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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  December 12, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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he's surrounded by criminals. then we hear, well, can't be obstruction of congress. you all could have just went to court. we're in december. we have an ongoing crime. we have a crime in progress. that is what the 911 call would say from a police officer. we have a crime in progress. and they're saying with a crime in progress, why don't you just schedule an appointment to call the police? we have an emergency to our national election going on right now. our oath to the constitution requires us to take this drastic, solemn and regrettable step, but it is necessary, because if we don't protect americans' precious right to vote, it is clear that the other side won't. so i talked about the courage of esther yesterday. today i'm reminded of judas. for 30 pieces of silver, he betrayed jesus.
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for 30 positive tweets for an easy re-election, the other side is willing to betray the american people their precious right to vote and the future of our great country and with that, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> for what purpose does gentleman seek recognition? >> strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> i'm really intrigued. first we're told that the offense is withholding aid, even though it was provided and, in fact, provide d tremendously boh helpful in substance and amount than the prior administration, just letting people die over there. i thought the acknowledgement had been that the aid was provided. but now we're told this is an ongoing crime those two
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statements don't go well together. the double standard that they serve one party well. when it comes to the obstruction of congress, the position of the majority is a tyrannical position. when we ask for something, you either give it or we're throwing you out of office. never mind we don't know what we're going to charge you with. we figure if we keep questioning enough, documents like chairman schiff getting phone records and releasing them, maybe we can intimidate people by getting records and releasing them enough that they'll do what we say. that's tyrannical. in fact, when we look at
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obstruction of congress, violation of the rules, the majority could have gone ahead and passed a tyrannical rule and said we are not going to allow the minority to have a minority witness even though it's in the rules because we're tyrants and we don't care. but they didn't pass that rule. it's still part of the rules. whenever this thing is passed through, probably tonight, whatever, through the rule committee, they'll probably come out the rule as ranking member mentioned earlier and said all such points of order are waived. all of the times that the majority violated the rules, we're going to waive those and nobody can raise them to stop this impeachment. that really is abuse of power. it certainly is.
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but -- and i've had a document prepared to offer as a amendment in the nature of a substitute, which would just change the president's name to that of chairman schiff and chairman nadler regarding abuse of power and obstruction of congress, because there are plenty of bases for that. it would not have been ruled swr germane so i was not going to waste the time. obstruction of justice, when there is no referee, there is no adjudication, nothing but a majority that says you give us what we want until we find a crime or we're going to throw you out of office, that is so unreasonable, especially given the history of the last three years when the charges came and the charges went. the president, i think, it was a huge mistake ever to allow don mcgahn to testify when it was a
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bogus charge to begin with. they're setting perjury traps. thank god don mcgahn didn't fall into one. this is even more outrageous. give us what we demand or we're going to throw you out of office. we can't -- there's another thing that could have been done besides going to court. could have passed a bill requiring the president to do certain things, turn over certain things and gotten the senate to agree, president vetoes it. you override the veto. which is what happened to andrew johnson. then you could really have a legitimate obstruction of congress. it's not just obstruction of a majority and one-half of the congress. but that wasn't done either. and even if that had been done, either the president or congress would end up having to go to the supreme court to get the courts to say this was a lawful act, but in the case of congress and
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andrew johnson, it was an unconstitutional act to say he couldn't fire the secretary of state. so either way you have to end up in court at some point before it can be an obstruction of congress. but the majority was in a hurry. when the majority -- this majority is in a hurry, then justice is undone and so is our future. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. what purpose do you seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentlelady is recognized. >> as i understand it, the amendment before us is base d o a letter that's just been issued by the white house months after the whole issue of the whole propriety of this july call was raised. so, you know, i think it takes us back to basics again, and the basics being if it looks like a duck and it swims like it a duck and it quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. and i'm afraid that the july 25th call is a duck.
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you know, we have the president's own words. i want you to do us a favor, though. and then he goes on to talk about the favors that he wants, involving election assistance for him, to clarify what happened in the 2016 election and then start attacking his opponent in the 2020 election. immediately upon hearing this, national security professionals around the world say, whoa, this is wrong. okay? this quacks like a duck. the president is going against all of our carefully, thought-out, national security policy to ask for what one witness called a domestic political favor, okay? so right out of the bat, it makes no sense to the professionals here. then we hear -- then we start hearing this thing that oh, he's
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really talking about corruption. no. the department of defense had said it was okay to release the aid here, because they had already certified that corruption wasn't an issue. the people on the ground, the ambassadors, the national security officials who had been appointed by this president say no, that is not an excuse. we then hear that omb officials, office of management and budget officials are saying, whoa, who is holding up the aid? we don't have a problem with the aid. oh, it's the president. the president is holding up the aid. then we hear from the department of justice. we didn't have anything to do with any inquiries into our american citizens. that's not the doj's interest. so the only person who had an interest in this was the president, and it was his personal interest. unanimous opinion of all of our agencies in the u.s. government was this was against our national security and our national interests.
