Return to Transcripts main page

CUOMO PRIME TIME

House Democrats Vote To Send Impeachment Report To Judiciary Committee; Schiff: Impeachment Report Chronicles "Scheme" By President Trump; Intel Report Accuses Trump Of Misconduct & Obstruction. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired December 3, 2019 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[21:00:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: --all these everyday people changing the world. You can donate from your laptop, your tablet, or your phone. Just go to cnnheroes.com. Your donation in any amount will help them help others. Thanks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And all our top 10 CNN Heroes are going to be honored at the 13th annual CNN Heroes: All-Star Tribute. I'll be hosting along with my good friend, special guest, Kelly Ripa. That's this Sunday, 8 P.M. Eastern. I hope you join us live for that.

The news continues right now. Want to hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST, CUOMO PRIME TIME: Thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

The Intel Committee voted quickly to send their report to the Judiciary, and new evidence provided therein explains why they went so fast.

Phone logs are in here. Look how thick this thing is, 300 pages. And they show major players making calls to people that are hard to explain away, often at key times. The most important question that any investigation will drive us tonight, why?

You have to look at all the people around the President, and then all the way to him, contacting players and places that were key to pressuring Ukraine, and what does it all mean going forward?

Let's get after it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: All right, now the Intel Committee vote was predictable. It was party line, 13 to 9. But when you look at this report, it cites, quote, overwhelming misconduct and unprecedented obstruction by the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

These are 300 damning pages from the House Intel Committee, led by Adam Schiff. Here's him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): This report chronicles the scheme by the President of the United States to coerce an ally, Ukraine that is at war with an adversary, Russia, into doing the - the President's political dirty work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Now specifically, the report accuses the President of abusing his power, specifically the power of his Office, to solicit foreign election interference for his own political gain.

"President Trump's scheme subverted U.S. foreign policy, undermined our national security."

Then, they say it wasn't about just one call. It was a cabal.

"Senior U.S. officials, including the VP, the Secretary of State, the Acting Chief of Staff, the Secretary of Energy, and others, were either knowledgeable of or active participants in an effort to extract from a foreign nation - nation, the personal political benefits sought by the President."

Now, this report makes the case that the President engaged in unprecedented obstruction. How? Ordering witnesses and agencies to defy subpoenas, not to give documents, to be quiet on testimony.

"Donald Trump is the first President in the - in the history of the United States to seek to completely obstruct an impeachment inquiry."

Now, even the three other Presidents who went through this process one way or another, Johnson, Nixon, not really right because he resigned, and of course, President Clinton, they all complied at least somewhat with most of the requests. And even then, Nixon and Clinton were still looking at obstruction counts.

So, despite Trump's alleged efforts to obstruct, investigators gave us the biggest surprise in these 300 pages, these phone records. Over the course of four days in April, the phone logs show - you know, this is not speculation. These are the calls. When, how long, from who, and to whom, all right?

Rudy Giuliani, his indicted associate, Lev Parnas, the Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, and a Conservative Columnist, John Solomon, they're all in communication with one another during key times and moments in this story. The report details, therefore, a coordinated effort to peddle false

narratives about the 2016 election, and about the Bidens, and at least four phone calls, or attempted calls between Parnas and Nunes, including one call on April 12th that lasted longer than eight minutes.

So, let's take a look at the evidence with our in-house investigator, Andrew McCabe.

Andrew, thank you so much for being with us tonight, very important.

First question that I don't know that either of us know the answer to, and I'm going to ask it to a Member of the Committee later in the show, these phone logs never came up during the testimony.

Do you think that - couldn't be an oversight. Was there some kind of rule about what could be asked about and what couldn't in that testimony?

ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR: I doubt it, Chris. I don't think so because as we've said many times before, this as an impeachment. It's not a criminal proceeding. It's not a Grand Jury proceeding.

So - so, in other words, if the phone records were obtained through Grand Jury subpoenas, there would be some restrictions on how you could publicize that information that's really protected by Grand Jury secrecy. None of that really applies here.

[21:05:00]

I think other factors may have led the Committee to stay away from the phone records in those public hearings.

First and foremost, many of the folks that are captured on the phone records didn't actually appear in front of the Committee, which we know - we know why that is.

And so, you didn't have someone there that you could ask "On this day, when you made this call, what did you say, what did the other person say?" That's the sort of evidence that you really need to peel down behind the phone records. And we just didn't have a lot of opportunity to do that.

CUOMO: You know, it's interesting - of course, it's going to be interesting for Nunes because, you know, he is obviously one of the President's chief defenders. He thinks this impeachment is totally a miscarriage of justice.

