April 7, 2020
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds press conference amid House impeachment inquiry


all the time we are legislating we are
investigating and we are litigating on the legislative front we had very great
drumbeat across America for HR 3 our legislation to bring down the cost of
prescription drugs now this had town hall meetings press conferences and the
rest to listen to people’s concerns to share what we intended to do it now that
we’re back this week two committees education labor under Bobby Scott’s
leadership we’ll be marking up HR 3 energy and commerce under Frank pallone
chairman Frank pallone we’ll be marking up HR 3 and mr. Ways and Means Committee
mr. Neal will chairman Neal he’d be having a hearing on the bill this week
and marking it up next week so we’re really going down a path of passing
legislation that will be transformative in the lives of the American people for
what it will save them and what it will save the taxpayer as well might be
interesting do you know that in the course of of this past week or so the
Congressional Budget Office reported that HR 3 will save taxpayers 345
billion dollars on the Medicare Part B piece alone and that it will and the
office of the actuary reported that drug negotiations and Medicare and patient
inflation rebates will save households 158 billion dollars and private
businesses 48 billion dollars from between 2020 and
29 so we’re very very proud of the savings that it will use for people in
their individual lives for businesses and for the taxpayer it’s how we spend
that money some of it will be used for reinvesting into benefits making that
Medicare a more substantial benefit some it could be for innovation and research
at the National Institutes of Health some will be for as I said about more
benefits whether it’s dental visual vision hearing whatever with Medicare I
mentioned that but there are other considerations as well the committee’s
as they mark up the bill will make those proposals the amendment process on the
floor will take us to another point and what are there other ways that we may
want to invest some of that money for the benefit of American working families
and for innovation and research earlier today some of you were with us one that
has the announcement of Bobbi’s chairman Bobby Scott college affordability and
strong legislation to make higher education more affordable
expanding opportunity improving access to quality education as all through the
break and continuing this week we’ve been working on the us-mexico canada
trade agreement hope to be on a path to yes we’re still waiting for assurances
about accessibility in it because you can have all the good provisions in the
world but if you can’t enforce them you’re just having a conversation as
there are so many things comes we have about the us-china relationship
are they really going to honor any commitments that they make buying
foreign products that’s good but what about the other considerations that hurt
America’s manufacturing base and the rest so we’ll see what that is
it seems to me it was a small bill in terms of guns again as I said to some of
you earlier this is a bullet I was in Florida before it’s all over the country
but when I was in Florida I received this room there Drupal will send my
colleague the bracelets are made with bullets and the color orange which is
the color of gun violence protection this told the president we’re not going
away until we get this background check bill passed but it is just among the
other for the people general legislation that we have so at home legislate
investigated mr. mr. Schiff mr. chairman will be here shortly he’ll report on
some of that I just want to say how proud I am of him and the members of the
Intelligence Committee for being here over the break for the valuable
legislation of Investigations that they have done and again hear from Kim
momentarily in terms of litigation we have been very successful in the courts
last Friday we won five decisions in our favor no terms of Congress’s authority
and under the Constitution and today another decision came down in our favor
in relationship to emoluments probably had
when your phones but again another recognition that our founders had very
deep suspicions about foreigners interfering in our government and as
again in our elections and the amount in its clauses they’re put there
specifically for that purpose to protect us from any influence of foreign
governments so the fact that we would be here in an inquiry that relates to the
president asking a foreign government to help the president in his re-election by
withhold granting or withholding the timing of military assistance that had
been voted on by the Congress it’s just that has so many violations in
it it undermines our national security we were sending that a very assistance
and because of Ukraine needing that visa based Russia
all roads seem to lead to Putin is because of event isn’t it so and then
when we talk about by undermining the integrity of our elections that’s wrong
and when you’re talking about violating the president’s oath of office
to protect defendants preserve the Constitution of the United States to the
best of his ability well in any event the rulings were that we won last week
or three of them against the president’s hateful public charge rule from taking
effect a ruling against the president sham national emergency declaration to
build his race for the wall a ruling in the masers case which was led by
chairman Cummings Oversight Committee that reaffirms Congress’s authority and
responsibility to conduct oversight and consider legislation on behalf of the
Merit people at the court knew of the
following in that case contrary to the president’s arguments the committee
possesses authority under both the house rules and the Constitution to issue the
subpoena and the measures and measures must comply
so again five victories on Friday one today in terms of in terms of emoluments
with that that have just happened we just had a meeting with her caucus –
we’ve brought up to date our legislative agenda as I mentioned we’re legislature
we’re litigating investigating very distinguished committee we spoke about
some sanctions bills and also about having a legislation a Joint Resolution
House Senate bipartisan to oppose the president’s decision about about Syria
hopefully we will have to let bill take some of that up this week and mr. Elliot
