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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
House Intel Committee Approves Impeachment Report, Will Be Used As Basis For Articles Of Impeachment; Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) Discusses About His Reaction On The 300-Page Report; Nunes Dodges Questions After Being Named Multiple Times In His Own Committee's Impeachment Report; House Intel Report On Ukraine Probe Shows Multiple Calls Between Nunes, Giuliani & Giuliani Associate; House Intel Details Evidence Of Trump Obstruction And Misconduct As Trump Claims He's "Winning" On Impeachment; Judiciary Committee To Consider Multiple Articles Of Impeachment; Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) Is Interviewed About Tomorrow's Impeachment Hearing; Kamala Harris Drops Out Of 2020 Race After Campaign Infighting & Dire Financial Situation. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired December 3, 2019 - 19:00 ET
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WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Until then, thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, a major vote paving the way to impeaching President Donald Trump as the House Intelligence Committee releases a report with new revelations. Plus, a top Republican on the Intelligence Committee repeatedly named in his own committee's report accused of coordinating with Rudy Giuliani.
How does Devin Nunes explain that? And Kamala Harris ending what at one point was a surging campaign. A former Harris insider tells us how it went so wrong so fast. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, a historic vote this hour. The House Intelligence Committee voting to officially approve the committee's impeachment report. It was a party line vote.
The 300-page report and it is a big one here accuses President Trump of grave misconduct and abuse of power. It is now, this entire document, in the hands of the Judiciary Committee. And it is a hand off that matters for American history because it is the Judiciary Committee that will write the formal articles of impeachment against the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump.
And this report includes new phone records that Democrats say show the President's allies including the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, coordinated to peddle lies. And it raises new questions about Vice President Mike Pence's role in helping Trump abuse the power of the presidency for personal political gain.
So we're going to have much more on all of what is in these pages in just a moment. I want to go though first to Capitol Hill, Manu Raju is OUTFRONT. And Manu, first of all, this is a crucial vote. A vote in history in this process. What more can you tell us about where we are and what just happened?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. At the end of this phase of this impeachment inquiry and a sign that this is moving rapidly through the House.
We expect tomorrow is when the House Judiciary Committee will start to take the mantle of this impeachment push to have an open hearing in which legal experts will discuss high crimes and misdemeanors and whether or not the evidence that the Intelligence Committee found in its two-month investigation about the President's handling of Ukraine policy, whether or not it violated the Constitution, his oath of office and whether it meets that threshold for impeachment, because the House Intelligence Committee makes very clear that it certainly does, even if it doesn't, the Democrats don't outright call for the President to be removed from office.
They make very clear that his conduct was unacceptable in their view, something that violated National Security, something that is certainly impeachable by historical standards as they lay out in that in depth report. Now, after that House Judiciary Committee hearing expect more proceedings in that committee, followed by articles of impeachment that could be voted on as soon as next week at a House floor boat as soon as the week after.
Now, Erin, I'm also told that behind closed doors, Nancy Pelosi did not commit to impeaching President Trump in private meetings with Democrats tonight saying that the Judiciary Committee still needs to consider the matter, that she would confer with her. Chairman of the key committees decide the next steps. She will not discuss the scope of the articles of impeachment nor would she commit to an exact timeline for moving forward in impeachment according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
But Democrats are making no - even if they're not outright saying that the President should be impeached, they are certainly signaling they are moving quickly and it could still happen before Christmas, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you. And as Manu was saying the report that we have here, literally this is it, these are all the details. This is what they're going to use to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump. So what's in these 300 pages is crucial? What do you need to know? Sara Murray is OUTFRONT.
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): House Democrats concluding evidence of the President's misconduct is overwhelming. As lawmakers take a big step forward in impeaching the President. By pressuring the Ukrainian President to open investigations into the Biden family and the 2016 election in exchange for a White House meeting and security assistance.
The President placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process and endangered U.S. national security. According to the newly released impeachment report.
