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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
House Dems Release New Evidence From Giuliani Associate; New Documents From Giuliani Associate Implicate Rep. Nunes' Aide In Push To Dig Up Dirt On Trump Rivals; Dems Release New Evidence As Trump Taps Ken Starr, Who Trump Once Called A "Lunatic," To Lead Defense; Dems Release New Evidence From Giuliani Associate As Trump Adds High- Profile Lawyers Primed For TV; 11 U.S. Service Members Hurt in Iran Attack; Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) is Interviewed About Service Members Hurt in Iran Attack and Top U.S. General Warning that North Korea is Building New Missiles. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired January 17, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: To our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, House Democrats just releasing new evidence. This moment, more is coming out. Will it make it even more difficult for Republicans to say no to witnesses in the President's impeachment trial?
Plus, President Trump assembling a high-profile defense team. What is the strategy?
And last night, we brought you the story of presidential candidate Andrew Yang's wife, Evelyn, who says her doctor sexually assaulted her while she was pregnant. Since that story aired, not even 24 hours ago, 15 new women have come forward with allegations about the same doctor. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT this evening the breaking news, House Democrats just releasing new evidence in the Trump impeachment trial and as I said this is still coming out as I speak. Here's what we're learning right now. We've got new documents and texts from Lev Parnas, that of course he is Rudy Giuliani's associate.
And what we're seeing here is significant. The evidence consists of new text discussions about tracking the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Lev Parnas texting with a number of someone from Belgium and also involving Robert Hyde, who had been involved in all of this.
This comes as Parnas has provided damning details already this week. Do you remember the letter from Rudy Giuliani to the President of Ukraine where Giuliani requested an urgent meeting 'with the knowledge and consent of President Trump'?
So now there is more and as I said, more is coming out as we speak. So let's find out the latest of what we have here. Let's go straight to Evan Perez who's OUTFRONT Live in Washington. And Evan, some of this I know had to be translated, but this is not
information that was held back. This is literally brand-new information that they are just able to release.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. And this is information that Democrats say they're transmitting to the Senate as part of the President's impeachment trial. And this is information that they just only received within the last few days from Lev Parnas as a result of a subpoena. And we'll go through a little bit of this.
The importance of this new information tonight is essentially it seems to provide some context and some support for the idea that Lev Parnas and his associates were essentially trying to surveil Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine. It certainly supports the idea that there was some kind of surveillance that was going on and this is why this is now under investigation.
Well, I'll read you part of the text messages. These are text messages from David Hyde that Connecticut Congress person, the person who's running for Congress in Connecticut. He's texting Parnas some screenshots of a phone interaction he's having on WhatsApp with someone for the phone number in Belgium.
Now, we don't know who that person is. But according to these text messages, they appear to be talking about the surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch. He says, "Nothing has changed. She's still not moving. They check again today." Shortly afterwards he says, "It's confirmed. We have a person inside."
They also are sharing a photograph of Marie Yovanovitch, an official photograph of her that they took off the State Department website as well as sharing what appears to be her Ukrainian address. Now, a lot of this, Erin, we're having to read between the lines to try to figure out exactly what it means. But it does seem to provide some evidence to support the idea that there was something going on, there was someone in Ukraine who was providing information on her whereabouts.
BURNETT: I mean, this is as you say it's pretty incredible. It's confirmed, we have a person inside.
BURNETT: And they're talking about where she is, how frequently she's moved. This isn't - again ...
PEREZ: She's been there all day, that's right.
BURNETT: Right. It doesn't appear to be discussing whether they will surveil her, but that she was actually being surveilled.
PEREZ: Being watched.
BURNETT: Now, Evan, in addition to these texts, there are also photographs in these documents and I should emphasize there could still be more even as we're speaking coming out. But I know you're also aware of photographs.
PEREZ: Right. Exactly. And, again, there's more information that Democrats appear to have and they're still going through. But one of the things that they show here is a trove of photographs that Lev Parnas has now provided.
And it really does, again, provide the idea that despite what the President says, despite the fact that the White House is sort of distancing the President from Lev Parnas, you can see some of the photographs there where Parnas is meeting with the President. He's golfing with Rudy Giuliani. There are photographs of him.
