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Kevin McCarthy
  House GOP Lawmakers News Conference  CSPAN  October 31, 2019 12:19pm-12:49pm EDT

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the third thing i think is very important is criticizing the pilots, you know, that helps because you want them fully trained. you want them to know everything about the plane so he or she can fly that plane and save the plane if the plane malfunctions. we're at a cross roads where it might not be possible for the pilots to save the planes because they are so computerizecomputerized that it may not be fair anymore to say look if the plane is broken, the pilot ought to be able to fly out of it. sometimes the pilot just can't. >> is flying in planes safe? generally? >> well generally if you look at the statistics -- we will leave this conversation to hear from house republican leaders on the vote to approve the impeachment investigation of president
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all right. you ready?
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we just had a vote on the floor. in march of this year speaker pelosi said this about impeachment. impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, i don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. today the country just witnessed the only bipartisan vote on that floor was against. the question to the speaker are the same questions i provided in the letter about the unfair process that we had. what has changed since march? in all the hearings there's nothing compelling, nothing overwhelming. so the speaker should follow her own words on what bipartisan
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vote on that floor and in the sham that has been putting this country through this nightmare. that's exactly what this vote shows today. i want to call up our whips steve scalise. >> thank you, kevin. when we talk about the vote, i think it's important to note when you see that not only did every single republican reject this soviet style impeachment process, but we were even joined by democrats who couldn't stand it anymore. if you look at where we are right now, we're at an important point in history. clearly there are people that we serve with that don't like the results of the 2016 election. that's their prerogative. but the country next year will be deciding who our president is going to be. it should not be nancy pelosi and a small group of people that she selects that get to determine who's going to be our
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president. if you look at the resolution today, they talk about fairness. now, if they really think they can tell people it's fair that only the chairman gets to decide who the witnesses are and they give us an opportunity to call witnesses, but if the chair says they don't like the witnesses, the witnesses don't come forward. they allow the president to have legal counsel in the room unless the chair decides that they don't want the president's legal counsel in the room. that's never happened before with the clinton impeachment, with the nixon impeachment, republican and democrat alike, both sides were treated equally, both sides could call witnesses. the president's legal counsel was in the room not at the discretion of the chair but because it's fair. so when you look at this soviet style process, it shows you that they don't really want to get to the truth. they want to remove a sitting president. in fact, the author of the articles of impeachment said, if they don't impeach the president, he will get reelected. now, that's not why we have
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impeachment. alexander hamilton made it very clear. his concern when they were trying to promote the constitution was that he didn't want to see impeachment used for political purposes. yet that's what happened today. he predicted it and it happened today. it's a sham. it shouldn't have happened. it's a tainted process that adam schiff has been conducting, that nadler might one day conduct. the house deserves better. the people of this country deserve better. we should be traackling real problems. our troops could be properly funded, but pelosi's infatuated with impeachment. in fact, we could have better trade relations with canada and mexico and create 160,000 new jobs today, but pelosi is infatuated with impeachment. we deserve better. our conference chair liz cheney. >> thank you very much, steve.
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i want to make sure everybody is focused on a couple of things. you'll hear from a number of our members here today about this. the first one is that the democrats cannot fix this process. they have now created a record over the course of the last several weeks with witnesses they selected. we know there are circumstances where chairman schiff told witnesses not to answer questions that our members were asking. we know there have been circumstances where our members are attempted to read transcripts and they've been told by staff members that they're not allowed to go read those transcripts. this is a process that has been fundamentally tainted. the president has had no rights inside these hearings. his counsel has not been able to be present. for them to claim they're suddenly going to open this process up -- which by the way, the resolution does not do. the resolution gives authority for open hearings but they cannot go back and fix what is a fundamentally tainted and unfair record.
