tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 5, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
questions. >> reporter: and speaking of hate, wouldn't you hate to be him? >> so don't mess with me when it comes to words like that. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> and thanks for joining us. anderson starts now. good evening. it's all but certain donald j. trump will be impeached. whatever you think of him or the allegations of conduct against him, nancy pelosi likely sealed this day in history. >> sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for america, today i am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment. >> and with, that president trump is now facing what only three other presidents have, house lawmakers drawing up formal indictments against him. andrew johnson, bill clinton were all impeached.
richard nixon resigned instead. and just as then, the process now is divisive. it started up passions and partisanship and gave rise to allegations such as this one earlier today. >> do you hate the president, madam speaker? >> i don't hate anybody. >> you represent -- the reason i ask. >> i don't hate anybody. not anybody in the world. so don't be -- >> i did not accuse. >> you did. you did. >> i asked a question. representative collins yesterday suggested that the democrats are doing this simply because they don't like the guy. >> that has nothing to do with this. i think the president is a coward when it comes to helping our kids who are afraid of gun violence. i think he is cruel when he doesn't deal with helping our dreamers, of which we're very proud. i think he is in denial about the climate crisis. however, that's about the election. this is about the -- take it up in the election. this is about the constitution
of the united states and the facts that lead to the president's violation of his oath of office. and as a catholic, i resent your using the word "hate" in a sentence that addresses me. i don't hate anyone. i was raised in a way that is full -- a heart full of love and always pray for the president. and i still pray for the president. i pray for the president all the time. so don't mess with me when it comes to words like that. >> it was a remarkable moment. and the top of the next hour, speaker pelosi will join jake tapper for a cnn live town hall. first of all, the president's reaction quoting from his tweet, quote, nancy pelosi just had a nervous fit. she hates that we will soon have 182 great new judges and so much more. stock market and employment record. she said she prays for the president. i don't believe her, not even close. the president also likes using what might be charitably described as mental health imagery in describing house democrats as he did in this tweet shortly before nancy
pelosi's announcement. nothing matters to them, they've gone crazy. therefore i say if you're going to impeach me, do it now, fast so we can have a fair trial in the senate so our country can get back to business. keeping him honest for weeks now, yesterday republicans have been saying the opposite about the need for speed. >> they're rushed on this because they're trying to get it out because they don't want to appear to be trying to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. >> there was no objectivity or fairness in the media's rush of stories, just as a fevered rush to tarnish and remove a president. >> i'm certainly hoping that the house will be able to multitask in their rush to impeach the president. >> the issue that we have to deal with going forward is why the rush? >> law professional jonathan turley, who you saw there on the right of the screen, yesterday's republican witness also criticized the speed of things, warning against what he called an impulse buy. i talked to one of his democratic counterparts about that, harvard law professor noah
feldman who joins us shortly. also reporting on the president's alleged bagman rudy giuliani providing a key incentive for democrats to move quickly, because even as this is playing out, he is in ukraine engaged in some of the conduct that landed the president in trouble. quickly, i want to go to the white house. what are you learning about how the administration, what is their latest preparations for impeachment? >> yeah, anderson, the white house is a looking to mount a robust defense of the president. pat cipollone, the white house counsel, has hired dozens of attorneys and he has been preparing for this potential senate trial for months, even looking at past impeachment trials to try to gain some perspective on how to craft a response to the allegations that president trump abused his power in his dealings with ukraine. notably, the white house has also told us through sources that they plan to use this as an opportunity to bash democrats. you saw there in that tweet by president trump that he
suggested that republicans may try to compel prominent democrats to testify, including house speaker nancy pelosi, the chairman of the house intelligence committee adam schiff, even joe and hunter biden. of course, the president doesn't ultimately determine who testifies in this senate trial, and that's part of the reason that pat cipollone, members of his staff, members of the white house communications team have been sitting down with republican senators more and more often for weeks, trying to not only craft messaging and a potential strategy, but also to try to avoid any potential land mine, anderson. >> is it clear how the president is handling this behind closed doors? >> well, for weeks we've been hearing that the president has sort of been in denial about all of this, that he did not actually believe that democrats in the house would vote to impeach him. we're actually told that he's come to terms with that reality in part because he was watching testimony yesterday as he was returning from a nato leaders meeting in london. the president was asked today if he believed that being impeached would tarnish his legacy.
