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House Democrats Prepare a Flurry of Subpoenas; House Democrats Subpoena Giuliani Associates for Documents; Interview with Rep. Deborah Dingell (D-MI); Giuliani Associates Were Trying to Flee U.S. When Arrested at D.C.'s Dulles Airport; Supreme Court Hears Cases on Gender Equality as Democrats at "Equality in America" Town Hall Tonight. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired October 10, 2019 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: In the impeachment inquiry, Democrats are now preparing a series of subpoenas in an effort to force witnesses to testify after the White House has essentially promised active non- compliance.
Also we're watching to see if two key witnesses are allowed to testify, the former ambassador to Ukraine tomorrow, and the president's former top Russia adviser next week.
Let's head over to Manu Raju who are on Capitol Hill.
Manu, we know the two men indicted, who are linked to Rudy Giuliani, they have been subpoenaed for some key documents. Where do we stand on others?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Those documents are supposed to be turned over by next week. They've been subpoenaed not for their testimony but to turn over documents.
There's a third Giuliani associate who also has been targeted by this committee but that person has not gotten a subpoena yet, so there's some questions about whether or not there's cooperation of the subpoenas coming for that individual.
There's still a major question about whether the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch will, in fact, come tomorrow. At the moment she is expected to come.
That could, of course, change, because even though she's the former ambassador, she is still a current State Department employee. We saw what happened to another State Department employee, Gordon Sondland, when earlier this week the State Department, via the White House, took steps to block his testimony. He agreed and said he would not testify because of their opposition.
There's a major question whether Yovanovitch, the former ambassador, will, in fact, come. Her coming tomorrow will be significant because Democrats and Republicans have a lot of questions for her about the circumstances of her removal from that spot.
She is a person who is also mentioned in today's indictment of those two Giuliani associates who tried to work to remove her from the post, even enlisting a congressman, former Congressman Pete Sessions, as part of that effort.
So there are a lot of questions, Boris, about the next steps. Expect tomorrow to be a key day if that happens. If not, more subpoenas are bound to come if they do not get cooperation.
And the big question for Democrats, as they return to session next week, Boris, how quickly do they move to wrap up their impeachment inquiry. Will they actually have a vote, as Republicans have demanded, to formalize an impeachment inquiry. That's something the speaker has resisted but some Democrats continue to push -- Boris?
SANCHEZ: The question of a full vote on the House floor, Manu Raju, is something we're going to address in just a second.
Thank you for that.
There are a small number of House Democrats who want that floor vote on the impeachment inquiry, something Republicans, including President Trump, are demanding.
Michigan Democratic Congressman Deborah Dingell joins me now.
Congresswoman Dingell, that full vote, are you for it, against it? What do you think?
REP. DEBORAH DINGELL (D-MI): I'm one of those people who is very slow, very deliberate, and want to make sure we get the facts. And watching what the response is to the subpoenas that are being issued, are we going to hold people in contempt to Congress? Are we going to investigate the facts? Nobody is above the rule of law.
But I've been home for two weeks. I've heard lots of people with questions and concerns. And I think it's very important that we not divide the country further in this process.
So I'm looking forward to getting back next week, hearing what my colleagues have learned in committee, and strategizing with leadership on where we go next.
SANCHEZ: So, effectively, you're opposed to a floor vote?
DINGELL: I'm very concerned by what I have seen this week. I think it is very important that the committees investigate. Nobody is above the rule of the law. And this whistleblower complaint is what took me to saying we have to be -- we have to investigate. It's our national security.
I'm very concerned that this White House is refusing to answer questions, to cooperate. I want to talk to Adam Schiff myself. I want questions answered for
me. And I want us to be transparent and give the American people the answers.
If we get to a point that they're simply not going to do anything, then we've got to decide what that next step is. But we've got to be very thoughtful and deliberate. And there has been way too much -- many things in this process.
One of the things I promise the people in my district is I'm going to be thoughtful, deliberate, and I'm going to protect our national security, and I'm going to protect our Constitution.
SANCHEZ: I have to ask you about this letter the White House sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They didn't really indicate in that letter that they would comply with any of the requests from the House if there was a floor vote.
We also have Congressman Mark Meadows. He's one of the Republicans that's pushing for a vote. He says that Republicans need it so they can cross-examine witnesses, to issue their own subpoenas in the investigation.
Do you trust Republicans, that they have good intentions in trying to have this House vote, or do you think the White House is just going to bypass it and not give in to these requests after all?
DINGELL: That's one of the things I've really learned to do is to not speculate. Mark Meadows is someone that I actually talk to and have honest conversations with.
You know, I've gone back and reread -- I was young but I was working for a Republican Senator at the time of the Watergate hearings. And I remember where all those Republican Senators and members of Congress were until they got more facts, until the tapes became public, and they realized that the president had lied.
