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Schummer: Trump's Comments to Russia "Extremely Harmful" To National Security; Moderate House Democrats Tipped Scales Towards Impeachment Inquiry; Parolee Arrested in Death of "Trailblazing" Officer; Lessons From the Impeachment of Bill Clinton. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired September 28, 2019 - 13:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST, CNN NEWSROOM: Hey, hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We begin with the latest in the impeachment inquiry into President of the United States. A bombshell report from the "The Washington Post" which says Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schummer says if true it could be one of the most disturbing things we've learned yet.

His words, the report alleges that President Trump told two senior Russian officials in an Oval Office meeting that he was not concerned about Moscow's interference in the 2016 election. Schummer is now demanding that White House release all records regarding that meeting so that Congress can investigate. CNN's Sarah Westwood is at the White House, so Sarah, how is this responding to this?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Fred, the White House is not commenting on this report about what President Trump said to those two Russian officials in the May 2017 meeting but Democrats are outraged.

As you mentioned Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanding that the White House turn over any records of that meeting to Congressional Intelligence Committees and he said in part in a statement that if it is true, the reports that President Trump may have told close associates of Putin that he didn't mind Russia inference in the U.S. elections are extremely harmful to both our national security in the integrity of our elections.

It's one of the most disturbing things we've learned yet. Now "The Washington Post" reported that the memo summarizing that meeting was restricted to only aides who had a very high security clearances and this comes as CNN is also reporting that the conversations President Trump had on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salmaan were stored on a server reserved that was simply reserved for very highly classified things in an effort to conceal those conversations as well.

That is something that the whistleblower alleged President Trump and his team did with the transcript of his call with the Ukraine President Zelensky that's at the center of his impeachment inquiry in the House. So how the memo of this meeting in the Oval Office was handled? As well as how these other call transcripts were handled, and whether they were improperly classified so highly in order to conceal them, that Fred, is going to be an area of scrutiny for House Democrats in the days ahead.

Trump's Personal Attorney Rudy Giuliani also going on a Twitter rant after revealing that he won't testify before Congress without consulting with Trump. So what is he saying on whether indeed, he is getting a green light or not from the President.

Well, House Democrats of course are interested in speaking with Giuliani the President's Personal Attorney. As well as a number of other people who are alleged to be involved in this Ukrainian controversy. Giuliani though said he would not appear before lawmaker unless he have the explicit blessing of his client.

He said even if I personally were willing to speak to lawmakers if President Trump didn't want me to, I wouldn't be able to. But keep in mind the last weekend President Trump told reporters that he would have no problem with Giuliani testifying before Congress. He said Giuliani is a straight shooter those are Trump words. And so in the days ahead that's going to be an open question whether President Trump when it comes down toward gives his blessing Fred.

WHITFIELD: Already we know he can change his mind the President said he would release his taxes if elected and that didn't happen either. All right, Sarah Westwood thank you so much. In the meantime, multiple sources tell CNN that the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker is now gone resigning just one day after the release of the whistleblower report. CNN's Justice Correspondent Evan Perez joining me now on this, so Evan, what more can you tell us about Volker's abrupt resignation and if there any terms surrounding that resignation?

EVAN PEREZ, SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: We don't know a lot about what terms he may have resigned under but we know that it was immediate. And Fred, I can tell you that I think this raises the stakes. We know that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Relations Committee, rather, has him scheduled to come in and provide information as soon as next week.

And so they are going to want to know what he told Rudy Giuliani? Giuliani of course has put Kurt Volker in the middle of all of this saying that essentially he was one of the people he was communicating with before he went to the Ukraine help set up some of these meetings that he had in Ukraine with the Ukrainian - members of the Ukrainian government.

And so the big question is going to be why did you tell Giuliani? What was it about? Was Giuliani acting at the behest of the President? Was he there essentially as an emissary for the State Department? If you see, as you played in the last hour a statement from the State Department that says he is a private citizen, he is acting as a lawyer for the President does not speak for the government of the United States.

