tv Articles of Impeachment House Hearings Day 2 House Judiciary Debates... CSPAN December 12, 2019 1:03pm-3:04pm EST
impeachment that have nothing to do with the evidence. is painful, because the democrats are trying to say that they have sort of what we have seen this morning making it up way beyond the scope of ukraine no different things they make up. so today is a confirmation of what we have been saying all along and they do not have a case. and when they have, they have had talking points to make up what they want to make up. next. anybody else want to say something? >> yes. >> okay. go ahead, deb. >> this is continuing to be a total travesty. i mean, there is no proof of any crime, not one single one of their democratic fact witnesses was able to establish bribery, tre treason or any high crime or misdemeanor and they have nothing and yet they continue down this line. and it is really a shame.
>> the gaets' amendment says that president sought to have you publicly announce the investigation es s into the bid and is it your position that the president did not ask for the investigation into bidens? >> no, the position is what is in the transcript which is undoubtedly very difficult for the democrats to read, but it is hunter biden's corruption, and this is the issue that the president has felt all along that the corruption in the ukraine is a problem, and so -- >> in the call he is asking for -- >> well, it is going back, and it did not say to -- >> it is. >> i did not dispute you there. i said, yes. okay. >> why remove -- >> nancy. >> so, it is still your contention that he did not bring up corruption in ooet of the calls that corruption is what he was focused on and not joe biden? >> it has been and nothing to change there, because it is the facts. even in the misquoted transcript
which we keep doing all of the time, because they have to make it salacious to believe it is a personal favor and he said us and the country, because remember the context, it is the day after the mueller report, and the day after everything had happened up here and the country was torn apart and no work with the collusion that was gone, and the whole issue of corruption, and we are still dealing with it. and again, another thing brought up, and this is not the only time. in early 2017, and 2018, we had other stuff brought up, and these are things that are not brought up, because they don't have anything else to go on. and how many times have you reported on the fact of quid pro quo or extortion or bribery and they did the focus groups and now we don't have those charges in the articles of impeachment, and that is a travesty. >> what have you thought about joe biden? >> i think that the phone call is fine. it is a conversation taken at a point in time that the president is expressing concerns as we move forward. this afternoon rg y, you will se same thing, and this is my last
statement before we go to votes. they tried the best to make the articles look good and as we started to poke holes in the story, you saw them step back and a couple will come forward saying this is what we tried to say, but this is all over the map, and this is why the american people need to look at the articles for what they are, a partisan impeachment. >> and basically, with hunter biden, does need to be called as a witness in the senate? >> i am anxious to see what the senate does at all with this, and believe me, and make no bones about this, this is what the democrats have been intending to do since january and they had to find the right opportunity, and if the senate wants to call those votes, it is up to the senate. >> how many more amendments do you have? >> a good many. >> a good many. and we are going back to your calls 202 is the area
748-8941 and 8942 for independents for 8922. up next on the independent line is marvin in brooklyn. hi, marvin. >> caller: hi there. yeah, i don't get what is so difficult to grasp, because if the president was so concerned about corruption, he had an apparatus of the state department and the department of defense and if he is setting up the back channels and setting up a lawyer or the private citizen, that is screaming corruption. so i don't see what is difficult to grasp about that. if i, you know, it is boggles the mind that we are going to go to the mat defending him on things like process and the abuse of power and not being a crime, and might, and i would remind the american people that nixon was to be impeached on abuse of power and obstruction
of justice and those are the very thing that the republicans are not saying are crimes, but they have not been established to be gross violations of the office. so -- >> nizra on the independent line in baton rouge. >> caller: oh, hi. can you hear me? >> please. go ahead. >> caller: can you hear me? >> we are listening. >> caller: oh, okay. thank you. okay. when president clinton got impeached, i became an independent, because i wanted to remain in a state to give whoever was the best the benefit of the doubt. so, i was really undecided when these two candidates ran against
each other, trump and hillary. i was -- >> okay. nizra, give us the bullet point assessment of this morning. >> caller: okay. my bullet point is that i think that the republicans are in denial. i think that they are like an ostrich with the head stuck in the hand and the body is exposed to the truth. >> thank you, ma'am. sharon is a democrat and gastonia, north carolina, and you are on c-span. >> caller: hey. how are you doing? i wanted to say that i watch this all of the time and everybody knows me, that i don't do anything but to watch the news and all of the channels and they bug me out. but anyway, this hearing is the republicans that they are playing the country like, you know, they are lying in front of people, and they are taking everything out of context, and if you can't defend anything, well, that is law 101 and bang on the table and scream, scream,
scream, and they have yet to find anything that they can fight with, and hunter biden, i thought that 45 was supposed to be the president for everybody. they don't talk about his daughter, and all of her trademarks she got from china or jared and saudi and his businesses. so i just think that everybody needs to stop, and they need to get it together or resign. as an army vet, i will tell you now that i hate to tell people that i served my country. >> and now, percy in memphis. on the republican line. >> caller: hello. >> how are you? >> caller: well, it is simple and it seems like a double standard. when you have got the specific wording in one case and then
they say, well, look, the president didn't say that it was a demand, but you can read into it, but then you are looking into the mentality of what the president was doing. and as the individual that is his job to essentially take care of the foreign policies, what was going on with hunter and burisma and even argumentatively that something was not officially wrong that it looked shay dirdy and it is his job to least look into things that are shady. and he did not say right off of the bat that they have done this thing. it seemed that he was trying to find out if something had happened and as soon as it was mentioned that they jumped on the president whether he is going to be re-elected or joe biden is biggest competitor.
my eyes joe biden is pretty much put himself out at this point. >> and this is kind of playing into what the president tweeted out a little bit earlier today with regard to the morning hearing. dems for veronica and escobar purposely misled my call. i said i want to do us a favor, our country and not me, and they know that and decided to lie in order to make a fraudulent point. very sad. up next is even in glast totong connecticut on the independent line. >> caller: i have called, because i have walked away from the democratic party years ago. i thought that when i voted for trump, i was literally giving the finger for the democrat and republican establishment and i see that he has reformed the republican party and the mindset of the country. a right now, you can see why these democrats are in panic
mode. you can see why they are just making things up for the last three years that they have been putting this country through all kinds of propaganda and all types of lies and just harassment to the president. he has been doing a great job. when i am looking at the hearings and even today's hearing, they have nothing but hearsay, and they keep saying that they have evidence, be all of the evidence is on the presumption and hearsay. it just seems that they are way too far and losing their house and their power over the country. >> democrats currently have 233 members in the house, and the republicans have 197. 218 makes up a majority. david in watumka, alaska, or is that alabama? i am sorry about that. david a david, are you on? >> caller: yes. i am from central alabama.
