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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Impeachment Hearing

December 11, 2019
Speeches
Impeachment Hearing
Judiciary Committee
December 11, 2019
 
Mr. Chairman,
 
Nearly two years ago, the House Intelligence Committee’s minority under Adam Schiff issued its report on FISA abuse.  It stated categorically that “FBI officials did not abuse the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process, omit material information or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign.” 
 
On Monday, Michael Horowitz issued his detailed report that categorically contradicts every contention in Mr. Schiff’s FISA report.  There wasn’t a shred of truth in it.  Yet also on Monday, Chairman Nadler announced the Judiciary Committee would blindly accept Mr. Schiff’s latest report on impeachment without a single fact hearing of our own.
 
No one disputes that Joe Biden’s son was paid millions of dollars to sit on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian oil and gas company, Burisma, despite having no experience in oil or gas or Ukraine; and that Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees to the Ukrainian government unless it fired Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin.  
 
Biden says he was merely carrying out administration policy and knew nothing of his son’s affairs.  But Shokin has testified in sworn affidavits that he was fired specifically because he was about to question Hunter Biden about his relationship with Burisma.  His successor soon shut down that investigation, giving credence to Shokin’s sworn testimony.
 
The President’s July 25th phone conversation with President Zelensky is the centerpiece of the Democrats’ case.  In it, he asked for help in getting to the bottom of scandals that involved potentially corrupt interactions between officials in Ukraine and the United States. There is no direct evidence that the President ever linked aid to an investigation.  
 
The Constitution vests ALL executive authority in the President, gives him plenary responsibility to conduct our foreign relations, and commands him “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
 
Among these laws is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that makes it a crime to secure business in a foreign country by offering something of value to a foreign official.  And being a candidate doesn’t shield a person from scrutiny – just ask candidate Trump.
 
Also, the National Defense Authorization Act requires the administration to determine that Ukraine is taking steps to combat corruption.  Just because the Secretary of Defense certified this in May, doesn’t relieve the President of his executive authority to review and maintain his administration’s findings.  
 
Within days of the Zelensky conversation, a handful of dissidents within our government hatched a plan to portray it as a solicitation to intervene in the election in exchange for foreign aid. 
 
This false narrative was laid out in a “whistleblower complaint.”  So far, we have learned that the whistleblower coordinated it with Adam Schiff’s office while concealing that relationship; that he is said to be a protégé of Joe Biden and is represented by an attorney who ten days after the inauguration tweeted, “#coup has started.  First of many steps.  #rebellion.  #impeachment will follow ultimately….”  
 
The first article charges the President with the made-up crime of abuse of office.  He violated no law.  He exercised authority clearly granted him by the Constitution.  Instead, the Democrats would nullify the election because they impute to him impure motives.  This is precisely the abuse of impeachment the American founders feared – that the power to overrule a national election would devolve into a weapon of partisan warfare, reducing the President to serving at the pleasure of Congress and destroying the separation of powers at the heart of our Constitution.
 
The second article charges the President with Obstruction of Congress – another made-up crime – because he sought to defend in court his constitutional right to maintain the confidentiality of policy discussions – the same confidentiality that Congress enjoys.  They say this has prevented them from securing proof for their charges. 
 
Yet the Democrats have suppressed nearly every witness Republicans have tried to call in the President’s defense.  In free societies, the defendant IS allowed to assert his constitutional rights, and prosecutors are NOT allowed to decide what witnesses the defense may call.  The second article turns these principles upside down.  
 
I have every confidence that the President will be acquitted and will be re-elected.  It is not damage to the President that I fear.  It is damage to the Presidency, the Congress, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that the Democrats do today by establishing dangerous precedents and principles that are antithetical to the rule of law and the fundamental architecture of our Constitution.