tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN June 6, 2019 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
twitter. i'm jake tapper. tweet the show "the lead" at cnn. our coverage on cnn continues right now. thank you so much for watching. happening now -- breaking news. caught on tape. after a judge's order, the justice department releases the audio of a voice mail left by president trump's former lawyer to an attorney for michael flynn which the mueller -- the president's former national security adviser from cooperating with the special counsel. you're about to hear the audio. back to frustration. president trump rises to the occasion, honoring those who fought and died in the d-day invasion but at the same american war cemetery in france, he sinks back into frustration, slamming robert mueller and nancy pelosi. lock him up? speaker nancy pelosi reportedly has told house democrats that she doesn't want to see the president impeached, but that
she does want to see him in prison. and american pause as tensions escalate between the u.s. and russia, moscow continues to detain two americans. is vladimir putin using them as pawns. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news. for the first time we are hearing evidence in the russia investigation on a federal judge's orders. audio has just been released of a voice mail from president trump's former lawyer to a lawyer for michael flynn seen as an apparent effort to disrupt flynn's cooperation in the russia investigation. that's certain to be one more big frustration for president trump who has given way to his grudges today after winning praise for his solemn d-day anniversary tribute.
but speaking on that very same hallowed ground, the president described former special counsel robert mueller as a, quote, fool. and he called the house speaker nancy pelosi nervous nancy and a disaster. pelosi this week reportedly told house democrats she doesn't want to see the president impeached, adding, and i'm quoting now, i want to see him in prison. house judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler, who told me yesterday here in "the situation room" that it may come down to impeachment is quoted by a source as saying he'll subpoena mueller within weeks. i'll speak with congressman jim himes. and our correspondents and analysts will have full coverage of the day's top stories. first, to the breaking news. our senior justice correspondent eran perez is with us. first of all, take us through what has just been released. >> wolf, this is the first time that we're seeing some of the underlying evidence from the nearly two-year russia investigation. and at the orders of a judge as you mentioned, this is a voice mail that's been released by the justice department.
it's john dowd, one of the president's attorneys back in november of 2017, right after michael flynn has decided to start cooperate with the government. and he has some concerns that he wants to raise. let's listen to this tape of the -- of the voice mail. >> hey, rob, this is john again. maybe i'm sympathetic and understand your situation, but let me see if i can state it in starker terms. if you have -- and it wouldn't surprise me if you've gone on to make a deal and work with the government. i understand that you can't join the defense team. so -- if on the other hand, there's information that implicates the president, then we've got a national security issue, or maybe a national security issue, i don't know.
some issue. we've got to deal with not only for the president but for the country. so, you know, then, you know, we need some kind of heads-up just for the sake of protecting all interests if we can without you having to give up any confidential information. so, and if it's the former, then, you know, remember what we've always said about the president and his feelings toward flynn. that still remains but, well, in any event, let me know, and i appreciate your listening and taking the time. thanks, pal. >> and, wolf, we heard -- we
head some of the comments, obviously, but it's a lot different to hear this audio. and it's a bit rambling, but it does seem to portray that john dowd was -- had some concerns, had some worries about the idea that michael flynn would be cooperate with the special counsel. the special counsel certainly interpreted it that way and in that report, the special counsel said that they interpreted it to mean that they were trying to essentially interfere with michael flynn's cooperation with this investigation. we do have a comment, a statement from john dowd when the ---ing this was initially -- the transcript was initially released and he said, quote, this is clearly a baseless political document designed to smear and damage the reputation of counsel and innocent people. >> do you think actually hearing the audio of the voice mail will make much of a difference as opposed to having read the tran transcript of what this voice
