tv Inside Politics CNN January 17, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PST
welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. president trump added some big names to his impeachment defense team. ken starr is one addition, alan dershowitz another. no republican house members so far. that's a sign the president is listening, at least for now, for those urging him to put strong legal minds ahead of sharp partisan instincts.
plus the president said he does not know lev parnas, despite pictures of them together. it is questionable whether they want to hear it and if rudy giuliani is to be believed. a very interesting twist from the oval office tour guide. >> we'll take pictures behind the resolute desk. it's been there a long time. a lot of presidents, some good, some not so good. you got a good one now. even though they're trying to impeach the son of a bitch. can you believe that? >> and we begin with a major decision by the president that offers us a big window on the impeachment trial just around the corner. sources today detailing to cnn some major decisions to the president's legal team, including one who factored large in the bill clinton impeachment battle. pat cipollone and jay sekulow will take the lead, but now with help from alan dershowitz, and
ken starr and robert wray. plus long-time personal counsel, robe robert raskin. at momenthe moment, anyway, thee no house republicans in that group. kaitlan collins is here. what did he decide he needed before the trial begins tuesday? >> reporter: he wavered at what he wanted. he wanted the house republicans who have been so good on the team, but he was told, no, you need real lawyers that they have to appeal to. mitch mcconnell has been telling him the house members like john ratcliffe is not the way to go. the president seems to be listening to that advice. he's adding these seasoned attorneys, and the biges are
ken starr and alan dershowitz, and they're notable not only because of ken starr's obvious role in the investigation that led to bill clinton's impeachment, but also because he is a prominent figure on television that the president watches often and likes on tv. the president wants people real good on television on his team. that's something he's been pushing, voicing concerns that cipollone had that strong tv appearance that alan dershowitz and ken starr have. the president and dershowitz went back and forth on whether or not he was going to join the team. we're told on tuesday the president essentially left it at that. he wanted dershowitz on the team, he made it clear, and it was dershowitz's decision whether or not he was going to join. which we are told he was not eager to do. he kind of makes that clear in a statement talking about his role in this where he makes it clear he voted for hillary clinton in the election, but he feels like the stakes are so high here tha. of course, there are going to be questions about alan dershowitz
where a victim of jeffrey epstein also said she was assaulted by alan dershowitz. now he's going to be representing the president, and of course the biggest moment of his presidency, but you will see all of them on the senate floor because we're told alan dershowitz, ken starr and robert wray will be serving on the floor, john. >> kaitlan collins at the white house. appreciate it. with me, cnn's dana bash, michael shear with the "new york times," legal analyst shan wu and ted lu who was on the legal team for bill clinton. a lot of people are saying you want mark meadows, you want
george ratcliffe, some of the house employees who have been goode offenders. they told you, no, you don't need political people, you need legal people. >> i think it's a good idea because ken starr can supply information about the constitution, what the framers wanted. that's what they would need to stick on. if starr kind of veers into his love of publicity, goes off the rails a bit, he won't be very effective. they can use him on the substantive constitutional take on things. >> the first case i ever covered was back in the day and ken starr was an appellate lawyer back then. you're not trying to sway a jury, you're trying to sway a judge, so it's interesting the choices. i was covering the white house in the days of bill clinton. you were in a different position
advising the president on how to handle this. this is a fill in the blank are you kidding me kind of day. i'm guessing you have the same feelings? >> that goes back a way with us. >> we were child prodigies. >> yes. it's really shocking if you look at the way they treated her, threatening her family with criminal charges. absolutely outrageous. people should know that. people should know that during the clinton impeachment, sam dash, legendary watergate lawyer, was starr's ethics adviser. dash resigned in protest because he believed starr was so inethical because he believed what he did was unlawful. not in terms of monica lewinsky but in terms of impeachment. he's the guy who said we have to impeach the president for a consensual affair that he lied about. now he's going to say what the goa calls a bribe, issuing a
