tv Bill Hemmer Reports FOX News January 23, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
tonight. now to the new guy, "bill hemmer reports" starts rights now. >> bill: thank you, martha and bret. president trump's impeachment trial in recess. we'll go back live to the senate floor when things get rolling again about 15 minutes away from that. today house prosecutors continue making their case of removing president trump from office. they describe their scenario legally as focusing on abuse of power. the president denied he did anything wrong. we're covering all angles right now. we'll go to the hill and get a sense of what we've watched. chad pergram restarts the hour now live on the hill. chad, we heard sylvia garcia say it wasn't about corruption, it was about the election. she went back to that point repeatedly the last 60 minutes.
>> this is what sylvia garcia was saying, it was about the electi election. she cited a fox news poll from last summer indicating that joe biden would defeat president trump, that's when president trump got interested in the bidens. that's something that she talked about repeatedly. the conversation that he only cares about the big stuff. that was something that came up in the hearing. not so much foreign policy but the bidens. adam schiff said it would be a repeat of what we heard yesterday. they're focusing on the abuse of power article but says they're going to repeat some points. the reason if you're trying to curate a narrative, you tell them and tell them again and tell them what you told them. that's what they'll to this afternoon, bill. >> bill:. thank you, chad. now with me dana perino. >> martha: great to be here. >> bill: what they're going back to, he must not remain in office
one moment longer. probably because they're saying it's so urgent because the election 9 1/2 months away. >> right. this is also the criticism that republicans have had about nancy pelosi's strategy of delaying the impeachment articles from going to the senate for four weeks. if it was so urgent and the nation was under such threat that the president needed to be removed, why did they wait four weeks so it was politically advantageous to get it to the senate? the other thing, they're trying to make the case knowing they're not going to get the votes for the president's removal. what they're hoping to get is enough of this process point to matter in six months. i'm skeptical whether they would be the case. the other thing i noted, they spent a lot of time talking about joe biden and hunter biden and going through what they say there's evidence of no evidence of corruption for the bidens and an inappropriate ask the president made in the first
place. >> bill: ted cruz says once your name is invoked, you should be a witness. he's making that case. we'll see whether or not that is the case. we want to bring back bret and martha. you've been watching since 1:00 p.m. i call this day 3. the third day of the week we've watched this. i want to get a sense how effective the argument has been so far. bret, start there. >> bret: i think you've heard from some senators like lindsey graham and senator kennedy from louisiana that they thought it was compelling at parts. lindsey graham said adam schiff did a good job of stitching it together like a quilt is how he talked about it but doesn't move the needle, change how they look at the overall case. you have to believe that none of these people saw any of the coverage of the house judiciary committee. we obviously sat through all of that. all of those hours. this is just compacted in a
different way. i think they've done a pretty good job with the clips going in almost cable news-style, tossing to sound bites. at that point, the senators look to screens and follow the narrative that they're bringing along. the question is how the trump defense team learns from that, does their presentation. i bet it looks similar. >> bill: bret, thank you. martha, give everybody a crack here. senator mark warner is coming up. give us your evaluation. how effective do you believe they have been so far? >> martha: as we talked about yesterday, a lot of people are googling the question why is the president being impeach. hopefully this coverage has reached this so they can get an understanding what is going on here. sylvia garcia is effective in laying out the biden question and her understanding and what she based it on in terms of the documents and e-mails that we saw as to why joe biden was not
doing what he did for personal reasons. the white house will have a different take on that. i do think that this ukraine narrative is something that the white house is not planning on dropping. you heard this morning from senator lindsey graham he is starting an investigation into corruption in ukraine. that is going to work very hard to sort of back up the reasoning that the president may have used when he wanted this new president of ukraine to continue to dig in to this before they got that military funding. now, it's a very thin thread. when you look at the transcript. the president has always said in terms of backup for that. that's going to be a job. but i think that combined with rudy guliani who said today he's going to bring all of his evidence to the american people and that finally everyone can understand what he's been digging in to in ukraine. those two avenues will be plumbed to great extent in the coming months as we head into 2020. >> bill: it's my sense a lot of people are watching gavel to gavel. chris wallace, you can address this. people dipping in and leaving
again. it's hard to know just yet how the viewing public is watching this so far this week, i would argue. >> absolutely. i'm a little surprised because let's face it, it's not generally been riveting tv. as many people are watching it as in fact are. one of the points that i was making about why i thought sylvia garcia stood out is because so many of the speeches, adam schiff's speech about why the president abused power and obstructed congress seemed similar to jerry nadler's speech about why the president abused power and obstructed congress. what struck me about sylvia garcia is she took one specific issue, which is a big issue. we've heard a number of republicans talk about it on the floor during the senate when they made their opening statements on the motions and then, of course, off the senate floor when they're just talking with us, with reporters. one of the big arguments is the president, when he said do us a
