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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
House Judiciary Committee Holds Impeachment Hearing for Donald Trump. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired December 9, 2019 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] COHEN: got to do something about corruption, that was OK, because they were doing something for the common good of a bunch of people, as distinguished from what is going on here, where somebody is doing it for their personal good. Is that not correct?
GOLDMAN: Right, there's a distinction between doing an official act for an official purpose and doing an official act for a personal purpose.
And if -- if I could just respond to something Mr. Castor said, when he said that the -- there were problems because Zlochevsky paid a bribe, the head of Burisma, in order to get out from under the prosecution, that was exactly the type of conduct that Vice President Biden wanted to shut down in Ukraine. That was exactly the type of anti -- non anti-corruption policies that Vice President Biden was objecting to, using the official policy.
So that's one of the reasons that he -- I mean, I don't know if that was one but that's the type of thing that he based -- he and the Americans and the Europeans based ...
COHEN: That's the issue we've got to get in this committee, to understand the difference between doing something for the national good, for the international good, for the common good, and for your own good. That's the difference. Got to get that across.
And those witnesses, many career, non-partisan officials were clear they thought it was wrong to ask a foreign government to investigate a political rival. Video?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLKER: To investigate the Vice President of the United States or someone who is a U.S. official, I don't think we should be asking foreign governments to do that. I would also say that's true of a political rival.
VINDMAN: It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and a political opponent.
HILL: It was improper and it was inappropriate and we said that in the time in real time. TAYLOR: Again, our holding up of security assistance that would go to a country that is fighting aggression from Russia for no good policy reason, no good substantive reason, no good national security reason is wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: And we are going to check that type of conduct. We are the people's House. And I yield back the balance of my time.
NADLER: Gentleman yields back. Mr. Gohmert.
GOHMERT: Well, I had some questions for the witness Mr. Berke, but he is absconded. So I'm going to use my five minutes but not to ask questions. It is interesting though to have heard Mr. Goldman refuse to answer question about the investigation.
Yet, he comes in here and the very reason that he wants to see the president for the first time any president's ever been removed from office while he's been obstructing. He didn't answer our questions.
So perhaps if we're going to apply his sense of justice to him, it would be time to have him removed from his position but that's only if we apply his -- his own standards. And as (inaudible) said, if it weren't for double standards some of these folks wouldn't have standards at all.
But we were told also at the beginning that we would hear lawyers present evidence. Lawyers are going to come in here -- now what normally happens and I -- I've been in some kangaroo hearings in courts, not my own when I was there but I have been mistreated in hearings before.
But I have never seen anything like this where we don't allow the fact witnesses to come in here. We have the lawyers come in and tell us what we're supposed to know about those witnesses and about their testimony and about their impression and what the law is. This is outrageous.
My friend, Jim Sensenbrenner, said in 41 years he's never seen anything like what we have going on here to try to oust a sitting president. And it's also outrageous to hear people say well, this man thought he was a king because he said he could do anything he wanted when they know that that statement was in the context of whether or not he could fire Mueller.
And of course he could fire Mueller. He could fire or not fire Mueller. He could appoint a special prosecutor to invest (ph) Mueller and Weissmann. I think he should have. But that's his purgative and he could have done anything about that he wanted. To take that out of context say (ph) he thinks he's a king.
Let me tell you what a king is. A king is someone who says over 20 times, I can't do that, Congress has to change the law on immigration and then he decides, you know what, I've got a pen and I got a phone. I'll do whatever I want and by golly he does. He makes new law with a pen and a phone.
Now that is more like a monarchy. Not somebody saying they can fire a special prosecutor if they want to. And regarding treason, the Constitution itself says you got to have two witnesses. And that's -- that's not hearsay witnesses. None of this stuff that wouldn't be admissible (ph) any decent court.
No that's two direct evidence witnesses that can come in and positively identify themselves. Not something they overheard or something. But actually be witnesses to treason. And yet, this group comes in here, they toss treason out in a report like it's no big deal.
