tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 17, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
colleagues as part of the coverage on that vote. and special coverage that begins at 9:00 a.m. eastern with chris matthews and many more. so i want to let you know about that as we keep an eye on everything happening in congress and beyond. thanks as always for watching the beat. don't go anywhere because "hardball" with chris matthews is next. >> eve of destruction. let's play hardball. good evening, i'm chris matthews in new york. we're now just hours away from impeaching the president. as the house is preparing to vote two articles against president trump, he is raging in protest at those seeking to remove him from office. in a six-page letter to speaker nancy pelosi, the president issued what he called his quote strongest and most powerful protest against the partisan impeachment crusade.
he argued by proceeding with your invalid impeachment, you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the constitution and declaring opening war on american dem augeracy. the president's open tirade came as the congress met to establish tomorrow's terms for debate and vote for the entire house on impeachment. democratic congressman jamie raskin filling in for the chairman jerry nadler made a forceful argument, abuse of power and obstruction of congress. >> the president's aggressive and unprecedented resistance to congressional subpoenas for witnesses and documents is blatantly and dangerously unconstitutional. the president's continuing course of conduct constitutes a clear and present danger to democracy in america. we cannot allow this misconduct to pass. it would be a sellout of our
constitution, our foreign policy, our national security and our democracy. >> well, the president offered now new evidence to support his claims in his letter today to speaker pelosi, only complaints that he's being impeached. at the white house this afternoon the unrepelitant president again railed against the house proceedings. >> the whole impeachment thing is a hoax. we look forward to getting onto the senate. we're not entitled to lawyers. we're not entitled to witnesses. we're not entitled to anything in the house. it's a total sham. >> mr. president, do you take any responsibility for the fact you're about to be impeach snd. >> no, i don't take any, zero to put it mildly. >> well, that's his verdict. anyway, democrats go into tomorrow's vote largely united. today one by one many of the representatives including from districts the president won announced they will vote in favor on the two articles of impeachment.
i'm joined by mary gay scanlon, former congresswoman elizabeth haldsman, and former political congressman david jolly. this seemed to be this terrible letter from the president, seemed like it was written by steve miller or some wild person, i think a wild person. the language wasn't even trump's. he doesn't use words like disingenuous. calling it a protest, he says that the impeachment you're all pushing for and will pass tomorrow offends americans of faith. what does he know uabout americans of faith? i don't get it. >> i'm not sure at all. i've been in the rules committee hearing and we've been having that meeting since 11:00 this morning and we're not done yet. i haven't had a clans to go over the letter and seems a little
disingenuous since the president has been inviolated to participation and including having his administration be subpoenaed for documents and sending members of his administration to explain his story if there is one that is not impeachable. >> what do you think of his last guess? he's mad finally he realized being impeached is not sort of a mixed opportunity. there's no silver lining in to this baby. he's going down in history as one of the few presidents who's been found unfit by the u.s. congress for the office he's in. >> from what i've heard about this letter it continues to display a fundamental misunderstanding of what our constitution provides. the house of representatives has the sole power of impeachment. he doesn't get to say whether he's impeached or not. he doesn't understand the rule of law, he doesn't understand the constitution, and that's what leads him to do thing said like approaching a foreign leader and asking a foreign country to interfere in our
elections. >> he said he did it for us. he made that appeal, which was a political appeal to the president of ukraine. he said he did it for our country. i said do us a favor not me and our country, not a campaign. he's now trying to claim that was some patriotic zealous effort on our behalf to help screw joe biden. that was a national effort to get rid of joe biden as a candidate. >> i think his excuse would have a little bit more weight if number one he actually said anything about the country. instead his entire conversation with the president of ukraine had it do with the bidens, had to do with crowd strike. it was trying to justify his 2016 alliance on foreign interference and solicit interference in 2020. but also throughout this entire thing it wasn't until he got caught he came up with all these reasons he was contacting the president. he never talked to his national security people about having some national security interests here.
