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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 12, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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again, it's just important to remember the facts are clear. no president has ever, ever, ever obstructed congress in the manner that we've seen from president trump. >> the gentleman yield? >> in a moment. and so as we go forward and we like, i don't know how much longer we'll be here. it's always important to make sure that the facts are clear. and that we don't muddy the waters by suggesting that something that is so unprecedented that we've never seen before in the history of our country is somehow just part and parcel of the ways things work around here. they don't. we know it. my friends on the other side of the aisle know it. the american people know it, but mr. johnson's right. sometimes it's important to remind that. >> i want to add a constitutional post-script to underscore the very important point that mr. deutch is making.
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the house of representatives has sole power of impeachment gives the senate the sole power of trial. in a supreme court decision called united states versus nixon supreme court emphasizes the rules and procedures developed including evidentiary rules are completely wirnl the house and senate and cannot be second guessed by the courts. in terms of general congressional oversight, the gentleman is perfectly correct. the supreme court is emphasized that the fact-finding investigative power of congress is central to, integral and built into our legislative power. james madison said that those who mean to be, those who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives and where does congress get the knowledge to legislate for the people? we get it through subpoenas, through the discovery process and so on. know administration in history
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has ever attempted to do what this administration has done, pull the curtain down over the executive branch and deny all investigative requests we have. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> and i -- >> purposes gentleman -- >> struck last word. >> jar is recognized. >> look, we're going to be here a long time tonight and don't let anybody worry. there's plenty of balls you can go to. in our midst, don't worry about it. fact check all night, we will. all that's happening now. back to the transcript. the transcript every witness testified that the transcript was fine. the transcript was accurate, transcript reflected the call. every one testified to that. able to make a process, talk about ellipses, should have put the ellipses in the articles of impeachment. wide gaps of fact and logic are amazing in this. go back to the facts. get back to what we're saying.
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i appreciate the fact that my friend from florida said we're muddying the waters. the way we've tried to get these facts out today and i've heard from my majority colleagues over the last six hours this is muddying of waters, you're at the wayside. this is muddying the waters because you don't have the facts to get where you need to and just want to continue to say, well, it was, it was, it was. we just don't like it. even the chairman. this is about an issue of when we go back we're trying to get a dick ta dictator. that's not what you're trying to do. using inflammatory language to make a better point. right now your facts are failing. you put two articles of impeachment you really don't want to defend because either you defend them passionately and look silly doing it or don't defend it and look worse for bringing them. so again we can fact check this all night. we're here to do this. it is just amazing that after
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three and a half hours earlier laying out everything that happened. looking at what went forth these -- these actually going forward are not what is happening here. so, again. let's get it one thing clearly for those in after lunch. the transcripts were accurate. know how i know that? everybody testified they were. fiona hill said the ellipses didn't mean, not an issue for them. the transcript was accurate. quit perpetrating that talking point. mark off the list. discuss the fact of us, accuracy, actually called reading. read the transcript as put in. it said us, no me. the simple things going forward. with that i yield to mr. jordan. >> thank you for yielding. gentle lady from texas mentioned a few minutes ago. questioned whether the transcript was complete. remember what colonel vindman testified to? he said it was complete and
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accurate. lieutenant colonel vindman said that. in his deposition, in the testimony in the hearing. complete and accurate transcript. so to say, suggest it's not is just not consistent with the testimony we received from your witnesses. remember, lieutenant doercolone vindman same guy wouldn't tell us all he talked to about the call. shired it with five people but only told four individuals but that's the guy who told us the transcript was complete and ak vi accurate. i yield back. >> thank you very much. i want to respond to colleagues here mr. raskin, constitutional law professor i was a constitutional law litigator. we could debate it. you misstated u.s. v. nixon. this is important. in that case, 1974, the supreme court recognized existence of executive privilege. which is a protection requires balance of interests between legislative and the executive branches by the judicial branch.
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not an unqualified privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. quote from the court. the other side of that is true as well. congress doesn't have an absolute unqualified authority to demand evidence from the president either. the whole reason you have to go to the third branch of the judiciary. this is a legitimate claim of privilege. is a legitimate issue that the courts could decide. it is a case of first impression as my colleague knows because this specific set of facts has not been addressed yet and should be resolved by the courts. professor turley addressed it in his testimony to this committee and said, wrote in his submission, the answer is obvious. a president cannot substitute his judgment for congress what they're entitled to see and likewise congress can not substitute its judgment what the president can withhold. balance performed by the third branch constitutionally invested with the authority to review and resolve such -- >> will my friend yield? >> wait a minute.
