tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC September 27, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT
politics as completely broken down and full on crazy as they are back home, that is our broadcast for tonight. thank you for being here with us and good night from our nbc news bureau here in london. tonight on "all in." >> no person in this country is beyond all possible doubt the -- >> that's way it should be, but i'm trying to figure out if that's the way it is as a practical fact. >> the full whistle-blower report is out. >> it's hard to imagine a more serious set of allegations than those contained in the complaint. >> tonight new bombshell allegations against the president. >> this is cover-up. this is cover-up. >> new details alleging that white house, the state department and the department of justice were covering up for the president, and the brand-new road map for impeachment hearings laid out in the whistle-blower's complaint.
>> plus. >> i want to know who's the person who gave the whistle-blower -- >> the president caught on tape mulling revenge. >> you know what we used to do in the old days with spies, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now. >> and new data suggesting america is getting ready to impeach donald trump. >> impeachment for that? >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we're only three days into this rapidly exploding scandal, but here is what is already clear, the white house knew what president trump did on his phone call with the ukrainian president was wrong. they desperately tried to cover it up, and then they got caught. that's it. that's the key sequence of events captured both in the whistle-blower complaint released today, in the notes of the call released yesterday and all the reporting we have seen on this point. on the first point they knew it was wrong, the lead of the
whistle-blower complaint puts in very clear terms what is at issue here. quote, in the course of my official duties i have received information from multiple u.s. government officials that the president of the united states is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 u.s. election. this interference includes among other things pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the president's main political rivals. i am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute a serious or flagrant problem, abuse or violation of law or executive order. i'm also concerned that these pose risks to national security, undermine the u.s. government's efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in u.s. elections. all that by the way is written by a whistle-blower who had not seen the notes from the call that were just released from the white house. if you want to know how credible, how informed, how in the know this whistle-blower is, just compare the notes from the call released yesterday to the characterization in the call from the complaint. it's basically 100% on the
money. the complaint shows more than that. something that in my mind in some ways is as important. it's this. the white house knew at the time when the phone call ended just how bad it was. even in the degraded moral compass of the people who surround donald trump, who as a price of their job has to get rid of their conscience, they understood the gravity of what he had done, quoting again, the white house officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call. they told me that there was already a discussion ongoing with white house lawyers how to treat the call because the likelihood in the official's retailing that they had witnessed the president abuse his office for person game. that's right, they knew -- they knew he had done something wrong, that they had done something wrong and then they
tried to cover it up and that is yet another reason why this is such an enormous scandal. the extensive cover-up is evidence of a guilty conscience. what the whistle-blower complaint as a frenetic widespread effort to cover up and hide that phone call, the evidence of the wrongdoing, officials deciding to put the transcript of the call in a separate computer system, not the normal one pretending it was classified at a higher level than it actually was. quote, white house officials told me they were directed by white house lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored. instead it was loaded into a separate system otherwise used to store classified information of an especially sensitive nature. one white house official described this act as an abuse of the electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective. the reason they're now in so much trouble because they got caught red handed but there's also more. because this was not just contained in the white house. according to the whistle-blower a state department official listened in.
and, quote, multiple state department community intelligence officials were also briefed on the content of the call outlined above. and it gets even worse from there because after the whistle-blower is talking to all these people who are all pretty torn up about this, they think they've watched the president violate his oath, abuse his power and he makes the complaint, takes the risk to make the complaint, and then the acting director of intelligence sends it over to the department of justice for advice on what to do for an explosive complaint like this. the department of justice tells dni that the document should not be passed along to congress. the doj basically reaches in and kills it. to make sure that congress never sees it. every lever of the white house and the trump administration, the classification system, the state department, the doj, the office of legal counsel within the doj, all teaming up together to cover up wrongdoing by the president that they knew was wrong. that is what the whistle-blower complaint lays bare.
