Return to Transcripts main page


Some FOX Commentators Found Yovanovitch Testimony Compelling; Key Public Impeachment Hearings to Come This Week; Swing State Arizona Voters Share Feelings on Impeachment Hearings; Trump & Attorneys Gear Up for Supreme Court Fight over Tax Returns; Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts Released from 2 More Aides. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired November 16, 2019 - 16:00   ET




[16:00:28] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Thanks for being here. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

And right now on Capitol Hill, more sworn testimony, a Saturday deposition in the presidential impeachment inquiry. And we just heard that after five hours of questions and answers, today's session is now over. It happened behind closed doors. Mark Sandy was under oath. He is a senior official at the office of Management and Budget. HE was there under subpoena. The first OMB official to respond to the congressional investigation. Others have been subpoenaed but refused.

Mark Sandy's today appearance today followed that explosive day of testimony that saw top U.S. diplomats support accusations that the President not only knew about but orchestrated unofficial communications with officials in another country to try and hurt his political rivals. The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine testified as well as an aid to the man who took her place.

And something happened during the former ambassador's testimony yesterday, something unprecedented. President Trump tweeted a personal and professional attack on the ambassador while she was speaking to the house intelligence committee. The proceedings were interrupted to address this attack, which ambassador Marie Yovanovitch described as intimidating. The President later said he was just exercising his right to free speech.

CNN congressional reporter Lauren Fox joins us now from Capitol Hill.

Lauren, let's talk more about what happened there today. Mark Sandy, he was there to talk about what he knows about that $400 million aid package to Ukraine that was frozen over the summer. What did he say? What do you know about his testimony?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, it's a busy day on Capitol Hill, a Saturday, Ana. And what I will tell you is that what Mark Sandy told congressional investigators was that he was sidelined in part of this conversation about what to do with this U.S. military aid. Of course, he was aware that the money had been frozen. And of course this was all coming as Republicans and Democrats were trying to get ahold of what was exactly going on because they had approved this funding.

But I want to tell you, Ana, there's also some breaking news up here. New transcripts being released from these closed door depositions that have been going on for the last several weeks. We have now a transcript from Tim Morrison. He was an NSC official who, of course, was concerned about the July 25th phone call leaking. He said he didn't believe it was illegal, but he had concerns it would leak.

We are also getting breaking testimony being released from Jennifer Williams. She was that Pence aid who was on the July 25th phone call and had concerns about what she heard between President Trump and President Zelensky. That all coming just moments ago. So we are going to have an opportunity to go through hundreds of pages, of course. But it just follows the pattern that we've seen on Capitol Hill.

There have been all these closed door depositions. And now as the committee is moving into that public phase with public testimony expected next week, they are releasing these closed-door depositions -- Ana.

CABRERA: Another huge day after a huge week. Lauren, tell us more about last night's testimony with David Holmes, a man with firsthand knowledge about the President's intent.

FOX: Well, that's right. And I think that was a very significant turning point. Because if you remember, Republicans have been arguing in these public testimonies that the individuals they heard from, William Taylor, George Kent, they did not have firsthand knowledge of what the President's thinking was. Now you have this individual who behind closed doors told lawmakers according to his owning statement that was obtained by CNN that what he heard was a phone call on July 26th, the day after that phone call between Trump and Zenensky, in which Gordon Sondland told the President that the Ukrainians were willing to move forward with investigations into the President's political opponents. That, of course, very significant. Holmes said while this phone call wasn't on speakerphone, the President was speaking so loud he could hear it through the phone -- Ana.

CABRERA: Lauren FOX, we'll let you get to those depositions that were just released. And you can report back on any new information you discover.

With us now, CNN legal Analyst Ross Garber, who teaches impeachment law at Tulane. His past clients who actually faced impeachment include former Missouri governor Eric Greitens, former Connecticut governor John Rowland and former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford. Also with us, CNN legal Analyst and former federal prosecutor, Renato Mariotti.