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that's the answer. put it in appropriate context and acknowledge this is an issue. i yield. >> talking about the 1993 judge -- >> i remind gentleman from the constitutional scholars on both sides of the arguments it's my time. >> i'm sorry. i'm sorry, fair enough. >> we -- >> mr. raskin, we're done listening. yield back. >> gentleman yields back. for what purposes do you seek recognition? >> moosh to strike the last word. >> recognized. >> you know, let's go back. as has been stated today the constitution devotes only a few sentences to impeachment. i'm going to read one. it's article one section two. very last sentence. the house of representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers and shall have the sole power of impeachment. as professor raskin just told us properly, the constitution uses the word "sole" only twice.
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sole, not shared. not shared with the judiciary. not shared with the executive. this means that we have 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. under the constitution not within the power of the president to conduct inquiry into his own impeachment to determine which evidence and what version or portion of that evidence is relevant and necessary to such an inquiry. these are matters which under the constitution rodino wrote, the house has sole power to determine. sole, not shared with the executive. sole, not shared with the courts. it's a civics lesson. don't let the other side who have such talented
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constitutional attorneys over there distract you. this is not an ordinary dispute, folks. this is a very rare, thankfully, very rare dispute. it is 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 i wanted to tell you this. i went outside and there was a team of about 12 high school students from ohio with their teacher. they said would you mind stopping for a minute jt could we talk to you for a minute? 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 prize this 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.
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it's your job. it is 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 these words. today marks 232 years since those wise men thought through, how would we conceive of our government? and how would we maintain self-government? do not be confused by the lawyers on the other side who would teach the wrong civics lesson, and distract you with the notion we need to go to court. we need permission of a president, we need permission of
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a court. we do not. with that i yield, 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 nor 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 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" has not reference to the department of justice, department of defense, department of state. clearly in this same document he mentions the vice president. he mentions crowdstrike. all of those have been debunked.
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is clear the vice president was operating as the vice president of the united states at the time and as he was operating 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 corner vindman immediately went to the legal counsel in the white house that immediately went dark and never responded because he was so offended by this campaign effort. with that i yield back. thank the gentle lady for yielding. >> for purposes seeking recognition? >> strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> i yield to my colleague and good friend from texas. >> thank my dear friend from pennsylvania. you don't have to be a constitutional scholar if you just head coach barker for civics in high school as i did.
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just had coach barker. we don't need to hear from the courts this is so unique. this, we're told, is uncharted territory, because no president is just completely refused -- let me just touch a little 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 documented to be lies and kept getting 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 warrants based on lies, first to invest, or spy on a campaign or surveil electronically surveil, as
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horowitz says, but this is uncharted territory. nobody wants to apologize on the other side. okay. 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 at getting subpoenas, doing document dumps of stuff that didn't -- we really 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 an order for court to hold them in contempt. the other way we'll ever get this done and he wouldn't do it. and so those of us that understand the constitution, and understand they're not just two articles, we understood, we needed to get that court order to back us up so it wasn't us abusing the offices of congress.
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we had as was pointed out, you have the court. you go. another thing on uncharted territory we started this impeachment proceeding about the russia hoax and the russia collusion and demanding all of these documents about the russia collusion. and it kept changing. then it went to bribery. then extortion and emolument and all of these other things. never in history has a president been accused of crimes with, with a target constantly changing. now, when you subpoenaed documents, there has to be a reasonable basis for requesting information or subpoenaing witnesses. you've got to have a reasonable basis, and when you keep changing the allegations against the party from whom you're demanding information, then they have the reasonable expectation to advise them of what the new charge is today, what the new evidence is today, but they
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couldn't get any of those, and i would have been very surprised if you would have -- now, you'll find obama's appointees that might have upheld subpoenas but not the supreme court because this is so unreasonable, and to the earlier allegation that, gee, even though nobody in the ukrainian government has said they were a victim, well, it's because the president had 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. because this is a president, unlike the obama administration, when they were under attack and ukrainians really were dieing, we offered up blankets, some meals ready to eat, military stuff, but this is a president that's really helping them defend 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
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president and another thing. if a victim does not admit to be a victim, anybody's 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 illusive, abuse of power this is outrageous, and it needs to come to an end. >> gentleman's time expired. what purpose does mr. jeffrey seek recognition? >> strike the last word. >> gentleman recognized. >> talking about reasonable basis. the reasonable basis
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uncontroverted evidence the president pressured a foreign government, ukraine, to target an american citizen, joe biden, of political gain. 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 that military aid. no legitimate public policy basis. no legitimate national security basis. no legitimate substantive basis. that's why congress proceeded. we had more than 200 national
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security professionals. democrats and republicans who expressed concern with the president's wrongdoing. and said, this undermines american national security. that's a basis for the impeachment inquirinquiry. what the president has done is said, unlike the madisonian vision of democracy where there are checks and balances, separate and coequal branches of government, i alone can determine what the representatives of the people see. in connection with a legitimate investigation. 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. attack john mccain. a war hero. attack mitt romney, 2012 republican nominee.
