RECESS; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 14
(Senate - January 23, 2020)

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[Pages S513-S529]
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  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. Chief Justice, I ask unanimous consent that we 
have a break for 30 minutes.
  There being no objection, at 6:24 p.m., the Senate, sitting as a 
Court of

[[Page S514]]

Impeachment, recessed until 7:14 p.m., whereupon the Senate reassembled 
when called to order by the Chief Justice.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The majority leader is recognized.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. Chief Justice, after consulting with Congressman 
Schiff, it looks like roughly 10:30 tonight. So we may need a short 
break somewhere between now and 10:30.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. Thank you.
  Mr. Manager JEFFRIES. Mr. Chief Justice, distinguished Members of the 
Senate, counsel to the President, my colleagues, the American people, 
the second official act that President Trump used to corruptly abuse 
his power was the withholding of an Oval Office meeting with the 
President of Ukraine.
  Before we took the break, we started walking through the overwhelming 
evidence about how President Trump withheld this official White House 
meeting that was vitally important to Ukraine as part of a corrupt 
scheme to convince President Zelensky to announce two phony political 
investigations. These investigations were entirely unrelated to any 
official U.S. policy and solely benefited President Trump.
  We talked about why withholding the meeting was so significant to our 
ally Ukraine. Ukraine is a fragile democracy, under relentless attack 
from Russian-backed separatists in the east. U.S. support is vitally 
important to Ukraine in that war. They desperately need our support. 
They desperately need our assistance.
  Because of this vast power disparity, President Trump had immense 
power over Ukraine, and President Trump knew it. So when President 
Trump asked for a favor on a July 25 call, he knew that President 
Zelensky would feel incredible pressure to do exactly what President 
Trump wanted.
  President Trump used his agents--both his administration appointees 
and his personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani--to make clear to Ukraine, 
even in early July, that the much-needed White House meeting they 
requested would only occur if they announced these phony political 
  To be clear, as Ambassador Sondland testified, ``everyone was in the 
loop.'' That includes Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of 
State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
  Even ahead of the July 25 call, Ambassador Sondland was in close, 
repeated contact with these officials. His mission: Schedule a 
telephone conversation during which the new Ukrainian leader would 
personally commit to do the phony investigations sought by President 
Trump in order to unlock a meeting in the Oval Office--this for that, a 
quid pro quo.
  This isn't just based on the testimony of witnesses. It is 
corroborated by texts and emails as well. Let's look at some of that 
evidence now.
  On July 13, for example, Ambassador Sondland emailed National 
Security Council official Timothy Morrison and made the case for 
President Trump to call the Ukrainian leader prior to the parliamentary 
elections scheduled for July 21. In that email, as the highlighted text 
shows, Ambassador Sondland said the ``sole purpose'' of the call was to 
assure President Trump that investigations would be allowed to move 
forward. In other words, to get the Oval Office meeting, President 
Zelensky had to move forward on the phony political investigations, 
part of the scheme to cheat in the 2020 Presidential campaign--this for 
  On July 19, Ambassador Sondland spoke directly with President 
Zelensky. He spoke directly with President Zelensky to prepare him for 
a call with President Trump. Ambassador Sondland coached President 
Zelensky to use key phrases and reassure President Trump of Ukraine's 
intention to bend to President Trump's will with respect to the phony 
investigations that President Trump sought.
  Ambassador Sondland told Kurt Volker that he gave the Ukrainian 
leader ``a full briefing. He's got it.''
  That is what Sondland told Volker.
  In response, Volker texted: ``Most important is for Zelensky to say 
that he will help with the investigation.''
  That same day, Ambassador Sondland emailed top administration 
officials, including Acting Chief of Staff Mulvaney, Secretary Pompeo, 
and Secretary Perry, to summarize his conversation with Zelensky. In 
that email, Ambassador Sondland said Zelensky is ``prepared to receive 
POTUS' call. Will assure him''--meaning POTUS--``that he intends to run 
a fully transparent investigation and will `turn over every stone.' ''
  Both Acting Chief of Staff Mulvaney and Secretary Perry responded to 
the email, noting that the head-of-state call would be scheduled.
  Secretary Perry wrote: ``Mick just confirmed the call being set up 
for tomorrow by NSC''--the National Security Council.
  Mulvaney responded: ``I asked NSC to set it up for tomorrow.''
  Neither Mulvaney nor Secretary Perry took issue with the fact that 
Sondland coached Zelensky to yield to President Trump's pressure 
campaign, but instead they took steps to connect the two leaders. 
Everyone was in the loop.
  They were aware that during the July 20 call, President Trump 
intended to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election and 
pressed the Ukrainian leader to announce investigations into former 
Vice President Biden and the CrowdStrike conspiracy theory. There was 
no focus on advancing America's foreign policy or national security 
objectives. The only priority was President Trump's corrupt demand for 
phony investigations in exchange for an Oval Office meeting--this for 
  Here is Ambassador Sondland's testimony confirming this scheme.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Ambassador SONDLAND. Everyone was in the loop. It was no 
     secret. Everyone was informed via email on July 19th, days 
     before the Presidential call. As I communicated to the team, 
     I told President Zelensky in advance that assurances to run a 
     fully transparent investigation and turn over every stone 
     were necessary in his call with President Trump.

  Mr. Manager JEFFRIES. ``Necessary in his call with President Trump.''
  Now, we come to July 25, the morning of the infamous phone call--the 
culmination of a monthslong campaign to engineer a corrupt quid pro 
  That morning, before the call took place, President Trump provided 
guidance to Sondland. On the morning of July 25, he told him that 
President Zelensky should be prepared to announce the investigations in 
exchange for the White House meeting. After Sondland's call with 
President Trump on the morning of July 25, Sondland urgently tried to 
reach Kurt Volker. When he could not reach Ambassador Volker by phone, 
he sent a text that said, ``Call ASAP,'' and he left a message.
  Volker testified that he indeed received that message, which involved 
the following content: ``President Zelensky should be clear, 
convincing, forthright, with President Trump about his commitment to 
fighting corruption, investigating what happened in the past.'' That 
refers to the Russian-inspired fake, phony, and false conspiracy theory 
about Ukraine having been involved in interfering in our 2016 
  He continues: ``And if he does that, President Trump was prepared to 
be reassured, that he would say yes, come on, let's get this date for 
this visit scheduled.''
  Ambassador Volker then conveyed that message approximately 30 minutes 
before the Trump-Zelensky call to Zelensky's top aide, Andrey Yermak.
  As you can see on the slide, Ambassador Volker texts Yermak, 
Zelensky's guy, and says, ``assuming President Z convinces Trump he 
will investigate/`get to the bottom of what happened' in 2016,'' the 
White House meeting would get scheduled--this for that.
  So President Trump talks to Ambassador Sondland. Sondland talks to 
Ambassador Volker. Volker talks to President Zelensky's aide Yermak, 
and then the July 25 call occurs.
  When Ambassador Sondland testified, he agreed with this sequence, 
indicating it ``certainly makes sense.'' Here is what Sondland had to 
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. GOLDMAN. But the sequence certainly makes sense, right?
       Amb. SONDLAND. Yeah, it does.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. You talked to President Trump.
       Amb. SONDLAND. Yeah.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. You told Kurt Volker to call you. You left a 
     message for Kurt Volker. Kurt Volker sent this text message 

[[Page S515]]

     Andriy Yermak to prepare President Zelensky, and then 
     President Trump had a phone call where President Zelensky 
     spoke very similar to what was in this text message. Right?
       Amb. SONDLAND. Right.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And you would agree that the message in this, 
     that is expressed here is that President Zelensky needs to 
     convince Trump that he will do the investigations in order to 
     nail down the date for a visit to Washington, DC. Is that 
       Ambassador SONDLAND. That's correct.

  Mr. Manager JEFFRIES. Indeed, on the July 25 call when President 
Trump asked for a favor, President Zelensky was ready with the magic 
words. He said:

       I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the 
     United States, specifically Washington DC. On the other hand, 
     I want to ensure you that we will be very serious about the 
     case and will work on the investigation.

  This for that.
  ``Read the transcript,'' President Trump says. We have read the 
transcript, and it is damning evidence of a corrupt quid pro quo.
  The evidence against Donald Trump is hiding in plain sight. During 
our presentation, we walked through the serious issues presented in the 
plain reading of the July 25 call, but now you can see the entire 
content of how this corrupt parade of horribles unfolded.
  The quid pro quo was discussed in text messages, emails, voicemails, 
calls, and meetings amongst top administration officials and top 
Ukrainian officials. Indeed, President Trump's message was delivered to 
either President Zelensky or his top aides on four different occasions 
in the month of July--four different occasions: on July 2, in Toronto; 
on July 10, at the White House; on July 19, during a call between 
Zelensky and Ambassador Sondland; and then on July 25, before the call 
with the two leaders.
  Before that fateful call on July 25, President Zelensky understood 
exactly what needed to be done--a quid pro quo.
  The evidence of President Trump's grave misconduct does not end with 
that July 25 call. From that point onward, President Zelensky was on 
notice that it was President Trump himself who demanded those two phony 
political investigations.
  After the July 25 call, the Ukrainians followed up with President 
Trump's direction and began to coordinate with Rudolph Giuliani, the 
President's political bagman. Acting on the President's orders, U.S. 
diplomats, including Ambassador Sondland and Ambassador Volker, worked 
with Mr. Giuliani to continue pressuring Ukraine to announce the phony 
investigations that President Trump sought in exchange for that Oval 
Office meeting. This is corruption and abuse of power in its purest 
  Over the next 2 weeks, Mr. Giuliani directed Ambassadors Sondland and 
Volker to negotiate a public statement for President Zelensky 
announcing the investigations that President Trump corruptly demanded. 
Here is how Ambassador Sondland described this August timeframe.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Ambassador SONDLAND. Mr. Giuliani conveyed to Secretary 
     Perry, Ambassador Volker and others that President Trump 
     wanted a public statement from President Zelensky committing 
     to investigations of Burisma and the 2016 election. Mr. 
     Giuliani expressed those requests directly to the Ukrainians 
     and Mr. Giuliani also expressed those requests directly to 
     us. We all understood that these prerequisites for the White 
     House call and the White House meeting reflected President 
     Trump's desires and requirements.

  Mr. Manager JEFFRIES. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent 
described the pursuit of President Trump's corrupt demands as 
``infecting U.S. engagement with Ukraine.'' Here is his full testimony.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. KENT. In mid-August it became clear to me that 
     Giuliani's efforts to gin up politically-motivated 
     investigations were now infecting U.S. engagement with 
     Ukraine, leveraging President Zelensky's desire for a White 
     House meeting.

  Mr. Manager JEFFRIES. In short, U.S. diplomats responsible for 
Ukraine policy understood that Giuliani had de facto control over 
whether the Oval Office meeting would be scheduled and under what 
circumstances. Mr. Giuliani had been given that level of authority by 
President Trump, and it was infecting official U.S. policy toward 
  To shake loose the White House meeting, top Ukrainian officials knew 
that they had to meet with Mr. Giuliani, who John Bolton described as a 
human hand grenade who was going to blow everybody up. So, on August 2, 
Mr. Giuliani met with Mr. Yermak, President Zelensky's top aide, in 
Madrid--Giuliani, in Madrid, meeting with Zelensky's top aide on August 
2. Mr. Giuliani made clear in that meeting that President Trump needed 
more private assurances that Ukraine would pursue the investigations. 
Mr. Giuliani made clear that President Trump needed a public statement.
  According to Ambassador Sondland--and this is very important--
President Trump did not require that Ukraine actually conduct the 
investigations in order to secure that White House meeting. The 
Ukrainian Government only needed to announce the investigations because 
they were phony and they were simply designed to cheat in the 2020 
election, solicit foreign interference, and corrupt our democracy--to 
the benefit of President Trump. So the goal was not the investigations 
themselves but the corrupt political benefit President Trump would 
receive as a result of these announcements. He also wanted to shake 
``this Russia thing'' and instead blame Ukraine with the fairytale that 
Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. The facts didn't matter for 
President Trump; he only cared about the personal political benefit of 
these sought-after investigative announcements.
  Over the next few weeks, Ambassadors Sondland and Volker worked with 
Mr. Yermak to draft a public statement for President Zelensky to issue. 
Ambassador Volker was also in frequent contact with Rudy Giuliani 
regarding the content of that statement.
  Now, Rudy Giuliani, of course, is not a Secretary of State. He is not 
an Ambassador. He is not a member of the diplomatic corps. He was 
working in the political personal interests of President Trump, 
interacting with Ukrainian officials.
  On August 9, Ambassador Volker texted Mr. Giuliani and requested a 
call to update him on the progress of the negotiations for the 
statement and discuss the content of what it should include. Volker 
said that Yermak had ``mentioned Z''--President Zelensky--``making a 
statement.'' He suggested that he and Mr. Giuliani ``get on the phone 
to make sure I advise Zelensky correctly as to what he should be 
  Later that afternoon, Ambassador Sondland suggested to Ambassador 
Volker that they obtain a draft statement from the Ukrainian Government 
``to avoid misunderstandings'' or, in other words, make sure that 
President Trump's political objectives were met. Ambassador Sondland 
also reiterated that President Trump would not be satisfied by a vague 
statement. The Ukrainian leader needed to commit to the phony 
investigations in explicit terms in order to secure the sought-after 
Oval Office meeting--this for that.
  Call records subpoenaed by the House show multiple communications 
between Ambassador Sondland and Mr. Giuliani on the one hand and 
numbers associated with the Office of Management and Budget and the 
White House on the other.
  On August 8, around the time of direct communications between Mr. 
Giuliani and Mr. Yermak, Mr. Giuliani communicated repeatedly with the 
White House, sending or receiving six text messages and completing 
several calls.
  Most notably, late in the evening on August 8, Mr. Giuliani called 
the White House in a highly distinctive pattern.
  At 8:53 p.m., Giuliani texted a White House number.