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so it's now, only now after the president has refused to allow us to inquiry from anyone else who was in the room and was on the call, and after denying all of this evidence, only now, after articles of impeachment have been filed, only now does the white house come up with an explanation. it's way too little. it's way too late, and it smells like a duck. with that, i yield back to the chai chair. >> for what purpose does mr. gase seek recognition? >> strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> a reuters photographer approached the dias and took notes of several of my democratic colleagues. we noticed that, and that photographer has been removed. and i would just say no member, republican or democrat, should be subject to that. we ought to have our ability to
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take our notes and participate in discussion, substantively, though. mr. trump did nothing wrong. each and every action of the president has been explained. we have offered the basis, the understanding. we've gained an understanding for why a president would have reasonable concern about ukraine, why a president would have specific concern about this biden/burisma nexus. you haven't heard any defense of burisma. you haven't heard them all say this is all bogus, the president should not have been asking this question. we have cited in the record testimony like george kent who said there were deep, legitimate concerns, even ambassador yovanovitch, about having to expressly prepare for that. then they say well this aid has been when would. it's this bad presidential conduct. it ripens the fact that there was a very understandable reason for why the aid was released
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when it was, and it had nothing to do with the election or anything like that. it had to do with the fact that ukraine took substantive steps to ensure that our aid would be appropriately used for the cause that is now apparently the cause of the left, and that is defending the ukraine against russia. they say the president's next bad act is this great obstruction of congress. they have subjected president trump to more presidential harassment than at any other time in american history, attacking his family, not allowing his administration to continue to do its work on behalf of the people and, amazingly, despite all of this distraction, despite all of the obstruction of the president that the democrats have engaged in, jobs are rising. wages are rising. our economy is restored and renewed. there are few things my colleagues said. the colleague from rhode island. these are the findings of facts.
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let me tell you what the factual findings are. i want america to know he was reading from the adam schiff report, the same report that adam schiff himself would not sit there and explain. they lacked so much confidence in that report that when it was presented to the judiciary committee, they had some of their donors asking questions of other of their donors and then doing this weird switcheroo that was very unexplainable. i don't know how my very smart colleagues, like the gentleman from new york, can say there is uncontradicted evidence of pressure, uncontradicted evidence of pressure. what do they think zelensky's statements are when zelensky says there is no pressure? that is, at a bare minimum, evidence. there is no evidence of a quid pro quo. there's no evidence of conditionality. and the reason you know they lack that evidentiary basis is
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because they have to keep changing their language. when their pollsters and pundits told them to call it broibry, that was the message of the week. did you see any bribery, were you part of any bribery? the answer was no. they have to keep evolving the claims because there is no factual predicate. my colleague from new orleans said this hearing would be informed by our understanding of regret. there would be this deep sense of regret. my friend is from a deep blue district, so he probably won't be the one regretting it the most. folks that will be regretting what they're doing are democrats in swing districts who probably aren't coming back. for the upcoming year, i tell them rent, don't buy here in washington, d.c. so today the only question we are left with, when we can conclude this hearing, is whether or not as we move impeachment to the floor of the house of representatives, which will occur more rapidly? will they lose votes or will they lose the majority?
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because if these folks who promised to come here and work with us on health care, infrastructure vote for this impea impeachment, they won't be back. we'll be holding the gavels and we'll remember not just how you treated us, not just how you treated the president, we'll remember how you treated the american people. and we're going to come and restore a sense of honor and integrity in the next election. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. for what purpose does miss mr. cicilline wish to seek recognition? >> to strike the last word. the member from ohio who suggested that those who are listening in on the call should just shut up. thank god they valued the law.