mail said? >> i think it does. it's one of the differences between seeing the mueller report or hearing from mueller or people involved in putting it together. the american public benefits from hearing some of this evidence, seeing people who were involved in putting it together describe what it was that they were investigating, certainly what their impressions were. and i think it makes a difference to hear the audio as opposed to seeing a transcript. it always does. it just makes a difference for people to understand what the context was and perhaps it may make it clearer what exactly was being said in this. actual audio or video as they pursue their investigation. >> right. there's also the audio of michael flynn's discussion with the former russian ambassador sergey kislyak. that would be an interesting thing for us to hear. again, a lot has been made about this and certainly general
flynn's and the president's supporters would say that it's no big deal, but i think hearing it might give us a different impression. >> we also heard today that michael flynn, who is awaiting sentencing, has decided to go ahead and fire his lawyers, seek new counsel, maybe already have new counsel. that's pretty unusual at this late moment. >> right. it's a very unusual move but i have to tell you, wolf, i think we kind of expected this to have happened a little earlier. if you remember, a few months ago, he was -- had a routine hearing before judge emmitt sullivan. and it sort of went off the rails in part because of a filing made by the legal team that was representing general flynn. and in that filing, they suggested that he was railroaded, that the fbi tricked him into lying. that the crimes were not as serious as the government had made it seem. and so that really angered the government -- the judge, and really put flynn in peril of
having to spend time in prison, even though the special counsel is not recommending any prison time. so i think this is perhaps a strategy by flynn to sort of maybe go to the judge and say, look, my lawyer screwed up there. you've got to give me another chance. and perhaps he can fix this situation and avoid going to prison. that's his goal here, not going to prison. >> evan perez, thank you. pamela brown is traveling with the president. she's in ireland right now. pamela, the release of this tape comes just as the president is finishing up his trip to the uk, france, ireland. has there been any reaction so far from the white house? >> well, no reaction yet, wolf, on that front but even as president trump faces growing pressure back at home, he stuck to the script today in normandy. he put divisive rhetoric to the side and gave a unifying speech to a crowd of world leaders and surviving veterans who stormed the beaches 75 years ago today.
>> the streets of -- >> reporter: after delivering a soaring speech about the importance of foreign alliances abroad at the 75th anniversary of d-day this morning -- >> our bond is unbreakable. >> reporter: -- tonight the president is facing fractured alliances and old frustrations back home. during an interview with fox news set to air later tonight, and with the backdrop of an american cemetery behind him, the president reverted to his criticism of the russia investigation and special counsel robert mueller. >> he made such a fool out of himself the last time because what people don't report is the letter he had to do to straighten out his testimony, because his testimony was wrong. >> reporter: while also directing insults towards the speaker of the house nancy pelosi. >> nancy pelosi, i call her nervous nancy. nancy pelosi doesn't talk about it. nancy pelosi is a disaster, okay? she's a disaster. and let her do what she wants. you know what? i think they're in big trouble. >> i don't talk about the
president when we're out of the country. that's my principle. >> reporter: but before she arrived in france, pelosi made a stunning remark to her democratic colleagues. i don't want to see him impeached. i want to see him in prison. that, according to multiple democratic sources who spoke with politico. the statement coming amid questions on whether pelosi and house judiciary chairman jerry nadler are on the same page twhen comes to launching an impeachment inquiry against trump. >> are you on the same page with nancy pelosi when it comes to impeachment? >> as i said, we are launching an inquiry now, and whether we'll launch an impeachment inquiry, it may come to that. >> reporter: also looming back home, intense negotiations with mexico's foreign minister and whether president trump will follow through on his threat to slap a 5% tariff on mexico imports. set to go into effect monday.
