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Freedom Caucus Podcast

House Freedom Caucus podcast with Mark Meadows

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Washington, D.C., December 11, 2019 | comments

Washington, D.C. –The House Freedom Caucus today released podcast episode 38 entitled “Impeachment: An inside look with Mark Meadows.

Hosted by HFC Communications Chair Representative Jody Hice, podcast guest former HFC Chairman Mark Meadows details the content, process, timelines, and negotiations of impeachment.

Podcast video is available on Facebook and audio is available on SoundCloud and iTunes. Full transcript is available below.

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Jody Hice: Hello, everyone Jody Hice here with you with another episode of the Freedom Caucus podcast, glad to have you joining us. We're doing something a little bit different today. We have obviously the podcast going on but also visually having a video of this, and we'll share a little bit more how for those of you who are listening how you can tap in on that here in just a little while, but I'm really excited to have joining me again, one of the original founders and former chairman of the Freedom Caucus everyone knows. This is one of the most battle-tested Warriors in Washington, D.C., Mark Meadows. Always great to have you. Mark has been right in the middle of all of this impeachment. So I don't think there's a deposition you've missed or a hearing that you've missed, you've been through this from the very beginning and that's going to be the topic of our discussion today. So first of all, Mark as always thanks for joining us.

Mark Meadows: Well Jody, thank you. It's great to join you again. Obviously, you're doing a great job of taking the message to those who are willing to tune in and listen to the podcast. Hopefully today, in fact, I know today some of the listeners will hear some things that they've not read about anywhere else, never been reported. And so we're going to make sure that each and every time they get to hear a little bit of the behind the scenes rationale on in the impeachment, maybe a little bit of the color play by play, and-and so it's great to be back with you.

Jody Hice:
Well, thank you. And that's, as you well know, that's one of the purposes of the podcast here, is to try to give people a little inside baseball as to what's happening, particularly from the perspective of the Freedom Caucus and those conservative members of Congress up here. So let's hone in on the impeachment here. You have been a part of this. I've been a part of a good number of the depositions myself but you have been front and center of all of this. Let’s begin just a little bit of what is coming out of the Democrats. What are they alleging versus what the actual articles of impeachment?

Mark Meadows: Well, they're alleging a lot more than what the articles of impeachment would indicate. So literally yesterday they put forth a-an impeachment resolution that looked at two different articles of impeachment very narrow in scope.

Jody Hice: And very vague, all at the same time.

Mark Meadows: It's vague on purpose and I believe that part of that design is so that they can get to 218 votes so that somebody can define abuse of power in a way that they choose to define it back home in their districts. And so, you know, they've talked about quid pro quo. They've talked about treason and they've talked about bribery and as you know, they did a focus group to talk about bribery—

Jody Hice
: That fell flat.

Mark Meadows
: —and you know, it didn't work out well and-and so I know that they couldn't do an article of impeachment based on bribery because that would have been based on a DCC focus group kind of personnel, so—

Jody Hice: And on something never testified in any of the hearings…

Mark Meadows:
Right, in none of the depositions did they ever bring up bribery and you mentioned I was at every deposition, every hearing, you know, there have been different people that have played a more central role than I have, but I can tell you that in reviewing every dot in tittle of the testimony. What-what Democrats are wanting to do is connect dots that actually shouldn't be connected. They said okay there was foreign aid that was held up and that that had to be because of nefarious purposes on behalf the President. Well, let me just say you and I get to talk to the President, you know, the people that are listening in right now, they-they wouldn't believe how many times we actually get to talk directly the President of United States, but he's also a very direct individual. So if he was going to hold up aid to get something in there-

Jody Hice:
There would be no question about it.

Mark Meadows:
No! He would tell him, he’d say, by the way President Zelensky I’m going to hold up your aid until you actually do XYZ. Is there any doubt that CNN understands how the president feels about CNN?

Jody Hice: Oh absolutely. The whole country knows.

Mark Meadows: So it's-so I mean when you look at this, that now, all of a sudden they're asking us to believe that the President Donald Trump went out of character and had 30 people listening in on a phone call to be so subtle with something that now even today that President Zelensky their foreign minister, Mr. Yarmac. So we have three officials in Ukraine.

