Transcript: Nancy Pelosi Announces Impeachment Managers - transcription powered by Happy Scribe

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Good morning, everyone. This is a very important day for us. And as you know, one reference temple markers that our founders and our poets and others have used over time to places in time to emphasize the importance of time, because everything is about time, how we use it, how we make, how we market. And today is an important day because today is the day that we name the managers who go to the floor to pass the resolution to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

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And later in the day, when we have our own Grossmont, that we march of those articles of impeachment to the United States Senate. As I've said, it's always been our founders when they started, when in the course of human events it becomes necessary when Abraham Lincoln for scorn seven years ago. Thomas Paine now or the chutneys of the times that chime in souls. The Times have found us again and again, even even our poets of. Longfellow.

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No, listen, my children and you will hear of the midnight ride Paul Revere on 18th of April in 75, Harlem is now alive. It remembers that famous day. And you're always about marking history, using time. On December 18th, House of Representatives impeach the president of the United States. An impeachment that will last forever. Since December 18th, there've been comments about what are we going to send the articles over? Well, we had hoped that the courtesy would be extended, that we would have seen what the process would be in the Senate.

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Short of that, that time has revealed many things since then. Time has been our friend in all of this because this has yielded incriminating evidence, more truth into the public domain. Since we passed the articles on December 20th, two days later, new e-mails showed that 91 minutes after Trump's phone call with President Zelinski, a top office of Management and budget aide as the Department of Defense to hold off on you, Kate. Ukraine aid on December twenty ninth, revelations emerge about the OMB director and acting chief of Staff Romanis role in the delay of the effort by lawyers of any administration to justify the delay and the alarm.

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This is very important that the alarm that the delay time caused within the administration on January 2nd. Newly unredacted Pentagon e-mails which the House subpoenaed and the president blocked, raise serious concerns by the Trump administration officials, by Trump administration, that they were concerned about the legality of the president's hold on the age of Ukraine. On January 6th, former Trump national security adviser John Bolton said he would comply with a subpoena to testify and that he has new relevant information.

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On January 13th, reports emerged the Russian government hacking returning gas company Verismo as part of their ongoing effort to influence U.S. elections, to support it in support of President Trump. And just yesterday, the House committee. Two of our chairmen here, chairman Chairman Nadler. Judiciary chairman. Shifts of intelligence. Chairman Eliot Angle of foreign affairs. And Chairwoman Maloney of government reform. They released new evidence pursuant to a House subpoena. Lev Parnas, you know who that is, an associate of Rudy Giuliani.

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That further proves the president was the central player in the scheme to pressure Ukraine for his own benefit in the 2020 election. This is about the Constitution of the United States. And it's important to the president to know and Putin to know the American voter. Voters in America should decide who our president is, not Vladimir Putin. Putin and Russia. So today, I'm very proud to present the managers who will bring the case, which we have great confidence in terms of impeaching the president and his removal.

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But this further evidence insist that and we wouldn't be in this situation had we not waited, insists that there be that there be witnesses and that we see documentation. And now you see some of that change happening on the Senate side. I hope it does for the good of our country and to honor our constitution. So today on the floor will pass a resolution naming the managers, as I mentioned, appropriating the funds for the trial and transmitting the articles of impeachment of the president of the United States.

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For trying to influence a foreign government for his own personal and political benefit. Chair Adam Schiff of California. Lead managers kept Chairman Schiff is, as you know, chair of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is serving his 10th term in Congress. She's me before Congress. Mr. Schiff was a California state senator and served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles for six years, most notably prosecuting the first federal FBI agent to be indicted for espionage.

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Chairman Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, is serving his 15th chairman Congress. Mr. Nethers served as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for 13 years before Congress. Mr. Nadler served the New York State Assembly for 16 years. Chair Zoe Lofgren chairs a Lofgren chair of the House Committee on House Administration, which has jurisdiction over federal elections, is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee. Miss Lofgren is serving her 13th term in Congress.

