tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC October 28, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
word play. america, don't get any ideas either. a bernie endorsement is not a bendorsement. and how about putin mechlt ddling, is it a peddling or poodling. let's end our bromance with port man toes and just stick to being frenemies. speaking of frenemies, "the beat with ari melber" starts right now in philadelphia. >> i love it, thank you, katy. live on "the beat" in philadelphia, overlooking independence hall, the build where the declaration of independence was adopted and the constitution was signed. we begin now with breaking news. late today, speaker nancy pelosi announcing something that has not yet happened but now
will. united states house of representatives will hold a vote on impeachment procedures this week. this thursday. this is obviously brand new. democrats are saying it will lay down, in public and for all to see, the formal path forward, formalizing how these committees will deal with evidence, which some say supports the impeachment of donald trump, how they will force subpoenas, deal with the stonewalling and more. this is not yet the vote on actually impeaching donald trump, but it does signal that speaker pelosi meant what she said when she said it was a new phase of impeachment going toward ultimately a floor vote. and that the impeachment probe was somehow a head fake or bait and switch because the house would never vote on doing it. this is the backdrop for the other developments i'll walk through with you right now. donald trump is revealing he told copyingional investigators there was, in fact, a quid pro quo offer in this infamous ukraine plot. that is a huge deal.
also today, a witness refusing to comply with a subpoena. i'll be joined by neil catchal about that. and republican senator who is calling the impeachment deal we begin right now with this revelation that is clearly echoing through all of trump world tonight. a diplomat at the heart of this scandal, a trump donor turned ambassador, this is someone who is supposed to be on the president's side, making a starting statement. let me say it simply to you right now. this trump-friendly witness says he believes there was a quid pro quo. i'm speaking about reporting that's based on the lawyer for the ambassador to the european union, gordon sondland, who is telling ining "the wall street journal" that quid pro quo is that which sondland has already veal re vealed to impeachment investigators in congress,
saying that he believed ukraine had agreed to open investigators and that was, quote, a condition for white house meeting between trump and ukraine's president. quote, asked whether that arrangement was a quid pro quo, which is of course the heart of this impeachment inquiry, mr. son sondland said he believed the answer was yes. you don't need to be a lawyer to know that yes is not what the white house wants to hear. republicans have cited the text he wrote in the middle of all of this to a fellow diplomat as a potential or alleged offense of donald trump. sondland infamously wrote, quote, the president has been crystal clear, no quid pro quos of any kind. in the texts that are leaking out, in the evidence that's leaking out and the testimony we're getting from the congress where the tension is in this impeachment probe. i want to give you context, as we have always tried to do. mr. sondland has distanced himself from that text. he basically said i wrote it,
yeah, but those are trump's words. he's a diplomat, the argument is, and he does what his bosses say. the country is watching the investigation. it would appear that the republicans would have trouble trying to dismiss mr. sondland as a partisan let alone a member of the deep state. is he a trump loyalist. he was hand picked by donald trump to be an ambassador to the european union. not a long-time washington insider, could not be accused of having loyalty or anything like that. he is a successful businessman with a lucrative hotel chain in the pacific northwest. and he's also, as mentioned -- and this is how he got the job, according to many -- a major republican donor. after donald trump was nominated in 2016 erk joined trump's rnc finance operation and popped over a cool 1 million to donald trump's inaugural committee. why am i telling you all this history right now? because in an investigation,
witnesses matter. and when the witness is saying bad things for the white house are the white house's best friends and donors, that's really bad. that is the man who is now -- first time we reported this tonight, telling congressional investigators there was, quote, a quid pro quo. donald trump's former chief of staff is saying before he left the white house he made a very specific warning to the president. don't hire a yes man to become chief of staff. that, itself, could risk the road to impeachment. >> i said whatever you do, don't hire a yes man, someone that's going to tell you -- won't tell you the truth. don't do that. because if you do, i believe you'll be impeached. someone has got to be the guy that tells you that, you know, you either have the authority or you don't. mr. president, don't do it because whatever, you know. but don't hire someone that will just, you know, nod and say that's a great idea, mr.
