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tv   Impeachment Inquiry House Hearings Hearing on Evidence in Impeachment...  CSPAN  December 10, 2019 5:47am-8:41am EST

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the committee will reconvene. when we recessed we were about to hear from mr. castor. mr. castor, you're recognized for 45 minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for having me back, giving me the opportunity to testify about the evidence gathered during our impeachment inquiry. at the outset let me say the evidence does not support the allegations that my democrat colleagues have made. and i don't believe the evidence leads to the conclusions they suggest. i'm hopeful to add some important perspective and context to the facts under discussion today.
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the chief allegation that the impeachment inquiry has been trying to assess over the last 66 days is this -- whether president trump abused the power of his office through quid pro quo, extortion or whatever, by withholding a meeting or security assistance as a way of pressuring ukrainian president zelensky to investigate the president's political rival, former vp biden, for the president's political benefit in the upcoming election. the secondary allegation that has been levied is whether president trump obstructed congress during the inquiry. the evidence obtained during the inquiry does not support either of those allegations. the republican report of evidence lays out the report in more details but i will summarize. i will begin with the
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substantive allegation about an abuse of power. the inquiry has returned no direct evidence that president trump withheld a meeting or security assistance in order to pressure president zelensky to investigate former vp biden. witnesses who testified in the inquiry have denied having awareness of criminal activity or even an impeachable offense. on the key question of the president's state of mind, there is no clear evidence that the president trump acted with malicious intent. overall, at best, the impeachment inquiry record is riddled with hearsay, presumptions and speculation. there are conflicting and ambiguous facts throughout the record, facts that could be interpreted in different ways.
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to paraphrase professor turley from last week, the impeachment inquiry is heavy on presumption, light on truth. that's not me saying that. that's professor turley. let me start with the best direct evidence of any potential quid pro quo or impeachable scheme. this is president trump's phone call with zelensky for which the national security council and the white house situation room staff prepared a call summary. according to testimony from tim morrison at the nsc, the summary was accurate and complete. nsc staff member lieutenant colonel vindman testified that any omissions in the summary were not significant and that editing was not done maliciously. president trump has declassified and released the summary so the
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american people can read it and assess it for themselves. i'll make a few points that seem to have gone undernoticed. the call summary reflects absolutely no pressure or conditionality. president zelensky vocalized no concerns with the subject matters discussed. and there is no indication of bribery, extortion or other illegal conduct on the call. the call summary shows president trump and president zelensky engaged in pleasantries and cordialities. the call summary reveals laughter. simply put, the call is not the sinister mob shakedown some democrats have described. president trump raised his concerns about european allies paying their fair share in security assistance to ukraine, a concern that president trump
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would continue to raise both publicly and privately. there is no discussion on the call, i repeat, no discussion on the call about the upcoming 2020 election or security assistance to ukraine. beyond the call summary, the next best piece of evidence are the statements from the two participants on the call. president zelensky has said he felt no pressure on the call. on september 25th at the united nations he said, we had a good call. it was normal. nobody pushed am he. on october 6th, president zelensky said, i was never pressured and there were no conditions being imposed. four days later on october 10th, president zelensky said again, there was nothing wrong with the call. no blackmail. this is not corruption. it was just a call and just
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recently in "time" magazine president zelensky said, i never talked to the president from a position of a quid pro quo. because president zelensky would be the target of any alleged quid pro quo scheme, his statements denying any pressure carries significant weight. he is, in fact, the supposed victim here. other senior ukrainian officials confirmed president zelensky's statements. foreign minister said on september 21st, i know what the conversation was about and i think there was no pressure. oe oleksandr danyliuk told bil
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taylor that the ukrainian government was want disturbed by anything on the call. president trump, of course, has said he did not pressure president zelensky. on september 25th president trump said there was no pressure. when asked if he wanted president zelensky to do more to investigate the former vp. president trump responded, no, i want him to do whatever he can. whatever he can do in terms of corruption because corruption is massive, that's what he should do. several witnesses attested to the president's concerns about ukrainian corruption. the initial readouts of the july 25th call from both the ukrainian government and the state department raised no concerns. although lieutenant colonel vindman had concerns, those concerns were not shared by
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general leadership or shared by keith kellogg who listened on the call. general kellogg said in a statement, i heard nothing wrong or improper on the call. i had and have no concerns. lieutenant colonel vindman's superior, tim morrison, testified that he was concerned the call would leak and be misused in washington's political process. but he did not believe anything discussed on the call was illegal or improper. much has also been made about president trump's reference on the july 25th call to hunter biden's position on the bored of burisma. a corrupt ukrainian energy company. and the actions of certain juk juk officials in the runup to the 2016 election.
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democrats dismissed these conspiracy theories to suggest the president has no legitimate reason, other than his own political interest, to raise these issues with president zelensky. null the evidence, however, shows there are legitimate questions about both issues. with respect to burisma, deputy assistant secretary george kent testified that the company had a reputation for corruption. the company was founded by mykola zlochevsky. burisma brought hunter biden onto its board of directors, according to "the new york times," as part of a broad effort by burisma to bring in well-connected democrats during a period when the company was facing investigations back not
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just by domestic ukrainian forces but by officials in the obama administration. george kent testified about these efforts. hunter biden reportedly received between $50,000 and $83,000 a month. as compensation for his position on burisma's board. at the time that hunter biden joined the board, his father, the former vp, was the obama administration's point person. for ukraine. biden has no specific governance expertise and we don't believe he speaks ukrainian or russian. we don't believe he moved there. so he's getting this gigantic paycheck for what? the washington potion wrote at the time of biden's appointment to burisma's board that it
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look looked nepotismic at best. according to "the wall street journal," anti-corruption activists in ukraine also raised concerns that the former vp's son received money from zlochevsky. witnesses in the impeachment inquiry noted hunter biden's role on the board and how it presented at minimum a conflict of interest. lieutenant colonel vindman testified hunter biden appeared not qualified to serve on burisma's board. witnesses testified that hunter biden's role on the board was a legitimate concern to raise in fact, george kent explained in 2015 he raised a concern to the office of former vice president biden that hunter biden's role
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on burisma's board presented a potential conflict of interest. however, hunter biden's role did not change and former vice president biden continued to lead u.s. policy in ukraine. on this record there is a legitimate basis for president trump to have concern about hunter biden's role on burisma's board. the prospect some consider ukrainian officials worked against president trump in the run up to the 2015 election draws an even more visceral reaction from most democrats. let me say very, very clearly that election interference is binary. i'm not saying it was ukraine and not russia. i'm saying both countries can work to influence an election.
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a systematic, coordinated russian interference effort does not mean some ukrainian officials, some ukrainian officials did not work to oppose president trump's candidacy. did not make statements against president trump during the election. obama volker testified in his public hearing it is possible for more than one country to seek influence in u.s. elections. dr. hill testified likewise at her public hearing. contemporaneous news articles in 2016 noted how president trump's candidacy lead kiev's wider political leadership to do something they would never have attempted before. intervene, however indirectly, in a u.s. election. in august 2016 the ambassador to ukraine published an op-ed in "the hill" criticizing candidate
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trump. other senior ukrainian officials called candidate trump a clown and other words. they allege he challenged the very free values of the world. one parliamentary explained the majority of political figures were on hillary clinton's side. a january 2017 politico article lays out more details political officials to oppose candidate trump's campaign. by publicing questioning his fitness for office. the article detailed how a woman named alexander chalupa, paid by the dnc and working with the dnc and the clinton campaign traded information and leads about the trump campaign with the staff at the ukrainian embassy in
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washington. chalupa explained how the ukrainian embassy worked directly with reporters to point them in the right direction. witnesses in the impeachment inquiry testified that the allegation of ukrainian influence in the 2016 election was appropriate to examine. ambassador volker testified that he thought it was fine to investigate allegations about 2016 influence. ambassador taylor said, for example, that the allegations surprised and disappointed him, on this record i do not believe one could conclude that president trump had no legitimate basis to raise a concern about efforts by ukrainians to influence the 2016 election. let me now turn to the first assertion that president trump withheld a meeting with
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president zelensky as a way of pressuring him to investigate the former vp. here it is important to note ukraine's long, profound history of endemic corruption. several witnesses during the inquiry have testified about these problems. ambassador marie yovanovitch, for example, said ukraine's corruption is not just prevalent but, frankly, is the system. witnesses testified to having firsthand knowledge that president trump is deeply skeptical of ukraine having problems, dating back years, and this skepticism led to president trump's initial hesitancy to meet with president zelensky. ambassador volker testified, so, i know he had a very deep-rooted skeptical view, and my understanding at the time was that even though he agreed in the meeting that we had with him, say, okay, i'll invite him, i'll invite him.
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he didn't really want to do it, volker said. that's why the meeting kept getting delayed. another relevant set of facts here is the effort of some ukrainian officials to oppose president trump's campaign in the 2016 election. some remained in government when president zelensky took over. witnesses testified these ukrainian efforts in 2016 colored how president trump viewed ukraine. it's also important to note that president zelensky was a relatively unknown quantity for u.s. policymakers. ambassador yovanovitch called him a untried politician. dr. hill testified there were concerns within the national security council about zelensky's relationship with
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igor, an oligarch in ukraine. they appointed mr. bodin as chief of staff. they noted this raised concerns. these facts are important in assessing the president's state of mind in understanding whether president zelensky was truly committed to fighting corruption in ukraine. the evidence shows that president trump invited president zelensky to meet at the white house on three separate occasions, all without any conditions. the first was on april 21st during the initial congratulatory phone call, the second was via letter, following a meeting in the oval office with inauguration to the delgs. during this meeting president trump again expressed his skepticism about ukraine. ambassador volker recalled the president saying, these are terrible people and a corrupt country. ambassador sondland similarly
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testified that ukraine in the president's view tried to take him down in the 2016 election. senator ron johnson confirmed this testimony in his submission to the impeachment inquiry. finally the third time president trump invited president zelensky to meet again without any preconditions was during the july 25th phone call. although some time passed between may 2019 when the president formally invited zelensky to meet and september 25th when the president's met, the evidence does not show that the ukrainian government felt additional pressure due to this delay. to the contrary, ambassador volker testified the ukrainian regime felt pretty good with its relationship during this period. during those four months, senior ukrainian government officials had at least nine meetings or phone calls with president trump, vice president pence, secretary pompeo, national
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security adviser bolton and u.s. ambassadors. the evidence does not support a conclusion that president trump conditioned a meeting with president zelensky on investigating former vice president biden. mr. yar yermak said in a "new york times" article, which was published before the impeachment inquiry. in this article yermak said he and rudy giuliani did not discuss a link between allegations. ambassador volker testified there was no linkage between a potential meeting and investigations. although ambassador sondland testified he believed there was a quid pro quo, his testimony is not as clear as it has been
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portrayed. in his deposition, ambassador sondland testified he believed the meeting was conditioned on a anti-corruption statement. not on investigations themselves. a distinction that during his deposition he was keen to note. obama so ambassador sondland said then nothing about the request raised any red flags. in his public testimony, ambassador sondland clarified that he had no firsthand knowledge of any linkage coming from the president and never discussed any preconditions with the president. he merely presumed there were preconditions. i'd also like to address the july 10th meeting in ambassador bolton's office with two senior ukrainian officials. a allow me to submit hereto there are conflicting evidence about the facts.