he said he did not because it's all a hoax, anderson. >> boris sanchez at the white house, thank you. the question now what's next. we're joined by democratic congresswoman and judiciary committee vice chair mary gay scanlon. congresswoman, thanks for being with us. speaker pelosi is trying to frame this in somber terms. it's not something congress does lightly or with partisan intent, she is saying. it is extraordinarily partisan, however. everyone is dug. in do you have any reason to believe that will change as you move ahead with articles of impeachment? is there any sign of that? >> well, i think as with the speaker, we're hopeful that people will do their constitutional duty. it's not personal. it's not political. it's about the constitution. i think we lid out really clearly yesterday with the witnesses talking about why we have an impeachment clause, why the founders thought there were certain constituted impeachable conduct, and they were the very things we're talking about here. it's foreign interference in our government. it's corrupt elections. it's corruption by our executive. this ukraine incident and the
cover-up vovped really involves all of those things. >> it certainly is political. it has political ramifications. it's hard to see it -- it certainly has to do with the constitution, but is it really fair to say it's not political? >> the only folks who are talking about this being about an election are republican counterparts. they keep saying oh, this is about undoing an election. impeachment is not about undoing an election. elections are for, as the speaker suggested earlier today, they're for when you disagree with someone's morals or you disagree with their qualifications or you disagree with their policies. this isn't about any of that. this is about the fact that the current president appears to be undermining our constitution through corruption. >> i know the judiciary committee is going to have a hearing on monday during which you're going hear from the intelligence committee majority and minority counsels. there is a lot of expectation. a full house vote could be held before christmas. what do you think of the timeline? and also the argument that, you know, there is nothing in the constitution about how long this could take or should take? >> right. well i think we're just trying
to work through it as expeditiously as we can. the report that was put out by the intel committee this week has a lot of urgency to it. i mean, we saw with the mueller report, we saw that the president had welcomed and used interference by russia in the 2016 election. and then when he was caught out, tried to cover it up and obstruct that investigation. now we have the situation with ukraine where we're looking ahead to 2020 election. he is soliciting interference from another country, and when he got caught out, he's tried to obstruct that investigation. so we really do have a lot of urgency to move quickly because we have another election at stake. >> do you have any reservations, though, about moving forward, actually charging the president of the united states in what is akin to an indictment without having heard from people like john bolton, mick mulvaney. obviously you wanted to. the white house isn't cooperating. but democrats could wait out the court fight and possibly compel them to testify. >> well, i think we have to deal with -- we have to play the hand we've been dealt, okay.
so back in may, we asked don mcgahn to come in. he's the president's former white house counsel who allegedly was told by the president to cover up the fact that the president ordered the special counsel to be fired. we just got a ruling two, three weeks ago that the president wrongly obstructed him from coming before congress, but now the president has appealed that ruling. so we could be weeks and weeks and months and months further along in this process before we get to hear from those witnesses. so if the president wants to tell his tale, if there is a tale, a vindicating tale to be told, he has every opportunity to do it, but he has chosen not to. and it's beginning to look like that's because there is no factual defense. that's why we have all this finger-pointing. >> and are you confident that when there is a full house vote, there is already one democratic congressman from new jersey who says he's going to vote against the articles of impeachment. do you think you would lose any more members? >> i think the bigger question is how many republicans they lose.