And he had to know, or maybe he didn't know, but how could he not know that they had him in these call logs with Parnas? Now, look, I'm not saying you're not allowed to talk to Parnas.

But he is a guy that Nunes all but vilifies every chance he gets. Why was he on the phone with him?

MCCABE: It's remarkable, Chris.

I mean it's to think back to some of the statements that Devin Nunes made, really bashing the hearings, and the way they're being conducted, and calling them, you know, a hoax, and a sham, and all that stuff.

And then, he sits on the dais, and listens to the testimony of Maria Yovanovitch, talk about how she was targeted by the President, and his allies, in this smear campaign, knowing that he may have been a player in that very smear campaign.

You're right. There's nothing prohibiting Nunes for having, you know, contacts with the President's lawyer, and the President's now-indicted friends, and a very Conservative journalist, John Solomon.

But it sure does raise a lot of questions, ethical questions, about whether or not he should have disclosed that to the Committee.

CUOMO: Right. And look, and sometimes, you know, media can play it cheap, and they ask questions to people, but they don't ask them to them.

You know, Mr. Nunes is more than welcome to come on the show to talk about this, talk about the allegations of Lev Parnas' lawyer. I have no problem with that. I'd love to hear his explanations.

Now, that takes us to a more important set of explanations. You have Rudy Giuliani communicating with the White House and OMB. OMB is the acronym for the government agency that was in charge of controlling this aid.

Now, one step backwards, this guy Mark Sandy came forward. He testified. He left over this. He said that he flagged the aid being held up to his superiors, to his counsel, said "Hey, I don't know why we're holding this aid. It may be illegal."

The decision-making was taken from him, he says, by a political appointee, who had no experience in the area, at OMB, named Duffy. And Duffy takes him out of the loop.

Then Rudy Giuliani is making phone calls to OMB at about the same time that these conversations are supposedly happening with Ukraine about the need for deliverables before they get the aid.

Look, it can be a coincidence. But the question is why, Andrew?

MCCABE: That - that is the question, Chris. And - and the involvement of Giuliani, who is, let's remember, the President's personal lawyer.

He is representing the interests of Donald J. Trump, not the United States of America, not U.S. national security, not U.S. diplomacy, nothing else, the interests, and I would say, the electoral interests of the President.

The fact that he now is contacting OMB, it really raises the specter that there is not - there is now not a single shred of credibility to the claim that the holding back of that aid had anything to do with fighting corruption in Ukraine, which has been the President and his defenders' kind of last line of defense saying, "Well yes, he did all these things. But he really did it because he's so concerned about corruption in Ukraine."

CUOMO: Right.

MCCABE: Boy, Giuliani's involvement with OMB, and likely involvement with the holding up of that - of that vital aid, really cuts the legs out from under that defense.

CUOMO: And how it ties together with this guy, Mark Sandy, because the timing is similar.

MCCABE: That's right.

CUOMO: When Sandy got pulled off of it is right around the same time that these phone calls happened.

And I was trying to explain before the show, Andrew, you know, in a court of law, you're just trying to prove intent. The thing happened and this person had the right criminal intent. You don't really get into motive.

But in this situation why it happened is everything because if the President had legit motives for everything he did, there's nothing impeachable here. But if he did it for bad reasons, to help himself, and he knew that he was doing the wrong thing, that's everything.

MCCABE: That is exactly right. And that's why I think the way it's characterized in the report is particularly effective.

If he is using his - his power, his influence, the influence of the United States, to pressure the government of Ukraine, to take specific action that he thinks is in league with U.S. interests, that's called diplomacy.

If he's doing it to collect - to collect dirt on his political rival, that's called an abuse of his Office, and that is impeachable.

CUOMO: And, you know, one of the other implications that will be built out now from these phone logs is how many people were involved.

[21:10:00]

Remember, the narrative from the defense side, the White House side is "This is about one phone call between two Presidents. That's the end of it." These phone logs implicate maybe a dozen people, almost none of them have been made available for questioning, another key fact.

Andrew McCabe, thank you very much for helping us understand it, through the advise - the eyes of an investigator, appreciate it.

MCCABE: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, so through the eyes of the investigator, great, helps us deal with why.

But now, you have to look at it in terms of all right, well what this means in this process? How will this be handled politically because that's what we're in? That is the only forum we're going to be in. It may sound legalistic, but it's not a court of law.

So, we're going to turn to someone who has a big say in all of this. An Intel Member who just voted to turn this over to the Judiciary, Congresswoman Jackie Speier. What does she make of the phone logs? What can she help us understand about why they came out, and when, and where this goes? Next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[21:15:00]

CUOMO: You know, a lot of this stuff we process at the same time that we're talking to you about it.

