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tv   Inside Story 2019 Ep 343  Al Jazeera  December 9, 2019 8:32pm-9:01pm +03

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taylor acknowledged it is clear understanding came from ambassador sam and it was merely presuming that there was a link president trump to rejected any linkage between security assistance to ukraine and investigations the president's statements in this regard ought to be persuasive because he made the same statement in 2 separate private conversations with 2 different u.s. officials and days apart it would be no reason for the president to be anything less than candid during these private conversations on august 31st president trump spoke by phone with senator johnson who was traveling to ukraine in the coming days and sought the president's permission to tell president to lansky that the security assistance would be forthcoming president trump responded that he was not ready to do that so i knew craning corruption and burden sharing among european allies when senator johnson raised a potential linkage between security assistance and investigation president trump
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vehemently denied any connection saying no way i would never do that who told you that in closing the call president to trump told senator johnson that we're reviewing it now referring to the security assistance and guess what you'll probably like my final decision he told that to senator johnson on august 31st this statement strongly suggests that president trump was already leaning toward lifting the aid separately on september 9th president trump spoke by phone with ambassador sama and ambassador someone asked the president what do you want from ukraine president respond president trump responded i want nothing i want no quid pro quo i want selenski to do the right thing. in addition senior ukrainian government officials denied any awareness of a linkage between u.s. security assistance and investigations these denials are persuasive because if there was in fact an orchestrated scheme to pressure ukraine by withholding
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security assistance one would think the pause on security assistance would have been clearly communicated to the ukrainians foreign minister priest iko told the media in november following news of ambassador silencers written supplemental testimony on the never link security assistance to investigations for state has said i have never seen a direct relationship between investigations and security assistance although there is some testimony that ukrainian officials from the embassy in washington made informal inquiries to the state department and defense department about these issues with security assistance in july and august the evidence does not show president selenski or senior advisors in kiev were aware of the pause until it was publicly reported by politico on aug 28th of subsequent news article explained the conflicting testimony that embassy officials in
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washington had made informal inquiries about issues with the aide while senior officials and steve denied awareness of the pause the article explained that then ukrainian ambassador trolly who was appointed by president selenski predecessor went rogue and did not inform president selenski that there was any issue with the 8 according to the news account president selenski and his senior team only learned of a pause when it was reported on august 28th as ambassador volcker testified because senior ukrainian officials were unaware of the pause there was no leverage implied . the actions of senior ukrainian government officials while the security assistance was paused reinforces a conclusion that they did not know the aide was on hold in the $55.00 days during which the security assistance was paused president he had 5 discussions with us senior officials on the july 25th he spoke with president trump on the phone so i
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26 he met with ambassador volker that's where taylor ambassadors on one. on august 27th he met with ambassador bolton september 1st he met with vice president pence in warsaw and on september 5th he met with senator ron johnson senator chris murphy in kiev in one of these meetings the president selenski raise any concern about linkage between security assistance and investigations in particular the september 5th meeting with senator johnson and senator murphy is notable because they're not part of the trump administration and president selenski could be candid with them what did occur during those 55 days were historic effort by ukraine's parliament called the rada to implement anti-corruption reform. president pants had pressed president lenski about these reforms during their september 1st meeting in their depositions ambassador taylor lout of presidents
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lindsey's rapid reforms and national security council official morrison testified that during a meeting in kieve he noted that everyone in the ukrainian side of the table was exhausted because they had been up all night working on these reforms on september 11th president trump discussed the matter with vice president pence senator portman portman and acting chief of staff moving according to tamara since testimony to discuss whether ukraine's progress on anti-corruption reform was enough to justify releasing this a curious distance. testified that vice president pence was obviously armed with the conversation he had with president selenski and they convinced the president the age should be dispersed immediately. the president then lifted the hole and concluding this point we have considerable evidence that president trump was skeptical of ukraine due to its corruption we have evidence the president was skeptical of foreign assistance in general and he believes strongly our allies