>> do you think they will lose any? >> i think they should. i mean, they already lost one, but they threw him out of the party. >> congresswoman scanlon, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. >> perspective now on the law and politics from former republican presidential candidate u.s. senator rick santorum. these days he is also a senior cnn political commentator. also with us former obama white house communications director jen psaki and cnn legal analyst jeffrey toobin. regardless of what happens down the road in the senate, this is a very significant day. >> it's a huge day. and, you know, i thought speaker pelosi meant to emphasize that. i mean, she talked about the constitution like hillary clinton on big days, she wore white, which is the color of the suffraget suffragettes, which underlines the momentousness of what's going on here. you know, this has only happened a very small handful of times in american history, and nancy pelosi didn't want to do this. she really did not want
impeachment to be on her watch this term. i heard it from her. many people heard it from her. she was not going to allow this to take place just on the basis of the mueller report. but i think she felt not politically, but constitutionally obligated to do this once the ukraine story broke. >> jen, do you think she made the right move doing this? >> i do. and i think i agree completely with jeffrey here. she did not. you saw this tone from her today. she is sad. she is sombesomber. she was clearly passionate and emotional at times, as we saw in that clip. but she felt that the president's hand forced her hand. the president's action forced her hand. and certainly when the moderate democrats, the national security democrats came out and wrote that op-ed, that was sort of there was no turning back at this point. i think what we'll see, though, from her is she is going to continue the make the case in a nonpolitical way. that this is not about overturning an election. yes, there are people who wanted trump out from the beginning, but this is about protecting the united states of america for the next election.
really, pushing hard on making the case that this president has shown himself to be somebody who will not only accept, but he will seek information from a foreign power to win. so i would expect that's where she'll keep it if she maintains wit that tone and keeps her members maintaining at that tone. i think this is the right choice, the right decision. >> senator santorum, do you believe nancy pelosi when she says this isn't political, it's about the constitution? >> no, i don't believe that. look, i do believe because i was there during the clinton impeachment that people take this -- if you're trying to impeach a president or vote to impeach a president in the house or even more so in the senate, you take that very, very seriously. and i don't doubt that people are taking this seriously. but i don't think it's credible -- it wasn't credit possibler me. it wasn't credible for anybody through this process to say it's not political. i mean, you come with a political perspective on how you view this president, and it's weighted heavily by policies as well as politics. so to say it's not political is just frankly not credible.
i agree with -- i don't think nancy pelosi wanted to do this. but what i do know about leaders in washington, by and large is they're not leaders. they're followers of what their caucus wants to do. and when her caucus flipped, she did. i don't think her -- i don't know nancy that well. i know her, but i don't know her that well. maybe if we had a private conversation she would say i still don't want to do this, but i had no choice. i think that's where she is. if she's wise, that's where she is. but she doesn't control her caucus. her caucus controls her. and that's the way it works. >> but, you know, yes, politics infuses everything. >> of course it does. >> there is nothing wrong with that. >> i agree, there is nothing wrong with that. >> but the caucus is moving because the facts pushed them. >> and they changed. >> i would just say that's another domino that -- again, i don't think the proof is there. i don't think it's as substantial as everybody suggests. i think what the president did is inappropriate. i don't think it's anywhere close to impeachable. but if you have that
predilection of believing every possible bad inference against the president, you can get to that conclusion, and that's where they are. >> i think for speaker pelosi and for a lot of democrats, the question was and still is should any president, democrat or republican be able to seek dirt on a political opponent? should that be something a president is allowed to do? manu raju asked this question today of kevin mccarthy. he didn't answer the question, and that's a difficult one for republicans. >> i think it is a difficult one. as i said before, i thought it was inappropriate to bring up the biden name. i don't think it was inappropriate to ask for an investigation of burisma, but i think it was appropriate to -- inappropriate to bring up the bidens' name. >> when the president tweeted about the senate and we're going have a shift, the bidens testify, is that going to happen? >> you have to ask mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell is going to run this process. again, he is going to follow -- >> senator santorum, you seem to think it is?
how does that actually work? >> here's what happens. again, i was very, very engaged in this. senators are going to look at this, everyone thinks oh, they're going to respond to what the president wants. they're going to look at this as -- number one, and i really do believe this, what they think is right. not just for them politically but for the country, but also for the senate. there is a real responsibility on all three front, and i think what you're going to see, as we saw back in the clinton impeachment, it's not as clear-cut on either side what is the right approach, and i i don't know. it's a different senate when i was there, but there was a great desire to find compromise 20 years ago. great desire. >> they can -- mitch mcconnell can call who he wants? >> they can have no witnesses. they can have some witness. they can have depositions. what they did in the clinton trial is they didn't have witnesses in the senate, but they had essentially depositions with a handful of senators off
the white house campus, off the capitol campus. and that's possible. but the thing that you never hear republicans say is we want an inquiry into the facts of what happened with ukraine. they want to talk about joe biden. they want to talk about adam schiff. they never want to answer the question that manu raju asked today, is it appropriate what the president did. late word, rudy giuliani and his white house phone calls and travels. when we come back, joe biden's confrontation over his son in ukraine when we continue. take a look. >> you said i set up my son to work in an oil company. isn't that what you said? get your words straight, jack.