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both dr. vindman testified that ambassador sondland raised concerns during this meeting, causing ambassador bolton to abruptly end this meeting. dr. hill testified she confronted ambassador sondland over his discussion about investigations. ambassador sondland's testimony about this meeting, however, is scattered. in his closed-door deposition he testified no national security staff member ever once expressed concerns to him that he was acting improperly and he denied he raised investigations during this meeting. but when he came here to testify in public, he acknowledged for the first time that he raised investigations but he denied that the meeting ended abruptly. he maintained dr. hill never raised concerns to him and any discussion of investigations did
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not mention anything specific such as biden or 2016. let me lastly address the allegation that president trump directed vice president pence not to attend president zelensky's inauguration as another way of pressuring ukraine to investigate former vice president biden. jennifer williams, a senior adviser in the office of the vice president testified that a colleague, she said it was the chief of staff's assistance ant told her, the chief of staff's assistant, president trump told vice president pence not to attend the inauguration. if, indeed, such a direction was given, it's not clear from the evidence why it was done because the vice president's office was juggling other potential trips
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during that time. and the ukrainian parliament scheduled the election on an extremely short time frame. it was just four days' notice. williams explained there was a window, a window of dates. may 30th through june 1st through which the vice president could attend the inauguration, and that was communicated. if it wasn't one of those dates, it would be difficult or impossible to attend the inauguration. separately, the office of the vice president was also planning an unrelated trip to canada to promote the usmca during this same window. the usmca was and still is a significant priority for the administration. vice president pence has done a number of public events in support of it. president trump was also planning foreign travel during this time period. and as dr. hill testified, both
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president trump and vice president pence cannot both be out of the country at the same time. williams explained these factors created a narrow window for the vice president's participation in the inauguration. dr. hill testified she had no knowledge that the vice president was directed not to attend. on may 16th the outgoing ukrainian parliament scheduled the parliament for may 20th, only four days later. may 20th was not one of the three dates vice president pence's office had provided for his availability. williams testified this early date surprised the vice president's office because we weren't expecting the ukrainians to look at that time frame. george kent at the state department said this short notice from the ukrainians forced the state department to scramble to find a u.s. official to lead the delegation, finally
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settling on secretary of energy rick perry. on may 20th the date of president zelensky inauguration, vice president pence was in jacksonville, florida, for an event promoting usmca. finally on september 25th president trump and president zelensky met during the united nations general assembly. the two met without ukraine ever taking action on investigations and, according to ambassador taylor, there was no discussion of investigations during this meeting. i will now turn to the second assertion that president trump withheld taxpayer-funded security assistance to ukraine as a way of pressuring zelensky to conduct these investigations. here, too, context is critically important. president trump has been skeptical of foreign assistance in general and believes quite strongly our european allies should share more of the burden for regional defense. that's an assertion he made on the campaign trail, something he's raised consistently since. it's also important to note that
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u.s. security assistance is conditioned to countries around the world and that u.s. aid, including aid to ukraine, has been temporarily paused in the past for various reasons and even for no reason at all. ambassador volker testified the 55-day pause on security assistance did not strike him as uncommon and that the pause was not significant. dr. hill and state department official katherine croft both testified security assistant to ukraine had been temporarily paused in the past. david hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs, the third most senior person at the state department testified the national security council launched a review of u.s. foreign assistance across the world to make sure taxpayer dollars were spent in the national interest and to advance the principle of burden-sharing by our allies. dr. hill testified that as she was leaving the nsc in july, there had been a directive for whole scale review of our
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foreign policy assistance. she said there had been more scrutiny on security assistance as a result. another important data point is president trump's willingness to take a stronger stance to protect ukraine against russian aggression. and compared to the previous administration. several witnesses testified that president trump's willingness to provide ukraine with lethal defensive assistance, javelin anti-tank missiles, was a substantial improvement, a stronger policy and a significant decision. when we discussed democrat allegations that president trump withheld vital security assistance dollars from ukraine, we should also remember it was president trump and not president obama who provided ukraine with lethal defensive weapons. i make all of these points here because there are relevant pieces of information that bear on how the house should view the evidence in question.
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although the security assistance was paused in july, the evidence is virtually silent on the definitive reason for the pause. in fact, the only direct evidence of the reason for the pause comes from omb official mark sandy, who testified he learned in september that the pause was related to the president's concern about other countries contributing more to ukraine. he discussed how omb discussed whether other countries were contributing to ukraine, in which omb provided in september. the aid, of course, was released september 11th. several witnesses have testified that security assistance was not linked to ukraine's investigations. ambassador volker's testimony is particularly relevant on this point because he was a key intermediary with ukrainian government and someone who they trusted and sought for advice. ambassador volker testified that he was aware of no quid pro quo and the ukrainians never raised
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such concerns to him. when ambassador taylor raised the possibility of quid pro quo to ambassador volker, volker said he replied, there's no linkage here. during his deposition, chairman schiff tried to pin him down on this point but ambassador volker was clear, there was no connection. in his public testimony, ambassador volker reiterated there was no linkage. similarly, george kent at the state department said he did not associate aid to investigations and he relaid how ambassador taylor told him that tim morrison and ambassador sondland also believed the two were not linked. ambassador sondland's testimony, as we have seen already, is a bit more scattered. in his deposition he said that he was never aware of preconditions on security assistance or that the security assistance was tied to investigations. ambassador sondland later provided a written statement supplementing his deposition in which he explained for the first time that in the absence of any
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clear explanation, he presumed a link between security assistance, an anti-corruption statement were linked. ambassador sondland also testified in his written supplement he likely voiced this concern to mr. yermak, a close adviser to president zelensky on september 1st in warsaw. mr. yermak, however, in a subsequent news account published on november 22nd disputed ambassador sondland's account and says he doesn't remember any reference to the military aid. in his public testimony ambassador sondland reiterated his testimony was based on a presumption, acknowledging to congressman turner that no one on the planet told him that security assistance to ukraine was conditioned on investigations. ambassador taylor is the other relevant actor here. he testified in his deposition that he had a clear understanding that ukraine would not receive the security assistance until president zelensky committed to the
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investigations. however, in his public testimony, ambassador taylor acknowledged that his clear understanding came from ambassador sondland, who was merely presuming that there was a link. president trump, too, 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 two separate private conversations with two different u.s. officials ten days apart. there 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 zelensky that the security assistance would be forthcoming. president trump responded that he was not ready to do that. citing ukrainian corruption and
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burden sharing. when senator johnson raised the linkage between security assistance and investigation, president trump vehemently denied any connection, saying, no way, i would never do that. who told you that? in closing the call president trump told senator johnson that we're reviewing it now, referring to the security assistance. 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 sondland. ambassador sondland asked the president, what do you want from ukraine? president trump responded, i want nothing. i want no quid pro quo. i want zelensky to do the right thing. in addition, senior ukrainian officials denied any lijage
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between u.s. security assistance and investigations. these denials are persuasive because if there was, in fact, an orchestrated scheme to pressure ukraine one would think the pause on security assistance would have been clearly communicated to the ukrainians. foreign minister told the media in november following news of ambassador sondland's written supplemental testimony that sondland never linked security assistance to investigations. prystaiko says i have never seen a linkage. although there is some testimony that ukrainian officials from the embassy in washington made informal inquires to the state department and defense department about these issues with security assistance in july and august, the evidence does not show president zelensky or his senior advisers in kiev were aware of the pause until it was publicly reported by politico on august 28th.
