ISSUES OF THE DAY; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 195
(House of Representatives - December 06, 2019)

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[Pages H9340-H9345]
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                           ISSUES OF THE DAY

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2019, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert) is recognized 
for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Madam Speaker, I have been reminded again this week in 
conversations with some friends across the aisle that there are some 
people in here with whom I have extremely different views. But I know 
them, they have got good hearts, and they want to do the right thing; 
we just disagree on what that is.
  There was a lot said today in the debate over the Voting Rights Act 
change. Some have tried to say and have just been mistaken--I don't 
think they were intentionally trying to misrepresent anything--but what 
we voted on today was not a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. 
The Voting Rights Act has been in effect, and it is still in effect.
  But going back to the previous reauthorization that came through the 
Judiciary Committee I am on, it became clear that between the 
Republican and Democrat leaders in Judiciary, there was an agreement, 
and they weren't going to allow changes to their agreement. I pointed 
out to both of them back at the time: You have a provision in here that 
is reauthorized that will punish States for sins committed by 
grandparents--in some cases great-grandparents--that happened decades 
before, in many cases decades before some were born who were there. 
This is not supposed to be a country where we intentionally punish the 
children and grandchildren of somebody who committed an offense.

  It was wrongdoing in preventing people from voting, and the Voting 
Rights Act addressed that. But it was reauthorized more than once, 
continuing to punish the same States that have been found to be 
lacking, and the data we had at the previous reauthorization showed 
clearly there were places in some districts, in places like New York, 
Wisconsin, and California, where the voting disparity and racial 
disparity was worse than in the States that were still being punished.
  I know some say: Well, it is not a punishment for the Federal 
Government to say you are not trustworthy and so you don't get to be in 
charge of your elections; we have to approve every single thing you do.
  That is an extraordinary and basically unconstitutional action by the 
Federal Government that has been deemed to be constitutional, but only 
until such time as the States that were offending have corrected the 
situation.
  I know there was one newspaper in my district that reported I was 
against the voting rights reauthorization. When I provided them a copy 
of my transcript from the reporters, the stenographers here, exactly as 
it was and they read what I actually said, instead of taking talking 
points from the left-wing alt-left media, the editor at the time--I 
know from things she had said, she apparently was a Democrat--but she 
was an honorable person, and they printed a correction and corrected 
what they had said.
  I was in favor of the voting rights reauthorization, but not to 
continue to punish States that were not in violation and hadn't been 
for decades. So, in fact, my amendment would have required the punitive 
parts of the Voting Rights Act to apply to any State in the Union that 
was found to be in violation of the constitutional protections on 
voting.
  I pointed out to the Republican leader at the time and the Democratic 
leader, John Conyers.
  And actually, John Conyers was more open to making the change. He 
said: Well, you made a good point. Let me talk to some of our lawyers 
about it.
  The Republican leader said: Absolutely not. We are not changing 
anything at all.
  I said: But this is going to be struck down. There are some things we 
don't really know. This is one that is going to be struck down. Why 
risk the court just striking the whole thing down? If you allow my 
amendment, it will be constitutional, it won't any of it be struck 
down.
  The Republican leader at the time said: Absolutely not.
  Mr. Conyers came back to me later and said: I have talked to our 
lawyers, and they say you do make a good point, but since we have an 
agreement on it, it is just easier if we go forward, and if they strike 
something down, they strike it down.
  The Supreme Court came back and did just what I said they would do. 
They struck down an unconstitutional part that I had tried to amend and 
make it constitutional.
  But that is where we are. This today does not reauthorize the Voting 
Rights Act.
  It is interesting hearing comments from folks across the aisle about 
why this is so important that we don't disenfranchise votes. If you 
look at what the activity is, and even saying: Oh, there are 17 million 
people who have been disenfranchised because they are no longer allowed 
to vote.
  Despite what some who make comments online might say, I am not 
stupid. I have won awards at every school I have been in. But I know 
that traditionally dead people who vote, vote Democrat. That has just 
been the way it is. Republicans have had a very difficult time getting 
dead people to vote Republican.
  William F. Buckley talked about an uncle he had had who voted 
Republican his whole life until the year after he

