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Another Whistleblower With More Bombshell Against Trump; Vice President Mike Pence Dragged In The Ukraine Scandal; Rudy Giuliani, The Disrupter, Messing Everything; All The President's Men; CNN Heroes: The Peace House; Remembering A Legend. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired October 4, 2019 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is a special edition of CNN TONIGHT: All the President's Men and an in-depth look at the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
I'm Don Lemon. Thank you so much for joining us.
We are going to begin with the breaking news. "The New York Times" reporting tonight that a second official is weighing whether to file a whistleblower complaint about the president's dealings with Ukraine. That report coming hours after House Democrats issue a subpoena to the White House for documents related to the Ukraine scandal.
And separately, Democrats send a request today to Mike Pence, the vice president for Ukraine documents within the next 10 days.
We're learning more tonight about the extent of Rudy Giuliani's role in the scandal. Was he carrying out a shadow foreign policy on Ukraine for President Trump?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stonewalling the impeachment inquiry failing to meet tonight's House subpoena deadline to produce documents related to Ukraine.
Plus, the Attorney General William Barr who was mentioned multiple times in the rough transcript of Trump's July call with Ukraine's president, why does it seem like he's acting as a personal lawyer for President Trump and matters related to Ukraine and the impeachment inquiry?
All that with the president insisting again today his Ukraine call was on the up and up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It was a perfect call. There was nothing -- we had that call out. We handed the call out to people. And they say wow, this is incredible. We're proud of that call. When I speak to a foreign leader I speak in an appropriate manner. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, we're going to get into all of that in the hour ahead. But we're going to begin with our breaking news. The New York Times is reporting that a second official a member of the intelligence community is weighing whether to file a whistleblower complaint and testify before Congress about the president's dealings with Ukraine.
I want to bring in now Catherine Rampell, David Rohde, and Timothy Naftali. Timothy is the author of "Impeachment: An American History." You might know a little bit about this, right, sir?
TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes.
LEMON: Good evening to all of you. I appreciate it. David, let's talk about this second potential whistleblower here. It's supposedly an intel official with direct information. This investigation is moving very fast. What do you think the fall out is going to be from here?
DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think they're hoping for more whistleblowers frankly and adding to the credibility here. And I think in way this is a very positive thing. American democracy is working. There are laws set up for whistleblower system. The House is able to pressure the president to release them and so there's a lot of sort of people wondering what's going to happen now. This is all the way the system should work.
LEMON: Yes. This is a second official to come out. I was also alarmed by the -- Catherine, by the president's dealings with Ukraine. Could that add more credibility do you think to what we already know?
CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Certainly, can't hurt. I hope we're going to run into a whistle shortage in D.C., you know? We're going to run out of whistles. Because it's not just those two. Right? We also have the IRS whistleblower who has come forward and alleged some sort of interference with a mandatory audit that the IRS conducts every year of the president and the vice president. We don't know what that interference might be.
But there is a promising I guess from a historical standpoint precedent for caring about this kind of issue. While many people know the old Nixon line about the people have a right to know about whether or not the president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. People think that was about Watergate. It was actually about his tax returns.
So, there is some precedent here for taxes actually bringing down a president or at the very least leading to greater disclosure about a president's wrongdoing.
So, look, this will probably lead to greater information -- if the second whistleblower in the intel community comes forward. It will probably lead to greater information on that front. But we may see more information come out about Trump's tax returns, his potential conflicts of interest and other types of financial misdeeds. LEMON: You're shaking your head there because --
NAFTALI: No. I'm agreeing with both.
LEMON: I mean, in agreement. Not against.
NAFTALI: No. No, no, no. The whistleblower the whole whistleblower system was a product of Watergate. It was a product of the fact that people that witness abuse of power by President Nixon and his lieutenants didn't know how to get the information out. So, they leaked it.
