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IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATION: The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing to formally investigate whether to recommend articles of impeachment against...
And I'm quite confident in the confidence of every member of this Committee Most of us are attorneys We've all questioned witnesses before this is well within our scope of confidence and the reason we're on this Committee is to perform important duties like this. When we do not need to delegate this to staff we can handle it. Mister chairman Why are we not allowed to do it? I yield to Mister Cole Thank you and I appreciate the challenge It was interesting here is the exact same rule allows for what you just said right The exact same rule allows members to have that time and to extend that time and if the if the concern is time fine then we can do that in fact We will we will probably end up doing but the same rule that we're using here to allow staff to have that extra 30 minutes It's the same rule that can be allowed for us to have the same time you're about to miss Johnson to mister mister Biggs Thank you Thank you for yielding to me I just wanna point out in in other hearings that are momentous like this You'll see an extension of time to 10 minutes. We could do that We could change the rule This is a self governing body. We can change that rule but moreover we could allow for Multiple rounds we could offer multiple rounds 10 minutes each for members to ask the questions We don't have to designate the staff. We don't have to remove the responsibility that each one of us took upon us when we run for office and were elected, we're pointed this important Committee facing an important historical decision Whether we overturn an election, we don't have to just we don't have to settle on say okay, we're gonna just give it to the to the staff We can do multiple rounds We can extend the time We can do that mister chairman. I think we have perfectly capable people on both sides of the out If if you object is to really get to the bottom of of this to get to the truth so we can make informed decision the people that are making that decision ought to be allowed to ask those questions and with that I yield back to Mister Johnson and I and I would just suggest this is not unprecedented to allow members additional time we were We were talking back here on the bench about our memory. The Benghazi hearing for example where I think all members got three Questions, perhaps I think it was as long as 10 minutes each This is certainly as important as Benghazi hearing Why would we not be allowed to do that I would I would argue we have the most competent Committee in Congress. These are these are attorneys everybody on this on this diet we should have the ability to do that Would you go to? Mister Gomez don't want to sound like Pollyanna here but I take it as a great compliment that they would rather have Republican staff members ask the questions and any of us ask that the additional questions of you back Alright Let's clarify something House rules is five minutes so we get the five -minute rule is five minutes now we we can go multiple rounds and then we can do that but the what we're asking here is in the same rule that we can go outside of that five minutes by doing this with staff and then with also with members and I think that's you know again the same the very same rule is what we're dealing with here as we go forward so that your back to you I yield back Strike the last word Thank you mister chairman I was struck when I first of all I I think that the gentleman from Florida's amendment is rational It is purposeful It is something we should do I think it furthers the cause of of getting at the truth here and allowing the American people to see what their representatives are doing This is would be a momentous hearing Let's let's just be honest. This will be a momentous and investigation if it become such an I I find it The inconsistency are trying to move to the staff is is consistent somehow ironically with the with the inconsistencies that I heard in the chairman's our August chairman's opening statement and so and then the the response that he gave to to the the gentleman from Florida so He used this notion that and he provided a many instances where there had been no resolution by the House in Toto prior to the Judiciary Committee conducting investigation but he could never list An impeachment proceeding against the President of the United States he listed a bunch of judges Now remember judges are appointed by Senate for practical purposes they they have devolved into this lifetime appointment even though that the Constitution tells a determine good behavior they're unelected they don't face the people They've not been elected by the people instead, but and the reason that this is so critical and the precedent has been it goes to the House first is because the President is elected subject to a vote by We'll be responding to people within a maximum of four years depending on when the impeachment gets that's important to that's the distinction that is why you you typically would take this to the House floor first Right now you have almost 60 percent of Americans oppose impeachment that same mama study University study sited by my colleague from Florida also in the case that a majority of the country opposes the opening of an impeachment inquiry by this Committee The Speaker of the House the Senate Minority leader have issued conflicting statements, but they seem to indicate opposition to an impeachment less than two months ago the entire body Voted on an impeachment resolution and it was it was tabled. It failed by a vote of 330 - two to 90 - five. I would think about that 330 - two to 90. - Five a hundred and 30 -, seven Democrats There are strange articles that are coming out in in in opinion pieces one by the Washington Post wondering what is driving the chairman and then the title of that article on July 20, -ninth was could concerns about a primary challenge to be behind Nadler impeachment posturing. I don't know if that's true or not, I don't know if that's true or I'm I'm I'm just signing an article that came from The Washington Post