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Republicans In Unison Of Voting No; President Trump Again Exonerates Himself; President Trump, The Teflon President In American History; President Trump Impeachment Inquiry; Rudy Giuliani's Role In Ukraine Front And Center In Impeachment Inquiry; Katie Hill Resigns, Condemns "Double Standard." Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired October 31, 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 CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
There is a lot going on tonight and we're going to catch you up on five big headlines. A momentous day in the impeachment inquiry with a vote in the House chamber, testimony by a Trump aide behind closed- doors, and arguments in federal court on whether a former White House official must answer a congressional subpoena to testify.
In a major step, the House are moving that resolution, mostly along party lines that advances the impeachment inquiry, setting the stage for public hearings and possible articles of impeachment against President Trump.
We're going to look at what history tells us about that. If the president is eventually impeached but acquitted in the Senate, in the Senate trial. Would that embolden him as he campaigns for reelection? We'll talk about that ahead.
Rudy Giuliani's role in the Ukraine scandal is extensive and he's said to be shopping for an attorney. How much of a liability is he for President Trump?
And Congresswoman Katie Hill giving her final speech on the House floor as she resigns amid allegations of an improper a relationship with a congressional staffer. Allegations she denies. She claims she's been forced to give up her seat due to a double standard. Is she right? We'll talk about that later in this hour.
But let's get straight to this historic day that has been playing out now in this impeachment inquiry. Joining me now is Susan Glasser, Michael Isikoff, and Harry Litman. Good evening to all of you. Thank you so much for joining.
Susan, I'm going to start with you. The testimony from White House national security official Tim Morrison corroborates claims of a quid pro quo. Unfolding -- withholding -- excuse me -- Ukraine aid in exchange for investigation into the Bidens. But he's also said that he didn't think that anything on that call was illegal. The White House says his testimony is good for them. How do you see it?
SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, look, Don, I mean, obviously, I'm looking forward to reading the full deposition. The report to the testimony suggests that he did in fact corroborate real- time concerns about the withholding of nearly $400 million in U.S. security assistance to Ukraine with the condition being that Trump wanted the investigations launched.
Remember that others, especially U.S. acting Ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, have already said that Morrison was basically a key source conveying this information and conveying these concerns to him real-time. So, Morris would have been -- Morrison would have been in a tough position to be denying this information that Bill Taylor had already testified to under oath.
I mean, you know, look, how much does it matter what his interpretation of it is. Is he a lawyer? You know, I don't know what to make of him saying well, he didn't deem it to be illegal. You know, in general, the facts that have been presented to us at this point about President Trump's actions and the real-time concerns of Trump administration officials are pretty striking. So, you can see why they are going to move ahead to these public hearings.
LEMON: Harry, you know, you say Morrison's view of the law is irrelevant. That his actions showed that he was worried about the call. Did his testimony help Democrats build their case?
HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Yes. I think so. I mean, it really says a lot about how basically monolithic the testimony has been that this is something that the Republicans are saying it's good for them.
Yes, he very much corroborates Taylor. He heard Sondland and Giuliani who are going to be the sort of marquee villains next to Trump when they actually have the trial. And yet, his views it's funny. He says he didn't think it was illegal.
But thy he was so worried about it makes it clear that it was undermining the national security interest of us for Ukraine and Russia. The very thing that makes it at least part of a maladministration on Trump's part. So, I think his stray legal opinion is beside the point.
LEMON: Hello, Michael Isikoff. Let's bring you in now. You said that Morrison's claim that nothing was illegal with the call will give Republicans something to work with. Why do you say that?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, YAHOO NEWS: Well, I mean, for the obvious reason that they can say here's another guy who did not see a problem with the call.
You know, I do think we have to be a little bit skeptical about Morrison's analysis, and only because if he was aware of the decision by John Eisenberg, the lawyer for the National Security Council to move those -- to move the records of the call into this highly classified separate server. He kind of has to say he didn't see it as a legal problem. If you saw
it as a legal problem, he's kind of copying to --
LEMON: It's part of the cover up, right?
ISIKOFF: -- being party to obstruction.