[[Page H9341]]

died, and then he started voting Democrat. He said he wasn't kidding, 
and that it actually happened there in Texas. Sometimes we kid about 
it.
  Lyndon Johnson, according to David Brinkley, told a story back in the 
sixties to reporters about how when he was running for Congress that he 
and his campaign manager were going through the cemetery writing down 
names of people they needed to have vote the next day, and they got to 
one tombstone and you couldn't read the name. There was moss and all 
this stuff on it. So the campaign manager said: Come on, Lyndon, let's 
go to the next tombstone. Johnson said: I grabbed him, and I told him, 
no, sir, this man has every bit a right to vote as anybody else in this 
cemetery. It was funny, and people laughed.
  But people who knew about the discrepancies in Duval County and the 
Dukes of Duval and voting irregularities, the investigation, and the 
courthouse burning with the records, those kinds of things were what 
got reported, and Johnson was able to get a good joke out of it. But, 
nonetheless, it is still true. If you find somebody who is dead who has 
voted, normally they voted Democrat.
  So I hope that my friends will understand. Some of the people they 
are talking about being disenfranchised by what Republicans want to do 
to fix election law, it will disenfranchise the dead who are continuing 
to vote. Their vote will not be allowed to count as it did when they 
were alive.
  We also have had millions reported to have voted who were in this 
country illegally or voting more than once or were registered more than 
one place.
  My friend, John Fund, used to be a writer with The Wall Street 
Journal. John had a fantastic book on voting fraud, and I have heard 
him say to me: Do you know that the biggest fraud about elections is 
the statement that there is no election fraud today?
  So this Voting Rights Act amendment that was voted on by the House 
today is yet another effort for the Federal Government to ignore the 
Constitution and ignore the mandate that elections are to be controlled 
locally, and that is according to the 10th Amendment, not just reserved 
to the States and people it specifically talked about.
  Exceptions have been made over the years that allow the Federal 
Government to have some say, and that was the case because of abuses 
and people who were prevented from voting. So I am surprised that we 
have colleagues here who don't want the dead people to be 
disenfranchised, whose names have been taken off rolls in areas where 
Republicans are trying to update the voting rolls. I understand my 
colleagues are not stupid either. They know that dead people vote more 
for Democrats than Republicans. So I get it, and why they would want to 
keep them voting. But it is something that needs to be done.

