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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Debate on Mark Meadows Contempt of Congress  CSPAN  December 18, 2021 1:04pm-2:23pm EST

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>> the house voted on a resolution to hold former president trump's chief of staff mark meadows in contempt of congress. he is accused of failing to provide documents and testimony in connection with the house committee's investigation into the january 6 attack on the capitol. prior to the vote, the house surveyed the resolution. it was during that debate republicans took issue with steny hoyer's remarks regarding a gop lawmaker. 117-216. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany resolution recommending that the house of representatives find mark meadows in contempt of congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the select committee to investigate the january 6 attack on the united states capitol. the speaker pro tempore: pursuan t to house resolution 848, the report is considered as read. for what purpose does the gentleman from mississippi seek recognition? mr. thompson: by direction of
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the select committee to investigate the january 6th attack on the united states capitol, i call up house resolution 851 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 851, resolution recommending that the house of representatives find mark randall meadows in contempt of congress to refuse to reply to the subpoena. the speaker pro tempore: the resolution is considered as read and equally divided among and controlled by the gentlemanfrom mississippi, mr. thompson, and the gentlewoman from wyoming, ms. cheney and opponent or respective designee. the gentleman from mississippi, mr. thompson and the gentleman from wyoming, ms. cheney and
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yasm mr. banks. mr. thompson: i ask that unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.the gentleman from mi. mr. thompson: madam speaker, it is regrettable that we're back to the floor considering another criminal contempt referral. but our former colleague, mr. meadows, has left us no choice. the select committee is investigating an attack on our democracy and it's essential that witnesses cooperate with our investigation to get answers. the law requires them to do so. and when a witness defies the law, that amounts to more than obstruction of investigation.
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the an attack on the rule of law -- it's an attack on the rule of law. in september the select committee subpoenaed mr. meadows for records and testimony because we believed he had information relevant to our investigation. for weeks we went back and forth with mr. meadows, to his lawyer, to try to get cooperation. we extended his initial deposition date to november 12, when the date came he hasn't produced any document, he didn't show up. throughout this time mr. meadows and his representatives made a lot of noise about executive privilege and so-called absolute immunity. the idea that people who serve or served in certain senior roles are completely exempt from testifying before congress. now, let's be clear. courts have rejected absolute immunity at every opportunity and the justice department has never authored an opinion that
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would support that sort of claim mr. meadows had made about his unofficial conduct. and we have lots of questions for mr. meadows about his unofficial conduct. as for executive privilege, president biden has chosen not to invoke it as far as mr. meadows is concerned. so, mr. meadows was obligated to comply with our subpoena and appear at a deposition. when he didn't, we were prepared that the point to move ahead with contempt proceedings. but at the same time, madam speaker, out of an abundance of fairness, we gave mr. meadows a chance to cooperate. when he faced the possibility of contempt a few weeks ago, he finally decided, in part, to do the right thing and start providing information. he turned over roughly 9,000
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pages of records that he himself said couldn't be covered by any claim of privilege. he also said he would appear at a deposition with the select committee which we scheduled for december 8. this is key in an investigation like ours, when you produce records you are expected to come in and answer questions about those records. and because not even mr. meadows was asserting any privileged claims over these records, there's no possible justification for wholesale refusing to answer questions about them. but that's not what he did. he told us the day before his deposition, the same day his book was published, that he would no longer cooperate with our investigation. and that he wasn't coming in to be interviewed. put all the other arguments aside, this isn't about any sort of privilege or immunity.
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this is about mr. meadows refusing to comply with the subpoena to discuss the records he himself turned over. now he's hiding behind excuses. and at the end of the day, it's a simple proposition. if you're making excuses to avoid cooperating with our investigation, you're making excuses to hide the truth from the american people about what happened on january 6. you're making excuses as part of a cover-up. and if you base your arguments on these excuses, if you adopt these excuses as your own to explain why you won't take action, then you're a part of that cover-up too. i want my colleagues to think lock and hard about that -- long and hard about that. because as the select committee has made clear in the last days
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and will continue to make clear, there was a steady stream of communication between certain members of congress and mr. meadows about matters central to our investigation. we have questions about those communications. we will pursue those questions and we won't let the facts be buried by a cover-up. thank you, madam speaker. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from wyoming is recognized. ms. cheney: thank you very much, madam speaker. madam speaker, as chairman thompson noted, we are here with great sadness, we are here recognizing and understanding the serious nature of the situation and, madam speaker, we wish we had another alternative. we wish that we did not have to meet today to urge our colleagues to vote criminal
