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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  December 3, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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voters that like senator harris, i would tell them issues like housing, health care, economic prosperity, the ones that people really need, the ones that i want to make sure our candidates -- yes? >> thank you so much for joining us. i know i'm going to lose you only the window momentarily. we'll continue this conversation. representative, thank you for joining us and "the lead" starts right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. starting an hour early today to cover this major breaking story of the day. you may come to remember the house intelligence committee this afternoon released its 300-page trump ukraine impeachment inquiry report as it calls itself laying out its case saying that president trump indeed conditioned official presidential acts involving ukraine on that country's leaders announcing investigations that would help president trump politically. any moment now we are expecting the chairman of the house
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intelligence committee, congressman adam schiff, to speak about what he clearly sees as two key potential articles of impeachment. one, the president's "overwhelming misconduct" in schiff's view and, two, unprecedented obstruction. we go right to cnn's manu raju on capitol hill. manu, what strikes you in this report? what do you think is most interesting or important? >> reporter: well, the democrats tried to lay out two cases. one, this conduct by this president laying out in detail what happened as the president was pushing a deal with ukraine policy, pushing for investigations into his political rivals the same time as that vital aid to ukraine was withheld, same time the meeting with the ukraine president and president trump had been delayed. also the same time obstruction of congress, the democrats tried to make it clear what they say it unprecedented stonewalling by this president making clear that they expect articles of impeachment likely drafted based on this report and likely will include obstruction of congress,
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likely to include abuse of power. they stopped short explicitly saying what they should look like and clear they believe the president should be impeached and we're expecting adam schiff to come out any moment. when he does i will step aside, jake. but -- also, jake, part of this report it says, the statement coming up from the leaders, it says the evidence of the president's misconduct is overwhelming and so, too, evidence of obstruction of congress. indeed hard to match an stronger or more complete case of obstruction. here's the chairman right now, jake. >> let's listen in. >> good afternoon. today we transmit the report of the work of three committees, the intelligence committee, the oversight committee as well as the foreign affairs committee into the president's misconduct with respect to ukraine. at the outset i want to just thank the credible members of all three committees as well as our amazing staff that did long
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hours of work through depositions, open hearings, and compiling all of the evidence into today's report. it was an enormous task, and i want to begin by acknowledging the great work of the great and late cleek olleague of mine eli cummings. we continue to be inspired by his legacy and guided by thoughts of his integrity and the great moral clarity that he always showed in his work. i also want to thank my colleagues chairman engle, chairmanwoman ma loloney for th tremendous work as well. this report chronicles a scheme by the president of the united states to cores s coerce an al ukraine into doing the president's political dirty work. it involves a scheme in which
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donald trump withheld official acts of white house meeting as well as hundreds of millions of dollars of military assistance to compel that power to deliver to investigations he believed would assist his re-election campaign. and i want to underscore first of all just how important that white house meeting was to ukraine. ukraine has a new reformer as its president. president zelensky. a meeting with the most important patron of ukraine, the president of the united states, in the oval office, carries enormous significance. both to the people of ukraine but as equally important to russia, that the united states has ukraine's back in its conflict with a nation which invaded its territory. the military assistance is also absolutely essential. as president zelensky goes into negotiations with vladimir putin, the fact that the united
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states is providing substantial military assistance approved on a bipartisan basis by congress is enormously important. the withholding of that aid even for a period of time sends a disastrous message to friend and foe alike that the united states does not have the back of itsal li ally. these were things ukraine desperately wanted and needed, and at the same time president trump desperately wanted and that he thought he needed was an investigation that he feared the most, rival joe biden, as well as an investigation into a debunked conspiracy theory it was ukraine, not russia, that interfered in our last election now, that conspiracy thy, which is often summarized or characterized by the term crowdstrike that conspiracy theory is a russian narrative. that is a conspiracy theory put
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out, promulgated by vladimir putin to deflect attention away from russia's interference in our other election and try to drive a wedge between the united states and the nation of ukraine. so that's what the president wanted. these two sham investigations. one into joe biden. also debunked and discredited. that sham investigation theory, but also into this idea that ukraine interfered in our election, not russia. and he was willing to sacrifice the national security of the united states by withholding military aid and diplomatic recognition in the form of that white house meeting in order to get what he wanted. that scheme, however, was discovered, because among other things a courageous person stepped forward and blew the whistle. but also because congress announced it would investigate the matter. once we began our investigation and once it became clear to the president and to the white house that this was going to become
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public, the scheme would become public, only then did the president of the united states release the military aid and as for that white house meeting that ukraine so desperately sought, that is still not happened to this day. now, what does this mean for americans? why should they care about what the president did veis-a-vis ukraine? why that they care an yn yukrai. this is not about ukraine but our national security and that the people have a trite know the president of the united states acts with their security any mind and not with a personal or political reason's so americans should sayre deeply whether or not the president of the united states is betraying their oath to them. the oath he took to defend our country and defend its institutions. we should care about this.
