tv Impeachment Trial of President Trump CSPAN January 23, 2020 3:00pm-5:01pm EST
supposed to start. they got the house democrats have today and tomorrow and then the white house team starts on a saturday. >> republican senator rick scott we will hear from josh hawley from missouri. we go there life. ... >> because he wasn't investigating bris ma enough, that -- burisma, that the obama administration needed to more invigorate -- you can't have it both ways. either burisma was a source of corruption and needed to be investigated or it wasn't the house managers have worked
themselves in the awkward position of trying to have it both ways saying shokin should have been investigating, but nobody should be investigating it now and later. that, i think, is very problematic for them. i'm interested to see how they're going to try to get out of it, and i think some of the statements that they made about the factual details of what was going on when shokin was prosecutor are probably going to be challenged. i was very surprised they chose to make hunter biden so central to this presentation and to insist over and over and over again that they knew for a fact about the details of what was going on with burisma and biden. and i will just say for my part, if we're going to call witnesses, i think it's now clear we absolutely must call hunter biden, and we probably need to call joe biden. based on the house managers' presentation today, i think we are probably going to need to hear from the former vice president if, indeed, we call witnesses. >> senator, obviously, you believe that abuse of power is -- [inaudible] >> you know, yeah, this is an interesting point they were making earlier. i think it's sort of an ab
demick discussion. -- academic discussion. what's happened the abuse of power that gets put on particular crimes. what is unique in this case is there are no actual crimes that have been alleged in the impeachment articles. so this is a first in american history. and you can see if you listen to their, to their presentation, the evidence of crimes, interestingly, nadler referenced bribery a couple of times, but they don't actually charge bribery. and the reason is they don't have any evidence of bribery. >> [inaudible] ing. >> i don't -- that sounds to me like, i don't know what that would look like. but here we don't have any allegation of any specific behavior that is a crime or -- usually, again, in the past abuse of power refers to some particular set of crimes or some particular set of facts and circumstances that violate the law. we just don't have that, they don't allege it. >> senator, what did you think of mr. nadler's use of the video clip of lindsey graham from 1999?
>> i thought lindsey looked a lot younger. anybody else in okay. thanks, everybody. thanks, senator. [inaudible conversations] >> so, first of all, again, we're now on day two. hopefully, we'll be at the end of day two before too long. we're hearing the same things over and over, that's the way they're going to do the case. i will assure you this, we will be putting on a vigorous defense of both fact and rebutting what they've said. our job here is to defend both the president, the office of the president i and the constitution. we're going to do that. i see nothing that has changed in the last now day and a half of their two and a half days that we've been going here. and we're going to begin our robust case when the senate says it's time to start and move on. i'll answer some questions. >> are you -- [inaudible] are you going to go short on saturday? >> the senate sets the rules on
how we go. we'll see how that goes. >> -- use up all 24 hours of the time -- >> yeah, i said this yesterday, here's the thing. we're going to use the sufficient amount of time to not only defend our case and point out the inconsistencies of their case, but we're going to do it in an appropriate manner. we're not going to try to run the clock out. we're going to do what our legal team thinks is appropriate. we'll make that determination. we're still in the process, we'll make that determination after. [inaudible conversations] >> the white house -- [inaudible] turn over to the house -- >> i'm not going to -- look, the white house will use, we will use appropriate documents that will be admissible for what this record is. that's the way -- i'm going to respond to anything in particular. yes. >> [inaudible] lindsey graham, alan dershowitz, even the attorney general have made statements to the effect of abuse of power impeachable. >> we've got something different
than what you're with hearing up here. you're hearing video clips of testimony. we've got lawyers that are going to be put forward when our side of the case goes that represent multiple schools of thought on what is and is not an impeachable to offense. but they have one things in common, that the actions of the president do not reach that level no matter which school of thought you're on. and we're not afraid to put out both of those schools of thought because our position is you still have to meet basic, fundamental constitutional obligations, and they haven't. next in. [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible] >> i'm sorry? >> how much -- [inaudible] to try and convince, or is it already over and done with? >> look, i told you, i said this yesterday, we're prepared for any contingency that may arise. the case has a long way to go. remember this. this is the second day of their case, they get another day, then we get our time. then there could be two days of questions. and then more voting. so we may be at this for a little bit. [inaudible conversations] >> democrats submitted
supplemental testimony -- [inaudible] >> yeah. yep. >> why shouldn't the president declassify -- >> i'm not going to discuss anything involving national security matters. >> on saturday so the big show can be on monday and tuesday for all americans? >> look, here's the situation. the senators are setting -- they have the rules. our job is to play by the rules they set. if they want to go two hours, great. if they say they want to go longer, eight hours, we have, you know, look, this is the way it is. >> [inaudible] >> i am confident -- let me say this -- i am confident that whether it is saturday or monday or tuesday that the case will be made defending the president. i have no doubt. thanks, everybody. >> well, first off, it's a happy two-year anniversary, it was two years ago today that former vice president joe biden was bragging
to the public about the real quid pro quo here, refusing to provide $1 billion to ukraine unless ukraine immediately fires their state prosecutor. so i know that that was a special moment. obviously, he was bragging for it. i don't know if he predicted that here we would be two years later talking about it. now, what we just herald on the senate floor with one of the house impeachment managers talking about the two investigations that president trump was asking for. there are two important facts, first with regard to ukraine. ukrainians interfered in the 2016 election. that doesn't mean that if ukrainians interfered in the 2016 election that russia interfered in the 2016 election. i don't know why the democrats, since this really started with fiona hill's testimony at a
public intel hearing, i don't understand why they keep suggesting that if ukrainians interfered in the 2016 election, then russia department. we're not saying that. no one's saying that. by the way, it was an insult at least for all the republicans who were on the house intelligence committee who each had submitted a report talking about russia interfering in the 2016 election prior to that. so i would love to see the house impeachment managers come here right now, and you can ask them about charlie's op-ed, and you can ask them about chalupa's work with the ukrainian embassy, ask the managers about some of the origins of the steele dossier, ask the house impeachment managers about statements made. look at ken vogel's reporting in "politico" from january 2017 and ask the house impeachment managers. but the idea that they're just going to blanket say that it was a debunked conspiracy theory that there were ukrainians
interfering in the 206 -- 2016, when you look at the black ledger to take down a trump campaign official, the origins of the steele dossier and more. the we could piece with regards to burisma and biden, this is a corrupt ukrainian gas company hiring the son of the sitting vice president for at least $50,000 per month with yo ukraine -- no ukraine experience and no energy experience solely based, even by hunter biden's own admission, solely because of his last name. that's the only reason why he was hired. now, they were going through a corruption investigation, and they have a long history of corruption. they were going through a corruption investigation that was open at the time that, as vice president bragged about two years ago today, that he got the prosecutor in that case fired those are all facts. now, it's united states law,
ukrainian assistance act from 2014 as well as the ndaa not that long ago specifically requires the president of the united states in order to choose to provide aid to ukraine at that moment, he needs to know at that moment that ukraine is making substantial progress right then and there in their effort to fight corruption. the president being concerned about corruption, the other thing too -- and you really need to fact check these house impeachment managers because they're lying to the american public, they're lying to the senate, they're lying to each and every one of you. with regards to so many different elements of this case including some of what they're saying with regards to this. so these aren't just debunked conspiracy theories. every single thing that i just said is 100% true, and the house impeachment managers should answer to you for that. >> senator graham was down -- >> we're going to take questions in just a second.
look, you're only hearing one side of the story here. i was asked on msnbc last night or the night before was president trump genuinely concerned about corruption in ukraine. of course he was. they said do you have examples of his concern about corruption elsewhere around the world? of course we do. he's been talking about it as a central theme of his campaign before he was prime minister. when he ran -- before he was president. when he ran on the priority of america first, that's what he meant. he wants to make sure that american taxpayer dollars were spent wisely and as good stewards overseas. this was a part of that. i don't know why that is something that the house democrats can never understand or don't want to understand, but it's a central part of the case here. and you'll hear more about that when our case is presented. >> i wanted to address some of the video clips that were played. first of all, i think the fact that they chose professors to speak to millions of americans, they are not in touch with the viewpoints of millions of americans, so i think it helps the president's case that as the democrats continue to put up anti-trump professors as their
witnesses. additionally, i want to address fiona hill's testimony. what was not shown was the response to the questions from the republican intelligence members who voted acknowledging russian interference in the 2016 election and also our proposals about how to combat any foreign interference in future elections. so that is the excerpt that was not shown. i anticipate we will continue to set the record straight, and with that, we will open it up to questions. >> congressman, senator graham was down here earlier and said that there's only evidence that russia interfered in the -- [inaudible] said there was no evidence that ukraine did. it's also one of the president's most -- >> again, at risk of repeating myself, every single example that i just gave, is there a single example there that you would refute? i mean, any member of the media? did charlie not right -- i mean, if we had ken vogel's story from politico, we could go point by point.