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otherwise, the president would have gotten away with this scheme to help him cheat in 2020. i salute the men and women in the foreign service and intelligence community for the courage they've shown of coming forward and reporting what they've seen. i wish we could see it more on this committee. facts are a stubborn thing. this amendment, unfortunately, is just not true. what we know is that this scheme, called a drug deal by the president's own mr. bolton, called it domestic political errand by another trump appointee for which there was no explanation, my republican colleagues are trying to find an answer. they say it's because he was fighting corruption. the idea that donald trump was leading an anti-corruption effort is like kim jong-un leading a human rights effort. it's just not credible. it's just not credible. and we have facts that will demonstrate that. for example, at the very time you claim he's interested in
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ferreting out corruption in ukraine, he proposed cut iting more than 50% anti-corruption efforts in ukraine. here is an article. trump administration sought billions of dollars of cuts in aid fighting corruption and elsewhere. he proposed deep cuts. that's not evidence of a serious effort to fight corruption. in addition to that, in a letter to the chairman of foreign affairs, on behalf of the secretary of defense, dated may 23rd, 2019, long before the july call. on behalf of the secretary of defense and in coordination with with the secretary of state, i have certified that the government of ukraine has taken substantial actions to make defense institutional reforms to the purpose of decreasing skrupgs, increasing accountability and sustaining improvements of combating capability enabled by u.s. assistance. there's a certification. and so there's only one explanation for why it was finally released.
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the whistle-blower report being filed. the president got caught. so this notion that somehow this president was concerned about corruption is defied by all the evidence collected. i know you want to believe it. it's just not supported by the evidence. so, this amendment is silly. it's inaccurate. it mischaracterizes the overwhelming body of evidence that was collected in this investigation. the president of the united states attempted to drag a foreign power into our election, to corrupt the 2020 election, to cheat, undermine our national security, betray the national interest of this country. i move the balance of my time to mr. swalwell. >> my colleagues claim that so many of these facts are in dispute. i want to hear someone dispute the fact that rudy giuliani was donald trump's personal lawyer. i want to hear someone dispute the fact that when rudy was hired, the anti-corruption
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ambassador, mar, was fired. i want to hear someone dispute the fact that donald trump told vice president pence to not go to president zelensky's inauguration. i want to hear someone dispute the fact that president trump anti-corruption in his april 21 and july 25 calls with president zelensky. i want to hear someone dispute the facts that president trump invoked his political rival's name four times on that july 25 call. i want to hear someone dispute the facts that the president's chief of staff said, we are withholding the military aid because the ukrainians need to investigate 2016. not "i," "we." we, as in mick mulvaney and donald trump. i want someone to dispute the facts that ambassador sondland said quid pro quo absolutely on investigations. i listened to your witness, professor turley. he said president trump's call
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was anything but perfect. that was your witness, who said it was anything but perfect. i want to see a show of hands on your side. does anyone agree with the one witness you were able to bring that that call was anything but perfect? that is sad. and you will regret that you have sanctioned this. i yield back. >> the gentleman -- >> mr. chairman? >> this is mr. cicciline's time. >> i yield back. >> gentleman is recognized. >> i want to speak in favor of the biggs amendment. i want to refute what mr. ciccilline has said and others here that there was no evidence that the president was concerned about corruption. of course that's absurd. everybody at home knows this. the president has been talking about foreign governments and foreign corruption and the misuse of american taxpayers treasure since before he ran for president. he tweets about it all the time.
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everybody knows this. this is one of these things in the law that's just well understood. look, every witness on the record, every witness testified that president trump was concerned about corruption with foreign governments. that includes ukraine. and the white house released a transcript of the remarks between president trump and president zelensky before the bilateral meeting in new york, september 25th. this is after the funds released, of course. he's explaining that he became convinced that the new ukrainian administration was concerned about reform measures. president trump says i'm here with the president of ukraine. he is very, very strongly looking into all sorts of corruption and some of the problems he has had over the years. i think it's one of the primary reasons he got elected, the president says. his reputation is absolutely sterl. it's an honor to be with you. president zelensky responds thank you for your support, especially now when you know we have two, really two wars in
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ukraine. the first one is with corruption, you know. we'll fight. we'll be the winner in this fight, i'm sure. couple of pages later in the transcript, president trump goes back, and stop corruption in ukraine, because that will really make you great. that will make you great personally, talking to zelensky, and will also be so tremendous for your nation in terms of what you want to do and where you want to take it. later president trump says i want him to do whatever he can. %-ps years. he has been here recently, just recently. but whatever he can do in terms of corruption, because the corruption is massive. i know the president. i read a lot about ukraine. he wants to stop corruption. the president continues, he was elected, number one, on the basis of stopping corruption, which unfortunately has plagued ukraine. if he can do that he's doing, really, the whole world a big favor. i know, and i think he will be successful. it goes on throughout the transcript. i would submit to enter a clean
