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First House Republican Has Come Forward Saying He Supports An Impeachment Into President Trump; President's Personal Attorney Rudy Giuliani Is Named Multiple Time In The Whistleblower's Complaint. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired September 28, 2019 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: CNN has now learned that President Trump's call with the president of Ukraine, the one in which he asked the leader to investigate Joe Biden isn't the only call the White House has gone to great lengths to hide. People familiar with the matter tell CNN the White House has also taken remarkable steps to prevent a call with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and a call with Russian president Vladimir Putin from ever becoming public.
Now because of this, we may know what the President said during either conversation. But consider this, today, "the Washington Post" uncovered a stunning remark President Trump allegedly made during an oval office meeting with the Russians back in 2017. Yes, that same meeting where the President shared highly classified information and bragged about firing James Comey.
Now, according to this new report by the "Post," President Trump told the Russians that he wasn't concerned that they had interfered in the 2016 election because the U.S. quote "did the same in other countries."
CNN White House reporter Jeremy Diamond is live outside the White House.
Jeremy, first this new CNN reporting about the lengths the White House went to limit access to records of the President's calls with Putin and Mohammed bin Salman. What can you tell us about this?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well Ana, we learned already from this whistleblower complaint that that call from the President of the United States and the president of Ukraine in July was indeed moved to this highly classified system in the intelligence record of the security council. But we are also now learning that it was not the only call to be -- to have its access restricted. Records of the call being restricted.
According to multiple people familiar with the matter, the President's call with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman, records of those calls were also limited with the transcript of that call never circulated to people who normally would have had access to that call transcript. And then there was also at least one phone conversation between President Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, access to records of that call were also restricted. Now, it is not clear if the records of those calls were placed into
the same highly classified system that we saw the records of the Ukraine call being placed in. And we also don't know whether it was done for the same reason, this restriction of access to these calls. But of course, it is just more evidence that there was concern in this White House about either controversial calls or highly sensitive calls and restricting access to them in this White House.
CABRERA: Jeremy, we have also learned today that it was Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell who urged President Trump to release this transcript of that call with the Ukraine president. Why did McConnell want this made public especially given it's been so seldom that he has challenged this president?
DIAMOND: Yes. Well, we do know that there were differing opinions both inside this administration and among the President's outside advisors including lawmakers in Congress. And senator Mitch McConnell fell on the line of urging the White House to be transparent and release the record of this call. We know other officials in this administration like secretary of state Mike Pompeo felt the opposite, felt that the White House would be setting a bad precedent by releasing this call. And certainly this call did confirm the credibility of this whistleblower to a certain extent at least as it related to the transcript of that conversation between President Trump and the Ukrainian President confirming that indeed the President of the United States did press the President of Ukraine to investigate one of his political rivals. But it has of course set off a firestorm on Capitol Hill becoming one of the key points for Democrats as they press forward with this impeachment inquiry. But there is a sense among some of the President's advisers that it was better to release it first because perhaps Democrats would have ultimately gained access to that transcript anyways and the White House would have looked a lot more guilty of course for withholding evidence of that phone conversation -- An.
CABRERA: Jeremy Diamond at the White House for us, we'll see what happens next. Thank you.
This weekend, we are also learning more about the time line of the whistleblower complaint. Who knew what before it went public and started the wheels turning on a formal presidential impeachment inquiry.
Here is CNN's Jessica Schneider.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Officials now say that the department of justice and the White House knew about the whistleblower's concerns more than one week before they were formally alerted by the acting director of national intelligence and the intelligence community inspector general, the last week of August.
Here is the time line we know so far. August 12th, the inspector general for the intelligence community receives the whistleblower's seven-page complaint. Two days later on August 14th, attorneys at the DOJ national security division are alerted about the whistleblower's concerns during a routine conference call. The next day, the head of the division goes to the White House to review the transcript of the call between President Trump and Ukraine's President where the President pressed the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden and his son.
The head of the DOJ's criminal division and deputy attorney general are notified afterward that the attorney general was mentioned in that call. For at least the next ten days, the DOJ deliberated about how to handle the matter. It is unclear how much the attorney general learned during that it time or on which day. But he was made generally aware of the situation.
