Return to Transcripts main page


Parnas Documents Suggest U.S. Ambassador Was Spied On; Team Trump Unveils Impeachment Defense Team; Democrats Have Until 5:00 P.M. To File Impeachment Trial Brief; Women's March Happening Today Across The U.S., World; Andrew Yang's Wife, Evelyn Shares Her Story Of Sexual Assault; Puerto Rico Struggles To Recover Amid Daily Tremors. Aired 7- 8a ET

Aired January 18, 2020 - 07:00   ET



COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Getting a big win at Tennessee over (INAUDIBLE).


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Coy Wire, thank you very much. NEW DAY, your next hour, starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: House Democrats released new documents on Friday night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could these newly released text messages shed fresh light on apparent attempts to surveil the former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The impeachment document dump comes as new lawyers are named for the President's defense team.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former Independent Counsel Ken Starr, Constitutional Lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER: I've been asked to prepare and deliver the case, the constitutional case, against impeachment that benefits the president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Donald Trump offering a new reason why he authorized the killing of Iran's top general.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He was saying like, we're going to attack your country, we're going to kill your people, and said, look, how much of this (BLEEP) do we have to listen to?


PAUL: So grateful to have you with us. Thank you for being here. I'm Christi Paul.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell.

PAUL: So, big day today. House Democrats have until 5:00 p.m. to file their impeachment trial brief. They're expected to send over their legal arguments ahead of the President's trial in the Senate, of course.

SAVIDGE: Late last night, Democrats released new documents and text messages from indicted Rudy Giuliani Associate, Lev Parnas; they appear to show possible surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine who was fired by President Trump.

PAUL: All of this as the President's beefed up legal team filled with (INAUDIBLE) made for T.V. lawyers, who are prepared to defend him. At the end of the day, this is pretty a great team here.

SAVIDGE: It is, indeed. So, let's begin with the new documents that the house released last night.

PAUL: CNN's Manu Raju has details for us.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, House Democrats released new documents on Friday nights as part of their push to have the president removed from office ahead of their filing of a brief that will detail their arguments in the Senate impeachment trial. Those new documents from Lev Parnas, that Giuliani associate someone who is cooperating with house investigators after he was indicted on criminal charges late last year.

He has provided a trove of documents showing the role that he played and his knowledge of an effort to both oust the Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, someone who was pushed out of that position, later recalled from the post by President Trump amid the push by Trump and his allies to launch investigations from Ukraine into the President's political rivals Joe Biden. Now, these new text messages given to Parnas by a congressional candidate named Robert Hyde.

Now, Mr. Hyde is also a Trump ally and someone who had been in frequent communication with Parnas. And this text message shows Hyde in communication with an individual from an unknown Belgian number. And this person with an unknown Belgian number text Hyde to tell him that they are tracking the movements of Marie Yovanovitch.

This comes amid the concerns that she was being surveilled by these Giuliani associates, according to this text message. It says at one point from March of 2019: "Nothing has changed. She is still not moving. They checked today again." That's from that individual the Belgian phone number. It says it's confirmed we have a person inside she had visitors and they asked: "Hey, brother, do we stand down or you still need intel? Be safe." And then Hyde responds, "Ask."

Also, at the same time these new text messages show a deeper involvement of Devin Nunes and his top aide to apparently dig up dirt that the President had been seeking, that the Republicans have been seeking on Capitol Hill to against Joe Biden and to look into this theory, conspiracy theory, a source, that it was Ukraine that interfered in the 2016 elections, something that the President himself has pushed to undercut the findings of the U.S. intelligence community that it was Russia interfered to help President Trump.

But Nunes' aides in frequent communication, according to these text messages, with Lev Parnas about trying to set up meetings with various Ukrainian officials that an apparent effort to get dirt now. Now, at the same time, Lev Parnas provided more photographs, including photographs of him with President Trump and photographs of him as Rudy Giuliani, and this comes all at the same time as President Trump has distanced himself from Lev Parnas.

He says, he barely knew the guy, saying that he's always taking pictures with all these individuals. It's not surprising he took pictures with Lev Parnas. The Lev Parnas is trying to say here, he's got lots of pictures with President Trump. He was in that inner circle and has extensive knowledge about this operation, what Democrats called a corrupt scheme.

