Day 7, Part 3: Barry Berke’s opening statement Day 7, Part 3: Barry Berke’s opening statementMr. Burke is recognized, ranking member Collins, it all the members before I had the great honor of being a council for this committee. Young son, ask me a question. He said dad. Does the president have to be a good person? Like many questions? Are young children had a certain Clarity, but it was to answer I said Son. It is not a requirement that the president be a good person, but that is the whole. This is not the issue, but the very document that created the awesome presidency and its powers that we have made clear. It is a requirement that the president be a person who does not abused power. It is a requirement that the president be a person who not who does not risk National Security of this nation in the Integrity of our elections. In order to further his own re-election process, it is a requirement that the president not be a person who acts as though he is above the law and putting his personal and political interests above the nation’s interest that exit of the Constitution. That is the lesson of the founders. They were concerned that someone would be elected president, who use all the power of that office to serve his own personal interests at the expense of the people who elected him. They decided there needed to be a remedy because they had suffered the abuses of King George, where they had no remedy. The remedy that they impose was that if a president a grave offence, a high crime or misdemeanor, this body has the power to impeach that President. They wanted to ensure a president could not serve his own interest over that of the nation that all members of this body must take to support and defend the Constitution and bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That is why we are here today, and it is unfortunate occasion that these proceedings are necessary, but the president’s actions have left no choice. McLaren, spelling out what they saw to be the greatest abuses. That would raise the most concern for our nation. They spilled them out. As warning signals that, if a president violet or committed one of these, that would be a reason to potentially impeach that President, they were abusive, Tower betrayal of the national interest, Corruption of Elections and what is so extraordinary is the conduct we’re going to be talking about. Today, to investigate a political opponent, the evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by ramping up that pressure by conditioning a wanted White House beating in a needed military aid that have been approved in order to get that president to investigate a political rival. It is clear and overwhelming abusing that power, the president betrayed the national interest by putting his own political prospects over the Nationals pretty heart country. It is clear that the president risk corrupted are elections by inviting foreign interference knockout an adversary to help his prospects in re-election. It is why, in debating the Constitution, James Madison warned that, because the presidency was to be administered by a single man, his corruption might be fatal to The Republic in the scheme by President Trump was so Brazen, so clear, supported by document actions sworn testimony. Uncontradicted contemporaneous records that is hard to imagine that anybody could dispute those ax argue that that conduct does not constitute an impeachable offence or offense is this is a big deal? President Trump did what a present of our nation is not allowed to do. It is why, last week, the Constitutional scholar, Professor Michael gerhardt, said if what we’re talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable. President Trump impeachable offenses they threaten or rule-of-law they threaten or institutions, and is James Madison warned us they threatened our Republic. Let me begin where we must, with the facts and evidence. First, it’s important to understand why Ukraine was so important to our national security. Ukraine was under attack by it aggressive hostile, neighbor Russia. They had already encroached on its territory. The Ukraine was at Great risk that Russia would again take further territory or try. Europe had a stake in this, and so did we I’m going to turn into an expert on this Ambassador Taylor, who is one of the most highly decorated country, are violating all of the rules Treatise understandings that they committed to that actually kept the peace in Europe. For nearly 70 years order that kept the peace in Europe and allowed for Prosperity as well as peace in Europe was violated by the Russians. It affects the world that we live in, that this affects the kind of world that we want to to see a broth that is a bastard by the president’s actions, so significant that you’ve already heard their significant proof that President Trump himself, the new president of Ukraine, President monkeys that he wanted him to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden event and meetings and contemporary other document that show this happen and happened exactly as it is alleged. And it is clear that in this scheme the pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival, the person at the Centre of that scheme was president Donald Trump. The facts cannot be disputed. President Trump use the powers of government for a domestic political Aaron to put his political interests above that of the nation Suffield dr. Fiona Hill, the National Security Council senior director in the Trump Administration and she’s going to explain what happened. Ez melts, and he said these. The people who needs to know that he was absolutely right because he was being involved in a domestic political errant being involved. And that tells you what the evidence shows. The president put his own domestic political