tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN December 19, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PST
trample our constitutional order to get their way. it is long past time for washington to get a little perspective. president trump is not the first president with a populous streak, not the first to make entrenched elites uncomfortable. he's certainly not the first president to speak blunt ly, to mistrust the administrative state, or to rankle unelected bureaucrats. heaven knows he's not the first president to assert the constitutional privileges of his office rather than roll over when congress demands unlimited sensitive information. none of these things, none of them is unprecedented. i'll tell you what would be unprecedented, it will be an unprecedented constitutional crisis if the senate literally
hands the house of representatives a new partisan vote of no confidence, that the founders intentionally withheld destroying the independence of the presidency. it will be unprecedented if we agree that any future house that dislikes any future president can rush through an unfair inquiry, skip the legal system and paralyze the senate with a trial. h if the house could do that, it will under this precedent. it will be unprecedented if the senate says secondhand and thirdhand testimony from unelected civil servants is enough to overturn the people's vote. it will be an unprecedented constitutional crisis if the senate agrees to set the bar this low forever. it is clear what this moment
requires. it requires the senate to fulfill our founding purpose. the framers built the senate to provide stability, to take the long view of our republic, to safeguard institutions from the momentary hysteria that sometimes consumes our politics, to keep partisan passions from literally boiling over. the senate exists for moments like this. that's why this body has the ultimate say in impeachments. the framers knew the house would be too vulnerable to transient passions and violent factualism. they needed a body that would
consider legal questions about what has been proven and political questions about what the common good of our nation requires. hamilton said explicitly in federalist 65 that impeachment involves not just legal questions but inherently political judgments about what outcome best serves the nation. the house can't do both. the courts can't do both. this is as grave an assignment as the constitution gives to any branch of government, and the framers knew only the senate could handle it. well, the moment the framers feared has arrived. a political faction in the lower chamber have succumbed to
partisan rage. a political faction in the house of representatives has succumbed to a partisan rage. they have fulfilled hamilton's philosophy that impeachment will, quote, connect itself with the pre-existing factions, enlist all their animosities, and there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt. alexander hamilton. that's what happened in the house last night. the vote did not reflect what had been proven. it only reflects how they feel about the president.
the senate must put this right. we must rise to the occasion. there's only one outcome that is suited to the possty of evidence, the failed inquiry, the slap dash case. only one outcome suited to the fact that the accusations themselves are constitutionally incohere incoherent, constitutionally incoherent. only one outcome will preserve core precedence rather than smash them into bits in a fit of partisan rage because one party still cannot accept the american people's choice in 2016. it could not be clearer which outcome would serve the stabilizing institution preserving, fever-breaking role for which the united states
senate was created and which outcome would betray it. the senate's duty is clear. the senate's duty is clear. when the time comes, we must fulfill it. >> you saw the senate majority leader delivering about a half-hour rebuttal in effect to the house impeachment case, calling it the thinnest case for impeachment in the country's history and saying, poppy, that this, if the senate were so accept this, invite, in his words, impeachment of every future president. >> yeah, that's right. you know, what struck me was near the end, jim, when he said historians will regard this as the great irony of our era, that so many who profess concerns for our norms and traditions will
trample those norms and traditions essentially for what they want. this is what we were talking about this morning that if the articles for impeachment are not transferred in a timely manner as they were with president clinton, this is what democrats will push republicans on. >> i will note as mcconnell accused the democrats as pure partisanship there, i want to play mcconnell from 20 years ago on cnn when the question of witnesses in the senate trial of bill clinton came up. he sang a different tune at the time. have a listen. >> every other impeachment has had witnesses. it's not unusual to have witnesses in a trial, and i think we're handling this in exactly the appropriate way under the constitution and it will end soon. >> so there, mcconnell 20 years ago when a democrat faced impeachment, supported witnesses in a senate trial. today he is calling requests like that unacceptable and the request of a political faction in the house. we've seen some flips like that from a number of participants in this.
