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House Panel to Vote on Articles of Impeachment; Boris Johnson's Conservative Party Wins Majority in U.K. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired December 13, 2019 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Let history be our judge. The committee is in recess.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chairman --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The committee vote on articles of impeachment against President Trump delayed until this morning.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D): We suspect there was some strategy to try to drag us into the middle of the night. We want to do it so everyone can see exactly what's going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you're nervous about next fall's election, you have a rigged and rushed process.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Facts matter. I hope that each and every one of us can agree, at least, on that simple point.
REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): Words cannot describe how inappropriate this was. They have one thing: their hatred of Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To protect this president at any cost is shameful.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers around the world and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Friday the 13th, 6 a.m. here in New York. Alisyn is off. Bianna Golodryga joins me this morning.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: What a late night it was.
GOLODRYGA: Did you stay up late, until midnight? BERMAN: Not late enough. The breaking news this morning, oh, what a
night. And not in a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons kind of way. More in the oh, that tequila was stronger than I thought kind of way.
The debate over articles of impeachment against President Trump has officially entered overtime. The official charges against the president for abuse of power and obstruction of justice, they will be voted on this morning by the House Judiciary Committee. But it was supposed to happen yesterday. The thing is, Republicans gummed up the process so much and for so long the committee chair, Jerry Nadler, finally said enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADLER: The committee is in recess.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So that led to more screaming and shouting, and screaming and shouting meant to obscure what is at stake here: allegations that the president pushed a foreign government to influence the American election and then try to withhold evidence of the alleged crime.
Ultimately, the Democrats wanted those charges voted on during daylight, and we're waiting for that to happen in committee this morning, which put the House on course to impeach the president of the United States on Wednesday. That will be history.
Then comes the Senate trial. And overnight, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who will be a juror in that process, stated unambiguously that he's in lock step with the defendant coordinating everything with the White House.
GOLODRYGA: It was also a historic night overseas. And breaking this morning, a sweeping and decisive victory for one of President Trump's biggest allies, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. His Conservative Party now has a commanding majority, their largest since Margaret Thatcher back in the 1980s.
The landslide win now guarantees that the country will exit the European Union very soon. This could be a cautionary tale for the Democrats here in the U.S. ahead of the 2020 election.
We have a live report coming up from London.
But we begin with all the impeachment drama overnight. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is live on Capitol Hill with the breaking news.
Suzanne, good morning.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Bianna.
Well, you could -- you could hear it. I mean, it was gasps of surprise, howls of anger filling the House chamber last night. This was after 14 hours of debate over the articles of impeachment. All of us were shocked and surprised when Chairman Nadler gaveled the session to a close. Democrats very pleased about this move, but Republicans are furious.
NADLER: The committee is in recess.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chairman --
MALVEAUX: House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler abruptly ending more than 14 hours of fierce debate, pushing the committee's historic vote on articles of impeachment to 10 a.m. this morning.
NADLER: I want the members on both sides of the aisle to think about what has happened over these last two days and to search their consciences before we cast our final votes.
MALVEAUX: Republicans leaving the hearing outraged.
COLLINS: They do not care about rules. They have one thing: their hatred of Donald Trump. And this showed it tonight, because they want to shine into these cameras, get prettied up, and then vote and make it all happen. This was the most -- I'm just beyond words at this point.
MALVEAUX: Democrats say they want Americans to see the vote.
RASKIN: We want to do it in broad daylight. So first thing in the morning. So everyone can see exactly what's going on.
MALVEAUX: Lawmakers battling over the two articles during a marathon debate, arguing whether the president abused his power and obstructed Congress.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): There are no crimes here? The president committed the highest crime against the Constitution by abusing his office.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): That is just a Democrat drive-by, to go and list crimes that you don't allege and that you don't have evidence for.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): This is about their concern that they can't -- they can't win next year, based on what the president has accomplished.
REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): To protect this president at any cost is shameful.
MALVEAUX: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says top Democrats aren't working to lobby votes, with at least two party members stating they'll vote against impeachment.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): This is a vote that people will have to come to their own conclusion on, and the facts are clear. MALVEAUX: But House Republican leaders are working to make sure their
opposition is unanimous.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I don't think there's a need to whip the vote.
MALVEAUX: The full House could vote on the articles next week.
Meantime, the White House is preparing for an impeachment Senate trial in January, meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a game plan. Sources tell CNN that McConnell stressed a quick trial to the president in a phone call. Despite conflict between the GOP Senate leader and Trump over the trial's format, there is one point where they agree.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The case is so darn weak coming over from the House, there's no chance the president is going to be removed from office.
