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tv   Articles of Impeachment House Hearings Day 2 House Judiciary Debates...  CSPAN  December 12, 2019 3:03pm-5:00pm EST

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the wide gaps here of fact and logic are amazing in this. so, i mean, this is -- let's go back to the facts. let's get back to what we're saying. i do appreciate the fact that my friend florida mr. deutch said that we're mutdying the waters the way we tried to get the facts out today and what i've heard from the majority colleagues over the last six hours if there was a a muddying waters you ally e process. s hazard ohhous waste site at this point. you don't have the fact where you need to get to. you have i say it was. we just don't like him even the chairman. this is about an issue of going back that we are trying to get a dictator. i love throwing the words in. we're trying to stop a dictator. trying to stop a dictator. that's not what you're trying to do. europe using inflammatory language because you want to make a better point because right now your facts are failing. and you put two articles of quichement that you really don't want to defend. because either you defend them passionately and look sort of silly doing it or you don't defend them and look worse for
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bringing them. again we can fact check this all night. we're here to do this. it's just amazing though that after three and a half hours earlier laying out everything that happened. look being at what went forward. these -- these actually going forward are not what is happening here. so again let's get it one thing clearly for those who may have tuned in after lunch after now the the transcripts are accurate. you know how i know because everybody testified they were. even fiona hill says the lechlt lpses was not at issue. that talking point let's mark off. discuss the fact of us as accuracy. it's called he had reading. you read the transcript as it's put in. it said you us, not me. these the things simple that go forward. i yield to mr. jordan process. >> i thank the ranking member for yielding. i want to go back to something the gentle lady from texas mentioned a few minutes ago questioning whether the transcript was complete.
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remember what colonel vindman testified to. he said it was complete and accurate. lunt colonel vindman said that in his deposition in the testimony in the hearing, complete and accurate transcript. so to say -- to suggest it's not is not consistent with the testimony we received from your witnesses. remember lieutenant colonel vindman is the same folks who wouldn't tell us who he talked to about the call. he only told us four of the individuals he spoke with. but that's the guy who told us the transcript was complete and accurate. i yoeld back to the ranking member. >> i yield to the gentleman from play. >> i want to respond to my colleague, mr. rascon. we could debate this all day long. but you misstated u.s. v nicken. i don't want to get too deep in the weeds for the folks at home. in that case the supreme court recognized the existence of
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executive privilege, a protection requiring a balancing of interest between the legislative and executive branchs by the judicial brarmg. but here is the important thing. they said that that case there is not absolute unqualified presidential prism of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. that's from the court. but the other side of that is true as well. congress doesn't have absolute unqualified authority to demand evidence from the president either. that's the whole reason that you have to go to the third branch of the judiciary. this is a legitimate claim of privilege. it's a legitimate issue that the courts could decide. it's a case of first impression as my colleague knows because this specific set of facts has not been addressed yet. and it should be resolved by the courts. professor turley addressed in his testimony to this committee and said quote, he wrote in the submission the answer is obvious. a president cannot substitute his judgment for congress on what they are entitled to see and likewise congress cannot substitute its judgment what the president can wmd high pressure the balance of the interest is performed by the third brafrm
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constitutionally invested with the authority to review and resolves such zbuts. >> can i yao. >> mgts let's put it in the context and let's acknowledge. >> my friend. >> this is an issue. i yield 20 seconds. >> thank you. wree citing different cases. i'm talking about the 19939 judge walter nixon case. >> as i'll remind the gentlemen from the constitutional scholars on both sides of in issue it's my time not y'all zblees i yield back. >> fair enough. >> the. >> we had two different nixon cases. >> no mr. rascon we're done with in. >> the gentleman yields back for what purpose is she seeking recognition. >> i move to strike the last word. >> gentle lady is recognized. >> let's go back, as has been stated today, the constitution devotes only a few sentences to impeachment. i'm reading one. it's article one section 2 the last sentence. the house of representatives shall choose speaker and other officers and thus have sole
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power of impeachment. as professor rascon told us properly the constitution uses the word sole only twice. sole, not shared, not shared with the judiciary, not shared with the executive. this means that we have the -- the sole opportunity and obligation frankly to determine what evidence is necessary for impeachment. sole not shared with the executive. think back. judiciary chairman peter rodino warned president nixon about his failure to comply with the subpoenas issued in the watergate inquiry. under the constitution it's not within the power of the president to conduct inquiry into his own impeachment to determine which evidence and what version or portion of the evidence is relevant and necessary to such an inquiry. these are matters which under the constitution rodino wrote, the house has the sole power to determine. sole, not shared with the
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executive. sole, not shared with the courts. it's a civics lesson. don't let the other side who have such talented constitutional attorneys over there distract you. this is not an ordinary dispute, folks. this is a very rare thankfully -- very rare dispute. it's not an ordinary dispute where you go to the court. we don't need permission to go -- to use our constitutional rules. if president trump is allowed to refuse to comply with requests for information, it would gut the house impeachment power and undermine our bedrock principle of separation of powers. last night as we left here i wanted to just tell you this, i went outside and there was a team of about 12 high school students from ohio with their teacher. and they said would you mind stopping for a minute could weious talk to you a minute. it was so interesting to watch and listen and to hear what was going on at this important historic time. we loved learning about our constitution and how much you
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prize in constitution. thank you for protecting it for us. and you know what they said to me. we didn't understand this before but i do now. it's your job. it's the house's job to determine what evidence comes in. we do not need permission from the president. we do not need permission from the courts. in fact we have an obligation to do our job. under this simple smart document. today, december the 12th marks the anniversary of pennsylvania coming into the union. i think about those framers in my city of philadelphia. so wisely thinking through the words. today marks 232 years since those wise men thought through how would we conceive of our government and maintain self-government? do not be confused by the lawyers on the other side who would teach the wrong civics
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lesson. and distract you with the notion we need to go to court. we need permission of a president and permission of a court. we do not. with that i yield. >> will the gentle lady yield. >> i'd like to yield to the gentle lady from texas. >> i thank the gentle lady and for her very forceful response. and might i just say to the obstruction of congress, neither mr. nixon or mr. clinton obstructed congress in the manner that this president is doing. the underlying amendment had to do with corruption and i raise the point of the document that speaks about the july 25th call. let me just quickly say that the language is -- i would like you to do us a favor, though. and as the white house has distorted the interpretation, the us does not have any reference to the department of justice, department of defense, department of state, and clearly in the same document he mentions
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the vice president. he mentions crowdstrike, all of those have been debunked. it's clear the vice president was operating as the vice president of the united states at the time and as he was operating he was operating on an official policy to deal with ukraine. this is about the president seeking to have ukraine investigate this political opponent for personal and private reasons. no one misinterpreted what was said. and lieutenant colonel vindman immediately went to the legal counsel in the white house that immediately went dark and never responded because he was so offended by in campaign effort. with that i yield back. and thank the gentle lady for yielding. >> the gentlelady yields bap for what purpose does mr. refreshen thaler wish to be recognized. >> strike the last word. >> i yield to my good friend
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from texas. >> thank my good friend from pennsylvania. you don't have to be a constitutional scholar as i was. this is unique process. we don't need to hear from the courts? this we are told is uncharted territory because no president has just completely refused. let me just touch on a little bit here on both of those issues. this is uncharted territory. never in the history of this country have we had an impeachment proceeding begun by lies that got a warrant from a secret court that turned out and had been be documented to be lies and then kepting warrants three after that based on lies. and not one person on the other side of the aisle is the least bit embarrassed that they went to a secret court and got
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warrants based on lies, first to investigate -- spy on a campaign -- or surveil, electronically surveil, as horowitz says -- but this is uncharted territory. nobody wants to apologize on the other side. i get that. it might be politically embarrassing. but to say we don't need to go to court. i mean the obama administration was just incredible as at getting subpoenas doing document dumps of stuff we weren't looking for asking for especially from judiciary. but the other stuff that we demanded we couldn't get it. and we tried to get boehner to go to court let's get a court order requiring it to hold him in contempt. that's the only way we'll get it done. and he wouldn't do it. and so knows of us that understand the constitution and understand they're not just two
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articles we ununderstood we needed a court order backing us up so it wasn't us abusing the offices of congress. we had as turley and dershowitz and others pointed out you had the court. go. another thing that's uncharted territory, we started this impeachment proceeding about the russia hoax and collusion and demanding all the documents about the russia collusion. and it kept changing and then it went to bribery and extortion and ee monthly mts and all these other things. never in history has a president been accused of crimes with -- with the target constantly changing. now, when you subpoena documents there has to be a reasonable basis for requesting information or subpoenaing witnesses. you got to have a reasonable basis. and when you keep changing the allegations against the party from whom you are demanding information then they have the
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reasonable expectation to advise them of what the new charge is today what the new evidence is today. but they couldn't get any of those. and i would have been very surprised if you would have -- now you find some obama appointees that might have upheld the subpoenas but not the sprours because it's so unreasonable. and to the earlier allegation that gee, even though nobody in ukrainian government has said they were a victim, well it's because the president has a gun to their head. well that's not the case. the reason that they are not saying that is because they knew this is the most helpful president they have had since the steel curtain fell, becauses in a president, unlike the obama administration when they were under attack and ukrainians really were dying, we offered up blankets, meals ready to eat for the military stuff. but this is a president that's really helping them defend
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themselves. this is a president that's really made a difference from ukraine. so it wasn't a gun to their head. they see this as a helpful president. and another thing, if a victim does for the admit to be a victim -- anybody that's been a prosecutor surely knows this. you can go to court, force it to court. and the victim says, i wasn't a victim, you don't get a conviction, and if you do, that is not sustained because that's what courts and congress call a no evidence point. you have a no-evidence point. that's why you had to drop bribery, although it does apply to vice president biden. you smartly dropped the bribery. and now you have this elusive abuse of power. s in outrageous and needs to come to an end. >> the gentleman's time is expired. for what purpose does mr.
