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tv   Impeachment Trial of President Trump U.S. Senate  CSPAN  January 24, 2020 3:05pm-5:06pm EST

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in the last election. it may be russia once again attempting to sway our election for one candidate, this time through ukraine. indeed, present trump to this very day, refuses to accept unanimous assessment of our intelligence community and law enforcement and professionals at rush or interfered in the 2016 campaign and poses a threat to the 2020 presidential election and instead he uses it for his own personal ends whether it is an attack or legitimacy and is 2016 electoral victory. special counsel molars testimony in july 24, 2019, the end of the day before the president call and it contradicted president trump's claim that his was quote a clean campaign.
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muller found that individuals associated with the 2016 campaign of the president welcome brushes assistance and adjusted their political strategy. so then candidate donald trump might benefit from russia's assistance. when they were subsequently asked by law enforcement about their activities, president trump's advisors repeatedly lied. in helsinki in july of 2018, however, president trump refused to a knowledge the russian threat to our elections. and when reporter explicitly asked whether he believed putin, for the u.s. intelligence on the issue of foreign interference, and the 2016 election, president trump said quote i don't see any reason why it would be russia. and talked about the deviancy server. >> the mages say we have two thoughts, you have groups that
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are wondering why the fbi never took the server, why have they taken the server. why was the fbi told to leave the office of the democratic national committee. i have been wondering that. i have been asking that for months and months and i have been tweeting out and calling out on social media. where is the server. i want to know where is the server. and what is the server saying. with that being said, all i can do is ask the question. my people came to me in handcuffs came to me and they said they think it is russia. i am president putin and he just said it is not russia. and i will say this, i don't see any reason why it would be. but i really do want to see the server but i have confidence in both parties, i really believe that this will probably go on for a while. but i don't think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. what happened to the servers, of
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the pakistani gentlemen that worked on the dnc. where are those servers. they are missing. what happened to hillary putin's e-mails. 33000 e-mails, gone. just gone. i think in russia, they wouldn't be gone so easily. i think it is a disgrace. that we can get hillary putin's 33000 e-mails. >> i am sure you remember this. it was unforgettable for every american. but i am sure it was equally unforgettable frank latimer button. there is some of the president of rozier. standing next to the president of the united states, and hearing his own propaganda talking points coming from the president of the united states. if that's not propaganda, i don't know what is. it is the most extraordinary
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thing. the president of the united states standing next to the president of russia, our adversary, saying he doesn't believe his own intelligence agencies. he doesn't believe them. he is promoting this crazy server theory, cooked up by who knows. right next to the guy who cooked it up. it is a breathtaking success of russian intelligence. i don't know if there's ever been a greater success of russian intelligence. whatever profile russia did of our president, boy did they have him spot on. flattery and propaganda. that's all russia needed. and as to ukraine, they needed to deliver a political investigation to get help from the united states. this is just the most incredible
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propaganda. as i said yesterday, it is not just that the president united states, channel president putin he will rate his own talking points. but he will read the other ones. it is not just that handoffs their talking points, that would be bad enough. it is not bad enough, it's not damaging enough, sought dangerous enough to our national security that he is undermining our own intelligence agencies. it is not bad enough that he undermines those very agencies that he needs later that we need later, to have credibility. we just had a vigorous debate over these strikes. against general soleimani. in the president has made his argument that is what about the
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intelligence said and report. how do you make those arguments. when you said the u.s. intelligence can not be believed. we had a vigorous debate about that. that is not the issue here. the issue here is you undermine the credibility of your own intelligence agency. he awakened the country. for when you need to rely on them. for when you need to persuade your friends and allies. you can trust us when we tell you this is what the intelligence shows. they make that argument. when you just told the world they trust the russians more than your own people. you trust rudy giuliani more. how you make that case. he can't make the case, what is that mean to our security. but that is not the end of it. it is not just a propaganda cooper it is not just the undermining of our agency, and
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is also the buy and to that propaganda meant that ukraine wasn't going to get money to fight the russians. that is one of our russian intelligence thing. they get the president of the united states to provide cover for their own interference with our election. because the president of the united states to discredit his his own intelligence agencies. to drive a wedge between the united states and ukraine. to withhold aid from ukraine in a war with russia, in a war that is claiming ukrainian lives, every week. has there ever been such a thing. i would submit to you, and the entire length of the cold war, the soviet union had no such
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success. why? because a former mayor of new york persuaded the president of the united states to sacrifice all of that. for a cheap shot at his political opponent. for a smear against his political opponent. was it worth it. i hope it was worth it. for the president because it certainly wasn't worth it for the united states. you can see the president trump did not blame the russian intelligence agencies who interfered for the questions surrounding his victory. he did not blame the people work for his campaign. they were subsequently convicted of lying to our client
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enforcement agencies. he blamed the skaters. special counsel mark the guy in charge of getting to the bottom of the russian interns. thank chose to leave vladimir putin, a former officer rather than his own intelligence agencies. we can see a pattern here. president trump solicited into the interference from russia as a candidate in 2016, and his campaign what the russian interference into the election. and he chose to believe, putin over his own agencies. i don't see any reason why it would be. referring to russia. instead of denouncing russia's interference, he denounced those investigating russia's interference. and raise that now familiar d&c crowd strike server thing. i really do want to see the server. i think we can go on without
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finding out what happened to the server. that is the exact same server, the president trump demanded ukraine investigate during his july 25th call from zelinski. when the president talked about the d&c server into helsinki, with latimer clinton standing by his side, he was referencing the same discredited conspiracy claim about ukraine interference in 2016. that portion repeatedly promoted. president putin promoted. let's listen to this. >> in the end trumps performance alongside him seem like a tour that is most controversial conspiracy theories. the tweets and off-the-cuff musings on russia except he did it all abroad just standing just feet from president putin.
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the spectacle in helsinki, also -underscore trumps eagerness to disregard his own advisors. his willingness to flout his own intelligence community that russia interfered in the 2016 elections. it is apparent here that prosody pressing president putin on his electrical electoral victory. it. >> when he told the washington post the president trumps remarks in helsinki were quote very much counter to his plan. that is another understatement of the century. if this sounds familiar, it is because the witness testified before the house as part of the impeachment inquiry and they all said the same thing about the july 25th phone call. the president ignored vital national security issues and he was supposed to raise and instead raised his proven conspiracies about 2016 and the d&c server.
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the very same russian propaganda that he publicly endorsed in helsinki. do you think it is going to stop now. do you think if we do nothing, and is going to stop now. all of the evidence is to the country, you know it's not going to stop. the president just told one of the members of this body, he still wants biden investigated. it is not going to stop unless the congress does something about it. president trump's betrayal began in 2016, when he first solicited russian interference in our election. russia, if you're listening i hope you're able to find the 30000 e-mails that are missing.
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>> that betrayal can cindy continued in testing key. when he saw he rejected russian interference in the same election. when he criticized the u.s. officials investigating the russian interference, and instead promoted britain's theory about ukraine. about president putin. by demanding that the leader of ukraine, a u.s. partner under military attack by russia, announced an investigation into the same basis conspiracy theory about a d&c server and the bogus allegations about vice president biden. and the abuse of power, continues. he is still trying to cheat in the next election. even after it came to light, even after it became the impeachment inquiry. it continued. president trump repeatedly
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asserted that he had a prerogative to urge foreign nations to investigate u.s. citizens. who dare to challenge him politically. just for a minute, we should try to step into the shoes of someone else. my father used to say, you don't understand a person until you step in their shoes. i thought he invented that wisdom himself until i watched a show. but let's try to step in someone else's shoes for a moment. let's imagine it wasn't joe biden. let's imagine it was anyone of us. possibly the most powerful person in the world, they were asking a foreign nation to conduct a sham investigation into one of us. what would be think about it then. when we think that's good u.s.