So, expect all of this to come out as the impeachment trial take shape next week in the Senate. This new evidence Democrats plan to bring forward, we'll see how Republicans react when they're presented with it next week. Manu Raju, CNN Capitol Hill.



PAUL: Manu, thank you. Now, the man who allegedly gave Lev Parnas those new text messages, Congressional Candidate Robert Hyde sat down for an interview last night and says, none of this was real, it was all done in jest.


ROBERT HYDE, CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE OF CONNECTICUT: So, when they're sending me these texts, and I'm like, whatever, dude, yes, under surveillance, just joking. Nobody ever really knew that -- I never pictured anything was real. I didn't think anything was real.

Who would be surveilling a U.S. Ambassador? Like, who could do that? I never, I never imagined you like, these jokers that you'd meet at fundraisers that, that, you know, legit people were like: Rob pulled me aside, stay away from these people. You never -- I never thought like anything they were saying was real.


SAVIDGE: Let's go to CNN's Kristen Holmes, she's traveling with the president in West Palm Beach, Florida this morning. And Kristen, let's start with this: The President added some new faces to his legal team. What do we know about the roles that they will play in this upcoming trial?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martin. Well, yes, some big names here, T.V. personalities, they're going to add that splash that we had heard from White House officials; President Trump was concerned that his counsel would not bring. So, let's start with the first three big names here. These are household names, starting with Ken Starr. Now, when I read these three, I want you to keep in mind their role is more historical and constitutional.

That's what we're told by White House officials. Ken Starr is arguably one of the most polarizing lawyers in the country since the 90s. He, of course, was the independent counsel whose investigation led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton. In addition to that, he was president of Baylor who was forced to resign after investigation that showed that university administration officials were actually ignoring or not paying attention to sexual assault allegations brought against football players. So, Ken Starr coming into this with a lot of baggage but he is also a T.V. star. We know President Trump has praised -- Starr praised of him on Fox News.

Then we have Alan Dershowitz. Now, Dershowitz. says that he's going to present the oral arguments in defense of the President, but he's not going to serve a real day to day role. Now, of course, Dershowitz is a celebrity attorney. He became famous during the O.J. Simpson trial, defending O.J.; he's offended Mike Tyson. The most recently, he defended Jeffrey Epstein. Again, a lot of baggage here. Now, take a listen to what Dershowitz said about his role in the impeachment trial.


DERSHOWITZ: I think it would be unconstitutional. It would set a terrible precedent for this president to be impeached, for these alleged articles of impeachment. So, I feel very strongly I will make a strong argument against impeachment, but I'm not part of the regular team that will be making strategic decisions.


HOLMES: And likely part of this is going to be Robert Ray, the next one on this list in this announcement. He's also still part of that constitutional and historic role, not likely part of the day to day. Then, moving down the line, you see Pam Bondi, this is the former Florida Attorney General, a big Trump supporter. She was brought on early to handle communications for the impeachment.

Now, of course, she's joining the legal team. And then, you see Jane Raskin, she is somebody who has helped the administration behind the scenes. She's a personal counsel to President Trump, and really helped the administration work through the Mueller investigation. And last there, you see Eric Hirshman. So, again, looking at this list as a whole, it's going to still be led by who we knew which was (INAUDIBLE), Jay Sekulow, but it's going to have a lot more splash here.

And of course, we knew President Trump had been concerned that there wasn't enough people coming forward who had that T.V. presence, they wanted to have a show. And if there are or aren't witnesses, which of course we don't know yet. We haven't seen that Senate vote how that's going to turn out, even without that. This will certainly be a draw to watch this trial.

SAVIDGE: Yes, he's definitely added celebrity to his team. Kristen Holmes. Thank you very much for that.

PAUL: Thanks, Kristen. So, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" last night until the host, President Trump gave the house "no choice but to impeach him."