Again, on a boat right there you're seeing a photograph of Parnas and Giuliani being in very, very close proximity. They're clearly very close associates. And we knew some of this, obviously, but the fact is that the President has been repeatedly been asked about his association with Parnas and he has repeatedly said that he didn't know this gentleman, had nothing to do with him, essentially.
BURNETT: All right. Evan, please stay with me and I want to bring in our panel that is going to be with us with these huge developments this hour and, of course, the President's legal team.
Stephen Binhak served as Associate Independent Counsel on Ken Starr's Whitewater investigation of President Bill Clinton, Paul Rosenzweig served as Senior Counsel to Ken Starr on the Whitewater investigation of President Bill Clinton and Joe Lockhart served as President Bill Clinton's White House Press Secretary during the impeachment trial.
Joe, you're with me, let me start with these new documents. So you hear some of what Evan is going through and as I think Evan and I are emphasizing there's more that could be transmitted, right?
JOE LOCKHART, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Sure.
BURNETT: They have a deadline tomorrow, anything they can get in before is part of the trial, anything after becomes under discussion by the Senate as to whether to admit it.
"Nothing has changed. She is still not moving. It's confirmed, she's been there since Thursday night never left the embassy." These are the text messages between Robert Hyde who was working with Lev Parnas and Rudy Giuliani and some number in Belgium.
LOCKHART: Right. Listen, it just further solidifies this idea that there was a surveillance operation. Now, we don't know why they were surveilling her and what their intent was. But this is a very serious thing when a member of the U.S. government, a U.S. ambassador is being surveilled by some pretty shady characters, maybe they just wanted to know when she left or maybe they had something more sinister in mind.
I think the really striking part about this is the Secretary of State has spent this week talking about how he doesn't know Lev Parnas and hasn't said a word about how disturbing it is. This people from the outside who we don't know who they are with some Belgian number were stalking our Ambassador and perhaps thinking of doing her harm.
I mean, the Secretary of State is sending a message to all of the ambassadors and career foreign service offs that they don't matter, that only the politics of Donald Trump matter.
BURNETT: I mean, it is a pretty incredible thing, Stephen, not just the silence of Mike Pompeo, I mean, who runs as Secretary of State. This is his ambassador who's being surveilled by somebody at the behest of Rudy Giuliani that he didn't know about extensively, at least as far as he says.
What does this mean, Stephen, for the case? This evidence will be admitted, because it's coming in before the deadline. But what does this do to the whole Senate trial to the situation with witnesses?
STEPHEN BINHAK, FORMER ASSISTANT INDEPENDENT COUNSEL, KEN STARR'S WHITEWATER INVESTIGATION: Well, I think what's very important is we have this debate over whether there will be witnesses at all and we're moving towards a discussion and a vote on that. And it is pretty clear that as more and more evidence comes in that is new, there's more pressure on everyone to get to the bottom of it and therefore more pressure for evidence.
So it doesn't surprise me that the House Democrats would want to do this in the impeachment and it also wouldn't surprise me that Mr. Parnas who has his own legal problems would want to try to make as many friends as possible as he can by giving out important information that could be relevant to the question at hand.
BURNETT: And Paul, of course, this is Parnas' information. He's got these texts that we're finding out. He's got more pictures. He's got proof that Devin Nunes' aides were the very tightly tied into this whole Ukraine situation despite the offended protestations of - protests of Devin Nunes and that is also in here.
What does this do to the calculus in the Senate as more information comes out? I'm just showing right now some of the new photos that are just being released.
PAUL ROSENZWEIG, FORMER SENIOR COUNSEL, KEN STARR'S WHITEWATER INVESTIGATION: Well, I think that the answer to that is really pretty simple. Republican senators have to ask themselves whether this is the last tranche of evidence that will come out with respect to this Ukrainian affair and I think that the likely answer is no.
Even if it doesn't come in as part of the impeachment trial, they are going to own whatever comes here after based upon what they decide to do in terms of conducting an investigation. If they close their eyes now, then, the evidence that comes out in six weeks or eight weeks from Parnas or from one of his colleagues will be further part of their legacy.