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jeffrey's seek recognition. >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> the gentleman from texas talked aboutable basis. the reasonable bass is that there are uncontroverted evidence that the president he pressured ukraine to target an american citizen joe biden for political gain and at the same time withheld without explanation $391 million in military aid that had been allocated on a bipartisan basis. ambassador taylor, west point graduate, vietnam war veteran, appointed by reagan, bush, trump, to the diplomatic corps said the following about the withholding of the military aid. no legitimate public policy basis, no legitimate national security basis, no legitimate
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substantive basis. that's why congress proceeded. we had more than 200 national security professionals. democrats and republicans, who expressed concern with the president's wrongdoing and said this undermines american national security. and that's a basis for the impeachment inquiry. but what the president has done is said, unlike the madison yan vision of democracy with the checks and balances, separate and co-equal branchs of government, i alone can determine what the representatives of the people see in connection with a legitimate investigation. and at the same time this is a president that attacks everybody. to distract. attacks everybody who won't bend the knee to donald j. trump. he has attacked john mccain, a
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war hero. attacked mitt romney, 2012 republican nominee. he has attacked bob mueller, a marine, a distinguished professional in law enforcement. he has attacked your former speaker paul ryan. he attacks gold star families. he even attacked today a 16-year-old teenage activist, greta thunberg. are you here to defend that as well? and so what's happened is that instead of addressing the substance of the allegation you want to attack joe biden and his family. elijah cummings is no longer with us. he is in heaven just like the
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prophet elijah. but his spirit is with us. and we are better than this. we are proceeding in a serious, solemn and sober fashion because the allegations are deadly serious. is it okay for the president to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election or not? who should decide the outcome of our elections? is it the russians? the chinese? the ukrainians? or the american people? it should be the american people. and that's why we are here at this moment. and so let's have a serious discussion about it and stop aching americans who refuse to bend the knee to this president. >> would the gentleman yield. >> would you yield. >> i yield. >> to the gentleman from tennessee. >> thank you, sir. >> one of the issues, big issues
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here is trump conditioning military aid on an investigation of the bidens. joe biden, period, his primary political opponent in his mind. the republicans have said, no it was about corruption. it wasn't about them. but listen to what they talked about today. all they've talked about is the bidens. hunter biden's automobile accident. hunter biden this, hunter biden that. hunter biden salary. any haven't brought up the past ukrainian leaders or business. it's all the bide. s. their defense speaks to the truth of the allegations in this article that it was all about the bidens. they're all about the bidens. and that's what it's about. >> would the gentleman yield. >> i yield. >> i did bring up. >> yield back to mr. jeffreyy. >> okay i shouldn't have tried to correct you then i guess. >> foreign interference in an american election solicited by the president is not okay.
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that is an abuse of power. it undermines our national security. the president should be held accountable because no one is above the law. >> the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does mthe gentleman seek recognition. >> strike the last word. >> i think the gentleman from new york laid out in an articulate way the basis and justification for both article 1 and article 2 before us. but i just want to touch on the debate around obstruction of congress and explain to my colleagues and to the american people why in instance is so unprecedented. i will first just say with much respect to my colleague from colorado, i want to assure the american people that obstruction of congress to coloradans means the same thing that it does to everyone else in this country. it means the defines of lawfully
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issued subpoenas by the united states house of representatives. it means impeding the ability of the united states mouse of representatives to perform its constitutional duty. and unlike the obstruction of congress that has taken place in the past this president's obstruction of congress has been total, has been absolute and has been categorical. in 1999 and 98 when president clinton was the subject of an impeachment inquire in. this committee propounded 81 interrogatories and he responded. during the watergate investigation nixon's chief of staff testifieds. nixon's counsel testified. in this instance the president has taken steps to ensure that
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this committee does not receive -- and the intelligence committee as well -- key testimony from any host of officials in our government. and just to give you a historical context i will read to you a quote. "all members of the white house staff will appear voluntarily when requested by the committee. any will testify under oath, and they will answer fully all proper questions." that's from richard nixon's administration. so i hope, again, as we consider the gravity of the articles before us, that we can stay true to the facts, and recognize that when we is he say that no president in the history of in republic has ever completely defied an depechement inquiry as this one has, we mean it. and with that.
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>> would the gentleman yield. >> i would yield to the distinguished gentle woman from california. >> i enjoyed listening to you. you're absolutely correct in your reporting of what occurred during both the nixon and clinton impeachment. but i wanted to address the issue from a slightly different point of view. not only has president trump refused to provide information that he should have provided. he didn't assert a privilege. he just said no. i actually have just reread the letter from mr. sthe president' lawyer. it's page after page complaining about how the house is proceeding. but the constitution says congress shall have the sole authority to impeach. we decide how to proceed, not the white house. and in the end without asserting
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any privilege whatsoever he just announces they are not going to adopt, provide any information. this isn't something that needs to be adjudicated by the third branch, the judicial branch, because there is no -- there is no privilege being asserted here. it's simply no. that's never happened before. never happened before in the history of the united states. and i'll tell you in addition to being improper, a valid article, article 2 that we are considering today, if this behavior persists the balance -- carefully balanced sharing of power between the three branches of government is gone forever. it means that only one branch, the executive branch will have the right to decide what happens in the united states of america. and that is a very different
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type of country than we have enjoyed for over 200 years. and it is not a piece of good news for freedom in the united states that i -- i yield back to mr. neguse with thanks for recognizing me. >> i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman yields back for what purpose -- >> for what purpose does mr. mcclintock seek recognition. >> to strike the last word, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i have to offer a different perspective on this. the doctrine of executive privilege actually began with a subpoena that the house issued to president george washington in 1796 demanding all the papers relating to the jay treaty. president washington refused that subpoena because he he said the powers of the house did not extend to treaties. he ultimately only provided that information to the senate as a function of its treaty approval process. so -- and the doctrine that
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dates back to those days is derived from the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. congress can no more intrude in the policy discussions of the president than the president can intrude into our own policy discussions. s that essential to the separation of powers. now there is a natural tension between the branches. that's a by-product of that separation of powers. and when the tension cannot be resolved then we turn to the judiciary. that's the appropriate way to resolve this, different interpretations of the boundaries between president and the congress, the appropriate response is judicial review, not impeachment. the president has every right to the assert his constitutional rights. and he has every responsibility to defend the prerogatives of his office, his oath of office compels him to do so. in matters like this, the courts
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have acted quickly to resolve such disputes. but the democrats aren't willing to go to the courts. what article 2 says is we're not willing to go to court. we'll take the law into our own hands. these are the same people telling us that no one is above the law, of course except for themselves. what they're saying is congress alone will decide the limits of our own power. this is the essence of despotism. the reason we separate powers of government is that one branch of government alone cannot uni laterally define its power. yet this is the power representatives are putting to themselves. it's true we have the sole power of impeachment unthe constitution but the power does not exceed the bounds established by the constitution. the bounds include the grounds for impeachment which in committee ignored, and they include the separation of powers
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that protect one branch from intrusion of the other. i want you to think about the essence of the democrats' claim and what it means to american jurisprudence. you face an abusive prosecutor making false accusations. well you have constitutional rights you are gardner to use to protect yourself. you have the right to confront your accuser. you've got the right to call witnesses in your defense. you have the right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. but in article says, if you go to court to defend your rights that's automatically obstruction of justice or in this case obstruction of congress. and the very fact that you tried to defend your constitutional rights is evidence of guilt. these are the tools of tyrants. and we have seen these tools used against college students in title 9 prosecutions and produced frightening litany of
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injustices. now they're brought into this attempt to nullify the 2016 national election that the left refused to accept. and that should scare the hell out of every person in the country. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does mr. correia seek recognition. >> strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i want to do a little fact checking for folks back in orange county. i know my colleagues compared vice president biden's withholding of aid to president trump's withholding of aid. and i just want to make sure i have the facts correct here. it's my understanding that vice president biden held up the aid in order to have -- firing mr. shulkin. but this was in accordance with u.s. policy -- express u.s. policy that was supported by europe and a bipartisan congress. yet you have president trump who
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held up almost $400 million of, again, bipartisan approved aid. and i know my colleagues are saying that he did this to root out corruption. and i think there are channels of pursuing help in investigations. on september 25th there was a public press release put out by the doj saying that president trump never asked them to investigate this matter. so i'm led to conclude that this must have been for the president's personal gain. the president interjected his person lawyer rudy giuliani who told us -- and i quote -- this is not about foreign policy, close quote. rudy giuliani went on to say, this information, open quote, this information will be very, very helpful to my client, close quote. and again, he said, open quote,
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i guarantee you, joe biden will not get to election day without being investigated. again, comparing and contrasting holding up foreign aid to support u.s. public policy versus holding up foreign aid against u.s. stated policy. mr. chair, i yield. >> would the gentleman yield back -- yield? >> yes. >> thank you, i thank you the gentleman for yoelding opinion i know there's been an effort to try to suggest that the trump administration or president was interested in corruption and that's why he held up the aid. the the evidence is absolutely to the contrary. all of the evidence. and in fact sometimes you have to go back to the source. if you look at the report completed by the intelligence committee of 300 page report, 17 witnesses, over 100 hours of testimony, they make findings of fact. there is fact and make believe. the findings of fact -- and i'm
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reading right from the report. the president solicited the interference of a foreign government in ukraine in the 2020 presidential election. in furtherance of this scheme, president trump directly and acting through agents within and outside the u.s. government sought to pressure and induce ukraine's newly elected president to publicly announce unfounded allegations that would benefit president trump's personal political interests and re-election effort. as part of the scheme president trump -- this is again findings of fact, personally and directly requested for the president of ukraine that the government of ukraine publicly announce the investigation into the president -- vice president and his son. president trump ordered the suspension of $391 million in vital military assistance urgently needed by ukraine to resist russian aggression. and here is the important part. in directing and orchestrating the scheme to advance his personal political interests, president trump did not implement, promote or advance
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u.s. anti-corruption policies. in fact the president sought to pressure and induce the government of ukraine to announce politically motivated investigations lacking legitimate prediction that the united states government otherwise discourages and opposes as a matter of policy in that country and around the ukraine and undermined u.s. national security. so the pefindings of fact detaid in the report completely refute that claim. again, i return to the most important fact. the president of the united states abused the power of his office, the enormous power of the presidency, not to advance the public good but to advance the political interests of donald trump. he used taxpayer funds, nearly $400 million, to leverage that and in doing so undermined the national security of the united states. he must be held kint accountabl because no one in this country,
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no one including the president of the united states, is sbabov the law. the one body that is charged with making certain we vindicate the power of the people to hold the president accountable is the congress of the united states. if you're not up to the job, you don't belong in congress. >> i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. the question now occurs on the gaetz amendment. those in favor say aye. opposed, no. the opinion of the charir, the ayes have it. >> roll call. >> roll call is requested. the clerk will call the roll. >> nadler. >> no. >> ms. lofgren votes no. ms. jackson lee. ms. jackson lee votes no. mr. cohen. mr. cohen votes no. mr. johnson of georgia. mr. johnson of georgia votes no. mr. deutch. mr. deutch votes no. ms. bass. ms. bass votes no. mr. richmond. >> no. >> mr. richmond votes no.
