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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 13, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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of the year, man of the year? >> reporter: just call greta man eets eater of the year. anderson starts now. >> we're days away from what will almost certainly be the third impeachment of a u.s. president pfever. what is at issue is the triflization in debasement of truth. what seems to be the most prom gent defense, the president and his defenders are using tonight. it's a historic moment with deep
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and important implip indicatiim. the president could only say it's a sham, it's a hoax. then about 60 seconds later the man so concerned with trivializing impeachment, he claimed the favor he was asking wasn't for him. the us he was referring to when he asked ukraine's president to quote do us a favor was actually us, the country. that's right. you and me. take a listen. >> you said do me a favor. i didn't say that. i said do us a favor, our country. talking about the past election. talking about corruption. >> kind of turtuortured. he wants you to believe he was putting country above himself. in two phone calls with president zelensky he never said
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the word corruption, not once. on this friday the 13th, that the man responsible for pursuing those biden allegations, rudy giuliani, was back at the white house today. we'll have that story later in the program. right now we want to stick with the fritrial ahead for donald tp because while this debasement of truth starts at the top, it doesn't end there. listen to what republican congresswoman said when asked about the president wanting to investigate a foreign leader. >> why is it ever okay for an american president to ask foreign power to investigate a political rival? why do you think that's okay? >> he didn't do that. >> he did. >> he did not do that. >> this is getting exhausting. he did ask from the rough transcript of the conversation quote, there's a lot of talk about biden's son that biden
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stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. if you don't believe the transcript, take this guy's word for it. >>. >> i would think if they were honest about it they would start major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. they should investigate the biden. like wise china should start an investigation into the bidens. what happened to china just about as bad as what happened with ukraine. >> that last line about clie tha china, he volunteered that. he says basically and china should too. it's not like you have to probe deep or in some cases ask if he did it, he'll tell you. he did it. while president trump and the party try to twist and distort
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facts into something they are not and ftry to escape their ow words, there's one thing president trump cannot escape. he's the fourth person to have articles of impeachment get this far. andrew johnson, richard nixon n, bill clinton and now donald trump. with more let's check in with the chief white house correspondent. the president not only weighed in on today's vote but he talked about a senate trial. what did he have to say about that? >> reporter: i think it's starting to sink in that he's about to be impeached. impeachment is coming. he was asked about these issues earlier today. he was asked about the prospect of a senate trial. that comes after he's impeached in the house. there's been a debate about whether or not a senate trial is a good idea.
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a source said the president is starting to listen to the counsel saying a shorter trial would be better. it would remove the possibility there would be unforeseen bombshells emerging and you heard the president sounding open to that idea. here is what he had to say earlier today. >> i'll do whatever i want. we did nothing wrong. i'll do long or short. i've heard mitch. i've heard lindsay. i think they are very much on agreement on some concept. i'll do whatever they want to do. it doesn't matter. i wouldn't mind a long process because i'd like to see the whistle-blower who is a fraud. the whistle-blower wrote a false report. >> reporter: you hear the president still pining over the idea he'd like to have a lengthy trial. he is running up against a lot of opposition in the senate. they are almost pleading with the president to go with a shorter trial. according to one official, you
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can't find any senator who wants a lengthy trial in the snenate. they wants to get there over with. >> even if the president is open to a short trial, there's several weeks to go. he could change his mind roughly 516 times. >> reporter: right. he could do that by this weekend. here is the way it's playing out. you're going to have a conversation happen and this is already starting to take place where the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is talking to the white house's office, other officials inside the white house as the how this is all going to play out. if he has republican senators saying do not have a lengthy trial in the senate, do not bring out these witnesses that you might think will play well on fox news, it may not play well with the rest of the country. one of the things the president has to entertain and this is an important point is these republican senators pleading with him to have a shorter trial are the one who is will have to
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decide his fate. he will have to make this calculation over the flexion coupcu -- next couple of weeks if he wants to disappointment the senators telling him to keep it short and brief. not something he's prone to do. a trump adviser said this is a president who will come out of this im procepeachment process,, unquote, unhinged. if you feel like he's bothered now, wait until he's impeached in the house and acquitted in the senate. this adviser saying get ready for a brand new even more aggrieved president trump head sbo into the 2020 sickle. >> interesting that source felt unhinged would be something. thank you. joining me is steve cohen who sits on the judiciary committee. your chairman jerry nadler described as a sad and solemn day. i wonder how you would describe