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to attack bob mueller, a marine, a distinguished professional. in law enforcement. attack your former speaker, paul ryan. he attacks gold star families. even attacked today a 16-year-old teenaged activist greta thunberg. are you hear 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's in heaven just like the prophet elijah, but his spirit is with us and we are better than this. we're proceeding in a serious solemn and sober fashion because
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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're here. at this moment. so let's have a serious discussion about it and stop attacking americans who refuse to bend the knee to this president. >> would the gentleman yield? >> i yield. i yield to the gentleman from tennessee. >> thank you, sir. one of the big issue as here is trump conditioning military aid on an investigation of the
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bidens. joe biden, period. 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's this. hunter biden's that. hunter biden's salary. they haven't brought up the corruption of the past ukrainian leaders or any ukrainian business. it's all the bidens. 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. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i yield. >> yeah. i did bring up -- >> yield back to mr. jeffries. >> okay. i shouldn't have tried to correct you then, i guess. >> foreign interference in american elections solicited by the president is not okay. that is an abuse of power, it undermines or national security. the president should be held accountable because no one is above the law.
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>> gentleman yields back. for what purpose do you seek recognition? >> prove to strike the last word. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think the gentleman from new york laid out in such an articulate way the basis and justification for both article one and article two. that's before us. i want to touch on the debate around obstruction of congress and explain my colleagues and to the american people why this instance is so unprecedented. i say with much respect from my colleague from colorado i assure obstruction of justice in coloradoans means the same as to everyone else in the country. it mean as defiance of lawfully issued subpoenas by the united states house of representatives. it means impeding the ability of the united states house of
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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, it has been categorical. in 1999 and '98 when president clinton was subject of an impeachment inquiry, this committee impounded 88 allegations and they were responded. nixon's chief of staff testified. nixon's counsel testified. in this instance, the president has taken steps to ensure that this committee, does not receive, the intelligence committee as well, key testimony from any host of officials in our government.
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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. it 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 say that no president in the history of this republic has ever completely defied an impeachment inquiry as this one has, we mean it, and with that -- >> would the gentleman yield. >> i yield to the distinguished gentle woman from california. >> i enjoyed listening to your
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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. cipollini, the president's lawyer dated october 8th, 2019. it's page after page after page of complaining about how the house is proceeding. 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 any privilege whatsoever, he just announcings, they're not going to cooperate, provide any information. this isn't something that needs
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to be adjudicated by the third branch, the gjudicial branch, because there's no privilege 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 two 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 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, and i yield back with
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thanks for recognizing me. >> i yield back the balance of my time. >> gentleman yields back for what purpose -- what purposes seeking recognition? >> strike the last word. >> 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 said that the powers of the house did not extend to treaties. he only provided that information to the senate as a function of its treaty approval process. so -- and the doctrine that dates back to those days is derived from the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.
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congress can no more intrude into the policy discussions of the president than the president can intrude into our own policy discussions. that is essential to the separation of power. now, there is a natural tension between the branches. that's a by-product of that separation of powers. and when that tension cannot be resolved, then we turn to the judiciary. that's the appropriate way to resolve this. different interpretations of the boundaries between the congress and the president, the appropriate response is you dish review, not impeachment. the president has every right to assert his constitutional rights and he has every responsibility to defend the prerogatives of his office, his very oath of office compels him to do so. in matters like this, the courts act quickly to resolve such disputes. the democrats aren't willing to go to the courts.