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contempt for one of our former colleagues and the former chief of staff to president trump. we don't take this step lightly. as my colleagues have noted and will no doubt say again today, for weeks the committee has worked with mr. meadows, with his counsel, to reach an agreement on cooperation, to reach an agreement and accommodation. now, the reality, madam speaker, is the accommodations process is a process that takes place between the legislative branch and the executive branch. mr. meadows is a member of neither. and yet the committee has taken the extra step of working to try to make sure that we do everything we can to secure mr. meadows' testimony. he has improperly a-- he is improperly asserting executive and other privileges. but the vote on contempt today relates presentably to his refusal to testify about messages and other communications that he admits are not privileged. he has not claimed and he does
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not have privilege to refuse entirely to testify regarding these topics. there are just three examples i will give you this afternoon of issues which we need to talk to mr. meadows about and on which his testimony is required. indeed, compelled by our subpoena. first is president trump's failure to stop the violence when this chamber and indeed the entire capitol building was attacked and invaded. the mob that attacked this chamber was summoned to washington by president trump. and as many of those involved have admitted on videotape, in social media and in federal district court, they were provoked to violence by president trump's false claims that the election was stolen. as the violence unfolded that afternoon, nearly one year ago, it was evident to all, not only
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to those of us in the chamber at that time. it was covered in realtime by almost every news channel. but for 187 minutes, president trump refused to act. let's let that sink in, madam speaker. he refused to act. when action by our president was required, it was essential and it was compelled by his oath to our constitution. mr. meadows received numerous text messages which he has produced without any privilege claim imploring that mr. trump take a specific action we all know his duty required. indeed, some of those text messages, madam speaker, came from members in the chamber right now. members who understood that a violent assault was under way at the capitol. members who pleaded with the chief of staff to get the president to take action. dozens of texts, including from
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trump administration officials and members of congress, urged that the president take immediate action. i read a number of these last night at our hearing, i won't read them all today. but i will read a few of them. mark, one member said, he needs to stop this now. in all caps. tell them to go home. codus has to come out firmly and tell the protesters to dissipate. someone is going to get killed. indeed, a number of members of the press, a number of members of this body, a member of the president's own family, all urged the president to take action because they understood that the president of the united states had a responsibility to call off the mob. hours passed, despite this, without any actions by the
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president. all of these texts are nonprivileged. they are texts that mr. meadows has turned over and they are evidence of president trump's supreme dereliction of duty for 187 minutes. and mr. meadows' testimony will bear on another fundamental question before this committee and that is whether donald j. trump, through action or inaction, corruptly sought to obstruct or impede congress' official proceeding to count electoral votes. this committee is entitled to mr. meadows' testimony and it will inform our legislative judgments. but mr. meadows has refused to give any testimony at all. even regarding nonprivileged topics. he is in contempt of congress. second, mr. meadows has knowledge regarding president trump's efforts to persuade state officials to alter
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official election results. in georgia, for instance, mr. meadows participated in a phone call between president trump and the georgia secretary of state. mr. meadows was actually on the phone when president trump asked the secretary of state to, quote, find 11, 780 votes to change the results of the presidential election in georgia. that's the president of the united states telling a state official to, quote, find 11, 780 votes. while this was happening, mr. meadows appears to have been texting with another participant on this call. mr. meadows has no conceivable privileged basis to refuse to testify on this topic. he is in contempt of congress. third, in the weeks before january 6, president trump's appointees at the justice department informed him repeatedly that the president's
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claims of election fraud were not supported by the evidence and that the election was not in fact stolen. president trump intended to appoint jeffrey clark as attorney general in part so that mr. clarke could alter the department of justice's conclusions regarding the election. mr. clarke has now informed this committee that he anticipates potential criminal prosecution related to these matters and therefore intends in upcoming testimony to invoke his privilege against self-incrimination. as mr. meadows' nonprivileged texts reveal, mr. meadows communicated multiple times with another member of this body who was working with mr. clarke. mr. meadows has no basis to refuse to testify regarding those communications. he is in contempt. january 6 was without
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precedence. there has been no stronger case in our nation's history for a congressional investigation into the actions of a former president. this body must investigate the facts in detail and we're entitled to ask mr. meadows about the nonprivileged materials he has produced to us. madam speaker, i'm sure you'll hear my colleagues this afternoon say that there are privilege issues here that must be resolved before we can move forward. any argument that the courts need to resolve privilege issues first is a pretext. whether he question mr. meadows about emails and texts he gave us without any privilege claim. mr. meadows' role in the rapness berger call cannot be privileged. nor can his dealings with a member of this body regarding jeff clarke. this committee must get to the objective truth and ensure that january 6 never happens again. mr. meadows is in contempt, he
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must testify and i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this resolution. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from indiana is recognized. >> i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. here we go again. for the first time in history, democrats have complete control over a select committee. i hope the american people are paying close attention. i hope they see what happens when democrats get total power. they abuse it. they intimidate. they threaten. and they harass. and they try to put their political opponents in jail. in a matter of weeks the committee has passed three criminal contempt citations. mr. banks: today we vote on holding mark meadows in contempt of congress. on september 23, 2021, the select committee served former congressman meadows a subpoena
