tv Impeachment Inquiry House Hearings Impeachment Hearing With Fiona Hill ... CSPAN November 21, 2019 11:04am-1:05pm EST
the house intelligence committee taking a break in their hearing due to house votes happening now on the floor. they've been hearing from the former national security council analyst on russia fiona hill and david holmes political counselor at the u.s. embassy in ukraine. we will have live coverage when the hearing resumes. we'll get to your calls and
comments. democrats 202-748-8920, 202-748-8921, others 202-748-8922. nancy pelosi has been talking about the hearings going on. >> please let us know. yes, sir. >> before you fully embrace the impeachment inquiry, you said one of the reasons you were cautious about it because you said the process would be long, arduous and divisive. it turns out you were right. it seems as if we're in this position. but in the sense that both sides are dug in and impeachment has sort of taken on the tenor of being just like any other partisan dispute. >> i don't subscribe to that. i can't answer your question predicated on that. >> there's not bipartisan support. >> if the republicans are in the denial about the facts, they do not want to honor their oath of office, then i don't think that
this should be -- we should be characterized as partisan in any way because we are patriotic. what is your question. >> how does that change your calculus going forward? >> no, the facts -- we said we wanted to see the facts and the american people to see the facts. whatever decision is made, and it has not been made yet, whatever the decision is made to go forward will be based on our honoring our oath of office, not on the resistance to the truth of the republicans on the other side. i think the sad tragedy of all of this is the behavior of the president and the defense of that behavior by the republicans. yes, sir? >> madam speaker, on a different subject, trade, what additional guarantees or what additional guarantees are needed on usmca to secure enforceability, number one? and number two, recently you said you thought a -- with
ambassador lighthizer was imminent. is that still the case today after your meeting with richard trumpca and your press statement with the chairman richard neal a couple of days ago? >> thank you for referencing the statement with richard neal because it was like clarity, one sentence, we want to see enforceability. and the trade representative knows that. just think of yourself as a worker out there who's been affected by trade. felt very betrayed by the -- by nafta. we have a responsibility to drastically improve the situation, that is to say to make it real, not just nafta with sugar on top but a change in the fundamentals of it. and so that you have enforceability. so what we say and promise people, we can get a result for
them. so for the american workers, we have to have enforceability. and i think if we can get to that place, we can have a template for trade agreements that will serve us well in future negotiations. but just to have a rhetorical comments is interesting. it's pleasant. but it's not making a difference in the lives of america's workers. and if we don't improve the leverage for america's workers, we don't improve the leverage for mexican workers. the lower they get paid the more jobs go to mexico, the more the migration issue festers. and again we haven't helped american workers. >> so the mexicans haven't done enough in terms of reforms and their commitment to -- >> we have to make an evaluation about their ability to honor their commitments. and we are trustworthy in that respect. but we have to do certain things in the bill, again, i voted for
nafta whe nafta, you heard me say that over and over, based on side bars and letters and things like that, which were never honored. all these good intentions, let's honor our workers by putting them in the bill so that they have the effect of law. >> timing? >> timing? i'd like to -- i'm eager to get this done. i assume -- see, people have -- we live in a world of instant gratification. you have an agreement? when the bill is the coming? no, there's a lot of writing and conversations with canada, with mexico, on the basis of what we might come to agreement on in terms of the change in the actual treaty and the actual agreement. so it will take time to write and then to bring to the floor. but one giant step will be if we could come to terms.
and we have really clarity in what our position is. so it's not vague in any way. we have clarity. you're either for enforcement or you're for not -- >> and our coverage of speaker pelosi's briefing continuing online live at c-span.org. the longworth house office building, the scene the past week and last week as well of the house intelligence committee hearings on the impeachment inquiry. they're hearing today from fiona hill, former national security expert on russia, and david holmes, the political counselor to the u.s. embassy at the u.s. embassy in ukraine. they're in a break now because there's a series of votes on the house floor. we'd like to hear from you. 202-748-8920, republicans 202-748-8921, and for all others that's 202-748-8922. let's hear first from treasa in chessa peak, virginia, on our
republican line. >> caller: how are you? >> fine. >> caller:. i would like to make a couple of points. this is a travesty in our judicial system. i have a problem with the lack of due process with the third and fourth party information, the hearsay, the leading of the witnesses. i have a real issue with adam schiff, who also already been compromised with the whistle-blower, leading this investigation. i feel like that his hate and his, you know, opinions are so strongly thrown out there that there's no way that any person watching these hearings could think that they're being done fairly. my other issue is that i feel like miss hill's point about how our weaknesses and dividing our country, you know, other people that are, you know, waiting to
take over the world are watching that and that our own government officials allow their hate of one man to trump their love of country. now, miss pelosi just stood up and talked about honor and oath of office. i think it's about time that both sides, democrats, republicans, whatever your title is, that all of them went back to honor an oath of office and did the jobs they were elected to do, that is, to govern our country instead of searching for everything they can find when a man they just hate. >> all right, we'll hear from corey next who's calling for irving, texas. hi, there. >> caller: hi. i just wanted to call in to make sure that americans are using proper logic when they're assessing these sorts of scenarios. and to understand what sorts of logical fallacies exist and how
they're being implemented within these kinds of hearings. you're seeing a lot of democrats asking about the, you know, the facts of the matter and getting to the bottom, and you say if a, then b, if b, then c, to reach some conclusion and getting the facts that line up. you're seeing a lot of republican committee members using logical fallacies such as a red herring, which is a diversionary tactic, such as, okay, we want want to argue if president trump was actually doing something that was potentially illegal or impeachable, so inside we're going to focus on the bidens, so you guys look over here because we want to make this argument and inquiry something that it's not. or, you know, some sort of strawman arguments where they're over sim plooify a viewpoint and say, we're only going to argue that there was no aid that was withheld in the end and there was no investigation that was
launched, so therefore nothing bad happens happened, which is a straw man argument which is a logical fallacy as well. i think that the population in general is getting duped by republicans over simple logical fallacies that are easy to show and easy to validate, at whose intentions are more clear and whose trying to dupe the population. >> are you hearing the same sort of issues with the counsels on either side, mr. goldman, mr. castor on the republican side? >> honestly, castor is doing a good job of asking questions, but not really of finding anything out. so he is using good logic on the -- themselves. but he's not going anywhere. why n you know, he's running through the motions, it seems like to me. but i suggest that a lot of the
american population look at philosophy, understand how to form an actual logically sound statement before you dictate what is going on in this inquiry because, you know, some parties are looking to prey on people that don't understand what makes something valid and want to get an emotional response out of people. and we need to have more educated people to understand what's truly going on and not be duped by some of these politicians. >> i appreciate your insight. let's hear from carol next who's calling on our democrats' line in louisiana. carol, hi there. >> caller: hi. thanks for having me on here. i'll try to be brief. i can say a lot of the things that i think about mr. trump because i really can't call him president, sorry. i find it ironic that the first caller talked about the democrats' hate for him. my concern is that all i'm
hearing from devin nunes and the republicans on this committee is their love of this one man above and beyond their country, our country, our constitution. they are defending him over and against the conclusions of our intelligence communities, as dr. hill just pointed out so clearly in her opening statement. i want to know how it is that their loyalty is to this one man over our country. and that's just in this hearing here. as i say, there's a lot of things that i think that they're covering for him for, but i'll just keep it to this particular subject. >> all right, here's angie, next up, republican in crossville, alabama. welcome. >> caller: hi. thank you. i'm glad you're taking my call. i have watched this impeachment inquiry from beginning to now.