president. because you will be impeached. >> because you will be impeached. a warning that echoes tonight. i should tell you, it is quite the busy news night. i am here, as mentioned, live from philadelphia. why i'm here, briefly. earlier i was joined by candidates kamala harris, cory booker and tom steyer. that's why we're here. we'll bring that to you later in the show. jeffrey rosen, president and ceo of the national constitution center, quite fitting. i should also mention he has a book "conversations with rbg" that's coming out next week. craig green, law professor at temple university in philadelphia and many other guests around the nation as part of our special tonight. we begin here from a straight-up investigative point of view. the law often revolves around what you can prove, not just what you think.
how do you view this evidence from mr. sondland, a trump buddy, to use a nontechnical term, saying forget what i texted, forget what i wrote. tas a quid pro quo. >> the fact that he told the president it's a quid pro quo seems especially significant. it makes it harder for the president to argue that no one advised him of that and clears up any ambiguity that may have been left by the text. in that case it's significant. >> craig, do you agree? >> i do. for both of your leading stories, we're in the middle of the beginning. the impeachment vote and sondland's testimony shows that this is very serious. we can't know exactly what the evidence says. all the steps forward are those. they're steps forward. sondland's testimony is exactly that. >> jeffrey, as the system that the founders created -- i don't want to phil. you do run the constitution center. >> right across the mall. >> right over there. >> isn't it beautiful?
the most inspiring site on the mall. >> i don't want to overly plug what you do but it's wonderful. i'm literally looking at a wall that says "we the people" over there. it was built not just for good times but famously for challenging times. the impeachments we've seen, whether you go back to johnson or the procedure leading up to nixon were the times when the country was very strained. it's not unique to 2019 when people have different views of the facts. i wonder what you think of the way that the democrats today are saying they're using this process. and i want to play for you adam schiff, now the front man of the investigation, which eventually could or will be turned over to the judiciary committee. here is schiff, using the powers afforded to him under our constitution. >> i think we can infer from the white house opposition to dr. cupperman's testimony that they believe his testimony would be incriminating of the president. but we move forward and we will obviously consider, as we inform dr. cupperman's counsel his
failure to appear as evidence that may warrant a contempt proceeding against him. >> the distinction here being it's not normal times when you play it out and debate whether someone can come into the congress. congre congressman schiff with the clear backing of speaker pelosi said we're going to keep tabs of who doesn't show and it will be evidence toward a potential impeachment of donald trump. >> that's right. the founders created impeachment before bad times. they had george washington before them but realized they may have someone else. george washington made executive to himself for claims of impeachment, which congress should have access to. it's not a criminal trial. they're allowed to use fifth amendment pleas for adverse inferences and more significantly today it's a big deal there will be a formal vote. this puts in the same territory as nixon impeachment. it began in secret, there was grand jury testimony, then there
was a formal vote. counsel was appointed for both sides and after that, congress had much more legal authority to ask for what it wants. democrats don't want to wait for court rulings, constitutionally, the fact that this is a formal impeachment investigation gives the congress very broad power to seek the information it wants. >> are the democrats, in your view, on firmer ground? what we're telegraphing is a process of how they're going to release depositions so the public can see what they've gathered and how, if the report or whatever the intelligence committee finds is at a certain level, they refer to the judiciary committee, which is where impeachments usually go. >> it's very important, one thing to remind everyone of is that the democrats in the house are really just the investigation. they're more like the grand jury, if you want to think of it that way, or preparing the indictment. there will be a trial, with all kinds of procedures, designed by mitch mcconnell and senate republicans that awaits sort of
behind door number two. this is the constitutional crisis where the republican president is stonewalling and misleading and obstructing. it's also a credibility crisis. 30 to 40% of americans don't seem to mind what the facts are. i think the president could shoot someone on fifth avenue, is the vernacular. that's, in some ways, the more serious crisis. think about that as you think about the procedures, think about people, republicans in particular, going on record of whether they even support inquirying about the kind of allegations and evidence that all of america knows is there. >> you're speaking to the evidence, which is the big question here, which is does the accumulation of evidence, including this bombshell of trump's own person saying it's a quid pro quo change the calculus? a lot in the senate say it doesn't change anything. whistle-blowers, in fact, can change a lot. >> can i jump in? i think the impeachment proceedings are less about