ISIKOFF: So, you know, I think we got to be a little skeptical of that. But look, like Susan, I want to read the whole transcript.
ISIKOFF: I don't really like getting these selective accounts of what took place during many hours of deposition on which most likely there were lots of nuances that we're not talking about on the show.
LEMON: But can I just get you clarify something you said. You said that he --
LEMON: -- Republicans will say he didn't see a problem with the call. He did see a problem with the call because he was concerned about it. And he was concerned about it being moved. He didn't say he didn't think it was illegal.
ISIKOFF: He didn't say -- right, right.
LEMON: And I think that's an important distinction.
LEMON: Susan, this historic vote in the House today not a single Republican voted in favor of it. And you say the GOP is betting that Trumpism outlives the president's time in office. Explain that to me.
GLASSER: Well, look, I mean, you know, there have been many, many appeals to history on the part of those seeking to get some Republicans to vote this way. It's something I've been mystified by, to a certain extent from the very beginning. Odds are that whatever the short-term political calculations it's hard to imagine that Trump is going to go down as anything other than a pretty extraordinary and disruptive president.
And yet, no Republicans, not a single one in the House of Representatives have raised their hand to say like, I want an investigation. Today's vote wasn't even a vote on whether or not to impeach him. It was simply a vote to say I would like an investigation. I would like public hearings; I would like to have a process in place.
You know, when they had a vote in the Bill Clinton proceedings there were 31 Democrats who joined Republicans in saying we would like to move forward with this. Even though a number of those did not ultimately vote for Bill Clinton's impeachment.
And I think it tells you about where we are in terms of our politics. That you couldn't get one person except for Justin Amash who already left the party after breaking with trump earlier this year. He tweeted out to his fellow Republicans, hey, you know, history is going to look poorly on this. And not a single one took up the call.
LEMON: Michael, the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this back in March. She said, "Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan I don't think we should go down that path because it divides the country. And he's just not worth it."
And that led to the minority leader Kevin McCarthy what he said today. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The question to the speaker are the same questions I provided in the letter about the unfair process that we have. What has changed since March?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Could the fact, Michael, that this vote was not bipartisan come back to haunt the Democrats?
ISIKOFF: I think it's, yes. I think it's they've got to be worried about that. Because there is, you know, clearly the Democrats Pelosi, Schiff, others had for over a year been talking about the importance of impeachment being bipartisan. And the fact that not a single Republican voted for this inquiry today was pretty striking to me.
There are a couple who I thought might, Will Hurd of Texas, Rooney of Pennsylvania. They didn't. And you know, playing this out, if no Republicans will vote for impeachment in the House, that's going to make it harder for Senate Republicans to defect themselves and vote. It will -- it will help the president. And it could change the calculus for Democrats.
What they may want to do if seeing that they know what the results are going to be in the Senate is maybe they don't want to rush this.
ISIKOFF: Maybe they want drag it out, bring it into next year, you know, have these hearings continue and wound the president politically as much as you can if you know the outcome is pretty much for doomed. LEMON: Harry, can I get this in quickly, because two federal court
hearings today that could set the tone for the impeachment inquiry. I just want to start with the former White House counsel, Don McGahn.
He has been ignoring subpoenas to testify and the judge saying this today. "We don't live in a world where your status as a former executive branch official somehow shields you or prevents you from giving information."
I mean, that is a pretty clear assessment from the judge.
LITMAN: Yes. She's going to rule against him. So, he'll have to be in the court of appeals. They had the DOJ there also saying hey, the executive branch can't sue the Congress. But that's not what's happening. It's Don McGahn who is being sued because he's taking the lead from the president. And it's a very outlandish legal claim.
LEMON: Yes. That's all we have time for. Thank you. I appreciate all of you.
The president thinks that the best way to defend what he calls his perfect Ukraine call, the one that set off the impeachment inquiry is a fireside chat. He really said that. We'll chat about it next.
LEMON: On the day the House made history voting to advance the impeachment inquiry, President Trump sounds like he hasn't learned the lessons of other presidents. He's got some interesting ideas about how he wants to defend himself.
