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Republicans Are Dismissing The Report Of The Second Whistleblower; Democrats Ramp Up Impeachment Efforts Against President Trump; People Say You Can't Overdose But You Can Die From Withdrawal And Many People Have; Jimmy Carter Getting A Few Stitches Above His Brow After Suffering A Fall At His Home At Plains, Georgia. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 6, 2019 - 19:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Another White House is choosing to play defense, by putting the President's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, a central figure in the Ukraine saga on TV.


RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: We got an anonymous whistleblower who says that Donald Trump did something wrong. Donald Trump like Hunter Biden says I didn't do anything wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forget the whistleblower. We have the transcript of the call and the presidential remarks on the lawn.

GIULIANI: Wait. Wait. Before you interrupt me, Howard, I know you want to defend it so bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to defend anything. I'm asking a question.

Giuliani: You do. You do. It's pathetic. Listen to me --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more question about your role in Ukraine because you had dealt -- let me ask the question. The congressionally fired prosecutor (inaudible). He is now under investigation.

GIULIANI: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says he told you there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. A historian today's "New York Times" quote you in calling him a liar. In retrospect was it not the best judgment to rely on this guy?

GIULIANI: No. He was the only guy willing to come forward. I took his evidence. I have it in a written statement. I have got it all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, the conversation will continue.

GIULIANI: There's lot more to come out. We haven't moved to Romania yet. Here's my concern -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got to go.


CABRERA: Joining us now Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas. She sits on the House Judiciary Committee amid this impeachment inquiry.

Congresswoman, thank for being here. Republicans are already dismissing the report of the second whistleblower. I want you to listen to Senator Lindsey Graham today.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Kavanaugh, remember Kavanaugh? It started with one complaint that wound up being unverifiable. A complaint against judge Kavanaugh about a party that took place in high school 30 years ago without any notice of where it happened or when it happened, and everybody described to be there said it didn't happen.

And five more allegations came after that. What did we learn in Kavanaugh, that they were coaching witnesses and they were piling onto try to create an impression that Judge Kavanaugh was a flawed human being. This is Kavanaugh all over again.


CABRERA: Congresswoman Lee, what is your response to that?

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Well, I hope one day in the next few weeks that the Republicans and the United States Congress will rise to the level of being patriots and care takers of the constitution and the people of this country as opposed to being partisans. And using the bully pulpit of their majority in the Senate to castigate and disregard truth.

Frankly, this administration has become a chief bully and they are bullying the constitution but the constitution cannot be bullied. And frankly, I think that's what's been lost in all of this litany of investigations.

The American people are not being focused on all what this is about. And it really is about the constitution and article one and article two and that the President has violated his oath of office and there's clear evidence that he has done so.

But we know as Democrats this is a somber and important position and road that we have to take. And so we are very carefully investigating, and the whistleblowers are an institution that is statutorily protected by the laws of this land. They come forward because they believe they have information. No whistleblower has been found to come forward falsely to my knowledge or to come forward without serious thought.

This second whistleblower, the indication is that he or she has firsthand knowledge merchandise but the first whistleblower had a detailed complaint with many, many citations of other individuals who had affirmed what this person, he or she, ultimately wrote. How much more do Republicans have to have before they take what is before us very seriously?

CABRERA: Well, I guess you could also turn that question into how much more do Democrats need to have before there's an actual vote whether to impeach the president, before articles of impeachment are drawn?

JACKSON LEE: Well, first of all there's no adversity to a vote. There's no requirement to a vote. There's precedent, yes, but it is not a requirement. It is not part of house rules.

And frankly we are involved and engaged already in the impeachment inquiry. And the number of committees that are the investigatory committee from oversight to intelligence to foreign affairs and the ways and means committee and other committees that have relevancy are doing the investigation ultimately as the House dictate. The articles of impeachment will come out of the Judiciary Committee.

And then there could be a vote on the floor -- there could be a vote on the floor on articles of impeachment if they are to be passed out of the committee.


