Transcript for Director of Investigations delivers opening statement at impeachment hearing
We are here today because Donald. The 45 president of the United States. Abuse the power of his office the American presidency. For is a political and personal benefit. President trump directed a months long campaign. To solicit foreign help. In his 2020. Reelection efforts. Withholding official acts from the government of Ukraine. In order to coerce. And secured. Political. Assistance. And interference in our domestic affairs. As part of the scheme president trump applied increasing pressure. On the president of Ukraine to publicly announce two investigations. Helpful to his personal reelection efforts. He applied this pressure himself. And through his agents working within an outside of the US government. By conditioning. Aid desperately sought Oval Office meeting. And 391. Million dollars in taxpayer funded congressionally appropriated. Security assistance. Vital to Ukraine's ability to fend off Russian aggression. Any condition that on the announcement. Of these two political investigations. That were helpful to his personal interests. When the president's efforts were discovered. He released the military aid. Though what would ultimately take congressional action. For the money to be made fully available to Ukraine. The Oval Office meeting still has not happened. When faced with the opening of an official impeachment inquiry into his conduct. President trump launched an unprecedented. Campaign. Of obstruction. Of congress. Ordering executive branch agencies. And government officials. To defy subpoenas for documents and testimony. To date the investigating committees have received. No documents from the trump administration. Pursuant to our subpoenas. Were it not for courageous public servants. Doing their duty in honoring their oath to this country. And coming forward and testifying the president's scheme might still be concealed today. The central moment in this scheme was a telephone call between president trump and Ukrainian president. Below to Mears a Lansky on July 25 of this year. During their call president trump asked presents a Lansky for a personal favor. To initiate the two investigations. That president trump hopes could ultimately help his re election in 20/20. The first investigation. Involves former vice president Joseph Biden. And was an effort to smear his reputation as he seeks the democratic nomination in next year's presidential election. The second investigation sought to elevate an entire lead debunked conspiracy theory. Promoted by Russian president Vladimir Putin. That Ukraine interfered in the last presidential election to support the democratic nominee. In truth. As has been made clear by irrefutable evidence from throughout the government. Russia in her fear in the last election in order to help then candidate trump. The allegations about Vice President Biden and the 2016 election. Are patently false. But that did not deter president trump during his phone call with the Ukrainian president. And it does not appear to deter him today. Just two days ago president trump stated publicly that he hopes that his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. Will report to the department of justice and to congress the results of mr. Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine last week. To pursue these false allegations. Meant to tarnish Vice President Biden. President trumps persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country. To help him cheat to win an election. He's a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security. The overwhelming evidence of this scheme is described in detail. In a nearly 300 page document entitled the trump Ukraine impeachment inquiry report. Formally transmitted from the house permanent selecting committee on intelligence. To this committee a few days ago. The report relies on testimony from numerous current and former government officials. The vast majority of whom are nonpartisan. Career professionals. Responsible for keeping our nation safe. And promoting American values around the globe. The evidence from these witnesses cannot seriously be disputed. The president placed his personal interests above the nation's interests. In order to help his own reelection efforts. Before I highlight the evidence and the findings. Of this report. I want to take just a moment to introduce myself. And discuss today's testimony. I joined the House Intelligence Committee a senior advisor and director of investigations at the beginning of this year. Previously I served for ten years as a prosecutor in the southern district of New York. When I joined the Department of Justice under the George W Bush Administration. The team that I led on the intelligence community includes other former federal prosecutors. A retired FBI agent. And investigators with significant national security of expertise. The report that I am presenting today is based entirely on the evidence. That we collected. In coordination. With the oversight and foreign affairs committees. There were gathered as part of the impeachment inquiry into president Trump's actions. Nothing more. And nothing less. The three investigating committees rent a fair professional and thorough investigation. We follow the house rules for depositions and public hearings including the rule against agency council being present for depositions. And members and staff from both parties had equal time to ask questions. And there were no substantive questions that were prevented. From being asked and answered. This investigation move swiftly and intensively. As all good investigation should. To the extent