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

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government. and then simply says, but you can go to court because that's how things always work. again, it's just important to remember. the facts are clear. no president has ever, ever, ever obstructed congress in the manner that we've seen from president trump. >> will the gentleman yield? >> in a moment. and so as -- as we go forward, and i don't know how much longer we'll be here. it's always important to make'l sure that the facts are clear. and that we don't muddy the waters by suggesting that something that is sosu unprecedented, that we've never seen before in the history of our country, is somehow just a parcel of thes way things work around here. they don't. know it. friends on the other side of the aisle know it. the american people know it. but mr. johnson's right. sometimes it's important to remind them of it.t. i yield. >> will the gentleman yield? >>nt thank you. i just want to add a little
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constitutional post-script to underscore the verye important point that mr. deutch is making here. the article one of the constitution gives the house of representatives the sole power of impeachment. it gives the senate the sole power of trial. and a supreme court decision callede united states versus nixon, the supreme court emphasized that the rules and the procedures developed, including the evidentiary rules, are completely within the power of the house and theit senate. andof cannot be second guessed the courts. and in terms of general congressional oversight, the gentleman isl perfectly correc. the supreme court has emphasized that the fact-finding, investigative power of congress isve essential to, integral to, and built into our legislative power. james madison said that those who mean to be -- those who mean to be their- own governors mus arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives. and whereed does congress get t knowledge to legislate for the people? we get it through subpoenas,
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through the discoveryug process andug so on. no administration in history has ever attempted to do what this administration has done, which is to pull the curtain down over the c executive branch. and to deny us all of the investigative requests that we have. i yield back. >> gentleman yields >> as do i. >> for our purposes, gentleman seek recognition? >> strike last emword. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. we're going to be a long time and don't let anybody worry. there's plenty of balls we could go to. so if anybody thinks that might be in our best, don't worry about it. keep asking because we have to fact check y'all on that, we will because this is all that's been happening right now. let's go back to wathe transcri. every witness testified that the transcript was fine. the transcript was accurate. the transcriptsc reflected call. they was able to make a process. talk about ellipses. they should've put the ellipses in the articles of impeachment. the wide gaps here in fact and
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logic are amazing in this. so i mean, this is -- let's go back to the facts. let's get back to what we're saying. i do appreciate the fact that my friend from florida, mr. deutch said we're muddying the waters. the way we've tried to get these facts out today and what i've heard from majority colleagues over the last six hours, if this is muddying the waters, y'all are an epa hazardous waste site at this point. because you don't have the facts you need to getn' to and you ju want to continue to say, well, it was. it was. it was. we just don't like him. even the chairman. this is about an issue of when we go back, that we're trying to get a dictator. i love how we throw these words in. we're trying to stop a dictator. that's not what you're trying to do. you're using inflammatory language because you want to make a better point because right now, your facts are failing. and you put two articles of impeachment that you really don't want to defend. because either you defend them passionately and you look sort of silly doing it. or you don't defend it and you look even worse for bringing 'em. so, okagain, we can fact check this all night.
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we're here to --is to do this. it is just amazing, though, that after three and a half hours earlier, laying out everything that happened. looking at what went forward. these -- these actually going forward are not a what is happening here. so, again, let's get one thing clear. for those who may havene tuned back in after lunch, maybe after a nap, the transcripts are accurate. you know how i know that? because everybody testified that they were. even fiona hill said the ellipses, that was not even an issue for, them. the transcript was accurate. so let's quit perpetrating that discussion point out there. that talking point. let's mark off our list. let's discuss the fact of us. accuracy. it's actually called reading. you read the transcript as it was put in. it said us, not me. these are the kind of things that are simple. with that, i yield to mr. jordan. >> i thank the ranking member for yielding. i just want to m go back to something the gentle lady from texas mentioned a few minutes ago. she questioned whether the transcript was complete. ld remember what colonel vindman
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testified to? hen said it was complete and accurate. lieutenant colonel vindman said that. in his deposition. in -- in the testimony in the hearing. complete and t accurate transcript. so to say -- suggest that it's not is just notpt consistent wi the testimony we received from your witnesses. remember, lieutenant colonel vindman's the same guy who wouldn't tell us all the folks he talked to about the call. wouldn't tell usbo -- he said h shared the call with five people but would only tell us four people. but that's the guy whoon told u theho transcript was complete a accurate. i yield back to theri ranking member. >> i yield to the gentleman from louisiana. mr. johnson. >> thank you very much.g justo want to respond to my colleague over here, mr. raskin. i was a constitutional law litigator for 20 years. we could debate this all day long. but a you just misstated u.s. v nixon. but this is really important.v. in thatth case, in 1974, the supreme court recognized the existence of executive privilege, which is a protection that requires a balance of
