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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  December 15, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PST

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ond the expected. to do the extraordinary. take your business beyond. >> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. abuse of power, obstruction of congress. >> today is a solemn and sad day. >> for only the fourth time in history, members of congress vote to impeach a president. >> to use the power of impeachment on this nonsense is an embarrassment to this country. >> the divide partisan. the debate bitter. >> we have an ongoing crime. we have a crime in progress. >> this is the kangaroo court we're talking about. >> but if the full house moves toward a final vote this week, the parties coming together on trade and defense. what does that say about the politics of impeachment? the senate trial and trump's prospects in 2020. our exclusive guests this morning, the democratic chairs leading the charge for impeachment, jerry nadler and adam schiff. plus, texas senator ted cruz on
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the gop's strategy for a senate trial. and trump ally boris johnson wins big in great britain. >> we did it. we pulled it off didn't we? >> is that conservative landslide a warning for democrats? inside an analysis from our powerhouse round table. we'll break down the politics, smoke out the spin. the facts that matter this week. good morning and welcome to "this week." for the first 200 years of our history, only two american presidents faced impeachment. this week, the house will vote to impeach for the second time in just 21 years. all but certain to approve two articles against donald trump. almost to the day bill clinton faced a similar fate in december, 1998, and like clinton, trump is all but certain to be acquitted along party lines. historians will weigh about the presidents we choose, the actions they have taken and the
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times we live in. for now, for us, the job is figuring out what it means, what to do as we approach a national election with an impeached president on the ballot for the first time in american history. and this morning, we begin with the two democrats leading impeachment in the house, intelligence chair adam schiff and the chair of the judiciary committee, jerry nadler. gentlemen, welcome, and chairman nadler, let me begin with you this morning. when you first became chair of the judiciary committee, you set a pretty high bar for impeachment. here's what you told me back in march. >> before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the american public that it ought to happen. you have to persuade enough of the opposition party voters, or the trump voters that you are not just trying to -- >> that's a very high bar. >> yeah, it is a very high bar. you're not just trying to reverse the results of the last election. >> republican voters overwhelmingly oppose impeachment right now. haven't you failed your own test? >> i don't think so. the polling shows that about 70% of the american people approve of this, but more importantly --
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>> they approve that something is wrong, but not impeachment though. >> but more importantly, this is a continuing threat to the integrity of our elections now. this is not a one off. impeachment is not a punishment for past behavior. this president conspired -- sought foreign interference in the 2016 election. he is openly seeking foreign interference in the 2020 election, and he poses a continuing threat to our national security and to the integrity of our elections, to the democratic system itself. we cannot permit that to continue. >> that's chairman nadler's position, chairman schiff, but apparently right now you haven't persuaded a majority of republicans that it's worthy of impeachment, and back in march, you also warned against that. you said, the only thing worse putting the country through the trauma of impeachment is putting the country through the trauma of a failed impeachment. if president trump is overwhelmingly acquitted in the senate, is that a failure?
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>> no, it isn't a failure. at least it's not a failure in the sense of our constitutional duty in the house, and i'll tell you what changed my mind, george. i resisted this, but it was two things. it was the discovery of the most egregious conduct to date that was one thing with the president inviting foreign interference as a candidate when he couldn't use the power of his office to make it so. it was another when as president of the united states he withheld hundreds of millions of dollars to coerce an ally, betray our national security and try to cheat in the next election. that was not something we could turn away from, but it was one more fact, george, that i think made it inexorable, and that is the fact that it was the day after bob mueller testified, the day after donald trump felt that he was beyond accountability for his first misconduct that he was back on the phone this time with president zelensky trying to get that country to help him cheat in the next election. that told me this president believes he is above the law and accountable to no one,
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and this road was necessary, and i think it very much is. >> and let me build on that point right there because i wanted to get your reaction to the fact that there are reports that rudy giuliani was actually at the white house reporting back to the president on his trip to ukraine saying he was acting as the president's lawyer collecting more information on the bidens and burisma, and he visited with the president the day after the house vote on impeachment. >> well, this is exactly the problem, and that is that the misconduct hasn't stopped, that the president is out there on the white house lawn just a month or two ago saying that he still wants ukraine to do this investigation, that he would like china to investigate the bidens. the president's emissary was in ukraine just this past week once again trying to conduct the same sham investigation, trying to get ukrainian help to cheat in the next election. so this misconduct goes on, the threat to our election, integrity coming up goes on. it's a clear and present danger i think to our democracy, and not something that we can turn away from simply because the republicans in the house refuse
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to do their duty, and continuing to put the person of the president above their personal obligation. >> this is a crime in progress against the constitution and against the american democracy. we cannot take the risk that the next election will be corrupted through foreign interference solicited by the president, which he is clearly trying to do. it goes to the heart of our democracy. it was the heart of what the constitution meant by high crimes and misdemeanors for the president to engage in self-dealing for his own benefit to put himself above the country and to threaten the integrity of our elections, which upon everything else depends. it is a total threat and we must meet that threat. >> we are seeing the first signs of a political backlash. your colleague, democratic colleague jeff van drew of new jersey is now suggesting he's going to switch parties likely to announce that before the vote in the house this week of course. he opposed impeachment, the only one who has publicly opposed it.
