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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Impeachment Hearing; Democrats and Republicans Question Counsels on Investigation Findings; Democrats Cross-Examine GOP Counsel on Investigation Findings. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired December 9, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BERKE: -- corruptly, wrongfully, abusing his power, that it was unlikely he was going to confess to President Zelensky that he was asking for the investigation explicitly to help his 2020 election prospects?
GOLDMAN: Yes, my experience as 10 as a prosecutor, you almost never have a defendant or someone who's engaging in misconduct who would ever explicitly say in this case President Zelensky, I'm going to bribe you now or I'm going to ask for a bribe or I am now going to extort you, that's not the way these things work.
BERKE: Thank you, Mr. Goldman, and Mr. Castor, getting back to you, you said that -- you said about Hunter Biden and talked about it. Hunter Biden had been on the board of Burisma going back to 2014, correct?
BERKE: President Trump supported Ukraine with aid and otherwise in both 2017 and 2018, correct?
CASTOR: Yes. President Trump has done a lot for Ukraine.
BERKE: That's -- yes, but, sir, isn't it correct that President Trump did not raise anything about Hunter Biden and his father, Vice President Joe Biden, in 2017 or 2018? He only did it the year before his election in 2020 when both he and Vice President Joe Biden were leading candidates. Isn't that true, sir?
CASTOR: I think what happened is the president saw this video of the former V.P. and I think it coalesced in his mind.
BERKE: Sir, please answer my question. He didn't raise any of these issues in 2017 or 2018.
CASTOR: I don't know that he did or he didn't. I mean, that is not something that we've looked at.
BERKE: You have no evidence that he did, are you -- did you?
CASTOR: No, but I have no evidence he did not. I mean, this video is pretty remarkable. BERKE: All right, sir. Let me ask you -- let me ask you this. You talked about Lieutenant Colonel Vindman who was a highly-decorated, Purple Heart recipient and worked in the Trump administration, correct?
CASTOR: Yes, sir.
BERKE: He had a reaction to the call, didn't he?
CASTOR: He did.
BERKE: He was listening to it, correct?
CASTOR: He did. He was.
BERKE: Let's look at his reaction. He said, "I immediately went to John Eisenberg, the lead legal counsel. He said, "It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigating U.S. citizen and a political opponent." That was his testimony, correct? Yes or no. That was his testimony? Yes?
BERKE: Yes. And let me ask you this, sir. You had said that the Intelligence Committee majority report that Mr. Goldman had talked about, you said it presents as if things are clear, but they're not clear. Is that what you said, sir?
CASTOR: That's absolutely correct.
BERKE: And you also worked on -- you were personally you said worked on the minority report, correct?
CASTOR: Yes, sir.
BERKE: Was it important to you to be accurate in the minority report...
CASTOR: Of course
BERKE: ... that you worked on. Was it important to be fair to witnesses, to be accurate about what they said?
CASTOR: Of course.
BERKE: Was it important to be fair to the American people...
CASTOR: Of course.
BERKE: ... to accurately report what people said?
CASTOR: Of course.
BERKE: Let me ask you about somebody else on that call. Let me ask you about Jennifer Williams. Now, she was a special advisor to Vice President Pence on Europe and Russia affairs. Is that correct? CASTOR: Yes.
BERKE: She worked for Vice President Pence, correct?
BERKE: And you said in your opening statement that these accusations that President Trump was trying to do something for a political purpose, that was made by people who were pre -- had predetermined motives for impeachment. Isn't that correct?
CASTOR: Some of them might, but I also indicated that some of these -- the witnesses in the impeachment inquiry I think have revised their views after -- after the call transcript came out and the whistleblower complaint was released.
BERKE: Are you calling Vice President Pence's special advisor a liar, sir?
CASTOR: No, I didn't say that.
BERKE: Are you calling -- are you saying she was predetermined to impeach?
CASTOR: I didn't say that. You know, with the question about Jennifer Williams is interesting is she never...
BERKE: I didn't ask you, sir.
CASTOR: ... she never mentioned anything to her supervisor. She never mentioned anything to anybody in the vice president's office en route to Warsaw when the vice president was going to meet with President Zelensky. She didn't even raise it as a potential issue that might, you know, catch the vice president off guard. So her...
BERKE: Well, Mr. Castor...
CASTOR: ... concern that she articulated during the course of the deposition and during the course of the hearing was incongruent -- incongruent with the -- with the facts and what she did during times relevant.
BERKE: Mr. Castor, let's look at your report. What you wrote in the report about Ms. Williams, so if we could put up slide six, please. And sir, you made the same point that you tried to make to discount her testimony. You said, "She testified that although she found the call to be unusual, she did not raise concerns to her supervisor."
CASTOR: Right, nobody in America knew about Jennifer William's concerns until she walked in the door for her deposition.
BERKE: Sir. Sir, when you said that although she found the call to be unusual, that wasn't accurate. That's not what she said about the call. She didn't say it was just unusual.
[13:05:00] CASTOR: She said it was unusual.
BERKE: That's not all she said about it, was it?
CASTOR: OK, I mean, she was here for nine hours...
BERKE: That was...
CASTOR: ... in a bunker, so she said a lot about the call.
BERKE: Sir, that was you -- that was the minority...
GAETZ: Sir, could we get a copy of the slide deck? We can't see. I just want to see (ph).
NADLER: The gentleman will suspend. The gentleman has the time.
GAETZ: We can't see the stuff.
BERKE: It says...
NADLER: The gentleman has the time.
BERKE: I'm happy to read it. Jennifer Williams testified that, quote, "although she found the call to be unusual," quote, she did not -- end of quote, she did not raise concerns to her supervisor. Isn't it a fact, sir, that Ms. Williams said a lot more than that?
SENSENBRENNER: Mr. Chairman, I have a point of order.
NADLER: Gentleman will state his point of order. The...
SENSENBRENNER: The point of order is the gentleman from Florida has complained that he can't see what the questioner is relying on and would like to see it. And...
NADLER: That is a point -- recognizable point of order and it read to him. The gentleman will proceed.
SENSENBRENNER: Only half of it was read to him.
NADLER: The relevant...
SENSENBRENNER: Now let's slow down a bit here.
NADLER: The gentleman -- the gentle...
SENSENBRENNER: Let's slow down a bit here so that members are able to fully see what is being put in in support of what you're trying to do. We can't do that without being able to see it or read it. Mr. Gaetz has said that. Now, let's slow down so that we can see or hear what he is referring to. You're not letting that happen and that goes to the privileges of the members...
UNKNOWN: Mr. Chairman...
SENSENBRENNER: ... that you are asking to (inaudible)...
NADLER: Gentleman -- gentleman...
SENSENBRENNER: ... and to vote.
NADLER: Gentleman will suspend. The...
GAETZ: Mr. Chairman, I can see now. I appreciate the accommodation. It's -- well, the monitor was turned. Now I can see.
NADLER: OK. The gentleman will resume.
