tv U.S. Senate Sen. Blumenthal on Impeachment CSPAN February 4, 2020 6:32pm-6:52pm EST
let us ask ourselves today, do hamilton and madison and franklin walk these halls and midnight. do these founding fathers walk these quarters thisld great building, and rule of law and if they do, they caution us as they always have to be careful to avoid rash decisions. to resist the urges of partisanship and to let the constitution work. i hope my colleagues will heat their accounts. i yield the floor. >> as we think back over these last weeks when we have sat together on the floor considering evidence, and sitting in judgment as jurors
and judges, spending countless hours deliberating. i often think about what i will remember from these days on a very personal level. it has been a historical event but in some ways, the human element strikes me as the most memorable. i will remember the bravery of dedicated public servants. who had everything to lose and b nothing to gain by telling the american people the truth. the truth about donald trump. in his scheme to corruptly use our first personal benefit. their courage, right under pressure and unshakable honesty.
to be a model for all of us. i will remember for example, col. alexander, he appeared before us, man who was brought at the age of three, and grew to love this country so much that he put his life at risk in combat and then his career at risk by coming before the congress. i will remember fiona help, daughter of a coalminer and a nurse, who proceeded to get a phd sort of to this country serving in both republican and democratic administration morning us not to peddle the fictional narrative.
and perpetrated and propagated that she said, and i am quoting by the r russian security servis themselves about this supposed ukrainian effort to meddle in our election. i will remember very vividly ambassador taylor, decorated vietnam war veteran who testified that he thought it was crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a a political campaign. i will remember thee whistleblower who came forward to express shock and alarm that the president of the united states would attempt to extort a vulnerable democracy to help him cheat in the next election in exchange for the foreign military aid they so desperately
needed to fight their adversary, russia, our adversary, russia, attacking and killing their young men and women. i have met some of those young men and women who came to connecticut to the center at bridgeport hospital so badly injured they could barely talk. the stories of their suffering and hardship came back to me as a seven the floor here. t in their courage and their bravery and strength also will stay with me. i will remember the moment that we raise our hands and took an oath to be impartial all 100 of us. ninety-nine at the same time in
a historical moment when the weight of that responsibility shook me like a rock. enwill remember also the shame and sadness that i felt when this body supposedly the greatest body in the history of the world voted to close its eyes to put on blinders, to evidence, witnesses and documents, firsthand knowledge, eyes and ears on the president. black and white. documents don't lie. they were necessary to understand the complete story and give the american people the complete truth. that moment unfortunately, a moment of dismay and disappointment will stay with me as well after aspiring for so long to be part of this body.
i respected and revered it. so utterly failing the o americn people at this moment of crisis and i will remember the audible gassed, raised eyebrows in this chamber when helen made the incredible shocking argument that a president who believed that his own reelection serves the public interest can do anything he wants. and his actions are not impeachable. the implications of that argument in the future of our democracy are simply indescribable. i have spent most of my career
in and out of the courtroom so i can argue that locality but i am not here to rehash the legal arguments because probability here seems pretty clear to me. the president solicited a bribe when he sought a personal benefit an investigation of his political opponent, a smear of his arrival in exchange for an official act in fact to official acts, the relief of military funding or an ally, and a white house meeting in return for that personal benefit. those actions are violations of section two oh one united states code. and today they were a violation tiof criminal law at the time of
the framers and that is why they put it in the constitution. bribery and treason, specifically mentioned, bribery is included as an abuse of power. as it was when the judge was convicted and impeached and many of the members of this chamber voted to impeach him although bribery was never mentioned inn the articles charging him with abuse of power. the idea of the bribery any crime has to be mentioned, for to be in abuse of power clearly is prosperous.er the ailments of bribery have been proved in my view beyond a reasonable doubt. and there is no excuse for that criminal conduct. i will submit ahe detailed statement for the record that makes a legal case but clearly
bribery has been committed by this president. what strikes me perhaps looking beyond the legality at the most telling here. it is the constant theme of secrecy. the fact that the president kept his reasons for withholding aid a secret unlike other suspensions of aid to other countries like the northern triangle and central american or egypt, where was announced publicly in congress was notified. here he kept it secret. he operated through his personal attorney, rudy giuliani, and secret. not through the state department rt through the department of justice. despite all of his claims of corruption and wrongdoing by hunter or joe biden, he either