i'm a martha robey fan, but i'd like to know how much money has been spent by the democrats for this witch hunt for trump. no, he doesn't speak like a polished politician. because he is not a politician. he is a businessman of sorts, but at the same time he has made more changes and helped the united states more than any president since 1934 as far as i'm concerned. and i wish that the democrats would quit with their witch hunt. i wish they would quit wasting the taxpayers' money, and i wish that we could move on the something like veterans issues which i support here in central alabama. i am tired of veterans being treated like second-class citizens. >> that is david in alabama and this is john in san francisco on the independent line. john, you are on c-span. >> caller: yes. you know, i used to be a
democrat and i have moved to the independent, and i can't associate with either party. it has come down to a bloods and the crips type of situation where you have two rival gangs, and the country is not being served by our present system. i think that we need to look outside of the box. and ukraine, it was actually a violent coup de tat that occurred there in 2014, and we made a regime change in the ukraine, and neither party wants to recognize it, and they call it the revolution of dignity, but i would ask the folks at home to look up the azov brigade. it is a neo-nazi prototype group that we are giving our money to, and our tax dollars are going them, and if people knew about that, i'd imagine they would have a different perspective on this. >> john in san francisco. susan fericcio tweeted out that
impeachment articles mark-up in the judiciary committee might take a while this afternoon, and onward. republican ranking member doug collins just said that the gop has a good many amendments, and republicans plan to introduce today. now, let's hear from dan in kalamazoo, michigan, on the democrats line. dan, good afternoon. >> caller: well, hi. i'm sitting here watching the mark-ups, and it is sort of amazing watching the republicans try to keep shifting the goalposts at every possible opportunity, and especially when, you know, the articles of impeachment that are actually introduced by the democrats were really narrow in scope. we have not even talked about donald trump's taxes or any sort of the emoluments issues that the man has, and i only hope that stuff comes to light as we continue to progress. >> how would that be related,
dan, to the two articles of impeachment? abuse of power and obstruction of congress that have been discussed? >> caller: for one hand, the abuse of power, and that is clearly happening with his continued access as far as people in trump tower and the use of trump tower is basically sort of a lobby for foreign lobbyists who do want to actually gain influence with donald trump, because obviously, money is the only language that the man speaks, and as far as abuse of power, well, i mean, that is a obvious corollary from the whole emoluments thing, because any president up to this point has not done that sort of thing. >> phillips in middletown, new york, and so, philip, what is
your comment on this morning's hearing? >> caller: yes. my comment is that i feel that our streets should be flooded with indignation. in afghanistan and tortures and saudi arabia and the 9/11 involvement, and 2008 financial crisis, yemen, 13,435 lives by this president, and the involvement in the bribery that he has been getting impeached for. i mean, impeachments are overdue and underused and sign of poor judgment in electing presidents and representatives. that is my view. >> thank you for calling in. mark in philadelphia calling in for the democrats. >> caller: how you doing? i feel like the republicans look
like a clown up there trying to justify what donald trump is doing. and as far as experience go, donald trump never held any office. he was not elected for anything, and so he has no experience and another thing, nobody likes a bully, and when you are a bully, you always get what you deserve and so the president is getting what he deserves and that is it. i feel like the republicans should just, i mean, look at it for what it is, and suck it up, and get somebody new. >> republican whip in house steve scalise tweeted out earlier that, or this is tweeted out about steve scalise, that he is whipping a no vote on the articles of impeachment against president trump and his office informed the gop lawmakers last night that the whip team is going to be speaking with them today. speaker pelosi also talked about the whipping and voting process. >> what is your message to the moderate democrats who are
undecided and concerned that a vote forward for impeachment could backfire on them politically. >> we are not going whip this legislation and nor would we. the people have to come to their own conclusion ashs and they have seen the facts as presented by the intelligence committee and they have taken an oath to protect the constitution, but they can see the constitutional experts speak about it, they will make their own decisions about it, and i won't say anything to them. >> and so the president is calling this impeachment light, because there are only two articles and there is no crimes in here. >> the president is wrong. you know, what can i say? we have put forth our articles of impeachment, and i'm very proud of all of the committees and six committees have been working on this for a very long time. this is nothing swift about it. but it is urgent. and so we will be bringing the
articles, and the committee will work on it today as you know, and i don't know if it is this morning or this afternoon and that depends upon the pace of the committee and then next week we will take up something else. >> and so, you have accused him of bribery and why did you decide not to make bribery one of the articles? >> i, myself, i am not a lawyer, and sometimes i act as one, but not as often as i am a doctor, because i practice medicine on the side without benefit of the diploma, too, and this is a decision that is recommended by our working together with our committee chairs and the attorneys and the rest. so the articles are what they are. they are very powerful. they are very strong. they are a continuation of the pattern of misbehavior on the part of the president. people are realizing and seeing what that was. they think that the public thinks that they should be determining who the president of
the united states is and not some foreign power. they think that nobody is above the law, and we think that as they that the president should be held accountable for abuse of power, obstruction of congress, and this is the form that we will take. it is no use of having a discussion here. this is a discussion that we will take to the floor of the senate. >> and while we are in this break, and the house judiciary committee, we want to hear your voices, and a reminder 202-748-9020 for democrats and then 9021 for republicans and 9022 for independents. robert, what is your opinion of this process? have. >> caller: well, either side, and it is undoubted that fairness is not an option here.
it is very partisan. i think that is concerning for a lot of people whether the republicans or the democrats, because it really hurts the democrats' goal in the end if they get there in an unfair way, and it makes them look bad. i would say that there is a lot of presumptions that go into all of this for the democrats and there is facts that are on the republican side, and there is just multiple things that are not sitting right with a lot of people, and i know that i have watched. just like yesterday, they had the one individual questioning and was a witness at the same time. and another thing that did not sit right with me in the committee, and adam schiff's committee is you have swalwell
sitting on the board and inquiry now to impeach him. so they are doing what they are accusing trump of doing. >> all right. rob, we want to leave it there and hear from isaac from acadia, california, and on the independent line. go ahead. >> caller: first, i am thinking that the republicans are unwilling to think that trump did anything wrong and on the other side the democrats are st wanting to kans ing ting to con did something wrong, because then it would be that trump was after corruption, but it is the idea that he wanted a public statement by the president that makes it not just about corruption, because if he wanted the corruption investigated it could have been routed out and done and more covertly and
disclosed, but he wanted the announcement because he wanted to smear biden's name, and so while we are watching this trial, the republicans are taking every chance to smear biden's name. and so during this whole time, we are seeing the republicans get exactly what they wanted from extorting the or if we call it extortion and we don't know yet, but on the other hand, the democrats while impeaching him are getting what they want in that they are kind of smear's trump's name, and so they are all doing the smears on each other. >> isaac, it seems that you have been following this process closely. >> caller: very. very. i have been watching all of these proceedings, and it is absolutely and i wish that more often the republicans would ask the people that they don't agree with what they think, and the democrats would ask the people they don't agree with what they think when we had the scholars, there because if they wanted to learn something they would have asked the questions that would
challenge the world view, but they are asking that confirm the world view, because this is simply about smearing the next candidate in the next election. >> that is isaac in acadia, california and now we have kelly on the democratic line. >> caller: hello. >> we are listening. >> caller: if the republicans would like to defend themselves, they should allow the testimony, and come in and testify. >> who you mean by the republicans? >> caller: the republicans meaning trump's people, pompeo, all of the people that are refusing to come in, they should come in. if they want to get their point across, and if they want to say their peace, they should come in and testify. >> that is kelly in rockland, california. up next is cleo up in st. paul, minnesota, the republican line. cleo. >> caller: hello. thank you for taking my call. >> uh-huh. >> caller: so, i was raised in
congressman no maman nunes' dis i think that he has done a horrible job of giving the facts for the republicans and i don't understand why he is trying to put up the charade of the process when president trump refused his rights to get into the hearing to begin with. i think that this whole process is kind of a sham on the side of the republicans. the democrats are putting forth good arguments to make me want to change parties even. >> that is cleo in st. paul, minnesota. there is no set time on this, but it is looking like the committee may be back in session at about 2:00 p.m. eastern time, and that, again, there is no confirmation on, that and that is just what it looks like and again, we will bring that to you live and be here all afternoon and evening if necessary. taking your calls and getting your reactions, unfiltered, unscreened. in the meantime though, we wanted to show you part of this
morning's session in the house judiciary committee. >> chairman, what purpose is mr. swalwell is seeking recognition? >> no crimes here? that is the defense that my colleagues across the aisle are putting forward. how about the highest crime that one who holds public office could commit, a crime against our constitution. afterall, the constitution is the highest, most supreme law of the land. every other law statutory laws included derive from the constitution, not the other way around. the president committed the highest crime against the constitution by abusing his office. cheating in an election. inviting foreign interference for a purely personal gain,
while jeopardizing our national security and the integrity of our elections. now, the constitution does not require president trump have committed statutory crimes. after all, we in congress are not criminal prosecutors. we do not prosecute crimes. we protect the constitution, but since my colleagues keep bringing up what potential crimes a criminal prosecutor could charge the president with, let's go through some of them, because president trump's conduct overlaps with criminal acts. let's start with criminal bribery, 18-u.s. code-201-b-2-a. and relevant here, criminal bribery occurs when a public official demands or seeks anything of value personally in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act. additionally the public official must carry out the acts corruptly.
