tv House Speaker Pelosi News Conference on Mueller Testimony CSPAN July 25, 2019 9:31am-10:01am EDT
c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of governme government. >> house speaker nancy pelosi held a news conference following robert mueller's testimony on capitol hill where she was joined by the chairs of the house judiciary, house intelligence, and house oversight committees. this is half an hour. [inaudible conversations] the cameras are there. good evening, everyone, sorry for the delay, a pretty interesting day and a historic one, as a matter of fact. a day in which the former
special counsel affirmed in public what the mueller report put forth. it is a crossing of a threshold in terms of the public awareness of what happened and how it conforms to the law or not. the president likes to have his poster that said the mueller report took this many days, this much money, this and that and the other. we have a corresponding contradictory chart. mueller investigation by the numbers, 43 million dollars recovered for the u.s. government. remember, he said how much it would cost, less than that. 37 people and entities charged with crimes, 25 ongoing criminal cases referred, seven convicted, including five top trump campaign officials. and then he had no collusion, no this or that. ten instances of obstruction
yet, no exoneration. that's some of what we heard today. i just want to go to another point, that the same time as we're on this path of the mueller investigation, to recognize that the mueller investigation was prohibited from looking into the president's finances and that's what our committees of jurisdiction have been doing. as we legislate for the good of the american people, we're also investigating, that we have the grist of the mill to litigate in court and those cases we've won in lower courts, they've of course appealed, we feel strongly that our position -- that the position of article 1, the legislative branch having the right to have oversight over the-- over every other branch of government, but that's important because it means we can get the information to show the american people what the
obstruction of justice was further all about. i'm very, very proud of our committee, the judiciary committee and its great chairman jerry nadler, the intelligence committee, and adam shift. we'll hear from them and we're joined by elijah cummings chair of the government reform and oversight committee, a committee that is winning it's court in case as well. so i'm going to yield with great respect to all three of our chairman and then we'll take some questions. first i yield to distinguished chair of the judiciary committee, jerry nadler. >> thank you, madam speaker. today the american people heard directly about what the special counsel investigation uncovered. as to russia's interference in the 2016 election and the president's cooperation with it and obstruction of justice. mueller made clear that the president is not exonerated.
mueller found evidence of obstruction of justice and abuses of power by the president. the report said that the president could be indicted for obstruction of justice after he leaves office. that trump did benefit from russia's help and the campaign welcomed that help. mueller found three instances where all elements of criminal obstruction of justice is met, trying to fire the special counsel in order to stop the investigation, trying to have people lie and cover up for him for the same purpose, trying to limit or impede or constrict the special counsel's investigation. trying to tamper with witnesses, tamper with witnesses cooperating with investigators, all of those were found with great evidence. president trump went to great lengths to obstruct the special counsel's investigation. anyone else who acted in this way, if they were not the
sitting president would face criminal prosecution. would face indictments. only the office of legal counsel's opinion that you cannot indict a sitting president has saved or is saving the president from indictment because all the elements of -- of these crimes were found with consider -- with substantial evidence and the people have now heard this, the president's chant of no obstruction is nonsense, his chant that he's been totally exonerated is a simple lie. >> first of all, i want to thank director mueller for a lifetime of service to the country, from his days as a young marine in vietnam through his decades of service as a prosecutor, as a director of the fbi, and through his service as special counsel, this nation owes him an
enormous debt of gratitude. so, director mueller, i want to thank you personally for all of your service. today the director outlined in powerful words how russia intervened massively in our election, systematically in a sweeping fashion, how during the course of that intervention they made multiple approaches to the trump campaign and far from shunning that foreign involvement in our election, the trump campaign welcomed it, made full use of it, put it into its communications and messaging strategy, and then lied about it. lied about it to cover it up, lied about it to obstruct the investigation into that very attack on our democracy. part of what i found so powerful about his testimony today was not just when he was asked about the law, but when he was asked about the ethics, about the morality, the lack of patriotism of this construct,
and perhaps one of the most chilling moments in our committee is when he expressed the fear that this become the new normal, and of course, i think what is and an animating it, and still, the president will foreswear again. and calling it a hoax, something that director mueller row futed. and something he called a witch hunt, something that director mueller refuted. we can't control everything that russia does, although we must harden our defenses to make sure there are paper trails, to make sure that we deter and disrupt any kind of
