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tv   Impeachment Inquiry House Hearings Impeachment Hearing With Amb. Gordon...  CSPAN  November 20, 2019 1:04pm-3:57pm EST

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we still on the generic part of the continuum? >> i don't know. i believe that by then we were talking about burisma and 2016 to be candid. >> but not biden? >> no, not biden, no. >> and then turning to the e-mail of august 11th. >> yeah, got it. >> sorry, we just dealt with that. august 22nd. >> 22nd. >> it is page 23 of the opener. >> yeah, i got it. a >> and this is where you were requesting a pull aside for the president, and this is when the president -- >> he was going to go. >> this is before the hurricane bumped that off of his schedule. and i would ask zelensky to look him in the eye and once the new ukraine justice folks are in place, zelensky should be able
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to move pub lekly an confidently with the importance of issues of the president and the united states, and that is going to hopefully break the logjam, but at this point in time, the issues of importance to the president of the united states were what? >> that the two investigations. >> but nothing to do with vice president biden, right? >> again, i didn't make the connection there. >> i want to pivot briefly to the president's concerns about foreign assistance. undersecretary hale who will be with us here later today testified that during this
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relevant time frame, there was a real focus to re-examine all of the federal aid programs. are you aware of the interest of the president? >> i am aware of the president's skepticism of foreign aid and conditioning it on certain things. i am generally aware of that, yes. >> and ambassador hale testified and his testimony has been public. almost a zero-based concept. each assistance program, and each country that receives the assistance is evaluated. we avoid nation-building and not provide assistance to countries that are lost to us in terms of the policy, whether it is because corruption or you know another reason. is that something that you were aware of at the time? >> generally, yes. >> and you were aware that the
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president is concerned about the european allies contributions to the region? >> exactly why i was involved. >> so as we are getting down to september 11th, andare advocating that the pause be lifted? >> i didn't believe that the pause should ever have been put in place. >> and as we getting down to september 11th, and speaking with senator johnson and so forth, you don't know with genuine certainly the reason that the president was implementing the pause and it was not because of his concerns about the allies or the concerns about the foreign assistance generally or that he was not just trying to hold the aid as long as he could to see what he could, you know, what type of information he could get about those two subjects? >> fair enough. >> okay. i am trying to finish up so i can yield some time back. anything else?
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>> i have nothing else. >> thank you. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> let's take a 30-minute recess to allow ambassador sondland to get a bite to eat, and the members of the committee might like to have a bite to eat, and we will resume with the member rounds of questioning of five minutes, and if we could allow the witnesses to have the opportunity to leave the room first first. >> mr. chairman, ambassador sondland intended to fly back to brussels to resume his duties at the end of the day, and so it would be a great convenience to us if we could have a shorter break now and resume with the
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members' questions in time that he might be able to make his flight. >> i appreciate that, counsel. we all have a busy schedule these days, and the amount of questions should take slightly less than two hours so you should be good depending upon the fligtime of your flight, bu will endeavor to make the break as short as possible. if you would like to excuse yourself from the room before the rest of the crowd. we stand in recess.
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>> the announcement of a new investigation testifying how president zelensky would announce as ambassador sondland testified that ukraine would have to do with nothing new, and to the ranking member nunes' point that it came out from the office of management and budget to answer questions of why there is a hold on the aid to ukraine, and there was important
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information directly from the office of management and budget, and that transcript has not been released. so to have ambassador sondland to come here and say what his quote guess is regarding that hold on aid and not be able to reference at all the deposition transcript of mark sandy from the office of management and budget is intentionally withholding key information from the american public. the transcript should have been released before this morning's hearing even kicked off. >> and he said that there was a --
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the house intelligence committee is breaking for 30 minutes after four hours' testimony from the ambassador to the european union gordon sondland. when they come back, chairman schiff says they will begin the five-minute rounds there. are 22 members on the committee and looking at another hour and a half to two hours of testimony with the u.s. ambassador to the
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eu. we want to get your reaction to what you have heard so far. numbers are on the screen. we will get to the calls in a minute. this is president trump earlier with his reaction to mr. sondland's testimony. >> quickly, just a quick comment of what is going on in terms of the testimony with ambassador sondland and i just noticed one thing, and i would say that means it is all over. what do you want from ukraine, he asks me, screaming, what do you want from ukraine? i keep hearing all of the different ideas and theories. this is ambassador sondland speaking to me. just happened. to which i turned off the television. what do you want from ukraine, i keep hearing all of the different ideas and theories, what do you want? what do you want? it was a very short and abrupt conversation that he had with
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me. they said he was not a good mood. i am always in a good mood. i don't know what that is. he just said now he is talking about what is my response. so he is going, what do you want, what do you want? i hear all of the theories, what do you want? and now, here is my response that he gave. just gave. ready? you have the cameras rolling? i want nothing. that is what i want from ukraine. that is what i said. i want nothing. i said it twice. so he goes, and he asks me the question, what you want? what do you want? i keep hearing all of these thing, and he gets me and i do not know him well, and i have not spoken to him much, and not a man that i know well, but sheems like a nice guy, but i don't know him well. he was with other candidates and actually supported other candidates and not me, and came
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in late. here is my response. now, if you were not fake news, you would cover it properly. i say to the ambassador in response, i want nothing. i want nothing. i want no quid pro quo. tell zelensky, president zelensky to do the right thing. so that is my answer. i want nothing. i want nothing. i want no quid pro quo. tell zelensky to do the right thing. then he says this is the final word from the president of the united states. i want nothing. thank you, folks. have a good time, i am going to texas. >> president trump from earlier today before he flew to austin,
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texas, to visit an apple manufacturing plant there and his reaction to what he heard from the testimony of the u.s. ambassador to the eu, ambassador sondland and now it is your turn to tell washington what you think. rodney in california, democratic caller. you are up first. go ahead. >> caller: yes. hello. hello? >> good afternoon. go ahead. >> caller: thank you. good afternoon. first of all that little clip that you played about donald trump right now, you can hear the anger in his voice, and he is highly upset, and so the ambassador was definitely right in his testimony today. and i think that the guy, he just sounds a little skeptical only because of the state department won't give him his notes and his transcripts so he can be more complete. i mean, everybody operates different, you know. and the republicans are just, you know, just going basically on what this guy is saying, but
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they are hiding evidence if you ask me. but one thing that i am doing right now is writing a book called "the art of the wool." most people know what wool is. you pull the wool over people's eyes and the republicans want the wool pulled over their eyes. and it is a shame. but we all just want truth and justice, because that what we have to live by. and i don't know. i would just like to see the truth come out, the white house and the state department hand over these people's notes and all of the transcripts, and then we can get to the bottom of it, and it is all over, but if they keep the witnesses from testifying like bolton and a few others, blair, how are we going to get to the truth? i mean, that i trying to hide something. that is just my opinion, and this guy said that everybody was
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included, everybody was in on it, and that tells you that he knows something, but he won't let them have his notes so that he can give us a fair testimony. >> okay. rodney. all right. the committee room has cleared out from the lawmakers who have taken a break. you can still see some folks mingling about there as they wait for the hearing to resume. it is a 30-minute break, and when they come back, it will be the turn of the other lawmakers that sit on this committee. there is 22 of them, and 13 in the majority, and the democrats, and nine republicans, adam schiff and devin nunes, and the republican and democratic leadership will take another five minutes of questioning of ambassador sondland. walter in bridgeton, maine, republican, and before we go back to the committee and the hearing, and what you think? >> caller: i think it is all the democrats getting attention for the upcoming elections.
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adam schiff has had a news conference at the last break they had which shows the intent. it is publicity for the democrats. they should be looking into the democratic power structure like christoph christopher himes and biden's son, and whitey bulger's son, james bulger and his brother billy bulger, and those are the people they should be investigating instead of the president. >> okay. charles in lawler, iowa. >> caller: hello. >> hi. >> caller: yes, i have been watching this today. and i just kind of get a feeling that adam schiff is kind of making this as a personal vendetta against trump, and not really running a partisan, and it is a partisan investigation. and you know, i was not old
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enough to be around, and i was just a kid when this was happening to bill clinton, so i can't compare it to anything. but i just get the feeling that it is not very fair as far as presenting the information to the american people. it is very one-sided. as far as not being able to let the republicans, you know, call witnesses of their own, and it is little, and it is just coming offer as very partisan. >> what about today's testimony do you find unfair? or one-sided? >> caller: well, you know just the fact that i can't give a specific examples for today. you know, adam schiff just doesn't seem fair as far as letting the other side speak compared to the lenience that he
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is giving to the other side. >> okay. chris, democratic caller. >> caller: thank you for the coverage. i wanted to say a couple of things. first off, my frustration with this hearing as the gentleman said is speculation, and they just don't like us, and they want to just impeach the president, and that is all their motive is, and there is no response to the facts of the case. and today, i feel like the republicans were finally put in a position where they had to respond to the evidence that they had to speak to it, and all of this was just trying to impeach us, and this is just so they didn't want him to win, but they had to speak to the ed a evidence and that is what is better about the hearing today. >> jake in massachusetts, a
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republican. >> caller: good afternoon. i guess that what i have to say is that it is the most damning episode in the impeachment inquiry i think for the my side, even though i don't consider it my side. i believe in the truth, and i believe in justice. the republican side of the committee has floundered and seeing at the end counsel castor kind of flip his pages and sigh and ho-hum to himself, and go out with a whimper kind of encapsulated the first part of this impeachment hearing for today. >> jake, how old are you? >> caller: 28. >> and so you said my side, and did you vote for president trump in 2016? >> caller: i did not vote in 2016. i refused, but i did vote for romney and, what's his name, mccain. >> george w. bush.
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>> caller: no, mccain. i was too young for bush. >> steven in wheatland, pennsylvania. steven, what did you think? >> caller: i am here. >> hi. what did you think of the testimony so far today? >> caller: well, i would like to start by saying that i am not a demican or republicrat, and after i am 47 and dyslexic, and that makes me 74, i am appalled in the country, and the division is making me ill. what we are leaving as citizens to our children and grandchildren is pathetic. what i am watching is division and more division and i am going to speak to this through my podcast youtube channel that i will create in my own home, because i want people to wake up
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who voted in the last presidential election who are registered voters. where were the other folks? we have too many people in the country with their head in the sand, with their cell phones in their face listening to everybody else's opinion and they don't have an opinion themselves, because they are all too busy. i worked in the steel mill for 34 years and i have watched the country, and my brother with agent orange and veterans mistreated and immigration people mistreated and i look at a justice system that incarcerated more people per capita in the world than any place else. there is so much to fix. roads are falling. we need more airports. we need to come together and agree to disagree or vice versa and solve problems. i don't get this. i can't believe i live in
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america. >> okay. steven, who do you blame for the division? >> caller: 350 million people have to get off their butt and they have to go be participants. the minute that you elect somebody is the beginning of the participation and it is not to sit home and criticize what the other side whatever side that is. i am an american and not a political person. >> let me leave it there, steven, so i can get in other voices. em willily in colorado. democratic caller. have you been watching today. >> caller: yes, i have been watching today. >> what are you thinking? >> caller: i think today is a big day with sondland and it confirms that there is quid pro quo in this call, and what trump wanted is the investigations into the biden, and he was holding the aid in the ukraine
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over their heads. and it is not so relevant to be focusing on the bipartisanship of the way that the proceedings have been, but there is honestly some rules that adam schiff is clearly following to the way that these testimonies are run. it is not a bipartisan process, and it is just that he is following the rules. >> and emily, let me jump in that at, because the house passed a resolution that dictates the rules for the committee and how it operates today, and that is that, and remember that the democrats control the house, and so, what they say, how they want to run this is how it goes, because they have the votes to pass it through. so, the majority is getting 45 minutes run by adam schiff and the democratic counsel, and the minor gets the same amount of time run by nunes or the republican counsel. under the rules, they are not
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allowed to let any of the other committee members take any time of that 45 minute slot. the other committee members will get five minutes each, and five-minute rounds which is coming up next after this break. emily, go ahead. >> caller: well, i definitely think that i agree with one of the earlier callers that trump seemed flustered today, and it always seems that they are pushing the goalposts down or trying to downplay these events that took place, and it is definite definitely, and it is definitely calling into question the integrity here that trump has had. i don't know, i think that i guess that is all i have to say. >> and emily, before you go, are you there? >> caller: sure. i am here. >> how do you respond to the republicans pointing to the part of the testimony today where gordon sondland is asked, did the president, and did you have a conversation with the president where he said, and he conditioned the meeting, the aid
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on these investigation, and gordon sondland says no. he did not directly talk to the president about this. >> caller: right. >> what was your reaction to that? >> caller: well, my reaction is to that even if it was not him firsthand speaking to him about this, i think that we have had other people testify that's what, you know, came out in those calls, and that is what those calls were about regardless of whether sondland was directly involved. >> okay. carla in imperial beach, california, republican. >> caller: yes, hi. >> hi, carla. go ahead. >> caller: well, i think that president trump is flustered today, because he is being railroaded. president trump is a businessman running the country like a businessman. and the democrats don't like that. they want somebody in there that they can control. and he is not going to be
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controlled. the president is allowed to make decision on foreign policy without asking anyone. he is the commander in chief, and he makes those decisions. i think that democrats have made these rules, and they have been caught in so many lies, and they have passed the rules and not letting the other side pass any witnesses. >> carla, i have to jump in at this point, because adam schiff, the chair of the committee is back in his chair. and so back into the room, and live coverage is going to continue here on c-span3 live.