favor, it wasn't his campaign. it was the country. talking about biden and burisma. he wasn't talking about democratic presidential candidate and his top rival. he was talking about corruption in a country where we're going to give hundreds of millions to. so by focusing on specific issues and dealing with them and trying to answer them, it's much more compelling than just a general argument against the president did wrong on this or he did wrong on that. the only other point i'd make is, when i hear that rudy guliani is going to go public with his evidence, i'm thinking hasn't he been doing that the last six months? >> a little bit. here and there. we could go another seven hours today, chris. thank you. martha and bret, stand by. want to bring in virginia democratic senator mark warner. thanks for your time during the recess. we'll get everybody back inside in a moment. how will you vote on these two articles, senator? >> i've not made any decision. i think i owe -- when i took
that oath, i owe both sides a chance to make their case. i thought yesterday, particularly schiff for the last few hours laid out pretty clearly, particularly in regards the holding up of the aid to ukraine, holding up the white house meeting, i follow this pretty closely but i thought it was laid out very well last night. i thought representative garcia today i think did a pretty effective job. something that all of us from the intelligence community, democrat and republican alike, have all reached the same conclusion about russia interfering in 2016 and no basis of fact at all in the notion that somehow ukraine was behind these activities. i agree with representative garcia. that was part of the putin thing. what i want to hear from the president's lawyers are the president's lawyers going to try to roll back the factual presentation or are they going to say the president's behavior didn't rise to the level of an
impeachable offense. i'm anxious to hear from the president's lawyers and have a chance to ask questions before i make decisions. >> bill: senator, let me try to peel back the curtain. i don't want to call the process secretive. you're told not to talk to each other. what are the conversations in the hallway, however? what have they been like between your colleagues? not just democrats. which republicans are you talking to? >> i have a lot of friends on the republican side. you know, proud of the fact that our senate intelligence committee is only committee that is still functions in fully bipartisan way on all of these issues. there was a lot -- you quoted some of my republican friends, john kennedy and lindsey graham acknowledged that schiff did a presentable case last night. i'm anxious to hear what tact the president's lawyers will take. i do think there were a lot of questions raised by the hower of schiff's argument. i haven't had a chance to talk
to my republican's friends after garcia's case. i don't know many of my republican friends that actually think there's any validity to this notion that somehow ukraine was involved in the 2016 intervention. i think frankly most of my republican friends have urged the president to walk away from that debunked theory. >> bill: last point here. how are you holding up? >> well -- >> bill: give your colleagues a grade. >> i may have been caught looking at an iphone on my first day and -- >> bill: you're not supposed to have phones. >> i took it off after that. i get to sit in the back. the advantage of the back row is you get to stretch without blocking anybody's view. these are pretty long days. i have never seen 100 politicians be this quiet. >> bill: that's a fact. senator, thank you. mark warner from virginia, the democratic senator. thanks for your time. we'll drop back there in a moments. juan williams analyzing here in new york. you've been riding shotgun throughout this operation. the basic question i posed to
martha and bret and chris, how effective has it been three days in? >> i thought you asked the key question, is it effective in chamber or effective in terms of the larger audience. what are people seeing and how are they taking this in. to that regard, one of the things that happened for me today just as part of the audience, i'm sitting here watching, i sense that the democrats almost are speaking to the likely defend that will come from the president's lawyers. is this an impeachable offense? we heard this repeatedly that people say he may have done something wrong, the polls suggest again that most americans including republicans say yeah, he might have done something wrong. it's not impeachable. slow down. are we setting the precedent for the rival party to impeach the president of another party. what we heard today and i thought very clear terms from jerry nadler, the chairman of the judiciary committee, a member of the house prosecution team is that no, this is quite distinct and then he starts
citing the founding fathers but legal experts to the point. then we go on to sylvia garcia and miss garcia, the head of the municipal courts in houston before a member of congress made the case that here is an argument that we've been hearing from the president's team, which says oh, you know what? it's totally legitimate to look into joe biden because biden took these steps and his son apparently the benefit of nepotism had this exceedingly high paying job with a ukrainian company, burisma. >> bill: would you like to hear from him, juan? >> i would love to. not in terms of this impeachment hearing, although now you can make the argument, i think andy made this argument here, andy said, hey, well, if they bring this up, they have opened the door to possibly having -- >> bill: quickly on that before a break here. does that happen, andy? >> may well be a part of the
strategy is arguing this burisma stuff, which they didn't get evidence on in the house proceeding, is in a way helps the house's argument for their own witnesses. because i don't think there's any chance in this proceeding that one side is going to get witnesses and the other side isn't. >> bill: i'm told by leading republicans, the whole idea about trading has not reached the leadership level of the senate. it's an idea that has been pushed by the democratic side. >> the trip we're is do you have witnesses. if you do, whoever has relevant witnesses is going to get them. >> bill: i'll stand by. we're not going anywhere, are why? hour coverage continues in just a moment. john barrasso. we'll see him when we come back.
