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Trump Impeached: Senate Impeachment Trial Standoff; Christmas Forecast; Tragic Twist Caught on Video; 6-Year-Old's Warm Holiday Gesture; Packers Beat Vikings to Clinch NFC North Title. Aired 5- 5:30a ET

Aired December 24, 2019 - 05:00   ET


JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: So, thanks so much for our international viewers for joining us.


Merry Christmas. Have a great rest of your day.

For our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.



SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We, at the very minimum, will require votes.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Look, we're at an impasse. We can't do anything until the speaker sends the papers over.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: The impeachment standoff will last into the New Year. What Democrats are demanding and why Republicans aren't budging.

JOHNS: So, if you're dreaming of a white Christmas? Just keep dreaming. But some parts of the country face wicked weather for the holiday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I'm getting out, I'm getting out.



KOSIK: New video of a deadly confrontation between California deputies and a suspected carjacker. It turns out the man was driving his own car. (BEGIN VIDEO CLPI)

POPPY SELLIER, 6-YEAR-OLD: I just want to make them happy and feel like they're at home.


JOHNS: She won her battle with leukemia. Now, a 6-year-old is heading back to the hospital to spread some holiday joy.

Good morning and welcome to a special holiday edition of EARLY START. I'm Joe Johns.

KOSIK: Good morning. I'm Alison Kosik. It's Tuesday, December 24. It's 5:00 a.m.

And welcome all of our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. We're keeping track of Santa on this Christmas Day Eve.

JOHNS: I can't believe you can follow him on social media. It's just incredible.

KOSIK: Santa has gone high-tech. So, I've been tracking throughout the show so far on Twitter.

JOHNS: I wish he would get on LinkedIn.

KOSIK: He's on Instagram, though. So, follow him there.

I understand 31 minutes ago, we got a tweet from NORAD track Santa. NORAD just tweeted that Santa took off from the north pole. His journey around the world has begun. He's on a 25-hour journey around the world.

JOHNS: Why not 24?

KOSIK: All of that data is crunched, I promise you.

But not much holiday spirit in Washington this morning. Congress headed towards a long standoff toward a framework of a Senate impeachment trial. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warning that Democrats will stand firm on their demand for more witnesses and documents.


SCHUMER: We at the very minimum will require votes from all the senators on each of the witnesses and about each of these sets of documents. And I don't think my colleagues, Democrat or Republican, are going to want to vote to withhold evidence in such an important trial.


JOHNS: Now, it would take the votes of 20 Republican senators to remove President Trump, but only four would have to side with documents to compel witnesses or documents. At the moment, though, it is unlikely Republicans are going to budge. Congress is not slated to return to Washington until January 6th. Officials are prepared for several weeks without resolution to the face-off.

Here's congressional reporter, Lauren Fox.


LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Both sides digging in in Washington over when and if the Senate impeachment trial will start in January. There's still questions looming as everyone is waiting on Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the house, to send over those two articles of impeachment. And Democrats still insisting on getting witnesses, even as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell makes it clear he needs Nancy Pelosi to send over those articles before he makes his next move.

MCCONNELL: Seems to me a rather absurd position to say after you've impeached the president, you won't send the papers over to the Senate for the impeachment trial, mandated by the Constitution. Look, we're at an impasse. We can't do anything until the speaker sends the papers over. So, everybody enjoy the holidays.

FOX: And there was more fiery back-and-forth in Washington on Monday. This as Chuck Schumer sent a letter to his colleagues arguing that they need to be negotiating witnesses now and not wait until the start of the Senate impeachment trial.

Of course, Republicans have been arguing what they are going to do is something very similar to what they did during the Clinton impeachment trial. You had the House managers make their case on the Democratic side, then the president's lawyers defending him on the Senate floor. Then you would make a decision about witnesses.

But all sides at this point digging in, no sign that the stalemate will break any time soon -- Joe and Alison.


KOSIK: House Democrats raising the prospect of impeaching President Trump again. A court filing from a House Judiciary Committee, seeking to force testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn. The committee says McGahn could shed light on alleged obstruction of justice by the president in the Mueller investigation. That charge was not included in the articles of impeachment passed last week.

