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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  December 9, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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they were not going to issue that statement that rudy giuliani wanted to include burisma and the 2016 elections there was no white house meeting. it soon became clear to them that the security assistance was also at risk and that took on a renewed importance for them. >> well, following the 25th call, the july 25th call, ambassador sondland and volker worked closely with mr. giuliani and the ukrainians to help draft a statement that the president could make, president zelensky. wasn't that right? >> yes. and the report say they were closely and then also there were phone calls with the white house around the same time they were working closely -- >> do you know what that statement was supposed to say, according to mr. giuliani and the u.s. officials. >> the key difference is that it had to include that ukraine would do the investigations of burisma which equaled the biden investigation and the 2016
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ukraine interference. >> was there concern about doing the investigations or what? just make a statement about it? >> sondland testified that all he heard mr. giuliani sore anyone say is that they only needed the public announcement of the investigations. >> and so did the committee find that without that public statement there could be no white house meeting? >> yes. >> so i was struck by how clear the evidence seems to be on this point and i would like to play another example. >> was there a quid pro quo? as i testified previously, with regard to the requests white house call and the white house meeting, the answer is yes. everyone was in the loop. >> mr. goldman, did the investigative committee find that mr. giuliani played a role in the white house visit being conditioned on investigations? >> the evidence showed that mr. giuliani not only played a role but that he was essentially the
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president's agent. he was acting on behalf of the president expressing the president's wishes, desires -- >> so what evidence did the committee find that corroborated the, quote, everyone was in the loop. >> well, ambassador sondland produced for his public testimony and i think it is very important in light of the testimony from mr. castor a minute ago with mr. buck, as to how many times that mr. sondland did not remember in his deposition. because we agree it was egregious. but the advantage of doing closed depositions is that mr. sondland could not match up his testimony. so as other witnesses came in, then he realized that he had to actually admit to more and more stuff so he did admit to an email that included secretary pompeo -- >> i do want to make a point before my time goes out. we have to think about what is going on today. so president zelensky is meeting with putin today. and because of president trump's
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actions, zelensky is in a weakened position to negotiate with the leader of the nation that invaded his country. if our military assistance had been provided as congress ordered it, and the white house meeting, president zelensky would be meeting with putin from a position of strength. if you want the support -- what we have to realize is the message this sends to our allies and to our standing in the world, if you want the support of the united states, be prepared to help with president trump saez reelection. president trump sa's abuse of pr has injured our nation. >> gentle lady yields back -- >> thank the chairman. the 299 page report references the inspector general michael atkinson on pages 26, 33, 138, 140 and 143. mr. goldman, you were present for the october 4, 2019 transcribed interview of the inspector general michael
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atkinson, correct? >> yes, on pages 53 to 73 of the transcribed interview the inspector general's testimony confirms the following -- that the whistle-blower made statements to the inspector general under penalty of perjury that were not true and correct. that the whistle-blower first made statements in writing under penalty of perjury that were not true and correct. the whistle-blower then made statements under penalty of perjury that were not true and correct in his or her verbal responses to the inspector general's investigative team. because of the whistle-blower's statements in writing and verbally to the inspector general that were neither true, correct, or accurate, pages 53 to 73 of that sworn testimony reveals that the inspector general was not able to answer any questions, none, from me about the whistle-blower's contact or communication with chairman schiff's staff of which mr. goldman is a member. mr. castor, do you remember
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anywhere in this 299-page report that makes reference to the fact that when the whistle-blower started this inquiry they did so by making statements under penalty of perjury that were neither true or correct in writing and then did so again verbally? >> i don't remember that. >> after the inspector general testified on october 4th and after media reports revealing that the whistle-blower and chairman schiff did not disclose prior contacts or communications with one another, the whistle-blower contacted the inspector general to explain why he or she made statements under penalty of perjury in writing and verbally that were not true, correct and accurate. mr. castor, is that communication from the whistle-blower -- from the whistle-blower to the inspector general to explain prior inconsistent statements reflected anywhere in the 299-page report? >> no. >> on october 2nd, chairman schiff's spokesperson patrick
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bowlen acknowledged publicly that the out lines of the accusations against the president had been disclosed to the house intelligence staff and shared with chairman schiff. mr. castor, is that disclosure and mr. bowlen's admission of that disclosure anywhere in this report? >> i don't remember seeing it. >> it's not. i think all members of congress should be held accountable during this impeachment process. and to that end, if i have made any false statements about the whistle-blower or the inspector general's testimony today, then i should be held accountable. the way to do that would be to release the inspector general's testimony or even just pages 53 to 73. i would add that there is nothing in those pages that would in any way identify or place at risk the whistle-blower's identity. nor would it reveal any information that in any way relates to much less jeopardizes national security.