Where this is a way for people to get the information out without losing their security clearances, without losing their jobs. These are patriots who want to stay and work for the American people and don't want to lose their jobs because they're telling the truth about an abuse that they're seeing.
So, indeed, the system is working. I expect more of these people to come forward because what we've seen a tipping point. There's a tipping point and that people are now ready to say enough is enough.
I'm talking about within the government. I'm not saying among elected Republicans. Whether we reach that tipping point, I don't know. But within the government it is clear that these patriots think we can't have this anymore. So, I expect more information to come out this way. And it's great for the country.
LEMON: David, the president has admitted much of this in public already. I mean, so, what more do you need? But what happens if a second whistleblower comes forward here? What does that --
ROHDE: I think -- and we were talking about this earlier, I think it leads to a more credible process. And that does that sort of endanger --
LEMON: How? How is that?
ROHDE: Well, we can -- and I will let you talk about this. But Tim will say that he thinks it's very important to have this go slowly and be a fair process and possibly have some Republicans back this up.
So, I think the more whistleblowers there are the better. The inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, you know, he's one of these public servants who stood up and said this is credible whistleblower complaint. This should be made public.
And there could be this tipping point of more and more people coming forward. Republicans and I think some Democrats.
The statement by Mitt Romney today, you know, this is worrying the president. I don't we're anywhere near a conviction in the senate. But the more this happens this consistent pattern the worse for Donald Trump. LEMON: There's the whistleblower complaint there's a transcript of
the Trump on the Zelensky call. There's a text of the Trump Zelensky call. There's text messages. And then there's the president on camera saying this. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: China should start an investigation into the Bidens. Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with -- with Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAMPELL: I know.
LEMON: I mean, what -- what's he talking about?
RAMPELL: Well --
LEMON: And adds another dimension another angle to this. But is he just spinning? What is going on?
RAMPELL: Well, I think there's a couple of interesting things to pay attention to here. One is that he's not only confessing to the crime that Democrats are impeaching him -- or opening an impeachment inquiry for. Which is enlisting a foreign power to interfere in our election.
This was the actual commission of that alleged crime. Right? On live TV. He is on the one hand claiming that nothing he did was improper. In fact, he didn't do anything at all, there was no quid pro quo. And at the same time, he's actually on live TV asking another foreign adversary in this case to look into a political rival.
I think the second thing to pay attention to here is that it's not an accident. That he's doing this in front of the cameras with the public watching. I think he thinks it shields him that his sort of flagrant behavior suggests --
LEMON: I'm not hiding to the public.
RAMPELL: -- I'm not hiding it. It's the hiding, it's the covering up.
LEMON: It's like normalize -- yes.
RAMPELL: It's the covering up that indicates something would be wrong, something is improper, something might be criminal. But the mere fact that he's doing it publicly suggests everything is above -- I mean, that's clearly wrong. But I think that's what he's going for.
NAFTALI: Yes. He -- I think -- don't forget the people who are giving him advice to the extent he takes advice are all -- are all old enough to remember Watergate. They're not thinking about the Clinton impeachment. Maybe Democrats are thinking about the Clinton impeachment. They're not. They're thinking about what brought down Nixon. And one of the things that brought it down was the sneakiness. The American people thought Nixon was sneaky. That he wasn't telling the truth. That he couldn't be believed.
So, I agree with you, Catherine, what the president is doing is basically saying I don't think I did anything wrong, prove that I did anything wrong. And that changes the whole debate. It frames it differently.
So, when Democrats and Republicans say this is wrong, this undermines our national security. President says I don't think it's wrong, I just approach the presidency differently. I'm just a disrupter for the American people.
It is a remarkable way of undermining not only norms but laws and the way which we have done foreign policy since we have become a super- power. And he's done it himself. This man has actually changed the way we frame these questions. It is unbelievably corrosive for the nation.
LEMON: So even with that, because he changes the way and then you've conservative media who's backing him up, right? But do you think that the dam breaking here?