demands or seeks. president trump demand and sought the announcement and conduct of politically motivated investigations by president zelensky. anything of value personally. for the purposes of the anti-bribery law, the phrase anything of value has been interrupted by the courts broadly to carry tout abuse of public office. in return for being influenced, the third requirement as the intel committee report demonstrated president trump sought an announcement of the investigation in performance of two official acts. first, he conditioned the release of vital military assistance of president zelensky's assistance and second conditioned a head of state meeting on this performance. and the performance of the official act. and the courts have defined official act as a matter, suit, or course of proceeding brought before a public official.
and both of the holding the aid and the meeting meet this. and the behavior is corrupt. and president trump behaved corruptly, because he used the official office to seek a private benefit. a second crime on the services fraud. 18 us code section 1346, president trump willfully and knowingly orchestrated a scheme of fraud as the president of the united states. this is included in bribery as well as wire communication -- >> would the chairman yield for a question? >> i will not yield. obviously that phone call is a constituting a communication. and so there you have it. two statutory crime, and there you have it, the crimes of statutory crimes are moot, because the president of the united states refuses to allow
his own department of justice to indict him. so the president may be charged with crimes statutorily one day, but that is not what we are doing here on this day. and we are not restricted like the department of justice is. so we will uphold the duty to charge the president with the crimes against the constitution that he has committed. using your taxpayer dollars. jeopardizing the integrity of your vote for a purely political purpose. in a purely personal gain. and mr. chairman, with that, i yield back, and i yield to the gentle lady of california. >> i appreciate the recitation of the facts as former prosecutor and you speak with tremendous authority and i would like to note that the argument that somehow lying about a sexual affair is an abuse of presidential power, but the misuse of presidential power to
get a benefit somehow does not matter. if it is lying about sex, we could put stormy daniels' case ahead of us. and we don't believe it is a high crime and misdemee -- misdemeanor. >> would the gentle lady yield? >> no, i will not. >> and the time has expire and what does mr. gohmert wish to be recognized? >> do i have time? >> will the gentleman yield briefly. >> he yields. >> the important thing is that bill clinton lied to a grand jury. that is a crime. the article of impeachment to pass the house accused bill clinton of lying to a grand jury. a crime and something that obstructs the ability of the courts to get to the truth. this is not what is happening
here. big difference. >> thank you. >> i am reclaiming my time. >> and the gentleman reclaims the time. >> it is interesting though. we are here because of fraud. not by the president, but from within the department of justice. and i realize that the people on the other side of the aisle have been so busy trying to find some charge or criminal charge to bring up against the president, none of which worked, that they may not have been aware of the most recent horowitz report, but it is clear now, and it is clear now that the whole investigation that has brought us here with crime after crime alleged and then having to be dropped was a fraudulent effort before the fisa court to have a surveillance warrant done against carter page. they lied initially and said that he was a russian agent when
actually he had been used by the cia as a spy against russia, and so they lied, and it was fraudulent, and they will have hopefully people answering for crimes and the fraud in the department of justice in the days to come, and it sounds like that should be the case, and it is fraud all of the way through. for three years we had been hearing about the crimes of the candidate trump and then the crimes of president trump, and we come today now based on the initial fraud that got this whole impeachment stuff started. no one on the other side is willing to acknowledge the fraud that brought us here, for the fa fact that so many people have been screaming here about the president's crimes and now we are hearing today like we just did, oh, yes, there were crimes. then why aren't they in this
impeachment document? because they don't exist. they have been disproven over and over and over again, and that is why the gentleman's amendment is so well taken. you don't want to go down this ground. i thought that it was a bad idea when it was proposed before and high crimes and misdemeanor and even treason, but crimes and misdemeanors are crimes. so we have had to drop the fraud, and people saying in here and the public, gee, we will get the president, because he colluded with russia and how terrible is that? well, it has been disproved and dropped. so now we are left with bribery and extortion and now we are even those had to be dropped, because there were no crimes. and i appreciate the gentleman bringing up crime, but those are not alleged here. so let me just say, this is a day that will live in infamy for
the judiciary committee. the days of exemplary chairs like daniel webster when he stood for principle, and those are going to be gone, because this became a tool of the majority to try to defeat and use taxpayer funds to defeat a president. and by the way, the ken starr report, 36 boxes, he came in and testified. we were kept out of hearing the witnesses. there were in the watergate, these witnesses testified on television. it was public. it was not a star chamber like the schiff chamber became, and i would like to yield back to the remainder of my time to mr. jordan. >> i would like to say, when did it happen? when did it happen? if it all happened, why isn't it in the resolution. the democrats say some scheme by the president zelensky with the
president to get the aid released. when did the announcement happen? they got the call on july 25th. they got to meeting on september 25th, and they got the money on september 11th, and never an announcement from the ukrainians to do an investigation, so you keep saying all of the stuff and the points that this happened and happened and it did not happen. it is not the facts. it is not the fact, and we know why the aid was ultimately released, because we learned that this guy, the new president was actually the transformer, and the real deal was actually going to deal with the corruption issue in his country. that is what happened. you can make up all you want, but those are not the facts. >> the gentleman's time has expired. and for what purpose does mr. jeffries seek recognition? >> strike the last word. >> let's go through the facts. we are here today, because the president abused his power. we are here because he solicited interference in the 2020
election, and he had solicited foreign interference with russia, and china on the white house lawn and now with ukraine. he is a serial solicitor. and going through the facts. congress allocated $391 million aid of military aid on a bipartisan basis to ukraine currently at war with syrian-backed separatists in the east. and russia is a foe, and
sent by the trump administration saying that, okay, the aid is on the way. but it never arrived. in april, he had a phone call, the president with zelensky, and the word corruption was not mentioned once. and then in may, the department of defense wrote to this congress and said that all necessary preconditions for the receipt of the aid have been met by the new ukrainian government including the implementation of anti-corruption protocols. we have that letter. it was sent to you, and it was sent to us. then in july, on the 18th, at an office of management and budget
meeting, the aid was officially frozen at the direction of the president. twice during the summer mitch mcconnell the senate republican majority leader publicly stated that he called the trump administration, what happened to the aid. mitch mcconnell couldn't get a good answer, because there was no good answer. then on july 25th, there's another call between president trump and president zelensky, and the word corruption is not mentioned once, and here is what was said. zelensky talks about defense, and the immediate response is to do us a favor though. and president trump says, i need to you you to look into some thing, and not procurement of the defense arms, but related to a wild
conspiracy theory connected to the 2016 campaign, and also says that i want you to look into joe biden. and then what is interesting. since you think it was a perfect call. he mentions rudolph giuliani and looking at the transcript right now, not once, twice but three times and why on the official call would the president mention rudy giuliani, because he is not the ambassador or the secretary of the state or a member of the diplomatic corps, but he is president trump's political enforcer, and then what happens? you say that you want to talk about the facts. in august, giuliani travels to madrid and meets with the ukrainian government as a follow-up to trump saying to ukraine, go meet with giuliani and then a statement is drafted about the phony investigation, and sent to the ukrainians. but what happens? in august, a whistle-blower
complaint is filed. then on september 9th, the whistle-blower complaint is made public to congress. two days later, on september 11th all of the sudden the aid is released. why was the aid released? because the president was caught red handed trying to pressure a foreign government trying to target an american citizen. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back, and for what purpose does mr. gaetz seek recognition? >> strike the last word. and so there were details of why the aid was released and there was the administration told that ukraine was the most corrupt country in the world, and they had failed sufficient reforms. and so with the vice president who had sent a delegation to
seek aid. and so i have heard mr. swalwell list out the crimes, and i am at home i am saying, where are they in the impeachment? that is a democrat drive-by that you are not alleging or have evidence of. if there is a microcosm of the way to consume this day, it is that they are naming crimes and debate that they don't have in the impeachment resolution, because they can't prove them, because there are no underlying fact, and then i hear my friend from new york, mr. jeffries bring up russia, the residue of the theories past and failed. how debating about how are we even here, and debating about the military aid and javelins that president trump delivered that president obama withheld. i hear them, crying the alligator tears and clutching the pearls over the notion, that, oh, well, trump didn't give this aid and we have to go impeach him for it. and where is this concern about
