Transcript for Schiff reads articles of impeachment to Senate
This is an ABC news special report the senate impeachment trial now reporting. George Stephanopoulos. And we are coming on the air right now for the senate impeachment trial of president Donald Tron Tron that is the scene US capitol right now where you see the house managers there. The chairman of the house we have intelligence. Adam shift Kevin Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler and five other house members who will service impeachment managers. In the house there the prosecutors for the house case mutation present trump and they're making that walk. Across the capitol there with the house sergeant of arms. Paul are things in order to present these articles of impeachment. To the senate which is essentially the first step. In the senate trial for presidential. There was a symbolic ceremony last night with a resolution of the senate that was fought by the senate inviting. House to present these articles and now these managers are gonna make the case for making that walk fast captaincy congressman Zoloft and there. As well one of the senior Democrats on the team she actually served as working three impeachment proceedings as a staffer under the Nixon impeachment. As a member of congress for president Clinton's and now as a manager and future president truck is seeing there they're making their way across the capitol the house side the senate side. Through the capitol rotunda and then into the Kenneth senate chamber where they will be met by the senate sergeant of arms announced. For the president pro tem of the senate and then go to read those articles of impeachment and the resolution. Which appointed the managers as the house one of the things you'll see. As they enter the senate is the senate has been slightly now re convicted reconfigure. For a senate trial. Within essentially dais up there in the front you see it right there in a podium. In the middle where their managers will make their case with the president's lawyers we'll make their arguments. As well today we expect to major ceremonies the reading of the impeachment articles now around noon news it and then followed. By a message sent from the senate for Chief Justice the United States John Roberts is gonna preside over this trial and then he will make its way to the senate at 2 PM. Senator Charles Grassley the president pro tem let's listen in on the so. George Brett and whatever measures shutters under the previous order. Twelve and in. The shadow oversee the managers. Of the house representative to exhibit the articles of impeachment against Donald on trial president. Of the united. It's McConnell senate Republican leader. John hour of twelve noon having arrived and a quorum being present. The sergeant her arms will present the managers on the part of the house are represented. It's. Mr. President and members of this. I announced the presence of the managers on the part of the House of Representatives. To conduct proceedings on behalf of the house concerning impeachment of Donald John trump. President of the United States. This on the part of the house will be received. And escorted to the well of the senate. All senators in attendance today. The bulk of this trial they will remain silent. Has the house managers in the presence lawyers who will be doing the arguing. The sergeant or arms will make the proclamation. Very very near me. All persons are commanded to keep silent on pain of imprisonment. While the House of Representatives. Is exhibiting to the senate of the United States. Articles of impeachment against Donald John trump. President of the United States and proclamation we read every manager shop part of the house. We'll now proceed. Chairmanship the lead manager for the house. Mr. President the managers on the part of the House of Representatives are present and ready to present the articles of impeachment. Which have been preferred by the House of Representatives against Donald John trump. President of the United States. The house adopted the following resolution which with the permission of the senate I will read. House resolution 798. Appointing an authorizing managers for the impeachment trial of Donald John trump. President of the United States. Resolve that mr. Schiff mr. Nadler ms. Lofgren. Mr. Jeffries ms. Jennings mr. Crowe and ms. Garcia. Of Texas are appointed managers. To conduct the impeachment trial. Against Donald John trump president of the United States. That a message be sent to the senate to inform the senate of these appointments. And that the managers sold pointed made in connection with the preparation and conduct of the trial exhibit articles of impeachment to the senate. And take all other actions necessary. Which may include the following. Employing illegal clerical and other necessary assistance. And incurring such other expenses as may be necessary. To be paid from outs available to the committee on the judiciary under applicable expense resolutions. Or from the applicable accounting of the House of Representatives. Number two sending for persons and papers and filing with the secretary of the senate on the part of the House of Representatives. Any pleadings in conjunction with her subsequent to the exhibition of the articles of impeachment. That the managers may consider necessary. With the permission of the senate I'll now read the articles of impeachment house resolution 755. House resolution is 755. Impeaching Donald John trump president of the United States for high crimes and misdemeanors. Resolved. The president. That Donald. And at the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States senate. Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America. In the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America. Against Donald John trump president of the United States of America. In maintenance and support of its impeachment. Against him for high crimes and misdemeanors. Article one. Abuse of power. The constitution provides. That the House of Representatives. Shall have the sole power of impeachment. And that the president shall be removed from office on impeachment for. And conviction of treason. Bribery. Or other high crimes and misdemeanors. In his conduct of the office of the president of the United States. And in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute. The office of president of the United States. And to the best of his ability preserve. Protect and defend the constitution. Of the United States. And in violation of his constitutional duty to take care. That the laws be faithfully executed. Donald. Using the powers of his high office. President trumps solicited the interference of a foreign government Ukraine. In the 20/20 United States presidential election. He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the government of Ukraine. To publicly announce investigations. That would benefit his reelection. Harm the election prospects. Of a political opponent. And influence. The twenty to any United States presidential election. To his advantage. President trump also sought to pressure the government of Ukraine to take these steps. By conditioning official United States government acts of significant value to Ukraine. On its public announcement. Of the investigations. President trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct. For corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit. In so doing president trump use the powers of the presidency. In a manner that compromised the national security of the United States. And undermined the integrity. Of the United States democratic process. He thus ignored and injured the interests of the nation. President trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct through the following means. Number one president trump acting both directly and through his agents. Within and outside the United States government. Corruptly solicited the government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into hate. A political opponent. Former vice president Joseph. Promoted by Russia. Alleging that Ukraine rather than Russia interfered in the 2016. United States presidential election. Number two with the same corrupt motives president trump acting both directly and through his agents within and outside the United States government. Condition two official acts. On the public announcement that he had requested. Page. The release of 390000091. Million dollars of the United States taxpayer funds. That congress had appropriated on a bipartisan basis. For the purpose of providing vital military and security assistance. To Ukraine to oppose Russian aggression. And which present trump had ordered suspended. And be. A head of state meeting at the White House. Which the president Ukraine's sought to demonstrate continued United States support for the government to Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. Number three. Faced with the public revelation of his actions present trump all to -- release the military and security assistance to the government of Ukraine. But has persisted in openly and corruptly urging and soliciting Ukraine to undertake investigations for his personal. Political benefit. These actions were consistent with president Trump's previous invitations a foreign interference. In the United States elections. In all of this. President trump abused the powers of the presidency. By ignoring and injuring national security and other vital national interests. To obtain an impasse. He has also betrayed the nation by abusing his high office. To enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections. Wherefore president trump. By such conduct. Has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security in the constitution. If allowed to remain in office. And is active in a manner or grossly incompatible. With self governance and the rule of law. President trump thus warrants impeachment and trial. Removal from office. And disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor trust or profit. Under the United States. Article two. Obstruction of congress. The constitution provides that the House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. And that the president shall be removed from office on impeachment for. And conviction of treason bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. In his conduct of the office of president of the United States. And in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to X acute in the office of president of the United States. And to the best of his ability preserve protect and defend the constitution of the United States. And in violation of his constitutional duty. To take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Donald. Defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives. Pursuant to its sole power of impeachment. President trump has abused the power of the presidency. In a manner offensive to and subversive of the constitution. In that. The House of Representatives has engaged in an impeachment inquiry focused on president trumps corrupt solicitation of the government of Ukraine. To interfere in the twenty to when he. United States presidential election. As part of this impeachment inquiry the committee is undertaking the investigation. Serves subpoenas seeking documents and testimony. Deemed a vital to the inquiry from various executive branch agencies and offices. And current and form or officials. In response. Without lawful cause or excuse. Present from directed executive branch agencies. Offices and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. President trauma thus interpose the powers of the presidency. Against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives. And as soon to himself. Functions and judgments necessary to exercise the sole power of impeachment. Vested by the constitution. In the House of Representatives. Present trump abused