tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN May 8, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
the president has responded by invoking executive privilege. he declined to speak to reporters moments ago as he left the white house for florida. i'm brook baldwin. thank you for being with me today. "the lead with jake tapper" starts now. president trump asserts executive privilege to block further release of the very report that he claims clears him of all wrongdoing. "the lead" starts right now. president trump blocking congress from getting the full mueller report, unredacted and all. this hour democratic lawmakers get set to hold attorney barr in contempt of congress for not turning it over. it's a widening partisan chasm that could lead to a true constitutional crisis. then another week, another deadly school shooting and another student killed when he rushed the shooter to stop the carnage this is the reality of classrooms in america today. this hour the parents of the young hero who sacrificed to
save lives. plus, strange bed fellows. the private conversation, previously private, between actor and comedian tom arnold and michael cohen. candid talk from cohen about the democrats, president trump, kim jong-un, even a charles manson cameo. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with breaking news on our politics lead. any moment democrats will vote to hold attorney bill barr in contempt of congress for failing to turn over the full, unredacted version of mueller's report and the underlying evidence. this comes amid an escalating showdown between house democrats and the white house. president trump today exerting executive privilege on the full, unredacted version of the mueller report and all underlying materials subpoenaed by house democrats on the judiciary committee. in a letter released today the assistant attorney general wrote as we have repeatedly explained the attorney general could not comply with your subpoena in its
current form without violating the law, court rules and court orders. that is an apparent reference to top-secret grand jury testimony and other materials that had been previously redacted. this all comes as the white house has made something of a stonewall strategy to refuse to comply with the questions made by house democrats as part of their oversight responsibilities including trying to get the president's taxes, find out more information about his finances and the attorney general's refusal to testify before a democratic led committee. senior congressional correspondent manu is on capitol hill. what are the next steps for democrats? >> reporter: jake, we do expect the committee to vote some time this afternoon or evening to hold the attorney general in contempt along party lines after a bitter partisan fight has consumed all day, democrats and republicans sparring over the meaning of the mueller report,
and democrats engaged over the white house's move to cite executive privilege. some democrats now talking about impeachment. a dramatic escalation in the war between the white house and house democrats. president trump invoked executive privilege to prevent congress from getting the full, unredacted mueller report and its underlying evidence. the move came moments before the house judiciary committee scheduled a vote to hold the attorney general, bill barr, in contempt. >> this is unprecedented. if allowed to go unchecked this obstruction means the end of congressional oversight. as a co-equal branch of government we should not and cannot allow this to continue. >> if it weren't for him being president, he would be in prison with michael cohen today as individual one, and he obstructed justice. >> reporter: some democrats in a move to defy congress on all fronts means the house should start to move towards
impeachment. >> do i think we're inching closer to it every day the president has a blanket privilege or just saying he's going to obstruct the congressional investigation? yes. for me we're inching towards it. >> reporter: you think they should talk about other things like impeachment? >> i think we have to talk about it. >> reporter: in a letter to congress the justice department argued it could not comply with democrats' request without violating the law and said the president has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials, a position the white house strongly defended. >> as long as congress and this committee continue to ask the attorney general to commit a crime, the president and the attorney general will continue to uphold the law. >> reporter: house republicans defended the president. >> i think -- i mean, it's an appropriate move at this point in time. >> reporter: and attacked committee chairman jerry nadler, saying nadler acted in bad faith after refusing to review another
report which has released the vast majority of mueller's report. >> it's about trying to destroy bill barr. they're afraid he will find out how and why this investigation started in the first place. >> reporter: now after the committee votes to hold the attorney general in contempt, the full house will take up the matter soon and then expect a prolonged court fight and, jake, democrats wondering what kind of chilling effect this could have on their investigation going forward and also questioning whether or not bob mueller will come before this very committee, the house judiciary committee this month as democrats had hoped. jake? >> thanks so much, manu raju. a former prosecutor, legally, now that the white house has exerted executive privilege, is it likely that's it for democrats being able to get the materials? >> definitely not. i don't think the courts are going to go with the idea that it's a complete blanket