We can bring in a bunch of hearsay witnesses and then we'll have the lawyers testify and then throw a president out of office. This is -- is so absurd. It's so absurd. Now, we have witness come in and we're told he's going to be a witness. That's why he doesn't have to follow under the rules of decorum.
And then, I've never seen this, he gets to come up and grill his opposing adversary witness. I feel like to be fair, if we were going to make this thing fair, Mr. Castor would be able to come up and grill Mr. Berke.
But this isn't about being fair. It's not about due process. This is about a Kangaroo system. And let me tell you, those that think you've done something special here, you have set the bar so low I'm afraid it irreparable.
I mean just think, we've had people already mention, you know, the next president Joe Biden. We're told, you know gee, he may be the next president. Well, we've already got the forms. All we have to do is eliminate Donald Trump's name and put Joe Biden's name in there because he's on video.
He and his son. He basically has admitted to the crime that's being hoisted on the president improperly. So I'm scared for my country because I've never seen anything like this. This is -- this is supposed to be the Congress.
I came up here from a court where we had order and we had rules and I've seen nothing of the kind in here today and it's outrageous that we're trying to remove a president with a kangaroo court like this. I yield back.
GOLDMAN: Chairman, if I could just clarify. Treason is not in our report. I just want to ...
NADLER: The gentleman -- the gentleman ...
GOHMERT: The ...
NADLER: The gentleman yielded back.
GOHMERT: Yes. And it is mentioned in the report we got. Thank you very much.
NADLER: The gentleman yielded back. Mr. Johnson.
H. JOHNSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to get us back to the undisputed facts of the president's abuse of power. Mr. Goldman, as a prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, when you prosecuted drug conspiracy cases, was it standard practice for drug kingpins to try to beat the case by distancing themselves from conspiracy and blaming their accomplices for the crime?
GOLDMAN: All the time. And conspiracies have different layers and the top layers make the bottom layers do the work so that they are further removed from the actual conduct.
H. JOHNSON: OK. I'd like to ask some questions about the president's role in what Ambassador Bolton referred to as a drug deal. Did the testimony and evidence compiled by the Intelligence Committee establish the fact that with respect to Ukraine, Rudy Giuliani was at all times working on behalf of President Trump?
GOLDMAN: Yes. Mr. Giuliani said that, President Trump said that to a number of other individuals. And then those individuals; Ambassador Sondland, Ambassador Volker also said that.
H. JOHNSON: Thank you. And on May 9, 2019; Rudy Giuliani on behalf of his client, President Trump, spoke with a New York Times reporter about his planned trip to Ukraine. And on that trip he planned to meet with President Zelensky he said.
And urged -- and urge him to pursue investigations relating to the Bidens and to the debunked theory that Ukraine and not Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Isn't that correct.
GOLDMAN: That's right.
H. JOHNSON: And Mr. Giuliani told the reporter that his trip was not about official U.S. foreign policy and that the information he sought would be very, very helpful to his client; meaning it would be helpful to President Trump. Is that correct?
GOLDMAN: Yes. And if it's not official foreign policy, it would be helpful to President Trump's personal interest.
H. JOHNSON: That's correct. And there is no doubt, Mr. Goldman that investigations of the Bidens and the 2016 election meddling were in fact, not about U.S. policy but were about benefiting Trump's re- election. Correct?
GOLDMAN: Yes. And even the Ukrainians realize that.
H. JOHNSON: And on July 25th, President Trump placed that fateful phone call to President Zelensky and he asked President Zelensky to investigate the Bidens, correct?
H. JOHNSON: And on that call President Trump told Zelensky, quote, I will have Mr. Giuliani to give you a call, correct?
GOLDMAN: That's right.
H. JOHNSON: And on October 2nd and October 3rd, President Trump once again made explicit that he and Mr. Giuliani were intent on making these investigations happen. Correct.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And just so you know, we've been investigating on a personal basis through Rudy and others, lawyers, corruption in the 2016 election.
Well, I would think that if they were honest about it they'd start a major investigation into the Bidens. It's a very simple answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
H. JOHNSON: Mr. Goldman, the evidence shows a course of conduct by President Trump and his agents, does it not?
GOLDMAN: It does and clearly it continued long after our investigation began.
