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Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) is Interviewed about Impeachment and Tax Returns; Ortiz Recovering in Boston Hospital; One Suspect Arrested in Ortiz Shooting; Congress Holds Hearings on Tech Giants. Aired 9:30- 10a ET
Aired June 11, 2019 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:31:47] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so, this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler are still split over how to handle the president and impeachment. Next hour, Pelosi will be asked live where she stands on impeachment right now. That's when our Manu Raju sits down with her one-on-one. You'll see it here.
Meantime, my next guest is ready to get the ball rolling. Joining me now is Congressman Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania. He serves as assistant whip and is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Congressman, thanks for joining me.
REP. BRENDAN BOYLE (D-PA): Thanks for having me.
HARLOW: We'll get to the Ways and Means Committee and the president's taxes in a little bit, but first let's start on the issue of impeachment. Listen to the president on that last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You can't impeach somebody when there's never been anything done wrong. President Nixon never got there. He left. I don't leave. There's a big difference, I don't leave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: All right, well, you called for impeachment proceedings to begin against the president last month. Right now, Speaker Pelosi is not there.
Why do you think she's wrong?
BOYLE: Yes, this has been a tough issue for all of my colleagues. It's something that I've been wrestling with for quite some time. And just speaking privately to a number of my colleagues, whether they come down on starting with the impeachment inquiry now or continuing to hold off, I know everyone has agreed that this is a really difficult thing, just because of the size and the weight and the magnitude of it.
My position for about two and a half years has been clear, and that was to not push for impeachment, to defer to the special counsel's investigation, to work to make sure that that investigation could proceed and come to its natural conclusion. Then, once the report was in front of us, and I did read all 400-plus pages of the report, it's shocking to me that some of my colleagues may not have. I think we have a responsibility to do so. Upon reading that, and then also watching Mueller's press conference on it, it's quite clear that if Donald Trump were not president of the United States, he would have been indicted on at least ten counts of obstruction.
HARLOW: But two --
BOYLE: So based on that, I -- I moved and shifted my position and said, we have enough here to officially launch an impeachment inquiry and hearings --
HARLOW: OK. So -- so you think she's --
BOYLE: And bring forward the witnesses ourselves.
HARLOW: You think Speaker Pelosi is wrong on this. That's clear. If you were interviewing --
BOYLE: Well, wait a minute, you know, no, that's not quite --
HARLOW: Wait, well, OK, you disagree with her. I'm going to -- I want to understand the why.
HARLOW: You disagree with her. You want impeachment proceedings to be now. Potentially for -- to make a legislative purpose, to make some of these -- more arguments for these documents like -- like the taxes, et cetera. But if you were -- if you were sitting down with her next hour, one-on-one, just like our Manu Raju is, what would you ask her on this front?
BOYLE: Well, I -- we have those conversations in caucus every single day that we're in D.C. Myself and a number of others have made the position clear that we think there's enough there to launch an impeachment inquiry.
To be fair for the speaker, though, we're in different roles. I actually would not want her job. It is not an easy one because my role is as the representative of the second district of Pennsylvania to speak for my 700,000-plus constituents in Philadelphia. Speaker Pelosi's role is quite different. She's the head of 235 House Democrats in addition to her own district. That's a different calculus. So her job is to represent me and my constituents, yes --
HARLOW: So --
[09:35:07] BOYLE: But also my colleagues who are not in agreement with me on impeachment. HARLOW: Well, that's an interesting point.
BOYLE: So -- so that's a nuance, a difference. I don't necessarily disagree with her approach because, frankly, she has a different responsibility than I do.
HARLOW: Right. So is she right in her approach as speaker because she is reflecting then the majority of Americans, 54 percent in our latest polling, who do not want impeachment proceedings against the president at this time? Is she getting it right for the American people while you, at the same time, think you're getting it right being on the other page for your constituents in your district?
BOYLE: I hope and trust and believe that I'm getting it right on this issue and, God willing, most issues. I have a hard enough time making sure that I'm getting it right for myself than to sit back and Monday morning quarterback any other one of my colleagues. So I'll defer on that.
I'll just say, let's get the focus, and this is one of the reasons actually why I would like to see the impeachment inquiry, rather than all the focus being on process of what the House of Representatives leadership should be doing right now. We really should have the focus on the criminality that was found by the special counsel's investigation. So that's actually one of the reasons why, whether you label it an impeachment hearing process or just have hearings, let's get on with it, let's get on -- kind of like the hearings that started yesterday, and actually delve into what was found in the report. Let's call forward the witnesses and let's actually make that the focus, because in the end of the day, that's the most important thing, not the sort of backroom process questions.
