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tv   CBS This Morning  CBS  December 9, 2019 7:00am-8:59am PST

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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 the 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 famously said, if the president does it, it is not illegal. this body rejected that because that's not so. that goes directly c founders s. but president trump has said the same thing in responding to the prior investigation by the department of justice and defending his conduct. here's what he said. >> 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
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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 most of concern. betraying the nation involving 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 re-election 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 is why the framers thought
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electoral treachery particularly involving foreign powers was a critical abuse that could support and lead to impeachment. now, the american people learned last election how dangerous foreign intervention on elections can be. let me show another clip from candidate trump on the campaign trail. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. >> andussi 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 e-mails of his political opponent, russia in fact tried to do that, for the first time. the very officers who were then indicted by the department of
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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. >> well, i would think that if they were honest about it, they'd start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. they should investigate the bidens. >> so this was president trump answering a question about what did he want president zelensky to do? so 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. and unlike in 2016 when he only had a campaign platform, with which to extend the invitation to a foreign power, now he has the levers of government in his
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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'll hear more about that in the presentation from 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, over the nation's 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
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this discussion. that is 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 don't 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 men 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
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have a fair debate about what the undisputed facts show. to recognize that it is wrong. it is very wrong. and it 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 a reason for these debates to again fairly focus on the facts and to make sure the presentations we're going to hear will not distort the record, focus on process points, raise extraneous matters that really are intended to distract rather than focus on what the conduct was at issue here. it is a reason to focus on the facts and what is in the
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country's best interests. history, future generations will be the judge. >> thank you, mr. berke. mr. castor, you are -- >> mr.n. >> you are ir poi ofrder. casto 30 minutes. >> mr. chairman, point of order. the witness has violated rule 17 and my point of order should be heard. >> point of order. >> the witness has used language which impuns the motives of the president and suggests he is disloyal to his country and 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 are hearing
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testimony that is critical of the president. i do not find that the witness's comments are disorderly. i find they are pertinent to the subject matter of this hearing. the witness would be able to continue except that his time is expired. mr. castor is recognized. >> my point of order is they violate the rules of the house and should be taken down. this is not about his conduct. he is talking about the motives 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 to witnesses. the gentleman may proceed. >> so i appeal the ruling of the chair. >> that is not a ruling. >> it is a ruling. >> there was no -- >> it is a ruling on a point of order. it is appealable. >> that is a ruling. >> subject to a vote. >> that is a rule. >> the point of order is not sustained. >> appeal the ruling of the chair. >> i move to table the -- >> the motion is made to table the appeal of the ruling of the
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chair. >> move the motion is made in writing. >> the motion is not in debate. all in favor of the motion to table will say aye. >> aye. >> those opposed no. >> no. >> the motion to table -- >> she has to put it in writing first. then you can call the vote. at least you're following the rules. >> the motion to table is sustained. >> roll call. >> the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. nadler. >> aye. >> mr. nadler votes aye. ms. lofton votes aye. mr. cohen votes aye. mr. johnson of georgia votes aye. mr. deutsch? votes aye. miss bass votes aye. mr. richmond votes aye. mr. jeffries? mr. jeffries votes aye. mr. cicilliny votes aye. mr. liu votes aye. mr. raskin votes aye. miss demmings votes aye.
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>> and a lesson in parliamentary rules and the rights of the minority here to in some ways disrupt this hearing or to make the point in their words that they are being railroaded, not given a chance to present their own type of view. we just heard, you know, a strong statement from not only the chairman of the judiciary but their committee lawyer making the case over and over again as they repeated that the president has put himself before country. >> clear and overwhelming facts. that's what the counsel for the democrats and the judiciary committee said the record has established. republicans don't buy that. the white house isn't participating. and yet it is the fundamental approach of house democrats that all of this has been established. it is clear. and inescapable that the president's motives were not for country but for self and that he took two official acts, one congressionally mandated aid and a potential white house meeting and used them as leverage. that's the case. >> yeah. >> it is not a new case.
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there is no new revelation. it is just a summary of that. and the country is going to have to evaluate that. >> kim wehle is with us as well our legal analyst. the democrats making the case in some ways this is a slam dunk on abuse of power. >> right. and walked through the various defenses. i thought that was quite effective. the president's team, the republicans are going to say for example this was about legitimate corruption and then he showed a clip of the president saying, listen. we should investigate the bidens. i thought that was quite effective. and for viewers really a good summary of the top points, and i think going forward the question will be, are there disputed facts? do we see anything from the republicans that raises a question as to the central narrative major just -- >> let's listen in to the republicans' -- >> also for purposes of this investigation, a shared staffer with judiciary committee -- it sure is atypical for a staffer
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to be presenting but again, 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 clearly and unequivocally that the answer to that question is no. the records and the impeachment inquiry does not show president trump abused the power of his office or obstructed congress. to impeach a president who 63 million people voted for over eight lines in a call transcript is bologna. 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
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misconduct. democrats have been searching for a set of facts on which to impeach president trump since his inauguration on january 20th, 2017. just 27 minutes after the president's inauguration that day, "the washington post" ran a story that the campaign to impeach the president has already begun. the article reported democrats and liberal activists are mounting broad opposition to stymieing trump's agenda and noted that impeachment strategists believed the constitution's emoliants clause would be the vehicle. democrats introduced articles to remove president trump from office on several different factual bases. on january 3rd the very first day of the new congress, congressman sherman introduced articles of impeachth prent. same day representative talib said we're going to go in
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there and impeach the -- president. in may 2018 it was said on mns if we don't impeach this president he will be re-elected. even speaker pelosi who has 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 how 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 felon who pleaded guilty to lying to congress. when he came before us, at the oversight committee, he then lied again as many as eight times. oversight committee democrats demanded information about the
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president's personal finances and even subpoenaed the president's 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 a financial services committee democrats demanded and subpoenaed the president's bank records going back ten years. the financial services committee staff, the republicans tell me, the information demanded would cover every withdrawal, credit card swipe, or 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
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voluminous and 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 for the judiciary committee was the report of special counsel mueller, which democrats would believe would serve as the evidentiary basis for impeaching the president. despite interviewing 500 witnesses, issuing 2800 subpoenas, executing almost 500 search warrants, and spending $25 million, the special counsel's 19 attorneys and 40
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fbi 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 that call because the special counsel has declined to do so. not surprisingly, the democrats' mueller hearing was underwhelming to say the least and the sequel with cory lewandowski definitely did not move the impeachment needle either. the intelligence committee, too, was heavily invested in the russia collusion investigation. the committee democrats hired former federal prosecutors to prepare for their anticipated efforts to impeach the president. now that the russian collusion allegations did not work out, democrats have settled on the ukraine phone call. eight lines the president uttered on july 25th with ukrainian president zels.
