tv U.S. Senate Senate Impeachment Trial Day 2 Part 2 CSPAN January 23, 2020 1:15am-4:05am EST
>> how much of that presentation is based on rebutting what you have heard versus original arguments? >> a combination of both. we will challenge aggressively that case based on what we are hearing and also we have an affirmative case we will make as well. we will do both. thank you very much the senate gavel then shortly afterwards to hear opening statements from house managers. they have up to 24 hours spread over three days to make those opening remarks. managers used around seven and a half hours today so 16 hours remain. the senate returns 1:00 p.m. eastern to continue the impeachment trial. as always follow the senate live on c-span2. now back to opening statements beginning with comments from house judiciary chair jerry
nadler. >> mister chief justice and members of the senate, before i begin i would like to think the chief justice and the senators for your patience last night as we went into the long hours. truly, thank you. the house managers well under it - - tell you the story of ukraine scheme it is important to note the facts before us are not in dispute. there are no close calls. thees evidence shows president trump unlawfully withheld military assistance appropriated by congress to aid our allies to extort the government into help with reelection and then tried to cover it up when he got caught. this is a story about government wide effort to draw
officials and executive branch agencies in the office of the president. this effort threatens the security of ukraine in the military struggle with russia to compromise their own national security interests because the president cares only about the personal political interest. spring 2019 the people of ukraine elected a new leader who campaigned on a platform of rooting out corruption. his plight is welcomed by the united states and its allies. also threatening the work of the chief aid to ukraine rudy giuliani. as this was taking power he was already engaged in efforts to convince ukrainian officials to announce to sham
investigations. the first was former vice president joe biden. second designed to undermine the intelligence community that russia interfered in the 2016 election. one obstacle is a 33 year veteran to the foreign service he had partnered with ukraine for the corruption to allow mister giuliani but first he needed the ambassador out of the way. in 2019 mister giuliani launched a public smear campaign against the ambassador against the allies in the ukraine the president's allies in the united states and eventually president trump himself. please remember the object of
the ukraine scheme is the corrupt advantage into the election campaign the president went to extraordinary lengths to achieve the next election. that scheme begins with the capacity out of the way. by all accounts ambassador is highly effective witnesses uniformly place the 33 year career as a nonpartisan public servant and that she excelled in fighting corruption. president george bush named her as an ambassador twice. president obama and nominated her as ambassador to ukraine where she represented the united states in 2016 through 2019. as a key policy priority of us government for years during the house inquiry the
ambassador explained the policy and why it is so important. >> it is critical to have the equally important challenge with ukraine's government corruption makes it vulnerable to russia and ukrainian people understand that that's why from 2014 to demand the transformation of the system under the rule of law. ukrainians wanted the law to be applied equally to all people with the individuals in question or any other citizen. here again there is the coincidence corrupt leaders
are inherently less trustworthy than to make us ukrainian partnership more valuable to the united states scenic on the evening of april 24, the ambassador was hosting an event at the us embassy honoring the memory - - memory of the anticorruption fighter that was killed the previous year. at about 10:00 o'clock that night it was interrupted from a call from washington with the head of the state department human resources department.th >> she said there was a grave concern on the seventh floor that there were - - they were worried they would have a heads up and things seem to be going on and wanted to give me
a heads up to make the ambassador asked for more information so three hours later they spoke again and then ambassador of the there was concerns at the white house up the street and she was told to get on the first plane home. why was this career diplomat abruptly meet on - - removed from her post? where was she urge to catch the first plane home? at the time the white house would not say that today we know the truth the truth is that the ambassador was the victim of a smear campaign organized by giuliani and designed to give president trump what he needed to remove her without warning and
giuliani admitted as much to the press against ambassador yovanowitch to know about the additional characters and the first of these is the disgraced former prosecutor general of ukraine who was fired by the ukrainian government for gross corruption and in 2016 the european o union and united states government voted to remove the prosecutor general because he refused to of the corruption states and with the imf and european union all urge the ukrainian government tont dismiss. the second character who
succeeded as prosecutor .general also reluctant - - reluctant to prosecute corruption cases and several testified he also had a l reputation for dishonesty and corruption. ambassador yovanovitch, george kent both testified the us embassy in kiev eventually stopped working with them altogether. the goals of all three were lying. one had it out with vice president biden because of the role the vice president played in the 2016 firing. so now urging the ukrainian government to dismiss. i note the former vice president has been criticized
for urging that he be fired. when he found his career trajectory fading. giuliani needed partners meant to boost. president trump's campaign. but they wanted ambassador yovanovitch out-of-the-way than the smear campaign began and with those false allegations against ambassador yovanovitch. the assistant secretary george kemp testified those allegations against ambassador motivated byere revenge. >> over the course of 2018 and
2019 i was increasingly aware of the effort by rudy giuliani and others, including his associate associates, to run a campaign to smear ambassador yovanovitch and other officials at the us embassy. those that were involved with the same corrupt former prosecutors i encountered prior. now peddling false information to extract revenge against those who expose their misconduct including us diplomats, ukrainian anticorruption officials and reform minded civil society groups in ukraine. >> hence, mister kent indicated the smear campaign against ambassador yovanovitch was orchestrated by a core group of direct ukrainian officials working with mister giuliani. thisis group alluded to additional characters that were in the news of late.
of course they were indicted last year on several chargeses including related to donations they made to support president trump. simply put but as mister kent observed you cannot do anticorruption efforts without dissing off people. as it turns out in those who feared the ambassador would stand in the way to coerce ukraine into conducting investigations to benefit the politicalid interest of his clients, president trump. giuliani's coordinated smear campaign became public in the united states late march 2019 with the publication of a series of opinion pieces on the hill based on interviewsn .
march 20th, 2019 and to falsely allege that the ambassador had given him a do not prosecute list. not only was the allegation false come after helping to originate the claim that he himself would go on to attractive. the same peace said they made a disparaging statements about president trump". issued by the state department to declare the allegations to be a total fabrication. president trump we and it's a five the attacks against ambassador yovanovitch. then donald trump junior called ambassador yovanovitch
joker on twitter. you can see these of the founded smears by the president and his son who reverberated. secretary george kent testifies mid-march rudy giuliani was inadmissible and the campaign of slander. and then to retweet the to encourage standing in the ukraine records ambassador standing but giuliani was not convinced. he promoted the same but then
the add on - - the attacks intensified. then sending the secretary of state from the e-mail details concerns and asking for support from the state department. your reply? they issued a publics statement supporting her that could be undermined by the president. they can bring out the statement and not have support for the american ambassador because they are concerned by the president. what it must have taken to convince error state department for the ambassador?
this is what you can see according to the slides brickle again it is worth remembering that smearing ambassador yovanovitch is the means to an end it will allow to pressure ukraine with the shared investigations. but with giuliani and his henchmen's were promoting only half of the president. focus first on but in februar february 2017, shortly after the intelligence community, cia, fbith unanimously assessed that russia interfering the election but the alternative
theory gained attention when putin promoted it at a press conference. second, he said it is in russia on the slides. second during the presidential campaign of the and looking at those candidates. one o them search and oligarchs and then wanted for a new candidate to be more precise shifting the blame to ukraine. doctor hill best explained how the ukraine narrative was a fictional narrative being propagated by the russian security services.