  At 10:09, a number identified only as ``-1'' in the White House call 
records called Mr. Giuliani five times in rapid succession.
  Two minutes later, Mr. Giuliani attempted to return the call, trying 
an Office of Management and Budget number, then the White House 
Situation Room, and then the White House switchboard.
  At 10:28, 16 minutes after Mr. Giuliani tried to call the White House 
back, frantically--Situation Room, Office of Management and Budget, 
switchboard--16 minutes after Mr.

[[Page S516]]

Giuliani tried to call the White House back, Giuliani and the -1 number 
connected for 4 minutes 6 seconds.
  We should be clear. We do not know what Mr. Giuliani said or even 
whom he talked to. We do not know who was on the other end of that 
mysterious call with the -1. President Trump refused to produce 
documents and ordered key witnesses not to testify, hiding part of the 
truth from the American people. He obstructed our congressional 
investigation. But we do know that Rudolph Giuliani frantically called 
the White House late into the night. We do know that he talked to 
someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and we know that Mr. Giuliani 
likely talked about the drug deal that John Bolton characterized.
  Over the next few days, President Zelensky's aide, Mr. Yermak, 
exchanged drafts of the public statement with Ambassadors Volker and 
Sondland, who consulted on these drafts with Mr. Giuliani. The 
Ukrainian officials appeared to finally relent. They agreed to Mr. 
Giuliani's specific language about the phony political investigations 
in exchange for the Oval Office meeting.
  On August 10, Yermak texted Volker that the Ukrainians were willing 
to make the requested statements but only if they received a date for 
the White House meeting first. Mr. Yermak texted: ``I think it's 
possible to make this declaration and mention all these things.'' 
Yermak, again, is Zelensky's top guy. He later wrote that the statement 
would come out ``after we `receive a confirmation of date ' for the 
White House visit.
  Ambassador Volker counterproposed: They would iron out the statement 
in private, use that to get the date for the meeting in the Oval 
Office, and then President Zelensky would make the public statement--
this for that.
  Mr. Yermak countered: ``Once we have a date, will call for a press 
briefing, announcing upcoming visit and outlining vision for the reboot 
of the US-UKRAINE relationship, including, among other things, Burisma 
and election meddling in investigations.'' That was the specific 
reference to President Trump's corrupt demands.
  Two days later, Mr. Yermak sent the draft statement, but the 
statement did not reference Burisma or the 2016 election. As soon as 
Mr. Yermak sent the statement, what did Ambassadors Sondland and Volker 
do? They sought a call with Rudolph Giuliani to see if the statement 
would suffice. They needed to check in with Mr. Giuliani, who was 
leading the charge to lock down the corrupt quid pro quo.
  Let's listen to Ambassador Volker.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Ambassador VOLKER. This is the first draft of that from Mr. 
     Yermak after the conversations that we had.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And it does not mention Burisma or the 2016 
     election interference, correct?
       Ambassador VOLKER. It does not.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And you testified in your deposition that you 
     and Ambassador Sondland and Mayor Giuliani had a conversation 
     about this draft after you received it. Is that right?
       Ambassador VOLKER. That is correct.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And Mr. Giuliani said that if the statement 
     did not include Burisma and 2016 election, it would not have 
     any credibility. Is that right?
       Ambassador VOLKER. That's correct.

  Mr. Manager JEFFRIES. Mr. Giuliani, acting on behalf of President 
Trump, made clear that the statement from the Ukrainians had to target 
Vice President Biden--for reasons outlined earlier today--and it had to 
mention the conspiracy theory about Ukraine interfering in the 2016 
  After Mr. Giuliani conveyed this on the telephone call, Ambassadors 
Volker and Sondland texted Mr. Yermak and requested a call to convey 
that message. Ambassador Volker says: ``Hi Andrey--we spoke with Rudy. 
When is good to call you?'' And Ambassador Sondland makes clear the 
urgency, texting: ``Important. Do you have 5 minutes?''
  Now, Ambassador Volker made clear to Mr. Yermak that the statement 
needed the two key items Mr. Giuliani required for the President.
  Here is Ambassador Volker's testimony to that effect.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Amb. VOLKER. Hi, Andre. Good talking. Following is text 
     with insert at the end for the two key items. We will work on 
     official request.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And then you will see the highlighted portion 
     of the next text. The other is identical to your previous one 
     and then it just adds including the . . . Including Burisma 
     and the 2016 elections. Is that right?
       Amb. VOLKER: That is correct.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And that was what Mr. Giuliani insisted on 
     adding to the statement?
       Amb. VOLKER. That's what he said will be necessary for that 
     to be credible.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And the Ukrainians ultimately did not issue 
     the statement. Is that right?
       Amb. VOLKER. That is correct.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And President Zelensky ultimately did not get 
     the Oval Office meeting either, did he?
       Amb. VOLKER. Not yet.

  Mr. Manager JEFFRIES. President Zelensky is still waiting for that 
Oval Office meeting.
  Ronald Reagan, in a speech that he delivered in 1987 at the foot of 
the Berlin Wall, in the midst of the Cold War, said to the world:

       East and West do not mistrust each other because we are 
     armed. We are armed because we mistrust each other. And our 
     differences are not about weapons. It's about liberty.

  The Trump-Ukraine scandal is certainly about weapons. It is about the 
unlawful withholding of $391 million in security aid. It is about a 
withheld, sought-after Oval Office meeting. It is about trying to cheat 
in the 2020 election. It is about corrupting our democracy. It is about 
undermining America's national security. It is about a stunning abuse 
of power. It is about obstruction of Congress. It is about the need for 
us here in this great Chamber to have a fair trial with witnesses and 
evidence. It is about a corrupt quid pro quo.
  Perhaps, above all, it is about liberty, because in America, for all 
of us, what keeps us free from tyranny is the sacred principle that in 
this great country no one is above the law.
  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Chief Justice, Senators, President's 
counsel, we have reviewed the mountain of evidence that proves the 
President's official act in his scheme: the corrupt bargain of a White 
House meeting in exchange for Ukraine announcing sham political 
  You heard from each relevant witness with firsthand knowledge of the 
President's corrupt scheme--Sondland, Taylor, Volker, Hill, and 
Vindman--that there was a corrupt deal: an Oval Office meeting for 
investigations--quid pro quo, this for that.
  You also saw inescapable documentary proof that clearly proves a 
corrupt quid pro quo. The evidence is consistent, corroborated. It 
comes in many forms, from many individuals who are lifelong public 
servants with no motivation to lie. In short, the evidence is 
  Given how much we have gone through, let's review some of those 
career public servants' testimony, who state clearly that they too 
believed it was a quid pro quo--a this for that--because it is really 
powerful to hear directly from them.
  Let's watch Ambassador Taylor.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Amb. TAYLOR. By mid-July, it was becoming clear to me that 
     the meeting President Zelensky wanted was conditioned on the 
     investigations of Burisma, and alleged Ukrainian interference 
     and the 2016 U.S. elections. It was also clear that this 
     condition was driven by the irregular policy channel I had 
     come to understand was guided by Mr. Giuliani.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. It was clear that these were conditions 
driven by irregular policies. We know this too because Ambassador 
Sondland said so at the July 10 meeting. Dr. Fiona Hill described the 
scene in Ambassador Bolton's office, where the quid pro quo was made 
  Let's watch.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Dr. HILL. Ukrainian Mr. Danylyuk starts to ask about a 
     White House meeting, and Ambassador Bolton was trying to 
     parry this back. Although he's the National Security Advisor, 
     he's not in charge of scheduling the meeting. We have input 
     recommending the meetings, and this goes through a whole 
     process. It's not Ambassador Bolton's role to start pulling 
     out the schedule and start saying, ``Right, well, we're going 
     to look and see if this Tuesday in this month is going to 
     work with us.'' And he does not as a matter of course like to 
     discuss the details of these meetings, he likes to leave them 
     to, you know, the appropriate staff for this. So, this was 
     already going to be an uncomfortable issue.
       As Ambassador Bolton was trying to move that part of the 
     discussion away, I think he was going to try to deflect it 
     onto another wrap-up topic, Ambassador Sondland leaned in 
     basically to say, ``Well, we have an agreement that there 
     will be a meeting, and the

[[Page S517]]

     specific investigations are put underway.'' And that's when I 
     saw Ambassador Bolton stiffen. I was sitting behind him in 
     the chair, and I saw him sit back slightly like this. He'd 
     been more moving forward, like I am, to the table. And, for 
     me, that was an unmistakable body language, and it caught my 
     attention. And then he looked up to the clock and, you know, 
     at his watch, or at his wrist in any case. Again, I am 
     sitting behind him . . . and basically said, ``Well, you 
     know, it's been really great to see you. I'm afraid I've got 
     another--another meeting.''

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. ``Ambassador Bolton stiffened''--quite a 
description. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman's testimony is consistent with 
Dr. Hill's recollection of the July 10 meeting, and that it was made 
clear that the deal for the White House meeting was investigations.

  Let's watch Lieutenant Colonel Vindman
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. GOLDMAN. I want to move now to that July 10th meeting 
     that you referenced, Colonel Vindman. What exactly did 
     Ambassador Sondland say when the Ukrainian officials raised 
     the idea of a White House meeting?
       Lt. Col. VINDMAN. As I recall, he referred to specific 
     investigations that the Ukrainians would have to deliver in 
     order to get these meetings.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, firsthand 
knowledge--they would have to deliver in order to get these meetings.
  It was also clear that this wasn't about general investigations about 
corruption. This wasn't about corruption at all. Ambassador Sondland 
directed everyone--including the Ukrainian officials--to reconvene in 
the Ward Room, where he discussed the arrangement he had reached with 
Mr. Mulvaney in more detail. He made clear that it was about specific 
investigations that would benefit President Trump personally.
  Here is Lieutenant Colonel Vindman testifying, where he explains that 
Ambassador Sondland referred to the Bidens, Burisma, and the 2016 
election, which had nothing to do with national security policy.
  Let's watch.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. GOLDMAN. Were the investigations, the specific 
     investigations that Ambassador Sondland referenced in the 
     larger meeting, also discussed in the Ward Room meeting?
       Lt. Col. VINDMAN. They were.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And what did Ambassador Sondland say?
       Lt. Col. VINDMAN. Ambassador Sondland referred to 
     investigations into the Bidens, Burisma, and 2016.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. How did you respond, if at all?
       Lt. Col. VINDMAN. I said that this request to conduct these 
     meetings was inappropriate--these investigations was 
     inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security 

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. ``Nothing to do with national security 
policy''--that about some sums it up. Doesn't it? It has nothing to do 
with national security policy. President Trump's scheme was for his 
personal interest, not national security. And his testimony, once 
again, is corroborated.
  Dr. Hill joined the Ward Room conversation later and also recalled 
the discussion of investigations and a White House meeting, and that 
Lieutenant Colonel Vindman said: ``This is inappropriate. We're the 
National Security Council; we can't be involved in this.''
  Here is her testimony.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Dr. HILL. And so when I came in, Gordon Sondland was 
     basically saying, well, look, we have a deal here that there 
     will be a meeting. I have a deal here with Chief of Staff 
     Mulvaney. There will be a meeting if the Ukrainians open up 
     or announce these investigations into 2016 in Burisma.
       And I cut it off immediately there. Because by this point, 
     having heard Mr. Giuliani over and over again on the 
     television and all of the issues that he was asserting, by 
     this point it was clear that Burisma was code for the Bidens, 
     because Giuliani was laying it out there. I could see why 
     Colonel Vindman was alarmed. And he said: ``This is 
     inappropriate. We're the National Security Council; we can't 
     be involved in this.''

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. And what's more, as Ambassador Sondland 
told us, everyone was in the loop--meaning, it became clear that 
President Trump was directing this.
  Dr. Hill, who at one point confronted Gordon Sondland over this 
arrangement, further reached the conclusion that he was acting on the 
President's orders and coordinating with other senior officials. He had 
made this clear: he was briefing the President on all this.
  Here is Dr. Hill's testimony. Let's watch.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Dr. HILL. So, I was upset with him that he wasn't fully 
     telling us about all of the meetings that he was having. And 
     he said to me: ``But I'm briefing the president. I'm briefing 
     Chief of Staff Mulvaney. I'm briefing Secretary Pompeo and 
     I've talked to Ambassador Bolton. Who else do I have to deal 
       And the point is we have a robust interagency process that 
     deals with Ukraine. It includes Mr. Holmes, it includes 
     Ambassador Taylor as, the Charge in Ukraine, it includes a 
     whole load of other people. But it struck me when yesterday, 
     when you put up on the screen Ambassador Sondland's emails 
     and who was on these emails and he said, these [are] the 
     people who need to know, that he was absolutely right. 
     Because he was being involved in a domestic political errand, 
     and we were being involved in national security foreign 
     policy. And those two things had just divulged.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. The evidence is very clear: The White 
House meeting would only be scheduled if Ukraine announced the 
investigations that everyone, including the Ukrainians, understood to 
be purely political efforts to benefit the President. The only way to 
come to a different conclusion is to ignore the evidence.
  One additional way you can tell that this conduct is truly corrupt, 
and not U.S. foreign policy as usual, is that these officials--these 
lifetime, career public servants--didn't just testify about this in 
impeachment proceedings. They contemporaneously reported this conduct 
in realtime.
  Their reactions illustrate that this was not the kind of thing that 
both parties do when they have the White House. This was something 
different, something corrupt, something ``insidious,'' to use 
Ambassador Sondland's characterization in later testimony.
  The officials who instinctively recoiled from the corrupt deal that 
Sondland blurted out were distinguished patriotic public servants.
  Let's go through some specific examples of that evidence.
  After the July 10 meeting we just talked about, where Ambassador 
Sondland made clear the agreement that the White House meetings were 
conditioned on the investigations, Dr. Hill consulted with Ambassador 
Bolton and told him what she had heard. Ambassador Bolton gave her, as 
she put it, a ``very specific instruction'' to report this conduct in 
realtime, and she did.
  Here is her testimony. Let's watch.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Dr. HILL. The specific instruction was that I had to go to 
     the lawyers, to John Eisenberg, our senior counsel for the 
     National Security Council, to basically say, you tell 
     Eisenberg, Ambassador Bolton told me, that I am not part of 
     this whatever drug deal that Mulvaney and Sondland are 
     cooking up.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. What did you understand him to mean by the 
     drug deal Mulvaney and Sondland were cooking up?
       Dr. HILL. I took it to mean investigations for a meeting.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. Did you go speak to the lawyers?
       Dr. HILL. I certainly did.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. Again, investigations for a meeting, the 
quid pro quo.
  Consistent with Dr. Hill's recounting, after both the July 10 meeting 
and the July 25 call, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman reported what he had 
learned through the lawyers.
  Here he is discussing that later interaction. Let's see it.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. MALONEY. And you went immediately, and you reported it, 
     didn't you?
       Col. VINDMAN. I did.
       Mr. MALONEY. Why?
       Col. VINDMAN. Because that was my duty.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. When Vindman said he reported this 
conduct, again, ``because that was my duty,'' he acted as he did out of 
a sense of duty and as a Purple Heart veteran, with confidence that in 
America he would be protected for doing the right thing even if it 
angered the President of the United States.
  His father, who fled the Soviet Union to come to this country, 
worried about his son fulfilling that duty.
  Here was Colonel Vindman's message to his father. Let's listen.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Lt. Col. VINDMAN. Dad, my sitting here today in the U.S. 
     Capitol talking to our elected officials is proof that you 
     made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet 
     Union to come here to the United States