So here to help us get some perspective is Timothy Naftali and Douglas Brinkley. Gentlemen, welcome. Thank you. Douglas, you first. First up, I just want to get your thoughts on this new interview that President Trump gave to the conservative Washington Examiner newspaper.
Here's part of it. He says, "Asked whether he would cooperate with the impeachment proceedings by honoring documents -- by honoring documents and subpoenas, Trump responded, you are setting a terrible precedent for other presidents."
Aren't presidents supposed to be subject to oversight by Congress?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Absolutely. He's just stonewalling, obfuscating like he always does. It was a bit of a weird interview. I read it was 80 minutes the Washington Examiner had with him. And he kept using strange history analogy.
He's claiming he's going to do a fireside chat which was famously FDR's radio addresses to the country to help us out of the Great Depression, to kind of be optimistic and talk about soil conservation or fighting the dust bowl or dealing with bank foreclosures.
[23:14:59] So, he's using that term now to kind of do a reading, a poetry reading of his transcript because he thinks if he stresses or emphasizes a word here or there it will make him look better. It seems to me, quite silly.
And then if he's going to learn something from Bill Clinton, and that he says what Clinton did is worse than me. I think he really should get a war room going like Bill Clinton did because the number of people coming out of the Trump administration that are basically telling Congress that this is not OK what Donald Trump did with Ukraine. It's historic, it's big. And he's marching down a road of bones to impeachment in coming weeks --
LEMON: Well let's continue --
BRINKLEY: -- you know, in Congress.
LEMON: Let's continue on with that theme because you mention bill Clinton. Because he goes on in that interview, this is for you, Tim. He says, "Everybody knows I did nothing wrong. Bill Clinton did things wrong. Nixon did things wrong. I won't go back to Andrew Johnson because that was a little before my time. But they did things wrong. I did nothing wrong."
He's comparing himself to these other presidents. How does that stack up? How does he stack up with this?
TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, it won't be a surprise if I tell you that he's wrong. What we're seeing in the material that's come out from the investigation so far, and I'm talking about things that are publicly available. I'm not talking about --
LEMON: Including the transcript of the call that he wants to read.
NAFTALI: Well, this is the key here. Yes, we've gotten leaks from Democrats. Leave those aside. Just look at the testimony that statements that have been released. And the call transcript. I mean, not transcript. The summary. It's not really a transcript.
That's enough for you to see the pattern of an abuse of power which fits neatly into the second article of impeachment against Richard Nixon. Donald Trump has done the same thing. It's the same spirit. You take the power of the presidency and you use it for your own personal gain. That's what quid pro quo is all about.
NAFTALI: And that's what Nixon did. he didn't do it with foreign countries. He did it at home to go against his enemies.
LEMON: What's interesting is when he compares himself to Clinton. Because remember, you know Clinton started with Whitewater and ended up with an affair, right, which what got the president in trouble.
LEMON: So, wasn't that as if a crime was committed first or there was an abuse of power that they were looking into. They were looking one thing and found --
NAFTALI: Yes. There was a grab back. They were looking for whatever they could get of Bill Clinton.
NAFTALI: But let's keep in mind something. There's something worth remembering. Bill Clinton broke a law. He committed a felony. Perjury. bad.
NAFTALI: But when our founders decided was it had to be a high crime. So, when Richard Nixon lied on his taxes, also bad, also a crime. The House impeachment committee by a bipartisan vote said that's not impeachable. So not all crimes are impeachable. Bill Clinton's crime wasn't impeachable.
LEMON: Yes. Doug, you point out that this process is being viewed through a much more partisan lens than the Watergate investigation in the 1970s. What's changed since then?
BRINKLEY: Well, a lot has changed. When Richard Nixon was president, he did things like create the Environmental Protection Agency and clean air and water. And many Republicans got angry at Nixon. They became a movement for needing to regulate the beginning of really libertarianism catching call, the beginning of the conservative movement with Ronald Reagan.
