Chuck Schumer Speech Transcript: Schumer Speaks Before Trump Impeachment Trial - transcription powered by Happy Scribe

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And before I begin on the impeachment issue. I want to say this, the president said in an interview yesterday at Davos that he will take a look at cutting Social Security and other entitlements after the 2020 election and that it is actually.

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He said the easiest of all things, the president promised that unlike other Republicans, he wouldn't touch Social Security and Medicare. He's already broken that promise and gone after Medicare. Now it looks like Social Security is in the president's crosshairs as well. Even as this trial, even if even as this important trial continues, Americans should hear that the president is casually talking about cutting their Social Security at a Swiss ski resort with the Global Fant financial elite. Well, now we get the impeachment stuff.

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OK. To the matter at hand. Today was a discussion, too, sorry. Tuesday was a discussion over amendment folks, but yesterday the managers got to lay out their case uninterrupted as manager after manager stepped up to lay out the evidence amassed against the president in precise and devastating detail. The atmosphere of the Senate took on an entirely different dimension. It may have been the first time that many of my Republican colleagues heard the full story, the complete narrative from start to finish uninterrupted and not filtered through the kaleidoscope lens of Fox News, where it best things are left out and at worst, things are terribly distorted.

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It may have planted the first seed in their minds that, yes, perhaps the president did something very wrong here, Mr. Schiff and the other managers didn't. Exceptional job laying out the facts of the president's alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, particularly walking through the canal chronology, anticipating and rebutting the most predictable counterarguments from the president's counsel. Along the way and knocking those arguments down before they got there, I was particularly impressed how Mr. Schiff undid the ability to manage the say.

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Well, the president said there's no collusion. And they kept pointing out in a very clear way, in the same sentence, in the same phone call, in the same letter or in the same conversation. He then went back to holding back the aid. It has been only one day. But house managers are setting the bar very high for the president's council to meet at this point, I'm not sure how the president's council as unprepared. Confused and tending towards conspiracy theories as they have been can clear it.

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And I'd say one other thing, particularly in the last two hours when Mr. Schiff summed everything up, I was there and I like to watch my Republican colleagues and many of them really don't want to be there. And so for some of it, they're looking the other way. They may be chatting with somebody sitting this way. Schiff had such power in his speech. That he almost forced them to look at him and listen and just about every Republican's eyes were glued on Mr.

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Schiff. So it was a powerful rendition. Now, what are the Republicans saying after yesterday? Well, the same Republicans are saying that they heard nothing new. But these Republicans voted nine times on Tuesday against amendments to ensure new witnesses and new documents to come before the Senate.

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Let me repeat the same Republicans saying they heard nothing new. Just voted nine times on Tuesday to hear nothing new. If they want new stuff, there's plenty of it. As the managers made clear, a lot of the documents are sitting there, all compiled, all ready to go. Would simply a vote of for Republicans to subpoena them. So this argument that they heard nothing new when they vote against new evidence repeatedly rings very, very hollow. If my Republican colleagues are interested in some new evidence on top of the very substantial House record, there's a very simple answer.

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Vote with Democrats. To call relevant witnesses and documents. The presentations themselves argued both in implicitly and explicitly for the importance of witnesses and documents at key points yesterday. It was so clear that we ought to hear from Mulvany and Blair and Duffy and Bolton, who at the centre of these events. It was so clear that we must review relevant documents. If someone doubts a witness reporting a phone call, the way to verify it. To see if it's true.

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Let's look at the underlying document. They don't want that the managers kept referring back to important documents that we know exist and that we know concerning the charges but are being hidden. From the Senate and the public by the president. One example. Taylor Ambassador Taylor's memo to Secretary Pompeo after he spoke to Bolton in which he gave a contemporaneous account of his concerns about the president's corrupt scheme in Ukraine. Why wouldn't my fellow Republicans want to see it? Why wouldn't they want the American people to see it?

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I don't see how any senator, Democrat or Republican, could sit on the floor. Listen to Adam Schiff and the House impeachment managers and not demand witnesses and documents unless that is, they are not interested in the truth, that they're afraid of the truth that they know the president is hiding the truth. I think the case for witnesses and documents is so self-evident that many of my Republican colleagues are desperate to talk about anything else. They're so eager to change conversation from witnesses and documents from over the question of fairness of the trial, that they're inventing shiny objects and so-called outrageous.

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We don't know what the next one will be, but it will surely be something irrelevant. To a fair trial because they don't want to debate that issue. So they try to turn you, the press and the American people away to look at something else that has nothing to do with the trial. Make no mistake about it. The issue of relevant evidence, documents and witnesses is going to come back up. And Senate Republicans will have the power to bring that evidence into the trial.

