[Congressional Record Volume 166, Number 14 (Thursday, January 23, 2020)]
[Pages S487-S498]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                              THE JOURNAL

  The CHIEF JUSTICE. Senators will please be seated.
  If there is no objection, the Journal of proceedings of the trial are 
approved to date.
  The Sergeant at Arms will make the proclamation.
  The Sergeant at Arms, Michael C. Stenger, made proclamation as 

       Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons are commanded to 
     keep silence, on pain of imprisonment, while the Senate of 
     the United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of 
     impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives against 
     Donald John Trump, President of the United States.

  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The majority leader is recognized.

                           Order of Procedure

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. Chief Justice, it is my understanding the schedule 
today will be similar to yesterday's proceedings. We will plan to take 
short breaks every 2 or 3 hours and will accommodate a 30-minute recess 
for dinner, assuming that is needed.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. Pursuant to the provisions of S. Res. 483, the 
managers of the House of Representatives have 16 hours and 42 minutes 
remaining to make the presentation of their case.
  The Senate will now hear you.
  The Presiding Officer recognizes Mr. Manager Schiff to continue the 
presentation of the case for the House of Representatives.

                      Opening Statement--Continued

  Mr. Manager SCHIFF. Mr. Chief Justice, I thank you, and I thank the 
Senators for 2 now very long days. We are greatly appreciative of Chief 
Justice, knowing that, prior to your arrival in the Chamber each day, 
you have a lot of work at the Court, necessitating our beginning in the 
afternoon and going into the evening.
  I also want to, again, take this opportunity to thank the Senators 
for their long and considerable attention over the course of the last 2 
days. I am not sure the Chief Justice is fully aware of just how rare 
it is, how extraordinary it is, for the House Members to be able to 
command the attention of Senators sitting silently for hours--or even 
for minutes, for that matter. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the 
morning starts out every day with the Sergeant at Arms warning you 
that, if you don't, you will be imprisoned. It is our hope that, when 
the trial concludes and you have heard us and you have heard the 
President's counsel over a series of long days, that you don't choose 
imprisonment instead of anything further.
  Two days ago we made the case for documents and for witnesses in the 
trial. Yesterday we walked through the chronology, the factual 
chronology, at some length.
  Today we will go through article I, the constitutional underpinnings 
of abuse of power, and apply the facts of the President's scheme to the 
law and Constitution. Here I must ask you for some forbearance. Of 
necessity, there will be some repetition of information

[[Page S488]]

from yesterday's chronology, and I want to explain the reason for it.
  You have now heard hundreds of hours of deposition and live testimony 
from the House condensed into an abbreviated narrative of the facts. We 
will now show you these facts and many others and how they are 
interwoven. You will see some of these facts and videos, therefore, in 
a new context, in a new light: in the light of what else we know and 
why it compels a finding of guilt and conviction. So there is some 
method to our madness.
  Tomorrow we will conclude the presentation of the facts and law on 
article I, and we will begin and complete the same on article II, the 
President's unconstitutional obstruction of Congress. The President's 
counsel will then have 3 days to make their presentations, and then you 
will have 16 hours to ask questions. Then the trial will begin. Then 
you will actually get to hear from the witnesses yourself, and then you 
will get to see the documents yourself--or so we hope, and so do the 
American people. After their testimony and after we have had closing 
arguments, then it will be in your hands.
  So let's begin today's presentation. I yield to House Manager Nadler.
  Mr. Manager NADLER. Good morning, Mr. Chief Justice, Senators, my 
fellow House managers, and counsel for the President. This is the third 
day of a solemn occasion for the American people.
  The Articles of Impeachment against President Trump rank among the 
most serious charges ever brought against a President. As our recital 
of the facts indicated, the articles are overwhelmingly supported by 
the evidence amassed by the House, notwithstanding the President's 
complete stonewalling, his attempt to block all witnesses and all 
documents from the U.S. Congress.
  The first Article of Impeachment charges the President with abuse of 
power. President Trump used the powers of his office to solicit a 
foreign nation to interfere in our elections for his own personal 
  Note that the active solicitation itself--just the ask--constitutes 
an abuse of power, but President Trump went further. In order to secure 
his favor from Ukraine, he withheld two official acts of immense value. 
First, he withheld the release of $391 million in vital military 
assistance appropriated by Congress on a bipartisan basis, which 
Ukraine needed to fight Russian aggression. Second, President Trump 
withheld a long-sought-after White House meeting which would confirm to 
the world that America stands behind Ukraine in its ongoing struggle.
  The President's conduct is wrong. It is illegal. It is dangerous. It 
captures the worst fears of our Founders and the Framers of the 
  Since President George Washington took office in 1789, no President 
has abused his power in this way. Let me say that again. No President 
has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat 
in our elections. Prior Presidents would be shocked to the core by such 
conduct, and rightly so.
  Now, because President Trump has largely failed to convince the 
country that his conduct was remotely acceptable, he has adopted a 
fallback position. He argues that even if we disapprove of his 
misconduct, we cannot remove him for it. Frankly, that argument is 
itself terrifying. It confirms that this President sees no limits on 
his power or on his ability to use his public office for private gain. 
Of course, the President also believes that he can use his power to 
cover up his crimes.
  That leads me to the second article of impeachment, which charges 
that the President categorically, indiscriminately, and unlawfully 
obstructed our inquiry, the congressional inquiry, into his conduct. 
This Presidential stonewalling of Congress is unprecedented in the 238-
year history of our constitutional Republic. It puts even President 
Nixon to shame.
  Taken together, the articles and the evidence conclusively establish 
that President Trump has placed his own personal political interests 
first. He has placed them above our national security, above our free 
and fair elections, and above our system of checks and balances. This 
conduct is not America first; it is Donald Trump first. Donald Trump 
swore an oath to faithfully execute the laws. That means putting the 
Nation's interests above his own. The President has repeatedly, 
flagrantly, violated his oath.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. GERHARDT. I just want to stress that if this--if what 
     we're talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is 
     impeachable. This is precisely the misconduct that the 
     Framers created a constitution, including impeachment, to 
     protect against.

  Mr. Manager NADLER. All of the legal experts who testified before the 
House Judiciary Committee--those invited by the Democrats and those 
invited by the Republicans--all agreed that the conduct we have charged 
constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors.
  Professor Michael Gerhardt, the author of six books and the only 
joint witness when the House considered President Clinton's case, put 
it simply: ``If what we are talking about is not impeachable, then 
nothing is impeachable.''
  Professor Jonathan Turley, called by the Republicans as a witness, 
agreed that the articles charge an offense that is impeachable. In his 
written testimony, he stated: ``The use of military aid for a quid pro 
quo to investigate one's political opponent, if proven, can be an 
impeachable offense.''
  Thus far, we have presented the core factual narrative. None of that 
record can be seriously disputed, and none of it will be disputed.
  We can predict what the President's lawyers will say in the next few 
days. I urge you, Senators, to listen to it carefully. You will hear 
accusations and name-calling. You will hear complaints about the 
process in the House and the motives of the managers. You will hear 
that this all comes down to a phone call that was perfect--as if you 
had not just seen evidence of a months-long, government-wide effort to 
extort a foreign government. But you will not hear a refutation of the 
evidence. You will not hear testimony to refute the testimony you have 
seen. Indeed, if the President had any exculpatory witnesses--even a 
single one--he would be demanding their appearance here, instead of 
urging you not to permit additional witnesses to testify.
  Let me offer a preview of the path ahead. First, we will examine the 
law of impeachable offenses, with a focus on abuse of power. That will 
be the subject of my presentation. Then, my colleagues will apply the 
law to the facts. They will demonstrate that the President has 
unquestionably committed the high crimes and misdemeanors outlined in 
the first Article of Impeachment.
  Once those presentations are concluded, we will take the same 
approach to demonstrating President Trump's obstruction of Congress--
the second Article of Impeachment. We will begin by stating the law. 
Then we will review the facts, and then we will apply the law to the 
facts, proving that President Trump is guilty of the second Article of 
Impeachment as well.
  With that roadmap to guide us, I will begin by walking through the 
law of abuse of power. Here, I will start by defining the phrase in the 
Constitution ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.''
  When the Framers selected this term, they meant it to capture, as 
George Mason put it, all manner of ``great and dangerous offenses'' 
against the Nation. In contemporary terms, the Framers had three 
specific offenses in mind: abuse of power, betrayal of the Nation 
through foreign entanglements, and corruption of elections.
  You can think of these as the ABCs of high crimes and misdemeanors: 
abuse, betrayal, and corruption. The Framers believed that any one of 
these offenses, standing alone, justified removal from office.
  Professor Noah Feldman of Harvard Law School explained this well 
before the House Judiciary Committee. Here is his explanation of why 
the Framers created the impeachment power.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Professor FELDMAN. The Framers provided for the impeachment 
     of the President because they feared that the President might 
     abuse the power of his office for personal benefit, to 
     corrupt the electoral process and ensure his reelection, or 
     to subvert the national security of the United States.