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of subsequent news article explained the conflicting testimony that embassy officials in washington had made in formal inquiries about issues with the aid while senior officials in kiev denied awareness of the pause. the article explained that then-ukrainian ambassador who was appointed by president zelensky predecessor went rogue and did not inform president zelensky there was any issue with the aid. according to the news account, president zelensky and his senior team only learned of a pause when it was reported on august 28th. as ambassador volker testified, because senior ukrainian officials were unaware of the pause, there is 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 aid was on hold. in the 55 days during which the security assistance was paused,
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president zelensky had five discussions with u.s. senior officials. on july 25th he spoke with president trump on the phone. july 26th he met with ambassador volker, ambassador taylor, ambassador sondland in kiev. on august 27th he met with ambassador bolton. september 1st he met with vice president pence in warsaw. on september 5th he met with senator ron johnson, senator chris murphy in kiev. in none of these meetings did president zelensky 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 zelensky could be candid with them. what did occur during those 55 days were historic efforts by ukraine's parliament to implement anti-corruption reform. vice president pence pressed
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president zelensky about these reforms during their september 1st meeting. in their depositions ambassador taylor lauded refornls and morrison testified during a meeting in kiev they noted everyone on the ukrainian side of the table was exhausted because they had been up all night working on these reforpz. on september 11th president trump discussed the matter with vice president pence, senator portman and acting chief of staff mulvaney. according to tim morrison's testimony they discussed whether ukraine's progress on anti-corruption reform was enough to justify releasing the security assistance. morrison testified that vice president pence was obviously armed with the conversation he had with president zelensky and they convinced the president that the aid should be dispersed immediately. the president then lifted the hold. in concluding this point, we have considerable evidence that president trump was skeptical of
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ukraine due to its krumgs. we have evidence that the president was skeptical of foreign aid in general and he believed our allies should share the burden for regional defense. we know the white house was looking into it and omb provided research 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 sondland on september 9th, i want zelensky to do what he ran on. president zelensky, who ran on an anti-corruption platform, was an untried politician with ties to a potential controversial oligarch. vice president pence reiterated president zelensky on september 1st the need for reform was paramount. after president zelensky paused -- i'm sorry. after president zelensky passed historic anti-corruption
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reforms, the pause on security assistance was lifted and the presidents met two weeks later. the ukrainian government never took any action on investigations at issue in the impeachment inquiry. much has been made about a shadow or irregular foreign policy apparatus that president trump is alleged to have orchestrated as a mechanism to force ukraine to initiate investigations. the allegation is president trump conspired to recall ambassador yovanovitch from ukraine so his agents could pursue a scheme to pressure ukraine to conduct these investigations. but there are logical flaws with these arguments. first, every ambassador interviewed in the impeachment imhas acknowledged the president has an absolute right to recall ambassadors for any reason or no reason. it's apparent that president trump lost confidence in ambassador yovanovitch and it's simply not an abuse of power for him to recall her. beyond that, the trump administration replaced ambassador yovanovitch with
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ambassador bill taylor, who became one of the first state department officials to voice concerns discussed during the course of our inquiry here. in fact, ambassador taylor played a prominent role in some of the hearings last month. if president trump truly sought to remove ambassador yovanovitch as part of a nefarious plan, he certainly would not have replaced her with someone of the likes of ambassador bill taylor. second, the three u.s. officials who comprised the so-called shadow foreign policy apparatus, ambassador volker, sondland and secretary perry can hardly be called irregular, and certainly not outlandish. all were senior u.s. officials with interest in ukraine policy. the three kept the state department and the nsc informed of their activities. finally, there is evidence that mayor giuliani did not speak on behalf of the president. according to a news story on september 22 pd, mr. yermak
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asked ambassador volker to connect him with mayor giuliani because the zelensky team was surprised by the mayor's negative comments about ukraine. they wanted to change his mind. both ambassador volker in his deposition and yermak in an august "new york times" article denied mayor giuliani was speaking on behalf of president trump as his agent. instead as ambassador volker explained, they saw giuliani as a conduit through which they should change the president's mind. the second allegation at issue, of course, is whether the president obstructed congress 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 1 authority, but this impeachment inquiry has departed drastically from past bipartisan precedence for presidential impeachment as
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well as the fundamental tenets of fair congressional oversight. fundamental fairness and due process to the president. it allowed substantive minority participation and participation from the president's counsel in the fact-finding protsz. neither aspect was present here. democrat it is denied us witnesses. democrats voted down subpoenas we sought to issue for both documents and testimony. i'll note democrats never brought to a committee vote any of the subpoenas that were issued. they were all tabled. democrats directed witnesses not to answer our questions and these sorts of actions delegitimize the inquiry and don't give the witnesses or the president confidence that the inquiry is fair. second, 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 an
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accommodations process between the branches. for this reason, congressional oversight is a time intensive endeavor. certainly takes longer than 76 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 executive defenses or privileges. finally, there is no basis for obstruction. the one witness who said he spoke to president trump about his appearance as a witness, ambassador sondland, testified that the president told him to cooperate and tell the truth. the president has declassified and released the call summary of his july 25th and april 21st calls with president zelensky. the white house wrote to speaker pelosi to say that it was willing to cooperate further if
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the house returned to a well-established bipartisan, constitutional-based impeachment process. 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 anything to help their case. it ignores ambassador sondland's testimony that he presented that there was a quid pro quo and ignores the many public statements made by ukrainian officials. the report presents a story as if the evidence is clear when 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
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concerned about the prospect of more phone records being released. there have been a lot of hyperbole, a lot of hysteria over the last three months over this inquiry and underlying facts. i believe a lot of this can be traced back to the anonymous whistle-blower complaint. i believe the whistle-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 whistle-blower. finally, some have likened impeachment inquiry to a special prosecutor's investigation. if one accepts that comparison, one should also expect that like ken starr and robert mueller, the chairman should testify. and our members, all the committees believe very strongly that chairman schiff should testify and answer questions. with that, mr. chairman, the time is yours. >> the gentleman -- the
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gentleman's time expired. we'll proceed to the first round of questioning. >> point of order. >> gentleman will state his point of order. >> we've been told that counsel for the democrats was a witness and that's why he didn't have to comport with the rules of decorum. now he's sitting up here -- >> the gentleman will -- >> i've been a judge. i know you don't get to be a witness and a judge in the same case. that's my point of order. he should not be up here. >> it's not a point of order. >> it is. >> pursuant to house resolution 660 and it's accompanying judiciary committee proceedings there will be 45 minutes of questions by chairman and followed by 45 minutes by ranking member or minority counsel. only the chair and ranking members and representative counsels may question witnesses during this period. following that, unless i specify additional equal time for extended questioning, we'll proceed under the five-minute rule. every member will have the chance to ask questions. i now recognize myself for the
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first round of questions. the republican -- the republican's expert witness last week, 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. mr. goldman, did the investigative committees conclude that the evidence proved the president used his public office for personal gain? >> yes, mr. chairman. >> in fact, finding of fact 5 said president trump used 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 aid in exchange for an announcement of an investigation of his political opponent?
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>> yes, it did. >> in fact, finding of fact 5-b said, president trump acting through his subordinates conditioned release of the vital military assistance he suspended to ukraine on the president of vuk's public announcement on the investigations president trump sought. and did the evidence demonstrate president trump undermined the national security interests of the united states? >> yes. in several ways. >> and finding of fact 6 said, in directing and orchestrating the 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 u.s. government otherwise discourages or opposes. in so doing, the president undermined u.s. policy supporting anti-corruption reform and the rule of law in
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ukraine and undermined u.s. national security. and did the evidence also show that president trump compromised the national security of the united states? >> yes. >> in fact, finding of fact 7 said, by withholding vital military assistance and diplomatic support from a strategic foreign partner government engaged in an ongoing military conflict illegally instigated by russia, president trump compromised national security to advance his personal political interest. did the evidence prove that president trump engaged in a scheme to cover up his conduct and obstruct congressional investigators? >> yes, right from the outset. >> 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 trump ordered and implemented a campaign to conceal his conduct from the public and frustrate and obstruct the house of representatives' impeachment inquiry.
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finally, the constitutional scholars from our hearing last week testified that the president's conduct toward ukraine and pattern of inviting foreign election interference was a continuing risk to our free and fair elections. did the evidence prove that president trump was a threat to our elections? >> yes, it did, mr. chairman. >> in fact, finding of fact 8 says, faced with the revelation of his actions, president trump publicly and repeatedly persisted in urging foreign investments -- foreign governments, including ukraine and china, to investigate his political opponent. this continued solicitation of foreign interference in a u.s. election presents a clear and present danger that the president will continue to use the power of his office for his first political gain -- for his personal political gain, close quote, i would add, in the next election. i now yield to my counsel, mr. berke, for additional questi
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questioning. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. castor, as an experienced investigator, would mr. chairma. as an experienced investigator, would you agree that it's relevant to look at evidence bearing on the president's state of mind that may help explain the president's actions? >> evidence we talked about show -- >> use your mike, please. >> sir, my only question to you is that a relevant thing to consider? >> right. call he had with senator johnson. >> it's relevant to consider. sir, would you agree that joe biden was a leading democratic contender to face president trump in 2020? >> i wouldn't. >> so sir, it's your testimony that president trump did not view president biden to be a legitimate contender. >> i don't know what president trump believed or didn't believe. the it's too early. >> sir, as part of your inquiry, did you determine whether or not president trump tweeted about former vice president joe biden between january and july 25th and how many times? >> i didn't look at twitter. i try to stay off twitter
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lately. >> did you know president trump tweeted about joe biden over 25 times between january and july 25th? >> i didn't look at those tweets. >> did you look at how many times president trump menti mentioneded vice president biden in a speech, 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 at rallies. >> well, sir -- >> mr. chairman, pardon me. >> gentlemen is not recognized for parliamentary -- >> mr. chairman, what is -- >> gentleman is not recognized. mr. burke has the time. >> we're going to ignore the rules, allow witnesses to ask the question, then how many other rules are you going to just disregard? >> gentleman will suspend. parliamentary inquiries are not in order. >> this is not appropriate to
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have a witness be a questioner of somebody that was a witness when he was. it's just wrong! >> gentlemen will refrain from -- >> well i made a point of order and you won't rule on it. >> i have not heard a point of order. >> mr. chairman, point of order. state your point of order. >> there is no rule nor precedent for anybody being a witness and then getting to come up and question and so -- >> i have ruled that -- >> the point of order is he's inappropriate to be up here asking questions. >> that is a point of order. he's in accordance with rule 66. >> how much money do you have to give to get to do -- >> gentleman will not disperkss on the staff of the committee. >> burke has time. >> chairman, point of order. >> is mr. burke a member of the committee? >>. >> point of order. >> mr. burke has the time.
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>> you have to recognize point of order. >> gentleman will state the point of order. >> this gentleman is presenting his opinions as a witness. he's supposed to present the material -- >> point of order. >> to appear for his opinions. is that right or not? >> there is not a point of order. it is mr. burke's time -- >> it's inappropriate testimony to the committee. >> i have ruled the gentleman has the time pursuant to rule 6 660. >> oint of order. >> just to help you, that's not rule 660. >> the point of order is this. we operate by rules that there's nothing specifically in the rule permitting this, we go by precedent. it is unprecedented for a person to come and sit who you've described as a witness to then return to the bench then question. that's a point of order. >> gentleman has stated -- is not a point of order, but i will
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point out is not a recognizable point of order. i will point out the gentleman has designated by me to do this questioning pursuant to rule 660, house resolution 660. it is in accordance with the rules of the house and gentleman's time will resume. mr. burke. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. castro, you aware that president trump announced his candidacy for re-election in 2020, the month before the july 25th call on june 21st? >> okay. >> did you look at that in your investigation as part of looking at president trump's intent and what he intended on the july 25th call? >> i mean, the date he announced, he's b obviously running for re-election. what is the date he announced his intent to run for re-election? >> and sir, you knew president biden announced april of that year, too, correct? >> it's been related to me. i don't know vice president biden indicated he was going to run as i sit here today.
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>> so you would agree if the ukraine announced an investigation of joe biden, this would hurt his credible ility a candidate? would you agree with that? yes or no. would you agree with that principle? >> i slightly disagree with the predicate because talking about hunter biden zblsh gentleman is not recognized. the gentleman has the floor. >> i have yet the question. rule on whether the questions in order. >> the question is in order. the gentleman will continue. >> why? >> the gentleman will continue. it's his time. >> let's get back to the fact that talking about eight ambiguous lines 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.