But I think that is clouded by the whistleblower complaint, by some of the conversations that the President was having with the Ukrainian President which made it clear that he wanted the Ukrainian government to deal with Rudy Giuliani. So I think certainly Volker is now at the center of this because of Giuliani and the fact that Giuliani has made it so clear that Volker is sort of the fall guy essentially.


WHITFIELD: Right, by tweeting out what he says are texts coming from Volker.

PEREZ: Right. Exactly, and by the way I mean, I think the White House is going to try to say that Volker cannot share privileged conversations. Executive privilege is certainly going to be an issue.

WHITFIELD: But then now that, that stuff has been tweeted out some of those directives or comments or words allegedly from him, wouldn't that dismiss any kind of privilege?

PEREZ: I think it makes it more comply case complicated for you to claim privilege because some of that stuff has not been released and if it had been released by the President of the United States. His personal lawyer has been publicly released. So I think you're right. It is going to make it a lot more difficult for you to say no, no, you can't go there when that stuff has been released by Rudy Giuliani.

WHITFIELD: Evan Perez, thank you so much and stick around because I want to bring into this conversation now Shawn Turner who is a Former Director of Communications for U.S. National Intelligence and a CNN National Security Analyst, Shawn, good to see you. So, Senator Chuck Schummer now calling on the White House to release the records of President Trump's interactions with Putin and other senior Russian officials calling the comments "Extremely harmful".

We're talking about "The Washington Post" reporting that citing sourcing say that the President told Russians who were in the Oval Office within the 2016 meddling not necessarily an issue. So how can those records, those transcripts, especially since the photograph was put out willingly by the White House showing that they - really kind of yucking it up looking very comfortable with each other. What kind of request has to be made? What is the order or the sequence to try and get transcripts notes something that gives real specificity to the conversation commitments comments made?

SHAWN TURNER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATION FOR U.S. NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I think the first thing is going to happen and had to happen fairly is that Congress is going to have as they already done make an official request for those documents. Once they are received by the White House, then lawyers are going to have to decide whether or not they want to fulfill that request.

I think that ultimately what will happen is that these documents will have to be subpoenaed and the White House - if recent history is any indication, they may not deliver those documents. So we may find ourselves in another situation where these documents are part of an impeachment inquiry. And members of Congress may have to call in other people to validate what then said with regards what's in those documents?

So the process is one on which Congress going to have to find very hard to get these documents. I think it is for those of us in the national security space, we'll be very interesting where are those documents are currently stored? And why they're stored in those locations? But one thing is for sure, we need to see what is in those documents because it is a very serious accusation.

WHITFIELD: So there are a few things there. A, what if there is no documentation you know, the President has said and people working around him have said that he doesn't really like the whole note taking thing, but we do know that there is documentation of phone conversations reportedly involving the President, Russia and Saudi Arabia put in that a very secret vault.

So there is retrieving that kind of information, and then when you talk about reaching out to subpoenaing people, well, then there is the possibility of a whole stonewalling, refusing to cooperate or speak. So I'm wondering Shawn, you really are kind of laying the ground work of all of the on obstacles complications that could come. So in your view will the truth - could the truth ever really be learned?

TURNER: Well, I think that when it comes to the people, we are under Senate. There are people in the White House who are fully aware of what happened and fully aware of whether or not these accusations are true? Whether there are documents that are hidden some place whether or not there any such a transcripts anything along those lines this is really going to come down to whether or not the people who are aware of this can be compelled to cooperate. And that's where the power of Congress really comes into play here.

You know you could subpoena people and if they don't show up, you can hold them in contempt. If they show up and cooperate you could hold them in consent. So there are going to be individual people who are going to have to make decisions about how important to protect this information and to just fail to cooperate with Congress.

WHITFIELD: So then Evan, you know, just to really bounce off of what Shawn is saying. So how do you compel people to cooperate? Because it used to be that it was just simply the respect of the institutions that would compel people to cooperate, but that is not what we're seeing here. So what leverage, whether be members of Congress, you know, other investigative arms, what leverage is there to compel this kind of cooperation Shawn is speaking off?


PEREZ: Well, look, I do think that the leverage is somewhat limited because there is the whole aspect of time, right? The Democrats I think want to try to do this and they want to do this quickly. Look, Fred, even in the example of Kurt Volker, right? They are bringing him before the committee, before there is a deadline for documents, and so that is kind of odd to me because normally before you question somebody, you want to have the documents in hand.