>> mexico was in yesterday. they're coming back this morning in washington. they'll be meeting at the white house. i think a lot of progress was made yesterday, but we have to make a lot of progress. they have to step up, and they have to step up to the plate. and perhaps they will. we're going to see. they can solve the problem. >> we have some advances. and we are going to return later to continue discussing. >> reporter: tonight mr. trump is back at his golf resort in ireland after managing to stay on message during his d-day speech, despite the pressing issues back home. >> to the men who sit behind me and to the boys who rest in the field before me, your example will never, ever grow old. >> reporter: and here in ireland, we are told that president trump has been getting updates on the meetings happening in washington over the
mexico tariffs. and he's been weighing in from here. but press secretary sarah sanders just released a statement, wolf, saying that the president has not changed his mind. that the tariffs are still set to go into effect in mexico on monday. and, wolf, the president would have to sign an executive order by tomorrow in order for those tariffs to be averted. wolf? >> we'll see what happens. pamela brown in ireland for us traveling with the president. now to capitol hill here in washington. a source tells cnn that the house judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler has said he will subpoena former special counsel robert mueller within weeks. let's go to our congressional correspondent sunlen serfaty. nadler's subpoena threat comes one day after he told me here in "the situation room" he hoped he didn't have to resort to that kind of subpoena. what are you learning about the democratic strategy right now to get mueller to testify? >> well, negotiations, wolf, are still going on between the house judiciary committee and robert mueller offer the terms of a potential testimony up here on
capitol hill. but now chairman nadler here, sources telling me they cannot reach an agreement soon then he'll issue a subpoena within weeks. and nadler has been very clear. he's been very vocal about saying that one way or another, he thinks robert mueller will be up here on capitol hill testifying, but he seems over the last days and weeks to try to be -- trying to give robert mueller some room. hopeful they can figure it out. hopeful it would not come to the point of having to issue a formal subpoena but now they are also being clear if he does have to issue a subpoena, that something that he would do. here's what nadler told you last night on your show. >> why are you so confident that the former special counsel robert mueller will appear in public before your committee without a formal subpoena? >> well, i didn't say without a formal subpoena. hopefully it won't come to that. but it may. >> are you confident he will
appear one way or another with a subpoena or without a subpoena? >> oh, sure, sure. he's an honest, honorable person, unlike the white house, which is defying congressional subpoenas. there is no legal excuse for defying these subpoenas. and i can't imagine that mr. mueller would defy the law. he's an honorable person. >> and i asked speaker of the house nancy pelosi about this yesterday when she was up here on capitol hill saying, is it time now to just formally subpoena robert mueller? and she says that she trusts the committee's strategy on this one but certainly she said that if a subpoena comes, she hopes it would be friendly and that mueller would actually show up and come. wolf? >> it's interesting because the house speaker nancy pelosi reportedly said she wants to see the president of the united states behind bars despite not wanting to impeach him. what's the latest on that front? >> that was such a significant and rather stunning statement coming from the speaker of the house, wolf. it came and it was first reported by politico. it came in a closed door private
meeting that pelosi had on tuesday with four chairs of her committee. and it comes at such a critical time for her as a speaker. she is, as we've been discussing over the last days and weeks, been facing increasing pressure from members of her own party. now 59 democrats within the house have called for her to formally open an impeachment inquiry. and she's been working hard behind the scenes and really in front of the tv cameras expressing her strategy saying -- trying essentially to keep that rebellion from boiling over. focus on investigations. being clear she doesn't want to go down the path of impeachment too soon. certainly this sets up a huge week next week. the house is not in session today or tomorrow. they'll be back next week. they'll have contempt votes likely on tuesday for the attorney general and former white house counsel don mcgahn. certainly a big week with a lot hanging over her head. >> absolutely right. sunlen serfaty, thank you. joining us now, democratic
congressman jim himes of connecticut. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> good evening, wolf. >> let's begin with this newly released voice mail from the former trump attorney john dowd to an attorney for michael flynn. is this the first time you've actually heard this recording? >> first time i've heard the recording. of course, the transcrypt has been out there for a little while. this is just of a piece with what we know to be true about the president and his lawyers, which is they were doing everything they could to keep people from breaking and supporting the government's case. we saw it -- everybody saw it. you didn't need to have access to classified information to see that the president said that paul manafort was standing strong and was admiring him on twitter whereas michael cohen who was cooperating was a weak m man. this is all part of a major effort, probably an illegal
