tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN October 10, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
"equality in america" starts at 7:30 eastern. you won't want to miss it. that's it for me. thank you for joining me today. "newsroom with brooke baldwin" starts right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hi there. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. thank you for being with me. breaking news this afternoon involving rudy giuliani and his push to investigate joe biden in ukraine. any minute now two men accused of helping giuliani in those efforts are expected to appear in a virginia federal courtroom after being arrested and indicted for pouring foreign money into a u.s. election. the charges all relate to donations made by these two men. this is igor fruman and lev parnas, two former texas congressmen pete sessions, congressmen, allegedly asked to help get the former ambassador to ukraine fired. hang on. straight to the southern district of new york. listen in to these prosecutors.
>> -- indictment charge of lev parnas, igor fruman and two co-defendants alleged participation in schemes to violate the federal campaign finance laws by repeatedly using straw donors and foreign money. parnas and fruman were arrested around 6:00 p.m. last night at dulles airport as they were about to board and international flight with one-way tickets. as alleged in the indictment, the defendants broke the law to gain political influence while avoiding disclosure of who was actually making the donations and where the money was coming from. they saw political influence not only to advance their own financial interests but to advance the political interests of at least one foreign official, a ukrainian government official who sought the dismissal of the u.s. ambassador to ukraine. twr with respect to the last allegation let me take you
through some of the money flow. >> parnas and fruman contributed $325,000 to committee one. now, this contribution was not made in their names. it was made in the name of a corporation that they set up, gep, in order to hide that the true individuals behind the donation were parnas and fruman. the $325,000, one of the largest donations committee one received and we, in the indictment, we indicated alleged that this was an illegal straw donor scheme. in addition, parnas and fruman made direct contributions to congressman one. these contributions direct and promised total over $20,000. moreover, committee one spent approximately $3 million to benefit congressman one. as a result, parnas and fruman
had several meetings with congressman one and at these meetings parnas on behalf of the ukrainian government official lobbied congressman one to advocate for the removal of the then u.s. ambassador to ukraine. protecting the integrity of our elections and protecting our elections from unlawful foreign influence are core functions of our campaign finance laws. as this office has made clear, we will not hesitate to investigate or prosecute those who engage in criminal conduct that draws into question the integrity of our political process. and i want to add that this investigation is continuing. i want to acknowledge and thank our wonderful aides who worked on prosecuting and investigating this case and will continue to investigate this case.
to my ebecca donnaleski and nick rose could not be here because he's in the eastern district of virginia assisting with the presentment of parnas and fruman. but to rebecca's right is russ capone and edward discan and they are our marvelous co-chiefs of our public corruption unit. i also want to thank our partner in this case and so many of our important cases, the new york office of the fbi represented here today to my left, bill sweeney, my good friend the assistant director in charge of the new york field office, to his left, mike driscoll, the special agent in charge of the criminal division and to his left george gazonby schedule agency for the fbi.
my very good friend bill sweeney for any comments ruyou'd like t made. >> last night at the international dulles airport the fbi arrested lev parnas and igor fruman on charges as they attempted to leave the united states. andre arrested in san francisco shortly thereafter. david correia the fourth individual charged not glet-oye out of custody. the american people expect and deserve an election process that has not been corrupted by the influence of foreign interests and the public has a right to know the true source of campaign contributions. laws make up the fabric of who we are as a nation. these allegations are not about some technicality, civil violation or an error on a form. this investigation is about corrupt behavior. deliberate law breaking. the fbi takes the obligation to
tackle corruption seriously knop exceptions. we gather evidence, collect facts and will act when appropriate. as jeff mentioned our investigation will continue. many thanks always to jeff and your team, prosecutors here at the southern district. thank you as well to our fbi personnel and offices in miami, san francisco and washington, d.c. of course, thanks, mike and george to your team and the team of agents and professionals who are quiet professionals in solid public service here in the new york office. thank you. >> thank you. >> okay. so let's take it from here. again, these two men we're talking about who have been arrested and indicted igor fruman and lev parnas. they were, as you just heard, they were at dulles international airport. right in the washington, d.c. area last evening with one-way
tickets, and that is when the feds came in and grabbed them. so they've been arrested and indicted for pouring foreign money into the u.s. election. first we go to cnn crime and justice reporter shimon. break this down. what just happened? >> reporter: this is a very quick statement. i think what we saw here from what we've been told prosecutors were not ready to bring forward these charges. they were not ready to make these charges public that that is partially why they did not take questions. also, the investigation. i don't think they're ready to talk about exactly where they stand in terms of this investigation. looks like it's still very much an active investigation. so for anyone who was involved in this certainly concern that they could get arrested now. obviously, the big question is rudy giuliani. what did he know? what did he know about these men and who was funding some of their contributions? was he in anyway receiving any money from these men?