H. JOHNSON: It shows a common plan, correct?
GOLDMAN: That's right, yes.
H. JOHNSON: It shows a common goal.
H. JOHNSON: And the goal was to get foreign help for the 2020 election. Correct?
GOLDMAN: That is -- that's what all the witnesses said.
H. JOHNSON: And Mr. Goldman, who was the kingpin of that plan?
GOLDMAN: President Trump.
H. JOHNSON: Thank you, Mr. Goldman. Ambassador Bolton called it a drug deal. As a kingpin, President Trump tried to force a foreign government to interfere in the upcoming presidential election. The evidence is undisputed and overwhelming that Rudy Giuliani acted as part of a conspiracy with President Trump to obtain Ukrainian help for President Trump in the 2020 election.
This was not just a hurtful drug deal. This was an attempt to undermine the very fabric of our democracy. The framers feared most how foreign influence could turn a president into a depute (ph). So they adopted impeachment as a backstop to protect our democracy. The facts, ladies and gentleman, demand that we use that remedy today. And with that, I yield back.
NADLER: The gentleman yields back. Mr. Jordan.
JORDAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Castor, I want to go to the document that started it all. The August 12th whistleblower complaint. Bullet point one on page one of the whistleblowers complaint, he says this, over the past four months more than half a dozen U.S. officials have informed me of the various facts related to this effort. Mr. Castor, who are these half a dozen U.S. officials?
CASTOR: We don't know.
JORDAN: We don't know, do we. And we had no chance to know for sure who these people were because we never got to talk to the whistleblower, is that right Mr. Castor.
CASTOR: That's right.
JORDAN: We needed to talk to the -- to the guy who started it all. We needed to talk to him to figure out who these more than a half a dozen people were who formed the basis of his complaint. And we never got to. Adam Schiff's staff got to.
Adam Schiff knows who he is but we don't get to know and therefore we don't get to know the original people -- the six people who formed the basis of this entire thing we've been going through now for three months. But we did talk to 17 people, right Mr. Castor.
CASTOR: That's right.
JORDAN: 17 depositions and you were in every single one. You were the lawyer doing the work for the Republicans in every single one. Is that right?
CASTOR: Yes, sir.
JORDAN: And there is one witness who they relied on and built their report around. One witness. Who would that witness be (ph), because I read the report. It's obviously one witness. Who's that witness, Mr. Castor?
CASTOR: Ambassador Sondland.
JORDAN: Ambassador Sondland. I think you said earlier his name was mentioned, I don't know six -- what'd you say?
CASTOR: 611 times.
JORDAN: 611 times. More than Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, the guy who was on the call. More that Ambassador Taylor, their first witness, their star witness, the very first hearing in the Intelligence Committee. They relied on Sondland, not the whistleblower.
Not the more than half a dozen people who informed the whistleblower. They relied on Ambassador Sondland. Why'd they pick Sondland, Mr. Castor?
CASTOR: It's probably the best they got.
JORDAN: Because that's the -- that's the best they got. The guy who had to file (ph) an addendum to his testimony. The guy that had to file the clarification. The guy who said two weeks ago sitting in the same chair you're sitting in, Mr. Castor, in his 23 page opening statement he said this.
Unless President Zelensky announces and investigation into Burisma and the Bidens, there will be no call with President Trump. There'd be no meeting with President Trump, there'd be no security assistance money going to Ukraine. That's what Ambassador Sondland said.
Mr. Castor, was there an announcement by President Zelensky about investigating the Bidens or Burisma?
JORDAN: No announcement.
JORDAN: Did President Zelensky get a call from President Trump?
JORDAN: Did President Zelensky get a meeting with President Trump?
JORDAN: Did President Zelensky get the money from the United States?
JORDAN: They got the call on July 25th, they got the money on September 11th, they got the meeting on September 25th. Is that right.
JORDAN: But the guy who said no that was (ph) going to happen is the guy they build their case around. Is that right, Mr. Sondland.
