tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC December 9, 2019 11:00am-12:01pm PST
dispute. now turning attention to the ron johnson letter if i may. >> yes. >> on august 31st, senator johnson is getting ready to travel to ukraine on september 5th with senator -- with murphy. and he wanted -- johnson wanted the aid released so he calls the president and sought permission to be the bearer of good news. >> right. >> the president said i'm not ready to lift the aid. they had this -- senator johnson, he writes a ten-page letter, very detailed, and he gives some remarkable detail and i would like to read it. it's on page 6. i -- this is senator johnson speaking, he said i asked him whether there was some kind of
arran arrangement where ukraine would take some action and the hold would be lifted. without hesitation, senator johnson says, president trump immediately denied such an arrangement existed and he started cursing. he said, no way. president trump said no way. i would never do that. who told you that? and senator johnson goes on to say that president trump's reactionnt here was adamant, vehement and angry. senator johnson goes on to say that as of august 31st, the president told him, but i'm -- you're goingim to like my decisn in the end. that's very important context on what the president's state of mind was as of august 31st. >> right. fully expected, do you agree, that the aid would eventually be released after the 55 day pause, right? >> yes. absolutely. >> yes. ite want to thank you all for yr
presentations. mr. castor i believe you've been talking for approximately 75 minutes today. and i want to thank you for that. >> my wife thanks you as well. she likes it when i do the talking when she's not around. >> time permitting today, i wouldpe like to cover four or fe areas, distinct areas, there's a lot of facts that the american people have not heard. and there's a lot of contradictions in certain people's testimony, that is fair to's say, mr. castor? i would like to talk about some of the people in this story that have s firsthand knowledge of t facts. we have ambassador volker, ambassador sondland, and secretary perry. you had the opportunity to talk to two of those three people, is that correct?
>> yes. >> and the democrats' report would like us it to believe that these three individuals were engaged in some sort of nefarious venture, but that's not true, is it? >> no. >> in fact, these three people were at all relevant times, and even nttoday, acting in the bes interest of the american people, is that true? >> that's right. and with the highest integrity. >> that's right. i think everyone testified th thatambassador volker is one of the most experienced diplomats in our foreign service. >> across the board, all the witnesses including ambassador yovanovitch talked about the integrity that ambassador volker bringsin to the table. >> there's a lot of people with firsthand knowledge we didn'tit talk to, is thatrs correct?
>> yes. now i want to talk about the president's skepticism of foreign aid. the presidentci is very skeptic of foreign aid, that is correct? >> he is deeply skeptical of sending u.s. taxpayer dollars into an environment that is corrupt because it's as good as kissing it goodbye. >> is that something new that he believes ors is that something he ran on? >> this is something he has ran on, implemented policies as soon as he became president, ambassador hale, the third ranking state department official told us about the over -- you know, overall review of foreignal apds programs and described it as almost zero based evaluation. >> right. you had the opportunity to take the deposition of mark sandy who is a career official at omb, is that right? >> correct. >> and he had some information
about the reason for the pause. is that true? i think thatis he had a conversation with an individual named rob blair and mr. blair provided some insight into the reason for the pause? >> sandy f was one of the few witnesses that we had that was ablese to give us firsthand account inside of omb the reason for the pause related to the president's concern about european burden sharing. in the region. >> and he -- and, in fact, in his, conversations, the president's conversations with senator johnson, he mentions his concern about burden sharing and i believe he a referenced a conversation that he had with theit chancellor of germany and in fact, the whole first part of the july 24th transcript he's
talking about burden sharing and wanting thet europeans to do more. but -- >> yeah. senator johnson was -- and president trump were pretty candid and they believed that allies like germany were laughing at us because we were so willing to spend the aid. >> right. now i would like -- you know, there's been a lot of allegations that president zelenskyal is not being candid about feeling pressure from president trump. and isn't it true that he stated over and over publicly that he felt no pressure from president trump? is that true? >> yeah. he said it consistently. he said it in the united nations september 25th, he said it, you know, in three more news
availabilities overs the course of the t period including last week. >> i want to change subjects and talk about something that professor turley raised last week and that is the partisan nature of this investigation. and you're an experienced congressional investigator. >> professor turley, he's no trump supporter. >> that's right. he is a democrat. that's right. and -- but professor turley cautioned that a partisan inquiry is not what the founders envisioned, is that correct? >> correct. worse thing you can have with an impeachment is partisan ranker because nobody will accept the result on the other side. >> our democrat friends have all of a sudden become originalists and citing the founders and their intent routinely as part
of this impeachment process. >> i think that goes to the -- this -- whether this constitutes bribery. you know, there's case law on bribery and i'm no supreme court scholar or lawyer or advocate, but there's new case law with the mcdonald case about what constitutes an official act and that hasn't beenac addressed in this space and i think professor turleyss mentioned it. >> right. i think professor turley said that a meeting certainly does notng constitute an owe fishts act. >> i think it's the a mcdonald case. >> and professor turley pointed that out for us last week. yes. since this inquiry is unofficial and unsanctioned start in september, the process has been partisan, biased, unfair,