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the committee will come to order. we will now proceed to the five-minute member questioning. first, i wanted to recognize myself for five minutes. first of all, i wanted to clarify something for the record with respect to witness who testified on saturday, and that is mr. sandy, he is a career official with the office of management and budget, and he is today reviewing his transcript,
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an opportunity that we give all of the witnesses before their transcript is released to make sure that it is accurate and correct. as his deposition was only taken on saturday, and this the soonest that we could arrange this. and we did inform the minority yesterday that if they wished to use any of the questioning from mr. sandy's deposition, we would do sond a take the excerpts even prior to the witness going through it, and they chose to not take advantage of that opportunity, but this is the far more significant point, and that is he is not the top official at the office of management and budget responsible for releasing foreign assistance. those individuals are named vaught and duffy. both of those political appointees have been subpoenaed to testify and both of those political appointees have refused. in fact, as the deposition will make clear when the transcript is released at a certain point
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mr. sandy was taken out of at least one significant part of the process, but that transcript is going to be made available when he can complete the review and redact the official information from it. i wanted to ask a few questions and for our staff, because of the expanded round i had time to get through much of what i wanted to ask you, mr. ambassador, but with respect to the statement, you are going back and i mean you and others ambassador volker and others going back through the ukrainians to figure out what statement they would have to make to get the meeting, correct? >> correct. >> they understood that they would have to make the statement publicly in order to get the meeting? >> correct. >> and similarly, you testified that pretty much everyone could put two and two together and make four to understand that the military assistance was also conditioned on the public
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announcement of the two investigation, correct? >> that is my presumption. >> you put two and two together and you got four. >> yes. right. >> and so you are capable of putting two and two together, and so are the ukrainians and that i can put two and two together, as well, and they understood that there is a hold on the security assistance. there's testimony that they understood that in july or august, and it was without a doubt understood when it was made public in the newspaper, and they understood that the security assistance was held up, right? >> i don't know when they understood it, but presumably they did. >> well, certainly once it was public, they understood that the security assistance was withheld? >> once it was public, yes. i assume so. >> and that is one of issues brought up between the pence, and zelensky and in warsaw? >> i think that zelensky asked
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the question open ended like when do we get the money? >> so they understood that they didn't have the money yet, and it was approved by congress and there was a hold, but-year-old cot no give them an explanation? >> no, i could not. >> and so if they could not put two and two together, you did it for them, because you told them that in warsaw that they were going to need to make the public statement likely to get that aid released? >> i said that might presume to have to be done to get the aid released. >> because we have a lot of argue mentation here sh argumenttation that they didn't know, but the ukrainians if they had not put two and two together to make these statements they were not going to get the aid, correct? >> yes. >> mr. nunes. >> i yield to mr. ratcliffe.
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>> ambassador sondland, i am going to try to quickly move to summarize all of your communications with president trump as it relates to the inquiry, and of course, you can correct me if i get it wrong. on may 23rd, you had a group meeting that included a what you called the vanilla request about ending corruption involving ukrainian oligarchs, correct? >> correct. >> on july 25th, you called president trump to say that you were on the way to ukraine, but nothing of substance occurred in that call? >> correct. >> and on july 26th, you had a five-minute call at a restaurant that you did not originally remember, because according to statement this morning said did not strike me as significant at the time, but once refreshed, you recall that the primary person was a rapper called asap rocky. >> correct. >> and so reading from your deposition, you called president trump and asked, what do you want from ukraine and he
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responded, i want nothing. i want no quid pro quo. i want zelensky to do the right thing and do what he ran on. and what he ran on was fighting corruption, correct? >> correct. >> and then lastly on october 2nd in a random in-person meeting that you had an event for the finnish president, you ran into president trump and advised him that you had been called to testify before congress, and he said to you, good, go tell the truth. >> that is correct. >> and that is the entirety of your recollection of the direct communications with president trump about these matters? >> i may have had another call or meeting or two, but i, again, i wish, mr. radcliffe, i wish i had the record. >> but this is what you recall. >> so stop me if there is anything sinister or nefarious. a vanilla call, and i'm on the way to ukraine, and five-minute call that was not significant, but the primary purpose was to discuss a rapper, and then a call where the president said i want nothing, no quid pro quo
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and i want zelensky to do the right thing and i want him to do what he ran on and go tell the congress the truth. and anything sinister or nefarious about that? >> not the way you present it. >> and that is the truth the way it is? >> yes. >> and the reason that is important is because none of that is hearsay, speculation or opinion. that is direct evidence. ultimately, if this proceeds to the senate, that is what they will care about unlike this hearing which is based on the speculation, and presumption and opinion. this is direct testimony and direct evidence, and to that point, none of that included evidence about the bidens and none of that included evidence about military assistance, because president trump mentioned either of those to you, correct? >> that is correct. >> all right. so going back to the july 26th call, because it is going to be a spectacle tomorrow, you didn't remember it, because you did not
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strike it as significant at the time, and is that fair to say that if the president of the united states was asking you to do or say anything improper or unlawful that would have been significant to you? >> yes. >> and if that call was part of a bribery or extortion scheme that you were a part of as the democrats have alleged, you'd remember that as significant, wouldn't you? >> i was not a part, and i would have remembered. >> i understand that. i agree with you. and let's turn to the quid pro quo, because it has been reported in the papers that this is blockbuster testimony today about quid pro quo and new evidence. to be fair to you, ambassador sondland, according to your statement today, as you say on page 14 and as you testified previously, this is your opinion that there because quid pro quo, correct? >> the 2016 wreburisma, excuse the 2016 election and burisma in
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return for the white house meeting, correct. >> and so you have shared that before, and to that point to be clear again on the part of it that relates to military assistance though, you don't have any direct evidence from president trump about that part of? it is the two plus two part of the equation, part of the presumption? >> that is correct. >> all right. and you understand also that others disagreed, and yesterday we heard from mr. morrison and ambassador volker, and they testified that they did not see a quid pro quo, and you understand that? >> i understand that is what they said. >> and reasonable people could look at all of this and come to different conclusions, correct? >> correct. >> i yield back. >> mr. himes. >> thank you for testifying, and in your opening statement you said that mr. giuliani demand that ukraine make a public statement to announce to the
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public about a server, and investigations that you knew were important to the president. that last is important, no conditionality and no modifiers and mr. giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states, and mr. giuliani communicates in colorful terms, and what did mr. giuliani say to you to say that he is is expressing the desires the president of the united states? >> mr. himes, that was before i was in touch with mr. giuliani directly and this came from mr. volker, and others. >> so mr. volker told you that he was and subsequently when yow the transcript of the july dwiefbth conversation, you put it all together, and yeah, this is the desire of the president of the united states? >> after i saw the july 25th. >> right. other thing that is interesting
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here, the theme of your testimony today is that everybody knew and signed off which is a little different from what we've heard. we've heard from others that your effort was irregular, shadow foreign policy, characterized as a drug deal. that was not a democratic characterization, that was the national security adviser of the united states charactering it. you have said the secretary of state was not only aware but that he applauded you, good work, keep banging away. the secretary of state if this had been irregular, he would have put an end to it, and he he did not? >> the secretary of state was taking into account the totality of what i had been working on, you know, globally and saying you're doing a great job, including this. >> right. so he was aware of what you were
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doing, your doing a great job includes this? >> yes. >> he was validating this rather than saying it was irregular? >> we thought it was in the center zane why do you think the secretary of state thought that? >> why did he think -- >> why did he think this was a worthy thing to do when so many senior people including the national security adviser thought it was a drug deal? >> i don't know. you'd have to ask him. >> to your knowledge, did he have communecations with the president about this? >> i have no knowledge of his communications with the president. >> okay. let me take you to the july 26th call that we've talked a little bit about. you basically haven't disputed the mr. holmes' characterization of that report although perhaps the mention of biden you don't recall that. i'm actually pretty confident we'll get a trans script of that call. a conversation in public between a high profile ambassador and the president of the united states will be the top target
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for many foreign intelligence service us. because it's pretty sensitive stuff because this information could be used to embarrass the president or leverage public officials, my guess is we're going to see the transcript. our people are pretty good. if others have it, we will see this. until then all we've got is your recollection and the testimony of the other people there. so i'm curious about your frame of mind. this statement, the ambassador sondland agreed that the president did not give a fig, not the word used, about ukraine. is that a statement you might make? do you believe that the president doesn't give a fig about ukraine? >> are you counselor are you referring to the call or any conversation? >> so mr. holmes recounts, ambassador sondland agreed that the president did not give a fig about ukraine. fig was not the word used there.
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and i'm asking you whether it's plausible that he might have heard that because i'm asking you whether you believed that the president does not give a fig about ukraine? >> i don't -- i think that's too strong. i think that based on the may 23rd meeting, the president was down on ukraine for the reasons mentioned and would need a lot of convincing, and that's why we were pushing so hard for the meeting between the president and president zelensky. we thought once the two of them would meet, his impression, stock about ukraine would go up. >> what about this, ambassador sondland replied that he meet quote/unquote big stuff. that's what you meant by big stuff. we don't have the straitranscri. i suspect we will. do you believe the president really considers big stuff to be that which benefits him? >> i don't recall saying benefits him. >> i'mp asking whether you recalled.
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i'm asking whether it's plausible you said that, i'm asking what you believe right now, the president doesn't give a fig about ukraine and cares about the big stuff that benefits the president? do you believe that now? >> i really can't opine. >> i'm not asking for your opinion. i'm asking for your beliefs. i don't understand your question. i want to answer your question. i just don't understand it. >> let me try one more time. >> okay. >> do you believe what is alleged that will you said on this phone call, that the president cares primarily about stuff, the big stuff that benefits the president? is that a belief of you? >> i don't believe the president said that to me on the phone call. i was talking about a sap rocky and he mentioned investigations. i don't know -- i don't know why you're -- >> the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. con oeway. >> i yield six minutes to mr. jordan.