the powers of his high office to the following means. Number one. Directing the White House to defy a lawful subpoena by withholding the production of documents sought therein by the committees. Number two. Directing other executive branch agencies and offices to defy lawful subpoenas and withhold production of documents. And records from the competed in from the committee's. In response to which the Department of State. The Office of Management and Budget. Department of energy. And Department of Defense. Refused to produce a single document or record. Directing current and former number three directing current and former executive branch officials. Not to cooperate with the committee's. In response to which nine administration officials. Defied subpoenas for testimony. Namely John-Michael Mick motivating. Robert B Blair. John A Eisenberg. Michael Ellis. Preston wells Griffith. Russell T pop. Michael Duffy Brian McCormick. And T all Rick rectal. These actions were consistent with present Trump's previous efforts to undermine the United States government investigations into foreign interference. In United States elections. Through these actions. President trump sought to air gave to himself. The right to determine the propriety. Scope and nature of the impeachment inquiry into his own conduct. As well as the unilateral prerogative to deny any and all information. To the House of Representatives in the exercise of its sole power of impeachment. In the history. Of the republic. No president has ever ordered the complete defiance. Of an impeachment inquiry. Or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively. The ability of the House of Representatives to investigate high crimes and misdemeanors. This abuse of office serve to cover up the president's own repeated misconduct. And to seize and control the power of impeachment. And thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard. Vested solely in the House of Representatives. In all of this. President trump acted in a manner contrary. To his trust as president. And subversive. Of constitutional government. To the great prejudice. Of the cause of law and justice. And to the manifest injury. Of the people of the United States. Wherefore president trump. By such conduct has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to the constitution. If allowed to remain in office. And has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self governance and the rule of law. President trump thus warrants impeachment and trial. Removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy India office of honor trust or profit under the United States. Mr. President that completes the exhibition of the articles of impeachment. Against Donald John trump president of the United States. The manager's request that the senate take order for the trial. The managers now request leave. To withdraw. Thank you mr. sheriff the senate world duly notified house represented. When it is ready to proceed to trial. There you have it the charges have been read by the lead house manager Adam Schiff. For the house represented as an impeachment of president Donald John trump solemn ceremony there. On Capitol Hill the next step will be the president's lawyers will be informed the House of Representatives. Will be informed that they've been that the charges have been officially received in the Chief Justice of the United States will be summoned to the capital. Tune in order to take the oath of office to preside over this primary Bruce. Up there on Capitol Hill and Mary so striking what a difference senate from the wanna meet you cover every single day. No staffers on the floor no senators milling around those side conversations. Let's go election mr. senator not. Along section three clause six. Of the United States constitution. Also under the previous order. The presiding officer has been authorized to appoint a committee of four senators. To upon the recommendation of the majority later. And two upon the recommendation of the democratic leader whose court chief justice and as the senate chamber. That the presiding officer do so now. The chair. For so long to order. January 15 tore meet warming. On behalf of the majority leader. And the democratic leader appoints mr. bond of Missouri. Mr. Leahy of Vermont. Mr. Graham of South Carolina and mrs. Feinstein of California to escort the Chief Justice of the United States. Into the senate chamber. So over the further information senators there will be allowed or call prior to do probably Chief Justice to be undated. Should not have been found that Shannon Shannon recess subject of the call for the truth. Without objection. The senate stands in recess subject of the call did care. Instead we will be back at 2 PM when the Chief Justice will arrive in this energy T fields. To preside over the struggle that administered the oath to the centers and areas I was saying before senator McConnell got up did this is such a different senate from the one you cover. Every single day and will be throughout the course of this trial and. What you can feel that in the hallways here today Jessica the seriousness and wait. Of this vacation. And I cannot stress have how unusual it is even just to see the senate chamber packed. In that way all 100 senators in their seats sitting silently not a lot of staffers are mulling around. What chairmanship just experienced speaking before a full senate is something most senators haven't even experienced but it is something that that that chairmanship has been preparing for now. For several months and now every single day throughout this trial. The full senate is expected to sit there as they just work silently no cell phones no tablets no staffers helping them out throughout this they are expected to sit there. And simply listen and weigh in this. Historic decision now before that it is going to be a challenge. For many senators we are still waiting to hear that wolves for how the senate