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This is Chairwoman Lofgren's third impeachment as a Judiciary Committee staffer on the Nixon impeachment. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Clinton impeachment. And now as a manager in this impeachment of President Trump. Chair Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Chairman Hakeem Jeffries is the chair of the House Democratic Caucus and is currently serving his fourth fourth term in Congress. He's a member of the House Judiciary Committee before being in Congress. He served in the Assembly of New York for six years, an accomplished litigator in private practice before running for elective office.

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Mr. Jeffrey Jefferys Church for clerked for the Honorable Howard Baker, Junior of New York, District Court for the Southern District of New York, Congresswoman. Now Danny Demings of Florida, Congresswoman Val Demings is a member of both the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee. Ms. Demis serving her second term in Congress before Congress in stemming serve as the Orlando Police Department for 27 years, as part of that time as the first woman police chief in Orlando.

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Congressman, she's Congressman Jason Kro of Colorado is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Mr. Kro served his country, our country, bravely as an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan before coming running for Congress. Mr. Crow was a respected litigator in private practice in Colorado. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia of Texas. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia is a member of the House Judiciary Committee before Congress. Ms. Garcia was served in Texas State Senate previously. She was the director and presiding judge of the Houston Municipal System and was elected city comptroller.

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Mr. Garcia was later elected the first Hispanic and first woman to be elected in her own right. The Harris County Commissioners Court, as you can see from these descriptions of the emphasis, is on litigators. The emphasis is on comfort level in the courtroom. The emphasis is making the strongest possible case to protect and defend our constitution, to seek the truth for the American people. I'm very proud and honored that these seven members, distinguished members, have accepted this serious responsibility, again, to protect and defend for the people defending our democracy.

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When we leave here a little bit later at noon, we'll go to the floor and pass a resolution naming the managers officially that I want to say more about them here. And to say that the decision to come down in favor of litigators is necessitated by the clear evidence that we should have witnesses and we should have documentation. And we have to make the strongest prosecution not only of our very strong case. But although all the information that has come forth since we're going to take a few questions isn't lost to help build before Christmas is why two weeks or so to get more information?

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Well, I'll yield to the distinguished chairman, but I will say that we had a strong case for impeachment of the president and removal for the president. Anything more would be in terms of where we'd go in. Senate, I yield to the chairman. We've always felt a certain urgency about this impeachment, given that the president was trying to get foreign help in cheating in the next election, but as soon as we did take up and pass the articles, Mitch McConnell made it clear that he didn't want a trial in the Senate, that he didn't want to hear from witnesses, that he didn't want documents.

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And this time has given us the ability to show the American people the necessity of a fair trial to expose the degree to which McConnell is working hand in hand with the subject of the impeachment, the president to essentially turn what should be a trial into a sham. And that that time has been, I think, very effective in not only bringing new evidence to light, and the evidence was already overwhelming, but also forcing senators to go on record. Do they want a fair trial, one that's fair to the president, but also fair to the American people?

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Or are they going to participate in a cover up? So I think it's been very effective. And as you've seen, additional evidence continues to come to light that not only has bolstered an already overwhelming case, but has also put an additional pressure, I think, on the Senate to conduct a fair trial. And the last thing I'll say is Mr. McConnell has taken to saying that the Senate should only consider the closed record that comes from the House. And as if what the Senate is is not a trial, but an appeal from a trial.

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But, of course, the Senate, the framers had in mind a real trial with witnesses and evidence. And of McConnell makes this the first trial in history without witnesses, it will be exposed for what it is. And that is an effort to cover up for the president. Finally, some have suggested as part of your question, why didn't we wait to get more testimony? Well, we have sought McCann's testimony. Don McGann, the president's lawyer, since April of last year.