The 300-page document expected to serve as the framework for articles of impeachment sharply condemn the President's efforts to block witnesses from testifying. Saying it would be hard to imagine a stronger or more complete case of obstruction than that demonstrated by the President since the inquiry began.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and the other committee chairs leading the inquiry stopped short of recommending impeachment. But the sharply worded document lays the groundwork for a U.S. president to be impeached for the third time in American history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): If we don't care about this, we can darn will be assured the President will be back at it doing this all over again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY(voice-over): Other administration officials, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and former Energy Secretary Rick Perry allegedly knew of or aided the President's efforts according to the report.
The report also accuses Trump's associates of engaging in a coordinated effort to spread false narratives about Ukraine, former Vice President Joe Biden and then Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. After subpoenaing phone companies, Democrats laid out calls between a conservative journalist, the President's Personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Ukrainian American businessman, Lev Parnas, the Office of Management and Budget and Congressman Devin Nunes. The top Republican on the House Intelligence panel.
(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)
MURRAY: Now, our colleagues on the Hill caught up with Devin Nunes earlier today. He refused to comment on this report. Other House Republicans say they don't have any concerns about who Devin Nunes was talking to. Erin, just another look at that sharply partisan split playing out on Capitol Hill tonight.
BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you. And I want to go now to Democratic Congressman Denny Heck, member of the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, good to talk to you, sir. So this is the first time you're speaking out after getting this 300-page report which you've now voted to pass along to the Judiciary Committee. What's your reaction to what is detailed in these 300 pages?
REP. DENNY HECK (D-WA): Erin, I'm just very sad. In seven years here, this is the saddest week I can remember, as a matter of fact. I'm sad that we've come to this point. I'm sad that we feel compelled because of the President's behavior to have to pass this report that he abused his power, that he betrayed his oath of office.
I'm equally if not more saddened by the fact that my friends across the aisle, many of whom I believe are good people. Nonetheless are either abjectly self-diluted or worse beyond comprehension in terms of cynicism. The President did this. He did this. He violated the law and what he did, moreover, was wrong. And I'm sad that we've come to this point.
BURNETT: The report lays out calls we did not know about, pages 156 to 159. For anyone at home who wants to skip to some crucial parts, it lays out a whole bunch of calls here that we did not know about involving Rudy Giuliani, his indicted partner who was helping him get dirt on the Bidens and Devin Nunes. Obviously, your colleague on the committee.
It also shows multiple calls that Giuliani had on these crucial days where he's having these conversations publicly about Ukraine. He's pushing these investigations with a number of shown simply as quote one, quote-1. And these calls with quote-1, one of them is 12 minutes, one of them is almost nine, another one is almost nine.
These are meaningful calls. Who do you think Giuliani was talking to? Who was number one?
HECK: Probably somebody in the White House. But look, there's lots of information here. We just got what we call meta data. That is when the calls occur and what their duration was, but there's lots of information that would have further helped us elucidate exactly what went on here that the President in an unprecedented move to obstruct Congress refused to allow it to be brought forward.
The contents of those calls would be one, because if we were allowed to talk to those people, we would know exactly what was being said.
BURNETT: And I'm just getting at one of these calls on April 24th, duration three minutes says White House number. But the others all in April 23rd or 24th, these are the longer ones, eight minutes and 42 seconds, eight minutes and 28 seconds, 13 minutes. These are all to dash one.
So I'm just wondering, do you think it's possible that's the President of the United States or are you not comfortable even speculating that?
HECK: Because it would be speculating at this point, Erin. I don't think we need to speculate about the misdeeds here, because the evidence that bears it out that there were misdeeds is overwhelming in and of itself.
BURNETT: So these calls show Giuliani was on the phone with the White House in some way eight times in just one day, and that's April 24th. The reason that could be so important is it's the same day that Giuliani, according to The Washington Post took credit for ousting the American Ambassador to Ukraine. A person who the President of the United States disparaged on that phone call with the Ukrainian president. What does this tell you, eight phone calls with the White House on the day Giuliani takes credit for ousting Ambassador Yovanovitch?
HECK: Well, it tells us what we already know intuitively, again, for which there's overwhelming evidence that there was a long-term concerted and coordinated campaign for reasons that I'll go to my grave not understanding to oust Ambassador Yovanovitch through character assassination.