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policy. when we think he has every right to know it, when we think that that is a perfect call. let's stop for a minute into and with the subject of a vicious smear campaign. and they do not have a shred of credibility. let's tip into her shoes for a minute. we spent her whole life devoted to public service and served in dangerous places around the world. and we are hounded out of your post. in one day someone releases a transcript of the call between the president of the united states and foreign leader in the president says, there's gonna be some things happening to you. to you, or to you, or to you, or to you.
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how would you feel about the president of the united states. would you think, he was abusing the power of this process. and if you would, should it matter that wasn't you, it shouldn't matter that it was jovanovich, it shouldn't matter there was joe biden pre- because i will tell you something, the next time, it just may be you. anything for a moment, that any of you no matter what your relationship with us president, no matter how close you are to this president, do you think for a moment that if he felt it was in his interest, that he wouldn't ask you to be investigated. do you think for a moment that he won it. and if somewhere deep down below, you realize that he would. you can not leave a man like that in office. when is violated the constitution.
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it shouldn't matter that was joe biden. it may be any of us. shouldn't matter that it was you bondage. if it was some other diplomat it could be tomorrow. jovanovich. jeffries said it goes to character. you don't realize how important character is at the highest office in the land until you don't have it. until you have a president willing to abuse his power to coerce an ally and to help them teach. to investigate, one of our fellow citizens. yes, he is really running for president. he is still a u.s. citizen. he deserves better than that.
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when it's just ukraine, or russia, there is the invitation to china. to investigate the bidens. it is not going to stop. september 19th, rudy giuliani was interviewed on cnn. and probably we've all seen it. when asked specifically if he had urged ukraine to look into vice president biden, esther giuliani replied immediately, of course. of course i did. it shouldn't matter that it was joe biden. wasn't hunter biden there? wasn't hunter biden there. it was joe biden pretty shouldn't matter who it was. talking about american citizens. it shouldn't matter to any of us which american citizen. and he hasn't stopped.
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for ukraine to an conducted these investigations. mr. giuliani hasn't, donald trump hasn't. to the contrary, and consistent with everything we know about the president, he has done nothing but double down. during his first week, the first week of december, two giuliani traveled to hungary and ukraine to interview the prosecutors. they have been pushing these false narratives about vice president biden and this cookie conspiracy about 2016. mr. giuliani met with members of parliament who was advocated for that same fraudulent investigation. general esther, trump told news that he would take political dirt from a foreign country if he was offered yet again. if he has learned anything, from
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the last three years, he can get away with anything. he would do it again. can't be indicted. he can't be impeached. can't you believe our attorney general, even be investigated. our founders worried about a situation just like this. james madison put it simply, president quote might betray his trust to foreign powers. and george washington warned americans to be constantly awake since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most causes of republican government. john adams in a letter to davos jefferson wrote, you are apprehensive of foreign interference intrigued influenced and so am i. but as often as elections
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happen, the danger of foreign influence requires. or to quote the presence chief of staff, get over it. there's going to be politics and foreign policy. i don't think that was john adams point. and i don't think that was james adams point or george washington news point. if it was, they would have said get over it. but they recognized as i know we recognize what a profound danger that would be for that to become the new normal. and another election is upon us, ten months voters were undertaking the most important duty as citizens by going to the polls and putting forth their leader.
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and so we must ask what role will foreign flowers play in trying to influence the outcome and if they take the president's side, it will protect our franchise if the president will not. as charge in the first article of impeachment, president trump has demonstrated that he will main or remain a threat to national security if allowed to remain in office. exacted in a man matter of grossly incompatible for self-governance, and the rule of law. based on abuse of power for which he was impeached, and his ongoing efforts to solicit foreign interference, both directly and through mr. giuliani, there can be little doubt that president trump will continue to invite foreign interference in our elections again and again. that poses an imminent threat to the integrity of our democracy.
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our founders understood that a president like donald trump might one day grasped the reins of power. an unremarkable, overreaching executive, faithful to himself only. in willing to sacrifice our democracy and national security for his own personal advantage. this pattern of conduct repeatedly soliciting foreign interference in our elections for his own benefit conference that he will stop at nothing to retain his power. he willfully chose to put his personal interests above the countries in the integrity of our elections, there is every reason to believe that will continue. he has stonewalled congress and ordered executive branch agencies and organizations who work for the emergent people not for the president, to join in his obstruction. he deployed mr. giuliani to
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ukraine to continue advancing his scheme the service know the first purpose then advancing his 2020 prospects. he attacked witnesses, public servants and hatred toothache stayed true to their oath and the market people about the brave national injury that resulted from the president's misconduct. and he continued to urge foreign nations to investigate american citizens that he views as a threat. the threat that he will continue to abuse this power and cause great harm to the nation over the course of the next year until a new president is sworn in or until he would be reelected is not hypothetical. nearly exposing the president's scheme not stopped him from continuing this destructive patterned behavior that has brought us to this summer moment. he is who he is.
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that will not change. and nor for the danger associated with him. every piece of evidence supports that terrible conclusion. that the president of the united states will abuse his power again. .-ellipsis . . . . then there is nothing that would stop you fromdoing it again . president trump has abused the power of his office and must be removed from that office . mister mcconnell, i'd yield back .
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>> the majority leader is recognized. >> chief justice, i suggest a 15minute recess . >> withoutobjection, so ordered . >> congressman adam schiff concluding his argument on article 1, impeachment article 1 on abuse of power, saying the president has abused his office and must be removed from office. they're taking a 15 minute break here and we will resume next we understand by taking up the second article of impeachment on obstruction of congress . as we've done in the past, greg here on c-span two. we will hear from members of the president's team, house managers, senators as well. we have several locations across the capital and we will keep our eyes on those locations as well and hear
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from you on our phone lines here momentarily to hear your thoughts and what you heard in the closing arguments there from adam schiff on article 1, 202 748 8920 is aligned to call for democrats, 202748 8921 for republicans, independents that line is 202 748 8922. we welcome your comments on text as well, that's 202 748 8003. the democrats using two hours and 20 minutes so they started the day with some seven hours 53 minutes remaining to conclude their part of the argument and the president's attorneys will get their chance starting tomorrow. some scheduling information onthat from the majority leader this morning . greg kaplan, our capitol hill producer tweeting saturday in the u.s. senate, mcconnell announces thesenate trial would continue tomorrow at the earlier start time at 10 am instead of 1 pm . the presidents council would be presenting their opening
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argument. jesse bird from the hill says trumps lawyers are expected to only present their case for about two hours on saturday. today the president called quote, death valley for tv and he links to an article at the hill. the president did say that tweeting today after having being treated unbelievably unfairly in the house and having to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud and deception by shifty schiff, looks like our lawyers will be forced to start on saturday which is called death valley on tv. that's expected to start tomorrow 10 am eastern. they're in a break for the next 15 or 20 minutes, let's get to your calls and here first from james in ohio. i understand you may hear from some senators but go ahead with your comments. >> caller: i want to say thanks for taking my call. >> host: and on the line,we will hear from lindsey graham and get back to you . >> what's your reaction to
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theobstruction of congress charge ? >> i think it's a dangerous charge against the presidency and the institution and i'll tell you more about that in a minute but the reason i came is i want to echo what mister schiff said today. i want every american to put themselves in the shoes of the bidens . you're the vice president of the united states . you're in charge of ukrainian corruption efforts and your son winds up getting $3 million from the most corrupt entity in the ukraine , burisma. would you expectpeople to give you a pass ? to the average american the first payment he got from burisma, hunter biden was $87,000. do you expect anybody toask questions about that ? here's what i can say, if the shoe were on the other foot and this was liz cheney or