and i have not seen one shred of concrete evidence. i hear a bunch of hearsay and conjecture. i don't see how you can take somebody's words for something and it not be provided with evidence. i want to see papers. i want to see call records. i want to see, you know -- i don't want to hear about mr. holmes' conversation. i want to hear, okay, here's a call record of president trump and president -- and ambassador sondland. >> right. so you want to see a call record of that? >> i want a call record of that. i want a call record of everything that president trump
has said to prove that he has not done anything wrong. it's all been hearsay. i hear, you know, this through the grapevine. well, who's all these people in the grapevine? and the other thing is why can't the republicans -- our witnesses, why does schiff keep shutting us down? i think it's a schiff show and i think the republicans are not getting a fair opportunity. >> and of course the ranking member, devin nunes maengsed that late last night as the hearing wrapped up, the democrats on the committee blocking the requests by republicans for documents and testimony from the whistle-blower, from hunter biden, from the democratic national committee. it's live coverage here on c-span3 and radio of the hearing today, today hearing from fiona
hill, a former national security expert on ukraine, on russia and ukraine, and also from david holmes who is political counselor at the u.s. embassy in ukraine. the hearing in a break right now. there's a series of votes coming up on the house floor on a bill that they've debated earlier today. and we will have live coverage of course when the hearing resumes. continuing to take your calls, your comments, 202-748-8920 for democrats. 202-748-8921 for republicans. and 202-748-8922. let's hear what people are saying outside the hearing room. >> seems to be telling everything he knows as part of a book deal but not this inquiry. i think it's unrealistic to expect bolton to come in and cooperate. >> better to just move forward with what you have? >> we're not in control. we're not going to get -- by
having -- eek their way in the judicial process. >> wouldn't you think it better to have it loekd down completely, mulvaney, pompeo, even if it takes longer? >> talk to the president. he's the one who's in control of that. he's telling people, no, no, no. >> but you have -- in court? >> court takes a really long time. that is essentially what the president's effort is to stonewall and then the slow-walk in court and essentially avoid accountability. the president could make all that happen if he provided a level of cooperation that was provided by president nixon and by president clinton. among other things, the president doesn't believe that congress has authority under article one to do an impeachment inquiry, and that puts him above the accountability and above any authority at all. he's challenging the role of congress and the separation of
powers and coequal branches of government in the constitution. >> it seems like every witness even those more friendly towards the president, all of them agree there was an investigation toward a meeting with kwitd pro quo. is that enough its own or do you have to prov out the military eyed? >> the question is whether the president used public office for private gain. and the two things that he was leveraging was his ability to get a white house meeting and his ability or the authority to withhold military aid. so i think these establish both. those are the tools that the president had. >> what do you think about holmes' statement that secretary perry met with key ukrainian energy sector contacts without embassy personal present? >> makes you wonder what was going on there. a lot of the corruption was in the energy sector. so that's a very unusual thing
to happen. and especially when secretary perry was not involved in the diplomatic, that's not his portfolio, but he was one of the three amigos. i don't know what they discussed but it's quite suspicious. >> do you think this is the last hearing? >> i'm not sure. we're going to meet as a committee after this but at this point we don't have any other schedules. >> thanks a lot. >> thanks a lot, you guys. >> thank you. yep. congressman peter welch of vermont, one of the 13 democrats on the house intelligence committee, there are nine republicans, reporters catching up with him as there's a series of votes certainly about to get underway on the house floor. the house committee, intelligence committee in a break because of that. we're taking your calls. let's go to ben, athens, georgia, on our others line.
>> caller: how are you doing? >> fine, thank you. >> caller: addressing a caller just here where she discussed about how there was no direct evidence. i find that interesting considering trump did release of transcript of his original call where he did ask, you know, i want you to do us a favor, right after he mentioned the military aid. and that is itself direct evidence. and the trump administration, since trump is an original authority, can release this -- any amount of communications or information about this they want to at any point in time. so i don't really see what the objective here is by keeping to bringing up the republicans and their various points. >> get you to hold a quick sec. we understand jackie spooe speier is outside the hearing room. >> do you think that your case would be stronger with more -- mulvaney's testimony and getting the documents available to help
trying to fight that out in court? would your case be stronger on this major issue? >> i think we have been hampered in our ability because the white house, the state department, the department of defense, have all withheld documents from us. but even with our hands tied behind our backs, we've been able to present to the american people a compelling argument for moving forward with a review of whether or not we should have articles of impeachment brought to the floor of the house. >> what would be the risk of trying to fight this out? you're trying to make the case very clear to the american public that there was president abused his office. should you get that fight is out in court and get that key testimony where there will be beyond a shadow of a doubt what the president did? >> well, actually the president helped us out by releasing the summary of his telephonecall. we have the whistle-blower complaint file that was an effort to prooent us from accessing that.
he then releases the summary of his conversation, which establishes the elements of bribery, where someone in office requests from someone else something of value, the investigation, then withholds the white house meeting and the military aid. >> what do you make of the fact that particularly some of those folks like mr. holmes who is a lower level employee seem to make the connection between burisma and biden instantly and some of these more high powered folks seem to have missed that connection? >> i think that's the difference between professional foreign service officers and appointees. >> do you buy that explanation -- burisma and biden? >> they testified to that under oath. i'd like to think that they're telling the truth. >> fair enough. thank you. >> thank you. intelligence committee
member jackie speier of california. we were on the line with ben from athens, georgia. go ahead and finish your point. you were talking about evidence and you were mentioning a previous caller. finish your thought, ben. >> caller: yeah, the other part i wanted to bring up is that we keep talking about this information that's supposedly out there about people like hunter biden or burisma or et cetera. but it's curious considering devin nunes led this committee for two whole years previously, and the obama administration clearly knew that there was a quote/unquote potential appearance of a conflict of interest. why is this just coming up now is what i want to ask my republican friends here? why is all of this information conveniently coming up now? why did devin nunes not bring any of it up in the judiciary committee back then? it seems very convenient now that trump has been caught doing something, that all of a sudden
there are other theories that need investigating? >> here's kenneth on our democrats line. thaifrmgz for waiting. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. how is everyone doing? >> great, thank you. >> caller: the republicans had a chance to call anyone they wanted to testify, but they chose to ask biden and his son and the whistle-blower. it's like announcing, okay, someone saw the building on fire and pulled the fire alarm, and everybody said, yes, there's a fire, and let's put it out. and now they want the person that pulled the fire alarm to say yes, i pulled it. that's really not the point. they had a chance to call anyone they wanted, and they chose to call people that really are not relevant to say trump did this, and that has nothing to do with what he did. i'm just trying to see why the republicans are so harped up on that when we could have called
whoever they warranted to, if they had somebody in defense they could have called the president himself or anybody that they're saying that can't come by these subpoenas, denying these subpoena requests, they should have come up and said what they wanted to say. they're not doing that. it seems like they're having a bad leg they're standing on. >> brian is next in bar toe, pennsylvania. >> caller: hi, how are you? >> doing fine, thank you. >> caller: i just think that this is a complete outrage and waste of taxpayer money calling to testify people that -- >> brian, i think we did lose you. sorry about that. dropped call there. charlotte, north carolina, mary is on the others line. go ahead. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. >> you bet. >> caller: i just have two quick points. the first point is i know that a lot of this -- i'm hearing that
a lot of people complain about like the last caller that just got dropped, about taxpayers' money on this impeachment hearing or inquiry and why can't we wait until -- to take it out on the 2020, we can just handle it at the ballots. bru the problem is with that, and i'm an independent voter, the problem with waiting until 2020 to, you know, see if we can beat trump, so to say, at the ballo ballots, is if you're cheating and if this hearing is about cheating or political advantages or whatever, it would seem that america would want to straighten that out before we get to the elections. doesn't everyone want to have fair elections? you know, it would seem like everyone would want to have a fair election, but it's not fair if you're hearing all of this --
these issues when it comes to political advantages. >> do you think at all, mary, of the longer this process goes on, the problems it may present in terms of the 2020 elections, not just the presidential election but the congressional elections? is it an issue that may not go away? >> caller: well i don't think this issue is going to go away quickly, because history is going to remember everyone that's involved. you know, it's more than just trump. it's showing that they're -- when trump said he was going to drape the swamp, boy, is he right about that. and we are really getting to the bottom of who we have in congress and senate and what people really stand for in america. is it more than a job? is it, you know, is it about america? is it about your constituents?
