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tv   Democratic Senators on Impeachment Trial  CSPAN  January 23, 2020 12:25pm-12:56pm EST

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i have appeared before john roberts. i haven't cocounsel with with john roberts. there was some emotion on the floor yesterday but when they accuse my client of line come when they accuse my colleagues of mine at the chairman of house judiciary committee says the words executive privilege and other nonsense, it's going to evoke a reaction. that's all i will say. thank you, everybody. >> the opening arguments of the impeachment trial continue today at 1 p.m. eastern live on c-span2. earlier this week senate democrats spoke to reporters about the trial. >> good morning, and before i begin on the impeachment issue, i want to say this is the president said in an interview yesterday at davos that he will take a look at cutting social
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security and other entitlements after the 2020 election, and that it is actually come he said, the easiest of all things. the president promised that unlike other republicans, he wouldn't touch social security and medicare. he's already broken that promise and gone after medicare. now it looks like social security is in the president's crosshairs as well. even as this trial, even as this important trial continues, americans should heed that the president is casually talking about cutting their social security at a swiss ski resort with a global bent financial elite. now we get the impeachment stuff. okay. to the matter at hand. today was a discussion -- sorry,
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tuesday was a discussion over amendment, folks, but yesterday the managers got to lay out their case uninterrupted, as manager after manager stepped up to lay out the evidence amassed against the president in precise and devastating detail. the atmosphere of the senate took on an entirely different dimension. it may have been the first time that many of my republican colleagues heard the full story, the complete narrative from start to finish uninterrupted and not filtered through the kaleidoscope lens of fox news where at best, things are left out, and at worst, things are terribly distorted. it may have planted the first seed in their minds that yes, perhaps the president did something very wrong. mr. schiff's and other managers
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did an exceptional job laying out the facts of the president's alleged abuse of power and obstruction, meticulously walking through the chronology, anticipating and rebutting the counter arguments from the president's counsel along the way and knocking is arguments down before they got there. i was particularly impressed how mr. schiff's under the ability of the managers to say well, the president said there's no collusion. they kept one out in a very clear way in the same sentence, the same phone call the same letter or in the same conversation he then went back to holding back the aid. it has been only one day but house managers are setting the bar very high for the president's counsel to meet. at this point i'm not sure how the president's counsel, as
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unprepared, confused and tending towards conspiracy theories as they have been, can clear it. and i say one other thing, particularly in the last two hours when mr. schiff summed everything up. i was there and i like to watch my rebuttal and cards that many them really don't want to be there -- watch my colleagues. for some of that they're looking to the way, they may be chatting with somebody, sitting this way. mr. schiff has such power in his speech that he almost forced them to look at him and just about every republicans eyes were glued on mr. schiff. so it was a powerful rendition. now, , what are the republican saying after yesterday? well, the same republicans are saying that they heard nothing new, but these republicans voted nine times on tuesday against amendments to ensure new witnesses and new documents to
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come before the senate. let me repeat. the same republican saying they heard nothing new just voted nine times on tuesday to hear nothing new. if they want new stuff, there's plenty of it, as the managers made clear, a lot of documents are sitting there all compiled, all ready to go with simply a boat of four republicans to subpoena them. so this argument that they heard nothing new when they vote against new evidence repeatedly rings very, very powerful. if my republican colleagues are interested in some new evidence on top of the very substantial house record, there's a very simple answer. vote with democrats to call relevant witnesses and documents. the presentations themselves argued both implicitly and
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explicitly for the importance of witnesses and documents. at key points yesterday it was so clear that we ought to hear from mulvaney and blair and duffey and bolton who are at the center of these events. it was so clear that we must review relevant documents. someone doubts a witness recording a phone call, the way to verify it, see if it's true, is look at the underlying documents. they don't want that. the managers kept referring back to important documents that we know exist and that we know concern the charges but are being hidden from the senate and the public by the president. one example, taylor, ambassador taylor's memo with secretary pompeo after he spoke to bone in which he gave a contemporaneous account of his concerns about the president's corrupt scheme in ukraine. why wouldn't my fellow
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republicans want to see? why wouldn't they want the american people to see it? i don't see how any senator democrat or republican could sit on the floor listen to adam schiff and the house impeachment managers and not demand witnesses and documents, unless, that is, they are not interested in the truth, that they are afraid of the truth, that they know the president is hiding the truth. i think the case for wendy's and document is also evident that many of my republican colleagues are desperate to talk about anything else. there's a eager to change conversation from witnesses and documents from over the question of fairness of the trial that they are inventing shiny objects and so-called outrage. we don't know with the next one will be but it will surely be something irrelevant to a fair trial that they don't want to debate the issue so they tried
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to turn you, the press and the american people a way to look at something else that has nothing to do with the trial. make no mistake about it. the issue of relevance evidence document of witnesses is going to come back up and senate republicans will have the power to bring that evidence into the trial here you saw how leader mcconnell was forced to modify its resolution on tuesday after certain republicans raised objections. republican senators can make this trial more fair if they want to. the question is, will they use that power when it really matters? senator hirono. >> thank thank you very much. i'm glad our leader started by saying that the president has said that he is going to cut social security. that reminded me in the midnight hour on tuesday when