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pence's son doing this, adam schiff would be leading the charge because it's a clear conflict of interest that undermines any effort to bring better government to the ukraine and to combat corruption. how do you think the ukrainians take this when they hear the vicepresident's son is getting $3million from the most corrupt company in the ukraine ? it kind of undercuts that narrative. i think it's bad foreign policy and here's my point . i supported moellerlooking at all things trump .i believe the country needed to have somebody outside politics to resolve the allegations against the president. here's what is stunning to me. impeachment managers are telling the united states senate and country as a whole that the biting investigations have been investigated. that is a flat untruth. nobody has done an investigation anywhere near
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like the molar investigation of the bidens and i think they should. and when this is over, the congress will do it if we can't have an outside entity do it. i think it's important to find out what happened, why the prosecutor was fired, how the system could let this go unchallenged. how the secretary of state stepson could be on the payroll of this company. so the bottom line is we cannot have an america where only one side is looked at. to my democratic friends, i stoodwith you and you called for an outside entity to look at president trump . i'm not asking you to allow somebody outside of politics to look at what happened with the bidens and with john kerry's stepson and others when it comes tothe ukraine , because we are not going to live in a country where only republicans getlooked at . so here's what i am saying. that old put yourself in his
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shoes and see what would happen to you if he did this and if you're a republican, please understand mister volker would not look so kindly towards you. i agree with john mccain that ukraine is important. here's what people don't get. donald trump said the world order that was so foreign by mister schiff has not served us well. people have been riding on the coattails of america in terms of we are doing too much, they should do more and he doesn't buy the idea that 10 percent of the ukrainian military budget should come from the american taxpayer. i do think it's a good investment and here's the good news, we are bringing donald trump along with the idea that alliances need to be improved, not destroyed. that nato is better off when they contribute more but this is a world class, all the foreign policy experts, you don't understand in donald
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trump's world what we're doing in the ukraine needs to be reassessed and why doesn't france and germany do more? you may not agree with that but that is is you and what john mccain said is what lindsey graham believes. i believe it's in the vital national interest to stand with ukraine but it's okay to ask questionsabout the business dealings of the ukraine . the new president should be a good guy but one of the guys he wanted to put in charge of his cabinet was a lawyer for one of the most corrupt oligarchs in the ukraine so i like president zelensky but to say that we should accept everything that happened before president trump in terms of foreign policy , basically ignores why he got elected . >> chuck schumer has been a republican and doesn't want to see the truthback, your thoughts ? >> here's what i would say. they said, house managers, there is no evidence, not one witness to tell us that hunter biden did anything
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wrong. when they tried to call hunter biden in the house they said no so i would say to senator schumer, thiswhole idea that the bidens have been fairly investigated , if you were a republican you wouldn't be saying that. you would be going nuts i was told by reporters the obama administration look into this . is that an adequate answer? should i accept their word? here's what i would sayabout the truth . here's the truth. they could have called people in the house close to the president, they chose not to and they're dumping this in our laps. they should have looked more at what happened with the bidens, they chose not to. the truth for me is the best thing to do is to end this trial with no witnessesfor either side . let congress to oversight regarding what happened in the ukraine and in a professional way and i would prefer an outside counsel.
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>>. [inaudible] >> the first thing i would do you suggest that president trump had no corrupt purpose. that he believes to this day that somebody should look at the bidens and so do i and when three democratic senators wrote a letter to the ukraine asking them to cooperate with the molar investigation i don't think they should be impeached. i think we need to set up a system to look at what the bidens did as much outside of politics as possible and if i were the managers i would go hard at the idea that the biden investigation has been conducted , it's been debunked, it's bogus. if you can show us a bit of evidence that there is a legitimate concern and questions should be asked, game set and match in terms of their case. i would also suggest resident trumps policies towards the ukraine and russia has been aggressive impaired to the other administration area that was no betrayal of
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ukrainian fighting forces. i would hit pretty hard and i would use the words that the other side use, i'm fair game. talkingabout how they use executive privilege when it was a democratic president involved . that's kind of what iwould do and i wouldn't take 24 hours . >> look at the bidens in 2016, 2017. >> honest to god, i didn't know anything about this. i haven't beenfollowing it . i like joe biden. i don't think he's corrupt but i think he has to answer for how he could allow his son to get himself in the country to start but a lot of this comes out when you start talking about the ukraine. i gave molar the space to do all things russia but if you're going to bring up the ukraine and trump, how can you not bring up the ukraine and biden?
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the president didn't say i want all my political importance investigated, he's saying when you talk about me in the ukraine how can you ignore biden in the ukraine ? it's a conflict of interest that compromises our national security and undercuts the narrative that were serious about fighting corruption . >> children having lobbying jobs, why is this? >> we have a responsibility up here to conduct ourselves honorably and to follow the law, but i would suggest that we probably have kids working in the private sector for lobbyists. i think that's a different than working for the most corrupt company in the ukraine when you're giving the charge of trying to combat corruption. i think that is a bridge too far and here's what i believe area if it were my son for my daughter and if you are a republican, they would be all over us and i know you probably don't like me saying that republicans believe more than ever there is a
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two-tiered system in this country and that's not they are. and i don't want people to believe that. [inaudible] i don't know. you know why i don't want to do it, i like joe by that i don't want to do this. >> somebody can say in december 10 when hunter biden went to the state department after the new york times reported that he was on the board of burisma, what did they talk about? it may be a conflict of interest, it may be bad judgments. they may be no more to this but i know from the time at the office of the president of burisma was rated and the time the prosecutor was fired and he may be corrupt as hell , it was about six weeks. and you need to look at what happened in that six-week period.
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they may be innocent explanations but i know this. convince me for most people on my side that it has been investigated when it has not. >> you spoken emotionally about the supposed impact, the event that should get any? >> i know you can't call the biden folks say this is not kosher area the answer was that joe is struggling. i get area but at the point, you got this sort of, i understand that and that's why i don't want to do this but there comes a point, this happened in 2014, he went all the way to 2016 and to all the foreign policy advisers with their concernsabout what president trump did , when asked doctor phil, are you okay with what joe biden, i mean hunter biden did, did he do anything wrong and mark i think it should be equally upset. i can understand being upset
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with some of the stuff but how can you not be upset that the man in charge of anticorruption effort on the part of the united states government, the vice president of the united states sun is making the ukraine and atm machine from the most corruptentities in the country area as a foreign-policy person , that upset you too. so ifthe person to do this , i don't want it to be lindsey graham, because it would be hard for me but if i have to iwould do it . because i don't think i'm being mean to joe to ask questions about what happened in the ukraine and if i would expect me to be asked if it was me. >> i want to make a couple point first, i think it's important. adam schiff just said that this idea of the solicitation of foreign interference is horrible. i wonder if he thought that about the fact that the clinton campaign had when
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it's completely corroborated, uncontested, the steel dossier was utilizing both supposedly assets that a former british spy had in russia. to get information on the president. then candidate. was that not foreign interference? was not an attempt for foreign interference -mark you can get on your horse and ask party and proud about it, but let's look at what the evidence says . and here's what the evidence says. there was foreigninvolvement , but let's not forget where it originated from let's not forget and we haven't begun to put on her case yet, we will still not begin until tomorrow morning . and i want you to thinkabout this, where did that for intelligence come from ? foreign information come from. it came from connections from the federalbureau of investigations . the number three, whose wife had to work for using gps to
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be hired by the dnc, who happened to do an investigation on donald trump and by the way, she didn't just do it on the steel dossier, she was involved with guess what? ukraine. we haven't put our case out obviously, it hasn't begun but you should be able to get a sense from what i'm saying rightnow , we're going to rebut and refute and put on an affirmative case tomorrow but that's just one. just one issue and for the life of me, why they opened up the door is wide as a double door onboth hunter biden, joe biden, burisma issue, i guess they figured that was their way of getting ahead of it . we will address it. let me say one last thing and i'll answer your questions.