So it ramps up on them the pressure to make a very realistic decision about whether or not they think that everything that's come out so far is all that there's going to be and they have to say that that's a no. It Has to be a no.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, it certainly seems that way. And, of course, history will judge by the totality of the evidence, not what they chose to see as the evidence to your point.
And Evan, I referenced Devin Nunes who, of course, is the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee. And now in this information is his documents that implicate him as involved intricately in this entire thing, despite the fact that at first, he had said that was just absurd and insulting that anyone would ever say such thing. This is showing that that was not true.
PEREZ: Yes. I think originally Devin Nunes tried to say that he didn't remember having any interaction with Lev Parnas. And look, the fact is Lev Parnas is indicted. There's a lot of people who would question whether or not he's telling the truth.
And here, he's producing some of the information that shows that at least on some of these things he is telling the truth. And one of the things that you're referencing is the fact that he is closely coordinating with Derek Harvey. This is an aide to Devin Nunes on this conspiracy theory that the Ukrainians essentially were interfering in the 2016 election.
It's something that the President, as you know, Erin, has been pushing. The Russian intelligence services have been behind this theory and so there is some effort being made by Devin Nunes' aide to coordinate with Lev Parnas. You see these interactions, you see these messages, you could see that in this evidence that's been produced, showing that there is close coordination in trying to propagate these theories that we now see are everywhere, especially on Russian television and in certain parts of the right wing press.
BURNETT: And Stephen, what do you make of Mike Pompeo' silence on this? You have now increasing evidence that there was an American citizen conspiring with others to surveil a sitting U.S. ambassador and that she was under surveillance and he has so far said nothing?
BINHAK: Well, I think not just Secretary Pompeo, but all of the members of the Trump administration now are playing a little bit of a catch-up game. They really don't know what's out there. They have decided to defend the President and stick with the administration and they just don't want to get caught out far on a ledge.
It's interesting, it makes me think a little back to the Nixon impeachment and I was a really little kid then. But the fact of the matter is the facts change the politics over time. And as things got worse, ultimately, President Nixon's popularity went down and ultimately his own party came to him and said it's time to go, we can't defend you anymore.
The question here is, is this evidence going to be so serious and the evidence that will come, as Paul says, will it be so serious that it can actually change the politics of this? Remember, impeachment is a political process. It starts with
substance. You can't even start an impeachment until you get to substance, but the politics can change based on the substance.
BURNETT: Yes. Well, and it's fascinating also as you see this whole game of how long this will go and even now as we are literally on the eve here working days of this trial, there is still so much we do not know of the timing and the strategy and what you're saying plays into that, how much time Mitch McConnell thinks he has or does not have. All of you, please stay with me.
Next, President Trump just naming his high-profile defense team for the impeachment trial. Ken Starr is on it and, obviously, our panel knows him really well. But here's what Trump said once about Ken Starr.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Ken Starr is a lunatic. I really think that Ken Starr is a disaster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, your future is in his hands now.
Plus, the President reportedly called his top military brass 'a bunch of dopes and babies'.
Plus, last night we brought the story of Andrew Yang's wife, Evelyn, who says she was sexually assaulted by her doctor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EVELYN YANG, ANDREW YANG'S WIFE: I remember trying to fix my eyes on a spot on the wall and just trying to avoid seeing his face as he was assaulting me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, 15 more women have come forward just since that piece aired 24 hours ago with allegations about the same doctor.
BURNETT: Breaking news, new evidence in the Trump impeachment trial just dropping and as I said it's still coming out. We've got new documents, new texts from Lev Parnas, Rudy Giuliani's indicted associate who already claimed President Trump knew exactly what was taking place in Ukraine.
Now, CNN is still going through the evidence tonight. As we said, text messages showing surveillance of Ambassador Yovanovitch, new pictures of Lev Parnas, Rudy Giuliani and more coming out. This evidence will be included in the senate trial. And this evidence is coming as Trump announces a team of big-name
lawyers to represent him in that trial. They are straight from the studio of Trump's favorite TV channel, Former Independent Counsel Ken Starr, Constitutional Lawyer Alan Dershowitz, former Whitewater Independent Counsel Robert Ray and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi are on the team.
Now, according to Media Matters, those lawyers alone, just those four I mentioned, have appeared more than 350 times on Fox News on weekdays over the past year. They will join White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump's personal lawyer Jay Sekulow in the President's defense.