threat to ukraine for military aid. >> since you brought up ken starr, i want to bring up dr. wray. people thought he handled the shutdown of the investigation quite professionally. >> i never dealt with robert ray, so i just don't know. >> in a settlement with the president, the president had to give up his law license in the end. so mr. ray did not just walk away, but he did shut down some investigation where clinton people thought it would go on and on. what have these gentlemen said about the current case? this is ken starr talking about the number one issue. democrats want to push the impeachment matter, want to push to get new witnesses, new documents not considered during the impeachment debate. ken starr was asked about this on fox news recently. >> i predict there are going to be witnesses. we've had too many indications from too many senators that they want this. >> who is the witness? who appears? >> i think the top one is john bolton, right, for the democrats. then the republicans really do
want hunter biden. >> and you think that will happen? that's what you're saying now? >> oh, there will be a battle royal over hunter biden. >> he will now be central to the battle royal over all of these witnesses. but it is interesting in the sense that if the president or mr. cipollone, at least, did their due diligence, they know this is in the record. when this argument maze out pla the senate floor, it's not binding, they can vote any way they ntbu you could say, mr. president, you wanted ken starr. a lot of it is in the records. >> and for people still around, look at what they were saying then, and very hypocritical what they're saying now. can we talk once again, you guys talked about the clinton years. this is not an accident that this president chose these lawyers for a couple reasons.
one is he likes people who play lawyers on tv, who are actually lawyers, because that's how he consumes information, a lot of information. he also happens to know alan dershowitz very well. but also he is obsessed with the clintons. and he has been, hillary clinton and so forth. so to be able to get all of these players who were involved on the other side during the clinton years, it is very telling of who trump is and who you trump thinks. never mind that i'm going to have to go back into my storage and find my grungewear, my flannels, and i'm going to pop n nirvana at the top of my play list. >> dana is right, we are here now, and the president who was impeached is the president who says blue on monday and red on tuesday and says there is no difference between monday and tuesday. so things change as we go. to go back in time for those unfamiliar, here is ken starr and his successor is the
whitewater independent counsel robert ray. i want you to see them and hear them to refamiliarize yourself with them, then we'll talk. >> i have to exercise responsibly in my authority only to bring a case where i believe that a fair-minded jury would convict on that evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. >> he engaged in an apparent scheme to conceal gifts that had been subpoenaed from ms. lewinsky. he coached a potential witness, his own secretary, mrs. curry, with a false account of relevant events. those acts constitute a pattern of obstruction that is fundamentally inconsistent with the president's duty to faithfully execute the law. >> it's a flashback. but there are two very interesting points there. when ray shut is down, a lot of people were critical of him. why aren't you going after
whitewater? he said, my only case is to bring it to a jury. he shut it down. if you go back to the report, he repeatedly said the united states has an obligation to turn things over. bill clinton did keep stalling and obstructing. clinton did stall. nowhere near the level of no, no, no from the trump administration. how does he square that circle? >> the democrats will no doubt point to that when we get to that debate of whether to call witnesses, whether the senate should demand more documents, they'll turn to that. look, i think one of the more interesting points here is we have still never seen what the president's legal defense of all of this is. we've seen his political defense, right? we've seen letters from pat cipollone to the white house counsel which are largely political arguments, and we've seen the house members, the jim
jordans of the world, making largely political responses. we've never yet seen an actual legal defense. so the challenge for these lawyers is to take their client, who really wants a political defense put on, he wants exonerated in a political sense, and they're going to have to turn that in to some kind of legal argument that satisfies their client. >> to that point, the then-president of the united states back then lied to the american people for seven months. >> nobody comes home and says, i had the greatest affair last night. >> he stalled in some requests for documents, they pushed. >> we produced 90,000 documents. trump has produced zero. >> that's why i say in the end they agreed to comply to subpoenas. nothing on the scale we're talking about here, i agree with that. >> a dozen or so witnesses. the president testified himself
for over four hours, these creeps asking about his sex life under oath. he testified. he gave blood. trump won't do anything. you can't compare the two. if what clinton did was stalling, then it's really clear that what trump is doing is obstructing justice. >> that's for the senators to decide. i want to run along here on purpose because i do want to hear the voices. we have heard from pam bondi on television, you'll hear from alan dershowitz. to say it's okay to withhold a white house meeting, to withhold military aid, no, that's not what they talk about. they say nancy pelosi is in the wrong. >> she calls our great president who did nothing wrong a clear and present danger. oh, he's so horrible that she had to get these over there, and what does she do? she holds onto him. it's political gamesmanship and she failed. >> he would be appalled at the