Remember, he had fully the authority, President Trump, to remove her. He did not have to attempt to destroy her professional and her personal reputation. He chose to do that because that's his style. Because frankly he can be cruel and for no purpose. He could have just removed her. But yes, Rudy Giuliani is in this up to his neck and we've known it all along.
BURNETT: Before we go, Republican Senator John Thune, obviously, this is going to go to the Senate as soon as the House votes on it, if you all vote to impeach. He was asked if the President should have asked the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens, just the basic fact was that acceptable, and he was very careful to say - the question here is not whether it's appropriate, it's whether it's impeachable. We can all read between the lines on what he's saying. Is that disappointing to you.
HECK: I would love to be having the debate about whether or not the President's misdeeds are impeachable. But that's not the debate we seem even to be having though, right, Erin? Because the Republicans are in mass in the House denying that there was anything wrong or improper that happened. They are in mass propagating this completely debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine engaging in interference in the 2016 election.
Let's have the debate about whether or not this rises to the level of an impeachable offense, because that's a debate that would be healthy for America.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman. I appreciate your time.
HECK: You're welcome.
BURNETT: And next, Congressman Devin Nunes just confronted about those damning phone records that revealed his calls with Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani's indicted Ukrainian associate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Congressman Nunes, your reaction to being named in the report, sir? (END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And the White House publicly calling the report ramblings of a basement blogger, but behind the scenes, the story is different. And as First Lady Melania Trump travels to the U.K. with President Trump, new details coming out tonight about her contentious relationship with Ivanka.
BURNETT: Breaking news, Devin Nunes, the top Republican in the House Intel Committee refusing to answer questions after being named multiple times in his own committee's investigation on President Trump and Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Congressman Nunes, your reaction to being named in the report, sir?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And there's a good reason he doesn't want to talk, call logs show Nunes and Rudy Giuliani called each other looking at these five times on April 10th which was three days after Giuliani published unproven conspiracy theories on Ukraine - push them, sorry, on Fox News. So then he has all of these calls with Devin Nunes.
And then two days later on April 12th, we can see here four calls made between Nunes and Lev Parnas. Lev Parnas is now indicted, one of Giuliani's associates who was digging for dirt for Giuliani on the Bidens in Ukraine. So Nunes is talking to both of these individuals multiple times as this theory is being publicly pushed on fox news.
OUTFRONT now our Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger, Joe Lockhart, who was the Press Secretary for President Clinton during his impeachment investigation and former Federal Prosecutor Laura Coates.
So Gloria, let me start with you here. How bad does this look for Devin Nunes who, of course, is the ranking member on the Intelligence Committee?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it looks pretty bad. If I were member of the House Ethics Committee, first of all, I would look into this and say ask questions about recusal, whatever the rules are, governing recusal in the House of Representatives or disclosure. And I would be asking a lot of questions to Devin Nunes about that.
I don't know whether Adam Schiff was told by Devin Nunes about these phone calls. Devin Nunes was a key questioner during this committee hearings. And the second thing I would worry about is the Southern District of New York.
The Southern District of New York has indicted Lev Parnas. Parnas is clearly trying to cut some kind of deal.
BORGER: So if you're an agent or a lawyer working for the Southern District you'd say to Lev Parnas, well, what is it you were talking to Devin Nunes about, what did he want to know, did he use his office to try and coerce you into giving him more information.
I mean, there are all kinds of questions you would ask if you're a lawyer. I'm not one, Laura Coates is, so she can talk about it. But those are two things that come to mind right away.
BURNETT: I mean here's the thing, Joe, it puts Devin Nunes in the center of this, OK? And yes he was a questioner and supposedly asking research questions and obviously calls all of that into question. But what's the significance of this that Nunes was, it appears, possibly helping Giuliani get dirt from Ukraine on Trump's political rival right in the middle of helping him.
JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I'm not sure it has that much significance as far as the impeachment proceedings. They have a very, very solid case for going forward against the President.
BURNETT: Against the President.
LOCKHART: This is a whole separate thing which, I think, Gloria puts her finger on that the Southern District of New York is going to be looking at. These people don't have the Giuliani crowd, the drug dealers according to John Bolton. They don't have the same protection says the President.
And it may be kind of the backdoor way to get a lot more of the details here of the theme we already know about.
