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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  December 15, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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12/15/17 12/15/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i think people are ready to stand up, and they need to because this is an urgent matter. this is not something we can we look at inhing 2019 or 2020. we need to lay the groundwork now for the call for impeachment proceedings against this president. amy: is another commerce member endorses articles of impeachment against president trump -- this time, democrat carol shea-porter of new hampshire -- we look at the movement to impeach in our extended conversation with constitutional attorney john
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bonifaz. then we continue to speak with dr. bandy lee, the yale psychiatrist who is leading a discussion of mental health professionals, deeply concerned about president trump's psychological instability. she organized the duty to warn conference and edited the book "the dangerous case of donald trump: 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts assess a president." >> we are pushing for an evaluation, warning about dangerousness, exley trying our's -- our best to educate the public so people will be aware. in whatl be affirmed they're saying. they will be educated on the depths of what they are seeing, and also that there is a way of dealing with the situation. and go but first, an update on a future ofd shape the the right to protest in the united states. final arguments are underway today in washington, d.c., for
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the first trial of the nearly 200 demonstrators arrested during president trump's inauguration. the defendants face alterable felony and misdemeanor charges and up to 50 years in prison. all of that a more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the federal communications commission known as the fcc has voted to dismantle landmark net neutrality rules designed to keep the internet open and free. the vote repeals rules established in 2015 after widespread organizing and protests by frequent it advocates. these rules required service providers to treat web content equally. the repeal of these rules was widely opposed by the american public with more than 20 million people submitting comments to the fcc. paitrump's chairman ajit
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lobbied heavily to repeal the rules. on thursday coming was joined by two fellow republican fcc commissioners and the fcc voted three to two to repeal the rules. thursday's vote means internet service providers could now slow down internet speed and jack up prices. thursday's vote also means the government will no longer regulate high-speed internet as if it were a public utility like phone service. on thursday, new york attorney general eric schneiderman vowed to sue to block the repeal. >> new yorkers deserve a free and open internet, and that is why my office will sue to stop illegal rollback of net. we will be filing a claim to preserve protections for new yorkers and all americans and working progressively to stop the fcc's leadership from doing any further damage to the internet and our economy. amy: the fcc's vote to repeal
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net neutrality is the latest and most controversial of a series of changes led by fcc chair ajit pai. over the last year, he is loosened rules aimed at limiting media consolidation and scale back a program aimed at expanding broadband access among low-income americans. the fcc chair pai is a former verizon attorney. secretary of state rex tillerson is speaking to the u.n. security is is speaking to the u.n. security council today, in which he's expected to again recommend talks and diplomacy with north korea -- a stance that puts him at odds with president trump. earlier this week, tillerson broke with the administration and said the united states was ready to begin talks with the north without precondition. only hours later, white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders contradicted tillerson and said president trump considers talks with north korea pointless. the public rift between tillerson and president trump comes amid reports the white house is planning to oust tillerson from the state department and replace him with
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cia director mike pompeo. the trump administration is trying to claim iran violated an international agreement on arms transfers, even though experts say the evidence presented thursday by u.s. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley falls short of proving the claims. at a military base in washington, d.c., haley presented pieces of weapons she claims iran supplied to the houthi militia fighting in yemen. haley claimed the weaponry proves iran violated a united nations security council resolution passed in 2015. but military officials were not able to say when the weapons were transferred, when they were used, or in some cases, where they had even been found. despite the inconclusive evidence, haley used thursday's event as an opportunity to attack iran and the landmark 2015 iran nuclear deal. >> everyone has focused on the nuclear deal. the has hidden behind
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nuclear joe, constantly threatening to get out of it. but these are the things they are doing while we are all looking the other way. and these are the things that will be dangerous, that will lead us to the next north korea if we don't do something to stop it. amy: in washington, d.c., the republicans' legislation to overhaul the u.s. tax code in an order to shower billions of dollars upon the richest americans and major corporations appears to be hanging by a thread. two republican senators -- marco rubio of florida and mike lee of utah -- have threatened to vote against the bill unless the child tax credit is expanded. republicans are pushing ahead for a vote as early as next week. vice president mike pence has canceled a trip to the middle east so he can be in washington, d.c., in case he's required to cast the tie-breaking vote. a fourth u.s. lawmaker has been forced from congress over allegations of sexual harassment or assault. texas republican congress member blake farenthold says he will not seek reelection after
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revelations he paid $84,000 of taxpayer money in a 2014 sexual harassment settlement with his former communications director, lauren greene. greene says she's been forced to resort to babysitting and other jobs to make ins meet after -- ends meet after farenthold blackballed her from politics when she accused him of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and creating a hostile work environment. meanwhile, the screen actors guild awards will, for the first time, have only women present the 13 acting awards during the ceremony on january 21. the award ceremony will also feature a female host, kristen bell. this comes as actresses across hollywood have spoken out about sexual harassment, assault, and rape by hollywood mogul harvey weinstein and other top directors and producers. in geneva, u.n.-sponsored peace talks aimed at ending the ongoing war in syria have collapsed. u.n. special envoy staffan de
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mistura pinned the blame largely on the syrian government, which refused to discuss constitutional changes or presidential elections. this is now the eighth round of u.n.-sponsored peace talks on the syrian conflict. in the wake of the talks' collapse, syrian opposition chief negotiator sasr al-hariri appealed to the international community. >> the international community needs a new approach, otherwise, this stalemate will continue. unfortunately, it will be at the expense of the syrians, inside and outside the country. amy: top mexican officials met thursday with secretary of state rex tillerson and homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen to discuss increasing military and intelligence cooperation between the u.s. and mexico in the ongoing so-called war on drugs. the meeting came only one day after mexican senate committees approved a highly controversial military bill that human rights groups say will give the mexican armed forces excessive power.