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it. >> well, it is sad in terms we have a president who is committed offensed against the constitution. the constitution is our -- that's our guide. that's what we live by. that's our law. it's 200 and something years old. we had a president who betrayed his oath and risked our national security and tried to corrupt our election process. that's a sad day when a president does that and doesn't understand it and it's even a sadder day when all of the republicans went along with him and refused to see what was right before their faces that he did it. >> let me ask more about that because it does appear near certain that the articles of impeachment will pass the full house but they will pass the full house without any republican votes there either. i do wonder because there are a
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couple dozen, maybe more republicans, who aren't running for re-election. these are people who don't have to satisfy their base. what does it tell you that these retiring members who don't necessarily have anything to gain are going to vote against impeachment? >> well for one thing they have to live within the caucus for the rest of the time their are there. justin amash came out against the president and said he was for the impeachment. they put him out of the caucus and stripped him of his committees. these people have got another year in the republican house caucus and they probably don't want to get put out, stripped of their committees and scorned. then when they leave their job, some of them might have ambitions to get an appointment from this president, assuming he gets a second term. i don't think he will but they probably think he might. certainly that's a better ticket
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for them than a democrat winning. they don't want to be on the outs then. then they just may -- i've never been in a republican caucus, they may take kool aid communion every day. >> mitch mcconnell who is the senate majority leader spoke last night about the senate trial. listen to what he said. >> everything i do during this, i'm coordinating with the white house counsel. we'll be working through this process hopefully in a fairly short period of time in total coordination with the white house counsel's office and the people who representing the president. i'm going to coordinate with the president's lawyers. there won't be any difference between us on how to do this. i'm going to take my cues from if the president's lawyers. >> some democrats are raising red flags saying you're having the jury coordinate with the defense lawyers. tom dashel during the krclinton
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impeachecachment trial saying h staff was in constant coordination with the white house. how is this any different? >> i'm not sure what it was but i can guarantee that mitch mcconnell who stole a supreme court justice that barack obama should have had from him and stole a whole bunch of district court judges. my district court nominee ed stanton the third who was a nominee a year out he didn't approve o district court justice in memphis and a bunch of people after him. he'll do whatever he can do to manipulate the process to his advantage. i would suspect what he does will be different than what dashel does and they will try to stack the deck. the whole idea of not calling
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witnesses which is a possibilities having the case put on for a week and by the other side for a week and calling to question ampbnd gett the vote is not right. there should be a trial and witnesses and the opportunity to show the people there of trump getting on the white house lawn and going i want ukraine to investiga investigate. they should investigate show biden. they should have those videos played in the senate. this is the way it is. get used to it. they should have fiona hill. ambassador taylor, lieutenant colonel vindman. they were shocked. they are american patriots. they risked their careers to
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testify and say this was wrong. >> thanks for joining us tonight. we always appreciate your time. >> you're welcome. i say you this morning, nice to see you tonight. >> working a long day but it's worth it. appreciate it. coming up, what will be the contours of president's defense in any senate trial? later, tracking the illusive rudy giuliani. he showed up at the white house today days after his most recent trip to ukraine and there's a stunning report on what the president did as soon as rudy giuliani landed back in the united states. that's ahead tonight. man: sneezes skip to the good part with alka-seltzer plus. now with 25% more concentrated power. nothing works faster for powerful cold relief. oh, what a relief it is! so fast!
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quitting smoking is freaking, like quitting every monday hard. quitting feels so big. so, try making it smaller. and you'll be surprised at how easily starting small... ...can lead to something big. start stopping with nicorette as jim acosta reported, president trump's lawyers have been trying to convince him that a senate trial of any
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considerable length is risk i can. if recent history tells us anything is that the president can change his mind in a heartbeat and he may not listen to his advisers any way. jo he's a professor at harvard. here with me cnn senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. a former student. just some housekeeping here. to the extent you can talk about it, can you clarify, what if anythinginformally? >> no. i can't talk about it but the advice i have given the president in public is to go for
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a short constitutional defense. focusing on the inadequacies of the two charges. particularly after today, the supreme court today granted in three cases indicating they are going to review the subpoena power of both congress and the prosecutor and it seems to me that substantially undercuts the second article of impeachment that says you obstruct congress if you refuse to comply with subpoenas absent a court order. i think the president's constitutional arguments were strengthened today. >> no one should cooperate in any way at all, like zero cooperation which is unprecedented. that aside, you do have another defense too.