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>> bill: back inside in just a moment. before that happens, john barrasso from wyoming here with me. thanks for your time. we'll squeeze in as much as we can before the trial resumes there. with regard to witnesses, there's this back and forth over the past 24 hours. chuck schumer said it was off the table. was it ever on the table, senator? yes or no. >> no, it's interesting because you raised the issue of witnesses. jerry nadler within the last hour says they have a mountain of evidence. just yesterday, the lead for the democrats said that they have
overwhelming evidence. look at their brief. 11 times they talk about overwhelming evidence. you wouldn't think they would need anymore witnesses. what people are seeing, bill at home is what is happening in the senate is a fair trial as opposed to what happened in the house, which was viewed by a great majority of americans as very unfair. >> bill: come back to the witness question. there was talk that you give them john bolton, you get hunter biden or joe biden. or neither. where did that come from and what does it mean? >> apparently it came from the democrat cloakroom. possibly i hear one of the senators from delaware is the one that mentioned that, joe biden's hometown. i sit next to lindsey graham on the senate and in terms of what's going on on the floor. we're amazed at how many times joe and hunter biden's name came up in the last hour. talking about what happened, the money that hunter biden had taken, the issues with joe biden astonished to just how the focus is there. i'll tell you, today in our
senate lunch, lindsey graham went through a litany of what had happened with joe biden, hunter biden, john kerry's son-in-law, all of the connections there and the issue of ukraine and corruption. >> bill: the reason i think this is important is because if you forecast the way this trial is being laid out, when it comes to the question of witnesses, that could be the make or break moment as to whether or not you go to the articles and vote up or down. if i'm reading the schedule right, that could be a week from today. what is your sense among your colleagues? do they want to hear from witnesses or not? >> this is a vote about removing the president of the united states from office. something that has never happened, a president has never been removed from office by a vote of the united states senate. this is as serious as it gets. i want to get to that, to that final judgment. the house says they have overwhelming evidence to do it.
present the evidence. come to us. we should have the up or down vote at that time. >> bill: we'll see then. thanks, senator, for your time. i asked senator warner how they're holding up. hang with me, here. how you guys doing? >> we're doing fine. a great responsibility that we. have we're paying attention, taking notes and listening to those testifying. i'm looking forward to hearing the president's defense. remember, he didn't have a chance to defends himself in the house or present his case. he's finally going to get a chance to do it and i'm looking forward to that 24 hours of defen defense. >> bill: maybe that's saturday, monday or both. senator be a -- senator barrasso. ari fleischer joins us. you're observing from afar. what do you see on that screen? >> well, first, i see if you give house representative members 24 hours, they'll take
24 hours. they can get this done in 12, 6 or 3. it's amazing how long this is taking for no good purpose or reason. we could all know what they're talking about in three hours. one point jerry nadler made this morning caught any eye. he walked through history and talked about how you don't need to commit a crime to be convicted as president. that's what it's about. democrats can see the president has not committed a crime. they think the crime is donald trump occupying the oval office. a fair-minded trial would say was a crime committed and therefore we need to overrule the people and remove the president. that is the crux of the matter and as was made clear by jerry nadler this morning, he didn't have a crime that he pointed to. >> bill: ari, stand by. bring in tom dupree. before we go back inside, i want to give everybody a chance here. tom, what are you hearing with regard to how they begin their
presentation, perhaps right now, saturday or next week? >> yeah, i think they're going to get to it sooner rather than later. the president's lawyers need to come out swinging and be aggressive here. my recommendation would be to proceed along two fronts. they have to show what is an impeachable offense, what could say what could remove a president from office. secondly, offer an aggressive defense of the president's actions. we've heard how the president abused power, what he did in ukraine. the president's lawyers need to come out with a clear and coherent narrative and why he did it and why it was not wrong. >> bill: ari, sound all right? >> i think that's right. i think that's right. i would like to hear a very aggressive defense by the president's team. we know what it would be. the president was fighting corruption in ukraine. his case would have been
enhanced if he said to president zelensky that i'm concerned about corruption in either one of those two calls. mentioning joe biden was inappropriate and made it personal and political. i don't think that's a crime, but i think it was inappropriate. so i do think that is the case the white house will make. they'll put biden in the corruption basket and make the case that's what the president was concerned about. raising doubts and poking holes in their argument. >> bill: thanks, ari and tom. went to get back to bret, martha and chris. want to give viewers a sense at home what we can forecast on the schedule. i view three significant events that have yet to happen. number 1 is the white house presentation when that takes place. what period of time they take too relay their story. the other is the question from senators which could be tuesday, wednesday of next work. there's a 16-hour period where