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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 these 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 every single deposition. but the democrats took advantage of the closed door process in the capitol basement bunker, the skiff, to control access to information. the secrecy effectively weaponized the investigation, allowing misleading public narratives to form and catch hold with careful leaks of witness testimony. democrats refused to invite
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republican witnesses and directed witnesses called by the democrats 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. i'll note 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. the emoluments clause, the president's business and financial records, the mueller report, allegations of obstruction, before landing on the ukraine phone call.
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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. democrats have reportedly convened focus groups to test which allegations whether it be quid pro quo or 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 inquiry from the time speaker pelosi 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
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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 and disputes between congress and the executive. democrats 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. the democrats even withdrew a subpoena to one witness who asked a federal court to resolve
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conflicting orders from congress and the executive. either because the democrats did not want to wait for the court to rule or they didn't like the presiding judge, judge leon. instead, 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 approachatinco tucl tveo in congressional investigations typically work. congressional investigations take time. there is no easy button. in this job you must take the information that's offered even if you don't like the terms.
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you should not say no to taking a witness's testimony because you would prefer the agency counsel is not present. if that's the only means of obtaining 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 the chairman's investigation into the justice department's decision during 2016, the irs targeting investigation, the benghazi investigation, and fast and furious, there have been give and take between congress and the executive. in the good luck goudie investigation for example it took two months of investigation before the committee conducted the first witness interview with deputy director mccabe. the justice department only began producing documents to the committee after many more months of discussions. in none of these investigations did congress gt everything it wanted right at the beginning.
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certainly not within 76 days. but with persistance and patience we eventually did receive enough information to do our work. 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 clearance at the white house. the central allegation put forward was the white house deviated from established procedures to grant clearances to certain white house staff. the democrats sought to interview career staff to perform these security clearance reviews but declined the witness initially to appear with agency counsel. the house and the white house were at an impasse. after a little bit of time, we,
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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 and 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. this impeachment inquiry, however, democrats have turned away information that could be valuable to the inquiry by disallowing agency counsel to accompany witnesses. democrats have turned away information by declining 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
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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 that 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. president turley warned here,
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too, impeachments have been based on proof, not presumptions. the democrats do not have the proof. now, my democrat 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'll 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'll try to convince you that the trump administration, the same administration democrats regularly accuse of being incompetent, orchestrated an international conspiracy at the
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highest levels. none of this adds up. it may be a 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 statements 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
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pressure on the call. contrary to democrat allegations, president trump was not asking for a favor that would help his re-election. 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 said publicly and repeatedly that he felt no pressure. he said it on 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
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president biden, one would think that ukraine would have felt some pressure. third, at the time of the july 25th call, senior officials in kyiv did not know that 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, or shortly 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.
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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 beared directly on the president's state of mind. president zelensky had run on an anticorruption platform but he was an untried politician with the relationship to a controversial ukrainian oligarch. when former vice president pence met with president zelensky in warsaw, i'm sorry, when vic september 1, he stressed to him the need for reform and
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reiterated the president's concern about burden sharing, especially among european allies. in late august and early september, after his party took control of the ukrainian parliament, ukraine passed historic reforms to fight corruption. these reforms including removing parliamentary immunity, which witnesses said had been an historic source of corruption. imagine if members of our congress had immunity. president trump later lifted the pause on security assistance and met with president zelensky two weeks later. the aid was paused for 55 days. very 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
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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. the democrats may disagree with the president's policy decisions or the matter in which he governs, but those disagreements are not enough to justify the irrevokable action of removing him from office. the democrats' hyperbole and histrisonic are no good reason 11 months out from an election to preventing the american people from deciding on their own who is going to be their 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
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ambassador sondland, who testified president trump told him to cooperate and tell the truth. president trump has also declassified and released the summaries of his two phone calls with the president, president zelensky. president trump has said that he would like witnesses to testify but he's been forced to resist the unfair and abusive process. i believe strongly in the prerogatives of the congress. it is awful to hear president turley's testimony from last week when he critiqued the house for proceeding on impeachment so rapidly and on such a thin record. professor turley said to set this abbreviated schedule, demand documents, 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 dual elected president as chairman nadler said in 1998 is the undoing of a national election.
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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 million americans from all arou the country who voted for president trump in 2016 would agree. by impeaching president trump, the house would essentially be nullifying the decision of those americans. and the 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
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changing charges. i would submit those words ring as true today as the chairman believed them to be in 1998. the impeachment record is heavily reliant on hearsay, innuendo, and presumptions. democrats have lobbed vague and ever changing charges for impeachment going as far back as the president's inauguration. for all these reasons the extraordinary exercise of the house 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 will invite mr. goldman to take his place at the witness table. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman? >> what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition?
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>> i have a parliamently inquiry. >> the gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry. >> thank you. 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 ministered the oath in this siion? >> i'm going to administer the oaththe two witnesses, who are now coming before us to make presentation. the two gentlemen who just testified were not witnesses. they were staff -- they were making opening statements for the committees. we will now administer an oath to mr. castor and mr. goldman who are now testifying in the capacity of witnesses. >> typically we administer oaths before opening statements. >> which we will -- for witnesses. for witnesses. mr. castor -- we will now administer the oath -- >> mr. chairman parliamentary inquiry. >> gentleman will suspend. mr. castor was here with mr. berke presenting the report of
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the committee. that is the opening statement for this committee. the witnees 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 on behalf of members the rules should apply. >> the gentleman is not recognized. >> mr. chairman i -- point of order? >> we welcome both of our -- >> mr. chairman, i have a point of order. >> who is seeking recognition? >> right here mr. chair. >> gentleman will state his point of order. >> despite our repeated requests for access to the evidence we received less than 48 hours ago over 8,000 pages of documentation. mr. chairman, if this were a court of law you'd be facing sanctions right now by the bar association. >> the gentleman will state his point of order not make a speech. >> how are we supposed to process over 8,000 pages of documents that came from various committees -- >> that is not a point of order. that is not a point of order. it is not recognizable. i will now proceed with the oath. the gentleman will suspend and
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not make a speech. mr. goldman, mr. castor, please rise and raise your right hand. do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that 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. to help you 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. >> mr. chairman, i have a point of order. >> mr. chairman? >> you have to recognize -- >> the gentleman will state his point of order. >> mr. chairman, my point of order 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.