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mr. jeffries. >> no. >> mr. jeffries vote no. mr. cicilline. mr. cicilline votes no. mr. swalwell. >> no. >> mr. swalwell votes no. mr. leiu. mr. raskin votes no. ms. jayapal votes no. ms. demmings. >> no. >> ms. demmings votes no. mr. correia. >> no. >> mr. correa votes no. ms. scanlon. >> no. >> ms. scanlon votes no. ms. garcia. >> no. >> ms. garcia votes no. mr. nagus votes no. ms. mcbath. >> no. >> ms. mcbath votes no. mr. stanton. >> no. >> mr. stanton vote no. >> ms. dean. >> no. >> ms. dean votes no. ms. mucarsel-powell. >> no. >> ms. mucarsel-powell votes no. ms. escobar. >> no. >> mr. escobar votes no. mr. collins. >> aye. >> mr. collins votes aye. mr. sensenbrenner votes aye. mr. chabot. . mr. chabot votes aye.
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mr. gohmert votes aye. mr. jordan votes yes. mr. buck votes a dwrrye. mr. ratcliffe votes yes. ms. roby votes aye. mr. gaetz votes aye. mr. johnson of louisiana, mr. johnson of louisiana votes aye. mr. biggs. mr. biggs votes aye. mr. mcclipping to. >> aye. >> mr. mcclining to vote cclint. mr. reschenthaler votes aye. mr. cline votes aye. mr. armstrong. mr. armstrong votes yes. mr. steube. mr. steube votes yes. >> everyone -- the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, there are 17 ayes and 23 nos. >> the amendment is not agreed to. are from further amendments in the amendment of a nature of a
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substitute? >> mr. chairman? >> who seeks recognition. for what purpose does mr. biggs seek recognition? >> amendment at the desk. >> the clerk will report the amendment. >> the amendment to the amendment in the nature of a substitute to h-res 755 -- >> i reserve a point of order. >> -- by mr. biggs of arizona. >> the gentleman is recognized to -- >> is she going to read the amendment, sir? >> the clerk will read the amendment. >> page 4, strike line 8, all that follows through line 13, insert the following. 3, the aid was released within days of ukrainian president zelensky signing two major anti-corruption measures into law, convincing president trump that the new ukrainian administration was serious about reform measures and consistent with administration policy to ensure foreign aid is not used for corrupt purposes. >> gentleman will explain his amendment. >> i withdraw my point of order. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i draw my colleagues' attention to a letter sent yesterday regarding the temporary pause on
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aid to yukraine. the letter is addressed to mr. tom armstrong. general counsel of the gao. i ask unanimous consent that it be included in the record. >> object. >> the entire reason we're here today is because democrats have accused the president of conditioning aid to ukraine on investigations into his political opponent. today, democrats have continued to claim president trump withheld, froze foreign aid to ukraine but the omb letter walks through the entire process behind this temporary delay. first, the money was paused but dod was permitted to engage in all of the activities short of obligation necessary to ensure that dod would not be precluded from obligating the funds prior to the expiration. the money was paused according to the letter pending a policy decision and what was the policy decision? your two witnesses, fiona hill and david hale, testified that there was an ongoing global review of foreign assistance generally to ensure any program receiving funds were actually worthy beneficiaries of our assistance, that the programs made sense, et cetera. mr. hale further testified the
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president's skeptical views on foreign assistance guided the foreign affairs review. in fact, the only direct evidence for the reasons for the pause comes from omb official mark sandy who testified that he learned in september that the pause was related to, quote, the president's concern about other countries contributing more to ukraine, closed quote. omb received request for information on what other countries were contributing to ukraine which omb provided in the first week of spent the aid was released, of course, on september 11th. democrats want to impeach the president to ensure taxpayer funds are spent responsibly. -- which prohibits the executive from essentially pocket vetoes funds appropriated by congress. this letter that i'm trying to introduce shows instead that the administration never intended or actually violated the law, in fact, it shows that it always intended to disperse the funds. that is why dod was permitted to engage in all activities in
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preparation for delivery of the aid. you've not made your case, again. the omb letter walks through at great length the history behind progr programmatic delays. it technocratically destroys their impeachment. says even with the temporary withholding the department of defense was able to obligate 84% of the $250 million for the end of the fiscal year on september 0th. in the last year of the obama administration, it was only 79%. more recently in 2018, 83%, in 2017, 91%. let's get back to it. the specific language of the appropriations authority says for the ukraine security assistance initiative, it's hereby $250 million is hereby appropriated to remain available until september 30th, 2019. that's point one. to remain available until september 30th, 2019. when we authorized funds, we give the administration a deadline. the administration complied with that deadline. the administration acted completely and totally within the bounds of the law.
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secondly, the omb's letter now definitively destroys the insinuation that the president chose to delay for malicious or corrupt purposes. the bottom line is the aid was lawfully delayed and lawfully delivered. and that means that this entire process has been a sham. and with that, i'm going to address a couple of issues that i heard. i heard one of my colleagues on the other side say not too long ago that the president should come? and prove his own innocence. think about what that does. come in and prove your own innocence. first of all, that is antithetical to the anglo-american judicial process. it's antithetical to the constitutional -- constitution, particularly the bill of rights. it's antithetical to what we do here. someone said that vindman said that -- was complaining about the transcript, but as has been
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gone over today, the transcript was complete and accurate according to mr. vindman. someone said, and i would ask this of my colleagues, under the standard that was given earlier by one of my colleagues, if the president exercised executive privilege and requested a declaratory judgment from a court, if the privilege was upheld, would you undertake then to impeach the judge? i mean, think about that. your standard giving absolute process authority to the house would impel you to impeach a judge who sustained a lawful exercise of the privilege, of the executive. so, i think, mr. chairman, you've overgone your bounds. ben we g when get back to this, my amendment, it basically covers and sets forth clearly what the holding or the pause of the ukrainian aid was about and they got their money and got it on time. >> gentle man yields back.