they can file questions through chief justice roberts and to whom it is directed. the third option is this vote on witnesses, bret. once you get that, that will tell us whether or not we're going for a couple more weeks or whether or not we're coming to a rapid conclusion. your view on that. >> that's right, bill. there's some concern on the white house and the white house defense team's part about saturday and the effectiveness about the viewership on saturday and how many people as they're making their case in earnest for the first time will be tuning in. the flip side of that is you get out for a few hours and you get on the sunday shows and you kind of set the marker before you relaunch on monday. it's not like the house managers for the democrats have not resaid things in different packaged forms. i do agree with you that that witness vote and how long the questions take is a big question. the other question is, you know,
the questions go through chief justice john roberts. the senator questions go through the chief justice to read. there's some thought that even though adam schiff would not be a witness, that would be agreed to, that perhaps some of the senators questions could be going to adam schiff on some of these issues and thereby he would be a witness even though he wasn't one. >> senator purdue talked about that in the break in the afternoon. the republican from georgia. i said what is your question? he said i want to hear from adam schiff. he did not pause on that either. martha, what is your expectation? what i'm hearing is that if you get 24 hours, the lawyers for the president are not going to take 24 hours. ney could do it with a level of efficiency perhaps in half that time. that's the story they're saying. >> martha: yeah, i've heard the same thing, bill. i think that all -- a lot of that comes from their belief as i said previously that it is not up to them to prove that the president the innocent.
that they are there, the role that they're in is essentially to sort of state his side of the case but not to give the other side sort of any new materials to kind of use as fodder against him. i think it's interesting. you look back to the clinton impeachment. we did hear from bill clinton. we heard from his inner circle. the defense in this case has decided that they are going to hold a very hard line here. i think you're going to hear a much slimmer version when we do get to the white house side on this. i also just want to get back to ari fleischer's point that is interesting. the question of how many of these senators that are on the fence about witnesses believe that the phone call was not perfect or believe that perhaps the president had opened the window to saying, you know, perhaps i shouldn't have brought that up there. moved on. whether or not this would have been an entirely different story, but he has dug in hard on his belief that ukraine is a corrupt country and he didn't want that money to go there and concerned about that and that's
what he was expressing. also the biden question going back to 2016. they're dug in and i expect the defense to be slimmer than what we're hearing. >> bill: i'm not going to rip off chris wallace. go ahead. >> i kind of disagree with martha. i think that they have to take on the case. they don't have to -- it's not like they have to prove he's not guilty. they've been complaining over and over again, you are ripping me up. here's adam schiff. >> bill: i owe you one. by my clock, democrats have 14 hours left to make their case. back inside, here's adam schiff. >> the motive that donald trump had, a motive that he didn't have the year before or the year before that. a motive that he didn't have when he allowed the aid to go to ukraine without complaint or issue in 2017 or 2018. it was only when he had a growing concern with joe biden's
candidacy that he took a sudden interest in ukraine and ukraine funding and the withholding of that aid. but i also want to underscore what the president said in that july 25th call. when my colleague showed you again that transcript from july 25 where the president says, i would like you to find out what happened with the sole situation with ukraine. they say crowdstrike. now, my colleagues have explained what that theory is about that server, that crowdstrike server. the crazy theory that it was ukraine that hacked the democratic server and that server was whisked away to ukraine and hidden there so that the investigators, the fbi couldn't look at this server. okay? that's what donald trump was raising in that conversation with president zelensky. now, i bring this up, this point
up again because you may hear from my colleagues, the president's lawyers, as we heard during the testimony in the house that the concern was over ukrainian interference in the election and why isn't it possible that russia and ukraine interfered in the election. never mind that's contrary to the evidence. it's important to talk that water not talking about generic interference. we're not talking about as we heard from some of my colleagues in the house a tweet from a ukrainian here or an op-ed written by somebody there and equating it with the kind of systematic interference of the russians. what we're talking about here with the president, what the president is talking about is a very specific conspiracy theory, going to the server itself. meaning that it was ukraine that hacked the democratic server.