notion that you can impeach and not bring them to the senate. the leaders of the senate have the right to just say, we're scheduling the trial. she is placing herself above the law, nancy pelosi. >> to michael's point, we have yet to hear a factual defense of a documentary evidence from all of the witnesses in this case that is pretty damning that the president did not give the new president of ukraine a white house meeting, did not give him one, still hasn't given him one, withheld aid until he got what he wanted, which is a political gift which has nothing to do with national security. >> there is no factual defense possible. >> then what do they do? >> they have to try to look at those facts and try to devise a legal theory saying these are still in the scope of either his duties as president, or this isn't what the founding fathers intended. the one thing i would point out is looking at ken starr on
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lady that is the last thing i would ever... huh? stop! put those away! a huge question of risk and reward for house impeachment managers. do you call lev parnas to testify at the senate trial? the risk? parnas is under indictment, and anything he says the white house legal team will paint as lies, concocted, they will say, to spear the federal prosecutors jail time. the fixer says he knows a lot, both about the pressure on ukraine and about the trust of the former ambassador of ukraine. >> to my knowledge, the president fired her at least four times, maybe five times. >> you say he fired her in front of you? >> correct. >> rudy was on the way there to
discuss. >> mr. giuliani told secretary perry what you need to convey to the ukranian government is that they need to do an investigation on joe biden? >> absolutely. >> that is a huge challenge for the impeachment managers in the sense that this guy says he knows a lot. this guy says he was involved. this guy says essentially he was rudy giuliani's right-hand man doing all this nefarious stuff in ukraine. he's also under indictment and giuliani himself says a lot of things that are untrue. is this guy to be believed and do they call him? >> the president was quick to insist he doesn't know him. we've seen a photo of the president and lev parnas before. he said it was a quick photo, that he takes thousands of photos with people but he really doesn't know them. so it's going to be his word against them, and it remains to
be seen. >> eisenberg was someone who worked for ken starr back in that investigation. he said, makes them look sloppy as hell. i think they should have looked at this better. meaning, if lev parnas had this information, why did the democrats hurry up and impeach? why didn't they wait for it? lev parnas said he brought this up later, and he might have been brought it up in the context we didn't know before there was an impeachment and now he's looking to curry favor. >> it cuts both ways. it potentially puts pressure on some of the moderate republicans who could argue, look, there is information that we should have, let's go out and get it. but it does give you the ability, give republicans, allies of the president, the ability to look at the house case and say it just kind of gives it a sense that the house case looks a bit half-baked,
right? there were all sorts of people that didn't get called. there were reasons for that, among them that the president made a concerted effort to make sure he blocked people, and so that's -- but it just gives the case and the republican allies the ability to say, you know, we're not going to fix all the problems with the house. >> that's true, it gives them the ability to do that, but anything looking at what really happened, and i know that may be a bit generous, will see that the timing was such that he was dealing with the courts, lev parnas. and it wasn't until then, after bar afterwards, that he could maybe turn his attention to capitol hill. i tell you one thing, nancy pelosi is saying, i told you so, on the notion of delaying sending things over, and it fits right into her list of the reasons why it was good, what
she called collateral benefits to delay, because more and more things are coming out. >> lev parnas now finds himself on a list that has a lot of -- if you judge a man by the company he keeps, your eyes might roll here. whether it was george stephanopolous, and the president says, who? >> i don't know the man. i watched him a little while this morning, and i think -- i'm going to let people make their own determination, but i don't know vindman, i never heard of him, i don't know any of these people. >> he was a lawyer for me for one of many -- they always say the lawyer and then they like to add the fixer. i don't know if he was a fixer. i don't know where that term came from, but he's been a lawyer for me. didn't do big deals, did small deals. not somebody that was with me that much. look, i didn't know manafort well, he wasn't with the
campaign long. >> it was a very unimportant meeti meeting, took place a long time. i don't know him. >> he was glued to him for years but he didn't know him. >> it's a repeated strategy by the president to back away from these people. they just brought coffee, i barely knew them, they were one of many. paul manafort knew many things and was so close to him. by the end of that process, he was just one of many lawyers. >> let's say he doesn't know lev parnas like he says he doesn't. at the end of the day, lev parnas dealt directly with rudy giuliani, so for arguments' sake, even then, you still have this very close connection that will be hard for them to back away from. >> parnas is trolling.
