tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN September 24, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
end of the year and of course, next year is an election year and we'll see how this formal impeachment investigation unfolds because the stakes clearly are enormous. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." cnn's breaking news coverage continues right now with erin burnett "out front." this is cnn breaking news. good evening. i'm erin burnett. "out front" tonight, the breaking news and it is historic news, the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi just going before cameras to tell the nation the democrats are moving to impeach the president of the united states. >> last tuesday we observed the anniversary of the adoption of the constitution on september 17th, sadly, on that day the intelligence community inspector general formally notified the congress that the administration was forbidding him from turning over a whistleblower complaint
on constitution day. this is a violation of law. shortly thereafter press reports began to break of a phone call by the president of the united states calling upon a foreign power to intervene in his election. this is a breach of his constitutional responsibilities. the facts are these, this week the president has admitted to asking the president of the ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically. the actions of the trump presidency revealed dishonorable fact of the president's betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections. therefore today i'm announcing the house of representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. i'm directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under their umbrella of impeachment inquiry.
the president must be held accountable and no one is above the law. >> her decision could lead to president trump being just the third u.s. president in history to be impeached. and just to be very clear here, nancy pelosi did not come to this moment easily. she did not want to do this. for near lie a year she has resisted calls to begin an impeachment inquiry against trump. >> the house democratic caucus is not on a path to impeachment. >> i don't think there's anything more divisive we can do than to impeach a president of the united states. >> today, that changed. after pelosi met behind closed doors with democrats. tonight 163 house democrats now back pelosi's impeachment proceedings, a number that rose through the day including democrats from districts that trump won who have resisted calls for his impeachment until now. and tonight, trump responding in part by saying that he authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted
transcribed phone conversation with president zelensky of the ukraine. we don't know if there is an exact transcript of every word that was said in that call, and of course, trump wants to make this about one phone call. it is about more than that. the president's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani met with the ukraine's president's team to discuss investigating joe biden and remember, according to another source, the whistleblower's complaint referenced a, quote, sequence of events and all of this adds to this, trump directed his chief of staff mick mull vaughny to withhold aid to ukraine and he did not withhold and so here we are tonight at a moment in american history when the democrats formally began the move to impeach donald trump. sunlen serfaty. this is a day in history, speaker pelosi speaks out and now what? what happens now? >> reporter: that's a great question and what top democrats on capitol hill are asking tonight, erin. as we know from speaker pelosi,
she says that the six house committees that were already investigating president trump, they will continue to do so, but according to pelosi they will do so now under this more powerful umbrella of it being a formal impeachment inquiry and just in a very short amount of time, this has already caused some house democrats to openly question how does this change things? how will this change things going forward. so there is some confusion among democrats tonight as to will the face of this investigation actually change? will the face of it be different than what it was before? >> pelosi herself when she huddled behind closed doors with house democrats earlier this afternoon, she said according to a source in the room, she not acknowledge this. she said, quote, that it doesn't change much from what's already going on and essentially saying this is in substance, not necessarily a huge departure from what they're already doing in theory, but many house democrats also making the
argument that it does change things going forward, the fact that this is now the speaker of the house publicly defining this first and foremost that this is an impeachment inquiry and it adds more weight and more urgency to their investigations as they pushed forward and certainly speaker of the house pelosi making it clear behind closed doors and she intends these investigations to be swift. she wants them to move expeditiously through this process, erin. >> sun lann, thank you very much. i want to go to democrat dean philips. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> what happened in that meeting today with speaker pelosi. you were there. >> i was there, and the speaker as you just reported made this an official inquiry, and that is the news of the day. many of us in light of the news from this last weekend recognized the egregious behavior of this president has got to be addressed and i'm a believer in process. most of us in this caucus are like minded and today we made