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without action, the material previously submitted by plfmr. cohen, mr. swalwell and mr. biggs will be entered into the record. now, for what purpose does ms. bass seek recognition? >> rule to strike the last word. >> gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you, sir. i find it interesting the story certainly seems to be changing. you mentioned the information from omb, but when the acting chief of staff gave his press conference, he said very clearly that the aid was being withheld because of the need to investigate the 2016 election. now, you are talking about corruption. i think the notion that president zelensky did not feel pressure and was just fine with military assistance being withheld, first of all, they did know the military assistance was being withheld and there was no reason for the administration to hold back because of corruption,
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considering that the department of defense had already said that there was no problem and that the aid could be released. the aid was released after the administration was busted. after there was pressure from congress for the aid to be released. after word leaked out and the whistle-blower came forward, then the aid was released. i think it's very important to remember that. president zelensky not feeling pressure, and he was just fine, he was essentially being held hostage. he was a newly elected president. his nation was at war. and part of this country was seized by the russians. so what on earth was he supposed to sna say? publicly complain and criticize president trump when the whole world knows how the president doesn't respond to anything except for praise? what hostage would come forward and complain publicly against their captors especially if they knew that the aid could be withheld or they could be compromised at any point in
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time? last week, president zelensky had his first meeting with president putin, and unfortunately, we were not there. he had that meeting alone. we absolutely compromised his ability to defend his nation. several times it's been said that no lives were lost, but i would like to ask unanimous consent to enter into the record an article from "newsweek" talking about the fact that 13 ukrainian soldiers were killed. >> without objection. >> president zelensky agreed to publicly announce the investigations in an interview on cnn, but the ukraine canceled that interview days after the president's scheme was exposed and the military aid was released which further underscores the pressure that the ukrainians felt when the aid was withheld. the president knew this when president zelensky asked for a, quote, favor. as lieutenant colonel vindman
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testified, this was not a friendly request. it was a demand. for weeks the ukrainian officials pushed back on the demand of the president and his agents, advising u.s. officials that they did not want to be an instrument in washington's domestic re-election politics. this was not just business as usual. this was not the president just being concerned about corruption. but as the president's pressure campaign increased and the president began withholding critical assistance from ukraine, something that the ukrainians learned about no later than july 25th, the ukrainians became desperate, so desperate, in fact, that as ambassador sondland told the president, president zelensky was willing to do anything. and although the aid has been released, the power of dispar y disparities between the two countries has not changed. ukraine continues to defend on the united states for military aid and president zelensky needs the support of america and its le leaders, he strives to bring an end to the war with russia. it is no surprise, therefore,
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that president zelensky expressed that he didn't feel pressure, but the evidence reveals a different picture. the evidence is clear that president trump took advantage of ukrainian vulnerability and abused the powers of his office to pressure ukraine to help his re-election campaign. this is the highest of high crimes and president trump must be held accountable. you know, in addition to compromising ukraine, this compromised our standing in the world because what does it say to our allies? what does it say to vulnerable new democracies when they need the assistance of the united states, they better be prepared to help the president's re-election. it compromises our standing in the world and why would allies trust us anymore if this is the way that they are treated? i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back. for purposes, mr. --
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>> strike the last recognized. >> i have three points i'd like to make here. first of all, as well as being on this committee, judiciary committee, have been a member of the foreign affairs committee, have been for the last 23 years and one thing that's really been concerning to me is about this phone call that the gentleman mentions in the amendment, and i appreciate him offering this amendment, but relative to that phone call that our president, president trump, had with the president of ukraine, the number of people that were listening in on this phone call, and is that in the national interest of our country? it's incredible how many people -- you think our president's talking to their president, you got all these people listening in and if they aren't listening in, shut up about it. you know, the president is talking frankly with another president, you know, he's going to make comments. he -- in that call he made some disparaging comments relative to another important ally of ours,
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germany, and angela merkel. it's not particularly helpful to hear them say -- hear our president saying something like, well, they'll give you lip service about coming to your defense and giving you aid, but they really won't be there for you, we will be here, you know, talking about how important the united states is and an ally. our presidents do that, but, you know, you think you're doing that in confidence with the other country, not having everybody else listening in. so our state department, the executive branch, many others, need to tighten up these phone calls for our national security interests and that goes whether we have a republican administration, as we do right now, or a democratic administration, as we have maybe decades down the road. secondly, relative to obstruction of congress, which is one of the two charges, there weren't any -- no crimes alleged, essentially, but
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obstruction of congress. we have three branches of government and, of course, it's alleged that, you know, congress, the legislative branch, said we want you to bring witnesses and evidence, et cetera, from the other branch, executive branch, and since they didn't do it, rather than going to court, which they could have done, the legislative branch, this branch, basically, the democrats because they're in control here in the house, they could have filed a lawsuit. they could have had the courts decide. that's what happened some years ago back in the nixon impeachment. he wouldn't turn over the tapes so they went to the court, the supreme court ultimately said it may have taken some months, but they say, you got to turn those tapes over and he did and he resigned because there was bad stuff in those tapes. the smoking gun, so to speak. and that's what they could have done here, but instead of go to the court, which is what you're supposed to dor, they're kind o the referee between the legislative branch and the executive branch, they say we're not going to go to courts, we're just going to impeach this guy which they've wanted to do since
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he got inaugurated. we had one member of congress on their side who said they had to impeach him or otherwise, he was going to get re-elected. so, there's so much politics and there really shouldn't be, and the third point i wanted to make is that i think the democrats, unfortunately, are really lowering the bar on impeachment in our country. you know, for about -- i happen to be a history major be the second oldest college in the country, college of william & mary. 200 years, our nation's history, we had 1 impeachment. andrew johnson. for 200 years. and now in less than 50 years, we're on our third which is really unfortunate, i believe. i think they're lowering the bar. they're making this too routine. and i think that's very dangerous because when you have, i think in the near future, when you have a president and you have a house of different parties, we're going to see this
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more and more often and this is very divisive for our country. we're -- we're not together enough on so many things and i think this is going to further divide us and i think that's really unfortunate. we saw, for example, you know, years and years ago, remipds nd a little bit of when bourk was nominated to the supreme court. some of the press here are probably old enough to remember that and maybe some members of the institution in general, but when the democrats went after bork, we saw a tit for tat down the road. i'm afraid you're going do see that here relative to impeachment of our presidents, too. so i think both sides ought to step back and consider what we're doing here because impeachment can be very divisive, and i've been through one of these before. i was one of the house managers in bill clinton's about 20 years ago. and they're ugly. so i have a lot of sympathy for the house managers that are going to be picked, probably some from this committee, in the
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near future, and i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. what purpose does mr. richmond seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman's recognized. >> mr. chairman, we've had a lot of conversation today. i'd just like to break it down into a simple term that everyone at home can understand, especially my home district, where we speak a lot of spanish. we speak lot of french. we don't go around speaking a lot of latin. and so here's why we're here today. some people say quid pro quo. some people translate into the american definition of a this for a that. and the question is, what was the this? the this was an oval office visit and much-needed military aid for the that. and the that was an investigation into joe biden, the primary political opponent,
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and, look, when you describe a crime, you want to make sure that you tell the jury and the people listening about motive. the motive was that he was afraid, president trump was afraid that joe biden was beating him in the polls and would defeat him for his re-election. how do we know that, very quickly? because we've introduced articles where he said it. he gave out the aid in 2016. he gave -- in 2017. he gave out the aid in 2018. 2019, the polls come out, he withholds the aid and he asks for an investigation. but that's just motive. let's go to sworn witness testimony because that's the part i want us to focus on, and the other side talked about the credibility of lieutenant colonel vindman and they accepted some of the things that he said as act. well, if you're going to accept some of the things he said as fact, let's accept them all as
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fact. it was lieutenant colonel vindman that said under oath, ambassador sondland began to view what the deliverable would be in order to get the meeting. the deliverable. that was the that for the meeting. and he said, specifically, it was an investigation into the bidens. let's go to john bolton who s d said, he described this this-for-that deal as a drug deal. so if we look at all of the testimony of people under oath, they clearly say that this was a swap of an oval office visit or military aid for an investigation into the bidens. now, the whistle-blower comes forward, the trump administration panics and
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develop everything we have now and is called the excuse or the defense. first excuse, well, they didn't know the money was being held. not true. there's an email, two emails where they express concerns about it, then you have ms. kroft who testified two individuals from the ukrainian embassy asked about an omb hold on the roughly a week apart. she recalled that that occurred before it was publicly announced. so that's one. second, their defense or excuse is that president trump wanted to investigate corruption. that's just laughable on its face. if you want to -- if president trump wanted to investigate corruption, he can start at 1600 pennsylvania avenue, look in the mirror, or he can look around the cast of criminals that have been indicted from his circle. you have his lawyer, you have
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his national security adviser, you have michael flynn, rick gates, paul manafort. the circle goes on. he's surrounded by criminals. then we hear, well, can't be obstruction of congress, you all could have just went to court. well, we're in december. we have an ongoing crime. we have a crime in progress. that's -- that is what the 911 call would say from a police officer, we have a crime in progress. they're saying with the crime in progress, why didn't you just schedule an appointment to call the police? we have an emergency to our national election going on right now. our oath to the constitution requires us to take this drastic, solemn, and regrettable step, but it is necessary because if we don't protect america's precious right to vote, it is clear that the other side won't. and so i talked about the courage of ester yesterday. today i'm reminded of judas
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because for judas for 30 pieces of silver betrayed jesus. for 30 positive tweets, for easy re-election, the other side is willing to betray the american people their precious right to vote and the future of our great country. with that, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> what purpose does mr. gohmert seek recognition? >> strike the last word. >> gentleman's recognized. >> i'm really intrigued, first we're told that the offense is withholding aid even though it was provided and, in fact, provided tremendously more helpful in both substance and in amount than the prior administration that just let people die over there, but i thought the acknowledgement had been the aid was provided, but
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now we're told this is an ongoing crime. so, that -- i don't -- those two statements don't seem to work together well. but, you know, the double standards that they serve one party well. when it comes to the obstruction of congress, the position of the majority is a tyrannical position. when we ask for something, you either give it or we're throwing you out of office. never mind we don't know what we're going to charge you with, we figure if we keep requesting enough documents, kind of like chairman schiff getting phone records and release them, maybe we can intimidate people by getting their records and releasing them enough that they'll do what we say.