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): He is impeached forever because he used the office of president to try to influence a foreign country for his personal and political benefit in doing so, he undermined our national security. He was just loyal to his oath of office to protect the Constitution, and he placed in jeopardy the integrity of our election. And that, I mean, really, he gave us no choice. Earlier on, with some of the charges that came forward, which were violations of the law, I said he's not worth it.

But once he crossed that bridge, it wasn't a question of his being worth it, the Constitution was worth it. He had to be impeached. Over 70 percent of the American people want to see witnesses and documentation to come forward and that places a burden on those senators, they will either come down in favor of transparency and accountability to the constitution or it will hold them accountable.



SAVIDGE: OK. So, we have a whole lot of headlines to break down this morning. And joining me now to do just that is CNN Political Analyst, Karoun Demirjian, she's a Congressional Reporter for "The Washington Post." Good morning.


SAVIDGE: So, what do you make, first of all, of these new members of the President's legal team: Alan Dershowitz, Ken Starr? What does that tell you?

DEMIRJIAN: Well, it tells you that the President is beefing up his squad, both with people that he thinks will defend his case and names that the country knows. This is going to be broadcast on television. There is an element here of the of the display of the show that is going to be put on, and these are names that are reminders of other big trials in the past.

So, regardless of how much screen time they end up getting and how much time they spend on the floor in making this argument, the fact that they're there, puts that star power behind that team of players that if you watch D.C., you know their names, but if you don't, you probably have not heard of them as much as you've heard of these two new additions.

SAVIDGE: Mitch McConnell has pretty much made it clear he doesn't want new witnesses or he doesn't want witness testimony. Does this addition of these two members that have been added to the team here suggests that he may lose that?

DEMIRJIAN: Well, you've heard Dershowitz saying that he's open to the idea of having, you know, witnesses brought in, this idea of reciprocity has been kicking around for a while. There are various -- there are few Republican members of the Senate who have been raising this also with the GOP leaders.

If that happens, that could open the door to both the Bolton's of this world and the Hunter Biden's of this world, because you'd have some sort of parody where if one side gets to call witness, the other side gets to as well, and they would have to pick a number that would get to. I think at this point, the question is, you know, where are the 51 votes?

Are there actually going to be a majority, slim majority at least, of Republican senators who are willing to stick with McConnell and his plan for this trial. I think that is going to depend on what happens in the opening days because as we know already, that vote on the ultimate, you know, who the witnesses would be or the number that might be coming up or if that number would be zero comes after we have these opening days of the two sides presenting their argument.

And so, I think that taking the temperature of the Senate and the GOP senators in the middle, in particular is going to be vital to do along those lines, because this is going to be a vote that happens after we've already gotten off to the races.

SAVIDGE: Yes. Can I ask you about all of this new evidence that is coming forward? We have, you know, documents or text messages, and then on top of that, we appear to have new testimony here. And much of it is quite striking, yet it's coming at a time when this trial is already underway. Do you think it will ever make it into this trial? What's going to happen to it?

DEMIRJIAN: I think Democrats are going to try to push really hard to try to make their Republican colleagues who they think are swayable feel like it would be an abrogation of justice and a fair trial to not listen to this evidence. I think that the question of witnesses possibly going to be you know, that there's two tracks here, right?

The Democrats want to bring in witnesses, but they also want to point to, you know, things that are written down, there's a written record, whether it's in the screenshot forum or you know, actual e-mails that have been provided that have been coming forward since the Democrats actually bang the gavel on the impeachment and those two articles that they have just recently sent over the Senate.

I think that it's going to be an argument that spot both on the floor of the Senate and just in the airwaves, is this kind of, you know, is this the moral right way to do a fair trial? Because there's both the question of, you know, presenting the case, but we probably think that the President is not going to be convicted be given that it would take 20 Republican senators to cross the aisle to do that, but also making the case to the public about whether this has actually been on the up and up and whether Trump would have been potentially, whether he's liable or culpable in ways that he may not be held accountable to through the form of a senate trial.

Some of its situational. I think that the, the House Intelligence Committee did not actually get a lot of these records until last Sunday, given that Parnas was wrapped up in the proceedings with the courts, the federal courts in New York. But I think that you've seen and heard Republicans say, Well, if they actually believed in their case, Democrats actually believed in their case from the house, they wouldn't need to be bringing all this stuff and throwing it on the table at the last minute. So you're going to see a lot more of that finger pointing, as they argue about whether to bring the substance of what we've seen on television, seen in the newspapers in the last month, actually into the trial.