he never followed up with the department of justice about any, you know, fictitious corruption claims. so it's all after the fact, and it's only when he got caught he's trying to do another cover-up. >> do you know any republicans from your area of south eastern pennsylvania, the counties of philadelphia, for example, like brian fitzpatrick, how do they defend this guy at this point? >> we had a conversation about this up in the rules committee earlier today. there are a number of republicans from pennsylvania who have come out and said, no, this is impeachable conduct, this is abuse of power. one is tom rich, secretary of homeland security, former republican governor of pennsylvania, vietnam vet, former congressman. he said that this weekend. charlie dent from pennsylvania has come out and said it. what we're seeing, though, is we've got libertarians, conservatives, democrats, we've got independents who say this is wrong, this is impeachable. what we don't have is people,
republicans who still depend on this president for their jobs. if he can tank them, they're not going to speak out against them. >> he wrote, quote, more due process was afforded to those accused in the salem witch trials. he went onto argue i have no doubt the american people will hold you and the democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election. they will not soon forgive your per version perversion of justice and abuse of power. i don't think he wrote this letter. it doesn't even sound like him. it is the letter of a wild man, but i would bet steve miller. the language is too complicated, the words are too long. they don't sound like him. why would he issue this piece -- it has no legal foundation. >> well, it did sound scripted. it sounded an awful lot like the scripts we were hearing from our republican colleagues whether in judiciary or rules. we know there's been plenty of due process afforded. he's chosen not to send his
attorney. whether or not it can float i don't know that's another due process element from the witch trials. >> i think you're supposed to sink. that was the weird catch-22 -- there was a catch-22 of those witch trials. you better sink or you float, you're guilty. it does seem like he's not throwing himself at the mercy of the court because there's no mercy out there for him. and i wonder if he's simply making noise for his 40%? >> i think that's what it is. it's part rant, it's part mobilizing his base. it's part whining. nothing like this has ever happened before in the history of the world. and i'm the biggest victim that's ever been victimized, i mean all of that's in there. >> but he was flirting with this -- i'm not crazy i listen today this guy for months before this when this was building up and percolating all through the year.
there's not a big silver lining to this baby. he seems like he's finally got the message this is all bad. >> well, i think he's realized how bad it is, and what he's trying to do is dredge up these old arguments including the lie about biden. if he really was interested in the welfare of the united states, he'd get the facts about biden from our own state department which is that biden was executing u.s. policy in pulling for getting rid of the prosecutor in ukraine. he was corrupt. and now we see trump and giuliani admitting it. we got rid of the ambassador because she was in our way. >> david, who's he talking to with this sort of -- crying high for help? >> he's creating a false narrative in history. even from the clip today where he said my attorneys weren't allowed to be there and neither were our witnesses. that's a lie. his attorneys were invited to the judiciary committee hearing
when they heard from other constitutional scholars about what rises to the level of impeachment. democrats accepted about half of them, the legitimate ones, if you will. but what scares me about the letter he's written, it's not that it's unfair, it's that he uses words like invalid, illegitimate, unconstitutional because what he's doing, chris, and the danger here is suggesting that somehow the house no longer has this authority. that its impeachment power which has been a bedrock of congress' ability to provide oversight to the president has somehow erode today the point it's no longer valid in the modern congress. and if house republicans carry that narrative, we're in a dangerous spot. he's trying to tell his base it's not even valid. when i become the third president to be impeach by the house it's not really real because it's not valid what the house is doing. it's shameful but also dangerous. even drms who today will tell you clinton should never have been impeached, they recognize
thea then ta the authenticity and solidity of the impeachment, they just think it's wrong. >> what's the danger? >> we talk about the weaponization of the republic. in the last 45 we've now had three. is impeachment becoming weaponized? is it simply we have better tools of investigative reporting? why have we had three impeachments for the last 45 years? and if donald trump's answer is because it's no longer a constitutional tool, it's a political weapon we don't need to worry about, he's tearing at the fabric of article i, and my fear is that republican members of congress are going along with it. they wouldn't have done this under a previous president. >> i think what i've been impressed by is not that the house through its inquiry -- a very good inquiry. reading it, witnesses were great especially lawyers and all the