republicans questioning has been curtaileds routinely. i think we saw that in lieutenant colonel vindman's deposition. there was some, you know -- >> we wereth barred from asking him questions about who he communicated his concerns to. >>at right. very>> basic things like who, what, where, when. >> i would say, too, this rapid -- we're in day 76 and it's almost impossible to a sophisticated congressional investigation thatti quickly, especially when then stakes ar this high, because any congressionalse investigation o any consequence, it does take a little bit ofes time for the tw sides to stake out their interests and how they're going to respond with them. wees learned with the goodlatte gaudy probe the first letter
went in october of 2017 and in december we finally got a witness and it was in the following spring after a lot of pushing a and pulling, a lot of tug of war we reached a deal with doj where we went down to doj and they gave us access to documents and they gave us access to i think, you know, north of 800,000 pages, but they made us come down there, they made us go into a scif, these documents weren't classified, and, you know, wasn'tcl until m and junew, of that year that we started this process that the investigation had been ongoing and that is disappointing. obviously we all wish there was an easy button. congressional investigations of consequence take time. >> right. it took i think six months before thein first document was
even produced and like you said you hadan to go down there and review it in camera and then going backer even further to fa and furious, the investigation of the death of a border patrol agent. >> yeah. fast and furious we issued subpoenas, mr. issa, sent subpoenas i think s in februaryf 2011 and we had a hearing in june with experts about proceedings of contempt. what does it take to go to contempt. that was the first time in june when we got any production and thean production was largely publicly available information and we went and spent most of the year trying to get information out of the justice department. at theio timeus we were also wog withng whistleblowers who were providing us documents and chairman issa at the time, then in october, issued another
subpoena that was to the justice department and so the investigation hadnd been ongoin most of the year. we were talking to whistleblowers, we were doing interviews andlo doing our besto get documents out of the justice departmentnt through that chann but theseha things take time. >> right. >> certainly not 76 days. >> yes. and if you truly want to uncover every fact, as you should in an impeachment, do you agree? you have to go to court sometimes and enforce your subpoenas and here, my understanding is, we have a lot of requests for information, voluntary information, you know, willat you please provide us wi documents on idx, y, z and i thk that's great, but you have to back it upat with something, ist that correct? >> there's a number of ways to enforce your request. i mean the fundamental rule of any congressional investigation is youre rarely get what you're asking for unless and until the
alternative is less palatable for the respondent. you issue a subpoena and you're trying to get documents, one technique you can use is try to talk to the -- a document custodian or somebody in the function about whatom documents exist. chairman chaffetzs during his eraur used to have document production status hearings where you bring in officials and get the lay of the land. officials nomly are supposed to be directly responsible serving the interests. you can saber rattle, legal to saber rattle about holding somebody in contempt. oftentimes witnesses who are reluctant to cooperate and come forward when you attach a contempt proceeding or a prospective contempt proceeding to their name a lot of times that changes the outcome and
with a contempt proceeding you have a couple steps along the way. you could raise the prospect of a contempt proceeding, schedule a contempt proceeding, after you schedule a contempt proceeding hold the door open for documents or interview and then you can push it off. you can go through at the committee level. these are all sort of milestone events which historically are unpalatablee or less palatable for the administration that sometimes starts to move the needle and with these types of disputes, once you get the ball rolling, you know, with the goodlatte gowdy probe it was andrew mccabe in for a couple months, but a once we get deput director mccabe in, couple weeks later we got director comey's chief of staff, couple weeks later -- the witnesses start. once you get the ball rolling, again you don't always like 100% of the terms, sometimes you have
to deal with agency counsel, sometimes you have to look in camera, but once you get the ball rolling, usually it leads to positive results and historically has aloud the congress to do its work. >> were any of those things done here? >> no. >> in fact, they decided we're not goingth to -- we're not goi to subpoena certaine people th are important, is that fair to say? and we're not going to go to court and enforce them so these people have -- these folks that are caught in an interbranch struggle, and that's an unfortunate position for any employee of the -- >> one of the concerning things, dr.ni kupperman, who has been described by dr. fiona hill and a number of witnesses as a solid citizen and good witness, he filed a lawsuit in the face of a subpoena and a judge was assigned to it, judge leon, and
the issues that kupperman raised were different than don mcgahn. because don mcgahn is the white house counsel. kupperman, of course, is a national security official. kupperman, you know, filed the lawsuitku seeking guidance. kupperman wasn't asking the court to tell himpp not to come testify. to the cup temporariry, kupperman was seeking the court's guidance to facilitate his cooperation and ultimately, the committee withdrew the subpoena. which raises questions about whether the committee's really interested in getting to the bottom of some of these issues.e >> right. instead the committee has chosen the intelligence committee has chosen tote rely on ambassador sondland and his testimony. i think they rely 600 times in their report -- >> tell you what i did.
on this point, i -- yesterday, i openedye the democrat report ani did a control f, you know control f. >> yes. >> and sondland's name shows up i think 611 times. in fairness, it's going to be double counted because, you know, if it's in a sentence and then it'ss in a footnote that' two, but in relative comparison to the other witnesses, sondland's relied on big time. >> yes. >> and i think dr. hill testified that she at some point confronted him about his actions and -- >> the record is mixed on this front. dr. hill talks about raising concerns with sondland and sondland in his deposition at least doesn't, you know, he shares the same view.
