tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN December 12, 2019 5:00am-6:00am PST
bier we're about to get a m bigger window. cnn's coverage over the articles of impeachment continues right now with wolf blitzer in washington. >> good morning. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. next hour, the final step before impeachment articles hit the house floor. another round of fiery face-offs in the house judiciary committee. democrats have settled on their impeachment charges. abuse of power and obstruction of congress. now republicans will get to weigh in and try to add amendments sparking what could be a day-long debate. a preview of what we're about to see came last night with hours of opening statements. >> if we do not respond to president trump's abuses of power, the abuses will continue. >> two articles? the only abuse of power here is
the majori itity racing the fas they've ever had, the clock in the calendar determining what impeachments look like. >> admissions, confessions, video, everything but dna. what else do you need? >> the president is the smoking gun. the smoking gun is already reloaded. and whether or not it gets fired, that's up to us. >> if the two articles pass today a house vote is expected next week. then mitch mcconnell will hold a trial at the start of the new year. moving to acquit the president instead of immediately dismissing the charges. let's begin with the very latest in the house of representatives. our senior congressional correspondent manu raju is joining us right now. set the scene. what can we expect in the immediate hours ahead? >> this is going to be a messy, contentious affair that's going to take place in just under an hour before the house judiciary committee. this is not going to be like your typical congressional hearing where a witness testifies.
these members are going to be engaging directly with one another going back and forth for hours as republicans try to gut, try to undermine, undercut the two articles of impeachment the democrats have put forward. expect republicans to offer amendment after amendment to try to change those articles. and there's no rule prohibiting them from offering whatever they want. a member could decide on the spot at that moment about offering an amendment so this means this gould on for potentially hours. it really depends on when members give up, get tired and at that point that's when we'll see that ultimate vote in which democrats will vote to send these two articles of impeachment to the house floor for the full house's consideration. that historic vote is still expected some time today. when it gets to the house floor which we're expecting to happen by early next week, potentially tuesday or wednesday for a house floor voerkts that's when the real vote counting will take flas which the president could be the third president to be impeached in history. democrats expect to have a majority to support both
articles of impeachment, but there could be defections beyond two democrats who have already expressed their opposition. we are hearing from democratic leadership sources that they expect potentially a handful more to defect, particularly ones in swing districts. those swing district democrats told me the last couple of days, they are still weighing this seriously. they'll go back home this weekend and listen to voters and hear what -- get feedback before ultimately determining how they come down. and nancy pelosi has indicated they can vote however they so choose. at the moment, wolf, we do expect this vote to pass today, to get approved by the house judiciary committee along party lines and then we expect that vote in the full house along party lines and that will tee up that historic trial in the senate as well for january. so a very moving, very fast-moving development here historic developments and very contentious developments we'll see here in just a matter of hours. >> very important developments indeed.
manu we'll get back to you. we're also now hearing from one of the key figures in the impeachment inquiry. the office of management and budget. cnn's senior white house correspondent pamela brown is joining us. tell us what you're learning on this front. >> wolf, we've learned omb created a legal memo this month trying to justify why it was holding the military aid to ukraine saying it was a policy process not a political process to block congress' approval of those funds. here's what the memo says. quote, it was omb's understanding that a brief period was needed prior to the funds expiring to engage in a policy process regarding those funds. omb took appropriate action in light of a pending policy process to ensure the funds were not obligated prematurely in a manner that could conflict with the president's foreign policy. there's been a number of reason yes those funds were held up. this provides a window into omb's legal explanation for that hold-up. the hold-up is part of this debate on the floor as part of this mark-up.
