tv Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith FOX News December 12, 2019 6:00am-9:00am PST
then georgia to lawrenceville at books a million. thank you to everyone who bought the book. it's number 3 on "the new york times" book list. >> you are hosting tucker tonight. >> bill: good morning, everybody. happening right now the house judiciary committee reconvening for a significant session on the hill. it is considering two articles of impeachment against president trump. we expect hours of debate ending in a vote that could send the charges onto the full house by the day's end today. a lot of these days -- that's just today. we've had a lot of these days, another one today. jerry nadler coming in the room. thursday, good morning everybody. we have our christmas party later today. for now let's spend time with you. >> sandra: you case you needed that information. good morning, everyone. i'm sandra smith. the committee starting the mark-up process at 7:00 last night. lawmakers from both sides spending 3 1/2 hours making arguments for and against
impeaching the president. >> president trump's continuing abuses of power jeopardize our security and elections. the threat is urgent. if we don't act now, what happens next will be our responsibility as well as his. >> this is the articles that we wrote after all these hearings we get abuse of power? with no real dates on this is the abuse? it's just generic, vague statements. it's because the democrats can't come up with a argument for it. >> i want to speak directly to my republican friends. wake up. >> you are willfully ignoring the facts to protect a corrupt and dangerous president. >> they can't stand this president. they bristle at everything he does. congress doesn't get to remove a president just because they don't like him. >> bill: let's speak with pam bondi in washington >> sandra: we begin this thursday morning with chief congressional correspondent
mike emanuel. he will set the stage for us on another busy day. >> day two of this mark-up as it is known on capitol hill is just now getting underway. members of the house judiciary committee sitting down to work on two articles of impeachment against president trump. they are abuse of power and obstruction of congress. there are 41 members of the judiciary panel so you can expect plenty of passionate debate in a fair amount of partisan bickering. you can expect a party line vote to authorize the articles of impeachment and send them to the house floor with democrats arguing they must hold the president accountable. >> we have an opportunity to show the world how a mature democracy handles a crisis. we have an opportunity to show the world that our democracy remains strong and it is this president that is an anomaly. we have an opportunity to demonstrate to the world and united states no one is above the law including president trump. this is why we must adopt articles of impeachment and take the first step toward
relieving our nation and the world of this presidency. >> there are 24 democrats, 17 republicans. debate getting underway, sandra and bill, back to you. >> sandra: already a busy room filling up on capitol hill. thank you. >> bill: before they drop the gavel i want to bring in pam bondi and get reaction. i think we'll be interrupted in a moment. how do you score the week? >> i score it great for the white house and for president trump because again you heard that earlier, they have no crime because no crime was ever committed. this has been a hit job on president trump since day one since before he was sworn into office. that's why they aren't even charging him with a crime. abuse of power? it's absurd and obstruction of congress? it's not even a close call here. >> bill: there is a suggestion as we move to the senate the president might prefer a long, drawn-out trial. are you resolved on that yes or no?
>> this has been a sham from day one, a witch hunt. they held secret hearings in the bunker, the president didn't get to defend himself. so that's why he believes that -- we all believe he will get a fair trial in the senate and why he wants to be heard. >> bill: we'll bring you back for that. chairman nadler now gaveling. >> point of order. i want to make a point of order against consideration of the resolution on the grounds the chairman willfully refused to have a minority day of hearings. >> we'll entertain that point of order once we've completed calling up the resolution. i'll call up h rest 755 impeaching donald trump president of the united states for high crimes and misdemeanors. move the committee report it to the house. the clerk will report the resolution. >> impeaching donald john trump president of the united states
for high crimes and misdemeanors in the house of representatives december 10th, 2019. mr. nadler submitted the following resolution, referred to the committee on the judiciary. impeaching donald john trump, president of the united states for high crimes and misdemeanor resolve that donald trump is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and the articles of impeachment be exhibited to the united states state senate. of the united states of america and the name of itself and the people of the united states of america against donald j. trump president and maintenance and support of its impeachment for high crimes and miss demean hor. article one, abuse of power. the house of representatives has the sole power of impeachment and the president shall be removed from office for the conviction of treason, bribery or other high crimes and miss demeanors. in violation of his constitutional oath faith l*ully to execute the president of the united states and to the best of his ability preserve,
protect and in violation of constitutional duty to take care of the laws be faithfully executed he has abused the powers of the presidency. using the powers of the high office he solicited the interference of a foreign government ukraine that included soliciting the government of ukraine publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospect of a political opponent and influence the 2020 united states presidential election to his advantage. he also sought to pressure the government of ukraine to take steps by conditioning officially united states government acts of significant value of ukraine on its public announcement of the investigation. president trump engaged in this scheme or -- >> i would ask the resolution be considered as read. >> given the significance. >> i object. >> clerk will continue. >> he used the power of presidency in a manner that
compromised the national security of the united states and undermined the integrity of the united states democratic process. he thus ignored and injured the interests of the nation. president trump engaged in the scheme or course of conduct through the following means. one, president trump acting both directly and through his agents within and outside the united states government solicited the government of ukraine to publicly announce investigations into a political opponent, former vice president joseph biden and discredited theory by russia alleging that ukraine rather than than russia interfered in the 2016 election. he acted both directly and through his agents within and outside the united states government petitioned two official facts on the public announcements he had requested the release of $391 million of united states taxpayer funds that congress had appropriated on a bipartisan basis for the purpose of providing vital military and security assistance to ukraine to oppose
russian aggression that president trump ordered suspended and b, a head of state meeting at the white house that the president of ukraine sought to demonstrate continued united states support for the government of ukraine. 3, faced with the public revelation of his actions president trump ultimately released the military and security assistance to the government of ukraine and openly and corruptly solicited ukraine to undertake ukraine to undertake it for his political benefit and his previous interference in foreign interference in the united states election. he abused the power of the presidency and other vital nation interests to obtain an improper personal political benefit and betrayed the office by enlisting a foreign power to corrupt democratic election. president trump has demonstrated he will remain a threat to national security and the constitution if allowed to remain in office and acted in a manner grossly incompatible with the rule of law. he warrants impeachment and
trial. removal from office and disqualification to enjoy any office of honor under the united states. tarl 2 obstruction of congress. the constitution provides the house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment and the president shall be removed from office on impeachment for the conviction of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of the united states preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care of laws he faithfully executed he has directed the unprecedented in-- defee answer of subpoenas and abused the powers of the presidency sub ver sieve of the constitution. the house of representatives engaged in an impeachment inyoury focused on president
trump's solicitation of the government of ukraine. as part of the impeachment inquiry the committees undertaking the investigation served subpoenas seeking documents and -- from various agencies and offices and current and former officials. in response without cause or excuse president trump directed agencies, offices and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. he thus interposed the powers of the presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the house of representatives and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment in the house of representatives. he abused the power of his high office through these means. directing the white house to defy a lawful subpoena by withholding the production of documents sought. directing other agencies and offices to defy lawful subpoenas and withhold the production of documents and records from the committees in response to which the department of state, office of management and budget, department of energy and department of defense refused
to produce a single document or record. three, directing current and former officials not to cooperate with the committees in response to which nine administration officials defied subpoenas. mulvaney, blair, ice en berg, ellis, vought. michael duffy, and others, these actions were consistent with president trump's previous efforts to undermine united states government investigations into foreign interference in the united states elections. through these actions president trump sought the right to determine the propriety, scope and nature of an impeachment inquiry and his own conduct and deny any and all information to the house of representatives in exercise of its sole power of impeachment. in the history of the republic no president has ever ordered the complete defiance has sought to obstruct the ability of the house of representatives to investigation high crimes
and misdemeanors. this abuse of office serves to cover up the president's repeated misconduct and seize control the power of impeachment and nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested in the house of representatives. in all this president trump acted in a manner contrary to his trust of president and sub verive of government. through the great prejudice of cause of law and justice and manifest injury of the people of the united states. by such conduct he demonstrated he will remain a threat to the constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with the rule of law. he warrants impeachment, trial, removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy the office under the united states. >> the gentleman will state his point of order. >> again, as i made the point of order on this minority hearing today the chairman was furnished with a demand during the impeachment hearing held on december 4. chairman refused to respond to
multiple requests that hearing be scheduled and at one point actually telling me as i actually responded to this that we'll rule with it today. we're here today and it is a farce that we are having to rule on this today. there is no other time we're taking up the articles today. so the rule is not -- the rule -- this rule is not superseded by any portion of h resolution 660. they were too busy to get it it to floor and chose not to exempt the minority hearing today. now we're not having it so i continue my point of order. >> if i understand the gentleman's point of order he asserts we are violating clause 2j1 of house rule 11 by conducting the mark-up before we've held the hearing that the minority members requested on december 4th. in my view the gentleman is claiming a broader privilege than it provides the minority.
the minority has asked for a day of hearings on the matter of the december 4th hearing which was the constitutional grounds for impeachment. i'm willing to work with the minority to schedule such a hearing but not before today's mark-up of the articles of impeachment. the house rule does not require me to schedule a hearing on a particular day nor does it require me to schedule a hearing as a condition to taking anything specific legislative action. the minority would have the ability to block legislative action which is not the purpose of the rule. i have reached this conclusion after reviewing the plain text and legislative history of the house rule. after considering prior precedent and committee practice and consulting in the congressional research service. i believe my scheduling is reasonable. the minority views haven't been shut out. the legislative hills tree shows it was written to prevent the committee majority from
keeping the minority position from being represented in the hearing. it is normal procedure for witnesses representing both sides of the issue to give testimony. of course, that did not happen at the december 4th hearing. the minority had a witness at the hearing professor turley, ablely represented their position and was afforded ample time to discuss that position. rather than being shut out they did not get as many witnesses as they would have preferred. but that is not the purpose of the house rule. second, the minority and the president have special protections under house resolution 660. procedures provided under house resolution 660 give the president and the minority a variety of special privileges to present evidence and subpoena witnesses. thus their alternative
procedures under 660 that witnesses can be requested and subpoenaed but haven't been exercised. third, there is no precedent to delay impeachment proceedings. it is clear from the legislative history the minority day rule is not intended to delay legislative activity. again as the committee on the organization of the congress explicitly explained we do not look upon this rule as an authorization for delaying tactics. the minority day rule is made part of the house rules in 1971 but was not invokeed in either the clinton or nixon impeachment. the first time it took place in the intelligence committee several weeks ago. they requested a day of hearings even though they said witnesses participate in their proper saoentiond. they did not raise a point of order. they offered and amendment claiming the minority day rule was violated it was rejected by the committee. there is no precedent supporting the gentleman's point of order and the one
precedent we have indicates that a point of order does not lie to delay consideration of articles of impeachment finally, past judiciary committee practice and precedent don't support the gentleman's point of order. last year a number of other members and i sent then chairman goodlatte a minority day request. the chairman never responded to our request and never scheduled a hearing. i don't believe a single member of that majority argued in favor of us being allowed our hearing. then chairman sensenbrenner scheduled a minority day hearing but cut off witnesses, shut off the microphones and lights and ended the hearing while members were seeking recognition to speak. again, no one in the majority argued in favor of protecting our rights. no committee practice or precedent supporting the gentleman's point of order. i do not sustain the point of order. >> mr. chairman. >> what purpose does the
gentleman seek recognition? >> it is the length of the chairman's answer that this struck a nerve seeing how the chairman himself in his own words from previous time. it is not the chairman's right to decide whether prior hearings were acceptable. in order to interfere. it is interesting to me that this time has become the issue. the point of my -- >> i've made my ruling on the point of order. does the gentleman wish to appeal the ruling of the chair? does the gentleman wish -- >> i would like to chairman to take one more minute. >> does the gentleman wish to appeal the ruling of the chair yes or no. >> yes. we have the clock and calendar again. the chairman is doing this again. >> the appeal of the ruling of the chair is not sustained. sglie would move to table. >> did you call for a vote? you didn't call for a vote. >> i sustained the point of order. >> i called for a ruling of the chair. >> i move to table.
