tv Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith FOX News December 9, 2019 6:00am-9:00am PST
>> they could move to a mark-up session. look for clues as to what the articles of impeachment might be. will they deal with contempt of congress? bribery? there is one possible article of impeachment that is particularly radioactive. it is in article 2, section 4 dealing with treason. only twice before have they ever dealt with the potential article of impeachment with treason, one with a judge and one with a senator. rare they might get into that area. the potential democrats might wander in that area.
they should start at 9:08 this morning. >> bill: the members make their way inside the hearing room now. >> sandra: let's bring bret baier in washington as you heard from chad clearly laying out what we're about to see and hear in the hearing room on capitol hill you said look for clues for what those articles of impeachment may be. we just don't know yet, bret. >> the biggest question is whether they're broad or limited in the articles of impeachment and whether they go on to include perhaps obstruction of justice mentioned in the mueller report. democrats felt like they didn't get a lot out of that as you see the counsels approaching the table where they'll testify. it will be a long process. this is more like a courtroom setting where the counsel is summarizing all of the evidence and then they will get quized by the counsels on both sides from the house judiciary
committee and then all these members. remember, there are a lot of people who are a part of this committee and this is going to be a long day. so we'll have plenty of time to look for the clues that chad asked us to look for. >> bill: thank you for that. chris wallace as we get ready here. barry berke and daniel goldman for the democrats and steve castor attorney for the republicans. we get a lesson -in-law. we'll get a lot of information from the questions posed and always important in these matters. >> i would push back a little bit as chadber gram. this is the closing arguments in the trial. the witnesses were all heard by the intelligence committee in the five days of hearing, 30 hours, 12 witnesses.
what you'll do now is hear from these lawyers first two lawyers for the judiciary committee, then two lawyers for the intelligence committee, republican and democrats in each case who will make the case this is what the evidence shows. making an argument to the jury, if you will, the judiciary committee, what should you find in terms of articles of impeachment? then in a sense you will have what chad called the mark-up where the judiciary committee meets with itself and argues out what the verdict should be. whether or not there should be articles of impeachment against donald trump. but it is curious that the people who will be rendering the verdict whether or not there are articles of impeachment didn't hear any testimony firsthand. they are only getting reports from these lawyers about what the intelligence committee found out. >> bill: we just saw a shot behind steve castor, the republican, you see the gentlemen sitting in the row behind them?
the gentlemen with the gray hair is a republican from ohio on the house intel committee and then two seats down from him is devin nunes who is the ranking chair for the republicans on the house intel committee, sandra. >> sandra: you watch all that's happening on capitol hill as we anticipate the release of the i.g. report and details of it. a big day in washington >> it is. in the middle you had representative conway from the judiciary committee. they're watching this. never before have we been in a situation where you had no participation on the part of half of the equation. the white house is not there making its case. you have steve castor making the case for the republicans. also never before in an impeachment process in history have we dealt with this in a first term of a presidency. those two things are very significant in the lopsided way that we're looking at all of this. and one other thing i would mention. there was criticism last time
around there wasn't any cross examination. that the democrats basically spoke to the democratic representative and republicans drew out the republican representative. a lot more interesting today if we get a little testing on some of these theories on cross examination by some of these representatives if they decide to go there. it would certainly challenge some of the notions that are being presented here in terms of what are the reasons to impeach that we really haven't seen as much of in these prior hearings, sandra. >> sandra: we await the beginning of the hearing where chad pergram gave us a heads-up to expect for wrangling than usual. we'll hear two 10 minute opening statements, one from the chairman and ranking member. here is the chairman jerry nadler entering the room taking his seat and the ranking member doug collins. >> bill: the talk about the 31 democrats who won in trump districts. this is a real thing.
if you look for comments over the weekend. a democrat from oregon, senior blue dog democrat expressed strong reservations broadening the probe. we should keep it focused on the transcript. a democrat freshman from new jersey who flipped a republican seats. these are real conversations these moderate democrats are having as to how their leadership should proceed. i'm curious ken starr, you have devin nunes and congressman conway from the house intelligence committee. what do you think their presence would suggest behind the republican attorney? >> i think they are saying we are rock solid on behalf of the president of the united states. this should not have been. devin nunes has been extremely outspoken about the ill legitimacy of the inquiry as he sees it. i think he is speaking as far as we know for every republican. there is a lot of symbolism.
we're here, we're solid, we are completely committed to the proposition that the president should not be having to go through this as symbolized by the fact his own attorneys are not participating today. >> bill: the photographers have been ordered to step to the side. so we're very close, sandra, to the drop of the gavel here. >> sandra: chris wallace, it reminds you what the president said tweeting and saying aloud, republicans have never been more united. >> he's right. a grave disappointment to the democrats. even moderates critical of the president, not a single one who jumped ship on the president. they seem completely supportive. to talk about votes, let's let jerry nadler begin his layering. >> object. >> objection noted. quorum is present. we're conducting this hearing
on the impeachment inquiry into president donald trump. presentations from the house permanent select committee on intelligence and the house judiciary committee pursuant to house resolution 660 and a special judiciary committee procedures that are described in section 4a of that resolution. here is how the committee will proceed for this hearing. i will make an opening statement. then i will recognize the ranking member for an opening statement. after that we will hear two sets of presentations. we will hear 30 minute opening arguments from counsel for the majority and minority. (shouting in the room) >> order in the room. order in the committee room. (shouting in the room)
>> committee will come to order. obviously i shouldn't have to remind everyone present that the audience is here to observe but not to demonstrate. not to indicate agreement or disagreement with any witness or with any member of the committee. the audience is here to observe only. and we will maintain decorum in the hearing room. again i will say here is how the committee will proceed for this hearing. i will make an opening statement and then i will recognize the ranking member for an open statements. after that we'll hear two sets of presentations. 30 minute opening arguments from counsel for the majority and minority of this committee. 45 minute presentations of evidence from majority and minority counsel from the
permanent select committee on intelligence followed by 45 minutes of questioning by the chair and ranking member, who may yield to counsel for questioning during this period. finally, all of our members will have the opportunity to question the presenters from the intelligence committee under the five-minute rule. i would note the president's counsel was given the opportunity to participate today but the white house has declined the invitation. i will now recognize myself for an opening statement. no matter his party or his politics, if the president places his own interests above those of the country, he betrays his oath of office. the president of the united states, the speaker of the house, the majority leader of the senate, the chief justice of the supreme court and the chairman and ranking members of the house committee on the judiciary have one more thing in common. each taken an oath to preserve, protect and defend the
constitution of the united states. if the president puts himself before the country, he violates the president's most basic responsibility. he breaks his oath to the american people. if he puts himself before the country in a manner that's threatens our democracy, then our oath, our promise to the american people, requires us to come to the defense of the nation. that oath stands even when it is politically inconvenient and might bring us under chris sis many, even when it might cost us our jobs as members of congress. and even if the president is unwilling to honor his oath, i am compelled to honor mine. as we heard in our last hearing, the framers of the constitution were careful students of history. and clear in their vision for the new nation. they knew that threats to democracy can take many forms that we must protect against them. they warned us against the
dangers of would be monarchs, populous and dem gods. they knew the most dangerous threat might come if within in the form of a corrupt executive who put his private interests above the interests of the nation. they also knew that they could not anticipate every threat a president might someday pose so they adopted the phrase treason, bribery, other high crimes and misdemeanors. george mason said it was meant to capture all manner of great and dangerous offenses against the constitution. the debates around the framing make clear the most serious such offenses include abuse of power, betrayal of the nation through foreign entanglements and corruption of public office. any one of these violations of the public trust would compel the members of this committee
to take action. when combined, the single course of action they state the strongest possible case for impeachment and removal from office. president trump put himself before country. despite the political partisanship that seems to punctuate our hearings these days, i believe that there is common ground around some of these ideas. common ground in this hearing room and common ground across the country at large. we agree, for example, that impeachment is a solemn, serious undertaking. we agree that it is meant to address serious threats to democratic institutions like our free and fair elections. we agree that when the elections themselves are threatened by enemies foreign or domestic, we cannot wait until the next election to address the threat. we surely agree that no public official, including and especially the president of the united states, should use his
public office for private gain. and we agree that no president may put himself before the country. the constitution and his oath of office, his promise to american citizens require the president to put the country first. if we could drop our blinders for just one moment i think we would agree on a common set of facts as well. on july 25th, president trump called president zelensky of ukraine and asked him for a favor. that call was part of a concerted effort by president trump to compel the government of ukraine to announce an investigation, not an investigation of corruption at large but an investigation of president trump's political rivals and only his political rivals. president trump put himself before country. the record shows that president trump withheld military aid allocated by the united states congress from ukraine. it also shows that he withheld
a white house meeting from president zelensky. multiple witnesses including respected diplomats, national security professionals and decorated war stret -- veterans testified to the same facts. president trump withheld the aid and meeting in order to pressure a foreign government to do him that favor. president trump put himself before country. and when the president got caught, when congress discovered that the aid had been withheld from ukraine, the president took extraordinary and unprecedented steps to conceal evidence from congress and from the american people. these facts are not in dispute. in fact, most of the arguments about these facts appear to be beside the point. as we review the evidence today, i expect we'll hear much about the whistleblower who brought his concerns about the july 25th call to the inspector general of the intelligence
community. let me be clear. every fact alleged by the whistleblower has been substantiated by multiple witnesses again and again. each of whom has been questioned extensively by democrats and republicans alike. the allegations also match up with the president's own words as released by the white house. words that he still says were perfect. i also expect to hear complaints about the term quid pro quo as if a person needs to verbally acknowledge the name of a crime while he is committing it for it to be a crime at all. the record on this point is also clear. multiple officials testified that the president's demand for an investigation into his rivals was a part of his personal, political agenda and not related to the foreign policy objectives of the united states. multiple officials testified that the president intended to withhold the aid until ukraine
announced investigations. and yes, multiple officials testified that they understood this arrangement to be a quid pro quo for the president's personal, political benefit. president trump put himself before country. the president's supporters will argue this whole process is unfair. the record before us is clear on this point as well. we invited the president to participate in this hearing, to question witnesses and to present evidence that might explain the charges against him. president trump chose not to show. he may not have much to say in his own defense, but he cannot claim that he did not have an opportunity to be heard. finally, as we proceed today, we will hear a great deal about the speed with which the house is addressing the president's actions. to the members of the committee, to the members of the house, and to my fellow citizens i want to be
absolutely clear, the integrity of our next election is at stake. nothing could be more urgent. the president welcomed and took foreign interference in our elections in 2016. he demanded it for 2020. then he got caught. if you do not believe that he will do it again, let me remind you the president's personal lawyer spent last week back in ukraine meeting with government officials in an apparent attempt to gin up the same so-called favors that brought us here today and forced congress to consider the impeachment of a sitting president. this pattern of conduct represents a continuing risk to the country. the evidence shows that donald j. trump, the president of the united states, has put himself before his country. he has violated his most basic responsibilities to the people. he has broken his oath. i will honor mine. if you would honor yours, then
i would urge you to do your duty. let us review the record here in full view of the american people and then let us move swiftly to defend our country. we promised that we would. i now recognize the ranking member of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from georgia is recognized. >> you aren't going to recognize a possible motion before me? >> the amendments consent. >> the gentleman from georgia is recognized. >> point of order, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman from georgia is recognized. >> you were furnished with a proper demand for a minority hearing. you are refusing to schedule
that hearing. i insist on my point of order unless you are -- >> that isn't a proper order. as i told the ranking member several times i'm considering the minority's request. the ranking member. gentleman will suspend. ranking member thinks we'd violate the rules of the house if we considered articles of impeach. before holding a minority day hearing his point of order would be timely at a meeting where we considered articles of impeachment. that's not the purpose of today's hearing and the point ever order is not timely. the gentleman from georgia. >> that got us started again. the chairman completely not answering a question. it is timely and it is not up to his discretion but again and again we haven't really cared about that from the start to begin with. my question is to schedule a hearing but that's not what they want out there. let's start over. now that the chairman has recognized and we have that point. there have been famous moments
in impeachment as we've gone forward. famous lines from nixon, what did the president know and when did he know it? from the clinton impeachment. there was i did not have sex with that woman. what would be known about this one is probably where is the impeachable offense? why are we here? i tell you, this may become known as the focus group impeachment. we don't have a crime or anything we can defend and nobody understands what the majority is trying to do except that interfere in basically make sure that they believe the president can't win next year if he is impeached. the focus group impeachment takes words and then takes them to people and says how can we explain it better? we don't have the facts to match it. a focus group impeachment says we really aren't working with good facts but we need a good p.r. move. that's why we're here today. this is all about as i said last week a clock and calendar. it really became evident to me this was true because last wednesday after we had a long