And post-Watergate Republicans started forming their own organizations and narratives. The business roundtable. The Heritage Foundation. The American Enterprise Institute. You know, Fox News. The Federalist Society. I can go on and on. They have so many lobbyists in Washington. So much money putting into politics.
I mean, the Trump team was able to take an ad out in game 7 of the World Series. So, you know, wearing the impeachment like a badge of honor, saying that Donald Trump is working for the country while the Democrats are just trying to destroy everything.
So, they are -- they learn from that Reagan, commandment of Ronald Reagan stick together. So, you're going to see very few maybe only Mitt Romney. There might be one or two more. But this idea of a larger Chase Smith moment of a Howard Baker even Barry Goldwater. It's unlikely. Particularly because 2020 is an election year.
LEMON: Tim, I understand that you were disappointed that not one Republican voted for today's resolution. Why is that? NAFTALI: Yes. Because today's resolution was not to vote on impeachment. It was to vote to have an open mind to investigate what the, you know, what the whistleblower set out. It was not a vote on whether you thought Donald Trump was guilty. So, it was about process. It was about making sure there was a fair and open process.
LEMON: Which the Republicans have been arguing.
NAFTALI: Which they've been arguing all along. I was disappointed not because I assume that people who would vote for an inquiry would vote against Trump. But that they would at least say let's just put everything on the table and look at it.
It was a disappointing because these members of Congress have forgotten they have a constitutional requirement. One of the differences between now and 70s is that you don't have institutionalists in Congress. There was a time when they get angry at president, Republican or Democrat, if they reduce the power of the Congress.
NAFTALI: Today they're lap dogs.
LEMON: I got to go. Thank you both. I appreciate it.
The president already thinks that he can shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. What happens if he's impeached but not convicted?
LEMON: A huge step in the House of Representatives today with the approval of a resolution to advance the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
But is the president now more emboldened than ever?
Joining me is Olivia Nuzzi and David Swerdlick to discuss this. Good evening to both of you. David --
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, Don. Yes.
LEMON: David, time after time the president -- well, you have been on this show and on this network covering him. Facing these crises and of his own making and he survived. Even more emboldened than before. The Access Hollywood tape. I'm sure you remember that. Charlottesville. Very fine people on both sides. Do you remember that? The Mueller investigation. What happens if the president is impeached and not convicted in the Senate?
SWERDLICK: Yes, Don. It potentially could be one of these if you come at the king you best not miss or whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger situations. Because as you said, President Trump has survived some of these other episodes where other politicians may have stumbled.
And the reason is that there's this through line through all these episodes and it's something that his supporters have bought from him which is this idea of grievance. That the Washington establishment, the toughs in Washington have screwed everything in America up. Have screwed you Trump supporter and now they're trying to do it again by attacking President Trump. And he will be able to sort of spin that and use it as sort of a campaign fuel.
The problem though is that if you're a Democrat in Congress, you still have to do your constitutional job, which, from their point of view, is proceeding with this impeachment investigation.
LEMON: It's interesting that he's gotten people to believe that they are grieved. When, and really to just vote against their own interest. That's the most fascinating --
LEMON: -- part of all this. Olivia, remember the infamous call with Ukraine, it happened the day after Mueller's testimony on Capitol Hill. He apparently learned nothing from the whole Mueller investigation including what this upheaval does to the country.
OLIVIA NUZZI, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Yes. You know, it's interesting. I was at an event last night in Manheim, Pennsylvania that the Trump campaign put on. It was called the witch hunt party. And there were a few Trump surrogates there speaking to the crowd. But there were no members of the administration, no members of the Trump family.
And the crowd there I talked to a lot of Trump voters about what they think of all this, and when they say it's a witch hunt what they really, they seem to just think that everybody is out to get Trump from day one since before he took office. And they don't have any patience for learning the details of what happened with the Ukrainian president. They're just not super-interested in it. And they don't even have basic facts. A lot of the people that I talked to.
It just doesn't matter to them. And they really seem to think that nothing could really change how they feel about that. And that the Democrats and the media establishment are just one entity. And they feel as they feel about Donald Trump and that's why what's happening in Washington is happening right now.
