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tv   The Impeachment Trial of Donald Trump  MSNBC  January 25, 2020 6:00am-10:00am PST

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good morning. i'm ari melber picking up msnbc's special coverage of president trump's impeachment trial which gets back under way within the hour. we know today is a turning point because after a punishing three days from democratic house managers lawyers for donald trump now begin their case against impeachment even as the president ints complains the democrats nabbed their speaking time from wednesday through friday. donald trump's lawyers say they will begin with a sneak preview a trailer of sorts. they have also publicly revealed some of their strategy for the trial and today's proceedings. >> abuse of power, even if proved not an impeachable offense. >> i mean think about why we're here? are we having impeachment over a phone call.
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>> the dossier, are you going to bring it up? >> how do you not? how do you not bring up the steele dossier. look for things. like the foreign intelligence surveillance -- you want to talk about foreign interference, see what the fisa cart had to say about that. there is no abuse of power here, objection of justice. you don't get penaltyized for -- >> adam schiff has drawn praise on the left and grudging rmt on the right for his methodical evidence-driven remarks for president trump's removal. >> when you discover the evidence uncovered during the investigation you will agree there is no serious dispute about the facts underlying the president's conduct. and this is why you will hear the president's lawyers make the astounding claim that you can't impeach a president for abusing the powers of his office. because they can't seriously contest that that is exactly, exactly what he did. you can't trust this president
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to do what's right for this country. you can trust he will do what's right for donald trump. >> a dramatic argument. as we say, it is all about the shift as the president's team takes over. it may be saturday but the senate is in session. and the president's job is still constitutionally on the line. so here we are to quote a recent drake song, working on the weekend like usual, with our entire team working hard as usual. gare hague, chuck todd, i should mention here in new york we are stacked with lawyers. three former prosecutors, maya wiley, paul butler, and chuck rosenberg. and we are joined by carlos car bello bringing insights into how the lawyers are operating and the whole process. he is of course a former florida
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congressman. good morning. >> good morning. >> chuck todd it has become commonplace to observe that aspects of this trial are repetitive. today is not repetitive, undeniably a new thing. what do you think we should keep our eyan as it kmapgs gears on the floor? >> ari, i have to say the one thing about -- we knew the broad outlines of the case that adam schiff and the team was going to put out. we followed it very closely. i don't know exactly the focus of the president's defense. are they going to, as all those fine lawyers like to say, try a different case? right? i heard steele dossier. are they going to go fisa courts, are they going to try just another case. are they going to refute some of the facts.
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jay sekulow made comments that there is nothing to see here, it is all constitutional. i think this is where there is risk for the president's defense team politically. if they sit here and dispute the facts, i think you could say then they make a case for why you do need witnesses. if they decide to accept everything the democrats said and try a different case maybe that's the political expedient way to go but it does leave the actual case out there that perhaps becomes politically damaging over time as more comes out. i am very curious which direction the president's team takes because i think their whole goal is not to offend republicans in the senate. and different tacks that they take could offend different groups in the senate. >> kelly o'donnell has been tracking what is coming out of the white house. as chuck says, there have been some concerns from some senator jurors about different claims, head on a pike, or what nadler
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said earlier in the trial. but that could cut both ways if it is about the senate prerogatives and they don't feel that the white house lawyers are doing it right. >> one of the things that i think is notable in a new interview that aired this morning, a clip of the president where he talks about where he expects this to be over fairly quickly, and he referred to the republican senators that he likes, respects, and in some cases loves the republican senators. that is a signal to the jury of 53 senators that they believe they are standing with him to a about degree. the pressure of course will be on his defense team today to to enough to argue that the president has done nothing wrong, which is sort of the overarching theme they tell us they will argue. and then what tools will they use to flush that out. so far they have given us a little bit of a kitchen sink approach where in questions with
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reporters they have been careful to say they don't want to reveal strategy ahead of their actual presentations but if you ask about the bidens or if you ask about other issues they will say yes, yes, yes to all of those things. whether it is foreign surveillance, the steele dossier, joe and underhunter biden. except it to be a variety plate from the defense, especially today because they also have described it, ari, as coming attractions. >> garrett, what do you have? >> -- senators are pleased with the case they were able toent were. democrats feel like the managers put forward a fact based thorough -- perhaps too thorough, you heard chains about repetiti repetitiveness. managers wanted to make sure that all of them got to hear the case that they laid out. they are ready for the possibility that the white house does come out and try to try different case, throw different things out there. they are preparing to do a very aggressive, essentially realtime
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fact-checking operation, whether it is on social media during the trial itself or coming back out to the cameras around capitol hill and getting in front of the media when they feel like the white house is misrepresenting the facts. and to chuck's pony, the democrats feel like they have the facts on their side. if the white house disputes the facts it helps them make the case for witnesses. i think what the managers, what democrats are expecting is for the white house to ignore the basic facts of the case as much as possible and simply say, none of this is impeachable, a prevent defense, if you will, to use a football analogy on a legal playing field here to just do just enough here to keep everybody reasonably happy and in their seats. they know if they oent rock the boat too much they have the votes to get this president acquitted. so the bar is lower for the white house attorneys in that way. >> i want to thank everyone who wat watched. we will be coming to you throughout this hour and throughout the day throughout
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the trial of the impeachment of donald trump. back to the panel. what is the challenge facing the trump lawyers today? >> i think they have to pick among several available defenses. in a real criminal trial -- we have seen this is not a real trial. it is roughly analogous to one. but in a real trill kril a defense lawyer might say my client didn't do it. or they might say you can't prove that my client did it or create a distraction n. an impeachment setting i think you have two other alternatives. one would be to say, well, he did it but it is okay, article two permits this behavior. he did it and that's fine. or they might say, although i don't expect this one, ari, he did it, it is not okay, but you shouldn't remove him for it. so i man we are going to see defense attorneys bouncing back and forth between all of these different theories. can't do it, didn't do it, it is okay, you shouldn't remove him, and creating distractions.
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and that can be distracting. >> what chuck said. i was going to use a baking analogy as the only woman on the panel rather than a football analogy. but it is like -- the problem i have is they are trying to bake a cake using salt instead of flour. you can't bake a cake with three quarters salt and one quarter flour. the flour here in the trial are the facts, whichever direction you are taking that chuck is talking about, you still come back to facts. and they are so light on facts. and i think the problem they have in their defense is they also don't want to on public television be talking about the prosecutions facts again and again by saying those facts aren't enough. because then they are just reinforcing all of this really damning material. that is not what they want the public or the senators thinking about today or tomorrow or the next day.
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they want them thinking about, we need to acquit this president. and the only way they can do that is with distraction from the facts. that's why we are hearing they want to put the federal government on trial or the democrats rather than have donald trump on trial. >> chuck said it is not a real criminal trial. it is a sham at this point. it is a setup. and the only way to prevent it from continuing to be a setup is to hear witnesses. and so to maya's point, you would think that the president's defense would offer facts. we still haven't heard a full-throated explanation of why the military aid was frozen after it had been certified by both the pentagon and the state department. we still haven't heard a full-throated explanation of why president zelensky's visits to the white house were repeatedly postponed. we still don't know why rudy giuliani was running around ukraine doing u.s. foreign policy. >> congressman i want to play
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sound stacking of what adam schiff was arguing to what we know republican senators in this jury room, if you want to call it that, have said. in other words, it sounds like criticism with donald trump. it sounds like sewing discord. in fact, it is just everyone's apparently unvarnished real views before the power shifted and they had to pretend otherwise. this is a striking comparison we put together. some of schiff's strongest closing and what we have heard that tracks with that from republican senators. take a look. >> you know you can't trust this president to do what's right for this country. >> this man is a pathological liar. >> does anybody really question whether the president is capable of what he is charged with? >> i think he is a cooke. i think he's accuracy, i think he's unfit for office. >> nobody is really making the argument donald trump would never do such a thing. >> donald trump is a phony, a fraud, his promises are as
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worthless as a degree from trump university. >> because of course we know that he would, and of course we know that he did. >> is there also something of a farce hanging over how many people are supposed to pretend that didn't all happen recently on television. >> ari, first thing i will say is adam schiff sounded kinder to the president than some of those former republican rivals in 2016. the second thing is that i think there are two big audiences for the president's lawyers today. obviously the 100 jurors, the senators. but then of course the american people, and specifically the president's space. i think you will see an animated, maybe even flamboyant performance directed at the president's base. they want to get that base fired up. they know that's what keeps republicans in the senate and in the house in line. then at the same time chuck todd made a great point. they cannot risk offending a certain cohort of republican senators who don't want to be perceived as lackeys of the
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president. some of these are people of great integrity. people who take their jobs very seriously. others are politically exposed. they will have tough races in november. and same way adam schiff and certainly jerry nadler irritated some republican senators, for the president's attorneys, the risk of irritating republican senators is even greater and could be far more perilous. so a delicate balance these presidential lawyers will have to achieve today in the united states senate. i think it will be a relatively short performance. because longer they go, the more likely it is they could make a mistake. >> congressman, and the whole panel stays here. thank you very much. what we are going to do is take a quick break. as i mentioned the trial will actually kick off within the hour. we are looking at some of the arrivals. we saw top lawyers for the president already walking through the doors. we are less than an hour away from the opening arguments. coming up, one of the
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we are back with our special coverage of the impeachment trial of president trump. the senate reconvening in just about 40 minutes. the president's legal team kicking off their opening arguments. meanwhile, a new recording emerged the democrats want admitted into evidence. this is audio that was first published by abc news. it appears to show president
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trump discussing the firing of ambassador yovanovich the former ambassador to ukraine. nbc hasn't obtained the entire recording. we can't tell you anything beyond what abc found. we can get into what it means for these arguments. laurence tribe, the author of "to end a presidency, the power of impeachment" along with many other books and textbooks. good to see you, sir. >> good to see you. >> i give you dealer's choice. we can get to the recording which is the newest thing. there is also the question in your mind of what you expect these trump lawyers will push on the senate floor given how much they have been previewing in public and which parts you feel are legitimately debatable and which may be in your mind over the line. >> you know, i have been thinking on the way over to the studio ari about what's so sewer
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real abo -- surreal about all of this. the tape comes out of the president saying take her out. every day something comes out that all confirms pretty much what we know. what is surreal and odd about this trial isn't just the strange procedures or we might not have live witnesses. it is really two things. the first is that unlike most trials we sort of know the truth as adam schiff brilliantly said thursday night, we know this guy. now that we have heard from ambassador yovanovich and others, we know that he shook down ukraine. we know the reason. we know he was trying to cheat in the election. there is very little doubt about that. we know what happened. it is not as though that's a mystery. what is a mystery is how it is going to unfold. the second thing that's really unusual is that unlike most trials we have a defendant who is openly threatening not just the jurors, though we don't know for sure about that.
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but he is threatening that if you actually call witnesses or try to get evidence i am going to for the first time invoke executive privilege. he hasn't really done it yet, something that adam schiff pointed out and not everybody seems to know. i am going to gag the witnesses. now, most defendants don't have it in their power to do that. but he's saying, you know, your second article of impeachment claims that i am obstructing congress. well, i dare you to try to get witnesses because i am going to obstruct congress. it's just astonishing. and of course that puts the defense lawyers in quite a bind. they are going to try as jill wine-banks said earlier in this coverage to deny, distract, delewd, dissemible. but actually putting on a real case doesn't seem to be one of the options. >> you mention this particular
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fight over both holding back evidence and the privilege. here was adam schiff on that. >> unlike in the house, where the president could play rope a dope in the courts for years, that is not an option here and it gives no options to people who want to invoke executive privilege to avoid the truth coming out. we have a privilege empowered by the senate rules to decide issues of evidence and privilege. >> what is he getting at there? >> he is pointing out that the chief justice of the united states is sitting right hyped him. he is capable under the rules of the senate to say executive privilege doesn't apply here because it has been waved or it doesn't apply here because it doesn't apply to conversations that are part of a cover-up or a
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conspiracy or a crime. it doesn't apply for any number of reasons. or he can say it does apply. but those people who are worried that the president will run to a district court down the street rather than litigating this out right in the senate in front of the chief justice of the united states really haven't thought through the procedure. now, the chief justice might say that, well, this is part of what bolton is properly prevented from talking about. but that is something where a majority of the senators, 5 1, could over -- 51 could overrule him. or he might say i am not going to let any of this come in and then it is over with. but the only excuse for not looking under the hood and actually peering at the people who were in the room and asking them well what did the president say exactly is that you are afraid of the truth. because if there is anything
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there that might exonerate him, and it is hard to imagine, then of course the president would want it to come out. jay sekulow would want it to come out. pat sip loan would want it to come out. the only way to describe the fact that they are trying to hide it despite the presence of the chief justice behind them is that they hope that they can get away with continuing the cover-up. that's what as i said makes this so surreal. kafka couldn't have written a better script. it would be amusing if it weren't so dead serious. as adam schiff pointed out, any of us could be the victim of a president who knows no limits to his power. is willing to ask for governments to put up phony posters saying we are investigating x, or y, or z. we are all potential victims of one who thinks he is above the
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law, who thinks that he has this magical article ii that tells him he can do anything. by the way, that's confusion. he is talking about article ii which doesn't say he can do anything. not article two of the articles of impeachment, saying this president thinks he can do including obstructing congress from investigating what he does. i think you said last night ari you thought it was perhaps weak. i think it is strong. it is strong because no president in american history has ever denied the power of congress, especially in the impeachment context, to get at the truth to get at the facts. presidents have selectively invoked this or that privilege. but this guy says you can't have anything. he hasn't turned over one document. he told everybody they had to be silent. that's what makes this so
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unique. >> harvard professor laurence tribe, always great to get your insights. as we are just half an hour away. thank you sir. i move forward because we have a senator who agreed to join us before this kick off. senate republicans, you can see here senator mansion. cbs news reported last night that a trump confidante said that gop senators were warned vote against your president, vote against the president and your head will be on a pike. when we are talking about a president who would make himself a monarch, that whoever that was would use the terminology of a penalty that was imposed by a monarch, a head on a pike. >> some republican senators did not like that at all.