These phone logs make a lot of the questioning that happened during the testimony, some of it makes more sense now. Why the Democrats seem to be assuming certain things were connected and certain people were connected.

But, on another level, I don't understand why they were working so hard, especially when it comes to Congressman Devin Nunes.

You know, he was killing them during the proceedings. "Very righteous, very - this is all bunk. Yovanovitch is full of it, this former Ambassador. Nobody was out to get anybody. There was no cabal afoot. This was one phone call and that was it."

He had to know that they would have records of these phone calls. He may have been aware during the hearings. So, now we get to the point of how will all be put together by the Democrats? The allegations are grave.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHIFF: It is, I think, deeply concerning that at a time when the President of the United States was using the power of his Office, to dig up dirt on a political rival, that there may be evidence that there were Members of Congress complicit in that activity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: OK, Democratic Congresswoman, Jackie Speier, has called for the Republican Congressman to be investigated. She joins me now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: ONE ON ONE.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: So happy to have you tonight.

REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All of these questions are actually real. I don't know the answer to any of them tonight. First of all, these phone logs, why didn't you ask about them during the testimony? It's not a criticism. I just I don't understand. They're so useful.

SPEIER: Well because the persons that were in the phone logs weren't being interviewed or weren't witnesses before the impeachment fact- finding that we were doing, under the Intelligence Committee. And much of this is part of an active investigation that's going on now.

What's interesting about this, I mean, you can't make this kind of stuff up. You had Devin Nunes actually criticizing Adam Schiff because he said he knew the whistleblower, he had met with the whistleblower, all of which was false.

And yet, it appears that Devin Nunes was in conversations with Lev Parnas, who is now an indicted individual because he gave foreign money to President Trump's Political Action Committee, some $325,000.

CUOMO: Right. Parnas definitely has issues. He's got connections to Giuliani, and that's obviously an aspect of why investigators are looking at Mr. Giuliani for his sake, I hope that's where it ends.

But with Nunes, if you guys knew that he was on call logs with Parnas, are you not allowed to ask questions of the other Members?

SPEIER: No. It's actually not appropriate because they're not on the - at the witness stand. They're not being sworn in to testify.

CUOMO: So, you knew this was out there at the--

SPEIER: Well actually, I didn't personally know this was out there. There was a - you know, what's called a - a dump of phone records of--

CUOMO: Right.

SPEIER: --that was made to both the Democrats, and the Republicans, and it was a matter of sifting through it. And this is just a small part of what is a fairly lengthy, I've been told, dump of data.

CUOMO: Yes. There's a - there's a lot in here.

SPEIER: Now, of course, these aren't the actual calls.

CUOMO: Right.

SPEIER: This is just the - the fact that an individual had a conversation with another individual.

CUOMO: Right. It's what we used to look at as metadata when it comes as--

SPEIER: Exactly.

CUOMO: --you got the number, except now, you got the people attached to who it was to. It's not just a phone number.

And, you know, look, there're going to be some curiosities to figure out, especially where Mr. Giuliani's call logs, a lot of them are zero seconds, 0.2 seconds, 0.5 seconds, you know, that's not - that's not a real - 5 seconds isn't a real phone call, maybe they're efforts to call somebody.

But with Mr. Nunes, how do the House rules work in terms of policing the kinds of behavior that has become suspicious about him, whether it's this foreign travel, whether or not it happened, whether he was knowledgeable of these efforts that were going on, whether this was actually him making these phone calls?

SPEIER: So, the phone call attracts Nunes by virtue of the fact that it was tracking Lev Parnas' phone calls. So, it wasn't like we were looking at Devin Nunes.

CUOMO: Right.

SPEIER: He just got swept up in this by virtue of the fact that he had a conversation with Parnas.

My concern with Mr. Nunes was if in fact he made that trip, last November, to Vienna, or to Europe, we do know he went to Europe. He spent $65,000, had staff members fly as well, and there's some speculation that he met with Mr. Parnas.

CUOMO: Shokin.

SPEIER: And maybe even Mr. Shokin, I - I don't know that. But then he was--

CUOMO: That's the allegation from Parnas' lawyer. And look, they could not be telling the truth. Mr. Nunes says they're not. That's why I invited him on the show to give his side of the story.

[21:20:00]

But is there anything wrong with any of that other than unethical, you know, and being disingenuous with the American people, in terms of how he presented himself. Is there a line of right and wrong for--

SPEIER: Well-- CUOMO: --Members of Congress??

