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tv   MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi  MSNBC  December 9, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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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. it is incredible.
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far worse than i would have ever thought possible. and it's -- it's an embarrassment to our country. it's dishonest.- it's -- it's everything that a lot of people thought it would be. except far worse. so i'm going to get some very detailed briefing -- briefings. but they -- they are -- it's a very sad -- it's a very sad day when i see that. veryy sad day when a lot of people see that.t. they had no nothing. it was concocted. and you say what you want. that was a -- a -- probably something that's never happened in the history of our country. pam bondy, i think you were able to look at some of the report and can address a little bit of it very well, if you might say a fewif words. i'd like to ask kelly anne. i know you looked at it also. please. >> sure, president. you know, so many of us who are career law enforcement today are outraged. and i think the american people really should be terrified that this could happen to you.
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when we're supposed to live in a society of integrity and honesty. and this happened to the president. not just to the president. good ow, this should be a day but it's not. it's a horrible day for the country that this could happen to theco president of the unite states. >> pam bondy. >> that is the voice of pam bondy i'm told. but the -- the -- the sense in the room, not matching the read from fbi director chris ray, who in a television interview that we'll try to turn around and shown you some of, is saying tt the news in the report today, while it leaves him with i think 30 to 40 fixes to processes. things like the fisa court application process.ou that the news, the headline here today not just for people who are skeptical of trump or who love donald trump or for the country. is that the fbi, under director comey and acting and deputy director mccabe, did not act with any political motivation.
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and their investigation into russian meddlingol in 2016 had e proper and justifiable predication. heidi przybyla, you've been following with all of us. jump in ong all of this, pleas >> actually, nicolle, i have new exclusive insights to offer. exclusive to nbc news according to individuals who are close to those hearings and close to the investigation. who tell me that we are now staring down two articles of impeachment against president trump. we knew this. this was abuse of power, contempt of congress. so what's new here? i will note that we did not see any mention among those democratic counsels of the words bribery, of the words extortion. and that this, nicolle, was intentional. that despite all of the pressure, despite the public polling a showing this makes things easierow for the public understand. despite the fact that it's loosely-defined in the constitution. they are not, at this demoment, going down that route. sown where is the debate now? i want to throw up a tweet from
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constitutional law icon larry tribe, who is making the case. andma we know that he was advisg democrats on saturday, nicolle, that not only was the president trying to smear the bidens. but because he was trying to essentially unsmear putin by blaming ukraine for all of the election meddling. that, that in and of itself, could be a nod to obstruction in a broader abuse of power article. so tribe was giving them options for how to fold, essentially, obstruction into that broader article. because as you know, there is a debate ragingno right now about whether obstruction of justice should be a separate count. there are many democrats, at this hour, who are nervous that if you include that third count of obstruction, that they're on ath squishier ground there becae don mcgahn, who is the key witness in that obstruction case. hisio defiance of subpoenas. that's still being adjudicated.
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that is still working its way through the court of law. so at this moment right now, two articlesw, minimum. but news is that it looks like that bribery discussion is fading away. there was no mention ofng that today by thee democratic councils. >> you know,ti heidi's reportin brings back an echo of what andy mccabe said when he was on my show and you were on later that day. that they investigated the firing of comey, they investigated the obstruction as the collusion. i mean, where is this intersection between obstruction and a criminal act? >> right. when -- when doesct a -- when ds a president become a foreign threat? by obstructing or because he's obstructing. and so i think if -- if heidi's reporting is accurate, we may be seeing an acknowledgment here that they have now bled together. that the foreign lethreat, a president who was saying ukraine did all the hacking and social media propaganda, for example.
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and having his gop regurgitate the putin line is actually obstructing in the worst possible way by repeating the mantra of a foreign intelligence service. >> i want to use words that you're not allowed to use on tv. but it is bat bleep crazy that here we are again looking at donald trump obstructing an investigation into a crime. his c crime was extorting ukrai using military aid and a white house meeting to withhold aid that meant life and death for ukrainians. i think when bill taylor testified, a ukrainian had died at the hands of a russian soldier that week in ukraine. and the behavior is the same from the president. >> so, you know, an hour ago, we were having this conversation. first, we were talking about eggs. but then we were having this conversation about moving goal posts,go right? the goal posts are now like in the parking lot with the
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tailgaters. right? they're just going to lie. it's not an issue of we're going to change the standard by which we're going to go because it would have made sense for the president to say we're waiting for thet better report with durham. no, they're justwi going to lie. like, who do you believe? your lying eyes or what i'm telling you. that's basically what the president is giving us right now. and i g think what we're also going to see, which is also disturbing,e' it's not just goi to be, they're going to go back and say horowitz came in with jeff sessions. we don't like jeff sessions anyway. you are going to see a character assassination of the individuals involved inhe putting together this report. they will attack those people as well. and that, i -- i think that goes to obstruction. that goes to a -- a failure to protect this country. that goes to treason because a president who constantly undermines and destroys the very government processes that was supposed to be in place to keep him and this country safe is a danger. is someone who should be impeached. >> let me w just ask you one mo question, chuck. then we're going to bring in hallie jackson, who was in the
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roosevelt room for the rest of that statement. but why wouldn't a president say what chris ray said? why can't the president give the --ca why can't the presiden sort of say something that reflectssa what's in these page? say that, you know, there's a lot of room for improvement. there are fixes. i just hung up with chris ray. he's gonna rush them in. we're looking at legislation. we're looking at this. but on the question of whether or not the fbi conspired to undermine my campaign. i'm glad that wasn't true. >> well, because that would take some degree of honor, integrity, sophistication, and intellect that this president lacks. yout know, what chris ray said was exactly what a director should say. i'd also love to hear him say, on behalf of the men and women in the fbi, i'm really proud of you but let's get this right and let's be better. >> hallie jackson joins us now. you were in that room. what else did the president have to say? >> so you cut away, nicolle, as he was talking with you're right pam bondy and kelly anne conway
