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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Udall Others on Impeachment  CSPAN  February 4, 2020 2:13am-2:56am EST

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him for it, but in fact ratify these crimes. they didn't imagine that one party would be so uniformly loyal to the president that it would have a hammer lock on the senate, preventing 67 votes ever being available for removal. i don't think we're in danger of the impeachment process becoming routine. i think we're in much greater danger of making the impeachment process moot. and if so, god help us all. but all is not lost. we remain a government of, by, and for the people, and if people across the country find this as odious to our basic values as we do, in eight months, the american public can render its own verdict on the united states senate. i yield the floor. i shall cons. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: thank you. mr. president, nearly 20 years
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ago i was here in this exact spot, i remember it so well, deliberating the guilt and innocence of a president. it happened at that time it was president clinton from your state of arkansas. at that time i said that i thought it would probably be the most important vote i'd cast as a united states senator, but i was wrong because i think my vote on wednesday, the day after tomorrow, to acquit president trump will be the most important vote of my career. i really believe that. over the past few weeks we considered impeachment. there's been a lot made of the fact that i was willing to vote to convict president clinton 20 years ago and yet to vote the other way about -- in the current process that we're under right now. now, putting morality question aside, this supposed debate highlights the central point of
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the differences in the impeachment process and why president trump should not be impeached. before clinton was even -- was even impeached, he admitted to the crime of perjury. this is a big difference because we have a president right now who has not admitted that. in fact, there's not really been accusations to be in that position. our debate then was about whether or not perjury was a high crime or misdemeanor. i believe it was, as i said then, the president should be held to the highest standard. but that was substantially different than the question before us today. the question put to us by the house managers is an evidentiary one. it's one that asks the question if, according to the evidence presented, there is a determination that president trump is guilty of a crime. and the answer is no. presidents should be held to the highest standard, but that standard can't be a false moving
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standard that isn't based on evidence or is established by a court of public opinion. and here's why i will vote to acquit. -- the president. the whole impeachment inquiry was initiated on the basis that president trump orchestrated the quid pro quo with ukraine's president during a phone call on july 25 of 2019. it's kind of confusing. a lot of people don't really understand what that's all about. but ukraine has had serious problems. you know what's happened -- the russians have been there mass murdering the ukraines for a long period of time. we've watched that happen. so they've put this thing together saying, well, there was an arrangement made, by president trump, well, if they would withhold the aid, and this
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would have been military aid to ukraine unless there was a deal they could make and, simply stated by the president of ukraine. now, the house managers spent 75% of their time on this point in driving home the importance of our partnership with ukraine, in talking about the russian aggression. now, that was plain wrong, but worse its hypocritical because there was nothing wrong with president trump's phone call with president zelensky. you might wonder how i can be so sure. it's simple. the house democrats' allegations were second-ed hand -- and that means -- they were hearsay. there was not one direct witness. in fact, they had 17 witnesses in the house of representatives and not one of them would make that assertion. now, the transcript speaks for itself. no evidence of a quid pro quo of any wrongdoing whatsoever, just as a president who understands
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both the importance of ukraine as an ally and the importance of rooting out corruption. now, president zelensky said publicly that he felt no pressure. he testified to this, that trump to investigate anything in exchange for foreign aid. now, you have to keep in mind that we have a very conservative president. he doesn't just dish out to everybody the foreign aid that they need. in this case, there was a necessity to have it. military aid, we couldn't get any military aid from president obama. all he wanted to send was blankets and k-rations -- well, they don't have k-rations anymore. they call them something else. but, nonetheless, there wasn't going to be military aid to them, so the trump administration placed a brief, temporary hold on the aid to ukraine to ensure that the
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american tax dollars -- taxpayers were not going to be abused. now, this is very significant. he did this to ukraine, making sure that the amount of money that was sent in there is going to be used properly and the amount of aid that we are -- military aid was going to be used. but, at the same time, you got to keep in mind he was doing that with everybody else, too. he's just not a fast-spending president. he's going to make sure that things have to be made in accordance with the needs. in fact, in other times, he withheld the same type of thing, financial aid, to afghanistan, south korea, el salvador, honduras, guatemala, lebanon, and pakistan. so the fact that he did with ukraine was consistent with his other policies. this is what i does and what he's always done. i'm confident that this is because i've talked to president trump directly about it. see, i'm the chair of the senate armed services committee. the committee is responsible for