SPEIER: Yes, there is. If he was using his Office for a political purpose, and spending taxpayer dollars to make that trip to dig up dirt on Biden, yes, for sure, that would be something the Ethics Committee would want to look into.

CUOMO: Now, one of the things that stands out to me in this report is how many people you guys believe were material in the activity that you're censuring from - not censuring, that you're looking at with the President for impeachment.

You know, because the - the President's story is this was really just one phone call between two Presidents, and it was perfect. You guys seem to see it as a matrix of about a dozen people, half a dozen agencies, the media, as well.

SPEIER: And this is, in my view, a potential criminal enterprise that went on for many months. I don't think it went on from just July through September. I think it goes back to 2018 when then-President Trump had a fundraiser, which Lev Parnas came to it, contributed to it.

And then, the following day, all of a sudden, Ukraine stopped cooperating with Bob Mueller, and his investigation. And then, two weeks later, Parnas gives $325,000 to Donald Trump's Political Action Committee. So, this has been in the works for an - I'd say, over a year.

And bringing John Solomon into this to do the interview with Lutsenko that trashed the Ambassador, all of this, we still don't know really where it all is going to lead us. But it's a huge puzzle. And every day, there's another puzzle piece that comes into clarity for us.

CUOMO: Now--

SPEIER: And this is just the end of the beginning, in my view, of this investigation.

CUOMO: So, all right, let's play on that. The end of the beginning or the beginning of the end, because as we saw in the Committee vote today, their report which came out, the Republicans, bears no resemblance to your report in terms of the reckoning of the facts on any level.

One set of facts, two totally different sets of points of view on it. The party vote - it was party line vote today, 13-9.

There is no anticipation of any movement by Republicans in the House in terms of moving across the line, and away from this President. What does that mean about the efficacy, the worthiness, of this process?

SPEIER: Well the process is clear. There was bribery that took place by this President. He, in his official capacity, used his Office to gain an investigation into one of his opponents. He withheld money for an ally that was fighting one of our adversaries. So, putting that aside though, you - you really have a - a beginning still because we - we haven't been able to get any information out of the Administration.

If the President had a perfect phone call, if there's nothing to hide, why is it 12 present and past persons within his Administration, who have been subpoenaed, have not participated?

Why is it not one document from the State Department, from the Energy Department, from the White House, has been submitted, as it's supposed to, under Article One, and our authority, to do oversight over the Executive branch.

So, if you have nothing to hide, why are you preventing people from talking to us?

CUOMO: If there was one thing that the President would want them to give to you, it's whatever the State Department has that validates the existence of that September 9th phone call, because that is the only piece of evidence, potentially, that would clear the President from having not said the wrong thing every chance he had.

That's the one time with his little note of papers where he said all the right things. "I don't want a quid pro quo." Used that phrase, I don't know where he got it. I know the whistleblower used it.

But, you know, I just want him to do the right thing. It's fine. But we don't know that that phone call exists. If the State Department were going to give one thing, and they had it, I'd have to believe it would be that.

Congresswoman, thank you for helping us understand the nuance of some of these things, and where it's heading, and why.

SPEIER: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, we got to keep drilling down because I have to be honest. I didn't know they had anything like these phone records.

Why? Well because as you just heard, they never came up in the testimony, right? And it seemed like they were reaching to make connections. They had the connections.

And we're going to trace the trail of the calls, and put them into the timeline because when things happened, and with whom, really helps understand why this was going on, next.

[21:25:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: The impeachment report has a welcome surprise, new proof in the form of phone records. They raise some questions, but more importantly, they answer others.

About what? Knowledge, involvement, of people around this President, and Trump himself, and his chief defender, the Ranking Member of the very Committee doing the investigation, Republican Devin Nunes.

Now, in the $435 million suit that Mr. Nunes filed against CNN today, he attacks us for reporting anything that could come from Giuliani associate, Lev Parnas. He calls Parnas a fraud and a hustler.

[21:30:00]

Well if it's not OK to get information from Parnas, how does Mr. Nunes explain this?

Four separate phone calls with Parnas with his name on them? Why didn't he mention them when he kept arguing that there was nothing to any of this talk about Parnas' and Rudy's efforts?

Well I guess the answer may be in the question. Regardless, it telegraphs a lot, and the timing is key.

Two rounds of phone calls, April 10, April 12. Why? Same time, Trump mouthpiece, and Fox employee, John Solomon, starts publishing stories, hyping the Russian-backed fiction, "Ukraine actually messed with the 2016 election, not Russia."

