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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  January 31, 2020 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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unpublished manuscript, a meeting to insist putting pressure on ukraine. attending were rudy giuliani, mick mulvaney and pat cipollone, who last tuesday on the first y of the trial saying calling bolton as a witness would be, quote, not right. today cipollone and the president got their wish, no witnesses. next week an acquittal is likely. however even in the eyes of republican senators their votes do not appear to be an exoneration of the president's actions. lamar lamar alexander and rob portman called the president's conduct inappropriate. saying just because actions mean a standard of impeachment does not mean it's in the best interest of a country to remove a president from office. later in his statement, quote, can anyone doubt that at least half of the country would view his removal as illegitimate. it is difficult to conceive of any scheme putin could undertake that would undermine confidence in our democracy more than removal would. as journalist tim alberta today
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put it, to summarize there are multiple jurors who believe the defendant is guilty as charged but disapprove of the sentence that awaits him, so they're voting to acquit the defendant who they believe is guilty as charged. while the president signed off on this deal during a phone call with mitch mcconnell, he does not get everything he wants, in particular a final vote before his state of the union address. for more, check in with athena jones. >> the american people deserve a fair trial. the constitution deserves a fair trial. the president deserves a fair trial. a fair trial means witnesses. >> reporter: with the impeachment trial inching toward its final hours democrats pressing the case for additional witnesses and documents, before deciding president trump's fate. >> rob this country of a fair trial, and there can be no
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representation that the verdict has any meaning. how could it? if the result is baked in by the process? >> reporter: house managers seizing on a "new york times" report posted just hours before the senate gavelled into session, that president trump personally directed his former national security adviser john bolton to help with his ukraine pressure campaign in early may. bolton writing in an unpublished book manuscript trump gave the order in an oval office meeting that included white house chief of staff mick mulvaney, the president's personal attorney rudy giuliani and white house counsel pat cipollone, part of trump's defense team. >> yet another reason why we ought to hear from witnesses. the facts will come out. they will continue to come out. >> you shouldn't let the president escape responsibility only to later see clearly what happened. in ambassador bolton's book. >> reporter: this as trump's former chief of staff john kelly
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told a new jersey newspaper he believes bolton who described as a copious note taker, arguing a senate trial without witnesses is, quote, a job only half done. republicans saying the house already heard from more than a dozen witnesses. and democrats didn't prove their case. >> what they're asking you to do is now become the investigative agency, the investigative body. mr. schiff went through every sentence of the articles of impeachment, just a few days ago, and said proved, proved, proved. the problem is, would it prove, prove, prove is not an impeachable offense. >> these articles of impeachment on their face are defective. and we've explained that -- >> reporter: in the end republicans succeeding in blocking democrats' motion to hear more evidence. >> yays are 49. the nays are 51. the motion is not agreed to.
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>> reporter: just two republicans, susan collins, and mitt romney, join in the democrats. >> no witnesses, no documents. an impeachment trial is a per j fidy, it's a grand tragedy. >> i send an amendment to the desk to subpoena mulvaney, bolton, duffey, blair and the white house, omb, dod, and state department documents. >> reporter: all of them failing, setting the stage for a vote to acquit next week. but in a disappointment for many republicans, and for the white house, that vote won't happen until wednesday afternoon. with monday and tuesday reserved for closing arguments and the chance for senators to make speeches on the floor. that means while the president is widely expected to be acquitted he won't be able to declare victory in his state of the union address tuesday night.
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athena jones, cnn, washington. >> let's go to phil mattingly. the new schedule with the final vote on wednesday, can you walk us through what to expect? >> here's how it will work. the senate is adjourned right now. they will not be in session over the course of the weekend, no saturday session. they will come back into session on monday and they will start at 11:00 a.m. with the impeachment trial, and they will have two hours of closing arguments for each side, the house managers in the white house will both get an opportunity and then the trial will adjourn until wednesday and what that will allow is this, two things, one senators who might have interesting things to do in iowa on monday will have the opportunity to fly to iowa, other senators who want to make their views known publicly, on whether to acquit or remove the president will be able to go to the senate floor and give the speeches. each allotted about 15 minutes. when the senate trial reconvenes it will be wednesday at 4:00
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p.m. the expectation is they will immediately take up the two articles one at a time, each senator called to vote by roll call as we saw today earlier and be able to say guilty or not guilty. sometime around 5:00 p.m. wednesday the president will get the judgment he's been looking for, acquittal, but a few days later than expected. >> and mitch mcconnell spoke with the president tonight. what more do we know about that conversation? >> so look, it was fascinating throughout the course of the day, the expectation was from senate republican leaders, from the white house that they were going to push through and deal with any democrats tried to put in their way to finish this trial as soon as possible. they wanted this done before the state of the union, the president to be able to declare victory. but internal problems within the republican conference made that impossible. there were republican senators who wanted to make their views known publicly on the senate floor. while leader mcconnell has essentially dictated every step of this process he can't do that if he doesn't have the majority. he didn't have the votes.