Now, as I said heavy hitters, O.J. Simpson and the Clinton investigations on the resumes of these lawyers. They do though also come with some baggage and Trump has not always been a fan. Ken Starr, the big name here. Here he is talking about Trump last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN STARR, FORMER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: If I'm on his criminal defense team, I would be very concerned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, it is fair to say the feeling has been mutual for, well, a pretty long time. Here's Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think Ken Starr is a lunatic. I really think that Ken Starr is a disaster. It was a long and terrible process. I really think that Ken Starr was terrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Unless you were unclear as to how Trump felt about Starr, he then told The New York Times, "Starr is a freak. I bet he's got something in his closet."
So, tonight Trump's fate is in lunatic Starr's freak hands. A trial starting Tuesday even as the crucial details of what will happen, how long it will go, who's doing what when are still unknown.
Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live outside the White House. So Kaitlan, I mean, obviously the history of Starr and Trump makes this so personally fascinating. But what more are you learning about why Trump pick Starr and the others on the team?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, and now with these documents coming out tonight, Erin, they're going to have a lot of work on their hands sorting through all of these materials that are coming as they are getting ready to defend the president in just a matter of days. Now, when it comes to why the President picked people like Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz, we're told that a lot of it has to do with the fact that they've got TV experience. The President was worried that enough people on his team didn't have
that, especially Pat Cipollone, the White House Counsel who you really can't find a lot of videos of him appearing on in the interviews or anything like that as opposed to Jay Sekulow, his outside attorney who does regularly appear on interviews, host his own radio show.
So the President wanted to bring in people that he knew would be good on television.
And he's been watching them closely as they've been on Fox News. Ken Starr is someone who's notable because he's been commenting throughout the President's impeachment at times talking about bombshell testimony saying that he didn't believe the President should have been tweeting about Ambassador Yovanovitch there whenever he was tweeting her while she was testifying.
So now he's going to be representing the President in this defense and we are told he will be presenting on the Senate floor making arguments as is Alan Dershowitz who the President really wanted on his team. And we are told he's not somebody who was eager to take this job.
He was actually pretty reluctant, but the President pushed him, it was up to Alan Dershowitz. And now he is going to be on the President's legal team though, of course, he's come under his own scrutiny for his ties to Jeffrey Epstein.
So now, Erin, they're going to be dealing with these new documents and how exactly they're going to handle that if Democrats and maybe some Republicans want to hear from people like Lev Parnas.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kaitlan. And as you just heard, our former Whitewater attorneys here say they think that it's going to be very hard for them to not hear all of this evidence and see all this evidence.
Stephen, you saw the President's team. You worked with Ken Starr. Has the President chosen the best defense here? I know, look, there was some that said - well, we know he wanted to choose some in the House, but he didn't go that route. This is the team he has chosen with a whole lot of experience. Is this the best defense he can mount?
BINHAK: Well, I think it is going to make a constitutional challenge, a constitutional-based challenge to impeachment, he couldn't have done better. He's got two of the leading constitutional lawyers around. So I would expect that he's going to make an argument that this is not appropriate impeachable conduct and if he's going to do that, who better to argue that than the former Solicitor General of the United States and a leading Harvard professor for constitutional law.
And to boot, you got two guys who are very good on television as well. So you put those two things together and I think they've got the substance and I think they've got the appearance and I think it's a right choice. BURNETT: And I know Paul, a lawyer does what a lawyer does. You take
on a client and you go ahead and fight for that client. And yet Starr is doing this even as he himself had expressed concern about Trump's behavior.
"If I'm on his criminal defense team, I'd be very concerned." He criticized him for tweeting about Yovanovitch, saying that it was threatening her. And then you've got a guy who Trump said, "Starr is a freak. I bet he's got something in his closet. He's a lunatic." Insulted him in all sorts of ways. But Starr is going into this, I would imagine with his eyes wide open.
ROSENZWEIG: I imagine that's the case. If I were Judge Starr, I would be most concerned about the opposition reaching back to some of his testimony himself before the House of Representatives back during the time of the Clinton impeachment, which to be honest has a tinge of inconsistency with some of the things that are being alleged against President Trump as well.
