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THE SITUATION ROOM
Democrats Extend Impeachment Deadline for White House; Interview With Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ); Several Wounded in Stabbing in Netherlands; Police Kill Suspect in Deadly London Bridge Terror Attack; House Democrats Give Trump One Week To Say If His Lawyers Will Take Part In Impeachment Hearings. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired November 29, 2019 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Jim Acosta.
And this is a SITUATION ROOM special report.
And we're following breaking news, sources now telling CNN that authorities have identified a knife-wielding man who killed two people in a terror attack in London, before being shot and killed by police, and that he had previously been jailed for terror offenses.
And now we're learning at least three young people have been injured in a stabbing in a busy shopping area in the Dutch city of The Hague.
There's also breaking news here in the U.S. ahead of another historic week in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The House Judiciary Committee has just set a deadline for next Friday for the president to decide whether attorneys will take part in the impeachment hearings. The first one is five days away.
And an administration official tells CNN don't expect the president to take part in that one.
We will get more on that in just a moment.
But, first, let's go straight to London and CNN's international security editor, Nick Paton Walsh.
Nick, there's new information coming out tonight about this terror attack. What can you tell us?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Jim.
Whitehall sources within the British government are telling me that this man responsible for the horrifying scenes here in Central London was in fact recently jailed on terror-related offenses, and released on what they call license here in the United Kingdom. That's sort of parole with some pretty tough conditions. That will, of course, be sparking a large amount of soul-searching within British law enforcement as to how he came to be released. It's already being used by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson here in a sort of statement alluding to this recently reported fact, that possibly everyone needs to be tougher on crime here.
He's in the midst of a reelection campaign, but this beginning to point now perhaps towards the motivation of the man who wreaked havoc in central London, stabbing three people and taking the lives of two.
Here's how today unfolded.
WALSH (voice-over): Terror returns to London Bridge. Recorded by witnesses from multiple angles, a group of people appear to restrain a man on the ground. Members of the public pull back.
Fire armed police drag one man away. Then two shots are heard.
CRESSIDA DICK, COMMISSIONER, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE: I am deeply saddened and angered that our city of London has again been targeted by terrorism.
It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to inform you that, as well as the suspect, who was shot dead by police, two of those injured in this attack in the London Bridge area have, tragically, lost their lives.
WALSH: A knife is seen pulled from the scuffle, yet still many ordinary Londoners appear to have thrown themselves at the assailant to restrain him.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I also want to pay tribute to the extraordinary bravery of those members of the public who physically intervened to protect the lives of others. And, for me, they represent the very best of our country. And I thank them.
OLIVIA BIZOT, WITNESS: I was also in the Boston Marathon attacks in 2013, and also a very similar experience while I was at the marathon, sort of 20 minutes or something -- I can't remember how long -- but just before it actually happened, and sort of a very similar thing of just having a flood of people just running, and not really knowing what was happening, and just fear, like, a huge amount of fear on their faces.
And you could feel it as well in the energy of just everyone stressing out.
WALSH: The identity and motive of the suspect remains unclear.
Similar horror befell London Bridge in June 2017, when three attackers drove a van into pedestrians, and then launched a savage knife attack, some also wearing hoax explosive vests. Police killed the attackers in minutes, but, still, eight victims died.
After that attack, roadside barricades went up in London, some visible in these videos today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me. What happened?
WALSH: London Bridge would have been bustling at that time with commuters and workers in the city.
The extraordinary speed of the police response and reaction of members of the public a sign of how practiced and anticipated the horror of such attacks are in London.
WALSH: Now, Jim, you can see across the river behind me there the sort of lights in that portcullis. That is the front of Fishmongers' Hall, where this attack began before 2:00 this afternoon.
And just up on the bridge, you can see the peak of the tent, which seems to be the focus of where police are continuing their forensic investigations.
But to recap, Jim, two dead, three injured in stabbing here, the assailant shot dead, it seems, by police, who believed that the vest he was wearing was, in fact, a genuine explosive device. They obviously couldn't take any chances for their own safety and those of the public around them. It turned out that it was a hoax.
