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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 4, 2019 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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hi. i'm jake tapper you're watching cnn special coverage of the impeachment inquiry into president trump. the panel actually would draft articles of impeachment is on a break as lawmakers hold votes on an unrelated issue. before they left the hearing at times contentious as group of constitutional experts each made their cases why the president has or has not in one case met
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the impeachment criteria laid out by the nation's founders. here's a sampling of what they had to say. >> president trump's conduct as described in the testimony in evidence clearly constitutes impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors under the constitution. in particular the memorandum and other testimony relating to the july 25, 2019 phone call between president trump and president zelensky more than efficiently indicates that president trump abused his office soliciting the pled of ukraine to investigate his political rivals toor in th >> this is something i do not think we have ever seen before. a president who doubled down on violating his oath to protect
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and defend the constitution. the evidence reveal as president who used the powers of his office to demand a foreign government participate in undermining a competing candidate for the presidency. >> what matters in determining whether particular misconduct constitutes high crime and misdemeanor is ultimately the context and gravity of the misconduct in question. after reviewing the evidence that's been made public i cannot help but conclude that this president has attacked each of the constitutions safecards againsafecards -- safeguards in a monarchy in this country. >> i'm concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a placety of evidence and abon dunce of anger. i believe this impeachment not only fails to satisfy the sa
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standard of past impeachment, it creates a danger for future impeachments. >> and turley said he is not a trump supporter necessarily, did not vote for president trump. one thing that turley made the case about is that there's still so much we do not know about this case. in fact, in the house intelligence committee report prepared by the democrats, there was all of a sudden all of this new evidence, phone records between lev parnas, the giuliani associate who's been indicted for alleged campaign finance violations. call records showing that rudy giuliani called a number that some journalists are saying belongs to the office of management and budget, which theoretic willy could be related to the fact that the military aid was head up by that office. the office's management and budget. president trump before he left the nato meeting in london was asked, in fact, about that. let's roll that sound. >> mr. president, can you explain why your personal attorney rudy giuliani would need to talk to the budget
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office? >> i really don't know. you'll have to ask him. sounds like something that's not so complicated, frankly, but you'd have to ask him. no big deal. >> as a law enforcement matter, i mean, forgetting the politics of it all, there's still a lot we don't flow here. >> there's a lot we don't know. many witnesses that i think could provide essential testimony about exactly what the president intended, what he said, how he directed those around him to conduct this activity. unfortunately the white house has said we're never going to hear from those people. in some ways i think though kind of cast the dye on the obstruction impeachment count with the letter from the white house counsel saying, we will not cooperate on, in any way or at any level. so the question for the democrats is, do you allow that obstruction to prevent you from going forward with the case you have? look, as an investigator, you always want the perfect case. there's always another piece of evidence out there you think you could get with the right legal
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process or the right efforts or finding the right cooperator. you never have that case. ultimately, you go forward with the case you have. in my estimation, there is, all do respect to professor turley, not a placety but a bounty of evidence. >> a plethora. >> there you go. on the table right now i think a lot of prosecutors were this not the president would be pretty comfortable moving forward. >> the president's personal lawyer calling the office of management and budget. i'm sorry. why? if it's no big deal, if it's no big deal as the president said, has nothing to do with the ukrainian aid held up, was he the budget director, still technically under the law is the budget director or calling for another client? lobbying for somebody while the president's lawyer caught up in this mess, in the drain the swamp administration?