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We still don't have a final court judgment. So, yes, we could have waited years to get testimony, further testimony from all the people the president has been obstructing. But essentially that would completely negate the impeachment power that is allow the president by virtue of obstruction to prevent his own impeachment. And that was an unacceptable course, particularly when the whole object of the present scheme was to cheat in the election, which is the ordinary mechanism for dealing with a corrupt presidency.

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I was very discouraged to see Mitch McConnell sign on to a resolution dismissing a case that to me, dismissal is a cover up dismissal as cover. Do you think he added to that? There is an overwhelming case beyond any reasonable doubt that the president betrayed the country by using by withholding federal funds appropriated by Congress, breaking the law, and doing so in order to extort a foreign government into intervening in our election to embarrass you, try to embarrass a potential political opponent who is overwhelming evidence of that.

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We couldn't wait because, I mean, some people said, well, you know, let the election take care of it. He's trying to cheat in that election. So it is essential that we bring this impeachment to stop the president from trying to rig that, from trying to trade, from rigging the next election. From conspiring with a foreign government. As the Russian government attempted to in2 to rig our last election, the over the evidence is overwhelming.

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The latest evidence a with a with Parnas and Giuliani makes it even more so. It made sense to wait a while as the more evidence piled up. But we have to proceed because the election, the integrity of the election is at stake. Let me add one other thing. This is a test of the constitution. The president's conduct violates the Constitution in every single way, trying to rig an election, stonewalling, the Congress is saying no one. They testify because I can have a cover up despite Congress.

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But it's a test of the Constitution now. The Senate isn't tended by the Constitution to conduct a fair trial. The American people know that in a trial you permit witnesses, you present the evidence. If the Senate doesn't permit the introduction of all relevant witnesses and of all documents that the House wants to introduce because the House is the prosecutor here, then the Senate is is engaging in an unconstitutional and disgusting cover up. So the question is, does the Senate?

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The Senate is on trial as well as the president. Does the Senate? Conduct a trial according to the constitution to vindicate the republic. Or does the Senate participate in the president's crimes by covering them up? You talked about the push. I've got my car here and maybe some of the matters that are taking. What you see is procedural options to try to force the Senate to do something. Or just make the best case that you can, and then if they don't try to go down that route, say, OK, this is.

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Well, I've always often quoted and Mr. Jefferys quotes Abraham Lincoln, public sentiment is everything over 70 percent of the American people want to see a fair trial. Whatever that whatever the outcome, a fair trial with witnesses and documentation. And we haven't seen even the rules. We put our rules out in October for the next couple of months, that the next few months that followed for our Making the case. We haven't seen what the rules are in the Senate.

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But we do know that in the time that has transpired since December 18th, the American people have come down in favor of a fair trial, which they always wanted, but meaning that it would entail having witnesses as well as documents. Anyone else want to speak to that? My calls. Well, the evidence is overwhelming that Donald Trump corruptly abused his power by pressuring a foreign government to target an American citizen for political and personal gain by withholding three hundred and ninety one million dollars in military aid to Ukraine without justification.

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There is a mountain of evidence in that regard. In America, no one is above the law. That is why the House proceeded with great leadership from Speaker Pelosi. Chairman Schiff and Chairman Nadler. To hold this president accountable. The Constitution required it. Our democracy required it. Given the evidence that has been built to date. The American people deserve a fair trial. Our democracy deserves a fair trial. The Constitution deserves a fair trial. So we're going to simply follow the facts, apply the law, be guided by the Constitution and present the truth to the American people.

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Speaker Pelosi has given us the space for the American people to weigh in over the last few weeks, which has led at least four senators, which is the magic number. To publicly indicate. That, in their view, a fair trial does include the presentation of documents and the presentation of witnesses. We certainly hope that is what will take place. Can I just add, if I could just add really quickly onto this. And I thank the Chairman Jeffries.

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I just want to underscore the importance of documents, because we spent a lot of time talking about John Bolton and other witnesses. Witnesses may tell the truth and witnesses may not tell the truth. Documents don't generally lie. And in the documents that we submitted to the Judiciary Committee just last night, you see the importance of documents because included among the Parnas documents we obtained is a letter from Giuliani trying to set up a meeting with the president of Ukraine, Zelinsky, to discuss a particular matter.