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look, maybe there is a believable explanation for why the whistle-blower made statements that weren't true or accurate about his or her contact with chairman schiff in writing and then again verbally. maybe there is a good explanation for why the words congress or congressional committee was confusing or not clear to the whistle-blower. maybe there is a good explanation for why the whistle-blower also misled the inspector general in writing on august 12th by stating, i reserve the option to exercise my legal right to contact the committees directly when the whistle-blower had, in fact, already contacted chairman schiff's committee two weeks before he or she wrote that. maybe there is a believable reason why chairman schiff was not truthful about his staff's communications with the whistle-blower. maybe there is a good reason that explains all of these statements in writing and verbally that just weren't true and correct. maybe there is. but there is no good reason for voting to impeach and remove from office an american
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president without allowing a single question to be asked of a single witness to get an explanation for why the inspector general was not told the truth about contacts between the whistle-blower and chairman schiff. the bottom line is we should all be held accountable and next november every member of the house will be asked this question, did you vote to impeach the president without allowing any investigation into why the whistle-blower that started it all did so by making statements in writing and verbally under penalty of perjury that were not true. democrats may not care if that question ever gets answered but the voters will. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. mr. richmond. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. goldman, i want to start off with facts that you uncovered during the investigation and i want to pick up where mr. beauch and bass left off. they walked through how the
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president used the white house pressure on ukraine to do his personal bidding. i want to talk about how the president did the same thing with almost $400 million in taxpayer dollars to pressure ukraine to do his personal bidding. so i would like to start with turning back to the july 25th call. it is a fact that in the president's own words and the transcript submitted by him reveals that after ukraine asked for military aid, trump says, i would like you to do us a favor, though. >> right after president zelensky thanks president trump for the military assistance, then president trump asked for a favor and of course by this point president trump had already placed the hold on the security assistance. >> now my republican colleagues have suggested that the ukrainians did not even know about the military aid being withheld, is that true? >> no. there was significant evidence
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that even as early as july 25th, at the time of the call, that ukrainian officials suspected that the aid was being withheld and there was a "new york times" article last week that was included in the report but from the deputy foreign minister who said that ukraine -- president zelensky's office received a diplomatic cable from the embassy here the week of july 25th saying that the aid had been held. >> correct. and what i'll also show you on the screen is that it was on july 25th also, the same day of the call, that the state department mailed the department of defense noting that the ukrainian embassy was asking about the withheld military aid. >> yes. that is what i was referring to. >> i'd like to -- let's go back. there was also discussion earlier during the minority questioning that mr. sandy from omb said the reasoner for this security assistance hold was related to the president's
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concerns about burden sharing with europe. is that consistent with the evidence that y'all uncovered. >> it is a good question. because mr. sandy did say that. but mr. sandy said that he only heard that in early september. that that reason was never provided to him or anybody else before early september for the first two months of the hold. and of course it was given at that point as this -- the gig was up so to speak. >> so that was after everything came out to light? >> it was -- he wasn't sure of the timing but he was ultimately told that the reason for the hold after it was lifted was for that reason. but that's, you know, i think an after the fact excuse based on our evidence because no other witnesses were ever told of that reason during the entire time that it was held. >> mr. chairman, i would like to enter into the record evidence uncovered by the committee from the house budget and appropriations committee that
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documents omb placing a hold on the ukrainian security assistance on july 25th. >> without objection. >> so let's review. on july 18th, omb announced all relevant agencies that the military aid would be withheld from ukraine. on a call with ukraine on july 25th, president trump says, do us a favor though, and asked ukraine to investigate his political rival. also on july 25th, in the hours following that call, both the ukrainians and the americans took actions specifically related to that military aid. the ukrainians began asking about the status of the military aid. and omb took its first official action to withhold that aid. mr. goldman, i'm placing in front of you an email from bast sondland to members of the white house administration in which ambassador sondland said i would ask zelensky to look him in the
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eye and tell him that once ukraine's new justice folks are in place zelensky should be able to move forward publicly and with confidence on those issues of importance to the president and the united states hopefully that will break the log jam. did the investigative committees uncover any evidence of of what ambassador sondland meant when he suggested that president zelensky would have to move forward publicly on, quote, issues of importance to the president, to receive military aid. >> ambassador sondland said those were the two investigations that president trump mentioned on the july 25th call which secretary pompeo, who received that email, listened into. >> so the president was concerned about the two investigations and that was the predicate for releasing military aid to our ally? >> at the time of that email, yes. >> thank you and i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. a little earlier mr. armstrong had asked unanimous consent
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request to insert into the record the i.g. report released today about fisa and i said we would take it under advisement. we have reviewed it and without objection it will be entered into the record. miss roby. >> i'm actually stunned by the process or lack there of taking place in this institution. i know friends that are thoughtful deliberative members of congress even they we disagree vehemently on policy but these proceedings being led by the majority like i said, it is stunning. i request not for t-- i cannot the majority would approach this in such a way that will forever cast doubt on why and how they chose to affect history with the impeachment of a president of the united states. and now to what has taken place here today, this is just bizarre. as a member of congress serving on the house judiciary
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committee, i'm asking questions to staff as witnesses before us in an impeachment evidentiary hearing. i mean, no disrespect to staff, we have the most dedicated hard-working staff and without these individuals we most certainly couldn't do our jobs effectively but we have not and we will not hear from any fact witnesses. whether you identify as a republican, a democrat, or an independent, whether you agree or disagree with the president, whether you like or dislike a president, the american people should be -- should feel cheated by the way this is all taking place. this process is more than incomplete. and the american people deserve better. today history is being made. and i too believe it is a dangerous precedent for the future of our republic. it is worth a deeper explanation of the issue of a minority hearing. the minority members of this
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committee have frequently asked the chairman for a minority day hearing. and all members on this side have signed on to a letter to the chairman asking for a minority day hearing. i'd like to quote house rule 11 clause two, whenever a hearing is conducted by a committee on a measure or a matter, the minority members of the committee shall be entitled upon the request to the chair by majority of them before the completion of the hearing to call witnesses selected by the minority to testify with respect to that measure or matter during at least one day of hearing thereon. the wording here is the minority should be entitled, not if the chairman deems the minority worthy but shall be entitled. mr. castor, with all of your experience in investigations here in the congress, is it your belief based on that experience
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that ignoring the minority stated rights for a hearing under the rules of the house severely undermines the future of this institution? >> yes. >> i'd like to quote what we heard from the democratic staff mr. burk in his opening comments. it is the hope that in these discussions we can put aside political rancor, disagreements and have a fair discussion. that is far from what is happened here today. or the days leading up to this. the american people deserve better than this. and i yield the remainder of my time to mr. collins. >> thank you. mr. castor, we've heard a lot, this is always a good time to go back and remind people there are four things that really haven't changed. would you like to remind of everything that has been discussed. >> well there is four things that will never change and that is the transcript is complete and accurate, shows no quid pro quo, no conditionality.