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there is, should be some level of transparency in government, and so -- if it's no big deal, prove it's no big deal. >> your point is so important and you don't even have to interfere with the attorney/client privilege to answer that question, because if you were doing a legitimate, an investigation that was being responded to legitimately, you know, i understand why rudy giuliani can't be a witness. the attorney/client privilege is a serious thing and that, to me, is legitimate. >> the legal work you do -- >> put that issue aside. you can talk to the office of management and budget people to whom he spoke. there's no way that's covered by attorney/client privilege. that would settle the issue altogether. why did giuliani call you? what did he say? and that is how a legitimate investigation is allowed to proceed. this has been a complete stonewall, and that, to me, is as bad as any of the underlying conduct. >> the point turley was making,
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though, don't rush it. go to the courts. referenced the mcgahn situation which he supported. said he should go to court over mcgahn and predicted they would win and they did win. trying to expose the partisanship and politics in it over rushing of the issue you just raised. >> the rushing? the rushing? you do know how long the mcgahn case has been pending? how long it's still going to be pending making its stately way through the d.c. circuit and then soar sfor siruptation? file 30 lawsuits and maybe win some day -- >> can i ask you a legal question. >> by all means. so if this is of the highest importance, the consideration of the impeachment of the president of the united states, why isn't this fast-tracked through the federal courts up to the supreme court? any of these questions? >> judges have life tenure and some are lazy as hell and some
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of them -- >> really the real reason? >> really? >> can i tell you something. judge leon in the, in the district court who has the cupp cupp cupper -- koupperman case is incredibly important to this. didn't even schedule a hear i hearing -- >> interesting had the chairman manship on "state of the union" there is a legal theory one of the reasons democrats are fast-tracking this when they get to the senate, when and if they get to the senate, john roberts, chief justice of the united states will preside over the court and john reports theoretically, theoretically, could compel john bolton to testify. >> mitch mcconnell dealt with that question yesterday in an open, in the press conference, and i think it ain't going to happen. john roberts is not going to get
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involved. the point mcconnell made which i think is correct is that basically any ruling that -- that roberts makes from the bench is essentially appealable to the full senate. >> right. >> so the full senate, which is dominated by republicans, will be the ultimate authority here and we do have the precedent of william wen qui william rehnquist who did, basically, he will tell you, nothing. sat up there, played solitaire during breaks. >> he did. >> i did very little, his quote, and did it very well. >> and john roberts was going to strike down obamacare and that didn't happen. >> that's true but -- >> john roberts, fair to say, in the interpretation of a lot of people who know him including a book wrote about him and works for us, john reports does not want to go in there guns ablazing and make a name for himself as somebody who
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aggressively presided over this. wants to be as low as possible. >> you never know. >> you never know. >> the senate runs the impeachment trial. roberts will preside. again, you're right. never know for sure but he is certainly not going in there with the idea he's going to run it like judge judy. it's going to be -- >> you know mitch mcconnell very well. senate majority leader. is he -- he could okay theoretically as majority leader a trial in the senate where joe biden is forced to testify, where hunter biden is forced to testify. any number of individuals republicans want to hear from, adam schiff theoretically. chairman of the house intelligence committee. what is his inclination, do you think? >> i think this his inclination agree on a set of rooming tules clinton impeachment. unanimous vote and then the
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trial. his preference -- >> unanimous ruling? >> yes. that way everybody knows the score going into it. whether they can get to a rules package like that i have no idea. >> not get to unanimous. to your other point, i think everyone is right, joan is right, the chief justice most likely wants this to be procedural. >> calls balls and strikes. >> to mitch mcconnell's point yesterday said i think the chief justice will recognize the will of the senate. where we will see if there are cracks. if democrats, if they don't agree on the rules, any fight over a particular witness or particular procedure and the democrats file a motion, do any republicans split? only need a handful. >> everyone stick around. keep talking about this. squeeze in a quick break as we wait for members of the house judiciary committee to return from that urgent vote. we'll be right back. these are real people,