So when you ask questions you already know what the answer is and you want to see whether the answers match up to the documents that you have in hands. So the Democrats are moving extremely quickly but as you said some of the cooperation of these people really depends on them. And whether they want to be cooperative and if they want to stone wall, they have the protection.

They can have the protection of the White House who can draw this out for a year going to the courts fighting it out. So it does, we've seen this in the past, we've seen thins in the Clinton Administration. We saw it in the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration where they fought out for a long time before turning over documents and that could happen here.

WHITFIELD: So then Shawn, oh, go ahead.

TURNER: Oh, I was just going to say, we look at what has happened over the last several weeks, there appears to be a change in the attitude of the behavior of some people in the White House. Every day we are hearing more come out about these allegations.

Certainly there were several people who talked to the whistleblower. So I think that, there are people who are beginning to understand that this is very serious, and that they're going to be on one side of this or the other. And I think people are starting to understand that they don't want to be on the side on this that involves criminal behavior.

WHITFIELD: All right, Shawn Turner and Evan Perez, thanks to both of you. We'll leave it there for now.

PEREZ: Thanks.

WHITFIELD: Appreciate it. All right, still ahead, they call themselves the bad ace. A group of moderate freshmen women who changed the course of the impeachment inquiry switching from no to yes, why they now say it is time? And how do voters feel about impeachment? Do they agree with Democrats or could this whole process turn them off? Hear from them in a live report straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: All right, this week when a group of moderate house freshmen with national security backgrounds announced in a Washington Post Opinion piece that they were moving from a hard no on an impeachment inquiry to a definite yes, they changed the dynamic for House Democrats. CNN's Dana Bash, talk to the five women in that group who call themselves "The Badass".


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even before they were elected.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You have adopted the "Badass" label.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These freshman congresswomen created their own group "The Badasses". REP. CHRISSY HOULAHAN, (D-PA): We were out running for Congress you know across the country then we kept running into each other. "Badasses" kind of came organically from the group since we all had either served in the military or in the CIA.

REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER, (D-VA): We have a lot in common. We all were working to flip seats, to be elected in places where voters may not typically vote for people like us or with our backgrounds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe veterans Mikie Sherrill and Elaine Luria Airforce Veteran Chrissy Houlahan, Ex-CIA officers Elissa Slotkin, Abigail Spanberger a band of sisters that bonded while storming the unfamiliar terrain of politics.

REP. ELISSA SLOTKIN, (D-MI): Being able to text folks and say you know, I'm really getting hit up on this issue. How have you been handling it? I'm not sure how to transit my service in this something that's relatable. How do you guys do that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Translating their service is exactly what they did with their 180 on starting an impeachment inquiry? Going from no to yes after hearing President Trump admit he spoke to Ukraine's leader about Joe Biden others followed suite including the House Speaker.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The specter of having the sitting President of the United States use leverage to get dirt on an opponent. That very basic idea, I think cut for us, as national security people, just close to the bone on sort of our democratic institutions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They penned an on op-ed along with two freshmen male veterans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a great example of the power of team work and power of kind of doing - putting country above party.

BASH: Was it all for one and one for all of you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we all sort of came to that conclusion together. We texted each other and I think we're all going, okay, this is all changed. This is a bright line.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Backing an impeachment inquiry is risky political business for these congress women already some of the most vulnerable in the House Democrats who won mostly Trump territory.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe that if I'm out there explaining what these allegations are, and why they are so deeply concerned? That people will understand why we had to take a stand all of us in our prior lives all the time had to make hard calls for the reason we thought we were right. When we knew that not everyone would understand or even know and that to me is something I felt comfortable doing because I've always had to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even so, this is group still trying to find their C legs in politics. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm supervising operation on nuclear reaction, it never turned to operator and said like are you a Democrat or you a Republican? It was new to jump in such a partisan environment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They represent swing districts, very different from another more famous freshmen group "The Squad."