they all went to work to cover up for the president doing a thing they knew was wrong, that they knew was an egregious abuse of his power. and this is just the beginning. the who knew what, when questions hang over everyone in the white house legal counsel's office. everyone at the olc, everyone in the just department, national security counsel. they knew what they were doing was wrong, and that in and of itself is devastating. but perhaps the most explosive new detail in this complaint comes at the very end. it's in the classified appendix and the whistle-blower writes this. according to the white house officials i spoke with this was not the first time under this administration that a presidential transcript was placed into the code word level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive rather than national security sensitive information. not the first time. huh. think about that for a second. with democrats in a full-on impeachment inquiry today, democrats on the house intelligence committee grilled acting director of national
intelligence joseph maguire why it was he took a complaint about the white house to the white house. >> but in this case the white house, the president is the subject of the complaint. he's the subject of the wrongdoing. were you aware when you went to the white house for advice about whether evidence of wrongdoing by the white house should be provided to the congress -- >> the fact that a whistle-blower followed all of the proper procedures to report misconduct, and then the department of justice and the white house seems to have weighed in to keep the complaint hidden is problematic, sir. >> let me fast forward. this was referred to the fbi by the president who actually engaged in the conversation -- >> the -- no, it was not. >> joining me now to help explain what we learned about president trump is the house intelligence committee members we just heard from, democratic congressman denny heck of washington and democratic congresswoman terry soule of alabama. congresswoman soule, i'll begin with you. what did you learn from maguire today?
>> you know, i think that today was a sobering moment in american history. i don't think any of us come to congress with the intent on starting an impeachment inquiry against the president of the united states. but when you have a president of the united states on his own admission saying that he solicited information, an investigation from a foreign power to influence our elections, the 2020 elections, it's really egregious. i think that perhaps what was most important in my line of testimony was getting the odni director to assure us that the whistle-blower can come before congress, and that he can come before congress uninhibited with the full protection of the whistle-blower statute. that to me was the most important part of my legal -- my questioning today. >> and do you anticipate that in closed session you will hear directly from the whistle-blower? good we hope so. we intend to follow the facts where they lead us, and that
also means trying to interview the folks that were detailed in the complaint. >> do you view -- congressman heck, do you view maguire's actions as part of a cover-up? >> absolutely. i mean he contorted himself to rationalize his position, but look, chris, at the end of the day when the book is written about what happened in this sordid chapter in american history it's going to be entitled "shakedown and cover-up" because that's exactly what happened. but i invite people not just to take my word for it but go ahead and read the whistle-blower complaint which is available and go ahead and read the official record of the telephone conversation and then put it into context with all the other things we know with hiding that official record, tasking private citizen rudy giuliani to go to europe and ask the ukrainians to manufacture dirt and remember the ukrainian ambassador from the u.s. was fired because she
wouldn't play ball with them. remember that the president withheld the military aid until such time as president zelensky gave him information he would cooperate with him and interfere in our election. >> congresswoman, sewell, i want to ask you about this idea that they took this transcript out of -- and, again, there exists a word for the word transcript -- is it your understanding there is a word for word transcript at some point that is different from what the white house released? >> i think what we have is a readout. it says at the very bottom pretty clearly that it's not a full transcript. but it is a readout, so i think that what's most telling is the fact that everything that's in this memo or this readout of the call was verified in the underlining complaint word for word almost. and so i think that in and of itself shows how verifiable, how reliable. after all the i.g. said it was credible and it was urgent.