>> and there's a lot of instances of that where ambassador sondland recalls one thing and other witnesses recall another. >> sondland is a witness, is a -- he's a bit of an enigma, say that's way. he was, you know, pretty certain inas his deposition that the security assistance wasn't linked to anything and then he submitted an addendum sentence. >> i call that the pretzel sentence. >> even in that addendum or supplement or whatever it's called, you know, it's -- talk tokn him and her and anyway, sondland ends with, you know, i presumed. >> right. >> wasn't really any firsthand information. >> right. we don't have a lot of firsthand information here, is that
correct?is >> on certain facts we don't. we have firsthand information on the may 23rd meeting in the oval office, a lot of firsthand information, although all conflicting on the july 10th meeting. there are episodes i think during the course of this investigation that we haven't been ableig to at least get everyone's account. but the investigation hasn't been able to reveal firsthand evidence relatingev to the president other than the call transcript. >> and i think we've already talked about this, that ambassador sondland would presume things, assume things, and form opinions based on what other people told him and then he would use those as firsthand, that is correct? >> you know, it started with his
role with the ukraine portfolio. a lot of people at the state department were wondering why the ambassador to the eu was so engaged in issues relating to theng ukraine and, you know, the are answers for that. ukraine is aspirant to join the eu and mr. turner i think explored this really well at the open hearing, but we asked ambassador sondland and he said he did a tv interview in kiev on the 26th of july where he said the president has given me a lot of assignments and the president has assigned me ukraine and so forth, but when we asked him in his deposition he conceded he was, in fact, spinning, that the president never assigned him to ukraine, h that he was just -- was -- he was exaggerating. >> and i think at the public hearings you pointed out that in contrast to other witnesses
ambassador sondland isn't a note taker, he, in fact, he said, i do not recall dozens of times in his deposition. >> let's say it this way, ambassador taylor walked us through his standard operating procedure for taking notes and told us about having a notebook on his desk and in the coat pocket of his suit and brought it and showed us. kens kwentsly when ambassador taylor ntrecounts to us, you kn, what happened, it's backed up by these contemporaneous notes. ambassador sondland on the other hand was very clear that, you know -- firsthand he said he did not have access to state department records. well, he said that at the public hearing simultaneously the state department issued a tweet i think or a statement saying that
wasn't true, that nobody is keeping ambassador sondland from hisss e-mails. he is still a state department employee.at he can go, you know -- he does have access g to his records bu he stated he didn't. and he stated he doesn't have notes because he doesn't take notes and he conceded he doesn't have recollections of -- on a lot of these issues and, you know, we sortof of made a list them and i thinka at the heari i a called it the trifecta of unreliability. >> yes. and you're not the only person that has concerns about ambassador sondland's testimony, conduct. i think other witnesses took issue with his conduct, is that correct? >> yeah. tim morrison talked about instances where ambassador sondland sort of showing up uninvited. morrison didn't understand why sondland was trying to get into the g warsaw meeting september
1st. and dr. hill, fiona hill, told us about issues ofll that sort d a number of witnesses you're correct. >> and ambassador reeker and ambassador sondland too, correct?ba >> i believe ambassador reeker -- >> said he was a problem. >> said he was a problem, yeah. >> yeah. and dr. hill raised concerns about his behavior and said that he might be an intelligence risk, that is correct? >> she did. she had issues with his tendency to pull out his mobile device and make telephone calls. >> right. >> which>> obviously can be monitored. >> yes. >> by the bad guys. >> we talked about how he was spinning that, you know, certain things and he admitted that, how he was spinning. and -- >> he admitted he exaggerated.
he also -- you know, when it comes to his communications with the president, we tried to get him to list all the communications with the president. i think he gave w us six. and then when he was back at -- hen walked us through each communication with the president. by the way it was a christmas party, when the president of finland was here. and then congresswoman spear asked him the same question in the open hearingm and he said that he had talked to the president like 20 times. so the record is mixed. >> i thinkis my time is up. thank you, both. >> yield back. >> mr. chairman -- mr. chairman. >> to the five-minute rule. >>e mr. chairman, i move to recess i for 30 minutes pursuan to clause 1a of rule 11. >> okay. >> the gentleman has moved -- i'man sorry the gentleman has
moved to recess for how long? >> 30 minutes sir. >> 30 minutes. that is a privilege motion. it was not debatable. all in favor say yea. no, no.ea the nos have it. the motion is not agreed to. >> the clerk will call the role. >> mr. nadler. >> no. >> miss lofgren. >> miss lofgren votes no miss jackson lee votes no. mr. cohen. mr. johnson of georgia. no. >> mr. johnson of georgia no. mr. deutsch votes no. missvo bass votes no. mr. richmond votes no. mr. jeffries votes no. mr. cicilline votes no. mr. swalwells vote moss. mr. lieu votes no. mr. ras kin votes no. miss jayapals votes no. miss demings votes no. mr. correia votes no. miss scanlon votes no. miss garcia votes no.