he's trolling the president, he's trolling giuliani. pam bondi was just named to the president's defense team, and voila, there's a picture of lev parnas with pam bondi. is he a credible witness? is he to be believed? they keep saying they don't know him. there are pictures of him with the president's children, repeated pictures of him with the president. he's all over rudy giuliani. >> if you're the democrats, you also have to think what actually does he add that we don't get from other people. certainly he's got information about rudy giuliani. ultimately for the house managers, rudy giuliani is not the target. the target is the president of the united states, and does lev parnas have direct information? they have other witnesses in the record who had some direct contact with the president, so you just have to weigh that if you're the democrats. >> he's obviously somebody who is the kind of person who wanted to be a player, wanted to be part of that world.
that's why he took all those pictures. and when he did that with rudy giuliani, it all worked because he was his entre to ukraine. >> watch on tuesday. we'll get votes on these things. up next, some of the 2020 candidates have to go back to their day jobs just days before iowa votes. i am a zifan for zicam! oral or nasal. when youyou spend lessfair, and get way more. so you can bring your vision to life and save in more ways than one. for small prices, you can build big dreams, spend less,
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all persons are commanded to keep silent on pain of imprisonment while the house of representatives are sending articles of impeachment against donald j. trump, president of the united states. >> that oath applies to all 100 senators but actual meaning to four, bernie sanders, elizabeth warren, amy klobuchar and michael bennet. the iowa caucuses in 17 days, the primary in 25. but the impeachment process begins in ernest tuesday. it could take at least two weeks. some senators think it could go three or four. if so keeping the senators off the trail at a very pivotal time. >> it's not optimal but there's nothing to do about it. i'm going to go up to new hampshire this weekend. i think i have a constitutional responsibility to fulfill, and i feel privileged to have the chance to do it. >> i'm a mom. i can do two things at once. it is my constitutional duty,
and when i can go campaign in those early states, including nevada and south carolina, i will. but when i have to be there, i will. i have a constitutional duty to be there. we can skype in, we can phone in. >> it sounded like they can go on tv and say this is terrible, this is horrible, i hate it, but just to be human about it, they're ambitious, they're running for president, especially in iowa and new hampshire, you know this well from your experience, voters like to see you. tv ads can help, you can phone it in, skype it in, but they want to feel and touch you. >> they want to be in iowa. we have a very close race with the top four. you have amy klobuchar who is really trying to break in in iowa and this is a key time. i was talk to go someone in klobuchar's camp and they're saying they're doing all they can. they're there every weekend and they have surrogates. her daughter is going to skype
in, but certainly that's not the same thing as being in diners and pizza ranches. >> if you're a democratic senator running for president, you're free now. you have to be back in the senate by tuesday morning. monday is the martin luther king holiday. saturday, iowa, warren, klobuchar. sunday, iowa, warren, klobuchar, bennet. >> this morning michael bennet was on cnn and he was talking to me while he was literally running to an elevator to get on a plane to get to new hampshire bau because he knows time is limited. it turns out we have tv cameras in the capitol. i was really struck yesterday -- i think it was yesterday -- when bernie sanders -- i don't think i had ever seen him on a stakeout camera ever, he made a beeline to that camera to talk to reporters. >> and there are breaks during
the trial, so there will be opportunities for them to come out, and it won't meet during the morning, so they'll have the mornings. but it is interesting, normally the senators in the senate is an opportunity for grandstanding, and they could actually, in the normal senate session, make actual news. they will have to sit there quietly. >> i've covered campaigns that are crazy, i've covered impeachment before. never have you had a collision like this. martin luther king jr. day is on monday. first day of impeachment on tuesday, the iowa caulk on february 3, state of the union on february 4, hdemocratic debae on the 7.