JORDAN: Let me go to one other thing they built their case around. They built their case around a lot of hearsay didn't they. And the best example of the hearsay, surprisingly enough, is Ambassador Sondland. It's amazing.
They built their case around this ambassador and they built their case around hearsay and the best example of both is Mr. Sondland. Ambassador Sondland because he filed his addendum, his clarification where he says this, we've read this a couple weeks ago. We pointed this out a couple weeks ago. He says this in bullet point number two. In his clarification he says Ambassador Taylor recalls that Mr. Morrison told Ambassador Taylor that I told Mr. Morrison that I conveyed this message to Mr. Yermak on a September 1, 2019 in connection with Vice President Pences' visit to Warsaw and a meeting with President Zelensky.
That's his clarification. Amazing. Six people, as I said before, having four conversations in one sentence. Ambassador Taylor recalled 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 to Vice President Pences' visit to Warsaw and a meeting with President Zelensky.
That's the clarification. That's their star witness who they've built their case around. So and so tells so and so what somebody said to someone else, and there you have it. That's their case. It -- they forget the four key facts.
They forget the fact that we have the call transcript and that there was no quid pro quo. They forget the fact that two guys on the call, President Trump and President Zelensky have said repeatedly there was no pressure, no linkage, no pushing.
They forget the fact Ukraine didn't even know aid was held at the time of the call. And they forget the fact most important, they did nothing to get the aid release. No announcement of any type of investigation what so ever.
They forget all that, those -- those key facts. And they build their case around the guy had to clarify his testimony with that amazing sentence. Mr. Goldman -- Mr. Goldman, the Democrats -- did the Democrats publish phone records of the president's attorney?
GOLDMAN: Mr. Giuliani, yes.
JORDAN: Did the Democrats publish phone records of a member of the press.
GOLDMAN: Yes, who was involved ...
JORDAN: Did the Democrats publish phone records of a member of Congress?
GOLDMAN: Yes, who was talking to people involved ...
JORDAN: Did the Democrats -- does that member (ph) of Congress also happen to be your bosses political opponent that those phone records were published (inaudible). So the Democrats they -- they run this kind of investigation; ignoring the facts, not letting the whistleblower come in, and therefore not letting us know if we've talked to the more than half a dozen original sources for the whistleblowers complaint in the first place.
The guy has to file and addendum with that clarification sentence but one thing they did do -- one thing they did do in their report is they published the phone records of the president's personal lawyer, the phone records of a member of the press and the phone records of the chairman of the intelligence committees political opponent Representative Nunes.
That's what these guys did and that's their effort to impeach the president of the United States 11 months before an election.
NADLER: The gentleman's -- the gentleman's time is expired.
GOHMERT: Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent ...
NADLER: Mr. Deutch.
DEUTCH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I'd like to focus on the facts surrounding the president's abuse of power.
NADLER: The gentleman -- the gentleman -- the gentleman will state his unanimous consent request.
GOHMERT: I'd ask unanimous consent that the report by the majority staff of the House Committee on the Judiciary constitute some grounds of presidential impeachment that talks about treason and bribery be admitted for the record.
NADLER: Be what?
GOHMERT: Be made part of our record.
NADLER: Majority report. Without objection.
NADLER: And Mr. Deutch.
DEUTCH: Thank you.
Getting back to the facts surrounding the President's abuse of power using the White House meeting as leverage for helping his political campaign, Mr. Goldman, President Trump offered Ukrainian President Zelensky a meeting in the White House. But first, he wanted investigations into the Bidens and a conspiracy theory about meddling in the 2016 election.
You testified that the committees found evidence that President Trump worked to exchange official actions for personal benefit and I want to talk about that. On May 23, 2019, a delegation of officials returned from Zelensky's inauguration and they briefed the President.
In that briefing, President Trump directed government officials to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, isn't that correct?
GOLDMAN: Yes, sir.
DEUTCH: And Trump's handpicked Ukraine operator, Gordon Sondland, testified that they faced a choice, either work with Giuliani or abandon the goal of a White House meeting. What choice did they make, Mr. Goldman?