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as well. joined the president's team as sort of this impeachment messaging strategist here at the white house to communicate on that front. kelly anne conway, a long-time top advisor to president trump. both railing against the doj ig report you've been discussing. then it went back to the president. he's still speaking about education in the tape that's playing back. but i want to tellio you what h said because he called this report, in hisau view, an attempted overthrow of the government. he talkedd about how it is far worse than he could have imagined. and he also, to the point that you and your -- your guests on set were making earlier -- said he didg very explicitly. he is looking forward to the durham investigation coming out because he believes that it's going to reveal, in his words, information plus plus. so there is obviously some anticipation on the part of the president regarding that. i will say thatth we've been talking about specifically the impeachment piece of this and what's happening with the judiciary committee today as a kind of tale of two hearings depending what audience you are, what you're hearing. that's the information you are getting. that is the feeling i think that came out of the cabinet room in what was ostensibly an education
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round table when it came to this inspector general's report. the president and his allies in the room selecting pieces of this report that they wanted to promote. that they wanted to put out there. and not addressing at all the top line that you have discussed, which is that the authorized purpose was there for the opening of the russia investigation. expect to see a lot of this. we've already, as reporters who have covered this white house, have been preemptively reprimanded by the white house for not covering this report thoroughly enough. and i imagine that defiant tone is what we're going to continue to see throughout the afternoon. >> hallie jackson at the white house for us. thank you so much, myou friend. frank. >> so look, we are officially living in an alternate reality. with what the president has just said, characterizing the ig report. i've got the entire ig report in my hand. we're -- we're reading it. i can assure you the president hasn't read it and is lying about it. i'll just give you one example. we've heard now, for years, how awful lisa page is, the fbi attorney who texted with pete
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strzok her dislike for trump and many other people. guess what? the ig report says lisa page had absolutely zero to do with any of the openings of any of the investigations, including crossfire hurricane. it's an irrelevant topic. yet, we'll never hear that coming from the white house. >> and i guess, as i started asking around the questions of why republicans parrot what putin would like thems to parr. the t republicans aren't just defending donald trump anymore. they're doing putin's bidding. why are they, again, undermining what is by all appearances -- i haven't read the whole thing yet -- but is -- is the watchdog for the department. and the same watchdog who referred andy mccabe i believe found was very harsh on some of jim comey's conduct. this is not someone who's ever done anything to look like some sort of tool of the democrats. why not acknowledge the truth of what's in those pages? >> you know, in the long run, it would serve the i country far
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better. it would -- it would serve the cause of justice, rule of law, and the constitution. for congress to come out and go, look, we're troubled by some of the findings'r in here. but we're so pleased to hear that the fbi was not motivated politically. we're -- we're going to do things about this. we're going to have a healthy discussion about fisa. we're going to have a healthy discussion about why you should or should not investigate a campaign in the middle of a campaign. all valid discussions. but instead, we have peopled choosing to toe the russian to line. and we could -- we've been involved in many discussions about why that's happening and i think the answer is it's varied. i think there are somend member of congress that are too closely aligned. perhaps, financially with the country of russia. i think others are sucked into ego and power s trips and re-election. but the bottom line is they are not serving this country well. >> all right. and we -- just a programming note. we are going to sit down with jim comey, former fbi director who oversaw the bureau when the russia probe was opened. a probe that the inspector general, michael horowitz, today
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disclosed in a 400-page report was done so without any political bias, without any political motive, and with adequate predication. it's a finding that the attorney general, william barr, and his handpicked u.s. attorney, mr. durham, have undercut already. all in a day's news of covering the trump white house. we are also watching the house judiciaryng committee. we're going to dip back into today's testimony. >> and then going the next step and publishing the results of that match in a report that the minority hadn't seen until it was released. that, i think, is an abuse of power. we're o talking a lot about abus of power here in the white house and in the executive branch. here, we see a clear abuse of power on the part of the people who are prosecuting this impeachment against the president of the united states.t they should be ashamed of themselves.
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now, i come from the state where joe mccarthy came from. i met joe mccarthy twice when i was first getting into politics as a teenager. folks, you have made joe mccarthy look like a piker with what you've done with the electronic surveillance involved. it is something that has to be put a stop to now. it is something that has to be fessed up to now. whether it's you, mr. goldman, that authorized the matching and the publication or whether it was chairman orschiff. i would have loved to put chairman schiff under oath so that he could be required to answer the same way you have, mr. goldman, on how this all happened. but as one who has spent quite a bit ofas time curtailing the excesses of the patriot act,
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which i authored. with the freedom act, which i also authored. you know, the surveillance state can get out of control. this is a major step in the surveillance state getting out of control in the hands of the congress. and in the hands of a majority party that wants to influence political decisions relative to politicians. in this case, president donald trump, that they don't like. and they haven't liked him from the beginning of his term. they have tried to talk about impeachment since the beginning of his term. they thought that the mueller report was goingug to be the smoking gun. itok ended up being -- now, they're working on this. and the steps that they have gone. the violation of common sense. the precedent that they have started. and looking at the way the chairman has conducted this
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hearing todayhi and in the previous hearings. not even to allow mr. gaetz to make a point of order that he can't see what you put on the screen, i think goes against the entire fabric, you know, of american democracy. shame on those who have done it. and if we want to get back to something objective, maybe it's time to push the recess button. i yield back. >> chairman nadler, could i just respond quickly on the -- only because it's -- >> mr. chairman, i yielded back. >> no. no. no. >> i didn't ask him a question. i made a statement. >> the gentleman yielded back. the -- the gentleman yielded back. ms. jackson. >> so, mr. goldman, let's get to the facts again. during the phone conversation on july 25th with president zelensky, president trump was narrowly focusing on his own politicalis survival using his public office for a private and political gain. the truth matters.