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>> i thank the gentleman for yielding. ambassador, when did it happen? >> what? >> the announcement? when did president zelensky announce that the investigation was going to happen? your opening statement, as i testified previously with regard to requested white house call, white house meeting, the answer is yes, there needed to be a public statement from president zelensky. when the chairman asked you about the assistance dollars you said there needed to be a public announcement from zelensky. when did that happen? >> never did. >> never did. they got the call on july 25th, the meeting on in the white house but in new york on september 25th, the money on september 11th. when did the meeting happen again? >> never did. >> you don't know who was in the meeting? >> which meeting are you referring to? >> the meeting that never happened? who was in it? you know how -- >> the people that weren't. >> you know how zelensky
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announced it? tweet it? press conference? could you know how that happened? you got all three of them wrong. they get the call, the get the meeting, they get the money. it's not two plus two. it's zero for three. i've never seen anything like this. you told mr. castor that the president never told you that the announcement had to happen to get anything. in fact, he didn't just not tell you that. he explicitly said the opposite. the gentleman from texas just read it. you said to the president of the united states, what do you want from ukraine? the president, i want nothing. i want no quid pro quo. i want zelensky to do the right thing. i want him to do what he ran on. what did he run on, ambassador sloond? >> transparency. >> and dealing with corruption, right? >> that's right. >> mr. castor raised another
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important point. why didn't you put that statement in your opening statement? i think you said you couldn't fit it in, is that right? said we might be here for 46 minutes instead of 45 minutes. >> it wasn't purposeful, trust me. >> what was's it wasn't? >> no. >> couldn't fit it in a 23-page opener? the most important statement, the president in a direct conversation with you about the issue at hand and the president says, what do you want from ukraine, mr. president? i want nothing. i want no quid pro quo. i want this new guy, brand new guy in politics, his party just took over, i want zelensky to do the right thing, i want him to run on and do what he ran on which is deal with corruption. and you can't find time to fit that in a 23-page opening statement. do you know what a quid pro quo is? >> i do. >> this for that? right? looks to me like ukraine got
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that three times and we -- there was no this. we didn't do anything. excuse me. they didn't have to do anything. i've never seen anything like this. and this is -- this is -- when the call came out, you all remember this, when the call came out, everyone said we're going to, quid pro quo. that was what was in the call. of course, of course that didn't happen. remember what they complaint said? remember what the memo said of the whistle-blower? this call was frightening, scary, all those things? none of that materialized. none of that materialized. i yield back. >> mr. sewel. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to dig a little deeper in this quid pro quo. did you not say in your opening statement and in previous testimony in closed-door
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hearing, that you thought there was a quid pro quo? >> i thought the quid pro quo was the white house visit in return for the 2016 dnc server and burisma investigation. >> so when you heard -- >> announcement. >> when you heard burisma, you did not see that as code for biden, the bidens? >> i did not. >> when did you even know that? is your testimony that you only realized that burisma included the bidens when the readout came out in september 25th? >> my testimony wasn't specific as to the date because i don't recall the date. it was very late in the game, though. >> september? >> i don't recall the date. >> so if i told you that the legal definition of bribery was an event of offering, giving, slitsing or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing an action of an individual holding a public or legal duty, do you believe that
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not only was it quid pro quo but it was bribery? >> i'm not a lawyer and i'm not going to characterize what something was or wasn't legally. >> you also said in your opening statement that secretary perry and yourself as well as ambassador volker worked with giuliani on the ukraine matter as -- at express direction of the president, is that right? >> that's correct. >> you also go on to say that we did not want to work with giuliani, simply put, we played the hand that we were dealt. what did you mean by that? and more importantly what did you think would happen if you did not play that hand? >> i think what you're asking me is, well, you asked it. >> i did ask it. >> what would happen if we didn't? it was very fragile with ukraine at the time. there was no new ambassador, the old ambassador had left. there was a new president.
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thought it was very, very important to shore up the relationship. >> in fact you actually said, did you on to say, we all understood if we refused to work with mr. giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relationships with the united states and ukraine. so quote, we followed the president's orders. did you see it as a directive? >> i saw it as the only pathway to moving forward on ukraine. >> so you would say that the thaefrts mr. giuliani was undertaking became a part of the formal ukraine/u.s. policy? >> i can't opine on that. all i can tell you is the president wanted us to communicate with mr. giuliani which is what we did. >> but you went on to say in your opening testimony that the suggestion you engaged in irregular or rogue diplomacy is false. so if in fact what giuliani was okay and proper, which is what you said, initially you all thought that what he was doing was not improper?
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>> we did not think it was improper. when i referred to the fact that i was not engaging in rogue diplomacy, by definition, that would meant that i would not have involved the state department and the white house. >> you're saying that everyone in the chain of command knew about giuliani's efforts to try to get the investigations into burisma and to -- you know, i'm just trying to figure out what you thought you were actually opining to? >> the president directored us to work with giuliani and the leadership and the state department were knowledgeable as was the nsc. >> what's interesting is ambassador taylor testified he knew nothing about it and clearly he would be in the chain of information if he was the ambassador to ukraine. at the end of the day, sir, with all due respect, you're the ambassador to the european union. why would he not o know about it? >> i don't know.
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>> he said there was a regular and irregular channel. >> he should have known about it. >> although you said that you did not want to work with mr. giuliani, you in fact did work with him? >> that's correct sbl and do . u >> and do you think that the essence of what he was trying to achieve was accomplished? >> i don't know what he was trying to achieve. >> you clearly had to have known, sir. if you think that this was going down the center lane as what you said, it was clearly important that we work with mr. giuliani to get what the president asked for, because it was a directive and an order, surely you must know whether or not mission was accomplished? >> well, i know what mr. giuliani communicated to us. >> and you thought that that was totally fine? did you really think it was okay -- >> can i answer your question? >> sure. >> you asked what mr. giuliani was trying to achieve. >> no. i asked whether you thought it was right for mr. giuliani to want to accomplish the efforts
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that he was involved in, which was to get them to investigate burisma and the 2016 election, as you said. >> all i can testify to is what i know that mr. giuliani told me directly or ambassador volker and others that was related to me. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. turner. >> ambassador sondland i want to walk through some of the portions of your testimony. because sometimes you seem to make direct connections and sometimes they seem to be dead ends. i kind of want to clear up what are the dead ends and bhar the direct connections. yesterday ambassador volker, who i consider to be very talented and a man of integrity, and i believe you do? >> i do. >> he testified that the president of the united states did not tie either a meeting with the president, a phone call or any aid, to investigations of burisma, 2016, or the bidens.
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that the president did not do that. and you've testified that the president did not tell you that he tied them either, correct? >> i did testify to that. although when ambassador volker and i were working on the statement and negotiating with the ukrainians, it was clear to ambassador volker that a meeting would not happen without the burisma in 2016. that was very clear to ambassador volker. >> how do you know that? what did he say to you? he says that was not clear. he says he was working on that, he knows that that's what the president wanted but he didn't have this as this was a yierks? >> requirement? >> i strongly disagree. it was absolutely a requirement. >> what about the aid? he said that they weren't tied? >> i didn't say they were con clusively tied either. i was presuming it. >> the president never told you
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they were tied? >> that's correct. >> your testimony is consistent and his is consistent, the president did not tie aid to investigations? >> that's correct. >> he also testified that he spoke to giuliani and giuliani did not relate that he was tying on behalf of the president or on the president's behalf, aid, and giuliani never said aid was tied to investigations. the question i have, for you is, did you ever have a conversation with giuliani that did not involve volker? your testimony is a lot of wes and us's. did you ever have a separate phone call that giuliani told you the aid was tied? volker says that wasr that never happened? >> i did have a few conversations. i don't recall how many because i don't have the records. with mr. giuliani directly when mr. volker wasn't available. >> and did giuliani say to you -- what were you going to say? >> i don't believe i testified that mr. giuliani told me that
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aid was tied. >> see, this is part of the problem, ambassador sondland. i want to walk you therough thi. you've said everyone was in the loop. hold on a second. i've listened to you today as a lot of people. not only are your answers somewhat circular, frequently you've contradicted yourself in your own answer. the text messages and emails you put up there, kurt volker put them up and has a completely different understanding than you. i'm alittle confused as to how everyone is in the loop. if giuliani didn't give you an express statement, it can't be you believe this from giuliani. is donald trump your friend? >> no, we're not friends. >> do you like the president? >> yes. >> okay. well you know, after you testified, chairman schiff ran out and gave a press conference and says he gets to impeach the president of the united states because of your testimony and if you pull up cnn today right now
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their banner says sondlond ties trump to withholding aid. is that your testimony? that you have evidence that donald trump tied the investigations to the aid? i don't think you're saying that? >> i've said repeatedly, congressman, i was presuming. i also said -- >> no one told you? giuliani? mulvaney? pompeo? nobody else on this planet told you that donald trump was tying aid to these investigations, is that correct? >> i think i already testified. >> answer the question. is it correct? no one on this planet told you that donald trump was tying this aid to the investigations? because if your answer is yes, then the chairman is wrong and the headline on cnn is wrong. no one on this planet told you that president trump was tying aid to investigations, yes or no? >> yes. >> so you really have no testimony today that ties
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president trump to a scheme to withhold aid from ukraine in exchange for these investigations? >> other than my own presumption. >> which nothing. that's what i don't understand. do you know what hearsay evidence is? it's when i testify what someone else told me. made up testimony is when i presume it. you're presuming and giving them the evidence that they're running out and cnn is saying you're saying the president should be impeached because he tide aid to investigations and you don't know that. correct? >> i never said the president of the united states should be impeached. >> nope, you have left people with the confusing impression that you were giving testimony that you were not. you do not have any evidence that the president of the u.s. was tied to aid. i yield back. >> mr. carson. >> thank you, chairman. ambassador sondland, i really
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want to better understand mr. giuliani's role in carrying out the president's demand for investigation. on may the 23rd, during a meeting in the oval office to discuss the future of the u.s. ukrainian lations, president trump told you and others to quote talk to rudy. do i have that right, sir? >> correct. >> mr. ambassador, did you listen to the president and talk to rudy, sir? >> did i talk to rudy? >> why eyes, sir. >> yes. >> what did you understand to be mr. giuliani's relationship to mr. trump? >> i understood he was the president's personal lawyer. >> what did you believe mr. giuliani was doing in ukraine for president trump, sir? >> i don't know. >> ambassador sondland, in august of this year, u.n. ambassador volker spoke with mr. giuliani about a draft statement to be give to zbloelensky. it was mr. giuliani who
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suggested in fact insisted that the statement include specific language about burisma, correct, sir? >> correct. >> and he insisted that the statement include the mention of the 2016 elections. and mr. volker transmitted this message to a top ukrainian official, right, sir? >> correct. >> mr. ambassador, and this statement was part of the zli deliverable that president trump wanted, correct? >> correct. >> to your knowledge, sir, was pushing the ukrainians to investigate burisma 2016 or the bidens part of some official state department? >> i never testified that we were pushing anyone to investigate the bidens. i said burisma. >> you were involved in ukrainian policy, right, sir? >> i told you what my role was which was quit limited and focused. >> was it your understanding that ukraine policy should involve investigations into americans or debunked conspiracy
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theories? >> what i testified was that in order to get president zelensky a white house visit, mr. giuliani conveyed the notion that president trump wanted these announcements to happen. >> of course it was not. it was a part of the president's political agenda. and it was done to benefit the president personally and politically. were you following the president's orders, mr. ambassador? >> i was following the president's direction to speak with mr. giuliani. >> thank you, sir. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. want to point out a couple things ambassador in response to my colleagues. my colleagues seem to be under the impression that unless the president spoke the words, ambassador sondland, i am bribing the ukrainian president, that there's no evidence of bribery. if he didn't say, ambassador sondland, i'm telling you i'm not going to give the aid unless
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they do this, that there's no evidence of a quid pro quo on military aid. but unless, ambassador, you've given us a lot of evidence of precisely that conditionality of both the white house meeting and the military assistance. you've told us, have you not, that you emailed the secretary of state and said that if these investigations were announced, the new justis person was put in place, that the ukrainians were prepared to give the president what he wants, and that would break the logjam. you've testified and showed us documents about this, skru not? >> i have. >> the logjam you're referring to includes the logjam on security assistance? >> correct, as my presimgs. >> and we also have seen and you testified that you have also seen ambassador -- or rather
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acting chief of staff mulvaney himself acknowledge that the military aid was withheld in part over the investigation into 2016 that you've talked about. you referenced that as well, correct? >> correct. >> now they also seem to say that, well, they got the money. the money may have been conditioned but they got the money. yes. they got caught. they got caught. now they still don't have the white house meeting. they made no statement. they got no meeting. the statement on the investigations was the condition to get the meeting. they didn't make the statement. they got no meeting. but they got caught. you're aware, aren't you, ambassador, that two days before the aid was lifted, this inexplicable aid was lifted, congress announced it was investigating this scheme, you're aware of that, aren't you? >> i am now, yes.