day of hearing here, the next morning before anything else could get started the speaker of the house walked up to the podium and said go write articles of impeachment. she just stopped. go write articles of impeachment. i appreciate the majority practiced for two days this weekend on this hearing. i appreciate the fact that you have to try to convince the american people but your speaker has already undercut you. she took the thrill out of the room. you are writing articles of impeachment. why count we just save that time today? if you write the articles of impeachment go ahead and write them. there is probably a reason for that. because chairman laid out amazing claims, none of which i think after this hearing today the american people can honestly look at and see there was overwhelming evidence or a proper reason he abused his power. another statement the speaker said to do impeachment you have to be so compelling and
overwhelming and bipartisan. all of which we are not. so why not? why are we here? i think we can do this. let's look at the three things that typically are associated with making your case for a crime. let's do it against what the majority has said. they have motive, means and opportunity. what is their motive? november 22. it has been said over and over and over again. the chairman said it again this morning. it's been said all along. that we have to do this because if we don't impeach him he will win again next year. the reason shown is last week on the jobs report and the economy and as i had a man come up to me in the grocery store this weekend keep doing what you're doing. i've never seen an economy this good. people are working and being taken care of and this is just a fatal distraction on a president they don't like. motive is easy. november 2016 they lost. january 2017 just a few minutes in the "washington post"
confirmed what every democrat talked about. now is the time for impeachment. we see tweet after tweet saying it's -- it's amazing they start with impeachment and spent two years trying to figure out what do we impeach him on? well, the means became what we see now. the means is it's always talk about impeachment, always say the president is doing something wrong. say he is illegitimate as the chairman said before. he isn't even a legitimate president. constantly tear down at a president who is working on behalf of the american people. the sham impeachment when we go through this i think the chairman said something that was interesting. he said a president should not be above the lieu and held accountable for their oath of office. congress needs to be -- this doesn't fit fairness or decorum. run a process that you have to force against a president you don't like. what was the opportunity? the opportunity came last november when they got the
majority. and they began their impeachment run. they began in the process even selecting the chairman. he said i would be the best person for impeachment. this is november of last year. before we had any hearings. before we had even were sworn into this congress. for anyone the media who are watching on tv or watching in this room, for anyone to think this was not a baked deal is not being honest with themselves. you see, presumption has now become the standard instead of proof. it should cause anyone to begin to question because the entire case is built on a presumption or last week from three scholars that inference is okay. if you infer that's okay. that was an interesting line. you know, it was interesting they made their whole case built on sondland. you'll see that a lot today. he testified he presumed the aid was connected to an
investigation but he said nobody told him that. when sondland asked the president directly. the president said i want nothing. i want zelensky to do what he ran on. this is a problematic experience. the past three weeks when the chairman of the intelligence committee who is absent today. guess he can't back up his own report. he started his own hearing by making up the factual call when he made it up, he started the fairytale we're having today. if you can't even put the transcript in the right context, just read it. chairman schiff couldn't even read the transcript. he had to make it up. if he didn't make it up it didn't sound as bad. he said let's make up some dirt. that's not what was said. the transcript, the chairman misled the american people. as an attorney, as a chairman, as a member of congress whose sworn oath was to be honest with the american people and
uphold the constitution. that was a massive malpractice. they don't care about what actually was in the transcript. they don't actually care what happened. we heard last week from witnesses they don't even care that the aid was released. they are looking at the facts to make it fit their narrative. what else happened? you know, this is also the chairman schiff who also said that there was collusion in plain sight. it was there before the mueller report ever came out. all this was going to happen. maybe i might need to just not stop commenting on chairman schiff because i may end up on the next phone records subpoena. as we go forward. you see, we've taken a dangerous turn in this congress. subpoenas are fine. properly done. and should be done properly. but they should never be at the expense of a political vendetta. professor turley testified last week presumption is no
substitute for proof. this case is not only woefully inadequate for tim peachment of an american president. today what we were supposed to get what i love my friends on the majority of this committee said mueller, when we got the mueller report it didn't go real well. so we had a lot of hearings. didn't go real well. we got bob mueller and said this would be the movie version. what happened? my colleagues on the majority had live readings from capitol hill, made dramatic podcasts and wrote a comic post and it didn't work. they brought bob mirl. they told us his testimony would be the thing that people watched and would be convinced. guess what? they weren't convinced. it fell flat. today is the movie version of the schiff report except one thing the star witness failed to show up. mr. nunes is here. his staff is here. the leading headline is there. schiff report. but where is mr. schiff?
robert mueller testified that ken starr report ken starr testified. the author of the schiff report is not here. instead he is sending his staff to do his job for him. i guess that's what you get when you are making up impeachment as you go. there will be plenty of time to discuss the factual case for this and the statements that haven't been made. what is detrimental is this. this committee is not hearing from a factual witness or not doing anything past hearing past law school professors and staff. the chairman said something about the president not being able to come. show me where he would have a proper process in this not talking to law school professors and staff instead of witnesses called by both sides. i want to say this in the ending. i love this institution. i was here as a 19-year-old kid
as an intern almost 32 years ago. this situation as we see it today is in danger. we see chairmen who are issuing subpoenas for personal vendettas. we see committees such as the judiciary committee that has held many substantive hearings and the center point of impeachment being used as a rubber stamp because we get not our marching orders from committee and what it should be did doing but from the speaker and intelligence committee chairman. we aren't able to do what we need to do because we're a rubber stamp. i love this institution but i've seen things in the last three or four days that should bother everyone. the speaker of the house said go write articles. facts be damned. al green, another member of the house majority, said we can keep impeaching him over and over and over again. adam schiff when he told us he
wasn't going to come instead of hide behind his staff. he also told us that we are going to keep investigating because they know this is going nowhere in the senate. and they are desperate to have an impeachment vote on this president. the economy is good. military is strong, our country is safe. the judiciary committee has been relegated to this. why? because they have the means, the motive and they have the opportunity. and at the end of the day all this is about is about a clock and a calendar because they can't get over the fact that donald trump is president of the united states and they don't have a candidate that they think can beat him. it's all political. and as we have talked about before, this is a show. unfortunately today the witness who is supposed to be the star witness chose to take a pass and let his staff answer for him. with that i yield back. >> i have a point of order.
>> thank you, mr. collins. >> i have a point of order. >> gentleman state his point of order. >> mr. chairman, clause 2j1 of rule 11 requires you to schedule a minority hearing date. not to consider it, not to meet the discuss it. but to schedule one. to schedule it at a reasonable time. not after articles have been drawn, not after there has been a vote on articles of impeachment. i inquire and insist, mr. chairman, that you immediately schedule a minority hearing day or tell us why you are ignoring the rules. >> the gentleman -- we've already gone through that but i will repeat that's not a proper point of order in today's hearing. as i've told the ranking minority member several times i am considering the minority's request. if you think we would be violating the rules of the house if we considered articles of impeachment before holding a minority day hearing that point of order would be timely at a meeting where we considered
such articles. not the purpose of today's hearing and the point of order is not in order. >> mr. chairman. i would like -- >> other opening statements will be included in the record. >> preserve my point of objection on that. i have a question. >> you brought my name into this. you have brought my name into this. >> the gentleman will suspend. >> thank you, mr. chairman. telling me that you are considering something you have nothing to consider. you have told me that. i will admit on record. is nowhere close to actually following your duty as a chairman to follow the rules. and so i think the point of order is very well taken. i think the issue we have is not i think your timing is -- show me, please, in the rule. have your parliamentaryian show me where you come to a time of being able to deny this up to a certain point. >> further reserving the right to object. >> as i have said. >> further reserving the right to object. >> as i said the point of order
would be in order at the meeting where we're considering. >> further reserving the right to object. >> we'll hear >> i appeal the decision of the chair. >> no decision to appeal. no ruling and motion. >> the ruling and a point of order. >> you made a ruling on the point of order, mr. chairman. you can't then not allow us to appeal the ruling of the chair. >> the gentleman will suspend. it was not a recognizable point of order. it was not a recognizable point of order. not an order at this time to make that point of order. no ruling to appeal. >> mr. chairman that rule was an obligation. not consideration. you are obligated to reschedule and not -- you made ruling. it is an order to appeal. >> we are doing what we have to do under the rules. we will now hear presentation. >> mr. chairman. >> we'll hear presentation of evidence. >> i haven't -- >> i will not recognize a
parliamentary inquiry at this time. we will have presentation of evidence. >> is this when we hear staff get -- the members get dealt out of this whole hearing. you'll try to overturn the results of an election with unelected people giving testimony. >> gentlemen will suspend. the hearing will be considered in an orderly fashion. the gentleman will not yell out and will not attempt to disrupt the proceedings. we will now here presentations of evidence from counsel to the judiciary committee for up to 60 minutes equally divided. barry berke will present. to help you stay within the time there is a timing light on your table. when the light switches from green to yellow you have one minute to conclude your testimony. when the light turns read it signals your time has ex paired. mr. berke you may begin. >> mr. chairman i have not withdrawn my objection. i want everybody to have an
opening statement. i'll object to your opening statement comment, nothing else. >> mr. berke is recognized. he has the floor. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ranking member collins and all the members. before i had the great honor of being a counsel for this committee, my young son asked me a question. he said dad, does the president have to be a good person? like many questions by young children it had a certain clarity but it was hard to answer. i said son, it is not a requirement that the president be a good person but that is the hope and it is not a requirement the president being a good person. that is not the issue. but the very document that created the awesome presidency and its powers that we have
made clear it is a requirement that the president be a person who does not abuse his power. it is a requirement that the president be a person who does not risk national security of this nation and the integrity of our elections in order to further his own reelection prospects. it is a requirement that the president not be a person who acts as though he is above the law in putting his personal and political interests above the nation's interests. that's the lesson of the constitution. that is the lesson of the founders. they were concerned that someone would be elected president who would use all the power of that office to serve his own personal interest at the expense of the people who elected him. they decided their needed to be a remedy because they had suffered the abuses of king george where they had no remedy.
the remedy they imposed was that if a president commits a grave offense, a high crime or misdemeanor, this body has the power to impeach that president. they wanted to insure that a president could not serve his own interests over that of the nation. it flows from the very oath that all members of this body must take. to bear faith and allegiance to the constitution. it's why we're here today and it is an unfortunate occasion that these proceedings are necessary. but the president's actions have left no choice. the founders were very clear in spelling out what they saw to be the greatest abuses that would raise the most concerns for our nation. they spelled them out as
warning signals that if a president violated or committed one of these, that would be a reason to potentially impeach that president. they were abuse of power, betrayal of the national interest, corruption of elections. what is so extraordinary is the conduct we'll be talking about today of president trump didn't violate one of these, but all three. first, the evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by pressuring ukraine and its new president to investigate a political opponent. the evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by ramping up that pressure, by conditioning a wanted white house meeting and a needed military aid that had been approved in order to get that president to investigate a political rival. it is clear and overwhelming that in abusing that power the
president betrayed the national interest by putting his own political prospects over the national security of our country. it is clear that the president risked corrupting our elections by inviting foreign interference to knock out an adversary to help his prospects in reelection. it is why in debating the constitution james madison warned that because the presidency was to be administered by a single man, his corruption might be fatal to the republic. the scheme by president trump was so brazen and so clear, supported by documents, actions, sworn testimony, uncontradicted, contemporaneous records, that it is hard to imagine that anybody could dispute those acts, let alone argue that that conduct does not constitute an impeachable offense or offenses. this is a big deal.
president trump did what a president of our nation is not allowed to do. it is why last week the constitutional scholar professor michael gerhardt said if what we're taking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable. president trump's actions are impeachable offenses. they threaten our rule of law. they threaten our institutions. and as james madison warned us, they threaten our republic. let me begin where we must with the facts in evidence. first, it's important to understand why ukraine was so important to our national security. ukraine was under attack by its neighbor russia. they had already encroached on its territories. the ukraine was at great risk that russia would again take further territory or try.
i'll turn to ambassador taylor. one of the most highly decorated recognized diplomats for over 40 years he served our country and appointed by president trump himself to be in charge of the u.s. embassy in ukraine. the russians are violating all of the rules, treaties, understandings, that they committed to that actually kept the peace in europe for nearly 70 years. that rule, that order that kept the peace in europe and allowed for prosperity, as well as peace in europe, was violated by the russians. it affects the world we live in. our children and grandchildren grow up in. it affects the kind of world we want to see.