fact witnesses were great. i think it was a very consistent reliable source of information. the danger is, what i fear is it was very good at feeding information to the major newspapers of the country. every major newspaper ran at the top of the fold on the right hand side all the news coming out of the house inquiry. it was a very good way of conveying the facts to the people willing to read a newspaper and find out the facts. but what about the people who don't want to read about it? what about the ones watching dancing with the stars saying i don't want to be bothered with this, it's too complicated and all partisan? was there ever a way to reach those people? your thoughts, congresswoman? >> well, i mean that's what we're trying to do through the series of hearings. give people information, engage them in active citizenship. it's up to keep a republic. we're really asking people to hark back to their grade school civics lessons. it's not that complicated. the president can't act this way. >> well, i think he got a good
job starting with the release of the whistle-blower's report and the phone records of the president's conversation with the president of ukraine. i think the country went from 25% to 30% to up 50%. didn't quite ring the bell at the top bought got him up to 50%. i think congressman raskin did a really good job arguing the need to impeach this guy. raskin cited a newly published article with "the new yorker" magazine in which giuliani admitted i believed that i needed yovanovitch out of the way so the president could continue his quest for political dirt. here we go. this is today. >> we present you with a constitutional crime in progress up to this very minute. mayor giuliani, the president's private lawyer fresh from his overseas travel looking again
to -- admitted he participated directly in the smear campaign to oust ambassador yovanovitch from her job. >> well, there he is. the congressman bringing it up today. he's a constitutional scholar and he brought it up today. the role his lawyer is playing right now trying to get dirt from ukraine. >> that's why the president is a clear and present danger and that's why it's important for the congress to check him. because unchecked he's going to continue to do this. and all that this is about -- let's get real here -- is about winning the 2020 election at any cost no matter what laws are violated and no matter what he undermines in the process. that's a very simple message for the american people, i understand. and the other message is if he had evidence that would clear him, he could let all these people come and testify. he has refused to do that. that's evidence in and of
itself. >> if it's better than it looks, they'll show you. if it's worse than it looks, they'll shut up and that's what he's doing. >> why would you not want additional fact witnesses? i think ari melber showed just before this had henry hyde who was the judiciary chairman when they impeached clinton saying we expected the senate would ask them to testify at trial, at impeachment trial in the senate. if not, why not? >> i think the house has done a great job. congresswoman thank you for your role so far in both the committees. i think it's been a great job. you reached everybody that was listening. the challenge is to get more people to listen next time. the time machine taking us back to nixon country and it's always helpful. we live in a country where it's helpful to know what nixon did at this point. coming up one of my favs joins
us in the senate impeachment committee. he's a hard get at least in this show and he's the number two democrat in the senate and he knows everything that's going in in this fight about how the sept is going to judge this case. majority leader mitch mcconnell says the legislative body he leads will leave an entirely -- he should take one of those citizenship tests. i swear half these guys would flunk them. mcconnell says forget about it. remember if it looks bad it is and they'll show you it looks worse. anyway, let's watch mcconnell. >> if house democrats case is this deficient, this thin the answer is not for the judge and jury to cure it over here in the senate. >> is he elmer fud or bugz bunny? plus rudy giuliani still pushing discredited conspiracy theories to anyone who will listen. there he is still talking.
he's also admitting he's responsible for the removal of the u.s. ambassador to ukraine. of course he did. we've got much more to get to tonight. it's a big night. we're on the eve as i said of destruction. stay with us. ve as i said of destruction. stay with us thousands of women with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, are living in the moment and taking ibrance. ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor is for postmenopausal women or for men with hr+/her2- metastatic breast cancer, as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole significantly delayed disease progression versus letrozole, and shrank tumors in over half of patients. patients taking ibrance can develop low white blood cell counts which may cause serious infections that can lead to death. ibrance may cause severe inflammation of the lungs that can lead to death. tell your doctor right away if you have new or worsening symptoms, including trouble breathing, shortness of breath,
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[ bell chimes ] let's dance! and now the icing on the cake! i think we're going to get almost an entirely partisan impeachment. i would anticipate an almost entirely partisan outcome in the senate as well. >> that was republican leader mitch mcconnell this afternoon laying out his expectations, pretty poor expectations for what would happen in the u.s. senate if the house votes to impeach president trump tomorrow and how that trial will proceed still needs to be hashed out by the two senate leaders. today we got a glimpse of what they're negotiations might look
with mcconnell slamming schumer's proposal that the president's inner circle be called to testify. >> so now senate democratic leader would apparently like our chamber to do house democrats' homework for them. he wants to volunteer the senate's time and energy on a fishing expedition to see whether his own ideas could make chairman schiff's sloppy work more persuasive than chairman schiff himself bothered to make it. >> why is the leader -- why is the president so afraid of having these witnesses come testify? what are they afraid the witnesses would say? >> well, this morning senator mcconnell made it very clear how he sees a potential senate trial proceeding. >> i will listen to the arguments that the house managers appointed by pelosi make. we'll listen to the response of the president's lawyers. we'll have a period of written questions and then the senate