impeaching a president than they are finding about the truth. if you don't support an impeachment inquiry over the evidence available then you're choosing president over country. >> not rooting for a particular side. i want both of you to hang with me in. i want to go to someone many of our viewers will nyu professor melissa murray. good evening to you. >> hi. how are you? >> i'm great. i'm thrilled. i've got a lot of energy being out here, thinking about different parts of criminal justice. we'll talk about that later in the hour. i want to play for you mike pence statement with regard to sondland. was there a quid pro quo bribe or not? >> are they all lying? >> i can only tell you what i know. >> did you have knowledge of the
deal that these u.s. officials have described under oath? >> what i can tell you is that all of my interaction on this issue focused entirely on three things. >> did you have knowledge of what -- >> we stood with them. >> i haven't gotten a clear answer from you on that. are you saying you never heard of such a deal? >> all of my conversations with president zelensky were entirely focused on issues of imports to the american people. >> what's happening there, professor? >> lot of bobbing and weaving for someone who's not in the ring. lot of evasion for the vice president, someone who ostensibly would have some knowledge. he was withdrawn from president zelensky's inauguration in favor of rick perry. the rick perry made me do it defense. obviously, he has a little bit of knowledge about what's going on here. he is avoiding answering those questions directly. >> and when you see that
avoidance, do you have a sense there is a single impeachment defense strategy coming out of this white house or not? one of the things that's most striking -- we have a little more on this later in the hour as republicans are voicing their concern with more panic and more leaks is that you have mulvaney trying to say maybe there was a quid pro quo and it's cool, and then saying no, i didn't say that. you have pence basically saying i don't care how evasive i look, evasive looks better than admitting a quid pro quo and then these other officials we reported at the top of the hour that say, yeah, there was one. >> a couple of threads are being woven together. one is this idea that there's no quid pro quo at all. i don't know what you're talking about. there was no quid pro quo. then there's the idea there's always a bit of pressure and pressure brought to bear in diplomacy and this is one of those swayings and it's of no moment. then there was quid pro quo but it wasn't necessarily about
biden but corruption about fighting corruption more generally on the world stage. either way, vice president pence's ability to answer the question directly and evade in such an elaborate way really gives someone pause. >> what does it mean to you as someone who has been following this closely? we even had debates on our show about how far to go. our viewers may remember an exchange you had with john flannery. pre-ukraine, you understood why speaker pelosi wasn't going farther. what does it say to you that speaker pelosi, by the process, is now scheduling this vote, a formal floor vote moving toward the formal impeachment of president trump. >> i remember i took a lot of heat from your viewers for being, quote, unquote, pelosi toty. >> well, professor, i hope our viewers didn't use any such
language. i' >> some did not love me after that but i think she understood the lay of the land. she needed something that would stick, something that was not nebulous but really firm. what could be more firm than these allegations? they're really important, really big. now that she's moving forward, again, you have the republicans on the rope. last week, the republicans were talking about the procedure. the procedural irregularities. no one wanted to talk about the substance, whether or not the president of the united states when would foreign aid in order to get a foreign government to investigate a political rival. and what could be more damning than that? so i think she actually made the right call. i stand by my decision. i stand up to all of those who called me a pelosi totey. i think i was vindicated. >> that's great. the conversation, like the news, keeps going. you get to update on that. my thanks to professor murray for joining us and craig green with me here in philadelphia.
and for you constitution fans, mr. rosen stays, as we get into some really interesting precedence that the democrats are looking at later this hour. a quick break. but coming up, the moment that donald trump ran into banners and boo'ing at the world series. senator says it's turned into a horror movie for the party. and speaking inside a prison facility with three democratic presidential candidates. i'm ari melber. the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock.
