tv Impeachment Inquiry House Hearings Hearing on Evidence in Impeachment... CSPAN December 10, 2019 4:57am-5:48am EST
>> pmr. chairman, there are 24 ayes and 17 nos. mr. goldman, you may begin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. chairman nadler, ranking member collins, members of the committee, we are here today because donald j. trump, the 45th president of the united states, abused the power of his office, the american presidency, for his political and personal benefit. president trump directed a months-long campaign to solicit foreign help in his 2020 re-election efforts, withholding official acts from the government of ukraine in order to coerce and secure political assistance and interference in our domestic affairs. as part of this scheme, president trump applied increasing pressure on the president of ukraine to publicly
announce two investigations helpful to his personal re-election efforts. he applied this pressure himself and through his agents working within and outside of the u.s. government by conditioning a desperately sought oval office meeting and $391 million in taxpayer-funded congressally appropriated security assistance, vital to ukraine's ability to fend off russian aggression. he conditioned that on the announcement of these two political investigations that were helpful to his personal interests. when the president's efforts were discovered, he released the military aid, though it would ultimately take congressional action for the money to be made fully available to ukraine. the oval office meeting still has not happened. when faced with the opening of
an official impeachment inquiry into his conduct, president trump launched an unprecedented campaign of obstruction of congress ordering executive branch agencies and government officials to defy subpoenas for documents and testimony. to date the investigating committees have received no documents from the trump administration pursuant to our subpoenas. were it not for courageous public servants doing their duty and honoring their oath to this country and coming forward and testifying, the president's scheme might still be concealed today. the central moment in this scheme was a telephone call between president trump and ukrainian president zelensky on july 25th of this year. during that call president trump asked president zelensky for a personal favor, to initiate the
two investigations that president trump hoped could ultimately help his re-election in 2020. the first investigation involved former vice president joe biden and was an effort to smear his reputation as he seeks the dem contributi -- democratic nomination in next year's election. the second investigation set to elevate a debunked conspiracy theory promoted by russian president vladimir putin that ukraine interfered in the last presidential election to support the democratic nominee. in truth, as has been clear by irrefutable evidence from throughout the government, russia interfered in the last election in order to help then candidate trump. the allegations about vice president biden and the 2016 election are patently false, but that did not deter president
trump during his phone call with the ukrainian president and it does not appear to deter him today. just two days ago president trump stated publicly that he hopes that his personal attorney, rudy giuliani, will report to the department of justice and to congress the results of mr. guiliani's efforts in ukraine last week to pursue these false allegations meant to tarnish vice president biden. president trump's persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security. the overwhelming evidence of this scheme is described in detail in a nearly 300-page document entitled "the trump/ukraine impeachment inquiry report" formerly from
the house committee on intelligence to this committee a few days ago. the report relies on testimony from numerous current and former government officials, the vast majority of whom are nonpartisan, career professionals, responsible for keeping our nation safe and promoting american values around the globe. the evidence from these witnesses cannot seriously be disputed. the president placed his personal interests above the nation's interests in order to help his own re-election efforts. before i highlight the evidence and the findings of this report, i want to take just a moment to introduce myself and discuss today's testimony. i joined the house intelligence committee as senior advisor and director of investigations at the beginning of this year. previously, i served for ten years as a prosecutor in the southern district of new york when i joined the department of justice under the george w. bush
administration. the team that i led on the intelligence community includes other former federal prosecutors, a retired fbi agent, and investigators with significant national security expertise. the report that i am presenting today is based entirely on the evidence that we collected in coordination with the oversight and foreign affairs committees that were gathered as part of the impeachment inquiry into president trump's actions. nothing more and nothing less. the three investigating committees ran a fair, professional and thorough investigation. we followed the house rules for depositions and public hearings, including the rule against agency counsel being present for depositions and members and staff from both parties had equal time to ask questions and there were no substantive questions that were prevented