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the united nations, amnesty international, and human rights groups all oppose the legislation, saying it will further empower military forces that are already accused of widespread human rights abuses, including complicity in the disappearance of 43 students in meanwhile caravan of central , thursday, a american mothers searching for their children who disappeared in mexico while trying to migrate to the united states protested outside the us -- united states protested outside the u.s. embassy in mexico city. earlier this month, the united states withdrew from talks on a united nations agreement promoting safe migration. this is gloria mariana, a honduran mother whose son went missing in mexico while trying to reach the united states. >> it is constant anguish. it is eternal anguish. it is whenever you eat or sleep. your mind is only thinking of them. missing my son's birthday, mother's day.
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for me, there is no christmas. it is horrible what you go through. amy: in argentina, widespread protests both inside and outside the lower house of congress forced lawmakers to suspend a vote on president mauricio macri's plan to slash pensions. labor unions say the legislation will hurt retired workers and people on welfare. the unions had threatened a general strike if the measure passed. the rwandan government has accused the french military of widespread complicity in the 1994 genocide in rwanda. the independent report released wednesday accuses the french military of training and arming the rwandan regime that killed 800,000 people, mostly from the tutsi ethnic minority. the report says the french military continued to arm the genocidal regime, even after an arms embargo was imposed. the son of the french president at the time was a close friend of the rwandan leader whose regime orchestrated the genocide. back in the united states, president trump's senior adviser
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omarosa manigault newman has resigned, she says after witnessing a series of upsetting incidents inside the white house. the former contestant on the reality tv show "the apprentice," she was the only african-american woman in trump's inner circle. there are conflicting reports about her departure. only hours after the roy moore-doug jones senate race in alabama tuesday, with some reports saying she was forcibly removed from the white house and other reports saying she resigned voluntarily. in a series of interview since her departure, she is criticized the nearly all-white administration, saying the members "had never worked with minorities and did not know how to interact with them." she refusedorts a to condemn the deadly white supremacist violence in charlottesville, virginia. this is omarosa manigault newman speaking on "good morning america and." >> is only african-american
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woman in this white house, as a senior staff and assistant to the president, i've seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and my people. amy: united states largest private landlord has been sued for violating the fair housing act by refusing to rent to tenants with a criminal record. the lawsuit, filed by the equal rights center, says the company's policy of not renting to people with felony convictions, or even pending felony charges, has a disproportionate adverse impact on african americans and latinos. mid-america apartments owns at least 100,000 apartments nationwide. and the ohio senate has passed a new bill that would make it illegal for women to have an abortion in cases where the fetus has down syndrome. the legislation would make it a felony for doctors to perform abortions after tests reveal the fetus has the genetic condition. the bill is now headed to the desk of ohio governor john kasich. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and
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peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show with an update on a case that could shape the future of free speech and the right to protest in the united states. final arguments are underway today in washington, d.c., for the first trial of the nearly 200 people arrested during president trump's inauguration. as demonstrators, journalists, and observers gathered in northwest d.c. after the inauguration january 20, some separated from the group and broke windows of nearby businesses and damaged cars. police officers then swept hundreds of people in the vicinity into a blockaded corner in a process known as "kettling," where they carried out mass arrests of everyone in the area. the first so-called j20 trial could go to a jury as early as today, and involves six people, including one journalist, alexei wood, a freelance photojournalist. the defendants face multiple
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felony and misdemeanor charges, including multiple counts of destruction of property. evidence against the defendants has been scant from the moment of their arrest. earlier this week, superior court judge lynn leibovitz threw out the felony charge of inciting a riot for the six people on trial now, meaning they now face up to 50 years in prison instead of 60. this comes as police conduct on inauguration day has come under scrutiny by the aclu, and the chief detective in the case is a police union official who tweeted that day that they showed great restraint during the inauguration. well, for more, we're joined in washington, d.c., by jude ortiz, a member of the organizing crew of defend j20 and the mass defense committee chair for the national lawyers guild. he's been in court throughout this first j20 trial. welcome back to democracy now! explain what has happened so far
