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Transcript: House Speaker Mike Johnson on "Face the Nation," Jan. 7, 2024

The following is a transcript of an interview with House Speaker Mike Johnson, Republican of Louisiana, that aired on Jan. 7, 2024. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, thank you for inviting us down here to the border. I know you've been meeting with officials, going on tours. And I wonder how it's changed what you think about what's going on, and how you balance the national security concerns against some of the very real humanitarian issues?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Yeah, we have a humanitarian catastrophe here. And, of course, huge national security concerns. Before I became speaker of the house, I served on the House Judiciary Committee, which has partial jurisdiction over the immigration crisis. So I've been dialed in on this for quite a while and knew what was happening here. I'd been to the border before. But this is the largest congressional delegation, we think, that's ever been to the border together. We had 64 House Republicans here today, as you noted, and met with local officials and local stakeholders, from sheriffs, to landowners, to the federal Border Patrol agents who are doing heroic work here. And what we saw is, in- in some ways, difficult to describe. Just the magnitude of the chaos here, of the number of lives that are adversely affected, the- you know, minor children that are being trafficked into the country. And, of course, we all know the fentanyl overdoses and poisoning that has been a scourge on the country. The cartels are estimated to be making here just in the Del Rio sector, about $32 million a week in trafficking humans.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We heard that. Just in smuggling people.


SPEAKER JOHNSON: So you're talking about added up, you know, it's like more than $1.5 billion dollars a year. I mean, these are transnational, dangerous criminal organizations. And the maddening thing about it is that the White House is allowing all this. These are policy choices that- that created this chaos. And it is thus policy choices that could change it. And that's what we're trying--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Which policy choices do you think need to be changed?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Well, it's actually pretty simple. I mean, the president has the existent authority under federal law to- to stem the flow here. I mean, if you instituted- reinstituted the Remain in Mexico policy, for example, it was estimated by the people who are in charge here that that would stem the flow by maybe 70%. I mean, that's a simple measure, an executive order that the White House could undertake. On his first day in office, President Biden came in and issued executive orders that began this chaos. Remain in Mexico is- is one of them. The- the catch and release program has created part of this problem. We could end catch and release. That's what President Trump did to help stem the flow.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you need the logistical and financial support to be able to do that. You need the judges, you need to be able to process people. We talked to federal agents about just that challenge. 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Yeah, well, we--

MARGARET BRENNAN: And that-- Congress has the purse strings, to give them the money to do that.

SPEAKER JOHNSON:  Well, that's true, but I'll quote to you, the deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, who had dinner with us last night, and his- in his own words, he said, it is as if we're trying to administer an open fire hydrant, he said, I don't need more buckets, I need for the- I need the flow to be turned off. And the way you do that is with policy changes. Simply, this could be done. And everyone here knows it, all the officials, federal, state and local, have affirmed that, and we know it by experience, because it happened in the previous administration. So we're just- we're just asking the White House to apply common sense. And they seem to be completely uninterested in doing so.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So we toured the Firefly facility, that tented facility, you all went on the same tour. And what we were told is there- there is a need for consequences, Border Patrol officials say, but they also need the money, they need the resources to be able to process, they said they didn't have enough men, they didn't have enough logistical support to even deport people when they wanted to do that. So can you look them in the eye when you talk to them and say, I'm gonna get you the money that you need, because that is part of the challenge? 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: We did look them in the eye. Many of these, I mean, from the top officials to the rank and file, and they all say the same thing. Please stop the flow. So if we send more money to process more illegals and disperse them throughout the country, as we've done, remember, the number is over 7 million illegal encounters at the border just since President Biden took office, almost 2 million known gotaways, we have no idea how many completely evaded surveillance and- and capture, and- and over 300 people on the terrorist watch list that are-- that have been apprehended. So we don't know how many of them actually have come into the country and potentially set up terrorist cells–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Or are- whether they're actually terrorists. It- it's just unknown. 