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senator collins could be heard saying, not true, as schiff spoke. and then here's part of what senator langford of oklahoma told reporters. >> i was visibly upset with it. the whole room was visibly upset on our side to say it is insulting and demeaning to everyone to say we live in fear and that the presidents that threatened all of us to put your head on the pike. >> joined by minority whip illinois senator dick durbin. we understand your time is short. we appreciate you giving us a little bit before you go back to the floor, sir. >> glad to be with you. >> what do you think adam schiff and the democrats achieved now that they have completed their opening arguments. three days, both articles. what are the takeaways? and here we are on the weekend for people who may have been very busy this week, working hard. not caught all of it. as a juror what are the takeaways? >> i can tell you adam schiff and the house managers made a powerful presentation over three days. both the facts, and the law and
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the constitution. they spelled it out in detail, to the point where the videos were supporting him, the president's own words were condemning him. it was a powerful case. i know that the president's attorneys need their day in court. it starts this morning. but any start with a real burden here, to try to prove that this president did not know what was happening around him. >> when you look at the arguments we are going to see, the president has talked about this as bag trailer. they have a lot of lawyers teed up to make different arguments. what are you most receptive to. there have been a lot of talk about republicans needing to keep an open mind. now the shoe is on the other foot as you try to do impartial justice listening to the trump lawyers' arguments. what do you think their argument is going to be about? >> i want to get to the facts as quickly as we can. the fact that we have no witnesses, no documents from the
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administration suggests they don't have any evidence to exonerate the president. bring in mick mullmulvaney. we can ask him what did the president ask you? what did the president know? what orders did you receive? that to me is where the president's lawyers should start. >> we know something they are going to use. they say this process is an attempt to seize the president's constitutional authority the power he actually has to quote determine foreign policy. how do you assess that argument? basically they are saying he has wide latitude to set policy, which i think he does. what seems to be under review in this trial beyond that latitude there was a high crime in the pursuit of the foreign policy objective. >> the impeachment clause goes to the heart what have they are saying. they are saying if you are
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successful here the president will be removed from office. that is what the founding fathers envisioned, that it is within the sole power of congress to decide whether a president should continue with his foreign policy or domestic policy. yes, that's at the heart of it. and the trump administration has refused to provide one scintilla of evidence. the clinton administration surrendered 90,000 documents to those who were investigating him. 90,000, and scores of witnesses who were called in under oath. this president has refused to surrender one document or one witness to either defend him or to answer the charges against him. >> senator, you mentioned witnesses when the opening arguments conclude there is a process for a vote to see whether then calling witnesses would be in order is sort the technical way to put it. but sooner or later after that there also may be a vote on whether to deliberate in public or private. you are a member of democratic leadership, as mentioned. do you have a view on whether
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the deliberations on the guilt or innocence of this president should be public or private? >> they should be public. the american people have a right to see it and they have a right to see whether senator mcconnell is going to deny access to witnesses or any evidence and still call this a trial. he put in his organizing resolution the milk some of we will give you a vote on whether or not we should take a vote on witnesses. i am afraid that's going the fail on its peace. maybe a couple republican senators will dissent. at the end of the day i think the goal of senator mcconnell is to make sure no witnesses are called, no evidence is brought before us. the american people need to see this. it shouldn't happen behind closed doors. >> if you are right that that vote fails, what you are calling the vote to the vote, then this whole trial would be wrapped up by when, thursday or friday? >> i can't predict how long the question period will last or how long the presentation from the white house lawyers would last but it has been very clear from
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day one that mitch mcconnell wants to get out of town as fast as possible. >> senator dick durbin appreciate you spending time with us before you go back to the floor and the trial. thank you sir. >> thank you. >> we are about half an hour away from the senate resumming the start of what will be opening arguments on the president's side. next senator tim kaine of virginia. much more of our special coverage on this impeachment trial of president donald trump ahead. [alarm beeping] {tires screeching} {truck honking} (avo) life doesn't give you many second chances. but a subaru can. (dad) you guys ok? you alright? wow. (avo) eyesight with pre-collision braking.
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welcome back to our special coverage of the impeachment trial of president trump. we are now 30 minutes out from the president taking the stage, day one of their opening arguments. it is the first time they will be controlling the floor. we are joined by democratic senator tim kaine of virginia member. and jumping into our on set panel, joy reid, the host of a.m. joy here on msnbc. the 10:00 a.m. hour is approaching. good the see you. >> you too. >> joy is here. we begin with the senator who like others who graciously joined us who obviously has a tight time line. you are headed back to the floor. i want to put the same question to you i put to senator durbin. there has been much talk about
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the republicans and whether they would be open to hearing evidence from witnesses. what are you receptive too? what arguments of theirs do you find legitimate as you review your oath of impartial justice? >> that's a great question. i think the fundamental question in the case is the wrongdoing at the sufficiently high level to warrant removal from office. i think an impeachment, any impeachment you have got to grapple with three issues. what are the facts? here the facts are essentially unchallenged. the white house brief, it is 109 pages long, it does not challenge a single factual assertion made by any of the house witnesses. so the facts are established. second, do the facts equal the two charges, abuse of power, obstruction of congress? i think they clearly do. but the third question in any impeachment, and this is the one that we have to grapple with impartially, is are the charges are at an elevated enough level
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to be a high crime or misdemeanor that warrants the extreme step of removing someone from office? and all of us have opinions, and all of us have followed this. so we all walk in with some thoughts about the matter. but that's the issue that we really have to grapple. i thought the house managers did a superb job on the first two points. but then on the third point, is it elevated enough to warrant removal from office, they pointed out, the president will do it again. he has shown no remorse. he says it was perfect. it puts our nation at risk. it undermines public trust. they did a wonderful job on that third point about the misconduct, is it at a high enough level to warrant removal. i am going to be very interested in the response from the president's team on that, if they respond. they may well just try to distract attention and do all kinds of crazy things other than directly dealing with the issue at hand. if they do that, it will tell me, and i think it will tell the
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american public that they are worried. >> it is interesting to hear you lay that out senator. as viewers have heard many times only two past such trials. let's be clear. one of the indig knits for donald trump is most presidents never have to pause and wait to find out if they stay in their term. >> right. >> just going on trial is a big negative, an unusual negative for that reason. having said that, as you point out there are lawyers to this. in the johnson and clinton trials i think one could argue what you just did. a lot of the facts were clear. johnson was revialed for many reasons and he did shake up his cabinet in many ways that seemed to violate a law. with clinton, the misconduct wasn't under question. the decision as you say was it a high enough crime to warrant removal from office.
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and here, the president says no, i just wanted to go after the bid bidens, my rivals. do you think if the president's lawyers focus on the higher level closer call, do you think that would be wise? do you think they might be walking into a blunder according to the "washington post" and others this morning that they want to focus on going back into attacking the bidens? >> if they do spend their time attacking the bidens, i think it will be seen by all in the room as they are trying to deflect attention away from the president's behavior. if i were them they should be trying to convince us, hay, you may not like the behavior but it is not at the elevated level. here's the problem they face with this. the president said his behavior was perfect. if the president said it was perfect, what is the likelihood he will continue to try to do perfect things? the likelihood is very, very high. the other issue they are really
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going to have to grapple with in their presentation is persuading us that we don't need to see witnesses and documents. i have -- i tried cases for 17 years as a civil rights lawyer. and i had cases in every court from the traffic division of richmond general district court to the united states supreme court. and there is no case that i ever tried to a judge or jury that didn't have witnesses and documents. all i want from my republican colleagues is that they treat the matter of an impeachment trial of the president of the united states with at least the same degree of seriousness as they would get if they were in the traffic division of the richmond general district court on a driving offense. if they will do that, we need the witnesses and documents so that we can to impartial justice as we promised to do. >> you now when we are going to hear today, for viewers we will show the headline here of what you were just mentioning, the exceptionation that the defense team will target the bidens that they see it as sort of a
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counter-punch. i don't know how this relates to traffic court but i will ask you the last question i asked your colleague, which is at some point this week if they move to deliberations there is a question whether they should be public or not. what do you favor? >> i hope they will be public. we will see how it goes but i hope they will be public because i think the american public should hear us grappling with weighty questions of this kind. and so yeah, that would be my -- that would be my hope. >> all very interesting, and appreciate you sharing with us your views as you put it as a juror on the closer calls, and what you see as the easier calls on some of the facts. senator tim kaine, thank you very much, sir. >> thanks. we are going to git fit in a quick break. joy reid is here. after the break you will hear from joy and the rest of our legal panel. a lot of what you need to know and a rebuttal fact check as the
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president's lawyers prepare to take the senate floor and thus the national stage in just under 20 minutes. we'll be right back. st under 20 minutes we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ wherever we want to go, autosave your way there with chase. chase. make more of what's yours.
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9:45 a.m. in washington. welcome back to msnbc's special coverage of this trial of president trump. in just a few minutes now, the president's defense team led by his white house consell will take the floor for the first time in their opening arguments. over at the white house we know the president is there. we have seen new report being the debate over strategy as we lean into a twitter feed version
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of donald trump's greatest defenses and claims and perfect call stuff, or do you try to go point by point from what we were just hearing from some of the senators this very hour in dealing with what might be considered the more legitimate and weighty questions. not trying to dispute facts that have been prove but arguing as other presidents have in this situation that no matter how bad it looks you don't just remove a president. you need a lot to do it, you need a real constitutional reason. we are going to get clarity on that as soon as 15 minutes from now. we have a panel with me. joy reid what are we going to see. >> just looking back and listening to your didn't -- your questioning of the senator, if you look at pat sip loan who is the white house counsel. he actually technically works for the country. but the argument that he and sekulow have made so far, quickly writing notes during the break. they have argued two things,
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one, that democrats are doing this because they hate the president. that is not a credible argument. three smart lawyers are at the table. that doesn't sound like a legal argument to me. that was one argument they have made. the second argument they have tried to make is that donald trump really deeply cared about corruption. there is no evidence of that. he never said corruption, never brought that up in his conversations with the president of ukraine. but they can make that argument because that's the way to get the bidens in. their argument is the corruption laid at the feet of joed bien and haase son. that's what they are saying, if there are witnesses, there have to be witnesses about them, they have to testify. that's the only way in. here's the problem with that. unlike andrew johnson and unlike bill clinton, who were both -- neither of them were up for re-election. johnson was not up for re-election because the parties chose the nominee. he wasn't choosing himself. it was clear by the time he was impeached and went to trial that the party was not going to nominate him.
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nixon had already been reelected. clinton had already been reelected. unlike the previous three presidents donald trump faces re-election within a few months. you could argue he is a threat to the next election. that's the argument that the democrats have made. he is a unique threat as a president what already cheated in his past election, cared he wants to get foreign help to get elected. an thema. from china, russia, from anyone, he wants help to win the next election. if they actually try to do the work to threaten the next election they have proven that donald trump is a threaten to the next election and cannot remain president. that is the threat. >> what you are laying out here is are some of the stakes and the tensions laid at the feet of the trump lawyers. you have some views on this.
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one, you are talking about basically their criticism of how the democrats got here is irrelevant. >> correct. >> this is a trial. whether you are reading the minds of the other side correctly or not, it is just not a relevant point. >> at all. >> to do, well this is what moved schiff or nancy pelosi, pelosi came to it late but it is still because she hates him. it is not relevant. >> no. >> we are looking a the house managers now walking in. for the past several days of course they have been walking in to long, long days and nights of work. now they are walking in to sit quietly like the senators and like the other side afforded them to listen to these trump lawyers. just telling everyone what we are seeing in the scene. of course those boxes you are seeing are the trial record as they make this procession in. a little bit more history. we are reminded every day this is serious stuff, joy. the second point that you make is so important because all reporting as well as the president's briefs which i have read suggest we are going to
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hear a lot about this today, and especially monday. >> yeah. >> which is, let's relitigate why it would be valid to go investigate this one company abroad. >> connect. >> that back to a domestic political rival, but you couldn't even get your own attorney general bill barr to daytona. he publicly says i want nothing to do with this. so for you and then chuck, what's the tension for the president's lawyers to continue to try to argue a thing that they should couldn't even get done is the legitimate valid defense of what trump was asking. >> you're saying there was not a domestic investigation. if the bidens if either of them had done something wrong it should be the criminal justice to look into it. they couldn't get them to do that. the attorney general is the
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official giuliani. you couldn't get a foreign gavt to government to do it. we couldn't get the doj or ukraine to do it. we want the senate to do it. you're now saying that the senate should do crew yan's job and go ahead and interrogate the bidens? so now it's a branch on a foreign government? so you're saying the senate should now investigate the bidens. what's the purpose of investigating the bidens? to help trump get elected. all of this comes back to the threat of the next election and if they themselves do the things that threatens the next election they've proven donald trump to be removed because he's their associates for the next presidency. >> and both points are legal and logical. the logic being that viewers,
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americans who see this today as the president's lawyers are ready to come out for the first time and monday, they know that we didn't hear a a lot about ukranian corruption five years ago or three years ago or when this was all happening. you would understand the history unfolding here, they know that this all came up in the context of joe biden emerging. speak to us about the legal realm of what it means when you're asking a foreign government to do this. >> sure. well, it's perfectly normal for the doj to ask a foreign government for help. let me be clear what kind of help that is. we are conducting the investigation. the fbi, or the atf is investigating it federal prosecutors are running the grand jury investigation, but it turns out there were bank records in germany and so we sent an official request through
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the doj to our counterparts in germany asking for those records to be pulled, authenticated and transmitted back to us. perfectly normal. perfectly abnormal, asking another country to do our investigations for us. i haven't seen that and there's a reason for it. if we really thought the bidens were corrupt, if we thought that there was some problem that needed to be investigated we have the resources, we have the processes, we have the people who do that all the time. and so to joy's point, that's what's so odd about this situation. there is a process for getting help. there isn't a process for pushing the american persons. >> we've been watching senator mcconnell arrive. as you know, if you've joined us on these senate trial days we
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don't have yet a live camera inside the senate floor because the u.s. government, the united states senate controls that camera. we have news cameras out in the hallway. when they get close to convening again as you see senate mcconnell arooiriving we will o course bring you the floor of the senate. what do you think is important for people to keep in mind as these lawyers come out on the floor, as we are going to hear and the structure of this, a few hours of this uninterrupted we do have context and fact checks and a lot of experts when we come out on the other side but what's important to keep in mind? >> i think every american should be watching this with an eye to what am i hearing about evidence that donald trump's intent was corruption -- fighting corruption in ukraine? what am i hearing that demonstrates any evidence that this was a legitimate -- a
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legitimate conversation with ukranians, because that's the job of the defense right now is to say, nothing happened here. and remember that fundamentally the issue isn't whether donald trump wanted to shame joe biden publicly meaning any candidate can say you america should be very concerned about joe biden because look at his son. that's fair. the issue here is using the organs of government to do it. and i think that's where people sometimes get confused when they think, but wait, people are allowed to campaign. yes, opposition research is normal. yes, it is unless you use the organs of government to do it. so what evidence am i hearing that he was not using of organs. >> i think it's worth pausing on. whether you have a very open
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mind or your mind is already made up by the evidence you've heard, you're hitting this point which goes to the president has these great pow ores, i mean, the power to control foreign policy. in most cases you can drop a bomb first and discuss it after wa ward. that's the power to kill. the power to run billions of dollar, right? but at no point does this great power up here mean that you could, god for bid, start killing people on american soil or take those billions of dollars and put them into your cam tan -- campaign coughve cof. >> they just killed that general. don't we give him a lot of latitude and the constitutional answer is we do, but -- >> only when it's in the
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interest of the country. it has to be in the interest of the nation. he could be wrong about his judgments about what the nation needs but is it about the nation? or sit about him? >> he could be mistaken but not corrupt. >> and let me put it this way. this is all of a group of names that you don't know. let's say the president -- that your state had a massive hurricane. okay? and only the president of the united states can make the emergency declaration that could get aid to your state and the president calls your government and says i'm going to go ahead and giver you that 8. your state is a reck but i'm going to need you to do me a favor first. a guy whether or not's right now your lieutenant govern fluoro, i hear he want to run for president. he seems very popular. i need you to open an investigation against him. i find you to make sure that your attorney general and your investigation door any money.