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they had to go behind closed doors to negotiate this process out. democrats holding firm the resolution had to wait until after the state of the union address. as part of coming to that agreement the leader had to call president trump who is very keenly aware of the state of the union optics, he had to walk him through the resolution and get his signoff on the resolution to move forward. the bottom line i'm hearing from republicans is they felt like they didn't have any other option here and at least this would clear the path forward for wednesday but the call to president trump, the understanding of the cross cutting pressures they're dealing with, both internally and from the white house, basically ending the day not where they expected with acquittal, but at least moving them forward, at least from the republican perspective and the white house perspective by defeating the witness vote and setting up the ground work to end the trial by wednesday evening, anderson. >> phil mattingly. before air i spoke with one of the jurors, chris van hollen about the deal making and democratic amendments that failed on party line votes.
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senator van hollen, you introduced one of the four amendments, can you explain what that amendment would have required? >> yes, anderson, it's good to be with you. my amendment was to guarantee a fair and impartial trial and process. decisions on whether or not witnesses that are requested are going to be relevant to the trial, or documents that we want to have introduced. so both sides would have an opportunity to make their case for witnesses and documents to the chief justice of the united states, and he would make that ruling. just like judges make those rulings every day in courtrooms across the country. but in this case, republicans, if they didn't like the ruling, they could have still overruled it by a majority vote. so there was still a fail safe. they didn't even want the chief justice in the first instance to
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call the balls and strikes as he saw them. and that was their last chance to give us a fair trial. they failed and they just made this united states senate the first senate to have an impeachment trial with no witnesses and documents, the first one in the history of our republic. it's disgraceful what happened today on the floor of the united states senate. >> this argument from senator lamar alexander which is essentially he doesn't agree with what the president did, he thinks, you know, the case was proven, he thinks he did what it seems obvious that he did do. yet he doesn't think it rises to the level of impeachment. does the argument make sense to you? and do you think that's an argument that other republicans, other republican senators who may believe that would actually admit to or do you think they will just say, well, they'll stick with the it doesn't rise to impeachment but they won't say that it wasn't a perfect call? >> well, that's right. there are two issues here. one is, a senator alexander may
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have reached the conclusion that the house managers met the proof on all the elements of abuse of power. and so we should pause to let that sink in because this is a republican senator who said, yes, the house managers are right that the president and his entire team are lying about the fact that when they say they did not withhold the aid, senator alexander say, you bet, you did withhold the aid in order to get these political purposes but you know what there are a lot of other senators there who still apparently claim that they're -- they don't know what all the facts are. and for them to vote against documents and witnesses is a dereliction of their duty to find the truth. and then there's the question of senator alexander's conclusion because he says, wow, i just found that the president did all these terrible things and abused power. but he talked about it like it
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was jaywalking. he said maybe an error in judgment. and so that leaves a very, very low bar and standard that allows future presidents to run rush shod over the constitutional order. so i found no -- there was no sort of gratification in that conclusion both denying witnesses on the one hand but providing for no kind of accountability on the other. >> is there anything stopping him? because he still says it was a perfect call. he says he did nothing wrong. there's no ramifications for him thus far. so why wouldn't he do it again? >> no, they just took the guardrails off. they've just said president trump you can be a serial violator of the constitution of the united states. and this could just be the beginning. and i wouldn't be surprised at all now if president trump continues to seek, actively seek
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foreign interference in u.s. elections. after all he's been saying, hey, china, you know, help me out, hey, ukraine, help me out. so this is a very, very dangerous precedent and the senate republicans, without providing any guardrails or accountability, have created a reckless presidency. >> yeah, senator chris van hollen, i appreciate you being with us, thank you. >> good to be with you. certainly a lot more ground to cover tonight, including white house reaction with the impeachment trial deal that may end with an acquittal of president trump. later we dive into that "new york times" story, new information from john bolton's manuscript and this time it involves the president's chief counsel. my gums are irritated.