from being asked and answered. this investigation moved swiftly and intensively, as all good investigations should. to the extent that other witnesses would be able to provide more context and detail about this scheme, their failure to testify is due solely to the fact that president trump obstructed the inquiry and refused to make them available. nevertheless, the extensive evidence that the committee has uncovered during this investigation led to the following critical finding. first, president trump used the power of his office to pressure and induce the newly elected president of ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election for president trump's personal and political benefit. second, in order to increase the pressure on ukraine to announce the politically-motivated
investigations that president trump wanted, president trump withheld a coveted oval office meeting and $391 of essential military assistance from ukraine. third, president trump's conduct sought to undermine our free and fair elections and poses an imminent threat to our national security. and fourth, faced with the revelation of his pressure campaign against ukraine, president trump directed an unprecedented effort to obstruct congress's impeachment inquiry into his conduct. with that context in mind, i would like to turn to the evidence of president trump's conduct concerning ukraine. my colleague, mr. castor just said that it revolves around eight lines in one call record. but that sorely ignores the vast amount of evidence that we collected of a month's long
scheme directed by the president. but i do want to start with that july 25th phone call, because that is critical evidence of the president's involvement and intent. it was on that day that he held his second phone call with the new ukrainian president. the first in april, was short and cordial, following the ukrainian president's election success. but this second call would diverge dramatically from what those listening had expected. now, just prior to this telephone call, president trump spoke to gordon sondland, the u.s. ambassador to the european union who had donated $1 million to the president's inaugural campaign and who had been directed by the president himself to take on a leading role in ukraine issues. ambassador sondland relayed the president's message to president zelensky through ambassador curt volker who had had lunch that day with president zelensky' top
aide, urmic who appears repeatedly throughout this scheme as president zelensky's right hand man. the ambassador texted mr. urmic with president trump's direction. good luck, thanks. president z. encourages trump he will investigate what happened at the election in 2016. we will nail down for a visit to washington. good luck. see you tomorrow, kirk. curt -- even before the phone call with president zelensky took place president trump had directed that ukraine initiate the investigation into 2016, the debunked conspiracy theory that ukraine had interfered in the election in order for president zelensky to get the white house visit that he desperately coveted. ambassador sondland was clear in
his testimony about this quid pro quo. >> in the form of a -- as i testified previously with regard to the requested white house call and the white house meeting, the answer is yes. >> during this call with the ukrainian leader president trump did not discuss matters of importance to the united states such as ukraine's efforts to root out corruption. instead president trump veered quickly into the personal favor that he wanted president zelensky to do. two investigations that would help president trump's re-election effort. witnesses who listened to the call described it as unusual, improper, inappropriate, and
concerning. two of them immediately reported their concerns to white house lawyers. now let me just take a few minutes walking through that important call step by step because it is evidence that is central to the president's scheme. near the beginning of the call, president zelensky said, i would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. we are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps, specifically we are almost ready to buy more javelins from the united states for defense purposes. the great support in the area of defense included the nearly $400 million of u.s. military assistance to ukraine, which one witness testified was nearly 10% of ukraine's defense budget. and this support comes as a result of russia's inkrags of ukraine in 2014, when russia illegally annexed nearly 7% of ukraine's territory. since then, the united states and our allies have provided
support for ukraine, an emerging post soviet democracy, to fend off russia in the east. yet just a few weeks before this july 25th call, president trump had inexplicably placed a hold on military assistance to ukraine without providing any reason to his own cabinet members or national security officials. this showed that that was unanimous support for the aid from every relevant agency in the trump administration. nevertheless, during the call, president trump claimed that u.s. support for ukraine was not reciprocal, that somehow ukraine needed to give more to the united states. what did he mean? well, it became clear. because immediately after president zelensky brought up u.s. military support and purchasing javelin anti-tank weapons, president trump responded, i would like you to do us a favor, though, because
our country has been through a lot, and ukraine knows a lot about it. now, the favor that he referenced there included two demands that had nothing to do with official u.s. policy or foreign policy. first, president trump said, i would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine. they say crowd strike. as you saw yesterday -- excuse me. i guess you have one of your wealthy people it says -- the server, they say ukraine has it. there are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. i think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people. and he went on later, i would like to have the attorney general call you or your people, and i would like you to get to the bottom of it. as you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named robert mueller, an incompetent performance. but they say a lot of it started with ukraine. whatever you can do, it's very