Jody Hice: Three high-ranking officials.

Mark Meadows: Yeah, the highest ranking officials, who said that there was no linkage between aid and any pause in aid and what they were being asked to do. Now, if that's the case and just think about it, if that's the case when you actually perpetrate a crime you actually have to have a victim and if the very victims that the Democrat allege are out there say listen, nothing happened then how in the world do you expect the American people to support impeachment? I can't-I won't vote for it. I think the vast majority of Americans believe-

Jody Hice:
I don't think any Republicans will vote for it. What do you think on the Democratic side?

Mark Meadows: Yeah, I think there's going to be real pressure among some of my Democrat colleagues because they wrote it so narrow and so open in terms of abuse of power, of obstruction of Congress. They probably get to their 218 threshold. I do think that they will have more than two defections on the Democrat’s side—if they're smart, the Democrat freshman. You know, listen, here's the interesting thing when you get here as a freshman, you believe everybody. It doesn't take too long into being here to realize that everybody's best interest is not your best interest. (crosstalk) In fact, you'll find they say this is good for you. And by the way, you need to do it for you and what they really mean is you need to do it for me and if you do it for me, I won't forget, but they always do forget.

Jody Hice: Right. Well, let's go on. You mention some of the behind the scene things that's not being reported in the media. We are watching really, and have watched, it's kind of amazing to me, I believe we're actually winning this battle in the court of public opinion, at least in my district. I believe you've said the same in yours, people are recognizing this is a hoax. It's a witch hunt and they're tuning it off. They understand this has been unfair. It's been a part of something. We've not even had a minority hearing. We've not been even allowed to have witnesses ourselves, the President's not been able to defend himself, and so I think we're winning that argument in the court of public opinion, but there's still a lot of things happening in the background that's going unnoticed that the media is not reporting.

Mark Meadows: Well, you're right. I think one of those was a Saturday. I was here for a deposition. And so we actually had a deposition that was going on and we asked—this was Mark Sandy, the guy that was OMB, and Democrats were real anxious to have him come in and this is a behind-the-scenes kind of moment. So after the first hour of the OMB official testifying, one of my Democrat colleagues comes up and whispers in my ear and says, we won't be asking him to come testify in public. Now, that's the kind of that's the kind of thing that you hear because they knew that what he said was not supporting their narrative.

Jody Hice: It really was an audition—all those Depositions were auditions for public.

Mark Meadows: Exactly. They were picking and choosing who they're going to put out there as their star witnesses and yet that OMB person said not only was the aid paused but it was temporarily paused multiple times. Six different times they put a pause on, saying well, let's pause it for two more days and see if we can get clearance. So it was not a permanent hole waiting for some kind of deliverable. It was actually a process and here’s what we also know. That same OMB person said that they were asked to do a study the first part of September 2019 when the aid was held. Do a study get it to the President on what Europe was doing in terms of National Defense for Ukraine. They did that study indeed a couple of days later. You had Senator Portman call say we really need to release it. So they do the study. Senator Portman calls, they released the aid they then tell the same OMB person, the reason why all of this was held up was because Europe was not doing their fair share. Now that doesn't get reported in the mainstream media, but that's what actually happened in the deposition. Listeners listening in can actually go and read through the deposition and find it.

Jody Hice: Democrats know that too but that certainly doesn't play into their narrative.

Mark Meadows: Yeah, but they didn't call Mark Sandy in to testify, ya know, because he would be willing to say that under oath.

Jody Hice:
Wow. Okay. So let's go you've touched on this. How did we get here? You know, the process has been bad. It's been unfair. There's a lot of things happening out there from the Russia--Russia collusion stuff to Ukraine activities there, the dossier. How did we actually get here?

Mark Meadows: I think we got here -- two reasons. One is the whole Russia collusion thing went so bad for Adam Schiff, He had to be rehabilitated and so-

Jody Hice: I think he still needs that.

Mark Meadows: He had been promising, you know, there's evidence we've seen evidence, we know evidence, and indeed the Mueller report after 30 million dollars came in and there was no evidence. And, in fact, worse than that. They said there was no collusion. Now, I'm here to tell you the IG report just came out. If you haven't read the 435 pages, everybody needs to do that. But you need to take very careful note of some of the footnoting and some of the commentary that's in there because what we now know--what we now know is the FBI knew there was no investigation worth pursuing after January of 2017 and yet, for months and months and months and then a special prosecutor for years after that, we continued to investigate something that the FBI knew had no merit in January of 2017. That's not being reported.

