Day 7, Part 4: Stephen Castor’s opening statement

By | December 10, 2019

Day 7, Part 4: Stephen Castor’s opening statement
Day 7, Part 4: Stephen Castor’s opening statement
The cast is recognized for 30 minutes morning: Sharon Nadler ranking member Collins members of the committee members of the staff. My name is Steve, Castor, Congressional staff member serve with the oversight committee on the Republican Jordan, also for purposes of this investigation. 4Shared staffer with the Judiciary Committee on intelligence and mr. Nunez, it sure, is a typical for a staffer to be presenting. But again, thanks for I haven’t are the purpose of this hearing. As we understand it is to discuss whether President Donald J, Trump’s conduct fits the definition of a high crime and misdemeanor, it does not such that the committee should consider articles of impeachment to remove the president from office, and it should not. This case in many respects. Comes down to eight lines in a call transcript, let me see clearly and unequivocally that the answer to that question is no. In the Democrats, impeachment Corey does not show that President Trump abused the power of his office or obstructed Congress to impeach a president. Who’S. 63 million people vote for over eight line. Bologna Democrats need to impeach President Trump, not because they have evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors, but because they disagree with his policies is impeachment. Curry is not the organic outgrowth of Syria. Conducts Democrats have been searching for a set of facts and which competes President Trump since his inauguration or January 20th. 2017. Just 27 minutes after the president’s inauguration at day The Washington Post ran a story. Did the campaign to impeach the president has already begun? Reported Democrats and liberal activists are mounting brought opposition this timing Trump’s agenda and noted that impeachment strategist leave the Constitution’s emoluments Clause would be the vehicle. In the first two years, Administration Democrats in the house introduce articles of impeachment to remove President Trump from office on several very different factual basis. On January 3rd, the very first day of the new Congress, Congressman Sherman, introduced articles of impeachment against the president. The same day, Representatives president in May 2019 representative Greene, said on MSNBC. If we don’t impeach this President, he will be re-elected even speaker. Pelosi who is said that impeachment is a somber and prayerful exercise is called President Trump an imposter and said it is dangerous to allow voters to judge his performance in 20. The obsession with impeaching, the president is reflected in the house. Democrats have used the power of their majority in the past 11 months, any oversight committee. The Democrats first announced witness, was Michael Cohen, a disgraced felon, who is who pleaded guilty to lying to Congress when he came before us at the oversight committee. He then lied again as many as eight times oversight committee Democrats demanded information about the president’s personal finances and even Enid the president’s accounting firm Azar’s we’re large swaths of sensitive and personal financial information about the entire Trump family. The subpoena was issued over the objection of committee Republic vote in the Ways and Means Committee Democrats demanded the president’s personal tax return information. The reason they cited for wanting the president’s tax returns, they said, was to oversee the IRS audit process for presidential tax returns. You can judge that for yourself in the financial services committee Democrats demanded and subpoena the president’s bank records going back ten years, the financial services committee Republicans tell me the information demanded would cover every withdrawal, credit card, swipe or debit card purchase of every member of the Trump family, including his minor child, the reason that the Democrats gave for why they needed such voluminous and in this is personal information about the Trump family was get this financial industry compliance with banking statutes and regulations. Here in the Judiciary Committee Democrats, letters demanding information from over 80 recipients during the president’s children, business partners, employees is campaign, businesses, Foundation, where’s. The main event for the Judiciary Committee was the reporter special counsel. Mueller, which Democrats would believe would serve as the evidentiary basis for impeaching. The president spite interviewing 500 Witnesses, 800 subpoenas executing almost 500 search warrants and spending 25 million dollars. The special counsel’s 19 attorneys and 40 FBI agents, conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government after the trump-russia collusion allegations did not pan out Justice. They criticize attorney general Barr for concluding that no crime of obstruction that occurred in the special counsel investigation but in fact, was entirely appropriate for the Attorney General to make that call, because the special counsel declined to do so. Not surprisingly, the Democrats Mueller hearing was underwhelming to say the least, and the sequel was Corey Lewandowski definitely did not