one other thing i should notice. the president is tweeting this morning about the impeachment process. he's claiming this would be the first impeachment of a president where no crime has been committed but as you know, there is no crime that needs to happen in order for a president to be impeached. >> we're also learning that the retired harvard law professor alan dershowitz could emerge as a legal adviser to the president. what exactly are you hearing on that front? >> that's right. alan dershowitz has a close relationship with the president. he took his side during the mueller investigation. very outspoken about that. he's been playing this role as an informal adviser to the white house during this impeachment process. a source familiar with the matter tells me that he very well could join the president's legal team and play a role in the senate trial by arguing the constitutional merits. but at this point, it's not formalized. he is, though, talking to the president about the matter. >> we'll see what happens on that front. pamela brown at the white house,
we'll of course get back to you throughout the day. joining us now to discuss all of this, jim sciutto, cnn political analyst david gregory and special correspondent jamie gangle. jim sciutto, what do you make of this omb memo saying they were engaged in a policy process. that's why the nearly $400 million in defense related aid to ukraine was being withheld? >> it does seem like something of a retroactive rationalization. there was a policy process that already took place, right? congress appropriated the funds in may of this year, the defense department authorized the funds because it reviewed corruption in ukraine and sent a letter to congress saying we reviewed it. they're making efforts. we approve of it. certification. that's the word for that. beyond that, remember the public testimony. the president's aides testified under oath to decisions made outside the policy process. gordon sondland talked about it. that everybody was aware of it. that they had to run this
through rudy giuliani and so on. not through the people the president appointed as per the normal policy process. the russia person on the nsc, et cetera. so the facts of this do not support the omb's explanation. >> can we talk about timing? the fact this is coming out today? they have had weeks and weeks and weeks to mount a defense. and all we have heard about is process, how it's not fairx denial. all of a sudden at 11:59, they've come up with the explanation. >> the democrats have a potential problem here in that they may tllose two or four democrats. they'll almost certainly have enough votes to get these articles of impeachment passed next week but could be a little awkward. >> it could be awkward and no question that in this age of partisanship, speaker pelosi
wants unanimity if she can have it, but she has to understand those members coming from more contentious districts, tougher districts politically, have to be able to walk. and she's got to give them room to do that. as long as she's secure in having the votes. >> looks like the republicans will be totally unified. >> totally unified. and the fact we know, absent some revelations how this is going to go, i think renders this process that much more divisive as we watch each element of it. >> we're hearing that -- and you are doing some reporting on this, jamie, but the president was surprised that of all the issues out there it was ukraine that is now resulted in these two articles of impeachment. >> doesn't it just make you wonder what else he's thinking about that's been going on? we have had some hints about th this. i was looking at reporting we
did six, eight weeks ago and was speaking to those on calls with world leaders or who had read transcripts of them, and their point was not that in those calls that he did anything illegal or crossed the line, but they said he is so consistently outrageous was the word that they used that staff becomes desensitized to it. this is the way he speaks. could you give me an example? they weren't going to give me an example but one said to me, the way he speaks at a rally is the way he speaks to world leaders. it is so blunt. it is so out there. and trump knows this about himself. but i did find our reporting on that to just -- it made me laugh. >> this will be part of the defense of trump that he's outrageous, he's inexperienced, that he crosses lines without really knowing it, but in the
end the aid flowed and there was never an investigation. you have to let trump be trump. we're seeing the elements of this defense, even on the omb memo which is why he wants to mount a big public defense. >> and that loose speaking style, it affects the policy, right? it affects substantive decisions. just another example of something in a similar vain was his discussions with the chinese in trade negotiations and saying, i'm not going to bring up the hong kong protesters in the midst of that. in effect trading what is a human rights issue for the hope of progress on a trade issue there and by the way, that's another call that was moved to that secure server. so folks in the white house knew the sensitivity. >> everybody stand by. there's a lot more we're watching. we're only minutes from the house judiciary committee continuing down its historic path toward impeachment. things could get contentious as lawmakers consider amendments set to two articles of impeachment. stay with cnn for all the fast-moving developments. we'll be right back.
just minutes from now, the house judiciary committee coming together to debate and ultimately vote on whether to move impeachment articles to a full house of representatives vote. the debate began last night. and during it, democratic congressman eric swalwell called out his republican counterparts. >> governance is about courage. think about the courage displayed by the witnesses who came forward in this investigation. if they can show that type of courage and risk everything, why can't my republican colleagues? >> i'm joined by congressman swalwell. congressman, you called out republicans for what you described their lack of courage. what do you say to your vulnerable democratic colleagues who may vote against one or both of these articles of impeachment?