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and the significance of the judge throwing out the charge. >> thank you so much for having me on again. so since i was on last, the prosecutor has rested their entire case with all of the so-called evidence against the defendants and the defense has also put on their witnesses as part of their right to have witnesses come and testify on their behalf. that process for the defense was very short, only about half a day in court. now it is into the final arguments stage. the prosecutors have their argument first, then each of the defense attorneys for the defendant put on their arguments. this morning at 9:30, there will be the final to defendants with closing arguments and in the prosecutor will do a rebuttal. there will be more legal housekeeping to do before it goes to the jury. the judge throwing out the riot
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charge was a huge development in the case, something that after the prosecutor rest their case, the defense attorney will almost always follow motion to have the charges dismissed. is a formality for the most part, rarely ever successful. it was notable that one of the -- the significant charges against the defendants, not only whole, trial, but as a was found in this case, at least, that no evidentiary basis at all. the judge basically said the state did not meet their burden of proof and that charge was dismissed. the jury will not have to deliberate on that one at all. amy: explain what that means. we're talking about numerous cases that will follow this one. this is judge preside over all of these cases is the inciting to riot remains in other cases? >> at this point, the judge is assigned to the other cases. there is another case scheduled for this coming monday for seven defendants, without probably
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will not be happening on monday because the jury will still be deliberating on this day. it is unclear when the second trial will begin. it is looking like january. on march 5 of next year through october of next year are through many trials. starting in may, there's a trial scheduled for every single week. the judge has indicated her rotation, her job assignment is switching from criminal court to family court january 2. so there will be a new judge or judges beginning in 2018. amy: why du see this case as so significant for free speech in the united states? >> on january 20, the police rounded up everyone they could get a hold of in the vicinity. the police commander testified toward the beginning of the both ins very clear testimony as well as recordings from the police radio that they were interested in the protest as an anti-fascist march and
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they responded to that preemptively by having around 100 riot cops and her lieutenants and sergeants and whatnot there at logan circle where the protest was scheduled to depart from and began. that commanders said that rather than doing what is typical in d.c. where they do rolling road closures to facilitate the exercise of free speech, instead they showed up with numerous fans full of riot police and follow the march and pretty much started to crack down on the march. that commander repeatedly used the word "anarchist" to describe everyone there. that commander and other officers talked about everyone being like one group with nefarious intent. the the outset because of alleged politics of the march and the people who were there, the police responded in a heavy-handed manner that cohen dated them running everyone up
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in mass arrest. the prosecutors continue by going forward with these charges against everyone. ofn that is the method operations, for the police going hand-in-hand with the prosecutor, that is sending a very chilling message to anyone interested in going out in the streets. the rise of fascism, dissent to white supremacy, these other systems of oppression. amy: jude, the second ranking prosecutor who made closing arguments said in those arguments, a street medic was guilty by being present and asked, what do you need a medic with gauze for? she was aiding and abetting the riot. that was her role. respond to that. >> that is entirely ludicrous claim. medics have been a protests across the country for decades to be able to provide first aid
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type of care to people who are injured in various ways. one of the most notable ways people get injured is by actions from the police. on january 20, there was a massive amount of pepper sprayed -- pepper spray deployed on people in the phase come on the side or from behind. we saw this in trials through body worn camera videos. there's also a lot of body worn cameras videos of police knocking people down from behind with their batons. ranofficer who testified his bike directly into a protester. there are all these different ways that people who are out there in the streets can get injured easily. also the elements to deal with. in january, it is very cold. protestinauguration data were 20, lots of reasons why to have medics there in order to render aid who get injured. the prosecutors said supplies that were there showed that the medics in general were
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prepared for war, which is as insulting as ludicrous to say people out there in the streets were prepared for war. especially when he saw the department of homeland security helicopter video showing all of the police operations happening there on inauguration day, how the police took this paramilitary approach. also reported by the national guard in order to corral people and use chemical weapons against people. any warlike conditions, it is coming from the police and government and not people there to render aid. amy: i want to ask about some of the videos submitted as evidence in this case by federal prosecutors. this includes video by the canadian youtuber lauren southern, who the southern poverty law center describes as "tiptoe at the precipice of outright white nationalism." southern was there on january 20 and was kettled during the protest, but was allowed to leave without being arrested.