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that's tyrannical. and, in fact, when we look at obstruction of congress, violation of the rules, the majority could have gone ahead and passed a tyrannical rule and said, we're not going to allow the minority to have a minority witness day, even though it's in the rules because we're tire ra tyrants and we don't care, but they didn't pass that rule. it's still part of the rules. so once this thing is rushed through probably tonight, whenever, through the rules committee, they'll probably come out with a rule as ranking member mentioned earlier and say, gee, all such points of order are waived. you know, all of the times that the majority violated the rules, we're going to waive those and nobody can raise them to stop
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this impeachment. that really is abuse of power. it certainly is, but, and i've had a document prepared to offer as an amendment in the nature of a substitute, which would just change the president's name to that of chairman schiff and chairman nadler regarding abuse of power and obstruction of congress because there are plenty of bases for that, but it would not have been ruled germane so i wasn't going to waste the time. but obstruction of congress when there is no referee, there is no adjudication, there's nothing but a majority that says, you give us what we want until we find a crime or we're going to throw you out of office. that is so unreasonable, especially give b tn the histor the last three years when the charges came and the charges went, the president was, i think it was a huge mistake for him ever to allow don mcgahn to
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testify for 30 hours when it was a bogus charge to begin with. they're setting perjury traps, thank god don mcgahn didn't fall into one, but this is even more outrageous. give us what we demand, or we're going to throw you out of office. we can't -- you know, there's another thing that could have been done besides going to court. could have passed a bill requiring the president to do certain things, turn over certain things and gotten the senate to agree, president vetoes it, you override the veto. then you -- which is kind of what happened to andrew johnson. then you could really have a legitimate obstruction of congress. it's not just obstruction of a majority in one-half of the congress, but that wasn't done, either, and even if that had been done, either the president or the congress would end up having to go to the supreme court to say, to get the courts
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to say, this was a lawful act, but in the case of congress and andrew johnson, it was an unconstitutional act to say he couldn't fire the secretary of state. so, either way, you got to end up in court at some point before if can be an obstruction of congress, but the majority was in a hurry and when the majority -- this majority is in a hurry, then justice is undone and so is our future. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. what purpose does ms. scanlon seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> gentlelady's recognized. >> as i understand it, the amendment before us is based on a letter that has just been issued by the white house months after the whole issue of the propriety of this july call was raised. so, you know, i think it takes us back to basics again and the basics being if it looks like a duck and it swims like a duck,
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and it quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. and i'm afraid that the july 25th call is a duck. you know, we have the president's own words. i want you to do us a favor, though." then he goes on to talk about the favors that he wants involving election assistance for him to clarify what happened in the 2016 election and then start attacking his opponent in the 2020 election. immediately upon hearing this, national security professionals around the world say, whoa, this is wrong. okay? this quacks like a duck. okay. the president is going against all of our carefully thought out national security policy to ask for what one witness called a domestic political favor. okay? so, so right out of the bat, it
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makes no sense to the professionals here. then we hear -- then we start hearing this thing that, oh, well, he's really talking about corruption. well, no, the department of defense had said it was okay to release the aid here because they'd already certified that corruption wasn't an issue. the people on the ground, the ambassadors, the national security professionals who'd been appointed by this president said, no, that is not an excuse. we then hear that omb officials, office of management and budget officials, are saying, whoa, who's holding up the aid? we don't have a problem with the aid. oh, it's the president. the president is holding up the aid. then we hear from the department of justice, whoa, we didn't have anything to do with any inquiries into our -- our american citizens, that's not the doj's interest. so the only person who had an interest in this was the president and it was his personal interest. the unanimous opinion of all of
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our agencies in the u.s. government was this was against our national security and our national interests. so it's now, only now, after the president has refused to allow us to inquire from anyone else who was in the room and it was on the call and after denying all of this evidence, only now after articles of impeachment have been filed, only now does the white house come up with an explanation? it's way too little, it's way too late, and it smells like a duck. so with that, i yield back to the chair. >> what purpose does mr. gaetz seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. before i make my point, during the break, a "reuters" photogra photographer, josh roberts, approached the dais and took pictures of the notes on the desk of several democratic colleagues. we noticed that and announced it to staff. that reporter, that photographer has been removed.
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i just say, no member, republican or democrat, should be subject to that. we ought to have the opportunity to take our notes, participate in debate and have a fair discussion substantively, though. president trump did nothing wrong. as we sat here today, each and every action of the president has been explained. we have offered the basis, the understanding, we've gained an appreciation for why a president would have reasonable concern about ukraine. why a president would have specific concern about this biden/burisma nexus. here's what you haven't heard today. you haven't heard any defense of burisma from them. you haven't heard them say, oh, this was all bogus, president should not have been asking this question because we have put into the report, we cited in the record the testimony of people like george kent who said there were deep, legitimate concerns, even the testimony of ambassador yovanovitch about having to expressly prepare for that. then they say, well, this aid's been withheld, the withholding of this aid is this bad presidential conduct, but the
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biggs amendment that i encourage my colleagues to support ripens the fact that there was a very understandable reason for why the aid was released when it was and had nothing to do with the election or anything like that. it had to do with the fact that the ukraine took substantive steps to ensure that our aid would be appropriately used for the cause that is now apparently the cause celeb of the left and that is defending the ukraine against russia. and they say, oh, well, the president's next bad act is this great obstruction of congress. they have subjected president trump to more presidential harassment than in any other time in american history. attacking his family. not allowing his administration to continue to do its work on behalf of the people. and amazingly, despite all this distraction, despite all of the obstruction of the president that the democrats have engaged in, jobs are rising. wages are rising. our economy is restored and renewed.
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there are a few things my colleagues said, i -- the colleague from rhode island read, well, these are the findings of facts. let me tell you what the factual findings are. i just want america to know, he was reading from the adam schiff report. the same adam schiff report that adam schiff, himself, would not sit there and explain. they were -- they lacked so much confidence in that report that when it was presented to the judiciary committee, they had some of their donors asking questions of other of their donors and then doing this weird switcharoo that was very unexplainable. i don't know how my very smart colleagues like the gentleman from new york can say, there is uncontradicted evidence of pressure, uncontradicted evidence of pressure. what do they think zelensky's statements are? when zell lensky says there is pressure, that is at a bare minimum evidence. when mr. yarmak says there is no pressure, that is evidence. this -- there is no evidence of
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a quid pro quo. there's no evidence of conditionality. and the reason you know they lack that evidentiary basis is because they have to keep changing their language. when pollsters and pundits told them to call it bribery, that was the message of the week. bribery was on every one of their lips. we asked the witnesses, did you see any bribery, were you part of any bribery? the answer was no, so they have to keep evolving the claims because there is no factual predica predicate. also heard my colleague from new orleans say that this hearing would be informed by our understanding of regret, would be this deep sense of regret. my friend is from a deep blue district, so he probably won't be the one regretting it the most. the folks that will be regretting what they're doing are the democrats in swing districts who probably aren't coming back. i tell them for the upcoming year, rent, don't buy here in washington, d.c. and so today, the only question that we are left with when we conclude this hearing is whether or not as we move impeachment to the floor of the house of
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representatives, which will occur more rapidly, will they lose votes or will they lose the majority? because if these folks who promised to come here and work with us on health care and infrastructure vote for this impeachment, they won't be back. we'll be holding the gavels. and we'll remember not just how you treated us, not just how you treated the president, we'll remember how you treated the american people and we're going to come and restore a sense of honor and integrity in the next election. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. for what purpose does mr. cicilline sec reek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> i want to respond to the gentleman from ohio's reference that people listening on a call should just shut up. couldn't disagree more passionately. the extraordinary courageous patriots who love our country spoke up withhen they saw sometg that was wrong, violated the law, violated the constitution, and undermined the national security interests of the united states.
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and thank god they did. otherwise, the president of the united states would have gotten away with this scheme of dragging foreign interference into our elections to help him cheat in 2020. so i salute the extraordinary men and women in the foreign service and our intelligence community for the courage they've shown inle toing forw c forward reporting what they've seen. i wish we could find more of it on this committee. i want to say, facts are a stubborn thing. this amendment, unfortunately, is just not true because what we know is this scheme called a drug deal by the president's own mr. bolton, called domestic political errand by another trump appointee for which there was no explanation, my republican colleagues are trying to find an answer, so they say, oh, it was because he was fighting corruption. the idea that donald trump was leading an anti-corruption effort is like kim jong-un leading a human rights effort. it's just not credible. it's just not credible. and we have facts that will
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demonstrate that. so, for example, at the very time you claim he's interested in ferreting out corruption in ukraine, you know what he proposed? cutting it by more than 50% corruption, anti-corruption efforts in ukraine. here's an article. "trump administration sought billions of dollars in cuts to programs aimed at fighting corruption in ukraine and elsewhere." we restored the money. congress restored the money. he proposed deep cuts. that's not evidence. of a serious commitment to fighting corruption. in addition to that, in a letter to the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, secretary of defense says on behalf of the secretary of defense, this is dated may 23rd, 2019, long before the july call, "on behalf of the secretary of defense, in coordination with the secretary of state, i certified the government of ukraine has taken substantial actions to make defense institutional reforms to the purpose of decreasing corruption, increasing accountability, and sustaining improvements of combatting capability enabled by u.s.