BERKE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. So in here it says that you said Ms. Williams said that she found it to be, quote, "unusual," and nothing more. Let's look at slide seven.
CASTOR: I didn't say and nothing more.
BERKE: Let's look at -- it says unusual, correct?
CASTOR: Right, but it doesn't say and nothing more.
BERKE: No. It says unusual. Isn't' it a fact, sir, that what Ms. Williams say is -- struck her as unusual and inappropriate. Isn't that correct, sir?
BERKE: That's what she said in her testimony.
BERKE: And in your staff report, you left out the inappropriate part.
CASTOR: It wasn't a block quote. It was -- she felt it was unusually. She didn't raise that concerns with Lieutenant General Kellogg.
BERKE: So sir, let me ask you were you as fair to the American people in describing what Ms. Williams said as you were in describing everything else in your report?
CASTOR: I don't have any issue with the way we described Ms. William's testimony.
BERKE: Well, let's look at what else Ms. Williams said. Could we put up slide eight? This is from Ms. Williams public testimony at 34. She said, quote, "I thought that the references to specific individuals and investigations such as former Vice President Biden and his son struck me as political in nature given that the former vice president is a political opponent of the president. So you left that out of your staff report, too, didn't you?
CASTOR: You know -- Ms. Williams --
BERKE: Sir, did you leave that out of your report, yes or no?
CASTOR: I -- if you're telling me I did, I mean I don't -- I don't know as I sit here right now as ---
BERKE: I'm telling you you did.
BERKE: Did you have an explanation sir when you said -- you said Ms. Williams said that the call was unusual when she in fact she said it was unusual and inappropriate and of a political nature because it raised Vice President -- the vice president who she recognized was a political opponent of the president.
CASTOR: Her views of the call differ remarkable from Mr. Morrison, also from Lieutenant General Collins.
BERKE: That's not my question, my question is why did you misquote Ms. Williams in terms of --
CASTOR: I didn't misquote her --
BERKE: -- what she said (ph) why did you do it?
CASTOR: We certainly didn't misquote her.
BERKE: So you stand so from (ph) the standard that you apply to your fact finding in your report, you believe that it was entirely proper to say that Ms. Williams found the call to be unusual when in fact she found the call to be unusual and inappropriate and of a political nature given that the former vice president is a political opponent of the president, is that your testimony sir?
CASTOR: We described what Ms. Williams said --
BERKE: Sir, is that your testimony? -- No you didn't --
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman. If either -- you can ask --
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman, I'm not -- he can either ask or answer, he can't do both.
NADLER: The gentleman --
(UNKNOWN): Barry (ph) you can either ask or answer, he can't do both. Barry (ph) you can ask or answer, you can't do both. NADLER: The gentlemen is not recognized.
(UNKNOWN): Can I make a point of order that he badgering the witness?
NADLER: He is not. The gentleman will continue.
BERKE: And sir you invoked -- sir you invoked Mr. --
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman can you rule on my point of order that he's badgering the witness, because he's doing that.
BERKE: Sir you -- you invoked --
NADLER: There is not a cognizable (ph) motion -- it does not call for a ruling and the time belongs to the gentleman.
(UNKNOWN): A point of order, the committee is not in order and the chairman is not in order.
NADLER: That is not a point of order; the committee is in order --
(UNKNOWN): Well would you rule on my original point of order?
NADLER: The original point of order was not cognizable (ph), it does not -- assess the ruling.
(UNKNOWN): Chairman, the lawyer is badgering the witnesses; we have to have some decorum in here --
(UNKNOWN): -- of the quorum which aren't comporting with everybody else's rules.
NADLER: I will say that sharp cross examination of a witness is not badgering the witness. The gentleman will continue.
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman --
(UNKNOWN): It is if it's bothering (ph) the witness.
NADLER: No one -- the gentleman has the time.
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman, point of order.
NADLER: Johnson (ph) will state the point of order.
M. JOHNSON: Under resolution 6/60 (ph) we're supposed to follow the federal rules of evidence, is that right? What is it --
NADLER: No it is not correct.
M. JOHNSON: What are the rules, what are the objections that we're --
NADLER: That is not a point of order.
M. JOHNSON: It is a point of order, there's no rules --
NADLER: It is not a point of order, the gentleman will continue.
M. JOHNSON: Where's the list of rules?
NADLER: The gentleman will continue.
BERKE: Thank you Mr. Chair --
NADLER: The gentleman will continue.
BERKE: Thank you Mr. Chairman. Mr. -- Mr. Castor, you just invoked Tim Morrison, he was someone on the call too, correct?
BERKE: And let me put up slide nine or Mr. Morrison's testimony on page 38 of his public testimony. And Mr. Morrison said -- well the question was -- questioned by Mr. Goldman -- you heard the call, you recognized that President Trump was not discussing the talking points that the NSC had prepared based on official U.S. policy and was instead was talking about the investigations that Fiona Hill had warned you about. And then you reported it immediately to the NSC legal advisor -- is that the correct claim of events here? And Mr. Morrison said that's correct.
Before I ask you Mr. Castor, let me ask you Mr. Goldman, earlier before your presentation we showed the testimony of Ms. Hill where she referred to what President Trump was trying to do is running a domestic political errand, is that what you understand -- is that was you intended to ask Mr. Morrison about in your question to him?
GOLDMAN: Yes. It was about these two specific investigations that President Trump ultimately did discuss and ask President Zelensky to do. These are the same two investigations that were discussed and were the only two investigations that were at issue throughout the entirety of the scheme. And so, what our evidence found was that any time there was a reference to investigations, it references the Biden investigation and the 2016 election investigation. And in fact, Ambassador Volker actually said that whenever he was saying -- using the term corruption, what he meant was those specific to investigations.
BERKE: And what was the significance to you that Mr. Morrison, who Mr. Castor himself has relied on and invoked twice today, where he said that he understood these were the investigations that Fiona Hill had warned him about -- warned him about? What did you understand that to mean?
GOLDMAN: When Dr. Hill left and Tim Morrison replaced her, they had transition meetings, and during one of those transition meetings, Dr. Hill told Tim Morrison about a -- what she believed to be this irregular channel that Ambassador Sondland was operating where they were pushing for Ukraine to do these investigations. And Dr. Hill in particular was very concerned because, as she said as you pointed out, that was a domestic political errand, and what she was working on and the National Security Council was working on related to national security and foreign policy, and those were tow entirely separate things.
BERKE: And was she expressing the view that President Trump had chose his own personal political interest over the foreign policy positions that Ms. Hill was trying to pursue?
GOLDMAN: At the time that she said that to Tim Morrison, she was not aware of whether President Trump had actually endorsed these investigations, but she did testify that after she read the call transcript -- which she only read after it was released like the reset of us -- she said that she put two and two together and realized that that is exactly what he was talking about.
BERKE: And what was two and two again?
GOLDMAN: It equals four.
BERKE: And what is four in this investigation, sir?