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then we heard counsel for the republicans say the president's concerned about foreign aid because you could kiss it good-bye. assuming that's referring to anti-corruption. but let's look at the facts of the july 25th call. i happen to have read it just recently. which sharply illustrates the president's willingness to abuse thell power of his office for h own personal benefit. the memorandum of that call is on the screen in front of you. and it shows that president trump says, and by the way, right after president zelensky spoke about defense support and the javelins, i would like you to do us a favor, though. so this is a president's own behavior in words. mr. goldman, what was that favor? >> the favor was to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory related to ukraine interference in the 2016 election.
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>> the investigative committees received evidence from multiple witnesses who testified that president trump m was provided specific talking points in preparation for the july 25th call. geared toward protecting the americand people's national security. is that correct? >> the talking points certainly were part of the official u.s. policy and theyof included anti-corruption efforts and national security efforts, yes. >> and thoseec talking points we provided to help the president effectively communicate official u.s. policy interest during calls with foreign leaders, is that right? >> that is correct. it's a c routine process that t national security council does. but the -- the president generally is able to use them or not usese them. witnesses said the president's not required to use them. what was soo startling here is that he not only veered off from them. but that he went to his own personal interests. >> and it is fair to say such talking points signal the purpose of a given call, correct? >> yes. >> witnesses testified that the
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talking points for the july 25th call included recommendations to encourage president zelensky to continue to promote anti-corruption reforms in ukraine. which has a focus of american foreign policy in eastern europe, is that correct? >> yes. >> so to be clear, the talking points created for the president were the principles to discuss specific matters that really protect the american people, is that accurate? >> yes, generally. >> but i witnesses such as tim morrison, the deputy assistant to the president and senior director for europe, testified about what was not in those talking points. >> now, mr. morrison, were these references to crowd strike, the server in 2016 election, and to vice president biden and his son. were they included in the president's talking points? >> they were not.g >> are you aware of any witness who testified that investigating theo bidens was an objective o official u.s. policy? >> no, it was not before and it was not after this call.
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>> andbe anything ever found in those investigations that might have occurred? >> i'm sorry? >> anything ever found of those investigations that may have occurred with respect to the former vice w president? >> every single witness said there's no factual basis for either of the investigations. >> so mr. trump did not use official talking points. >> correct. >> and there were fact witnesses who confirmed . that? >> that's right. >> when you hear those words, do you hear the president requesting a thoughtful and well-calibrated anti-corruption program, consistent with u.s. policy? >> so, mr. goldman -- >> we were hoping we recommended the president very clearly support what president zelensky had run on his own election and what his servant of the people party had run on in its election where it received a majority mandate. >> but that didn'tma come up in the call, did it? >> no, sir. >> so mr. goldman, did the evidence prove mr. trump utilized his position of public trust in order to accomplish these goals, his goals, in order
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to hurt his domestic political opponent? >> yes, that's what the evidence showed. >> i've come to understand that america's values of democracy and justice must have the vital pillars of thtruth, factual tru, and trust. the former judge and one who set on this committee during impeachment in 1998, the truth matters. it's clear that the8, president really cared about -- did not really care about fighting corruption in ukraine but wanted his own personal interests to be considered. that kind of puts in perspective, ambassador sondland, that they didn't care whether ukraine actually investigated. but really whether they just announced it. it is certainly well-known that it is our duty as the president poses a continuing threat to under the constitution,ea pursu the untruth. that is our duty. we're now proceeding to do our duty to find the truth. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentle lady yields back. the gentleman from ohio. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is the second hearing on impeachment that this committee has held in the last week.