>> that's ambassador taylor explaining why ukraine was so important and explaining why the president's actions risked hurting our national security, our national defense policy and our national interest. now you've already heard there are significant proof that president trump himself told the new president of the ukraine, president zelensky that he wanted him to investigate a political rival. former vice president joe biden and you'll hear a lot about that today. that proof is only the tip of the iceberg. there are so many more events and meetings and contemporaneous text messages, emails, other documents that show this happened and happened exactly as it is alleged. it is clear that in this scheme to pressure ukraine to investigate a political rival the person at the center of that scheme was president donald trump. the facts cannot be disputed. president trump used the powers of government for a domestic political errand to put his
political interests above that of the nation. i want to turn to another expert. i'll turn to dr. fiona hill. the national security council senior director in the trump administration and she will explain what happened. >> but it struck me yesterday when you put up on the screen ambassador sondland's emails and who was on these emails and he said these are people who need to know. he was right. he was being involved in a domestic political errand and we were being involved in national security foreign policy and those two things had just diverged. >> that tells you what the evidence shows. the president put his own domestic political interests over the nation's national security and foreign policy. a president cannot abuse his power to secure an election. he cannot do that at the expense of the american people. that is impeachable offense.
the president has tried to make excuses for his conduct. why it's not wrongful or corrupt or an abuse of power. but the truth holds together. it makes sense. it is consistent with the evidence. when someone is offering excuse that is not true, not consistent with the evidence, it does not make sense, it cannot be squared with what the facts show and you will see these excuses do not make sense, the facts are clear that president trump put his own political and personal interests over the nation's interests. like to go through what you are going to see about the president's scheme and hear about today from the facts that we have. first, you are going to hear that president trump's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani, pushed ukraine to open an investigation of his political rival. mr. giuliani prior to the july
25th call made public statements that ukraine should investigate the former vice president joe biden. he tweeted about it. putting pressure on the new president. he went to ukraine and later went again with the assist and direction of u.s. officials who were told to aid the president's personal lawyer on the president's behalf. you will hear that president trump told his aid he was relying ong for ukraine, he wanted them to talk to rudy. what you are going to hear is that his close advisors had just gotten back on may 23 from the inauguration of the new president, president zelensky and told mr. trump we were impressed. he was elected on an anti-corruption and reform platform. you should schedule a white house meeting. it is very important. this is very good for the united states. and the president's response was talk to rudy.
who had been out there claiming what the ukrainian president had to do was investigate his political rival. you will hear that president trump's advisors told president zelensky that president trump would not scheduled the wanted white house meeting unless he announced a ukrainian investigation of former vice president biden. there are documents, sworn testimony, this happened and there is no question from the evidence that the president did this. and president zelensky desperately needed a white house meeting both to show russia that the u.s. was still supporting ukraine and his own credibility as a new president. you will hear then to ramp up the pressure what president trump did is he told his agencies to withhold military and security aid that had been approved and was supposed to be released to ukraine, hundreds of millions of dollars, in order to put more pressure on
ukraine. all the agencies involved state department, defense department, national security council said it should be released. it had been approved and was going to be released until president trump prnlly stopped it. and again contemporaneous evidence show and prove it. people said they were shocked. ambassador taylor said he was in astonishment. witness said it was illogical to do this. the president never offered an explanation. ultimately it was discovered why he did it. then on the july 25th call president trump explicitly told them he wanted him to do two ukrainian investigations. one of a u.s. citizen and his political rival and the other about the origins of the interference in the 2016 election. some conspiracy theory that russia that all the intelligence agencies agreed interfered with the 2016 that maybe it was ukraine. another investigation intended to help the president politically. that's it. you know the president cared
about the investigations that would help him politically and not ukraine and not the national security interest. you don't have to take my word. i'll play something from david holmes who had worked in the u.s. embassy in ukraine and was speaking to ambassador sondland who president trump appointed, ambassador sondland and met with president zelensky and went to lunch with mr. holmes and he called president trump on his cell phones and mr. holmes could hear the phone call. let's see what happened on july 26th, the day after that call. >> i heard ambassador sondland greet the president and said he was calling from kiev and was in ukraine. sondland replied he was in ukraine and went on to state that president zelensky loves your ass. i then heard president trump ask so he'll do the
investigation. ambassador said president zelensky will do anything you ask him to do. >> that is sworn testimony by david holmes who heard it from the president himself. it was clear to everyone, the most experienced people in government, who donald trump himself appointed in their positions, they knew what was going on. let's look at a text message from ambassador taylor on september 9th. he said as i said on the phone, i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. again, that is president trump putting his own political and personal interests over the nation's interest to hold aid desperately needed by ukraine in order to combat russia and show the support he did it to help his own campaign. now there have been excuses offered by the president. i would like to talk about
those excuses. the first excuse offered by president trump is that the aid was ultimately released and president trump met with mr. zelensky. we heard it today. the challenge with that, though, as an excuse is the aid was only released after president trump got caught doing the scheme. on september 9th the committees of this house started their investigation and announced they were investigating his conduct with regard to ukraine. two days later is when he released the aid. he also -- there was a news article that we'll talk about in a moment by the "washington post" on september 5th exposing his scheme. it was only after that that he met with president zelensky not in the white house but in new york. another excuse offered. the president was motivated by general corruption concerns. and again the evidence shows that is not true that that's what caused him to withhold the aid. president zelensky was elected on an anti-corruption platform and a reform candidate.
his own people told him again and again president zelensky is doing it the right way. they urged him to be supportive. on his call with president zelensky on july 25th president trump ignored the talking points that were prepared to talk about corruption. he only wanted the talk about two things. the two investigations that helped him politically. every intelligence agency unanimously supported releasing the aid to ukraine. it was appropriate. they did a corruption study and said release it. the white house never provided an explanation. the aid had already been approved and it was not for any corruption issues that president trump withheld it. the next is ukraine was not pressured. and the argument about that is well today they haven't said they were pressured. ukraine was pressured then and still is pressured. they're desperately in need of the united states's support as they battle the threat of russia. of course they have to be careful what they said but
contemporaneous documents, emails, texts from ukraine officials themselves show the pressure they felt. showed they knew what president trump was doing. showed what they had to do. this is one from bill taylor to again ambassador gordon sondland and volker. talked about a senior aide that president zelensky is sensitive about ukraine taken seriously not just nearly an instrument in washington domestic, reelection politics. they wouldn't get a white house meeting. they were not going to get military aid unless they further erd president's trumps reelection efforts. that's a corrupt abuse of power. another argument trump never said quid pro quo. you will hear on a call with ambassador sondland after a
"washington post" article came out on september 5th which we will look at. after that there was a "washington post" article that came out that again exposed the ukrainian scheme. days after that president trump was on a phone call with ambassador sondland. without prompting said there was no quid pro quo. he got caught. he is offering his defense. but even ambassador sondland in his sworn testimony didn't buy it. ultimately then president trump not only was not dissuaded. he again described what he wanted. he didn't want ukraine to actually conduct these investigations. he wanted them to announce investigations of his political rival to help him politically. he continued and you will hear more about that. again, none of these excuses hold any water and they are refuted by testimony, contemporaneous records, and more. now some have suggested that we
should wait to proceed with these impeachment proceedings because we have not heard from all of the witnesses or obtained all the documents. but the reason we have not heard from all the witnesses or documents is because president trump himself has obstructed the investigation. he has directed his most senior aides who are involved in some of these events not to come testify. to defy subpoenas. he has told every one of his agencies with records that could be relevant not to produce those records to us. to try to obstruct our investigation. now, this is evidence that president trump is replaying the playbook used in the prior department of justice investigation. in that investigation he directed his white house counsel to create a false, phony record and document and lie denying that president trump had told him to fire the special counsel. he did many other things to try to interfere with that
investigation. i attacked the witnesses and investigators and called them horrible names, just like he had done here. president trump thought he got away with it. july 24th was the day that the special counsel testified before this committee and the house intelligence committee. the 24th. it was exactly the following day the 25th that president trump spoke to president zelensky in furtherans of scheme. he could act like he was above the law and if he got caught he would use his powers to obstruct the investigation and prevent the facts from coming out. that's exactly what he did. but fortunately, fortunately, because of the true american patriots who came forward to testify despite the threats against the people who worked in his own administration, they
told the story. they on their own produced documents that provide uncontroverted, clear and overwhelming evidence that president trump did this scheme. he put his political reelection interests over the nation's national security and the integrity of its elections. he did it intentionally and corruptly and he abused his powers in ways the founders feared the most. no person in this country has the ability to prevent investigations and neither does the president. our constitution does not allow it. no one is above the law. not even the president. and one of the concerns and requirements of finding an impeachable offense is there an urgency or sense you have to move because it could be repeated? well again, first all the
constitutional experts who testified recognized that obstructing an investigation is an impeachable offense but here the offense we're talking about that's being obstructed with is interfering with the very election that's coming up. i submit to you given what happened with the department of justice investigation. given what's happening here, if in fact president trump can get away with what he did again, our imagination is the only limit to what president trump may do next or what a future president may do next to try to abuse his or her power to serve his own personal interest over the nation's interest. i would like to turn back to what the founders most cared about when we talk about the abcs of potential presidential abuses. it is extraordinary that the president's conduct was a trifecta checking all three boxes. let's begin with abuse of power. what that means it's to use the
power of the office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the national interest. or acts in ways that are grossly inconsistent with and undermine the separation of powers that is the foundation of our democratic system. now, these -- this question of whether a president engaged in abuse of power came up before when this congress considered the impeachment of president nixon. and after action was taken president nixon said if the president does it, it is not illegal. this body rejected that. that's not so. that goes directly contrary to what the founders said. but president trump has said the same thing in responding to the prior investigation by the department of justice and defending his conduct. here is what he said. >> president trump: then i have an article 2 where i have the right to do whatever i want as president.
>> that he has the right to do whatever he wants as president. that is as wrong as when president nixon said a similar thing. that is not what the constitution provides. that is not what the country demands. he does not have the right to do whatever he wants. turning to the second abuse of power concern. betrayal of the nation with foreign powers. the american people have suffered that foreign influence. when president trump treated military aid that had been approved, taxpayer dollars and decided to treat it as his own checkbook to try to further his own reelection chances. that reflects what the founders were concerned about. finally, corruption of our elections. the framers knew that corrupt leaders or leaders acting corruptly concentrate their powers to manipulate elections and undercut adversaries.
they talked about it frequently. that's why the framers thought electoral treasury particularly involving foreign powers was a critical abuse and that could support and lead to impeachment. now the american people learned last election how dangerous foreign intervention in our elections can be. let me show another clip from candidate trump on the campaign trail. >> president trump: russia, if you're listening, i hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. >> russia was listening. within approximately five hours -- five hours of president trump's invitation to russia to interfere in our election by trying to hack and obtain the emails of his political opponent, russia tried to do
that for the first time. the very officers who were then indicted by the department of justice for that conduct. they took candidate trump's invitation. now, the american people learned a lesson. president trump unfortunately apparently learned a different lesson. let's look. >> president trump: well, i would think that if they were honest about it they would start a major investigation into the bidens. the very simple answer. they should investigate the bidens. >> so this was president trump answering a question what did he want president zelensky to do. even after he got caught he is saying again this vulnerable nation dependent on u.s. support militarily and otherwise, again he is telling them what to do. unlike in 2016 when he only had a campaign platform which to extend the invitation to a foreign power, now he has the
levers of government in his control to not only request it and invite it but to pressure that country to do it. and that's exactly what he did. you will hear more about that in the presentation for the house intelligence committee. and what's most striking as we come back to this issue that the framers were concerned about. is there a continuing risk of wrongdoing? the fact that president trump did this after he was caught shows the risk. shows the risk of what will happen if this body doesn't act. he really does believe he can act as though he were above the law. he really does believe as evidenced by this conduct that he can put his personal and political interests over the nation's interest and national security interest, over the nation's integrity of its elections. so of course we do have an
election coming up. that's not a reason to postpone this discussion, that's a reason we must have this discussion to make sure it is not interfered with. to make sure this president doesn't do it, to make sure future presidents do not do it. it is the hope that in these discussions we can put aside political rancor, disagreements, and have a fair discussion about the facts and this conduct not just as it relates to president trump but as to the presidency itself and future presidents. my son, our children, our grandchildren, they will study this moment in history. they will read all of your remarks. they will learn about all of your actions. and that is not a reason to vote for or against impeachment. for that of course you must
vote your conscience. but that is a reason for us to have a fair debate about what the undisputed facts show. to recognize that it is wrong -- it is very wrong and cannot happen again with this president or any president. it is a reason to talk about whether we want our children and grandchildren to live in a country where the president elected by the people can put his own personal and political interests over the interests of the people who elected them. it is the reason for these debates to again fairly focus on the facts and to make sure the presentations we are going to hear will not distort the record. focus on process points, raise extraneous matters that are intended to distract rather than focus what the conduct was at issue here.
