Transcript: Rep. Jason Crow on "Face the Nation," January 26, 2020

Crow downplays criticism from GOP senators open to calling witnesses

The following is a transcript of an interview with Representative Jason Crow that aired Sunday, January 26, 2020, on "Face the Nation."


MARGARET BRENNAN: We're back with one of the House impeachment managers, Colorado Democrat Jason Crow, who presented opening arguments this week. Congressman, good morning to you. 

REPRESENTATIVE JASON CROW: Good morning, MARGARET. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: You are a first term congressman. You flipped a district Republican to Democrat. Do you think that in that presentation you made, that your colleagues made, that you have persuaded Republicans to vote to approve witnesses?

REP. CROW: I hope so. I mean, overwhelmingly, the American people support that. You know, almost three quarters of the American people want a fair trial, want evidence, want witnesses, want documents, and that's what they deserve. You know, the president deserves a fair trial. The American people deserve a fair trial. And the senators who are going to have to make a really important decision here in the coming days need to have all of the evidence and the full picture in front of them.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator Cotton was indicating that you likely don't have those votes, though he didn't want to specifically say the numbers.

REP. CROW: You know, I don't know. I can't read people's mind. I know Senator Cotton can't read people's mind. You know, we have to just make the best case we can. I think we did that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah. 

REP. CROW: I think it's very compelling. Clearly, the American people thought it was compelling because that's overwhelmingly what they're asking for here.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So on the numbers, you need four Republicans to vote alongside Democrats to get this approved, new evidence, new witnesses. There's been a lot of criticism because that- that margin is so narrow that you needed to really persuade those four. Two of those names, Senators Murkowski and Collins, have said that there were- they were personally- they took umbrage at some of the presentation over the three days. There was complaints about repetition, complaints about style and specifically language used by Chairman's Nadler and Schiff. Do you think Democrats overplayed their hand at all?

REP. CROW: No, I don't. I mean, listen, the manager team is a very diverse team in background and experience. And, you know, we make cases in different ways. We have different styles and that's fine. But the larger point is that this isn't about any one person. This isn't about, you know, how people are feeling about this issue. Everybody sitting in that chamber has taken an oath to be a- an impartial juror. We've all taken oaths to be members of Congress, to put the Constitution, to put the country ahead of our own personal interests and well-being. You know, my- my last comments on Friday night when I closed my presentation was about the nature of public service.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

REP CROW: And I wanted to end on that because, you know, by definition, public service is about serving the country and the community and not yourself. So this is not about any--

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you-- 

REP. CROW: --one person.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --you reject those criticisms? You don't think that they are actually going to play a factor in persuading votes?

REP. CROW: I- I think it's a distraction from the overall issue. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: OK. 

REP. CROW: We presented overwhelming evidence of the president's misconduct. That's what this is about. It's about the president coursing an ally at war to help him with a political campaign. This is not about any personality issues.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So one of the things you focused in on was the national security justification for the aid in the first place and why this was damaging. The president's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, yesterday called you out by name and he accused you of getting facts wrong when you said President Trump was only interested in Ukraine aid. He listed other countries: Pakistan, Lebanon, where aid has been paused. Does he have a point here that the president has been opposed to foreign aid and that there have been other countries where aid has been at least temporarily halted?

REP. CROW: Well, first off, I think it surprises nobody that the conduct of the president and those around him is about attacking people personally. You know, he continues to do that this morning-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, he was specifically talking about you getting facts wrong on those countries.

REP. CROW: Well and- and- and doing it in obviously in an attacking way. But let's look at the facts and how important those really are. You know, the- the aid and the things that they mentioned, those specific examples, are radically different from what we're talking about here. First off, many of those aren't military aid programs. Secondly, those that had been stalled, they've been stalled through the normal process because Congress has actually not made the certifications, because the process that's put in place has identified issues that have to be resolved. In the- in the instance of Ukraine, what we're talking about here, everything that was done by the president was done outside of that process. That process had already happened. The certifications were already made. And the president himself personally stopped the aid from flowing despite the fact that that process had already occurred.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Can you do anything as a prosecutor with the tape, the 90-minute tape, that we played a clip of there of Lev Parnas, one of Giuliani's associates?

REP. CROW: Well, you know, I- I've heard the tape. I know the other managers have. I know a lot of people in America have heard the tape. You know, broadly speaking, this is a continuation of the president's bullying and intimidation. You know, it's- it's what he's done for the last three, four years, and he's going to continue to do it. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: But it's not evidence you can introduce in any way?

REP. CROW: Well, I- I think the senators have all seen it. Right? I mean, this is a little bit different from most courts in that the evidence continues to come out. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah. 

REP. CROW: I mean, earlier this week, as I was presenting, you know, one of the components of our case, you know, I held up a redacted set of emails that had just come out around midnight the day before. There's a lot that's still out there. The American people deserve the full picture, and that's why we're going to continue to push for additional evidence.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Quickly, Adam Schiff, the chairman of intelligence, said that he- he raised some doubt about the election. He said that's what this is all about. We cannot be assured the vote will be fairly wo- won. Was that a misstep?

REP. CROW: Well, no. You know, I- I think what Chairman Schiff was trying to say here was that there is a lot of reason to be concerned-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN: OK. 

REP. CROW: --and there is--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you-- 

REP. CROW: Right. I mean, the bottom line is the president has a pattern and practice of trying to invite foreign interference in our elections. And that's what this is about.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Congressman, thank you. 

REP. CROW: Thank you. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: We have a lot more. Stay with us.