[16:05:21] JOSEPH MAGUIRE, ACTING DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: The inspector general in consultation with my office referred this matter to the department of justice for investigation. I think the whistleblower did the right thing. I think that he followed the law everybody step of the way.
SCHNEIDER: And there is major scrutiny over the DOJ's decision not to open a full-fledged criminal investigation into potential campaign finance violations stemming from that July 25th phone call. The DOJ came to its conclusion despite the inspector general for the intelligence concluding that the whistleblower's complaint was in fact credible.
Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.
CABRERA: And now let's bring in CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez and former ICA counterterrorism official Phil Mudd who is also a senior intelligence advisor for the FBI.
And Evan, you have more reporting now about when the whistleblower first raised concerns and where that went. Fill us in.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right, Ana. And look, just in the last day, we have gotten a few more items for this time line that Jessica just laid out. We know that five days after the July 25th phone call between the President and the Ukrainian President, the whistleblower went through an anonymous process to file an informal complaint so to speak with the agency with which they are employed. And so we know that five days after the call, there is some record inside that intelligence agency that there is some concern about this Ukrainian phone call. And so then the lawyers for that agency go to the White House and start raising some issues and saying what is this about and so on.
So we know that after that on August 14th, that is, the intelligence agency discusses on a phone call with the White House lawyer, John Eisenberg who is had of National Security issues there and the top national security lawyer at eh justice department, they have a phone call in which this issue comes up.
Then it becomes a little more murky. Because at the justice department, they are not sure what do with this. They are asking the CIA -- intelligence agency, where this person work be works, whether or not this is a formal complaint. It turns out there is no formal complaint until later that month when the inspector general comes forward with the official complaint from the whistleblower.
So again, still a lot of open questions at the justice department as to what was going on behind the scenes. We know there is a lot of memos that were being prepared and sent up the chain of command to try to see what to do with this because we know that the justice department doesn't really launch any formal investigation, any review of the complaint until they hear from the inspector general in late August.
CABRERA: Phil, I mean, it is hard to really wrap your head around this whole time line and who knew what when. So we are trying to understand why certain moves were that. So now we are learning that before making that whistleblower report, the person raised concerns to an intelligence agency lawyer. And that lawyer went straight to the White House. Is that right or should he have gone elsewhere?
PHILLIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: You know, you ask the question of right. When you deal with a situation this unique, I'm not sure -- are going to be spending months determining what was right or wrong.
Let me make this a little bit simpler for you. That if there is an allegation at this level of potential criminal impropriety, it is appropriate for the department of justice to be involved. They are the ones that have to determine whether to look and open an investigation.
The attorney general despite whether you think he is good or bad has not recused himself from the case. So he should be looking at the case if he is not recused.
It is also appropriate for people outside the intelligence community to say what is presidential privilege. In other words, should you be talking to the Congress about a presidential conversation. What kinds of political corruption. This isn't an intelligence issue, it is an issue of political corruption. What kinds of political corruption should be referred to Congress.
So I think that the process here is interesting. It is unique. Some of did you look back and say I'm not sure it was right. The real question now is -- and I think this will all fall in the background, whether the Congress will move forward or not. The process is weird, but this whole thing is weird.
CABRERA: Right. And the Congress is trying to move forward. They say that they are going to investigate what they have learned from this complaint and they call it a roadmap. We know Mike Pompeo, Evan, has received three subpoenas, a subpoena from three different house committees. What happens if Pompeo just stonewalls congress?
PEREZ: Well, you know, look, I think that Congress can try to hold him in contempt. They can go to court to try to get these subpoenas enforced. Of course the justice department would then play a role in enforcing the subpoenas. So you can see, Ana, that there is plenty of leverage here for the administration for the White House, for the state department, for Pompeo to play this out, to delay and delay and delay. And we know that the Democrats have their own game plan, which is to try to wrap this up and try to do this as quickly as possible. The two things are in conflict.
So we will see whether or not they can find some arrangement to try to answer these questions. These are important questions that are being asked. But the problem is that the White House has plenty of tools to delay this as long as they want.
[16:10:35] CABRERA: Well, as long as I guess they have support of Republicans in Congress. Also, we know that there are Republicans in Congress who wants answers. They are not necessarily looking at this too critically at this point. But they say there are more questions to be answered.
