***Live Updates*** House Judiciary Committee Holds Second Impeachment Hearing

Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) looks up at a Republican prop with an image of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on a milk carton as Republican ranking member Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) laughs while sitting beside Republican staff counsel Ashley Hurt Callen and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) during testimony …
Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee will hold its second impeachment inquiry hearing on Monday.

Staff counsels from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee will make presentations in the “evidence hearing” that could also potentially be the last before the House drafts its articles of impeachment perhaps as soon as later this week.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for live updates. All times eastern.

6:39 PM: In what will likely be the last hearing before the House drafts its articles of impeachment, Nadler makes the case that there is “no excuse” for Trump’s conduct. He claims Trump’s actions endangered the country’s national security and compromised the security of the country’s election for his personal interests. Nadler accuses Trump of putting himself before his country and there is a Constitutional remedy for that–impeachment. He claims the “facts are clear” and Trump “constitutes a continuing threat” and his conduct is impeachable. He says the committee will proceed accordingly.

6:33 PM: Collins making his concluding remarks. Collins points out that staff, and not members, gave testimony, and it is “ridiculous” that Goldman testified instead of Schiff. Collins says nobody will take responsibility for the “smear job” with the phone numbers. Collins says he is holding Schiff responsible. Collins also accuses Nadler of “blatantly” disregarding House rules by not giving the minority a hearing day. Collins says the American people will realize that Democrats still have not made their case to impeach Trump and says this will be the first partisan impeachment with disputed facts. He rips the “farce” that is the Judiciary Committee’s “impeachment scam.”

6:28 PM: Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) claims Castor has conceded that direct evidence has been produced. She asks Goldman to debunk the GOP’s claims that there was no quid pro quo, and Goldman claims that there is “direct evidence” that proves there was a quid pro quo. Goldman also says the aid was not released until “the president got caught.”

6:25 PM: Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) claims Trump’s actions are the “beginnings of a dictatorship” like those in Latin America.

6:01 PM: Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) trying to establish the case that it is a “federal crime” for Trump to “intimidate” potential witnesses. She claims Trump has tried to intimidate potential witnesses on Twitter.

6:55 PM: When pressed by Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) about the whistleblower, Goldman will not answer if he knows the whistleblower or has had contact with the whistleblower. He claims the whistleblower is irrelevant to the investigation at hand.

5:38 PM: Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA) also asking Castor about hearsay. Castor says there are at least 50 instances of hearsay and talks about how some of the people “doing the whispering” may not like Trump and their whispers could have become more distorted.

5:20 PM: Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), like other Democrats, accusing Trump of using military aid to “extort” Ukraine. She is allowing Goldman to make the case that Trump released the aid days after the Trump administration realized there was a whistleblower complaint about withholding aid.

5:15 PM: Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) accuses Democrats of wanting to impeach Trump because they are scared he will win re-election in 2020 with the red-hot economy.

4:59 PM: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) says Trump’s national security staffers came forward to report on Trump’s “scheme” and it moved him a lot.

4:55 PM: Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) says democracy only works when the losing side accepts the legitimacy of the winning side. He points out that the first calls of impeachment started in 2016 and Democrats have been searching for a pretext. He says the Ukrainian phone call replaced Russia collusion, Stormy Daniels, and even tweets when the Democrats realized they were running out of time. He says Democrats have only offered “presumption, speculation, and what they read in the New York Times” to try to nullify the 2016 presidential election by turning the Bill of Rights on its head. “These are the legal doctrines of despots,” McClintock says, predicting they will “stain the reputations” of those responsible for decades.

4:45 PM: Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) discusses all of the hearsay evidence and rips the “sham hearing” that is the “culmination of a pre-determined outcome.” He says Democrats have been trying to impeach and remove the president for three years.

4:40 PM: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) asks Goldman if he would welcome the problem of receiving 8,000 pages of documents from the White House. Goldman says he would and says he has received no documents.