there are a lot of people in the media here. does anyone want to say that he didn't write his op-ed going after trump? does anyone want to say that abakov never made his statements, that chalupa did not work with the ukrainian embassy? any member of the media here who budgets to suggest -- wants to suggest that the black ledger wasn't used to take down a trump campaign official? >> [inaudible] theory about the server being in ukraine, you're talking about other -- [inaudible] that's not what -- [inaudible] so are you -- >> a few things. first off, i was giving examples of fact finish. >> isn't that what you meant? >> fact checking the president, what was said on the floor of the senate just now when they say that the president only became concerned about corruption in the ukraine when vice president biden started running, that's ignoring the fact that, for example, you had
testimony from former ambassador, former special envoy to ukraine kurt volker who said that in december of 2017 president trump was speaking about his concern about corruption with ukraine. so we're talking about specific examples that exist. and, again, no one is able to refoot. i mean, you guys -- refute. there's a lot of smart reporters here. you guys do, i'm sure, a lot of homework on all of this. and we gave a whole lot of different examples of ukraines, and i'm here, we're vulnerable. the cameras are on. you guys are reporting. [inaudible conversations] >> all right. thank you guys so much. [inaudible conversations] >> host: part of president trump's house defense team here on c-span2. we're minutes away from the senate returning to continue with the impeachment trial of president trump. we're going to hear from senator chuck schumer with a reminder
that we don't control the cameras in the senate, nor the audio, and we will break away for coverage once they gavel back in. >> something else that i think is really going to serve the public very well. they are preempting the -- sorry. they are preempting the senate -- sorry. they are preempting the president's lawyers who we know will make false arguments, and they are meeting those arguments before the president's lawyers get their chance so they won't be rebutted. point one, they made it crystal clear you don't need a crime to remove the president under the impeachment clause. point number two, they made it crystal clear that there was nothing to any kind of allegation into hunter biden or joe biden doing anything wrong with burisma. and number three, they made it very clear that it was russia, not ukraine, that interfered in
our election. the senate, at least if you look at the senate, at the president's lawyers, they were chucking in all these totally false and discredited theories, conspiracy and otherwise. but the house managers sort of drove a knife through the heart of those false arguments ahead of time. they did some yesterday, they did three today, they're going to do more of them. and i think that that will help make the case. one other point. we see, when you see the facts, we need the relevant, the relevant witnesses and documents. finish we are standing by the four witnesses we need and the four its of documents we need. there are no discussions with republicans, we're not trading, we're not whittling down the list. those four are all very important, and if we want a fair trial, a trial that brings out
the evidence, just the facts, the best way to go is the four witnesses we've asked for and the four documents. we're making good progress. every day more and more of the public is watching, and more and more of the public is saying to their senators, democrat and republican, have a fair trial. and is so i am more hopeful than ever that four conscientious, brave republicans will come forward and tell mitch mcconnell you can't shut this down without witnesses, you can't shut this down without documents. one other point. this morning they were saying, the republicans, they heard nothing new. well, they're the very ones who voted against new documents, new witnesses, new facts. can't have it both ways. ready for a question or two. [inaudible conversations] i'm going to -- >> you lobbying republicans behind the scenes -- >> look, democrats and republicans talk to one another. i'm not going to get into any
specific conversations. it happens all the time among members, all the time. >> [inaudible] do you think the minds of anyone in that room have been changed? >> look, this is an amazing process. i did see when schiff concluded last night that almost every republican was focused on what he was saying. i think this is the first time that republican, many republican senators and lots of the public is hearing the whole case start to finish laid out specifically, clearly and with some degree of granularity. if you just listen to, you know, i think a lot of our senators probably got the story in snippets from fox news. and when fox news covers this, they've left out large parts that are incriminating to the president, and they sometimes distort it. so what happens in that room sometimes, hopefully, will have a little bit of magic, and it will weigh heavily on the shoulders of some of the
republicans. and they will go to mitch, and they will say at least we need a fair trial, at least we need documents and witnesses. and one other point. as the public sees the need for witnesses and documents -- and there was a new poll this morning, it got even higher -- that will have an effect on senators. so that's good too. [inaudible conversations] >> testimony that jennifer williams -- >> i have seen the supplemental testimony. i cannot comment on it. it's classified. i'm not sure it should be classified. i agree with the house managers to declassify it. but so far it's classified, so i cannot comment on it. i cannot comment on it. [inaudible conversations] >> lindsey graham -- >> he's next. huh? >> [inaudible] >> well, that will be up to the house managers. they haven't made a decision. >> senator, you said you want to hear from the relevant witnesses. lindsey graham came to this microphone and said we've got to hear from joe biden. i don't think he's corrupt, but at least we need to get to the bomb of it. -- bottom of it.
why not? >> the bottom line is the key issues here are, number one, why was the aid withheld? who withheld it in and two, who suggested holding back, which we know who did -- the president -- on all of the information. joe biden has not any, any relationship. the republican strategy is to divert. they can't answer the questions. they can't answer the facts. they can't answer the house managers who have done a superb job. so every day it's a new, shiny object. one day let's focus on jerry nadler. one day let's focus on no new evidence. one day let's focus on joe biden. none of them have any, any relevance to the charges against the president. thank you, everybody. >> thank you, senator, appreciate it very much. >> host: the democratic leader making his way back to the senate floor. they broke about 20 minutes ago or so, 3 p.m. eastern. they should return shortly.
some 14 hours and 51 minutes of testimony left for the house managers. and as we can here, we're going to take your calls. we appreciate your patience, but we did want to hear live comments from members of the house and senate. if we have to cut you off quickly, we apologize for that because it's the senate that controls the video there and the audio as well. let's hear from billy, first up, in texas. billy, go ahead. having trouble bringing him up here. billy in texas, go ahead. >> caller: hello, sir. hello, sir, how are you? >> host: fine, thank you. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. the democrats are making a case that shows that donald trump is innocent. and on the other hand, why would joe biden or his son be doing business with a semi-communist country? for financial gain of the son rather than interest of the country while joe biden is vice
president. donald trump should be told that he has the justice department at his disposal to do what he orders so that he should use them more. he's a businessman trying to help america. he did not have to do this. he's independently wealthy. he has his own interests going forward, and he did not need to help us. but rather, he put his own interests on hold in order to help the country. that is commendable. he, obviously, loves this country very much to even be doing this. >> host: we're going to go to barbara next, missouri, on the independent line. >> caller: yes. thank you for taking my call. i just want to say that the democrats are the most, the most corruptible persons i've ever seen. and your adam schiff, because i watched 'em whenever they did the house deal, i heard what he said, how he made it --
>> host: and, barbara, what is it about their presentation today that you're saying they're the most corrupt? what are you hearing in the arguments of house managers? >> caller: i'm hearing to the fact that they are trying to get ahead of the fact that biden and his son hunter was corrupt. and they used the office of the president to further their corruption. and they're trying to get ahead of the story because they don't want the people to know what actually happened. which i hope and pray to god that the republicans go ahead and investigate them independently. and besides that, i hope and pray that all of the republicans stand together, that no more documents because they had their chance in the house to do it, but they chose not to. >> host: the house managers today spending today focusing on
article i, abuse of power. and according to what they said earlier, adam schiff, the chair of the intelligence committee, saying that they will focus on the second article of impeachment tomorrow. again, some 15 hours remaining, 14 hours and 51 seconds. 202-748-8003, our text line. this is from sean in massachusetts saying the media is in the pocket of trump haters. they have conspired to remove this president. alex from detroit saying, an independent, saying i think there is zero room for doubt that there is a quid pro quo, up to the senate on whether it's worth removing the president. our democrats' line next and hear from scott in franklin, pennsylvania. >> caller: hey, thank you for taking my call. look, the way i see it democrats are putting on great evidence against trump, and they need that extra witnesses, they need the extra evidence.