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interests between the legislative and executive branches by the judicial branch. but here's the important thing. they said in that case, there's not an absolute, unqualified presidential privilege of immunity. that's the quote from the court. but the other side of that is truede as well. congress doesn't have an absolute unqualified authority to demand evidence from the presidentem either. that's f the whole reason that u have to go to the third branch of the judiciary. this is a legitimate claim of privilege. it is ala legitimate issue that the courts could decide. it is a case of first impression, as my colleague knows because this specific set ofth facts has not been address yet. and it should be n resolved by e courts. professor turley addressed this in his testimony to this committee. and he said, quote, hemo wrote his submission, the answer is obvious. a president cannot substitute his judgment for congress on what they're entitled to see and likewise, congress cannot substitute its judgment as to what the president can withhold. the balance of those interests is performed by the third branch, that is constitutionally invested with the authority to review andns resolve such
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disputes. wait a minute. that's the answer. so if we're going to cite supreme court cases, let's put it in the appropriate context. i yield. 20 seconds. >>el thank you. we're citing different cases. i'm talking about the 1993 judge walter nixon case. >> as i'll remind the gentlemen on both sides of this argument, it's my time. not y'all. >> i'm sorry. i'm sorry. yield back. >> fair enough. >> we had two different nixon cases. >> no, mr. raskin, we're done with this. >> the gentleman yields back. for whatie purpose does ms. dea seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. let's go back. as has been stated today, the constitution devotes only a few sentences to impeachment. so i'm going to read one. it's article one, section two. the very last sentence. the house of representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers. and shall have the sole power of impeachment.r as professor raskin just told us, properly, the constitution
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uses the word sole only twice. sole, not shared. not shared with the judiciary. not shared with the executive. this means that we have the -- the sole opportunity and obligation, frankly, to determine what evidence is necessary for impeachment. sole, not shared, with the executive. think back. judiciary chairman warned president nixon about his failure to comply with subpoenas issued in thewi watergate impeachment inquiry. under the constitution, it is not within the power of the president to conduct an inquiry into his own impeachment to determine whichch evidence and what version or portion of that evidence is relevant and necessary to such an inquiry. these are matters which, under the constitution, rodino wrote, the house has the sole power to determine. sole, not shared with the executive. sole. not shared with the courts.
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it's a civics lesson. don't let the other side, who have such talented constitutional attorneys over there, distract you. this is not an ordinary dispute, folks. this is a very rare, thankfully, very rare dispute. it is not an ordinary dispute where you go to the court. we don'tth need permission to go -- to use our constitutional rules.- if president trump is allowed to refuse to comply with requests for information, it would gut theio house impeachment power. and undermine our bedrock principle of separation of powers. last night, as weio left here, wanted to just tell you this. i went outside and there was a team of about 12 high school students from ohio. with their teacher. and they said would you mind stopping for a minute? could we just talk to you for a minute? it was so interesting to watch and to listen and to hear what was going on at this important historic time. we loved learning about our constitution and how much you prize this constitution. thank you for protecting it for
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us. and you know what they said to me? we didn't understand this before. but you -- i d do now. it's your job. it is the's house's job to determine what evidence comes in. we do not need permission from the president. we do not need permission from the courts. in fact, we have an obligation to do our job under this simple, smart document. today, december the 12th, marks the anniversary of pennsylvania coming into the union. i think about those framers in my city of philadelphia. so wisely thinking through these words. today, marks 232 years since those wise men thought through how would we m conceive of our government? and how would we maintain self-government? do not be confused by the lawyers on the other side, who would teach the wrong civics lesson. and distract you with the notion
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we need to go to court. we need permission of a president. we need permission of a court. we do with that, i yield. i'd like to yield to the gentle lady from texas. >> i thank the gentle lady. and for her very forceful response. might i just say to the obstruction of congress, neither mr. nixon or mr. clinton obstructedli congress in the manner that this president's doing. the underlying amendment had to do with corruption. and i raise the point of the document that speaks about the july 25th call. let me just quickly say that the language is i would like you to do us a favor, though. and as the white house has distortedhe the interpretation, the us does not have any reference to the department of justice, department of defense, the department of state. and clearly, in the same document, he mentions the vice
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president. hees mentions crowd strike. all of those have been debunked. it is clear that the vice president was operating as a vice president of the united states at the time. and as he wast operating, he w operatingg, on an official poli to deal with ukraine. this is about the president seeking to have ukraine investigate this political opponent for personal and private reasons. no one misinterpreted what was said. and lieutenant colonel vindman immediately went to the legal counsel in the white house that immediately went dark and never respondedan because he was so offended by this campaign effort. with that, i yield back. and thank the gentle lady for yielding. >> gentlead lady yields back. >> mr. chairman, strike the last word. thank you. i yield to my colleague and good friend from texas. >> i thank my dear friend from pennsylvania. you don't have to be aderi
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constitutional scholaro if you just had coachon parker for civs in high school, as i did. this is unique. so we i don't need to hear from the court. this, we're told, is uncharted territory because no president isy just completely refused. let me -- let me just touch on a little bit here on both of those issues. this is uncharted territory. never in the history of this country have we had o an impeachment proceeding begun by lies that got a warrant from a secret court that turned out, and had beenrn documented to be lies.te and then kept getting warrants, three after that, based on lies. and not, one person on the oth side of the aisle is the least bit embarrassed that they went to aem secret court. and got warrants based on lies.