it is a reason to focus on the facts and what is in the country's best interest. history, future generations will be the judge. >> thank you, mr. berke. mr. castor, you are recognized for 30 minutes. >> point of order. >> mr. castor is recognized for 30 minutes. >> point of order, mr. chairman. >> mr. castor is recognized for 30 minutes. >> the witness violated rule 17 and my point of order should be heard. the witness has used language which impugns the motives of the president and suggests he is disloyal to his country. those words should be stricken from the record and taken down. >> the point of order is not sustained. witnesses are not subject to the rules of decorum. >> appeal the ruling of the chair. >> in the same way members are. the topic of the hearing is the
president's misconduct. so none of us should find it surprising we're hearing testimony that is critical of the president. i do not find that the witness's comments are disorderly but pertinent to the subject matter of this hearing. the witness would be able to continue except that his time has expired. mr. castor's has not. >> my point of order is not that his words are disorderly. they violate the rules of the house and should be taken down. this is not about his conduct. he is talking about the motive and the character of the president of the united states. >> the gentleman will suspend. the rules of decorum apply to members of the house, not witnesses. the gentleman may proceed. >> i appeal the ruling of the chair. >> it is not a ruling. >> it is a ruling. it is a ruling on a point of order and it is appealable. that is a ruling. >> subject to a vote. the point of order is not sustained. >> i peel the ruling of the
chair. >> i move to table. >> the motion is made to table. >> move the motion be made in writing. >> all the n favor of the motion to table say aye. opposed no. motion to table. >> put it in writing first and then call the vote. follow the rules. >> motion to table is sustained. >> roll call. >> the clerk will call the roll. (roll call taken] [roll call continuing]
>> how am i recorded? >> you are not recorded. >> i said no. >> has every member voted who wishes to vote? the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman 24 ayes and 15 nos. >> motion to table is carried. >> parliamentary inquiry. >> mr. castor is recognized. i will not recognize the parliamentary inquiry at this time. mr. castor is recognized for 30 minutes. >> welcome members of the committee and staff and i'm steve castor, a congressional staff member serving are the oversight committee on the republican staff with mr. jordan. for purposes of this investigation shared staffer with the judiciary committee and mr. collins and the house permanent select committee on intelligence and mr. nunes.
this is atypical for a staffer to be presenting but thanks for having me. the purpose of this hearing as we understand it is to discuss whether president donald j. trump's conduct fits the definition of a high crime and misdemeanor. it does not. such that the committee should consider articles of impeachment to remove the president from office and it should not. this case in many respects comes down to eight lines in a call transcript. let me say the answer to that question is no. the record in the record democrat's impeachment inquiry does not show president trump abused the power of his office. to impeach a president who 63 million people voted for for eight lines in a transcript is baloney. democrats seek to impeach president trump not because they have evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors but because they disagree with his
policies. this impeachment inquiry is not the organic outgrowth of serious misconduct. democrats have been searching for a set of facts which to impeach president trump since his inauguration on january 20th, 2017. 27 minutes after the president's inauguration the "washington post" ran a story the campaign to impeach the president has already begun. the article reported democrats and liberal activists mounting broad opposition to stymieing trump's agenda and noted that impeachment strategists believe the constitution's emoluments cause would be the vehicle. in the first two years the democrats introduced articles of impeachment to remove president trump have office on several different factual bases. on january 3 the first day of the new congress, congressman sherman introduced articles of impeachment against the
president. the same day representative tlaib said we'll go in there and we're going to impeach the -- president. may 2019 representative green said on msnbc if we don't impeach this president, he will be reelected. even speaker pelosi who said that impeachment is a somber and prayerful exercise has called president trump an imposter. and said it is dangerous to allow voters to judge his performance in 2020. the obsession with impeaching the president is reflected in house democrats have used the power of their majority in the past 11 months. in the oversight committee the democrats first announced witness was michael cohen, a disgraced fell on who pleaded
guilty. oversight committee democrats demanded information about the president's personal finances and subpoenaed the accounting firm for large swaths of sensitive and personal financial information about the entire trump family. the subpoena was issued over the objection of committee republicans and without a vote. in the ways and means committee, democrats demanded the president's personal tax return information. the reason they cited for wanting the president's tax returns they said was to oversee the irs's audit process for presidential tax returns. you can judge that for yourself. in the financial services committee democrats demanded and subpoenaed the president's bank records going back 10 years. the financial services committee staff, republicans tell me the information demanded would cover every withdrawal, credit card swipe, debit card purchase of every member of the trump family
including his minor child. the reason that the democrats gave for why they needed such intrusive personal information about the trump family was get this, financial industry compliance with banking statutes and regulations. here in the judiciary committee democrats sent out letters demanding information from over 80 recipients including the president's children, business partners, employees, his campaign, businesses, and foundation. of course, the main event of the judiciary committee was the report of special counsel mueller which democrats would believe would serve as the basis for impeaching the president. despite reviewing 500 witnesses issuing 2800 subpoenas, executing almost 500 search warrants, and spending $25
million, the special counsel's 19 attorneys and 40 f.b.i. agents, analysts and staff found no conspiracy or coordination between the trump campaign and the russian government. after the trump/russia collusion allegations did not pan out. democrats focused their efforts on obstruction of justice. they criticized attorney general barr for concluding that no crime of obstruction had occurred in the special counsel investigation. but in fact was entirely appropriate for the attorney general to make that call because the special counsel declined to do so. not surprisingly, the democrats mueller hearing was underwell mg to say the least and corey lewandowski did not move the needle either. committee democrats hired former federal prosecutors to prepare for their anticipated
efforts to impeach the president. now that the russian collusion allegations didn't work out democrats have settled on the ukraine phone call, eight lines the president uttered on july 25th with ukrainian president zelensky. the foreign affairs committee, the committee of jurisdiction wasn't the committee leading the impeachment inquiry or holding the hearings. neither was the oversight committee. the house's chief investigative entity. the judiciary committee was only recently brought back into the mix after fact finding concluded. instead the impeachment inquiry was run by the house intelligence committee and former federal prosecutors. democrats on the intelligence committee ran the impeachment inquiry in a manifestly unfair way. all the fact finding was unclassified. and that was made clear at the top of the every single deposition but the democrats took advantage of the closed
door process in the capitol scif to control access to information. the secrecy weaponized the investigation allowing public narratives to take hold and careful leaks of witness testimony. they refused to invite republican witnesses and called democratic witnesses not to answer our questions. in the public hearings many of these unfair processes continued. democrats refused to invite numerous witnesses requested by republicans. interrupted republican questioning and prevented witnesses from answering republican questions. democrats voted down by virtue of a motion to table with no notice subpoenas for documents and testimony requested by republicans. democrats never once brought any of their subpoenas to a vote before the intelligence committee. this unfair process reflects the degree to which democrats
are obsessed with impeaching the president. the democrats went searching for a set of facts on which to impeach the president. emoluments clause, president's business and financial records, mueller report, obstruction, before landing on the ukraine phone call. the impeachment inquiry is clearly an orchestrated effort to upend our political system. according to "politico" the speaker has tightly scripted every step of the impeachment inquiry and they have focus groups to test which allegations whether quid pro quo, bribery, or extortion were most compelling to the american public. speaker pelosi said democrats must strike while the iron is hot on impeaching the president. the entire duration of the impeachment quiry from the time she announced it on september 24th until today has been 76
days. as professor turley testified last wednesday, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding with the thinnest evidentiary record and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president. the artificial and arbitrary political deadline by which democrats are determined to finish impeachment by christmas leads to a rushed process and missed opportunities to obtain relevant information. democrats avoided the accommodations process required by federal courts in disputes between congress and the executive. they declined to attempt to negotiate with the administration for the production of documents and witnesses. democrats did not exhaust all their options to entice witnesses or agencies to cooperate such as allowing witnesses to appear with agency
lawyers. or initiating contempt proceedings. sometimes the threat of a contempt proceeding gets you a different result. sometimes the witnesses choose to appear when contempt is on the table. democrats even withdrew a subpoena to one witness who asked a federal court to resolve conflicting orders from congress and the executive. either because the democrats didn't want to wait for the court to rule, or they didn't like the presiding judge, judge leon. democrats made their demands and refused to budge. democrats told witnesses at the outset that their refusal to cooperate in full would be used against them and the president. democrats threatened federal employees that their salaries could be withheld for not meeting committee demands. these tactics are fundamentally unfair and counterproductive for gathering information in any serious inquiry. this rushed and take it or
leave it approach to investigating is contrary to how successful house investigations typically work. congressional investigations take time. there is no easy button. in this job you must take the information that is offered even if you don't like the terms. you should not say no to take go a witness's testimony because you would prefer the agency counsel is not present. if that's the only means to obtain the testimony you should take it. your priority must not be on blocking information out, it must be on seeking information. in all recent major congressional investigations for example chairman goodlatte and gowdy's investigation during 2016 the i.r.s. targeting investigation, the benghazi investigation and fast and furious there was give and take between congress and the executive. in the good lat dowdy investigation it took two
months of negotiations before the committees conducted the first witness interview with deputy director mccabe. the justice department only produced documents to the committee after many more months of discussions. none of these investigations did congress get everything it wanted within 60 or 76 days, but with persistence and patience we did receive enough information to do our work. and contrary to talking points, the trump administration has, in fact, cooperated with and facilitated congressional oversight and investigations. for example, earlier this year the oversight committee conducted an investigation into security clearances at the white house. the central allegation put forward was that the white house deviated from established procedures to grant clearances to certain white house staff. the democrats sought to interview career staff who performed these security
clearance reviews. but declined the witness initially to appear with agency counsel. the house and white house were at an impasse. however, after a little bit of time we the republican staff with the help of mr. jordan convinced the witness to appear with agency counsel for our own transcribed interview and the democrats came along. the subsequent interviews in the security clearance investigation were conducted with agency counsel. the testimony allowed the committee to obtain the evidence. get to the bottom of what was going on and it wasn't what was alleged. nobody outside the security clearance office was handing out clearances. certainly not to senior white house staffers. in this impeachment inquiry, however, democrats have turned away information that could be valuable to the inquiry to
disallow agency counsel to accompany witness and declined to negotiate in good faith with the administration about the scope of document requests. as a result of these failures, the evidentiary record in the impeachment inquiry is incomplete and in many places incoherent. the failure to exhaust all avenues to obtain information severely risks undermining the legitimacy of any articles of impeachment. as professor turley said to the committee last week, i am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. i believe this impeachment not only fails the standard of past impeachments, but would create a dangerous precedent for future impeachments. professor turley elaborated the current lack of proof is another reason why the abbreviated investigation into this matter is so damaging for the case of impeachment.
the substantive case for impeaching president trump as a result of an artificial, arbitrary and political schedule, relies heavily on ambiguous facts. presumptions and speculation. turlly warned that impeachments have been based on proof, not presumptions. the democrats do not have proof. my democrats counterparts on the intelligence committee are talented attorneys. i'm sure they will tell you a riveting story about a shadow or irregular foreign policy apparatus and a smear campaign designed to extort ukraine for the president's political benefit. they will tell you about president trump and how he put his own political interests ahead of national security by mentioning former vice president joe biden, by name and raising the allegations of
ukrainian influence in the 2016 election on the july 25th call. they will try to convince you the trump administration, the same administration democrats regularly accuse of being incompetent, orchestrated an international conspiracy at the highest levels. none of this adds up. it may be great screenplay but it is not what the evidence shows. the democrats impeachment inquiry ignores all of the evidence that does not advance their story. the democrats impeachment narrative resolves all ambiguous facts and conflicting evidence in a way that is most unflattering to the president. the democrats' impeachment narrative ignores public statement from senior ukrainian officials that contradict the narrative. as you listen to the democrat presentation later today i urge you to keep these points in mind. what evidence that has been gathered in the impeachment inquiry paints a different
picture? i won't provide a detailed presentation now but allow me to highlight a few points. first, the summary of the july 25th phone call reflects no conditionality or pressure. president zelensky never vocalized any discomfort or pressure on the call. contrary to democrat allegations president trump was not asking for a favor that would help his reelection. he was asking for assistance in helping our country move forward from the divisiveness of the russia collusion investigation. second, since president trump has declassified and publicly released the call summary 75 days ago president zelensky has says publicly and repeatedly that he felt no pressure. he said it september 25th at the united nations general assembly. he said it in an interview published on october 6th. he said it again on october
10th. and most recently he said it just last week in "time" magazine. other senior ukrainian officials have also said there was no linkage between a meeting, security assistance, and an investigation. if president trump was truly orchestrating a pressure campaign to force ukraine to investigate former vice president biden one would think that ukraine would have felt some pressure. third, at the time of the july 25th call senior official efs in kiev did not know the security assistance was paused. they did not learn it was paused until the pause was reported publicly in the u.s. media on august 28th. as ambassador volker testified because the highest levels of the ukrainian government did not know about the pause, there was no leverage implied. finally, president zelensky met with president trump in new york on september 25th at the united nations.