protection. it defies common sense. they're going to break it down and look at, for example, any waiver issues and in terms of the sublts. a no-brainer point would be issues that arose prior to him becoming president. doesn't seem like they were be subject to executive privilege. >> sarah, republicans argue, look, most of the mueller report has not been redacted. most of it is there and jerry nadler can go to a private room and see almost all of it. not all of it but almost all of it. >> it raises the question whether this was the best decision for the democrats to move forward on this contempt issue and goad the white house into issuing executive privilege. if you go through the mueller report there are very few redactions. the committee will see more of this. some has to do with ongoing investigations. these things are redacted for a
reason. the reasons are to protect the president. it is congress' duty to do oversight. and if they want the underlying investigative materials for that reason, i think they're making the argument they should see and this should be up to the courts to figure out. >> a democrat of georgia earlier today saying -- confirming for what a lot of republicans think this is really all about. >> we have lawful responsibilities, constitutional responsibilities, to engage in, one of which is possibly impeachment. how can we impeach without getting the documents? >> how can we impeach without getting the documents? >> wouldn't have been how i would have phrased it but, look, i think the person who is leading this effort in determination the strategy is nancy pelosi. she's gotten a lot of criticism from the left wing of the party,
people who want her to move more quickly. she's listening to the members, many of which are hesitant about this especially when they are in vulnerable seats. what they're also doing strategically is trying to make the public case and they are trying to bring the public along with them for impeachment f. we're sitting here with nancy pelosi and a glass of wine and chocolate, she would love to impeach donald trump, of course she would. probably more than almost anyone else, but she wants to do it in a way that will be successful. i hope other democrats won't repeat how congressman hank johnson said that. though his intention, where he's coming from, is recommend tiff where, sure, a number of people who don't say it publicly. >> the other context of this, the white house has decided as a strategy to just not comply with anything that house democrats are trying to do as a matter of oversight which is a responsibility of the house of representatives. take a listen to congressman
jerrold nadler, the chairman. >> the administration has announced loud and clear that it does not recognize as a co-equal branch of government with oversight authority, and it will continue to wage its campaign of obstruction. >> what do you make of that? >> there's oversight and overkill. this is overkill. you heard the president say this is harassment. they've taken the political measure, since the mueller report came out, the president's poll numbers have tracked upward. they've not gone down. i think the democrats make a marked political judgment of making this president actually look sympathetic. >> that suggested the stonewalling is happening with the mueller report and that's not true. it's happening on all fronts. >> if it was a democratic president doing this to a republican congress, you bet you would be sitting on this panel with your hair on fire and
singing a different tune. >> since i don't have any hair that would be a feat in and of itself. >> alternate universe. >> alternate universe you have hair. >> take a listen to sarah sanders today. >> secretary nadler is trying to defy the law. the president is upholding it. as long as congress and this committee continue to ask the attorney general to economy a crime. >> this is her making the argument the grand jury materials are not allowed to be released. she's saying the attorney general is being asked to break the law by chairman nadler. >> how sad it is that can you go out there and be a serial liar and represent an administration, republican or democratic. we watch that every day and i rooted for her from the beginning. nadler, i hope he's not following the rules, yes, the legal rules.
we need to not play the game we've always played. we're dealing with donald trump. he was pretty tough today, i think. what he's trying -- >> nadler was? >> nadler was. he's trying to make clear he is not going to stand by and accept not sharing documents, not being transparent with information. he will keep pushing. he doesn't want to give any leg on it. >> a lot of americans say you could read 92% of the report. >> almost the entirety. >> the stuff that's not protected by grand jury or other ongoing -- >> 99.8%. >> maybe he hasn't even seen it. mueller will come up there, let's see what he has to say. >> and nadler had a good comeback. you want this information, too.