>> there are some questions some people appear to believe russia did not have a campaign against our country and perhaps ukraine did for some reason. this is a fictionalal narrative propagated by the russian security services themselves. the show so this but this is beyond dispute. even with those underlying details. the impact of the successful campaign in the counterparts and but then looking at the service and accused of being undermined. but the goal is to and then to
concede to special interest. >> president trump knew this. the former homeland security advisor said the idea that ukraine acted with the dnc's server was not only a conspiracy theory but completelye debunked". he and other us officials spent hours with the president explaining why. the second false allegation that the president wanted the ukrainians to announce was that vice president biden used his power to protect the board his son sat by forcing the removal of the corrupt former prosecutor general. it isic true vice president biden help to remove him who was widely believed to be corrupt. and w as i said a few minutes
ago it was the official policy of the united states and european community and others in orderer to fight corruption to asked that he be removed. so to fulfill us policy to pressure ukraine to remove him not to secure a personal ballot - - benefit to advance official policy of the united states and its allies. even when initially hearing the allegations against mister biden later admitted they allegations against the vice president werewe false. and rudy giuliani trolled the special representative for ukrainian negotiations who had a prominent role in the scheme also knew of the attack of joe biden was lies. with the ambassador out of the way the first chapter was
ofcomplete. mister giuliani and his and then to spread those two falsehoods and who benefited? who said mister giuliani to ukraine in the first place? of course we could rephrase that question. is at former republican leader of the senate baker asked in 1973. what did thete president know and what - - when did he know it. >> mister chief
andice, senators presidents and counsel. president trump and president zelensky's relationship started out well. president trump wanted to take investigations from zelinski and had no reason to believe he would not get what he wanted. april 21st near to politics wins in a landslide victory for call that evening president trump called president zelensky to congratulate him. on the first call zelinski invited president trump to visit ukraine for the upcoming inauguration. president trump inne turn promised his administration would send someone at a very very high level. during the same period president trump invited president zelensky to the
white house saying when you are settled in and ready alan to invite you to the white house. wewe have a lot of things to talk about. but we are with you all the way. president zelensky immediately accepted the president's invitation adding the whole team and i are looking forward to the visit. numerous witnesses testified about the significance of a white house meeting for the political newcomer. it would show ukrainians that america supported zelinski the clear backing of the president of the united states is ukraine's most important patron would send a powerful message to russia that we had ukraine's back during the aprilh call president trump never even uttered the word
corruption. the call me cap falsely stated that you presidents discussed the anticorruptionco efforts. shortly after the phone call jennifer williams and then to attend the inauguration. and to begin planning for the trip. at the same time, giuliani was trying to get ukraine to investigate the bidens and election interference. on april 24 giuliani went on fox and friends and had this to say. >> keep your eye on ukraine a lot of the dirty work was done to dig up the information they used ukrainian officials light
collusion with the ukrainians. or in this case conspiracy. we will get some information about joe biden about his son, hunter biden the company he was on the board of maybe one of the most cricket companies inmo ukraine. >> for this campaign to be truly beneficial to trump, he had to access the new government in ukraine. they tried to make inroads with the presidential zelinski team. april 25 former virus - - vice president biden formally announced his bid for the presidency in immediately at the top of the polls. that same day david holmes, an american diplomat at the embassy in ukraine learned giuliani had reached out to the head of president zelensky
campaign. as mister holmes explained, they a new ukrainian government began to giuliani was as significant person in terms of managing their relationship with the united states. as giuliani and associates worked behind the scenes to get access to the new leadership in ukraine, president trump was publicly signaling his interest in the investigation. one may 2nd the president appeared on fox news and when asked of the former vice president with his son's business interest it was as follows. >> i believe bad things happen and we will see what that is. even talking about it with joe
biden. >> the tape referenced is from january 2018 where price to remove the corrupt prosecutor general to be ensure that taxpayer money would be used appropriately. and the actions to be consistent with us policy as well as the opinions of the international community. the new york times published an article of giuliani's plan to visit ukraine and to confirm he planned to meet zelinski at that meeting with the ukrainian government to pursue the investigation that
president trump promoted only days earlier. giuliani says we are not meddling in and election but an investigation which we have a right to do. giuliani went so far to acknowledge his actions could benefit president trump .ersonally he said "this isn't foreign-policy. i'm asking him to do an investigation that they are doing already and other people are telling them to stop. i will give them reasons why they shouldn't because that information would be very very helpful to my client and may turn out to be helpful to my government. right there giuliani admits he was asking ukraine for the
ukraine to be very hopeful. he was not doing this for the government that personal interest of his client, donald j. trump. the next morning, may 10 amid coverage of the planned trip to ukraine, giuliana one - - giuliani treated further that was helping to plan the trip to ukraine. that same day giuliani spoke with ambassador volcker for more than 30ut minutes and he learned that giuliani intended to travel to ukraine and was called to warn but later that
day he had a 17 minute call with a white house number that was masked before speaking again for 12 minutes. that same day, politico asked about the giuliani upcoming trip and he replied, speaks that. >> i have not spoken to him in any great length that i will. i will speak to him before he leaves. but that evening on fox news i keep walking into people that are enemies of the president. separately, in a text message to politico, giuliani alleges the original offer with the omeeting of zielinski was a set
up. he said it is a set up orchestrated by several local critics of president trump who were advising zelinski. giuliani declared he is in the hands of president trump that giuliani had not stopped trying. to the senior aide may 11th you asked for a meeting that later made it clear giuliani was representing president trump as a private citizen and working with presidents trump knowledge and consent. and it reads in my capacity as personal counsel for president trump and with his knowledge and consent, i request a
meeting with you on this upcoming monday, may 13, or tuesday may 14. i will need no more than an hour of your time and i will be accompanied by my colleague , a distinguished american attorney who is very familiar with this matter. but it did not appear that the attempt to get the meeting was working. that same day giuliani sent a text saying this guy is cancelingli the meeting i think. approximately three hours later he sent a draft of a public statement that people advising the president elect are no friend of the president. three days later presidentth trump instructed the vice
president not to attend the inauguration in ukraine. just three days later vice president staffer received a surprising call from the chief of staff describing during her public testimony. >> on may 13, assistant to the vice president chief of staff called to inform me president trump had decided the vice president would not attend the inauguration in ukraine and did not provide any other explanation. others evolved and i informed the nsc the vice president would not be attending to be ahead to represent the united states with the president's inauguration. >> notably williams confirmed the inauguration date had not
yet been decided or scheduled at the time of the phone call. the reason for president trump's decision was certainly not due to a scheduling conflict. secretary of energy rick perry also led the delegation to the inaugural. also ambassador to the european union, ambassador volker and the nsc director and lieutenant colonel and senator rob johnson with the delegation. so holmes replied it was not a senior delegation as we might have expected. after the inauguration ambassador volcker and sondland left a favorable impression of president zelensky.
ambassador volcker said it is important that president trump engaged and to express full support for him. and for the team with of the united states they had a meeting with the president on may 23. that meeting prove to be important. first with yovanovitch out-of-the-way president trump authorized ambassador sondland m perry and volker and then to satisfy giuliani's concern in order to move forward on ukraine matters.
these real political adappointees and a besser d3 donated $1 million to the president's inauguration. the president saw these appointees as officials to fulfill his request and ambassador volcker testified and took turns making the case it's a new crowd and a new president to the ukraine. he is committed to do the right thing including fighting corruption. they recommended the president follow through on his invitation for president zelinski to meet with him in the oval office. but president trump did not
receive the recommendation well. and that his public hearing ambassador volcker described the may 23rd meeting with president trump. >> we have stressed our findings and that's what we have been in over 20 years we urge him to invite sondland to the white house. the president was very skeptical. given their history of corruption, that's understandable and said they were a corrupt country full of terrible people and tried to down.e but it was clear to me despite the positive news we were
receiving other. >> witnesses said taking me down was to the funded allegations that they had appeared in the 2016 elections this is whatis president trump considered and then ignoring the public statements about ukrainee but the ukrainian leisure and then developed the organization to talk to judy only. here is how they describe it. >> if we wanted to get anything done with the ukraine we had t to's he spoke for
testify with a conversation she had may 2019 that conversation was revealing. >> to be on television but with those attentions and attacks we have regrets how this is unfolding and asking what we could do about this , basically with the body language and in the course of that discussion. >> did you understand what he meant by that quick. >> i did actually. he meant what giuliani was saying is pretty explosive in any case but making remarks
about those involved in clearly pushing forward issues and ideas that would probably come back to haunt them. >> according to hill's descriptionhi giuliani's influence could be an obstacle to white house engagement. instructing hisco staff and in june they relate to ambassador taylor and then to testify he did not understand at the time what that meant.de around this time, the president publicly expressed and then what he thought they could assist give pain and to have research on his opponent.
investigate both if you want to purge how ukraine was abused by hillary and obama people. the quid pro quo was taking shape. giuliani was publicly advocating for ukraine to conduct politically motivated investigations while president trump refused to schedule as the ambassador testified this green to conduct the unit the investigations wouldou get more insidious with time. >> mister chief justice the
his country during a mortar attack on his fighting position giving his life just like 13000 of his fellow ukrainians on the frontline and during this time québec tens of thousands of ukrainians volunteered to help fight the russian back separatists. many of them were on the front line wearing sneakers. ukrainians across the country organized in an unprecedented united civil movement not seen since world war ii to raise money to supply their ragtag military with
everything from soldiers boots to bullets. and while our friends were at war with russia, wearing sneakers, some without helmets, something else was happening. on july 25, president trump made a phone call. he spoke with ukrainian president zelensky and asked for a favor. and on that same day, just hours after his call, his administration was quietly placing an illegalhold on critical military aid to support our friends . so why should any american care about what's happening in the ukraine ? timothy morrison, former senior director for europe and russia at the nsc put it bluntly.