not the russians. this theory was brought to you by the kremlin. okay? we're not talking ant generic interference. we're talking about the server, crowdstrike. that's what donald trump wanted investigated or announced. this completely bogus kremlin pushed conspiracy theory. now, i was also struck by that video you saw of tom bossert, the homeland security official for the president. how debunked and crazy this conspiracy theory is. and then there was that rather glib line that was, you know -- he admitted was glib but nonetheless made a point. three or five ways to impeach one's self and the third way is to hire rudy guliani. now, it's struck me in watching that clip again that it's
important to emphasize that rudy guliani is not some person who has the president under his control. it's all his fault. he had the president in his grip. even though the u.s. intelligence agencies and the bipartisan senate intelligence committee and everyone else told the president time after time this is nonsense, the russians interfered, not the ukrainians, that he just couldn't shake himself of what he was hearing from rudy guliani. you can say a lot of things by president but he's not led by the nose by rudy guliani. and if he is willing to listen to his personal lawyer over his own intelligence agencies, his own advisers, then you can imagine what a danger that presents to this country.
now, my colleague played for you that interview with director wray. i was just struck anew by that interview. in that interview director wray says we have no information that indicates that ukraine interfered with the 2016 presidential election. that is donald trump's director of the anybody. we have no information that indicates ukraine interfered with the 2016 election. none as in zero. the reporter says when you see politicians pushing this notion, are you concerned about that in terms of the impact on the american public. the director says, well, look, there's all kind of people saying all kinds of things out there. well, yes, there are, but this person was the president of the united states. when he says there's all kinds
of people out there saying all kinds of things, what he's really saying the president of the united states. it's one thing if someone off the street says it. when it's coming from the president of the united states, you can see what a danger it is if it's patently false and it is promulgated by the russians. again the reporter says, he wanted the crowdstrike investigated. i'm hearing you saying there's no evidence to support this. ray says as i said, we have -- we at the fbi have no information that would indicate the ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. none. so you can imagine the view from the kremlin of all of this. you can imagine putin in the kremlin with his aides when one
of his aides comes in to the office and says validim, you're never going to believe this. the president of the united states is pushing this crowdstrike theory. you can imagine putin. you're kidding, right? you mean he really believes this? his own people don't believe this. nobody believes this. it's not -- it would be bad enough, of course, that the president of the united states believes this russian propaganda against the advice of all of his advisers, common sense on everything else. but it's worse than that. it's worse than that. on the basis of this russian propaganda, he withheld $400 million in military aid to a nation russia was fighting. our ally. when we ask about, okay, what is
the national security implication of what the president did, how much more clearer can it be that he's not only pushing russian propaganda, he's not only misleading americans about who interfered in the last election, that he's not only doing the kremlin a favor, but that he's withholding aid from a nation at war. the russians not only got him to deflect blame from their interference in our democracy, but they got him to withhold military aid. there's this convergence of interest between the kremlin and the president. the president wasn't pushing kremlin talking points just to do vladimir putin a favor. he was doing it because it helped him. because it helped him. because it could get these talking points for him in his
re-election campaign. for that, he would sacrifice our ally and our own security. but nothing struck me more from representative garcia's presentation than that quote from vladimir putin from november of this past year. so just a couple of months ago. thank god putin said nobody accuses of of interfering in u.s. elections. now other accusing ukraine. thank god. you have to give donald trump credit for this. he has made a religious man out of vladimir putin. [laughter] but i don't think -- i don't think we really want vladimir putin, our adversary, to be thanking god for the president of the united states because they don't wish us well. they don't wish us well.