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i want you to think about this for a moment. joe biden was charged with ukraine policy. that was just the civic charge. his son went to work for, went on the board of a ukrainian gas company. for the vice president said he knew nothing about it but the state department knew about it because they were concerned when people were being put up for confirmation that the issue might arise so believe me , you will hear about thatissue too. let me take a few more questions . >>. [inaudible] >> i thought this was abuse of power they were talking about. i have an easy response to obstruction of congress. this idea you obstruct congress by exercising constitutional privileges is absurd , absolutely absurd . i think like jonathan turley said, he was right but i forget what he said but what the courts have said, these are fundamentally important
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rights and the way our separation of powers works under our government, next question. >> that's j sekulow, the president's personal attorney. how's managers will pick up with the obstruction of congress article 2, the second article of impeachment and fear on c-span2 as we reminded you, those cameras and audio come from the senate and we will keep our eye on the screen for the senate to return momentarily but we have been waiting get phone calls from you. james from sydney ohio, if you want to go ahead with your thoughts with the caveat that we expect the senate back in momentarily. the floor is yours for a moment .>> caller: since presidenttrump was elected , they've been out to get him. they said so. i told my wife, it would surprise me if they let him take his full term.
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they tried everything they can think of. the russian thing and now we've got this area and another that thing that bothers me is every time there's a break in the trial, schumer or one of the democrats is under the microphone saying the evidence is overwhelming. the house managers have proved it over and over of the president's guilt. okay. why do we need more witnesses and documents? they brought this to the senate as it is and another thing, when and if hopefully the president wins in november, what will they try then? how many times can they try this? i've heard people call in and say they are embarrassed by the democrats. well, me too. this must stop. >> host: we will go to new york city to our democrats line and hear from ed. >> caller: hello. >>host: go ahead and, you are on the air . >> caller: i'm a retired vietnam veteran and a civil
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servant of new york and the government for 44 years. my problem here is that i demand that the republicans hear all the testimony. i'm a taxpayer. i've been ataxpayer for 65 years . i don't understand why we can't hear from the witnesses because the witnesses and the testimony is what is necessary for a trial. you stop it if it ever begins if it has no credibility. and i'm surprised by the republicans who can't see. >> host: i'm going to letyou go there and go to johnin fort montgomery new york, go ahead john . >> caller: yes , i think that adam schiff did a very good job in presenting his case. he was extremely articulate
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and everything he said made sense to me. i'm just not sure what's going to happen from net now on. it appears right now to me that even though the president has done all these things, it just may not be sufficient for removing donald trump from the office of president.i'll wait to see what's going to happen with the republicans presents . >> host: when they started the afternoon they had the house manager had seven hours 53 minutes remaining, they used up about two hours and 20 minutes of that and they been in a break since 3:30 eastern this afternoon. we are waiting for the return and will take you there immediately when we hear the gavel come down. we will go to shane next on ourrepublican line in tripoli tennessee . >> caller: yes, the democrats are just leading us down a dangerous path . putting our country in a
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state of complete vulnerability. trump is our leader and he's the head of our country and they are so against him and making us look like idiots to all these other countries because we're so divided as a country and battling out and impeachment over an election, that's what it comes down to is the election. teaching him impeaching him in a trial in an election year is a waste of taxpayer money. he can't do any good in their eyes because he doesn't fit into the liberal agenda. he's the most badly treated president in our history. donald trump has fought for our country and stood up for world leaders. he stood up for veterans, for women, for the black community, for unborn babies, american workers and every othercitizen of the united states . >> host: the president speaking today, the first ever president to speak at the march for life rally held just behind me here on capitol hill and down on the
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ball, the president spoke about midday today. you can find that in our video library martin, louisville, democrats line. >> caller: i don't understand that from the jump before he became president there was a lot of scandal around him period . did not this day man say one time he could kill somebody and get away with it? in any other court of law you have a right to call your witnesses. now, i don't know what the problem with this. if you really want to get the truth, you should want the witnesses to speak. even donald trump should want them to speak but i think what it is is there going to hear more of something that they do not want to come out that has been said and i think trump and putin are in cahoots. i really do. >> host: on our line, waiting
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for the senate to return. make sure when you text us you tell us where your texting from. this is rick hutchinson from california saying when americans wake up and realize the main media company reports biased news and will follow leads that are continuously given by republicans, only then can our country begin to heal. to do yourhomework people. the house managers have not shown how the president has covered up anything. all they're doing is showing the activities of the president . they finished there are arguments on article 1 the abuse of power, article tothe obstruction of congress is next. we hear from logan , we go to the independent line, iowa. >> caller: i'm from demoing but i'm getting tired of all this where they already knew what would happen when the impeachment articles hit the senate. and all they're really doing is just fighting, wasting time and wasting money when
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they could be passing decent legislation. what i say they do is legalize cocaine and let it fight it out and figure out who's right. >> host: to wisconsin,lance is on the republican line . >> guest: >> caller: how are you doing today? you know, i've been watching this ever since president trump has been elected and the democrats have been after him since day one. they badmouthed him and they continually badmouth him. they accuse him ofdoing everything against the united states and will of the people and i believe my president is doing things for the will of the people and in the best interest of the people . he's doing it andhe's not taking any compensation for it . he's a tough guy and i hope he can work his way through all this and take it to the end and get another four years. >> host: nancy, new london connecticut on the democrats line as we wait till for the senate to return, go ahead.