>> you need to believe ukraine is on the frontline of a strategic on competition between the west.russia is a failing power but it is still a dangerous one. the united states aid ukraine and her people and they can fight russia over there so we don't have to fight russia here. for ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty has been a bipartisan objective of russia's military invasion . they must continue to be. >> we help our partner fight russia over there so we don't have to fight russia here. our friends on the frontlines and trenches with sneakers. following russia's invasion of the ukraine in 2014, the united states has stood by ukraine. our diplomats and military commanders have long said
that supporting ukraine makes us safer area we don't need me to tell you that. you all know it's very well. when the funding for this security assistance came for a vote under this group, 87 of you voted for the aid. and many of you have been staunch advocates for the ukraine. working in a nonpartisan way to support our friends. and that support makes a lot of sense. because politics should not play a part in ensuring ukraine and battle russian aggression and ensure their freedom wins in europe. his body as in so manyways set the example . protecting europe from russia is not a political game. let me provide somebackground . in early 2014 in what became known as the revolution of dignity, ukrainian citizens demanded democratic reforms and an end to corruption, ousting the pro-russian president.
within days, russianmilitary forces and their proxies invaded the ukraine, annexing crimea and occupying portions of eastern ukraine .in 2014 , more than 13,000 ukrainians have been killed because of the conflict and over 1.4 million have been forced from their homes.russia's invasion of the ukraine is the first attempt to redraw europe's orders since world war ii. in 2017 then secretary of defense james mattis summed it up well. he said despite russia's denialsthey are seeking to withdraw international borders by force, undermining the sovereign nations of europe .and ask ambassador
taylor put it, russian aggression and ukraine both dismissed allthe principles that have kept the peace and contributed to prosperity in europe since world war ii. it's clear that russia is not just a threat in europe but for democracy and freedom around the world . our friends and allies have also responded, imposing sanctions onrussia and providing billions of dollars in economic humanitarian and security assistance to the ukraine. this has been an international effort . today, the european union is the single largest contributor of foreign assistance to the ukraine, having provided roughly 12 million in grants and loans since 2014. and the united states has provided 3 billion in assistance in that time . because we all know that we can't separate our own security from the security of our friends and allies area that's why the us has provided economic security and humanitarian assistance in the form of equipment and training area ambassador taylor testified that american aid is a concrete demonstration of our commitment to resist aggression and freedom and
defend freedom. he also detailed the many benefits of our assistance for ukraine's forces. >> mister chairman, the security assistance we provide takes many forms. one of the components of that assistance is counter battery radar and other components, our sniper weapons. these weapons and this assistance allows the ukrainian military to deter further incursions by the russians against ukrainian territory. if that further incursions, further aggression were to take place, more ukrainians would die so it is a deterrent effect that these weapons provide. it's also the ability against the ukrainians, it gives them the ability to negotiate from
a position of a little more strength when they negotiate an end to the war in the loss , negotiating with the russians. this also is a way that would reduce the number of ukrainians who would die. >> i would like to make a finer point of how this type of aid helps. because i know something about counter battery radar. in 2005, i was an army ranger serving in the special operations task force in afghanistan. we were at a remote operating base along theafghan pakistan border . and frequently, the insurgents that we were fighting would launch rockets and missiles onto our small base. but luckily, we were provided with counter battery radar. the 20, 30, 40 seconds before those rockets and mortars
rained down on us, and alarm would sound that we would run out for markets, jump in to our concrete bunkers and wait for the attack to end. this is not a theoretical exercise.from the us constitutes a 10 percent of their militarybudget . it's safe to say that they can't fight effectively without it so there is no doubt us military assistance to the ukraine makes a real difference in the fight against russia. in 2019, congress provided $391 million in security assistance. this included 250 million through the department of defense , the ukraine
security assistance initiative, usa iand 141 million through the state department's foreign military financing program . president trump signed the bill to authorize this aid in august 2018 and signed another bill that funded the following month. the aid was underway. the train was leaving the station and following the same track it had followed every single year. but all of this was about to change. in july 2019, president trump ordered the office of management and budget, omb to put a hold on all of the aid area the president personally made this decision even after his own appointed advisors warned him that it wasn't in our country's interest to withhold the aid. after overwhelming support in this senate and against long-standing policy even in his own administration. but what's most interesting to me about this is that he
was only interested in the ukraine aid. nobody else. the us provides aid to dozens of countries around the world . lots of partners and allies. he didn't ask about any of them. just ukraine. the most important question here is why would he do that ? what was his motivation? well, we now know why. this hold shocked people across our own government, the department of defense along with the state department had already certified to congress that ukraine and implemented sufficient anticorruption reforms to get the funds and the defense department had notified congress of its intent to deliver the assistance , so let's recap all of this. congress had already funded it .
our own government had certified and met all the standard it had met every other year and congress already been notified just like every other year. in a series of meetings at the national security agencies, everyone except the omb supported the provision of the assistance, omb is headed by mick mulvaney,the president's chief of staff . the ukraine expert at the state department and white house emphasized that it was in the national security interest of the us to continue to support ukraine and its fight . but it wasn't just the national security concern. because many people thought the hold was outright illegal . and they were right. it was. the president hold did violate the law because just last week congress is independent, nonpartisan watchdog the government accountabilityoffice released an opinion finding that the hold was illegal . president trump held the
military aid money for so long that the administration ran out of time to spend the money. ultimately even after the president lifted the whole on september 11, again with no clear explanation why, we the congress had to pass another law to extend the deadline. delaying the delivery of the aid. and the same "l.a. times" article, that told the story about our friend mister marquis, ukrainian defense spokesperson said that even though the hold had been lifted, this was in september , it has not reached us yet. that spokesperson went on to say quote, it is not just money from the bank, it is arms, equipment and hardware. and to this day, millions of dollars still haven't been spent. although our government
neither informed the ukraine of the hold nor publicly announced it , ukraine quickly learned about it area on july 25 the same day as president trump's call with president zelensky, officials at ukraine's embassy in washington emailed the od to ask about the status of the funding area by mid august officials at dod, the state department and nsc received numerousquestions from ukrainian officials about the hold . everyone was worried and not just because of the urgent need for the equipment on the front lines also because of the message that said. you see, president zelensky and just been sworn in. they were very vulnerable and as we all know, vladimir putin looks for vulnerability. he looks for hesitation he looks for delay. and any public sign of a hold on aid could be a sign of weakness that could show him it was time to pounce.
president trump's hold on the ukraine assistance was eventually publicly reported on on august 28. as we will explain, ukraine understood that the hold was conducted with the investigations president trump wanted. on separate 28, dod notified congress that it had intended to deliver hundred 25 million in assistance appropriated in september including quote, more than 50 million of assistance to deliver counter artillery radar and defense legal assistance. congress cleared the notification which enable dod to begin spending the funds . for ukraine to receive the remaining hundred 25 million, congress required the secretary of defense in coordination with the secretary of state certified that the government of the ukraine and taken substantial anticorruption reforms area deputy assistant secretary of defense laura cooper and
senior officials across our government conducted a review to evaluate whether ukraine had met the required benchmarks area this miss cooper explained the review involved quote, pulling in all the views of the key experts on ukraine defense and coming up with a consensus view which was then run up the chain in the defense department to ensure we have approval. by may 23 the anticorruption review was complete and dod certified congress that ukraine had complied with all of the conditions and that the remaining half of the aid should be released but again, you don't have totake my word for it . on may 23 in a letter to congress, one of president trump's senior political appointees , the undersecretary of defense for policy wrote quote, on behalf of the secretary of defense and in coordination with the secretary of state i have certified that the government
of the ukraine has taken substantial actions to make events institutional reforms for the purposes of decreasing corruption, increasing accountabilityand sustaining the improvements of combat capability enabled by us assistance . congress then cleared the funding. which should have allowed the ukraine to receive theaid but we know that's not what happened . on june 28, june 18, as dod was preparing to send theaid, they issued a press release like they normally do . announcing that it would provide 250 million in security assistance to the ukraine. for quotes, additional training, equipment and advisory efforts to build the capacity of ukraine's armed
forces. this included sniper rifles, rocket propelled grenades, counter artillery radar, command and control, electronic warfare, or communications, nightvision and medical assistance area however, according to the new york times, one day after the defense department issued this press release, one day, assistance to the president robert blair who works for mick mullaney called omb, to tell him we need to hold itup . the was the assistance. that same day june 19 president trump gave an interview on fox news where he raised the so-called conspiracy theory that ukraine, not russia that interfered in the 2016 election, something he would echo in his call to president zelensky read this theory by the way has been advanced by russian propaganda to try to take attention away from russian interference shift it onto ukraine and it's a theory that has been universally debunked by us intelligence and law enforcement . >> ..