                              {time}  1345

  The other vote we had today regarding Israeli-Palestinian two-nation 
peace, peace with two independent states, I couldn't vote for that. I 
pray for the peace of Israel, but I couldn't vote for that, a two-state 
solution being rammed down the throat of the one of the parties that 
doesn't want to totally destroy those who want to totally destroy them.
  I mean, we send money over to the Palestinians still. One of the 
things that President Trump has been wanting to do--he agreed with me 
once when I pointed it out--we don't have to pay people to hate us. 
They will do it for free.
  There is corruption in different places around the world, and 
especially, there has been in Ukraine. I was glad that President Trump 
was doing something about it. Obviously, President Obama didn't do 
anything about it, and we have a huge effort now from our friends 
across the aisle that want to stop the reform and the elimination of 
corruption in Ukraine that President Trump was trying to undertake.
  Apparently, Ukraine has been quite helpful to our friends across the 
aisle. Obviously, in the last Presidential campaign, plenty of 
information indicates they were trying to help Hillary Clinton. That is 
why it was reported that after the election, they realized: Well, gee, 
since we were trying to help Hillary Clinton, maybe we better try to 
warm up to Donald Trump.
  But when it comes to Israel, an effort to push through a two-state 
solution forcing Israel to sign an agreement or an effort to try to 
push them to sign an agreement with the Palestinians, while the 
Palestinians in response to each bilateral and unilateral effort that 
Israel has made to reach out with an olive branch, to try to bring 
about an effort at peace, they have been slapped down.
  As a result of those efforts at peace, Israelis have died; places 
have been destroyed; and Israelis live in fear. All you have to do is 
go to southern Israel to find out, because they are coming every day 
these rockets get fired.
  They are not that accurate on where they hit, so nobody can be sure 
they won't hit them, their homes. Their homes there have to have a safe 
place within there so that when the warning comes, which may only be 
seconds before the rocket hits, you have to grab your kids and head for 
the safe room and hope that you aren't killed.
  I heard from one mother once when I was over there. The rockets were 
flying from the strip that Israel had unilaterally given as a show of 
peace, an effort to reach out unilaterally, asking nothing in return. I 
thought it was a huge mistake, but they did it. As a result, rockets 
fly every day.
  But this lady was saying she had her little son in the car, and the 
warning sounded, the siren. She didn't have time to get her child to a 
safe place, so she laid on top of him in the car seat, put him down on 
the car seat and laid on top of him.
  When the rockets hit far enough away that it was not a threat to 
them, and the rockets stopped temporarily, and she sat up, her son 
cried and said: Mama, if you are going to die, I don't want to keep 
living. Don't do that to me again. I want to be with you wherever you 
are.
  This kind of stuff gets played out day-after-day in Israel because 
the Palestinians want to wipe them off the map. They don't want any 
Jews between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and they make 
that very clear: We want to wipe them out.
  They never agreed to back off that position. It is pretty clear that 
no matter what kind of agreement you have, when you are still teaching 
children in your schools, which received money from the United States, 
that Jews are vermin and rats and need to be wiped out--the same kind 
of things the Nazis were saying and printing, they print them, say 
them, teach them.
  We are going to want to do them favors, send them more money while 
they use money themselves to teach that kind of hatred?
  I was mentioning to my friend Lee Zeldin earlier today that if the 
Democrats who were pushing through this demand for a two-state solution 
were successful, then they could historically stand with Neville 
Chamberlain and say, as he did, that this two-state solution means 
peace in our time, when actually it would just be a precursor to the 
killing of millions of Jews.
  We don't need a two-state solution where one of those states is still 
intent on wiping Israel off the map. It made no sense, and the people 
on this side of the aisle, most everybody, I think, voted against it, 
not that they were against peace in the Middle East.
  We also heard yesterday--actually, Wednesday, yesterday, today--a lot 
made about a comment by President Trump when he was talking about 
whether he would fire Mr. Mueller, Robert Mueller, as special counsel. 
This article by Charlie Spiering, 6 December, points out what the 
President said: ``Look, Article II, I would be allowed to fire Robert 
Mueller. Assuming I did all of the things, I said I want to fire him. 
Number one, I didn't. He wasn't fired. Very importantly, but more 
importantly, Article II allows me to do whatever I want. Article II 
would allow me to fire him. I wasn't going to fire him. You know why? 
Because I watched Richard Nixon firing everybody, and that didn't work 
out too well.''
  That is the context the President was talking about. Yes, he is 
exactly right. He had the authority to fire Robert Mueller. I 
encouraged him not to fire him, just appoint a special prosecutor to 
investigate Bob Mueller. Why in the world would he hire nothing but 
people who hated him?
  He said: Could I do that?
  I said: Yes.

[[Page H9342]]

  The authority of the Attorney General to hire and fire a special 
prosecutor comes from the President. It is his power. He could do it if 
he wants to.
  He is exactly right that Article II would allow him to fire Mueller, 
which he never did. So when the Speaker takes that quote, ``I can do 
whatever I want,'' when he is talking about whether or not he were to 
fire Robert Mueller and try to apply that to this is why we have 
to remove him from office, that is such a dangerous, dangerous 
direction to go.