and the fact that the odni, acting odni director sat on it and went straight to the white house, which was a source of the complaint, is mind-boggling to me. i think it's really important that we get to the bottom of this. i think that it is a serious problem that the white house is stonewalling us, that they have done everything they can to try to obstruct this investigation, and i think that it's high time that we get to the bottom of it, and i look forward to doing that. >> well, that will be my next question, congressman heck. there seems to me -- the president and rudy giuliani and his defenders are saying this is hearsay, this is hearsay, and it seems to me there's a fairly straightforward solution to that which is that we can get everyone who directly experienced and witnessed this and participated in this under oath, right? >> furthermore, chris, let's remember that the inspector general was appointed by the trump administration and confirmed by the republican
senate, and he's the one that reached the conclusion that there was an urge want need here and that in fact there was credible evidence to support it. so, again, combined with the official record of the telephone conversation, people don't have to take our word for it. it is right there. i think our next step, hopefully, will be the opportunity to talk to the whistle-blower, but, chris, let us all be forewarned, we know president trump has exactly no more, no less than four plays -- deny, attack, play the victim and change the subject through the most outrageous means possible, and he's going to go full-blown into the attack mode on this whistle-blower. already claiming that there is a political bias, and he doesn't even know who the person is. >> so then what is your solution to that? >> you mean after we've had the whistle-blower in? >> yeah, i mean, like, where does it go after that? it seems to me there are literally dozens of people you should be talking to. >> we very well may do that as a
second, third and so forth step. but the second step is to talk to the whistle-blower. there's nothing we're going to do to deter the president off his four basic play handbook, he's used it throughout his presidency and during his combine. every word that comes out of his mouth is deny, attack, play the victim or change the subject through outrageous means. always has been. >> final question, congresswoman sewell. they had been stonewalling you but they have released two damning documents in two days. do you expect you'll be able to get more? >> you know, they only released it, chris, because they were forced to release it. it's clear that there was this whole scheme has been going on for months by the trump administration, that donald trump wanted to dirt on biden. and the fact that the state department and white house officials knew about it and chose to put the readout in a separate server just to me shows how complicitous they are. so i think it's really important that we got on the record that
the office of odni thought, first of all, that the whistle-blower was credible, that he did everything rip and appropriate, that he totally said to us he didn't think he was a political hacker. i think it's really important that we don't get caught up in trump's fairy tale and that we don't let him divert attention away from the real source of the problem, and that is an extreme abuse of presidential power. >> congressman denny heck, congresswoman terry sewell. thank you both. joining me more on the implication of the whistle-blower complaint jamie raskin of maryland and someone who's been thinking a lot about impeachment and the constitutional duty. in the context of high crimes and misdemeanors, i want you to respond to people who say, well, this was referred for a criminal complaint to doj and they found nothing to prosecute here. and it's not illegal for the president to do this, so why are you impeaching him? >> well, that's an argument about the character of the
department of justice, but an amazing thing about this, chris, is that the whole country understands precisely what happened, and i'll just try to improve a little bit on my friend's danny heck's formulation. i think there was a shakedown of the president of ukraine to get him to turn dirt over to president trump about political opponents. and then there was a sellout of the american people, our constitution, our 2020 election and his oath of office. and then there was a cover-up of the whole thing as they decided to put the records in a lock down mode. where as you point out there apparently are some other interesting documents hiding in there that kind of remind me of the checkoff the the -- if a document or some kind of prop appears in act one of a play you're going to get to see what it's all about in act 3 of the play. so we're going to find out what's in there. >> yes, that's my next question.
here's where the frontier seemed to me, there are very many people implicated and documents implicated by the whistle-blower complaint that seem necessary to extract to get to the bottom of all this. are you going to get to talk to them and see the documents, and if they try to block you, what will you do? >> well, this is in the intelligence community doing a good job this week ferreting out this information. and it's true as congresswoman sewell said that there was a statute which compelled the whistle-blower's complaint to be turned over within seven days. but the politics of this situation has shifted dramatically from where it was say from the mueller report. for one thing is the president is the president, he's not a candidate. for another thing he wasn't using underlings, he was engaged in all the attempts to shake down ukraine himself. and third of all he's not running around saying no collusion, he was bragging about it before he realized his mistake. so law students learn in their
first year learn the latin frizz, the thing speaks for itself. i think the whole country understands the grievous damage that trump has already inflicted on us. now, the intelligence committee will go forward to call in certain key other witnesses i suppose, i imagine in order to flush out the story more. they will try to get that complete word by word verbatim transcription of the phone call, but there's not much more we need, chris. america needs action to impeach this most impeachable president. he's guilty of very serious high crimes and misdemeanors it look like and the people have seen enough. he today went after the whistle-blower and called him a spy and has likened him to a traitor or someone betraying his country, it's absolutely scandalous and outrageous. a whistle-blower in america is someone who tells the truth about people who have power who are committing crimes against the people. >> so final question, you talked about the intelligence committee and i think the reporting indicates and i think hakeem jeffries said this, the intelligence committee will be running point on this.