  Mr. Manager NADLER. That is the standard as described by Professor 
Feldman. All three appear at once--abuse, betrayal, and corruption. 
That is where we have the strongest possible case for removing a 
President from office. Later on, we will apply this rule to the facts.

[[Page S489]]

  Abuse: We will show that President Trump abused his power when he 
used his office to solicit and pressure Ukraine to meddle in our 
elections for his personal gain.
  Betrayal: We will show that he betrayed vital national interests--
specifically, our national security--by withholding diplomatic support 
and military aid from Ukraine, even as it faced armed Russian 
  Corruption: President Trump's intent was to corrupt our elections to 
his personal, political benefit. He put his personal interest in 
retaining power above free and fair elections--and above the principle 
that Americans must govern themselves, without interference from 
  Article I thus charges a high crime and misdemeanor that blends abuse 
of power, betrayal of the Nation, and corruption in elections into a 
single unforgivable scheme. That is why this President must be removed 
from office, especially before he continues his effort to corrupt our 
next election.
  The charges set forth in the first Article of Impeachment are firmly 
grounded in the Constitution of the United States. Simply stated, 
impeachment is the Constitution's final answer to a President who 
mistakes himself for a King.
  The Framers had risked their freedom, and their lives, to escape 
monarchy. Together, they resolved to build a nation committed to 
democracy and the rule of law--a beacon to the world at an age of 
aristocracy. In the United States of America, ``We the people'' would 
be sovereign. We would choose our leaders and hold them accountable for 
how they exercised power on our behalf.
  In writing our Constitution, the Framers recognized that we needed a 
Chief Executive who could lead the Nation with efficiency, energy, and 
dispatch. So they created a powerful Presidency and vested it with 
immense public trust. But this solution created a different problem.
  The Framers were not naive. They knew that power corrupts. They knew 
that Republics cannot flourish--and that people cannot live free--under 
a corrupt leader. They foresaw that a President faithful only to 
himself would endanger every American. So the Framers built guardrails 
to ensure that the American people would remain free and to ensure that 
out-of-control Presidents would not destroy everything they sought to 
  They imposed elections every 4 years to ensure accountability. They 
banned the President from profiting off his office. They divided the 
powers of the Federal Government across three branches. They required 
the President to swear an oath to faithfully execute the laws.
  To the Framers, the concept of faithful execution was profoundly 
important. It prohibited the President from exercising power in bad 
faith or with corrupt intent, and thus ensured that the President would 
put the American people first, not himself.
  A few Framers would have stopped there. This minority feared vesting 
any branch of government with the power to remove a President from 
office. They would have relied on elections alone to address rogue 
Presidents. But that view was decisively rejected at the Constitutional 
  Convening in the shadow of rebellion and revolution, the Framers 
would not deny the Nation an escape from Presidents who deemed 
themselves above the law. Instead, they adopted the power of 
impeachment. In so doing, they offered a clear answer to George Mason's 
question: ``Shall any man be above justice?'' As Mason himself 
explained, ``some mode of displacing an unfit magistrate is rendered 
indispensable by the fallibility of those who choose, as well as by the 
corrupt ability of the man chosen.''
  Unlike in Britain, the President would answer personally--to Congress 
and thus to the Nation--for any serious wrongdoing. But this decision 
raised a question: What conduct would justify impeachment and removal?
  As careful students of history, the Framers knew that threats to 
democracy can take many forms. They feared would-be monarchs but also 
warned against fake populists, charismatic demagogues, and corrupt 
  In describing the kind of leader who might menace the Nation, 
Alexander Hamilton offered an especially striking portrait. Mr. Schiff 
read this portrait in his introductory remarks and it bears repetition.

       When a man unprincipled in private life, desperate in his 
     fortune, bold in his temper . . . known to have scoffed in 
     private at the principles of liberty--when such a man is seen 
     to mount the hobby horse of popularity--to join in the cry of 
     danger to liberty--to take every opportunity of embarrassing 
     the General Government & bringing it under suspicion--to 
     flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of 
     the day--It may justly be suspected that his object is to 
     throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and 
     direct the whirlwind.

  Hamilton was a wise man. He foresaw dangers far ahead of his time. 
Given the many threats they had to anticipate, the Framers considered 
extremely broad grounds for removing Presidents. For example, they 
debated setting the bar at maladministration, to allow removal for run-
of-the-mill policy disagreements between Congress and the President.
  They also considered very narrow grounds, strictly limiting 
impeachment to treason and bribery. Ultimately, they struck a balance.
  They did not want Presidents removed for ordinary political or policy 
disagreements, but they intended impeachments to reach the full 
spectrum of Presidential misconduct that might threaten the 
Constitution, and they intended our Constitution to endure for the 
ages. They adopted a standard that meant, as Mason put it, to capture 
all manner of ``great and dangerous offenses'' incompatible with the 
Constitution. This standard, borrowed from the British Parliament, was 
``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.''
  In England, the standard was understood to capture offenses against 
the constitutional system itself. That is confirmed by the use of the 
word ``high,'' as well as by parliamentary practice.
  From 1376 to 1787, the House of Commons impeached officials on a few 
general grounds--mainly consisting of abuse of power, betrayal of 
national security and foreign policy, corruption, treason, bribery, and 
disregarding the powers of Parliament.
  The phrase ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' thus covered offenses 
against the Nation itself--in other words, crimes against the British 
  As scholars were shown, the same understanding prevailed on this side 
of the Atlantic. In the colonial period and under newly ratified State 
constitutions, most impeachments targeted abuse of power, betrayal of 
the revolutionary cause, corruption, treason, and bribery. These 
experiences were well-known to the Framers of the Constitution.
  History thus teaches that ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' referred 
mainly to acts committed by officials using their power or privileges, 
that inflicted grave harm on society. Such great and dangerous offenses 
included treason, bribery, abuse of power, betrayal of the Nation, and 
corruption of office. And they were unified by a clear theme.
  Officials who abused, abandoned, or sought to benefit personally from 
their public trust--and who threatened the rule of law if left in 
power--faced impeachment and removal. Abuse, betrayal, corruption--this 
is exactly the understanding that the Framers incorporated into the 
  As Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson wisely observed, ``the 
purpose of the Constitution was not only to grant power, but to keep it 
from getting out of hand.''
  Nowhere is that truer than in Presidency. As the Framers created a 
formidable Chief Executive, they made clear that impeachment is 
justified for serious abuse of power.
  James Madison stated that impeachment is necessary because the 
President ``might pervert his administration into a scheme of . . . 
  Hamilton set the standard for removal at an ``abuse or violation of 
some public trust.''
  And in Massachusetts, Rev. Samuel Stillman asked: ``With such a 
prospect [of impeachment], will dare to abuse the powers vested in him 
by the people?''
  Time and again, Americans who wrote and ratified the Constitution 
confirmed that Presidents may be impeached for abusing the power 
entrusted to them.

[[Page S490]]

  To the Framers' generation, moreover, abuse of power was a well-
understood offense. It took two basic forms. The first occurred when 
someone exercised power in ways far beyond what the law allowed--or in 
ways that destroyed checks on their own authority.
  The second occurred when an official exercised power to obtain an 
improper personal benefit, while ignoring or injuring the national 
interest. In other words, the President may commit an impeachable abuse 
of power in two different ways: by engaging in clearly forbidden acts 
or by taking actions that are allowed but for reasons that are not 
allowed--for instance, to obtain corrupt, private benefits.
  Let me unpack that idea, starting with the first category: conduct 
clearly inconsistent with the law, including the law of checks and 
balances. The generation that rebelled against George III knew what 
absolute power looked like. It was no abstraction to them. They had a 
different idea in mind when they organized our government. Most 
significantly, they placed the President under the law, not above it. 
That means the President may exercise only the powers vested in him by 
the Constitution. He must also respect the legal limits on the exercise 
of those powers.
  A President who egregiously refuses to follow these restrictions, by 
engaging in wrongful conduct, may be subjected to impeachment for abuse 
of power. Two American impeachment inquiries have involved claims that 
a President grossly violated the Constitution's separation of powers.
  The first was in 1868, when the House impeached President Andrew 
Johnson, who had succeeded Abraham Lincoln after his assassination at 
Ford's Theatre.
  In firing the Secretary of War, President Johnson allegedly violated 
the Tenure of Office Act, which restricted the President's power to 
remove Cabinet members during the term of the President who had 
appointed them.
  The House of Representatives approved articles charging it with 
conduct forbidden by law. That is an action that is an abuse of power 
on its face. Ultimately, the Senate acquitted President Johnson by one 
vote. This was partly because there was a strong argument that the 
Tenure of Office Act, which President Johnson was charged with 
violating, was itself unconstitutional--a position the Supreme Court 
later accepted. Of course, historians have also noted that a key 
Senator appears to have changed his vote at the last minute in exchange 
for promises of special treatment by President Johnson. So perhaps that 
acquittal means a little less than meets the eye.