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that's number one. number two, there was no pressure. both zelensky and trump have said that repeatedly. president zelensky said that the united nations on september 25th and in subsequent news articles on october 6th and october 10th and december 1st. and number three the ukrainians and zelensky didn't know about the pause of aid at the very least at the time of the call. and number four, no investigations were announced, the aid was released and the white house afforded a meeting and then president trump met with zelensky in new york. >> do you find it amazing that the majorities, one of the key prongs of the whole thing is that their making the elected leader of the ukraine out to be a liar. >> um -- >> if he said there is no pressure, he's done it on many occasions, undoubtedly they believe him not to be truthful. doesn't that strike you as a little change especially under the circumstance. >> it is unfortunate.
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>> it is. it is sad we're calling an elected leader working on corruption and stuff like that and calling him a liar because they don't agree with the democrats' theory of an impartisan impeachment. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back mr. jeffries. >> mr. goldman, congressional okayed on a bipartisan basis $391 million in military aid to ukraine, is that correct. >> yes. and it was signed by president trump into law. >> and does the record establish ma the military aid to ukraine is in the national security interest of the united states? >> absolutely. >> the investigation concluded that president trump compromised u.s. national security by with holding vital military assistance and diplomatic support, is that true? >> yes. >> president trump and his defenders claim that he withheld military aid out of alleged concern with corruption in ukraine. let's explore this phony justification.
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donald trump first spoke to the president of ukraine on an april 21st call, correct. >> that's right. >> president trump never used the word "corruption" on that april 21st call, true? >> that is true. and the readout from the white house after the call did say that president trump talked about corruption. >> that readout was inaccurate. in a may 23rd letter trump's department of defense concluded that ukraine met the anti-corruption benchmarks required to receive military aid from the united states, true? >> yes. and if i could just take a second to talk about that. because that is very important. and this goes back to what mr. collins was talking about with vice president biden. there is absolutely conditi conditionality on aid in routine days but it is done through official policy and the anti-corruption benchmarks that you're referencing here was a condition of ukraine getting the aid. but in may the department of defense in conjunction with the
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other inner agencies certified that ukrainian was making the necessary progress on anti-corruption efforts to merit the aid. >> and yet the aid was not released, correct. >> the aid was subsequently held. it was supposed to be released. d.o.d. announced the release and then president trump held the aid without explanation. >> mr. goldman, based on the evidence and testimony that you have reviewed, is there any reason to believe that the president cared about corruption in ukraine? >> no. the evidence really supports the fact that president trump views corruption in ukraine to be synonymous with the two investigations that he wants. >> what the president did care about was a political favor from the ukrainian government and that is why he withheld the military aid, true? >> he told ambassador sondland himself that that is the only thing that he care -- cares
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about. >> now witnesses testified about the real motivation connected with the withheld military aid including ambassador bill taylor. here is what he said in his testimony. >> to withhold that assistance for in good reason other than help with the political campaign made no sense. it was -- it was counter productive to all of what we had been trying to do. it was illogical, it could not be explained. it was crazy. >> illogical, unexplainable, crazy. mr. goldman, according to the testimony from ambassador taylor, the only explanation for the withheld aid that made sense was the president was seeking help with a political campaign, correct? >> that is the only logical explanation as multiple witnesses said. >> ambassador sondland is a trump appointee who gave a million dollars to the president's inauguration. and he testified that he came to believe that the resumption of security aid would not occur
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until there was a public statement from ukraine committing to the investigations, correct? >> yes. and that was subsequently confirmed in a conversation with president trump himself. >> lieutenant colonel vindman is a decorated iraq war veteran and purple heart recipient and member of the white house national security council and he testified it is improper for the president of the united states to demand a foreign government investigate a u.s. citizen and a political opponent, correct. >> that was a pretty much unanimous view of all 17 witnesses that came in to testify before the intelligence committee. >> the evidence shows that president trump withheld military aid from ukraine as part of a scheme to extract a political favor and solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election, true? >> yes. and that -- the scheme part is very important. because the minority wants to focus on these four very narrow
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facts that ignore the vast majority of the evidence. and so the fact that you scheme is critical to the whole case here. >> the president abused his power, the president must be held accountable, no one is above the law. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. mr. gaetz. >> the last public opinion poll showed congress had an approval rating at about 9% by contrast ghadafi had an approval rating at 13% and his own people dragged him into the streets and killed him. this impeachment process demonstrates the worst in us and it is depriving us the opportunity to raise our gaze and meet the needs of the american people. unless you have bipartisan consensus, impeachment is a divisive issue in the country, many people would think it is being done for political reasons. nancy pelosi, may 2018, and here we are in the most partisan presidential impeachment in american history.