Solomon was working the phones with Giuliani. Giuliani was in touch with Nunes and Parnas as well as the folks in the White House and the OMB.

Mick Mulvaney still runs it. He's the Acting Chief of Staff. They are in control of when the aid goes. That's early April, after Mueller's finding went to the DOJ, OK, early April, but before the full report came out, so the question is raised.

So, were they hustling to create a distraction from the Mueller report, some suggestion that "Ukraine is behind this election interference, forget the Russia report."

Then, less than two weeks later, on April 23rd, and April 24th, another series of calls between Giuliani, Parnas, and White House officials. So, one thing's for sure. This Parnas is not just some, you know, guy on the outside, who doesn't know anything. He's in there.

Now we know that Rudy took credit for getting the U.S. Ambassador removed. But the day she was ordered home, he talked to the White House eight times, all right? The next day, Joe Biden officially announced he was running for the

White House. That's all before you even get to the President's self- proclaimed perfect phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart.

We now know, for sure, what the President wanted. The question for the Democrats is can you show that that's why aid was withheld? Now, that takes us to August 8th.

Mark Sandy at OMB, the agency that controlled the aid, remember, he testified. He says at about that time, Trump's political appointee at OMB took control of the money that was supposed to be going to Ukraine. Why? Sandy complained that the hold on that aid may be illegal.

August 8th, Giuliani made some 19 calls or texts with either the White House or OMB. Around the same time, Sondland, Volker, Giuliani, they're talking deliverables with Ukrainians, same time he's with OMB, about who controls the money, they're talking with Ukraine about what they have to do to get the money.

The only piece of evidence that muddies what seems to be a clear effort to pressure Ukraine to go after the Bidens, and some conspiracy theory, if they wanted the money, is one phone call, this mysterious September 9th phone call, where the President said all the right things to Sondland.

Remember, he made those notes? Checked every box. He even used the Latin phrase that the whistleblower did in the complaint that wouldn't come out until later, but was already known about by the President.

The Intel report points this out. "A call on September 9th, which would have occurred in the middle of the night, is at odds with the weight of the evidence," but more importantly, "not backed up by any records the White House was willing to provide Ambassador Sondland."

If that call didn't exist, or whatever, is confused with another call, then what proof is there that this President wasn't doing exactly what it looks like?

If Mueller had phone records like this, who knows what else he would have brought to bear in that probe?

Now, they once again inform the obvious. This wasn't one perfect call. It was a highly imperfect alliance of lots of pieces, players, all in the service of a POTUS with a poison pursuit, one that appears to have started as a cover for the Mueller report, and culminated with a President abusing his power, by pressuring a foreign power to help him politically.

Now, if there are other explanations for the calls, and the testimony, we welcome it. This is about the truth. But choosing to ignore all this only makes what it looks like look more obvious.

So, who could be in trouble, and how? Cuomo's Court weighs the potential legal ramifications, the potential acts, for impeachment, next. [21:35:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: All right, so the Democrats have laid out their roadmap to impeachment called the evidence of misconduct and obstruction, overwhelming in their report. POTUS, however, wasn't the only one accused of wrongdoing. Who else might have legal exposure here?

Cuomo's Court in session.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO'S COURT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Elie Honig, Jim Schultz, thanks to both of you.

Elie, in what we learned today with the phone calls and the report in general, how tangled is the web that has been weaved with first the practice to deceive?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NY, FORMER FEDERAL & STATE PROSECUTOR: Mighty tangled, Chris.

I have prosecuted and tried bribery cases. And let me tell you, I would have zero hesitation in charging this against Donald Trump, if he was chargeable, Rudy Giuliani, and others.

And I think, to really just boil it down to its essence, I think there's two things that cannot be reasonably disputed here.

Number one, Donald Trump and his Administration held back vital foreign aid to Ukraine. And number two, Donald Trump asked Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

And the million-dollar question is, were those two things connected? When you look at the evidence, and you bring common sense to bear, we're allowed to use common sense, the answer is "No question about it."

We heard it from witness after witness. We heard it right out of Mick Mulvaney's mouth. And we can see it right on the face of the July 25th call between Trump and Zelensky.

CUOMO: What's the basic defense, Jimmy?

JIM SCHULTZ, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: Look, there's just no valid basis for bribery here, just - or treason, or any of the things that would reach the level of impeachment. And that's just, you know, it's very easy to--

CUOMO: Why isn't it a bribe?

SCHULTZ: --say and the - it's - and - it's very easy to say in a context of - of a hearing where hearsay evidence is let in, anything - anything they want to throw against the wall is let in. The rules of evidence don't apply. And - and none of that--

CUOMO: Yes, that's the process. That's the process.