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welcome back. we are waiting for members of the house judiciary committee to return to the hearing room. the democratic witnesses openly refuted some of the arguments from the republican witness, jonathan turley. michael gerhardt disagreed with turley's argument that congress needs to wait for the courts to weigh in on the white house's refusal to comply with subpoenas. take a listen. >> there's never been anything like the president's refusal to comply with -- with subpoenas
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from this body. these are lawful subpoenas. these have the force of law to them. these are the things that every other president has complied with, and actually acted in alignment with, except for president nixon in a small but significant set of materials. >> and professor turley said we can't charge the president for refusing subpoenas as long as he has any fanciful claim until the courts reject those claims? >> respectfully disagree. no. it's an independent event apart from the courts, it is a direct assault on the legitimacy of this inquiry crucial to the excess of his power. >> jeffrey toobin, is gerhardt right or is jonathan turley right? do the white house rejecting congress' assertion of powers to subpoena witnesses and to get documents, is that enough for an
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obstruction of congress charge or article of impeachment? or do the courts have to hold up the house of representatives here? >> well, what's clear, glad you gave me that second option, because there is certainly no legal requirement that the house wait until the judiciary process is completely run its course. but going back to what i said earlier. this is a political process, and the argument that you should have gone to the courts first may have some power with some members. house of representatives as well as members of the senate. so certainly there is no legal requirement that itthe house of representatives pursues certain procedural steps to impeach. there's certainly no rule for that. the question always is what will get you or lose you votes in the course of this process, and i'd imagine there are some members who would prefer that the democrats exhaust all of their
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legal remedies before accusing t they accuse the president of abuse of powers. >> and to your point. it's political. >> and dana's point is a cogent one which is why isn't this -- if it's so important why isn't this fasttracked at least to the supreme court or a circuit court? >> welcome to life tenure, baby. these judges in the federal court have life tenure. >> but they're americans. >> yes, but they also, you know, value the importance of getting full briefing and hearing all the arguments, and you know, what about my other cases? look, i'm as shocked as you are judge leon in this absolutely critical case didn't even set a hearing date until december 10th. this case was timed about a month ago. >> this is the kupperman case. >> the kupperman case, directly relative to john bolton.
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cupper kupperman is bolton's deputy, but he's a federal judge and does what he wants especially with his sequential. >> something else with jonathan turley, republicans witness and law professor noted he testified in the clinton impeachment one of the thinnest records to go forward on impeachment regarding president trump and turley took place in the proceedings against president clinton's in 1998 and sounded a little different. take a listen. >> executive power exhibits the same physical properties as a gas in a confined space. when you expand the space the gas will fill the space. you should not be misled. your decision will define executive power and authority. if you decide certain acts do not rise to impeachable offenses you will expand the space for
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conduct and we will have to live with that expansion. >> one of the cruelest parts of this process is when we go to clips from 25 years ago. >> his voice sounds the same, though. >> voice sounds the same. did it to congressman sensen bregor. time stops for no one. >> this is a political proceeding, legal, too, having legal debates but haven't gone after him on this and said, so clinton, obviously what he did was gross but that's impeachable yet putting our electoral system, the elections of the united states are not impeachable? hard to understand. >> who cares if jonathan turley is a phony. you think photo -- said, well, jonathan turley -- >> yeah. >> really? >> proceedings of today. probably people who will watch clips of this . >> i ask that. >> same number of people will say gerald najerrold nadler is .
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>> jerry nadler, a quote that says impeachment needs to be supported by the overwhelming majority of the public and we're clearly not there yet. to be fair to jonathan turley one thing he did say the clinton impeachment went through an entirely different process, which is an independent counsel, ken starr. a grand jury. things found to be illegal before it went to the congress. >> sure. and we, of course, 2340 lono lo have that statute. the process democrats pursued essentially an analog to that. the investigation in the house intelligence committee most compared directly to the way a prosecutor convenes a grand jury and subpoenas evidence and puts their chosen witnesses in front of that grand jury and then an indictment returned, which you could analogize to the house intelligence report delivered just a day or so ago.