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>> caller: my name is nancy, thank you for taking my call. i don't feel that this trial is about my. i think it has nothing to do with biden. it has to do with the republican president. that is, you know what, it doesn't even have to be a republican president, it has to do with any president that it's about right and wrong. the current president has not followed the constitutional rules. he should be removed from office before he does any further damage. lives have been lost in the ukraine while our aid has been illegally held up and i think thedemocrats and adam schiff aregiving fair testimony about trump's behavior. i don't understand why the republicans are not bothering to listen . i guess they don't want to hear it . their statements in the hallways are arrogant and their constituents look like fools because they are not listening to any of the testimony. your republican call ins
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aren't listening either. they just have one focus and they listen to fox news which is classified as entertainment and not news. it's become state tv. we need witnesses that the republicans will listen to. people that trump has blocked, trump has stymied in the past because they are his own appointees. we need to stop complaining about hunter biden when the president's daughter is in switzerland on the taxpayers dime spending $34,000 on car rental area as past lots of legislation in the past year and moscow make has not presented any of this for a vote in the senate. >> host: we will let you go there, a reminder to a lot of
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the video you're seeing in the testimony so far that they're presenting, a lot of that is from c-span2 coverage but more than that you can find all of it at wego to joe next on the independent line in chicago . >> i think those in favor of impeachment need to just call the other people flock. and throw biden and the clinton and everybody in the republic seems to be using for the talking points under the bus just go forward and yes, trump did it too. and that's my point. >> about half an hour is what was supposed to be a 15 minute break it's been like this, those bricks run a little long. and you're seeing what they call the slate up on the screen, from the senate both cameras provided by the u.s. senate, that audio control by the senate and they will come
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back in they will turn on the camera when they're good and ready and set to go. we go to brenda in brooksville florida on the republican line . on the air, go ahead. >> thanks for taking my call, we want to say we been wanting all of the trials, watching all the congress weighing in two declare the senate and us republicans are just really tired of the impeachments from the day he was inaugurated until now. let's just get this over with. move on so we can vote for him in 2020. have a good day. >> lee, phoenix arizona on the democrats line. >> how are you. just wanted to say that i've been a democrat or 32 years now and since 2016, i have not had a lot of passion for thedemocratic party. usually right now. i understand trump might have overstepped , you mention people's names and i can see how that can be taken to consider that he's trying to
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meddle inour elections . and i sat here and spent many hours watching the testimony so far presented by the house committee. and i'm sorry, it's just a lot of people unhappy with policy changes . just trying to force an agenda onto the democratic party and the united states. >> host: so what's the argument that the house managers have to make intheir upcoming arguments on the second article of impeachments, on obstruction of congress saying that the president . testimony and evidence from the administration officials ? >> caller: .on that i feel the house had the opportunity to take them to court, use the free version of hours and apparently they were loggerheads with the executive branch they could have gone to the judicial branch area understand that
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they might have taken months or years or whatever but that is how our system works. now, balance of power, they chose not to use the judicial branch. in fact they pulled back the subpoena. so now a profit over to the center, and the senatehas now to control . they should not be doing the houses job. that's what let me down. i wish we would have pushed the situation, going to court and got a legislative court determination. then there would be any questions . >> you think is appropriate at this time to call witnesses to the trial? >> i don't because i don't feel the house has made the case. >> host: we will hear from steve next, pennsylvania, independent line. >> caller: my name is steve and i'm a retired steelworker
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. >> host: do us a favor see, make sure you mute your television set and go ahead with your comments. >> caller: i've been following this but i'm a 75-year-old almost gentlemen that i am appalled what's happening in my country. i'm not democrat or republican. i'm an american, on a veteran brother i voted for when i was 11 years old. but the division that i'm seeing my country being torn apart is appalling. i do believe that we are being inundated with information especially with all the technology that's available and i think that we are sending our young people to fight wars that we don't win. and we have infrastructure, we have people that we could employ. we've given why archaeology in foreign countries, our
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jobs. i see a future that i totally believe the youth of this country if they are willing to put down their phones and talk decently to one another, this, my parents probably bought my generation when i was a kid was not going to make it. i am not of that mind. i believe my kids .. >> host: we will leave it there, the senate is back . >> is the chief justice and senators, first of all i want to join my colleagues in just thinking for your patience and your indulgence. what i can tell you today is that we are closer today than
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we were yesterday. because i'm prepared to present article 2, construction of congress. the second article of impeachments charges the president misusing the powers of his office the house impeachments inquiry. we are here today in response to a blanket order issued by president from directly directing the entire executive branch to withhold all documents and testimony from inquiry. president trump obstruction of the impeachments inquiry was categorical, indiscriminate and hit historically unprecedented. and its purpose was clear. to impede congress ability to carry out its duties under the constitution. to hold the president
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accountable for high crimes and misdemeanors. as part of his effort to cover up evidence of his scheme to solicit foreign interference in the upcoming election, president trump did something no president has ever dared to do in the history of our republic. president trump directly the entire executive branch not to cooperate with the houses impeachment inquiry. president trump bought every person who worked in the white house and every person who works in every department , agency and office of the executive branch. from providing information to the house as part of the impeachments inquiry. this was not about specific, narrowly defined security or
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privacy issues. nor was it based on potential privileges available to the executive branch. indeed, president trump has not once asserted executive privilege during this process . this was a declaration of total defiance of the houses authority to investigate credible allegations of the presidents misconduct and a wholesale rejection of congress ability to hold the president accountable. the presidents order executed by his top aides substantially interfere with the houses constitutionally authorized power to conduct an impeachments inquiry. as president from direction, the white house itself
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refused to produce a single document or record in response to a house subpoena that remains in full force and effect and it continues to withhold those documents from congress and from the american people. but it is not just the white house. following president trump's orders, the office of the vice president, the office of managementand budget , the department of state, the departments of energy and the departments of events all continue to refuse to produce a single document or record in response to 71 specific requests, including five subpoenas. additionally, following president trump'sorders , 12 current or former administration officials
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continue to refuse to testify as part of the houses impeachment inquiry. not only current administration officials but former administration officials as well. nine of those witnesses including senior officials would direct firsthand knowledge of the president's actions continued to defy subpoenas for testimony because of the presidents orders. and yet, despite president trumps instruction, as you have heard and seen throughout the house managers presentation of the facts of the presidents scheme, the house gathered overwhelming evidence of his misconduct from courageous public servants who were willing to
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follow the law, comply with subpoenas and tell the truth. on the basis of that formidable body of evidence, the house adopted the first article of impeachments. these witnesses also testified with great specificity about extensive documents communications and records in the possession of the white house and other agencies regarding the presidents theme to course ukraine's leaders to help this reelection. as you have heard over the past few days, the house was therefore able to get out an extensive catalog of specific documents and communications that go to the heart of the presidents wrongdoing. and which the president has ordered be concealed from
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congress and the american people. revelations of evidence harmful to the president only continued. since the house compiled is investigating report. recent court ordered releases under the freedom of information as well as the disclosures to the media have further demonstrated the white house, omb, state department and other agencies are actively withholding highly relevant documents that can further implicate the president and his subordinates. over time, these documents and this evidence will undoubtedly come to light. i ask this body do not wait to read about it in the press or in a book. you should be hearing this
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evidence now. hearing this evidence now. now, there is one point i would like to make very clear. president trump and his wholesale obstruction of congress strikes at the very heart of our constitution and our democratic system of government. the president of the united states could undertake such comprehensive obstruction only because of the exceptional powers entrusted to him by the american people. only one person in the world has the power to issue an order to the entire executive branch. that person senators, as you know is the president. president trump use that power not to faithfully
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execute the law but to order agencies and employees of the executive branch to conceal evidence of his misconduct. now, i know that no other american could seek to obstruct an investigation into his or her wrongdoing in this way. we all know that no other american could use the vast powers of our government to undertake a corrupt scheme to teach, to win an election and then use those same powers to suppress evidence of his constitutional crimes. we would not allow, and i am convinced that we would not allow any member of our state or local governments to use
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the official powers of their office to cover up crimes and misdeeds. as this body is well aware, mayors and governors have gone to jail for doing so. sheriffs and police chiefs are certainly not immune. we allow president trump estate accountability, we will lasting damage on the separation of powers among our branches of government. our fundamental system. of checks and balances. it would inflict irreversible damage by allowing this commander-in-chief and establishing president for future presidents to corruptly or abusively and then use the vast powers of
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their office, the office of the presidency, to conceal their own misconduct from congress and the american people. and in other words, we would create a system that allows this presidents and any future presidents to really do whatever he or she wants. it is an attack on congressional oversight, not just on the house but also on the senates own ability to oversee and serve as a check on this and future presidents , both republican and democrat. administrations. without meaningful oversight, without the power of impeachment, americans will have become to accept a far greater likelihood of misconduct or misconduct in
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the oval office. they would not be able to look to other branches of government to hold their presidents, but people president accountable. executive power without any sort of restraint, without oversight and without any checks and balances is absolute power. and we know what has been said about absolute power. absolute power corrupts absolutely. this is the very opposite of what the framers intended. framers of the constitution purposefully entrusted the power of impeachments to the legislative branch so that it may protect the american people from a corrupt president. well, the time senators has
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found us. if congress allows president trumps instruction to say, it effectively nullifies the impeachments powers. senators, we are the keepers, the protectors, the defenders of what the framers intended. and we must hold a unprincipled discipline executive level. class senators, i know that this is not easy. >> i don't take this moment lightly. these are tough times. i remember quite a few tough times during my 27 years as a law enforcement officer. but we must stop this presidents.