important that you do it if that's possible. here again president trump was referring to the baseless conspiracy theory that the ukrainian government, not russia, was behind the hack of the democratic national committee in 2016. not a single witness in our investigation testified that there was any factual support for this allegation. to the contrary a unanimous assessment of the intelligence community found that russia alone interfered in 2016 election. and special counsel mueller who indicted 12 russians for this conspiracy testified before congress that the russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion. dr. fiona hill, an expert on russia and putin who served on the national security council until july testified that the president was told by his own former senior advisors including
his homeland security adviser and his former national security adviser that the alternative theory that ukraine had interfered in the election was false. and although no one in the u.s. government knew of any factual support for this theory, it did have one significant supporter, russian president vladimir putin. in february of 2017, president putin said, second, as we all know, during the presidential campaign in the united states, the ukrainian government adopted a unilateral position in favor of one candidate. more than that, certain oligarchs, certainly with the approval of the political leadership funded this candidate, or female candidate, to be more precise. and if there was ever any doubt about who benefits from this unfounded theory put forward by president trump and his associates, president trump putin made it clear very recently when he said, thank god no one is accusing us any more
of interfering in u.s. elections. nower accusing ukraine. in the face of clear evidence, not only from intelligence community experts but from his own national security team that russia, not ukraine, interfered in the 2016 election for the benefit of donald trump, president trump still pressed the ukrainian government to announce an investigation into this conspiracy theory. and why? because it would help his own political standing. president trump even sought to withhold an oval office meeting from the president of ukraine until he fell in line with president putin's lies. the leader, who had actually invaded ukraine. the second demand that president trump made of president zelensky during the july 25th call was to investigate the front-runner for the democratic nomination for president in 2020. former vice president joe biden and his son hunter.
president trump stated, the other thing. there is a lot of talk about biden's son, that biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that. so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution. so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me. witnesses unanimously testified that there was no factual support for this claim. rather, they noted that vice president biden was acting in support of an international consensus and official u.s. policy to clean up the prosecutor general's office in ukraine. despite these facts, by the time of the july 25th call, mr. giuliani had been publicly advocating for these two investigations for months while also using back channels to press ukrainian officials to nashiate them in support of his client, donald trump. ambassador sondland understood mr. giuliani's role very
clearly. he testified, mr. giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states. and we knew these investigations were important to the president. to others, mr. giuliani was working at cross-purposes with official policy channels toward ukraine, even as he was working on behalf of president trump. according to former national security adviser ambassador john bolt bolton, mr. giuliani was a quote, hand grenade, who is going to blow everybody up. unquote. near the end of the july 25th call, president zelensky circled back to the precooked message that ambassador volley kerr had relayed to president zelensky's top aide before the call. president zelensky said, i also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the united states, specifically, washington, d.c. on the other hand, i also wanted to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case, and
we will work on the investigation. in other words, on one hand is the house visit. while on the other hand, he agreed to pursue the investigations. this statement shows that president zelensky fully understood at the time of the july 25th call the quid pro quo between those investigations and the white house meeting that president trump required and that ambassador sondland had testified so clearly about. numerous witnesses testified about the importance of a white house meeting with the president of the united states. specifically, a meeting in the oval office. an official fact -- act by president trump. as david holmes in ukraine said, it is important to understand that a white house visit was critical to president zelensky. president zelensky needed to show u.s. support at the highest
levels in order to demonstrate to russian president vladimir putin that he had u.s. backing as well as to advance his ambitious anti-corruption reform agenda at home. in other words, the white house visit would help zelensky's anti-corruption reforms. and that support remains critical as president zelensky meets today with president putin to try to resolve the conflict in the east. now, the day after this phone call, president trump sought to ensure that president zelensky got the message. on july 26th, u.s. officials met with president zelensky and other ukrainian officials in kiev. and president zelensky mentioned president trump had brought up some quote very sensitive issues. after that meeting, president zelensky had a private one on one meeting with yermak.