how to make the ukraine great when obama was the president? you want the substancetive defense and they have never dreamed and i think that mr. jordan dreams about them in his sleep. both president trump and president zelensky says no pressure. we saw the call transcript, and no conditionalconditionality, a awareness from ukraine that the aid was being held. and so, now, everything that you can hear today can be categorized into three areas. first, people presumed and had no direct evidence of, and kind of the water cooler theory of the case. and the second, it is hearsay. somebody told somebody told somebody else that created some concern about the president's conduct or it is reflective of a sincere policy disagreement of how to make ukraine great again. i heard the folks coming by the diplomatic corps, and they sure seemed to believe that we should
do everything for the ukraine, but if the president disagrees with that, it is not impeachable conduct. they are alleging a shakedown, but most of the americans know that you cannot have a shakedown if the personal led allegedly b shook down doesn't know it. president zelensky saying that i did not feel any pressure and talk about bad timing. we have a "time" article out on the 10th of december a few days ago because their theory is that even if zelensky didn't know that there was pressure there was this guy yermak and he knew from gordon sondland that there was pressure, and on the same day of the articles of impeachment, yermak says that i quote, gordon and i were never alone together and we bumped into each other on the escalator and i remember everything. it is fine with my memory. we talked about how well the meeting went, and that is all we
talked about. here they are with no crime, no vict victim, no knowledge of any shakedow shakedown, and yet, they proceed. to accept the democrats' theory of the case, you have to believe that the ukrainians are lying to us. you have to believe when they say no conditionality or anything wrong, they are so weak and dependent on the united states that we can't believe a word they say. well, again, where were you during the obama administration when this weak ally didn't get javelins that were then withheld? i support the jordan amendment, because this article i, the abuse of power they allege in the impeachment theory is a total joke. they have to abuse of power, because they have no evidence of obstruction. they have to say abuse of power, because there is no evidence of bribery or treason and all of the crimes that the gentleman from california named cannot be
supported of the evidence. so this is the rorschach inkblot of impeachment so everybody can see what they want to see. the notion of the abusef power is the lowest of low energy impeachment theories. heck, i don't know any political party that doesn't think that when the other side is in the white house they abuse power and do too much. i have a lot of constituents who think that barack obama abused the power, but we didn't do this to the country and put them through the nonsense and this impeachment, and you set the standard and we did not. you said it had to be bipartisan and compelling and overwhelming and it ain't that, and this is looking bad. >> and so gentleman yields back. and for what purposes are you looking for recognition. move to strike the last word? >> yes. in response to my colleague from florida, you cannot argue things both ways. you cannot say that the
president was so concerned about ukraine that he released aid. which is true, he released aid in 2017, and he released aid in 2018, and then suddenly, he became concerned in 2019 right after vice president biden announced he was going to run. so if your argument is that he is so concerned about ukraine that he released aid in 2017 and 2018 and then why in 2019 after the department of defense cleared ukraine on the charges of corruption, and why then did he decide that he was so concerned about corruption that he was not going to release aid? that makes -- >> because he is -- are you yielding? >> i am not yielding. i am not yielding. >> the lady has the time. >> they got a new president and that is why. >> and the lady has time, and the people will not interrupt. this is not proper here. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
>> and they have a new president who is known to be an anti-corruption fighter and so that argument has no weight whatsoever. >> ayes. >> concerned about corruption at that particular moment, you have to look at the whole record of u.s. policy and our agreement that the department of defense would look under certain conditions before they release military aid to determine whether or not a country had satisfied those requirements around corruption and the department of defense released that report. nowhere between the time that donald trump withheld aid and the time that he released that aid was there an additional assessment required or done. in fact, the department of defense decided they didn't need to do another assessment because they had already done the assessment. so at the end of the day i have only two questions for my colleagues on the other side. and these are the two questions,
forget about president trump. forget about president trump. will any one of my colleagues on the other side say that it is an abuse of power to condition aid, to condition aid on official acts? forget about president trump. forget about president trump. is any one of my colleagues willing to say that it is ever okay for a president of the united states of america to invite foreign interference in our elections. not a single one of you has said that so far. i yield to my colleague for texas. >> will the gentle lady yield so we can answer the questions. >> i want to break this down -- >> the gentle lady has the time -- >> and she asked us a question.
>> the members know it is out of order to interrupt members who have the time. the gentle -- >> unless i ask -- >> the gentle lady has yielded to whom? >> she asked us a question. >> the gentle lady yielded to whom? ms. escobar has the time. >> thank you, chairman. >> and that was a little of this morning's hearing on the articles of impeachment. we want to hear your voices unfiltered and unscreened. the committee has not come back from voting and from potential lunch break and when they do, of course, we will be live with them. in the meantime we want to get your reaction to this morning's process and to this entire process over the last couple of weeks. steven in ft. worth, texas, democrat, you are on. hi?
>> caller: yes, how are you doing? i have a lot of opinions. i just think there's a lot of squabbling between the two. i don't think that anyone's really -- i don't think the republicans -- i hate to say that way. i don't think they're really going for anything about the law to that state. i think they're really just going towards their party and trying to defend their party. maybe because they don't want to give the democrats more power. i don't know. i don't know what the situation is. but it's like they keep deflecting to different subjects outside of what this impeachment is about. and that's my only concern. so the people in america, the citizens are really concerned about what the big deal is on -- if it's about the law or is it about your parties at the end of the day? and i think that's my opinion. >> steven, do you think that deflection, as you call it, has been effective? >> honestly, i don't think it
has. at least not for the republicans. i do think it's been effective for the democrats. i think that's how there's been so much talk about it in the news and i think that's how so many people are gone from being in support of trump to being in support of what the democrats are doing. >> thank you, sir. curtis is calling in from utah on our republican line and, curtis, we're willing to you. >> thanks for taking my call. hey, i've been watching this today and for the last three years and i've heard over and over again that contempt of congress is nowhere close to high crimes and misdemeanors unless they go to court and win. and where they didn't want to waste time and go to court, that's their fault. that contempt of congress needs to go away. and what's wrong with the president saying, you know, look
into, you know, biden's deal? he never said anything about being part of the 2020 election that he's trying to hurt him or anything like that. he's trying to find out for the united states, president trump is. all this is back and forth. it's just back and forth. you know, the democrats, if they say it enough times, the american public are going to think it. >> just to clarify, you said contempt of congress, the actual article of impeachment is entitled obstruction of congress. victoria is next from broken arrow, oklahoma -- i'm sorry. broken arrow, colorado. >> broken arrow, oklahoma. >> that's what i thought.
go ahead. >> caller: i just want to make the point, i'm a registered republican but i'm not with them. their platform agrees with my opinions on so many things, the democrats don't. but i would like to say to everybody, stop and think what this is really about and it's about power. we're so corrupt in this country now, i don't know how we're going to turn things around. but bottom line on this thing happening right now is you don't have exact evidence. they did do this the wrong way. they don't want to admit it. i don't want to be a part of the person. there's evil on both sides and until we get back to god i don't know what's going to happen in this country. we've refused to do things god's way and our founding fathers understood that. benjamin franklin when he said you have a republic if you can keep it, they don't teach this in schools anymore. i'm 69 years old and i've never
seen anything like this in my life. but benjamin franklin said if we think we can run this country without god, we depend on god for everything. if we think we can do this ourselves without his blessing -- >> that's victoria in broken arrow, oklahoma. we're going to tampa. >> caller: if i had a hat i would take it off to you for not laughing at most of the calls. i've been watching this for a long time now ever since before trump began to run and noticed his behaviors, noticed his personality. never has he been suited for this job and i think that a lot of us know this now. but what concerns me is last week i heard a gentleman from
oregon say something about trump being dethroned. wrong word. and a gentleman just said that -- and i'm afraid that what's happening, we're forgetting the elementary things that we're learning in civics class in school. the constitution is not a suggestion as trump believes. and the people on the republican side, i'm concerned that they -- they're completely ignoring it as well in order to keep this guy in office for some reason. but one suggestion has been made and i hope they follow through with it, which is to not take it to the senate just yet. keep digging. if you keep giving this man room you'll have enough things to get him out of office. >> this is jason in milwaukee. >> caller: i would like to state an obvious opinion, i'll pick up on that.