ROHDE: I do think that the dam is breaking. I've talked to some recently some of his aides some former and current. And these formers and some current who've realize that, you know, they've told me the president is damaged personally. They've told me that he has his personal flaws. He doesn't trust his own staff. He will not listen to people inside the Trump organization and now inside the White House so he reaches outside.
He believes in these conspiracy theories. He does not tell the truth. And there's former aides who are saying I believe in his agenda. I believe we should confront China and help the middle class. They think he can't deliver on that because he does statements like that. And it was -- he was confessing, you know, to an impeachable offense and sort of saying I can go shoot someone on Fifth Avenue. I just shot someone at Fifth Avenue.
RAMPELL: I'm shooting right now.
LEMON: That's got to be the last word. I'm out of time, guys. Thank you all.
LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate it.
More and more members of team Trump feeling the heat of the impeachment inquiry. We're going to take an in-depth look at all the president's men starting with Vice President Mike Pence. That's next.
LEMON: This is our special focus this hour. All the president's men. Beginning with Mike Pence.
The chairman of the House Intel, Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees writing to the vice president asking for Ukraine documents by October 15. But it doesn't look like Pence is ready to play ball.
His office releasing a statement today saying that the request, quote, "does not appear to be a serious request but just another attempt by the do-nothing Democrats to call attention to their partisan impeachment."
But like it or not Vice President Pence is caught up in the impeachment inquiry. And let's walk you through it.
In May, this is according to the whistleblower's complain, the president instructed Vice President Pence to cancel his planned travel to Ukraine to attend President Zelensky inauguration on 20th of May.
Then the president put a freeze on aid for the Ukraine and days later pressured Zelensky to investigate the Bidens on that infamous July 2th phone call. Sources tell CNN that Pence was told about that call the very next day and the transcript of the call was placed in his briefing book.
Then the president used Pence to tell Zelensky that aid was still being withheld because of corruption.
Let's discuss now with Matt Lewis and Josh Green, the author of "Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Nationalist Uprising."
Gentlemen, good evening to you. Josh, you're first. You know, in the lead up to Pence's meeting with President Zelensky Trump and Giuliani openly spoke and tweeted about wanting Ukraine to investigate Biden. His top aide was on the call and Pence got a transcript of it. Is it possible that Pence really didn't know what was really going on here?
JOSHUA GREEN, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK: I think given the situation given the fact that he was briefed, given the fact that we know Mike Pence is a diligent politician, it is unbelievable to think that Pence would go into this meeting unaware of what it was he was supposed to be doing.
The idea that he wanted to push this investigation whether it's of the Bidens, whether it's of interference in the 2016 election. It's really hard to believe that Pence could be in that kind of situation, have aides who are listening in on this phone call, have the transcript in his briefcase and somehow still be ignorant. I don't see how that's not possible.
LEMON: So, Matt, here's how Pence described that meeting with Zelensky that day after it happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Specifically number one, did you discuss Joe Biden at all during that meeting yesterday with the Ukrainian president, and number two, can you assure Ukraine that the hold up of that money has absolutely nothing to do with efforts including by Rudy Giuliani to try to dig up dirt on the Biden family?
MICHAEL PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: As President Trump had me made clear we have great concerns about issues of corruption. To invest additional taxpayers' dollars in Ukraine the president wants to be assure that those resources are truly making their way to the kind of investments that will contribute to security and stability in Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So that all sounds good. But the meaning of corruption to Trump and Giuliani meant two things, 2016 and the Bidens. What are your thoughts?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I mean, I just don't find it plausible that Donald Trump is suddenly this champion of anti- corruption. And that he really cares that much about it. And it seems like the only time he really does care about corruption is when it involves a political opponent. So, I don't buy it.
LEMON: Yes. Josh, there is this remarkable moment from the 2016 vice presidential debate. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENCE: We all need to know out there. This is basic stuff. Foreign donors and certainly foreign government cannot participate in the American political process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What happened to 2016 Mike Pence?
