tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN November 22, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PST
>> that's a heck of a good looking tree. it's a beautiful tree. thank you very much for joining us for all our special coverage all week. time for cnn news room. >> good friday morning everyone. what a week it has been. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto in washington. let's take stock. two weeks. dozen witnesses. a massive amount of public evidence based on sworn testimony, all pointing to the president demanding that an ally at war with russia conduct what one witness called a domestic political errand. hundreds of millions in military aid for announcement into the bidens and the 2016 election. >> now democrats seem to be side stepping the core fight over
evidence and going into the next stage of the impeachment fight with the ammunition they have. is it enough? drafting the specific articles of impeachment, that is what is next and staying on track for a house impeachment vote by christmas. >> it's all going to move very quickly ahead of the possible trial in the senate. the president has already met with gop senators, senators whose votes he needs to remain in office. joining us now from capitol hill, suzanne melvow. >> reporter: it's all going to happen relatively quickly, jim. it's quiet here on capitol hill as most law makers have gone for the thanksgiving recess. it's going to the house staff on the intelligence committee writing their report, making
their case they have evidence for impeaching the president. we heard from nancy pelosi yesterday. what would that entail? abuse of power, obstruction of justice, obstruction of congress and bribery. after thanksgiving that house will go to the house judiciary committee. there they could hold additional public hearings. they could even hear additional witnesses, former white house counsel don mcgahn, john bolton. they would write-up the articles of impeachment. then the goal is by christmas they would have a full vote on the house floor. >> tell us about the gop strategy moving forward. we heard from kevin mccarthy yesterday. he doesn't expect to lose a single republican vote in the house on this. >> reporter: the people we talked to on the republican side, they're extremely confident they have this. we heard from will herd
yesterday. he is not even running for re-election. he said the president might have had an inappropriate phone call, he doesn't see the evidence for bribery or extortion. that's what they are counting on when you have a member like that. they're all going to huddle behind the president. on the senate side you see preparations already being made for the inevitable trial in the senate. there were some senate republicans who met with the white house top lawyer to talk about strategy and defense and what they'll do. as you know, it will be up to the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to set the rules in terms of how long this will go, several weeks or maybe into the democratic nomination period. >> suzanne, it's going to be busy on the hill. poppy? >> let's talk with our experts about this. susan hennessey and jackie kucinich join us.
jackie, you say this week gave democrats everything they could have hoped for. given what we just heard from will herd, an outgoing republican, and given the vote that we've seen thus far on the rules, what -- do democrats truly believe much is going to change here? >> i don't know. this wasn't about changing the hardened minds of particularly their republican colleagues because clearly it didn't seem like there were many minds to be changed. this is about what they projected to the public. this is about the evidence that was laid out. when i say everything they could have hoped for, this is not hopes and dreams. this is how this went down. it was structured. they got their questions answered. there was new information that came out over the course of the week we didn't know. there are other members of the administration, the upper
echelons of the administration, that have been brought into this on the record under oath. that is -- there's something to be said for that. it was not guaranteed. >> susan hennessey, all the witnesses testifying made it clear that the direction for this quid pro quo was coming from the white house, but lacking are the white house officials that could have said i heard from the president, he told me x. mick mulvaney, john bolton among them. i wonder if obstruction worked. the white house blocked the witnesses that could have drawn the line to the president. >> the white house is saying there's no direct tie to the president. think about this interaction with gordon sondland and members of the white house. he was making the inference that military aid was being tied to these white house meetings.