that other witnesses would be able to provide more context and detail. About this scheme. Their failure to testified. Is due solely to the fact that president trump. Obstructed. The inquiry and refused to make them available. Nevertheless the extensive evidence that the committee's uncovered during this investigation. Led to the following critical findings. First. President trump used of the power of his office. To pressure and induce the newly elected president of Ukraine. To interfere in the twenty when he presidential election for president Trump's personal and political benefit. Second. In order to increase the pressure on Ukraine to announce the politically motivated investigations that president trump wanted. President trump withheld a coveted Oval Office meeting and 391. Dollars of essential military assistance from Ukraine. Third. President trumps conduct sought to undermine our free and fair elections. And poses an imminent threat to our national security. And fourth. Faced with the revelation of his pressure campaign. Against Ukraine. President trump directed an unprecedented effort to obstruct congress' impeachment inquiry. Into his conduct. And with that context in mind I would like to turn to be evidence of president trumps conduct concerning Ukraine. My colleague mr. Custer just said that it burden revolves around eight lines in one call record. But that's sorely ignores the vast amount of evidence that we collected of a months long scheme by the directed by the president. But I do want to start with that July 25 phone call because that is critical evidence of the president's involvement and intense. It was on that day that he held his second phone call with the new Ukrainian president. The first and April was short and cordial following the Ukrainian president's. Election success. But this second call would diverged dramatically. From what those listening had expected. Now just prior to this telephone call. President trump spoke to Gordon's son went the US ambassador to the European Union. Who had donated one million dollars to the president's inaugural campaign. And who had been directed by the president himself. To take on a leading role in Ukraine issues. Ambassador some and relay the president's message to president so Lansky through ambassador Kurt Volker. Who had had lunch that day with presidents a lands east top aide Andrei year mark. Hoover appears throughout Italy appears. Repeatedly through this scheme. As president's alleged skis right hand man. Ambassador Volcker texted mr. year mark with president trumps direction. Good lunch thanks. Heard from White House assuming presidency convinces trump people investigate. Get to the bottom of what happened in 2016. We will nail down visit. Four we'll nail down for a visit to Washington. Good luck see you tomorrow Kirk. So even before the phone call with presidents a Lansky took place. President trump had directed that Ukraine initiate. The investigation. Into 2016. The in order for president's alleged ski to get the White House visit that he desperately coveted. Ambassador song Lynn was clear in his testimony. About this quid pro quo. Free brutally frank Levy's complicated issues in the form of a simple question. Was there a quid pro quo. As I testified previously. With regard to the requested White House call and the White House meeting the answer is yes. During this call with the Ukrainian leader. President trump did not discuss matters of importance of the United States. Such as Ukraine's efforts to root out corruption. Instead president trump appeared quickly. Into the personal favor that he wanted president so Lansky. To do. Two investigations that would help president trumps reelection effort. Witnesses who listen to the call described it as unusual. Improper. Inappropriate. And concerning. Two of them immediately reported their concerns to White House lawyers. Now let me just take a few minutes walking through that important call step by step. Because it is evidence that is central to the president's scheme. Near the beginning of the call presents a Lansky said. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more travel inns from the United States. For defense purposes. A great support in the area of defense. Included the nearly 400 million dollars of US military assistance to Ukraine. Which one witness testified was nearly 10% of Ukraine's defense budget. And the support comes as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2014. When Russia illegally annexed nearly 7% of Ukraine's territory. Since then the United States and our allies have provided support for Ukraine. And emerging post Soviet democracy. To fend off Russia in the east. Yet just a few weeks before this July 25 call president trump had inexplicably placed a hold on military assistance to Ukraine. Without providing any reason to his own cabinet members or national security officials. The evidence the committees collected showed that there was unanimous support for the aid from every relevant agency. In the trump administration. Nevertheless. During the call. President trump complained that US support for Ukraine was not reciprocal. That somehow Ukraine needed to give more to the United States. What did he mean well it became clear. Because immediately after president's alleged scheme brought up US military support and purchasing javelin anti tank weapons. President trump responded. I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. Now the favor that he reference there included two demands. That had nothing to do with official US policy or foreign policy. First. President president trump said I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine. They