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for a sweeping set of documents at a deposition. in president trump strughted mark meadows to maintain his executive privilege. and meadows said he would give them any information that was president protected by executive privilege. mr. meadows gave the select committee over 6,000 pages of information and 1100 documents and text messages. mr. meadows agreed to sit for a deposition if it was limited to areas not protected by areas of executive privilege. he tried to cooperate. mr. meadows sought an independent ruling on the issue of the executive privilege but the select committee sought to hold him in contempt just like
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mr. clark pending the supreme court's decision in trump versus thompson. the rules go like this. ignore the former president. immediately do everything we say without observation or we will refer you for criminal prosecution. they don't care about fairness or due process. the point isn't cooperation or fact finding. they care about punishment. the point is prosecution. and of course, the point is the headline they are going for. former chief of staff found in contempt of congress. but that ignores the partisan truth about the select committee. according to the committee's charter, h. res. 503, the speaker shall appoint 13 members to the select committee, five of whom shall be appointed in consultation with the minority
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leader, but the committee has zero members appointed in consultation with lieder mccarthy. according to the committee's charter, if mr. meadows came in for a deposition, the minority must have been allowed to question mr. meadows for the same amount of time. except no members of the committee were named by the minority. the supreme court has found that a select committee must follow its own rules to act with legal force. so we have the select committee as it exists legally and on paper. and then we have something completely different. i don't know what to call it, but it doesn't resemble the select committee. it is nine members picked by speaker pelosi. the group is tram bling on the
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constitutional rights and the rights of the house and the rights of congress like mr. meadows and current members of congress. they even include americans whose sole offense was planning a legal, permitted and first amendment protected political rally. thanks to media reports. democrats have call and text records, geo location data. we know of hundreds of instances and it could be more. all we know for sure about this partisan investigation is that it's massive and happening without accountability and happening in secrete. the select committee should serve as a warning to all americans this is what you get when democrats have the free rein. contempt for the rules of congress, criminalization of
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dissent and all ends with their opponents in jail. with that, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. thompson: i yield one minute to the majority leader, mr. hoyer, for one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank the speaker. every member of thehouse ought to vote for this resolution. every one of you. i see, madam speaker, one shaking their head vigorously no.
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for those of us who have been here for some time, we have seen extraordinary energy exercised by the other side of the aisle, madam speaker, in conducting oversight. mr. burton from indiana, summoned tens more and ten thereafter, on and on and on. to hold accountable an administration with whom he did not agree and who he thought wasn't doing the right thing and issued subpoena after subpoena after subpoena. the reason i say every one of is ought to vote for this is because this institution needs
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this power. this institution is charged under the constitution with protecting the welfare of the american people and expanding the opportunities of our people. to do so, as the gentlelady from wyoming has observed, we need to garner information, gather information. and in the conduct of gathering that information, it must be our ability to compel people to testify. to come before the congress of the united states and tell us facts that we need.
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now my republican friends, when they were in charge, thought there was a some type of wrongdoing, which resulted in the loss of four lives tragically in benghazi. and they had significant separate hearings on that issue, eight separate hearings. the last of which which was the select committee led by representative gowdy. every one of those committees reached the same conclusion. and perhaps some of my republican trends will recall that hillary clinton, the secretary of state during that time appeared for 11 hours before one of these committees,
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the select committee. i have a speech here that deals with what the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows, has done. i have chosen not to give this speech, because the issue, in my view is not what meadows has done, but clearly in contempt, as the gentlelady from wyoming pointed out so factually. but it is about this institution. about whether or not a president or anybody else can simply say, i will not testify. and then take months and months and months. now the gentleman who just
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spoke, the gentlemanfrom indiana, will lament to the fact that we have this committee, but the gentleman from indiana voted against forming an equally-numbered committee to be set up to ajudge this issue. he voted against this as his republican colleagues. and now he comes and says, my goodness, this is not what i wanted, but like so many of his colleagues he voted against what he says he wanted. the gentlemanfrom indiana who just spoke, voted against holding in contempt steve bannon not because of executive privilege, he was a private citizen, not a member of the
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president's cabinet. and the gentleman from indiana voted against having him honor a subpoena of the congress of the united states. and it ought to be noted that at the time of the snarks, we had e to confirm what court after court after court, he voted against certifying the president of the united states. i'm not surprised that the gentlemanfrom indiana does not want to see this subpoena honored, because i believe he fears the information that will be brought forward. fearing the truth is not an excuse for not honoring a subpoena of this congress.