GOLDMAN: Well, it was used by two witnesses -- Ambassador Sondland and David Holmes -- as the only logical conclusion to explain why the security assistance had been withheld -- was being withheld from Ukraine. And based on all of the various factors and their direct involvement in issues related to Ukraine, they concluded that security assistance was being withheld to put pressure and as a condition on the initiation of the two investigations that are reference here.
BERKE: Turning to you, Mr. Castor...
CASTOR: I got to clear a couple things up here, though.
CASTOR: I got to clear a couple things up here if I may. First of all, Morrison was concerned -- Morrison didn't think the...
BERKE: Sir, you have no -- there's no question.
NADLER: The gentleman has the time, not the witness.
CASTOR: I mean, Morrison...
BERKE: Sir, let me just... CASTOR: ... was concerned about leaks.
BERKE: Sir, let me ask you, sir. Sir, you said...
CASTOR: And by the way, Volker never meant...
NADLER: The gentleman has the time. The clock will stop if he's interrupted.
UNKNOWN: Will this witness be able to cross examine Mr. Berke like he's being able to cross examine the opposing witness?
NADLER: Gentleman is not recognized. He will not...
UNKNOWN: That's a point of inquiry.
NADLER: He will not shout out in the middle of testimony.
COLLINS: You need to call balls and strikes the right way. He -- you don't interrupt either one of them, Mr. Chairman.
NADLER: Gentleman -- the gentleman...
COLLINS: You're (inaudible) witness.
NADLER: Gentleman will...
UNKNOWN: Bang it harder. It still doesn't make the point that you're not doing it right.
NADLER: The gentleman will continue.
BERKE: Sir, I believe it was your testimony as I wrote it down, the Democrats are about blocking info when they should be seeking information.
CASTOR: Oh my goodness, that is absolutely right.
BERKE: OK. And then you said that the Trump administration has, in fact, cooperated and facilitated congressional oversight investigation. Is that correct, sir? Am I just -- yes or no. Was that correct?
CASTOR: Absolutely. The Trump administration has participating in oversight during the entire congress until it got to this impeachment inquiry.
BERKE: So let me ask you about this call, sir. Robert Blair...
CASTOR: The terms are just not fair.
BERKE: Robert Blair, who was on this call, the Trump administration, the president himself directed him not to appear and give testimony.
CASTOR: Robert Blair, let's -- I'm glad you bring him up.
BERKE: No. I'm asking you did the president direct him not to appear and give testimony. Yes or no?
CASTOR: I think he was allowed to come if the agency council (ph).
BERKE: He was not allowed to come under the terms set by the House Intelligence Committee, correct?
CASTOR: I think he would have come with agency council.
BERKE: The Trump administration directed him not to come, correct?
CASTOR: He would have provided testimony I think if agency council would have come. I mean, it's really expensive to hire these outside lawyers.
BERKE: John Eisenberg was directed not to come, correct? The lawyer.
CASTOR: Eisenberg presents another set of complexities...
BERKE: But he was directed -- he was directed not to come, the lawyer who Lieutenant Colonel Vindman went to, correct?
CASTOR: OK, Eisenberg is -- he may have been able to come with agency council, but he presents some complexities. I mean, he's the Chief Legal Advisor for Ambassador Bolton.
BERKE: So he was directed not to come, correct?
CASTOR: He may have been able to come with agency council, but his testimony does present complexities.
BERKE: Sir, let me ask you this. Was it U.S. policy on July 26 to request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden?
CASTOR: I think you're reading a little too much into, you know, some of the eight lines. I don't think the president was requesting and investigation into Joe Biden. He just mentions an offhand comment.
BERKE: Sir, is that a no? It was not U.S. policy to look into Joe Biden?
CASTOR: Yes, but you're presuming that it then at some point became U.S. policy to investigate Joe Biden, and I don't think that's the case.
BERKE: Sir, let me show you what slide 10 testimony of, again, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman. And he was asked, are you aware of any written product from the National Security Council suggesting that investigations in the 2020 election, the Bidens or Burisma are part of the official policy of the United States? No, I'm not.
Now, let me go also to Tim Morrison who you invoked if we could go to slide 11. Mr. Morrison was asked by our own Congressman Swakwell who was also on the Intelligence Committee and said -- just going to pick up in the middle of that long question -- it said you listened to -- the one call that you listened to between the President of the United States and the President of Ukraine, the President of the United States priorities were to investigate the Bidens, and I'm asking you, sir, why didn't you follow up on the president's priorities when you talked to the Ukrainians? Mr. Morrison said, "sir, I did not understand it as a policy objective."
Mr. Goldman, let me ask you, there was a package prepared before that call of what President Trump was supposed to talk about with President Zelensky correct?
BERKE: And am I correct, sir, that one of the things that he was supposed to talk about that was in his prepared remarks was the anti- corruption platform of President Zelensky that he ran and won on, correct?
GOLDMAN: Yes. The witnesses testified that that is a consistent and persistent policy objective for the United States.
BERKE: Did President Trump mentioned corruption once in his call with president -- with Mr. Zelensky?
GOLDMAN: No, he did not.
BERKE: Did he mention looking into anything other than the two investigations that were politically helpful for him -- the 2016 election investigation and the investigation of his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden?
GOLDMAN: No, he did not.
CASTOR: May I...
BERKE: Mr. Castor...
CASTOR: May I add something there?
BERKE: No, you can't. Mr. Castor, let me ask you a question.
CASTOR: President Trump did mention....
COLLINS: Are you going to let him answer?
CASTOR: ... that there's some very bad people there...
COLLINS: He can yell (ph)...
NADLER: The gentleman answer. The gentleman will suspend. The time is the questioners and he can ask the questions however he wants. When you question, you'll have the same rules.
BERKE: And Mr. Castor, in fairness, you'll be able to answer questions asked by minority counsel when it's their turn.
CASTOR: OK, but...
BERKE: I have 45 minutes, so let me ask...
CASTOR: But in fairness...
BERKE: Let me ask...
CASTOR: Come on, Barry. In fairness here, President Trump talks about very bad people.
BERKE: Mr. Castor, if I can finish? And that was -- let me finish, sir. He -- let me ask you this, sir. Sir, there were two lawyers mentioned on the call. Mister -- we've heard testimony. We've heard testimony already Mr. Trump said to President -- President Trump said to President Zelensky that he should speak to two people. His personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the Attorney General Barr. Correct?
BERKE: OK. Immediately after this call memorandum was released, isn't it the case that Attorney General Barr and the Department of Justice issued a statement about his role in all of this?
CASTOR: He did.
CASTOR: Let's put up the statement, slide 13 please? From the Department of Justice, the President has not spoken with the Attorney General about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son. The President has not asked the Attorney General to contact Ukraine on this or any other matter, the Attorney General has not communicated with Ukraine on this or any other subject. So Mr. Goldman, is it fair to say that the Attorney General didn't want anything to do with these investigations that President Trump has raised with President Zelensky on the call?