But Whitehall sources in the British government here telling me tonight that this was a man previously jailed on terror offenses and released on license. That is a form of tough parole here.
Many questions will be asked as to how tougher actions were not taken to prevent today's awful events from even occurring -- Jim.
ACOSTA: There will be a lot of discussion about that in the days to.
Nick Paton Walsh, thank you very much.
Now let's get more on the breaking news in the impeachment inquiry.
CNN senior national correspondent Alex Marquardt is working the story for us.
Alex, the White House has a week to decide if it's going to participate in these proceedings, but we're still not getting an answer from the administration on that.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Right.
Actually, Jim, the president right now has two deadlines, in essence, to respond to, and the clock is very much ticking. Now, he has been asked by the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Jerry Nadler, whether he and/or White House lawyers would like to participate in the first committee impeachment hearing -- that's next Wednesday -- and whether they would like to participate in the proceedings in general.
If they decline, they will lose a number of privileges. If they do participate, it could be seen as legitimizing what they have called a sham process.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): Tonight, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler telling President Trump in a letter he has now until next Friday to determine whether or not he will participate in the next round of impeachment proceedings.
That's in addition to a Sunday deadline the White House was given to say if it will take part in the Judiciary's first impeachment hearing set for Wednesday the 6th.
Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham had first responded to the invitation, saying Nadler's offer is being reviewed, but: "The president has done nothing wrong, and the Democrats know it."
REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): When you complain and complain and complain, and then you have an opportunity to put your story to the American public, and you don't want to do it, and you don't want to be subject to cross-examination yourself, it shows you don't have a very good story and a very good defense.
MARQUARDT: This coming week, the House Intelligence Committee is expected to submit to the Judiciary Committee its report detailing the findings of its eight-week-long investigation, which included historic public witness testimony with current and former officials with roles related to the Ukraine scandal.
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL): I think there's a mountain range of evidence that has come to light through public testimony, through the private depositions that I have had an opportunity to listen to.
MARQUARDT: Nadler will use the Intelligence Committee's report as a guide to help write the articles of impeachment on those Ukraine- related charges, the allegation being that the president traded a White House meeting with Ukraine and military aid in exchange for dirt on the Bidens.
Democrats are also considering additional articles, including obstruction of justice based on the Mueller probe, all this as most Republicans continue to bash the process and stand by the president.
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): This will be the first partisan impeachment in the history of our country. I think Chairman Schiff and Speaker Pelosi knew from the very beginning what -- how they would vote and what they were going to try to prove.
(END VIDEOTAPE) MARQUARDT: And amid all of this, Ukrainian officials are now trying to figure out how to improve the tattered relations with the White House.
Two sources telling CNN that Ukraine could still announce new investigations. What kind is unclear. Ukraine, of course, got that security aid money in the end, but they are still very reliant on the U.S. for both political and financial support as they fight with Russia in the eastern part of the country.
They very much need the Trump administration's help going forward -- Jim.
ACOSTA: Sounds like they're still feeling the pressure.
CNN's Alex Marquardt, thank you very much.
Let's get more on all of the day's developments with Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona, a member of the Armed Services Committee.
Congressman, thanks for joining us.
Let me talk to you first about what happened in London. Sources say the suspect in the deadly stabbing was released from jail for previous terror offenses -- after previous terror offenses.
What does that say about the authorities' ability to contain this threat, and I guess the possibility here that somebody was released and then did something like this and caused this kind of panic in London today?
REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): Look, I really can't comment on the British parole system. I'm not an expert in that area.
But, first of all, the most important thing we should say is that us, as Americans, we are here to stand by our British cousins while they deal through this horrible attack.
At the same time, we have to also understand the nature of terrorism now. We're going to see more and more of these types of lone wolf attacks. London, unfortunately, has seen more share than others. And we have to really ramp up our law enforcement efforts and intelligence-sharing efforts with our counterparts to make sure that we can try to stop these actions before they actually get going.