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>> dr. win strop. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to address something, a claim that you made this morning. claiming that republicans deny russian attempts to influence our elections. that is false and you know it. in this committee time and time again we all agreed that russia has tried to influence american elections as far back as the soviet union. i wish you would quit making that comment. yesterday we established with mr. volker something quite obvious. more than one country can try to influence our elections. see, mr. schiff, we didn't agree with your russian collusion narrative, the coup attempt that occurred in conjunction with members of the if, bi, dog, foreign sources, something you have con vooenlt ignored as chairman of the intelligence
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committee. but in this process today i'm interested in facts. i'm not a prosecutor. or a defense attorney. i'm not an attorney. like mr. turner. you have used the words presume, presumption, presuming, some form of the verb presume repeatedly today. you said that was the problem mr. goldman, no one ever told me the aid was tied to anything. i was presuming it was. you see, in mathematic fact, two plus two does equal four. but in reality, two presumptions plus two presumgss does not equal one fact. the president did tell you, no quid pro quo. that's a fact. and another fact, no quid pro quo occurred. this time i'd like to yield to mr. conway. >> mr. chairman, i'd like to
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enter into the record a washington post article from today headlined shifz claim, receive three pinocchios, meaning we all know what that means. the interpretation would be two interpretations, one that my colleagues would argue they were trying to protect the whistle-blower, an equally valuable and credibility intermtation, there's something to hide. this unlevel playing field that, main tainds that unlevel playing field and the advantages that gives them. now the chairman also announces at every hearing he will not tolerate, and i agree with him, any witness intimidation, threats, issues of trying to bully a witness. ambassador sondland, have you, your family or your businesses received any threats or reprisals or attempts to harm you in any way? >> many. >> could you give us an example
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or two? >> we have countless emails apparently to my wife. our properties are being picketed and boycotted. >> let's explore that one. our own colleague, congressman from oregon, has in fact called for a boycott of your hotels in oregon. i'm assuming he believes that that will harm you to the point that you will then be bullied into doing whatever he wants done. my colleagues and i know using the word bully and him in the same sentence is a bit over the top. but he intetended to harm you and your businesses. ? >> that's my understanding. >> and his call gave rise to demonstrations in front of your hotels made customers have to we've in and out of the the demonstrators? >> they're going on as we speak. >> the words are, better put by a couple of others.
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congressman, your responsible to hurt a homegrown business that supports hundreds of jobs in our local economies? shameful. out to be an outrage. there's a lady name ellen car mikal said we are saddened to have our -- thousands in peril. the attack on our employees is unwarranted. i couldn't agree more. mr. bloom nour should not be using the vast influences that we have to bully you and your businesses into harm the huns or thousands of employees that operates in your business by trying to take business away from you to force you into doing something that they wanted you to do, which testify, and you've done that. but that's a shame. i'm hopeful that my colleagues will join me in shaying, mr. blm nour you shouldn't be using your influence to try to bully and threaten a witness before these proceedings. that's just wrong.
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i look forward to the response and i yield back. >> thank you, congressman. >> miss speir. >> i was somewhat humanored by your request that mr. blum naur not bully to get something done when all we're talking about is the president bullying to get something he wants done. but having said that, i'd like to clarify one point about the whistle-blower protection from the article that mr. conway just provided. the law reads, expressly restricts the inspectors general's office from dice closing whistle-blower's identities. the inspector general shall not disclose without the consent of the employee unless the inspector general determines that such is unavailabavoibl du the course of the investigation or made official to the department of justice responsible for determining whether a prosecution should be
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undertaken. unquote. that appears to be the lone statutory description on disclosing an identity amicable only to the inspector general's office. we found no court rooulgz rulings on who they have a right to anonymity. said it was nonetheless a best practice to avoid disclosure of the ukraine prissel blower's identity given the concerns about retalcation. mccul ok said we've stepped into bizarroland when senior policy makers are trying to yank a cia employee into the public spotlight in retaliation for making a whistle blowing complaint, especially when they are credible threats to that employee's personal safety. and i don't know why our colleagues on the other side of the aisle? >> yield? >> no, i'm afraid i only have three minutes and i have some other --
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>> the end does go through that and says three pinocchios in spite of that. >> the president of the united states has five pinocchios on a daily basis, so let's not go there. ambassador sondland, in your deposition, you lamented, i was truly dispoined that the state department prevented me at the last minute from testifying earlier on october 8th, 2019. but your issuance of a subpoena has supported my appearance here today and i am pleased to provide the following testimony. so it is clear that the white house, the state department, did not want you to testify at that deposition, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> and since then, you have on numerous occasions during your opening statement today indicated that you have not been able to access documents in the state department. is that correct?
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>> correct. >> so you have been hampered in your ability to provide testimony to this committee, is that correct? >> i've been hampered to provide completely accurate testimony without the benefit of those documents. >> in terms of your conversations with the president of the united states, what percentage of your conversations were about ukraine as compared to your other duties? >> i don't recall. >> well, you've only had six conversations or seven conversations with the president, you said. so -- >> about ukraine, i think. >> so you've had many other conversations? >> oh, yeah, about completely unrelated matters. >> how many conversations have you had? >> i don't want to give you a number because it's going to be wrong if i don't have the records. >> is it less than 20? >> it's probably in that range. >> all right. would you say that delay in military aid and the lack of a meeting in the white house works to the benefit of russia? >> repeat the question again,
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please. >> would you say that the delay in military aid to ukraine and the reluck tans to have a white house meeting has a benefit to russia? >> i think it could be looked that way, yes, looked at that way. >> i'm going to speak very briefly about code. when michael cohen was before the oversight committee he was asked, you suggest the president sometimes communicates his wishes indirectly. for example, you say, quote, mr. trump did not directly tell me to lie to congress. that's not how he operates. it would be different, he said -- the nice -- he doesn't give you questions. he doesn't give you orders. he speaks in code. and i understand the code because i've been around him for a decade. so do you think that the president was speaking in code when he would talk about wanting
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investigations? >> i don't -- i can't characterize how the president was speaking. every conversation i've had with the president has been fairly direct and straightforward. >> all right. with that i yield back. >> mr. stuart. >> i have a consent request. >> you may state your request. >> d.o.e. responds to ambassador sond lands's comments before the house attributable to the secretary of the press secretary ambassador sondland's testimony today misrepresented both secretary perry's interaction and with rudy junialey and direction he received from president trump. secretary perry spoke to giuliani only once at the president's request. no one else was on that call at no point before, during or after the phone call did the words biden or burisma ever come up in the presente presence of secretary perry. again, i ask that that be entered into the record. >> without objection, although i
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would note that they have refused to come and testify under oath. >> the american people expect a lot of things out of politics. arguments, protesters, wee see that, clash of prisonples and ideas, they would like to see some compromise. but i think something they expect above everything else, fundalitial, they expect there is a sense of fairness about it. and i want to read part of a text i received from someone that i have tremendous respect for. just a few hours ago we wrote, crafting a story to hurt another human being can never be right. the means of detroig and hurting another individual just does not justify the end and politics does not give anyone free pass to destroy other people. now, you can say a lot about the treatment of president trump over the last few years but i think one thing you cannot argue is that it has been fair. there were those calling for his impeachment literally before he
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was gnawiinaugurated. for two and a half years we were told every day he has betrayed our kraent, is a russian asset, has committed treason. accusations we know now are not true and which we never had any evidence to support that. he was accused of obstruction and now here we are impeaching the president over well first, quid pro quo, until we found out that didn't hold very well with focus groups. and then it was bribery until virtually every witness before us said they had no evidence of bribery. now it's extortion. again the american people expect some fairness. when nancy pelosi before she has seen a shred of evidence and announced he has betrayed the american people, national security, without seeing any evidence, again the american people say, well, what is fair about that? so the question before us now is again extortion, that's the
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latest version of the charges against the president. i'm not an attorney, it sounds serious, i had to look it up, what it means. it means obtaining money or property by threat to a person's property or loved ones. i'm going to read you a couple quotes from president zelensky and then ask you a question. first from a ukrainian press release, donald trump is convinced the new government will be able to quickly improve the image of ukraine, complete investigation of corruption, inhibit -- between ukraine and the u.s. does that sound like he's being bribed or extorted in that comment? >> as i testified previously i'm not a lawyer either and i don't want to characterize any legal terms. i really don't. >> that's fine. i think most people would read that and say that doesn't sound like he's under severe pressure. ukrainian president zelensky told reporters during a conference with donald trump
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that he was not pressured by the u.s. president. again, i was not pressured. he used another time. there was no blackmail. i would ask you, do you think he felt like he was being extorted by the president based on these commence? >> i really think that's for the committee and congress. >> you know what? it's really for the american people. >> i agree. >> and the american people aren't stupid. and the american people can hear that and they can say, i don't think he was under duress. i don't think he was being extorted. i don't think there was an exchange of a bribe. and i would conclude with this last observation. it is common for our national policy to withhold aid for various reasons. you know that's true as an ambassador, is that not true? >> that's true. >> it's frequent, isn't it? >> that's correct. >> it is a policy. president bush did it. he suspended military aid to 35
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countries. i bet that helps his political standing back home but i don't remember anyone suggesting we should impeach him for it. president trump did it last year in afghanistan over corruption. pakistan over much the same thing. no one suggested we impeach them for it. this is a common occurrence in internation international relations. it is hardly an impeachable offense. >> time of the gentleman has expired. mr. quigley. >> thank you, sir for being here today. there are things we can agree with our colleagues on, things we can disagree. i can agree with my colleague that we should turn over all the documents should be turned over. plo ambassador i think you agree that it would have helped your testimony, helped you understood that the state department, the white house hasn't turned over a single document.