is it -- i want to see people standing for what they were voted in to do. yeah. i think it's going to follow -- this is going to be -- this is going to last longer than trump era. but again, when it comes to the whole trump situation, if he was, you know, getting people to meddle in the elections or asking zelensky or the ukrainians to do this or that or to investigate the bidens, for what? that's a waste of time. we know that biden, you know, asked -- we know that biden -- what biden did. we know that biden was trying to stop corruption. you know, whatever it is with his son. the point is, his son is not going to be president. why n you know, and i don't want us to be having to wait until 2020 elections for a president that's cheating, is supposed to be fair.
and my last point i wanted to make is, and i'm saying this because i really care about america and all of us. whenever trump says that he can shoot someone on 5th avenue, and his base will still stand with him, that's not a compliment. he is outright insulting you. okay? that's an insult. >> we'll continue to take your calls. for democrats democrats no202-7 republicans 202-748-8921, others 202-748-8922. this is the last hearing for the week for the house intelligence committee. they started at 9:00. they're in a break for a series of four votes on the house floor. they'll resume after that as for our live coverage on c-span. a couple of callers before talked about that phone call the
day after president trump spoke with zelensky, the phone call between the u.s. ambassador to the european union, gordon sondland, which was overheard by david holmes who is the political counselor at the u.s. embassy in ukraine, mr. holmes talked about that in his opening statement, and here's a look at that now. >> when the meeting ended the two staffers and i accompanied ambassador sondland out of the building. ambassador sondland said he wanted to go to lunch. i told him i'd be happy to join him and the staffers for lunch if he wanted to braef me on his meeting with yermak. ambassador sondland said i should join. the four of us went to a nearby restaurant and sat on a terrace. i sat directly across from him. at first the lunch was largely social. ambassador sondland selected a bottle of wine. we discussed topics such a marketing strategies for his hotel business. during the lunch, ambassador
sondland said he was going to call president trump to give an update. he placed a call on his mobile phone. i heard him announce himself several times along the lines of gordon sondland holding for the president. it appeared he was being transferred through several layers of switch boards. i then noticed his demeanor changed and understood he had been connected to president trump. while ambassador sondland's phone was not on speakerphone, i could hear the president's voice through the earpiece of phone. the president's voice was loud and recognizable and ambassador sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time presumably because of the loud volume. i heard ambassador sondland greet the president. i heard president trump clarify ambassador was in ukraine. replied. he said president zelensky loves your ass. i heard president trump ask, so
he's going to do the investigation? ambassador sondland replied, he is going do it adding that president zelensky will do anything you ask him to do. even though i did not take notes of these statements, i have a clear recollection that these statements were made. i believe that my colleagues who were sitting at the table also knew that ambassador sondland was speaking with the president. the conversation then shifted to ambassador sondland's efforts on behalf of the president to assist a rapper in sweden. ambassador sondland told the president that the rapper was kind of f'd there and should have pled guilty. he recommend to wait until after the stensing and hadded the president should let him get sentenced, play the racism card, give him a taker tape when he comes home. he further told the president that sweden should have released him on your word but that you can tell the car dash yapz you
tried. after the call ended, ambassador sondland remarked that the president was in a bad mood as ambassador stated was often the case early in the morning. i then took the opportunity to ask ambassador sondland for his candid impression of the president's views on ukraine. i asked ambassador sondland if it was true that the president did not give a expleative about ukraine. ambassador sondland agreed that the president did not give an expletive about ukraine. i asked why not? he stated that the president only cares about big stuff. i noted there was big stuff going on in ukraine like a war with russia. and ambassador sondland replied he meant big stuff that benefits the president like the biden investigation that mr. giuliani was pushing. the conversation then moved on to other topics. upon returning to the embassy i immediately briefed my direct supervisor the deputy chief of mission about the call with
president trump and my subsequent conversation with ambassador sondland. i told others at the embassy as approximately. i also emailed someone in sweden about the u.s. rapper discussed. july 26th was my last day in the office ahead of a long-planned verication that ended on august 6th. after returning i told ambassador taylor about the call. i repeatedly referred to the call in the conversation with ambassador sondland in meetings and conversations where the issue of the president's interest in ukraine was potentially relevant. at that time, ambassador sondland's statement to the president -- statement of the president's lack of interest in ukraine was of particular focus. we understood that in order to secure a meeting between president trump and president zelensky we would have to work hard to explain ukraine's importance's
importance to president trump in terms that he found compelling. >> and president trump tweeting about mr. holmes' testimony
saying i've been watching people make phone calls my entire life. my hearing is and has been great. never have i been
watching a person making a call not on a speakerphone and been age to hear and understand. i've tried. try it live. we'll continue with your calls and comments. the house intelligence committee in a break here for votes on the house floor. 202-748-8920 is the democrats' line. republicans 202-748-8921. and for all others, 202-748-8922. we'll go to jason next, may bank, texas, on the republican line. >> caller: good morning. how are you? >> i'm doing well. >> caller: let me preface this by saying i've been watching this very beginning from day one until now. and with a rhetorical and critical thinking in place, i do believe that this here is a far stretch of the imagination to
come up with any kind of conclusion that there was any kind of crime. with that being said, it boils down to three schools of thought. you've got three very distinct, strong-minded individuals. you've got the democrat party that has their vehement dispainment for the president. you have president trump that his very staunch belief of foreign aid. and then you have the state department. and the state department is made up of career bureaucrats that have been there for 20 and 30 years. they all transscent any president in place. any president that's going to be there four or eight years and gone. the state department officials, 20 and 30 years. you have those three schools of thoughts, the democrats sds party, president trump and the state department. well, for the longest time, the tadr hatred of the president by the democratic party they've been searching for anything to
impeach the president. they failed to come up with anything they could actually grasp. now this phone call comes up with a transcript. so the democrat party takes fibers from each school of thought or each tapestry hanging there and weave together an illusion of impeachment. what people don't understand is this is an inquiry. this is not a crime, a criminal investigation. it's an ifrpgry to find out if there's initially enough evidence to bring up articles of impeachment. >> right. >> caller: and once it boils down to what it is, they're going to pick apart things from the bureaucrats from the state department, small things from president trump and his statements and the things he has done, and pick apart things from the democratic party and try to weave an illusion that there is enough evidence. once this actually goes to the senate, then it becomes a rule of law thing. once it becomes a rule of law, you've got to have tangible and official evidence to prove that
there was a crime. if this was in the -- an appellate or federal court, you can't have a judge saying, okay, where's your evidence? and bring up, the evidence is my assumption or i presumed this or that. the judge will throw it out and laugh at it. if john q public showed me the card, well you don't have that. once you throw all the assumptions out there the judge will throw the case out. >> let me ask you, jason. in some cases you do have firsthand evidence anyway, the testimony of people who were there, i'm thinking specifically of somebody like gordon sondland who was on the other end of that phone call. we just talked about, david holmes was talking about in his opening testimony. so there is firsthand testimony, that's not just that -- that's not just hearsay. >> that's testimony, true. firsthand testimony of what they heard and the way they perceived