>> we certainly have. lindsey graham, mcconnell, schumer on the other side. manu raju is back with us and kaitlan collins also joins us. guys, what is your read? schumer is going to follow shortly after with his remarks. >> what you heard was essentially firing a massive at nancy pelosi, the questions about these articles of impeachment. he's essentially saying the house made a mess of this and the senate is going to clean it up, essentially laying out his view. though of course we're wondering when those articles are going to be transmitted, and last night as manu can attest to, nancy pelosi will not commit to when that will happen. you saw mcconnell aides saying that's essentially a gift to him because he has no desire for this senate trial to happen. he's actually been in some arguments with the white house about witnesses and how they're going to conduct this, and so it
will be interesting to see how pelosi herself responds to this. we know schumer is going to speak soon and the two of them were supposed to meet this mo morning, so that's something that the white house is keeping a close eye on, the press conference from the senate majority leader. >> is there any possibility that republican senators will join democratic colleagues in voting by a simple majority vote to call witnesses, a john bolton for instance, mick mulvaney, or is mcconnell signaling he's got his caucus in line? >> reporter: i think it's a sign that he does believe that his caucus will be united, ultimatelily on the question of acquittal, i think there's a discussion or concern about losing virtually anybody in the caucus, maybe a couple who have been thinking about it but no one is signaling that they will vote to convict the president. that's the key question, whether or not any of them will break ranks, assuming a trial takes place, to get the mick mulvaney,
the john boltons. world. you need just four republicans to break ranks in order for a majority to vote in favor of subpoenaing or bringing forward any of these witnesses. at the moment, these members trust what mcconnell is doing. the republican senators have their faith in the republican leader to try to cut a deal first with chuck schumer on the overall rules of the process and then they're going to wait until after the trial takes place before they make those decisions about whether to vote to subpoena additional witnesses. so mcconnell will have to continue to do this to keep his caucus in line if the trial proceeds, if some of the members do want to hear key testimony. so that's going to be a question that he's going to have to grapple with in the coming weeks to keep republicans united. >> nia, can you set the record straight for us because we keep hearing that back in '98, '99 in the clinton impeachment senators agreed 100-0 on the rules. that's true, but then when the
second phase of that when it came to agree on witnesses being called or not, they didn't, did they? >> no. and i -- my sense, you heard from mitch mcconnell there sort of a walk down history lane in terms of what other impeachments have looked like. impeachable offenses are what the majority of congress says they are and they can decide what the rules are. there have only been a handful in history. he says this is the shortest. johnson's was only a couple of days. i am the daughter of a historian. i love history but in many ways -- >> stand by. senate minority leader chuck schumer responding. >> it is only the third time in our nation's history that the president of the united states has been impeached. the articles of impeachment charge that president trump abused the powers of his office by soliciting the interference of a foreign power in our elections, not for the good of the country but to benefit
himself personally. the articles also charge that the president obstructed congress in the investigation of those matters. together these articles suggest the president committed a grave injury to our grand democracy. the conduct they describe is very much what the founders feared when they forged the impeachment powers of the congress. the founders in their wisdom gave the house the power to accuse, the senate the power to judge. we are now asked to fulfill our constitutional role as a court of impeachment. now that the house of representatives has impeached president trump, the nation turns its eyes to the senate. what will the nation see?
will the nation see what alexander hamilton saw, a body of government with confidence enough to preserve unawed and uninfluenced the necessary impartiality, or will the nation see the senate dragged into the depths of partisan fervor. the nation just witnessed how the republican leader sees his role in this chapter of our history, demonstrating both an unfortunately dissent into partisanship and demonstrating the fundamental weakness of the president's defense. leader mcconnell claimed that the impeachment of president trump is illegitimate because the house voted along party lines. forgive me, but how democrats cannot be held responsible for the cravenness of the house republican caucus and their
blind feelty to the president. leader mcconnell claimed the impeachment was motivated by partisan rage. this from the man who said proudly, i am not impartial, i have no intention to be impartial at all in the trial of president trump. what hypocrisy. leader mcconnell accused the house democrats of an obsession to get rid of president trump. this from the man who proudly declared his number one goal was to make president obama a one-term president. leader mcconnell claimed that democrats impeach the president for asserting executive privilege. president trump never formally claimed executive privilege. he claimed, quote, absolute immunity, unquote. the white house counsel wrote a letter stating simply that the administration would not comply
with any subpoenas. leader mcconnell claimed that the democrats', quote, obsession with impeachment has prevented the house from pursuing legislation to help the american people. leader mcconnell knows very, very well that the house democratic majority has passed hundreds, literally hundreds of bills that gathered dust here in the estimated, condemned to a legislative graveyard by none other than leader mcconnell himself who proudly called himself the grim reaper. members of the senate -- members of the 116th senate have been denied the opportunity to legislate by leader mcconnell. we aren't even allowed to debate the issues that would impact the american people -- health care, infrastructure, prescription drugs. we could have spent the year
debating these issues. we weren't doing impeachment. leader mcconnell has chosen not to focus on these issues and to put none of these bills on the floor, and as he reminds us often, he alone decides what goes on the floor. leader mcconnell claimed that the house did not afford the president due process. the leader knows well that president trump refused to participate in the process despite invitation and blocked witnesses and documents from congress in unprecedented fashion. leader mcconnell claimed that the house ran, quote, the most rushed, least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history. i know that that's the republican talking point, but here's the reality. leader mcconnell is plotting the most rushed, least thorough and most unfair impeachment trial in modern history.