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first, to investigate, spy on a campaign or survey electronically surveil, as horowitz says. but this is uncharted territory. nobody wants to apologize on the other side. okay. i get that. might be politically embarrassing. but to say we don't need to go to court. i mean, the obama administration was just incredible at getting subpoenas. doing document dumps of stuff we really weren't looking for, asking for,re especially from judiciary. but the other stuff that we demanded, we couldn't get it. and we tried to get banner to go to court. a court order requiring it so we can hold him ino contempt. that's the only way we'll ever get this odone. and he wouldn't do it. and so those of us that understand the constitution and that understand they're not just two articles. we understood we needed to get that court order to back us up. so it wasn't us abusing the
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officesab of congress. we had, as turley and others pointed out, you have the court. you go. and another thing that's territory, we started this impeachment proceeding about the russia hoax and the russia collusion. and demanding all these documents about the russia collusion. and it kept changing. and then it went to bribery. and extortion. and emoluments. and all these other things. never, in history, has a president been accused of crimes witht -- with the target constantly changing. now, when you subpoena documents, there has to be a reasonable basis for requesting information or subpoenaing witnesses. you gotor to have a reasonable basis. and when you keep changing the allegations against the party from whom you're demanding information, then they have the reasonable expectation to advise
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them ofas what the new charge i today. what the new evidence is today.g but they couldn't get any of those. and i would have been very surprised ifve you would have - now, you find some obama appointees that might have upheldpo subpoenas. but not the supreme court because this is so unreasonable. and to the earlier allegation that, agee, even though nobodyn ukrainian government has said they were a victim. well, it's because the president had a gun to their head. well, that's not the case. the reason that they are not saying that is because they knew this is the most helpful president they have had since the -- the steel curtain fell. because this is a president, unlike the obama administration when they were under attack and ukrainians really were dying, we offered up blankets. some meals ready to eat for the military stuff. but this is a president that's really helping them defend themselves. this is a president that's really made a difference from
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ukraine. so it wasn't a gun to their head. they see this as g a helpful president. and another thing. if a victim does not admit to be a victim -- anybody that's been a prosecutor surely knows this -- s you can go to court. force it to court. and theit victim says i wasn't victim. you don't get a conviction. andt if you do, that is not sustained because that's what courts andth congress call a no-evidence point. you have a no-evidence point. that's why you had to drop bribery, although it does apply to -- to vice president biden. you v smartly dropped the bribe. and now, you have this illusive abuse of power. this is outrageous andab it nee to come to an end. >> theto gentleman's time is expired. for what purposes does mr. jeffrey seeks recognition? >> move to strike the last word.
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the gentleman from texas talked about reasonable basis. the reasonable basis here is thatle there's uncontroverted evidence that the president pressured a foreign government, ukraine,a to target an america citizen, joe biden, for political gain. and at the same time, withheld, without explanation, $391 million in military aid. that had been allocated on a bipartisan basis.y ambassador taylor, west point graduate, vietnam war veteran. appointed by reagan, bush, trump, to the diplomatic corps said the following about the withholding of that military aid. no legitimate public policy basis. no legitimate national security basis. no legitimate substantive basis. that's why congress proceeded.
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we had more than 200 national security professionals. democrats and republicans. who expressed concern with the president's wrongdoing. and said this undermines american national security. and that's a basis for the impeachment inquiry. but what the president has done is said unlike the madisonian vision of democracy with checks and balances, separate and co-equal branches of government. i, alone, can determine what the representatives of the people see. in connection with a legitimate investigation. and at the same time, is the president that attacks everybody. to distract. attacks everybody who won't bend the knee to donald j. trump. attack john mccain. a war hero.
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he's attacked mitt romney, 2012 republican nominee. he's attacked bob mueller, a marine, a distinguished professional. in law enforcement. he's attacked your former speaker, paul ryan. he attacks gold-star families. he even attacked, today, a 16-year-old teenage activist greta thunberg. are you here to defend that, as well? and so what's happened is that instead of addressing the substance of the allegation, you want to attack joe biden and his family. elijah cummings is no longer with us. he'swi in heaven, just like the prophet elijah. but his spirit is with us. and we are better than this.