it to be. go back to the day before when they testified that president trump vehemently said i do not want. i don't want no quid pro quo. all i want is zellency is run on what he ran on, transparency, as trump did. mr. trump said i'm going to run on these things. and he ran on border security, you know, all these things he ran on, and he's trying to follow through. he wanted the exact same thing reflected or mirrored in zelensky. the thing is, this here is -- it is important. this inquiry is. but it's not, because there's no tangible evidence where it says, okay, look here. it is -- circumstantial that joe biden and his son is now part of this, because they became drawn into this loop two or three years ago when he was vice president and his son became part of burisma. it just became coincidence that
he is now running as a candidate for the democratic party. it becomes this collusion theory that you're investigating your political opponent. that's just by happenstance. that is a crappy luck of the draw. you know, it was not -- i don't think it's something that, you know, president trump said, oh, my gosh, biden is running for president now. i've got to find a way to discredit him. i do not think in trump's mind, joe biden is going to be a threat to him in any campaign from now until 2020. >> well, last question, last question for you, because yesterday laura cooper, the defense undersecretary particularly for ukraine, testified the money the security assistance money eventually freed up and will go to ukraine, is that the sort of evidence you're talking about, that they would exonerate the president? or certainly be evidence against what the democrats are hoping to prove in this impeachment inquiry? >> that would be part of it,
yes. because if you remember she testified that the money was released but the part that was held up was only a small part of it. there was some part of it for the defense that was not held up. they could still purchase weapons. they could still do these other minute things in that entire declaration that was held up that the president holds for a month and 25 days. if you look at the other foreign countries where their money is held up for much more than a month and 25 days. >> i'm going to let you go there. thanks for your comments. we'll go to alex next, rizzel park, new jersey, alex calling on our others line. go ahead, alex. >> caller: how you doing? >> fine, thank you. >> caller: i think that, coming from more in the middle, i wholeheartedly believe that this entire thing is just kind of pointing out the absurdity of
what's going on in the country in terms of the divide in our political state. i feel like even the people on the call, on c-span, every time a democrat comes up they're saying we have this, and then the republicans say you don't have that. obviously that's how it's always been. but i think what's going to happen is people are so aware of the back-and-forth that they're just going to push through all of this, not even looking to what's going on, and everybody has their assumption made up about where it's going to end. we all know that the house is going to vote yes and the senate is going to vote no unless someone comes out and says something like i'm going to go against. why would they do that to lose votes in the next election? i think that's what we're going to look forward to, is will this successfully get -- this is a big steppingstone to the next election, not just for are we going to elect trump out of the office? but it's going to be, what's going to happen in the future of
the politics of this country? are we going to go more towards the left or right based on this case alone? i think the first thing to point out this absurdity was the kavanaugh case because everybody realized it doesn't matter if he did what he did. it's a matter of, do you believe the woman or not? do you believe kavanaugh or not? i think it's always been that way. but this impeachment hearing this week has been utterly important to showing where everything is going to go and not just focusing on this one exact moment. >> how do you resolve that? how do you get to the bottom of issues? you talked about the kavanaugh hearing last year. when people go into their separate corners and camps, either in committee hearings or perhaps here taking phone calls, how do we resolve that? >> we resolve it by realizing that bipartisanship is something that exists, but you have to admit that it's something that all parties together can stop
everything from just being one-sided. you have to let the football game go back and forth from one side of the field to the other, orre orrels it's going to be a one-sided mess. if you're going to resolve this you're going to have to accept that somebody in the end is going to get what they want and somebody isn't going to get what they want. >> pete is next in sellersburg, indiana on the democrats' line. pete, you there? okay. we'll go to susan, hampton, new jersey. susan is on the republican side. hi. >> caller: hi. i wanted to make the comment that this whole thing is such an embarrassment to our country, and and the democrats are running an investigation against their political opponent. and they're accusing the president of running an
investigation against a political opponent. and it's -- it's mind-boggling that we're actually going through this. the fact is, if there is the president has a president has a right to investigate joe biden because he's running for president, doesn't make him immune to investigation, just like the president himself should not be immune from being investigated. i think everybody needs to take a step back and try to get to the facts and not feelings. i just think this is really, really sad. it is true, we have to get back to love of country and not political -- people who we don't like. i did not like obama but i wanted him to be successful because it meant our country would be successful. and i did not want to see
anything terrible happen to him or his family. this road that we're going down is going to destroy our country and it's not a good thing. i have to remind myself not to feel and think such terrible thoughts about democrats even though i disagree with them. i think everybody needs to get back to that. i mean, this is destroying us. it's not a good thing for anybody. >> let's go to our democrats line next. charles in brooklyn, good morning, welcome. >> caller: good morning. good morning. just in response to your last caller, unfortunately i feel that republicans love to play the blame game. i think unfortunately donald trump has totally hijacked the political system. there's not a republican that has a backbone to stand up to the facts.
the facts have been laid out. there's a question of our national security. he has colluded with a foreign government. he is a traitor to all of our institutions. he is purposely, deliberately attacked every single person who has testified. a colonel from an immigrant family who immigrated to this country only to realize the american dream. fiona hill as well. people who are serving our country to the highest values and representing what this country is supposedly based on. and all the republicans can do is blame the past administration. every single thing that has been wrong with the trump administration, if it's not hillary, it's obama. when are you going to start governing? you have been in office for 3 years. you have passed no legislation, in legislation to even build a legacy of somewhat to reflect
that you are a decent human being. there are children being shot. there are children that go to school and have guns in their school. where is this country going? this is not about being democratic or about being republican. this is about being american. this is about living up to what the statue of liberty is standing here in the hudson river. we were supposed to be a beacon of hope. we were supposed to represent a dream. >> charles in brooklyn in new york, appreciate the call. the house in the first of six votes on the house floor right now. that's why the committee is taking a break for those votes. they will resume when that vote series is wrapped up. that could be an hour or so the way the house works. we're coming to you live here across the street from the u.s. capitol, actually from the house side of the u.s. capitol.
a short distance in the other direction, the supreme court, where on monday the court issued a stay that blocked house democrats efforts, their subpoena for president trump's tax returns. they'll make a decision on that in the coming weeks, we expect. but speaker pelosi was asked about that this morning at her briefing and how it's affecting the impeachment inquiry. >> can you clarify what you mean about the timing and going where the facts -- >> i don't know anything. >> are you suggesting that you would actually sort of pause and have all of these legal cases play out? >> no, i never said that. absolutely not. i don't think so. we cannot be at the mercy of the courts. the courts are very important in all of this. those cases will continue but i have never said we cannot proceed without the courts. because that's a technique on the part of the administration, just keep ratcheting up to a higher court.
