tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC December 12, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
president or we're going to let some foreign power do it. you know who has the right to elect the american president, the citizens of this country and no one else. men and women have died on the battlefield to protect our democracy. the least we can do is show the courage to stand up tonight and do our part to protect our democracy. with that i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. does anyone else seek recognition on the amendment? mr. armstrong. gentleman is recognized. >> and i'm going to go back to the actual language of the amendment and in particular the removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the united states. so at numerous points in times during today's debate have they -- my friends on other side of the aisle have held up a pocket constitution, waved it around. i think it's interesting nobody's read from it yet and i think there's a reason for that.
but i'm going to read from the constitution. you are joining our live coverage here of the house judiciary committee markup of the two oarticles of impeachmen. we are in hour 11 right now. we thought this could wrap up midafternoon. it's a process because they can keep offering amendments, speaking time and roll call votes. they're in the midst of that. they're on article 2 right now. it is quite possible the amendments will end soon, in which case the chair, jerry naldler will move things to a vote to vote on the two articles of impeachment, and we are going to be taking this as it goes towards that seemingly inevitable conclusion this evening. >> more power than the constitution allows. we have heard through the course of this investigation when we have complained about process,
when we have talked about secrecy when we've not been allowed to use minority recognizes, that this is more akin to a special counsel. adam schiff has referred to himself as a spec counsel. right now what we are doing is becoming the judge, jury and executioner. the senate has determined issues of removal and disqualification are deviceable from other articles of impeachment. essentially what happens in the senate is there a two thirds vote and a dissenting majority. while the house has the sole power of impeachment, the senate also provides -- the constitutional also provides that the senate has the -- the constitution describes the senate's conviction power which allows the senate to remove in office an official from office and disqualification that official from holding future office.
the democrats house has no cons authority to include this language to suggest the president should be removed from office. at best it's unnecessary, and at worse it's an overbroad description of what the actual pow of this body is. to include the language the president should be disqualified from office is prejudicial to the process the senate will take up. and i agree it really shows the true motives of the senate. it's circular how this has all gone. it started in 2016 and now we're back to 2020. in the middle we had, again, collusion, conspiracy, obstruction, quid pro quo, bribery, extortion. all of these other crimes and we have come to the nebulous part of this. there's been a lot of smart lawyers on my friend's side on the other side of this case so i can't imagine this is an omission. and what we are truly doing is taking power away from the
united states senate which is at their sole discretion. you have the right to proceed with this. we know this. it's been fast tracked and railroaded since day one. and you can equate yourself to a grand jury, a special counsel, an investigation. but you have no right as a u.s. house of representatives to be judge, jury and executioner. so while you may say taking this language out is ridiculous, i think it's actually constitutional. and with that i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. does anyone else seek recognition on this amendment? what purposes? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. there's been much said about motive this evening from my democratic colleagues. they seek to opine us to the president's motives rather than looking at his own words reflecting in the transcript. they seek to opine into his motive rather than listening to the direct statements of president zelensky that he felt
no conditionality and no pressure in communications with the administration. but this amendment -- this amendment shows the true motive of the democrats balls it is not about some cleansing of the office. it's not about some restoration of national security. it's about national security, they would have been all up in arms when president obama withheld military aid to the ukrainians. but they weren't. it's just a show to demonstrate an attack on the president. four facts never change. president trump and president zelensky both deny conditionality. the transcript shows no quid pro quo. ukraine was not aware of any delay in military aid at the time of the call, and the aid was ultimately delivered in the absence of the investigations the democrats are talking about. but i do wonder if we had had the opportunity to hear more witnesses, what more would we have been able to learn more
beyond that? maybe we vd have learned about his office's contact with the whistle-blower. maybe we could have asked chairman schiff why he felt it appropriate to engage in some theatrical performance of a transcript that never existed? maybe we could have asked him why he wasn't fully forthcoming about his office's contact with the whistle-blower when he was asked about it on national television. we could have asked chairman schiff his reasons for admitting exkulpatory evidence and we would have asked chairman schiff whether it was his decision or someone else's decision to publish correspondence and communications between the president's personal lawyer and others, journalists and even members of congress. wooe we could have learned a lot from the whistle-blower, who they spoke to and whether or not the information was accurate or
whether or not it was verifiable. we could have asked the whistle-blower why the outreach to chairman schiff's staff in this particular way. we could have asked the whistle-blower about potential contacts with presidential campaigns. we could have asked nelly orr a lot of questions too. she was on our witness list. we probably would have wanted to know how is it that one of the top people at the department of justice can have a spouse that goes and moonlights for people trying to dig up dirt on a presidential campaign and then see that very dirt shuttled into the department of justice, injected into the blood stream of our intelligence community and then used as an illegitimate basis to go and spy on american citizens. we probably would have asked which ukrainians she was talking to dig up dirt on the president? what was on the thumb drive she gave to her husband?
