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Charles Schumer
  Sen. Schumer News Conference on Impeachment  CSPAN  January 16, 2020 4:45pm-5:16pm EST

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>> the senate sending a squad of impeachment was adjourned until tuesday, january 21st, at 1:00 . >> the third time in history, a president is on trial in the u.s. senate. watch live to stay on the trial resumes at 1:00 o'clock eastern on "c-span2". senate minority leader chuck schumer, had a conference after today's proceedings to talk about new accusations against the president from rudy giulia giuliani, and new gao report saying the president violated the law when he was how they'd from ukraine. this is 25 minutes.
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ok good afternoon to everybody. now is everyone here knows, we have all been sworn in by the chief justice of the united states. to service judges and jurors in the impeachment trial of president trump. when the chief justice walked in, you can feel the weight of the moment. i saw members on both sides of the aisle, visibly gold. the weight of history since on shoulders. this produces sometimes result you never know what will happen. for some of us here, this is the
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first time we have done this. for others like myself this is the second time but i assure you, there is no difference. even though i've gone through this before, for all of us this lemonade and the gravity of the moment in our history into scorn the back when you take that oath. a separate oath designed by the senate only for senators, who will serve in a court of impeachment. the feeling in the senate chamber and the solemn serious profound. the weight of history, the eyes of history, you feel it are upon you. i know every one of my colleagues felt it. i hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle felt it. you've all heard the reading of the articles of impeachment by rep. shift. this was at noon.
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it was a solemn reclamation of chargers that approved of crimes against our democracy itself. it was to actually hear the chargers read, even though we parted them many times before, impresses the seriousness of the chargers. this is not trivial, this is not something everybody does. this is not something that can be dismissed. the president donald trump, was closing get accused of coursing a foreign leader. and then doing everything in his power to cover it up. these are exactly the kind of offenses the founders mustang with a forged impeachment because in the constitution. do we want foreign powers to determine our elections. to the american people want somebody from overseas determining who the president
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is. and who is the governor who's there senator and congressman. this is what the nation has seen for centuries. we fear today more than ever. we fear it with this president. this is very serious stuff. this is not trivial because it is hard to imagine a greater subversion of our democracy, and for powers outside of our borders to determine the elections within our borders. in a foreign country to attempt such a thing on its own, as russia has done is that enough. for an american president to deliberately solicit such a thing, to blackmail a foreign country mill with military assistance, to help win an election. it is been an magically worse. i'm actually filled with anger
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when you read the attempt to divert our democracy these chargers are serious. and it is on those chargers, which the senate has to render paper date. remarkably, crucial pieces of information related to the chargers against the president, they are still coming out in last night and associate of the president's personal attorney, rudy giuliani gave an astonishing interview on national television the further implicated the president in a plot to remove the u.s. ambassador and pressure ukrainian president dolinsky, into announcing investigations into one of the president's leading rivals. and just today chris and helen who you will hear from charlie, the gao found that it was illegal for president trump to
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withhold military assistance from ukraine to pressure them to interfere in the 2020 election. the revelation about mr. furnace, and the gao opinions strengthened our push for witnesses and documents in the trial. the gao opinion, especially makes clear that the documents we requested in her letter to leader mcconnell are even more needed now than when we requested it last month. because president trump simply broke the law. in every senator will get a chance to vote to obtain these documents next week. now returning to, i began, the oath we all just took. this will weigh heavily on senators to consider this question about how fair trial we have. we've asked for for fact
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witnesses. three specific relevant documents sets in. no witnesses are not democrats. they are the president's men his top advisers to be appointed. documents are not democratic documents. they are just documents. every senate impeachment trial in our history all 15 that were brought to completion feature witnesses and every single one. the mcconnell is finally deciding presidents and you've all heard about 1999. the president and impeachment trials in the senate is to have witnesses. to have no witnesses would be a dramatic break with president. it would mean the first impeachment trial of the president in history with no witnesses but first and keep the anybody, went to completion in the sentence 200 some on your
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history without witnesses. so in the coming days, each of us, every one of us, democrat and republican will face a choice about whether to be in this trial in search of truth, or in service of the president's desire to cover up. now that every senator has formed a solemn oath before god and the american people to do impartial justice, that every senator reflect on that choice and that history way and every one of our shoulders. senator harris. speemac i would argue that not only is this an impeachment trial that the very the united states and is on time. what is before us, our chargers that are arguably the most serious chargers that have ever been labeling is the president of the united states.