[[Page S518]]

     of America in search of a better life for our family. Do not 
     worry. I'll be fine for telling the truth.
       Mr. MALONEY. You realize when you came forward out of a 
     sense of duty that you were putting yourself in direct 
     opposition to the most powerful person in the world? Do you 
     realize that, sir?
       Lt. Col. VINDMAN. I knew I was assuming a lot of risk.
       Mr. MALONEY. And I'm struck by the word . . . that phrase, 
     ``do not worry,'' you addressed to your dad. Was your dad a 
       Lt. Col. VINDMAN. He did serve. It was a different military 
       Mr. MALONEY. And he would've worried if you were putting 
     yourself up against the President of the United States, is 
     that right?
       Lt. Col. VINDMAN. He deeply worried about it because in his 
     context it was the ultimate risk.
       Mr. MALONEY. And why do you have confidence that you can do 
     that and tell your dad not to worry?
       Lt. Col. VINDMAN. Congressman, because this is America. 
     This is the country I've served and defended, that all of my 
     brothers have served, and here right matters.
       Mr. MALONEY. Thank you, sir. I yield back. [applause].

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. Imagine. He had to tell his father: Do 
not worry; I will be fine for telling the truth. It was his duty 
because, in America, right matters.
  President Trump has suggested that all of the witnesses are Never 
Trumpers. That couldn't be further from the truth. As we just saw, 
these U.S. officials are brave public servants. It is wrong--just flat 
wrong--to suggest they were doing anything other than testifying out of 
a sense of duty, as Lieutenant Colonel Vindman testified.
  But it wasn't just U.S. officials whose reactions show us that this 
was wrong; it is also clear how corrupt this scheme was because Ukraine 
resisted it. President Zelensky was elected as a reformer. His first 
few months in office lived up to this promise.
  Here is Ambassador Taylor testifying on this point. Let's see it.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Ambassador TAYLOR. But once I arrived in Kyiv, I discovered 
     a weird combination of encouraging, confusing, and ultimately 
     alarming circumstances.
       First, the encouraging. President Zelensky was reforming 
     Ukraine in a hurry. He appointed reformist ministers and 
     supported long-stalled anti-corruption legislation. He took 
     quick executive action, including opening Ukraine's High 
     Anti-Corruption Court. With a new parliamentary majority 
     stemming from snap elections, President Zelensky changed the 
     Ukraine Constitution to remove absolute immunity from Rada 
     deputies, the source of raw corruption for two decades. The 
     excitement in Kyiv was palpable. This time could be 
     different, a new Ukraine finally breaking from its corrupt, 
     post-Soviet past.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. So we know that President Zelensky was a 
reformer, fighting corruption, fighting for reform, and he got started 
early, as soon as he was sworn in. We know that President Zelensky's 
agenda was in our U.S. national interest. In fact, every witness 
testified that President Zelensky deserved America's support and that 
they told President Trump that.
  So keeping that in mind, it is extremely telling what President 
Zelensky and his aides were saying behind closed doors. They were 
concerned about being dragged into President Trump's scheme. They 
recognized the political peril of going along with the President's 
corrupt scheme. We know that was the case for many reasons, but let's 
look at some of the evidence showing that now.
  First, the Ukrainians made their concerns clear directly to U.S. 
officials. On July 20, just days ahead of the July 25 call, Ambassador 
Taylor spoke with President Zelensky's national security advisor. He 
then conveyed to Ambassadors Sondland and Volker that the Ukrainian 
leader ``did not want to be used as a pawn in a U.S. reelection 
  Here is Ambassador Taylor explaining what he understood that to mean. 
Let's watch.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. GOLDMAN. What did you understand it to mean when--that 
     Zelensky had concerns about being an instrument in Washington 
     domestic reelection politics?
       Ambassador TAYLOR. Mr. Danyliuk understood that these 
     investigations were pursuant to Mr. Giuliani's request to 
     develop information, to find information about Burisma and 
     the Bidens. This was very well known in public. Mr. Giuliani 
     made this point clear in several instances in the beginning--
     in the springtime. And Mr. Danyliuk was aware that that was a 
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And would you agree that, because President 
     Zelensky is worried about this, they understood, at least, 
     that there was some pressure for them to pursue these 
     investigations? Is that fair?
       Ambassador TAYLOR. Mr. Danyliuk indicated that President 
     Zelensky certainly understood it, that he did not want to get 
     involved in these type of activities.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. As the slide shows, on July 21, 
Ambassador Taylor relayed the same message to Ambassadors Volker and 
Sondland, making clear that ``President Zelensky is sensitive about 
Ukraine being taken seriously, not merely as an instrument in 
Washington domestic politics.''
  But Ambassador Sondland did not back down. Instead, Ambassador 
Sondland reinforced the importance that President Zelensky reassure 
President Trump of his commitment to investigations. He said: 
``Absolutely, but we need to get the conversation started and the 
relationship built, irrespective of the pretext. I am worried about the 
alternative.'' The ``pretext'' that Ambassador Sondland referred to was 
President Trump's requirement that Ukraine announce investigations that 
would benefit him personally and politically. He wanted help in 
  It wasn't just Ambassador Taylor. Deputy Assistant Secretary George 
Kent, too, testified that Ukraine was ``very uncomfortable'' when the 
issue of investigations was raised during the negotiations of the 
statement in August of 2019.
  As the slide shows, Mr. Kent said:

       I had a conversation with Charge Taylor in which he . . . 
     indicated that Special Representative Volker had been 
     engaging Andriy Yermak; that the President and his private 
     attorney Rudy Giuliani were interested in the initiation of 
     investigations and that Yermak was very uncomfortable when 
     this was raised with him, and suggested that if that were the 
     case, if that were really the position of the United States, 
     it should be done officially and put in writing . . . And I 
     told Bill Taylor, that's wrong, and we shouldn't be doing 
     that as a matter of U.S. policy.

  When asked, ``What did he say?'' Mr. Kent said, ``He said he agreed 
with me.''
  What is also important to note here is why. Ukraine made this clear. 
If the United States was asking them for investigations, especially 
investigations that made them uncomfortable, they should be done 
``officially'' and ``put in writing.''
  Mr. Kent's testimony shows that. He said:

       Yermak was very uncomfortable when this was raised with 
     him, and suggested that if that were the case, if that were 
     really the position of the United States, it should be done 
     officially and put in writing.

  And this wasn't the only time. On August 13, Mr. Yermak asked 
Ambassador Volker ``whether any requests had ever been made by the U.S. 
to investigate election interference in 2016.''
  Now, this makes sense. Normally, if something is actually about 
official U.S. policy, the President would go through official U.S. 
channels, but, as we have seen here, he didn't. His personal attorney 
made this--this wasn't about foreign policy; it was something that 
would benefit President Trump personally.
  The administration officials made this clear too. There was 
undisputed testimony that the investigations were not part of U.S. 
policy. In fact, they diverged with the U.S. national security and our 
Nation's values. The Department of Justice has made this crystal clear 
in public statements. There has never been an official asked officially 
to do any of these investigations. And that is how we know this is so 
very wrong.
  Even Ukraine, a struggling, new country, knew this was wrong, and 
they stood up to President Trump and said no. Yermak--remember, he was 
Zelensky's chief aide--was basically saying: You want an investigation? 
Please send us a formal request from DOJ. Show us you are willing to 
stand behind the legitimacy of what you are asking. But Ambassador 
Volker was unable to provide that information. And that is why--even 
though the White House meeting was so critical to Ukraine, even though 
Ukraine needed it so desperately--they still wouldn't make the 
statement with key additions: President Trump's political 
investigations, which were solely to help his reelection and had 
nothing to do with foreign policy.
  President Zelensky tried in different ways to resist the pressure of 

[[Page S519]]

a ``pawn'' in U.S. politics. Even though the Oval Office meeting was 
important, Zelensky repeatedly tried to find a way around committing to 
the investigations that President Trump demanded--or at the very least, 
schedule it before taking any official action. This is what you saw in 
the negotiation over the statement in August, and this is why even 
President Trump's second official act--withholding the White House 
meeting--was not enough to make Ukraine do his dirty work.
  Senators, we are coming to the end of a section of the presentation 
regarding the withholding of the White House meeting. So I want to just 
quickly remind us one last time about the central points that we have 
  President Trump exercised his official power when he withheld an Oval 
Office meeting that was critical to Ukraine, and he did this for only 
one reason and one reason only: President Trump conditioned that Oval 
Office meeting on Ukraine's announcing investigations that would help 
him politically. This had nothing to do with official U.S. policy. 
President Trump directed U.S. officials who were supposed to work for 
the American people to work, instead, with his personal agent, Rudy 
Giuliani, and focus only on his personal political interests.
  Acting on behalf of the President and with the President's full 
knowledge, Mr. Giuliani worked with those U.S. officials to carry out 
the President's scheme. They pressured the Ukrainian Government to act 
as a personal opposition research firm for President Trump. They tried 
to use a foreign government to dig up dirt on his client's rival, 
former Vice President Biden, an American citizen--all so President 
Trump could win his election. They made clear that Ukraine would not 
get the official U.S. Government support it so desperately needed--
support that the President's national security team conveyed was 
necessary to advance our own national security objectives--unless 
President Zelensky announced the sham investigations.
  Remember that an abuse of power occurs when a President corruptly 
exercises official power to obtain a personal benefit in a way that 
ignores or injures the national interest.
  Senators, that is exactly what happened here. By withholding a White 
House meeting, President Trump used official power to corruptly 
pressure Ukraine. Indeed, the entire quid pro quo--the ``this for 
that''--the entire campaign to use the Oval Office meeting as some kind 
of asset for the President's reelection campaign--was corrupt. U.S. 
officials knew this. Ukrainians knew this too. I think, deep down, we 
all know it, and I think the American people know it.
  Senators, I ask you this one question: Is that not an abuse of power? 
Was it OK? If it is not an abuse of power, then what is? Is it OK to 
withhold official acts from a foreign country until that foreign 
country assists in your reelection effort?
  If any other public official did that, he or she would be held 
accountable. I know, if one of us did that, we would be held 
accountable. The only way to hold this President accountable is right 
here in this trial. Otherwise, you would be telling Ukraine and the 
world that it is OK for the President to use our Oval Office and this 
country's prestige and power for himself instead of for the American 
  If we allow this gross abuse of power to continue, this President 
will have free rein to abuse his control of U.S. foreign policy for 
personal interests and so would any other future President. Then this 
President and all Presidents become above the law. A President could 
take the powers of the greatest office in this land and use those 
powers not for the country, not for the American people but for him or 
  I ask you to make sure this does not happen because, in this country, 
no one--no one--is above the law.
  (The above statement is spoken in Spanish.)
  I now yield to Mrs. Demings.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The majority leader is recognized.