That is something to be considered I mean something interesting Don't you chairman mister chairman There's nothing shameful about it Mister chairman I would like to make a point of order General lady will State reporter border that the Committee rules prohibit questioning the motives of other members I'm not sure I would hope and I never do that and I would hope that members will be cuz I don't know members will be conscious of the rule and I think the gentleman they they think Will be mindful of Committee rules Thank you for reminding me that I was not unaware of it That is why I said I look, I'm just I'm I'm reading the title of an article that came out That's all but I will talk about inconsistencies yet again When the chairman sites to the court that any such materials many Grand jury materials will be stored in secured location with excess restricted to Committee members Pepsi so Judiciary and hips. He only that is inconsistent with Rule 11 of the House and he sited Rule 11 just moments ago so I know he's familiar with it Those inconsistencies must be cleared up and with Mister chairman I support the Gates amendment I think it's critical I think it's important and I yield All in favor Say I. no No No I didn't mean it Western gentleman from Colorado I'm an amendment at the desk Ladies Amendment offer by Mister Book of Colorado to a resolution for investigative procedures offer by Chairman Gerald Nadler beginning on page One Line 11 strike using his official powers to try or attempt to thwart the special counsel's investigation and and replaced with a legislate attempting to obstruct Justice under 18 USC 15, zero, 315, zero 41512 B Three and 1512 CT two but as those The office of Special Counsel did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President's conduct and furthermore acknowledged that the office of Special Counsel did not conclude that the President committed a crime another the less The gentleman will gentleman is recognized to explain his amendment Thank you mister chairman mister chairman. Most of the members of this Committee or lawyers or previously suspend the gentle lady with George will not insist on point of order. The gentleman will proceed Thank you Most of the members of this Committee are lawyers or previously in law enforcement because of that we should act like lawyers Because we're the Judiciary Committee, we should seek Justice and because we represent the American people we should be fair for these reasons Our Committee has an obligation to use legal terms correctly My amendment clarifies the language in the second warehouse clause of the resolution to ensure it uses proper legal tech terminology reflects the constitutional presumption of innocence and accurately characterizes the Mueller report Why is my amendment necessary? This resolution fails to convey special counsel Mueller's conclusions the chairman's residue Makes a similar or makes an error by using words that are not in fact, a crime where in the United States Code does it say that Fording is a crime What is warning if anything the correct and proper terms would be obstruction and attempted obstruction We are the Judiciary Committee and we should use the correct terminology in terms of those crimes This resolution suggests the report found the President improperly used his official powers Mister Mueller's report However, makes clear that there were no such findings The remote The Mueller reports to the Office of Special Counsel quote did not draw ultimate conclusions and quote and quote did not conclude that the President committed a crime and quote I falsely suggesting a criminal conclusion was reached This resolution fails to provide the President with the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Constitution I believe it is important that this resolution stayed true to the law the Constitution and the findings of the Mueller report It does not I am my amendment Corrects for these oversights and inadequacies in summary my memory delete references to supporting and attempting to thwart as they simply are not legal terms replacing these terms with the correct legal terminology It Identified the exhaustive list of obstruction statutes that the special Council considered and finally it accurately characterizes the reports conclusions about obstruction quoting directly from the Mueller report which is consistent with what mister Mueller has said publicly at a press Conference and before the House Permanent Select Committee on intelligence this Committee should seek the truth in all that we do My amendment is a necessary amendment to ensure this resolution reflects the truth of the information we have reviewed I would urge the Committee to adopt my amendment and I yield to my friend from Texas I was just wanting to ask a question you've obviously looked at this a great deal so if the President ports Iran ports North Korea that would not be a crime I'm unaware of any crime using the term Fort I'm not even aware of what Ford is I'm aware of award which is what this resolution contains many of but I am unaware of the term forward so it's it's apparently not a high crime or misdemeanor to be a quarter No Alright thank you for clarifying Are you a bag of mister Gentleman yields back. I recognize myself in opposition to the amendment that will simply make two points number one and then peaceable offense does not have to be a crime and a crime by the way may not be an impeachable offense. Those are two separate matters and I'll repeat an impeachable offense an offense for which someone should be impeached need not be a crime Second point I wanna make is that we believe that the description found in the Indiana the resolution Accurately and adequately portrays the findings of the special counsel's report and therefore I oppose the amendment is there any further I yield back is ready for the discussion Gentleman from thank you mister chairman and I before I weigh in on the Buck Amendment. I just I wanna apologize cuz cuz I was not trying to describe any motivation when I was running that I want you to understand that tonight I apologize if it was misconstrued and if I I misspoke so but I support the Buck amendment I think it is important to be have clarity here and I think that