Transcript: Rep. Jackie Speier on "Face the Nation," November 3, 2019

House to release impeachment inquiry transcripts this week, Dem says

The following is a transcript of an interview with Representative Jackie Speier that aired Sunday, November 3, 2019, on "Face the Nation."


MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee California Congresswoman Jackie Speier who joins us this morning from Palm Springs. Welcome to "Face the Nation."

REPRESENTATIVE JACKIE SPEIER: Thank you Margaret. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: There are just eight working days left before the Thanksgiving break. Congressman when will these public hearings actually begin?

REP. SPEIER: I think they're going to begin very soon. We have one more week of interviews that will take place and then I'm pretty confident we're going to move into a public hearing setting in which the health- the House Intelligence Committee along with the Foreign Affairs Committee and the oversight committees will start to place in the public's hands the information. I also think the transcripts are going to start to be released next week and that's going to give the American people an eye on exactly what we have heard. And what we have heard is growing evidence of grounds for impeachment. Democrats are going to hold strong in terms of defending the democracy we have. And the question for the GOP is are they going to put Donald Trump ahead of our country?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, when will those public hearings actually start? I mean are- are you talking a week after next? You said you have more depositions scheduled this week--

REP. SPEIER: That's correct. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: --next week do we start to see the public hearings?

REP. SPEIER: I think that the following week is- is likely to be when we will start having hearings and then of course once our work is completed the investigation then it will move to the Judiciary Committee. But it's really important to point out that one the Republicans complained about the process but the process was very equal. They had equal number of members almost 50 members that were part of these three committees that could participate in these depositions. They had an hour to question their side and then we had an hour and then 45 minutes it was equal--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. 

REP. SPEIER: --all the way down the road.

MARGARET BRENNAN: One of your fellow intelligence committee members, Joaquin Castro tweeted this week that he believes one of the individuals who testified under oath, Ambassador Gordon Sunland, he's the U.S. ambassador to the EU, has committed perjury. Do you believe that?

REP. SPEIER: I think that there are inconsistencies in his testimony based on testimony we've heard from other witnesses. And it will probably be appropriate for him to come back and have him interviewed again--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is there a date for that? 

REP. SPEIER: --and then we will-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Has he agreed to do that? Come back and answer more questions? 

REP. SPEIER:  I don't know that that decision has been made yet.

MARGARET BRENNAN:  But it is something you- you think is necessary at this point? Otherwise--

REP. SPEIER:  I do believe it is.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --but the perjury--

REP. SPEIER: Yes.  

MARGARET BRENNAN: word is too strong for you.

REP. SPEIER: At this point it is.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. You mentioned that there will be testimony made public in the coming days. I mean, well, how- how are we going to receive this? How many pages who's first out to be released because the accusation is of course that all of this is- is cherry picked.

REP. SPEIER: No I think you're going to see all of the transcripts that are going to be released probably within the next five days. I don't know if they're all going to be released on the same day. But they're going to be very telling to the American people. There's no question now whether there was a quid pro quo and now the question that the Republicans are trying to throw out is "well was there corrupt intent?" Well corrupt intent is defined in part by whether or not the president has lied and he has lied over and over again that there was no quid pro quo, there was no this for that, but there was this for that. He was withholding money from Ukraine. Here they are defending themselves against the Russians, holding as much as 400 million dollars waiting for them to come out publicly and say that they would investigate the Bidens and look into this phony server issue. So--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. 

REP. SPEIER: --it is the first time that we've seen this kind of abuse of power by a president and for personal gain and that's what is so remarkable about all of this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And of course the- the allies of the White House point out that the aide was ultimately released and that the investigation into the Bidens was not ultimately open. But for you, I want to know who do you need to see come forward and- and answer questions before you move into these hearings? John Bolton, the former national security adviser, we know there's interest in asking questions of him. Is he actually going to show up? I mean is he your star witness?

REP. SPEIER: Well I think we've had a lot of star witnesses to tell you the truth, but we would like to hear from Mr. Bolton. We'd like to hear from Mr. Eisenberg, but whether or not they are going to respect the subpoena is another question. I'd like to also remind your viewers that we have sought information from the State Department that they have not made available to us at all. There has been an effort to prevent us from access- accessing information that we rightfully have the ability to have under the Constitution as the oversight function in Article I.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Quickly do you think the articles of impeachment will ultimately include things other than Ukraine?

REP. SPEIER: I'm not sure. I mean there could- it could include obstruction of Congress. I think that you could make a case for bribery now and I think that discussion needs to be seriously developed and considered, because there was an effort to try to seek--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah. 

REP. SPEIER: --to get something of value from Mr. Zelensky, the president of Ukraine.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You're speaking to us from California. We know your home state has been just ravaged by some of these wildfires. The president tweeting about it this morning and has seemingly been blaming your governor for as he put it "failing to clean the forest." The president said though that California won't get any more federal money for help. What's your response to that? Why should taxpayers make up for what the president says "is the state's self-made problem"? 

REP. SPEIER: Well it's not a self-made problem. I mean it's a national disaster when you have winds of over 100 miles per hour and you have a utility that turns off the electricity and then turns it back on and it sparks and creates yet another fire. You know the president has a serious problem with California, because they didn't support him and so now he's trying to take some action against them.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Congresswoman thank you very much for joining us--

REP. SPEIER: Thank you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --this morning and we will be back with our political panel in a moment.