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Source: Pompeo Was on Trump Call With Ukraine President; Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) Interviewed on Subpoenas Sent to Rudy Giuliani for Documents Related to Ukraine Trip, as well as Pending Testimony of Inspector General for Intelligence Communications to Congress. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired October 1, 2019 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president now has to worry about conversations that he's having with world leaders. The leak to the press, that is not good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that Mike Pompeo would be part of this call, he doesn't say anything about it, or he doesn't bring it to anyone's attention in Congress, is problematic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This could get awfully messy if it includes the secretary of state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good morning, and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, October 1st. It's 8:00 in the east. And honestly, every time you blink, there are major developments in the impeachment investigation of the president. But remember, the paramount question is did the president lean on a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent, Joe Biden. And we've seen evidence of that in black and white, in the notes from the phone call. Everything else is just context.
To that end, while you were blinking, Rudy Giuliani was subpoenaed for all documents related to his admitted role in pressuring the Ukrainians for dirt on Joe Biden. It remains unclear whether the president's personal attorney will comply. CNN has also learned that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on the July 25th phone call where the president leaned on the Ukrainian president, and has been less than fulsome in answers to questions about that, and that could trigger a new subpoena for Pompeo's testimony.
Also, a source tells CNN President Trump recently pressed Australia's prime minister to help Attorney General Bill Barr with his investigation of the origins of the Russia probe. We also have new reporting on the attorney general's role of pushing questions about the Russia investigation in general ahead. CAMEROTA: All of this as President Trump declares he is trying to
figure out the whistleblower's identity. And that's raising new concerns among security experts about the individual's safety. And now the intelligence community's inspector general, who is a Trump nominee is refuting President Trump's claims that the whistleblower lacked firsthand knowledge of the conduct that's outlined in that whistleblower complaint. And the I.G. is debunking the conspiracy that's being peddled by the president and his allies. The inspector general is expected to testify on Friday. It will be a busy week ahead as the impeachment inquiry heats up.
BERMAN: And one member of Congress who will be in the middle of it is Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley. He serves on the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, thank you so much for being with us. Let's start with Rudy Giuliani, because the subpoena went out to him yesterday. What do you hope to learn from the president's attorney?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY, (D-IL): Well, first of all, we also subpoenaed documents and had a friendly letter asking three of his associates to come talk to the Intelligence Committee. First of all, what was Rudy's role in this, and that's going to affect our legal proceedings as well. Was he indeed the president's personal attorney? Was he acting under orders from the State Department? Was he self-dealing? Was he working for the political campaign? And all that matters.
Remember, a week ago, I asked the head of the United States intelligence what was Mr. Giuliani's role, and he honestly had no clue. That's a horrible way to run a government. It's particularly dangerous, especially when you're talking about classified information. What was his role, what exactly was he doing, and what exactly did he request from Ukraine? And did it conflate with all of these other roles?
BERMAN: Well, it's interesting because, as your committee notes in the subpoena, Rudy Giuliani admitted to much of what you just asked in an interview with Chris Cuomo. Did you lean on the Ukrainians for dirt on Joe Biden? And Rudy Giuliani says, of course, I did. Right? So many of the answers are out there in plain sight, correct?
QUIGLEY: Sure they are, to be corroborating and to go into greater detail. What else was said and done to muscle a country in a hot war with Russia at this point in time, occupied in Crimea. The balance of the country is facing the full brunt of the Kremlin playbook. So he muscled a country that was particularly vulnerable using the Justice Department? This is an extraordinary crime. I suspect this is the greatest crime a president has committed in my lifetime.
BERMAN: Well, you were alive during Watergate, so it remains to be seen. We will wait for the investigation before we make that determination.
QUIGLEY: This is far worse than Watergate.
BERMAN: What happens if Rudy Giuliani does not comply with the subpoena? QUIGLEY: Again, it gets extremely complicated because we're not sure
which role he was taking. In the final analysis, I suspect we'll probably need the courts to enforce the action. During Watergate, we always wonder what the president decided not to respond to the courts and say, no, I'm not going to, despite an eight-nothing decision. Again, in our lifetime, we're facing that possibility. And that would be a true constitutional crisis.