SPEAKER JOHNSON:  Well, it- it takes quite a bit to get yourself on the terrorist watch list. These are dangerous people. And we know and they've told us, local officials told us, that from nations like Venezuela and other countries around the world, they're emptying their prisons. They're not sending in their model citizens here. The- the cartels are trafficking people here who- the gotaways, they don't go to ports of entry, because they know that they might be deterred, because they have criminal past, etcetera. So these problems are compounding every day. And it- we had more people come across that border illegally in December than in any month in history, over 302,000 people, we have to stop the madness.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But- but just to be clear. Are you saying you wouldn't authorize new funding to help out those agents with what they say they need, unless it is matched with these bigger policy changes? 

SPEAKER JOHNSON:  Right. The- I think anyone with common sense would tell you that you cannot throw more money at a bad system. We don't want to empower more of this. The- the White House, the administration, Secretary Mayorkas, have put a welcome mat out. So we know that we have people coming from nearly 170 countries around the world and again, many dangerous people.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you couldn't even go through the deportations that you would like to see happen without the funding to actually have the process function. I mean, ICE has the capacity to hold 40,000 beds. That's not nearly matching what you're describing.

SPEAKER JOHNSON: In a triage situation, you have to stop the flow first before you can commence with the- with the surgery and we- we're hemorrhaging here. And everyone knows it. Did you know that in this facility here at Del Rio, they estimate that 60 to 70% of the people who have come across are single adult males. We saw them today. It's- it's a combination of them and young women who are being trafficked for sex. We know that. And then these minors that the cartels are making huge amounts of money on. I- I mean, this is just anyone with a conscience who came down to see this would demand that it stop. And our constituents are telling us that. And--

MARGARET BRENNAN: So these- but these are very, very real and immediate issues, what you're describing, it is a crisis. So don't you need the help of the Homeland Security Secretary, instead of trying to impeach him?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: We've been asking Alexand- Secretary Mayorkas since he took office, to enforce the law, to do his job, and he's done exactly the opposite. He's testified un- untruthfully before Congress, repeatedly-


MARGARET BRENNAN: But- But why focus the Congressional resources on going ahead with an impeachment when they could be dealing with the actual issues here on the ground? 


SPEAKER JOHNSON:  Our- our Homeland Security Committee has done its job. They have a constitutional responsibility, a legal responsibility, to investigate what is happening with the agency that they have oversight for. They've done that for a year, very methodically, carefully, in detail. And they've documented all that. I believe Secretary Mayorkas is an abject failure, but it's not because of incompetence. I believe he has done this intentionally. I think these are intentional policy decisions that he's made. And I think there must be accountability for that. And I- I can tell you, the vast majority of Americans agree with us on that point. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: But that doesn't sound very hopeful given that he is the main White House point person talking to Congress right now about the bill that the Senate negotiators are trying to put together on a bipartisan basis-- 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Secretary Mayorkas--

MARGARET BRENNAN: -- You're going to impeach the guy you need to negotiate with--  

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Secretary Mayorkas is not a good faith negotiating partner. He is unwilling to enforce existing federal law. Why would we believe that he would do any new provision? He's lied to Congress repeatedly. He's lied to me personally, under oath--  

MARGARET BRENNAN: -- About what? 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: He's stood in front of my committee on multiple occasions and insisted that the border is closed and secure when everyone in America knows it's not true. He's not a good faith partner-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, that's also a semantic argument, you know that, because-- 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: No, no, that's a matter of objective fact. And he has lied to Congress repeatedly. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, that is a matter of semantics in terms of people being apprehended, as you know, coming here, and once they're apprehended, then say they want to claim asylum. 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Secretary Mayorkas has been to the border, he's talked to the same officials that we have. He knows that this border is not secure. No one here believes it. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you're not- You're not saying that all these officials you met with on the ground who are doing the tough work here aren't actually performing the jobs that are required to?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Oh, they're doing heroic work. But- but it's an impossible situation that's been created by the Secretary of their department.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So the senators who are negotiating with the White House right now have not shared the text of what they're putting together with you, is that accurate? 


MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay, so one of the main Republican negotiators, Lindsey Graham was with us on Sunday and he said, there were three things that would help get a deal to pass the House: asylum reform, limitations on parole, and reinvigorating expulsion authority. Those things are being negotiated. So what more do you need? 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Well, you've heard us say repeatedly, insisting upon the provisions of HR 2, which is our legislation that we passed more than seven months ago. I've been insistent upon this since the day I was handed the gavel and made this clear to our Senate colleagues, to the White House and anyone who would listen. The reason that all of those provisions are important is because you need all of those provisions to affect the change here to stem the flow to stop this catastrophe and crisis-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN:  We have a visitor here – hi pup! 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: He's from Venezuela. So, provisions of HR 2 include reforming that broken parole system reforming the broken asylum process-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN: -- but it's got no future in the Senate. Even Republican senators like James Lankford and Lindsey Graham say they don't want it. Biden's going to veto it. So it's dead on arrival.

SPEAKER JOHNSON: I don't know if you can speak for all the senators, there's a lot who understand why those provisions are important. And the reason is because we included each of those things because by way of example- if you only reform one of those five provisions, if you don't end catch and release as a policy, if you don't reinstitute remain in Mexico, if you only fix asylum or parole and not these other things, then you don't solve the problem. You don't stem the flow here. And again, that's the number one objective so that we can get a handle on this crisis.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So do you believe that there is $14 billion needed for funding things? Here and our little pup? Do you- do you believe that more border funding is needed?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: It's- I don't believe- our position is-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Because the White House says they want to hire more agents, they want to do all sorts of things, and you are standing in the way in the House.

SPEAKER JOHNSON: That's nonsense. It's absolute nonsense, they have to solve the crisis here and throwing more money at the broken system will not do that. All it will-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you're not opposing funding like that's what I'm trying to clarify. 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: No. But we have- we understand that border patrol needs the necessary resources to do its job. But they can't do the job that they're hired to do unless you change the policy here. And that's why we're so insistent on that being done. And again, the- the application and enforcement of existing federal law will do the trick. We don't even need new law, we need the White House to do what it should and what it can. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, Chip Roy, Congressman from Texas, said, it's great you came here, but it wasn't worth him coming because he thought this was all just a photo-op, essentially. And he said he'll refuse to fund the government until Biden signs HR 2, or its equivalent. Is this like a threat to shut down the government?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: No. Chip is one of my closest friends and colleagues. I talked to him last night. That's not what he intended to say, what he meant was-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN: It was a two-page letter-- 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Well, I know I read the letter. And I understood that very differently. I know what Chip is saying; he is from Texas- South Texas. He's been here a dozen times. He's seen all this himself many times, and attempted to relay this to colleagues. So he didn't want- not want to send a message to his constituents that he was going to come- he himself was going to come here for some photo op or some media opportunity. Some of these members had not been here before, some have been here once or twice, but it's been quite some time. We've never had this many members collected in one place for this purpose. And it was really important not just for symbolism, but so that they could see the magnitude of the crisis now because again, it's worse than it's ever been in history. I think you have- we have the resolve of all the House Republicans, I mean, from every district who understand this is a critical issue. And they believe that because they've seen it with their own eyes, and their constituents are telling them that, that this is important for us to fix. And in fact, recent polling affirms you got about eight in ten Americans who believe that this is either an emergency or very serious situation that Congress should address, that the White House first should address. That the government collectively has to get on top of this. We are doing our part, we've done our part, and we need the other partners in the federal government to do so.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you would potentially be open to what the Senate is negotiating and put it on the floor in the House. 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: It's a hypothetical question. Again, they've not sent me any of these provisions. But I've told them what we expect-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you want a deal?  

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Of course we want a deal. We want to solve this crisis. We have to- we have a moral obligation to do so. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Look, you at the end of this month are gonna have a majority of just 219. Republicans. You need 218 to govern. Have you talked to the Democratic leader about what it would take to get a bill through? Have you talked to the White House?