during that sondland said they probably discussed the issue of investigations. after that at lunch with mr. holmes and two other state department officers, ambassador sondland pulled out his cell phone and called president trump. somewhat shocked mr. holmes recounted the conversation that followed. i heard ambassador sondland greet the president and explain he was calling from kiev. i heard president trump then clarify that ambassador sondland was in ukraine. ambassador sondland replied yes he was ukraine and went on to state that president zelensky quote loves your ass, unquote. i then heard president trump ask so he is going to do the investigation? ambassador sondland relied he is going to do it adding that president zelensky will do anything you ask him to do. after the call, ambassador sondland told mr. holmes that president trump did not give a lien bleep about ukraine and
only cares about the big stuff that benefits the president himself like the biden investigation that mr. giuliani was pushing. to repeat, and this is very important, ambassador sondland spoke to president trump before the july 25th call with president zelensky and relayed to ukrainian officials president trump's requirement of political investigations in exchange for a white house meeting. during that call, president trump asked for the favor of these two political investigations immediately after the ukrainian president brought up u.s. military support for ukraine which president trump had recently suspended or put on hold. and at the end of the call president zelensky made a point of acknowledging the link between the investigations that president trump requested and the white house meeting that president zelensky desperately wanted. and then the following day, ambassador sondland confirmed to president trump on the telephone
in person that the ukrainians would indeed initiate the investigations discussed on the call. which were -- which was the only thing about ukraine that president trump cared about. now, it is very important to understand that this investigation revealed that the july 25th call was neither the start nor the end of president trump's efforts to use the powers of his office for personal political gain. and you have to look at all of the evidence in context as a whole. prior to the call, the president had removed the former ambassador marie yovanovich to clear the way for his three hand picked agents to spearhead his corrupt agenda in ukraine, all of whom attended president zelensky's inauguration on may 20th. all political appointees, they proved to be more than willing
in what dr. hill later described as an improper domestic political errand for the president. on april 21st, president zelensky won the ukrainian election with 73% of the vote. he had two primary platforms. to resolve the war in the east with russia and the root out corruption. that same day president trump called to congratulate him on his win. even though the white house press release following the call stated that president trump expressed his shared commit to quote root out corruption unquote president trump did not mention corruption at all on this call, just like he did not mention corruption on the july 25th call. shortly after this call, president trump asked vice president mike pence to attend president zelensky's inauguration. but on may 13th president trump did an about-face and directed vice president pence not to attend. an adviser to vice president
pence testified that the inauguration had not been scheduled, and therefore the reason for the abrapt change of plans was not related to any scheduling issues. so what had happened in the three weeks between april 21st and may 13th when vice president pence was originally invited and then disinvited -- or removed from the delegation? a few thing. first, on april 25th, vice president biden formally announced his bid for the democratic nomination for president. then about a week later on may 3rd, president trump spoke with president putin on the telephone. one senior state department official testified that the conversation between president trump and president putin included a discussion of ukraine. third, on may 9th, mr. giuliani told the "new york times" that he intended to travel to ukraine on behalf of his client, president trump, in order to, quote, meddle in an investigation, unquote.
but after public backlash and apparent pushback from the ukrainians, mr. giuliani canceled his trip the next day claiming that president zelensky was surrounded by enemies of president trump. at a critical may 23rd meeting in the oval office, president trump said that ukraine was corrupt and tried to take him down in 2016. the same false narrative pushed by president putin and mr. giuliani. in order for the white house meeting to occur, president trump told the delegation, they must talk to rudy to get the visit scheduled. these comments from president trump were the first of many subsequent indications that in his mind, corruption equals investigations: . in the weeks and months following, mr. giuliani relayed to ukrainian officials and -- officials that president trump designated in the may 23rd
meeting to take a lead on ukraine policy. the directive from president trump that a white house meeting would not occur until ukraine announced the two political investigations that president trump required. and well before the july 25th call, ambassador sondland and volker also relayed this quid pro quo to the ukrainians, including to president zelensky himself. ambassador volker conveyed the message directly to president zelensky at the beginning of july urging him to reference investigations associated with the giuliani factor with president trump. in meetings at the white house on july 10th, ambassador sondland told other u.s. officials and two of of president zelensky's advisors including mr. yermak that he had an agreement with acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney that the meeting would be scheduled if ukraine announced investigations. one witness testified that during the second of the