  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. Chief Justice, the House managers have requested a 
5-minute break.
  There being no objection, the Senate, at 8:19 p.m., recessed until 
8:38 p.m. and reassembled when called to order by the Chief Justice.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The majority leader is recognized.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. Chief Justice, if I may, one brief announcement: 
In the morning, there will be a coronavirus briefing for all Members at 
10:30. Senator Alexander and Senator Murray are involved in that. The 
location will be emailed to your office.
  Mrs. Manager DEMINGS. Chief Justice Roberts, Senators, and counsel 
for the President, we have now been through the first two official acts 
by the President. But neither of those official acts got the President 
what he wanted--help in his reelection campaign. So he turned to 
another official act to turn up the pressure even more--withholding 
nearly $400 million of vital military assistance to Ukraine in exchange 
for the investigations.
  Withholding military assistance to Ukraine made the original abuse of 
power, soliciting foreign interference in our elections, that much 
worse. But it was also in and of itself an abuse of power. And not only 
that, it violated the law. It was illegal.
  The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan, independent 
agency, concluded that President Trump's hold on the security 
assistance clearly violated the Empowerment Control Act, a law that 
Congress enacted to curb President Nixon's own abuse of power.
  President Trump may not like it, but once a law is passed, the 
President cannot change that law without coming back to us, the 
  And President Trump did not just break the law, he jeopardized our 
national security, because Ukraine's national security is our national 
security. How? Because a free and democratic Ukraine is a shield 
against Russian aggression in Europe. That has been one of America's 
most important foreign policy and national security goals since World 
War II. Freedom, liberty, democracy--those values keep us safe.
  Let us now explain how President Trump's improper withholding of 
military assistance was clearly done to pressure Ukraine to announce 
the two baseless investigations--a gross abuse of power.
  First, we will briefly describe how important the military aid was to 
Ukraine's defense against Russian aggression, which affects our 
  Second, we will explain how President Trump used the power of his 
office to freeze military aid to Ukraine in a way meant to conceal it 
from Congress.
  And third, we will present the overwhelming evidence that President 
Trump ordered the hold for a corrupt purpose: to pressure Ukraine to 
announce two investigations that would personally benefit his own 
reelection effort.
  Let us start with the importance of the aid to our--the United 
States'--national security. The United States has supported Ukraine 
since it secured independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Our 
support was critical to convince Ukraine to forgo its pursuit of a 
nuclear arsenal in 1994. We promised them that we would defend them if 
necessary. But our support became truly vital in 2014, when Ukraine 
revolted against its Russian-friendly President, Viktor Yanukovych. 
Ukrainian citizens rose up in protest, demanding democratic reforms and 
an end to corruption. The protests, rightly known as the Revolution of 
Dignity, removed the pro-Kremlin President.
  Russia responded by using its own military forces and proxies in 
Ukraine to invade Ukraine. This was the first effort to redraw European 
boundaries by military force since World War II.
  The war was devastating to Ukraine and remains so today. 
Approximately 7 percent of Ukraine's territory is now occupied by 
Russia. Approximately 15,000 people have been killed as a result of the 
conflict, and over 1.4 million people have been displaced.
  In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the United States and 
our allies imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities and 
agreed to provide billions of dollars in assistance to support 
Ukrainian sovereignty and democratic development.
  We understood immediately, Democrats and Republicans alike, that 
Ukraine's safety and security was directly tied to our safety and 
security. With this all in mind, since 2014, the United States has 
delivered roughly $1.5 billion in security assistance and another $1.5 
billion in other assistance

[[Page S520]]

to our ally Ukraine. Our allies in Europe have provided approximately 
$18 billion in loans and grants since 2014.
  As we have explained, the U.S. assistance comes partially from the 
Department of Defense, which provides important military support. It 
comes partially from the State Department, which helps Ukraine purchase 
military services or equipment manufactured by American companies in 
the United States.
  Ambassador Taylor explained how security assistance counters Russian 
aggression and can help shorten the war in the east. Here is his 
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Ambassador TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, the security assistance 
     that we provide takes many forms. One of the components of 
     that assistance is counter-battery radar. Another component 
     are sniper weapons.
       These weapons and this assistance allows the Ukrainian 
     military to deter further incursions by the Russians against 
     Ukrainian territory. If that further incursion, further 
     aggression, were to take place, more Ukrainians would die. So 
     it is a deterrent effect that these weapons provide.
       It's also the ability--it gives the Ukrainians the ability 
     to negotiate from a position of a little more strength when 
     they negotiate an end to the war in Donbas, negotiating with 
     the Russians. This also is a way that would reduce the 
     numbers of Ukrainians who would die.

  Mrs. Manager DEMINGS. Congress imposed certain conditions on the DOD 
assistance. Those conditions require DOD to hold half of the money in 
reserve. To release all of the funds, DOD, in coordination with the 
State Department, must conduct a review and certify to Congress that 
Ukraine has done enough to fight corruption.
  President Trump may argue that the conditions imposed by Congress are 
similar to the hold he placed on aid to Ukraine. As Mick Mulvaney said, 
``[w]e do that all the time.'' But let us be very clear: These types of 
conditions, which are often included in appropriations bills, are 
designed to promote official U.S. policy, not the policy of one 
individual or one President. This is exactly the type of permissible 
condition on aid that Vice President Biden was implementing when he 
required that Ukraine fire its corrupt prosecutor general before 
getting a loan guarantee.
  Prior to 2019, the Trump administration provided security assistance 
to Ukraine without incident. Even under the previous Ukrainian 
administration of President Petro Poroshenko--which suffered from 
serious corruption--President Trump allowed $510 million in 2017 and 
$359 million in 2018 to flow unimpeded to Ukraine.
  But in the summer of 2019, without any explanation, President Trump 
abruptly withheld the security assistance for Ukraine.
  So what had changed by July of 2019? Congress had appropriated the 
funds. President Trump had signed this into law. The Department of 
Defense had certified that Ukraine was meeting the required anti-
corruption reforms. In fact, DOD had begun to spend the funds. So what 
  Well, in April, two critical things happened. First, Joe Biden 
publicly announced his campaign for President. Second, the Mueller 
investigation concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. 
elections to assist the Trump campaign and that the Trump campaign had 
extensive contacts with Russians and even took advantage of some of the 
Russian efforts. The evidence shows that the only reason--the only 
logical reason, and we deal in what is reasonable--President Trump 
withheld the aid was to undermine these threats to his political 
  As we have discussed, security assistance to Ukraine has broad 
bipartisan support from Congress, as well as every agency within the 
President's own administration.
  Let us be clear about something. The money mattered to Ukraine. It 
mattered to Ukraine. Witness testimony revealed that this money was 10 
percent of Ukraine's defense budget--10 percent.
  Now imagine if President Trump just decided without cause or 
explanation to hold 10 percent of our own defense budget. That would 
have a dramatic impact on our military. It certainly did to Ukraine, 
our ally.
  Keep in mind, too, that President Trump had to sign the bill into 
law, which he did in September of 2018. At no time--at no time--through 
the congressional debate or passage of the bill did the White House 
express any concerns about the funding or the program itself.
  I want you to see the slide before us. It shows President Trump signs 
the bill authorizing aid to Ukraine for fiscal year 2019.

  On June 18, President Trump's own Department of Defense certified 
that Ukraine had met all of the anti-corruption requirements necessary 
to receive aid. And do you know what? The Department of Defense 
announced that the money was on its way, just as we, the United States 
of America, had promised.
  Senators, our word must continue to mean something. Our word must 
continue to mean something powerful in the world. So let us make 
certain that America continues to live up to its promise.
  Ms. Manager LOFGREN. Mr. Chief Justice and Senators, thank you so 
much for the attention that you have given to our presentation 
throughout this day. It is a long day. You are here without your cell 
phones or any access to other information. It is not easy, but you are 
paying attention, and the country and the managers thank you for that.
  We have just gone through the importance of security assistance to 
Ukraine to our national security and the clear consensus among 
Congress, the Executive, and the President's agencies and advisers that 
the aid should be released to Ukraine. In fact, by June 18, after 
having certified that Ukraine had met all the anti-corruption reform 
requirements to receive the aid, DOD announced its intention to provide 
the $250 million in security assistance to Ukraine.
  This brings us to the second part of this section of our argument.
  Soon after that June 18 press release, President Trump quickly moved 
to stop the aid from flowing. He did this with no explanation, against 
the clear consensus of his advisers and his agencies, and against our 
Nation's security interests. He was so determined to do it in order to 
pressure Ukraine to do his political dirty work that he was willing to 
violate the law, something his own officials were well aware of and 
worried about.
  How do we know the President ordered the hold? First, there is no 
real dispute that the President ordered the hold. The hold on security 
assistance to Ukraine was a unilateral official act by the President. 
Immediately after the DOD's June 18 press release announcing the $250 
million in security assistance funds for Ukraine, President Trump 
started asking questions about the funding program. Laura Cooper from 
DOD and Mark Sandy from OMB testified about this sudden interest in 
Ukraine security assistance, something that Cooper called unusual.
  We, of course, have received no documents from OMB and DOD because of 
the President's obstruction. Why did the President want to hide these 
documents? We don't know, but thanks to Freedom of Information Act 
lawsuits and hard-working reporters, we know a little from the 
documents that we do have.
  For instance, we know that the day after the DOD press release, the 
President asked for information about the Ukraine aid. On June 19, 
Michael Duffey, the Associate Director for National Security Programs 
at OMB, sent an email to Elaine McCusker, the DOD comptroller, with an 
article by the Washington Examiner reporting: ``Pentagon to send $250M 
in weapons to Ukraine.''
  In Duffey's email, he asked McCusker the following question:

       The President has asked about this funding release, and I 
     have been tasked to follow-up with someone over there to get 
     more detail. Do you have insight on this funding?

  It seems that on June 19, Robert Blair, Mick Mulvaney's deputy, 
called Acting OMB Director Russell Vought to discuss Ukraine's security 
assistance. He told him: ``We need to hold it up.''
  That is right. The hold was actually directed impulsively without any 
policy or agency review as soon as President Trump learned about it 
from a press release.
  We know what was on the President's mind about Ukraine that day 
because President Trump gave a phone interview with Sean Hannity on FOX 
News. During the interview, he mentioned the so-called CrowdStrike 
conspiracy theory that blames Ukraine rather than

[[Page S521]]

Russia for interfering in the 2016 election. Remember, President Trump 
raised the CrowdStrike theory a month later during his July 25 call 
with President Zelensky. Of course--and this has been said many times--
that theory has been completely refuted by U.S. intelligence agencies, 
as well as the President's own handpicked senior advisers.
  The New York Times also reported that on June 27, Mick Mulvaney sent 
Blair an email. Mulvaney wrote:

       I am just trying to tie up some loose ends. Did we ever 
     find out about the money to Ukraine and whether we can hold 
     it back?

  What was Blair's response to Mulvaney? That it was possible to hold 
security assistance, but he warned: ``Expect Congress to become 
  Blair, who previously worked for Congress, knew that Congress would 
be ``unhinged'' because there was overwhelming bipartisan support for 
Ukraine. Congress had already authorized the release of the funds. DOD 
had already told Congress and the world that it was going to spend the 
$250 million on Ukraine security assistance, and it had already started 
to do so.
  Mark Sandy, the senior career official at OMB responsible for this 
type of aid, couldn't recall any other time in his 12-year career at 
OMB when a hold was placed on security assistance after a congressional 
notification was made.
  Later, if the President's counsel starts listing other times that aid 
has been held, ask yourself three questions.
  One, had Congress already cleared the money to be released; two, was 
there a significant geopolitical development in that country; and 
three, did the GAO determine that the hold was illegal, in part, 
because Congress was not notified?
  Here, the money had been cleared. There was nothing new or important 
in Ukraine to disrupt the aid--just that a true anti-corruption 
reformer was elected. The hold was illegal.
  From freedom of information releases and press reports, we know about 
just a few of the many documents being hidden from you about how the 
hold began. Given President Trump's obstruction with the facts that 
have come to light through the Freedom of Information Act lawsuits and 
news reporting, you may assume the documents that are being withheld 
would probably incriminate the President; otherwise, why wouldn't he 
have provided them? If he had a legitimate executive privilege claim, 
he could follow the rules and make each claim. Instead, he just said 
no--no to everything.
  By mid-July, the President had put a hold on all the money. Jennifer 
Williams, special adviser to Vice President Pence for Europe, learned 
about the hold on July 3. She said it came ``out of the blue'' and 
hadn't previously been discussed by OMB or the National Security 
Council. The hold was never discussed with any policy experts in any of 
the relevant agencies.
  That is remarkable. President Trump ordered a hold on congressionally 
appropriated funds without the benefit of any interagency deliberation, 
consultation, or advice. The evidence shows the President's hold was an 
impulsive decision unrelated to any American policy.
  On July 12, Robert Blair, Mulvaney's deputy, emailed Duffey at OMB. 
He said ``the President is directing a hold on military support funding 
for Ukraine.'' This is according to Sandy, the career officer at OMB 
who got a copy of the email.
  Now, we don't have a copy of the email because of the President's 
obstruction, but here is what we do know from Mr. Sandy's description 
of the email, as well as testimony from other witnesses. The hold was 
not part of a larger review of foreign aid. We do know it was not the 
result of a policy debate about what was best for America. It came 
``out of the blue.'' We now know why it was done: to turn the screws on 
Ukraine to provide political help for the President.
  The hold was immediately suspect simply because of its timing. Duffey 
later asked Blair about the reason for the hold. Blair gave no 
explanation. Instead he said ``we need to let the hold take place'' and 
then ``revisit'' the issue with the President. Blair either didn't know 
the reason or wouldn't share the real reason because it was corrupt. It 
sure would be nice to know what Blair knew about the reason for the 
hold and what Duffey knew. We could ask them the question if you 
authorize a subpoena.
  Now, we had hoped, as we said, that the Senate would authorize 
subpoenas before our arguments were made. We thought it would have been 
helpful. But we know that you will have another opportunity to call 
witnesses, to require documents, and we hope that your decision will be 
informed by the arguments we are making to you over these days and that 
you will, in fact, get the full story.
  Well, we do know actually the reason why the President did what he 
did. We know the President held the money. It wasn't because of any 
policy reason to benefit America or any concern about corruption in 
Ukraine or any desire for more burden-sharing from other countries. It 
was because the President was upset that Ukraine was not announcing the 
investigations that he wanted because he wanted to ramp up pressure to 
force them to do it.
  From the very beginning, it was clear the hold was not in America's 
national interest. Those within the U.S. Government responsible for 
Ukraine security and for shaping and implementing U.S. foreign policy 
were caught off guard by the President's decision. Support for the aid 
and against the hold was unanimous, forceful, and unwavering. The 
President can call Ukraine policy experts ``unelected bureaucrats'' all 
he wants, but those are officers charged with implementing his official 
policy developed by the President himself, which was also a product of 
congressional action.
  Anyway, it wasn't just the career officers. President Trump's own 
politically appointed senior officials--his Cabinet members--also 
opposed the hold. Why? Because it was against our national interest.
  But the President wasn't persuaded by arguments about national 
interest. Why? Because the hold had nothing to do with the national 
interest. It had to do with the interest of just one person, Donald J. 
  The demand for Ukraine to announce these investigations was not a 
policy decision but a personal decision by the President to benefit his 
own personal interest. At an NSC-led meeting on July 8, OMB announced 
that President Trump had directed a hold on Ukraine security 
assistance. The news shocked meeting participants. Ambassador Taylor 
testified that he and others on the call ``sat in astonishment'' when 
they learned about the hold. He immediately ``realized that one of the 
key pillars of our strong support for Ukraine was threatened.''