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as such, a staffer must avoid impuning motivations and if you -- >> the gentleman will suspend. >> will you let him finish his point of order please? >> made his point of order. >> mr. chairman, i haven't completed yet. the rule requires that members and staff not impune the motivations of the president. what you ruled was that he was a witness. you've 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've already ruled on it. he was not a witness. these two gentlemen now are witnesses. >> i appeal the ruling of the chair. >> that is not -- >> it most certainly is. the. >> it is appealable. yes it is. >> the ruling is not -- the point of order is not sustained. >> i appeal the decision of the chair. >> i move to table the -- >> the appeal to the ruling of
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the chair is tabled. the clerk -- all in favor of the motion to table say aye. opposed nay. motion tabled approved. >> i seek a roll call vote. >> the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. nadler. >> aye. >> ms. loftgren. >> aye. ms. jackson lee. >> aye. mr. johnson. >> aye. mr. deutsch. >> aye. >> miss bass. >> aye. >> mr. richmond. >> aye. >> mr. jefferies. >> aye. >> mr. cicilliny. >> aye. >> as we continue to watch these impeachment hearings in the house of representatives we'll take this opportunity of a vote to quickly discuss what we heard from the republican side and steve castor their committee lawyer. major? >> what we have is an argument over absolutism. the democrats say everything is so clear and republicans say it's bologna and hyperbole and histrisonics. there is no approachable middle
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ground from the orientations republicans and democrats take to the same essential fact pattern. >> do you think the facts are unknowable? >> it is all up to interpretation. democrats look at the president's conduct, his public utterances, and the sequence of events as testified to under oath by all these experts who work for him and said, that fact pattern is unassailable. he was up to something. there was a scheme involved. republicans say, there is no direct evidence. you have nothing that is absolutely crystal clear. and therefore, you don't have a case. that's where the public finds itself. >> right. we heard the republican lawyer say that the impeachment record is heavily reliant on hearsay, innuendo, and presumptions but there were 17 witnesses behind closed door. there were 12 witnesses over seven days of public hearings. not all republicans or democrats. many of them public servants. did their testimony lay out a case that there was a political effort to investigate the bidens to benefit the president? >> there certainly was testimony
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as to the democratic lawyer went through. i thought it was really interesting that the republican lawyer mentioned that the rationale for the request on july 25th was to help the american public get through the difficulty of the mueller investigation. that's the first time i think we've heard that as the legitimate reason for the ask in the july 25th call. no evidence supporting that. >> the republicans have also recently taken up the talking point that when the president said our country has been through a lot it wasn't for his personal interest. it was for the country's interest. >> let's listen in now to daniel goldman. >> -- for political and personal benefit. president trump directed a months long campaign to solicit foreign help in his 2020 re-election efforts. withholding official acts from the government of ukraine in order to coerce and secure political assistance and
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interference in our domestic affairs. as part of the scheme president trump applied increasing pressure on the president of ukraine to publicly announce two investigations, helpful to his personal re-election efforts. he applied this pressure himself and through his agents working within and outside of the u.s. desperately sought oval office meeting and $391 million in taxpayer funded congressionally appropriated security assistance vital to ukraine's ability to fend off russian aggression. and he conditioned that on the announcement of the 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
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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
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between president trump and ukrainian president volodymyr 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 re-election 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
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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 guiliani will report to the department of justice and to congress the results of mr. guiliani'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
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this scheme is described in detail. in a nearly entled the trump ukraine impeachment inquiry report formerly transmitted from the house 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 professionals 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 re-election 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
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committee as senior adviser and director of investigations at the beginning of this year. previously, i served for ten years as a prosecutor in the southern district of new york when i jointd 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 fbi agent, investigators with significant national security expertise. the report that i am presenting today is based entirely on the evidence that we collected in koordation 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 house rules for depositions and public hearings including the rule against
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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 swily 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
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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, president trump withheld a coveted oval office meeting and $391 of essential military assistance from ukraine. third, president trump's conduct sought to undermine our free and fair elections and posed an imminent threat to our national security. and 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 that it revolves around
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that's sorely ignores the cord. vast amount of evidence that we collected of at i d want to stat 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 had expected. now, just prior to this telephone call president trump spoke to gordon sondland the u.s. ambassador to the european union who had donated $1 million to the president's inaugural campaign and who had been directed by the president himself to take on a leading
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role in ukraine issues. ambassador sondland relayed the president's message to president zelensky through ambassador kurt volker who had had lunch that day with president zelensky's yarmak who appears repeatedly through this scheme as president zelensky's right-hand man. ambassador volker texted mr. yarmak with president trump's direction. good lunch. thanks. heard from white house. assuming president z convinces trump he will investigate, get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down visit for -- we will down for a visit to washington. good luck. see you tomorrow. kurt. so even before the phone call with president zelensky took place, president trump had directed that ukraine initiate the investigation into 2016, the
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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 white house call and the white house 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.
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two investigations that would help president trump's re-election 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. let me take a few minutes walking through the 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 are 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
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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. yet just a few weeks before this july 25th call, president trump had inex-plplaced a hold withou 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, that somehow ukraine needed to give more to the united states. what did he mean?
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well, it became clear. because immediately after president zelensky brought up u.s. military support and purchasing javelin antitank weapons, president trump responded. i would like you to 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, excuse me, 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're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. and 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.