SCHULTZ: --none of that matters to you, right?

CUOMO: Your Party had no problems with it under Clinton.

SCHULTZ: So, so, yes the process, you know, we could say, you had no problem indicting it.

CUOMO: So, I don't want to talk about the process.

SCHULTZ: But there hasn't been--

CUOMO: Why isn't it a bribe?

SCHULTZ: --there hasn't been a secret Grand Jury here.

CUOMO: Why isn't it a bribe?

SCHULTZ: There hasn't been a process that matters.

CUOMO: Why isn't there--

SCHULTZ: It's not a bribe because--

CUOMO: Yes.

[21:40:00]

SCHULTZ: --look, at the end of the day, if the conduct of Hunter Biden - let's - let's think about what was asked for here.

An investigation of Hunter Biden, not to convict him without a trial, not to go out and say he's a criminal, but to say - to - but to go and investigate Hunter Biden for something that a lot of folks are scratching their heads saying, "Why the heck was this guy getting paid all this money to sit on a Board that he wasn't qualified for"--

CUOMO: Can you cite another example of this President asking--

SCHULTZ: --"in a foreign country." If that happened here-- CUOMO: Jimmy?

SCHULTZ: --people--

CUOMO: Jimmy?

SCHULTZ: If that happened with Donald Trump Jr.--

CUOMO: Jimmy, you're making - you're - you're making your own point.

SCHULTZ: --people here would be going crazy.

CUOMO: You're making - you're making the opposite side's point.

SCHULTZ: But it didn't. It didn't.

CUOMO: If it happened here--

SCHULTZ: So - so - no, I'm not, Chris.

CUOMO: Jimmy, Jimmy, look, if you want to filibuster, filibuster. Elie, the point is now to you.

HONIG: Yes.

CUOMO: If you wanted to go after Hunter Biden or former VP Joe Biden, fine. Have your pal Lindsey Graham doing in the Senate, where you have the control, which is what he's doing right now. Go to the DOJ, and say it. Say it to all of us on TV.

But he went to Ukraine, Elie Honig, and he asked them to do it. Why?

HONIG: Right. And - and one other telling detail, I think, which is consistent with that is what did they really want? What did Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump really want? The deliverable. That phrase keeps getting used.

And the deliverable was not an actual investigation, but an announcement of an investigation. This came up time and again. What they wanted was President Zelensky to go to a microphone, to do the CNN interview, and announce that he was investigating Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.

Now, let me ask you this, and I think Mr. Schultz is a former prosecutor. If you really wanted to do a corruption investigation, to make a dent against corruption, would you ever get behind a microphone, and announce, "Hey, we're investigating so-and-so for corruption?"

That is the last thing you'd ever do if you were serious about rooting out corruption. But it's the first thing you would do--

SCHULTZ: Well again - again, so - so Congress--

HONIG: --it's the first thing you would do if you wanted a political benefit. SCHULTZ: OK.

CUOMO: Go ahead, Jimmy.

SCHULTZ: So, if Congress was really interested in conducting a true investigation here, they would have - they would have actually conducted an - an investigation in a way that a Grand Jury would take it, not leak, leak, leak, not turning over transcripts, not just setting the table for this political stage.

CUOMO: But what - what does that have to do?

SCHULTZ: Not starting - starting with the process.

CUOMO: What does that have to do with the substance?

SCHULTZ: So - it all matters, Chris, because all of these, all of the facts, all of the testimony has to be admissible in a court of law, if you were there.

CUOMO: No, it doesn't.

SCHULTZ: But we're not there. You've said that time and time again.

CUOMO: We're not there.

SCHULTZ: This is really a - this is a political process--

CUOMO: That's what it is.

SCHULTZ: --at its core.

CUOMO: That's what it is, Jimmy.

SCHULTZ: An impeachment is--

CUOMO: That's what it is. It's created as that.

SCHULTZ: --you know, the standard for impeachment is whatever 218 Congressmen say it is. So, at the end of the day--

CUOMO: Jimmy, Jimmy, it's always been that.

SCHULTZ: --this has been nothing but politics, Chris.

CUOMO: Jimmy, that's always what it's been.

SCHULTZ: Right. So - so why - so why are you trying--

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: You guys started with a land deal against Clinton.

SCHULTZ: --to a valid legal process.

CUOMO: And you wound up with a sex act. SCHULTZ: You can't have it both ways, Chris.

CUOMO: And you - Jimmy, Jimmy, you're the one asking for it both ways.

SCHULTZ: You can't have it both ways.

HONIG: Hey, Chris, can I ask you--

CUOMO: You're asking for it both ways.