mr. neguse vote no. mr. stan top votes no. miss dean votes no. miss mucarsel-powell votes no. miss escobar votes no. mr. collins y votes yea. mr. gohmert votes yes. mr. buck. mr. ratcliffe votes yes. miss roby votes yea mr. gaetz votes yea mr. johnson votes yea. mr. biggs votes yea. miss mcchin tok votes yea. mr. reschenthaler votes yea. mr. cline. mr. armstrong votes yes. mr. steube votes yes. >> mr. chairman. mr. chairman. how am i recorded? >> mr. cohen you are not
recorded. >> recorded asre no. >> mr. cohen votes no. >> any other members who have wished to vote who have not voted? the clerk will report. >> mr.wi chairman there are 15 yeas and 24 nos. >> the motion is not greed to. now we will engage under the five minute rule. i yield myself for the purposes of questioning the witnesses. mr. goldman, can you please explain the difference between vice president biden's request to kra ukraine and president trump's request to ukraine. >> when vice president biden pressured thent ukrainian president to remove the corrupt prosecutor general, he was doing so with an international consensus as part of u.s. policy the entire european union supported that the imf that gave the loans he was referringha to and so he did that as part of the entire international
community's consensus. and when president trump is asking for this investigation of joe biden all of the witnesses, every single one, testified that that had nothing to do with official u.s. policy. >> and vice president biden's request hadid no personal political benefit whereas president trump's request did? >> yes. in fact, if the witnesses testified if that corrupt prosecutor general were actually removed, it would be because he was not prosecuting corruption. so the witnesses said that by removing that prosecutor general and adding a new one, that there was an increased chance that corruption in ukraine wouldha b prosecuted, including, as it related to the burisma company which his son was on the board of. >> mr. goldman, can you explain exactly what happened with the phone records obtained by the intelligence committee. >> thank you. i would like to set the record straight on that.
this is a veryn basic and usua investigative practice where people involved in a scheme or suspected to be involved in a scheme investigators routinely seek their records. just to be very clear, this is meta data. it is only call to, call from and length. it is not theng content of the calls. or the text messages. so there's no content no risk of invading any communications with lawyers or journalists or attorney client, none of that exists and there are no risks to that. so what we did is for the people that several of the people that we had investigated and subpoenaed and who were alleged to be part of the scheme, we got call records so we could corroborate some of their testimony ore figure out maybe there's additional f communications that we were ad unaware of. what we then did we took the call records and matched it up with important events that occurred during the scheme. and we would start to see if there are patterns.
call records can be powerful sirc stapgsal evidence. in this case it happened people who were involved in president trump's scheme were communicating with the president's lawyer who was also involved in the scheme, a journalist, a staff member of congress and another member of congress. we, of course, did not at all seek in any way, shape, or form to do any investigation on anyone, a member of congress or a staff member of congress. it just happened to be that they were in communication with people involved in the president's scheme. >> and everything i t you did w basically standard operating procedure for a well run investigation? >> every investigation in ten years that i did probably we got call record for. >> mr. goldman, did white house counsel g make his view clear about witnesses and evidence requested by thetn investigatin committees and what was that view?th >> we never heard from the white house counsel other than the letter which basically just said we will not at all cooperate with thisll investigation in an way, shape, or form.
they never reached toout to enge in this accommodation process. it was a complete stonewall not only will the white house not participate or respond toe the duly authorized subpoenas of congress but we're going to direct every other executive branch agency to defy this. >> i have a a series and please keep your answers brief if you can. during last week's hearing my republican colleague said that congress has not built a sufficient record to impeach. as a former prosecutor you have spent years building a case record. what is the strength of the record here? >> i think we have moved fast and i think that the evidence is really overwhelming. we have 17 witnesses with overlapping and -- >> yoer wheming. the committee managed to collect such ama compelling record in t face of obstruction by the president, correct? >> yes. >> was the obstruction so pervasive that the evidence pointed to a course of conduct or a plan to cover up any presidential misconduct? >> we did find that there was an
effort toha conceal the president's conduct, yes. >> and i understand that october 8th the white house wrote a lettere explaining that presidt trump had direct his administration not to cooperate with the white house's impeachment inquiry. in thehi letter the white house counsel wrote, quote, president trump cannot permit his administration to participate in this partisan inquiry understand the circumstances. the investigative committees tried to interview dozens of witnesses including currentew a former trumpen administration officials and wereio stymied wi respect to most of them, is that correct? >> there were 12 witnesses who were directed not to appear and ultimately they did not appear. >> thank you very much. my time has expired. i yield to the ranking member mr. collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. goldman, it's an interesting thing. we can commit basically extortion or put pressures on others as long as we have the international community behind get enough people to think we're okay i can extort anybody ixt want to as long as enough think it's okay that is what you said whether you believe it or not as iel copied the notes.