  It is why I was so saddened to hear that our Speaker wants to now 
move forward with Articles of Impeachment.
  As Jonathan Turley testified before us Wednesday, this bar is so low. 
Historically speaking, when a governing document like our Constitution 
is degenerated to this point, you don't normally come back from that.
  What you could expect historically, if my friends do as they say they 
are going to do, they are going to vote to impeach President Trump. He 
hasn't committed any crime. He has tweeted out some offensive tweets, 
but to have a bar this low and try to, for the first time in American 
history, remove a duly elected President, then any President, 
regardless of party, in the future can expect that when the opposition 
party controls the House, they will spend 2 to 4 years, however long 
the opposing party is in power, fighting impeachment. That is what this 
will do for the future.
  I know some of our Democratic colleagues have seen before that they 
can attack Republicans. They can be unfair. They can encourage people 
to be unfair to Republicans.
  Republicans will not want to treat others the way they got treated 
when it was so unfair. I can't help but wonder if people think: We can 
do this to them, and they won't do it to a Democratic President.
  There are people who were often pointing out to me bases for 
President Obama to be impeached. Going back to Fast and Furious, all 
kinds of things that we should have been investigating. But at the 
time, we had a Speaker who didn't want to go to court and get court 
orders in order to get the documents that were demanded. So we had a 
show vote to hold in contempt, but it was meaningless unless we went to 
court and had it enforced by a court order, as Jonathan Turley was 
saying, is the right of the Congress or the President to do.
  If the Congress or the President does that, it is not an impeachable 
offense for the Member of Congress or the President. It is a 
constitutional right. Once the court orders that it has to be produced 
or orders that it does not have to be produced, then if the President 
or the Congress says they are not going to abide by the court order, 
then that gets into an area that you may want to look at impeachment, 
but that is not what has happened here. But it is what the next couple 
weeks' actions may lead us to.
  It is unfortunate that the President's comments were taken out of 
context in whether or not he had the power to fire Mueller. He was 
right that he did. Article II gives him that power. Then to say he 
thinks he can do anything he wants to do, well, no. If he thought he 
could do anything he wanted to do, if he was a monarch, then he would 
just say he is going to take all the money and shut down the Department 
of Education totally and divert all that money to securing our border, 
protecting American citizens, as he wants to do. He has made it very 
clear.
  Instead, he can take only some money here that is, under the law, 
open enough that it could be used for the purpose of building a wall. 
Otherwise, he would have a wall all built by now.
  But he knows he is not a monarch. So it is a pretty outrageous thing 
to say.
  But when it comes to going to court, Daniel Huff, a smart lawyer who 
used to be at the Committee on the Judiciary here, had an article 
published in The Wall Street Journal. The Supreme Court last week 
blocked a House committee subpoena for 8 years' worth of President 
Trump's tax returns. The committee will press the matter in further 
litigation, but the logic that supports the subpoena undercuts House 
Democrats' effort to impeach Mr. Trump for asking Ukraine to 
investigate Joe Biden.
  In both cases, the use of official power to get dirt on a political 
rival is consistent with a broader, valid, official purpose, and that 
is to try to fight corruption. So Daniel Huff makes a great point in 
that editorial that he wrote.
  What we were dealing with in the Committee on the Judiciary on 
Wednesday, if we are really going to examine a report--and I found out 
there is a hearing Monday morning at 9:00 a.m.
  I asked who the witnesses are. Well, we don't know yet. What are we 
going to be taking up? Well, we don't know yet.
  Well, you are trying to destroy the Presidency, remove a man out of 
office. Something so serious that the Founders would say this is 
something that rises to the level--it needs to be treasonous. It has to 
be really serious.

