tv Washington Journal Henry Olsen CSPAN January 17, 2020 6:40pm-7:19pm EST
impeachment of donald john trump, president of the united pending, you will do impartial justice according to the constitution and laws, so help you god? >> we do. announcer: for the third time in history, a president is on trial in the u.s. senate. watch live on tuesday when the trial resumes at 1:00 eastern on c-span2. is an opinion columnist for the washington post and senior fellow with ethics and public policy center let's begin with the new evidence revealed. in the last week here as well as parnas interviews and the details he is giving about his claims that the resident, vice president, attorney general and other knew about the directive from giuliani to the ukrainian government. >> i think that certainly makes him a witness of interest if the senate is going to call witnesses. going to call witnesses. i also think what we will have to do is rely on documents he
provides, rather than what he says himself. as a person who is under indictment, he has a reason to find evidence that can implicate people higher up than him. ultimately, it will be contemporaneous documents that assess whether or not he is telling the truth and to what degree he is telling the truth. host: what is your reaction to the evidence so far? the documents that have been released, and the remarks he has made in these interviews. guest: i think the real question is going to be, with respect to pens, attorney general barr, there are no impeachment proceedings against them. if the house chooses, they can launch impeachment proceedings against them as well.
i doubt what he has added has added significant weight to what we know. askedw the president ukraine to launch political investigations into his opponent. he is providing, at best, some weak collaboration from what we already know. host: do you believe the president was asking for an investigation into a political rebel for his own political gain? do you think that rises to the level of impeachment? guest: i think it is clear he was doing that. i think it is an impeachable offense. the question is whether it is in the interest of the public to remove him in light of the political controversy we have had over the trump presidency. the question of what is good for the country as opposed to the trump,question of th personally.
if the senate were to remove him, you would effectively enrage half of the country. that would cause irreparable damage to our democracy. host: if you don't remove him, what happens with the other half of the country. guest: the other half of the country, many of them have wanted to impeach him since before he was inaugurated, if you look at polls. 60% of democrats said they wanted to impeach him within two weeks of his inauguration. havee he could of -- could committed an impeachable offense. we have a debate over whether he is fit for the job. that should be a political question the people should decide in november. host: do you think they should allow witnesses? guest: i think they should be evenhanded. it should not be a one-way trip. there should not be witnesses for the prosecution and no witnesses for the defense. it is not a criminal trial. this is ultimately a question of
senators deciding what is good for the united states of america. that means that if the senate wants to, they should definitely and havee questions joe biden and hunter biden on what they weree doing. have them on the same. once the president in fact uncovering a case of public mistrust, misuse of public trust? that would be an appropriate use of presidential power or executive power. if the senate wants to investigate that, it is completely relevant to the charge and they should do so. host: what would hunter biden testify to? guest: we don't know. the question is, the reason that the president was asking, aside from personal and political reasons is if what was going on was a case of, as vice president
biden said, his sole surviving son, who we know as a troubled person, the vice president of the united states, who is in charge of the policy of ukraine, was having conversations with his son about american policy, that is something that is relevant. the potential is not for actual public misuse of public trust, or a strong perception of that, that is something that needs to come out. that is relevant. host: let's get to the cause. megan in glassboro, new jersey, republican. caller: how are you doing? host: good morning. theer: i just think that divide in this country is at an all-time high right now. the media is reaching for this
one. there are so many red flags as far as the bidens. hunter biden plus cousin, phil mccracken -- hunter biden's cousin, phil mccracken, is slicing baloney. host: all right. what do you think about the media role in all of this? guest: i think that the media has been trying to remove president trump from office, almost since day one. there has been a large amount of animus and story selection and suspension of credibility or suspension of belief over allegations that would hurt the in trying to find out evidence that would support the president. that is one of the reasons you don't find a lot of these .tories they don't believe the
messenger, having seen the intentions of the messengers, straight up. brad,in santa ana, texas, a republican. you are on air with henry olsen. caller: thank you for taking my call. on this impeachment, i think he will be acquitted really fast. democrats are so delusional, i was listening to a lady from california. she was talking about, you know, the homeless in california. .he drug epidemic in california and, you know, it's her governor. it is the governor of california. pelosi, going back to the impeachment. it all ties in. people whoe seven
are going to be -- whatever. all from either new york, california, you know, all of these liberal states. they never liked the man. they come down the escalator. they were already starting to impeach him. host: bread, they are also from are alsobrad, they from texas, colorado and florida. go ahead on your thoughts. guest: i think it is clear that there is a strong partisan animus to both the house vote and to a number of the comments by democratic senators. they have convicted trump since before anything came out. in that sense, i cannot blame them. 80 or more percent of their voters want the man out.