alexander chulupa was the intermediary between the dnc and elements of the ukrainian government that working with president trump. we could have asked whose idea at the dnc was it to have a specific operative assigned to the ukraine to impair our elections? whose idea was it? who funded it? we could have asked who at the ukrainian embassy were you talking to? we already saw ukraine engaging in our elections in plain view when you have the ambassador from ukraine writing an op-ed about the president.
i don't know we've learned a great deal at these hearings other than the fact the democrats have been hellbent on impeachment since they took the majority, they've been unfair in their process, they've been unable to evidence accusations against the president with anything other than hearsay and conjecture, but i would have liked to hear a lot more, and that's why the rules of the house know it. you know what, it's clear to the american people watching that the president did not do something to justify this impeachment. but i think we could have done a lot more to fulfill the president's promise to drain the swamp if we would have actually followed the rules. >> gentleman yields back. for what purpose does mr. richmond seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chair, i start by yielding time to my colleague from california. >> thank you.
there's a doctrine where if you can't argue the facts, you can't argue the loll, argue a lot. you know? in the constitution it has the very language that's in the article, and i'd just like to read this. wherefor william jefferson clinton by such conduct warns of impeachment from trial and disqualification to hold and enjoy any trust or profit in the united states, the exact same language that is being complained about this evening with mr. trump was put into the articles by the republicans relative to mr. clinton, and i yield back with thanks. >> thank you to my colleague from california, and i would just remind because it was brought up by my colleague from louisiana this was some extraordinary language designed to go after donald trump. this committee, the judiciary committee in the house when an impeached judge thomas porteous
from louisiana which my colleague is very aware of, and it went over to the senate and it was voted on unanimous 96-0 had the same exact language in it. there is nothing extraordinary about the language in this. what is extraordinary is the gymnastics and hurdles that my colleagues on the other side are going through to make sure that they just throw a whole bunch of stuff at the wall. hope they confuse the american people, hope that something sticks. my friend on the other side just mentioned that this president wanted to make sure that this new ukrainian administration was not corrupt like the last one. well, he gave the last corrupt administration 5$550 million. again, what a judge will tell you when you're on a jury is you get to apply common sense and if doesn't make sense, you don't
have to believe it. if you gave $550 million to an administration you knew was corrupt what happens between 2018 and 2019 besides you being scared to death of your next political opponent? but what the judge will also tell you is that you do not have to take everything that everybody says as fact. but "new york daily news" let's look at the three witnesses that testified under oath, vindman, lieutenant colonel, purple heart. he said it was a meeting in exchange for an investigation into the bidens. sondland, trump supporter, said it was a quid pro quo. bill taylor, west point said that it was crazy to with hold military aid for an investigation. all under oath, all with the penalty of perjury. who do they offer on the other side?
president trump. 14,435 lies to date since he's been president. not under oath, but we should take his word for it. then it is so absurd because in a call we know the president's vocabulary. we know what he does and what he does not say. he may say bigly, great, he might say winning a lot. but in this ordinary conversation he does not use the words quid pro quo. so when he has the conversation after the whistle-blower is known to everybody, he gets a call. first thing out of his mouth, hey, i don't want a quid pro quo. where did that come from? it came from the fact that you are guilty of the crime that is charged. just like a kid who just got caught going into the cookie jar with crumbs on his mouth when his mother says what are you
doing? i didn't eat that cookie. that's what we have. a call out of the blue the first thing he says is i don't want a quid pro quo, i want them to do the right thing. no, you would not have held up their vital military aid -- you have to understand this is country that is being occupied by his friend putin. and he is holding up the vital aid for them to protect their country. because he says it's about corruption. but we know from the facts in this case, from the three people who testified under oath that all this was about was making sure that he gets an investigation into joe biden. why was that important? because when you panic you go back to what worked the first time. and an investigation where he got to run around the country saying lock her up, he figured if he could get another investigation he could run around the country saying lock him up and it might work again.
