been baked in now for several months. but it's important. and it is fascinating to hear how each side after all of this testimony, after all of, you know, the witnesses behind closed doors, what we heard in public, how they boil it down in a way that presents their case. and for daniel goldman, it is very clear, as you said ate the beginning, it's abuse of power. it's that he's a clear and present danger. >> right.
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>> to the american public and to democracy and on the other side just to boil it down, one of the words that i think sums up what castor said, the republican, it's baloney. >> hold on one second. ross gasher and our legal analysts to weigh in as well because in many respects, yes, it's political, but it's also legal. give me your thoughts on the case that was made by daniel goldman, the majority counsel the house intelligence committee spent 45 minutes arguing in favor of impeachment. we're about to hear from the republican, the minority counsel steven castor once again around will spend 45 minutes arguing this is a waste of time. >> yeah. i think sometimes we try to talk about whether impeachment is legal or it's political. the reality is it's both. it's mostly political, but it's also legal. you know, i thought barry berke and dan goldman did a very good job of sort of laying out the case in pretty simple terms as jeffrey noted, this is some
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dense stuff. and pretty simple terms, sort of what the democratic case is. i do think, though, that they missed an opportunity to do that in a way that's compelling for the public. maybe public opinion is baked in but that's a big problem if that's true for the democrats because so far there's not overwhelming support. >> how could they have done it so it was more compelling? what would you have done? >> i think one way to do it is think about the most compelling documentary that you've seen that touches you both intellectually and emotionally and use those techniques. >> use it? >> maybe not music. maybe. probably not music. but much more video, much more graphics, much more pictures, and then narrating overthat, telling the compelling story. this ain't court. i said it before. it's not court. this is about telling the public the story that compels them that
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the removal of a president, this extraordinary event which has never happened ever in united states history for the first time should happen. that's what this is all about. and it's not going to be sort of lawyerly nicety thats are going to get there. >> on ross's point, i thought actually one of the most effective moments of mr. goldman's testimony was when he did put up a quote and they put it up on the screen and it was a quote from putin. and it talked about how russia's benefit that the republicans and others and those in america are using this ukrainian responsibility talking point. and i thought that was a very effective way to counter the information and the theory really which is a conspiracy theory that ukraine is somehow responsible at the same level that russia is, but i also thought at the very end of mr. goldman's testimony he went through four key points. and his last one really is the
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reason why we're here, which is that the president continues to solicit foreign interference in the election. and that is so key because even though that -- it's an on going act, for example, the president's lawyer has been in ukraine this past week, it's an on going issue that the president continues to solicit ukrainian interference in some way, that he is open to foreign interference or elections and we're coming up on an election. >> i thought this issue of time is what was really hit hard by the democratic counsel here. why do this and why do it now? why? because you heard mr. goldman say the president is an imminent threat, poses an imminent threat to the integrity of our election in 2020. the counter argument to that by the republicans is it's a rush by the democrats because they have a political calendar they don't want to be trying to push out a president remove him in an
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election year when the voters have their say. but i thought that point about putting zelensky in a box, by just getting the announcement and that he is trying to do, they're saying, that the president is trying to do what russia did in 2016 which is poison the election. that's a very significant charge. i thought it was a compelling charge. >> since this is not a court of law, i think story telling is important. and i felt we had two different stories today. one is the story about a pattern of corruption on the part of a president who has been misusing institutions, not misusing them because the policies are wrong, but misusing them by not remembering that the goal of the institutions is to do the national interest not personal interest. and then the other picture is a pattern of impeachment. the argument being made by the president's loyalists that there are a group of democrats trying to impeach him from day one. these are two fundamentally different stories. the republican story doesn't deal with the facts. of the democratic story and the facts of the democratic story