BURNETT: So Laura to this point, OK, the attorney for Lev Parnas tweets today, "Devin Nunes, you should have recused yourself at the outset of the House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearings. Let Lev speak."
So Laura, when you hear about this, Lev Parnas clearly wants to talk and he knows a lot, OK? He knows a lot about Giuliani, perhaps he knows a lot about the President himself because of his conversations with Rudy Giuliani, certainly, now about Devin Nunes. I mean, how big of a threat could Lev Parnas be?
LAURA COATES, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I'm never dismissive of somebody simply because they may be in a position to be opportunistic and certainly Lev Parnas is somebody who has something everything to gain from potentially being cooperative or disclosing information, probably putting himself in a greater light. But because of his proximity to the powers that be in this case, it may be he has extraordinarily informative information about the idea of the role.
Remember what we're here for though. The role is not about whether Devin Nunes, in particular, or Rudy Giuliani at this point in time or Lev Parnas or an associate was the central figure in the coordinated effort. It's whether the buck stop at the President's door. And according to this report, Erin, it talks about the very coordinated effort led by and delegation beginning with the President of the United States.
So if Lev Parnas has additional information that's added into the function that says, "Look, the President was well aware, similar to what Ambassador Gordon Sondland said that everyone knew what was up, everyone was in on it, everyone knew about it. If he can add to that, perhaps he is better suited for the trial if there is one.
BURNETT: Right. And, obviously, on that point, Joe, Chairman Schiff said today, right, he's got this 300-page report.
BURNETT: And it details impeachable offenses. It details abuse of power. It shows a preponderance of evidence showing the President of the United States direct that. That's what it does. It's what we saw on the public hearings. But Chairman Schiff, when he came out and spoke about it said, well, I'm actually not passing judgment yet. OK, here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIFF: I'm going to reserve any kind of a public judgment on that until I have a chance to consult with my colleagues, with our leadership. And I think this really needs to be a decision that we all make as a body. So I'm going to continue to reserve judgment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But yet here Schiff wrapping up the impeachment hearings, the final moments as the Chairman two weeks ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIFF: When the founders provided a mechanism in the Constitution for impeachment, they were worried about what might happen if someone unethical took the highest office in the land and used it for their personal gain. This president believes he is above the law beyond accountability. And in my view, there is nothing more dangerous than an unethical president who believes they are above the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So what's the strategy? Clearly, he's laid out a case and thinks the President should be impeached. He says he's reserving judgment.
LOCKHART: Yes. I think you're seeing a little bit of Democratic Congressional politics here. Chairman Schiff needs to show some deference to Chairman Nadler, the Judiciary Committee, who at the direction of Nancy Pelosi took the lead on the investigative part of this and did a tremendous job. So what he's doing here is saying, well, now it goes to the next and I'm not going to prejudge what Chairman Nadler is going to do.
But what he did is he gave Chairman Nadler an exact roadmap.
BURNETT: Right. Like he could just go through certain pages and list out the article.
LOCKHART: You could just go through it. He said what happened and how the President was involved. He said what risk it put our national security at. And then he said the thing that I think that he wanted to make people care about the most, which is if this goes unchecked, you're going to have a White House and a president with unlimited power.
BURNETT: All right. All of you stay with me, because President Trump is now declaring victory ahead of today's impeachment report. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are winning so big. I don't think we've ever had the spirit that we have right now in the Republican Party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And Trump mocks Kamala Harris for dropping out of the race. Harris tonight fighting back.
BURNETT: The White House tonight slamming the House Intelligence Committee report that lays the groundwork for impeachment. Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham saying, "Chairman Schiff's report reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger." And she said that just after her boss said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are winning so big. We had our biggest fundraising month ever. I don't think we've ever had the spirit that we have right now in the Republican Party and the impeachment hoax is what's done it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Jim Acosta is traveling with the President in London tonight. So Jim, obviously, this is the public front. It's full of superlatives. Do they have concerns though that you have heard behind the scenes?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Erin, White House officials say they're still going over the details. But I did talk to a Trump campaign source who told me there are concerns about the President's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. But aides of the President maintain there is no reason to worry. Mr. Trump will be removed from office based on what has surfaced so far in this impeachment inquiry, what's in the Schiff report.