shortly thereafter -- shortly before that the security assistance flowed to ukraine. both happened without ukraine ever taking actions or investigations. the impeachment record also has substantial evidence going to the president's state of mind. undercutting the democrats' assertion of some malicious intent. witnesses testified that president trump has a deeply rooted, genuine and reasonable skepticism of ukraine stemming from its history of corruption. president trump is skeptical of u.s. taxpayer-funded foreign assistance and believes that our allies should share more of the burden of ukraine's defense. ukrainian politicians openly spoke out against president trump during the 2016 election. these events bare directly on the president's state of mind. president zelensky had run on an anti-corruption platform. but he was an untried
politician with a relationship to a controversial ukrainian oligarch. when former vice president pence met with president zelensky in warsaw, -- when vice president pence met with president zelensky on september 1 he stressed to him the need for reform and reiterated the president's concern about burden sharing among european allies. in late august and early september after his party took control ukraine passed historic reforms to fight corruption. removing parliamentary immunity which witnesses said had been an historic source of corruption. imagine you are members of our congress had immunity. he later lifted the pause on security assistance and met with president zelensky two weeks later. the aid was paused 55 days. simply, the evidence in the democrats' impeachment inquiry does not support the conclusion that president trump abused his
power for his own personal political benefit. there is simply no clear evidence that president trump acted with malicious intent in withholding a meeting or security assistance. indeed there are and the republican report articulates them legitimate explanations for these actions that are not nefarious as the democrats allege. the evidence shows that president trump faithfully executed the duties of his office by delivering on what he promised the american voters he would do. democrats may disagree with the president's policy decisions or the manner in which he governs but those disagreements aren't enough to justify the irrevocable action of removing him from office. the democrats histrionics are not a good reason from having the american people deciding on their own who is going to be
the next president. this record also does not support a conclusion that president trump obstructed congress during the impeachment inquiry. for many of the procedural defects i touched on earlier. additionally as a factual matter the only direct testimony the investigation has obtained about the president's reaction to the inquiry is from ambassador sondland. who testified president trump told him to cooperate and tell the truth. president trump has also declassified and released summaries of his two phone calls with the president zelensky. president trump has said he would like witnesses to testify but he has been forced to resist the unfair and abusive process. i believe strongly in the prerogative of the congress. it is awful to hear president turley's testimony from last week when he critiqued the house for proceeding on such a thin record. he said to set this abbreviated
schedule, demand dojts and then impeach because they haven't been turned over when they go to court i think is an abuse of power. the impeachment of a duly elected president as chairman nadler said in 1998 is the undoing of a national election. now, i understand democrats issued a report over the weekend arguing that contrary to the chairman's statement in 1998 impeachment is not undoing an election. i would just respond by saying that i don't think many of the 63 americans from all around the country who voted for president trump in 2016 would agree. by impeaching president trump the house would be nullifying the decision of those americans. and house would be doing it in less than 11 months before the next election. there still is no compelling argument for why democrats in the house must take this decision out of the hands of the voters and do it before
christmas. during the clinton impeachment in 1998 the chairman said at a bare minimum the president's accusers must go beyond hearsay and innuendo and beyond the demands that the president prove his innocence of vague and changing charges. i would submit those words ring as true today as the chairman believed them to be in 1998. the impeach. record is reliant on hearsay, innuendo and assumptions. democrats have lobbed charges for impeachment going as far back as the president's inauguration. for all these reasons the extraordinary exercise of the house's impeachment authority is not warranted on the evidentiary record presented. thank you for allowing me to present this information this morning. and i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back.
thank you both for your presentations. mr. berke, you are now excused and we'll invite mr. goldman to take his place at the witness table. >> mr. chairman, mr. chairman. >> what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition. pursuant to rule 7b of the house rules the chairman is allowed to administer an oath. not mandated to but it has been the practice of this committee to administer oaths to witnesses. i'm wondering why we have not administered the oath in this situation. >> i am going to administer the oath to the two witnesses who are now coming before us to make presentations. the two gentleman who just testified were not witnesses, they were staff -- they were making opening statements to the committees. we will now administer an oath to mr. castor and mr. goldman who are now testifying in the capacity of witnesses.
>> we typically administer oaths before opening statements. >> for witnesses. for witnesses. mr. castor, we will now administer -- >> parliamentary inquiry. >> gentleman will suspend. >> mr. castor was here with mr. berke presenting the report of the committee. that is the opening statement to this committee. they were not witnesses before this committee. mr. castor now and mr. goldman are witnesses before this committee and i will administer the oath. >> mr. chairman, if they were making presentations the rules should apply. >> the gentleman is not recognized. >> mr. chairman, point of order. >> we welcome -- >> point of order. >> who is seeking recognition. state your point of order. >> mr. chairman, despite our repeated requests for access to the evidence. we have received less than 48 hours ago over 8,000 pages of documentation. mr. chairman, if this were a court of law you would be facing sanctions by the bar
association. how are we supposed to process over 8,000 pages of documents that came from various committees within 48 hours. >> that is not a point of order. >> is there a reason why this document >> the gentleman will suspend and not make a speech. mr. goldman and mr. castor, please rise and raise your right hand. do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury the testimony you are about to give is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, information and belief so help you god. let the record show the presenters answered in the affirmative. thank you and please be seated. each of you will have 45 minutes to present. stay within that time there is a timing light on your table. when the light switches from green to yellow you have one minute to conclude your testimony. when the light turns red, it signals your time is expired, mr. goldman, you may begin. >> i have a point of order.
>> the gentleman will state his point of order. >> it is this. in the previous point of order issued by mr. johnson of louisiana, you ruled against his point of order because you said that mr. berke was a witness. you have just told us he was not a witness but he was a staffer. as such a staffer must avoid impugning motivations and if you -- so -- >> will you let him finish his point of order? >> he made his point of order. >> i haven't completed yet. the rule requires that members and staff not impugn the motivations of the president. what you ruled was that he was a witness. you have just told us he wasn't a witness. my point of order is that you were out of order in your ruling. >> the point of order is not sustained. i have already ruled on it. he was not a witness. these two gentleman now are witnesses. >> appeal to the chair.
>> it is appealable. >> the ruling is not -- the point of order is not sustained. >> i appeal the decision of the chair. >> i move to table. >> it is tabled. clerk -- all in favor of the motion to table say aye, opposed nay. motion to table is approved. >> roll call vote. [roll call vote] [roll call continuing]
>> has everyone voted? has everyone who voted wishes to vote. >> korea you are not recorded. >> i vote aye. >> anyone else wish to vote. >> 24 ayes, 17 no, sir. >> the ayes have it and the motion to table is agreed to. mr. goldman, you may begin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. chairman nadler, ranking member collins, members of the committee. we're here today because donald j. trump, the 45th president of the united states, abused the power of his office, the american presidency, for his political and personal benefit. president trump directed a
months' long campaign to solicit foreign help in his 2020 reelection efforts. withholding official acts from the government of ukraine in order to coerce and secure political assistance and interference in our domestic affairs. as part of this scheme, president trump applied increasing pressure on the president of ukraine to publicly announce two investigations helpful to his personal reelection efforts. he applied this pressure himself and through his agents working within and outside of the u.s. government by conditioning a desperately sought oval office meeting and 391 million dollars in taxpayer-funded congressionally-appropriated security assistance vital to
ukraine's ability to fend off russian aggression. he conditioned that on the announcement of these two political investigations that were helpful to his personal interests. when the president's efforts were discovered, he released the military aid, though it would ultimately take congressional action for the money to be made fully available to ukraine. the oval office meeting still has not happened. when faced with the opening of an official impeachment inquiry into his conduct, president trump launched an unprecedented campaign of obstruction of congress. ordering executive branch agencies and government officials to defy subpoenas for documents and testimony. to date the investigating committees have received no documents from the trump administration pursuant to our
subpoenas. were it not for courageous public servants doing their duty and honoring their oath to this country and coming forward and testifying, the president's scheme might still be concealed today. the central moment in this scheme was a telephone call between president trump and ukrainian president zelensky on july 25th of this year. during that call, president trump asked president zelensky for a personal favor to initiate the two investigations that president trump hoped could ultimately help his reelection in 2020. the first investigation involved former vice president joe biden and was an effort to smear his reputation as he seeks the democratic nomination in next year's presidential election. the second investigation sought to elevate an entirely debunked conspiracy theory promoted by
russian president vladimir putin that ukraine interfered in the last presidential election to support the democratic nominee. in truth, as has been made clear by irrefutable evidence from throughout the government, russia interfered in the last election in order to help then candidate trump. the allegations about vice president biden and the 2016 election are patently false. but that did not deter president trump during his phone call with the ukrainian president and it does not appear to deter him today. just two days ago, president trump stated publicly that he hopes that his personal attorney, rudy giuliani, will report to the department of justice and to congress the results of mr. giuliani's efforts in ukraine last week to pursue these false allegations meant to tarnish vice president biden.
president trump's persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security. the overwhelming evidence of this scheme is described in detail in a nearly 300-page document entitled the trump/ukraine impeachment inquiry report. formerly transmitted from the house permanent select committee on intelligence to this committee a few days ago. the report relies on testimony from numerous current and former government officials, the vast majority of whom are nonpartisan, career professional responsible for keeping our nation safe and promoting american values around the globe. the evidence from these witnesses cannot seriously be disputed. the president placed his personal interests above the
nation's interests in order to help his own reelection efforts. before i highlight the evidence and the findings of this report, i want to take just a moment to introduce myself and discuss today's testimony. i joined the house intelligence committee as senior advisor and director of investigations at the beginning of this year. previously i served for 10 years as a prosecutor in the southern district of new york when i joined the department of justice under the george w. bush administration. the team that i led on the intelligence community includes other former federal prosecutors, a retired f.b.i. agent, and investigators with significant national security expertise. the report that i am presented today is based entirely on the evidence that we collected in coordination with the oversight and foreign affairs committees that were gathered as part of the impeachment inquiry into
president trump's actions. nothing more, and nothing less. the three investigating committees ran a fair, professional and thorough investigation. we followed the house rules for depositions and public hearings including the rule against agency counsel being present for depositions and members and staff from both parties had equal time to ask questions and there were no substantive questions that were prevented from being asked and answered. this investigation moved swiftly and intensively as all good investigations should. to the extent that other witnesses would be able to provide more context and detail about this scheme, their failure to testify is due solely to the fact that president trump obstructed the inquiry and refused to make them available. nevertheless, the extensive
evidence that the committees uncovered during this investigation led to the following critical findings. first, president trump used the power of his office to pressure and induce the newly-elected president of ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election for president trump's personal and political benefit. second, in order to increase the pressure on ukraine to announce the politically-motivated investigations that president trump wanted he withheld a coveted oval office meeting and $391 million of military assistance from ukraine. third, president trump's conduct sought to undermine our free and fair elections and poses an imminent threat to our national security. fourth, faced with the revelation of his pressure campaign against ukraine,
president trump directed an unprecedented effort to obstruct congress's impeachment inquiry into his conduct. with that context in mind i would like to turn to the evidence of president trump's conduct concerning ukraine. my colleague mr. castor just said it revolves around eight lines in one call record. but that's sorely ignoring the vast amount of evidence that we collected of a months' long scheme directed by the president. i do want to start with that july 25th phone call because that is critical evidence of the president's involvement and intent. it was on that day that he held his second phone call with the new ukrainian president. the first in april was short and cordial following the ukrainian president's election success. but the second call would diverge dramatically from what those listening expected.
just prior to this telephone call, president trump spoke to gordon sondland, the u.s. ambassador to the european union who donated $1 million to the president's inaugural campaign. and who had been directed by the president himself to take on a leading role in ukraine issues. ambassador sondland relayed the president's message to president zelensky through kurt volker who had lunch with zelensky's top aide who appears repeatedly through this scheme at president zelensky's right-hand man. ambassador volker tested him with president trump's direction, good lunch, thanks. heard from white house. assuming president z convinces trump he will investigate and get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail
down visit for to washington good luck, see you tomorrow, kurt. even before the phone call with president zelensky took place, president trump had directed that ukraine initiate the investigation into 2016, the debunked conspiracy theory that ukraine had interfered in the election in order for president zelensky to get the white house visit that he desperately coveted. ambassador sondland was clear in his testimony about this quid pro quo. >> frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question. was there a quid pro quo? as i testified previously with regard to the requested without call and meeting, the answer is yes.
