'Getting caught is no defence': Quotes from Trump impeachment hearing

VIDEO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The following are quotations from the fourth day of hearings by the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Wednesday (Nov 20) in an impeachment inquiry examining President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's prepared remarks stated that his efforts to press Ukraine for investigations sought by Trump were well known to the leadership of the White House National Security Council and the State Department.

ADAM SCHIFF, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE:

"When the president said 'investigation,' he meant 'Biden.' He made that abundantly clear.

"The question is not what the president meant. The question is not whether he was responsible for holding up the aid - he was. The question is not whether everybody knew it - apparently, they did. The question is what are we prepared to do about it?

"My colleagues would suggest that because the president got caught, we should ignore the fact that he was conditioning official acts in order to get political favours, in order to get an investigation against his rival. Getting caught is no defence."

HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE SENIOR REPUBLICAN DEVIN NUNES:

"Nothing we have heard establishes a claim that the president acted improperly in his dealings with Ukraine, and certainly nothing has been presented to support anything near impeachment.

"In their mania to attack the president, no conspiracy theory is too outlandish for the Democrats.

"They know exactly what kind of damage they're inflicting on this nation. But they've passed the point of no return. After three years of preparation work, much of it spearheaded by the Democrats on this committee, using all the tools of Congress to accuse, investigate, indict, and smear the president, they stoked a frenzy among their most fanatical supporters that they can no longer control."

REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE MIKE TURNER:

"This is part of the problem, Ambassador Sondland. And I just want to walk you through this. You've said to us 'everyone was in the loop'. Now hold on a second. I've listened to you today, as (have) a lot of people, and not only are your answers somewhat circular. Frequently, you've contradicted yourself in your own answer."

 

DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE ERIC SWALWELL:

"Ambassador Sondland, you were told by the president and others to not show up. You showed up. I think that says a lot about you, and I think history will look kindly on you doing that."

DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE SEAN PATRICK MALONEY:

"You've been very forthright? This is your third try to do so sir," Maloney told Sondland. "It didn't work so well the first time did it? We had a little declaration come in after, remember that? And now we're here a third time and we got a doozie of a statement from you this morning. There's a whole bunch of stuff you don't recall.

"So with all due respect sir, we appreciate your candour, but let's be really clear on what it took to get it out of you."