ACOSTA: And, Congressman, we're getting new information related to the impeachment inquiry.
The Ukrainians, from what we understand, they're still considering opening investigations that could benefit President Trump in order to improve the strained relationship.
What is your reaction to that?
GALLEGO: Look, I think what has been the most successful thing that has occurred for Ukraine is the fact that there has been bipartisan support against Russia and in support of Ukraine.
As a matter of fact, I actually pushed on the Obama administration to release lethal aid, specifically with anti-take weapons called Javelins, even against the wishes of that administration.
I think it'd be a big mistake on their part to not continue seeking bipartisan support. And by then getting involved in this sham investigation, I think that they would probably hurt their position, at least in the standing of many Americans.
ACOSTA: And what will that say to you, if the administration decides to not send anybody up there, no lawyers, the president doesn't appear, and so on?
GALLEGO: Well, look, I think the president is in a very bad situation. He basically admitted to the crime in his transcripts.
We have some very good testimony from Colonel Vindman that he overheard the actual attempt at the bribery. So I wouldn't be surprised if, at the end of the day, the president doesn't show up, because their only option is to basically obstruct us, because they know that the real crime occurred.
They know that the president himself cannot go under oath because he will self-incriminate himself. And, at the end of the day, it's hard to hide a crime when you actually committed the crime. And that's exactly what happens with this president.
ACOSTA: And based on what you see right now, you would vote to impeach the president?
GALLEGO: Well, everything that I have seen so far, specifically when the president said in his transcript that he was going to -- was asking a favor from the Ukrainians to open up this investigation, at that point, that's all I needed.
I'm glad that we went through this process. I'm glad that we showed even a grander conspiracy than we actually all thought or knew, because I think it's very important for the public to understand it.
But this president tried to extort a foreign government using U.S. taxpayer funds. That's illegal. That's a crime. The president shall be held accountable.
You can't indict a president of the United States. However, we have one recourse, and that's impeachment. And that's what we're taking.
ACOSTA: And what will it say, though, if Democrats move forward on impeachment without having persuaded any of your Republican colleagues?
GALLEGO: Well, I think it's a better -- look at it this way.
What does it say about Republicans the fact that, given all the evidence, they're still not going to impeach a president that sold out his country for personal favor?
It's a sad statement, what happened to the Republican Party, after we show evidence upon evidence upon evidence that this president is corrupt, was attempting to bribe and extort another country, and they still are not willing to join us in doing our constitutional duty and protecting the United States and the integrity of the office of the presidency.
I think it's a sad statement on the Republican Party.
ACOSTA: Do you think the speaker will want to move forward...
GALLEGO: I think they're all going to regret it.
ACOSTA: Do you think the speaker will want to move forward, that Democrats or want to move forward if they know full well that no Republicans are going to be on board?
GALLEGO: Well, absolutely.
Look, the Constitution of the United States does not say anything about impeachment only if you can do it in a bipartisan manner. There's a reason why they did that. Our founding fathers realized that there would be some cowardly party that would not participate in protecting the Constitution of the United States.
So, therefore, we're actually going to fulfill our duty. If the Republicans want to look back 10 years from now and realize what a mistake they did and what a dishonor they brought to their party, that's their -- that's their responsibility.
My job is to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
ACOSTA: And moving on to what we saw over the Thanksgiving holiday -- you're a veteran of the Iraq War. Do you give President Trump some credit for visiting the troops in Afghanistan for Thanksgiving?
GALLEGO: Oh, absolutely. And I'm glad.
I wish he would have done it earlier. I think it's always great for our elected officials to actually visit us in the field. It's a great way for them to learn about what exactly is happening.
I wish the president would actually do it more often, and actually talk to more members of the Armed Services Committee -- I'm sorry -- more members in the armed services -- or Armed Services Committee -- that's fine also -- but largely because I want him to learn.
I want him to learn more about the military, that we're not just a photo op opportunity, and also learn how not to interfere, I think, in some inappropriate manners, for example, the fact that he just pardoned three soldiers that had just gone through the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
He interfered for political reasons. And I think that it was severely detrimental to good order and standing within the military. ACOSTA: OK, Congressman Ruben Gallego, we appreciate you coming in on
this day after Thanksgiving. And happy holidays to you. Appreciate you coming by.