will have to make a decision. do we know enough? have we learned enough after listening to all this to go on and vote on the two very weak articles of impeachment? or do we want to have a show trial in which both sides try to embarrass the other and put on a, you know, an embarrassing scene, frankly, for the american people. obviously, i think we've heard enough. after we've heard the arguments we ought to vote and move on. >> for more i'm joined by senator dick durbin of illinois, a member of the senate judiciary committee. it sounds, senator, like the majority leader would like to something like the replay of the old cross fire show, a lot of back and forth with no witness. >> well, i think the american people expect more. they want us to take it seriously as we should, and they want us to carefully consider the evidence. what senator schumer has asked for, what the democrats are
asking for is people usually see more trial. documents, witnesses, testimony, let the american people and members of the senate reach that conclusion. but if you listen to what senator mcconnell had to say, it's a show trial if there's going to be actual evidence. i don't think the american people feel that way. i think they expect us to do our job and do it professionally. >> john bolton is no longer in the administration but he was director affnational security for this president. he was very much in all these conversations. he would be a great fact witness. what are the chances or what could it take on your side? could the democrats offer any deal that would bring him to the trial in the senate? >> chris, what it takes is very basic. four republican senators who decide we want to have a trial that is befitting this institution. this a constitutional responsibility. this just isn't a political assignment. and if we're going to have a
trial and decision by the senate we should do it after a careful consideration of the evidence. the testimony would be valuable and important or at least he ought to be given the chance to make that presentation. >> let me ask you about your sense of these. my hunch is i was very much against the neo cons if you will, the hawks in the iraq war. but i think a number of them were honest people. i think he told the truthen his columns and everywhere else and i think this guy bolton does too. do you think if you got john bolton there, he'd be hawn sns. >> his departure from the white house and there have been many under the trump administration was different than most. it appeared he walked out on his own steam. he had reached the point there was something he could no longer tolerate. that might be part of the scenario he would describe to us. >> mick mulvaney who holds two titles, omb and chief of staff
to the president, knick's the kind of witness that would not be engaged in hearsay because he was in the actual conversations. now with the white house refusing to let those people testify as fact witnesses from inside the loop, now the senate leader is saying we don't want them now. it just seems like they've closed the circle on any chance to gelt the truth. >> you know, when senator mcconnell accuses our ask of witnesses to be just to embarrass the president, you know, the bottom line is mick mulvaney, the acting chief of staff for quite a period of time now would be a person who probably was party to this telephone conversation as well as any efforts made by the trump white house to with hold the $400 million in critical military aid for you crane. i can't think of a more relevant witness and that's the reason why he led our list of witnesses we'd like to see come before the senate. >> if you asked for the two guests -- if you think about it two witnesses john bolton and
mick mulvaney as star witnesses in a case like this, would you negotiate people you would not necessarily want to testify for example the bidens or joe biden, is there a deal there to be made you may offer up people you may not like to see as witnesses but if there was a way to get the star witnesses to make the case about impeachment, is it worth it? >> chris, i'm not going to negotiate on your show as important this presentation may be. i'm going to leave that for chuck schumer to sit down with mcconnell and reach an agreement. but what we're looking for are witnesses relevant to the charges at hand. an abuse of power of the presidency for the president's personal and political benefit. this is something we don't spend a lot of time talking about but understand the nixon articles of impeachment which didn't go forward when he resigned they were alleging obstruction of
justice. "new york daily news" we've had a refusal by this white house to literally provide documents and key witnesses from the start. you cannot have a functioning constitutional process of impeachment without the presentation of evidence. and the president and white house have done everything they can to violate this precedent and to with hold this important information. >> like a lot of americans, i love the institution. does senator mcconnell still love the institution because he's not defending it. >> chris, let me just tell you something, under his leadership there's been more damage done to this institution than i can even describe to you. consider one basic fact. we're now ending a calendar year, and during that calendar year there have been 22 amendments voted on the floor of the u.s. senate. six by senator rand paul. it's an indication of a senate that is out to lunch and frankly