SPEAKER JOHNSON No, I mean, Hakeem Jeffries and I are colleagues and friends and I have a good relationship with him. I'm not deterred by this at all. I'm- I'm undaunted by this. We deal with the numbers that we have. It will be one of the smallest majorities in the history of the Congress, clearly– 

MARGARET BRENNAN: It doesn't give you a lot of wiggle room. 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: It doesn't. But we do have, I think, a lot of unity on the big important issues that we're really focused on. And I'm confident that we'll get the job done and be able to demonstrate that we can govern well, and I think that's one of the reasons it will expand this majority in the next election cycle. I'm very optimistic about that. I also believe the Republican Party is going to win back the Senate and I think the White House as well. So–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, first you gotta keep the government open. January 19th. 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: We do and we've been negotiating in good faith all through the holidays every day over the holidays, except for Christmas, on the top line numbers, and I think that we may be close to a deal, but we have insisted that federal spending must be addressed in a very serious and sober manner. We crossed an important threshold this week, 30- 34 trillion dollars in federal debt. There's never been anything of that magnitude in the history of the country and it's not sustainable. The- the Congress has a responsibility. We have the power of the purse, of course, and we have to be good stewards of precious taxpayer resources. We- we cannot continue to borrow money to spend it. And so reducing non-defense discretionary spending must be a priority of Congress. And we're trying to insist upon that in these negotiations.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So this is Congressman Tony Gonzales, his district. 


MARGARET BRENNAN: He was with us recently and he said that migrants are the 'lifeblood of our country.' Immigrants are the lifeblood of our country. Former President Trump said immigrants are poisoning the blood of America. And I wonder where you fall?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Where I fall is that I believe, obviously, legal immigration has been a critical part of our nation's history. We are a nation of immigrants. Tony is exactly right about that. But the key word is legal, and what we're seeing right now is a mass flow of illegal immigration. And so we have to insist upon the rule of law. This is really important to maintain the security of our country and the sovereignty of our country. If you don't have a border, which effectively we do not have right now. You don't have sovereignty as a country and that- this should be a top concern for every American no matter how you articulate it.

MARGARET BRENNAN:  When President Trump says immigrants are poisoning the blood of our country. Is that a statement you agree with?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: That's not language I would use but- but I understand the urgency of President Trump's admonition. He's been saying this since he ran for president the first time that we have to secure the border, and I think the vast majority of the American people understand the necessity of that and I think they agree with his position.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But that statement goes beyond what you are personally comfortable with? 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: It's not language I would use. But- But understand– 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Cause it sounds hateful. 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Well, it's not hateful. What President Trump is trying to advance is his America first priority. And I think that makes sense to a lot of people.  The current President, President Biden wants additional supplemental spending on national security, but he denies the most important point of our own national security. And that is our own border. And so that's frustrating to him–

MARGARET BRENNAN:  But you can say that without talking about blood and purity.

SPEAKER JOHNSON: President Biden's position is frustrating to us. It's frustrating to the American people, and certainly to President Trump. And I think that's what he's, that's what he's articulating there.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But that's why I was asking you about balancing the humanity of this versus the national security and dealing with both at once- our dog is back. But I need to move through here quickly. I know. You're in the presidential line of succession now as Speaker of the House. You receive access to the most classified information about national security now. How has that changed your worldview, specifically on Ukraine, where you now say, Vladimir Putin needs to be defeated?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: I've always said Vladimir Putin needed to be defeated. I've never changed my position.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Marjorie Taylor Greene came out publicly a few days ago and said you had. She said, "he went from having a voting record to literally a month later going against his own voting record and being speaker of the house." 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: No, I voted against one of the tranches of Ukraine spending to send a message to the White House. That's not a lack of resolve in standing for freedom, standing with the Ukrainian people. We've always been consistent in that, but the House Republicans that voted against that last tranche of funding before the end of the- mid-summer, I think the vote was, is because we wanted to send a message to the White House that they were not being clear with the American people. What is the endgame in Ukraine? What is our strategy? What is the objective? How will we have proper oversight over these precious taxpayer dollars? Remembering of course, as I just noted, we have 34 trillion dollars in federal debt. This is a very serious matter, to send money to Ukraine to assist them in their conflict, we effectively have to borrow it from somewhere else. And so what we're saying is, let's do this in a rational manner. Of course, we stand for freedom, that's what the United States is about. But we need accountability for the people who are funding that. The White House has not been forthcoming with those answers. I have begged them in writing, publicly, privately in every way to give us those answers and they have not done it. And so without those answers, it's very difficult for us to get the necessary funding to do what must be done to stop Vladimir Putin. And–

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, when you met with President Zelensky of Ukraine, did you say to him, I just don't know if I can get- get you the cash. I just don't know if I can help continue to fight this war?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: No, no. That's not what I said to him. I said we stand resolved with the Ukrainian people and with your fight for Freedom and against Vladimir Putin who is a ruthless dictator in my view. But- But what he said publicly, he said in our meeting, and then he said in national media in interviews following our meeting, is that he could get the additional funding as late as February. He didn't need it in December, as the White House was- was intimating–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Ukrainian officials told us that was really about the signal it sent, he meant the morality of it. 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Well no, he told me that himself. Yeah, the morale of the people is important. 