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today we will explain why. first, we will review he backs regarding the scope of president trumps unprecedented action to stop the housesimpeachment inquiry . as you well know, we covered many of these back on tuesday when we explained in depth what evidence the president had blocked from congress. we address documents we know the white house and other agencies are concealing and we address testimony the presidents aids would provide a testified under oath. we will therefore review the documents and witnesses briefly. second, after surveying relative history constitutional law, we will explain why instruction of congress in and of itself warrants the impeachments and
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removal from office. finally, we will demonstrate president from is without question guilty of obstruction of congress, his defense is like any legal foundation and that his actions hold pose a dire and continuing to the foundation of our constitutional framework. this is very simple. it's simple. the president of use power and trusted in him by the american people. in a seem to suppress evidence, estate accountability and orchestrate a massive cover-up. and he did so inflamed sites. in his obstruction remains
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ongoing. >> mister chief justice, senators. presidents council. before i start, i too want to thank all the senators for being so patient being such good listeners. it reminds me quite frankly of one of the first days i do what was essentially called baby judge school, when we first got started and those are the first to think that they told us. that we needed to be patients and we need to listen and
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that we needed to be fair and always give the opportunity to be heard to each side. and i must say you have certainly been playing a very good role as judges, because although i know the press calls you jurors, i know that you are in the role of judges. i commend you are being good listeners and for having the patience to listen to us this last two days. in our final remarks today. so thank you all area now, miss dennings has given us an overview of the second article of impeachment. obstruction of congress. so let us now turn to the facts of the case. because you fully appreciate the scope and scale, the sale of the presidents wrongdoing, and besides, he has
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orchestrated, requires an understanding of the evidence that he has lawless the, flawlessly in from congress and theamerican people . president from categorically, indiscriminately and in an unprecedented fashion obstructed congresses impeachment inquiry. in other words, the orchestrated a cover up. and he get it in plain sight. first from the beginning, but from ministrations sought to hide the presidents misconduct by refusing to turn over the intelligence committee whistleblower complaints. complaints would sound the first alarm of the presidents wrongdoing. second, the president issued an order prohibiting the entire, the entire executive
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branch from participating in the impeachment inquiry. no cooperation, no negotiation, nothing. or as we say in texas, not. following the presidents orders, federal agencies refused to produce documents and key witnesses, refused to testify. in fact, the presidents sanctions specific directions to officials, ordering them to defy congressional subpoenas.third and perhaps the most reprehensible of all , the president waged a campaign of intimidation against those brave public servants who did come forward to comply with their obligation under the law. senators, as i mentioned, i
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am a lawyer and a formerjudge . i have never, ever seen anything like this from a litigant or party in any case , not anywhere. from the very beginning of this scandal, president trumps has sought to hide and cover-up the evidence. cover-up started even before the house began to investigate the presidents ukraine -related activities. began when the white house sought to conceal the records of donald trump's july 25 call with the president of the ukraine by placing it on a highlyclassified system . but as we said before, there was no legitimate national security reason to do so. the cover-up continued.
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a top omb official instructed the free to be closely held, in other words don't say anything to anybody . senators, you know in order to lawfully withhold the funding, the president was required to notify congress about the amount of money involved and why he was intending to freeze it. instead, the white house tried to keep the fax of the freeze a secret. maybe they kept it a secret cause a senior white house aide rob blair accurately predicted to his boss mick mulvaney, expect congress to become unhinged if it learns that bipartisan aid approved for a foreign partner was being frozen for the
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presidents personal gain. but the cover-up reached its peak soon after august 12. because on august 12, a whistleblower file a lawful and protected complaints intended for congress with the inspector general of the intelligence community. the president who as the subject of the complaint learned of a filing well before congress and the american people. in an effort to conceal the whistleblower's concerns, the white house and department of justice took an unprecedented step. no administration had ever intervened in such a manner before. but president trump maneuvered to keep the whistleblower's concerns from the congressionalintelligence
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committee . in the history of the intelligence community whistleblower protection act, no credible and urgent complaint had ever, ever been withheld from congress. not ever before. it was through immense public pressure and vigorous oversight by the house that the trump administration ultimately produced a complaint to the house and senate intelligence committees. even when it was produced, it was weak after the legal deadline. if the president's efforts to conceal the was a lower concerns and succeeded , congress would never have learned about the existence of the complaint, let alone the allegations that it contained .
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this attempt to hide key information from congress was only the first sign of what was to come. following new, deeply troubling revelations about the president's july 25 call, on september 24 the speaker of the house announced that the house investigations into the presidents scheme to pressure ukraine for personal gain would be folded into the ongoing impeachment inquiry. just days later, the president began to attack the legitimacy of the house impeachment inquiry. while standing on the tarmac at andrews air force base, president trump argued that the house impeachment inquiry quote should be allowed. he claimed that they are, and i quote again, there should be a way of stopping it.
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maybe legally through the courts. let's watch the president and what he had to say. quick's my call was perfect. the president yesterday of ukraine said there was no pressure put on him whatsoever, none whatsoever and he said it loud and clear for the press . what these guys are doing, democrats are doing to this country is a disgrace and it shouldn't be allowed. there should be a way of stopping it, maybe legally through the courts . >> there should be a way of stopping. soon after, president trump took matters into his own hands. the president used his authority and his office to wage a relentless and misleading public campaign to attack the impeachment inquiry. the president spent time at rallies, press conferences
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and on twitter trying to persuade the american people that the houses inquiry was invalid and fraudulent. here are just a few of the president trumps comments about the impeachment inquiry . he called it a witch hunt, to , and unconstitutional power grab, a fraud against the american people. he said that it's a phony impeachment scam. the phony impeachmenthoax . the ukraine hoax and a continuation of the greatest scam and witchhunts in the history of our country. and those are probably some of the ones i can repeat here . and it didn't stop. the attacks did not end there. president trump turned from
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rhetoric to action. on october 8, the white house sent a letter to speaker nancy pelosi informing her that president trump would seek to completelyobstruct the impeachment inquiry . they sent this letter, white house stationery, i shouldn't say this buti'm a lawyer , but very lawyerly, it's an eight page letter. you know words, lawyers can do things in one page, we've got to doseven or eight . this was eight pages and its long and no worries, i'm not going to read it all area i just want to get to the bottom line area says president trump cannot permit his administration to participate in this partisan inquiry under the circumstances area he is just
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saying we're not going to cooperate and this later is letter is dated october 8 and it's signed by pat crowdstrike. the president made no claim of privilege or attempt to compromise. he had no valid excuse. we are all too familiar with president trumps rhetoric and rants. these words in this letter on white house stationery signed by his great counsel here today have consequences. these words have consequences. they were more unjust on a page. they were more than just
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eight pages of words. in the days that followed, president trumps agencies and officials followed his order to conceal information from congress. over the past few days, you heard an inexpensive detail from all of us about some of the specific and incriminating documents that the presidenthas withheld from congress . but again, here's the bottom line. the house investigating committees sought a total of 71 specific categories of documents from sixdifferent agencies and offices . president trump blocked every single one of these requests. all of them. between september 27 and october 10, the investigating committee issued subpoenas to thedepartment of state , to the white house, the office of management and budget, the
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apartment of defense and the department of energy. the committee always remained open to working with the executive branch to discuss and prioritize the subpoenas. some agencies initially suggested that they might comply. for example, a few days after receiving the subpoena, the department of state sent staff and reached out to the committee to quote, discuss accommodations. as you all know, the accommodation process is when congress and the executive branch discuss priorities and concerns so that the committee gets what it needs most efficiently while minimizing any burden to the agency. so on october 7 a committee staff met with state department officials. during the conversation the committee made a good faith attempt to engage the
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department in negotiations. to start the committee's request that the department prioritize the production of a set of nonprivileged documents. the department representatives stated that they would take the request back to senior state department officials area but that was the end. that was the end. those priority documents were never provided to the committees. in addition, to the state department, the department of defense also showed an initial interest in cooperating . during an october 13 television appearance, secretary of defense mark
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esper said the department of defense would seek to comply. he said on air, on tv that they would comply with the subpoenas. in an exchange on face the nation the was specifically asked questions very quickly, are you going to comply with a subpoena that the house provided you and provide documents to them regarding the hold to merrill military aid to the ukraine area answer from the secretary. yes, we will do everything we can to cooperate with congress. just in the last week or two, my general counsel sent out a note as we typically do in these situations to ensure documents are retained. but again the question is is that a yes? answer by the secretary, that's a yes. question, you will comply with the subpoena? answer again by the secretary. we will doeverything we can to comply. these are his very own words .