that official, and i think it was an important step. it's a somber day for america, but an important one for the constitution and for the rule of law. >> do you have any sense of what changes from here though? your committee is investigating and we understand the speaker said things will move swiftly. do you have a sense of a time line and what happens now? >> i think i speak for most of the caucus that we will do this expeditiously and proficiently and focusing specifically on this allegation which the president himself has essentially admitted to engaging in a conversation with the leader of a foreign nation to interfere in our democracy, and that is behavior that cannot stand, and i think this makes something official that had been less than that beforehand, but i am very clear about this specific allegation. we should be focused on that and we should do so very quickly. >> you want to focus this and you're not talking about mueller or anything which others do care about, i presume. i want to ask you, the speaker
today when she announces an official impeachment inquiry, your statement yesterday congressman said if the reports are corroborated, we must pursue articles of impeachment. so is there daylight between you and the speaker at this time? >> i can't speak to her position specifically, erin, but my statement was very clear. there are two issues right now. one is the president engaging in this conversation that he's admitted to and the other is obstruction. the director of national intelligence has an obligation, a legal obligation to forward that whistleblower's report to our congress within seven days. that has not been done. that is a clear violation of law and in my estimation there could be two articles of impeachment and engaging with a foreign leader and those are the two issues. >> you are making it about ukraine. the i want to be clear and the reason i keep making this points and you are new to this point of view as of yesterday. you were elected to the house in 2018. congressman, you defeated republican incumbent and flipped
a red district and you're the first democrat to hold a seat in your district since 1961. >> that's correct. >> so what is it about this that you feel that this is now the time to get onboard. what is it about this that makes it so different that gets you onboard. >> from the day i took and swore the oath of office. i believe the allegations, so many of the allegations that exist right now relative to this president have been -- we've been conducting our investigations in a way that's appropriate, principled, process driven and i think those should continue, but what we discovered this past weekend was egregious and to me, a line in the sand that cannot be crossed and it's cut and dry, it's black and white and to anybody in this country. members of congress, any citizens who believes in the rule of law and who reveres in the con stukz will be like mined relative to this allegation and that is what's changed and i think it's quite distinct. >> when you say in black and white and we'll get the
transcript tomorrow according to the president. what he said today, in part in a tweet and he calls this a witch hunt, he said they never even saw the transcript of the call. >> do you know what we'll see tomorrow? do you know if there is an actual transcript or is there going to be a summary of what happened which could leave plenty of room for him to say is covered and for you all to say we know what really happened and the american people to not be sure. >>i >> erin, i have no idea what's coming tomorrow. the president has admitted to engaging in the conversation in which he discussed with the president of the ukraine investigating an american citizen who happens to be a political adversary of the president himself. that much we know. what else we know is that the director of national intelligence had a legal obligation to forward this whistleblower's report to us and that has not been done. whether or not there was a quid pro quo that exists might be incidental to this whole issue
and we have to make clear. what the president has admitted to already in my estimation, is impeachable. >> think that is that is important. >> what he admitted was corruption was his reason for withholing the aid, right? he also wanted joe biden to be investigated, in your view that's enough. you do not need a quid pro quo where he specifically says it was for -- i'm going to hold up the military aid although the timing does line up with that, but if you don't have it on paper it doesn't matter to you. >> like i said, erin, we need corroborating evidence relative to the president's conversation and whether or not there is a quid pro quo i think is incidental. when the president of the united states of america should know that when he or she engages in conversations with foreign leaders that almost implicitly there is a quid pro quo when you express a desire for anything to be done. the president should know that. this is where the line has got to be drawn and this is also an inflexion point for the whole
country, erin. i'm the father of two daughters. many americans are parents and grand patients. we have to mach a decision, but what will we tolerate in the country and what kind of behavior will we allow? >> in this case it is so clear and we have to depoliticize something and come together on the rule of law. in this case what the president has admitted to is something so e greigious that we cannot turn our eye on it and i hope my fellow members will see it that way and i trust they will. >> thank you very much for your time tonight. >> thank you, yrin. i want to go to nia malika henderson, john dean and kerry cordero who is council to the assistant attorney general for national security. >> you just heard congressman philips there. this is one who flipped one of the districts and wanted to make it loud and clear this is not about mueller, but that he believes the line has been crossed and he's there. that's the kind of democrat that