                              {time}  1400

  Under the Constitution itself, it makes very clear you cannot convict 
someone of treason under this Constitution, Federal court, unless you 
have the direct testimony of two witnesses. All they had was hearsay on 
hearsay on hearsay.
  They can't try President Trump for something like treason because 
they don't have two direct witnesses. So much of what they brought 
would never be allowed or admitted into court.
  We deserve to hear from former members of the Obama administration 
who were holdovers. I know that Mr. McMaster made a comment that he 
didn't want to hear any more of his employees at the National Security 
Council ever mention the word ``holdover,'' that just because somebody 
was hired by the Obama administration and Trump hadn't gotten rid of 
them yet didn't mean they were holdovers, that they are government 
employees.
  Well, no. They were holdovers, and he should have never been in the 
position he was. He spent his time trying to undermine the President 
the best he could.
  As of March of this year, our own Speaker said impeachment must be 
compelling and overwhelmingly bipartisan. She is violating her own 
statement if she has this go forward next week.
  In 1998, our own Judiciary Chairman Nadler said there must never be a 
narrowly voted impeachment supported by one of our major political 
parties and opposed by the other. Such would produce divisiveness in 
our politics and will call into question the very legitimacy of our 
political institutions.
  You know what? Jerry Nadler was exactly right when he said that. If 
they go through with this in the next 2 weeks or in January--whenever--
it is going to do exactly what he said, which is what Professor 
Jonathan Turley said. It is going to produce even more divisiveness in 
this country and will call into question the very legitimacy of our 
political institutions.
  It absolutely will. He was right back then. I don't know what has 
happened since 1998 when he was so acutely aware of the Constitution 
and the ramifications of actions like they are taking now, but this is 
where we are.
  Some of us were encouraged to file impeachment on President Obama, 
and some were angry that I wouldn't file for impeachment of President 
Obama. But I cared so deeply about this country, and I knew that if we 
had impeachment proceedings on President Obama, no matter what he did, 
this country would be so divided that it would never recover. Of 
course, we became much more divided during those years.
  Somebody asked me: When President Obama was in office, did you ever 
have any positive thoughts about him being President?
  I said: When he was elected, I didn't vote for him, but I thought, 
you know what? He could end up being like Coach Williams was to us back 
where I grew up. Coach Williams was my favorite coach. He happened to 
be Black, and I loved the guy. He was such a great coach.
  But he brought us all together as a team. We had a few good athletes, 
but most were like me. I was a quarterback and captain on the team at 
the time, and he brought us together. He treated everybody tough, but 
he treated everybody the same.
  We came together as a team, and we had an extremely winning team. We 
didn't win every game. We nearly did. But he was a great coach.

[[Page H9343]]