to the phone records. it's a novel approach. the phone records issue, i'm not -- hear me clearly. i have no problem with the subpoena as far as the subpoena power from congress. not a problem. my problem ass. you did not ansr in the previous is taking the meta data, the numbers, it's interesting you had to say there's no content or anything, we've had that debate in congress for the o last few yea on the fisa program and other things, whichog this committee should be hearing fisa, the i.g. report came out and we're doing this. it's interesting towedo see to that the calls in the meta data and not the content, what the problem i have hereen is this, if rudy, nunes were the only phone records returned from the subpoena, what why are these released? here's the problem. you took the committee and this is why i want to know who ordered it, the committee made a choice,de chairman schiff, i'm assuming he's not here or you who did get to come, thank you
for showing up, made a conscious choice to put these records into the report.re it was a drive-by. it was a gratuitous drive-by you wanted to smear the ranking member orr these others becaus they were in thosehe numbers th were connected to that. i'm not saying you knew the content oryi anything else. in t fact, you just admitted a second ago it was simply they were contacting these people. the problem i have with c that , you could have just as easily put if you're wanting to do a professional non-smear report saidar congress person one or congress person two. reporter one, reporter two. if they did not contribute to your report it is nothing but a drive-by. that's the problemg i have her. i have no problem with you workingle here or the report. no problem withth the subpoena. you can pretty it up all you want that was nothing to show the american people at least for a moment schiff report became a partisan smear against other members we don't like. because other alternatives for you to do. i have no problem as i said,
with you doing proper oversight. i've had a lot of issues with how the oversight is done. but don't make it up and don't not tell me or the rest of this committee who ordered that. that was nothing morede than a smear campaign. to say it's not is being disingenuous with the committee. the chairman gave you a chance to rehabilitate and you made it worse. at the endu of the day -- by t way, also a fuller record got leaked from executive session got leaked to the "washington post." and i don't understand except how we can say this is okay. how do we say this is fine? this is how we have devolved. and the members of the majority now may be members of the minority at some point. ifme we're setting the standard this is where we're going with these investigations we're in trouble. we're in deep trouble because this is d another thing that founders you and othershe today mr. berke, said earlier, the founders were concerned about a lot of things. oneab of the biggest they were
concerned about, except this, they also were concerned about a partisan impeachment. partisan impeachment because you don't like his policies, you don't like what he said and how he said it. i don't like the way joe biden said ithe but you blew that offs everybody has the backing of the international community. what we have become is a perpetual state of impeachment. and that is the problem that everyone should have. buter don't come here and be a person who is a witness, sworn witness, and not answer the questions. adam schiff is doing that fine without you. but don't come here and say i'm not going to say because you know s good and well sometime a some conference at some committee roomon in some little room somebody said hey, this is interesting because i have devin nunes's phone number and that number matches. we're going to put it in the report not because we think devin nunes is a part of this but had as phone call with somebody we were investigating. that's a drive-by.
it's beneath you and beneath this congress. and that is why i have such a problemwh with this. then you leaked further information. this is the problem here. we can be righteous trying to get this president or not this is why people are getting turned offe by this whole thing. when we understand that, that is the problemnd i have. because you could have handled thisyo differently. you and mr. schiff. i don't blame the chairman i hold the member the one with the pin responsible. i'm going to assume he ordered this and said put their names in here and can't come and defend that. unfortunately he sent you. and you had to take it. that's wrong and this committee deserves better. with that i yield back. >>yi the gentleman yields back. gentle lady from california is rec mied. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the gist of the question here is the h potential of abuse of the president's power to benefit himself and the next election.
now america is pabased on free d fair election and after russia interfered the american people areaf rightfully concerned abou ensure that the next election is free of foreign interference. keeping that in mind, i would like to ask i you, mr. goldman, the following question. ambassador sondland testified according to rudy giuliani, quote, president trump wanted a public statement from president zelensky committing to investigations of burisma and the 2016 election. isn't that correct? >> yes. >> and ambassador sondland testified as the screen in front of you shows that president zelensky, quote, had to announce theot investigations. he isn't actual he didn't have to do them. >> correct. >> mr. goldman, you're an experienced former prosecutor, is it common to announce an investigation but not conducts the investigation? >> no.