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and where there has been an abandonment of responsibility to uphold the ideals much less the worse, of the united states constitution by the president of the united states, and responsibility now rests on the shoulders of each member of the united states senate. this is to uphold lite integrity about about the system of democracy, uphold the integrity of the system of justice, and i told the integrity of the united states senate which has a responsibility to do fair and impartial justice which means demanding that the american public each member of this body, receive all events documents and individuals, who are witnesses so that we can engage in a fair deliberation. and that we make a decision that reflects the ideals and values in the very principles of the united states system of justice. and so that is what is before us
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today. we took a very solemn oath. it is a very serious matter. each of us should take responsibility and seriously understanding that whatever the party of the united states right now it is incumbent on the united states senate. we need to do the work of upholding american constitution in our best and justice. >> thank you. raising my right hand, is going to do impartial justice, was a solemn. it was one for all of us, a moment with a great way to history it becomes clear. to be in a tumor the chief justice of the supreme court, i started to the podium and do his oath to do impartial justice and make clear the gravity and historic nature of this moment. this coming weekend, we really have two questions that i think her colleagues need to wrestle with. what is, is going to be a trap.
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there is a simple reality. in america, trials have events and cabinets do not. trials have events, they have documents, they have witnesses that are relevant to the matter in front of us. later schumer has by the past we consider four different witnesses who are directly relevant and who were senior leaders in this administration who were in the room on the e-mail chain and could testify if they testify truthfully, to whether the president did or did not inappropriately block an aid to ukraine printed as charge. this is the big departure from previous investigations of presidents for impeachment of president trump has used an overly broad assertion of executive privilege to try and block critical testimonies. president clinton, even president nixon, directed his closest advisors and his cabinet officials to cooperate with an investigation which leads to the second issue printed the second article is obstruction of
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congress. the president has to decide is he going to present a defense. anyhow to claim exoneration, he has to put a defense in front of the senate. so far the events developed and presented in front of the house, intelligence committee, the house judiciary committee and the tube take up about two articles of impeachment, seems very compelling. largely because the president has declined present a defense. eleven chance. in recent in the next few days, and in the comments of the child. i would say semicolons on the other side, please spend the weekend reflecting on the importance of this moment and on the ways in which i would agree, the senate itself is on trial. and see whether you can be open to the idea that we should have a trial, not a cover of the features documents, events, witnesses, rather than an historic sham that fails to meet the moment. thank you.
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i thought that senator schumer captured well, the extraordinary, and this moment. i was struck by the steep sense of solemnity. it was not in my stomach there was a not there. when the chief justice came into the chamber and then pronounced the name, donald john trump. the difference in the reference to president trump struck me as distinguishing this proceeding from any other. in fact, nothing we do while we serve in the united states senate will be more important and consequential than putting country above party.
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in this proceeding. the report released by the gao an independent, nonpartisan watchdog agency, squarely raises the importance of mick mullaney as a witness. he was the acting director of the omb that withheld the money. he took the president. john bolton, with the witnesses tried to dissuade the president from the so-called drug deal direct contact with the president of the united states, robert blair, and michael duffey not just the president's men, they were the president henchmen. they executed, the drug deal. each of these witnesses had eyes and ears on the president of the
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united states. they have firsthand knowledge and they are the witnesses who must appear and maybe they will have, events to show the president's innocence. maybe they will help to exonerate him. but the president has refused all of those witnesses. he has skated them, and he has locked all of the documents. let me say about the documents, as we argued to the jury, documents don't lie. it is like my. . . .