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matter of fact, when we opened the inquiry no republicans voted with the democrats. and you even had democrats vote with us in the only bipartisan vote to shut down this impeachment. and that brings us to your role, mr. goldman. are you here as a partisan advocate for the democrat position or are you hear as a nonpartisan investigator of the facts. >> i'm rear to report our investigation which was totally and completely reliant on the evidence that we uncovered, the witness testimony and the documents. >> are you a partisan? >> i'm not a partisan. >> mr. castor how long have you worked for the house. >> since 2005. >> and same question, mr. goldman. >> for the house since this year. >> do you make any political donations? >> i don't remember. >> do you make political donations. >> yes. i think it is very important -- >> you've given tens of thousands of dollars to democrats. >> i think it is important to
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support -- >> have you given over $100,000. i don't care about the basis. >> you don't care about it. >> the basis. i just want the number. >> i don't know the number. >> do you know how much money mr. burk has given democrats. >> i don't know and i don't see the relevance. >> is it more than $100,000. >> and i'm here to talk about the report. >> and so more than $100,000. do you think you could give more money you would be able to ask questions and answer them like mr. burk did. i guess it is something you're still pondering. mr. castor, have you ever tweeted anything at the president? >> no. >> mr. goldman, same question? >> i have made a number of tweets in my private capacity before i came to this job when i was working in the media, yes. >> matter of fact this is one of the tweets, right? and you said, nothing in the dossier is proven false but in fact the dossier said there was
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a russian consulate in miami when there isn't. it said that michael cohen had a meeting in prague, when he didn't. the dossier said that michael cohen's wife was russian, she's, in fact, ukrainian. so as we sit here today, where you guess i got a tweet mentioning a pee tape presenting yourself not as a partisan hired by the democrats to pursue the president, do you regret this tweet? >> sir, i would be happy to put my -- this investigation up with any of the nonpartisan investigations i did -- >> i just want to know about the tweet, mr. mr. goldman? do you regret it. >> i hope you read the evidence and you could judge for yourself -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> earlier in the hearing you said in your opening statement that there is no nothing more urgent than impeachment right now. this is the most urgent thing we could possibly do. well you know what, if you're a senior right now and you can't afford your prescription drugs that's more urgent than this.
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if you're a manufacturer wanted to dominate the western hemisphere with the passage of the usmca. if you're a farmer to open markets so your family could survive and thrive and that is more urgent than this partisan process f. you're a desperate family member watching someone succumb to addiction, solving the opioid problem probably more urgent than this partisan impeachment. if you're a member of the next generation dealing with the challenges of extinction and climate change and budget out of control driving up the credit card of young people in this country and what they'll have to pay back as a consequence of our poor decisions likely more urgent. but house democrats have failed at all of these things. matter of fact i would say the only thing under the christmas tree for most americans is a lump of coal but i think they're against coal too. the only thing under the christmas tree for americans would be ooirm and investigations. i've heard over and over democrats say that this is all about the president's personal interest. and that he abandoned the
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national interest. and it begs an analysis of how the nation is doing. in november, 266,000 jobs created. 80,000 over the average. half a million more manufacturing jobs in the trump presidency. 700,000 construction jobs. we are doing better than ever before. the american people are thriving. why won't you help us move along the critical issues that are far more important than your partisan impeachment. >> the gentleman's time is expired. mr. cicilini. >> let me begin by dispelling the claim that mr. gaetz just made. this is one of the most productive congresses in modern history. we've passed nearly 400 pieces of legislation that respond to the urgent priorities of american people driving down health care costs, raising wages for the american worker, responding to gun violence, providing equal pay for equal work and responding to the climate crisis, 275 bills are fully bipartisan and 80% of the bills are sitting on the senate majority leader's desk awaiting action. so we'll continue to deliver on
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the important priorities of the american people. but we're also elected to hold this president accountable. and we took an oath of office that said to protect and defend the constitution and that is what we're engaged in today. so i want to return, mr. goldman, to the military aid. did the investigating committee receive evidence about why the united states military aid to ukraine was necessary? what was it advancing? because a lot of americans who are watching don't know a lot about ukraine and the geopolitical experience and why does it matter. >> the witnesses were quite clear about this. and they say it mattered for multiple reasons. first is that russia invaded ukraine to take over part of their country and this is the first military incursion in europe since world war ii. and this is russia who is an d adversary actually trying to encroach on another democracy. so just from a broad democratic view point it was essential not only to ukraine's national security, but to america's national security to make sure
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that democracy remains worldwide. >> and when that part of the call on july 25th congress had approved the aid, correct? >> congress had approved the aid and then the president had held the aid. >> and the defense department had even publicly announced the intention to deliver the aid, correct. >> that is right. >> the trump administration had already certified that ukraine had taken substantial steps to combat corruption, correct. >> correct. >> and that normally leads to the release of the aid. >> the announcement of the release of the aid, yes. >> and the investigative committee questions from the defense and state department and the omb and the national security council about the president's decision to withhold aid, correct? >> correct. >> and would you like to play a clip of some of that evidence. >> from what you witnessed, did anybody in the national security community support with holding the assistance? >> no. >> i never heard anyone advocate for holding the aid. >> and the entire inner agency