SAVIDGE: Yes, it's -- the Tuesday is going to be an amazing day. Karoun Demirjian, thank you very much. Good to see.

DEMIRJIAN: Thank you, Martin.

PAUL: So, President Trump's impeachment trial, as Martin said, picks up Tuesday, but let's walk through together what has to happen before that, first of all, the house has until 5:00 p.m. today to file their trial brief that lays out the facts, the evidence, the legal arguments that they plan to present. The President then has to respond to the Secretary of Senate by 6:00 p.m. tonight.

Monday, President Trump's team has to file their trial brief and do so by noon and that of course, will lay out their defense and then the House will have a chance to file a rebuttal and refute any evidence presented by the president's team. That document from the house is due by 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, and once that's done, the Senate will reconvene at 1:00 p.m. and start the impeachment trial with opening arguments.


SAVIDGE: A former congressman is set to spend a little more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges in an insider trading case. Former New York Representative Chris Collins was sentenced to 26 months in prison in Memphis, Friday. He admitted to sharing nonpublic information with his son about a failed drug trial they were investing in.

The judge said Collins "betrayed his duty as a congressman and added on a $200,000 fine and a year of supervised probation." Collins emotionally address the court saying in part, now I stand here today as a disgraced former member of Congress. Colin's been ordered to report to jail March 17th.

And new this morning, audio recordings of President Trump giving new details about that strike that killed Qassem Soleimani to high dollar donors take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: See, they have proximately one minute to live sir. 30 seconds,

10, nine, eight. Then all of a sudden, boom. They're gone, sir. Cutting off. I said where is this guy?


PAUL: And later, it's a CNN exclusive. That is the wife of Andrew Yang you're looking at they're talking to Dana Bash. She's talking about what she says was a sexual assault by a doctor that she went to and had to watch her attacker walk away. She says with a slap on the wrist.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened to me should have never happened. He was arrested in his office. And he was led back to work, and that's what's very painful, is knowing that actually what happen to me, could have been prevented.




SAVIDGE: Got a private fundraiser last night. President Trump gave minute by minute details of the operation that killed Iran's top military commander.


TRUMP: -- to be invincible. He was saying bad things about our country. He was saying like, we're going to attack your country we're going to kill you people, we're going to, you know, I said, look, how much of this (BLEEP) do we have to listen to? How much are we going to listen to?


PAUL: Now, the President did not mention an imminent threat which the administration it said justify the air strike, but he did describe in detail watching the operation unfold that Soleimani arrived at Baghdad International Airport, listen to this.


TRUMP: They said, sir, and this is from, you know, cameras that are miles in the sky. They're together sir. Sir, they have two minutes and 11 seconds. No (BLEEP). They have two minutes and 11 seconds to live. They're in the car. They're in an armored vehicle going.

Sir, they have approximately, one minute to live sir. 30 seconds, 10, nine, eight. Then all of a sudden, boom. They're gone, sir. Cutting off. I said, where is this guy? That was the last I heard from them. And then, you know, we have breaking news. He got hit hard and he deserved to be hit hard because he was bad, he killed many, many thousands, hundreds of thousands of people but thousands of Americans.


SAVIDGE: During that fundraiser, the President also wrote the claims that the leader of ISIS died screaming during a U.S. raid on his compound last year.

PAUL: So, there are women's marches happening today in cities across the country. They began in 2016 right after the election of President Trump, that's when thousands of people, many of them wearing pink hats turned out for marches nationwide.

Now, the movement has struggled since then. A permit application in Washington suggest they help 10,000 people will show up today, less than 5,000 have indicated on Facebook that they'll attend. There will be no politicians, no celebrities speaking at this year's events. Marissa Lang of The Washington Post is with us now. Marissa, good to have you here. Thank you.