MALVEAUX: So we're just four hours away now from the House Judiciary Committee to reconvene. And despite all of the theatrics, it is clear now that the Democrats do have the votes in the full House next week to impeach the president of the United States -- John.
BERMAN: Yes. And we will tell you what you will see in that vote in just a moment. But there's also a lot that you will not see, including the jurors in the Senate trial coordinating with the defendant. That's basically what's happening. That's next.
BERMAN: All right. The House Judiciary Committee will vote today, this morning, on articles of impeachment. It was supposed to happen last night, but in this dramatic overnight midnight move, Chairman Jerry Nadler gaveled out the hearing and waited for today. They want that vote to happen in daylight.
Joining us now, CNN political commentator Joe Lockhart. He was President Clinton's press secretary. Also with us, CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip.
Joe, I want to read you something that Erin Ryan, who worked for Crooked Media, wrote. This is what she tweeted yesterday. She says, "The GOP impeachment strategy is to be so annoying that everybody stops listening."
Now, she was sort of kidding, but that's not a joke. I mean, that is pretty consistent with what the Republicans are trying to do here. And it seems like last night Jerry Nadler just said enough. JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I mean, listen. They
have, at every turn, tried to delegitimatize the process. And yesterday, it was just about we're going to wear you out. We're just going to make sure you can't watch this.
And I think their goal was to take it so late into the evening that no one would be watching. And it was -- I think it was successful until Nadler, you know, gaveled it out and said, let's come back tomorrow morning.
BERMAN: Because it obscures what's a very -- I mean, I can't stress how serious the matter is. We're talking about impeaching the president of the United States on charges that include inviting a foreign government to interfere in the election and then obstruction of the investigation into it. These are serious matters, and to an extent, those matters are not what is being debated here.
LOCKHART: Well, ultimately, that's what will be put on the floor. What they're trying to do is create this food fight that gets to the floor.
I mean, last night reminded me a little bit of -- and there is -- this is the potential to backfire. The story of 20 years ago when Newt Gingrich had to walk off the back of the plane and "The Daily News" said, "Cry Baby." And you know, so sometimes this does backfire.
But the -- I mean, the image of Doug Collins screaming outside the hall about how, you know, my members wanted to go home tomorrow. I mean, oh, no, they have to work on Friday. Let's hold on a second. It's they were shown as, like, big cry-babies, you know, all during the day.
Is it effective in turning off and sucking the drama out of this? Yes, it is. The fact of the matter is, thought, the House will vote on impeachment articles next week. This president will be impeached.
GOLODRYGA: And they were not at a loss for theatrics -- that's an understatement -- yesterday. And Abby, somebody who we know was watching everything closely was the president of the United States. I think tweeting or retweeting over a hundred times yesterday.
What is the White House's reaction, specifically to how Republicans have handled this? And is he happy or is he angry that this is going on through this morning?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's no question the president is angry about the whole thing. He hates the fact that he's being impeached and that he's being initiated into this very small group of presidents who have had that said about them. That's something that really hasn't gone away, you know, according to our reporting.
And you can see it, obviously, in the fact that he is not moving on to governing as a lot of people, including former president Bill Clinton, tried to advise him to do. This is not a president who's ever been capable of compartmentalizing the impeachment episode. And he's really put that front and center in his own presidency.
But at the same time, I think the president has been comfortable with the level of unity with -- among Republicans. And he's being defended in -- in the House right now by some of his staunchest defenders. These -- this is probably, for the president, as good as it's going to get in terms of how Republicans are willing to go to really extreme lengths to -- to repeat his talking points, to bring up Hunter Biden ad nauseam in these hearings, to defend him, really, to go to bat for him.
In the Senate, I think it's going to be a really different story. I think you're going to see Republicans defending the president but, certainly, not as strenuously in some cases, and in some cases withholding judgment and being a little bit more circumspect about this whole process.
Because you do get the sense, on the other side of the Capitol, that they do not want to see the same kind of circus that has unfolded on the House side. And so it'll be interesting to see whether the president just as comfortable about how he's being defended over in the Senate when this gets there as he has been with -- with his House defenders.
BERMAN: Just to recap, what will happen today is the House Judiciary Committee will approve the articles of impeachment today. That's what happened with Richard Nixon. Then Nixon quit. President Trump is not quitting.
Then next Wednesday, the full House will vote to impeach the president of the United States, and President Trump, in all likelihood, will be just the third president ever to be impeached.
Then it goes to the Senate for a trial. And the jurors will be the senators, and they're supposed to be impartial. Yet, listen to what Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: Everything I do during this, I'm coordinating with the White House counsel.