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a quick piece of breaking news on calls rudy giuliani made to the white house that first came to light in the house intelligence committee's impeachment report. cnn has learned that some of them are said to be associated with the office of management and budget may have simply been calls to and from the white house and not specifically the omb. the calls in april of 2019 were well before any known action by the white house to hold ukrainian military aid, raising questions as to whether there were discussions earlier than previously known. as for what mayor giuliani is up to right this moment, that is a separate question. it's one of the reasons the democrats decided today for moving impeachment proceedings forward so quickly. he has been in ukraine and he is taking more problematic action on the president's behalf, reportedly talking to some of the same familiar characters and again threatening ukraine. quoting now from his twitter feed, quote, the conversation about corruption in ukraine was based on compelling evidence of criminal conduct by then vice president biden in 2016. that has not been resolved, and until it is will be a major
obstacle to the u.s. assisting ukraine with its anti-corruption reforms. the words bears repeating has not been resolved and will be a major obstacle. back with rick santorum, jeff toobin and jen psaki. what is rudy giuliani rudy giuliani doing in ukraine? >> anderson, you ask hard questions. it beats the hell out of me. i think he is reinforcing the view that the president is trying to intimidate people in ukraine to do his political bidding. rudy giuliani is not some honest broker. he is not some corruption investigator. he is someone trying to get donald trump reelected president, and that's what's going on there, but, europeanyoi don't know how closely people follow these things. this seems much more likely to backfire than to help in any way, especially since he is involved with all these figures. >> it's counterintuitive, jen, from you're thinking of the president's side, you wouldn't think oh, yeah, let's have rudy
go back to ukraine. >> right. it's sort of a big middle finger to the people who were investigating this and looking at this whole situation, and it's putting him in a bigger spotlight. that's why it's such a head scratcher here. i think his entire tweet doesn't make any sense at all, as he we know and have been discussing. obviously ukraine has gone through a period of years of corruption. they've made some reforms. there is more work to be done. there is no evidence rudy giuliani or donald trump cares about that. that's certainly not what he's talking on. what we're all talking about and have been for weeks is the most corrupt thing that anyone has been trying to get ukraine involved. in it's all a little ludicrous. it's crazy to see that he is in ukraine. i don't know why he is there. >> i'll give you a positive of what i think is the rationale explanation, i don't know whether it's true at all. >> money? >> rudy feels like his reputation has been besmirched. he feels that he's been
basically ridiculed by the media as being someone who is sort of this crazy guy working. and i think he wants to go and vindicate himself. i think he wants to go and gather more evidence and basically prove out that he is right and you're wrong. and that makes sense to me. rudy's -- rudy is a man of great pride and great stature and america's mayor, and now he is sort of being kicked to the curb, and he's going to fight back. i think that's what's going on. >> and the way to do -- the problem is he doesn't know what he's talking about, and he is -- >> well, he thinks he is does. >> he is dealing with people who have the worst reputations. he is on a television network that thinks fox news is some leftist outlet. this is the way he is restoring -- -- i'm not saying you're wrong. >> i think he is trying to gather the evidence to prove his case. >> isn't that like o.j. trying to gather the evidence? >> i think that would be a little unfair. a little unfair. >> i feel like my whole life is
coming together here. >> right here. >> just, you know, it's like when donald trump said as a citizen that he would send detectives to hawaii to investigate, you know, the birth certificate of president obama. there has never been any evidence he actually did send detectives. there is not an investigation, and the u.s. embassy, there is plenty of arms of the u.s. government that can investigate corruption in ukraine. >> and let's go back to the idea that many on the right believe there is a deep state and there are these people particularly in the state department who have different agendas and are -- and they believe that they're wrong. >> the treasury department. >> i hear you. but i'm just saying, there is a general mistrust. >> sure. >> of the state, if you will, the deep state, and rudy believes that his scenario that he's laid out is the right one. >> he also could be drumming up business. he does a history of business --
seeking out businesses in ukraine. he tried to get a contract for security things in the capital. >> all over eastern europe and all sorts of places. look, i think first of all the reference to the deep state, what we saw a few weeks ago is that the deep state he has been referring to are decades long public servants who have been trying to work on the national interests of the united states which the context which the trump administration wants. >> i'll fight you on that one because i do believe just because a bunch of smart people are over at the state department doing what they think is the best thing for the country isn't necessarily what the president wants to do, and by the way he is the one that runs foreign policy, not them. >> they want to address corruption. >> i understand in this particular case there is some crosscurrents here. but the idea that we're going defer to a group of state department people who because they've been there a long time and are really smart are going to do the right thing for