these are all very serious questions that perhaps investigators right now are not ready to reveal, but one of the most significant things we learned is that these men to bo international flight. they had one-way tickets. the fbi keeping track of them, moved in and arrested them, because of obvious concerns that they were going to flee the country and then would not be able to get them back. so that is very significant. obviously a lot of attention, this ukraine matter, the ukraine situation getting a lot of attention. perhaps may have spooked these individuals and so they decided they wanted to flee the country. there are still obviously so many questions that need to be answered about these men, about their involvement. who is funding them? the indictment alleges there was a russian national, a foreign national, number one, alleged to be a russian involved in this. obviously, brings us back to the
entire mueller investigation. this is the thing the fbi and u.s. officials are so concerned wb. look what these men were able to do. the influence they were able to have on getting a u.s. ambassador tossed from her job. the whole -- really, you can argue, they had a way to get to the president. yes, through rudy giuliani, but they had the president's ear through rudy giuliani. obviously another big concern here. so i think there is still a lot more that we don't know, and obviously for the fbi there is still a lot to work through here, and for the southern district of new york here. it's the same prosecutors from the public corruption unit dealing with michael cohen, dealing with other things related to the election, to russian influence. they are still very much involved in this investigation and we saw some of them here. still a lot we don't know. a lot of mystery here certainly and, of course, everyone wants to know what did rudy giuliani
know and what was his involvement exactly with these men? >> that is precisely what i want to get at with my next couple of guests. shimon, thank you so much. so much to discuss here. a former assistant u.s. attorney for the seventh district of new york also cnn and gloria boerger and a former prosecutors and legal analyst for cnn. back up. this could potentially be huge. what could prosecutors -- like, what did these two guys, these two giuliani associates, what if they decide to talk? >> right. that's is the million dollar question. will either of these guys flip? if they do, heaven knows what they could deliver. doing the rough prosecutors math here. charges are serious. looking at real jail time, roughly, three, four, five years look at guidelines. evidence based on what we can tell look strong. clearly they had either wiretaps
or somehow emails and texts because they're quoted in here. it's really devastating. then they have records of bank transfers, wire transfers. this is a paper case that looks pretty strong in the southern district. important to note. if somebody kraupcooperates thee to tell everything. charged in the indictment, tell us what you know about the indictment. >> fbi is no. we want to know everything. >> right. could include rudy giuliani and who knows who else. >> i'm rudy giuliani. for you, journalist gabe sherman actually talked to rudy giuliani this morning. what he said, "when i asked rudy about the prospect of the fbi flipping these two guys parnas and fruman to get to him he replied, good luck." rudy giuliani sounding pretty confident there. is sounding the key word? like, should he be worried? >> of course he should be worried. if you know about criminal activity and you do something
concrete to help it succeed you're responsible. criminally responsible for that activity. so if rudy giuliani knew about this going on and he was aiding in their efforts, he could get charged. aiding an abetting and happens, the sort of thing charged on a regular basis. i have to say, brooke that is a very interesting answer by rudy giuliani. he doesn't say, they have nothing to flip on. rye didn't do anything wrong. he says, good luck. i mean what a mob boss says. right? when his cop is arrested. good luck. you're never going to flip him. very unusual thing to say. people who don't have criminal culpability aren't concerned about others flipping on them generally because there's nothing to flip regarding. >> gloria, we laugh, because it's also serious. right? i mean -- >> oh, yeah. >> -- "the" question is, why, with all of this coming out, all of these layers on giuliani, at what point does donald trump say, all right, rudy giuliani. bye. we don't need to have -- we don't need to have this relationship anymore?