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your rooex -- reaction? >> what he's reacting to is public polling that shows he can't get renominated as an electorate in his district. 24% to renominate him, and 60% to nominate somebody else. to that point, this is not political. we should not be looking at those things. this is the defense of our democracy. do we stay a democratic republic or do we turn into a tyranny? there are two questions that are implicated in all this. one, is it okay to solicit foreign interference for your election campaign? is it okay to use the power of the presidency to coerce a foreign government into helping you in the election, and to subvert the honesty of the election? and secondly, is it okay to order everyone not to testify in order to cover it up? those are the two articles of impeachment. if the answer to either of those questions is it's okay, we will not have a democracy anymore. >> chairman schiff, i know that speaker pelosi says she's not whipping this vote. members are free to vote their
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conscience. we know the republicans are targeting 31 democrats from trump districts. are you confident you have the majority to impeach the president? >> i am confident. i'm not whipping this either. i don't think anyone is. this is a real vote of conscience. the real question is, why won't republicans do their constitutional duty? what has really changed between now and watergate isn't the nature of the president's conduct. if anything, this president's conduct is far worse than anything nixon did, far more sweeping in its obstruction of accountability, far more damaging to our national security than the coverup that was watergate. the question is, why are republicans placing this president above their oath of office? i don't think any of us have any question that had barack obama engaged in the activity, the conduct which is the subject these articles of impeachment, every one of these republicans would be voting to impeach him, but you know something? i have to hope to hell, george,
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if this were barack obama, i would vote to impeach him. this is the crux of the matter, which is something the framers were also deeply concerned about, and that is an excess of what they would call factionalism, but we would call extreme partisanship. it's more important that the president of their party remain in office than what he does to the country, and that i think puts us deeply at risk. >> let's look ahead to the senate trial. senator mcconnell, the republican leader was out speaking about how he's going to handle the trial this week on fox. >> everything i do during this, i'm coordinating with white house counsel. there will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can. >> this is what i see coming, happening today is just a partisan nonsense. >> it's pretty clear, chairman nadler, that republicans in the senate, at least the leadership will be in lockstep with the president. is there anything you can do about that? >> well, the senators -- the constitution prescribes a special oath for the senators when they sit in trial and impeachment.
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they have to pledge to do impartial justice, and here you have the majority of the senate and in effect, the jury, saying they're going to work hand in glove with the defense attorney. that's in violation of the oath they're about to take, and a complete subversion of the constitutional scheme. we will have done our duty in the house to protect the national security and the -- of our country and the integrity of our democratic process which is what is really at stake here. i hope that despite what you just heard, that they will do their duty and will look into this, and will see the uncontroverted facts. these are basically uncontroverted. the president solicited -- he blackmailed a foreign government into giving aid to his election using funds that were appropriated for military aid to a country under invasion by russia, and there's virtually no controversy about that, and then he ordered everyone not to
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testify in order to cover it up. this is a subversion of the constitutional order, a subversion of our democracy, and if he gets away with it, future presidents of either party will be able to really change the nature of our government. this changes the nature of our government. do we have a constitutional democracy, or do we have a monarchy where the president is unaccountable? that's what's at stake here. >> chairman schiff, the president has had different views on what he wants and he expects in the trial. he's talking about having a long trial and calling witnesses and calling perhaps you, and you no -- now the republicans are coalescing for a short trial with no witnesses. do you as a potential house impeachment manager feel the need to call witnesses in this trial? >> there are any number of witnesses that should be called in a senate trial, and many witnesses the american people would like to hear from that the administration has refused to make available, and perhaps of equal if not greater importance are the thousands and thousands of documents that the administration refuses to turn over. i would hope that every senator
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of both parties would like to see the documentary evidence. they would like to hear from these witnesses that haven't testified, and i would urge mitch mcconnell to start negotiating with chuck schumer to make sure that those senators have a full record, but i think we see clearly what's going on here with the comments of lindsey graham and others, and that is they don't want the american people to see the facts. they realize what's been presented and the house is already overwhelming, but there's more damning evidence to be had, and they don't want the american people to see that, and i, you know, think that's disgraceful, but i hope that the senators will insist on getting the documents, on hearing from the witnesses, on making up their own mind even if there are some senators who have decided out of their blind allegiance to this president that he can do nothing wrong, that he can shoot somebody in the middle of the street, and they would still support him. that there, these other senators, i hope they fulfill their constitutional obligation. >> do you think any republicans are prepared to break ranks?