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as you saw yesterday that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named robert mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with ukraine. whatever you can do, it's 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 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.
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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 advisers including his homeland security adviser and his former national security adviser 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 did have 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 or female candidate to and if there was ever any doubt
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about who benefits from this unfounded theory put forward by president trump president trump put it forward when he said thank god no one is accusing us of interfering in u.s. elections. now they're accusing ukraine. in the face of clear evidence not only from intelligence community experts but 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 conspirac own political standing. president trump even sought to with f in line with president trump putin's lies. the leader invaded ukraine. the second demand that president
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trump made of president zelensky was to investigate the front runner for the democratic nomination for president in 2020. former vice president joe biden. and his son hunter. president trump stated, the other thing, there's a lot of talk about biden's son that biden stop the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. 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 that 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'sth call, mr giuliani had beenvo f these investigations for months sf hi
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client, donald trump. ambassador sondland understood mr. giuliani's role clearly. he testified mr. giuliani as was expressing the desires of the president. to others, he 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 adviser ambassador john bolton, mr. giuliani was a, quote, hand grenade, who is going to blow everybody up, end quote. near the end of the july 25th call, president zelensky circled back to the pre-cooked message that ambassador volker relayed to the top aide before the call. president zelensky said, i also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the united
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states, specifically washington, d.c. on the other hand, i also wanted to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and we will 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 had 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
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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. that support remains critical as president zelensky meets today with president putin to try to resolve the conflict in the east. the day after this phone call, president trump sought to ensure that president zelensky got the message. on july 26th, u.s. officials met with president zelensky and other ukraine an officials in kyiv. after that meeting, ambassador
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sondland had a private one-on-one meeting with i can't remember mock. they probably discussed the issue of investigations. at lunch right after that with mr. holmes and two 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 kyiv. i heard president trump clarify that ambassador sondland was in ukraine. he replied yes, he was in ukraine and went on to state pr your as. ambassador sondland replied he is going to do it. adding that president zelensky will do anything you ask him to
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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, and this is very important, ambassador sondland spoke to president trump before the july 25th call with president zelensky and replayed 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 recently suspended or put on hold. at the end of the call, president >> ed: en s -- the following da,
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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 the only -- 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 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, maria yovanovitch to clear the way to spearhead his corrupt agenda in ukraine, secretary perry, ambassador sondland and volker. all of whom attended president
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zelens zelensky's inauguration. all political appointees. dr. hill later described them as an improper domestic political errand for the president. on april 21st, president zelensky won the ukrainian 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, unquote, president trump in fact 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
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did an about-face and directed vice president pence not to attend. an adviser to vice president pence testified that the inauguration had not yet been scheduled and, therefore, the reason for the abrupt change of plans was not related to any scheduling issues. so what had happened in the three weeks between april 21st and may 13th when vice president pence was originally invited and disinvited or removed from the delegation? a few things. first, on april 25th, vice president biden formally announced his bid for the democratic nomination for president. about a week later on may 3rd, 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 9th, mr. giuliani
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told "the new york times" that he intended to travel to ukraine on behalf of his client, president trump, in order to, quote, meddle in an investigation. unquote. after public backlash, and apparent pushback from the ukrainians, mr. giuliani canceled the trip claiming that president zelensky was surrounded by enemies of president trump. in a critical may 23rd meeting in the oval office, president trump said that ukraine was corrupt and tried 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 month following, mr. giuliani relayed
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to both you crainian officials and the government officials that they designated the may 23rd meet to go 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. well before the july 25th call, ambassador sondland and volker relayed this quid pro quo to the ukrainian ukrainians, including to president zelensky himself. it was relayed directly to him in july urging him to reference investigations associated with the giuliani factor with president trump. and in meetings at the white house on july 10th, ambassador sondland told other u.s. officials and two of president zelensky's advisers that he had an agreement with acting chief of staff mick mulvaney that the white house visit would be
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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. refer to an investigation of the bidens. the witness told the committee that the request was explicit. there was no ambiguity. ambassador sondland mentioned burisma. a company that hunter biden sat on the board of. the references to burisma was shorthand for an investigation into the bidens. ambassador bolton and his staff members rejected to this meeting for investigations trade. bolton told dr. hill, you go and tell john eisenberg, the -- that i am not part of whatever drug deal sondland and mulvaney are cooking up on this and you go
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ahead and tell them what you've heard and what i've said. yet, this was not a rogue operation by mr. giuliani and ambassador sondland and volker. as bad bad sondland testified, everyone was in the loop, including mr. mulvaney, secretary pompeo, secretary perry and their top advisers. on july 19th, ambassador somulvaney, secretary perry, secretary pompeo and others after speaking with president zelensky. the subject was, i talked to zelensky just now. ambassador sondland wrote, he's prepared to receive potus' call. potus, president of the you united states. will assure him he plans to run a transparent investigation and will, quote, turn over every stone, unquote. both secretary perry and chief
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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 unambiguously shows that the ukrainians understood this quid pro quo and had serious reservations particularly because president zelensky won on an anti-corruption platform. a few days before the july 25th call, ambassador william taylor, the former texted abb-- i had a phone conversation with mr. daniliuk and he conveyed to me he didn't want to be used as a pawn in a u.s. re-election campaign. president trump's pressure campaign did not relent. just four days later, president
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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 that call, president zelensky heeded president trump's request, sending his top aide to madrid to meet with mr. giuliani. in coordination with mr. giuliani, and the president trump's hand picked representative, they continued this pressure campaign to secure a public announcement of the investigations. now according to ambassador sond atlanta. this is very important. eth did not require that ukraine actually conduct the investigations as a prerequisite for the white house meeting. instead, the ukrainian government needed only to
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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 the aide to draft a statement for president zelensky to issue. when the aide proposed a statement without specific references to the investigations that president trump wanted, the burisma and biden investigation and the 2016 election