And I think in some ways if that outcome that we're talking about, Donald Trump getting impeached in the House, acquitted in the Senate. If that were to happen, I think in some ways it would almost be his ideal outcome. Because it would allow him to continue to claim to be a victim. To be this martyr for his supporters. And to claim that he is exonerated.
We saw it happen after the Barr letter where he claimed total exoneration. Or after the Mueller report when he claimed that when that was clearly not the case if you read those documents. And I think we would see it again.
LEMON: Yes. Well, it's interesting. Because you wonder, they would say that the people who live on the coast, right, and Washington, D.C., the media are in a bubble. But those people have the facts. So, who's really in the bubble? Think about that.
LEMON: Who's really in the bubble?
NUZZI: I think we're all -- I think we're all in our bubbles.
LEMON: No. But when you think about it --
NUZZI: I think we can all be in our bubbles.
LEMON: No one wants to be in a fact-free world. Like I would rather be aware because ignorance is not bliss as they say, but not knowing facts is not a good place to be in.
SWERDLICK: No, no, it's not. And I think some of this is --
NUZZI: But they don't trust the facts. You know, we're talking about the -- just basic facts of impeachment. And you can't even agree on who placed the call. Who was on the call? Whether or not it was a transcript or full transcript or memorandum. Whether or not there were words missing. They don't trust the testimony that they're hearing about. Or they don't trust the reports characterizing the testimony.
We can't agree on whether or not the sky is blue. And so, it's very difficult to, I think to get through to a certain faction of the public who sides with Donald Trump who just is inclined to be very distrustful of anybody, who is part of the establishment that they view him as taking on. We've known this since 2015 now. And it really hasn't changed.
LEMON: Yes. I still stick by who is actually in the bubble? I'm not quite sure it's the people that they coin as in the bubble.
SWERDLICK: Yes. Well --
LEMON: Go on.
SWERDLICK: Don, can I just -- can I just add. Yes. I mean, I think part of the framing of this culture of grievance that President Trump has fueled off is by portraying himself as being outside of that bubble.
Look, we're all journalists here. I lived in North Carolina and California. Olivia, I think is from New York. Don, you're from Louisiana.
But that the -- Trump likes to portray everybody in the media as being from the Washington New York corner (ph). It's simply not true. We are all from the same America that everybody else is. Meanwhile, he frames himself as, hey, I'm just the average, billionaire with my gold-plated faucet and my gold-plated helicopter just like you, out of work, 50 year-old autoworker in Wisconsin.
SWERDLICK: And somehow there's a large segment of the country that has latched on to that even though there's a wide, wide gulf (ph) between President Trump and his life and career and Middle America.
NUZZI: But if I may -- if I can just add, it's not just that. I agree, David, that it is a lot of that. But it's also that he has always claimed -- I think that the part we sometimes forget to mention that Donald Trump has always claimed from day one from his announcement speech in Trump Tower is that he understands how this system is rigged, because he has benefitted from the system, that's corrupt, and he will now do it again on behalf of his supporters.
And I think that's the part that we miss. They're not saying, oh, you know, Donald Trump is just like me, but they're saying, he can make me more like --
NUZZI: -- him by working in this corrupt system on my behalf.
SWERDLICK: Right. If I was a billionaire, I would wear a suit 23 hours a day.
SWERDLICK: I would have a bunch of wives and all my faucets would be gold-plated if I were a billionaire.
NUZZI: Not at once.
LEMON: Yeah. And again --
LEMON: -- who's actually really in the bubble. That's a good point when you think about it. I think about all the places I've lived, most of them, many of them red (ph), Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. I mean -- OK, so --
(LAUGHTER) LEMON: Anyway, let me get this in, Olivia. Trump's daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump tweeted this, a Jefferson quote, in defense of her father. She said, "Surrounded by enemies and spies catching and perverting every word that falls from my lips or flows from my pen, and inventing where facts fail them." And the she added, "Some things never change, dad!" She's playing into another of Trump's favorite defenses again which David said a victim, that he is a victim.