>> well, i thank my vulnerable colleagues for having the courage early on after thus phone call was revealed to come forward and say that the president must be held accountable. you'll remember, wolf, it was new members who had served in the military and the intelligence community who wrote an op-ed in "the washington post" saying that their sense of duty called on them to say that this is wrong and we should do something about it. >> how many democrats do you expect to lose in the vote that is likely to happen tonight? >> there's no official count, wolf. we're not whipping it and the judiciary committee i expect the full committee will probably approve the articles. but the case we're making to our republican colleagues is that the facts are really not in dispute here. and they're not disputing what president trump did and no one really seems to want to defend that quote/unquote perfect call. they're just making process attacks. if you mind yourself in that position you have to ask yourself, do we want to allow the future presidents of the united states to use their office to allow foreign
governments to cheat our elections. >> the judiciary committee vote today. next week the full house of representatives. we did hear last night republican congressman gohmert name the possible whistle-blower in his opening statement. do we expect more of that today? >> we expect more of the republicans not to focus on the facts here and make process attacks. and we're going to stick to the facts of what donald trump did and, again, that's not in dispute, but also what we are called to do when someone violates their oath, jeopardizes our national security and our elections and refuses to this moment to cooperate with congress. that's where the focus should be and that's where we'll stay. >> the house intelligence committee, as you know, you're a member of the intelligence and judiciary committees, sent more evidence to the judiciary committee that is relevant to jennifer williams' testimony and the vice president's september 18th call with president zelensky of ukraine. she's a top aide to the vice
president. what do you make of this supplemental testimony? does it do anything to shift your understanding of this case? >> it's relevant testimony, but what's unfortunate is that in the spirit of president trump refusing to cooperate at all in this investigation, the vice president is refusing at the request of chairman schiff to declassify this information. we do not believe that it should be classified for any reason, period. we think the public should be able to see it. the vice president refuses to do that so we'll have to consider how we use that in those articles. this comes to a pattern of not wanting the american people to know what this administration, particularly the president did, with ukraine. wolf, most people at home when they hear that, they assume that it's because you have a consciousness of guilt. >> if he is impeached in the house next week and it goes to a full senate trial in january, two republican senators have told cnn the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell will not merely dismiss the charges but move to acquit the president once the majority of senators believe the trial has run its course.
may not even call witnesses in the process. what's your reaction? >> that would be irresponsible. we've heard just from what limited investigation we've been able to conduct with the president's obstruction, powerful evidence that the president abused his office to cheat an election. and the senate has a duty to also hear that evidence and use their powers as well to seek testimony from mick mulvaney, john bolton, even secretary pompeo, people who have refused to come forward. they should make their own efforts. it would be irresponsible and send the wrong message to this president because you think he's just going to stop going over to ukraine and asking him to cheat. he continues to do that right now as this is a crime spree in progress. >> congressman swalwell, thanks so much for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> a busy several days for you. coming up -- president obama's former attorney general gives a scathing criticism of the current attorney general william barr calling him unfit to lead. cnn's special live coverage continues right after this. in one week...