JACKSON LEE: We are not behind in our work. We are not behind in the structural of our work or procedure of our work. But if that's going to be the focus of Republicans rather than the truth, I think it's important again to remind the American people that we are really operating under constitutional procedure and the judgment that is to be made by them and by members of Congress is not who can talk the loudest, who can refute the loudest, who can besmirch and to denigrate witnesses and whistleblowers.

But it really is going to be the pure and unadulterated truth. And that truth has to be, did the President violate his oath of office? Is the President acting as if he is above the law? Did he stop funding for the pure purpose of securing dirt on a political opponent? And did he over the course of months proceed to violate his oath of office by obstructing justice?


CABRERA: And you'll be trying to get to the bottom of -- right. The President though has made clear that he wants to know who these whistleblowers are. In fact, let's listen to what he has said on this issue.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to know who's the person that gave the whistleblower ? Who Is the person that gave the whistleblower information? Because that's close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason. We used to handle it a little differently than we did then.


CABRERA: How is Congress going to protect the safety of these whistleblowers?

JACKSON LEE: Well, the law is very clear in the statute that was crafted and passed to protect individuals who have a comment on how this government is run ethically and without corruption. And so Congress has a duty to protect the whistleblower, and we intend to do so.

The whistleblower has every right to determine how they will approach their testimony, whether it is in closed doors. They are both represented by the same counsel. And it is up to that counsel and advising his clients and those whistle blowers as to whether or not they want to make any public statement.

The President has no authority to breach that law. And I would certainly caution his staff and the White House to be very careful on conspicuously violating laws which I think has been broken before particularly in the issue as I said before on obstruction of justice. But I would not tamper with a law that has been setup to protect individuals who want to comment on whether or not this government is being run properly.

That is part of the checks and balance. That is part of protecting American citizens who have come forward and want to ensure that their country is run at the highest level of ethics and also the rule of law. That is a very dangerous ground. That is very dangerous ground to tamper with.

CABRERA: Quick answer, if you will. Do you know of GOP colleagues of yours in the House that would vote for an impeachment inquiry right now? Should Nancy Pelosi call for a house vote on this?

JACKSON LEE: Well, Ann, I think that's a very good question. And all I would offer to say to you is I know there are thoughtful members of the House, both Republicans and Democrats. What a vote will take will be a thoughtful members making their determination that we must proceed with an impeachment inquiry, which is to investigate whether or not the constitution has been violated as it relates to the President. And whether or not articles of impeachment should be drawn.

I would hope that with the facts that are now been presented with one of the former ambassadors to Ukraine, Mr. Taylor, saying that is it now that we are bartering and holding up military aid because of trying to get political dirt. He asked that question and that is a suggestion that there's truth behind his question. But the point is to look at all of the facts we would hope that our colleagues --

CABRERA: Right. But it sounds like you don't know. It sounds like you don't know what Democrats or Republicans would vote for.

JACKSON LEE: I don't know whether Democrats would vote yes or no. Because again, we are making it clear this is somber and sober decision. This is a constitutional decision. This is a decision members have to make. Are they going to choose their nation? Are they going to choose their politics?

I would hope there are Republicans that would choose their nation and patriotism on behalf of the men and women of the United States military on the front line defending the constitution and the American citizens who are covered by the constitution including this president who cannot, cannot violate the constitution and the rule of law. That is simply not the nation we live in.

CABRERA: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, appreciate your time. Thanks for joining us.

JACKSON LEE: Thank you for having me.

CABRERA: And joining us now is CNN's Chief Legal Analyst and former Federal Prosecutor, Jeffrey Toobin who just wrote a piece for "the New Yorker" entitled Donald Trump's Ukraine scandal has its roots in Russia.

And let me read a part of it here. It says Trump is currently surrounded by people like Barr and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, who are willing to debase their offices to indulge Trump's abuse of power. The unhinged arias of Giuliani, his personal lawyer are a constant from the Russian chapter to the Ukrainian.

Jeffrey, we will talk more about Giuliani in a moment. But first, on the second whistleblower, what does it tell you that even after all the attacks on the first whistleblower that this President has, you know, put out there a second whistleblower has still come forward?


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's important to remember what the whistleblowers have and have not said. Certainly the one whistleblower we know about.