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we're proceeding in a serious, solemn, and sober fashion because the allegations are deadly serious. is it okay for the president to solicitde foreign interference the 2020 election or not? who should decide the outcome of our elections?ld is it the russians? the chinese? the ukrainians? or the american people? it should be the american people. and that's why we're here. at this moment. let's have a serious discussion about it and stop attacking americans who refuse to bend the knee to this president. >> would the gentleman yield? >> i yield. to the gentleman from tennessee. >> thank you, sir. one of the issues, big issues,
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here is trump conditioning military aid on an investigation of the bidens. joe biden. period. his primary political opponent in his mind. the republicans have said, no, it was about corruption. it wasn'tve about them. but listen to what they've talked about today. all they've talked about is the bidens. hunter biden's automobile accident. hunter biden's this. hunter biden's that. hunter biden's salary. they haven't brought up the corruption of the pasten ukrainn leaders or any ukrainian business. it's all the bidens. their defense speaks to the truth of the allegations in this article that it was all about the bidens. they're all about the bidens. and that's what it's about. >> would the gentleman yield? >> i yield. >> i did bring -- >> yield back to mr. jeffries. >> okay. i shouldn't have tried to correct you then i guess. >> foreign interference in an american election solicited by the president is not okay. that is an abuse of power. it undermined our national
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security. the president should be held accountable because no one is above the law. >> the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does mr. neguse seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think the gentleman from new york laid out in such an articulate way the basis and the justification for both article one and article two.nd before us. but i just want to touch on the debate around obstruction of congress. and explain to my colleagues and to the american people why this instance is sohi unprecedented. i will first just say with much respect to my colleague fromsa colorado, i want to assure the american people that obstruction of congress to coloradans means the same thing that it does to everyone else in this country. it means the defiance of lawfully-issued subpoenas by the united states house of
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it means impeding the ability of the united states house of representatives to perform its constitutional duty. and unlike the obstruction of congress thatti has taken placen the past, this president's obstruction of congress has been total, has been absolute, and has been categorical. in 1999 and '98, when president clinton was the subject of an impeachmentsu inquiry, this committee propounded 81 interrogatories to his administration and he responded. in 1974, during the watergate investigation, nixon's chief of staff testified. nixon's counsel testified. in this instance, the president has taken steps to ensure that this committee does not receive,
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and the intelligence committee as well, key testimony from any host of officials in our and just to give you a historical context, i will read to you a quote. all members of the white house staff will appear voluntarily when requested by the committee. they will testify under oath. and they will answer fully all proper questions. that's from richard nixon's administration. so i hope, again, as we consider the gravity of the articles before us, that we can stay true to the facts. and recognize that when we say that nowe president in the histy of this republic has ever completelyic defied an impeachmt inquiry, as this one has, we mean it. and with that -- >> would the gentleman yield? >>ld i would yield to the distinguished gentle woman from
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california. >> i enjoyed listening to you. you're absolutely correct in your reporting of what occurred during both the nixon and clintone impeachment. but i wanted to address the issue from a slightly different point of view. not only has president trump refused to provide information that he should'veto provided. he didn't assert a privilege. he just said no. i actually have just re-read the letter from mr. cipollone, the president's lawyer, dated october 8th, 2019. it's page after page after page of complaining about how the house is proceeding. but the p constitution says congress shall have the sole authority toha impeach. we decide how to proceed, not the white and in the end, without asserting any, privilege whatsoever, he just announces they're not going to cooperate,
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provide any information. this isn't something that -- that needs to be adjudicated by the third branch, the judicial branch, because there's no -- there's no privilege being asserted here. it's simply no. that's never happened before. never happened before in the history of the united states. and i'll tell you, in addition to being improper, a valid article. article two that we are considering today. if this behavior persists, the balance, carefully balanced sharing of powerly between the three branches of government, is gone forever. it means that only one branch, the executive branch, will have thech right to decide what happs in the united states of america. and that is a very different type of country than we have enjoyed for over 200 years.
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and00 it is not a piece of good news for freedom in the united states. and ied yield back to mr. negus with thanks for recognizing me. >> and i yield back the balance of my time. >> gentleman yields back. what purpose does mr. mclien tock seek recognition? >> to strike the last word, mr. chairman. mr. chairman,t i have to offer different perspective on this. the -- the doctrine of executive privilege actually began with a subpoena that the house issued tous president george washingto in 1796 demanding all the papers related to the jal treaty. president washington refused that subpoena because he said that the powers of the house did not extend to treaties. he ultimately only provided that information to the senate as a function of its treaty approval process. so the -- and the doctrine that dates back to those days is
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derived from the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. congress can no more intrude into the policy discussions of the president than the president can intrude into our own policy discussions. that is essential to the separation of powers. now, there is a natural tension between the branches. that's a byproduct of that separation of powers. and when that tension cannot be resolved, then we turn to the judiciary. that's the appropriate way to resolve this. different interpretations. the boundaries between the congress and thee president. the appropriate response is judicial review, not impeachment. the president has every right to assert his constitutional rights. and he has every responsibility to defend the prerogatives of hisog office. his very oath of office compels him to do so. in matters like this, the courts act quickly to resolve such