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assistance." there's a certification. and so there's only one explanation for why it was finally released. it was report of a whistle-blower report being filed. the president got caught. and so this notion that somehow this president was concerned about corruption is defied by all the evidence collected. i know you want to believe it. it's just not supported by the evidence. and so this amendment is silly. it's inaccurate. it mischaracterizes the overwhelming body of evidence that was collected in this investigation. the president of the united states attempted to drag a foreign power into our elections to corrupt the 2020 election, to cheat, undermine our national security, betray the national interest of this country, and he must be held accountable. >> the gentleman -- >> the balance of my time to mr. swalwell from california. >> i thank the gentleman. and i just want to have a reset of the facts here because my colleagues claim that so many of these facts are in dispute, but i want to hear someone dispute the fact that rudy giuliani was donald trump's personal lawyer.
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i want to ar hired, the anti-corruption ambassador, marie yovanovitch, was fired. i want to hear someone dispute the fact that donald trump told vice president pence to not go to president zelensky's inauguration. i want to hear someone dispute the fact that president trump at anti-corruption in his both april 21st and july 25th calls with president zelensky. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i want to hear someone dispute the facts that president trump invoked his political rival's name four times on that july 25th call. i want to hear someone dispute the facts that the president's chief of staff said, we are withholding the military aid because the ukrainians need to investigate 2016. not "i." "we." "we" as in mick mulvaney and donald trump. i want to hear someone dispute the facts that ambassador sondland said that a white house meeting, absolutely, quid pro
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quo, conditioned on the investigations. i also listened to your witness, professor turley, and he said, president trump's call was anything but perfect. that was your witness who said it was anything but perfect. i want to see a show of hands on your side, does anyone agree with the one witness that you were able to bring that that call was anything but perfect? that is sad. and you will regret that you have sanctioned this. and i yield back. >> gentleman -- >> mr. chairman. >> mr. cicilline's time. >> i yield back, mr. chairman.s. mr. johnson, for what purpose does mr. johnson seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> i want to speak in favor of the biggs amendment. i'll ignore mr. swalwell's rhetorical question. it's kind of a silly one. i want to refute what mr. cicilline said and others have said here that there's just no evidence in the record that the president was concerned about corruption. i mean, of course, that's
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absurd. everybody at home knows this. the president's been talking about foreign governments and foreign corruption and the misuse of american taxpayers' treasure since before he ran for president. he tweets about it all the time. i mean, everybody knows this. this is one of these things in the law that's just well understood. we'd call it regeps ilocheter. tha the winehouse released a transcript of the remarks between president trump and president zelensky before the bilateral meeting in new york. september 25th. this is after the funds were released, of course. he's explaining that he became convinced that the new ukrainian administration was serious about reform measures. let me read you a couple excerpts from that. president trump says, "hi, i'm here with the president of ukraine. he's very, very strongly looking into all sorts of corruption and some of the problems they had over the years. i think it's one of the primary reasons he got elected" the president says. "his reputation is absolutely
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sterling. it's an honor to be with you." mr. zelensky responds a few moments later, "thank you for your support especially now, we have really two wars in ukraine. the iffers ofirst one is with corruption, you know? we'll fight. we'll be the winner in this fight i'm sure." a couple pages later in the transcript president trump goes back "and stop corruption in ukraine because that will really make you graeat. that will make you great personally" talk bing to zelens zelensky "and be tremendous for your nation in terms of what you want to do and where you take it. "later, president trump says "i want him to do whatever he can. this wasn't his fault. he wasn't there the previous years. he's been here recently. just recently. i know the president. he wants to stop corruption." the president continues "he was elected, number one, on the basis of stopping corruption which unfortunately plagued ukraine.
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if he does that, he's doing really the whole world a big fa favor. i know and e think he's going to be successful." it goes on and on through the transcript. i ask unanimous consent to enter a clean record of this into the record, mr. chairman. i want to say -- >> white houithout objection. >> thank you. this is one additional piece, all the other pieces of evidence, the very thin, paper-thin record we have here, one thing is very clear, you can't even -- i don't think you can refute it with a straight face, everybody knows the president is concerned about the misuse of american taxpayer dollars overseas. it's one of his primary driving forces. it's one of his main talking points. so for anybody to sit in here today and pretend like that isn't the case, that he wasn't -- ukraine, the third most corrupt nation in the world was the only one on the list he wasn't concerned about, it doesn't hold water, doesn't make sense. nobody back home is buying this. no one. so let's stop with the games. let's acknowledge this for what it is and let's move on. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> gentleman yields --
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>> yield the remiainder of my time. i had some left. i yield to mr. jordan. >> i want to answer the statement that gentleman from rhode island made a little bit earlier, he said pointing at mr. biggs amendment that his amendment was not true. his amendment's real clear. it says the ukrainians under president zelensky signed two major anti-corruption measures. that's exactly what they did. enacted this high anti-corruption court when the parliament was first sworn in and got rid of absolute immunity for members of their parliament. two pretty darn important anti-corruption measures. in fact, mr. morrison when he testified in front of this committee told us, excuse me, he did his deposition, he told us that when they were there with ambassador bolton visiting with ukrainians, august 27th, he said the ukrainians were tired because they'd been up all night preparing this legislation. putting it together. that's how focused they were on this, and then when it passed, when it was enacted, that's, in fact, when the aid was released. i yield -- if i could to the
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gentleman, i yield back and yield -- >> i yield to the ranking member. >> i'll take -- >> yield, mr. gaetz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think house democrats would have you believe that somehow this impeachment effort is the outgrowth of organic activity from the president when the reality is they have intended to impeach this president from the very beginning and it was actually the chairman when campaigning to be the head of the judiciary committee who said that he'd be best on the impeachment issue, this is a "new york times" article december 18th, 2017, it says, "as our constitutional expert and with his demonstrated leadership on impeachment in the '90s, nadler is our strongest member to lead a potential impeachment." this is what chairman nadler wrote on his pocket-sized campaign literature to his fellow democrats when he wanted the job. he was literally campaigning on impeachment before the president even made the phone call to president zelensky. it's who they are. it's what they've wanted. and it's all because they cannot
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stand the fact that the america-first movement is the most powerful movement in american political history. mr. chairman, i seek unanimous consent to enter into the record this "new york times" article from december 18th, 2017 -- >> without objection. >> -- outlining your ambition on impeachment. >> back home in my two seconds left, we call that a mic drop moment. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> mr. chairman -- >> the -- for what purpose does ms. jayapal speak recognition? >> strike the last word. >> gentlelady's recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to go back to the facts and go back to this amendment. my colleague from florida said that this amendment is putting forward a, quote, understandable reason for why the president withheld the aid and then suddenly released the aid. and my colleagues on the other side have also made the point that we don't know what the intent was of the president. this is the stated intent, that because he was waiting for the ukrainian government to do some massive anti-corruption
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measures, that that was the intent. but i just want to remind people, again, of what i said yesterday. the president is the smoking gun. after his call with president zelensky, the president came out onto the lawn and he was asked by a reporter what did you want to get out of that call with president zelensky? and the president said, "i wanted him to, and these aren't the exact words but he basically said i wanted him to open an investigation into the bidens. it's that simple. so the president, himself, has told us what his intent is, but let's go on to say that if my republican colleagues, as some just did, argue that the president -- nobody can argue that the president is so interested in corruption. of course, he's so interested in corruption. i would go back, again, to the facts that are on the table, which is that in 2017 and in 2018, the president released aid
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not just to any country but to ukraine. now, my colleagues have also said that the president knew that president zelensky was an anti-corruption fighter, but they just wanted to see if maybe he was really going to followthrough. so they're saying that the person before this president, before president zelensky, the previous president of ukraine, was a corrupt individual. they've said that through their -- through their remarks. well, if that president was corrupt, why if president trump cares so much about corruption, why did he release the aid in 2017 and 2018 to ukraine? now, then i'd like to get to the question of this particular amendment. i looked at that omb letter and i would call that an after-the-fact cover-up. why do i say that? i say that because if you look at the timeline, and some of my colleagues laid out piece piec
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this. let me lay out a few more. on june 18th, we know about the may letter the department of defense said saying ukraine passed all of its anti-corruption requirements. on june 18th the department of defense publicly announced that it would release the military aid to ukraine. lieutenant colonel vindman testified that by july 3rd, he was aware of the hold and he was aware that the office of management and budget, omb, was making queries that were, quote, abnormal. he used that word, "abnormal." fiona hill testified that there was no explanation given for the hold. undersecretary of state david hale testified that he was frustrated because he was simply told that this was the president's wish. in august, in august, several omb divisions, several
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divisions, wrote a joint memo recommending that military aid go to ukraine as soon as possible and they said in that memo that it was necessary this military aid was necessary for supporting a stable and peaceful europe. i would also note that just recently, just a few weeks ago, two omb officials resigned and they resigned because of deep concerns that they had about what they were being asked to do. one of those individuals worked in the legal department that issued this after-the-fact cover-up memo from omb. now, let me just ask the american people this. if the president was waiting, had deep concerns about corruption and was waiting for ukraine to take major steps on corruption, let me ask you what
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you think any president might do in that situation. might they ask the department defense to follow up on those major anti-corruption things that they were trying to get done? they didn't -- he did not do that. would they -- would that president inform top agencies who are -- about those concerns? no, he didn't do that, either. in fact, they were all universally in agreement that the aid should be released. and might the president inform congress that this was something that he was concerned about and he had to withhold the aid? he didn't do that, either. after-the-fact cover-up memo. that's all this is and we need to oppose this amendment. >> gentlelady's time has expired. what purpose does mr. collins seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman's recognized. >> it is amazing that this is an after-the-fact cover-up since it was asked for by a democratic senator. a democratic senator asked for