obviously, they've done it in past impeachments. it's a shame that we had to go this far, but that's what article i is for. you know? and republicans are already fixed on the fact of acquitting this president. or as everybody is calling him thus far, a businessman. you know, to me you have to have some type of background in politics. trump has no background. >> host: first -- president trump today heading for miami, heading for the winter meeting, video of the president a short while ago leaving the south lawn heading to the republican national committee winter meeting happening at the trump national, the trump doral national in miami. that's president trump earlier. again, we are waiting for the senate to return. it's 25 after three on the east coast. they took their break at 3:00 each. we will go back live when they
start. keith in iowa, louisiana. >> caller: yes, how you doing? thank you for taking my call. >> host: sure. >> caller: i am a democrat turn republican after trump had taken over, and i tell you what, yes, he is a businessman as the democrats don't want to hear, and they don't like to hear that. >> host: they're back. going to let you go, keith. thanks for the call. >> mr. manager schiff? >> senators, i'm going to pick up where my colleague from texas left off. but i wanted to given by underscoring a few of the points that she made. in listening to her presentation
that really leapt out at me in a they hadn't leapt out of me before. but first, i wanted to address my colleague shared a number of slides showing the polling strength of joe biden vis-a-vis the president as a demonstration of his motive. the fact that he went after these political investigations to undermine someone that he was deeply concerned about. this is an appropriate point for me to make the disclaimer that house managers take no position in the democratic primary for president. i don't want to lose a single more vote than necessary. but those polls do show a powerful motive that donald trump had. a motive that he didn't have the year before or the year before that. a motive that he didn't have when he allowed the aid to go to ukraine without complaint or issue in 2017 or 2018. it was only when he had a
growing concern with joe biden's candidacy that he took a sudden interest in ukraine and ukraine funding and the withholding of that aid. but i also want to underscore what the president said in that july 25th call. when my colleague showed you again that transcript from july 25th where the president says, "i would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine, they say crowd strike." now, my colleagues have explained what that theory is about that server, that crowd strike server. the craze i theory that -- crazy theory that it was ukraine that hacked the democratic server, and that server was whisked away to ukraine and hidden there so that the investigators, the fbi couldn't look at this server, okay? that's what donald trump was raising in that conversation
with president zelensky. now, i bring this up, this point up again because you may hear from my colleagues, the president's lawyers, as we heard during the testimony in the house that the concern was over ukrainian interference in the election, and why isn't it possible that both russia and ukraine interfered in the election. now, never mind that's con tear to all the evidence. -- contrary to all the evidence. but it's important to point out here that we're not talking about generic interference. we're not talking about, as we heard from some of my colleagues in the house, a tweet from a ukrainian here or an op-ed written by somebody there and equating it with the kind of systematic interference of the russians. what we're talking about here, what the president is talking about here is a very specific conspiracy theory. going to the server itself. meaning that it was ukraine that
hacked the democratic is server, not the russians. this theory was brought to you by the kremlin, okay? so we're not talking about generic interference, we're talking about the server. we're talking about crowd strike. at least that's what donald trump wanted investigated. or announced. this completely bogus kremlin-pushed conspiracy theory. now, i was also struck by that video you saw of tom bosser, the former homeland security adviser for the president. in which he talked about how completely debunked and crazy this conspiracy theory is. and then there was that, you know, rather glib line that was, you know, he admitted was glib but nonetheless made a point, the three or five ways to impeach one's self, and the third way was to hire rudy
giuliani. now, it struck me in watching that chip again that it's important to emphasize that rudy giuliani is not some svengali here who has the president under his control. there may be an effort to say, okay, the human hand grenade, rudy giuliani, it's all his fault. he had the president in his grip, and even though the u.s. intelligence agencies and the bipartisan senate intelligence committee and everyone else told the president time after time this is nonsense, the russians interfered not the ukrainians, that he just couldn't shake himself of what he was hearing from rudy giuliani. you can say a lot of things about president trump, but he is not led by the nose by rudy giuliani. and if he is willing to listen to his personal lawyer over his own intelligence agencies, his own advisers, then you can imagine what a danger that presents to this country.
now, my colleague also played for you that interview i with director wray and, again, i was just struck anew by that interview. and in that sewer with view -- interview, director wray says we have no information that indicates that queue crane interfered with the 2016 -- ukraine interfered with the 2016 election. that is donald trump's director of the fbi. we have no information that indicates ukraine interfered with the 206 election. none -- 2016 election. none as in zero. when you see politicians pushing this notion, are you concerned about that in terms of the impact on the american public? and the director says, well, look, there's all kind of people saying all kind of things out there. well, yes, there are. but this person was the president of the united states!
when he says there's all kinds of people out there saying all kinds of things, what he's really saying is the president of the united states. it's one thing if someone off the street says it, but when it's coming from the president of the united states, you can see what a danger it is if it is patently false and it is promulgated by the russians. and again the reporter says, and we heard from the president himself, he wanted the crowd strike portion of this whole conspiracy investigated. and i'm hearing you saying this is no evidence to support this. and wray says, as i said, we have no -- we at the fbi have no information that would indicate the ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. none. and so you can imagine the view from the kremlin of all of this. you can imagine putin in the
kremlin with his aides when one of his aides comes into the a office and says, vladimir, you're never going to believe this. the president of the united states is pushing our crowd strike theory. i mean, you can almost imagine the incredulity of vladimir putin. you're kidding, right? you mean he really believes this? his own people don't believe this. nobody believes this. and it's not -- i mean, it would be bad enough, of course, that the president of the united states believes this russian propaganda against the advice of all of his advisers, common sense and everything else, but it's worse than that. it's worse than that. on the basis of this russian propaganda, he withheld $400 million in military aid to a nation russia was fighting, our
ally. i mean, when we ask about, okay, what's the national security implication of what the president did. how much more clear can it be? that he's not only pushing russian propaganda, he's not only misleading americans about who interfered in the last election, that he's not only doing the kremlin a favor, but that he's withholding aid from a nation at war. the russians not only got him to deflect blame from their interference in our democracy, but they got him to withhold military aid. now, of course, there was this convergence of interests between the chem. chem -- the kremlin and the president. the president wasn't pushing kremlin talking points just to do vladimir putin a favor. he was doing it because it helped him. because it helped him. because it could get these
talking points for him in his re-election campaign. and for that, he would sacrifice our ally and our own security. but nothing struck me more from representative garcia's presentation than that quote from vladimir putin from november of this past year. so just a couple months ago. putin said, "thank god nobody's accusing us anymore of interfering in u.s. elections, now they're accusing ukraine." thank god, putin says. welk you gotta give -- well, you gotta give donald trump credit for this: he has made a religious man out of vladimir putin. [laughter] finish -- but i don't think we really want vladimir putin, our adversary, to be thanking god for the president of the united states. because they don't wish us well.
they don't wish us well. they are a wounded animal. they are a declining power. but like any wounded animal, they are a dangerous animal. their world view is completely antithetical to ours. we do not want them thank god for our president and what -- thanking god for our president and what he is pushing out. we don't want them thank god for withholding money from our ally. although we can understand why they may. and to me, that's what stuck out from that presentation. now, we've walked through in the first part of this presentation the corrupt object of president trump's scheme; get ukraine to announce these two political investigations that would benefit his re-election. and just looking at how baseless and fabricated the allegations
behind them were made plain his corrupt motive. but in addition to this overwhelming evidence, there are at least ten other reasons we know that president trump directed his scheme with corrupt intelligent. there are at least ten other reasons we know that president trump was interested in his own personal gain and not the national interest in pressing for these investigations. first, the president only wanted these investigations to be announced publicly, not even conducted. second, the president's only interest in ukraine was the big that mattered to himself -- stuff that mattered to himself, not issues that affected the ukraine or the united states. third, the president tasked his personal lawyer, rudy giuliani, to pursue these investigations on his behalf, not government officials.