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well, i would submit that you're investigating the wrongha guy. let's look at the facts. mr. castor, ukraine that's been at the center of attention of this impeachment hearing, has historically been one of the world's most corrupt nations. is that correct? >> that's correct.rl >> and under legislation that congress passed, the national defense authorization act, it was president trump's responsibility, his duty, to see that u.s. tax dollars did not go to ukraine unless they were making progress in reducing corruption. is that also right? >> yes, that's right. >> and isn't it true that joe biden's son, hunter, had placed himself right smack dab in the middle of thatda corruption? >> yes, he did. burisma was one of the most corrupt companies in ukraine. >> and contrary to what house democrats and many in the media would have you believe, the concerns about hunter biden's involvement in ukrainian corruption. they're not some sort of
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right-wing conspiracy concocted by supporters of the president, are they? in fact, the concerns about hunter biden were first raised by the obama administration, is that right? >> that's right. and also, ""washington post"was >> and the obama administration concerns didn't end there, did they? the former ambassador to ukraine, marie yovanovitch, said she was coached by the obama administration on how to answer pesky questions related to hunter biden and burisma. that might arise during her senate confirmation process. is that right? >> the state department was so concerned about this, they gave her a mock q and a on this question. >> and nearly every single witness who testified at the intelligence committee impeachment inquiry agreed that hunter biden's burisma deal created, at the very least, the appearance of conflict of interest. is that correct? >>ct that's correct. and, you know, deputy assistance
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secretary george kent testified that there was an investigation into burisma, into their head. and they were trying to track down 23 million that he had -- he had taken out of the country. they were working with the united kingdom. they were working -- the united states, united kingdom, ukraine was working on, tracking this money down. and there was an investigation, an active investigation, going on and a bribe was paid. and that bribe was paid. it allowed him to get off scott free. right around that time is when burisma went about sprucing up their board, shall we say. >> and -- and yet, with all that evidence, the democrats on the intelligence committee under chairman schiff, and now the democrats here, are determined to sweep the biden corruption under the rug. ignore it. not let us call witnesses on it. and instead, rush to impeach the
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president. all to satisfy, i would argue, the radical left-wing base. what a disservice to the country. imagine this. you've got the vice president, oe biden, in charge of overseeing our ukrainian policy. and his son, hunter biden, receiving 50 grand a month with nond identifiable expertise in either energy or ukraine. yet, the democrats won't let us present witnesses on that. so let's do the next best thing since weo can't bring the witnesses here. let's watch a couple of videos. >> you didn't have any extensive knowledge about natural gas or ukraine itself, though? >> no. >> the list you gave me of the reasons why you're on that board. you did not list the fact that you were the son of the vice president. >> ofon course. no. role do you think that played? >> i think thatu it is impossie for me to be on any of the boards that i just mentioned without saying that i'm the son of the vice president of the united states. >> if your last name wasn't biden, do you thinkna you would have been asked to be on the board of burisma? >> i don't know. i don't know. probably not.of >> you know, joe biden got a littleot testy with a voter at e
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of his events in iowa last week. calling the man a liar. challenging him to a pushup contest, among other things. falsely, stating, once again, that nobody said there was anything wrong with his son's deal in ukraine. well, you know what? that's a lot of malarkey. a lot of people have been saying that for quite a while now and they're right. what's worst is first the intelligence committee and now this committee are conducting an impeachment investigation against president trump based on, as professor turley put it last week, wafer-thin evidence and ignoring evidence of a high-level u.s. official who actually did engage in a quid pro quo with ukrainian in fact, confessed to it in this video. >> i said i'm telling you you're not getting a billion dollars. i said you're not getting the billion. i think it was, what, six hours. i, said, i'm leaving in six hours. if the prosecutor's not fired, you're not getting the money. well, son of a bitch. got fired.
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>> you're investigating the wrong guy, mr. >> mr. cohen. >> thank you, sir. mr. goldman, i'd like to bring us back to the next president -- to this president, not the next president. and stay focused on the july 25 call. the president's abuse of office for his benefit, no one else's. now, as my colleague ms. jackson lee confirmed, the president's request for these investigations was not an objective of u.s. foreign policy, correct? >> that's right. >> is there any evidence the national security council wanted an investigation into the bidens, burisma, or any alleged ukrainian interference in 2016? >> no. >> any evidence about the state department wanting them? >> no. >> how about the dod? the dod want those investigations? >> no evidence of that. >> did any witness tell you that they wanted ukraine to investigate the bidens of the 2016 election? >> no. >> we certainly know now that the ukrainians did not want it either. in fact, they d made it very clr they did not want to be an instrument -- this is a quote -- an instrument in washington domestic re-election politics.
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so the only person who was a beneficiary from that investigation is president trump. and that's why everyone on the july 25 call knew it was wrong. they knew it was wrong. the investigative committee heard testimony from three witnesses whoim participated in that call. is that correct?th >> yes. well, listened to that call. >> right. mr. goldman, even in realtime, the witnesses whon listened on that call, testified they were concerned by the escall. is that correct? >> yes. >> and, in fact, both lieutenant colonel vindman and mr. morrison immediately reported the call to legal counsel, is that right? >> that's right. >> and why did they r do so? >> they did it for separate reasons. lieutenant colonel vindman was concerned about the substance vf the call. that it was improper. mr. morrison was concerned about the potential political ramifications if the call was released because of the substance of the call and the political naturee of the call. >> and they reported the call that they actually reported that
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to the internal legal channels. mr. goldman, i've placed lieutenant colonel vindman's testimony about why he reported the cally on the screen. am in correct his concern was based on the fact that the president wasth asking a foreig power to investigate a u.s. citizen? >> yes, and he was not the only witness to express that concern. >> am i also correct that he reported this concern because he thought it was his sense of duty? a duty that he felt something was wrong. >> yes. as you probably know, lieutenant colonel vindman is a purple heartn award winner -- or meda winner from iraq and -- and he has been in the department of defense for 20 years. and has a great sense of duty and agr great patriotism to thi country. and felt compelled to follow that sense of duty and report it. >> and ms. williams, vice president pence's aide was present for the call and she testified that it was unusual and inappropriate, is that correct? >> that's right. >> now, when mr. vice president
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biden got involved with the european union and the imf and germany and france. and said you've got to do something about corruption. that was okay because they were doing something for theka commo good of a bunch of people, as distinguished from what's going on dihere. where somebody is doing it for their personal good, is that not correct? >> right. there's distinction between doing an official act for an official purpose. and doing an official act for a personal purpose. and iffo -- if i could just respond to something mr. castor said. when he said that the -- there were problems because he paid a bribe, the head of burisma, in order to get out from under the prosecution. that was exactly the type of conduct that vice president biden wanted to shut down in ukraine. that was exactly the type of non-anti-corruption policies that vice president biden was objecting to using the official policy. so that's one of the reasons that he -- i mean, i don't know if that was one. but that's the type of thing that he based -- he and the americans and the europeans --