GALLEGO: Thanks, Jim.
ACOSTA: All right, thank you.
The breaking news continues next, new details of the London terror attack, the suspect previously jailed on terror charges, that's what we're learning right now.
This is a SITUATION ROOM special report.
ACOSTA: And we're following multiple breaking stories tonight, including the terror attack in London, two people killed by a knife- wielding man who was later shot and killed by police.
Let's get more with our correspondents and analysts.
And, Josh Campbell, let me go out to you first.
Josh, sources are telling CNN that this suspect was previously jailed for terror offenses. I mean, this is obviously going to start a huge conversation over in the U.K. about this sort of thing.
What can you tell us at this point?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, a lot of unanswered questions.
As you mentioned, we have been reporting that this was someone who was previously known to law enforcement there in the U.K. So they have a file on him. They know who this person is. The question is, is this someone that perhaps fell through the cracks, and how closely were they monitoring this individual to ensure that he wasn't a continuing threat to the public?
Now, I'm told, Jim that -- right now, a law enforcement source tells me that, as we speak, officials there in Britain are searching a residence believed to be associated with the attacker. They are circling this target, trying to glean as much information as they can.
And then as these things happen, we focus on the immediate incident. But, also, behind the scenes, we're told that Western and other allied intelligence services are sharing information, trying to determine whether this was someone who was either inspired or directed by a terrorist group, whether this was a conspiracy, or whether this person acted alone. And then finally, Jim, we're also told that U.S. law enforcement also
paying close attention to developments. I spoke to a number of police officials at several cities around the country who tell us that they're monitoring the situation and allocating resources as necessary in order to guard against any potential copycat attacks, Jim.
ACOSTA: And, Paul Cruickshank, our terrorism analyst, what does this say about the threat that London is facing, that cities like London are facing, when somebody could be released after a similar incident or these related charges in the past, and then be able to carry out this sort of attack?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: And they're worried that more and more people are going to be released as they complete their sentences for terrorism-related offenses right across the world.
CRUICKSHANK: That's a very big worry for security agencies in the months ahead.
We don't know what the motivation of this attack, but there's a possibility that there's a jihadi motivation here. We have seen people use these hoax suicide vests in a number of ISIS-inspired attacks in Europe in recent years. We saw that on London Bridge two years ago.
We saw that in Catalonia two years ago, in Paris three years ago, that the attackers want to die. They want to be shot by police, because, according to their ideology, that will make them martyrs, they will be able to go to paradise.
And so was this at play here? We don't yet know at this point what the motivation was. But the big picture here is, the threat has gone down because of the territorial destruction of the ISIS caliphate. The threat has gone down in Europe. The threat has gone down in the United States, because many of these terrorist operatives have been killed or on the -- they're on the run.
And it's more difficult for them to plot or inspire or instigate attacks. But there still is a significant residual threat.
CRUICKSHANK: There are people who never travel. There are people who travel to these conflict zones. And security services have got to watch out for that in the months and years ahead.
ACOSTA: And, Anthony Ferrante, our law enforcement analyst, Josh was just saying a few moments ago that they're looking at this address that may be connected to this suspect.
What are they going to be looking for inside this apartment or residence? Hard drives, I suppose, what kind of social media activity he has been involved with. What can you tell us?
ANTHONY FERRANTE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Sure.
What happens now is, now a global joint terrorism task force network is activated, right? We talk about resources in the United Kingdom, but also around the globe, here in the United States. And now there are search warrants being executed. We know of one right now.
But what they're doing, law enforcement is -- now that they know the identity of this person, they are looking at friends, family, known associates. And they're looking at any possible connection to others who maybe share this similar ideology, right?
Here in the United States, law enforcement and intelligence officials are also in the office now working on this 24/7, trying to find any possible links.