HONIG: --can I ask you a quick question?

CUOMO: Go ahead, Elie. You take my role.

HONIG: So - so, Jim, are those two things connected? Are the - is the foreign aid connected to the ask for investigations? Yes or no?

SCHULTZ: Well here's the thing. You know what? The evidence, at this point in time, dot - there's no direct evidence that shows that. It's a bunch of hearsay testimony. So you know what?

HONIG: No coincidence?

SCHULTZ: I don't think anybody's come to the con - to a conclusion on that. At the end of the day, that's valid.

HONIG: Well Mick Mulvaney told us they were connected.

SCHULTZ: So that's going to be up to the Senate at a trial to make that determination.

CUOMO: What about what Mulvaney said?

SCHULTZ: It's not up to you. It's not up to me.

CUOMO: What about - what about--

SCHULTZ: It's up to the Senate at the end of the day. Because it's--

CUOMO: I know. We all know what the process is.

SCHULTZ: --very clear that the House is--

CUOMO: Jimmy?

SCHULTZ: That the Democrats in the House have made up their mind--

CUOMO: Jimmy? I know this.

SCHULTZ: --and they made up their minds six months ago on this.

CUOMO: I don't have you on to talk about politics. And the reason I'm shutting you down is because I must reject in Cuomo's Court any assertion that the process here is unfair.

SCHULTZ: If we - Chris, if we're in a real court of law, you'd be rejecting everything the Democrats did.

HONIG: That's not true though. That's not even true.

CUOMO: But hold on, Elie, Elie, it doesn't mean - it's a red herring. It's a red herring, as we call in the law. It's a bogus point.

You guys with - with Clinton, you did a completely secret investigation that nobody could touch until you wanted them to. The President had more limited access at the Judiciary level than you were asked to have here that you rejected. And you know it.

So, forget the process. You can't argue process here. I won't allow it because it's irrelevant. But what I will ask you is--

SCHULTZ: No because you had a legitimate investigation back then.

CUOMO: What legitimate?

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Ken Starr started out looking at real estate.

SCHULTZ: --investigation that came - that came--

CUOMO: He started looking at real estate.

SCHULTZ: Come on, Chris. You know better than that.

CUOMO: And he wound up with a sex act. That's legitimate? That was the worst. So, let's never compare anything to that if you want to have any leverage. Let me ask you this.

SCHULTZ: You're the one that raised it.

CUOMO: No.

SCHULTZ: I didn't.

CUOMO: I'm raising it as a point of you say you want it both ways. You guys are living that hypocrisy. But this is what I want to ask you.

Elie says you don't see any connection between the aid and the deliverables. You say, "No, I can't. It's all hearsay. It's all hearsay," even though it's a BS answer, because we're in a place where hearsay is OK.

But why was Rudy Giuliani talking to OMB at the--

SCHULTZ: Right. Because the process is flawed.

CUOMO: Why was Rudy Giuliani talking to OMB at around the same time that Mark Sandy says, who was at OMB that he was worried about the aid being held up? He got kicked out of the way by a Trump-appointee. And Mick Mulvaney who was running OMB says there was a quid pro quo.

How do you explain all that away? [21:45:00]

SCHULTZ: Well Chris, at the end of the day, all of this testimony, like I've said time and time again, is going to come - is - is all going to come down to, you know, there was no legitimate investigation, there was no testimony that went in there that--

CUOMO: No - forget about it. That's process.

SCHULTZ: --that - that folks could object to.

CUOMO: How do you explain what I just said?

SCHULTZ: Process matters here, Chris. That's what you're missing.

CUOMO: No. The process has been fine. You guy - you guys had half the room--

SCHULTZ: The Democrats blew right through stop signs on all of this.

CUOMO: You had half the room working as counsel for the President in that Intel Committee hearings. We've never seen anything like it.

SCHULTZ: Half the room with an arm tied behind their back, and you know it.

CUOMO: All right, listen, I got to leave it there. But Elie Honig, I appreciate it very much.

We'll see what happens with the Judiciary tomorrow. It's a really a historical play. But once it starts to move, I love having you guys in to explain it, and make the case to everybody else, but not process. You will not argue process here, no matter how handsome you are.

All right, a whole lot of people are caught up in the President's mess. It's not one phone call. There are a lot of people with a lot to explain. It may never happen though.

But what's it going to mean for different people in the end? If you want to ignore the obvious, you can, but you must explain certain things. We'll lay them out, next.

[21:50:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CLOSING ARGUMENT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: All right, so here's where we are. If you want to ignore the obvious, then you need to explain it away.