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when i hear a public announcement and walk out to a camera and is there any corruption? i'm going to need you to go right up to them. congresswoman, doesn't joy's point go to what impeachment is a remedy for in these extreme examples that you hope don't come up that often. there's so many politics, i want to pick a situation that regards to prison. he has a power to appoint the senator when there's a vacancy and he can appoint anyone to minus point, everybody could think it was a mistake in judgment. he could literally pick any type of person, the least popular person in the state. the one thing he can't do is sell the appointment. right? and so he took something that
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would seem hard to mess up and was caught on a wiretap trying to sell it and where is he today? he is still inkars rated for that abuse of power which again, i think it's important for the analysis, wherever you come down ton the evidence, the attempt was an abuse of power. and that is oothe central question here. can the institutions of government be used or abused for personal political gain? and is that conduct impeachable? and by the way, the bidens have been the targets of all of this. i think there's a possibility, at least a temptation for the president's lawyers to attack the bidens on the senate floor today. >>ty eel just say that would be highly risky. number one, they risk an admonishment. i don't think they'll be allowing the senate floor to be
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used for campaign ads and there are a lot of colleagues in the senate who respect joe biden. if those republicans are offended by today's presentation they risk to vote on the final vote whether to remove the president or not. >> as you can see on your screen, the united states senate floor cameras has been turned on when is the sign of the imminent arrival we would say. this is not just any day in the senate trial. this is the day where the president's lawyers finally take over after what we know was a frustrating three days with the president buzz now under the rules most people for most hours had to stay silent. this was carried on most tv cha channels. tens of millions of americans seeing parts of it. if you are an nbc weekend viewer
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and i would say i know that you are if you can hear my voice now as a matter of lodging, normally the laughter next to me is joy reid. joy, your program like so many others across all channels gives way to this. but as we watch the senate floor for our viewers, your thoughts as we begin this hour and we see jay sekulow on the floor. we see the imminence of the president's defense. >> you know, i find it striking that you know, i'm sitting up here on a panel of attorneys and a form ore member of congress. having listened so adam schiff that was brilliant. it was so coherent and it had, you know, fact checking in real time. it was -- it was incredible just to watch it as a citizen and i am sad to say that i think what we're going to see today is a
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performance. a performance for an audience of one. i don't believe that jay sekulow are going to liver up to this moment, this grave moment of the impeachment of a president trump, only the third time such a trial has been held. o-i believe that their temptation to perform for donald trump, to see himself vigorously and angerly scream out his defense. itz's going to be so great i don't think they'll be able to resist it. i don't think the members of the senate are going to take this serious enough to as you said, think about the fact that you know, this is the way they're going to gout in history. i worry that the fear of donald trump, the fear of his base is going to produce a show. not a real grave and important trial but a show. >> there's a fundamental
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principle that is worth articulating. we all know that defendants are entitled to fair trials. what a lot of people don't appreciate is that the prosecutors are also entitled to a fair trial. both sides in a trial by law, by constitutional principle are entitled -- >> and that really goes to what is different about this, joy, which is the president in the rare cases when this does happen obviously is situated differe differently under our constitution and under the recent doj rules. we're looking at the chief justice stepping up there and taking his seat. and we're seeing most of the people -- on the part of the cameras we can see standing as
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they get di ready to hear from chaplain. >> great eternal god, the way, the truth, and the light. unite our senators in their striving to do your will. lord, you have been our help in ages past. you are our hope for the years to come. we trust the power of your prevailing providence to bring there impeachment trial to the conclusion you desire. lord, we acknowledge that your thoughts are not our thoughts. and your ways are not our ways.
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for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are your thoughts higher than our thoughts. and your ways higher than our ways. lord, we love you. empower our senators, renew their strength, we pray in your dependable name, amen. >> please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. senators please be seated.
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if there is no objection, the journal of proceedings of the trial are approved to date. the sergeant at arms will make the proclamation. >> here ye. all persons are commanded to keep silent while the senate of the united states sitting for the articles of impeachment exhibited by the house of representatives against donald john trump, president of the united states. >> the majority leader is recognized. >> colleagues we should expect two to three hours of session today. we'll take a quick break if needed. >> pursuant to the provisions of senate resolution 483 the council for the president have 24 hours to make the presentation of their case. the senate will now hear you. officer recognizes to begin
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parenation of the case for the president. >> thank you, mr. chief justice. senators, leader mcconnell, democratic leader schumer, thank you for your time and thank you for your attention. i want to start out just very briefly giving you a short plan for today. we're going to be very respectful of your time as leader mcconnell said. we anticipate going two to three hours at most and to be out of here by 1:00 at the latest. we're going to focus today on two points. you heard the house manager speak for nearly 24 hours over three days. we don't anticipate using that much time. we don't believe that they have come anywhere close to meeting
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their burden for what they're asking you to do. in fact, we believe that when you hear the facts, and that's what intend to cover today, the facts, you will find that the president did absolutely nothing wrong. and what we intend to do today and we'll have more presentations in greater detail on monday, but what we intend to do today is go through their record that they established in the house. and we intend to show you some of the evidence that they ad adduced in the house that they decided over their three days and 24 hours that they didn't have enough time or made a decision not to show you. and every time you see one of these pieces of evidence, ask yourself, why didn't i see that
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in the first three days? they had it. it came out of their process. why didn't they show that to the senate? and i think that's an important question. because as house managers really their goal should be to give you all of the facts. because they're asking you to do something very, very consequential and i would submit to you to use a word that mr. schiff used a lot, very, very dangerous. and that's the second point that i'd ask you to keep in mind today. they're asking you not only to overturn the results of the last election, but as i've said before, they're asking you to remove president trump from the ballot in an election that's
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occurring in approximately nine months. they're asking you to tear up all of the ballots across this country on your own initiative. take that decision away from the american people. and i don't think they spent one minute of their 24 hours talking to you about the consequences of that for our country. not one minute. they didn't tell you what that would mean for our country today, this year and forever into our future, they're asking you to do something that no senate has ever done. and they're asking you to do it with no evidence. and that's wrong and i ask you to keep that in mind. i ask you to keep that in mind. so what i would do is point out
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one piece of evidence for you and then i'm going to turn it over to my colleagues and they will walk you through their record and they will show you things that they didn't show you. they didn't talk a lot about the transcript of the call, which i would submit is the best evidence of what happened on the call. and they said things over and over again that are simply not true. one of them was there's no evidence in president trump's interest in burden sharing. that wasn't the real reason. but they didn't tell you that burden sharing was discussed in the call, in the transcript of the call. they didn't tell you that. why? let me read it to you. here's the president and we'll go through the entire transcript.
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i'm not going to read the whole transcript. we'll make it available. copies of the transcript so you can have it. the president said, and they read this line, i will say that we do a lot for ukraine. we spend a lot of effort and a lot of time, but they stopped there. they didn't read the following. much more than european countries are doing. and they should be helping you more than they are. germany does almost nothing for you. all they do is talk. and i think it's something that you should really ask them about. when i was speaking to angela merkel she talks ukraine but she doesn't do anything. a lot of european countries are the same way so i think it's something you want to look at but the united states has been very, very good to ukraine.
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that's where they picked up again with the quote. but they left out the entire discussion of burden sharing. >> what does president zelensky say? does he disagree? no, he agrees. they didn't tell you this. didn't tell you this. didn't have time in 24 hours to tell you this. yes, you are absolutely right. not only 100% but actually 100%. and i can tell you the following, i did talk to angela merkel and i did meet with her and i also met and talked with mccrohn and i told them that they are not doing quite as much as thaw need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions, they are not enforcing the sanctions. they are not working as much as they should work for ukraine.
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its turns out that even low logically the european union should be our biggest partner, but technically the united states is a much bigger partner than the european union and i'm very grateful to you for that because the united states is doing quite a lot for ukraine. much more than the european union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the russian federation. you heard a lot about the importance of confronting russia and we're going to talk about that. and you will hear that president trump has a strong record on confronting russia. you will hear that president trump has a strong record of support for ukraine. you will hear that from the witnesses in their record, that
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they didn't tell you about. so that's one very important example. they come here to the senate and they ask you remove a president. tear up the ballots in all of your states. and they don't bother to read the key evidence of the discussion of burden sharing that's in k the call itself. now, that's emblematic of their entire parenation. im go ing to to turn the parenation over to mike. he's going to walk through you many more examples of this. and with each example, ask
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yourself why am i just hearing about this now after 24 hours of sitting through arguments? why? and the reason is, we can talk about the process, we will talk about the law, but today we are going to confront them on the merits of their argument. now, they have the burden of proof. and they have not come close to meeting it. in fact, and i want to ask you to think about one issue regarding process, beyond process. if you were really interested in finding out the truth, why would you run a process the way they ran? if you were really confident in your position on the facts, why would you lock everybody out of it from the president's side? why would you do that?
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we will talk about the process arguments but the process arguments also are compelling evidence on the merits. because it's evidence that they themselves don't believe in the facts of their case. and the fact that they came here 24 hours and hid evidence from you, is further evidence that they don't really believe in the facts of their case. that this is for all their talk about election interference that they're here to perpetrate the most massive interference in an elerks in american history and we can't allow that to happen. it would violate our constitution. it would violate our history. it would violate our obligations to the future. and most importantly, it would
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violate the sacred trust that the american people have placed in you and have placed in them. the american people decide elections. they have one coming up in nine months. so we will be very efficient, we will begin our parenation today. we will show you a lot of evidence that they should have showed you and you will finish efficiently and quickly so we can all go have an election. thank you and i yield to my colleague. >> mr. chief justice, members of the senate.
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good morning. again, i serve as deputy counsel to the president. it is my honor and privilege to appear before you today on behalf of president donald j. trump. >> and what is the president's response? well, it reads like a classic organized crime shakedown. its rambling character and not so many words this is the essence of what the president communicates. we've been very good to your country, very good. no other country has done as much as we have. but you know what? i don't see much reciprocity here. i hear what you want, i have a favor i want from you, though. and i'm going to say this only seven times so you better listen good. i want you to make up dirt on my political opponent. understand lots of it on this
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and on that. i'm going to put you in touch with people not just any people. my attorney general bill barr. he's got the whole wait of the american law enforcement behind him. and i'm going to put you in touch with rudy. you're going to love him, trust me. you know what i'm asking and i'm only going to say this a few more times in a few more ways and by the way, don't call me again. i'll call you when you've done what i asked. this is in character what the president was trying to communicate. >> that's fake. that's not the real call. that's not the evidence here. that's not the transcript that m he just referenced. we can shrug it off and we were making light or a joke, but that was in a hearing in the united
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states house of representatives discussing the removal of the president of the united states from office. there are very few things, if any, that can be as grave and as serious. let's stick with the evidence. let's talk about the facts and the evidence in this case. the most important piece of evidence we have in the case and before you, is the one that we began nearly four months oeg. the actual transcript of the july 25-2019 telephone call between president trump and president trump zelensky. the real script. if that were the only evidence we had it would be enough to show that the democrats' entire theory is completely unfounded. but the transcript is far from the only evidence demonstrating that the president did nothing
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wrong. once you sweep away all of the bluster and innuendo, the selective leaks, the closed door examinations of the democrats' hand picked witnesses, the staged public hearings, what we're left with are six key facts that have not and will not change. first the transcript shows that the president did not condition either security assistance or a meeting on anything. the paused security assistance funds aren't even mentioned on the call. second, president zelensky and other officials have repeatedly said there was no quid pro quo
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and no pressure on them to look into anything. >> high rarnging officials did not even know. the security assistance was paused until the end of august. over a month after the july 25 call. fourth, not a single witness testified that the president himself said that there was any connection between any investigations and security assistance, a presidential meeting or anything else. fifth, the security assistance flowed on september 11. and a presidential meeting took place on september 25. without the ukranian government announcing any investigations. finally, the democrats' blind drive to impeach the president does not and cannot change the fact as attested to by the democrats' own witnesses that president trump has been a
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stronger friend of ukraine than his predecessor. those are the facts. we plan to address some of them today and some of them next week. each one of these six facts standing alone is enough to sink the democrats' case. combined they establish what we've known since the beginning. the president did absolutely nothing wrong. >> the democrats allegation that the president engaged in a quid pro quo is unfounded and contrary to the facts. the truth is simple and it's right before our eyes. the president was at all times acting in our national entrance and pursuant to his oath of office. but before i dive in and speak further about the facts, let me something that my colleagues will discuss in later detail. the facts that i'm about to discuss today are the democrats'
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facts. this is important because the house manager spoke to you for a very long time. over 21 hours. and it repeatedly claimed to you that their case is -- and their evidence is overwhelming and uncontested. it's not. i'm going to share a number of facts with you this morning that the house managers didn't share with you during more than 21 hours. i'll ask you, that when you hear me say something that the house managers didn't present to you ror -- yourself, why have i not been told about this? it's not because they didn't have enough time. that's for sure. they only showed you a very selective part of the record, their record. and they -- remember this.
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they have the very heavy burden of proof before you. the president is forced to mount a defensor in this chamber gengs a record that the democrats developed. the record that we have to go on today is based entirely on house democratic facts precleared in a basement bunker. not mostly. entirely. yet even those facts absolutely exonerate the president. let's start with the transcript. the president did not link security assistance to any investigations on the july 25 call. let's step back. on july 25, president trump called president zelensky. this was their second phone call. both were congratulatory. >> on april 21st, on july 25 the
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president called because president's zelensky's party had just won a large number of seats in parliament. on september 24, before speaker pelosi had any idea what president trump actually said on the july 25 call she called for an impeachment trial. >> in the interest of full transparency and to show he did nothing wrong. he took the unprecedented step to -- what did president trump say to president zen ski. he raised two issues o. i'm going to be speaking ability those two issues this morning. they're the twoish hues that goes to the core when it comes
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to foreign. the president is focused on burden sharing, and corruption. first p the president rightly had real concerns about whether european and other countries were contributing their fair share to ensuring ukraine's security. second, corruption. ukraine has suffered from one of the worth environments in the world. a parade of d-- to help eucaine combat corruption. turning the call right off the bat. president trump mentioned burden sharing to president zelensky. president trump told president zelensky that germany does almost nothing for you and a lot of european countries are the same way. >> peresident zelensky agreed.
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he spoke with the leaders of germany and france and told testimony they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing. so right at the beginning of the call president trump was talking about burden sharing. there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking a foreign leader to help get to the bottom of all forms of foreign interference in american presidential election. you'll hear more about that later. what else did the president say? the president also warned president ze -- again, one of my colleagues will speak more about that.