  In any event, just over 100 years later, the House Judiciary 
Committee accused the second Chief Executive of abusing his power in a 
manner egregiously inconsistent with the law. The committee charged 
President Nixon with obstruction of Congress based on his meritless 
assertion of executive privilege to cover up key White House tape 
  We will have more to say about the obstruction charge in a moment.
  But the Nixon case also exemplifies the second way a President can 
abuse his power. President Nixon faced two more Articles of 
Impeachment. Both of these articles charged him with abusing the powers 
of his office with corrupt intent. One focused on his abuse of power to 
obstruct law enforcement. The other targeted his abuse of power to 
target political opponents. Each article enumerated specific abuses by 
President Nixon, many of which involved the wrongful, corrupt exercise 
of Presidential power and many of which were likely not statutory 
  In explaining its second article, the House Judiciary Committee 
stated that President Nixon's conduct was ``undertaken for his personal 
political advantage and not in furtherance of any valid national policy 
  That should sound familiar to everyone here. It reflects the standard 
I have already articulated: the exercise of official power to corruptly 
obtain a personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the national 
  To be sure, all Presidents account to some extent for how their 
decisions in office may affect their political prospects. The 
Constitution does not forbid that. Elected officials can and should 
care about how voters will react to their decisions. They will often 
care about whether their decisions make it more likely that they will 
be reelected. But there is a difference--a difference that matters--
between political calculus and outright corruption.
  Some uses of Presidential power are so outrageous, so obviously 
improper, that if they are undertaken for a President's own personal 
gain, with injury or indifference to core national interests, then they 
are obviously high crimes and misdemeanors. Otherwise, even the most 
egregious wrongdoing could be justified as disagreement over policy or 
politics, and corruption that would have shocked the Framers--that they 
expressly sought to prohibit--would overcome the protections they 
established for our benefit.
  There should be nothing surprising about impeaching a President for 
using his power with corrupt motives. The House and Senate have 
confirmed this point in prior impeachments. More important, the 
Constitution itself says that we can do so.
  To start, the Constitution requires that the President ``faithfully 
execute'' the law. A President who acts with corrupt motives, putting 
himself above country, has acted faithlessly, not faithfully executing 
the law.
  Moreover, the two impeachable offenses that the Constitution 
enumerates--Treason and Bribery--each require proof of the President's 
mental state. For treason, he must have acted with a ``disloyal mind,'' 
according to the Supreme Court. And it is well established that the 
elements of bribery include corrupt motives.
  In sum, to the Framers, it was dangerous for officials to exceed 
their constitutional power. But it was equally dangerous--perhaps more 
so--for officials to use their power with corrupt, nefarious motives, 
thus perverting public trust for private gain.
  Abuse of power is clearly an impeachable offense under the 
Constitution. To be honest, this should not be a controversial 
statement. I find it amazing that the President rejects it. Yet he 
does. He insists there is no such thing as impeachable abuse of power. 
This position is dead wrong. All prior impeachments considered of high 
office have always included abuse of power. All of the experts who 
testified before the House Judiciary Committee, including those called 
by the Republicans, agreed that abuse of power is a high crime and 
  Here is testimony from Professor Pam Karlan of Stanford Law School, 
joined by Professor Gerhardt.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. EISEN. Professor Karlan, do scholars of impeachment 
     generally agree that abuse of power is an impeachable 
       Ms. KARLAN. Yes, they do.
       Mr. EISEN. Professor Gerhardt, do you agree that abuse of 
     power is impeachable?
       Mr. GERHARDT. Yes, sir.

  Mr. Manager NADLER. Professor Turley, who testified at the Republican 
invitation, echoed that view. In fact, he not only agreed, but he 
``stressed'' that ``it is possible to establish a case for impeachment 
based on a non-criminal allegation of abuse of power.''
  Professor Turley is hardly the only legal expert to take that view. 
Another who comes to mind is Professor Allen Dershowitz--at least Alan 
Dershowitz in 1998. Back then, here is what he had to say about 
impeachment for abuse of power.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. DERSHOWITZ. It certainly doesn't have to be a crime. If 
     you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of 
     President and who abuses trust and poses great danger to our 
     liberty, you don't need a technical crime.

  Mr. Manager NADLER. But we need not look to 1998 to find one of 
President Trump's key allies espousing this view. Consider the comments 
of our current Attorney General, William Barr, a man known for his 
extraordinarily expansive view of Executive power. In Attorney General 
Barr's view, as expressed about 18 months ago, Presidents cannot be 
indicted or criminally investigated--but that's OK because they can be 
impeached. That's the safeguard. And in an impeachment, Attorney 
General added, the President is ``answerable for any abuses of 
discretion'' and may be held ``accountable under law for his misdeeds 
in office.''

  In other words, Attorney General Barr believes, along with the Office 
of Legal Counsel, that a President may not be indicted. He believes 
that is OK.

[[Page S491]]

We don't need that safeguard against a President who would commit 
abuses of power. It is OK because he can be impeached. That is the 
safeguard for abuses of discretion and for his misdeeds in office.
  More recently, a group of the Nation's leading constitutional 
scholars--ranging across the ideological spectrum from Harvard Law 
Professor Larry Tribe to former Ronald Reagan Solicitor General Charles 
Fried--issued a statement affirming that ``abuse of power counts as an 
instance of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors under the 
  They added: ``That was clearly the view of the Constitution's 
  I could go on, but you get the point. Everyone, except President 
Trump and his lawyers, agrees that Presidents can be impeached for 
abuse of power. The President's position amounts to nothing but self-
serving constitutional nonsense. And it is dangerous nonsense at that. 
A President who sees no limit on his power manifestly threatens the 
  The Constitution always matches power with constraint. That is true 
even of powers vested in the Chief Executive. Nobody is entitled to 
wield power under the Constitution if they ignore or betray the 
Nation's interests to advance their own. President Nixon was wrong in 
asserting that ``when the President does it, that means it is not 
illegal.'' And President Trump was equally wrong when he declared that 
he had ``the right to do whatever I want as president.''
  Under the Constitution, he is subject to impeachment and removal for 
abuse of power. And as we will prove, that is exactly what must happen 
  Of course, President Trump's abuse of power--as charged in the first 
Article of Impeachment and supported by a mountain of evidence--is 
aggravated by another concern at the heart of the Constitution's 
impeachment clause.
  Betrayal. The Founders of our country were not fearful men. When they 
wrote our Constitution, they had only recently won a bloody war for 
independence. But as they looked outward from their new Nation, they 
saw Kings scheming for power, promising fabulous wealth to spies and 
deserters. The United States could be enmeshed in such conspiracies. 
``Foreign powers,'' warned Elbridge Gerry, ``will intermeddle in our 
affairs, and spare no expense to influence them.''
  The young Republic might not survive a President who schemed with 
other nations, entangling himself in secret deals that harmed our 
democracy. That reality loomed over the impeachment debate in 
  Explaining why the Constitution required an impeachment option, 
Madison argued that a President ``might betray his trust to foreign 
powers.'' To be sure, the Framers did not intend impeachment for 
genuine, good faith disagreements between the President and Congress 
over matters of diplomacy. But they were explicit that betrayal of the 
Nation through plots with foreign powers must result in removal from 
office. And no such betrayal scared them more than foreign interference 
in our democracy.
  In his Farewell Address, George Washington warned Americans ``to be 
constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign 
influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.''
  And in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams wrote:

       You are apprehensive of foreign Interference, Intrigue, 
     Influence.--So am I.--But, as often as Elections happen, the 
     danger of foreign Influence recurs.

  The Framers never suggested that the President's role in foreign 
affairs should prevent Congress from impeaching him for treachery in 
his dealings. Case in point: they wrote a Constitution that gives 
Congress extensive responsibility over foreign affairs--Congress--
including the power to declare war, regulate foreign commerce, 
establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and define offenses against 
the law of nations.
  Contrary to the claims you heard the other day--that the President 
has plenary authority in foreign affairs and there is nothing Congress 
can do about it--the Supreme Court has stated that constitutional 
authority over the ``conduct of the foreign relations of our 
Government'' is shared between ``the Executive and Legislative 
  Or to quote another Supreme Court case: ``The Executive is not free 
from the ordinary controls and checks of Congress merely because 
foreign affairs are at issue.''
  In these realms, Justice Jackson wrote, the Constitution ``enjoins 
upon its branches separateness but interdependence, autonomy but 
  Where the President betrays our national security and foreign policy 
interests for his own personal gain, he is unquestionably subject to 
impeachment and removal. The same is true of a different concern raised 
by the Framers: the use of Presidential power to corrupt the elections 
and the Office of the Presidency.
  The Framers were no strangers to corruption. They understood that 
corruption had broken Rome, debased Britain, and threatened America. 
They saw no shortage of threats to the Republic and fought valiantly to 
guard against them. But as one scholar writes, ``the big fear 
underlying all the small fears was whether they'd be able to control 
  So the Framers attempted to build a government in which officials 
would not use public power for personal benefits, disregarding the 
public good in pursuit of their own advancement.
  This principle applied with special force to the Presidency. As 
Madison emphasized, because the Presidency ``was to be administered by 
a single man,'' his corruption ``might be fatal to the Republic.''
  Indeed, no fewer than four delegates to the Constitutional 
Convention--Madison, plus Morris, Mason, and Randolph--listed 
corruption as a central reason why Presidents must be subject to 
impeachment and removal from office. Impeachment was seen as especially 
necessary for Presidential conduct corrupting our system of political 
self-government. The Framers foresaw and feared that a President might 
someday place his personal interest in reelection above our abiding 
commitment to democracy. Such a President, in their view, would need to 
be removed from office.
  Professor Feldman made this point in his testimony before the House 
Judiciary Committee:
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. FELDMAN. The Framers reserved impeachment for 
     situations where the President abused his office, that is, 
     used it for his personal advantage. And, in particular, they 
     were specifically worried about a situation where the 
     President used his office to facilitate corruptly his own 
     reelection. That's, in fact, why they thought they needed 
     impeachment and why waiting for the next election wasn't good 