  David Holmes, political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, 
testified he was ``shocked'' and thought the hold was ``extremely 
significant'' because it undermined what he understood to be 
longstanding U.S. policy in Ukraine. Catherine Croft, the State 
Department special adviser for Ukraine, testified that the announcement 
``blew up the meeting.''
  Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent said. ``There was 
great confusion among the rest of us because we didn't understand why 
that had happened.'' He explained: Since there was unanimity about this 
security assistance to Ukraine, it was in our national interest, it 
just surprised all of us.
  The policy consensus at this and later NSC meetings was clear. With 
the exception of OMB, which was following the direction of the 
President, everyone supported lifting the hold. All the way up to the 
No. 2 officials at the agencies--the political appointees of President 
Trump--there was unanimous agreement that the hold was ill-advised and 
the aid should be released.
  Tim Morrison, national security adviser to John Bolton, understood 
that the most senior appointed officials ``were all supportive of the 
continued disbursement of the aid.''
  On August 15, at the President's golf club in Bedminster, NJ, members 
of the President's Cabinet ``all represented to Ambassador Bolton that 
they were prepared to tell President they endorsed the swift release 
and disbursement of the funding.''
  The President ignored his advisers' recommendation to lift the hold. 
He provided no credible explanation for it--not from the day the hold 
was made until the day it was lifted.
  Witness after witness--including Hale, Vindman, Croft, Holmes, Kent, 
Cooper, Sandy--testified they weren't

[[Page S522]]

given any reason for the hold while it was in place.
  Croft said: ``[T]he only reason given was that the order came at the 
direction of the President.''
  Mr. Holmes confirmed: ``The order had come from the President without 
further explanation.''
  Kent testified too: ``I don't recall any coherent explanation.''
  Ambassador Sondland agreed: ``I was never given a straight answer as 
to why it had been put in place to begin with.''
  Dr. Hill explained: ``No, there was no reason given.''
  Even Senator McConnell has said: ``I was not given an explanation for 
the hold.''
  Even as OMB was implementing the hold, officers in OMB were saying it 
should be lifted. Mr. Sandy testified that his team drafted a memo on 
August 7 to OMB Acting Director Russ Vought. It recommended lifting the 
hold because of, one, the assistance was consistent with national 
security to support a stable, peaceful Europe; two, the aid countered 
Russian aggression; and three, there was bipartisan support for the 
  Michael Duffey, the senior political appointee overseeing funds, 
approved the memorandum. He agreed with the policy recommendations, and 
it wasn't just OMB. Senior advisers in the administration tried over 
and over again to convince President Trump to lift the hold over the 
  Sometime prior to August 16, Ambassador Bolton had a one-on-one 
meeting with President Trump about the aid. The President didn't budge. 
Then, at the end of August, when the hold on the aid became public, 
Ambassador Taylor expressed to multiple officials his concerns about 
withholding the aid from Ukraine at a time when it was fighting Russia. 
Ambassador Taylor stressed the importance of the hold not just as a 
message to Ukraine but, importantly, to Russia as well. Withholding the 
aid on vital military assistance while Ukraine was in the midst of a 
hot war with Russia sent a message to Russia about U.S. support of 
  Ambassador Taylor felt so strongly about the harm withholding the 
security assistance that for the first time ever in his decades of 
service at the State Department, he sent a first-person cable with his 
concerns to Secretary Pompeo. In the cable, he described directly the 
``folly'' that Taylor saw in withholding the aid. Here is his 
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Patrick MALONEY: Have you ever sent a cable like that? How 
     many times in your career of 40, 50 years have you sent a 
     cable directly to the Secretary of State?
       Bill TAYLOR: Once.
       Patrick MALONEY: This time?
       Bill TAYLOR: Yes, sir.
       Patrick MALONEY: In 50 years?
       Bill TAYLOR: Rifle company commanders don't send cables, 
     but yes, sir.

  Ms. Manager LOFGREN. Ambassador Taylor never received an answer to 
the cable, but he was told that Secretary Pompeo carried it with him to 
a White House meeting about security assistance to Ukraine.
  It seemed this meeting about the aid may have occurred on August 30. 
There are press reports that Secretary Pompeo, Secretary Esper, and 
National Security Advisor Bolton discussed the hold with President 
Trump shortly after Ambassador Taylor sent his cable. Keep this in 
mind. This was 2 days after the hold was publicly reported and after 
the President was briefed on the whistleblower complaint. Yet, even 
then, President Trump refused to release the aid.
  On August 30, Michael Duffey sent an email to Elaine McCusker, the 
DOD comptroller. It said: ``Clear direction from POTUS to continue to 
hold.'' President Trump has refused to produce this or any other email 
to Congress.
  When the administration was forced to produce it in a freedom of 
information case in response to a court order, this critical passage 
was actually blacked out. What is the reason for blacking out this 
direction from the President about an issue so central to this case? No 
reason has been given to us. So you should ask yourself this: What is 
the President hiding?
  The President finally released the hold on September 11, but, again, 
there was no credible reason given for the release. Mark Sandy 
testified that he could not recall another instance ``where a 
significant amount of assistance was being held up'' and he ``didn't 
have a rationale in this case.''
  On the day it was released, OMB still didn't know why President Trump 
had ordered the hold. On September 11, the day the President finally 
released the aid, McCusker at DOD reportedly sent an email to Duffey 
asking: ``What happened?''
  Michael Duffey answered: ``Not exactly clear but President made the 
decision to go. Will fill you in when I get details.''
  So let's take a step back for a minute. Why was no reason given to 
anyone for the President deciding to hold up hundreds of millions of 
dollars in military assistance to our allies? Because there was no 
supportable reason for withholding the aid. No one agreed with it. 
According to the 17 witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry, 
President Trump insisted on holding the aid and provided no reason, 
despite unanimous support for lifting the hold throughout his 
administration, including his handpicked top advisers. It also wasn't 
consistent with American policy. The aid had the clear support of 
career officers and political appointees in President Trump's 
administration as important for national security. There was no 
national security or foreign policy reason provided. No one could think 
of one. DOD had already certified to Congress, as the law required, 
that Ukraine had met the anti-corruption conditions for the aid and 
that it planned to begin implementing the expenditures.

  So why did the President do this? I think we know why. The President 
ordered the hold for an improper purpose: to pressure Ukraine to 
announce investigations that would personally benefit President Trump.
  That brings us to a key point. It wasn't just that the President 
ordered a hold on the aid without any explanation against the unanimous 
advice of his advisers and even after, for weeks, as his 
administration--both career and political appointees--continued to try 
to get him to release the hold. What the President was trying to hide 
was worse. What the President did was not just wrong; it was illegal.
  In ordering the hold, President Trump not only took a position 
contrary to his senior advisers, counter to congressional intent, and 
adverse to American national security interests in Ukraine, he also 
violated the law.
  This issue was not a surprise. From the start of the hold in July, 
compliance of the Impoundment Control Act was a significant concern for 
OMB and DOD officials. Mark Sandy raised concerns with his supervisor, 
Michael Duffey, that the hold might violate Impoundment Control Act. 
DOD voiced the same concerns.
  Laura Cooper from DOD described the discussion at a July 26 meeting 
with No. 2 officials at all of the relevant agencies about the hold, 
stating: ``Immediately, deputies began to raise concerns about how this 
could be done in a legal fashion.'' She further testified that there 
was no legal mechanism to use to implement the hold after Congress had 
been notified of the release of the funding.
  At a July 31 meeting with more junior officials, Laura Cooper put all 
attendees on notice, including representatives of the White House, that 
because ``there were only two legally available options, and we do not 
have direction to pursue either,'' DOD would have to start spending the 
funds on or about August 6.
  In other words, the President had a choice. He could release the aid, 
or he could break the law. He chose to break the law. He was so 
determined to turn up the pressure on Ukraine that he kept the hold for 
no legitimate purpose and without any congressional notification for 
long enough to violate the law.
  The concerns from OMB and DOD were ultimately accurate. As has been 
mentioned just last week, the nonpartisan Government Accountability 
Office found that President Trump broke the law by implementing the 
hold and in failing to notify Congress about it.
  Because of the President's hold, DOD was ultimately unable to spend 
all the $250 million in security assistance before the end of the 
fiscal year, as Congress--as we--intended.

[[Page S523]]

  As GAO explained, the Constitution grants the President no unilateral 
authority to withhold funds from obligation. And they further 

       Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President 
     to substitute his own constitutional priorities for those 
     that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds for a 
     policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment 
     Control Act.

  The bottom line, President Trump froze the aid to increase the 
pressure on Ukraine to announce the investigations he wanted. He 
violated the law. He violated his constitutional duty to take care that 
the laws be faithfully executed.
  But the President didn't just violate the Impoundment Control Act 
while pressuring Ukraine to announce the investigations he wanted. He 
was dishonest about it in the process. This is really telling because 
he is still not telling the truth about it even now.
  The budget documents that implemented the hold until September 11 
asserted that it was being imposed to ``allow for an interagency 
process to determine the best use of such funds.''
  But that wasn't true. There was no ongoing interagency process after 
July 31 after it became clear that the entire interagency, including 
Cabinet offices, unanimously agreed the aid should be released. The 
truth is, there simply was no debate or review in the interagency 
regarding the best use of such funds. So the reason given by the 
President was not only illegal; it was false too.
  The dishonesty in the budget documents weren't the only steps that 
the President's men at OMB took to cover up his misconduct and enable 
his scheme. OMB went so far as to remove the authority to approve the 
budget documents from Mark Sandy, a career officer, and gave it to 
Michael Duffey, a political appointee without experience managing such 
  This change was unusual. It occurred less than 2 weeks after Sandy 
raised concerns that the hold violated the law. Sandy was not aware of 
any prior instance when a political appointee assumed this kind of 
funding approval authority.
  Duffey's explanation that he simply wanted to learn more about the 
accounts doesn't make sense to Sandy. Really? This odd change in 
responsibility was just another way to keep the President's illegal 
hold within a tight-knit unit of loyal soldiers within the OMB.
  Michael Duffey defied the House's subpoena. At the President's 
direction, he refused to appear. The White House did not assert any 
privileges or immunities when it directed Duffey to defy Congress's 
subpoena. It wasn't a real exercise of executive privilege. They told 
him not to appear, and they had no reason why.
  If Mr. Duffey knew about any legitimate reason for the hold, I will 
bet he would not have been blocked from testifying. The fact that he 
was blocked might lead you to infer that his testimony would be 
damaging to the President and would be consistent with the testimony of 
the other witnesses that the hold was solely used to ratchet up 
pressure on Ukraine.

  But the warning from DOD wasn't just about how the hold was illegal. 
There were also practical consequences. By August 12, the Department of 
Defense told OMB it could no longer guarantee it would be able to spend 
all $250 million that Congress had directed before the end of the 
fiscal year.
  Not long after this August 12 email, DOD determined that time had run 
out. Ms. Cooper testified that DOD estimated that as much as $100 
million of aid might go unspent, even if the hold was immediately 
lifted. As a result, DOD refused to certify that it would be able to 
spend the funds by September 30.
  On August 20, OMB issued the first of six budget documents and 
removed the language providing legal cover for the hold. From that 
point on, the White House knew that DOD would not be able to spend all 
the funds, which was what the law required before September 30. Yet, 
even though he knew the hold would violate the Impoundment Control Act, 
President Trump continued the hold for another 23 days without telling 
us--without telling the Congress.
  This had the exact outcome that DOD feared. After the President 
lifted the hold on the evening of September 11, DOD had only 18 days to 
spend the remaining $223 million, which is about 89 percent of the 
total. DOD scrambled, and they spent all but approximately $35 million. 
About 14 percent of the appropriated funds were left.
  That $35 million would have expired and would have been forever lost 
to Ukraine had Congress not stepped in to pass a law to roll the money 
over to the next year. But even as of today, more than $18 million of 
that money has not yet been spent. Why? You will have to ask DOD. They 
haven't given us a reason.
  OK, all of this shows, clearly, that President Trump knowingly and 
willfully violated the law when he withheld aid from Ukraine. But just 
to be clear, the Articles of Impeachment do not charge Donald Trump 
with violating the Impoundment Control Act. We are not arguing that, 
but understanding this violation of the law is important to 
understanding the broader scheme of his abuse of power. It shows the 
great lengths the President was willing to go to in order to pressure 
Ukraine to do his political dirty work.
  The security assistance wasn't something the law allowed him to give 
or take at his discretion. No, he was legally obliged to release the 
money, but he simply didn't care.
  Why? He was so determined to get the announcement from Ukraine to 
smear his election opponent that holding the aid to force Ukraine to do 
that was the most important thing. He didn't care if he was breaking 
the law.
  I have been sitting here on the Senate floor. Honestly, I never 
wanted to be here under these circumstances. But I have been looking at 
``novus ordo seclorum.'' Now, I didn't study Latin. So I had to look it 
up. It means: ``A new order of the ages is born.'' That is what the 
Founders thought they were doing. Keeping that new order, the 
democracy, where the power is in the hands of the people, not in the 
hands of an unaccountable executive, is what we in the Congress--the 
House and the Senate--are charged to do.
  Senator Blunt and I are in charge of the Joint Committee on Printing. 
Every year, we print a new copy of the Constitution. This year, in the 
back, we printed a quote: ``At the conclusion of the Constitutional 
Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, `What have you wrought?' He 
answered, ` . . . a Republic, if you can keep it.' ''
  That is the challenge that all of us face, and that you Senators 
  I turn now to Mr. Crow, who will outline information about the 
President's intentions.
  Mr. Manager CROW. Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the Senate, counsel 
for the President, just bear with us a little while longer. I promise, 
we are almost there.
  You have heard a lot the last few days about what happened. How do we 
know that the President ordered the hold to pressure Ukraine to 
announce investigations that would help his personal political 
campaign? In other words, how do we know why it happened?
  We know it because, to this day, there is no other explanation. We 
know it because senior administration officials, including the 
President's own senior political appointees, have confirmed it. We know 
it because the President's own Chief of Staff said it at a national 
press conference. And we know it because the President himself directed 
  Here are the facts. One, the President asked President Zelensky for a 
favor on July 25, and we all know what that favor was.
  Two, multiple U.S. officials with fact-based knowledge of the process 
have confirmed it.
  Three, President Trump lifted the hold only after his scheme was 
  Four, there were no other legitimate explanations for the release of 
the hold. It was not based on a legitimate review of the foreign aid. 
It was not based on concerns of corruption in Ukraine. It was not 
because President Trump wanted countries to pay more. There are no 
facts that show that the President cared about any of those things.
  Five, as we know, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted 
at a press conference that the bogus 2016 election interference 
allegations were ``why we held up the money.''
  Eventually, the truth comes out. There was no legitimate policy 