  I didn't mention to the reporter that I was quarterback, but I said 
that I hoped that President Obama would bring us together as a Nation 
the way Coach Williams did as a team. I didn't say what sport, what 
position I played.
  So, the first story I see about my comment from some big liberal was 
how I said my high school basketball coach was my favorite coach. 
Apparently, if you are a liberal like that reporter was, you just 
assume, well, if he was a Black coach, it must have been basketball. I 
didn't say basketball or football. She just assumed it. I found that 
rather ironic.
  One of my great joys last year: I was asked to come to speak to my 
old alma mater high school to try to fire them up before the game. 
Somebody told me Coach Williams was up in the press box, so I went up 
there. Arms flew open by both of us. He is just a good man, just a good 
man. He was a great coach, and I treasure the times I got to play with 
him.
  But that hasn't happened here. The country got more divided.
  But Sharyl Attkisson had a good account. This was November 25 and 
updated November 30. Some of the things she pointed out was Mueller, as 
anti-Trump as he, Weissmann, and all those folks were that he hired, 
Mueller testified there were instances of Russian social media support 
for Hillary Clinton as well. Try to find that in the mainstream media.
  She also says, according to reporting by Politico, though, in January 
2017--it is hard to find at Politico now because they, I am sure, 
deeply regret they ever reported this. But they reported back then 
efforts by Democrats and Ukraine to sabotage the Trump campaign in 2016 
did impact the race, even though Trump won in the end.
  She points out that in March 2016, Alexandra Chalupa reportedly met 
with top Ukrainian officials at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in 
an effort to tarnish the Trump campaign by exposing ties by Trump, top 
campaign aide Paul Manafort, and Russia, according to Politico.
  Now, this is Alexandra Chalupa. She was a consultant with the 
Democratic National Committee in 2016 and previously worked under the 
Clinton administration. She acknowledged in 2017 that she worked as a 
consultant for the DNC during the 2016 campaign with the goal of 
publicly exposing Trump campaign aide Paul Manafort's links to pro-
Russian politicians in Ukraine. ``Chalupa admitted coordinating with 
the Ukrainian Embassy, and with Ukrainian and U.S. news reporters.''
  But on August 8, 2016, that is when Peter Strzok wrote to Lisa Page 
that they would stop Trump from becoming President.
  Ukraine had formed the National Anticorruption Bureau in 2014 as a 
condition to receive aid. Why? Because, nominally, the Obama 
administration wanted to say, as Congress was dictating back then, that 
we wanted to see some advances in anticorruption by Ukraine.
  A recent poll indicated that, in the last year, 68 percent of those 
randomly chosen for the poll had bribed a government official. Sixty-
eight percent, that is just here recently.
  But August 19, 2016, Manafort resigned as Trump campaign chairman. I 
think he was there only 3 months, something like that.
  The same day, Ukrainian parliament member Serhiy Leshchenko, who was 
part of the Petro Poroshenko bloc, held a news conference to draw 
attention to Manafort and Trump's pro-Russia ties. The original link to 
a photograph of the news conference was recently removed.
  ``At the news conference in Ukraine, Leshchenko was said to be 
exposing `a firm run by U.S. businessman and Republican Party 
Presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort, 
who reportedly directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying 
operation on behalf of Ukraine's ruling political party, attempting to 
sway the American public's opinion in favor of the country's pro-
Russian Government.' ''
  Anyway, those were just some of the things that were going on that 
really need to be investigated.
  One of the important results to some of those who appear to have been 
conspiring with Ukraine, Americans who appear to be conspiring with 
Ukraine to affect our U.S. election, gee, they did have an effect, but 
it wasn't enough to change the outcome of the 2016 election.
  In 2018, Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate, and Chuck Grassley, 
chairman of the Finance Committee, asked Attorney General William Barr 
and FBI Director Christopher Wray for various records, including 
forensic images of Chalupa's devices. They are seeking records also 
from the National Archives to obtain White House visitor logs regarding 
any meetings between Chalupa, Ukrainians, and Obama officials.
  August 8, 2018, that is when Strzok wrote Page they would stop Trump. 
But that is 2016, so this has been going on for some time, and more 
information has come out.
  Aaron Klein had a good article November 26 that a second Adam Schiff 
staffer linked to a Burisma-backed think tank--Burisma being the 
company that paid millions to people to be on their boards, including 
Hunter Biden. But this article is very interesting, that another 
staffer for Adam Schiff served as a fellow for the Atlantic Council 
think tank funded by and working in partnership with Burisma. Isn't 
that convenient?
  But Sean Misko was close friends with a guy named Eric Ciaramella. In 
2015, Sean Misko was a yearlong millennial fellow at the Burisma-funded 
Atlantic Council.
  Thomas Eager, a staffer on Schiff's House Intel Committee staff, is 
currently a fellow at the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Congressional 
Fellowship, and that educates congressional staff on current events in 
the Eurasia region, which is obviously the take on issues that Burisma 
wants them to have or they wouldn't have funded this thing. Burisma 
cosigned a cooperative agreement with the council to specifically 
sponsor the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center, where Eager served as a 
fellow.
  But a trip to Ukraine in August organized by the Atlantic Council 
revealed that Eager and others had a meeting with Acting U.S. 
Ambassador Bill Taylor. That name should ring a bell. It may have been 
perfectly innocent, but nonetheless, Burisma has helped fund some 
things for some of Adam Schiff's staff.
  Of course, it quotes Chairman Schiff on September 17 saying: ``We 
have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.'' Of 
course, it turns out his staff had talked with him, and, in fact, that 
is apparently the first people that were talked to about the 
conversation, for good reason.
  Misko is listed as providing a small donation of up to $999 to that 
think tank in 2016 but also contributions from the Open Society network 
that George Soros had so much to do with.