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what article two says is, we're not willing to go to court. we'll take the law into our own hands. these are the same people who tell 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 why we separate powers of government is so one branch alone cannot unilaterally define its own power, yet this is the power that the democrats are now arrogating to themselves. true, sole power under the constitution but that pow sder not exceed the bounds established by that very constitution. those bounds include the grounds for impeachment, which this committee has ignored, and they include the separation of powers that protect one branch from intrusions of the other. i want you to think about the essence of the democrats' claim and what it means to american
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jurisprudence. you face an abusive prosecutor making false accusations, you have constitutional rights, that you're guaranteed, to use to protect yourself. the right to confront your accuser. the right to call witnesses in your defense. you have the right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures, but this article says, if you go to court to defend your rights, that's automatically an obstruction of justice or in this case an 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. we've already seen these tools used against college students in title nine prosecutions and produced a frightening litany of injustices. now these tools are being brought into this attempt to nullify the 2016 national election that the left has refused to accept. and that should scare the hell
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out of every person in this country. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. for what purposes do you seek recognition? >> moosh ve to strike the last . >> recognized. >> i wanted to do fact checking for my folks back in california, orange county. i know some of my colleagues compared the vice president biden's withholding of aid to president trump's withholding of aid and 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 the firing mr. shokin, but 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 held up almost $400 million of, again, bipartisan approved aid, and i know my colleagues are
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saying that he did this to root out corruption and i think there are channels of pursuing help and 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 personal lawyer rudy giuliani, who told us, and i quote "this is not about foreign policy." rudy giuliani went out to say, this information, open quote, "this information will be very, very helpful to my client." and, again, he said, open quote "i guarantee you, joe biden will not get to election day without being investigated."
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again, comparing/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. >> gentleman yields? >> yes. >> thank you. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i know there's been an effort to try to suggest that the trump administration or the president was interested in corruption and that's why he held up the aid. the evidence is absolutely to the contrary. all of the evidence. in fact, sometimes have to go back to the source. if you look at the report completed by the intelligence committee, 300-page report, 17 witnesses over 100 hours of testimony. they make findings of fact. fact and there's make believe. the findings of fact, i'm going to read right from the report. the president solicited the foreign government ukraine in the 2020 u.s. presidential
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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 nowly elected president zelensky 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 -- again, findings of fact. personally and directly requested for the president of ukraine that the government of ukraine pub luckilicly announce investigation into the 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. here's the important part. in directing and orchestrating a scheme to advance his personal political interests, president trump did not implement, promote or advance u.s. anti-corruption policies. in fact, the president saw to pressure and induce the government of ukraine to
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announce investigations lacking prediction that the united states government otherwise discourages and opposes as a matter of policy in that country and around the world. 's in so doing the president undermined u.s. policy supporting anti-corruption reform and rule of law in ukraine and undermined u.s. national security. so the findings of fact that are detailed in this report completely refute that claim and, 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 avance 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 accountable because no one in this country, no one, including the president of the united states, is above the law and the one body that is charged ltz with making certain that we vindicate the power of the people to hold the president
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accountable is the congress of the united states. if you are not up to the job, you don't belong in congress. yield back. >> gentleman yields back. question occurs on the goetz amendment. knows in favor say aye. >> all: aye. >> those who say no. >> >> all: no. >> nos have it. call the roll. >> nadler. >> no. >> mr. lofgren? no. ms. jackson lee. votes no. mr. cohen votes no. mr. johnson of georgia. while the house judiciary committee take as voice vote on the goetz amendment. let's talk. the goetz amendment replaces in article one of the impeachment articles the reference to former vice president joseph r. biden
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jr., replace it with hunter biden. the argument being the president was very concerned with corruption in ukraine allegedly against hunter biden. jeffrey toobin, big picture. the day is going in the way you anticipated it? >> i think it is. i mean, this is not a cross-section of the house of representatives. these are the extremes of both parties. you are not going to see any democrats vote in anything other than for impeachment. you are going to not see these republicans vote in anything than for the president, against impeachment, including on these ame amendments. you see the vote as party line. it's going slowly. we heard as many as eight amendments here it is a little over 3:30 and they've only gotten through one. see how long they really go. in terms of what has actually happened, it's about predicted.