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authorizing lethal aid to ukraine. and i've been working on securing that lethal aid for a long period of time, dating back to 2014. 2014 we had a different president. it was president obama. and then the ukraine president, poroshenko, i can remember being in ukraine with poroshenko and talking to him about this and why it was necessary. and this is at the same time that russia was in ukraine and was mass-killing the ukraines. so i went to president obama to get help. and he wouldn't do t he didn't want to send any kind of military aid. instead, as he said is over and over again, we talk about blankets and k-rations. well, when president trump came into office, he changed it all. he is the first president to extend lethal aid to ukraine. he has been a partner with them helping them withstand
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aggression. i bring this up because during the first days of the presentation by the house managers, about 75% of that time was spent on this issue talking about his lack of support for ukraine when this president has been supporting ukraine. and the house managers that were serving in the house at that time, this is significant. of the house managers, seven or eight of them -- however many that was -- that would have been sitting right over here for the last week, they were all talking about things they wanted to do for ukraine and yet the first vote that was taken was the senate armed services committee vote of 2016. and it happened to be that the democrats, the very three democrats that were serving at that time voted against it. they didn't vote for it. so this is the type of thing you get when this hate-motivated stuff was going on for such a long period of time. the house didn't approve --
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didn't prove trump committed a crime. i'm the first to admit i'm not a lawyer. sometimes i think that plays to my advantage. i look at things in a different way. i try to just inject a little bit of common sense. i listened to the lawyers and quite frankly, some of them i didn't understand what they were saying. but i do know pretty much what's going on around here. and in this case, the reasons behind why the president should not be impeached are common sense. he didn't commit a crime. in that -- and that came not just from me. you'd expect me to say that. but that came from others that were well-respected attorneys that were involved on each side of this case. and each of the -- in each of the past impeachment cases, the house of representatives accused the president, johnson, nixon, and clinton of committing a crime. now, this president didn't commit a crime. but nixon did. he admitted he did.
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so all those things that have happened in the recent history has -- they have been crimes. but not this president. the democrats have wanted to impeach president trump since before he took office. i think it was a witness that we had today -- i believe it was today. they were talking about -- and they had kind of a visual up here that showed all the people who have been trying to impeach president trump ever since he took office. i'm talking about the first week he was in office. it was all documented up there. so they're still at it and i have no doubt they'll continue to do that. but it's not going to work. it didn't work in this case. democrats have wanted to impeach him since he took office. "the washington post" reported the concerted effort by the left-wing advocacy groups to move toward impeachment of the president only minutes after his
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inauguration. so they've been looking, looking, looking for a reason to impeach president trump. now, i think that one of the stars of this testimony that went on was this alan dershowitz. he's one who's held in the highest regard. he's law professor at the -- at harvard university, and he -- he is a strong democrat. he is not a republican. the first thing he did was admit that he voted for hillary clinton in 2016. so that qualifies him in a different way than most of the people who are here as witnesses. he was direct in his presentation and shredded the democrats' case. he made it clear, abuse of power should be a political weapon suited for a campaign, not impeachment, as abuse of power is not a crime or impeachable conduct. dershowitz also explained that virtually every president since president washington could have been accused of impeachment if
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they used the criteria that the house managers -- the ones that were sitting over here -- were using. they said that -- and so that was a level that could not be used or it would have affected every other president, had it been used at that time. he also had an important comment on whether or not we needed to hear sworn testimony from john bolton. this is what he said. this is a quote by dershowitz. he said, nothing in the bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of abuse of power or an impeachable offense, unquote. that's alan dershowitz. it's clear that the president -- that president trump must be acquitted of the charges -- the charge of abuse of power on its merits. a vote to convict in this case would be a dangerous precedent. so i would say time and time again the trial of the house managers have preached at us that truth matters, that the
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facts matter, that we must convict the president and remove him from office. in fact, the house managers' closing arguments tried to keep -- i tried to keep count of every time they made the accusations using the words "cheat, obstruction, crimes" and so many times i never did -- i lost track. but truth matters, not just because you say the president has committed a crime. it doesn't make it true. so here is what is true. this has been a partisan process from the start -- from start to finish. compare that to the past. the impeachment inquiry against president nixon was authorized by a vote of 410-4 in the united states congress, an overwhelming bipartisan vote. same thing was true in clinton. they had 31 democrats voted to impeach the president. yet in the vote of the impeachment inquiry, the final vote to impeach president trump was strictly partisan.