  Professor Feldman's testimony is grounded in the records of the 
Constitutional Convention.
  There, William Davie warned that a President who abused his office 
might spare no efforts or means whatever to get himself reelected and, 
thus, to escape justice.
  George Mason built on Davie's position, asking: ``Shall the man who 
has practiced corruption, and by that means procured his appointment to 
the first instance, be suffered to escape punishment by repeating his 
guilt?'' Mason's concern was straightforward. He feared that Presidents 
would win election by improperly influencing members of the electoral 
  Gouverneur Morris later echoed this point, urging that the Executive 
ought therefore to be impeachable for corrupting his electors.
  Taken together, these debates demonstrate an essential point: The 
Framers knew that a President who abused power to manipulate elections 
presented the greatest possible threat to the Constitution. After all, 
the beating heart of the Framers' project was a commitment to popular 
  At a time when democratic self-government existed almost nowhere on 
Earth, the Framers imagined a society where power flowed from and 
returned to the people. That is why the President and Members of 
Congress must stand before the public for reelection on fixed terms, 
and if the President abuses his power to corrupt those elections, he 
threatens the entire system.
  As Professor Karlan explained in her testimony:
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Professor KARLAN. [D]rawing a foreign government into our 
     elections is an especially serious abuse of power because it 
     undermines democracy itself. Our Constitution begins with the 
     words ``We the people'' for a reason. Our government, in 
     James Madison's

[[Page S492]]

     words, derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the 
     great body of the people, and the way it derives these powers 
     is through elections. Elections matter, both to the 
     legitimacy of our government and to all of our individual 
     freedoms, because, as the Supreme Court declared more than a 
     century ago, voting is preservative of all rights.

  Mr. Manager NADLER. Professor Karlan is right--elections matter. They 
make our government legitimate, and they protect our freedom. A 
President who abuses his power in order to kneecap political opponents 
and spread Russian conspiracy theories--a President who uses his office 
to ask for or, even worse, to compel foreign nations to meddle in our 
elections--is a President who attacks the very foundations of our 
liberty. That is a grave abuse of power. It is an unprecedented 
betrayal of the national interest. It is a shocking corruption of the 
election process, and it is without a doubt a crime against the 
Constitution, warranting, demanding his removal from office.
  The Framers expected that free elections would be the usual means of 
protecting our freedoms, but they knew that a President who sought 
foreign assistance in his campaign must be removed from office before 
he could steal the next election.
  In a last-ditch legal defense of their client, the President's 
lawyers argue that impeachment and removal are subject to statutory 
crimes or to offenses against established law, that the President 
cannot be impeached because he has not committed a crime. This view is 
completely wrong. It has no support in constitutional text and 
structure, original meaning, congressional precedents, common sense, or 
the consensus of credible experts. In other words, it conflicts with 
every relevant consideration.
  Professor Gerhardt succinctly captured the consensus view in his 
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       COUNSEL. Now, Professor Gerhardt, does a high crime and 
     misdemeanor require an actual statutory crime?
       Mr. GERHARDT. No. It plainly does not. Everything we know 
     about the history of impeachment reinforces the conclusion 
     that impeachable offenses do not have to be crimes. And, 
     again, not all crimes are impeachable offenses. We look, 
     again, at the context of the gravity of the misconduct.

  Mr. Manager NADLER. This position was echoed by the Republicans' 
expert witness, Professor Turley, in his written testimony.
  There, he stated: ``It is possible to establish a case for 
impeachment based on a non-criminal allegation of abuse of power.''
  He also stated: ``It is clear that high Crimes and Misdemeanors can 
encompass non-criminal conduct.''
  More recently, Professor Turley--again, the Republican witness at our 
hearing--wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post entitled ``Where 
the Trump defense goes too far.'' In this piece, he stated that the 
President's argument ``is as politically unwise as it is 
constitutionally shortsighted.'' He added: ``If successful, it would 
also come at a considerable cost for the Constitution.'' Although I 
disagree with Professor Turley on many, many issues, here, he is 
clearly right.
  I might say the same thing of then-House Manager Lindsey Graham, who, 
in President Clinton's trial, flatly rejected the notion that 
impeachable offenses are limited to violations of established law.
  This is what he said:
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. GRAHAM. What is a high crime? How about if an important 
     person hurts somebody of low means? It is not very scholarly, 
     but I think it's the truth. I think that's what they meant by 
     high crimes. It doesn't have to be a crime. It is just--when 
     you start using your office and you're acting in a way that 
     hurts people, you have committed a high crime.

  Mr. Manager NADLER. There are many reasons why high crimes and 
misdemeanors are not and cannot be limited to violations of the 
Criminal Code. We address them at length in the briefs we have filed 
and in the report of the House Judiciary Committee respecting these 
Articles of Impeachment, but I would like to highlight a few especially 
important considerations. I will tick through them quickly.
  First, there is the matter of the historical record. The Framers 
could not have meant to limit impeachment to statutory crimes. 
Presidents are to be impeached and removed from office for ``treason, 
bribery, and other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,'' but bribery was not 
made a statutory crime until 1837.
  Second, the President's position is contradicted by the 
Constitution's text. The Framers repeatedly referred to ``crimes,'' 
``offenses,'' and ``punishment'' elsewhere in the Constitution, but 
here they refer to ``high Crimes.'' That matters. It matters because 
the phrase ``high Crimes'' refers to offenses against the State rather 
than to workaday crimes, and it matters because the phrase ``high 
crimes and misdemeanors'' had a rich history in England, where it had 
been applied in many, many cases that did not involve crimes under 
British law. When the Framers added ``high Crimes'' here but 
nowhere else in the Constitution, they made a deliberate choice. Any 
doubt in that score is dispelled by the Framers' own statements.

  In Federalist No. 65, Alexander Hamilton explained that impeachable 
offenses are defined fundamentally by ``the abuse or violation of some 
public trust.''
  A few years later, James Wilson, a Constitutional Convention 
delegate, agreed with Hamilton.
  Wilson stated:

       Impeachments, and offences and offenders impeachable, come 
     not . . . within the sphere of ordinary jurisprudence. They 
     are founded on different principles, governed by different 
     maxims, and are directed to different objects.

  George Mason expressed concern that the President might abuse the 
pardon power to ``screen from punishment those whom he had secretly 
instigated to commit the crime, and thereby prevent a discovery of his 
own guilt.'' Sound familiar?
  James Madison responded directly to Mason's concern because Mason's 
concern was that the pardon power might be too broad and the President 
might misuse his broad pardon power to pardon his own coconspirators 
and prevent a discovery of his own guilt.
  Madison responded:

       If the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, 
     with any person, and there be grounds to believe he will 
     shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; 
     they can remove him if found guilty.

  At the North Carolina ratifying convention, James Iredell, who would 
go on to serve on the Supreme Court, responded to the same concern. He 
assured delegates that if the President abused his power with ``some 
corrupt motive or other,'' he would be ``liable for impeachment.''
  In the early 1800s, this understanding was echoed by Supreme Court 
Justice Story, who wrote a famous treatise on the Constitution. There, 
he rejected the equation of crimes and impeachable offenses, which, he 
stated, ``must be examined upon very broad and comprehensive principles 
of public policy and duty.''
  Later in American history, Chief Justice and former President William 
Howard Taft, as well as Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, publicly 
stated that impeachable offenses are not limited to crimes but, 
instead, capture a broader range of misconduct. Indeed, under Chief 
Justice Taft, the Supreme Court unanimously observed that abuse of the 
President's pardon power to frustrate the enforcement of court orders 
``would suggest resort to impeachment.'' Now, notice, pardon power is 
unlimited. What they are saying here is the abuse of the pardon power. 
Abuse of the pardon power for a corrupt motive is impeachable.
  If all of that authority is not enough to convince you, there is 
  Historians have shown that American colonists before the Revolution 
and American States after the Revolution but before 1787 all impeached 
officials for noncriminal conduct. Over the past two centuries, 
moreover, a strong majority of the impeachments voted by the House have 
included one or more allegations that did not charge a violation of 
criminal law. Indeed, the Senate has convicted and removed multiple 
judges on noncriminal grounds.
  Judge Archbald was removed in 1912 for noncriminal speculation in 
coal properties.
  Judge Ritter was removed in 1936 for the noncriminal offense of 
bringing his court ``into scandal and disrepute.'' During Judge 
Ritter's case, one of my predecessors as chairman of the House 
Judiciary Committee stated expressly: ``We do not assume the 