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copy of this into the record, mr. chairman. thank you. with this, it's one additional piece, as with all the pieces of evidence, the paper thing record we have here, one thing is very clear. i don't even think you can refute it with a straight face. everybody knows the president is concerned about the misuse of american taxpayer dollars overseas. it's one of his primary driving sources, one of his main talking points. for anybody to sit here today and prethend that wasn't the case. ukraine, third most corrupted nation on earth isn't the one he was concerned about? no one back home is buying this, no one. let's stop with the games, let's acknowledge this for what it is and yield back. >> i yield the remaining of my time, i'm sorry, i had some left, i yield to mr. jordan. >> i want to respond to the
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statement, pointing to mr. biggs' amendment that it's not true. it's real clear. ukrainians signed two major anti-corruption measures. that's exactly what they did, high anti-corruption court when the parliament was first sworn in and they got rid of absolute immunity for members of their parliament. two pretty darn important anti-corruption efforts. mr. morrison, when he testified in front of this committee, told us -- excuse me, when we did his deposition, he told us when they were there with ambassador bolton visiting with ukrainians august 27th, they told us they were tired because they had been up all night, preparing this legislation, putting it together. that's how focused they were on this. when it passed and it was enacted, that's, in fact, when the aid was released. >> i yield back. >> i yield to the ranking member. no? yield to mr. gaetz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. house democrats would have you believe that somehow this
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impeachment effort is the outgrowth of organic activity from the president when the reality is that they've intended to impeach this president from the very beginning and it was actually the chairman, when campaigning to be the head of the judiciary committee, who said that he would be best on the impeachment issue. this is a "new york times" article december 17th, 2017. our constitutional expert with demonstrated leadership on impeachment in the '90s, nadler is our strongest member to lead an impeachment. this is what chairman nadler wrote on his pocket-size campaign literature to his fellow democrats when he wanted the job. he was literally campaigning on impeachment before the president even made the phone call to president zelensky. it's who they are. it's what they've wanted. it's all because they cannot stand the fact that the america first movement is the most powerful movement in american political history. i seek unanimous consent to enter into the record "new york
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times" article. >> objection. >> outlining impeachment. >> we call that a mic drop moment. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. for what purpose do you seek recognition? >> to strike the last word. >> gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to go back to the facts and back to this amendment. my colleague from florida said that this amendment is putting forward, quote, an understandable reason for why the president when would the aid and then suddenly released the aid. and my colleagues on the other side have also made the point that we don't know what the intent was of the president. this was the stated intent, because he was waiting for the ukrainian government to do some massive anti-corruption measures, that that was the intent. i want to remind people again of what i said yesterday. the president is the smoking gun. after his call with president zelensky, the president came out
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on to the lawn and was asked by a reporter, what did you want to get out of that call with president zelensky? and the president said i wanted him to -- these aren't the exact words but he basically said i wanted him to open an investigation into the bidens. it's that simple. so the the president himself has told us what his intent is. but let's go on to say that if my republican colleagues, as some just did, argue that the president -- no one can argue that the president is so interested in corruption. of course he is so interested in corruption. i would go back again to the facts on the table. in 2017 and in 2018, the president released aid, not just to any country, but to ukraine. now my colleagues have also said that the president knew that president zelensky was an anti-corruption fighter, but they just wanted to see if maybe
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he was really going to follow through. so, they're saying that the person before this president, before president zelensky, the previous president of ukraine, was a corrupt individual. they said that through their remarks. if that president was corrupt why, if president trump cared so much about corruption, why did he release the aid in 2017 and 2018 to ukraine? then i would like to get to the question of this particular amendment. i looked at that omb letter and i would call that an after-the-fact cover-up. why do i say that? i say that because if you look at the timeline, and some of my colleagues have laid out pieces of this. let me lay out a few more. june 18th, we already know about the may letter that the department of defense sent, saying ukraine had passed all of its anti-corruption requirements. on june 18th, the department of