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>> i don't know. i'm not canvassing republican senators, but i would agree with chairman schiff. it's their duty to look through the evidence and reach a conclusion, in order to vindicate and to safeguard american democracy. it is disgraceful that the president refused to let people testify, refused to hand over any documents, and the senate should certainly demand to see the documents that have been withheld, get the witnesses. if they don't think that there is sufficient evidence on the record, and i think the record is overwhelming, but if they don't think there is sufficient evidence on the record, they should demand the testimony of people like secretary of state pompeo and mulvaney and others, john bolton, who have under the president's instructions are refused to testify. >> finally chairman schiff, i want to ask you about the inspector general's report on the investigation into the russia investigation. as you know, it found there were significant errors, 17
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significant errors and omission in that fisa surveillance application for carter page, and you have received some criticism because of your past claims that there were not any omissions. "the wall street journal" editorial page, i want to show it right now. mr. schiff claimed doj met the rigor, transparency and evidentiary basis needed to need fisa standards, but mr. horowitz makes clear that fbi officials didn't tell senior officials about the concerns. if the court had granted the warrants, we don't know. do you accept your original judgments were wrong, and what do you do about it? >> i accept 170 interviews later, the inspector general found things we didn't know two things ago. i certainly concur with the inspector general's conclusion that there need to be significant changes to the fisa process. we just didn't have that evidence available two years ago. equally important to those that have made the argument, including many that are fond of "the wall street journal" editorial page, that somehow th investigation was tainted
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from the start and properly begun, driven by political bias, that it was all essentially a deep state conspiracy, there was spying on the trump campaign. all of that was debunked by the inspector general. "the wall street journal" should spend more time talking about that in its editorial. >> chairman schiff and nadler, thank you for your time. >> thank you. up next, the gop response from senator ted cruz, and later our powerhouse round table. we'll be right back. one of the products i helped develop was a softer, more secure diaper closure. as a mom, i knew it had to work. there were babies involved... and they weren't saying much. i envisioned what it's like for babies to have diapers around them. that's what we do at 3m, we listen to people, even those who don't have a voice. at the end of the day, we are people helping people. even those who don't have a voice. liz, you nerd, cough if you're in here! shhhh. i took mucinex dm for my phlegmy cough.
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for 12 hours with 2 medicines in 1 pill. mike bloomberg's created on tover 400,000 jobs.ue leader. as president, an opportunity economy that works for us. tax fairness -- where the wealthy pay their fair share. education .. affordable college and high skill vocational training so people can succeed in the new economy. economic security .. lower cost health care and affordable middle-class housing. proven leadership on jobs .. to build an economy where people don't just get by, they get ahead. i'm mike bloomberg and i approve this message. the director of the fbi bell. so here's what i want you to tell every politician. if you get a call suggesting a foreign
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government wants to help you by disparaging your opponent, tell us all to call the fbi. >> to the members of this committee, any threat or effort to interfere with our elections from any nation state or any non-state actor is the kind of thing the fbi would want to know. >> that's the fbi director chris wray back at his confirmation hearings in july of 2017. i want to bring in senator ted cruz, the republican senator from texas. you were a member of the judiciary committee that had to confirm chris wray, and there seemed to be a consensus that accepting foreign help in an election is wrong, yet during the hearings, house republicans defended president trump's requests for foreign investigations into joe biden and the democrats. if it's wrong to accept help, why is it right to ask for it? >> well, look. there's a difference between foreign interference of the kind russia did which was hacking into the election creating fraudulent pots, actively trying to deceive people and law enforcement investigation into
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corruption. we cooperate with law enforcement with countries all over the earth, and one of the central issues right at the heart of this discussion is on the face of the transcript with zelensky, what president trump is asking for is assistance with the u.s. government with investigating corruption. that is inherently within the authority of the president. the department of justice to do, and that is their responsibility to do. >> but senator cruz as you know in that phone call, the president never mentions the word corruption. he talks about crowdstrike and the bidens. back in september, you actually said you wished the president wouldn't have gone down that road to look into the bidens to call for investigations. what's changed? >> well, look. what i said is there's an appearance of impropriety, and that allows opponents to turn it into the circus we have seen, but what i also said is there are real evidence of corruption. you take for example, the