was not onboard. how big of a moment is for speaker policy? >> it's a huge moment for the country. nancy pelosi never hinted that she wanted to be here. you asked nancy pelosi about impeachment. she would say it is not on the table, and it was never firmly on the table today, it very much is. you heard her today at 5:00 in that very somber address. she talked about the president, a violating of the law and she talked about the president betraying his oath of office, betraying his duty and to uphold national security. so this was a real big moment for her. there is a further test ahead of her, of course, can she bring this caucus together, right? there's been a lot of infighting and alexandria ocasio-cortez and some of the more liberal members of her caucus there. can she bring them together? can she bring other democrats across the country onboard because if you look at the polling on this and a lot of the
democrats themselves haven't been for impeachment to this point and something like six and ten. so she's got a big job ahead of her in term was bringing the country along and messaging on impeachment and you talk about the democrats wanting this to happen expeditiously and so far it hasn't happened in that way and we saw a lot of sloppy moves by the chairmen there. what happens moving forward? it will be up to nancy pelosi to lead this caucus in a way and bring the country with her. >> how do you think she handled this moment? >> very well. she did it with a lot of formality and dignity. as david is an expert on public communications and i think he'd have to agree that she did it in a style that is unlike the normal announcement when gingrich did it for clinton it was kind of very partisan and not terribly formal and dignified. it was never done for richard
nixon, formally. i wasn't around for andrew johnson, so i can't speak to that one. i thought she did a very nice job and she took what has been going for low profile for many months and she's made it a high-profile undertaking. >> as i played a brief clip i want to highlight for people the importance of this moment and in part, it's not just the moment itself. it's nancy pelosi being the one who made it. she didn't want to do it. she walked out of a press conference when it was asked whether impeachment was on the table. it was just a few of the times over the past five months that she has completely dismissed impeachment. >> the house democratic caucus is not on a path to impeachment and that's where he wants us to be. >> i don't think there's anything more divisive we can do than to impeach the president of the united states. >> are you uncomfortable with the term impeachment? >> thank you all very much. >> why is it you're hung up on a
word over here when lives are at stake over there? thank you all very much. >> madam speaker? >> okay, david. it's a 180. she has changed her mind and she has done so with determination. why do you think this happened now? well, it's because her caucus is moving and members of her caucus who have captured republican seats are moving her responsibility is to shepherd that group, and in some cases to stay behind where the momentum was until she felt there was enough weight within the caulk us to move forward and presumably because she thinks this is egregious enough to be able to move forward and that it's something that she can sell. let's not forget this is a political process, but we should also underscore tonight something that could be true. what was politically dangerous yesterday remains politically
dangerous today. and it's quite possible that we'll remember this day as the moment when president trump secured his reelection because it's that politically dicey, but there's another part to the story and that's the underlying conduct, what the president and what rudy giuliani has already admitted and what's being alleged here and it's very serious and it is so forimporta to keep our eyes on what the conduct was on potentially, allegedly. the president communicating to a foreign head of government that he wanted him to investigate the united states president's political opponents in offering a quid pro quo potentially to do so. that is corruption. it's an abuse of power if it happened. so i think what she is saying is that she's willing to take the risk because this is too important, and the other piece of this is an assertion of congress' power. you know, congress doesn't do it very much anymore and that's a real problem in this country and
she's saying we have to have some oversight here and it's got to have teeth to it. >> kerry, the other question is and it's interesting what he said there, what the president had said himself over what he did on that call in saying you've got to stop the corruption. you've got to look at joe biden is enough. that he doesn't need an explicit quid pro quo. legally, you don't need one either to discuss that someone was having a quid pro co and shouldn't house democrats get what they're seeing tomorrow. >> should they have waited a day? >> you know, i think there is such a groundswell today and both chambers of congress really seem to have woken up today, and it was in large part due to the actions that the president himself has done. i think congress finally got sick of this president just blowing them off by not providing that whistleblower complaint which the dni didn't
provide because the white house would not allow him to provide it, and so congress has a responsibility and by law they're supposed to receive the complaint and that coupled with the fact that what the actual allegation is and then what the president himself, we can roll the tape, what the president himself has said he did in the conversation where he is asking or directing or having a conversation with a foreign leader about investigating a political opponent. we simply -- i just think both houses of congress realize they cannot have a president using the instruments of national security and defend the united states in a way that is is for his political and personal advantage. both the speaker's actions today by her announcement and the vote in the senate on the resolution is a really step forward, a big step forward. >> so, nia, to the numbers here.