4:35 PM: Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) says the hearing has been an “outrageous violation” of due process. He says Berke was “steamrolling” over House decorum rolls and rips Nadler for not striking from the record Berke’s insinuation that Trump has been disloyal to the country. He says it is “extraordinary bizarre” that Berke was allowed to become a questioner after being a witness in the impeachment circus. Johnson says Democrats dumped thousands of pages of documents over the weekend and made it impossible for Republicans to responsibly prepare for the hearing.

4:30 PM: Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) now asking Goldman to rehash why aid to Ukraine was so important. Goldman speaks about ensuring that democracy survives in other nations.

4:25 PM: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) asks Goldman if he is here as a partisan advocate for the Democrats. He claims he is “not a partisan.” Castor doesn’t remember if he has made any political donations. Gaetz says Goldman has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats. Gaetz wonders if he thinks he would be able to ask and answer questions if he had donated as much as Berke did. Gaetz pressures Goldman on whether he regrets his anti-Trump tweets and Goldman says he is here to answer questions about the investigation.

House Judiciary Committee

4:15 PM: Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) calls the process “bizarre” because the committee will not hear from any fact witnesses. She says the American people, regardless of their politics, should feel cheated by this process. She says she fears this is setting a “dangerous precedent for the future of our republic.”

3:58 PM: Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) wants to focus on the period after Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine. Bass asks if a White House meeting has been scheduled, and Goldman says no meeting has been scheduled. Goldman says once the Ukrainians decided they were not going to issue a statement about investigating the Bidens, there was no White House meeting. Bass says the president of Ukraine is in a weaker position today when meeting with Putin because of Trump.

3:55 PM: Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) making the case that Trump had a “legitimate reason” to request an investigation from Ukraine.

3:46 PM: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) ripping Democrats for making Sondland their featured witness and says Democrats published the phone records of Trump’s lawyer, a member of the press, and the opponent of the chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

3:40 PM: Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) establishing Trump as the “kingpin” of a plan to force a foreign government to interfere in an upcoming presidential election.

3:35 PM: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) rips the “absurd process” that is a “kangaroo court.” He worries that Democrats have set the bar so low that it will become “irreparable.” “I’m scared for my country,” he says. Gohmert points out that the Constitution requires two witnesses for treason and is outraged that everything has been hearsay.

3:27 PM: Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) questions Goldman and asks him if there was any evidence that any government agency wanted the Bidens investigated and makes the case that Trump/Biden cases are different.

3:22 PM: Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) says the committee is “investigating the wrong guy.” He asks Castor about Hunter Biden’s involvement in “Ukrainian corruption” and points out that concerns about Hunter Biden were first raised by the Obama administration. He says the Obama administration’s concerns didn’t end there and Ambassador Yovanovitch was coached on how to answer potential “pesky” questions about the Bidens that could come up during hearings. Chabot says Biden got testy last week with a voter and says Biden’s objections are a bunch of “malarkey.”

3:16 PM: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) now questioning Goldman about Trump/Ukraine. She asks Goldman what Trump was referring to when he wanted a “favor.” Goldman says Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate a “debunked conspiracy theory.”

3:12 PM: Hearing resumes with Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) voicing his concerns about the “beginnings of a surveillance state” that he thinks is outrageous after discussing the metadata that Schiff’s committee subpoenaed/matched. He says he met Joe McCarthy twice and Democrats have made him look like a piker. He rips Democrats for their “abuse of power.” He also says Democrats thought the Mueller Report was going to be a “smoking gun” but was just a “cap pistol.”

House Judiciary Committee

2:37 PM: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) now gets her five minutes. She tries to compare Trump to Nixon and make the case that Trump used a “foreign government to do his bidding” using aid that was approved by Congress on a bipartisan basis. Committee now in 15-minute recess.