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we must care about this and if we don't care about this we can be well sure the president will be back at it doing this all over again. because, indeed, he already has. first, there was the invitation to russia to interfere in our last election. hey, russia, if you're listening, pack your emails later that day and tried to do exactly right. but then there was the use of this official power to compel another country trying to interfere in the 2020 election. and even after, even after our investigation began, even after the impeachment inquiry began, there was president donald trump out on the white house lawn making it abundantly clear he wanted ukraine to investigate the bidens. and what's more, he wanted other countries to interfere in our election as well and that china should also investigate the bidens. this is the result of a
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president who believes that he is beyond indictment, beyond impeachment, beyond any form of accountability and indeed above the law. and that is a very dangerous thing in this country to have an unethical president who believes they are above the law. the question now is, what does congress do about this? one of the other very important elements of our report today, which goes beyond the president's misconduct with ukraine, goes to the president's obstruction of the congress, of a coequal branch of government. and i want to underscore also the seriousness of this misconduct. because the president informed every department for which we sought reference. the state department. office of management budget, has the records about withholding of aid, the defense department, his own without personnel to refuse to turn over a single document
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in answer our questions. the president instructed witnesses not to appear. the president used his office and billy bull pit to try to intimidate witnesses. if congress allow as president to so fully and blankedly obstruct the work of congress even involving an impeachment investigation into the president's own misconduct then we are begging for more of the same. we are signaling to any future president they can engage in whoever construction, malfeasance or negligence and beyond accountability. to my gop colleagues, they need to consider that when we have a democratic president are they willing to say in answer to their oversight that a president may simply refuse. because if they are and if we do, it will mean that the balance of power between our branches of government will be fundamentally altered and altered for the worse. it will mean that future corruption malfeasance and imp
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competence will be far more likely than it is today. the facts here are really not seriously contested. indeed, the testimony of the witnesses was remarkably consistent. and you might be forgiven having watched the hearings and watched the reaction of the members of the two parties to the testimony of the witnesses, if you thought there were two different hearings going on at the same time. this points out another danger that the founding fathers were all too aware of, and that is the danger of excessive fax factionalism, that a political party may become so letted to a president of their own party that they're unwilling to do their constitutional duty. but i firmly believe that if one party relinquishes its
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responsibility to the constitution and to their oath it does not relieve us of our obligation to the same. and i hope that every member of the house and the senate whether these proceedings go forward in the house or they don't, will keep in mind their duty as to the constitution. not to the person of the president. that ought to be our guiding principle. finally, i think what's presented to us here is really so aptly summed up in what the president's own chief of staff had to say when he informed the country that, yes, indeed, they had withheld military aid to get this political investigation. he told us to get over it. to get over it. that is what the president does, we should just get over it. this is essentially what he was
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saying. but we need to just get used to the idea of a corrupt president and get over it. and so we will have to decide given that the evidence, this misconduct is so clear and uncontested, are we prepared to just get over it? are we prepared to say that henceforth we must expect from this president and those who follow that there will be a certain amount of corruption in which the national security of the country will be compromised, in which the oath of the office will mean that much less, in which the belief in the rule of law in the united states will be that much less? is that what we're simply to get over or get used to? well, i for one don't think we should get over this. i don't think we should get used to this. i don't think that's what the founders of this country had in mind. indeed i think when they prescribed a remedy, this kind of conduct by a president of the united states putting his own
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personal political interests above the interests of the american people was exactly why they prescribed a remedy as extraordinary at the remedy of impeachment. and so we have a very difficult decision ahead of us to make. and i have every confidence that the judiciary committee, in consultation with the entire caucus and our leadership will not only receive this report as well as the reports of others and make a proper determination about whether arms of impeachment are warranted. with that i'm happy to respond to your questions. >> mr. chairman -- mr. chairman -- >> the cell phone records -- what did they tell you that you didn't learn otherwise from the depositions? >> i can't go into specifics of dates in which we ob titained certain evidence or indeed whether he obtained communications from one or multiple parties, but certainly