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investigation, mr. giuliani relayed that that would not be good enough to get a white house meeting. here you can see a spare son of the statement, and on the right a revised stachlt with mr. giuliani's requirements. it says we intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available facts. here's the critical difference. those involving burisma and the 2016 elections which will prevent the occurrence 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 full 25th
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call. ult mi, the lrgs temporary soefl this account. by mid-august, yu rain did not make an a noumt into the -- announcement into the investigations required. as a result, no white house meeting was scheduled. the hold on the vital military assistance that the president 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 -- about the aid as early as july 25th, the day of the phone call. inquiries by officials continued in the weeks that followed until the hole 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
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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 re-election. two, a coveted white house meeting was expressly 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 that this quid pro quo between the investigations president trump wanted and the security assistance that president trump needed was crazy. he told ambassador sondland, as i said on the phone, i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a
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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 22nd. he wrote, mike, should we block time in warsaw for a short pull aside for time to meet with zelensky. i would ask zelensky to look him in the eye and tell him that once ukraine's justice folks are in place, mid-september, zelensky should be able to move forward publicly and with confidence on issues important to potus and to the u.s. hopefully that will break the logjam. 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 real time. ambassador sondland hoped that
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this would help lift the logjam 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 t. on september 1st, at a pre-briefing with vice president pence before he met with zelensky, sondland raised 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. vice president pence simply
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nodded in response. expressing neither surprise nor dismay at the linkage between the two. following the meeting with president zelensky, ambassador sondland went over to president zelensky as 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 the 2016 election interference investigations. ambassador sondland explainedll prenin truth, ever, hous meeting andhe vit 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 hold
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remained. president trump and ambassador sondland spoke on the phone. the president -- said there was no quid pro quo. 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. he should want to do it. in effect, this is the equivalent of saying there is no quid pro quo, no this for that. but then demanding precisely that quidro pa immediately after this phone call, this was the precise message that ambassador sondland passed to president zelensky. according to ambassador taylor, ambassador sondland said he had talk to president zelensky and mr. year mock and said although this was not a quit pro quo, if
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president zelensky did not clear things up, we would be at a stalemate. i understand that to mean, ukraine wouldn't receive the much needed military assistance. needing the military assistance, president zelensky relented to president trump's pressure campaign frpt and arrangements were made for the ukrainian president to make a statement during an interview on cnn where he would make a public announcement that president trump wanted. in order for president zelensky to secure the white house meeting and for ukraine to get the much needed military assistance. although there's no doubt that president trump 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 are the
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driving factors. he also mentioned to me in the past that the corruption related to the dnc server? absolutely. no question about it. that's why we held up the money. >> so the demand for an investigation into the democrats was part of the reason that he ordered to withhold funding 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 h it. by early september, the president's scheme was unraveling. on september 9th, the intelligence oversight and foreign affairs committee a nunesed an investigation into president trump and mr. giuliani's efforts in ukraine. they learned a whistle-blower filed a complaint related to some unknown issue but which the president and the white house knew was related to ukraine and
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had been circulating among them for some time. two days later, september 11th in the face of growing public and congressional scrutiny, president trump lifted the hold on security assistance to ukraine. as with the implementation of the hold, no reason was provided but simply president trump got caught. so he released the aid. even since this investigation began, the president demonstrated no contrition or okay najment that his demand for a foreign country interfering in our election is wrong. in fact, he's repeatedly called on ukraine to investigate vice president biden, his rival. these and other actions by the president and his associates demonstrate that his determination to solicit foreign interference in our election continues today. it did not end with russia's support for trump in 2016 which president trump invited by asking for his opponent to be hacked by russia and it did not end when his scheme was expose north dakota september of this
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year. president trump also engaged once this investigation began in an unprecedented effort to obstruct the inquiry. i look forward to answering your question about that unprecedented obstruction. 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 t admittedly it is a lot to digest. but let me just say this. the president's scheme is actually quite simple. 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 re-election campaign. not the u.s. national interest. second, president trump used his
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official office and the official tools of u.s. foreign policy, the withholding of an ofl office meeting, $391 million in pressuring to meet his demands. third, everyone was in loop. his chief of staff, secretary of staff and vice president. fourth, despite the public discovery of this team, dpe 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 -- >> regular order. time has elapsed. point of order. >> time has expired. mr. deutsche? >> i have a motion. >> state his moment. >> i move the committee shall be in recess subject to the call of the chair. >> i move to table. >> move to table the motion. >> privileged motion. it's not debatabldebatable. all those in favor. >> i seek a recorded vote. >> say aye.
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opposed nay. >> the ayes have it. the committee -- >> roll call. >> the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. nadler. >> aye. >> ms. love gren. >> votes eye. >> jackson lee votes aye. >> mr. cohen votes aye. >> mr. johnson of georgia votes aye. >> mr. deutsche votes aye. >> ms. bass votes aye. mr. richmond votes aye. >> mr. jeffries votes aye. >> mr. sissilini votes aye. mr. swallow votes aye. >> mr. lieu votes aye. >> mr. jie pold votes aye. mr. cora votes aye. ms. garcia votes aye. these are historic hearings.
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maybe the last public hearings in the house of representatives before this committee votes out articles of impeachment to send to the full house to vote to impeach president trump before christmas. this roll call vote is the democrats want to take a break. the republicans say hold on. we want to keep the audience on television and -- >> get our side in the rebuttal in quickly as people are paying attention. not take a break so that we can have the analysis that we're here. just quickly though, as we recap what we heard from daniel goldman. the democrats -- >> i just want to listen in and hear -- allow our audience to hear back and forth. you heard daniel goldman who has been adam schiff's side on the intelligence committee saying that this was an unprecedented campaign of obstruction by the president of the united states
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directing a scheme himself to pressure ukraine into opening two investigations that would benefit his presidential election in 2020. >> a scheme uncovered and then attempts to obstruct the discovery of that aforementioned scheme. that's the essential argument. no new evidence. in the sense of .n't have expec there would be brand new evidence. this is taking what the intelligence committee found, giving it to the judiciary committee and saying does this meet the standard of impeachment. this weekend the majority staff said, high crimes and misdemeanors involve conduct that is recognizably wrong to a reasonable person. there's a 50% or 45% of people who regard themselves as reasonable who say the evidence hasn't been created. >> let's listen quickly to chairman nadler.