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supported the continuation of the security answer, isn't that right? >> that is correct. >> i and others sat in astonish: the ukrainians were fighting russians and counted ott not only the training and weapons but at -- but the assurance of of u.s. support. >> am i crecked that the witnesses that appeared before your committee confirmed there was no credible explanation for with holding the military aid and that it was in fact against our national security interest to do so? >> everyone agreed it was against our national security interest to do so. the only explanation that any witness provided was mr. sandy who said that he heard from rob blair i believe, the assistant to mick mulvaney, that the reason was because of other country's donations or contributions to ukraine but that is only in september and of of course there were no further commitments from any other country. >> and as we heard from bill taylor, a graduate of west point and a veteran who served in vietnam, ukrainian then and now is an active war with the
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russians. russia stole part of the country in crimea and killed more than 10,000 ukrainians and weaken ukraine would only benefit russia. here is what ambassador taylor said. >> after our meeting with president zelensky ambassador volker and i traveled to the front line in northern dom bas to receive the line of contact and arriving in the briefing in the military headquarters the commander thanked us for the security assistance but i was aware this assistance was on hold which made me uncomfortable. ambassador volker and i could see the forces on the other side of the damaged bridge across the line of contact and russian forces continue to kill ukrainians in the war, one or two a week. more will undoubtedly die without the u.s. assistance. >> against the consistence, the president advanced his own
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political interest at the expense of the national security. this is a threat to the integrity of our elections an the sanctity of our democracy. president trump must not get away with this. no one in the country, including the president of the united states, is above the law and with that i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this has been a truly extraordinary and historically unprecedented hearing. it has frankly been an outrageous violation of due process. a series of violations of due process in fact. let me review the past 7 and a half hours. in the beginning of the proceedings i asked chairman nadler if mr. burk was appearing as a staff member or as a witness. but the chairman gave strangely conflicting answers to that important question. when i objected under house rule 17 that mr. burk was repeatedly and brazenly steaming over house decor um and using language that impugned the motive of the president of the united states and suggesting his disloyal to his country chairman nadler
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insists the words could not did he taken down and stricken from the record saying the rules don't apply here because mr. burk is merely appearing as a staffer. but later chairman nadler stated the opposite and deck liared he was is a peering to represent the report as the representative which means the member rules should allow. and then mr. burk was allowed to trade places from witness to questioner and it is consistent with this whole impeachment circus. as everybody knows intel chairman adam schiff was allowed in the opening act of the circus to serve as the judge, jury, prosecutor, witness coach and case strategy chief all in one. so much for due process. under the democrats' haphazardly drawn special parameters for house resolution 660 mr. burk was allowed to join members of the congress on die sass and ask questions of mr. castor. when he was argumentative and
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assumed acts not in speculation and committed countless violations of house rules and the rules of civil procedure, i objected. but was then ruled out of order by chairman nadler who informed all of us while house resolution 660 provides for objections it lists none of them and the democrats have ignored everywhere of ours to obtain a list of what rules and objections would be enforced and applicable today. again so much for due process and fairness. a month ago, listen, a month ago the republican members of this committee formally requested all documents related to the impeachment investigation, but chairman nadler and schiff withheld everything until, you know when? saturday afternoon. that is right. less than 48 hours before this hearing they dump add proximately 8,000 pages of document on us while we were back home in our districts. they intentionally made it literally impossible for us to review all material in any meaningful way, mere hours before this fateful hearing. what is worse the documents are not all of the underlying
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records we need to review but rather only a partial redacted and bias sub set of information that they think will advance their false narrative as has been mentioned here we're being all allow -- allow nod minority hearing which is required by house rules. would you love to cross-examine mr. burk himself but chairman nadler won't allow it. i notice he's disappeared from the hearing room. i would love to ask him under oath about his own bias because he hammered here over and over today the importance of fairness and objectivity and accuracy and insisted everything here has to be unbiased but if he was under oath here, he would be forced to admit that fec records show he's personally donated $99,000 to democrat candidates over the years including sizable donations to hillary clinton for president, and also donated to past trump opponents including elizabeth warren, cory booker and kirsten gillibrand. in our system a fact finder is
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supposed to be fair and impartial and an umpire. and the problem with all of that and everybody at home could see with their own eyes is the umpires are parading around the field in the majority team jersey. the report of evidence released by staff on december 2nd carefully documents that in the hearings that led us to this point today, chairman schiff directed witnesses not to answer republican questions and rejected witnesses and identified republicans that would have objected semblance of objectivity and denied testimony for documents and violating the rules to vote down the subpoenas with no notice to republicans. chairman schiff publicly fabricated evidence about president trump's july 25th phone call and misled the american public about his interactions with the anonymous whistle-blower to selectively seek information to paint misleading public narratives. the anonymous whistle-blower acknowledged having a professional relationship with vice president biden and his motive and bias and credible are essential to the case but we can't question it. this is not due process or the
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rule of law and how to impeach an american president and this is not how we're supposed to run a country. it can't be. 17 out of 24 of our colleagues over there already voted to proceed with impeachment before we started all of this. they've already made up their minds. they were prejudice before we walked in but the american people are are not. fairness still matters. truth matters and the people can see clearly that this is a smam. ip yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. swalwell. >> mr. goldman, would you welcome the problem of having 8,000 documents given to you by the white house. >> it would be a wonderful problem to have. >> how many have they given you? >> zero. >> mr. castor, they said earlier, this got the aid. they got the aid. no harm no foul, they got the aid but you would agree although mr. sandy said that the presidential concern was european contributions, nothing changed from when that concern was expressed to when they actually got the aid, right? you agree on that. europe didn't kick in a bunch of new money. >> no.