move the impeachment needle either. The intelligence heavily invested in the Russia collusion investigation committee, Democrats, Federal prosecutors to prepare for their anticipated efforts to impeach the president. It did not work out. Democrats have settled on the Ukraine phone call eight lines. The president ordered on July 25th, with Ukrainian president zalenski, the Foreign Affairs committee, the committee was it the committee leaving the impeachment inquiry for holding hearings either was the oversight committee investigative entity? The Judiciary Committee was only recently brought back into the mix after fact-finding concluded. Instead, the impeachment free was run by the house intelligence committee and these former Federal prosecutors Democrats on the intelligence committee Randy impeachment inquiry in a manifestly unfair way. All the finding was unclassified and that was made clear at the top of every single deposition with the Democrats, took advantage of the closed-door process in the Capitol basement bunker the skiff to control access to information secrecy effectively. Weaponized the investigation allowing misleading public with tearful leaks of witness testimony Democrats refuse to invite Republican Witnesses and directed witness, is called the Democrats not to answer our questions in the public hearings. Many of these unfair process he’s continued Democrats refused to invite numerous Witnesses requested by Republicans interrupted Republican questioning and prevented Witnesses from during Republican questions. Democrats voted down by virtue of a motion to table with no notice subpoenas for documents and testimony requested by Republicans never once brought any of their subpoenas to vote before the intelligence committee. This unfair process reflects the degree to which Democrats are obsessed with impeaching the president. The Democrats went searching for a set of which President has the president’s business and financial records allegations of obstruction before landing on the Ukraine phone call. Angry is clearly an orchestrated effort to up and our political system. According to Politico, the speaker has tightly scripted every step of the impeachment and Curry Democrats have reportedly convened focus groups which allegations were there, be quid pro quo, or bribery or extortion over most compelling to the American public speaker Pelosi said Democrats must strike while the iron Is hot impeaching the president of the impeachment Corey from the dime speaker, Pelosi announced it and September 24th until today has been 76 days, as Professor Charlie testified Wednesday. This impeachment would Stand Out Among modern impeachments is the shortest proceeding with the thinnest evidentiary record and the narrowest Browns ever use to impeach a president. The artificial, an arbitrary political deadline by which Democrats are determined to finish impeaching but Christmas leads to a rush process and missed opportunities to obtain relevant information. Democrats avoided the accommodations process required by federal courts in disputes between Congress and the executive Democrats declined to attempt to negotiate with the administration for the production of documents and Witnesses. Democrats did not exhaust all their options to entice witness’s their agencies to cooperate, such as allowing witnesses to appear with agency lawyers or initiating Contempra seedings. Sometimes the threat of a contempt proceeding gets you a different result. Sometimes the witnesses choose to appear when contempt is on the table. Democrats even withdrew a subpoena to one witness who asked a federal court to resolve conflicting orders from Congress and executive either because it I want to wait for the court to rule where they didn’t, like the presiding judge, judge Leon instead, Democrats made their demands and Democrats Cooperate in full would be used against them, and the president Democrats threaten federal employees that their salaries could be withheld for not meeting committee demands. These tactics are fundamentally unfair, counterproductive for gathering information in any serious inquiry. This rushed and take-it-or-leave-it approach to investigating is contrary to how successful Congressional investigations typically work. Congressional investigations take time. There is no easy button in this job. You must take the information that’s offered. Even if you don’t like the terms, you should not say no to taking a witness testimony, because you would prefer the agency council’s not present. If that’s the only means of obtaining a testimony, you should take it. Your priority must not be on blocking information out. It must be on seeking information it all recent major Congressional investigations, for example chairman goodlatte and Gowdy investigation into the Justice Department’s decision during 2016, the IRS targeting investigation, the Benghazi investigation and fast there have been given take between Congress and executive in the good luck, daddy Investigation, for example, what’s up two months, two months of negotiations before the committee is conducted, the first witness interview with deputy director McCabe. The justice department only began producing documents to the committee after many