russian intervention, but we cannot control that completely, but we can control what we do. and director mueller ma i had -- made it clear in no uncertain terms whether we act patriotically, whether we refuse to be a party to a foreign attack on our democracy and once again, i thank him for his service. . >> i first want to applaud chairman nadler and -- who heads our judiciary committee and certainly chairman of intelligence committee for what they did today and their-- what they did was paint a picture for america. one of the most chilling things that i have noticed that i've
witnessed is when a member of-- a former member of our committee, a republican, went to a town hall meeting and got a round of applause in a republican district after he had said that he felt that the president should be impeached, but that wasn't the thing that got me. what really got me was when a lady at the end of the town hall meeting said, i didn't know that there was anything negative in the mueller report about president trump. that says a lot. and to her credit, our speaker made it clear that we needed to paint a picture for america. for so that they could fully understand what is going on. this is a critical moment in
our country's history. don't be fooled. and it is a moment which people will be talking about and reading about 300, 400, 500 years from now and they're going to ask the question, what did you do when we had a president who -- who knew the rules and knew that our founding fathers had done a great job of creating a constitution and had put in all the guardrails, but never anticipate that we would have a president that would just throw away the guardrails. and that's why what happened today is so critical. it was a giant step in making sure that the american people were -- got a picture of all of this and hopefully will look toward the future and say, we're not going to have this.
both mr. nadler and mr. schiff said something that's very critical. this isn't normal. and we have gotten so-- we're now getting so used to normal, to this kind of conduct by our president and by the way of our attorney general and our republican colleagues, that we-- it looks like we're just going to accept it. well, we refuse to accept it and in my committee, we constantly know that schiff and nadler heard this, you're just messing with the president because you don't like-- it's not about not liking the president, it's about loving democracy. it's about loving our country. it's about making a difference for generations yet unborn. that's what this is all about. and i'm begging, i'm begging the american people to pay attention to what is going on
because if you want to have a democracy intact for your children and your children's children and generations yet unborn, we have got to guard this moment. this is our watch. and again, i am so, so very proud of the judiciary committee. i am so very, very proud of the intelligence committee because they went in and tried to paint the picture so america could see it and hopefully there will not be ladies like the lady at the town hall meeting who said they didn't know something was wrong that trump did in this mueller report. so, again, we-- the speaker is absolutely right. she told us a little bit earlier that she wants to gather all the information and make sure that we have everything we need to paint
that picture. now, what the american people do, that's another thing, but we will not stand by and fail to give them-- let them see the total picture. and i, too, thank mr. mueller for coming forth for the service for our country and last but not least, it's so interesting that when mueller would make a decision that they liked, they say, oh, we love you, love you, greatest thing since ice cream and as soon as he says something-- you're the -- you're a bum. come on, now, we have to see through that. thank you. >> thank you very much. and now, i -- as we acknowledge the greatness of our chair jerry nadler and adam schiff, i want to acknowledge the greatness of elijah cummings the chair of the oversight committee. he has really won the first
case, major decision which his research enabled us to take to court. we won the case. the decision was a complete, beautiful statement on the ability of congress to have oversight. >> that's right. >> just a remarkable decision and now of course the administration is appealing it, but i thank you, too, mr. cummings for your great leadership and where we're going next because as you know, the mueller -- the mueller investigation could not do the president's personal or business connections and one of those connections could be to the russians and that's what we want to find out. so as we -- as we go to questions i just want to say that i think -- i do believe that what we saw today was a very strong manifestation -- in fact, some would even say indictment of this administration's cone of silence and their coverup.
this is -- this is about our -- the oath we take to protect and defend the constitution, but some of the actions that the administration may have taken, we will see through our investigation, may have jeopardized our national security by strengthening russia's hand and interfering in our elections, undermining democracy not only in our country, but in other countries as well, upsetting our pre eminence as a democracy in the world. this is very serious. today was very important again, salute our chairman all of our six chairmen who have been involved in this. and here from first-- [inaudible] >> new about a new person. we have to go there-- . [laughter] >> as a mother of five.