JOHNS: Now, earlier Monday, the Justice Department argued in its own filing, the House impeachment ends any urgency to tie up the McGahn case and that the courts should not get involved.


That's even though Republicans argue Democrats should have gone to court to resolve impeachment issues. The McGahn case is expected to be heard on January 3rd. KOSIK: Rudy Giuliani making some eye-opening comments defending his

work digging up dirt on President Trump's political rivals in Ukraine. In an interview with "New York", the president's personal attorney talked about his associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. The two served as Giuliani's conduit to Ukraine and pleaded not guilty to charges they illegally funneled foreign money into U.S. political campaigns.

JOHNS: The magazine's Olivia Nuzzi asked why Giuliani ever trusted the pair. He said this: They look like Miami people. I know a lot of Miami people that look like that that are perfectly legitimate and act like them. Neither one of them have been ever convicted of a crime. Neither one, and generally that's my cutoff point because if you do it based on allegations and claims, and you're not going to work with anybody.

KOSIK: Giuliani also expanded on his campaign to oust former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. He claimed without evidence she's controlled by Jewish philanthropist George Soros, who's often been the target of right-wing and anti-Semitic theories.

Giuliani told Nuzzi, don't tell me I'm anti-Semitic if I oppose him. Soros is hardly a Jew. I'm more of a Jew than Soros.

To be clear, that's Giuliani. He's a Roman Catholic, saying he's more of a Jew than a man who survived the Holocaust.

JOHNS: In response, the American Jewish Committee tweeted this: No, Mayor, you're not more of a Jew than Soros. You're entitled to your views and to denouncing his, but it's offensive to deny anyone's faith and worse to endorse classically anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

KOSIK: He's on the sidelines. But Colin Kaepernick's new shoe is a beauty. It's flying off of the shelves for the holiday.



JOHNS: CEO Dennis Muilenburg is leaving Boeing after struggling unsuccessfully to right the company in the wake of two deadly crashes, the 737 MAX accidents killed 346 people that reveal a corporate culture that discounted safety concerns and treated federal regulators as little more than rubber stamps. Muilenburg had been with Boeing for more than 30 years and praised for bringing record profits and tripling Boeing's stock price. But the tragedies in Ethiopia and Indonesia were too much to overcome.

Cristina Alesci has more.


CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Joe, Alison, Muilenburg should have seen this coming. The company suffered a series of very public missteps since Boeing 737 MAX airplane was grounded. For the last nine months, Muilenburg has tried to get approvals necessary from regulators to get the planes back in the air. Instead, last week, the company announced it was suspending production of the 737 MAX, which was a huge blow for the company, its suppliers and customers.

And that comes on top of Boeing shifting its timeline for the 737's return several times throughout the year. Now, one of my sources telling me the board was very concerned about the feedback it was getting from customers and regulators about poor communication from Muilenburg himself. Bottom line: the board saying the problem boils down to a lack of confidence in Muilenburg's leadership. Muilenburg was called on Sunday night and informed of the board's decision to ask him to step down.

I heard that some people on the board were concerned about removing the CEO in the middle of trying to fix a problem with the 737 MAX. But ultimately, the board decided it was on the right track with regulators and now was a good time to make that change. Big picture here, Boeing is one of America's largest exporters, one of the largest domestic manufacturers. So, it's an important part of the U.S. economy.

In fact, some analysts estimate a production halt that lasts through the entire first quarter could knock half a percentage point off of GDP. Now, we'll see what happens from here. But the company is hopeful to get the 737 flying again in 2020 -- Joe, Alison.


KOSIK: The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating BMW. A source familiar with the probe said the SEC is looking into how the automaker reports its sales in the U.S. "The Wall Street Journal" reports BMW may have boosted its figures by having dealers register cars that had not actually been sold to customers yet.

BMW is not the first automaker to do that to have sales looked into by SEC. Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler agreed to pay a $40 million fine for its sales reporting practices. The SEC said Fiat paid dealers to report, quote, fake sales.

A spokesman for BMW said the company is cooperating with the investigation.