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>> that's the issue we've got to get in this committee. to understand the difference between doing something for the national good, for the international good, for the common good, and for your own good. that's the difference. got to get that across. those witnesses, many career, non-partisan officials were clear they thought it was wrong to ask a foreign government to investigate a political rival. video. >> to investigate the vice president of the united states or someone who is a u.s. officia official. i don't think we should be asking foreign governments to do that. i would say it's true of a political rival. >> it is improper for the president of the united states to demand a foreign government investigate a u.s. citizen and politicalu. opponent. >> it was inappropriate and we said that in the time in realtime. >> again, our holding up of security assistance that would go to a country that is fighting aggression from russia, for no
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good policy reason, no good substantive reason, no good national security reason, is >> and we are gonna check that type of conduct. we are the people's house and i yield back the balance of my time. >> gentleman yields back. gohmert. >> well, i had some questions for the witness, mr. burke, but he has absconded. so i'm going to use my five minutes but noto to ask questions. it is interesting, though, to have heard mr. t goldman refuseo answer question about the investigation. yet, he comes in here and the very reason that he wants to see the president for the first time any president's ever been removed from office. why he's been obstructing. he didn't answer our questions. so perhaps if we're going to apply his sense of justice to him, it would be time to have him removed from his position. but that's only if we apply his -- his own standards. if it weren't for double standards, some of these folks
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wouldn't have standards at all. but we were told also, at the beginning, that we would hear lawyers present evidence. lawyers are going to come in here. now, what normally happens and i've been in some kangaroo hearings and courts. not my own when i was there. but i have beenou mistreated in hearings before. but i have never seen anything like this where we don't allow the fact witnesses to come in here. we have the lawyers come in and tell us what we're supposed to know about those witnesses. and about their testimony and about theirt impression. and what the law is. this is outrageous. my friend said in 41 years, he's never seen anything like what we have going on here. to try to oust a sitting president. and it's also outrageous to hear people say, well, this man thought he was a king because he said he could do anything he wanted. when they know a that that
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statement was in the context of whether or not he could fire mueller. and, of course, he could fire mueller. he could fire or not fire mueller. he could appoint a special prosecutor to investigate mueller and weissman. i think he should've. but that's his prerogative. and he could have done anything about that he wanted. to take that out of context. say he thinks he's a king. let me tell you what a king is. a king is someone who says over 20 times, i can't do that. congress has to change the law in immigration. and then he decide, you know what? i gotkn a pen. i got a phone. i'll do whatever i want. and, by golly, he does. he makes new law with a pen and a phone. now, that is more like a monarchy. not somebody saying they can fire a special prosecutor if they want to. and regarding treason, the constitution itself says you got
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to have two witnesses. and that's -- that's not hearsay witnesses. none of this stuff that wouldn't be admissible in any decent court. no, a that's two direct-evidenc witnesses that can come in and positively identify themselves. something they overheard or some -- but actually be witnesses to treason. and yet, this group comes in here. theyp toss treason out in a report like it's no big deal. we can bring in a bunch of hearsay witnesses. and then we'll have the lawyers testify. and then throw a president out of office. this is -- is so absurd. it's so absurd. now, we have witness come in and we're told he's gonna be a witness. that's why he doesn't have to follow under the rules of decorum. and then i've never seen this. he gets to come up and grill his opposing adversary witness. i feel like, to be fair, if we were gonna make this thing fair,
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mr. castor would be able to come up and grill mr. burke. but this isn't about being fair. it's not about due process. this is about a kangaroo system. and let me tell you. those that think you've done something special here. you have set the bar so slow. i'm afraidar it's irreparable. i mean, just think. we've had people already mention, you know, the next president joe biden. we're told, you know, gee, he may be the next president. well, we've already got the forms. all we have to do is eliminate donald trump's name and put joe biden's name in there because he's on video. he and his son. he basically has admitted to the crime that's being hoisted on the president improperly. so i'm scared for my country. because i've never seen anything like this. this -- this is supposed to be theis congress. i came up here from a court
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where we had order and we had rules. and i've seen nothing of the kind in here today. and t it's outrageous that we'r trying to remove a president with a kangaroo court like this. i yield back. >> chairman, if i could just clarify. treason is not in our report. i just want to. >> the gentleman -- the gentleman yielded back. >> yeah, and it is mentioned in the report we got. thank you very much. >> the gentleman yielded back. mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to get us back to the undisputed facts of the president's abuse of power. mr. goldman, as a prosecutor in the southern district of new york, when you prosecuted drug conspiracy cases, was it standard practice for drug kingpins to try to beat the case by distancing themselves from the conspiracy? and blaming their accomplices foram the crime? >> all the time. conspiracies have different layers. and the top layers make the bottom layers do the work so that they are further removed
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from the actual conduct. >> okay. i'd liker d to ask some questi about the president's role in what ambassador bolton referred to as a drug deal. did the testimony and evidence compiled by thece intelligence committee establish the fact that, with respect to ukraine, rudy giuliani was at all times working on behalf of president trump?es >> yes. mr. giuliani said that. president trump said that to a number of other individuals. and then those individuals, ambassador sondland, ambassador volker, also said that. >> thank you. and on may 9th, 2019, rudy giuliani, on behalf of his client president trump, spoke with a "new york times" reporter about his planned trip to ukraine. and on that trip, he planned to meet with president zelensky, he said. andid urged -- and urge him to pursue investigations relating to the bidens and to the debunked theory that ukraine,
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and not russia, interfered in the 2016 election. isn't that correct? >> that's right. >> and mr. giuliani told the reporter that his trip was not about official u.s. foreign policy. and that the information he sought would be very, very helpful to his client. meaning it would be helpful to president trump, is that correct? >> yes. it's not official foreign policy, it would beal helpful t president trump's personal interests. >> that's correct. and there is no doubt, mr. goldman, that investigations of the bidens and the 2016 election meddling were, in fact, not about u.s. policy. but were about benefitting trump's re-election, correct? >> yes, and even the ukrainians realize that. >> and on july 25th, president trump placed that fateful phone call to president zelensky. and he asked president zelensky to investigate the bidens, correct? >> yes.