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defense publicly announced that it would release the military aid to ukraine. lieutenant colonel vindman testified that by swrul 3rd, he was aware of the hold and he was aware that the office of management and budget, omb, was making queries that were, quote, abnormal. he used that word, "abnormal." fiona hill testified that there was no explanation given for the hold. under secretary of state david hale testified he was frustrated because he was simply told this was the president's wish. in august, in august, several omb divisions, several divisions wrote a joint memo, recommending that military aid go to ukraine as soon as possible. and they said in that memo that
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it was necessary, this military aid was necessary for supporting a stable and peaceful europe. i would also note that just recently, just a few weeks ago, two omb officials resigned. and they resigned because of deep concerns that they had about what they were being asked to do. one of those individuals worked in the legal department that issued this after-the-fact cover-up memo from omb. now let me just ask the american people this. if the president was waiting, had deep concerns about corruption and was waiting for ukraine to take major steps on corruption, let me ask you what you think any president might do in that situation. might they ask the department of defense to follow up on those major anti-corruption things
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that they were trying to get done? he did not do that. would they -- would that president inform top agencies about those concerns? no, he didn't do that either. in fact, they were all universally in agreement that the aid should be released. and might the president inform congress that this was something that he was concerned about and he had to withhold the aid? he didn't do that either. after-the-fact cover-up memo. that's all this is. we need to address that. >> gentlelady's time has expired. >> after-the-fact cover-up was asked for by a democratic senator. democratic senator asked for this letter. that's an after-the-fact cover-up when a democratic senator asks for the process of how this happens? that's exactly what i thought
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would happen when we come back from lunch, after a break. their arguments were dead. they say let's get back in there and tell the same things over and over again. maybe the ones watching in the morning weren't watching in the afternoon. that's got to be one of the best ones i've heard, though, after-the-fact cover-up when it was asked for by a democratic senator just a few weeks ago. i guess trump is blamed for a democratic senator thinking ooh, be careful what you wish for. but there are other things coming out. one of the things that really bugged me here this lawful delay. this money was not viewed to be appropriated, it could have been by congress, we said do it on a certain date. we said by september 30th. really and truly, if there was no interaction between the u.s. and ukraine and the money was not released till september 30th, there was nothing wrong here. there's still nothing wrong here. the evidence reveals that only the majority -- this one is just mind boggling. how has anybody in the press or anybody else let them get away with the continual belittling?
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they called him a politician, an actor. they called him weak. they called him everything else in the world. he's cowering. use the adjectives. if they don't believe me here, if it looks like a dauk, acts like a duck, walks like a duck, that's what hear doing, tearing him down in the eyes of the public and keep doing it over and over again to try to get at the president. this is crazy. do you know why they do it? i'm going to repeat it one more time. there seems to be a problem of reruns around here. the reason i keep repeating this is they can't make their case. they keep putting this out there. it is amazing to me. the next untruth that we're dealing with here today, and this is very sensitive to many in the military, many who have been texting me who have been serving overseas. we agreed to put it in the record. 13 ukrainian soldiers were killed during president trump's administration, withholding aid. guess what, my colleagues, there
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were ukrainians killed when they received their previous aid. there were ukrainians who were killed in this before. this is the most despicable, despicable of drive-byes, to say that this many -- undersecretary hale has told you over and over -- you talk about evidence. read the transcript. he said this was perspective money, not current money. yet we keep putting it in the record because if you tell the story enough times, somebody out there is going to believe it. that's despicable for these 13 who have lost their lives in ukraine and despicable for anyone who fought for this country. don't keep doing it. if they do, call them out on it. we're going to call facts facts here. there's no crime. you know why? it's interesting. my friends from california just said where are they on these different things? where are the democrats? my question is, where are your crimes?
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that's a stain on this committee. this commit couldn't make their case. they came up with abuse of power. so they could put anything in it. and today we've heard that over and over and over again. why? because at the end of the day, the aid was delivered, nothing was held. yet we're going to tell because it was supposedly pressure that the two on the call that didn't exist and the ukrainian leader said did not exist over and over and over again. but our majority would rather mr. zelensky and take him down because they can't make their case. who are they hurting now?
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it's just amazing, continuing discussions to get people distracted. people died because money was held. that's not true. quit saying it. and i don't care how many times you put it in a newsweek article. it's still not true. when you understand what's going on here, that at the end of the day, it's very simple. i'll make it very slow for you to copy. they can't make a crime. they hold back to the fact that we can impeach him for anything and that's what they've done. i yield back. >> consent request, mr. chairman? mr. chairman? >> the gentleman yields back. >> unanimous consent request. >> gentleman is recognized. >> los angeles times story, trump froze military aid as ukrainian soldiers perish in battle. >> is that an objection? >> i object.