usually it works the reverse. you t don't announce the investigation becausedo you wan to develop as much evidence while it's not -- while it's not public. because if it's public, then you run into problems of people matchingof up testimony and witnessesp tailoring their testimony, which is part of the reason why theim closed depositions in our investigation were so important. >> so what did that evidence, this evidence about the announcement, tell you about why president trump would only care about president zelensky announcing the investigations but not actually conducting them? >> there were two things that it said. one is, whatever he claims -- the president claims about his desireis to root out corruption even if you assume that these investigations are for that purpose as he has stated, it undermines that because he doesn't actually care if thet investigations are done. even if you assume, which i don't think the evidence supports, it's corruption, then he's still not doing the corruption investigations and
the second is, he just wanted the public announcement, the private confirmation was not enough and that's anma indicati that he wanted the political benefit fromhe them. >> yeah. looks to me that the announcement of the investigation could benefit the presidentne politically because the announcement alone could be twitterne fodder between now an thewe next election to smear a political rival. that's consistent with the findings. you know, president nixon attempted to corrupt elections and his agents broke into democratic party headquarters to get aar leg up on the election d then he tried to cover it up just as we've seen some obstruction s here. but even more concerning in this case, president trump not only appears to have abused the power of his office to help his own re-election campaign, he used a foreign government to do his bidding and he used military aid as leverage to get the job done. now this aid was approved by congress. it was appropriated on a
bipartisan basis for ukraine to fight russia who had invaded them and while aid, this aid was withheld, people died while this aid was being withheld and some have argued since ultimately the aid was released that there was not a problem, but mr. goldman, isn't it true that the aid was released only after the president got caught and only after congress learned of the scheme to make this life or death aid conditional on this announcement of investigation of his politicalst rival? >> there were several things that made the president realize that this was coming to a head and could not be concealed. the whistleblower complaint was circulating aroundmp the white house, thehe congressional committees announced their own investigation, and then the perhaps "the washington post" op-ed on september 5th linking the twoep and then the inspecto
general notified the committee that there was this whistleblower complaint c that s beingth withheld by the trump administration. >> correct. well i've made it clear throughout this investigation i didn't want to be a part of a third impeachment inquiry, but the direct evidence is very damming and the president hasn't offered any evidence to the cup temporariry. we've asked, we've subpoenaed, we've invited the president and nothing has come forward if he had evidence of his innocence, why wouldn't he bring it forward? this is a very serious matter that strikes at the heart of our constitution andt it's a conce that we are here but i've heard over and over again that this is too fast. miss jackson lee and i were talking, we were bother membersf this committee during the clinton impeachment that took 73 days. we're here on the 76th day. we need to proceed and i thank you for your hard work and presentation. i yield woback, mr. chairman.
>> thank you. >> without objection, the hearing will stand in recess for 15 minutes. >> we have been watching testimony in today's impeachment hearing for the house judiciary committee. fiworks there. we're also following another huge story breaking since we've been on the air. the report from the justice department watchdog michael horowitz on the origins of the russia probe and the conduct of the law enforcement officials behind it. the inspectornd general report finds the investigation was both legally justified and not influenced by any political bias. thosey critical of the handlin of a wiretap warrant at the probe's outset today's report debunks some of the president's signature smears against the fbi that it was involved in some sortvo of deep state conspiracy withf the goal of undermining s campaign. as of this u hour, both the
president's attorney general william barr and the u.s. attorney mr. durham who he tapped to investigate some of the same issues, have in the last hour undercut some of the report's conclusions. joining us now, chuck rosenberg former u.s. attorney and senior fbirn official, jason johnson, politics editor atso the root, former u.s. senator claire mccascle, frank, former assistant director of counterintelligence at the fib heidi, nbc news correspondent is here. frank we've been listening to this riveting and sometimes rancorous testimony but we've been pouring through this. >> i am p working through this. it is not an easy document. the,ti the executive summary is important because it lays out clearly while the fbi made procedural mistakes and seems they made quite a few in how they applied for the fisa warrant and how they reviewed it and the sign offs they got, the
top line is so important that there was no political bias that affected their decision making. that's the thingio the presiden had been focused on for years, that the leadership of the fbi at the time was -- that they were traitors, treasonous, those are really poisonous work. >> what there is evidence of they were human beings and as human beings there were failures in the system i don't mean that in a passive way, people made mistakes, better practice, the i.g. routinely in his report points out how to make systems better as director wray said earlier today, he is recommending at least 40 some odd changes, overhauls. >> fixes. >> tos, procedures. that's what you would expect the fbi wdo when it receives a rept critical r of its processes.