america? sorry, that's not their job. their job is to do what the president tells them. >> that's exactly what their job circumstances no, it isn't. >> thank you. up next, anti-putin activist garry kasparov who penned an article i live in the post soviet truth era and i hear it in president trump. we'll be right back. with advil liqui-gels, you have fast-acting power over pain, so the whole world looks different. the unbeatable strength and speed of advil liqui-gels. what pain? most people think of verizon as a reliable phone company. (woman) but to businesses, we're a reliable partner.
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that was easy! glad i could help. at xfinity, we're here to make life simple. easy. awesome. so come ask, shop, discover at your local xfinity store today. garry kasparov is perhaps best known for becoming at age 22 in 1985 the youngest world chess champion ever. he saw some the darkest sides of the old soviet union and spoke
out about them which led to his exile in the united states. today there is an op-ed he wrote on cnn.com. it's fascinating. it's titled "i lived in the post-truth soviet world and i hear its echoes in trump's america." kasparov writes, quote, donald trump and his republican defenders in congress have followed his lead in declaring war on observed reality. ." he adds, unable to change the fact from trump and his supporters, instead tries to shift the debate into an alternate universe where the truth is whatever they say it. garry kasparov joins me now author of "winter is coming by vladimir putin and the enemies of the world must be stopped." the cnn op-ed is really fascinating. there was an old joke growing up in the soviet union. there is no news in the truth and no truth in the news. >> name of the two biggest newspapers. >> of course. >> it's pretty chilling to hear somebody who experienced the soviet union for himself to see echoes of it now today in america. >> imagine what i think by
listening all this nonsense, because it just reminds me of old days. actually, it's probably even worse because we knew that whatever was published on the front page of a pravda newspaper, we should not -- we could disregard it. and it was difficult to find alternative sources of information. i never thought that in the free world in america, when you have so many options just to go from one channel to another, people could be overwhelmed by this notion of lies. and also it resembles what putin has been doing over these years by simply lying and paying no consequences for that. >> i've always been fascinated in a place like the soviet union or other countries i've traveled to when officials were lying and saying an alternate version of
the reality, they knew -- the soviet union, they knew the system was corrupt. they knew what they were saying was not accurate, didn't they? >> yes. >> or did -- >> they tried to defend the ideology. what's happening in america is different because it's not a classical political spin. it's not like cherry picking your favorite story or favorite data. it's just lying. >> right. that's what is so -- >> there are so many ways to lie and only one truth. and they know that they can get people exhausted, exhaust critical thinking. >> that's part of the strategy. >> exactly. to the concept of truth, everybody is lying. and i always call putin merchant of doubt. but now seeing what's happening in america, it's republicans managed to turn the whole political process in this alternative reality. it's like a post-truth world, and the truth world, no one agrees on facts. >> but also the idea of wearing
you down, wearing you out, it's sort of that the people who are lying have more energy than you do to -- than one does to sustain it. it's demoralizing. >> i have to say the mainstream media actually help trump from the very beginning of his campaign because trump has always been making up things and repeating false claims, even they have been disproven. but nobody knew how to deal with that, and every lie that trump would use has been taken seriously. and it's quite exhausting and it's a waste of time. and if trump today says oh, the sky is green. so i'm afraid that twitter and cable news for the next three days, but he'll already be departing for a new station, producing new lies. it's very effective because people lucence of reality because they hear all these lies, and instead of trying to refute these lies, you have to stick to the facts. keep repeating the facts. because in the post-truth world,
it's -- two plus two is not four, but two plus two equals ukraine. >> i want to read something you wrote about fox 234 your article. you said if you watch the impeachment hearings only on fox news you would have thought things were going great for the president. any phrase that sounded like it might have exonerated him, and there weren't many, was repeated over and over like a mantra. the copious and damning evidence provided may as well not have existed. it is -- there is so much information now, and i do feel like it's more important than ever before to know where your information can coming from, to know, you know, is this -- is it a reputable organization? what is their perspective? what is their -- if they have a buy kwlarks is their bias? >> for those who say cnn is one side, folks on the other side, there is a simple test. i have to emphasize, every official who testified under oath provided these damning evidence against trump. and every of trump defenders