HARLOW: I'd like to get your take on where things stand with your committee's demand for the president's in subpoenaing the president's tax returns through the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
So, several members of your committee, Rep. Lloyd Doggett told me on the show a few weeks ago that he supports fining Mnuchin and the IRS secretary $25,000 to $50,000 a day if needed or to be, quote, subject to confinement, that would mean jailing them for not turning over the tax returns.
Congressman Bill Pascrell Junior said, I would throw the book at these guys, also suggesting fining Mnuchin.
We have seen the chairman, Representative Neal, more hesitant to take those moves.
What should your committee do next to get the president's tax returns? Who's right?
BOYLE: So, first, just to be clear, the law is completely on our side. As we now know, Secretary Mnuchin's own internal lawyers found he had absolutely no discretion to refuse what is clearly stated in the law, and that is to turn over the tax returns once they've been requested by the -- the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. So in terms of what we do now, obviously this is being fought off -- fought out in court.
I personally happen to agree with Representative Doggett. We have the ability to fine, I believe, upwards of $25,000 a day, civilly. I think we should do that.
What this administration is doing, and it's not just on this matter, they are completely refusing every single subpoena and request for testimony that Congress has launched. That is completely unprecedented. And that is really dangerous. And here's why. Put aside the issues for a second, tax returns, what the special counsel's investigation found as it relates to Russia. Just for a constitutional matter, whether or not Congress is going to continue, as it has for two centuries, as a co-equal branch of government. That is really what is at stake. If we suddenly lose the ability to have oversight over the executive, that will completely change the balance of power and almost create a monarchy like system --
HARLOW: So --
BOYLE: Where we have a completely unchecked executive. Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill should both be outraged about what this administration is doing.
HARLOW: So -- all right, so you're saying fine Steven Mnuchin.
HARLOW: I assume you would hold that also for the IRS secretary.
HARLOW: Yes or no, would you throw Steven Mnuchin in jail? Should he be confined?
BOYLE: I think when you do that, you run into a lot more sort of practical problems.
BOYLE: I -- once you start fining someone $25,000 a day, I certainly -- I don't have $25,000 even for one day.
HARLOW: All right, he --
BOYLE: So I think you get someone's attention, even someone as stinking rich as Steven Mnuchin.
HARLOW: Congressman Brendan Boyle, appreciate your time. Thanks.
BOYLE: All right, thank you.
[09:39:29] All right, so just a day after being shot, Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz is now back in the U.S. for treatment, as police in the Dominican Republic search for any other suspects. We're live in both places.
HARLOW: All right, welcome back. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.
You are looking at images of Monday morning there in Boston. This is overnight, David Ortiz, legendary baseball player, "Big Papi," arriving at a Boston hospital after being shot in the Dominican Republic. A Red Sox team plane picked him up from Santa Domingo and flew him in last night. You'll remember, Ortiz was shot in the back Sunday after a gunman ambushed him at a bar.
We're covering this story from the Dominican Republic and from Boston, which is where we start with our Alexandra Field.
What do we know about his condition this morning?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, he's in Mass General. He is recovering. And certainly the Red Sox worked quickly to bring him from Santa Domingo to Boston. He retired from baseball, his number has been retired by the team, but he will always be part of the Red Sox family. Certainly they're showing that he is one of their own.
Look, this was a serious surgery that he underwent in the Dominican Republic. As you point out, he took a bullet in the back. That bullet traveled into his stomach. The doctors in Santa Domingo rushed him into emergency surgery where they were working to repair his intestines, his colon, his gallbladder. They were the ones who initially pronounced that he was out of danger and that he was stable. It was at that point that the Red Sox were able to send in a plane to bring him back to Boston.
[09:45:19] We understand that when he woke up from the surgery, Poppy, he said that he wanted to see his family. He wanted to see his doctors in Boston. Also, his wife, who was in Boston at the time.
So he is back here now in the care of the doctors at Mass General. Meanwhile, here in Boston, so many fans, so many people who hold him in the highest regard sending their well wishes, sending their thoughts, sending their prayers. Of course, there was a moment to honor him at home at Fenway Park, where the Red Sox play, just last night. Everyone in that stadium wishing a speedy recovery for "Big Papi," David Ortiz.
HARLOW: Yes, absolutely. What a scene there, seeing them all stand for him last night.
Alex, thanks for the reporting.
So while Ortiz is recovering in Boston, police in the Dominican Republic are looking for a second suspect in this shooting.
Let's bring in our colleague, Patrick Oppmann. He is in Santa Domingo this morning.
So police have one man in custody, but they believe there's another on the run? PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. They think there was a
driver of the motorcycle and they think there was a gunman. And while they say they have no updates for us right now, they say the investigation is very much continuing. They have one man in custody who was actually tackled by bystanders. Police say his name is Eddy Vladimir Felice Garcia (ph). We have a photo of him as well. Police say that he is the man you see in video -- the video that passer-byers shot of getting beaten down, basically almost lynched by people who were just so irate.