So Renato, David Homes, the state department aide corroborated Bill Taylor's testimony about that phone call between President Trump and ambassador Sondland the day after the Ukraine call. Holmes says this. Quote "I then heard President Trump ask, so he's

going to do the investigation? Ambassador Sondland replied, he's going to do it, adding that President Zelensky will do anything you ask him to."

How important is that testimony for the investigation, Renato?

[16:05:12] RENATO MARIOTTI, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it's important because, first of all, it's firsthand testimony. There's been a lot of discussion. I know Republicans have argued that there's certain testimony that was not firsthand. Here you have an eyewitness to a conversation. Clearly the President didn't think that other people were going to be hearing that. And it shows the President's intense interest in that investigation, you know. I think that's something that's apparent, but it really goes to the core of it. I think it's more evidence -- you know, you are going to hear a lot from witnesses that will say that there is a quid pro quo, but it's more evidence I think that goes to the heart of the matter.

CABRERA: Again, this was a conversation overheard between President Trump and ambassador Sondland, who will testify in public this coming week.

Ross, what position does this put him in?

ROSS GARBER, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Sondland is now in a jam. Somehow he didn't seem to remember this conversation when he testified before. He testified before under oath in a private session. This conversation was not disclosed. He then amended his testimony by filing a sworn declaration where, again, this conversation was not disclosed.

Sondland is in a pickle now because he is going to have to explain, you know, why he didn't disclose this conversation and whether his recollection of the conversation is the same as the witness yesterday. And if he says it's different, you know, then that potentially poses a problem because there are other people who apparently were at this lunch where the speaker -- where the telephone call could be overheard. And if he says --

CABRERA: Right, we have confirmed at least one other person -- exactly, one other person who was also able to hear, reportedly, what was transpiring in that phone conversation. I didn't mean to cut you off, but please continue.

GARBER: Yes, and if he says, yes, that's exactly what happened, well, the President will probably be none too pleased to hear that's the case. So Sondland is in a pickle.

CABRERA: Renato, we also had ousted ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testify yesterday. She spoke of the smear campaign against her by Rudy Giuliani. Instead, it showed foreign and corrupt interests apparently hijacked our Ukraine policy. Republicans again argued that she did not witness anything firsthand that could be impeachable. So what kind of impact did she make? MARIOTTI: I think she really made two different things, Ana. First,

she had a real, I would say, important strength and presence to her. She provided a bit of emotional heft. She was someone -- she reminded me a lot of certain victims that testify in criminal trials where, you know, who is a victim of this alleged wrongdoing by the President, Ukraine or our system or generally? Here's somebody who -- she's not the victim of this Ukraine scheme, but she was somebody harmed by Trump. There was wrongdoing here towards here. At least that was her allegation. And it was very compelling. And you saw somebody -- I think she was very sympathetic.

Secondly, I think this whole business you mentioned earlier about the President tweeting, intimidating her, I really think that was a very -- it crystallized what happened. And I think it was a powerful moment that will be remembered when this whole impeachment is over.

CABRERA: Let's talk more about that moment after the President lashed out against her on twitter. That tweet, actually, was brought up during the hearing. Chairman Schiff actually showed that tweet to her. And this is an image in which you can see her blurred there on the left. You can see her looking at the tweet. She said it's very intimidating.

Ross, did the President hurt his case with that tweet?

GARBER: It was not a smart tweet. It was not a smart thing to do. It was not a smart thing to say. And I think it reflects a bigger problem, which is that I don't see much of a coordinated strategy coming out of the White House for the defense of this. And so if there were that kind of coordinated strategy, you would not see this kind of tweet from the President.

Now I don't think it was witness intimidate. I don't think it was impeachable conduct. I think he was sort of, you know, just trying to say something to defend himself because one of the notable things yesterday is you didn't see house Republicans sort of stand up and say that the testimony was false, that there were explanations for it.