                              {time}  1415

  Another big donor, Perkins Coie, the law firm that was used to help 
the DNC and the Clinton campaign with hiring Fusion GPS and Christopher 
Steele and getting the Russian dossier hoax going.
  But it is just amazing when you start seeing: Wait a minute. There 
was a lot going on between people in our government and the Ukrainian 
Government, corrupt people over there.
  And then we find out Kerry Picket, October 11, reported: ``Abigail 
Grace, who worked at the NSC until 2018, was hired in February, while 
Sean Misko, an NSC aide until 2017, joined Schiff's staff in late 
August.''
  That was the best information they had at the time.
  But it points out that Abigail Grace, 36, ``was hired to help 
Schiff's committee investigate the Trump White House.'' But she had 
worked for the Trump White House as an Obama holdover. `` . . . Trump 
accused Schiff of `stealing people who work at the White House.' '' She 
had worked there 2016 to 2018 and briefly for the Center for a New 
American Security think tank, founded by two former senior Obama 
administration officials.
  But Sean Misko, 37, ``worked in the Obama administration as a member 
of the Secretary of State's policy planning staff under Deputy Chief of 
Staff Jake Sullivan, who became Hillary Clinton's top foreign policy 
official during her 2016 Presidential campaign. In 2015, Misko was the 
director for the Gulf States at the NSC, remaining

[[Page H9344]]

there into the Trump administration's first year.
  ``A source familiar with Grace's work at the NSC told the Washington 
Examiner, `Abby Grace had access to executive privilege information, 
and she has a duty not to disclose that information. She is not 
authorized to reveal that information.'
  ``The same source said that Misko had not been trusted by Trump 
appointees. `There were a few times where documents had been signed off 
for final editing before they go to the National Security Advisor for 
signature'. . . . `And he actually went in and made changes after those 
changes were already finished.' So he basically tried to insert, 
without his boss' approval.'
  `` `There were meetings in which he protested very heavily, and the 
next thing you know, there's an article in the paper about the contents 
of that meeting.'
  ``Misko often clashed with other NSC personnel at meetings, another 
source said. Both Grace and Misko were close to Lieutenant General H.R. 
McMaster, Trump's National Security Advisor''--unfortunately--``from 
February 2017 until May 2018.
  ``Misko was a CNAS fellow in 2014. Misko's name surfaced in the 
Hillary Clinton email controversy when he worked in the State 
Department during the Obama administration.
  ``In a December 1, 2009, email released by Judicial Watch, Clinton 
adviser Huma Abedin sent classified information regarding foreign 
military contributions to the Afghanistan war effort to her private 
email account. That email originated with Misko, who wrote to Sullivan 
that he initially `accidentally' sent it on the `high side'--which is 
secure--but was sending the email again.
  ``The intelligence committee did not respond to a request for 
comment.''
  And then, updated information, December 3, Kerry Picket reports that, 
actually, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff hired a 
former National Security Council aide during the Obama and Trump 
administrations the day after the phone call between President Trump 
and Ukrainian President Zelensky.
  So it turns out, call on July 25, July 26 Sean Misko gets hired. Sean 
Misko, Abigail Grace, Eric Ciaramella, they had worked together at the 
National Security Council. In fact, Misko and Ciaramella, they were 
reported to be brother-like, or bro-like, that they were just always 
hanging around.
  And then we find out that, after the phone call, apparently, 
Ciaramella goes over to the staff, and, based on what we know--it 
appears to me, my opinion--that he goes over there and says, wow, you 
know, all the work we did with Biden, with Ukraine, maybe they were 
saying maybe the work we did trying to set some things up to help the 
Clinton campaign, whatever it was, they were scared. Clearly, they were 
scared. And somebody comes up with the idea, why not use the 
whistleblower statute even though it really didn't apply.
  And you know, some people say, oh, you guys, you know, you are all 
dead set on getting the whistleblower.
  The whistleblower, as a whistleblower, whoever it is is irrelevant. 
But these three key people, including Misko and Grace, who worked 
together at the Obama administration and the Trump administration 
temporarily, at the National Security Council, that worked with 
Ukraine, worked with Biden, these people are at the heart of everything 
about this whole Ukrainian hoax.
  Why are we having a Ukrainian hoax? Because all the other hoaxes were 
exposed, and maybe that is why we are rushing through this in record 
time, so that people don't find out more about how this all came about.
  But we need to talk to Alexandra Chalupa. She met with people 
involved in this, including Ukrainians, Misko and Abigail Grace and 
Ciaramella.
  Regardless, it doesn't matter who the whistleblower was. What matters 
is the information these people know about what went on with Ukraine's 
interference in our election--not the country officially, but the 
Ukrainian officials that interfered and what all went on. They are in 
it up to their eyeballs.
  We need to be able to talk to these people, and these are the three 
people--well, four people that neither Adam Schiff nor Jerry Nadler are 
willing to produce.
  Now, I made the request, provided it to our ranking member. Under 
H.R. 660, he has to provide it, and apparently there is somebody he had 
to talk to before he was willing to provide it. But at least I am 
making that request.
  To be official, our ranking member has to hand it over. It needs to 
be done. We need to be able to talk to these people before they 
irreparably destroy the institutions, as Jerry Nadler said this kind of 
impeachment would. We need to talk to the people that got it all--that 
brought about the circumstances in dealing with Ukraine, Biden, Russia. 
We need to be able to question them about Ukraine, about Biden, about 
Russia and all these intermingling ties. It is critical. We have got to 
be able to have that.