we're sidetracked, the american people are being sidetracked. other people in congress who have -- >> jason. can you do us a favor? stand in one place and speak clearly in your cell phone because you're going in and out. we want to hear what you have to say. >> it's obvious that this whole impeachment by the democrats is basically to throw off the americans over the past years since the clintons. a lot of them have ties to ukraine, russia, things like that. their children, pelosi, it's obvious the people who have the biggest shady business deals before an entity is why they're in congress because they're trying the hardest to impeach trump. they could have tried for this impeachment years ago of such in
the congress or whatever it may be. but once he talked to ukraine specific, now it's, oh, my god, impeach him. because half of these people in congress have small businesses and they're doing business with foreign entities. just like pelosi jr. and vice president -- >> jason, what do you think as a republican, what do you think about the democrats coming to your city for the convention this summer? >> caller: this is a democratic-owned city. it's hard to be republican or conservative. i'm conservative. i'm not democrat or republican. >> i apology. we're going -- didn't -- we weren't able to catch a lot of that. and i apologize. we're going to move onto new york, independence line. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to make one point
and then a comment. the point being whether or not this house investigation and conclusions are valid. the refusal to honor a lawful subpoena and to appear and when coercing others to follow suit is against the constitution. this was set forth by the founding fathers, it's unconscionable. and secondly, i'd like to comment about a cuban gentleman commenting on the white house under president nixon. he said if it smells like, if it sounds like, and it looks like a whore house, then it's a good bet you're in a whore house.
>> caller: it's an honor to listen to cnn -- >> or c-span. >> caller:. c-span. i'm sorry. and listen to the americans across the street. the point is, did the president do anything that's impeachable and to stand upon the lawn and to invite foreign powers into our democratic process openly. he did it openly. and the only thing i'm disappointed about is democrats not holding the standard of the constitution in front of the republicans and asking them is that what we're here for? you can talk about biden, obama, gentleman washington and benjamin franklin. the thing is, in my mind, did trump violate the constitution in any shape, form or fashion? and he did when he invited foreign policy into our system
and then -- you know, you don't have to prove anything else. that's what he did, point-blank, on the lawn and he -- three times. >> all right. i want to show you now an earlier exchange between representatives hank johnson, democrat of georgia, and matt gaetz republican of florida. >> and replaces it with the true topic of the investigation burisma and hunter biden. an essential element of the democrat's case on abuse of power is that the bidens did nothing wrong. it could only be an abuse of power and not a correct use of power if the president was pursuing something under which there was no reasonable basis to ask a question about hunter biden and burisma. hunter biden and burisma, that's an interesting story and i think just about every american knows there's something up with that.
$86,000 a month. no experience. working for some foreign government while your dad is the vice president of the united states. is there anyone who believes this is okay? i know we got a few of my democrat colleagues maybe run for president one day, would you let your vice president have their son or daughter or family member out moonlighting for some foreign company? maybe i'll use language familiar to the former vice president. come on, man. this looks dirty as it is. hunter biden was making more than five times more than a board member from exxon mobil. and i found this profile on hunter biden in the new yorker. hunter said he had not slept for several days, driving east on interstate 10, he lost control of his car which jumped the median and skidded to a stop.
he called hertz which came to collect the damaged car and gave him a second rental. the hertz rental officer told me he found a crack pipe in the car and a line of white powder residue. hertz called the police department and officers filed a narcotics offense report listing items seized in the car including a plastic bag containing a white powdery substance, a secret service business car and hunter biden's driver's license. that is what we would call evidence. and i don't want to make light of anybody's substance abuse issues. but it's a little hard to believe that burisma hired hunter biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with hertz rental car over leaving cocaine and a crack pipe in the car. it countries. hunter stayed in los angeles for about a week. he said that he needed to get
away and forget soon after his arrival in l.a. he asked a homeless man where he could buy crack. he was taken to a homeless encampment. he returned to buy more crack a few times that week. again, not saying -- not casting any judgment on any challenges someone goes through in their personal life, but it is hard to believe that this was the guy wandering through homeless encampments buying crack that was worth $86,000 a month to burisma holdings. that might be one of the reasons why when he was asked do you think you would have gotten this job in the absence of your dad being the vice president, well, he said, probably not. and then i look to the record evidence and i looked at the testimony of mr. kent. mr. kent was one of the witnesses they called on the first day. he said burisma was so dirty that our own embassy had to pull out of a joint sponsorship with
them. when ambassador yovanovitch was being prepped for her confirmation, the obama administration was worried about the corruption around burisma that they held special prep moments to get ready for the questions about this obvious corruption that the president asked about. mr. kent, again, one of their witnesses, also gave testimony that burisma had -- that the head of burisma had stolen $23 million in the u.s. and uk and he paid a describe to get off the hook. again, it's not as if burisma is pulling out new playing. their playbook is to do dirty stuff and pay bribes and hire people necessary to make those problems go away. this is why the minority hearing issue is so important, by the way. you wonder why republicans are so angry we didn't have our own hearing. why did they block our ability
to put in evidence? it's because we have the ability to show that burisma is corrupt. we have the ability to show that hunter biden is corrupt. and that totally exculpates the president. because there is no way in the united states of america that honestly pursuing actual corruption is an impeachable offense. that's why i offer the amendment and i encourage my colleagues to vote for it. >> i withdraw my point of order. >> mr. chairman? >> the gentleman yields back. for what purposes does mr. johnson seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. i rise in opposition to this amendment and i would say that the pot calling the kettle black is not something that we should do. i don't know what members, if any, have had any problems with
substance abuse, been busted in dui, i don't know. but if i did, i wouldn't raise it against anyone on this committee. i don't think it's proper. >> and mr. johnson was referring to a dui that matt gaetz received in 2008, i believe it was. back to your calls before the house judiciary committee reconvenes. kelly, milton, florida, republican. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. yeah, i keep hearing, you know, this whole thing abuse of power, trump is abusing, you know, power and the only abuse of power that i've seen is from our democratic congressmen. from the time that our president was elected in 2016, they have been working on this plan to impeach him and remove him from office. the american people voted him in because he's not a politician.