with that mr. chairman i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> move to strike the last word, mr. chairman. >> gentleman's recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you didn't give us a lot of witnesses in this committee and no fact witnesses, but we did get one professor turley who early on in his talk mentioned he didn't vote for the president and none of the other witnesses did either. one thing he did say, the evidence that you have against him that you're bringing these impeachment charges on is wafer thin, wafer thin evidence. what's not wafer thin is the partisan resolve by the democrats at least on this committee to get rid of this president. and they've been looking for an excuse to impeach this president for a long time, and now they think they've got one. but we obviously know he's not going to be removed from office. but it's embarrassing, and it's a mark. and it's really unfortunate
because the country really shouldn't be put through this. but i think one of the things we ought to do is look at the things this president has actually accomplished that they're talking about getting rid of. this is a president that's successfully grown this economy. if you look at the savings accounts and 401k accounts of so many americans and so many retirees, they're up at the stock market -- now, that's not going to go on forever but it's certainly something most americans can be pleased about. there are more americans now employed than ever before in our nation's history. manufacturing jobs, which we really used to be hurting in this country and had been in decline for a long time are now coming back. manufacturing jobs including by hundreds of thousands. unemployment as i mentioned, a 50-year low. if 4 million americans no longer need to rely upon food stamps. that's a positive thing.
retail sales are up. we're finally becoming energy independent. in fact, the u.s. is now a net natural gas exporter for the first time in 60 years. 60 years we're now an exporter of natural gas. a right to try i remember the president and i'm sure my democratic colleagues remember, too, the president was encouraging us to pass a right to try law, which allows people who oftentimes have -- they don't have a lot of chance. they've got a disease that's been considered fatal, and they'd like to try some drug that maybe comes out some years down the road, but they're willing to try it now. because of this, it's giving some people a hope, and hopefully it'll save some lives. that was the president's idea. our military is stronger than it's been in a long, long time. and thank god we're actually increasing the pay for our men and women in uniform, and they deserve even more.
there are two great judges on the supreme court now. elections have consequences. they'd have been very, very different had hillary clinton been elected last time. elections have consequences, and there are many circuit court judges that they're filling in the senate. and thank god for that. the president withdrew us from that awful iran deal, which essentially allowed money, billions of dollars to go to terrorists. it's not being used against us by iran. we've seen the embassy, our u.s. embassy move to jerusalem. thank god for that. we've seen -- finally we're starting to strengthen our southern borders although we've got a long way to go there. despite all these things, when the democrats took over the house earlier this year in january one of the first things
they did, articles of impeachment were introduced earlier this january in the house, and that very same day one of their members in a profanity filled speech famously said we're going to impeach the bleep. she didn't bleep it obviously. and another said if we don't impeach the president he might well get re-elected. i mean, is that a reason to impeach a president because he might get re-elected? it was to them. it really goes back two years to inauguration the hatred for this president when he got elected. we saw it in the streets here in washington. a lot of people came up to protest and that's fine. we also saw a lot of windows broken, we saw one person saying she was dreaming about blowing up the white house and that sort of thing, so it really did get ugly. the bottom line is here they've been looking for an excuse for years now to impeach this
president. they are wafer thin. we should not be moving forward on something like this. the country deserves a lot better than they're getting in this impeachment process, and i'll be glad when i get beyond this because it's bad for the country and very divisive. i yield back. >> does anyone else seek recognition of this amendment? >> move to strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i hear my colleague from rhode island say that this isn't about policy differences. this is about our obligation to protect and defend our constitution. it's about courage. well, of course it's about policy differences because you said nothing on your side when president obama sent his surrogates out to lie about benghazi. you said nothing when president obama's administration entered into a gun running deal with mexican cartels and the fast and furious program was developed.
