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Charles Schumer
  Democratic Senate Leaders News Conference  CSPAN  January 14, 2020 4:27pm-4:46pm EST

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feeling of the senate is after listening to the arguments and the period of written questions. reporter: what about the organizing resolution, what will that resolution look like? senator mcconnell: i think that would come up appropriately next tuesday. that is accuming we're on to trial next tuesday and i think that's the case. >> good afternoon, everybody, i'm proud to be joined by senator kaine, senator baldwin, senator udall, because we were a little late, had another engagement, oh, no, he's here. senator udall is here. senator schumer: the past few weeks have highlighted the president's impulsive, erratic, egotistical and often reckless foreign policy.
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the consequences of which have made america less safe and unnecessarily put our armed forces in harm's way. from north korea to syria to russia, it's impossible to say the world is a safer place than before president trump took office. in each of these, and you look, we're worse off because of his intervention. north korea has many more nuclear bombs and is -- has icbm's. syria is a big mess since we with drew and every time he confronts putin, he loses and putin cleans his clock. it's no wonder that so many americans are really worried about what he might do in iran. it's clear that the mothers and fathers of america don't want another endless war in the middle east and yet the president could force us into one or more likely bumble into one.
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because strategy and the president don't seem to intersect. that's why i'm glad the senate will soon consider senator senator kaine's war power resolution which would prevent further escalation of hostilities with iran. here is the timetable on that. as you know, we had an awful briefing where it was thought by both democrats and republicans that at a very minimum, the leads of the administration ducked the hard questions and maybe worse, didn't answer them directly and in a way that was clear. and after that meeting, senator kaine sat down with senators paul and lee and they came up a resolution which ripens sunday and we believe will get 51 votes needed to pass. we will work out the timing, we have to figure out how it intersects with impeachment, but we believe that this resolution is the right way to go.
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it has the support of all 47 democrats and i'll let senator kaine talk more about it soon. but this vote is crucial. it's what the founding fathers wanted. the power to make war should be with the congress, not the executive branch. it's past time for congress to put a check on any president, let alone an impulsive, erratic president who often seems to do foreign policy to satisfy the momentary needs of his ego rather than to have a long-term strategy. now also this week, the senate will begin the third impeachment trial of a sitting president in our nation's history. let's remember what this trial is for. for a president, any president, to threaten a foreign country with the cutoff of aid unless they interfere in our elections
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is what the founding fathers felt was one of the worst abuses a president could have. when i was in high school and learned about the founding fathers writing about foreign power interference in an election, i shrugged my shoulders and said what the heck is that? now we know. now we know. americans strongly believe that it's americans who ought to determine who we elect, not some foreign power. not some foreign power. so these charges are deep and serious and all we can say is, we join the american people in wanting the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth to come out of the trial. if you want the truth, you have to have witnesses. you have to have documents. who has ever heard of a trial without witnesses and documents. i'm pleased that some of my republican colleagues are now
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beginning to come around to our position. when i first wrote to leader mcconnell three weeks ago and asked him for witnesses and document he didn't pay much attention. he said his judgment was to bring up a motion to dismiss all proceedings but he couldn't do it not only because of what nancy pelosi did but the weight weight of american opinion that not having documents and witnesses would not sit well with them. we're soon going to have an opportunity to see where my republican colleagues really stand on the question of witnesses testifying and documents being added. the president and the american people deserve nothing less than a fair, full, and honest process. senator udall. senator udall: thank you very much, senator schumer.
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rhett me just touch on both of these subject -- let me just touch on both of these subjects. first of all, it's been a pleasure working with senator kaine and senator baldwin and many other democratic stharts on this issue of an unauthorized war with iran. as many of you know, i introduced a bill, a bipartisan bill to that specific issue in 2018. i introduced it again in 2019. it was co-sponsored by senator paul. we were able to amend the ndaa or at least have a vote on it on that specific amendment which got the support of 51 senators at the time. four republican senators joined us. and we have built momentum after that. what senator kaine is now doing with the war powers resolution i think continues to build and i think he will talk about the support it has. but my sense of listening to republican senators and talking
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to republican senators is there are many after this recent very antsy t feel very antsy about the way the president is behaving in terms of war and his war powers and the kinds of statements he has made. i think we're gaining support on this one. let me just say on the issue of impeachment, for me, as a former trial lawyer, former attorney general, prosecutor, to me a trial is about seeking the truth. trying to find the truth. and i don't know how in a situation like we have now, very unlike president clinton when everybody had been deposed, the president had been deposed, we had depositions in a private setting, you had people appearing before a grand jury, we do not have that situation today. so i don't see how you find the truth in the areas where we don't know answers without calling witnesses like john
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bolton, mick mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, and several of the other witnesses that were working under them there in the white house and getting all the relevant documents. so i think also we're gaining momentum there. i think the american people want a fair, open trial and i hope that we will move in that direction as we begin this late they are week and then go into the trial actually on tuesday. thank you. senator baldwin: thank you, mr. leader. i want to thank senators kaine and udall for their leadership in working to force a debate and a vote in congress to prevent further escalation of hostilities in iran. there are hard lessons that we should be learning when america chooses to go to war in the middle east or elsewhere without
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a full public debate in the congress of the united states. there's nothing more american than debate. and when it comes to something as serious as sending our troops to war, there must be a debate. we must have this debate. for years, many of us have been deeply concerned about the prospect of president trump just stumbling into a war with iran and making us less safe. after decades of u.s. military engagement in the middle east, congress must not allow this administration to repeat the mistakes of the past and go to war without the senator of congress and the american people. you know, the constitution is so crystal clear on this matter. only congress has the authority to declare war.