So I think that's the challenge that's going to arise for Judge Starr. I certainly think that he's an eminently capable attorney, but I wonder if even though his eyes were wide open he perhaps didn't see too much in the air of public redemption rather than doing the wise thing.
BURNETT: Which is an interesting point, because as you say a tinge of inconsistency, one could argue a whole heavy dose of hypocrisy in terms the arguments. I mean, you're basically making the same argument from the other side.
Joe, I mean, Starr knows Trump's character.
BURNETT: OK. He knows it. He sees it. Should that concern him and the rest of the defense team?
LOCKHART: Well, listen, lawyers take on all sorts of clients. I mean, Ken Starr represented Jeffrey Epstein, so did Alan Dershowitz. So clearly, the President isn't worried by the baggage they bring there. I think what the President's done here and I think Starr and Dershowitz and others are pawns in this is he's decided that he's not going to make this about the case and the evidence, he wants to make it about the people who are making the evidence. He wants to bring in these big TV stars.
These guys have all been on Fox News, including Pam Bondi who's the former Attorney General of Florida.
LOCKHART: They are regulars there. And what he wants to make this is a television reality show for the Fox viewers. It has been a consistent part of the President's strategy to talk to his supporters and not worry about the rest of America. And he's trying to in some ways make a mockery of what's going on in the Senate and diminish it by putting up people who will not present a stellar defense on the evidence, they will make a show out of it.
And I think, listen, I agree with Paul that there are some redemption here, not just for Starr's performance as independent counsel, but he was running out of town in Waco and Baylor for turning a blind eye to the sexual assaults from the football team and the rapes there.
But this shouldn't be about personal redemption. This shouldn't be about TV show. It's about the Constitution. It's way more important.
BURNETT: And Paul, I must say Monica Lewinsky tweeted today. I don't know if you saw this, but listening to what you put in your lawyerly way, perhaps she put it in the vernacular. When she heard Starr was going to be representing Trump she said, "This is definitely an 'Are you effing kidding me?' kinda day."
What is your reaction overall to sort of see history being remade in these players, all being so central yet again?
ROSENZWEIG: Well, it does have a little bit of Groundhog Day to it, doesn't it? I mean, here we are talking about Bill Clinton, that was 20 years ago. I thought for sure I'd never talk about that again and yet it's coming back around. I think what it really fundamentally says, if you want to get to a kind of higher level is that a lot of the issues about impeachment are enduring.
As Steve said earlier, there's got to be a factual basis. But in the end, it's a political discussion as much as a factual discussion. And what seems clear to me now is that they've chosen a political venue for this, at least through Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much.
OUTFRONT next, a chilling warning from the number two General in the United States tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JOHN HYTEN, VICE CHAIRMAN, THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: North Korea has been building new missiles, new capabilities, new weapons as fast as anybody on the planet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: As anybody on the planet. But Trump says Kim sends in love letters.
Plus, the first votes in the fight for 2020 are now being cast. Hear from one lifelong Republican who says she now wants to vote for Democrat, which one?
[19:30:48] BURNETT: Eleven American soldiers hurt by Iran's strike after the Pentagon initially said there were no injuries. They are now releasing information on Americans suffering from things like concussions. This news coming as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterates his claim that Iran's top commander was planning something imminent and big.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: We've been criticized saying, well, how can it be imminent? Well, we don't know the minute, we don't know the second, we don't know which square block, but we knew for sure that this man who had executed many plans of this kind before was actively plotting against Americans. So, the idea there wasn't a risk is fundamentally false.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Democratic Congressman John Garamendi, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Congressman, just to make an obvious point here, he says he doesn't know which square block. The president says he knew there were four embassies. There seems to be contradiction there.
But this issue of an imminent threat, he says that the idea there was not an imminent threat is a risk is fundamentally false. You have been briefed. What's your response to the secretary of state?
REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): Well, the most important thing a world leader, a secretary of state, a president, whomever that wants to lead a country has is their voracity, their honesty, their trustworthiness. It is totally gone, totally gone by this administration. The president obviously lost it, 15,000 lies and tweets ago.
But when the secretary of state cannot be trusted and the Department of Defense coming in a week later, ten days later and saying oh, by the way, there were 11 people actually injured in that strike, the ability of this government to be believed is simply disappeared. And that is a very, very real problem.