And, as you mentioned, executing a search warrant is where law enforcement officials will find hard evidence, right, hard evidence that will connect them to other individuals, or just give law enforcement and intelligence officials a better understanding of what maybe these motives were.
ACOSTA: This is definitely the beginning of this investigation, no question about it.
And, Susan Hennessey, with the capture of Baghdadi, the ISIS leader, I mean, this was the concern in the days after that capture and killing, that potentially this was going to inspire some activity in places like Europe, where you have these foreign fighters that were released, and so on.
What do you make of that?
SUSAN HENNESSEY, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, so, certainly, that was one thing that global law enforcement and national security officials were concerned about immediately following the death of Baghdadi, that there would be some sort of retaliation.
It might be difficult in this particular incident to connect it to something like that. We will have to see what evidence ultimately develops.
That said, we have seen this pattern play out again and again, where the primary strategy of sort of leadership decapitation, it is that you are able to disrupt maybe specific plots, but this ideology, which is quite diffuse, quite nebulous, does persist.
And it can be very, very difficult to pin down specific threats.
ACOSTA: And particularly in the holiday season, something we all have to be watching out for.
All right, thank you very much, all of you.
There's more breaking news coming up, a new deadline for the White House to decide if it will take part in the impeachment hearings. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ACOSTA: And we're following the breaking news, new details of the London terror attack, in which a knife-wielding man killed two people before he was shot and killed by police.
Tonight, sources are telling CNN that British authorities have identified the man, and that he had been previously jailed for terror offenses, and that police are currently searching an address believed to be associated with the attacker.
Video recorded by witnesses showed the man being wrestled to the ground by members of the public on the northern end of London Bridge, before police arrived and shot him.
And we're following breaking news in the impeachment probe, a new Friday deadline for President Trump to decide if his lawyers will be participating in the overall impeachment inquiry. Let's dig deeper now with our correspondents and analyst.
And, Ryan, administration officials just telling me a little while ago that while you don't expect the president to be participating on Wednesday, a shocker there, because he's going to be over in London. But they are making some hay out of the fact that he is going to be overseas, conducting foreign policy while all of this is going on back in Washington.
RYAN LIZZA, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: They do have an interesting offer on the table where if he accepts the offer of cooperation, then the House Democrats would get certain things out of that. There's also a carrot and stick in the House rules over this.
As your source suggests, I think it is unlikely that the White House will cooperate in any way because I think that they have just politically decided it's better for them to stonewall, to not cooperate, and then they can use these talking points that the investigation is somehow illegitimate.
At the same time, there's got to be some -- Trump must be somewhat enticed by the idea that he could have some people there defending him and he could have some actual witnesses to say some things in his favor. So maybe he will change his mind. Maybe there will be a bit of cooperation. Certainly if and when this goes to the Senate and there is an actual trial --
ACOSTA: The most reality T.V. moment of his presidency.
LIZZA: Absolutely. And he would want to cast the lawyers who are going to defend him. That's going to be a very different situation.
ACOSTA: Yes. Jeremy Diamond, where the president is down in Florida, we believe he's in Florida, tonight, correct? Tell us about this new reporting.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: As far as we know.
ACOSTA: As far as we know. Tell us about this new reporting about the Ukrainians might be feeling some additional pressure once again to try to find some dirt that will be beneficial to the president.
DIAMOND: That's right, Jim. Tonight, two sources are telling CNN that Ukrainian officials are still exploring ways to improve their country's relationship with the United States and particularly to be more favorable in Trump's eyes. And one of the ways that they're actually looking at that is the potential for opening new investigations that would satisfy President Trump's political motives as it relates to Ukraine.
Of course, this is kind of the heart of this impeachment inquiry is the president's and aides' pressure on Ukraine to carry out these politically motivated investigations, into 2016 election interference, into the Bidens. And now, it appears that that is still something that is perhaps on the table for these Ukrainians as they look to boost their relationship.
And it shows, Jim, the extent to which even though that $400 million in security aid has been released to Ukraine, they still feel a lot of pressure to actually satisfy and please the president on this front.