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>> for what purposes do you seek recognition? gentleman is recognized. >> consent to submit for the record the may 23rd letter from john rudd, certifying that the government of ukraine is making institutional reforms. >> ranking member was right, it is important to repeat some of what said because most of america doesn't watch all day long but for people who do. they need to understand the reason we're here, the reason we're moving forward on articles of impeachment is because the president of the united states abused his power by soliciting foreign interference in his own
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re-election, it's true they had done that day. it's an important day. we talked about ukraine needing assistance as they were at war with russia, and they did. they also needed a white house meeting and also on may 23rd, it's just important for us to remember what the facts are. the president told them work with rudy. ambassador sondland said work with giuliani or abandon the goal of a white house meeting. my colleagues have challenged ambassador sondland's
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credibility but it's important to pay attention to what he and others have testified to under oath. and if you think that a million dollar donor to president trump is not credible, then we should look at all of the testimony and the text messages and the emails to others and examine it closely. they came back and said work with rudy. and then on may 29th, the president invited president zelensky to the white house. president stelenski expected that he would be coming. and sondland then said there was a prerequisite of investigations. lieutenant colonel vindman said that sondland told the ukrainians on july 10th to treat the investigation -- that the investigation of the bidens was a deliverable necessary to get the meeting. then on july 19th, ambassador sondland emailed robert blair
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and brian mccormick and chief of staff mulvaney, secretary perry, secretary pompeo, all of them, and said that zelensky was prepared to receive potus' call and offer assurance on the investigation and volker had breakfast with giuliani and texted ambassador sondland and said most important is for zelensky to say he will help with the investigation. and volker texted the morning of the call, he texted yermack and said, heard from the white house, assuming president zelensky convinces trump that he will investigate and get to the bottom of what happened, we will nail down a date for visit to washington. those are the facts. that's what was provided in text messages and emails. there's been all this focus on the call. this is an effort that started
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the moment that this delegation got back from the inauguration. and it continued through the end of may and june and july. then there was a call. but it continued on through august and through september. this isn't one time with eight lines. this is a concerted effort to make sure that ukraine, who was at war with russia, understood that they weren't going to get their security assistance and they weren't going to get their white house meeting until they announced an investigation of the president's principle, political opponent. that is abuse of power. multiple times, my colleagues here have asked if anyone objects to the president of the united states abusing his power for political gain like that. but i would finish with this.
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ambassador taylor, when he came and testified under oath, he said during our call on september 8th, ambassador sondland tried to explain president trump is a businessman, when a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something he asks that person to pay up before signing. i argued, he said, that made no sense. ukrainians did not owe president trump anything. that's true. they owed him nothing to get the white house meeting. they owed him nothing to get their aid, and they owed nothing to him for his assistance in his campaign. i yield back. >> mr. chairman? >> gentleman yields back. what purpose? >> i move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> i yield to the ranking member. >> thank you. it is amazing to me that, again, the things that will come out of this markup is not the simple fact that they'll mark this up and send it to the floor. it's what they will perpetrate to try to hide the weakness of
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their argument. i've now given the article that the gentleman from california wants admitted again, perpetrating the falsehood that people were killed because of money. and in the own article biassed against the president and the whole situation, it has this line. although there's no way to link markoff directly to the aid. let's put stuff in here that proves the pathetic argument. it actually says there's no way to link it. yet we're doing it every time in here. keep giving them. i'll keep accepting them. wonderful article. great job. because you're making my point i guess i could hush and let you make my point for me. you want to go after mr. sellenssell en zelensky as weak and powerless. it makes my point. any more you want to put in? keep going. that's not going to get you
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anywhere. i yield back. >> i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> mr. chairman? >> gentleman yields back without objection, material will be inserted in the record. >> gentle lady is recognized. >> i would like to ask unanimous consent to put a roll call article into the record entitled ukrainian lie lives hung in the balance as trump held up aid. >> without objection. for what purpose does mr. johnson seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman i move in opposition to the biggs amendment. my colleague from georgia talks about how democrats are trying to make president zelensky look weak. well, i tell you, that brings to mind the picture of president
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trump and president zelensky meeting in new york in september at the u.n., a big chair for president trump, little chair for president zelensky. big, 6'4" president trump, 5' 11" mr. zelensky, president zelensky. they're standing there. president trump is holding court. and he says oh, by the way, no quid pro -- no pressure. and you saw president zelensky shaking his head as if his daughter was downstairs in the basement, duct taped. i mean, there's an imbalance of power in that relationship. it always has been. and there's no way that the nation of ukraine can stand up