they are a wounded animal. they are a declining power. but like any wounded animal, they are a dangerous animal. their world view is completely antithetical to ours. we don't want them thanking god for our president and what he is pushing out. we don't want them thanking god for withholding money from our ally. although we can understand why they may. to me, that is what stuck out from that presentation. now, we've walked through in the first part of this presentation the corrupt object of the president's scheme. getting ukraine to announce these two political investigations that would benefit his re-election. looking at how baseless and fabricated the allegations behind them were made plain his
corrupt motive. but in addition to this overwhelming evidence, there's at least ten other reasons. we know that president trump directed his scheme with corrupt intent. there's ten other reasons that we know the president was interested in his own personal gain and not the national interest in pressing for these investigations. first, the president only wanted these investigations to be announced publicly, not even conducted. second, the president's only interest in ukraine was the big stuff. that matters to himself, not issues affecting ukraine or the united states. third, the president tasked his personal lawyer, rudy guliani, to pursue these investigations on his behalf, not government officials. fourth, both before and after the july 25th call, the investigations were never part
of u.s. official foreign policy. nsc officials too made clear this was not about foreign policy. other witnesses confirmed the investigations in fact diverged from u.s. official policy. fifth, the investigations were undertaken outside of normal channels. sixth, ukrainian officials understood that the investigations were purely political in nature. seventh, multiple administration officials reported the president's july 25th call. eighth, the white house buried the call. ninth, president trump confirmed he wanted ukraine to conduct investigations in his own words. finally, president trump did not care about anti-corruption efforts in ukraine. let's go through these one by one.
first, perhaps the simplest way that we all know president trump wanted these investigations done solely to help his personal political interests and not the national interests is that he merely wanted a public announcement of the investigations, not an insurance that they would actually be done. if his desire for these investigations was truly to assist ukraine's anti-corruption efforts or because he was worried about the larger issues of corruption in ukraine actually investigating the facts underlying the investigations would have been most important. but he didn't care about the facts or the issues. he just wanted the political benefit of the public announcement of an investigation that he could use to damage his political opponent and boost his own political standing. ambassador gordon sondland made this clear in his testimony.
>> now, from mr. guliani, by this point, you understood in order to get the white house meeting that you wanted president zelensky to have and that president zelensky desperately wanted to have, that ukraine would have to initiate these two investigations. is that right? >> they would have to announce that they were going to do it. >> right. guliani and president trump didn't actually care if they did them, right? >> i never heard, mr. goldman, say that the investigations had to start or be completed. the only thing i heard from mr. guliani or otherwise was that they had to be announced in some form. that form kept changing. >> announced publicly? >> announced publicly. >> the other evidence gathered by the house's investigation confirmed ambassador sondland's understanding. the house received documents from lev parnas, an associate of rudy guliani now indicted in response to a subpoena.
as you know, parnas was indicted for crimes including election law violations. we obtained handwritten notes that parnas took sometime in 2019. one of those notes lays out the scheme very clearly and succinctly. now, it's not every day that you get a document like this, what appears to be a member of the conspiracy writing down the object of the conspiracy. but that's exactly what we see here. the scheme that ultimately was directed by president trump to coerce ukraine to announce the investigation of the bidens. i repeat, to announce the investigations. not investigate, not conduct. the only thing that mattered was the public announcement. as this note says with an asterisk, get zelensky to announce that the biden case will be investigated.
and in early september after mr. guliani and ambassadors volcker and sondland tried but failed to get zelensky to issue a public statement, president trump made this clear himself. he explained to ambassador bolton that he wanted zelensky in a public box. that is up trump would only be satisfied if zelensky made a public announcement of the investigations which he subsequently agreed to do on cnn. here's ambassador taylor's testimony on this. >> and so even though president trump was saying repeatedly that there is no quit pro question, ambassador sondland relayed to you the facts of the matter are the white house meeting and the security assistance were conditioned on the announcement of these investigations. is that your understanding? >> that's my understanding. >> now you reference a television interview and a
desire for president trump to put zelensky in a public box, which you also have in quotes. was that in your notes? >> it was in my notes. >> and what did you understand that to mean, to put zelensky in a public box? >> i understood that to mean that president trump through ambassador sondland was asking for president zelensky to publicly commit to these investigations. that it was not sufficient to do this in private, that this needed to be a very public statement. >> the fact that the president only wanted a public announcement and not the investigations to actually be conducted demonstrates that his desire for investigations was simply and solely to boost his re-election efforts. number 2, turning to the second reason president trump's agents
that helped carry out this scheme confirmed the desire to announce the investigations was solely for his personal political benefit. as we explain in more detail in a few minutes, president trump never expressed any interest in united states anti-corruption policy towards ukraine. nor did he care about ukraine's war against russia. he only expressed interest in one thing, investigating his political opponent. this was unequivocally confirmed by the testimony of david holmes, the senior official in kiev. the day after the july 25th call, holmes overheard a conversation between president trump and ambassador sondland in kiev. here's his testimony. >> ambassador sondland placed a call on his mobile phone. i heard him announce i'd along
