'It's obviously wrong': House Intel Committee Dem on Trump’s attack on Yovanovitch

Two House Intelligence Committee members, Rep. Chris Stewart and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, discuss the impeachment hearings on "This Week."
11:58 | 11/17/19

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Transcript for 'It's obviously wrong': House Intel Committee Dem on Trump’s attack on Yovanovitch
We're joined by two members of the impeachment committee. Sean Patrick Maloney and congressman Chris Stewart. Thank you for joining us. Congressman Stewart, I want to begin with you. You have the testimony of David Holmes who was with ambassador sondland as he talked to the president about getting Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens. Also Tim Morrison a white house official who testifies that ambassador sondland was acting at the direction of president trump when he spoke to the Ukrainians about exchanging military aid for political investigations. Testified that sondland spoke to president trump at least five times. The evidence is leading to president trump. It's tied directly now to president trump, isn'tt? I disagree with you, George. I don't think the evidence is building at all. I'm being sincere in this. I think the evidence is I think the Democrats know they're in trouble on this which is why we keep moving the goal post. We went from some supposed quid pro quo and as you said tying the investigations to withholding military aid, but we know that didn't happen. Now Mrs. Pelosi said we're going to impeach and remove the president for bribery. You didn't play this clip where I asked the ambassador if you have any evidence at all the president committed bribery. She said no. Do you have any evidence the president did anything criminal or illegal? The answer is no. Again, I think the longer these hearings go on, I think the less the American people will support impeachment. I think the evidence just doesn't support it. Evidence crumbling? Of course not. The evidence is building. Let's get real clear on what we're talking about. What we're talking about is that the president of the united States used tax-payer funded military assistance to pressure a foreign leader to help him in his re-election campaign. That is solicitation of a bribe. That is an impeachable offense listed in the constitution. Sadly, my friend Chris Stewart is going to get his wish this week when we get testimony from ambassador sondland who at the president's instruction told the Ukrainians either go to a microphone and announce an investigation of the Bidens or there will not be military assistance. That is solicitation of a bribe. I want to pick up on ambassador sondland and bring this to you congressman Stewart. Ambassador sondland's original statement he said -- I want to show it on the screen. I recall no discussions with any state department or white house official about former vice president Biden or his son, nor do I recall taking part in any effort to encourage an investigation into the Bidens. You have multiple witnesses testifying he did indeed know it was about the Bidens and said do you believe ambassador sondland perjured himself in his first testimony? No. I think it's a clear example of how people need to clarify their comments. It happens all the time. I think he felt he needed to be more clear. I got to go back to what Sean said and that the evidence is building. Why do we keep changing the goal post? We've gone from quid pro quo to bribery. Those of us who work in national security as I do sitting on the Intel committee, former air force pilot, we heard as early as April and may that they may withhold this foreign aid. Why? Because we had a new president in Ukraine. We knew nothing about him. He came out of nowhere. We didn't know if he was a good guy or bad guy. We didn't know if he would support U.S. Interests. It was perfectly appropriate to say we should investigate him. When they talk about -- Can I interrupt there? When they talk about the investigation, they're not talking about investigating Mr. Biden only. They're talking about investigating corruption broadly which is a perfectly appropriate thing to do. That is true. But the evidence shows in the April phone call the president didn't bring up corruption. In the July call he brought up the Bidens and the crowd strike conspiracy from 2016. You talk about this being talked about in April or may. In may the defense department certified Ukraine did meet the conditions for fighting corruption so the aid could be released. That was true, wasn't it? That was on a process based on the previous year. We had something new. We had a new president. An entirely new administration in power. Except the president came in April and this was late may. Congressman Maloney, you and the Democrats have been talking more about bribery in the last couple days. I think it was the "Washington post" that reported you did this after having focus groups determine that bribery broke through in a better way. Why necessary to have focus groups if you're supposed to be following the facts? George, I haven't done any focus groups. I'm telling you quid pro quo is Latin for bribery. We're talking about abuse of power. We're talking about a number of crimes. You can talk about a felony for soliciting a thing of value. You can talk about extortion. You can talk about bribery. The founders listed that as impeachable in the constitution. My friend Chris has a version of the so what defense. It happens all the time. So what is where democracy goes the president's chief of staff told us why they withheld the military aid. Mick Mulvaney said it was a quid pro quo. One of three reasons he mentioned. He said get over it. We do it all the time. Ambassador sondland did it at the instruction of the