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the politics lead now, president trump moments ago left the white house headed for a rally in florida this evening. it's the second time today the president shut down the chance to take questions from reporters. the president is usually rather chatty. he faces a lot of questions about his personal finances today as house democrats weighed their next move to try to obtain the president's tax returns. "the new york times" obtained printouts of tax transcripts belonging to mr. trump. "the times" found then private citizen trump lost a billion dollars in a decade, more than any other american at the time, "the times" says. as kaitlan collins reports the president is pushing back trying to protect his image as the ultimate deal maker. >> i'm really rich.
i can assure you that. >> reporter: it's a line president trump used time and time again to win the white house. today a devastating report in "the new york times" casts doubt on his claims, years of unrevealed figures from his federal income tax returns reveal when donald trump was a real estate mogul his empire suffered staggering losses. trump larking out today calling the report a hit job and tweeting that you always wanted to show losses for tax purposes. almost all real estate developers did and often renegotiate with banks. it was sport. the numbers from the decades before he was a candidate show he spent at least ten years deep in the red as his core businesses including casinos, hotels, and apartment buildings reported losses totaling over $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994. >> i built a tremendous business. >> reporter: but in 1990 and 1991 alone those business losses
were more than $250 million a year, according to "the times." in fact, trump lost so much money he paid no federal income tax for eight of those ten years, and in multiple years trump, quote, appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual american taxpayer "the times" says. the devastating report coming as the white house is locked in a standoff with house democrats over trump's tax returns. >> it tells me nothing. it does tell us, though, it would be useful to see his tax returns as the law says. >> reporter: trump is the first president since the nixon era to not release his returns. treasury secretary steven mnuchin has refused to hand them over to congress and the president insists he's still under audit. >> while i'm under audit i would not give my taxes. >> reporter: and, jake, the information that is in "the new york times" report does not include the years of tax returns
the administration is currently fighting over. now people close to the president say one of the most sensitive things, things he's the most sensitive about, is when it comes to his financial information especially when it's on the front page of "the new york times." today the president closed a cabinet meeting to reporters even though they were initially scheduled to be allowed to come in for that. he did not take our questions on this report and other topics today when he was leaving the white house for a rally in florida. >> you're suggesting he's sensitive to the topic. i hear you. kaitlan collins at the white house, thanks so much. let's talk about this. according to "the times" trump's businesses lost over a billion dollars in ten years. he appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual american taxpayer. why does this matter? >> it's impressive. i think this goes to the further debunking the narrative the president has built around himself even when he was running for president that he was this great deal maker that built this
fortune himself, and that's what he can do for the country when in reality a lot of this was his father's money. he wasn't a great deal maker. he lost all that money. it's an emperor isn't wearing any clothes situation. now, do i think this will hurt the president with the people that love him most? no, i don't. >> what do you think, david, as one of the people who love him most? >> listen, i think it's very interesting to the people reading "the new york times" and that's about it. >> you think it will have no impact? >> i think it was baked in. people who live in the philly suburbs, who got "the new york post" at the time used to see the president's picture on the front pages talking about how much money he lost. if you took a bus from the philly area to one of the casinos he owned in new jersey and watched the ride down, everybody knew trump lost tons of money. the president ran on the
narrative he's a very successful businessman and the fact that he did lose tons of money. >> and that is the narrative part of this which is the president has cast himself as the ultimate deal maker. here is a clip of that. >> we lost, for many years now, $800 billion a year in trade. who the hell makes these deals? you're probably saying to yourself, those are not good negotiators. >> yes. and when you're running for re-election as president trump is, you are tested not just on what you are saying on the stump which people either obviously didn't care about or didn't disprove at the time but also whether you delivered on things. i don't know if he's going to go out there and say i'm the best businessman and deal maker in the world. and then what will democrats do? they will run ads that say he lost more money than any other american. he's delivered on nothing since he became president except for tax cuts for the wealthiest. they'll do that. what i'm interested in, david, too, it showed that he paid no
taxes eight of the ten years. i'm sure that trend probably continued. he gave no money to charity. i don't know that his base cares about that. he can't win with just his base. there are a lot of people in the middle. >> the house judiciary committee is voting on whether or not to hold attorney general bill barr in contempt. let's listen in. >> mr. stanton? >> aye. >> mr. stanton votes aye. ms. dean? >> aye. >> miss dean votes aye. miss powell? >> aye. >> miss powell votes aye. miss escobar? >> aye. >> miss escobar votes aye. mr. collins? >> no. >> mr. collins votes no. mr. sensenbrenner? >> no. >> mr. sensenbrenner votes no. mr. cha bought? mr. chabot votes no. mr. gomer votes no. mr. jordan? >> no. >> mr. jordan votes no. mr. buck? >> no. >> mr. buck votes no.