interests over the nation’s National Security and foreign policy to secure an election do that at the expense of the American people that is impeachable offense. The president is tried to make excuses for his conduct uncle or corrupt or an abusive power, but the truth holds together and make sense. It’S consistent with the evidence when someone is offering excuse. That is not true. It is not consistent with the evidence. It does not make it cannot be squared with what the facts show, and you will see these excuses do not make sense. The facts are clear that President Trump put his own political and personal interest over the nation’s entry like to go through what you were going to see about the president’s scheme and you’re going to hear about today from the facts that we have first you’re going to Hear that President trumps personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, pushed Ukraine to open investigation of his political rival. He made public Vice former vice president tweeted about pressure on the new president with the assist and direction of us officials who were told to Aid. The present personal lawyer on the president’s behalf you’ll hear that President Trump told his aides that he was relying on for Ukraine that he wanted them to quote talked to Rudy. What you’re going to hear is that his closest advisors had just gotten back on May 23rd. From the inauguration of the new president, president zielinski, they told president trouble we were impressed. He was elected on an antique, it’s very important. This is very good for the United States and the president’s response was talked to Rudy who’d been out there claiming for the Ukraine. Ukrainian president had to do was investigating his political rival you’ll, hear that President Trump’s advisors told president solinsky schedule the one in White House meeting unless he announced a you cry investigation of former Vice President Biden, there are documents our sworn testimony. This happened, and there is no question from the evidence that the president did this and presents desperately needed a white house meeting both to show Russia us was still supporting Ukraine and for his own credibility as a new president, you’ll hear, then the ramp up the the Pressure what President Trump date is. He told his agencies to withhold military charity Aid that had been approved and was supposed to be released to Ukraine, hundreds of millions of dollars in order to put more pressure on Ukraine. All the agencies involved State Department, fence department, National Security Council, released approved. It was going to be released until President Trump personally stopped it and again contemporary. The witness said that it was illogical to do this and the president never offered an explanation, but ultimately it was discovered why he did it then, on the July 25th call President Trump explicitly told him you wanted to conduct Ukrainian investigations, US citizen and his political rival, And the other about the origins of the interference in the 2016 election, some conspiracy theory that Russia do all the intelligent interfered with the 2016 election that maybe was Ukraine again. Another investigation intended to help the president politically. That is it, and you know the president cared about the investigations that would help him politically and not you security interest in the US Embassy in Ukraine and was speaking to Ambassador Sunland Vassar song. I had just come to the Ukraine on the 2016 met with President zielinski. He went to a restaurant with that you’re home. The US political Affairs Council in Ukraine happen on July 26th. The presents the Lansky quote, loves your ass. I didn’t ask so he’s going to do the investigation Master song on replied that he’s going to do it. Adding a present selenski will do anything. You ask him to do. That is sworn testimony by David Homes, who heard it from the president himself, and it was clear to everyone the most experienced people in government who Donald Trump himself. They knew what was going on. Let’S look at a text message from Ambassador Taylor around this time. On September 9th, he said, as I said, on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with political campaign. Again, that is President Trump putting his political and personal interest over the nation’s interest to hold a desperately-needed by Ukraine in order to combate Russia and show the support he did it to help his own campaign ultimate ultimately released and President Trump met with the jewels lenski. We heard it today the challenge with that, though, as an excuse is the aide, was only released after President Trump got caught doing this game on September, the Committees of this house started their investigation and announced they were investigating. His contact with regard to Days Later was when he released the aid, and he also there also was a news article which will talk about the moment by The Washington Post on exposing his scheme in New York. Another excuse offered the president was motivated by General corruption concerned. Be able to shows that he’s, not true that that would cost a prison is a hope he’s doing it. The right way, Tim just be supportive on his call with present solinsky on July 25th. President Trump ignore the talking points that were prepared to talk about corruption. The only wanted to talk about two things: the two investigations that helped him every intelligence agency releasing the age-appropriate. They did a study, the White House never provided an explanation ate it already been approved and it was not for any corruption issues that President Trump was held it the next and the argument about that today there they they haven’t said they were pressure. Will you was fresh Devon still has pressure they’re desperately in need of the of the