[[Page S493]]

. . . of proving that the respondent is guilty of a crime as that term 
is known in criminal jurisprudence.'' What is true for judges is also 
true for Presidents, at least on this point.
  The House Judiciary Committee approved three Articles of Impeachment 
against President Nixon. Each of them encompassed many acts that did 
not violate Federal law. One of the articles--obstruction of Congress--
involved no allegations of any legal violation.
  It is worth reflecting on why President Nixon was forced to resign. 
Most Americans are familiar with the story. The House Judiciary 
Committee approved Articles of Impeachment in July 1974. Those articles 
passed with bipartisan support, although most Republicans stood by 
President Nixon.
  Then the smoking gun tape came out. Within a week, almost everyone 
who supported the President the week before changed his position, and 
the President was forced to resign because of what was revealed on the 
smoking gun tape. Within a week, Senator Goldwater and others from the 
Senate went to the President and said: You won't have a single vote in 
the Senate. You must resign, or you will be removed from office because 
of the evidence on the smoking gun tape.
  But what was on the smoking gun tape? The smoking gun tape had 
recordings of President Nixon's instructing White House officials to 
pressure the CIA and the FBI to end the Watergate investigation. No law 
explicitly prohibited that conversation--it was not, in that sense, a 
crime--but President Nixon had abused his power. He had tried to use 
two government agencies--the FBI and the CIA--for his personal benefit. 
His impeachment and removal were certain, and he announced his 
resignation within days.
  Decades later, in President Clinton's case, the Judiciary Committee's 
report on the Articles of Impeachment stated: ``The actions of 
President Clinton do not have to rise to the level of violating the 
federal statute regarding obstruction of justice in order to justify 
  There is, thus, overwhelming authority against restricting 
impeachments to violations of established or statutory law. Every 
relevant principle of constitutional law compels that result. So does 
common sense.
  Impeachment is not a punishment for crimes. Impeachment exists to 
address threats to the political system, applies only to political 
officials, and responds not by imprisonment or fines but only by 
stripping political power.
  It would make no sense to say that a President who engages in 
horrific abuses must be allowed to remain in office unless Congress had 
anticipated his or her specific conduct in advance and written a 
statute expressly outlawing it. For one thing, that would be 
practically impossible. As Justice Story observed, the threats posed by 
Presidential abuse ``are of so various and complex a character'' that 
it would be ``almost absurd'' to attempt a comprehensive list.
  The Constitution is not a suicide pact. It does not leave us stuck 
with Presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten 
our security and democracy.
  Until recently it did not occur to me that our President would call a 
foreign leader and demand a sham investigation meant to kneecap his 
political opponents, all in exchange for releasing vital military aid 
that the President was already required by law to provide.
  No one anticipated that a President would stoop to this misconduct, 
and Congress has passed no specific law to make this behavior a crime.
  Yet this is precisely the kind of abuse that the Framers had in mind 
when they wrote the impeachment clause and when they charged Congress 
with determining when the President's conduct was so clearly wrong, so 
definitely beyond the pale, so threatening to the constitutional order 
as to require his removal, and that is why we are here today.
  You must judge for yourselves whether justice will be had for 
President Trump's crimes against our freedom and the Constitution.
  I will conclude by highlighting a few points that merit special 
emphasis, as you apply the law of impeachment to President Trump's 
  First, impeachment is not for petty offenses. The President's conduct 
must constitute, as Mason put it, a great and dangerous offense against 
the Nation--offenses that threaten the Constitution.
  Second, impeachable offenses involve wrongdoing that reveal the 
President as a continuing threat if he is allowed to remain in office. 
In other words, we fully recognize that impeachment does not exist for 
a mistake. It does not apply to acts that are merely unwise or 
unpopular. Impeachment is reserved for deliberate decisions by the 
President to embark on a course of conduct that betrays his oath of 
office and does violence to the Constitution.
  When the President has engaged in such conduct, and when there is 
strong evidence that he will do so again--when he has told us he will 
do so again, when he has told us that it is OK to invite interference 
from a foreign power into our next election--the case for removal is at 
its peak.
  This is certainly the case when he invites, indeed, attempts to 
compel a foreign government to help him subvert the integrity of our 
next election. There can be no greater threat to the Republic.
  Finally, high crimes and misdemeanors involve conduct that is 
recognizably wrong to a reasonable, honorable citizen. The Framers 
adopted a standard for impeachment that could stand the test of time. 
At the same time, the structure of the Constitution implies that 
impeachable offenses should not come as a surprise. Impeachment is 
aimed at Presidents who act as if they are above the law, at Presidents 
who believe their own interests are more important than those of the 
Nation, and, thus, at Presidents who ignore right and wrong in pursuit 
of their own gain.
  Abuse, betrayal, corruption. Here are each of core offenses that the 
Framers feared most: The President's abuse of power, his betrayal of 
the national interest, and his corruption of our elections plainly 
qualify as great and dangerous offenses.
  President Trump has made clear in word and deed that he will persist 
in such conduct if he is not removed from power. He poses a continuing 
threat to our Nation, to the integrity of our elections, and to our 
Democratic order. He must not remain in power one moment longer.
  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Chief Justice, Senators, President's 
counsel, we will now walk through the President's abuse of power, the 
corrupt object of his scheme, his three official acts carrying out his 
scheme, his attempted coverup and exposure, and the harm to our Nation 
and continuing threat caused by his misconduct.
  Let's start first with the object of the President's scheme.
  Senators, we have today provided handouts that you can follow along 
in our slides.
  So as this first slide indicates, in this portion of our 
presentation, we will discuss the evidence that shows overwhelmingly 
that President Trump directed this scheme with corrupt intent, with one 
corrupt objective: to obtain foreign assistance in his reelection bid 
in the 2020 United States Presidential election.
  We will walk through first how the President wanted Ukraine to help 
in his reelection campaign. He wanted Ukraine to publicly announce two 
investigations: one into his political rival Joe Biden and the second 
into the debunked conspiracy theory relating to Ukraine interference in 
the 2016 election. President Trump himself later confirmed this intent 
in public statements.
  We will then explain how we know these investigations were solely for 
President Trump's personal, political gain.
  First, President Trump made clear he cared only about the 
announcement--the announcement of the investigations, not the actual 
  Second, President Trump similarly made clear he cared only about the 
``big stuff.'' The ``big stuff'' meaning his political investigations.

  Third, he used his personal attorney, Mr. Giuliani, who repeatedly 
told us he was pursuing the investigations in his capacity as the 
President's personal lawyer and that this wasn't about foreign policy.
  Fourth and fifth, there is no real dispute that these investigations 
were never part of an official U.S. policy, and they in fact went 
outside official channels. The Department of Justice

[[Page S494]]

even publicly confirmed that they were never asked to talk to Ukraine 
about these investigations--never.
  Six, multiple officials who knew what was going on repeatedly 
reported these concerns to supervisors and even the NSC legal advisors.
  Seven, Ukraine expressed concerns multiple times that these were 
political investigations and Ukraine didn't want to get involved in 
domestic U.S. politics.
  Eight, the White House tried to bury the call.
  Nine, President Trump himself told us what he really wanted and cared 
about in his own words, in many public statements.
  And finally, despite the President's counsel's attempts to justify 
his actions, the evidence makes clear that President Trump did not care 
about anticorruption efforts in Ukraine. This was only about one thing: 
his political investigations.
  If you are following along on the slide, now, as I mentioned, the 
object of the President's scheme is clear: two investigations to help 
his political reelection.
  The Constitution grants the President broad authority to conduct U.S. 
foreign policy. He is our Commander in Chief and chief diplomat. When 
the President of the United States calls a foreign leader, a 
President's first and only objective should be to get foreign leaders 
to do what is best for the U.S. national interest, consistent with the 
faithful execution of his oath of office and consistent with official 
U.S. policy.
  But on July 25, when President Trump called the President of Ukraine, 
President Trump did the opposite. Instead of following official U.S. 
talking points, instead of listening to his staff on what was important 
to our national interests, President Trump asked Ukraine for something 
that benefited only himself: his political investigations. And not only 
did these investigations diverge from U.S. national interests, as you 
will hear, President Trump's actions harmed our national security. In 
putting himself above our country, he put our country at risk, and that 
is why his actions are so dangerous.
  Now let's take a moment and look carefully at the two investigations 
that President Trump sought from Ukraine, which are at the heart of the 
President's scheme, and how he stood to benefit politically from 
Ukraine's announcement of each.
  As you can see on the slide, the first investigation was, of course, 
of former Vice President Biden. Let's go straight to that July 25 
telephone call again where President Trump stated clearly each of these 
investigations he wanted.
  So let's start with Vice President Joe Biden and the removal of a 
corrupt prosecutor in Ukraine.
  The first investigation related to former Vice President Joe Biden 
and the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, on whose board his son 
Hunter Biden used to sit.
  President Trump himself summarized the theory behind his request in 
broad strokes in his July 25 call with President Zelensky. Here is what 
he said:

       The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, 
     that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want 
     to find out about that so that whatever you can do with the 
     Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging 
     that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look it . . . 
     It sounds horrible to me.