you've got at least 165 demeanor democrats in the house now support, you know, an impeachment inquiry by cpi's count. the magic number is 218. that's what they need. >> would pelosi have done this today if she was not sure she had the numbers, knowing that if she does, and if you were to move out with articles of impeachment and if you were to lose you could get the best victory you could ever get. >> nancy pelosi can count. she knows her caucus incredibly well. >> you saw him in these flip districts that went from donald trump to a democrat and they've now onboard and that is what shooe she's obviously looking at and can she get to 2018? the other thing we've seen is
the numbers have come along as the process has happened, right? >> yeah. >> as mueller spoke you saw more democrats come out and obviously with this latest revelation with ukraine more democrats came out. the more information that comes out you have more democrats. the other thing that's happened here is some democrats were just sitting on the sidelines waiting on nancy police toe come out with the "i "word, and they were deferential in terms of the entire process so you saw people kind of peeling away and particularly members of the cbc out of respect for nancy pelosi. they hadn't really weighed in, and i think you'll see sort of a trickle and trickle and floods. >> you'll be back with me in a moment and next, the president announcing he'll release a transcript and we'll tell you what weir learning that word may
mean. plus, why did pris wiesident tr withhold the military aid to ukraine. he's admitted to corruption and his story is shifting. >> i wanted to get other countries. other countries should have to pay and frankly it affects them more. >> that is a totally new excuse and 2020 democrats backing pelosi's impeachment decision and this will help or hurt them badly in 2020? man: can i find an investment firm that has a truly long-term view? it begins by being privately owned. with more than 85 years of experience over multiple market cycles. with portfolio managers who are encouraged to do what's right over what's popular. focused on helping me achieve my investors' unique goals. can i find an investment firm that gets long term the way i do? with capital group, i can. talk to your advisor or consultant
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with humira, control is possible. president trump lashing out against house democrats for laurining laur launching a formal inquiry calling it witch hunt garbage. where he pushed him to investigate joe biden's son. the release coming as the president is set to meet with the ukrainian president tomorrow at the u.n.
kaitlan collins is out front. you will have the two together tomorrow a bilateral, a possible cameras. what is behind the president's -- his choreography now and his plan to put out what he says is a transcript tomorrow? yeah. it was a surprise to see the president come out so definitive and say he'll release the unredacted version of this transcript and he'd been wavering over it the last several days and that came over internal division inside the white house over whether or not they should put this out there. people like the secretary of state mike pompeo argued against saying it will set up this slippery slope of the other calls with world leader potentially ones with russia. you r attorney general bill barr arguing why want just release the transcripts approximately it will help dispel the drama and view the me surrounding this phone call and that's where it
came down today after the secretary of state asked ukraine for their permission to release the transcript of that call. of course, when this does come out you will hear two thing, one from democrats that this doesn't go far enough to satisfy their needs and they say they want to see that whistle-blower's complaint and two, there will be questions about the accuracy of this transcript because of course, this is a white house that has put out doctored and edited versions of transcripts and remarks before in the past and including times when the president was on camera and made remarks like he did during the press conference with vladimir putin in helsinki not so long ago. those are the questions coming out of this and they're hoping it will be able to clear that the president acted appropriately on the call and what you are going to see, erin is both sides of the aisle seeing exactly what they'll see in this transcript. >> thank you very much. kaitlan, and back with me now is nia malika henderson, john dean and kerry cordero.
the president said he will release the transcript and he'll meet with the ukrainian president and the ukrainian president told cnn tonight when our alex marquardt stopped her by the u.n. and they're private and confidential. i guess not. so do you have a sense of what we could get here? is this going to be a readout of the call? do -- there wouldn't usually be a tape and we trust that that's what it is. >> in most cases it's not a transcript, it's probably notes. advisers were listening on call. the idea that it was a transcript suggests that you will get everything accurately represented from the call. the president wants to release what he calls a transcript publicly and not to congress, why? because he wants to be able to personally and have his supporters in congress and certainly in friendly media make
the case that this is ridiculous. pay attention today to something that nancy pelosi said and what she didn't say. she never said that the underlying allegation here has to be a quid pro quo. >> no. >> what she talked about how inappropriate it would be for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent. that is beyond the pale for a united states president. that's something he can't deny because he defends doing it. that's where she's giving herself some coverage. >> and that, john, could be crucial. i want to make another point to you, john. in nixon's transcript which they put out. he was quoted as saying, quote, regarding making payoffs. i quote, it would be wrong, but when the tapes came out there was no such actual line. so does that -- that seems beyond the pale. is that something that is conceivable here? >> well, it is conceivable here. nixon did doctor the
conversations with me. that particular one about the payoffs was to me where he said it would be wrong about pardons after i had pushed him and pushed him and pushed him. >> he did not say exactly the opposite about payoffs, but what we are all looking for in the transcript that's coming out tomorrow is whether there is a sl solicitation by the president and that's a krcrime to solicit foreign aid of any kind in a federal election. >> yeah. >> it is a crime. it's on the statute books and crimes are typically impeachable offenses. >> and imagine the precedent that that sends that we have a president to dig up dirt on political opponents and that's what pelosi is already getting at and since john raises nixon, i do think it's worth pointing out that first of all, it's the whole complaint that's the key here. what else might have happened beyond the call?