i've never said that. >> -- same pace. >> we're moving at the pace that truth takes us. when more evidence unfolds, if that requires more time, that's where we'll go. but if it is a question of the committee saying i think that as you ask your question how much more do you need to know, it's so self-evident, okay, the other side has a counter to it, under oath the other side can submit his counter to that under oath. >> in light of sondland's testimony yesterday, do you think the house should do everything it can to acquire testimony from people like mick mulvaney, mike pompeo and john bolton before moving forward to drafting articles of impeachment. >> that's all in the court about whether the congress -- as the
court has declared in the case of richard nixon, unanimously, that congress has the right to subpoena and inquiry and they should be coming before us. they keep taking it to court. no, we're not going to wait until the courts decide. that might be information that's available to the senate in terms of how far we go and when we go. we can't wait for that, because again, it's a technique. it's obstruction of justice, obstruction of congress. so we cannot let their further obstruction of congress be an impediment to our honoring our oath of office. thank you all. >> speaker pelosi, part of her briefing from this monoirning. the u.s. house is in a vote.
that's why the house intelligence committee is in a break. ahead of the thanksgiving break, they've been hearing from fiona hill, national security council expert on russia and ukraine, also from david holmes, the political counselor at the u.s. embassy in ukraine. we continue to tabke your thoughts, your calls and comments. let's hear from ricky next in hudson, florida. >> caller: hello. how are you today? >> doing well. thank you, ricky. >> caller: the position i have, i forget the gentleman's name but he was from brooklyn. none of it's really working for the american people. the republicans want this, the
democrats want that. somewhere in between then you -- >> rick, still there? ricky in florida. all right. we'll go onto anna prospect, kentucky on the democrats line. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. i want to say quickly about something the last caller said. nobody is working for the american people. throwing our hands up and just saying oh, you know, both sides, this side, that side, it's all the same. that is so dangerous. especially right now, especially with what we're pursuing right now. an inquiry into the truth as to whether or not what the president of the united states and his chief of staff have admitted, what we know happened actually happened, being specifically something that the framers of the constitution were very clear to put in the
constitution as a high crime and misdemeanor, bribing a foreign country to interfere with our business, with our domestic politics and using the levers of his power and his office to do so for personal gain, not for our gain. it doesn't get more fundamental than this. if this is the precedent that we want to set, that this is perfectly fine for presidents to engage in, that this is just how we roll and get over it, that this is it now, it's extremely, extremely dangerous. we do have right now a situation where there is a party that has people in it who are working for the american people as we speak, passing hundreds of bills that go to the senate to die. that's the democrats. and pursuing an investigation into exactly what happened, what
is the truth and is this who we are as americans. that's also the democrats right now. we're up against the projection, the outright lies and the obfuscation of the other party trying to insist that we don't see what we see, that we don't hear what we hear. so it's not both sides right now. it's not tit for tat right now. it's not this is all based on hatred for donald trump. that's not what any of this is about. yes, people hate donald trump. yes, people love donald trump. that is a thing that is real. yes, there are politicians on both sides that do this or that and that is real. however, what we're seeing going on with this impeachment inquiry and with the business being conducted in congress is that we do have one party in congress working for the american people by and large and the other party lying every day to protect one
man who doesn't seem to be working in the interest of the american people in a few different ways. >> anna. thanks for your call. she mentioned the senate there. the senate is in session today. they'll be wrapping up work today on the short-term spending measure, keeping in mind that government funding, the current short-term measure expires tonight at midnight, the senate aiming to pass yet another short-term measure this would continue government funding through december the 20th. follow the senate over on c-span 2. the impeachment inquiry resuming after house votes. live coverage here on c-span 3 and c-span radio. we go to john next in gooding, idaho, on the republican line. >> caller: i just wanted to touch on the previous caller that mentioned logical fallacies. i don't know if he was just trying to slam republicans on
this, but the thing is, you know, we're not dumb. we go back to the elections and democrats from day one were using logical fallacy. they were using cognitive distortions. this isn't just a one-sided deal. right now we are living in two separate histories right now. they run parallel but they're just slightly off. each of us are viewing what's going on separate ly. the major thing that we are seeing right now is democrats, to us, it looks like a coup de de .
>> you said a lot there. appreciate you calling in. we showed you some of the testimony earlier of david holmes, the political counselor from the embassy in ukraine. the other witness today is fiona hill. up until july of this summer, she was the russia and ukraine expert on the national security council. she talked about a meeting over the past summer with national security director john bolton. here's what she said. >> now, toward the end of this meeting the ukrainians raised the ongoing desire for an oval office meeting, is that right? >> that is correct. >> what happened after they did that? >> well, i listened very carefully to ambassador sondland's testimony yesterday so i want to actually point out something where i think it's easy to exmaplain why he had a different interpretation of how this came into being. the meeting had initially been scheduled for about 45 minutes to an hour.
it was definitely in the wrap-up phase of the meeting when this occurred. we'd gone through a series of discussions. alexander danyluk who was the national security advisor of ukraine really wanted to get into the weeds of how you might reform a national security council. he was hoping and had had this opportunity to get his firsthand opinions and thoughts on what might happen. we'd also wanted to go through discussion about how important it was for ukrainian to get its energy sector reform underway. clearly secretary perry had some talking points to this. this was an issue that ambassador bolton was also interested in. we knew that the ukrainians would have on their agenda inevitably the question about a meeting. as we get through the main discussion, we're going into that wrap-up pharase mr. danylu
started to ask about a white house meeting. mr. bolton was trying to parry this back. he's not in charge of scheduling the meeting. we have input recommending the meetings. it's not ambassador bolton's role to pull out the schedule and say we're going to look and see if this tuesday and this month is going to work with us and he does not as a matter of course like to discuss the details of these meetings. he likes to leave them to the appropriate staff for this. this was already going to be an uncomfortable issue. as ambassador bolton was trying to move that part of the discussion away, deflect it onto another wrap-up topic, ambassador sondland leaned in to say well we have an agreement that there will be a meeting if specific investigations are put underway. that's when i saw ambassador bolton stiffen. i was sitting behind him in the chair and i saw him sit back slightly like this. he'd been more moving forward like i am to the table.