you said nothing about democrat leaders this is about a policy difference. and it's not about courage. i question your judgment. i don't question your courage. and i think that the american people are getting tired, and i say that because i have a friend from college, jim. and his dad was a pastor in the '60s and '70s who was a leader in the civil rights movement. he didn't vote for donald trump, didn't vote for mitt romney, didn't vote for john mccain. but jim sent me a text and he said would you tell your democrat colleagues that i'm voting for donald trump this next time around? and by the way, he tells me that he believes that your party is overreaching at this point.
overreaching. the last text he sent me was kind of interesting. he said the stock market closed at a record high. they're losing. but i thought about that overreach comment, and i thought about what was my -- the most ludicrous of the ways this group of democrats in the house have tried to take out this president, and there are a lot to choose from. my favorite happens to be the 25th amendment. i thought when you came up with the 25th amendment it was right at the top. you call in a professor from yale. and that professor from yale could have been right out of a movie for the old soviet union. she says testifying in congress, well, it takes a majority of the
cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment, but this president might be -- he would need an examination. and when asked by a member could he be detained -- could the president of the united states be detained for purposes of an examination, she said yes. right out of the old soviet union. that was my fafvorite. my second favorite was the emoluments clause because i had to run to the constitution to figure out what the heck you guys were saying about the emoluments clause. but i guess anyone who's successful and has a worldwide business is going to be subject to an emoluments clause. you have four now on the floor of the house, and you think that somehow we're not showing courage when we stand here and tell you you don't have the facts to convict this president on these charges.
and you don't. the thing that's going to change is when this moves over to the senate, you lose the narrative because the republicans in the senate will-call hunter biden. they will call the whistle-blower, and you better wait and see what the american public does when all of the facts are out. you don't get to hide the facts in the basement anymore. all the facts are going to be coming out. so i asked a few of our friends whether they had any favorites, and i will yield to my friend from arizona if he'd like to talk about some of his more outrageous scenarios that our friends, the democrats, have proposed on this president. >> i thank my friend for yielding and the 25th amendment was really at the top of the heap there. but i mean virtually any time the president tweets something i've heard criticism he should be impeached for tweeting.
in fact, the harvard law professor in here last week wrote he should be impeached for tweeting. that was fun. and the other issue was the bribery -- when the professor karlan tried to explain we didn't hear -- >> i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. >> mr. chairman. >> mr. jeffries seeks recognition. for what purposes? >> move to strike the last word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> my colleague suggests we're here because we have policy disagreements with president. we do have policy disagreements with this president. we disagree with the fact you
passed as your signature legislative a gop tax scam where 83% of the benefits went to the wealthiest 1%, you exploded the deficit and the debt. we disagree with that. we disagree with your policy of separating god's children from their parents and caging those children. that was unacceptable, unc unconscionable and un-american. we disagree with your effort which is ongoing to strip away health care protections with more than a hundred million american with pre-existing conditions. we disagree with that as well. but we're not here at this moment undertaking this solemn responsibility because we disagree with his policy positions. we'll deal with that next november. we're here because the president pressured a foreign government
to target an american citizen for political gain. thereby soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election by withholding $391 million in military aid without justification. now, the president says that was perfect. here's what others have had to say about that. ambassador sondland who gave the president a million dollars for the inauguration said it was a quid pro quo. lieutenant colonel vindman, iraq war veteran, said it was improper. dr. fiona hill, trump appointee, what did she say? political errand. ambassador taylor, west point graduate appointed by reagan, bush, and trump, vietnam war hero, he said it was crazy.