Phil, I have to ask you about the oval office in 2017. After Comey was fired, now the "Washington Post" is reporting that Trump told two senior Russian officials that he wasn't concerned about Moscow's interference in the 2016 election because he said that the U.S. did the same in other countries. We are just learning about this. How did we not learn this from Mueller?
MUDD: Boy, this is really painful. But let me make it even more painful for you, Ana. The president of the United States has a right to take steps on foreign policy that we think are not only objectionable but may be morally reprehensible. To suggest to a foreign power that it is appropriate to intervene in an election, I don't think how you comprehend behind that. But that is a foreign policy question.
It is not clear to me that that conversation should ever be referred to Congress. The President has a right to confidential conversations overseas. That is fundamentally different than the Ukraine issue where it appears that the President is questioning a foreign power to intervene and may have withheld funds to do that. That is potentially criminal. Both are objectionable but hey are different in my view.
CABRERA: I know. I hear what you are saying, Phil. But why didn't we hear about this from Mueller? Because isn't that at the heart of the Mueller investigation?
MUDD: I don't think that it is. I mean, if you are looking at the question of whether people were trying to obstruct the investigation, to me that doesn't play into the question of obstruction of the investigation. And if you are looking at whether anybody on the U.S. side for example the President's son in that famous Trump tower meeting received information from the Russians, that doesn't necessarily play into that investigation.
I would be curious to know whether the Mueller team knew this. It is not clear to me even if they did that that would have changed the investigation. PEREZ: Ana, real quick. Just to add to that real quick. We know
that the White House limited what they turned over once the President becomes President. So they were free and they were very open in turning over information before the President becomes the President of the United States, before Trump becomes President of the United States. Anything after the inauguration, there was a lot more close hold. And so that is one of the things that happened here. And I believe that might explain why we don't see any mention of this at all.
And you know, again, it doesn't have to do with Russia, it has to do more with Ukraine. And so I can see that, you know, White House lawyers would have been like OK, this doesn't felt the parameters of what Mueller is asking.
CABRERA: And Phil, real fast before I let you go, what would be your first move in conducting an investigation now into this complaint?
MUDD: Not only looking for people in government, but my first move, finding people including the President's Ukraine interlock who just resigned in the past day or two, people outside government who may feel less compelled to respond to the White House saying don't testify.
By the way, one quick comment on what Evan said. That is also why the President I'm guessing didn't want to talk to Mueller. Here is the question. Mr. President, did you have follow-up conversations with the Russians about Russian intervention. What does the President say? He didn't want to talk to Mueller.
CABRERA: You are right.
Phil Mudd, Evan Perez, thank you both. Good to have you both with us.
MUDD: Thank you.
CABRERA: The first House Republican has come forward saying he supports an impeachment into President Trump. Who is he? And the line the congressman is not willing to cross at this point.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go anywhere.
[16:17:46] CABRERA: A House Republican is now publicly saying he supports the process of an impeachment inquiry making clear that he does not support the impeachment of President Trump at this point. Nevada representative Mark Amodei is the first member of the GOP in the House to voice support for even this inquiry that was launched this week by House speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Let me get former CIA operative and 2016 presidential candidate Evan McMullin in here.
Evan, first, your reaction to this news that this House Republican, not necessarily supporting impeachment but saying he wants to see what the committee's find as part of the process.
EVAN MCMULLIN, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: I welcome that kind of positioning from especially a house Republican. I think he is making the right decision. I think it is fair. It is prudent. He is protecting a process that needs to be there in order for the people's house to hold any President accountable if it is necessary. He is not reaching a conclusion yet about what his opinion is or he is not sharing that yet. He is first waiting for the process. I think that is a good sign.
And you know, Mark Amodei is an interesting case. He is a former army jag officer. He was an army attorney. He is in a district that is fairly safely Republican, but it is not so Republican, not so red that it couldn't be competitive in the future. And so I think as a representative, he has got to be thinking still that he needs to be representing everyone in his district, truly rising to the duties that he holds in his office. And I think that he understands the importance of this process given his past legal experience.
CABRERA: Talk to me about the possibility of impeachment and how is it echoing preliminarily where you are, your senator Mitt Romney says that he is deeply troubled by what he sees in the whistleblower report but his voice and his criticism is just one of few. Do you think Republicans in the Senate are ready to challenge President Trump this time?