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this letter. that's an after-the-fact cover-up when a democratic senator asks for a letter explaining the process on how this happens? an after-the-fact cover-up? this is exactly what i thought would happen when we came back from lunch, come back from our break. all the things were over, their arguments were dead, everything was going and they say, let's get back in there and tell the same things over and over again. maybe the ones who were watching in the morning weren't watching in the afternoon. that's got to be one of the best ones i heard, though, an after-the-fact cover-up when it was asked for by a democratic senator just a few weeks ago. how is that -- i guess trump's blamed for a democratic senator saying, oh, be careful what you wish for. there's other things coming out again. one of the things that really bugged me here is this lawful delay. this money was not due to be appropriated, could have been by congress, we would have said do it on a certain date. we said by september 30th. so really and truly if there was no interaction between the u.s. and ukraine and the money was not lifted until september 30th, there was nothing wrong here and still nothing wrong here. it's been evidenced to me that the evidence reveals that only
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the majority -- again, this one is just mind-boggling. how does anybody in the press or anybody else let them get away with the continual belittling of mr. zelensky? they called him a politician, d derogatorily. they called him an actor, called him weak, everything else in the world, he's cowering. use the adjectives. you know, if they don't belief me here, acts like a doouck, los like a duck, they're tearing him down in the eyes of the public and doing it over and over again to get a the president. this is crazy. there seems to be a problem of reruns around here. the reason they keep repeating this, they can't make their case. they keep puttingt inting this there. again, it's amazing to me. the next untruth that we're dealing with here today, this one is very sensitive to many in the military, many who have been texting me who served overseas in our military and others, when they say, and put it in article,
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we agreed to put it in the article, 13 ukrainian soldiers were killed during president donald trump's administration withholding aid from the country from mid-july to september. guess what, my colleagues, there was ukrainians killed when they had received their previous aid. there were ukrainians killed in this battle before. this is a -- this is the most despicable, despicable, of drive- drive-bys. to say this -- you're telling us undersecretary hale -- read the transcript. he said this was perspective money. not current money. yet, we keep putting it in the record because if you tell the story enough times, somebody out there is going to believe it. that's despicable for these 13 who lost their lives in ukraine and despicable for anyone who actually fought in a battle for this country. don't keep doing it, and if they do, call them out on it. we're going to call facts facts here. there's no crime. you know why? it's interesting, my friend from california just said, where are they on these different things? where's the democrats?
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my question is, where's your crimes? you talk about them, you want people to think they're there. you want people to come out and say, well, there's bribery, extortion, high-minded words. and you do it over and over and over again. the problem is, if you had it, you would have put articles on it. you don't have it so you didn't put articles on it. that's the stain on your articles. that's the stain on this committee. this committee couldn't make their case, so they came up with abuse of power. so they could put anything in it, and today we've heard that over and over and over again. why? because at the end of the day, the aid was delivered. nothing was held. but yet we're going to tell because there was supposedly pressure that the two on the call said didn't exist and the ukrainian leader said did not exist over and over and over again, but our majority would rather take mr. zelensky down because they can't make their case. my question is, who are they hurting now? they're trying to take down the american president and trying to take down the ukrainian
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president at the same time by making him look small in the middle of his own country, in the middle of a hot war. you can't have quid pro quo. you can't have pressure if the gentleman who is supposedly pressured says there is no pressure. you can't make excuses for him. when he goes out over and over again and talks about it because he looks at it as it was in the call. but also to me, it is just amazing, continuing this, discussions to get people distracted. people died because money was withheld. that's not true. quit saying it. and i don't care how many times you put it in "newsweek" article, it's still not true. when you understand what's going on here, that at the end of the day, it's very simple. i'll make it very slow for you to copy. they can't make a crime. they hold back to the fact that we can impeach him for anything and that's what they've done. i yield back. >> unanimous consent request, mr. chairman. mr. chairman -- >> the gentleman yields back. >> unanimous consent request.
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>> gentle maman is recognized - >> "los angeles times" story october 16th, trump froze ukrainian aid as ukrainian soldier s perished in battle. >> without objection. >> i object. >> i'm not sure how many times this has been perpetrated. it was perspective must boney, current money. >> gentleman does not have the time. what purposes does mr. deutch -- >> unanimous consent request. >> gentleman is recognized. >> >> unanimous con sent to submit to the record the may 23rd letter from john rude certifying the government of ukraine has taken action to make constitutional reforms to -- >> without objection. >> i move to strike the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the ranking member is right, it's important to repeat some of what's been said because most of america doesn't watch all day long, but for people who do, they need to understand that the
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reason we're here, the reason that we're moving forward on articles of impeachment, is because the president of the united states abused his power by soliciting foreign interference in his own re-election, thereby cheating american voters. it's true that on may 23rd, the date that undersecretary of defense certified that ukraine had taken action to make institutional reforms to combat corruption, it's true that they had done that that day. it's an important day because we've talked a lot about ukraine needing the assistance, the security assistance, as they were at war with russia, and they did. they also needed the white house meeting and also on may 23rd, it's just important for us to remember what the facts are. on may 23rd a delegation returned from president zelensky's inauguration. they met with the president and the president told them, "worked with rudy." ambassador sondland said, work with giuliani or abandon the
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goal of a white house meeting." let me say a word about ambassador sondland. my colleagues have challenged ambassador sondland's credibility, but it's important to pay attention to what he and others have testified to. under oath. and if you think that a million-dollar donor to president trump is not credible, then we should look at all of the testimony and the text messages and the emails to others and examine it closely. so they came back and they said, "work with rudy." and then on may 29th, the president invited president zelensky to the white house so president zelensky expected that he would be coming. and sondland said there was a prerequisite. vindman said sondland told the ukrainians on july 10th to treat
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the investigation -- that the investigation of the bidens was a deliverable, necessary to get the meeting. then on july 19th, ambassador sondland emailed robert blair and lisa kennedy, brian mccormick, chief of staff mulvaney, secretary perry, secretary pompeo, all of them, and said that zelensky was prepared to receive potus' call and offer assurance on the investigation. volker had breakfast with giuliani and texted ambassador sondland and said, "most important is for zelensky to say he will help with the investigation." and volker texted the morning of the call, he text ed yermak and said, heard from the white house, assuming president zelensky convinces trump that he will investigate and get to the bottom of what happened, we will nail down a date for visit to
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washington. that's -- those are the facts. that's what was provided in text messages and emails and there's been all this focus on the call. this is an effort that started the moment that this delegation got back from the inauguration and it continued through the end of may and june and july and then there was a call, but it continued on through august and through september. this isn't one time with eight lines. this is a concerted effort to make sure that ukraine who was at war with russia understood that they weren't going to get their security assistance and they weren't going to get their white house meeting until they announced an investigation of the president's principal political opponent. that is abuse of power. and multiple times, my colleagues over here have asked
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if anyone objects to the president of the united states abusing his power for political gain like that. but i would finish with this. ambassador taylor when he came and testified under oath, he said during our call on september 8th, ambassador sondland tried to explain that president trump is a businessman web when a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, he asks that person to pay up for signing. i argue, he said, that made no sense, ukrainians did not owe president trump anything. that's true. they owed him nothing to get the white house meeting. they owed him nothing to get their aid and they owed nothing to him for his assistance to his campaign. i yield back. >> mr. chairman -- >> gentleman yields back. what purpose does mr. sensenbrenner seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> i yield to ranking member.
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>> thank you, mr. sensenbrenner. it's amazing the things that the come out of this markup, not the simple fact they're going to mark up this and send it to the floor, it's what they'll perpetrate to try the hide the weakness of their argument. i have now given the article that the gentleman from california wants. again, perpetrating the falsehood that people were killed because of money. and in the own article which is biased against the president, biased against the whole situation, it has this line. "although there is no way to link markoff and the other dozens' death directly to the lack of aid." let's keep putting stuff in here that proves your pathetic argument. the article, itself, biased against the president actually says there's no way to link it, yet we're doing it every time in here. keep giving them. i'll keep accepting them. wonderful article. great job. because you're making my point. i guess i can hush and let you make my point for me. all i want to do is besmirk the dead and go after mr. zelensky as weak and powerless. that's what's going to come out
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of this. so i guess, mr. -- i withdraw my objection on this. it makes my point. you all have any more you want to put in, keep going. besmirching the dead is not going to get you anywhere. i yield back. >> i yield back, mr. sensenbrenner. >> i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> mr. chairman? >> gentleman yields back. without objection, the material will be inserted in the record. >> i have a unanimous consent request. >> gentlelady's recognized for unanimous consent request. >> i would like to ask unanimous consent to put a "roll call" article into the record entitled "ukrainian lives hung in the balance as trump held up aid." quoting a national war college official about the -- >> without objection. >> -- first impact on the war. >> for what purpose does mr. johnson seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman's recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i move in opposition to the biggs amendment. my colleague from georgia talks
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about how democrats are trying to make president zelensky look weak. well, i tell you, that brings to mind the picture of president trump and president zelensky meeting in new york in september at the u.n. and a big chair for president trump, little chair for president zelensky, big 6'4" president trump, 5'11" mr. zelensky. president zelensky. and they're standing there and president trump is holding court and he says, oh, by the way, no pressure. and you saw president zelensky shaking his head as if his daughter was downstairs in the basement duct taped. i mean, there's an imbalance of
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power in that relationship. it always has been. and there's no way that the nation of ukraine can stand up to the power, to the power of the united states of america. and president trump used that unequal bargaining position, he leveraged his power in that relationship not for the benefit of the united states of america but for his own benefit. he, again, held president zelensky over a barrel up there in new york the same way he did on the telephone call on the 25th of july. and he told him, look, i know that you need those javelins, but i need you to do me a favor, or do us a favor, and who was "us," by the way?