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all right. now just moments away, the beginning of a marathon day for impeachment debates on capitol hill. president trump faces two articles of impeachment. the first for the president's alleged abuse of power claiming president trump pressured ukrainian president zelensky to open investigations into his political rival. the second article of impeachment is for obstruction of congress which contends the president stonewalled congress' investigations by not allowing officials to testify and withholding documents. notably house democrats chose not to include any allegations against the president from the mueller report. back with us our team of
experts. also joining us for the first time this morning, gloria borger, jeffrey toobin and ross garber. on this day, eric holder, let me get your reaction to this, writes a statcathing op-ed, wilm barr is unfit to be attorney general of the united states. >> it's very unusual for one attorney general to criticize the incumbent. there is sort of this formal nonaggression pact that's been honored over -- you know, many, many years. attorney general hoi attorney general holder decided to change that tradition because things are different. it's about a vision of the constitution that attorney general barr has about executive authority that is so different from even republican attorneys general in the past that holder felt he had to speak out and the second article of impeachment,
the obstruction of congress, really gets to this dispute because it's really about whether the attorney general -- whether the executive branch has to respond in really any way to the other branches. that's what this is -- >> i'll read the last sentence. william barr has proved he is incapable of serving as attorney general. he is unfit to lead the justice department. >> which means that holder thinks he should be removed from office, period. and that is kind of stunning to have a former attorney general say that about a current attorney general. but he also makes the point he thinks that barr is effectively lying for partisan reasons. he says that the partisan talking points he uses bear no resemblance to the fact his own department has uncovered. he's saying you have an attorney general who is saying don't listen to the people who work for me. don't listen to the people in
the fbi. they're wrong. don't listen to the inspector general's conclusions. i disagree with those. and by the way, my hand-picked person will soon come out with another report which will say what i want him to say and so holder is saying, he ought to leave. or taken out of office. >> you know, president trump, when he was complaining about jeff sessions says barack obama, president obama, he had eric holder look after him. he's saying, no, there should be some distance an attorney general has from an administration that there's some independence by the justice department, by the fbi, the fbi director has a ten-year term to be above partisan politics. but in this case, you have barr who has certainly positioned himself as a partisan and a protector and an enforcer of his view of executive power as jeffrey talked about. >> let me get ross garber in. >> it's more than that. even if you assume sort of a
robust view of executive authority, the bigger issue is the notion that the attorney general or other executive branch officials are potentially acting out of partisan interests or out of personal loyalty as part of that discussion related to eric holdero role. it's that famous line where the president says, where is my roy cohen? that's one of the big problems. >> right here. >> i think there is confusion about roles and responsibilities here. rudy giuliani not making clear and nobody really making it clear whether he's acting in his personal capacity or whether he's representing the president personally or on some official mission to barr not making it clear what his motives are. that's one of the big problems here and one of the things eric holder is trying to get at. >> can you imagine what the chilling effect is at the justice department, at the fbi?
barr has made it very clear that all he cares about is an audience of one, donald trump. and we are hearing from fbi officials, from justice department people who really can't believe that this particular role, the attorney general, which is supposed to always be the most independent has become so political. >> you know, it gets to this point. the omb's argument this morning this was all a policy process, right? it shows how that argument is thin, right? on the ukraine thing there was a clear process outside the normal policy process. his personal attorney, that even his own appointees acknowledged were strange and everybody knew about but with igs, igs are designed to be nonpartisan investigators of this kind of stuff within the doj. you have barr then knock them down. and, remember, this started with a whistle-blower complaint which the ig in the office of the director of national
intelligence said this is something we have to pass on. remember, barr said this is something we -- it's not a priority. that is all outside the way this is supposed to function. >> we listen to all of michael horowitz, the inspector general's testimony yesterday for seven, eight hours, and he is very, very impressive. >> yeah. >> and the thing about barr is we know that he came in to office believing very strongly in executive power. this was his whole -- he's written about it extensively. some say he auditioned for the job by sending a memo on the authority of the president and that's why they hired him, but this goes beyond -- this really goes beyond the sort of notion of executive authority. and this question of donald trump can do nothing wrong. and that's effectively where barr is, even to the point, and you say, the inspector general, very impressive yesterday. and didn't walk political lines,
found things wrong with the fbi. said there was no political motivation in starting the investigation. barr disagreed with him vociferously and said, wait a minute. you'll find out the real story pretty soon. so, you know, this is somebody started out executive power and has gone really beyond that to a great degree in defending donald trump. >> everybody stand by. we're waiting for the start of the judiciary committee. the gavel will go down momentarily, but let's get a likely preview of what to expect today. last night there were many, many statements. listen to how republican congressman kelly armstrong of north dakota framed his defense of president trump. listen to this. >> so here we are tonight on an ambiguous abuse of power charge. this began the day president trump was elected, and it's culminated here. but this never-ending march towards impeachment and overturning the results of the 2016 election has consequences.