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they say crowd strike. i guess you have one of your wealthy people. >> sir, i'm not asking you to read that. if you want to talk about the transcript, i want to talk to you, you said it's eight lines. let's look at slide three, the reference to biden. sir you see on the july 25th call on page four, isn't it a fact that president trump in his call with president zelensky said he heard joe biden had stop ed the prosecution of his son? is that correct, sir? e yes or no. >> it says the other thing, there's a will tlot of talk abo biden's son. that biden stopped the prosecution. >> point of order ch he's entitled to answer question ful fully. >> there's like a -- there's a video of the former vp. at the counsel on foreign
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relations and it was a little bit of a you know, the former vp was a little bit audacious in how he describes, he went over to -- >> i'm only asking you what it says on the transcript. is that what it says, sir? >> it says the other thing, a will the of talk about biden's son. >> and that biden stopped the prosecution. it says that, correct? >> yes. >> then it also says it goes on to apresident trump asked president zelensky if you can look into it. correct? is that the words? if you can look into it, correct? >> that's what it says then he says -- >> i write president trump was asking ukrainian president zelensky to have the ukrainian officials look into vice president joe biden. correct? is that correct? yes or no. >> i don't think the record
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supports that. >> it doesn't say can you look into it? president trump is not asking him? >> i don't think it supports that. i think it's ambiguous. >> you're an experienced prosecutor. i know that firsthand. is this president trump asking zelensky 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, you made the point, let me ask you a question. as an experienced investigator, is it your experience that when someone has done done something wrongful, they state their intentions? >> the call transcript? >> general. >> general. >> general. >> you're say iing the schemer? >> yes. >> would talk about his scheme? >> would he generally admit he was doing something wrongful and corrupt to someone not in the scheme. >> no. >> you made a big point, sir, in
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your presentation, that on that call, president trump did not go further and tell president zelensky he wanted the investigation announced to help his 2020 election. >> he definitely did not talk about 2020. >> and mr. goldman, would you agree if pruch was acting wrongly, abusing his power, that it was unlikely he was going to confess to zelensky explicitly to help his 2020 prospects? >> my experience ten years as a prosecutor, you almost never have a defendant or someone engaging in misconduct who would ever explicitly say in this case, president zelensky, i'm going to bribe you now or ask for a bribe or i am now going to extort you. tha not the way these things work. >> thank you. mr. castor, getting back the you. you said about hunter biden had been on the board of burisma
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going back to 2014. correct? >> yes. >> president trump supported ukraine with aid and otherwise in 2017 and 2018. correct? >> president trump has done a lot for ukraine. >> yes. sir, but isn't it correct that president trump did not raise anything about hunter biden and fizz his father in 2017 or 2018 in only the year before his election in 2020 when both he and vice president joe biden were leading candidates. isn't that true, sir? >> i think what happened is the president saw this video of the former vp and i think it, it coalessed in his mind. >> please answer my questions. he didn't raise any of these issues in 2017 or 2018. >> i don't know if he did or didn't. >> you have no evidence he did. >> no, but i have no evidence he did not. this video is pretty remark bable. >> let me ask you this. you talk ed about lieutenant colonel vindman, a highly decorated purple heart recipient
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and work ed in the trump administration, correct? >> yes, sir. >> he had a reaction to the call, didn't he? >> he did. >> he was list b benning to it, correct? >> he did. >> let's look at his reaction. he said i immediately went to john eisenberg, the lead legal counsel. he said it is improper for the president of the united states to demand a foreign government investigate a u.s. citizen and a political opponent. that was his testimony, correct? yes or no. that was his testimony. yes? >> yeah -- >> yes. >> let me ask you this. you said that the intelligence committee majority report that mr. goldman had talked about, you said it prernts as if things are clear, but they're not. is that what you said, sir? >> that's absolutely correct. >> you personally worked on the minority report, correct? >> yes, sir. >> was it important to you to be accurate in the report?
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>> of course. >> fair to witnesses to be accurate about what they said? >> of course. >> was it important to be fair to the american people. >> of course? >> to accurately report what people said. >> of course. >> let me ask you about jennifer williams. now she was a special adviser to vice president pence on europe and russia affairs. is that correct? >> yes. >> she work ed for r vice president pence, correct? >> correct. >> and you said in your opening statement that these accusations that president trump was trying to do something for political purpose, that was made by people who were had predetermined motives for impeachment. is that correct? >> some. but i also indicated that some of the witnesses in the impeachment inquiry i think have revised their views after the call transcript came out and whistleblower complaint was released. >> are you calling vice president pence's special adviser a liar? >> no, i didn't say that.
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>> are you saying she was predetermined to impeach? >> i didn't say that. the question about jennifer williams is interesting. >> i didn't ask you, sir. >> she never mentioned anything to her supervisor. never mentioned anything to anybody in the vice president's office en route to warsaw when the vice president was going to meet with president slzelensky. she didn't even raise it as a potential issue that might you know catch the vice president off guard. her concern that she articulated turg the course of the deposition and hearing was incongruent, incongruent with the facts in what she did during times relevant. >> what you wrote in the report about miss williams. if we could put up slide six, please. and sir, you made the same point you tried to make to discount her testimony. you said she testified that although she found the call to
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be unusual, she did not raise concerns to her supervisor. >> right. nobody in america knew about jennifer williams' concerns until she walked in the door for her deposition. >> when you said although she found the call to be unusual, that wasn't accurate. that's not what she said about the call. she didn't say it was just unusual, did she? >> she said it was unusual. >> that's not all she said b about it, was it? >> o okay, she was here for nine hours in the bunker, so she said a lot about the call. >> mr. chairman, we can't see. >> the gentleman will suspend. the gentleman has the time. >> we can't see the stuff. >> happy to read it. >> jennifer williams testified that quote although she found the call to be unusual, quote, she did not end of quote, she did not raise concerns to her supervisor. isn't it a fact, sir, that miss williams said a lot more than
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that? >> i have a point of order. the gentleman from florida has complained that he can't see what the questioner is relying on and would like to see it and -- >> that is not a recognizable point of order and it was read to him. gentleman will proceed. >> only half of it was read to him. now let's slow down a bit here. >> gentleman. >> let's slow down a bit here so that members are able to fully see what is being put in in support of what you're trying to go to do. we can't do that without being able to see it or read it. mr. gates has said that. now let's slow down so that we can see or hear what he is referring to. you're not letting that happen. and that goes to the privileges of the members -- >> mr. chairman -- >> that you are asking on this meeting in the vote. >> gentleman will suspend. >> mr. chairman, i can see now.
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i appreciate the accommodation. the monitor was turned. now i can see. >> gentleman will resume. >> thank you, mr. chairman. so in here, it says miss williams said she found it to be quote unusual and nothing more. it says unusual, correct? >> but it doesn't say and nothing more. >> is is it a fact that what miss williams says it struck her as unusual and inappropriate. >> okay. >> that's what she said in her testimony. >> okay. >> your staff left out the -- >> it wasn't a quote. she felt unusual. she didn't raise concerns with kellogg. >> were you as fair to the american people in describing what miss williams as you were in stribing everything else in your report? >> i don't have an issue with the way we described miss williams' testimony. >> can we put up slide eight? this is from miss williams public testimony at 34.
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she said quote, i thought that the references to specific individuals and investigations such as former vice president biden and his son, struck me as political in nature. given that former vice president is a political opponent of the president. sir, you left that out of your staff report, too, didn't you. >> you know, miss williams -- >> sir, did you leave that out, yes or no? >> i -- if you're telling me i don't know, as i sit here right now. >> i'm telling you you did. >> okay. >> and do you have an explanation, sir, when you said miss williams said that the call was unusual when in fact she said it was unusual and inappropriate and of a political nature. because it raised vice president, the vice president, who she recognized was a mill opponent of the president. >> her views of the call differ remarkably from mr. morrison, also from lieutenant general
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kellogg. >> that's not my question. my question is why did you misquote miss williams. >> we certainly didn't misquote her. >> from the standard that you apply from the fact finding in your report, you believe it was entirely proper to say that miss williams foupd the call to be and of a political nature given the former vice president is a political opponent of the president. is that your testimony? >> we describe what miss williams said. >> you can ask -- >> i'm not. >> either ask or answer, you can't do both. >> the gentleman is not recognized. >> point order, badgering the witness. gentleman continue. >> you invoked -- >> can you rule on my point of order that he is badgering the witness because he is doing that.
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>> it does not call for a ruling and the time belongs to the gentleman. the committee is not in order and the chairman is not in order. >> would you rule on my original deck of order? >> the original deck of order does not necessitate a ruling. >> the lawyer is badgering the witness. we have to have some decorum in here. the rules of decorum are not comport with everybody else's rules of decorum. >> the cross-examination of a witness is not badgering the witness. the gentleman will continue. >> it is if -- >> the gentleman has the time. >> under resolution 660 we are supposed to follow federal rules of evidence. >> it is not correct. >> what are the objections? >> it is not a point of order.
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it is not a point of order. >> where is the list of rules? >> the gentleman will continue. >> the gentleman will continue. >> you just invoked tim morrison. you had someone on the call too. let me put up slide 9 of mister morrison's testimony on page 38 of his public testimony and mister morrison, the question was, the question by mister goldman, you heard the call and recognized donald trump was not discussing talking points the nsc prepared based on official policy but was talking about investigations fiona hill warned you about and you reported it to the nfc legal advisor. is that the correct claim? mister morrison said that is correct.
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before your presentation i showed you the testimony of ms. hill where she referred to what donald trump is trying to do is running a domestic political errand. is that what you intended to ask mister morrison about? >> it was about two specific investigations that donald trump did discuss and asked the president's a linsky to do. these are the investigations that were discussed, only two investigations that issue throughout the entirety of the scheme. what our evidence found was any time there is reference to investigation it referenced the biden investigation in the 2016 investigation and ambassador voelker said when he was using the term corruption what he meant was those specific two investigations. >> what was the significance to you that mister morrison who mister castor relied on that he said he understood these were
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the investigations that fiona hill warned him about, what did you understand that to mean? >> when doctor hill left and tim morrison replaced her they had transitioned meetings and doctor hill told tim morrison about what she believed to be an irregular channel that ambassador sondland was operating for, pressure ukraine to do these investigations and was very concerned as you point out, that was a domestic political errand and what she was working on related to national security and foreign policy and those were two entirely different things. >> did she express the view donald trump had chosen his own personal political interests over the foreign policy positions ms. hill is trying to pursue? >> at the time she said that to tim morrison she was not aware whether donald trump had
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endorsed these investigations but did testify that after she read the call transcripts which he only read after it was released like the rest of us she said she put 2 and 2 together and realized. >> what was 2 and 2 again? >> it equals 4. >> what is 4 in this investigation? >> two witnesses, ambassador sondland and david holmes that the only logical conclusion to explain why the security assistance was being withheld from ukraine and based on all the various factors direct involvement in issues related to ukraine they concluded security assistance was being withheld to put pressure and as a condition on the initiation of the two investigations that are referenced here. >> i got to clear a couple things up if i may. morrison - >> the gentleman has the time.
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>> let me ask you, you said -- >> the gentleman has the time. the clock will stop interrupting. >> will this witness be able to cross-examine like he has been cross-examining the -- a point of inquiry. >> do not shout out in the middle of testimony. you don't interrupt either one of them. >> not doing it right. >> i believe it was your testimony, democrats are blocking info. >> that is absolutely right and you said the trump administration has cooperated and facilitated congressional oversight. yes or no. >> the trump administration has participated until it got to this impeachment inquiry. >> let me ask about this call. >> does not fair.
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>> robert blair who is on this call, the president directed him not to appear and give testimony. >> did the president direct him not to appear in your testimony? yes or no? >> he was not allowed to call in the terms set by the house intelligence committee. >> he would have come with agency counsel. >> trump administration directed him not to come. correct? >> he would have provided testimony of agency counsel -- it is really expensive to hire outside lawyers. >> john heisenberg was directed not to come. >> he was directed not to come. lieutenant colonel vindan went to. >> he presents some complexities, the chief legal advisor for ambassador bolton. >> he was directed not to come, right? >> he may have been able to come with agency counsel but it doesn't present complexities.