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was it the american people or was it the trump campaign? and all of those corrupt officials that he aligns himself with, half of whom are in jail or facing charges or facing sentencing. who was he talking about, qus? it wasn't the american people. it was the trump organization and the trump campaign. that's wrong. it's wrong for the united states president to use his position for himself. it's wrong. and that's what president trump did and that's what we're holding him accountable for today, and president trump pretty much sold out our constitution for his own personal benefit. we're called upon today with the question of whether or not we're going to sell out our positions, whether or not we're going to be sellouts. i mean, each and every one of us had a career before we came to
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congress. i, myself, was a criminal defense lawyer, and i enjoy my job. i'm honored to represent the biggest client that i've ever represented, and that is the citizens of the 4th congress district of georgia. but i would gladly, to protect the constitution, give up my job that i love, and i'd go back to georgia to do what i used to do, if i had to pay a heavy price for doing what was right for the constitution. and that's what my friends on the other side of the aisle are charged with now. i know that there's a lot of fear about what -- about them being in zelensky's position. about them being in that little small chair with the president, with the bully pulpit, the right-wing media, fox news, everything being on his side and
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him levying and leveraging that power against them as they approach their primaries. they don't want to get primaried. i know that that is the desire, but let's not sell out the country for our own desire which is exactly what we're charged with protecting our country from president trump doing. let's not do that. let's make ourselves look good in the eyes of history. let's do the right thing. and with that, i will yield back. >> gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida, ms. mucarsel-powell, seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i move to strike the last word. >> gentlelady's recognized. >> thank you. i want to respond to -- i've been here all day listening to all the comments from my republican colleagues, and the
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one thing that has continued to be mentioned is that there has been no crime committed. and i have been asked by some of the people that live in my district, live in my community, americans that say, what is the crime? and i have to say that there is no higher crime than for the president to use the power of his office to corrupt our elections. we are seeing behavior from this president that we have not seen in the history of our country, violating three of the most dangerous violations of the constitution. one, abuse of power through self-dealing. two, betrayal of national security. three, corruption of our elections. and i want to make something very clear. we are here today because the president of the united states of america has violated the law.
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the president's conduct meets all the elements of criminal bribery under 18usc201b2a. a public official demands or seeks anything of value persona return for being influenced in the performance of any official act. why are we here? how did we get here? the inspector general of the intelligence community brought to congress an urgent and credible threat to our national security and our democracy. that is why we are here today. you have heard conspiracy theories. you have heard things that are not true to distract from the fact that this president abused the power of his office to extort a foreign government for his own private, political gain, not for the interest of the
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united states of america. now you will also hear about that we're trying to overturn our election. if you see, they have a poster over there saying that we're trying to overturn the election. that couldn't be anything farther from the truth. it is a ridiculous statement. impeachment ensures a democratic government. it was created by the founders as a check to prevent a president from becoming a king and it is incredible to me to see some of my colleagues bend over backwards to cover up for this president. my sister is a yoga teacher. she doesn't contort the way some of my republican colleagues distort the facts all to protect this president. the founders knew that elections would come every four years, but included impeachment in the constitution to protect the republic against a president who would be an imminent threat to
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our democracy and that is why we are here today because this president has shown us that he is welcoming foreign interference. he has asked russia. he has asked ukraine. he has asked china. asking him -- asking them to investigate his political opponents. we've seen it. we have seen those videos. that is direct evidence. we have documentary evidence. we have a transcript of a call. we have text messages. we have e-mails from ambassador sondland. everyone was in the loop. this is a scheme that began back in february and march. this was a complaint that was brought forth to congress because it was an urgent and credible threat. the president of the united states has violated the law. he has abused his power. he is undermining our freedoms,
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our democracy. we must act. that is why we're here today. no one, no president in this country is above the law. i yield back my time. >> the gentlewoman yields back. >> move to strike the last word. >> it is recognized. >> i think that argument would have more merit on the abuse of power charge if we don't take a look back and look at the whole destination and how we got here and the reason i say that because for two years we heard about russian con pspiracy, russian clugollusion, the rober mueller came out and actually, if you watch the media, about a week before the mueller report came out we started switching to obstruction and obstruction of justice and so we go through that and the mueller report comes out and shows there's absolutely no conspiracy,
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absolutely no collusion and we'll check that off the list and then we go to ten articles of obstruction of justice and we bring bob mueller into the judiciary hearing and i'm pretty certain people were knocking out statutes at the washington monument and that hearing fell flat and obstruction of justice was abandoned. so then we moved into a july 25th phone call and we went to quid pro quo, and quid pro quo kept going and kept going and then they decided that wasn't working very well and we pull tested bribery and bribery had a little bit of a problem because you cannot prove the elements of a crime and i don't care how many different ways we say it, when the victim of a crime, alleged victim, continues to go on national tv, international press conferences and denied that he was a victim and denied that there was a crime we move on. so we move from things -- campaign finance, which didn't
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even work in the mueller report and continued moving forward. so instead of starting an investigation in a general way and moving towards a specific crime. we try and pick 17 different specific crimes and when they never get there, instead of doing what any reasonable investigators do, and say there is no there there, and we put it together and say because we can't prove it we will use all of it and so if we want to know why we are here today. this started date president trump got elected. it's continued through the mueller report, not to be deterred and a separate different thing, the day after the mueller report hearings happened in the judiciary hearing and they subpoenaed the personal e-mails of every member of the trump family. this is never going to stop. i agree with my compleeg frllea ohio. it is never going to stop.
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you cannot move through all of these specific crimes. use these words for weeks at a time and the minute they fall apart we just move on to the next thing. i think that's why you're losing the support of the american people and that's why you're losing support of your colleagues on your side of the aisle in congress and that's why you're here and let's call it like it is and say why we got here and where we continue to go. >> i yield to the ranking member. >> you just brought up a great point. you know why we know what you said is true? we've had a lot of non-truth here, but what you just said is completely true that this will never end. you know why we know that? adam schiff's own words and al green's own words and schiff the other day in one of his press conferences, he loves to testify in front of cameras and just not in front of members where he has to actually answer questions and he said we're just going to keep -- no matter what happens we'll keep investigating, investigating, investigating,
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investigating and we'll -- if you're on the intel committee and i know others are, it would be nice to get back to the oversight of the intelligence community. that would be nice. shocking proposition for a committee that's supposed to be doing that. mr. green said we can impeach him over and over and over again. this is what's happening. it's a farce! we can't come up with crimes so we say crimes and we can't put it in the articles and we can't make it happen and i just want to commend you for telling the truth. you told the truth. this is not going to end no matter what except and the reason we know it is because we don't have to infer. we don't have to find articles to put on the record. we just listen to their own words. i yield back to mr. armstrong. >> with that, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back, for what purpose do you seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word? >> the gentle lady is recognized. >> you know, i rise today in opposition of this amendment. it is so obvious -- it's so
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obvious that it is a last-minute, after the fact desperate scramble to cover up the president's wrongdoing, and i tell you what, we're not falling for it, and i really do believe the american people are not falling for it, and probably are offended by it. you know, my republican colleagues have talked about a lot of things today and they're working very hard to protect the president. it appears like at any and all costs, but i really wish that my colleagues on the other side would work as hard to protect voting rights for their american people, believing that everybody should have the right to vote, and that cheating in our elections by anyone at any time in any place is just not right. it just amazes me to suggest that abuse of power is somehow
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inadequate or inappropriate or not serious enough. abuse of power by the highest position in the land, the leader in the free word, that abuse of power is not enough to impeach this president or any other president, but the framers were so desperately concerned about abuse of power by the president. they were terrified of the thought of an unprincipled man, a person finding their way into the white house. to suggest that abuse of power is not serious is not enough? is simply ridiculous to me. the president has a constitutional duty, and that really is the highest document in the land, to violate the
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constitution. he has a constitutional duty to faithfully execute the law. well, that's what it says, to faithfully execute the law. is there anybody here -- i don't care what comes out of your mouth today, is there anybody here that believes that this president has faithfully executed the law and faithfully executed the duties, the sacred trust that has been put in his hands and on his shoulder? he's supposed to faithfully execute the law, not ignore it, not abuse it, and not forget it. the president is supposed to be motivated by public interest, public interest. the interest of the people and rather than remembering that or caring about that, i'm not really sure he ever really did, the president chose to try to coerce a foreign power,

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