because you are telling 63 million voters that you don't respect or honor their vote. >> joining us now, congressman kelly armstrong of north dakota. congressman, thanks so much for joining us. and very briefly, give us your strategy. what is likely to happen over the next several hours? >> we are going to continue to make our case why these articles of impeachment are ill-advised, streamlined and moving forward on an artificial data but clock and a calendar. this has gone incredibly fast. it's -- the smallest record in history and we're going to do everything we can to supplement that record. >> are you planning personally on introducing an amendment? >> right now i'm not planning on doing it, but we'll see how the rest of the day goes. i am planning on speaking whenever i have the opportunity. >> we've seen republicans use procedure to interrupt the process over previous hearings and it got sort of nasty and ugly at a few moments. we're hearing the senate may not even call witnesses in the
january trial, assuming the articles of impeachment pass the full house of representatives. what does that say? does that reflect weakness in the republicans' defense of the president? >> absolutely not. and i think that there are many procedural reasons you do this. anybody who has ever spent time in a courtroom understands that there are good -- there are procedural plosimotions and pro matters. when you're in the minority, you don't have a lot of weapons to use when you're in the u.s. house, but you have certain ones and we'll take advantage of them, and they're not baseless. they're not intended to just completely slow it down. they're intends to point out the fact that this process has been rigged since the day it started. >> we've heard the president complain that the process in the house has been totally unfair. doesn't he deserve to mount a strong defense in the senate, including calling witnesses? >> yeah, i mean, once this goes over to the senate, they're going to do it how they do it. i completely trust them. they've been through this. it's going to be a little
different because republicans control the senate and democrats control the house and so we should continue to work over but how they determine to do it will be how they do it. >> are you confident, congressman, that your republican colleagues in the house, all of them, will vote in lockstep on impeachment? or do you expect any republican at all to vote for one or potentially both of these articles of impeachment? >> i'm confident this seems as united as the republican party has been. i just got here in january, but talking to members who have been here for a long time, and i found it a little interesting last night that there was a lot of pleading from my democratic colleagues on the judiciary committee to get republicans to come over to their side. i would strongly guess that their concerns -- they should worry less about our side and worry about maintaining people on their side. that's probably the best indication hough this has gone since the public hearings began in the intelligence committee. they'll have less democrats vote for impeachment now than at the beginning. >> we'll see what happens. democrats, they will lose at
least two, maybe four, maybe six but still have enough votes to pass these articles of impeachment on the floor of the house. congressman kelly armstrong, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf. still to come, we're learning more about the gop strategy for the trial in the senate. as we go to break it was on this date 21 years ago that the house judiciary committee voted on its fourth and final article of impeachment against president bill clinton. >> the longer i am at these proceedings, the more i am convinced of the weakness of the case made by the majority. last night our chairman who i esteem and have always esteemed and will continue to esteem tried to tell the american people, don't worry. we're not yet throwing the president out. even if we vote for these articles of impeachment. finally a little quiet time, huh?
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mcconnell says the trial will begin in the senate in early january. but just how long will it last, what will it entail? those are questions that remain to be answered. cnn's lauren fox is joining us with more on the senate strategy. lauren, you've been doing some reporting on this. what are you hearing that the senate may try to do to clear up president trump of any -- clear president trump any of wrongdoing but also not call witnesses? what's the latest? >> well, wolf, there's been a bit of a shift in terms of how moderates in the senate are thinking about this trial. for a long time, many of them wanted to ensure that no one was cutting it short. they essentially wanted to make sure they couldn't be accused back home of making it seem like they had not gone through all the stats needed in a senate trial. now that started to shift because people are looking ahead at who might be called as witnesses. the whistle-blow ehunter biden, joe biden and thinking that could be problem at fick thatic have to have up or down votes.
