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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Markey on Impeachment Inquiry  CSPAN  October 17, 2019 9:51am-10:01am EDT

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the turks to be able to back off the bloodshed and to be able to bring war crimes against any turk that is killing prisoners, that's attacking civilians, and any individual that we can identify to bring to justice in the process. with that, i yield the floor. >> mr. president, i rise today to speak about the impeachment inquiry currently underway in the house of representatives. an impeachment inquiry is a solemn and serious manner, concerning the official conduct of the president of the united states and implicates matters of grave importance. our national security, the rule of law, and the very foundations of our constitution. we all, democrats and republicans alike, have a duty to defend our democracy so when we are confronted with evidence that president donald trump abused his power and violated his oath of office and seeking
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foreign interference in our elections, and sought to cover it up, we have a constitutional obligation to investigate. the evidence we have already seems volume dates speaker pelosi's decision to open an impeachment inquiry and reento,s this to run unimpeded. indeed, donald trump himself confirmed key evidence. just look at what we know so far. we know that donald trump asked a foreign policy, ukraine, to investigate his political opponent, the president admitted it on live television and release add transcript showing it had happened just as a whistleblower alleged that it did. that is not in dispute. we also know that donald trump then doubled down subsequently admitting on camera that he wants foreign governments like ukraine and china to
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investigate his political opponents. that is not in dispute. so instead of focusing on the latin phrase quid pro quo, the president should be saying mea culpa, my fault. but he is not. and with each passing day additional evidence of serious wrongdoing at the highest levels of our government have surfaced, evidence that donald trump has subjugated the nation's interests to his personal and political interests, evidence that plainly warrants further investigation. for example, we learned that prior to his phone call with ukrainian president zelenskiy, donald trump blocked almost $400 million in military and security aid to ukraine. moreover as the white house's own partial transcript
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reflects, on the ukrainian's president of a political investigating, telling him, quote, i would like you to do this as a favor though. donald trump's quid pro quo linking u.s. military and security aid to a politically motivated investigation makes his admitted solicitation of foreign interference in our elections that much worse. it is an abuse of power and betrayal of trump's oath to the constitution and promise to the american people. we have also learned that white house officials moved the transcript of the phone call between president trump and president zelenskiy from its typical electronic storage system to a separate system intended to handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. in orders there appears to have been an effort to cover up donald trump's wrongdoing. we're also witnessing extraordinary attacks by donald
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trump on the whistleblower who brought the matter to light. donald trump's attacks on this individual are so serious and so harmful that they may rise to the level of witness tampering and obstruction of justice. and they send a chilling message to others who may have information and are contemplating coming forward. it should go without saying that whistleblowers play an important role in our democracy, especially when it comes to whistleblowers in the intelligence community. they should be praised and not demonized or threatened. most recently, we have learned that the president allowed his personal attorney, rudy guiliani, to conduct a shadow foreign policy outside of proper state department channels, a foreign policy that serves private interests and the president's personal political interests, but not the interests of the united states or the american people. we have learned that two individuals connected to
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guiliani have been indicted on charges of violating federal campaign finance laws, stemming from hidden foreign campaign donations. and we have learned that a career diplomate within an unblemished record was recalled from ukraine because she honored her oath to the constitution. but trump viewed her as an impediment to his foreign policy agenda. these are just some of the things we've learned in the past few days. so what must we do? the answer is simple. we must investigate and get the facts and president trump's injustified refusal to cooperate notwithstanding, the serious misconduct relating to foreign interpeerns in our election underscores the need for the house investigation to continue unimpeded. the founding fathers were very concerned about foreign interference in america's democracy. they knew that foreign
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involvement in our politics posed a threat to our sovereignty as a new nation. in 1787 john adams wrote as often as elections happen, the dangers of foreign influence recurs. in 1788 alexander hamilton warned us that foreign powers trying to gain influence would be the most deadly adversaries of republican government. the threat of foreign interference in our elections is as serious today as it was more than 200 years ago. we must do all this we can to defend against it, that includes impeachment inquiry into the actions of the president. in the house of representatives, they're going to begin a process. if the thousands of representatives ultimately approves articles of impeachment against donald trump, the united states state will hold a trial and our members will serve as jurors. as a member of the united states senate and a potential
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juror, i will take my job as seriously as any i've ever had in this institution and i hope my republican colleagues will do so as well. the american people deserve nothing less. leader mcconnell and my republican colleagues must uphold their oaths to the constitution, put country over party and conduct a fair trial. anything short of that would be a dereliction of duty and no one should pre-judge the case. indeed, that's precisely the advice that leader mcconnell gave during the 1998 impeachment proceedings when he stated, quote, as a potential juror, if it's a serious enough to warrant a potential impeachment proceeding, i don't think i ought to pre-judge the case. we have a constitutional duty to investigate president trump's attempts to orchestrate foreign interference in our election. of the use of his office to support his personal political
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goals and how he sought to cover up that effort. nothing less than our national security, the rule of law and our constitutional order are at stake. i yield the floor, mr. president. ♪ >> campaign 2020, watch our live coverage of the presidential candidates on the campaign trail and make up your own mind. c-span's campaign 2020, your unfiltered view of politics. >> on this thursday morning, the u.s. senate is about to gavel in to get the day started. two issues on the calendar. first lawmakers will debate a and-- on carbon emissions and to override president trump's veto determining economic declarations on the southern border requires a two-thirds majority to override is set for 1:45 eastern today.
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now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. today's opening prayer will be offered by robert lewis, former pastor and founder of better man, the national men's organization from little rock, arkansas. the guest chaplain: let us pray. heavenly father, we give thanks for this new day and the hope that lies within it. we have been a blessed nation not by accident but by

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