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>> when we reconvene. the committee will reconvene in 15 minutes. >> there you go. 15 minutes from the chairman. mr. nadler. >> republicans thought this was a move by democrats to let all this seep in for an hour. it's not going to be an hour. 15 minutes. that's probably a break to reorient themselves. but you can see the contested nature. every single thing between republicans and democrats procedurally and from a parliament errie perspective is tooth and nail. >> let's talk to jonathan turley. >> your name came up today as president. >> i assume i was immediately impeached. >> you testified last week invited by the republicans. this is happening at a lightning speed. you've made the case that, what? it doesn't give time to sort through the evidence. >> this is arguably the shortest impeachment investigation in history. one can question about johnson, depends how you count the days. on the modern impeachments, this
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is a rocket docket. it's a very thin record to go to the senate. so the question is not whether you can impeach president trump on impeachable offense. it's what record you want to make out a case for removal. this is almost designed for failure. what you're hearing is a sort of a legal point focusing on data points. they're saying it's too much space and too few dots. i happen to agree that more can be done here. the problem with listening to this hearing. everyone comes to the movie and hears the lines they want to hear. people say, well, look, this is an outstanding record of impeachable offenses if you infer every fact against the president. if you look at it objectively, you ever to ask well, all right, it's not that this is unknowable. there's a lot of witness that is have not been subpoenaed. not called in, it's not
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unknowable. it's peripheral. >> let's drill down on that a little bit, though. the white house has been invited to offer a defense. they said not interested. not going to participate. there has been a discussion about the national security adviser, john bolton. he has said go ahead, subpoena me. it would get wrapped up in the supreme court and take a while. the democrats would say they've made a pragmatic argument, we're going t we now, deliver this trial begin in thera history. ltng o ts.burned hpoenaed john youritile in nixon,ent from the decision by the judge and two months later, you had a final decision of the supreme court. the courts expedite these decisions. feechb you only got halfway there, you have a stronger case than now. the question is, why have this
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just rush for a vote by christmas when, if you take a little more time, you could have a much more substantial case? >> you think more time that the white house would cooperate? >> no. i'm not saying that. as with nixon, you would have a couple of direct rulings on this. nixon resigned after the supreme court decision. >> it was like three days or something? >> that's right. >> he knew the game was up. >> let's -- when i talk about drilling down on this. steve castor who has been the main lawyer for the house oversight committee, then went to the intelligence committee, now on the judiciary mm nusual for those that don't cover it at the capitol, all of a sudden being the lead counsel on all these different committees. he's testifying today. he said to impeach trump over the 663 million vote that he received by electorate and eight lines of a transcript is baloney in his words. we then heard the democratic
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lawyer come forward and say, wait a minute, it's not just eight lines. he said, in fact, that sorely ignores the months-long scheme that was going on directed by the president himself. >> yeah. i think the democrats counsel saying that it's a lot to digest. it actually is a lot to digest, suggesting there is a lot of evidence, a lot of people that testified that it was their understanding the aid was being withheld ablyas ingethese two investigatio was g to tnt white house has talking points that mentioned the two investigations. i don't see fro standpoint as a lawyer where the space is between the dots. what more information we need to really fill out the narrative as being something other than investigations for white house
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meeting investigations for money. as far as why we have impeachment, impeachment is there because the framers understood that it's the only remedy for wrongdoing in office was the next election, then the president could use the power to manipulate the next election. that's not a fix. has to be in this moment. but i agree completely with jonathan that it's somewhat inexplicable that the democrats aren't fighting these subpoenas, moving to compel them. i think the law is squarely on their side that there is no blanket immunity from testifying if you happen to work in the white house. >> if the president as the democrats allege, continuing to invite foreign interference in t cr -- >> i just planted that on the table. that's a pretty hefty charge. >> it's out there now, right? he's inkr >> i'm trying to challenge it. they're saying this is so urgent of a matter that it has to be
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dealt with right now because the very nature and integrity of our next election is at stake and nothing could be more urgent. >> the question is, is there anything here that suggests that there's an ongoing effort, i mean, they were talking about it. we're hooking at it. we're investigating it. do i think that right now the election is being decided in moscow or kiev? i don't quite frankly. when kim says look, i don't see the space between the dots, he that's only if you infer the facts against the president. one conversation was with pro q with senator johnson where he denied it. and the third with ambassador sondland. he denied a quid pro quo. >> back up on that. sondland testified there was a quid pro quo. >> i'm saying direct evidence. what the president said. the democrats, i think, scored a lot of points and said you know what, you can't trust the last
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two conversations because the president knew that the gig was up, knew about the whistle-blower. that's a fair point. but there's still this question as to whether a quid pro quo was going to happen. under federal law he had to dedicate the funds by the 30th of september. he released the funds on september 11th. so we were inferring that he would not have followed federal law unless he was caught. that's a perfectly plausible argument. there's a lot of people with direct evidence on what he said. >> let me ask you that. also around the same timeline is when ambassador bolton resigns from the white house, who had raised deep concerns, he had called it this drug deal that rudy giuliani -- >> hand grenade. go talk to the lawyers. >> none of it is exculpatory. none of it is terrible. sounds terrible. there's this question about what ambassador bolton knew. what happened between september 9th and 11th when the aid was
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released. was there a conversation within the white house about the whistle-blower and the release of aid and i'm hypothesizing clearly here. whether there was some augs, as alleged that the aid was released because of concern that it would loo a qpro quo. >> an attempt at obstruction or attempt to manipulate an election, attempt to abuse power, that would be impeachable even if it wasn't effectuated and the aid wasn't withheld. the $35 million of the aid was not released by virtue of the timing of the exchange. >> if you are an investigative reporter or if you have anews.c write out essentially what happens. those key days, those are the key 48 hours, 72 hours about what happened in the white house and this aid that i think is between the dots that needs to be filled in. am i filling words in your mouth? >> no. i think that's critical. we have at least six people that likely have direct conversations with the president on this very
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subject. >> they are? >> people like mick mulvaney, secretary of state, pompeo. >> pence. >> pence. others. these are all people with direct evidence. the question is less what the grounds can be for impeachment. you can clearly impeach this president on abuse of power. if there's a quid pro quo -- i good to go with that.. you ne to prove it. the problem is that this record is so thin, during our hearing when i testified, jackson lee held up two binders and said this doesn't look like a thin record to me. if she was told to present the record in nixon and clinton, she would need an to y stuff, you have 32 boxes and two vans. that's the difference between a record of impeachment and this. >> i was just looking at the house impeachment report. it was a little book like this.