then he said mick mulvaney is in a position to know firsthand. that caused adam schiff to remind everybody about mick mulvaney's public press conference in which he talked about these two things being tied to one another and told everybody to get over it. there was quite a bit of clear evidence that showed that this was a policy being driven by the president personally. to the extent the republicans are going to try to go all in on s suggesting this is a bunch of people freelancing and this was not the president directing this, they'll have a hard time justifying why they're preventing people like mick mulvaney, secretary of state mike pompeo, what are they so afraid of? >> so, jackie, john bolton is back on twitter. >> certainly is. >> two months off. not going to testify unless the
court says he can. maybe this is indicating a change. "glad to be back on twitter after a few months. stay tuned for the back story." is he going to talk? i guess, if he's making jest of all this, should he be? it's a serious matter. >> it is. i'll go back to fiona hill's testimony. john bolton was one of the administration officials that is came out of this looking okay. i mean, he is someone who pushed back, who didn't like what the administration was doing and with this sidetrack policy with ukraine. so his name has been out there. what this means, it's hard to divine, poppy. maybe he's trying to sell books. his lawyer has hinted that he does have information that isn't out there yet. that doesn't sound like someone who is going to go slowly --
quietly into the night. he also left that administration in not really good terms. a lot of questions what john bolton knows and whether we'll find out. >> let's be clear. john bolton could have testified. >> exactly. >> other officials defied the white house on this. he didn't do it. that should be clear. susan, when we look at this legally, you have a case, possible decision next week related to don mcgahn. different case, but gets to the question whether white house officials can be prevented from testifying. the case that relates specifically to the impeachment inquiry, that argument won't be heard until december. could those legal decisions turn out in such a way that at least by the senate trial the john boltons and mulvaneys of this world will be forced to testify or has that ship sailed? >> it's possible we'll get a
preliminary decision. this is about the individual's decision whether to testify. executive privilege cannot prevent people from testifying. the question is whether or not these people will get these lower court decisions and comply with them, if they're telling them to comply, or instead they'll appeal them in an attempt to drag out the process. for sitting officials that creates the impression of the white house stop walling. keep it mind what adam schiff said, the white house's refusal to produce documents and individuals to testify, that could become the basis of independent articles of impeachment. that could become evidence of obstruction of congress and failure to recognize this is a co-equal branch of government. that argument will become powerful, especially if the lower courts weigh in that these people have to testify. >> nancy pelosi and adam schiff
reiterated they went here reluctantly, but they're not waiting. jackie, in pelosi's words we're not at the mercy of the courts. they don't have a single document from the state department on all this or from the white house. they're not hearing from mick mulvaney or john bolton. is there a concern for the party and for the country that there is long-term damage done to not waiting and utilizing the power that congress has to compel and waiting for the courts to decide about the documents and witnesses being compelled to testify? >> we don't know when that's going to happen. democrats have political concerns. there's a belief the closer we get to the 2020 election this could become more problematic. that's assuming that public opinion stays at 50/50.
we'll wait and see next week how the public is viewing this. with the majority makers, the democrats from the districts president trump won, they're looking at the process nervously and want to get it over with as fast as possible. >> ladies, thank you very much. it's been quite a week. have a nice weekend and nice ho holiday. still to come adam schiff compared this investigation to watergate. he said the comparison is between this congress and that one. we'll speak to someone who was a member of congress during watergate. plus, testimony pulled back the curtain on how the trump administration executes foreign policy around the globe. is that doing damage to our relationships with our allies? what do voters in the key state of pennsylvania think about the impeachment hearings? that's important. that's a swing state.
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keep your family connected, and hurry into t-mobile today, to get up to four iphone 11's on us. only at t-mobile. house democrats are moving closer to filing articles of impeachment after two weeks of explosive testimony that president trump sought to withhold foreign aid in exchange for a domestic political errand.
here's how adam schiff wrapped up the hearings this week. >> the difference between then and now is not the difference between nixon and trump. it's the difference between that congress and this one. so we are asking where is howard baker? where is howard baker? where are the people who are willing to go beyond their party to look to their duty? >> with me now someone well-versed in the impeachment probe against president nixon. elizabeth holtzman wrote the book "the case for impeaching trump." thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> given what we just heard from chairman schiff, what have we learned about this country and the state of politics today from everything we saw this week? >> well, i saw most of the