BASH: Okay, I'm just going to put it out there. The group of freshman females that people know about is "The Squad". Are you guys the "Anti- Squad"?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What I tell people of my district, the left wing of our party has created such momentum behind things like moving forward on our environment. None of us is ever going to get in a Twitter war with anyone else. If we have a concern with someone we're going to go right up and talk to them about it. And we're not going to add unhelpful rhetoric to an already bad tone coming out of Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think any of us want to be the loudest voice in the room. I just want to be one of the most effective.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their previous service taught them to be fearless which comes in handy now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is not a vertical teen of commands stocks here so you know--

BASH: Oh, there is but obviously its sounds like you guys aren't following it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But no one can virus, except the people that elected us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: None of us came to Congress from a district that wants us to just hit here and be quiet and learn the ropes. They want us to engage, they want change, and they want it now.

BASH: Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: All right, next, Democratic candidates are in Texas right now talking impeachment, but how do voters feel? We'll hear from them in a live report, next.


WHITFIELD: Okay right now, 2020 contenders are campaigning across the country as the impeachment probe makes waves in Washington. This weekend several candidates are in Austin, Texas to take part of in the Texas, Tribune Festival. This morning Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke weighed in on impeachment saying the best thing President Trump can do is resign. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BETO O'ROURKE (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, we are divided right now and yes, impeachment is not easy.


O'ROURKE: But if we were because of a fear of division or the politics or polling in this issue to desist in the necessary effort to this President accountable, we will by extension have destroyed any chance of this country being able to continue as a democracy. So it's a right thing to do. Ultimately it will unify us but we're concerned about that the best thing that the President can do now is to step down.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Polo Sandoval, joining me right now from Austin, Texas. So, what are we hearing from voters in terms of what they're hearing from the candidates on impeachment?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have obviously the 2020 election. Gun control big topic, but it's all about impeachment obviously. Many people here are asking questions about impeachment. A very notable event is scheduled for tonight will be when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will participate in an event. We just heard from one 2020 hopeful but participants and attendees have heard from people on all sides of the political spectrum.

In fact, the group behind me is preparing go inside the theater to listening on an event that's - it's scheduled to include Texas Senator Ted Cruz here. But when you hear from those folks who are attending this event here in Austin at the he Texas Tribune Festival, obviously impeachment that's one of the big topics is here about to hear from one of the folks who was stopping by the event. Take a listen.

JOANN WALKUP, LIVES IN OKLAHOMA: It is time to get to the facts, it is time to stop wondering and get the facts on the table.

SANDOVAL: So hearing from not just from participants but people from all over the political realm here, but when you really broaden it out beyond this, it is really giving you an idea of where some Americans stand when you look at some of the latest polling, this particular poll released by MPR, NPPS recently.

It was actually an overnight poll that shows Americans largely split on the issue of this impeachment inquiry that was just launched this week. We should point out this is an overnight poll. There are a quite a few limits here, it's really based on who was available at the time at they're called to it.

So the reason really most accurate reflection on how all Americans fee, but I can tell you again Fred, it is certainly something that people want to hear candidates discuss. You heard Beto O'Rourke, Mayor Buttigieg made his stop and then of course as we mentioned Nancy Pelosi's big event as she is scheduled to stop by Austin tonight wrapping up this year's Texas Tribune Festival back to you. WHITFIELD: All right, Polo Sandoval in Austin Texas, thank you so much. All right more news to get to this hour including new details in the murder of a Sheriff's Deputy who was blind sighted during a traffic stop more on the life of this man who made history.



WHITFIELD: A man with a long criminal history has been arrested in the shoots death of a Houston Sheriff's Deputy. The Deputy was the first Sikh in the Harris County Sheriff's Department. He was heading back to his patrol car during a traffic stop when he was shot multiple times from behind.

SHERIFF ED GONZALEZ, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: Deputy Doliwal was a trail blazer. He was the first member of the Sikh community to become a Harris County's Sheriff's Deputy. He wore a turban; he represented his community with integrity, respect and pride.