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disputes. but the s democrats aren't willg to go to the courts. what -- what article two says is, we're not willing to go to court. we'll take the law into our own hands. these are theow same people tel us that no one is above the law. of course, except for themselves. what they're saying is congress alone will decide the limits of our own power. this is the essence of despotism. the reason why we separate powers of government is so that one branchse alone cannot unilaterally define its own power. and yet, this is the power that the democrats are now irrigating to themselves. it's trueti we have the sole por of impeachment under the constitution. but thatme power does not excee the bounds that are established by that very constitution. those bounds include the grounds for impeachment, which this committee hasen ignored. and they include the separation of powers that protect one branch from intrusion of the
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other. i want you to think about the essence of the democrats' claim and what it means to american jurist prudence. you face an abusive prosecutor who's making false accusations. well, you have constitutional rights that you're guaranteed to use to protect yourself. you've p got the right to confrt your accuser. you've got the right to call witnesses in your defense. you have the right to be protected from unreasonable searches andbl seizures. but this article says if you go to court to defend your rights, that's automatically an obstruction of justice. or, in this iocase, an obstructn of congress. and the very fact that you tried to defend your constitutional rights is evidence of guilt. these are the tools of tyrants. and we've already seen these tools used against college students in title nine prosecutions. and they produced a frightening litany of injustices. now, these tools are being brought into this attempt to nullify the 2016 national
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election. that the left has refused to accept. and that should sacare the hell out of every person in this country. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does mr. carea seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. thank you, mr. chairman. i just wanted to do a little fact checking if i can for my folks back in california and orange county. i know some of my colleagues compared vice president biden's withholding of aid to president trump's withholding of aid. and just want to make sure that i have the facts correct here. it's my understanding that vice president biden held up the aid in order to have firing mr. shokin. but this was in accordance with u.s. policy. express u.s. policy that was supported by europe. and a bipartisan congress. yet, you have president trump, who held up almost $400 million
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of, again, bipartisan-approved aid. and i know my colleagues are saying that heea did this to ro out corruption. and i think there are channels of pursuing help in investigations. on september 25th, there was a public press release put out by the doj saying that president trump never asked them to investigate this matter. so i'm led to conclude that this must have been for the president's personal gain. president interjected his personal lawyer, rudy giuliani, who told us, and i quote, this is not about foreign policy. close quote. rudy giuliani went on to say, this information, open quote, this information will be very, very helpful to my client. close quote. and again, he said, open quote, i guarantee you joe biden will
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not get to election day without being investigated. again,ig comparing, contrasting. holding up foreign aid to support u.s. public policy versus holding up foreign aid against u.s. stated policy. mr. chair, i yield. >> i yield. >> yes. >> thank you, i thank the gentleman fornk yielding. you know, i know there's been an effort to try to suggest that the trump administration or the president was interested in corruption. and that's why he held up the aid. the evidence is absolutely to the all of the evidence. and, in fact, sometimes you have to go back to the source. if you look at the report completed by the l intelligence committee. a 300-page report. witnesses. over 100 hours of testimony. they make findings of fact. there's fact andnd there's make believe. but findings of fact, and i'm going to read right from the
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report. the president solicited the interference of a foreign government in ukraine in the 2020 presidential electi. in furtherance of this scheme, president trump directly and acting through his agents within and outside the u.s. government sought toth pressure ukraine's newly elected president zelensky to publicly announce unfounded allegations that would benefit president trump's personal, political interest and re-electionl effort. as part of the scheme, president trump -- this is again, findings ofin fact. personally and directly requested for the president of ukraine that the government ofd ukraine t publicly announce the investigation into the president -- vice president and his son. president trumppr ordered the suspension of $391 million in vital military assistance urgently needed by ukraine to resist russian aggression. and here's the important part. in directing and orchestrating this scheme to advance his personal, political interest, president trump did not implement, promote, or advance u.s. anti-corruption policies. in fact, the president sought to
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pressure and induce the government of ukraine to announce politically-motivated investigations. lacking legitimate prediction that the united states government otherwise discourages and opposes as a matter of policy in that country and aroundat the world. in so doing, the president undermined u.s. policy supporting anti-corruption reform and rule of law in ukraine. and undermined u.s. national security. so you -- the findings of fact that are detailed in the report completely refute that claim. and, again, i return to the most important fact. the president of the united states abused the power of his office. the enormous power of the presidency. not to advance the public good. but to advance the political interest of donald trump. he used taxpayer funds. nearly $400 million to leverage that. and in doing so, undermined the national security of the unitedf states. he must be held accountable because no one h in this countr. no one, including the president of the united states, is above the law. and the one body that is charged
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withon making certain that we vindicate the power of the people to hold the president accountable is the congress of the united states. if you are not up to the job, you don't belong in congress.te i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. the questioner occurs on the gates amendment. those in favor, say aye. opposed. no. the opinion of the chair, the nays have it and the amendment is not agreed to. roll call is requested. the clerk will callro the roll. >> mr.l nadler? >> no. >> mr. nadler votes no. ms. jackson lee? >> no. >> ms. jackson lee votes know. mr. cohen? mr. cohen votes no. georgia?on of mr. johnson of georgia votes no. mr. deutch? ms. bass? votes no. mr. richmond? >> no. >> mr. richmond votes no. mr. jeffries? >> no.