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the phone record show that there was considerable coordination among the parties including the white house. coordination in the smear campaign against ambassador yovanovitch which cleared the way for the three amigos to take over significant part of ukraine policy. kwordenati coordination in the execution of that policy and it was indeed a continuum that began even prior to the recall of the ambassador. now, your question gets to a very important point, which is, there was more investigative work to be done. one of the issues we are looking into is, did this scheme begin far earlier than we first understood? was the scheme, in fact,ut in place to try to pressure the last president of the ukraine, poroshenko and his corrupt prosecutor general lutsenko into conducting these same investigations, and was that
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plan put into turmoil and chaos when this new reformer zelensky surged in the polling and ultimately won that presidency? that is something we continue to investigate and something these phone records also shed light on, but even as we believed it we cannot wait because the president's efforts to secure intervention in the next election persist, we continue our investigation and we will. >> mr. schiff, just to be clear. sure sounds like you support impeaching the president. do you support impeaching and the senate removing him from office? >> i'm going to reserve any kind of public judgment on that until i have a chance to consult with my colleagues. with our leadership. and i think this really needs to be a decision that we all make as a body. so i'm going to continue to reserve judgment, but as you can
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tell, i am gravely concerned that if we merely accept this, that we invite not only further corruption of our elections by this president but we also invite it of the next president. so i am keenly aware of the significance of the precedent we set, whatever direction we move and i am also very strongly guided by the fact that one of the seminal moments's in this scheme took place the day after bob mueller testified. the day after donald trump thought that the last investigation was over, he began the next significant step in a new course of misconduct. yes? >> well, yo[ inaudible ].
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>> i'd say a couple of things. whether the scheme began earlier than expected whether the scheme involved the last president. we have provided overwhelming evidence in this report of a scheme to pressure the current president of ukraine to conduct these political investigations. will it move others if we're able to show that this was not the first time, this was the second time? i think what we have produced in remarkable short order is so overwhelming it ought to be presented to the judiciary committee now, without any further delay. if we do uncover additional evidence and we learn more every day, we will feel free to file supplemental reports to the judiciary committee. but there is, i think, grave risk to the country with waiting until we have every last fact, when we already know enough about the president's misconduct to make a responsible judgment about whether we think that's
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compatible with the office of the presidency. >> the phone records passed out on anything you've heard from the witnesses or anything the president has said publicly? >> no. they don't. at least that i can identify at this moment. i think the phone records of remarkably consistent with the coordination of a lot of this scheme. now, we obviously don't have complete phone records, and some of the phone records are deeply suggestive of who the parties we're talking to, particularly in the white house or the office of management and budget. but because of the president's effort to stonewall investigation including not turn over their own phone records, not only to us but to witnesses like sondland who asked for them, we don't have all the answers. but we do know this without any doubt. and that is, the president of the united states solicited foreign irnterference in our election and used the power of
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his office, the power to convene a meeting in the oval office, the power to provide or withhold hundreds of millions of aid to an ally at war to get his political dirty work done. the only question is, how much more, how more extensive was the scheme? how many others may have been involved? what was the full knowledge of participations of other parties and while we intend to get the answers to those questions and let the american people know the full facts we do not intend to delay when the integrity of the next election is still at risk. >> mr. chairman, your report mentions records involving ranking member nunes. did you speak to him and inquire about those with his office? and do you believe he should recuse himself later today on this vote? also, do you yourself plan to present this report to the judiciary committee in person? >> the rules about the judiciary committee provide that our staff counsel present the report to the committee. that's what we expect will take
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place. in terms of the ranking member, it won't surprise you i'm going to reserve comment. it is i think deeply concerning that at a time when the president of the united states was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival that there may be evidence that there were members of congress com police kn complicit in that activity. there's a lot more to learn about that and i don't want to state that that is an unequivocal fact but the allegations are deeply concerning. our focus is on the president's conduct first and foremost. it may be the role of others to evaluate the conduct of members of congress. thank you very much. that was the chairman of the house select committee on intelligence democratic adam schiff speaking on behalf of the