2:33 PM: Collins is up grilling Goldman about the metadata. Collins says this committee should be having FISA hearings. He says the problem he has is the committee made a choice to put the phone records into the report. Collins says it was a “gratuitous drive-by.” He says he could have put in “Congressperson 1” and “Reporter 1” instead of naming the people whose numbers were matched. Collins says the Schiff report now reads like a partisan smear against people Democrats don’t like.

2:27 PM: Questioning begins with Nadler asking Goldman to explain the difference between Biden and Trump re: Ukraine. Goldman says when Biden pressured Ukraine to remove a corrupt official, he was doing it with international support while Trump’s ask for an investigation had nothing to do with official U.S. policy. Nadler asks Goldman to explain what happened with the phone records. Nadler doing his best to rehabilitate Goldman after Collins’ line of questioning. Goldman says it was just metadata and not the content of calls, texts, etc. He says they got call records and matched them up with important events that occurred in the “scheme.”

2:26 PM: After a bizarre conversation between GOP counsel Ashley Hurt Callen and Castor, committee voting on whether to take a 30-minute recess.

1:55 PM:

 

1:39 PM: Collins, who gets 45 minutes, asks, “Where’s Adam?” Collins says Goldman is a great attorney but he is not Adam Schiff and he “doesn’t where a pin.” Collins asks Goldman if he knows what a quid pro quo means. Collins claims Biden is the only one who has done a quid pro quo re: Ukraine.

He then asks Goldman how many subpoenas were issued. Goldman says they issued six and all were denied by the executive. Collins wants to know who ordered the “match game” for members of Congress, media, etc after they issued subpoenas. He wants to know if it was him or Chairman Schiff. Collins keeps pointing out that Goldman is not answering his questions, pointing out he subpoenaed four numbers and then played “match game” to find other numbers. Goldman says he is going on record to not reveal how he conducted this investigation. Collins and Gaetz point out that Schiff should be testifying instead of Goldman but Schiff won’t even stand by his report.

1:25 PM:

1:01 PM: Berke is trying to establish that Trump did not raise questions about the Bidens until Biden officially entered the presidential race. Castor says he doesn’t know Trump did or did not.

12:55 PM: Castor says he believes the record does not support the claim that Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Biden, Trump’s political rival. Goldman says he doesn’t think there is any other conclusion.

12:47 PM: Nadler asks Goldman if the investigative committees concluded if the president used his office for personal gain. Goldman says they did. Nadler wants to know if the evidence showed that Trump compromised the security of the United States and Goldman predictably answers that it did. Berke, despite objections from Gohmert about being a judge and a witness, is now questioning Castor. He asks Castor if Biden was a leading contender to face Trump in 2020, and Castor disagrees, saying it was too early in the process. Gohmer is outraged that a witness (Berke) is now a questioner. He says there is no rule or precedent about this. Gohmert says Berke is “inappropriate.”

12:46 PM: Nadler gets 45 minutes to question followed by Collins, who will also get 45 minutes.

12:45 PM: Castor says Trump has released and declassified the call transcript with the president of Ukraine and notes the Dems’ narrative ignores “any evidence that is not helpful to their case” like the many statements made by the Ukrainian officials that the president of Ukraine did not feel strong-armed and that there was no “quid pro quo.” Castor says Schiff should testify like Ken Starr and Robert Mueller.

12:30 PM: Castor emphasizes there was nothing unusual about suspending aid to Ukraine. Castor also says witnesses for the president should be able to make defenses without adverse inferences against them.

12:01 PM: Hearing resumes, and Castor says the evidence does not support the claims Democrats are trying to make about Ukraine. He says there is no clear evidence that Trump “acted with malicious intent.” He says the record is “riddled with hearsay, presumptions, and speculations.” He points to “conflicting and ambiguous” facts throughout the record.  He notes that Prof. Turley said last week the record is heavy on presumption and thin on proof. Castor says there are legitimate questions about Burisma and the Bidens and Democrats should not dismiss them. Castor says Burisma brought Hunter Biden on its board as part of a “broad effort” to bring in well-connected Democrats at a time when they were facing investigations by Obama administration officials. Castor says at the time Hunter Biden joined the board, Joe Biden was the Obama administration’s point person re: Ukraine. Castor points out even the Washington Post said it was nepotism at best and malicious at worst. Castor also notes that election interference is not binary. He says both Russia and Ukraine can interfere and emphasizes that there were Ukrainian officials who were against Trump’s candidacy.