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>> mr. jeffries votes no. mr. swalwell? >> no. >>al mr. swalwell votes no. mr. liu? mr. raskin? mr. raskin votes no. ms. demings? >> msno. >> ms. demings votes no. mr. correa? >> no. >> ms. scanlien? >> no. >> ms. garcia? >> no. >> mr. neguse? >> no. >> mr. neguse votes no. mr. stanton? >> no. >> mr.. stanton votes no. ms. steen? >> no. >> ms. steen votes no. ms. escobar? >> no. >> escobar votes no. mr. collins? >> aye. >> mr. collins votes aye. mr. shabbot? mr. shabbot votes aye. mr. gohmert ? mr. gohmert aye.
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mr. jordan votes yes. platfo mr. buck? mr. buck votes aye. mr. ratcliffe? mr. clratcliffe votes yes. mr. gates? mr. gates votes aye. mr. johnson of louisiana? mr. johnson of louisiana votes aye. mr. biggs? mr. biggs votes aye. ms. lesgo? ms. lesgo votes aye. mr. klein? >> aye. >> mr. klein votes aye. mr. armstrong? >> yes. >> mr. armstrong votes yes. >> the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, there are 17 ayes and 23 noes. >> the amendment is not agreed to. >> mr. chairman. >> who seeks recognition? for what purpose does mr. biggs
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seek recognition? >> i have amendment at the desk. >> the clerk will report the amendment. >> amendment to the amendment. >> i reserve a point of order. >> gentle lady reserves a point of order. the gentleman is recognized to explain his amendment. >> is she going to read the amendment, sir? >> the clerk will read the amendment. >> page four, strike line eight. in all that follows through line 13. and insert the following. three, the aid was released within days of ukrainian president zelensky. citing two major anti-corruption measures into law. convincing president trump that the new ukrainian administration was serious about reform measures. and consistent with administration policy to ensure foreign aid is not used for corrupt purposes. >> gentleman explain his amendment. >> i withdrawal my point of order. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i draw my colleagues attention to a letter sent from the office of management and budget regarding temporary pause on aid to ukraine. letter's addressed to mr. tom
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armstrong and i ask unanimous consent that be included in the record. >> object. >> the entire reason we are here today is because democrats have accused the president of conditioning aid to ukraine on investigations of his political opponent. withheld or froze foreign aid but the omb letter walks through the entire process behind this temporary delay. first, the money was paused. but dod was permitted to engage in all of the activities short of obligation necessary to ensure that dod would not be precluded from on hi gating the funds prior to expiration. what was the policy decision? your two witnesses, fiona hill, and david hill testified there was an ongoing global review of foreign assistance generally to ensure any program receiving funds were actually worthy beneficiaries of assistance. that the programs made sense, et cetera. mr. hale further testified the president's skeptical views guided the foreign affairs
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review. in fact, the only direct evidence for the reasons for the pause comes from omb official who testified that he learned in september that the pause was related to, quote, the president's concern about other countries contributing more to ukraine. close quote. he explained how omb received request for information on what other countries were contributing to ukraine, which omb provided the first week of september. the aid was released, of course, on september 11. so democrats want to impeach the president for trying to ensure that taxpayer funds are spent efficiently and responsibly. democrats have accused this president of a myriad of things, including violation of the impoundment control act, which prohibits the executive from essentially pocket vetoing funds appropriated by congress. this letter that i'm trying to introduce shows, instead, that the administration never intended or actually violated the law. in fact, it shows it always intended to disperse the funds. that is why dod was permitted to engage in all activities in preparation for the delivery of the aid. you've not made your case,
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again. the omb letter walks through at great length the history behind programatic delays. i'm sure this would be boring to my friends on the other side since it technically destroys their central theory for impeachment. in the letter, omb general counsel said even with the temporary withholding, department of defense was able to obligate about 84%. in the last year the obama administration, it was only 79%. more recently, in 2018, it was 83%. in 2017, 91%. let's get back to it. the specific language of the appropriations authority says for the ukraine security assistance initiative, it's hereby -- $250 million is hereby appropriated to remain available until september 30th, 2019. that's point one. to remain available until september 30th, 2019. when we authorize funds, we give the administration a deadline. the administration complied with that deadline. the administration acted completely and totally within the bounds of the law. secondly, the omb's letter now
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definitively destroys the insinuation the president chose to delay for malicious or corrupt purposes. the bottom line is the aid was lawfully delayed. and lawfully delivered. and that means that this entire process has been a sham. and with that, i am going to address a couple issues that i heard. i heard one of my colleagues on the other side say not too long ago that the president should come in and prove his own innocence. think about what that does. come in and prove your own innocence. first of all, that is anti-thetcal to the anglo-american judicial process. it's anti-thetical to the constitution, particularly the bill of rights. it's antithetical to what we do here. someone said that vindman said that -- that -- was complaining about the -- the transcript. but has been gone over today. the transcript was complete and accurate according to mr.