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prosecutors also submitted video evidence from the right-wing militia group oath keepers, who infiltrated protest planning meetings and secretly recorded them. prosecutoralso preseed video om the discredited, far-right group project veritas -- just one y after "the washington post" reported project veritas had tried to dupe them with a false story of sexual misconct by a woman undercover pretending to be a victim of roy moore. go into this and why this matters, jude ortiz. >> it is appalling to see so inh of the prosecutions case the so-called evidence coming sources.tly far right the project veritas video you mentioned the come out in the courtrooms a main piece of evidence, exactly like one day after that story broke. lde would think that wou discredit or cast into doubt the
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truthfulness or usefulness of that evidence. the prosecutor and the police officer who testified about it gave no indication that the source of it was at all even a question mark or some cause of concern. the state through various witnesses, detectives who testified about the video and whatnot, it admitted they did furthering investigation or examination of the tape to make sure it wasn't doctored in some way. project veritas is the tory us for editing their videos -- notorious for editing their videos. it was presented to the jury as a main piece of evidence. especially with the idea of conspiracy. when so much of the so-called evidence against these defendants and the defendants at this kind of on so-called investigative work of far right actors, it really shows how the state itself with their police investigators, undercover cops infiltrating
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meetings, undercover and plainclothes police present on the march and in the streets that day, all of these different state actors were not able to find the evidence to substantiate the charges the prosecutor so ferociously pursuing, so they have -- create the evidentiary base through drawings on the far right. amy: i would ask about the main detective working full time on the j20 case, greggory pemberton. on january 20, pemberton made tweeted that d.c. police officers used a "inspiring amount of restraint" and showed "professionalism." last november, he also tweeted about "disingenuous activists' who peddle lies and falsehood." during the j20 trial, defense lawyers played this clip of an interview pemberton gave to the far-right media outlet one america news network, praising president trump. >> he certainly has a message of law and order.
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he really is a feeling to a lot of police officers. police officers want to hear someone is going to come in and not allow this divisive, vitriolic rhetoric of this false narrative that all police officers are inherently criminal, racist, that are out here committing crimes against the citizens, and that they're going to come in and put a stop to that. amy: jude ortiz, can you respond to the significance of his involvement with the case and what he is saying here? >> the detective has claimed he has looked through hundreds of hours of videos, hundreds of times, since january 21 come his full-time job, his only assignment. he was able to that review to coalition boards of photographs as well as video and porpoint to give to the jury for the deliberation that claims to have documentation of vilification of each of the defendants all throughout the march. in presenting those as if that is something that being present
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in the streets is a sign of guilt and evidence of guilt of all of these charges. the tremendous amount of work put into these very politically motivated reasons. those political motivations are pretty clear when you look at his twitter feed with all of the far right and pro-trump thinks he has promoted light through likes in his own comments on twitter. he claimed on the stand that was only exercise of his position as a board member of the police union. the weather that is true or his own personal opinion, those opinions put forward are very much in favor of right-wing causes and very much against liberal, radical left causes and movements. he has even done very insulting things like saying black lies matter instead of black lives matter, discounting the entire movement that has been so prominent in responding to
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police violence and brutality across the country. amy: shortly after winning the 2016 presidential election, donald trump tweeted his thoughts on dissent, writing -- "nobody should be allowed to burn the american flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!" your final comment, jude ortiz? show thets like that can the -- the effort of social movements in the united states. left social movements. right social movements have become more prominent and public under trump have been facilitated by the state. we're seeing that in places like charlottesville and st. louis and all across the country. people need to recognize how things are shifting and be ready to be out in resistance to dissent and not be scared away. this case is a very important part of that. amy: jude ortiz, they can for
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being with us, member of the organizing crew of defend j20 and the mass defense committee chair for the national lawyers guild. he's been in court throughout this first j20 trial. we will keep you updated on this and other trials as they go on. when we come back, the movement to impeach president trump. where does it stand from congress to counties, cities, towns across the united states? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: the lead singer died on tuesday at the age of 62. a shout out to the classes visiting democracy now! today. , i'm amyemocracy now! goodman. we turn now to an update on the movement to impeach president donald trump. in november, a half-dozen democrats introduced articles of impeachment against trump, accusing him of obstruction of justice and other offenses. co-sponsors include democratic representatives steve cohen, luis gutierrez, al green, marcia fudge, adriano espaillat, and john yarmuth.