House Republicans pretty much just kind of let the testimony happen. And you could see the President being in a position where he would be frustrated and would tweet something like that. Not a smart decision now.

CABRERA: Renato, Ross says he doesn't see it as witness intimidation or tampering. Schiff suggested it could be. Where do you stand on this?

MARIOTTI: I think it's certainly going to be an particle of impeachment. I would be surprised if it wasn't. But, you know, do I think it's something that will be prosecutable? No, I think proving beyond a reasonable doubt what the President's intent was, whether he intended to intimidate her, I think would be impossible.

But that's not the standard here. This isn't a criminal proceeding. It's a political proceeding. I think we are going to see that article of impeachment. [16:10:20] CABRERA: Ross, House speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed this

week that the President had admitted bribery. From a legal perspective, is that a fair assessment?

GARBER: Well, it's interesting that she did that. You know, bribery is one of those identified offenses in the constitution that justifies impeachment. Treason, bribery, other high crimes and misdemeanors. So I think what she was trying to do is say this isn't a hard case, you know. It's right down the center, it's bribery, it id an impeachable offense.

The downside of doing that is bribery can be very difficult to prove. And in particular, I think in this case proving corrupt intent is going to be the challenge here. What was in the President's mind as he was doing these things?

CABRERA: Renato, I know you believe there's only so much Republicans can do at this point since Democrats control the House and these hearings, but you also believe some GOP committee members made an impact this week. Who impressed you?

MARIOTTI: Well, I thought Stefano (ph) did during the first hearing. There was another member who pointed out that certain witnesses didn't have firsthand knowledge, didn't speak to Trump themselves. I thought the members who were more workmanlike, who were really trying to actually advance some arguments did much better than representatives like Jim Jordan or Mr. Radcliffe, congressman Radcliffe (p), because I think that they were trying so hard to great a gotcha moment, talking a mile a minute. Really, the most effective questioning is when they try to get one or two points out and they focus on developing a defense for the President.

CABRERA: I want to ask you both this last question because this coming week we have a bunch of people who will be testifying publicly. Eight witnesses, in fact, including some of those familiar names like ambassador Sondland. We also have Kirk Volker on that list. We have Fiona Hill on that list. I will start with you Renato. Who are you most interested in?

I'm most interested in hearing from Sondland. He's somebody who literally was on the phone with the President. So he has some really important things to say, as Ross pointed out. He's already amended his testimony once. I suspect his memory is going to improve once again. And he's in a spot where he really wants to still be part of the inner circle. He still wants to serve in the administration. He still wants to please the President. I'm very interested to see exactly what he says and how he characterizes what Trump did and said.

CABRERA: Ross, quick answer?

GARBER: Yes, I agree. Sondland is key. Also keep an eye on their closing witness, Dr. Hill, who's supposed to testify alone for a full session. She was inside the White House. She talked to John Bolton, the national security adviser. She could be interesting for talking about sort of what the internal White House reaction was to all of this and how far up the chain concerns were raised. CABRERA: That's right because John Bolton, according to her in her

closed door testimony, which we have seen in the transcripts that have been released, she talked about John Bolton calling, you know, this a drug deal, that he didn't want to be a part of, you know, something Mulvaney and Sondland were cooking up. He talked about Rudy Giuliani reportedly being a hand grenade who would blow everybody up. So that would be coming from Fiona Hill's testimony.

Ross Garber, Renato Mariotti, there is so much to discuss. Thank you for being with us to help guide the way.

Millions tuned in to watch the impeachment hearings this week, but the perspective and Analysis you got depended on what network you watched. Details next.


[16:17:32] CABRERA: Just in to CNN, President Trump is at Walter Reid military hospital. The White House says he's taking an opportunity with down time and taking care of parts of his annual check up.

I want to go to CNN's Jeremey Diamond at the White House right now. Also on the phone with us standing by is our chief medical torrent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

First to Jeremy Diamond. This is certainly unexpected. It was certainly unannounced that the President is going to get his physical. The last one was just nine months ago.