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should share the burden for regional defense we know the white house was reviewing foreign assistance in general to ensure it furthered u.s. interests and that o.m.b. researched and provided information about which foreign countries were contributing money to ukraine president trump told senator johnson on august 31st we're reviewing it now and you'll probably like my final decision he told ambassador seidlin on september 9th i want selenski to do what he ran on president selenski who ran an anti-corruption platform was an untried politician with ties to a potential controversial all of our. president pence reiterated president selenski . that on september 1st the need for reform was paramount after president selenski paused. i'm sorry after president lansky passed historic anti-corruption reforms the pause on security assistance was lifted and the presidents met 2 weeks later
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the ukrainian government never took any action on investigations at issue in the impeachment inquiry much has been made about a so-called shadow or irregular foreign policy apparatus the president trump is alleged to have working straighted as a mechanism to force ukraine to initiate investigations the allegation is president trump conspired to recall ambassador eve on of it's from ukraine so his agents could pursue a scheme to pressure ukraine to conduct these investigations but there are logical flaws with these arguments 1st every ambassador interviewed in the impeachment inquiry acknowledge the president has an absolute right to recall ambassadors for any reason or no reason apparent the president trump lost confidence in a battery of out of it and it's simply not an abuse of power for him to recall her . beyond that the trump administration replaced ambassador evolve it with ambassador bill taylor who became one of the 1st.
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inquiry here actually besser taylor played a prominent role in some of the hearings last month president trump truly sought to remove ambassador evanovich as part of a nefarious plan he certainly would not have replaced her with someone of the likes of ambassador bill taylor 2nd the 3 u.s. officials who comprise the so-called shadow foreign policy apparatus ambassador volker stalin and secretary perry can hardly be called irregular certainly not outlandish all were senior u.s. officials with official interest in ukraine policy the 3 kept the state department and the n.s.c. informed of their activities finally there is evidence that marriage will ianni did not speak on behalf of the president according to a news story on november 22nd mr yarm act as the bastard volcker to connect him with mayor giuliani because the selenski team was surprised by the meg by the
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mayor's negative comments about ukraine they wanted to change his mind both embassador volcker in his deposition and yarm act in august new york times article denied that mayor giuliani was speaking on behalf of president trump as his agent instead as ambassador volcker explained the ukrainian government saw giuliani as a conduit through which they could change the president's mind 2nd allegation at issue of course is whether the president obstructed congressman by not agreeing to all the demands for documents and testimony as somebody with experience with congressional investigations and strongly i strongly believe in congress's article want to thorough. but this impeachment inquiry has departed drastically from past bipartisan precedents for presidential impeachment as well as the fundamental tenets of fair and effective congressional oversight. 1st process matters the bipartisan road you know hide presidents guaranteed
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fundamental fairness and due process to the president it allowed substantive minority participation and participation from the president's counsel in the fact finding process neither aspect was president here democrats denied us witnesses democrats voted down subpoenas we sought the issue for both documents and testimony and all no democrats never brought to a committee vote any of the subpoenas that were issued they were all tabled democrats directed witnesses not to answer questions and these sorts of actions diligent in my eyes the inquiry and do not give the witnesses or the president confidence that the inquiry is fair 2nd the president or any potential witness to this impeachment inquiry should be allowed to raise defenses without it being used as an adverse inference against him courts have held that the constitution mandates and accommodations process between the branches for this reason congressional oversight is
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a time intensive endeavor certainly takes longer than $76.00 days here however the initial letters from the democrats instructed potential witnesses that if they did not cooperate in full it shall constitute evidence of obstruction democrats wanted all their demands honored immediately and were unwilling to consider the executive branch's privileges or defenses finally there is no basis for obstruction the one witness who said he spoke to president trump about his appearance as a witness ambassador someone testified the president told him to cooperate and tell the truth the president has declassified and released the call summary of july 25th and april 21st calls with president selenski white house road to speaker pelosi to say that it was willing to cooperate further if the house returned to a well established bipartisan constitutional based impeachment process