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>> and john king, how do you think about president trump seriously concerned about corruption in ukraine and not about joe biden and his political opponent? obviously there is a lot of corruption in ukraine. that's undisputed. >> that is undisputed. but if you listen to the testimony of the trump appointees in the intelligence committee public hearings and in the private depositions look at it and the white house released call summaries, not complete transcripts but essential transcripts of the president's two calls with president zelensky, he did not mention the word corruption. democrats are correct when they say that. the republican argument, the president was a corruption crusader and held you up the military aid. there's no evidence. >> -- any further amendments in nature of substantive? >> mr. chairman. >> for what purposes do you seek
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rec n recognition? >> amendment to amendment h-75. >> point of order. >> from arizona. >> gentle lady reserves point of order. the gentleman is recognized to explain his amendment. >> is she going to read the amendment, sir? >> clerk will read the amendment page 4 strike line 8 and all that follows through line 13 and insert the following. three, aid was released within days of ukrainian president zelensky signing two major anti-corruption measures into law convincing president trump 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 the amendment. >> i withdraw my point of order. >> thank you. i draw my colleagues attention to a letter sent yesterday from the office of management and budget. the letters addressed to mr. tom armstrong general counsel.
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i ask it go into the record. >> object. >> and conditioning aid to ukraine on uninvestigations into his political opponent. today democrats continued to kplam president trump withheld froze aid to ukraine but the omb letter walks through the entire process behind this temporary delay. doj permitted to engage ensuring dod would not be precluded prior to explanation. the letter caused pending a policy decision. what was the policy decision? your two witnesses, fiona hill and david hale testifying there was an ongoing global review of assistance generally to ensure any program receiving funds were actually worthy beneficiaries of assistant. that the programs made sense. further testifying the president's skeptical views guided the foreign affairs review. in fact the only direct evidence for the reasons for the pause
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come from omb sanders learned it was represented to the president's concerns about other countries contributing more to ukraine. quote/unquote. explains omb received requests for information on what other country were contributing to ukraine owned in the first week of september. aid released on september 11th. so democrats want to impeach the president for trying to ensure taxpayer funds are spent efficiently and responsibly. democrats accused the president of a myriad of things including violation of impoundment kroct act prohibiting from essentially pocketing veto 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 shows always intended to disburse the funds. that's why dod was permitted to engage in all activities in preparation for delivery of aid. you've not made your case again. omb letter walks through his try behind problematic delays.
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boring to friends on the sorry i'd since technocraticly denies their theory forn't r impeachment. the department of defense able to get about 84% of the $250 million before end fiscal year september 30th. last year of the obama administrati administration, 39 percea lesse. get back to specific language appropriations authority says for the ukraine authority initiative, $250 million appropriated to remain available until september 30th of 2019. point one. remain available until september 30th, 2019. authorizing funds we give administration a deadline. administration complied with that deadline. administration acted completely and totally within the bounds of the law. secondly, the omb's letter now definitively destroys the insinuation that president close to delay for malicious or
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corrupt purposes. the bottom line is the aid was lawfully delayed and lawfully delivered. that means that this entire process has been a sham. with that i'm going to address a couple of issues i heard. i heard one of my colleagues on the other side say not long ago that the president should come in and prove his own innocence. think about what that does. come in and prove your own innocence. first of all, that is antithe c antithetical to the anglo-american judicial process. antithetical to the constitution and the constitution particularly the bill of rights. it's antithetical to what we do here. someone said that vindman said that, complaining about the transcript, but it's been -- 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 given
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earlier, by one of my colleagues, if the president exercised executive privilege and requested a declaratory judgment from the 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 overdone your balance and when we 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 they got it on time. >> gentleman yields back. without objection the material previously -- submitted by mr. cohen, mr. swalwell and mr. biggs will be admitted into the
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record. now for what purpose does you need recognition? >> strike the last word. >> recognized. >> 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 that the notion that president zelensky did not feel pressure and was just fine with military assistant being withheld first of all, they did know that the military assistance was being withheld and there was no reason for the administration to hold back, because of corruption 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
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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 his country seized by the russians. what on earth was he supposed to say? was he supposed to 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 and they could be compromised at any point in time? last week president zelensky had his first meeting with president putin and unfortunately we were
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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 obstruction. >> on cnn publically announced they would have an interview but canceled when the military aid was released further underscoring the pressure the ukrainian felt when the aid was withheld. the president knew this when president zelensky asked for a "favor," as lieutenant corner vindman testified this was not a friendly request. it was a demand. for weeks ukrainian officials pushed back on demand of the