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so again, it is not simply the actions of mr. meadows that are at issue here. what is at issue here is what power does the congress have to get the information it needs. in this case the most important information it needs to achieve one of its most important objectives, which the gentlelady from wyoming has not only talked about, but has shown extraordinary courage in standing up to her party. she is, after all, the former chair of the republican conference. the daughter of a vice president of the united states and former secretary of defense and former minority whip of this house. who has shown extraordinary courage in the face of almost
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united opposition on her side of the aisle leading to her removal from the position she held. would all of us all the time have the courage of our conviction that the gentlelady from wyoming has shown. so i say to my colleagues, all 434 or 433 of us here -- the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from -- does the gentlemanfrom maryland yield? mr. hoyer: no. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized. >> it seems to me my friend, the gentleman from maryland
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disparaged the gentlemanfrom maryland here and should have his words taken down. the speaker the clerk: the gentleman from indiana does not want to see the subpoena honored. because, madam speaker, he fears, i believe, he fears the information that would be brought forward, fearing the truth is not an excuse for not honoring a subpoena of this congress. the speaker pro tempore: the chair is prepared to rule. the words of the gentleman from maryland contain an allegation the gentleman from indiana fears the truth. comparing the remarks to the president's memorialized, chapter 29, sections 63 as well as section 370, of the rule of
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the house and the manual. the chair finds that the words are not accompanied by an allegation of personal mendacity and therefore are not unparlimentarian. the gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry. >> accusing a decorated naval officer of the united states military is never in good form and should be out of order in this chamber. i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has not stated a parliamentary inquiry. the gentleman from maryland is recognized for his one minute. mr. hoyer: madam speaker, first, let me say that i respect the gentleman's service in the united states navy, as i respect all our men and women in the armed forces of the united states. let me end as i began. all of us ought to vote for this motion to hold somebody in contempt who refuses to come
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forth. who is clearly and obviously in contempt of the congress of the united states. and i urge every member on behalf of this institution, not on behalf of any political party, but on behalf of our democracy, not on behalf of democrats, on behalf of the constitution of the united states to vote yea on this resolution. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi reserves his time. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: madam speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speakern: the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed s.j.res. 33, the joint resolution to increase the debt limit on which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from wyoming is recognized. ms. cheney: madam speaker, i
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will yield three minutes to the gentlelady from california, ms. lofgren. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california. ms. cheney: i will yield -- madam speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for three minutes. ms. lofgren: madam speaker, mark meadows, a former colleague for many of us, left congress in 2020 to serve as chief of staff
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to then-president donald trump. sadly and shockingly, mr. meadows has admitted he played both an official and unofficial role in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. he's also admitted that he has responded to nonprivilege documentations and communications related to january 6. in fact, he already sent some of those materials to our select committee charged with preventing a future attack on our capitol. now the select committee needs to speak with him about the full plot leading up to january 6. for example, it's been reported that the white house was directing the department of justice to investigate outrageous and really crazy conspiracy theories to benefit mr. trump politically as well as to orchestrate the dissemination of election digs information. we need -- disinformation.
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we need to talk to mr. meadows about this. we learned that he made a surprise visit to a state-run visit to an election office in georgia in which president trump talked to the secretary of state in which to finds votes. we need to talk to mr. meadows about that. we need to ask him about text messages which he provided to our committee which showed an official in georgia texting mr. meadows during the trump call saying they, quote, need to end this call, unquote, and emphasizing, quote, i don't think this will be a productive -- will be productive much longer, end quote. we need to talk to mr. meadows about that. we also know that during the same week -- that same week in early january, mr. meadows was in direct contact with campaign staff and organizers of the rally at the ellipse where his boss, the president, urged
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supporters to fight. we need to talk to mr. meadows about that. while domestic terrorists invaded the halls where he used to work, mr. meadows interacted with many people, including some of our colleagues, who are here in this chamber. we've learned many of those interactions took place on his personal device. we need to talk to mr. meadows about that. clearly, mr. meadows has important information about events that culminated in the violent attack on the capitol and on our democracy. he must follow the law. he must cooperate with the select committee's lawful request. no one is above the law. he must be held accountable for his violation of the law. i thank you, madam speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from wyoming reserves her time.
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the gentleman from indiana is recognized. >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that these three articles be entered into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> first, misleading witnesses about president witnesses by molly hemingway published. and they want to subpoena g.o.p. fund records by "the wall street journal" editorial page. third, civil liberties are being trampled by exploiting insurrection fears congress '1/6 committee may be the worst. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. banks: madam speaker, i yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. jordan: thank you, madam speaker. democrats prevent republicans from serve really on the select committee. democrats kick republicans off standing committees. democrats try to make d.c. a state. democrats try to end the filibuster, they try to pack the
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court, they do secret impeachment hearings in the bunker, in the basement of the capitol. they just said a naval veteran is afraid of the truth. and now today -- now today they're destroying executive privilege. the united states supreme court said those must be free to explore alternatives in the process of shaping policies and making decisions. and to do so in a way that many would be unwilling to do except privately. the court further stated, presidential administrations of both parties have asserted that president's close advisors are an extension of the president. who are these close advisors? who are these individuals who are an extension of the president of the united states? well, there's actually a bunch. but certainly the three most important are the national security advisor, the white house counsel, and the chief of staff to the president. and i would argue the chief of staff is the closest of the close. he's the one who spends more time with the commander in chief
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than anyone else. now, why do we have this privilege? why do we have it? why is the decision-making process between the president and his closest advisor a private matter? why is that? well, guess what, the supreme court told us the answer to that one, too. quote, executive privilege serves the necessity for protection of the public interest in candid, objective, and even harsh opinions in presidential decision-making. let me just say that again. executive privilege serves the public interest. it's for us. it's for we, the people. it's not for president trump. it's not for mark meadows. it's not for any president. it's not for any chief of staff. it's for the country. but the democrats, and they're not going to worry about that. they think this is good politics. think -- they used to care about executive privilege.