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bidens. we know hunter biden was receiving up to $83,000 a month to serve on the board of the largest natural gas company in ukraine, burisma. $83,000 a month. that's a million dollars a year. that's nearly ten times a month as much as exxonmobil pays its directors, and hunter biden, look. i'm from houston. i know lots of people who serve on the board of natural gas companies. you know what they tend to have? they tend to have a background in geology and physics. they tend to know something about drilling and natural gas. hunter biden had none of that, but his dad was vice president of the united states, and we have joe biden on film publicly and proudly bragging about how he threatened ukraine with withholding $1 billion in foreign aid unless they fired the prosecutor that was potentially prosecuting burisma, the company on which his son sat on the board. that's not just a little bit of
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evidence of corruption. that's serious evidence of corruption. >> senator, as you know -- >> i think the president was perfectly within his authority to say, you need to investigate that. >> as you know, there have been investigations and there's no evidence of wrongdoing. the prosecutor was not looking into joe biden and burisma at the time. >> wait a second, george. who is investigating it when you say there's no evidence of wrongdoing? hunter biden hasn't testified. on its face, there's a lot of smoke there. whether that was corrupt at the end of the day, i don't know, but there's more than enough evidence to investigate corruption. >> and that investigation apparently is continuing now. the president's lawyer rudy giuliani reporting back to the president. the president wants him to report to senators. jerrold nadler says that's a crime in progress. >> so look. jerry nadler and adam schiff are interested in one thing which is their partisan attacks. you notice they have zero interest in any actual corruption. they don't want to know what happened during burisma.
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and, in fact, they say, if you investigate what happened with hunter biden, that's a crime in progress. they have zero evidence. you brought up the inspector general report. two things happened this week of great consequence. number one, the inspector general report which is unbelievably damning of the department of justice and fbi. the abuse of power that occurred there is stunning, but number two, we actually saw the house of representatives articles of impeachment, and their entire partisan case collapsed for weeks and months they have been promising evidence of criminal conduct. they abandoned all of that and admitted that the evidence doesn't support all of their attacks that have happened before. i think this is the beginning of the end for this show trial that we have seen in the house. i think it's going to come to the senate. we're going to have fair proceedings, and then it's not going anywhere because the facts aren't there. >> just to be clear, then you think there is nothing wrong with the president continuing to ask and having his personal lawyer continuing to ask for investigations into joe biden and the democrats? >> i think it is perfectly within the authority of the
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president to investigate corruption, and to investigate corruption with allies. we're doing it every day, and by the way, we did it every day under barack obama, under bill clinton, under george w. bush. the u.s. justice department cooperates with the justice departments. when i was at the doj, i flew to rome to meet with justice departments all throughout europe, focusing on cybercrime. that's a big part of how you enforce the law. now i'm not suggesting that you can cook up fraudulent attacks on your opponents. this would be a very different allegation if someone was saying, if the president had said, please concoct something that isn't real, that would be qualitatively different. that's not what the transcript says. the transcript said, investigate what happened. find out what happened, and the house democrats, they don't want to find out what happened. they stopped republicans from calling hunter biden. they wanted no witnesses who would say anything to disrupt
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their narrative, and it's a one-sided partisan narrative that i think a lot of the american people are frustrated with, and are ready to move on. >> house republicans were in charge when the biden revelations were made, and chose not to investigate. you mentioned william barr, the attorney general told abc news he didn't have it on his priority list even though the president wanted him to investigate this as well. i want to move onto the senate trial. you heard both chairman nadler and chairman schiff respond to senator mcconnell and lindsey graham's statement this weekend. i want to put up the impeachment oath, the oath you're going to take before any potential senate trial, and it says, i solemnly swear or affirm as the case may be, that in all things appertaining to the trial or the impeachment of now pending, i will do impartial justice according to the constitution and the laws, so help me god. aren't the comments from senator