effort, one that does qualify for obstruction of justice that the president and his people did to try and stop the investigation as a whole and keep people from cooperating with it. >> does it make much of a difference that we're now actually hearing the audio of this voice mail as opposed to simply reading the transcript? >> it doesn't make a great deal of difference from my perspective. you know, i -- we know the story here, obviously, hearing somebody say it that will sort of, i think, enter public consciousness in a more intense way than reading words on a paper will. but the larger story here is that there was a massive effort. right down through his lawyers to encourage everybody who had been questioned by mueller to not cooperate. and i think there is probably even more information down the
road related to those efforts. michael cohen came before my committee and talked about some of the editing of his statement and michael cohen, obviously, not the very most trustable of witnesses. but, nonetheless, it paints the picture of just a unified effort on the part of the white house and the president to keep people from cooperating with the investigation, if they couldn't bring it to a close. >> the speaker, as you now know, and nancy pelosi has told some of her fellow democrats in the house this week that she would rather see president trump in prison instead of impeached. do you want to see president trump in prison? >> wolf, look, you know, probably 30% to 40% of the american public wants to see this president in prison. i think what nancy pelosi is saying, first of all, i think she's channeling the emotions of a lot of people who are very emotional, who look at the
behavior of this president, the constant lying, the use of tariffs against our best allies and biggest trading partners. you know, the attacks on the media. the attacks on judges. and just say this is not who we are. now what nancy pelosi as the leader of the democrats needs to do is she needs to manage and think a little bit longer term than just those who were saying impeachment proceedings should begin now. she's sort of understands that jerry nadler and the rest of the committee chairman are doing the investigations. they are being stonewalled with the white house. if all of a sudden nancy pelosi says now we're doing impeachment, it's not like all of a sudden the white house is going to cooperate. i think she's laying the groundwork, winning in court as you know that we did two weeks ago with two judges saying you have got to comply with congressional subpoenas, getting testimony throughout. maybe bob mueller's testimony so that this is a careful and deliberate and not an emotionally driven effort.
>> let me press you congressman. do you want to see the president of the united states in jail? >> more than anything else, wolf, i -- this isn't about my feelings or about retribution. the lizard brain that i have says i hope bad things happen to this man because he has been so destructive to our republic, to the concept of democraerks to the concept that internationally we are a light unto the nation. so, yes, i have my emotional reactions, but, look, we're a nation that is of a rule of -- we are a nation of laws. so what i really hope and this is me personally speaking, what i really hope is that if impeachment is not a mechimism of accountability, and i will tell you flat out that i can't imagine anything happening, anything at all happening that would cause the senate to convict and, therefore, remove this president, so impeachment stops in the house in my opinion, my real hope is that in 2020, the american voters look into their hearts, think about
the generation that we've been celebrating today, who as young men decided that they would give their lives for this country. think about the generation that rebuilt europe, that paid for it. that didn't live by the notion of america first or me first. and say, hey, this is not who we are. we're going to elect a different president. that, to me, that is how this country redeems itself. whether one nasty individual, you know, spends his years in jail is a lot less important to me than the redemption of the values that animate this country. >> i ask the question, congressman, not only because of what nancy pelosi told her fellow democrats in the house about preferring to see him in prison rather than being impeached because democrats have heavily criticized president trump for himself talking about jailing his own political opponents. he's raised the possibility of their committing treason. former senior officials in the justice department, the intelligence community, the fbi. so what she has just said and
what you're now saying is that any different when you're suggesting maybe the president belongs in jail? >> it is. when the president of the united states, the leader of the country says something, it is different than when even a member of congress says something. the president commands the most powerful apparatus in human history. that's the executive branch of the government with the military, with the fbi, et cetera. he commands the most powerful institution that human beings have ever seen. so, yes, what the president -- by the way, he speaks for the country. i don't speak for the country. if i'm lucky i speak for just half of my constituents. of course is matters much more. i'm a big believer in civil language, which is, you know, why i am setting aside by personal feelings about whether the president should be in prison or not. i'm a big believer in civil conversation. i think we owe it to our country
to be civil and thoughtful about the way we talk about politics. but, wolf, of course, when the president of the united states who speaks for every american, who speaks for this 240-year-old experiment of democdemocracy, we speaks, it's very different than when anybody else speaks. >> the speaker of the house is second in the line to the presidency so she's got an enormous amount of responsibility as well. let me get your reaction to what congressman jerry nadler, the chairman of the judiciary committee said here last night in "the situation room." he wouldn't say specifically whether he'd open an impeachment inquiry without speaker pelosi's pleasin i blessing. are you on the same page as nancy pelosi in preferring to defer any formal impeachment procedure? >> i am on the same page. i think it is very unlikely if not impossible, that any committee chair would do something independently of the speaker. one of the wonderful things about the democratic majority is