mr. ratcliffe? >> no. >> mr. ratcliffe votes no. ms. roby? >> no. >> ms. roby votes no. mr. gates? mr. johnson of louisiana? >> no. >> mr. johnson of louisiana votes no. >> no. >> votes no. miss lesco? >> no. >> no. >> mr. kleine? >> no. >> mr. kleine votes no. mr. armstrong? >> no. >> mr. armstrong votes no. >> mr. stuby? votes no. >> has everyone who wishes to be recorded been recorded? has the gentleman from tennessee been recorded? does the general from tennessee
wish to be recorded? >> yes. >> how does the general from tennessee wish to be recorded? >> mr. cohen votes aye. >> we have two more people coming in. >> mr. chairman? mr. chairman? >> the gentleman from georgia. >> after all the eloquent speech today, i forgot, am i recorded? >> mr. collin, you're recorded as no. >> thank you. >> madam clerk, how am i recorded? >> mr. nadler, you're recorded as aye. >> i wish to be rorecorded as a. the gentle lady from texas? >> how am i recorded? >> you are recorded as aye. >> i think that's correct, thank you. >> the gentleman from ohio? how is the gentleman from ohio recorded? >> you're recorded as no. >> mr. chairman? >> the gentleman from rhode island. >> mr. chairman, is it
appropriate for us to enter into colloquy? >> we're in the middle of a vote. >> you are recorded as aye. >> thank you. that is correct. >> the gentleman from louisiana? >> aye. >> mr. richmond votes aye. >> the gentleman from maryland. >> you are recorded as aye. >> thank you very much. >> who seeks recognition? how is mr. johnson of louisiana recorded? >> mr. johnson of louisiana, you are recorded as no. >> for the benefit of members and everyone else present we have two members coming back
from a hearing. we're going to hold the vote open momentarily. we're going to hold the vote open until they get here momentarily. hopefully momentarily. people don't have to keep asking -- >> as we wait for the other two errant members to show up for this vote, let's chat while they're taking it in. this appears to be a strictly party line vote, democrats voting to hold bill bar in contempt. >> it doesn't look like everyone -- this is a party line vote. it is yet another way for democrats to show that the white house and this administration is trying to essentially obstruct them and the oversight. how have you furthered your quest to get any information, are you any further than where
were you last week when we were eating fried chicken in the halls of congress. it seems they goaded the white house into exerting privilege. >> it was seven years ago, june 2012, when the congress, the house oversight voted to hold then democratic attorney general eric holder in contempt of congress for not turning over to the fast and furious scandal. it doesn't show up in the person's biography. >> probably not although that was a different circumstance and holder testified ten times and provided thousands of documents. it was part son. what was at stake then was entirely different from what's at stake now and figuring out
who knew what. that is different than the fast and furious controversy i would say. >> the only thing is the exertion of privilege. and belief it was their responsibility to conduct over the democratic white house and now the tables are turned. >> this will go through the courts and probably disappear. i think it took two years with holder. i think we'll see that again here because it's not like the administration is going to rush to do anything with barr. he's not the big fish here. they're focused on mule ir, on
pulling out things they've already seen in the mueller report that they want to question in a hearing. there is more leg to this. >> i think one of the larger issues is just testing congressional authority. making sure congress can do their job and conduct oversight. we're seeing it in ways and means with the tax return. we'll see this a lot. >> what you're talking about is very real but the part decided by the american people is the political theater part of it. people aren't hearing it at town hall meetings to impeach the president.
you'll see people like the attorney general and others. at the end of the day they're doing it for political gain. >> senator amy klobuchar said when she goes to town halls and when she campaigns she's running for president, a democrat from minnesota, people don't ask her about mueller. let's listen in. >> miss lofgren votes aye. >> and the two of you are very welcome to cast your votes. has anyone else who wishes to vote not voted yet? the clerk will report. mr. chairman there are 24 ayes and 16 nos. >> the ayes have it. the committee report is ordered favorably to the house.