Remember, Jim, when the president released that July 25th and he was asked afterwards what he was actually asking the Ukrainians to do, he made clear that he still wanted Ukraine to actually carry out those investigation into the Bidens. So that's clearly something that he still wants.
And I do think also, Jim, this kind of points to the fact when the president says, look, Zelensky says there's no pressure here, I never felt any pressure, you have to kind of wonder to what extent Zelensky is motivated by still wanting to maintain a good relationship with President Trump. And I think this reporting kind of shows that the Ukrainians still very much under a lot of pressure for the U.S.
ACOSTA: There is pressure to say there was no pressure.
Sara Murray, let me ask you. I mean, is there any chance that these investigations would be seen as legitimate if the Ukrainians were to come out and suddenly say, well, we did find the dirt on Joe Biden, here it is?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, there's such a -- I mean, when you talk about pressure, there is such a power imbalance here. Ukraine needs the United States for so many reasons. And so when the Ukrainians show up and suddenly announce whatever investigation into the Biden family, I don't think that's credible.
But I also think we work with our allies on investigations, on intelligence sharing in legitimate ways all the time. But a legitimate way is not the president saying, call up my personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to publicly announce an investigation into my political opponent. That is not how legitimate investigations that countries would share information on actually work.
ACOSTA: And, Ryan Lizza, what do we make of what is going to happen over the next few weeks when the Judiciary Committee gets going? I mean, we thought that we saw everything during the Intelligence Committee and they're doing their work over in the House. And now, are we seeing the same thing all over again or is this going to be a little different?
LIZZA: I think it will start with them lying out constitutionally with experts what is impeachment. And, Susan, what we were talking about in the green room, what do you think?
HENNESSEY: No. I think, clearly, the Judiciary is now going to sort of take up the baton from here. A lot of people want to point to sort of specific rules. This is exactly what's going to happen next. The answer is the House can do pretty much whatever it wants next.
So what we're going to see now is Adam Schiff handing over that Schiff report to the House Judiciary Committee. The House Judiciary Committee is going to lay down some predicate, what is the impeachable offense and what are we talking about.
Then I think the major question, the major open question is whether or not this impeachment inquiry is only going to focus on Ukraine and what happens sort of in the Trump-Zelensky relationship, or whether or not it's also going to include things like revelations in the Mueller report or obstruction of justice.
ACOSTA: Do you think the Judiciary members need to present new information to keep the public focused on this inquiry?
HENNESSEY: I don't know that they need to present new information.
ACOSTA: I'm not asking a pizzazz question. Don't get me wrong here. But to keep the public's attention, do they need to have new information?
HENNESSEY: I think -- I don't think that they need new information. I think the information that we have is well beyond what's necessary to sort of satisfy the burden that is absolutely damning and devastating for the president both politically and in terms of whether or not it's an impeachable offense.
What House Democrats need to do now is make that case to the public, not make the case with new flashy bombshells that there're some information, that some new smoking gun, but instead laying out, here is what we found, here is what the White House, itself, has admitted to and this is why it is so deeply corrosive to the United States of America and this is why we have no choice but to move ahead with impeachment.
LIZZA: And I think convincing people who think this was bad but not impeachable, to make that leap, that not -- it wasn't just bad but you'd have to -- ACOSTA: Reinforce the evidence already proven?
LIZZA: Yes. Because a lot of people think it was wrong but not impeachable, right? That's the gap.
ACOSTA: All right. We will be watching all of that. OK, thank you very much.
Just ahead, what the impeachment hearings have revealed so far about the Ukrainian timeline.
ACOSTA: And we're following breaking news. The House Judiciary Committee now setting a deadline of next Friday for President Trump to decide whether his attorneys will take part in the impeachment hearings. We're following dramatic revelations in the Intelligence Committee hearings which revealed new details about the Ukraine timeline.
CNN's Tom Foreman shares us what we learned. Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Jim. More than anything else, the testimony filled in holes in the timeline of the past few months, what's going on and why that might be a cause for impeachment.