[[Page S524]]

for holding the aid. So the truth came out.
  As Ambassador Sondland said, the President was a businessman who saw 
congressionally approved, taxpayer-funded military aid for Ukraine, our 
partner at war, as just another business deal to be made. Military aid 
in exchange for fabricated dirt on his political opponent. Dirt for 
dollars. This for that. A quid pro quo.
  Let's start with the President's own words to President Zelensky on 
the July 25 call. With the hold on his mind and on President Zelensky's 
mind, too--we know that--President Trump linked military aid to his 
request for a favor. At the very beginning of the call, President 
Zelensky said:

       I would also like to thank you for your great support in 
     the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate 
     for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy 
     more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

  The ``great support in the area of defense'' included, of course, the 
$391 million in military aid, because remember, just a month before, 
DOD had publicly announced its intent to provide $250 million of that 
aid. President Zelensky was showing gratitude to the President for the 
aid that DOD had just announced would be on its way. But the President 
had put a hold just a few weeks before.
  Immediately after President Zelensky brought up the U.S. military 
support and said that Ukraine was almost ready to buy more Javelin 
anti-tank missiles, President Trump pivoted to what he wanted in 
return. He turned from the quid to the quo.
  President Trump immediately responded. He said: ``I would like you to 
do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and 
Ukraine knows a lot about it.''
  And what was that favor? Well, we all know by now; don't we? It 
wasn't to fight corruption. It wasn't to help the United States or our 
national interests. It was the two specific political investigations 
that he wanted Ukraine to announce to help his own personal political 
campaign. President Trump's quick pivot from the critical military aid 
that he knew Ukraine desperately needed to the investigations that 
would benefit him personally speaks volumes. By bringing up the 
investigations immediately after President Zelensky raised the issue of 
military support, he linked the two issues.
  U.S. officials listening to the call also made that connection. Here 
is what Jennifer Williams, Vice President Pence's aide, testified:
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. SCHIFF. But I was struck by something else you said in 
     your deposition. You said that it shed some light on possible 
     other motivations behind the security assistance hold. What 
     did you mean by that?
       Ms. WILLIAMS. Mr. Chairman, I was asked during the closed-
     door testimony how I felt about the call; and, in reflecting 
     on what I was thinking in that moment, it was the first time 
     I had heard internally the President reference particular 
     investigations that previously I had only heard about through 
     Mr. Giuliani's press interviews and press reporting. So, in 
     that moment, it was not clear whether there was a direct 
     connection or linkage between the ongoing hold on security 
     assistance and what the President may be asking President 
     Zelensky to undertake in regard to investigations. So I--it 
     was--it was noteworthy in that regard. I did not have enough 
     information to draw any firm conclusions.
       Mr. SCHIFF. But it raised a question in your mind as to 
     whether the two were related.
       Ms. WILLIAMS. It was the first I had heard of any requests 
     of Ukraine which were that specific in nature. So it was 
     noteworthy to me in that regard.

  Mr. Manager CROW. In fact, the hold was formally implemented by OMB 
the very day of the call. Just hours after the call between President 
Trump and President Zelensky, Duffey sent an email to senior DOD 
officials instructing them to put a hold on the security aid. He said 
he underscored: ``Given the sensitive nature of the request, I 
appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need 
to know to execute the direction.'' In other words, don't tell anybody 
about it. If the President ordered the hold for a legitimate policy 
reason, then why did he want to hide it from the rest of the 
  President Trump has obstructed Congress's ability to get those 
answers. We would like to ask Duffey why they wanted to keep it quiet. 
There is more evidence, of course--a lot more. In fact, there is so 
much evidence that, according to witnesses, the fact that the security 
assistance was conditioned on investigations became as clear as ``two 
plus two equals four.'' Everyone knew it. Indeed, with no explanation 
for the hold, unanimous support for its release in the administration, 
and ongoing efforts by the President's top advisers to pressure Ukraine 
into announcing the investigations by holding up the White House 
meeting, it became crystal clear, as confirmed by multiple witnesses, 
that the only reason for the hold was to put additional pressure on 
  David Holmes, the senior official at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, 
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       GOLDMAN. Mr. Holmes, you have testified that by late August 
     you had a clear impression that the security assistance hold 
     was somehow connected to the investigation that President 
     Trump wanted. How did you conclude that--how did you reach 
     that clear conclusion?
       HOLMES. We'd been hearing about the investigation since 
     March, months before. President Zelensky had received a 
     letter, a congratulatory letter, from the President saying 
     he'd be pleased to meet him following his inauguration in 
     May. And we hadn't been able to get that meeting, and then 
     the security hold came up with no explanation. I'd be 
     surprised if any of the Ukrainians . . . you said earlier, we 
     discussed earlier, sophisticated people . . . when they 
     received no explanation for why that hold was in place, they 
     wouldn't have drawn that conclusion.
       GOLDMAN. Because the investigations were still being 
       HOLMES. Correct.
       GOLDMAN. And the hold was still remaining without 
       HOLMES. Correct.
       GOLDMAN. This to you was the only logical conclusion that 
     you could reach?
       HOLMES. Correct.
       GOLDMAN. Sort of like two plus two equals four?
       HOLMES. Exactly.

  Mr. Manager CROW. And Ambassador Sondland said the same thing.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       GOLDMAN. So, is this kind of a two plus two equals four 
     conclusion that you reached?
       SONDLAND. Pretty much.
       GOLDMAN. Is the only logical conclusion to you that, given 
     all of these factors, that the aid was also a part of this 
     quid pro quo?
       SONDLAND. Yep.

  Mr. Manager CROW. Ambassador Sondland didn't reach that conclusion 
based only on common sense. It was confirmed by Secretary Pompeo and 
Vice President Pence, too.
  So let's begin with what Secretary Pompeo knew about the link between 
the investigations and the aid. In front of you is an email. At the end 
of August, before President Trump canceled his trip to Warsaw to meet 
with President Zelensky, Sondland sent an email to Secretary Pompeo in 
which he proposed a pull-aside between President Zelensky and President 
Trump at the proposed meeting in Warsaw. Three minutes later, Secretary 
Pompeo replied ``yes.'' That is it. Ambassador Sondland explained the 
email in his testimony.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       The CHAIRMAN. Later in August, you told Secretary Pompeo 
     that President Zelensky would be prepared to tell President 
     Trump that his new justice officials would be able to 
     announce matters of interest to the President, which could 
     break the logjam. When you say matters of interest to the 
     President, you mean the investigations that President Trump 
     wanted. Is that right?
       Ambassador SONDLAND. Correct.
       The CHAIRMAN. And that involved 2016 and Burisma or the 
       Ambassador SONDLAND. 2016 and Burisma.
       The CHAIRMAN. And when you're talking here about breaking 
     the logjam, you're talking about the logjam over the security 
     assistance, correct?
       Ambassador SONDLAND. I was talking logjam generically 
     because nothing was moving.
       The CHAIRMAN. But that included the security assistance, 
     did it not?
       Ambassador SONDLAND. Correct.
       The CHAIRMAN. And based on the context of that email, this 
     was not the first time you had discussed these investigations 
     with Secretary Pompeo, is it?
       Ambassador SONDLAND. No.
       The CHAIRMAN. He was aware of the connections that you were 
     making between the investigations and the White House meeting 
     and the security assistance?
       Ambassador SONDLAND. Yes.

  Mr. Manager CROW. So let's break that down for a minute. A meeting 
between two Presidents is a big deal. A pull-aside is a big deal. These 
are highly choreographed events. Secretary Pompeo didn't ask any 
questions and didn't show any surprise or confusion in response to the 
email. Instead, he

[[Page S525]]

immediately endorsed the idea. This shows that Secretary Pompeo, who 
also listened to the July 25 call as well, understood that the security 
assistance was conditioned on the investigations.
  By this time, everyone knew what was happening. A simple ``yes'' by 
Secretary Pompeo was enough. Secretary Pompeo wasn't the only senior 
official who knew. Vice President Pence knew as well. Sondland raised 
the issue to Vice President Pence during a meeting to prepare for the 
Warsaw trip. At some point late in the meeting, Sondland said: ``It 
appears that everything is stalled until this statement gets made.'' 
What Sondland was referring to, of course, was the military aid and the 
White House meeting. Ambassador Sondland testified about Vice President 
Pence's reaction.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       GOLDMAN. Now, I want to go back to that conversation that 
     you had with Vice President Pence right before that meeting 
     in Warsaw. And you indicated that you said to him that you 
     were concerned that the delay in the aid was tied to the 
     issue of investigations. Is that right?
       SONDLAND. I don't know exactly what I said to him. This was 
     a briefing attended by many people, and I was invited at the 
     very last minute. I wasn't scheduled to be there. But I think 
     I spoke up at some point late in the meeting and said, it 
     looks like everything is being held up until these statements 
     get made, and that's my, you know, personal belief.
       GOLDMAN. And Vice President Pence just nodded his head?
       SONDLAND. Again, I don't recall any exchange or where he 
     asked me any questions. I think he, it was sort of a duly 
     noted response.
       GOLDMAN. Well, he didn't say, Gordon, what are you talking 
       SONDLAND. No, he did not.
       GOLDMAN. He didn't say, what investigations?
       SONDLAND. He did not.

  Mr. Manager CROW. Like Secretary Pompeo, Vice President Pence wasn't 
surprised, nor did he ask what Sondland meant--because they all knew. 
This meeting also confirmed Sondland's understanding that the President 
had indeed conditioned the military aid on the public announcement of 
the investigations. This was a commonsense conclusion, confirmed by the 
Secretary of State and the Vice President.
  With that confirmation in mind, Sondland pulled aside Yermak, the top 
aide to President Zelensky, immediately after the Pence-Zelensky 
meeting. Now, recall, he was the one who resisted the public statement 
about the specific investigations in August. Ambassador Sondland 
described what he told Yermak in that short meeting.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       SONDLAND. Based on my previous communication with Secretary 
     Pompeo, I felt comfortable sharing my concerns with Mr. 
     Yermak. It was a very, very brief pull-aside conversation 
     that happened within a few seconds. I told Mr. Yermak that I 
     believed that the resumption of U.S. aid would likely not 
     occur until Ukraine took some kind of action on the public 
     statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.

  Mr. Manager CROW. You see, this just wasn't an internal scheme among 
the President's top advisers. President Trump, through his agents, 
communicated the quid pro quo clearly to Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland 
told President Zelensky's top aide on September 1 that Ukraine would 
not get the military aid unless it announced the investigations. This, 
my Senate colleagues, is the very definition of a quid pro quo.
  But other witnesses know it, too. Morrison watched Sondland's 
conversation with Yermak and then received an immediate readout from 
Sondland after that meeting. Morrison urgently reported the interaction 
to Ambassador Bolton on a secure phone call, and, of course, Bolton 
told him to go tell the NSC lawyers.
  Morrison did as he was instructed. He also told Ambassador Taylor. 
Ambassador Taylor then confronted Sondland. Taylor texted: ``Are we now 
saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on 
  Sondland responded: ``Call me.''
  And as everyone knows, when someone says ``call me,'' it says stop 
putting this in writing.
  During their subsequent phone call, Sondland confirmed to Taylor that 
the military aid was conditioned on an announcement of investigations 
and that President Trump wanted President Zelensky in a ``public box.''
  Here is how Taylor, who took contemporaneous notes of the 
conversation, explained that call.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       TAYLOR. During that phone call Ambassador Sondland told me 
     that President Trump had told him that he wants President 
     Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate 
     Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 
     election. Ambassador Sondland also told me that he now 
     recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling 
     Ukrainian officials that only a White House meeting with 
     President Zelensky was dependent on a public announcement of 
     the investigations. In fact, Ambassador Sondland said, 
     everything was dependent on such an announcement including 
     security assistance. He said that President Trump wanted 
     President Zelensky in a public box by making a public 
     statement about ordering such investigations.

  Mr. Manager CROW. President Trump wanted President Zelensky in a 
``public box.'' A private commitment wasn't enough for President Trump 
because he needed the political benefit, and he could only get the 
political benefit if it was public. We all know how this works with 
President Trump, how he weaponizes investigations for political 
  Think about that for a second. That is actually the exact opposite of 
how law enforcement investigations are conducted. If they are 
legitimate, law enforcement does not announce to the world they are 
investigating before actually doing it. That would tip off your 
targets. It would lead to witness intimidation, destruction of 
evidence. But the President didn't actively want a legitimate 
investigation. He only wanted the announcement.
  At the end of that conversation between Taylor and Sondland on 
September 1, Taylor asked Sondland to speak to the President to see if 
he could change his mind. That is exactly what Sondland did.
  On September 7, President Trump and Sondland spoke. We know the call 
was on September 7 for four reasons. First, Morrison testified that he 
had a conversation with Sondland on September 7 about Sondland's 
discussion with the President.
  Second, Morrison told Taylor about this conversation on September 7.
  Third, Sondland and Taylor had a conversation on September 8 about 
the conversation that Sondland had the day before.
  Finally, Sondland texted Taylor and Volker on September 8 that he had 
conversations with ``POTUS'' and ``Ze''--meaning President Trump and 
President Zelensky. So we know that the conversations must have 
happened before the morning of September 8, when that text was sent.
  For his part, Sondland, who doesn't take notes, also recalled that on 
that call, he simply asked President Trump an open-ended question about 
what he wanted from Ukraine. President Trump immediately responded: ``I 
want no quid pro quo.''
  Let's stop here for a second. The President has latched on to this 
statement that he said that, and because he said it, it must be true, 
right? But wait just a minute. Remember what is happening here at the 
same time. The President had just learned about the whistleblower 
complaint in the Washington Post editorial linking the military aid to 
the investigations just 2 days before. The fact that the President 
immediately blurted that out speaks volumes.
  I am a parent, and there are a lot of parents in this room. I think 
many of you can probably relate to the situation where you are in a 
room and you hear a large crash in the next room, and you walk in, and 
your kid is sitting there, and that first thing that happens is ``I 
didn't do it.''
  But there is more. Sondland did acknowledge that President Trump said 
he wanted Zelensky to ``clear things up.''
  You will no doubt hear a lot from the President's counsel that 
Sondland testified no one in the world told him that there was a quid 
pro quo, including President Trump. And, of course, that is right, 
because people engaging in misconduct don't usually admit it.
  But we know exactly what the President told Sondland. We know it from 
the testimony of Tim Morrison and Ambassador Taylor. We know it because 
Sondland testified that his own conclusion that there was a quid pro 
quo was confirmed by his conversation with President Trump. And we know 
it because Sondland relayed the exact message to President Zelensky 
right after he spoke to President Trump.