i now recognize the ranking member, the gentleman from georgia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. pursuant to clause 2l of rule 11 i hereby give notice of intent to file dissenting views for the inclusion into the report. >> the notice is duly noted. members will have two days to submit views. the committee report will be reported as a single amendment in the nature of a substitute incorporating all adopted amendments and without objection staff is authorized to make technical and conforming changes. this concludes our business for today. thanks to all of our members for attending. without objection the markup is adjourned. >> all right, there it is, a moment in history. the house judiciary committee has voted to hold the attorney general of the united states, bill barr, in contempt of congress, the vote 24-16. 24 ayes, democrats, 16 nos, all republicans. this does not mean that the attorney general has been held in contempt of congress. now it goes to the floor of the entire house of representatives for a full vote.
sarah murray, what i was going to say to you is amy klobuchar says people do not talk to her about mueller. they want to know about health care, about opioids, and yet you don't hear a lot running for president about this. this is what congress is doing today. >> what congress is trying to do is oversight and you can make your own decision at home whether you think they're conducting oversight or whether you think they're conducting a stunt in congress today. we had to run this to the end. we had to figure out whether the trump campaign was clueding w c with the russians. if you want to see the things we think the president did while in office, we'll point to those. read the mueller report.
they're thinking about the real concerns at home, what is their paycheck, how much are they paying for health care, can they provide health care for their families? those running in 2020 are paying attention to that. >> whether or not robert mueller himself will testify. the house judiciary committee sounded as though they had agreed on a date and backed away. no. this is a possible date. is it possible mueller will not testify? >> anything is possible this day and age. congress has to go through them to get him to testify. he wouldn't answer why he is still -- we don't know why mueller is still an employee of the justice department. as much as we know right now that's still who they have to deal with.
if he was a private citizen they would go through him. >> the president did an about-face on this. he said it was up to the attorney general whether or not mueller would testify and the attorney general had testified before the senate. he had no objection. now i don't want him to testify. do you think it's a good idea for the president to try to block mueller from testifying? >> i think at some point mueller will testify whether he's a doj employee. i think the report is out. i think mueller should be able to testify. i think it's good for transparency. sun light is the best disinfectant. we will see. we will be able to discuss in great depth this report. people have been able to read it. we've been able to get along and move past something more constructive. >> what do you think? do you think he should testify? >> of course i do. i think it's clear what president trump is doing.
he is trying to stall and prevent him -- he doesn't want him to testify because he wants to move on. he wants the case to be closed as mcconnell tries to claim yesterday. >> well, it is closed. >> tactically that's what he's trying to do. i think it's pretty clear. don mcgann should testify as well. if you are either of them you want to clear your name and what the perception is of what your conclusions were, what your experience was. i'm a believer. i don't know don mcgann, but he took extensive notes for a reason. he shared those with mueller. i would be surprised if he didn't want to continue to clear his name publicly. he's done that quite a bit. >> the case is closed, that's the point. >> conspiracy. >> the report was issued -- >> the obstruction question is still out there. >> and they can impeach the president, we understand that's the way to move forward. i think it will be left up to the american people. >> their duty is to have people appear for hearings, ask them
questions and conclude the open case that mueller left open. that's what they're doing. >> the administration is doing what they believe they're doing, exserting executive privileges in instances they believe is appropriate. the court will end up deciding it. >> we are waiting for jerry nadler to come out and talk to reporters about what just happened. it was a moment in history. finding the attorney general of the united states in contempt of court. we're going to continue this conversation until that happens. jackie, yesterday the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said case closed. case closed. i got about 300 emails saying case closed. he was talking about conspiracy not obstruction of justice. he really didn't mention that at all. >> that is the open question. there's a dispute even within doj between mueller and barr about what should have happened in that situation and how it was
presented to the american people. there are open questions there and this is what congress wants to get to. will it take a lot of theater to get there? probably. there are open questions why mueller decided to do what he did. >> we have some breaking news. pardon me, david. we have some breaking news in our politics lead which is the republican-led senate intelligence committee has subpoenaed donald trump jr. over the russia investigation. again, this is the republican-led senate intelligence committee. they want him to testify about previous testimony. donald trump jr. is considering pleading the fifth or not appearing at all. this is the republican-controlled senate committee. donald trump jr. testified before the senate judiciary committee in september of 2017. it's the first congressional subpoena we're aware of for one of president trump's children.