GREEN: Well, Donald Trump got elected and made his vice president. And I think Pence along with everybody else in the Republican Party, just about everybody else has bent themselves to Trump's will. You know, Pence has become almost a punch line in some quarters for his fealty to Trump, his willingness to praise Trump and do his bidding.
I was actually talking to a White House adviser today who said, you know, Trump is a loyal soldier. But even given all that Pence has done, Trump still remembers the one act of disloyalty. That was after the Access Hollywood tape came out Pence put out a statement distancing himself from the president.
So, except for that one example, you know, Pence has walked the Trump line, he's toed it on every step. And even on the clip we just showed of Pence talking about corruption, that easily could have been referring to discussions about Joe Biden or Hunter Biden corruption.
I mean, he didn't say he hadn't talked to Biden. And so, you know, all indications we have publicly and privately in the reporting that we have seen are that Pence was aware of what he was doing, knew what Trump wanted and delivered that message to the Ukrainian president.
LEMON: And Matt, I've got like 10, 15 seconds here. Do you think we're definitely going to see Pence on the ticket in 2020?
LEWIS: Eighty percent likely. But look, the more he's -- the more he's embroiled in this the less likely it is that Trump is removed.
LEWIS: Because Republicans the one thing if there's any enticement to getting rid of Donald Trump it would be but we're going to get Mike Pence. Not if Mike Pence is involved in this, right? You're not going to get Nancy Pelosi.
LEMON: You're not going to get Nancy Pelosi.
LEWIS: As president.
LEMON: You gave yourself an out.
LEWIS: That's a deal break. That's a deal break.
LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen.
GREEN: Nikki Haley waiting in the wing.
LEMON: Thank you, gentleman. Wow. That's what everyone is saying. You're a smart guy, Josh. Thank you.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
LEMON: So, testimony from former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker shedding new light on just how Rudy Giuliani's role has been in the effort to pressure Ukraine for dirt on the Bidens. The president's personal lawyer doing himself no favors with a bunch of wild and contradictory television interviews in just past two weeks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Did you ask the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden?
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LAWYER: No. Actually, I didn't. CUOMO: You never asked anything about Hunter Biden, you never ask
anything about Joe Biden?
GIULIANI: The only I ask about Joe Biden is to get to the bottom of how it was that Lutsenko who was appointed --
GIULIANI: -- dismissed the case against --
CUOMO: So, you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.
GIULIANI: Of course, I did.
CUOMO: You just said you didn't.
GIULIANI: By the way, do you have any idea that the State Department --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, then you know the lie --
GIULIANI: Shut up, moron. Shut moron.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Hold on. We're live, Rudy.
GIULIANI: Shut up. You don't know what you're talking about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Hold on, everybody.
GIULIANI: You don't know what you're talking about, idiot.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Why are you, the president's personal attorney, what is your personal mission?
MACCALLUM: What's your mission?
GIULIANI: To disrupt the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Joining me now is Josh Rogin and Bradley Moss. Good evening, gentlemen. I saw --
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good evening.
LEMON: Did you -- I saw your faces when he said that. Why that reaction? ROGIN: Well, you know, it's very rare that the person committing the
corruption is so proud of it. And says it so blatantly and so repeatedly on national television. And you know, what you have to remember about this whole scandal is that, Rudy Giuliani has been doing this for months before any of us really sort of started talking about it before the whistleblower complaint, before the text messages with Kurt Volker.
Months before that and everybody in Ukraine knew it and a lot of people in Washington knew it too. But the way that we knew it is because he kept talking about it. He gave an interview to the New York Times where he said he's meddling in an investigation. he was tweeting insults at Ukrainian oligarchs and threats. It was just nuts.
ROGIN: And then when the whistleblower complaint comes out, he was like, my God, this is really crazy stuff. And if you just look at the record Rudy has been bragging about it pretty much the whole time.