and john bolton, a super conservative trump national security advisor said it was a drug deal. what would the framers of the constitution have said? impeachable. i yield to my colleague from california, eric swalwell. >> i thank the gentleman. in my colleague's efforts to defend this president, you want him to be someone he's not. you want him to be someone he is telling you he is not. you're trying to defend the call in so many different ways, and he's saying, guys, it was a perfect call. he's not who you want him to be. and let me tell you how selfish his acts were. and ranking member collins you can deny this as much as you want. people died in ukraine at the hands of russia. in ukraine since september 2018
when it was voted on by congress, was counting on our support. one year passed and people died. and you may not want to think about that, it may be hard for you to think about that, but they died when the selfish, selfish president withheld the aid for his own personal gain. and i get it, oh, obama, he only gave them x, y, z. we've proven the record president obama gave them not only military capabilities, military training and military equipment. so don't tell yourself ukrainians didn't die. they died. ambassadortail, he said these were weapons and assistance that allowed the military to -- if further aggression were to take place, more ukrainians would die. so it's a deterrent effect these weapons provided. but you didn't only hurt ukraine, mr. president, by doing
this. you helped russia. and to my colleagues who believe we have such an anti-corruption president in the white house, i ask you this. how many times did this anti-corruption president meet with the most corrupt leader in the world, vladimir putin? how many times did he talk to him? 16 times between meetings and phone conversations. and how many conditions did the president put on vladimir putin to get such an audience with the most powerful person in the world at the highest office? zero conditions. that's who you're defending, so keep defending him. we will defend the constitution, our national security and our elections. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. who seeks recognition? mr. klein. for what purpose do you seek recognition? >> i move to strike the last
word. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i want to thank the gentleman, my colleague mr. jeffreys for laying bare what we've all known. they have policy differences and as he said they'll deal with it next november. they're not really interested in removing this president from office. they don't think the senate is going to remove him from office. this is all a political exercise on their end just to help them in november's election. that's what it's all about for them. and it's infuriating to me that they put on this show and wave their constitutions which they must have just found because i've been at this a long time, and i don't see their folks on the side of the aisle reading from it very often. but it's good to go they're finally talking about what they're real motives are to use this a political maneuver for advantage in the 2020 election. and with that i yield to the ranking member.
>> i did not say no one died. undoubtedly you can have a trouble reading an article that said people died. no one said that. and you can accuse whatever because you're just sitting there just telling untruths because you don't get it because you have personal agenda, and maybe you're auditioning for the prospect of being an impeachment manager. that's great. but you can't get into this one, because as someone who sat there and watched people die on the battlefield, i know when people die. i know when they've come into the hospital and been shot up and been hit with iuds. that's a load of hogwash. in fact it's so wrong to get a cheap shot to say what didn't happen, when you can't even read your own article you put into commission. i mean, maybe we can go by it word by word. although there is no way to link mark offs or dozens of other
deaths directly to lack of aid. under-secretary hale said this was prospective not at the time. that's the most ridiculous comment, and there's been a lot of them here. that is the most amazing, amazing lack of honesty and integrity i've seen so far. looking at your own article to say that i have never said no one died. we know people died. in wars people die. is that difficult to understand? maybe that's why you're back here with us tonight. it's not hard to understand. and to say that -- two things the most amazing thing today. tearing down president zelensky and besmirching those who died.
even for this majority, to sit there and keep reporting the lie after lie, they died. mr. hale under secretary of state said that was prospective money not current money. people died when there was money released earlier. are we going to claim that wasn't because we didn't give them enough money? i don't know, i get it. y'all got an agenda to push and the clock is ticking. but to sit there and come back with that one and accuse me that i said nobody died, i never said nobody died. undoubtedly you don't understand that because your own article that you wanted to get in so quickly said there's no way to actually tell what they died of because even this was an article slanted against the position the president had. so if you want to continue this debate, go right ahead.
because for the men and women out there who served in the military, who have watched and been overseas, who understand around the world, who are fighting even in ukraine and others right now, for you to say that is just wrong. but they'll get it. i'm not yielding to anyone. maybe like i said, maybe it's a reading comprehension problem. maybe we just don't have it. maybe it's because we don't have the facts to make the argument. i go back to the facts we know you couldn't actually make the case, otherwise you would have wrote them in the articles of impeachment. you can't do it. so what do we do? today we've taken the fact of tearing down mr. zelensky, just tearing him down and then also continuing the unfortunate misrepresentation of money and degs of soldiers fighting for their country. that is the dark stain that we see today. i yield back. >> mr. chairman?