angle is leading the way for us under the Foreign Affairs Committee
I’m hopeful that the I think Senator bring up kind of fell back to his
language got a little weaker I don’t know what happened with the White House
but hopefully he’s still where he was in the conversation
we have is that we would have a bipartisan bill to oppose the
president’s decision terribly dangerous decision and that we would have
legislation with strong sanctions in it against Turkey the president gave a
green light to Turkey to go in and commit this humanitarian disaster or to
the KERS making us an untrustworthy ally and then have a wet noodle for his
sanctions just we’re not up to the task thank you madam Speaker want to give you
a brief update on the investigation in the last couple of weeks I think we’ve
made dramatic progress in answering some of the questions surrounding that both
needle i telephone call between President Trump and president Solinsky
in which the president itíd States sought to coerce a vulnerable Ally into
conducting I think what can best be described as sham investigations
involving his opponent and into involving a debunked conspiracy theory
about the 2016 election we have learned that call was not in isolation there was
a great deal of preparatory work that was done before the call there was a lot
of wallop work that was done after the call and we have learned much of this
thanks to the courageous testimony of State Department officials who have been
put in an impossible situation by the administration and that is urged not to
comply with the law urged not to comply with a lawful subpoena by the US
Congress and they are doing their duty and people should make no mistake about
that they’re doing exactly what they were required to do and I think showing
enormous courage and I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to public
servants like ambassador Jovanovic who had to endure so many false smears on
your character and has continued to show the courage to come forward and speak to
our come and we are also learning a great deal on
the issue of conditionality that is the effort to condition a White House
meeting that is desperately sought by the Ukraine president in order to get a
commitment from that president to do these political investigations on behalf
of the President of the United States so we’re learning a lot about the
conditionality of that meeting and I want to underscore just how important
that meeting was for Ukraine it is I think at the very top ask of most
countries to have a meeting with the President on States but this is most
particularly true for a country that has been invaded by its neighbor Russia that
is in the midst of still a very hot conflict that is dependent on us
economically politically diplomatically militarily to show that the new
president had a good relationship of the president nine states and so that gave
enormous leverage to President Trump to course what he wanted from the president
of Ukraine and what is so damaging about this is at the very time the State
Department is trying to urge Ukraine to follow the rule of law you have the
president United States urging that President to engage in political
investigations you could not have a message more contradictory to that of
the State Department than that we saw in that poll so we’ve been bringing
witnesses in it but if you’re is base that pace is only accelerating we’ve got
a very busy few days and weeks ahead but we are running into what we expected in
one aspect and that is a complete effort by the administration to Stonewall today
is long past due the date when the State Department was subpoenaed to provide
documents the subpoena the State Department has requested of those that
we have contacted that instead of giving the documents to us that they give the
documents to the State Department under the expectation I think these witnesses
that the State Department would turn them over
Congress but the State Department has thus far refused and were it not for the
fact that at least some witnesses have given us documents we would not know
that there is a paper record of efforts to condition this meeting and perhaps
condition military support itself on these political investigations Donald
Trump wanted those documents would have been completely bottled up by the State
Department we know from the witnesses who have come forward that there are
additional documents that they have provided the State Department that have
not been given to Congress and so the evidence of obstruction of Congress
continues to mount today was the deadline for the Office of Management
and Budget and the deadline for the Pentagon which would provide us
documents the Secretary of Defense on Sunday stated that he would comply with
the congressional subpoenas well apparently his willingness to comply has
now been countermanded by a higher authority we must presume that the
President itíd States has instructed the Defense Department not to comply or
through has done so through the White House Counsel notwithstanding the
defense Secretary’s willingness to comply with lawful process the Office of
Management and Budget have a pivotal role in the suspension of that Ukraine
military assistance they refused to provide the documents that would give
evidence as to why that was being done and so the case for obstruction of
Congress continues to build but even as that case for obstruction
continues to build we are nonetheless continuing to get
good and information from these courageous
witnesses but why you find it before to keep this portion well yeah that’s a
very important question I think people need to understand the fundamental
difference between where we are today with the Ukraine investigation and how
the Russian investigation was conducted how the Watergate investigation and how
the Clinton investigation were conducted in each of those cases there were either
independent councils or special prosecutors doing the investigation
doing the initial investigative work and that was all done behind closed doors
and it was done behind closed doors for a reason by those special counsel and
that is there is a profound investigative not only interest but need
to make sure that one witness does not have an opportunity to read another
witness’s testimony and either hide the truth or color the truth or know just
how much they can give and how much they can conceal I’m sure the president would
like nothing better than to have witnesses have the advantage of what