>> we know the president loves to stoke a good conspiracy theory, so he has one today that the democrats are doing this on purpose to keep bernie sanders off the campaign show. even more obviously, they're bringing him out as not only senator but sitting in the impeachment trial. they are rigging the election against bernie sanders jurks like last time, only even more obviously. crazy nancy thereby gives the strong edge to sleepy. up next, president trump having some fun, and of course, can't forget impeachment at a white house celebration with the lsu tigers. hey there people eligible for medicare.
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topping our political radar today, after initially reporting no u.s. casualties in iran's attack on iraq's air base last week, they now say seven service members were treated for concussions after that blast. they said symptoms can take days to appear. these troops were transported to military facilities in germany for screening. the hope is they will be able to return to duty after being assessed. in a belated move, investigators are investigating immediately tied to the hillary clinton email probe. that according to a source familiar with the situation. it's not clear who the target of this probe is, but james comey had a part in this matter.
he's been one of president trump's most vocal critics. diplomatic security officials are now investigating if the former ambassador in ukraine, marie yavonovitch, were under surveillance. surveillance claims were made this weekly lev parnas, associate of rudy giuliani. mike pompeo planning to investigate but saying he knew nothing about any surveillance operation. >> until this story broke, were ah wear that ambassador marie yavonovitch was being surveilled while serving as ambassador? >> i never heard this at all. until the story broke, best of my recollection, i had never heard of this at all. and tiger is taking over the w white house today. president trump congratulating the lsu tigers football team. joe burrow led the team to a
perfect season who, you may remember, filled up on fast food when they made the trip to the white house last year. >> with joe burrow backing and a team of rivals alongside him, lsu had to beat the reigning champions, a team who was here last year and they were very large. we served them a lot of food. they ate so much food, we didn't know what the hell to do. up next, an awkward silence on the 2020 campaign trail as senator bernie sanders and elizabeth warren try to move on. with an express no fee refund advance loan. that's money fast. like, today fast. don't wait weeks. go to jackson hewitt today.
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senators bernie sanders and elizabeth warren are in a detente, or at least a silence. bernie sanders said she had just called him a liar, that because she said he told her that he did not believe a woman could defeat in 2020. while both were at the congress for an impeachment trial, neither made an attempt to work it out. i assume at some point they have to speak. or am i wrong? do they both just hope this goes away. >> you might be wrong. >> do they have to speak?