more months of discussions in none of these investigations. Didn’T Congress get everything it wanted right at the beginning, certainly not within 60 76 days, what’s persistence and patience, we eventually did receive enough information to do our work and contrary to talking points. The Trump Administration has in fact cooperated with and facilitated congressional oversight. An investigation, for example, earlier this year, the oversight committee conducted investigation into security clearances at the White House. The central allegation put forward was, at the White House, deviated from the stab procedures Grant clearances to certain White House staff, the Democrats. The interview careerstaff, who perform these security clearance reviews appear with age, cancel house in the white house where an impasse. However, after a little bit of time, we either Republican staff, with with the help of mr. Jordan, convinced the witness to appear with agency counsel for our own transcribed interview and the Democrats came along. The subsequent interviews in the security-clearance investigation were conducted with agency Council, the testimonial get to the bottom of what was going on and it wasn’t what was alleged. Nobody outside the security clearance office was handing out clearances, certainly not to senior staffers information that could be valuable to the inquiry by disallowing agency Council to accompany Witnesses. Democrats have turned away information by declining to negotiate in good faith ministration about the scope of document requests. As a result of these failures, the evidentiary record in the impeachment inquiry is incomplete and if any places, incoherent use to obtain information severely risks undermining the legitimacy of any articles of impeachment. As Professor Charlie said to the committee last week, I’m concerned about lowering peaches. It’S it a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. I believe this impeachment not only failed the standard of past impeachments, but would create a dangerous precedent for future impeachments. Professor trillion, at the current lack of proof, is another reason why the abbreviated investigation into this matter is so damaging to the case of impeachment pool table in artificial, arbitrary and political schedule. For president proof not presumptions. The Democrats do not have the proof know. My Democrat counterparts on the intelligence committee or talented attorneys, I’m sure they will tell you a riveting story about a shadow or irregular foreign policy apparatus and a smear campaign designed Ukraine for the president’s political benefit. How he put his own political interests ahead of national security by mentioning former president former Vice President Joe Biden by name and raising the allegations of Ukrainian influence in the 2016 election on the July 25th. Call they’ll try to convince you that the Trump Administration, the same Administration Democrats regularly accused of being competent, orchestrated and international conspiracy at the highest levels. It may be a great screenplay, but it’s not what the evidence shows. The Democrats impeachment Cree ignores all of the evidence that does not Advance their story. The Democrats, impeachment narrative, resolves all ambiguous facts, conflicting evidence in a way that is most unflattering to the president. The Democrats impeachment narrative, ignores public statements from senior Ukrainian officials that contradict a narrative, listen to the Democrat presentation later today. I urge you to keep these points in mind. What evidence that has been gathered in the impeachment and Corey paint a different picture. I won’t provide a detailed presentation points. First, the summary of the July 25th phone call reflects no conditionality or pressure president selenski, never vocalized any discomfort or pressure on the call Country to Democrat allegations. President Trump was not asking for a favor that would help his re-election. He was asking for assistance in helping our country move forward from the divisiveness of the Russia collusion investigation. Second, is President Trump is Declassified and publicly release the call summary. 75 days ago, president selenski has said publicly and repeatedly that he felt no pressure. He set it on 25th at the United Nations General Assembly. He said it is an interview published on October 6th. He said it again October 10th, and most recently he said it just last week in Time Magazine, other senior Ukrainian officials have also said there was no linkage between a meeting security assistance and investigation. If President Trump was truly orchestrating a pressure campaign before Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden, one would think that you could would have felt some pressure at the time of the July 25th call Senior officials and did not know that the security assistance was paused. They did not learn. It was pause until the pause was reported publicly in a year Medias on August 28th, as Ambassador Volker testified, because the highest levels of the Ukrainian government did not know about the pause. There was no leverage implied. Finally, Penske met with President Trump in New York on September 25th at the United Nations shortly