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are the reason why this is a real impeachment. we could -- look, we can -- i can show you in the nixon case, there were lots of people talking about impeaching nixon for years. but the democratic leadership didn't want to it and the american people didn't want it. it was only when the evidence required it that there was a discussion. well, the ukraine matter was the evidence that required a discussion about abuse of power. and what's disappointing is that the republicans are not taking this time to be serious about this issue and to contend with it. make the argument that what the president did was wrong but not impeachable. >> but a lot don't think it was wrong or they convinced themselves it's not wrong. >> well, then make that argument. make an argument other than we're not going to listen to you because you've been trying to impeach our guy since january 20th, 2017. >> we are hearing some republicans, dana, you pointsed this out earlier, say he did it. what's wrong with doing -- >> those are two different -- >> trying to squeeze the
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ukrainian president. >> they'll also say words versus actions. he said a lot of thing but in the end they got the aid and there was no investigations. we'll hear a lot of that coming up. >> not one republican said quid pro quo is okay except for mick mulvaney. many of them will repeat and say some of these things. >> mick mullvaney walked that back. >> they all agree that quid pro quo is wrong. they might say that squeezing the ukrainians is okay which is a contradiction. >> to state the of course, what did not exist during the nixon era was twitter, was 24-hour cable and was the fact that this idea that democrats, not all of them, certainly not the leadership, but some democrats have been calling for impeachment since day one has allowed the republicans to take that case and make it -- >> oh, yeah. >> higher on their list and make it penetrate with their political argument. >> chair nadler has been talking about impeachment and he
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shouldn't have been talking about impeachment because he should have been impartial. i agree. but that doesn't get away from the facts. >> no, i agree. >> the one thing that the democrats ought to do is to highlight what you don't know. you can still say it's a compelling case for impeachment and admit there are holes in the case and say we don't know this. why don't we know it we sent 71 requests to the white house to the defense department to the department of energy, to the onb and not one has been responded to. there's an argument to be made there. >> democrats are trying to dismantle president trump's claim that he was only acting out of good faith to root out corruption. listen to the democrats, the lawyer for the democrats, daniel goldman, on why he says the president's defense simply doesn't hold up. >> now, according to ambassador sondland, and this is very important, president trump did not require that ukraine actually conduct the investigations as a prerequisite for the white house meeting.
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instead, ukrainian government needed only to publicly announce the investigations. >> so jeffrey, why was that so important if you believe daniel goldman to the president of the united states? you don't have to do any investigating, just say you're going to investigate. >> for two reasons. one, it shows that he didn't really care about a corruption in -- corruption in ukraine. this whole idea that the president didn't want to give money, taxpayer money, to a company that was corrupt, is a phony argument goldman asserts because he didn't really care about whether there was an actual investigation. all he cared about was an announcements of an investigation. and the other reason why that's important is that an announcement of an investigation is of great political benefit to the president. that if he could say accurately that hunter biden and the biden family is under investigation in ukraine, that would be of
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tremendous political benefit to the president in a race involving joseph biden in 2020. so that point is really a critical one for those two reasons. >> i think what republicans will say to that is the reason why the president wanted the public announcement of the investigation is to lock the president of ukraine in to actually following through. that if it were just a private -- >> i see. >> if it were just a private commitment, maybe they would do it, maybe they wouldn't. but if the press were watching, a public announcement, they would follow through. in terms of what the republicans response to all of this is, you know, it will be interesting to see how much castor takes that on, but the republicans have at least two big challenges, one, is the president's insistence that everything here was perfect. and if you talk to republicans, in private, now increasingly in public, they're saying this was not perfect. this was not perfect.