mister Buck is right on the on the money here Point out another issue with the resolution on page four line 108 says information pertaining the Commission investigation shall be deemed received an executive session now typically under House Rule 11 clause two G one stays at all Committee meetings and does all evidence taken shall be open unless the Committee itself has voted in open session that the meeting will be an executive session effectively. What what's happening then by by deeming all information To be received an executive session effectively not only are we delegating interviewing to questioning to our staff We're taking away a lot of the committees right to vote on the pieces of information whether they should be concealed from the public This closet instead allows all information to be concealed in this amorphous quiz impeachment process that we are engaged in You can only go into executive session of disclosure of the material would one endanger National security to compromise law enforcement defame or incriminate someone or four violate the law of the rule or rule of the House This cause is not limited for instance to Grand your information This clause would conceal all information and I'm tough Referring to the clause on page four line 108 It will conceal all information from the public without a vote from the Committee Without us taking that vote in Committee on each piece of evidence so my staff has worked with CRS and CPR, S could not identify any instance in the published presidents of the House where this Committee has taken away The members of the Committee is right to vote on whether to go into executive session so this becomes a bit of a problem taking away the members right to vote on whether to accept a particular piece of information and executive session appears to violate Rule 11 clause two G One It is at least not in the spirit of the rule which is meant to keep all Committee records public and available unless a specific exception is met So this is problematic to prevent the Committee members from viewing the committees records and we're voting today to actually prevent the public from having access to Committee records as well without any of the set particular sections and exceptions and so with that I'm gonna To the gentleman from Colorado Mister Buck I thank my friend from Arizona for yielding mister chairman I am stunned that you don't agree with me on this amendment And saddened also I I I just wanna point out that that I'm sure a staff member wrote this and that that the chairman while reading it carefully, I'm sure missed this one point but what the what the second whereas fine says is the special counsel Muller's report found that the Russian government interfered and that President Trump used his official powers Ward or attempt to word the word word doesn't appear in the special counsel's report The the idea that the Mueller report found that President Trump tried to board or forwarded or attempted to work it it just does not is not consistent with that report The the truth is that the Mueller report did not make findings as to the 10 allegations and all I'm asking this Committee to do is put in this where as accurate legal language That is sided in the Mueller report so that the American public is not mislead by this whereas and I think it is only fair that this Committee not impune the integrity of the President of the United States until such time as it has evidence that it wants to charge the President with this is false and and it should be clarified and I would ask for the chairman to reconsider his opposition and I hope that members on the other side I'll agree that that we should have an accurate document and I yield back to my friend from Arizona Are you Gentleman yields for what purposes gentleman from Pennsylvania seek recognition to strike the last word to strike Gentleman is recognized Thank you mister chairman I support my colleagues amendment because it calls for clarification talking about clarification. I do have one question for my Democrat colleagues and that is are you conducting an investigation or an impeachment investigation or not because the resolution we are considering today does not authorize a formal impeachment inquiry despite what the press might Today it is nothing more than an inquiry into whether to start an inquiry None of these provisions are unique to the impeachment proceedings Anyone at anytime can send a letter to the Committee Every Committee in the House can allow for staff questioning what we're doing today is meaningless You already have this power as a Committee So which is it Are you starting an impeachment investigation or not Is this just more smoke and mirrors so you gonna appease the far left while doing absolutely nothing about this issue or is this So you can avoid talking about an agenda that includes banning airplanes throwing Americans off their health insurance plans eliminating our borders maybe other parts of the platform like defunding ice giving illegal immigrants, free health care maybe banning oil and gas exploration I mean, is that what this is about This is about distracting from the real platform of the party with the gentleman yield No since November 2016 the Democratic Party has desperately tried to undo the will of the people I can tell you that in Southwestern Pennsylvania people want Congress to move on they want us to work together They want us to solve real issues that are facing America They want their roads and bridges repaired They want help fighting the opioid epidemic and it want more money in their pockets to feed their families So again I ask Are you conducting it Query or not if you are just be honest with the American people be honest with your colleagues If you aren't then, let's stop these political games and let's go to work for the American people I've got a bipartisan bill on clean slate again. This bill is bipartisan It would help millions of Americans get away from the stigma of having a non-violent criminal record on their record. It will help them reenter the workplace increase their wages This is bipartisan we could actually do this I I'm friends with a lot of my colleagues. I've talked to them privately We want to do something to help the American