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the content of the july 25 call was in line with the trump administration's legitimate concerns about corruption and reflected the hope that president zelensky, who campaigned on a platform of reform would finally clean up ukraine. so what the president and president zelensky discuss on the july 25 call? two issues. burden sharing, corruption. just as importantly, what wasn't discussed on the july 25 call? there was no discussion of the paused security assistance on the july 25 call. house democrats keep pointing to zelensky's statement that i would also like to thank you in your support in the area of defense. but he wasn't talking there about the policy security assistance. he tells us exactly what he was talk. javelin missiles. we are ready, president zelensky
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continues. to continue to cooperate with the right steps. we are almost willing to buy more javelins for the united states. president obama refused to give javelins to ukranians for years. javelin sales were not parked of the security system that had been caused at the time of the call. don't take my word for it. both former ambassador to ukraine von yovanovitch and timmy morrison confirmed that they were unrelated. the house managers didn't tell you about ambassador yovanovitch's and tim morrison's testimony. why not? they couldn't have taken two to five minutes after 21 hours to
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make sure you understood that the javelin spears being discussed was not part of the security. >> i would like you toll do a favor because our country's been through a lot and as everyone knows by know president trump asked zelensky to make us a favor. our meaning he personally and not himself. >> more importantly, the president was not sounding connected. even if he had been, the javelin sales were not part of the security assistance that had been temporarily paused. i want to be very clear about this. when the house democrats claim that the javelin sales discussed on the july 25 call are part of the paused security assistance, it is misleading. they're trying to confuse you
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and wrap everything in instead of unpacking it the right way. there was certainly not any from president trump. as you know, head of state calls are staffed by a number of aids on both sides. lieutenant colonel raised a concern about the call and that was just a policy concern. lieutenant admitted that he did not know whether there was a crime or anything of that nature but he deep policy concerns. so there you have it. but the president -- the president sets the foreign policy. you know, demockerity such as ours, i'll contact you. >> other witnesses were on the
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july 25 call and had very different reactions than that of lieutenant vinman. lieutenant general keith kellogg. national security advisor to the vice president. former acting national security advisor and a long serving and highly decorated. according to kellogg, i was on the much reported july 25 call. as an exceedingly proud member of president trump's administration and a 34-year highly experienced with combat veteran i heard nothing wrong or improper on the call. i had and have no concerns. the louse manager said that other witnesses were also troubled by the july 25 call and identified those witnesses as jennifer williams and tim
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morrison. jennifer williams who works for general kellogg now says she has complaints about the call. they were very careful in the way they worded that. what they didn't tell you is that ms. williams was so troubled at the time of the call that she told exactly zero people of her concern. she told no one for two months following the call. not one person. ms. williams didn't raise any concerns about the call when it took place, not with lieutenant general kellogg, not with counsel, not with anyone. >> ms. williams waited to amouns her concerns. tim morris sovereign who is lieutenant vinman's boss was
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also on the call. mr. morrison reported the call to the national security council lawyers not because he was troubled by anything on the call but because he was worried about leaks and how it would play out in the environment. i want to be clear he testified, i did not think anything illegal was to be discussed. there was nothing all lowell about what was said on the floor. mr. morrison repeatedly testified that he disagreed that president trump made demands of president de-len ski or that he said anything improper at all. here's mr. morris son. >> in that transcript does he not ask to look into the bidens. >> i can only tell you what i was thinking at the time. that is not what i understood the prayer to be done.
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>> you didn't hear the president make a demand, did you? >> no, sir. >> again, there were no demands. from your perspective, mr. morris sovereign. >> that is correct sir. >> as you were making the call, the president of ukraine, that never crossed your mind or that he was disex- rt porting the president of the ukraine or noing lightning doing anything improper. >> the ukranian government did not raise any concerns after the call. ambassador william taylor, head of the mission of ukraine, had dinner with the defense council who seemed to think that the call went fine. the call went well. he wasn't disturbed by anything. the house managers didn't tell
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you that. why not? ambassador curt vol ger spoke regularly with president trump zelensky and other top officials in the ukraine government and met with president a day of the call. he testified in no way, shape or form in either the readouts or united states states that he would receive no relief for anything that resembles a quid pro quo. >> the day after the call you meat with president de-len ski. this would be on july 2th. >> that's reekt. >> and in that meeting he made no mention of making quid pro coe. >> he never mention-- they didn you about this testimony from
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ambassador vol gekervolker. why not? president zelensky has confirmed that his july 25 call with president trump was a good phone call and normal and that nobody pushed me. when president zelensky's a advisor was asked if he ever felt there was a connection between the military aid and u.s. investigations he was adamant that he did not have that feeling. of course the best evidence that there was no pressure, or quid pro quo is the statements of the y ukranians themselves. the fact that president trump felt no pressure and did not perceive there to be any connection between security assistance and investigations would in any ordinary case, in any court be totally fatal to
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the prosecution. the jurp would throw it it out. the case would be over. what more do you need to know? the house team knows that. they know the report inside out. left and right, oso what do they do. how do they overcome the direct words from zelensky and his administration that they felt no pressure. they tell you they must have felt pressure. they try to overcome the devastating evidence guest them by claiming to be mind readers. they know what's in zelensky's mind betterer than president zelensky does. he said he felt no pressure. the house managers tell you they know better. and this is really a theme of the house case. i want you to remember this. every time the democrats say
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that president trump made demands or issued a quid pro quo to president de-len ski on the july 25 call they're aing that president is willing untruthful and they acknowledge that's what they're saying. they said it over the past few days. tell me how that helps u.s. foreign policy and national security to say that about our friends? we know there was no quid pro quo on the call. we know that from the transcript there couldn't possibly be a quid pro crow because they did not know it was on hold until it was reported in the media more than a month after the july 25
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call. think about this. the democrats accused the president of leveraging security assistance to supposedly force president zelensky. there can't be a threat without the person knowing he's being threatened. there can't be a quid pro quo without the quo. ambassador volker testified that the you yukranians did not knowl they read it in politico. george kent testified that no ukranian official contacted him about the paused security assistance until that first intense week in september. let's hear from the four of them. >> i believe the ukraine ya yanians became aware.
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forwarding an article that had been published in politico. >> it was only after august 29th when the political argument -- that i got calls from the -- several of the ukranian official os. >> was that the first too that you believe the ukranians may have head a real sentence was on hold? >> have you had any official contact you concerned about -- when was the first time a ukraine official called you with concerns. >> it was after that first intense week of september. >> it wasn't until the politico article that. >> that's correct. i received a text message on all 29th forwarding that article and that is oothe first with me. >> the house managers didn't show you this testimony. from fi of these four witnesses.
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why not? why didn't they give you the context of this testimony? and think about this as well. if the you y-- ukranians, they would have said something. there were many meetings between ukraine and the officials before president trump zelensky learned of the hold through the political article. if the ukranians had noticed about the hold they would have raised it in one of those meetings yet the ukranians didn't say anything about the hold at a single one of those meetings. not on july 9, not on july 26, not on august 27th. at none of those meetings did
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the ukranians mention a pause on security systems. he said he would be in touch with the highest levels of government in the government and they would have asked if they had any questions about the aid. nobody said a word to ambassador volker until the end of august. then within hours of mr. political article being published. he linked the article. as soon as the ukranians learned about the hold, they asked about it. now, mr. schiff said something during the 21 hours or more than 21 hours that he and his team spoke that i actually agree with which is when he talked about common sense. many of us at the tables and in the room are former prosecutors
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at the state, federal or military level. prosecutors talk a lot about common sense. common sense comes into play right here. the top ukranian official said nothing, nothing at all to the u.s. counter parts during all of these meetings about the cause on security assistance but then boom, as soon as the political article comes out, suddenly, in that first intense week of september in george kent's words security assistance was all they wanted to talk about. what must we conclude if we're using our common sense? that we didn't know about the pause until the political article on august 28th. that's common sense. and it's absolutely fatal to the house manager's case. a the house managers are aware that the ukranians lack of knowledge on the hold is fatal to their case and so they've
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tried to muddy the water. the manner just told you the secretary of defense laura cooper, presented two e-mails that people on her staff received from people at the state department regarding conversations with people at the ukraine embassy that would have been about u.s. security assistance to ukraine. what they did not tell you is that ms. cooper testified that she could not say for certain whether the e-mails were about the pause on security system. she also testified that she didn't want to speculate about the meanings of the words and the e-mails. the house monger also didn't tell you, mas. cooper said i revieweden dar and the only meeting i can remember a ukranian official raising security with me was on
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may 25th. the house managers didn't tell you that. the house managers also mentioned that one of the ambassador volker's advisors claimed that the ukranian officials learned about the pouz earlier than the political article. but when i ask when she heard she admitted she can't remember those specifics and di not think she took notes. >> she also did not know when it became popular. was very clear that you believe the ukranians became aware of the hold on august 29th and not before. this is all the house managers have. in contrast to the testimony of volker, taylor, morrison and kent. the text from the high dranking
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ukranians themselves and the flurry that began on august 28th and that's the evidence that they want you to remove the duly elected president of the united states. it is not proper for you to have been used a leverage when other ukranian intelligence didn't know about it. this house managers know how important this issue is. when we mentioned it a few days ago they told us we needed to check our facts. we did. we're right. president zelensky and his top aids did not know about the pause of the assistance at the time of the july 25 call and did not know about it until august 28th when an article was published. we know there was no quid pro quo on the july 25 call. we know the ukranians did not
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know that security assistance had been paused at the time of the call. there was no evidence anywhere that president was linked top any investigations. most of most of the democrats witnesses have never spoken to the president at all, let alone about ukraine security assistance. the two people in the house record who asked president trump about whether there was any linkage were told in no uncertain terms there's no connection between the two. when ambassador of the european union, gordon sondland asked the president, the president told him, i want nothing, i want nothing, i want no quid pro quo. even earlier, on august 31, senator ron johnson asked the president if there was any connection between security assistance and investigations, the president answered no way, i would never do that, who told you that.
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two witnesses, ambassador taylor and tim morrison, said they came to believe security assistance was linked to investigations. but both witnesses base this belief entirely on what they heard from ambassador sondland before ambassador sondland spoke to the president. neither taylor nor morrison ever spoke to the president about the matter. how did ambassador sondland come to believe there was any connection between security assistance and investigations? again, the house managers didn't tell you. why not? in his public testimony, ambassador sondland used variations of the words, presume, assume, guess, speculate and belief over 30 times. here are some examples. >> that was my presumgts -- my personal presumption. that was my belief.
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that was my presumption, yeah. i assumed that had to be done. it was a presumption. i was presuming on the aid. it would be pure, you know, guess work on my part. speculation. i don't know. that was the problem, mr. goldman, no one told me directly that the aid was tried to anything. i was presuming it was. >> didn't show you any of this testimony. not once during their 21 hour presentation. 21 hours. more than 21 hours. and they couldn't give you the context to evaluate ambassador sondland. all the democrats have to support the alleged link between security assistance and investigations is ambassador so sondland's assumptions and presumptions. remember this exchange. >> is it correct no one on this
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planet told you donald trump was tying this aid to the investigations? because if your answer is yes, the chairman is wrong and the headline on cnn is wrong. no one on this planet told you president trump was tying aid to investigations? yes or no? >> yes. >> so you have no testimony today that ties president trump to a scheme to withhold aid from ukraine in exchange for these investigations? >> other than my own presumption. >> when he was done, presuming, assuming and guessing, ambassador sondland asked president trump directly, what does the president want from ukraine? here's the answer. >> president trump when i asked him the open-ended question, as i testified previously, what do you want from ukraine? his answer was, i want nothing, i want no quid pro quo, tell zelensky to do the right thing. that's all i got from president trump. >> the president was unequivocal.
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ambassador sondland stated this was the final word he heard from the president of the united states. and once he learned this, he text messages ambassadors taylor and volker, the president has been crystal clear, no quid pro quos of any kind. if you are skeptical of ambassador sondland's testimony, it was corroborated by the statement of one of your colleagues, senator johnson. senator johnson also had heard from ambassador sondland that the security assistance might be linked to the investigations. so on august 31, senator johnson asked the president directly whether there was some kind of arrangement where ukraine would take some action and the hold would be lifted? again, president trump's answer was crystal clear, no way. i would never do that. who told you that? as senator johnson wrote, i have accurately characterized his reaction as adamant, vehement and angry. they didn't tell you about
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senator johnson's letter. why not? the democrats' entire quid pro quo theory is based on nothing more than the initial speculation of one person, ambassador sondland. that speculation is wrong. despite the democrats' hopes, the ambassador's mistaken belief does not become true merely because he repeated it. many times, and apparently to many people. under secretary of state david hail, george kent and ambassador volker all testified there was no connection whatsoever between security assistance and investigation gs. >> huh a meeting with the president of the united states and you believe the policy issues he raised concerning ukraine were valid, correct? >> yes. >> did the president of the united states ever say to you that he was not going to allow aid from the united states to go
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to ukraine unless there were investigations into burisma, the bidens or the 2016 elections? >> no. >> did the ukrainians tell you they understood they would not get a meeting with the president of the united states, phone call with the president of the united states, military aid unless they under took investigations? >> no, they did not. >> the house managers never told you any of this. why not? why didn't they show you this testimony? why didn't they tell you about this testimony? why didn't they put ambassador sondland's testimony in its full and proper context for your consideration. because none of this fits their narrative. and it wouldn't lead to their predetermined outcome. thank you for your attention. i yield to mr. sekulow.
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mr. chief justice, majority leader mcconnell, democratic leader shchumer, house managers members of the senate. let me begin by saying you cannot simply decide this case in a vacuum. mr. schiff said yesterday, i believe it was his father who said, you should put yourself in someone else's shoes. let's for a moment put ourselves in the shoes of the president of the united states right now. before he was sworn into office, he was subjected to an investigation by the federal bureau of investigation called cross fire hurricane. the president, within six months
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of his inauguration, found a special counsel being appointed to investigate a russia collusion theory. in their opening statement, several members of the house managers tried to once again relitigate the mueller case. here's the bottom line. this is part one of the mueller report. this part alone is 199 pages. the house managers, in their presentation, a couple of times referenced this for that. let me tell you something. this cost $32 million. this investigation took 2,800 subpoenas. this investigation had 500
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search warrants. this had 230 orders for communication records. this had 500 witness interviews. all to reach the following conclusion. and i'm going to quote from the mueller report itself, it can be found on page 173. as relates to this whole matter of collusion and conspiracy. ultimately -- these are the words of bob mueller in his report -- this investigation did not establish that the campaign coordinated or conspired with the russian government in its election interference activities. let me say that again. this, the mueller report, resulted in this. that for this.
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ultimately, the investigation did not establish that the campaign coordinated or conspired with the russian government in its election-related interference activities. this for that. in his summation on thursday night, manager schiff complained that the priority chose not to go with the determinations of his intelligence agencies regarding foreign interference and instead would listen to people he trusted. he would inquire about the ukraine issue himself. mr. schiff did not like the fact that the president did not apparently, blindly trust some of the advice he was being given by the intelligence agencies. first of all, let me be clear. disagreeing with the president's decision on foreign policy matters or whose advice he's going to take, is in no way an impeachable offense.