proceedings. i guess i was a little disappointed that every single republican on the committee was kind of defending the president. that's really not their role. congress is really there to protect the democracy, to keep a little bit of objectivity, a little bit of independence. on the other hand it's not surprising that the republicans are there supporting the president because during watergate, during the nixon impeachment process, republicans didn't come out for impeachment until three days before we debated the articles of impeachment. >> you're quoted earlier as saying it's too soon to expect republicans to come out and say they're for impeachment. i hear you on that. i hear people like congressman will herd loud and clear who yesterday after all of this, he disagrees public with the president a lot, says, yes, this was misguided foreign policy,
but he has not heard evidence that the president is guilty of bribery or extortion. if he's not moving and he's retiring, who will? >> part of the problem is -- this was -- what we heard was primarily a fact-fiending process. we heard the facts. we haven't heard what the facts amount to in terms of impeachment. if we heard that debate, congressman herd might be affected. >> in terms of outlining for the american people what an impeachable fact is? >> correct. >> the judiciary committee will hold hearings to explain to the american people what is an impeachable offense. >> we didn't have hearings on what is an impeachable offense. there are a lot of facts that the american people had to absorb about watergate, about
nixon's misdeeds. the committee debated this and those debates persuaded the american people because they were based on solid evidence and the members of the committee weren't grand standing. they were sincere. we didn't have all the republicans, but we had a number of them. we had some southern democrats too. >> nancy pelosi said we're moving ahead. we're not at the mercy of the courts. we're not waiting for bolton. would it be prudent to slow down? >> that's a tough decision. i respect her. i don't think we need a race. i wouldn't wait for the courts either. we didn't in the nixon impeachment process. we went ahead and had an article of impeachment saying that the president and it passed the house judiciary committee, saying the president obstructed the impeachment effort. >> the supreme court ruled on
the tapes. >> yes, but we didn't wait for that. we had our vote before that. >> house minority leader kevin mccarthy was so confident that republicans will not lose a single member in this vote, but he said i think we're going to gain democrats. given the fact in the vote a few weeks ago laying out the rules of the proceedings in the house, two democrats did not go with the policy, could kevin mccarthy be right? >> i hope he's not. people have to vote their conscious. in the end members of the house are there not to be a tool of the president, or necessarily a tool against the president. they have to vote on the facts and their conscious. the important thing is we have heard an enormous amount of evidence of presidential involvement. there's an aye bous buse of pow effort to use the powers of the president on a personal
political errand. >> the fact that some democrats in congress previously called for impeachment of
the president because of -- we have brad sherman mexico honext hour. he called for it after comey's testimony. many called for it after muel r mueller's investigation. does it hurt them politically because they're calling for it again? >> there was a case for impeachment last year. there were a lot of facts to fill in. you saw the outlines of a case for impeachment. that's what an impeachment inquiry is supposed to be. get the facts together. put the facts against the law. what we have is a lot of facts. we can draw adverse evinference that the president of the united states is forcing people not to appeal and holding back documents. we can draw an inference he's
guilty from those facts. we have a lot of evidence. now we have to teach the american
people what the case is about and what the constitution means. it's an important step. we can't take it lightly. we're overturning an election. it's not a coup. it's something the framers put in the constitution to protect our democracy against a president who insists of putting himself above the law. >> thank you so much for being. >> my pleasure. >> it's so good to have voices with wisdom and experience. the hearings are over. testimony is in. how will all we learn on capitol hill these past couple weeks impact america's standing in the world and future diplomacy. it has consequences. we'll talk about it. your mouth any differently? listerine® completes the job by preventing plaque, early gum disease, and killing up to 99.9% of germs. try listerine®.
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after two weeks of damning, televised testimony, under oath, president trump's former top russia expert fiona hill closed out the impeachment hearings by drawing a clear line in the sand testifying that gordon sondland was correct to exclude her from his effort for ukraine to announce investigations because sondland's effort separated from u.s. foreign policy directly into domestic u.s. politics. >> he was being involved in a
domestic political errand and we were being involved in national security foreign policy and those two things had just diverged. he was correct and i had not put my finger on it at the moment, but i was irritated with him that he wasn't fully coordinating. i said to him, ambassador sondland, i think this is all going to blow up and here we are. >> here we are. i'm pleased to be joined by ambassador nicholas burns and foreign policy adviser to the biden campaign. thank you for taking the time. we should remind people, people who were appointed by this president, carrying out his policy. we saw it laid bear that that suj ji gaited the rest of foreign policy.