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the white house -- the president's phone call conversation. millions more out there. on that we can agree. on others we can disagree as particularly it relates to the whistle-blower. it distresses me because i begin to wonder about the motivations. in the final analysis, the way i look at this is, if we are investigating an arson, you all would indict the person who pulled the fire alarm. that person's squlob job is done and we have seen the smoke and the fire. whatever the whistle-blower did doesn't change the president's actions. doesn't change the president's own words which are in our testimony -- or in our body of evidence. it doesn't change mr. mulvaney's own words. it doesn't change the body of evidence here. all it does is put this person
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at risk. back to the documents and what you know, and clearly, mr. ambassador, you seem to have your memory jogged by documents. let's talk about may 23rd and see if this one helps you. senator johnson in referencing the may 23rd meeting in his letter, sir, says, i had no recollection the president saying that during the meeting. it is entirely possible he did. because i do not work for the president. similarly did not register with me. he says, i also remember sondland staying behind to talk to the president as the rest of the delegation left the oval office. sir, do you recall this later conversation and what you and the president discussed? >> i do. >> and what was that? >> just again recapping what was sort of a free-for-all conversation and i wanted to tie down what we agreed to do and
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what we didn't. >> and in that subsequent he reinforced talk to rudy? >> talk ta rowdy. >> did he go into more detail? >> no. it was a short conversation. >> the second part? >> yeah, to reconfirm that the three of us would be working on the ukraine file. >> yeah, and -- >> so on. >> back to rudy in this seemingly contradictory passage, messages here. you now recall that prerequisite mentioned in the july 10th meeting, that when you were having this discussion, the first meeting in john bolton's office, sir, that you referenced that there was a condition? >> i believe someone else testified that i raised that, and i didn't dispute that testimony, that i said it's my understanding that in order to get this visit done, there needs to be an announcement about -- i
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don't know if i said investigations or said specifically burisma and 20 -- >> sure. but in your opening you mention at the very same time that apparently was there a meeting with rudy giuliani and the message you got was underscored very concerned about what luts senk oe told them, that according to rg, rudy giuliani, the z potus meeting will not happen, which is not condition, it's not going to happen. your understanding of the difference here? >> i think what you're saying is this meeting i was talking about in my opening statement was apparently a meeting that rudy giuliani was having -- >> at the same time -- >> at the same time in ukraine unbeknownst to us. >> but he's saying something different. he's saying it's not going to happen. there's no notice in here it's conditioned in any way. >> well, that was ambassador volker's point. this was an exchange with ambassador taylor and volker. ambassador volker is saying,
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don't let other people speak for the u.s. government. that was his point. >> if rudy is following the directions and he's saying what he's saying here, and you're also following directions, right, and you're saying it's conditioned, who's given you the instruction today's say what you're saying? >> that's why we thought it was problematic to work with rudy giuliani. >> what who did you work with? did you have conversations with the chief of staff? with secretary copompeo? >> are you talking about in the july 5th meeting? >> yes. >> ambassador volker, because he was the one in touch with mr. giuliani, not me. >> you had no direct conversations with mr. mulvaney or secretary pompeo to make this statement? >> only the texts and emails i've already reviewed. >> thank you, my time is up.
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>> miss stephany. >> thank you for your service. i also want to thank you for your recognition in your opening statement of your hard working staff. mr. sondland, you testified that you never received any direct confirmation or specific information as to why there was a hold on aid. . >> that's correct. >> and in fact you testified quote, president trump never told me directly that the aid was conditioned on the investigations, end quote? >> that's correct. >> you said, quote, never heard those words from the president, correct? >> correct. >> instead, you testified that in your september 9th call with president trump, the president said, quote, no quid pro quo. i want nothing. i want nothing. i want president zelensky to do the right thing. do what he ran on. end quote. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> and the fact is, the aid was given to ukraine without any announcement of new investigations? >> that's correct.
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>> and president trump did in fact meet with president zelensky in september? >> he did. >> and there was no announcement of investigations before this meeting? >> correct. >> and there was no announcement of investigations after this meeting? >> that's right. >> and you've been very clear when chairman schiff has asked you broadly about investigations, you've corrected that to say specifically your understanding of investigations are investigation into the 2016 elections and investigations into burisma, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> and are you aware that during the obama administration, the u.s. partnered with the uk and ukraine on an investigation into the owner of burisma as part of ukraine's anticorruption efforts? >> i became aware of it today during the hearing. >> other witnesses have testified, but yes. and in fact, the obama administration's state department was concerned about the potential appearance of conflict of interest with hunter biden serving on the board of
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burisma because they raised this as they were preparing ambassador yovanovitch, are you aware? >> i'm not. >> she testified in the open hearing and closed deposition. and i've asked most of our witness this is and every one has said yes. i want to ask you this today. do you believe that hunter biden, having a position on the board of burisma, has the potential appearance of a conflict of interest? >> i don't want to characterize hunter biden's service on the board. i don't know enough. >> you disagree with every other witness that has answered yes, there is a potential appearance of a conflict of interest? >> well you asked if there was a conflict or an appearance. >> my quote was the owe teshl appearance? >> i didn't hear the word appearance. clearly it's an appearance of a couldn't flikt. >> clearly it is. again this is something that every witness has answered yes to or agreed with it could have a potential appearance. and yet we are not allowed to call hunter bide tone answer
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questions in front of this committee. thank you again for your truthful testimony today. and i yield back. >> thank you. >> mr. swalwell. >> ambassador sondland, you were told by the president and others to not show up. you showed up. i think that says a lot about you, and i think history will look kindly on you doing that. but there are consequences to that, and just a couple hours ago, president trump was asked about you, and he said, i don't know him well. i have not spoken to him much. this is not a man i know well. is that true? >> it really depends on what you mean by know well. we are not close friends. no. we have a professional, cordial working relationship. >> and in that working relationship he knows who you are? >> yes. >> and he has spoken to you often? >> what's often? >> well you said at least 20 times? >> if that's often, then it's
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often. >> and you donated a million dollars to his inaugural committee, is that right? >> i bought a vvip ticket to the inauguration. >> that's a lot of money, isn't it? >> it's a lot of money. >> and after that, the president makes you ambassador to the european union, eventually the ambassador to ukraine is removed, and as you told us in your deposition, you become a central figure as it relates to ukraine. that's a pretty big responsibility, right? >> well, i don't know that i said i was a central figure. i was one of several people who were tasked to work on the ukraine file. >> and would you ever in that big responsibility take any actions that were not authorized by president trump? >> well, by president trump or the leadership in the state department. >> were you ever hauled into to the leadership of the state department for any actions you had taken around your work on
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ukraine? >> no. >> as to rudy giuliani, on may 23rd, the president told you, talk to rudy. you talked to him a couple times. as you told us in september talked to the president a couple times. did the president ever say to you, stop talking to rudy? >> no. >> did he ever say, don't any longer talk to rudy? >> no. >> on ukraine, you said that you were playing the hand you were dealt. president trump was the dealer, wasn't he? >> president trump was what? >> the dealer? in your metaphor you were playing the hand you were dealt, the dealer is president trump, is that right? >> i'll recharacterrize your question by saying we followed the directs of the president because that was the only pathway to working with ukraine. >> on page four of your testimony, you said, given what we know, given what we knew at the time, what we were asked to do did not appear to be wrong. and you would agree now,
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ambassador, knowing what you know now, what you did not know at the time, there are some things around ukraine that were wrong? >> i agree. >> so let's take out any leveraging of security assistance over the ukrainians and a white house visit. would you agree that it is wrong for the president of the united states to ask the leader of a foreign government to investigate the president of the united states's political opponent? >> yes. >> would you agree that in addition to making that request for an investigation, leveraging a visit at the white house, that a foreign government leader desperately needs, is also wrong? >> leveraging in what respect? >> a meeting at the white house. if they need that to show their legit macy to their people, that that would be wrong? >> to be candid, every meeting at the white house has conditioned placed on it. i've never worked on a meeting there that doesn't have a host
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placed. >> but if it is to investigate a political opponent, that would be wrong? >> yes. but making announcements or investigations per say, no. >> and if you asked a foreign government leader to investigate your political opponent, leveraged a white house meeting and leveraged security assistance in this hypothetical you woo would agree all three are wrong? >> yes. >> you before becoming an ambassador worked as a businessman, and worked own a lot of deals? >> correct. >> involving million dollars of dollars? >> correct. >> you work for a guy who wrote a book called artful deal? >> i do. >> and state department employees have told us they don't want to make legal definitions around what occurred with the white house meeting being leveraged against the investigations, but you plainly call it a quid pro quo, is that right? >> i did. >> and one final hypothetical. if someone walks through those two doors wearing rain boots, a
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rain coat, and holding an umbrella with raindrops falling off of them, do you have to see outside it's raining to presume or conclude it might be raining outside? >> i understand your hypothetical. >> i yield back. >> miss heard. >> thank you. mr. ambassador, good to see you. >> good to see you. >> my colleagues in california basically immi that you've been supportive of president trump's campaign. is that correct? >> i'm having a heard tiard tim hearing you. >> my colleagues in california indicated that you were supportive of the president's campaign, is that correct? >> i actually donated to the committee in order to secure tickets. >> so let me ask you this question. did you participate in or overhear any conversations about the potential information collected by ukraine on the
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bidens -- collected by ukrainians on the bidens would be used for political gain? >> did i personally hear that, no. >> did you participate in any conversations when this was being discussed? >> not that i recall. >> in your statement on page five, you sid mr. giuliani's reques requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a white house visit for president zelensky, and you also rekourchted your conversation with president trump where he says, i want nothing and no quid pro quo. how do you reconcile these two statements? >> they're hard to reconcile. i -- we were working along mr. giuliani's direction for a period of time. we still didn't have a white house meeting. aid was now held up. there were lots of reasons being given by various people as to why those weren't moving forward. and i finally got exas perated
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by receiving ambassador taylor's latest text, and i just picked up the phone. i got through to the president and said, what do you want? >> sure. are you aware of any specific conversations mayor giuliani had with the president between your may 23rd conversation and september 11th, 2019? >> i don't recall if mayor giuliani, when i was directly talking to him either through a conference call or on a direct call, whether he quoted from the president or said i just talked to the president. most of the communications, as i said, went through ambassador volker initially. so i don't want to opine on what may or may not have been said. >> on page 11 of your testimony, you said, mr. giuliani had been communicating with ukrainians without our knowledge. i'm assuming you're believing you, mr. volker and ambassador taylor.
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which ukrainians was rudy giuliani communicating with? >> i was specifically referring to this text that i received from am babassador volker where mr. giuliani was apparently telling -- >> who specifically? >> mr. lutsenko, the old prosecutor. >> do you think mr. huloouts se koe has any gravitas woingt the zelensky regime? >> i don't know. >> ultimately got fired? >> i think so. >> so we know rudy giuliani has met with mr. yermak on the fringes of meeting i think it was in spain. do you know any other ukrainian official within the zelensky regime that mayor rudy giuliani was meeting with? >> i don't know any others. >> had you had any other
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individuals that came to you and said hey, i just got off the phone with giuliani. what the he will is he talking about? >> i don't recall. >> would that be normal? in all your inter-as with heads of states and governments, if there is some element of the u.s. government that they have spoken to, isn't it usually they come in, talk to the ambassador, clarify what that statement is? is that a true characterization of how that works? >> i think that's a reasonable possibility. things work all kinds of different ways these days. >> when you met with president zelensky after the july 25th phone call, you met him on july 26th, did the investigations or joe biden come up in that meeting? >> i don't recall joe biden come up. >> was there any frustration expressed to you by the phone call the day before? >> no, everyone said it was a good call. >> is in your opinion your interactions with president
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zelensky, is he a straight shooter? >> he impressed me greatly. that's why i wanted to get he and president trump together as soon as possible. >> when he makes express statements, you tend to believe him? >> with my limited interaction with him he seems very honorable. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. i hope you make your plane back. >> thank you. >> i yield back. entirely appropriate to politicize u.s. foreign policy. ambassador, how often did you speak or meet with mr. mulvaney? >> based on my lack of records
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i'm going by aed bad memory. i only think i had one formal meeting with mr. mulvaney and it had nothing to do with ukraine. >> did you have a chance to talk about your efforts in ukraine? >> most of our communication r were through the stream of e-mails, which others were on generally. and i may have seen him casually and kept in touch, but we didn't have a back and forth. >> was it your sense he had a direct line to president trump? he must have as acting chief of staff? >> of course. >> let us look at what was said during the press conference. >> did he also mention to me that the corruption related to the dnc server, absolutely, no
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question. that's why we held up the money. >> it was part of the reason? >> the look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing he was worried about in corruption with that nation. that's absolutely appropriate. >> he said that president trump in that clip had an interest in the investigations, did he not? >> apparently, yes. >> he's the chief of staff. he has conversation with the president every single day. wouldn't you expect that? >> it's a quid pro quo. >> i would expect a direct line to the president. >> when did you first learn that the investigations were holding up the security assistance, if at any time? >> i don't know if i heard it from mr. mulvaney.
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>> i know you're not a career foreign service officer. is it your understand iing the security assistance on an investigation into a plut call rival all the time? >> i have already testified i didn't think that would be proper. >> all right. let us also see what had to say about that in the same press conference. >> those were the driving factors. did he also mention to me that the corruption related to the dnc zefber, absolutely, no question about that. but that's it. that's why we held up the money. >> i'll just read it for you.