has walked away from its basic constitutional responsibility. senator mcconnell who started working as a staffer in the senate, served in the senate for many years and has done more damage to this institution. >> let me ask you about your hopes of picking up some republicans, the one you mentioned to get you from 47 to 51. do you have any prospects right now? how does it look to get enough republicans board and get the rules set so you can have witness snz. >> there are only a handful of senate republicans who have had the courage to step up and disagree with the president. some have tried it and zieed it was too dangerous for them politically. i know the names and you do as well and i'm not going to suggest you talk to them or any promises have been made, but i'm hoping during the course of this there will be four republican senators who say we want to write a record in this trial regardless of the outcome that really is fitting for this institution, one we can live
with in the course of history. we've seen some unusual things. i don't know if you heard about this president's six page letter which he sent up to capitol hill, but we received this today. i guarantee that's going to be exhibit a in a lot of political science classes for generations to come. it is a rant by the president on this whole impeachment proceeding. it is a concise compenium of his greatest hits, his 15,000 tweets this president -- i've received letters like this. you did once when you worked on the hill from people who underlined every other word and just load up the explanation points. that's the kind of letter we received from the president of the united states on the eve of his impeachment. >> i like your help, senator. and i just think maybe they won't for either of these two articles of impeachment but they should recall art 2 of the constitution. >> we swore to uphold it and defend it. >> thank you, senator. >> up next rudy giuliani brags
about his role in forcing out u.s. ambassador to ukraine marie yovanovitch. since when does the president's personal lawyer get to force-out -- that's his word -- get out of the way i think is his other phrase. a senior member of america's diplomatic corp. you're watching "hardball." ricas diplomatic corp. you're watching "hardball. i looove travel.
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personal lawyer is still out there advancing the case actually against his cliebt. damaging revelations from giuliani this week has shed new light on ousting the ambassador to ukraine marie yovanovitch or declarations of investigations in ukraine. first giuliani admitted to a central charge of the impeachment inquiry telling "the new yorker" magazine he, quote, needed needed yovanovitch out of the way because she was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody. those were his words. and earlier this year he personally told the president just that. giuliani said he passed along to mr. trump a couple of times he said accounts of how the ambassador marie yovanovitch had frustrated efforts that could be politically helpful to mr. trump. in other words giuliani confirmed what the president knew and when he knew it. >> now, this hit piece and it's a hit piece. >> of course. >> also has you on the record
admitting that you forced out marie yovanovitch. you said you needed her out of the way but you're a personal attorney for the president, so why do you need her out of the way? >> i didn't need her out of the way. i forced her out because she's corrupt. >> giuliani's allegations have been dismissed outright by every witness who testified on that subject in the inquiry. she's not corrupt, she wasn't corrupt. paul, shake this down into a couple of names, not a russian novel. rudy giuliani is flagrant. is he trying to lock in his relationship with trump so trump can't throw him under the bus? >> if this is the eve of destruction, rudy giuliani is the unwitting agent of president trump's destruction. he just provided compelling evidence of article i that the president abused public trust with this shakedown. we know that there was no corruption reason to get rid of ambassador yovanovitch.
she's an expert on public corruption. that's one reason she was sent to ukraine. we know that corruption investigation was giuliani and trump's code word for political dirt from ukraine. and how do we know giuliani wasn't doing this on his own? because every time president trump was asked about ukraine, he said talk to rudy. he said that to ambassador sondland. he said it to energy secretary perry. he even said it to president zelensky. >> so what do you make of this, shelby? because it looks like the thelma and louise of the united states is quote is the president's lawyer. >> rudy giuliani is doubling down on his criticism of marie you ya yovanovitch. >> her problem is she was getting in the middle of their escapades. >> yes, that's what she said in her testimony and that's what
rudy giuliani is saying now. it's echoing something he said in october in which he saw her as an obstacle and spoke to the president about it and the president moved her. the president tomorrow will likely be impeached for abuse of power but that abuse of power as democrats see it involve the removal of you von vch. and as he told them shortly after zelensky was inaugurated, he said talk to rudy. and they said it was pretty clear we weren't going to get anywhere unless rudy was satisfied. and so it set into motion what the president is now being impeached for. >> let me simplify it, and you can do a better job of this. the fact is it looks like the president is sending rudy over there. the president doesn't have enough time to cook this up. hey, i'm going to go over there,