his plan, to prevent house managers from calling witnesses to prove their case is a dramatic break from precedent. we heard a lot about precedent from the leader. never has there been a presidential impeachment trial in which the majority prevented the house managers from fairly presenting their case, to have witnesses explain their knowledge of the alleged malfeasan malfeasance. will leader mcconnell break press tecedent to make this thet impeachment trial in senate history that heard no, no witnesses. we ask, is the president's case so weak that none of the president's men can defend him under oath. is the president's case so weak that none of the president's men can defend him under oath.
if the house case is so weak, why is leader mcconnell so afraid of witnesses and documents. we believe the house case is strong, very strong, but if the republican leader believes it's so weak, why is he so afraid of relevant witnesses and documents which will not prolong things very long in our proposal, four hours for each witness. it is true as the leader has said that the framers built the senate to provide stability and to keep partisan passions from boiling over. however, their vision of the senate is a far cry from the partisan body senator mcconnell has created. i hope america was watching the republican leader deliver his speech. i truly do. because most glaring of all was the fact that lead are mcconnell's 30-minute partisan
stem winder contained hardly a single defense of the president of the united states on the merits. almost none defended president trump, because they can't. in the wake of an enormous amount of evidence uncovered by house investigators, much of it in the form of testimony by top trump officials whom the administration tried to silence, the republican leader could not rebut the accusations against the president with facts. the republican leader complained about the process. the republican leader made many partisan and inflammatory accusations about democrats, but he did not advance an argument in defense of the president's conduct on the merits. that in and of itself is a
damning reflection of the state of the president's defense. our goal in the senate above all should be to conduct a fair and speedy trial. i have proposed a very reasonable structure that would do just that. four witnesses, only those with direct knowledge of the charges made by the house, only those who could provid new, relevant and potentially illuminating testimony, strict time limits on each stage of the process to prevent the trial from dragging out too long. it's eminently reasonable. it's eminently fair. a group who had no partisan bias would come up with this type of proposal. i have yet to hear one good argument why less evidence is better than more evidence,
particularly in such a serious moment as impeachment of the president of the united states. in leader mcconnell's 30-minute screed, he did not make one argument why the witness and document should not be part of the trial. president trump protests that he did not receive due process in the house impeachment inquiry. due process is the ability to respond to charges made against you and present your side of the case. the president was invited to provide witnesses and provide documents at every stage of the process. he chose not to. still, democrats are offering the president due process again here in the senate. the witnesses we suggest are top trump appointed officials. they aren't democrats. we don't know if their testimony
would exculpate the president or incriminate him, but their testimony should be heard. if the president's counsel wants to call other witnesses with direct knowledge of why the aid to ukraine was delayed, we say they should be able to do so. president trump claims he wants due process. i suspect he would rather hide or name call because if he really wanted due process, he could get it easily. one phone call to leader mcconnell telling him to let his aides testify, one phone call to his chief of staff telling him to release the documents to congress. both of these actions would let the truth come out. i ask again, can none of the president's men come defend him under oath. to my republican colleagues, our
message is a simple one. democrats want a fair trial that examines the relevant facts. we want a fair trial. the message from leader mcconnell at the moment is that he has no intention of conducting a fair trial, no intention of acting impartially, no intention of getting the facts. despite our disagreements, i will meet with leader mcconnell soon to discuss the rules, but each senator will influence whether the senate lives up to its constitutional duty to serve as an impartial court of impeachment. in the coming weeks, republican senators will face a choice. each republican senator will face a choice. do they want a fair trial or do they want to allow the president free reign. each senator must ask him or herself, do you want a fair
trial or do you want the president to do whatever he wants regardless of rule of law, regardless of the consequences to this great nation. the nation turns its eyes to the senate. what will it see. the president of the united states has spent the past several months telling congress it has no right to oversight, no right to investigate any of his activities, that he has absolute immunity, that article two of the constitution gives him, quote, the right to do whatever he wants, unquote. that's the president's words. past senates have disagreed with such views and strongly and proudly stood up for the notion that the president is not omnipotent. democrats have done it. republicans have done it.