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there are no perfect comparisons to the process we used with clinton or the process used with nixon. the question i think end of the day is, has the democrats approach to this process been reasonable? despite all the -- exercised and energetic complaints certainly by the ranking member and others this morning, i think you have to step back and look at the path they've taken and say, look, they have given the president the opportunity certainly to participate today. he's chosen not to. subpoenaed witnesses. he's blocked the witnesses. so there are equal process fouls probably on both sides and the end result is one people should be comfortable with. >> bottom line, dana, do you think the hearing today so far at least, you think it's not likely to move the needle when it comes to public opinion. is it doing anything in terms of democrats that might be wavering or any republicans wavering? in the house? >> perhaps, but -- i still think that hearing from people
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explaining the, you know, the fundamentals of the constitution and the founding fathers and why these rules were put in place are probably things that members of congress who already have been seriously considering this because they are potentially on the fence have already considered. but you never know. it is possible. but if there is somebody who is thinking about it, going back to your point, your fellow democrats are not doing enough to push back against jonathan turley, the proposal -- i see what you're saying. who cares what john turley says. the whole point of this hearing that the democrats are in charge put on was to hear constitutional league legal experts persecutive and why wouldn't they push back on the one republican there? if they are -- >> one republican witness? >> one republican witness, thank you, and trying to achieve the goal swaying public opinion. >> one other point worth pointing out, he was asked, i
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guess speaking hypothetically, obviously about what george washington would make of all this and everybody trying to get in the minds of the founding fathers and said he would set his powdered hair on fire thinking somebody could be impeach eed on a phone call. even if you don't support impeachment this is not just about a phone call. this is a whole campaign. >> one person who feels it's only about a phone call is the president of the united states. notice every time he talks about his perfect phone call that's the only thick he refers to in this impeachment process. so what professor turley is doing there, repeating a republican talking point that you can't impeach someone over one phone call. as you point out. and at the 300 pages of the house intelligence report points out, this is not about one phone call but that is a political argument that's being made, and it's obviously believed by a lot of people. >> all right. everyone stick around. squeeze in one more break.
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welcome back to cnn's coverage of the house judiciary committee's impeachment hearings. i guess the big question, of course, is, what next? we do expect the house judiciary committee, democrats on the committee to vote out articles of impeachment. we expect those will go to the floor of the house of representatives and it is suspected democrats will overwhelmingly vote to impeach president trump and theoretically it goes to the senate for a trial in which it would be determined whether or not president trump would be removed from office. take a look at this tweet that we just saw from cnn's manu raju, one of our capitol hill reporters, shows next year senate calendar, you can see, there's a month missing. january. not there. theoretically that is when the senate trial would take place, if the house votes on impeachment. that is the answer as to why january is missing, according to the u.s. senate. not stolen. it's just temporarily it's on a vacation.
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scott jennings what do you expect as somebody with close ties to senate majority leader mitch mcconnell presuming the house votes to impeach president trump and goes to the senate? what will it look like? >> a full trial. ip think the house guys will want to come over and present everything they've got. i think the president's lawyers will want to rebut, push back. >> and cipollone? white house counsel? >> they haven't participated in the house proceedings. so this is their last chance to, before god, country and the american public say, this is why this is a bunch of b.s. i think they're going to take it. i expect this to last some amount of time where both sides are laying out their case. we know what the vote's going to be unless bombshell information breaks before now and then. i can't imagine a president who -- he swings at every pitch will let house managers throw a budge a fastballs and not swing. can't imagine that. >> yesterday in london he says with pompeo and mulvaney sitting
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right there, i wouldn't let them testify in a house because it's a sham. maybe in the senate. he did open the pocket. i'm not saying write it in ink. >> also said he would love to talk about mueller. >> interesting thing, does anyone call him on it. republicans say, prp, wimr. pre where are your witnesses? >> what should they think of, other than making their case, what would be a win that republicans control the senate and very unlikely they'll vote to remove a republican president from office. >> i mean, a win for them certainly reaching a moment where one of these individuals like john bolton or others is compelled to testify. they have little control over that. otherwise, a win might be for it to be quick. people forget here that there are a number of democrats running for president and the senate cares about this having a democratic president in office. who will be sitting in chairs
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just waiting and listening day after day while this proceeds. it isn't actually a moment, a lot of people have a perception, they'll be able to question witnesses and have a viral moment. that's not what senator warren and sanders and booker will be able to do. held in uncomfortable seats in the senate, not campaigning. that's probably on senator schumer's mind as well. >> add a point i think is delicious and hilarious and bizarre. under this rules of the senate, that when there is an impeachment trial all 100 senators have to sit in their chairs at all times. if you know there is one thing politicians hate, and this is a bipartisan observation, it's sitting and being quiet and listening for hour after hour. >> also not allowed to talk. which mcconnell has frequently said would be good therapy. >> and when you think about the fact is, pointed out, senator
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amy klobuchar, cory booker, bernie sanders, now that kamala harris dropped out. four senators who would rather be in new hampshire and iowa. >> i talked to a few of those senators who admit it is a problem. if especially you just look at senator klobuchar just on its face. she is somebody who's on the rise. she might not be jumping in the polls, but she is being taken more seriously by the voters according to polls, and her sitting in a chair silently is not ideal. now, you have people like jonathan martin, on your show the other day, arguing it actually could be good. looks like she's statesman and could run to the cameras afterwards and do her job. that's not easy. >> i forget one senator, senator michael bennett also running for president. back to manu raju. we read his tweet earlier. manu, senior congress many correspondent on capitol hill, what's the mood of house democrats right now? what's the mood of the house speaker?
