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EARLY START

No Late-Night Vote on Impeachment; Defining Win for Boris Johnson and U.K.'s Conservative Party; Six Bodies Recovered from New Zealand Volcano Disaster. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired December 13, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


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REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): The committee will now stand in recess until tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.

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AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: History on hold. The House Judiciary vote on impeachment delayed until this morning. A late-night curveball after a day of GOP delays.

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BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This one nation conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate.

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DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Hard enough to look at the characters there behind Boris Johnson but a defining win for Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party in the U.K. Is Brexit now on the fast track?

WALKER: The president finally signs off on a phase one trade deal with China. What both sides get and the lasting damage the talks have created.

Hello, and welcome, everyone, to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START. I'm Amara Walker.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. I'm distracted by the furbies there and the characters behind --

WALKER: Yes. Look like Elmo, right?

BRIGGS: -- the British prime minister. Happy Friday, everybody. December 13th. It is 4:00 a.m. in New York, 9:00 a.m. in London. We'll be live there in just a few minutes.

We start in the nation's capital where, breaking overnight, a late- night surprise from the House Judiciary Committee. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NADLER: It has been a long two days of consideration of these articles and it is now very late at night. The committee will now stand in recess until tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. at which point --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa.

NADLER: -- I will move to divide the question so that each of us may have the opportunity to cast up-or-down votes on each of the articles of impeachment and to let history be our judge. The committee is in recess.

REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): Mr. Chairman, you chose not to consult the ranking member on a schedule issue of this magnitude? So typical. This is the -- this is the kangaroo court that we're talking about. This is outrageous --

(CROSSTALK)

COLLINS: Not even consult --

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): It's Stalinesque. Let's have a dictator. It's good to hear about that.

COLLINS: 10:00 a.m. tomorrow --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbelievable.

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[04:05:00]

BRIGGS: Wow. How about that? The vote on articles to impeach and remove President Trump put on hold until this morning. Virtually everyone expected a late-night vote last night. So why the delay?

Democrats were furious at Republicans for what they considered a blatant effort to drag out debate, forcing a final vote in the dead of night.

WALKER: So Democrats decided not to play ball, putting up the final two votes so more Americans can witness history in the making in the daytime hours. Procedurally Chairman Jerry Nadler gaveled out, in a way calculated to ensure no more amendments can be offered and debate is done.

Congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly working late on Capitol Hill.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Amara and Dave. We knew it was going to be long. We knew it was going to be arduous and we knew there were going to be a number of Republican amendments, none of which actually had the chance of passing in the majority-led House Judiciary Committee. One thing we didn't know is that the two articles of impeachment

introduced by Democrats earlier this week would not actually get a final committee vote, would not get committee approval. They were actually postponed. And now that vote will occur on Friday at 10:00 a.m.

Now this decision was made after a more than 14-hour hearing. A back- and-forth and back-and-forth and back-and-forth between Republicans and Democrats.

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REP. STEVE CHABOT (R-OH): Now the American people know there simply wasn't a crime committed here.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): The president committed the highest crime against the Constitution by abusing his office.

REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE (R-TX): Nowhere in that transcript does the president make a demand? You know where the word demand came from? It came from the whistleblower.

REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): They haven't brought up the corruption of the past Ukrainian leaders or any Ukrainian business. It's all the Bidens.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): It's a little hard to believe that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with Hertz Rental Car over leaving cocaine and a crockpot in the car.

REP. HANK JOHNSON (D-GA): The pot calling the kettle black is not something we should do. I don't know --

(LAUGHTER)

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MATTINGLY: They're not arguing about any amendments themselves but instead many of the same arguments, in fact all of the same arguments you heard repeatedly from both sides.

The end game here pretty much remains the same. On Friday morning, at 10:00 a.m., the committee will meet once again to hold the final votes in the committee on those two articles of impeachment. They will both be approved, they will both be sent to the House floor, which means next week, the bottom line remains the exact same. The House of Representatives will vote to impeach Donald Trump.

They will hold two separate votes on the two different articles, obstruction of justice, abuse of Congress. Democrats say already they are confident. They have the votes for those two articles of impeachment. They do expect to lose some of their members. One thing we also know, Republicans will not defect at all. Republican leaders making very clear, they have unanimous support in opposition. So we know basically the dynamics. We know where this is going.

We're just going to have to wait at least one more day to actually move this over to the House floor -- guys.

WALKER: All right. Phil Mattingly, thank you for that.

Breaking overnight, a decisive historic outcome in the U.K. election.

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JOHNSON: It does look as though this one nation conservative government has been given a powerful, new mandate.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

JOHNSON: To get Brexit done.

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WALKER: Boris Johnson's Conservative Party capturing an absolute majority, winning at least 355 seats. That is the best result for the Conservatives since Margaret Thatcher's landslide win in 1987. And there are already plans for a leadership change in the Labour Party.

Max Foster following this live from London with the very latest.

Yes, a stunning victory for Boris Johnson.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: (INAUDIBLE) taken an overnight journey for Boris Johnson. A journey altogether. He used to be seen as a buffoon. Not to be taken seriously. And now he comes in with a conservative majority we haven't seen since the likes of Margaret Thatcher in the late 1980s.

What's it mean? It means that Brexit will be done. That was his promise during the campaign. Voters have gone for that. So Brexit will happen. There's probably a bill next week. It will happen by the end of January, according to all of his plans and all of his proposals. A terrible night for the opposition Labour Party. The leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is on the way out.