DIAMOND: That's right. The President heading to Walter Reid national military medical center to undergo his annual physical exam a little early. In previous years, he's done it in January or February, the past two years. But what is more unusual today is the fact that it was unannounced. Reporters traveling with the President were told not to report the move. In previous years, this has been publicly announced. It's been on his public schedule the day before.

So a little strange circumstances. The White House has declined to say if there's any other issue at play here, instead directing us to a statement from the White House press secretary, saying that anticipating a very busy 2020, the President is taking advantage of a free weekend here in Washington to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam at Walter Reid.

So again, according to the White House, all this is, is the President getting ahead of things here, anticipating a busy year next year -- Ana.

CABRERA: Jeremy, stand by. Let me bring in Dr. Sanjay Gupta. We hear Jeremy's reporting, very little information, Dr. Gupta, about all of this. But again nine months ago was his last physical. Previous two have been announced ahead of time. This is coming on a day in which he just sort of jetted off and we're left to wonder what's going on, and only finding out after the fact that's where he was headed. What are your thoughts about how this has transpired and what we should expect coming out of this? DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (on the phone):

Yes, I mean, it's definitely a bit curious. I would like to know, did the medical team at Walter Reid, had they been planning for this, you know, planning for a Presidential visit?

The process, as Jeremy mentioned, did they know as far ahead of time as they usually do, or were they told about it today? That would be an important question to know. It's unusual in that it's early. Typically it's a yearly physical. There's many routine tests that can be done at the White House. So if he's going to Walter Reid, what were the specific tests? Things like scanning, you know, those types of things can be done at Walter Reid that maybe can't be done at the White House. We know he has a common form of heart disease. Was there a particular test being done for that? Or, you know, was he having some sort of symptoms? Nobody is suggesting he had any kind of symptoms, but if someone goes into the hospital a few months early, you know, I think that would be a reasonable question to ask as well.

But I would really like to know, when did the medical team at Walter Reid, who would usually spend a lot of time preparing for this sort of thing, when did they know about this? And again, we don't have the answer to that question right now.

[16:20:35] CABRERA: Why would they spend a lot of time preparing? Explain that. Because a lot of us who have physicals, you know, think it's just one of those very routine sort of visits where you are asked a few questions, they listen to your heart, ask you if you have any problems, and you're on your way.

GUPTA: Well, if there's particular tests being done. Again, for example, we know he had a calcium coronary test in the past. That measures the amount of calcium in the blood vessels going to the heart. That's how he was diagnosed with this common form of heart disease in the past. You have to plan for these things. It's also the President, so certain things are in place when the President comes to the hospital.

It's just that, you know, part of the procedure, but part is actual medical planning as well, you know. That's why they need the heads up, I think. As you would expect, any time the President is coming to Walter Reid, there's a fair amount of planning that goes into place. So did they have that? Did they not? Again, they may have known about this for a while. This was always part of the plan, they just didn't announce it, or was it just, you know, look, today is the day I need to go to Walter Reid. And that's something that maybe we'll find out in the days to come. Usually we get a heads up on these sorts of things, but not today.

CABRERA: OK. We will wait for the answers. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Jeremy Diamond, we will keep digging on this. Thank you, both.

We will be right back.


[16:25:53] CABRERA: Millions of Americans tuned in to watch the impeachment hearings this week. The three major networks scratched regular programming to carry them, and cable news outlets went wall to wall with coverage from Capitol Hill, but where you chose to watch the hearings and the pundits that followed could affect how you interpreted what happened, what you heard. President Trump, who often touts the way FOX handles the news, likely saw this.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX ANCHOR: I have no evidence of any kind that the President was involved in criminal activity. That was her answer. And it should have been the last thing that she said today. Everything after that was a waste of our time, in a country with so many problems that time wasting is a sin. And yet, Marie Yovanovitch kept going and going and going. By the end, the hearing sound the like a therapy session or an extended meeting with the HR department. This is the person we hired to represent our country's interests in a foreign government. Shocked, appalled. Pretty embarrassing. In fact, it's kind of scary. Who's doing the screening over there at the state department? How many other neurotics currently hold ambassador rank?