>> i ruled that the point of order is not well taken. >> that's painfully obvious. i have appealed the ruling of the chair. >> i move to table. >> the gentleman has appealed the ruling of the chair, general lady has moved to table. the motion to table is not debatable. all in favor of the motion to table say aye, opposed no. the appeal of the ruling of the chair is tabled. we'll now proceed to amendment. >> roll call. >> the gentleman asks for roll call on the motion to table the appeal of the ruling of the chair. the clerk will call the roll. [roll call taken] [roll call continuing]
>> has everyone voted who wishes to vote? clerk will report. >> 23 ayes, 17 nos. >> we'll proceed to the amendments. first section of the resolution read by the clerk. >> 755 impeaching donald john trump president of the united states for high crimes and misdemeanors. mr. nadler made the following resolution. impeaching donald john trump president of the united states for high crimes and misdemeanors resolve that he is
impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and they be exhibited to the united states senate. exhibited by the house of representatives by the united states of america of the people of the united states of america against donald j. trump president of the united states of america in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors. >> i recognize myself for offering an amendment. the clerk will report the amendment. >> amendment in the nature of a substitute to 755 offered by mr. nadler of new york. strike all that follows after the resolving clause and insert the following. >> with that objection the amendment shall be considered as read. that objection as base text for further amendment. i will now recognize myself to explain the amendment in the nature of a substitute. this amendment makes a minor change in certain places where the underlying resolution refers to donald j. trump the amendment refers to donald john trump. i urge all my colleagues to
support it. i now recognize the ranking member the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, for any comments he may have on the amendment. >> the nature of a substitute is irrelevant. taking donald j. trump and making donald john trump shows the frankly absurdity of where we're at. we'll talk about this amendment and substitute about the factual basis that no actual underpinning to impeach the president. i will go back since i didn't have time and had to sit through a well rehears evidence many days explanation on what will be known in 2019 outside of the fact that this committee finally accomplished its goal after the chairman stated he wanted to since november of last year impeach this president. what will be known by this committee from here on out is that this committee has now sounded the death of minority
rights in this committee. it has become nothing but a rubber stamp. this committee is amazingly now on such a clock and calendar process that they don't care. facts be damned. they don't care. they don't care that we had one witness out of three. when i asked for a second witness i was told i couldn't even though there had been conversations well before i was told i was asking too late. one witness out of two panels that's all we had of fact witnesses. this is a travesty and sham from day one. i could talk until i'm blue in the face. nobody on the majority cares. but the spot that is left by what has just happened will resonate over the years. it will resonate over the years in the sense that there is no fact that we can come to. they had no desire to hear any fact witnesses outside of their own train driven clock calendar impeachment. for the chairman himself who vehemently fought for minority hearing day to sit and read
that is an amazing statement and a crushing blow to this committee. there is no way to recover from that. in fact, there may be -- i wonder if the chairman would join me in making sure the rules committee next week they don't waive the point of order against this. i know they will and that's why they'll take it. i guarantee when you look into it further this point of order would be sustained against the impeachment articles so they'll have to waive them next week, watch and see. they'll waive this point of order and waive any other point of order on these articles by the time it comes to the floor. for some of you, you may say the ranking member talks about process, the ranking member talks about process, the ranking member talks about process, never the foundation. we'll inundate you with the fact that i have already. some of you just don't choose to report them. what is important and for many who report on this body and sat in this body and for those who have served in this body, the members who have gone before and the people who have set this committee up and as people have set our congress up are
the ones right now that should be hanging their head in shame. we had two hearings. none of which featured fact witnesses. not a democrat in this room that should be happy about this. the solemnty should be on the death of this committee's process and procedures. don't talk about solemn about impeaching the president. you ought to take it and rejoice and go at it. this is what you wanted. when it comes to the hearing, when it comes to the minority rights, when it comes to once which we've seen time after time and time and i have had to right this chairman multi-page letters on the abuse of procedural issues in this committee, this is a travesty. write about it and talk about it if you want. the american people see it. the american people understand hinerently fairness. they understand due process. why? it's what american was based on. it is what america takes pride in.
and when we don't have it, nobody can have it. when we don't have fairness in this committee how can they stand up on the two weakest articles of impeachment in this country with a straight face look at the american people and say we did good. no, you didn't. you stained this body. you've taken this committee and made it a rubber stamp. did any of the majority run to be a rubber stamp to get the majority? i know the minority on this side didn't. you know why we've become a rubber stamp? my chairman said so 20 years ago. he said so 20 years ago when he said if the committee only accepts what other people give them and do not on their own verify and thoroughly vet it we're nothing but a rubber stamp. mr. chairman you should have run for chairmanship more than to be a rubber stamp for mr. schiff and ms. pelosi. mr. schiff and ms. pelosi took
this committee from us. that's the first embarrassment. the rest has been an embarrassment since. we'll have plenty of time to show the complete farce of substance. what will live from your day is your ruling of minority rights are dead in this congress and especially this committee. move to strike. >> mr. chairman. >> any amendments to the amounts. >> move the strike the last word. >> move to strike the last word. i cannot allow the ranking member to mischaracterize your description of the committee. it may than inconvenient for the ranking member to be forced to listen to the history of this committee and why everything that you just laid out is so important to the continuing of this committee representing and recognizing and respecting minority rights. he chooses not to so i'll
restate it again. i appreciate the ranking member that they had the opportunity to call witnesses. to turn around and suggest that the rules are being trampled and the rules are dead ignores everything that you just laid out. 50 -- more than 50 years ago -- more than 50 years ago the joint committee on the organization of congress made clear in their report to the house and senate that it is normal proper sired for witnesses representing both sides of the issue to give testimony at committee hearings and that's where the rule comes from. and that's what's happened. the ranking member acknowledged it. you would have liked more witnesses. there is no right to a separate day. the rule makes clear they have the right to call witnesses and there were witnesses called. they were minority witnesses on december 4th.
december 9th mr. castor presented evidence and gave opening statements. it is worth pointing out to my colleagues on the other side that we invited the president of the united states to the december 4th hearing to advocate for his views. to submit requested witnesses. but he chose not to attend and he chose not to suggest any witnesses. so before telling us the sky is falling and there is great disrespect for the rules, it is important to actually look at the rules. >> did the gentleman just say i didn't request witnesses? that is wrong. >> what i said is that the president was given the opportunity on december 4th to present himself. he was also given the opportunity to present witnesses and he did not. so let's be careful in the way we suggest that rules are being violated when everything that's being done here is consistent with more than 50 years of interpretation of the rules and the very essence of why the
rule is put together in the first place. so it's important, facts really do matter. we're not going to allow the minority to misinterpret the rules for their own benefit or suggest history is irrelevant. it matters a lot. that's what has made this committee great. >> mr. chairman. >> what purpose does mr. jordan. >> i have an amendment at the desk. >> the clerk will report the amendment. >> reserve a point of order. >> reserve a point of order. >> amendment to the amendment in the nature of a substitute to 775, offered by mr. jordan of ohio. page 1 line 12 strike article 1 and put in the article accordingly. >> you are recognized.
>> this amendment strikes article 1 because article 1 ignores the truth. four facts, five meetings. we've talked about it now for three months. four facts that have not changed, will not change, will never change and we've known it since september 25th when the caltrans crypt was released. the call transcript shows no quid pro quo. even nadler said there was no quid pro quo in the call transcript. the two individuals on the call. they've said no pushing or link whatsoever between security assistance money and any type of announcement of an investigation. we know that the ukrainians knew at the time of the call -- didn't know at the time of the call the aid had been held up and most importantly, most importantly we know the ukrainians took no action, no start of an investigation, no
promise to start an investigation, no announcement on cnn, via tweet. no announcement whatsoever there would be any type of investigation into burisma or bidens to get the aid released. those four facts. those four facts have never changed. second, five key meetings that took place between july 18th when the aid was paused, september 11th when the aid was released. five key meetings. we have phone call, july 25th which you just described. second, very next day, very next day we have ambassadors volker, sondland, taylor, meeting with president zelensky. third, ambassador bolton met with president zelensky on august 29th. fourth, vice president pence met with zelensky in september and senator johnson, senator murphy meeting with president zelensky. in none of those five meetings,
none, did linking dollars, security assistance dollars to an investigation come up. never came up. you would think in the last two you would think in those last two after they knew on august 29th via the political article that they knew the aid was held you would think it would come up in those last two meetings but it didn't come up. four facts, five meetings have never changed. article 1 in this resolution ignores the truth, the facts and it ignores what happened and what has been laid out for the american people over the last three weeks. i hope this committee will come to its senses and adopt the amendment and strike article 1 from the resolution. with that mr. chairman i yield back. >> yield back. i recognize mr. cicilliney. >> i move to strike the last word. this amendment attempts to strike article 1 in its entirety. i want to go through the evidence developed during the course of this investigation and particularly first begin with the focus on the
president's own conduct. the president of the united states hired rudy giuliani, his personal lawyer, to go to ukraine and lead this scheme to smear vice president biden. he then began a campaign personally to smear ambassador yovanovitch and directed she be fired to clear the way of this anti-corruption champion so his scheme to be implemented. he drektd a hold on the military aid to ukraine and no one could provide any other explanation other than to pressure them to interfere in the 2020 election. the president in his own words on july 25th gets on the telephone and asks president zelensky for a favor to begin an investigation of his chief political rival former vice president joe biden. there is a read-out of the call in evidence. the detail of this conversation. direct evidence from vindman, morrison who listened in and heard the president utter the words out of his own mouth
pressuring a foreign leader to corrupt our elections. the president made admissions in public on october 2, october 3, october 4. then invited another foreign power, china, to interfere in the american presidential election. chief of staff acknowledged the president directed him to put this unexplained hold on aid to ukraine. the president directed the vice president not to attend the inauguration of president zelensky because he hadened yet got what he was demanding, a public announcement intended to damage his political opponent. ambassador sondland testified that the ukrainians were told and i quote the resumption of u.s. aid would likely not occur until ukraine provided the anti-corruption statement for many weeks and then he testified he spokes with president trump and while the president claimed there was no quid pro quo he made it clear that president zelensky must publicly announce the two investigations that president trump discussed on july 25th in
the call in order for this security assistance to be lifted. that's direct evidence. in the in addition to that. those are the highlights. over 260 text messages, call transcripts and emails between high ranking officials in the trump administrations, interviews and tweets by the president and his personal attorney rudy giuliani corroborating their desire to pursue investigations of vice president biden before the 2020 elections. president trump said i quote, just so you know we've been investigating on a personal bases through rudy and other lawyers corruption in the 2016 election. sondland's emails multiple high ranking officials that he talked to zelensky and quote is prepared to receive potus's
call and will look into it. sondland testified volker makes the same thing clear. looks like potus called tomorrow. i gave z full briefing. volker, had breakfast this morning. must have help. most for zelensky will say he will address any specific personnel issues if there are any. august 8 ambassador sondland and volker texted about potus wanting the deliverable. to get the white house meeting zelensky needs to announce the investigation. sondland says and i quote. morrison is ready to get dates as soon as yermak confirms. excellent. how did you sway him? not sure i did. i think potus wants the deliverable. volker asks does he know that? sondland yep, clearly lots of conversations going on. august 16th ambassador taylor and volker discuss ukraine's concern that president trump
wasn't using official channels like the department of justice to ask for investigations. volker, the person who asked for an official request was yermak? volker said yes, don't cite it. taylor, i won't, you're right. this is not good. we need to stay clear. august 22 ambassador sondland emailed mike pompeo and others to make clear that to break the log jam, releasing the military aid, president zelensky would have to quote move forward on the issues of importance to trump again meaning the investigation. and the list goes on and on. so this claim that this is the thinnest of evidence is simply not true. there is overwhelming evidence of the existence of a scheme led by the president, led by his personal lawyer rudy giuliani to corrupt the american elections, to continue to withhold military aid until such time as a public announcement was made that would smear the president's chief political rival and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back.
>> gentleman yield back. for what purpose does ms. lesko. >> mr. chair, it really quite disturbs me when you again rejected the rule of the house that said that we as the minority -- it says in the rules that you require -- require that you set a date for a minority hearing. the reason that this is important is because the rules have been thrown out the window here in this process. in fact, i just can't believe it. first of all, you have an unprecedented way of doing impeachment. you don't go through the judiciary committee like has been done in previous impeachments. instead, speaker pelosi hands it over to adam schiff. adam schiff, the intelligence committee chair, where he has
these closed-door hearings in the basement. i was denied several times -- several times the right to go and hear what these fact witnesses said. yet i'm supposed to vote on this today. we have not had one single fact witness here in this committee at all. then i hear from my republican colleagues that were on the intelligence committee that republicans were refused to have any of their witnesses in that committee. and then on top of that, republicans were told -- interrupted, silenced, by chairman schiff when they tried to ask witnesses questions. he would say to the witness don't answer that. so now here in judiciary committee we are supposed to vote on something when we haven't even heard directly
from any fact witnesses. all we heard from was a bunch of liberal law professors that you called here that have a known record of dislikeing president trump and then you had staff talk to us. and then again here in this committee our republican members asked for witnesses so we can get questions to get out the truth. let us say our side of the story. but no, so then we turn to okay, under the house rules it says you are required to set a minority hearing so that we can at least call witnesses. so we can get some truth out to the american public instead of this one-sided sham. but no, here again i think you've said right here no, we're not going to do that. i'll consider a date in the future that you can have a minority hearing. for goodness sakes, we're voting on this today.
it's so good to have a date in the future, it's done. you've already put through this. it just continues to amaze me how corrupt, how unfair this process has been from the start. for goodness sakes, 17 out of 24 of my democratic colleagues that have already voted on the house floor to continue with articles of impeachment. it was -- it was mr. green who put a resolution on the floor articles of impeachment july 17th. and then there was a vote to table it. they voted against the tabling. they wanted to go ahead with articles of impeachment. that was even before the july 25th call. i mean, come on, this is a pre-determined -- you guys have been wanting to impeach this president since he got elected. fact after fact after fact.