what are the consequences? how does russia look at this? >> this scandal over ukraine has weakened america's position in two respects. our goal has been to contain russian power in eastern
europe, prevent putin from dominating countries like ukraine and georgia. we failed in that. we showed that the president's sole concern was getting joe biden and not helping ukraine. ukraine has been independent for 28 years. george h.w. bush, george bush and clinton had the same policy towards ukraine. what did president trump and rudy giuliani do, they encouraged president zelensky to go after joe biden, they
encouraged the ukraines to act like thugs. we've lost credibility on the russia issue and on the ukraine issue. >> there's a fiction, right, that there is no direct line to the president, when again all the people carrying out the policy expressed no doubt that the direction for this quid pro quo was coming from the white house. gordon sondland said so. i want to play some sounds by david holmes. he got a bit wobbly on that and republicans jumped on that. listen to david holmes. >> he made clear that he had direct and frequent access to president trump and chief of staff mick mulvaney and portrayed himself as the conduit to the president and mr. mulvaney for this group. the official said the order had come from the president and had been conveyed to omb by mr. mulvaney with no further explanation. >> sondland claimed throughout he was acting on the orders of the president. the omb, mick mulvaney, they're
saying the order came from the president. but the white house successfully b blocked mulvaney and bolton from testifying. i wonder is a sombering take away that the obstruction worked. >> the white house is in a strong position because we should be hearing from mike pompeo, we should be hearing from the vice president, we should be hearing from mull van. david holmes told the truth. the code word investigate burisma, that was kocode for investigating biden. david holmes said he didn't have access to his notes so he wasn't as clear as he could have been. that left an opening for the
republicans. >> the timing throughout this story is interesting and notable. the call to the ukrainian president, the famous july phone call happened within 24 hours of robert mueller finishing his testimony on the hill. the general view on the hill was
it was not as much as expected. adam schiff made a connection the president felt liberated to some degree. he may very likely be impeached in the house, but on a party line vote. do you take his likely survival in the senate that he will look at that as license to continue to conduct foreign policy in this way? >> i think that's how this president operates. any other human being would have been chasen. with incredible arrogance -- i read the transcript of the july
25th phone call. the president said investigate the bidens. that takes a lot of arrogance. i fear if the president is acquitted in a trial by the senate he will have learned nothing from this. he won't be more careful or patriotic in thinking about american interests first. that's a shame for our country. that's a loss for our country. >> at the core of this was a u.s. commitment to an ally, ukraine, being invaded by russia, having part of its territory annexed by russia. are u.s. national security safer today or less safe as a result of this? >> less safe. the united states is portraying itself not to be a firm, steady, reliable, credible partner to ukraine or ally to the nato countries. i said at the beginning, jim, the number one goal of the united states if you ask all the
republicans in the senate is to contain putin. the president has been the weakest we've had visa vee russia. >> ambassador burns, these things have consequences. thanks for walking us through them. >> thank you, jim. >> poppy, that's the world we live in today. >> your question was so great. i hadn't thought of it. if he's acquitted does this give him license to continue conducting foreign policy like this? israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu is fighting what he's calling a coup. israeli's attorney general announced charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust against netanyahu. this is the first time this
city's sitting prime minister faces criminal prosecution. >> paula newton is in jerusalem. do we expect netanyahu's challengers to exercise pressure and replace him? >> reporter: the short answer to that is no. there have been murmurs about it. he's got one specific college challenger. they'll let netanyahu continue with his vehement denials. it's not just about the way he is saying that he's not guilty of any of the charges, exactly pointedly saying there's no evidence. it's the language he's using. coup, witch hunt, the investigators need investigating. the attorney general, a person
who served as his cabinet secretary came down with the charges. he said no one is above the law. i had to bring the charges because the evidence is there. the allegation is benjamin netanyahu did some media tycoon some favors. on top of that they accuse him of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts. it's shabbat right now and this country needs a break. the indictment wasn't the half of it. they don't have a new government. two elections gone already this year. another one possibly coming early next. they need a break. >> it's remarkable. if that happens, paula, to have three country-wide general elections for leadership in the span of a year is significant and very destabilizing. thank you for your reporting this morning. you watched i would assume a lot of the impeachment hearings.
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weeks of impeachment hearings did anything to shift public opinion about the president and potential impeachment. vanessa travelled to the suburbs of philadelphia to talk to voters there in that critical swing state. >> good morning everybody. talk a little politics. want to know what you think about the impeachment hearings. >> reporter: the morning rush to philadelphia with impeachment on the mind. >> it's a big show and we're just wasting tax payers' money. >> reporter: voters here in the suburbs are paying attention from the airways -- >> nothing there? >> no. >> reporter: -- to the railways. >> i'm totally convinced he's committed a crime. >> reporter: a narrow victim in pennsylvania helped deliver the
white house to donald trump 2016. voters helped them secure victories in three counties. >> we're a blue county for the first time in 50 years, that may be trouble for the president. >> reporter: jane young and her friends have been glued to the hearings. >> we're not talking. >> that's not going to happen. >> sh. >> reporter: at her watch party in delaware county four democrats and one independent all believe the president has committed a crime. >> we're talking about acceptance of law and we're determining what our laws are now. are we going to accept this is practice or not accept it? >> i think we're ahead of the congressional hearings. we believed it before they walked in the room. >> reporter: across time alexa and valerie bell. >> it's not supposed to be a few people picking the leaders.