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as we know these protections were never afforded in closing i'd like to briefly address the democrats narrative as articulated in their report. the democrat narrative virtually ignores any evidence that's not helpful for their case it ignores for instance that ambassador simon's testimony that he presented. that there was a quid pro quo and it ignores the many public statements made by ukrainian officials the report presents a story as if the evidence is clear when in reality it's anything but democrats have gone to great lengths to gather information to build their case and they've even obtained and released phone records relating to the communications of the president's personal attorney a reporter and a member of congress there are additional phone records that have not yet been released and our members remain concerned about the prospect of more phone records being released there have been a lot of hype. hyperbole
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a lot of hysteria over the last 3 months about this inquiry and the underlying facts i believe a lot of this can be traced back to the unanimous whistleblower complaint i believe it was a blower reframed a lot of the facts at issue and caused witnesses in the inquiry to recast their views and it's unfortunate that we haven't been able to interview the whistleblower i link so much like in the impeachment inquiry to a special prosecutor's investigation one accepts that comparison one should also it's expect that like ken starr and robert mueller the chairman should testify and our our members all the committees believe very strongly that chairmanship should should testify and answer questions with that mr chairman time as yours gentlemen. you know as time has expired we will now proceed to the 1st round of questions line of order to sue and gentlemen who say his point of order.
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we've been told that counsel for democrats is a witness and that's why he didn't have to comport with the rules of decorum and now he's sitting up here in a mill a state a point i've been a judge and i know that you don't get to be your witness and a judge in the same case that's my point of order he should not be is not a point of order we will pursue him to house resolution 660 and it's accompanying judiciary committee procedures there will be 45 minutes of questions conducted by the chairman i mean jordi counsel followed by 45 minutes by the ranking member or minority counsel only the chair and ranking member in their respective counsels may question witnesses during this period following that unless i specify additional equal time for extended questioning we will proceed under the 5 minute rule and every member will have the chance to ask questions i never recognize myself for the 1st round of questions the republican the republicans expert witness last week
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professor turley wrote in an article that quote there is no question that the use of public office for personal gain is an impeachable offense including the withholding of military aid in exchange for the investigation of a political opponent you just have to prove it happened close quote that was mr turley's comment i missed a golden did they invent did the investigative committees conclude the evidence proved that the president uses public office for personal gain yes mr term and in fact finding of fact 5 said president trump is that use the power of the office of the president to apply increasing pressure on the president of ukraine and the ukrainian government to announce the politically motivated investigations desired by president trump. and did the evidence also prove that president trump withheld military a exchange for an announcement of an investigation of his political opponent yes it did in fact finding of fact 5 b. said quote president trump acting through his agents and subordinates condition
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release of the vital military says he is suspended to ukraine and the president ukraine's public announcement of the investigations president trump sought and did the evidence demonstrate that president trump undermined the national security interest of the united states yes many in several ways and finding of fact 6 said in directing in orchestrating this scheme to advance his personal political interests president trump did not implement promote or advance 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 predication that the us government otherwise discourages and opposes as a matter of policy in that country and around the world so doing the president undermined u.s. policy supporting anti-corruption reform and the rule of law in ukraine and undermined u.s. national security and did the evidence also show that president trump compromised
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the national security of the united states yes in fact finding a fact 7 said by withholding vital military assistance and diplomatic support from a strategic foreign partner government to gauge i'm going military conflict illegally instigated by russian president trump compromise national security to advance his personal political interests and did the evidence prove that president trump engaged in a scheme to cover up his conduct and obstructing rational investigators yes right from the outset and in fact finding of fact 9 says using the power of the office of the president and exercising his authority over the executive branch president ordered. implemented a campaign to conceal his conduct for the public and frustrate and obstruct the house of representatives impeachment inquiry finally constitutional scholars from a hearing last week as divided the president's conduct toward ukraine and pattern