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>> and on that call, president trump told zelensky, quote, i will have mr. giuliani to give you a call. correct?gi >> that's right. >> and on october 2nd and october 3rd, president trump, once again, made explicit that he and mr. giuliani were intent on making these investigations happen. correct? >> yes.ns >> and just so you know, we've been investigating on a personal basis through rudy and others. lawyers. corruption in the 2016 election. >> well, i would think that if they were honesthi about it, they'd start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. >> mr. goldman, the evidence shows a course of conduct by president trump and his agents, does it not? >> it does. and clearly, it continued long after our investigation began. >> it shows a common plan.
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correct? >> that's right. yes. >> it shows a common goal. >>a correct. to get he goal was foreign help for the 2020 election, correct? >> that is -- that's what all theis witnesses said. >> and, mr. goldman, who was the kingpin of that plan? >> president trump. >> thank you, mr. goldman. ambassador bolton called it a drug deal. as a kingpin, president trump tried to force a foreign government to f interfere in th upcoming presidential election. the evidence is undisputed and overwhelming that rudy giuliani acted as part of a conspiracy with president trump to obtain ukrainian helpta for president trump in the 2020 election. this was not just a hurtful drug deal. this was an attempt to undermine the very fabric of our democracy. the framers feared most how foreign influence could turn a
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president into a despot. so they adopted impeachment as a backstop to protect our democracy. the facts, ladies and gentlemen, demand that we use that remedy today. and with that, i yield back.ha >> the gentleman yields back. mr. jordan. you, mr. chairman. mr. oucastor, i want to go to t document that started it all. the august 12th whistle-blower complaint. bullet point one on page one of the whistle-blower's complaint. he says this. over the past four months, more than half a dozen u.s. officials have informed me the various facts related to this effort. mr. castor, who are these u.s. officials? >> we don't , e know. >> we don't know, do we? and we haddo no chance to know r sure who these people were because we never got to talk to the whistle-blower, is that right? >> that's whright. >> we needed to talk to the -- to the guy who started it all. we needed to talk to him to figure out who these half a dozen people were and we never got to. adam schiff's staff got to. adam schiff knows who he is but we don't get to know.
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therefore, we don't get to know the original six people who formed the basis of this entire thinged we've been going throug nowg for three months. but we did talk to 17 people, right, mr. castor? >> that's right. >> 17 depositions and you were in every single one. you were the lawyer doing the republicans in every single one, is that right? >> yes, sir. >> and there is, one witness w theys relied on and built thei report around. one witness. who would that witness -- because i read their report. it's obviously one witness. >> ambassador sondland. >> ambassador i think you said earlier his name wassa mentioned -- i don't know -- what'd you say? >>ay 611 times. >> more than lieutenant colonel vindman who was on thean call. more thanma ambassador taylor, their star witness the very first hearing in the intelligence committee. not the whistle-blower. they relied on ambassador sondland. why'd they pick sondland, mr. castor? >> it's probably the best they got. >> because that's the best they got? the guy who had to file an addendum to his testimony?