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We saw how Leader McConnell was forced to modify his resolution on Tuesday after certain Republicans raised objections. Republican senators for them it's in their hands, can make this trial more fair if they want to. The question is, will they use that power when it really matters? Senator Carona. Thank you very much. I'm glad our leader started by saying that. The president has said that he is going to cut Social Security and this you mine that reminded me of in the midnight hour on Tuesday when civil only got up and said that the president is a man of his word.

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I wrote on my notebook. What a whopper. It's not the only time. The House managers definitely not the house manager gave a powerful presentation, the factual basis for why the House voted to impeach this president. And it's good to be reminded of the human dimension of what the president did, because we all know that the president doesn't give to give a rip about the human dimension and the consequences of what he does because he only cares about himself. But when Jason Carroll said during his presentation that as as a veteran, having fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, what it felt like to search for scrap metal to to fortify their vehicles because they didn't have those kinds of protections, or to watch Ambassador Taylor on video saying that when he went to eastern Ukraine and talked to the commander who was fighting the Russians there and the commander thanking him for the American aid, and Ambassador Taylor knowing full well that that aid had been held up.

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Who of us would not feel like, you know, what he felt? He said he felt badly. I'm sure he felt worse than badly because our country did not keep our word. So the human dimension of what the president did is something we should not forget. And yes, we've all heard that our colleagues are saying, well, why don't we have new evidence which, by the way, we spent twelve hours or 13 hours on Tuesday, they spent shutting down.

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So that's total hypocrisy on their part. Or that they're getting restless. Most of us get restless when we are presented with information we don't want to hear. Right. And they don't want to hear what the president did. And if they were to ask themselves, there's just a simple question of is it okay for the president to have shaken down the president of another country, a very vulnerable country, who needed our support and almost 400 million in taxpayer money so his troops can fight against Russian aggression?

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And he and the president use our taxpayer money to to bribe that president. Just ask themselves that question. They want to face that. And so they're squirming. Why? Because the truth hurts. Thank you, Senator Casey. Thanks very much. I want to thank my colleagues, I was listening yesterday. Um. With a degree of attentiveness that maybe some of us don't always exhibit in our daily work because of the gravity of the story, the consequences for the country, but also the manner in which the House managers presented the case.

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This record, which came over from the House, is substantial. It's compelling. And I think it lays out the fundamental case for both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But when you when you add into that what has transpired since they have since they voted, all the new information you've seen. And then when you hear the presentation by the House managers yesterday, which which should be supplemented by the testimony of witnesses as well as documentary evidence, you can see the power of this case and how disturbing it is.

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I'm still stunned that Republicans don't want to hear from relevant witnesses, the ones we've asked for, the ones that Leader Schumer put in his December 15th letter. Mr. Mulvaney, Mr. Bolton, Mr. Duffy, Mr. Blair. Are all relevant. And we're only asking for those for in the documents that pertain to their testimony. I think most that's why you see these high numbers of Americans that want to have hear from witnesses and documents beyond what's already in the substantial record.

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The House develop. But I want to echo with Echo both what Senator Schumer said and Senator Hirono. Ambassador Bill Taylor. That moment, which which was proof positive, how how important a document can be. The cable from Mr. Taylor to Secretary of State Pompeo, which, by the way, this know written by a decorated Vietnam War vet who understands the horror of combat, understands what military aid can mean on the battlefield. Putting those words in a classified cable in real time contemporaneously.

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And then we're told by the evidence that Secretary State Powell took the brought the cable with him to a meeting in the White House, in the Oval Office with the president, in a meeting which we're told and we like to know more about. That meeting was meant to persuade the president to finally, finally released his aide. So those Ukrainians on the battlefield could have that the benefit of that aid. So when he said, wouldn't you like to read that cable?

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I think Republican heads were shaking, at least mentally. I'm sure they wouldn't want to be caught. The president might see them on camera shaking their head up and down. Yes. But they know how important that cable is. They know how relevant it is to the underlying charges. They know that. And they also know that to make the case as as the lawyers doing their brief or try to make the case that the president did nothing wrong. No one believes that that just doesn't pass any test that most Americans would apply to credibility.

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So that the last thing I'll say is just to highlight again what the leader Schumer said. And Senator Rono said as well. Here's what Bill Taylor said on page one. Twenty nine of the House Intel report talking about that cable. It says, and I quote, Ambassador Taylor worried about the public message that such a hold on vital military assistance would send in the midst of Ukraine's hot war with Russia.

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Quote. This is he's quoting Taylor. The Russians, as I said at my deposition, would love to see the humiliation of President Zelinsky at the hands of the Americans. I told the secretary, meaning Secretary Powell, that I could not and would not defend such a policy, unquote.