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not a single house member voted to impeach the president on the contrary every house democrat did. no republicans did. the house democrats did. it is right down party lines. i have listened to the facts and i've listened to the evidence, and i'm convinced president trump has not committed a crime. all the legal minds that were in testimony pretty much agreed with that, including dershowitz. i think, though, it has to be said there is a hatred for trump. we have to admit it. there's something about him a lot of people don't like, yet it's his demeanor, it's his style. i understand that. but when you listen to the substance -- when you look at what he has done, right now rebuilding the military, including killing the top terrorist. you know, i'm particularly sensitive to this because this is my committee that we watched him -- what's he has done to the
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military. back during the obama administration, using constant dollars, during the last five years of his eight-year tenure, he actually reduced the spending of the military by 25%. i don't think that's ever been done in the history of this country, except maybe immediately following world war ii. and yet there he is rebuilding the military and we're right now back where we are competitive now. i have to admit, though, that during those last five years of obama, that we really hurt ourselves in terms of our relationships, in terms of china and russia taking the leadership positions that they have taken. confirming constitutional judges. 1867 judges in the -- 187 judges in the last three years. that's a record. hasn't been done before. oddly enough, these are judges that have actually read the constitution. that's a novel idea. the best economy we've had in decades. i would say -- last week we went
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through 3.5% urge employment. we used to consider 4% unemployment as being fully employed. and yet we have not been down -- i don't even have a memory as to when it's been down to 3.5%. the new trade deal that we did. that's new. it shows that we are getting things done. we have more americans working today than ever before. and the median household income is the highest it's ever been. so we're going to have a vote, a very significant vote, ons wednesday. i think you know how i'm going to vote. i'm going to vote to acquit the president on both articles of impeachment. and that will be a very significant vote. with that, i'll yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: i ask unanimous consent that my full statement be included in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: mr. president, constitutional experts will be debating president trump's misconduct for generations to
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come. but i think they'll reach consensus as to the misconduct of the united states senate in the trump impeachment. this is the first time in the history of impeachment that no witnesses and documents were allowed to be called by the united states senate. it violates the constitution in the impeachment trial of donald trump but its failure to hold a constitutionally fair trial. i had the opportunity to present, as a house manager, an impeachment case here in the united states senate son a direct court judge by the name of nixon. i remember when i appeared before the senate, i was cautioned immediately, even though judge nixon had been convicted in a criminal court of a bribery type of offense, that it was incumbent for us to present the witnesses and documents in the united states senate, that the senate would conduct its own record in
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regards to the proceedings. and yet here we are not having witnesses in the president impeachment trial. we have some help from the supreme court on this. and the nixon case, the richard nixon versus the u.s. case, there was a concurring opinion by justice white. justicjustice white said that tm try as used in article 1, section 3, clause 6 meant the senate should conduct a proceeding in a manner that is a reasonable judge would deem a trial. we failed to conduct a constitutionally fair trial here in the united states senate. and we can look to the president's own counsel here for help in evaluating our own conduct of this trial. house counsel -- president's counsel philbin said that you need to cross-examine witnesses in order to get to the truth. we had no witnesses under oath,
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no witnesses cross-examined. and the tragedy here, if the president is acquitted, it will always be a question as to whether this was a legitimate trial here in the united states senate. let me just spend a moment to compare the impeachment proceedings on president clinton versus those of president trump. in president clinton there was a trial in the senate. it was acknowledged to be fair. witnesses were called. president clinton and his administration officials had testified under oath subject to cross-examination. president clinton showed remorse for his conduct and apologized for his misconduct. and president clinton's misconduct was personal in nature. compare that to president trump. he blocked all witnesses and documents and then through counsel prevented the senate trial from calling any witnesses or producing any documents. he has never shown any remorse, even though most senators here know that what he did was wrong. he has shown no remorse
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whatsoever. and his misconduct was the abuse of his office for personal gain to get a foreign power to help in his election campaign. let me go through article 1 briefly. article 1 states that he solicited a foreign government, ukraine, to interfere in the 2020 elections by publicly announcing investigations that would benefit his reelection conditioned on official u.s. government acts of significant value to ukraine. now, the house managers have submitted a voluminous amount of information that supports that, and i refer to that in my attached statements. i won't spend the time here to go through that. but even the full record which is enough to establish the charges, there's other issues that add to the president committing these acts. first, the president issued, as i've mentioned before, a blanket obstruction to any witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the president's conduct in these articles from providing testimony here in the united
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states senate. yes, we can iniffer that the president had excult toar witness, he would have produced those exculpatory witnesses. secondly, the president's impeachment attorney, mr. sekulow said, and i'm going to quote, you cannot view this case in vacuum. end quote. and i agree. the president has consistently misrepresented the facts and defamed anyone who challenges him. let me just give you one concrete example, the mueller investigation which has been cited in this impeachment trial. the president denies russia's initial involvement into our elections. he resisted efforts to hold russia accountable. he defamed the reputation of the special counsel. he willfully impeded the investigation. he attacked the integrity of our intelligence and law enforcement agencies. and he claimed wrongfully that the investigation exonerated him. he's done it over and over again. the findings in the report speak to a contrary conclusion.