SEAN HANNITY, FOX ANCHOR: Today, another national disgrace. What we saw again, every American needs to see this. A bs, pathetic show trial, zero substance, zero facts, zero -- get this -- firsthand knowledge. Nothing, zero, zip, nada and of course no due process. We have a judge, jury, and executioner. We got the compromise, corrupt, coward, congenital liar Adam Schiff. Oh, he was in rare form today.


CABRERA: CNN's chief media correspondent and anchor of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter is here with us now.

Brian, if people weren't able to watch the hearings themselves, and a lot of people probably didn't because it was during the day. People work, people go to school, people have other responsibilities. All they heard was what we just played. What does that mean for this impeachment process?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: It means the split in our information universe impacts our political universe, our political debate. If you are only hearing what Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are telling you, then you think the Democrats are an evil bunch of troublemakers trying to hurt and destroy the country.

That's the message hour after hour from these top-rated shows. And it absolutely affects both the President's mind set, because then he reflects back what he hears, and it affects what GOP voters are thinking. That impacts the Republican senators who have to make a vote on this.

CABRERA: But are the facts breaking through and they're just spinning them? Or are they disregarding the facts altogether?

STELTER: I think they are operating in an alternative universe where the damaging information that comes out during these hearings is discarded and blamed on rogue elements or things like that or what they say is the deep state.

It is this echo chamber that is getting stronger and stronger that I think these FOX personalities are inside. And ultimately, it hurts all of us because it makes it impossible to have a debate about the facts, the substance that's at stake. When they are saying these hearings are boring and bogus, they are ignoring the constitutional issues at play. But this has been very effective. I have to say, Hannity's ratings were very high this week. Not as high as the hearings overall, you know. I think most people did hear something about the testimony, whether they soaked it up through their social media feeds, et cetera. But Hannity is 1,000 percent behind President Trump. So are these other players in the right-wing media universe. They're showing no signs of being concerned so far.

CABRERA: I think it's important not to paint with super broad brush strokes. There were a few exceptions. I do want to play a couple of those as well.



CHRIS WALLACE, FOXX ANCHOR: I think that if you are not moved, and we'll have to wait and see what happens in the cross examination, but if you were not moved by the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch today, you don't have a pulse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we have a very powerful, persuasive witness.

BRETT BAIER. FOX NEWS ANCHOR: This whole hearing turned on a dime when the President tweeted about her real-time. That enabled Schiff to then characterize that tweet as intimidating the witness or tampering with a witness, which is a crime. Adding, essentially, an article of impeachment real-time.


[16:30:01] CABRERA: We know this is the President's preferred news source.


CABRERA: If he is listening to that, how do you think that went over?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES": I think he was probably watching television at that moment in time. But those voices from the news division get drowned out later in the day by the opinion hosts. I think that's the bottom line.

Sometimes I watch FOX during the day, I'm thinking the president really is in trouble. By the end of the night, I'm told that he's a hero, that he's the king and that nothing can stop him.

CABRERA: Or that he's the victim.

STELTER: Or he's the victim. That's probably the best word, victim. That's what it always comes back to.

Yes, there's real reporting going on during the day, but it's drowned out at night as people are heading to bed and turn on the TV for the night.

That's the reality of this divided media landscape that Nixon and Clinton were not -- did not -- were not challenged by. During the Nixon impeachment, during the Clinton impeachment, this is a different media ecosystem.

CABRERA: That tweet that was brought up at the hearing --

STELTER: That's the other thing.

CABRERA: -- in real time. I mean, can you imagine if Nixon were tweeting during Watergate. Talk about the role social media has played.