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it's very important for the american people to understand -- and you heard the leader and the whip talk about the things not getting done here. there is a long list of things the american people deserve to have done that simply are not being addressed because of the democrats' obsession with impeachment. think about what speaker pelosi has done for the last several weeks and what she codified today. she said she is going to take the intelligence committee of the house of representatives which is arguably the single most important t commcommittee t comes to our oversight, when it comes to the national security of this nation. she has told them stop all focus on any issue that has to do with the national security of the nation. you saw democrats on the floor arguing that somehow it was republicans putting politics above national security. there is no one who has done that the way that nancy pelosi and adam schiff has done that. history will hold them accountable. history will judge them. we are at a moment where the nation faces grave, significant
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ongoing threats and she has completely neutered the intelligence committee. she said they must be focused on a partisan impeachment process and not the oversight obviously gas stati obligations that we have. they'll be held accountable for that. i'd like to turn things over to the republican leader of the oversight committee mr. jordan. >> thank you, liz. we ought to think about something this morning. i was in an impeachment deposition, but had to leave that to come to a floor for a vote on the rules for impeachment. that says it all about this entire process. it is a sad day, it really is for this country. what the democrats have put our nation through for now almost four years. you go back to july of 2016 when they opened an investigation into the president then candidate trump and spied on two
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american citizens associated with the presidential campaign. it b i bet that has never happened in american history, but that happened in 2016. all that we went through with mueller and now this today, this entire sham process. it is four facts have never changed and they will never change. four fundamental facts. we have the transcript. there's no conditions in the transcript. there's no quid pro quo in the transcript. even after the call came out the democratic chairman was saying there's no quid pro quo but we're going to keep on doing what they've been putting our country for. the two individual on the call have both said there was no pressure, no pushing, nothing. third the ukrainians diplomdn'tw aid had been held up at the time of the phone call.
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they did nothing, no statement, no announcement. those facts have never changed, will never change, but they don't care. they are trying to impeach the president of the united states less than 13 months before an election based on an anonymous whistleblower with no firsthand knowledge. it's important that the whistleblower worked with vice president biden and on it goes. the american people see this for what it is because the american people are fair people, they are just people, they are people with common sense and they will not tolerate this. i appreciate the leadership of our leader and our team and how we all voted against this because we see it just like the american people do and we just know it's wrong. i'd like to call up our ranking member on the foreign affairs committee mr. mccall. >> for 38 days we've witnessed a one-sided investigation in the most secret room in the united states capitol. without an opportunity to call
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witnesses on our side, without white house counsel present. this defies historic precedent. adam schiff stated to us, to jim and myself, we've been sitting through these depositions because the doj declined an investigation that he has now deemed to be both the prosecutor and the grand jury. i was a federal prosecutor. adam schiff was too. he knows better. you can't be both. the american people have been shut out of this process, defying democracy itself. every time we get close to a witness, close to the whistleblower, we get shut down in that room. and you have to ask yourself this question, why, why does adam schiff not want us to ask those questions. what was the role of the whistleblower?
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what role did adam schiff have to the whistleblower? what role did his staff have to the whistleblower? for one man to turn this country upside down to have this vote today, our founding fathers warned about this in the federalist papers that a future congress at some point in time would base an impeachment not on guilt or innocence but rather on partisan politics, partisan politics. sadly today in this chamber their worst fears have been realized. with that, i'd like to turn it over to the house foreign affairs committee. >> in a way, you could say congratulations to nancy pelosi. she wanted a bipartisan vote on her impeachment inquiry resolution. she got it. it was a bipartisan vote against
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her impeachment inquiry resolution. there are a number of other democrats who chose to vote the wrong way who should have voted no and they won't be here to serve with us anymore come january of 2021. nancy pelosi as the leader of her conference has chosen to sacrifice a few of her own members. those members are going to lose for all of the right reasons. because as we've seen during this past vote, staffers were running around the democratic side of the aisle begging members, don't cheer, don't clap. the eagerness, the happiness that democrats have and their enraged liberal activist base at home has to rip the country in half, we're here. steve scalise just talked about wanting to unite our country to work together to be able to pass usmca, to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, but instead
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we have colleagues who have gavels who are eagerly ripping our country in half. we've been saying for weeks that not only should there have been a vote to launch the impeachment inquiry. there should be an equal allocation of staffing, that the president's counsel should be president at these hearings in order to cross examine witnesses and present evidence. every single thing we've been saying aren't here in this resolution. adam schiff, as mike mccall just pointed out, is the prosecutor, the judge, the jury. it's not just getting close to the whistleblower. get this. the jurisdiction of the
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intelligence committee is to look into intelligence related matters. but adam schiff decided two days ago in his most recent rule change that in no way, shape or form can you ask any question that has anything to do with the intelligence community. you all are being used. some of you are happy about it, some of you are not. but many of you are reporting 0% of the story. there was one story that came out yesterday in politico that was filled with falsehoods. just somebody lied to you. i watched cnn last night and i saw a host one allegation after another say stuff that just was not true. your sources, those dems in that bunker are trying to create a narrative because adam schiff aspires to write the world's greatest parody.