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we can comply, we can comply. but remember that october 8 letter from the white house counsel sent to the speaker stating that the president's position of total defiance. president trump again i'll quote it and said president trump cannot permit his administration toparticipate in this partisan inquiry under these circumstances . so every department, every office top to bottom of the executive branch was under these know, it's about 2 million public servants top to bottom . the executive branch all ordered by president trump not to provide information to congress. the president offered no accommodation and no
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opportunity for negotiation. ultimately each agency and office followed the president's orders. in response to each subpoena, the trump administration produced no documents. nothing. and the agency's offices made clear that it was due to the president's instructions. they always referred to that october 8 letter. for example, despite the secretary's initial signal of cooperation , i gave you the quote when he was asked specifically on tv, he said they would try to cooperate but despite that, the department of defense later refused to respond to the committees subpoena.
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in a letter to the committee the department of defense an many of the whitehouse's unsupported legal arguments and concluded and i quote , in light of these concerns and in view of the president's position as expressed in the white house counsel's october 8 letter and without waiving any other objection to the subpoena that the department may have, the department is unable to comply with your request for documents at this time. again, on a tv interview on face the nation, they tried to ask him again so were asked by chris wallace on fox news question, but do you feel congress has a right to oversight and to be able to see documents from the pentagon about the program that was approved by congress ?
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answer: well, they do but provided it's done in the right way and proper way andi think that was the issue . again, i think my reputation is pretty good in terms of being very transparent. i like to communicate with members of congress but in this case, my recollection is that they were technical and legal issues that prohibit us from doing exactly what was requested by congress. so it said he would try to cooperate, would seek to comply but now they are backpedaling. but senators, there was no valid technical or legal argument. none were put forth to justify the stonewalling of the impeachment inquiry. the documents president trump is withholding are highly relevant, responsive and would further our
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understanding of the president's scheme . here's just a sampling of the documents we know exist that are currently being withheld. national security advisor john bolton's notes. ambassador taylors first-person cable to secretary pompeo. emails between omb and other agencies about the president's directive to place a hold on the ukraine military aid and the hundreds of heavily redacted documents that the administration now turned over to third parties under foia court orders. certainly the documents related to the foia lawsuits were not subject to any claims of privilege or confidentiality or burden, yet the administration released them publicly. by contrast the president turned over nothing in response to the house
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impeachment investigation. now senators, there still is another component of the president obstructionthat i want all of us to focus on . not only did the president block agencies and offices from reducing documents, his administration also blocked current andformer officials from identifying , producing or even reviewing relevant documents. first, the trump administration actively discourage its employees from even identifying documents responsive to the committee's request. deputy assistant secretary george kent testified in his deposition that he had warned a statedepartment attorney
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additional responsive records that the department had not collected . according to kent, the department attorney quote, got very angry. and quote, objected to kent raising the additional information. he quote, made clear that he did not think it was appropriate for kent to make a suggestion. here's a lawyer telling the witness you know, don't say that. as a former judge i can't believe something like this would happen but kent responded he was just trying to quote, make sure that the department was being fully responsive. second, the trump administration refused to permit individual witnesses to produce relevant documents themselves.
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after the state department failed to respond tovoluntary requests for documents at the beginning of the investigation , the committee sent document requests to six individuals, state department employees.secretary pompeo objected to the committee's request to state officials calling them quote, it's an act of intimidation and an invitation to violate federal court laws. he also claimed that the house inquiry quote, is an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat them properly this distinguished professionals of thedepartment of state . now we were the bullies. but let's be clear. his statement has been contradicted by actual state department professionals from
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whom the committeesought documents . kent testified that he had not threatened or felt intimidated by the house. in fact kent says the language and secretary pompeo's letter which had been drafted by a state department attorney was without consulting mister kent. hesaid quote , it was inaccurate. inaccurate. then the state department ordered witnesses to withhold documents from congress. for example, on october 14 the department a letter to kent's personal attorney warning quote, your client is not authorized to disclose to congress any records relating to official duties.
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certain witnesses define these orders and produced the substance of key documents, providing critical insight into the president's scheme. other witnesses produced documents to the trump administrationso they can be turned over to congress . but now the administration is also sitting on those documents. and is refusing to turn them over. ambassador taylor testified that he turned over documents to the trump administration, but to his knowledge they had not been produced to the house area watch. >> as any of the documents that you turn over to your knowledge been turned over to the committee -mark . >> no. >> senators, i will confirm
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the committees have not seen not one of these documents. none. finally, if it could be any worse, it is. a trump administration official, ambassador sondland informed us that he was not even permitted to review his own relevant records in preparation for the testimony. again, this would be his own records so that he could prepare to testify, so let's watch. >> i have not had access to all of my phone records, state department emails and many, many other state department documents. and i was told i could not work with my eu staff to pull together the relevant files and information area having access to the state department materials would
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have been very helpful to me in trying to reconstruct with whom i spoke and met and when and what was said. my lawyers and i have made multiple requests to the state department and white house for these materials area yet these materials were not provided to me and they have also refused to share these materials with this committee area these documents are not classified and in fairness, should have been made available. >> of course we agree. as president trumps order, agencies and offices refuse to produce documents in response to the committee request and they refused to allow individual witnesses to do so either. so let's recap. no documents, zero, goose egg, not a in response to
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over 70 requests. 70 requests and five subpoenas. no attempt to negotiate. no genuine attempt to accommodate. categorical, indiscriminate and unprecedented tone walling. again, never in my time as a lawyer or as a judge after i seen this kind of total disrespect and defiance of a lawfully issued subpoena. and all on president trumps orders. and it could continue, because is obstruction of congress is real and it's beyond comparison. this president should be removed .
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>> mister chief justice and senators, let's turn to president trumps efforts to stop witnesses from testifying. no other president facing impeachment has taken the extreme step to prohibit executive witnesses from testifying before congress. even president nixon who famously attempted to define a subpoena or tape recordings of his conversations, he let his most senior staff testify before congress. i remember listening on tv as john dean testified beforethe senate watergate committee . he was the president's lawyer . president nixon didn't block him area not only in president nixon allowed his staff to testify before congress, he publicly directed them to testify and
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without demanding a subpoena. actually, with the senate watergate investigation, president nixon said this is a quote, all members of the white house staff will appear voluntarily when requested by the committee. they will testify under oath and they will answer fully all proper questions. now compared to president trump. he publicly attacked the houses impeachment inquiry, calling it quote, constitutionally invalid and ordered every single person working in the executive branch to define the house impeachmentinquiry . as just discussed in the letter to the speaker of the house, the white house counsel said president trump quote, cannot permit his administration to participate . no president ever used the
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official power of his office to prevent witnesses from giving testimony to congress in such a blanket and indiscriminate manner. there is no telling how many government officials would have come forward if the president hadn't issued this order. let's look at some of the witnesses who follow the president'sorders . the house issued subpoenas to compel testimony of three officials at the office of management and budget. acting director russell bought, associate director michael duffy and associate director michael mccormick. according to the testimony in the house which was reinforced by email recently revealed to through the freedom of information act lawsuits, omb was disabled to the hold on security assistance to theukraine .