>> thank you. madam speaker, what you saw today did it change whether or not you think the house of representatives should launch impeachment proceedings? >> my position was been whatever decision we make in that regard has to be done with the strongest possible hands and we still have outstanding matters in the court. it's about the congress, the constitution and the courts and we are fighting the president in the court. >> [inaudible] >> speaker. >> could i just follow up, some of your members told us over the course of today they were expecting imminent action of some kind from the leadership. >> i don't know why they thought that. but they came to me and i said i don't know why. again, the lawsuit-- as we have a number of lawsuits. you want to speak to that, jerry? >> the very next step, i'm not going to take longer range,
very next step tomorrow or friday, going into court to enforce -- to ask for the grand jury material and the subpoena against mr. mcgahn and that's particularly important because the excuses, and i won't call them reasons, the excuses that the white house gives for mcgahn not testifying, the same excuses, and if we break that, we'll break the log jam. >> where do you stand right now, what do you need to know on impeachment to say, okay, you don't know enough yet. >> did i just not say we're waiting to hear from the courts and we have our subpoenas in the court for the subpoenas are for information and we-- and when we get that information we make a judgment. >> that's a telltale sign whether or not-- >> we have several considerations it's about what information is there. and this isn't endless. this isn't endless. understand that, but we have
live cases in the courts. we have some that are going forward that mr. chairman nadler just mentioned. endless-- our hand to get that information, but remember that in the watergate was when they got the information and the tapes that broke the case. it wasn't just about changing public opinion. that helped change public opinion, but it's not about me it's about our caucus, it's about our country. there's a cone of silence in the white house that's engaged in a massive coverup in the obstruction of justice. those obstruction of justice charges have been demonstrated in the hearings could be indictable defenses by anybody else not the president of the united states and the president when he's no longer president, but the american people, i think, if we go down that path we should go in the strongest
possible way and that's all i'm going to say. we have the distinguished-- >> may i say something? and i know chairman schiff and chairman nadler would repeat what i'm saying. you know, the american people in the last election even from trump districts said we want to make the president accountable. the people loved him, lee li thy like him and they want to make him accountable. >> we have been stonewalled with regard to information, access to witnesses and getting documents. all of us have. remember the president said i'm not-- you know, i'm not, i'm not going to give you anything, really. and so again, the speaker is absolutely right. we-- we -- we are going to-- we're gathering information and
we are met with significant force, but we're finding our way through, but all of that information piece by piece, it's like a mosaic paints the picture. >> you've said there's no point in moving forward with the impeachment because the republicans are in the senate-- i've never long said that, i've never long said that, if we have a case for impeachment-- the fact i'd like it to be a strong case, it's based on the facts the facts and the law, that's what mattered not politics or partisanship, patriotisment i'd like the senate to protect the oath of office and constitution and challenge to our national security, the russians trying to do to our country, but the
stronger our case is, the worse the senate will look for just letting the president off the hook. >> speaker pelosi, even after the hearing-- >> chairman, so much-- >> i'm going to start asking them questions. >> even after these hearings the president says he's completely exonerated, despite what mr. mueller said. >> come on, come on. >> let me just say this, you give me the opportunity to say this and then i invite my chairmen to close. we want to have the strongest possible case to make a decision as to what path we will go down, and that does-- is not endless in terms of time or endless in terms of the information that we want. but if it comes to a point where the cone of silence and the obstruction of justice and the coverup in the white house prevents us from getting that information, that will not prevent us from going forward, in fact, it's even more grounds to go forward.