And the man I was working for, Robert Griffin, was one of the first Republican leaders to call for Richard Nixon to resign, and Richard Nixon resigned in 17 days.
I have talked to many Republicans while I have been home. They, too, are trying to get the facts. It's a very complicated time.
I know the media is trying file this and get answers from us. This is a time that I think being very deliberate, getting the answers, not being pushed one way or the other, being as transparent as possible but remembering that we are Americans. And our job is to protect this country. Which we know people are trying to divide.
I don't want to see this country divided further, but bottom line, nobody is above the law. Rule of law is what keeps us together and we have got to protect the rule of the law.
SANCHEZ: Of course, Congresswoman, respectively, we've all seen the transcript of the call between President Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart. What other facts, what other evidence would you need to pursue impeachment?
DINGELL: Well, for starters, it's not a transcript, it's notes. I always feel like I have to say that.
SANCHEZ: It's a rough transcript.
DINGELL: It's -- but we don't know everything that was discussed. I've heard many -- were there other issues that were discussed? Was Russia involved in those discussions somehow? Which, by the way, I don't know. So don't anybody think I'm saying that it was. But I've had questions, comments.
These investigations, these questions are being asked in a classified setting with Chairman Schiff and all of the Republicans. I think we need to try to make as much public as we can, but we do have to protect our national security. I want to know as much as we can. I want to know.
You know, every single day we learn something new. Australia has been involved. China has been involved. Today, two people were indicted. Let's get the story.
Let's put the whole picture together, because a lot of -- you know, I've been screamed at by everybody. I've been screamed at by people who thought I should come out with impeachment last summer.
Today, I was at something and somebody came up and screamed at me, have Democrats have lost their mind, and other people say, thank you for being thoughtful.
I'm trying to be thoughtful because I care about this country. We all need to care about this country. And I care about our democracy and our Constitution, and I think it's in danger right now.
SANCHEZ: Congresswoman, I promise I will not scream at you.
But I do want to pivot to one more question that you might have mentioned. Of the two men that were indicted today, these two linked to Rudy Giuliani, his efforts to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, they've now been subpoenaed to produce documents. Your reaction?
DINGELL: We have due process. Am I disturbed by it? Yes. Again, I'm for letting the process work. We are a country of laws. This is our laws. They're being investigated. Let's get the facts. When we get the facts and we make the determination of what we do next.
Clearly, no one should feel comfortable by what happened today.
SANCHEZ: OK, Congresswoman Deborah Dingell, we appreciate your time.
We are just getting some breaking news in right now. We're moments away from these two Rudy Giuliani associates' first court appearances. They were arrested last night in Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C. Now we know why they were at the airport. Our own Evan Perez joins us now.
Evan, were these two guys trying to flee?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's what it looks like, Boris. Shimon Prokupecz and I were told by sources that prosecutors in the case were not initially planning to make this announcement today. They were working on the case. There was still information and investigative work they were trying to do.
But their hand was forced, essentially, because these two men, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, were trying to leave the country so they were arrested. This is something the FBI, the prosecutors would know. If you buy a plane ticket, this is something they're going to know as they're keeping an eye on you.
They were arrested at Dulles Airport yesterday. And as you pointed out, they're now going to be presented to a magistrate in the next 20 minutes or so in Alexandra where, for the first time, they're going to hear the charges that are facing them in the Southern District of New York.
But that's the reason why we're learning about this today, is the fact they were trying to leave the country yesterday.
SANCHEZ: Evan, going off of that, is it clear that the attempt to leave expedited their arrests? We know they were being investigated for some time.
PEREZ: It did. It expedited their arrests and it expedited the decision to make this case public.
Keep in mind, Boris, that Parnas and Fruman were both being asked to provide information, to provide depositions, to provide information to the impeachment inquiry. The committee is doing that here in Washington. We obviously don't know whether they had any plans to show up here or to provide any of that information.
Clearly, the fact they were trying to leave the country tells you otherwise.
SANCHEZ: Evan Perez, thank you so much for the breaking news.
We're following all sorts of stories, including one about Senator Bernie Sanders and his health. He's at home recovering from a heart attack. And now also doing a little bit of damage control today after suggesting that he might need to slow down a bit. What the 78-year- old is saying now, when we return.
SANCHEZ: Senator Bernie Sanders insists that he simply misspoke when he indicated he was scaling back his campaign in the wake of his heart attack. Instead, the Democratic presidential candidate says he's actually ramping up a vigorous schedule ahead.
Sanders is also calling it nonsense that anyone would believe he was hiding details about his health. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): We wanted to have a sense of what the hell was going on, really. So the first thing we're trying to do is understand what's going on and not run to the "New York Times" and have to report every 15 minutes. This is not a baseball game. I think we acted absolutely appropriately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: CNN's Ryan Nobles is on the story for us.
Ryan, what more can you tell us?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this point, Boris, we're just waiting to see exactly when Bernie Sanders begins this ramp-up back to where he was prior to this heart attack when it comes to his campaign schedule.