meetings ambassador sondland began to review what the deliverable would be in order to get the meeting, referring to an investigation of the bidens. the witness told the committee that the request was explicit. there was no ambiguity. and that ambassador sondland also mentioned burisma a major ukrainian energy company that huntered bien sat on the board of. to the witnesses that testified before the committee, the references to burisma was shorthand for an investigation into the bidens. bods bolton as well as his staff members objected to this meeting for an investigations trade and ambassador bolton told dr. hill you go and tell eisenberg that i am not part of whatever drug deal sondland and mulvaney are cooking up on this. and you go ahead and tell him what you have heard and what i have said. yet, this was not a rogue
operation by mr. giuliani and ambassador sondland and volker. as ambassador sondland testified, everyone was in the loop, including mr. mulvaney, secretary pompeo, secretary perry, and their top advisors. on july 19th, ambassador sondland emailed mr. mulvaney, secretary perry, secretary pompeo and others after speaking to president zelensky. the subject was, i talked to zelensky just now. and ambassador sondland wrote, he is prepared to receive potus's call. potus is president of the united states. we'll assure him that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will, quote, turn over every stone, unquote. both secretary perry and chief of staff mulvaney quickly responded to the email noting that given that conversation, a date would soon be set to
schedule the white house telephone call. the evidence also unambiguously shows that the ukrainians understood this quid pro quo and had serious reservations, particularly because president zelensky had won the election on an anti-corruption platform. in fact a few days before the july 25th call ambassador william taylor the abilitying u.s. ambassador to ukraine and the former permanent ambassador to ukraine texted ambassador sondland and volker -- rather, he stated in his testimony, on july 20th, i had a phone conversation with mr. danleyic during which he conveyed to me that president zelensky did not want to be used as a pawn in a u.s. re-election campaign. but the pressure campaign on president zelensky did not relent. four days later president zelensky received that message via curt volker that he needed to convince president trump that
he would do the investigations in order to get that white house meeting. and as i have described, president zelensky tried to do exactly that on the july 25th call with president trump. in the weeks following the july 25th call, president zelensky heeded president trump's request sending his top aide, mr. yermic to meet with giuliani. they continued this pressure campaign to secure a public announcement of the investigations. now, according to ambassador sondland -- and this is very important -- president trump did not require that ukraine actually conduct the investigations as a prerequisite for the white house meeting. instead, the ukrainian government needed only to publicly announce the investigations. it is clear that the goal was not the investigations themselves or not any corruption
that those investigations might have entailed, but the political benefit that president trump would enjoy from an announcement of investigations into his 2020 political rival and against a unanimous assessment that showed that he received foreign support in the 2016 election. for that reason, the facts didn't actually matter to president trump because he only cared about the personal and political benefit from the announcement of the investigation. over the next couple of weeks, ambassador sondland and volker worked with president trump's aide, mr. yermak to draft a statement for president zelensky to issue. when the aide proposed a statement that did not include specific references to the investigations that president trump wanted, the burisma and biden investigation in the 2016 election investigation, mr. giuliani relayed that that would not be good enough to get a white house meeting. and here you can see a
comparison on the left of the original statement drafted by mr. yermak, the top aide to president zelensky, and on the right a revised statement with mr. giuliani's requirements. and on -- it says we intend to complete and initiate a transparent investigation of all available facts and episodes. here's the critical difference, including burisma and the 2016 elections which in turn will prevent the recurrence this problem in the future. the only difference in the statement that giuliani required and the statement that the ukrainians had drafted was this reference to the two investigations that president trump wanted and told president zelensky about on the july 25th call. now, ultimately, president zelensky's administration temporarily shelved this announcement though efforts to press ukraine would remain ongoing. by mid august, ukraine did not make a public announcement of the investigations that
president trump required, and as a result, no white house meeting was schedules. but by this time the president was pushing on another pressure point to coerce ukraine to announce the investigations, the hold on the vital military assistance that the president had put in place for more than a month still without any explanation to any of the policy experts. our investigation revealed that a number of ukrainian officials had made quiet inquiries to various u.s. officials about the aid as early as july 25th the day of the phone call. inquiries continued in the weeks that followed until the hold was revealed at the ends of august. but this was important, it was important for the ukrainian officials to keep it quiet because if it became public then russia would know that the u.s. support for ukraine might be on ice. so by the end of that month, the evidence revealed several facts.