mr. president, and get some dirt. if we can knock down biden who's a moderate maybe that's enough to knock down the whole field. no matter how much they are corrupt get anybody out of there that has a way of putting out a press release, just get them to say they're investigating joe biden and his son? is that it? >> yeah, that's right. and rudy giuliani went down and dirty. he went low down to talk to people who he had to know was lying. all he wanted was a case to make against the ambassador even though it was false. we'll all remember that very poignant testimony during the impeachment inquiry when she asked -- she gets asked why am i being fired, and the state department says you did nothing wrong, you just got on trump's bad side. but you know pay back is something because now rudy giuliani doesn't just have
compelling against against rudy for impeachment, he's got his own criminal exposure. these shady characters parnas and fruman who he was working with guess what, one of the reasons they were indicted in the southern district of new york is for their role in this conspiracy to get rid of the ambassador. >> you know, at least in the movies, shelby, if a gang is caught robbing a bank they cool it for a few months. they don't go out and rob another bank right away because people are on the look out. why is rudy doing exactly what he and those two guys and the president is accused of right now? >> i think you're seeing them use a play book that has worked for them in the past. we heard rudy endlessly talk about the alleged corruption of secretary clinton and all things she had done wrong. he loved talking about the investigations and the fbi reopening their investigation mchb he's doing that again because it worked politically, but it also worked for them when mueller was investigating the president and his campaign, rudy going on television and doubling down on the president's defense. it works for them.
politically they feel like they won that battle. >> well, maybe they did. hopefully they didn't. thank you for joining us from the journal, wall street journal and paul butler. up next moderate democrats and republican lawmakers in swing districts are facing some tough decisions on impeachment. you can't make everybody happy even when it's clear. we're going to run through the latest info where they all stand at this moment straight ahead on "hardball." they all stand at this moment straight ahead on "hardball. ♪ (children playing) (dog barking) ♪ (music building) experience the power of sanctuary
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welcome back to "hardball." house democrats won the 2018 mid-term elections flipping 31 seats in districts president trump had carried two years earlier. it was the largest democratic gain since the post-watergate election. well, because of the current impeachment debate many of those same members have been forced to take a stand. country or politics. according to nbc news tally 41 democrats in competitive districts out of 44 say they
will vote, however, for both articles of impeachment. another one jerry goldman said today he'd only vote for the abuse of power article, that's the first article, not the article for obstruction of congress. many of the democrats cited the constitution and their conscience for their decision to vote aye. >> i think that a serious violation of abuse of power happened here. >> but if we don't do it now then when will we? >> i think it's equally important today when he does something wrong. >> i believe the president abused the power of his office putting his own interests above the needs of our nation, above the needs of the people that i love and i serve. and for that i must vote my conscience. >> what about republicans facing
competitive re-election campaigns next year? people like senator susan collins from maine? that's up next. you're watching "hardball." frome that's up next you're watching "hardball. along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. stop chantix and get help right away if you have changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions, seizures, new or worse heart or blood vessel problems, sleepwalking, or life-threatening allergic and skin reactions. decrease alcohol use. use caution driving or operating machinery. tell your doctor if you've had mental health problems. the most common side effect is nausea. talk to your doctor about chantix.
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impeachment, but we cannot firm it yet. i have to quote, i have not made a decision that i'm willing to share with anybody. i'm trying to be gentle, and i'm telling you i am where i am and you'll hear within a relatively short period of time. just last week he dismissed the notion he would switch parties. for more i'm joined by a couple of people i like. peggy newman and former congressman steve israel, a great novelist, by the way, democrat from new york. let's talk about when you think tomorrow and you think about coming in january the republicans -- have we reached a point where you just vote party, you just keep it simple like moinahan did? has it reached that point where you can't have a conscience or attitude anymore? >> i think at the end of the day political figures have a way of figuring out what is convenient for them and safe for them.
i think the safe plaes now let's face it is a tribal attitude, so i think, sure, a lot of them will think of it that way. >> steve, i think y mean has it reached the point now where breaking from your pac, the people that raised you money, knocked doors for you -- and that's really what it's about, the loyalty of the peeps, the regular people that voted for you. it's just so dangerous. >> it is. in instances of this, impeachment, highly partisan, a lot of energy on the extremes. you vote with your base. you vote your principles, but you don't discount the polling and you don't discount the politics. if you're one of those democrats that donald trump won this is very tough vote. rule number one in those competitive battleground district, you never weaken your foundation, you don't lose your base. you have to stick with your base particularly in a presidential year when the bases are coming out, right? they're coming out -- >> so you vote your party.