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but they did a study. >> but they didn't kick in new money. >> ambassador taylor discussed that they -- >> okay. so you talked about the anti-corruption president that we have in donald trump. the person who had a fraud settlement relating to trump university. the person who just recently with his own charity had a settlement related to fraud. let's talk about that anti-corruption president of ours. take a wild guess, mr. casteror, how many times has president trump met with vladimir putin or talked to him. >> i don't know the number. >> it's 16. how many times has president trump met at the white house with president zelensky? >> um -- >> it's zero. and who is president trump meeting with at the white house tomorrow, do you know? >> i'm not -- >> it's russian foreign minister lavrov. >> okay. >> now mr. goldman, with holding aid from ukraine obviously hurts ukraine. it hurts the united states. does it help any country? >> the witnesses said that that
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would help russia. >> did you also hear testimony that these acts by the president, while being wrong and an abuse of power, also harmed u.s. national security? >> yes. >> did you hear anything about how it would harm our credibility? and i would turn you to a conversation ambassador volker had on september 14 of of this year with a senior ukrainian official where ambassador volker is impressing upon that official that president zelensky should not investigate his own political opponents. what was thrown back in the face of ambassador volker? >> after ambassador volker suggested to mr. yermak again who is here that they should not investigate the prior president of ukraine. mr. yermak said back to him, oh, like you're encouraging us to investigate the bidens and clintons. >> during watergate, the famous phrase from senator howard baker was asked, what did the president know and when did he know it? there is a reason that no one
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here has repeated those questions during these hearings. we know what the president did. and we know when he knew it. mr. goldman, who sent rudy giuliani to ukraine to smear joe biden? >> president trump. >> who fired the anti-corruption ambassador in ukraine, marie yovanovitch? >> president trump. >> who hold ambassador sondland and ambassador volker to work with rudy giuliani on ukraine? >> president trump. >> who told vice president pence to not go to president zelensky saez inauguration? >> president trump. >> who ordered his own chief of staff mick mulvaney to withhold critical military assistance for ukraine? >> president trump. >> who refused to meet with president zelensky in the oval office? >> president trump. >> who ignored on july 25 his own national security council anti-corruption talking points? >> president trump. >> who asked president zelensky
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for a favor? >> president trump. >> who personally asked president zelensky to investigate his political rival joe biden? >> president trump. >> who stood on the white house lawn and confirmed that he wanted ukraine to investigate vice president biden? >> president trump. >> who stood on that same lawn and said that china should also investigate vice president biden? >> president trump. >> as to anything that we do not know in this investigation, who has blocked us from knowing it? >> president trump and the white house. >> so as it relates to president trump, is he an incidental player or a central player in this scheme. >> president trump is the central player in this scheme. >> there is a reason that no one has said what did the president know and when did he know it? from the evidence that you have presented, mr. goldman, and the intelligence committee findings, we know one thing and one thing is clear, as it related to this scheme, the president of the
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united states, donald j. trump, knew everything. and i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. mr. biggs. >> mr. castor, what is direct evidence? >> when a witness personally observed a fact and testifies to it. >> and what is hearsay evidence. >> well out of court statement offer for the truth of the matter asserted is something you learn in law school. >> and hearsay is inadmissible unless it falls under define exception, is that right. >> yes. and there are 23 with the residual exception. >> and you testified include mr. goldman sondland -- >> mm-hmm. >> and that is a yes. >> yes. >> and the impeachment narrative is based on the testimony, is that a fair characterization. >> a lot of it is, yes. >> and how many times have they submissioned -- >> i did a search and sondland comes up 6 is 11 times.