Basically his comments have been in two parts. First he talked about the presidential phone call with the president of Ukraine, and that has been corroborated by the partial transcript that was released. The other thing he said was there are other people in the executive branch who know and believe that the President has behaved improperly with regard to Ukraine.

What the whistleblower has done has given a road map to investigators. He hasn't claimed that he has first-hand knowledge. He has simply said there are these six other people in the White House whom you should talk to. It may be that the second whistleblower is one of those six people. It may be this whistleblower has other information. The point is that there should be an investigation.

I don't know what this whistleblower says, but there should be an investigation of what these people say, the leads they provide. And most importantly the whistleblowers themselves shouldn't be harassed or threatened the way the president has done. CABRERA: What would you be looking at in terms of additional

information that needs to be gleaned?

TOOBIN: Well, the whole nature of the relationship between president Zelensky of Ukraine and the president of the United States particularly the relationship regarding the money, the military aid that was authorized and appropriated by Congress but mysteriously delayed by am President. Now certainly there is a lot of circumstantial evidence and some direct evidence from the President's own mouth that the reason why this money was delayed is because the president wanted dirt on Joe Biden.

That is I think the core of the accusation against the president around this impeachment inquiry. If these whistleblowers and the people they direct investigators to have evidence relating to the question of whether there was an abuse of taxpayer dollars in this way, that's certainly something that's very important to look into.

CABRERA: I don't know if you had a chance to hear what Giuliani had to say this morning. We played a clip at the top of the show, but I know you were still -- traffic that was a bit of a snaggle this evening. But, you know, he is still putting himself out there even though we know now what an integral part of this investigation he is. Are you surprised he's going on TV? Isn't it usually the lawyers saying don't say a word?

JACKSON LEE: Well. No, actually not. The Trump administration and the Trump defense has never operated by conventional rules. What they believe is the best defense is a good offense. So, you know, the President himself and his lawyer, Rudolf Giuliani have constantly been putting out on twitter and interviews unsupported, often proven false allegations about Joe Biden.

But as they recognize, it takes a lot longer for the truth to catch up with falsehoods, and when you have a megaphone the size of the president's or Giuliani's, it's worth it to put out these reckless claims and not worry so much about, you know, people like us trying to point out what's not true.

CABRERA: We have seen the transcript. We have heard the President's own words. Now we have these texts involving Volker, involving Sondland, involving others that are all caught up in this. What more would the House need before they vote on impeachment?

TOOBIN: Well, they may need nothing more. There is a -- there's a lot there. But, you know, there's no point in, you know, treating this as if the investigation is over at this time. The most important thing that the whistleblower, the original whistleblower said in his complaint other than his description of the phone call, which has since been vindicated is that there are other people in the White House.

He said there were six of them who were concerned, who knew about the impropriety of the President's relationship with Ukraine. Those people need to be identified and interviewed in a serious non- hysterical, nonpartisan way. That's the most important thing I think needs to be done now and we will see what they say.

You know, I maintain a naive hope that the facts will actually matter. And the facts have not been fully established. The facts are under investigation here. And that's what the house intelligence committee is trying to do.


CABRERA: It's hard for people to be patient, but you are right. It needs to be methodical. It's too important not to.

Thank you, Jeffrey Toobin. We will continue the conversation with you later in the evening.

Coming up we also have Senator Cory Booker who will join us live as this impeachment inquiry ramps up in Washington. Stay right there.


[19:19:12] CABRERA: Welcome back.

We have been following the news of a second whistleblower coming forward in Trump's Ukraine saga. And I want to bring in now live from Iowa, 2020 presidential candidate and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Cory Booker.

Senator, thanks for being with us.


CABRERA: First, your reaction to this news of a second whistleblower.

BOOKER: I don't find it surprising. I think that there are a lot of people that witnessed this kind of behavior and we are only at the beginning of knowing the depth and the breadth of it. Remember this is now an allegation that it's not only implicated by the President by his own language but we now know it is also the state department and the secretary of state.

It is also the department of justice and the attorney general. There are dozens of people that witnessed this behavior. And I imagine more people will be coming forward with more aspects of the truth which is what the public deserves.