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mcconnell and senator graham indicating that they will be in violation of that oath? >> look. i fully intend to follow my oath, but the oath of a senate juror, it has so similarities to a criminal trial, but some differences as well. the framers understood that impeachment of a president is inherently a political exercise. senators are not required like jurors in a criminal trial to be sequestered, not to talk to anyone. there's no prohibition, and if you look at past trials. democrats were all talking with the clinton white house. you look at this. the house democrats are all talking with the senate democrats. this remains a political process. the framers knew what they were doing when they it it into the political branches, but there are also legal and constitutional standards to be followed, and you know, george, if you go back three or four weeks. you remember there was a moment three or four weeks ago when every house democrat began saying the word bribery over and over and over again. i'm sure they said it on your show. the reason is the democratic campaign committee did some polling and the focus groups told them bribery polled really
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well. people thought, oh, bribery is bad. the talking points they used were bribery, bribery, bribery. fast forward to this week, this week they have abandoned bribery. they don't allege bribery. there's no article of impeachment on bribery, and they can impeach with zero evidence of a crime. they don't have to prove any federal law was violated. they don't have to prove the president has a speeding ticket. they have abandoned that whole allegation of bribery, and this is fundamentally political opposition. the base, the far left of the house democrats hate the president, and they're mad at the american people for electing him. this has tried to undermine an election, and that's why it won't go anywhere in the senate. it won't go anywhere in the senate because the facts don't back them up. you have heard lots of rhetoric from schiff and nadler, but what you didn't hear was actual facts because the witnesses did not demonstrate any law was broken, and that doesn't meet the constitutional standard for
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impeachment which is treason, bribery or other high crimes or misdemeanor. >> it doesn't require a crime. the final questions, are there 51 votes in the senate for the quick trial with no witnesses? >> well, listen. i think there are 51 votes in the senate for a fair trial. what we have seen in the house, what was a partisan show trial. it was one-sided. they deliberately -- they didn't allow the white house to cross-examine the witnesses. they didn't allow the republicans, the minority to call any witnesses. the senate i'm confident is going to do much, much better. we're going to have a fair trial. we're going to respect due process, and i think that means we allow both sides to present their case. we should allow the house managers to do their best and present their case. you can be sure we're going to allow the president to defend himself as well. that means i believe, if the president wants to call witnesses, and he wants to call hunter biden or the wants to call the whistle-blower, the senate should allow the president to do so. we need to ensure that we're respecting due process, having a
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fair trial, listening to the facts and evidence, and i'm confident that once we do so, this show trial from the house, that proceeding will be over, and we'll leave it to the american people to have the choice to select who our leader should be. >> senator cruz, thanks for your time this morning. >> thank you, george. >> round table is up next. we'll be right back. thanks for your time this morning. >> thank you, george. >> round table is up next. we'll be right back. more homegr, more precisely. digitizing the way we work with advanced data analytics helping us develop more productive wells. and we're exploring ways to use renewable energy in our operations. doin' more... ...with less. more data and precision... to help meet growing demand. that's going to get a lot of likes. chevron. innovating to meet the energy demands of today and tomorrow. this is charlie not coughing because he took delsym 12-hour. and this is charlie still not coughing while trying his hardest not to wake zeus.
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i'm now working as a scientist. i can't see a stopping point in me ever doing that. the clerk will report. >> 27 members have voted aye. 11 members have voted no. >> pursuant to the resolution, article 1, that resolution is adopted and will be reported to the house. >> the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, there are 21 ayes and 16 noes. >> article 1 is agreed to. >> the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, there are 23 ayes and 17 noes. >> the article is agreed to. >> scenes from three impeachments right there, and the house judiciary committee. we are joined by our regular contributor chris christie, and patrick gaspard, president of the open society foundation, and
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ambassador to south africa under president obama. ruth marcus is here, is author of "supreme ambition" and rich low lowry, editor of "the national review." welcome to you all. let me begin with you. we saw the judiciary committee three times going back to 1973. there is some consistency, and some overlap in the impeachment articles of those three committees. very inconsistent response. so we have seen each time the response progressively more partisa partisan. >> that's no surprise in the era we're living in right now. especially since we know the conversation that's taking place in congress is one that's being played for television and being played for november of next year. it has very, very little to do regrettably with the rule of law irrespective of the abuse that our foreign service officers incurred from the state department from the white house.