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when republicans wanted information during the fast and furious scandal, president obama asserted executive privilege for bureaucrats at a.t.f. and d.o.j. think about it. a bureaucrat in a federal agency gets executive privilege but not to the chief of staff for the president because mark meadows worked for president trump and democrats have been out to get president trump before he ever took office, when they first tried to spy on him -- actually, did spy on him in 2016. they're going to destroy this precedent even though, even though this very question is in front of the courts as we speak. they're going to destroy this precedent that's been around since 1794 when our first president first asserted it. and for what? what did mark meadows do? he gave the committee thousands of emails. he gave the committee thousands of text messages. and he agreed to come in front of the committee and answer any question as long as it didn't
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violate executive privilege. the privilege that's not his to waive. it belongs to the president. the privilege that the court said is critical to executive decision-making. the privilege that exists for the benefit of we, the people, and the privilege that's been around since george washington asserted it. but democrats say, no, not good enough, mr. meadows. you have to come in and answer any and every question we ask you, or we'll try to put you in prison. it's disgusting. it is so disgusting. think about it. we weren't allowed to know who the anonymous, so-called anonymous whistleblower was when they did try to impeach donald trump, did impeach donald trump, but -- the country wasn't allow to know what took place in the bunker, in the basement of the capitol during impeachment but they get to know anything and everything they want with conversations between the president and his top advisor. this is so wrong.
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democrats on the select committee, they also can make up their minds. with steve bannon they said, you have to appear in person to assert any privilege. and because he didn't come they held him in contempt. with jeff clark they said, come in person. assert privilege. which he did. and they said, nope, that's not good enough. they held him in contempt. and now with mark meadows, he gave them thousands of documents and agreed to come and they still said, not good enough. not good enough. what a -- what a charade. make no mistake, make no mistake, when democrats vote in favor of this resolution, it is a vote to put a good man in prison. that is what the -- don't pretend to argue either. don't even attempt the argument. no, no, no. this is just the house acting. the justice department will make a decision whether to prosecute or not. come on. is there anyone who believes that? it took the attorney general all of five days to treat parents as
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terrorists. all of five days. if the left-wing political group can write the white house asking the department of justice to use the patriot act against moms and dads and five days later the attorney general of the united states does just that, then what do you think he's going to do when 225 democrats in the house of representatives ask him to put president trump's chief of staff in prison? this is -- i've been in congress a while, 15 years. i've seen democrats weaponize the government to attack their political opponents. 10 years ago they used the i.r.s. to target good people around this country, good, conservative country. five years ago they used the f.b.i. to spy on abuse of fisa process, used the f.b.i. to spy on president trump's campaign. two months ago -- two months ago, the department of justice using the counterterrorism
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division at the f.b.i. to put a threat tag, a label, a designation on parents who had the gall to speak up at a school board meeting, speak up against some crazy curriculum. and now, now they're destroying executive privilege. now they're attacking that. this might be the worst. destroying a precedent that has been around since george washington and treating mark meadows as a criminal. mark meadows is our former colleague. he is a good man. and he's my friend. and this is -- this is as wrong as it gets. i think deep down, everyone knows it. i think they know it as well. they know this is wrong. we've all served with this guy. he's done more work with democrats than probably any republican. we all know what a good man he is. and this is as wrong as it gets. you all know it. but your lust for power, your lust to get your opponents is so intent, you don't care.
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i hope you reconsider. i hope we don't take this action. madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you very much, madam speaker. just for the record, the gentleman from ohio is aware of congressional oversight prerogatives. when mr. meadows was a member and later chairman of the house oversight committee, he himself demanded testimony from senior executive branch officials and chided those who failed to cooperate with congressional oversight. madam speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. schiff, the distinguished chairman of the house intelligence committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. schiff: madam speaker, mark meadows was served with a subpoena for testimony and
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documents three months ago. since that time, he's done tv interviews, published a book, produced over 9,000 documents about january 6, which he concedes are not covered by any form of privilege. these documents include chilling text messages from the president's son, don jr., urging meadows to get his father to do something to stop the violence. from members of congress urging that the vice president simply ignore electoral votes. he personally deems unconstitutional. and even after the violence of january 6, bemoaning the fact the effort to overturn the counting of the electors was a failure. one of the text to meadows on january 3 came from an unknown caller and referred to efforts to replace the leadership at the department of justice and said the following -- i heard jeff clark is getting put in on monday. that's amazing. it will make a lot of patriots happy. and i'm personally so proud that
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you are at the tip of the spear. and i could call you a friend. but notwithstanding his text, his emails, his interviews and his book, mr. meadows refused to appear for his deposition, claiming to discuss the same issues, documents and book, is somehow privileged. the inconsinsens -- con -- the inconsistens -- it is a pral participant and witness of january 6, at the tip of the spear. if he can get away of ignoring the law, if witnesses summoned before congress can pick and choose whether they comply, our power of oversight will be gone and along with it our cherished system of checks and balances. take away congress' power to compel evidence and you take away congress' power to protect the public from a dangerous and malign executive.