GOLDMAN: I think it goes actually even a little further, I think it -- the attorney, whether the Attorney General wanted anything to do or not is in addition to the fact that the Attorney General said he had nothing to do with Ukraine, and in fact that there were no ongoing investigations at the time of this call or in August. And that became a -- became an issue in the investigation. There is a formal channel that the Department of Justice has and the United States government has to obtain evidence related to an ongoing investigation.
That is generally the proper way to engage a foreign country through treaties to get information. But several of the witnesses testified that they looked into that at the urging of the Ukrainians and they determined that there was no formal ongoing investigation nor any formal request on these topics.
BERKE: Now the -- the other lawyer on the call, Rudy Giuliani, he however -- he was more than happy to continue to be involved in trying to get Ukraine to investigate President Trumps political rival, Joe Biden, correct?
GOLDMAN: Mr. Giuliani was very active and involved in pushing for these investigations for several months before the July 25th call and then for a couple -- several months after, including apparently three days ago.
BERKE: And -- and sir, Mr. Castor, you would agree, you wrote in your report that Rudy Giuliani -- that the Ukrainians themselves knew that Rudy Giuliani, the presidents personal lawyer was a conduit to convince President Trump of -- that President Zelensky was a serious reformer, correct?
CASTOR: Well, Ukrainians knew that --
BERKE: Sir, isn't that what you said in your report?
CASTOR: Rudy had the President's ear.
BERKE: And he was a conduit during Ukraine -- let me put up slide 14 if I may. And we actually have your report here. And it says the Ukrainians knew that he, meaning Rudy Giuliani, was a conduit to convince President Trump that President Zelensky was serious about reform, is that what you wrote in your report, sir?
BERKE: OK. And in fact during the call, President Trump asked President Zelensky to speak directly to his personal lawyer about Ukrainian matters that President Trump was interested in, correct?
CASTOR: You're referring to Rudy, yes.
BERKE: Yes. And in fact, President Zelensky said oh we already knew that and he's been in touch with my aides, correct?
CASTOR: That's right, and in fact -- I mean the Ukrainians are the ones that first -- President Zelensky's the one who first brings up Mr. Giuliani on the call.
BERKE: Right, because they knew that Mr. Giuliani was a conduit to the President, and if they made Mr. Giuliani happy, they'd make President Trump happy. Correct?
CASTOR: And Ambassador Volker testified that Mr. Giuliani had a negative impression of Ukraine and he was possibly fueling the President's views and so they had -- there was some discussions about hey if you can convince Rudy that President Zelensky is a true reformer, the real deal that that would be a beneficial -- beneficial link.
BERKE: Well sir, you agree that President Giuliani (ph) before July -- the July 25th call and after was pushing for the Ukrainians to investigate vice -- former Vice President Joe Biden, isn't that correct. Yes or no?
CASTOR: Yes. I mean the record is somewhat spotty with Giuliani. I mean that New York Times reported in May but Ambassador Volker gave a pretty detailed account of his meeting on July 19th.
BERKE: Well, let's -- let's take a look. If we could put up slide 16, the New York Times article you referred to. Right. And the article says, I'll read it, Mr. Giuliani -- and this is dated May 9, 2019, before the call.
Mr. Giuliani said he plans to travel to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, in the coming days and wants to meet with the nation's president-elect to urge him to pursue inquiries that -- and then it continues -- that allies of the White House content could yield new information about two matters of intense interest to Mr. Trump.
One is the origin of the Special Counsel's investigation. It goes on to describe it. (Inaudible) the other is the involvement of former Vice President Joe Biden's son. OK. And now that was in the New York Times article. And ...
CASTOR: Can (ph) we talk about the breakfast with Volker.
BERKE: If we could -- if we could -- not yet. If we could continue the rest of the article to the next slide, which is slide 17, this is the same article. And Mr. Giuliani was very explicit when he was interviewed. He said and this isn't foreign policy. I've now used quoting with the words that are highlighted, says it'll be very, very helpful to my client.
My only client is the president of the United States. He's the one I have an obligation to report to-- to him what happened regarding the Ukraine. Now sir, were you aware on that same day Mr. Giuliani gave an interview about what he intended to do.
And let's go to slide 18. This is from RealClear Politics and it should be on the screen in front of you as well. And what he -- what Mr. Giuliani said about the Ukraine, he said it's a big story, it's a dramatic story and I guarantee you, Joe Biden will not get to Election Day without this being investigated.
Not because I want to see him investigated, the collateral as to what I was doing. So sir, you agree, Election Day refers to the 2020 election where President Trump will be running against -- will be running for re-election. Correct.
CASTOR: I don't really (ph) know what Giuliani was talking about but I guess you're right. The ...
BERKE: So that was my only question to you. You'll have a chance to answer questions to minority counsel. Now -- and President Trump, let me show you seven -- slide ...
CASTOR: We're going to side step the Volker meeting on July 19th. BERKE: Sir, you'll have an opportunity to talk about that when -- when minority counsel questions you. Let me go to slide 19 please. And the president says -- he's being interviewed now at the same day in a Politico and he's asked about Mr. Giuliani.
He's leaving seen, I think in the next couple days. Mr. Trump says, I see. Well, I will speak to him about it before he leaves. Now let me go to slide 20 because president -- excuse me -- Mr. Giuliani continued his pressure on President Zelensky. And this it's actually a tweet that he put out on June 21, 2019; roughly a month before the call.
And he says, new president of Ukraine, still silent on investigation of Ukrainian interference in 2016 election and alleged Biden bribery of the prior president. And again, sir, as you said, the Ukrainians knew that Mr. Giuliani had the ear of his client, President Trump. Isn't that correct, sir? Is that correct, sir, yes or no?
CASTOR: The -- you know Giuliani was doing some things in -- you know out here and then he became involved with the official channel. With Volker, with Sondland. And at that meeting on July 19th, Volker, you know, counseled against the perspective Giuliani was taking.
BERKE: So my question to you sir, is this tweet -- what they're talking about -- well, let me ask you Mr. Goldman, you haven't had a chance in a while. This tweet, is that referring to a personal political issue of president Trump or official U.S. policy.
GOLDMAN: That's a -- that's a personal political issue. And if you don't mind, I'll just take a moment to respond to Mr. Castor because ...
BERKE: Please do.
GOLDMAN: On that July 19th meeting between Ambassador Volker and Rudy Giuliani, Ambassador Volker told Mr. Giuliani that his allegations about Joe Biden were completely bogus and wrong.
And Mr. Giuliani actually told, according to Ambassador Volker's testimony, Mr. Giuliani said that he knew that. And yet, for the next two months he continued to push for that same investigation at the direction of President Trump who had also directed President Zelensky to contact Mr. Giuliani.
So that -- that July 19th meeting that Mr. Castor brought up is actually quite important to this investigation.
BERKE: And sir, you already explained that on May 23rd when the official folks who went to the inauguration of President Zelensky came back to tell the president how impressed they were. The only thing he had to say to them was talk to Rudy.
He was taking his official government people responsible for Ukraine and handing them over to Rudy Giuliani so that they could work with him for the issues that he was focused on for the president as evidence in the tweet. Is that fair?