>> reporter: valerie is not a fan of the president. >> have you discussed the impeachment inquiries? >> i know where she stands. she would like to see him get the boot and i wouldn't. it's a moot point to even talk about it. >> reporter: while respecting each other's opinions is key their to marriage, three no love lost on impeachment. >> i this i the democrats are grasping at straws wherever they can. >> i think you have to hold the president to a higher standard. i think it doesn't look good. it doesn't have good optics. >> reporter: now the vast majority of voters we spoke to in pennsylvania say they don't believe the president will be impeached or removed from office. the key here is that they think the 2020 election, poppy, will decide his fate. we only found one voter who knows here they're voting for in 2020. that's a republican who is going to vote for president trump. again, the vast majority of the
people you saw in that piece, independents, democrats, even a republican looking for another option say they don't see a frontrunner yet. they're still undecided. that's a big problem as impeachment is on the mind of voters. >> if it's elizabeth warren that's one thing and joe biden is another. >> correct. this week a former fbi official is under criminal investigation accused of altering documents part of the 2016 russia problem. what we're learning about this and what it means for the bigger picture coming up.
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this was first on cnn, sources telling cnn that a former fbi lawyer is under criminal investigation for allegedly alering a document related to the 2016 russia probe. this is part of a broader justice department investigation into the origins of the russian probe. tell us the details. >> this former lawyer, no longer with the fbi, used on the documents to prepare the fisa warrant on carter page. in doing so, altered one of the documents used in the course of that preparation.
this was something found as part of the inspector general investigation, michael horowitz there, we expect that will be part of the report coming out on december 9th, and now part of an investigation by john durham, the prosecutor that bill barr, the attorney general, has appointed to do a wider look-back of the intelligence used as part of the russia investigation. >> as reported many times, there were many pieces of intelligence that went into the broader investigation, not just in the one fisa warrant. based on what you know, does this change or undermine the rationale for beginning the probe as a whole? >> no. i think that's a very important thing. it's clear that the fbi had plenty of reasons to start this investigation. there were so many things, including the tip from the australian ambassador talking to george papadopoulos. so there's plenty of reasons for
this investigation. i think you'll see that in horowitz' report. even the fisa of carter page. there was plenty of reasons for the fbi to be suspicious. you'll see that in this report as well. wos is reporting that horowitz found that even despite these mistakes, obviously these errors, that there was reason to do this. the warrant was valid. >> not indicting the entire investigation. >> exactly. thank you. great reporting. we'll be right back. with pronamel repair toothpaste, we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. my go to toothpaste is going to be pronamel repair. julie means more to me than anything... and i wanted to ask you... before i ask her. may i have your permission... to marry her?
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there's new reporting in "wall street journal" that usa gymnastics withheld the investigation of larry -- from simone biles. last year the former doctor was sentenced up to 17 a years in prison for multiple sex crimes. biles was among the first athletes who told the organization that she white house worried, concerned, uncomfortable with nasser's behavior. >> she tweeted out -- numb is becoming a normal feeling. i think that sums it up well. for all the gymnasts who have
been involved in the scandal th that doesn't end. essential "wall street journal" is saying that simone biles was among a small group of gymnasts, including ali reeseman about their concerns. those concerns went up the chain of command, yet no one told simone biles that they were having their own investigation into the conduct of larry nassar. on top of that, no one gave simone biles' name as someone to talk to. it's all sort of she wasn't listened to. that's why it's so disheartening for not only her, but other gymnasts who have felt this same feeling. she also said in a quick
tweet -- can't tell you how hard this is to read and process. the pain is real and doesn't go away, especially when new facts are still coming occupy. guys? >> quite an amazing omission there. thank you very much. very good friday morning to you. what a week. i'm jim scuitto in washington. >> i'm poppy harlow in new york. a dozen impeachment witnesses, a dozen points of view, all their sworn testimony adding to evidence pointing to a many potentially abusing his power, demanding an ally at war with russia conduct what one witness cal a domestic political errand, risking key aid, and access to the white house, all for an announcement of an investigation into the bidens. >> so instead of a court fight, many of the
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