CABRERA: Two of your fellow Democrats and 2020 opponents offered different views when asked if there was enough evidence already to convict President Trump in an impeachment trial in the Senate. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have evidence to convict yourself?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you would vote right now to --.

WARREN: Look, I think the evidence is clear. When Donald Trump released the transcript in which he solicited a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 elections, he broke the law.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Do you think it's irresponsible for senators who will be essentially jurors to say right now they would vote to convict? Is that irresponsible?

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think people will say different things. I personally as a former prosecutor like to look at all the evidence because you might convict on a number of counts and not on another one.


CABRERA: A clear yes from Warren, while you just heard Klobuchar say there she still wanted to look at all the evidence.

Senator, what's your answer? Would you vote to convict President Trump right now?

BOOKER: Well, on the face of it, the evidence seems just damning, frankly. And in fact, Donald Trump couldn't shock me anymore, but from his own mouth it's stunning. It's stunning that he was recently calling for the Chinese to interfere in our elections. This is what our founding fathers warned us specifically about.

But, again, I am a juror and I want to look at what the articles of impeachment are. I want to look at all the evidence. But I'm just going to tell you just as an American this is just not offensive. I think it's grounds for impeachment. And so I'm looking to the fullness of this coming out. The House has to go to a process. They will develop articles of impeachment. They will pass them perhaps on the floor before it would even get through the Senate where there will be a trial.

But if you just want to ask me as somebody looking at what our President, the president of United States is doing is contrary to the framers of our constitution is, contrary to our national security interests. He is calling for foreign powers to undermine our democracy for his own personal gain, and that's unacceptable.

CABRERA: So why can't you say, yes, you would vote for his removal from office right now if the House were to send you those impeachment articles and the, you know, Senate to take their duty and vote whether to acquit or to convict?

BOOKER: I'm just putting it plain to you. What I see right now is damning. It's damning. But again I have sworn an oath to be in the office that I am and there is going to be a trial. And I will pea a juror and I will evaluate the fullness of the evidence on all the articles of impeachment that come before us. All of them I don't know what they are yet. All the evidence hasn't

come out. There could be 20, 30, 40 articles. So let's go through the process. But if you just want to ask me what I believe right now, what he has done is pretty damning.

CABRERA: The Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a new fundraising video out. I'm not sure if you have seen this. But he vows to stop any Democratic-led push for impeachment. Here it is.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MAJORITY LEADER: Nancy Pelosi is in the clutches of a left wing model. They finally convinced her to impeach the President. All of you know your constitution. The way that impeachment stops is that when Senate majority with me as majority leader. But I need your help. Please contribute before the deadline.


CABRERA: Granted a few Republican senators, Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse have now come out and criticized the President specifically over what he said about China, calling on China to investigate Joe Biden. But do you have any reason to believe that if it came time to actually vote that they would side with Democrats to remove a Republican President from office?

BOOKER: I'm going to remain a prisoner of hope that we will see people when the time comes, we will choose patriotism over partisanship. We will choose what's in the long-term best interest of this country over the short-term political interests. We saw that in the Nixon impeachment efforts that eventually Republicans seeing what the evidence was broke with him.

That's what I think the process that Nancy Pelosi and House leadership are going through right now to get all the evidence out there because I think all Americans have a line. They have a line that they know that if a President does certain things, enough is enough. No matter what their partisan views are, that's too far.

This to me is going to be a period in which a lot of stuff is going to expose this President for what he has done. I think people are going to see more and more that he chooses to pursue his own personal petty interests and ambitions over his own national security. And I'm hopeful that we will see profiles in courage as this evidence gets laid out and plainly before the American people that more Republicans will do the right thing.

CABRERA: Senator, the President has continued to throw out more baseless allegations against Joe Biden. This weekend on twitter the former vice president has now taken the president -- taken on the president directly in a new "the Washington Post" op-ed, and he writes this.

Trump is frantically pushing flat out lines, debunked conspiracy theories ad smears against me and my family. No doubt to undermine my candidacy for the presidency but it won't work because the American people know me and know him.