he doesn't speak like a politician. he's not a career politician who's been making millions off of, you know, the american people. he is a true american who stood up and saw that this country needed him and he has stepped up. when he said that he was going to drain the swamp, that's what he meant. and nancy pelosi and all these career politicians who have been sitting there for 30-something years are scared and they're desperate and it's playing all over in front of the american people on a daily basis. >> that's kelly. and this is derrick in new york on our independent line. go ahead, derrick. >> caller: i first want to say that i don't find myself necessarily aligned with the democratic or republican party because of the growth and extreme sides that are taking controversial issues. pertaining to this, what is going on today, it's -- it's
really sad to see republicans having elected somebody who's known for spreading mistruth and for being a bully and for quite honestly taking money from american people, unlike the caller previously who had stated. i know people personally who have said they've done things for trump down in new york city and they did not get paid. i don't believe that donald trump is somebody that should have ever been in this position. i don't believe that politicians are perfect. putting a businessman in the position of the president of the united states is not the right answer. >> is that an impeachable offense? >> caller: being a businessman is not. but the numerous things that the president has done has shown that he's not somebody who's fit for office and he should be impeached based on the clearly biassed investigation into joe
biden a year before the election. it wasn't important beforehand? >> all right. derrick in new york, thank you. patrick in massachusetts, democrats line. hi, patrick. >> caller: hello. i want to make the point that republicans are hanging their hat on donald trump being so concerned with corruption that he just couldn't let this money go to ukraine. but three days ago he paid this massive $2 million fine for running a state charity that he basically used as a slush fund to pay off lawsuits and buy artwork and i think he paid his kid's boy scout dues through it. and as part of that settlement he admits to fault, where he ran it as a corrupt institution and you can point the same thing to trump university. and both of those settlements
came out after the election. they're not relitigating the election or anything like that. they're new information we've had since the guy was elected -- >> those are not part of h.res.755, the articles of impeachment. >> caller:. no but they go to his general corruptness. you can say look at the corruption in the way that you ran your business. now we're finding out your business was corrupt. those should be an articles of impeachment, maybe. they haven't been litigated in front of the american people and maybe it's up to congress to do it for us. >> that's patrick in massachusetts. up next is jamie on our independent line in new york. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. >> please go ahead. >> caller: i just want to make a broader comment since you have
plenty of people talking about this particular hearing. i just want to ask my fellow americans to pay attention when these politicians on both sides bring up the constitution rights and all that because especially with the ig hearing yesterday talking about spying on trump, they're spying on all of us. they just renewed the patriotic act. it's unconstitutional in every form. it's rather hypocritical for all of them to be talking about this in the first place when every day they're not doing something to stem it. it's -- i do think trump has done some things wrong, but at the same time for them to sit there and quote from -- to talk about the constitution when they themselves breach it on a regular basis, it's just -- it's hilarious in its own right. >> all right. thank you, jamie. we appreciate that. and up next is justin in south carolina on our republican line.
justin? go ahead. >> caller: i am a millennial, so i particularly find this issue very concerning. in reality, we've got much bigger issues to be concerned about. they want to complain about how trump has invested to investigate joe biden when we have obama who wanted to investigate trump back in the 2016 election. my bigger concerns are is my future. and my future is looking at the facts that we have social security waiting to blow up and is causing a financial incentive issue to start creating a -- like, literally no one who is wanting to retire in order to keep the money in the government so social security can get its funds back. that's my concern. we need to get the financial
budget balanced, get our finances in order, get the deficit taken care of because over one-third of the public deficit is just in the health care and social security alone. >> all right, justin. thanks for calling in. next up is lee in west columbia, texas. hi, lee. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. and i just had this one opinion that's been, like -- yeah, i was going to say that epstein didn't kill himself and i just think it's bs that -- >> all right. david is in cambridge, massachusetts. democrat. what have you thought about the debate today and the process over the last couple weeks? >> caller: yes, hi. i will keep it brief because i have so much to talk about. the person that said we elected donald trump because he's not a politician to shake things up, if i'm sick, i'm not going to go
see a carpenter about it because he's not like other doctors and i want to shake things up. second of all, republicans want to talk about the millions of dollars that go into this investigation, then they're going to kieel over when they find out about the millions of dollars of taxpayer money that trump used to carry himself to and from resorts. it was a final most central command, that is what donald trump is telling these house republicans and that's exactly what these house republicans are telling the american people. >> all right. thank you. david in cambridge, massachusetts. here's a little bit more of this morning's debate. >> yields back. for what purposes -- >> i move to strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> my mind is boggled by the
gentleman from georgia saying that all bribery was okay until the constitution was adopted and two years later when the congress passed the first criminal code. first of all, there's a common law definition of bribery. i think people long before 1787 realized that briby was no good. but we also had criminal codes in each of the 13 independent states, colonies before the declaration of independence. >> will the gentleman answer my question? >> i didn't interrupt you. >> the gentleman has the time. >> okay. the second thing is, is that if you on the other side of the aisle believe that joe biden is a man who tells the truth, you ought to support this amendment. because joe biden ever since
hunter's involvement with burisma has been repeatedly asked whether he made any arrangements to get hunter this really cooshy job. so you put joe biden's name in your articles of impeachment when the real factor is hunter biden. hunter is not running for anything. and if real it is hunter biden, i guess your claim that the president was trying to influence the 2020 election would go out the window. but if you think that joe biden is a man who tells the truth, and i'll give him the benefit of the doubt because i think he deserves it, then let's get rid of joe biden in this articles of impeachment, substitute his
son's name in there and proceed. i challenge you, because every one of you that will vote no on this amendment is going to be saying i think that joe biden's a liar. if you don't think that joe biden is a liar, vote yes. i yield the balance of my time to mr. gaetz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and, again, it's important to analyze the burden of proof here. it's the democrats who are saying any question about the biden situation, burisma, it could only be an abuse of power. and i think this amendment really reflects how the president was using his power perfectly, entirely appropriately. and it also shows how scared they are of the facts. if we had the opportunity to call in those who were engaged in work with the ukrainian embassy, if we were able to bring forward hunter biden, if we were able to demonstrate the bias of the whistle-blower, the
american people would see we are not in this debate and in this discussion because the president did anything wrong or impeachable or criminal. we're here, fundamentally, because they cannot accept the fact that he won the 2016 election. and i think all americans know the president has a different approach. but to accept their standard would mean that if someone announces that they're running for office, it's kind of like an instant immunity deal for anything they would ever do. are they really saying if joe biden, hunter biden, burisma were engaged in some corrupt act, just because joe biden announced for the presidency that that ought to absolve him of that criminal activity. it's a ludicrous position. maybe it's informed by the fact that -- you all got a little lucky on the hillary clinton stuff. she thought because she was in a presidential election, that her crimes didn't have to be held to
account, and it turned out to be the case. but it shouldn't be the standard in the united states. and i'm glad that we have a president who is at times skeptical of foreign aid who puts america first, who understands that in corrupt places the resources we provide don't always make it to an area of need. but we conclude with this. once the meetings happened that demonstrated that president zelensky was a true reformer, that he was honest, honest from the point of his campaign all the way up to the point when he said there was no pressure put on him or his government for this aid, if you accept that proposition, it's very clear that the president was entirely appropriate in those questions. and i got to say, we have now reached the point in time where president trump isn't the only president being attacked in this meeting. i heard zelensky gone after as a politician, a liar. they can't -- >> can i respond?
my name was called? >> they're attacking zelensky and it -- >> the gentleman's time is expired. for what purpose does ms. jackson lee seek recognition. >> strike the last word. >> the gentle lady is recognized. >> i thank the chairman. this is about distraction, distraction, distraction. our good friends spent three hours saying the president did not target the bidens. now they're saying that he did. which is it? i'm holding the classified, unclassified conversation and let me just clarify a certain point and that point is that i did read the transcript and it did say us. but there's nothing in the president's notes that even suggested that the question that he asked was for the american people. in testimony by mr. goldman who
obviously went through every aspect of this, i asked a question about whether or not the president said anything from the notes that are given, the briefing that is given by those representatives of the united states government. the staff of the national security council, the state department, the defense department on corruption. he didn't speak anything about corruption that he was briefed on. and if you go through the call, he continues to mention the bidens. and so this, again, is about ukraine. the president did ask ukraine, the president of ukraine, a vulnerable leader of a country that is fledging and trying to survive. let me say that i intend to introduce into the record an article that indicated very
clearly that people did die. trump froze military aid, as ukrainian soldiers perished in battle. but the facts are the -- allow -- the facts are president trump provided 510 million in aid in 2017 and 359 million in 2018. but he wanted to stop in 2019, the year or months before the 2020 election. in addition, president trump's advisers confirmed that the investigations into the 2016 election interference and bidens were not u.s. policy. and as well, they have debunked any association that there was anything to the impropriety of the former vice president and his service as it related to
ukraine. i think it is also important that the department of defense and state department have confirmed that ukraine had met all anti-corruption benchmarks and the aid should be released. that's the policy of the united states of america. there was no need for this president to try to make up his own policy. in his own statement of administrative policies, and i ask unanimous consent to have those in the record, this is from the white house. nothing in this said to discuss corruption. why? because ukraine had already met the standards of independent executive agencies that they had met that standard of corruption, their money should have been released. and we well know, as the process of the whistle-blower and the timing, that president zelensky, desperate for money, people dying in the field, was asked to
do a cnn announcement and he was going to be on one of cnn's well-known shows dealing with international politics, but it was stopped in its tracks as testified by witnesses under oath because of the whistle-blower's statement. let me be very clear. there's some representation of crime, crime, crime. first of all, our scholars indicated that these are impeachable offenses, the conduct of the president is impeachable and there's enough evidence to show. but as i indicated yesterday, this, my friends, is a legal document, the constitution. it is a legal document. you can breach and violate the law of the constitution. there are constitutional crimes. and the vastness of the impeachment process does include the excess of power by the president of the united states. now, i knew barbara jordan and
my friends wanted to quote her. she also said the framers confided in the congress of power if need be to remove a president in order to strike a delicate balance between a president, swollen with power, and preservation of the independence of the executive. you can violate the crimes of the constitution, abuse of power includes that, this amendment should be defeated. >> and the portion of the debate from this morning that we were just showing you was a portion dedicated to matt gaetz' amendment to put the bidens into the impeachment resolution. that amendment has not been voted on yet and as you can see, some of the members of the judiciary committee are filtering back into the room. and they should be bringing that topic up when they come back in this afternoon. and we're going to watch the room as they get under way.