fourth, both before and after the july 25th call, the investigations were never part of u.s. official foreign policy. nsc officials, too, made clear that this was not about foreign policy. and other witnesses confirmed the investigations, in fact, diverged from u.s. official policy. fifth, the investigations were undertaken outside of normal channels. sixth, ukrainian officials understood that the investigations were purely political in nature. seventh, multiple administration officials reported the president's july 25th call. eighth, the white house buried the call. ninth, president trump confirmed he wantedded ukraine to conduct -- he wanted ukraine to conduct investigations in his own words. and finally, president trump did not care about anti-corruption efforts in ukraine. let's go through these one by
one. first, perhaps the simplest way that we all know that president trump wanted these investigations done solely to help his personal political interest and not the national interests is that he merely wanted a public announcement of the investigations, not an insurance that they would actually be done. if his desire for these investigations was truly to assist ukraine's anti-corruption efforts to have because he was worried about the larger issues of corruption in ukraine, someone actually investigating the facts underlying the investigations would have been most important. but he didn't care about the facts or the issues. he just wanted the political benefit of the public announcement of an investigation that he could use to damage his political opponent and boost his own political standing. ambassador gordon sondland, who is at the center of the scheme, made this quite clear in his
testimony. >> now, for mr. guiliani by this point, you understood that in order to get that white house meeting that you wanted president certificate e eleven sky to have and that -- president zelensky to have and that he definitely wanted to have, that the president of ukraine would have to -- >> they would have to announce they were going to do it. >> right. because giuliani and president trump didn't actually care if they did them, right? >> i never heard mr. goldman, anyone say that the investigations had to start or had to be completed. the only thing i heard from mr. giuliani or otherwise was that they had to be announced in some form. and that form kept changing. >> announced publicly? >> announced publicly. >> the other evidence gathered by the house's investigation confirms ambassador sondland's understanding. for example, recently the house received documents from lev parnas, an associate of rudy
giulianis, now indicted in response to a subpoena. as you know, parnas was indicted by the southern district of new york for crimes including election law violations. as participant of the documents that parnas turned over, we obtained handwritten notes apparently taken sometime in 2019. one of those notes lays out the scheme very clearly and succinctly. now, it's not every day that you get a document like this, what appears to be a member of the conspiracy writing down the object of the conspiracy. but that's exactly what we see here. the scheme that ultimately was directed by president trump to coerce ukraine to announce the investigation of the bidens. i repeat, to announce the investigations. not investigate, not conduct. the only thing that mattered was the public announcement. as this note says with an
asterisk, get zelensky to announce that the biden case will be investigated. and in early september after mr. giuliani and ambassadors volcker and sondland -- volker and sondland had tried, president trump made this clear himself. he ec plained to ambassador bolton that he wants zelensky in a public box; that is, president trump would only be satisfied if zelensky made a public announcement of the investigations which he subsequently agreed to do on cnn. here's ambassador taylor's testimony on this. >> and so even though president trump was saying repeatedly that there is, there is no quid pro quo, ambassador sondland relayed to you that the facts of the matter were that the white house meeting expect security assistance were conditioned on the announcement of these investigations, is that your understanding? >> that's my understanding. >> now, you reference a
television interview and a desire for president trump to put zelensky in a public box, which you also have in quotes. was that in your notes? >> it was in my notes. >> and what did you understand that to mean, to put zelensky in a public box? >> i understood that to mean that president trump, through ambassador sunday, was asking -- sondland, was asking for president zelensky to very publicly commit to these investigations. that it was not sufficient to do this in private, that this needed to be a very public statement. >> the fact that the president only wanted a public announcement and not the investigations to actually be conducted demonstrates that his desire for investigations was simply and solely to boost his re-election efforts.
number two, turning to the second reason president trump's agents who helped carry out this scheme confirmed that his desire for ukraine to announce the investigations was solely for his personal political benefit, as we will explain in more details in a few minutes, president trump never expressed any interest in the united states anti-corruption policy towards ukraine, nor did he care about ukraine's war against russia. he only expressed interest in one thing, investigating his political opponent. this was unequivocally confirmed by the testimony of david holmes, the senior official in the u.s. embassy in kyiv. the day after the july 25th call holmes overheard a conversation between president trump and ambassador sondland. the only topic they discussed related to ukraine was the investigations. here's his testimony. >> ambassador sondland placed a call on his mobile phone.
i heard him announce himself several times along the lines of gordon sondland holding for the president. it appears to be that he was being transferred through several layers of switchboards and assistance, and i then noticed his demeanor changed and understood that he had been connected to president trump. while ambassador sondland's phone was not on speakerphone, i could hear the president's voice through the earpiece of the phone. the president's voice was loud and recognizable. and ambassador sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time, presumably because of the loud volume. i heard ambassador sondland greet the president and explain he was of calling from kciv, i heard president trump clarify that he was in ukraine. ambassador sondland replied, yes, he was in ukraine and went on to state that president zelensky, quote, loves your ass. so i heard president trump ask, so he's going to do the investigation. ambassador sondland replied that he's going to do it adding that
president zelensky will do anything you want him to do. >> after the call, the investigations were the president's sole interest with ukraine because -- and this is very important -- they benefit the president. >> after the call ended, ambassador sondland remarked that the president was in a bad mood. as he stated, it was often the case early in the morning. i then took the opportunity to ask ambassador sondland for his candied impression of -- candid impression of the president's views on ukraine. in particular, i asked if it was true that the president did not give a expletive about ukraine. ambassador sondland agreed the president did not give an expletive about ukraine. i asked why not. ambassador sondland exclaimed that the president only cares about big stuff. i noted there was big stuff going on in ukraine, like a war with russia. ambassador sondland replied that he meant big tough that benefited the president like the
biden investigation that mr. giuliani was pushing. the conversation then moved on to other topics. >> in this understanding by ambassador sondland is independently confirmed by president trump's own interaction with ukraine. during his two telephone calls with president zelensky, first on april 21st and then on july 25th, president trump did not refer to any anti-corruption efforts or the war against russia. he never even uttered the word corruption. instead, he only poke about investigating -- spoke about investigating his political call opponents. he later confirmed this narrow and singular focus to the press on october 3rd when asked about the ukraine scheme. he said, well, i would think if they were honest about it, they would start a major investigation into the bidennings. it's a very simple answer. here's that conference. >> [inaudible]
hope zelensky would do about the bidens after your phone call? >> well, i would think that if they were honest about it, they'd start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. >> so we know from witnesses, the president's personal agents is and most importantly the president himself the only thing president trump cared about with ukraine was his investigations to benefit himself. to see this even more darkly, it's helpful to -- starkly, it's helpful to remember what head of state calls are normally used for. talk to any former occupant of the value office, and they will tell you that the disparity in power between the president of the united states and other heads of state is vast. since world war ii and consistent with the requirement to faithfully execute their oath of office, u.s. prime ministers from both political -- u.s. presidents from both political parties have made good use of the disparity in power in telephone calls with foreign
leaders. they've used those calls to secure commitments that bolstered american security and prosperity. acting as our chief diplomat, president reagan used his calls to european allies like prime minister margaret thatcher to rally the world against the soviet threat. the shining city on the hill standing up to the evil empire. his calls laid the foundation for landmark non-proliferation agreements that averted a nuclear armageddon. it was during a phone call on christmas day, 1991, that president george h.w. bush learned that mikhail gorbachev intended to resign as soviet premier, marking the end of the soviet union. historians credit his depth diplomacy including numerous one-on-one phone calls for bringing about a peaceful end to the cold war. following september 11th, president george w. bush used his calls with heads of state to rally global support for the u.s. campaign to defeatal al
qaeda. defeat al-qaeda, to work with our allies to protect and defend the u.s. national security and combat terrorism. finish president obama used his calls with foreign leaders to contain the fallout from the global economic crisis. assembled an international coalition to fight the islamic state and, of course, to rally support for ukraine following russia's invasion of crimea. no matter what you think of the policy views or priorities of these prior presidents, there is no question that they are examples of the normal diplomacy that happens during presidential telephone calls. and there is no doubt when you're the president of the united states and you call a foreign leader, you are on the clock for the american people. consistent with the faithful execution of his or her oath of office, a president's first and only objective is to get foreign leaders to do what is in the best interests of the united
states. that's not what happened on july 25th. on that date president trump used a head of state call with the leader of ukraine to help himself, to press a foreign leader to investigate the president's political opponent in order to help his re-election campaign. president trump abused his authority as commander in chief and chief diplomat to benefit himself, and he betrayed the interests of the american people when he did so. let's go to the third reason that we know the president put his interests first. the third reason you know that the investigations were politically motivated is the central role played by president trump's personal attorney, mr. giuliani, who has never had an official role in government, in this government, but instead was at all times representing the president in his personal capacity. this is no dispute about this. for example, mr. giuliani made
this point clearly in miss may 10 letter to the -- in his may 10 letter to the president of ukraine himself where he wrote: i am private counsel to president donald j. trump. just to be precise, i represent him as a private citizen, not as president of the united states. this is quite common under american law because the duties and privileges of a president and a private citizen are not the same. separate representation is the usual process. mr. giuliani also repeated this publicly. for example, he confirmed this point on may 9th in the "new york times." where he said, well, many things. he said we're meddling in an election -- we're not meddling in an election, we're meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do. somebody could say it's improper and this isn't foreign policy.