it doesn't sound like they're having any conversation any time soon. i think this is a complicated clash. it's awkward. you have two people saying entirely different things about a private meeting several years ago and it raises a lot of thorny questions about gender and the democratic party that a lot of people really don't want to come up right now. i think also you look at these early contests, it raises a lot of questions about the fact that the two of them pull from a similar pool of voters, and does this upset any of those people? when you look at iowa, people's first and second choices matter. often you see warren first, bernie second or vice versa. does this affect any of that? >> i've seen numbers in iowa quite similar. if you're first choice is warren, 50% of those say bernie sanders would be their second choice. if your first choice is sanders, more than 52% say their second choice is warren. so if these two get into it, if
the issue is medicare for all or this meeting, and she confirmed after mj lee reported it, she said essentially she made a case to bernie sanders about why she would be a stronger president, partly because she could get broader support among women in the electorate. and sanders disagreed, saying a woman can't beat trump. are we just going to leave it? >> to your point about the division among democrats, but even more granularly -- that wasn't an easy word to say -- the progressives, it's kind of -- elizabeth warren is relying on the fact that what is known colloquially as the bernie bros will never leave him, but she can maybe get some women who will perk up their ears to the argument she made there. i was talking, though, to a top democratic official who was talking to senior progressives in the party who were saying what you are alluding to, which
is they're worried it's mutually assured destruction and that progressives in general are very concerned about this feud. >> to that point, there are some smart political reporting, this from "politico," the sanders campaign urging his people to let it go. don't push it, take the high road. meanwhile, the bidens are happy to talk about it. biden allies said bernie sanders was trying to hillaryize warren. >> this is just the way the barack obama observe and hillary clinton relationship got testy and they had to be picked at the box office. i think that's what will happen here. >> they were going to be
civilized and eventually they were going to have to distinguish their policies because they see eye to eye on so many different issues. but now we see this personality clash come out and iowa. >> don't worry, you're likable enough. up next, evelyn yang's powerful me too story and why she's sharing it now. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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about sexual assault from the white house democratic presidential hopeful wife evelyn yang. i want to warn you her story is graphic and it may be disturbing to some viewers. >> at that moment, i knew it was wrong. i mean, i knew -- i said -- i knew i was being assaulted. >> did you tell your husband andrew? >> no. i didn't tell anyone. i didn't tell anyone what happened. i didn't tell andrew or my family because i dinh wadn't wa upset them. i thought, this happened to me. i can process this. i can deal with it. i can compartmentalize it. >> and did you? >> i tried. i tried. but i just didn't want to affect others, and i certainly didn't want andrew blaming himself for not being able to go with me to
these doctors' visits, because, honestly, if he was with me in the room, if anyone was with me in the room, this obviously wouldn't have happened. at the time he was traveling a lot for his non-profit. and most of the scheduling just didn't work out. >> it takes a lot of courage to do that. she has decided to do so because she believes she has a unique platform now because of the campaign. i urge everyone to go to cnn.com and read the entire story. there is a lot of complexity to it, including things that will outrage you about this doctor, about columbia university. this is from andrew yang. thank you to everyone for the messages of support for evelyn. she's my best friend and the bravest woman i know. i hope it gives strength to more who have suffered and sends a
clear message that we and our institutions must do more to protect and respond to women. bernie sanders said, what evelyn yang is doing is incredibly brave. >> she feels she has a responsibility and an obligation, but she also says that it is an opportunity. and there are lots of reasons why she decided to come forward. one was that she was reading a letter from a voter to her husband who talked about the fact that something he said on the campaign trail made her realize that she should press charges against a business investor who she said had sexually assaulted her, and she thought, i have the same story. the other thing that's going on here with her case is that she doesn't feel that she got justice. she's not the only one. there were 18 women initially who provided evidence to the manhattan district attorney, and this doctor was only punished by -- they took his medical
license, he registered as the lowest level sex offender, but he never went to jail. and so what she's also trying to do is speak out, not just broadly for women, but there are other women involved in a new case, and they hope they get justice. i should say the manhattan d.a. is saying they stand by their legal analysis, but they also regret the pain that this is causing survivors. >> and speaking out now, she hopes also brings pressure on columbia university. he was arrested in his office before this happened to her, correct? >> about six weeks before. she said very plainly she believed the university protected him. his medical facility was part of columbia university by, at the very minimum, not making sure after that arrest that someone was in the room with him. there was no one in the room when that final assault happened. she was seven months pregnant, john. >> that's horrible. it's fantastic reporting and it does take a lot of courage. evelyn yang, we thank you for
coming forward with your story. thank you for joining us on "inside politics." erica hill in for brianna keilar. she starts right now. have a great day. im'm erica hill in today fo brianna keilar. president trump adding five names to his defense team as the impeachment trial gets underway. just what insight does this offer into the president's defense strategy? out of sight? democratic candidates making the most of the time they have left on the campaign trail. how they will make time for their day job in the senate. why did it take mike pompeo days to respond to the bombshell >llegations?