As you mentioned, a couple days ago, Sanders told a couple of us who were here covering the story in Burlington that he was going to scale back his campaign attack, not try to do as much as four events a day, travel six days a week, but do something that's more in line with what other Democratic opponents in the field are doing.
Sanders pushing back on that a little bit in this interview with NBC, insisting his campaign is going to be back to normal very, very soon.
The first time we expect to see Sanders back in the campaign in a serious form and fashion is at that October 15th CNN debate. He was asked whether or not he's prepared for that, is his health in order to stand for three hours and handle the rigors of an intense debate like that, and Sanders said that he will be good to go by that date.
Later tonight, we should learn a little bit more about Sanders' health situation. Boris, you're right. Questions whether or not the campaign was transparent enough in revealing Sanders had heart attack. He learned he had a heart attack Tuesday night when he first was admitted to the hospital. The campaign didn't reveal that until he left the hospital Friday.
Sanders said they wanted to get all the information together have that information from the medical professional before they released it.
Boris, later tonight, on "THE SITUATION ROOM," with Wolf Blitzer, Dr. Sanjay Gupta will sit down live with Bernie Sanders to talk about his health situation and what it means for his campaign going forward -- Boris?
SANCHEZ: Ryan Nobles, thank you for that.
Again, important programming note. Senator Sanders joining our colleague, Wolf Blitzer, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta in "THE SITUATION ROOM" this evening, tonight 6:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
Another important programming note. We're just hours away from a special series of town halls focused on issues important to the LGBTQ community. Nine Democratic presidential candidates take part. CNN teamed up with the Human Rights Campaign for the evening. Its president joins me to discuss, next.
SANCHEZ: This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on three potentially groundbreaking gender equality cases. In all three lawsuits, the plaintiffs say there were fired from jobs for being gay or trans. The ruling not expected for months could reshape gender identity and anti-discrimination rights for decades.
And it'll be one of many topics tackled tonight by Democratic candidates of the CNN presidential town hall, "Equality in America."
Alphonso David is president of the Human Rights Campaign partnering on these town halls with CNN.
Alphonso, what do you want to hear tonight from these presidential candidates?
ALPHONSO DAVID, PRESIDENT, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN: Well, thank you. First, thank you for having me.
What we're looking to hear from the presidential candidates tonight are their plans for addressing issues of inequality in this country. Many LGBTQ people face discrimination in their lives, whether housing, employment or in public spaces. Nine candidates tonight will be outlining their vision and plans for how they can address issues affecting LGBTQ Americans.
SANCHEZ: Now, which of these candidates, of these nine candidates do you think has the most work to do when it comes to connecting with the LGBTQ community?
DAVID: Well, it's too soon to tell. I mean, I know all of the candidates are issuing their plans. I think many issued plans over the course of the past 24 hours. And we have an obligation to make sure that we review those plans very, very diligently.
Our objective is to make sure that whoever the ultimate candidate is, that we support a candidate that actually has plans to address issues of inequality in our community. They all come with different strengths and weaknesses. And I think our goal again is to make sure we take a very careful look
at every single candidate and make sure that all of our members -- we have more than three million members across this country. We have 11 million LGBTQ voters. And we have more than 57 million pro-equality voters.
This town hall will give all of them an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates about their vision and, again, their goals on how they can achieve that vision.
SANCHEZ: So you didn't want to name any of the candidates. Let's sort of try to rephrase the question. Which candidate are you most looking forward to hearing from?
DAVID: I am looking forward to hearing from all of the candidates. I know some of the candidates personally. Some of the candidates I don't know so well.
Again, as the president of the Human Rights Campaign, I want to make sure that we're looking at all of the candidates fairly and objectively.
And they all come, again, with different expertise. Right? There's some that are lawyers. Some that are policymakers.
We want to know, how are you going to address the concerns of a transgender person who is struggling with the fear of walking down the street at night because they are afraid that they might get attacked.
How are they going to address concerns about the fact that 35 states in this country still allow conversion therapy? Essentially, that means you can take a young person and have them engage in shock therapy to change their sexual orientation.
How are they going to completely address the sort of the radical rollback that we're seeing by the Trump administration? They're prohibiting transgender troops from serving in the military. They're allowing federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
I'm really interested in digging deep into all of their plans and their goals and how they can achieve them.
SANCHEZ: A slew of issues for these candidates to talk about.
Alphonso David, thank you for laying out a guideline to watch and listen for. Thank you for your time.
DAVID: Thank you so much for having me.
SANCHEZ: Of course. Of course.
Of course, stay with CNN tonight for our presidential town hall, "Equality in America." It starts at 7:30 eastern. You won't want to miss it.
That's it for me. Thank you for joining me today. [14:00:03]
"NEWSROOM" with Brooke Baldwin" starts right now.