gordon sondland holding for the president. it appeared he was being transferred through switchboards and assistants and i noticed his demeanor changed and i understood that he had been connected to president trump. while ambassador sondland's phone was not on speaker phone, i could hear the president's voice through the earpiece of the phone. the president's voice was loud and recognizable. ambassador sondland held the phone away presumably because of the loud volume. i heard ambassador sondland greet the president and explain he was calling from kiev. i heard president trump said that the ambassador was in ukraine. he said ukraine. he went on to state that president zelensky loves your ass." i heard president trump ask so is he going to do the investigation? ambassador sondland said he's going to do it adding that president zelensky will do anything you ask him to do. >> after the call ambassador
sondland confirmed to holmes that the investigations were the president's sole interest with ukraine because -- and in is very important -- they benefit the president. >> after the call ended ambassador sondland remarked that the president was in a bad mood as the president said was often the case early in the morning. i took the opportunity to ask for his candidate impression of the president's views on ukraine. in particular, i asked ambassador sondland if it was true that the president did not give a expletive about ukraine. ambassador sondland agreed that the president did not give an expletive about ukraine. i asked why not? ambassador sondland stated that the president only cares about big stuff. i noted there was big stuff going on in ukraine. like a war with russia. ambassador sondland replied that he meant big stuff that benefits the president like the biden investigation that mr. guliani
was pushing, this moved on to other topics. >> this understanding by ambassador sondland is independently confirmed by president trump's own interaction with ukraine. during his two telephone calls with president zelensky, the first on april 21 and then on july 25, president trump did not refer to any anti-corruption efforts or the war against russia. he never uttered the word "corrupti "corruption." instead he talked about his political opponents. he's confirmed this narrow purpose to the press. he was asked about the ukraine scheme. head said if they were honest about it,they would start an investigation to the bidens. here they've conference. >> what exactly did you hope zelensky would do to the bidens after your phone call?
>> i would think that if they were honest about it, they would start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. >> so we know from witnesses, the president's personal agents and most importantly the president himself, the only thing president trump cared about with ukraine was his investigations to benefit himself. to see this even more starkly, it's helpful to remember what presidential head of state calls are normally used for. talk to any former occupant of the oval office, they will tell you that the disparity in power between the president of the united states and other heads of state is vast. since world war ii and consist at the present time with the requirement to faithfully executed theirest of office, u.s. presidents have made good use of the disparity in power in their telephone calls with foreign leaders. they use the calls to secure commitments that bolstered
american security and prosperity. acting as our chief diplomat, president reagan used his calls to european allies like prime minister margaret thatcher to rally the world about the soviet threat. the shining city on the hill standing up to the evil empire. his calls laid the foundation for landmark nonproliferation agreements that averted a nuclear armageddon. president bush learned that gorbachev intended to resign marking the end of the soviet union. historians credit his diplomacy including one-on-one phone calls for bringing about a peaceful end to the cold war. following september 11, president george w. bush used his calls with heads of state to talk about the defeat of al-quaida, to work with our
allies to defend national security and combat terrorism. president obama used his calls with foreign leaders to contain the fallout from the global economic crisis. assemble international coalition to fight the islamic state and of course, to rally support for ukraine following russia's invasion of crimea. no matter what you think of the policy used or priorities of these prior presidents, there's no question that they are examples of the normal diplomacy that happening during presidential telephone calls. there's no doubt when you're the president of the united states and you call a foreign leader, you are on the clock for the american people. consistent with the faithful execution of his or her oath of office, a president's first and only objective is to get foreign leaders to do what is in the best interest of the united states. that's not what happened on july
25. on that date president trump used a head of state call with the leader of ukraine to help himself. to press a foreign leader to investigate the president's political opponent in order to help his re-election campaign. president trump abused his authority as commander-in-chief and chief diplomat to benefit himself. he betrayed the interests of the american people when he did so. let's go to the third reason that we know the president put his interests first. the third reason you know the investigations were politically motivated is the central role played by rudy guliani who has never had an official role in government, in this government, but instead was at all times representing the president in his personal capacity. there's no dispute about this. for example, mr. guliani made this point clearly in his made 10 letter to the president of
ukraine himself. where he wrote, dear president-elect zelensky, i'm private counsel to president donald j. trump. just to be precise, i represent him as a private citizen, not as president of the united states. this is quite common under american law because the duties and privileges of the president and a private citizen are not the same. separate representation is the usual process. mr. guliani also repeated this publicly, for example. he confirmed this point on may 9 in "the new york times." where he said, well, many things. he said we're meddling in an election -- we're not meddling in an election, we're meddling in an investigation which we have the right to do. there's nothing illegal. somebody could say it's improper and this isn't foreign policy. he went on to say, referring to
the president, he basically knows what i'm doing, sure. as his lawyer. my only client is the president of the united states, he said. he's the one that i have an obligation to report to. tell him what happened. think about that. the president is using his personal lawyer to ask ukraine for investigations that aren't "foreign policy." that will be very, very helpful to the president personally. it's not often you get it so graphically as we do here. let's go to the fourth reason that these investigations were never part of the u.s. policy. it wasn't just the president trump used his personal lawyer, it's almost that what he was asking for was never a part of u.s. policy.