STELTER: I said to you last week, this is the first Internet impeachment. We didn't know what that was going to mean yet. What does it mean to have social media in this day and age going through this impeachment inquiry?

This is what it means. The president is weighing in, unable to control himself, and then it's being used by the Democrats to try to build a case in real time.

I highly doubt that's going to be the last time we see the president live tweeting during these impeachment proceedings. In fact, there's been some predictions he's going to make his situation worse, perhaps adding more impeachable acts to the articles of impeachment by live tweeting.

We've never seen the president be able to control his impulses in these past almost three years. Why would he start controlling his impulses now?

CABRERA: OK, Brian Stelter, thank you.

STELTER: Thank you.

CABRERA: I know you're going to discuss more on your show tomorrow morning --


CABRERA: -- at 11:00 a.m. "RELIABLE SOURCES."

Make sure you tune in here on CNN.

Thank you.

Explosive testimony on Capitol Hill this week. We'll have more details on what we're learning from today's closed-door testimony. Stay right there.



CABRERA: The House impeachment inquiry burst into public view this week with both on-camera hearings and closed-door interviews. Things will be picking up more steam in the coming week as lawmakers continue to question whether President Trump and his allies pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

Susan Glasser is a CNN global affairs analyst and staff writer for the "New Yorker."

Susan, this week's public interviews ended with this very powerful moment as former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, left the hearing room. Let's watch.





CABRERA: Susan, that seemed to be perhaps one of the only bipartisan moments of this entire impeachment process we've been seeing play out. Why is Yovanovitch and her testimony so important?

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, it is pretty unusual for a witness to get a standing ovation in a Capitol Hill hearing room. That's for sure.

You know, look, it's not a bipartisan moment in any way, unfortunately. It's almost the nature of impeachment, right. You're essentially presenting fact through the filter of, you know, the two different parties we have in Congress. That really played out this week.

I can't believe it's only been a week. It feels like forever. Actually, it's only two days of hearings.

I thought that Marie Yovanovitch, the fired ambassador for Ukraine, was a particularly powerful witness. She was the human story. In essence, she was the human face of what this scheme meant in terms of actual consequences to people. She played that card very well.

She didn't play into this desire to have her be a victim, on the other hand. She had testified behind closed doors and seemed to get upset, according to the transcript, when she was interviewed about what it meant to have the president of the United States not only firing you but vilifying you in a phone call with a foreign leader.

But, in person, she kept her composure, and she was just -- I thought she was just a very -- like a voice from America's past. You know?

CABRERA: Yes, and, in her testimony, she didn't just focus on her own personal story --


CABRERA: -- or her personal experience. She raised concerns about the bigger picture and the ability to achieve U.S. foreign policy objectives, especially given what happened in her experience.

Let's listen to this moment.


MARIE YOVANOVITCH, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Our Ukraine policy has been thrown into disarray. And shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an American ambassador who does not give them what they want.

After these events, what foreign official, corrupt or not, could be blamed for wondering whether the U.S. ambassador represents the president's views.


CABRERA: Susan, what might U.S. adversaries being taking away from all of this?

GLASSER: Well, look, in general, this whole scandal has reinforced one of the signal themes of the presidency as sort of a counterintelligence nightmare.

You have the president of the United States, first of all, making cell phone calls, unsecure lines, and a capital that's right next to Russia, talking to his ambassador to the European Union. That's obviously is an intelligence nightmare.

Then you have the question of foreign officials trying to understand, first of all, who speaks for the United States. And from the beginning of the presidency, it's been clear that President Trump undermines his officials, even those he himself has appointed.

He said in the past, I am the only one who matters. Well, this scandal tends to reinforce that, right? It shows there's no one he's not willing to undercut. So you better find a way directly to him.

But then, secondly, it appears that he's easily prey to what Marie Yovanovitch called a foreign disinformation campaign. Donald Trump, to put it bluntly, was sort of an easy mark here.