that while we have as many opinions as the democratic party has always had, we are acting as a team right now. and i will tell you that we are universally, the president's comments not withstanding, we are universally standing in awe of nancy pelosi's leadership ability here. you know, i've said this before. nancy pelosi is already an historic figure as the first women speaker of the house in american history. she has her eye right now not on running for president, not on being governor of the state of california. she has her eye on one thing and one thing only which is what is right for this country and what her role, because history is pointing at her, what her role is in making sure the congress of the united states does what's right for the country. and that may mean, and i think it does mean that right now you take care and you act with some prudence when people are very emotional as they have every right to be about the behavior of this president but you take
the long view as nancy pelosi is doing right now. that doesn't mean she's not going to be in favor of impeachment four weeks from now, three months from now, four months from now. today she's being prudent and careful and keeping her eye on the big picture. >> congressman jim himes, thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. up next, we'll have more on the breaking news. the audio that's now been released of a voice mail from president trump's former lawyer to a lawyer for michael flynn. was it an attempt to try to dissuade flynn from cooperating with the special counsel? you can get your student loans right by refinancing your student loans with sofi. and you can get your interest rate right by locking in a fixed low rate today. save thousands. fast, easy and all online. jushis local miracle ear t at helped andrew hear more
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we're now able to hear some of the audio, the evidence reviewed by the special counsel robert mueller after a federal judge's order. the justice department has just released the recording of a voice mail from one of the president's attorneys to the lawyer for the former national security adviser michael flynn. flynn's attorneys interpreted it as a possible attempt to try to deter flynn from cooperate with the mueller investigation. i want to discuss this and more with our political and legal experts.
joey jackson, let me play the audio of this voice mail. listen closely to this. >> i can understand your situation but let me see if i can't state it in starker terms. if you have -- it wouldn't surprise me if you've gone on to make a deal with -- and work with the government. we need some kind of heads-up just for the sake of protecting all interests, if we can. without you having to give up any confidential information. remember what we've always said about the president and his feelings toward flynn and that still remains. >> that was a portion of the voice mail. do you think this represents solid evidence of obstruction? >> there's no question in my mind, wolf, that it does for the following reasons.
and it appears to me, if i had to have takeaways from that tape right there, these would -- what they would be. number one, it appears as though the president is unnerved and certainly although his attorney is speaking in a calm voice that he's unnerved as well, about the prospect of some cooperation having taken place which would implicate the president. number two, based upon the cooperation that's implicating the president, they're fishing to confirm whether or not that cooperation exists. number three, he's offering a pardon. you know the feelings of the president and as a result of these feelings of the president, they still stand. and so call it what you will, spin it how you will, what is said is clear. and to me, that is evidence of obstruction. and last point, wolf, and that's this. when you look at obstruction or any evidence you can't look at it in isolation. everything is a data point. you have to look at this aspect of the president's conduct, his attorney on his behalf and look at every other aspect as prosecutors do when they build a
case. if you want to build a case for obstruction and match what the other 11 items mueller said exist, boy do you have it. >> we've had the transcript of this voice mail since last month, but hearing it clearly makes a difference. >> i mean, clearly that it's always better that the public hears, see, have more information in order to back up what the mueller report was based on. that said, i don't know that this changes minds and it certainly doesn't change the mueller report itself. but more information is always good. >> let me get ron brownstein to weigh in. what do you think? >> i think it just underscores the potential impact of televised hearings on the entire mueller report. because despite special counsel mueller's quaint notion that all americans are going to read through a 400-page report that's written with a lot of double negatives and very closely considered legal language, the
fact is that hearing and seeing as jackie and joey have said is very powerful. this is only one of many examples of how bringing the mueller report to life, i think does represent a kind of clear and present danger to the president. >> and also it underscores why the democrats want to hear from robert mueller who was himself -- even if he only comes back to congress and reads from his report to hear him say all of this would be very significant. >> as ron was talking, i was thinking to myself, think of what robert mueller did in the nine minutes at the end of last month where he talked. he didn't really say any words, if you just read a transcript, that weren't contained in the mueller report. but why does it matter that you have audio and visual? because you can tell emphasis. you can tell the same reason that you don't play poker remotely or if you do, you're probably a bad gambler. because you need to see everyone around you, how they react.