All around the world, our allies such as those that are still left and still believe that America's important partner in the world are going -- we can't trust them, we don't know what they're going to do next, but you mentioned the North Korea situation. Once again, it goes on and on.
The bottom line here is there's a very real problem of trustworthiness in this administration.
BURNETT: So, on this issue, let me just ask you because I know that you -- that the Trump administration not only has not answered this question of imminent risk.
BURNETT: In briefings even that you have all had. They abruptly cancelled four classified briefings related to Iran this week. One of those was scheduled to be before your committee.
BURNETT: Why do you think they're doing that? Is it just that they don't want the questions? Is there something specific they're hiding? Do you have any sense as to this?
GARAMENDI: Well, I think all of those things that you just said are in play. They don't want to be questioned because they don't have a truthful answer. They've got, what, half a dozen different responses already?
And now the military personnel, 11 of them were injured by the blast. Perhaps not with a physical injure but certainly --
GARAMENDI: -- a mental, concussion. So, we're looking at a situation they simply didn't want to have to come. That is not acceptable.
BURNETT: So, you mentioned -- sorry. Go ahead. Finish your point.
GARAMENDI: I was just going to say that we have the responsibility and the administration has the obligation to explain itself. We must hold them accountable, and they must be accountable.
BURNETT: You mentioned North Korea, the number two general in the United States said something that was very stunning about North Korea's nuclear program. And I didn't want it to get lost in all of the other news today. So I wanted to play it for you today.
BURNETT: Here's General Hyten.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JOHN E. HYTEN, VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: North Korea has been building new missiles, new capabilities, new weapons as fast as anybody on the planet with the 115th most powerful economy in the world. Speed itself is efficiency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: OK. New weapons as fast as anybody on the planet. Congressman, this is as President Trump talks about his love letters. And just in the past couple of weeks has said this about Kim Jong-un.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un.
My relationship with Kim Jong-un is really good.
I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un. I think we both want to keep it that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is there a method to those comments, a strategy?
GARAMENDI: Well, there's an answer to that. This man cannot be our president for four more years.
You take a look what's happened on the Korea peninsula. He has allowed this thing to go from imminent nuclear war to a situation where he's simply allowed North Korea to do anything it wants and along the way to totally put down South Korea, the normal work that we do with South Korea in various military exercises so that we can push back and hold North Korea accountable. Those are mostly gone now. And at the same time, the pressure that is necessary on North Korea has been virtually disappeared.
So, this president has to go. We cannot allow this to go another four years.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Congressman. I appreciate your time tonight.
And next, a lifelong Republican says she will not vote for Trump. So, who will she vote for?
And a follow up to an exclusive story we brought you last night. Evelyn Yang, Andrew Yang's wife, says she was sexually assaulted by her doctor while she was pregnant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YANG: Can you imagine the audacity of a man who does this continues to do this after being arrested?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, after she spoke out, 15 more women have come forward with allegations about the same doctor.
BURNETT: Tonight, voting in the 2020 election is officially underway. Yes, this is true. It is in Minnesota. Democrats beginning early voting ahead of the state's March 3rd primary. So, the votes are literally being cast.
It comes as a lifelong Republican who served under George W. Bush and Barack Obama says she is open to supporting a Democrat for the first time in her life for president. Writing in "Washington Post" I am a Republican who has never voted for a Democrat in a presidential election, but I share Democrats' concern that our system is rigged to favor the wealthy and powerful overworking families.
OUTFRONT now, Sheila Bair, the former chair of the FDIC.
Sheila, it's great to talk to you again. As you say, you are a lifelong Republican. You've never voted for a Democrat for president, but you want to this election.
So, why can't you support President Trump?
SHEILA BAIR, FORMER FDIC CHAIR UNDER BUSH AND OBAMA: Well, I think the personal behavior issues just kill it for me with the Billy Bush video, I was gone.
I don't disagree with all of his policies. I think he's done helpful things. Student debt is an issue I care about a lot. His Education Department has provided a lot more transparency about student debt outcomes in universities.
So, I can think of several things where I think they've done some positive things and he's nominated some good people, some people I've worked with in the regulatory community. So, it's not all bad.