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but it's tough for them to get too far away from that perfect defense. the second thing is that there is so much they realize they do not know. there is so much about all of the communications that the president was having with cabinet officials w rudy, what was going on in ukraine with rudy and his associates that it's difficult to get too far on a limb on the facts. >> the main point that the democrats make is if the president was so concerned that the bidens may have done something criminally wrong, they should be investigated, why go to the ukrainians to investigate? why not go to the fbi or justice department and ask u.s. law enforcement to investigate the bidens. >> sure. that highlights the difference between when something is done for legitimate purposes. if there really was some allegation based on fact or information that indicated there should be some kind of appropriate investigation, then the proper channel would be to go to the justice department, have them raise it with
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ukrainian prosecutors and go through those prosecutorial channels and a white house would have nothing to do with it. but the announcement part is key because it shows that this was for the political benefit of the president. he doesn't get any political benefit if some investigation goes on behind the scenes. the political benefit for him because his goal was to take joe biden out of the campaign and to seriously damage him as a candidate and the fact that he wanted a political announcement of an investigation of what he viewed as his primary political opponent shows that it was done for personal purposes, not for any institutional governmental purpose. >> another key moment when the majority counsel for the intelligence committee daniel goldman told the hearing just because president trump didn't say the words quid pro quo doesn't mean he wasn't asking for one. listen to this. >> president trump and
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ambassador sondland spoke on the phone. the president immediately told ambassador sondland that there was no quid pro quo, but, this is very important, president zelensky would still be required to announce the investigations in order for the hold on security assistance to be lifted. and he should want to do it. in effect, this is the equivalent of saying there is no quid pro quo, no this for that, before then demanding precisely that quid pro quo. >> you know, it's striking that it was so manufactured to say there's not going to be any quid pro quo, just tell them i want this for that. but the other pieces, think of what they're asking for, carey just said, president trump wants an investigation of his main political rival. that's not all he wants. he also -- because that helps him. what he also wants is for the new president, who is impressure nabl of ukraine, to go down a
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rabbit hole of a debunked conspiracy theory that, in fact, it was the ukrainians who interfered in our election in 2016 not the russians. that benefits the russians. so this is why the argument is being made that the president is acting out of his own political interest and is undermining national security interests which we should all be concerned about with regard to countering what russia did in 2016 and avoiding that russia could do it again in 2020. and by helping russia, by throwing shade over the idea that they were the ones who interfered in saying, no, it could have been ukraine as well and the republicans amplifying this over the weekend, that's a damaging thing. >> i was just going to say that for viewers and others wondering why do we care so much about ukraine? there is a very important -- series of important reasons and dr. hill mentioned them, ambassador taylor. but let's talk about ukraine. if donald trump did this with regard to ukraine, how many other foreign policy issues is he managing in the same way?
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what do we know from the way he managed ukraine from all the testimony? he never really learned his brief. he doesn't know much about the issues. the only reason he cared about this country was how it would assist him in 2020. imagine if that's how he's dealing with turkey. imagine if that's how he's dealing with russia. imagine if that's how he's dealing with israel. imagine if that's how he's dealing with syria or north korea. pattern of the way in which the president has undertaken national security issues illustrated in the ukraine situation suggests abuse of power. that's the issue. >> but what you're talking about are whether donald trump is a good president or a bad president. which is a good subject for the 2020 campaign. what makes this an impeachment is whether there is actually proof of abuse of power here. and i think -- nancy pelosi has been very outspoken on this particular issue. and i think it really is important to draw that distinction between policy
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issues, where you know, he's -- what he's doing in israel or saudi arabia. >> i agree. >> versus ukraine, which is a very different scenario. >> i'm not relitigating madison versus -- the issue is, no, you don't impeach for being a bad president. you don't impeach for bad policy, but i'm suggesting what you see in the treatment of ukraine is a president whose only consideration is his own personal political future. that is a misuse of our institutions. >> but you're also talking about a pattern, not a character pattern but a pattern how he uses his power which is barry berke did start to go down the road of broadening it, talking about sort of the preamble to this which is mueller and russia and playing the sound bite of then candidate trump, you know, saying russia, if you can hear me. so, and this is something we haven't talked about here, but it is a very, very important question that is yet to be answered as we speak, which is how are these articles of impeachment going to be written,