11:45 AM: Committee should come back from recess at any moment. Castor is up next.

11:15 AM: Goldman, trying to make the case that Trump has engaged in a pattern of behavior, says the phone call with the president of Ukraine was neither the first nor last time Trump tried to strong-arm Ukraine. He later quotes Ambassador Sondland’s testimony that “everyone was in the loop.” Goldman says the facts about the Biden investigation didn’t matter to Trump because he only wanted the political benefit from an investigation announcement.

10:55 AM: Goldman claims that Trump presents a “clear and present danger” the national security and the country’s free and fair elections. Goldman hammering the point that Putin benefits from the “baseless conspiracy theory” that Ukraine interfered in the 2020 elections.

Gohmert apparently fed up and having none of it:

10:43 AM: Goldman says he is here today because Trump abused the office of the presidency when he directed a “months-long campaign” to solicit foreign help in the 2020 election. He accuses Trump of applying increasing pressure on the president of Ukraine to make a public announcement about a Biden investigation. He also accuses Trump of an unprecedented campaign to obstruct Congress.

He, like other Democrats, praises the “courageous public servants”:

10:38 AM: Goldman now up for Dems:

10:29 AM: Castor emphasizes Ukraine’s president has said multiple times that he felt no pressure from Trump to investigate the Bidens in exchange for aid. Castor says that at the time of the July 25th call, senior executives in Ukraine did not even know that aid was paused, so there was no “leveraging play.”

10:17 AM: Castor says Democrats focused on “obstruction of justice” after their Russia collusion narrative fizzled and didn’t move the impeachment needle. He says investigations take time and there is no “easy button” and accuses Democrats of blocking all sorts of information and not seeking information that would make the process fairer. Castor says Democrats have refused to negotiate in good faith with the Trump administration about witnesses/documents. Castor repeats Prof. Turley’s remarks about how this impeachment process could set a dangerous precedent. Castor says this process relies on ambiguous facts and presumptions and speculation.

10:12 AM: Castor emphatically states that Trump’s actions do not show he committed high crimes and misdemeanors. He says to impeach a president that 63 million people voted for due to eight lines in a transcript is baloney. Castor points out all of the instances in which Democrats wanted to impeach Trump dating back years (Green, Tlaib, et al.). He says the “obsession” with impeaching Trump is reflecting in how the the House committees have used their subpoena power. He says Democrats subpoenaed Michael Cohen and demanded Trump’s personal tax returns. He says they also wanted Trump’s bank records going back ten years that would cover every withdrawal and credit card swipe of every member of Trump’s family, including his minor child.

10:07 AM: Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) says Berke’s remarks should be stricken from the record because they are “unparliamentary” because he was talking about Trump’s motives and characters and saying Trump is “disloyal” to America. Roll call vote on motion to table. It will, of course, pass along partisan lines.

House Judiciary Committee
House Judiciary Committee

10:05 AM: Berke claims Trump believes Trump can act as if he were above the law and put his personal and political interests above the nation’s interests and national security interests and integrity of its elections. He says we have an election coming up and that’s a reason not to postpone the impeachment discussion. He says history and future generations will be the judge, saying his sons and grandchildren will be reading about this.