I am hoping that the fact that many more in the American public are starting to realize the crimes committed by this president. Courts don't live in a vacuum. They must understand and appreciate the national security implications here, and will force and compel this president and his associates to turn over relevant information and testify truthfully to Congress.
BERMAN: Obstruction was an article of impeachment for Richard Nixon. If Rudy Giuliani does not comply, if the White House does not comply with everything you're asking, do you see that as an avenue toward a specific article of impeachment on obstruction?
QUIGLEY: I think it was an obvious article already within the Special Counsel's report. But since that time, the president has continued to obstruct. And now that we know so much more about the Ukraine incident, it is going to be even more paramount. So I think the president continues to obstruct. It's the reason I came over to the impeachment side, the fact that the president disregarded the constitutional ability of Congress to oversee the executive branch. And, I think more importantly, on the heels of the special counsel's testimony, the call with Ukraine takes place.
QUIGLEY: The president's never been held accountable --
BERMAN: The day after, the day after.
QUIGLEY: -- for wrongdoing. The day after. He says, well, I dodged that bullet. I can do something worse. I'm immune. I'm above the law. If the public doesn't appreciate that, they must start to focus on the fact that this president never does anything wrong once. He continues his actions because he feels that it doesn't affect him.
BERMAN: Congressman, I want to ask you about something. The inspector general for the intelligence community wrote last night, and we'll remind our viewers that this is a Trump appointee. He was pushing back against arguments that the president has made that the whistleblower complaints was hearsay and shouldn't be considered valid. The inspector general says they determined that other information obtained during the preliminary review supported the complainant's allegations, other information obtained. What do you hope -- and you have the inspector general coming in on Friday, I believe -- what do you hope to learn about this other information obtained? QUIGLEY: My question, the inspector general talked about how he
corroborates a complaint that comes in. I think everyone in the room would agree that he's a straight shooter who is extremely thorough, who spent the 14 days he had to go into as much detail as possible to corroborate this. And I think, indeed, he did.
What I want to learn from him is now that he can talk about the specific complaint, because, as we've said, the cat is out of the bag, what are the details of how he corroborated this beyond that which we already know. What concerns me beyond all that is, and I'm glad he's pushing back, is the president is inciting violence. He is also putting at risk what's incredibly important to the intelligence community. It operates in secret for a reason, to keep us safe, to protect sources and method. But it only works in an open democratic system when we have a whistleblowing system, a pressure valve, if you will, and oversight by Congress. Otherwise, we've seen in the past what can happens. Two bad things, if the whistleblower system doesn't work, leaks happen. And that's very risky to our country. Also wrongdoing --
BERMAN: You're talking about the president's statements -- you're talking about the president's statement about the whistleblower, that he wants to find out who the whistleblower is and there will be major consequences once he does. Do you view that as a threat? And if so, again, does that in and of itself become an avenue for you to investigate? And could that ultimately be something in the discussion with articles of impeachment?
QUIGLEY: Absolutely. First, it is inciting violence. It is also suppressing the system that is so important for the intelligence community to operate. It is particularly dangerous on the heels of the president using the word "civil war" talking about those who are investigating him. Listen, a president has the right, obviously, to serve out the balance of his term, unless they commit high crimes and misdemeanors. That's not a civil war. That's the Constitution. President Nixon did not complete his term of office because he committed high crimes and misdemeanors. I think this president is as well. What's extremely dangerous is the fact that more Republicans aren't doing what Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger did, which is to speak out when the president says such outrageous, frankly, autocratic things.
BERMAN: Kinzinger said those comments about civil war were beyond repugnant. Mike Quigley, Congressman from Illinois as well, thank you very much for being with us this morning.
QUIGLEY: Thank you.
BERMAN: All right, we have now reporting that inside the president's team there is concern that they may not be prepared for the impeachment fight ahead. How will the White House handle all this investigation? We'll discuss, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CAMEROTA: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is under scrutiny. CNN has learned that America's top diplomat was on that July 25th phone call between President Trump and Ukraine's leader. So that, of course, you'll remember is where President Trump repeatedly pressured Ukraine's president to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son. So now that we know that, listen to Mike Pompeo's answer --
CAMEROTA: -- non-answer to ABC News 10 days ago about that very conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you know about those conversations?