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well, on thursday, one of the 12 -- and other participated one of , the 12 house democrats who represents a district won by president trump in democrat 2016. carol shea-porter of new hampshire said in a statement thursday -- "many members of congress, including myself, agree with republican senate foreign relations committee chairman bob corker that president trump poses a dangerous threat to national security and the future of our democracy. i believe it is past time for members of congress to put country before party and bring these discussions out into the open," shea-porter said. until now, other democrats who have endorsed trump's impeachment have hailed from safe blue districts. porter plans to retire at the end of her term. this comes as the house rejected an effort last week by congress member al green to move forward with articles of impeachment even as some 58 democrats votes in support of the resolution, nearly a third of the caucus.
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meanwhile competition for impeachment launched in october by democratic donor tom steyer now has more than 3.5 million supporters and at least 17 communities around the country are on record calling for impeachment proceedings against donald trump. well, earlier this month, democracy now! spoke to constitutional attorney john bonifaz, co-founder and director of free speech for people. i started by asking him about the movement to impeach trump. >> to be clear, what we're doing with the impeachment campaign that we launched on the day of the inauguration because the president have refused to divest from his business holdings all across the world in defiance of the anticorruption -- what we're doing is designed to defend our constitution, our democracy. this is not about being dissatisfied about certain policies of the president. this is about the constitution and the basic fundamental principle in this country that no one is above the law, not even the president of the united states. and he walked into the oval office that day already defying
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the rule of law, already refusing to comply with those two anti-corruption provisions of the constitution. amy: explain exactly what those two anti-corruption articles of the constitution are and what he refused to do with his businesses. >> so those two anti-corruption provisions are the foreign emoluments clause and the domestic emoluments clause. the foreign emoluments clause makes clear that the president shall not receive, nor any other federal elected official shall not receive, any payments or financial benefits of any kind from any foreign governments. the domestic emoluments clause applies only to the president and says he shall not receive any financial benefits or payments of any kind from the federal government or the state government other than his federal salary. this is a president who has 111-plus business interests all over the world, many of which involve illegal foreign benefits, foreign government benefits, to him personally, through his company, the trump organization, as well as having properties all over the united
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states that involve state government benefits and the federal government, through the leasing of the post office square in washington, d.c., that is now the place where the trump international hotel resides. so what we are dealing with here with is a president who knew, prior to taking the oval office, warned by constitutional scholars, that he needed to divest from his business interests in order to comply with those anti-corruption provisions. he refused to, and he is engaged in treating the oval office as a profit-making enterprise at the public expense. amy: how have things changed since january when donald trump became president? >> i think what has happened is we've seen a growing list of impeachable offenses that require an impeachment investigation in the u.s. congress parallel to the mueller investigation. this is not a question of having to wait and see whether or not the federal criminal investigation that's proceeding turns up violations of federal criminal law by the president or any of his associates. that's a separate question.
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the question here are crimes against the state. that is what impeachment is about -- abuse of power, abuse of public trust, and not only through the violations of the anti-corruption provisions. there is now, of course, evidence of obstruction of justice. there's evidence of potential conspiracy with the russian government to interfere with the 2016 elections and violate federal campaign finance laws, among others. there is now evidence of abuse of the pardon power in the pardoning of former maricopa county arizona sheriff joe arpaio. there's recklessly thrtening nuclear war against a foreign nation. there's misuse of the justice department to try to prosecute political adversaries. and there's the giving aid and comfort to neo-nazis and white supremacists. all of this -- all of this deserves an impeachment investigation in the u.s. house of representatives. amy: so in response to some democratic leaders warning against calls for impeachment before robert mueller's investigation has been
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completed, billionaire environmentalist tom steyer defended his $20 million ad campaign to impeach president trump and blasted his critics, telling "the wall street journal," "the republican nominee wasn't really a republican. the person who energized the democratic party wasn't really a democrat. so, when i hear the washington establishment tell me, 'shut the f -- up,' i think, well, maybe." and on thursday come he tweeted -- "it doesn't surprise me that the political establishment in washington, d.c., can't imagine the idea of the american people having an independent voice. they're scared of any threat to their control. but it's important to do what's right," tom steyer. said tom steyer. i want to play a clip of the ad that has been running on television. >> he's brought us to the brink of nuclear war, obstructed justice at the fbi. and in direct violation of the constitution, he's taken money from foreign governments and threatened to shut down news organizations that report the truth. if that isn't a case for