PAUL: So, you write in the Washington Post that the after overhauling its mission when we're talking about the organization itself: "After overhauling its mission, structure and leadership, the organization once considered the beating heart of the anti-Trump movement seems to be on life support. What is the cause of the decline? Is it something internal within the organization? Or is it some sort of outside force?

LANG: It's a combination of both. There's sort of a two-fold reason as to why the organization has struggled in the last few years. Part of it is it's a victim of its own successes. It managed to get many more women involved in activism in politics, and they went on to start their own organizations or they ran for government office.

And because of that, they have moved away from the Women's March Organization. And then there have been a number of controversies over the last number of years that have affected people's willingness to come out, enthusiasm, and maybe wanting to distance themselves, some from the Women's March.

PAUL: So, I know that you also wrote burnout is real, maybe there's protest fatigue, but do you see, is that part of the signs of what you're seeing? And is it remedied? Can it can it be remedied, particularly with this organization?

LANG: Yes, I think that burnout is a big factor when we're talking about activists and we're talking about folks who come out for protest regularly. You know, there are more than 800 protests in D.C. every year, especially in the last several years, and that is a lot. Outrage can be very tiring for people if they're in the streets every week, month, whatever. And that is something that I think the Women's March is trying to figure out how to remedy, to your point.

They had a week long program this year instead of just the one March, they had a number of events leading up to it that included different kinds of that would get people involved in ways that didn't involve marching through the streets. So, I think they're looking for other avenues to activate folks and to bring folks out and to get them involved that don't necessarily mean protesting.


PAUL: Well, and it was interesting. You mentioned the other events this week, because as I understand that last night, there was an event for Youth Rising 2020, which the group says is the official youth arm of the Women's March. What, what life do you think that age group of voices might be able to give here?

LANG: I wasn't at the event, so I can't speak directly to that. But young women are certainly looked at as the future of the movement and young people frankly, have been extremely active. And we've seen that in the anti-gun violence movement. We've seen that in the climate change activism that is happening now. And the young people truly are taking up the mantle of activism and protesting in this country and internationally as well.

PAUL: So, I understand the primary focus of the March this year is to mobilize for the 2020 election that's coming from organizers. What impact do you think these marches today in D.C., in New York, in Los Angeles might actually have on voters?

LANG: I think it's unclear right now. I think that the Women's March does have a track record of getting people to the polls. They had an event two years ago in Nevada, where they registered voters and they really focused on getting the vote out. So, that is certainly been a priority for them for a long time.

I think it's really difficult to say how this will impact voters, but protests are most effective. A lot of experts say when they can be used to get people excited, get people to turn out and then channel that towards another end, and then in this case that might be voting or getting involved with a campaign.

PAUL: You also wrote that there's an expert who says the group's successes have rendered the women in seem harsh, but it rendered the Women's March increasingly irrelevant. Do you see a real irrelevancy kind of taking place here with this particular organization? Or is that just something across the board?

LANG: I think the struggle for this particular organization is finding their place. When the Women's March started in 2017, there was a clear purpose. It was a reaction to the to the 2016 election, it was to turn people out the day after Trump's inauguration.

And now as we're entering 2020, it's struggling to sort of find its place when it when it takes up issues like immigration and climate change and reproductive rights. There are a number of other organizations also doing that work. So I think the question is, where does the Women's March fit and what is their role as we move forward? And you know, we go into another election cycle.

PAUL: Yes. Well, we will be watching along with you, I'm sure, Marissa Lang. We appreciate you taking time to be with us today. Thank you. LANG: Thank you.

PAUL: Sure. We're going to be live from the march in Washington. I'm going to be speaking with one of the movements' leaders. Also, a little bit later this morning. First though, our CNN exclusive interview with Evelyn Yang. She's going to be at the Women's March in New York today.

She's opening up to CNN, Dana Bash, for the first time about a sexual assault that happened while she was pregnant. She says, here how she finally found the courage to tell her husband, Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang, what had happened.



SAVIDGE: We see a lot of interviews, but this next one is absolutely remarkable. Breaking her silence. Evelyn Yang, the wife of presidential candidate Andrew Yang is revealing something she has kept secret for years, even from her husband.

