Transcript: Rep. Mike Quigley on "Face the Nation", November 17, 2019

Democratic rep: Trump has a "pattern" of witness intimidation

The following is a transcript of an interview with Rep. Mike Quigley that aired Sunday, November 17, 2019, on "Face the Nation." 


MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We turn now to a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, Indiana Congressman Mike Quigley. Good to have you here. 

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: Is it OK if I leave my jacket on? I'm just curious. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes, it is fine. 

REP. QUIGLEY: And my friends from Chicago would be upset. I am from Illinois. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm sorry. The point that I want to get to today with the testimony that happened behind closed doors with Holmes, do you think he's going to sit and answer public questions in front of the cameras?

REP. QUIGLEY: It's always a decision I don't get to make. I think it makes sense. I think there's something very compelling about what he had to say. The first is he accentuated the fact that the president was saying he doesn't care about Ukraine. He said it in a rather coarse manner, but I think it's important. And all he was asking about was the investigations. I think that explains why this all happened, why the president was involved with this scheme.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This is testimony Holmes has delivered behind closed doors, but--

REP. QUIGLEY: Right. But he released--

MARGARET BRENNAN: --we haven't heard publicly yet. And he implicates further Gordon Sondland, who is someone we will hear from this week, the EU ambassador. Is Sondland the only witness the Democrats have who can directly implicate the president here?

REP. QUIGLEY: Other than Mr. Mulvaney and others who already have--

MARGARET BRENNAN: None of them are testifying. 

REP. QUIGLEY: Other than the president- well, Mulvaney in a press conference had- had a- a striking admission. So I think it's easy to forget what we already have in the public's domain. The fact that the- Mr. Mulvaney said, in channeling his Jack- inner Jack Nicholson was sort of almost 'You're damn right I did. Get used to it.'

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, he walked that back later. 

REP. QUIGLEY: Yeah. I think- I think under the heat, you often tell, or are more likely to tell the truth.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you believe that Gordon Sondland is a credible witness?

REP. QUIGLEY: I believe that every witness should be given ever op- every opportunity to tell the truth.

MARGARET BRENNAN: He's revised his statement, which is why I asked that.

REP. QUIGLEY: Right. It's never too late to tell the truth other than perhaps for Roger Stone.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Which we will get to later on in the show, but I want to stay on the House Intelligence Committee--

REP. QUIGLEY: I got you. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: --and issues that you are handling. The president tweeted over the weekend about three of the diplomats who testified and he suggested that they should be dismissed. He also tweeted during the hearing about Ambassador Yovanovitch. Do you see this as adding up to witness intimidation?

REP. QUIGLEY: When the hearing began and Ambassador Yovanovitch began to testify, I thought there's no way the Republicans will go after this. If anything, they're going to try to diminish the notion that there was a smear campaign against her. And as she was testifying that she felt threatened by the president's remarks, which I understand, the president continues the smear campaign. I think when the president says he has a right to pull back ambassadors at any time, they serve at his will-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN: He does. 

REP. QUIGLEY: --that's absolutely true, but he doesn't- that can't be part of a corrupt scheme. And I think that's what we saw here. The fact is, if the president disagrees with you or you don't cheer on the president of the United States, he comes after you and the rule of law is left behind.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But not necessarily witness intimidation. You're not going there, in terms of articles of impeachment.

REP. QUIGLEY: No, it's absolute- it's part of a pattern of witness intimidation. What did he say about Mr. Cohen? That he was a rat. He was talking like a- a mobster. What'd he say about Mr. Manafort? That he was a good guy because he wasn't cooperating. That's witness intimidation.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We now know from another White House official, Tim Morrison, who testified that there was a meeting between former National Security Adviser John Bolton and President Trump, specifically about releasing the aide. Why not wait for John Bolton to testify? The courts can't get to it till December. 

REP. QUIGLEY: I flip it. Why not- why isn't Mr. Bolton testifying? Why wasn't he a whistleblower? 

MARGARET BRENNAN: But he's someone--

REP. QUIGLEY: If he thought that Rudy Giuliani was a hand grenade, if he was so offended--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.

REP. QUIGLEY: --he ended a meeting, if he was so offended he called it a drug deal, these other folks with lesser power, you could argue, came forward and risked a lot to tell the American people the truth--

MARGARET BRENNAN: But wouldn't he make your argument that much stronger since he could deliver this to the president's door?

REP. QUIGLY: I don't think at- with the amount of evidence we have right now, any single witness is going to be essential that without them, we wouldn't know what took place. I would love to hear from Mr. Bolton. I would love to hear from Mr. Mulvaney. For those Republican saying- seeming to imply that they want the Americans to know everything, well then why are they blocking their testimony--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you--

REP. QUIGLEY: --that's seen how damaging through the testimony and through the transcripts that these witnesses have been? They want no part of it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you heard enough at this point to vote for articles of impeachment?

REP. QUIGLEY: I believe that the Special Counsel, Mr. Mueller detailed obstruction, at least 10 or 11 counts, that were so severe that he would have indicted the President of the United States, if it wasn't for the D-O-G- DOJ rulings that you can't.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. 

REP. QUIGLEY: The fact of the matter is, the President of the United States, at the very least obstructed justice, and that's an article of impeachment. 

MARGARET BRENNAN:  And you're ready to vote for it. All right. Thank you very much, Congressman. We'll be right back with our CBS News Battleground Tracker poll.