>> right. on that -- i want to jump in there because we do have breaking news on that. let me go to pamela brown. pam, tell us what you are learning right now to david's point, right? >> yeah, erin. the white house is now reversing course and preparing to release the full whistleblower complaint around president trump. right now i'm told by sources that the complaint is going through review, going through a declassification process and that the goal right now is for the white house to release the whistleblower complaint within hour was releasing the transcript tomorrow morning of the call between president trump and the ukrainian president zelensky. this is significant because initially the white house had advised the dni as well as doj advising and that it should not turn over this whistleblower complaint to congress which was really against what the law required, but now there has clearly been a big change with not only the release of the c
complaint and it involves a sequence of events and that was the big question, erin, if the transcript is released what else was in the complaint because that was just one piece of the puzzle. >> pamela, just to make sure i understand what you're reporting. are you saying that the whistleblower complaint will be released to the congressional committee? >> that's absolutely right. it's one in the same, but the idea from the white house is that it will be available, the public will be able to view what is in this whistleblower complaint even though it's going to congress as the law stipulates and it's also coming at a time, erin, the president meeting with the ukrainian president tomorrow in new york city and so you have the transcript coming out with the call and now the whistleblower complaint we're learning and they're aiming to release it tomorrow and the president meeting with zelensky. there is a lot to anticipate for tomorrow, erin? >> there certainly is. thank you, pamela, and i know
pamela is making a lot of calls and you'll be back with us in a moment and let me get your reaction to that and the key thing that they're going through a declassification process and does that open the door it all sort of redactions or changes or what, kerry? >> it does. so i'm going to hold off until we see what actually gets released. as far as what we're calling the transcript i am more inclined to think that it will be some type of summary of the phone call and we'll see how fulsome that summary is and with respect to the whistleblower complaint, the resolution that the president had to provide that, the dni had to provide that to the intelligence committees. now some of that is probably classified so are they going to release something publicly redacted and has all sorts of information not visible to the public? are they planning on providing the entire whistleblower complaint to the intelligence
congressional committee which is what the entire senate, bipartisan said they have to do? i think it raises a lot of question about whether they are doing two things. number one, the administration is trying to bypass the congressional oversight. if they don't provide the entire report to the intel committees and let them do their follow-up investigation like hearing from the whistleblower himself, his or herself, and being able to follow up with other potential witnesses or more information or more information about other calls that maybe, exist, they're trying to cut off the congressional oversight and the second piece is i think they're trying to raise the bar about how the public perceives this. in terms of criminal culpability. so we're starting to hear quid pro quo and whether or not this is a statutory crime. that is irrelevant when it comes to impeachment. the constitution says that the president could be impeached for bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors and communicating with a foreign leader and potentially dangling foreign military assistance to find dirt on a political appointment is
impeachable whether or not it means definitions of bribery. ? nia, as carrie raises the point with this development, was there a bipartisan demand for this, it is the law that they would need to get it. so this is not some kind of gift or -- or move towards transparency which clearly is how they want it to be perceived. that is not what this is. >> that's right. they didn't want to do this. i mean, what happened today in the senate obviously, what happened out of the house with nancy pelosi formalizing this impeachment inquiry. this is what forced their hand by all account, by all the reporting up until this moment this was something that they didn't want folks in congress to see even though it is the law that sthey are supposed to let congress see these complaints. i think there will be some second guessing of nancy pelosi at this point essentially should she have waited until all of this information had come out to formalize this impeachment
inquiry, but again, she stuck pretty closely to the president's own word and this is a president that already admitted this act, this basically trying to pressure a foreign leader to interfear with an american election that would benefit him in that way and that was enough for nancy pelosi and those democrats that come along and say this impeachment inquiry was necessary. >> go ahead. >> i just think it's important to underline the fact that what congress really needs to do and what i think the speaker was alluding to was follow the facts here and where they lead because we're going to spend so much time talking about process and everyone is already at their battle stations with how regard to how to argue this. there's a certain number of packs and we can determine where they lead. this is also washington. so this is going to leak. remember how this came to light and the whistleblower wasn't getting any traction and presumably someone in that orbit
leaked all of this to multiple organizations over successive days and that's how these facts came to light. >> zeewe have an official complaining and the justice department and people know how to get information out that they think is being quashed. that is going to continue to happen, and that's what i think we need to keep our eye on. >> john dean, what do you think the game is that the president is playing right now? if you put together what's going to happen, some transcript is going to be released. some version of a whistleblower complaint is going to be release period upon he's going have a press conference and he's going to meet with the president of ukraine all within a space of a few hours tomorrow. >> i think what he's trying to make it look like is that he's not concerned about any of this and that he's going to put it out and try to make it appear that it's a voluntary act to put it out.