PAUL: Yes, for the first time. She's talking about being a survivor of sexual assault. And she's sharing her story exclusively with our own, Dana Bash.

As you watch this, I just want you to be very aware, I know that it's early morning, but it's a very graphic story. And I just wanted to give you that heads up. But let's listen to Evelyn Yang here.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Evelyn Yang has a story so secret she never even shared it with most of her own family. But spending time with her husband, presidential candidate Andrew Yang on the campaign trail, and hearing so much gratitude from voters for talking about son, Christopher's autism, made her feel newly empowered.

EVELYN YANG, WIFE OF ANDREW YANG: Meeting people and seeing the difference that we've been making already has moved me to share my own story about it, about sexual assault.

BASH: It was 2012, she was pregnant with her first baby and found an OB-GYN who had a good reputation, Dr. Robert Hadden. Initially, she says her visits were routine. But after a few months, things changed.

YANG: It started with inappropriate questions around how intimate I was with my husband, sexual activity, just very inappropriate, probing questions that were unrelated to my health. The examinations became longer, more frequent. And I learned that they were unnecessary most of the time. Most women don't know what you're supposed to get when you're pregnant. I didn't know that you're not supposed to get an exam every time you went to see the doctor.

I feel like I put up with some inappropriate behavior that I didn't know at the time was straight up sexual abuse/sexual assault until much later. And I regret having put up with that because it ended up in a sexual assault that was indisputable. Quite blatant.


BASH: Yang says the worst assault happened when she was seven months pregnant.

YANG: I was in the exam room, and I was dressed and ready to go. And then, at the last minute, he kind of made up an excuse. He said something about, I think you're -- you might need a C-section. And he proceeded to grab me over to him and undress me and examine me internally ungloved. And at first, I was a little bit like, what's going on here?

BASH: And there was no one else in the room?

YANG: No, no. In fact, when I think back to most of our exams, I don't think there was somebody in the room. Yes.

BASH: You got yourself -- this isn't just inappropriate banter. This is much different.

YANG: Oh, he -- I mean, I -- at that moment, I knew that was -- I knew it was wrong. I mean, I knew I said -- I knew I was being assaulted.

BASH: She said she thought she was the kind of person who would run away but she couldn't.

YANG: I imagine myself as someone being, you know, like I would throw a chair at him and run out yelling, bloody murder. It's not what happened. I was confused. And then, I realized what was happening. And then, I just kind of froze. Like a deer in headlights, just frozen. I knew it was happening. I remember trying to fix my eyes on a spot on the wall and just trying to avoid seeing his face as he was -- as he was assaulting me.

BASH: Was this ...

YANG: I'm just waiting for it to be over.

BASH: She left that day and never went back.

Did you tell your husband Andrew?

YANG: No. I didn't tell anyone. I didn't tell anyone what happened. I didn't tell Andrew or my family because I didn't want to upset them. I thought, this happened to me, I can -- I can process this. I can deal with it. I can compartmentalize it. And ...


BASH: And did you?

YANG: I tried, I tried, but I just didn't want to affect others. And I certainly didn't want Andrew blaming himself for not being able to go with me to these doctor's visits because, honestly, if he was with me in the room, if anyone was with me in the room, this obviously wouldn't have happened. And at the time, he was traveling a lot for his nonprofit. And most of the scheduling just didn't work out.

BASH: Many months later, after her baby was born, a letter came in the mail. Robert Hadden had left his practice.

YANG: I Googled him. And there it was, there was a headline that said that he had assaulted another woman, and she reported it to the police. And at that moment, everything just stood still. It was this sense of relief of finally realizing that I wasn't alone in it. He still picked me. But that it wasn't because of --right, it wasn't something that I did. It was -- you know, this was a serial predator. And he just picked me as his prey.

BASH: It was at that point, she told husband Andrew.

YANG: I just needed to tell someone, you know, I needed to share it in that moment because it felt so big to me. I needed that support, and I told him -- I can't cry. If he was appalling. He -- there were tears.

BASH: Uh-hmm.

YANG: And he said it's because he remembered when I told -- when I came home one day, ranting about pervy doctors. I said something like, why do they let men be gynecologists? It makes no sense. And he remembered that I had made this comment. And he felt so bad, he felt guilty that he didn't make the connection or asked me more.