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>> is it us policy on july 26th to request ukraine investigate joe biden? >> i think you are reading too much into eight lines. i don't think he was requesting an investigation into joe biden. he just mentioned an offhand comment. >> is that a no? it was not us policy to look into joe biden? >> you are presuming at some point it became us policy to investigate joe biden and i don't think that is the case. >> let me show you slide 10, testimony of lieutenant colonel vindman. he was asked are you aware of any written product from the national security council suggesting investigation into the 2020 election, the bidens were part of the official policy. now, i am not. let me go to tim morrison who
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you invoked, slide 11. mister morrison was asked by congressman's wall well on the intelligence committee picking up in the middle of that question it says the one call you listen to between the president of the united states and the president of ukraine, the president of the united states priority was to investigate the biden's and i ask why you didn't follow up on the president's priority when you talked to the ukrainians, mister morrison said i did not understand it as a policy. let me ask you. there was a package prepared before that call of what donald trump was supposed to talk about with president zalinsky. am i correct that one of the
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things in prepared remarks was the anticorruption platform that he ran and won on. >> witnesses testified that is a consistent and persistent policy objective for the united states. >> did donald trump mention his corruption with zielinski? >> now. >> did he mention anything other than the two investigations that were politically helpful to him, the 2016 election investigation and investigation of his political rival, joe biden? >> he did not. >> my i had something? >> maybe not. >> are you going to let him answer. >> the time, the question, he can answer questions however he wants and you have the same rules. >> you will be able to answer questions asked by minority counsel. >> let me ask -- >> donald trump talks about very bad people. >> if i can finish.
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let me ask you this. there are two lawyers mentioned on the call. we heard testimony, donald trump said to president zalinsky that he should speak to two people. rudy giuliani and the attorney general william barr. immediately after this memorandum was released isn't it the case that william barr, the terms of justice issued a statement about his role in all this? >> he did. >> slide 13 please. >> the department of justice. the president has not spoken with the attorney general about having the ukraine investigate
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anything related to joe biden or his son. the president has not asked the attorney general to contact ukraine on this or any other matter, has not communicated with ukraine on this or any other subject. is it fair to say the attorney general didn't want anything to do with these investigations donald trump had raised with president zalinsky on the call? >> it goes a little further. whether the attorney general wanted anything to do or not in addition to the fact the attorney general said he had nothing to do with ukraine and that there were no ongoing investigations at the time of this call or in august and that became an issue in the investigation. there is a formal channel the department of justice and the government has to obtain evidence related to an ongoing investigation. that is generally the proper way to engage through treaties to get information but some of
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the witnesses testified they looked into that at the urging of the ukrainians when they determined there was no formal ongoing investigation or any formal request on these topics. >> the other lawyer on the call, rudy giuliani was more than happy to continue to be involved in trying to get ukraine to investigate donald trump's political rival joe biden, correct? >> mister giuliani was active in pushing for these investigations for several months before the july 25th call and several months after including apparently three days ago. >> you would agree you wrote in your report that rudy giuliani, the ukrainians themselves knew that rudy giuliani, the president's personal lawyer with a conduit to convince donald trump that president zalinsky was a serious
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reformer, correct? >> ukrainians -- >> isn't that what you said in your report? >> rudy had the president here. >> he was a conduit. let me bring up slide 14. we have your report here. it says the ukrainians knew that he, rudy giuliani was a conduit to convince donald trump that zalinsky was a conduit of reform. and in fact during the call donald trump asked president zalinsky to speak directly to his personal lawyer about ukrainian matters that donald trump was interested in. >> you refer to rudy, yes. >> he said we already knew that and he has been in touch with my aids, correct? >> the ukrainians are the one that president zalinsky brings up mister giuliani on the call because he's a conduit for the president and they would make
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donald trump happy. >> it is a negative impression of ukraine and fueling the president's views. there were discussions about president zalinsky is a true reformer, and a beneficial link. >> before the july 25th call pushing for ukrainians to joe biden, correct? >> it was reported in may. it was a detailed account of the meeting on july 19th. >> if we could put up slide 16, the new york times article you refer to.
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>> the article says rudy giuliani, on may 19, 2019, said he plans to travel to kiev, the ukrainian capital in the coming days and wants to meet with the nation's president elect to urge him to pursue inquiries, allies of the white house contends could yield new information about issues of intense interests to donald trump. what is the origin of the special counsel investigation, goes on to describe it. the other is the involvement of joe biden's son. that was in the new york times article. >> if we could continue the rest of the article for the next slide which is slide 17, the same article and giuliani was explicit that this isn't foreign-policy, very helpful to
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my client, the president of the united states is the one i have an obligation to report to regarding the ukraine. were you aware on the same day giuliani gave an interview about what he intended to do and let's go to slide 18 from real clear politics. it should be on the screen in front of you as well and what mister giuliani said about ukraine, it is a big story, dramatic story and i guarantee you joe biden will not go to election day without this being investigated not because i want to see him investigated, you agree election day refers to the 2020 election where donald trump will be running for reelection, correct? >> you are right. >> he will have it chance to answer questions with minority counsel. donald trump -- >> we will sidestep the volcker
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meeting on july 19th. >> when minority counsel questions you, let me go to slide 19 please and the president is being interviewed same day in politico and asked by rudy giuliani he is leaving soon in the next couple days, mister trump says i see. i will speak to him about it before he leaves. let me go to slide 20 because mister giuliani continued to pressure president zalinsky and this is a tweet he put out. on june 21st of 2019 roughly a month before the call he says the new president of ukraine still silent on ukrainian interference and alleged biden bribery of the prior president and as you said the ukrainians knew that rudy giuliani --
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isn't that correct? is that correct, yes or no? >> giuliani was doing some things, he became involved in the official channel and that the meeting on july 19th volcker council against the perspective giuliani was taking. >> let me ask you if i haven't had a chance, this tweet, is that referring to a personal political issue, donald trump or official us policy? >> that is a personal political issue and i will respond to mister castor. on that july 19th meeting between ambassador volcker and rudy giuliani ambassador volcker told rudy giuliani that
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the allegations about joe biden were completely bogus and wrong and mister giuliani said according to ambassador volcker at testimony mister giuliani said he knew that and for the next two months he pushed for the same investigation at the direction of donald trump who had directed president zalinsky to contact mister giuliani so that july 19th meeting is quite is important to this investigation. >> you are he explained on may 23rd when the official folks who went to the inauguration came back to tell the president how impressed they were the only thing he had to say was talk to rudy. he was taking his official government people responsible for ukraine and handing them over to rudy giuliani so they could work with him as evidence in the tweet. >> i agree that is what the evidence showed. at the may 23rd meeting donald trump directed and delegated
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authority over ukraine matters to ambassador sondland and secretary perry and told him to work with rudy and that is what happened at the president's direction. >> let me show you slide 22, you understood the ukrainians recognized how important rudy giuliani was at satisfying him to stay on good terms with donald trump. >> they quickly realized it from the their own internal conversations because rudy giuliani had back channels to getting to the ukrainian officials and ambassador volcker told the ukrainians as well that there was this, quote, giuliani factor, told it to president zalinsky that there was this giuliani factor they needed to deal with. >> this is a senior aide to president zalinsky saying to ambassador volcker on august 13th after the july 25th
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call, thank you, will be great to meet with you to discuss, a key for many things is rudy and i'm ready to talk to him at any point. please let me know when you can meet. rudy giuliani is demanding the investigation of donald trump's political rival was key to getting anything done. >> i believe the text was july 10th and this was a critical text because what it is saying is after having spoken to mister volcker and learning the importance of giuliani requested to ambassador volcker to set up a meeting with mister giuliani, that proceeded to this, and a july 22nd phone call and they met in madrid on august 2nd.
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>> further evidence of the meticulous investigation chairmanship and his staff directed. we will stand correct and i will take that and let the record reflect that that is the correct date. and let me ask, let me put up slide 24. am i correct there came a point in time when donald trump through his chief of staff, mick mulvaney ordered that the approved military aid to ukraine be withheld as you previously indicated? >> yes. >> this is the testimony of the people who were involved, mister kent said there was great confusion among the rest of us because we didn't understand why that had happened since there was unanimity this aid was in our national interests. it surprised us all. mister holmes, you had the additional hold of security
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assistance with no explanation and we still don't have an explanation for why that happened or the way it happened. the only reason given was the order came at the direction of the president. did all the agencies involved believe the aid should be given? >> it was the unanimous view of all the agencies, secretary of state, department of defense, national security council, everyone of the interagency agencies that believed that the aid was vital and had already been approved and should be released immediately. >> in the minority staff report the us government did not convey to the ukrainians, that was incorrect. did mister sondland convey
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that? >> mister sondland conveyed that the release of the aid was conditioned on the now public announcement of the investigation. >> can we put up slide 26? >> if i may respond. >> if we could put up the actual affidavit ambassador sondland, donald trump's ambassador to the european union for 2 under penalty of perjury and to read the highlight in front of you i now recall speaking - i said to the ukrainian aid the resumption of us aid would not occur until ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement we have been discussing for many weeks. is that correct? >> he said that at a meeting on september 1st in warsaw. >> the statement they have been talking about, slide 27.