You know, people spread false information to him. He didn't bother to check it out. He didn't say, well, wait a minute, can this really be true about my ambassador.


Basically, these two Ukrainian-born businessmen got a line into him through Giuliani. They fed him a bunch of lies, and he went for it, hook, line, and sinker. We have a very large intelligence apparatus in this country who could

have told him whether the charges were true or not. He didn't care.

CABRERA: Yes, that's exactly what we've learned.

Susan Glasser, thank you. I appreciate you joining us, especially on the weekend.

GLASSER: Thank you.

CABRERA: "DECLASSIFIED: UNTOLD STORIES OF AMERICAN SPIES" is back tomorrow night with an all-new episode. This week, we're going to look back at the early days, the Wild West on the Internet when the U.S. Secret Service, for example, led a groundbreaking mission to take down Shadow Crew, one of the web's first criminal hacker groups. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was an eBay for cybercrime. The scale, the breadth, the depth, the speed at which it moved just completely wiped out any type of case that you would have in the physical world of traditional investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some of the things you can buy were stolen identity documents, stolen credit card information, health care card, a driver's license, maybe a passport. Another item was the Fullz, F- U-L-L-Z, a full wallet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they refer to as full info, where not only did you have the card number but everything about the victim's identity, where they lived, their Social Security number.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it wasn't just a one-stop shop for identity theft. There were tutorials, for instance, about what countries to go to that don't have extradition treaties, how to hack with anonymity.

But what was shocking to me is the criminals had no shame in posting about their criminal activity fairly openly.


CABRERA: An all new episode of "DECLASSIFIED" airs tomorrow night at 11:00 Eastern here on CNN.

It has been a week of bombshell after bombshell revelation in the impeachment inquiry that has completely gripped Washington and the nation. But how are American voters responding? We'll hear from voters in Arizona next.



CABRERA: American voters across the nation glued to their TV sets this week, paying close attention to the impeachment inquiry unfolding on Capitol Hill. The big question now, how are crucial swing state voters reacting to what they've seen so far?

CNN's Kyung Lah traveled to Arizona to get reaction from both registered Republican and Democratic voters there.



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": -- is about to begin this historic moment. This is true history unfolding.

LAH: -- the sentiment of a possible impeachment --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When there's smoke, there's fire.

LAH: -- amid the breakfast rush.

DAVID CRONIN, INDEPENDENT VOTER: I would just say it doesn't pass the sniff test. And I say that as an Independent, middle-of-the-road guy who could vote for a Republican or a Democrat.

LAH: That middle ground, Independents, make up about one-third of Arizona voters.

BOYCE O'BRIEN, REGISTERED Republican: My entire life I've voted Republican.

LAH (on camera): Every single time?

O'BRIEN: Every single time up until the last election.

LAH (voice-over): Until Donald Trump, says Boyce O'Brien, watching to see if it's a party he will return to.

O'BRIEN: And I'm so disappointed in the Republican Party. I -- it's embarrassing to me to even be affiliated with it at this point. My hope is that they'll finally develop a backbone and stand up for what's right.

LAH: While there are plenty who have made up their minds, from the right --

KENT JEFFERS, REGISTERED REPUBLICAN: Mueller didn't get him, other people didn't get him. I'm pretty sure I'm going to vote for him again.

LAH: -- to the left --




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ooh. LAH : -- it is those in the middle in places like the Phoenix suburbs who represent the battleground.

CARLY REBUCK, FORMER REPUBLICAN TURNED DEMOCRAT: They insulate him. He doesn't hear any of this.

LAH: Carly Rebuck grew up a McCain Republican.

REBUCK: And then, Meghan McCain is here.

LAH: She switched parties after Trump's election, her lifelong political identity gone --


LAH: -- with the maverick senator who left a lasting mark.

REBUCK: It made me feel proud to be an Arizonan. It made me feel proud to be a former Republican to see him do that. It was just -- it meant a lot.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): This is -- this is what I can't believe, and you're their star witness.