MCMULLIN: I don't think that they are ready yet. But I think that for Republicans to move -- and we are seeing some movement from Republicans. Now, you know, I'm an optimistic person but not so optimistic that, you know, I'm ready to predict that there will be a sea change in Republican positioning in Congress vis-a-vis the President. But we are seeing some significant cracks that are early stage still, but different from any situation I think that in the last few years.
And I think what they are going to need to see though is this process move forward and more of these facts be considered and stand up over time and be additionally validated. Many of them have already been very well validated by the President and by his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. So that validation is already happening for some very egregious actions that have taken place.
But I think what Republicans in Congress and the House and the Senate are going to need is for these facts to be on public display and further developed over a little bit more time at least so that their supporters or more of their supporters will understand why in the end if they support the inquiry and potentially even vote for impeachment down the road or conviction, they need to know that more of their constituents will understand why they made that decision. And in order for that to happen, the facts just are going to have to be out there a little bit longer.
[16:21:13] CABRERA: So let's talk more about the new developments and I want to lean into your CIA expertise. We are learning that the White House tried to limit access with Trump's phone calls with other world leaders like the Saudi crown prince and Vladimir Putin. I know you have a long career in the intelligence committee. How dangerous is it that the White House is restricting these transcripts or memos from people who would normally be privy to them?
MCMULLIN: Well, it is dangerous because of the reasons that they are apparently being restricted from those usual consumers of those post- call products. You know, if there were some very classified program or project that was discussed in those calls certainly they could be very highly classified with those code word designations that we have certified so much about over the last few days, which is sort of an addition to top secret and allows them to be handled even more carefully and secretly and many people excluded. But if that were the case, fine.
But we have learned at least from the call between Trump and Zelensky (ph), that the White House wanted to hide that call because there was evidence of wrongdoing by the President. And my concern is that there is evidence of wrongdoing in those calls with Mohammed bin Salman and with Vladimir Putin. And that is why those calls have been protected or hidden as well. And if so, that is a coverup.
CABRERA: But the White House -- let me just hold for a second because the White House is arguing that there was nothing wrong with this call. They see no wrongdoing that, you know, they were concerned about leakers.
MCMULLIN: Well, I'm sure there were concerned about leakers. And I will say that leaking calls of the President -- between the President and foreign leaders when the President behaves in an unpresidential way, I don't think that is appropriate. But when the President is engaged in some type of corruption that compromises the interests, the national security, even the integrity of the core of our democracy, our elections, then that is something that the men people need to know.
And unfortunately, we are in a place now where the White House and the President of course himself have just done so little to earn our trust. If anything, of course they have been violating our trust. The more we learn, the more or trust whatever w have had has been violated. We can't just afford to take their word for it. We and our representatives in Congress need to see records of these calls. We just can't afford not to receive them.
CABRERA: OK. Evan McMullin, good to have you with us. Thanks so much.
MCMULLIN: Thank you.
CABRERA: The President's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is named multiple time in the whistleblower's complaint. And now he is giving a warning about possibly testifying in the impeachment inquiry.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:27:48] CABRERA: The name Rudy Giuliani, the President's personal attorney, appears several times in the White House transcript of a July phone call between President Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart and even more often in the whistleblower complaint. And now Giuliani is telling CNN he won't testify for the House impeachment inquiry without consulting his client, President Trump, adding that his work should be protected by attorney/client privilege.
CNN's Tom Foreman has more on how Giuliani has become a central figure in this unfolding scandal -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, the former mayor of New York is in a peculiar situation. He does not work for the White House. He is not a federal employee. And yet he is neck deep in this saga.
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Let me tell you the facts. They called me --
FOREMAN (voice-over): Rudy Giuliani is fighting back.
GIULIANI: I wasn't operating on my own.
FOREMAN: Insisting that his talks with Ukraine were encouraged by the U.S. state department.
GIULIANI: In fact, I'm a legitimate whistleblower blower.
FOREMAN: So why is President Trump's personal lawyer so worked up? It comes in the wake of news about the now infamous call between Trump and President Zelensky. In that call Giuliani's name comes up repeatedly as Trump asked for foreign help investigating Joe Biden.
Rudy very much knows what is happening, Trump says. If you could speak to him, that would be great.