>> you've got to move them down ballot and you've got to move them down your party's ballot, so you stick with your base. you can't forfeit your base and get re-elected. >> when i was thinking about the position of a house moderate, democratic modsots the position of gop senators seem to icto make democratic moderates in the house from the purple districts, they got a little leeway there and they elected a democrat, maybe last time a republican and they do expect a democrat to act like a democrat. do you know what i mean? i think the more sensitive position is republican senators up for re-election in states that are more pro-impeachment than against -- >> i also think picking national security is a basis was very helpful in the burbs with nancy. they read the paper more frequently, actual newspapers. there's a handful of republicans
who could feel pressure to break with the president on impeachment including susan collins, always the tricky one of maine. and mitt romney of utah flirts with greatness. senator collins told politico she will announce her decision any even when to run again at the end of this week. according to politico republicans say she's the only person in the republican party who can keep the seat in gop hands. she quits, the democrats own maine. democrats have privately wondered whether she might retire and maine's increasingly blue hue. >> mitch mcconnell has one imperative and that is to keep to majority. >> what who would do well by breaking with their party? >> i think they face the same conundrum as house members. you break with your party, you
lose your base. it's a little easier to manage in the state. one other thing, they've got a long time to repair the damage. >> when democrats impeach a president for doing exact lewhat this guy did if he were a democrat? >> absolutely. >> really? >> if he had made a phone call a day after a mueller report and did what this president did, absolutely. and chairman schiff said that, he said publicly if the evidence was the same as a democratic president, he would vote to impeach. >> would republicans vote against impeachment if it were a democrat? >> i don't know. >> yeah. >> i'll tell you i'm afraid that -- i paused so long. what i was thinking about was the senate and susan collins. she is dominant as cory gardener is, as a bunch of republicans running for re-election from the senate are on cross over appeal at a moment when that is shrinking, at a moment when
impeachment has made things bitter and torn. maine susan collins state is pro-impeachment according to the polls at least. it's so very hard for them, for those republicans. >> just to pick up on that, this is function of gerrymandering. you don't gerrymander a state but you gerrymander congressional districts. >> 86% of both parties support the position of their party on impeachment. that's 9 out of 10. that's 9 out of 10 people you bump into, you go door-to-door. if their democrats they're for impeaching this guy. if they're republicans they're against it. >> what is that moment going to be like? >> i don't know whether it's going to sink in or not. someone said the other day history has lost its consequence. it's pretty scary. we're not operating enough depth. because we have a president who's not there. anyway, thank you. you're watching "hardball." anyway, thank you.
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compared to other top wireless carriers. save up to $400 a year when you switch. plus, unwrap $250 off a new samsung phone. click, call or visit a store today. how much will tomorrow's historic impeachment vote weigh in the voters' decision next year? well, trump's betrayal of public trust in the ukraine matter carry the same indecency as trump's language and decline in conduct he's driven in the four years in his national political
life? i hedge my bet on the following. if the democrats pick the right candidate next year, by that i mean whose conduct and power contrasts powerfully from what we've heard from trump, they'll take him down. we picked a nonpolitician generalizen hower to replace a product of the kansas city political machine, harry truman. we picked jack kennedy to replace the tired eisenhower. we picked nixon to make the cold calculation to free the u.s. from linden in vietnam and we picked the first george bush for a kindler gentler presidency over the conservative reagan. we picked the young and nimble bill clinton from the beleaguered bush. we picked "w" -- i'm sorry, the supreme court won that one. we picked trump to drain the
swamp and we'll pick the next president to rid us of the bathtub ring of dirt and ill behavior of a president who made so many of us embarrassed. and that's "hardball" for now. all in with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> this is about president trump using his office to try and rig the next election. >> the eve of the big impeachment vote. >> to me it's a dirty word, the word impeach. >> the president scrambling as democrats stand together. >> every single member is going to have to make that decision, as they have been doing anchored in principle. >> what we can expect tomorrow and where do we stand tonight. then -- >> what is leader mcconnell afraid of? what is president trump afraid of? the truth? >> my special guest senator chuck schumer on the president's impeachment and the republicans working with the white house. >> i'm not impartial about this at all. >> plus former