WHITFIELD: CNN's Natasha Chen is following this for us. So Natasha what are authorities saying about the suspect and how this happened?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This happened in a residential neighborhood in Harris County and the suspect apparently fled the scene. Because this was captures on the dash cam video when the Deputies came and looked at the dash cam video they were able to see who it was and they quickly identified a suspect. Not too far away he had fled to a nearby business and so the video you're seeing right there is when they actually arrested the suspect and they say they found a weapon there as well along with a woman whom they believe was the passenger in the car when it took place.

WHITFIELD: And then let's talk about this Deputy, he made history there, he was beloved. And his community is so sad now, that we would be cut down like that. But this would happen.

CHEN: Yes, he really was a trail blazer according to the Sheriff. He is the first Sikh of course on the Harris County's Sheriff's Office team right there that video you see is from about four years ago when the there was a policy change so that he could wear a turban on the job. And this video was shared by a resident of Harris County showing this time where he was playing with a deaf child, really just showing his humanity and what seems to be a person that really wanted to help members of the community.

And we don't know right now what motivation is behind this, but we do want to say that the suspect that is being arrested 47-year-old Mr. Solace, has an extensive criminal history. So this is somebody who had an active warrant for pro-violation related to an aggravated assault January 2017. He was also released on parole on 2014 after he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for an aggravated kidnapping.

So, this is somebody with a lengthy criminal history who according to the deputies and the investigators, after the traffic stop as it was wrapping up, and the deputy was going back to his patrol car, they say this suspect got out of his vehicle and shot the deputy in the back.

WHITFIELD: Gosh, it is terribly sad. All right, Natasha Chen thanks for bringing that to us.

CHEN: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Of course our heart goes out to his family.

CHEN: Absolutely.

WHITFIELD: All right, straight ahead, prosecutors say steamy texts distracted a Dallas Officer when she mistakenly entered the wrong apartment and gun down, the man living there an update on today's hearing next.



WHITFIELD: All right, day 6 of the murder trial of a Former Dallas Police Officer was quickly and unexpectedly recessed today and is now set to resume Monday morning. Amber Guyger is charged with killing her neighbor Bothom John in his apartment. She says she mistook his apartment for her own and shot him believing he was an intruder.

And prosecutors claims Guyger was too engrossed in sexting her partner that she failed to even notice these signs that she was in the wrong home. Well, yesterday she took the stand in her own defense and broke down when she was asked why she fired her gun?

AMBER GUYGER, DEFENDANT: I was scared. I was scared and I'm so sorry. I'm sorry.

WHITFIELD: I want to talk this over with our legal guys Avery Friedman a Civil Rights Attorney and Law Professor and Richard Herman a Criminal Defense Attorney and Law Professor, good to see you both. So Richard, you first, her defense seem to be built around her testimony, her point of view, her fear, do you think it was an effective strategy?

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Fred, it is what you have. In other words you don't have a whole smugger mode of ways to go on this as a defense.


HERMAN: You have to prove some sort of diminished capacity because the prosecution has to prove that she specifically intended to shoot this man. By saying that she worked a double shift, she was disoriented, and she was texting, and she wasn't paying attention, she was not paying attention to the rug outside of the door.

The fact that her key didn't fit the door, the fact that the door was open, the fact that the floor plant and the apartment was not the same, the fact that the paintings were there that do not exists on her. There were so many things Fred, for this jury to bide this defense is going to be something.

And I don't find her a sympathetic witness and it is always nuclear when a defendant takes the stand they have to be pristine Fred, and if they caught in a lie - if a defendant gets caught in a lie the jury will reject everything and I think they have caught her in several lies so far.

WHITFIELD: So Avery, it's with great risk I guess sometimes that attorney thinks that do you know their clients should take the stand, I mean, they felt like this was going to be a good defense, in your view, was it convincing?

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, that is about as serious as it gets Fredricka. Believe me before Amber Guyger took the stand she had to sign written waivers of all of her rights because the lawyers explained her what the consequences are. The moment she took the stand was the moment the prosecutors had a shot at her and man oh man, they really did.

The prosecutor involved in this, Jason Hermus has actually zeroed in on one of the most important things and that is police procedure which is when you're confronted with this, you conceal and cover, cover and conceal, back up and get help, and the prosecutor asked her directly.