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This is from a Vietnam, a decorated Vietnam veteran who always would follow his duty, who understands what that duty is to to the country. Who's saying I cannot follow that policy? It is so egregious, so offensive, so damaging that I can't follow that that order or that policy. I don't know what more we can say to our colleagues to say, why don't we have the benefit of that cable? Why don't we have the benefit of the testimony of Mr.

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Bolton, who can also testify about that vignette in time were, Bolton says to Taylor, send a classified cable to to the secretary of state, which he, by the way, had never done before in his long career, distinguished career as a diplomat. So I'll end with asking Adam shifts question. Wouldn't you want to read that cable? Among many other things we should read. Senator Udall. Thank you, Senator Schumer, for asking us to accompany you and I and I also feel that the Ambassador Taylor was very powerful.

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I think that one moment where he was standing with the Ukrainian commander at the line with battling the Russians in his story, he told there was just so, so powerful. So I would agree with with both Senator Schumer, Senator Ron, on Senator Casey, the House managers, Adam Schiff and his team have done an incredible job in terms of presenting a powerful case, a compelling case. As a former attorney general and a former federal prosecutor, I've seen many cases presented.

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They are really at the top of their game and doing an excellent, excellent job. And what is the contrast here? President Trump, as Leader Schumer has said, is over in novels over in Davos.

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Number one, what he's doing in Davos, which I find outrageous, is he's playing with the jury, jury intimidation. He said there in Davos at the camera. He says, don't call Bolton as a witness. He said it could hurt our national security.

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I think that's a very, very dangerous road to go down to say that Congress cannot handle the national security issues, obviously. Bolton has a lot to say in public, just about what went on in the meetings. But we can handle the national security part in our secure facilities, and I think we're willing to do that. The other thing that I found was really upsetting in terms of President Trump's behavior over in Davos was he's a he.

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And this is his quote, Honestly, we have all the material and we don't he's he says, honestly, we have all the material and they don't have the material. Here he is gloating, gloating over the fact that he has the documents. He's not turned them over to Congress.

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He's violated that. That special relationship, Article 1, Article 2, where Congress is supposed to be able to subpoena documents and to do oversight. And here he is gloating in it while he's sitting over in Davos. So it it is it is beyond belief. Beyond belief that the president, the United States, would even go to Davos in the middle of an impeachment trial and then make statements like that to intimidate the jury and to gloat over the fact that he has not turned documents over.

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And then let me just say finally that that Senate Democrats take their oath very, very seriously. As a former federal prosecutor and attorney general, I know how trials use evidence. I've seen it over and over again. And the the case here to be made is that we've got to have. We've got to have the evidence. We've got to have the documents. We've got to have the witnesses. And so it's pretty astounding that Republicans would be going around the Hill saying, well, we haven't seen anything new when all they're trying to do is shut down this trial and make sure that nothing new comes in.

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And I think when it comes to history, a lot of this is going to break over time. And if they don't want to see this information now, a lot of it's going to come out. And I think they're going to regret it.

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They're doing some tough questions. How close are you to persuading at least four Republicans to join you in calling? This witness is not one. President Trump has tweeted over 100 times saying that Democrats are doing this because they can't accept the truth. OK. So are you concerned about any political risk for the Democratic Party in November?

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We're looking for the truth. The impeachment. The ability to impeach and then try that impeachment is one of the most fundamental, solemn and sacred rights given to the Congress to deal with a president who might abused his power, who might overreach, who might break the law. And that's we feel that's our obligation. So we have asked for witnesses. We didn't ask for Democratic witnesses who might be, you know, talking on our side. These are the president's appointees.

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The documents are all written by the president's appointees. We want the truth. Now, maybe that evidence will be exculpatory. Helpful to Trump. Maybe it'll be further, further incriminating, but we want the truth and the political chips will feel fair where they may. I will tell you this. The American people or is another new poll today by Reuters. I think it was that showed that the overwhelming number of people, the overwhelming majority of Americans want the witnesses and documents, want the truth, want the new evidence.

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It was asked that way. And one of them and. In most of the polls, a majority of the Republicans. Every poll, more Republicans than not want witnesses and documents. And it's rare for the Republican rank and file to break with Trump. But I think the American people, and particularly after yesterday, saw the gravity of this situation and they need to make it fair. And he will say this to president and any of my Republican friends.

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If the American people believe this is not a fair trial, which right now they seem to believe because there are no witnesses and documents, acquittal will have zero value to the president or to the Republicans.

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No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. There are lots of conversations going on. I'm not going to comment on anything explicit.