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not a cover-up which is what the president has sought to do and so i hope my republican colleagues will in fact put country above party and decide that the american equal want a full, fair and open proceeding so that they will no all the truth and all of these corroborating witnesses, the cases are the overwhelmed but i'm going to be listening. i will be listening closely to every word, watching every video and documents that we see and i will try to be as fair as i can be as i consider the facts and the laws. >> thank you senator schumer. as we were sworn in today for this historic moment we received
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a very important report from the gao. the gao the government accountability office is an independent nonpartisan entity. they are not republicans. they are not democrats. they are nonpartisan and they issued a decision making it absolutely clear that the trump administration violated the law when they illegally withheld the monies for ukraine and we know from other public evidence that it was president trump himself who made that order and therefore the president himself ordered his agencies to commit an illegal act. that is the just of what the gao told us. that act was committed as part of the overall scheme of abuse
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of power and we heard from the house managers today they ran on the florida senate and senator schumer mentioned and it just underscores the fact that this president was willing to break other laws as part of his overall scheme to abuse power and to cover up that abusive scheme. the gao report also made clear that in their inquiry, in their investigation they were stonewalled. they were blocked. they didn't get all the documents they wanted and in their report they said they believe that raises constitutional questions, which it does. i will invite pointing out the whole purpose of the impoundment control act is to reinforce the constitution of the united states. the power of the purse and separation of powers. in ordering the violation of that law's part is the overall abuse of power scheme the
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president again showed contempt for the constitution of the united states. finally the gao report like other evidence that has come out as underscored the importance of having relevant witnesses and relevant documents. you don't have a fair trial if you don't get all the evidence. the houses has established a mountain of evidence supporting their claims but we want to see all the evidence. the american people are entitled to the evidence and i also will wait until all of the evidence is in the list do all that evidence which we don't know what it will be before rendering a final verdict in this case. >> one other point relayed to occur is that it seems very likely that the very documents that were withheld to the gao are among the documents we requested in a letter that i wrote to mcconnell previous to today. questions? >> i wonder in what we have
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learned from lev parnas photos and e-mails in the interview -- >> these four eyewitnesses are fact witnesses who know exactly what happened. some of our republican colleagues say these charges are serious but there are no eyewitnesses and that's why we need these four. mr. parnas raises lots of serious questions. it certainly increases the strength of argument for having these four and as for mr. parnas it's something we wouldn't rule out that we want to see all of -- evidently there are four sets of e-mails coming out and i want to wait to see those. >> as the house impeachment managers prepare their case how closely we work with the house impeachment managers and the speaker is you decide on your
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strategy. said that always happens. there's one big difference. mcconnell said he is going to take his cues from the president. we are taking their cues from nobody. >> i believe again leader mcconnell has still not shown anybody a resolution. we don't know how long things will be or anything else. it's amazing that at this moment we still haven't seen it and it's amazing the partisanship because bipartisanship by definition you try to work something out and we haven't heard a thing from them about it and we don't know why. they are afraid of the truth. that's what the average person says. average people say why are they hiding this? so we expect that we will have votes on these witnesses on tuesday. we can't assure until we see the resolution that mcconnell has
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put together. >> following up on that are there some other things you might try to mend that are on your radar that you are looking at? >> well you know we definitely want these for where this is in three sets of documents and whether there'll be other things and what order we will do them we don't know yet. >> is there an indication of what went on today on the floor that could change some of your pablo can come politics attitude >> we know the pressure there will be. we know the kinds of threats if donald trump is not afraid to use with all of them but i just read what he told europe that he was going to raise tariffs by 25% if they go along with what he wanted in iran. we can't underestimate that but if you believe the truth is right in the truth prevails the wisdom of the founding fathers
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and what we saw in the chamber this afternoon the solemnity the weight the fact that you are almost in a different world than the normal senate world gives me some hope that a number of our senate colleagues will rise to the occasion. i don't know how they will vote. we don't even know what the evidence will be. could we exculpatory and it could be incriminating. we don't know but we want the truth and maybe some republicans will rise to the occasion because this is the second one i've been through. it's different. it's different than day-to-day normal being a legislator. >> there's a chance that i get deliberations like the in closed session. would you prefer that be an open session so we can see the debate? >> i would like it to be, i mean might there be an occasional moments where we think we might come together in a closed session? yes but the strong presumption is to be open and i want to see as much of it open as possible.