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you suggested that congress is making things up. what's your evidence for that? >> the constitution itself. at the constitution convention a proposal to include mal administration as a ground for impeachment and led by madison. it was rejected on the ground it could make it too easy to have the president serve at the will of congress and turn us into parliamentary democracy. they put in fairly specific criteria. treason, bribery and high crimes. the word misdemeanors has been subject to some debate. you can't interpret it to mean pretty much exactly what the framers rejected at the constitutional convention. i do think they are trying to make it up along. >> says who. jeffrey toobin, high crimes and
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misdemeanors is taken by many to mean, including alexander hamilton, who at that convention is taken to be a violation of public trust. >> the kind of offense that only a president can commit. that's why this misconduct is so much at the heart of what the framers meant by high crimes and misdemeanors. you or i can lie under oath, we can rob a bank but we cannot withhold money from ukraine in return for political help in our campaign. the only person who can do that, who can violate his oath and violate these -- and abuse power is the president. that's why this is so much at the heart of what the framers meant by high crime and misdemeanor. >> i disagree. i think what the framers did is that had a prerequisite.
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there had to be one of the four. after that they could still decide not to impeach if they didn't think it was an abecauus power. if you read what hamilton said in federalist 65, he lists the criteria and then he said these are important because they reflect an abuse of power. abuse of power was rejected and terms like that as explicit grounds. >> that's not true. >> yes they were. >> the word mal administration -- >> it's a totally different thing. mal administration is being a bad president, doing bad things. you're right. that's not a ground for impeachment. getting us too a bad war in iraq is not ground for impeachment but if you withhold money that congress has appropriated for the sole and exclusive reason or getting dirt on your political
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opponents that's precisely an abuse of power. >> i can name you 20 presidents that have abused power under those criteria. president kennedy going after the irs. roosevelt confining 110,000 japanese americans. if you congress the abilities to impeach and remove him, you're really turning us into a parliamentary democracy. it's my considered view the framers wanted specific crite a criteria. not open ended ones. >> that's not true. >> that can be weaponized by
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either party. >> you say it isn't and i say it is. >> we also heard from three constitutional lawyers. even jonathan turley didn't suggest the framers had an explicit list of dricrimes thatu have to commit. the phrase high crimes and misdemeanors does mean something specific at this time and includes any violation or breach of public trust. that's why alexander hamilton talked about that. there's ample evidence of the fact. there's also ample evidence and jeffrey you can talk about this, one of the primary concerns the founders heard in cite writad i constitution was undo foreign influence in elections. this seems to be the invitation. >> that's right. it's the kind of misconduct that only a president can commit. that goes to count two as well, the obstruction of congress.
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yes it's true if it were one subpoena that the president did not comply with but to say to congress, i will not cooperate at all. i will not give you one witness. i will not give you one piece of evidence, e-mail, document, that is precisely the kind of blan ke -- blanket refusal that you can't say to congress. go sue me and maybe it will resolved sometime in 2020, 2021. come on, alan. >> yes you can. doi that eve i do that every day. i say i'm not giving you one bit of evidence. i'm not allowing my person to come in. the burden is on you. you have to prove your case. the president is entitled -- >> your clients take the fifth. there's separation of powers between executive branches of government. it's an entirely different
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scenario. >> i know. it's much more powerful because the separation of powers is in the body of the constitution itself not in the amending process. the separation of powers crucially allowed the head of the executive branch to challenge every legislative action and leave it to the courts to decide. >> other than having the chief justice preside over the senate trial there's no rule outlined in the process. >> i'm looking forward to alan defending the president on the floor of the senate. not exactly what i expected in your criminal law class that's how you would culminate your career. >> thank you very much for being with us. where in the world is president trump's tv lawyer? a new report on how he is escalating his push for the
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as we mentioned earlier the president got into this mess in part due to his tv lawyer and bag man rudy giuliani. right on cue before the house judiciary committee approved the articles of impeachment against president trump, rudy giuliani showed up at the west wing of the white house. he just wrapped up another trip to ukraine as he's touting as beneficial to the president unfazed by the impeachment fight. he and the president will still coordinating trying to dig up
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dirt on the bidens. the wall street journal reports that rudy giuliani is putting his findings into a 20-page report and wants to brief lawmakers. it's unclear what he truly found in his travels. the bidens have denied any wrong doing. here is what we do know. since president trump was elected, rudy giuliani has traveled the world for his own consulting business. he had three stops in ukraine, visit to spain, colombia, behrain and other destinations. rudy giuliani at the white house today. you report he says heat advisory relationship with the president rather than getting weaker has only grown stronger through all this. >> that's right. what he told us is he feels like their bond has strengthened in some ways because the president feels like the same thing has happened to him as has happened to rudy.