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>> reporter: they're moving forward, behind closed doors this morning, the speaker had this meeting with her caucus. they discussed the next steps on impeachment. she asked them, "are you ready?" the response, i'm told was, a resounding, yes, from the democrats in the room. meaning, are you ready to move to the next phase here in the impeachment proceeding and democrats i talked to afterwards made it clear the speaker even though not publicly said the president should be impeached, last night even told me she has not made a decision moving forward on impeachment and impeaching the president. she's very clear she's moving forward at least in the next step of the process and what she is emphasizing to her members. focus on the process. this part of the process, judiciary committee hearings. then they'll worry about the step of the process afterwards. now, of course, she sees down the road about where the caucus, where the house will eventually move. she is not detailing exactly how she plans to proceed but
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democrats are coming away believing they are full steam ahead, that impeachment will happen before christmas. that's still the belief. jerry nadler made it clear earlier today in the hearings they needed to move expeditiously. that's why you see both the house and senate starting to prepare for those next steps. we can expect judiciary committee votes could happen, i'm told, as soon as next week on the articles of impeachment. see if that ultimately happens. could see a vote in the full house even the week after. an interesting calendar released from the sna the today saying they're prepared for the entire month of january for it to be in trial, because they're seeing the house move in an expeditious fashion. the speaker being deliberate. tried to ask her a question a second ago, getting reaction to hearings. she said still happening. we'll see more of what she, when she talks to you, jake, tomorrow night, of course. at the moment ready to move ahead. not saying yet the president will be impeached even though many democrats believe she's
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already there. >> and manu referring to cnn having a town hall with house speaker nancy pelosi tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. eastern. i'm monitoring that. manu, before you go, a question. we don't have dates locked in. what are the next steps that have to take place before the actual vote on whether or not the house is going to impeach president trump jp after this hearing, any other scheduled hearings? when are we expecting the articles of impeachment, if they decide to draft them, to be released? and so on. >> reporter: the next hearing is likely going to be with staff counsels of the house intelligence committee. both democratic staff and republican staff expected to present findings to the house judiciary committee in an open hearing. we don't have the exact date. it could happen, only required to give 24 hours notice under house rules to actually have a hearing. we'll see when they actually schedule that. then we probably could expect articles of impeachment introduced soon thereafter. then at that point see if they decide to have an official
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hearing on the actual articles of impeachment before they move to a committee vote on those articles. they still have to make a decision before they move forward on the articles exactly what that would entail. wei expect we expect abuse of power. obstruction of power. and considering obstruction of justice very seriously including the allegations included in the mueller report, the president apparently trying to thwart the mueller investigation into his campaign and presidency. that could be part as well. once they make those decisions the articles will be introduced, the hearings will happen, when the committee will vote on those articles before the full house would vote and that could happen in the house pretty quickly under the rules soon as they make the decision. they may want to move full steam ahead because democrats don't want this to drag on and on and on particularly ones in difficult re-election races. nancy pelosi is most concerned about the frontline democrats, most vulnerable in the swing districts. once the hearings are done
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expect votes to happen quickly before the senate trial takes place probably in january, jake? >> thanks. manu raju. recap what he just said, after today's hearing, expecting one more hearing with counsels, democratic and republican counsel, introduce their views, their versions of the findings. then the house judiciary committee will draw up articles of impeachment theoretically. the house judiciary committee votes on it. assuming it passes which we all think it will, then it goes to the floor of the house of representatives. four big steps in the next four years? >> yes. the only wild card, is there some democratic victory for a new witness? although adam schiff seems to think that might happen in the intelligence committee separately as they move forward. at least four big steps. at least four. can democrats get this done? have a vote in the house? the clinton impeachment tracked the holidays, by the way. >> christmas -- christmas eve or something? >> a mid-term election and then