one, the president demanded that ukraine publicly announce two politically motivated investigations to benefit his re-election. two, a coveted white house meeting was expressly conditioned on ukraine announcing those investigations. three, president trump had placed a hold on vital military assistance to ukraine without any explanation and notwithstanding the uniform support for that assistance from the relevant federal agencies and congress. > . ambassador taylor testified that the quid pro quo was crazy. and he told ambassador sondland, as i said on the phone, i think it is crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. now, in an effort to move the white house meeting and the military aid along, ambassador sondland wrote an email to
secretary pompeo on august 22nd. he wrote, mike, should we block time in warsaw for a short pull aside for potus to meet zelensky? i would ask zllz to look him in the eye and tell him that once ukraine's new justice folks are in place, parentheses, mid september, z, president zelensky, should be able to move forward publicly and with confidence on those issues of importance to potus and to the u.s. hopefully, that will break the log jam. ambassador sondland testified there was a verchs to the political investigations that president trump discussed on the july 25th call which secretary pompeo ultimately admitted to that he listened to in real time. ambassador sondland hoped that this would help lift the log jam, which he meant the hold on critical security assistance to ukraine and the white house meeting.
what was second pompeo's response three minutes later? yes. after the hold on military assistance became public on august 28, senior ukrainian officials expressed grave concern deeply worried about the practical impact on their efforts to quite russian aggression. and also, this goes back to why it remained confidential, also about the public message that it sent to the russian government. on september 1st at a prebriefing with vice president pence before he met with president zelensky, ambassador sondland raised the issue of the hold on security assistance. he said, i mentioned to vice president pence before the meetings with the ukrainians that i had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations. vice president pence simply nodded in response, expressing neither surprise nor dismay at the linkage between the two.
and following vice president pence's meeting with president zelensky ambassador sondland went over to president zelensky' top aide and pulled him aside to explain that the hold on security assistance was also now conditioned on the public announcement of the burisma biden and the 2016 election interference investigations. ambassador sondland then explained to ambassador taylor that he had previously made a mistake in telling ukrainian officials that only the white house meeting was conditioned on a public announcement of the political investigations beneficial to president trump. in truth, everything, the white house meeting and the vital security assistance to ukraine was now conditioned on the public announcement. president trump wanted president zelensky in a public box. a private commitment was not good enough. nearly one week later on september 7th, the hold
remained. and president trump and ambassador sondland spoke on the phone. the president immediately told ambassador sondland that there was no quid pro quo, but -- and this is very important -- president zelensky would still be required to announce the investigations in order for the hold on security assistance to be lifted, and he should want to do it. in effect, this is the equivalent of saying there is no quid pro quo, know this for that, before then demanding precisely that quid pro quo. immediately after this phone call with president trump this was the precise message that ambassador sondland passed directly to president zelensky. according to ambassador taylor, ambassador sondland also said he talked to president zelensky and mr. yermak and had told them although this was not a quid pro quo if president zelensky did not clear things up in public,
we will be at a stalemate. i understood that a stalemate too mean that ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance. needing the military assistance and hoping for the white house meeting. president zelensky finally relented to president trump's pressure campaign and arrangements were soon made for the ukrainian president to make an statement during an interview on cnn where he would make a public announcement of the two investigations that president trump wanted. in order for president zelensky to secure the white house meeting and for ukraine to get in a much-needed military assistance. and although there is no doubt that president trump had ordered the military aid held up until the ukrainians committed to the investigations, on october 17th, acting chief of staff mick mulvaney confirmed in public that there was such a quid pro quo. let's watch what he said. >> that was -- those were the
driving factors. did he also mention to me in the past the corruption related to the dnc server? absolutely. no question about that. that's it. that's why we held up the money. now the report -- >> so the demand for an investigation into the democrats was part of the reason that he ordered to withhold funneling to ukraine? >> the look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the things that he was worried about in corruption with that nation. and that is absolutely appropriate. >> there you have it. by early september, the president's scheme was unraveling. on september 9th, the intelligence oversight and foreign affairs committees announced an investigation into president trump and mr. giuliani's efforts in ukraine. and later that same day, the intelligence committee learned that a whistle blower had filed a complaint related to some unknown issue a month earlier but which the president and the white house knew was related to ukraine and had been circulating
among them for some time. then, two days later, on september 11th, in the face of growing public and congressional scrutiny president trump lifted the held on security assistance to ukraine. as with the implement of the hold, no reason was provided, but simply president trump got caught, so he released the aid. but even since this investigation began, the president has demonstrated no contrition or acknowledgment that his demand for a foreign country to interfere in our election is wrong. in fact, he has repeatedly called on ukraine to investigate vice president biden, his rival. these and other actions by the president and his associates demonstrate that his determination to solicit foreign interference in our election continues today. it did not end with russia's support for trump in 2016, which president trump invited by asking for his opponent to be hacked by russia. and it did not end when his ukrainian scheme was exposed in september of this year.