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trump ukraine impeachment inquiry report, more than 300 pages. evidence showing president trump withheld a white house meeting and a much-needed security aid to ukraine, $391 million worth, to compel the leaders of ukraine to announce and to open investigations that president trump believed would benefit him politically. schiff was directly asked by cnn's manu raju and refused to say publicly if he supports impeaching president trump. the chairman also said there's more investigative work to be done including whether this pressure campaign as he called it started earlier than is currently believed. let's talk about this. one of the points nia-malikas chairman sn making it wasn't about one phone call with the president of ukraine? >> yeah. he is laying out in the report, 300 pages as an executive summary and we heard from weeks of witnesses obviously this was a months' long scheme and hinted
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it may be even longer than what this report lays out and the witnesses laid out as well. he said in his press conference, this was a scheme to coerce an ally into doing the president's dirty work. very simple language that you hear adam schiff using, very simple language as well in this very damning report. i think there was a sense over these last days or so that the president and the gop kind of had taken the wind out of the sails of democrats in some ways and with this report, adam schiff should be referred to the house judiciary committee immediately. right? talking a sense of urgency because of the threat to a current election and this president seems to essentially think he can use his own power, his own office, in official acts to coerce a foreign government to interfere in an american election. >> and maggie haberman, one of the things you hear from republicans, fighting back against adam schiff, nancy
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pelosi, how democrats on impeachment unified the republican party behind president trump as perhaps never before. one thing you don't hear is any reputation of the facts as they are laid out in the report and as we've come to hear from the public hearings? >> right. at least not so far. we might hear more going forward and remember going into a snoot trial we have no idea what that's going to look like. certainly now they have focused on the idea that nothing turned up any connection directably to the president. there's no testimony that the president saying anything to aides. probably frankly one of those times the president is saved by the fact he doesn't use email and doesn't respond to text messages, because there's nothing in writing. that's what they focused on after the mueller report and are doing it again. i am struck by this summary that it goes over obstruction of witnesses. that's their words. democrats. that the white house locked all of these witnesses from testifying. opposite of mueller. 302 interview summaries we saw
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mueller interviews with a number of white house aides. significant in laying out its case. >> you have been looking oefbl a over the report. strikes you the idea they paint a picture of this campaign with ukraine. the pressure campaign as democrats call it, puts the entire electoral system at risk. puts american democracy at risk. >> right. the point this is bigger than donald trump for basically three years we've been seeing a president that has made his, made his money or made his name by flouting norms of government. right? sort of what why people actually e -- a disrupter. why many voted for the particular ed in the first place nap carries legal and historical consequences and what they're saying here and the exact line is, this repeated and pervasive threat to our democratic electoral process. they are making a historical point. >> how so?
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how is it a threat is? >> the point nothing -- okay. how is it a threat? the president is enlisting the help of foreign actors in meddling in our system of elections. they're saying any future president has the incentive to do that again if they don't stop it here. so, again, this isn't just about norms and donald trump breaking glass and changing things. this is actually about vitaling our basic system and how it's run. >> a more compelling argument for americans than the national security argument in terms of the president withholding assistance from ukraine. probably can't pick ukraine out on a map, most can't. you point it out here. it wasn't so i think front and center in a lot of the hearings the idea it is disrupting an american election. >> gloria, another thing interesting in the report, it seems to suggest that this wasn't just president trump and a few low-level diplomatic people. at one point it says, ambassador sondland told vice president pence that he was concerned that the security assistance was tied
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to the issues of investigations and everything is held up until these statements get made and pence nodded in response. the idea that there are a number of senior administration officials not just president trump who are tied up in this. >> right. as ambassador sondland famously said, everyone was in the loop. i think this is the committee's version of everyone was in the loop and there is a point they talk about this dramatic crescendo within a month's long campaign driven by president trump, because everything, of course, is driven by the president according to this executive summary, and that in which senior u.s. officials including the vice president, secretary of state, acting chief of staff, secretary of energy and others were either knowledgeable or active participants in an effort to extract from the a foreign nation a personal political benefit sought by the president. co-conspirator co-conspirators, in other words. i remember when sondland
quote
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testified to this about pence. pence, what sondland did, he said, you know i pulled the vice president aside for a quick minute at, on september 1 in warsaw before we went in to meet with zelensky and told him i thought this would be about investigations, and pence then released, almost immediately, a rebuttal saying, no, no, no. that never occurred. and this report challenges pence's disclaimer on this. saying, well, you didn't really address what sondland said. so the vice president here, they're holding culpable in saying he knew, too. >> not just the vice president. maggie, devin nunes, ranking republican on the house intelligence committee used to be chairman until the democrats took control of congress, in 2018, devin nunes is all over the report and not in his role at ranking republican on the committee. he's in there as, well -- >> we don't know. >> a lot of phone messages to