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Of course, we know that matter is the investigations that the president wanted Ukraine to undertake of his political opponent. There have been there has been speculated from time to time maybe the president or his allies will throw Mr. Giuliani under the bus. That letter makes clear that Giuliani, in his own words, is acting at the behest and with the knowledge and consent of the president. There is no fobbing this off on others. The president was the architect of this scheme.

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These documents are important. We have only obtained a very small sample of the universe of documents that the president is withholding. If Mr McArdle wants to follow the Clinton model as he keeps professing all of the documents were provided before the trial, those documents should be demanded by the senators if the senators want to see the evidence. They should demand to see the documents and not participate in an effort to stonewall or cover up the president's misconduct. Mrs. Yes.

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You know, as the speaker mentions, the other, of course, a profound distinction between now and the Clinton case is that the witnesses that the House managers sought in the Clinton trial had already testified their testimony was known. So the question for the senators then was, do we want to hear them again? And there was another question not present here, which is do we really want to hear witnesses talking about sex on the Senate floor? That's not the issue before us.

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The issue here is does the Senate want to hear from witnesses who have never testified? People who, like other witnesses, have firsthand information. And unless the president is willing to concede everything the House has alleged, these witnesses are very pertinent and relevant. And so this is another profound distinction between the Clinton investigation and trial and where we are today having having your body. Are you prepared? Would you like to speak to that? Let me say we are we are prepared, but the relevant question is relevance is relevance in any trial.

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You call witnesses who have information about the allegations, about the charges, the allegations for which is a mountain of evidence that the president betrayed his country. By trying to extort Ukraine, by withholding three hundred ninety one million dollars in military aid that Congress had voted in order to get Ukraine to announce an investigation of a domestic political opponent. That's the allegation. Any witness who has information about whether that is true or not true is a relevant witness. Anybody like Hunter Biden who has no information about any of that, is not a relevant witness.

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Any trial judge in this country would rule such a witness as irrelevant and inadmissible. Someone is accused of robbing a bank. Witnesses who say we saw him run into the bank. We saw him someplace else. Our relevant witness who says he committed forgery on a on some other document is not relevant to the bank robbery charge. That's the distinction.

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Well, let me just say that the what is at stake here is the Constitution of the United States. This is what an impeachment is about. The president violated his oath of office, undermined our national security, jeopardized the integrity of our elections, tried to use the appropriations process as his private A.T.M. machine to grant or withhold funds granted by Congress in order to advance his personal and political advantage. That is what the senators should be looking into. This is a president who said the Second Amendment accused in that Article 2 says that I can do whatever I want.

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It does not. Is undermining assistant. They're beautiful. Exquisite. Brilliant genius of the constitution, the separation of powers by granting to himself the powers of a monarch, which is exactly what Benjamin Franklin said we didn't have. A republic, if we can keep it. So this is a very serious matter and we take it to heart and really solemn way and a very solemn way. It's about the Constitution. It's about the republic. If we can keep it.

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And they shouldn't be frivolous with the Constitution of the United States, even though the president of the United States has. The president is not above the law. He will be held accountable. He has been held accountable. He has been impeached. He's been impeached for. They can never a race that I'm very proud of, the managers that we have. I'd be believes that they bring to this case. And the United States Senate. Great patriotism, great respect for the Constitution of the United States, where comfort level in a courtroom, great commitment again to the Constitution.

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Being the chair of that constitutional subcommittee for 13 years, zoĂ of being involved in three impeachment and the others bringing their intellectual resources and their knowledge to all of this. So I thank them for accepting this responsibility. I wish them well. It's gonna be a very big commitment of time, but I don't think we could be better served than by the patriotism and dedication of the managers that I am naming this morning. Thank you all very much.