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after the election when it finished up. midterm. a very stressful time but this house and it's the speaker, won't answer modest questions. interesting to see how much she's willing to talk about this when she has the town hall tomorrow. part of her success, against it a long time. once decided no choice than to go forward. her success in keeping her words waiting for the right moments. she speaks when she thinks she needs to, either bring discipline, the family back together or speed things up, slow things down. you're going to get to talk to her at a fascinating time. yes, it's chairman nadler's ball after chairman schiff's ball but make no mistake about it, the speaker handles this and wants it done by christmas and hand it off to mitch mcconnell. >> expect a busy week next week. a lot of stuff happening in this committee. all of those steps you laid out, john, exactly right and how many
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they get through next week i don't know but they will be working. >> the next three weeks. >> right. but next week -- today only one hearing this week and may only have one hearing. next week it's not just one day. >> what do you think -- your guess is what? next week that hearing and then draw up articles of impeachment? >> certainly by the end of next week we will see the articles of impeachment. i don't -- i sort of doubt voted on next week. even the way john laid out the schedule, which i think is accurate. next week we'll see articles of impeachment. perhaps early in the week. >> while awaiting chairman nadler to gavel in, one other thing i wondered about. we don't get to the answer i'll come back to you. which is what did you make of the inclusion of devin nunes, ranking republican, on the house intelligence committee in that report that was released, because they certainly seemed to suggest something nefarious, although without spelling it out, phone records between nunes
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and giuliani, nunes and lev parnas. giuliani's indicted associate. but they didn't come out and be say we think devin nunes did x? >> yes. a fascinating piece of the report. in general, the report sheds more light on that side of the whole strategy to remove the ambassador, to interact with u.s.-based journalist john soloman to kind of create and propagate these myths of corruption and the ukrainian server and all that sort of stuff. you know, there's nothing to say that the ranking member violated a law or anything of that nature by interacting with those folks as they were engaged in that strategy, but it certainly raises a very awkward question for him on the ethics side nap is, how did he sit there on the day and conduct and participate in the questioning of maria yovanovitch as she relates the attempt to tar her reputation to
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remove her from office, and not reveal the fact in a he may have been a participant in that scheme? it's -- >> or at least knew about it contemporaneous. >> hard to imagine he didn't know about it because of all the contacts with parnas and solomon and giuliani at that time. exactly what they were up to at that time. >> i have to say, i have never seen, dana bash, in decades covering congress, a committee report that basically goes out of its way to criticize or at least insinuate quite a bit about the ranking minority member of that committee. >> i mean, it's exhibit 475 of how extraordinary these times are. especially on this committee. >> right. >> you know -- >> known for being bipartisan. >> historically, until these two men were at the top of the committee, extremely bipartisan committee, and not just going after him but going after him as
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somebody who potentially not committed crimes but did things allegedly -- >> let's listen back in to jerry nadler and we'll continue the conversation after the break. the committee will -- come to order. when we broke for recess we were under the five-minute rule and i recognize mr. sensen b nbrenner question the witnesses. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i'm a veteran of impeachments. named by the house as an impeachment manager in four impeachments. clin a clinton and three others. more than anybody else in history and one of the things in every impeachment, whether the ones i was involved in or the committees in which i was not a manager is a debate what is a high crime and misdemeanor and how serious does that have to be
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in order for it to rise to a level of an impeachable offense. 50 years ago then republican leader gerald ford made a comment saying a high crime and misdemeanor is anything a majority of the house of representatives deems it to be on any given day. i don't agree with that. you know, that sets either a very low bar or a non-existent bar, and it certainly would make the president serve at the pleasure of the house which is not what the framers intended. when they rejected the british form of parliamentary democracy, where the prime minister of the government could be overthrown by a mere vote of no confidence in the house of commons. so i'm looking at what we're facing here. this whole inquiry was started out by a comment that president trump made to president zelensky
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in the july 25th call, "do me a favor." there are some who have said it's a quid pro quo. there are some who have implied that it's a quid pro quo. but both trump and zelensky have said it wasn't, and zelensky has said there was no pressure on me, and the aid came through within six weeks after the phone call in question was made. now, you can contrast that to where there was no impeachment inquiry to vice president biden when he was giving a speech and said, you know, i held up a billion dollars worth of aid unless the prosecutor was fired within six hours. and son of a bleep, that's what happened! now, you know, it seems to me that if you're looking for a quid pro quo and looking for something that was really over