for me, that was an unmistakable body language and it caught my attention. then he looked up to the clock and at his watch or towards his wrist and basically said well, it's been really great to see you, i'm afraid i've got another meeting. >> did ambassador sondland say who his agreement on this white house meeting was with? >> in that particular juncture, i don't believe so. it was later that he did say more specifically. >> what did he say later? >> later he said that he had an agreement with chief of staff mulvaney in return for investigations this meeting would get scheduled. >> was he specific at that point later about the investigations that he was referring to? >> he said the investigations in burisma. >> did you have a conversation with ambassador bolton after this subsequent meeting with ambassador sondland? >> i had a discussion with ambassador bolton both after the meeting in his office, a very brief one, and then one
immediately after. >> so after both meetings when you spoke to him and relayed to him what ambassador sondland said, what did ambassador bolton say to you? >> i just want to highlight first of all that ambassador bolton wanted me to hold back in the room immediately after the meeting. again, i was sitting on the sofa with a colleague. >> in that second meeting what did he say? >> he was making a very strong point that he wanted to know exactly what was being said. when i came back and related it to him, he had some very specific instruction for me. i'm presuming -- >> what was that specific instruction? >> the specific instruction was that i had to go to the lawyers, to john eisenberg to basically say you tell eisenberg that i am not part of whatever drug deal that mulvaney and sondland are cooking up. >> what did you understand that
to mean? >> i took it to mean investigations for a meeting. >> did you go speak to the lawyers? >> i certainly did. >> you relayed everything that you just told us? >> precisely. the more details of how the meeting had unfolded as well, which i gave a full description of this in my october 14 deposition. >> fiona hill's testimony from this morning. here's how washington's two newspapers reporting it so far. "washington post," fiona hill warns of gop's fictional narrative on ukraine. washington times, fiona hill bucks democrats' prodding to link trump to putin. we are live waiting for the house intelligence committee . we've heard from fiona hill and
david holmes. 202-748-8920 for democrats. 8921 for republicans. all others, 202-748-8922. the hearing we expect to resume. to plano, texas and damond republican i used to be a republican. i just see so much going on on both sides of the aisle. it's tearing the country apart. we're forced to pick sides and make conclusions before the facts are even laid out. i really hope to see a rise of independent thought in this country and it citizens and we
get back to being americans and striving for what's best. there is a lot going on and there's a lot of spin being put out there. there's lots of people picking sides before we even have a chance to find out what's going on. it's pretty obvious that donald trump did something that a lot of people seem to think is wrong. to just sit there and deny that would be going against the truth. i also see protection from the left on people like joe biden and hunter biden and saying they can't be investigated is just wrong. i believe in the truth and i believe that we need to find out what's going onto our country by these people in these elite positions and really get to the bottom of it. also i'd like to though out there that epstein did not kill himself. >> i didn't catch your last point. >> caller: i'd like to throw out there for the american people,
don't drop the epstein case. he did not kill himself. >> all right. we'll go to our democrats line next and hear from june in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. >> caller: hi. i just want to say yeah i'm a democrat and proud of it just as proud as my father was. he fought in world war ii with 101st airborne yankee infantry division and he was also a democrat. as far as these false equivalencies that both sides are wrong and belief in due process that the republicans are claiming, there is a process that goes on after money has been authorized by congress and it's a very strict, arduous procedure and the ukraine qualified for those funds and there was no reason, no legitimate reason for donald trump to withhold them. i just want to mention that and also that if the republicans were really pursuing corruption,
they need only look about three weeks ago at the legal decision that the donald trump charitable foundation run by donald trump, donald trump jr., ivanka trump and eric trump were all found guilty. they have to pay restitution for ripping off people who were donating to charity and they ended up palming a lot of the proceeds. and that was deemed by a court in our united states of america. if they had respect for rule of law and they want to root out corruption, why not pay some attention to what's going on in reality land? i could say a lot more since i'm from new york. people from new york not only know who donald trump is, they know what he is. i'll just leave that where it lies. as far as due process goes.
>> we'll move onto bill in new mexico, republican line. good afternoon. >> caller: hi. just one minute. i dropped my phone. i think what we're seeing here now is an exercise in knowledge of partial facts. i think it's an absolute partial fact that the previous president of the ukraine poroshenko was trying to tamper with the 2016 elections. in fact, his ambassador to the united states wrote a lengthy criticism of donald trump and it was in the "washington post." then not long after that, joe biden stepped in and as these investigations for burisma were
taking place and the ukrainian investigator had raided the home of the owner of burisma, a ukrainian oligarch, joe biden stepped in and demanded that the ukrainian prosecutor be fired. now, it's just a fact. it's on youtube. you can see him. he's talking to the counsel on foreign relations. it's only a minute and 15 seconds long, the clip is. he confirms that that prosecutor was fired at his request and the reason that man was fired was because biden was holding up funds to the ukraine. i believe the title of it is joe biden brags about getting the ukrainian prosecutor fired. going forward from there, it's just a whole host of things.
the president of the united states is statutorily obligated to confirm that governments who have been deemed to be corruption prone do not use american aid funds improperly. and the president was certainly doing his due diligence in the process of all of this. yeah, there may have been a secondary thing with biden, but biden wasn't really a factor in the raes ce at that point in ti. i see so many people with so many partial facts who don't go all the way back to joe biden's demanding that this prosecutor be fired right after this prosecutor raided the homes and businesses of this ukrainian. >> bill, appreciate you pointing that out. bill mentioned that clip of vice president biden speaking in summer of 2018, could have been
2017. he talked about the clip. you can see the vice president's entire comments and the full event. we actually covered that and that's available at c-span.org. we'll hear from bobby next macon, georgia, on the others line. >> caller: how you doing? i noticed the lady said something about the democrats are investigating their political rival, which is trump. she failed to realize that the a.g. failed to get independent counsel to do the investigation so they had no choice but to investigate trump and his corruption. also, the thing about biden, i'm no fan of biden but biden was cleared on that. we're still talking about that. that's not a factor. the facts are that trump did something that he shouldn't have been doing. it's in plain sight. it's not hidden. if trump was so innocent, why won't he just prove it?
he can disclose all the information that's needed to clear his name. also what's up with his taxes? why won't he release his taxes? i believe it's going to tie him to some corrupt oligarch over in russia. thank you. >> more of your calls and comments coming up. here's where things stand. the house intelligence committee has been in break for some bit here as the house itself is taking a number of votes on what should be the last piece of legislation for the week. we will have live coverage resuming when the committee gavels back in. we'll also bring you the comments of republican leader kevin mccarthy. he's supposed to hold a briefing here in about 15 minutes or so, 12:30 eastern. while we wait for that to start we'll show you the opening statement this is morning from the committee share adam schiff and the ranking republican devin nunes. >> yesterday morning the
in early 2019, dr. hill became concerned by increasing prominence of rudy giuliani, the president's personal lawyer. her boss john on bolton was also paying attention as were other state department officials, including holmes at the u.s. embassy in kyiv. bolton knew giuliani as a hand grenade that is going to blow everybody up and powerless to prevent the former mayor from engineering former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, marie yovanovitch's firing in late april, or her recall. holmes was stunned by the intensity and consistency of media attacks on yovanovitch by name as a u.s. ambassador and the scope of the allegations that were leveled against her.
yovanovitch's dismissal as a result of giuliani's smear campaign, was one of several things that unsettled dr. hill. another was the role of gordon sondland who emerged as a key player in ukraine policy in may when he was named as part of the u.s. delegation led by secretary rick perry to president zelensky's inauguration. the lieutenant colonel alexander vindman also attended the inauguration. and as holmes recalls, during a meeting with president zelensky took the opportunity to advise the ukraine leader to stay out of u.s. domestic politics. another concern that arose for dr. hill around this time was her discovery of a potential nsc back channel on ukraine. hill learned that an nsc staff member, who did not work on ukraine and for her may have been providing ukraine-related information to president trump, that dr. hill was not made aware of. according to holmes, following
the zelensky inauguration, sondland and perry took an active and unconventional role in formulating our priorities for the new zelensky administration and personally reaching out to president zelensky and his senior team. sondland's new found assertiveness also concerned dr. hill who previously enjoyed a cordial working relationship with the ambassador. on june 18, 2019, hill had a blowup with sondland when he told her he was in charge of ukraine policy. dr. hill testified that sondland got testy with me, and i said who has put you in charge of it? he said the president. on july 10th, dr. hill was part of a meeting at the white house with a group of u.s. and ukrainian officials with bolton, sondland and secretary perry, another of the three amigos. the meeting was to give the ukrainians they were answer to set up a meeting, a first meeting between their new president and president trump
sondland interjected to inform the group that according to white house chief of staff mick mulvaney, the meeting would happen if ukraine undertook certain investigations. hearing this, bolton abruptly ended the meeting. undeterred, sondland brought the ukrainian delegation and lieutenant colonel alexander vindman downstairs to another part of the white house where they were later joined by dr. hill. in the second meeting, sondland was more explicit. ukraine needed to conduct investigations if they were to get a meeting at all. bolton directed dr. hill to report this to nsc legal adviser john eisenberg, telling her 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've heard and what i said. dr. hill did so, as did lieutenant colonel alexander vindman who separately approached the same lawyers with his concerns.
