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House Democrats Unveil Articles of Impeachment Against Trump: A Closer Look

-House Democrats unveiled
articles of impeachment against President Trump. For more on this,
it’s time for “A Closer Look.” [ Cheers and applause ] ♪♪ In the run-up to today’s
historic announcement, you’ve heard Trump and his
Republican allies cycle through one obviously bad faith excuse
after another. They complained about
the private process, then they complained
about the public process. They accused Ukraine of meddling
in the 2016 election. They said the president was
just worried about corruption in Ukraine in general. They said there was
no quid pro quo at all. During the first
impeachment vote, they even accused the Democrats
of acting like Soviets with a very stupid poster. I mean,
look at how dumb this is. It looks like the cover
of an off-brand board game. [ Laughter ] It’s like asking
your grandparents for Risk, and they show up with something
called “Chance.” [ Gruff voice ] It’s fine.
It’s the same game. All those arguments, of course,
are lies. In reality,
Republicans have no answer for one very simple question at the heart
of this impeachment process — Is it okay for the president
to pressure a foreign government to help him cheat
in an election? And my favorite example of this
came last week when Republican congressman
Doug Collins, the ranking member
on the Judiciary Committee was asked that question
and offered up some incoherent word puke. -You keep saying
that the president was concerned about corruption, but in neither of those phone
calls did he mention the word, “corruption.” Why didn’t the president mention
the word corruption and instead ask
the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens? -Well, that’s almost like
saying, why don’t you ask — you know, frame your questions
differently? He said this is what he wanted
looked into. He said, can you,
he said, help us as a country because we’re trying to heal. We’ve had —
as Mr. Jordan said earlier, and did a great job at it,
we had just come off the Mueller hearing, which
was — most all of you covered and found to be a total disaster
for the impeachment narrative that Democrats have been saying. What we’re simply saying
here is, is that the issue was
what happened on that call, and then it became all these
stories from the whistleblowers about all these things
that supposedly happened. And since then, fact witnesses
and even hearsay evidence has said, no,
that’s not what happened. -Uh, what? Was any —
Was any of that English? If you put those words
into Google Translate, it would just give up. [ Laughter ] But that right there…
[ Applause ] …is a perfect distillation of where the Republicans
are right now. They don’t have a coherent
defense, so they just throw out a string of random buzzwords
as quickly as they can and hope people buy it. In fact, here’s GOP congressman
Jim Jordan at yesterday’s
House Judiciary hearing basically doing
the same thing — just speeding through a bunch
of nonsense as fast as he can. -Ambassador Taylor recalls
that Mr. Morrison told Ambassador Taylor
that I told Mr. Morrison that I conveyed this message
to Mr. Yermak on September 1, 2019,
in connection with Vice President Pence’s
visit to Warsaw. -Oh, my God, man! Are you reading the evidence
or auctioning it off? [ Laughter ] I mean, listen to him. He sounds like he should
be talking to squirrels on a bench in Times Square. Now, Taylor said to Morrison
that Yermak told Pence about his visit to Warsaw.
I mean, isn’t that right? A pity the pigeon isn’t
listening, but the squirrel is. Oh, wait, he’s not.
He’s eating a nut. But where’d he get it?
I don’t see a nut tree. How come we been here
for nine months?! We don’t know where this
squirrel got his nut! [ Laughter ] Now, compare that to
the measured, judicious tone of the Democrats
at the hearing yesterday who presented a lengthy
body of evidence and witness testimony
placing Trump at the center of a vast scheme to dangle
hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to Ukraine
in order to get them to interfere in the 2020
election on his behalf. -President Trump’s persistent
and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him
cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger
to our free and fair elections and to our national security. So, as it relates
to President Trump, is he an incidental player or
a central player in this scheme? -President Trump is the central
player in this scheme. -And of course he is. First of all,
we have all the evidence. Second, I can’t imagine Trump
is anything but central. It’s not like he’s gonna be a supporting player
for someone else. He could never be the getaway
driver in a bank robbery. He’d walk in mid-heist
and be like… [ As Trump ] I heard
this is where the action is. Also, you guys,
I think I just got towed. [ Laughter ] [ Normal voice ]
And I think a key moment hitting that point home
came in yesterday’s hearing when Democratic congressman
Eric Swalwell and the Democratic Counsel
Daniel Goldman laid out all the evidence placing Trump at the center
of this scheme. -Who sent Rudy Giuliani to
Ukraine to smear Joe Biden? -President Trump. -Who fired
the anti-corruption ambassador in Ukraine, Marie Yavanovitch? -President Trump. -Who told Ambassador Sondland
and Ambassador Volker to Ru– to work with
Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine? -President Trump. -Who ordered his own
Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, to withhold critical military
assistance for Ukraine? -President Trump. -Who refused to meet
with President Zelensky in the Oval Office?
-President Trump. -Who asked President Zelensky
for a favor? -President Trump. -Who personally asked
President Zelensky to investigate
his political rival, Joe Biden? -President Trump.