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giuliani. phone messages with giuliani's indicted friend lev parnas. >> and we don't know the duration of the calls. they're fairly short but raising questions the republican ranking member on the committee was having discussions with this witnesses about the facts democrats were saying were not real. >> and given how much of a stink was made about a supposed conversation between the whistle-blower and staff to the house intelligence committee, you know, they sort of have thrown that away if lev parnas is off talking to devin nunes repeatedly. >> they are suggesting it's all part of a disinformation campaign? call records show communications between conservative journalist john solomon, an opinion columnist with the hill and in the days surrounding the article connecting former ukrainian ambassador yovanovitch to the biden allegations, over the course of the four days following april 7th article phone records show contacts between mr. giuliani, mr. parnas, representative devin
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nunes and mr. solomon. all about this, i mean, drumming up this idea that the bidens are corrupt. >> right. >> and that ukraine interfered in the election. >> and leaves the first part, this idea ukraine interfered in the election completely debunked, right? also a talking point putin wants to advance. talked about it in february of 2017, and you have a conservative chattering classes advance this as well as folks on the hill. nunes among them. john kennedy, senator john kennedy seemed to advance this idea and had to pull back and something that the president also believes, too, and they feel like if this is true, this idea that ukraine was the one who actually meddled, then the president had every right to go to ukraine and say, where is this server? of course, it's all based on a lie, a conspiracy. >> and in fact, reporting this later in the show also, but the senate intelligence committee as i reported yesterday. >> exactly. right. >> looked into the ukraine allegations, interviewed former
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dnc advocate or consultant alexander chalupa and also interviewed sean henry. crowdstrike on october 5, 2017 and henry would not comment, he is, you know, crowdstrike like you heard adam schiff say, shorthand for this conspiracy theory. the senate intelligence committee led by a republican interviewed. >> nunes over and over again, mentioning chalupa. almost at every turn. >> keep hearing from republicans in the senate. senator burr chairs this committee. he refused to say yesterday, refused to condemn his colleague senator kennedy for talking about the idea both ukraine and russia interfered. what you'll hear i think from republicans going forward is, well, it may not have been a government-organized thing but people who dp it. individuals. >> an op id -ed in the hill. >> and lindsey graham said
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1,000% confident russia, not ukraine, meddled in the 2016 u.s. presidency. >> see how long that lasts. stick around. we have a lot more to talk about. squeeze in a quick break. new details about the report the house committee just released. stay with us. urke) a "rock and wreck." seen it. covered it. at farmers insurance, we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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we're back with breaking news coverage. the highways intelligence committee this afternoon released the impeachment report accusing president trump of misconduct with ukraine and obstruction in the impeachment investigation. we continue our discussion. maggie, the july phone call, july 25th phone call is at the center of the inquiry but schiff argues at this preface, this telephone call was neither the start nor end of president trump's efforts to bend u.s. policy for personal gain. rather a dramatic kcrescendkra . it's been going on for a while? >> one of the big issues for democrats on the committee is not the call itself in isolation. it's the call amid this campaign to withhold this military aid to
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ukraine that ukraine made clear was vital to its self-defense and ability to rely on the u.s., and that is something that we still don't have a ton of answers on. even the report itself does not make clear certain details about how that came to be and that's because the white house withheld documents that were asked for and witnesses that were asked for and i'm not clear we're ever going to know, frankly, some of these details. >> leads to another part of the process by adam schiff. hard to imagine a stronger or mow complete case of obstruction than that demonstrated by the president since the inquiry began, making a reference of reams of documents, numbers of witnesses including the acting chief of staff, the secretary of state, the vice president, et cetera. not testifying, not explaining what happened. >> right. and it has been a strategy of the white house frankly since the beginning to obstruct congress. and to regard congress not as a political branch of government, that they don't have to comply
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with. notice, they were very careful the last few sections of summary. the president categorical refusal to comply, refusal to submit documents, refusal to allow top aides to testify. they're making a case for at least one article of obstruction of congress. the big question going into the house judiciary committee hearings tomorrow, jake, whether they pull in material from the mueller report. you remember, volume two of the mueller report entirely based and acts of obstruction of justice. >> and this one, section two. >> two seems to be the obstruction section. the question here is -- there's a political cost to that, because many important people polled this and found there's fatigue around the mueller report and being seen as reviving that even though frankly, again, the president seemed to have broken the law. whether that reopens that question. >> and disagreement among democrats about whether they ought to be doing that. can i add to this.