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something you don't see every day, president trump getting an unplanned and unvarnished view of how impeachment is play iing out amg some members of the public. it didn't go well. donald trump steps out of his white house bubble and goes to game five at the world series in washington on sunday only to see an enormous impeach trump banner, veterans for impeachment signs and then this, loud boos, following the announcement of
president trump and the first lady's attendance. >> we are joined by the president and first lady. >> as you can hear, that went on and on. the crowd followed up with some chants of, quote, lock him up, throughout the stadium. that's reaction of some members of the public. meanwhile, many anonymous republicans who appear to be sending up flares, one republican senator saying that the problematic public arguments from donald trump combined with a series of evidentiary bombshells all makes it feel like a horror movie. here to discuss, is jason johnson for the root.com. good evening to you, sir. how do you think it's all playing there in washington and the crowds and how that affects these senators who could ultimately be under the impeachment system donald
trump's jurors. >> it's not just donald trump who heard those boos, ar. it's all republican senators. washington, d.c. is a bit of a blue place. all these red hats were not maga hat. it was regular people, moderates and conservatives, who were screaming and boo'ing. a lot of times presidents are in varnish environments, in meetings, in colleges where only a couple of students get to speak to them. they get an impression of how the public feels about them that is not true. this was a chance for the president to see the country is not behind you, people are not behind you and the very same frain that he threw at hillary clinton is now being thrown at him, lock him up. >> politicized the notion of lock them up, whoever they may be. >> right. >> if it isn't pursuant to the justice system. having said that, of course, the
politics of it are pretty obvious, as you say. it suggests real heat and energy. and it's not just people who are in the so-called resistance of the democratic party. steve banon has widely been seen as an advocate of donald trump. he was literally the number one person on the 2016 campaign when they won. he closed out as chairman in november. here is what he had to say about who he thinks is winning this debate right now. take a listen. >> i've said you've got to wake up to this process that nancy pelosi is running. she's running the most sophisticated political warfare. and they're winning right now. she has the votes. as sure as the turning of the earth in a couple of weeks nancy approximately owesy is going to bring two charges in front of the house and they will vote to impeach trump and pass it to the senate. >> jason? >> steve banonnon is a smart guy. this say horror movie. is it us?
are you tethered? you don't have to be tethered to the president. republicans have a choice to get themselves out of the horror movie. even though the call is coming from inside the house. a screaming crowd at a baseball game that the nationals lost before they realize that staking out an independent path might be a better decision for them. steve bannon has always been very good at acknowledging strategy. nancy pelosi knows where she's going with this. the vote later this week will lay out iron clad rules so republicans can't claim they don't know the process anymore. now is the time to decide whether you support president trump or not. as a republican, you need to have a clear reason, one that you'll be able to explain back in your district at home. >> yeah. that's the final question i want to ask you. i'm speaking to you on a week that is kicking off with the house and speaker pelosi setting the agenda. the president is responding to the evidence on earth, to the schedule they're setting, and
nobody knew two months ago that the house would be doing that. this is speaker pelosi driving it. how do you think donald trump has struggled to handle her, which builds out of the answer to your last question, in contrast to mr. mueller who ran, as he was supposed to -- didn't run a political game acres public game. but in that private, confidential and very careful process, mr. mueller, in the public eye, was obviously sometimes overwhelmed by other louder forces, being mr. barr, mr. trump. yet here donald trump looks in a public fight over evidence, he looks outmaneuvered this week by the speaker. >> right. because robert mueller was concerned with what he constrained himself with with, right? robert mueller said i'm not going to do this. i'm not going to do that. i'm going to stop leaks. he was never able to fight the pr battle that many democrats and resistance people wanted to. nancy pelosi knows the pr battle. nancy pelosi knew how to set the
democrats. 24 hours ago the president was crowing about the fact that he defeated isis. we're not talking about that anymore. by thursday we'll be talking about the preimpeachment vote. politically and communications wise, nancy pelosi, for once, is running circles around him. if the president can't figure out a way to change this narrative, not only will he obviously lose the impeachment vote in the house, but will lose support in the senate. the real question will not be whether or not he gets removed. i don't think that happens. from a messaging standpoint you could see five, six, seven, eight senators, republican senators make symbolic votes for impeachment because the president can't explain himself and they're tired of taking arrows for him. >> i don't know if you're right or not. but i do know that the reporting does suggest that what you're saying is quite plausible. because republican senators aren't just saying now, let's sit through a few bad weeks and move on. >> right. >> they're throwing up these warnings. they're arguing, some would say, in a very secretive way because
they don't want to put their name on it. it says republican senator. if you are the president facing impeachment, senator in your party is the most important person in the world until you know you're not convicted. we know that from history. jafb, always good to chop it up with you, sir. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. much more ahead on this special edition of "the beat," live from independence hall. democrats trying to use donald trump's stonewalling against him. that and more when we're back in 30 seconds. him. that and more when we're back in 30 seconds at bayer, this is why we science. whyou should be mad that airports are complicated... he's my emotional support snake. ...but you're not, because you have e*trade, whose tech isn't complicated. it helps you understand the risk and reward potential on an options trade. don't get mad. get e*trade.