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kind of like something you could read in a night. >> turn to the material -- the question is the material evidence. right now this is going to fail. so the president -- the democrats have to decide if they want a real or recreational impeachment. >> with whitewater, there was starr and an army of prosecutors. the house had to do it on their own. >> lisa zheng is at the white house where the president made a few comments about the hearings. give us an update. >> reporter: president trump is not participating today in an official capacity. of course, he's weighing in on twitter. we'reeg high number of tweets and very short number of words. that's because he knows as we've been talking about, the challenge for both sides today, republicans and democrats is to make this information digestible. so he is trying to do exactly that by making it as basic as possible for his supporters and
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tweeting out things like the do nothing democrats are a disgrace. read the transcripts. witch hunt. so even though these are very short phrases, they really encompass his entire defense strategy from the beginning, which has been to portray the democrats as being obsessed with this inquiry and not caring about passing legislation, to make life better. he insists he's done nothing wrong. you can read the transcript for yourself. he's also tweeting about the economy. he wants to make the point that while this is going on, he's still doing his part to make the country better for people. on that note, i think it's interesting that he tweeted -- retweeted a video from his director of social media and it portrays trump voters, presumably different people, people working in factories, people trying to get their kids to school, all saying the same thing. two words. witch hunt. so he's inviting americans to be
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a part of this, to have a seat at the table and trying to make the case that look, democrats are trying to take away your power and trying to undo the results of the election. and that's what we're seeing play out on television. interesting enough that the press secretary hasn't come out here and spoken publicly to defend president trump. but she also tweeted very short bullet points saying that there's no evidence of wrongdoing, ukraine said there was no pressure and that there's no obstruction whatsoever. so you can see that even though they are not taking part in this, certainly they are making this public case for the president as they've been doing on social media to hammer home the point that he's done nothing wrong. and this is a sham investigation. >> thank you. the white house continues to refuse to hold press briefings for the press and putting out
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tweets to be read on the air. they won't meet the press or meet reporters and answer questions. i want to go to nancy cordis outside the hearing room while the judiciary committee is in rece recess. both sides laying out what will be a closing argument, i would say, before the vote expected later this week, correct? >> reporter: right, nora. while the evidence is familiar to us. some of the language, particularly on the democratic side is new. trying to make the case that they are not rushing this. that there is a reason to act now. even though they haven't been able to interview all of the key players that they wanted to. i'll read to you a couple of quotes from this morning. lawmakers and the lawyers using phrases like "the president is an imminent threat" or he's a clear and present danger to the democracy. he's putting his own interests ahead of the country and he's going to do it in the 2020 election. they argue that the reason that
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they need to act now is because the president sought interference in 2016 from russia. he thought it again from ukraine in 2020 and he's continuing to do so. as evidence, nora. they point out that rhude is still in ukraine at this point. still meeting with diskret i had the prosecutors. still argues that he has ressrmation to hand off to publicans have been very mixed about the fact that giuliani is still there. still trying to be involved in this controversy. even some of the president's own ery uncomfortable with whaters giuliani is doing. they feel it's weird. but the top republican on the judiciary committee came out, answered our questions, he was forthcoming except when he was asked about giuliani's efforts in ukraine. he said he has nothing to say about that. >> nancy, walk through for us
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what happens next in this process. >> so the house judiciary committee has been working on the articles of impeachment. but the chair, jerry nadler has said he won't make a final decision on the charges within the next hearing. we're going to get a look at these articles for impeachment. when you talk to democrats on the ground, it's to start leebting and voting by about -- by the end of the week. we'll see a long drawn out debate just like today. probably later this week. then that sets up a house vote as early as next week, the beginning of next week. nancy cordes on capitol hill. i want to talk about the president and the representation. he does not have a lawyer that
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we learned on friday of last year. they would not send somebody to represent the president to make his case. relying on steve castor the committee lawyer there. the attorney general of the united states, bill barr, expressed his concern to president trump that rudy giuliani, the president's personal lawyer in his words, has become a liability and a problem for the administration. this is according to multiple people familiar with the conversations and according to the "washington post" in one discussion, the attorney general more with the president, he was not being well-served by his lawyer. is giuliani a problem given this whole thing as nancy points out, he's actually in ukraine? >> it's posh important to keep in mind who rudy giuliani is. he has loyalty to president trump, donald trump personally. unlike bill barr who takes an oath. whose actions are bound by
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statutory norms, regulations that require that you licts oinst, that there's certain ways of doing things. part of the narrative here that's problematic to some is that rudy giuliani, private party was essentially conducting, arguably foreign policy on behalf of the united states outside these norms, these confines that are designed to make sure that people who are in office act on behalf of the american people and not on behalf of the president personally or something else. >> this looks weirder and weirder. is the president actively still trying to manipulate this election in some way? the president doesn't talk about what rudysdoing. he's not saying on twitter, have rudy testify. doug collins, the republica lead defender of the president doesn't want to talk about rudy giuliani. he's not senate confirmed, not empowered by the federal government other than the president saying go find things. the president seems
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disinterested in what rudy giuliani is doing. democrats could say look at this people, this is happening in plain sight. forget the scheme. something is going on here that is, a, irregular. not sanctioned by the u.s. government and may be an attempt to foster more confusion at minimum, and possibly disinformation about an ongoing process which does have direct political ramifications right here and now. democrats would say, what are you talking about? it's right happening, right now. in plain sight. so much of this record. you asked a moment ago, president meddling. he says on the record, i'd like to have china conduct an investigation. now, is he kidding or not kidding? that's part of the evidence the democrats lay before the country. so much of this record is with the president's conduct and comportment. juligiuliani is becoming a side light to suggest the president is allowing this to go on for what reason other than for confusion or create something in the political bloodstream to his