FOREMAN: Spring 2019, as Volodymyr Zelensky is winning the presidency of Ukraine, a widely respected U.S. ambassador to that country is losing her job. Marie Yovanovitch, according to testimony, was called home following a months' long smear campaign suggesting she was disloyal to President Trump. Behind it, Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
MARIE YOVANOVITCH, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: I do not understand Mr. Giuliani's motives for attacking me.
FOREMAN: But now, testimony tells us Yovanovitch was simply in the way because she wouldn't buy into a disproven conspiracy theory Giuliani was pushing.
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: The facts are stubborn. And, eventually, this is going to have to be investigated.
FOREMAN: Giuliani wanted the Ukrainians to investigate debunked allegations of corruption in Ukraine tied to the U.S. Democratic Party in the 2016 U.S. election, Joe Biden, a potential rival to Trump for the presidency, and Biden's son.
Giuliani insisted it had nothing to do with Trump's re-election plans and there is nothing illegal about it. But soon, Trump was saying if a foreign country offered dirt on a political foe --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think I'd want to hear it.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: You want that kind of interference in our elections.
TRUMP: It's not interference. They have information. I think I'd take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI.
FOREMAN: Summer, Team Trump keeps pushing for an investigation, a murky unofficial channel appears to be opening between the White House and Ukraine. And as the European Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, becomes more involved in it, those on the official side grow alarmed, including Trump's then National Security Council Director for Europe and Russia, Fiona Hill.
FIONA HILL, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER TOP RUSSIA ADVISER: Because he was being involved in a domestic political errand and we were being involved in national security foreign policy and those two things have just diverged.
FOREMAN: Ukraine has previously concluded there is nothing to the allegations of meddling in the U.S. election and the claims against Biden. They initially appear reluctant to dive into American politics.
Then the White House unexpectedly suspends nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. A visit to the White House, which the new president wants, is on hold too. Trump gets on the phone with Zelensky and drives the message home. I would like you to do us a favor. He personally asked for an investigation. He mentions Biden by name.
The next day, the Ukrainians commit. Sondland calls Trump with a message.
DANIEL GOLDMAN, MAJORITY DIRECTOR OF INVESTIGATIONS, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: President Zelensky, quote, loves your ass, unquote. Do you recall saying that?
GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: Yes, that sounds like something I would say.
FOREMAN: Trump defenders say this was all about fighting corruption in Ukraine, but Sondland now says everyone knew what was really about pushing for a public announcement that Biden was under suspicion.
REP. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (D-NY): Who would benefit from an investigation into the Bidens?
SONDLAND: I assume President Trump would benefit from it.
MALONEY: There we have it. See?
FOREMAN: Then everything blows up.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: We now know the whistleblower -- WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: The whistleblower complaint --
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: The whistleblower scandal --
FOREMAN: An anonymous whistleblower files a report reflecting widening concerns about the call from a decorated military officer.
LT. COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, DIRECTOR FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: It was improper for the president.
FOREMAN: From an aide to Vice President Pence.
JENNIFER WILLIAMS, AIDE TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: It involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter.
FOREMAN: News of the suspended military aid erupts, Congress starts buzzing, did President Trump coerce a foreign government to investigate a political rival? As the scandal boils up, Trump releases the military aid, a rough transcript of the call and goes on defense.
TRUMP: You take look at the call, it was perfect.
FOREMAN: Even as his acting chief of staff seems to confirm pressure was applied.
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We do that all the time with foreign policy. And I have news for everybody: get over it.
FOREMAN: He walks it back.
Autumn, facing an impeachment inquiry, Trump orders officials to defy congressional subpoenas to explain what happened. And he insists there was never any kind of deal.
TRUMP: There was no quid pro quo.
There was no quid pro quo at all.
I want no quid pro quo.
FOREMAN: But his own ambassador, Sondland, under oath, says otherwise.
GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: Was there a quid pro quo? As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.