my colleagues. >> i just want to echo that. you know, martin luther king said something that's in the dna in my brain, particularly right now. he said there comes a point when silence becomes betrayal, and we refuse to betray generations yet unborn and the american people. we're not going to betray them and the more -- we're just -- we're accumulating information and doing the best we can. with a force great-- i don't know how many lawyers the president has, but's got a lot of them and they go against every single thing we do. and so, again, we will-- we're not going to betray america, we're going to do our part to make sure that we have a democracy that's intact. >> a question for --. >> the united states is a democracy.
it must remain a democracy. a democracy acts through the elected officials with the consent of the people. the people cannot give that consent unless they know the facts. today was a watershed day in telling the facts to the american people. with those facts we can proceed and we face a time of great danger. richard nixon said he thought that the president was a dictator. he said the president does it that means it's not illegal. president trump echoed that yesterday. he said under article two, i, that is he, can do anything i want. that's a totalitarian picture not a democratic picture. united states is safe from this. we have to paint a picture of someone who gladly accepted help from a foreign power interested in you be--
interested in subverting our election process and taking the choice of our president to some extent the choice away from the american people and that's what the russians attempt today do and that's what the trump campaign welcomed them in doing, a president who engages in crimes repeated crimes to cover up these unpatriotic and dictatorial actions and this cannot go on and it's up to congress to safeguard the constitution and we will do it. >> chairman nadler, chairman nadler. >> as i mentioned today during our hearing, i think the story of the 2016 election is really a story of disloyalty to country, about greed and about lies. and if there's anything that i think symbolizes those three strands of the 2016 election, it was moscow trump tower. it was this massive real estate project that the president was trying to consummate while he was running for president and
concealing it from the country. this, i think, demonstrated disloyalty to the country by deceiving the american people about this massive business opportunity he was seeking while he was running for president. it's certainly a vivid example of the greed of people involved with that campaign and an ample demonstration of all the lies that permeated the campaign and its aftermath. that to me is the story of the 2016 election. we need to make sure that's not the story of the 2020 election. and i'll say this on the issue of impeachment which i view in very much the same way as the speaker. maybe i'm just an old prosecutor, but before i brought a case to indictment i want today make sure that i had the strongest evidence possible. i wanted to understand my case and to be able to make my case. >> guest: i tried an impeachment case in the senate
a federal judge who was convicted. i have an understanding what it takes in the senate and have no illusions of getting a conviction in the senate. but there are two juries in an impeachment, there is the jury which is the senate which decides removal from office and then there's the jury that's the american people. and i'm most concerned about the jury that's the american people. and before we embark on a course as significant to the country as the impeachment of a president, i want to make sure that we can make that case to the jury of the american people. >> one of the-- i thank our distinguished chairmen so proud of all of them. just following up on the last statement by chairman schiff, e pluribus unum, we wanted to be together down the path, not
divided. that's why we want the strongest case. president lincoln said in order the public is everything. that's why we want the public to know and we think today was a milestone to make that sentiment be more informed. thank you all very much. >> i was on an air strip in the remote jungles of guyana, having just concluded a congressional delegation tour with then congressman leo ryan and we were ambushed on that air strip and shot.
congressman ryan was shot 45 times and died on that air strip. there were members of the press that died. one defector of the people's temple who died. i was shot five times on the right side of my body. >> sunday night on q & a, california democrat jackie sphere, undaunted surviving jonestown and fighting back. >> when people say it was a suicide, it was not a mass suicide. they were force today drink this toxic brew by jones and he had many of his guards surrounding the pavilion, i'm sure to make sure that people did as he was-- as they were told. >> sunday night at 8 p.m. eastern, on c-span's q & a. >> the u.s. senate is back in session on this thursday morning. senators beginning work on an
executive nomination and then later this afternoon, senate lawmakers will vote to confirm army chief of stat mark millie will be the chairman of joint chiefs of staff. the armed services committee held a hearing for him earlier this month. now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here and c-span2. the reverend black la lead us in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. almighty god, the author and finisher of our faith, we rejoice in the privileges you have strewn on our path. give us the courage to use our opportunities to serve you and country. may our lawmakers strive to stand for