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>> he says i have news for everybody. get over it. there's going to be political influence in foreign policy. know whag you know now about what was intend ed with ukraine do you can agree with mr. mulvaney that there's just going to be political influence in foreign policy or we should all just get over it and allow a president now or later to investigate a plut call rival and ask a foreign government to do that? >> i think there's a big difference between political influence and investigating a rival. politics enters into erg everything into foreign policy. >> in the context of what was going on in ukraine, i believe that the president should not investigate a political rival in return for a quid pro quo. >> and part of the way you figured out that all of the
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stuff that was going on that you were part of something that was bisically wrong, it's because in the july 25th phone call the president himself he didn't tell you, we don't know if he told rudy giuliani because rudy giuliani won't come in here. he said directly to the president of ukraine that he theed the booidens investigated. wasn't that your reading of call? >> first of all, i don't believe i was a a part of something that was wrong because based on what i knew i thought we were operate ing well within the center lane of proper u.s. diplomacy. >> i yield back. >> chairman, thank you. i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a statement by chief of staff mark short. >> without objection. >> i'll be brief. in anticipation of mr. holmes' testimony tomorrow about this
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july 26th phone call that he overheard after a cafe that you had with president trump, he overheard even though the call was not on speakerphone. >> i us don't believe so. >> was an open cafe? >> it was outdoors. >> one of the points my colleagues keeps making is that david holmes' prior testimony, which apparently confirm tomorrow is that president trump said that he doesn't give a blank about ukraine. you heard that earlier. >> that was not on the phone call. i don't think he testified on the phone call. he was testifying that i summarized the phone call and i don't recall saying that. >> you have no recollection of that. >> i don't. >> even if it was true, this is nothing wrong with that to have
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an opinion. >> he can have whatever opinion he wants about ukraine. >> it's part of the narrative that president trump is a bad guy. but it appears nothing says you care more about the ukrainians than send issing anti-tank missiles. do you agree? >> i agree sending anti-tank missiles is something ukraine wanted and needed. >> those work a lot better in stopping russian tanks than the blankets that were sent by the obama administration. >> your point is taken. >> i'll yield back. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your stamina, sir. a few quick questions. you would agree, would you not, that foreign interference in our elections is or can be a threat to our democracy. >> under certain conditions, yes. >> do you -- r there are conditions in which their interference is not a threat. >> did you say foreign interference? >> always. >> do you agree preventing that
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should be a priority of the federal government? >> it should be one of its priorities. >> when you're assisting president trump to obtain those investigations, did you at all realize that those investigations could impact the 2020 election? >> no. >> do you believe, sir, that it is appropriate, ever appropriate to invite or coerce interference? >> no. >> thank you. i want to refer to something that you said in your opening statement. as i previously testified, had i known of all of mr. giuliani's dealings or of his associations with individuals now under criminal indictment, i would not have acquiesced to his participation. it's hard to read that without believing that you thought what he was doing was either wrong or he was not reputable. fair?
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>> well, with 2020 hindsight, that's fair. >> us you have testified here today that you came to believe that the request for investigations was, in fact, a request to investigate the bidens, both former vice president and hunter, and indeed the transcript of the july 25th call makes specific reference to that. including hunter biden and even the ranking member said we could clear this up if we could have hunter biden. what ukrainian law did hunt rer biden violate? >> i'm not aware. >> what evidence he may have violated any law? >> i'm not aware. >> that's because there is none, sir. finally, also from your opening statement, you said, i provided ten hours of deposition testimony. i did so despite directives from the white house and state department that i refused to appear as many others have done.
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i agreed to testify because i respect the gravity of the moment. i believe i have an obligation to account fully for my role in these events did you mean the legal obligation or did you mean something bigger? >> both my legal obligation and moral obligation. >> your moral obligation. i want to present an alternative theory. your family came here escaping the holocaust. and your parents move lucy and you later here. you have been an american success story. through hard work and innovation, good idea a knack to hire the rugt people and some luck, you have built a considerable successful business, one that i know for a
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fact would make your parents proud. they kames here because they knew that it was here that they could have freedom that they had not enjoyed, security they had not enjoy ed and opportunity tht they had not enjoyed. and no doubt on some level, you're grateful and it's created a sense of patriotism in you. is that fair to say? >> very fair. >> why then, sir, with your courage to come before us does that same standard not apply to mr. mulvaney, mr. pompeo, mr. bolton, mr. giuliani, why shouldn't those same sentiments beat within their hearts to do what you have done, sir. indeed why doesn't that same standard apply to the president of the united states? >> i wish i could answer.
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>> i suspect you can't because there's no good answer. but i do appreciate your willingness to come here today. with that, i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, congressman. >> mr. jordan. >> i ask to enter into the record a statement from mick mulvaney. >> we haven't seen these statements but presume they are accurate. president trump is not a big fan of foreign aid. is that right? >> i don't know if if it's a fan of foreign aid. he knew kain cain was rupt. is that right? >> he believed ukraine was corrupt. >> and wanted europe to do more. gr definitely. >> the president had to believe that ukrainian government official, some senior officials supported his opponent in 2016. a member of parliament said a
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mamgty of mojority of politicia hillary clinton to win. he understood what was happening a brand new guy in ukraine. he wins. >> right. >> his party takes over and president trump was to see with all these other things that are concern to him, he wants to see if this it new guy is, as i like to say, the real deal. going to deal with the corruption problem. aid gets held up on july 18th and then released on september 11th. but it seems to me more important in the 55-day pause is the 14 days when ukraine realized aid was held up on the 29 presidentth. we have had you testify to that. the political article. so aid gets held up on on august 29th and then released on september 11th.
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in those 14 days there's three important meetings with senior government officials and president zelensky. the august 29th meeting between bolton and president zelensky. there's the meeting that you're a part of. pence meets with president zelensky and then senators murphy and johnson meet with president zelensky. none of those meetings did any linkage to security assistance dollars and an announcement or start of any investigation ever come up. none of them. but it seems to me the one that's most important is is probably the one we have talked least about. that's the september 5 lt meeting. that's actually a meeting where there's no one, well, it's much more congressional focused than white house focused. this is the meeting where senators murphy and johnson, bipartisan, meet with president zelensky. what's interesting is what both
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senators have given us letters recounting what happened in that meeting. senator murphy said i approached the topic and the president's to launch investigation into trump's political rival. murphy brought it up. you have senators who strong supporters of money going to ukraine, they are all for it. and senator murphy, the democrat, even brings up the issue everyone has been talking about. it seems to me if ever there was going to be a time where the president of ukraine says, guys, you don't know what i'm dealing with. i'm getting pressure from the president of the united states. he wants me to do this. if ever there was a time that the president of ukraine, the new guy, now knows the aid has been on hold, if ever there was a time to bring it up, that would have been the time. at no time during this meeting
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or on any other meeting on this trip was there any mention by zelensky or any other ukrainian they were feeling pressure to do anything in return for military aid. not even after murphy warned them about getting involved in the election. so murphy fwaif this big deal on giuliani. and nothing. guess what murphy also said. i did not dispute any of senator johnson's representations regarding the meeting. if ever it was going to happen, september 5th was the day. no one there. but even then it didn't happen. we have all kinds of other meetings. and as you testified earlier, there was never an announcement. you said there were three quid pro quos, but there with respect because there was never an announcement.
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this is as clear as it the gets these guys want to stir it up. baseden no fd whatsoever and the best direct evidence we have is actually what the president told you. i want nothing. there's no quid pro quo. i want zelensky to do exactly what he campaigned on. when that became clear, guess what. they got the money. they got the money. it all worked out. this is crazy what we're going through. because the facts are so darn clear. i yield back. >>s thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador, i'm impress ed with your career. very successful in business. i'm impressed with your commitment to public service. i was impressed with your statement, so thank you for that. you said it was the highest honor r for you to have opportunity to have this appointment to serve as ambassador to the eu. >> correct.
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yo. >> you quickly became involved in policy. in that policy, it's been described by you and others it was really very clear to help ukraine fight internal corruption and resist external aggression. >> correct. >> this congress, i think with the support of everybody up here, republicans and democrats, a significant amount of republican leadership, authorized the release of military aid. and you and others working with you believed it was very important to the new government, president zelensky to have that white house meeting to show our support and send a signal to russia. and from hearing you and other witnesses, ambassador yovanovitch, there was a concerteds team effort on your part to get that meeting and
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release that aid. correct? >> this was always a concerted effort on my part to get the meeting. that was my singular fox was to get the meeting. >> that was shared by all of the colleagues i just mentioned, correct? >> yes. >> and incredibly urgent, the ambassador described going to the front where ukrainians were dying. they have died and it was an existential issue for them to get the aid. you were well aware of that i'm sure. is that correct? >> i did. your forthright testimony, you had testified and it's really the benefit of hindsight because you couldn't piece it together. giuliani now what you were trying to figure out as you went along. is that a fair statement? >> i think so. >> you testified you acted on
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the orders of the president that was you acting on his orders. >> correct. >> and you said there was a quid pro quo. >> relate ing ing to the meetin. >> that's exactly right. >> no meeting, unless there's an investigation. >> that's what we were told by mr. giuliani. >> mr. giuliani -- >> no meeting unless there was an announcement of an investigation. >> thank you. >> i asked -- by the way, did the efforts of mr. giuliani impede the efforts that you and others were making to try to advance what you thought was ukraine policy? >> not initially. >> ultimate hi? >> nothing happened. >> giuliani was the one who was absolutely insis tan on the meeting. >> giuliani was insis tant on the investigation.
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>> now us i asked this of ambassador volcker. if the mayor of portland said to the mischief i'm not going to authorize your budget unless you agree to do an investigation into my political opponent, would that be wrong? >> of course. >> and like wise, if it were the governor of the state of oregon, doing the same thing, correct? >> correct. >> would that same rule apply to the president of the united states? >> to investigate a political opponent, yes. >> so that's the question here. the president in his phone call, he asked president zelensky who desperately needed the release of that aid, who desperately needed the white house meeting, to do an investigation and it was focused on the booidens and hunt rer bidens.
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the words speak for themselves. do you feel as a person who went into public service to serve, who had a a team of people that shared your desire to help ukraine, do you feel betrayed by the dubl dealing of the president? this is a real question. >> i don't want to characterize. >> you don't have to characterize him. we all if we get a chance to do something, we do it. there's no better joy when doing it with other people. >> let me answer this way. i would have preferred -- and i'm sure everyone would have preferred that the president simply met with mr. zelensky right away. our assessment was that he and the president would get on famously. he was smart, he was funny, he was charming, he was the kind of person the president would like and once the two of them got together, we thought the
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chemistry would take over and good things would happen between the u.s. and ukraine relationship. that's why we were pushing for a quick, unconditional meeting. >> it's unfortunate he was unwilling to meet without the commitment on the investigation. >> thank you. >> let's pick up right there. you would have prefer red if thy just had the meeting with the president of ukraine without these conditions. is that what you're saying? >> yes. >> but there were these conditions. and it involved an investigat n investigation. >> remember the initial invitation that the president sent to president zelensky had no conditions. >> that didn't last very long. then there were conditions. this is not controversial at this point, i dove don't believe. the president wanted investigations. you thought it was the 2016 election. we now know it was bidens. >> today we do. >> we can probably from today until the end of time set aside
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any confusion that when somebody is asking for an investigation over the summer what they really meant was bidens. >> with mihindsight, yes. >> the day after the president's famous call, you're having lunch with david holmes. we have covered this. he overhears your conversation. you have no reason to dispute what mr. holmes said, i think you said you wouldn't have reason to think he didn't speak about the investigations with the president. the president raised investigations with you, right? >> correct. >> on the 26th. >> correct. >> we know that was about the biden bs and 2016. >> i know you didn't know that at the time, but you now know. >> mr. holmes said you said bidens, but you don't recall that? >> do you dispute it? >> i do. >> but you don't recall it. but that's what the president said. you do confirm he wanted to talk about investigations.