during this call with the ukrainian leader, president trump did not discuss matters of importance to the united states such as ukraine's efforts to root out corruption. instead president trump veered quickly into the personal favor that he wanted president zelensky to do. two investigations that would help president trump's reelection effort. witnesses who listened to the call described it as unusual, improper, inappropriate, and concerning. two of them immediately reported their concerns to white house lawyers. now let me just take a few minutes walking through that important call step-by-step because it is evidence that is central to the president's scheme. near the beginning of the call president zelensky said i would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. we are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps, specifically we're almost ready to buy more javelins from the
united states for defense purposes. the great support in the area of defense included the nearly $400 million of u.s. military assistance to ukraine which one witness testified was nearly 10% of ukraine's defense budget. this support comes as a result of russia's invasion of ukraine in 2014, when russia illegally annexed nearly 7% of ukraine's territory. since then the united states and our allies have provided support for ukraine an emerging post soviet democracy to fend off russia in the east. just a few weeks before this july 25th call, president trump had placed a hold on military assistance to ukraine without providing any reason to his own cabinet members or national security officials. the evidence the committee has collected showed that there was unanimous support for the aid
from every relevant agency in the trump administration. nevertheless, during the call, president trump complained that u.s. support for ukraine was not reciprocal. somehow ukraine needed to give more to the united states. what did he mean? it became clear. because immediately after president zelensky brought up u.s. military support and purchasing javelin anti-tank weapons, president trump responded, i would like to you do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and ukraine knows a lot about it. now the favor that he referenced there included two demands that had nothing to do with official u.s. policy or foreign policy. first, president trump said i would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine. they say crowd strike. as you saw yesterday, -- i guess you have one of your wealthy people, it says, the
server, they say ukraine has it. there are a lot of things that went on. the whole situation. i think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people. he went on later i would like to have the attorney general call you or your people and i would like you to get to the bottom of it. as you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named robert mueller, an incompetent performance. they say a lot of it started with ukraine. whatever you can do, it is very important that you do it if that's possible. here again president trump was referring to the baseless conspiracy theory that the ukrainian government, not russia, was behind the hack of the democratic national committee in 2016. not a single witness in our investigation testified that there was any factual support for this allegation. to the contrary, a unanimous assessment of the u.s. intelligence community found
that russia alone interfered in the 2016 u.s. election and special counsel mueller who indicted 12 russians for this conspiracy, testified before congress that the russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion. dr. fiona hill, an expert on russia and president putin who served on the national security council until july testified that the president was told by his own former senior advisors, including his homeland security advisor and his former national security advisor, that the alternative theory that ukraine had interfered in the election was false. and although no one in the u.s. government knew of any factual support for this theory it had one significant supporter, russian president vladimir putin. in february of 2017, president putin said second as we all know during the presidential campaign in the united states the ukrainian government
adopted a unilateral position in favor of one candidate. more than that, certain oligarchs certainly with the approval of the political leadership funded this candidate, female candidate to be more precise. if there was ever any doubt about who benefits from this unfounded theory put forward by president trump and his associates, president putin made it clear very recently when he said thank god no one is accusing us anymore of interfering in u.s. elections. now they are accusing ukraine. in the face of clear evidence not only from intelligence community experts but from his own national security team that russia, not ukraine, interfered in the 2016 election for the benefit of donald trump, president trump still pressed the ukrainian government to announce an investigation into this conspiracy theory and why? because it would help his own
political standing. president trump even sought to withhold an oval office meeting from the president of ukraine until he fell in line with president putin's lies. the leaker who had actually invaded ukraine. the second demand that president trump made of president zelensky during the july 25th call was to investigate the frontrunner for the democratic nomination for president in 2020. former vice president joe biden and his son, hunter. president trump stated the other thing, there is a lot of talk about biden's son that biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution. so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me. witnesses unanimously testified there was no factual support for this claim. rather, they noted that vice
president biden was acting in support of an international consensus and official u.s. policy to clean up the prosecutor general's office in ukraine. despite these facts, by the time of the july 25th call, mr. giuliani had been publicly advocating for these two investigations for months while also using back channels to press ukrainian officials to initiate them in support of his client, donald trump. ambassador sondland understood mr. giuliani's role very clearly. he testified mr. giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states. and we knew these investigations were important to the president. two others mr. giuliani was working at cross purposes with official policy channels toward ukraine. even as he was working on behalf of president trump. according to former national security advisor ambassador john bolton, mr. giuliani was a quote hand grenade who is going
to blow everybody up, unquote. near the end of the july 25th call president zelensky circled back to the pre-cooked message that ambassador volker had relayed to president zelensky's top aide before the call. president zelensky said i also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the united states, specifically washington, d.c. on the other hand, i also wanted to assure you we will be very serious about the case and work on the investigation. in other words, on one hand is the white house visit while on the other hand he agreed to pursue the investigations. this statement shows that president zelensky fully understood at the time of the july 25th call the quid pro quo between these investigations and the white house meeting that president trump required and that ambassador sondland
testified so clearly about. numerous witnesses testified about the importance of a white house meeting with the president of the united states. specifically a meeting in the oval office. an official act by president trump. as david holmes, senior official in the u.s. embassy in ukraine said, it is important to understand that a white house visit was critical to president zelensky. president zelensky needed to show u.s. support at the highest levels in order to demonstrate to russian president vladimir putin that he had u.s. backing as well as to advance his ambitious anti-corruption reform agenda at home. in other words, the white house visit would help zelensky's anti-corruption reforms. and that support remains critical as president zelensky meets today with president putin to try to resolve the conflict in the east.
now the day after this phone call president trump sought to insure that president zelensky got the message. on july 26th u.s. officials met with president zelensky and other ukraine officials in kiev and president zelensky mentioned that president trump had brought up some quote very sensitive issues, unquote. after that meeting ambassador sondland had a private one-on-one meeting with an draw yermak, president zell's top aide. ambassador sondland said they probably discussed the issue of investigations. after that with mr. holmes and who other state department officers ambassador sondland pulled out his cell phone and called president trump. somewhat shocked, mr. holmes recounted the conversation that followed. i heard ambassador sondland greet the president and explain he was calling from kiev. i heard president trump then clarify that ambassador sondland was in ukraine.
ambassador sondland said yes, he was in ukraine and went on to state that president zelensky loves your ass, unquote. i then heard president trump ask, so he is going to do the investigation? ambassador sondland replied he is going to do it adding that president zelensky will do anything you ask him to do. after the call, ambassador sondland told mr. holmes that president trump did not give a [bleep] about ukraine and only cares about the big stuff that benefits the president himself. like the biden investigation that mr. giuliani was pushing. to repeat, this is very important. ambassador sondland spoke to president trump before the july 25th call with president zelensky and relayed to ukrainian officials president trump's requirement of political investigations in exchange for a white house meeting. during that call, president trump asked for the favor of
these two political investigations immediately after the ukrainian president brought up u.s. military support for ukraine which president trump had recently suspended or put on hold. at the end of the call, president zelensky made a point of acknowledging the link between the investigations that president trump requested and the white house meeting that president zelensky desperately wanted. then the following day ambassador sondland confirmed to president trump on the telephone in person that the ukrainians would indeed initiate the investigations discussed on the call which were -- which was the only thing about ukraine that president trump cared about. now, it's very important to understand that this investigation revealed that the july 25th call was neither the start nor the end of president trump's efforts to use the powers of his office for personal and political gain.
you have to look at all of the evidence in context as a whole. prior to the call, the president had removed the former ambassador marie yovanovich to appoint others to spearhead his agind. perry, volker and sondland. all who attended president zelensky's inauguration on may 20th. all political appointees they proved to be more than willing to engage in what dr. hill later described as an improper domestic political errand for the president. on april 21st president zelensky won the ukraine election with 73% of the vote. he had two primary platforms. to resolve the war in the east with russia, and to root out corruption. that same day president trump called to congratulate him on his win. even though the white house press release following the call stated that president trump expressed his shared
commitment to quote root out corruption, president trump did not mention corruption at all on this call just like he did not mention corruption on the july 25th call. shortly after this call, president trump asked vice president mike pence to attend president zelensky's inauguration. but on may 13th president trump did an about face and direct president pence not to attend. the inauguration wasn't scheduled and the reason for the abrupt change of plans wasn't about scheduling issues. what happened between april 21 and may 13th when vice president pence was invited and removed from the delegation. a few things. first on april 25th, vice president biden formally announced his bid for the
democratic nomination for president. then about a week later on may 3 president trump spoke with president putin on the telephone. one senior state department official testified that the conversation between president trump and president putin included a discussion of ukraine. third, on may 9 mr. giuliani told "the new york times" he intended to travel to ukraine on behalf of his client, president trump, in order to quote meddle in an investigation. after apparent pushback from the ukrainians mr. giuliani canceled his trip the next day saying president zelensky was surrounded by enemies of president trufrment at a meeting in the oval office may 25th president said ukraine was corrupt and trade to take him down in 2016. the same false narrative pushed by president putin and mr. giuliani. in order for the white house
meeting to occur, president trump told the delegation they must talk to rudy to get the visit scheduled. these comments from president trump were the first of many subsequent indications that in his mind corruption equals investigations. in the weeks and months following, mr. giuliani relayed to both ukrainian officials and the government officials that president trump had designated that the may 23rd meeting to take a lead on ukraine policy the directive from president trump that a white house meeting would not occur until ukraine announced the two political investigations that president trump required. and well before the july 25th call ambassador sondland and volker replayed the quid pro quo to the ukrainians including to president zelensky himself. ambassador volker conveyed the message directly to president zelensky at the beginning of july urging him to reference
investigations associated with the giuliani factor with president trump. in meetings at the white house on july 10th ambassador sondland told other u.s. officials and two of president zelensky's advisors, including mr. yermak, he had an agreement with acting chief of staff mick mulvaney that the white house visit would be scheduled if ukraine announced the investigations. one witness testified that during the second of the meetings, ambassador sondland began to review what the deliverable would be in order to get the meeting. referring to an investigation of the bidens. the witness told the committee that the request for explicit. there was no ambiguity. and that ambassador sondland mentioned burisma, a major ukrainian energy company that hunter biden sat on the board of. so the witnesses that testified before the committee, the references to burisma was
shorthand for an investigation into the bidens. ambassador bolton and well as staff members ob j*ekted to the meeting for investigations trade and ambassador bolton told dr. hill, you go and tell eisenberg, the legal advisor for the national security council, i'm not part of whatever drug deal sondland and mulvaney are cooking up on this. you tell them what i've heard and what i said. yet this was not a rogue operation by mr. giuliani and ambassador sondland and volker. as sondland testified, everyone was in the loop, including mr. mulvaney, secretary pompeo, secretary perry, and their top advisors. on july 19th ambassador sondland emailed mr. mulvaney, secretary perry and secretary pompeo and others after speaking with president zelensky. the subject was i talked to
zelensky just now. and ambassador sondland wrote he is prepared to receive potus's call. the president of the united states. will assure him he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will, quote, turn over every stone, unquote. both secretary perry and chief of staff mulvaney quickly responded to the email noting that given that conversation a date would soon be set to schedule the white house telephone call. the evidence also unambiguously shows that the ukrainians understood this quid pro quo and had serious reservations particularly because president zelensky had won the election on an anti-corruption platform. in fact, a few days before the july 25th call, ambassador william taylor, the acting u.s. ambassador to ukraine and former permanent ambassador to ukraine texted ambassador
sondland and volker. rather he stated in his testimony on july 20th i had a phone conversation with a man who conveyed to me that president zelensky did not want to be used as a pawn in a u.s. reelection campaign. but president trump's pressure campaign on president zelensky did not relent and just four days later president zelensky received that message via kurt volker that he needed to convince president trump that he would do the investigations in order to get that white house meeting. as i have described, president zelensky tried to do exactly that on the july 25th call with president trump. in the weeks following the july 25th call, president zelensky heeded president trump's request sending his top aide, mr. yermak to madrid to meet with mr. giuliani. in coordination with mr. giuliani, and president trufrnl's handpicked representatives. they continued this pressure
campaign to secure a public announcement of the investigations. now according to ambassador sondland, this is very important, president trump did not require that ukraine actually conduct the investigations as a pre-wreck sit for the white house meeting. instead the ukrainian government needed only to publicly announce the investigations. it is clear that the goal was not the investigations themselves, or not any corruption that those investigations might have entailed, but the political benefit that president trump would enjoy from an announcement of investigations into his 2020 political rival and against a unanimous assessment that showed that he received foreign support in the 2016 election. for that reason, the facts didn't actually matter to president trump because he only cared about the personal and political benefit from the
announcement of the investigation. over the next couple of weeks ambassador sondland and volker worked with president trump's aid mr. yermak to draft a statement for president zelensky to issue. when the aide proposed a statement that did not include specific references to the investigations that president trump wanted, the burisma and biden investigation and the 2016 election investigation mr. giuliani relayed that wouldn't be good enough to get a white house meeting. here you can see a comparison on the left of the original statement drafted by mr. yermak the top aide to president zelensky and on the right a revised statement with mr. giuliani's requirements. and it says we intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbay yased investigation of all available facts and episodes. those including burisma and the 2016 u.s. elections which will prevent the recurrence of this
problem in the future. the only difference in the statement that giuliani required and the statement that the ukrainians had drafted was this reference to the two investigations that president trump wanted and told president zelensky about on the july 25th call. now ultimately president zelensky's administration temporarily shelved this announcement those efforts to press ukraine would remain ongoing. by mid august ukraine did not make a public announcement of the investigations president trump required and as a result no white house meeting was scheduled. by this time the president was pushing on another pressure point to coerce ukraine to announce the investigations. the hold on the vital military assistance that the president had put in place for more than a month still without any explanation to any of the policy experts. our investigation revealed that a number of ukrainian officials had made quiet inquiries to various u.s. officials about
the aid as early as july 25th, the day of the phone call. inquiries by ukraine officials continued until the hold was revealed at the end of august. this is important. it was important for the ukrainian officials to keep it quiet because if it became public, then russia would know that the u.s. support for ukraine might be on ice. so by the end of that month the evidence revealed several facts. one, the president demanded that ukraine publicly announce two politically motivated investigations to benefit his reelection. two, a coveted white house meeting was conditioned on ukraine announcing those investigations. three, president trump had placed a hold on vital military assistance to ukraine without any explanation and notwithstanding the uniform support for that assistance
from the relevant federal agencies and congress. ambassador taylor testified this quid pro quo between the investigations president trump wanted and the security assistance that president trump needed was crazy. and he told ambassador sondland as i said on the phone, i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for the help with a political campaign. now in an effort to move the white house meeting and the military aid along, ambassador sondland wrote an email to secretary pompeo on august 22. he wrote mike, shall we block time in warsaw for a short pull aside for potus to meet zelensky? i would ask zelensky to look him in the eye and said once ukraine's new justice folks are in place, mid-september, z, president zelensky, should be able to move forward publicly and with confidence on those issues of importance to potus and to the u.s.