president trump also engaged once this investigation began, in an unprecedented effort to obstruct the inquiry. i look forward to answering your questions about that unprecedented obstruction. but in conclusion, i want to say that the intelligence committee has produced to you a nearly 300-page report. and i am grateful that you have offered me the opportunity today to walk you through some of the evidence underlying it. admittedly, it is a lot to digest. but let me just say this. the president's scheme is actually quite simple. and the facts are not seriously in dispute. it can be boiled down to four key takeaways. first, that president trump directed a scheme to pressure ukraine into opening two investigations that would benefit his 2020 re-election campaign, and not the u.s. national interests. second, president trump used his official office and the official
tools of u.s. foreign policy, the withholding of an oval office meeting and $391 million in security assistance to pressure ukraine into meeting his demands. third, everyone was in the loop. his chief of staff, the secretary of state, and vice president. and fourth, despite the public discovery of this scheme which prompted the president to relays the aid, he has not given up. he and his agents continue to solicit ukrainian interference in our election causing an imminent threat the our elections and our national security. members of the committee, president trump's -- >> regular order mr. chairman. >> time has elapsed. >> the gentleman's time has expired. mr. deutsche. >> mr. chairman, i have a motion. >> state his motion. >> i move the committee will be in recess. >> i move the table. >> i move to table the motion. >> privileged motion. it is not debate ible. all those in -- >> i seek a recorded --
>> a vote. >> aye, nay. >> the ayes have it. the committee -- roll call. >> mr. nadler. >> hi. >> mr. nadler votes eye, mr. lee. >> aye. >> mr. soehn. >> aye. >> mr. johnson of georgia, mr. deutsche. >> aye. >> miss bass. >> aye. >> mr. richmond. >> aye. >> mr. jeffries. >> aye. >> mr. sis listeny. >> aye. >> mr. swal well. >> aye. >> mr. liu. >> aye. >> mr. raskin. >> aye. >> mr. >>o poll. >> aye. >> miss demings. >> aye. >> 234r8 correia. >> aye. >> scanlan. >> aye. >> garcia? >> aye. >> mr. mcgoose. >> aye. >> mcbeth. >> mr. stanton. >> aye. >> miss dean.
>> aye. >> escobar. >> aye. >> mr. collins? >> no. >> mr. sense enbrenner? >> mr. -- mr. sense berner notes no. mr. shafrt, no. >> mr. jordan. >> no. >> mr. buck? >> mr. radcliffe. >> no. >> mr. rebbe. >> no. >> mr. gates. >> no, this is so they can have a press conference before mr. castor gets a tans for rebuttal. >> the gentlemen will suspense, roll call in progress. >> mr. johnson. >> no. >> mr. biggs. >> no. >> mr. mcclintock. >> no. >> lessco. >> no. >> mr. rosen all thisser. >> no. >> klein? >> no. >> armstrong. >> no. >> mr. stuby?
>> no. >> has everyone voted who wishes to vote? the clerk will report. mr. chairman, 24 ayes and 16 nos. >> the motion to recess at the call of the chair is -- >> how long do we anticipate. >> well, the gentleman will success is end. >> i would like to know how long. >> the gentleman will suspend. >> it is until they are done with their press conference. >> the gentleman will suspend. the committee will stand in recess for 15 minutes. i will announce also that we have been in session about two and a half hours. after the conclusion of the testimony the cross exams will be another two and a half hours. we will probably have another recess then before the commencement of the five-minute round of questioning. i would ask that people remain in their seats while the two witnesses are given the opportunity to leave. i would remind people in the audience that this they leave they may no