say crowd strike. As you saw yesterday but she's me I guess you have one of your wealthy people access the server they say Ukraine hasn't. There are a lot of things that went on the whole situation. I figure surrounding yourself with some of the same people. And he went on later. I would like to have the attorney general call you or your people. And I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday that whole nonsense and did with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller an incompetent performance. But they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do it's very important that you do it if that's possible. Here again president trump was referring to the baseless conspiracy theory that the Ukrainian government. Not Russia was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee in 2016. Not a single witness in our investigation testified that there was any factual support for this allegation. To the contrary. A unanimous assessment of the US intelligence community found that Russia alone interfered in the 2016 US election. And special counsel Muller who indicted twelve Russians for this conspiracy. Testified before congress that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in. Sweeping and systematic fashion. Doctor Fiona hill an expert on Russia and President Putin who served on the National Security Council until July. Testified that the president was told by his own former senior advisors. Including his Homeland Security advisor and its former national security advisor. That the alternative theory that Ukraine had interfered in the election was false. And although no one in the US government knew of any factual support for this theory. It did have one significant supporter. Russian president Vladimir Putin. In February of 2017. President Putin said. Second as we all know during the presidential campaign in the United States the Ukrainian government. Adopted a unilateral position in favor of one candidate. More than that. Certain all look are certainly with the approval of the political leadership funded this candidate or female candidate to be more precise. If there is ever ever any doubt. About who benefits. From this unfounded theory put forward by president trump and his associates. President Putin made it clear very recently when he set. Thank god no one is accusing us any more of interfering in US elections. Now they're accusing Ukraine. In the face of clear evidence not only from intelligence community experts but from his own national security team. That Russia not Ukraine interfered in its way sixteen election for the benefit of Donald Trump. President trump still pressed Ukrainian government to announce an investigation into this it conspiracy theory and why. Because it would help his own political standing. President trump even sought to withhold an Oval Office meeting. From the president of Ukraine until he fell in line with president Putin's lies. The leader who had actually invaded Ukraine. The second demand that president trump made of presidents a Lansky during the July 25 call. Was to investigate the front runner for the democratic nomination. For president in 20/20. Former vice president Joseph Biden and his son hunter. President trump stated. The other thing there's a lot of talk about Biden's son. That fight and stop the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Fighting went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution. So if you could look into it it sounds horrible to me. Witnesses unanimously testified that there was no factual support for this claim. Rather they noted that Vice President Biden was acting in support of an international consensus. And official US policy. To clean up the prosecutor general's office in Ukraine. Despite these facts by the time of the July 25 call. Mr. Giuliani had been publicly advocating for these two investigations for months. While also using back channels to press Ukrainian officials to initiate them in support of his client Donald Trump. Ambassador summoned understood mr. Giuliani's role very clearly. He testified that mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the United States. And we knew these investigations were important to the president. Two others mr. Giuliani was working at cross purposes. With official policy channels toward Ukraine. Even as he was working on behalf of president trump. According to former national security advisor. Ambassador John Bolton. Mr. Giuliani was a quote hand grenade who's going to blow everybody up on quote. Near the end of the July Tony fifth call. Presidential Lansky circled back to the pre cooked message that ambassador Volcker had relayed to president's alleged d.'s top aide before the call. President's alleged he said. I also wanna to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States states specifically Washington DC. On the other hand I also wanted to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and we will work on the investigation. In other words. On one hand is the White House visit. While on the other hand he would agreed to pursue the investigations. This statement shows that presidents a Lansky fully understood. At the time of the July 25 call. The quid pro quo between these investigations. And the White House meeting to president trump required. And that ambassador Simon had testified so clearly about. Numerous witnesses testified about the importance of a White House meeting with the president of the United States. Specifically a meeting in the Oval Office. And official act by president trump. As David Holmes senior official in the US embassy embassy in Ukraine said. It is important to understand that a