he went on to say, referring to the president, he basically knows what i'm doing, sure. as his lawyer. my only client is the president of the united states, he said. he's the one i have an obligation to report to, tell him what happened. think about that. the president is using his personal lawyer to ask ukraine for investigations that aren't, quote, foreign policy. but that will be very, very helpful to the president personally. it's not often you get it so graphically as we do here. let's go to the fourth reason that these investigations were never part of u.s. policy. it wasn't just that president trump used his personal lawyer. it's also that what he was
asking for was never a part of u.s. policy. witnesses told us that president trump's investigations were not in his official prepared talking policies or briefing materials. to the con tear. they went against official policy and diverged from our national security interests. all three witnesses -- tim morrison at the national security council, lieutenant colonel alex vindman at the security council, jennifer williams who listened to the july 25th call -- testified that when president trump demanded that president zelensky investigate the bidens, he had completely departed from the talking points that they had prepared for him. now before i get to the video clip, i just want to underscore this: he's not obligated to use his talking points. he's not obligated to follow the recommendations of his staff no matter how sound they may be. but what this makes clear is it
wasn't u.s. policy that he was conducting. it was his private, personal interests that he was conducting. if it was u.s. policy, it probably would have been in the talking points and briefing material. but, of course, it was not. let's look at mr. morrison's testimony on this point. >> now, mr. morse soften, were these refers to crowd strike, the server in 2016 election, and to vice president biden and his son, were they included in the president's talking points? >> they were not. >> and here is lieutenant colonel vindman on this point. >> colonel vinld match, you are the national security council's direct for ukraine. did you participate in preparing the talking points for the president's call? >> i did, i prepared them. >> so you prepared them, they were then reviewed and edited by
multiple senior officers at the nsc and the white house, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> did the talking points for the president contain any discussion of investigations into the 2016 election, the bidens or burisma? >> they did not. >> are you aware of any written product from the national security council suggesting that investigations into the 2016 election, the bidens or burisma are part of the official policy of the united states? >> no, i am not. >> dr. hill also elaborated on this point. >> my point is that we at the national security council were not told either by the president directly or ambassador bolton that we were to be focused on these issues as a matter of u.s. foreign policy toward ukraine. so when you're talking about the ukraine in 2016, i never personally heard the president
say anything specific about 2016 in ukraine. i've heard him say plenty of things publicly, but i was not given the directive. in fact, i was given a directive on july 10th by ambassador bolton very clearly to today out of domestic politics. >> so to be clear, when president trump asked for these investigations, he was not asking for them based on an official u.s. policy. his top official advisers had not even been told about these investigations. to the contrary, they were told to stay out of u.s. politics. and it gets worse. it was not just that president trump ignored official u.s. policy in the talking points he was given, it was that what he was doing withholding support from ukraine was actually contrary to and harmful to u.s. policy. there is clear and undisputed bipartisan support for ukraine. ukraine is our ally. once what's more, they're at war with our adversary.
so our goal should be helping president certificate eleven key's anti-corruption -- zelensky's anti-corruption reforms in any way that we can. president trump's own national defense strategy stated that the united states and its european allies, quote: will deter russian adventurism, end quote. a clear reference to russia's usurpation of ukrainian territory and southernty. consistent with -- sovereignty. consistent with that strategy, we have currently approximately 68,000 troops stationed in europe. roughly 10,000 of those u.s. troops are deployed on nato's eastern border with russia to countries like poland, hungary, lithuania and bulgaria. these american forces are literally holding the line against another land grabby vladimir putin -- grab by vladimir putin. the author of that strategy, former u.s. national security adviser lieutenant general h.r. mcmaster, issued this stark warning about russia's
aggression: for too long some nations have looked the other way in the face of these threats. russia brazen hi and implausibly denies its actions, and we have failed to impose sufficient costs. the kremlin's confidence growing as its agents conduct their sustained campaigns to undermine our confidence in ourselves and in one another. what general mcmaster says obviously makes sense. russia's confidence, sadly, is growing. we need to stand up to them. p and that's why we support ukraine, to help defeat russian aggression. .. our confidence in one another
. that's what president zelensky was most worried about when he got on the line with the president on july 25 . whether ukraine could have confidence in us support. nearly 70 percent of ukraine's territory, i'm sorry, seven percent of ukraine's territory had been annexed by russian backed forces . more than 15,000 troops had been lost in a hotwar over the past five years . but when president zelensky raised the issue of us military aid needed to confront russian aggression, president trump did nothing to reassure the ukrainian leader of our steadfast support for ukraine's sovereignty instead, he made personal demands. it is for these reasons president trumps investigations went against official us policy . witnesses confirmed that president trumps request
actually diverged not just from our policy but from our own national security . as doctor hill testified, ambassador sondland in carrying out president trumps scheme quote, was being involved in a domestic political errand and we were being involved in national security policy and those two things had just diverged and as ambassador taylor elaborated, areholding up of security systems that would go to a country that is fighting aggression from russia for no good policy reason, no good substantive reason, no good national security reason is wrong . as these officialsso correctly observed , there's no question thatpresident trumps political errand and our national security diverged . that he did this to advance
his reelection. not toadvance us national security goals . and that he did it for no good reason. but the political one. but it's more than that. it's more than our national security policy. we as a country are meant to embody the solution to corruption. our country is based on promoting the rule of law . and here what the president did attacks another of the united states strengths. that of our ideals and our values. part of that is ensuring the integrity of our democracy and our politicalinstitutions . it is a fundamental american value that underlying our democracy that we do not use official powers to ask for investigations of our political opponents to gain a political advantage. when president trump asked for a leader to investigate
his political opponents, he abused the broad authority provided to the president of the united states. witness testimony confirms this , vice president pencils advisor jennifer williams was concerned by the president's focus on domestic political issues rather than us national security because the president is not supposed to use foreign governments for political errands. she characterized the call as a domestic politicalmatter . here is hertestimony . >> during my closed-door deposition members of the committee asked about my personal views and whether i had any concerns about the july 25 call. as i testified then i found the july 25 phone call unusual because in contrast to other presidential calls i had observed it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter . >> lieutenant colonel vindman thought the call wasunrelated to the talking points he had drafted for the president .
>> it is improper for the president of the unitedstates to demand a foreign government investigate a us citizen and a political opponent . it was also clear if ukraine pursued an investigation that was also clear if ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 elections the bidens and burisma it would be interpreted as a partisan play, undermining us security and investing russia's strategic observances in the region. >> lieutenant colonel vindman as a reminder is a purple heart veteran. as we all know clearly it's improper for the president of the united states to demand a foreign government to investigate a us citizen and a political opponent . and it wasn't just that colonel vindman thought it was wrong.it was so concerned he warned the ukraine to not to get involved in our domestic politics.
in may lieutenant colonel vindman grew concerned by the pressure campaign he witnessed in the media waged primarily by rudy giuliani area during a meeting with president zelensky on may 20, lieutenant colonel vindman were the ukrainian leader to stay out of us politics because that is our official us policy . >> during a bilateral meeting in which the delegation was meeting with president zelensky and his team i offered to pieces of advice. to be particularly cautious with regards to ukraine, to be cautious with regards to russia and its desire to provoke ukraine and the second one was to stay out of us domesticpolicy . >> you mean politics? >> i mean politics. >> why did you feel it appropriate to advise president zelensky to stayout of us politics ?
>> chairman, in the march and april time frame it became clear that there were actors in the us public actors, nongovernmental actors that were promoting the idea of investigations and into the 2016 ukrainian interference and it was consistent with us policy to advise any country, all the countries in my portfolio, any country in the world cannot participate in the us domestic politics so i was passing the sameadvice consistent with us policy . >> he once again makes this clear. it was consistent with us policy to advise any country, all the countries in my portfolio, any country in the world, we do not participate in us domestic politics . deputy secretary of state george kent testified the president's political investigations had nothing to
do with american anticorruption efforts in the ukraine. which have consistently focused on building institutions and never pacific investigations and that if we do ask countries to do our political errands, it threatens our credibility as a democracy. >> you also testified on october 15 in the deposition about on the mental reforms necessary for ukraine to fight corruption and to transform the country and you cited the importance of reforming certain institutions, notably the security service in the prosecutor general's office. was investigating president trumps political opponents a part of those necessary reforms? was it on that list ofyours and indeed wasn't on any list ? >> know they weren't. >> in fact historically is it
not true that a major problem in ukraine has been its misuse of prosecutors, precisely to conduct investigations of political opponents? that's a legacy i dare suggest from the soviet era where as you stated as in your testimony prosecutors like the kgb were instruments of oppression . >> i said that and i believe it's true. >> finally mister kent, for as long as i can remember us foreign policy has been predicated on advancing principled entrance into democratic values, notably freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, re-, fair and open elections and the rule of law. mister kent, when american leaders ask foreign governments to investigate their potential rivals, doesn't that make it harder for us to advocate on behalf of of those democratic
values? >> i believe it makes it more difficult for our diplomatic representatives overseas to carry out those policy goals . >> how is that sir? >> there is the question of credibility. they hear diplomats on the ground saying one thing and usleaders and something else . >> the bottom line is this. it was in the best interest of our country to help the ukraine, to give them the military aid , to fight one of our greatest adversaries and help promote the rule of law. and what was in president trumps personal interest was the opposite. to pressure the ukraine to conduct investigations against his 20/20 rival to helpensure his reelection . and when what is best for the country and what was best for donald trump diverged, president trump put himself above the bestinterests of our country . let's now go to the fifth
reason that you know the presidentput himself first . the fifth reason is that the request for these investigations departed not just from us policy from established us government channels. on the july 25 call president trump told president zelensky that he should mister giuliani and attorney general bar but after the july 25 transcript was released the department of justice disclaimed any knowledge or involvement in the president political investigations. the department of justice statement from the day, the july 25 call wasreleased says this . this was from september 25. the president has not spoken with the attorney general
about having ukraine investigate anything relating to former vice president biden or his son. the president has not asked the attorney general to contact ukraine on this or any other matter . the attorney general has not communicated with the ukraine on this or any other subject. nor has the attorney general discussed this matter or anything relating to the ukraine with rudy giuliani. and this is pretty extraordinary. you can say a lot of things about the attorney general. but you cannot say that he ever has looked to pursue something he thought was not in the president's interest. this is pretty extraordinary. where he is saying the moment this transcript was publicly released, i've got nothing to do with this scheme. i don't know why they brought me up in this call, i don't know why the president brought me up in this call,he hasn't asked me to do anything about this . i want nothing to do with this business . i suspect the attorney general can recognize a drug deal when he sees it to. and he wanted nothing todo with it .