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second, mr. schiff and mr. nadler, of all people because they chair significant committees, really should know this, and they should know what's happened. let me remind you of something, just six-tenths of a mile from this chamber sits the foreign intelligence surveillance court. also known as the fisa court. it is the federal court established and authorized under the foreign intelligence surveillance act to oversee requests by federal agencies for surveillance orders against foreign spies inside the united states, including american citizens. because of the sensitive nature of its business, the court is a more secret court. its hearings are closed to the public. in this court there are no defense counsel, no opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and no ability to test evidence. the only material that the court ever sees are those materials
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that are submitted on trust, on trust, by members of the intelligence community. with the presumption that they would be acting in good faith. on december 17th, 2019, the fisa court issued a scathing order in response to the justice department inspector general's report of crossfire hurricane investigation into whether or not the trump campaign was coordinating with russia. we know the conclusion. that report detailed the fbi's pattern of practice, systematic abuses of obtaining surveillance order requests and the process they utilize. in its order -- and this is the order from the court -- i'm going to read it. this order responds to reports that personnel of the federal bureau of investigation provided
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false information to the national security division of the department of justice. and withheld material information from the nsd, which was detrimental to the fbi's case in connection with four applications to the foreign intelligence surveillance court. when the fbi personnel misled nsd, in the ways that are described in these reports, they equally misled the foreign intelligence surveillance court. this order has been followed up, there's been another order, it was declassified just a couple of days ago. thanks in large part the court said to the office of inspector general u.s. department of justice the court received omissions in statements filed by the federal government in the above captioned documents. it lists two specific docket numbers, 17375 and 17679, if not
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earlier. there was not -- there was insufficient predication to establish probable cause to believe that carter page was acting as an agent of a foreign power. the president had reason to be concerned about the information he was being provided. now we could ignore this. we could make believe this did not happen. but it did. so as we begin introducing our arguments, i want to correct a couple things in the record as well. that's what we're doing today. we intend to show over the next several days that the evidence is actually really overwhelming that the president did nothing wrong. mr. schiff and his colleagues repeatedly told you that the intelligence community
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assessment, that russia was acting alone, responsible for the election interference, implying this debunked the idea there might be interference from other countries, including ukraine. mr. nadler deployed a similar argument saying that president trump thought, quote, ukraine, not russia, interfered in our last presidential election. this is what we call, basically, a strawman argument. let me be clear. the house managers, over a 23-hour period, kept pushing this false dichotomy that it was either russia or ukraine, but not both. they kept telling you the conclusion of the intelligence community and mr. mueller was russia alone with regard to the 2016 elections. of course that's not -- the report that bob mueller wrote focussed on russian interference. although there is some
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information in letters regarding ukraine, and i'm going to point to those in a few moments. in fact, let me report -- i think i'll talk about those letter right now. this is a letter dated may 4, 2018, to mr. yuri lutsenko. it was a letter requesting that his office cooperate with the mueller investigation involving ukraine issues and issues involving ukraine government or law enforcement officials, it's signed by senator mendez, senator leahey and senator durbin. i'm doing this to put this in
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perspective. house managers tried to tell you the important -- remember my colleague talked about this, the conversation between president zelensky and president trump and the bilateral meeting in the oval office at the white house, as if an article of impeachment could be based upon a meeting not taking place in the white house but taking place some place else. like the united nations general assembly. where it, in fact, did take place. now, dr. fiona hill was clear in saying that a white house meeting would supply the ukrainian government with the quote legitimacy it needed, especially vis-a-vis the russians and the ukrainians viewed the meeting as a legitimacy of the sovereign state. here's what they did not play.
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here's what they did not tell you. and i'm going to quote from dr. hill's testimony on page 145 of her transcript. these are her words. this is what she said under oath. it wasn't always a white house meeting per se but definitely a presidential level meeting. you know, a meeting with zelensky and the president. i mean, it could have taken place in poland, warsaw, it could have been, you know, a proper bilateral in some other context. but in other words, a white house level presidential meeting. that can be found on paige 145. and contrary to what manager schiff and other managers told you, this meeting did, in fact, occur. it occurred at the u.n. general assembly on september 25, 2019.
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those were the words of dr. hill that you did not hear. this case is really not about presidential wrong doing. this entire impeachment process is about the house managers' insistence that they are able to read everybody's thoughts. they can read everybody's intention. even when the principal speakers, the witnesses themselves, insist that those interpretations are wrong. manager schiff, managers garcia and dennings relied heavily on selected clips from ambassador sondland's testimony. i'm not going to replay those. my colleague played those for you. it's clear. we're not going to play the same clips seven times. he said it. you saw it.
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that's the evidence. ms. lofgren said that numerous witness testified -- this is a quote -- they were not provided with any reason for why the hold was lifted on september 11th, again suggesting that the president's reason for the hold, ukrainian corruption and burden sharing were somehow created after the fact. but again, as my colleague just showed you, burden sharing was raised in the transcript itself. mr. schiff stated here that, just like the implementation of the hold, president trump provided no reason for the release. this also is wrong. in their testimony, ambassadors volker and sondland said that the president raised his concerns about ukrainian
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corruption in the may 23rd, 2019 meeting with the ukraine delegation. deputy defense secretary laura kraft testified that she received an email in june of 2019 listing follow-ups from a meeting between the secretary of defense chief of staff and the president relating specifically to ukrainian security assistance. including asking about what other countries are contributing. burden sharing. that can be found in laura cooper's deposition, pages 33 and 34. the president mentioned both corruption and burden sharing to senator johnson, as you already heard. it's also important to note that as ambassador david hail testified that foreign aid generallily was undergoing a
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review in 2019, from page 84 of his november 6, 2019 testimony, he said, the administration did not want to take a sort of business as usual approach to foreign assistance. a feeling that once a country has received a certain assistance package it's something that continues forever. didn't talk about that. in the 23-hour presentation. dr. fiona hill, confirmed this review and testified on november 21, 2019, i'm going to again quote from page 75 of her testimony, that, quote, there had been a directive for wholesale -- a whole scale review of our foreign policy. foreign policy assistance. and the ties between our foreign policy objectives and that assistance. this had been going on, actually, for many months.
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so multiple witnesses testified that the president had long-standing concerns and specific concerns about ukraine. the house you managers understandably -- understandably, ignore the testimony that took place before their own committees. in her testimony of october 14, 2019, dr. hill testified, at pages 118 and 119 of her transcript that she thinks the president has actually quite publically said that he was very skeptical about corruption in ukraine. and then she said again in her testimony, and, in fact, he's not alone. because everyone, because everyone has expressed great concerns about corruption in ukraine.
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similarly, ambassador yovanovitch testified that they all had concerns about corruption in ukraine and, as noted on pages 142 of her deposition transcript, when asked what she knew about the president's deep-rooted skepticism about ukraine's business environment, she answered that president trump delivered an anti-corruption message to former ukrainian president poroshenko in their first meeting in the white house on june 20th, 2017. nse senior director morrison confirmed, at page 63, in his testimony transcript, that -- this was during the the public hearing that he was aware he -- the president had an
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anti-corruption problem with ukraine. and according to her october 30, 2019 testimony, a special adviser for ukraine negotiations katherine kroft heard the president raise it with president poroshenko of ukraine during a bilateral meeting at the united nations general assembly, this time in september of 2017. special adviser kroft testified, she also understood the president's concerns that, quote, ukraine is corrupt because she has been -- this is her words, tasked to write a paper to help then nsa head mcmasters make the case to the president in connection with prior -- prior -- security assistance. these concerns were entirely
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justified. when asked, again a quote from dr. hill's october 14, 2019 hearing transcript. certainly -- these are her words -- eliminating corruption in ukraine was one of, if the central, goals of a foreign policy. now does anybody think that one election of one president that ran on a reform platform, who finally gets a majority in their legislative body that corruption in ukraine just evaporates? that's like looking at this -- it goes back to the mueller report. you can't look at these issues in a vacuum. virtually every witness agreed that confronting corruption should be at the forefront of
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u.s. policy. now i think there's some other things we have to understoand about timing. this, again, is according to the testimony of tim morrison. his testimony. this is when president zelensky was first elected. there was this -- this is -- there was real -- these are his words -- concern about whether he would be a genuine reformer and whether he would genuinely try to root out corruption. this was before the election, it was also unclear whether president zelensky's party would actually be able to get a workable majority. i think we're all glad that they did. to say that that's been tested or determined, that corruption in ukraine has been removed, the anti-corruption court of ukraine did not commence its work until september 5th of 2019.
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121 days ago. four months ago. we're acting as if there was a magic wand. that there was new elections, and everything was now fine. i will not, because we're going to hear more about it, get into some of the meetings the vice president had h. you'll hear that in the days ahead. manager crow said this, what's most interesting to me about this is president trump was only interested in ukraine aid. his words. nobody else. the u.s. provides aids to dozens of countries around the world, lots of partners and allies, he didn't ask about any of them. just ukraine. i appreciate your service to our country.
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i really do. i didn't serve in the military. i appreciate that. but let's get our facts straight. that is what manager crow said. here's what actually happened. president trump has placed holds on aid a number of times. just take basic due diligence to figure this out. in september 2019, the administration announced it was withholding over $100 million in aid to afghanistan over concerns about government corruption. in august 2019, president trump announced that the administration and seoul were in talks to substantially increase south korea's burden sharing. in june president trump cut or paused over $550 million in foreign aid to el salvador,
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honduras and guatemala because those countries were not fairly sharing the burdens of preventing mass migration to the united states. in june the administration temporarily paused $105 million in aid to lebanon. the administration lifted that hold in december with one official explaining that the administration continually reviews and thoroughly evaluates the effectiveness of all united states foreign assistance to ensure funds go towards activities that further u.s. foreign policy. and also further our national security interests. like any administration would. in september 2018, the administration cancelled the $300 million -- $300 million in military aid to pakistan because it was not meeting its counterterrorism obligations. you didn't hear about any of that.
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from my democratic colleagues, the house managers. none of that was discussed. under secretary hail, again, his transcript, said that, quote, aid has been withheld from several countries across the globe for various reasons. dr. hill similarly explained there was a freeze put on all kinds of aid. also freezes put oasn assistanc because there was an awful lot of reviews going on in foreign assistance. that's the hill deposition transcript. she added. this was one of the star witnesses for the managers. she added -- this again not played -- in her experience, stops and starts are sometimes not common with foreign assistance and they hold up dollars all the time, including dollars going to ukraine in the past.
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similarly, ambassador volker affirmed that aid gets held up from time to time for a whole assort assortment of reasons. manager crow told you that the president's ukraine policy was not strong against russia noting that we help our partner fight russia over there, so we don't have to fight russia over here our friends on the front lines in trenches and sneakers. since 2014, the united states has stood by ukraine. those are your words. it's true that the united states has stood by ukraine since the invasion of 2014. only one president since then took a very concrete step. some of you supported it. and that step included actually providing ukraine with lethal weapons, including javelin missiles. that's what president trump did. some of you in the room, some of you managers, actually supported that.
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here's what ambassador taylor said that you didn't hear in the 23 hours. you didn't hear this. javelin missiles are serious weapons. they will kill russian tanks. ambassador yovanovitch agreed, stating that ukraine policy under president trump actually got stronger. stronger than it was under president obama. there was talks about sanctions. president trump has also imposed heavy sanctions on russia for -- president zelensky thanked him. the united states has imposed heavy sanctions on russia. president zelensky thanked him. manager jeffress said the idea that president trump cares about corruption is laughable.
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this is what dr. hill said, eliminating corruption in ukraine was one of if not the central goal of u.s. foreign policy in ukraine. let me say that again. dr. hill testified that eliminating corruption in ukraine was one of, if not the central goal, of u.s. foreign policy in ukraine. you're taking notes you can find that at the hill deposition transcript 34 through 13. dr. hill said the president said publically he was skeptical about corruption in ukraine. she said, everyone has expressed, again, great concerns about corruption. ambassador yovanovitch, they didn't play this. she also said we all had concerns. national security director morrison confirmed that, quote, he was aware that the president
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thought ukraine had a corruption problem, as did many other people familiar with it. i am not going to continue to go over and over and over again the evidence that they did not put before you. because we would be here for a long longer than 24 hours. but to say that the president of the united states did not -- was not concerned about burden sharing, that he was not concerned about corruption in ukraine, the facts from their hearing, the facts from their hearing establish exactly the opposite. the president wasn't concerned
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about burden sharing? read all of the records. and then there was mr. schiff saying yesterday, maybe we can learn a lot more from our ukrainian ally. let me read you what our ukrainian ally said. president zelensky. when asked about these allegations of quid pro quo. he said, i think you read everything. i think you read the text. he says, we had a good phone call -- these are his words -- it was normal, we spoke about many things. i think and you read it that nobody pushed me. they think you can read minds. i think you look at the words. i would yield the balance of my time to my colleague, the deputy
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white house council pat philbin. he's going to address two issues. one involving issues related to obstruction as relates to some of the subpoenas issues and touch on some of the due process issues, since it was at the end of theirs and fresh in everybody's mind. mr. chief justice. >> mr. chief justice, senators, majority leader mcdonell, democratic leader schumer. good morning. as mr. sekulow said i'm going to touch on a couple of issues related to obstruction and due process. just to hit on some points before we go into more detail in the rest of our presentation.
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i'd like to start with one of the points that manager jeffress focussed a lot on yesterday relating to the second article of impeachment. because he tried to portray a picture of what he called blanket defiance. there was a response from the trump administration that was we won't cooperate with anything, we won't give you any documents, we won't do anything, and it was blanket defiance without explanation, that was all there was, an assertion we wouldn't cooperate. he said, i pulled this from the transcripts, president trump's objections are not generally rooted in the law and are not legal arguments. that's simply not true. that's simply not true. in every instance where there was resistance to a subpoena for witness or documents, there was a legal explanation, the justify indication for it. for example, they focussed a lot
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on an october 8th letter from the counsel to the president, pat cipollone, but they didn't show you an october 18th letter, which is on the screen now, that went through, in detail, why subpoenas that had been issued by manager schiff's committees were invalid. because the house has not authorized your committees to conduct any such inquiry or to subpoena information in further ra -- furtherance of it, that was because the house had not taken a vote to exercise the power of impeachment. i'm going to get into that issue in just a moment. not only was there a legal explanation, a specific reason for every resistance, not just blanket defiance, every step that the administration took was supported by an opinion from the department of justice. from the office of legal counsel.
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and those are explained in our brief. and the opinion from office of legal counsel is attached as an appendix. now mr. jeffress and others suggested that the trump administration took the approach of no negotiation, blanket refusal and no attempt to accommodate. that's also not true. in the october 8th letter that mr. cipollone sent to speaker pelosi said, quote, if the committees wish to return to the regular order of oversight requests we stand ready to engage in that process as we have in the past. in a manner consistent with well, established bipartisan constitutional proetections anda respect for the separation of powers enshrined in the constitution. end quote. it was manager schiff and his committees that did not want to engage in any accommodation
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process. we said we were willing to explore that. house managers have also asserted, a number of times, this came up on the first long night when we were here until 2:00 as well, that the trump administration never asserted executive privilege. never asserted executive privilege. and i explained at the time, that's technically true but misleading. misleading because the rationale on which the subpoenas were resisted never depended on an assertion of executive privilege. each of the rationales that we have offered. one of them i'll go into today, the house subpoenas were not authorized does not depend on making the formal assertion of executive privilege. it's a different legal rationale, the subpoenas were not authorized because there was no vote or subpoenas were to senior advisers to the president who were immune to congressional
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compulsio compulsion, or they're forced to testify without agency counsel, which is again sported upported legal opinion from the office of justice. but let me talk about the invalidity of the subpoenas because they weren't supported by a vote of the house authorizing committees to exercise the power of impeachment. manager jeffress said that there were no supreme court precedence suggesting such a requirement and that every investigation into a presidential impeachment, in history, has begun without a vote from the house. and those statements simply aren't accurate. there is supreme court precedent explaining very clearly the principle that a committee of either house of congress gets
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its authority only by a resolution from the parent body. united states versus romely and watkins versus united states make this very clear. and it's common sense. the constitution assigns the sole power of impeachment to the house of representatives. to the house. not to any member, not to a subcommittee. and that authority can be delegated to a committee to use only by a vote of the house. it would be the same here in the senate. the senate has the sole power to try impeachments. but if there were no rules that had been adopted by the senate, would you think that the majority leader himself could simply decide that he would have a committee receive evidence, handle that, submit a recommendation to the senate and that would be the way that the trial would occur?