omb associate director for national security michael duffey e-mailed the dod comptroller he's said quote the president had questions about the press report and that he was seeking additional information. this was a reference to an article in the "washington examiner" shown here on the slide in front of you. the white house withheld the e-mail from the house of course. we first learned of it from duffey's deputy mark sandy who testified he was copied on it. subsequently as a result of the lawsuit and the freedom of information act the public and
therefore congress received a copy of that e-mail that the white house still refuses to comply with the subpoenas for this and other documents. on june 20, mccluster responded to the inquiry by providing sandy information on the security assistance program. sandy shared information with duffey but did not know whether duffey shared the information with the white house. laura cooper also recalled an inquiry about ukraine security assistance quote a few days after dod's june 8 press release that she noticed it was quote relatively unusual to receive questions from the president. in response the od'd provided material explaining the 250 million package was for additional training equipment advisory efforts to build the capacity of ukraine's armed
forces. d.o. deemphasize quote almost all the dozens of vendors are u.s. companies meaning this funding also benefited u.s. businesses and workers. nonetheless president trump put the wheels in motion to freeze the funds charlie after learning about dod's plan to release the funds. according to a "new york times" article on june 27 chief of staff mulvaney e-mailed blair quote i'm just trying to tie up some loose ends to did we ever find out about the money from ukraine and whether we can hold it back? blair reportedly responded it would be impossible but not privy at a quote congress to become unhinged. now suppose he said that for all the reasons we talked about earlier because this chamber and their chamber on the other side resoundingly supported it. now it's the defense department
assistance to ukraine. 2019 congress also appropriated 141 million to retrain to the state department. unlike the defense department funding which was approved by congress and ready to be spent omb block the state department from even seeking congresses approval to release the funds. let's pause here to once again stress that we have learned about about the circumstances around the initial hold from the public release of an reporting about these e-mails in the past few weeks. the white house has refused to provide these e-mails in response to the subpoena. mick mulvaney and rob blair refused to comply with the subpoena to testify. here are a few of the many thousands that exist on this topic but which had been concealed from congress and the american people because of ongoing obstruction. in fact last night as we were here late into the night
sometime around midnight, a new tranche of documents were released under freedom a freedom of information act request by an independent watchdog that had been asking for them and they were released last night. between mr. duffey and elaine mccusker and others on the things i'm talking about right now. unfortunately as you can see there isn't a lot to read here. because it's all blacked out. if the president's lawyers contest to any of the facts i'm talking about you should demand to see the full record. the american people deserve to see the full truth when it comes to presidential actions. the fact of the timeline, from july to september of 2019 the
president and his advisers at the white house and omb implemented a hold on ukraine assistance through an unusual and unlawful process. first on july 3 the state department notify dod and nsc staff that omb was blocking this notification to congress. according to jennifer williams of vice president pence's aid a hold on this assistance quote came out of the blue because it had not been previously discussed by omb or nsc. around july 12 president trump directed a hold of we placed on the dod security assistance as well. that day mr. blair sent an e-mail to own the informing them that quote the president was directing to hold military support funding to ukraine. around july 15 morrison learned from deputy director or at pfizer that it was the presence direction to hold the assistance several days later blair --
exchanged e-mails about security assistance and sandy testified in a mouth that duffey asked blair the reason for the whole peer blair provided no explanation. instead he said quote we need to let the hold take place and then quote revisits the issue with the president. between july 18 and july 31 the nsc staff contained several interagency meeting switched the hold on the security was discussed. remember those days, july 18 to july 31. according to mark sandy and other witnesses several facts emerged. first, the agencies learned that the president himself had directed the hold through omb. second, no justification or explanation was provided for the hold despite repeated questions.
third, except for omb all agencies that supported the military because it is in the national security interest of the united states. and fourth, many were concerned that the hold is outright illegal. ambassador taylor learned of the hold on july 1830 said quote that attract it had come from the president to the chief of staff of omb and p. quote said in astonishment because one of the key pillars of our strong support for ukraine. david holmes a u.s. embassy in kyiv testified he was shocked by the hold. although there was initial, initially some question as to where the hold applied to dod funds which was cleared by congress it's in became clear that the hold apply to all 391 million. van morrison testified dod officials raised concerns at a meeting on july 23 about whether
it was quote actually legally permissible for the president to not allow for the disbursement of the funding. these concerns related to possible violations of the empowerment control act the law that gives the president the authority to delay funds only if congress is notified of those intentions and the proved by proposed action. of course neither of those things had been done. the issue was escalating quickly and at senior level meeting on 26 omb remained the lone voice for holding the aid. according to tim morris and omb said president trump was concerned about corruption in ukraine. cooper attended the july meeting and received no further meaning by what was meant by corruption. there was never principle meeting convened on this issue. but there was a fourth and final
interagency meeting on july 31. remember that they? the fourth and final one. there was a process for making sure usaid money makes it to the right place and the right people mr. chief justice i do see members moving and taking a break. would you like to take a break at this time? a have another probably 15 minutes. >> i think you can continue. >> if i may what i was going to suggest was at at 6:30 we take a 30 minute break for dinner. >> a break at at 6:30? okay. >> what i was going to suggest was a break for dinner at at 6:30 for about 30 minutes. >> okay.
>> we know there was a hold but there was no lawful way to implement that hold so omb had to use creative methods. there is a process for making sure that usaid money makes it to the right place to the right people or the process has been followed every year since congress approved security assistance to ukraine. the administration needed to find a way a creative way of getting around that process. later in the evening of july 25, omb found that way even though dod had notified congress that funds would be released. here's how it works. first omb issued guidance asserting there was an ongoing review of the assistance even though none of the witnesses testified where if any review of assistance. second, omb also attempted to
hide the hold in a series of technical footnotes and funding documents and third, omb's leadership transferred responsibility for approving funding obligations from career civil servant mark sandy to a political appointee mark duffey someone with no relevant experience in this funding. based on recent public reporting and document's dod released under the freedom of information act we learned on july 25 approximately 90 minutes after president trump's phonecall president zelensky mr. duffey this three pronged plan into motion when he sent an e-mail to senior dod officials copying sandy. the e-mail was in front of you. in this e-mail duffey stated polk based on guidance i've received and in light of the administration's plan to review assistance to ukraine please hold off on any additional dod
applications of these funds pending direction. duffey also underscored quote given the sensitive nature of the request i appreciate you keeping that information closely held to those who need to know the direction. in other words don't tell anybody about it. later that day sandy approved and signed the first july 25 funding document which delayed funding until august 5. sandy testified the purpose of this subsequent footnote quote was to preclude obligations for limited period of time but enable planning of casework to continue. sandy also testified his use of footnotes was unusual in his 12 years of a noibi experience to quote not recall another event like it. on july 29 of duffey told sandy he would no longer be responsible for approving the release of dod ukraine funding
because was only weeks after sandy had raised questions about the legality of the presidents hold. duffey also evolved the authority for approving the release of the state department funding from sandy's colleague at omb. in short approval authority for all $391 million of assistance. over the next several weeks with duffey in and charge omb continued to issue funding documents that kept kicking the can down the road. supposedly to allow foreign interagency process and remember the interagency process had already wrapped up back in july. while asserting the whole time foot notes throughout the apportionment documents stating that delay would not affect the program and yet concerns continue to be relayed within dod that if it had in total omb issued nine of these documents between july 25 and
september 10. even as omb was implementing the president told officials inside omb abdicated for the release of the funds. on august 7 to omb staff sent a memo to direct your vaugn recommending removing the hold because the assistance was consistent with the national security strategy in terms of one, supporting a peaceful europe two the fact that the eight countered russian aggression in three that there was bipartisan support for the program. this meant that experts in every single relevant agency involved heard the whole. by mid-august via the race concerned of minot be able to fully spend the dod funds before the end of the fiscal year bird laura cooper testified the dod estimate of 100 million of the aid was at risk of not getting to ukraine. dod concluded it could no longer support the omb's claims that the footnote quote, in the
footnotes that quote this brief pause in obligation will not exclude dod's timely execution of the finally policy direction end quote. sandy testified this incidence in the footnote was quote at the heart of the issue about ensuring that we don't run afoul of the control act. records produced in response to a lawsuit show that mr. duffey and ms. mccusker exchanged e-mails on august 2010 omb modified the footnote. these e-mails are almost entirely redacted however all the subsequent footnotes issued by omb during the tendency of the hold removed assistance to fully obligate the funds by the end of the fiscal year. nevertheless omb continued to implement the hold that the president's direction. we know from e-mails released last night that as of september 5 omb was continuing to obstruct dod to hold the aid.