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officials served as conduits to the white house to implement the whole without directly engaging the agencies that actually supported relief of the eight . president trump directed these three omb officials to violate their legal obligation by defying lawful subpoenas and follow his orders. this isn't justan argument. it's a fact . in response to housesubpoenas , the omb sent a letter to chairman schiff refusing to comply and this is what the letter said area as directed by the white house counsel's october 8 2019 letter, omb will not participate in this partisan and unfair impeachment inquiry . in that simple statement, omb admitted several key points. first, mister cipollone's letter of october 8 was an
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official directive of the white house. second, president trumps like it order applied to omb and the three officials subpoenaed by the house. third, president trumps blanket order not only directed them to refuse to participate voluntarily, it also directed them to define house subpoenas area for, resident trumps blanket order directly prevented the three omb officials from providing testimony to the house. there's no question about the stove of president trumps order. it was total. there's no question about the intent of the order. it was clearly understood by administration officials as shown by omb and there's no question the order had an impact. it directly prevented the house and getting testimony from the three senior officials at omb. so here we are.
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the president of the united states issued an official order forbidding every single person who works for the executive branch of our government from getting testimony to the houses as part of an impeachment investigation. that order prevented the house from getting testimony from witnesses who knew about thepresident's conduct . the matter is simple, it's plain to see you a question we hear in congress must ask is whether we are prepared to turn a blind eye to a presidents obstruction. obstruction not only of oversight also the power to determine whether congress may gather evidence in an impeachment proceeding. if the senate is prepared to accept that, it will need that not only president trump , all presidents after him will have veto power over congress's ability to conduct oversight and the power of
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impeachment.the house was not prepared to ask that and that's white houseapproved article 2 . as you consider what you think about this, please know that president trumps blanket order was not the end of his campaign to obstruct the impeachment inquiry. actually, it was just the beginning. in addition to his total ban of government witnesses, president trump also sent specific explicit orders. he directed key witnesses to defy subpoenas and to refuse to testify as part of the houses impeachment inquiry. as you know, the house subpoenaed acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney. the white house press briefing in october and i know you seen it before, mister mulvaney confirmed
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what we suspected. mister mulvaneyadmitted president trump withheld the aid to pressure the ukraine into announcing an investigation into the conspiracy theory that ukraine interfered in the 2016 election . here's his words. >> did he also mentioned to me that the corruption related to the dnc server left and mark absolutely, no question about that andthat's why we hold up the money . >> after this stunning admission, the house issued a subpoena to require mister mulvaney to testify but on the day of mister mulvaney's deposition the white house sent a letter to his personal attorney. prohibited from obeying the subpoena and the letters", the president directs mister mulvaney not to appear at the committee's scheduled deposition. when the issue disorder,
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president trump doubled down on his previous blanket order . he did sell half of the house voted to approve resolution 660 which in no uncertain terms made clear that mister mulvaney was being subpoenaed to testify in an impeachment investigation. this order was the first of many. president trump also ordered another white house official robert blair not to testify. mister blair is mister mulvaney's senior advisor and closes a. he was involved in communications about the hold on ukraine aid. the day after his initially scheduleddepositions , mister blair's personal attorneysent a letter to the house . ", mister blair has been directed by the white house not to appear and testify. the house also wanted testimony from john eisenberg , the senior attorney on president trumps national security council area as you
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heard over thepast few days , he witnesses including doctor hill, lieutenant colonel vindman said they were concerned by trumps efforts to pressure the ukraine. they were told to report these concerns to mister eisenberg. on the day before his scheduled deposition, the white house a letter to mister eisenberg's personal attorney. it said quote, the president directs mister eisenberg not to appear at the committee's deposition. language is starting to sound familiar. mister eisenberg personal attorney and sent a letter to the house rent a letter sent this area under these circumstances, mister eisenberg has no other option that is consistent with his legal and ethical obligations except to follow the direction of his client and employer, the president of the unitedstates. accordingly , mister eisenberg will not be appearing for a deposition at
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this time. that language i think is important and it's telling. it shows president trumps order left mister eisenberg with quote, no other option that is consistent with his legal and relations. >> .. no president has ever deirdre and impeachment inquiry to explicitly ordered government witnesses to defy how subpoenas. you don't have to consider high-minded constitutional principles and understand why this was wrong. it's simple really. by ordering specific government officials to comply to congressional subpoenas
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president trump forced those officials to choose between submitting to the demands of their boss or to break the law. nobody should abuse a position of power in that way. but president trump specifically ordered all three of these senior white house officials mulvaney player eisenberg to defy the houses subpoena and refuse to testify. president trump's efforts to conceal his actions didn't stop there and they didn't stop at the front door of the white house. no less than 12 other witnesses were specifically told not to testify. one of those witnesses hasn't been highlighted much over the past few days but the way he fits into the story is worth noting. he is a senior official at the state department. like these other senior officials he was ordered not to testify. in a letter to the house his attorney said quote ps received
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a letter of instruction from the state department directing that he not appear. he is still another person who could shed light on president trump's actions. was kept updated on rudy giuliani's broader efforts in ukraine. first-hand knowledge of secretary pompeo's involvement. for one thing he handled ambassador yovanovitch' recalled from ukraine though he refused to meet with her in the aftermath. also messages by ambassador volker showed that mr. brechbuhl knew about mr. giuliana's efforts in the ukraine as they occurred. on july 10 ambassador's taylor, volker and sondland discussed rudy giuliani's push abroad. while discussing the problems rudy was creating by meddling in official u.s. foreign-policy
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ambassador taylor noted that he quote briefed brechbuhl this afternoon and on august 11 ambassador sondland e-mailed mr. brechbuhl to ask him to briefed secretary pompeo in a statement he was negotiating with president zelensky. the aim of quote making the boss happy enough to authorize an invitation. ambassador sondland wrote to him quote curt and i negotiated a statement from z to be delivered for all of you in a day or two per the contents will hopefully make the boss happy enough to authorize an invitation. state department executive secretary lisa cannot answered ambassador sondland several hours later letting him know that she passed that information on to secretary pompeo. let's consider and pause hear why this message from
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mr. brechbuhl which the state department continues to conceal is important. in this exchange ambassador sondland told brechbuhl he had negotiated a deal for president zelensky to make a statement and that sondland hoped the promised statement would quote make the boss happy enough to authorize an invitation. it shows the senior state department leadership including secretary pompeo were quite aware of the deal. to trade an invitation to the white house for statement from president zelensky. indeed ambassador sondland confirmed that he kept them in the loop. here is his testimony. >> we kept the leadership of the state department and the nfc informed of iraq to the these. that included communications with secretary of state pompeo, his counselor oelrich brechbuhl
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his executive secretary lisa can i and also communications with ambassador volker, dr. hill mr. morrison and their staff at the nfc. they knew what we were doing and why. >> eight other witnesses were also ordered not to testify as part of the houses impeachment inquiries at those eight witnesses came forward anyway despite the presence of efforts to prevent them from testifying. all of the following witnesses were told not to testify. ambassador marie yovanovitch ambassador gordon sondland deputy assistant secretary of state george kent ambassador bill taylor deputy assistant secretary of defense laura cooper deputy associate director of omb mark sandy state


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