if this witness had something to say that would be helpful to the white house, they would want him to testify. they plainly don't. we are not willing to allow the white house to engage us in a lengthy game of rope-a-dope, so we press forward. >> announcing new strategies to try to prevent donald trump's stonewalling the impeachment probe. not only the full house vote but this new plan to confront witnesses who try to bail, including charles kupperman, trump official who went ahead and skipped a scheduled deposition today. kupperman is saying he's not defying anything lawfully because he's simply asking a judge to rule on whether he has to testify. democrats say they're not putting up with any more tactics and will hold him and others in contempt.
it may affect other witnesses from john bolton to rudy giuliani. powers to shield from congress his conversations with close aides and greater pull on those private witnesses. democrats say they're done to try to use the courts to force testimony here basically saying enough is enough. this is an impeachment probe and officials who resist cooperating will be treated as accomplices to the mounting evidence against trump. i'm joined now by nael katyal for opening remarks. >> this is one in which schiff and pelosi and the house of representatives already have the goods. donald trump gave it to them.
he turned over the transcript, which wasn't even a full transcript. whatever that memorandum of the conversation was on july 25th. and that itself is so damning. so, really, you know, the president is the one behind the eight ball. it's only testimony that can remove the real taint here that he committed high crimes and misdemeanors. if he's going to order people not to testify and so on, i think schiff is absolutely righ that. i don't need any of this. the technical legal term for all of these fights and stuff like that is gravy. they don't need it. they've got what they need. ambassador sondland was the only thing trump had, sondland said at one point it wasn't a quid pro quo, and even he has backed way from that. the white house is in a tashl, terrible position. schiff is exactly right to do what he did today. >> sometimes you and i have potentially intricate conversations about the law
here. the next question i have for you is very straightforward. for people watching who say, well, if mick mulvaney comes out and gives a long press conference about the details of this, ukraine, bribery, quid pro quo, we do it all the time, why would he or others be able to then say to congress, this stuff is so privileged ai can't talk o you about it? >> the mulvaney two-step is like the trump two-step. they talk about this stuff and blab about it in front of a national audience and then say it's covered by confidentiality and executive privilege. these claims are totally made up and no responsible scholar would support them, which is why just three days ago the chief judge in d.c., judge howell, totally repudiated everything the president has been saying about how this impeachment inquiry allows him to claim these privileges and the like. she called it, it h sma opinion.
and this is, quote, stonewalling, and she was exactly right. hat opinion would be appealed, exactly the kind of cases that you would always argue, including for the obama administration. and i have another short quote from the judge on all of this about, why they don't have to turn over the mueller materials and she said, quote, the doj is just wrong. what happens then to this on appeal? because unlike the witnesses where they're saying, look, we don't care, the actual underlying mueller -- redacted mueller parts they wouldn't get until i understand it that repeals process is resolved or exhausted. >> right. that will move very quickly in the courts. that is information about the mueller investigation, not about the ukraine one. i think democrats are right to say, do that in the court. we don't need that. it's all gravy for purposes of the ukraine impeachment proceedings. ari, we do have historic
precedent for cases like this moving ip credibly fast. the nixon tapes case, he tried to file a case to say i have executive privilege on may 1st in the same court that judge howell is in, d.c. district court, may 1st, 1974, the supreme court ordered that case heard on an expedited basis right from the trial court. they skipped the court of appeals with a decision july 24th, just a couple of months later. it could move quickly. the point here in which representative schiff recognizes is it doesn't need to move quickly because ukraine is different and they have the goods. one other interesting piece about judge howell's opinion, ari. remember, nancy pelosi has said to president trump, i don't need a formal vote for impeachment. he said you need it. otherwise it's illegitimate. she said no. then you have this judicial decision saying you don't need a formal vote of impeachment and now, in what can only be a technical legal term that i guess we lawyers would call it