omb gave these e-mails to a private organization just because of a lawsuit. on september 5 duffey e-mailed mccusker falling quote no movement from ukraine. continue hold through friday and that quote. we know mccusker responded to omb with a lengthy e-mail detailing dod serious concern that omb redacted almost the whole thing. as i explained last night omb has key documents that president trump has refused to turn over to congress. key documents that go to the heart of one of the ways in which the president abused his power. concerns about whether the administration was bending if not breaking the law between these two won't be officials resigning including an attorney at omb. according to sandy when colic specifically disagreed with omb
general counsel about the application of the empowerment control act. as i mentioned earlier the independent nonpartisan government accountability office has already said the hold is illegal. you remember the omb correspondent remembering the reference that quote interagency process. as we now know there was no interagency process. it had ended months before. they made it up. they had to make it up because they couldn't say the real reason for the hold. sometime prior to august 16 ambassador open have a needing with president trump according to morrison at that meeting the president polk was not ready to approve the release of the assistance. ambassador bolton instructed morrison to look further opportunities to to get the president's cabinet together to quote have the direct in person
conversation with the president about this topic. everyone was worried including the president's national security adviser. in mid-august colonel sandman drafted a presidential memorandum from ambassador bolton to present to president trump for decision on ukraine security assistance. the memorandum recommended that the whole be lifted. morrison testified the memorandum was never provided to the president because of other competing issues. morrison testified a meeting with the president was never a ranch in august reportedly because of scheduling problems. according to recent press reports on august 30 secretary of defense as per sec or terry estate pompeo met with president trump and implored him to release a security assistance because doing so was within the interest of the united states however president trump continued to ignore everybody.
later that day duffey e-mailed undersecretary of defense elaine mccusker and wrote quote clear direction from potus to hold. ukrainian government knew of president trump's hold on security assistance well before it was publicly reported on august 28. this was not surprising. u.s. diplomats catherine croft testified it was inevitable is eventually going to come out and she said to individuals from the ukrainian embassy in washington approached her approximately one week apart quote quietly and in confidence. they asked me about it all behold on ukraine security assistance -- a hold on ukraine security assistance. she testified she was quote very surprised the effectiveness of her ukrainian counterparts. everyone was worried. why would these diplomats quietly make this inquiry?
it because if it had gone public he would show the weakness against russia and it was so concerned everybody involved. he said quote i think if this were public in ukraine it would be seen as a reversal of our policy. it would be a really big deal in ukraine and an expression of defining u.s. support for ukraine. meanwhile laura cooper testified that d.o.t. heard from the ukrainian embassy on july 25, same day president trump scald to president zelensky. >> on july 25 member of my staff got a question from ukraine embassy contact asking what was going on in which ukraine security assistant. at that time we did not know what the guidance was on usa i
notice of apportionment arrived that day but the staff member did not find out about until later that i was informed the staff member told the ukrainian officials that we were moving forward on usa i would recommend that the ukraine embassy check in with the state regarding the fms. >> usa i referred to the tune of 59 that omb block d.o.t. from sending to ukraine. they referred to the 141 millionth of a block from the state department. on july 25 cooper staff received two e-mails from the state department revealing that the ukrainian embassy was quote asking about security assistant in the hill knows about the situation to an extent and so does the ukrainian embassy. one of cooper staff or members reported additional context of the ukrainian officials about the hold in august. finally we know the ukrainians
knew about the hold because "the news york times" published an interview with the former deputy of foreign ministry of ukraine olena zerkal she stated that she received a cable in late july and forming them of the hold. short by the time of politicos report on august 28 of ukrainians were well aware that the aid was not only important was not the only in porton official acts that the white house was withholding from them. alongside white house visit from president zelensky was also in limbo. as all of this transpired ukrainian troops were still on the front lines in eastern ukraine. facing off against russian backed forces. ambassador bill taylor visited those ukrainian troops on july 26. he recalled seeing quote the armed and hostile russian led
force on the other side of the damaged bridge across the line of contact. when asked to reflect on that visit here is what ambassador taylor had to say. >> talking about july 26, years later you go to the front, you go to dan besse -- don does with ambassador volker and you run the bridge looking at the frontline of the russian soldiers. so would you recall? >> yes sir. >> he said the ukrainian commander thank you for the american military assistance that you knew was being withheld at that moment. how did that make you feel? >> badly. >> why? >> because it was clear that commander counted on us come it was clear that commander had confidence in us. it was clear that commander was appreciative of the capabilities
that he was given by that assistance but also the reassurance that we were supporting him. >> like me ambassador taylor is a combat veteran and in fact he was awarded a bronze star. ambassador taylor knew how vital our military aid was to those ukrainian troops because he knows what it feels like to have people counting on you. members of the u.s. senate i know you believe that aid is important to because 87 members of this body voted to support it president trump did not think the aid was important last year. he ignored you in the direction of congress. he betrayed the confidence of our age ukrainian partners in u.s. national security when he abruptly withheld that aid and he did so because he simply
wanted to help his own political campaign. our men and women in uniform deserve better. our friends and allies deserve better. the american people deserve better. >> chief justice roberts, senators and counsel for the president now i want to talk to you about the white house meeting that president trump offer to president zelensky during their first phonecall in april but as you know that date has not been scheduled. it was never scheduled. ambassador sondland testified that after the may 23 meeting with president trump it became
clear that president zelensky would not be invited to the oval office until he announced an opening of investigations that would benefit president trump's re-election. during his testimony ambassador sondland stressed that it was a clear quid pro quo. let's listen. >> i know that members of this committee frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of the simple question. was there a quid pro quo? as i testified previously with regard to the requested white house call and the white house meeting the answer is yes. mr. giuliani conveyed to secretary perry ambassador volker and others that president trump wanted a public statement from president zelensky committing to investigations of burisma and the 2016 election.
mr. giuliani expressed those requests directly to the ukrainians and mr. giuliani also expressed those requests directly to us. we all understood that these prerequisites for the white house call and the white house meeting reflected president trump's desires and requirements >> ambassador sondland also testified it seemed to pressure ukraine into for filling the president's requirements for an oval office meeting became progressively and more specific and problematic. what he described as the continuance. he explained evolution from generic request to investigate corruption to calls to pursue specific allegations against president trump's political opponent. here is ambassador sondland again. >> well mr. chairman when we
left the oval office i believe on may 23, the request was very generic for an investigation of corruption in a very vanilla scents and dealing with some of the oligarchs problems in ukraine which were long-standing problems. as time went on more specific items were added to the menu including the burisma and 2016 election peddling specifically the dnc service specifically and over discontinue him it became more and more difficult to secure the white house meeting because more conditions were being placed on the white house meeting. >> in short ambassador volker in sunland understood that to get the meeting scheduled they needed to get mr. giuliani's agreement first.
on june 27 ambassador sondland explained to ambassador taylor that president trump needed to hear from the ukrainian leader before he would consent to a white house meeting. here's how ambassador taylor explained it. >> june 27 ambassador sondland told me during a phone conversation the president's zelensky need to make clear to president trump but he and president zelensky were not standing in the way of investigations. >> diplomat david holmes testified he understood early on investigations to mean the burisma biden investigations that mr. giuliani and his associates had been speaking about publicly. mr. holmes noted that while president trump was withholding an oval meeting with ukraine's newly-elected leader he agreed to meet with ukraine's chief
vladimir putin. mr. holmes had this to say. >> also on june 28 while president trump was still not moving forward on a meeting with president zelensky he met with russian president putin adachi 20 summit in osaka japan sending a further signal of lack of support to ukraine. >> ambassador volker did not seek other testimony that president trump conditioned oval office meetings on president zelensky's willingness to announce investigations. indeed ambassador volker helped matters along. ambassador volker testified that at a conference in early july he suggested that president zelensky speak to president trump on the phone to discuss the investigation. during his testimony ambassador volker described batting
counter. >> and in the july 2 or 3rd meeting in toronto that you had with president zelensky you also mention investigations to him and again you are referring to the -- >> we were speaking about burisma. >> you understood that's what the ukrainians interpreted references to investigations to be really did -- related to burisma in the 2016 election. i don't know specifically at that time if we had talked about that specifically. that was my assumption though and they were thinking that too. >> mr. giuliani obtained an inescapable presence to ukrainian officials and american diplomats. to the ukrainians rudy giuliani was seen as both a potential channel to president trump and an obstacle to a productive u.s. ukraine relationship with a top
aide to president zelensky text it to volker that i feel that the key for many things is rudy and i'm ready to talk with him at any time but everyone understood that mr. giuliani was no rogue agent. he was acting at the direction of the president. ambassador sondland clearly described mr. giuliani's role in regard to the president. let's listen. >> mr. giuliani's request for a quid pro quo for arranging a white house visit for president zelensky. mr. giuliani demanded ukraine make a public statement announcing the investigations of the 2016 election dnc server and
burisma. mr. giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states and we knew these investigations were important to the president. >> concerned about mr. giuliani's influence began to grow. on july 10 at a meeting between the ambassador taylor and to ukrainian officials in kyiv ukrainian officials said they were very concerned because mr. giuliani had told the prosecutor general lutsenko he would not meet with the ukrainian fleet of but back in washington to important encounters at the white house revealed the existence of a corrupt quid pro quo. ambassador sondland first broke the investigation and a meeting at ambassador bolton's office with bolton's ukrainian
counterpart and president zelensky's top aide. also present were secretary perry ambassador volker and official dr. phil and lieutenant colonel vindman. or the end of the meeting the ukrainians raise the topic of an oval office meeting between president trump and president zelensky. ambassador bolton started to respond when ambassador sondland interjected and raised the demand of the investigation. here's how lieutenant colonel vindman recalled the conversation. >> to the best of my recollection ambassador sondland said in order get a white house meeting the ukrainians would have to provide deliverable investigation, specific investigation. >> and nasiter folk are separately confirmed this
recollection during his testimony. >> i participated in the july 10 meeting between national security adviser bolton and then ukrainian chairman of national security council. as i remember the meeting was essentially over when ambassador sondland made a comment about the investigations. all of us thought it was an appropriate. >> ambassador volker also found ambassador sondland's reference to be inappropriate and he abruptly ended the meeting. however ambassador sondland was not deterred. he convey in -- convened a second meeting where he discussed what needed to happen before an oval office meeting. apparently ambassador sondland had received his marching orders from the president and he was determined to carry them out.