REBUCK: I don't recognize the Republican Party as it is right now.

LAH: Wearing her sentiment --

REBUCK: We're changing the world, (INAUDIBLE).

LAH: -- she watches the impeachment hearings with friends.

CINDY HANS, REGISTERED INDEPENDENT: My card actually says no party.

LAH (on camera): Your card says no party?

HANS: No party, no party.

LAH (voice-over): And as the day begins to wrap --

HANS: I haven't heard anything yet to make me think that this president is innocent.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): This concludes this portion of the hearings.

HANS: So if you can show me that, I might change my mind.


CABRERA: That was Kyung Lah reporting.

As President Trump fights the threat of impeachment, he and his lawyers are gearing up for another legal fight over the release of his tax returns. That's now headed to the Supreme Court.


CABRERA: President Trump is keeping his fight going about keeping his taxes private. He's taking this fight now to the nation's highest court, setting up what could be a historic separation-of-power showdown.

Trump's personal lawyers are asking the Supreme Court to block a House subpoena for the president's personal financial documents.

This is a case that could yield a major ruling on the scope of presidential immunity from criminal investigations.

Joining us now, CNN Supreme Court reporter, Ariane De Vogue.

Ariane, tell us about the significance of this.

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Ana, as you said, for a very long time, Donald Trump has been trying to shield his tax returns, some of his financial documents. Now that's the center of two cases that have just come to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump lost below, now he's coming to the justices with broad claims of immunity.

The first case comes out of New York, where a New York district attorney was looking into hush money. And he decided to send a subpoena to the president's long-time accounting firm for his tax returns. The president's private lawyers rushed to court and tried to block that. They lost below, and they're coming to the Supreme Court.

There's another case, too, that might have bigger implications than that one. That's because the House is involved. The House had been investigating some of the president's financial disclosures. And they also subpoenaed the third-party accounting firm, and the president again fought to stop it and he lost below.

The reason that second case is so important is it really looks broader and triggers this debate of Congress versus the executive. That's something the Supreme Court, Ana, might really want to step in and look at.

In the coming days, they're going to have to cope with these two new petitions that have just gotten there.

CABRERA: Very quickly, Ariane, because we don't have a lot of time, but timing wise, when would there be some kind of decision on this?

DE VOGUE: Well, there's a lot that has to happen. One is an emergency petition. One they're asking the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court could say, look, this isn't a broad case. This isn't about a president being indicted. It's not about that, so maybe we won't take this up, or they could want to make this major statement.

If they do, and if they take up one of these cases and decide them, it'll happen by the end of this spring in the heart of the presidential election.

CABRERA: OK. Ariane De Vogue, we know you'll keep us posted. Thanks.

Still ahead, the depositions of a key White House budget official is over. What does he know about the president's decision to withhold aid from Ukraine? We're live from Capitol Hill, next.


We also have new testimony just released from closed-door transcripts that happened earlier. We'll bring those developments to you when we come back.


CABRERA: More rain is expected to fall in the waterlogged city of Venice over the next few days, putting even more strain on Venice as it struggles to clean up from the high waters. Look at these images.

Since Tuesday, we can tell you Venice has seen some of its most devastating flooding in a half century. Six-foot-high tide levels engulfed some 85 percent of the street and buildings there in Venice, damaging huge parts of the city, soaking many of its most valuable cultural and historical, including St. Mark's Basilica.

Forecasters say tides of more than four feet could hit Venice in the next few days.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CABRERA: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.

Our breaking news here on CNN, we can now read the words of more people who listened to President Trump's now-infamous phone call with the president of Ukraine, that call where he's accused of asking that country for a favor in exchange for investigations into political rivals. The transcripts of testimony from two more aides have been released.

Let's get straight to CNN's congressional reporter, Lauren Fox, on Capitol Hill.


Lauren, this is big. These are more voices from people who said under oath that what they heard from the president gave them concern.