That has raised accusations Giuliani was acting as an improper agent of the state department, arranging a political hit job from afar in the name of official business. Giuliani says no way he was helping investigate corruption and he says that he has a paper trail that proves it including this text message from a state department official arranging a meeting.
GIULIANI: I went to meet Mr. Zelensky's aide at the request of the state department. Fifteen memos make that clear.
FOREMAN: The state department says Mr. Giuliani is a private citizen and acts in a personal capacity as a lawyer for President Trump. He does not speak on behalf of the U.S. government. But he has spoken for Trump many times.
GIULIANI: What you just said is totally erroneous. It is not a crime.
[16:30:00] FOREMAN: Attacking his foes, dismissing his critics.
GIULIANI: It depends om where it came from. FOREMAN: The President calls him a loyal ally.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rudy is a straight shooter.
FOREMAN: His critics call him something else.
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: He is the political henchman for the President.
FOREMAN: And Giuliani is clearly hedging his bets against another potential title he could be saddled with if the Ukraine favor gets much messier -- fall guy.
FOREMAN: Giuliani is pledging to defend position as vigorously as he has ever defended Donald Trump. The big question is will the President stand by him as strongly if the going to gets tough -- Ana.
CABRERA: Good question. Tom Foreman, thanks.
With us to discuss, Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst and former assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York and Robert Ray, former federal prosecutor. He also took over for Ken Starr as independent counsel during the white water investigation.
So great to have your great legal minds with us today. Let's start with Giuliani and his role in all of this, you know. There is another former personal attorney of the President, Michael Cohen, who is in prison right now. And we also know his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort who had dealings with Ukraine is incarcerated. Is Giuliani safe here?
ROBERT RAY, FORMER WHITEWATER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: Well, as your lead indicated, it is complicated to figure out exactly what the relationship is. I think if he got a subpoena to testify, to answer your question, I mean the first role that you would think of is he is the President's lawyer. So he is obligated to assert attorney/client privilege. Whether that would cover all of his testimony or not is difficult to say.
And the second thing is, regarding his relationship with the state department, on the one hand in some sense he was acting at the behest of the President which the President is entitled to use whoever he wants to in terms of having dealings with foreign countries. This is not the first time --
CABRERA: That would not be necessarily in a legal role with state department duties, right?
RAY: Well, it would not be in a legal role if he did it on behalf of the President alone. It is customary if the President uses somebody especially if it involves somebody overseas that you coordinate your activities with the state department which seems to be what happened here. None of which suggests that any of that by itself is improper or illegal.
CABRERA: What do you think?
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Rudy Giuliani's involvement is problematic for Donald Trump and for Rudy Giuliani himself. First of all, Donald Trump, why is the President's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who is not at any of these relevant times any type of government employee, he did not work for state, he did not work for the White House, why is Donald Trump's personal lawyer trying to get dirt on Joe Biden likely political rival for Donald Trump? It shows that the interest Donald Trump had in here was not the national interests of the United States, it was Donald Trump's own personal interests represented by his personal lawyer and Donald Trump's own political interests.
As far as Rudy Giuliani himself is involved, he has to be very careful here because it is a federal crime to solicit, to try to get from a foreign national anything of value relating to an election. So if you break down, was Rudy Giuliani soliciting? I would say that he was begging for information from a foreign national. Sure, from various Ukrainian leaders. And then is it a thing of value, is dirt on Joe Biden a thing of value for a campaign? I know the department of justice concluded, Bill Barr's department of justice, concluded that it is not. I think Bill Barr has shown himself to be a partisan protector of the President. But I think common sense answer. Do political campaigns pay for opposition research? All the time. It is worth tens of thousands, hundreds of thousand of dollars. So Rudy Giuliani is close to the line of a federal crime.
RAY: Well, we have already been through this, this was not the determination of Bob Mueller in connection with the campaign finance law and it was not the department of justice's view. And it wasn't an idle view and it wasn't Bill Barr's personal opinion. This came through the office of legal counsel that rendered I think it was a ten-page opinion. The office of legal counsel has a long standing reputation for nonpartisan advice that is respected throughout the federal government and not only respected but binding on the federal government as we found this week through the hearings with the DNI.
CABRERA: And based on what we learned this week, so much, right, the first the transcript comes out, then we hear -- se the complaint that we hear from the DNI, the acting DNI in Congress. And I asked during the break your thoughts about the totality of what is going on here and the potential for impeachment have changed from where they were couple of days.