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senator kaine's bipartisan war powers resolution, which was already clear -- which has already cleared the house of representatives with bipartisan support, is simple. if the president wants to send more young men and women to war, we must first have a public debate in congress. and have a conversation with those we represent, the american people. president trump's foreign policy, especially with regard to iran, is a chaotic disaster that has not made us safer. and that's why i believe it is so important that we have this debate in congress. we owe it to the service members, we owe it to the american people who are sick and tired of war in the middle east, and we have a constitutional responsibility to prevent the president from going to war with iran and sending more american troops into harm's way without congressional authorization.
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it's time for congress to live up to this responsibility. senator kaine: as my colleagues said, i appreciate the opportunity to talk briefly today, the framers gave to congress the power, sole power, to declare war because they knew it would be a safeguard against a rush. we don't want to rush. this should be the hardest decision we make. and because we're going to be ordering young men and women to risk their lives we shouldn't do it unless we have the guts to have the debate and say the war is in the national interest. i introduced this bill originally under the 3 -- on the 3rd of january, it's under a privilege that's only been used wice under the war powers act, it gives you the power to have a vote occur on the floor quickly. they were discouraged at the
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attitude being communicated to us is that congress is an annoyance, why do you want to know? you should be glad we're here to give you a few morsels of information. after that, they came to me and we have been able to make some amendments that have earned the support first of senators lee and paul but now the support of senators young and collins, and there are a number of others looking at it. we have the 51 votes we need for the version that's the bipartisan version that doesn't mature until this weekend. it would first be available for consideration by the senate next week. senator schumer and senator mcconnell are talking through the timing of it. but the good news is we have a majority of colleagues, democrats and republicans, who will stand strong for the principle that we shouldn't be at war without the vote of congress. that's a positive thing. i'll look to get more, beyond the 51 that have declared, i'll look to get more until we have this vote. senator schumer: questions?
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reporter: how confident are you to have -- collins i think some democrats would argue it's false hope. how confident are you? senator schumer: the bottom line is the american people are strongly for witnesses and documents. 64% of republicans are and that's what i think is importuning many republicans to come forward and i'm not going to comment on any one individual. but i think there's a whole bunch who are really seriously entertaining this. reporter: mitch mcconnell, according to our reports, has spoken with his republican congress about the documents, the resolution, have you seen the resolution yet? are you on board with the proposed time sfline senator schumer: haven't seen the resolution, can't be on board with anything yet.
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reporter: i know you're concerned about the trade deal, do you think there's any way the president -- [inaudible] senator schumer: i think the chinese are sort of laughing behind his back that they did so well. there are fundamental ways china takes advantage of america. very few of those have been changed. it seems instead the president has said well if you buy some soybeans aisle back off. and the chinese, there's no real certainty or commitment that they will buy those soybeans and many of the chinese companies and groups that have purchased soybeans signed long-term contracts with argentinian and brazilian producers so they don't need more soybeans. the bottom line is that this first agreement a is a huge victory for the chinese and for all the tough talk the president gave us on china, we have goten
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very little in return when it comes to intellectual property. when it comes to people demanding joint agreements. when it comes to cyber at the. when it comes to government subsidized businesses. the nub of our complaint. and it gives me very little confidence that if there is a round two before november of 2020, if after november 2020, i hope, pray, and believe that trump won't be there, that it ill be any better. [inaudible] senator schumer: i have great faith in speaker pelosi. she has tremendous, tremendous talent in her caucus. she'll pick a good team. reporter: [inaudible]
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enator schumer: i think -- reporter: it's different -- senator schumer: i think the president, the president's behavior in north korea has been a metaphor for his foreign policy in yen. he's gotten taken to the cleaners. we're muches were off, the criticized president obama and we are much worse off today and the president seems to have abandoned any real gains for a couple of photo ops which were etestify ral and don't benefit him. reporter: do you have a sense if your optimism about witnesses is correct, do you have a sense of whether or not mcconnell will come to you and reopen negotiations? senator schumer: i can't predict whether we'll have witnesses or not. at first everyone said no, mcconnell seemed to rule the roost. now we're having some people entertain it. but you don't know what's going to happen. we're in better shape than we were a few weeks ago but there's no certainties at all.
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i asked him four times to sit down so we could negotiate witnesses and documents. he said no each time. i'm always open to talking to him. thank you, everybody. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the house will vet on impeachment managers in wednesday's house session, sending articles against president trump to the senate. late they are week, the senate will swear in chief justice john roberts, the presiding officer for the trial. senators will also take an oath as jurors. on tuesday the senate will vote on the rule the trial and then the trial itself will begin. watch the house live on c-span and the senate live on c-span2 and follow all of our impeachment coverage at >> campaign 2020.
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watch our continuing coverage of the presidential candidates on the campaign trail and make up your own mind. as the voting begins next month, watch our live coverage of the iowa caucuses. on monday, february 3, c-span's campaign 2020, your unfit everyday view of politics. >> a group of journalists looked at the situation in iran, the 2020 elections and the articles of impeachment against president trump. hosted by the mccain institute in miami. as part of its annual conference on the state of the world. so wt in on this panel. with me to my right >> we're going to jump right in. to my right, nancy, the editor of the editorial page of the "miami herald," you've been there since 2013. first time we've hat the