this is astounding. it's controlled by republican richa richard burr. >> a lot of unanswered questions in the mueller report when it came to donald trump jr. they ex flord explored the idea, whether he was getting a campaign contribution. he didn't participate in robert mueller's investigation. he has for the senate. it's quler they have more questions. i think it's striking the idea he's considering pleading the fifth. it's another indication of where the white house and by association the trump family stands when it comes to these investigations, this idea that i don't cooperate with you essentially there's nothing that will happen to me anyway, so we will see how that approach could work out for donald trump jr. >> it's surprising to me this
could not happen without the signoff of the republicans leading the committee. >> right. and that's why it's striking that he is weighing these more controversial options like not showing up. that doesn't bode well for -- that doesn't reflect well on the white house who has to deal with these senate republicans. it's not like bird did this without talking to anybody. >> your reaction? >> the senate intelligence committee has a long history. i'm not sure the underlying, use. it is much more serious than the house judiciary committee issuing a subpoena. >> sources are telling cnn that the senate intelligence committee was negotiating this with donald trump jr. and his
attorneys before the mueller report even came out. they resisted because they weren't sure what would be in the mueller report. this is rather curious what questions might donald trump jr. answer. it has to do with previous testimony and whether everything he said matched up squarely with the facts in the mueller report. >> there were a lot of references in the mueller report and things as a reader you were not sure what the conclusion was or what happened there. we don't know what happened in september of 2017. >> it was behind closed doors. >> so one would assume there are questions whether there's a consistency there. we don't know this but this could be one direction. is it consistent with how he testified? that could be one line of questioning. it certainly is interesting and burr, if you look back, have
started off working quite well together in a very bipartisan time in the road. maybe this is a slight return in a bipartisan fashion. the senate, i think, though it's led by republicans, moments they have bucked president trump and the administration on a couple of issues, yemen, funding at the border, and maybe that's where we'll see some of this. this could be an example. >> the biggest tension between senator warner, the leading democrat on senate intelligence and senator burr, the chairman and the republican, is basically in interpretation of the evidence. burr saying there's no evidence proving conspiracy and warner's opinion there's lot of circumstantial evidence and that's important, too. but there have been bombs, as you point out. here comes chairman nadler. let's listen in.
>> are we all here? this was a very grave and momentous step we were forced to take today to move a contempt citation against the attorney general of the united states. we did not relish doing this but we have no choice. attorney general barr having proved himself to be the personal attorney to president trump rather than to the united states by misleading the public as to the contents of the mueller report twice, by not being truthful with congress has not shown himself to be the personal attorney of the united
states rather than the attorney general. a greater step further in turning the entire department of justice. into an instrument of trump personally rather than an instrument of justice and representative of the united states. by seeking to evade all subpoenas and the president said it, that they will resist all subpoenas. not just reference to the mueller report but with reference to anything. the department of justices that turn around on their position in court on the affordable care act. to references to investigations of security clearances to references to the decisions to tear babies away and uniformly
rejecting subpoenas from congress. this means that they have decide ed to oppose the role of congress as a coordinate branch of government representing the american people. they are stonewalling the american people from all information. and this cannot be. we cannot have a government where all the information is in the executive branch where the american people and the congress are stonewalled of information they need to make decisions and to know what's going on. while this is stonewalling information with respect to the russian attack on our democracy in 2016, with respect to the president's campaign, cooperation with that attack, to the president's obstructions of justice in seeking to stop an investigation of that attack. it goes far broader than that.