GOLDMAN: I agree with Mr. Castor. I think that's -- that's what the evidence shows that at that May 23rd meeting, President Trump directed and delegate authority over Ukraine matters to Ambassador Sondland, Volker, and Secretary Perry and told them to work with Rudy.
And then over the next three months that's exactly what happened at the president's direction.
BERKE: OK. And in fact, let me show you what is slide 22, if I may, that you understood the Ukrainians, recognized how important Rudy Giuliani was and satisfying him in order to stay on good terms with President Trump.
GOLDMAN: Yes, they -- they quickly realized it, I think from their own internal conversations because Mr. Giuliani had back channels to getting to the Ukrainian officials. And Ambassador Volker told the Ukrainians as well that there was this quote Giuliani factor that President Zelensky -- he actually told it to President Zelensky that there was this Giuliani factor that they needed to deal with -- with the president.
BERKE: And in fact this is the senior aide to President Zelensky saying to Ambassador Volker, on August 13th, which is obviously after the July 25th call, thank you for meeting in your clear and very logical position.
It will be great meet (ph) with you before my departure and discuss. I feel that the key for many things is Rudy and I am ready to talk to him -- with him at any point. Please let me know when you can meet. Andrey.
And again, that's -- the -- am I right that (ph) the Ukrainians recognize that Rudy Giuliani, who's demanding the investigation of Mr. Trump's political rival was key to getting anything done.
GOLDMAN: I don't mean to be a stickler but I believe this text was actually July 10th. And this was a critical text because what it is saying is Mr. Yermak, after having spoken to Mr. Volker a week before and learning about the importance of Giuliani, requested to Ambassador Volker to meet -- to setup a meeting with Giuliani.
That then proceeded to this July 19th breakfast that Mr. Castor said. And then a July 22nd phone call. And then ultimately they met in Madrid on August 2nd.
BERKE: Thank you, Mr. Goldman. Further evidence of the meticulous investigation that Chairman Schiff and his staff (inaudible) directed, we will stand corrected. Thank you. And I will take that and ask that the record reflect that. That that is the correct date. In either case, Rudy was key whenever it was sent. Correct.
GOLDMAN: Certainly. BERKE: And now let me ask, sir, let me put up slide 24, and Mr. Goldman, am I correct that there came a point in time when President Trump, through is Chief of Staff Mr. Mul -- Mick Mulvaney ordered that the approved military aid to Ukraine be withheld, as you previously indicated, correct?
BERKE: And this is the testimony of the people who were involved. Mr. Kent said, when this happened, there was great confusion among the rest of us, because we didn't understand why that had happened, since there was unanimity that this aid was in our national interest. It just surprised us all.
Mr. Holmes, and that you had the additional hold of the security assistance with no explanation what so ever, and we still have an explanation -- and we still don't have an explanation for why that happened or in the way that happened.
Miss Croft, the only reason given was that the order came at the direction of the president. So, sir, let me ask you a question, did all the agencies involved believe that the aid should be given?
GOLDMAN: Yes, it was the unanimous view of all of the agencies, Secretary of State, Department of State, Department of Defense, National Security Council, literally every one of the interagency agencies that believed that the aid was vital and had already been approved and should be released immediately.
BERKE: And in the minority staff report, and in Mr. Castor's testimony earlier, he said the U.S. government did not convey the pause to the Ukrainians. Well, that was incorrect, was it? Didn't Mr. Sondland convey that? According to Mr. Sondland's affidavit and testimony?
GOLDMAN: Mr. Sondland ultimately conveyed that the release of the aid was conditioned on the public announcement of the investigations.
BERKE: And if we could put up slide 26 from the affidavit.
CASTOR: He presumed that though, is what he said.
GOLDMAN: Well, if -- if I may, just in response --
BERKE: Well, we'll put up the slide.
BERKE: We could put the actual affidavit that Mr. -- Ambassador Sondland, the President Trump's ambassador to the European Union that he swore to under penalties of perjury.
And he says, if we can read the highlighted, which is also in front of you, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that -- where I said to Mr. Yermak, the Ukrainian aid that -- going back to the quote, that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the pubic anti-corruption statement that we have been discussing for many weeks. Is that correct, sir?
GOLDMAN: Yes. He said that on -- on -- at a meeting on September 1, with Mr. Yermak in Warsaw.
BERKE: And the statement that they had been talking about, let me put up a slide that we put together, slide 27, and you recall, sir, that the in the draft statement that the Ukrainians were going to have President Zelensky give so they could -- and was that statement on their mind so they could get a White House meeting and satisfy President Trump and have the aid released?
GOLDMAN: Yes. Ambassador Sondland testified to that, and Ambassador Volker also testified to that.
BERKE: And, am I correct that Mr. Yermak gave a statement where he did not make any reference to Vice President Biden, correct?
BERKE: And then, was that Rudy Giuliani who said, in the second one, that had to include a reference that they were going to investigate Burisma and the 2016 election?
GOLDMAN: That's right.
BERKE: And what did Burisma stand for? That was -- was -- did you -- did all your witnesses say they had an understanding of what that meant, or did the witnesses say that?
GOLDMAN: So, every single witness said, after reading the phone call on July 25, that it was clear Burisma equaled Biden. That they were one in the same. There were only two witnesses who said that they did not know that until that time, and there was ample testimony, there was a lot of testimony from people involved in all aspects of Ukraine policy who indicated that it was completely unrealistic and unlikely that any one who anything to do with Ukraine did not -- would not know that the Burisma investigation related to the Bidens.
BERKE: And is that why -- that's how Mr. Giuliani publicly referred to it often, as Burisma and Vice President Biden, correct?
GOLDMAN: Correct, yes.
BERKE: And did the Ukrainians complain repeatedly, we talked a little bit about it, that they didn't want to be a pawn in U.S. Democratic politics by helping President Trump's reelection campaign by making such a statement?
GOLDMAN: They -- they said that in July, and in August, ultimately, they didn't give the statement in large part because they had reservations, given that President Zelensky was an anti-corruption reformer, they had reservations about engaging in U.S. domestic politics. That's right. BERKE: I want to go back to you Mr. Castor. You said that when President Trump said to Mr. -- Ambassador Sondland on September 17, that he had no quid pro quo, you said he had no reason --
CASTOR: September 9. September 9.
BERKE: September 9. You said he had no reason to be any less than candid. That's what you said. No reason to be any less than candid. Let me show you, sir, what happened though, on September 5, let me show you slide 52. Days before he made that statement, the "Washington Post" printed an article that says, Trump tries to force Ukraine to meddle in the 2020 elections. And goes on to describe some of those efforts.
And sir, let me show whether President Trump was aware of that article before he volunteered no quid pro quo as a defense. Let me show you a tweet by President Trump on slide 53. Now -- and again, this is -- he is putting out a tweet that is essentially saying the Democrats, based -- following up the article that they are pursuing impeachment. Again, showing awareness that this has now been reported on.