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>> you recall the draft statement the ukrainians were going to have president zalinsky give, was that to get a white house meeting and satisfied donald trump and have the aid released? >> ambassador sondland testified to that and ambassador volcker testified. >> a statement where he did not make any reference to joe biden? >> correct. >> was it rudy giuliani who said it had to include a reference to investigate bur m bursima and what that stand for cute you all your witnesses say there was an understanding of what that meant. >> every single witness said after reading the phone call july 25th that it was clear burisma equaled biden, they were one and the same. only two witnesses did not know that until that time and there was ample testimony from people
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involved in all aspects of ukraine policy who indicated that it was completely unrealistic and unlikely that anyone with anything to do with ukraine did not, would not know that the investigation related to the bidens. >> is that how mister giuliani referred to it? burisma and biden. did the ukrainians complained repeatedly that they didn't want to be a pond in us democratic politics by helping donald trump's reelection campaign? >> they did in july and august, they didn't get the statement in large part because they had reservation because when anticorruption reformer, they had reservations about domestic politics. >> i want to get back to mister castor, you said when donald trump said to ambassador sondland that he had no quid
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pro quo you said he had no reason, september 9th, no reason to be any less than candid. that's what you said. let me show you what happened on september 5th, slide 52. days before he made the statement the washington post rented an article that says trump tries to force ukraine to metal in the 2020 elections and goes on to describe those efforts and let me show you whether donald trump was aware of that article before he volunteered, no quid pro quo as a defense, a tweet by donald trump on slide 53. and again this, he is putting out a tweet that is essentially saying democrats following of the article that they are
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pursuing impeachment showing awareness that this has been reported on. mister goldman. is it fair to say what mister castor said that donald trump had no reason to be any less than candid about no quid pro quo? >> donald trump had every reason to put out that message at that point as ambassador sondland said even if you credit his version of the testimony which is contradicted by other witnesses who took contemporaneous notes and are far more credible than mister sondland who had to amend his testimony he said even in that comment, no quid pro quo out of the blue without any question whether there was a quid pro quo. >> the gentleman's time is
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expired, and the ranking member's first round of questions pursuant to house resolution 660, ranking member and counsel have 45 minutes to question the witnesses. >> it has become evident why this hearing is here while the craziness of this hearing, not having adam schiff your but please back up to the last slide, no idea what number it is. did we cut it off? while we are doing this, the most amazing statement, that the democrats were concerned about impeachment, there's nothing the democrats of not been concerned about for 2 and half years. since november 2016 the president said nothing new in that tweet, he has known may have been after impeachment, that's why mister goldman is here, that is why we are going through this charade of answering staff questions and when we don't like how it is
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going we start asking and getting into a staff arguments, where is adam? where is adam? his report, his name -- you are not adam schiff and you don't wear a band. we have a problem here. the problem, you are an attorney, a very good prosecutor, i read your bio, your good attorney, you understand what quid pro quo is. you understand what asking for something in exchange for something means, you know about the conversations of mister biden when he asked and said i'm not going to give you the million dollars you know about that conversation, you want me to read it to you? >> talking about in 2015? >> i'm talking about the one from the national -- where he did what you are having trouble, i remember going to the ukraine convincing our team leaders, convincing them we should provide for loan guarantees. i went over the 12th or 13th
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time, supposed to announce a billion-dollar loan guarantee and got a commitment that i would take action, they would take action against the state prosecutor, they didn't so they said they had, walking out of the press conference. i said i'm not going to but we are not going to give you the million dollars, they said you have authority, you have no authority, you are not the president, the president said i said call him, laughter. i said you are not getting the billion dollars, i said you're not getting the billion dollars. i'm getting ready to be leaving here in 6 hours. i looked at them and said i'm leaving in 6 hours. of the prosecutor is not fired you are not getting the money. sonofabitch, he got fired. did he ask something or request something or hold something of value? >> george tend -- >> i'm asking about this. >> an important concept. >> did he would did he not? either joe biden is a liar telling a story to make people
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impressed or he did this. which is it? >> he did a pursuant to us official policy. >> withholding actual things, holding this out there. joe biden -- the only one who has done a quid pro quo, use taxpayer dollars to threaten a foreign government and we are sitting here pretending this is not happening, pretending a president of the united states would not be concerned? joe biden is a terrible candidate, he can destroy himself on the campaign trail but he can't get by this. it doesn't matter who brings it up, who does it because this is what happened and white wash it all you want, go over what you want but he is either a liar or he did it and he did it. i want to continue on. a question you had earlier. you rely on approximately how many times gordon sondland's
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testimony in your report? >> nearly a 300 page report. >> 600 times are better. you wouldn't have any idea? >> i have no idea. >> over 600 times. if you do a simple check of your report, 158 times mister sondland said not knowing something, to the best of my knowledge or i don't know. with that surprise you? >> the reporter his deposition? >> the deposition and closed door testimony. >> over time he remembered more. >> the question is, mister sondland also said what actually happened. to something else, we will continue this. according to your report, we will determine that to be the intelligence committee and other investigation, are we okay with that? issue dozens of subpoenas. is that right? >> over a dozen, yes.
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>> some were not publicly reported in the majority report. >> most of the subpoenas. >> answer the question. either answer the question or elaborate, one or the other. >> i'm trying to answer the question. >> that you are didn't you? did come out or not? >> did what come out? >> the luckys were not publicly reported. >> they were given but not to the public. >> putting aside the witnesses who had been identified publicly, did you issue any subpoena for testimony other than the ones publicly identified? >> i'm not sure. i don't think so. i'm not sure. >> how many were issued for records? >> we issued a number of subpoenas for records, six subpoenas to executive branch agencies and they all define
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our subpoena. >> moving on to other issues, the wall street journal reported the committee issued four subpoenas to verizon and at&t for call records, correct? >> we -- >> are we wondering? >> we are because there are multiple numbers. we only should subpoenas for call records for people who were involved in the investigation and been subpoenaed for documents and testimony of their own. >> answer my question. >> was it at least four? >> how many subpoenas were issued to at&t? >> i don't know. >> check your records. this is important. we found out about this and have a massive document over
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the weekend preparing for this hearing in which the chairman admitted and staff admitted they are not going to do it anyway. all that massive documents, we are going on a shift report where he refuses to testify so this is important stuff we just found out about. how many were issued to at&t? >> i don't know. >> maybe your chairman could answer this. where they targeted to is the telephone number or numbers? >> we subpoenaed call records multiple numbers. >> how many? >> i don't know. none were members of congress. none of journalist. we only did it to the subjects involved in the investigation which is a very routine and standard investigative practice. >> and not about a subpoena or legality of a subpoena. who on the committee had numbers you put into for subpoena and get those is that?
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who crosscheck members of the media and members of congress? >> that is not how we did it. >> the report showed these people were on these calls. someone -- we are not going to play cute here. someone took the four records and said let's play match game. who ordered the match came from members of congress and the press. was it you? >> i don't think anyone did. >> that is the most ridiculous i have ever heard. you don't suddenly pick up numbers in which you have to match those numbers to show where they are and don't come up with it. who ordered them to match members of congress and the press? >> what you just described is how it happened. >> who ordered to find out if that was on the call. >> you pick an event of significance in the investigation and look for sequencing and pattern
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surrounding that event and try to identify what those numbers are and build the circumstantial case. >> that is a wonderful explanation but not an answer to my question. looking for four numbers to see how they are connected, i understand it is something you should but was it you or chairman schiff who said while we are doing this let's see if it matches chairman nunez's number? somebody along the way having any if any, unless you blow a low-level staffer under the bus, the big number is my match so who did it? was it adam schiff or was it you? be careful, you are under oath. >> i know i'm under oath. >> into the question. >> i will into the question if you give me a second here. >> it was not afforded to my witness by the way. >> if you don't tell me that when you are thinking how to answer that question who decided to leak the information?
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why did you include it in a report? how did you include it in the report after not seeing anything about this publicly, two questions -- including me. who ordered it? was it you or chairman schiff and why was it decided to for smear purposes to be included in the report? >> i am not going to get into the deliberations of our investigation and the reason it was included in the report is the calls were surrounding important evidence to our investigation and your question is better directed not at me but people having conversations. >> we are not going to play that game. you are not answering the question. every member of the media, the decorum of the house, members telephone numbers which they should be scared about, you took subpoena for four, didn't exist because they claimed they were the white house budget
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office so stories out there because nobody -- i go back to my question. you go on record in front of everybody today and say you will not tell who ordered this, you or mister schiff? >> i will go on record until you i will not reveal how we conducted this investigation. >> that is the problem with this entire thing. >> i can tell you what the importance is. >> we are done. you are not answering the question, not being honest about this answer because you know who it is but are not answering. >> i have information on the subpoenas. we did receive copies of the subpoenas and tracked this. there were six as i understand it and let me say at the outlet our members have concerns about
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this exercise for three reasons. the subpoenas yielded information about members of congress, whether they were subpoenaed phone records or not it was a concern about members of congress phone records and it is publicized, the second is with journalists, a tricky area to start investigating journalist call records and the third is with regard to rudy giuliani serving as the president's attorney but six subpoenas, the first went to at&t for giuliani numbers in the first regard company csc holdings but the third related to mister sondland and off to verizon. the fourth was back to at&t seeking information, a certain number. the fifth was back to at&t and
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the sixth seeking subscriber information which impacted veteran journalist john solomon and also involved with these are the attorneys involved. >> you are a veteran of the hill investigation for 15 years. i have never seen anything like this and neither have you either. mister goldman chooses not to answer because he doesn't want to incriminate himself or the chairman or someone else. would it be interesting to you, as you dealt with committee staff for a long time, somebody to do those records on their own or under direction by somebody to do that? >> we are trying to figure something out. i have one thing. mister goldman, where are they
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taking gratuitous shots of people they don't like? earlier today in your testimony you made a comment, questioning motive. when your testimony use it as you were discussing mister sunderland -- sondland your facial express and showed he was a million-dollar donor to the president. the implication being he got his job because he bought it or avoided saying anything about it. be careful how you throw around dollars and giving because you and mister burke are heavy donors to the democratic party and i'm not going to question your motives or your position here today but we need to make sure this is already blown out of proportion. we are already not answering questions that you are here without a pen because your chairman will not testify. that is all we need to hear. he won't stand behind his own report and send you. i hope it works out for you. i'm done at this point. >> are you trying to say --
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what is the implication here? i didn't give anything close to $1 million remotely. >> we want adam schiff in a chair, not you. the person who wrote the report is the person who should present it. you weren't elected by anybody. i hope that clears up the implication. >> the gentleman has been warned before you cannot simply yell out and disrupt the committee. >> i think you understand exactly what you did and i called it out, you thought you would get by with it and you didn't, that is all i am saying. >> i would like to say one other thing. >> point of order. >> you are casting aspersions. >> as you did. according to the ruling a few minutes ago i am done asking questions and i'm not asking you to elaborate. you want to see if it is you or mister schiff? we are done.