you said america wants to move quickly on this, which i understand you to mean that and your colleagues want to move quickly on this. does that mean you view this, the facts we have as enough to draw articles of impeachment and the four corners on what the impeachment proceedings will be? >> absolutely. for the first time since we started talking about impeachment after the mueller report, the polls are showing a majority of americans favor impeachment and have seen enough. so i think we're moving very dramatically in that direction. we have a president who's converted his office into an instrument of private commercial gain, private political purposes and the whole administration is a tissue of corruption. there's no agenda there. we're trying to get real public policy done on a universal background check. we get nothing from the republicans. we're trying to lower prescription drug prices for the american people, we get nothing from republicans. they're spending all of their time feathering their own nests, shaking down foreign dictators and despots who are their best
friends and ripping off the american taxpayer. and so that's why we have a constitution and that's why the founders made sure it was congress that can impeach the president. the president cannot impeach congress. article i, the branches are standing up and we're not going to tolerate this anymore. >> all right. congressman jamie raskin, thank you very much. >> thank you. ahead what we learn from today's hearing in which the acting director of national intelligence tried to explain why he let the trump white house decide whether congress will ever see the whistle-blower's credible complaint about the president. the anatomy of a cover-up in two minutes.
person tasked with protecting our elections and nations secrets, fundamentally what he did was allow the white house and justice department to catch and hope to kill an extremely damning complaint against the president arguably in counter vention of the law.stex the acting dni basically made himself a participant in the cover-up as congressman eric swalwell laid out here. >> and you read that allegation and the first people you go to after you read that allegation are the white house lawyers who are telling the white house officials who see this transcript and move it into a secret compartmentalized system, those are the first people you go to. >> well, a couple of things -- >> is that yes or no? >> yes. >> you get this complaint. the inspector general says t urgent, credible, and instead you send your kerp to the subject of the complaint, the white house. >> for more on the full implications of this i'm joined by joyce vance. joyce, today watching maguire there was something almost kind
of tragic about it insofar as this seemed to me an individual who if embedded in a system that was not corrupt and abusive would have been a perfectly good public servant but proved inadequate in the face of abuse and corruption. >> i think that that's absolutely right. i disagree with the decision that the dni ultimately reached, but i'll tell you what i think his reasoning was. there was an executive privilege issue at stake, and the only problem as you point out that it was a corrupt white house. but even if he'd been correct in making that decision, there was still another problem here because what bill barr's justice department ultimately did was ti they conflated the notion that prosecutors engage in criminal
cases and make decisions about the whether the law has been violated. and they conflated that with congress' oversight duties. and somehow bill barr then says there won't be a criminal case and that i think is the guts of what's so wrong here. somehow this justice department and bill barr who's given us very little room to trust his decision making in this regard cuts off both avenues of review, and they're very different as we know. prosecutorial and congressional. >> it's an amazing sort of legal magic trick doj pulls off. l sounds like a crime has been committed, why don't you let us see it, and they say no crime, no one's going to see it. this also sounds fratly corrupt itself, ian, and not done in good faith. >> when you're a white house lawyer you may look at a law that's not clear and look at possible interpretations including one that is aggressively in favor of the
executive branch. but here's one you can't do that the executive privilege doesn't include the ability to interpret something in order to cover up corrupt abuse of power. and as you pointed out at the top of this show, the white house officials knew something had been done and they knew it t when they did it. >> i want to follow up on that because we're going to end up with some big fight on privilege here. it's to me inevitable in the same way the nixon tapes endsed up with a big fight on privilege. what you're saying is privilegeh cannot be invoked as a legal matter as a means of covering up wrongdoing. >> we knew when we worked in the white house for the president we represented the nation, the s ca office of the presidency, the constitution of the law. we didn't represent the interests of the individual in the oval office. when you're interpreting the law, you have to interpret it in a way that protects those to interests, that is in the office. what's going on here is an attempt to protect the interest of donald j. trump personally and his political campaign. >> you also have wonder, joyce, about maguire who's acting now
