Rep. Turner Details How Dems Have No Evidence Beyond Hearsay & Danger Of Claiming Hearsay As Fact

REP. MIKE TURNER: For those of you keeping score at home, the effort to accuse our President of coercion, extortion, or bribery with these witnesses as we now come to the closing session of this. Basically, breakdown as follows: We have Kent and Ambassador Taylor who spoke of hearsay, their hearsay of these matters that they said that they had heard, were all statements that they had heard from others who have also testified in front of us. So there’s no one that’s missing, there’s no one that’s out there. Kent and Taylor basically said that they’d heard it from Morrison and Sondland. Morrison indicated he’d heard it from Sondland. Sondland testified yesterday he’d heard it from no one on the planet. Vindman and Morrison both have direct testimony of the phone call with the President of the United States. Beyond that, they only had contact with Sondland, and again, Sondland indicated he had contact with no one on the planet. Volker testified that he did have direct contact, both with the Ukrainians and the President of the United States, and indicated that the President of the United States did not condition either a phone call, a meeting, or aid upon Ukraine undertaking investigations, and also testified that the Ukrainians did not believe that either. We also have the direct statements from the President of Ukraine and the Foreign Minister that they did not feel any pressure to undertake investigations, and we also have the evidence that we’re all very much aware of, which is they did not undertake any investigations.

We also have Yovanovitch and Dr. Hill. Yovanovitch obviously left before the time period, Dr. Hill, we appreciate you being with us today, and Mr. Holmes. Dr. Hill, you have provided me probably the greatest piece of evidence that’s before us to illustrate the problem with hearsay. So you said, “Based on questions and statements, I have heard some of you on this Committee,” – that would be us – “Appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country, and perhaps somehow, for some reason, it was Ukraine.” This was held up by Devin Nunes, there’s the Report on Russian Active Measures that was voted on by all of us, it begins with this sentence, “In 2015, Russia began engaging in a covert influence campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election.” Every one of us, little, small effort on your part, Dr. Hill, and you would have known that what you just said was not true, what you had heard, but you felt the need to put it in your eight-page statement before you went on to tell us a bunch of other things that you heard about other people, no matter how convinced you were of, also which were not necessarily true, one of which was that you said that Ambassador Sondland met with Giuliani. Actually, Ambassador Sondland testified here that he had not as Ambassador met with Giuliani, he’d briefly met him in his lifetime, and Giuliani issued a statement they had never met either. This is the problem with, no matter how convinced we are, Dr. Hill, no matter how much we believe we know that what we’ve heard is true, it is still just what we’ve heard.

But so far in this hearing, in these series of hearings, the only thing that we have is Volker saying, “I spoke to the President and I’ve spoken to the Ukrainians, neither of which believe aid was conditioned, neither of which believed that the President was requiring it.” And Ambassador Sondland, which said, “no one on the planet told him that that was the case.” That’s the sole evidence. Now, I’ve got to tell you, the one thing that’s interesting is Ambassador Sondland did say it’s his belief that a meeting with the President was conditioned upon investigations; Ambassador Volker, who I think is a man of very significant integrity, said that was not the case. Now, even if Ambassador Sondland is correct, that somebody and Dr. Hill, you testified, and again it’s hearsay.