clearly, it is not a volunteer act. the fact that both the house and the senate have demanded this information gives him no choice. all he can do is put it out and try to put the best spin on it. the question is will they put it out honestly or not and that's where nixon got himself in a lot of trouble when he tried the same things and fudged on what he was putting out as opposed to what was actually in the record. >> one final word to you, carrie, i justment want to put explanation, and the president said this totally appropriate call. no quid prequo. you have a corruption problem eight times during that call, you say you need to investigate joe biden and you direct your chief of staff to withhold military aid to that country until it happens that congress investigates that phone call, that based on what we know,
we'll get more detail, but that would be a quid pro quo wouldn't it? >> right. i mean, in lay terms so he's dangling this foreign assistance out there. he knows the foreign assistance is pending, the ukrainian government knows that foreign assistance is pending and members of congress and everyone knows foreign assistance is pending at this time and around the same time he's having a phone call where he's bringing up his primary political opponent and telling a foreign leader, you know, that he really should look into it. >> so he doesn't need to bring up the aid at all to be consist went this? >> so my point is that the country standard and congress' standard should not be one of does this meet the elements of a crime of bribery that a prosecutor might bring because that's the trap that the country fell into in the facts surrounding the mueller report. this is a bigger issue because this pertains to national
defense and foreign affairs and his interactions as an american president with a foreign leader, and so we don't have to go down the path and congress doesn't have to go down the path of does it meet the technical elements that a prosecutor might bring on a quid pro quo. >> yeah. >> once they gather the facts and if they determine these are the circumstances, that's enough for congress to act on. >> i think it's important that point gets made because that's exactly what they are going to do. >> thank you all so very much. >> next, president trump, you know, he keeps changing the story about the phone call with ukraine. >> there was no pressure put on them whatsoever, but there was pressure put on with respect to joe biden. >> no pressure, but there was pressure about joe biden. joe biden responds. woman: what gives me confidence about investment decisions? rigorous fundamental research.
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breaking news. republicans responding tonight to house spookeaker pelosi announcing a formal impeachment inquiry into president trump. he pressured ukraine's president to investigate 2020 rival joe biden and his son. this is trump himself as transcript with a phone call with the ukrainian president will be released tomorrow and sources tell cnn the whistleblower complaint could also be released within hours of the transcript with regakzs expected. out front now republican congressman from new york lee zeldin who sits on the house foreign affairs committee. i appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you, erin. >> let me start with what we now
know and that the president says there will be a transcript and we are reporting that that whistleblower complaint that on a bipartisan basis was demanded by congress will be released. do you have any knowledge of what that transcript is? is there a word for word? is there a tape? are there going to be redactions? do you know about that tonight? >> i do expect a transcript to be released tomorrow. i look forward to reading that transcript and i look forward to reading a whistleblower complaint and i understand it will be accompanied by an ig report that was done. so i'm looking forward to reading what could be provided expectedly tomorrow. >> on this word transcript because there is confusion and reporting has been in the past that there are tapes and these are based off of notes. are you saying that you expect a transcript literally someone is typing tonight off the tape or this is the notes of somebody in the room and therefore on some level a subjective memory when
it comes to this call? >> i'm not aware of any of my colleagues having been told it's a full transcript, word for word or a summary. i haven't heard combanything ot than it being a full, unare yred transcript word for word and that's all anybody would hope for in a situation like this, but i won't know until i see it. let me ask you, congressman. mitt romney spoke out about these allegations and i know you've seen it, but let me read it for anyone who hasn't. if the president asked or pressured ukraine's president to investigate either directly or through his personal attorney it would be troubling in the extreme. >> i think what's troubling is the hypotheticals that are being played. people pursue an impeachment inquiry based on a whistleblower complaint they haven't read from someone who didn't have
firsthand knowledge being alleged in the complaint. even if you will have any congressional republicans such as senator romney who likes to be the opposition party and he's still upset he wasn't elected president of the united states and i will take the more responsible path to wait until tomorrow to read what wassed in that call, to be able to read what exactly was alleged by the whistleblower and i want to encourage all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle whether you love the president, hate the president, conservative, liberal. that's the responsible thing for us to do as a next step is to get that information tomorrow. >> i understand what you're saying. what he's saying is if, take him at that. if the president asked ukraine's president to investigate his political rival it would be in the extreme. he did say he asked him, you don't have a problem with that on its face. >> i don't want to get into hypotheticals. you can ask me a hundred different versions and no one knows what is being alleged.