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without a vote from the senate to give authority to that committee? i don't think so. it doesn't make sense. that's not the way the constitution assigns that authority. and it's the same in the house. here there was no vote to authorize a committee to exercise the power of impeachment. and this law has been boiled down by the d.c. circuit in exxon corp. versus ftc to explain it this way. to issue a valid subpoena, a committee or subcommittee must conform to the resolution establishing its investigatory powers. there must be a resolution voted on by the parent body to give the committee that power. and the problem here is there is no standing rule, there was no standing authority giving manager schiff's committee the authority to use the power of impeachment to issue compulsory process. rule 10 of the house discusses
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legislative authority. it doesn't mention impeachment. and that is why in every presidential impeachment in history the house has initiated the inquiry by voting to give a committee the authority to pursue that inquiry. so contrary to what manager jeffries suggested, there's been in any impeachment inquiry, a vote from the full house to authorize a committee. that is the only way the inquiry begins. there were three different votes for the impeachment of president andrew johnson in january 1867, in march 1867 and in february 1868. for president nixon, chairman radino of the house judiciary committee explained there was a move to have him issue subpoenas after the saturday night massacre. and they determined that they did not have that authority in
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the house judiciary committee without a vote from the house. and he determined, as he explained, that a resolution has always been passed by the house. it is a necessary step if we are to meet our obligations. there's been reference to investigatory activities starting in the house judiciary committee in the nixon impeachment prior to the vote from the house, but all that the committee was doing was assembling publically available information. and information that had been gathered by other congressional committees. there was never an attempt to issue compulsory process until there was a vote by the house to give the house judiciary committee that authority. similarly, in the clinton impeachment, there were two votes from the full house to give the house judiciary committee authority to proceed. first a vote on a resolution
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5258, just to allow the committee to examine the independent counsel report and determine, make recommendations on how to proceed. and then a separate resolution. house resolution 581, that gave the house judiciary committee subpoena authority. and at the time, in a house report, the house judiciary committee explained, i'm quoting, because the issue of impeachment is a such overwhelming importance, the committee decided that it must receive authorization from the full house before proceeding on any further course of action. because impeachment is delegated solely to the house of representatives by the constitution, the full house of representatives should be involved in critical decision making regarding various stages of impeachment. here, the house democrats skipped over that step completely. what they had instead was simply a press conference from speaker pelosi.
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announcing that she was directing committees to proceed with an impeachment inquiry against the president of the united states. speaker pelosi didn't have the authority to delegate the power of the house to those committees on her own. so why does it matter? it matters because the constitution places that authority in the house and ensures that there's a democratic check on the exercise of that authority. that there will be to be a vote by the full house before there can be a proceeding into inquiring about impeaching the president of the united states. one of the thing the framers were most concerned about in impeachment was the potential for a partisan impeachment. a partisan impeachment that was being pushed merely by a faction. and a way to ensure a check on that is to require democratic
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accountability from the full house to have a vote from the entire house before an inquiry can proceed. that didn't happen here. it was after five weeks of hearings that the house decided to have a vote. and what that meant at the outset was that all of the subpoenas issued under the law of the supreme court cases i discussed. all of those subpoenas were invalid. and that is what the trump administration pointed out specifically to the house. that was the reason for not responding to them. because under long settled precedent, there had to be a vote from the house to give authority. and the administration would not respond to subpoenas that were invalid. now the next point i'd like to touch on briefly has to do with due process. because we've heard from the house managers that they offered the president due process at the
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house judiciary committee. and manager nadler described it as that he sent the president a letter, the president's counsel a letter, offering to allow the president to participate. and the president's counsel just refused. as if that was the only exchange. and there was just a blanket refusal to participate. but let me explain what actually happened. i should note before i get into those details, there was a suggestion also that due process is not required in the house proceeding. that it's simply a privilege. but that wasn't the position that manager nadler has taken in the past. in 2016, he said, quote, the power of impeachment is a solemn responsibility assigned to the house by the constitution and to this committee by our peers. that responsibility demands a
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rigorous level of due process. in the clinton impeachment in 1998 he explained, what does due process mean? it means among other things the right to confront the witnesses against you, to call your own witnesses, and to have the assistance of counsel. now think we all know that all of those rights were denied to the president in the first two rounds of hearings. the first round of secret hearings in the basement bunker where manager schiff had three committees holding hearings and then in a round of public hearings to take the testimony that had been screened in the basement bunker and have it in a public televised setting, which was unprecedented in any presidential impeachment inquiry, in the clinton and nixon inquiries, for every public hearing the president was allowed to be present by counsel and cross-examine witnesses. the house managers say that's
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already because when we got to the third round of hearings, after people had testified twice, then we were going to allow the president to have some due process. but the way that played out was this. first, they scheduled a hearing for december 4th that was going to hear solely from law processe professors, by the time they wanted the president to commit whether he would participate, it was unclear how many law professors or who they were going to be. and the president's counsel wrote back and declined to participate in that. at the same time manager nadler asked what other rights under the house resolution 660, the rules governoring the house inquiry the president would like to exercise. and the president's counsel wrote back asking specific questions. in order to be able to make an informed decision.
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and asked whether you intend to allow fact witnesses to be called, including the witnesses who had been requested by ranking member nunes. whether you intend to allow members of the judiciary committee and the president's counsel the right to cross-examine fact witnesses. and whether your republican colleagues on the judiciary committee will be allowed to call witnesses of their choosing. and manager nadler didn't respond. to that letter. there wasn't information provided. and we had discussions with the staff on the judiciary committee to try to find out what were the plans? what were the hearings going to be like? and the way the week played out, on december 4th, there was the hearing with the law professors, the first hearing before the judiciary committee, and on december 5th, the morning of december 5th, speaker pelosi announced the conclusion of the entire judiciary committee process.
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because she announced that she was directing chairman nadler to draft articles of impeachment. so the conclusion of the whole process was set. then after the close of business on the 5th, we learned from the staff that the committee had no plans, other than a hearing on december 9th, to hear from staffers who had prepared hipse committee reports. they had no plans to have other hearings, no plans to hear from fact witnesses, no plans to do any factual investigation. so the president was given a choice of participating in a process that was going to already have the outcome determined. the speaker had already said airlines of impeachme articles of impeachment were going to be drafted and there's
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no witnesses, that's not due process. that's why the president decl e declined to participate in the process. because the judiciary committee decided they were going to accept an ex parte record, developed in manager schiff's process and there was no point in participating in that. so the idea that there was due process offered to the president is simply not accurate. the entire proceedings in the house, from the time of the september 4th press conference until the judiciary committee began marking up articles of impeachment, on december 11th, lasted 78 days. it's the fastest investigatory process for a presidential impeachment in history. and for 71 days of that process, for 71 days of the hearings and the taking of deposition and
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hearing testimony, the president was completely locked out. he couldn't be represented by counsel, he couldn't cross-examine witnesses, he couldn't present evidence, he couldn't present witnesses. for 71 of the 78 days. that's not due process. it goes to a point that mr. cipollone raised earlier. why would you have a process like that? what does that tell you about the process? as we pointed out a couple of times, cross examination in our legal system is regarded as the greatest legal engine ever created to get to the truth. it was said, for any determination that's important that requires determining facts, cross-examination has been one of the keys for due process. why did they design a mechanism
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here where the president was locked out and denied the ability to cross-examine witnesses? it's because they weren't really interested in getting at the facts and the truth. they had a timetable to meet, they wanted to have impeachment done by christmas. and that's what they were striving to do. now, as a slight shift in gears, i want to touch on one last point before i yield to one of my colleagues. and that relates to the whistle-blower. the whistle-blower, who we haven't heard that much about. who started all of this. the whistle-blower, we know, from a letter that the inspector general of the intelligence
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community sent, that he thought that the whistle-blower had political bias. we don't know exactly what the political bias was, because the inspector general testified, in the house committees, in an executive session, and that transcript is still secret. it wasn't transmitted up to the house judiciary committee. we haven't seen it, we don't know what's in it. we don't know what he was asked and what he revealed about the whistle-blower. now you would think that before going forward with an impeachment proceeding against the president of the united states, that you would want to find out something about the complainant that had started all of it. because motivations, bias, reasons for wanting to bring this complaint could be relevant.
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but there wasn't any inquiry into that. recent reports, public reports, suggest that potentially the whistle-blower, was an intelligence community staffer who worked with then vice president biden on ukraine matters. which, if true, would suggest an even greater reason for wanting to know about potential bias or motive for the whistle-blower. and at first, when things started, it seemed like everyone agreed that we should hear from the whistle-blower. including manager schiff. i think we have what he said. >> yes, we would love to talk directly with the whistle-blower. get the unfiltered testimony of the whistle-blower. we don't need the whistle-blower. wh >> what changed? at first manager schiff agreed
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we should hear the unfiltered testimony from the whistle-blower. but then he changed his mind. and he suggested that it was because now we had the transcript. but the second clip there was from september 29th, which was four days after the transcript had been released. but there was something else that came into play. and that was something that manager schiff had said earlier. when he was asked about whether he had spoken to the whistle-blower. >> we have not spoken directly with the whistle-blower. we would like to. >> and it turned out that that statement was not truthful. around october 2nd or 3rd, it was exposed that manager schiff's staff, at least, had spoken with the whistle-blower before the whistle-blower filed the complaint and potentially had given some guidance, some
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sort -- to the whistle-blower. and after that point, it became critical to shutdown any inquiry into the whistle-blower. and during the house hearings, of course, manager schiff was in charge, he was chairing the hearings. and that creates a real problem from a due process perspective, from a search for truth perspective. because he was an interested fact witness at that point. he had a reason, since he had been caught outside saying something that wasn't truthful about that contact. he had a reason to not want that inquiry. and it was he who ensured that there wasn't any inquiry into that. now, this is relevant here, i
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think, because as you heard from my colleagues, a lot of what we've heard over the past 23 hours, over the past three days, has been from chairman schiff. and he has been telling you things like, what's in president trump's head. what's in president zelensky's head. it's all his interpretation of the facts and the evidence, trying to pull inferences out of things. and there's another statement that chairman schiff made that i think we have on video. >> you admit it -- all you have right now is a circumstansir co substantial case? >> no. i can't go into the particulars, but there's more than,
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circumstantial evidence. >> you have seen evidence of collusion? >> no. i will say there is evidence that's not circumstantial and is very worthy of investigation. >> that was in march of 2017, when chairman schiff as ranking member was telling the american public he had more than circumstantial through his position on hipse that president trump's complain had colluded with russia. now, of course, the mueller report, as mr. sekulow pointed out, after $32 million and over 500 search warrants, roughly 500 search warrants, determined that there was no collusion. that that wasn't true. we wanted to point these things out, simply because -- for this reason. chairman schiff has made so much of the house's case about the
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credibility of interpretations that the house managers want to place on not hard evidence but on inferences. they want to tell you what president trump thought. they want to tell you, don't believe what zelensky said. we can tell you what zelensky tal actually thought. don't believe what the other ukrainians thought about not being pressured. we can tell you what they actually thought. it's relevant to know whether the assessment of evidence he's presented in the past are accurate. and we would submit that they have not been. and that is relevant for your consideration. with that i'll yield to my colleague, mr. cipollone. mr. chief justice, members of the senate, i have good news.
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just a few more minutes from us today. but i want to point out a couple of points. number one, just to follow-up on what mr. philbin just told you. do you know who else didn't show up in the judiciary committee? to answer questions about his report in the way ken starr did in the clinton impeachment? ken starr was subjected to cross-examination by the president's counsel. do you know who didn't show up in the judiciary committee? chairman schiff. he did not show up. he did not give chairman nadler the respect of appearing before his committee and answering questions from his committee. he did send his staff. but why didn't he show up? another good question you should
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think about. now they've come here today, and they've basically said, let's cancel an election over a meeting with the ukraine -- with ukraine. and as my colleagues have shown, they've failed to give you key facts about the meeting and lots of other evidence, but they produced themselves. but let's talk about the meeting. they said, it was all about an invitation to a meeting. if you look at the first transcript -- at the first transcript, the president said to president zelensky, when you're settled in and ready, i'd like to invite you to the white house. we'll have a lot of things to talk about, but we're with you all the way. and president zelensky said, thank you for the invitation.
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we accept the invitation and look forward to the visit, thank you again. then, president zelensky got a letter, on may 29th, inviting him again to come to the white house. and then, going back to the transcript of the july 25th call, again a part of the call that they didn't talk to you about, president trump said, whenever you would like to come to the white house, feel free to call. give us a date. and we'll work that out. i look forward to seeing you. president zelensky replied, thank you very much. i would be very happy to come and would be happy to meet with you personally and get to know you better. i'm looking forward to our meeting, and i also would like
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to invite you to visit ukraine and come to the city of kiev. which is a beautiful city. we have a beautiful country, which would welcome you. then he said, on the other hand, i believe on september 1, we will be in poland. and we can meet in poland hopefully. they didn't read you that part of the transcript and they didn't tell you what happened. a meeting in poland was scheduled. president trump was scheduled to go to poland. he was scheduled to meet with president zelensky. what happened? president trump couldn't go to poland. why? because there was a hurricane. in the united states. and he thought it would be better for him to stay here to help deal with the hurricane.
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so the vice president went. why didn't they tell you that? why didn't they tell you that president zelensky suggested, hey, how about we meet in poland? why didn't you tell them that that meeting was scheduled and had to be cancelled for a hurricane? why? so that was our first question that we asked you. you heard a lot of facts that they didn't tell you. facts that are critical. facts that they know completely collapse their case on the facts. now you heard a lot from them. you're not going to hear facts from the president's lawyers, they're not going to talk to you about the facts. that's all we've done today. and ask yourself, ask yourself, given the facts you heard today, that they didn't tell you, who
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doesn't want to talk about the facts? who doesn't want to talk about the facts? the american people paid a lot of money for those facts. they paid a lot of money for this investigation. and they didn't bother to tell you, ask yourself why. if they don't want to be fair to the president, at least out of respect for all of you, they should be fair to you. they should tell you these things. and when they don't tell you these things, it means something. so think about that. impeachment shouldn't be a shell game. they should give you the facts. that's all we have for today. we ask you, out of respect, to think about -- think about
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whether what you've heard would really suggest to anybody anything other that would be completely irresponsible abuse of power to do what they're askias asking you to do. to stop an election, to interfere in an election and to remove the president of the united states from the ballot? let the people decide for themselves. that's what the founders wanted, that's what we should all want. and with that, i thank you for your attention and i look forward to seeing you on monday. >> the majority leader is recognized. >> mr. chief justice i ask consent the trial adjourn until 1:00 p.m. monday january 27th and that this order also constitute the adjournment of the senate. >> without objection so ordered.