it's an attack on the ability of the american people to know what the executive branch is doing and to have responsible government. it is an attack on the essence of our defensemen cramocracy an oppose it with every fiber of our being and that's why we today did refer a contempt citation to the house floor. the house will have to vote that contempt citation to begin the court battle. there can be no higher stakes than this attempt to take all power away from congress and away from the american people. we've talked for a long time. we are now in it. we are now in a constitutional crisis. benjamin franklin was asked when he exited the convention what
type of government have you given us, sir, he said a republic, ma'am, if you can keep it. now is the time of testing whether we can keep a republic or whether this republic is destined to change into a different, more tyrannical form of government as other republics have over the centuries. we must resist this. this is far broader than republican or democratic or even the rights of congress. this is whether we can put limits on the power of the president and hold the president, any president, accountable. we cannot flinch. >> why are you resistant to moving forward with impeachment? >> well, i'm not going to talk about impeachment but that may not be the best answer. there are a lot of
considerations for that and that may not be the best answer. >> what is the best answer? >> do you think before next week and you can support -- >> this will go to the floor rapidly. i don't know whether it's next week. it will be on the floor soon. [ inaudible ] >> how can you prioritize? >> we will see what happens. we are still planning to have mr. mcgann appear before us. the president has made that more difficult by ordering mueller not to appear. and, by the way, these documents, the white house makes an unsensical claim in the department of justice for these various documents they say are executive privilege. most are not executive
privilege. it's not -- it's not a blanket bar. in the nixon case the tapes, you will remember or have read about the tapes. these were the most sensitive through executive privilege. they were private conversations between the president and his advisers and the supreme court ruled 8-0 that the interests of the public in justice and accountability outweighed the interests of the president in privacy and ordered those tapes revealed. it led to nixon's resignation. number one. number two -- executive privilege is designed to get candor by the president's advisers to advise him. once that has gone public, once the president has said it's okay to share those conversations or evidence with the mueller investigation, with your private
attorney, with whoever, there is no more privilege. it's done already. everything we have requested, the unredacted parts, all the material in the redacted parts of the mueller report, none of it is privileged because all of it they waived to mueller or to whoever. it's a nonsense claim. we will win these court fights because the law is one-sided. when the president or attorney general barr or anybody else cites executive privilege in these cases they are not being honest. there's no real claim at all. >> are we to perceive this as court fights fighting as a civil contempt then? will there be any criminal part of this that we've heard about? >> it will probably be a civil contempt.
>> why not go with what your colleagues have suggested? >> i don't want to answer that chi because i'm not sure we won't. >> you said the president has ordered mueller not to testify. are you referring to a tweet? >> yes. >> has mueller told you that? >> no but it puts a lot of pressure on mueller. the discussions are ongoing. >> how are the discussions? >> they're ongoing. >> are you going to go to court and ask the judge to unseal the material without the justice department? >> yes, we will n. every prior case the attorney general has joined the judiciary committee or i think sometimes other committees have joined congress in asking for grand jury material. in every case all the major cases that has been granted. the attorney general, this attorney general barr has said he won't do that.
he's not given a reason why he won't do that, why he's breaking precedent and refusing to support our application for the grand jury. he has not said he'll oppose it but he said they will oppose it or take no position. the attorney general has joined the committee in requesting the release of the information. it's always been granted and the committee has handled it responsibly. it hasn't leaked and has been handled responsibly. >> when will you issue a subpoena for the other four white house officials including hope hicks? >> when it seems most advisable. >> are you concerned this move will be a chilling effect? >> of course we're concerned. we're concerned the president's declaration and the apparent intention to deny all information is going to be a
chilling effect or more. remember, in every case that people have talked about whether it be former attorney general holder or last year when this committee under republican control demanded grand jury information and fbi interviews and all sorts of things and were given 880,000 pages, in every situation there's been an accommodation and there's been more or less information given. this year we have gotten not one page of information in respect -- in reference -- in response, rather, to any subpoena nor have any other committees in the house. not one single page has been given. a total stonewalling of congress, a total stonewalling of the american people and that is an assertion of tehryrannica
power by the president, and it cannot be allowed to stand. the american people have to have a government responsive to them and that means the president and the congress. >> last question. [ inaudible ] >> i see this as a fact gathering which may or may not lead -- as i've said many times, we need the facts. we need all the information and decisions like that or other things made down the road when we have the facts. >> if you can't get the facts how will you proceed? >> we are going to have to insist on getting the facts. thank you very much. >> thank you. all right. that was the chairman of the house judiciary committee, congressman jerry nadler of new york talking about how in his view, quote, we are now in a constitutional crisis. is he overstating the case? >> i think many people in the
democratic caucus agree with him and many of the american people agree with him. i think we also so the awkward challenge democrats will have moving forward which is saying it's a kungal crisis and then saying we're not impeachment right now. i agree with the strategy because i think you need the public with you and the caucus with you. pelosi is running a smart game here but a very tricky tightrope to walk. >> you can't have it both ways. you can't break the glass and say we're having a crisis and then it's not that big of a crisis. if you think it's a constitutional crisis, you should impeach the president. if you don't, move on. >> being that the white house is refuse to go comply with any subpoenas and the ability of democrats to conducted oversight or the constitutional crisis being the larger issue which is
the obstruction of justice and the conversation that is went back and forth in the campaign? >> i think the answer is, yes, a little bit of both. jerry nadler was talking a lot about the congressional power and how the white house was taking all the power. a lot of battle between the branches and that will continue but, yes, it's all of it. and they're going to have to contend with members and their base who are going to really start pushing and getting loud about you need to do something about this. this is why you're there. certain members and nancy pelosi would agree. her rhetoric was harsher yesterday. >> i think they want to bring people with them and scare those who aren't there in the public, wait, we're not there yet.