president. Bill Taylor confirmed it. Tim Morrison who witnessed the sondland conversation with the Ukrainians. If my friend Chris Stewart needs more direct evidence, Chris, will you join me on asking the state department to produce the mountain of records, notes, calendars, call records? They could produce them tomorrow. Our committee has subpoenaed them. Will you join me? You bet. I don't think there's anything at that will implicate the president. If you'll call with me to hearing from the whistle-blower. We'll protect him. How can you impeach the president of the United States and never hear from the person who started that process? Respectfully, Chris -- We know he was deeply involved in this. How can you say we don't need to hear from him? Excuse me, Chris. How can you -- Excuse me Chris, let me respond to that. Thank you for joining with me. I hope you'll tweet that out so the white house gets the message that there's a bipartisan call to stop resisting our subpoena. Sir, we have heard from the whistle-blower. You might have read the complaint. That's the whistle-blower speaking and the law that the congress passed protects the anonymity of whistle-blowers because we want them to -- Hang on. Excuse me. The president threatened the whistle-blower. Said he's a spy and traitor and should be subject to the death penalty. That's why we're protecting the whistle-blower's identity. We have a mountain of other witnesses and evidence confirming what the whistle-blower said. Hang on, Sean. You said we've heard from the whistle-blower. Maybe some of you guys have. The rest of us haven't. You've got a written complaint. Since when in any court proceeding do you have the witnesses -- here's a statement and say we're never going to hear from them again? Let me break in. I hear a little news being made. Congressman Stewart, you said the state department should release the documents. We know the people closest to this issue, ambassador Bolton, omb director and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and his deputies the white house is blocking them from testifying. Should they testify from their firsthand knowledge? I don't think there's any information that will implicate the president. I don't care if they release it. This is a constant conflict between the executive and congress. This has been going on for 200 years. They'll make their decision as to what's appropriate. I got to come back to one thing. A lot of this focuses on the Bidens. This is something that the Democrats hate to talk about. Imagine this. This is such a fair point. There are dozens of corrupt nations around the world. There are hundreds of corrupt government officials. There's one time where the vice president went to one of these countries out of the hundreds of them and demanded a specific prosecutor be fired, gave a six-hour time limit for that to happen and it was the one time that individual was involved with corruption who was paying his son. Sean, if you want us to release documents, not only should we hear from the whistle-blower we should hear from Mr. Biden. We should try to understand what happened there and how tied was that to concerns we have regarding corruption. Your response? This is a continuation of a smear against vice president Biden and his family. Chris, if you want to have a conversation -- Why is it a smear -- Chris, I didn't interrupt you. Debate the facts. Chris, excuse me. I didn't want to interrupt you. If you want to have a conversation about how the sons of powerful people or children of powerful people benefit from their parent's office holding, I'm happy to have that conversation. I say we invite Donald Trump Jr., Eric, ivanka and Jared to join in. That would be great. Let's bring them in if you agree that we should bring in Mr. Biden. Would you agree? We're not going to participate in the ongoing effort to smear Americans who were the target of this pat shall abuse of power Chris. I know that you guys want to change the subject. The point is hunter Biden has no information about what the president did. The direct witnesses and the evidence you're calling for and the information that the state department that you've joined me in calling to be released, that's the key evidence for what the president did. That's our proper focus as the oversight committee and the impeachment inquiry. I think it's interesting you call it a smear to state the facts. The facts are damning. All I'm asking -- all I'm saying is these are the facts. Quickly before we go one last point. The tweet from president trump during the hearing with ambassador yovanovitch do you consider that grounds for an article of impeachment? It's obviously wrong. Let's be plain. The president is intimidating a witness in real time. How have we come to the point where decent people like Chris Stewart have to defend that kind of conduct? This is a person who was kneecapped for doing the right thing. I've never seen a standing ovation in a hearing room. In the hearing room the Republicans are praising her and the president is attacking her viciously which is a continuation of what he started. It's wrong. Congressman Stewart, you get the last point. You made the point presidents have the right to fire ambassadors. Why did president trump fire ambassador yovanovitch and was it right to smear her reputation in the way he did? The president communicates in ways sometimes I wouldn't. I was asked about intimidation. I think that's nonsense. She's an extraordinarily powerful individual. I doubt she's intimidated by a single tweet. If your basis for impeachment is going to include a tweet, that shows you how weak your evidence is. Thank you both for your time. Round table is coming up.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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