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the white house reaction. any word from the white house about the timeline or how they're feeling about what happened today. >> we know the president did sign off on this resolution, would this timeline of that acquittal vote not happening until wednesday but we've been hearing all day from white house officials who told republicans they wanted this vote to happen tuesday at the latest, that's the night of the state of the union address. they'd been visualizing the last several weeks, maybe we'll have to go through this impeachment trial, but we can get the president acquitted by then. now they're not getting that. we're told they were essentially resigned to that fact earlier today after seeing what was happening behind the scenes back and forth between the democrats and the republicans. and essentially how they felt at the end of the day was they just wanted to get this over with. >> and is there any word of how this is going to be dealt with, with the state of the union address, besides like a fist pump, is he actually going to address it? >> that's the big question. this is president trump so you would expect he would want to
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take a victory lap here. when we were here in this briefing room here a senior administration official was outlining the speech, and what it would look like but they did not mention impeachment and when we asked if he's going to bring it up they wouldn't say and wouldn't say if it will affect the timing of the speech. it's really going to be the question of whether or not he wants to bring it up. in a script that's typically much more muted, where the president is not like he is at his rallies. the president also has his super bowl sunday interview he does every year and he is going to be giving that. of course the acquittal is not going to have happened by then. if the president doesn't address it in the state of the union, we're going to hear on sunday his thoughts. democrats are saying it's not a real acquittal if they didn't have witnesses and documents, that's a message being mirrored by his own former chief of staff
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john kelly saying he views it as a job half done if they did not have witnesses. >> kaitlan collins, thank you. s.e. cup, kirsten powers, rick santorum. kirsten, i don't know if the white house is happy about the timeline but they've got to be happy with the end results. >> yeah, well, i mean this was the result that they always wanted, they wanted to be able to say that he was acquitted, and so he could go out and tell everybody, you know, ignore what happened over in the house, the senate acquitted me but the democrats, i think, are going to continue to hit hard. john kelly is not a democrat, and same message he has, which is, i mean, were you really acquitted, it wasn't a trial, it was a bunch of speeches, basically, there weren't any witnesses and someone who worked for you offered to come up and speak directly to these issues and, you know, basically the people representing you weren't interested. so i think it's hard for them to really represent this as an
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exoneration. he's technically acquitted, that's true, but he hasn't been exonerated. >> senator santorum were you surprised mcconnell wasn't able to wrap this up tonight? >> i guess a little bit. but, you know, i know susan and lisa, very, very well and i know they are very conscientious about making sure they follow process. the process has been in the past that there is a time for, quote, deliberation where members have the opportunity to sort of lay out their rationale for their vote and i think they -- i know it was probably, you know, just a small group, but i think it's probably best for every member. i don't necessarily think this is a bad thing. i'm sure, you're right, the president doesn't like not having his speech but i think candidly there's probably a lot of republicans who are happy he didn't get this done by tuesday. he probably will be a little bit more tempered in the chamber and they're probably a little bit more comfortable with that. >> i'm sorry. i don't know why this will stop him from -- i mean, this will be
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the first time he will be facing his accusers. and regardless of whether he's technically acquitted by then, or not, i don't think will stop him. i mean, i will take you back to june 15th, 2015. it's the day before he announced running for president. i got a copy of the speech he was meant to give that day. he left it after the first word. i mean, none of it was what he ended up saying. and i can't imagine that in the heat and the emotion and passion of this very, you know, vitriolic moment in his presidency he will be able to somehow resist the temptation to call someone out while delivering this address. >> he really gives voice to what he's actually thinking though. >> he'll read his speech. >> let's make a bet, rick. >> the state of the union address, they read their speeches. there's not much riffing going
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on. >> elliott, big picture, just in terms of what you saw today, the end result? >> yeah, so the interesting thing about the senate is that, look, the majority rules but they don't rule like in the house. at the end of the day as rick santorum knows if you're not getting the full majority you play with the hand you're dealt and make the other side look bad and to some extent both schumer and mcconnell did that today. number one, obviously as you were saying a little bit earlier, the vote got extended until after the state of the union but senator schumer and the democrats also got a series of votes on amendments that they can rub in the faces of republican senators saying susan collins couldn't even vote on a subpoena and a deposition for john bolton. now, look, this is a giant -- some people will see what they want to see. they will see it as a victory for chuck schumer in some small way. some will see it as a victory for the president and some for