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>> now with the complete picture what he said 24 hours before, yes, it makes sense. >> you said it's wrong to investigate political opponents. we have agreed on that today. >> yes. >> and yet, that's what we know the president was asking for. who would have benefitted from an investigation of the president's political opponents? >> i don't want to characterize who would have and who would not have. >> that's my question. would you answer it for me? >> restate the question. >> who would benefit from an investigation of the president's political opponent. >> presumably the person who asked for the investigation. >> who is that? >> if the president asked for the investigation, it would be he. >> it's not a hypothetical. we just went around this track. the president asked you about investigations. it was talking about the bidens. when he asked you about the
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biden investigation, who was he seeking to benefit? >> he did not ask me about the booid investigation. i said that about 19 times. >> sir, we we just went through this. when we went through the investigations, we just did this about 30 seconds ago, right? it's pretty sumpl question, isn't it? i'm having trouble -- >> when he asked about investigations, i assumed he meant company. >> who would benefit from an investigation of the bidens? >> they are two different questions. >> i'm just asking you one. who would benefit from an investigation of the bidens? >> i assume president trump. >> there we have it. it didn't hurt a bit, did it? it didn't hurt a bit. let me ask you something. >> i have been very forthright. i really resent what you're trying to do. >> you have been very forthright. this is your fourth try to do o so. it didn't work so well the first
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time. we had a declaration. remember that? now we're here a a third tomb. we have a doozy of a statement this morning. there's a bunch of stuff you deent recall. we appreciate your candor, but let's be really clear on what it took to get it out of you. so my question is when the president is putting pressure on the ukraines withholding a meeting, to get this investigation that you and i agree would benefit him politically, what kind of position does that put the ukrainians in, sir? >> a terrible position. >> why? >> why does it put them in a terrible position? obviously, they are not receiving ultimately what they thought was coming to them. and they are put in a position that jeopardizes their security. >> a position that jeopardizes their security and they are being asked to do an investigation to help their
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security, essentially, that would benefit the president politically. you might say they are being asked to give him a personal benefit in exchange for an official act. is that a fair summary? >> in your hypothetical, that's correct. >> it's no the a hypothetical, sir. this is real life. they asked to give him a personal benefit for an exchange for an official act? >> sir, i'm not going to go around in circles with you. please be clear about what you're asking me. >> my time is expired. thank you for your appearance. >> good afternoon, ambassador. it's good to see you again. >> thank you. >> do you have any knowledge of a possible meeting on or around may 7th involving then president-elect zelensky and several aids to discuss how to handle pressure from president trump and mr. giuliani about
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investigating the bidens? >> i don't recall such is a meeting. >> you don't recall such a meeting? you don't recall hearing? >> again, if i don't have records, schedules, right now i don't recall anything about such a meeting. was this a meeting among the ukrainians? >> involving then president-elect seth lent b skit. so this would have been early on in his presidency with several aids to discuss how to handle pressure from president trump and mr. giuliani about investigate iing the bidens. >> i don't recall. >> you don't remember that. ambassador, in the may 23rd meeting, you talked about how the president categorized ukraine. what he thought about ukraine. i believe that meeting was may 23rd.
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did you ever hear president zelensky relay any concerns about you, about how he felt, about how the united states viewed him, whether he was being taken seriously or any concerns about being used a as a tool for political reasons? >> well, i saw that in an e-mail from ambassador taylor. we obviously tried to relay to president zelensky the glass half full version of how the united states felt about ukra e ukraine. not the glass half empty version, which is we're here for you, support you and trying hard to get you the meeting with president trump. >> so after hearing that from ambassador taylor, you tried to reassure president zelensky that america was truly on their side. >> i think we have been trying to assure president zelensky throughout his entire term as a president. >> i know you said you don't quite remember exactly when you came to the realization that bah
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barisma meant bidens. but when asked about a news report of his son, president trump told fox news that it was, and i quote a major scandal, a major problem. may 9th the "new york times" reported that rudy giuliani planned to travel to ukraine and, quote, shortly to meet with president zelensky to urge him to pursue the 2016 election and the involvement of hunter biden. are you saying that you did not realize at that time, talking about on may 9th of this year, that mr. giuliani wanted to urge president zelensky to pursue the 2016 election and the involvement of hunter biden? >> i do not, but i did not then. >> you did not know that. i believe you said earlier that you did not pay any attention at
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all to any of the numerous news reports of the person you were directed by the president to work with when he was on television over and over and over again talking about hunter biden. >> no, i did not. >> on september 9th in a text from taylor, he said are we now saying that aid is tied to investigations and i believe you text back "call me." then you had a text from president trump. and president trump said something to the effect there's no quid pro quo. do you know what prompted him to say that? you asked him what do you want. he goes directly to there's no quid pro quo. as opposed to going directly to the list of things that he wanted wp what prompted him to use that term? >> i have no clue. >> did you discuss your text from ambassador taylor with president trump before he made
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that statement? >> i did not. i asked a very open ended question. >> and you remember that directly. although there are several other conversations that you cannot recall because you don't have your notes or your documents or your e-mails r or other information, but you remember that call specifically exactly what the president said to you in response to your question about what do you want. why is that? >> i remember the first girl i kitsched. i remember that conversation because, as us i said, it was a pretty intense, short conversation. >> tell me about the conversation you had at the restaurant that was overheard by mr. holmes. that was a a conversation with the president. tell me about that conversation with the president. what was said on the phone? >> again, i don't remember the specifics. i'm being guide d by what mr. holmes testified to. i said i didn't dispute the
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basic subject of the conversation. as i said, we were talking primarily about a completely unrelated matter. and i think the president may have brought up how to go with zelensky or is he going to do the investigations, which we had been talking about for weeks. and then as i said, i dispute mr. holmes characterization of what i said afterwards. >> i yield back. >> good afternoon, ambassador. i'm going to pick up on that september 9th conversation, which the president allegedly said i want nothing. i don't want a quid pro quo. i presume that on this september 9th conversation the president did not mention that that was the same day that we launched a congressional investigation into whether there was a quid pro quo. >> i know all of that today, but we didn't have time to talking
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things like that. >> i presume he didn't mention the whistleblower complaint that also alleged there's a quid pro quo. >> he did not. >> you can't rule out the possibility that the reason he started talking that way on that day is is because of the congressional investigation. >> i can't rule that out. >> the inauguration was may 20th. >> correct. >> senator johnson, secretary perry, and other, right? >> correct. >> vice president pence was supposed to originally attend that, correct? >> i believe so. >> we learned from jennifer williams, a witness who testified it was at the president's direction on may 13th that the vice president not attend. she said, quote, according to the vice president's chief of staff, the president derped that the vice president would not go. do you know why the vice
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president did not attend the inauguration? >> no clue. >> i want to point to a "new york times" article from last week that says that lev, an associate of rudy giuliani. >> only what i have read very recently. >> he told a representative of the incoming government the government while had had to announce an investigation into trump's political rival and his son, or penmike pence would not attend the swearing in. did the vice president not attend possibly because this investigation had not yet been initiated by the zelensky government? >> i have no idea. >> you can't rule it out. >> i have no idea. >> you have no basis for ruling it out? >> all i know is the leader of the delegation was secretary perry, who invited me ahong.
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>> since you came forward in these proceedings, others in the administration have tried to distance themselves from you. on october 14th, rudy giuliani told "the washington post" that sondland, quote, seemed to be in charge, closed quote, of the effort to get ukrainian officials to publicly announce investigations. that's false, correct. >> if i was in charge, i would have asked president trump to have the meeting without preconditions and the meeting would have occurred a long time. >> that's exactly right. the president is the one that wanted these investigations, as we learned later on in reading the july 25th call transcript. >> the president through rudy giulianied the investigations. >> tim morrison came in yesterday and in his testimony disparaged you too.
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he called you, quote, unquote, the gordon problem. >> that's what my wife call mess. >> maybe they are talking. should i be worried? >> on october 8th of this year, the president tweeted you were a really good man and a great american. and on november 8th, one month later, he said i hardly know the gentleman. >> easy come, easy go. >> what i'm concerned about, you were part of the three amigos, but what i'm really concern ed about is that the president and the good folks over here, my republican colleagues, are now casting you as the one amigo. the one lonely amigo they are going to throw under the bus. but the truth is that as you
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said in your opening statement, the suggestion that you were engaged in some rogue diplomacy or irregular channel of diplomacy is, kwet, unquote, absolutely false. >> that's kwekt. >> the presumption that military aid was conditioned and based on mulvaney's statement we saw on the video. >> i didn't have the benefit at the that time. >> you would standby the presumption you had based on what you know now. >> and on september 1, when you told andre yurmock r your presumption about military aid being conditioned, you then b told mr. morrison what you said. he did not try to dispute your presumption, correct? >> us don't recall him dispute ing it. i think i went right over to him and just repeated the conversation.
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>> when you told vice president pence your concerns, he did not dispute that as well? >> he didn't respond. he just listened. >> when you told pompeo that wasn't disputed as well. >> i don't recall. >> that concludes the member questioning. do you have any closing remarks? >> just beliefly, i know you want to get on a plane. i want to thank you for your indulgence today. once again the american people have seen another fail yir of their conspiracy theory, which that's if it doesn't change between now and our next hearing, which is in a few hours from now or another hour or so. it keeps changing every day. the claim that you had an irregular channel, drug deals, now supposedly you're a one amigo. nobody on this side claimed
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that. >> i lost my amigos? >> not from us. no bribes given to the ukrainian people. or to the ukrainian president. your co-conspirator, i find it remarkable and troubling douhowe democrats and collaborators and the press have been able to vilify ambassador volcker. he was supposed to work on these matters in ukraine, like you, ambassador. it was a very regular channel and no amount of story telling by the left and the democrats on this will change that. it was deregular channel. testimony about today was far from compelling and provides zero evidence of any of the crimes that have been alleged. in fact, ambassador sondland testified he presumed the
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temporary pause in military aid was conditioned on ukraine carrying out the investigations the democrats are desperate to portray as nefarious. the democrats have a as seized on this presumption as proof they can use it against the president. however, ambassador sondland testified in his deposition when he asked president trump what do you want from ukraine, president trump replied, i want nothing. this is no quid pro quo. let me repeat. president trump said, i want nothing. there's no quid pro quo. this comes on the heels of the testimony by ambassador volcker. he saw no evidence of bribery, exportion or treasonous actions. we deny know that was on the table until today.
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like the president's call with president zelensky, democrats want the american people to it, that hearsay is much better than direct evidence. i think mr. radcliffe from texas laid out the direct evidence we have from your testimony today. nothing we have heard establishes a claim that the president acted improperly in his dealings with ukraine and certainly nothing has been presented to support anything for a an impeachment. in the meantime, mr. chair, we continue to have no answers to the questions that only you know. starting with who is the whistleblower who gave birth to this hoax and the coordination with the democrats on this committee. second, what is the full extent of ukraine's election meddling against the trump campaign in 2016. and finally, why did ba arisma hire hunter biden.
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another hearing in the books and no answers to basic three material actual questions that we need answers to. i yield back. thank you, ambassador, r for being here. >> thank you. >> i thank the ranking member for his remarks. ambassador sondland, thank you for your testimony today. this is a seminole moment in our investigation. in the evidence you have brought forward is deeply significant and troubling. it's been a long hearing. i know americans watching throughout the count b try may not have had the opportunity to watch all of it, so i'm going to go through a few of the highlights and not try to paraphra paraphrase. i'm going to refer to your opening statement. if rerefuse to work with mr. giuliani we'll lose an opportunity to cement relations. so we followed the president's orders.