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how narrow are they going to be written. aside from berke at the beginning in terms of presentation, they really have been focussed the democrats really focussed like a laser on the facts of ukraine with regard to the call and what it means for abuse of power and the facts of ukraine with regard to obstruction of congress. it could be a sign of the fact that the democratic leadership is listening to the moderate democrats who are screaming with their hair on fire and these private meetings and publicly to reporters. please keep it narrow because otherwise if you broaden it out it's just going to help my republican opponents say, ah-ha, democrats want to impeach him on anything he's done. that's why professor carlin's testimony was compelling last week because she focussed specifically on the issues and
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as they relate to interfering in an election and why elections in particular, and the reason that this fact pattern pertains to protecting our elections is a particular threat to the democratic institution. >> the further you expand it out, though, the more you're going to hear jeffrey's response, which is now you're talking about sort of the president's actions as the president. you're doing this because you don't think he's a good president. and then there's a second issue, which i think is, in a way the bigger issue, which is it is not uncommon to have political and personal interests intertwined with governmental interests. and the further you go down that path, the more difficult -- >> as mulvaney said, get over it. >> you may hear some of that. and more uncomfortable, democrats will be saying this is
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impeachable and this isn't impeachable. >> the argument made by some of the democrats was that what the president was doing could potentially be illegal if he was seeking an in kind campaign contribution from the ukranians on behalf of his campaign. >> there is a tension in the democratic argument on the issue of whether the president's conduct was a crime in and of itself. now, they all agree, as do the law professors, that a president's actions do not have to be a crime in order to be impeachable, but it helps their argument if it is also a crime, and so the question of whether this was bribery, whether this was extortion, whether it was solicitation of an illegal campaign contribution that is that non-americans are not allowed to contribute to presidential campaigns, that argument -- we're not going to have it settled whether this was a crime. there is no authority here. but the issue of whether this
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was a crime as well as abuse of power is something that several democrats are interested in. >> members are going to be walking back in momentarily. we're watching it very closely. this historic hearing is about to resume. we'll take a quick break. our special coverage will continue right after this. i have moderate to severe pnow, there's skyrizi. ♪ things are getting clearer, yeah i feel free ♪ ♪ to bare my skin ♪ yeah that's all me. ♪ nothing and me go hand in hand ♪ ♪ nothing on my skin ♪ that's my new plan. ♪ nothing is everything. keep your skin clearer with skyrizi. 3 out of 4 people achieved 90% clearer skin at 4 months. of those, nearly 9 out of 10 sustained it through 1 year. and skyrizi is 4 doses a year, after 2 starter doses. ♪ i see nothing in a different way ♪ ♪ and it's my moment so i just gotta say ♪ ♪ nothing is everything skyrizi may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. before treatment your doctor should check you
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i'm jake tapper and you're watching cnn's coverage of the historic impeachment inquiry into president trump. right now the house judiciary committee is in a brief break as the group holds its second, and possibly final, hearing into the impeachment matter. earlier today counsel for both house democrats and republicans presented their cases for and against impeaching president trump, the democrats saying it is clear from the evidence that president trump abused the power of his office while republicans say the actions of their colleagues across the aisle are politically motivated and that nothing has been proven against president trump. all of it as the vote within the judiciary committee on impeachment could take place later this week with a possible full house vote next week. let's go to manu raju on the hill. manu, what can we expect next in this hearing? >> reporter: we can expect the house republican counsel steve
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caster to come testify and lay out the views on the house republican committee that was detailed in the report. the democratic report detailed everything that came to ukraine. republicans, on the other hand, are going to lay out a pretty vigorous defense, point-by-point rebuttal. they're going to say the president did nothing wrong, paint everything in the most favorable light to the president saying it was a perfectly good explanation on how he handled relations with ukraine. that's how steve caster, the republican counsel, is going to detail this in a 45-minute presentation. after that is when the round of staff questioning will begin. each members on the committee will then get five minutes to question the witnesses throughout, and democrats starting to hammer home the argument that this is all part of a larger pattern of behavior by the president acting corruptly, violating his oath of office, something that is clearly impeachable in their view. republicans saying there is
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virtually nothing wrong with what he did. we're going to hear that as they reconvene in the coming hours, jake. >> now let's go back to the hearing. >> members of the committee, members of the staff, thank you again for having me back. i'm giving you ten the opportun the evidence gathered during the impeachment inquiry. let me say the evidence does not support the allegations that my democratic colleagues have made. and i don't believe the evidence leads to the conclusions they suggest. i'm hopeful to add some important perspective and context to the facts under discussion today. the chief allegation of the democrats' impeachment inquiry has been trying to assess over the last 76 days is this. whether president trump abused the power


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