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mr. cipollone stand up and said the president is a man of his word, i wrote him a notebook what a whopper. that's not the only time. [inaudible] definitely not. the house manager gave a powerful presentation, the factual basis for why the house voted to impeach this president. it's good to be reminded of the human dimension of what the president did because we all know the president doesn't give a rip about the human dimension and the consequences of what he does because he only cares about himself. but when jason crowe said during his presentation that as a veteran having fought in afghanistan and iraq what it felt like to search for scrap metal, to fortify their vehicles because they didn't have those kinds of protections or to watch ambassador taylor on the video saying that when he went to eastern ukraine and talked to
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the commander who is fighting the russians and the commander thanking him for the american aid and ambassador taylor knowing full well that that aid had been held up, who of us would not feel like you know what? he said he felt badly. i'm sure he felt worse than bella because our country did not keep our word pics of the human dimension of what the president that is something we should not forget. and yet we have all heard our colleagues are saying why don't we have new evidence? which by the way we spent 12 hours, 13 hours on tuesday. they spent shutting down so that's total hypocrisy on their part, or that they are getting restless. most of us get restless when we're presented with information we don't want to hear. right? and they don't want to hear what the president did, and if they were asked themselves just a simple question of, is it okay for the president to shake and have the president of another
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country, a very vulnerable country who needed our support and almost 400 million in tax payer money so his troops can fight against russian aggression? and the president use our taxpayer money to bribe that president. just ask themselves that question. they don't want to face that, so they are squirmy. why? because the truth hurts. >> i want to thank my colleagues. i was listening yesterday with a degree of attentiveness that maybe some of us don't always exhibit in our daily work because of the gravity of the story, the consequences for this country but also the manner in which the house managers presented the case. this record which came over from the house is substantial. it's compelling and i think it
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lays out the fundamental case for both abuse of power and obstruction of congress. but when you add into that what has transpired since they voted, all the new information they have seen and then when you hear the presentation by the house managers, yesterday, which should be supplemented by the testimony of witnesses as well as documentary evidence, you can see the power of this case and how disturbing it is. i'm still stunned that republicans don't want to hear from relevant witnesses. the ones we've asked for, the ones leader schumer put in his december 15 letter, mr. mulvaney, mr. bolton, mr. blair are all relevant and were only asking for those four in the documents that pertain to the testimony. that's why you see these high number of americans who want to have, to hear from witnesses and
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documents beyond what's already in the substantial record the house developed. what i want to echo what senator schumer and senator hirono on a basket of bill taylor, that moment which was proof positive of how important a document can be. the cable from mr. taylor to secretary of state pompeo, which by the way, written by a decorated vietnam war vet who understands the horror of combat, understands what military aid can mean on the battlefield, putting those words in a classified cable in real time contemporaneously, and then we are told by the evidence that secretary of state pompeo brought the cable with him to a meeting in the white house in the oval office with the president in a meeting which we are told, and we would like to know more about that beating, was meant to persuade the
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president to finally, finally released this aid so those ukrainians on the battlefield could have that benefit of that aid. so when he said wouldn't you like to read that cable, i think republicans had were shaking at least mentally. i'm sure they did want to be caught, the president might see them on the camera shaking their head up and down yes, but they know how important that cable is. they know how relevant it is to the underlying charges. they know that and also know that they make the case as lawyers do in the briefs or try to make the case that the president did nothing wrong, no one believes that. it just doesn't pass the test that most americans would apply to credibility. the last thing i will say is just to highlight again what leader schumer said, and senator hirono said as well. here's what bill taylor said on page 129 of the house intel the house intel report. talking about that cable. it says, vote, ambassador taylor
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worried about the public message that such a hold on vital military assistant would send in the midst of ukraine's hot war with russia. quote, quoting taylor, the russians as i said at my deposition would love to see the humiliation of president zelensky at the hands of the americans. i told the secretary, meaning secretary pompeo, that i could not and would not defend such a policy, unquote. this is from eight decorated vietnam veteran who always would follow his duty, , who understas what that duty is to the country, who is saying i cannot follow that policy. it is so egregious, so offensive, so damaging that i can't follow that order. or that policy. i don't know what more we can say to our colleagues to say, why don't we have the benefit of
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that cable? why don't we have the benefit of the testimony of mr. bolton who can also testify about that vignette and time, where bolton says to taylor sent a classified cable to the secretary of state, which he by the way had never done before in his long career, distinguished career as a diplomat. so i will end with asking adam shifts question, , wouldn't you want to read that cable among many other things we should read? senator udall. >> thank you, senator schumer come for asking us to accompany you and i also feel ambassador taylor was very powerful. i think that one moment where he was standing with ukrainian commander at the line with battling the russians and the story he told was just so, so