But the personal behavior is a problem for me. I think the trade policy has been ill-advised. I think it's hurt our economy. Tariffs are a bad way to go about trade policies. Immigration is another area of concern. The list goes on.
So, yes. And then just the behavior. You know, I want someone who will not embarrass our country. And I think the behavior has been erratic and I think we need more from our president. So, yes, I'm definitely looking for an alternative.
BURNETT: OK. So, you're looking for an alternative, but you're not set for sure who you would vote for Democrat.
BURNETT: So, of the Democrats who are there, the Democrats who could win a nomination, which would you vote for, Sheila?
BAIR: So, I think the two that I mentioned in my op-ed, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, I think what I'm looking for is someone who's experienced and has the proven ability to get things done but also has commitment to fundamental reform, because I do think our system is rigged. I don't think this administration has done much about it. The tax bill probably made it worse, not better. Did make it worse, not better.
So, those are the two I think in terms of background and experiences. They've proven -- they have proven accomplishments. I've worked with both of them in the past. Elizabeth Warren I worked with for years on financial reform issues during the crisis as a senator.
Joe Biden I actually knew from the 1980s when I worked on the Senate Judiciary Committee for Bob Dole and he was a junior member then at the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was good on civil rights issues and an effective legislature. So, I have respect for both of them. And, you know, I think Elizabeth
is probably less incremental than Joe Biden and that is one of her strengths. I think we need fundamental reform.
BURNETT: So, you would vote for one of them. I know you don't -- you wouldn't for Sanders it appears, and also, Pete Buttigieg, your op-ed -- I'll just quote what you said about Pete Buttigieg.
BURNETT: I like Buttigieg and would be happy to endorse him 20 years from now after he's proven himself. Today, however, he is not ready, and I have a sickening fear that much of his impressive fundraising is driven by the moneyed interests who profit from the current system. I think his lack of experience will lead to a preservation of the status quo.
But I know, Sheila, that you are very adamant you don't want to throw your vote away. You voted libertarian last time.
BAIR: I did.
BURNETT: If it's Trump versus Pete Buttigieg or Trump versus Bernie Sanders --
BAIR: That would be a very difficult one. For Sanders, it's a different situation.
Buttigieg is just not ready. And I do fear a lot of the money he's getting, Wall Street money in particular, it is because, you know, the status quo is working for them. I don't think -- I think he's well- intended. I think he's in good faith.
But I think he's a bit naive and I don't think he has any kind of skill set to pursue fundamental reform. So, that would be hard for me.
Mr. Sanders is a little different. His policies are -- I don't agree with them, a lot of them. But also, it's just in terms of he has more Senate experience, but he's not particularly been influential in the Senate.
He's been principled but he hasn't really built relationships and shown that he can compromise and get things done at the end of the day is what we need.
So, yes, I think in terms of effectiveness, either Warren or Biden would be preferable.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Sheila Bair, I appreciate your time. As I said, a life long Republican, never voted for a Democrat for president, but making it clear she would vote for Warren or Biden. And next, 15 more women have come forward after Evelyn Yang, Andrew
Yang's wife, spoke out in an exclusive report on this show to talk about the sexual assault she says happened with her doctor. How was her doctor able to get off with no jail time?
BURNETT: Last night, we brought you a remarkable story of strength. Evelyn Yang, the wife of 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, revealing for the time that she was sexually assaulted, allegedly by her doctor, while she was pregnant.
Tonight, we're hearing from another victim, allegedly at the hands of that same doctor.
That doctor didn't spend a day in prison, never appeared on a public sex offender registry. Last night, we told you of at least 32 women who have accused him of sexual assault.
Since Evelyn Yang came forward and told her story, 15 new women have come forward, just since that story aired on our show last night, within 24 hours. That is according to the attorney.
Drew Griffin is OUTFRONT.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The indictment reads likes the acts of a serial sexual predator, six victims, nine counts, criminal sexual abuse, women who were forcibly touched, orally violated. The alleged perpetrator, a respected OB/GYN at New York Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center, accused of assaulting his own patients.
But Dr. Robert Hadden served no jail time for his crimes, he cut a deal with the D.A.'s office in New York, and pleaded guilty to just two charges. He lost his medical license but doesn't even appear on the public sex offender registry.