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vindman. someone said -- and -- and i would ask this of my colleagues. under the standard that was given earlier by one of my colleagues, if the president exercised executive privilege and requested declaratory judgment from a court, if the privilege was upheld, would you undertake then to impeach the judge? i mean, think a that. your standard giving absolute process authority to the house would impel you to impeach a judge who sustained a lawful exercise of the privilege of the executive. so i think, mr. chairman, you've overgone your bounds. and when we get back to my amendment, it basically covers and sets forth clearly, what the holding or the pause of the ukrainian aid was about. and they got their money. and they got it on time.
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>> the gentleman yields back. without objection, the material submitted by mr. cohen, mr. swalwell, and mr. biggs, will be admitted into the record. for what purpose does ms. bass seek recognition? >> move to strike last word. i find it interesting that the story certainly seems to be changing. you mentioned the information from omb. but when the acting chief of staff gave his press conference, he said, very clearly, that the aid was being withheld because of the need to investigate the 2016 election. now, you are talking about corruption. i think that the notion that president zelensky did not feel pressure and was just fine with military assistance being withheld. first of all, they did know that the military assistance was being withheld. and there was no reason for the administration to hold back because of corruption, considering that the department
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of defense had already said that there was no problem. and that the aid could be released. the aid was released after the administration was busted. after there was pressure from congress for the aid to be released. after word leaked out and the whistle-blower came forward, then the aid was released. i think it's very important to remember that. president zelensky, not feeling pressure and he was just fine. he was essentially being held hostage. he was a newly-elected president. his nation was at war. and part of his country was seized by the russians. so what on earth was he supposed to say? was he supposed to publicly complain and criticize president trump when the whole world knows how the president doesn't respond to anything except for praise? what hostage would come forward and complain publicly against their captors? especial especially, if they knew that the aid could be withheld or they could be compromised at any
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point in time. last week, president zelensky had his first meeting with president putin. and unfortunately, we were not there. he had that meeting alone. we absolutely compromised his ability to defend his nation. several times, it's been said that no lives were lost. but i would like to ask unanimous consent to enter into the record an article from "newsweek" talking about the fact that 13 ukrainian soldiers were killed. >> without objection. >> president zelensky agreed to publicly announce the investigations in an interview on cnn. but ukraine cancelled that interview days after the president's scheme was exposed and the military aid was released. with further underscores the pressure that the ukrainians felt when the aid was withheld. the president knew this when president zelensky asked for a, quote, favor. as lieutenant colonel vindman testified, this was not a friendly request. it was a demand.
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for weeks, the ukrainian officials pushed back on the demand of the president and his agents. advising u.s. officials that they did not want to be an instrument in washington's domestic re-election politics. this was not just business as usual. this was not the president just being concerned about corruption. but as the president's pressure campaign increased and the president began withholding critical assistance from ukraine, something that the ukrainians learned about no later than july 25th. the ukrainians became desperate, so desperate, in fact, that as ambassador sondland told the president, president zelensky was willing to do anything. and although the aid has been released, the power disparities between the two countries has not changed. ukraine continues to depend on the united states for military aid. and president zelensky needs the support of america and its leader as he strives to bring the war to an end with russia.
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but the evidence reveals a different picture. the evidence is clear that president trump took advantage of ukraine's vulnerability and abused the powers of his office to pressure ukraine to help his re-election campaign. this is the highest of high crimes. and president trump must be held accountable. you know, in addition to compromising ukraine, this compromised our standing in the world. because what does it say to our allies? what does it say to vulnerable, new democracies? when they need the assistance of the united states, they better be prepared to help the president's re-election. it compromises our standing in the world. and why would allies trust us anymore if this is the way that they are treated? i yield back. >> the gentle lady yields back. for what purpose does mr. shabbot seek recognition? >> strike last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just got three poinds that i'.