i know of some of you really think the president did something wrong. but the fact is, there is -- none of your witnesses, none of your fact witnesses were able to establish any evidence of bribery, treason, high crimes or misdemeanors. not one single one. that's what it says have to be done in the constitution. so again, i believe the president of the united states is right. this is a sham impeachment and it sure is a shame and i yield back the balance of my time. >> general lady yield back. what purpose is -- >> move to strike the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman and with much respect to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, it is difficult to follow some of these arguments. i have heard very little in the way of any substantive defenses of the president's conduct but
instead focus again on some very farcical process arguments in my view. i'm compelled to respond to at least one of those, this notion about the closed-door depositions. because as i understand it from reading these transcripts, many minority members were present and granted equal time to question witnesses brought before the intelligence committee, the foreign affairs committee and the government oversight committee. some of those members are actually on this committee. so i struggle to understand the objections in that regard. the idea that the intelligence committee's investigation was not sufficiently transparent in my view also rings hollow because as we know, the transcripts from those interviews, those depositions have been released. i know i've reviewed them. i suspect many of my colleagues have as well. if you did not review the transcript you surely watched
the live testimony of ambassador sondland, vindman and so many other public servants over the course of many weeks as millions of americans watched along with us. so again, it is -- i understand that we are going to have a robust debate about the legal standards that govern the inquiry that is before us and the decision we make on these articles. let us stay true to the facts and let's dispense with these process arguments and get to the substance of why we are here today. i will also just say historical context matters. i was not on the judiciary committee in 1999 and 1998 but my understanding is at that time the judiciary committee did not examine any fact witnesses during the clinton impeachment inquiry. i know there are members of this committee that were here at that time and they will -- are well aware that they did question ken starr and then
afterwards had hearings with legal experts to expound upon the legal standards that would define the decision before the committee. i would also say that during the nixon impeachment inquiry examination of witnesses -- fact witnesses was conducted exclusively behind closed doors in july of 1974. so unlike both the nixon inquiry as well as the clinton inquiry, the house intelligence committee's hearing featured a dozen witnesses subject to public examination by counsel and minority members. facts matters. i hope each and every one of us can agree on that simple point. i would yield to the distinguished member from california. >> i would like to note going back to the analogy to the nixon impeachment, gentleman is correct there was really no public presentation in the judiciary committee.
there were some -- quite a few depositions that were private. but there was a lot of public testimony it wasn't before the judiciary committee, it was before the senate watergate committee. as you'll recall the president's counsel, john dean, appeared and testified there was a cancer on the presidency and a number of other revelation that there was a recording system in the white house. all of that happened in the senate. and the fact that it happened in the senate didn't mean that the judiciary committee didn't know about it. the whole country knew about it. and took notice of it. there is only a few members of this committee that were on the judiciary committee during the clinton impeachment. i was one of them. ms. jackson lee and mr. nadler were as well as mr. sensenbrenner and the gentleman from ohio. we had a report from mr. starr.
i remember it very well. we didn't have extensive fact witnesses. we had the report. we had evidence over in the ford building that we could go over and look at privately. i did, a number of members did. but the gentleman has correctly summarized the situation. i would yield back to the chairman. >> i would yield back. >> gentleman yields back. for what purpose does mr. sensenbrenner seek recognition. >> i move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i think it's obvious to all the american public that this is a railroad job. things have been going quickly but i think the real key is that with all of the denials of minority requests both here and in the intelligence committee, the republicans and the president have not been able to put on live witnesses to be able to basically put together
a defense. and if you are going to have a trial, you have to have both the prosecution and a defense. here we don't have the defense because of the rulings that have been made. one of which was made just a few minutes ago by the chairman of this committee. now, let me say first of all the hearings that were in the basement of the capitol were secret hearings. they were classified hearings. none of the members who were in that hearing room could ethically go out and tell the public and the news media exactly what was said there. and they probably could have been held before the ethics committee or worse if they attempted to do that. there were leaks that came out of there, i grant you that, but none of the members could. the other point is that the vast majority of members of the judiciary committee which has
ultimate jurisdiction over all proposed impeachments, were not members of the three other committees and were not allowed to go into the basement of the capitol hearing room to listen to what was going on. and to see those live witnesses. there were a number of my colleagues on this side of the aisle, including ms. lesko and mr. gaetz that attempted to do that and chairman schiff kicked them out or wouldn't allow them to go in there. now, when you have a trial, you really cannot make a determination on exactly whether the witnesses are telling the truth or exaggerating or mixing it up or spinning it some way or the other without looking at them in person. we don't have that opportunity. there were a few select witnesses in the public hearings in the intelligence committee a couple of weeks ago.
but the intelligence committee does not have the jurisdiction on whether to recommend the impeachment of anybody, let alone the president of the united states. now, we've heard complaints about the fact that in the clinton impeachment there were no fact witnesses. mr. shabbat and i were there as were ms. lofgren, ms. jackson-lee and the chairman. what happened there is both sides were allowed to present whatever witnesses they wanted to. kenneth starr did all of the grunt work in putting together the facts. he sent over 36 boxes of evidence which were put over into the ford building. that's not happened here. the independent counsel that was appointed to look into what president trump has done, mr. mueller, came and testified and that ended up being a big fizzle for what the democrats
wanted to do. so much of the mueller stuff, after his testimony and the cross examination by members on both sides of the aisle, ended up disappearing into outer space. they had to find something else. now let me say that everybody on both ends of the telephone call between president trump and president zelensky have said very clearly there was no quid pro quo offered. there was no pressure that was put on the ukrainians. i don't know how many times president zelensky has had to say that. apparently it's not enough because minds on the other side of the aisle are closed. but that's what the facts are. and the facts again speak for themselves. there was no impeachable offense here.
and that's why article 1 of the impeachment ended up falling flat on its face and that it should be stricken, and i support the amendment to strike it from the gentleman of ohio and yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> i yield to the gentleman from georgia. >> real quickly. also ken starr sent those over before the hearings began, too, correct? we didn't get a letter in the middle of the hearing we got a document dump and we couldn't read them anyway. >> strike the last word, mr. chairman. >> i think before i begin to comment on the discussion here that it is important to remind all of us that the president abused his power and is a continuing threat not only to democracy but to our national
security. we do not take this lightly. we take it very seriously. i beg to differ with my dear friend as one who was here for the impeachment proceedings in 1998 along with my colleagues mr. sensenbrenner and others. let me be clear of the distinctive difference that we had then at that time. for the american people, the special prosecutor was an independent statute that allowed both during the nixon proceedings and mr. starr to have an independent process of investigation. the congress was not privy to any of that investigation. at all. they proceeded, they were not interfered with, as mr. mueller was by the d.o.j. because he was an employee of the department of justice and his
employer, his boss, came out and characterized his report before he could even discuss it. in the instance of the proceedings of 1998, the congress received a report just as both our friends on the other side of the aisle and we in the majority received reports from the impeachment inquiry committees who were investigatory committees. they did their work, yes, in a classified setting as i imagine both mr. starr and mr. jere os key had to do. they were like prosecutors. had witnesses that were not in the public. and then, of course, there were full public hearings, 17 witnesses, firsthand witnesses who heard the call and testified not on any second hand knowledge but firsthand
knowledge. it is clear we're dealing with a question of a continuing threat which is why we have to respond. let me be very clear i hold in my hands that unclassified transcript. i beg to differ with my friends. allow me just for a moment to tell you that in the call president zelensky said these sentences. i would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. we're trying to continue to cooperate for the next steps. we also want to be ready to buy javelins. that's equipment, military equipment from the united states for defense purposes. ukraine is in the midst of a war against a nation that shot down at least some of those alleged to be separatists using russian weapons, a commercial airliner. this is a serious war where our men and women in the military are on the ground trying to
assist. here is the very next sentence. the very next sentence is not yes, let's get with the department of defense. let's review your request. the very next sentence, i would like you to do a favor, though. this is a discussion about defense. the next sentence should have been i think we are well aware of your difficult predicament. going to have you talk to the secretary of defense. a couple sentences later i would like to have the attorney general call you or your people and i would like you to get to the bottom of it, investigation. so i would just offer to say that it is not frivolous and without facts that we proceed. we proceed with facts. and we take this in a very
somber manner. i'd be happy to yield to the general lady. >> i would just like to note that while this aid was being withheld, people died. i would like to ask unanimous consent to put into the record article from the "los angeles times" entitled time froze military aid as ukrainian soldiers perished in battle. the highest death toll on any day in the ukraine/russian war was august 7th of this year while aid was being withheld. so this had life and death consequences and i yield back to the gentleman. >> let me say my predecessor said impeachment is designed for the president and his high ministers somehow to be called into account. that's all we're doing on behalf of the american people and protecting the national security of this nation. i yield back. >> what purpose does mr. -- >> strike the last word.
>> gentleman the recognized. >> i yield to ranking member. >> the lady from california just addressed something that -- it was prospective money and not dealing the issues. you are in a war. people die in a war zone. this money did not stop this. i yield back. >> the biggest difference in the clinton impeachment and this one is president clinton, committed a crime. this president isn't accused of committing a crime. treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors, not treason, bribery, misdemeanors or whatever else nancy pelosi and adam schiff deem impeachable. we can agree no president should abuse the powers of his or her office just like the chairman of the house committee shouldn't abuse the powers of
his office to obtain and publish the phone records of the president's personal attorney, a member of the media, and the ranking member of that same committee. it doesn't make alleged abuse of power high crime and misdemeanor. in their memo, the majority on this committee goes to great lengths to explain why abuse of power is an impeachable offense specifically mention it was one of the charges against both richard nixon and bill clinton. what they don't mention is that the house of representatives has never adopted alleged abuse of power as a charge in a presidential impeachment. why? because there is no criminal statute describing what alleged abuse of power actually is. abuse of power is therefore a vague, ambiguous term open to the interpretation of every individual. because abuse of power lacks a concise legal definition, there is a higher burden of proof on those pursuing such a charge to show the actions of the president rise to the level of
impeachment. i believe that bill clinton had abused the power of his office but we failed to convince our colleagues in the house in that particular large and it was rejected by the full house. in this case, the evidence provided is less convincing. in fact, i would argue it is non-existent. first, there was no quid pro quo, second it is a widely known fact that ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries on the planet and why congress required the administration to certify that the ukraine government had taken steps to clean up corruption before military aid could be provided to the country. president trump was well aware of that fact and quite skeptical of giving ukraine foreign aid long before the now-famous july 25th phone call. third, ukraine actually received the aid after the president was satisfied that ukraine had taken meaningful steps to address corruption. which again is an obligation required by law. based on the actual facts of this case as opposed to the
hearsay and innuendo compiled by the intelligence committee it is clear that no abuse of power ever took place and there certainly isn't enough evidence to support an article of impeachment. mr. chairman, as you well know, there is another significant difference between the abuse of power charges against nixon and clinton and those presented here. in the nixon and clinton impeachments abuse of power was attacked on charge. far less important in those cases than the actual high crimes charged against both of them. here it is the main thrust of the house democrats' entire case. let me put it another way, the entire argument for impeachment in this case is based on a charge that is not a crime, much less a high crime, and that has never been approved by the house of representatives in a presidential impeachment before ever in history. if that's the best you got, you wasted a whole lot of time and taxpayer dollars all because so many of you, mr. chairman, hate
this president. and one last thing, i guess we now know why nancy pelosi was focus grouping bribery as a potential charge. because she was desperately searching for a crime, any crime, to justify this sham impeachment. but that effort was abandoned because she knows most members of congress know and now the american people know there simply wasn't a crime committed here and there shouldn't be an impeachment here, either. i yield back. >> gentleman yielded back. what purpose is mr. swalwell seeking recognition? >> to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> there are no crimes here? that is the defense my colleagues across the aisle are putting forward? how about the highest crime that one who holds public office could commit? a crime against our
constitution. after all, the constitution is the highest, most supreme law of the land. every other law -- statutory laws included, derive from the constitution, not the other way around. the president committed the highest crime against the constitution by abusing his office. cheating in an election, inviting foreign interference. for a purely personal gain. while jeopardizeing our national security and the integrity of our elections. now the constitution does not require president trump have committed statutory crimes. after all, we in congress are not criminal prosecutors. we do not prosecute crimes, we protect the constitution. but since my colleagues keep bringing up what potential crimes a criminal prosecutor could charge the president with, let's go through some of
them. because president trump's conduct overlaps with criminal acts. let's start with criminal bribery. 18 u.s. code 201b2a. relevant here criminal bribery occurs when a public official demands or seeks anything of value personally in return for being influenced in the performance of an act and must carry them out corruptly. president trump demanded and sought the announcement and conduct of politically-motivated investigations by president zelensky. anything of value personally. for the purposes of anti-bribery law anything of value has been interpr*eted by the courts to carry out the congressional purpose of punishing the abuse of public office. in return for being influenced the third requirement, as the intel committee report demonstrated president trump