i've heard a lot of different people having theories woefr what w over what was said and i have an opportunity as a member of congress to reserve my judgment on what exactly happened about tomorrow. it's not like i'm talking about tomorrow. it's not waiting a month or a year. i get to review what was said in the call. we were able to see a video of vice president biden who is specifically stating that he threatened -- biden with his own words, threatened the uk -- the ukranian leadership of taking away $1 billion from the ukraine if they don't fire their state prosecutor. >> to be clear, he did that. he was proud to do it and he was in line with -- with every western country in doing so, but in that it was consistent. upon if he tried to cover it up he wouldn't bragged about it. >> that prosecutor was not investigating corruption in ukraine which is why everybody wanted him out. look, let's just be clear. there is no evidence of joe
biden doing anything wrong and this is something that has been looked into and i want to make a point here i think what we need to talk about right now is what did the president right now do or not do and one thing we know he did, congressman and this is aukraine a week before the call. we no he that a week before the call he directed mick muffly his chief of staff to hold up the aid. new congress. i want to give you a chance to respond. you were told the delays in the aid were part of the interagency process happen. that's what you were told. from what the president said in the past two days that is false. that is not the reason. how do you feel about that, that they told you interagency process and you were lied to. >> well, first off with regards to providing aid to other countries it's important to note that at the same exact time the president was looking to cut aid at many different countries. this was an issue that's been going on over the course of the last few weeks, months and
honestly since the president came into office, this has been an issue where at times i looked to leverage the amount of money we provide whether to different alliances, country bes, unra, but the recent block of funding was peskly specifically just to ukraine. one last point about the ukraine prosecutor just left out is it's important to note that that person who was being criticized for being soft on crime was a prosecutor who was prosecuting biden's son's company was paying him $50,000 a month and replaced by another partnership soft on crime and wouldn't look into the company investigating the vice president's company's- son's company so it's just. >> from our understanding in the bloomberg reporting that investigation was dormant, already dormant when any of this happened. it was not under investigation. >> but why do we care less? i mean why do not we not care. >> there's been a lot of reporting op this. okay. >> i haven't seen a lot of reporting on this. >> you could have read "the new
york times" in the spring you could have read it when they went into it extensively. i mean this is not new information as you point out the tape of joe biden saying it is hardly breaking news. >> that was january of 2018 but this is not something that -- here is the thing if you don't have any problem whatsoever with the vice president under the direction of he said the president of the united states threatening to withhold $1.0 billion if they don't stop prosecuting his company's company paying 50 a thousand a month. >> you're making that part up. >> i'm not dsh did no, no, no, no. >> that was never said and that is not true. >> that's the state's prosecutor. >> you you are saying that's why he did it and that's false. >> no i'm saying. >> there is nothing saying that in any which. >> wham i'm saying is he was threatening demanding that the state prosecutor be fired. >> that's right. >> that was the state prosecutor who was investigating his son's company. >> and all of our allies thought this guy as corrupt guy. >> so what we replace with him someone who is zbloosh the
problem was he was soft on corruption and he was replaced by somebody else soft on corruption. and except the person he was replaced with soft on corruption was someone not -- that the individual who was prosecuting his son's company. >> okay. again, but i'm saying that investigation was already dormant under the guy you are saying he wanted to get rid of because of something he wasn't doing. that don't add up. >> a lot of people who are sticking foup up for the vice presidentic is itting up for his son providing cover for it saying there is a dead story nothing to talk about but we said file articles of impeachment for a whistleblower complaint we haven't read based on someone who has no firsthand knowledge. i want to wait until tomorrow. many of my colleagues to be able to read the crypt transcript of what was said on the call but we can't wait until tomorrow. we're getting way ahead of our skis in the house and instead of talking about work being together on the cam the heroin opioid abuse ep dem, immigration, national security
our military our veterans instead we hold everything hijacked we're. >> you make fair points about important things but i come back to what the m.i.t. romney said if the president of the united states pressured ukraine's president to somethings investigate a guy he thinks could be his rival for the white house are you okay with that. >> i'm not playing the hypothetical game. >> no, no, no. >> senator romney. >> are you or are you not, the president of the united states said that he asked him so i asked him to look into joe biden. who cares are you okay with. >> i'm not playing the hypothetical games you can ask me all the different questions. the fact is congress thoeshzed money to provide to ukraine because we are concerned about russian aggression. i have a problem with vladimir putin the guy thinks he is 7 feets tall wants to put the ussr back together against. the offensive move against ukraine needs to be stopped because if it's not stopped vladimir putin will continue with aggression against other countries. russia is a bad guy and vladimir