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which is, they spent an awful lot of time also talking about noth obstruction but witness intimidation. >> right. >> which this summary points out it is a federal crime to intimidate or seek to intimidate any witness appearing before congress, and they go on about the summary says that the president publicly attacked and intimidated witnesses who came forward to comply and then went through chapter and verse and i wonder whether that will be a part of this as well. >> one thing, put one big umbrella oununder acts of obstruction, tampering, witness intimidation. >> you might remember during former ambassador yovanovitch was testifying, the president tweeted an attack on her and adam schiff read that to her at the tile. said, that looked like an article of impeachment about to happen and in is in here. i don't know about separate, but under a blanket rule.
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something just happens, talking before the break about the fact that devan nunes ranking republican on this very house intelligence committee is mentioned a number of times having phone calls with giuliani, giuliani's indicted associate lev parnas and others. clearly schiff has suspicion s why that was happening but schiff very against this impeachment proceeding to begin with. lev parnas' attorney just tweeted devan nunes, you should have recused yourself at the outset of the house impeachment hearing, and #letlevspeak, whatever that means. let his client speak and leads to a tweet by a reporter who puts up phone records showing phone calls between devan nunes and lev parnas. elliot points out, making a big deal out of the fact the
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whistle-blower talked to somebody on the committee staff. >> right. >> as if that was a crime. whereas this is a lot more unusual. >> yes. and also they suggested somehow maybe adam schiff should be a witness to this. you heard adam schiff in his press conference say members of congress were complicit. not enough information at this point, i imagine he was talking about nunes. as you point out, he shows up all through this talking to giuliani, talking to lev parnas. do they wait for more information? something else that schiff said there was that there is this discussion about whether or not they wait for every fact. right? every witness to come forward. obviously, some witnesses, a lot of witnesses, from this without, is this matter urgent enough to just meev forward? and schiff feels it's urgent enough they don't necessarily have to wait on every fact. >> a risk what they're doing. worth noting. >> a risk to democrats? >> in terms of not waiting.
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there's clearly information they're not going to have. i mentioned before. they made their piece before they won't probably have it. a risk to rushing ahead and not following what has traditionally been a schedule for how you handle this kind of thing. i understand there are all kinds of turns politically why they're not buts something you'll see republicans seize on. this is not a typical process. already made process a huge part of think response at the white house and i think you'll see it continue as you have this expedited version of while schiff has real reasons he's laying out i still think you'll see republicans grab on that that. >> moments ago the white house responded to the impeachment report released. we'll bring you that next. stay with us. without my medication, my small tremors would be extreme. without it, i cannot write my name.
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breaking news in our politics lead. moments ago the white house responded to the impeachment report released by the how intelligence committee a report that accusing president trump of misconduct with ukraine and obstruction of congress. i want to welcome to our panel here cnn senior without correspondent pamela brown. pam what did the white house have to say? >> the press secretary released a statement not long after this 300-page report was released. hard to imagine they had a
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chance to go through all of it, but in the statement the white house says at the end of a one-sided sham process, chairmanship and democrats famed to produce evidence of wrongdoing by president trump. this report reflects nothing more than their frustrations. roads like ramblings a basement blogger when there is evidence of nothing. nothing new in this statement. what they've said all along calling it a sham process, saying it's mainly people's interpretations and their allegations with no real evidence to back up the claims. other white house officials i've spoken with say it's a weak report and pouring cold water on it. another official made troercref to what democrat, trying to do, bigger than what the president did in ukraine. why you should care, has to do with our democracy and checks and balances. the white house saying, if you care about democracy, what about the election next year?