So, Mr. Goldman, is it fair to say what Mr. Castor said, that Mr. Trump -- President Trump had no reason to be any less than candid about saying no quid pro quo?
GOLDMAN: No, I think President Trump had every reason to try to put out that message at that point. As Ambassador Sondland said, even when he -- even if you credit Ambassador Sondland's version of the testimony, which is contradicted by other witnesses who took contemporaneous notes and are -- were far more credible that Mr. Sondland, who had to amend his testimony a couple of times, he said even in that comment, he said no quid pro quo out of the blue, without -- without any question about whether or not there was a quid pro quo.
NADLER: The gentleman's time has expired. The Chair now recognizes the Ranking Member's first -- for his first round of questions. Pursuant to House Resolutions 660, the Ranking Member or his Counsel have 45 minutes to question the witnesses.
COLLINS: Thank you Mr. Chairman. Well, it has become very evident why this hearing is here and while the craziness of this hearing, especially not having Mr. Schiff here, but please put back up the last slide. I have no idea what number it is. Not as good a Counsel as --
(UNKNOWN): Slide 53.
COLLINS: Did we cut it off after they got through?
COLLINS: OK, while we're doing this -- I mean, I think that it's just that the amazing statement came out there. We're proofing that a tweet that said that he thought that he was -- that the Democrats were concerned about impeachments. There's nothing the Democrats have not been concerned about for the two and a half years, since August -- I mean, since November 2016.
The president is saying nothing new in that tweet, that is now back up. He's known that they have been after impeachment. That's why Mr. Goldman is here. That's why Mr. Burke is here. That's why we're going through this charade of staff having to answer staff questions. And basically, when we don't like how it's going, we start asking staff on staff and getting into a staff argument. Where's Adam?
Where's Adam? It's his report, his name. Mr. Goldman, you're a great attorney, but you're not Adam Schiff and you don't wear a pin.
GOLDMAN: That's true.
COLLINS: We got a problem here, and the problem is developing this -- you said you were an attorney -- you're a very good prosecutor, I believe it. I've read your bio, you are a good attorney. You understand what quid pro quo is, correct?
GOLDMAN: I do.
COLLINS: You understand what asking for something in exchange for something actually means, correct?
GOLDMAN: I do.
COLLINS: You know about the conversation of Mr. Biden when he asked and he said I'm not going to give you the billion dollars, you know about that conversation, correct?
GOLDMAN: The --
COLLINS: You want me to read it to you or do you --
GOLDMAN: 2000 -- one second, are you talking about in 2015?
COLLINS: No, I'm talking about the one from the national (ph) where you did the -- I'll read it to you since you're having trouble. As I remember going over to the Ukraine convincing our team -- our leaders convincing them that we should provide for loan guarantees, as I went over I guess the 12th, the 13th time the kib (ph) I supposed (ph) to announce that there was a billion dollar loan guarantee and I got in a commitment from Poroshenko (ph) and you said (ph) that I would take action against -- that they would take actions against the state prosecutor. They didn't.
So they said -- so they said they had, they were walking out of the press conference, I said nah I'm not going to or were not going to give you the billion dollars, they said you have authority -- you have no authority, you're not the President. The President said -- I said call him. Laughter. I said I'm telling you you're getting -- you're not getting the billion dollars, I said you're not getting the billion dollars. I'm getting -- I'm getting -- I'm getting ready to be leaving here and I think about six hours, I look at them and said I'm leaving here in six hours, if the prosecutors not fired, you're not getting the money. Well son of bitch, he got fired.
Did he ask for something, request something, and hold something of value.
GOLDMAN: He did, George Kent testified (ph) that that's --
COLLINS: I think I'll do what you -- and George Kent testify, I'm asking about not George Kent, I'm asking about this --
GOLDMAN: But it's important context.
COLLINS: It's not. Answer this question. Did he or did he not -- either -- either Joe Biden's a liar, telling a story to make people impressed, or he actually did this. Which is it?
GOLDMAN: He didn't pursue until U.S. official policy.
COLLINS: So he did it in holding -- withholding actual dollars, actual things -- holding this out there, so Joe Biden, of everybody we discussed about is the only one that's done a quid pro quo, he's the only one that's done a quid pro quo, he's the only one that used taxpayer dollars to actually threaten a foreign government. Yet were sitting here pretending that this is not happening? We're sitting here pretending that a President of the United States now would not be concerned?
Look, you look at it this way, Joe Biden's a terrible candidate -- he can destroy himself on the campaign trail, but can't get by this. And it doesn't matter who brings it up, it doesn't matter who does it, because this is what happened. And you can white wash all you want, you can go over whatever you want, but that's what it -- he's either a liar or he did it, and he did it.
I want to continue on. Question is a question that you had earlier. You rely on how many -- approximately how many times do you rely on Gordon Sondland's testimony? In your report.
GOLDMAN: Oh -- it's a nearly a 300 page report I couldn't possibly count --
COLLINS: Would you be amazed if it was 600 times or better?
GOLDMAN: I -- I wouldn't --
COLLINS: You wouldn't have any idea or not?
GOLDMAN: I have no idea.
COLLINS: OK. You did, it's over 600 times. Would also understand if you do a simple check of your report that over 158 time Mr. Sondland said -- he said (ph) -- not knowing something, to the best of my knowledge, or I don't know. Would surprise you?
GOLDMAN: Are you talking the report or his deposition?
COLLINS: The deposition and the closed door testimony.
GOLDMAN: Yes, and overtime he remembered a lot more as he was refreshed by other people's testimonies --
COLLINS: Yes, it is -- the question we're having here though is Mr. Sondland also said -- and many times he said he presumed what actually happened. Let's go back to something else, we're going to continue this in just a moment. According to you report, he had team would (ph) classify that in order to determine that to be the Intelligence Committee and the other investigation with the other two committees, you OK with that?
COLLINS: OK. Issue dozens of subpoenas, is that right?
GOLDMAN: I'm not -- I would -- certainly over a dozen, yes.
COLLINS: Some of those subpoenas were not public or reported until the HIP C (ph) issued its majority report, correct?
GOLDMAN: Most of the subpoenas --
COLLINS: Answer the question. As Mr. Berke had so much free reign, let's go at it. Either answer the question or elaborate. One or the other.
GOLDMAN: Sir, I'm trying to answer the question.
COLLINS: Did you or didn't you? Did it come out or not?
GOLDMAN: Did what come out?
COLLINS: I'll read it again. Some of the subpoenas were not publicly reported until the HIPC (ph) issued its majority report, correct?
GOLDMAN: Yes, they were given to the minority but not the public, yes,
COLLINS: Putting aside the witness who have publicly been identified, did you issue any other subpoenas for testimony other than the ones publicly identified?
GOLDMAN: I don't -- I'm not sure. I don't think so.
COLLINS: OK, thank you.
GOLDMAN: But I'm not sure.
COLLINS: How many subpoenas were issued for records?