sought an announcement of these investigations in return for performing two official acts. first he conditioned release of vital military assistance on president zelensky's investigations and second he conditioned a head of state meeting on these investigations. fourth, performance of an official act. the courts have defined an official act as any decision or action, matter, cause, suit, proceeding or controversy that may be pending or brought before a public official. both of the acts in question, the military aid and white house meeting meet this requirement. finally, corruptly. president trump behaved corruptly throughout this course of conduct because he used his official office in exchange to seek a private benefit. a second crime honest services fraud. 18 u.s. code section 1346. president trump knowingly and willfully orchestrated a scheme to defraud the american people
of his honest services at president of the united states. it has been aligned with bribery and using a wider communication, clearly the july -- >> gentleman yield for question. >> the july 25 phone call constitutes a wire communication. so there you have it. at least two criminal statutory crimes. however, all of these conversations about statutory crimes are mute because the president of the united states refuses to allow his own department of justice to indict him. so the president may be charged with crimes statutorily one day but that's not what we're doing here on this day. we are not restricted like the department of justice is. so we will uphold our duty to charge the president with the crimes against the constitution that he has committed using your taxpayer dollars, jeopardizeing the integrity of
your vote for a purely political purpose. and a purely personal gain. mr. chairman, with that i yield back. i would yield to the general lady from california. >> i appreciate the gentleman's recitation of that fact as a former prosecutor, you speak with tremendous authority. i would just like to note that the argument that somehow lying about a sexual affair is an abuse of presidential power but the misuse of presidential power to get a benefit somehow doesn't matter. if it's lying about sex we could put stormy daniels' case ahead of us. we don't believe that's a high crime and misdemeanor. it is not before us and it should not be before us because it's not an abuse of presidential power. i yield back. >> gentleman's time is expired. for what purpose does mr. gohmert seek recognition? >> i rise in support of the
amendment. >> gentleman yield briefly. >> will the gentleman yield briefly? >> the important thing is that bill clinton lied to a grand jury. that is a crime. the article of impeachment that passed the house accused bill clinton of lying to a grand jury, a crime, and something that obstructs the ability of the courts to get to the truth. this is not what is happening here. big difference. >> thank you. reclaiming my time. >> it is interesting, though, we're here because of fraud, not by the president, but from within the department of justice. and i realize people on the other side of the aisle have been so busy trying to find some kind of charge, criminal charge to bring against the president, none of which worked, that they may not have
been aware of the most recent horowitz report. but it is clear now -- it is clear now that the whole investigation that has brought us here with crime after crime being alleged and then having to be dropped was a fraudulent effort before the fisa court to have a surveillance warrant done against carter page. they lied initially, said that he was a russian agent, when actually he had been used by the c.i.a. as a spy against russia. and so they lied, it was fraudulent, and there hopefully people that will answer for their crimes and fraud in the department of justice in the days to come and it sounds like that should be the case. and there was fraud all the way through. but for three years we have been hearing about the crimes of the candidate trump and then
the crimes of president trump, and we come now today based on the initial fraud that got this whole impeachment stuff started, and no one on the other side is willing to acknowledge the fraud that brought us here, nor the fact that so many people here have been screaming about the president's crimes and we're even hearing today like we just did oh, yes, there were crimes. why aren't they in this impeachment document? because they don't exist. they've been disproven over and over and over again and that's why the gentleman's amendment is so well taken. you don't want to go down this ground. i think it's a bad idea when it was proposed before. high crimes and misdemeanors, if it's not treason, even misdemeanors are crimes. so we've had to drop the fraud of all the crimes being
alleged, people saying in here and in the public gee, we are going to get the president because he colluded with russia. how terrible was that. that's been disproved and dropped. now we're left with bridery and extortion and those had to be dropped. i appreciate the gentleman bring up crimes but those are not alleged here. let me just say this is a day that will live in infamy for the judiciary committee. the days of exemplary chairs like daniel webster when he stood for principle, those are going to be gone because this became a tool of the majority to try to defeat, use taxpayer funds to defeat a president. and by the way, the ken starr report 36 boxes, he came in and testified. we were kept out of hearing the
witnesses. there were in the watergate these witnesses testified on television. it was public. it was not a star chamber like the schiff chamber became. i would like to yield back my time to my friend mr. jordan. >> when did it happen? everything mr. swalwell happened. why isn't it in the resolution if it didn't happen? democrats say there was a scheme to have an announcement made by president zell to get a phone call to get a meeting with the president and get the aid released. when did the announcement happen? they got the call on july 25th. the meeting on september 25th. the money on september 11th. there was never an announcement from the ukrainians to do an investigation. you can say this happened and this happened. it didn't happen. not the facts. those are not the facts. we know why the aid got released because we learned this guy, this new president
was actually -- the transformer, the real deal was going to deal with the corruption issue in his country. that's what happened. you can make up all the things you want. those are not the facts. >> gentleman's time is expired. what purpose does mr. jeffries seek recognition? >> let's go through the facts. we're here today because the president abused his power. we are here today because he solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election. he welcomed foreign interference as it relates to russia. solicited foreign interference on the white house lawn with china and he did it with ukraine. he is a serial solicitor. let's go through the facts. congress allocated $391 million in military aid on a bipartisan basis to ukraine. currently at war with russian-backed separatists in the east. ukraine is a friend, russia is
a foe. ukraine is a democracy, russia is a dictatorship. the united states is probably the only thing standing between vladimir putin and ukraine being completely overrun as part of putin's fantasy to reconstruct the soviet union, which would be adverse to the national security interests of the united states. and every single fact witness before this congress said so. you can't even dispute that. so we allocated aid on a bipartisan basis. but then the aid was withheld. the american people deserve to figure out why. in february there was a letter sent by the trump administration saying okay, the aid is on the way. but it never arrived. in april he had a phone call, the president, with zelensky, the word corruption was not mentioned once.
and then in may the department of defense wrote to this congress and said all necessary preconditions for the receipt of the aid have been met by the new ukrainian government, including the implementation of anti-corruption protocols. we have that letter. it was sent to you and it was sent to us. and in july on the 18th at an office of management and budget meeting, the aid was officially frozen at the direction of the president. twice during the summer mitch mcconnell, the senate republican majority leader, publicly stated he called the trump administration, what happened to the aid? mitch mcconnell couldn't get the good answer. because there was no good answer. then on july 25th there is another call between president
trump and president zelensky. the word corruption is not mentioned once. but here is what was said. zelensky talks about defense and the immediate response is do us a favor, though. and president trump says i need you to look into some things. not related to procurement of defense arms but a wild conspiracy theory connected to the 2016 campaign and i also want you to look into joe biden. then what's interesting since you think it was such a perfect call, he mentions rudy giuliani. i'm looking at the transcript now, three times. why an official call where the president mention rudolph giuliani. he is not an ambassador or the
secretary of state, not a member of the diplomatic corp. he is president trump's political enforcer. then what happens? in august giuliani goes to madrid and meets with the ukraine government as a follow-up to trump saying to ukraine go meet with giuliani. a statement is drafted by the phony investigation and sent to the ukrainians. but what happens? in august the whistleblower complaint is filed. then on september 9th the whistleblower complaint is made public to congress. two days later on september 11th all of a sudden the aid is released. why was the aid released? because the president was caught red-handed trying to pressure a foreign government to target an american citizen. i yield back.
>> gentleman yields back for what purpose does mr. gaetz seek recognition. gentleman the recognized. >> there were five meetings that we have detailed that show why the aid was released. there was a belief on the administration previously that ukraine was one of the most corrupt countries in the world. they had not engaged in sufficient reforms and after a number of events with the vice president, with a bipartisan senate delegation there was a resolution of that aid but this debate just lacks a certain sincerity. i heard earlier mr. swalwell list out all these crimes and so i'm watching at home thinking where are they in the impeachment? that's a democrat drive by to list crimes that you don't allege and that you don't have evidence for. if there is ever a microcosm of how to consume this day and the importance of it with the american people they are naming crimes in debate they don't have in their impeachment resolution because they can't
prove them and there are no underlying facts. i hear my friend from new york bring up russia. the residue of impeachment theories past and failed. hough are we even here debating about military aid, javelins, the president trump delivered that president obama withheld? i hear them crying these alligator tears and clutching pearls over the notion that oh, trump didn't give this aid. we have to go impeach him for it. where was all this concern about how to make ukraine when obama was president? they've never changed, four things. mr. jordan dreams of them in his sleep. both president trump and president zelensky said there was no pressure. we saw the call transcript and no condition. no awareness on the part of ukraine there was a delay in aid and ukraine got the aid without opening the investigation that seems to be so troubling to democrats. everything you are going to
hear them say today can be categorized into three areas. first, it's either stuff people presumed and had no direct evidence of. their water cooler theory of the case. second, it's hearsay, somebody told some body sold somebody else that created concerns about the president's conduct or a sincere policy disagreement how to make ukraine great again. the diplomatic corps seem to think we need to do everything for ukraine but if the president disagrees with it. they're alleging a shakedown. i think most americans know you can't have a shakedown if the person allegedly being shook down doesn't even know about the shakedown. you have president zelensky himself saying i felt no pressure. and then talk about bad timing. we got this time article that comes out on the 10th of december just a few days ago because their theory of the
case is well, even if zelensky didn't know there was pressure, there is this other guy, yermak. yermak knew from gordon sondland there was pressure, but the same day that they introduced their articles of impeachment yermak gives this interview with "time" magazine and he says, and i quote. gordon and i were never alone together. we bumped each other in the hallway next to the escalator as i was walking out and i remember everything. it is fine with my memory. we talked about how well the meeting went, that is all we talked about. so here they are, with no crime, with no victim, with no witnesses, with no knowledge of any shakedown, and yet they proceed. to accept the democrats' theory of the case you have to believe that the ukrainians are lying to us. you have to believe when they say there is no condition alt and no pressure and nothing wrong they are so weak and so dependent on the united states that we can't believe a word they say. well again, where were you during the obama administration
when this weak ally didn't get javelins that were then withheld? i support the jordan amendment because this article 1, this abuse of power that they allege in the impeachment theory is a total joke. they have to say abuse of power because they don't have evidence for obstruction. they have to say abuse of power because they have no evidence for bribery or treason. they have to say abuse of power because the crimes can't be supported by evidence. this is the ink blot test. everybody can see what they want to see. this notion of abuse of power is the lowest of low energy impeachment theories. heck, i don't know any political party that doesn't think when the other side is in the white house that they abuse power and do too much. i got a lot of constituents think barack obama abused his power but we didn't do this to
the country and didn't put him through this nonsense and impeachment. you set the standard. you said it would have to be bipartisan, compelling and overwhelming. it ain't that and it looks pretty bad. i yield back. >> for what purpose do you seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. chairman. just in response -- move to strike the last word. thank you. in response to my colleague from florida, you cannot argue things both ways. you cannot say that the president was so concerned about ukraine that he released aid which is true, released aid in 2017 and 2018 and then suddenly he became concerned in 2019 right after vice president biden announced that he was going to run. so if your argument is that he was so concerned about ukraine that he released aid in 2017 and 2018, then why in 2019
after the department of defense cleared ukraine on charges of corruption, why then did he decide he was so concerned about corruption that he was not going to release aid? i'm not yielding. i'm not yielding. >> they got a new president, that's why. >> people will not interrupt. >> they got a new president who was -- they got a new president who was known to be an anti-corruption fighter. so that argument has no weight whatsoever. now, if you want to argue that the president was so concerned about corruption at that point moment you have to look at the whole record of u.s. policy and our agreement that the department of defense would look under certain conditions before they released military aid to determine whether or not
a country had satisfied those requirements around corruption and the department of defense released that report. nowhere between the time that donald trump withheld aid and the time that he released that aid was there an additional assessment required or done. in fact, the department of defense decided they didn't need to do another assessment because they had already done the assessment. so at the end of the day i have only two questions for my colleagues on the other side. these are the two questions. forget about president trump. forget about president trump. will any one of my colleagues on the other side say that it is an abuse of power to condition aid -- to condition aid on official acts? forget about president trump. forget about president trump. is any one of my colleagues
willing to say that it is ever okay for a president of the united states of america to invite foreign interference in our elections? not a single one of you has said that so far. >> i yield to my colleague from texas. >> i'll be glad to answer. >> i want to break this down. >> general lady has the time. >> she asked us a question. >> members know perfectly well it is out of order to interrupt members who have the time. general lady. >> unless they ask you a question. she asked us a question. >> you yielded to whom? miss escobar. >> thank you. i want to break this down in simple terms for the american public because our republican colleagues are working overtime
to try to convince us that we didn't see what we saw with our own eyes and didn't hear what we heard with our own ears. let's bring it down to an example used during the hearing. if a governor -- if a community suffers a natural disaster and the governor of the state has aid that will help that community but calls the mayor of your community and says i want you to do me a favor, though. and conditions giving the aid to the community on the police chief smearing his political opponent, has there been a crime? the answer is yes. and that governor would go to jail. if that governor later releases the aid after he got caught, it doesn't matter. he still committed the crime. furthermore, if that governor says during the investigation i'm going to defy the subpoenas. we are going to fight the
subpoenas, guess what would happen to that governor? he has committed a crime. he would go to jail. if the governor then tried to cover up his wrongdoing, cover it up so that his people, his constituents couldn't see his wrongdoing, what would happen to that governor? did he commit a crime? yes, he would go to jail. so as wildly as they are trying to convince you that there was no wrongdoing, i want the american public to understand what is going on here. it is clear as day. we've seen it with our own eyes. we've heard it with our own ears. facts matter. i yield back. >> thank you, i would just again close with this single question. is it ever okay for a president to condition official action on personal gain? i yield back. >> mr. chairman.