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impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become? amy: that's the billionaire tom steyer, who has spent millions on this ad campaign that's running on television. can you talk about what he is attempting to do -- it's the need to impeach campaign -- and whether you're working with him, john bonifaz? >> well, we're in communication with tom steyer and his team about collaborating possibly, and we do think what's important here is to elevate the national conversation. he's obviously helping to do that. we fully agree with all that he's saying about the need for this impeachment process to move forward in the house of representatives. and the more voices that come forward from the american people all over the country is going to help push that forward in congress. amy: so let's talk about what's happened this november, these six house democrats announcing they've introduced articles of impeachment against president trump. this is congressman steve cohen making the announcement on
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november 15. rep. cohen: i am proud to stand here with my friend, congressman gutierrez, with other congress people who will be here, in announcing that we are introducing articles of impeachment to remove president trump from office. there will be, i believe, six signatories on the resolution. we have taken this action because of great concern for our country and our constitution, our national security and our democracy. we believe that president trump has violated the constitution, and we've introduced five articles of impeachment. amy: again, that's congressmember steve cohen of memphis, tennessee. joining him, luis gutierrez of chicago, marcia fudge of ohio, adriano espaillat of new york, john yarmuth of kentucky and al green of houston, texas. so explain what they're introducing. >> well, they've introduced five articles of impeachment, and they've done it as a group. and it's significant because up until now, there were two members of congress, al green being one of them, congressman
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al green from houston, and congressman brad sherman from los angeles, who had introduced articles of impeachment around obstruction of justice. these articles go beyond obstruction of justice, including that, but also the violations of the foreign and domestic emoluments clauses and the president's continued attacks on freedom of the press and on the independence of the judiciary. and what's significant here, amy, is that these articles have been introduced by members of congress despite the continued opposition by their own party's leadership in the congress. minority leader nancy pelosi has made clear that she doesn't think impeachment should move forward at this time, and yet they are going ahead and moving this forward. and i think they're asking for other members of congress to -- beyond those who already have stepped forward. and we, as americans, all across the country, should push for an impeachment investigation and should urge our members of congress to take the same kind of action.
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amy: so respond to nancy pelosi. i mean, what these democrats are saying is this is not the way to retake the house in 2018. that if you disagree with the president, the way to deal with that is through elections. explain why you see impeachment as key. >> well, we're a nonpartisan organization. we're not involved in the political strategy of any political party. what we are focused on is defending our constitution. at this particular moment in time, it is not acceptable to say that we will simply kick the can down the road and wait until after an election cycle to lay the groundwork for the impeachment proceedings. they may not happen tomorrow. they may not get started next month. but the fact is, we need to be laying that groundwork and making this call now. and members of congress, whether they're democratic, republican, independent, or what have you, need to be stepping up to protect and defend the constitution. that's the oath they took, in addition to the president taking that oath, to protect, defend , and preserve the constitution. and the other point on this, amy, is that nancy pelosi has been saying that we don't have
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the facts out, we don't have the mueller investigation completed. but what they're really saying is they want other facts out, because we already have the facts out about what this president has done with respect to the emoluments clauses, with respect to obstruction of justice, and so many other impeachable offenses. and when we look at the mueller investigation, we're mixing apples and oranges. that's a criminal investigation, whether or not the president and his associates have committed violations of federal criminal law. the question of impeachment is about abuse of power, abuse of public trust, crimes against the state. and it is just wrong for any member of congress to suggest that a criminal investigation needs to be completed before an impeachment proceeding can begin. amy: one of the people who has gone before the congressional committees is roger stone, one of president trump's oldest advisers. he issued what appeared to be a veiled threat, warning in august any politician who voted to impeach president trump would face a violent response.
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>> try to impeach him. just try it. you will have a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection like you've never seen. reporter: you think? >> no question. reporter: you think -- >> both sides are heavily armed, my friend. yes, absolutely. this is not 1974. the people will not stand for impeachment. a politician who votes for it would be endangering their own life. there will be violence on both sides. let me make this clear. i'm not advocating violence, but i am predicting it. amy: that's roger stone speaking to tmz. he says there would be a violent response. john bonifaz? >> it's an outrageous statement, but it also highlights that we cannot allow fear to dictate our response to this lawless president. we cannot say that we're going to stay on the sidelines here while the constitution is being shredded because of that kind of claim that roger stone or anyone else might make. amy: so explain how impeachment would work. what would the process look like?