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advantage. >> the constitution, they have the right to have oversight over the white house. according to the democrats, the white house has refused to recognize congress's authority, refused to cooperate following president trump's order, not a single document produced by the white house or the department of defense, department of energy, the list goes on. 71 specific individualized requests for or subpoenas. many of those witnesses who testified, testified despite the white house ordering them not to testify. is there grounds for obstruction of justice? >> oh, i think there is obstruction grounds. the problem is making the record to support it again. the facts that you allege can be read either way. you have about a dozen stify. many are currently in the executive branch, even the white house itself. they have not been disciplined
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or fired. it is true they are told not to testify which i said is a huge mistake. the question is what you need to establish, bill clinton and nixon both withheld information during the impeachment, both ended up in court. both ended up losing. then they gave the information. my concern is that this impeachment is so short that i'm worried that you can essentially manufacture this time of impeachable offense. you set this short period and say you got to produce within that period. if you go to court, i'm going to count that against you. >> your words are interpreted as saying, not enough to impeach the president of the united states? >> i have said a dozen times that there's not enough on the record for a plausible case for abuse of power under -- i spent a lot of pages on that in my testimony. i'm only questioning the record. but also the precedent in creating, really artificially short period where if a
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president goes to court, you say well you're obstructing congress even though the two prior presidents were able to go to court. >> i'm just trying to help spill out how you've been interpreted on twitter, which is unfair and what you actually said. >> i know. i know you received a lot of threats after what you said. >> and my wife and dog. >> you did talk about them in your testimony to be fair. you did brio owe. >> who would shoot a golden doodle. maybe a shih-tzu but not a golden doodle. the fact that you could talk about james madison, that's fighting words is not something i've seen outside -- >> no one should be threatened ever. i think the point that you are trying to make is that based on history, you're saying given this obstruction which i just laid out, had the democrats then taken it to court, got to court, it would bolster the argument for obstruction? >> it would. the only thing that's odd,
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people said my testimony changed from clinton to trump. my testimony that i gave in trump is identical on these points. i said you can impeach for a noncriminal offense. the difference is that with clinton, you had perjury. the quotes people are using from me, you'll expand the power of the presidency if you don't say it's impeachable. we were talking about perjury. the president could be -- >> want to point out we're moments away from going back into that hearing room. they took a 15-minute break which has extended. sometimes it takes longer than 15 minutes to grab a sandwich and perhaps go to the bathroom. they're getting a little extra time. >> to jonathan's point. during the clinton impeachment, which i covered every single day. it was not contested that the president committed perjury. >> including by natalie. >> everyone knew that. >> the president tried to resist giving over the -- it was his blood. provided the dna evidence that
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proved that he had lied. now, democrats argued it was inconsequential lie, wasn't official act. fine. that's part of the record. as to jonathan's point, not only is this short in terms of duration, these facts are contested. inferences are not the same as direct facts. as you had with clinton. as you had with nixon. those facts were not debated or debatable really in the impeachment record. that is a key difference in this process. >> one of the other big differences we addressed in the last testimony, when you allege crimes like bribery and extortion, what do you look for for those terms. one of the things i said, this is not bribely and ex --ry and extorti extortion. the reason we look to the criminal code is because it's object tich. because this isn't being influenced by political passion or how we infer things. the supreme court has largely rejected these types of expansive definitions. >> kim, you want to weigh in.
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>> on a couple points for clarification for the non-lawyers out there. direct evidence is better but not necessary. circumstantial evidence, i woke up today, all the grass is wet. it means it rained last night. that would be circumstantial evidence. also how this works is here we have complete stone walling of subpoenas. most of the time a lawyer gets something and say listen what reasonably do i have to turn over. we know gordon sondland said, my own notes, my own emails. no basis for withholding them. it would help me testify. i agree with professor turley. the american public deserves full facts. it would help me give a fuller account of what happened if i had access to those and the white house has just said no. i think this is the strategy. make me. what's the accountability. what's the consequence. this is why rudy giuliani, potentially, is still in ukraine. what's the downside for the president? i think that's what's at stake for the american presidency.
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where are the guardrails, how are they going to be enforced, whether they'll be enforced. however this works out, that's the new normal for the presidency, for the office. whoever occupies it. >> there you see chairman nadler has returned, as well as the committee lawyers. we'll hear from them and lawmakers as we continue to cover this -- this could be what i mentioned the second public committee meeting before they essentially write out the -- the chairman would not say nor would chairman nadler what the articles of impeachment would be. it would be unprecedented to have bribery, however, is my understanding. >> yeah. >> in terms of a president. >> yeah. that made it very odd, by the way. for those of us testifying, talking about the survivability of a patient without a symptom.
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are we talking about bribery, extortion. i think the strongest claim is abuse of power. that's the one that fits the facts, i think, more neatly. it's the question is what do you need -- this would be the first presidenal impeachment to go largely or entirely on a noncriminal allegation. that changes the dynamic a little bit as to how much the house needs to do to support that. to kim, with the clinton investigation, you had ken starr's report which was massive. >> i want to bring in nancy cordes outside the hearing room because one of the cases on that abuse of power and obstruction of justice seemed to be the two main points that they're hammering home today. nine top aides to the president did testify despite trump denying subpoenas on the request. we had three top aides who refused to testify at all. >> reporter: that's right. republicans have been arguing that there are more witnesses
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that they'd like to hear from. but we just had some news during this 15-minute break, chairman nadler officially denied those subpoena requests that he was submitted over thend to hear from the whistle-blower, hunter biden and the like. >> those are the witnesses as nancy points out that the republicans wanted to hear from and we will not because the majority rules. >> majority rules in the house. >> in the house of representatives. >> one point that's come up frequently, this is a process to nullify the vote to 63 -- we're going to -- save that for later. good. i want to hear the answer. good afternoon chairman. rank member collins. >> good afternoon, chairman. ranking member collins, members of the committee, members of the staff, thank you again for having me back and giving me the opportunity to testify about the evidence gathered during outsett the evidence does not support
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the allegations that my democratic colleagues have made. i don't believe the evidence leads to the conclusion they suggest. i'm hopeful to add some important perspective and context to the facts under discussion today. the chief allegation of the democrats' impeachment inquiry is this: whether president trump abused the power of his offi


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