and often presidents of their own party. the senate has said in the past that the president serves the people, not himself, that he is not a king. will it do so again or will it shirk from that responsibility. if the republicans proceed with the majority leader's scheme to sweep these charges under the rug and permit the president to ignore congress, they will be creating a new precedent that will long be remembered as one of the senate's darkest chapters. it will be remembered as a time when a simple majority in the senate sought to grant two new rights to the president, the right to use the government for personal purposes and the right to ignore congress at his pleasure. here i agree with senator mcconnell.
moments like this are why the senate exists. if the president commits high crimes and misdemeanors and the congress can do nothing about it, not even conduct a fair tribunal where his conduct is judged by dispassionate representatives of the people, then the president can commit those crimes with impunity. this president can. others can. i have little doubt that if we tell the president that he can escape scrutiny in this instance, he will do it again and again and again. future presidents will take note and may do worse. the most powerful check on the executive, the one designed to protect the people from tyranny will be erased. this chapter in our history
books could be a lesson about the erosion of checks and balances in our modern age, or it could be a proud reaffirmation of those founding principles. this chapter in our history books could be about the overpowering partisanship of our times, or it could be about the senate's capacity to overcome it. again, moments like this are why the united states senate exists. i yield the floor. >> you've just seen there two contradict reviews of the role of the senate in this impeachment process. both the majority leader mitch mcconnell framing this as a historic moment, a threat to the senate if it moves forward, a threat to the presidency if it moves forward. schumer on the other side saying that future presidents will take
note and may do worse if they're not held accountable by this process. he also took a shot at mcconnell for the lack of witnesses in the senate trial saying, if the president's case is so weak that men -- that the president's men can defend him under oath, why won't they defend him under oath, poppy. >> that's the line that struck me the most as well, jim, and that's what i wrote down but let's talk to our guests about it again. the thing is, nia, he says that now, schumer, but he did not want witnesses in the senate trial during clinton's impeachment. both men agree on the gravity of the moment and what this will say about the senate, but they also have reversed, you know -- almost traded places from how they felt in the late '90s. >> yeah. these impeachments have a situational nature to them and you do see people flip-flopping in terms of what their positions are. one of the things that was also striking about what schumer said there was he noted that mitch
mcconnell never actually defended the president's behavior. he made it seem like that this impeachment was the result of unbridled partisan passions from democrats who just don't like the president's behavior, that they think he's too mean, that he's mean to reporters, mean to nfl players, and that is what has brought this about. of course that is not what actually happened. the president brought this on himself by pressuring a foreign leader to interfere in an election. so that i thought was interesting. at some point these two men will hash out what they think the rules will be. i think mitch mcconnell obviously is in the majority and has most of the power here in terms of determining what this senate trial will look like, and you have the democrats now in some ways sounding like the republicans were sounding on the house side and saying this is going to be an unfair process and prevailing on the president to have those four people testify in this trial.