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of inviting foreign election interference was a continuing risk to our free and fair elections the evidence prove it president trump was a threat to our elections yes to demonstrate it and in fact finding of fact 8 says faced with the revelation of his actions president trouble publicly and repeatedly persisted in urging foreign investments foreign governments including ukraine and china to investigate his political party is continued to solicitation of foreign interference in the us election presents a clear and present danger the president will continue to use the power of his office for his 1st political gain for his personal political gain close quote i would in the next election i dare you to my counsel mr burke for additional question thank you mr chairman mr castor as an experienced investigator would you agree that it's relevant to look at evidence bearing on the president's state
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of mind that may help explain the president's actions. are about i could use you might please sir my only question to you is is that a relevant thing to consider right like the call you have of senator johnson. is that it's relevant consider sir would you agree that joe biden was a leading democratic contender to face president trump and 2020 i wouldn't agree with that you disagree with that so sir it's your testimony during that president trump did not view president biden to be a legitimate contender i don't know what president believes or didn't believe it is too early serves party your inquiry did you determine whether president trump tweeted at all about vice former vice president joe biden between january and july 25th and how many times i didn't i didn't look at twitter i try to stay off twitter lately and you know president trump tweet. tweeted about former vice president joe biden over 25 times between january and july 25th i didn't i didn't look at
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those tweets did you look at how many times president trump mentioned vice president biden in a speech at a rally leading up to the july 25th call president trump goes to a lot of rallies he does a lot of tweeting i think it's pretty difficult to draw too many conclusions from his tweets or his statements or rallies mr chair also as your current partner partner gentlemen is not recognized with. mr chairman what is going on it is not recognized gentlemen mr burke has the time. we're going to ignore the rules as an eyewitness is to ask the questions then gentlemen with how many of the rules are you just going to disregard gentlemen there will suspend oh i'm intrigued inquiries are not in order this time i'll be out of order or a new border is not appropriate to have a when i don't have a boy to go question or appoint somebody as a witness when he was gentleman we'll say it's just wall street you gentlemen were
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trying to remain in the court gentlemen will i made a point of order and you won't rule on it i have not heard a point of order if you gentlemen just point is chairman point i mean as a point of order you state your point of order yes mr chairman has no rule nor precedent for anybody being a witness and then given his or not i'm having more or less ssion and so i have ruled we were at a point of order is he's an appropriate to be up here asking questions is not the point of order he's here in accordance with rule 66 how much money do you have to give to get to do. gentlemen will not cast aspersions on members of staff of the committee and gentlemen is chairman who is older gentlemen orders of burke has the time the german point on this is really good work a member of the committee is to burke has the time to be sure and evolution it back we're going to order has the time you have to recognise point we were devoid of the general state a point of order this gentleman is presenting his opinions as
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a witness he supposed to present the material then i will listen to the point or not to appear for his opinions is that right or not. gentlemen there is not a point of order it is mr burke's time pursuing to it was not exactly a test to go into many it i have ruled the gentleman has the time bridges with rule 60 point of order mr chairman journalist made a point as well as you this now you know my voice except stage generals data point of order it has been the point of order is this. we operate by rules and there's nothing specifically the rule permitting this we go to a president it is unprecedented for a person to scum and sit with who you've described as a witness to then return to the bench and you know what i mean is that is a point of order gentlemen that stated. it's not a point of order but i will point out there's not a good nice little point of order i will point out that we have