>> mr. klein's time has now expired. >> strike the last word, mr. chairman. >> the gentlelady is recognized. >> ijust remind us of the words of george washington, the constitution is a guide which i will never abandon. the american people who have watched this debate to men and women who are wearing a uniform around the nation i hope you'll understand that we will never abandon the constitution. that is why we're here today to discuss the articles of pipe etchment. when i began my words yesterday i said we the people of the united states as evidenced by general madison promote the general welfare but promote the constitution of the united states of america. let me speak very briefly the
language the gentleman is trying to strike has already been established. it was the articles of impeachment in 1998. let me also say my good friends are speaking to an audience of one, a person now is resolving all the accolades and work he has done, and i have no quarrel with their representation of their president. but i don't serve a man or a president. benjamin franklin to the throngs of those who are outside the constitutional convention answered the question when they shouted out mr. franklin, what do we have a monarchy or a republic? and he said a republic if we can keep it. today the majority of democrats are attempting to keep this republic and to maintain that the president of the united states cannot abuse his power and cannot obstruct congress. chairman rodino made it very clear. he made it very clear by stating
that the president at that time in the nixon proceedings could not design for himself how the impeopleme impeachment inquiry would work. and then to talk about the president's use of his public office with public funds to in essence get a foreign entity to help him with his campaign, besmirching the elections, undermining the integrity of the elections or the american people. i disagree with the president for cutting snap for poor people or separating children. i disagree as a texan for the wall because my fellow texans are against it. but the real issue is the power and balance, a newly elected president, a president who had run on the get corruption out campaign. literally he campaigned, his party was an anti-corruption party.
and he comes hat in hand on this conversation because he missed the president on the inauguration. he did not go. he sent sondland, and he sent perry. mr. pence did not go. and so he wanted to say anything that he could to make sure that he would get these dollars. and calling for an investigation on an opponent, it was not beneath him. how would you think he'd admit now publicly that he was willing to do it? but let me show you the atmosphere in which ukraine lived. putin relations re-claims crimea, right on their border arrogantly without in any defense by ukraine. they lost. crimea was taken. just like we would have lost mississippi or texas or new york or california. and then they lived in the atmosphere of a jetliner explodes over ukraine shot down
by russian weapons, by separatists supported by ukraine -- by russia. and then in ukraine the u.s. trains an army in the west to fight the east impacting our national security. soy let me say to my colleagues, i read the constitution regularly. my predecessor always said keep a constitution in your hand. barba barbara jordan said we the people. but i'm clear that the unbalance of power between ukraine and the united states and two heads of statewide have caused that president to do almost anything. and as ambassador sondland said, he will do anything you desire him to do. and he will call for investigations. and so he was willing to go on cnn and announce those investigations. the president has abused his
power, the president has tried to obstruct congress in trying to create his own way of us doing an impeachment inquiry. i believe we are doing the right thing, and i support the articles of impeachment. i yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. >> to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, dare i to state the obvious, i have not heard a new point or an original thought from either side in the last three hours. the same points have been repeated over and over by both sides. repeating a fact over and over doesn't make it true, and denying a fact over and over doesn't make it false. everybody knows this. everybody watching knows this. this hearing has been enough of an institutional embarrassment without putting it on an endless
loop. so if i could offer a modest suggestion, if no one has anything new to add, they resist the temptation to inflict what we've already heard over and over again. and with that i yield back. >> the point is well-taken. >> who else seeks recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentle woman is recognized. >> i yield to mr. jordan. >> talking about eliection interference, about the campaign. in 2016 the people running that investigation, peter struck and lisa page, the people running that investigation said we're going to stop trump. they're the ones who said trump should lose a hundred million to zero. they're the ones who said we
have an insurance policy. they're the ones who ran the organization lied to the court 17 times, didn't tell the court the guy who wrote the dossier was, quote, desperate to stop trump. the dossier they're using to get a warrant to further spy on the trump campaign. didn't tell the court the guy who wrote the dossier was working for the clinton campaign. that's an important fact they get to. didn't tell the court the guy that wrote the dossier, christopher steele, was fired by the fbi because he was out talking to the press. so we're talking about election interference. how about that fact? and now in 2020 we don't have the fbi spying on people of the trump campaign yet. we don't have them going to the fisa court and lying. what we have instead, insurance policy instead now is impeachment. that's what they're doing. that's how they're going to make