-Oh, my God, the answer to every question
was President Trump. I want to do one! Who stands like he’s playing
the Leaning Tower of Pisa in a school play? President Trump. [ Cheers and applause ] The Democrats diligently laid
out every piece of evidence linking Trump to this scheme, and Republicans
rebutted none of it. The facts here are actually
very simple — Yes, there was a quid pro quo, and yes, it was to investigate
the Bidens. And the basic truth is
Republicans in the White House just don’t care. They want us all to just
accept it and move on. They’ve already said as much. -Was there a quid pro quo? -As I testified previously, with regard to the requested
White House call and the White House meeting,
the answer is yes. -What exactly did you
hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens
after your phone call? -Well, I would think that
if they were honest about it, they’d start a major
investigation into the Bidens. -Let’s be clear. What you just
described is a quid pro quo. -We do that all the time
with foreign policy. And I have news for everybody —
Get over it. -Get over it? These guys are such ass[bleep] they talk like dumb truck stop
bumper stickers. “My other ride is your mom.
Get over it.” [ Laughter ]
But that’s their real argument. You can pretty much ignore
everything else they say — All the process complaints,
the buzzwords, the brain vomit. The Republicans’ argument
is simple — We can do whatever we want.
Get over it. Well, today,
House Democrats responded by telling the Trump White House that they will definitely not
just get over it. -An historic day
on Capitol Hill. The House announcing articles
of impeachment against the sitting
U.S. president, Donald Trump, two articles specifically — abuse of power
and obstruction of Congress. -Today, in service to our duty
to the Constitution and to our country, the House
Committee on the Judiciary is introducing
two articles of impeachment charging the President
of the United States, Donald J. Trump, with committing
high crimes and misdemeanors. -That’s right.
Today, Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment
against President Trump, but if you ask me,
he got off easy. Remember, the guy also obstructed justice
in the Mueller probe, violated the Constitution
by enriching himself, inflicted human rights abuses
on migrant children, and directed an illegal scheme
to pay hush money to cover up an affair. It’s not even hard to find
the crimes with this guy. It’s like a Where’s Waldo? where Waldo is
right in the middle of the map with a giant bag of cash
in one hand and giving you the finger
with the other one. [ Laughter and applause ] As Democrats argued
in the press conference today, you can’t wait until an election
to remove a president who’s made clear he’s willing
to cheat in that election. In fact, today,
as Democrats were unveiling articles of impeachment,
Trump was welcoming the Russian Foreign Minister
Sergey Lavrov into the White House,
and a White House spokesman actually said on Fox News
this morning that the two would discuss
election security. -President Trump meets Russia’s
Foreign Secretary Lavrov at the White House
this afternoon. Now, we’re told that this
is about arms control. But it’s gonna look real bad. It’s gonna be Russia,
Russia, Russia, Sergey Lavrov. It’s gonna get bad PR out of it,
isn’t it? -I don’t think so. Listen, these kind of
conversations are critical. You know, it’s incumbent upon
any American president to try and build relationships
across the globe. We’re absolutely expected
to talk about arms control, but also election security. -He’s gonna discuss election
security with the Russians? That’s like airing
a “Say No To Drugs” PSA with Walter White.
[ Laughter ] At this point, all Trump and his
allies have left is one thing — lying about the investigations and claiming
there’s some sort of treasonous deep-state witch hunt
to overthrow him. Yesterday, for example, a Justice Department
Inspector General’s report found that while there
were serious errors in the FBI’s Russia
investigation, there was no anti-Trump plot
and the investigation was both unbiased and justified. The report debunked
Trump’s conspiracy theory that he was spied on
or that it was an attempt by the Obama administration
to overthrow him. And yet, today, Trump lashed out
at his own FBI Director, Christopher Wray,
for agreeing with that report. -Breaking news —
A long-awaited report from the Justice Department’s
Inspector General finding the FBI’s launch
of the Russia probe was valid and unbiased. The report also says
that there was no spying on the Trump campaign,
which is a conspiracy theory that Trump has pushed
since taking office. -It’s important
that the Inspector General found that
in this particular instance, the investigation was opened with appropriate predication
and authorization. -Just minutes after that aired,
President Trump tweeted this — “I don’t know what report
current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one
given to me. -Oh, it wasn’t?
Well, maybe the report you got didn’t match the actual report since the actual report
was 434 pages long. Trump’s aides probably gave him
a one-page memo that read, “You were right again, boss!”
[ Laughter ] But there’s another argument
on top of all the lying and conspiracy theories
that infuriating. Trump and the GOP have also
argued that impeachment is somehow hurting the country
and preventing the government from helping people, even while
the Trump White House itself is actively hurting
the most vulnerable. -As you head into Christmas and you head into
the holiday season, people are gonna want results
from Congress, and right now, all they’re getting
is hatred, vitriol, and a sham impeachment hearing
that doesn’t do anything to put food on the tables
of the American people. -Oh, now you’re worried about
putting food on people’s tables? Last week, you guys kicked
700,000 people off food stamps by imposing awful
new work requirements. Think about how cruel that is. Work requirements from a guy
who never works. Trump spends most of his time
tweeting, watching TV, and crawling around his
golf course like a groundhog who just popped
out of the 18th hole, looks like he’s auditioning
for the role of the gopher in a remake of “Caddyshack.” That —
That’s the kind of cruelty Republicans have committed
themselves to defending, and they’re fine with doing it. Today, Democrats at least
put down a marker and said there will be
consequences for Trump’s behavior.
They asked a simple question — Should a president be allowed
to cheat to win an election? And instead of offering
a coherent defense, all Republicans could say was… -Why don’t you ask — you know, frame your questions
differently? This has been “A Closer Look.” [ Cheers and applause ] ♪♪

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