JOHNS: So, a young Pacers fan nails a half-court shot. And now, he gets a year's supply of what exactly? Andy Scholes has the answer in the "Bleacher Report", coming up.



KOSIK: Welcome back.

Tens of millions of people are scheduled to travel this holiday week. The West Coast, already dealing with a powerful storm, bringing heavy rain and mountain snow. The probability of a white Christmas over the last 40 years or so, decent in the North, not so much in the South. Well, this year, dreaming of a white Christmas. Well, that may be as close as you can get.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has your yuletide forecast.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, certainly going to be dreaming of a white Christmas here when you take a look where snow is currently on the ground. You've got to be in the higher elevations of the U.S. or northern tier of the country.

That is about it. Of course, we had Christmas Eve and Christmas Day where snowfall shifted to the south. High pressure begins to build in the wake of a very slow moving system off the southeastern coastline. So, we'll generally begin to see a warming trend across much of the eastern half of the United States. A drying trend as well as the system departs here off the Carolinas.

Left with quite a bit of rainfall on the immediate coast of Georgia and South Carolina. But beyond this afternoon and this evening, it's all but offshore. So, we begin to see that dry air weather pattern take shape. And then the western U.S., that's all the action is. The four corner states, portions of the high country of Arizona and to Utah, certainly to Nevada and areas of higher elevations of California, that's all where the wintry weather is. And that is about it when it comes to active weather over the next 24 or so hours.

Los Angeles, only 60 degrees. But Chicago, they will take 53 on Christmas Eve and pair of fours out of New York City with generally dry weather over the next few days -- guys.


JOHNS: Pedram Javaheri, thanks for that.

We want to warn you, now, the video you're about to see may be disturbing. A California sheriff's deputy has been placed on lead, after body cam video showed him violently removing a driver from his car.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I'm getting out, I'm getting out.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let go of my leg.

He just bit me.


JOHNS: Now, these officers were responding to a report of a stolen car. After a pursuit, the deputies Charlie Blount and Jason Little tried to pull David Ward out, thinking he was the carjacker. It turns out, Ward was driving his own car and had been the victim of a carjacking himself. He later died at the hospital.

The Sonoma County sheriff's office said Brown will remain on leave while the incident is being investigated. The officer's attorney says Ward is responsible for his own death because he took bizarre actions that left deputies thinking he was in armed carjacker.

KOSIK: No NFL team will hire him but Colin Kaepernick's new Nike shoe is flying off the shelves. The Kaepernick Air Force 1 x sneakers hit the market Monday and quickly sold out online. The sneaker also has a not so subtle message with the 81416 on the sole of the right shoe.


The date marks the first time the then San Francisco 49ers quarterback took a knee for the national anthem.

JOHNS: The Green Bay Packers bringing home a division title for Christmas. They beat the Vikings on Monday Night Football.

KOSIK: Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Good morning, Andy.


You know, it wasn't pretty. But, you know what they say, a win is a win, and the Green Bay Packers will have a very merry Christmas after clinching last night. The Packers are down at halftime, but running back, Aaron Jones, a huge second half. He was the star of this one, running for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns.

And Green Bay's defense taking care of the rest. They sacked Kirk Cousins five times. Packers get to win, 23-10. Cousins, now 0-9 on Monday Night Football.


AARON RODGERS, GREEN BAY PACKERS QUARTERBACK: Winning is always beautiful. And defense wins NFC North Championships. We have to find a way to win. They all count the same if you win.

So, good win for us. Rest up this week. You know, a chance to play for something even bigger. And make people come to Green Bay.


SCHOLES: Yes, and the Packers could get home field advantage in the playoffs with a win next week and the Seahawks win over the Niners. The Vikings are locked in the sixth seed in the NFC. Now, speaking of Seattle, the Seahawks dipping into their past to help

with their injury depleted backfield. The team is signing Marshawn Lynch yesterday. The 33-year-old spent part of six seasons with the Seahawks and was a big part of their two Super Bowl teams. Lynch had not play at all this season, after spending the last two years as a raider.