thereafter, or shortly before that, the security assistance load to Ukraine has happened without Ukraine ever taking actions or investigations to the president’s State of Mind. Undercutting the Democrats. Assertion of some Witnesses testified that President Trump has a deeply rooted, genuine and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine stemming from its history of corruption. President Trump is skeptical of US taxpayer. Funds foreign assistance and believes that are allies should share more of the burden of Ukraine’s defense. Ukrainian politicians openly spoke out against President Trump during the 2016 election events bear directly on the president’s state of mind and anti-corruption platform with the relationship to a controversial Ukrainian oligarch when Vice when former vice president Pence met with president salansky in Warsaw. Vice president Pence he’s stressing him the need for reform and reiterated the president’s concern about Burger sharing, especially among European allies. In late August, early September after his party took control of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ukraine pass historic reforms to fight corruption. These reforms, including removing parliamentary immunity which Witnesses said it didn’t historic source of corruption as unit members of our Congress had immunity. President Trump later lifted the pause on security assistance and met with President selenski. Two weeks later, the 8th was pause for 55 days. Very simply, the evidence in the Democrats, impeachment and Corey does not support the conclusion that President Trump abused his power for his own personal political benefit. There is simply no clear President Trump acted with malicious intent and was holding a meeting or security assistance. Indeed, there are, and the Republican report articulates them explanations for these actions that are not serious. As the Democrats allege, the evidence shows the President Trump’s Faithfully executed the duties of his office by delivering on what he promised the American voters. He would do Democrats make disagree with president’s policy decisions were there matter in which he governs, but those disagreements are not enough to justify your revocable action of removing him from Office. The Democrats – hyperbole, 3 Onyx are no good reason, 11 months out for mental action to prevent the American people from decided on their own. Who is going to be the next president Congress during impeachment inquiry for many of the procedure of defects I touched on earlier. Additionally is a factual matter, the only direct testimony investigation is obtained about the president’s reaction to the inquiry is from Ambassador Sunland, who testified President Trump told him to cooperate and tell the truth. President Trump has also Declassified and released the summaries of his two phone calls with the president. President selenski President Trump has said that he would like witnesses to testify forced to resist the unfair and abuse of process. I believe strongly in the prerogatives of the Congress. It’S awful to hear president early test last week when he can cheat the house for proceeding on impeachment so rapidly and on such a thing record. Professor Charlie said to set this abbreviated schedule, demand documents and then impeach, because they haven’t been turned over when Court. I think is an abuse-of-power impeachment of a duly elected president, as chairman and Adler said in 1998 is the undoing of a national election. Now I understand Democrats issued a report over the weekend. Give me the contrary to the chairman statement in 1998. Impeachment is not on doing it an election. I would just respond by saying that I don’t think many of the 63 million Americans from all around the country who voted for President Trump in 2016. What degree President Trump the house would essentially be notifying the decision of those Americans and house would be doing it in less than less than 11 months before the next election. There still is no compelling argument for why Democrats in the house must take this decision out of the hands of the voters and do it before Christmas. During the Clinton, impeachment 1998 German said that a bare minimum, the president, that users must go beyond hearsay and innuendo and Beyond the demand that the president prove prove his innocence of changing charges. I would Smith add those words ring do today, as the chairman believe them to be in 1998, impeachment record is heavily reliant on hearsay, innuendo and presumptions Democrats have charges for impeachment as far back as the president’s inauguration. We’Re all these reasons. The extraordinary exercise of a house is impeachment Authority is not warranted on the evidentiary record presented. I thank you for allowing me to present this information this morning and thank you both for your presentation to take his place at the table. Thank you.
“The impeachment inquiry is clearly an orchestrated effort to upend our political system,” said House Judiciary Committee Republican counsel Stephen Castor in his opening statement at the impeachment inquiry hearing on Monday, December 9. Castor called the process “fundamentally unfair.”

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