it little tougher on the president to win re-election. that's what this is about, and that's why it's so wrong. let the american people decide. we are 11 months away, less than 11 months away from the election. let the american people decide. we already had the fbi try to weigh in 2016 and do all the things that mr. horowitz just told us about this week. now in 2020 the democrats in congress are trying to create some kind of insurance policy with this impeachment effort. let the american people decide. i yield back to the gentle lady from alabama. >> i thank the gentleman. i yield the remainder of my time to mr. rushanthaler. >> i just want to draw attention to what some of the democratic witnesses have said. i've just got to find it on my desk. you know what, let's talk about the law instead. i've heard it be said tonight
when the facts aren't on your side and when the law isn't on your side just argue for a long time. the facts are on our side and so is the law. if you look at the legal definition again, it's very clear the democrats cannot make out a prima facie case. let's go back to the stooatute. the federal bribery statute contains the following elements. so we can take any one of those elements and deconstruct it. let's just start at official act because we haven't hit that yet tonight. official act, a meeting at the white house is not a quote-unquote official act under the supreme court's mcdonald precedent. setting up a meeting talking to another official or organizing
an event without more does not fit the definition of an official act. so right there under supreme court precedent, you don't have an official act. we can also look at the element anything of value. something as nebulous as an investigation is not of sufficient concrete value to constitute something of value under the federal campaign finance laws. presumably the same would be true under the bribery statute. so, again, if we're arguing the law, i'll sit here and argue it all night because the law is on our side. you cannot make out a prima facie case. again, i was a district judge in pennsylvania. i would have dismissed this every single time it came before me because there are not the elements needed to support a
prima facie case. i only have 30 seconds left so if someone would yield me more time -- again the democrats are using a parodied version of chairman schiff when he was talking about the president when he said quote-unquote make up dirt about the president. with that i yield back. >> mr. chairman. >> who seeks recognition on this amendment? >> mr. chairman. >> it's on this side. >> i've not already gone. you are incorrect, sir.
>> no, i'm told you've already spoken on this. >> that would be an error, sir. >> no, you've spoken on the amendment already. >> not on jordan. >> on this amendment, that's what our records say. does anyone else seek recognition? no one else seeks recognition? >> mr. chairman, point of order. mr. buck -- >> does mr. radcliffe seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> i yield to my friend from arizona. >> i guess we're not doing the minority hearing day. i would just say that james -- we've heard people say he said
impeachment was for, quote, removal of an officer who had rendered himself unjustly criminal in the eyes of a majority of the people, closed quote. a majority of the people. you don't have that. what you have here is a slop bucket that you call on your articles of impeachment. so what we've heard over the last two days is basically every grievance that democrats have against this president. you've stuck the ladle in that slop bucket and you've tried to throw it out there, and you've tried to pigeonhole that grievance into one of two things. either the obstruction of congress or abuse of power. that's the problem that you have here. is that you're all over the map because you can't deliver a crime. there's no high crime. there's no misdemeanors. there's no bribery.
remember professor karlan tried to explain what the bribery might have been. took her an almost full five minutes. and after she was done we didn't hear anyone talking about bribery anymore as an impeachable offense. you talked about quid pro quo, and that was pretty much off the table until tonight it's kind of revved back up again. but the bottom line is this. you don't have a specific charge, so you used the two amorphous weak areas to go forward. so i mean you've been trying different avenues for three years now. and i'm reminded that one of my colleagues on the other side said you want trump to be something he isn't when the reality is that's projection. reality is you want him to be something he isn't. that's why you're trying to impeach him. that's why you've tried all
kinds of theories that have all fallen flat. and the big one was the mueller impeachment. you really wanted that one. that didn't work so well. didn't work so well because there was nothing there. i would say something about president zelensky and this discussion with the president. he himself, president zelensky without instigation in this conversation at all about ambassador yovanovitch after she'd been recalled said her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous president, and she was on his side. this is the anti-corruption crusader you keep talking about. and then you talk about president poroshenko as being corrupt, and i'm not saying he
wasn't. but president zelensky said yovanovitch was on his side. she would not accept me as a new president well enough. so the reason i bring that up is because you've repeatedly said there's nothing contested here. the facts are not contested, but i go back to something i think is very important. all the inferences you've drawn have been designed to go against this president and paint him in the light least favorable. and that's because you've tried to project him into being something you want him to be. but when you look at the facts and the direct evidence, the direct evidence is real clear. ukraine received the aid, provided nothing in return, and they stated -- president zelensky and foreign minister -- the foreign minister yermak said they felt no pressure, there was no pressure there. and even ambassador sondland who