on july 18, the day before dr. hill left her post at the nsc, holmes participated in a secure inter agency video conference on ukraine. towards the end of the meeting, a representative from the office of management and budget announced that the flow of nearly $400 million in security assistance for ukraine was being held up. the order had come from the president and had been conveyed to omb by mick mulvaney without further explanation. holmes unaware of the hold prior to the call was shocked. he thought the suspension of aid was extremely significant, undermining what he had understood to be longstanding u.s. national security goals in ukraine. one week later, on july 25th, president trump spoke with president zelensky by phone. when president zelensky brought up u.s. military support and noted that ukraine would like to buy more javelin anti tank missiles from the united states, trump responded by saying, i
would like you to do us a favor, though. trump then requested that zelensky investigate the discredited conspiracy theory that ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. even more ominously, trump asked zelensky to look into the bidens. neither request had been included in the official talking points for the call prepared by the nsc staff, but both were in donald trump's personal interest and the interest of his 2020 re-election campaign. and the ukrainian president knew about both in advance in part because of efforts by ambassadors sondland and volker to make him aware of president trump's demands. the next day, july 26th, in kyiv, holmes served as a note taker between ambassador bill taylor,s volker and sondland with president zelensky and other senior ukrainian officials. zelensky said on the previous day's call, said that on the previous day's call, president
trump had, quote, three times raised some very sensitive issues that he would have to follow up on those issues when they met in person. although he did not realize it at the time, holmes came to understand that the sensitive issues were the investigations that president trump demanded on the july 25th call. following the meeting with zelensky, holmes accompanied sondland to a separate meeting with one of ukrainian president's top advisers, andriy yermak. but holmes was not allowed into the meeting and waited for 30 minutes while sondland and the ukrainian met alone without any note takers to record what they said. after the meeting, sondland, holmes, and two other state department staff went to lunch at a nearby restaurant and sat on an outdoor terrace. at some point during the meal, sondland pulled out his cell phone, placed a call to the white house and asked to be connected to the president.
when trump came on the line, holmes could hear the president's voice clearly. holmes recalled that, quote, the president's voice was very loud and recognizable and ambassador sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time, presumably because of the loud volume. sondland said he was calling from kyiv. he told the president that president zelensky loves your ass. holmes then heard president trump ask, so he's going to do the investigation? ambassador sondland replied, he's going to do it. adding that president zelensky will do anything you ask him. after the call ended, holmes took the opportunity to ask sondland for his candid impression of the president's views on ukraine. it was at this point that sondland revealed that the president trump doesn't give a expletive about ukraine. the president only cares about big stuff, that benefits the president like the biden
investigation that mr. giuliani was pushing. a month later, national security adviser bolton traveled to kiev. between meetings with ukrainian government officials, holmes heard bolton express to bill taylor his frustration about mr. giuliani's influence with the president. bolton made clear, however, there was nothing he could do about it. bolton further stated that the hold on security assistance would not be lifted prior to the upcoming meeting between president trump and zelensky in warsaw, where it would hang on whether zelensky was able to favorably impress president trump. trump canceled his trip to warsaw but sondland, volker and others continued to press for a public announcement of the opening of investigations by zelensky. on september 8, taylor told holmes that, quote, now they're insisting zelensky commit to the investigation in an interview with cnn. holmes was surprised the requirement was so specific and
concrete since it amounted to nothing less than a, quote, demand that president zelensky personally commit to a specific investigation of president trump's political rival on a cable news channel, unquote. on september 9, this committee, along with the foreign affairs and oversight committees, launched our investigation of this corrupt scheme. president trump released the hold on aid two days later. as cnn's fareed zakaria has revealed, the ukrainians canceled the cnn interview shortly thereafter. two weeks later, on september 25th, the transcript of the july 25th call was released by the white house and the details of the president's scheme starting coming into view. in the coming days, congress will determine what response is appropriate. if the president abused his power and invited foreign interference in our elections, if he is thought to condition, coerce, bribe a vulnerable ally into conducting investigations to aid his re-election campaign and did so by withholding
official acts, a white house meeting or hundreds of millions of dollars of needed military aid, it will be for us to decide whether those acts are compatible with the office of the presidency. i now recognize ranking member nunes for any remarks he would like to make. >> thank you. throughout these bizarre hearings, the democrats have struggled to make the case that president trump committed some impeachable offense on his phone call with ukrainian president zelensky. the offense itself changes on day, ranging from quid pro quo to extortion to bribery to obstruction of justice, then back to quid pro quo. it's clear why the democrats have enforced onto this carousel of accusations. president trump had good reason to be worried of ukrainian election meddling against his campaign and of widespread corruption in that country.
president zelensky, who didn't even know aid to ukraine had been paused at the time of the call, has repeatedly said there was nothing wrong with the conversation. the aid was resumed without the ukrainians taking the actions they were supposedly being coerced into doing. aid to ukraine under president trump has been much more robust than it was under president obama thanks to the provision of javelin anti-tank weapons. as numerous witnesses have testified, temporary holds on foreign aid occur fairly frequently for different -- many different reasons. so how do we have an impeachable offense here when there is no actual misdeed and no one even claiming to be a victim? the democrats have tried to solve this dilemma with a simple slogan, he got caught. president trump we are to
believe was just about to do something wrong and getting caught was the only reason he backed down from whatever nefarious thought crime the democrats are accusing him of almost committing. i once again urge americans to continue to consider the credibility of the democrats on this committee who are now hurling these charges. for the last three years. it's not president trump who got caught. it's the democrats. who got caught. they got caught falsely claiming they had more than circumstantial evidence that trump colluded with russians to hack the 2016 election. they got caught orchestrating this entire farce with the whistle-blower and lying about their secret meetings with him.
they got caught defending the false allegations of the steele dossier, which was paid for by them. they got caught breaking their promise that impeachment would only go forward with bipartisan support because of how damaging it is to the american people. they got caught running a sham impeachment process featuring secret depositions, hidden transcripts and unending flood of democrat leaks to the media. they got caught trying to obtain nude photos of president trump from russian pranksters pretending to be ukrainians. and they got caught covering up for alexander chalupa, a
committee operative who colluded with ukrainian officials to smear the trump campaign. by improper redacting her name from deposition transcripts and refusing to let americans hear her testimony as a witness in these proceedings. that is the democrats' pitiful legacy in recent years. they got caught. meanwhile, their supposed star witness testified that he was guessing that president trump was trying -- tying ukrainian aid to investigations despite no one telling him that was true. and the president himself explicitly telling him the opposite, that he wanted nothing from ukraine. ladies and gentlemen, unless the democrats once again scramble their kangaroo court rules, today's hearing marks the merciful end of this spectacle in the impeachment committee formerly known as the intelligence committee.
whether the democrats reap the political benefit they want from this impeachment remains to be seen. but the damage they have done to this country will be long lasting. with this reaching attempt to overthrow the president, they have pitted americans against one another and poisoned the mind of fanatics who actually believe the entire galaxy of bizarre accusations they have leveled against the president since the day the american people elected him. i sincerely hope the democrats end this affair as quickly as possible so the nation can begin to heal the many wounds inflicted on us. the people's faith in government and their belief that their vote counts for something has been shaken. from the russia hoax to the shoddy ukrainian sequel, the
democrats got caught. let's hope they finally learn a lesson, give their conspiracy theories a rest, and focus on governing for a change. in addition, mr. chairman, pursuant to house rule 11, clause 2j1, the republican members transmit our request to convene a minority day of hearings. to date you have blocked key witnesses that we have requested from testifying in this partisan impeachment inquiry. this rule was not displaced by h res 660 and therefore, under house you rule 11, clause 1a, it applies to the democrats' impeachment inquiry. we look forward to the chair promptly scheduling an agreed upon time for the minority day of hearings so that we can hear from key witnesses that you have continually blocked from testifying.