do you think rudy giuliani knows too much? >> first of never throw anybody the bus. would he? that was a joke. >> never. >> and -- and we'll have to see where this goes. it's completely possible maybe even likely the president would try and distance himself, and, from giuliani, because giuliani has some problems here. the question is whether he really can. what are these guys, what do they have on giuliani? take a step back. what we've been doing over the past two and a half years is talking about russian influence. russian influence to the campaign, and here we are again. here we are again as shimon said earlier, where's this money coming from? is it russian money? was this, you know, an effort to try and get the ambassador out, because the ambassador wanted to push money to ukraine? the ambassador wanted ukraine to
get its foreign aid? so this is a story that has to unravel, but we also have to see it in the context of what we've been talking about for the last few years, and so it's kind of stunning to me that rudy giuliani, you know, one of the president's attorneys, was in the middle of all of this, and now, you know, the president is reassembling a legal team again. and it's going to include his old lawyers, you see john dowd's name popping up, who defended these two gentlemen, wrote a letter to congress on their behalf. there are now more attorneys coming up. paul manafort's former attorney was in court today defending these guys. so it seems like a little bit of deja vu to me. >> a little bit. jay sekulow quick to say neither donald trump nor his campaign had anything to do with these
two men. >> under the bus -- sounds a little like they said about paul manafort. he never worked for the campaign. had nothing to do with us. >> well, here we are. passing it along. passing it along. back to your point on evidence. you read through the 21-page indictme indictment. parnas remarked this is what happens when you become visible. the buzzards descend. that's why we need to stay under the radar aware what they're doing is wrong. dangerous for them taken off a wiretap, phone call intercepted not a summary. on what gloria said, noth a link to what we call the mueller investigation, eve morn direct link to the ukraine impeachment investigation. one of the allegations in this indictment is these two guys were part of trying to get the ambassador jovanovic dismissed.
the report, rudy giuliani wanted her out standing in the bay delivering foreign aid to ukraine. it's all going to connect and end up being related. not just to mueller or russia but ukraine. the very thing in front of the house of representatives and potential imimpeachment. >> and you can both address this on attorney general bill barr. just so happened to make a routine visit today to the southern district of new york. right? who just held this news conference. cnn learned he was briefed on this whole investigation in february in support of the prosecution. gloria and ra mauled onaldo, yo thoughts on bill barr in all this? >> probably presented with a lot of evidence, as was said and said, go ahead. you know? if he felt they had a case, that he did not stand in the way. so you know, if he thought they
did not have a case, then i think he would have said otherwise. >> are nronaldo, down the road, barr needs to recuse himself from x, y and z? >> barr raised a lot of questions certainly about his, you know, whether or not he's acting on behalf of donald trump versus acting on behalf of the american people. a lot of people will have concerns about his involvement here. there was a lot of speculation when the cohen investigation, the investigation that ultimately went into the trump organization closed down he a role in that. as a former prosecutor i don't believe in coincidences, brooke. seems coincidental he was there today. it will generate questions. if i was advising attorney general pabarr i would stay awa from this investigation and the details as much as possible. >> if this is high-profile, ask
the lawyers, and the issue of impeachment is before congress and i don't believe in coincidences either, but weren't the attorneys in new york correct in letting the ag know about this in advance? because it was so high profile? >> yes. absolutely. >> you have to in a case like this. >> you have to. okay. >> there's a difference between letting them know and him flying out there and being there hands-on today. >> uh-huh. >> okay. let that hang. going to take a commercial break. i have so much more to talk about today. thank you all very much. much more ahead. a member of the house intelligence and oversight committees joins me to discuss all this including what the democrats plan to do next. stay right here.