  Now let's look carefully at the investigation President Trump was 
asking for and what it was based on. In short, President Trump asked 
for the investigation into Biden based on a made-up theory that no one 
agreed with--no one. We will go into this in more detail, but at a high 
level, the allegation is that late in 2015, Biden pressured Ukraine to 
remove the then-prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, by threatening to 
withhold approximately $1 billion in loan guarantees if he was not 
  According to this theory, Vice President Biden did this in order to 
help his son in a company called Burisma. Vice President Biden's son 
sat on the board of Burisma.
  As the theory goes, Vice President Biden tried to remove Ukraine's 
prosecutor, all to make sure the prosecutor wouldn't investigate that 
specific company Burisma because, again, his son was on the board.
  Then, Senators, if that doesn't sound farfetched and complicated to 
you, it should. So let's take this step-by-step and start from the 
  In 2014, Vice President Biden's son Hunter joined the board of the 
Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings. At the time, Burisma's 
owner, a Ukrainian oligarch and former government minister, was under 
  In 2015, Viktor Shokin became Ukraine's prosecutor general, a job 
similar to Attorney General in the United States.
  Although Shokin vowed to keep investigating Burisma amid an 
international push to root out corruption in Ukraine, he allowed the 
Burisma investigation to go dormant--allowed it to go dormant. That is 
when he was removed. He was not actively investigating Burisma. He had 
let it go dormant. Moreover, Shokin was widely perceived as ineffective 
and corrupt.
  George Kent, the second most senior official at the U.S. Embassy in 
Kyiv at the time described Shokin as ``a typical Ukraine prosecutor who 
lived a lifestyle far in excess of his government salary, who never 
prosecuted anybody known for having committed a crime and covered up 
crimes that were known to have been committed.''
  In late 2015, Vice President Biden, who had assumed a significant 
role in U.S. policy toward Ukraine, publicly called for the removal of 
Mr. Shokin because of his failure--his failure--to adequately combat 
corruption. But Vice President Biden wasn't alone. The European Union, 
our European allies, the International Monetary Fund, and three 
reformers inside Ukraine also wanted Mr. Shokin removed to reform the 
Ukrainian prosecutor general's office--to reform it.
  Reforming the prosecutor general's office was also supported on a 
bipartisan basis by the Ukrainian Caucus here in the Senate. On 
February 12, 2016, after Vice President Biden had urged removal of Mr. 
Shokin but before the Ukrainian Parliament voted to remove him, a 
bipartisan group of Senators, including Senators Portman, Durbin, 
Shaheen, Ron Johnson, Murphy, Kirk, Blumenthal, and Sherrod Brown sent 
a letter to President Poroshenko that urged him to make urgent reforms 
to the prosecutor general's office. The month after the Senators sent 
that letter, Mr. Shokin was fired. He was fired.
  So let's be very clear. Vice President Biden called for the removal 
of this prosecutor at the official direction of U.S. policy, because 
the prosecutor was widely perceived as corrupt, and with the support of 
all of our international allies. His actions were therefore supported 
by the executive branch, Congress, and the international community.
  Common sense would tell us that this allegation against Joe Biden is 
false and that there was no legitimate basis for any investigation. But 
there are several other reasons you know that the only reason President 
Trump wanted Ukraine to announce the investigation into Biden was 
solely for his very own personal benefit.
  If you look at the slide, we will summarize some points.
  First, none of the 17 witnesses in the House's inquiry said there was 
any factual basis for this allegation--not 1 of the 17. To the 
contrary, they testified it was false.
  Second, as I mentioned, the former prosecutor general Vice President 
Biden tried to remove was widely considered to be corrupt and failed to 
investigate corruption in Ukraine. Thus, removing him from office would 
only increase the chances that Burisma would be investigated for 
possible corruption.
  Third, because the prosecutor was so corrupt, Vice President Biden 
calling for his removal was also at the direction of official U.S. 
policy and undertaken with the unanimous support of our allies.
  Fourth, the successor to the fired Ukrainian prosecutor general 
admitted that Vice President Biden's son didn't do anything wrong in 
connection with Burisma. So the entire premise of the investigation 
that the President wanted Ukraine to pursue was simply false.
  Finally, President Trump didn't care about any of this until 2019, 
when Vice President Biden became the frontrunner for the Democratic 
Presidential nomination and polls showed that he had the largest head-
to-head lead against President Trump. That became a problem.

[[Page S495]]

  Let's start with the first and second points. Vice President Biden's 
conduct was uniformly validated by the witnesses in the House 
investigation, who confirmed his conduct was consistent with U.S. 
policy. Every single witness who was asked about the allegations 
against Biden said it was false. They testified that he acted properly. 
Every witness with knowledge of this issue testified that Vice 
President Biden was carrying out official U.S. policy in calling for 
Shokin's removal because Shokin was corrupt. These witnesses explained, 
too, that the United States was not alone in this view. All of our 
European allies also supported this action. There is simply no 
evidence--nothing, nada--in the record to support this baseless 
  I would like to go through some of that testimony now.
  First, here are Dr. Hill and Mr. Holmes: Let's watch.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. GOLDMAN. Dr. Hill, are you aware of any evidence to 
     support the allegations against Vice President Biden?
       Dr. HILL. I am not, no.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And, in fact, Mr. Holmes, the former 
     prosecutor general of Ukraine who Vice President Biden 
     encouraged to fire was actually corrupt; is that right?
       Mr. HOLMES. Correct.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And was not pursuing corruption investigations 
     and prosecutions; right?
       Mr. HOLMES. My understanding is that the prosecutor general 
     at the time, Shokin, was not at that time pursuing 
     investigations of Burisma or the Bidens.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And, in fact, removing that prosecutor general 
     was part of the United States' anticorruption policy; isn't 
     that correct?
       Mr. HOLMES. That's correct. And not just us but all of our 
     allies and other institutions who were involved in Ukraine at 
     the time.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. Ambassador Yovanovitch confirmed these 
points. Let's watch her testify.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. GOLDMAN. And in fact, when Vice President Biden acted 
     to remove the former corrupt prosecutor in Ukraine, did he do 
     so as part of official United States policy?
       Ambassador YOVANOVITCH. Official U.S. policy that was 
     endorsed and was the policy of a number of other 
     international stakeholders, other countries, other monetary 
     institutions, and financial institutions.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. Similarly, when asked if there was any 
factual basis to support the allegations about Biden, George Kent 
replied, ``None whatsoever.''
  Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Ms. Williams also confirmed that they 
are not aware of any credible evidence to support the notion that Vice 
President Biden did anything wrong. Ambassador Volker testified that 
the Biden allegations were not credible and that Biden ``respects his 
duties of higher office.''

  Now, as I mentioned, there was also a concrete reason that the U.S. 
Government wanted Shokin removed. As David Holmes, a senior official at 
the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine testified, by the time that Shokin was 
finally removed in 2016, there were strong concerns that Shokin was 
himself corrupt and not investigating potential corruption in the 
country. In fact, part of the concern was that Shokin was not 
investigating Burisma. Under Shokin, the investigation into the owner 
of Burisma for earlier conduct had stalled and was dormant. That was 
part of the reason why the United States and other countries wanted to 
remove Shokin.
  Because of this, and as confirmed by witness testimony we will hear 
shortly, calling for Shokin's replacement would actually increase the 
chances that Burisma would be investigated. In other words, Shokin was 
corrupt and not investigating allegations that Burisma was corrupt, and 
so Vice President Biden calling for Shokin's removal and advocating for 
his replacement would actually increase chances of Burisma's 
  Ambassador Yovanovitch made this point during her testimony. Let's 
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. GOLDMAN. And, in fact, if he would help to remove a 
     corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor general who was not prosecuting 
     enough corruption, that would increase the chances that 
     corrupt companies in Ukraine would be investigated; isn't 
     that right?
       Ambassador YOVANOVITCH. One would think so.
       Mr. GOLDMAN. And that would include Burisma; right?
       Ambassador YOVANOVITCH. Yes.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. President Trump and his allies have 
tried to justify President Trump's withholding of military aid and a 
White House meeting unless Ukraine announced the investigations he 
wanted by saying it is the same thing the Vice President did when he 
called for Ukraine to remove its corrupt prosecutor. It is not the same 
thing. As you just heard, Vice President Biden followed official U.S. 
policy. He went through official channels to remove the prosecutor that 
was corrupt, and he did it with the support of our allies. That is the 
exact opposite of what President Trump did. He pushed Ukraine for an 
investigation that has no basis, that no one agreed with, that was not 
at all U.S. policy, and that only benefited him.
  George Kent addressed this very point during his testimony. Let's 
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. HIMES. And Mr. Kent and Mr. Taylor, the defenders of 
     the President's behavior, have made a big deal out of the 
     fact that Vice President Biden encouraged the Ukrainians to 
     remove a corrupt former Ukrainian prosecutor in 2016, Mr. 
     Shokin. And, in fact, Senator Rand Paul on Sunday said, and I 
     quote him, ``They're impeaching President Trump for exactly 
     the same thing Joe Biden did.'' Is that correct? Is what the 
     President did in his phone call and what Joe Biden did in 
     terms of Mr. Shokin, are those exactly the same things? And 
     if not, how are they different?
       Mr. KENT. I do not think they are the same things. What 
     former Vice President Biden requested of the former President 
     of Ukraine, Poroshenko, was the removal of a corrupt 
     prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, who had undermined a 
     program of assistance that we had spent, again, U.S. taxpayer 
     money to try to build an independent investigator unit to go 
     after corrupt prosecutors. And there was a case called 
     Diamond Prosecutor case in which Shokin destroyed the entire 
     ecosystem that we were trying to help create, the 
     investigators, the judges who issued the warrants, the law 
     enforcement that had warrants to do the wiretapping, 
     everybody to protect his former driver who he had made a 
     prosecutor. That's why Joe Biden was asking, remove the 
     corrupt prosecutor.
       Mr. HIMES. So Joe Biden was participating in an open effort 
     to establish whole of government effort to address corruption 
     in Ukraine?
       Mr. KENT. That is correct.
       Mr. HIMES. Great. So, Mr. Kent, as you look at this whole 
     mess, Rudy Giuliani, President Trump, in your opinion, was 
     this a comprehensive and whole government effort to end 
     corruption in Ukraine?
       Mr. KENT. Referring to the requests in July?
       Mr. HIMES. Exactly.
       Mr. KENT. I would not say so. No, sir.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. In short, the allegations against Vice 
President Biden are groundless. So there is no comparison--none at 
all--between what he did and President Trump's abuse of power.
  Now let's turn to the third point.
  Part of the allegation against former Vice President Biden is that he 
pushed for the corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor's removal in order to 
protect his son from the investigation. In fact, the President's claim 
about being concerned about corruption in Ukraine has recently 
emphasized this component of the theory: that the President wanted 
Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden's work on the board of Burisma, not 
the former Vice President.
  This, too, is false--simply false. You need look no further than the 
July 25 call record and the President's own statements to see that the 
President wanted the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden.
  Let's look again at what the President's call said.