LEMON: I just want to put this up just so the audience can see it, the audience can see it and you guys as well. This is a look at the time line.
Giuliani has been on a mission to prove his debunked story. Look at it. It's up there. About the Bidens in 2016. As far back as November of 2018. I mean, Bradley, he is giving wild eye TV interviews. He's contradicting himself about these investigations, getting mixed signals about cooperating. Is he helping the Democrats case for the impeachment?
BRADLEY MOSS, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: I think he is the greatest thing that the Democrats could have ever hoped for when it came to an advocate for impeachment. Because he's showing just how much conspiracy-laden craziness underlay this entire endeavor.
And if you look at what came out what has been brought up from Mr. Volker's testimony what came out after the leaks and do his prepared statements. What we saw in those text messages that came out yesterday pretty much everything that the whistleblower set forth in his or her complaint.
The details of the concern not only about this phone call between the president and the Ukrainian president but also the activities by Mr. Giuliani and his interactions with State Department. All of it has been validated by and large on substance. Sure, there is intricacies here and there that may not have been entirely 100 percent factually complete. But just --
LEMON: That always happens. That's how it works.
MOSS: -- the substance, it's there. And Rudy Giuliani is doing everything for himself. . LEMON: Yes. I mean, listen, all of it is not going to -- is not going to match up word for word every time. And I think that's, you know, people are trying to point that out just to punch holes in it but it's never going to match up 100 percent.
I just have to read this from -- because I'm wondering -- I'm wondering if this whole thing, maybe I'm not even wondering. I think most people believe this whole thing really is of Giuliani's doing.
Because this is from Volker's opening statement. It says, "It was clear to me that despite the positive news and recommendations being conveyed by this official delegation about the new president, President Trump had a deeply rooted negative view on Ukraine rooted in the past. He was clearly receiving other information from other sources, including Mayor Giuliani that was more negative, causing him to retain this negative view."
Josh, Volker is suggesting here that Giuliani planted all of these bogus claims about Ukraine and the Bidens in President Trump's mind.
ROGIN: Yes. I think there's a lot of truth. I mean, for those of us who cover the president and talk to a lot of people and talk to the president they always say the exact same thing. He -- if you give him information that confirms his bad ideas, he'll believe it. And if you give him information that contradicts his bad ideas, he won't believe it.
So, we can't absolve President Trump. It's not all Rudy. It's Rudy and Trump. And the president had this deep-seeded belief, right, it's in the text, you see things, Ukraine, Ukraine, they're all out to get me, they tried to take me down.
He doesn't distinguish between, like, these Ukrainians and those Ukrainians, there's a new government coming in. And then Rudy is like, oh, yeah, they tried to take me down, they tried to take me down, we got to do this.
And meanwhile, several other people are trying to get in his head including senators, including Volker, including I'm sure a lot of other officials who are saying, no, Mr. President, there's actually -- none of that is true. We can't make policy based on that because that's crazy, that you're making policy based on false information.
But the fact is that Trump trusts Rudy more than any of all of these people put together, and that's the heart of the problem. That's a problem that nobody in the government can solve, OK?
ROGIN: When you have a problem that you can't solve, that's not a problem, that's a fact.
LEMON: Look where that trust has got him now. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it. We are out of time. It got to be the last word. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is stonewalling, hitting a new high tonight after he failed to meet a subpoena deadline. What does it mean for the impeachment investigation?
LEMON: So now to secretary of state. Mike Pompeo failing tonight to meet a subpoena deadline for the House to produce Ukraine-related documents.
Joining me now to discuss are Susan Glasser and Shawn Turner. Good evening to both of you. Again, never a dull moment even on a Friday.
Susan, the clock was ticking tonight. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo failed to meet the deadline for the House subpoena, for those documents. He and his department are right in the thick of this and the pressure is only going to increase. Do you agree?
SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, that's right. I think that, you know, Pompeo is a crucial figure in this and it's only beginning to be appreciated exactly what role he played. He clearly was aware of it and a key partner in essentially turning Trump's private foreign policy into converting that into the policy of the United States.
And in that sense, I think, you know, telling the truth slowly doesn't even begin to cover it. Remember, Pompeo spent literally a week essentially obfuscating and not revealing that he had been listening in on that key July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine.
We now learned in the texts that were released last night that he seems to be well apprised of what his two diplomats were doing to mediate essentially between Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian officials to try to get the Ukrainians to agree to essentially do Trump's bidding and to launch an investigation as a condition of this congressional authorized aide.
So, I think we're going to learn a lot more about the role that Mike Pompeo played and what we're going to find is that he was facilitating Donald Trump's plan with Rudy Giuliani as opposed to sticking up for his department and American diplomacy.
LEMON: Wow! Mr. Turner, despite Pompeo's initial attempts to dodge questions about this, he was on the call, the text messages mentioned him, the committee chairman considered him a potential fact witness. Will he end up having to testify?
SHAWN TURNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Look, I think there's no doubt that he's going to have to answer to this and that probably means testifying. I think that if I were Mike Pompeo, tomorrow or Monday, I would go into work, I'd call in my attorneys, I'd sit down and I'd talk to them about what the implications are of being held in contempt of Congress or being charged with obstruction of justice.
Look, you know, Mike Pompeo is a great example of the perils of (INAUDIBLE) rise. Here is somebody who, you know, in the last three years has gone from being a member of Congress to director of CIA to secretary of state, and he has done that largely unscathed until recently.
I think there are really two key reasons he's done that, Don. It's primarily because of his fierce loyalty to the president. As Susan was pointing out, you know, on that call, after he reluctantly admitted that he was on the call, he then very quickly transitioned to say that the call was all about digging into corruption. So that's the first reason.
I think the second reason is that he has been able to dodge, you know, kind of stay out of the spotlight and dodge bullets as other people around the president has fallen. Until recently, that has worked. But, you know, I think that now he's kind of lost control of the narrative and he's going to be under a lot of scrutiny as this plays out. I think that ultimately that scrutiny is going to play out in front of Congress.
LEMON: Susan, I got some things I want to read for you, OK? So, this next text message has gotten a lot of attention. But let us look at one particular part of it, OK?
Bill Taylor's text: "As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."
And then Gordon Sondland, an ambassador and million-dollar Trump donor, text back hours later. He says, "Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The president has been crystal clear, no quid pro quo's of any kind.
The president is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign. I suggest we stop the back and forth by text. If you still have concerns, I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call discuss them directly. Thanks."
Wow! It sounds like someone wrote that. It was very like -- OK, we have to say this. So who is Lisa Kenna? She works at the State Department as executive secretary in the Office of the Secretary. And who is S? Could that be Secretary Pompeo?
GLASSER: That is the secretary. That is how in the unique language of Foggy Bottom they refer to the secretary of state. I also found that to be a very interesting passage in the key text exchange. What it indicates, Gordon saying, I'm not freelancing here, the secretary of state is well aware of what this policy is, and if you (INAUDIBLE) have any questions, you ought to take it up with him.
Now, of course, Gordon Sondland's role has also still not been explained. Remember, he is a big Trump donor who has been the very combative ambassador to the European Union. Ukraine, as you know, is not in the European Union. Why is he not only involved in this whole scheme with Rudy Giuliani, but seeming to play a leading role?
He even appears to be dictating to his diplomatic colleague, essentially playing the role of the boss in a way that suggests that perhaps he is the enforcer from Trump world, you know, sent to be the political commissar over this whole operation.
But again, I found the reference to Secretary Pompeo and his executive assistant to be very interesting and very indicative of the idea that Pompeo is right in the middle of this. These guys weren't freelancing, but that he was part of a mission.