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two floors below us, adam schiff is tearing up his parody. he's going to have to rewrite it. isn't it kind of curious that you don't know what's going on today with tim morrison in his deposition? why is it that you don't have the information, the opening statemen statements? he was alex vindman's boss. the ukraine aid was not known to be held up. they did not say anything to us until just before it was released and then it was released. as jim jordan pointed out, guess what ukraine had to do in order to get that hold released? nothing.
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adam schiff needs to release all the transcripts right now. on behalf of our constituents, on behalf of the american public, for earn who's pissed about being misled by adam schiff and his cohorts hiding in the bunker of the capital basement, release the darn transcripts. let's have a conversation about substance. i tell you what, you lost the conversation about process. you're losing the conversation about process. bring it on about substance, because our president was right in being concerned about corruption. our president was right in wanting to look into interference in the 2016 election and the president of the united states is right to be concerned about a corrupt foreign company run by a corrupt ukrainian oligarch, hiring the son of the vice president with no energy experience, no ukraine experience for $50,000 a month.
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then the vice president of the united states who was literally the most conflicted person out in the obama administration to be running point with ukraine goes over to ukraine and threatens the loss of $1 billion if they don't immediately fire the prosecutor who had an open investigati investigation. i don't believe that they should be immune from scrutiny just because joe biden is running for president. if that's not illegal, it should be illegal. and never again, never again in this country should we have a son of a sitting vice president based solely on their name without any energy experience or any ukraine experience being paid from a corrupt company run by a corrupt oligarch with an open corruption investigation into it. so on the substance, i say to adam, bring it on. release the darn transcripts and do it today.
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>> what you' saw in the house ws a very dark cloud falling upon this democratdemocracy. mr. mcgovern had the audacity to say all republicans want to do is argue about process. they don't want to argue about substance. process leads to substance. when you screw up the process, then you're looking for an answer you've already determined. notice what they've done. we're only putting it in adam schiff's purview right now. we've already heard how that's unprecedented. i want to go to the committee that's always historically been the committee of impeachment. the impeachment committee should be the judiciary committee. if you want to do this right,
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then madam speaker, do it right. do not lie to the american people and say these procedures are the same as nixon and clinton. i challenged the rules chairman today to say if you want to have that argument, i'll have that argument. i guarantee you i will win. why? because we're right. 900 precedents in clinton and nixon. i saw eight pages the other day. i saw things they're simply saying adam schiff's committee gets to do whatever they want, continue the process without presidential involvement, without fairness or bipartisanship. how can they stand before you -- ask them how is that fair? them to give it to a judiciary committee, it has been completely neutered of its power. they were completely inept at handling the russia investigation. do i have to remind you of john dean? this is pathetic.
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the rules committee actually had to write the rules for the judiciary committee because they didn't even trust them enough to do that. i ask you how can the american people trust this judiciary committee which the speaker of the house doesn't trust to handle an impeachment article. when it gets to the judiciary committee, i do have one thing for mr. schiff. if he wants to be a special counsel, here's my challenge. you want to be ken starr, be ken starr, come to the judiciary committee, be the first witness and take every question asked of you. starting with your own involvement with the whistleblower. folks, this ain't over. the get ready. the cloud that is dropping will be dropping on their heads because process matters and substance will always win out in the end and this president has nothing to worry about on substance. i yield back.