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the top, it was not saying do me a favor. it was saying, son of a bleep, that's what happened in six hours. now, you know, the republicans who are in charge of congress at the time biden made that comm t comment. we did not tie the country up for three months and going on four now wrapping everybody in this town around the axle rod. we continued attempting to do the public's business. that's not what's happening here. and i think the american public are getting a little bit sick and tired of impeachment, impeachment, impeachment when they know that less than a year from now they will be able to determine whether donald trump stays in office, or somebody else will be elected. and i take this responsibility extremely seriously. you know, it is an awesome and
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very grave responsibility, and it is not one than should be done lightly. it is not one that should be done quickly, and it is not one without examining all of the evidence, which is what was done in the nixon impeachment and what was done largely by kenneth starr in the clinton impeachment. now, i'd like to ask you, professor turley, because you're the only one of the four up there that doesn't seem to have it made up before the walk in to the door. isn't there a difference between saying "do me a favor" and "son of a bleep, that's what happened," and in six hours' time? >> i -- grammatically, yes. the -- constitutionally it really depends on the context. i think you're point is a good one in the sense that we have to determine from the transcript and hopefully from other
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witnesses whether this statement was part of an actual quid pro quo. i guess the threshold question is, if the president said, i'd like you to do these investigations and by the way, i don't group them together. my testimony i distinguish between the request for investigations into 2016 from the investigation of the bidens. but it is an issue of order. the magnitude of order constitutionally if you ask -- i'd like to see you do this as opposed to i have a quid pro quo. you either do this or you don't get military aid. >> time of the gentleman expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman for yielding. professor gerhardt said if what we are talking about today is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable. i'm reminded of my time on the house judiciary committee a number of federal judges guided
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then not only by the facts but by the constitution and the duty to serve this nation. i believe as we greet you today that we're charged with a sober and somber responsibility. so, professor karlan, i'd like you to look at the intelligence vol uniform where hundreds of documents are behind that in the mueller report. professor karlan, you've studied the record. do you think it is "wafer thin"? and did you remark on the strength of the record before us? >> so obviously it's not wafer thin, and the strength of the record is not just in the september -- the july 25th call. i think what you need to ask about this is, how does it fit
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in to the pattern of behavior by the president? because what you're really doing is you're drawing inferences here. this is about circumstancircums. did the president ask for a political favor and this record supports of inference he did. >> what comparisons, professor karlan, can we make between kings, that the framers were afraid of? and the president's conduct today? >> so kings could do no wrong. because the kings word was law and contrary to what president trump has said article 2 does not give him the power to do anything he wants. i'll give you one example that shows you the difference between him and a king. which is, the constitution says there can be no titles of nobility. while the president can make him son barron, he can't make him a barrea
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barron. >> shall any man be above justice? xan alexander hamilton means some abuse of trust. as we move quickly, professor, you previously testified the president abused his power. is that correct? >> yes, ma'am. >> what is the most compelling evidence in this impeachment inquiry that leads you to that? >> the phone call itself of july 25th is extraordinarily clear to my mind in that we hear the president asking for a favor that's clearly a personal benefit rather than acting on behalf of the interests of the nation. then further from that, further down the road, we have more evidence, which tends to give the context and support the explanation for what happened. >> professor, how does such affect our democratic systems? >> having foreign interference in our elections means we are less free. it is less we the people determining who's the next winner than it is a foreign
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government. >> it's fair to say that the president's actions are unprecedented. but what also strikes me is how many republicans and democrats believe that his conduct was wrong. let's listen -- >> improper for the president -- of the united states -- >> listen to the colonel. >> -- it is improper for the president of the united states to demand a foreign government investigate a u.s. citizen and a political opponent. >> professor feldman, in light of the fact that the president asked for an investigation, and then only when he was caught released the military aid, is there still a need for impeachment? >> yes, ma'am. impeachment is complete when the president abuses lis office a s arch and he abuses his office by attempting to do it. that's especially true if you only stop because you got caught. >> over 70% of the american