after coates and his deputy were both kicked, and it seems to me again as another matter of privilege, can they be called? it seems those two individuals should be before this committee. >> youp it's difficult to contemplate there's not a connection just because of the time line. i did hear the dni testify today that coates and gordon, neither one was familiar with the facts of this whistle-blower complaint. but i think there's a lot more there that we need to understand. certainly they can be subpoenaed, they should be subpoenaed. one suspects the white house will try to claim the same he privilege that they've claimed t with other witnesses, and it will be up to this now former d employees to determine whether they wish to testify in the facr of that or not. one hopes that we're finally getting to the point where some of the people who were around this president will do the right thing because that goes back to anne's comment about how white
house counsels and their staff look at these privilege issues. and the real problem here is that these privilege issues do float up to the white house on some level.le and in other white houses, me decisions have been made to protect the white house as an institution, the presidency as an institution. here we apparently have a group of people who decided to protect this president personally, and because there's no other decision making route, no judge that you can go to, no sort of,o you know, super fisa court type thing for executive privilege, we are stuck in many regards with whether or not employees in the white house act in good faith. >> that's the key thing. finally, ian, yes? >> joyce alludes to something else here which is impeachment is the anticipate biotic for the problem, but new laws are the vaccine. congress has to act to prevent these sort of abuses for the future. we know the president tried to abuse his power. what other ways is he going to do it?r. >> next, a vengeful president is caught on tape mulling
morning, take a listen. >> basically that's person never saw the report, never saw the call, heard something and decided that he or she and who's the person who gave the whistle-blower the information, because that's close to a spy. you know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now. >> the spies and treason we used to handle a little differently than we do now. to be clear as as clear as we can divine the way we used to handle spies in the old days was by executing them, which the president seems to be implying should happen to the people who furnished the information to this individual, they should be hacked, kill, executed. that's the joke, i guess. he said this at the same time his acting dni saying the whistle-blower acted in, quote,
good faith. what is very clear now is that the whistle-blower is being outed and retaliated against because the entire white house is being run by a person who like a mob boss hates nothing more than rats. i'm joined now by the reporter who broke the story for "the new york times" and also national reporter and msnbc contributor who's been covering this story closely. i read your report and then i listened to the sound. it's really quite something for the president of the united states to say. >> and yet it feels somewhat familiar, chris, because we've heard the president joke about violence before, heard him almost incite violence at rallies and yet when i heard it for the first time today it took me aback because he started talking about the whistle-blower almost 30 seconds into his remarks about this group of nonpartisan group of officials
there in new york, and i wept back and listened to it a couple of times and it was clear what he was saying he does it in a joking manner and sort of casually menacing it seems like, and the reaction in the room, there were a couple of people who laughed. whether those were awkward laughs or genuine laughs impossible really to know from the recording we obtained, but for the most part the people in that room seemed stunned because most of the people in there were dead silent. >> this is not just the idle thoughts of a person but he's the commander in chief, the person who sits on top of the entire period apparatus and what does iteen for the people who work in the white house and throughout the intelligence community? >> i'm really grateful to eli for obtaining this recording because it answers a question i asked the white house with my