>> strike the last word. >> the chairman is recognized. >> i've heard from the other side this argument about obstruction of justice -- obstruction of congress, rather, i apologize. and i am baffled and the more i think about it the more i'm baffled. in colorado we have a different term for that. we call it a campaign promise. you see when congress has a 14% approval rating, it's somewhere between being as popular as shingles and an all-expense paid trip to north korea. we have a national debt of over $22 trillion. we have a deficit of over $1 trillion this year. we were sent here to obstruct this congress. we were sent here to make sure that this power of the purse is
actually exercised around this place. we were sent here to make sure that we didn't nationalize and ruin health care. we were sent here to secure the border and to do our very best to prohibit sanctuary cities in this country. we were sent here to stop this body from ignoring states' rights. yesterday we passed the ndna bill. somehow, someone slipped in a provision that every federal employee, every federal, not just defense department employees, but every federal employee will be given three months of paid family leave. every federal employee. all those americans sitting out there don't get that. it's exactly why we're here. to make sure that we hold
congress to a higher standard. and if you issue an article of impeachment for obstructing congress, you're going to make this president more popular, not less popular. congress is an embarrassment and this president is holding his campaign promises, moving the embassy to jerusalem, cutting taxes, cutting regulations, sustaining an amazing economy with low unemployment, job creation, bringing manufacturing jobs back, negotiating trade deals. i think that we should be talking about how we support this president, how we support this agenda, and not how we
undermine the positive direction that we are going in this country. with that, i yield back. >> will the gentleman yield for a question? >> no. the gentleman yields back. >> thank you, mr. chair, to strike the last word. >> the gentle lady is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chair. the articles of impeachment claim that the president had corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal benefit is to influence the 2020 presidential election. well, they have absolutely no proof of that. let's read the actual transcript of the phone call in question. i want to remind you, for the people that read it, there's only one section in this entire transcript, and it's not until page four out of five, that president trump brings up biden
which was well into the july 25th call. president trump said to the ukrainian president, and i quote, the other thing, there's a lot of talk about biden's son, that biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me. to anyone who hasn't seen the video of joe biden bragging that he got a prosecutor fired, i recommend you watch it. it's very telling. biden brags about how he got the ukrainian prosecutor fired who had been investigating burisma. burisma is the corrupt ukrainian company that hired hunter biden,
joe biden's son, to serve on their board at the very same time that vice president biden was the point man to ukraine. joe biden says he told ukraine he wouldn't give them $1 billion if they didn't fire the prosecutor. he said, and i quote, if the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money. put yourself in president trump's shoes. he has seen or heard about the video of joe biden bragging about how he got the prosecutor fired. the same prosecutor that had been investigating the same corrupt company where biden's son got a spot on the board getting paid at least $50,000 a month at the same time that joe biden, while serving as vice president, was the point man to
ukraine. my democratic colleagues seem convinced that the president was targeting biden to influence the 2020 election. that is their main prems ise of these articles of impeachment. but it's just as likely, and i would say more likely, that president trump wanted to get to the bottom of possible corruption with the bidens, burisma and ukraine. and with that, i yield back. >> the gentle lady yields back. i now recognize myself for five minutes to strike the last word. and i just want to say, the central issue of this impeachment is the corruption of our institutions that safeguard democracy by this president. those are two basic protections we have for our democracy.
free and fair elections and the president in article i is charged with trying to subvert the free and fair elections by extorting a foreign power into interfering in that election, to give him help in his campaign. we cannot tolerate a president subverting the fairness and integrity of our elections. the second major safeguard of our liberties designed by the framers of the constitution, is the separation of powers. that power is not united in one dictator, but it spread out. the second article of impeachment charges that the president sought and seeks to destroy the power of congress. congress may be unpopular and
may be we should be re-elected or maybe we shouldn't be re-elected, that's a question for the voters. but the institutional power of congress to safeguard our liberties by providing a check and a balance on the executive is crucial to the constitutional scheme to protect our liberties. second to that is the ability to investigate the actions of the executive branch, to see what's going on, and to hold the executive, the president, or people working for him, accountable. the second article of impeachment says that the president sought to destroy that by categorically with holding all information from an impeachment inquiry. that is different from contesting some subpoenas on the basis of privilege, some may be contestable, some may not be, but a categorical with holding
of information, we will prohibit anybody in the executive branch from complying with any congressional subpoena no matter how justified. we will make sure that nobody in the executive branch gives any document to congress with respect to this inquiry. a subversion of the congressional power to keep the congressional in check. whether you think congress is behaving well or badly, if you want a dictator, then you subvert the ability of congress to hold the executive in check. what is central here is do we want a dictator, no matter how popular he may be, no matter how good or bad the results of his policies may be, no president is supposed to be a dictator in the united states. when i hear colleagues of mine arguing that congress is unpopular and therefore obstruction of congress is a good thing, this shows terrible ignorance or lack of care for our institutions, for our
democracy, for our form of government, for our liberties. i, for one, will protect our liberties, will do everything i can to protect our liberties, our democracy, our free and fair elections, and the separation of powers that says congress and the president and the judiciary check each other and nobody can be a dictator. i yield back. >> mr. chairman -- >> i now recognize mr. johnson. for purpose purposes? >> strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i would speak to the amendment which is why we're here right now. i think it's a really beautiful argument. i think you should make it in court because that's what you're supposed to do under our system. if you want to make that argument, you're supposed to go to a federal court, the third branch of government, to resolve a dispute between the executive and the legislative. that's what's happened before but you guys won't do it. because you guaranteed your base
you would get an impeachment by december, by christmas. this is ridiculous. it's a travesty and that's why we're concerned. i love the amendment and to reset the table because we just had a break, it's a good one. i think the people back home aren't able to find out because they don't have all the handouts. but this is all he wants to do. on page 3, lines 10 through 11, it reads, that president trump suggested an investigation of, quote, a political opponent, former vice president joseph r. biden jr. the amendment is simple, it's three lines. he wants to replace that with, quote, a well known corrupt company burisma and its corrupt hiring of hunter biden, unquote. it comports with the facts and everything that we've been saying here where people are probably saying i wonder why the democrats would oppose that? here's why. a constituent sent me a note during our break and he said this, quote, let me get this straight, president trump's phone call amounts to an abuse of power, but vice president
biden's actions do not? let's review what we know. in biden's case, he personally withheld u.s. aid until the prosecutor he wanted fire was actually fired. biden received a personal benefit for his official act, namely the ability of his son to collect money from a corrupt ukrainian money. hunter and joe biden had a direct financial stake in avoiding an investigation of burisma. of course this is just obvious, everybody can see it. there was an article in the "new york times" that was published in may 2019 stated the following about the ukrainian prosecutor's ouster, among those with a stake in the outcome was hunter biden. of course joe biden had a personal interest in avoiding a political scandal involving his
son. clearly, a requested informational investigation into biden's dealings was justified as an informational investigation into an abuse of power by the previous administration. but of course if president trump's requestedand it ends up president donald j. trump. that's the reason they won't ep eaccept the amendment but it's why everyone of us looking at the facts objectively has a obligation to do it. i have a minute and a half left. let me correct something else in the record. we may be a while doing that. my good friend said before the break at some point before the