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the guy that had to file the clarification? the guy who said two weeks ago sitting in the same chair you're sitting in, mr. castor, in his 23-page opening statement he said this. unless president zelensky announces an investigationhe in burisma and the bidens, there will be no call with president trump. there will be no meeting with president trump. there would be no security assistance money going toum ukraine. that's whatoi ambassador sondla said. mr. castor, was there an announcement by president zelensky about investigating the bidens or burisma? >> no. >> no announcement? >> no. >> did president zelensky get a call from presidentnt trump? >> yes. >> did president zelensky get a meeting with president trump? >> yes. >> did president zelensky get the money from the united states? >> yes. >> they got the call on july 25th. they got the money on september 11th. they got the meeting on september 25th. is that right? >> yes. >> but the guy who said none of that was going to happen is the guy they build their case around. is that right? mr. sondland. >> yep. >> let me go to one other thing they built their case around. they built their case around a lot of hearsay, didn't they? and the best example of the hearsay, surprisingly enough, is
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ambassador sondland. it's amazing. built their case around this ambassador and built their case around hearsay. and the best example ofnd both mr. sondland. because he filed his addendum where he says this. pointed this out s a couple wee ago. bullet point number two. in his clarification, he says ambassador taylor recalls that mr. morrison told ambassador taylor that i told mr. morrison that i conveyed this message to mr. yermak on a september 1st, 2019, in connection with vice president pence's visit to warsaw and a meeting with president zelensky. that's his clarification. amazing. six people, as i said before, having four conversations in one sentence.ti ambassador taylor recalls that mr. morrison told ambassador taylor that i conveyed this message to mr. yermak. and a meeting with president zelensky. that's the clarification. that's their star witness who they built theirr case around. so and so tells so and so what
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somebody said to someone else and there you have it. that's their case. they forget the four key facts. they forget the fact that we have the call i transcripts and there was no quid pro quo. they forget the guy the two guys on the call have said repeatedly there was no pressure, no linkage, no pushing. they forget the fact ukraine didn't even know aid was withheld. and they forget they did nothing to get the aid released. no announcement of any type of investigationt whatsoever. they forget all that. those keyor facts. they build their case around the guy who had to clarify his testimony with that amazing mr. goldman. mr. goldman, the democrats -- did the democrats publish phone records of the president's attorney? >> mr.e giuliani? yes. >> did the democrats publish phone records of a member of the press? >> yes,of who was also involvedn this. >> did the democrats publish phone records of a member of n congress? >> yes, who was talking to people involved. congress also of happens to be your boss's political opponent. so the b democrats. they run this kind of
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investigation. ignoring the facts. nothe letting the whistle-blowe come in. and,e therefore, not letting u know if we've talked to more than half a dozen sources for the whistle-blower's complaint in the first place. the guy who has to file an addendum with that clarification sentence. but one thing they did do. onece thing they did do in thei report. is they published the phone records of the president's personal lawyer. the phone records of a member of the press. and the phone records of the chairman of the intelligence committee's political opponent, representative nunes. that's what these guys did and that'sys their effort to impeac the president of the united states 11 months before an election. >> gentleman -- gentleman's time has expired. >> mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent. >> mr. chairman, i'd like to focus on the facts of the president's abuse of power. >> gentlemen. gentlemen. gentleman. >> i'd ask unanimous consent that the report by the majority staff of the house committee on the judiciary constitutional
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grounds for presidential impeachment. that talks about treason and bribery be admitted for the record. >> what? >> be made part of our record. >> majority. without objection. >>or thanks. >> mr. deutsch. >> thank you. getting back to the d facts surrounding the tpresident's abuse of power using the white house u meeting as leverage for helping his political campaign. mr.s goldman, president trump offered ukrainian president zelensky a meeting in the white house.le but first, he wanted investigations into the bidens and a conspiracy theory about meddling in the 2016 election. you testified that the committees found evidence that president trump f worked to exchange official actions for personal benefit. and i want to talk about that.ic on may 23rd, 2019, a delegation ofio officials returned from zelensky's inauguration and they briefed the president.d fr in that briefing, president trumpen directed government officials to work with his personal lawyer, rudy giuliani. isn't that correct?
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>> yes. >> and trump's handpicked ukraine operator, gordon sondland, testified that they faced a choice. either work with giuliani or abandon the goali of a white house meeting. what choice did they make, mr. goldman? >> they decided to work with mr. giuliani. >> right. and six days later, on may 29th, president trump sent the new ukrainian president a letter that said america stood with ukraine. andwi invited president zelensk to visit the white house. isn't that correct? >> yes. that was the second time that he invited him s to the white hous >> so at this point, the ukrainian president expected thatpo meeting. >> correct. >> but then>> they learn that they've got to do something more for the president. sondland testified that there was a prerequisite of investigations. isn't that right? >> yes. >> and nsc staffer lieutenant colonel vindman testified that sondland told the ukrainians in a july 10th meeting that investigation of the bidens was
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a deliverable, necessary to get that meeting. isn't thato right? yes, and if i could just take a second to correct what mr. castor said about that meeting. there reallyth is no inconsiste statements about whether or not ambassador sondland raised the issue of investigations in connection to the white house. even ambassador volker, in his public testimony, was forced to admit that he did hear that. and he said it was inappropriate. >> and -- and, in fact, on july 19th, sondland told president zelensky directly that president trump wanted to hear a commitment to the investigations on the july 25th call. correct? >> that's right. >> that same day, sondland updated senior multiple trump administration officials that zelensky was, quote, prepared to receive potus's call and would offer assurances about the investigations. isn't that right?bo >> yes. >> and on that same day, state department official volker had breakfastl with rudy giuliani. and he reported to sondland by text message most important is
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for zelensky to say he will help investigation, right? >> yes. and address any specific personnel issues. >> and later that day after giuliani spoke with yermak, evidence suggested giuliani gave a green light to that july 25th call. then on the morning of the call, volkerl, texted zelensky aid yermak and that text to his aid said, and i quote, heard from white house assuming president z convinces trump he will bottom ate, get to the of whatig happened in 2016, we will nail down a visit, a day for visit to washington. and the transcript released by president trump shows trump request investigations and zelensky greechltz isn't that correct? >> yes. and that text message was actually a direction, a message relayed from president trump himself. >> and then after the july 25th call, members of the administration continued to follow up with ukrainian counterparts to prepare for the announcement of investigations. sondland texted volker about
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efforts to schedule a white house visit noting that potus really wants the deliverable. and that was just one of many messages during a flurry of follow-up activity. there were meetings and calls andng texts on july 26th and ju 27th and august 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th, august 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th. 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th? is that correct? >> yes, including to secretary pompeo as well. >> they werepo working hard to help theor president advance hi personal political interest. isn't that what youer found, mr. goldman? >> that's right. >>mr this isn't a close call. we hade a ukrainian president war with russia desperate for a white house meeting. but then he blocked the oval office. he blocked it and said i need a favor. not a favor to help america, a
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favor to help me get re-elected. our framers feared one day we would face a moment like this. they gave us impeachment as a safety valve not to punish the president but to defend our election and our constitutions and i yield back. >> thei gentleman yields back. mr. buck. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. castor, i want to direct your attention to page three of the telephone call dated july 25th between president trump and president zelensky. on page 3 president trump states 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. i would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine. later he says 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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the majority report on page 13 says the u.s. intelligence community had unanimously determined that russia, not ukraine, interfered in the 2016 election to help the candidacy of president trump. mr. castor, it appears to be a conflict there. president trump is asking the ukraine to investigate something the majority has decided that it's an illegitimate request because there was no interference in an election by the iukraine. is that how you read this? >> yes. >> and the press release from the majority on their report says as part of this scheme president trump acting in his official capacity and using his position of public trust personally and directly requested that the president of ukraine, that the government of ukraine publicly announced investigations into sub section two a baseless theory promoted by russia alleging that ukraine rather than russia interfered in the 2016 u.s. election.