NUZZI: Yeah. She's putting it in this context that makes it look as though this is historically been presidential attitude to have. I thought it was a very clever statement on her part, and I'm sure her father was very happy about it. But I don't think that a statement like that really makes a big difference in terms of what their supporters think or what people who are not inclined to side with them think.
LEMON: Yeah. Thank you both. Fascinating conversation. Do you want to add something quickly, David?
SWERDLICK: No, no, no. That's it. Ivanka Trump is a whole -- we need a whole special show for that.
LEMON: Thanks, guys. See you soon.
NUZZI: That's next week, right?
NUZZI: Thank you.
LEMON: Steer clear of Rudy Giuliani. That's what a top White House russia adviser says he was told. We are going to take a look at Giuliani's role at the center of all this. That's next.
LEMON: The president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is looking for an attorney himself. That comes as federal prosecutors investigate possible financial crimes connected to Giuliani's Ukraine work as well as possible foreign lobbying violations for those efforts. So far, President Trump has mostly stood by Giuliani in spite of what seems to be a series of unforced errors.
CNN's Tom Foreman has more now. Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Don. Undeniably, there are people close to the president who fear the actions of the president's attorney could become a huge liability if impeachment keeps going forward, but a liability to Donald Trump or to Rudy Giuliani himself. That's the question.
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Truth isn't truth. The president of the United States says, I didn't --
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Truth isn't truth. Mr. Mayor, do you realize what --
GIULIANI: No. Don't do this to me.
FOREMAN (voice-over): In the swirling storm of the Ukraine scandal, there is much or more than the president --
GIULIANI: Shut up, moron. Shut up.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Rudy Giuliani, his lawyer, is at the center.
GIULIANI: You're just repeating spin. The prosecutor --
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Oh. But you don't, right?
GIULIANI: The prosecutor --
CUOMO: You're not spinning anything. Go ahead.
GIULIANI: I'm not spinning a damn thing.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Time has put him on its front page, calling him a shadow secretary of state, even as witnesses told Congress it was Giuliani who set up back door communications with Ukrainians, bypassing the State Department.
Giuliani, who Trump wanted the Ukrainians to talk to when the president requested an investigation of Democrat Joe Biden, saying in that infamous phone call, if you could speak to him, that would be great, and Giuliani, who continues to claim with zero proof that Russian interference to help Republican Donald Trump was not the problem in the last election but meddling to help the Democrats was.
GIULIANI: It was actually real collusion. It involved the Ukrainians. The FBI did everything they could to keep this information away.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He has been a great crime fighter.
FOREMAN (voice-over): The president's defense of Giuliani has been at times strong, at times tepid. Giuliani's behavior has careened into the surreal. For example, this week when he attacked Democrats for their probe into Trump's actions but simultaneously tweeted an admission that Trump did ask for a Ukrainian investigation, or when he apparently butt dialled an NBC reporter who overheard him complaining about Biden and looking for cash.
[23:40:07] GIULIANI (voice-over): The problem is we need some money. We need a few hundred thousand.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Are you concerned that Rudy Giuliani could be indicted in all of this?
TRUMP: Well, I hope not.
FOREMAN (voice-over): But after two of Giuliani's clients, Soviet- born American businessmen were charged with circumventing U.S. election laws, Giuliani has been showing up in the media to defend the president less often, and sources say he's been shopping for an attorney of his own.
GIULIANI: Laura, this stinks.
FOREMAN: It is impossible to imagine Rudy Giuliani will stay out of the spotlight because like Trump, he clearly enjoys attention, but this kind of attention, maybe not so much. Don?
LEMON: Tom, thank you so much. You're right, maybe not so much. Let's discuss now with Shimon Prokupecz and Renato Mariotti. Gents, hello. Renato, you first. Rudy Giuliani's fingerprints are all over this Ukraine and impeachment inquiry. Today, top National Security Council official Tim Morrison testified.
This is a quote. "Dr. Hill told me that Ambassador Sondland and President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were trying to get President Zelensky to reopen Ukrainian investigations into Burisma."
So, do you expect Giuliani will be subpoenaed, Renato?