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rudy is under investigation now by manhattan federal prosecutors and he's a big part of the impeachment inquiry. the president feels like he's gone through this before with mueller and now begin with impeachment and according to rudy feels like they are in this together. you also have this terrific piece of reporting about the call that rudy giuliani said he received immediately after landing back in new york from his trip to ukraine. what can you tell us about that? >> he says that as he was ta taxiing down the runway in new york on saturday after a trip that included stops in kiev and vienna and rome that the president called him and said what did you get. rudy giuliani said more than you can imagine. this was before the president came out and talked to reporters on the south lawn that day and said he heard that rudy giuliani had found plenty of his trip and he would brief the attorney general and congress on his findings. >> plenty and more than we can
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imagine. how much do we know about this report he's putting together in. >> what we know is he said it will be 20 pages long. we don't know what it will say. i would expect it to say a lot of the sorts of things that rudy giuliani said before. we know he spoke to several of the same officials or former officials that he spoke to previously like the former prosecutor general. >> there's also a documentary that he's involved in. what's going on there? >> he's filming a series with one america news network. that was part of his trip to ukraine and hungary last week.
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h he told us in addition to suh doing interview for the series, he did a lot of interviews for his own inves gattigative purpo. >> friends of rudy giuliani have been advising him to keep a low pro file during all the investigations. he doesn't seem to be taking that advice. >> no. i think it's fair to say he is not taking that advice. we did see there was a period, i would say for about a month where we did kind of see him quiet down in the very beginning he was on fox news every night. he was tweeting all the time. he was butt dialing reporters or intentionally dialing reporters and then there was a time where he did get a little bit quieter and he stopped going on tv add much. now i think we have seen him get right back into it where he sort of online all the time and you hear him everywhere. >> finally, what about the notion that the president could
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possibly push rudy giuliani aside. what does he have to say about that? >> he's convinced it's not going to happen. he says the president never throws people under the bus. he has a hard time getting rid of people and he's gotten no sign of that. i would note that while the president has been extremely heaping praise on his lawyer for the last couple of weeks, he did say one telling thing in an interview where he said that he didn't direct rudy giuliani to do any of this work or this effort to push for investigations in ukraine that he's been doing. he's clearly trying to distance himself in some ways from what rudy giuliani has done but he hasn't parted ways with him or distanced himself fully yet. >> great reporting opinion thanks so much for being with us tonight. just ahead, the president yesterday attacks a 16-year-old girl online and this afternoon the white house finally tries to explain why, emphasis on tries. that's next. ♪
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tonight we discuss the notion of making clear errors in judgment of trying to trifl yiez the conduct. it all began thursday upon hearing climate activist greta thunberg was named time's person of the year. president trump responded with a jealous tweet. so ridiculous greta must work on her anger management problem and go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend. chill greta, chill. this is not first time the president has gone after greta. there are a few things to point out here. first, that anger management line is well known that greta has asperger's syndrome.
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it's something the cashe calls . they may be obsessive on topics and the president is akiezing her of not handle her emotions well. it's an indecent way to respond to anyone. it's small and cruel, period. third this tweet comes just over a week after he and the first lady claimed outrage after they believed someone had mocked their child baron, also a teenager, after an impeachment witness made a pun involving baron's name and not one at his expense. the first lady said a minor child deserves privacy and should be cut out of politics. you should be ashamed. the professor apologized that day. no apology from the president. only silence from the first lady who by the way has allegedly made stopping cyber bullying one of her top priorities. be best is the name of her
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campaign. we now have this statement to y today. be best is the first lady's initiative and she will do it to help children. it's no secret the president and first lady communicate differently as most married couples do. their son basic vis. he is a 13-year-old who wants and deserves privacy. that's not even a non-apology apology. there's no contrition at all in that statement. of course pa o -- he deserves privacy. michelle obama weighed in tweeting don't let anyone dim your light like the girls i've met in vietnam and all over the world you have so much to offer us all. ignore the doubters and no that millions of people are cheering you on. ignore the doubters. this is the bio on her twitter page quote, a teenager working on her anger management problem currently chilling and watching
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good old fashioned movie with a friend. proving that sometimes the best way to handle a bully is to take the high road and in doing so make them look small. here with her take, usa today columnist kirsten powers. thank you for being with us. still no official comment from the first lady. i wonder what you make of this statement from the white house. >> i agree that her son should be given privacy but i don't think because anybody is an activist, frankly, that means that the president of the united states should be able to attack them in such personal terms. i would say regardless of her age, that would be true but because she is a teenager, i think that's extra true. i also think the way he attacked her, you pointed out it was clearly an attack on her way of communicating which probably has something to do with her having asperger's but also has a lot to do with her being a girl or a