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it says russia interfered in our elections, 2016 elections in a sweeping and systematic fashion. it says, and i quote, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. there's numerous instances where the president may have obstructed justice but we left the further pursuit of that to congress or a prosecutor after he leaves office. the president's pattern since he's taken office is to mislead, misstate facts and act as a bully against those who have anything to say against him that he does not like. it makes it easier for us to understand how the scheme, the illegal scheme in article 1 unfolded. i have one additional fact of why this points to establishing the facts. the president consistently has shown no remorse. he continually tells us that the summary of the july 25 shows a perfect call.
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we know how controversial that call was. it was far from perfect. now, the next hurdle was is this an impeachable offense. i concluded that it was, that it's an abuse of power which is an abuse of trust which is clearly what our founders intended as a high crime and misdemeanor in office. now, the president's own analysis of this leads that the only conclusion that abuse of power must be an impeachable offense. i say that because we had the president's counsel once again, professor dershowitz, who tells us that if it's not an abuse of power, it's not an impeachable offense, where could that lead and professor dershowitz said your election is in the public interest. if the president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment. well, that's an absurd situation if you adopt the logic of the president's counsel that abuse of power is not an impeachable
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offense. it clearly is an impeachable offense. the president's conduct has jeopardized america's global leadership and -- our values are our strength. i this thought it was telling the conversation of ambassador volker with andriy yermak who is counsel to president zelensky of ukraine when ambassador volker said don't start an investigation of ukraine on your opponent in your election because that will -- sow this division in your community. and mr. yermak responded, you mean like asking us to investigate clinton and biden? the president -- president trump's conduct has endangered our national security, our global leadership on american values. now, in order cal -- in article 2, this is a lot easier, obstruction of congress, because the facts clearly establish that the president's blanket obstruction which he orchestrated denying any access to individuals or documents in
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order to facilitate a cover-up of what was uncovered under article 1 of the articles of impeachment. it's essential for congress to carry out our responsibilities to be able to get that type of information from the president. it's exactly what the framers of our constitution when they developed the checks and balances in our system intended, that there would be no branch that would have absolute power. we do not have a monarch. so president trump has crossed the line. his personal interests over the country's interests. he used the power of his office for his own personal benefit. no one is above the law. we must act to protect the constitution and our democratic system of government. it's with a heavy heart i will support both articles of impeachment. i yield the floor. mrs. loeffler: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mrs. loeffler: i am honored and humble to stand before you today as georgia's and our country's newest united states senator.