now, if this was some legitimate investigation, you would think the department of justice would have a role, that's traditionally how an investigation with an international component would work . but this wasn't the case . this wasn't the case. andthe attorney general wanted nothing to do with it . if these were legitimate investigations that were in the national interest, why was bill barr's justice department soquick to divorce themselves from it ? the simple answer is that as we see so clearly, they were against us official policy and our national security. the justice department wanted nothing to do with it and by asking for these investigations, the president was abusing his power. let's go to the six reason you know president trump put himself first. it wasn't just that these witnesses told us in the impeachment hearings about
this being wrong. they reported the president's conduct in real-time it's not just that they came forward later. they came forward in real-time to report the president's conduct and of course you've seen over the last couple of days how many times people are told go talk to the lawyers. tim morrison, a former public and congressional staffer and kernel vindman were sufficiently concerned by what they heard president trump solicit on july 25 call that they both immediately went to thelawyers . john eisenberg,the nsc legal advisor . let's take a look. >> mister morrison shortly after you heard the july 25 call, you testified that you alerted the nsc legal advisor john eisenberg pretty much right away, is that right? >> correct.
>> you indicated in your opening statement or at least from your deposition that you went to mister eisenberg out of concern over the potential political fallout if the call record became public and not because you thought it was illegal, is that right ? >> correct. >> what you would agree right asking a foreign government to investigate a domestic political rival is inappropriate, would you not ? >> it's not what we recommend the president discuss. >> i think that's a profound understatement. mister morrison clearly recognized that the request to investigate biden and burisma was about us domestic politics and not national security. lieutenant colonel vindman knew this to and he reported his concerns to the white house counsel. >> you said you also reported this incident to the nsc lawyers, is that right? >> correct.
>> what was their response? >> john eisenberg said he took notes while i was talking and hesaid that he would look into it . >> why did you report this meeting and this conversation to the nsc lawyers ? >> because it was inappropriate and following the meeting i had a short conversation on the post meeting meeting in the war room, a short conversation with doctor hill and we discussed the idea of meeting to report this. >> in fact, colonel vindman reported concerns twice. mister morrison didso multiple times as well . they were of course the only ones. at this slide shows doctor hill reported her concerns to the nsc legal advisor, mister kent reported his concerns of the state department's failure to respond to house
document requests. the lawyers were awfully busy. and why did president trump's own officials, not so-called never trumpers report this conduct in real time? because they knew it was wrong. doctor hill said it was improper and it was inappropriate and we've said that in real time. lieutenant colonel vindman said the july 25 call was wrong and he had a duty to report. ambassador taylor said quote, holding up of security assistance for no good policy reason, no good substantive reason, no good national security reason is wrong. mister morrison reported the call pretty much right away. and recommended to them that we restrict access to the package. and ms. williams said that the july 25 call struck me as unusual and inappropriate and
more political in nature. the consensus is once again clear. presidents demand for political investigations was improper , inappropriate and wrong and again confirms that these requested investigations were not about anything except donald trump's political gain. let's go to the seventh reason why you know president trump put himself first. american officials weren't the only ones who recognized the political nature of these requests. ukrainian officials did too. and that brings us to the seventh reason we know that this was against our national interest. ukrainian officials themselves expressed concern that these corrupt investigations would drag them into us domestic politics. for example in mid july july ambassador taylor texted sondland and taylor explained president zelensky's
reluctance to become a pawn in us politics. ambassador taylor said gordon, one thing kurt and i talked about yesterday was sasha! and he's a top adviser to president zelensky, sasha's point that president zelensky is sensitive about ukraine being taken seriously. not merely as an instrument in washingtondomestic reelection politics . so here you have sasha damiuk affirming his president wants to be takenseriously . it's pretty extraordinary when a foreign leader asked to communicate to this country that they want to be
taken seriously and not just as some kind of pawn for political purposes. when an ally wholly dependent on us for military support, for economic support, for diplomatic support has to say please take us seriously, but this is what the ukrainians are saying. they understood this wasn't american policy. as much as we did. and they didn't want to be used as upon . ambassador taylor explained his text during his testimony . the whole thrust of this irregular channel was to get these investigations which danyliuk and presumably zelensky were resisting because they didn't want to be seen to be interfering, but also to be a pawn. so this is an important point to inches it wasn't just that
they didn't want to be seen as getting involved in us politics because if they did and it looked like they were getting involved on the side of donald trump than it would hurt the support with democrats, it looked like they were getting involved in the other side . it wasn'tjust that , there was nobenefit to the ukraine to be dragged into this . there was no benefit to the ukraine by this. but they also didn't want to be viewed as upon. president zelensky has his own electorate. he's this new leader, a former comedian. and he wants to be taken seriously. he needs to be taken seriously because if the us won't taken seriously, you can bet vladimir putin isn't going to taken seriously the perception not just that there's a rift that he can't get military aid or it's in doubt or in question but the impression that he's nothing more than upon, you could see
howproblematic that was for president zelensky . in other words, ukrainian officials understood just as our officials understood, just as all those folks you just saw, morrison and vindman and hill and others that had to go to the lawyers, all the people who listen to that call and understood this is wrong . and morrison goes on to say that he's no legal expert and can't really opine on the legality of what happened in this call. but they all knew it was wrong. they also knew that it was damaging to bipartisan support. they knew it was damaging to our national security, but here we see it wasn't just our people, it was ukrainians who also understood that it was a pure political errand were being asked to perform. that's no way to treat an ally at war.
now, it wasn't just the testimony of us officials on this area and we know that directly from the ukrainians. indeed, we notice directly from president zelensky himself. who said quote, i'm sorry but i don't want to be involved to democratic open elections of the usa. here's zelensky saying i don't want to be involved. i don't want to beinvolved . and he shouldn't be involved. he shouldn't be involved in our elections, that's not his job and he knows that and is a tragic fact that the world's oldest democracy has to be told by this struggling democracy, this isn't what you are supposed to do. but that's what's happening here.
let's go to the eighth reason why you can know that president trump put himself first . and that is there's no serious dispute that the white house tried to bury the call record. they tried to bury the call record. although president trump has repeatedly insisted that his july 25 conversation with president zelensky was perfect , the white house apparently believes otherwise. their own lawyers apparently believe otherwise . following a head of state call the white house normally issues a public summary or readout to lock in any commitments made by the foreign leader and publicly reinforce the core elements of the president's message. however, no public readout was posted on the white house website following the july 25 call. i wonder why that was area
the white house instead provided reporters in a short incomplete summary of course omitted that major elements of that conversation. the short summary said today, president donald rick j trump spoke by telephone with president vladimir zelensky to congratulate him on his recent election. president trump and the president zelensky discussed ways to strengthen the relationship between the united states and ukraine including energy and economic cooperation . both leaders expressed they look forward to the opportunity to meet. that was it. i don't know about you but that does not seem like an accurate summary of that call. as you can see, that summary did not mention president trumps repetition of a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 election promoted by russian president putin. the summary did not mention president trumps demand that ukraine announced an
investigation into his domestic political rival, former vice president biden. the summary did not mention that president trump raised, praised a corrupt ukrainian prosecutor who to this day continues to feed false claims to the president through rudy giuliani. if the call was perfect, if these investigations were legitimate, if the white house had nothing to hide, then ask yourselves why did the white house readout omit any mention of these investigations? why not publicly confirm that ukraine had been asked by the president to pursue them? why? because it would have exposed the president's corruption. but sanitizing the call readout wasn't the only step taken to cover-up the presidents wrongdoing. the white house counsel's office also took irregular efforts to hide the call record away on a secure
server used to store highly classified information area national security council senior director tim morrison use all video clips of testified that he requested that access to the electronic file of the call record the restricted that it couldn't leak . mister morrison said the call record did not meet the requirements to be placed on the highly classified system. and mister heisenberg later claimed the call record had been placed on a highly classified system by mistake. sure, it was a very innocent mistake. however, mistake or no mistake, it remained on that system until at least the third week of september 2019. so that mistake continued from july all the way through september. why were they trying to hide what the president did?