Look at you had that choice or you could use deadly force, which was it? And of course she used deadly force. So there are enough pieces of evidence unless this particular witness and defendant is going to be sympathetic, she may be, but the elements of murder are there and I think at this point the defendant is in a lot of trouble.

WHITFIELD: Well, and so Richard, the defense questioned to before they adjourned really, Texas Ranger David Armstrong over her physical sensations. They cite auditory exclusion, tunnel vision, short term memory loss, rapid heart rate, how do those things, you know, translate to the jurors, how does that stand up in court?

HERMAN: I think it is garbage testimony Fred. I don't buy it, I think it's ridiculous. I think the judge will say put whatever weight you on this testimony I don't buy it. These jurists are going to rely on their common sense. And the prosecution basically said it, she was not responding to a call, she basically broke into this apartment and shot and killed this unarmed man. I don't know which way you put it.

Avery was right, the protocol, if you felt there was a burglary. And that's what she said when the door opened, it was not locked, she felt there was a burglary, she should have stepped back called for help, and approached it that way, but she went in guns blazing she says she said to him put your hands up, he never did, so she shot him.

Neighbors are in the area, they never heard her yell put your hands up. There are so many inconsistencies in her testimony, that I understand the defense position to put it that. She didn't intend to kill him. It was a mistake, it was an honest mistake. I entered the wrong - people testify, they enter wrong apartments in the complex, okay. But she did here - did she act in any way - in reasonable manner? No, she did not, Fred. It is a very, very difficult case and while police officers rarely get convicted, this one here has a real chance.


HERMAN: Also, the judge will tell the jury they can come with a lesser included charge. If they don't think it is murder they can go to manslaughter. But murder 5 to 99 years in this scenario unless this jury is racist, I really think so far there going to be a conviction here.

WHITFIELD: And Avery, do see at the same way? I feel like you're all in agreement on so many of these points.

FRIEDMAN: We are at a certain level. Bu again, remember we're in Dallas. We're in this city you've got a very interesting Jury here. All it takes is one Juror and there is no conviction of murder. So again there was an adjournment today. Saturday, day six, day seven is going to be very powerful on Monday. I think it is a little bit dangerous to make prediction. But I think she is in real trouble right now.

WHITFIELD: All right,

HERMAN: Fred, it's always nuclear when you put a defendant on the stand. You can image--

FRIEDMAN: I agree with you.

HERMAN: --they have nowhere to go.


FRIEDMAN: No choice, Fred, they had to put her on the stand and she had to be sympathetic and I'm listening to your testimony and watching her, I don't find her sympathetic, I don't, I'm sorry, I don't--

HERMAN: She was counting on the sympathy factor, and again you don't know what is in the mind of every one of those 12 jurors.


HERMAN: That's what the mystery is here, that's what we don't know, and I we're going to put get idea after instructions on Monday or Tuesday. We'll see.

WHITFILED: We shall see. All right, Avery Friedman and Richard Herman, always a pleasure to see you. Thank you.

FRIEDMAN: Thanks Fred.

HERMAN: Great to seeing you Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, I appreciate it. All right, straight head, Senator Elizabeth Warren surging in the polls. Could her call for impeachment slow down her rise or give her a boost? We're live, next.


WHITFIELD: 2020 contender Senator Elizabeth Warren is in South Carolina today where she will hold a Town Hall in just a couple hours. The visit comes as several polls show Warren in a statistical dead heat with Former Vice President Joe Biden. At least three recent polls including one by CNN and the Des Moines register show her two points ahead of Biden among likely Democratic voters.

And as the Massachusetts Senator looks to build on that momentum she is also focused on impeachment. CNN's Senior Political Reporter Nia- Malika Henderson joining me right now from Rock Hill, South Carolina. So what's the expectation later on?


NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, the expectation for this crowd is that they get the Elizabeth Warren that has basically a driven them to come hours away in some instances to hear her talk about her plans. She is a front-runner, co front-runner you might say in this Democratic race. At this point, talk to some voters about why they like her. She is a fighter and one of the things she has been out front about has been impeachment. Yesterday she was in New Hampshire and here is what she had to say to a gaggle of reporters in Hollis, New Hampshire about impeachment.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope we go forward with care and deliberation, but that we do it quickly. I think it's important. The American people are counting on us, Congress, to do our constitutional duty.