White House visit was critical to president's a Lansky. Presents a Lansky needed to show US support at the highest levels in order to demonstrate to Russian president Vladimir Putin. That he had US backing. As well as to advance his ambitious anti corruption reform agenda at home. In other words. The White House visit would help so lends keys anti corruption reforms. And that's support remains critical. As president's alleged he needs to day. With President Putin to try to resolve the conflict in the east. Now the day after this phone call president trump sought to ensure that presents a Lansky got the message. On July 26 US officials met with presents a Lansky and other Ukrainian officials in Keefe. And presents a Lansky mentioned the president trump had brought up some quote very sensitive issues unquote. After that meeting ambassador summoned had a private one on one meeting with Andrei earmark presents a land skis top aide. During which ambassador Simon said that they probably discuss the issue of investigations. At lunch right after that with mister Holmes and two other State Department officers. Ambassador Simon pulled out a cell phone and called president trump. Somewhat shocked mr. Holmes recounted a conversation that followed. I heard ambassador sung and greet the president and explained he was calling from Keefe. I heard president trump then clarify that ambassador Simon was in Ukraine. Ambassador summoned replied yes he was in Ukraine. And went on to state their president's a let's keep quote. Loves your ass unquote. I then heard president trump Basque. So he's going to do the investigation. Ambassador respond when we're Simon replied that he is going to do it. Adding the president's a Lansky will do anything you ask him to do. After the call ambassador someone told mr. Holmes the president trump. Did not give a bleep about Ukraine. And only cares about the big stuff. That benefits the president himself. Like the biting investigation. That mr. Giuliani was pushing. To repeat and this is very important. Ambassador summoned spoke to president trump both for the July 25 call with presents a Lansky. And relay to Ukrainian officials president trumps requirement of political investigations. In exchange for a White House meeting. And during that call president trump asked for the favor of these two immediate and of these two political investigations. Immediately after the Ukrainian president brought up US military support for Ukraine. Which president trump had recently suspended or put on hold. And at the end of the call. Presents a let's be made a point of acknowledging the link between the investigations the president trump requested. In the White House meeting that presents a Lansky desperately want to. And then the following day ambassador summoned confirmed to president trump on the telephone in person. That the ukrainians would indeed initiate the investigations discussed on the call. Which were the only which was the only thing about Ukraine the president trump cared about. Now. It's very important understands that this investigation revealed that the July 25 called. Was neither the start nor the end of president trumps efforts to use the powers of his office for personal political gain. And you have to look at all of the evidence in context as a whole. Prior to the call the president had removed the former ambassador Marie Ivanovic to clear the way for his three handpicked agents. To spearhead. His corrupt agenda in Ukraine. Secretary Perry ambassador Simon and ambassador poker all of whom attended president's a land skis inauguration. On May twentieth. All political appointees. They prove to be more than willing to engage in what doctor hill later described. As it and improper domestic political errands for the president. On April 21 presents a Lansky won the Ukrainian election with 73% of the vote. He had two primary platforms. To resolve the war in the east with Russia. And to root out corruption. That same day president trump called to congratulate him on his win. Even though the white house press release following the call stated that president trump expressed his shared commitment to quote root out corruption unquote. President trump in fact did not mention corruption at all on this call. Just like he did not mention corruption on the July 25 call. Shortly after this call president trump asked vice president Mike Pence to a ten presidents alike skis inauguration. But on May thirteenth president trump did an about face and directed vice president pence not to attend. An advisor to vice president pence testified that the inauguration had not yet been schedules. And therefore the reason for the abrupt change of plans was not related to any scheduling issues. So what had happened in the three weeks between April Tony first and may thirteenth. When vice president pence was originally invited and then disinvited. Org. Or removed from the delegation. A few things first and April 20 for between fifth. Vice President Biden formally announced his bid for the democratic nomination for president. Then about a week later on May third president trump spoke with President Putin. On the telephone. One senior State Department official testified. The depth conversation between president trump and President Putin included a discussion of Ukraine. Third on May ninth. Mr. Giuliani told the New York Times that he intended to travel to Ukraine on behalf of his client president trump. In order to quote meddle in an investigation and quote. But after public backlash. An apparent push back from the ukrainians. Mr. Giuliani canceled his trip the next day claiming the president's alleged he was surrounded by enemies of