But the President and his top aides, as you were just mentioning, are taking some very personal shots at the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee after the release of this report alleging that Mr. Trump abused the power of his office to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. The White House released that statement that you just read a portion of a few moments ago.
But it also said and this is just quoting here at the end of this one- sided sham process, Chairman Schiff and the Democrats utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump. And before the report came out, the President ripped into Schiff calling him 'deranged'.
Now, he also reiterated, Erin, talking to reporters earlier today that he's not going to allow his Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney or his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to participate in these House impeachment proceedings. He did hint that he would allow them to participate in a senate trial where the Republicans would obviously have more control over there.
But so far the White House and this is interesting, Erin, not really picking apart the details laid out in this report. They're not offering any explanation as to why the President's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was in contact with officials over at the Office of Management and Budget.
But I will tell you, Erin, a Trump campaign source said this evening that Rudy Giuliani should be worried about what's in this report, another Trump adviser has described Giuliani as a, quote, liability. But remember, in recent days, Giuliani has hinted that he has this, quote, insurance policy in case the president turns against him, and Giuliani, of course, we should mention, Erin, has said he was only kidding about that one.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Jim Acosta, live in London.
And it is worth pointing out, Rudy Giuliani was calling the OMB, which, of course, controls the funds to Ukraine.
Why is Rudy Giuliani calling OMB anyway?
Everyone is back with me.
Gloria, so here's the question -- do you think President Trump should be concerned after today's report and specifically to Jim's reporting about Rudy Giuliani?
BORGER: Sure. And he's already sort of half way thrown him under the bus, so I think he may be all of the way under the bus in the not too distant future. But, of course, the White House is concerned. Of course, the president is concerned, and they can downplay it all they want, but this is a comprehensive report that says a couple of things that should be concerning to the White House.
One, this isn't just about a phone call. This is what the report calls a dramatic crescendo within a month's long campaign driven by the president and his senior officials and they go through who they are and they include the vice president in that, I would add, and they say that they were either knowledgeable or active participants in an effort to extract from a foreign nation the personal, political benefits sought by the president.
In other words, as Gordon Sondland put it, everyone was in the loop, and then they go through chapter and verse describing it.
BORGER: So if I were in the White House, secondly, the question is not so much whether it was inappropriate and it may be inappropriate, but it's not impeachable, I think the senators, if this goes to the Senate and I believe it probably will, will have to ask themselves not whether it was appropriate, but whether it was an acceptable way for a president to behave. And third thing in the report is, stepping back, they look at history and they say, well, if this president would get away with this kind of behavior, what would stop any other president from doing anything corrupt if he or she thought there would be nothing to pay for it.
BURNETT: I mean, Laura, here's the thing. Vice President Pence is mentioned multiple times to reports for failing to provide notes to investigators and senior U.S. officials including the vice president, the secretary of state, the secretary of energy were either knowledgeable of or active participants in an effort to extract from a foreign nation the personal political benefits sought by the president.
What do you make, Laura, the significance of those words, talking about the vice president and everybody else close to the president, knowledgeable of or active participants in?
COATES: Well, you know, it's a shame that people are exhausted by the term collusion, Erin, because essentially that defines that very terminology there to suggest that you are all in the loop to actually have a coordinated effort in campaign to do something that would take the power of the electorate. The fact that everyone's involved in it, of course, and we all know from either watching the public hearings, hearing about the closed-door proceedings or to the president and Rudy Giuliani's own tweeting and other things, where there is a concerted effort to stone wall, as well.
And if somebody is able to provide information that would exonerate you or put you in the best possible light, would that not be the person you would choose? If there was a series of people who could buttress your own credibility, would you put those people out there?
The choice not to do so and instead say it's a stonewalling issue that we're doing it because of the integrity of the process is compromised, maybe it would play out better here, Erin, if the president were not invited to address each of these things, people were not addressed and able and offered opportunity to talk about these things, and instead they rejected.
And that's where we are right now and why this report details frankly a classic case of stonewalling.
BURNETT: Which the president was offered, and by the way, other president -- if past is precedent, availed themselves of, both President Clinton and President Nixon, Joe.