One big issue, though, that we're looking at because up in Scotland, the Scottish Nationalist Party, did really well. They dominate Scottish politics now. They campaigned on another referendum on Scottish independence. Boris Johnson has ruled that out but could lead to a constitutional crisis. His one big issue, he may leave to another time because tonight he's celebrating.

WALKER: All right, Max Foster, thank you for that.

BRIGGS: All right, a check on CNN Business now. After months of negotiations, President Trump has signed off on a phase one trade deal with China. The two sides had been haggling over specifics since a broad outline was announced in October. The agreement includes a delay in tariffs on Chinese goods. Those were scheduled to kick in Sunday. [04:10:03]

The source says the deal also includes reducing existing tariffs. In exchange, China has promised to purchase agricultural products. China has made similar pledges in past negotiations but has mostly failed to follow through on the large purchases. But the phase one deal does not address major structural changes to China's economy that Trump has long wanted.

China's foreign minister lashed out at the U.S. for discrediting China on major issue saying, quote, "This almost paranoid behavior seriously damaging the hard-won foundation of mutual trust between China and the United States and seriously weakening the United States' own international credibility. U.S. Futures pointing to a positive open on that trade news.

So at least some positive momentum. But again structural change is what this has been all about from the beginning. No hint of it.

WALKER: It's going to be hard to get that done.

BRIGGS: Yes.

WALKER: A risky recovery operation for authorities back on White Island for the first time since the volcanic eruption on Monday. CNN is live from New Zealand.

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BRIGGS: It's 4:15 Eastern Time, and the death toll from this week's volcanic eruption in New Zealand now up to 15. Six bodies recovered from the active volcano, now aboard a New Zealand Navy ship. Authorities still working to recover two more bodies in a very risky operation.

For the latest let's go to Will Ripley who is live in New Zealand.

Hi there, Will. What's the latest?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, they got really creative to pull this off. They used a bomb disposal squad. Eight crew members went in by boat. They had obviously on what they would wear if they were detonating an explosive device because that could protect them the best from a volcanic eruption. Meanwhile on the mainland here, seismologists were working to monitor the geothermal activity on White Island.

They went in very quickly and recovered the six bodies that they knew the locations of because they have flown drones over the area. And they're going to begin at daybreak here local time tomorrow to search for the remaining two. One that was seen floating in the water on Tuesday but it was too risky to go in and another, they simply don't know where that person might be. But the truly heartbreaking scene is what played out here in Whakatane

when the bodies returned because there was a room with six coffins and family members, because the bodies can't be identified, they're right now at Auckland Hospital. And the identification process is under way, which is going to be quite difficult.

So family members were in this room with these six coffins and they don't know who's in which coffin, whether their loved ones are still on the island or whether they're in the room there. Can you imagine having to endure that after everything else these families have gone through this week.

BRIGGS: No. I cannot, Will. It is just an incredible situation there at 10:17 p.m. in New Zealand. Great reporting live, Will Ripley.

It's just an incredible scenario from the very beginning and videos now emerged of a tour group on that island 15 minutes before this volcanic eruption. A lot of questions ahead there.

WALKER: You're right. And also for the people who were injured and who need skin grafts in New Zealand asking for some more skin from the United States.

All right, a bald eagle held tight in the water by an octopus. What a team of salmon farmers did to set it free.

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BRIGGS: The deadly shooting at a kosher deli in Jersey City is being classified as a case of domestic terrorism with a hate crime bent. New Jersey's U.S. attorney says there was clearly a bias toward both the Jewish community and law enforcement. Police believe the two shooters were active on their own.

Their final victim has been identified Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, an Ecuadorian immigrant, has worked in the store for more than a year. Flags in New Jersey will fly at half-staff for one week starting today ahead of the Sabbath.

WALKER: A Mississippi family claims that a hacker accessed their Ring camera and used it to harass their 8-year-old daughter. Ashley LeMay says she installed the Ring in the girl's bedroom to keep an eye on her while she works overnight as a nurse. But four days after the device this happened.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm your best friend. I'm Santa Claus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mommy.

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WALKER: The caller -- the caller also encouraged the girl to mess up her room and break her TV. Ring said the hacker did not gain access through a data breach. Instead it says the person likely took advantage of the family's weak account security.

BRIGGS: Boy, so creepy.

A team of Canadians saving the symbol of the United States, a bald eagle, from a big old hungry octopus. The team of salmon farmers, working off Vancouver Island, heard the eagle screeching last Monday. They found this, a jumbo-sized octopod trying to pull the eagle underwater. They briefly hesitated to interfere with Mother Nature. Finally, one of them used a boat hook to gently tug on a tentacle until the octopus released the eagle which flew to the shore. The fisherman John Ilett tells CNN, "It's moments like this why I love my job."

WALKER: Priority boarding is about to get ugly. Once again, Alaska Airlines is letting passengers who wear festive sweaters to board early. The promotion is only valid next Friday, National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day. The airline will also offer a hot tiny cocktail that day and seasonal music and free holiday movies all month.

BRIGGS: You can't stop Lamar Jackson.

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Well, certainly not if you are the New York Jets. The Ravens quarterback broke Michael Vick's single-season rushing yards by a quarterback. 1,039 yards. 42-21, Ravens lead the Jets. Jackson threw for five touchdowns. Ravens clinched their second-straight AFC North title. They win their tenth-straight game. Michael Vick congratulated Jackson during the game saying his record is one of many milestones he will surpass. The likely NFL MVP this season, he has been electric.

All right, ahead here, Democrats refusing to vote on impeachment in the dead of night. A historic vote pushed to this morning. Big surprise to a very angry Republican Party.

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