as a baller move, pelosi says i'm now going to seek the formal vote of impeachment. i think the reason for that is she knows she's got the goods. the house of representatives has the goods. the president is going to be impeached. it's in black and white in what he said on july 25th. >> i always love it when neal katyal gets to the legal equivalent of balling. you make such an interesting point there, to those who are following you closely. a lot of our viewers are. that the speaker waited to move in a position of strength. they laid out and won procedural victories in court to say that they don't need to do this. they're not doing it in response to the president, a posturing victory, and they go ahead and do it. eventually you do have floor votes. hays where it's heading. fascinating on that. as sii say thank you and good-b, you have a new book coming out. we want to mention that here on
"the beat," as friends of neal katyal. it's called "impeach: the case of donald trump." i assume we'll be drawing on your expertise there and your knowledge. i expect we'll be keeping you busy. >> thank you, ari. why it's newly relevant for democrats as they make these moves. i have a very special guest, i'm excited, first time on "the beat" live from independence hall. the beat" live from independence hall fair, you spend less and get way more. so you can bring your vision to life and save in more ways than one. for small prices, you can build big dreams, spend less, get way more. shop everything home at wayfair.com
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mused about hanging his opponents. a handful of articles of impeachment, johnson shows how congress can go big and throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at a president. he was impeached on 11 different articles, really some that sounded like opinions being, like the view that he brought contempt, ridicule and disgrace on his office. johnson actually came closest to setting conviction, within one vote on one of what turned out to be one of the broadest articles against him, which tried to combine many different allege offenses. with so few precedents in this area, should democrats take cues from that impeachment? on our special show we turn to a very special guest who is quite perfect for the topic. lawyer and historian david stewart, who wrote the book on this. "impeached: the trial of andrew johnson and the fight for lincoln's legacy."
i am rejoined by constitutional scholar jeffrey rosen. good evening to both of you. when you looked into the johnson impeachment and you wrote this book, which i should tell you i've read and you really go into depth about that debate as to whether to go broad or not and that broad ultimately many of johnson's detractors thought worked. tell us about that. do you think any of that applies to donald trump? >> it's going to be a trade-off, if you put sort of a lot of charges together, you have a chance of picking up extra votes. somebody thinks charge a is a problem, somebody thinks charge b is a problem, somebody else thinks charge c is. you get them all together. all tern toughly, though, it can be a negative. frankly, when you're prosecuting, xlksity is an enemy and simple is better. and public opinion is going to drive impeachments at the end of the day. so i think probably certainly in
today's sound bite world, a simpler impeachment article is probably going to be more effective. >> interesting. so, your lesson from johnson, not stipulating where you fall on these issues, but your lesson is if you do want to impeach a president, as many in congress are on record of wanting to do, you say simple and fewer articles? >> number of articles, i'm not as interested in. i do think an article should be clear and simple and easy to understand. this is a political process. nobody is going to vote for impeachment unless they think the voters want it, or at least most of them won't. you won't get a lot of profiles from courage in those votes. in order to mold public opinion and bring it around, simple is always going to be more effective. >> jeffrey, what do you think? >> i agree simple is better. the lesson of the johnson impeachment was don't impeach on legal technicalities.