what's their intimation. he had to make clear he had no option but to charge donald trump in his reading of the daw and he wanted to make clear that donald trump was not exonerated and it he was, if he had been able to say donald trump was exonerated, he would have. there's a difference. it's a -- visual and audio are powerful ways in which we communicate and you can get more from that than just words on a pa page. >> it's why he doesn't want his former advisers and former staff testifying in front of congress. it has everything to do, not necessarily what they might say, but it's that visual. it's that, you know, in front of the cameras that the president is very attuned to. >> quickly, wolf. one last thing to remember, we're not talking necessarily here in terms of the legal case right now, right? justice department says he can't be charged while he's the sitting president. what we're talking about is we're talking about the swaying of public opinion vis-a-vis
impeachment, right? in the way in which that happens is not being like, did you read page 252 of the mueller report. it's having -- it's a good page. >> it's having robert mueller testify or, you know, any of these people -- >> let me get joey to weigh in. at the end of that voice mail we hear john dowd say, remember what we've always said about the president and his feelings towards flynn which to some suggests maybe there could be a presidential pardon. >> bingo. and that's absolutely the point. the point is that when you're speaking, sometimes you speak in language which you and i know what it's about, wolf, because we've talked about this before. but we want to disguise it in a certain way. so i'm not attempting to be nefarious. i'm not attempting to spout conspiracy theorys. i'm simply analyzing what we hear. and what we hear is someone saying you'll get a pardon if you look out for me. >> everybody stand by. there's a lot more we're following right now. much more on the breaking news right after this.
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continue to hold back the forces, including some, you know, at committee chairman level who want impeachment proceedings to begin or the start of it. an impeach inquiry to be open. what's one way to do that without outside events? sound a really strong rhetorical point like, hey, guys, i'm with you. i want to see more than impeachment. i want to see imprisonment. i think that's what she's doing here. and i think she knows what she's doing here because she does not -- she has said many times publicly, donald trump wants us to impeach him. it makes him a victim. the senate is not going to -- republican-controlled senate, not going to convict donald trump. therefore, you give him the issue without getting anything out of it. >> and what she is leaning against is members saying, but this is our constitutional duty. whether or not the end result is going to be what we want, this is still something that we should do. and that's what she's beating
back against. and it's tough because it's getting louder. and the more that, you know, you give credence to the fact the president may have committed crimes, that's -- that might be counterproductive with some of these members who feel passionately about it. >> just look at jerry nadler's response to you yesterday, wolf. you know, are you and nancy pelosi on the same page with impeachment? we're working it out. you get that -- >> ron, go ahead. >> i was going to say, she's managing two tracks. we don't talk about it much, but they pass the dream act this week. they've now passed six of the nine legislative priorities that they laid out at the beginning of the year and they've had a total of two dissenting votes from democrats on all six combined, which is unimaginable in other democratic majorities. about three dozen voted against the affordable care act. on the legislative side they're systematically implementing the agenda they ran on and putting the ball in the court of mitch mcconnell who has gotten away with completely ignoring all of
the things being passed. she's trying to manage, as chris said, this demand for impeachment which is still pretty much confined to democrats from safer districts. you don't have a lot of democrats from swing districts or trump districts out banging the gong for that. i think they are overlearning the lessons of bill clinton in 1998. republicans lost house seats after impeaching clinton in '98 when the country didn't support it. they maintained control of the house. and two years later the arguments raised in impeachment were an important part of george w. bush's winning presidential campaign. she may have more leeway than she thinks. for now she's really keeping a kind of a lid on it. i think largely out of deference to the 31 house democrats in districts that voted for trump in 2016. >> joey, you're the legal expert. when nancy pelosi says she wants to see the president of the united states in prison rather than impeached, is that just rhetoric? is that at all realistic? >> you know, i think it could be