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young girl because the complaint and there's been more than one tweet against her and it seems to be she's not cheerful enough or smiling enough. that she's too angry. she is upset. a lot of people are upset about climate change in the world and she has a right to but set. there's this idea that nice girls just sit and smile and are complaint. that seems to be the message that he's sending. >> again, baron deserves his privacy, no one is saying he doesn't. just because he gives public speeches doesn't give the ps president or anyone license to pu bully her, right? >> he shouldn't bully anybody. he's the president of the united states. that goes without saying but i think there's some thing when you have a young activist who is speaking up that i think if you want to disagree with them, i don't think the president should probably be getting in arguments with 16-year-olds but if he
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wanted to disagree with her on the merits of what she was saying, i think people would probably say fine as long as it's done in a respectful manner. that's not what he's doing. he's mocking her and he's ridiculing her and making fun of her. it's just so beyond the pale of what any person should do but he's the president of the united states. >> it's cruel and small. period. one of the questions is why. another part of the why is she was named the time magazine person of the year. that just seems to get under the president's skin because this is a guy who made fake time magazine covers himself and put them up in five of his golf clubs, right? >> right and being jealous of a 16-year-old when you're the president of the united states is just pathetic. it's really -- it's hard to
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imagine when you've achieved that level of becoming the president of the united states and you're mad a a teenager for being on the cover of time magazine and getting personal of the year. it's just -- there's no question that's what obviously got under his skin. he's tweeted against her because he doesn't like her cause. i also do really think there's a sexist strain to it. his tweets have been like seems like really happy girl. why should she be happy when talk about something that's a global catastrophe. that's not what you would say about a 16-year-old boy who is speaking up on an issue. >> there's also some irony of the president pointing out anger. he's not exactly known as a paragon of calmness, is he? >> he's the king of projectors. he adviser to accuse people of doing what he's doing. he sees anger because he's
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angry. that's what he is telling us. he's angry he has been given an honor that he thinks he should get. why he wants it, i don't know because he says the media are fake and lying so why do you really care what they think. for some reason he really does and he's also coveted that. >> great to talk to you this evening. have a great weekend. former governor of kentucky ignites a big time controversy by pardoning or commuting the sentences of hundreds of prisoners. some of them convicted of violent crimes. the fall out when 360 continues. 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,
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. let's check in with chris to see what he's working on for "cuomo prime time" at the top of the hour. what do you have? >> always a pleasure, j.b. the big question is what was rudy doing?
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i'm not talking about the substance, i'm not talking about what he has because they don't seem to understand, the president was impeached for how it was done, not the underlying sub sa substance or anything about burisma. what is rudy's role? is he really his lawyer, pe personal or campaign? if he's just a political operative, what about the corruption bent? it all comes back to rudy. not that he's the problem but it's proof of what this president did. we're going to unpack it with a good friend of the president and a democrat trying to make the case for impeachment and we'll take you all the way through. >> what message was he trying to send walking before the cameras minutes before the impeachment vote before the judiciary committee? >> we have the goods. it was never about biden being dirty. bits how you we it's about how you went about
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it. if you just don't want your hands on the stink so you want ukraine to carry the water, that's what this looks like, that's the impeachment. >> we'll see you in a few minutes. so kentucky's former governor issued thousands of commutation, one for a man who sexual assaulted a 16-year-old boy and a drunk driver who killed a pastor and his wife. the details and outrage when "360" continues. 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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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ the former governor of kentucky did not leave quietly. he issued hundreds of pardon and communitiati commutations. as many as 161 pardons and 400 commutations of sentences. bevin said he personally reviewed each case. more from cnn's natasha chen.
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>> reporter: before walking out of the mansion this week, former governor matt bevin pardoned this man, a man who killed a pastor and his wife, a woman who threw her newborn in a septic tank at a flea market, and this man who raped a 9-year-old girl and served less than 18 months out of his 23-year sentence. the victim's mother said it's a slap in the face. >> it feels like we're going through it all over again. we just got to the point where we felt safe leaving the house. >> the prosecutor told rob sanders the man hadn't served enough time to even begin sex offender treatment. >> it shocks the conscience. it's offensive, it's mind boggling how any governor could be this irresponsible. >> reporter: now there's also a
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question of political favoritism. >> we have someone who was convicted of killing someone in front of his wife at his home, who pulled the trigger. >> reporter: state lawmakers say they want to investigate this case because the family of the man pardoned raised more than $20,000 last year to help bevin. >> bottom line, if it looks like a duck and taubes like a duck, you got to look into whether or not it's a duck. >> our thanks to natasha. we'll hand it offer to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> j.b., thank you very much. i appreciate it. it's friday night. i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." the big unknown is if the president will control the senate the way he did the republicans in the house. it looks like he just may. the question, how is that okay? you're going to hear from one of the president's closest confidantes and rudy giuliani back at the