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people died on january 6. a congress that cannot enforce its subpoenas in such an investigation is no more effective than a court in a homicide case which cannot compel witnesses to appear. we would cease to be a congress and become a mere play thing in the hands of a des pit. mark meadows has demonstrated contempt for congress and for the public. now he must be held in contempt. he should be prosecuted like anyone else who ignores the law. because no one is above the law. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi reserves his time. the gentlewoman from wyoming is recognized. ms. cheney: thank you very much, madam speaker. madam speaker, let me just make sure people understand some facts in light of some of the charges that my colleague from ohio just made which are flat
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false. number one, mr. meadows refused to show up for his deposition. the committee scheduled the deposition after extensive coordination with mr. meadows at a day he shows that he selected and then -- chose that he selected and then he refused to show up. he refused to show up to testify about nonprivileged questions. so my colleague from ohio can talk as much as he likes about executive privilege and about george washington and about which is crucial to the survival of the republic, with which i agree, but we are talking here about testimony about nonprivileged materials. secondly, madam speaker, i would say that we all on this side of the aisle used to be in agreement about what had happened on january 6. there was a brief period of time, days perhaps, when we were in agreement. . standing perhaps at this microphone, the minority leader, kevin mccarthy, said this, on january 13. the president bears
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responsibility for wednesday's attack on congress by mob rioters. he should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. these facts require immediate action by president trump. unfortunately mr. mccarthy's position changed on this issue. mr. mccarthy then worked against, voted against the resolution that would have created a bipartisan commission to investigate these matters. and he withdrew his nominees to this committee. let me say that again. he withdrew his nominees to this committee. this committee is engaged in critical investigative and legislative activity for which there is no greater purpose in terms of congress' responsibility. no matter what my colleague on the other side may claim in terms of mr. meadows. and now, madam speaker, i would like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. aguilar. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes.
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mr. aguilar: thank you, madam speaker. i appreciate the vice chair yielding. last tuesday, december 7, the select committee received a letter from mr. meadows' lawyer, telling us that his clients' appearance for a deposition had become, and i quote, untenable. something else happened last tuesday. mr. meadows' book, the chief's chief, hit book stores. this is a witness who is refusing to comply with the law and answer our questions in part because the former president has instructed him to do so. he says. he says that as chief of staff he couldn't possibly disclose the conversations with the former president. but look at his book and you get more information about his confidential conversations with the former president than our committee did. this is from a section dealing with january 6 rally at the ellipse. when he got offstage, president trump let me know that he had been speaking met forricly about the walk to the capitol. he nuaz well as anyone that we couldn't organize a trip like
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that on such short notice, end quote. that part is interesting because the select committee has a lot of questions about what the president said and did on january 6. we have a lot of questions about how protests that day escalated into a riot. and mark meadows says he can't discuss these details with us but apparently he can put them in his book. we've also learned from those very documents mr. meadows turned over that he was willing to discuss what the president was thinking with members of congress. on january 3, mr. meadows was exchanging text messages with a lawmaker about the pressure campaign to get state legislatures to overturn the results of the election. in one text message to a lawmaker, mr. meadows wrote he, he presumably being president trump, quote, he thinks the legislators have the power, but the v.p. has power too, end quote. the power to do what?
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we could guess the power to overturn the election results. the power to reject the will of the voters. and days later, a violent mob tried to get vice president pence to do just that. we'd like to ask mr. meadows about that. about what the president, former president, thought. days before the violent attack, mr. meadows was willing to share what he, president trump, thinks, but he won't tell us. that's why mr. meadows' testimony is so important. that's why his privilege claims are so outrageous and that's why we need to adopt this resolution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi reserves the time. excuse me. that was the gentlewoman from wyoming reserves her time. the gentleman from indiana is recognized. mr. banks: madam speaker, let's be very, very clear. the democrats aren't interested in finding out how a disorganized hoard of rioters
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managed to break into the capitol. they don't want to learn about the security breakdown that occurred that day and they don't care about protecting the capitol from future attacks. they've proven it to us. none of the 51 subpoenas that the committee has publicly touted had anything to do with capitol security. as they've proven yet again today over and over again, they only care about attacking their political enemies. with that, madam speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois,. mr. davis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes. mr. davis: thank you, madam speaker. thank you to my friend from indiana. here we are again considering another politically motivated contempt resolution. this time the contempt resolution for someone who actually provided this select committee with nearly 7,000 pages of nonprivileged emails and other documents in response to a subpoena. more than 1, 100 documents and 2, 300 text messages were also