BASH: She found a lawyer who discovered the Manhattan district attorney had an open case against the doctor. Several other women had come forward with similar stories of being assaulted by him.

YANG: And that was just life changing. It felt so good to not be alone in this.

BASH: She worked with an assistant district attorney who was collecting information from 18 women, including Yang, with allegations against Hadden. Yang testified before a grand jury, which indicted Hadden on multiple felony sex charges.

YANG: Every time I talked to the ADA, the case was going great. And she was always telling me how strong this case was, how we were going to put him in jail, how he wasn't going to be able to do this to anyone ever again. And all of a sudden, there was this drop off. I didn't hear from her for months.

BASH: Finally in February 2016, she was told the D.A. agreed to a plea deal with the doctor. He would lose his medical license, register as the lowest level sex offender, but not go to jail.

YANG: He was getting off with the slap on the wrist, basically.

BASH: Not just that, although he was charged on nine counts involving six accusers, he only pleaded guilty to two charges involving two women. Evelyn Yang was not one of them.

YANG: They said that the punishment was the same, regardless of how many counts he pled guilty to, that the punishment would have been the same. So, it didn't matter. And I thought, well, it matters to me for obvious reasons. And it wasn't until after MeToo and the Weinstein case came out that the victims in this case realized that we were betrayed twice. First ...

BASH: That's how you feel, you feel that you were betrayed twice?

YANG: Oh, absolutely. It's like getting, you know, slapped in the face and punched in the gut. Either the D.A.'s office is meant to protect us. It's meant to serve justice. And there was no justice here.

BASH: The Office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is the same one that was lenient with Jeffrey Epstein over his registering as a sex offender and also initially, failed to prosecute Harvey Weinstein. When asked for a response, the D.A.'s office told CNN that obtaining a felony conviction was the goal in this case.

And "while we stand by our legal analysis and resulting disposition of this difficult case, we regret that this resolution has caused survivors pain." Though Hadden was not a big name like Weinstein or Epstein, Yang says he did have a powerful protector, Columbia University, which runs the medical facility where he practiced.

YANG: The fact that it's a, you know, a name brand University behind this doctor and using their influence to protect themselves at the expense of the victims in the case.

BASH: Some six weeks before Yang says she was assaulted, police went to Hadden's office and arrested him. Another patient told police he sexually assaulted her and licked her vagina during an exam. The arrest was voided. And he went back to seeing female patients.

YANG: What happened to me should have never happened. He was arrested in his office and he was let back to work.

BASH: Without anybody in the room.

YANG: Without a -- without a chaperone. I mean, at the very least, the bare minimum would be to make sure that there's an aide all the time. I -- and that's what's very painful, is knowing that actually what happened to me could have been prevented.

BASH: Yang's attorney says there are at least 32 women who now accused Hadden of sexual assault. Most of them, including Yang, are part of civil suits against Columbia University, its affiliates, and Hadden. Among the allegations, accusing Hadden of aggressively penetrating and groping their bodies and genitalia, forcing them to strip naked, groping their breasts, digitally penetrating them, and licking their vaginas. The suit also claims Columbia knew about allegations against Hadden; received numerous complaints of serious misconduct, and kept the complaints secret to avoid negative publicity.

The lawsuit is still ongoing. Hadden denies all the allegations against him except the ones he pleaded guilty to. CNN sent detailed questions to Columbia, including why Dr. Hadden was allowed to return to work after his initial arrest. But the university only responded that the allegations against Hadden were abhorrent. And they deeply apologize to those whose trust was violated.


Yang fought in court for more than two years to keep her identity anonymous, which makes going public now even more remarkable.

Why do you want to do this now? What do you want to accomplish now?

YANG: My Personal life and this growing public life, they're not separate. And in this case, my experience with the sexual assault, and then what happened, all that happened afterwards, is such a powerful and upsetting example of the truth that women are living with every day. And I just happened to be able to have a platform to talk about it. I need to use that voice.