this was us policy. if they were proud of it, if they were interested in corruption, if this was about corruption, it had it had nothing to do with the president'sreelection campaign, if biden was an interesting coincidence, why did they bury the record ? why did they hide the record? why did they put the record on a system meant for highly classified information which the folks in the intelligence committee and many others can tell you is usually used for things like covert action operations. the most sensitive secrets. well, this was a very sensitive political secrets. this was a covert action of a different kind and character . this was a corrupt action. and it was in and they knew it was wrong and that's why they hit it.
innocent people don't behave that way. let's go to the ninth reason that you know president trump put himself first. this is perhaps the clearest reason that we can tell that all president trump cared about is that president trump confirmed his desire for theseinvestigations . in his statements to his agents and when the scheme was discovered to the american people. the very day after he solicited foreign interference to help him cheat in the 20/20 election, president trump spoke with gordon sondland who was in ukraine. president trump had only one question for ambassador sondland. so, he's going to do the investigation? here is david holmes recounting the call between president trump and sondland.
>> i then heard president trump ask is he going to do the investigation? ambassador sondland replied he's going to do it adding president zelensky will do anything you ask him to do. >> here we are this is july 26. president zelensky doesn't want to be used as upon, he was drawn into us politics. at this point he feels he has no choice. sondland tells david holmes he's going to do it. of course, that's the only thing the president asked about in the call. sondland says he going to do it adding zelensky will do anything you ask them to do including apparently be his pawn. now, although sondland didn't remember the details of this conversation he did not dispute holmes recollection of it. ambassador sondland had an interesting take on it which you should hear. >> actually, i would have
been more surprised if president trump had not mentioned investigations, particularly given what we were hearing from mister giuliani about the president's concerns . >>that's pretty telling . that in this call the day after he's had this head of state call, they finally got the call arranged between these two presidents , and ambassador sondland, this major supporter of the president says i would have been more surprised if he didn't bring it up. the president doesn't bringup the war with russia. doesn't bring up anything else . he just brings this up and sondland confirms yes, frankly i would have been surprised if it were any different because we were all in the loop here . everybody understood what this president wanted and
apparently everybody understood how wrong it was, how damaging. september 2019, even after president trump learned his scheme was in danger of becoming publicly exposed, he would not give up. he is still expected ukraine to announce the investigations into joe biden and this alleged ukrainian interference in 2016. according to three witnesses president trump emphasized ambassador sondland on a call september 7 that president zelensky quote, should want to do it . and then you know the president's remarks on october 3 . >>. [inaudible] i would think that if they were honest about it, they'd start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. >> here we hear again from
the president's own words what his primary object is. and his primary object is helping his reelection campaign . helping to cheat in his reelection campaign. after all that we've been through, after all that we wentthrough with the russian interference in our election and all that cost , he was at it again. unrepentant, undeterred . if anything, and bold and by escaping accountability from his invitation and willful use of russian hacked materials in the last election and unconstrained. this is a president who truly feels that under article 2 he can do whatever he wants . and that includes coercing an ally to help him cheat in an election.
and if he is successful, the election is not a remedy for that . a remedy in which the president can cheat is no remedy at all. which is why we are here. this was not about corruption which brings me to number 10. the 10 reasons you know president trump put himself first. ironically the president has argued his current corrupt conduct in soliciting shannon investigations from the ukraine was driven by his concerns about corruption in the ukraine. as attempt to legitimize his efforts is simply not credible, not the least bit believable given the mountain of evidence and record of president trump's corrupt intent. there is no evidence that president trump cared one wit about anticorruption efforts at all. that's the 10th reason you know this was all political.
first, the evidence and the president trump's own public statements that make clear that when the presidenttalks about corruption in ukraine , he's only talking about that little sliver of alleged corruption that just somehow happened to the affected by his own political interests, specifically to investigations that would benefit his reelection. for example on september 25 in a joint press availability with president zelensky the man who doesn't want to be upon at the united nations general assembly president trump emphasized his understanding of corruption to relate tothe biden investigation . >> now, when biden's son walks away with billions of dollars from the ukraine and he knows nothing and they're paying him millions of dollars, that's corruption. >> you can imagine how president zelensky feels sitting there and hearing this.
the man who does not want to be upon. the man who doesn't want to be pulled into american politics and there is the president at it again trying to draw his nation in even while they've got a war to fight. another example was on september 30 when president trump stated: >> the new president of the ukraine ran on the basis of no corruption. that's how he got elected and i believe he really means it but there was a lot of corruption having to do with the 2016 election against us. and we want to get to the bottom of it and it's very important that we do . thankyou . >> this is bringing up the crowd strikes conspiracy theory but the president says corruption against us. he's notconcerned about actual corruption cases, only matters that affect him personally . two days later presidenttrump again tried to link
corruption with the biden investigation . >> the only thing that matters is the transcript of the actual conversation that i had with the president of the ukraine. it was perfect. we're looking at congratulations, we're looking at doing things together and what are we looking at? we're looking at corruption and i believe in 1999 there was a corruption bill passed between both countries. where i have a duty to report corruption and let me tell you something, biden's son is corrupt and biden is corrupt . >> two days after that the president again equated corruption with actions by others to hurt him politically.
>> if we feel there's corruption like i feel there was in the 2016 campaign, there was tremendous corruption against me. if we feel there's corruption we have a right to go to a foreign country. >> here again the president is pushing out the kremlin talking point of ukrainian interference in 2016 and the crowdstrike conspiracy theory. when he's talking about corruption he talking about perceived efforts to hurt him. it's personal, it's political but it is not anticorruption policy. ambassador volker confirmed this fact. fighting corruption in the ukraine in fact refers to the investigation of the bidens and 2016. volker said. >> in hindsight i understood others saw the idea of investing in corruption involving the ukrainian company of burisma as equivalent toinvestigating vice president biden . >> again, although president trump, mister giuliani have
used the general term corruption to describe what they want the ukraine to investigate, it wasn't about anything actually related to corruption. the evidence including the president's own statements made clear this is simply code for the specific investigations that president trump wanted ukraine to pursue. second, as we've discussed, the president's timing of his purported concerns about corruption and ukraine make them all the more suspect. before news of vice president biden's candidacy broke, president trump showed no interest in ukraine. he gave the ukrainehundreds of millions of dollars under a regime that lost power because of melting concerns about corruption. so here we are , the president and these prior years giving money to a government of mister
poroschenko and zelensky runs an underdog campaign. underdog campaign, zelensky against poroschenko and what's the heart of zelensky's campaign? the poroschenko government is corrupt and he's ready to clean it up . he's the reformer. and he succeeds because the ukrainians really want to clean up their government area we see this reformer win . and carry the hopes of ukrainian people. now, president trump had no problem giving money appropriated by congress to the ukraine under the corrupt regime of poroschenko. or the corruption that existed during poroschenko, but a reformer gets elected,
devoted to fighting corruption, suddenly there's a problem.there was a reason to give more support to the ukraine. this was the central pillar of his campaign. he came from outside the government. people placed their hopes in him. you can see president zelensky trying to flatter the president in that call saying i'm for draining the swamp to. he ran on a campaign of reform. so no problem giving money to the prior regime where there were abundant concerns about corruption but you get a reformer and in office and now there's a problem? we know what changed. theemergence of joe biden as a candidate . prior regime, corruption was no problem. reformer comes into office,
suddenly there's a problem. if you need any more graphic example, you looked at that call . no one disputes that marie yovanovitch was and is a devoted fighter against corruption. that's her reputation, that was part of the reason they had to get rid of her. you look at that july 25 call , the president is badmouthing this person fighting corruption. he's praising the former ukrainian prosecutor who is corrupt area are we really believing thisis about fighting corruption ? no problem supporting aformer regime with corruption problems , but problems supporting areformer trying to clean it up . no problems with a corrupt former ukrainian prosecutor that he praises in that call. good man. problems with a us ambassador who has devoted her life to this country.
it wasn't until 2019 after biden emerged as a considerable opponent, after special counsel mueller confirmed thatpresident trump's campaign had welcomed russianassistance in 2016 . that president trump , we are to believe, suddenly developed an interest in anticorruption reforms in the ukraine. never mind that his own defense department said they were meeting all the benchmarks. this new administration, the reform or was doing exactly what we wanted them to do, never mind that. now that biden is in the picture he's got a problem. and third, when given the opportunity to raise the issue of corruption with ukrainians, the president never did. despite the request of his staff, the word corruption never crosses his lips.
just the bidens and crowdstrike. when the president first spoke to president zelenskyon april 21 he was supposed to, he was asked to by his staff bring up corruption . i think, go back and checkbut i think the readout of that call, that congratulatory call said he brought up corruption . am i right? my staff says i'm right. so april 21 he's asked to bring up corruption. thecongratulatory call with president zelensky, great reformer . he doesn't bring it up but you know, the readout says that hedid . it was just like the readout of the july 25 call. misleading.
of course, the readout in the second call is far more misleading because there was far more to mislead about. but in those two conversations, there's never a mention of the word corruption . but we are to believe according to the bidens this is what our president was concerned about in the ukraine . here's lieutenant colonel vindman. >> colonel vindman, if i could turn your attention to the april 21 call, the first call between president trump and president zelensky , did you prepare a talking point for the president to use during that call ? >> yes i did. >> did those talking points include rooting out corruption in the ukraine west and mark. >> yes, that was something the president was supposed to raise in the conversation with president zelensky those were the recommended talking pointscleared through the nsc staff . >> yes.