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provided. that doesn't seem to be enough for this select committee. that it really has turned out to be nothing more than a partisan committee just to investigate the former president. subpoenas are not open-ended. they're required to narrowly be tailed. unfortunately this committee doesn't seem to care about the rules. i also have some serious concerns with the way i wouldses and -- whistleblowers and other witnesses are being treated by this select committee. i asked this question the last time we were here voting on a politically motivated contempt resolution and it stint hasn't been answered by the majority so i'll ask it again. why was the capitol so unprotected on january 6? there are serious security vulnerabilities that have not been addressed and won't be addressed nearly a year after january 6. there's been little real action taken in response to the senate report on january 6, the honorary task force findings and the capitol police inspector general has released seven reports and 103 findings. yet the majority has failed to
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ensure these findings are implemented in a meaningful way. we know massive changes to intel, perimeter protection, training, leadership structure, decision making processes and many, many more are needed. but neither this select committee nor the committee on house administration seem at all interested in ensuring that these changes are made. additionally, a number of questions, madam speaker, from that day still remain unanswered. i'm still waiting on the speaker of the house to answer a letter i sent her back in february that asks why the national guard request by then-police chief steven sudd were denied. why the speaker was involved in eventually approving the request. and why the house sergeant at arms has refused to comply with preservation and production requests from my office, the rank -- i'm the ranking member of the oversight committee for the sergeant at arms. they will not comply with the
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preservation request from the committee of jurisdiction. we have many other unanswered questions too, madam speaker. with these questions still unanswered and another purely political contempt resolution on the floor today, it makes you ask yourself, what is the majority hiding? and why are there priorities, not the men and women serving in the capitol police and making this capitol more secure for everyone? we need these reforms. they should have been done months ago. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana reserves his time. the gentleman from mississippi is now recognized. mr. thompson: thank you very much. madam speaker, i yield -- reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from wyoming is recognized. ms. cheney: madam speaker, i yield 3 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes. mr. raskin: i thank the gentlelady. madam speaker, like 300 other witnesses called to meet with
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the january 6 committee, and our staff, mark meadows was indeed cooperating with our committee and voluntarily released thousands of pages of admittedly unprivileged documents. and then something changed. his book came out. and apparently it embarrassed donald trump and after ex-president trump explode and called the book fake news, meadows performed a u-turn and refused to appear at the december 8 deposition that he had previously agreed to. he called his own book fake news. which is a pretty devastating review to render on your own book. and he brought a lawsuit against the committee, alleging, check this out, that we have no legislative purpose. meadows' sudden vanishing act cannot vaporize the article 1 legislative power of our
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committee to investigate the massive assault on american democracy that took place on january 6. if the january 6 committee has no legislative purpose, then none of our committees do. for the first rule of democratic government is self-preservation. article 1, section 8, clause 15 gives us the power to suppress insurrections and repel invasions against the union. and this we will do by investigating and reporting on the most dangerous political violence ever unleashed against the capitol by a domestic enemy. we have hundreds of questions, yes, we do. the fact that donald trump, who gave mr. meadows a positive pose blush for his book, changed his mind about the book, doesn't mean mr. meadows can violate a congressional subpoena. something meadows previously insisted upon himself as a leading member of the house oversight committee and he knows
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it and we have pages and pages of his insisting upon the essential importance of honoring the subpoenas of congress. we have hundreds of questions for mr. meadows about information he's already admitted is not privileged in any way at all. by the executive privilege, the fifth amendment or anything else. here's one of them. how did the following texts from a house lawmaker influence trump's plans to overthrow joe biden's electoral college majority of 306 to 232 after joe biden beat donald trump? here's what that lawmaker wrote him. on november 4, a member of this body wrote to meadows, here's an aggressive strategy. one day after the election, why can't the states of georgia, north carolina, pennsylvania and other republican-controlled state houses declare this is b.s.? where conflicts in election and
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just send their own electors to vote and have it go to the scotus, the supreme court of the united states. how did this text influence the planning of mark meadows and donald trump to try to destroy the lawful electoral college majority that had been established by the people of the united states and the states for joe biden? those are the kinds of questions that we have a right to ask mark meadows. he does not have any special privilege above any other citizen to get out of his civic responsibility to participate. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from wyoming reserves her time. the gentleman from indiana is recognized. mr. banks: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana reserves. the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you very much. madam speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from virginia, mrs. luria, a
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distinguished member of the select committee, as well as the committee on armed services, homeland security and veterans affairs. veterans' affairs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for three minutes. mrs. luria: madam speaker, this is not a vote that i ever thought i'd be asked to take. the idea that this body would find a former chief of staff to the president of the united states, a former member of congress in contempt was unthinkable prior to today. we must approve this resolution, madam speaker, because of one simple fact. 187 minutes. for 187 minutes mark meadows was besieged by cries for help, from citizens from members of the press, from members of the president's own family, and from our colleagues in this chamber pleading for mr. meadows to intervene and stop the attack.