to say there is not partisan animus is to deny. host: on both sides. guest: of course but it is not the republicans who are leading the prosecution. the prosecution is claiming disinterest when what we are really doing is seeing an extension of a four-year political battle. why i don't think he should be removed from office. it should be decided by the american people through elections in the absence of such oughtmisconduct that you not to ignore. this is a case where the president did something that is arguably impeachable but is not so gross that we should take the decisions out of the hands of the american people. host: with republicans controlling the senate, how should the majority leader, mitch mcconnell call, and the other republicans conduct
themselves during these proceedings to preserve their legacy? guest: i think their legacy is going to be written by the people who win the ultimate popular decision. which is to say, their legacy -- they should not be worried about legacy as it will be written by liberal historians who have decided what they want them to do, which is capitulate to what the democrats want. jobink they are doing their by representing their voters and presenting their case. as far as preserving the legacy of concern, i think that is code word for capitulation and what they should be doing is what they are doing, which is representing, using their power to represent their side of the american popular debate and doing it in a way that is transparent for the american people to decide. host: terry, independent. caller: yes, i believe that this coming from the fear and desperation of the democratic party knowing that trump will be elected again.
--on't think that is all this is about. voting,o avoid the next which will be in his favor. i want you to know that the media has never even mentioned the great trade deal he made with china. that is disgraceful. that is important to the american people and they should know it. that is how the democrats do. host: we talked about it a couple of times this week with members of congress who signed that deal and the senate, yesterday approving the u.s.-mexico-canada trade deal as well. this, youu make of can respond to her but also this legislation that is happening while they are doing impeachments. guest: three points. one is that c-span has done a
fabulous job of providing information to the american people. lumps c-spananyone -- lumping c-span with the media is doing a disservice. written how money policy successes the president has had and how little they are talked about. it is not that they are not mentioned. they are mentioned below the fold or in passing. . think that is a real problem i think that people are beginning to notice that. hey, there is actual things that are going on that affect my life. instead, we are basically engaged in the political version of a so proper. the third question is, i am supportive of the usmca. i think that is a wonderful tong the president has done update a 25-year-old trade agreement. i think the china deal is a
truce in an ongoing trade war. it is not in america's interest to have a return to the pre-trump chinese relationship that was providing american money and intellectual property to a techno italian state that is building a military to influence its democratic neighbors and challenge our preeminence. we need to disengage from china. if this truce leads to a capitulation from the next president, i think my children will rue the day that decision was made. burke, virginia, alexander. good morning. caller: thank you for c-span for taking my call. couple of things i would like to say. firstly, i am disappointed in c-span for having such an intellectually dishonest guest on. he has misrepresented donald
trump's support, left and right on this show this morning. he did not even want trump until -- i will explain. untilp did not want trump it was too late in the primaries and they had burned through all of their candidates. they had 15 or 16 candidates if i remember correctly. most people don't vote in america trade out of those who voted, you know, less people voted for donald trump than for hillary clinton. anda very small minority vocal minority have hijacked our government. that is why we saw democrats win in 2018. that is why we will see them win in 2020. onto the impeachment trial, i hope everyone has taken a look at the documents that were released to the house intelligence committee, regarding the surveillance fund of jovanovich.