>> you listen in on that call? >> yes i did. >> the white house has now released the record of that call. did president trump ever mentioned corruption in the april 21 call? >> to the best of my recollection he did not. >> president trump alsodid not mention the word corruption on the july 25 call. here's lieutenant colonel vindman confirming that as well . actually, that slide is what i was referring to earlier with the good work of my staff. this is the readout of the april 21 call which ends by saying, it says president trump spoke today with vladimir zelensky to
congratulate him in the april 21 election. the president wish him success and called the election an important moment in ukraine's history noting the peaceful and democratic matter of the electoral process. president trump underscored the support of the united states for ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and expressed his commitment to work together with president zelensky and the ukrainian people to implement reformsthat strengthen democracy, increase prosperity and root out corruption . except that he didn't. let's hear colonel vindman . we don't have that? okay. we've heard enough from colonel vindman but president trump had the ear of president zelensky during the april 21 and july 25 calls. he did not raise the issue, the word corruption a single time. there's ample other evidence
as well. white house officials made clear to president trump that president zelensky was anticorruption, that president trump should help him fight corruption. the president agencies and departments supported this too. the defense department and state department certified that ukraine satisfied all anticorruption benchmarks before president trump froze the aid. thepoint is this. the evidence is consistent . it establishes clearly that president trump did not care about corruption . to the contrary he was pursuing a corrupt aim. he wanted ukraine to do the exact thing that american policy officials have tried for years to stop foreign governments from doing. corrupt investigations of political rivals. to sum up: the evidence is unmistakably clear. on july 25 while acting as our nation's chief diplomat and speaking to the leader of the ukraine, president trump
solicited foreign interference in the us election for one particular objective: to benefit his own reelection. to seek help in cheating in a us election.he requested, effectively demanded, a personal political favor. that ukraine announce two bogus investigations that were only of value to himself . this was not about foreign policy. in fact, it was inconsistent with anddiverged from american national security and american values . his own officials knew this and they reported it. ukraine knew this and his own white house attempted to bury the call. the president has confirmed what he wanted in his own words . he has made it clear he didn't care about corruption. he cared only abouthimself .
now it is up to us to do something about it. to make sure that a president, that this president, cannot pursue an objective that places himself above our country. >> well, we've gone through the object of president trump's scheme. getting ukraine to announce that investigations would be held that would help him cheat and gain an advantage in the 20/20 election. those sham investigations were to advance his personal political interests, not the national interestsof america . let's drill down on how. how the president abused the
power of his office and executed his corrupt scheme. as noted earlier, the president executed his scheme through three official actions. first, by soliciting for an election interference. second, by conditioning and official oval office meeting on ukraine doing or at least announcing the political investigations and third, by withholding military aid to pressure ukraine to announce those investigations. all three of president from official actions were an abuse of his power as president and done for personal gain. but the original view was president trump elicitation of election interference from a foreign country, ukraine. he tried to get an announcement of investigations designed to help him in 2020 presidential
elections so let's start there. resident trumps corrupt demands of president zelensky in the july 25 phone call were not just a spontaneous outburst area they were a dramatic crescendo in a month-long scheme to extort ukraine into assisting his 20/20 reelection campaign. as was shown, there's evidence of president trump himself demanding that ukraine conduct the investigation. but president trump also delegated his authority to his political agent, rudy giuliani. to oversee and direct this scheme was beginning in late 2018 and early 2019. andhere's how that scheme worked . first, in january 2019, mister giuliani and his associates discussed the
investigations with the then current and former prosecutor general of ukraine. as we discussed, both were corrupt. then in late april 2019, the scheme hit a roadblock the reform candidate , zelensky won the ukrainian presidential election. here was president-elect zelensky would replace the corrupt ukrainian prosecutor giuliani had been dealing with area president trump removed ambassador yovanovitch because his agents including giuliani believe she was another roadblock to the corrupt scheme they were undertaking in hisbehalf . in her place, president trump directed a team of hand-picked political appointees, us officials who were supposed to work in the public interest to instead work with mister giuliani to
advance the president's personal interests. those were the three amigos. as ambassador sondland said, those officials quote, follow the president's orders. but even with ambassador yovanovitch von, president sondland zelensky resisted mister giuliani's overtures so giuliani at the president's direction throughout may and june ratcheted up public pressure on ukraine to announce the investigations. no luck, it was only then when mister giuliani did not get the deal done that president trump turned to the second official action using the oval office meeting to pressure ukraine. before we turn to the scheme for soliciting for an election interference, we need to understand how mister giuliani, the president's private agent assumed a
leadership role in this scheme. applied escalating pressure on the ukraine to announce investigations helpful to the president's political interests . why is that so important? let's be clear, mister giuliani, is president trump's personal lawyer. he represented president trump with his knowledge and consent. the evidence showed mister giuliani and president trump were in constant contact in this time period. both us and ukrainian officials knew mister giuliani was the key to ukraine. let's review the president use of mistergiuliani to advance his scheme . first, no one disputes that mister giuliani was and is
president trump's personal lawyer. president trump has said this, giuliani says it, we all know it's true. second president trump at all times directed andknew about mister giuliani's actions . how do we knowthis ? let's start with a letter signed by giuliani to president zelensky and here is that letter. on may 10, 2019 , mister giuliani wrote to a foreign leader, president-elect zelensky. the letter reads and i quote, in my capacity as a personal counsel to president trump and with his knowledge and consent, rudy giuliani, not a government official to speak about president trumps specific request and he makes it clear it was in his role as the president's counsel. now, mister giuliani didn't just tell the foreign leader that, he also told the press.
the day before mister giuliani's letter to zelensky, the new york times published an article about mister giuliani's upcoming trip to ukraine. and here is the slide about that article. it said and i quote, rudy giuliani plans ukraine trip to push for inquiries that could help trump . mister giuliani said his trip was to press ukraine to initiate investigations into false allegations against the bidens and the 2016 election and that it was at the request of the president. he stated that president trump and i quote, basically knows what i'm doing, sure. as his lawyer. president trump repeatedly admitted knowledge of mister giuliani's activities and to coordinating with him about the ukrainianactivities .
politico reported on may 11 2019 and i quote, in a telephone interview with politico on friday, trump said he didn't know much about giuliani's planned trip to the ukraine but wanted to speak with him about it. i'm not, and this is a quote of the president, i've not spoken to him in any great length but i will. trump said in the interview. i will him about it before he leaves . president trump new and directed mister giuliani's activities in may 2019 when mister giuliani was planning his visit to ts and that remains true today. the wall street journal reported that when rudy giuliani returned from atrip to he had last month , the president called him as the plane was still taxiing down the runway. is it from ask his lawyers quote, whatdid you get ?
giuliani answered, more than you can imagine. even as president trump face impeachment in the house of representatives, he was coordinating with his personal attorney on the ukraine scheme. the president asked rudy what did you get weston mark the evidence also shows mister giuliani and the president were infrequent contact. during the investigation and in response to a lawful subpoena, the house got call records.they show contacts, not content between giuliani, the white house and other people involved in the president's scheme. forexample, on april 23 , rudy giuliani learned president trump had decided to fire ambassador yovanovitch. on that day, according to phone records, giuliani had an eight minute and 28 seconds call with a white
house number. let's look at what happened the next day on april 24. giuliani was again repeated contact with the white house. for example, he had one eight minute and 42 seconds call with the white house number and hour and a half later yet another call. which allowed in three minutes 15 seconds with the white house area now, when a reporter recently asked who he called up the white house, mister giuliani said this. i talked to the president mostly. rudy giuliani remained in close contact with the white house after the disclosure of his planned trip to the ukraine inmid-2019 . >> ..