All right. In the NBA, the Pacers beat the Raptors in overtime last night. But the highlight of the night was during the second quarter. Camden Horelick, a half-court shot to win free Chick-fil-A for a year.

He nails it. His reaction is as priceless, hugging his brother there. 2020 clearly going to be the year of Chick-fil-A for the Horelick family.

All right. Finally, the Celtics' Tacko Fall can add symphony conductor to his resume, as he led the Boston Pops last night.

Looking like a natural. He was rocking a 48 double extra long tuxedo. He told "the Boston Globe" it was the first time he put on a tuxedo.

You know, I hate to be the person playing the violin in the front because he has to look all the way up.

JOHNS: Yes, one is a problem. So, I mean, is he a music guy or what? Or this just sort of random?

SCHOLES: I think it's pretty random, but it looked like a natural up there, right?

KOSIK: Well, if he can --

SCHOLES: The long -- 7'5", came in handy.


KOSIK: A good plan B career.

JOHNS: A lot of basketball guys go into music, but it's usually rap, for what it's worth.


KOSIK: Andy Scholes, thanks so much.

SCHOLES: All right.

KOSIK: Impeachment impasse. Democratic demands for documents and witnesses not moving Republicans. The standoff will last into 2020.



JOHNS: Breaking overnight, Prince Philip is out of the hospital for Christmas. The 98-year-old left the hospital. The queen's husband was admitted Friday for what was termed a pre-existing condition. The prince will join the queen with future kings at her Sandringham estate where she spends Christmas.

KOSIK: Christmas tradition forced to change in Paris. For the first time in more than 200 years, the city's iconic Notre Dame cathedral will not celebrate Christmas mass. The cherished landmark nearly destroyed by a huge fire back in April.

CNN's Melissa Bell is live for us in Paris.

Good morning to you.

So, this is one of the images of the cathedral burning in April, a message that I will never forget. I know we carried it live here on CNN.

Walk us through the reconstruction of the building and when it is expected to be complete.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is a delicate operation. The night it began burning, the whole world watched. And you remember when the fire collapsed under the weight of the flames. It had been renovated at the time. So, just the scaffolding around it, remains trapped on top after the burned-out hollow of the church, that nave part.

And it's removing the bits of scaffolding that is delicate. And it has to be done before the reconstruction can begin. We spoke to the chaplain about that time able.


FATHER BRICE DE MALHERBE, CHAPLAIN AT NOTRE DAME: Reconstruction will begin in a year's time more or less because the building is still fragile because of the scaffolding that's weighing on the walls.


BELL: Now, that means this year, for the first time since the aftermath of the French Revolution, there will be no Christmas mass at Notre Dame. Instead, an alternative mass is being held in the church not terribly far away from the Louvre Museum.

But, Alison, the truth is, that it will take many more years before the faithful can hope to get back inside on days like today. Emmanuel Macron, the French president had promised on the evening of the fire, he hoped to have it rebuilt in five years.

But, frankly, given the delays and beginning that reconstruction, given the delicacy and the work involved, and the need of protecting this extraordinary edifice, it's looking unlikely that timetable will be met.

KOSIK: Looks like we'll have to get used to Notre Dame being surrounded by scaffolding for the near future.

CNN's Melissa Bell live for us from Paris, thanks.

JOHNS: A 6-year-old former cancer patient bringing holiday cheer to patients at a Virginia hospital where she underwent treatment.

Poppy Sellier was diagnosed with leukemia around Christmas last year. She's now in remission. On Monday, the popular and precocious 6-year- old returned to a place most kids would not. She came to Inova Children's Hospital bearing gifts.

Three hundred donated LEGO sets for old friends old and new.


SELLIER: I just want to make them happy. Make them feel they are at home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She made it through, so I believe I can do the same. It's very hopeful and just makes me feel good about myself and my future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a gift that keeps on giving -- gift of hope, gift of love, gift of compassion.


JOHNS: Poppy's mother there says the kindness of other people helped her daughter heal and they wanted to pay it forward.

EARLY START continues right now.



SCHUMER: We, at the very minimum, will require votes.

MCCONNELL: Look, we're at an impasse. We can't do anything until the speaker sends the papers over.