it is something out of a dystopian monster movie. that people in government think that it is fine to be communicating with lev parnas. of every major gop player, including kevin mccarthy, who is very adamant about not knowing who lev parnas is. interested in seeing him come before the senate and lay out all of his goods that he has. in one of the pictures with kevin mccarthy, you can see that lev parnas is wearing a microphone and a wire up his sleeve. what he has to see for us. host: got it. olsen, i will have your response. guest: pictures don't prove
people know people. i met prime minister johnson. i have a picture with prime minister johnson. he doesn't remember that he took a picture with me at a private party for over 30 seconds. anyone who is in politics knows what that means. secondly, donald trump is supported by 80 to 90% of republican voters. his job approval rating is 45%. he has millions of people who support him. the claim that that is not the case is simply not true. even in the primaries, he won a clear plurality of votes. when it was one-on-one, he was winning majorities of votes. republicans who picked other candidates decided they would support donald trump. he may well lose the reelection. you say the odds are with the democratic challenger. it is simply denying reality to say that there are not about 50
to 80 million people in the united states who strongly support the president. virginia, karen, democratic call i. caller: listen -- host: democratic caller. caller: if you don't believe pictures, you don't believe tax. and bred out of donald trump and his behavior when he came into office and where he is now. at the end of the day, i don't care how much you want to spin it, there is dysfunction in the white house. there is turnover like we have never seen in american history. not to mention, his refusal, or to obstruction for witnesses appear. if you think that is a model of standard for someone that i want to see represent my country, you have another think coming. one last thing about joe biden's son. at the end of the day, i can't stand it when people talk about talks son when they don't
about ivanka trump and jared kushner, representing american companies with no experience. i can appreciate your support for trump. don't be two-sided or two-faced. call it like it is. if that's your boy, that's your boy. don't misunderstand that there is a tremendous amount of people could have supported donald trump. all of this nonsense with iran, this nonsense with syria, i'm running out of phrases. host: i will have mr. olson respond. guest: i do call it like i see it. i am one of the few who praises and criticizes trump. my hate mail alternates between republicans and mccright to think i am a blooming idiots. . the debate has been going on for four years. who think i ams a blooming idiot. the debate has been going on for four years.
under the electoral college yet the majority of votes in the electoral college. that is a debate for the american people to have. that is why i don't support removing him even though there have been legitimate concerns and indictments. i think he did do something very wrong with the call to the president of ukraine. with what we have seen with respect to the callers, i think the american people should make that decision, not senators who are under pressure from the intellectual lead from the capital. colorado springsd come republican. , thank you olsen for what you do. i know you're taking criticism. lady, if they will look at one american news.com, it will explain everything about hunter biden and other things
that went back to 2014. it is a three-part investigation and it had been turned over to william barr and the department of justice. they are looking into it. it explains what popped up lately and the other things that were going on with hunter biden. it is document it with witnesses , and paperwork. it is legit. exactly whatlain trump was talking about to the leader of ukraine. the treaty that bill clinton signed gives lots of leeway to the ukrainian leader and president trump when they cooperate with each other to flush out crime and crimes that are going on and other incidents, whether it is this year or back to 2014, during the previous administration.