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>> so the first process involves the house judiciary committee taking up the question. the house of representatives would need to pass a resolution that would advance to the house judiciary committee the question of an impeachment investigation or articles of impeachment. you know, congressman al green has said that he wants to go to the floor with a privileged resolution immediately, that will force a vote in the house of representatives as early as in the next few days in this coming week. but, you know, beyond that process, the process of having the house judiciary committee take up this question would then involve subpoena power, would then involve taking witnesses. this is what happened during the nixon impeachment proceedings. i understand when people say, "well, the republicans control the house judiciary committee. they control the house of representatives. they control the senate. where do we think this process could actually go?" but, you know, there were plenty of people who argued on the day that we launched this campaign, on inauguration day, that there
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was just no way people would be standing up to demand this, and now we see millions of americans demanding it. now we see 17 communities on record, and now we see seven members of congress on record. and the facts continue to build that this president is defying the rule of law. we must place country over party here and stand up for the basic principle that no one is above the law. amy: so if you were arguing for the impeachment in congress, if you were laying out the case against trump over this almost a year that he's been in office -- not quite yet -- can you lay out the articles of impeachment? >> yes. we would start with the violations of the two anti-corruption provisions of the constitution -- the foreign emoluments clause and the domestic emoluments clause. this president is treating the oval office as a profit-making enterprise at the public expense. he's taking illegal payments and benefits from foreign governments in violation of the foreign emoluments clause, and he's taking illegal payments from the state governments
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around the country, as well as from the federal government, in violation of the domestic emoluments clause. that's point one, or point one and two, if you will, because they're two different clauses. then you have obstruction of justice. this is a president who first demanded loyalty of his former fbi director james comey. when he didn't get that, he went ahead and fired him for not letting go, as he put it, of the flynn investigation and "this russia thing," as he said. that was obstruction of justice. that fbi director was involved in investigating the russian interference in the 2016 election and its potential connection to the trump campaign. it led to the appointment of special counsel robert mueller. and now we know, based on new reporting by "the new york times," that soon after that, the president sought to stop the congressional investigations in the senate that were going -- that continue to go on with respect to that. so obstruction of justice, which was the first article of impeachment against richard
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nixon, would certainly be part of this case. then we have the potential conspiracy with the russian government, potential collusion, to violate federal campaign finance laws and other federal laws and to interfere with our elections. that evidence continues to be built. but it's also an impeachment question, and the house judiciary committee should take that up. then we have the abuse of the pardon power. this is a power that is not unlimited by a president. and what the president has done with the pardon of former sheriff, maricopa county sheriff joe arpaio, is he has essentially undermined the due process rights of the thousandsy sheriff joe arpaio's illegal actions. this is the sheriff who was found in criminal contempt of court for refusing to stop his illegal practices of detaining people based on the color of their skin. and this president went ahead and and used the pardon power in
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a wrongful way to pardon him. then we have the giving aid and comfort to neo-nazis and white supremacists, not just what the president said after the charlottesville tragedy, but also his most recent tweets, tweeting out anti-muslim -- inflammatory anti-muslim videos. this president is giving that aid and comfort to white supremacists. then, you know, this president also has engaged in recklessly threatening nuclear war. now, the fact is that the president is the commander-in-chief. he does not have the power to initiate a war. that is established under the war powers clause, despite the fact that we've seen violations of it in the past. but this takes it to a whole new scale. this is a president who literally is engaged in recklessly threatening nuclear war against a foreign nation. that reckless and wanton disregard for the established norms and for essentially putting millions of lives at
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stake, threatening really the world, is an impeachable offense. and then, finally, most recently, this president has talked about how he would like to see the justice department prosecute hillary clinton and other political adversaries. this misuse of the justice department, or attempted misuse, to prosecute political adversaries would be another impeachable offense worthy of investigation. amy: constitutional attorney john bonifaz, cofounder and director of free speech for people. for part one of our conversation, go to 27n we come back, psychiatrists and mental health experts assess a president. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. toldmonth pentagon leaders a senate panel they would ignore any unlawful order by president donald trump to launch a nuclear strike. the testimony came as part of the first congressional hearings in more than 40 years on the president's authority to start a nuclear war. this is connecticut democratic senator chris murphy. >> we are concerned that the
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president of the united states is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with u.s. national security interests. amy: we turn now to a doctor who is led a discussion of mental health professionals who are deeply concerned about president trump's psychological stability. dr. bandy lee is a forensic psychiatrist on the faculty of yale school of medicine, an internationally recognized expert on violence. she organized the duty to warn conference at yale and edited the book "the dangerous case of donald trump: 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts assess a president." the book became a best-seller the instant it was published in october, sold out, resupplied, sold out again. we are bringing you part two of our conversation today with dr. lee. when i asked about the concerns that she and these other experts have identified. historically
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unprecedented that so many mental health professionals have come forth with their concerns. under any president of any party. so it really is the first time that this many mental health national's forthcoming together in a coalition. we even have a website now where the public and lawmakers can discourse with us. there are thousands of us at this point. amy: so talk about -- lay out what your concerns are as a psychiatrist. >> so our concerns are that someone with this level of mental instability and impairment has this much power, in the office of the presidency -- basically, the power to start a devastating war, to launch nuclear missiles, without any inhibition.