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ukraine, itself sovereignty was abandoned by russia, and the president said, i need you to do us a favor, a political favor. >> you said this week that impeachment is becoming somewhat normalized. >>'re saul -- we're all saying this is historic, but basically this is now a pro forma exercise in my view. the democrats want to get it off their plate as soon as possible. it's not convulsing the nation. even democratic candidates aren't talking about it very much on the campaign trail. i tend to believe when he gets acquitted in the senate as he inevitably will, that this like so many over things in the trump era, and two weeks later, it will feel like it happened a decade ago, and it will have very little effect on the politics going forward. >> ruth marcus, the democrats may not be talking about it as much -- i don't know if that's exactly true, but we know that president trump is talking about it a lot, tweeting about it a lot, including something you
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should know he said, after watching the disgraceful way that brett kavanaugh was treated by the democrats and now seeing first hand the same radical left, do nothing dems are treating the whole impeachment hoax. i see why so many dems are voting republican. you see strong echoes between the kavanaugh confirmation and what's going on right now. >> sure, and i think the biggest echo is something you alluded to earlier, the increasing tribalism, the reflexive partisanship. i spent yesterday -- which we saw in kavanaugh, everybody goes to their sides. the facts are not necessarily what is determining their decision-making. it's the desired outcome, and the desire to find facts depends on which side you're on, and what you want the outcome to be. i spent yesterday re-reading "what we lived through" which is the clinton impeachment, and if you listen to the rhetoric there.
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some of it is very similar. democrats are talking about coups and republicans talking about the rule of law, but there are democrats who are willing to be way more critical of their president, president clinton talking about his deplorable, unacceptable behavior than anything you see from republicans right now. >> and one huge difference. if you go back to the clinton impeachment, the day he was impeached in the house, you had a pretty full apology from president clinton back in 1998. as you have talked about before, chris christie, there's no way we're going to see that from president trump, and it does appear at least in a small political way, that strategy is working for him. >> well, it's not even a strategy, george. it's who he is. i mean, i heard someone this week ask me about whether his tactics are working. i'm, like, he doesn't have tactics. this is him. when you saw him at the rally in hershey, pennsylvania, or any of the tweets he's sending, this is who he is. it's how he has always conducted himself, whether it's been in his political life or in his business life. when someone attacks him, he attacks back twice as hard. he doesn't apologize for things almost ever. a couple of times in the
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2016 campaign, but that was really about exception. -- an exception. so, you know, what we're seeing though, and i would disagree a little bit on the clinton side. absolutely president clinton at the time apologized, but the tribalism was still the same because in the end, you can say whatever you want to say, but how you vote is what you do. >> that's not true. >> the democrats did -- wait a second, patrick. there's nothing more -- >> there were five democrats in the house who voted for impeachment of bill clinton. >> there were, and i want to quote rich. rich made a terribly important quote. >> now you're in trouble. >> rich wrote a column for -- >> i need to sit back. >> it was for politico where he disagreed that those defenses were impeachable, but said very cleary that there was something irresponsible about the way the president conducted himself. that really matters. when the democrats said in 1998 that president clinton's behavior was just grotesque, that matters when you are setting standards for the highest office in the world.
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so i would respect ted cruz and other republicans, the whole class if they said, we don't believe this rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, but there is something untoward about using presidential authority in this way against -- with an ally to subvert our national interests. >> this is distorted. >> we have seen a pretty big shift. lindsey graham said, if you show me anything besides the phone call, indicating any kind of pressure campaign, any kind of quid pro quo. it might change my mind, he said. we saw in the house, at least in the judiciary committee, something more of what the president did was right. >> yes, and lindsey graham a few months ago open to that, facts develop in a made it harder for him to continue that line. one of the things that's striking though is lindsey graham when he was an impeachment manager, or a prosecutor against president clinton, where he talked
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about -- really begged the senate to keep an open mind, said, if you make up your mind in advance, we're not doing our job. it's for our country. boy, it's a crock. i have made up my mind. certainly the oath for impartial justice doesn't mean that, you know, you're a regular juror and you have to come to this completely, that's ridiculous. certainly democratic senators and democratic presidential candidates have expressed their point of view. nonetheless, this absolute unwillingness to try to get to the bottom of what happened here, and to consider whether it really is problematic is appalling from my point of view. >> i think almost all senate republicans think what president trump did was wrong here. whether they will say it or not. >> i think they should. also, almost all of them sincerely believe this does not justify impeachment and removal. if you look at the other side of this ledger, if democrats had just held hearings to get to the bottom of this, expose it,