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the american people need to understands exactly what happened during that 187 minutes. mr. meadows knows, which is why he must come forward. it's increasingly clear that for 187 minutes the commander in chief was derelict of his duty. we know this because mr. meadows provided the evidence to the committee without anies aertations of privilege. and while the records he handed over are helpful, there are many questions that we need to ask him. mr. meadows received a text, one of several, from one lawmaker in the days leading up to the attack saying, check your signal. the signal messages are encrypted. only mr. meadows can tell us what they said. so we'd like to ask him about that. in the course of our investigation we've heard from individuals involved in planning the rallies that immediately preceded the violent atackle on
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the cap -- attack on the capitol. those people talked with we hear white house staffers who reported to meadows. and heard from justice department officials and mr. meadows knew about. and we heard from state first about the pressure campaign and the attacks on democracy in arizona, michigan and georgia. mr. meadows actually went to georgia in connection with the recount effort. the american people must hear about that. as one rioter put it, to overthrow the government. our republic, our republic, which i served in uniform for 20 years has never faced a threat as what we faced today.
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think back to the day of the violent attack. if you believe that mark meadows could have helped stopped that attack, you must vote yes today. if for 187 minutes, the president needed to call off the rioters, you must vote yes today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi reserves. the gentlelady from wyoming is reserved -- recognized. >> my republican colleagues vr condemned all political violence but the chair of the house judiciary committee secured a presidential pardon for susan rosen berg a domestic terrorist who set off a bomb in 1983.
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merrick garland helped the obama administration to dismiss an indictment a fugitive who was arrested for setting off a bomb inside the united states capitol. i yield to the gentleman from texas, mr. roy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. roy: i spoke on this floor in defense of the rule of law and it was incumbent to doing so i reminded the chamber tay we are deeply divided and we are divided further and a divided nation must return to first principles and include separation of powers and the judicious use of the subpoenaing power. and that power is not per the court. it is not for the court to the
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court a power to punish to be indefensible. the january 6 committee was borne in politics. and the 500 americans who have been jailed and arrested and the conspiracies. no, the select committee moves the goal post and one targets to claim privilege to claim that privilege and did so and was told sorry thrks isn't sufficient. we have the targeting of our friend mark meadows. and the question of privilege continues to be litigated. the gentlelady from wyoming outlines. the text messages were turned over by mr. meadows and produced 1100 documents. mr. meadows offered to appear
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before the committee to -- 10 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 10 seconds. mr. roy: we are facing a vote to hold mr. meed offs in contempt. and this is to exercise unlimited power while moving the goal posts. this is an assault on our republic. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. thompson: i reserve and am prepared to close after the gentlelady from indiana -- the gentlelady from wyoming and the gentleman from indiana. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time.
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ms. cheney: i reserve. banks banks i yield one minute to the gentleman from arizona, mr. biggs. mr. biggs: in spite of the protesttations from the that the bogus committee and said it was self-preservation, but every democrat has stood today is meant to attack one person and that is donald trump. i'm reminded of the case dha gave us the -- all these cases that deal with subpoenas, the kill born case. the congressional case because its real purpose was not to deal with reforms but possible crimes. a power reserved to the judicial branches. this committee is illegitimate
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and violated its own rules of creation and says they want to find out the massive truth of what happened on january 6 and can't have a committee to find out. you can't do that. and that is what you are doing. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for 45 seconds. mr. banks: reserves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. thompson: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from wyoming is recognized. he. ms. cheney: i reserve. >> i'm prepared to close. again, what you have heard today proves the fact that what we have said all along, this select committee is not at all interested in doing anything to
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prevent something like january 6 from ever happening again. it is all about burying their political opponents. they are holding mr. meadows in contempt and it's an absolute shame and shouldn't allow it to happen and i urge my colleagues to vote against this. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the -- the gentlewoman from wyoming is recognized. ms. cheney: president trump is hiding behind executive privilege. all of my colleagues, all of them knew that what happened on january 6 was an assault on our constitution and knew it at the time and now they are defending the indefensible. whether we get to the truth and defend ourselves of it ever happening again. how we address january 6 is the
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moral test of our generation. very said to see how my colleagues are addressing this and mr. meadows is refusing and he is in contempt. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you, madam speaker. let me thank my colleague from wyoming, for supporting this effort of the committee. she has been a wonderful member of the committee and i look forward to continuing the relationship. and i want to thank my colleagues who presented on the majority side today, who made a clear case of why mr. meadows' defiance is unacceptable. i take no joy to make this refeferl. mr. meadows served with us here for seven years but doesn't
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excuse his conduct. if anything, he should know better and he put himself in this category and small category of witnesses who are drawing out a lot of attention hiding behind every privilege you can think of trying to slow down and slow walk this process. we want to hear from them all. we have heard from more than 300 witnesses. three significant individuals have come in and spoken with us on the record. as you have heard last night and today, we made significant findings. this investigation is moving ahead swiftly. but even with all that cooperation, we need to send a clear message that this sort of defiance of the rule of law cannot stand. we need to hear from mr. meadows and his refusal to appear is
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plain and simple contempt. i ask all members to support this resolution and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time all the time for debate has expired and and the question on adoption of the resolution. those in favor, say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the resolution is adopted. the gentleman from indiana has asked for a recorded vote. pursuant to section 3-s of resolution 8, house members voted along party lines to hold mark meadows in contempt of congress. for refusing to cooperate with the committee investigating the january 6 attack. you could watch this debate on, and on c-span now, our new video app.
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