9:50 AM: Berke spending his time rehashing all of the same arguments re: Trump/Ukraine about why Trump abused his power and engaged in a “quid pro quo.” Berke says none of Trump’s excuses “hold water” and have been refuted by testimony. Berke says they have not heard from all of the witnesses/seen all of the documents because Trump has obstructed the investigation. He says Trump is “replaying” the playbook from the Mueller investigation. Berke says because of the “true American patriots” who “told the story” and produced documents, they found out Trump abused his power and put his reelection interests above the country’s. “No one is above the law,” Berke says. “Not even the president.”

Berke says there is an “urgency” because Trump’s actions deal with an election that is coming up in the next year.

Berke again plays Trump’s Article II remarks to hammer him on the “abuse of power” theme and rehashing talking points from the left that have been said over and over again for the last couple of weeks.

House Judiciary Committee

9:35 AM: Berke (majority) and Castor (minority) get 30 minutes apiece now.

Berke dramatically says his son asked him if a president has to be a good person. He says he told his son that it is not a requirement that a president be a good person but the Constitution made clear that the “president be a person who does not abuse his power.” Berke says what is extraordinary is that Trump’s conduct violated everything the founders were concerned about. He says the “evidence is overwhelming” that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate a “political rival.” He says it’s hard to imagine that “anybody could dispute” that Trump’s actions are not impeachable offenses. He says Trump’s actions are impeachable offenses that threaten our rule of law and threaten our institutions and republic. Berke says Trump’s excuses “do not make sense” and keeps repeating that Trump put his own interests above the nation’s.

9:30 AM: Biggs keeps raising a point of order about the lack of a minority hearing day.

9:20 AM: Collins now ready to give his opening statement. Collins says this will be known as the “focus group impeachment” because “we don’t have a crime” and “nobody understands what the majority is trying to do.” Collins says the “focus group impeachment” takes words and asks people how we can use them to impeach Trump. Collins again hitting his “clock and the calendar” theme. Collins said Pelosi took “the thrill out of the room” when she instructed Democrats last week to write the articles of impeachment. Collins says the motive for the “sham impeachment” is Democrats lost to Trump in 2016 and don’t want him to win in 2020 under a booming economy. He accuses Democrats of forcing a fact-pattern against a president they don’t like. He says the “entire case is built on a presumption.” Collins also notes that Schiff, the Chair of the Intelligence Committee, is absent today and accuses him of making up a “fairy tale” when reading the Ukraine phone call transcript. Collins calls it “massive malpractice” and says Democrats don’t even care what’s in the transcript or the fact that the aid was released to Ukraine. Collins again points out the committee is not hearing from any fact witnesses. Collins says the institution that he loves is in danger with committees being used as rubber stamps. Collins said Pelosi ordered Democrats to write the articles of impeachment after one day of hearings–“facts be damned.”

9:11 AM: Nadler begins his opening statement accusing Trump of betraying his oath of office by placing his interests above the country’s. Nadler says his oath compels him to “come to the defense of the nation” even if it may cost him his job or is inconvenient. He says the framers warned “us against would-be monarchs, fake populists, and charismatic demagogues.” He says the framers knew the biggest threat could come within via an executive who puts his interests ahead of the country’s. He accuses Trump of putting himself before the country. Nadler keeps coughing. Nadler also claims that impeachment is a “serious” and “solemn” undertaking. Nadler hilariously claims that every claim the whistleblower made has been proven true. Nadler defensively claims that the House is speedily moving forward with impeachment because “the integrity of our next election is at stake”–“nothing could be more urgent.” He says Trump’s conduct represents a “continuing risk to the country.”

9:08 AM: Nadler begins the hearing after noting quorum is present. Nadler now being heckled by a protester who is escorted out of the committee room.

8:45 AM: After the Intelligence Committee counsels (Berry Berke, majority; Stephen Castor, minority) and the Judiciary Committee counsels (Daniel Goldman, majority; Castor, minority) make their presentations, Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) will get 45 minutes of questioning followed by Ranking Member Rep. Doug Collins (D-GA), who will also get 45 minutes. Then, like the last hearing, each of the Committee Members will get five minutes of questioning.

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