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extract the damning revelations, it would be a em ho home run fo. if they were to try to make the case for the first time in our history, that's where they are falling down, and at the end of the day, nothing happened. ukraine got the money, didn't even announce it -- >> nothing happened because the president knew he was exposed, right? president reversed course after the whistle-blower. >> 15 republicans in the senate voted the either impeach or -- to either impeach or convict president clinton. 15 republicans who were there, and only one of them, susan collins, voted against convicting him. why is what president clinton did impeachable and removal, and what president trump did doesn't rise to that level? that's what i have a really hard time with. >> i think this is the strongest case democrats can make. republicans impeached clinton with no hope of convicting him in the senate and we're going to do the same thing. that is not the standard that nancy pelosi or any of them set
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out at the beginning of this process. they said they would only do it if it was going to be bipartisan. it's going to be the other way. you're going to have house democrats voting against this. you'll have democrats voting against it to vote against removal. >> that's not really the question. the question is, why was president clinton removed from office, and president trump not? >> i think republicans should have ended up centering him instead, and democrats would have been wiser to do this. >> that's not what we're seeing. i wanted to ask you about jeff van drew. congressman from new jersey now apparently going to be a republican congressman from new jersey. you're from jersey, the governor. how much of chairman nadler's analysis is right there? he's switching because he's going to lose the democratic primary. >> he was a democratic state senator for all eight years that i was governor, in an incredibly republican district, and we thought we would find a way to win, and we never did. i also think that congressman van drew is becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the leftward shift of the
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democratic caucus. he's a moderate democrat, and i don't think he feels like from what i can tell that there's a place for him in the house caucus. >> it's moderation of the republican party. >> he may be uncomfortable for other reasons if he moves to the republican caucus, but right now he's in a situation where he's going to have to vote, if he wants to be in the mainstream of the democratic caucus voting for impeachment, and by the way, his district was a double digit trump district in 2016. >> they have been swinging to democrats and the specials and all of these things. you say there's always political consideration, i would change the word always to only. there are only political considerations in these matters and your party never awards you for going against the majority interest. >> we'll take a quick break right now. we'll be right back, plus new analysis from nate silver. back, plus new analysis from nate silver.
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this morning, i went to buckingham palace, and i am forming a new government, and i'm proud to say that members of our new one nation government, a people's government, will set out from constituencies that have never turned conservative for 100 years, and yes, they will have an overwhelming mandate from this election to get brexit done. >> boris johnson winning over the labor party on thursday. we'll talk about what that might mean for the election. here at the round table, we have analysis from nate silver. like corbyn, bernie sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, and he has been a steady number two behind joe biden in national polls after that sustained run against hillary clinton in 2016. so we asked nate to take a look it a sanders' chances of winning the nomination in 2020. >> so the democratic primary hasn't been that chaotic, but there have been a few meaningful
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shifts in the race. there was kamala harris' quick rise and then fall, and pete buttigieg in new hampshire. warren has spent months fighting in the polls, only to lose momentum in the last few weeks. all the while, bernie sanders has been chugging along at between 15% and 20% in national polls. the support has barely budged second only to joe biden. it's therefore easy to forget about bernie, and he has gotten less coverage in the media than the other front-runners, but he's still in a pretty decent position. he's within striking distance of winning both iowa and new hampshire. according to the 538 polling average, buttigieg currently leads biden in iowa, but
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about one point, but it's basically a three-way tie between he, biden and sanders. it's the same way in new hampshire. his support has edged up in california which has votes on super tuesday. here's why that matters. sanders is close enough to biden nationally that bounces from the early states especially in iowa, could make the rest of the race extremely competitive. of course, being in striking distance in iowa and new hampshire and nevada is not the same thing as winning those states and if he manages to win an early state or two and close the gap on biden, you would expect the party elites to make moves to stop sanders. do i vie that he has a shot at the nomination? definitely i do. look. if you pick one candidate in the race, it would be biden. he's fairly robust, but bernie has as strong a hand to play as anybody else. >> we were agreeing he has remarkable staying power, but i want to tie that to the election of boris johnson on thursday. he seems to be uniting a lot of analysts. mike bloomberg says he's for coal mine and democrats. james karbal says, you can go so left, and steve bannon picks up on that. trump is headed for a reagan-like '84 victory.