bolton sent dr. phil to join that meeting and report back and this is what dr. he'll had to say. >> when i came in sondland was basically saying we have a deal here in the there will be a meeting. i have a deal with the chief of staff mulvaney if the ukrainians open up or announce these investigations into 2016 and burisma. by this point having heard mr. giuliani over and over again on television on all of the issues that he was researching by this point it was clear that burisma giuliani was laying it out there. >> after the meeting dr. hill followed up with ambassador bolton and relayed what transpired. bolton was alarmed. in other words ambassador bolton
didn't want any part of it. he directed dr. hill to brief the an s.b.'s top attorney john eisenberg and she explained during her hearing. >> what was that specific instruction? >> this visit they get an instruction was i had to go to the lawyer john eisenberg as senior counsel to the national security council to basically say you tell eisenberg and bolton that i'm not part of the deal that mulvaney and sondland are cooking up. >> what did you understand and to mean by the drug deal that mulvaney and sondland were cooking up? >> took it to mean investigations for leaving. >> did you speak to the lawyers? >> i certainly did. >> senators is a former chief of police i think it's quite interesting that ambassador alton categorized the correct --
corrupt scheme the pressure campaign is to quote a drug deal i think ambassador bolton was trying to send us a very powerful message, a message that not only were the top lawyers understanding but that every person would understand. every member of the house, every member of the senate, every member of our great country, every citizen. ambassador bolton also wanted to make clear especially to the top attorney that he did not want to have anything to do with the drug deal in progress. but we do know, we know now of course ambassador bolton can
testify directly about this. he can testify directly for himself about this meeting if he appears before this body as he has indicated that he is prepared to do if this body is willing issue a subpoena. we need to hear from ambassador bolton and i know the american people want to hear from ambassador bolton as well. dr. hill testified she spoke to mr. eisenberg twice. dr. hill indicated that mr. eisenberg took notes of their meetings which we, to no surprise now, do not have. we have not received because of the president's obstruction. it is clear ambassador sondland was not operating a rogue
operation. he testified that everyone, everyone was in the loop. let's listen once again. >> everyone was in the loop. it was no secret. everyone was informed via e-mail on july 19, days before the presidential call. as i communicated to the team i told president zelensky in advance assurances to run a fully transparent investigation and turnover every stone were necessary in his call with president trump. >> in the e-mail reference ambassador sondland wrote the following to secretary pompeo secretary perry and mr. mulvaney regarding president zelensky. he is prepared to receive potus'
called her and we will assure him that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will turn over every stone. both mulvaney and perry responded to the e-mail noting that the call would be scheduled right away. now you may be asking what did mulvaney know about these investigations and did he have any conversations with president trump about them? senators, this body is entitled to see all of the evidence and you know what, the american people are entitled to hear all of the evidence. and while the nature of the drug
deal we talked about uncontested it is important for the country to know that everyone was involved because we have heard that everyone was in the loop. later that day july 19 ambassador sondland talk to volker and taylor about the upcoming head of state telephone call and the text said that looks like potus call tomorrow. they spoke radically to zelensky and gave him a full briefing. ambassador volker replied to sondland's text most important is for zelensky to say that he will help in the investigation. the evidence shows the ukrainians understood what they
needed to do to earn a white house meeting with the president on july 20, the day after ambassador sondland's phonecall with president zelensky ambassador taylor spoke with the ukrainian national security adviser. ukraine's national security adviser conveyed that the ukrainian president did not want to become an instrument in u.s. politics. here's how ambassador taylor explained that concern. >> what did you understand it to mean that zelensky had concerns about being an instrument in washington and election politics? >> he understood that these investigations were pursuant to
mr. giuliani's request to develop information to find information about burisma and the bidens. this was very well-known. mr. giuliani had made this point clear in several instances in the springtime and he was aware that was a problem. >> would you agree that those president zelensky is worried about this they understood at least there were some pressure for them to pursue these investigations. is that fair? >> p. indicated that president zelensky certainly understood it and that he did not want to get involved in these types of activities. >> the next day ambassador taylor relayed the ukrainian leaders concerns to volker and
sondland. ambassador sondland did not back down. specifically ambassador sondland text it in response to ambassador taylor's worry, absolutely. what we need to get the conversation started and the relationship irrespective of the pretext. again ambassador sondland had his marching orders and he was determined to carry them out. they call between president trump and. -- president zelensky was scheduled for july 25. before the call president trump spoke to somebody reiterated his expectations that the ukrainian leader would commit to the investigation but ambassador sondland contacted ambassador volker amber lee -- relayed the message and great folk folk are then taxed at zelensky's top aide with president trump's
instructions. assuming president z convinces trump he will investigate and get to the bottom of what happened in 2016 we will nail down the date for a visit to washington. senators in other words even before the july 25 phonecall with president zelensky before it ever took place ukraine understood what it needed to initiate that it needed to initiate the investigation into the pit box conspiracy theory about the 2016 election as a condition for president zelensky the newly did ukrainian president to visit the white house. ambassador sondland testified that acting on president trump's
direct orders he and ambassador volker trapped president zelensky for the telephone call. you would agree that the message that is expressed here is that president zelensky needs to convince trump that he will do the investigations in order to nail down the date for a visit to washington d.c.. back crack? >> that's correct. >> i this time nonpartisan career officials involved with ukraine's policy had become aware of the quid pro quo. here's what three of them said during their testimony put ambassador taylor the meeting president zelensky wanted was conditions on investigations of burisma and alleged ukrainian influence in the 2016 elections.
ambassador david holmes, it was made clear that some action on a burisma eitan investigation was a free condition for an oval office visit. there hill, there seems to be an awful lot of people involved. you know, basically turning a white house meeting into some kind of event that was dangled out to the ukrainian government. a white house visit, a visit to the oval office dangling out to the ukrainians government. senators i ask you to think about those words as we decide, as you decide what action you
will take. think about those words. there was no direction they came from the president of the united states. the president was the center of this scheme. ambassador sondland testified that mr. giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states and we knew these investigations were important to the president. ambassador sondland added that mr. giuliani followed the direction of the president and we followed the president's orders. however as ambassador taylor testified ambassador bolton was not interested in having did not want to have a call because he thought it was going to be a
disaster. he thought that there could be some talk of investigations or even worse than that. he thought, i ask you today senators what was ambassador bolton so afraid that's president trump would say to the newly-elected ukrainian president? what was the national security adviser so afraid of that president trump would say to president zelensky? this is another topic we would like to add -- ask ambassador bolton about. if and when he appeared before this body.