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as the 100th senator, i have spent the least time in washington, but as the least senior senator, i am also the most recently attached to the private sector where the vast majority of americans live and work. i am intensely aware of the needs and the expectations that americans hold for us. just two months ago, i left nearly a three decade business career to serve the great people of georgia and our nation, but being here in this respected, historic chamber is a very long way from where i started. i was born and raised as the fourth generation of corn and soybean farmers and i grew up working in our fields and with our cattle in the feed lot. i waitressed and sold watches and shoes to put myself through school. and then i moved around the country to pursue my dream of a
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business career. i've been a job seeker and a job creator. i haven't spent my life trying to get to washington. but i worked hard to stand where i am today. i have lived the american dream and each day i remember where i came from and i am proud of my beginnings. while i'm an outsider to politic, i'm not new to getting results. i came here to get things done for the people of georgia. so why does all of this matter today? in this historic moment, right now, just two days from my vote to acquit president trump? because for months and sadly years for many, members of congress who were meant to serve the american people have been tied up in a political game. there is much to regret here. the house's fault urgency to push through deficient articles only to ask for more time, more evidence, more testimony, the
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deception of the house managers who are more focused on political power than they are on pursuing the facts, the media who ran with the narrative democrats planted with selective unlawful leaks, for the last 132 days congress has been neglecting the american people. i came here to get things done for georgians, but for the last two weeks we've been stuck in the senate chamber working on something that most americans have little interest in. as my notebook filled up, i thought to myself, how did this case even make it to the senate? when i've been around the state, it's very clear this is not what people at home care about. georgians aren't losing sleep over a call the president made or questioning his constitutional right to conduct foreign policy. they're concerned with taking care of their families, their jobs, their freedom to chef the american dream, and live the
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lives they imagined. i think of young kids whether in the inner city or on a farm or in the suburbs, what example are we setting in washington? why should employers feel that washington cares about job creation when there's a neglect of the engine that makes america strong? why are we here? we are public servants charged with protecting the constitution and our country, and i hope in the process bettering the lives of all americans. despite this monumental distraction, this administration has worked tirelessly to move our country forward. last week the president signed into law the unite united states-mexico-canada agreement and sadly this sat on the desk of speaker pelosi for one year denying american farmers and workers untold economic opportunity. last month the administration completed a phase one deal with china now holding china
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accountable for unfair trade practices and adding to our thriving economy. and for three years as president -- as democrats focused on taking down a duly elected president, president trump's pro-growth policies have given us a booming economy. these policies have resulted in record employment, seven million new job, a blue-collar boom that is lifting up hardworking americans. this administration charges on but it needs congress' support if america is to move on with the american dream for all. with that in mind, i say enough. let's put our trust in the american people. they are the ones who should make the judgment about the president and they will do that in nine months. let's not be so arrogant as to take that decision away from the american people. instead, let's focus all of our energies on improving their lives. impeachment does not do that.
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it's time to move on. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. a senator: mr. president, thank you for the recognition. today i come before this body with a deep sadness that this institution has failed the constitution and failed the american people. mr. udall: we have reached a low point in our history. we failed to hold a fair and honest impeachment trial. and we are nearing a vote where we will fail to hold the president accountable for his abuse of power and a cover-up. thanks to the senate republican
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majority, this body is complicit in that cover-up. refusing to call witnesses and obtain documents to get the full truth. how can we turn a blind eye to the truth? as we cast one of the most important votes we will ever take. yes, mr. president, we are approaching a sad day for this body and for this country. but to those across the country who feel profoundly angry and saddened by this miscarriage of justice, my message is this. do not give up. do not stop fighting to save our democracy. because america is worth the fight. america is worth the fight. make no mistake try as they might to cover it up, the full truth will come
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out, and the facts have already been -- the facts that have already been revealed have damning. the president's handpicked ambassador, gordon sondland, testified, quote, everyone was in the loop, end quote. the more we find out, the more revealing his testimony becomes. not only is the president implicated, so is the vice president and the secretary of state and the attorney general and the president's acting chief of staff and his former energy secretary and even the white house counsel, the lead lawyer in this very proceeding. this is a pandora's box the republican party is fighting to keep shut. but it will not stay shut. the president's misdeeds and his wide circle of accomplices will