hopefully that will break the log jam. ambassador sondland testified this was a reference to the political investigations that president trump discussed on the july 25th call which secretary pompeo ultimately admitted to that he listened to in realtime. ambassador sondland hoped it would help lift the log jam which he meant the hold on critical security assistance to ukraine and the white house meeting. what was secretary pompeo's response three minutes later? yes. after the hold on military assistance became public on august 28th, senior ukrainian officials expressed grave concern. deeply worried, of course, about the practical impact on their efforts to fight russian aggression but also, this goes back to why it remained confidential, also about the public message that it sent to the russian government. on september 1 at a
pre-briefing with vice president pence before he met with president zelensky, ambassador sondland raised the issue of the hold on security assistance. he said i mentioned to vice president pence before the meetings with the ukrainians that i had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations. president pence simply nodded in response expressing neither sponsor dismay at the linkage between the two. following vice president pence's meeting with president zelensky, ambassador sondland went over to mr. yermak again, president zelensky's top aide and pulled him aside to explain that the hold on security assistance was also now conditioned on the public announcement of the burisma/biden and 2016 election interference investigations. ambassador sondland explained to ambassador taylor that he had previously made a mistake in telling ukrainian officials
that only the white house meeting was conditioned on a public announcement of the political into president trump. in truth, everything, the white house meeting and the vital security assistance to ukraine was now conditioned on the public announcement. president trump wanted president zelensky in a public box, a private commitment was not good enough. nearly one week later on september 7th the holds remained and president trump and ambassador sondland spoke on the phone. the president immediately told ambassador sondland there was no quid pro quo but -- this is very important -- president zelensky would still be required to announce the investigations in order for the hold on security assistance to be lifted and he should want to do it. in effect, this is the equivalent of saying there is no quid pro quo, no this for
that, before then demanding precisely that quid pro quo. immediately after this phone call with president trump, this was the precise message that ambassador sondland passed directly to president zelensky. according to ambassador taylor, ambassador sondland also said that he had talked to president zelensky and mr. yermak and had told them that although this was not a quid pro quo, if president zelensky did not clear things up in public we would be at a stalemate. and i understood a stalemate to mean that ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance. needing the military assistance and hoping for the white house meeting president zelensky relented to the campaign and arrangements were made for the ukraine president to make a statement during an interview on cnn where he would make a public announcement of the two investigations that president trump wanted.
in order to president zelensky to secure the white house meeting and for ukraine to get that much-needed military assistance. although there is no doubt that president trump had ordered the military aid held up until the ukrainians committed to the investigations, on october 17th acting chief of staff mick mulvaney confirmed in public that there was such a quid pro quo. let's watch what he said. >> that was -- those were the driving factors, did he also mention to me that the corruption related to the dnc server? absolutely, no question about that. but that's it and why we held up the money. there was a report. >> so the demand for an investigation into the democrats was part of the reason that he wanted to withhold funding for ukraine. >> the look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation. that is absolutely appropriate. >> there you have it.
by early september the president's scheme was unraveling. on september 9th the intelligence oversight and foreign affairs committees announced an investigation into president trump and mr. giuliani's efforts in ukraine. later that same day the intelligence committee learned that a whistleblower had filed a complaint nearly a month earlier related to some unknown issue. but which the president and the white house knew was related to ukraine and had been circulating among them for some time. then two days later on september 11th in the face of growing public and congressional scrutiny president trump lifted the hold on security assistance to ukraine. as with the imme -- implementation was never said but he got caught and released the aid.
the president -- to -- he has repeated called on ukraine to investigate vice president bind. these actions demonstrate that his determination to solicit foreign interference in our election continues today. it did not end with russia's support for president trump in 2016 that he invited for asking his opponent to be hacked by russia and did not end when his ukraine scheme was exposed in september of this year. president trump also engaged once this investigation began in an unprecedented effort to obstruct the inquiry. i look forward to answering your questions about that unprecedented obstruction. but in conclusion, i want to say that the intelligence committee has produced to you a nearly 300-page report and i am grateful that you have offered me the opportunity today to walk you through some of the
evidence underlying it. admittedly it is a lot to digest. but let me just say this. the president's scheme is actually quite simple and the facts are not seriously in dispute. it could be boiled down to four key takeaways. first, that president trump directed a scheme to pressure ukraine into opening two investigations that would benefit his 2020 reelection campaign and not the u.s. national interest. second, president trump used his official office and the official tools of u.s. foreign policy to withhold an oval office meeting and $391 million in security assistance to pressure ukraine to meet his demands. everyone was in the loop. secretary of state, vice president and fourth, despite the public discovery of this scheme which prompted the president to release the aid, he has not given up. he and his agents continue to solicit ukrainian interference in our election. causing an imminent threat to
our elections and our national security. members of the committee, president trump's -- >> rule of order. point has elapsed. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> i have a motion. >> gentleman will state the motion. >> i move the committee shall be in recess. >> i move to table. >> move to table the motion. >> it is not debatable. all those in favor. >> i seek a recorded vote. >> say aye, no. the committee -- >> call the roll. [roll called] [roll call vote]
>> this is so they can have a press conference and chance to offer rebuttal. nobody asked for this break. >> the roll call is in progress. [roll call vote continues] >> has everyone voted who wishes to vote? the clerk will report. >> there are 24 ayes, 16 no, sir. >> the motion to recess at the call of the chair is -- >> how long is the recess? >> >> the gentleman will suspend. >> until they're done with their press conference. >> the gentleman will suspend. the committee will stand in
recess for 15 minutes and announce also that we've been in session 2 1/2 hours. after the conclusion of the testimony and the cross exams another 2 1/2 hours. will stand a recess then before the commencement of the five-minute round of questioning. i would ask that people remain in their seats while the two witnesses are given an opportunity to leave. i would remind people in the audience that if they leave they may not have their seats back when we reconvene. the committee will stay in recess and reconvene in 15 minutes. >> bill: there it is, 2:25 of two democratic attorneys making their case. you could label it closing arguments in the case against donald trump in this judiciary committee. the republican attorney steve castor arg aoung does it fit high crime and misdemeanors saying it does not. we're arguing about eight lines in a transcript that he called
baloney. >> it is called a pr move on the part of democrats saying the democrats did nothing wrong. democrats have had it out for this president since winning the election in 2016. jerry nadler, the chairman of that committee in his opening statement saying four times president trump put himself before country. so that was his point as we continue to hear more and questions will come after the short break. >> bill: they said the president used the power of his office for personal gain and that's the bottom line we've heard. ken starr, andy mccarthy, your reaction, ken starr first. >> i think the democrats should have just put mr. goldman on. my reaction to mr. berke was that he engaged in histrionics. he was hectoring, lecturing. in contrast i felt mr. goldman laid out the facts. this is the best possible case for the democrats. now notice that he has stayed on two themes.
ukraine abuse of power, and then the contempt of congress by failing to cooperate. there has not been a broadening -- there have been references to other perhaps misdeeds as the democrats would see it by the president. as jonathan turley said last week, this is so narrow, so really focused, and of course we have seen this put through the lens or through the perspective of said, prosecutors sometimes look at the world through dirty windows. so we have seen a very i think effective but slanted one-sided view of the evidence. so it is not surprising we had now a recess so this can sink in. >> bill: doug collins ranking member. >> not go out and bring your staff n. it is where should he be? as i stated in my opening statement. ken starr, who he is claiming to be, come and testify. stand for cross examination.
adam schiff hasn't. what we've seen is nothing more than a continuing recitation. i want to sigh this. it is hard to write and talk about it. but the absolute destruction of house priorities and house rules is something that has to be taken into account. this issue of minority hearing date may sound trivial to moles in the media. doesn't have the bite others do. it goes to the heart. go ask senior democrats. get them off record. they'll tell you that the very destruction of not giving us a minority hearing is destruction of this house. speaker pelosi, the leader and chairman nadler and chairman schiff are undermining the integrity of the house when we don't do this. it may not change the vote or opinion. but there are reasons minorities have rights in this body. to do this is tragic and should be reported on but that isn't important as we race to impeach a president. >> i know you've been on the dais all morning.
we get drips and drabs about the fisa report. can you ill um mate what's in the report? i'm going back to my staff to see what is coming off. highlights today. actual issues from a fisa report. has been investigated by all. waiting to see the results. there will be a hearing on wednesday. i think this is one of the reasons we're rushing so fast in our committee now. they're competing with the issues that are being discussed today. i want to make sure we get that out and see how that goes. >> last week rudy giuliani was in ukraine looking into efforts to -- do you have concerns about rudy giuliani continuing this effort amid this impeachment inquiry? >> i don't have any comment. >> you are saying it should be slowed down. the president says get it over with. which is it? >> the president is saying i'm being messed over in the house. i'm not given the ability to present the case.
it isn't a contradiction. if i had the opportunity in the house, they actually had a chance to put down rules and have it. the judiciary committee being the rubber stamp for adam schiff. at this point -- i'll stop on this one. to have this issue is not being rushed. when you come and present another report. nadler's words we shouldn't accept a report from another entity without having a full investigation. that's what we're doing. >> bill: doug collins beat the democrats to the microphone. republican from georgia. >> sandra: before that we heard from ken starr talking about the judiciary counsel barry berke mentioning abuse of power because as this goes on we listen for any hints about what democrats intend to write up as far as articles of impeachment.
what did you hear, andy. >> i think it was insightful for you to point out that nadler on four occasions when he was setting this up the chairman mentioned that the president had put himself or his own interests over the country. he did it in four different ways. it seems to me that this four is a theme as we go through the day. they had four reasons that were laid out by barry berke for why this was abuse of power. and i think you could detect in the testimony of mr. goldman who was the intelligence committee's counsel, the formation of what will probably be four articles of impeachment. what goldman laid out was the president's use of the power of his office to pressure foreign interference, conditioning the request that he made to ukraine on both the white house visit
and the aid, the defense aid. the third thing that the president undermined our free elections and national security. and finally, that he obstructed the investigation. i think those are basically the broad outlines of what will probably be four articles of impeachment ultimately. probably by the end of this week. i also agree with ken that barry berke's testimony, if it was testimony, was very peculiar. chairman nadler couldn't seem to -- andy biggs, the congressman from arizona pointed this out. nadler couldn't seem to figure out or decide whether berke was a witness or he was a member of the committee who was giving a presentation. so after berke made his remarks, there was an objection on parliamentary rules because he had defamed the president, which is not something that is allowed to be done by either a
member of congress or staff. chairman nadler refused to hear that objection on the theory that berke was a witness and therefore because he was a witness different rules applied than applied to members of congress. then when he was finished in his statement. i thought it was very peculiar, he was never sworn. got out of the room without being cross-examined. when questions were asked about that nadler said what are you asking me that for, he is not a witness, he can leave. so there seem to be some real confusion to me about what his role was. >> bill: berke doesn't come back by the way, it is all daniel goldman. >> goldman will get cross-examined, but not berke. >> bill: we have our folks here. you've been waiting patiently. bret, we begin with you with your observation there in washington >> systematic layout of the
case we've heard the past couple weeks by daniel goldman. nadler came back time and again president trump has put himself before the country and said integrity in our next election is what makes this so urgent and why we're pressing fast and quickly through this. he says he is going to uphold his oath. the republican argument from steve castor is that one, the process has been flawed. two, the minority rights have been squelched if you will. it comes down to eight lines in one phone call to remove the president of the united states. and it doesn't reach the bar. constantly quoting from jonathan turley. i think the case that you will hear from republicans is after two years of a russia investigation that came to naught finding collusion, that there is this push to impeachment and it is interesting that it comes on this day when the i.g. report is coming down and republicans have charged that the f.b.i.