refused to testify on their oaths. for me, that's an ultimate test. so that shows that there is no story they're willing to tell under oath. and that's what they learned from clinton's impeachment. avoid testifying under oath at any cost, because that could put you in trouble, and unfortunately, there is the whole party now, gop that is now is willing to live in this alternative reality and listening to even mild version of this nonsense from your previous guest rick santorum. i'm afraid that in the senate we will not see the trial, but the trial of president, you know, but republicans trying to talk about anything else. so shifting the whole process to biden, burisma. attacking witnesses instead of trying to deal with the facts. >> which we saw already. garry kasparov, thank you so much. very good to you on. that's on cnn.com, the op-ed. joe biden on the attack in iowa. i'll talk with david axelrod
about the fiery front-runner we saw today after he took on an audience member who accused him, quote, of selling access to the president. >> the 306 interview brought to you by movement. join the movement. (alarm beeping) welcome to our busy world. where we all want more energy. but with less carbon footprint. can we have both? at bp, we're working every day to make energy that's cleaner and better. and we see possibilities everywhere.
throughout the campaign for the democratic nomination, people questioned joe biden's age and stamina, subtly or not. the president's called him sleepy and slow. during the cnn democratic debate in september, julian castro cut biden off and asked if he had forgotten what he just said earlier. he denied the charge of ageism. today he faced an audience member who prodded him about his son's business in ukraine. this show he defended himself. >> we all know trump has been messing around in ukraine over
there, holding their foreign aid for them to come up saying they're going to investigate you. we know all about that crap. and he's no backbone, we know that for that. but you, on the other hand, sent your son over there to get a job and work for a gas company that he had no experience with gas or nothing. in order to get access for the president. so you're selling access to the president just like he was. >> you're a damn liar, man. that's not true. and no one has ever said that. >> i see it on the tv. >> you see it on the tv. no, i know you do. by the way, that's why you're sedentary. let him go. let him go. the reason i'm running is because i've been around a long time and i know more than most people know, and i can get things done. that's why i'm running. you want to check my sheet,
let's do push-ups. let's go run. let's do whatever you want to do. no one has said my son has done anything wrong, and i did not on any occasion, and no one has ever said it. >> i didn't say you were doing anything wrong. >> you said i set up my son to work in an oil company. isn't that what you said? get your words straight, jack. >> that's what i hear on msnbc. >> you don't hear that on msnbc. you did not hear that at all. look, okay, i'm not going get in an argument with you, man. >> i don't want it. >> well, yeah, you do. but look, here's the deal. here's the deal. >> it likes like you don't have any more backbone than trump does. >> oh! >> let him talk. >> any other questions? >> david axelrod, senior cnn
political commentator, senior adviser to the obama administration. i'm wondering what you made of that exchange. it's the kind of thing that often happens in a town hall meeting. that the right way for biden to handle it? >> i think the technical term, anderson, was that he was really pissed, and he showed it. and part of -- and part of it is that he is very reactive to questions about his children and about his son. that said, and so, you know, i think people will excuse him that much. that said, it turned into a bit of a rant, and he was overtorqued. so no, that's not the way he should handle it. and i would suggest that he could have spared himself a lot of trouble at the beginning of this whole saga if he had simply said what hunter biden has said which is it was a mistake to go on that board. vice president should just say that, and he's laid out all kinds of provisions he would put in place in the white house that would keep such a thing from happening in his administration. he should just say that and move
on. but he's going to get a lot more of these provocations the longer he goes in this race. and if he deals with them in this way he is going to create other problems for himself that go to whether he has the discipline at this stage in his life to do the job. >> i guess some supporters would maybe like seeing a sort of passionate and fiery biden, particularly since part of the calculus by which any democratic candidate is going to be judged is whether they can go toe to toe or win face when on a stage with president trump. >> yeah, right. and i think that to a degree, that fire was there and i think people might respond positively to that. if he had approached it in a different way, if he had said that's not true, even calling him a damn liar, i think that was over the line, but it showed some fight. but then to get into the push-ups and how much he knows and was just seemed a little bit off the rail.