       The other thing, there is a lot of talk about Biden's son, 
     that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want 
     to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the 
     Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging 
     that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it. 
     It sounds horrible to me.

  The President was clearly asking President Zelensky to investigate 
Joe Biden. And what did the President say on the White House lawn on 
October 3, when he was asked about the Ukrainian scheme?
  He said:

       Well, I think if they were honest about it, you saw the 
     film yesterday, they would start a major investigation into 
     the Bidens. It is a very simple answer.

  He said the Bidens, plural, not one Biden--the Bidens.
  It is clear what the President wanted from Ukraine: an investigation 
to smear his political rival. But even if the President wanted an 

[[Page S496]]

of Hunter Biden, there is no basis for that either.
  Now, how do you know? Well, Ukraine's former prosecutor general 
admitted that the allegation against Vice President Biden's son was 
plainly false. You can see it on the slide in his own words--``plainly 
false.'' Then-Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko recanted his 
earlier allegations and confirmed: ``Biden was definitely not involved 
in any wrongdoing involving Burisma.''
  So even the Ukrainians believed that Biden's son did nothing wrong. 
The long and short of it is that there was no basis for the 
investigation that the President was pursuing and pushing--none. He was 
doing it only for his own political benefit.
  Let's look at one more important reason why it is clear that 
President Trump simply wanted a political benefit from Ukraine's 
announcement of this investigation and didn't care about the underlying 
conduct. The allegations against Vice President Biden were based on 
events that occurred in late 2015 and early 2016. They were all well 
publicized at the time, but as soon as President Trump took office, he 
increased military support to Ukraine in 2017 and the next year, 2018.
  It wasn't until 2019, over 3 years after Vice President Biden called 
for Shokin's removal--3 years after--that President Trump started 
pushing Ukraine to investigate that conduct.
  So what changed? What changed? Why did President Trump not care at 
all about Biden's request on the removal of Shokin the year after it 
happened in 2017 or the next year in 2018?
  Senators, you know what changed in 2019 when President Trump suddenly 
cared. It is that Biden got in the race. On April 25, Vice President 
Biden announced he would run for President in 2020. If President Trump 
was so concerned about this alleged corruption, why didn't he push 
Ukraine to investigate when he entered office in 2017 or in 2018 after 
Biden gave public remarks about how he pressured Ukraine to remove 
Shokin? Why did President Trump instead wait until former Vice 
President Biden was campaigning for the Democratic nomination?
  Senators, it is obvious: because President Trump wanted to hurt Vice 
President Biden's candidacy and help himself politically. He pushed for 
the investigation in 2019 because that is when it would be valuable to 
him, President Trump. He pushed for it when it started to become clear 
that Vice President Biden could beat him, and he had good reason to be 
  Let's look at the slide about some polls. Throughout this scheme, 
polling had consistently shown the former Vice President handily 
beating President Trump by significant margins in head-to-head 
matchups. The chart on the screen shows FOX News polls emphasizing this 
point. The chart shows that from March to December, Vice President 
Biden had consistently led President Trump in national polls by 
significant margins. So beginning around March, Vice President Biden is 
beating the President in the polls, even on FOX News.
  In April, Biden officially announces his candidacy, and that is when 
the President gets worried. In May, the President's personal lawyer 
tells the press that he is planning to travel to Ukraine to urge newly 
elected President Zelensky to conduct the two investigations--one into 
Vice President Biden. Do you know what else happened in May? A FOX News 
poll showed Biden beating Trump by 11 points. This clearly did not go 
  On May 9, the President's personal lawyer, Mr. Giuliani, said in an 
interview: ``I guarantee you, Joe Biden will not get to election day 
without this being investigated.'' And by July, right before President 
Trump's call with President Zelensky, where he asked for the 
investigation into Biden, the FOX News poll showed Biden beating Trump 
by 10 points. Then, on July 25, after years of not caring what the Vice 
President did, does President Trump ask for an investigation in his 
formidable political rival in the 2020 election.
  Senators, looking at this timeline of events, it is not difficult to 
see why the investigation into the Bidens would be helpful to President 
Trump. The mere announcement of such an investigation would immediately 
tarnish the former Vice President's reputation by embroiling him and 
his son in a foreign criminal investigation--even if the charges were 
never pursued, just the mere announcement. And if a foreign country 
announced a formal investigation into those allegations, it would give 
allegations against the Bidens an air of credibility and could carry 
through the election.
  The evidence is clear. Everyone knew--even Ukraine--that there was no 
merit to the allegation that Biden called for the removal of Shokin for 
any illegitimate reason. Biden asked for it because it was consistent--
consistent with U.S. policy because Shokin was corrupt, and it was with 
the backing of our allies. Even President Trump knew there was no basis 
for this investigation. That is why, for years, after Shokin's removal, 
he continued to support Ukraine. He never once raised the issue.

  It wasn't until Biden began beating him in the polls that he called 
for the investigation. The President asked Ukraine for this 
investigation for one reason and one reason only: because he knew it 
would be damaging to an opponent who was consistently beating him in 
the polls and therefore it could help him get reelected in 2020. 
President Trump had the motive, he had the opportunity, and the means 
to commit this abuse of power.
  Now, let's turn to the second investigation that President Trump 
wanted. What he wanted was a widely debunked conspiracy theory that 
Ukraine--rather than Russia--interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to 
benefit President Trump's opponent. As we will explain, the allegation 
that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 elections, just like the allegation 
that Biden improperly removed the Ukraine prosecutor, has absolutely no 
basis in fact. In fact, this theory ignored the unanimous conclusions 
of the U.S. intelligence agency, the congressional Intelligence 
Committees, and Special Counsel Mueller, which found that Russia--
Russia attacked our elections. It also went against the Senate 
Intelligence Committee report which found no evidence supporting that 
Ukraine attacked our elections, nor did any witness support the theory 
that Ukraine attacked our elections. Indeed, even President Trump's own 
advisers told him the claim was false.
  In fact, the one person who told President Trump his theory is true--
who was it? You know it was our adversary, Russia, which had everything 
to gain by deflecting the blame from their attack on Ukraine.
  Let's look at what President Trump was actually suggesting Ukraine 
investigate. The theory is this: Instead of listening to our entire 
intelligence community that concluded that Russia interfered in our 
2016 election to assist Donald Trump, the new theory says it was 
Ukraine that interfered in the election to help Hillary Clinton and 
hurt Donald Trump.
  One aspect of this conspiracy theory was that the American cyber 
security firm, CrowdStrike, which had helped the DNC respond to 
Russia's cyber attack in 2016, moved a DNC server to Ukraine to prevent 
the FBI from examining it. Here is what President Trump said about this 
conspiracy theory during the July 25 call.

       I would like you to find out what happened with this whole 
     situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike . . . I guess 
     you have one of your wealthy people . . . The server, they 
     say Ukraine has it.