>> mr. chief justice members of the senate thank you once again for your indulgence and for your courtesy as we all undertake our solemn constitutional responsibility during the senate trial. george washington once observed in his farewell address to the nation that the constitution is sacredly obligatory upon all. that means everyone. in fact that is what makes our
great country so distinct from authoritarian regimes and enemies of democracy. vladimir putin is above the law in russia. erdogan is above the law in turkey. kim jong-un is above the law in north korea. but in the united states of america, no one is above the law, not even the president of the united states. that is what this moment is all about. as we all know congress is a separate and cho weikel branch of government. we don't work with this president or any president. we of course work for the american people.
we have a constitutional responsibility to serve as a check and balance on an out-of-control executive branch. that is not the democratic party playbook. that is not the republican party playbook. that is the playbook in a democratic republic. james madison once observed in federalist 51 that the congress should serve as a rival to the executive branch. in my humble opinion why would madison use the word rival? the framers of the constitution i think did not want a king. they did not want a big tater. they did not want a monarch. they wanted a democracy. the constitution is sacredly
obligatory upon all. it is through that blend that we proceed today. in the next demands i'd like to discuss president trump july 25 phonecall with ukraine's newly-elected leader. the president claims that his call was perfect. nothing could be further from the truth. the call is direct evidence of president trump's solicitation of foreign interference and the 2020 election as part of a corrupt scheme. it is important of course to remember the context of this call. the new ukrainian president volodymyr zelensky was in a vulnerable poll -- position and
viewed american and diplomatic military support as critical to his standing as ukraine's fragile democracy. equally significant and outlined by my colleague, america has a strong national security interest in supporting ukraine against russia's continued aggression. william taylor a west point graduate, vietnam war hero, ambassador to ukraine appointed by donald trump testified ukraine is a strategic partner of the united states, important for the security of our country as well as europe. lieutenant colonel alexander vindman national security council officer a purple heart recipient iraq war veteran testified a strong and
independent ukraine is critical to our national security interest. ukraine remains under attack by russian backed separatist in crimea. it is an ongoing war. ukraine is a friend. russia is a faux. ukraine is a democracy. russia is a dictatorship. the united states may very well be one of the only things standing between russia and ukraine being completely overrun as part of vladimir putin's continued aggression against the free world. that is why this congress allocated $391 million in military and security aid to a vulnerable ukraine on a bipartisan basis. because it is then america's
national security interests. on the july 25 call mr. trump could have endeavored to strengthened their relationship with this new ukrainian leader. instead, president trump focused on securing a personal favor. he wanted ukraine to conduct phony investigations designed to enhance his political standing and solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election. on the july 25 call president trump maligned a highly respected american ambassador known as an anticorruption crusader. at the same time he praised a corrupt former ukrainian prosecutor. on multiple occasions president trump direct did ukraine's new leader to speak with his
personal lawyer, rudolph giuliani on an official call. mr. giuliani is not a member of the trump administration. for these and other reasons the july 25 call warrants are close scrutiny. it it presents significant and shocking evidence of president trump's corrupt intent. the call lays bare the president's willingness to do whatever it takes to get what he wants, even if his behavior undermines the national security interest of the united states of america. in the beginning of the call president zelensky mentioned u.s. military aid and the states , i would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense.
the great support in the area of defense includes the security assistant passed by this congress on a bipartisan basis at -- that donald trump held up in violation of the law. immediately after president zelensky raised the issue of defense of poor president trump responded i would like you to do us a favor though. these words will live in infamy. first president trump said to president zelensky as part of the two demands that he requested, i would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation in ukraine. they say crowd strike rate i guess you had one of your wealthy people ukraine has it.
putting forth a faceless conspiracy theory that the ukrainians, not the russians, were behind the heck. of the democratic national committee server in 2016. they means russia. they means fulton, they are enemies of the united states. not a saying witness who testified before the house knew of any factual basis from president trump's belief, in the ukraine fairytale. to the contrary, the u.s. intelligence committee in the senate intelligence committee ss that russia interfered in the 2016 election. as the doctor tannehill
testifies, the theory that the ukraine interfered in the 2016 election has a fictional narrative. it has been perpetrated in propagated by the russian security services. the conspiracy theory, the president trump on july 25th phone call has done called russian propaganda. as early as february 2017. vladimir putin began to promote the site. during a press conference saying, the ukrainian government adopted a unilateral position in favor of one candidate. more than that, certain, certainly with the approval of the political leadership funded this candidate. for female candidates. to be precise.
those of the words of vladimir put in. the script apparently adopted by president donald john trump. if there was any doubt about the benefits from this unfounded russian inspired, conspiracy theory, in best buy don't donald trump, gardner putin made it clear, when he said in november of 2019, thank god no one has accusing us anymore of interfering in u.s. elections. in now their of their choosing ukrainians. unfortunately, this has not the first president trump tried capitalized on russian propaganda in misinformation for his own political benefit.
on july 24th just one day before this call, special counsel robin moore testified before congress, the russian government interfered in 2016 election in sweeping in systematic fashion. in order to support the trump campaign, in divide america. mr. moeller also found the trump campaign welcomed russian interference in the 2016 election in utilized it as part of his campaign messaging. despite the clear in overwhelming conclusion of u.s. intelligence agencies. as well as the distinguished senate intelligence committee. that russia, not ukraine, interfered in the 2016 election. president trump continued to press the new ukrainian leader
to announce an investigation as of the crowd strike ukraine conspiracy three. why. president trump sought a political favor, that's why. as part of the scheme. to solicit for an interference in the 2020 elections. the second demand, made by president trump on the july 25th call, related to the campaign of vice president joe biden. who announced his intentions to run for the offices of the presidency, last april. throughout the spring in early summer of last year, public polling consistently shows that biden was decisively defeat president trump. in fact on june 16th, of last
year, june 16th of fox news poll, show the president trump would lose to joe biden by ten points. the concern with joe biden candidacy provides motive for president trump's demand that the ukrainian government investigate the former vice president in son hunter. here's what president trump said. the other thing, there has a lot of talk about biden news son that biden stopped a prosecution in a lot of people want to find out about that. so whatever you can do with the attorney general, would be great. biden went around great biking they stop the prosecution so if
you can look in to it, it sounds horrible to me. no trump administration who chose to participate in the impeachment inquiry unanimously testified that there was no factual support for the allegations that vice president biden did anything wrong. or misuse his authority. he requested further you removal of ukraine's corrupt former prosecutor general. so biden did nothing wrong. the witnesses testified that vice president biden was in fact carrying out the u.s. policy to clean up the prosecuted general news office in ukraine. this policy of course, in line
with the perspectives of many in this very distinguished body, as well as our european allies throughout the world as well as the international monetary funds. vice president biden did not remove the corrupt prosecutor, the ukrainian government did. with the support of the free world. nonetheless, on october 30, 2019, when a reporter asked president trump, what exactly did you hope zelinski would do about the bidens after your phone call, president trump responded as follows:
>> while i would think that if they were honest about it, they would start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. >> start a major investigation into the bidens. evidence of wrongdoing by president trump has hiding in plain sight. on the july 25th call, president trump also repeatedly press the ukrainian president to cordate with his personal attorney, rudolph giuliani. why was his name mentioned, multiple times during the july 25th phone call. giuliani has not the secretary of state, he has not an ambassador, has not a member of
the diplomatic corps. rudolph giuliani, has a cold-blooded political operative for president trump's reelection campaign. that has why he was reference little times on that july 25th phone call. it has evident of corrupt intent by president trump. by the time the call took place, president zelinski understood giuliani news connection to the shakedown scheme. have recognized giuliani news role as the president's political operative. as matters related to ukraine. so linsky informed president trump that one of the state spoke with mr. giuliani, just
recently in we are hoping very much that mr. giuliani will be able to travel to ukraine in we will meet once he comes. the ukrainian leader new giuliani represented president trump's political interests in his country. in to help unlock the long sought after oval office meeting. the president zelinski desires. in the funny investigations start with present trump on the july 25th call not designed to bolster the national security interest of the united states of america, quite the contrary. president trump for the benefit himself in his own reelection prospects. the july 25th call, president
trump also suggested the president zelinski speak with the attorney general. william r. but the chewing take investigations that the president sought. this has important to keep in mind. at no time during this entire scheme, was there an ongoing american law enforcement investigation. into the funny slender related to joe biden or the conspiracy theory related to ukrainian interference in the 2016, election. at no time, was there an ongoing american law enforcement investigation. america's the leader of the free world. we do not urge other sovereign
countries to target american citizens. absent any legitimate basis whatsoever in absent any evidence. apparently, president trump does not play by those rules. during the july 25th call, president trump dennett raised legitimate corruption concern as it relates to ukraine. president trump did not mention the word corruption once. the president did however, viciously aligned, former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, a distinguished anticorruption advocate whom he abruptly removed because she was seen as obstacle for his geopolitical shakedown. ambassador to not you want to
vent joint under president ronald ragan. in subsequently served three other republican presidents. she has a highly respected diplomat. in foreign service professional. yet president trump told the new ukrainian leader, the former ambassador from the united states, the woman, was bad news in the people she was dealing with in the ukraine were bad news. so i just want to let you know that. he didn't stop there. later in the call, president trump added, well she has going to go through some things. these are the words of the
president of the united states of america. ambassador you know you monuments did not know of president trump's remarks at the time. she didn't learn of them until the call record. the when he king public in september. asked whether she felt threatened by president trump that she was going to go through some things. ambassador you you wanted, answered that she did. >> the next expert has when the present references you it is a short one. but he said, well she has going to go through some things. what did you think when president trump told the president zelinski then you're going to go through some things. >> i didn't know what to think but i was very concerned.