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: So you just gave me a report about an I.C. whistleblower complaint, none of which I've seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Hmm. Well, but you did hear it.
Joining me now, CNN political analyst David Gregory, and CNN chief legal analyst and former prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin.
Jeffrey, I'll start with you. Is Mike Pompeo -- is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in trouble?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I don't think he's in legal trouble. But, I think, you know, what that non-answer contributes to is just the sense that there was this secret effort to get countries to help real-elect Donald Trump and no one wants to talk about it, because they understood how inappropriate it was.
And, you know, whether it's the involvement here of Secretary Pompeo or Attorney General Barr's involvement which, you know, Pompeo, since he was on the phone call heard, heard Trump repeatedly invoke Barr. You know, the question is whether the entire federal government was doing the nation's business, or whether they were doing the Trump re- election campaign business. You know that gets ever-more important to resolve.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: David, your mouth is open like you want to respond to this.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know me so well.
Right. I think the overall picture here is that if any president of the United States feels that there is an important investigation to be done about foreign influence on an American election, the appropriate thing to do is to go to your Justice Department and say, I think there's a real issue here, perhaps you should investigate. And then recognize some independence of the Justice Department to do that.
Here, what we have is more and more evidence that the president said, no, I'll take care of it. And everyone, I'm the quarterback for this investigation. I'll have my private people on the outside, Rudy Giuliani take care of it. And everybody else who works with me is going to be involved.
And there are people who recognize that this is inappropriate at the very least, who are not doing anything to stop it. In fact, according to the complaint, they're doing things to minimize it. So, I think that's what we're getting at here, is that this is a president who feels he is a victim of the deep state, as he would say, which is the bureaucracy of the intelligence community of the United States, and he's going to lash out in all ways. And he's going to be obsessed by it. That's what his presidency will be about, to get back at these perceived enemies.
BERMAN: He's a victim of his own words. He's a victim of saying things out loud on the phone which we can all now see which is him leaning on the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. It's just simply there.
And the strategy that he and his allies have used to defend it now to my mind seems to be back firing, Jeffrey. I was struck by the inspector general, the intelligence community, last night, in response to these claims that the whistle-blower complaint is all hearsay. He fought back. He fought back and saying, no, no, no, not just hearsay. I have other information that I've obtained that corroborates that statement. There's more evidence here.
TOOBIN: Right, and this endless invocation of hearsay is just wrong, factually. I mean, the key evidence in this case in the partial transcript, the summary of the phone call between the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the president of Ukraine.
That's not hearsay evidence. That is direct evidence. That is evidence out of the president's mouth. Now, what you know, the rest of the whistle-blower's complaint -- I mean, much of it is hearsay. But it is a road map for other people to interview.
TOOBIN: And get non-hearsay evidence. I mean, the whole point of doing an investigation is to find the witnesses. So, the idea that there's something inappropriate about hearsay evidence at the beginning of an investigation -- I mean, it's just never how it works.
GREGORY: And it was remarkable for secondhand information how on point it was, and how do we know this? Because the president told us exactly what he said.
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, also, the inspector general said, and I quote, the whistle-blower had, quote, direct knowledge of alleged conduct. That's not secondhand. It's direct knowledge. But I don't know, David, I mean, I'm just struck by how awkward or how
pained some of the president's surrogates seem in attempting to assign this. So, not only are they relying on, you know, things like hearsay which is immediately debunked and proven not to be true, they're sort struggling to come up with a thread or consistent and coherent message.
And so, with Mike Pompeo there, I think that that's telling to replay that moment with Martha Raddatz because he's under no obligation to tell Martha Raddatz the truth. You don't have to -- you can, as we know, you can lie to a journalist.
But why not own it? Why not say, I was on that phone call, nothing untoward happened, here's what the president was trying to do?
He didn't do that for some reason.
GREGORY: Right, he didn't do that then.
But he was certainly happy in a previous appearance, I think a week before, to talk about how appropriate it was to investigate Joe Biden's son Hunter with regard to his service on the board of the Ukrainian gas company, if there was interference into the election that we ought to be going into that. And here, he's -- all he was really denying was the existence of an inspector general report which he may or may not have known about, but he certainly knew about the call.