HENDERSON: So folks I talked to in this crowd who gathered here, you can see them all behind me this thing starts in a couple hours. We have got a big line over here of Warren supporters. They very much like the idea that she has been out front on impeachment. One guy I talked to said he is psyched about this. The fact they're going forward with impeachment.

He also had a shirt on that said Benedict Donald. They feel like at this point Democrats have no choice. They have to send a message to Donald Trump that his behavior on that call with the Ukrainian President is unacceptable and certainly not something that can be repeated by another American President. So here is Elizabeth Warren coming down to South Carolina, this crucial primary state, and we'll see how she does with this crowd.

WHITFIELD: Okay and we've seen this surge in polls for Elizabeth Warren and in South Carolina the black electorate very, very active. Where does she stand among them?

HENDERSON: That's right. Not so well according to the polls that we've seen so far out of this particular state. These are older voters about two-thirds of the voters down here are going to be African-American, older they're more moderate or conservative voters. We'll see what her message is for them. It is interesting because two or three black folks that I talked to who were here, they're not so hot on impeachment.

They feel like it's too little too late. They'd rather beat Donald Trump at the ballot box. In this crowd here I have to say not a lot of African-Americans. We're at an HBCU, it's a small HBCU. There are only a handful of African-Americans in this crowd who are from South Carolina. A lot of folks older, white voters from North Carolina because this is very close to North Carolina. She has got some work to do with African-Americans, they're going to be so crucial, not only in this state but throughout the south in the Democratic primary.

WHITFIELD: All right. Nia-Malika Henderson, thank you so much. Appreciate it in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

HENDERSON: Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, still ahead a Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responds to Trump's reported comments to Russian officials in the White House. Is the President jeopardizing national security? A live coverage, next.



WHITFIELD: In the entire history of the United States only two Presidents have ever been impeached. Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton. But both were eventually acquitted by the Senate. CNN's Randi Kaye takes a look back at Clinton's impeachment and the lessons that we can learn today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What began as a search for evidence in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case has mushroomed into another investigation of the President and his personal conduct.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Personal conduct by President Bill Clinton with a White House intern.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House has started to receive subpoenas from the independent counsel Kenneth Starr seeking all the records involving Monica Lewinsky.

KAYE: During a deposition in the Paula Jones lawsuit Clinton was questioned about an extra marital affair with Lewinsky he denied it all and reiterated as much days later to reporters.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I did not have sexual relations with that woman Miss Lewinsky.

KAYE: The First Lady Hillary Suggested it was all some sort of conspiracy.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER FIRST LADY OF UNITED STATES: This vast white ring conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for President.

KAYE: Seven months later Clinton admitted he did have a relationship with Lewinsky and had withheld information during his deposition.

CLINTON: While my answers were legally accurate I did not volunteer information.

KAYE: The issue wasn't the affair so much of the affair as it was the President had lied about it. There were concerns he asked others to lie about it too, though he denied doing so. Still, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr investigated later telling the House Judiciary Committee Clinton chose deception.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The evidence suggests that the President repeatedly tried to thwart the legal process in the Jones matter.

KAYE: In December, 1998, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton, charging him with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today the Republican majority is not judging the President with fairness but impeaching him with a vengeance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say that you have the power to terminate that damage and heal the wounds that you have created. You, sir, may resign your post.

KAYE: The President's trial in the Senate which would decide if he would be removed from office got under way the following month, January, 1999. About a month after his trial began on February 12th, 1999, President Bill Clinton was acquitted on both articles of impeachment after the Senate failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The said William Jefferson Clinton be and here by is acquitted of the charges in the said articles.

KAYE: The President once again apologized to the nation.

CLINTON: I want to say, again, to the American people, how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events and the great burden they have imposed on the Congress and the American people.

KAYE: An investigation that cost tens of millions of dollars ended with President Bill Clinton finishing out his second term. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

WHITFIELD: And again, two U.S. Presidents impeached, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson in 1868.