we doubt that it will happen but we'll see. >> inconsistent, kaitlyn, collins, with republicans but also the president's strategy so far is to attack the process. i think we should note that mcconnell also attacked the witnesses. he called them unelected civil servants which has been a consistent attack line not just from republicans but from the president as well. >> he didn't defend the president's conduct but he did try to dismiss the stonewalling you've seen from the white house not allowing these witnesses, the few witnesses that they want to testify or that document turnover, saying essentially that he believe that they were impeaching the president and wanted to go to the senate trial over something that he called fairly routine. of course this is a very high level of stonewalling that you're seeing from the administration over sending these witnesses despite the president saying that he would like to send them. of course they have not gone. they have not testified. as the white house is making that argument about no direct ties to the president, they won't let the people who do know
about the direct ties go and testify. but it is interesting to see how mcconnell and schumer are presenting these dueling visions of what's going to happen. we're not getting a lot of light shed on what's going to happen and when those articles of impeachment are actually going to be transmitted. >> manu, i know we're hearing from pelosi in 15 minutes so she'll hopefully tell us then but do you have any intel on -- is her demand at this point i am not going to transfer these articles to the senate until you agree to witness testimony from these four witnesses that schumer has called eminently reasonable? >> reporter: she has not explicitly said so. she didn't say so last night in her press conference. she just had a meeting with her caucus and did not explicitly say so there according tie numbto a number of members and jerry nadler wouldn't say what the ultimate demand is. he said it was up to the spea r
speaker. steny hoyer, the number two in the caucus said that's ultimately the speaker's decision. it is her call when to transmit the articles to the senate. i can tell you that there's an expectation though that they ultimately will be delivered. jerry nadler told me, quote, in due course they'll be sent over to the senate. he said he did not think they would be held, quote, forever. also in a key sign, one freshman democratic member, elissa slotkin, told me that while it's reasonable to ask for a fair process, she said she did not want it to, quote, drag on forever. she said that would be, quote, not good if it did just that. so that's a sign that while this is a bit of a negotiation, there's going to be room that the caucus will give pelosi to do what they think is best. it probably won't be forever and pelosi probably knows just that, so that's why i think we can probably expect there to be a senate trial. it's just a matter of when that will actually happen. >> there is a natural break here of course because of the
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sglfrjt tonight the smallest group of democratic candidates will meet for the final primary debate of the year. seven candidates will try to leave their mark on you, the voters, as we enter the election year. >> you might be able to hear more from each of them. back in washington though the ripple effects of the dramatic impeachment vote should play an important role in the race. the candidates will be asked about it. joining us, m.j. lee and paul begalla. paul, you've watched a lot of debates in your time. a smaller field, does that set up important one-on-one matchups here, maybe some clashes? certainly other candidates, not always with great success, have tried to use the podium to attack the front-runners. where do you see the matchups here? >> there's been increasing tension between elizabeth warren and pete buttigieg for example. warren, more progressive.
buttigieg is more moderate. they've been attacking each other from a distance. now they're going to be on the stage next to each other. it's a really important moment for these democrats. we're 47 days from the iowa caucuses and there is the last debate before the break. iowans over that christmas break is when they really start to make their decisions. everything else i think has been a preamble but this will set the holiday conversation around a whole lot of iowa dinner tables over christmas. >> sure. >> there you go. picturing much of my childhood now around iowa dinner tables. m.j. lee, you had a great piece last week, a deep dive into elizabeth warren and sort of her mind-set now, not only talking about how she has been increasingly taking on her democratic rivals more pointedly, more directed drely, also making it clear to everyone who didn't realize it that after senator harris dropped out of the race, she is the only female
at least leading in the polls who's going to be on that stage tonight. klobuchar on the stage but she's polling lower than warren. do you have any sense of how we're going to see that manifest on the stage tonight? >> well look, i think that we've seen her over the last couple of weeks do some things a little differently and one of the things is what paul just said. she has been on the attack more than we have ever seen her before. most of this year she has really declined to go after her rivals directly, explicitly by name. only a handful of times -- i can count on one hand the number of times she's done that all year but more recently she has gone after pete buttigieg and i think it's a sign that she has been feeling the heat from this candidate as her poll numbers have dipped a little bit. his have been on the rise, especially in the early states, and i think she and her allies recognize that there's a lot of overlap between the supporters of elizabeth warren and the supporters of people buttigieg,
even though we often talk about them as being idealogically different. the base is shared. >> new cnn polling today showing the race, still a familiar pattern here. joe biden in the lead, down a little bit but not statistically dramatically, a couple points from november. sanders and warren right behind him there. this other one struck me too, favorable opinion of joe biden changed from october to now from 74% to 67. 67 is pretty high still and it's down but i wonder if joe biden should take comfort both from maintaining that lead but also with all these attacks from the president in the last several weeks and months that he still keeps a pretty high favorability rating, two out of three voters. >> that's right and that's what biden ought to do. he ought to stand up and wear these attacks by donald trump as a badge of honor. in the impeachment debate yesterday, i watched every minute of them.