others are saying but there are reasons why special counsel Muller did his
investigation before a grand jury and not in public site there are reasons why
the Watergate in Clinton special counsels did their investigation in like
manner there is no special counsel investigation going on of the
president’s misconduct v’s of the Ukraine no Congress has to do it and the
reason there is none is because bill bars Justice Department when a referral
was made to the Justice Department said there’s nothing to see here and we don’t
even want to look because the fundamental attitude of the Attorney
General is the president is above the law well the president is not above the
law but it has forced the Congress to do the initial investigative work that
normally a Special Counsel would do so there are good and sound reasons now I
should tell you that notwithstanding those good and sound reasons and each of
these committee interviews depositions and when we get to open
hearings and we will get to open hearings the Republicans are completely
represented all of the members of these three committees have been invited to
attend and participate and ask questions their staff have been invited to ask
questions and indeed we have been alternating one hour for majority one
hour for minority 45 minutes for the majority 45 minutes for the minority
they have been largely staff conducted interviews they’ve been very
professionally done although members to ask questions and we go until the
questions are exhausted so they get to ask whatever questions they want in a
process in which they have every bit as much opportunity as the majority to ask
questions and so people need to understand notwithstanding I think some
of the representations to the contrary there is full participation by the GOP
in each one of these interviews and depositions and there will be in the
open hearings now we do anticipate a time when it will be releasing
transcripts and we do anticipate there’ll be time when we make hold back
some of these witnesses for open session and we may call witnesses in open
session that we haven’t called in closed session but we will do so
giving the GOP members every opportunity to ask questions and we will also do so
though mindful of the needs of the investigation because you know we are
not unconscious of the fact that people have come before our committee and lied
to our committee one is pled guilty to lying to our committee Michael Cohen one
is in trial charged with lying to our committee and we want to make sure that
we get to the truth and this is the process I think early in an
investigation that makes some of your witnesses from testifying fully I know
you don’t want to go into the content telling you but can you say if all of
the witnesses who come before you thus far have been fully cooperative are they
able to answer every question and not being prohibited from do so once you get
them in the room they have been fully cooperative they understand their legal
obligations they have often sought guidance from the White House
are you invoking a privilege where is the DOJ opinion which usually companies
the invocation of a privilege setting out specifically what questions you
believe would elicit call for the elicitation privileged information the
White House doesn’t want to do it and they haven’t done so they’ve really
given no specific guidance to these witnesses and you know part of this I
think is designed to try to intimidate these witnesses and say we’re not going
to tell you what may be privileged we want you to take the risk it’s a way of
trying to chill them from cooperating now it’s not working but I think that’s
the goal and you know we have seen a White House Council take the
unprecedented position that not only is a direct conversation with the president
privileged but even a conversation with Donald Trump Lee wasn’t president is
privileged according to this White House Counsel even a conversation with someone
who never worked for the president is privileged so it could be according to
White House Counsel even a conversation in which two people neither of them are
the President may be privileged I mean it’s unrecognizable our conversation may
be privileged according to the White House Counsel I hope I hope not too but
it goes to show the legally insupportable position of the White
House and and indeed you see this now reflected in court decision after court
decision after Court decision where judges have said the administration’s
legal arguments hold no water but what they are succeeding in doing is building
a case involving obstruction the White House says it’s not cooperating in part
because there hasn’t been vote formalized this impeachment inquiry
why not vote and pull the White House blood Speaker respond to that but you
know I think the Constitution is very clear the house will have the sole power
of impeachment and there is no fort that’s gonna find otherwise and I think
the Republicans know it but they don’t want to discuss the president’s conduct
they would much rather discuss process because they can’t defend the present
president’s conduct and every time they’re asked you see just how difficult
I would need impossible it is to justify the unjustifiable Sherman says there’s
no requirement that we have a vote and so we at this time we will not be having
a vote and I’m very pleased for the thoughtfulness of our caucus in terms of
being supportive of the path that we are on in terms of fairness in terms of
seeking the truth in the Constitution because we’re not here to call blots
we’re here to find the truth to pull the Constitution of the United States this
is not a game for us this is deadly serious and we’re on a path that is is
getting taking us to a path to truth in a timetable that respects our
Constitution I would remind you that this news broke on September 17th
Constitution Day Constitution Day the day our Constitution was adopted in 1787
I broke that the president had violated his oath of office to protect and defend
and preserve the Constitution says to the best of his ability so we
are we are honoring our responsibilities we are honoring the Constitution that’s
not what they’re doing you know they can’t they can’t they have no substance
they can’t defend the president so they’re going to process are you proud
of his opening statement that he gave where he fabricated the conversation
between the two presidents

David Frank

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