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go down as one of the ugliest episodes in america's history. even now, the evidence gathered by the house that the president abused his office and taxpayer funds for personal gain is staggering. ambassador sondland didn't sugarcoat the truth. was there a quid pro quo? the answer is yes. that was his quote. using official power for personal gain, that is the very essence of abuse of power. and that's precisely what this president did. that's hardly even ins spews. the evidence -- that's hardly even in dispute. the evidence is overwhelming. the president first withheld a coveted meeting until the ukrainian president would announce investigations into the bidens and the debunked conspiracy theory that ukraine, not russia, interfered in our
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2016 election. the president next withheld congressionally appropriated military aid illegally to try and force the ukrainian president into making the announcement of the investigations. the independent government accountability office confirmed that the president acted illegally. the president threatened our national security, the security of an ally, and the integrity of our next presidential election. how much more could be at stake? ukrainian officials began asking about the aid only hours after the president's now-infamous july 25 call with president zelensky. that's according to laura cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for russia, ukraine, and eurasia. a former deputy foreign minister
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in ukraine reports ukraine knew of the freeze in july, and the whole world knew once the story broke the news on august 28. fortunately, the president got caught and was forced to release the aid. he got caught red-handed and immediately commenced a scorched-earth blockade in congress and the courts to cover up his grave misdeeds. again, the facts are not in dispute. so, mr. president, knowing that these are some of the most serious and solemn words i will ever say or utter on this floor, i will vote to convict the president on both articles of impeachment. he is guilty by any standard. if he is allowed to act with impunity, he will be a
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continuing threat to the sanctity of our democracy. he is patently unfit to hold the highest office in our land. while the senate may vote to acquit him, he will not be exonerated, not by this sham trial. while the senate may vote to acquit the president, history will not. now, snow showers on the other side now, senators on the other side of the aisle are admitting they believe the president is guilty, that the house managers proved their case but these same senators did not vote to hear witnesses and get documents. they will fail to hold the president accountable for the wrongdoing they now say he is guilty of. this is one of the worst abuses of presidential power in our nation's history. this is as bad as or worse than
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nixon's president nixon's. nixon tried to corrupt the 1972 election and cover it up, but he didn't try to extort an ally or invite foreign interference in our election. at that time members of his party, with courage, refused to turn a blind eye. the republican party of today bears no resemblance to the party of howard baker, who insisted on getting to the truth. howard asked, what did the president know and when did he know it? it bears no resemblance to the party of barry goldwater and hugh scott who went to nixon to tell him the republican party could no longer protect him from impeachment and removal. i'm grateful to the honorable officials who had the courage to act this time around, who defied the president's order not to come forward -- ambassador
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yovanovitch, lieutenant colonel vindman, ambassador taylor, mr. kent, and the others. they risked their careers and even their personal safety. we should at least -- at least -- show the same courage because the consequences of failing to hold this president to account could not be graver. the guardrails have been taken off. the president invited russian interference in the 2016 election and invited chinese interference in the upcoming 2020 election. he said on national television he would probably take foreign interference again. he is unapologetic and unrepent and the. -- and the unrepen tant. what is he going to do next once the senate republicans let him get away with this abuse, once we show that we are no longer a
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coequal branch? we have never ceded so much power to the executive. you can rest assured this president, of all presidents, will use that power and abuse it. take his word for it. he said, and i quote, article 2 allows me to do whatever i want, end quote. pulitzer prize-winning presidential historian jon meacham said that the president is now -- and this is his quote -- quote, functionally a monarch, end quote. that is stunning. again, mr. president, these are sad days for our nation. but as i said at the outset, we cannot and will not cede our democracy, concede our democracy. we cannot and will not concede the values and principles that make this nation strong.
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we must restore the balance of power in our government. we must restore accountability. most importantly, we must start doing the work the american people sent us here to do. our institutions are not representing what the american people want. senate republicans refusal -- senate republicans' refusal to hold a fair impeachment trial, which is what 75% of the american people wanted, is just the latest example. so while the senate and the constitution took a terrible battering the last two weeks, i'm even more committed to breathing life into our shared principles of representative government. i'm going to continue the fight to take obscene amounts of secret money out of our elections, to make it easier to vote, and to bring power back to the american people and not hand it over to an imperial presidency.
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the senate will have future opportunities to restore our constitutional system. the only question is whether senators will rise to the occasion. mr. president, i note theate th. the presiding officer: without objection, the senator from new york is recognized. mrs. gillibrand: colleagues, over the past few weeks, we have conducted the third impeachment trial in our entire nation's history for a president. let's be perfectly clear about something. democrats did not want to impeach president trump. from the start, efforts to begin an impeachment inquiry in the house were met with resistance -- until the president's reckless behavior and unprecedented actions forced the speaker's hand.

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