we are back on a very busy thursday. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. back to these two soerassociate rudy giuliani indicted of campaign finance charges caught at dull ez international airport with one-way tickets to go overseas. these men illegally funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign money to a trump super pac and connected to efforts to dig up dirt on joe
biden in ukraine and a member of the house intelligence oversight committee and congressman, welcome back. you are a part of the committees who now subpoenaed these two men and just in the last 60 seconds my producer got in my ear telling the -- we are told had lunch with rudy giuliani? what's your response? >> the reason why there is so much focus on these two individuals in addition to what we heard at the news conference about their campaign finance violations is that they allegedly helped giuliani and president trump in pressuring the ukrainian government to basically smear joe biden. right? and med-in-law our do-- meddle
democracy. these folks have a lot of knowledge about that alleged pressure campaign as well as attempts to remove ambassador jovanovic and others who stood in the way. >> jovanovic supposed to meet with you tomorrow. we saw what happened to ambassador gordon sondland this week blocked by the state department from testifying. so we know that the former ambassador yovanovitch is a current state employee. is it possible the state department blocks her from testifying in front of you tomorrow? >> it is possible. >> what would you do about it? >> it is possible. unfortunately the trump administration has taken up a strategy of stonewalling and delaying any kind of production of testimony or documents. in the case of mr. sondland, we
then subpoenaed him directly. we said we are asking you directly to produce documents and produce testimony before our committee. that may be a tool that we use in this case although i defer to chairman schiff what comes next. in any case, ambassador yovanovitch has a lot of useful information about really flushing out what is this alleged scheme and who was involved. >> what if she wants to play ball? wants to show up on her own volition. are there protections in place for her. >> she could show up in reaction or in response to a personal subpoena potentially. in terms of protections, as we know, there are whistle-blower statutes for people who want to come forward with evidence of wrongdoing and they are protected under that statute. what i'm always concerned about is obviously in this case the president knows her identity. he knows that she was somehow in
the way of his alleged pressure scheme with ukraine. he referenced her in the call transcript. so i'd be concerned about him retaliating against her. so we'd have to definitely look out for her interests as well. >> yeah. in this indictment, these two giuliani associates "committed to raise $20,000 or more for then sitting congressman" referred to as congressman one. congressman one then congressman pete sessions of texas. by the way, seven days ago announced he'd be running for congress in another district of texas. so what trouble might he be in? >> i don't know. i don't want to comment on those specific allegations against him. although, you know, if there was any effort to essentially provide campaign donations in exchange for assisting in a pressure campaign or trying to remove someone as an ambassador to the ukraine that could be
problems for somebody. >> talk about where americans are on impeachment. this fox news poll now finds 51% of registered voters want president trump impeachened and removed from office. that is up nine points from july. we're seeing a lot of your colleagues across the aisle ignoring a lot of these questions on impeachment. might these polls coming from some of their own constituents sway their opinions? >> it could. i think right now the american people want this impeachment inquiry to go forward and this fox news poll says they want us to do even more than just go forward with an inquiry. in this climate i think stalling or stonewalling the inquiry will not play well with the american people. they would view that as basically getting in the way of trying to get answers and get to the bottom of the allegations and the whistle-blower complaint, which is very, very serious. >> so last question. i do want to hold the democrats
feet to the fire a little bit, or tim innatale, nixon historia doing that, my feet are getting warm. >> his point going back to democrats in 1973. obviously watergate. bent over backwards to make the process appear fair, to make it bipartisan. allow for republicans to have cover so the republican party could eventually say nixon needs to go. his point it wasn't about democrats versus nixon, this shouldn't be about democrats versus president trump but about america standing up for its constitution against a lawless president. how will your party moving forward bend over backwards, be bipartisan in this effort? >> sure. you know, i'm part of these hearings and closed-door hearings and testimony. part of the intel committee and can say our chairman has done everything he can to elicit
voluntary cooperation from the trump administration. if that doesn't work, resorting to subpoenas. really trying to accommodate any kind of legitimate objections in the production of certain information. but if you completely stonewall and delay and block and obstruct the inquiry, that's a whole matter all together. i don't think they can claim the process is unfair when they're not even participating. they have to get involved and actually at this point bring forward all evidence that could bear on the allegations of the complaint. right now my humble opinion, brooke, that the american people think there's a presumption that something very wrong happened. they saw the july 25th transcript. they've seen the whistle-blower complaint. so it's almost as though the republicans and the white house need to come forward with all evidence to illuminate the situation and see if there's anything that mitigates. we're willing to look at everything. this is a sad moment for america.