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>> and sondland told the world that basically nobody else on the planet told him that donald trump was trying to tie aid to investigations. in fact he also said everything that he had been testifying to is simply his presumption, is that right? >> that is correct. >> so when we consider what a presumption is, it is not direct, it is not circumstantial, it is not even hearsay. in fact, we typically when trying a case we consider it speculation, is that right. >> right. >> do court as lou speculation in? >> no. >> why not. because it is not reliable. >> it is unreliable. can you name any witness that had direct evidence of the 17 that we heard from? >> well we have some direct evidence on certain things and direct evidence on the may 23rd meeting. and sondland gave some direct evidence. but a lot of what we've obtained has been circumstantial. >> how about with regard to personal knowledge of the quid pro quo allegations? >> well we have not gotten to the bottom of that from direct
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evidence stand point. >> about tieing aid to investigations. >> that is correct, too. >> how about political motives in asking for investigations? >> the facts surrounding that are ambiguous. >> in the nonlegalistic world when we talk about speculation we use words like gossip, rumor, innuendo, isn't that right. >> yep. >> and the only direct evidence we have that ukraine gave the aid without giving anything in return and president zelensky has stated no pressure, no problem with the phone call in relation with mr. trump and that the president had a legitimate concern about ukraine corruption. >> he did. and the burden sharing of european allies. >> so much has been made about the alleged desire for fln announ announcement of an investigation but again there is no direct evidence that supports the allegation that president trump wanted merely the announcement of an investigation? >> like i said there is eight lines in the call transcript that go to what president trump said about the investigations. eight lines. >> and everything else is
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hearsay, innuendo, gossip. >> it is inconclusive, certainly. >> so when we get into this event today and the process and we start talking about the process, were you surprised to see mr. burk get out of his chair and move to the seat and sit down next to the chairman and start asking you questions? >> i don't know if i was surprised or not. >> well, i'll tell you i was. and it looks like mr. burk has been -- disappeared. so that is one of the outrageous things about this process and outrageous from start to finish. we've seen prejudice and bias against the president from start to finish. we have the lion's share, almost two-thirds of the members of the democrats have already voted to impeach at least once before anything with regard to this july 25th telephone conversation ever took place. and we're left with a constant view that as on november 9th, 2016, representative green from texas wanted to begin impeachment proceedings at that
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point, is that correct? >> yes. >> january 20th, 2017, washington post headline, let the impeachment begin. is that correct? >> yes. >> ten days later, mr. zaid who is the attorney for the whistle-blower tweeted out, lit the impeachment begin, let the coup begin and victory to the lawyers. >> yes. i've seen that. >> and we have people on the committee who came out today and said they admit they went on tv and said we wanted to start impeachment earlier but the speaker held us back. did you see that? >> i haven't seen that, no. i haven't seen the reports today. >> but you wouldn't be surprised about that? >> no. >> and nobody should be surprised. because this is a sham hearing. three years that they've been trying to remove this president and this is the culmination of a pre-determined outcome. that is where we are today. and so with that, we bring it back to the same points.
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no pressure, no conditionality, and all of the aid, meetings, calls were received by the ukrainians, with that i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. lieu. >> thank you, chairman nadler. let's cut through the republican arguments today and make things very simple. no one else in america could do what donald trump did and get away with it. no american elected official can call up a foreign government official and ask for an investigation of a political opponent. no one sitting on this judiciary committee can call up a foreign government official and asker for help in a reelection campaign. if we did that, and got caught, we would like by be indicted. now let's focus on the president's abuse of powner this case because it is actually worse than examples i just gave. and i note that i first swore an oath to the constitution when i joined the united states air force on active duty and the three core values i learned were
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integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. like to focus on the first two. integrity first and service before self and we can can thought mix personal duties with personal private gain. so mr. goldman, that money in issue, that wasn't donald trump's money, that was u.s. taxpayer funds, is that right. >> yes. >> and the president should not use taxpayer money for his own personal benefit and not to leverage it for his own reelection campaign, isn't that right? >> that's correct. >> the president's abuse of power is even worse than just using official duties for private gain. it is also just flat out illegal. you cannot solicit foreign assistance for reelection campaign. that is a violation of federal election campaign act. a lot of people have gone to prison for violating various sections of that act. a reasonable person could also
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conclude that the president violated the empowerment control act of 1974 which congress passed as a response to president nixon's abuse of power. so i'd like to explore that a little further with you mr. goldman. in this case. congress with bipartisan support had appropriated taxpayer funds for the specific purpose of aiding ukraine and the war against russia, is that right? >> yes. >> and not only had that money been appropriated, the money had been released to the department of defense, is that right? >> they were about to release it, yes. >> and then suddenly without explanation the president demanded the taxpayer funds be withheld from an ally who desperately needed the aid. >> right. >> mr. goldman, did the president notify congress about liz decision to withhold aid. >> no, he did not. >> and so the empowerment control act was designed to prevent the president from taking congressionally appropriated funds and doing whatever he wants with them. so is it true that in your intelligence report you found the following in your findings of fact, president trump ordered
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the suspension of $391 million in assistance urgently needed by ukraine and did so despite his obligations under the em poundment control act. did you find that? >> yes. >> so not only did the president abuse his powers for personal gain and not only was it illegal, his actions also harmed u.s. national security. so it is a fundamental tennant of national security to push back against russian aggression. is it true, mr. goldman, that harming the ukraine military also harms the u.s. national security. >> that is pretty much what every witness said. >> last week professar karlan confirming it is a national interest for his own private ends and a slideshows what she said. mr. goldman, based on the evident you found in your report is it fair to conclude that the president's actions both leveraged taxpayer funds for his
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own private gain and sacrificed the national interest for his own private ends? >> that is what we found. >> and i was struck by mr. holmes testimony because it made it clear the president only cared about investigating his political opponent. here is what mr. holmes said. >> ambassador sondland stated that the president only cares about big stuff. ip noted there was big stuff going on in ukraine. like aer war with russia. and ambassador sondland replied that he meant big stuff that benefits the president like the biden investigation that mr. giuliani was pushing. >> look, here is the thing, if any military member used official acts for personal gain, that member would no longer be part of the military and last year a navy commander was convicted for taking things of value in exchange for official acts and the u.s. attorney that prosecuted the case said that the commander put his own selfish interest ahead of the navy and our nation, unquote.