Remember, Secretary Pompeo has become the last survivor in Donald Trump's original national security team, not only by being a loyalist, but also by essentially saying, I'm just here executing, Trump is the boss and I do what he says, almost regardless of what it is that he says. And so I think that's a key part of the story.
LEMON: Susan and Shawn, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
GLASSER: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: We're back in a moment.
LEMON: When President Trump pressured Ukraine's president to look into debunked allegations against Joe Biden, Trump suggested his counterpart work with someone in his administration to get to the bottom of it. That man, Attorney General William Barr.
Here to discuss, Harry Litman and Julian Epstein.
Gentlemen, I appreciate you joining me.
HARRY LITMAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, Don.
LEMON: Harry, you first. It seems the attorney general is deeply involved here. Trump asked Ukraine to work with Barr on investigating the Bidens on that July call. The rough transcript shows that. So why did the president volunteer Barr for this?
LITMAN: You know, I think he just sees Barra and Giuliani as his two main (INAUDIBLE) that he can trust. But it's a terrible idea for Trump and a worse idea for Barr. Barr is already kind of up river on this conspiracy theory of chasing down the genesis of the 2016 probe. But now he's doing it in a kind of buddy (ph) movie way, a sort of (INAUDIBLE) enterprise around the globe.
It's completely irregular and makes it politicize where as it was supposed to be by the book investigation by the Connecticut U.S. attorney.
LEMON: Julian, Barr did not recuse himself from the Department of Justice decision on President Trump's call with Ukraine's president. The DOJ determined that call did not add up to a campaign finance violation. But Barr is mentioned multiple times on that call. Isn't that a conflict of interest?
JULIAN EPSTEIN, CHIEF COUNSEL FOR JUDICIARY COMMITTEE DEMOCRATS DURING CLINTON IMPEACHMENT: Well, for sure he's neck deep in this. As you pointed out, the whistleblower complaint originally went to the Department of Justice and they found no violation. They didn't do any of the investigation that the House Intelligence Committee did, say, with the State Department and the diplomats that found all these texts this week that look pretty incriminating on the quid pro quo question.
So, the notion that the Justice Department just deep-six the whistleblower complaint sort of gets not just the attorney general but a lot people in the Justice Department potentially in the soup here.
And I suspect as the committee starts going through their investigative process the same way they pulled on the strings of the State Department, the diplomatic core and all this kind of skeleton started falling out of the attic, I think you're going to see the same thing of the Justice Department.
So I think this plot will continue to thicken as they go agency by agency. That is just going to be part of building of the case. Yes, Barr is neck deep and should be recused.
LEMON: Interesting. Harry, The Washington Post has reported that Barr has held private meetings with foreign intelligence officials overseas including U.K. and Italy. And President Trump asked Australia to help Barr. What do you that is all about?
LITMAN: I cannot tell you how strange that is. It is literally unprecedented. This is what you have agents for. He has to go around the globe to do it. So, first of all, it totally demonstrates a kind of wild-eyed commitment to the whole conspiracy theory of it and it gets him again in the thick with the president himself.
What's it about? It's about trying to do the most pleasing thing possible to Trump, which is to find some kind of dirt from a foreign country about the genesis of the probe. Problem is, nothing there, nothing has been there. It's a dry hole but they continue to dig. And the A.G. personally does the digging. That's what really bizarre.
LEMON: I found it interesting -- go on. Was that Julian?
EPSTEIN: I was just going to say I completely agree with that, but I also think that's the decoy. I think looking at -- focusing on Barr looking back at the 2016 election and trying to discredit the intelligence community of which he is part is sort of the decoy here.
I think Democrats and the people that are concerned about this need to make it clear that the focus of this issue now is the president while president asking a foreign leader to intervene in our election. [23:50:03]
EPSTEIN: And the president does not get a pass on doing that just because he simply alleges that he thinks his opponent might be corrupt. You don't get a pass. That is a violation of constitutional oath. When you condition official actions, as the president seemed to do, on a foreign government's interfering in your election, there's been a lot of discussion on this network about it, you're probably invoking five or six major criminal statutes.