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>> congress will go back to their districts for a week. tomorrow will be november 1st. one year before voters cast a vote not just for congress but for president. it's unfortunate in this congress when they go back, they'll run on a reelection of having more subpoenas than laws and not trusting the american people to actually have the choice. the vote today was bipartisan not to move forward. we have a speaker of the house who said that impeachment would drive the country apart, it would have to be bipartisan. there was one clear voice on where this congress believes this should go. there's nothing the president did to be impeached. it's simply based upon election that was in 2016 they would not accept. questions. >> you say that process leads to substance. the president is now asking all of you to defend him against the
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substance of these allegations? will you do that? will you all go on the record and say that the president did nothing inpromoappropriate? >> very clear, yes. i think you heard members up here being very clear. the question that adam schiff brought forth to us after he lied the first time and put america through the nightmare of the mueller investigation was now the administration was withholding a whistleblower, that there was a kwophone call, that there was quid pro quo. you had the president release the transcript of the phone call. we now found after the fact that adam schiff and his staff actually met with the whistleblower. the only person in this congress who knows who the whistleblower is is adam schiff. the only person who's withholding the whistleblower from coming forward is adam schiff. we look at the phone call for quid pro quo somebody has to take an action for another. there's nothing in that phone call that is wrong or impeachable. if you had the transcripts and
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we've been doing for more than three weeks that no one's been able to read, you would again go forward with wondering why this is moving forward. no one, is my understanding down there, has ever said there was a quid pro quo. for the same fear that hamilton said more than 200 years ago is what came forth today. so this isn't about the republican party. this is about the republic. no one should ever go through this again. we believe in the rule of law, but unfortunately in nancy's house we do not. >> so are you okay now setting precedent that any future president, republican or democrat, can ask a foreign leader to investigate their political rival? >> every single day our government works with another government to solve cases. what the president asked for was an open case that the attorney general was already
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investigating. it is nothing about the future. it's about something that happened. it's something that the entire wants to know and get to the bottom of. we had just gone through two years of a nightmare. why did that happen? wouldn't you want to know that answer? even as a journalist i believed you would be craving that answer. yes, when we use taxpayers' money, i want their accountability. this is precious money that is taken from hard tax working taxpayers. i want accountability about it. the ukraine did nothing for the money to be released. again, when adam schiff looked into the american public and lied that he did not know who it was and taking us down a new nightmare, haven't we learned from the first time why will we do this? we're one year away from an election. yes. >> every republican voted with
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you guys today. >> and two democrats. [ inaudible question ] >> the one thing the republicans always believed, show us the truth and we always vote based upon the facts. when you want to ask every single democrat who voted today to justify everything that has already happened down in that bunker that they have not read, ask me why they voted that way. or why don't you ask the number who voted for impeachment twice before the mueller report even came forward. ask me what was impeachable at that moment. if every single member of congress who now has a transcript of the phone call what is the impeachable offense. i'll make you this one promise. republicans believe in the constitution, we believe in the rule of law. that's why we're standing here today and that's why the bipartisan vote in the u.s. house of representatives was no.
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thank you very much. remarks from house republican leaders following the vote to approve the impeachment investigation of president trump. if you missed any of that, you can find it on our website
12:48 pm house democrats also holding a briefing with reporters and we will have that for you in its entirety in just a couple of minutes. right now, though, here's a look at some of the floor debate from earlier today prior to the vote on the rules for the impeachment resolution. >> i take no joy in contemplate impeachment of a president because in contemplating it, we must acknowledge a threat to our constitution and the values that bind us not only as members of congress but as americans. we've tried to work within traditional means to get to the bottom of serious allegations of misconduct so that we can deliver the truth to the american people. committees have called witnesses and requested evidence only to be stonewalled. the president's defenders have tried to distract the american people by falsely claiming to have been excluded from the investigation while their stunts and smears have hindered the constitutional process.
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this resolution