>> i want to ask you about president obama's former special assistant aide reggie love, someone you know along with to two other obama officials. >> austan goolsbee. they just endorsed pete buttigieg. i wonder what it says that they're not putting their support behind biden. does it surprise you? does it not? does it mean anything? >> look, in fairness, there are a lot of people who worked for barack obama who are supporting joe biden now. i think the lion's share of endorsements from people who worked in the administration probably have gone to the vice president, and there is a real sense of loyalty to him. that said, there are people in other campaigns as well. buttigieg just picked up some good endorsements, austan goolsbee, who was chairman of the council of economic advisers under obama endorsed him. linda douglass, who worked on the affordable care act in the administration endorsed him. and reggie, of course, was quite close to the president. so these were good endorsements for buttigieg.
it's a good sign for him. and i think what's happened is you have people who are loyal to the vice president who see him as a legatee of the administration, but they see others who see in buttigieg some of the qualities that they saw in a barack obama as he came up as a candidate, and they're drawn to that energy and that youth and that idealism. >> is there any way to know how much these kind of endorsements really register? john kerry said he is going to endorse biden tomorrow. >> yeah. i actually think the kerry endorsement is useful to biden, because kerry ran in iowa. he was the senator from massachusetts, and if he becomes an active surrogate for biden, he is a popular figure within the democratic party and particularly with those early primary states, that would be helpful for biden. i remember back in 2004 when kerry was in some trouble in iowa when he was running for nomination. ted kennedy came and campaigned
vigorously for them and made a difference there. so there are figures who are big enough to make a real difference if they put their shoulder to the wheel. >> yeah, david axelrod, thanks very much. i'm going to talk in just a moment to one of the four legal scholars who testified at wednesday's judiciary committee hearing. following that town hall with nancy pelosi from washington. jake tapper is going to moderate as voters ask questions and the road head for impeachment. mike bloomberg's never been afraid of tough fights,
the ones that make a true difference in people's lives. and mike's won them, which is important right this minute, because if he could beat america's biggest gun lobby, helping pass background check laws and defeat nra backed politicians across this country, beat big coal, helping shut down hundreds of polluting plants and beat big tobacco, helping pass laws to save the next generation from addiction. all against big odds you can beat
her for, he says, not listening enough to wednesday's judiciary committee hearing. listen. >> if she paused and she actually listened to the hearing yesterday, on what a democrat who did not vote for the president, who has studied the constitution, who most at any time has been a witness for democrats or republicans based upon his own ability as a scholar that this is the weakest, the thinnist impeachment in the history of america, that there is no bribery, no extortion, no obstruction of justice, and no abuse of power. >> he was referring there to one of the witnesses, professor jonathan turley. joining me now, one of the other three legal scholars who testified and went unmentioned by the minority leader, noah feldman. professor feldman, you heard minority leader mccarthy there quoting turley saying this is
the weakest in the history of impeachment in america. is it? >> no. and, you know, you have to begin with the fact that there's the memorandum of the call which provides you with a tremendous amount of evidence in just a couple of pages. so thickness is not the measure, it's content that's the measure. and what's in the record is substantial evidence to support the idea of a classic high crime and misdemeanor of the abuse of the power of presidency to serve the personal desires and preferences of the president to corrupt the election and to subordinate the national security of the united states to his own interests. >> high crime and misdemeanor, what exactly is the high crime? >> the high crime is the classic high crime which is abuse of the office of the presidency for personal gain. and that's what the framers thought of as sort of high crime number one, because the reality is that you can use the office of the presidency for good and that's fine, but if you use the office the presidency to advance your own personal interests,