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people believe as i said what the president did was wrong. we have a solemn responsibility to address that and as well our fidelity to our oath and duty reminded of the men and women who serve in the united states military and my three uncles who served in world war ii. i can't imagine them being on the battlefield needing arms and fuel and the president saying do me a favor. we know that general would not say do me a favor. the prern people deserve unfettered leadership and it is our duty to affect the facts and constitution. i yield back my time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's clear to me no matter what questions we ask these four witnesses here today and no matter what their answers are that most if not all of the democrats on this committee are going to vote to impeach
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president trump. that's what their hard-core trump-hating base wants and they've wanted that since the president was elected three years ago. in fact when democrats took over the house, one of the first things they did was introduce articles of impeachment against president trump and that was way before president trump and the ukrainian president zelensky ever had their famous phone call whether it was perfect or not. now, today we're undertaking a largely academic exercise instead of hearing from fact witnesses like adam schiff or hunter biden, but we're not being permitted to call those witnesses. it would seem in a sense schiff for example, misled the american people on multiple occasions, common sense and basic fairness would call for schiff to be questioned about those things. but we can't. mr. chairman, back in 1998 when another president, bill clinton, was being considered for impeachment you said, and i
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quote, "we must not overturn and election and impeach a president without an overwhelming consensus of the american people and their representatives in congress." also you said, "there must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or one supported by a major political parties largely opposed by the other." you said such an impeachment would lack legitimacy, wos produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come, and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institution. that's what you said back then, mr. chairman. well, what you said should never happen that we vo nershould nev what you're doing now. moving forward without consensus and impeachment bopposed by one party. you so accurately warned us about a bitterness back then. mr. chairman a couple more
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quotes from a very weis jerry nadler from two decades ago. the last thing you want, it's almost illegitimate have a party line impeachment. you shouldn't impeach unless it's a broad consensus of the american people. wise words, mr. chairman but you're not following them today. your words back then, the issue in a potential impeachment whether to overturn the results of a national election. free expression of the popular will of the american people. that is an enormous responsibility and extraordinary power. it is not one we should exercise lightly. it is certainly not one which should be exercised in a manner which either is or would be perceived by the american people to be unfair or partisan. quote/unquote. mr. chairman, those things you warned against then are exactly what you and your democratic colleagues are doing now. you're about to move forward with a totally party line
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impeachment. that is clearly not a broad consensus of the american people. you're overturning the result of a national election, and there's no doubt that it will be perceived by at least half of the american people as an unfair and partisan effort. you seem bound and determined to move forward with this impeachment and the american people deserve better. i get it. democrats on this committee don't like this president. they don't like his policies. they don't like him as a person. they hate his sweetweets or thet the mueller investigation was flop. now you're going to impeach him. i got news for you. you may be able to twist enough arms in the house to impeach the president but that effort's going to die in the senate. the president will serve out his term in office are and in all likelihood be elected to a second term probably witch the help of this very impeachment charade we're going through now. while you're wasting so much of congress' time and the american people's money on this
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impeachment, there are so many other important things that are going undone. within this committee's own jurisdiction we should address the opioid epidemic and could be working together to find solutions to the challenges on our southern border. protecting americans from jobs stolen by chinese companies and enhancing election security to name a few things. congress as a whole could be working on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, providing additional tax relief to the nation's middle class families and providing additional security to our people here at home and abroad. instead here we are spinning our wheels once again on impeachment. what a waste. the american people deserve so much better. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> thank you, mr. chair. i take no pleasure in the fatha we're here today. as a patriot who loves america,