SPEAKER JOHNSON: And and, and he asked if we could reiterate that, and I said, we would continue to do so. And we have.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You think you can get him Ukraine funding by February, which you've linked to the border?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: There are two things that are necessary, we must secure the U.S. border before we secure anyone else's. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: You think you can get all this done by February? 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: I think- I think if the White House and the Senate are serious about this, and they listen to the American people, remembering this is an 80% issue with the American people. They understand the necessity of what we're talking about, we have to insist upon securing our own country. And also if we get the necessary information, and the necessary answers with regard to what- what is the endgame in Ukraine, and how will be- we be responsible with the-- the expenditure of those resources. The White House has not given us the necessary information.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you spoken with President Biden recently or Donald Trump recently?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Yes, both. I mean, yes, I've spoken to President Trump very recently, and President Biden, but- well, before the holidays.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you take counsel from the former president or what are your conversations like?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Well, very friendly. I mean, I've known the President well. I think- I think he will be the nominee, and I think he's going to win the election and be the next President of the United States. So it's important to maintain that relationship. It'll be an important one for the country. You know, President Biden – 

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you think you can still get the work done on the border, the legislation and things like that, even in the hot politics of a presidential election year where this is being politicized heavily?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Well, it is being politicized heavily and I think that's very unfortunate. I don't think this should be a Republican or Democrat issue. And when you talk to the people who are affected here, closest to the situation, they agree with that sentiment. And I think more and more the American people understand we should put the politics aside and do what's right for the country. And that is secure this border and ensure our national sovereignty. This is important for every community in America. Again, every state is a border state now.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Back in 2021, you were the lawmaker who circulated the legal brief known as the Texas amicus brief, challenging the 2020 election outcome in a number of states, which by CBS editorial standards makes you an election denier.

SPEAKER JOHNSON: That's nonsense. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well that's…can I get you on the record on that?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: I've always been consistent on the record. Did you read the brief? Did you get a chance to read what we filed with the Supreme Court? 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well I have read extensively some criticisms of that–

SPEAKER JOHNSON: You read commentary about the brief, but not what we submitted to the court right?

MARGARET BRENNAN: But do you recognize that President Biden won the 2020 election? Can you just put that aside as an issue– 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: President Biden was certified as the winner of the election, he took the oath of office, he's been the president for three years. What the argument that we presented to the court, which is our only avenue to do so, was that the Constitution was clearly violated in the 2020 election. It's article two, section one, and anyone can Google it and read it for themselves. The-- the system by which you choose electors to elect the president of the United States must be done by the individual states and the system must be ratified the state legislatures, that is language, plain language in the constitution– 

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you still have issues with the validity of the 2020 election? 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Anyone who Googles–

MARGARET BRENNAN: –even though the House

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Anyone who pulls up the Constitution– 

MARGARET BRENNAN: – majority. Sorry, go ahead.

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Anyone who pulls up the Constitution on their smartphone, and reads article two section one of the Constitution has to agree with what I just told you. The Constitution was violated in the run up to the 2020 election, not always in bad faith, but in the aftermath of COVID, many states changed their election laws in ways that violated that plain language. That's just a fact. We presented that argument and that those facts to the court, and it was never directly addressed because of the Texas litigation, but that was the only vehicle we had to present that issue squarely to the court.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It was completely shut down as an issue. But your colleague Liz Cheney, your former colleague, wrote, "Mike Johnson and our Republican leaders had played a destructive role." You, she says, "convinced 125 other Republican members of Congress to sign on to an amicus brief that many never read that made numerous false factual and constitutional claims." How do you respond to that, and the impression that you might have contributed in some way?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: I don't spend much time responding to Liz Cheney's criticism these days. Liz Cheney worked with the Democrats on the Jan 6, January 6, select committee to make all of this even more politicized than it was. She was a close friend and colleague before– 

MARGARET BRENNAN: She said that in her book about you– 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: –she made those choices. Yeah.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Which is why she's surprised, she said. 