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is that true? >> yes. >> i want to ask you something. have you seen this article from politico dated january 11th, 2017? >> yes, i have. >> and the title of that article is "ukrainian efforts to sabotage trump backfire." is that correct? >> yes. >> i want to read you the second paragraph. ukrainian government officials tried toap help hillary clinton and undermine trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. they also disseminated documents implicating a top trump aid in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter only toes back away after the election. and they helped clinton's allies research damaging information on trump and his advisers. a politico investigation found. isn't it true that president trump had a legitimate reason to request help from the ukraine about the 2016 election? and i'm not suggesting for a minute that russia didn't interfere. of course they interfered. but the ukraine officials tried
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to influence the election. >> yes. >> let's move on to ambassador sondland.on i only have ten fingers and ten toes. i can't count above 20, mr.n' castor. but do you know how many times ambassadorw sondland said thate did not know, did not recall, had no recollection, had limited memory, or failed to remember something in his october 17th testimony? do you know how many times? 325. does that surprise you? 325. >> it's a big number. and then he files a clarifying statement, and he clarifies a few things, i guess. but do you have any contact with ambassador sondland between the time of his deposition and the time of his clarifying statement? >> yeah. >> did the majority? >> i have no idea. >> you have noit idea? so they may have had influence on his testimony. and that would be evidence of e bias. that would bece evidence of
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credibility. that would be evidence that we should takeen into account befo. but we'll never know, will we? because the majority counsel has a righte to assert a privileges to information that's relevant to this committee's decision. the majority counsel has a right to assert a privilege in any communications he has with the chairman adam schiff, doesn't he? as does minority counsel. that's a privilege that we have reserved here in congress, isn't it? >> yeah. >> and the same thing is true of the freedomis of information ac does not apply to memos that majority counsel writes. isn't that true? >> correct. >> so we have demanded that of the executive branch. but we have allowed ourselves notd to be part of foia, corre? >> correct. >> so the majority has a privilege. the president also has a privilege. it's called executive privilege. he can's meet with the secretar of state. he can meet with the secretary of defense. that's a privileged
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conversation. he can meet with the secretary of energy. that's at privileged now, when the majority has subpoenaed those witnesses and the president has refused to produce those witnesses or relevant documents or what they consider relevant documents, they arean charging him with an article of impeachment for obstruction. in fact, their report says the president obstructed the impeachment inquiry by obstructingy witnesses to igno subpoenas. why? >> gentleman's time has expired. >> ms. bass. >> mr. goldman, i want to pick up on the president using the powers ofth his office. in this case in a meeting at the white house to pressure a foreign country to investigate his political rival. now that you'veli had time to sp back from the investigation, is there any doubt that the president did, in fact, use a white house visit to pressure president zelensky to announce investigations of his political rival to benefit his re-election campaign? >> um, i will answer that question in a minute. but i would like just to comment
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to mr. buck that the majority staff andat no one had any contt with ambassador sondland after his deposition. but the answer to your question is yes, ms. bass. >> my colleague mr. deutch focused on the period prior to the call. i'd like toon focus on the peri after. the call did president zelensky come to the white house for a meeting?r >> no. he's never come to the white house and multiple witnesses said that there is a huge distinction between a white house meeting and a meeting on the sidelines of the u.n. general assembly where they did meet on september 25th. >> sose has a white house meeti been scheduled? >> no. >> so did the president and his associates essentially continue to withhold the white house meeting? and if so, why did they do that? >> well, the evidence found that the white house meeting was conditioned on the announcement of these investigations. and so once come mid-august when the ukrainians, mr. yermak and
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president zelensky decided that they were not going to issue thatt statement that rudy giuliani wanted to include burisma in the 2016 elections, there was no white house meeting. it soon became clear to them that the security assistance was also at risk. and that took on a renewed importance for them. >> well, following the 25th call, the t july 25th call, ambassador sondland and volker worked closely with mr. giuliani and the ukrainians to help draft a statement that the president could make, president zelensky. wasn't that right? >> yes. and the report said they worked closely and there were also phone calls with the white house around the same time that they werear working closely. >> do you know what that statement was supposed tou say according to mr. giuliani and the u.s. officials? >> well, the key difference is that it had to include that ukraine would do the investigations of burisma which equalled theic biden iga


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