>> who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman see recognition. >> unanimous consent request to introduce into the record -- >> i can't hear you. >> i would like to introduce ask unanimous consent to introduce the transcript of the call where the president says i would like you to do us a favor. >> without objection the transcript will be introduced. the call record will be introduced. for what purpose mr. buck seek recognition. >> strike the last word. >> we want to step away for the hearing for a moment. senator lindsey graham is in our washington, d.c. bureau listening to this. as a republican we wanted to give you a turn as well here. you said yesterday -- it appears clearly that these two articles are headed your way in the senate. yesterday you said we want to deep sixth thing suggesting you want to get rid of it as
quickly as possible. what is that time frame, senator? >> what i would imagine would happen, what i would like to see happen for this thing to get over as soon as possible. i don't want to give it any legitimacy. it is a crock. i trusted mueller to look at all things trump and russia. he did for two years and took no action. every impeachment accept this one has been conducted by outside counsel. ken starr and clinton, watergate prosecutors found misconduct by president nixon. this is being driven by democratic partisans. this being rushed, no due process, abuse of power if you are looking for it, my democrat house colleagues, look in the mirror. so here is what's going to happen. i hope we'll look at the record they used to impeach the president. if they get 218 votes. that will be the trial record. let the house managers present their case. let the president's lawyers comment on the house case.
then vote. i don't have any desire to call the vice president or call pompeo, hunter or joe biden. we can look at the biden affair outside of impeachment. my goal is to end this as soon as possible for the good of the country. it's a danger to the presidency to legitimize this. >> bill: does it mean no witnesses at all? >> i don't need any witnesses at all. i am ready to go. >> bill: in terms of time is a week, two weeks, a month? >> closer to a week for sure. how long does it take for the house to appear before the senate to go over the evidence they used to impeach the president in the house? the trial record should be the documents they use for impeachment in the house, no more, no less. i'm not interested in any witnesses. this thing is a sham. a crock. i don't want to legitimize it. i want to get it over with. there are plenty of ways to do
oversight outside of impeachment when it comes to corruption in ukraine and we will. >> sandra: i want to ask you, senator, thank you for joining us as we continue to look on at capitol hill and the goings on there. the new report says the whistleblower's team is preparing for the possibility of testimony. have you heard anything about that or on that? >> no. i think the whistleblower needs to be known but when it comes to the trial itself the country needs to get it over with. the senate needs to move on to things that matter to the american people. we need to get this cloud removed from president trump. it is a joke. i did trust mueller to be fair. he found nothing actionable. i do not trust nadler, schiff and pelosi to be fair. they are being driven by the most radical people in the country. so as to the whistleblower i think it is important that we find out who this person is that started this whole charade but when it comes to extending the trial, i'm not in the
extending the trial camp. i'm into getting it over with camp. >> sandra: as we watch this sausage making on capitol hill this morning and we'll get back to that in a moment you have been live tweeting during that, senator. you have tweeted if house democrats are looking for an abuse of power they should look in the mirror. what did you mean by that? >> this is the first impeachment in history conducted bipartisan. intel committee gathered the facts. the president's lawyer was excluded from participating in the intel committee. the house republicans on intel were denied the ability to call any witnesses. they couldn't find anything about the whistleblower. this start evidence with an anonymous complaint. they couldn't look as to whether or not there is real corruption on behalf of hunter biden. it was all shut down. it moves to the judiciary committee. they have a hearing with four law professors. after that hearing giving four opinions nancy pelosi moves for articles of impeachment. they shut the president out in the judiciary committee in
terms of putting on a defense. when this comes to the senate, i'm going to treat it as the sham it is for the future of the presidency itself we need not legitimize this in the senate. what they've done in the house i think is a danger to the presidency behind closed door testimony, 90 percenters of it hearsay. >> bill: yesterday during the carter page/horowitz hearing you said was the f.b.i. spying on donald trump. if there is no carter page warrant 3 1/2 years ago, what do the last three years look like? >> what i can't get over is why it took mueller two years to find out the obvious. the carter page theory that he was working with the russians fell apart completely in january of 2017. carter page was not working with the russians. there is no evidence that manafort, flynn, carter page or papadopoulos were working with
the russians. all the evidence is quite the opposite. and when they found exculpatory information about mr. page, the f.b.i. and d.o.j. hid it from the court and lied about the evidence. they altered documents to keep the investigation going. this was opened as a counter intelligence investigation under the theory of protecting the trump campaign from foreign interference. they had no interest in protecting president trump. every time there was a stop sign they ran it. every time they had information that should have ended the investigation, they kept going. because the goal of these people was to destroy president trump. if you don't believe me, listen to their own words. >> bill: my five minutes is up for now. thank you for coming on today. thank you, sir. back inside the hearing now as the mark-up on impeachment articles continue. >> time and again you heard them in debate, in press conferences and the whole circus show that's going on here say well, we've got this testimony from gordon sondland,
we all remember gordon. gordon sondland wandering his way to an escalator with this guy who speaks english as a second language and gordon says well, maybe i said something to him about this. that was the whole deal for them. and then you talk about embarrassing. the same day that they introduce their articles of impeachment that they knew they would introduce the moment they took the majority. yermak denies the whole thing. show me the ukrainian that was pressured. show me the ukrainian that knew that any of this was tied to any conditionality. there is no conditionality in the call so it's quite easy to answer the lady from washington's question. easy. in this case there is no conditionality. you can't prove it. you have no evidence of it. and frankly even the
ukrainians, even your purchase ported victims are coming out in the press saying their theory of the case is wrong. their fundamental premise has been rejected. i yield to the gentleman from ohio. yield back to the gentleman from papa. >> i yield to my friend from ohio. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. what changed they got a brand-new president who ran -- zelensky ran on anti-corruption. let's see if he is the real deal. that's exactly what happened in the 55 days the aid was paused. we talked about five critical meetings that took place. five meetings. the last one i think is the most important because you have a democrat senator and a republican senator meet with president zelensky in kiev. they knew the aid had been paused at that time. ukrainians knew. they learned a few days before that and the issue never came up. but what did come up is both of these senators came back and said this guy is the real deal. worth the risk and worth
sending the hard earned tax dollars of the american people to ukraine. that is what happened. the facts are very clear. you can make up all the stuff you want. the facts are on the president's side. they've always been on the president's side. democrats keep saying to get the call, to get the meeting, to get the money there had to be an announcement. december 12th there is yet to be an announcement from ukraine for investigation into the burisma and bidens. it never need to happen. that wasn't the call. they got the meeting, and the money september 11th. the other thing i want to point out. i don't know how many times i've heard the democrats talk about this one sentence the president said in the now famous caltrans crypt. i would like you to do us a favor, though. the democrats don't read the plain language. your star professor witness here last week talked about this being the royal we.
she read the sentence the way you guys try to portray it. i would like to you do me a favor, though. that's not what it says. i would like you to do us a favor, though, because. guess what the next two words are? because our country -- not because i, president doesn't say i would like to you do me a favor though because i've been through a lot. he doesn't say that. very clear i would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and that is the understatement of the year. heck yeah our country has been through a lot. this is the day after bob mueller sat in front of this committee and we learned there was nothing there but two years he put our country through all kinds of turmoil because of you guys. that's what the president is pointing out because at the end of this paragraph he references bob mueller. that's what he is talking about. heck, yeah, our country has been through a lot. the president was pretty ticked about it and wanted to find out
what was going on. that's very legitimate. that's working on behalf of the american people. as i said last night, you guys don't respect the 63 million people who voted for this guy. that's why the speaker of the house called the president an impose tore. that's what's wrong. i would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. for what purpose does mr. johnson seek recognition? >> strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i just want to slow this down and being very methodical. most of us are attorneys. in this case we're supposed to be finders of fact and supposed to carefully and objectively analyze the claims against the record. so let's do that. there are two articles to this impeachment resolution, of course, abuse of power and obstruction of justice. on the first democrats know there is zero direct evidence in the record of these proceedings to show that president trump engaged in any scheme of any kind as is
alleged in the resolution. or that he intended in his dealings with ukraine to influence the 2020 election. no impeachment should ever proceed on the basis of hearsay and conjecture and speculation that wouldn't be admissible in a local traffic court. we say that over and over. to my friend from washington there is simply no evidence of any condition and i guess i need to repeat the four indisputable fact in the record. retition is really necessary here. both president trump and zelensky say there was no pressure exerted. two, the july 25th call transcript shows no condition. number three, ukraine was aware of the aid being delayed. they got the meeting and received the aid. our colleagues keep misrepresenting the facts. not only do they misrepresent the do me a favor versus do us a favor. three of the 17 witnesses
called by schiff listened in on the call. only three. contrary to the assertions they heard this morning. they didn't provide firsthand testimony. all three of them contradicted each other. the three people that listened in directly didn't know. the evidence shows president trump holds a reasonable skepticism of ukraine during its history of corruption and his administration sought proof the new president was a true remover. the president soon found out he is a swamp drainer and why the funds were released. president trump wanted to insure that the american taxpayer funded security assistance wouldn't be squandered by what has been report evidence as the third most corrupt nation in the world. before zelensky. and the discussions they had were never about what happened in -- what will happen in 2020 but rather about what happened in 2016. the second claim of this resolution is that the president obstructed congress
but he simply did what virtually every other president in the modern era has also done. what is his big infraction here? he asserted a legitimate executive privilege and legal immunity to question subpoenas issued to various white house officials. there is no evidence of any impeachable conduct with that. it is very common place. on every previous occasion of this assertion in the past the impasse that is in our constitutional system has been calmly resolved either by good faith negotiation or a simple filing with the third branch of our government, the judicial branch. let the courts decide it. in spite of their allegations here democrats know president trump has lawful cause to challenge subpoenas. house democrats are trying to impeach him for seeking judicial review over whether the direct communications between high ranking advisors are privileged or should be
disclosed. that case would be expedited in the courts. democrats said they don't have time for that. why? they promised their base an impeachment by christmas. the whole thing is so absurd. it should be noted that president trump has consistently cooperated with congress in fulfilling its investigation responsibilities here over 25 administration officials have testified befr oversight committee this year. 20 before this committee. at the start of the impeachment inquiry the white house produced more than 100,000 pages of documents to the oversight committee and quickly declassified and produced to everyone the call transcript. democrats know it's an absurd charge of obstruction. there has never been a single party fraudulent impeachment process deployed against a president like the one that is being used against donald trump. they are the ones seeking to nullify our constitutional safeguards with this sham. the ultimate objective is nullify the votes of the 63 million americans who voted to elect donald trump to president.
they violated due process and all the rest. my colleague sheila jackson lee evoked and quoted barbara jordan. she said during the watergate inquiry impeachment not only mandates due process but due process quadruple. this impeach many will fail and the democrats will pay a heavy political price. the pandora's box they opened today will do injury to our country in years ahead. that's why we're concerned and facts matter and we need to move on. >> mr. chairman. i move to strike the last word. >> general lady is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i'm opposed to this amendment. it is incredible to me the other side of the aisle has not seen the facts and has not apparently read some of the evidence before us. it is obvious to me that this president has put his personal
interests above this country. and with that i'll yield back to the gentleman from maryland, mr. cicilline -- rhode island. >> i thank her for yielding. we've just heard our republican colleagues claim that there was no demand, no conditionality for the release of this aid. in fact it was motivated by this president's deep desire to ferret out corruption. that is laughable. the president of the united states had two phone calls with president zelensky. he never once uttered the word corruption because it wasn't about corruption and the reason we know that is the department of defense had already certified that steps had been taken to combat corruption on may 23 and despite that certification, that hold remained in place. the professionals testified about them trying to figure out
how is it possible it's legal to hold this aid? the certification, the president ordered it. it was not about corruption. it was about extracting a commitment to announce publicly that they were launching an investigation of president trump's chief political rival, a smear against vice president biden. this notion that really what happened is the president just satisfied himself that mr. zelensky walls for real is nonsense. betrayed by all of the evidence collected. let me give you some of us or remind you of it. you apparently don't remember it. sondland testified under oath mr. giuliani's requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a white house visit for president zelensky. mr. giuliani, the president's counsel, demanded ukraine make a public statement announcing the investigation of the 2016
election, dnc server and burisma. mr. giuliani was expressing the desire to the president of the united states and knew the investigations were important to the president. july 25th call president zelensky himself recognized the connection between the meeting and the investigations and he said i also want to thank you for your invitation to visit the united states. specifically washington, d.c. i want to assure you we'll be serious about the case and work on the investigations. the president spoke in the call about the bidens and burisma. the omb ultimately announces the aid was withheld because no explanation. everyone in the intelligence community, all the national security team, all recommended the release of the aid. it was an important ally of the united states. facing an active war with the russians that took part of their country. continuing to kill people in eastern ukraine. american military aid was a lifeline for this emerging democracy. you know the only people who
benefited from this scheme? president trump because he thought he would get an announcement to smear his political opponent and vladimir putin, russia were trying to weaken the ukrainians. it was a recent article congressman bass held up that said president zelensky facing president putin all alone. this benefited russia, weakening ukraine. but this notion that the reason that the aid was released because the president was satisfied is defied by all the evidence collected in the 300-page report by the intelligence committee. it was released because the president got caught. the whistleblower filed a report, a complaint alleging a scheme by the president to betray the national interests of our country that undermined and national security that advanced the personal interests of the president.