but there was no political bias. that is so important. >> and the other big bombshell that we've been covering since we've been back in the hearing is t a statement from the u.s. attorney from connecticut, mr. durham, who moments after this report came moout, sort of performed a william barr on the mueller report 2.0, putting out a statement saying that his investigation, let me read it, a at the same time fromet the u.s attorney john durham on the inspector general's report, the utmostrt respect for the inspecr general and the work that went into the reportha prepared by m horowitz and his staff however our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component d parts of the justice department.ar our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities in the u.s. andan outside of the u. based onsi the evidence collect today and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the inspector general that we do not agree
with some of the reports' conclusions as to predcation and how the fbi case was opened. spoken to four former justice department or fbi officials who said this is the most stunning thing they've seen in a stunning tenure of attorney general barr. >> a couple former doj officials sitting at this table who are perplexed and scratching our heads over the statement by durham.xe i find it hard to understand how a prosecutor in the middle of his investigation would decide to makehi an announcement he doesn't like somebody else's conclusions and that he might be going in a different direction. there's really no operational or investigative purpose for that so itiv leads me to think and i would be very disappointed if this is the case, that there's a political reasonat for this. i have to wonder whether we're seeing attorney general barr speak through the office of john durham. >> do you know johnea durham? >> i used to work for john durham many years ago before i
was in the fbi. >> does this sound like something he would have written? >> no.ik >>ld is it normal to come out a say what your investigation is and isn't andat then to say wha your incomplete investigation found that's different from another person's investigation? it's extremely unusual. a u.s.nu attorney could be poli disciplin -- disciplined for coming out and talking about the case in this manner. wonder if there was direction or pressure to do this and i would love to see what documentation exists between horowitz and durham, the i.g. and the a.g. barr, and durham regarding this statement. julie ainsley joins us now. i was shocked when you first started reading barr's attack on the inspector general report on the air, but it has been followed by a second statement from attorney generala barr apparentlyrr he wasn't done
talking when his scribe ran out and gave you the statement you first read. tell us about the second statement and what is starting to feel liket a frantic public relations p effort around the i. report. >> yeah. it was interesting, nicole, a second statement now from william barr that gets into this idea of a friendly foreign government. that wasa australia. as we know, michael horowitz said that thech opening of this investigation came from a tip fromca a friendly foreign government, as we know from reporting that's australia, and not's from the steele dossier tt has beenel largely uncorroborat at the heart of all of the conservative theories that try to undermine the investigation. so nownv the a.g. is saying tha he does appreciate the help of friendly foreign h governments d if i can pull this up for you in the middle ofr lots of statemes seems he wants to say here we go the inspector general found the only informationne relied on to
open the fbi's counterintelligence investigation was supplied by the fbi by a friendly foreign government. he says, i want to emphasize that this friendly foreign government did the right thing in supplying that information. the friendly foreign government hasly acted at all times as we would hope a close ally would. this is william barr's attempt to try to say thank you, australia, for helping the united states and just because my sereaction since then have bn very harshly critical of the fbi doesn't mean he wants to discount what australia did in this case. it's a if you have line to walk. when the inspector general is saying there would not have been this information if not for the helpti of australia and then yo havean a statement from john durham and from attorney general william barr, saying that no, in fact, i don't agree with that conclusion, it'sth hard. so thenc attorney general is trying to keep both those doors open right now. but i will point to
lengthier statement by christopher ray. the fbi director. who really just got into the fact that he wanted to do a review. he wants to look at employees who signed off on the carter page warrant. but really responded the way you would expect the headnd of an agency that has just come under review by thest inspector gener to respond. disagree and say, no, my agency did a lot worse than you say. as we're hearing from the attorney general. but just to say there's some procedural matters here and we're going to look into it. >> you know, i'm glad you mentioned christopher ray. i just watched a clip from an interview he did on another network. and he says that on the question of opening the investigation, it was absolutely i proper. and thenlu he ticks through all the tools that were used and includes the fisa process as being used properly in the opening of the investigation. soon a real gulf opening up between the sitting attorney general, reallye trump's close ideological mate and political mate in the cabinet. and chris ray, who as chuck
rosenberg and frank have both attested to since we've been on the air today, has a much more dangerous sort of ledge to crawl out on today. but crawl out on it he did. again, disagreeing with attorney general barr and saying that the opening of the investigation was absolutelyas proper. and theab use of all of the too that were a deployed in the ear stages of the investigation, also proper. julia. >> yeah, that's right. i mean, i'm standing here between these two buildings. fbi and the justice department. and this is a gulf that we don't normally see. in the years that i've been covering the justice department. one thing that was interesting in the inspector general report is that they said there were doj officials who were not given all of the information by fbi employees when they were opening those fisa warrants into carter page. now, the inspector general said that the information g they collected from those warrants were not critical to the investigation. and that the steele dossier that was used and referenced in those
fisa warrant applications was not part of the opening. but nevertheless, he's very kritkri critical of how that was used and how those warrants weret de and whether or not the fbi should have been more forthcoming. but hee still found no evidenc ofou bias. he says he has more questions about their motivations. and heth says that there will b another investigation into the process of opening fisa warrants. something we've been talking about for a long time through many administrations int termsf how american citizens are railed by their own governments. but the reaction we saw today from the fbi director was so different from what we saw from the attorney general that i think it's clear there's really a gap here. then also, how closely aligned william barr is with john durham. the u.s. attorney that he tapped to run a criminal investigation. so il think eyes will soon be shifting in the new year over to john durham. and questions will, again, arise over how, you know, his -- i don't want to say motivated -- but at least in terms of how they conduct that investigation