my eyeballs were bleeding. they probably mentioned joe biden as often as they mentioned president trump. i think joe, for democrats, should wear that as a badge of honor. he should say no matter who we nominate, they're going to lie about him. i've proven i can take it. on the day he announced, joe biden was at 28. today he's at 26 after all the sling scenarios, all the ups and downs. his support is far more resilient than a lot of people thought it might be. he's been a remarkably tough candidate and i think a lot of people, myself included, were concerned from the beginning that he was going to slip and fall, and there he is right where he was when he began the race. >> m.j., another polling number that stood out to us in this new poll is that those democrats that are very satisfied with their choices essentially, it's down. it's not even high either in june at 38% or now at 31%. what does that mean for the party's chances in 2020? >> look, i think it means that
the race remains fluid even though the iowa caucuses feel so close now. you can really feel that this is just now weeks away. the race remains fluid and this is reflected in the many voter conversations that myself and my colleagues have had in some of these early states. a lot of voters go to these campaign events hosted by certain candidates but they will say, look, i think that i probably may not make up my decision until we are a lot closer to actual voting time and i'm interested in multiple candidates. that has been a consistent theme that we have seen as we have talked to these voters. i will also say the debate stage is a lot smaller tonight. for the first time we're seeing just seven people. i think we shouldn't overstate the ability for a candidate to have this breakout moment and really drastically change the trajectory of the race because you know who else -- who had some good debate moments recently are julian castro and
cory booker. guess who is not on the debate stage tonight, both of those candidates. >> that's a really good point and people are looking at senator klobuchar i think a lot tonight who has come more into her own as the debates have progressed and what are we going to see from her tonight and will it make a difference or not, as you point out, m.j. thank you guys. >> that's why m.j.'s coverage is indispensable. she is poised to make a move. 30 days before the iowa caucuses in 2004 john kerry was weak, sixth place, and then he won. >> got to leave it there. m.j. is indispensable to us. thank you very much and happy holidays. the democratic presidential debate airs right here on cnn and your local pbs station tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. up next, a republican lawmaker who is right now in talks with the defense serve as the president's defense during the senate trial, ahead.
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we're now just minutes away from hearing from house speaker nancy pelosi. will she address when she might send articles of impeachment on to the senate. we will soon see. for now, according to a source, my next guest is in talks to possibly be on the president's defense team during a senate trial. with me republican congressman mike johnson of louisiana. congressman, we appreciate you taking the time this morning. >> hey jim, great to be with you. >> it's our interesting that you met with white house counsel
yesterday along with representative jim jordan and john ratcliff under consideration to be on the president's defense team. is that accurate and would you accept such a role? >> you know, i'm really not at liberty to talk about that. i would be delighted to serve on the defense team. i feel very strongly in the president's case and if he asked me to serve in that capacity, i certainly would. but there's really -- i don't have much more to talk about this morning. >> you heard the senate majority leader make his case to the floor and you know that he is opposing any witnesses being called during a senate trial. i want to play the senate majority leader 20 years ago on cnn when a democratic president faced impeachment, his position on witnesses in the senate trial then and then get your reaction. have a listen. >> every other impeachment has had witnesses. it's not unusual to have witnesses in a trial, and i think we're handling this in exactly the appropriate way under the constitution and it will end soon. >> why were republicans in favor
of witnesses in a senate trial when a democratic president faced impeachment but not when president trump is facing impeachment? >> probably for the same reason that chuck schumer had the opposite position during the clinton trial. look, these are political exercises and i think mitch mcconnell has said that very clearly. he said it frankly yesterday. you could play game tape, he said, from 20 years ago on both sides and both sides would be on the opposite side of the issue. the important part this morning -- >> can you make a principled argument? i know it's easy to say politics is politics but can you make a principleed argument for why the american people should not hear from the president's advisers who have direct knowledge of his decision maker on ukraine? why shouldn't americans have that chance? >> jim, oni don't oppose it. i would be in favor of a lengthy trial because i think the president should get a chance to put his case on, but i think what senator mcconnell is saying is that adam schiff and the