people And we can start with criminal Justice reform and a slew of other issues but mister chairman let's let's do something Let's stop the political theater Our country deserves better with that the gentleman yield so we can answer his question I yield The answer is yes we are engaging impeachment investigation and in addition to that we have moved aggressively forward on the for the people agenda It'll be about driving down health care costs driving on the costume and regular building structure American taking on the corruption living order regular Was not record gentleman from Pennsylvania has the time thank you mister chairman and I and I I do thank my I mean this sincerely I thank my friend and colleague from Rhode Island. Thank you and with that I yield to my friend and colleague from Virginia The chairman I I do also wanna thank the gentleman from Rhode Island for admitting what we all know is happening This chairman this Committee is trying to have impeachment without actually putting Solution before the people before this House I wanna thank Mister Buck for his amendment revealing what a farce this process is this resolution which is again amateur hour when it comes to legal drafting I have great respect for the chairman. I have great respect for members of this Committee They are accomplished attorneys This Committee should remember that words mean something and what we are just revealing in this one amendment is just how these words are not Accurate we want this resolution any product of this Committee to be legally accurate Let's be better. Let's do better or do my colleagues on the other side actually recognize that in fact as I questioned the special special counsel his interpretation of the obstruction statutes was incorrect and is not a normal and reason to understanding of our obstruction statutes So if they wanna vote Reject that this is in fact obstruction as alleged let them go ahead but I appreciate the gentleman from Rhode Island's add admission that this is in fact an impeachment process Gentleman your back I yield to mister Buck I I thank the gentleman for yielding. I didn't I saw him the gentleman from Rhode Island Live. I don't know if you're putting timeout because nobody on the Democrats side so far has a voice in a answers to us and I appreciate the gentleman's answer and I yield back gentleman yields back gentle lady from Pennsylvania for its position The gentleman are that's why I moved to strike the last word ladies recognize you know the gentleman from Rhode Island got before me but I too would answer Yes, we are an impeachment investigation Have you not been reading the proceedings I don't think there's a question It's an investigation Generated back Question occurs on the weapon was the gentleman from Texas The last word is recognized Thank you now that it's been publicly admitted that this is an impeachment investigation And these amendments or even more critical his words do matter And this would be litigated and going back to my days as a chief Justice where we really had to dig on individual words What does this word mean And for whatever reason the majority in this impeachment investigation chose to use twice the word Fort and I could see this going up if this were a successful impeachment and Removal from office clearly, it would go up to the highest court and they would be stuck with the question of the President being a quarter they would have to deal with issues like does 14 involved moral turpitude because we've already heard it's not a crime to thwart than any of us or aware of so and the chairman has said Oh it doesn't have to be a crime Well does Boarding involved more moral turpitude There are so many issues that would be raised on appeal by the misuse of proper legal terminology This would be litigated for time in Memorial and it's it's just unfortunate if you're gonna try to remove a man for office for seeking Justice and trying to stop himself from being framed by an unjust group Within the Justice Department then you really this Committee of all committees are to use proper terminology and not create unnecessary litigation you back back. The question occurs on the amendment is not agreed to Further amendments Reporting for President the questions and the motion to the resolution Favor respond by saying hi Close Mister Nadler Hi mister Nadler Votes Aye Miss Lofgren Miss Lofgren votes I miss Jackson Lee Miss Jackson Lee Votes Aye mister Cohen mister Cohen Votes I mister Johnson of Georgia Mister Johnson of Georgia Votes I mister Joyce mister Joyce Votes I miss Bass Mister Richmond Votes I mister Jeffrey Mister Jeffries votes I mister Sileni Hi mister Sileni Votes I mister Swell Hi mister Swell Votes I mister Lou mister Lou Votes I mister Raskin mister Raskin Votes. I miss Jayapal Miss Demings votes Eye Mister Korea Mister Korea votes I miss Scanlon I miss Scanlon votes I miss Garcia I'm Miss Garcia Votes I mister Nicholas mister Nicholas Votes I miss Mac Bath Miss McBeth votes I mister Stanton Hi mister Stanton votes I listen I listen votes I miss McCarthy Powell Miss McCarthy Powell votes I miss Escobar I miss Escobar votes I mister Collins Nope Mister Collins votes. No mister Sensenbrenner Oh mister Sensenbrenner votes No mister Chavez Mister Chabot votes. No mister Gomez said no mister Gomez votes. No Mister Jordan Mister Jordan votes. No mister Buck mister Buck Snow mister Beckley mister snow Miss Roby Miss Roby votes. No Mister Gates Mister Gates votes know mister Johnson of Louisiana Mister Johnson of Louisiana Votes. Now mister Biggs Mister Biggs votes. No Mister McClintock Mister McClintock votes. No Miss Lesko Miss Leslie votes. No mister Russian Tyler Mister Russian dollar votes. No mister Klein No Mister Klein votes. No Mister Armstrong Mister Armstrong Vote snow mister Stevie mister Stevie votes now Gentle lady from California Gentle lady from Washington Miss Jay Paul votes I either any other members who wish to vote who haven't voted It's a good report Mister chairman, there are 24 eyes and 17 Knows your eyes Have it The resolution is agreed to this concludes our business for today Thanks to all our members for attending without Objection the markup is adjourned See you next time

Posted 9 months ago in Politics.