Look, I think what is obvious which is you have a president who will go to any lengths to fight and to pummel his enemies. And all you need is the evidence of his own tweets saying he wants to meet with the whistle-blower now, he wants to violate federal law to protect whistle-blowers, to confront this person and all of the things that he has done to disparage and that Adam Schiff should be arrested or will be arrested at some point for treason.
When you have a president who will says those things out loud and you work for him, I think you're pretty clear on how you better toe the line if you want to keep your job.
TOOBIN: If we can just talk about the tweets a little bit, we have become so inured to Donald Trump bringing the crazies on tweets. But, I mean, the tweets over the past few days have been so outrageous and really evidence of obstruction of justice.
TOOBIN: You know, I would not be surprised to see some of these tweets actually referenced in an impeachment proceedings. I mean, the idea that, you know, Adam Schiff, you know, is guilty of treason. You know, if any CEO of a public company talked about an internal whistle- blower the way Donald Trump is talking about whistle-blowers, the board would fire that CEO.
CAMEROTA: That's the impeachment, what part of that is impeachable about that?
BERMAN: Look, the difference now with an official impeachment inquiry is everything that is said could be construed as potential obstruction or witness tampering. And in the subpoena with Rudy Giuliani, they use the words adverse inference against you. And that is new.
TOOBIN: That's really important. Another thing that's important about the Giuliani subpoena is that it's for documents, not for testimony. I think there's actually something very clever about that, because if they were to subpoena Giuliani for testimony there is the possibility of attorney/client privilege arising, but there is no attorney/client privilege for his documents with the Ukrainians.
I mean that is certainly no -- there is no privilege there. There's no privilege relating to his documents or his interactions with the State Department.
And what seems clear is that if Giuliani refuses to produce these documents, the intelligence committee is not going to go to court. They don't have time to go to court. They're just going to say this is more evidence of obstruction of justice that's chargeable against the president because you're his lawyer.
GREGORY: But, Alisyn, I think you bring up a key point, too, which we have to keep raising, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. I think anybody can look at the president and his tweets, his threats and call them out for what they are, which is completely inappropriate, and unethical and worse. Is that impeachable?
I don't know, because what did Gerald Ford say about what's impeachable is whatever Congress says is impeachable. And that's how you define a high crime and misdemeanor.
And this was a highly divisive question, even in the Nixon era during Watergate, until the tapes came out where you could hear him directing the investigation to be shut down. And I think that would be the case here.
One of the things Jeffrey and I were talking about before, one of my questions is, with this transcript, it is what it is. And people will make a decision. As more details emerge, or more is tacked on to the inquiry and ultimately, if there's articles, does that tend to mitigate the case? Or does it make it stronger?
We don't know, in this political environment, I don't know I have the answer to that.
CAMEROTA: All we do know is that this is happening very quickly and more continues to come out basically by the hour.
Jeffrey, David, thank you very much.
To that point, the impeachment investigation is really galloping along this week. So, will we see a vote on articles of impeachment weeks from now? What is the time frame for all of this? And what's the scope of this impeachment inquiry? We ask a Democratic leader in the House, next.
CAMEROTA: Several of President Trump's top men are under fire. His attorney Rudy Giuliani has been subpoenaed by House Dems to hand over documents about his dealings with Ukraine. CNN has learned that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on that July 25th phone call between President Trump and Ukraine's leader. And "The Washington Post" reports that Attorney General Bill Barr has urged foreign governments to help discredit U.S. intelligence conclusions about Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Joining us now is Democratic Congresswoman Katherine Clark. She is the vice chair of the Democratic caucus.
Congresswoman, great to have you here to talk about all of the nuts and bolts about how this impeachment inquiry is going to unfold. So, let's start there.
Are House Democrats interested in investigating Rudy Giuliani and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Bill Barr or are you trying to stay laser-focused on what President Trump did?
REP. KATHERINE CLARK (D-MA): Thank you for having me, Alisyn. And I can tell you that we are squarely focused on the whistle-blower complaint, the allegations of abuse of power by this president.