democrats made a mess of their case. they rushed this thing through because they were breathless in its sense of urgency and they put together their best case and it's falling apart. so now they've got to redo it and chuck schumer wants to basically fix the mess that they created. i don't think he'll have an opportunity to do that. >> let's get to the heart of the allegation at the center of this and some claims that have been made by you and other members of the republicans party. you for instance have said repeatedly that the president was merely guarantees that u.s. aid to ukraine was being used properly. i want to quote from the letter from the undersecretary of defense. he wrote congress in may of this year, two months before that presidential phone call that the pentagon, quote, certified that the government of ukraine has taken substantial actions to make defense institutional reforms for the purposes of decreasing krupging corruption increasing accountability. why was it then justified for the president to take aid away
from an ally at war with russia if the pentagon certified it? >> the president is the commander-in-chi commander-in-chief. he is the chaommander of the ard forces. 63 million americans gave him that oversight of the use -- >> did they give him the right to delay that aid for personal political favor? >> that's not what happened here. i don't think that's what happened. in the famous phone call of july 25 he said do us a favor, talking about the country. he ran on an america first priority and platform and theme and that's what he's been consistent about. >> as you know, multiple advisers -- >> squandered overseas. >> multiple advisers testified that there was a direct connection to the bidens. >> that was their conjecture and speculati speculation, jim. that's what they said under oath. there's only one direct witness and it's sondland. >> the president's appointed eu ambassador who used the words
quid pro quo as i know you heard but i want to ask you because the president's personal attorney returned from ukraine once again. he said he's gathered a whole host of information relevant to investigating the bidens. this is one of the people rudy giuliani met with in ukraine. he is a member of the ukrainian parliament, pro-russian who trained with the kgb. is this a reliable source of information for investigating a u.s. citizen and a former vice president? >> i don't know anything about that. that's the first i've heard of it. rudy giuliani is a private citizen and can travel wherever he was and investigate whatever he was. we also heard he was in ukraine to film a documentary. i don't know. but that's not relevant to the impeachment that happened on this house floor. >> he interviewed this guy. he's got a picture of him meeting with the guy on facebook so it's not made up. >> okay, that really doesn't have much to do with what we're doing here. last night was an absolute tragedy. i think mitch mcconnell was right in his comments this
morning that the democrats have opened a pandora's box. you have to think a few years down the road. what happens when there's a democrat in the oval office and a republican house. the republican base around the country will begin to demand impeachment as soon as that president makes a policy decision or a statement that they don't like because the bar has been now set so low, they have cheapened impeachment as the president said and that's a great concern for the republican and should not be lost in these discussions today. >> congressman mike johnson, we appreciate you joining the program this morning. >> thank you, jim. appreciate it. >> that was a fascinating interview. he's in favor of a lengthy trial. >> he did say that he would support witnesses being called. that's notable. >> yes, i thought so too, jim. at any moment house speaker nancy pelosi will speak. she will take reporter questions. this after she's refused to commit to sending articles of impeachment directly to the senate. will she give some clarity on that today? stay right here. can my side be firm?
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how are you? we've been hearing from people all over the country in the last -- since last night and this morning. seems like people have a spring in their step because the president was held accountable for his reckless behavior. no one is above the law and the constitution is the supreme law of the land. no one is above the law and the president has been held
accountable. it really is interesting to see the response that we are getting bipartisan across party lines. i myself want to say i have a spring in my step because of the moral courage of our caucus. to see 100 members go to the floor -- that's all that we had time for -- to go to the floor and speak about our constitution, about the facts of the case so clearly, so pay t e patriotically, prayerfully, solemnly but so definitely. just to get this off the table right away, we impeached the president immediately and everybody was on to the next thing. the next thing will be when we see the process that is set forth in the senate. then we'll know the number of monitors that we may have to go forward and who we would choose. that's what i said last night. that's what i'm saying now.
the precedent for this, i met with my six chairs after some of us were together for a press conference after the votes last night, and we discussed the precedent of it all and that is in the most recent case taking up an impeachment there was a proposal on the floor put together in a bipartisan way. 100 senators voted for the process on how they would go forward on the case of president clinton. we would hope that could come to some conclusion like that. but in any event, we're ready. when we see what they have, we'll know who and how many we will send over. that's all i'm going to say about that now. we've had a very eventful week. i'm so proud of our members and really in some cases the bipartisanship of some this and
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