great colleague josh dossy when we were learning about the transcript or summary of this call, we asked, we're hearing there's an investigation, a hunt for the leakers inside the white house. and the answer we received was, oh, no, we don't know about any such hunt for the leakers. but in this secret or private conversation the president basically said, oh, yeah, i want to know who gave the whistle blowers that information. it couldn't be more clear. and it echoed what he's done in previous episodes like this when he's embarrassed or some politically damaging information is revealed by the press. he wants to get to the bottom of who shared what he said. >> the striking thing as well, eli, to me and i keep coming back to this, the whistle-blower complaint implicates many, many people that were multiple officials on the call, that there were multiple officials who expressed concern, that there were white house lawyers directing the cover-up by moving it into the most secret
classified system despite the fact it didn't need to be there. it strikes me there are lots of people congress can talk to and the president must suspect of disloyalty currently reporting to the white house every day. >> right, he's always been suspicious of leaks and that's true. the information we got from the whistle-blower's report tells you there are around a dozen people who had information on this call. and while one of them, the whistle-blower came forward, the rest of them are allege today have taken the transcript, the actual recording of that call and tried to hide it, which tells you that they knew the president's comments on that call were wrong. they won't admit it now, but it's obvious that there are people in the white house who do know right from wrong, and the president is clearly nervous about more people talking to the press and potentially to congress as well. >> it strikes me none of those people have the same incentives right now. therapy watching rudy giuliani attempt to throw the state department under the bus, which maybe he finds exculpates him, but it's a bigger scandal.
all which is to say the people involved in this don't all have the same inceptives, do they? >> i would push back on this idea rudy thinks the state department commissioned him. the person who commissioned him was donald trump and you can see that in the whistle-blower complaint. there are a series of state department officials gingerly trying to help the ukraine officials navigate the president's demand in the july 25th phone call. hey, we help you out a lot, now can you investigate this biden situation for me. it's clear that at the state department there are ambassadors who whether they are in favor of this presidency or not are very concerned about the nature of the way rudy is going about mr. giuliani is going about this sort of separate secretary of
state business. and they're very worried about what they're communicating to the ukrainian officials, and really to a new regime that's an anti-corruption regime and how they are giving them conflicting information that conflicts with what rudy is telling them. also so intrigued, chris, with the idea this whistle-blower as it comes off the page to me is a person who is channelling for others who are inside the white house and more vulnerable, channelling for them concerns that they have. it's almost like i'll take the hit and all of you all, you know, duck and cover. >> this is not just one sort of real righteous person who was like you guys are getting it all wrong, this was someone who people were confiding it because they were horrified by the actions that they had seen. eli stokels and carol, thank you both. next, a head spinning aspect of this entire story, the number of lawyers who we now know were complicit in the cover-up for the president of united states mooch who they are and what they did after this.
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one of the most disturbing and remarkable aspects of the whistle-blower complaint is the number of lawyers, people who should be playing the role of up holding the rule of law, regarding behavior and conduct, who are complicit instead of embedding a cover-up. two of those lawyers are named right at the top of the complaint. that would be the president's personal lawyer rudy giuliani, a private citizen, and the top law enforcement official in the
country attorney general william barr who trump invoked by name in his effort to pressure the ukrainian president and whose own department then worked to suppress the whistle-blower complaint about that. and then there's the people you probably haven't heard of but you should because they're going to get more famous. the reason the complaint was suppressed was partly because of this guy. his name is the steven engel. he's the one who wrote the secret memo saying the complaint did not need to be turned over to congress even though the law pretty clearly states otherwise. and another person you should know, that gentleman right there is the white house counsel. and it's his job to make sure the people in the white house follow the law. and clearly whatever his direct involvement in this, he's not doing a good job of that. in fact, according to "the washington post" he's been helping to identify legal obstacles to the sharing of information that could be politically damaging to trump.