GOLDMAN: Well, we issued a number of subpoenas for records. We did issue six subpoenas to Executive Branch agencies, and they all defied our subpoenas.
COLLINS: In this -- moving onto other issues here, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Committee issued at least four subpoenas to Verizon and AT&T for call records. Is that correct?
COLLINS: Are we wondering?
GOLDMAN: Yes, we are because there are multiple numbers. We only issued subpoenas for call records for people who were involved in the investigation and who had already been subpoenaed by the Committee for documents and testimony of their own.
COLLINS: Absolutely wonderful stuff (ph), but answer my question. Four?
GOLDMAN: Well, I am trying to answer your question, sir.
COLLINS: Was it at least four?
COLLINS: Thank you. Could have saved us a lot of time there. How many subpoenas were issued AT&T?
GOLDMAN: I don't know off the top of my head.
COLLINS: Can you check your records? This is an important -- because we just found out about this over the weekend. We got a massive document dump over the weekend preparing for this hearing in which the Chairman admitted that -- and staff admitted they're not going to be able to read it all anyway. So for all of your writing (inaudible) all that massive document dump we're just simply going on a Schiff report which Schiff refuses to come testify about but sends his staff. So this is important stuff. We just found out about this. So how many subpoenas were issued to AT&T?
GOLDMAN: I don't know. If you'd like me to find out during the break...
COLLINS: That's fine. If you don't know, then...
GOLDMAN: ... I'd be happy to.
COLLINS: ... again, maybe your Chairman could be here to actually answer this. Was it targeted at a single telephone number or numbers?
GOLDMAN: We subpoenaed for call records multiple numbers.
COLLINS: How many?
GOLDMAN: I don't know. None of -- this is very important, though.
COLLINS: OK, just to stop you (ph)...
GOLDMAN: None of members of Congress, none of staff of Congress.
COLLINS: We're getting to that.
GOLDMAN: None of journalists.
COLLINS: We're getting to that.
GOLDMAN: We only did it to the subjects who were involved in the investigation, which is a very routine and standard investigative practice, sir.
COLLINS: And you're not going to hear anything from me about a subpoena and the legality of a subpoena. My problem is this. Who asked -- who on the Committee asked that those numbers that you actually did put into for subpoena and get those numbers back, who was it that they be cross checked for members of the media and members of Congress? Who ordered that?
GOLDMAN: I don't think that's how we did it, sir.
COLLINS: No. Woah, woah, woah. You came out with a report that actually showed these people such as Mister -- Chairman Nunes and others were actually on these calls.
COLLINS: Now someone -- and you and I, we're not going to play cute here. Somebody took the four records that you asked for, the at least four, took those numbers, and then said, hey, let's play match game. Who order the match game for members of Congress and the press? Was it you?
GOLDMAN: I don't think anyone did, sir.
COLLINS: Then how did you get -- yes, OK. Come on. That's the most ridiculous item I've ever heard. You don't just all of a sudden pick up numbers in which you have to match those numbers to actually show where they are and you don't come up with them. Who ordered them to actually match for members of Congress and the press?
GOLDMAN: That's -- actually what you just described is exactly how it happens.
COLLINS: You have -- who ordered to find out if Nunes number was on those calls?
GOLDMAN: If I could just explain, sir. You pick and event of significance in the investigation and you look for sequencing and patterns surrounding that event. You look then at the numbers and you try to identify what those numbers are, and then you start to build the circumstantial case.
COLLINS: At this point, that's a wonderful explanation but not an answer to my question. Those are you looking for the four numbers you asked for and to see how they're connected. I understand that subpoena that you issued. My question directly was it you or was it Chairman Schiff that said while we're doing this, let's see if this matches Chairman Nunes's number. Let's see if this matches the member of the press's number. Somebody along the way just didn't all of a sudden have an epiphany unless you're getting ready to throw a low level staffer under the bus that these numbers might match. So who did it? Was it Chairman Schiff or was it you? Be careful. You're under oath.
GOLDMAN: I know I'm under oath, sir.
COLLINS: Then answer the question.
GOLDMAN: It doesn't matter and I will answer the question if you give me a second here. It's not a simple answer.
COLLINS: The same second that was not afforded to my witness by the way.
GOLDMAN: Well, I think he was allowed to answer the questions.
COLLINS: Who decided to leak it by the way? If you're not going to tell me the other story -- while you're thinking about how you're going to answer that question, who decided to leak it, the information? Why did you include it in the report?
GOLDMAN: That's not a leak, sir.
COLLINS: How did you include it in the report after not saying anything about this, not publicly knowing. So two questions are hanging out that everybody's looking for an answer for, including me. Who ordered it? Was it you or was it Chairman Schiff? And then why was it decided except for nothing but smear purposes to be included in the Schiff report?
GOLDMAN: Well, I'm not going to get into the deliberations of our investigation with you, and I will tell you the reason it was included in the report is because it -- the calls were surrounding important evidence to our investigation. And I think that your question is not better directed not at me but at the people who were having conversations...
COLLINS: Oh, no, no, no. We're not going to play that game.
GOLDMAN: ... of the people involved in the president's scheme.
COLLINS: No, we're not going to play that game. You're as good as Mr. Berke. You're not going to play that game. You're not answering the question, and every member of the media, everybody here when you start going into the decorum of this House, when you start looking at member's telephone numbers, you start looking at reporter's telephone numbers -- which they ought to be scared about -- you took a subpoena for four and then you decided to play match game. You found numbers that you thought were like -- some of them actually didn't exist because they were claimed that they were for the White House Budget Office and they were not, so we're throwing stories out there because nobody was... GOLDMAN: That's not true.
COLLINS: ... nobody was out there asking. So I go back to my question. Are you going to go on record in front of everybody here today and say that you will not tell who ordered this? You or Mr. Goldman -- Mr. Goldman, you or Mr. Schiff?
GOLDMAN: I'm going to go on record and tell you that I'm not going to reveal how we conducted this investigation, sir.
COLLINS: And that's the problem we have with this entire thing. Mr. Schiff said behind closed doors what the entire thing (ph)...
GOLDMAN: But I can tell you what the importance is...
COLLINS: I'm done with you for right now. We're done. You're not answering the question. You're not being honest about this answer because you know who it is. You're just not answering. Ms. Castor?
CASTOR: I have some information on the subpoenas.
COLLINS: Let's go.
CASTOR: We did receive copies of the subpoenas and we tracked this. There were six as I understand it? And let me just say at the outset, our members have concerns about this exercise for three reasons. You're -- the subpoenas yielded information about members of Congress. Whether they're (ph) subpoenaed the members' phone records or not, it's a concern when the information yields member of Congress's phone records and then the information is publicized.
Second is with journalists. It's just generally a very tricky area to start investigating journalists' call records. And the third is with regard to Mr. Giuliani who was serving as the president's personal attorney, but there's six subpoenas as we understand it. The first went to AT&T for the Giuliani numbers. The second was in regard to Igor Fruman to a company CSC Holdings. The third related to Mr. Sondland. That was off to Verizon. The fourth was back to AT&T seeking information on a certain number. The fifth was back to AT&T, and the sixth was seeking subscriber information, which impacted the veteran journalist John Solomon. And also involved with these are some -- you know, some of the attorneys involved, such as --
COLLINS: Mr. Castor, can I ask you a question?