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powerful. so i would agree with both senator schumer, senator arona, senator casey. the house managers adam schiff and his team have done an incredible job in terms of presenting a powerful case, a compelling case. as a former attorney general and former federal prosecutor i've seen many cases presented. they are really at the top of the game and doing an excellent, excellent job. and what is the contrast here? president trump as leader schumer has said, is over in davos, over and davos, number one what he's doing a davos, which i find outrageous, is he's playing with the jury, jury intimidation. he said as in davos at the cam he says don't call bolton as a witness. he said it could hurt our national security. i think that's a very, very
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dangerous role to go down, to say that congress cannot handle the national security issues. obviously, bolton has a lot to say in public just about what went on in the meetings, but we can handle the national security part in our secure facilities, and i think we are willing to do that. the other thing that i found was really upsetting in terms of president trump's behavior over in davos was, and this is his quote, honestly we have all the material and we don't -- he says honestly, we have all the material and they don't have the material. here he is loading, gloating over the fact that he has the documents he is not turned them over to congress. he violated that special relationship article one, article ii back to congress is supposed to be able to subpoena
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documents and here he is gloating in it while he sitting over in davos. so what is, it's beyond belief, beyond belief that the president of the united states would even go to davos in the middle of an impeachment trial, and then make statements like that to intimidate the jury and to gloat over the fact that he is not turned document over. and then let me just say finally that senate democrats take the oath very, very seriously. as a former federal prosecutor and attorney general i know how trials use evidence. i have seen it over and over again, and the case here to be made is that we have got to have the evidence. we've got to have the documents, the witnesses, and so it's pretty astounding that republicans would be going
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around the hill saying we have seen anything new, when all they are trying to do is shut down this trial and make sure that nothing new comes in. and i think when it comes to history, a lot of this is going to break over time, and if they don't want to see this information now, a lot of it is going to come out and a fake they are going to regret it. >> maria with telemundo. thank you for doing this. how close are you persuading a lease four republicans to join you in collect additional witnesses and documents? number one. number two, president trump has tweeted over 100 times saying that democrats are doing this because they can't accept the 2016 election. are you concerned about any political risk for the democratic party in november? >> we're looking for the truth. the impeachment, the ability to
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impeach and then try that impeachment is one of the most fundamental, solemn and the sacred rights given to the congress to deal with a president who might abuse his power, who might overreach, who might break the law. we feel that's our obligation. so we've asked for witnesses. we didn't ask for democratic witnesses who might be talking on our side. these are the president's appointees. the documents are all written by the president's appointees. we want the truth. now maybe that evidence will be exculpatory, helpful to trump. maybe it will be further, further incriminating, but we want the truth and the political chips will fall where they may. i will say this, the american people, there was another new poll today by reuters i think it was that showed that the overwhelming number of people, overwhelming majority of americans want the witnesses and
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documents, what the truth, what the new evidence it was asked that way in one of them. and in most of the polls a majority of republicans, more republicans than not what witnesses and documents. it's rare for the republican rank-and-file to break with trump but i think the american people and particularly after yesterday saw the gravity of this situation and the need to make it there. i will say this to the present and duty of my republican friends, if the american people believe this is not a fair trial, which right now they seem to believe, because there are no witnesses and documents, acquittal will have zero value to the president or to the republicans. [inaudible] no, no, no. there are lots of conversations going on. i'm not going to comment on anything explicit yet. >> mr. leader, can you clarify your remarks about ted cruz is talk about a one to one deal. are you saying you are close to any potential deal --
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>> no republicans are talking to us about the deal. we want these four witnesses, these four sets of documents. they go to the truth but that a single republican has approached me and said what about this, what about that? it's not happening. there was one report that i thought was false and that everyone is jumping on it. >> are senate republicans complicit in a cover by not accepting witnesses and documents? >> the bottom line is the president is clearly covering up. his people are coming up. the question is will our republican colleagues rise to the constitutional mandate to create a fair trial? i don't think it will sit very well with history or with the american people if they don't. >> this is supposed to be as chief justice john roberts put it the world's greatest deliberative body. what should the american people make of the fact that so many
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senators appear to already made up their minds long before this trial is played up? >> i get i give faith to the wisdom of the founders. when i read in high school, i mentioned this before, when i read in high school one of the greatest things to worry about is for interference in our elections, i said what? that doesn't happen. but, of course, once again the founders were a lot smarter than all of us and they realized what a danger would be and that it has reared its ugly head. it happened in 2016, and that our country's aiming to do it in 2020. we know that. it's the same here. people say they have made up their minds, , some, not that many. i don't think a majority of senators on either side of said they made up their mind. there's some the weight of history, the weight of that trial, the requirement that people are forced to sit at their desk and listen and not be punching things out on their iphones is very, very powerful.