What do you make though of what Democrats are doing? Obviously, they're making a case that everybody around him knew which Gordon Sondland said, but when they are going so specifically at the vice president himself.
LOCKHART: Right. I think they are trying to create the reality that there was a massive conspiracy, and everyone was involved and the vice president was one of the key players here, and they know that the vice president was one of the key players here. And they know that the vice president is a key political player in this, and they want to make sure that he doesn't go away scot-free.
But I think it's mostly to show the enormity of the conspiracy when you start going through cabinet members, the vice president, chief of staff, the head of the OMB, and then this shadowy group run by Rudy Giuliani.
LOCKHART: You see a conspiracy and you see the president at the top of it.
BURNETT: And, Laura, when you hear John Thune, Senator John Thune say -- and it was interesting, Congressman Denny Heck said basically, I'd be thrilled to have John Thune's point of view from Republicans, because the Republicans in the House are denying that anything wrong happened, whereas all John Thune is saying is.
I'm not going to talk about whether it's appropriate, I'm just want to talk about whether it's impeachable. What do you hear when you hear John Thune, who had previously been critical of the president and sort of back off it a little bit come out and say that?
COATES: Well, I hear two things. Number one, that the president's words are very impactful for people who are worried about re-election or worried about position in Republican society perhaps. And they also had a notion that, look, because this particular inquiry is so narrowly focused, it leaves a little bit of room for people to not have to do the difficult position to saying, we're going to look at it in its entirety.
There is a reason why Democrats are reluctant to bring up perhaps everything in the Mueller, they're looking at this very, very narrow focus. I think he sees a way to get out and wiggle out without having to compromise his own integrity further.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much.
And next, the House Judiciary Committee -- hey, this is in their hands and they're the ones who read it and draft the articles of impeachment against the president of the United States, Donald Trump. So, what will those articles be?
Plus, Trump ridicules Kamala Harris for quitting the race, and Harris isn't taking it tonight.
BURNETT: We are just hour away from the House Judiciary Committee first impeachment hearing. Tomorrow's testimony coming as the House Intelligence Committee releases that 300-page report, arguing there's overwhelming evidence of misconduct, and abuse of power by President Trump.
So, this sets the stage for potential impeachment vote before Christmas.
OUTFRONT now, Democratic Congressman David Cicilline, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee.
So, Congressman, this is -- this is now yours. These 300 pages are yours.
What -- how does this report impact your hearing tomorrow?
REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): Well, our hearing tomorrow focuses really on the legal standard. That is, what do the terms, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanor mean? What is the context in which our founders adopted articles of impeachment or provisions in the Constitution that provide for articles of impeachment?
And I think what we're going to learn in a hearing tomorrow is that our founders were principally worried about foreign interference, abuse of power. We'd just won the war of independence and we wanted to prevent the president from behaving as if he or she is above the law. And so, I think tomorrow is going to be important time to understand what these legal terms mean, what these constitutional provisions mean, what the conduct is for the enactment of these provisions in the Constitution.
So, we'll have legal scholars that are going to walk us through the history and the legal standard, and I think it will be important as we look at the facts and then have to apply this legal standard and we were getting that process with the hearing tomorrow.
BURNETT: All right. I want to ask you about the process because you mentioned the legal experts and they're digging into the background of the four law professors who are going to testify tomorrow. Two of them are registered Democrats and one of those donated to Elizabeth Warren this year. I would presume you knew all of that coming in. Were you comfortable
with the criticism that you knew was going to come by choosing those individuals?
CICILLINE: Look, we know that the individuals that are coming before the committee are renowned legal scholars, they're constitutional experts from very respected universities with lots of scholarship.
And look, this is a pattern of the president. He has attacked the credibility, the background of witnesses routinely. They attacked individuals who have served in uniform. They've attacked great patriots in the foreign service and intelligence community.
This is nothing new. This is an effort to distract from what would be very serious testimony about bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors, and how those terms apply to the conduct of the president of the United States.
BURNETT: So, on October 24th, before the public testimony, you said that CNN that Democrats were having discussions about what articles of impeachment would look like. Where do those discussions stand now?