realistic. and i think the easiest way from a legal perspective, if i was advising to impeach the president is to defeat him in 2020 here's what i mean. i think impeachment would be an exercise in futility because ultimately he'll not be removed or otherwise convicted as chris cillizza says by the senate. it's not going to happen. they don't have the votes. in the event that you wait and defeat the president and he's prosecuted, which he can be as a citizen out of office, there's an instance where he's not impeached but ends up in jail. if we're going to subscribe to the notion that no person is above the law and that applies to the president, people have to ask themselves very seriously and politicians alike, do we want to set the precedent of having a president in jail because that's exactly where he could be should he be prosecuted once he leaves, and if he's defeated. >> and the fact -- i was going to say, the fact is that even -- he is already, in essence, an unindicted co-conspirator in the case that has michael cohen in
jail. and that is hanging out there in 2021. but it's also worth noting that, again, if you look back at the full frame of 1998 and 2000, even though bill clinton was not removed by office from the republican-controlled senate, the issues that were raised in impeachment were an important part of the next presidential campaign. when george bush ran on restoring honor and dignity to the oval office, no one had any confusion about what he was talking about. >> to add to ron's point very quickly. newt gingrich is the problem of why we remember '98 the way we did. a week before the '98 election he was saying, we're going to win 35 seats. if newt gingrich said nothing, then we would have seen it as a wash election instefd stead of this big impeachment election. vladimir putin using two detained americans as pawns. is he using them as pawns in a bigger game to increase his power? . all of your stuff is in ok hands.
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while president trump and leaders meet to commemorate d-day, vladimir putin stayed home to host a business investment and boost his struggling economy. the united states boastly is boycotting his forum because they are detaining a pair of americans. fred pleitgen, are these americans simply pawns in a
harmer game between the u.s. and russia? >> reporter: well, that's a big question, wolf, the russians are continuing to say there is nothing political. the u.s. sees that differently, they're averagery over the fact that these americans are weighing heavily. here's what we are learning. tonight, vladimir putin's forum almost without american participation. ae he placed an american, one of the biggest foreign investors first in jail and then under house arrest. his detention another factor case lateing tensions between the u.s. and moscow the kremlin spokesman says the case is not political. >> you are saying we would prefer michael calvey to attend the st. petersburg economic forum among other investors and
we, of course, regret that he has problems with the law. >> reporter: while president trump seeks better relations with vladimir putin, the u.s. remains at odds with russia with a wide range of topics, prompting a rare personal jab from putin. >> translator: despite the fact president trump has broken all records in imposing sanctions on russia, nevertheless with him in the office trade between the united states and russia has increased by $5 billion. >> reporter: americans detained in moscow remain another issue. another american citizen, paul whelan has been in custody for months, charged with espionage. whelan recently issuing a call for help. >> i wanted to tell the world i'm a victim of political kidnap and ransom. there is obviously no credible to this situation. this is retaliation or sanctions. there is slightly no gentleman
lit massie i have been threatened. my personal safety has been threatened. there are abuses and harassments i am constantly subjected to. >> reporter: while u.s. officials have been subject to paul whelan they say their access is inadequate and vow to protest his treatment. >> he feels he is under psychological pressure to confess and in this case, we are now hearing he feels she under physical threat as well to confess and i guarantee you we will protest this fact with the russian government. >> reporter: paul whelan's pre-trial attention will go on at least seven more months. as for michael calvey, moscow indicated he may be released to attend the economic forum if st. petersburg for a day. and, wompl, the russians also trying to throw this back at america. moscow saying they believe the americans are trying to dissuade companies from taking part in the forum and investing in russia. say figure they don't want to
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happening now, breaking news, private impeachment push. cnn has learned the house judiciary chairman has broken with the house speaker nancy pelosi and is backing an impeachment inquiry. we will tell you why he is worried about going public. what mueller heard, the feds released voicemail evidence of the russia probe, which captures john dodd's phone message to michael flynn's attorney, does it sound like it's an obstruction of justice? stand by and listen yourself. angry stance, the president interrupted a day of tribute to insult robert mueller and nancy pelosi. tonight he is holed up in a trump resort overseas before returning to battles back home. and from fix tore fix it. we are now told michael cohn is