i would also like to take a quick moment on an assertion ms. hill made in the statement that she submitted to this committee. in which she claimed that some committee members deny that russia meddled in the 2016 election. as i noted in my opening statement on wednesday, that in march 2018, intelligence committee republicans published the results of a year-long investigation into russian meddling. the 240-page report analyzed 2016 russian meddling campaign, the u.s. government reaction to it, russian campaigns in other countries, and provided specific recommendations to improve american election security. i would ask my staff to hand these reports to the two witnesses today just so they can
have a recollection of their memory. as america may or may not know, democrats refuse to sign on to the republican report. instead, they decided to adopt minority views filled with collusion, conspiracy theories. needless to say, it is entirely possible for two separate nations to engage in election meddling at the same time and republicans believe we should take meddling seriously by all foreign countries regardless of which campaign is the target. i'd like to submit for the record a copy of our report titled "report on russian active measures." i yield back. the opening statements this morning from the house intelligence committee ranking
member devin nunes, before that adam schiff, the intelligence committee chair. the committee's been in a break for a series of votes wrapping up now on the house floor as they're voting on final passage on a measure aimed at curbing health care violence for health care workers and social service workers. the committee should gavel back in shortly. the senate is passing or voting on the final passage of this short-term funding measure funding the federal government through december 20th. follow that over on c-span 2. here we'll continue to bring you live coverage in the impeachment hearing when it gets underway and right now continue with your phone calls and comments. we go to joe in indian orchard, massachusetts, democrats line. >> caller: yes.
i just wish people would ask themselves this question regarding incidents that have happened with president trump. how does russia always seem to benefit from almost everything we does in our foreign policy? even with deserting the kurds, russia moved in. you know, ukraine, i got the impression that if the aid wasn't given and if ukraine was kind of left alone and still left on its own and russia moved in, i'm not sure what we would do. so the question i would like everybody to ask themselves is why does russia continually benefit from the actions, words and deeds of this president? thank you.
>> we'll go to kissimmee, florida. bev on the republican line. go ahead. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i'm going to make this short as well. i would just like to remind my fellow american citizens that president trump andly call him president trump because he has been a good president from what i can see, and the office of the presidency deserves that type of respect. but president trump ran on the agenda of getting rid of corruption in our country. it is his duty as an american president not to just flagrantly give away our taxpayer dollars and financial aid to countries that have already proven to be corrupt. so i believe that he is trying to root out corruption whether we know it to be currently.
now, granted president zelensky is a new president and he also ran on the same agenda of rooting out corruption. so i don't think that he was actually trying to get something on joe biden. joe biden already gave us that information himself on live air. i'm sure everyone in the country has seen his video of how if they didn't fire the prosecutor, they weren't getting the money. so i don't really think that that was president trump's spot at the time. i think he just truly wanted to make sure that we were not giving away our taxpayer dollars to a country that was going to continue to supinterfere in our foreign policies. >> president trump is in washington today at the white house as meetings today with
senators mitt romney and susan collins. the first lady will also be hosting the awards, the recipients of the national medals of the arts and humanities later this afternoon at the white house. let's hear from chandler, arizona, on the others line. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. i've been watching the inquiry all week. republicans from what i can see are trying to appeal to things they don't really care about. one main thing they keep saying is the whistleblower need to testify and that the democrats are holding up the testimony of the whistleblower. but if they actually cared about testimony, then they should be clamoring for mulvaney, rick perry, poll on tbolton and trum testify.
the other line of attack they're using is that trump was setting foreign policy, that he was doing this because he cares about corruption. testimony yesterday told us that trump only wanted the investigations announced. he actually didn't want anything else to be done. it's ridiculous that you can reasonably assume that trump had deep concern for corruption and that's why he did this. [ inaudible ] >> onto nicholas next in brooklyn on the democrats line. nicholas, you there? you're watching members of the committee return back into the
meeting room life here on c-span 3. the hearings should resume shortly. you'll continue to hear from fiona hill, former national security official on russia and ukraine, and also from david holmes, the political counselor for the u.s. at the embassy in ukraine. we go to nicholas in brooklyn, democrats line. >> caller: hello. just one thing i'd like to point out is that the lack of evidence -- right now we're all dealing with evidence and the reason why is because of president trump. president trump is not allowing evidence to come to congress. that alone is an impeachable offense. it's obstruction of justice. there's no other case where someone can be guilty -- or even investigated for a crime and say, oh, i have all this
evidence that exonerates me, but you guys can't look at it. there's no other person in this entire country that has the power to do something like that. the republicans are making zero effort to get any of that evidence. if they want to know the truth, but they don't want the evidence. why is that? i'd also just like to say that, you know, trump keeps repeating this line about i want nothing, i want nothing, but that is directly at odds with him saying do me a favor, though. so if we want to know the intentions of the president, he should have people like mulvaney, bolton, all these people need to come forward, but trump himself is blocking this. we see cases where we do get to see evidence, trump becomes an unindicted coconspirator to a campaign finance violation. so we know that trump has
criminal conduct. same thing with his charity that he just pleaded guilty from. >> we see adam schiff entering the room. the hearing will get back underway. we'll see if we can get one more call. monte, are you there? >> caller: i am. howdy there. >> go ahead. you're on the air. >> caller: howdy. i just want to apologize for all the morons on the calls earlier, especially from alabama and all that. secondly i just want to say impeach the [ bleep ]. have a great day. >> thanks monte in florida. that's it for phone calls. the committee will be gaveling back in shortly, we expect. you're watching live here on c-span 3 and c-span radio.
chair now recognizes the ranking member or their counsel for the first round of their 45-minute questions. >> i thank the gentleman. i want to get a few basic facts on the table of individuals that were involved in the 2016 election just to see who you know and who you have met with. so i will start with you, mr. holmes. have you met with or do you know alexandra chalupa? could you turn your microphone on. >> no. >> do you know nellie ohr? have you met with nellie ohr? >> no. >> bruce ohr? >> no. >> glenn simpson? >> no. >> thank you. same question for you, dr. hill. do you know or have you met with
alexandra chalupa? >> no. >> nellie ohr? >> no. >> bruce ohr? >> only in the course of my previous position as a national officer that he presided over the meetings i attended. >> a long time ago? >> yes. >> glenn simpson? >> no. >> dr. hill, in your testimony you said that in your deposition, excuse me, that christopher steele was your counterpart at one time. is this correct. >> that is correct, yes. >> you testified that you met with christopher steele in 2016, and i assume that is still correct? >> that is correct, yes. >> and the only thing that we didn't get on that is that do you know about when that was in 2016 and how many times? >> i am afraid i don't. i actually had met with him, and he asked me in the deposition when the most recent time i had met with him in 2016, and he
retired from the british intelligence services in 2009. >> i am asking about around 2016? >> i don't recall 2016, but i do remember that i met with him before. >> you don't remember the date? >> i am afraid i don't, no. >> and so you stated in the deposition that the colleague had showed you the steele dossier before it was publish and who is that colleague? >> it is one of my colleagues at the brookings institution. >> who was na? >> the brookings institution president burt talbot who had been sent a copy of this. >> and he showed it to you? >> yes, it is a day before it was published in buzzfeed. >> you mentioned in the deposition that you also thought that it was -- and let me get the exact quote that the dossier was a rabbit hole. is that your testimony still? >> that is correct. >> do you know who
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