CICILLINE: No, I think what I said is there have been a number of members have been thinking about it if, in fact, we proceed with articles of impeachment, what those look like, we've not begin that deliberate process in the Judiciary Committee. We've just received the report tonight from the Intelligence Committee. We obviously had engaged with respect to the contents of the Mueller report.
Tomorrow, we'll begin the hearing on the legal standard and the constitutional provisions, but the committee hasn't yet begun a discussion about whether or not we will move forward with articles of impeachment and if we decide to that, what those will be. We're just not there yet.
BURNETT: Where do you stand now on your thinking? Obviously, the intelligence report we have today is about Ukraine, right? It's only about Ukraine, and that's what you're considering. However, you could include articles of impeachment on the Mueller report, right? On anything, obstruction any whatever it might be from there.
Where do you stand personally on that? Do you keep this on Ukraine or do you now say, look, let's put it all out there?
CICILLINE: I think, you know, what we have is a pattern by this president of putting his own financial, personal and political interests ahead of the public interest. And we have a lot of evidence and a lot of different context that demonstrate that.
I think the committee will have to make a judgment if we decide to move forward with articles of impeachment whether we keep it narrow or keep it limited to the Ukraine scandal or we include other things. I think that's really a judgment call for the committee after again, there is a thorough review of the intelligence committee report and a really deep understanding of what the provisions of the Constitution provide. So, I haven't made a judgment to which of those is the right path. I think that discussion will happen if and when we decide to draft articles of impeachment.
BURNETT: Congressman Andy Biggs on your committee, he says there's going to be a bunch of brawlers, that it's going to get hot and feisty, sort of making a joke of it, but implying that there's -- it's going to be -- it's going to be aggressive tomorrow. Jim Jordan is going to be there. We saw him in the House Intelligence Committee along with others.
Do you think this is going to happen? Do you expect the Republicans to try to disrupt it?
CICILLINE: Look, we've seen the Republicans who have done everything they can to distract from the deadly serious nature of this inquiry. This is about the president of the United States asking a foreign power to interfere an American presidential election, to undermine the national security of the United States, to undermine the integrity of our election and abuse his office. These are very, very serious allegations.
However, we've seen our Republican colleagues time and time again behave more like the defender for Donald Trump than an independent part of another branch of government charged with oversight. So, I hope tomorrow will be different. I don't think we should expect it. But I think it will be a serous hearing in terms of the legal scholarship and we certainly can't account for how they'll behave.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time, Congressman Cicilline.
CICILLINE: My pleasure.
And next, Kamala Harris' spectacular rise and fall. What went wrong?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She got some of her answers wrong, didn't know where she stood on important issues, backtracked.
(END VIDEO CLI)
BURNETT: That was a former staffer.
And revealing new details tonight about why this relationship is so fraught.
BURNETT: Tonight, Kamala Harris ending her campaign with final words for President Trump. The president mocking Harris, tweeting after she dropped out of the race, too bad. We'll miss you, Kamala. The California senator responding within minutes: Don't worry, Mr.
President. I'll see you at your trial -- referring to the Senate impeachment.
Harris had surged to the top of the pack before plunging in the polls, so what happened?
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): It is with deep regret but also with deep gratitude that I am suspending our campaign today.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator Kamala Harris announced the sudden end to what began as a campaign of potential and promise.
At her launch in January, thousands packed downtown Oakland, California.
HARRIS: Let's do this!
LAH: An attention grabbing moment, Harris would have another at the first Democratic debate when she launched an attack on former Vice President Joe Biden on his opposition to federally mandated busing to desegregate schools decades ago.
HARRIS: There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bussed to school every day, and that little girl was me.
LAH: The poll numbers soared, but those campaign highs wouldn't last.
Harris struggled to stake a clear position in a crowded Democratic field. On health care, she seemed to say she would get rid of private insurance.
HARRIS: Let's eliminate all of that. Let's move on.
LAH: Then she backtracked.
HARRIS: It was in the context of saying let's get rid of all the bureaucracy, let's get rid of all the --
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Not the insurance companies?
LAH: And then a lack of clarity on her message, shifting from one central theme to the next.
HARRIS: Let's speak that truth.