none of us came to congress to impeach a president, but now we have to do our duty. follow the facts wherever they lead. >> right. congressman, thank you so much. >> thank you so much. just ahead here on cnn, as the military offensive in northern syria intensifies republican anger aimed at the president continues to grow. we are live on the turkish/syrian border, next. dad, we need to talk about something important. you don't need to go anywhere dad, this is your home. the best home to be in is your own. home instead offers personalized in-home services for your loved ones. home instead senior care. to us, it's personal. o♪ ozempic®! ♪ oh! oh! home instead senior care. (announcer) people with type 2 diabetes are excited about the potential of once-weekly ozempic®. in a study with ozempic®, a majority of adults
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the military offensive in northern syria is intensifying. air strikes began yesterday against the kurds after the u.s. essentially abandoned its key ally in the fise against isis. a steady rain of artillery and after president trump called for our troops to step aside. turk's president called it successful. >> 129errorists killed. lies were spread to blacken our country and bring down our operations. of course, there are wounded people aside from the 109 and those that have surendered. >> of course, casualties including civilians as people are frantically try to flee the violence. european leaders speaking out
urging turkey's president to end all of this. more than 60,000 people have left their homes according to the international rescue committee, and the u.n. security council met today behind closed doors. cnn chief international correspondent clarissa ward joins me live there in northern syria, and clarissa, tell me what you have seen what you have heard, from these innocent civilians trying to flee? >> reporter: yeah. well, brooke, they're saying now that number could quickly go from 60,000 to hundreds of thousands, and it's not surprising to see how that would be possible, because we earlier on today spent time in a town right up on the turkish border. basically every shop was shuttered. the streets were deserted, except for about 80 or so people who gathered to try to protest the turkish military operation that's been under way for over 24 hours now. very quickly, kurdish forces came out said you guys need to disburse. there was artillery hitting
targets all around the town, and those people did pull out, but as they're pulling out, as we followed them out, it's clear they don't know where to go, brooke. simply put, there is no safe haven right now in syria for all of these people who are quickly becoming displaced. as they're getting in their cars and loading their lives on to their backs to try to escape the strikes, they are doing so with no real sense of direction or purpose in terms of where they're going, where will be safe, where they will be able to find water, shelter, food. also they're doing so with no real knowledge when they might be able to return to their homes, because this operation is expanding all the time, and could include a swath of territory up to 200 miles wide. 18.5 miles deep. put simply, brooke, this is a massive operation. no sense of when it could end and no sense where is safe for
these people to go. >> so you describe the conundrum, of course, for these innocent men, women and children and of course the other question, what happens to all of these isis prisoners held in these facilities? where do they go in the thick of all this? clarissa ward we hang on your every word in the turkish/syrian border area. thank you for your reporting. stay safe to you and your crew. breaking news also this hour, the arrest of a pair of rudy giuliani associates indicted on criminal charges for allegedly funneling foreign money into u.s. elections, and the "wall street journal" is now reporting that these two were arrested at the airport with one-way tickets just hours after having lunch with rudy giuliani himself. stay here. biopharmaceutical researchers.
because it's not just about the next breakthrough... it's all the ones after that. as president trump prepares to headline a rally in minneapolis in the next couple of hours cities across the country are accusing his campaign of leaving them to fit the bill for security court ares related to trump's rallies's ten cities say they haven't been reimbursed. editor as large chris cillizza is with me and this came to light because of the back and forth between president trump and the mayor of minneapolis over the cost of today's rally. is that right? >> reporter: yes, brooke.