it's the idea of having a shorter trial. the house managers present their evidence. the white house being able to defend the president in their presentation and then there essentially would be a vote on the articles of impeachment. and it would in a way clear the president's name as republicans could vote against them. so, of course, that is what we are hearing right now. this is all very fluid, though, wolf. we've not had that meeting between mcconnell and schumer where they may hammer out the rules of the road and come up with some kind of plan to contain the witness list. but, of course, this is a moving target. this is where senate republicans are today. >> i suspect both republicans and democrats in the senate want to contain. they want to limit or completely exclude witnesses. lauren fox, thanks very much for that. up next, democrats anticipate they could lose votes on the articles of impeachment. we'll take a close are look at the democrats from swing districts where constituents have split opinions on impeachment. ♪ ahhh
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in moments the house judiciary committee will continue to debate and then vote on two articles of impeachment against president trump. this meeting is an important step toward impeachment for house democrats but doesn't seem to be as important to voters. look at this. the new monmouth university poll finds 45% of americans want president trump impeached while 50% say they do not. it's the same split as last month meaning the public hearings didn't do much to sway public opinion. down party lines there's a clear divide, however. 87% of democrats want the president to be impeached. 88% of republicans do not. let's bring back our experts. and it's interesting, gloria, because in this poll, among independents, should trump be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency? among independences, 36% say yes. 55% say no. >> right. i mean, this is not good polling for the democrats right now.
but when you look at that, also 71% say they are set in their opinions. nothing you can do is going to make me change my mind. only 24% say they are open to changing their mind which is why perhaps a short trial would be better for the president, if he acquiesces to listening to his advisers because -- >> for the democrats as well. >> exactly. because no one -- the cake is baked. >> right. >> and they're not going to -- they're really not going to change their minds unless and of course you can't rule this out, this being the trump presidency, unless there's some dramatic witness like bolton, for example, going up there and saying, look, i'll tell you what. >> it happened. >> it happened and this was bad but barring that, the public knows where it is. >> it's a disappointment for democrats. we know that because they said publicly, jerry nadler and other
democrats said it on my broadcast, they said they hoped, expected public hearings to move the dial and the fact is, one, it didn't with public opinion and it clearly did not among republicans. >> it did a little bit. >> if you go back months. >> which was 37%. >> since the public hearings, though. >> this is why i think trump wants a big show of a trial. i think he does believe he has an opportunity to win this to muddy the water enough that, remember, whatever happens with impeachment, and i agree, it's basically baked, when it comes to election year, people will take a judgment. all of this will be a judgment about presidential timber and fitness for the job. the extent to which the president and his allies can muddy this make it even worse for the democrats. they would like to be able to do that to diminish the poetency o this issue. >> the issue with witnesses is you never know what's going to happen. and you never know how they will be perceived both inside the chamber and out.
and that's why, you know, i think senators, one reason they're senators is they're risk averse and they don't want to throw the cards up in the air when, as you have pointed out, there are not 67 votes to get him removed from office. it just seems to me the democrats, as well as the republicans leave well enough alone. let's get on after january. >> you're getting new information about how unified the republicans are in the house. >> i was just texting with a senior republican official. i asked the question, are you going to lose any votes on either articles? because obstruction might do something. one word answer, nope. the other thing to the point of the senate is this. right now, donald trump loves a fight. we know that. he picks a fight even when he's winning. but at the end of the day, what does he know right now? he knows he's not going to be removed from office.
he knows he has those votes in the senate. i think he is listening to mitch mcconnell. and that he understands that right now, no surprises, no big witnesses. he's going to be -- he's going to be safe at the end of the day. >> the impeachment of president clinton. senator lieberman went to the floor to condemn the president's actions. i remember having reporting about biden saying to the caucus that clinton should think about resigning at a certain point. you have none of that out of the republicans who will really be harsh in their condemnation of what the president has done. >> the president's defenders, bill clinton's defenders, all came up, including the white house counsel and said call his behavior disgraceful. call it shameful. call it whatever you want. >> just don't vote to reremove. >> just understand it's not impeachable.