lastly, if she wants to look that up, she will get a lot of answers that she criticized you for. pictures, documents, whatever she wants. thanks again for c-span. i am sorry you had to deal with that caller from ohio who was rude to the congressman to nebraska. have a great day. i think that, with respect to the bidens, there has not been a clear legal investigation of what is going on. we will find out whether or not the attorney general or the prosecutors believed that there was enough evidence to levy an indictment. i think it is a political matter. there is no question about what went on that if the senate wants to hear from witnesses like lev parnas, they should want to hear from witnesses that would assess whether or not, under oath, the
bidens or some of their associates will explain what conversations took place between them that may or may not have influenced the vice president's decision with respect to the united states policy in ukraine. it is as valid of a line of inquiry as any other line of inquiry that is being advanced by the senate democrats. host: what would that prove? how would that prove the president's argument that he was only concerned about corruption? guest: the essential question that the democrats are saying is was the president's motive impure. and that, he was coming in to try and manufacture or unveil dirt against a political opponent. he was using a public office for private gain. if in fact there was a public wrong being done in a previous administration, that would
demonstrate that there was a of violating the law or a misuse of public policy. there would be a public interest in uncovering it. so, i think that it is worth finding out what was actually done and actually said. we all know that stories can change when there are legal penalties attached to it. right now, anyone associated with the bidens can save what they want to the media. no legal consequence to misleading the media. there is a legal consequence to misleading congress. host: the new york times editorial board defends the speakers decision to -- speaker's decision to hold on to the articles of impeachment. the united states and bester was
surveilled and possibly targeted or harmed by people directly connected to trump aids. the ukrainian gas company, central, president trump personally directed a scheme to collect dirt on joe biden. the president ordered it, even though it broke the law by withholding the aid. at least one trump aid is willing to testify. her say that legitimizes reason to hold on to the articles of impeachment. guest: i said that from a political standpoint, she was wise to do that. it managed interparty tensions. most of the claims are facts. wrote in a report that says they believe the law was broken. that does not prove the law was broken. it is the opinion of the authors.
lawe want to claim that the is broken, let's go before a trial and actually assess whether or not a law was broken. by that logic, she should continue to hold on to the articles forever and other evidence that goes unchallenged before any other body comes out theprovide no republican ability to argue to the contrary. susan collins is right. the house retched to judgment. rushed to judgment. whatold enough to remember took place over months of painstaking hearing as opposed the house put together to get an indictment pushed out the door. i think that they would be standing on much stronger ground if they had followed the longgate example and had a
, thorough investigation as opposed to what we saw on the house floor in october and november. host: arthur in san diego, democratic caller. caller: it is early here so please excuse me. i did not catch the first of the program. i may be wrong. did c-span mention the policy and ethics center or ethics and like acenter is religious organization? if they did, saint augustine itht say what is the base of ? one can almost see -- i'm sorry. i forgot his name. host: henry olsen. 's approach would be conservative and supportive of
the president and not really unbiased and fair. i know it says ethics and policy. it might be more opinion than policy. host: we will have him explain. guest: it is a think tank like hundreds of others. it supports the application of judeo christian policies. host: is a conservative? guest: yes. it is more conservative. most of our scholars are vociferously opposed to president trump. pete has written countless columns and books criticizing president trump. consequently, to say we are conservative, therefore we have a party line and are opposed or ,upportive of president trump people disagree. more of our scholars disagree intensely.
i am on the fence. i say things good or bad. try and shoehorn , all you have to do is read what i write. host: who gathered you together and who funds the effort? by ed we are hired whelan, the president. we have a complete free reign. nobody asks us to write anything. none of us clears anything we write with anybody beforehand. we are funded by contributions just like every other c3 in town is funded by contributions from foundations. quincy,om massachusetts, joe, democratic caller. caller: good morning greta, good morning mr. olsen. when he says am
successful impeachment is probably going to split this country. host: joe, can you say that last part over? you broke up. caller: ok. i believe that if the impeachment is successful, it will split this country in ways that probably is not imaginable, given the way things are already. i also believe that president trump is doing a pretty good job with the economy. he has negotiated a lot of great deals. i got to know a lot of republicans from watching the hearings and there were a lot of incredibly intelligent and dedicated republicans that i would vote for them in a heartbeat if they were to run for office. i don't think this impeachment is an impeachment on the republican party. i don't see trump as a true
republican. he is doing his own thing. he was a democrat, historically and he moved to republican. not supportive of republicans when he was running. now, he is being supported by republicans because if they say anything against them, he holds a rally in their state and makes sure they will not get reelected into the congress. it is like he is holding his party ransom. he is doing some good things. what i would like to see is, let's bring forth all of the witnesses into this congressional investigation. i think, even the bidens if they need to come in. bring in everybody and let's let america look at all of the facts and have congress on both sides decide based on real evidence and real documents. host: ok. guest: that may very well be something that we see. a number of republican senators
are open to witnesses being called. there have to be witnesses from both sides. there will be reciprocity. democrats want to call certain witnesses, the president's lawyers get to call certain witnesses of their choosing. that would be fair and let the american people decide on the basis of facts. the thing is, we don't know what witnesses might say. democrats assume john bolton will be a witness for the prosecution. as we learn from robert mueller, expectations sometimes don't come out. he demonstrated himself unfamiliar with the contents of his own report. be careful what you wish for. it may not be what you wish for. host: in florida, sean, independent. caller: good morning. i have two things. first, these republicans and , it is the
constitution that war. bleeds in that war. republicans who are notoriously simple about history, as you actuallyonald trump, i understand what president trump is doing. ego, number one. that trumps everything else. racist, iave been a don't know. probably. bigot,e be a sexist or a i don't know. probably. the thing is that his ego trumps that. once he became president, i think he just ran to make money.