in terms of whether or not it's fair across the board. >> you know,fa i mean i -- i thk julia's right. eyes will shift toward the durham probe because that's whereau donald trump would like eyes to shift toward. because i believe this is, what, the third release of parts of the horowitzha investigation. and it's an exercise in cherry picking from this white house. they do not like, as they did not like most of the mueller report once someone told donald trump that it did not completely exoneratet him on either contas with russia. there were 150 of those. or criminal obstruction of justice. there were ten cases of that. so what -- what do you make of all of the eggs being taken out of the horowitz basket? if you google any fox host and horowitz, you'll find -- i don't advise it. it's not fun. you get down the rabbit hole. you lose yourhe evening. but you'll find dozens of hits of horowitz was going to be the gold standard. horowitz wase gonna nail the f on the origins of the russia investigation. not the -- the completion of a couple fisa warrants, which if
criminal, this fbi lawyer who's named in the ig report will be criminally prosecuted. and no one is saying that isn't absolutely the right thing to do. it is the president and his attorney general, though, that are nowey trying to deflect attention to their investigation. does that make you nervous? >> it makes me nervous. i mamean, having put all their eggs in thell horowitz basket a having been disappointed because he found no political bias, they have to move the eggs somewhere else. durham seems to have a basket. why not put 'em there? you know,pu one of the things tt strikes me as unusual in the aft aftermath of the release of this report, and it's an important report, and that we're not just seeing dualing statements, we're seeing multiple statements. normally, when the inspector general, any agency releases a report, critical of the agency. the head of the agency and maybe the person in charge of that part that has been criticized will stand up together. and they'll say, you know what, we received the report. we readwe it. it makes sense to us. we're going to make the following changes. we've nowll seen statements, tw
from bill barr, the attorney general. one from chris ray on abc. as well as one from john durham. and this report from michael horowitz. this is really unusual. it seems like everybody wants to have their say. >> a couple of their says. >>he a couple of their says. again, not just multiple. not just dueling. but both. >> let me just press on that a little bit because i understand it from a communications perspective. barr had to put out a second statement because there was some feedback provided that didn't undermine enough of his own department's watchdog group. but what does it say from a legal perspective? because if a draft ig report was made available to enough of the people that were interviewed, the ag has had it. >> thead attorney general has h it. the fbi has had it.t. they were all bound not to speak about it until the ig -- >> but they could have prepared a little statement. >> they could have prepared a statement. and what you would like to seey is the attorney general of the united states and the director of the fbi, together, saying
we've received it. we get it. the attorney general says i'm proud of the mener and women of the fbi. anden i'm relieved to see that there's no political bias. the fbi director then steps up to the podium and says, moreover, there are things we're going to fix andar i'm going to make sure they get fixed. but you're not seeing that and i wonder why and that bothers me. >> do you wonder why, claire? >> yeah, we're going back to a time in our history that was not good for the fbi. when there was a division between the fbi and this was when the fbi, you know, when hoover was the all-powerful and all seen. and youal found this division between doj and herbert hoover -- j. edgar hoover sometimes. the interesting thing for me about durham is now we're going to switch all thes eggs as we' been using this basket and eggs, i'm going to continue. to theto durham basket. i wonder if durham has called rod rosenstein and asked him how it worked out when he was
co-opted by barr. rod rosenstein came to the job and i was there when he took the job. and there was a lot of discussion and conversations he had with members of congress about how he was gonna call it like he saw it. he had his reputation to defend. he was not gonna allow the president to bully him. well, once barr came on the scene, he totally got co-opted byco barr. and now, you're seeing the same thing with durham. there is no way. these guys are so low key. you guys are clearly fbi guys because fbi guys don't talk unless they have to. ever. and when it's the right time to talk, they let the evidence do the talking. this is so out of character for the fbi and for doj. >> you mean the durham statement? to say -- and to be specific, let's read that again. this is the statement from the u.s. attorney who was tapped by william barr.pp
william barr has traveled around to at least a couple of foreign capitals with him gathering evidence on the origins of the russia investigation. he said, our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities. both in the u.s. and outside the u.s. based on the evidence collected to date and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the inspector general we do not agree with some of the report's conclusions as to predication and how the fbi case was opened. >> yeah. this was not something that doj does. you don't ever foretell what your investigation is finding because you don't know what it's going to find until it's over. >> right. >> and you end up then getting stuck. by the way, you can tell nobody here is worried about prosecuting any cases because i mean, the notion that they're going to criminally prosecute somebody based on -- and have this report. it would be counter to that. i mean, typically, the fbi and doj is focused on one thing. finding the truth. presenting the truth in a court of law.
and applying the law to the truth. those facts. this is so far off field, this is ispolitical. this is totally political. and it is a dangerous moment for our country that the doj has -- i mean, doesn't the meeting on the tarmac with bill clinton and the airplane look quaint now? >> actually, that's a perfect -- >> it looks quaint. >> we have been talking about what feels like a frantic public-relations effort. two statements released from william barr on a report he's had for some time. an extraordinary report about ao open,t ongoing investigation. some of the most sensitive intelligence and law enforcement in our country. and now, guess who's weighing in? guess. guess. guess. donald j. trump. let's listen. >> okay. thank you very much. the ig report just came out. and i was just briefed on it and it's a disgrace what's happened with respect to the things that were done to our country. it should never again happen to another president.