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the senate is adjourned. >> as the chief justice gavels the proceedings to a close, that is the quick -- very quick session for this saturday morning, having followed days, almost 24 hours by the democrats, the republicans made it clear early on they wanted to lay out the broad strokes. the president yesterday having referred to saturdays in the television industry as death valley. with us here in studio for our coverage, claire mccaskill, maya wiley, chuck rosenburg, former senior fbi official and carlos
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carbelo former republican congressman from the state of florida. senator, i'll begin with you. by my list, the initial items that they said the democratic managers didn't want you to hear, they didn't explain, burden sharing, a phrase we don't normally associate with our president, ukraine didn't know right away, and, of course, there's direct testimony to counter there. and they worked in false flag. they worked in the notion that ukraine may have meddled in our election, which let's make it clear early and often is a russian talking point. >> a russian talk point without any factual back up. this is weak tea. if you're going to stand up and counter the days of factual testimony that have been brought to the senate floor, i would think you would come with something that is a little bit
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stronger than what they were able to give today. overall, they kept pushing this theme that he cared about corruption. now try this on for size. the president right now is trying to overturn the laws that ban bribery overseas. right? >> yeah. >> he wants people to be able to go over from our country and bribe people in foreign countries. so clearly this guy has a -- he's a corruption fighter. it is so ludicrous that this was about burden sharing or corruption. all you have to do is look at the facts. if you talked to his staff, europe was giving more money to ukraine than we were in terms of rebuilding and supporting them. so we were not leading the pack in terms of helping ukraine. other countries were. it's discouraging that there would be this much misinformation in the first two hours. >> maya wiley on the law, on strategy, what did you witness
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this morning? >> well, what i saw, and i certainly agree with claire in terms of the substance. what i saw is, a legal team that did not have a lot to work with using what they had as effectively as they could. what i mean by that is, they were smart by starting with the facts, and doing what a legitimate defense does, which is to poke holes in the pafacts that we heard from the house managers. and that's what they focussed on, because that's what they've got, right. i think they did that in an effective way in the sense that their only job is to plant enough doubt that republican senators can hang their hat on that doubt, right. i think that was their strategy. and by saying, one, look what the house managers kept from you, is a way of planting that doubt, and then pulling forward
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those facts, because certainly when they were being fact-based, like saying, you know, laura cooper didn't have notes to confirm that they received a contact from the ukrainian embassy noting they know the aid was frozen, that is a fact. but it doesn't address the evidence that the house managers put on or the evidence in the public record that has come out since that, in fact, ukrainians were worried in may about their funds. but in this context, unlike when chuck and i would walk in before a jury where you didn't know where the jury stood, in this case they did know, and they could calibrate their doubt -- planting seeds of doubt sufficiently for the political outcome they want. >> how rare in life you remind me that you know you're addressing a 53-47 jury.
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at least that's been the tally. gentlemen coming to you in one second, but garrett haake has just emerged. garrett was in the gallery. tell me about attentiveness and all the things you gathered by watching today, especially comparing and contrasting to the last few days. >> brian, maybe it's because senators knew it was going to be a shorter day or maybe because they were liking what they were hearing more but the republican side of the chamber was more alert and attentive today than any time i've seen i've been in the chamber. there were a lot of folks using f figit spinners and nodding off, today taking notes and nodding at the presentations by the attorneys. particularly of interest among the senators were video clips, particularly adam schiff and the
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super cut of gordon sondland about the things he presumed or assumed. you saw a lot of nodding alodng chuckling at that. it's clear the white house lawyers are going to make adam schiff, if not a villain, something of a low keypunch line, whether playing his own clips or they wouldn't play the same videos seven or eight times. i only heard the last bit of maya, i think she was right in the sense that what it felt like in the room, the white house lawyers giving cues to the republican senators of here's where we're going to go, here's what you can talk about, giving enough doubt, enough of a legal argument to back up the political decision many of them have already come to about acquitting this prison. that was the feel from the room. >> garrett haake fresh from his
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perch in the gallery. chuck we were about to get your take on the law and strategy thus far. >> in a real trial, defense attorneys try to create enough doubt to do one of two things, either get one juror to latch onto their theory, which would latch onto a mistrial or 12 jurors which would result in an aweal. they don't have to do that here. all they have to do is hold what they already know they have. by the way, it would have to be so compelling from the house manager side to win over enough democratic senators to get you to that constitutional threshold of 67, that i think the republican team defending the president knows they're not going to lose. to maya's point, i hate going after maya, because all i have to do is say -- >> she's right. >> -- she's right. >> i know it's boring. >> she's right, what she said,
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they created enough doubt, they did a good job creating doubt. but articulating the facts they had, they can give republican senators or perhaps republican senators who might be waivering enough to latch onto, mission accomplished from the vantage point. >> while we've been talking we saw elizabeth warren getting in a car and leaving. you did not want to get between the presidential candidates who have been in the jury between an airport, because they're flying directly, i guess all of them? >> i can't decide who's happier in the chamber that the testimony only went two hours. probably the presidential candidates are at the top, and then all the other senators going to a big social event that's an annual affair in washington tonight called the
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alp alphapha club. >> yeah, been there, done that. congressman before coming on the air today we were talking about the fact that we are in so many ways two nations, there are two exact audiences for what we saw today and what we saw yesterday. >> that's right, brian. in some ways, the president's attorney presentation was surprising. a lot of people were expecting a more animated fiery display on the floor. it was more technical and sober. i asked some of the house republicans the president has appointed to his defense team why, and they are confident. they're saying they believe that the impeachment managers last night went too far. alienated some of the republican senate that might have been sensitive to their cause. the other interesting detail they pointed out is they think that a lot of americans just aren't tuned in. one of them said we're here,
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this is a big deal, obviously, and outside the capital today, it was quiet, there was no one. i think this presentation today was somewhat muted because the president's team doesn't feel threatened right now. they don't think they will be any republican defectors. >> there's john cornyn from texas. claire, last night the emotional high point, adam schiff quoted this cbs news report. unnamed aide to president trump saying republicans would have their heads on a pike if they didn't vote with the president. several republican senators took umbra umbrage. collins is said to have reacted verbally in the chamber. murkowski was hurt afterwards. can they really pin a vote on injured feelings? >> come on, guys. you know, listen, for anybody in
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the republican party to complain about overreach with president trump in the white house, really? it just doesn't -- it -- you know, as we say in the ozarks, that dog doesn't hunt. here's the reality. this president goes after you if you oppose him. that's clear. i mean, ask jeff flake. let's call bob corker. how about sanford. how about jeff sessions. >> senator, what about what happened in the house? >> yes. >> one republican who defected can no longer be a republican. so although chairman schiff's style may not have been the most persuasive -- >> right. >> -- i think it's obviously true that in today's republican party, the president demands absolute loyalty. >> does anybody believe that somebody in the white house might have said to someone, boy, they're really in trouble if they waiver on this president?
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maybe they used that phrase, it is an aggressive phrase, i get that, but this is a president who takes prisoners. this is a president who goes after his opponents. he believes in attack. that's what he believes in. they all know that. they all know that as they sit there, if they go against him -- why do you think they're so worried about going against him on the basic question of witness and documents? because they know he will go after them. so schiff stating the reality in vivid terms, maybe he shouldn't have, but come on. >> i'm wondering if the control room can bring in -- tim kaine is at the microphones down at the tram entrance. can we listen to him for a bit? >> and i hope my colleagues, when we get to the end of this and the senate's questions, will embrace the need for procedures that would be required, in a trial even in the traffic
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division of the richmond district court. >> do you think the white house made any progress in poking holes in the democratic -- >> i don't think the white house poked holes in the democratic case. i think they put assertions on the table that they think poke holes in the case. but those assertions, you can't take the lawyers' words for it. the assertions have to be proven. some of the assertions were artful and lawyerly but they were false. jay sekulow said the president paused aid to other countries, that's true. when he went through the examples, he paused aid to the northern countries and announced he was doing it, he paused aid to lebanon and announced he was doing it. there was only one instance where president trump paused aid to a country, in this case ukraine, and hid it from congress. he did it in violation of the
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control act and he hid it from congress by not turning over the whistle-blower complaint. why did they try to hide it in this instance where they made it public in all the other instances? i don't think they poked holes in the case. but i will say this, they asserted facts which can easily be proven or disproven if witnesses or documents are available if they are as any court in this country. >> we didn't hear about joe biden, hunter biden. >> yeah. >> were you spiezurprised by th? they seemed to attack the facts of the house managers case? >> it wasn't a surprise. i don't know if i went into it with an expectation. again, i was surprised that they made the case today about six facts, which can be proven or disproven if there's witnesses or documents, because it was like in a way they were making the argument for the very thing we've been asking for and the
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american public deserved. [ inaudible question ] >> it's too early to say. obviously we have to hear the remaining presentation by the president's defense counsel. but if they stay on this point that resolution of these factual disputes really matter, i think they're going to increase the necessity of getting witnesses and documents. >> do you know how the process of the questions are going to work? >> i don't. my belief is, based on reviewing the way the questioning was done in the clinton impeachment, 16 hours will be democratic question, republican question, democratic, republican, and go until the 16 hours are done. in the clinton impeachment i believe it was 11 hours. i'm assuming it was alternating until there's 16 hours of time that has gone. >> do you have questions that you -- >> yes. i'm sorry? [ inaudible question ] >> i want to see everything. thank you.
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>> senator tim kaine of the commonwealth of virginia. and you'll note the republicans on the team are coming forward to use the same mics. we are now able to talk to democratic senator chris coons of delaware. and senator coons let's start where senator kaine, a process question but an important one. next week, it is tba how much the white house side takes of their available 24, but then how does this question period work over 16 hours and what's the additional four hours we're hearing about at the end for debate? >> well, i would brace for a very long and very vigorous presentation monday by the president's counsel. and the question period is going to be divided between senators
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and give us an opportunity to press on some of the obvious inconsistencies between the long and detailed fact-based case that was laid out by house managers over three days, and the relatively brief sort of sand in the air questioning that was offered up today by the president's counsel. so i think that back and forth between senators who will be passing questions forward to be read. senators will not be directly questioning, their questions will be red and then answered by house managers or the president's advocates. and then that four hour debate period before moving to a vote on witnesses and documents. that will be a particularly important moment. i think the president's advocates today made a great argument for why there needs to be documents disclosed and additional witnesses. they said no one who was in the room with the president said x, y, and z.
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that's because those witnesses have been blocked. there is critical, relevant testimony, documents gathered up, that would answer a lot of the key questions raised today by white house counsel that all we need to do is request them. >> senator yesterday a republican said to me, you can expect the bidens to be on trial during monday's oral arguments. is that your expectation? >> yes, it is. and that's unfortunate because they're not directly relevant here. the case that's been presented by the house managers is that president trump corruptly held up badly needed military aid to ukraine and dangled a white house meeting to the newly elected president of ukraine who was under immense pressure from russian-backed separatists. the folks who can be witnesses here have been blocked by the president and the former vice president joe biden had nothing
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to do with whether or not the aid to ukraine was held up, whether or not president trump dangled a meeting at the white house. >> senator, finally, i asked you the other night if it were a secret ballot, where would it be? where would the vote be? has your answer changed at all? >> no, i do think if there were a secret ballot, particularly for witnesses and documents, that you have a lot of members of both sides who'd like to have a full, fair and open trial. we need the courage to demand that. we will only get, what, four republicans go to mitch mcconnell and say we have to do this in the interest of history. there's a red herring argument made to the republican congress, it will be tied up in the courts for months any request for documents or witnesses will push this back by months. i don't think that's true. i think the senate, which is you
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y uniquely empowered to try all impeachments could issue a subpoena that results in this a resolution of the matter. >> thank you so much senator coons. >> thank you. >> appreciate it after today's first truncated session. we'll continue after this. trunc. we'll continue after this. it works below the gum line to neutralize harmful plaque bacteria and help reverse early gum damage. gum detoxify, from crest.
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. we are back. our continuing coverage and senator patty murray is wired up
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to talk to us. democrat, obviously, from the state of washington. senator, thanks very much for spending a few minutes with us. i'm curious as to how the chamber felt different this morning than the last, say, three days you've witnessed? >> obviously we're hearing from the other side. i think the chamber itself people were listening, respectful, wanted to hear what the white house had to say. and i think that the spirit is well, give us your evidence, where are the documents? where are the witnesses? tell us the facts. and i'm hoping that is what they intend to do. >> i asked chris coons if it was his anticipation on monday it might feel as if the bidens are on trial, and he agreed with that. >> i don't know. i mean, they focussed on told us their arguments were going to be on one letter, on one day, and the house process. which was surprising to me.
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that really begs the question of, what about the documents from the office of management budget that said withhold the aid. i mean, there's so many questions and so many documents and so many witnesses that they are just simply ignoring in their opening remarks. that left a lot of questions for me that i think they have not yet answered. >> i'm going to yield some of my time to a friend of yours from the great state of missouri. senator mckaskill. >> good morning -- good afternoon. >> we've all lost time. >> i don't want to say you're old but you've been there a long, long time. >> since i was a kid. >> people forget you're a seniority, you were elected in 1992, you have lived through not just this impeachment trial but another impeachment trial, in addition to a lot of impeachments of judges along the
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way. the white house tried to retreat into the weeds of house procedure to try to defend the obstruction of this administration. let me ask you this question point blank. has there ever been a president in the time you served that has done the kinds of things this president has done to block congress from its job under the constitution? >> not to my knowledge at all. and it was very surprising to me, although i guess we should have anticipated that they're going after the house process, because that's not what this is about. the house has a right to put together their own process. if they have a case to make, focus on the case, not on the process. that's what we want to hear. it's what we've always heard in any impeachment inquiry, in any judicial process, what's the facts, the witnesses, what's the documents, what's the case before us that would defend what they came here to defend, which was the president's actions in using our taxpayer dollars to
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try and push a foreign country to influence a political connection. fight that fight, not the house process. >> well, i -- it is interesting to me that they are actually saying, they defied these subpoenas across the board because they didn't like the fact that there wasn't an extra vote in the house. >> yeah. >> it really is weak. >> yeah. and to that point, we're in the senate now. so if the senate asks for witnesses and documents, we are in this impeachment trial, why did every republican vote to say no we are not going to have any witnesses or documents and produce the evidence that we need. to me it's a mystery how they're trying to move forward. >> it's like, you didn't do it right in the house so now we're going to refuse to give you the information that could exonerate the president completely if, in fact, those witnesses existed. it's very upside down.
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>> it is. >> how long do you expect this to go on? do you think they'll go into tuesday or do you think they're going to do everything on monday, try to get into prime time on fox monday night and call it a day? >> well, i can only guess. but based on just what they tried to present today as their case, i mean, you think in opening remarks they would make their most impressive case. i would guess their goal is to get this over with before the super bowl. i'm expecting they'll try to move it quickly and just be dismissive as they were today. this is a bunch of bunk rather than arguing the facts. and i think that will be a mistake in the senate chblt have you had a chance to talk to lisa or susan about how offended they were at the notion the president would take retribution about people who oppose him? >> i have not. but i don't know about what was said last night.