SPEAKER JOHNSON: Well I'm surprised that she's given that criticism because during that process, Liz and I were in constant dialogue about that. And at one point she even considered signing on to that bill. I'll tell you that that is a fact, to that amicus brief. And we talked about that at great length, and we had a difference of opinion on the law, and people can agree to disagree on that. But I'm telling you that the plain language of the Constitution has never changed. And what happened in many states by changing the election laws without ratification by the state legislatures is a violation of the Constitution. That's a- that's a plain fact that no one can dispute.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So just how, how do you make sense of the idea that you still have issues with the validity of the 2020 election, but you have to negotiate and talk with the President of the United States Joe Biden?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: This is water under–

MARGARET BRENNAN: How do you do that?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: –This is water under the bridge. I mean, when- when the Supreme Court passed on the Texas litigation and did not address the issue. I believe in the rule of law. This is our system, we move forward. I work with President Biden as the President of the United States. I'm trying very hard to ensure that he is only a one-termer, because I believe he has been an abject failure as the Commander-in-Chief of our country. And I think on every metric of public policy, that is objectively true. In fact, I'm not sure that there's anything the administration could point to as a real success. And so I think that he will be a one-term president. But, you know, this discussion about what happened in 2020 is- is yesterday's news. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you, though, because a majority of House Republicans voted to authorize an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden recently. What do you think he should be impeached for? And how do you negotiate with him in the process of that impeachment or potential impeachment?

SPEAKER JOHNSON: The house has- among the very heavy responsibilities that the House of Representatives holds next to the declaration of war, impeachment is probably the heaviest power that we have. In the- in the previous administration, we were very critical of the House Democrats because they politicized impeachment, they used it for raw partisan purposes, in my view. Sham impeachment is what we called it and I was on record many times saying that, decrying that and saying that that is not the way that we should handle that heavy power of the House. We do have responsibility, however, to investigate things that are untoward. And this has happened with the Biden administration, very methodically, very carefully in a way that is exactly the opposite of what the House Democrats did during the Trump administration. We have investigated these credible claims, whistleblowers have come forward, we had three different committees of the House do extensive investigation on this. The investigations led to a certain point, the truth has been followed wherever it led, because that's the responsibility of Congress. And- and now the investigation has been impeded, the White House has suddenly refused to turn over documents that have been requested and certain witnesses that are key to unwinding exactly what happened. So there are still some questions that must be answered. So it came to a certain point that the house had to pass the impeachment inquiry as a measure, because that puts us at the apex of our constitutional authority because we'll have to enforce the subpoenas in a court of law. That was a necessary step that we had to take. So again, it's still not been prejudge, we've not made a determination that impeachment is going to happen here. But we have to take those next necessary steps to get those remaining depositions and those documents to be able to uncover the remainder of the truth.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you haven't made the conclusion that you've seen evidence that you'll move forward

SPEAKER JOHNSON:  Well, no, you can't prejudge an impeachment inquiry or investigation. I think that would be a violation of our duty under the Constitution, you have to investigate and follow the truth where it leads, but we know where that truth is shown us thus far. I mean, you have more than $20 million that has been moved to the Biden family through many of their shell companies and in LLCs, that they set up. We know that a lot of that money came from foreign adversaries, including China and Russia and Kazakhstan and places like that. We know that Joe Biden discussed Hunter Biden's business dealings at least 22 times with his associates from these foreign countries, and we know he- he was not truthful about it, he lied about the American people at least 16 times on record, his- an understanding or involvement in all of these things. So it raises a lot of questions. We've had whistleblowers come forward from the IRS, for example, who have shown that these monies were not shown appropriately and recorded on tax returns, etc. So there is a lot of smoke here and Congress has the responsibility to find the fire if it exists, and that's what they're doing right now. Very, very carefully.

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