that's essentially the essence of corruption. that's what the nature of corruption is. and that's absolutely what they considered to be a pure high crime. >> robert, do you agree that the president would have benefitted personally with an investigation of or at least even the announcement of an investigation of joe biden heading into this election? >> well, anderson, let me start first with high crime number one is treason. and high crime number two is bribery. and the point is, is that an impeachable offense has to be a crime. you can talk about there are a special category of crimes that must also constitute an abuse of the president's office. but it still has to start with a crime. and that's the deficiency here. the latest narrative seems to be from the house democrats that the president represents a clear and present danger to the country, which i think, you know, the president's reaction apparently to that was, so what
are they accusing me of ptreaso now? it harkens back to where we started two months ago with bill we wou weld who made the essentially outrageous claim that this call constituted treason. fairly, that's overstated. >> is it right for a president to been personally and request a personal benefit, to use his office to get a personal benefit? >> i heard professor feldman say during the hearing that this constituted as well a campaign finance violation. >> can you answer my question, though? >> the answer is no, because a request to a foreign government to open up an investigation, at least in the eyes of the justice department, apparently the criminal division and the public integrity section is that's not sufficient to constitute a
campaign finance violation. the answer to your question is no, it doesn't pass the personal benefit test. >> professor feldman, what about that? >> so that's preposterous. the question is not whether a statute has been violated. it's definitely not whether the department of justice that works for the president thinks it's been violated. in england, high crimes and misdemeanors were not always statutory crimes. in the united states, high crimes and misdemeanors have often not been statutory crimes. it's a complete red herring to say we should care at all about what the statute says. second of all, it's also the case that when it comes to the conferral of a benefit, we don't have to look at campaign finance law. we can just look at the common sense of congress. congress is entitled to determine whether there was a personal benefit that aided the president and if there was,
congress can safely say there was an abuse of power that rises to the high crime and misdemeanor. that's the bottom line, it's up to congress to determine that. >> i can't disagree with that but i would suggest that determines is now going to be made equally on a partisan basis in the house which will have no support from republicans and then it will move over to the senate for trial where it will have support of all republican senators which will result in an acquittal. i'm not sure what really ultimately will have been accomplished from that. finally, i disagree, look, the framers well understood the common law definition of bribery. that has now been subpoepplante the federal bribery statute. i just don't think a bribery has been shown.
as professor turley correctly pointed out, abuse of power untethered from a high crime and misdemeanor which would be either treason, bribery or some other high crime and misdemeanor is not sufficient to form a legitimate basis to remove a president from office. >> professor feldman, i'm wondering what you made of professor turley's argument that this is a rush, that there's not enough evidence at this stage. >> it seems very strange to me. so first of all you have the call, and that's a tremendous amount of evidence. furthermore, any lack of evidence that exists now is just a result of the fact that the president has ordered all of his subordinates, the whole executive branch, to stonewall and not participate in the election. it seems strange to say that since the president is blocking this, more evidence is needed. frankly the president's systematic refusal to engage with congress itself threatens the structure of the government, because if you can't impeach the president and you can't indict him, he's above the law. >> i really appreciate it, thank
you both very much. the cnn town hall with speaker nancy pelosi moderated by jake tapper starts right now. [ applause ] this is a cnn town hall event. good evening, i'm jake tapper. we are here with the speaker of the house of representatives, nancy pelosi. today speaker pelosi said the house of representatives will proceed with articles of impeachment against president trump. madam speaker, thank you so much for taking our questions on this somber and historic day. you just launched this process and will likely make president trump the third president in history to be impeached. we're potentially two weeks away from that moment. that move w