GOLDMAN: They decided to work with Mr. Giuliani.
DEUTCH: Right. And six days later, on May 29th, President Trump sent the new Ukrainian President a letter that said America stood with Ukraine and invited President Zelensky to visit the White House, isn't that correct?
GOLDMAN: Yes. That was the second time that he invited him to the White House.
DEUTCH: And so, at this point, the Ukrainian President expected that meeting.
DEUTCH: But then they learned that they've got to do something more for the President. Sondland testified that there was a prerequisite of investigations, isn't that right?
DEUTCH: And NSC staffer Lieutenant Colonel Vindman testified that Sondland told the Ukrainians in a July 10th meeting that investigation of the Bidens was a deliverable, necessary, to get that meeting, isn't that right?
GOLDMAN: Yes. And if I could just take a second to correct what Mr. Castor said about that meeting, there really is no inconsistent statements about whether or not Ambassador Sondland raised the issue of investigations in connection to the White House. Even Ambassador Volker in his public testimony was forced to admit that he did hear that and he said it was inappropriate.
DEUTCH: And in fact, on July 19th, Sondland told President Zelensky directly that President Trump wanted to hear a commitment to the investigations on the July 25th call, correct?
GOLDMAN: That's right.
DEUTCH: That same day, Sondland updated senior multiple Trump administration officials that Zelensky was, quote, "prepared to receive POTUS' call and would offer assurances about the investigations, isn't that right?
DEUTCH: And on that same day, State Department official Volker had breakfast with Rudy Giuliani and he reported to Sondland by text message, most important is for Zelensky to say he will help investigation, right?
GOLDMAN: Yes. And address any specific personnel issues. DEUTCH: Right. And later that day, after Giuliani spoke with Yermak, evidence suggested Giuliani gave a green light to that July 25th call. Then on the morning of the call, Volker texted Zelensky's aide Yermak and that text to his aide said, and I quote, "heard from White House, assuming President Z convinces Trump he will investigate, get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down a visit -- a date for visit to Washington."
And the transcript released by President Trump shows Trump requests investigations and Zelensky agrees, isn't that correct?
GOLDMAN: Yes. And that text message was actually a direction, a message relayed from President Trump himself.
DEUTCH: And then after the July 25th call, members of the administration continued to follow up with the Ukrainian counterparts to prepare for the announcement of investigations. Sondland texted Volker about efforts to schedule a White House visit noting that POTUS really wants the deliverable.
Now, it's just one of many messages during a flurry of followup activity. There were meetings and calls and texts on July 26th and July 27th and August 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, August 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, Mr. Goldman, August 16th, 17th and August 19th, isn't that correct?
GOLDMAN: Yes, including to Secretary Pompeo as well.
DEUTCH: Right. Here's the point, these are our government officials who work for us. Instead, they were working hard to help the President advance his personal political interests, isn't that what you found, Mr. Goldman?
GOLDMAN: That's right.
DEUTCH: This isn't a close call. We had the Ukrainian President at war with Russia desperate for a White House meeting. The President promised a White House meeting but then he blocked the Oval Office, he blocked it and said, I need a favor, not a favor to help America, a favor to help me get re-elected.
Our framers feared one day we would face a moment like this. They gave us an impeachment -- they gave us impeachment as a safety valve not to punish the President but to defend our elections and our Constitution and that's what we must do. I yield back.
NADLER: The gentleman yields back.
BUCK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Castor, I want to direct your attention to Page 3 of the telephone call dated July 25th between President Trump and President Zelensky. On Page 3, President Trump states, I would like you do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine.
Later, he says, I would like to have the attorney general call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. The Majority report on Page 13 says, the U.S. intelligence community had unanimously determined that Russia, not Ukraine, interfered in the 2016 election to help the candidacy of President Trump.
Mr. Castor, there appears to be a conflict there. President Trump is asking the Ukraine to investigate something the Majority has decided that it's an illegitimate request because there was no interference in an election by the Ukraine. Is that how you read this?