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ruth marcus, if they agree, does that mean it's right or wrong? >> that's an interesting question. look. we all have a tendency to over-interpret the impact of midterm elections, all year elections and certainly elections in other countries which have different politics and different political systems than ours. that said, that lesson of that election which i'm going to now over-interpret having warned against it, is not good news for democrats and it should be particularly chilling for people who are thinking about the possibility of a sanders nomination because that -- i'm not sure we're going to get to reagan landslide territory, but i think it would be a challenge for democrats. >> and patrick, what did we see from democratic voters this year? elizabeth warren and bernie sanders take about 43% of the vote, sometimes whenever one of them rises too high, they seem to hit a wall.
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>> let's talk about that boom and bust cycle. but i have to say quickly, i don't think there are any lessons from england unless you think of corbyn as a serious leader. he coddled anti-semites in his ranks and never took a clear, coherent position on brexit. that's why he failed there, but there is this boom bust inside the democratic party over the course over the last eight months. if you told me mayor pete would be in the contest, and kamala harris would be out, and you said that six months ago, i would say you're insane. bernie sanders demonstrated a lot four years ago that he continues to benefit from now. that california number is powerful. if he finishes -- >> votes before that, and the date is march 3rd. >> there's early voting. he's the only one with any serious momentum right now, and as governor christie has pointed out to me, the superdelegate eraser is only going to benefit bernie sanders in the end.
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>> you know, if you are donald trump you're sitting and watching this and you can't believe your good fortune. >> again. your good fortune again. >> you really can't believe it. i mean, the fact that bernie sanders and elizabeth warren are where the energy is. joe biden has seemed unable to perform at a level that's acceptable for him to take off with the rest of his voters that are reluctant about warren and sanders, and that buttigieg just does not seem in my view to be able to be taken long-term seriously as a nominee for a whole bunch of reasons, including his lack of support in the minority community. i think, you know, he's looking at the very real possibility that he could be running against a warren or a sanders which he would relish. >> but rich lowry, if bernie sanders has persisted and he has, and stayed pretty steady even after a heart attack, so is joe biden at the top. he has been remarkably stable. >> his performance has never risen above fair or mid length at best. this is wide open.
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still she has shown remarkable persistence. biden could easily win iowa. he's probably the nominee, and it's much less dramatic. as nate silver alluded to, bernie sanders could win iowa and new hampshire. then you're looking at desperate stop bernie sanders campaigns, so i would say two things the last couple of things have been the big stories. one, the uptick of bernie sanders. the other is amy klobuchar beginning to show a little momentum. >> in iowa. >> that's in iowa. i think any of five candidates could come out. >> it is true, ruth, that iowa seems remarkably unsettled right now. we know that pete buttigieg has served and he has a good organization, and so does elizabeth warren. there seems to be a lot of up and down among the top four candidates, and a little bit of momentum. >> up and down, and iowa's a place where people make up their minds late where the late organization matters a lot where people are going to get to see these candidates and i'm not on the bernie surging, you know, that this is our nominee, the nominee bandwagon.
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i think that biden's resilience has been remarkable considering some unimpressive debate performances and unimpressive performances on the campaign trail. i would not discount buttigieg the way you are. i think there is a hunger and whether or not it's fair to take a lesson from england, i think that -- that there is an anxiety in the democratic party about going too far left. that opens the door to buttigieg and i think it also opens the door to senator klobuchar. >> those of us that have spent a lot of time in iowa know it is always volatile until about two weeks out, and because it votes late this time, i wouldn't discount elizabeth warren who has the deepest field infrastructure in that state, and is due for another cycle. >> but the big wild card is how long is this senate trial going to take, and what does it mean if it takes warren, sanders, klobuchar and booker off the field? >> or increases the profile. >> they have to stay quiet. that's during the trial, and that will be a little hard.
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>> there will be a lot of press conferences out in the hallway by those folks during breaks in the trial, and i think the trial -- this is another reason why some of the political considerations here are crazy because they're going to take those folks off the field, and it's a great thing for biden because biden a going to be out in iowa essentially by himself trying to ignore what's going on in washington and talking about what people in iowa think. >> that is all the time we have today. thanks for great discussion, and thank you to you for watching. sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight," and i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."
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up next, a bittersweet today. we're hours away from the final game at the oakland coliseum, one to remember for a diehard fan. beautiful day for that. good morning, everyone. checking out mt. tam. temperatures are chilly. it's been a little bit breezy. look at all that sun. we'll talk about when that will go away and the forecast for the week ahead, coming up next on "abc 7 mornings"
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