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Hakeem Jeffries Lays Out Devastating Case for Impeachment: Trump ‘Was Caught Red-Handed’

Democratic New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries laid out a methodical case for impeaching President Donald Trump that concluded with a devastating blow to a favorite talking point of Trump’s defenders.

On Thursday morning, the House Judiciary Committee continued its markup hearing on the articles of impeachment against Trump, and Rep. Jeffries delivered a powerful set of remarks in support of those articles.

Picking up on a phrase used by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in defense of Trump moments earlier — during which Jordan pointed out that aid to Ukraine was ultimately released — Jeffries began by saying “Let’s actually go through the facts.”

“We are here today because the president abused his power,” Jeffries said, then detailed the $391 million in military aid that approved by Congress and the White House and the Department of Defense, and why that aid was so crucial.

“The United States is probably the only thing standing between Vladimir Putin and Ukraine being completely overrun as part of Putin’s fantasy to reconstruct the Soviet Union, which would be adverse to the national security interest of the United States, and every single fact witnessed before this Congress said so,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries talked about Trump’s first call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, noting that “the word corruption was not mentioned once,” and that “in July on the 18th, at an Office of Management and Budget meeting, the aid was officially frozen at the direction of the president.”

“Twice during the summer Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican majority leader, publicly stated he called the Trump administration, what happened to the aid? Mitch McConnell couldn’t get a good answer,” Jeffries said, adding “Because there was no good answer.”

Jeffries described the now-infamous July 25th call, noting that “the word corruption is not mentioned once.”

“But here’s what was said,” he continued. “Zelensky talks about defense, and the immediate response is’ do us a favor, though.’ And President Trump says I need you to look into some things. Not related to procurement of defense arms, but related to a wild conspiracy theory connected to the 2016 campaign, and also says I want you to look into Joe Biden.”

“And then what’s interesting, since you think it was such a perfect call,” Jeffries said, directly addressing Jordan, “he mentions Rudolph Giuliani. I’m looking at the transcript right now, not once not twice but three times.”

“Why, on an official call, would the president mentioned Rudolph Giuliani?” Jeffries asked. “He’s not an ambassador, he’s not the secretary of state, he’s not a member of the diplomatic corps. He’s President Trump’s political enforcer.”

Jeffries continued to lay out the timeline and saved for last Jordan’s point about the aid being released.

“In August the whistleblower complaint is filed. Then on September 9th, the whistleblower complaint is made public to Congress. 2 days later, on September 11th, all of a sudden the aid is released,” Jeffries said.

“Why was the aid released? Because the president was caught red-handed trying to pressure a foreign government to target an American citizen,” Jeffries said.

Watch the clip above, via C-Span 3.

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