i'm joined now by a man who used to run the office of legal counsel, former assistant attorney general who also served as acting solicitor general. first your reaction to the steven engel memo, the rationale which was then released of olc where the acting director says i'm not sure about this, he goes to doj, steven engel is the judge essentially in this case and he rules, no, you don't have to turn it over to congress. what do you think of it? >> i thought it was more a memorandum that read more like an advocacy document. it seemed to be fighting to find the most narrow way to read every issue. but i think actually it's conceivable that it's right ipthe most narrow, technical sense. but i think that raises the much more fundamental problem, chris, and the one you touched on which is what is their responsibility outside this particular narrow
question they were asked about this particular provision of the whistle-blower statute, the technical issue being whether this was a matter within the intelligence community or not. and they had i think a hypertechnical reason it was not. but why is everyone sitting around not taking steps to bring a stop to this? i do think you're right, everyone needs to have his or her own lawyer. they can't depend on bill barr to protect them because the statute of limitations for any crimes that happen now like making false statements to congressional staff who are inquiring on that, that's a five year felony and the statute doesn't run until well in to the next presidential term. the president has created a very difficult environment, but what is their larger obligation? keep in mind, this is
essentially watergate in the most profound sense. what watergate was about and what this is about is an attempt to corruptly distort the next presidential election. by different corrupt means but that's what it's about and that strikes at the absolute core of democracy. and i think it is every lawyer's obligation to blow the whistle on that activity even inside the narrow technical statute or outside the statute. >> that's a really good way to think about it. there's also the fact that, you know, doj keeps creating this sort of -- almost feels like a magic trick with the law. brad heath had this good tweet where he says olc, because the whistle-blower reported wrongdoing by the president it shouldn't go to the house but to federal prosecutors. also olc, because the president is the president only the house has the authority to bring charges of federal misconduct. it's like no, no, congress can't see it, we need to see it. but actually because of the president we can't do anything so, it disappears.
>> it's a shell and in a pea game and the attempt is to protect the president. my friend makes a very powerful point. what's important here is not just that senators or house members are in favor of impeachment or not. they've got to say this is wrong. >> yes. >> even if you chose not to impeach or remove the breshz there's a core principle, american presidential elections are to be decided by americans. i thought that went without saying. and yet we have the house -- we have the majority leader -- minority leader and others taking up the defense of this if you could defend it. the impeachment judgment is did this happen the way it's alleged in an article of impeachment? and if so, is it the kind of reprehensible conduct that is -- undercuts the basic political order that justifies removal from office?
there's some reporting back in the beginning of may from russia's state tv that the president's personal lawyer canceled a trip to the new ukrainian president's inauguration. quote, russia state tv shame lsdsly lies that rudy giuliani was going to travel to ukraine for the president-elect zelensky's inauguration but trump personally directed him and any other u.s. representatives not to attend the inauguration. at the time it did seem like some weird russian propaganda, boasting about the fact the poor
ukrainian president was not going to have any u.s. officials at his inauguration. two days before senate inauguration the white house announces their delegation for the event which will be led by secretary of energy rick perry. well, we now know that maybe russia tv was onto something thanks to the whistle-blower complaint. all the way on the very last page of the classified appendix, quote, on or around may 14th the president destructed vice president mike pence to cancel his planned travel
representatives not to attend the inauguration. she adds, quote, so many lies, so little time. at the time it seemed like russian propaganda. that was reported on may 13th. then less than a week later, two days before senate inauguration, the white house announces their delegation for the report. we now know that maybe russian tv was on to something thanks to the whistleblower complaint. on the last page of the classified appendix on or around may 14th the president instructed mike pence to cancel his planned travel to ukraine to attend the inauguration. that was before there was an
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lincoln said public sentiment is everything. how many times have i said that here? with that we can accomplish anything. >> speaker pelosi's original contention about impeachment was that it was unpopular and she wasn't wrong. whether it is the house's decision to begin impeachment proceedings, the polling is shifting rapidly before our eyes. last week a poll by "politico" found only 36% of people supported starting impeachment proceedings. after the speaker's impeachment announcement that jumped to 43%. after the mueller report become public back in april, a poll found that only 39% supported. in a one day poll conducted yesterday 49% now approve the house starting impeachment proceedings.