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to the power, the power of the united states of america. and president trump used that unequal bargaining position. he leveraged his power in that relationship not for the benefit of the united states of america, but for his own benefit. he, again, held president zelensky over a barrel up there in new york, the same way he did on the telephone call on the 25th of july. and he told him, look, i know that you need those javelins, but i need you to do me a favor or do us a favor. and who was "us" by the way? was it the american people or was it the trump campaign? and all of those corrupt officials that he aligns himself with, half of whom are in jail or facing charges, or facing
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sentencing. who was he talking about "us"? it wasn't the american people. it was the trump organization and the trump campaign. and that's wrong. it's wrong for the united states president to use his position for his -- for himself. it's wrong. and that's what president trump did. and that's what we're holding him accountable for today. and president trump pretty much sold out our constitution for his own personal benefit. we're cold upon today with the question of whether or not we're going to sell out our positions, whether or not we're going to be sell-outs. i mean, each and every one of us had a career before we came to congress. i, myself, was a criminal defense lawyer. and i enjoyed my job. i'm honored to represent the biggest client that i've ever
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represented, and that is the citizens of fourth congressional district of georgia, but i would gladly, to protect the constitution, give up my job that i love. and i would go back to georgia to do what i used to do. if i had to pay a heavy price for doing what was right for the constitution. and that's what my friends on the other side of the aisle are charged with now. i know that there's a lot of fear about what -- about them being in zelensky's position, about them being in that little small chair with the president with the bully pulpit, the right-wing media, fox news, everything being on his side and him levying and leveraging that power against them as they approach their primaries. they don't want to get primaried. i know that that is the desire,
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but let's not sell out the country for our own desire, which is exactly what we're charged with protecting our country from president trump doing. let's not do that. let's make ourselves look good in the eyes of history. let's do the right thing. and with that, i will yield bac back. >> thank you. i move to strike the last word. >> gentle lady is recognized. >> thank you. i want to respond to -- i've been here all day, listening to all the comments from my republican colleagues, and the one thing that has continued to be mentioned is that there has been no crime committed. i have been asked by some of the people that live in my district, live in my community, americans that say what is the crime?
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i have to say that there is no higher crime than for the president to use the power of his office to corrupt our elections. we are seeing behavior from this president that we have not seen in the history of our country, violating three of the most dangerous violations of the constitution. one, abuse of power. through self dealing two. betrayal of national security. three, corruption of our elections. and i want to make something very clear. we are here today because the president of the united states of america has violated the law. the president's conduct meets all the elements of criminal bribery under 18 usc 201 b-2a.
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president seeks anything of value personally in return for being influenced in the performance of any official act. why are we here? how did we get here? the inspector general of the intelligence community brought to congress an urgent and credible threat to our national security, to our democracy. that is why we're here today. you have heard conspiracy theories, things that are not true to distract from the fact that this president abused the power of his office to extort a foreign government for his own political gain, not for the interest of the united states of america. now you also hear about -- that we're trying to overturn our election. if you see, they have a poster
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over there, saying we're trying to overturn the election. that couldn't be anything farther from the truth. it is a ridiculous statement. impeachment is a crucial part of a constitution that ensures a democratic government. it was created by the founders as a check to prevent a president from becoming a king. and it is incredible to me to see some of my colleagues bend over backwards to cover up for this president. my sister is a yoga teacher. she doesn't contort some of the ways that my republican colleague colleagues do to distort the facts. to protect the republic against a president who would be an imminent threat to our democracy. that's why we're here today. this president has shown us that he is welcoming foreign interference. he has asked russia, he has
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asked ukraine, he has asked china, asking them to investigate his political opponents. we've seen it. we have seen those videos. that is direct evidence. we have documentary evidence. we have a transcript of a call. we have text messages. we have emails from ambassador sondland. every one was in the loop. this is a scheme that began back in february, march. this was a complaint that was brought forth to congress because it was an urgent and credible threat. the president of the united states has violated the law. he has abused his power. he is undermining our freedoms, our democracy. we must act. that is why we're here today. no one, no president in this