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mitch mcconnell. this is what happens, they use these procedural tactics to make each other look bad. at the end of the day the vote sort of matters, but doesn't, if that makes sense. >> if lessons were learned from the nixon -- the effort to impeach nixon, the nixon resignation for subsequent presidents, or congress made changes about potential abuses of power, what is the lesson of this? >> this is the most dangerous abdication of responsibility by a political party in the senate especially in our modern history with possible exception of the republican party in the mccarthy era and perhaps the segregationist democrats of the '30s and '40s and early '50s. but this is a grievous abdication. there's a permanent record in
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which it has been established that this theory that the president can damn near do anything and there's no such thing as a real abuse of power anymore and that is what the nixon impeachment was all about was about horrible abuse of power and what happened as that abuse of power was both found out and dealt with by heroic republicans, bob woodward and myself in a book called final days we went to interview barry goldwater, republican nominee of his party, and he told us how he and the republican leaders of the house and senate after john dean's testimony, the witness, like bolton, and documents, like the tapes had been looked at by perseverant republicans open to the truth, these three leaders went to the oval office, sat down with nixon and said, mr. president, you will not get the votes in the senate to be acquitted. and we, barry goldwater, myself,
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you do not have my vote. it's one of the great moments in history of real courage and principle. and the idea that, look, there are two real winners of this thing, trump and putin. and -- really, i think we've got to look at this. >> i want to get senator santorum on this. we've got to take a break though. we'll come right to you when we come back. it's an important discussion. we'll have more on the reporting in the "new york times" on john bolton's manuscript, the allegation that involves white house counsel, the same lawyer who pushed for no impeachment trial witnesses. [cymbals clanging] [knocking] room for seven. and much, much more. the first-ever glb. lease the glb 250 suv for just $419 a month
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before the break we were
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talking about the winners in president trump's acquittal next week, carl bernstein said the winners have trump and vladimir putin. i want to go to rick santorum. >> i -- you saw it. i mean, he was impeached. that's not a winner. number one. number two, the president's -- you heard many republican senators, and i think you're going to hear a lot more, give their statements as to why they voted for acquittal and i think most of them are going to hang their hat on the fact that this didn't rise to the level. very few -- let's put it that way, saying this is a perfect call and the president. the president will get a slap on the wrist. i think republicans in the senate felt like they were dealt a raw deal and that the president did some things that he shouldn't have done, probably not impeachable, and he shouldn't have done and then on the other side, the other loser in this is the house of representatives. the house of representatives did what they've been trying for
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years to get this president and unlike the era that carl bernstein talks about that era is gone out of washington, d.c. there were conservative and liberal republicans, conservative and liberal democrats, a lot of work on both sides of the aisle. that's not the united states senate. and house of representatives today. these folks were in a partisan mode to get president trump for the last few years. when they jumped op this, they rushed, they didn't try to get any kind of bipartisan consensus on this, and then they dumped a lousy unprepared case on the lap of the senate. i'm a senator, yes, and maybe i'm defending the senate, but i think the senators are the ones who felt like this was a bad deal all around, both from the house and the president and they did the best they could with it. >> rick, you're talking about no possibility of bipartisanship. so what happens when you have a president of the united states who goes ahead, invites a foreign power to interfere in our election, and you say that the senators are somehow the victims of this?
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as opposed to being courageous? >> your characterization of that is inaccurate, carl, this goes back to the white house's point. the idea that he goes to the ukrainians and that there was no other possible motivation for him to ask for an investigation of the 2016 election, which is not a future election, is because of his own partisan advantage, there were legitimate concerns that he believed, at the time, had to do with hunter biden and with the 2016 election. >> let him use legal channels to do it, rick, if that's the case. >> but also, but also. >> excuse me, excuse me, he's the president of the united states, he has the authority. what do you mean legal channels? >> you just said it. >> just logically, you're telling me that the channel he chose, go to a country known for corruption, and ask them to announce an investigation, rather than going to his treasury department and asking them to look into the finances,
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going to his justice department, going to barr? it makes no sense. you honestly do not believe that what he was -- >> sending rudy giuliani. >> in the investigation he would not go down the road of hanging his hat on ukraine, would he? >> yeah, well -- >> if he does, that is the stupidest idea of investigation in the history of the world. >> well, i mean, i'm not going to make a judgment on the -- on the wisdom of that. >> but you don't really believe it. i just don't believe that you believe he was going to ukraine for legitimate -- of all the places you would go for a legitimate investigation. >> it's about a bribe, extortion, rick, that's what he did. >> i disagree with that. there was a question that one of the managers -- that was asked by one of the senators. if there was any indication that the president directed someone to let the ukrainians know they weren't going to get the money until they gave the meeting. >> yeah, lev parnas is the one