here with me now to talk about the ramifications, the former chief spokesperson for harry reeve and donna edwards, former democratic congressman from georgia. let me begin with you, donna, about what that means and what the politics of this moment, which are radically in flux mean for how democrats proceed. >> well, i think it means that democrats have to be very focussed on what i believe is sort of the narrow constraints of the ukraine investigation. i think the ukraine story tells the narrative of why it is that this president and how it is that he's abused power. and, in fact, it really is the russia investigation in real-time that we can see that the president has done now as a president what he couldn't do as
a candidate in using that leverage over ukraine. and i think if democrats do that, they have got to do it in a way that, you know, i said one committee, one lawyer, one investigation. i think it has to be very, very focussed. and the momentum is with democrats right now. and you don't want to lose that momentum at this important juncture. >> on the senate side obviously that is controlled right now by mitch mcconnell and the republican majority. jim, you have some familiarity with the man. just to get a sense of taking the temperature of republican senators, this is a tweet today that said i just overhead a republican senator tell a reporter "on background" that trump discussing joe biden with a foreign leader one inappropriate. again, he would only say that on background. they are terrified of criticizing the president but also haven't necessarily been circling the wagons to defend them. how do you read it? >> i can guarantee you the
senate republicans are happy they have gone on recess because they have 18 days to figure out what the heck they are going to say when they get back. and further more, the list of creative excuses is a mile long from senate republicans today. look, the charitable description is that they're waiting to see what happens in the house. but until they have, as you and i have talked about before, none of these guys is a profile encouraged. they will stick with the president because that's best for them politically. mcconnell will have to make a decision what, if anything, to do when i believe the house votes to impeach him. so buckle up because it's about to get weird. >> well, let me ask you this on a follow up. there is some speculation mcconnell would refuse to hold a trial.
basically he would do to impeachment what he did to judge garland like, it is my senate. we don't have to move on anything i don't want, even though the constitution is quite clear about this. do you think that's a thing he would entertain, would do? >> yes. i mean, to finesse it slightly, another alternative for him would be once the house sends the articles of impeachment over to the senate he could vote -- >> vote that day. >> -- vote to dismiss. but that's going to be -- and, again, for whatever reason, i'm a little optimistic tonight. that's going to be an awfully tough vote for senators. you know, the constitutional responsibilities, you know, et cetera, et cetera. for them to vote on something like that without even going through a trial, you know, would be clear advocation of responsibility. but we saw what he did with merrick garland. we saw what he did when he
executed the nuclear option at least once before. yes, it is definitely -- that is an option to go through the nuclear option again to try and undermine the current rules of the senate when it comes to the impeachment process. that's definitely within his bailiwick. >> to your point about the time line here, talking about the time line in the senate, right, moving rapidly, reporting tonight that the speaker is looking for something quite quick. maybe a vote by thanksgiving, keeping it in what you said one committee, one sort of set of facts to do this on. can you risk rushing it if there is not a lot of hearings, if you don't sort of do the work to sort of both investigate and also to show the american people what is really going on here? >> look, i think that there is actually time. i mean, even in the next two months to do the kind of investigation that you need. we already show that the inspector general on ukraine has talked to a number of people in the white house. >> right. >> we need to -- we'll get the inspector general in, i think. but there is time to do this. and i think the speaker is right in insisting that this be expeditious. i think it is important to tell a clear narrative to the
american people to absorb this. and those numbers for impeachment will go up. as they do, it will put more pressure on the united states senator. breaking news tonight. this main deed have been the most consequential day of the trump president think thus far. now we know the details of the whistle-blower complaint alleging the president abused his power and further alleging the white house tried to hide it. in fact, trump's on man in charge of national intelligence today said this whistle-blower did the right thing. the president then caught on tape comparing this to a spy case reminding his audience what we used to do to spies.