it's not an affair of state. and if you look at this, republicans aren't even saying that phone call was disgraceful or shameful. they're just saying the process is bad and let's move on. and they're defending that. >> as much as the president might like a fight, and might like to actually change the narrative, especially during the season as we come up on democratic primaries and caucuses in february, as much as he might want to focus attention on the bidens and hunter biden and joe biden. i'm always reminded of that advice to young lawyers when you are winning in court, sit down. and i think there are going to be a lot of people advising the president of that. >> i think a lot of his advisers are saying, get this over as quickly as possible and move on to other issues. in just minutes the house judiciary committee is set to debate on two articles of impeachment leading up to a crucial vote. you are looking at live pictures coming in from the judiciary committee. we'll have our extensive live coverage right after this. in one week...
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exclusively at zales, the "diamonds are a girl's best friend" store. good morning. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. in minutes the articles of impeachment are up for debate in the house judiciary committee. today republicans will weigh in facing off directly with democrats while trying to add amendments. if the articles pass today, as expected, a full house vote is expected next week. then it's on to the senate in early january for a trial. our senior congressional correspondent manu raju is joining us from capitol hill right now. so within minutes this committee hearing will begin. >> it's going to be very contentious i'm hearing from democrats they are ready to fight the republican colleagues on these amendments and the republicans plan to offer. this is not going to be like your typical congressional hearing where a witness
testifies and then each member gets a chance to ask questions of that witness. instead these members will be engaging directly with one another. each member -- any member can offer any amendment they want at any members of the committee, 41 members of the committee, 40 are expected to attend. each of them will have a chance to speak on five minutes each. this could take some time to play out through the course of the day and it will probably end at the point where the republicans decide they have no more amendments to offer because democrats are expected to reject amendment after amendment that republicans seem to undercut the two articles of impeachment the democrats put forward. abuse of power and obstruction of congress. it is expected to end along a party line vote to approve these two articles of impeachment. separate votes on each article and they'll be sent to the house floor. we do expect that vote on the house floor to occur by tuesday or wednesday of next week. when that occurs on the floor, the question will be ultimately how many democrats do vote to impeach the president. we expect it will be a majority
enough to impeach the president but at least two are expected to defect. we're hearing from democratic sources there could be more than two at the moment. a lot of democrats from swing districts are weighing this issue, planning to hear from their constituents over the weekend nvd announce their positions early next week and i'm told from democratic leadership sources they don't plan to whip their members or twist arms to force them to vote the party line. it will be unpredictable until the final moments on how the final votes play out. we do expect the president to get impeached by the house, by next week. we do expect this historic vote in the house judiciary committee to play -- take place today and the after math of what is expected to be a long, bitter, content yaurious affair as the parties engage in these proceedings today. >> last night they had their opening statements all 41 members spoke five minutes each. it went on for more than three hours. so walk us through the procedure this morning. will there be an opening statement from the chairman, the ranking member, the ranking
republican and then what happens? >> yeah, and then at that point, any member can simply say they move to offer an amendment. and when they offer an amendment, they have to actually provide the next of that language to the clerk. the amendment could be read aloud before all of the members of the committee. and then each of the members can simply say they want a chance to talk and to speak about that particular amendment. and as you said, there are 41 members of this committee. 40 are expected to attend one is not, ted lieu because of health issues. he's not expected to be here this week. but each of those members could speak. that could take time for each individual amendment. when that amendment is voted down which we expect because republicans are expects to offer amendments, democrats are happy with these articles and don't plan to do that. that's why this is unpredictable how this contentious day will play out, wolf. >> 40 members now. ted lieu had some medical issues. we wish him a speedy recovery.
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