onces told us the president's investigations were not in his official prepared talking points or briefing materials. to the contrary. they went against official policy. all three witnesses, tim morrison, lieutenant colonel alex vindman and jennifer williams that listened to the call testify when the president demaneded that president zelensky investigate the bidens, he had completely departed from the talking points that they had prepared for him. now, before i get to the video clip, i want to underscore this. he's not obligated to use his talking points. he's not obligated to follow the recommendations of his staff no matter how sound they may be. but what this makes clear is, it wasn't u.s. policy that he was
conducting. it was his private personal interests that he was conducting. if it was u.s. policy, it probably would have been in the talking points and briefing materials, but of course it was not. let's look at mr. morrison's testimony on this point. >> now, were these references to crowdstrike, the server in 2016 election and to vice president biden and his son, were they included in the president's talking points? >> they were not. >> and here is lieutenant colonel vindman on this point. >> you are the national security council's director for ukraine. did you participate in preparing the talking points for the president's call? >> i did. i repair them. >> you prepare them. they are edited and reviewed by
multiple senior officers at the nfc and the white house? >> that is correct. >> the talking points contains any discussion into the 2016 election, the bidens, or burisma? >> they did not. >> are you aware of any written product suggesting that investigations into the 2016 election, the bidens, or burisma are part of the official policy of the netted states? >> no, i'm not. >> dr. hill also elaborated on this point. >> my point is that we at the national security council were not told either by the president directly or through an rasir bolton that we were to be focused on this issue as a matter of foreign policy to ukraine. when you're talking about ukraine in 2016, i never personally heard the president say anything specific about 2016
and ukraine. i just heard him saying plenty of things publicly. i was not given the directive. given a directive on july 10th by an rasir bolton very clear to stay out of domestic politics. >> to be clear, when president trump asked for these investigations, he was not asked for them based on a official u.s. policy. his top official advisors had not even been told about these investigations. they were told to stay out of u.s. politics. and it gets worse. it was not just that president trump ignored official u.s. policy in the talking points he was given. it was that what he was doing, withholding support from ukraine was actually contrary to and harmful to u.s. policy. >> there is clear and unbipartisan support for ukraine. ukraine is our ally. they are at war with our adversary. our goal would be helping president zelensky's
anticorruption reform and helping ukraine fight its adversary, russia, in any way that we can. president trump's own national defense strategy stated that the united states and its european allies "will deter russian adventurism." a clear reference to russia's usurpation of ukraine's territories and -- we have approximately 68,000 troops stationed in europe. roughly 10,000 of those u.s. troops are deployed on nato's order. countries like poland, lithuania, and bulgaria. they are holding the line against another land grab vladimir putin. the author of that strategy, former u.s. national security advisor h.r. mcmaster issued this stark warning about russia's aggression. for too long, some nations have
looked the other way in the face of these threats. russia brazenly and implausibly denies its actions. we have failed to pose sufficient costs. the kremlin's confidence is growing as it ages conduct their sustained campaigns to undermine our confidence in ourselves and in one another." what general mcmasters says obviously it makes sense. russia's confidence sadly is growing. we need to stand up to them. that is why we support ukraine, to help defeat russian aggression. in july 25th when president zelensky spoke with president trump, that's what he was hoping to discuss. or he would be hoping that he would discuss, how we can support ukraine in its fight against a huge adversary. our confidence in one another. that is what president zelensky