never went to the department of justice or they declined to investigate because there was no thing there. instead he sought secretly the investigation of political rival to a foreign government. targeting a u.s. citizen, secretly. his refusal to provide a single document to congress without a single witness to testify, keeping their testimony and then evidence secret, concealing it in his defiance of every subpoena in court effectively neutering congresses oversight authority are oversight authority to check any of these abuses, all of it. this was for the purpose of secrecy. his claim of absolute community, totally discredited. and rejected by the courts because the court said, he is
not a king, his claim of executive privilege is the reason for keeping that evidence secret. he never really invoked executive privilege. but executive privilege cannot be invoked to conceal criminal conduct. this is within the crime of fraud exceptions. and while the president's lawyers argued before this body that the house should have gone to court, to enforce those subpoenas instead of resorting to the remedy of impeachment, then then the audacity to simultaneously and exactly the same time arguing court, the congress cannot seek a judicial remedy. to enforce themp subpoenas becae they had the revision date of impeachment. no jurisdiction because of
impeachment and at the same time, no access to evidence necessary for impeachment because it supposedly, you can go to court. this duplicity is absolutely stunning. i will say again on a personal note, as a prosecutor, it is a dead giveaway. he is guilty. regardless of what we do tomorrow, we know for sure in this great democracy the truth will come out. it always does. it is just a question of when. it comes out about all of us. at some point. for this president, the truth is coming out in real time as we speak on this floor. as we vote tomorrow.
the revelation in your times is about what john bolton has written in his book indicates the truth is going to come out in mid march with john bolton spoke. assuming the president doesn't try to censor it and tie them up in court or exercise some prior restraint. it will come out in congressional investigations when john bolton testified, ill, because there are courageous men and women like ambassador taylor and the nfl and col. denman, and others. people who are willing to put country ahead of the personal careers. when my children grow up, and they are pretty wellor grown, i hope they will be more like them
than like the president. i never ever, but i would say that in the senate of the united states let alone, anywhere. because this president has shown that he will take advantage of every opportunity for self enrichment and self whether it is violating classes and have sued along with hundred and 99 of my colleagues on the issue making money from the presidency profiting and putting profit ahead it's official duty. fort speaking seeking to smear a political rival and soliciting a bribe, even if the aide went through and even if the investigation was never announced, it is still a crime.
putting that kind of stuff benefit and it is duty to the country international security,t welfare and fight of an alley, at the tip of the spear against the common adversaries who seeking to destroy western democracy. he is someone who is said show me the boundaries of the law and i will push them. and if i can successfully cross them, i will do it again. and he will do it again and everyone in this chamber knows it. so as we make this decision, i for each of my colleagues to think about the gravity of what we will do if we fail to convict this president. the message that we send to countries struggling to overcome
corruption, because in america is more than just a country. america is an idea in an ideal and when we import them, to fight corruption, our credibility is treaded when we condone it home. the framers and the wisdom knew that elections every four years were in indented inadequate a check against any president who corruptly abuses power for personal gain in this situationd this president is exactly what they feared when our young couny was struggling to avoid foreign interference in our election. it was their worst nightmare. foreign interference.
the threat of foreign meddling. exactly what this president has invited. it was delegated william of north carolina who said, if he did not impeachable whilst in office, he was fair no efforts or means whatever to get himself reelected. it was precisely treating if future election in our domestic affairs that the framers established impeachment to permit and that is why the remedy exists. and that is why we must use it now. history will judge us harshly. iff we fail in this historic challenge.
history will haunt the colleagues who failed to meet this challenge, who lacked the courage that was demonstrated by those heroes. they were tailored benjamin, bill, cooper. and they will continue to server our country and the truth will come out. the heroes of this dark erail wl be our independent judiciaries and free press. they will continue uncovering the truth, they will continue providing freedom of informati information, materials under the law. they will continue to protect civil rights and civil liberties. they will continue to vigilance. even if we fail in ours. we have this task now. history will sit in judgment in
the future of our republic, will be in jeopardy if we fail tomorrow to do the right thing. thank you madam president, i yield the floor. >> the constitutional duty of these each senator to weigh the evidence before us and render a final verdict on the two articles of impeachment. on the charge of abuse of power, the house managers have presented overwhelming evidence a quote mountain of evidence as senator alexander has said. for anyone with eyes to see or ears to hear, president trump undoubtedly is the power of the presidency to withhold vital taxpayer-funded military aid from ukraine to extort this gove