I feel like it's something that's an obligation but also a privilege. And a gift that I get to share my story now, and also help other women. The process of getting to this point is very hard. You know, I -- like I haven't slept at days. This is very hard to come out with. But I hope it's -- and I have to believe that it's worth it.


PAUL: You want to know what strong and brave looks like? Just look at Evelyn Yang. Dana Bash, thank you so much for that reporting. And I want to point out something that Dana posted, an update to this story last night on Twitter.

She says, following her report, Evelyn Yang's lawyer has had 15 women who've come forward to him, claiming that they were also sexually assaulted by Dr. Hadden. That's 15 plus the 32, who've already filed a civil suit.

So, we just want to make that clear. And by the way, CNN's Drew Griffin in the next hour has the response from Columbia University. He speaks directly as well to the district attorney who's representing the doctor -- the doctor's side of the story. So, we're going to have that for you in a bit.

SAVIDGE: Still ahead, Puerto Rico once again struggling to recover this time from a series of devastating earthquakes. What's being done to help residents? Coming up, we're live in the island's hard-hit southern coast.



SAVIDGE: Three weeks of daily tremors and aftershocks are taking a toll on Puerto Rico. The hardest-hit area has been the southern coast. Hundreds of homes and buildings in the island's second-largest city -- that's Ponce, are now uninhabitable. Thousands are still in shelters and many of those who do have homes are too scared to sleep indoors.

PAUL: CNN's Senior Latin American Affairs Editor Rafael Romo was in Ponce this morning. Rafael, what do you know about any aid that is heading to help Puerto Rico? And help us understand what they're dealing with here today.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Christi, Martin, good morning. The aid is sure coming in, but the reality is that the challenge that Puerto Rico now has is enormous.

Take a look at this house here. We're a little bit further away. I'm not quite in Ponce, this is Guanica. This used to be, believe it or not, a two-story house. And look at what's left, we see a lot of fallen concrete, some wood paneling there. And this right behind me used to be the living room.

It just gives you an idea of how hard the ground has been shaking here. And it is today, three weeks to the day when it started shaking here. And I was taking a look at data from the United States Geological Survey, and we had six tremors just since midnight.

So, the situation is still very bad. 8,000 people at the latest count are still living in shelters. People whose homes were destroyed like this one, but there are many other people who are simply afraid to go home because there's the fear that we may still have another big one, and the roof or a wall may collapse on top of those families.

Now, I had an opportunity to talk to Governor Wanda Vazquez about federal help. And whether she thinks the federal government is doing enough to help Puerto Ricans, and this is what she had to say.


ROMO: Do you feel the Trump administration is doing enough to help Puerto Rico right now?

GOV. WANDA VAZQUEZ GARCED, PUERTO RICO: I asked for their support, and the commitment of the U.S. and the president of the United States. So, I hope this support is coming.

ROMO: There is also $8.2 billion that is coming from H.D. -- from HUD. When is this money coming to Puerto Rico and what is it going to be used for?

VAZQUEZ: I hope this soon as possible. We need this money, so, I hope as soon as possible.


ROMO: And Christi and Martin, since this interviewed -- since I interviewed the governor, the White House has already issued a major disaster declaration which is going to definitely help Puerto Rico out of the 856 schools that there are on the island, 224 -- only 224 had been declared ready for students to go back to class, but they're not beginning until January 27th. Now, back to you.


PAUL: And they need that -- they need that structure.

SAVIDGE: Of course, they did. Yes.

PAUL: You know, just for healing and to get back to an everyday -- somewhat familiar schedule that is so necessary. Rafael, thank you.

SAVIDGE: And coming up with the next hour of NEW DAY, President Trump, offering new justification for the killing of Iran's top general.

PAUL: We're going to play the audio of exactly what he said for you. That's next, stay close.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: House Democrats released new documents on Friday night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For these newly released text messages shed fresh light on apparent attempts to surveil the former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The impeachment document dump comes his new lawyers are named for the president's defense team.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former Independent counsel Ken Starr, constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

DERSHOWITZ: I've been asked to prepare and deliver the case -- the constitutional case against impeachment that benefits the president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Donald Trump offering a new reason why he authorized the killing of Iran's top general.