And this really speaks to the love that Dominicans feel for David Ortiz. He's a legend here. He's someone who not only was a great baseball player, but has come back, he spends part of the time here -- part of the year here, has a foundation and gives a lot back to this country. So people are just shocked.
And while they say there's no motive yet, they do not believe it was a robbery. Every time you ask somebody here, what could have caused this, they say there's no explanation, that he's someone who is just so beloved. Police say they will get to the bottom of it.
HARLOW: OK, let's hope they do. Thank you very much, Patrick Oppmann, for the reporting.
Ahead for us, checking big tech's power, or at least trying to. This afternoon, a House committee will dig into new ways to limit some of Silicon Valley's biggest companies.
[09:51:56] HARLOW: All right, in just a few hours, Congress takes on big tech. This is not a first, but it's important. The House Judiciary Committee is set to hold what this time around is the first of several hearings that lawmakers are holding to try to limit the power, at least look at limiting the power of the biggest tech companies in this country, Amazon, Google, FaceBook, Apple. Today's hearing will focus specifically on what some see as anti-competitive practices, as newspaper lobbyists are pushing a bill they say would even the playing field.
Our chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter, host of "Reliable Sources," joins me now.
Why is today important?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Because it is the beginning of a new phase in examining big tech. There's really two things going on at once in Washington, right, Poppy, you've got the Trump administration, the DOJ, the FTC, starting to think about examining Google and FaceBook in a much more serious way, regulating these companies because they've become so big. Then, over on the House side, a Democratic controlled House, you have David Cicilline and other lawmakers starting this series of hearings about the power that Google and FaceBook and Amazon and Apple have. And today is the first of those hearings. There's a little bit of rivalry going on between the Trump
administration and the Democrats, both, though, have the same interest. They're both looking at big tech.
HARLOW: Well, that's -- that's what's so interesting is this is this rare area of total bipartisan agreement, pretty much other than the minutia, Republicans and Democrats arguing they think big tech is too powerful, too big. Whether you break them up or you regulate them, that's the question.
But the CEOs of these companies, the Google CEO, Sundar, Pichai, Amazon's CEO, FaceBook, Twitter, they have all said publicly, at least, Brian, that they welcome more regulation.
STELTER: Yes, that they welcome the scrutiny. And it's all about what exactly the regulations are that have helped them.
HARLOW: But do they -- do they really want like GDPR in Europe?
STELTER: No, no, they do not. I think the reality is, these companies believe that they need to be as big as they are, and that consumers benefit as a result. And we're going to hear that argument in the months to come from all of these media and these tech companies.
Today, though, it's interesting, we're seeing the media companies speak out. All these newspaper publishers are coming to Capitol Hill arguing for a bill that would let them negotiate collectively to work in an exemption of anti-trust laws to go against Google and FaceBook. So they're going to promote that law to this bill today.
There are both Republican and Democratic co-sponsors of this bill in both the House and the Senate. So we may see a rare bipartisan show of support for the newspaper industry going up against Google and FaceBook.
HARLOW: That's really interesting.
STELTER: So that's today.
And then there's going to be a series of these hearings and we're going to, I think, be hearing about this scrutiny for months. The question is whether the lawmakers is more bark than bite. They want to talk about big tech, President Trump does also, but are they actually going to do anything.
HARLOW: Listen -- let's listen to President Trump. So he called into CNBC, as you know, yesterday morning for 27 minutes, and he was asked an important question, do you think big tech, Google, Amazon, the like, are too big and do they need to be broken up? He didn't answer that, but here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I can tell you they discriminate against me. You know, people talk about collusion. The real collusion is between the Democrats and these companies because they were so against me during my election run.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[09:55:00] HARLOW: Look, Google's CEO was questioned about this in Congress, was there a bias in the algorithm? He kept saying no, no, no. There's no evidence for what the president is saying there, is there?
STELTER: There's not evidence that the tech companies are trying to challenge President Trump, that the algorithms are against him. He does take this all very personally, though. His interest in big tech regulation might be about his personal concerns. But, more importantly, there's a lot of scrutiny at these companies right now and that's probably a good thing. Let's see what these lawmakers decide to do, what President Trump and the Democrats to. But it's a good thing to examine the power that these companies have.
HARLOW: Brian, thank you.
HARLOW: Chief media correspondent Brian Stelter, we appreciate it.
HARLOW: Joe Biden going after the president hard as the two men crisscross Iowa today. They're just like 100 miles apart from one another. We're covering it from all angles.