come with us on the journey. >> we were talking about what the democrats won on, having to do with things along those lines. you focus on the mueller report, what about all the reasons you got elected. are they chewing gum? we see them walking to impeachment. >> they have to prove they can walk and chew gum at the same time. we fought them tooth and nail on overturning health care. that's what we saw during the midterms but they are going to have to be able to say, look, we are doing this in congress because it is our job to do this in congress. it is our job on the administration like this. it is so far entrenched they're trying to block us at every turn but they will have to show they're trying to fight for other things. and they're doing it in congress and not just on the campaign trail.
we're seeing the candidates talk about the policy ideas that they have particularly elizabeth warren and they're out on the campaign trail. we're not seeing the same battle for them in congress. that's something constituents should be asking about and worried about. you can't just go out there and talk the talk. >> this just in the justice department issued a statement, no surprise accusing this vote of being politically motivated and faulted the chairman, jerry nadler, for basically pushing president trump into a corner where he was forced to assert executive privilege. there seems to be a lot of gamesmanship going on here. you heard nancy pelosi saying president trump is trying to goad us into impeaching him. >> there are 33 of the 40 democrats elected were new dems,
very conservative democrats in very tough districts running. impeachment is not a big issue. it will be very difficult. i suspect speaker pelosi will hear from those in her caucus who have tough elections that want to get to the issues that won them this election. >> remember infrastructure week last week? >> they talked about infrastructure. >> they talked -- >> for the first time in the history of infrastructure they talked about infrastructure. >> so you can see around the edges that they are trying to start other conversations. >> if you are a democrat you can go out there and say don't you want us to be able to go back to running the government like it's a government, where we're not constantly having to fight the white house every single day when he woke up and started tweeting from the bedroom of the white house? don't you want to talk about
things like infrastructure and health care instead of whether the president colluded with the russians? if you want to do that, elect someone who is not president trump. >> i think on campaigns it's a different world. you are trying to lay out a hopeful vision of what you would do different than the guy currently occupying the oval office. so i think it's smart for them, and i don't think they will start talking about impeachment because they want to say exactly as you said, we're going to bring things back to normal. we're going to fight for health care, to address the opioid epidemic. if things change and the politics shift, it will shift on the trail, too. until then i don't think it will. >> you heard at the opening of the hearing say to nadler, look, we had the first stepback. what about the second stepback? we could be doing opioids. look at all the things we're not doing in this committee because we're doing it. i think it was smart of him to lay down the marker the things they're not doing. >> and he talked about potential -- bipartisan efforts. >> a big move by gaetz.
>> not a shrinking violet taking up the republican mantle. our coverage on this breaking news continues right now. thank you for watching. wolf blitzer will pick it up for cnn domestic. thanks so much. happening now, breaking news, voting for contempt. the house judiciary committee votes to hold the attorney general, william barr,contempt for refusing to turn over the complete mueller report as democrats raise the stakes in their showdown with the trump administration. asserting privilege. the vote comes after president trump moves to assert executive privilege over the entire mueller report and its supporting evidence as the white house tries to block congressional democrats at every turn, will this battle end up in the courts? trump jr. standoff. cnn has learned the senate intelligence committee has subpoenaed the president's eldest son.