  And, of course, reference the same person in the Mueller report even, 
where he is in the Mueller report, is shown or is indicated to be the 
source of allegations that Russia told, or Putin told Trump to fire 
Mueller--or Comey.
  In any event, this is all rather tragic, where partisan politics, 
just as Jerry Nadler predicted in 1998, is about to take a huge step 
toward finishing off this little experiment in self-government.
  No government lasts forever. This one won't. But the actions that are 
being taken now have far-ranging consequences toward destroying the 
best hope for freedom the world has ever had.
  People may hate this country, but you talk to people honestly around 
the world that have some freedom, like I did with three people from 
Australia. And I was kidding around. I had a few Members say: If we 
lose our freedom, we can all go to Australia.
  None of them smiled, even.
  One of them said: Do you not understand if you lose your freedom here 
in the United States, China will take us over before you could ever get 
there? You have got to be strong.
  I heard that in Nigeria when I went to meet with mothers whose 
children had been kidnapped and were being raped daily, and officials 
there said: Well, you know, your Obama administration said if we want 
more help with Boko Haram we have got to adopt same-sex marriage and we 
have got to have abortions.
  As one Catholic Bishop reported: Our religious beliefs are not for 
sale, not to the Obama administration, not to anybody.
  So it is not uncommon, as we have been told, and some people want to 
deny, but there are good reasons to withhold aid. I don't think trying 
to force somebody to change their religious beliefs, like in Nigeria 
and Kenya and Togo, some of the places I talked with officials, but, 
nonetheless, there is nothing wrong with it if it is a legitimate 
purpose.
  And what President Trump is trying to get to the bottom of, you know, 
it is a legitimate purpose: How do you stop corruption from foreign 
countries in our 2020 election if you are not allowed to figure out 
what they did in 2016? We need to be able to know that in order to stop 
it from happening again.
  This is really serious stuff. And I appreciate the comments that so 
many who are participating on the other side of the aisle have made in 
talking about this impeachment.
  Of course, we even heard that from Feldman, from Harvard. Oh, he was 
reluctant to bring up this impeachment. My gosh, the guy was all over 
Twitter over 2 years ago. He thought, gee, we may be able to impeach 
Trump for his tweet. We may be able to impeach him for this, that, and 
the other. This guy has been talking about it forever. He had no qualms 
about wanting to impeach Trump using any little thing possible, until 
he comes before our committee, and then he is reluctant.
  And we have heard that from some other people: We are reluctant to 
pursue this impeachment. Well, you sure can't tell it the way you are 
moving forward like you have got a posse and are to hang somebody that 
you have just run into.
  So let me just finish up by stating something I hope.
  It was reported this week that, after the Intelligence Committee's 
Democratic staff had finished rolling up this ball of collusion and, 
supposedly, sending it to the Judiciary Committee, it was reported that 
the Speaker provided a cake, and it was decorated as a flag. There was 
a big drinking celebration.

[[Page H9345]]

  So I hope that if the Judiciary Committee does what I really do hope 
and pray they don't, and that is move forward with impeachment on 
something Trump didn't even do wrong, that if they have another 
celebration for the Judiciary staff and people are drinking and eating 
cake and having a good time, I hope they will continue to do their 
drinking and celebration prayerfully, reluctantly, and soberly, as we 
have heard they are approaching all of this.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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