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and as i said towards the end of last night, senator hirono was right there people squirm, people look the other way. they don't sit still when they don't want to be. adam schiff arguments were so powerful that i looked run several times, every republican was looking right at them and listening. our hope is this will have an effect ago on the american peoe and everyone here who was elected has some a a duty to listen to their constituents, their constituents arsenic witnesses and documents. yes. >> you have been a politician for a long time and you have been in good political environment and you have carried good messages and bad messages. you seem pretty confident right now with the argument you on witnesses. do you believe that the republican position against witnesses is sustainable? >> look, i think it's not
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sustainable substantively, for sure. the american people seem to agree with us, and we -- look, i don't know what will happen. am i certain we'll get those four republicans? absolute enough. a certain that we won't? certainly not. you've got -- when you have truth on your side, when you have the facts on your side, you often when because that's the way i believe god made the world, that's the way our republic is structured. so you just keep at it and keep at it and keep at it. and i can't tell you the outcome, but i feel my whole caucus from one into the other feel very confident of these arguments to we are the ones out there. you don't find many republicans going to talk to the press. some a told if you look at who's going on the shows, it's overwhelmingly democrats. now, that's because of the faith in argument that we have and
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that's because a lot of them, look, i heard the press asking to make republicans yesterday, just happened over here, do you think the president did anything wrong? they couldn't even answer that question. so i have -- i have hope, is a better way to put it, hope that we might get the witnesses and documents by the end of the day and we will keep fighting and fighting and fighting. bobby. >> two points. one is relevant to the questions. the reason why having a witness give testimony in this proceeding, in this trial is not just because of the consequences, the determination the senate has to make but because they are not just walking in and talked about what they saw. they are coming in and having to swear under oath, taking the
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oath in in a deposition or othr testimony, and having to be subjected to both examination and cause examination can reveal a lot about a person. we saw as well how serious and quiet and somber the chamber god when people were signing the oath book, taking the oath electively. so that's important, having people under oath. i don't know, maybe i missed something but i've not seen any person yet in the house proceedings who was under oath who made the argument for the president. nothing wrong, perfect call, all that. i don't know of anyone who's been under oath doing that. now maybe as chuck said, maybe john bolton will say something exculpatory, but we just want than under oath and they are relevant. last point is on the squish of what's going through the light of republicans, look, i've been there for every single minute of presentation. when i look across at the republicans for even a second, i
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see most -- who were listening very carefully. i think chuck was right. they were paying very close attention yesterday, especially to the end when adam schiff was making his presentation. and final point here is that when we were getting the printout of the slide yesterday, my system look at the public inside was there were not taken the slides, just throwing them in their desk. they wanted to see those slides. they may not admit that. in fact, one senator, i will tell you, republican senator was inquiring about the fact that they could see the slides on the screens and having a prayer that was helpful. so they want to see this information here, a lot of them, even the ones who claim there's nothing new. they knew there was a lot that was relevant in the slides. >> thank you, everybody.
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>> figures come c-span has been providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy thence from washington, d.c. and around the country so you can make up your own mind. free to buy cable in 1979 c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of the government. >> on c-span2 we bring you live coverage to date of the impeachment trial of president donald trump. the second day of arguments by the house democratic managers. they get up to 24 hours. you may be hearing protested in the background in our lives view here outside the senate chamber on the east side of the u.s. capitol. the coverage getting underway in about five minutes. the senate trial set to resume at 1 p.m.


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