you relied on 600 times in your effort said, hey, you know what, i don't have -- nobody in the world told me anything, i just presumed it. you don't have a case, you never had a case. you just wanted to have a case. and that's the sadness about it. you're impeaching him because you've wanted to for three years. you're not going to beat him in a re-election, so you had to go to impeachment, and that is tragedy for america. i yield. >> the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does mr. neguse seek recognition? >> move to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chair. with much respect to my colleague who quoted james madison, there's been this
description of abuse of power as amorphous by some as nebulous i think is one of the words my colleague has used in this long debate tonight. and i offer you the following quote which is that liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty but also by the abuse of power. that quote is from james madison. the part of this debate that has been so frustrating for me and i think for a lot of americans that are watching tonight is the diminishment of the public servants, the patriots who stepped forward and provided the evidence that demonstrates that this president abused his power. people like lieutenant colonel vindman who served this country bravely overseas, people like
ambassador bill taylor, a west point graduate, a vietnam veteran. people like dr. fiona hill, people like laura cooper. official after official after official from the trump administration. these individuals serve in the president's administration. ambassador taylor was not appointed by president obama. he was appointed by president trump. so i would hope that my colleagues as we proceed with the solemn duty that this committee is charged with, that we respect the people who came forward, who have served under republican and democratic administrations to tell the truth under oath and to help this committee as it seeks to
hold this administration accountable. and with that i yield to ms. lofgran from california. >> i thank you, mr. neguse. and i was listening to this debate but the idea the founding fathers in 1789 would be considering the u.s. code precedent and the mcconnell case precedent and the honest services supreme court case as precedent in 1789 is ridiculous. mr. neguse has pointed out what the founding fathers had in mind with the impeachment clause, and we know that high crimes and misdemeanors is essentially actions that the president uses with the extraordinary power that he's been given under the constitution to subvert the
constitutional order, to prevent the constitutional system from working, and that is the concern we have here not only that the president has done that, but that he is not contrite, he's not correcting his behavior, he's continuing to do it. he's presenting an ongoing threat he will continue to subvert the constitutional orders. so i thank mr. neguse for yielding to me on the idea that these court cases would have been precedents in 1789. i yield back. >> mr. chair, i would yield the balance of my time to mr. cicilliny from rhode island. >> i want to remind my colleagues we have introduced into the record a letter from 500 legal scholars that really reinforces the point mr. neguse
just made and i'll read from it. the primary check on a president's power is political. if a president behaves poorly voters can punish him or his party at the polls. but a president who corrupts the system of elections seeks to place himself beyond the reach of this political check. at the constitutional convention george mason described the impeachable offenses as attempt to subvert the constitution. corrupting elections subverts the process by which the constitution makes the president democratically accountable. this is what impeachment is for. i ask my republican colleagues how many of you would allow or solicit a foreign power to help in your re-elections? please raise your hands. not one of you because you know it would violate the constitution and corrupt the american people to decide -- it would be like i got a grant of a
million dollars to fight and i said you know what chief before i send it over, do me a favor. announce the investigation of my political rival. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i move to strike the last word. >> no, you've already spoken in this amendment. >> the question is now on the amendment. those in favor say aye. oppose no? in the opinion of the chair the nayes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. the roll call has been requested. >> mr. nadler votes no. ms. jackson lee votes no. mr. cohen votes no. mr. johnson of georgia votes no. mr. deutche votes no.
mr. richmond votes no. mr. jeffries votes no. mr. cicilliny votes no. thank you for joining us tonight. this is roll call vote under way right now. we're watching this historic impeachment proceeding under way in congress. if you've been watching today and into tonight you know that in technical terms this is what tay call a markup which means the judiciary committee is there to change or fine tune the articles of impeachment against president trump before a final vote. in reality what today's proceedings have been is an opportunity for democrats to make the case for impeaching president trump, and it's been an opportunity for republicans to criticize democrats for that and to try to derail the proceedings however they can. this committee started work at 9:00 this morning. we expect that a final vote on the impeachment articles could come as soon as this hour, but we really don't know just