[[Page S526]]

  Keep in mind that Sondland does not take notes, and he readily 
admitted that if he could have seen his own documents prior to 
testifying, he would have remembered more.
  But Morrison and Taylor took extensive notes at the time and 
testified based on those notes, and Sondland--and this is important--
said he did not dispute any of the accounts of Morrison and Taylor.
  Let's look at what Morrison and Taylor said about that September 7 
phone call. Here is Tim Morrison's understanding of the Trump-Sondland 
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       GOLDMAN. Now, a few days later, on September 7th, you spoke 
     again to Ambassador Sondland, who told you that he had just 
     gotten off the phone with President Trump. Is that right?
       MORRISON. That sounds correct, yes.
       GOLDMAN. What did Ambassador Sondland tell you that 
     President Trump said to him?
       MORRISON. If I recall this conversation correctly, this was 
     where Ambassador Sondland related that there was no quid pro 
     quo, but President Zelensky had to make the statement and 
     that he had to want to do it.
       GOLDMAN. And by that point, did you understand that the 
     statement related to the Biden and 2016 investigations?
       MORRISON. I think I did, yes.
       GOLDMAN. And that that was essentially a condition for the 
     security assistance to be released?
       MORRISON. I understood that that's what Ambassador Sondland 
       GOLDMAN. After speaking with President Trump?
       MORRISON. That's what he represented.

  Mr. Manager CROW. Here is the consistent recollection of how 
Ambassador Taylor described his understanding of the call. First, here 
is what he heard from Mr. Morrison.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       TAYLOR. According to Mr. Morrison, President Trump told 
     Ambassador Sondland he was not asking for a quid pro quo, but 
     President Trump did insist that President Zelensky go to a 
     microphone and say he is opening investigations of Biden and 
     2016 election interference and that President Zelensky should 
     want to do this himself.

  Mr. Manager CROW. And second, here is Ambassador Taylor explaining 
what Sondland himself told Taylor about what took place on that 
Sondland-Trump call a day later.

  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       TAYLOR. He confirmed that he had talked to President Trump, 
     as I had suggested a week earlier, but that President Trump 
     was adamant that President Zelensky himself had to clear 
     things up and do it in public. President Trump said it was 
     not a quid pro quo.

  Mr. Manager CROW. Like Sondland, both Taylor and Morrison recalled 
that President Trump said that he did not want a quid pro quo, but they 
both testified that President Trump followed that statement immediately 
by describing perfectly an exchange of this for that--or, in other 
words, a quid pro quo.
  Prior to his call with the President, Sondland had reached the 
conclusion that the aid was being held until the public announcement of 
the investigations. That conclusion was confirmed by Secretary Pompeo 
and Vice President Pence. Then Sondland relayed it to the Ukrainians. 
And after this phone call with President Trump, that conclusion was 
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       GOLDMAN. Well, you weren't dissuaded then, right, because 
     you still thought that the aid was conditioned on the public 
     announcement of the investigations after speaking to 
     President Trump?
       SONDLAND. By September 8 I was absolutely convinced it was.
       GOLDMAN. And President Trump did not dissuade you of that 
     in the conversation that you acknowledge you had with him?
       SONDLAND. I don't ever recall because that would have 
     changed my entire calculus. If President Trump had told me 
     directly, I'm not--
       GOLDMAN. That's not what I'm asking, Ambassador Sondland. 
     I'm just saying, you still believed that the security 
     assistance was conditioned on the investigation after you 
     spoke to President Trump. Yes or no?
       SONDLAND. From a timeframe standpoint, yes.

  Mr. Manager CROW. How else do we know that President Trump confirmed 
to Sondland that the aid was conditioned on the announcement? Sondland 
relayed the message to President Zelensky right after his conversation 
with President Trump.
  Here is Ambassador Taylor's recollection of what Sondland told 
Zelensky, based on his notes.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Ambassador TAYLOR. Ambassador Sondland also said that he 
     had talked to President Zelensky and Mr. Yermak and had told 
     them that, although this was not a quid pro quo, if President 
     Zelensky did not clear things up in public, we would be at a 
     stalemate. I understood a ``stalemate'' to mean that Ukraine 
     would not receive the much needed military assistance.

  Mr. Manager CROW. Ambassador Sondland confirmed that Taylor's memory 
of this call was accurate; there would be a stalemate without the 
investigations. Here is his testimony.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       GOLDMAN. And then you also told Ambassador Taylor in that 
     same conversation that if President Zelensky, rather you told 
     President Zelensky and Andriy Yermak that although this was 
     not a quid pro quo as the President had very clearly told 
     you, it was however required for President Zelensky to clear 
     things up in public or there would be a stalemate. You don't 
     have any reason to dispute Ambassador Taylor's recollection 
     of that conversation you had with President Zelensky, do you?
       SONDLAND. No.
       GOLDMAN. And that you understood the stalemate referenced 
     the aid, is that correct?
       GOLDMAN. At that point, yes.

  Mr. Manager CROW. A stalemate. Nothing would happen with the aid 
unless President Zelensky publicly announced the investigations. The 
President had not received his ``quid'' so there would be no ``quo.''
  Don't take my word for it. Here is a recap of how we knew what 
happened during the call. First, Sondland testified about the 
conversation. Second, Morrison received a readout from Sondland 
immediately after the call and testified based on his notes. Third, 
Taylor testified based on his own notes. And fourth, Sondland agreed 
that President Trump had confirmed a quid pro quo, and Sondland 
actually relayed the message to the President of Ukraine and told 
Ambassador Taylor about it.
  President Zelensky got the message. He succumbed to the pressure. At 
the end of the conversation between Sondland and President Zelensky, 
President Zelensky explained that he had finally relented. His country 
needed the military aid, desperately. Their people were dying on the 
frontline all of the time. They were taking casualties every day. He 
agreed to make the statement.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       TAYLOR. Ambassador Sondland said that this conversation 
     concluded with President Zelensky agreeing to make a public 
     statement in an interview on CNN.

  Mr. Manager CROW. President Zelensky had resisted making the 
announcement of the corrupt investigations for months. He resisted when 
Giuliani and other agents of the President made it known that President 
Trump required it. He resisted when President Trump himself asked 
directly on July 25. He resisted when the White House meeting he so 
desperately desired was conditioned on that announcement. And he 
resisted as vital military aid was on hold. But the money is 10 percent 
of his entire defense budget. Russia occupied the eastern part of his 
country. He could resist no more.
  Ambassador Taylor was worried that even if the Ukrainian leader did 
as President Trump wanted, President Trump might continue to hold the 
military aid.
  Ambassador Taylor texted his concerns to Ambassadors Volker and 
Sondland stating:

       The nightmare is they give the interview and don't get the 
     security assistance. The Russians love it. (And I quit.)

  In other words, the nightmare is that they make the announcement but 
President Trump doesn't release the aid. This would be perfect for the 
Russians. Russian propaganda would be adopted by the United States and 
the United States would be withdrawing its support for Ukraine.
  On September 9, Ambassador Taylor reiterated his concerns about the 
President's quid pro quo in another series of text messages with 
Ambassadors Volker and Sondland. Ambassador Taylor said:

       The message to the Ukrainians (and Russians) we send with 
     the decision on security assistance is key. With the hold, we 
     have already shaken their faith in us. Thus my nightmare 

  And then later, he texted again saying:

       Counting on you to be right about this interview, Gordon.

  Ambassador Sondland responded:

[[Page S527]]


       Bill, I never said I was ``right''. I said we are where we 
     are and believe we have identified the best pathway forward. 
     Lets hope it works.

  Ambassador Taylor replied:

       As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold 
     security assistance for help with a political campaign.

  Here it is. Once again, in clear text message between three U.S. 
officials: ``It's crazy to withheld security assistance for help with a 
political campaign.''
  Think about that. If there was no quid pro quo, then why did 
everybody know about it? Well, Ambassador Taylor told us why, too. Here 
is his testimony.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       TAYLOR. As I said on the phone, I think it is crazy to 
     withhold security assistance for help with a political 
       GOLDMAN. What did you mean when you said you thought it was 
       TAYLOR. Mr. Goldman, I meant that the importance--because 
     of the importance of security assistance that we had just 
     described and had a conversation with the chairman, because 
     that was so important, that security assistance was so 
     important for Ukraine as well as our own national interests, 
     to withhold that assistance for no good reason other than 
     help with a political campaign made no sense. It was 
     counterproductive to all of what we had been trying to do. It 
     was illogical. It could not be explained. It was crazy.
       GOLDMAN. And when you say ``all of what we were trying to 
     do,'' what do you mean by ``we''?
       TAYLOR. I mean that the United States was trying to support 
     Ukraine as a frontline state against Russian attack. And, 
     again, the whole notion of a rules based order was being 
     threatened by the Russians in Ukraine. So our security 
     assistance was designed to support Ukraine. And it was not 
     just the United States; it was all of our allies.
       GOLDMAN. When you referenced ``help with a political 
     campaign'' in this text message, what did you mean?
       TAYLOR. I meant that the investigation of Burisma and the 
     Bidens was clearly identified by Mr. Giuliani in public for 
     months as a way to get information on the two Bidens.

  Mr. Manager CROW. Now, that testimony is really clear, and it makes 
sense. It is consistent with all of the evidence you have seen here 
today. That is a quid pro quo as clear as two plus two equals four.
  And what happened next also makes sense. Sondland got scared. Taylor 
was making clear that he didn't agree with the scheme. In response to 
Taylor's text message that it was ``crazy to withhold security 
assistance for help in a political campaign,'' Sondland repeated again 
the false denial of a quid pro quo. At 5:17 a.m., Sondland responded to 

       Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's 
     intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro 
     quos of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether 
     Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms 
     that President Zelensky promised during his campaign. I 
     suggest we stop the back and forth by text. If you still have 
     concerns, I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S--

  That is Secretary Pompeo--

     a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.

  Now, the text message says very clearly that there are no quid pro 
quos ``of any kind.'' So end of story, right? Case closed. But 
Sondland's testimony revealed this text and the President's denial were 
false. Just like President Trump, when Ambassador Sondland thought he 
was getting caught, he got nervous, and he wanted to deny it in writing 
to cover his tracks. That is why he suddenly says: ``I suggest we stop 
the back and forth by text.'' Again, quit putting this in writing.
  We know that Sondland's denial in the text was false because later, 
when he was under oath, under penalty of perjury, he actually said a 
quid pro quo did exist.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       SONDLAND. Was there a quid pro quo? As I testified 
     previously with regard to the requested White House call and 
     the White House meeting, the answer is yes.

  Mr. Manager CROW. The answer is yes. It is clear that President Trump 
himself confirmed that the aid was conditioned on the public 
announcement of the investigations that the President wanted. To get 
Ukraine to help him with his reelection campaign, the President of the 
United States violated the law by withholding nearly $400 million of 
taxpayer dollars intended to fight Russia. He put his own interests 
over the country, and that is why we are here.
  Mr. Chief Justice and Members of the Senate, in deference to our 
proposed schedule and the late hour, I am now going to yield to my 
colleague, Mr. Schiff, to provide a brief recap of today and then we 
will begin again in the morning.
  Mr. Manager SCHIFF. He means the afternoon.
  Senators, Chief Justice, President's counsel, it has been a long day. 
We started out the day with the Chaplain asking for empathetic 
listening, and I think that is certainly what you have delivered for us 
today. I know you have been bombarded with information all day, and 
when you leave this Chamber, you are bombarded again by members of the 
press. There is no refuge, I know. And I just want to thank you for 
keeping an open mind about all the issues that we are presenting--an 
open mind for us and an open mind for the President's counsel. That is 
all that we can ask for.

  Having watched you now for 3 days, whether it is someone you are 
predisposed to agree with or predisposed not to, it is abundantly clear 
that you are listening with an open mind, and we can't ask for anything 
more than that, so we are grateful.
  At the beginning of the trial, you may have seen the President's 
tweet. He tweeted a lot, but he tweeted a common refrain: ``Read the 
transcript.'' So I thought at the end of the evening, I would join in 
the President's request that you reread the transcript because now that 
you know a lot more of the facts of this scheme, it reveals a lot more 
about that conversation.
  Let me just point out a few things that may have escaped your 
attention about that transcript, which is not really a transcript 
because it is not complete. Let me just tell you a few things that may 
have escaped your attention about that call record. We have already 
talked about it. I will not go into it again. There are the pivotal 
sections where he talks about CrowdStrike and he asks for that favor 
and he wants investigation of the Bidens. There is a lot more to that 
  Now that you know so much more about that scheme, let me just point 
out a few things that really struck my attention. Early in the call, 
President Zelensky says:

       We brought in many many new people. Not the old 
     politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to 
     have a new format and a new type of government.

  Again, this is the July 25 call. Early in the call, President 
Zelensky wants to impress upon President Trump he has brought in new 
people; that he is a reformer. This was his campaign pledge. He is a 
reformer. He is coming in. He is bringing in new people. So if there 
had been any concern about corruption in Ukraine, he is bringing in new 
people. He is a reformer. That is one of the first messages he wants to 
get across.
  You can better well believe that he is prepared for this call because 
he needs that White House meeting. So everything he says is prepared. 
And early on, he wants to make sure that he lets the President know he 
is a reformer. Now, the President has his own agenda in this call, and 
immediately after that, in the next exchange, the President makes this 

       [T]he United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I 
     wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things 
     are happening that are not good but the United States has 
     been very very good to Ukraine.