break .the ukrainians up in about the hold onnedet aid. but the fact is they didn't know about delay in funding until august 28th. ukrainian officials contacted state department were reportedly acting rogue with the then ukraine ambassador to the u.s. and working to withhold information from kyiv to undermine the zelensky administration. the swamp trainer that president trump affirmed later. andriy yermak has pickly confirmed the president's close adviser president zelenskys had no knowledge of the hold until made public by the political article on august 28th. look, that is the fact. like everything else they're trying to obscure here, you can't take your eye off the ball. i know this is hard to follow back home from conscientious constituents and citizens trying to do their duty, trying be informed and engaged as electorate. it's hard to follow. but what you have to know is that both the process and the substance of the arguments is --
is completely empty. it's vapid that's why we are wasting time here. i yield back. >> for our purposes mr. standen seeks representation. >> i move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> there is some discussion today as to what is the reason we are here? it's been suggested by some that we are here because we disagree with the spt and his policies. a few moments ago we heard a list of policies where there might be some disagreement with the president of the united states. you know, we do have some policy disagreements with the president of the united states. we do disagree strongly about separating children from their parents at the southern border. we do disagree strongly with this president in his attempt to
eliminate preexisting condition protections under the affordable care act. we disagree strongly with this president about his decision to remove us from the international climate change accord. but none of those are the reasons we are here today voting today on articles of impeachment. we are only here today voting on the two articles of impeachment because this president has chosen to put his personal interests ahead of the national interest. we are only here today because in president chose to attempt to withhold public resources in order to gain an unfair advantage in an election. that is the reason why we are here. that's the only reason why we are here. we are here voting on these two
articles. but we're also here for the very important principle. is any person above the law? that's what each member has to think about as they make this important decision. not trying to divert attention from the core facts or try to make the important vote today about something other than it is. that's what we need to focus on and i hope we will for the rest of the hearing. at this point i will yield to the gentle lady from texas. congresswoman escobar. >> thank you, mr. stanton. there has been much reference made to the transcript and i use air quotes because it's not an official transcript process. i want to remind everyone this was a document provided to us by the white house with elipses in the document and we don't know what was stated because it's not an official document. much has been made about the
idea of the use of "do us a favor" as though the united states of america and foreign policy experts and state department experts were clamoring to get information on burisma or information on hunter biden or joe biden. we heard from mr. goldman last week -- and i asked him specifically -- if his committees had investigated that claim, that there was some legitimate concern by the government about corruption regarding burisma. and he said they thoroughly investigated it and found absolutely no evidence. mr. trump is welcome to be here. he was welcome to be here. he was welcome to participate, his lawyers, so that if he has any information that would exonerate him about this he could present it at any time. he is not. now let's compare that to the fact that he has prohibited witnesses from coming before our
committee and other committees. he has prevented documents from seeing the light of day. he has intimidated witnesses. so let's remember that he is doing absolutely everything possible to hide his wrongdoing. if he could prove otherwise, he would. now, compare that with the information that was created through the investigations. over 300 pages in a report, over -- or 17 witnesses, over 200 text messages. that's just what was able to make light of day. that's just what we were able to discover because of patriots willing to come forward. so, again, i would say if there is any evidence that the american government or a foreign policy advisers or experts or the diplomats that dealt with ukraine believed that this was
about us, then the president can show the evidence. thank you, mr. stanton. i yield back. >> thank you very much. and mr. chair, i yield back to you. >> the gentleman yields back for what purpose mr. deutch seeks to be recognized. >> move to strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. our colleague from la is exactly right. it gets confusing. it does. there is a lot we've been talking about which is why it's always important to return to the facts. and i just wanted to set a couple of facts straight. we heard that we were somehow sent here, members of congress were somehow sent here to defend the president or to defend the president's policies, or -- or to defend a an overturning of the status quo. i didn't understand the suggestion. because the fact is and i think on the dais and on our committee and everyone in america knows and needs to be reminded that we
are sent here to defend the constitution. the constitution provides three co-equal branches of government. and when the president of the united states chooses to refuse to engage with the co-equal branch of government that is this body, when the president through his lawyer makes clear that he will not respect the constitution, will silence anyone who might have information to provide to congress, will instruct them to not turn over a single document, that is the obstruction of congress we're talking about. and the suggestion that it's somehow standard operating procedure in the united states of america for a president to defy congress completely, and
then for our friends on the other side to throw up their hands and say, oh, every president does it. the way we resolve the issues is to go to court. we have three co-equal branchs of government. if one branch says they are going to completely obstruct the evidence of the second, we go to court. that's the way it works in our country. again, it's important to remind people of the facts and the constitution. that's not how it works. it doesn't work that way. it's never worked that way, never in the entire history of our country have we had a president of the united states simply defy a co-equal branch altogether. there is no example. my friends on the other side of the aisle cannot point to a single example where a president has said, i will not cooperate with you in any part of your work, period, this is not a
legitimate effort, you are not a co-equal branch of government. and then simply says, but you can go to court because that's how things always work. again, it's just important to remember the facts are clear, no president has ever, ever, ever obstructed congress in the manner that we have seen from president trump. >> will the gentleman yield. >> in a moment. and so as we go forward -- i don't know how much longer we'll be here. it's always important to make sure that the facts are clear and that we don't muddy the waters by suggesting that something that is so unprecedented that we have never seen before in the history of our country is somehow just part and parcel of the way things work around here. they don't. we know it. my friends on the other side of the aisle know it. the american people know it. but mr. johnson is right, sometimes it's important to remind them of it. i yield.
>> will the gentleman yield. >> thank you, mr. deutch, i want to add a little constitutional post script to underscore the important point mr. deutch is making here. the article 1 of the constitution gives the house of representatives the sole power of impeachment. it gives the senate the sole power of trial. en and as supreme court decision called united states versus nixon the supreme court emphasized the rules and procedures developed including the evidentiary rules are completely within the power of the house and senate and cannot be second guessed by the courts. and in terms of general congressional oversight, the gentleman is perfectly correct. the supreme court has emphasized that the fact finding investigative power of congress is central to -- integral and built into our legislative power. james madison said that those who mean to be dsh those who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives.
where does congress get the knowledge to legislate for the people is? we get it through subpoenas, through the discovery process and so on. no administration in history has attempted to do what in dmargs has done which is to pull the curtain over the executive branch and deny us all investigative requests we have i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. >> as do i. >> for purposes gentleman seeks recognition. >> strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognize zbld we're going to be here a long time tonight. don't let anybody there is plenty of balls we can go to if anybody tipping keep asking we have to fact check you all night. we will. let's go back to the transcript. the transcript every witness testified that the transcript was fine. did the the transcript was accurate reflected the call. everyone who testified to that. they was able to make additions make the process. talk about elipses. they should have put them in the
articles of impeachment. the wide gaps here of fact and logic are amazing in this. so, i mean, this is -- let's go back to the facts. let's get back to what we're saying. i do appreciate the fact that my friend florida mr. deutch said that we're mutdying the waters the way we tried to get the facts out today and what i've heard from the majority colleagues over the last six hours if there was a a muddying waters you ally e process. s hazard ohhous waste site at this point. you don't have the fact where you need to get to. you have i say it was. we just don't like him even the chairman. this is about an issue of going back that we are trying to get a dictator. i love throwing the words in. we're trying to stop a dictator. trying to stop a dictator. that's not what you're trying to do. europe using inflammatory language because you want to make a better point because right now your facts are failing. and you put two articles of quichement that you really don't want to defend. because either you defend them passionately and look sort of silly doingit