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and mister burke said the majority council. >> the gentleman has time? the gentlelady right now. >> i have a number of things to clear up if i may, you have to bear with me because i have a number of them here. on the call, tim morrison and general kellogg have a different call then lieutenant colonel vindman and general williams, the call is ambiguous, that is the first thing. tim morrison, he testified to
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security council lawyers, but he went to the nsc lawyers because he was concerned about the call. he went to the lawyers for two reasons the they weren't on a call so wanted to update them about it but number 2, he was concerned about leaks and he was concerned that if this call leaked out, how would it play in washington's polarized environment that we have here? he was also concerned if the call leaked that it might affect bipartisan support in congress, issues of ukraine have traditionally been one of the few wishes republicans and democrats share interest. the third reason, he didn't want the ukrainians to get a distorted perception of what happens on the call because on the call we are talking eight
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lines of concern. the oval office meeting on may 23rd, this question i guess is ambiguous about when the president referred, the delegation goes to the inauguration and sondland and voelker and perry and senator johnson and they are briefing the president and the president is having none of it, he has -- and voelker testifies to this, the president doesn't order anybody to do anything. the president just talk to rudy, voelker testified at his deposition and at the public
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hearing if you guys, if you guys, it is different from a direction or the president ordering a scheme and very different from the president collecting a bunch of agents to do something. now, whether the ukrainians, the aid was part for 55 days. whether the ukrainians knew about it or not, some state department witnesses testified about the queries they received there was an article on
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november 22nd in bloomberg and the zalinsky administration said they never knew about withholding the aid until the politico article and they said they believed the embassy was keeping information from them. another thing, november 22nd bloomberg article, he recounts the meeting with sondland which has become very significant, that he doesn't recall it the way ambassador sondland recalled it, it is not his first language. he does not recall the meeting that happened on the way to an escalator after a meeting with the vice president so he recalls it differently. the question, the facts of what
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happens on the way to the escalator remain in dispute. now, turning attention to the ron johnson letter if i may, on august 31st senator johnson is getting ready to travel to ukraine with senator murphy and johnson wanted the aid relief so-called the president and sought permission to be a bear of good news. the president said i'm not ready to lift the aid. senator johnson writes a 10 page letter, very detailed and
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remarkable detail on page 6, senator johnson speaking, i asked whether there was an arrangement where ukraine would take action and the hold would be lifted. without hesitation donald trump denied such an arrangement existed and started cursing. he said no way, i would never do that. who told you that? senator johnson goes on to say donald trump's reaction was adamant, vehement and angry. he goes on to say as of august 31st, you will like my decision in those end. it is very important context on what the president's state of mind was as of august 31st. >> the aid would eventually be released after the 55 day
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policy. i want to thank you for your presentation. i believe you have been talking for approximately 75 minutes and i thank you for that. >> my wife thinks you. he likes when i do the talking when she is not around. >> time permitting i would like to cover four or five areas, distinct areas, there are a lot of facts the american people have not heard and a lot of contradictions in certain people's testimony. is that fair to say? i would like to talk about some of the people in this story who have firsthand knowledge of the fact. we have ambassador voelker,
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ambassador sondland and secretary perry. you had the opportunity to talk to two of those three people. and the democrats report would like us to believe these three individuals were involved in some sort of cobalt or necessary us venture but that is not true, is it? these people were and all relevant times and even today -- >> with the highest integrity. >> everyone testified that ambassador voelker is one of the most experienced diplomats in our foreign service. >> all the witnesses talked
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about the integrity ambassador voelker brings to the table. >> a lot of people with firsthand knowledge we didn't talk to. is that correct? now i want to talk about the president's skepticism of foreign aid, the president is skeptical of foreign aid. is that correct? >> is deeply skeptical of sending us taxpayer dollars into an environment that is corrupt because it is as good as kissing it goodbye. >> is that something new he believes or that he ran on? >> something he ran on and implemented policy as soon as he became president, ambassador hale told us about the overall review of foreign aid programs, almost a 0 paste evaluation. >> you had the opportunity to take the deposition, a career
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official at owen b is that correct? >> correct. >> had some information about the reason, is that true? he had a conversation with an individual named rob blair and mister blair provided insight for the paz. >> one of the witnesses that was able to give us firsthand accounts inside omb that the reason for the paz related to the president's concern about burden sharing in the region. >> in his conversation the president's conversations with senator johnson he mentions his concern about burden sharing and i believe he referenced a conversation he had with the
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chancellor of germany and in fact the whole first part of the july 24th transcript talking about burden sharing and wanting them to do more. >> senator johnson and donald trump were pretty candid and believed allies like germany were laughing at us because we were so willing to spend the aid. >> now, there have been a lot of allegations the president zalinsky is not being candid about feeling pressure from
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donald trump and isn't it true that he stated over and over publicly that he felt no pressure from donald trump? >> he said it consistently, september 25th, he said in 3 more news availabilities including last week. >> i want to change subjects and talk about something professor turley raised, the partisan nature of this investigation and you are an experienced investigator. >> he is now trump supported. >> he is a democrat. but professor truly cautioned that a partisan inquiry is not what the founders envisioned. is that correct? >> correct. worst thing you could have is partisan rank or because no one will accept the result on the other side.
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>> our democrat friends of all the code and become originalist and are citing the founders and their intent routinely as part of this impeachment process. >> that goes with whether this constitutes bribery. there is case law and bribery. i am now supreme court lawyer or advocate. and and that is addressed in this space and professor turley mentioned it. >> professor turley said the meeting does not constitute an official act. >> it is the mcdonnell case. >> professor turley pointed that out for us last week. since this inquiry is unofficial and unsanctioned
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start in september the process has been partisan, biased, unfair, republican questioning has been curtailed routinely. we saw that in lieutenant colonel vindman's deposition. ..vindman's deposition. there were some, you know -- >> we were barred from asking him questions about who he communicated his concerns to. >> very basic things like who, what, when, where. and instead -- >> i would say too, this rapid -- you know we're in day 76, and it's almost impossible to do a especially when the stakes are this high because any congressional investigation of consequence, it does take a little bit of time for the two sides to stake out their interest and how they're going to respond to them.
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the first letter i think went in october of 2017, and in december we finally got a witness and it was the following spring after a lot of pushing and pulling and a lot of tug-of-war, we reached a deal with dojng where we went dn to doj and they gave us access to documents and the gives access to i think north of 800,000 pages but they may does come down there, that made us go into a a skip, and these docums were not supplied. wasn't until may and june of that year that we started this process when the investigation ongoing. and that is disappointing. obviously we all wish there is a easy button, but congressional investigations of consequence take time.
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>> right. itnv took i think six months before the first document was even produced. like you said you had to go down there, review it in camera, going back further to fast and furious, the investigation of the death of the border patrol agent. >> we issued subpoenas. sent subpoenas in february of 2011, and we had a hearing in june with experts about proceedings to content. what does it take to go to contempt? that was the first time in june when we got any production and the production was largely publicly available information. we spent most of the year trying to get information out of justice department. at the time we are also working with whistleblowers who were providing us documents, and
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chairman issa at the time then in october issued another subpoena that was to the justice department. the investigation had been ongoing most of the year we were talking whistleblowers, doing interviews and doing our best to get documents out of the justice department channels but these things take time. >> right. >> seventy-six days. >> and if you truly want to uncover every fact, , as you should in an impeachment, do you agree? you have to go to court sometimes. and enforcer subpoenas. and here at my understanding is we a lot of requests for information, voluntary information. will you please provide us with the documents on xyz, and i think that's great. but you have to back it up with something, isn't that correct? >> there's a number of ways to enforce your request. the fundamental rule of any congressional investigation is
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you rarely get what you are asking for unless and until the alternative is less palatable for the respondent. the respond. so, you know, you issue a subpoena, you try to get documents. one the technique you can use is talk to a document custodian or in the function of what documents exist. chairman chavitz, during his era, officials are supposed to be directly responsible serving the interest. you can saber rattle about holding somebody in contempt. oftentimes witnesses who are reluctant to cooperate and come
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forward, when you attach a contempt proceeding or a prospective contempt proceeding to their name a lot of times that changes the outcome and with a contempt proceeding you got a couple of different steps along the way. you can raise the prospect of a contempt proceeding, schedule a contempt proceeding. after you schedule a contempt proceeding you can hold the door open for documents or interviews or push it off. can you go through at the committee level. and these are all sort of milestone events which historically are unpalatable or less palatable for the administration that sometimes starts to move the needle, and with these types of disputes, once you get the ball rolling, you know, like with the gowdy probe, there was mccabe in and a couple of months. once we got director mccabe in, a couple of weeks later we got
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director comey's chief of staff, couple of weeks later -- once you get the ball rolling, again you don't always like 100% of the terms. sometimes you have to deal with agency counsel or go look in camera. once you get the ball rolling usually it leads to positive results and historically has allowed the congress to do its work. >> were any of those things here? >> no. >> in fact, they decided we're not going to subpoena certain people that are important, is that fair the to say? and we're not going to go court and enforce them so these folks that are caught in an interbranch struggle and that's an unfortunate position for any employee. >> one of the concerning things is dr. kupperman who has been described by dr. fiona hill and a number of witnesses as a solid
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witness, a good witness, he filed a lawsuit in the face of a subpoena and a judge was assigned and the issues that kupperman raised were different than don mcgahn. don mcgahn was the white house counsel. kupperman is a national security official. kupperman, you know, filed the lawsuit seeking guidance. kupperman wasn't asking the court to tell him not come testify, to the contrary kupperman was seeking the court's guidance to facilitate his cooperation and ultimately the committee withdrew the subpoena. which raises questions about whether the committee is really interested in getting to the bottom of some of these issues. >> right. instead the committee has chosen, the intelligence committee has chosen to rely on
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ambassador sondland and his testimony. i think they relied 600 times in their report. >> on this point -- yesterday i opened the democrat report. and i did a control f. sondland's name shows up 611 times. in fairness, it's going to be double counted because, you know, if it's in a sentence and then a footnote that's two but in relative comparison to the other witnesses, sondland is relied on big time. >> yes. and i think dr. hill testified that she at some point confronted him about his actions and -- >> the record is mixed on this
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front. dr. hill talks about raising concerns with sondland and in sondland's deposition, he didn't share the same view. >> there's a lot of instances of that, where ambassador sondland recalls one thing and other witnesses recall another, is that correct? >> sondland is a witness, he's a bit of an enigma, let's just say it that way. he was -- you know he was pretty certain in his deposition that the security wasn't linked to anything. then he submitted a -- he submitted an addendum. >> i call that the pretzel sentence. >> yes. even in that addendum or supplement or whatever it's called, you know, it's up to him and her and, anyway, sondland
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ends with, i presumed. so it wasn't really any firsthand information. >> right. we don't have a lot of firsthand information here, is that correct? >> on certain facts we don't. i mean we have first hand information on the may 23rd meeting in the oval office. we have a lot of firsthand term although conflict on the july 10th meeting. there are episodes, i think, during the course of this investigation that we haven't been able to at least get everyone's account. but, the investigation hasn't been able to reveal, you know, firsthand evidence relating to the president other than the call transcript. >> i think we've already talked about this, ambassador sondland would presume things. assume things. and form opinions based on what other people told him and then
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he would use those as firsthand, is that correct? >> you know, it started with his role with the ukraine portfolio. a lot of people at the state department were wondering why the ambassador to the eu was so engaged in issues related to the ukraine. you know, there are answers for that. ukraine is an asp praspira nt t temp u. he said the president has given me a lot of assignments. the president assigned me ukraine. in his deposition he conceded he was, in fact, spinning. that the president never assigned him to ukraine, that he
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was just -- you know, he was exaggerating. >> i think at the public hearing, you pointed out that in contrast to other witnesses, ambassador sondland isn't a note taker. he, in fact, he said i do not recall dozens of times in his deposition. >> let's say think it way. ambassador taylor walked us through his, his standard operating procedure for taking notes. he talked to us about having a notebook on his desk and a notebook in the pocket of his suit. so when ambassador taylor recounts to us, you know, what happened, it's backed up by these contemporaneous notes. ambassador sondland -- on the firsthand he said he didn't have