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country is above the law. i yield back my time. >> for what purpose does mr. armstrong seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> i think that argument would have a lot more merit on the abuse of power charge if we don't take a look back and look at the whole destination and the way we got here. for two years we heard about russian conspiracy, russian collusion. how are we going to prove it? chairman of the intelligence committee went on national television and said he had direct evidence of russian conspiracy. about a week before the mueller report came out, we started switching to obstruction and obstruction of justice and so we go through that. and the mueller report comes out and shows there's absolutely no conspiracy, absolutely no collusion. we're going to check that off the list. now we go to 10 articles of obstruction of justice. we walk through it. we bring bob mueller into the judiciary hearing. i'm pretty certain people were marking out statues next to the
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washington monument of gratitude and gravitus of bob mueller. that hearing fell flat and obstruction of justice was abandoned. we move into a july 25th phone call and went to quid pro quo. quid pro quo kept going and kept going. they decided that wasn't working really well. we poll tested bribery. it had a little bit of a problem because you cannot prove the elements of the crime. i don't care how many different ways we say it, when the victim of the crime, alleged victim continues to go on national tv, international press conferences every step of the way and deny that he was a victim and deny that there was a crime, we move on. so, we move from things of campaign finance, which didn't even work in the mueller report and continue to moving forward. so, instead of starting an investigation in a general way and moving toward a specific crime, we try and pick 17 different specific crimes and when they never get there,
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instead of doing what any reasonable investigator would do and say there is no there there, we take it all and we put it together and then we say, well, because we can't prove any of it, we're going to use all of it. and so if we want to know why we're here today, that's why we're here today. this started the day president trump got elected. it has continued throughout the mueller report, not to be deterred. in a separate, different thing, the day after the mueller report hearings happened in the judiciary committee, i was in the oversight committee when they subpoenaed the personal emails of every member of the trump family. this is never going to stop. i agree with my colleague from ohio. it is never going to stop. we continue to move forward but you cannot move through all of these specific crimes, use these words for weeks at a time and the minute they fall apart, we just move on to the next thing. i think that's why you are
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losing support of the american people and your colleagues on your side of the aisle in congress, and that's why we're here. so, let's call it like it is and explain how we got here, why we're here and where we continue to go. >> will the gentleman yield back? >> i'll yield to ranking member. >> do you know why we know what you just said is true? we have a lot of nontruth over and over. what's completely true is that this will never end. do you know why we know that? adam schiff and al green's own words. adam schiff the other day, giving one of his press conferences, which he loves dearly. he loves to testify in front of cameras, just not in front of members where he has to actually answer questions. and he said we're going to keep at it, no matter what happens, we're going to keep investigating, investigating, investigating, investigating. you're on the intel committee. it would be nice if y'all get back to oversight of the intelligence community. that would be nice.
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shocking proposition for a committee that's supposed to be doing that. but also, mr. green said we can impeach him over and over and over again. this is what's happening. it's a farce. we can't kill him with crimes. so we say crimes. we can't put them in articles because we can't make it happen. i want to commend you for telling the truth. you told the truth. this is not going to end, no matter what, except -- the reason we know it is because we don't have to infer, we don't have to find articles to put in the record. we use your own words. >> and with that, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. what purpose do you seek recognition? >> mr. chairman i move to strike the last word. >> gentle lady is recognized. >> you know, i rise today in opposition of this amendment. it is so obvious. it is so obvious that it is a last-minute, after-the-fact desperate scramble to cover up the president's wrongdoing.
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and i tell you what, we're not falling for it. and i really do believe the american people are not falling for it. you know, my republican colleagues have talked about a lot of things today, and they're really working very hard to protect the president. it appears like at any and all costs, but i really wish that my colleagues on the other side would work as hard to protect voting rights for the american people, believing that everybody should have the right to vote and that cheating in our elections by anyone at any time or any place is just not right. it just amazes me to suggest that abuse of power is somehow inadequate or inappropriate or not serious enough. abuse of power by the highest
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position in the land, the leader of the free world. abuse of power is not enough to impeach this president or any other president. but the framers were so desperately concerned about abuse of power by the president. they were terrified of the thought of an unprincipled man, a person finding their way into the white house. to suggest that abuse of power is not serious is not enough is simply ridiculous to me. the president has a constitutional duty. that is the highest document in the land, to violate the constitution. he has a constitutional duty to faithfully execute the law. well, that's what it says, to faithfully execute the law. is there anybody here -- i don't care what comes out of your
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mouth today. is there anybody here who believes that this president has faithfully executed the law and faithfully executed the duties, the sacred trust that has been put in his hands and on his shoulder? he is supposed to faithfully execute the law, not ignore it, not abuse it and not forget it. the president is supposed to be motivated by public interest. public interest. the interest of the people. but rather than remembering that or caring about that, i'm not really sure he ever really did. the president chose to try to coerce a foreign power, a newly elected, young president that we