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we should not hold commander-in-chief to a lower standard than regular military members. we should not hold the president to a different standard than any other elected official. no one is above the law. i yield back. >> gentleman yields. mr. mcclintock. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in every election one side wins and the other loses. democracy only works because the losing side always respects the will of the voters. the moment that social compact breaks down, democracy collapses into chaos. that is only happened twice in our nation's history. it happened in 1860, when the democrats refused to accept legitimate election of abraham lincoln and again in 2016 when the democrats refused to accept the legitimate election of donald trump. the issues before us today do, indeed, strike at the heart of our democracy. the first calls for impeachment began just days after the 2016 election and ever since the democrats have been searching
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for a pre-text. when the mueller investigation found no evidence to support the monstrous lie that the president acted in collusion with russia, the democrats realized they were running out of time and suddenly the ukraine phone call replaced collusion, stormy daniels, tax returns and emoluments and even tweets as a reason to nullify the election, just a year before the next one is to be held. impeachment is one of the most serious powers with which congress is entrusted. it requires an overwhelming case of high crime supported by clear evidence that a vast majority of the nation deems compelling. our constitution vests the executive authority, including the enforcement of our laws with the president and it gives him sole authority to conduct our foreign affairs. clearly this includes requesting a foreign government to cooperate in resolving potentially corrupt and illegal interactions between that government's officials and ours.
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now the sum total of the democrats' case comes down to this. not one of the hand-picked witnesses provided any firsthand knowledge of the president ordering a quid pro quo and two witnesses, sondland by testimony and senator johnson by letter, provided firsthand testimony that the president specifically ordered no quid pro quo. no testimony was provided that the ukrainian government believed there was in quid pro quo. but there are ample public statements that its officials did not believe there was such a linkage. the testimony of the witnesses crumbling under questions and we were left with career bureaucrats the only evidence was presumption and speculation and what they read in "the new york times." it is upon this flimsy evidence that the democrats justify nullifying the 2016 presidential election. and it is so flimsy the democrats have turned our bill of rights on its head in order to make it.
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they're argued that hearsay evidence better known as gossip is better than direct testimony. they've argued that the burden of proof rests with the accused to prove his innocence while at the same time denying the defense witnesses permission to testify. they've argued that the right to confront you're accuser is an invasion of the accuser's privacy. they've argued that appealing to the courts to defend your constitutional rights as the president has done is ip so facto obstruction of evidence and evidence of guilt. they've determined what witnesses the defense is allowed to call. and they've argued that a crime is not necessary to impeach, only impure motives in performing otherwise lawful acts, motives to be devined entirely by the accusers. these are the legal doctrines of despots. but they're the only ones that can accommodate the case before
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us today. this is a stunning abuse of power and a shameless travesty of justice that will stain the reputations of those responsible for generations to come. and god help our country if they should ever be given the power to replace our bill of rights with the doctrines they have improsed in this process. the democrats are fond of saying no one is above the law, they have one unspoken caveat, except for themselves. now the speaker has already short circuited what should be a solemn pain-staking and thorough and above all fair process by ordering her foot soldiers on this committee to draw up articles of impeachment without this committee hearing from a single fact witness. despite the fact that mr. schiff doesn't dare to appear before this committee to defend his work, we're supposed to accept his report at face value and obediently follow the speaker's orders. as the red queen declared,
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sentence first, verdict afterwards. we can only pray the senate adheres to the judicial principles of our founders and if they do then perhaps we could begin repairing the damage this travesty has done to our democracy, our institutions, our principles of justice, our constitution, and our country. >> gentleman yields back. mr. raskin. >> thank you. why is impeachment in the constitution? well, the framers feared a president might corrupt our elections by dragging foreign power news our politics in order to promote the personal political ambitions of the president above the rule of law and above the national security. the framers set against a potential tie rant's boundless thursd thirst for power and the people's representative here in congress and the only democratic ambitions, our self-respect and the love of freedom and the rule
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of law and our fierce constitutional patriotism. now, it looked like president trump might get away with his ukraine shakedown. after all most americans didn't know anything about it and the few who learned of it would be too afraid, too intimidated to cross the most powerful man on earth. president trump could rest easy. but if donald trump misjudged the american character, the framers of our constitution did not. i count 17 honorable public servants who came forward to testify over the intimidation and disparagement of the president. is that right, mr. goldman? >> yes. there was 17. >> and i counted dozen career state department and national security officials who served republican and democratic presidents alike over decades who came to testify. in fact, four of president trump's own national security council staffers, hill, vindman, morrison