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president's and his agents advising u.s. officials 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, as ambassador sondland told the president, president zelensky was willing to do anything. and although the aid has been released the power disparity betweens two countries has not changed. ukraine continues to depend on the united states for military aid and president zelensky needs the support of america and its leaders he strives to bring and end to the war with russia. it is no surprise, therefore, that the president zelensky expressed that he didn't feel pressure, but the evidence reveals a different picture. the evidence is clear that
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president trump took advantage of ukraine's vulnerability and abused 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 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 usually inmore if this is the way they are treated? i yield back. >> the gentle lady yields back. for what purposes? >> strike the last word. >> recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. three points i'd like to make here. first of all, as well as being on this committee
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i'm a member of the foreign affairs committee, have been the last 23 years. one thing that's been concerning to me is about this phone call that the gentleman mentions in the amendment and i appreciate him offering this amendment. 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, is that in the national interest in our country? it's incredible how many people, you think our president is talking to their president. you have all these people listening in. if they are listening in, shut up about it. you know, the president is talking frankly with another president. he's going to make comments. he made some disparaging comments relative to another ally of ours, angela merkel. it's not particularly helpful to
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hear them say something like 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, talking about how important the united states is as an ally. our presidents do that. you think you're doing that in confidence with the other country, not to have everybody else listening in. so our state department, the executive branch and 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 obstruction of congress. we have three branches of government. of course, it's alleged that, you know, congress, the
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legislative branch, said we want you to bring witnesses, et cetera, from the other branch, executive branch and since they didn't do it, rather than go to court, which they could have do 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 we went to the supreme court who ultimately said it may have taken some months but you have to turn those tapes over. and he did. th he resigned because there was bad stuff in those tapes. the smoking gun so to speak. that's what they could have done here. instead of going to the courts, they said we're just going to impeach this guy, which they wanted to do since he got inaugurated. one member of congress on their side said they had to impeach him otherwise he was going to get re-elected.
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there's so much politics in it, 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 from the second oldest college in the country, the college of william & mary. 200 years our nation's history, we had one impeachment, andrew johnson. for 200 years. 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 more and more often. and this is very divisive for our country. we're not together enough on so
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many things. and i think this is going to further divide us. and i think that's really unfortunate. we saw, for example, years and years ago, reminds me a little bit of when bjork 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. then we saw tit for tat down the road. impeachment can be very divisive. i've been through these before. i was one of the house managers in bill clinton's about 20 years ago and they're ugly. i have a lot of sympathy for the house managers that will be picked, some from this committee in the near future and i yield back. >> gentleman yields back.
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we speak a lot of spanish. we speak a lot of french. we don't go around, speaking a lot of latin. here is 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 in exchange for that. and that was an investigation into joe biden, a political opponent. you want to make sure you tell the jury and the people
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listening about motive. the motive was that the president was afraid joe biden would win in an election. he gave out the aid in 2018. 2019 the polls came out. he withholds the aid and asks for an investigation. that's just motive. let's go to sworn testimony. the other side accepted some of the things colonel vindman as fact. if you're going to accept some of the things he said as fact let's accept all of them as fact. lieutenant colonel vindman said
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under oath ambassador sondland began to review what the deliverable would be in order to get the mean. the deliverable. that was the "that" for the meet. specifically, he said, that was an investigation into the bidens. let's go to john bolton, who said -- he described this "this for that" deal as a drug deal. so if we look at all 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 then they develop everything that we have now. and that's called the excuse or the defense. first excuse, well, they didn't know the money was being held.
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not true. there's an email, two emails where they express concerns about it. then you have miss croft who testified that two individuals from the ukrainian embassy asked about an omb hold on the security assistance, roughly a week apart. and she recalled that that occurred before it was publicly announced. so that's one. second, the defense or excuse is that president trump wanted to investigate corruption. that's just laughable on its face. if you wanted -- if president trump wanted to investigate corruption, he could have started at 1600 pennsylvania avenue, look in the mirror or look around the cast of criminals that have been indicted from his circle. you have his lawyer. you have his national security adviser. you have michael flynn, rick gates, paul manafort. the circle goes on.
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he's surrounded by criminals. then we hear, well, can't be obstruction of congress. you all could have just went to court. we're in december. we have an ongoing crime. we have a crime in progress. that is what the 911 call would say from a police officer. we have a crime in progress. and they're saying with a crime in progress, why don'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 americans' precious right to vote, it is clear that the other side won't. so i talked about the courage of esther yesterday. today i'm reminded of judas. for 30 pieces of silver, he betrayed