that attempted to corrupt our elections by dragging in foreign interference. the highest of high crimes and misdemeanors. our framers spoke about this abuse of power. to undermine the public interest. i will yield to mr. raskin. >> you yield to mr. raskin? >> i yield to him. >> thank you very much. just to flesh out the detail of what the gentleman from rhode island was saying, one of the depositions is from david holman, a state department official at the u.s. embassy in kiev who was with gordon sondland who testified there was a quid pro quo but he saw him on the phone with president trump and he reported right at that time to him and said the president doesn't give a blank about ukraine. he is interested in the big stuff and what's the big stuff? whatever can benefit him. >> gentleman yields back.
for what purpose does mr. biggs seek recognition? >> strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. last night and today we've heard many times my colleagues on the other saying the facts are not contested but they are. they really are. an example is one just pointed out and highlighted by my colleague from louisiana a moment ago. on the telephone call listening of the 17 witnesses that came in only three actually listened into the phone call. but each one of them have contradictry testimony. even the three witnesses that heard the call conflicted. and why is that important? why do i bring that up? i bring it up because of this. many of my colleagues -- most of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle take every inference in the light most negative to the president of the united states. that's because there is an animus there that has been
manifest since november 9th, 2016, the day after he was elected. and so having watched this procedure closely on the heels of the other procedures and attempts to impeach this president and investigate, i am left wondering, you want every inference to go against the president, why should the american public give you any inference of credibility? the reality is when my colleague from california said -- was talking about the russian issue. not a single american was indicted for conspiring with russia to influence the elections. not one. he still believes there was some kind of collusion with the trump campaign. what did the facts get to? when my colleague just talked about the money was released, the aid was released, again i
takes this inference based on a timeline and he is citing rank hearsay. hey, you know what? i overheard this conversation. i'm in a restaurant sitting on a patio at a restaurant. lots of people around. but boy, i could hear everything. i knew who it was and what was said. i was so concerned about it i didn't tell anybody. i came in once this really got going and revved up. you want to take every inference against the president. why should we give you any inference of credibility? the only direct evidence in this case remains the same after all this time. no pressure in the phone call. mr. zelensky has said that repeatedly. he spent eight hours in one press conference talking about no pressure. there was no pressure. yermak said there was no pressure.
are they lying? no, but we know the whistleblower was lying. we know that mr. schiff was lying. mr. schiff came out the day before and said eight times the president put direct pressure on the ukrainians. oops, the transcript is released. not true. that would be the facts being contested absolutely. we know there was no conditionality. everybody says there is no conditionality. everybody that participated and listened. ukraine was unaware of the hold. how can you leverage them? there was never any investigation. but what happened? what triggered it? you have high-ranking u.s. officials convinced the president. the president of ukraine signing two pieces of legislation reinstituting the anti-corruption tribunal and removing immunity from prosecution of the legislative
branch in the ukraine. significant anti-corruption measures worthy of convincing this president that yes, they're worth the chance. so with that you have nothing, your credibility is in tatters quite frankly. i yield to my friend from california. >> i just want to ask my friends on the other side, mr. sondland, ambassador sondland is your star witness? really? you are basing an impeachment on ambassador sondland's testimony? his first statement, his first deposition he said 325 times i don't remember, i don't know, i'm not sure. 325 times. you don't think when this gets over to the senate that he will be impeached on all the things he didn't remember? then -- then his testimony impeached. not his office. i see the smirk. then what does he do?
he reads and listens to what ambassador taylor says that he knows and what ambassador yovanovitch says that he knows and what all these people say he knows and his memory is refreshed. yield back. >> gentleman yields back. for what purpose does mr. ratcliffe seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> i want to respond to my good friend congressman cicilline's comments. when he said that president trump's demand can't be explained by corruption because the word corruption is never uttered anywhere in the transcript. the problem with that is that the democrats have built this entire fake impeachment scheme around and alleged demand. guess what word is not anywhere in the transcript? demand. nowhere in that transcript does the president make a demand. you know where the word demand
came from? it came from the whistleblower. that's the first time we heard the word demand when he notified the inspector general for the intelligence community. he said president trump made a demand. he thought he could do that because he thought no one would ever be able the prove because what president would take the unprecedented step of releasing a transcript with a foreign leader? this president did. something that the whistleblower never expected. president trump we keep hearing got caught. president trump we keep hearing is obstructing justice. the president that took the unprecedented step of releasing a transcript so that everyone could see the truth is not obstructing congress. the president didn't get caught, the whistleblower got caught. the whistleblower made false
statements. the whistleblower got caught with chairman schiff. remember chairman schiff, the person that the democrats instead of the house judiciary committee who has spent a whole week on this isn't in charge. the person in charge was the person who got caught with the whistleblower. have you spoken directly with the whistleblower? no, we have not. we would like to. that wasn't true. the person that said he had evidence of the first fake impeachment scam, collusion with russia, had evidence of that collusion, and didn't have it. the person who in the course of that read into the record the steele dossier because the people needed to know the truth about what happened. well, we heard about the truth about the steele dossier this week when the inspector general told uls it was all garbage, rubbish, all made up. yeah, that chairman schiff. now he got caught not being truthful about a whistleblower
who as i told you the other day didn't tell the truth verbally and in writing. and that's in a transcript. you know what we didn't get in this one-week impeachment summary in the house judiciary committee? we didn't get that transcript. chairman schiff didn't send that one over. only if you were on the intelligence committee have you seen that transcript. i've seen it and i would like everyone to see it. with that i yield to my good friend congressman jordan. >> i want to go back to where mr. buck was referencing the gentleman from rhode island when he mentioned mr. sondland the guy they mentioned 611 times in their report. mr. sondland the guy who presumed there was a quid pro quo and had to file and addendum to his deposition testimony and that addendum ambassador taylor recalls that mr. morrison told ambassador taylor that i conveyed this message to mr. yermak on
september 1st and the meeting with president zelensky. six people again having four conversations in one sentence. the interesting thing. yermak talks with sondland, morrison talks with taylor and through all that we get the democrats believing there was a quid pro quo and they need to impeach the president. what they forget is what mr. gaetz brought up a few minutes ago. yermak talked with sondland, sondland talks with morrison, morrison talks with taylor. guess what? yermak said two days ago it didn't happen. mr. sondland is their guy. had to file the addendum to his testimony. had to write this sentence to clarify. amazing. the clarification. ambassador taylor recalls mr. morrison that i committed and had this conversation with mr. yermak and the meeting with president zelensky. yermak is the key and it didn't happen. he just told us that. "time" magazine just reported it the very same day as mr.
gaetz pointed out that you filed your articles of impeachment. holy cow. this is what it comes down to. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> unanimous consent to strike the last word. >> for what purpose do you seek recognition? >> mr. chairman i move to strike the last word. >> general lady is recognized. >> let me just say i've been pretty shocked and disappointed with my colleagues on the other side. there have been so many things that have been said like the president never used the word demand. well, i can tell you this, when a robber points a gun at you to take your money, they usually don't walk up and say i'm robbing you right now. the other argument that we've heard this morning is that
well, the aid was released. it was eventually released. there was no investigation, no announcement of an investigation. but you know the aid was released because the president got caught. it was released after the whistleblower's complaint. it was released after public reports that the aid was being held because ukraine was being coerced into doing an investigation, and congress had initiated congressional investigations into why the aid was being released. you know, we can talk about alternative facts all day long but the facts are really pretty clear. that the president abused his power. the precious power of his office to coerce a country that was dependent on us, a country who is fighting russian aggression because when ukraine fights western aggression
they're helping us fight russian aggression and he did it for personal gain and he should be held accountable. mr. chair, i yield back. >> general lady yields back. >> i have unanimous consent request. >> who seeks recognition? >> mr. biggs from arizona. >> gentleman is recognized. >> my first amendment is the record of the correspondence and subpoenas served on executive branch officials. we have concerns. three of those were served prior to the passage of 660. >> we'll reserve the right to object and take a look at that. >> another one. it is two letters sent by the office of the vice president dated october 15 and december 11. the first explains the overbroad scope of the document request from chairman shifs and offers to work with congress for legitimate oversight authorities and inaccuracy in chairman schiff's report. at the time of the release of these reports. >> are these public
correspondence >> between the vice president -- >> without objection. >> thank you, mr. chairman. what purpose does ms. robey seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> i yield to my friend. >> thank you. i think that you have to remember that the abuse of power is coming from the quid pro quo charge, which then morphed into bribery. the problem is my colleagues across the aisle can't make out what we call a prima facie case meaning the elements are not supported by the facts. let's just go back and look at the federal statute for bribery. elements are as follows. whoever being a public official corruptly demands or seeks personally anything of value in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act. we can tear apart each one of these elements but let me just
focus on corruptly. the president didn't have corrupt intent. that's where the democrats cannot make out a prima facie case. contrary to schiff's parity version of the july 25th call, the president wasn't asking ukraine to make up dirt about my opponent. that quote came from a parody from chairman schiff. the president didn't say it in the phone call. for whatever reason that's being missed. there was also significant reason to believe that the bidens were involved until corruption and there is also evidence ukrainian officials colluded with democrats in the 2016 campaign. there has been a lot of talk about it being a conspiracy theory. the hill and "politico", financial times all reported on this and for whatever reason now it is being labeled a conspiracy theory. also the president was not seeking to help with the 2020 campaign. rather he was seeking accountability regarding ukraine democrat collusion in
2016 and also potential corruption in the obama administration's dealing with ukraine as well. we have to remember, too, what professor turley said. he voted for hillary clinton, he is not a trump supporter. he was very impartial and he said and i quote the professor, trump does not state a quid pro quo in the call. he is using his influence to prompt the ukrainians to investigate and to cooperate with the justice department. if president trump honestly believed there was a corrupt agreement with hunter biden that was not fully investigated by the obama administration, the request for an investigation is not corrupt. again i was quoting professor turley. i would also like to quote the mueller report just an aside. months ago robert mueller came in here and said there was no evidence of collusion, no evidence of obstruction. but again we're back here. let me go back to the mueller report. there was discussion of corrupt in that report as it pertains
to obstruction of justice. corruptly means acting with an improper motive or intent to obtain an improper advantage for himself or someone else inconsistent with the official duty and the rights of others. by that standard, by mueller's own standard the president's behavior is entirely inconsistent with the definition of the underlying statute. with that i yield back to my friend and colleague from alabama. >> i yield the remainder of my time to the gentleman from texas mr. gohmert. >> thank you so much. first of all, i was astounded having been a prosecutor, i've defended some cases and i've been a judge. i have sent a lot of people to prison but i have never someone to prison where the victim didn't know or figure out that they were a victim. that is extraordinary to hear that you can commit a crime
like bribery or theft and the victim never knows and never figures out there is a victim. i've never sent anybody to prison where a victim didn't know. >> i yield to mr. collins. >> let it go. >> also there is probably nobody on this committee that has followed what has happened over time in ukraine more than i have. and there is no question putin wants the old soviet empire back. what happened when president bush was in office, putin had russia invade georgia and president bush reacted strongly and he put sanctions in place. and so what happened when president obama took office and clinton was in office. they went over there with a red plastic reset button and the
message was clear to putin. look, bush overreacted when you invaded georgia. so you can invade ukraine and we're okay. that may not have been what they intended but that's exactly what putin heard and that's why he invaded ukraine. >> what purpose are you seeking recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> you're recognized. >> our colleagues reprove mr. cicilliney for raising ambassador david sondland, president trump's ambassador to the e.u. fascinating to me because that's president trump's pick. he contributed a million dollars to the trump campaign, became ambassador to the e.u. they don't like him now because he clarified his testimony to say yes, there was definitely a
quid pro quo at the heart of this whole thing. now of course they turn on the president's own ambassador but we don't have to rely on his word. i started to mention this before because he had a lunch with david holmes, the senior state department official at the u.s. embassy in kiev and they went out to a restaurant and ambassador sondland got president trump on the phone and afterward and holmes could hear the conversation and this is all uncontradicted by other witnesses who were there. and essentially ambassador sondland said to him that, you know, zelensky loves your ass and you are going to get exactly what you want from him. afterwards holmes says well, you know, what is it we can get from him? well, it's the big stuff. holmes says the big stuff, you
mean like the war dealing with russia? no, the big stuff, what president trump cares about. the substance is very clear. i'm not quoting verbatim but what can benefit him but the bidens. very clear from multiple witnesses it's clear what president trump wanted from mr. zelensky. he wanted a statement on television that ukraine was investigating and was going to investigate vice president joe biden. and he wanted a statement contradicting the 2016 understanding our our intelligence committee and by special counsel mueller that there was a systematic campaign to interfere and saying it was ukraine that interfered in our campaign. that was the big stuff and what he wanted. he didn't care about the russian war on the people of
ukraine. he didn't care about corruption. they invite us to believe that donald trump is an anti-corruption crusader who is shaking down president zelensky about corruption when he doesn't raise any corruption on that call except for what he believed was going on with the bidens, except that he reduced anti-corruption funding for ukraine. except he doesn't raise it anywhere else that we can find and what do you know, you pick up "the new york times" yesterday. president trump had to pay $2 million to charities because he ripped off his own charity for millions of dollars. this is the anti-corruption crusader they want us to believe in. the guy who would pay $25 million to students at the phony trump university which the attorney general of new york called a classic bait and switch operation. this is the guy that they want us to believe was shaking down the president of ukraine because he had some secret
anti-corruption agenda that actually wasn't related to the bidens, that wasn't related to rehabilitating the totally discredited russian conspiracy theory that it was ukraine and not russia that interfered in our campaign in 2016. come on, get real. be serious. we know exactly what happened here. 17 witnesses. it's uncontradicted. there is no rival story. no rival story at all. and our colleagues will not even tell us whether in theory they think it would be wrong for the president of the united states to shake down foreign governments to come and get involved in our presidential campaigns in order to harm the president's political opponents. they won't even tell us in principle whether they think it's wrong. it's too dangerous at that point. we know they don't accept the facts. they don't accept the evidence. they don't like the fact that the depositions took place in
the basement. where should they have been, on the first floor, second floor, if we found some other room, would that be all right? their people were there. i walls -- i was in that room. there were democrats and an republicans. it was even on both sides. enough of these phony process objections. let's get back to the facts of what happened. the president of the united states shook down a foreign power to come get involved in our election. that's wrong. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> bill: mr. chairman down here. >> for what purpose? >> move to strike the last word. >> for what purpose mr. armstrong? >> move to strike the last word. it bears mentioning that there is a lot about david holmes i would say. what i would say first is that for a guy who heard part of one
half of a three-minute phone call he had a 40-minute opening statement. sondland testified that biden was never linkedin his mind until the transcript was released the end of august. the democratic report -- the democratic report does not establish any linkage between the announcement and understanding for investigations for his personal political benefit. they rely on sondland. they leave out the most crucial part of his testimony. he only presumed the linkage. he admitted in his public testimony that no one in the world told him there was any linkage. this is the basis for the democrats' article one. i want to go to a broader reason why they should accept the amendment. the democratic senator was quoted saying never in my view had america been led by such a
dangerous head of state. he bemoaned america was misled by a reckless and arrogant president. that was senator robert byrd from west virginia describing george w. bush. ronald reagan was accused of abuse of power for pushing a growth-based economic agenda. for committing troops to lebanon, or for turning back the -- clinton was accused of aindications for an asia fundraising, four dozen donors were arrested. use of the f.b.i. to dig up dirt on political employees, waco and take slush fund. george w. bush was accused of abuse of power for domestic spying and energy task force controversy. presidential records act, steel defense, iran/iraq war and nsa
overreach. obama's irs did politically motivated -- fast and furious collected -- the seizure of private property. the problem we're running into which will last far longer than today and far longer than this congress is this will become the new normal. every one of those things i mentioned had reports written about them. they probably had election consequences. there were hearings held. you know what they didn't have? a nebulous charge of abuse of power. if you cannot prove an underlying crime you do not get to use all of the evidence you are presenting for. this will continue, this will move forward in the history of our country, the party in the white house has accused the white house of abuse of power. it started 200 years ago and continue into the future.