RENATO MARIOTTI, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. We already know they had sought his testimony and he essentially gave the Democrats the middle finger. I suspect, you know, if push comes to shove, he's going to take the fifth. If I was his attorney, I would advise him to say nothing. Of course, he is not taking me up on that. He's been tweeting up a storm. But, you know, he really is at the center of this entire episode.
MARIOTTI: So, of course, they're going to want his testimony for sure.
LEMON: So you're right about the tweets? So, last night, the former mayor tweeted this about the State Department number two official who testified Giuliani had been involved in the removal of a former ambassador to Ukraine.
Here is what he said. He said, "the ambassador nominee doesn't know what he's talking about and shouldn't be incorrectly speculating. This is an orchestrated attempt to harass and hinder me in my role as Donald Trump's attorney." But he told the Atlantic's Elaina Plott a few weeks ago this. He says, "I'm not acting as a lawyer. I'm acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government."
Shimon, is Giuliani acting as Trump's attorney or not? What is going on here?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: This is all why I think time and time again we keep hearing from the people who come before congressional investigators and testify they were all warned. What we keep hearing consistently is stay away from Rudy Giuliani.
What was going on? What were they seeing? What were they feeling? What was going on with Rudy Giuliani? What was he doing? And if he was acting as the president's lawyer, why would he be involved in shadow -- what people are now saying the shadow State Department, trying to act out of his own interests?
And whoever was guiding him, these two people, these two Ukrainians that he was working with, what exactly was going on? So it's still very unclear. I think that is why investigators are so concerned, why the SDNY, why the FBI has taken some of this on.
LEMON: So clearly, he got in Trump's ear, right, and then started telling him the stuff about Ukraine and then, you know, maybe Trump started buying into it, thought it was a good campaign strategy, what have you, to investigate. I mean, we shall see.
That's what their -- part of what they're trying to figure out now at least when it comes to Giuliani. It's interesting that he would have Giuliani just going off as loose cannon freelancing this stuff.
Shimon, you have some new reporting on what federal prosecutors in New York are looking into Giuliani's Ukraine business dealings as it relates to the 2020 election. What can you tell us about that?
PROKUPECZ: That investigation is still very much ongoing. Obviously, what we have been told is that the investigators, the prosecutors are very concerned about the timing here. We're getting into the 2020 election. They're very concerned about bringing charges close to the election. That is a concern to them.
The other thing is this FARA charge, whether or not they would just charge that, which is his failure to register for the work that he's doing essentially on behalf of Ukraine.
We have been told that they're a little hesitant to bring that charge. That charge -- they have had a hard time with it recently, trying to get convictions, they lost some high-profile cases, the Department of Justice with that charge.
The point of this is that this is much bigger than just him not registering. And also, it's going to have to be something big. When you think about bringing charges against another lawyer, another president's lawyer, that is going to have to entail something much larger than just oh, well, he didn't register as a Ukraine -- as the fact that he's working for Ukraine.
LEMON: How much trouble is he in, Renato?
MARIOTTI: Whenever you're at the subject of a federal criminal investigation, you're in big trouble.
MARIOTTI: And Rudy Giuliani should be taking this a lot more seriously than he is.
LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate your time. Congresswoman Katie Hill is resigning today because of allegations of an improper relationship. But she didn't go out without a fight. You got to hear what she said, and we'll play it for you after this.
LEMON: Democratic Congresswoman Katie Hill of California gave her final speech on the floor of the House today.
LEMON: She announced her plan to resign after a conservative blog released intimate photos of Hill, alleging that she and her husband had a relationship with an unnamed female campaign staffer. She apologized to her supporters but said the forces that led to her -- that led her to leave Congress are larger than she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KATIE HILL (D-CA): I am leaving now because of a double standard. I am leaving because I no longer want to be used as a bargaining chip. I'm leaving because I didn't want to be peddled by papers and blogs and websites used by shameless operatives for the dirtiest gutter politics that I've ever seen.