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mr. giuliani's requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a white house visit for president seth lent b skit. that he make a public statement of the 2016 election, dnc server. giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states and we knew that these investigations were important to the president. later you testified i tried diligently to ask why the aid was suspended, but i never received a clear answer. in the absence of any credible explanation for this suspension of aid, i later came to believe the resumption of security aid would not occur until there was a public statement from are ukraine commit og to the investigations of the 2016
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election, as mr. giuliani had demanded. i shared concerns of the potential quid pro quo regard ing the security a aid with senator ron johnson and also shared my concern with the ukrainians. so much for the ukrainians didn't know. you can't have a quid pro quo unless ukraines know and you have testify ied today that the ukrainians knew. you further testify ied mr. giuliani emphasized that the president wanted a a public statement from president zelensky committing ukraine to look into corruption issues. giuliani specifically mentioned the 2016 election including the dnc server as two topics of importance to the president. in reference to the july 10th meeting at the white house that
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you attended with bolton and ukrainian delegation, you said i recall mention iing the prerequisite of investigations before any white house call or meeting. you further testified again. i knew the topic of investigation was important to president trump. testified later i know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question. was there a quid pro quo. as i testified previously with regard to the requested white house call and white house meeting. the answer is yes. we understood the meeting
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reflected president trump's desires and requirements. later on the subject of security aid, you testified in the absence of any credible explanation for the hold, i came to the conclusion that the aid, like the white house visit, was jeopardized in preparation for the september 1 meeting in war saw. i asked secretary pom peo whethr a face to face conversation between trump with zelensky could help break the log jam. this is from an e-mail that the state department refuses to provide to us, but you have provided to us. it reads should we block time for president obaotpotus to mee. i would tell him once cain krooin cain's justices are in police, that z should be able to
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move forward publicly with confidence on those issues of importance to potus and the united states. hopefully, that will break the log jam and secretary pompeo's reply, yes. not what issues important to the potus, not what are you talking about, because secretary pompeo was on the july 25th phone call. he knew. what issues were important to potus and there were two of them. the investigation into 2016 and the dnc server and the investigation into the bidens. by the end of august, you testified my belief was if ukraine did something to demonstrate a serious intention to fight corruption, specifically addressing barisma and the 2016 server, then the hold on military aid would be
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lifted. i mentioned to vice president pence before the meetings with ukraine bs that i had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations. and as you testified, he gave you no response, no what are you talking about, ambassador. how could that be, how do we clear that up, ambassador. he nodded his hazard or took it in. and of course, the record of that 25th call between president trump and sezelensky was in the vice president's reading book earlier. then you testified my goal at the time was to do what was necessary to get the aid rereleased, to break the log jam. i believe the public statement we were discussing for weeks was essential to advancing that goal. now my colleagues seem to believe and let me add too about the call with the president. you confirmed today.
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in addition to claiming no quid pro quo, the president was adamant that president zelensky had to clear things up and do it in public. that's what you have confirmed. that's what you also told ambassador taylor. so he would deny there was a quid pro quo, but he was adamant that zelensky had to clear things up and do it in public. now i have said a lot of things about president trump over the years. i have very strong feelings a about president trump, which are neither here nor there. but i will say this. i do not believe the president would allow himself to be led by the nose by rudy giuliani or ambassador sondland or anybody else. i think the president was the one who decided whether a meeting would happen, whether aid would be lifted, not anyone who worked for him. and so the answer to the
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question, who was refusing the meeting with zelensky that you believed should take place and everybody believes should take place. the question was when. who was the one stand iing in t way of that meeting? who was the one refusing to take that meeting? there's only one answer to that question. and it's donald j. trump, 45th president of the united states. so who was holding up the military assistance? was it you, ambassador? no, it wasn't. was it ambassador taylor, no. was it deputy secretary kent, no. it was pompeo, no. who had the decision to release the aid, it was one person. donald j. trump, president of the united states. now my colleagues seem to think unless the president says the magic words that i hereby bribed ukrainians that there's no evidence of bribery or other
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highs or misdemeanors. but let's look to the best evidence of what's in the president's head. what's his intent? what's the reason behind the hold on the meeting and on the aid. let's look at what the president has to say. let's look at what's undies puted about what the president thooz say. you know how we know what the president has to say. not because what you have represented or others have represented. but because we have a record of his conversation and with who? the one who really matters. with president zelensky. this is what he says. he says rudy very much knows what's happening. and he's a very capable guy. this is after he says he wants a favor. he goes into crowd strike in 2016. he says rudy very much knows what's happening and is a is very capable guy. if you could speak to him, that would be great. the former ambassador from the united states, the woman was bad news.
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the people she was dealing with in ukraine were bad news. so i want to let you know the other thing there's a lot of talk about biden's son he stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general, that would be great. biden went bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you could look into it, it sounds horrible to me. so what's in the president's mind when he's placed this otherwise inexplicable hold on the aid when he refuses to take the meeting? what's on his mind? biden. he makes that abundantly clear. i understand you said you didn't make the connection. i will let the american people judge the credibility of that answer. there's no mistaking what donald trump's interest was. there's no mistaking about what donald trump meant when he had the call with you on an insecure phone as you're sitting there in
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ukraine when the president said in the investigation, he meant biden. he made that abundantly clear to the president of ukraine the day before. the question is not what the president meant. the question is not whether he was responsible for holding up the aid he was. the question is not whether everybody knew and apparently they did. the question is what are we prepared to do about it. is there any accountability or are we forced to conclude that this is just now the world that we live in when a president of the united states can withhold vital military aid from ab an ally at war with the russians and fighting our fight too to defend our count b try against russian aggression. are we prepared to say in the words of mick mulvaney, get over it. or get used to it. we're not prepared to say that. we're not prepared to say that.
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i appreciate, ambassador, i appreciate the fact that you have not opined on whether the president should be impeached or shouldn't, or whether the offense of bribery has been committed. that's for us to decide. in consultation with our constituents and our conscience. it's for us to decide. and much as my colleagues have said otherwise, this is not an easy decision for any of us. and much as my colleagues may say otherwise, this is not something we relish. for over a year i resisted this whole idea of going down the road to impeachment. but it was made necessary and not by the whistleblower, but by the actions of the president. i'm continually struck by the colleagues would suggest that because the president got caught
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we should ignore the fact that he was conditioning official acts in order to get political favors in order to get an investigation against his rival. getting caught is no defense. not to a violation of the constitution or to a violation of his oath of office. it certainly doesn't give us a reason to ignore our own oath of office. we are adjourned.
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of. >> a couple take aways wp the first one is is the statement that the president gave to ambassador sondland when ambassador sond land asked what he wants from ukraine.
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i want no quid pro quo. i want him to do what he ran on. as clear as can be. direct evidence from the central figure of this whole inquiry. it's plainly and clearly as he possibly could. second, i do think it's important to understand there were only 14 days that the ukrainians knew the aid was held up. they learn on an august 29th in the political article and this that 14-daytime frame to september, there are three key interactions with government officials and the president of ukraine. the most important in my judgment was the last one. that's a bipartisan meeting from people from the legislative branch. that would have been the time because senator murphy brought it up himself. and still president zelensky never said in any way that there was aid, that an investigation
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were linked together. s those are the key take aways. everything else is surmise iing what someone is thinking, what someone is is up to, all the other things that the democrats try to stir up. but the facts have always been on the president's side. they have not changed. we have the transcript. there's no linkage whatsoever. we have the two guys on the call. president trump and president zelensky. us they said there's no pushing or linkage. we have the fact that the ukrainians didn't know the aid was frozen. and was pointed out today by so many people, that the ukrainians took no action, no announcement, no announcement to get the call, no announcement to get the meeting in new york, no announcement to get the aid released. nose are the facts. >> every day goes by, adam schiff and the democrats' wishful thinking for impeachment crumbles. they have yet to point to a single shred of high crimes and
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misdemeanors of bribery. today tooking the witness' own testimony. ambassador sondland testified that the president said to him there is no quid pro quo. i want nothing. i want nothing. i want president zelensky to do what he ran on, which is very clearly anti-corruption, but the facts remain the same. ukraine received the aid. there was no investigation before the meeting, before the aid release. no investigation before the call or after the call. so the facts remain the same throughout this process despite adam schiff continuing his political wishful thinking. >> we'll take some questions. >> do you think it's just a coincidence that the aid was released after congress began an investigation, after the white house learned about the whistle-blower complaint? is that a coincidence that that happened just days before the white house actually released -- >> no it got released because so many senior government officials met with president zelensky and they determined, hey, this new guy, this new kid in town is
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legit. he's the real reformer. that's why it got released. remember what also happened on september 5th. the same day the senators are meet with president zelensky, you know what happens in their parliament? they start the anti-corruption court. they'd already passed getting rid of sovereign immunity for members of congress and their parliament. all those things are happening and -- plus, remember, senator johnson came back, senator murphy came back, senator portman. they all talked to the president and said we want this aid released before september 30th and the president did it. they think it's because they are start something investigation. it happened because we all believed that president zelensky was legitimate. >> [ inaudible ]. sir, are you concerned that ambassador sondland today [ inaudible ] -- >> no. no, i'm more concerned that i think it was 359 times in the ambassador's deposition where he
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said i can't recall, i don't remember, i'm notoing to answer it. i'm more concerned about the fact the most exculpatory piece of evidence is what was just talked about. the statement given direct three ambassador sondland and he left that out of his 23-page opening statement. i'm more concerned about those things. >> did you have concerned about the vice president and other officials. why not push the white house to let you speak to them, some of these -- >> it's the white house's call. that's the white house's call. this process has been so unfair. what adam schiff is -- he told us last night at 10:00 if we wanted to look at mr. sandy's deposition and bring some of that information together for today's hearing. we found out about that at 10:00 our lawyer got notified. we would have liked to have mr. sandy's deposition available to be able to use in this proceeding today. we couldn't. that one of the things that's been unfair throughout this whole process. you all know that.
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>> [ inaudible ]. >> wasn't our witness. >> no, our witnesses were hale, morrison and volker. you saw yesterday with mr. morrison and mr. volker. and that was a good day. mr. volker is the special envoy. he's the definitive narrative on this. you saw how good he did yesterday. they are all adam schiff's witnesses. he called them all. we said of all the witnesses you'd call to come in on our list. morrison, hale and volker. >> and you know what witness they will not call is hunter biden. every single witness that's been asked a question, do you think there's a potential appearance of a conflict of interest with hunter biden on the board of burisma? every witness asked that question has said yes, including ambassador sondland. hunter biden is on our list and adam schiff continues to run this partisan process in not calling the witnesses we've requested. >> every witness has virtually raised concerns about rudy giuliani's role in this.
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don't you have any concerns that giuliani was pushing as some say what's running counter to the u.s. policy. >> the president can choose who he wants but from the witnesses here today when it comes to impeachable offenses they have yet to point to a shred of evidence when it comes to impeachable offenses. >> pushing investigations without the president's -- >> that's not accurate. >> democrats get -- >> he wasn't push -- >> as ambassador sondland testified today, his understanding of the investigations were into burisma and to the 2016 elections and ambassador sondland specifically said that he did not understand that as meeting to biden. the one investigation that's been done into burr mace was done under the obama administration. the obama administration had concerns with hunter biden on the board of burr maisma as we from yovanovitch. she was prepared with that information before her senate confirmation. when we talk about investigations. the fact of the matter is the one investigation into burisma
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was done during the obama administration. >> call for a biden investigation -- >> i'll take one more. >> the piece of skull pa texcul evidence that exonerates the president? >> the president's own words. and the fact that president zelensky never announced any investigation. remember what mr. sondland said. to get a meeting, to get a call, to get the security assistance there would have to be an announcement. they got the meeting, the call, the security assistance without an announcement. that's it right there. >> -- from the white house today. do you think it would help to hear them testify to the public -- >> that's their call. >> that's the white house. >> thank you guys so much. >> would you like to hear from them?
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>>. >> sevou


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