Jody Hice: No, that's not being reported. Neither is the tie between that fact and the report that basically said I found no one who admitted that there was bias against the President. Well, why would you continue something that's totally basis-baseless unless there is some bias that you want to achieve an end out there. I mean you can you just-it doesn't take much to recognize that the bias did indeed motivate a lot of the actions and the omissions. 17 at least omissions with the FISA warrant. The bias was, well, no question was strongly involved.

Mark Meadows: I mean, you can't cut and paste an email and assume that there was no bias. the person who cut and pasted the email to say that Carter Page was a threat directly opposite of the email that they got from a three-letter agency--may have been CIA, may have been NSA--but from a three-letter agency gets an email cuts and pastes and changes the very definition of what that email was all about. Now this is the same person who's not identified by name in the report but he is the same individual under the previous IG’s report and had the text message That was Viva La Resistance. And so he was the one talking about pushing back against Donald Trump and then he changes an email. And of course, there's no bias with that.

Jody Hice: Of course, I mean come on, I really don't know how but I was thrilled that Durham and Barr have both come out challenging some of the conclusions.

Mark Meadows: Well they've seen some of the documents that I've seen and so they should challenge the assumptions. Listen the facts that Horowitz found were very good. The conclusion he reached based on those facts are very, very questionable and I would not support. Let me circle back a little bit because you talked about the genesis on this impeachment thing and a lot of it comes down to Ukraine and what happened. And Bidens continue to get mentioned. and my Democrat colleagues will say, oh the Ukrainians weren't involved. Now, I cannot prove that the Ukrainian government was involved. Although, I can prove that the Ukrainian government, if they were not aware that their Ukrainian Ambassador here to the States was publishing an op-ed against candidate Donald Trump that there's something wrong in Kiev. So they at least had knowledge that their Ambassador published something that was anti-Trump. But more importantly than that when you start to look at Nellie Ohr’s transcripts and I would challenge any of anybody who's looking, I think her deposition is online. She talks about Ukrainians being the source of some of her information that she gives to Fusion GPS which ends up being the opposition research against candidate Donald Trump and it came from a guy by the name of Serhiy Leshchenko who is now in their Parliament. So yeah, maybe it's not their government. But this whole thing that everything is debunked is because they want to keep us away from Joe Biden and-and listen.

Jody Hice: there's a smoking gun there.

Mark Meadows: Yeah, and listen, another thing that's not being reported, Jody, and-and so maybe some of the reporters will pick up on this if they're listening in. Over a dozen contacts - a dozen contacts - made by the Vice President of the United States under Barack Obama made by Joe Biden in a very short period of time, after Hunter Biden is on the board with this corrupt company or allegedly corrupt company, Burisma. He's on their board. The Vice President makes personal visits with President Poroshenko - multiple phone calls - more than other countries, that he had responsibility for, over a dozen of those. So when you look at those in a lot of those are in a time when the pressure was the highest on this corrupt company in Ukraine. And yet Joe Biden was weighing it. Now he may have - it may have all been legit. But at best he should have recused himself and saved himself the scoring.

Jody Hice: Well sure, and then we have him on video saying that he withheld a billion dollars threatened.

Mark Meadows: No quid pro quo there.

Jody Hice: And he was bragging about it, boasting about it. Yeah, okay. So we've got the articles of impeachment that have now been dropped--this thing--the ball is rolling unquestionably, I believe that…pretty confident, and I think you feel the same way. This is going to pass the house and move over to the Senate. So the what next question comes up, where does this thing go from here?

Mark: So what-what is next is-is how long of a process it will be in the Senate. I'm actually reviewing Senate rules. As you know, I love rules.

Jody Hice: And you’re great at it.

Mark Meadows: And so I'm reviewing all the Senate rules to see what we can and can't do and one of the big questions that is really going to be reported on in the coming days is who are going to be part of the president's defense team.

Jody Hice: That is a huge question.