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these are talking points we've heard before, jake. >> nothing substantive in terms of the allegations and evidence made. in fact earlier today in london, president trump attacked in very personal terms the chairman of the house intelligence committee adam schiff. take a's listen. >> i think adam schiff is a deranged human being, grew up with a complex for lots of reasons that are obviouobvious. a very sick man and he lies. >> that was president trump. what does say say to you? >> clearly it's under his skin. president's doing the president's business,calling hi sick man and in every press opportunity the president has brought up impeachment. he's been tweeting about it. it is clearly top of mind.
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i asked if he's been briefed on this report and it is unclear if that has happened yet. >> what would you advise the president if you were his legal counsel. >> these are two different strategies and all being meshed into one right now. it seems the best approach for the president is to undermine the process which is what they are doing. because of the fact, jake, that while this is a legal process you still have to get the american people behind it and what they are doing is calling -- deranged individual, calling the person a deranged individual and saying it is not fair from the start. they couldn't mount a defense and their turning off those in the senate and the house and that is an effective/legal strategy. >> and the house is going to vote the way the house is going to vote and most people presume they come with articles of impeachment and they will send it to the senate. i think the question ought to
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be, what is the white house thinking about when it comes to the senate. because the senate is a whole different ball of wax. they believe, i think, that they may get a fairer shot in the senate. who knows. will they be sending -- well, they'll have somebody defend them but will they allow witnesses to testify that they put the kibosh on so far. >> pence is meeting with lawyers and pat cipollone will be there tomorrow and that is a feeling where that they could make their case. >> it is tv. >> and it is unlikely they'll engage in the judiciary committee. but there is skepticism that it may get to the senate. officials are saying they are not convinced the democrats will hold this vote and go to the senate. >> i think the president is thinking at some point but then it is likely, if you listen to adam schiff, this probably will go to the senate. >> the bigger picture here
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beyond the white house response and the politics in the senate, what does it mean if u.s. presidents are allowed, with no punishment -- >> right. >> -- to ask, pressure, whatever, other countries to investigate domestic political rivals. what does that mean for american democracy? let's take the democrats argument here at face vaul value. what does it mean. >> it means an american president can cast about for dirt be is it real or unreal to any foreign power they wanted to and possibly use the levers of his government and taxpayers' money as this document alleges the president did. this would be a terrible precedent for a american president to do this and to have foreign powers interfere in american elections and that is what you hear schiff saying over and over again. they have to draw the line here. listen, democrats didn't want to be here. pelosi was dragged here and schiff was dragged here and they hear the call of history and the call of precedent that said,
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listen, if an american president does this, they have to be held accountable even if it is only in the house of representatives. >> it would be irrational not to and in the future if you could get away with this, why wouldn't you. if this is now the baseline for conduct for president of the united states, you would be a fool not to enlist the help of foreign governments and it is the duty and this is where the house intelligence committee is their duty to stop this norm. >> i think what they're saying in this report is, first of all, foreshadowing this constitutional clash we're going to have and they have also written about what the framers of the constitution were thinking who, after all, bridled under monarchs and wanted to make sure that authoritarianism wasn't brought to this country and having won hard fought independence from a king with unbridled authority they were attuned of an executive that
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lacks fealty. >> democrats say there is overwhelming evidence of president trump's misconduct. the new details as we go through this more than 300-page report. stay with us. - [spokeswoman] meet the ninja foodi pressure cooker, the best of pressure cooking and air frying now in one pot, and with tendercrisp technology, you can cook foods that are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. the ninja foodi pressure cooker, the pressure cooker that crisps.
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to the lead, i'm jake tapper. we begin this hour with the breaking news, a day for the history books with president trump's quote misconduct detailed in more than 300 pages by democrats on the house
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intelligence committee who argue that president trump personally and with the help of multiple senior administration officials solicited the interference of a foreign government, ukraine, in the up coming 2020 election to benefit himself. democracies make the case that he put his interest above the united states of america, undermined the integrity of the upcoming election and endangered national security and it is a unprecedented effort to obstruct an impeachment inquiry and he will not allow top aides to testify and the democrats accuse the president of attacking and intimidating witnesses who did comply with subpoenas making note it is a federal crime to do so carrying a criminal sentence of up to to years in prison. for his part president trump refers to the chairman of the coit