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you saw from the hearings that there is very little inhibition in place right now. within five minutes of the commander-in-chief's orders, nuclear missiles could be launched without question. and -- amy: and how does that relate to his mental fitness? >> and, of course, his decision-making capacity, having such levels of impulsivity, having a loose grip on reality and being so fragile in his ability to cope with ordinary stresses, such as basic criticisms or unflattering news, will tend to unravel, especially in times of heightened stress, such as under the special counsel's investigations. amy: just last week, tony schwartz, author of -- well, co-author of trump's book, "the art of the deal," told msnbc's ari melber that the president's inner circle is worried about his mental state. >> i know that two different
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people from the white house, or at least saying they were from the white house, and that turned out to be a white house number, have called somebody i know in the last several weeks to say, "we are deeply concerned about his mental health." that's -- >> wait a minute. you're saying you have knowledge of people calling from a white house line raising that question. why would they do that? how do you know that? >> i know that because i know the person that they called. and this is a person who i absolutely trust, who has great integrity. amy: so that was tony schwartz, who i think ghostwrote the book "the art of the deal," very close to trump for a period of time. what are your thoughts about what he said? >> well, as you know, he has a chapter in the book, even though he's not counted among the 27 experts. we do have three others who have been included for their special insight, their special experience with mr. trump. and we included him because he has special insight into these
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matters. and i would agree with his assessment. we speak often. we share our observations. and we're both deeply concerned. amy: the chapter that tony schwartz wrote in your book, "i wrote the art of the deal with donald trump. his self-sabotage is rooted in his past." explain his point here. >> well, there's actually a lot that's outlined. it's a reprint of an article that he wrote, i believe for the new yorker. he outlines very much his interactions and experiences with the president. and he describes, most markedly, this emptiness, this -- what he calls a black hole level of self-esteem or self-worth that is missing, whereby he can have all the admiration of the world,
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all of the successes, and he will -- his thirst will never be quenched because of that intense need. and that is what we are seeing over and over. and what is most concerning for us is that his way of coping with this critical sense of need at every moment, so much to the point where he cannot think of the past or the future or consequences, his main urgency is to quench the need at the moment. and the way he does this is by burnishing his power, by going to belligerent language, or affirming conflicts and others' sense of the world as a threatening place where you have to be violent. amy: this is republican senator lindsey graham of south carolina speaking about -- well then-candidate donald trump.
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, this was back in 2016. sen. graham: i'm not going to try to get into the mind of donald trump, because i don't think there's a whole lot of space there. i think he's a kook. i think he's crazy. i think he's unfit for office. amy: so that was graham in 2016. but senator graham sounded different last month when he spoke to cnn. sen. graham: you know, what concerns me about the american press is this endless, endless attempt to label the guy as some kind of kook, not fit to be president. amy: so that is senator graham now. what about what he's saying? >> i think the laypersons, the public or lawmakers, would be prone to underestimating the dangers of this president because most people are used to seeing individuals who are healthy. it's only professionals who see
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those who are impaired day in and day out. and so the natural tendency will be to interpret what they're seeing in terms of a normal range, a normal variation of human choices, decision-making, and behavior. what we are -- what we feel pressed to do is to warn about the situation where someone is not acting within normal range, where one is normalizing what is in fact a malignancy in one's interpretation of reality. amy: dr. bandy lee is a forensic psychiatrist on the faculty of yale school of medicine, internationally recognized expert on violence. she organized the duty to warn conference at yale and edited the book "the dangerous case of donald trump: 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts assess a president." the book became a best-seller the instant it was published in october, sold out, resupplied,
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sold out again. to see the whole interview with dr. bandy lee, you can go to week, welier this played interviews with two women who have accused donald trump of sexual misconduct. jessica leeds and samantha holvey, who were part of a news conference this week in new york calling on congress to investigate the president of the united states. you can see those interviews at and that does it for our show. happy birthday tomorrow to renee feltz. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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you can also see our coverage of the whole issue of net neutrality as we have covered it over the years at [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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