United States support as they battle the threat of Russia? Of course they have to be careful what they said put contemporaneous documents. Emails texts from the Ukrainian officials themselves show the pressure they felt show. They knew what the President Trump is doing showed what they had to do. This is one from Bill Taylor, two again, a senior aide of presidents that prison zielinski is sensitive about Ukraine being taken seriously, not merely an instrument in Washington to mestic re-election politics. They not only felt the pressure the message they were not going to get a white house meeting. They were old Lee not going to get military aid unless they furthered President Trump’s re-election efforts that is a corrupt abuse of power made. Is that Trump never said quid pro quo and what you’re going to hear is on a call with Ambassador Sunland. After a Washington Post, article came out on September 5th, which we will look at The Washington Post article that came out that again exposed the Ukrainian skein days. After that, President Trump was on a phone call with Ambassador said: there was no quid pro quo, so he’s offering his defense, but even Ambassador Sunland in his sworn testimony didn’t buy it because, ultimately, then President Trump Not only was not dissuaded, he again described what he Wanted he didn’t want you and actually conduct these investigations. He wanted to announce the defecation. I was political rival to help him politically. He continued and you’ll hear more about that again. None of these excuses hold any water and refuted by testimony contemporaneous records and more some have suggested that we should wait to proceed with these impeachment proceedings not heard from the Witnesses are obtained all the documents, but the reason we have not heard from all the witnesses Or document is because President Trump himself has obstructed the investigation he’s directed his most senior aide involved in some of these event, not to come test the defy subpoenas. He has told everyone of his agencies with records and could be relevant not to produce those records to us to try to obstruct our investigation. Now. This is evidence that President Trump replaying The Playbook used in the prior Department of Justice investigation in that investigation. He directed his White House counsel to create a false, phony record and document and lie the dying that President Trump had told him to fire the special counsel. He did many other things to try to interfere with that investigation. He attacked the investigators and and Witnesses and called them horrible name, just as he is done here and present thought he got away with it. On July 24th was the day that special counsel, the special counsel, testified before this Committee in the house intelligence committee 24th. It was exactly the follow Dave, the 25th that President Trump spoke to president zielinski in furtherance of his Ukrainian scheme. He thought he got away with it, not only that he thought he could use his powers to interfere with that investigation, so he can do what he wanted. He was above the law and if he got caught, you would again use his powers to try to obstruct the investigation and prevent the facts from coming out and that’s exactly what he did. But fortunately, unfortunately, because of the true American Pie, who came forward to testify. Despite the threats by present against the people who worked in his own Administration, they told the story they on their own produce documents that provide uncontroverted, clear and overwhelming evidence that President Trump did this scheme. He put his political re-election interest over the nation’s National Security in the Integrity of its elections. Central you did it corruptly, he abused his powers in ways of the founders feared. The most no person in the in this country has the ability to prevent investigations, and neither does the president Constitution does not. No one is above the law, not even the president and one of the concerns and requirements of urgency. Is there a sense that you have to move cuz? It could be repeated well again. First, all the Constitutional experts who testified investigation is impeachable offense, but here we’re talking about its being interfered or obstructed with is interfering with this very election. That’S coming up, and I submit to you given, would have with the Department of Justice investigation given what’s happening here. If, in fact, President Trump can get away with what he did again or imagination is the only limit to what President Trump made you next, what a future president may do next to try to abuse his or her power to serve his own purse interest over the Nation’S interest, I’d like to turn back to what the founders most cared about winter by the ABCs of potential presidential abuse has. It is extraordinary: what’s a trifecta checking all three boxes? Let’S begin with abuse of power. What that means it’s to use the power of the office to obtain an improper personal benefit wallet, Warrior injuring the national interest or acts in ways that are grossly inconsistent with and undermine the separation of powers. That is the foundation of our democratic system. Now these question, whether present engaging abuse of power came up before, when this Congress consider the impeachment of President Nixon and after action was taken. President Nixon famously said: if the president doesn’t it is not illegal, this body rejected that, because that’s not so that go directly. Contrary to what the founder said, but President Trump has said the same thing in responding to the prior investigation by Department of Justice and defending his conduct, here’s what he say can I have an article to have the right to do whatever I want as president that He has the right to do whatever he wants as president, that