president trump. At a critical may 23 meeting in the Oval Office. President trump said that Ukraine was corrupt and tried to take him down in 2016. The same false narrative pushed by President Putin and mr. Giuliani. In order for the White House meaning to occur president trump told the delegation they must talked to Rudy to get the visit scheduled. These comments from president trump for the first of many subsequent indications. That in his mind corruption. Equals investigations. In the weeks and months following. Mr. Giuliani relates of both Ukrainian officials and the government officials. That president trumpet designated at the may 23 meeting to take action to take a lead on Ukraine policy. The directive from president trump that a White House meeting would not occur. Until Ukraine announced the two political investigations. The president trump require. And meat well before the July 25 call. Ambassador Simon and Volcker also relayed this quid pro quo to be ukrainians. Including two presidents a Lansky himself. Ambassador Volcker convey the message directly to presents a Lansky at the beginning of July. Urging him to reference investigations associate associated with the Giuliani factor. With president trump. And in meetings at the white house on July 10. Ambassador someone told other US officials and two of presents a lets his advisors including mr. earmark. That he had an agreement with acting chief of staff make Mo feigning. That the White House visit would be scheduled. If Ukraine announced the investigations. One witness testified that during the second of the meetings. Ambassador summoned began to review what the to liberal deliverable would be in order to get the meeting. Referring to an investigation of the Biden's. The witness told that the committee that the request was explicit there was no ambiguity. And ambassador summoned also mentioned the recent a major Ukrainian energy company at Hunter Biden sat on the board of to the witnesses that testified before the committee. The references tuber -- month was shorthand for an investigation into the Biden's. Ambassador Bolton as well as his staff members objected to this meeting for investigations trade. And ambassador Bolton told doctor hill. You go and tell Eisenberg John Eisenberg the legal advisor for the National Security Council. That I am not part of whatever drug deal Solomon involving your cooking up on this. And you go ahead and tellem what you've heard and what I've said. Yet this was not a rogue operation by mr. Giuliani and ambassador summoned and Volker. As ambassador summoned testified. Everyone was in the loop including mr. Maldini. Secretary Pompeo. Secretary Perry and their top advisors. On July 19 ambassador summoned emails. Mr. mull Laney secretary Perry secretary Pompeo and others after speaking. With presents a Lansky. The subject was I talked two's a Lansky just now. And ambassador Saarland wrote. He is prepared to receive Otis is call Otis president of the United States. Will assure him that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation. And will quote turn over every stone un quote. Both secretary Perry and chief of staff Maldini quickly responded to the email. Noting that given that conversation eight date would soon be set to schedule. The White House telephone call. The evidence also unambiguously shows. That the ukrainians. Understood. This quid pro quo and had serious reservations. Particularly because presidents a Lansky had won the election. And an anti corruption platform. In fact a few days before the July 25 call. Ambassador William Taylor the acting US ambassador to Ukraine and the former permanent ambassador to Ukraine. Texted ambassador summoned and Volker. Rather he say he stayed in his testimony. On July 20 I had a phone conversation with mr. Donnelly oak. During which he conveyed to me that presents a Lansky did not want to be used as a pawn in a US reelection campaign. But president Charles pressure campaign on president's a Lansky did not relent. Just four days later president so let's keep. Received that message via Kurt Volker that he needed to convince president trump that he would do the investigations. In order to get. That White House meeting. And as I've described president up to Lansky tried to do exactly that on the July 25 call with president trump. In the weeks following the July 25 call president's alleged. Sending his top aide mr. year mark to Madrid to meet with mr. Giuliani. In coordination with mr. Giuliani. President and the president trumps hand picked representatives. They continued eight this pressure campaign. To secure a public announcement of the investigations. Now according to ambassador Simon and this is very important. President trump did not require that Ukraine. Actually conduct the investigations as a prerequisite for the White House meeting. Instead Ukrainian government. Needed only to publicly announced the investigations. It is clear that the goal was not the investigations themselves. Or not any corruption that those investigations might have entailed but the political benefit the president trump would enjoy. From an announcement of investigations into his twenties when he political rival. And against a unanimous assessment that showed that he received foreign support in the 2016 election. And for that for that reason the facts didn't actually matter to president trump. Because he only cared about the personal and political benefit from the announcement of the investigation. Over the next couple of weeks ambassador Simon and Volker worked with president trumps state mr. year mock. To draft a statement for presidents a Lansky to issue. When the eight propose the