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first of all, as well as being on this committee, the judiciary committee, i'm also a member of the foreign affairs committee, have been for the last 23 years. and one thing that's really been concerning to me is about this phone call that the gentleman mentions in the amendment. and i appreciate him offering this amendment. but relative to that phone call that our president, president trump, had with the president of ukraine, the number of people that were listening in on this phone call, and is that in the national interest of our country? it's incredible how many people -- you think our president's talking to their president. you got all these people listening in. and if they are listening in, shut up about it. you know, the president is talking, frankly, with another president. he's going to make comments in that call he made some disparaging comments relative to another important ally of ours,
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germany, and angela merkel. it's not particularly helpful for them to hear our president saying something, like, well, they will give you lip service about coming to your defense and giving you aid, but they really won't be there for you, we will be here, you know, talking about how important the united states is and an ally. our presidents do that. but you think you're doing that in confidence with the other country, not having everybody else listening in. so, our state department, the executive branch, and many others need to tighten up these phone calls for our national security interests. and that goes whether we have a republican administration as we do right now or a democratic administration as we have maybe decades down the road. secondly, relative to obstruction of congress, which is one of the two charges. there weren't any -- no crimes alleged essentially but obstruction of congress. we have three branches of
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government, and of course it's alleged that congress, the legislative branch, said we want you to bring witnesses and evidence, et cetera, from the other branch, executive branch. since they didn't do it, rather than go to court, which they could have done, the legislative branch, this branch, basically the democrats because they are in control here in the house, they could have filed a lawsuit. they could have had the courts decide. that's what happened some years ago back in the nixon impeachment. he wouldn't turn over the tapes. so they went to the court, the supreme court ultimately said it may have taken some months. but they said you got to turn those tapes over. and he did and he resigned because there was bad stuff in those tapes, the smoking gun, so to speak. that's what they could have done here. but instead of go to the court, they're kind of the referee between the legislative branch and the executive branch. they said, no, we're not going to go to court. we are just going to impeach this guy, which they have wanted to do since he got inaugurated. we have one member of congress
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on their side who said they had to impeach him or otherwise he was going to get re-elected. there is so much politics and there really shouldn't be. and the third point i wanted to make is that i think the democrats, unfortunately, are really lowering the bar on impeachment in our country. you know, for about -- and i happen to be a history major from the second oldest college in the country, the college of william mary. 200 years our nation's history we had one impeachment, andrew johnson, for 200 years. and now in less than 50 years we're on our third, which is really unfortunate, i believe. i think they are lowering the bar. they are making this too routine. and i think that's very dangerous. because when you have i think in the near future when you have a president and you have a house of different parties, we are going to see this more and more
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often. this is very divisive for our country. we are not together enough on so many things. and i think this is going to further divide us, and i think that's really unfortunate. we saw, for example, you know, years and years ago, it reminds me a little bit of when bork was nominated to the supreme court. some of the press here are probably old enough to remember that, and maybe some members of the institution in general. but when the democrats went after bork, then we saw tit for tat down the road. and i'm afraid you are going to see that here relative to the impeachment of our presidents. so i think both sides ought to step back and consider what we're doing here because impeachment can be very divisive. i have been through one of these before. i was one of the house managers in bill clinton's about 20 years ago. they're ugly. so i have a lot of sympathy for the house managers that are going to be picked probably some from this committee in the near future and i yield back.
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>> the gentleman yields back. for our purposes, mr. richmond seeks recognition. >> i move to strike the last word. >> is recognized. >> mr. chairman, we've had a lot of conversation today. and i would just like to break it down into a simple term that everyone at home can understand, especially my home district, where we speak a lot of spanish, we speak a lot of french. we don't go around speaking a lot of latin. and so here's why we are here today. some people say quid pro quo. some people translate it into the american definition for a this for a that. and the question is what was the this? the this was an oval office visit and much needed military aid for the that. and the that was an investigation into joe biden, the primary political opponent. and, look, when you describe a crime, you want to make sure
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that you tell the jury and the people listening about motive. the motive was that he was afraid, president trump was afraid that joe biden was beating him in the polls and would defeat him for his re-election. how do we know that very quickly? because we've introduced articles where he said it. he gave out the aid in 2016. -- in 2017. he gave out the aid in 2018. 2019 the polls come out. he withholds the aid and he asks for an investigation. but that's just motive. but let's go to sworn witness testimony. because that's the part i want us to focus on. and the other side talked about the credibility of lieutenant colonel vindman. and they accepted some of the things that he said as fact. well, if you're going to accept some of the things he said as fact, let's accept them all as fact. it was lieutenant colonel
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vindman that said under oath ambassador sondland began to review what the deliverable would be in order to get the meeting. the deliverable, that was the that for the meeting. and he said specifically it was an investigation into the bidens. let's go to john bolton who said he described this, this for that deal as a drug deal. so if we look at all of the testimony of people under oath, they clearly say that this was a swap of an oval office visit, our military aid for an investigation into the bidens. now the whistle-blower comes forward, the trump administration panics, and then they develop everything that we have now, and that's called the excuse or the defense.
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first excuse. well, they didn't know the money was being held. not true. there is an email, two emails where they expressed concerns about it. then you have ms. croft who testified that two individuals from the ukrainian embassy asked about an omb hold on the security assistance roughly a week apart. and she recalled that that occurred before it was publicly announced. so that's one. second, their defense or excuse is that president trump wanted to investigate corruption. now that's just laughable on its face. if you want to -- if president trump wanted to investigate corruption, he could start at 1600 pennsylvania avenue or he could look around the cast of criminals that have been indicted from his circle. you have his lawyer, you have his national security adviser,
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you have michael flynn, rick gaetz, paul manafort. the circle goes on. he is surrounded by criminals. then we hear, well, it can't be obstruction of congress, you could have all just went to court. well, we are in december. we have an ongoing crime. we have a crime in progress. that is what the 9-1-1 call would say from a police officer. we have a crime in progress. and they are saying with a crime in progress, why didn't you just schedule an appointment to call the police? we have an emergency to our national election going on right now. our oath to the constitution requires us to take this drastic, solemn, and regrettable step. but it is necessary because if we don't protect america's precious right to vote, it is clear that the other side won't. and so i talked about the courage of yesterday. today i am reminded of judas. because


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