COLLINS: Mr. Castor, you've been a veteran of the Hill investigators for 15 years, and this is crazy. I've never seen anything like this, you never have either. Would it -- it would be interesting to note, because Mr. Goldman chooses not to answer because he doesn't want to incriminate, I believe, either himself or the Chairman or somebody else. Would it be interesting to you to find, as you have dealt with Committee staff for a long time, somebody to just have a -- an epiphany to just to do those match records on their own, or were they under direction by somebody to do that?
CASTOR: Well, it's obviously they were trying to figure something out.
COLLINS: That's it. One last -- well, I'm getting ready to -- wait, wait, I have one thing for Mr. Goldman. Mr. Goldman, we're used to committees and people and witnesses coming taking gratuitous shots at people they don't like.
And earlier today in your testimony you made a comment that really goes by (ph) an (ph) issue (ph) thing, and I'll even go back the Chairman questioning motive. When your testimony you said, as you were discussing Mr. Sondland, you made a very snide comment, and your -- actually your facial expression showed that he was a $1 million donor to the president. The implication being he either got his job because he bought it, or his implication was, he was loyal to the president and say anything about him.
Be very careful about how you throw around dollars and giving, because you and Mr. Berke are real heavy donors to the Democratic Party, and I'm not going to say it questions your motive or your position here today, but we need to make sure this thing is already blown out of proportion.
We're already not answering questions, and you are here without a pin because you're Chairman will not testify. That says all we need to hear. He don't even stand behind his own report and he sends you. I hope it works out for you. I'm done. At this point I turn it over to Ashley Callen.
GOLDMAN: Could I -- could I respond? Are you trying to say that -- that I -- what are you trying to say? What is the implication here. But, by the way, I didn't give anything close to $1 million remotely, so I don't --
COLLINS: No, it's not about --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The implication is we want Schiff in that chair, not you. The implication is the person that wrote the report is the person that should come and present it. And you weren't elected by anybody, and you're here giving this testimony in place of the Chairman. I hope that clears up the implication.
NADLER: The gentleman does not have the time and the gentleman has been warned before, you cannot simply yell out and disrupt the Committee. The gentleman, Mr. Collins has the time.
COLLINS: I think you understand exactly what you did, and I called it out for just the way you did, you thought you were going to get by with it and you didn't. That's all I'm saying. Miss Ashley -- Miss Callen.
GOLDMAN: Well, I would like to just say one other thing --
COLLINS: Yes, I am -- I am done --
NADLER: Point of order, there is not question for -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop. Stop.
GOLDMAN: I mean, you're -- you're casting dispersions --
COLLINS: No, as you did Mr. -- as you did Mr. Goldman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Point of order.
COLLINS: As you did to Mr. Sondland. Now, according to the Chairman's own ruling just a few minutes ago, I'm done asking questions and I'm not asking you to elaborate, because I'm not asking you anymore question. I have asked all -- you won't answer the question who told the Committee to actually check these numbers.
You won't say if it's you or Mr. Schiff, you won't answer my questions, so we're done. We're going to Miss Callen. Your -- as was -- Mr. Berke said, you'll have plenty of time with helpful Majority Counsel.
GOLDMAN: Well --
NADLER: Does the gentleman yield his time to Miss Callen.
NADLER: The gentlelady is recognized.
CALLEN: Thank you Mr. Collins.
CASTOR: Miss Callen, if I may?
CALLEN: Yes, certainly. Mr. Castor.
CASTOR: I have -- I have a number of things I think I need to clear up, if I may?
CALLEN: Yes, certainly. You have to bear with me, because I have a number of them here. First of all, on the call, Tim Morrison and General Kellogg have a totally different view of the call than Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Jennifer Williams. Going to the point that the call is ambiguous, so that's the first thing.
Tim Morrison testified that he went to the National Security Council lawyers for a very different reason. He -- he did not say he went to the NSC lawyers because he was concerned about the call. He went to the National Security Council lawyer for two reasons. Number one, they weren't on the call, so he wanted to update them about it. But number two, he was concerned about leaks.
And he was concerned that if this call leaked out, how it would play in Washington's polarized environment, which is exactly what we have here. He was also concerned that if the call leaked, that it might effect bipartisan support in Congress. You -- you -- issues of Ukraine have traditionally been one of the -- the few issues where Republicans and Democrats share interest.
And the third reason was that he didn't -- he didn't want the Ukrainians to get distorted perception of what actually happened on the call, because on the call, and we're talking about eight lines of concern, and a lot of ambiguity --
CASTOR: -- this Oval Office meeting on May 23, there's this question, I guess it's ambiguous. I didn't think it was ambiguous, but there's a question about whether when the president referred the -- the delegation goes to the inauguration May 20, they come back, it's Sondland, it's Volker, and it's Secretary Perry and it's Senator Johnson.
And they're -- they're briefing the president, and the president is having none of that. He says, Ukraine is concerned, or corrupt and he -- he doesn't want to invite Zelensky to the White House. And the president, and Volker testifies to this pretty definitively, the president is actually -- he doesn't order anybody to do anything, the president says, talk to Rudy.
And Volker testified both at his deposition and at the public hearing, that he didn't take it as direction. It was just like, look, if you guys -- if you guys think this is important and you want to work it, go -- just go talk to Rudy. It's very different that a -- than a direction. It's very different than the president ordering a scheme. And it's very different from the president sort of collecting up a bunch of agents to go do something, because he simply -- according to Ambassador Volker, said go talk to Rudy.
CASTOR: Now, whether the Ukrainians knew of the aid pause -- the aide was paused for 55 days.
CASTOR: Whether the Ukrainians knew about it or not has been -- Laura Cooper from DoD and some State Department witnesses testified about light queries that they had perceived, there was an article on November 22, in Bloomberg, and the Zelensky Administration said they never knew about the hold in the aid until August 28 Politico article.
And they said, in the article, and Yermak is the principle person they're relying on here. Yermak says that they believe the Embassy was keeping information from the. Another interesting thing Mr. Yermak says in that November 22, Bloomberg article, is that he recounts the pull-aside meeting with Sondland, which has become very significant, apparently, and the pull-aside meeting, he says, he doesn't recall the way Ambassador Sondland recalled it.
Now, keep in mind, Ambassador -- or Mr. Yermak speaks English, but it's not his first language, and so he -- he does not recall the pull- aside meeting which, by the way, happened on the way to an escalator, after the meeting with the Vice President. So, he recalls it very differently. So, the question of the facts of what happened between Ambassador Sondland and Mr. Yermak on the way to the escalator remain in dispute.
CASTOR: Now turning attention to the -- the Ron Johnson letter, if I may.
CASTOR: On August 31st -