You don't need a criminal statute from impeachment or violation of your constitutional duty is, I think, sufficient. There has been a lot of discussion on that. But I think citing the statutes, which I think the Democrats will start to do, I think you will see the Judiciary Committee starting to hold hearings on that. That will make a criminal case on what occurred.
I think it's important, again, not legally but politically. If you're going to start convincing that middle third of the public and potentially even Republicans as it moves over to the Senate, as I think it will, I think you do have to make a case as there is here. Prosecutors like Harry could do this all day long --
LEMON: Harry --
EPSTEIN: -- that there is clear criminal violation going on here.
LEMON: Harry, I have to ask you this before we go, and I have a short time. Sorry. Rudy Giuliani referring to Barr as Trump's government attorney earlier this week, what does that say?
LITMAN: Well, one thing it says is it emphasizes that Giuliani is his personal attorney. In fact, he's even said he's not his personal attorney. Giuliani is in the funkiest position of all and the most vulnerable. He has very little defenses to giving up his information.
But the other thing it says is he sees as Roy Cohn, the guy in government that he looks to protect Trump rather than to protect the presidency, which of course is his real constitutional lookout.
LEMON: Gentlemen, thank you. I appreciate it.
LITMAN: Thanks, Don.
EPSTEIN: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
LEMON: In the city of Chicago, more than 2,000 people have been shot this year. Tired of seeing news reports about the ongoing violence in her city, this week's CNN hero had an idea. What if she helped people regain a sense of community one block at a time? So she began in West Englewood, one of Chicago's most turbulent neighborhoods. Meet Robbin Carroll.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBBIN CARROLL, CNN HERO: I started coming out to the community. The lots were all empty. The houses were getting boarded up. People were not coming outside. I stood on the corner and just asked anyone that walked by, are you interested in taking back your community? And everyone said, absolutely yes.
We are a really brave space and courageous space. We're going to get there. We will work through all of what is holding you back to becoming the person and the potential that you have to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And to see how they've transformed the block from surviving to thriving and to learn more about Robbin's incredible work, go to CNNHeroes.com
One of my personal heroes and a hero to so many others died today, Miss Diahann Carroll. She is not only a hero but a legend who accomplished too many first in Hollywood to mention all of them, but just a few now. She is the first black woman to star in her own television series in the 1960s. She played Julia, a widowed nurse with a young son.
In the 1970s, the first black woman to win a Tony Award for best actress for her Broadway performance in the musical "No Strings," a role written specifically for her.
Also in the 70s, she is among the first black women to receive an Oscar nomination for best actress opposite James Earl Jones in the movie "Claudine."
On the big screen, she also starred opposite Michael Caine, Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman. In the 1980s, Carroll became the first black diva on TV as Dominique Deveraux on ABC's "Dynasty" where she gave Joan Collins a run for her money.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIAHANN CARROLL, ACTRESS: Let me ask you, Mrs. Colby, is that supposed to be an implied threat of some sort? Because if it is, I am just as tough as you, maybe tougher.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who the hell are you, anyway?
CARROLL: Who am I? You'll find out very soon. Very soon. You said this this wasn't going to be a social evening. So whatever it was, I enjoyed myself thoroughly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Carroll always fought for better roles and better representation for African-American actors and actresses and paved the way for people in Hollywood like Oscar winner Halle Berry -- Halle and six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, who said today, "Diahann Carroll walked, ran, and flew so that I could soar behind her."
The last time I saw Ms. Carroll was in 2009 in Beverly Hills. She gave me a fake slap just like she used to do to Alexis on "Dynasty," and then she hugged me and drove away in her vintage Rolls-Royce. Diahann Carroll died early today following her battle with breast cancer. She was 84 years old.
Thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.