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we all know the president has no compunction in sending out a twitter against people. one of the things i voted on against the war in iraq. one of the things i saw in that tremendously important time, that fear was a motivating factor for many people when they took that vote. fear should never be a motivating factor when you make a vote on a consequential issue such as this. we have to base it on facts or we will be facing the consequences of that for decades to come. >> senator patty murray, democratic senator from the state of washington. thank you very much. >> you bet. >> for taking our questions. i want to show two tweets from earlier today. the first is from the president of the united states. and we quote, our case against
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lying, cheating little adam shifty which i have, crying c chuck schumer, nervous nancy pelosi, their leader, and dumb as a rock aoc, and the entire radical left, do not democratic party starts today at 10:00 on fox news. or fake news cnn or fake news msdnc. that's your president from this morning. here's mr. schiff reacting to the presentation we've seen from the republicans. after listening to the president's lawyers opening arguments i have three obs excavations. they don't contest the facts of trump's scheme. they're trying to deflect, distract from and distort the truth. and they're continuing to block all the documents and witnesses. senator chris murphey from
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connecticut. when you hear mr. sekulow throw out the russian talking about, the false flag that ukraine meddled in our election, is there a reaction among the people around you? >> i was shocked that he previewed that apparently they're going to spend a big portion of their testimony peddling russian propaganda. i figured they would side step that question because there is no way to build a case that this phony story about a server existing somewhere in ukraine is true. so i was fairly shocked, a, to hear russian propaganda being introduced into evidence by the president's lawyers, but also to know on monday and tuesday, we might get putin's case put out in full before us, and i think the american people are going to see that it's just empty. it's devoid of facts. and i think it's going to make people even more concerned, not
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less concerned, that the president was pushing for that investigation as a condition of zelensky getting a meeting or ukraine getting their aid. >> tell us by process, when last a lot of american cable news viewers left the story last night, we were hearing this tape of the president at a private fund-raising dinner in washington ordering the firing of our ambassador to ukraine. how does that kind of thing find its way into the senate chamber? can it be admitted? and does it affect, in your view, the vote for witnesses? >> so i frankly thought that the president's lawyers made a compelling case today for witnesses. because they repeatedly said that we have heard limited evidence from individuals who talked directly to the president. who were ordered by the president to engage in this scheme. gordon sondland presented that testimony but others haven't.
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of course, the reason for that is because the white house won't let us hear from people like mick mulvaney and john bolton. so if what's missing in the opinion of the trump lawyers is direct evidence of the people that work for him, there's a way to solve for that. i hope we don't have to get leaked audio of the president ordering things to prove our case. that's all we have because of this unprecedented obstruction unfortunately. i was happy that the president's lawyers today helped our case to win a vote on witnesses. >> when we last left it last night, additionally, there was much offense and umbrage taken on the other side of the aisle because of chairman schiff's mention of the cbs report that contained a blind quote about heads on a pike. do you think your republican colleagues can insulate a no vote using that?
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>> they're going to try. this was their strategy from the beginning. the first night we heard them being upset about certain things chairman nadler said and now upset about things chairman schiff said. they're going to, a, try to get the media talking about how mean the managers are, instead of the facts and try to disguise their vote for the president under their umbrage. i remember republicans saying, i would have voted for that piece of legislation but nancy pelosi said something mean about me on the floor of the house. so it's an effort to district, provide cover. i don't think in the end it's going to work, but they're going to come up with more of these affronts that they believe excuse their all the multimate . >> senator chris murphy from connecticut. thank you for spending time with
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us. you thought it might be improbable, you can try telling us he's on at 7:00 weeknights and no way we'd be able to run these questions by chris matthews, but no we've done the impossible. he's here, part of our coverage right after this. erage right after this any comments doug? yeah. only pay for what you need with liberty mutual. only pay for what you need with liberty mutual. con liberty mutual solo pagas lo que necesitas. only pay for what you need... only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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show one of the president's lawyers making a point this morning that when the ukraine aid was hung up, and we've heard this before, ukraine didn't even know about it right away. >> the top ukrainian officials said nothing. nothing at all to their u.s. counterparts during these meetings about the pause on security assistance but then as soon as the politico article comes out, suddenly in that first intense week of september, security assistance was all they wanted to talk about, in george kent's words. what must we conclude if we're using our common sense? they didn't know about the pause until the article on august 28th. >> the problem with that is the
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direct testimony from dod official laura cooper. >> on july 25th, a member of my staff got a question from a ukraine embassy contact asking what was going on with ukraine security assistance. because at that time we did not know what the guidance was on usai, the omb notice of apportionment arrived that day but the staff member did not find out about it until later. i was informed that the staff member told the ukraine official we were moving forward on usai but recommended the ukraine embassy check in with state regarding the fmf. >> so that was quick they found out the aid was not en route. as we said before the break, chris matthews has joined our merry band. we have yet to hear you out on what you witnessed this morning and what appears to be their
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strategy. >> we all thought, based upon the press reports it was going to be an attack on the biden family, joe and his son hunter. today was a remedial lesson going back to way in the beginning, going back to the whistle-blower, and anyone who's been following this story knows the whistle-blower opened the door to the truth and we got the truth. and then ceased to be important. they got the door open and we got information independently of the whistle-blower. but people who haven't been following this, who they're talking to, don't know that. and the six points made today, that he said were established are not established. the fact -- first of all, the pause, the use of the word "pause" -- >> i noted that. >> it's a dainty word, paused. they held up the money. and do you think zelensky didn't know they were holding up the money? we know you established with the
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tape there that he knew it and knew it right away. and the fact that the president said i would like a favor, though, was to someone who desperately needed aid. it's like an employer, am i going to get my contract renewed? that's the only conversation. you know what the conversation is about. when somebody says i'd like a favor. you know what it meant, i want the white house meeting, the military aid, the javelin missiles to fight the tanks. but there's something growing since this morning. that's the use of the word fear by patty murray. i thought it was interesting to talk about the iraq vote. she said there was fear around that, you will be punished if you don't back that, the friends of israel, maybe the hawks, someone is going to get you politically for this. i know people that voted for the war basically out of defense. it was a safe bet, the smart move, you might as well support
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the war because you're better off that way, you're covered. if we win you look good. this bullying, this use of fear is an example of exactly what the president was doing to zelensky. so if any member who's in doubt right now how to vote, the magic four or six or seven are able to vote for witnesses, when they fear this retribution, when they fear the bullying of the president, right there ready to come after him, they know he's capable of bully, what they did to zelensky, what they're afraid they're doing to them. anybody who went to an urban school, there are bullies on the bus, you don't sit near the back of the bus because the bullies are back there, you don't want to get beat up, eat a cigar, some other weird punishment they cooked up. so they know what the bully is, this president is a bully, they
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have evidence firsthand. >> chris matthews, thank you. we have angus king with us, an independent from maine who caucuses with the democrats. i am told senator king is free to hang out with us for a little bit while we listen to chairman schiff. >> is they don't contest the basic architecture of the scheme. they do not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election, to help him cheat. i think they acknowledge, by not even contesting this, that the facts are overwhelming. the president, invited ukraine to get involved in our election to help him cheat against joe biden. that is uncontested. uncontested in our presentation, and uncontested in theirs. what they do argue is the following. first they argue that the july
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25th transcript doesn't show the two leaders making an explicit reference to a corrupt this for that, quid pro quo, or bribery scheme. as if you would expect the two leaders on the phone to say, okay, this is how the bribery is going to work. this is how the shakedown is going to work. you're not going to get this unless i get that. and, of course, that's not what you generally see in a shakedown scheme even if it were done by organized crime. but what you do see is the following. they make the argument there's no mention of security assistance or military support during this call. but, of course, one of the first things that zelensky brings up on that call is how grateful they are for the military defense support and how they are ready to buy more javelins. now the president's team acknowledges just how important
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those javelins are, what a great weapon those javelins are against tanks. but what they don't want you to pay attention to is immediately, as in the very next sentence, immediately after president zelensky brings up this desire to get what the president's team acknowledges among the most important weapon they get from the united states, where does president trump go, i want you to do us a favor, though. he goes right to the favor. they argue there's no link between military support because he didn't say i'm extorting you, but instead moved right to the favor he wanted right after zelensky brings up the javelins, the most important military aid, i think they acknowledged today. they also say there's no explicit quid pro quo mention in the head of state call on the white house meeting. but, of course, they're prepped. zelensky was prepped for this call and the president was
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prepped by rudy giuliani for this call. so you see the ukrainian leader being asked to do these investigations by the president and repeatedly committing to do the investigations. at the end of the call you literally see the ukrainian leader say, we're going to do these investigations and then he says, on the other hand i'm really looking forward to that white house meeting. it doesn't need to be more explicit than that. we are meant to i guess believe from the presentation today that the call was all about burden sharing p. because it makes a mention of how angela merkel and others in europe aren't doing enough. as if that was really the thrust of the call. if that was really the thrust of the call, you wouldn't have heard the president asking the ukrainian leader to get in touch with rudy giuliani so much. you would have him saying, call angela. instead, of course, it's call giuliani. but if you had any question
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about this, about whether this was really about burden sharing or about these two investigations that he specifically goes into, it was -- any doubt whoufb ould han removed the following day when he gets on the phone to his own ambassador in europe, gordon sondland, if the issue is europe and burden sharing he has the opportunity to raise that the very next day following the call. so what does he ask gordon sondland? does he ask him, hey, gordon, how's that effort to get the europeans to do more coming? hey, gordon, have you talked to angela yet? no. he has only one question for gordon sondland. is he going to do the investigations? and the answer is, yes, he'll do anything you want. he loves your ass. does that sound like burden sharing to you? of course, not. and they also argue that
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president zelensky has not said publically that he feels pressured. he hasn't said publically there was a quid pro quo, that he was being shaken down. as if a country wholly dependent on us is going to admit to being shaken down. which would not only irrep are bri break any relationship he has with the president but also it would reflect adversary on him with his own people. and yes, you could apply a little common sense, you don't have to be a mind reader to see why that would be deeply damaging to ukraine. they don't want to admit it publically but they said it privately. they said, as you heard testimony, there was deep concern that zelensky did not want to be used as a pawn in a u.s. domestic politics. so they said it privately, even if they can't say it publically. now they also make the argument
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that the ukrainians didn't know the security assistance was withheld. that's not true. one of the things they didn't talk about today was the fact that the ukrainian foreign minister, deputy foreign minister minister, now the form former ukrainian deputy foreign minister found out within days of the hold in july. they received a cable about the freeze on military assistance. but the foreign minister was instructed by a top aide to zelensky was instructed not to bring it up. she was planning to come to washington and she was told not to go to washington because they wanted to keep this quiet. and, of course, they ignore the testimony of gordon sondland himself who said that he told the ukrainians about the freeze. he told the ukrainians about the
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freeze. now are we supposed to believe? do we have to be mind readers to know when gordon sondland tells his ukrainian counterpart they're not going to get the money, essentially, until they do the investigations, that they're not going to feel pressured to do the investigation? that's absurd. we heard other witness testimony that they didn't play for you today but we played earlier in the trial of katherine kroft one of the career public officials who testified that she was really impressed with the ukrainian trade craft and how quickly they found out about the freeze on aid. it is impressive, because ukrainians found out about the freeze on aid before most members of congress did. this is the other key point. if this was so above board, really about donald trump fighting corruption, why did they hide it from congress? why didn't they tell congress and the american people what they were doing?
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the reason they didn't tell the american people what they were doing is because it was a corrupt shakedown to get ukraine to help them cheat in the election. next they argue that the security assistance flowed on september 11th and they got the meeting on september 25th. it's the "we got caught, no harm, no foul". but as we discussed during the trial there was enormous harm to the u.s./ukraine relationship and harm in the pause of russia learning this president could be so easily manipulated into withholding aid to our allies. there was damage to our confidence our allies around the world would have in us because they learned we would do such a thing. without an act of congress -- they didn't mention it this -- it took an act of congress, without that, ukraine wouldn't have gotten $35 million of that aid because of the president's actions. he was caught, yes, and he was
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forced to release the aid. that does not mitigate husband wro -- his wrong doing. they also say the meeting took place in the european union and the -- i'm sorry, at the united nations. and the house team didn't tell you about that. of course, we did tell you about that. in fact, we showed you video from that meeting and what was said in the video we showed you of that meeting, zelensky saying, i'd still like that meeting in the oval office. if we're to believe that a meeting on the sidelines of the u.n. is as good as an oval office meeting between two heads of state, it certainly doesn't seem that way to president zelensky, who was still, even as they were meeting saying, i still really want that meeting in the oval office. they also make the argument that the president strengthened u.s. support for ukraine. really? this is how he did it?
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by being unwilling to meet with the president of ukraine in the oval office? by withholding hundreds of millions of military aid, requiring congress to step in? by violating the law, by violating the impoundment control act? by keeping it a secret from congress? this is how he shows support from an ally? with support like that our allies should hope they get less support. this was deeply destructive of the relationship. and still president zelensky can't get in the door of the oval office but the russian foreign minister can get in. the president is more than willing to meet with putin at any time but not with our ally apparently. one of the most extraordinary arguments, though, this really takes your breath away, and this also, i think, underscores the real danger to this country by this president's continued occupancy of the oval office is the argument that jay sekulow
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made essentially that the president has good reason not to trust his own intelligence agencies and the corollary of that is, he has good reason to trust vladimir putin more. that is hard to wrap your head around. but that is the argument of the president's lawyer. he has every right to disbelieve his own intelligence agencies, and, thereby, accept the opinion of our adversary vladimir putin. everything is perfect, including the president's performance in helsinki apparently. now, they say that it's a false choice to say, well, if russia intervened in the election, why couldn't ukraine have intervened? never mind that contradicts what our own intelligence agencies, our own fbi director, our own bipartisan senate and intelligence committee found, what the democrats on the house
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intelligence committee found, what the republicans on the house committee sometimes admit and sometimes not -- never mind all of that, they say why couldn't both countries have intervened? well, first, they didn't. okay. there was only one systemic interference in our election, that was by russia. but second, what they're talking about here, what the president is talking about here is the server. is the server. unless we're to believe that both russia and ukraine hacked the same server and were responsible for the same hacking and dumping campaign, then we are talking about one country's interference and that is russia. and that the president continues to this day, through his lawyer, to say they should trust the opinion of vladimir putin and russian intelligence propaganda over their own intelligence agencies about this whole crowd strike crazy conspiracy theory
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ought to alarm every american. they also, and this is the overarching argument continued to maintain the president did nothing wrong. this may be the most dangerous point they make, because that means, basically, you can seek, as president of the united states, to get a foreign nation to help you cheat in an election. and you can do it through any means you like. that is so deeply destructive of our national security and the integrity of our elections it's hard to overstate the matter. one last thing that really stood out to me and that was something that wasn't said. it was a name that was, in fact, never mentioned. that is mick mulvaney. there's no mention of the president's chief of staff. now they say no democratic witnesses said the security assistance was conditioned. i don't know what they consider democratic witnesses. of course, that statement is
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wrong, too. there were any number of democratic witnesses who testified just exactly the opposite, that the security assistance was conditioned, it was simple and as clear as two plus two equals four. they put it in in writing, testified about it. gordon sondland they neglected to tell you had a direct conversation with the president in which we says no quid pro quo but here's the quid pro quo. no quid pro quo but. zelensky has to go to the mic and announce these investigations and he should want to. that's the quid pro quo. so i don't know, maybe they don't consider -- maybe they consider him a democratic witness. but what about mulvaney? when they say no witnesses made the direct -- no witnesses could directly put words in the president's mouth. first of all, of course gordon sondland did, but what about mick mulvaney who admitted in a press conference just like this, of coursee


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