statement that did not include specific references to the investigations. That president trump wanted. The Burr Reese man Biden investigation in the 2016 election investigation. Mr. Giuliani relay that that would not be good enough to get a White House meeting. And here you can see a comparison. On the left of the original statement drafted by mr. year mocked the top aide to presidents a Lansky. And on the right a revised statement with mr. Giuliani its requirements. And on it says we intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available fax and episodes. And here's the critical difference. Including those involving a Reese ma and the 2016 US elections. Which in turn will prevent the recurrence of this problem in the future. The only difference in the statement the Giuliani required. And the statement that the ukrainians had drafted was this reference to the two investigations that president trump. Wanted and told presents a Lansky about on the July 25 call. Ultimately president's allowance his administration temporarily shelved this announcement. Though efforts to press Ukraine would remain ongoing. By mid August Ukraine did not make a public announcement of the investigations the president trump required and as a result. No White House meeting was scheduled. But by this time the president was pushing on another pressure point to coerce Ukraine to announce the investigations. The hold on the vital military assistance that the president had put in place for more than a month. Still without any explanation to any of the policy experts. Our investigation revealed that a number of Ukrainian officials had made quiet increase to various US officials. About the eight as early as July 25 the date of the phone call. Increased by Ukrainian officials continued in the weeks and that followed until the hold was revealed at the end of August but this is important. It was important for the Ukrainian officials to keep it quiet. Because if it became public in Russia would know that the US support for Ukraine. Might be on ice. So by the end of that month the evidence revealed several facts. One. The president demanded that Ukraine publicly announced to politically motivated investigations to benefit his reelection. To. A coveted White House meeting was expressly conditioned. On Ukraine announcing those investigations. Three. President trump had placed a hold on vital military assistance to Ukraine. Without any explanation. And notwithstanding the uniform support for that assistance. From dove relevant federal agencies. And congress. Ambassador Taylor testified that this quid pro quo between the investigations president trump wanted. And the security assistance the president trump needed was crazy. And he told ambassador summoned. As I said on the phone I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance through help with a political campaign. Now in an effort to move the White House meeting and the military aid along. Ambassador some and wrote an email to secretary Pompeo on August 22. He wrote Mike. So we blocked time in Warsaw offers short pull aside for Podesta meets a Lansky. I would ask is a Lansky to look him in the eye and tell him that once Ukraine's new justice folks are in place parentheses mid September. C president's a Lansky. Should be able to move forward publicly. And with confidence. On those issues of importance to code is and to the US. Hopefully that will break the logjam. Ambassador summoned testified that this was a reference to the political investigations that president trump discussed. On the July 25 call. Which secretary Pompeo ultimately admitted to that he listened to in real time. Ambassador summoned hopes that this would help lift the log jam. Which he meant the holds on critical security assistance to Ukraine and the White House meeting. And what was secretary Pompeo as response three minutes later. Yes. After the hold on military assistance became public on August 28 senior Ukrainian officials expressed grave concern. Deeply worried of course about the practical impact on their efforts to fight Russian aggression but also in this goes back to why it remained confidential. Also about the public message that it sends to the Russian government. On September 1 at a pre briefing. Both with vice president pence before he met with presents a Lansky. Ambassador summoned raise the issue of the hold on security assistance. He said. I mentioned a vice president pence before the meetings with the ukrainians. That I had concerns about the delays in aid had become top height to the issue of investigations. Vice president Penn simply nodded in response. Expressing neither surprise. Nor dismay. At the linkage between the two. And following vice president pence is meeting with presents a Lansky ambassador summoned went over to mr. earmark again president's allowance these top aide. And pulled him aside. To explain that the hold on security assistance was also now conditioned on the public announcement. Of the per reason abide in and the 2016 election interference investigations. Ambassador Simon then explain to ambassador Taylor. That he had previously made a mistake. In telling Ukrainian officials that only the White House meeting was conditioned. On a public announcement. Of the political investigations beneficial to president trump. In truth. Everything the White House meeting and the vital security assistance to Ukraine was now conditioned on the public announcement. President trump wanted it presents a Lansky in a public box. A private commitment was not good enough. Nearly one week later on September 7. The holes remained. And president trump an ambassador Simon spoke on the phone. The