misled the fisa court to launch those probes and we'll see exactly the details probably within the next hour. >> bill: we're led to believe that some members of the press are getting access to that i.g. report. when it is released we think maybe around 1:00 east coast time we'll bring it to you. >> sandra: doug collins says he hasn't had an opportunity to dive into the i.g. report yet. chris wallace, the hearing a brief recess. should return shortly. your thoughts as you watched this morning. >> i just want to push back a bit respectfully. that's what we do at fox, on ken starr & andy mccarthy on ken starr and the process what we heard today. he said that the presentation of the case against the president is narrow, prosecutors look at the world through dirty windows. it is slanted. it just seems to me and ken, i
see you there on the screen, i will talk directly to you. when you compare this to the clinton impeachment, which was basically about whether or not the president had lied under oath about sex. i'm not talking about whether or not this story is true or not. but the allegation that president trump conditioned support for a key foreign policy ally on political benefit to him strikes me as not narrow but far broader than the clinton impeachment and the effort that was made by you and republicans then to impeach him. and in addition, you said earlier today that well, there is no prospect that this is ever going to go anywhere in the senate, as if that should somehow affect the way the house proceeds. well, there was certainly never any prospect that bill clinton was going to be removed. in fact you talked about the political buy-in. bill clinton in 1998 in the height of the whole impeachment
thing democrats picked up seats. unusual for the party of the president in a mid-term election. but the house and you to some degree participated in impeaching him. not saying there was anything wrong with that but i'm simply saying it seems there is a very different standard in how the clinton impeachment went and how this impeachment is being judged. it seems to be a much bigger issue whether or not you believe the president did it is a different issue but it's about an issue of foreign policy, national security. the security of our elections. it is a much bigger issue than whether or not bill clinton lied about sex. >> may have i respond? >> i would hope so. >> okay. good. here is my response. one, there is no bipartisan support of this impeachment inquiry. that's a very important background fact. in the clinton matter, when the referral came to congress, what congress had to do was to say
is it serious enough to perhaps remove a president of the united states when he has committed federal crimes? what we have not seen here is the suggestion that or at least we have not seen proof that a crime has been committed. that seems to me to be a very relevant fact. when some president has committed actual federal felonies, then that puts it seems to me the impeachment inquiry in a very different context. now, what we've heard today is this again i believe a very one-sided -- which is what mr. goldman was charged with doing -- slanted view of the evidence. let's look at the broader context. there is no question even though ambassador sondland is not a good witness for the question, no question. there is no question that this president hated the idea of foreign aid to corrupt entities. there is no question. there is mixed motive here. my question is, is this something that is in fact going to persuade reasonable people
in the middle who say what are the facts, that there is -- i think this is the democrats' bottom line. the president is a clear and present danger to the national security of the united states. i view that as an extravagant claim. >> bill: i appreciate the debate. first want to get everybody else a crack at this apple. martha, your turn. good morning and welcome back the our coverage. your observation on what starr and wallace are arguing or something we watched for the past 2 1/2 hours. >> it goes in part to the debate that we heard between steve castor, the republican representative attorney and dan goldman. steve castor presented what we're discussing here in the broad picture as eight lines in a transcript. very much minimizing it, narrowing it down to those eight lines between president trump and president zelensky saying it is nothing, there is nothing. there is no pattern here. the democrats are trying to establish it is something much broader than that and it meets
the grounds for impeachable conduct. that is what dan goldman did. he went back through the history, the removal of the ambassador for -- in the larger purpose to make way for the people that we got to know as the three amigos, taylor, sondland and perry. they are trying to create it in a much larger context saying it was part of a plan, part of something that was designed to help the president in the 2020 elections. whether or not that sticks is something they've been trying to throw at the american people over the course of the last couple weeks when we've been watching this. as we've seen they're not getting anywhere in terms of the polls so far. that's the battle that they are taking on. one other thing. i got feedback from some of the democrats watching this as well with regard to the mueller question which we talked about a lot and whether or not they would be formally incorporated into the articles of impeachment, the feeling seems to be at this point they are being used to establish that pattern and that broader picture of corruption that they
want to lay down. but perhaps not so in the actual articles of impeachment which may or may not provide some cover to some of these 31 democrats who are in these trump districts to be able to take a difficult vote. >> bill: a blue dog from oregon said it will be a liability for the moderate democrats. our districts are purple or red. i just as soon as get it done and move on. that's a part of his argument. republicans are making, doug collins said we're looking at a clock and calendar. there is a political equation in all this. back to that in a moment. >> sandra: update from a reporter on capitol hill. nancy pelosi was asked off camera if she saw the i.g. report on the alleged fisa abuse saying she has not. the answer was no to that. dana perino joining our coverage. what are your impressions? >> i look at things from a p.r.
stand points. both sides would be thinking about today. over the weekend looking at some of the polling. in some ways people think this has been rushed, right? they're rushing to judgment on the president. not taking their time. but on the other way it started sort of you might think it started before the president even took office but technically it starts the middle of september. now in the middle of december. national polls are showing that there has been absolutely no movement on either side. the republicans think the president is fine. democrats think he should be removed from office. and in three months nothing either side has said has changed any opinions except in three key places and those are the battleground states of michigan, wisconsin and pennsylvania. the polls coming out of those three states continue to get worse for the democrats. each week this goes on. so if i were the democrats i might be thinking okay, what are we going to do to try to move the needle or to try to get this done and put it behind us so we can move on to do
other things? we have the trade bill that nancy pelosi the speaker has said he wants to try to get done. she trying to get through a bill that would lower drug prices and the senate is trying to talk about that. there are so many other things the american people want the talk about that this to me from a communications standpoint is a very difficult thing for the democrats. basically they have to clear a very high bar and right now i think they are not doing it. the evidence is no those polls. maybe the democrats don't care. maybe they'll say the base demands that we hold this president to account and that's what they will trying to do. i also notice one other thing from communications standpoint. we kept hearing pelosi and other democrats repeat the phrase. no one, including the president, is above the law. that polled well for them and true, nobody thinks the president is above the law. the one this week andy mccarthy mentioned it. the president put himself before country. they've repeated that several
times. because they practiced this weekend this whole scenario democrats and republicans thinking about this particular hearing i would imagine that phrase is one you'll continue to hear especially this afternoon when they go to the member round. >> bill: thank you for that. great observation. juan, jump in on this as well. drafting a little bit off about dana's point but the shrader comment. i would just soon get it done as move on. what political risk to these 31 democrats do you get it done and move on? >> for the democrats back to dana's point a lot has to do with the sense. they wrote an op-ed in the "washington post". several have, intelligence background and said they were comfortable moving forward because they saw what in the words of daniel goldman, the lawyer for the democrats today, a clear and present danger to the country, national security and constitution. they felt they could politically sustain their positions at home in their
districts. i think it's very important that they have not so far budged in terms of supporting this and have not gone to nancy pelosi to indicate that they feel this is politically untenable and damaging. where they have complained is about the amount of money being spent. being outspent tremendously on facebook and social media by the republicans specifically targeting many of those districts. but as it turns out in many cases, districts where it doesn't cost you as much to spend so it contributes to the media narrative that republicans are much more active on social media in protecting and defending the president. but i will say that i'm struck by the president today coming in and he is again tweeting during the midst of all this witch hunt, just read the transcript. even rudy giuliani overseas is tweeting about this and saying he doesn't see there is any basis for impeachment. to my mind like where is giuliani? what is he doing over there and
why would he be doing this? it seems to hurt the president's case. but i think the overall impact -- >> bill: my question went to the whole political risk if you go too fast. turley made this point last week. you have to take time for the public to catch up to you and that's part of this debate right now about the political calculation you're making if you go too fast against the calendar. democrats don't have the proof is the point that castor made and directly for turley's testimony last week. back to the mixed motive. >> sandra: we've been hearing from the president. tweet, read the transcript. white house put out a defense during the hearings part of which reads this case is built on nothing but assumptions, hearings and false narratives. >> i want to get to the whole issue of the politics of it. a legitimate thing to discuss and may well be that the democrats are making a big mistake and that may end up costing them the majority in the 2020 election.
and cause nancy pelosi her seat as speaker. it doesn't mean whether it's politically viable, popular or not that it therefore don't make it legitimate to do. this goes back to the conversation, the respectful conversation i'm trying to have with ken starr. if you look at back in 1998 when ken starr was conducting his investigation, when republicans were pushing the house was nearing a vote on impeachment in the election of 1998, the fact is that the democrats won, the republicans lost votes in the house and because of his effort leading the impeachment, newt gingrich he was kicked out at speaker. so it can be that you have a legitimate or illegitimate impeachment could backfire politically but doesn't mean the impeachment effort wasn't. you talk about the specific crime. i understand the specific crime that bill clinton was alleged to have committed.
he did commit it because a jury of the bar association found out, a judge found he had in terms of lying under oath. but in federalist 65 hamilton talks about an abuse of power. there has been a discussion of that. but the founders purposely didn't lay out u.s. code 3 and u.s. code 5. they left it to the discretion of the members of congress as to what would be an offense and abuse of power. and that's what they did and that's what this congress is doing right now. >> bill: you bring up an interesting point. fascinating debate. i'll bring ken starr back into this. when you consider, ken, you are taking -- you are encouraging the audience and the american voters to take the president's perspective. worried about corruption and spending taxpayer dollars if it wasn't going to a greater cause on behalf of ukraine or the
united states. there was apparently an offer of a white house meeting by someone. the white house meeting never happened. no obligation to make sure it takes place. the military aid, there was a hold put on it but later granted and went through. does all of that override the argument that wallace is making about suggesting bill clinton's impeachment was much more narrow than it is today. >> this begins with was a crime committed. i think it's a very important question at the very outset. no one that i know of is seriously suggesting that -- there are intimations, that an actual crime was committee. this is the exercise of judgment. i think it was inappropriate for the president to intrude the issue of the biden and burisma investigation into that conversation. my fundamental point, however,
is that we're defining impeachment down. this is a perfectly legitimate and important oversight hearing. but what the democrats have done is turn this into impeachment. we went for one century without having impeachment. then we went for another century without having impeachment. this is impeachment of a president not a federal judge. it's important we're in an election year. president clinton would not be subject to any sort of shall i say accountability unless in the court of impeachment. it doesn't make that impeachment wiser than perhaps the nixon impeachment or anything else but the point is the republicans had the support during the clinton impeachment of 31 democrats who said this evidence is so important that we must at least have an inquiry. we don't have that here. >> sandra: back to bret baier in washington before the hearing resumes. >> on another effort of
impeachment that got there. watergate 45 years ago. 7 out of the 17 republicans on the house judiciary committee back then voted to advance articles of impeachment. that is not happening today. you do not have any break in republicans. they are not breaking. you could make the argument they're holding the line on politics but they are also holding the line that they say that the there is not there. unless we see something different than we have seen over the last three weeks as far as the presentation and we're not likely going to get anything new because they're rehashing what they have done, you're not going to get 7 republicans out of the 17 on this house judiciary committee voting for that. >> bill: chris. >> real quickly i want to make the point, though. the clinton impeachment was so discredited when it finally got to the senate trent lott the republican leader and tom
daschle said there is no way we're going to remove this guy. let's not call any witnesses. have no witnesses. let's rush it through. if you judge them, let's judge them by the same standard. there were a few votes in the house but no bipartisan buy-in and roundly dismissed by the u.s. senate. >> bill: i guess both of you the point bret is making is pretty clear. this is the case, andy. it is before us. we know what the facts are or what they may not be. we know what's on >> we do, but i would push back on chris's point. we are entitled to learn from that history. you don't always have to treat it as if it is a binding precedent, and i feel entitled to say this because i said in 2014 before there was a donald trump. was a mistake to go forward with the clinton impeachment because there was no chance of
impeaching him in the senate. they are entitled to take that into account. >> to all of you, thank you. >> afternoon, chairman. a ranking member collins, members of the community and members of the staff, thank you again for having me back. giving me the opportunity to testify about the evidence gathered during our impeachment inquiry. at the outset, let me say the evidence does not support the allegations that my democrat colleagues have made. and i don't believe the evidence leads to the conclusions they suggest. i'm hopeful to add some important perspective and context of the facts under discussion today. the chief allegation is that the impeachment inquiry has been trying to assess over the last 76 days is this, whether president trump abuse the power of
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