Talking about my 3:00 a.m. agenda.
Justice is on the ballot in 2020, and that's why I'm running for president.
LAH: The costs piled up while her poll numbers plummeted. Harris refocused on Iowa just weeks ago projecting confidence.
HARRIS: Listen, we're going to do well in Iowa, and I'm sure of that.
GIL DURAN, FORMER HARRIS SENIOR ADVISOR: She was getting some good advice at some points in this campaign. But she followed it up with flops, got some of her answers wrong, didn't know where she stood on important issues, backtracked.
LAH: Gil Duran was a senior adviser for Harris when she was California's attorney general.
HARRIS: This is my sister Maya.
LAH: Sources tells CNN the campaign suffered from infighting. Her sister Maya was the campaign chair, sharing a leadership role with campaign manager Juan Rodriguez, leading to confusion among the ranks.
DURAN: If you can't find a way to resolve tensions between one of your long-time aides and your own family member, then it's not clear why you should be put in charge of a lot more than that.
I think the country was ready for a leader like Kamala Harris. I don't think Kamala Harris was ready to lead the country, but she's young and we haven't seen the last of her.
LAH: Now, Harris is California's U.S. senator. By dropping out now before a December 26th deadline, her name will not appear on the primary ballot in California thereby, Erin, potentially avoiding an embarrassing loss in her home state -- Erin.
BURNETT: Which she certainly wants to do with her political ambitions.
Thank you so much, Kyung.
And next, the unusual relationship between the two women who have President Trump's ear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY: I give him many advices.
IVANKA TRUMP, FIRST DAUGHTER: I'm candid in my opinions and I share them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:57:15]
BURNETT: Melania Trump in the spotlight tonight as she joins President Trump in London. They are with Prince Charles and the duchess of Cornwall attending a reception at Buckingham Palace with the queen.
But Melania Trump has sometimes had to share the spotlight to be overshadowed by First Daughter Ivanka Trump.
And as Kate Bennett reports, it's complicated.
KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Unprecedented describes most things about the Donald Trump administration, one unique element, the presence of the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump and her relationship to First Lady Melania Trump.
Glamour as stepmother and stepdaughter since 2005, but it was 2016 during 2016 during the Trump presidential campaign.
I. TRUMP: My father, Donald J. Trump.
BENNETT: When the dynamic between the two women shifted to politics. Most times on the campaign trail.
M. TRUMP: Hello, Iowa.
BENNETT: Melania Trump not interested in doing traditional spousal appearances, so it was Ivanka Trump as surrogate who stepped into the role.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want to thank you, honey. It's great job.
BENNETT: Staying on as the female face of the administration and the family after Trump became president.
I. TRUMP: This is the first U.S. government, all of government approach to empowering women in the developing world.
BENNETT: Taking on as senior adviser some of the more traditional first lady issues involving women, child care credit, and female entrepreneurship.
D. TRUMP: A real power named Ivanka. She would call me, and she would say, daddy, you don't understand. You must do this. And I said, all right.
BENNETT: Creating an odd dynamic, switching off front seat backseat as the two women in Trump's orbit. A relationship that one source with knowledge of the relationship says has created a, quote, cordial but not close dynamic, and at times friction.
There are similarities that have reportedly caused static.
M. TRUMP: It's a very special place I will never forget.
BENNETT: Melania Trump's first big solo trip was to Africa, and Ivanka's first big solo trip was also to Africa.
Melania Trump was the first to introduce highly produced mini videos of her events for public consumption. Ivanka now makes her own short films with voiceovers and music. On trips with Trump when Melania goes, Ivanka's profile diminishes, when she doesn't --
D. TRUMP: Mike, beauty and the beast.
BENNETT: -- Ivanka often steps forward.
In a way splitting the traditional norms, but sharing one key component.
M. TRUMP: I give him many advices, but, you know, sometimes he listens. Sometimes he doesn't.
BENNETT: They both have the ear of the president.
I. TRUMP: I'm candid in my opinions, and I share them, solicited or otherwise.
BENNETT: Kate Bennett, CNN, Washington.
BURNETT: And be sure to check out Kate Bennett's new book, "Free Melania."
Thanks for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.