putin whether cybersecurity, metaling in elections the list goes on. that's why congress provided the fund fog the ukrainians. >> you have a reason why you did it. they told you it was held up for interagency process. process pch the president admitted in the past two day that's not true. do you have a problem with that. >> listen i don't have the answer as to exactly why the money was held up. it's not just ukraine it's other countries as well. i do know philosophically the president has held up money to ahiness and states and other organizations in order to better leverage the aid. but before i get the answer 80s it's hard to answer the hypothetical with regard to that part because i don't know why the aid to multiple countries was held up a few weeks back. >> i know you and i could both sit here and agree if we went through countries with a lot of corruptions and prmts that might zercht aid on that standard. >> it's important to note when
the aid was provided actually they provided more aid -- a lot more aid than what was held up a few weeks up. i'm shurp the ukrainian president is happy with the amount of aid. this president was the first one providing lethal. weaponry. the last administration didn't do that. we ramped up aid because we need to to push back against russian aggression. >> thank you, erin. >> tonight, top 2020 democrats while they are all onboard with the house speaker coming out strongly in support of an impeachment inquiry against president trump many of them hadn't been until now but now they are jumping onboard. >> congress and flout the law, donald trump will leave congress in my view no choice but to initiate impeachment. >> i believe more so no that there are impeachability offenses. >> he made it clear he deserves to be impeached. >> he needs to be impeached. >> dude's got to go. >> outfront now paul begala frrm counselor to bill clinton and
cnn political commentator. i want to be clear. you have strongly opposed impeachment in the past. here we are now are you concerned about the political risks that democrat candidates face by now all just jumping on the band wagon. >> i'm worried about them appearing to politicize it. i think they ought to watch what unanimous pelosi did and repeat that. i thought she was terrific. she was a patriot first. quoted the founders reminded that us that on constitution day itself the administration refused to comply with the law. situated herself in the least partisan posture and demeanor that she could. now, running for president is the most partisan posture and demeanor that you can. and it's actually not helpful for the democrats that the presidential candidates are talk about being about this. i think the less partisan it is the better. i think congressman zeldin you saw the hyperpartisanship on the other side the republicans should worry about. he answers about joe biden. i thought you did a great job
trying to pin him down. but that's the risk for the parties here. if you look too partisan the american people reject you. >> that's right. and people of course run to their corners and hear what they want to hear. and it can be extremely frustrating when you try to put facts in the middle and everything is colored in the glasses. i want to be clear they're in a tough spot. people come up and shove a camera in your face and new now in you are running for president you can't dodge the issue. but tulsi gabbard did take the other side of this here is what she said earlier on cnn. >> the question of impeachment would further tear apart and a an divided country. i think it's important that donald trump is defeated. i can defeat him in 2020. but as the voters need to make the choice unequivocally. >> she is saying, you know, put it to the ballot box. andrew yang pointed out, you know, cautioning that you're not going to get this through the senate, right laying out the the numbers. and of course democrats know
that. they're focusing i would assume on getting the numbers in the house and calling it day. does she have a point, tulsi gabbard? >> i think so. and that has been my position -- has been -- i notice the past ten in until this week. i have to tell what you really changed my mind was george conway, a republican lawyer. >> really? >> he helped lead or push the fight to bill clinton. he is married to a top white house official. but setting that aside he is a brilliant lawyer. he and another lawyer wrote a piece in the "washington post". i read it a couple of times. i have been against impeachment. but it's hard to argue that the president of the -- if the president of the united states lefrpged our national security funding in order sfo intimidate a foreign leader into helping his political campaign, that's as classic impeachment an issue as you can get. i shouldn't get over our ski tip. i thought what nancy pelosi said
was wonderful. we need an inquiry. and the facts make an inquiry inskapable. nancy pelosi had to do this today. >> all right. paul, i appreciate your time. thank you so very much and thank you very much to all of you for joining us for the breaking news coverage. ac 360 begins right now. good evening, there is news just breaking now at the end of an already historic day. the white house appears to have just now blinked in the stand i don't have that left president trump facing the specter of impeachment. he is not there yet not by any means but only two presidents have been impeached andrew johnson and bill clinton and richard nixon resigned before the house could act. president trump is in rare company. today's action by house speaker nancy pelosi along with the president's own statements and actions over the past days and weeks have now put the white house and congress on a path rarely traveled in the 243 years of this country's caseens. whether you agree with what speaker pelosi announced today or not,