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access to state department records. he said that at the public record simultaneously the state department issued a tweet, i think, or a statement at least saying that wasn't true. nobody is keeping ambassador sondland from his emails. you know, he's still a state department employee. he can go -- he does have access to his records. but he stated he didn't. he stated he doesn't have any notes because he doesn't take notes. he conceded that he doesn't have recollections on a lot of these issues. you know we sort of made a list of them. i think at the hearing i called it the trifecta of unreliability. >> and you're not the only person that has concerns about ambassador sondland's testimony, conduct, i think other witnesses took issue with his conduct, is that correct? >> yeah. tim morrison talked about
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instance where ambassador sondland was showing up uninvited. morrison didn't understand why sondland was trying to get into the warsaw meetings september 1st. and dr. hill, fiona hill told us about issues of that sort and a number of witnesses, you're correct. >> and ambassador weeker said he was a problem. >> a problem. >> dr. hill raised concerns about his behavior and said that he might be an intelligence risk, is that correct? >> she did. she had issues with his tendency to pull out his mobile device and make telephone calls. which, obviously, can be monitored. >> yes. >> by the bad guys. >> and we talked about how he
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was spinning certain things. and he admitted that. how he was spinning. >> he admitted he exaggerated. >> yes. >> also, you know, when it comes to his communications with the president, we try to get him to list all the communications with the president. i think he gave us six. and then he walked us through each communication with the president. it was about a christmas party. when the president of finland was here. then congresswoman spear asked him the same question in the open hearing and he said that he had talked to the president 20 times. so, the record -- >> i think my time super. thank you both. yield back. >> mr. chairman, mr. chairman. >> under the five minute rule. >> mr. chairman, i move to recess 30 minutes pursuant to
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rule. >> gentleman has -- i'm sorry. the gentleman moved to recess for how long? >> for 30 minutes. >> 30 minutes. as a privilege motion. it was not debatable. all in favor say aye. no, no? >> no. >> no, sir have it. motion is not agreed to. >> roll call vote requested. [ clerk is taking a role call vote ]
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[ clerk is taking a role call vote ] [ clerk is taking a role call vote ]
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mr. cohen you're not recorded. >> i would like to be recorded as no. >> any other members who have wished to vote who have not voted? the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman there are 15 ayes and 24 nos. >> the motion is not agreed. now we'll engaging questions under the five minute rule. i'll start with myself. mr. goldman can you please explain the difference between vice president biden's request to ukraine a few years ago and president trump's request to ukraine earlier this year? >> yes. when vice president biden pressured the ukrainian president to remove the corrupt prosecutor general he was doing so with an international consensus as part of u.s. policy, the entire european union supported that, the imf support that, the imf that gave
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the loans he was referring to. and so he did that as part of the entire international community's consensus. and when president trump is asking for this investigation of joe biden, all of the witnesses, every single one testified that that had nothing to do with official u.s. policy. >> and vice president biden's request had no personal, political benefit whereas president trump's request did? >> yes, in fact, if the witnesses testified if that corrupt prosecutor general were actually removed, it would be because he was not prosecuting corruption. so the witnesses said that by removing that prosecutor general and adding a new one that there was an increased chance that corruption in ukraine would be prosecuted including as it related to the burisma company which his son was on the board
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of. >> mr. gold mapp, can you please explain exactly what happened with the phone records obtained by the intelligence committee. >> thank you. i would like to set the record straight on that. this is a very basic and usual investigative practice where people involved in a scheme or suspected to be involved in a scheme, investigators routinely seek their records and just to be very clear, this is meta data. it's only call, to call from and length. not the content of the calls. or the text messages. there's no content, no risk of invading any communications with lawyers or journalists or attorney client that none of that exists and no risk to that. what we did is for several of the people we had investigated and subpoenaed and who were alleged to be part of the scheme, we got call records so that we could corroborate some of their testimony or figure out maybe there's additional communications that we were unaware of. what we then did is took the
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call records and matched it up with important events that occurred during the scheme and start to see if there are patterns because call records can be quite powerful circumstantial evidence. in this case it just so happened people who were involved in the president trump scheme were communicating with the president's lawyer who was also involved in the scheme, a journalist, staff member of congress and another member of congress. we, of course, did not at all seek in any way shape, or form to do any investigation on anyone, a member of congress or a staff member of congress. it just happened to be that they were in communication with people involved in the president's scheme. >> and everything you did was basically standard operating procedure. >> every investigation we did we got call records. >> did white house counsel make his view clear of evidence and witnesses requested?
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>> we never heard from the white house counsel other than the letter which basically just said we will not at all cooperate with this investigation in any way, shape or form. they never reached out to engaging this accommodation process. it was a complete stonewall. not only would the white house not participate or cooperate and not respond to the duly authorized subpoenas of congress but the white house says we're also going direct every other executive branch agency to defy this. >> i have a series of questions and keep your answers brief. during last week's hearing my republican colleague said congress has not built a sufficient record to impeach the president. as a former prosecutor you spent years building substantial case records. what's the strength of this record here? >> we've moved fast and the evidence is really overwhelming. we have 17 witnesses with overlapping -- >> overwhelming. the committee managed to collect
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such evidence even by obstruction by the president. >> yes. >> was the obstruction so evasive as it was planned to have cover-up president conduct. >> we saw there was an effort to conceal the president's conduct. >> president trump directed his administration not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. white house counsel wrote president trump cannot permit his administration to participate. the investigative committee had dozens of witnesses including former and current trump officials and were stymied with respect to most them. is that correct >> there were 12 witnesses who were directed not to appear and ultimately they did not appear. >> thank you very much. my time has expired. i yield to the ranking mr., mr. collins. >> mr. goldman, an interesting thing. we can commit extortion or put pressure on others as long as we have enough people to think
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we're okay i can extort anybody i want to as long as enough people think it's okay. that in essence what you just said. i want to go to the phone records. it's a novel approach. the phone records issued, hear me clearly. i have no problem with the subpoena as far as the subpoena power from congress. not a problem. my problem as you did not answer in the previous, those is take meta data. it's interesting you had to go and say there's no -- we had that debate in congress in the last few years on fisa program. this committee should be hearing the fisa report. it's interesting to me to see to me that the calls in the meta data and not the content, what the problem i have here is this, if rudy, munoz, only phone records returned from the subpoena, why these released? here's the problem. you took the committee and this
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is why i want to know who ordered it. the committee made a choice, chairman schiff is not here or you who did get to come, at least thank you for showing up, made a conscious choice to put these records in the report. it was a drive by. it was a gratuitous drive by that you wanted to smear the ranking member or smear these others because they were in those numbers that were connected to it. i'm not saying you knew the content. you just admited a second ago they were simply contacting these people. the problem i have you could easily have put if you want to do a nonsmear report say congress person one or congress person two, reporter one, or reporter two. because if they didn't contribute to your report it's nothing but a drive by. that's the problem i have here. i have no problem with you working. no problem with the report. no problem with the subpoena. you can pretty it up all you want but that was nothing to show the american people natural
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at least for a moment the schiff report became a partisan smear against other members we don't like because there's other alternatives for you to do. i have no problem as i said with you doing proper oversight. i have had a lot of issues how this oversight is done but don't make it up and don't not tell me or the rest of this committee who ordered that. that was noing more thanthing m smear committee. the chairman gave you a chance the to rehabilitate and you made it worse. by the way, fuller record got leaked from executive session got leaked to "the washington post". i don't understand how we can say this is okay. how do we say this is fine. members of the majority now may be members of the minority at some point and if we're setting the standard for this is where we're going with these kind of investigations, then we're in trouble. we're in deep trouble because
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this is another thing that the founders you and others have said, founders were deeply concerned about a lot of things. one of the biggest things is and most everybody is an originalist. they were concerned about a partisan impeachment. a partisan impeachment because you don't like his policies. you don't like what he said or how he said it. i don't like how joe biden side it but you blew that off because he has the back of the international community. we're a perpetual state of impeachment. don't come here and be a person who is a witness. sworn witness and not answer the question. adam schiff is doing that fine without you. but don't come here and say i'm not going say because you know good and well in some committee room, somebody said hey this is interesting i have munoz phone
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number and that number is in that report. he had a phone call with somebody we're investigating. that's a drive by and it's beneath you and this congress. and that is why have such a problem with this. then you leaked further information. this is the problem here. we can be righteous about trying to get this president or not. this is why people are getting so just turned off by this whole thing. when we understand that, that's the problem i have because could you have handled this differently. i'll blame the chairman, i'll hold the one with the pen responsible. he was the one who can't come and defend that. unfortunately, he sent you. you had to take it. that's wrong and this committee deserves better. with that i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. gentlelady from california is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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the gist of the question here is the potential of abuse of the president's power to benefit himself in the next election. now america is based on free and fair elections, and after russia interfered in the 2016 election the american people are rightfully concerned about ensuring that the next election is referee foreign interference and keeping that in mind i would like to ask you, mr. goldman, the following question. ambassador sondland testified that according to rudy giuliani, quote, president trump wanted a public statement from president zelensky committing to investigations of burisma in the 2016 election, isn't that correct? >> yes. >> and ambassador sondland testified as the screen in front you shows that president zelensky had to announce the investigation he didn't actually have to do them. >> correct. >> mr. goldman, you're an
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experienced former prosecutor. is it common to announce an investigation but not actually to conduct the investigation? >> no. usually it works the reverse. normally you don't announce the investigation because you want to develop as much evidence while it's not public because if it's public then you run into problems of people matching up testimony and witnesses tailoring their testimony which is part of the reason why the closed depositions in our investigation were so important. >> what did that evidence, this benefitted the announcement tell you about why president trump would only care about president zelensky announcing the investigations but not actually conducting them. >> there were two things that it said. one is whatever he claims, the president claims about his desire to root out corruption, even if you assume these investigations are for that purpose as he has stated, it undermines that because he doesn't actually care if the
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investigations are done. so even if you assume which i don't think the evidence supports that it's corruption, then he's still not doing the corruption investigation. the second is he just wanted the public announcement. the private confirmation was not enough and that's an indication that he wanted the political benefit from them. >> looks to me like the announcement of the investigation could benefit the president politically because the announcement alone could be twitter fodder between now and the next election to smear a political rival. that's consistent with the findings. president nixon attempted to corrupt elections and his agents broke into democratic party headquarters to gate leg up on the election. and then he tried to cover it up, just as we've seen some obstruction here. but even more concerning in this case, president trump not only appears to have abused the power of his office to help his own
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re-election campaign he used foreign government to do his bidding and used military aid as leverage to get the job done. now this aid was approved by congress, apro ppropriated on a bipartisan basis to fight russia on behalf of ukraine who invade them. this aid was withheld. people died while this aid was withheld. people argued since ultimately the aid was released that there was not a problem. mr. goldman, isn't it true that the aid was released only after the president got caught and only after congress learned of the scheme to make this life or death conditional on this announcement of investigation of his political rival? >> there were several things that made the president realize that this was coming to a head and could not be concealed. the whistle-blower kplaint was circulating around the white
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house. the committees announced their own investigation. "the washington post" op-ed on september 5th linking the two. then the inspector general notified the committee there was this whistle-blower complaint. >> i made it clear throughout this investigation, i don't want to be part of a third impeachment inquiry, but the direct evidence is very damning and the president hasn't offered any evidence to the contrary. we've asked, we've subpoenaed, we've invited the president, and nothing has come forward. if he had evidence of his innocence, why wouldn't he bring it forward? you know, this is a very serious matter. it strikes at the heart of our constitution. and it's a concern that we're here but i've heard over and over again that this is too fast. well, miss jackson lee and i were talking, we were both members of this committee during the clinton impeachment.
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that took 73 days. we're here on the 76th day. we need the to proceed. i thank you, mr. goldman for your hard work and your presentation. i yield back. >> outobjection the hearing will the hearing will stand in recess for 15 minutes. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> you can find all of our impeachment inquiry we'd witness testimony and watch the latest briefing, speeches and reaction from widest and congress plus look back at previous proceedings including president clinton's in the late 1990s. go to and click on the impeachment inquiry box at
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