Mark Meadows: We--I'm here to tell you. So I'll break a little bit of news here. The President believes that it needs to be a combination of lawyers from his team. So perhaps a Jay Sekulow, a Pat Cipollone, some of their team. They've got some very capable lawyers in the General Counsel's office. And three or four members of Congress to actually bring forth some of this institutional knowledge and help with that and that's been really at the President's insistence that there be this really two-pronged approach and making sure that he's properly defended.

Jody Hice: I think that's excellent, that’s actually really good to hear because obviously the White House is going to have to lead in the-the trial in terms of who do they want to call for witnesses and who do they want to call forward. That's going to be huge if we're going to hear from whoever it may be, whether it's the whistleblower or Hunter Biden or Adam Schiff himself or whatever those type of requests are going to have to come from the White House.

Mark Meadows: Well, they will so here's-here's one of the interesting things that our listeners I want them to mark down. I believe that the impeachment inquiry in the Senate will be over with by the middle of February for a couple of reasons. One is the longer it goes the more you hold up work getting done in the Senate and I know that you and I don't think if they-

Jody Hice: I don't that-that words not in their dictionary.

Mark Meadows: Well, we're interrupting their naps in the Senate. (crosstalk) So, so it gets over by the middle of February. But I think the other reason why it does is I think that Joe Biden has a number of friends over in the Senate and they're not going to want to call, you know old Joe, old Uncle Joe in to actually have to testify. In fact, they'll vote against it. Maybe even some on our side would vote against it. So I think they keep everything narrow. So there may be some opening statements. There may be some opening positions on for and against impeachment. And then as they work through that I think the-the other key component of that becomes really that they make those opening statements and get and go ahead and dismiss it very quickly. One last thing and I'm sorry to ramble on one last thing I can tell you that I have advocated that there needs to be one other attorney that's added to the mix for the president. And that is Alan Dershowitz. I think he'd be great to come in, get Alan Dershowitz in to be part of that defense team.

Jody Hice: Wow. Well that’s fascinating stuff Mark. So as we as we land the plane, this thing's moving forward. We don't know how fast it’s going to move through Judiciary here ourselves, and when an actual vote will come to the floor yet, but we anticipate that will be relatively soon. Certainly probably before Christmas, I guess. You think?

Mark Meadows: Yeah, I think we'll have a mark up here in a few days. I think from there we probably have a floor vote the Thursday before we leave for Christmas cause they're going to want to keep - listen, the democrats want us to forget about this vote. They have grabbed ahold of something that they wish they hadn't. They needed to grab a hold of it for their progressive left-wing friends, but for everybody else they're wishing they could let go.

Jody Hice: What, 31 of them? This is going to be really tough.

Mark Meadows: So they're going to go home for Christmas hoping that everybody thinks about what they got for Christmas instead of what they got on Capitol Hill.

Jody Hice: So how does all this impact the work of the Freedom Caucus? How does it impact our country for that matter and the work that the president's doing?

Mark Meadows: Well, it impacts the real things that matter to us. To you and I, to the Freedom Caucus, to the forgotten men and women back home, is that things that are key that we should be doing: reducing prescription drug prices, fixing roads and infrastructure, doing trade deals for our farmers. It's not getting done. And-and so the President earlier today said imagine what we could have accomplished had we not had to deal with this for the last three years.

Jody Hice: Absolutely. There's no question about that. Well Mark, listen, it is always just an incredible honor to have you on the podcast. I deeply respect you and cherish your friendship honored to be a colleague with you here in Congress and in the Freedom Caucus and as always, it's just great to have you here.

Mark Meadows: It's great to be with you Jody. God bless you. God Bless America, and let's keep fighting.

Jody Hice: Let's keep fighting. Alright folks, that's all the time we have for this podcast. I want to thank you as always for joining us, for being a part of this and we always encourage you if you enjoyed this program, please go rate, subscribe it, subscribe to it, and so forth. Review this on iTunes or SoundCloud. For more information, you can actually go and watch the video of this by going to our facebook.com/FreedomCaucus and on Twitter @FreedomCaucus. As always, it's an honor for you to be joining us as well. Hope you have a fantastic remainder of your day. We'll see you next time.
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