  Once again, if this sounds farfetched and crazy, it should because it 
is. There is simply no factual basis to support this conspiracy theory. 
Let's walk through the concrete reasons why.
  First, as I mentioned, our entire U.S. intelligence community, the 
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Special Counsel Mueller 
all unanimously found that Russia--not Ukraine--interfered in the 2016 
elections, and Russia did it to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary 
Clinton. Here is an example of that.
  This is the conclusion of the Director of National Intelligence's 
report entitled ``Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent 
U.S. Elections.'' I will quote part of it, and you can follow along in 
the slide.

       We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an 
     influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. Presidential 
     election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in 
     the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and 
     harm her electability and potential Presidency. We further 

[[Page S497]]

     Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference 
     for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these 

  ``Clear preference for President-elect Trump.'' And here is the 
conclusion of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:

       The Committee found that the [Russian-based Internet 
     Research Agency] sought to influence the 2016 U.S. 
     presidential election by harming Hillary Clinton's chances of 
     success and supporting Donald Trump at the direction of the 
     Kremlin . . . The Committee found that the Russian government 
     tasked and supported the IRA's interference in the 2016 U.S. 

  ``Supporting Donald Trump at the direction of the Kremlin''--that is 
what it said. And here is the special counsel's conclusion Mueller 
reported in 2019:

       As set forth in detail in this report, the Special 
     Counsel's investigation established that Russia interfered in 
     the 2016 presidential election principally through two 
     operations. First, a Russia entity carried out a social media 
     campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump 
     and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 
     Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-
     intrusion operations against entities, employees, and 
     volunteers working on the Clinton Campaign and then released 
     stolen documents.

  On December 9, 2019, even President Trump's own FBI Director 
Christopher Wray stated unequivocally that there is no evidence to 
support the theory that Ukraine interfered in our election in 2016.
  Here is a video of that interview. Let's watch.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       REPORTER. Did the Government of Ukraine directly interfere 
     in the 2016 election on the scale that the Russians did?
       Director WRAY. We have no information that indicates that 
     Ukraine interfered with the 2016 presidential election.
       REPORTER. When you see politicians pushing this notion, are 
     you concerned about that in terms of its impact on the 
     American public?
       Director WRAY. Well, look, there's all kinds of people 
     saying all kinds of things out there. I think it's important 
     for the American people to be thoughtful consumers of 
     information and to think about the sources of it and to think 
     about the support and predication for what they hear. And I 
     think part of us being well protected against malign foreign 
     influence is to build together an American public that's 
     resilient, that has appropriate media literacy, and that 
     takes its information with a grain of salt.
       REPORTER. And Putin has been pushing this theory. And your 
     message to him in terms of the American public?
       Director WRAY. Stop trying to interfere with our elections.
       REPORTER. And we recently heard from the President himself 
     that he wanted the CrowdStrike portion of this whole 
     conspiracy in the Ukraine investigated, and I'm hearing you 
     say there's no evidence to support that as far as you know.
       Director WRAY. As I said, we have no--We at the FBI have no 
     information that would indicate that Ukraine tried to 
     interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. You heard him. He said ``no information 
that would indicate that Ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 
Presidential election.''
  So to be really, really clear, there is no real dispute that Russia, 
not Ukraine, attacked our elections.
  It is not just that there is no evidence to support his conspiracy 
theory; it is more dangerous than that. Where did this theory come 
from? You guessed it. The Russians--Russia. Russian President Vladimir 
Putin and Russian intelligence services perpetuated this false, 
debunked conspiracy theory.
  Now remember, there is no dispute among the intelligence community 
that Russia attacked our 2016 elections. The Senate's own Intelligence 
Committee published a report telling us that as well. So it is no 
surprise that Russia wants to blame somebody else.
  In fact, President Trump even said that President Putin is the one 
who told him it was Ukraine who interfered in our elections.
  In short, this is a theory that the Russians are promoting to 
interfere, yet again, in our democratic process and deflect blame from 
their own attacks against us. But what is so dangerous is that 
President Trump is helping them perpetuate this. Our own President is 
helping our adversary attack our processes, all to help his own 
  Dr. Hill, an expert on these matters, explains it in more detail as 
to why this is very concerning. Let's watch.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Dr. HILL. This relates to the second thing I want to 
     communicate. Based on questions and statements I have heard, 
     some of you on the committee appear to believe that Russia 
     and its security services did not conduct a campaign against 
     our country and that perhaps somehow, for some reason, 
     Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that is being 
     perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services 
       The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power 
     that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 
     2016. This is the public conclusion of our intelligence 
     agencies, confirmed in bipartisan and congressional reports. 
     It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details 
     must remain classified.
       The impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains 
     evident today. Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is 
     questioned. Our highly professional, expert career Foreign 
     Service is being undermined. U.S. support for Ukraine which 
     continues to face armed Russian aggression is being 
     politicized. The Russian Government's goal is to weaken our 
     country, to diminish America's global role, and to neutralize 
     a perceived U.S. threat to Russian interests.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. Their ``goal is to weaken our country, 
to diminish America's global role, and to neutralize a perceived U.S. 
threat to Russian interests.'' That is why it is so dangerous. Despite 
the lack of any evidence to support this debunked conspiracy theory, 
the unanimous conclusion of the intelligence community, Congress, 
Special Counsel Mueller, and the FBI to the contrary, President Trump 
continued to promote this fake conspiracy theory just because it would 
be beneficial and helpful to his own reelection campaign.
  Even President Trump's own senior advisers told him these allegations 
were false. Tom Bossert, President Trump's former Homeland Security 
Advisor, stated publicly that the CrowdStrike theory had been debunked.
  Here is that interview. Let's watch.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Mr. BOSSERT. It's not only a conspiracy theory, it is 
     completely debunked. You know, I don't know want to be glib 
     about this matter, but last year, retired former Senator Judd 
     Gregg wrote a piece in The Hill magazine saying the three 
     ways or the five ways to impeach oneself. And the third way 
     was to hire Rudy Giuliani.
       And at this point, I am deeply frustrated with what he and 
     the legal team is doing in repeating that debunked theory to 
     the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over 
     and over again. And for clarity here, George, let me just 
     again repeat that it has no validity. The United States 
     government reached its conclusion on attributing to Russia 
     the DNC hack in 2016 before it even communicated it to the 
     FBI and long before the FBI ever knocked on the door at the 
     DNC. So a server inside the DNC was not relevant to our 
     determination to the attribution. It was made upfront and 
     beforehand. And so while servers can be important in some of 
     the investigations that followed, it has nothing to do with 
     the U.S. government's attribution of Russia to the DNC hack.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. The theory ``has no validity.'' That is 
what he said.
  Dr. Hill, too, testified that White House officials, including Mr. 
Bossert and former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster spent a lot 
of time refuting the CrowdStrike conspiracy theory to President Trump. 
Let's hear it.
  (Text of Videotape presentation:)

       Daniel GOLDMAN. Now, Dr. Hill, is this a reference to this 
     debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine interference in the 
     2016 election that you discussed in your opening statement as 
     well as with Chairman Schiff?
       Fiona HILL. The reference to CrowdStrike and the server, 
     yes, that's correct.
       Daniel GOLDMAN. And it is your understanding that there is 
     no basis for these allegations, is that correct?
       Fiona HILL. That's correct.
       Daniel GOLDMAN. Now, isn't it also true that some of 
     President Trump's most senior advisors had informed him that 
     this theory of Ukraine interference in the 2016 election was 
       Fiona HILL. That's correct.

  Ms. Manager GARCIA of Texas. When she was asked if it is false, she 
said: ``That's correct.''
  If Vladimir Putin's goals, as Dr. Hill testified, were to deflect 
from Russia's systematic interference in our election and to drive a 
wedge between the United States and Ukraine, he has succeeded beyond 
his wildest dreams. The alternative narrative of Ukrainian interference 
in the 2016 election has now been picked up by the President's 
defenders and the conservative media. It has muddied the waters 
regarding Russia's own interference in our elections--efforts that 
remain ongoing, as we have learned this week from reporting that Russia 
hacked Burisma.

[[Page S498]]

  If there were any doubt about how President Putin feels about the 
President's conduct, you need only look to Putin's own words. His 
statement on November 20 tells it all. He said:

       Thank God nobody is accusing us anymore of interfering in 
     U.S. elections. Now they're accusing Ukraine.

  That is a short quotation from Putin, but it speaks volumes. Even 
though President Trump knew there was no factual basis for the theory 
that it was Ukraine that interfered in the 2016 election rather than 
Russia and knew that Russia was perpetuating this theory, he still 
wanted President Zelensky to pursue the investigation. Why? Because, 
while Putin and Russia clearly stood to gain by promoting this 
conspiracy theory about Ukraine, so did Donald Trump. He knew it would 
be politically helpful to his 2020 election.
  An announcement of an investigation by Ukraine would have breathed 
new life into a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukrainian election 
interference was there in 2016, and it lent it great credibility. It 
would have cast doubt on the conclusions of the Intelligence Committee 
and Special Counsel Mueller that Russia interfered in the 2016 election 
to help President Trump. And it would have helped eliminate a perceived 
threat to the legitimacy of Donald Trump's Presidency, that he was only 
elected because of the help he received from President Putin.
  I now yield to Mr. Schiff.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. Chief Justice.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The majority leader is recognized.