trial will be governed that is something we're not here. Until next Tuesday and the managers now have this huge task before that they are going to have to strategize. Going forward while championship. Chairman Nadler many of the other managers have been preparing for this several of these managers who just found out that I have these roles. In the last day they are now going to have to coordinate. And figure out how they're going to present their case going forward towards. And thank you very Terry Moran has the symbolism is Sen boat. This is civilization the ultimate constitutional struggle the fact that which are gonna happen this trial begins. Members of the house members of the senate chief just United States and the president attorneys. All in the same room undergoing that struggle. And that George is the designer of the framers of the constitution that's in the constitution to put the Chief Justice. In that chair partly because they said well if there was an appeal to the Supreme Court. We couldn't have the trial on the court we'll having the senate would have the Chief Justice there to do exactly what you just said communicate to the senators in the country. All three branches of government are present this is its big. As the American government gets the gravity of this situation. And the Chief Justice like this out of there's it really there's not lot of precedent not a lot of explicit rules to go by. Each person in that chamber the 100 senators and the Chief Justice of the United States will be guided mostly. By their conscience when it comes to what's the burden of proof. What how how much proof do you need to remove a president from office what's relevant. To the trial here all those questions what we're going to see coming fast and thick. Those are all really to be decided. Individually one at a time in the consciences so. Thank you Terry and Jon Karl the president will not be inside that chamber who we represented by his personal attorneys. He will. But it's actually in watching that George and I. Was there in the chamber for the last impeachment trial song 21 years ago the president. Has over and over again describe this process is a sham as a joke as a hoax asked for immediate dismissal. But when you saw there it is although many of the Republican senators don't agree with him on those points about the house's impeachment. You see it being taken with all the weighed EDS and seriousness. Of of of a constitutional process the constitutional process it is. They are all there he beat the senate pro tem in the chair Chuck Grassley the most senior member of the senate presiding. And all of those Republicans along with the Democrats there silently listening and going through this process this is a serious. Process regardless of what the president. Says. About him and it's one that empowers the people in that chamber. The senators in that chamber to do the ultimate act it's remove a president of the United States. Thank you John in here and her legal team as well and Dan Abrams to pick up. On that point right there this is really good that the wave those words were read today such a striking difference from the debate we've had in the proceeding. Months ended part that's a difference in the congress in the senate. Write to congress is supposed to be the people's house to house hasn't yet sorry to cut the house and senate. And he'd house is supposed to be that the people's house and it's supposed to be a bit more rockets and the said he disposed to be more orderly and austere. But looking at it from the president's perspective. He liked to. When the Republican. Leaders in congress were interrupting. And constantly mocking. The entire process and trying to treaties it would jetted. You're not concede is much of that here you may see ultimately as most people expect that there is not a conviction. And a removal from office. But the entire process I think he's going to be a more dignified one a more serious one. In the senate and I don't think that's helpful for the president I don't think he's gonna like. Yeah and they're following initials K rituals case show that have only been gone through twice before. In our history Andrew Johnson and Wayne and handling Jefferson Clinton but the question is. How much play is there in the joints for the Chief Justice for the senators as they are considering these charges. Desperate so we only have these two historical precedent I do think that the tone this morning was important right. Under the constitution gives the senate the power to trial impeachment and it actually says the constitution says that when they do that they will be on oath or affirmation so. All senators take an oath when they you know start their terms but this is a different and it's supposed to kind of convert them. To a different kind of body it's not doing lawmaking is not doing rancorous politics. Exercising the solemn obligation to decide in particular when it's a president being tried whether conviction and removal was warranted so. The -- administration this afternoon by the Chief Justice is a huge moment but you saw the transformation I think served start to play out just in the images that we just saw today. I sure we're gonna come back at 2 PM for the control of that oath first achieved just take the oath. From the senate pro tem Charles Grassley and then he'll administer that same look that we just saw right there. To do impartial justice to all 100 members of the senate it will go and sign a sign a book after taking the oath. And then he will be. Six in trial of president trump the trial likely to get under way in earnest next Tuesday we will be back at 2 PM as a Chief Justice makes his way. From the Supreme Court over to the senate and we will cover the ticking of the oath and of course will be hurt every day. For the trial the senate impeachment trial of president Donald John trump stay with us.
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