  This is very interesting that he brings up very early in the 
conversation this relationship is nonreciprocal. We've been ``very very 
good to Ukraine,'' but, you know, can't say there is much coming the 
other way.
  Now, you will remember that Bill Taylor had this reaction to talking 
to Gordon Sondland. When Sondland says: Donald Trump is a businessman. 
Before he writes a check, he likes to get what he is owed, Taylor's 
reaction is, well, that makes no sense because Ukraine doesn't owe us 
  Well, in this call you can see that Donald Trump does think he is 
owed. This is what he is talking about when he says ``there's not much 
reciprocity here.'' He thinks he is owed something. You want to get 
this military, you want to get this meeting--I don't see much 
reciprocity here. He thinks he is owed something. When you read that 
passage and you know about that: ``He is a businessman. Before he signs 
a check'' that takes on new meaning.
  Now, a little later in the call, Zelensky says:

       I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke 
     with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much 
     that Mr.

[[Page S528]]

     Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet 
     once he comes to Ukraine.

  You should read this carefully yourself, but this may be the first 
mention of Giuliani. Zelensky is bringing him up and saying: Well, I 
would really like to meet with Giuliani.
  This is July. What do we know now about the meeting between Giuliani 
and Zelensky? We know that Giuliani, in May, wanted to go meet with 
Zelensky. We saw that letter from Giuliani: I want to go meet with 
Zelensky. And we know he was rebuffed or something happened because he 
didn't get that meeting. And he was angry and went on TV and he said 
that Zelensky is surrounded by enemies of Trump, right?
  So Zelensky is prepared for this call, and he knows it is going to 
resonate with Donald Trump if he says he would like to meet with Rudy 
Giuliani. And immediately after that he says: ``[W]e are hoping very 
much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will 
meet once he comes to Ukraine.'' Immediately thereafter, the next 
sentence he says: ``I just wanted to assure you once again you have 
nobody but friends around us.''
  Now, we could have read this transcript to you early on, and that 
wouldn't have meant much to you, but now that you know that Rudy 
Giuliani was out there on TV saying Zelensky is surrounded by enemies 
of Trump, you can see why Zelensky says ``you have nobody but friends 
around us.'' And he goes on. ``I also wanted to tell you that we are 
friends.'' He brings up friendship again. ``We are great friends.'' 
That is the third time he wants to underscore what great friends they 
are. And why? Because Rudy Giuliani has been saying they are enemies. 
And then he goes on to say:

       I also plan to surround myself with great people and in 
     addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President 
     of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly 
     and candidly. That I can assure you.

  He needs to assure the President that he is going to get his 
deliverable because it has been made clear before this call what the 
President wants to hear--more than that--what the President needs to 
hear is there will be no stone unturned in that investigation.
  So the President in the next response says:

       Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of 
     New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call 

  Well, that sounds familiar, doesn't it? Call Rudy. The same thing he 
told the three amigos in May: Call Rudy. Now he is telling Zelensky: 
Call Rudy. And he says: I will ask him to call you along with the 
Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a 
very capable guy. If you could speak to him, that would be great.
  Talk to Rudy.
  That is pretty remarkable--right?--a head-of-state to head-of-state 
call. It is not: Talk to my Secretary of State. It is not: Talk to my 
national security advisers. It is: Talk to Rudy.
  It is interesting, too, that it is not just Rudy, right?
  I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General.
  That was quite a shock when this call record was released, right? The 
Attorney General shows up in this call record. A couple of times, he 
shows up in this call record.
  That is when the Department of Justice immediately issues a 
statement: We have got nothing to do with this. We don't know anything 
about this. The ink is barely dry. This thing has been released, and we 
don't know what this is about. We haven't talked about it. We haven't 
gone to Ukraine. We don't know a thing about it.
  Now, bear in mind a couple of other things that you know at this 
point. Bear in mind that there was a whistleblower complaint before 
this call record was released. Bear in mind that the law that we passed 
and you passed requires that a whistleblower complaint that is 
designated to go to Congress must go to Congress and must go to the 
intelligence committees. If the inspector general finds it credible and 
urgent, it has to not only go to Congress, it has to go to Congress 
soon. There is a timetable.
  Bear in mind what happens when that complaint is filed and the 
inspector general says: It is not only credible--it is urgent. It is 
  What happens? Well, it goes to the Acting Director of National 
Intelligence. And what does he do? He contacts the White House, and he 
contacts Bill Barr's Justice Department. And what does Bill Barr's 
Justice Department do in consultation with the White House? They say: 
Don't turn it over to Congress. You don't have to turn it over to 
  I know what the law says. It says ``you shall.'' It doesn't say ``you 
may.'' It doesn't say ``you might.'' It doesn't say ``you can if you 
want to.'' It doesn't say ``if the President doesn't object.'' It says 
``you shall.'' We are telling you--Bill Barr's Justice Department is 
telling you--you don't have to. The highest office of the law in the 
land is saying: Ignore the law. Ignore the law. We will come up with 
some rationalization. We will get our guys at the Office of Legal 
Counsel to write some opinion. We will find a way. Do not turn it over. 
You don't have to.
  And they don't.
  The inspector general, who deserves a lot of credit for guts, reports 
to the intelligence committees and says: They are violating the law, 
and I don't know what to do about it. They are supposed to turn it over 
to you, and I don't know what to do about it, but I need to tell you, 
to meet my obligation, they are not doing what they should.
  So we subpoena the Director of National Intelligence, and we make it 
clear to the Director of National Intelligence that he is going to have 
to come before Congress in an open hearing and explain why he is the 
first Acting Director to refuse to turn a complaint over to Congress. 
The investigations are open.
  The result is they are forced to turn it over to Congress, and they 
are forced to release this call record, but here you have the 
Department of Justice weighing in: You don't have to turn it over.
  It is the same call record that mentions the Attorney General of the 
United States, but it fails. That effort to cover up--to conceal the 
whistleblower complaint--fails, and it comes out. No sooner than it 
does, the Attorney General says: We had nothing to do with this.
  Of course, if that had never been released, well then, the Attorney 
General's name would have never come up in this call record, and there 
would have been no necessity to distance himself from the President's 
  In the next exchange, President Zelensky says that he or she--he is 
going to have a new Prosecutor General--will look into the situation, 
specifically into the company that you mention in this issue.
  Now, this is also interesting: the company that you mention in this 
  There is no company mentioned in this issue in the call record, but, 
of course, you have heard now testimony from two witnesses who were on 
that call that Burisma was mentioned.
  So why isn't Burisma in the call record? Well, I can say this: That 
call record went to that highly classified server, and the mention of 
Burisma didn't make it into the call record.
  Zelensky goes on to say: The issue of the investigation of the case 
is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty. So we will 
take care of that, and we will work on the investigation of the case.
  Time after time after time, Zelensky feels the need to assure the 
President he is going to do those political investigations that the 
President wants.
  In the next exchange, after Zelensky says this, the President says: I 
will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call, and I am also going to have 
Attorney General Barr call, and we will get to the bottom of it.
  I mean, you can count. Don't take my word, but I think there is no 
one who comes up more in this call record than Rudy Giuliani, which 
tells us something.
  In the next exchange, among other things, Zelensky says: I also 
wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, 
specifically Washington, DC. On the other hand, I also want to assure 
you that we will be very serious about the case, and we will work on 
the investigation.
  In the same way that earlier in the conversation Zelensky brings up 
those weapons he needs--those Javelins--the President immediately says: 
I have a favor. So we have military assistance and ``I have a favor.''
  Here, Zelensky says: I want to thank you for your invitation to come 
visit. I

[[Page S529]]

also want to assure you we are serious about doing the investigation.

  Clearly, he is linking the two, and, of course, he is linking the two 
because he is told the two are linked before the call, and he is 
conveying to the President: I got the message.
  The President, in the next exchange, says: I will tell Rudy and 
Attorney General Barr to call.
  Again, let's make sure there is no misunderstanding here.
  I am going to have them call. I want you in touch with Rudy Giuliani 
and the Attorney General. I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to 
call. Thank you. Whenever you would like to come to the White House, 
feel free to call.
  I am going to have you talk to Rudy and the Attorney General, and by 
the way, any time you want to come to the White House, just call.
  Give us a date, and we will work that out. I look forward to seeing 
  Then Zelensky says: Thank you very much. I would be very happy to 
come. I am looking forward to our meeting.
  Again and again, Zelensky goes into that call with his wanting the 
meeting. You could tell what he was prepared for. He was prepared for 
the request for investigations. He knew what he had to promise, and he 
knew what he wanted to obtain, and that was the visit.
  You also saw in that video, that rather sad video--yes, sort of 
humorous but sad, too--Zelensky and President Trump at the U.N., where 
he is saying: You know, I still haven't gotten that meeting.
  I can tell you something--and this is what is so frightening about 
these circumstances. If we had not discovered all of this, he would 
likely be saying at that U.N. meeting: You know, we are still waiting 
on that military aid.
  Yes, we forced the aid to be released because the President got 
caught, but, even now, our ally can't get his foot in the door. Even 
now, our ally can't get his foot in the door.
  This brings me to the last point I want to make tonight, which is, 
when we are done, we believe that we will have made the case 
overwhelmingly of the President's guilt--that is, that he has done what 
he is charged with. He withheld the money. He withheld the meeting. He 
used it to coerce Ukraine to do these political investigations. He 
covered it up. He obstructed us, and he is trying to obstruct you. He 
has violated the Constitution.
  But I want to address one other thing tonight. OK. He is guilty. OK. 
He is guilty. Does he really need to be removed? We have an election 
coming up. Does he really need to be removed? He is guilty. You know, 
is there really any doubt about this? I mean, do we really have any 
doubt about the facts here? Does anybody really question whether the 
President is capable of what he is charged with? Nobody is really 
making the argument ``Donald Trump would never do such a thing'' 
because, of course, we know that he would, and, of course, we know that 
he did.
  It is a somewhat different question, though, to ask: OK. It is pretty 
obvious. Whether we can say it publicly or we can't say it publicly, we 
all know what we are dealing with here with this President, but does he 
really need to be removed?
  This is why he needs to be removed: Donald Trump chose Rudy Giuliani 
over his own intelligence agencies. He chose Rudy Giuliani over his own 
FBI Director. He chose Rudy Giuliani over his own national security 
advisers. When all of them were telling him this Ukraine 2016 stuff was 
kooky, crazy, Russian propaganda, he chose not to believe them. He 
chose to believe Rudy Giuliani. That makes him dangerous to us, to our 
country. That was Donald Trump's choice.
  Why would Donald Trump believe a man like Rudy Giuliani over a man 
like Christopher Wray? OK. Why would anyone in his right mind believe 
Rudy Giuliani over Christopher Wray? Because he wanted to, because what 
Rudy was offering him was something that would help him personally and 
what Christopher Wray was offering him was merely the truth. What 
Christopher Wray was offering him was merely the information he needed 
to protect this country and its elections, but that was not good 
enough. What is in it for him? What is in it for Donald Trump? This is 
why he needs to be removed.
  You may be asking: How much damage can he really do in the next 
several months until the election? A lot--a lot of damage.
  We just saw last week a report that Russia tried to hack or maybe did 
hack Burisma, OK? I don't know if they got in. I am trying to find out. 
My colleagues on the Intel Committees of the House and Senate are 
trying to find out. Did the Russians get in? What are the Russians' 
plans and intentions?
  Well, let's say they get in, and let's say they start dumping 
documents to interfere in the next election. Let's say they start 
dumping some real things they have from Burisma. Let's say they start 
dumping some fake things they didn't hack from Burisma, but they want 
you to believe they did. Let's say they start blatantly interfering in 
our election again to help Donald Trump.
  Can you have the least bit of confidence that Donald Trump will stand 
up to them and protect our national interests over his own personal 
interests? You know you can't, which makes him dangerous to this 
country. You know you can't. You know you can't count on him. None of 
us can.
  What happens if China got the message? Now, you can say: Well, he is 
just joking, of course. He didn't really mean China should investigate 
the Bidens. You know that that is no joke.
  Now, maybe you could have argued it 3 years ago when he said: Hey, 
Russia. If you are listening, hack Hillary's emails. Maybe you could 
have given him a freebee and said he was joking, but now we know 
better. Hours after he did that, Russia did, in fact, try to hack 
Hillary's emails. There is no mulligan here when it comes to our 
national security.
  So what if China does overtly or covertly start to help the Trump 
campaign? Do you think he is going to call them out on it or do you 
think he is going to give them a better trade deal on it?
  Can any of us really have the confidence that Donald Trump will put 
national interests ahead of his personal interests? Is there really any 
evidence in this Presidency that should give us the ironclad confidence 
that he would do so? You know you can't count on him to do that. That 
is the sad truth. You know you can't count on him to do that.
  The American people deserve a President they can count on to put 
their interests first--to put their interests first.
  Colonel Vindman said: Here, right matters. Here, right matters.
  Well, let me tell you something. If right doesn't matter--if right 
doesn't matter--it doesn't matter how good the Constitution is; it 
doesn't matter how brilliant the Framers were; it doesn't matter how 
good or bad our advocacy in this trial is; it doesn't matter how well 
written the oath of impartiality is. If right doesn't matter, we are 
lost. If the truth doesn't matter, we are lost. The Framers couldn't 
protect us from ourselves if right and truth don't matter. And you know 
that what he did was not right.
  You know, that is what they do in the old country that Colonel 
Vindman's father came from or the old country that my great-grandfather 
came from or the old countries that your ancestors came from or maybe 
you came from, but here, right is supposed to matter. It is what has 
made us the greatest Nation on Earth. No Constitution can protect us if 
right doesn't matter anymore.
  And you know you can't trust this President to do what is right for 
this country. You can trust he will do what is right for Donald Trump. 
He will do it now. He has done it before. He will do it for the next 
several months. He will do it in the election if he is allowed to. This 
is why, if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be 
removed--because right matters. Because right matters. And the truth 
matters. Otherwise, we are lost.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The majority leader is recognized.