To be clear there is no evidence of wrongdoing by the former vice president or his son Hunter Biden, even the Ukrainian prosecutor has said as much.

Senator, if the overwhelming issue is President Trump must be defeated do you feel you and other Democrats must be doing more to speak in one voice that Joe Biden's family is off-limits?


BOOKER: I have said time and time again that this is unacceptable. That if you come after Joe Biden you are going to have to deal with me in this case. There is no, as you said, this is baseless unfounded scurrilous lies plain and simple, trying to undermine the character of one of the statesman of our country, not our party but our country.

And so, yes, you have got a problem with me. I cant speak for this in a political context. This is just me as an American to see these kinds of attacks. And whether it's the lies this president tells about Joe Biden or lies that he tells about other American citizens, to demean and de denigrate them. Hell, I found what he wrote about Mitt Romney to be absolutely unacceptable insulting another statesperson in our nation.

And so this is a President that is demeaning and lying and deceiving. And there's got to be some accountability. And the fatigue of this country, there's got to come a point that people just say enough is enough. You know, we are a nation of virtue. We are a nation where character matters. And this president is engaging in a level of moral vandalism that's got to offend the sensibilities of all Americans.

And so, yes, I'm sorry. I was taught by my parents stand up for yourself but even more noble than that, you should stand up for others who are being wrongfully attacked. I don't care whether it's one of his fellow Republican Mitt Romney or the character of vice president Joe Biden, it's unacceptable and you will have a problem with me.

And I will always speak out against those kind of scurrilous attacks especially from a cowered showing the greatest type of weakness there is which is lies, deceptions and cowardice.

CABRERA: Now, Beto O'Rourke did make a comment though that was critical of Hunter Biden's role in a Ukrainian gas company. Take a listen.


BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would not allow a family member, anyone in my cabinet to have a family member to work in a position like that.


CABRERA: Senator Klobuchar also expressed discomfort today with the child of a vice president serving on a foreign board. And you just said if President Trump comes after Joe Biden, he has a problem with you.

Do you feel Beto O'Rourke and Amy Klobuchar are out of line?

BOOKER: Look, I don't know the contexts of those statements. I have been one of these people pushing much stronger ethics laws in Washington. This revolving door from Congress lobbying. I think is absolutely wrong that one day you could be bullying for something and the next day you could go out and work for that company reap a big reward.

We have a system broken. And I think if anybody stated what their believes on what their ethics should be, more power to it. I will actually push you to go further when it comes to ethics laws and changes in Washington. But please do not allow this to be a moment where we are engaging in anything that is playing along with the president's attempt to muddy the water and obscure his own behavior which is repugnant that a president would compromise national security interests for his own political agenda.

So I'm not going to play into him. He wants us to be talking about anybody else but him right now. Well, you know what? You are the one right now that is the subject of impeachment proceedings. It is your words, your actions that are at the center of American conversations right now.

What you did was wrong, it was wrong. And no matter how much mud you want to sling on other people, it cannot hide from the fact what you have done is low down, dirty and wrong and you are going to have to answer for it. As long as I'm a United States senator, my job is to hold the executive accountable. Checks and balances and oversight. And thank god that's what the House of Representatives is doing right now.

CABRERA: And it's my job to ask questions so I'm going to ask you another one you may not want to answer, but are questions about Hunter Biden fair?

BOOKER: Are questions about Hunter Biden fair in the context of a president who is accused of doing really what I would think were unimaginable things. That's a shocking needs (ph). And questions about Hunter Biden in this context, somebody who has been investigated, somebody who from Ukrainians to Americans to Europeans, there's no evidence whatsoever.

So, no, it is not fair that the president of the United States is trying to get all of us to be talking about someone else other than him. What he has engaged in is despicable behavior that was warned about by our founding fathers, by letting foreign governments try to intervene in our elections, and he is doing just that.

So if you want to talk about ethics laws, heck, I have been changing at this law since I was mayor, trying to put more strict ones in place and Lord knows Washington needs them. The children of this president are engaging in behavior I think that is unacceptable.