once he became president, his ego got to where he is like i'm going to try to be the best president i can be. thates things in a way will try to get that done. the problem is you have to look at his history. trump was known as the kickback king. knowne who could be as the kickback king and has been sued for misrepresentation, someone who has filed bankruptcy all of those times, he has a way about how he does things. now he becomes president, he tells you, the phone call was perfect. who talks like that? for you to say the phone call was perfect, you had to in your mind make it perfect. guest: i think that president self has a strong personal regard and it has been on for 40 for the people
years. that is why he has polarizing views. you either love that or you hate him. there are few people who are ambivalent. kansas,ane in republican, what do you think? caller: i have a question and a couple of comments. releases opinion that the white house violated the impoundment control act by withholding the congressionally appropriated aid. fistful --that the fiscal year ends in october for the government. is there a time that president trump had to appropriate this money? released before the end of the fiscal year. that is one point. the second point is, i am reading in a couple of paces -- places, none of them are in the m media, that the same
gao found the obama violated then law seven different times. is there some sort of action that was ever taken in regard to any of those violations? host: let me jump in. notedng, there wa it was that there is no penalty with the gao ruling. i think that is what you are getting at. they don't have any way to prosecute. guest: they don't. they are not a legal authority. they are an oversight accounting board that is within the united states government to try and ensure things are done efficiently. host: george in hudson, florida, republican. caller: how are you doing, greta? host: good morning. caller: it is a wonderful thing
to see some good things come out of that man's mouth. you know what? i have been sitting and i have been trying to tread water in the sea of stupidity. i can't believe what some of these people are saying. these democrats are just losing their minds against trump. he has been the greatest , i don't know, probably the greatest president ever. he has done so much more for this country than obama, clinton, either one of the bushes and we have to impeach him. ? it does not make any sense to me. the foreign minister of ukraine of asked -- prime minister ukraine was asked a question. .t was on a cnn exclusive question about
havearnas and he said, i not spoken with lev parnas. again, frankly, i don't trust any word he is saying. what is going on with lev parnas? can he be called? if he can, why don't they send these impeachment papers back to and have back to nancy them finish up their impeachment proceedings? they have got nothing to go on. host: ok. guest: certainly mr. parnas could be someone who could be subpoenaed if that is something that a majority of the senators vote on. house, iect to the said earlier, i think they should have been more deliberate as opposed to the rush for judgment that we saw. thee is nothing that stops house from restarting an impeachment investigation if the senate vote know on these
articles. this is not a criminal trial. double jeopardy does not apply. the house can investigate over and over and over again and send articles to the senate, no matter how may times the senate chooses not to do it. they have it within their power to restart an investigation. who knows? maybe they will. host: henry olsen, senior fellow journal,'s washington live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. morning, saturday chief operating officer of the 2020 women's march, discusses the march and the role of women's voters. and walk away camp in founder toks about his movement persuade democrats to leave their party. matthew roy jansky discusses developmen