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a gentleman who's been designated by me to do this questioning pursuing tool 666 the house resolution 660 which is part of the rules of ours isn't it was a little quick it is in accordance with the rules of the house and the gentlemen's time movie zoom is the burke thank you mr chairman mr caster you are aware that president trump announced his candidacy for reelection in 2020 announced that the month before the july 25th call on june 21st ok did you find that you look at that in your investigation as part of looking at present times in 10 what he intended on the july 25th call i mean the daily announced his i mean he's obviously running for reelection what is it what is the dating announced his intent to run for reelection and sir you knew that president biden already announces intend to run april of that year to correct i've been it's been related to me it wasn't i don't know when vice president biden indicated he was going to iran as i sit here today so you would agree with me that if the ukraine and now it's the corruption investigation of
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former vice president joe biden that would hurt his credibility as a candidate would you agree with that basic principle sir. nobody. yes or no sir would you agree with that principle i slightly disagree with the with the predicate with with the premise of your question because i have a 100 biden question that request opinion if you gentlemen is not nice the gentleman has the floor i object to the question gentlemen a lot and whether the questions in order not to question the question is in order the gentleman will continue why general continue with his time. let's get back to the fact that talking about 8 ambiguous lines in a in a call transcript. you know the president was not asking for a personal favor he was speaking on behalf of the american people he said and i'll read it i'd like you to find out what happened with the whole situation in ukraine is a crowd strike i guess you have one of your wealthy people sir i'm not asking you to
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read that let me let me if you want to talk about the transcript i want to i want to talk to you about some a day you said it's 8 lines let's look at slide 3 if we may the reference to biden so you see on the july 25th call on page 4 is it the fact that president trump in his call with president alinsky said that he heard that former vice president joe biden had stopped the prosecution of a son that corrects or yes or no it's is the other thing there's a lot of talk about biden's son beau biden stop the prosecution a lot that is correct he said he stopped the prosecution point of order he's entitled to answers my question fully determined gentlemen you see need not think of you know there's a video of the former v.p. i think that's what the president's referring to is he was at the council on foreign relations and it was a little bit of. a you know the former v.p. was
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a little bit audacious in you know how he describes he went over to the i'm only asking you what it says on the transcript is that what it says or. says the other thing there's a lot of talk about biden's son and that biden stop the prosecution says that correct that's what it says here yes and then it also says it goes on to say president trouble asked president zelinsky if you can look into it correct is that that the words if you can look into it correct. that's what it says and then he says oh president i'm wrong by right president trump was asking ukrainian presidents olinsky to have the ukrainian officials look into vice president joe biden correct is that correct yes and i don't i don't think the record supports that it doesn't say when you look into it president trump is not asking and i don't i don't think it supports that i think it's ambiguous mr
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gold and your inexperience federal prosecutor i know that firsthand is this president trouble asking president zelinsky to investigate his political rival joe biden i don't think there's any other way to read the words on the page than to conclude that. and mr castro castro you made the point let me ask you question as an experienced investigator is it your experience that when someone has done something wrong or corrupt and they're dealing with somebody who's not in the scheme that they state their intentions to do something wrong full and corrupt is that your experience as an investigator well i mean are you going to call transfer just asking in general in general you're saying schemer yes would talk about his scheme would he generally admit that he was doing something wrong foreign corrupt to someone not in the scheme and for you made a big point sir in your presentation that on that call president trump did not go further and tell president selenski that he wanted the investigation announce to
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help his 2020 alleged that he definitely do not talk about 22 and yet mr goldman would you agree that if mr president trump was acting corruptly wrongfully abusing his power it was unlikely he was going to confess to presence alinsky that he was asking for the investigation explicitly to help is 20 twentieth's lection prospects in my experience as 10 years as a prosecutor you almost never have a defendant or a someone who's engaging in misconduct who would ever explicitly say in this case president selenski i'm going to bribe you now or i'm going to ask for a bribe or i am now going to extort you that's not the way these things work they give us you go mr caster got to get back to you you said that he said to set about 100 biden talked about a 100 biden and been on the board of breeze for going back to 2014 correct yes there's a little bit ponce 800 on g.m.t. one pay.

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