>> what were you concerned about. >> she's going to go through some things. it didn't sound good. it sounded like a threat. >> did you feel threatened. i did. >> during the same call, president trump also took the opportunity to praise a former ukrainian prosecutor general who has widely regarded by the entire free world. including our european allies, in international monetary funds, to be corrupt in incompetent read but donald john trump, our president, praise him on that
call. he told president zelinski, i heard you had a prosecutor who was very good in he was shut down. in that has really unfair. a lot of people are talking about that, the way you shut your very good prosecutor down. in you had some very bad people involved. think about this congress. the president matched the career american diplomat, in thence anstey corruption professional. he removed him because he was viewed as an obstacle for his efforts to solicit the foreign interference first 2020 election at the same time pay someone without could be an asset, at
corrupt ukrainian prosecutor printed with the free world abuse has an obstacle to the rule of law. the idea the president trump cares about corruption has laughable. it has laughable. so reading of the july 25th transcript also says might quid pro quo, involving the oval office meeting that had been sought. president zelinski said in the call, i also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the united states. specifically, washington dc. on the other hand, i also wanted to ensure that we will be very serious about the case in will
work on the investigation. as all of you know, hearing this distinguished body, quid pro quo has a latin term enemies this for that. statement, that i just read shows that president zelinski fully understood at the time of this july 25th call that if he yielded to president trump's demand for phony investigation, he would get the white house meeting in the oval office that he desperately sought. this for that. president trump has repeatedly
insisted that has july 25th conversation with president zelinski, was a perfect call. his staff at the white house apparently believed otherwise. the press office issued a short in complete summary of the july 25th call. let me read it for your hearing. today, president donald j trump spoke by telephone with president guenever zelinski of ukraine. to congratulate him on his recent. >> in audible. [inaudible conversation] >> restore order in the gallery. restore order in the gallery.
>> in the scripture says for the lord loves justice. in will not abandon his faithful ones. july 25th, 2019 today, president donald j trump spoke by telephone with president vladimir zelinski of ukraine, to congratulate him on his recent election in president trump in president belinsky discussed ways to strengthen the relationship between the united states in ukraine. including energy in economic cooperation. both leaders also expressed they look forward to the opportunity to meet. that has the official white house alter ego dated july 25th, 2019.
the official readout provided to the american people omitted key elements of the presidents conversation in this review. the official readout did not mention the funny investigations requested by president trump. the official readout did not mention the oval office meeting sought by president zelinski. it did not mention his elevation the conspiracy theory promoted by vladimir putin at about 20 election interference in the official readout did not mention president trump's demand that ukraine investigate this domestic political joe biden. the official readout did not mention the president trump line in threatened ambassador jovanovich, in the official
readout did not mention the president trump praised a corrupt former ukrainian prosecutor. the complete conversation however, between president trump in president zelinski, that we just outlined, offers powerful evidence that president trump abused his power. in he solicited foreign interference in the 2016 election. the 2020 election. several members of the presidents staff, listening in on the call immediately concerned. as he sat in the white house situation room, listening to the conversation, lt. col.
alexander, realized that the presidents demands of the ukrainian leader or inappropriate in improper. he quickly recognized that as the president began references the bidens in crowd strike, the call was diverging from the official national security council approving talking points. he helped prepare them. in it lt. col., 20 year iraq war veteran, purple heart recipient, an american patriot. he testified in the context of the call, the due to the bargaining position, of the two leaders, in ukraine's attendance on the united states, the dependence of the united states, the favor that president trump sought, would have been proceed are perceived as president zelinski has a demand.
lt. col. worried that the call would undermine u.s. national security in he knew immediately, that he had a duty to report the contents of the call to the white house lawyers. >> i was concerned by the call in what i heard was inappropriate. i forwarded my concern to mr. eisenberg. it was improper for the president of the united states to demand a form government investigate in u.s. in the season. it has also clear that they proceeded the the 2016 elections, they would be interpreted in undoubtedly show bipartisan support in into the russia objections into the region. >> so when the content of the
call based on his detail in written notes, lt. col. told the lawyers that he believed it was wrong. president trump u.s. president zelinski to investigate vice president biden. other witnesses were also troubled. vice president pitts advisors jennifer williams expressed concerns that president trump raised domestic political matter on an official call with a foreign leader. she testified the dimension of the investigation struck her as unusual in possibly political in nature. she said i guess for me shed some light on possible other motives behind a security assistance old. timothy morrison, a former republican congressional staffer. he replaced doctor fiona hill, in july of 2019.
also reported the call, the national security council lawyers. after the call, president trump continue to push this forward. i july 26, the very next day, in faster someone in taylor met with president zelinski in other ukrainian officials. according to david holmes, the ukraine based u.s. diplomatic who served as a notetaker, ukrainian leader mention the president trump had brought up some very sensitive issues. this was during the july 25th call. very sensitive issues. ambassador sawn wood, had a private meeting with president zelinski news top eight. the two men insisted that the
meeting be 11. with no notetakers. perhaps due to the sensitive issues that might come up. he testified that he in presents a probably discussed the issue of investigation. in after these key moments in ukraine, ambassador sawn blood went to lunch with two other american officials in mr. holmes sat directly across from them master solid close enough, do you the details of an extraordinary telephone call. between mr. sunderland in president trump. as mr. holmes relayed during his sworn testimony under oath, in mr. sawn blood pulled out unsecured cell phone, in said that he was going to call president trump to give him an update. what happened next was shocking.
>> i could have the presidents voice through the earpiece in phone. the presidents most was loud in recognizable. ambassador sawn blood held his phone away from his ear for a little bit perhaps because of blood volume. explained he was calling from thief. he was in ukraine. in he replied yes cut has in ukraine in went on to say, president zelinski, s. in then president trump asked, he will do the investigation. in he replied that he will do it. adding that zelinski will do anything he asked him to do. >> he would do anything u.s. him to do. meal after this call mr. holmes
followed up with the ambassador. >> after the call in did, he said the president was in the bed mid. i then took the opportunity to ask bump up someone's candid impression of his views on in ukraine. was it true that the president did not care about ukraine. in he agreed that the president did not care about ukraine. i asked why not. bessemer someone stated that the president only cares about him except. i noted there was big stuff going on in ukraine. like a war with russia. he replied that it meant whatever it benefits the president. by providing investigation. the conversation then moved on to other topics. >> during july 25th call, president trump asked for the
favor of these two funny political investigations in immediately after the ukrainian president brought up the assistance for ukraine. the defense you to news assistance. the following day they confirmed to president trump that ukraine would indeed initiate investigation discussed on the call which was the only thing the president cared about with respect to ukraine. he didn't care the russia was occupying eastern ukraine. president trump didn't care that thousands of ukrainians apparently had died fighting for the democracy. he didn't seem to care the supporting ukraine in security, but he cared about himself. as a relates to the prospects of his reelection in 2020.
in november, president trump denied that he spoke to a mr. sunderland on july 26, telling reporters i know nothing about that. for in his public testimony, ms or sawn 100 in to date with official records he obtained from the white house. an ambassador sunderland further explained that the testimony requested reelection. about that july 26 call. which ambassador had not originally described when he first appeared in a deposition for the house. >> also in july 26, shortly after our meeting, i spoke by phone with president trump. in the white house which was finally shared certain call dates in times with my
attorneys, confirmed this. in the call lasted five minutes. i remember i was at a restaurant in i have no reason to doubt this conversation included the subject of investigation. again, given mr. giuliani news demand that the president zelinski make a public statement about investigations, i knew that investigations were important to president trump. >> president trump said that the july 25th conversation was a perfect call. it was far from perfect. in for mccall, president would not demand political favor from a vulnerable ukraine under attack by russian. in a perfect call, the president would not demand that a foreign leader investigate in russian inspired conspiracy but the 2016
election. in a perfect call, the president would not pressure a foreign government to target an american citizen for political in personal gain. in a perfect call, the president would not solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election. in a perfect call, the president would not threaten the well-being of a highly respected american ambassador in say that he was going to go through something. in a perfect call, the president would not praise a disgrace former prosecutor in the free world. as corrupt in incompetent. in an imperfect call, the president would not have directed a foreign leader to follow up with rudolph giuliani,
a human hand grenade. this was not a perfect call. it has direct evidence that president donald john trump, corruptly abused his power in solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election. >> the majority leader has recognized. >> we will now take those 30 minute break for dinner. we will reconvene at five minutes after seven. i asked consent the senate be in recess until the time printed. >> witho