when i write my book covering the trump's presidency, it's going to be called "it all began way tweet." right? let's go to the tweet that it began it all. okay. there's a tweet before this donald trump's campaign manager essentially says a left wing resistor who's the mayor of minneapolis is trying to gouge us on prices for this ral pip donald trump retweets it, 72,000 tickets requested. and a response, welcome to minneapolis where we pay our bills. okay. he's talking about this. all right. so donald trump as you see here, they do great work here, this group, donald trump's campaign has not paid a lot of those. you mentioned ten outstanding bills. how about to the tune of $841,000. you can see, this is from all over the country. tucson, el paso, ohio, pennsylvania, vermont. spokane nthey have not pied bias
and it goes back aways. this was the rally held in comparison to the beto o'rourke rally. $470,000 and expenses in this, expenses go back to the 2016 campaign. green bay and eau claire, spokane. the most costed tied up, it's mostly overtime for security. the trump campaign says the secret service handles that. secret service says we don't handled overtime payments for local police. the point is, the money owed and not paid. if you were going to be the minneapolis mayor, a pretty good jab to take at donald trump. >> but when you do the math we know trump's campaign and rnc raised $125 million. >> correct. >> just in the third quarter. it's not like they're short on cash. >> okay. a couple things.
raised $125 million in the third quarter and $156 million on hand. not that they can't pay it. one other point, brooke. this is not new for donald trump. donald trump was regularly sued by contractors when he was in his real estate business for not paying them the full amount that they believed they were owed. it's a pattern like so many things that goes from his private life to his political life. >> hmm. i can see it now. it all started with a tweet. >> "it all began with a tweet: the donald trump story." >> chris, thank you. >> thanks, brooke. coming up, another republican lawmaker caught on camera trying to dodge the very simple question, was it appropriate for president trump to ask foreign powers to investigate his political rival" we will play his answer or lack thereof, in full, next.
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to ukraine and china to investigate political opponents was appropriate. listen for yourself. >> is it appropriate for a president -- >> we are going to have an investigation and it's a non-partisan investigation. it's an answer you get from a very serious investigation. >> would you be okay if it bas a democr was a democrat -- >> a jump to a very partisan, partisan serious use of a tool in the constitution. this is about an investigation taking place in the senate intelligence committee. where it should be. what we've seen from the house of representatives and nancy pelosi is a very partisanized effort. why other -- what other reason do you have to cover four states every time you do a story on us? it's about colorado, it's an california. it's about north carol killer a -- carolina andarizona. let's have the investigation. you know what i said before. >> you're not answering the
question. you're a smart guy. >> this is about politics of moment why they're trying to do this now. the american people will have a choice, in an election coming up and see this transparent, i hope investigation. right now you're seeing is nancy pelosi and the house of representatives trying to drive a very partisan process. i'm not going to fall into that. before we get all of the facts and see the results of a serious non-partisan investigation. >> if the facts were to show -- there you go. coming up on cnn, senator bernie sanders live with dr. sanjay gupta ahead of cnn's equality in american town hall. the 2020 candidate ready to talk about his recent heart attack and what it means for his campaign. of course, in addition to lgbtq issues that happens on "the situation room" live today at 6:00 eastern, and tonight cnn partners with the human rights campaign presenting a groundbreaking cnn town hall event, equality in america. join 2020 candidates as they discuss issues facing the lgbtq community and in a night of
federal custody indicted of charges of funneling money into a u.s. election. names igor fruman and lev parnas. they were arrested at a washington airport with what prosecutors say were one-way tickets out of the country. one of the men described as giuliani's fixer and someone who helped introduce him to various officials in his bid to dig up dirt on joe biden. and listen to this. hours before the two arrests these two men had lunch with rudy giuliani in washington at the trump hotel. that is according to the "wall street journal." moments ago the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york detailed charges against these two men and their intended target, former u.s. ambassador to ukraine marie yovanovitch. >> as alleged in the indictment the defendants broke a law to gain political influence why avoiding disclosure of who was actually making the donations and where the money was