remember, johnson is acquitted in the senate because the senate thinks the tenure of office act, this law that he's impeached under, itself, is unconstitutional and the supreme court later agrees. in retro spec, it would have been better to impeach him for refusing to the reconstruction amendments and defying the rule of law even if he technically didn't violate a statute. rather than focusing on whether there were technical violations of campaign finance laws, the house might do better to say it is corrupt to accept a quid pro quo in exchange for foreign aid, whether or not it technically violates the law. >> as many scholars have pointed out, laws are passed many years after impeachment clause, common sense thing that can get lost. david, the other thing i was dying to ask you, i couldn't help but notice in the johnson
case -- he's not a president remembered for a lot of other things, though certainly is remembered for the impeachment. you have the lack of legitimacy, the fact that so many people in the country saw someone that was soaking racial divisions, appealing to hate and didn't ever have the support of the voters, because he came to office through assassination. in the clinton case, very different set of facts, but many republicans felt he never won a majority because of these three-way races and there was always this idea of legitimacy. in the trump case where we're on the verge of a vote thursday that could ultimately lead to an impeachment vote, many americans feel it was illegitimate for a range of reasons i don't need to repeat. do you think they're ultimately more likely to face impeachment? >> i think it's a factor. if you look at richard nixon, he had a massive electoral win in 1972 and ended up, obviously, on
the road to impeachment. i think what's also very important to keep in mind is the nature of the presidency. impeachments don't happen early in a term. they happen after a while, after there's been amassed evidence about how this individual works. because the vote that's cast is a vote as to whether this individual has so abused his office that he's not fit to be president. and, you know, the trump impeachment has not started until 34 months into his presidency. with andrew johnson it was 34 months into his presidency. and one of the questions people are going to be asking themselves, the senators and the congressmen will ask themselves, is is this behavior characteristic? is this what he does? the contrast i would draw, with the clinton case, he presented himself as performing competently as president. there was no reason to remove him. yes, he had this bad problem but it wasn't about how he was president. so i think you have to notice
the whole context of the case. >> it's fascinating to hear you lay that out, given the history and the legal history, part of our focus tonight on our special. david stewart, thank you so much. i suspect we'll be calling on you. jeffrey rosen from the national constitution center, my thanks to you as well. we'll fit in a break and get in some stuff we haven't had time for yet. including 2020 democrats joining me inside a prison facility here in philadelphia and taking questions from former prisoners. that's up ahead. s. that's up ahead. umatoid arthrit, month after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock. prescribed for 15 years, humira targets and blocks a source of inflammation that contributes to joint pain and irreversible damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened;
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we've been joining you live from right here in philadelphia tonight, because i just spent the day at a sprawling former prison here with three democratic presidential candidates. it was at a forum about criminal justice and mass incarceration. you're looking at some of the shots inside right now. and this is unusual because each interview was conducted with moderators and audience questions by people who have served in prisp or been directly impacted. that's obviously quite a major
shift in how these issues are usually addressed and who typically leads the discussion. right now, we want to show you some of the highlights from the forum today. >> why was it important to you to come have dialogue with people who have served time with family members who have been through this? why is it important that these voices are part of how we pick the next president? >> these are the leaders. this is a room of leaders who understand what is actually happening in the system. and who know that if we are, again, if we're going to be true to our values and if we want healthy communities, if we want to be true to the values of redemption, we have to agree that the incarceration system of america is one of the greatest failures of public policy in our country. >> i am surprised and angry. this is a chance to have a conversation with formerly incarcerated people. and we have three, three
candidates showing up. i'm sorry. that is unacceptable. >> this country started with massive deliberate legalized injustice and racism. >> america's criminal justice system has child separation policies. the goal should be healthy communities, because healthy communities are safe communities. >> the way you get the right policy is to go to the community that's affected and get their experience, their wisdom. >> so much of what has led to america's mass incarceration has been based on domestic wars. the war on drugs. that was a war on our own people. >> you're talking about pushing back against what can be the malicious impact of profit industries here. what needs to happen given your expertise in that field so people like you and your hedge fund don't make those investments in the first place. >> i realize it's just wrong, so i sold it.
and i always felt like, boy, i was really dumb. i regret it. it was a mistake, so i corrected it on my own. >> we criminalize poverty. we criminalize people struggling with addiction. people struggling with mental health. >> let me ask you a question. is there anyone in this room who doesn't think donald trump should be impeached? thank you. >> if you want to talk about a threat to a nation's security, talk about donald trump. >> preach. >> i know. >> freedom, it is the most sacrosanct value be profess in our country. liberty, freedom, and we're a nation that is violating those fundamental aspects. >> it was my honor to co-moderator this discussion. and it's an important part of how we think as citizens about who should be president that we actually were joined both on the stage and in co-moderation and in the audience, questions by people who have been impacted by this. so often in our criminal justice system, as i said today, people are disappeared, they're
silenced, and they're never heard from today. today was a small part in changing that, and it was an honor to work with those individuals and hear from some of the candidates. that does it for us, "the beat" live from philadelphia tonight. i'll be back tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. eastern. don't go anywhere. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. crashing toward impeachment. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight, two gate crashing steps toward the impeachment of donald trump. first, speaker nancy pelosi announced today that the house of representatives will hold its virs vote on impeachment. a vote that formalized the heightening inquiry that is now entering its second month. quote, we will bring a resolution to the flor. speaker pelosi wrote ing a letter that cub firmed the