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Yes. Now, there's no Republicans. No Republicans are talking to us about deals. We want these four witnesses, these four sets of documents. They go to the truth. But not a single Republican has approached me and said, what about this? What about that? It's not happening. It was there was one report that I thought was false and now everyone's jumping on it. Yes.

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My problem with it and I have not exactly written document.

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The bottom line is the president is clearly covering up. His people are covering up. And the question is, will our Republican colleagues rise to their constitutional mandate to create a fair trial? And I don't think it will sit very well with history or with the American people if they don't.

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This is supposed to be Chief Justice John Roberts, one of the world's greatest deliberative body. What do the American people make of the fact that so many senators appear to have already made up their mind? Long file, as you know?

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Well, you know, again, I give faith to the wisdom of the founders. When I read in high school, I mentioned this once before. When I read in high school, one of the greatest things we've got to worry about is foreign interference in our elections. I said in both my eyes and said, What? That doesn't happen. But of course, once again, the founders were a lot smarter than all of us. And they realized what a danger it would be.

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And now it's reared its ugly head. It happened in 2016. And there are countries aiming to do it in 2020. We know that. Well, it's the same here. People say they've made up their minds some, not that many. I don't think a majority of senators on either side have said they've made up their minds. There are some.

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But the weight of history, the weight of that trial, the requirement that people are forced to sit at their desks and listen and not be punching things out on their iPhones. Is very, very powerful. And as I said towards the end last night, Mazie Hirono was right. People squirm. People look the other way. They don't sit still when they don't want to hear it. But the evidence was so compelling and shifts arguments were so powerful. That just to I looked around several times, every Republican was looking right at him and listening.

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So our hope is this will have an effect. It will also have an effect on the American people. And everyone here who is elected has some duty to listen to their constituents. Their constituents are saying witnesses and documents. Yes.

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A politician carrying messages, messages. You seem pretty confident right now. The argument you have on. You believe that your position is sustainable? Look, I think it's not sustainable substantively for sure. And the American people seem to agree with us and we are. Look, I don't know what'll happen. Am I certain that we'll get those four Republicans? Absolutely not. I certainly won't absolutely get those four Republicans. Certainly not. You've got it. When you when you have truth on your side.

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When you have facts on your side. You often win because that's the way my belief God made the world. And that's the way our republic is structured. So you just keep at it and keep at it and keep at it. And I can't tell you the outcome, but I feel my whole caucus from one end to the other feels very confident of these arguments. We're the ones out there. You don't find many Republicans going and talking to the press.

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Someone told me if you looked at who's going on the shows, it's overwhelmingly Democratic. Now, that's because of the faith in argument that we have. And that's because a lot of them look. I heard, too, I heard the press asking two Republicans, yes, I just happened to overhear it. Do you think the president did anything wrong? They couldn't even answer that question. So I have I have it, please, Poppy. I have up I have hope is a better way to put it.

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Hope that we might get the witnesses and documents by the end of the day. And we're going to keep fighting and fighting and fighting. Bobby. Two points. One is and it's relevant to a couple of questions. The reason why having a witness. Give testimony in this proceeding, in this trial is not just because of the consequences of the determination of Senate estimates, but because they're not just walking in and talking about what they saw. They're coming in.

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They're having to swear under oath, taking the oath in a deposition or other testimony and having to to be subjected to both examination and cross-examination can reveal a lot about a person we saw as well, how how serious and quiet and somber the chamber got when people were signing the oath book after taking the oath collectively. So that's important. Having having people under oath, I don't know. I maybe I missed something, but I have not seen any person yet in the House proceedings who was under oath, who made the argument for the president.

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Nothing wrong. Perfect call. All of that. I haven't I don't know of anyone who's been under oath doing that. Now, maybe, as Chuck said, maybe John Bolton would say something exculpatory, but we just want them under oath in the relevant. Last point is that on this question of what's going through the minds of Republicans. Look, I've been there for every single minute of presentation. And when I look across at the Republicans for even a second, I see most who are listening very carefully.

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I think Chuck was right. I think they were paying very close attention yesterday, especially to to the end when Adam Schiff is making a presentation. And final point here is that when we were getting the printout of the slides yesterday, it was my sense from looking at the Republican side as they weren't taking the slides, just thrown them in their desk. They wanted to see those slides. They may not admit that to you. They wanted to see them.

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In fact, one senator. I won't tell you. Republican senator was inquiring about the fact that they couldn't see the slides on the on the screen and having a having a printout was helpful. So they want to see this information. A lot of them, even the ones that claim that there is nothing new. They knew there was a lot that was relevant story in those slides. Thank you, everybody. Thanks.