I'm leaving but we have men who have been credibly accused of intentional acts of sexual violence and remain in boardrooms, on the Supreme Court, in this very body, and worst of all, in the Oval Office. So the fight goes on to create the change that every woman and girl in this country deserves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Let's discuss now. Alice Stewart is here, Karen Finney as well. Thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us. Karen, you first. It was an emotional moment. What do you think about it? Is there a double standard at play here?
KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, absolutely, 1,000 percent. I mean no question. I mean, as she pointed out, start at the White House, make your way over to the Supreme Court, and then you can, you know, with a little kick over to Congress, then head up to New York and make your rounds. Absolutely there is in our culture a double standard. And I think she was right to point that out and right to call out some of the other issues that were at play here in terms of the way women are shamed, the way rape culture works, the way misogyny works, and how -- it was extortion what her ex-husband and these right-wing blogs and those who were putting out those images.
That's essentially what they were doing. I know it's illegal in the state of California, so I hope he's punished to the fullest extent of the law. And I hope we pass laws that say, you can't publish people's pictures without their permission.
LEMON: Alice, Hill took aim at the Supreme Court, presumably Justice Kavanaugh, the president as well for intentional acts of sexual violence. Is that a valid comparison or are these different scenarios, you think?
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think each of these, you view through different lenses. And look, her speech today was extremely powerful. She made some very compelling points. It was heartbreaking to see her as she apologized to family and supporters and little girls who looked up to her.
But also the key point from the personal standpoint of this, her being really a victim of her bitter, jealous, scumbag estranged husband who exposed these compromising photos of her, and it's heartbreaking.
From the political lens, look, she wants to talk about the double standard. Nancy Pelosi herself said due to her actions, it's untenable for her to continue to serve in Congress. No Democrat supported her in staying in her position. So, if she wants to talk about that, she needs to look also at a lot of Democrats who didn't come by her side.
LEMON: Alice, let me play that speech from Nancy Pelosi.
STEWART: I know, but let me just say --
LEMON: No, no, I want to play the speech. I'm trying to help you out here.
STEWART: She wasn't forced to step down.
LEMON: I'm trying to help you out here. I just want to play the Nancy Pelosi speech and then you can continue. Let's play what Nancy Pelosi said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Katie Hill's decision to resign is her decision to resign. It is -- she's an absolutely outstanding young public servant. Very smart, strategic, patriotic, loves our country, respected by her colleagues in the Congress for the work that she does here. Regardless of any errors in judgment that anyone may have made, it's shameful that she's been exposed to public humiliation by way of cyber exploitation, and I caution everyone that they too may be subjected to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Go ahead, Alice.
STEWART: Yeah, that's a classic case of -- if Katie Hill says that she was pushed out by Republican operatives, this was an opportunity. If she needed help from the Democrats, Nancy Pelosi could have stood behind her. But it was Katie Hill's decision to step down. I cannot imagine what she's going through personally. I'm sure that was a big part of it, but it was her decision alone to step down from her position in Congress.
FINNEY: But let's be clear here --
LEMON: Karen, I want to get this in. I want you to respond. But this is from the highly respected Cook Political Report that tracks elections. "The reality is, had Katie Hill not resigned, she probably would've been fine politically in California's 25th. Nothing that's surfaced would've changed our rating."
So, should she have fought harder to stay in?
FINNEY: You know what? Here's the thing. We can't know the answer to that. That is only something that Katie knows. And here's the thing that I think is so important in this. We don't know privately what else she may have feared was out there and her decision --
FINNEY: -- was clearly -- I mean, it was because of these right-wing blogs, because they said to her, we have hundreds more photos --
LEMON: I'm out of time.
FINNEY: -- that we will release systematically every day. That's why I say it is extortion. I think Pelosi tried to be -- wanted to be supportive. But again, you know -- it's a little bit like --
LEMON: I got to go, Karen.
FINNEY: --- Franken, right? Some people wanted him to stay, and he made the decision to leave because he knew that was the right thing for him.
LEMON: Yeah. Well, she's gone now. So, thank you both. I appreciate --
FINNEY: But she'll be back.
FINNEY: She made that point.
LEMON: Fascinating conversation. I appreciate it. See you soon. Thanks. And thank you for watching. Our coverage continues.