president immediately told ambassador summon that there was no quid pro quo but. This is very important. Presents a Lansky would still be required to announce the investigations in order for the holds on security assistance to be lifted. And he should want to do it. In effect. This is the equivalent of saying there is no quid pro quo know this for that. Before then demanding. Precisely. That quid pro quo. And immediately after this phone call with president trump. This was the precise message that ambassador summoned passed directly. To president so Lansky. According to ambassador Taylor. Ambassador some and also said that he had talked to presents a lesbian mr. year mark and had told them that although this was not a quid pro quo. If presidents a Lansky who did not clear things up in public we would be at a stalemate. And I understood a stalemate to mean that Ukraine would not receive the much needed military assistance. Needing the military assistance and hoping for the White House meeting presents a Lansky finally relented to president trumps pressure campaign. In arrangements were soon made for their Ukrainian president to make a statement. During an interview on CNN where he would make a public announcement of the two investigations. That president trump wanted. In order for president's alleged ski to secure the White House meeting and for Ukraine to get that much needed military assistance. And although there is no doubt the president trump had ordered the military aid held up until the Ukrainian it's committed to the investigations. On October 17 acting chief of staff make molding he confirmed. In public that there was such a quid pro quo let's watch what he said. Oh at. That was those were the driving factors the also mentioned to me past that that good that the corruption related to the DNC server. Absolutely no question about that. But that's it that's why we held up the money. Now there was a report that officers parents for an investigation into the Democrats was part of the reason that he it was all to withhold. On the Ukraine beat the look back to what happened in 2016. Certainly was was part living that he was worried about corruption with that nation that that is absolutely prohibit. There you have it by early September the president's scheme. Was unraveling. On September 9 intelligence oversight and foreign affairs committees announced an investigation into president trumpet mr. Jones Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine. And later that same day the intelligence committee learned that a whistle blower had filed a complaint nearly a month earlier related. To some unknown issue. But which the president in the White House knew rose related to Ukraine and had been circulating among them for some time. And then two days later on September 11 in the face of growing public and congressional scrutiny. President trump lifted the hold on security assistance to Ukraine. As with the implementation of the holds no reason was provided. But simply. President trump got caught so we released a but even since this investigation began the president has demonstrated no contrition or acknowledgment that there is demand for a foreign country to interfere in our election is wrong. In fact he has repeatedly called on Ukraine to investigate by vice president bite in his rival. These and other actions by the president and his associates. Demonstrate that his determination to solicit foreign interference in our election continues today. It did not end with Russia's support for trump in 2016. Which president trump invited by asking for his opponent to be hacked by Russia. And it did not end when his Ukrainian scheme was exposed in September of this year. President trump also engaged once this investigation began in an unprecedented. Effort to obstruct the inquiry. And I look forward to answering your questions about that unprecedented obstruction. But in conclusion. I wanna say. That the intelligence committee has produced to Ewing nearly 300 page report. And I am grateful that you offered me the opportunity today to walk you through some of the evidence underlying it admittedly it is a lot to digest. But let me just say this. The president's scheme is actually quite simple. And the facts are not seriously and dispute. It can be boiled down to four key takeaways. First the president trump directed a scheme to pressure Ukraine into opening two investigations. That would benefit his twenty Tony reelection campaign and not the US national interest. Second president trump uses official office in the official tools of US foreign policy. The withholding of an Oval Office meeting at 391 million dollars and security assistance to pressure Ukraine into meeting his demands. Third everyone was in the loop is chief of staff the secretary of state. And vice president. And fourth despite the public discovery of this scheme which prompted the president to release the eight he has not given up. He and his agents continue to solicit Ukrainian interference. In our election. Causing an imminent threat to our elections. And our national security. Members of the committee president trumps. Regular order mr. Sharon and only time has elapsed point importantly its time has expired. This indict mr. chairman I have a motion. In Tuesday's motions I moved me shall be in recess subject to the co chair. I moved to table moved to make the move to table the masses are privileged motion it is not debatable. Both of data the committee recessed secure recorded I don't care who say I I they know I's have it. He mowed the committee's. All we'll called. The core group though the real.
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