except now congratulations. it will be impeachment every time one party controls the house of representatives and the other party is in the white house. >> we're talking about and have been for the last two hours this amendment that mr. jordan brought wants to strike article 1 of the resolution. the resolution isn't worth the paper it's written on. article 2 section 4 of the constitution gives us the standard for impeaching a president. you have to have treason, bribery, high crime or misdemeanor. you defaulted to an abuse of power allegation. not a high crime. there is one problem that to summarize all this if you get lost in the arguments of home it comes down to in the 243 year history of this country there is only two previous presidents that have been impeached by a vote of the house. andrew johnson and bill clinton. in both of those and the lengthy nixon impeachment investigation evidence clearly
established specific criminal acts were committed. these guys don't have that here. they know it. you know it. it is not on paper in the resolution in article 1 or article 2. it is in nothing that has been said in the last two hours. these facts don't change. this is a completely unprecedented single party impeachment charade and everybody at home can see that clearly. these things don't change and they won't. i yield back to my friend. >> mr. armstrong. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. no evidence, quote, when time asked yermak if he ever field there was a connection between u.s. military aid and the request for investigations yermak was adamant we never had that feeling. we did not have the feeling this aid was connected to any one specific issue. i seek unanimous consent to enter this magazine article of
10-11-19 into the record. >> the article will be entered. >> last word. >> thank you, sir. i took theater and drama when i was in college, one course. i was told the first thing you have to do is have the willing suspension of disbelief. the republicans took that course over and over and over again. and they don't -- they are the fifth avenue crowd. they've talked about sondland, that's the man the president appointed as his ambassador to the e.u. that's the man he said was a great guy. that's the man who still is employed. and sondland said they were all in the loop. pompeo, giuliani, mulvaney, bolton, they were all in the loop. and it was about the quid pro
quo. it was about having an investigation announced on cnn and then you will get the military aid. sondland told in warsaw one of the aides to president zelensky you have to announce the investigation. it was a strong arm. they did it. and where do we get these people in the loop to testify? they've been asked to testify. the president says no. he won't let them testify. because he knows that if they tell the truth, it will hurt his case because they know if they held up the military aid. president zelensky has no choice. he needs america to protect himself from the big bear, russia. they say he hasn't said that he felt pressured. well, a, he is an actor, b, he is a politician. he depends on us, he has no choice. he can't say that. but you knew it and he told
people and he knew the aid was being withheld. they knew it on july 25th. there were communications from the embassy that had been released that they knew the aid was being held up. they knew it was being held up. there was no reason for president trump to tell sondland no quid pro quo, i don't want anything, except for saying i want you to testify that i told you this because he knew that the whistleblower had come out and blown their cover. and he knew that the jig was up. so he needed to find a way to say something that would be in the record and sondland remembered it and -- their best witness, they talk about the three professors, three of the most respected professors in america who came in and said this is the most impeachable president. this abuse of power is one of the most serious offenses you can imagine. it is the constitution. it is the law of the land. and if you abuse your power, that's the most impeachable crime you can be charged with.
and they forget their witness, mr. turley said what the president did was wrong. he didn't come in and give a clean bill of health to the president. he said you need some more information. you need some more proof. but you can't get the proof because the president won't allow his men to testify. one of them is writing a book, one of them is an interim job. the other one is running for senator. they can't do it. the proof is there. this is the most abusive act we can imagine trying to influence our elections with foreign interference, that takes power away from the american people. that would end our country as we know it, a democracy, a shining city on the hill, a beacon of hope to people around the world who followed our revolution by changing their governments to giving people the power and not kings. this is a way to revert back to a king. a man who thinks he can do whatever he wants if it's article 2 says i can do
whatever i want, i'm president. that's not right. when he said i need a favor, though -- he was talking about getting dirt on the bidens. he fired joe biden as his primary political rival. michael cohen told us the president doesn't come out and say exactly what he wants. he speaks in code. that's the president's code. michael cohen knows it and michael cohen is in prison now. individual one is not in prison because individual one could not be indicted because of the justice department's policies that say you can't indict a sitting president. but michael cohen, who is in prison because he facilitated the payments to ms. daniels and the payments to ms. mcdougal. you talk about abuse of power, abuse of power is having a charitable foundation and taking advantage of the charities and using the money for your own purposes and having to pay a $2 million fine and not being allowed to be on a board ever again because you
don't have the character to be over a charitable foundation. abuse of power is ripping off people at trump university and paying $25 million. i yield back the balance of my time. >> gentleman yields back. >> move the strike the last word. >> i'm not going to go into why i don't see any of the remarks from the gentleman from tennessee in these articles of impeachment but i do want to say i'm a little incredulous as a prosecutor i'm so amazed at what the majority are calling facts. they keep talking about the facts and the evidence. well, their evidence is in dispute because it's based on hearsay, opinion and speculation. these are not facts. this is testimony about what somebody thought or what somebody concluded from acts taken by members of the
administration. the charges is abuse of power but what the majority is really upset about is the fact that the president and the administration is exercising its power under the constitution. its authorized powers. for example, the president's authority to set foreign policy and fire, for example, an ambassador is not a smear on an official. it is the use of article 2, section 2 of the constitution. the president is authorized by statute to put a stop on the distribution of funds. the president is instructed in the ndaa to ask for and monitor investigations into corruption in the ukraine. when you talk about direct testimony from individuals like lieutenant colonel vindman and
mr. morrison you have the fact that they were on the call and the transcript speaks for itself but you have opinions and conclusions after that. and when it comes to actual testimony that hasn't been heard, it just shows that the majority really doesn't have any interest in getting to the bottom of this question because if they did care about actually finding out facts, they would be calling mr. yermak back into this committee. they would be delaying this process because what we have read from this article in "time" magazine is incredible. and exculpatory and quite frankly a bombshell when you have specific rejection of claims made by ambassador sondland that he was told the aid to ukraine would not be released unless investigations were launched.
why isn't he in here? if he was asked if there was -- he said we never had that feeling. a clear understanding the aid had been frozen. we said okay that's bad, what is going on here. we were told they were figure it out and the aid was unfrozen. we didn't have a a feeling it was related to any one specific issue. if you ignore this evidence and you were in a court case, you would lose your law license for allowing a case to go forward without this exculpatory evidence being provided to the defense. it is just so ridiculous to me that we are not taking time to look further into this. with that i want to yield to mr. collins, the ranking member. >> i appreciate so much the gentleman from tennessee. he answered a ton of questions for me about his understanding of props and theatrics by his study of drama in his higher
education. they can read the transcript. quit saying i want you to do me a favor. it is not in the transcript. me and i gets confused when you try to make up facts. that's what is happening. he proved my point why mr. jordan's article is actually are -- the amendment is good. it's what i've said all along. the moment i say they decided to use abuse of power they gave the whole conference cart blanche to make up anything they want and call it abuse of power because they don't have anything else to give. they don't have actual crime to they can add up. if they did it -- if you had the crime, if you had it you would have put it in the articles. you didn't do it. the last thing that's amazing to me and the gentleman from tennessee said it. he called mr. zelensky a politician and an actor in a dear ogtive way. politicians lie? we've seen that this morning when they talk about how they
can't read a transcript and he is an actor. amazing to me how we on this committee are denigrating mr. zelensky in the eyes of his country and in the world because we can't make a case against this president. this is the tragedy of this impeachment. they can't make the fact that he felt pressure. that's a critical element of their case. i yield back to mr. klein. >> unanimous consent request. >> who is seeking recognition. who is seeking recognition? gentleman will stay it. >> unanimous request fror the us sa today calling for the impeachment of the president. from the "los angeles times," philadelphia inquirer and "boston globe." >> i want to read it. >> objection is heard. >> i would love for him to read them. >> who else seeks recognition. >> it proves that i can read. >> does anyone else seek recognition of this amendment?
what purpose -- >> move to strike the last word. the fact that thembers of this committee would insinuate ukrainians guided the hands of russians is ridiculous. having served in the combat theater to blame aid was delayed a few weeks and saved lives is insulting to me and all that served. democrats want you to believe that ukrainians died and it is trump's fault. let's impeach him on that. members on the other side of the aisle on this committee are laying out a case for bribery and elements for bribery. if their case was so compelling and overwhelming why isn't it in the articles of impeachment? not in either one. they didn't clue it because there is no evidence for that charge. the aid was released before the deadline set out by congress. they released the aid. ukrainians didn't start any investigations. they also got a meeting with president trump. president trump doesn't have to meet with foreign leaders. he still agreed to meet with him. article 2 section 4 of the
united states constitution says the president and vice president -- for conviction of -- we don't have that here. in every impeachment congress interpreted the section to meet the president has done a criminal act in a criminal statute. nixon was accused of a criminal act. bill clinton three. crimes that could have been tried in a criminal court. the standard of criminality provides clarity. mr. turley explained although criminality is not required clarity is necessary that comes from a complete and comprehensive record. but throughout this investigation the democrats couldn't seem to find any criminal act on the part of the president. instead of relying on historical precedent of criminality they decided to impeach him for abuse of power. it appears nowhere in the constitution when discussing impeachment. has no basis in fact or in
evidence, rather is deeply rooted in personal opinion and perception. my turley said we've never impeached a president largely on a basis of a non-criminal abuse of power allegation. good reason for that unbroken record. abuses of power the end to be more debatable as a basis for impeachment than some of the crimes already mentioned and said the problem with proving an abuse of power theory is the lack of evidence. now let's talk about the direct evidence they have. there is none. the only person who would have firsthand knowledge of the quid pro quo or whatever buzz word the democrats want to trot out is president zelensky who denied any such agreement or pressure. here lies the issue. the facts don't support your claims. let's review. never in the history of the united states has a president been impeached largely on the
basis of abuse of power. every president impeached was for criminal acts. defendants no crimeality on the part of the president or the non-criminal standard for abuse of power and relied on hearsay. what the democrats are trying to pull over the eyes of the american people and make them think that wrongdoing has occurred where there is none about by using fancy rhetoric they think they can convince a nation of their ill-conceived ideas. don't fall for it, america. i yield the remainder of my time for mr. jordan. >> if the democrats are going to take some of sondland you have to take all of sondland. you have to mention him 611 times in your report, if you will build your case around the guy who presumed -- presumed there was a quid pro quo. the guy who had to file an addendum to his deposition, if you're going to do all that you can't ignore the direct conversation he had with the president of the united states.