BUCK: And the press release from the Majority on their report says, as part of this scheme, President Trump acting in his official capacity and using his position of public trust personally and directly requested that the President of Ukraine that the government of Ukraine publicly announce investigations into subsection two a baseless theory promoted by Russia alleging that Ukraine, rather than Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. Is that true?
BUCK: And Mr. Castor, I want to ask you something, have you seen this article from "Politico" dated January 11, 2017?
CASTOR: Yes, I have.
BUCK: And the title of that article is "Ukrainian Efforts to Sabotage Trump Backfire." Is that correct?
BUCK: I want to read you the second paragraph. "Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a "Politico" investigation found.
Isn't it true that President Trump had a legitimate reason to request help from the Ukraine about the 2016 election? And I'm not suggesting for a minute that Russia didn't interfere. Of course, they interfered. But the Ukraine officials tried to influence the election?
BUCK: Let's move on to Ambassador Sondland. I only have 10 fingers and 10 toes so I can't count above 20, Mr. Castor. But do you know how many times Ambassador Sondland said that he did not know, did not recall, had no recollection, had limited memory or failed to remember something in his October 17th testimony? You know how many times? 325, does that surprise you? 325, big number.
And then he files a clarifying statement and he clarifies a few things, I guess. But did you have any -- do you have any contact with Ambassador Sondland between the time of his deposition and the time of his clarifying statement?
BUCK: Did the Majority
CASTOR: I have no idea.
BUCK: You have no idea. So, they may have had influence on his testimony?
CASTOR: No idea.
BUCK: And that would be evidence of bias, that would be evidence of credibility, that would be evidence that we should take into account before. But we'll never know, will we? Because the majority counsel has a right to assert a privilege as to information that's relevant to this Committee's decision.
The Majority counsel has a right to assert a privilege in any communications he has with the Chairman Adam Schiff, doesn't he? I was just Minority counsel. That's a privilege that we reserved here in Congress, isn't it?
BUCK: And the same thing is true of FOIA, the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to memos that Majority counsel writes, isn't that true?
BUCK: So, we've demanded that of the Executive Branch but we have allowed ourselves not to be part of FOIA, correct?
BUCK: OK. So, the Majority has a privilege. The President also has a privilege. It's called executive privilege. He can meet with the Secretary of State and that's a privileged conversation. He can meet with the Secretary of Defense, that's a privilege conversation. He can meet with the Secretary of Energy, that's a privileged conversation.
Now, when the Majority has subpoenaed those witnesses and the President has refused to produce those witnesses or relevant documents or what they consider relevant documents and they are charging him with an article of impeachment for obstruction.
In fact, their report says President obstructed the impeachment inquiry by instructing witnesses to ignore subpoenas. Why?
NADLER: The gentleman's time has expired. Ms. Bass.
BASS: Mr. Goldman, I want to pick up on the President using the powers of his office, in this case, at a meeting at the White House to pressure a foreign country to investigate his political rival.
Now that you had time to step back from the investigation, is there any doubt that the President did, in fact, use a White House visit to pressure President Zelensky to announce investigations of his political rival to benefit his re-election campaign?
GOLDMAN: I will answer that question in a minute, but I would like just to comment to Mr. buck that the Majority staff and no one had any contact with Ambassador Sondland after his deposition. But the answer to your question is, yes, Ms. Bass.
BASS: My colleague, Mr. Deutch, mostly focused on the period prior to the July 25th call. I'd like to focus on the period after. Following the call, did President Zelensky come to the White House for a meeting?
GOLDMAN: No. He's never come to the White House and several witnesses -- multiple witnesses said that there's a huge distinction between a White House meeting and a meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly where they did meet on September 25th.
BASS: So has a White House meeting been scheduled?
BASS: So, did the President and his associates essentially continue to withhold the White House meeting? And, if so, why did they do that?
GOLDMAN: Well, the evidence found that the White House meeting was conditioned on the announcement of these investigations. And so, once in mid-August when the Ukrainians, Mr. Yermak and President Zelensky, decided that they were not going to issue that statement that Rudy Giuliani wanted to include Burisma in the 2016 elections, there was no White House meeting. It soon became clear to them that the security assistance --