To his accusers, a sweetheart deal.
MARISSA HOECHSTETTER, SAYS SHE WAS ASSAULTED BY SAME DOCTOR AS EVELYN YANG: There's a clear pattern of bad behavior by the doctor, a lack of institutional courage by his employer, Columbia University and a lack of willingness to take the case seriously by the Manhattan district attorney. Everyone did the best they could to make it go away.
GRIFFIN: Marissa Hoechstetter is one of dozens of accuser now suing Hadden and his former hospital network. The lawsuit alleges Columbia allowed Dr. Robert Hadden unfettered access to female patients, many of them as young as 15, or 16, and that he had been assaulting women for decades, while staff, coworkers and even patient chaperones looked the other way. A nurse tried to send out a warning in the early warnings but was told to be quiet. Hadden was known as a shark around the office because he knew how to
outmaneuver patient chaperones. And one patient told another doctor in the practice, Hadden said she had a medical condition requiring her vagina to be examined every three months. It wasn't true.
Hoechstetter's attorney is Anthony DiPietro, he represents 32 women and counting, who say they too were victims of Dr. Hadden.
(on camera): Not a day in prison. Does that make sense to you?
ANTHONY DIPIETRO, ACCUSERS' ATTORNEY: No community service, no fine, no jail time. He received what seems to be the equivalent of an early paid retirement.
DIPIETRO: He worked at Columbia University.
GRIFFIN: Got away with it.
DIPIETRO: Got away with it.
YANG: It like getting slapped in the face and punched in the gut. The D.A.'s office is meant to protect us, it's meant to serve justice. And there was no justice here.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Evelyn Yang, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, described her own experience to CNN's Dana Bash. She says her assault could have been prevented because Hadden had been arrested before and Columbia University knew it.
In June 2012, police were called to his clinic after a woman reported being assaulted in an exam room. Despite the arrest, Hadden went back to work.
(on camera): Patients weren't told the OB/GYN they were seeing had been accused of sex crimes. In the weeks that followed, two of those patients would become his next alleged victims.
(voice-over): Evelyn Yang was one of them.
YANG: Can you imagine the audacity of a man who does this, continues to do this after being arrested? It like he knew that he wouldn't face any repercussions.
GRIFFIN: The doctor's arrest was voided. He wouldn't be charged with any crime for another two years while the D.A.'s office investigated. Hadden hired a powerful attorney, Isabel Kirshner, a former colleague of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Kirshner had donated to Vance's political campaign and worked on his transition team.
Both she and the New York district attorney's office claimed the relationship had nothing to do with the plea deal but the original recommendation for Hadden to serve as least four years behind bars would be reduced to nothing. The D.A.'s office agreed to lower Hadden's sex offender status, he wouldn't appear on the registry, though he was convicted of a felony.
Kirshner told CNN Hadden had great lawyering and even brags about the win on his web site.
YANG: He was getting off with a slap on the wrist basically.
GRIFFIN: It's yet another case raising questions about the Manhattan district attorney's office, already under scrutiny for failing to prosecute Harvey Weinstein in 2015 and asking a judge to lower Jeffrey Epstein's sex offender status. Marissa Hoechstetter says it's a pattern of white, powerful, connected men getting sweetheart deals.
HOECHSTETTER: I don't see it any other way, when you see a lack of willingness to do an investigation, look at the employer, you look at the details of the plea agreement, they're painful. It's very painful.
GRIFFIN: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance declined CNN's request for an interview, instead sending a statement saying: Our primary concern was holding him accountable and making sure he could never do this again. We regret that this resolution has caused survivors pain.
GRIFFIN: Erin, Robert Hadden remains a free man. His attorney says he will not talk. He is fighting the allegations being mad against him in court.
As for Columbia University Medical Center, not a single answer to any of our detailed questions about a possible cover-up here, only a statement calling the allegations abhorrent and that they deeply apologize to those whose trust was violated. Erin, that's just not good enough for the victims here.
BURNETT: It certainly isn't. And there is an explanation they must give for how someone is arrested and goes back to work and continues assault.
Thank you, Drew Griffin.
And we'll be right back.
BURNETT: Thanks for joining us.
Anderson starts now.