But I'm sorry, but all of this is side to the center of what we are talking about right now, that the president of the United States of America disregarded Congress and others, held up critical aid to a nation under attack all to pursue his petty personal political agenda. It was so extreme that professionals in the intelligence community came out and blew the whistle on it. When have we even heard of that happening?

This is time of crisis for our country. It is a sober, painful time. I don't care what political beliefs you have, this is not -- this is sad moment for this country that we are witnessing the behavior of this president. I will not allow him to change the subject. We must focus now on holding him accountable for his actions.


CABRERA: Senator Cory Booker, I really appreciate the time tonight. Good luck on the campaign trail. Thank you for joining us.

BOOKER: Thank you very much.

CABRERA: Senator Booker will be one of 12 candidates on the stage at the CNN "The New York Times" Democratic presidential debate. That's Tuesday, October 15th. It's all going to happen live from the battleground state of Ohio.

We are back in just a moment.


[19:35:42] CABRERA: As Democrats ramp up impeachment efforts against President Trump, a major question looms. Who would benefit politically?

CNN's Kyung Lah in Iowa where in just a few short months the nation's voters will pick who they want to see take on Trump -- Kyung.

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, senator Kamala Harris begins a three-day swing through Iowa. She is holding a town hall here on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She has increasingly as the impeachment increase begun to heat-up, sharpen her message, her attack line against President Trump.

Now Iowa democrats at least the ones I have spoken with say they like what they hear. They also what they are seeing from Washington Democrats.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should go harder and faster. They think there's another whistleblower and I think they should come out and I think they should attack him as far asst as they can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they're doing their research. I think they're doing their homework. I think they're speaking out. I think they are taking action. And I think they're very serious about this, which makes me happy.


LAH: Democrats know that impeachment is the unlikely outcome especially in the Senate. But there are 2020 political implications here. It is reinforcing that Democrats have as their number one reason to go after a nominee, to support a nominee is that they believe that nominee is the best person to defeat President Trump -- Ana.

CABRERA: Kyung Lah in windy Iowa for us. Thank you.

Now, only two presidents have been impeached in American history. So if you Are wondering how the process works, stay right there. CNN Legal Analyst, Elie Honig is back with us in just a moment to answer your questions about impeachment.


[19:41:40] CABRERA: Welcome back. All night we've been taking your questions about impeachment, what's going on, who's involved, what happens next.

Our expert, CNN Legal Analyst, Elie Honig is back to answer some of the thousands of questions you have submitted.

And Elie, one viewer asks what procedures the Senate must follow in if it trial should end up in the Senate.

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. So the constitution only gives us two pacific procedures. First of all the chief justice of the Supreme court presides. So we may see John Roberts coming down in his robe and presiding over the Senate. And second it needs a two thirds vote to convict.

Now, who actually prosecutes? The House will get to appoint what are called House managers. And I think we will likely see people like Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, all of whom have prosecutorial experience against whoever Trump chooses to be his legal team. He can choose and hire whoever he wants. That is to determine.

But it's important people keep in mind this is not a criminal trial. We are not going to see the same procedures. I would not expect to see live witnesses. When Bill Clinton was impeached and tried it was essentially the members of the Senate asking questions of the attorneys and House managers.

The burden of proof is also -- in a criminal case the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. The highest standard we have in a senate trial. It's essentially whatever the Senate feels is enough. Mitch McConnell as the leader over there has a lot of leeway how this is going to go.

CABRERA: And the bring s us to this next fewer question. Can Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell just refuse to hold a trial in the Senate if the House votes for impeachment?

HONIG: So there's an argument that he could. The constitution gives the Senate the sole power to try all impeachments. But senator McConnell has said he believes he has no choice but to hold a trial. I think that is a smart political calculation. I don't think you could have an impeachment which is an accusation hanging out there just unresolved.

So one thing that could happen, though, is Republicans in the Senate could make a quick move to dismiss. There is precedent for this. In '98, '99 the senor Robert Burn (ph) of West Virginia who was A democrat moved very quickly to dismiss the charges against Bill Clinton. That motion did not succeed but there is a precedent for it.