If the President isn't obstructing, as it says in this big report, from the Democrats on the Intel Committee, why aren't the Democrats that he and you say on the Republican side will make all this go away, why aren't they being released?

If it was really just about one phone call, why are so many people, including your Ranking Member on the Committee making calls to people that you say are irrelevant, and to places that you say had nothing to do with this? Why are there so many calls to those people and places?

If it's just about foreign policy, and not about the President's political fortunes, then why is Rudy all over the place, talking to everyone at key times, and apparently driving the agenda of exposing Ukraine, and not Russia, as the 2016 bad guy, and going for the Bidens?

How about the Vice President? Why won't he produce a single document about his call with Zelensky?

The Veep is called in the report "Either knowledgeable of or an active participant in an effort to extract from a foreign nation the personal political benefits sought by the President."

Now, same goes for the Secretary of State who all the sudden said, "Hey, if there're legitimate questions about the Ukraine, you know, we have to ask those questions." You know there are no legitimate questions about Ukraine. Where did you get that?

The Secretary of Energy, the Acting Chief of Staff, what did these people all know about this, because they won't come forward and testify.

And I've never heard of a situation where someone says, "I did nothing wrong, and I can prove it," but then refuses to put up any of the proof.

Secretary Pompeo, did you know anything about this campaign to get one of your diplomats? Were you OK with it? Who was telling Giuliani and Company that it was OK to get her out?

Where is the evidence of the September 9th phone call? Did it really ever happen? Certainly, you want to provide that. It is the only thing that has this President saying things that are not damning. So, where is it?

Rick Perry, one of the so-called three amigos, the Energy Secretary who just left, what did the President tell you he wanted in Ukraine?

Mick Mulvaney, double duty as the Head of OMB, boy, isn't that convenient?

Why did this political appointee hijack the money, take the ability to do the job from Mark Sandy, and others, who were appointed to do it, who did that, and started to overtake the process of when it would go to Ukraine, why?

And what in the world was the President's personal lawyer doing with that office on speed dial? Why would Giuliani be talking to OMB?

Devin Nunes, why are you on call logs with Lev Parnas? You say the man can't be relied on. Why? Why did you call him so many times? Why did you sit there and say everything is wrong?

Remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA): What was the full extent of the Whistleblower's prior coordination with Chairman Schiff, his staff, and any other people he cooperated with while preparing the complaint?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: I have no problem with those questions.

However, what about your prior knowledge of, and your prior contact with, allegedly, on this phone log, to the extent it's true? You won't talk to us about it. Isn't that something you should have brought up?

There's a lot in this 300-page report. You got credible testimony. You got hard evidence. This is not a court of law. It is a political process. That's all it's ever been against any President or anyone else who's ever gone through it, ever.

So, don't compare it to one, and say, "This isn't as fair." It's never been anything but this. You don't get to ignore that. That's a fact. It matters. Don't undermine the process. Beat the process.

Raises the question, if this is what we know, what are we missing? All along we've been asking, if the President did nothing wrong, why isn't he demanding that these people with the information come up and clear him?

We've heard him say before he'd love to testify. No, he wouldn't. He doesn't even trust himself to tell the truth. But if they don't put up people who they say explain it away, how long can his Party ignore the obvious? That's the argument.

All right, coming up, understandably, this would be a time for the President to be somber, reflective. You've got tomorrow's new phase of the impeachment hearings. Instead, well, watch for yourself.

[21:55:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: The President is in London for NATO meetings. And, you know, it's going as expected. There was a weird moment with the French President, Macron, when he joked about turning over ISIS fighters.

President Trump later offered, you know, something that is just - you're going to have to judge for yourself about the next phase of impeachment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What advice are you getting on impeachment?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We are winning so big.

Hopefully in a very long, distant future, you'll have a Democrat President, you'll have a Republican House, and they'll do the same thing, because somebody picked an orange out of a refrigerator, and you don't like it.

I learn nothing from Adam Schiff. I think he's a maniac.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What would you - what would you want to learn if he testified?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think Adam Schiff is a deranged human being. I think he grew up with a complex, for lots of reasons that are obvious.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: The President of the United States, ladies and gentlemen. That's where we are tonight.

Let's bring in CNN TONIGHT's D. Lemon for a look at the state of play. I thought it was a little odd that he picked an orange, of all things, that might be taken out of a refrigerator. But--

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: Well--

CUOMO: --you know, I did a little quick looking here. I can't find--

LEMON: If the fruit fits.

CUOMO: Good, good, good one. I can't find the leader of any nation ever talking about their own nation like this.