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who did it. >> the answer is no the president did not direct anybody to do that. they had no evidence of that. >> to rudy giuliani was running a rogue operation, and lev parnas was running a rogue operation from rudy giuliani. lev parnas, if you believe him, but he's the guy that rudy giuliani picked and the president, you know, met with, lev parnas would stand in front of ukrainian officials, hold up a cell phone, and the voice of rudy giuliani would come across the speakerphone, listen to this guy, that guy represents us. >> this is his goon squad, let's be clear. >> all i'm saying is i don't think the evidence is there. i know you can say that, you know, rudy giuliani did this, and lev parnas said this. i mean, i just don't think they're particularly credible people. >> let's get them under oath. the only ones willing to talk at this point, i mean, all the credible people are running for the hills. >> how about bolton being a credible witness? >> bolton's not testifying that
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he was asked to do a quid pro quo. he was not asked to do that. >> he has said that the president told him that. so -- >> exactly. >> i think this idea that the democrats, as you just said, you know, served up this terrible case, that's just not true. the democrats actually put forward a pretty airtight case. what was missing was somebody who heard it directly from the president and it turns out there's somebody who did hear it directly from the president and that's john bolton. >> the reason you go to shady giuliani from life lock is because no one at the justice department would do it because there is nothing to be done. >> yeah. >> even barr -- >> you don't go to rudy giuliani if you want a legitimate thing, maybe back in the day you did when he was, you know, legitimate. but now. >> and it's also -- it's just -- it's what mick mulvaney said in a press conference, it's what is basically in the readout, you know whatever you want to call it, if you want to call it transcript. it's all there. if you choose to look the other way you can, but you can't
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seriously say that the democrats didn't put forward a good case. >> it just feels like a copout to complain about the bum deal the senate got when you have the mechanisms inside the senate to fix the things you're complaining about. like you think the house went too quickly. okay, senate, say let's slow it down a little bit. you think the house didn't interview the right people, senate, say we want to interview these people. you have the tools to fix the things you're complaining about. i don't think that's your best argument. i've said all along if you think you can make the case that he should be acquitted, you can also make the case that you didn't think this rose to impeachment. but to complain about the case you were given, the complaints that you could have fixed in the senate on your own, just seems a little dodgy, a little -- >> when i say they gave them a bum case, not because they didn't interview witnesses, it's because the charges laid out in
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the impeachment are not -- are not as marco rubio said, they may be impeachable, although i don't believe they are, but you shouldn't remove a president for what is alleged in those articles. >> the senate tries that case. >> you miss the point, that if you even -- as lamar alexander said, you'll see other senators say the same thing, if you accept the charges as alleged they're not sufficient to remove a president. that's why i said they were handed a bum deal, they were handed a deal that in the end could never be a conviction. >> i've got to take another break. more of this conversation. stick around. als also,' were talking about john bolton. the allegation in the "new york times," from bolton's unpublished manuscript, that raises a lot of questions for the white house counsel. all on t-mobile's newest, most powerful signal. get twice the deal, with 2 lines of unlimited for $90 and 2 iphone 11s on us. only at t-mobile.
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john bolton revelations, "the new york times" saying bolton wrote in his manuscript trump directed to -- congressman adam schiff, the lead house manager zeroed in on that on the senate floor. >> during an oval office conversation in early may that included the acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney, the president's personal lawyer
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rudy giuliani, and the white house counsel pat cipollone. who is now leading the president's impeachment defense. >> pat cipollone as schiff was saying has been on the senate floor all week arguing against witnesses and the president is denying the allegation. back with our political and legal team. kirsten, are you convinced bolton's book will be published? >> i don't know. i'm sort of curious if there are any like options for somebody where the government just sits on the book. it seems like there needs to be some sort of recourse for somebody that they're holding it out -- >> i was talking to jeff toobin about this earlier, he said if you go ahead and publish they take your money. >> but i guess it seems like -- i don't know. i just wonder if you can sue the government because, i mean, theoretically the government could do this all the tile and they could say we don't want this stuff out, we're going to
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sit here, aren't they required to follow a review process? >> it would just be reviewing for the confidential or classified international security secrets. if they went far beyond the bounds of that you could probably bring a lawsuit. but the problem is, it deals with all this classified information, all of it happens in secret so it would be hard for a litigant to bring a suit. >> there was a cia book, an agent of the cia was stopped from publishing his book and he did sue and subsequently -- >> there was an ag who fled to cuba, and published his book. >> it's hard to believe that bolton would put classified information in there. it seems like they would be -- they're just doing this to hold it up because it's going to be harmful to the president. >> rick, do you think that book will -- i mean, obviously we have no information about it. do you think the book will actually see the light of day?