where he asked him mr. president, what do you want from ukraine? what did the president say? interesting, mr. sondland left this out of his opening statement. 20-some page opening statement. what do you want from ukraine? the president said i want nothing, i want no quid pro quo. i want him to do what he said and what he ran on. you can't ignore that. the one piece of direct evidence. you want all this presumption. you want all this addendum, if you will take some of sondland you have to take all of him. i yield back. >> yield. >> i yield to mr. gaetz. >> 30 seconds. >> i have 30 seconds left before they cut the clock. >> proceed. >> i yield to mr. gaetz. >> thank you for yielding. i just think the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen's debate on the last subject really shows what we're dealing with. this is not a rifle shot
impeachment with facts and evidence. this is bird shot. talked about everything from the campaign finance concerns, to trump university, concerns about charities. this is like pin the tail on your favorite impeachment theory. they don't have any for any one single thing to impeach the president for. i yield back. >> for what purpose does mr. mcclinton seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman the constitution introduces the president with 15 words. executive power shall shall vested in a president of the united states of america. it does not vest any authority in lieutenant colonels at the nsc, ambassadors, state department officials or cabinet secretaries. the only authority that these officials exercise is delegated to them by the president. so all of the criticisms and
resentments and personal and political disagreements that we've heard from those officials are completely irrelevant. it is dangerous that so many officials in the executive branch belief they have independent policy and actively work to undermine the lawful discharge of the president's duties under article 2. if their judgment can replace that of the president it means that the people of the united states have simply been removed from the equation. someone said during the discussion today that the president has actually committed real crimes. the article does not charge such crimes. why not? because there is no evidence to support them. if there was evidence, you know that in a heartbeat they would have included these charges. so it's obvious they don't even believe their own rhetoric. one member said we're not restricted as the department of
justice is. think about what that statement means. the department of justice is restricted by the bill of rights. the bill of rights sets forth basic principles of due process. the right to confront your accuser, the right to call witnesses in your defense. charges have been supported by evidence, not gossip. and you have the right to appeal to the courts to protect these rights. yes, the department of justice is restricted by the bill of rights but our bill of rights with its due process restrictions restricts all of us who take the oath of office. that includes congress. we are restricted to respect these rights also. only the majority is now placing themselves above the supreme law of the land. the lawful exercise of executive power is simply not an impeachable offense. the president is responsible for faithfully executing the laws. the foreign corrupt practices act makes it a crime to offer
something of value to secure bills in a foreign country. well, the facts of mr. biden's actions in the ukraine certainly look like they crossed that line. does the president have the authority to request cooperation of a foreign government to investigate potentially corrupt interactions between u.s. officials and their own officials? of course he does. democrats impute the most sinister motives to this request. nothing in the conversation suggests that. do us a favor because our country has been through a lot and ukraine knows a lot about it. that's the exact quote. the national defense authorization act specifically requires the administration to determine that ukraine is taking steps to combat corruption before aid can be released. the democrats have made much of the fact that the secretary of defense certified this in may. they ignore two facts. number one, the secretary of defense exercises no authority
independent of the president. the buck still stops at the president's desk and two, the president retains responsibility to determine that the findings of his administration remain valid. particularly as he assesses the intention of a newly-leected president and parliament. unless we forget. last year three democratic senators wrote to the ukraine government demanding that it cooperate in investigating president trump. the democrats found absolutely nothing objectionable about this. the only difference i see is that the president actually has the authority and the responsibility to make such a request. so what's at stake here? the worst possible interpretations of the president's motives and discharging his constitutional powers are being imputed to him by his most vitriolic opponents. nothing extraordinary about that. it's called politics. but if this can become the new standard of impeachment that congress can impeach any
president whose motives his opponents question, if this is allowed to replace treesion, bribery and other high crimes as a standard sub sti tighting the judgment of congress instead of the judgment of the american people, well then no president can make any decision without subjecting the nation to the travesty going on today. the executive branch will be sub ordinated serving at the pleasure of congress and the separation of powers at the heart of our constitution would have been utterly destroyed. yield back. >> for what purpose does the ranking member mr. collins seek recognition. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as we went through this amendment which i think is probably one of the most telling amendments and when put to a vote is going to tell a lot because this is the most -- this is the one that even when i was waiting for the announcement from the chairman
and others at the podium i was actually there and being interviewed and when i heard this one come up and confirm that abuse of power was one of their articles of impeachment it was stunning. my first reaction has been made and rung true completely here today by many of the members on the majority including the gentleman from tennessee. abuse of power for articles of impeachment means anything they want it to mean. it is the cart blanche coverage saying we don't really have a case to our caucus but make it up. go out and say what you don't like. if he didn't say something nice to this or didn't do something you didn't like you'll be okay. this is always about an election. you know how we continue to know this? we keep misquoting the transcript. they don't have the facts. we keep misquoting the transcript saying do me a favor. again, it is simple. read it. it's us, our country. if you have a case, make it. don't make it up because you
don't have it. what we have here also is this continual just repeated attacks on the ukrainian president mr. zelensky. the repeated attacks. because we're either claiming he is a liar or a puppet or as we just called a politician and actor, disregard him. wow, that's a lot of concern for the ukrainian people. taking on their very president they've just elected. when we understand and look at this, this is how it gets to the problem. when you get to a certain point and can't make your case and can't factually have it up. law schools professor if you thing this, the inference is okay. we've lowered that standard where anything that can be brought in. the factual case made by the minority side has laid bare the case of abuse of power, there is none. you can make it up. you can call it whatever you want and you can go and try and sell it to the american people.
they aren't buying it. they're not. and it will get harder and harder for members to go to the well next week or go to that ballot where they stick their card in and vote yes on abuse of power and then actually have to go back and explain that. it is easy in this room. you have help from your colleagues. when you are back home trying to explain why you'll take down a president duly elected over abuse of power because of some of the arguments we've heard this morning. that's just amazing. there is true skepticism about what went on in the ukraine and deeply rooted with this president. there was another time in the late 17 and 18 ukraine was held. it is not the first time. skeptical of foreign aid. he ran on this. i said it before. most people are amazed. he says foreign aid needs to be looked at. that's what true leadership does. the pause was 5 days.
other country's aid was also held. this is not a new thing. don't let the majority try to convince the american people that withholding aid or not looking into corruption is a new thing. don't let them do it. in the words like i said others maybe that's when you are having to play a part you have to do that. you have to make it up. called ad lib. that's what they're doing. mr. hale testified, i have a friend of mine who texted me a few minutes ago we brought thup. it needs to be hit. one of the things perpetrated this morning out to the american people was is that people lost their lives in the ukraine over this failed aid. this friend of mine who texted me a few minutes ago lost limbs on his own body in defense of our country in a war zone. he said don't let them get away with this because this is a future act. mr. hale testified to this fact. he repeated it in his deposition. we want to talk about facts.
go to the transcript. he said this was future aid had nothing to do with running the army right then. in war zones people get hurt and die and russia invaded the ukraine and they're fighting and it is a hot war. people will. but to blame this conversation because you have such a weak case that you are going to try to throw that in to scare the american people? that's not right. make a case, have your facts, put it in the articles. but when you can't do that, you go in the back room, you start writing articles of impeachment, and you say oh oh, we got a problem. let's put something in here that all of our conference can get behind because they don't like the president. >> for what purpose does ms. dean seek recognition ?ao >> i move the strike the last word. i rise to speak in opposition to this amendment. and to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to
remind you of the facts that have been uncovered and to review them and put them on the record again for the american public because facts do matter. notice the contrast between the conversation on this side of the aisle and that. they run away from the facts. they are afraid to admit to themselves or to the american public of what the president's behavior adds up to. let me just recite the facts. when ukrainian president zelensky raised the issue of u.s. military assistance to ukraine during the july 25th call president trump replied quote, i would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and ukraine knows a lot about that, end quote. congress appropriated and authorized $391 million in security assistance to ukraine. on may 23 the department of defense certified to congress that ukraine had completed the
requisite anti-corruption reform actions to comply with the aid. the president himself directed the aid to be put on hold. in july ukrainian officials asked pentagon staff about the hold on military assistance. no legitimate public policy or national security rationale exists and the president has not brought one forward for president trump's decision to withhold the security assistance from ukraine. providing aid to ukraine is in the national security interest of the united states. withholding it is in the personal political interest of the president and of putin. president trump failed to say the word corruption during his april 21 call with president zelensky. he failed to say the word corruption during his july 25 call to president zelensky. the aid was released only after house committees announced an investigation into the administration's decision to halt the aid.
the president instructed all witnesses from the administration not to testify and withheld all relevant documents from house investigators. on october 3 when asked by a reporter what he hoped president zelensky would do following their july 25th call, president trump told the american public and the world well, i would think that if they were honest about it they would start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. on october 17th at a priest -- press briefing mulvaney said president trump absolutely mentioned corruption related to the dnc server in connection with the security assistance during his july 25th call and the server was part of quote why we held the money up, end quote. taking a question from a reporter attempting to clarify the acknowledgement of a quid pro quo mulvaney replied we do that all the time with foreign
policy. get over it. let me remind you of a statement that dr. fiona hill made in her opening statement and her extraordinary powerful opening statement and credible testimony before this congress. she said and i quote, if the president or anyone else impedes or subverts the national security of the united states in order to further a domestic political or personal interest, that is more than worthy of your attention. i ask my colleagues respectfully on the other side of this dais is it not worthy of our attention to uphold the constitution and ask the president to do the same? or do they think it is proper? do they think it's okay for any president, not just this one but for any president to invite foreign interference into our elections? and with that, mr. chairman, i
yield to the gentleman from rhode island. >> there was a letter signed by more than 500 legal scholars across the ideological spectrum that i want to read from briefly. speaking of the president's conduct. it is precisely the type of threat to our democracy that the founders feared when they included the remedy of impeachment in the constitution. we take no position whether he committed a crime. it not be criminality to be impeachable. it doesn't depend on what congress chose to criminalize. it is an essential remedy for conduct that corrupts elections. i'll come back to this before i introduce it. i would like to read additional parts. i yield back. >> the gentleman lady yields back. recognize myself on the amendment and i yield to mr. cicilliney. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to continue to read. a letter signed by more than
500 constitutional scholars and i think some of the confusion my colleagues have been struggling with is the difference between impeachable offenses and violations of the criminal statute. i hope this will help clarify that. they write impeachment is a remedy for grave abuses of the public trust. impeachment is an especially essential remedy for conduct that corrupts elections. the primary check on a president is political. if a president behaves poorly voters can punish him or her at the polls. they seek to place themselves upon the reach of the check. george mason described impeachable offenses as attempts to subvert the constitution. corrupting elections, subverts the process by which the constitution makes the president democratically accountable. if a president cheats in his effort and reelection trusting the democratic process to serve as a check through that election is no remedy at all.
this is what impeachment is for. they say in the letter whether president trump's conduct is classified as bribery, high crime, misdemeanor both it is clearly impeachable under our constitution. i ask for unanimous consent be made part of the record i hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will understand the basis of this article of impeachment. the president of the united states violated the public trust, undermined the national security of the united states, betrayed our national interests by using the enormous power of his office not to advance the public good, not to advance the policies of the united states and the interests of the united states, to advance his own personal political benefit. that is exactly what the framers spoke about and not my conclusion alone, it was the conclusion of the scholars we heard from in the hearing and more than 500 legal scholars who joined them. i hope we'll put to rest this notion that you have to violate
a criminal statute. a president could deface a post office, a mailbox, that's a federal crime. no one would suggest a president could be impeached for that. so the framers are talking about the abuses of the public trust, violation of the most sacred oath to honor the interests of the american people and not advance our own political interests. these scholars say it better than i can. i ask unanimous consent and be made part of the record. >> reclaiming my time i would point out a few things, number one, that the impeachment of president nixon, although he had committed many crimes, he was impeached -- the committee voted impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of justice. it did not specify a specific crime. i would also point out that the majority staff report of the judiciary committee back in 1974.
and i believe in 1998 but certainly 1974 pointed out crimes and impeachable offenses are different things. crimes that may not be impeachable and impeachable offense that might not be a crime. it is a grave and serious offense against the constitution, against the structure and function of the government. i would refer you to the federalist papers. i would also say one other thing. we repeatedly heard that the democrats are accusing president zelensky and mr. yermak of lying. because mr. zelensky said he wasn't pressured. well of course he said he wasn't pressured. the united states is a powerful nation on which his nation is dependent. he has a gun to his head. the gun is the fact that the president of the united states, upon whom he depends for military aid and help in many different ways has shown himself willing to withhold that aid and to do other things
based on what he says. based on what he says and based on whether he is willing to play along with the president. of course he denies he was pressured because he knows if he didn't deny it, there might be heavy consequences to pay you cannot credit that denial and you cannot credit to that denial without any is versions of his character based simply on the fact that the president of the united states holds a gun to his head. i yield back in the question is on the amendment. those in favor say i, opposed, no. in her opinion of a chair, the nos have it. >> mr. nadler. ms. lofgren. ms. jackson lee. mr. cohen votes no. mr. johnson of georgia. mr. johnson georgia votes no. mr. deutsch both know.
yes. mr. jordan. mr. jordan votes yes. mr. johnson of louisiana votes aye. mr. mcclintock votes aye. voting aye. voting aye. mr. armstrong votes yes. voting yes. >> are there any members who wish to vote who haven't voted? >> mr. richmond. mr. richman's votes no. >> or any other members who haven't voted who wish to vote? the clerk will report. >>