RAY: I mean, I really don't think so.
CABRERA: And you don't believe there is any impeachable offense within what we have heard?
RAY: Well, Elie has just sort of grabbed a hold of the last of the four tries here about why this is a high crime or. Demeanor. The first trial, we heard at the beginning of this was treason until somebody reminded the people making that claim that Ukraine is an ally, so it can't possibly be treason. The second one was that it was bribery expect for the fact that the federal bribery statute doesn't apply to foreign government officials. The third one was extortion. And you know, I think even the "L.A. times" has conceded on editorial page that there was no quid pro quo or there wouldn't be sufficient evidence of a quid pro quo based upon that conversation.
[16:35:10] CABRERA: Sounds like that is debatable.
RAY: Yes, but ultimately people have to come to a conclusion here, either it is or it isn't, right. And the fourth one is under the campaign finance law. And the office of legal counsel said it is not a thing of value. I understand that, you know, that may be of some difficulty to the average person to understand, well, can a -- can foreign assistance with regard to commencing an investigation be considered a thing of value.
The closer that you characterize it as, well, they were digging up dirt on Joe Biden, that is not what was asked for here. What was asked for was an investigation. You can characterize that how you like and I understand for political reasons why people do. But that doesn't make it as a legal proposition, a violation of the campaign finance law. So if is for four with regard to the only four things I can conceivably think it could be, you don't have a high crimes or misdemeanor. Then they want to talk of, you know, abuse of public trust and abuse of the process--.
CABRERA: The abuse of power is also we you here --.
RAY: And then the narrative shifted. We went through the trail of those four, we have now landed in essentially a process argument about whether or not we got the whistleblower's complaint in time and also what the activities were within the White House about trying to conceal, you know, what was happening here.
HONIG: And you can -- the house can impeach based on crime or abuse of power. I think we have a crime here. Bribery does apply to an American public official if he is the person soliciting some sort of benefit.
People talk about a quid pro quo. This phone call is about as close as you will get to a quid pro quo without hearing the actual participants using those Latin words, I would trade you this for that (INAUDIBLE). Donald Trump brings up the foreign aide that Ukraine so desperately needs and then says I need you do a favor, though. I would argue that is bribery.
RAY: It would be nice if it said that but of course it doesn't say that. So that is really the points.
HONIG: And -- it is in the transcript.
RAY: It is not.
HONIG: I can read from it. Also if we are talking about abuse of power, Congress is well within its right to say even if somehow the conduct here dodges the statutory, isn't quite bribery, isn't quite extortion, just the effort to get dirt on an electoral opponent from a foreign country, Congress is well within its right to make that decision. Andrew Johnson was impeached not for any crime at all but for an abuse of for power because he fired a cabinet official. So either one is enough for impeachment and I think you have both here quite clearly.
RAY: And that is ultimately what we are talking about. And you know, I think to your question about where is this going, have things changed. I suppose we are arguably closer to pushing this through an impeachment proceeding. Although, look at it, you know, candidly, really nothing changed this week. Maybe it will change when we, you know, return from the recess of the Congress. We do not have a vote of the House yet to commence impeachment proceedings. So we are pretty far away from that.
And you know, to go back to your Andrew Johnson reference, I mean how did that one end? He it ended up with acquittal in the Senate in the similar situation which was during an election year and we are going to be in an election year, and guess what, in another month or so.
CABRERA: Well, there is so much more to talk about.
Gentlemen, thank you. I'm glad you're here with us.
RAY: Nice to be with you.
CABRERA: Nice to meet you. I have seen you on our air so often.
RAY: Despite what you may think, we're friends.
CABRERA: Differing opinions and perspectives. And we want to inform our viewers of, you know, the different trains of thoughts. Thank you.
Are swing voters sticking with the President as this impeachment inquiry unfolds? CNN goes to America's heartland land to find out if they think House Democrats are going too far too fast.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16: 42:48] CABRERA: As House Democrats launch an impeachment inquiry into the President, what do voters think about all this, particularly in those states that flipped from blue to red in 2016?
CNN's Miguel Marquez went to Pennsylvania to find out.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Quaker Town borough, PA, voted for the President and today some of his supporters aren't so sure.