FOREMAN: The president, and many Republicans say, this is all a hoax, too, a made-up story to push a duly elected president out of office. But one after another, witnesses who are in a position to know have said otherwise. It wasn't all based on the whistleblower, it wasn't all hearsay and they insist there very much was an improper use of presidential power to promote Donald Trump's political ambitions -- Jim.
ACOSTA: Tom Foreman, thank you.
And just ahead, a disturbing video of a violent arrest now under investigation. We'll show you what happened.
ACOSTA: Some controversial video out of Chicago where a police officer was caught on camera slamming a man to the ground during an arrest.
CNN's Ryan Young has the latest.
Ryan, this is very disturbing video. What can you tell us?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. No, cell phones have really changed the game when it comes to citizens sort of watching the police department. And in this video that lasts less than a minute, you can see an exchange between an officer and a man.
In fact, we are going to let you see this for yourself. Just know that it sort of -- when you watch it, it's going to be disturbing to see.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh. Look what the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) did this to this boy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh. Oh.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What (EXPLETIVE DELETED) this boy, bro, grabbed his head on the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) floor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He picking his phone up. Put the man's phone down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me go around traffic, for real.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Slammed (EXPLETIVE DELETED) this boy on the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) floor. He hit his head on the concrete, bro.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: Jim, just to let you know, that man is OK. Now we are told he has been released from the hospital.
From what we have been told, apparently police were doing routine checkups, saw a man drinking in public. They approached the man and according to the officer, the man as he was being arrested not only spit in his face but tried to lick his face. That's when he performed that emergency takedown. When he took him down, you can obviously see he looks lifeless there.
This spread on Facebook very quickly. And now, the police department has basically responded by saying, their outside agency will start investigating this.
The officer was also taken to the hospital. We are told he has been released as well.
Now, there are a lot of questions about this, but something you should know, every officer in the Chicago Police Department usually does wear a body camera. So, there may be a video of this incident before we get to the point where these people start recording.
So, you might hear the exchange because there are mics on the body cameras and you can see what happened before. So, it will be something that they'll be looking into.
The mayor for her part has said they'll be investigating this as quickly as possible -- Jim.
ACOSTA: Yes, Ryan, that body camera video is going to be very important in all of this.
Thanks very much. Keep us posted on all of that.
And just ahead, rain, snow, even blizzard conditions in store for millions of Americans this weekend. We have a new forecast next.
ACOSTA: A major storm is moving across the U.S. this weekend and could impact travel for millions of people.
CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera has the latest forecast.
Ivan, wind, rain, snow, you name it, even blizzard conditions are in store. Tell us all about it.
IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Throw in some severe storms as well. Yes, Jim, everything that we've got on the plate.
I'll tell you, live now, this is in Snowball, Arizona, where it wasn't as snowy just a few days ago. Twenty-five right now, wind chill is at 9. The ski lift is closed. So, they are done skiing for the day. But they're going to continue tomorrow.
It has been snowing in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado. Nobody complaining there. The problem is the storm is going to lift up to the north and east. So, those winter storm warnings -- good night tonight, tomorrow, we transition into the north and further east.
Take a look at some of the wind warnings here -- 50, 60-mile-an-hour winds. You combine that with snow, and we're not just talking winter storm warnings. Now, we are looking at blizzard warnings for the Dakotas and into portions of Minnesota as well. Then the storm shifts to the east.
This is for Monday, Sunday into Monday. And I think it's going to be a mess. Let's track it for you. Watch the clock here as the rain and even severe storms, this is for Saturday, tomorrow, the snow now building across the north.
Watch what happens. This is going to change I must say with the models, right? So, last few days, now insisting that we are going to get a big time snow event here across the northeast. There will be some rains as some of the totals will be camped out along the coast.
But north and west of the -- look at this, 12 to 18 inches potential. And that could include Boston proper as well. And further northwest. Getting word as well, if you are flying, well, good luck, American Airlines now issuing waivers, Jim, for Sunday and into Monday. Check with your carrier, no question.
ACOSTA: All right.
Everybody, and stay safe out there everybody.
Ivan Cabrera, thank you so much.
I'm Jim Acosta, thank you so much for watching.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.