We'll be working through this process, hopefully in a fairly short period of time, in total coordination with the White House counsel's office and the people who are representing the president in the well of the Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Senator McConnell will take an oath at the beginning of this trial that will say, "I solemnly swear that, in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice, according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God." So he just told FOX that he's doing everything in coordination with
the defendant, but he'll take a vote to be impartial. How do you -- how do you square that up?
LOCKHART: Well, he also said there he absolutely guarantees the president won't be removed from office, in the same interview. And I saw it as the three equal branches of government working well last night. The presidency, the Senate, and FOX News.
It's -- it's really outrageous but not surprising. This isn't how it happened in 1998. Senator Lott and Senator Daschle went into a room and negotiated this. They worked very closely with their own caucuses. The president of the United States did not talk to Senator Daschle about how the -- what the rules would be, didn't lobby him.
It's -- but it's an outrage when the juror, the lead juror, the foreman, says before the trial ever comes to the court, I'm going to get you off, and I'm going to get you off, because I'm working for the defendant.
GOLODRYGA: Right. And he also made the prediction that no Republicans will vote in favor of impeachment, as well. So we shall see. But as you've noted, times have changed.
Joe and Abby, thank you so much.
Well, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is at Buckingham Palace right now, meeting with the queen after that huge election victory for his Conservative Party in more than three decades, the biggest one. A live report on what it means for Brexit, coming up.
GOLODRYGA: Well, huge crowds, as you can see, there are gathering outside Buckingham Palace this morning, where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is meeting with the queen after a massive victory.
Johnson's Conservative Party winning a commanding majority that will guarantee that Britain will leave the European Union by the end of next month.
CNN's Max Foster is live at the prime minister's residence in London with the breaking details. And Max, it's safe to say this was an even bigger win for Johnson than many had expected.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, to be a fly on the wall there in the palace today. The queen and Boris Johnson had a bit of a falling out earlier in the year when he asked her to suspend Parliament and that was found to be illegal. And there was this question about whether or not he put the queen in this very difficult position.
But they got a fresh start now. He will, in theory, be prime minister now for the next five years. They're going to resolve things. I think within that conversation, there's going to be a discussion about unity. Because Brexit has absolutely divided this country, and last night was a very clear message from the British public.
Let's show you an ad that ran in the latter stages of the campaign. It shows Boris Johnson, a parody of "Love, Actually," the movie where he again, emphasizes this key message, which is "Get Brexit done." And that's what resonated with the British public, to the extent where traditional Labour-supporting areas who voted for Brexit switched to Conservative overnight. An extraordinary achievement by Boris Johnson.
And with that message, he now has a mandate to push ahead with Brexit. A deal will probably be reached now by the end of January.
So a big moment for the U.K. A big moment for Boris Johnson. And he's also described a center-ground politics, as well, this morning which he'll flesh out behind me this afternoon after the palace visit, where he'll give his first speech as prime minister in this Parliament.
Extraordinary times here, John. But some clarity at last.
BERMAN: No, extraordinary. An incredible bet that paid off with a huge impact, not just in Britain but in Europe and around the world. Max Foster, thank you so much for being there.
And it could have an impact on U.S. politics, as well. What are the warnings that Democrats should take from the wipeout in the U.K.? That's next.
GOLODRYGA: So could Boris Johnson's commanding victory over his far- left opponent spell trouble for the 2020 Democratic candidates here in the U.S.? Should candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren be worried this morning?
Joe Lockhart and Abby Phillip are back with us to discuss this.
And Joe, the president, no surprise, tweeted congratulating Boris Johnson on his victory over overnight. But it's his tweets that he sent back in 2016 after the Brexit vote, the stunner around the world, where he said, "Many people are equating Brexit and what is going on in Great Britain with what is happening in the U.S."
So he sort of foreshadowed what the 2016 election would entail and the outcome of that. Is this also a foreshadowing of what we could expect in 2020 if the candidate on the Democratic side is a moderate -- I mean, is a progressive?
LOCKHART: Well, I think there was some foreshadowing in 2016, because it was very similar to the politics of grievance that was going on. That's what -- that's what brought Britain to the brink of Brexit. And I think that's what ushered Donald Trump into the presidency. I think it's a little bit different this time. I think, if you look at the exit polls, the exit poll I saw showed that, by a 9 percent margin, the U.K. electorate does not want to leave the European Union.
But this time, it's about the idea that candidates matter. And Jeremy Corbyn was a deeply unpopular candidate, both from taking his party too far.