TODD CHARADA, WAVERING TRUMP VOTER: I think he has crossed the line, but that is the way he is.
MARQUEZ: Todd Charada voted for Obama twice. He liked Bernie Sanders in 2016. And then voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
So you reluctantly voted for the President and 2020 is an open question he?
CHARADA: Only because I didn't see another -- a better opportunity there.
MARQUEZ: A chef at Quaker town's cafe, he says with impeachment, Democrats may be going a step too far.
Do you feel like it is overreaching right now?
CHARADA: I think so. I think they are. I think that -- they want him out, I'm pretty sure.
MARQUEZ: Third generation shoe store owner, Ralph Morey, became a democrat in 2008 so he could vote for Barack Obama in the primary. He voted for Obama again in 2012, in 2016 he voted for Donald Trump. In 2020 he says no way.
What is it about the President --
RALPH MOREY, FORMER TRUMP SUPPORTER: The way he manages himself. And then that reflects on what our country is all about. And our country is better than what the way we're being perceived as.
MARQUEZ: But he thinks that impeachment will further divide an already hyper partisan country.
MOREY: I think that it is ugly now. And I think we should focus on not being ugly.
MARQUEZ: Hardcore Trump supporter Rocky Bixel says that Democrats will only harm themselves in going after the President.
ROCKY BIXEL, TRUMP SUPPORTER: In this town, there is a lot of people that are turned because they say it is just stupid.
MARQUEZ: Quaker town east part of Bucks county, a Philly suburb. It narrowly supported Clinton in 2016. In new hope, a Democratic strong hold, many voters here say impeachment, about time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It does show people that President can't do these things and just get away with it.
[16:45:00] ANNELI MARTIN, DEMOCRATIC VIEW: I think that Democrats need to show some spine. I think that it is a good way of showing power and what is right and doing everything by law.
CABRERA: Miguel Marquez reporting. We will be right back.
[16:49:10] CABRERA: Only twist presidents impeached. Although both were ultimately acquitted by the senate, Andrew Johnson way back in 1868 and the much more recent example of Bill Clinton in 1998.
CNN's Randi Kaye takes a look back at the Clinton drama and the political lessons it offered.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What began as a search for evidence in the Paula Jones sexual assault case has mushroomed in to another investigation of the President and his personal conduct.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Personal conduct by President Bill Clinton with a White House intern.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: The White House has started to receive subpoenas from the independent counsel Kenneth Star seeking all of the records involving Monica Lewinsky.
KAYE: During a deposition in the Paula Jones lawsuit, Clinton was questioned about an extramarital affair with Lewinsky. He denied it all and reiterated as much days later to reporters.
[16:50:00] BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.
KAYE: First lady Hillary Clinton suggested it all was some sort of conspiracy.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This vast right wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for President.
KAYE: Accept months later, Clinton admitted that he did have a relationship with Louisiana Lewinsky months later, Clinton admitted that he did have a relationship with Lewinsky had withheld information during his deposition.
B. CLINTON: My hands is where legally accurate, I did not volunteer information.
KAYE: The issue wasn't so much the affair as it was the President had lied about it. And there were concerns he had 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.
KENNETH STARR, INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: 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.
REP. BOB LIVINGSTON (R), LOUISIANA: I say 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.
WILLIAM REHNQUIST, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES: William Jefferson Clinton be and here by is acquitted in the said article.
KAYE: The President once again apologized to the nation.
B. 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 on 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.
[16:55:51] CABRERA: The murder trial of Amber Guyger who was accused of fatally shooting a man when she mistook his apartment for her own will continue into next week. The former Dallas cop was emotional when she took the stand yesterday and broke down in tears as she described the shooting. Guyger said she wished that she was the one that was dead instead of Botham Jean the 26-year-old victim. The trial will resume Monday.
The community at Harris County, Texas is reeling after a man shot and killed a pioneering sheriff's deputy in a traffic stop. (INAUDIBLE) was that department's sick officer. He was he gained national attention he gained national attention when he got permission to wear his turbine as part of his uniform. The police commissioner says that (INAUDIBLE) had a heart of gold. Police arrested a suspect Friday who they say was wanted for a parole violation and is now being charged with capital murder.
It wasn't just Ukraine. We have learned that the White House limited access to the President's phone calls with other world leaders as well.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.