Another question is will the votes be public, out in the open or will they be private? I think the thought if it's private, it's more likely Republicans will turn on the president. I don't think that's more likely, though. I think whatever vote happens will have to be out there in the open for the public to see.

CABRERA: OK, Elie Honig, thank you. Standby because you will be back next hour with more of our viewer and audience questions.

As the President faces an escalating impeachment saga and news that a second whistleblower has come forward. Don't go away.



CABRERA: Benzo diazepam, you may not recognize that word but chances you are familiar with the brand name. That follow with that category of prescription drugs --Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Klonopin. They are all used to treat anxiety and insomnia. But when overprescribed they pose serious challenges to the patients who try to quit.

Tonight's brand new episode of "This Is Life With Lisa Ling" explores the benzo crisis in America.


LISA LING, CNN HOST (voice-over): This is micro-tapering. And it looks like something out of high school chemistry. Portioning out the correct amount of medication over four daily doses while cutting back one one-hundredths of a milligram each day.

This seems like such a daunting process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This way of tapering has helped me lose my symptoms.

LING: How do you track your taper?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I keep a record in this notebook. I started here July 30th of 2017.

LING: I see you've written hold a number of times on some of these pages. What does that mean?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My symptoms were escalating and to feel safe I just would not make a cut in my dose that day.

LING: Is there any room for error in this at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: None, no. Really to me it's a life or death mistake. I just don't want to go back to that place again.


CABRERA: The host of "This Is Life," Lisa Ling is with us now.

Lisa, what exactly are these drugs? And why there is growing concern how they are used?

LING: So Ana, they are some of the most widely prescribed medications on earth. They are primarily used to treat anxiety. As you mentioned, they included Xanax, Valium, Klonopin and Ativan. And the thing that was most disturbing for me is that despite how widely they are prescribed, there are many doctors that despite prescribing them do not know how to get people off if they start to experience side effects or symptoms of withdrawal. Nor do they know how to help people taper off.

If you are on a Benzo and you want to stop taking them, the most important thing is do not stop cold turkey. The clip that you just saw of Crissy, she found this tapering method online. She started communicating with people who were experiencing similar things and there are so few doctor sanctioned methods of tapering. So she was taking the suggestion of people she never met before because she was in such dire straightens and extracting .001 of a benzo to help herself taper.

And this is something so many thousands of people are experiencing which is why I hope people will watch this. Again, it's so widely prescribed but people don't really know how to deal with the side effects and the consequences and many doctors don't, either.


CABRERA: I just think about how some of the red flags now being raised by benzos are the similar to those raised about opioids.

At the start of that crisis, do you believe we may be on the cusp of another epidemic? And if so, what we can do to stop it?

LING: Well, I think that we all need to be much more diligent about reading the literature that accompanies the medication. I mean, certainly, I do think there if there are these -- the possibility is very high that one might experience these side effects. I think doctors should tell their patients, but at the very least, I think we all need to assume responsibility and read through the literature. And if we have questions, we should ask our doctor or seek help.

But the most important thing if you are on a benzo -- and listen, if you never had them or been prescribed them, you probably know someone who has been or is still on them. The one thing that you do have to rep is you just cannot stop cold turkey. Seek out a benzo specialist if you need to.

CABRERA: And Lisa, we are pretty much out of time but I do wonder, can you overdose on benzos?

LING: So, it's been said that the likelihood of overdose is very, very slim. People say you can't overdose but you can die from withdraw and many people have.

CABRERA: Wow. That's alarming.

Lisa Ling, thank you for sheds light for us.

LING: Thank you.

CABRERA: Be sure to tune in in all new episode of the CNN original series, "This Is Life With Lisa Ling" airs tonight at 10:00 only on CNN.

We will be right back.


[19:56:17] CABRERA: This just into CNN. Jimmy Carter getting a few stitches above his brow after suffering a fall at his home at Plains, Georgia. According to a statement from the Carter center, the 95- year-old is feeling fine adding that he and former first Rosalynn Carter are eager to be at Habitat for humanity bill at Nashville an event this weekend. Carter survived a dire cancer diagnosis back in 2015 and holds the record for longest living U.S. president.