is as wrong. President Nixon set a similar thing. That is not what the Constitution demands. It does not have the right to do whatever he wants turn into the second abuse-of-power most concern. The American people have suffered that foreign influence when President Trump treated military a that had been approved, taxpayers dollars and decided to treat it as his own to try to further his own re-election chances that reflects with the founders were concerned about it and, finally, Corruption of Our elections, the framers, knew that corrupt leaders, our leaders, acted corruptly, concentrate their powers to manipulate elections, an undercut adversaries. They talked about it frequently. That is why the framers thought electoral treachery take me to Bob in foreign powers was a critical abuse and that could support and lead to impeachment. Now the American people learned last election, how dangerous for an intervention elections can be. You showed another clip from president from Kennedy Trump on the on the campaign Trail, Russia. If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded. Mightily by our press in Russia was listening within approximately 5 hours. 5 hours of President Trump’s invitation Russia to interfere in our election by trying to hack and obtain the emails of his political opponent. Russian fact tried to do that for the first time, the very officers who is indicted by the Department of Justice for that condo they took today Trump’s invitation. Now the American people learned a lesson. President Trump unfortunately apparently learned a different lesson. Let’S look well, I would think that if they were honest about it that started major investigation into the Bible, the very simple answer they should investigate the Bible. So this was President Trump answering a question. He is saying again dependent on us support and otherwise again he’s telling them what to do, and, unlike in 2016, when he only had a campaign platform which to extend the invitation to a foreign power of government in his control to not only country and that’s exactly What he did in the presentation for the house intelligence committee and, what’s most striking as we come back to this issue, that the framers were concerned? Is there a continuing rest of wrongdoing? The fact that President Trump did this after he was caught shows the risk shows the risk of what will happen. If this body doesn’t act, he really does believe he can act as though he were Above the Law. He really does believe as evidence by this conduct that he can put his personal and political interest over the nation’s interest over the nation’s National Security interest, the nation’s Integrity of its elections. So, of course, we do have an election coming up. That’S not a reason to postpone this discussion. That’S the reason we must have discussion to make sure it is not interfered with to make sure this President doesn’t do it to make sure future presidents do not do it. It is the Hope, in these discussions, can put aside political Rancor disagreements and have a fair discussion about the facts and misconduct, not just as it relates to President Trump, but it’s of the presidency itself and future presidents, my son, our children, our grandchildren. They will study this moment in history. They will read all of your. They will learn about all of your actions, and that is not a reason to vote for or against impeachment, for that, of course, you must vote your conscience. What that is a reason debate about what the Undisputed fact show to recognize that it is wrong. It is very wrong, and it cannot happen again with this president or any president. It is a reason to talk about whether we want our children and grandchildren to live in a country where the president elected by the people can put his own personal and political interests over the interests of the people who elected them. It is a reason for these debate again fairly focus on the facts and to make sure the presentations were going to hear will not distort the record focus on process points raised extra PS batteries that really her intended to distract, rather than focus on what the contact Was at issue here: it is a reason to focus on the facts and what is in the country best interests, history. Future Generations will be the judge. Thank you. Mister Burke, witnesses to be heard and suggest. The queen of order is not sustained. That is critical of the president. I do not find it the witnesses, comments or disorderly. I find the important to the subject matter. This hearing the witness would be able to continue, except that his time is expired, disorderly they are unparliamentary. There. The rules of the Quorum apply to members of the house, not two witnesses. The gentleman leprosy, the point of water is not sustained put in writing. First then, you can talk. About motion to table is stained. I miss laughing vaginas Jackson Lee his Jackson leave with our mr. Cowan mr. Cowan, but I’m mr. Johnson Georgia, mr. Johnson Georgia, Boys, I’m mr. Mister mister Richmond mr. Richmond mr. Jeffries. What time mr. cicilline Mister Chris Scanlon Garcia, Miss mucarsel-powell vote, sinus, Escobar hi. Mr. Mr. gohmert mr. gohmert votes, no mist mr. Jordan votes no mystery book. Mr. Radcliffe mister, mister Johnson of Louisiana, mr. Johnson of Louisiana versus know. Mr. Biggs, Mr McLintock. Mr. McClintock fits no Miss. Let’S go Palmyra Court, Mister chairman over 24 hours and 15 nose. Who is recognized? President Trump believes “he can put his personal and political interest over the nation’s interest – the nation’s national security interest,” said House Judiciary Committee Special Oversight Counsel Barry Berke in his opening statement at the impeachment inquiry hearing on Monday, December 9.
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