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>> republicans have floated the idea of calling vice president biden as a witness. joe biden said he would testify if subpoenaed. would you be willing to do some kind of arrangement where democrats would get john bolton as a witness and -- >> i'm not going to negotiate out here. we need these witnesses and we need these three sets of documents. they haven't made any offers about any witnesses or documents so we are just fighting are those. >> to the house managers place on any limits on further prosecution? can i have materials? >> the only articles that of impeachment are done but i might expect, i do not know a lot of the lev parnas stuff ends gao stuff would be in there. one more. >> when do you expect to have
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witnesses? the organizing resolution does not include -- >> i've not seen the organizing resolution. think of a lot of republicans have not seen the organizing resolution. thanks everybody. have a nice weekend. president trump spoke about the impeachment trial earlier today while hosting an event at the white house. >> what is your view on how long it should take? >> i'll tell you very quickly it's a hoax. everybody knows that. it's a complete hoax. the whole thing with ukraine. so you have a perfect phonecall. it was actually two phonecalls. you people don't recall that. there were two votes and they were both perfect calls but in
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fact probably among the nicest calls i've ever made to foreign leaders. so you have these perfect calls and everybody says before they knew fortunately they were transcribed you had other people saying terrible things about the calls. you have a fake whistleblower that read a report that bore no relationship to what we are saying. everything is false. you have the ukrainian president in the foreign minister of ukraine saying there was nothing done wrong. in fact they said there was absolutely no pressure whatsoever. everything was perfect and they impeach. it's totally partisan. we had 195-zero dump -- republican votes. we had 195 to nothing. this is a hoax. it's a sham. they did the biggest deal ever ever done in the history of her country yesterday in terms of trade and probably other things to if you think about it. the deal with china and that was the second story to a total
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hoax. today we passed the usmca part is going to take the place of nafta which was a terrible deal and the usmca will probably be second to this witchhunt hoax which hopefully everyone knows is not going anywhere. there was nothing done wrong. it's a perfect phonecall. think of it. the president of the united states has led the greatest growth, the greatest economic revival of any country everywhere in the world as big as it is we are doing better than any other country by far. the numbers of the best they have been over 50 years with african-americans, asian-americans, hispanic americans, unemployment the best in the history of our country and its it's a phony hoax. put out by the democrats that they can try and win an election that hopefully they are not going to win. it was put out for the purposes of winning an election.
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our country is doing great. they figured the only thing they can do they feel that the mueller report and after two and a half years they failed. now they said what can we do and took a phonecall that was perfect. the only found out later. what they did you have a corrupt person he's a corrupt politician made -- named adam schiff. he went out and you will hear about this as you grow older. he went out and he said things. he said quid pro quo eight times. there were no times. he said don't call me, i will call you. i never said that. fortunately i released the transcript. the transcript was perfectly accurate and now everybody agrees. they said can you add one word here or lieutenant colonel.
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everyone agrees the transcript is perfect though done by total professionals. but i released that after they had done the fraudulent acts and you get impeached on this. we have the greatest economy in the history of our country. we have the highest job numbers today. it was just announced we have more people working in the united states than ever before in the history of our country, almost 160 million people. we are doing an incredible job. and for absolutely no reason. it's a disgrace and it's a hoax. thank you very much.
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>> tomorrow i will do something i've never done in my time in the house and senate that i will vote for a trade agreement for the first time in my career. the trade agreement because of the work my colleagues that senator wyden and i did to secure new protections for american workers for the first time ever in spite of the presence intransigence and in spite of the presidents lining up as he always does with corporate interests because our trade agreement for the first time ever,