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>> do you have any sense, is that office and the national security council, which are professional people who do this, i don't know if they're subject to, you know, pressure from political folks who run the national security council? >> if they are, they're leaking. not very heavily pressured. and from what i understand, they -- folks in the political people in the administration weren't aware of anything that was going on there so i suspect this is a professional process. the question is, how much information, if it tends to be a lot of information then there may be a substantial rewrite which could delay publication. >> do you think anything in the book would make a difference? >> make a difference how. >> just in public opinion, in senators opinions, in the campaigns. >> anderson, i mean, i think what -- >> is it baked in. >> i think everything is baked in on this president. the public knows, the president does a lot of things that are very atypical of a president and that aren't necessarily wise things to do, some would say
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even stupid things to do. for example, you know, this meeting that he's talking about, i mean, the president shouldn't be telling john bolton, if that's true, they say it's not true, he shouldn't be telling john bolton to do that. there's certain things that -- i come back to the fact that the public sort of expects this out of this president and they sort of expect the people around him to stop him from doing things that could be harmful to the country and so far it's worked for three years. >> that raises a larger question, not just about bolton, but many, many national security aides to the president, mcmaster, mattis, tillerson, many of them have come to the conclusion, like bolton, that the president of the united states is a danger to our national security and the fact that none of these advisors has spoken out loud and instead comes to reporters, like many of us, and tells us about these things without being willing to go public, is they too are craven, the same way we're seeing in the senate. we should know about this from
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the people who experienced it before we got to this point with bolton, before we got to this point with mattis, kelly and on and on. >> remember the ukraine policy under this president is actually the right policy as opposed to the old president was not. >> not about the policy, rick. >> it is about the policy. ultimately that's what we're dealing with. >> under law really. >> yeah, let's leave it. we've got to leave it there. >> i understand. >> rick, thank you. how history might look at what happened today and next week's outcome. i'm still going for my , even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i'll go for that. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. what's next? sharing my roots. don't stop taking eliquis unless your doctor tells you to,
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one that ended with a surprise that didn't see coming. joining us to discuss. cnn presidential historian. since you are a historian. can you put today in perspective? obviously history is being written. it's not clear how this will be seen. what do you think? >> i expect that the president would be acquitted. and for me what was important was the journey. i have been thinking about this since the statement and then the statement from murkowski and rubio. because they have a profound significance. in the 1970s, senators and
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members of the congress began to absorb the data that proved that the president of the united states abused enormous power of the presidency. to hurt people. in ways that weren't necessarily violation of statute. the president had an enemy list to use the irs to go after people. the president had the fbi dig up dirt on people. the president forced parts of the government so shift money around so his opponents didn't receive federal assistance. not all of this was a violation of some very precise statute. not just democrats but democrats and republicans together in the water gate process began to think we don't have enough protection against abuse of power. fast forward to the arguments now. the president can abuse power and not be removed. the president there are different kinds of abuse of
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power. abuse of power are never going to be subject to impeachment because they're not violations of the law. 1970s bipartisan coalition formed that said a violation of the law, that's one reason to be moved out of office. you can violate our constitutional system you can pose a danger to the constitutional system without violating a law. >> for many of the senators this could be the way they're remembered. this vote. >> no question. it was very interesting. last night. he was reading a book that i coauthored. he was reading it on the floor. and he was reading i think he was reading about andrew johnson. and picked one part of the story where the deciding vote which resulted in the acquittal is by a senator named ross.
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he argues the president didn't commit a crime and shouldn't be removed. he is fastening on that. as a way of trying to explain why the house managers could be right and yet the impeachment is wrong. i think to myself, you worked in the nixon administration. you saw the consequences of the cover up on the the country and your friends. how, how could you reach back in time and pull out a parallel that is not relevant when the one that is relevant is staring you in the face. the nixon parallel. >> thank you. appreciate it. we'll be right back.
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our impeachment trial coverage continues. let's turn it over for chris cuomo "prime time." >> there has never been any impeachment trial in this country with no witnesses. can't say that anymore. our disgrace is now defining us. the acquittal a foregone conclusion. we knew that. this skipping of process. this perversion of process and it is the first time we have seen a party in power try one of its own. and they have brought every point of cynicism now to bare as truth. question is, where do we go from here? let's get after it.