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NEW DAY SATURDAY
New Parnas Documents Suggests U.S. Ambassador Was Spied On; Team Trump Unveils Impeachment Defense Team; Rep. Nancy Pelosi: We Had No Choice, Trump Was "Disloyal To Oath Of Office"; Chief Justice Roberts To Play A Key Role In Impeachment Trial; Trump Recounts Details Of Soleimani Strike To GOP Donors; Pompeo Asked To Give Testimony On Iran, Iraq and Middle East Policy; Delta Booed At Town Hall After Jet Fuel Dump Over LA Schools; Dem Candidates Campaign In Iowa Ahead Of Caucuses; WAPO: Sanders-Warren Feud Sparks Fears Among Dem Party Leaders; Doc Accused Of Assaulting Andrew Yang's Wife Served No Jail Time; Four New Cases Of Deadly Coronavirus Strain Confirmed In China; Rep. Ayanna Pressley Reveals Hair Loss From Alopecia; Thousands Expected In Washington For 4th Women's March. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired January 18, 2020 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Light on apparent attempts to surveille the former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The impeachment document dump comes as a new lawyers are named for the President's defense team.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: former independent counsel, Ken Starr; constitutional lawyer, Alan Dershowitz--
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: 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. I said look, how much of this (bleep) do we have to listen to?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: So glad to have your company on this Saturday morning. I'm Christi Paul.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. House members have until 5:00 o'clock midnight tonight to file their impeachment brief. They are expected to send over their legal arguments ahead of the President's trial in the Senate.
PAUL: And 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, of course, to Ukraine who was fired by President Trump.
SAVIDGE: All of this as the President's beefed up legal team, filled with made for TV lawyers prepares to defend him.
PAUL: We begin with CNN's Kristen Holmes who's traveling with the President in West Palm Beach Florida. Kristen, good morning to you. I know the House released these new documents from Lev Parnas last night. What do they tell us?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Martin. Well there is a trove of information here, but the two main takeaways are about what you mentioned that surveillance as well as Devin Nunes. So let's start with that surveillance there.
This is new information about the apparent surveillance of the former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who as you said, Christi, was fired by the Trump administration -- by President Trump himself after a smear campaign was run against her. That was done by her -- his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Now we first learned about this appearance of surveillance in the first set of documents released by the House, in a set of text messages by Lev Parnas to a Connecticut man who was running for Congress named Robert Hyde. And in this they appeared to be tracking Yovanovitch's movements.
Well, we saw more documents last night. This was screenshots that Hyde had taken with an unknown Belgian number where they appeared to be tracking Marie Yovanovitch. Now, Hyde has denied that this was ever a real thing. He said in an interview last night that this was all just one big joke. Take a listen.
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ROBERT HYDE, CONNECTICUT LANDSCAPER: So when they send 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 don't think anything was real. Who would be surveilling a U.S. Ambassador? Like who could do that? I never imagined you'd like -- these jokers that you'd meet at fundraisers that -- that legit people who were like Rob pulled me aside, stay away from these people. You never -- I never thought like anything they were saying was real.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: So you see you here -- you hear him say over and over again it's not real. I never thought it was real -- these jokers. Well, the State Department, here in the U.S., is taking it seriously. They believe it could be real. And they've launched an investigation into this apparent surveillance.
And the other big takeaway here is about, as I said, Republican Congressman Devin Nunes. It really shows a deeper involvement by Nunes and one of his top aides in trying to get information about the Bidens. This was information that President Trump sought as well as Republicans on the Hill.
We're seeing several text messages between this top aide and Parnas trying to set up meetings with Ukrainian leaders, all again, to get this dirt on Joe Biden.
SAVIDGE: Kristen, I want to ask you about the addition of Alan Dershowitz joining the President's legal team. What do you know about the role he's going to play during the trial?
HOLMES: Well, according to Dershowitz he's going to give the opening defense statements in this trial, but not participate in the day-to- day. And this was part of an announcement that came with several high profile names. You saw Ken Starr, who is arguably the most polarizing lawyer in the country. He, of course, is the independent counsel whose investigation led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
He was also the President of Baylor before he resigned after an investigation found that school administration officials there hadn't really been responding to accusations of sexual assault against football players. So a lot of baggage comes with him.
And then, of course, as you said, Dershowitz, who also comes with his set of baggage. A celebrity attorney, made famous by representing OJ Simpson, also represented Jeffrey Epstein in recent days. But here's what Dershowitz had to say about his role in the upcoming trial.
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DERSHOWITZ: I think it would be unconstitutional and 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.
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HOLMES: Now, he said he's not part of the regular team, but he was named in this release of who is going to be on the legal team. The other names included Robert Ray, who is the independent counsel who took over from Ken Starr. We also saw Pam Bondi, who is the former Florida Attorney General, a very big supporter of President Trump.
The name Jane Raskin, and she's been behind the scenes, a private counsel to the President, and she really helped the administration through the Mueller investigation. And then lastly there you see Eric Herschmann. So a pretty explosive team here. It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out.
Of course, he talked about how President Trump wanted a show when it came to the trial. But McConnell wanted to keep it shorter and sweeter. So this really takes out that aspect of even having to have witnesses for it to have a show. You have these big TV personalities, these celebrities in their own right who will be presenting this case.
PAUL: Interesting. Kristen Holmes, always good to see you. Thank you.
SAVIDGE: President Trump's impeachment trial will pick up on Tuesday. But there are a number of things that need to happen before then. The House has until 5:00 p.m. to file their trial brief, which lays out the facts, the evidence, and legal arguments they plan to present.
The president then must respond to the Secretary of the Senate by 6:00 tonight. Then on Monday President Trump's team will need to file their trial brief. That'll have to happen by noon, laying out their defense. The House will then have a chance to file a rebuttal and refute any evidence presented by Trump's team. That document is due by 12 p.m. on Tuesday. Once that is done the Senate will reconvene at 1:00 p.m. kicking off the impeachment trial with opening arguments.
PAUL: The House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared on HBO "Real Time with Bill Maher" last night and told the host that President Trump gave the House quote "no choice, but to impeach him."
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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 disloyal 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 you 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 we will hold them accountable.
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PAUL: So Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is going to play a key role, of course, in the impeachment process here. Listen to this.
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SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, President of the United States now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Roberts himself there sworn in on Thursday. He then swore in the senators who will act as the jury in the president's impeachment trial. CNN's Joan Biskupic is with us now to discuss. Joan, good to have you here. So, I -- there are a lot of questions about, not just what his responsibilities will be, but what the chief justice's power will be in this. How much clarity do you have about his role?
JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: OK. You're right. There's a lot we don't know. But there are certain things that we already know -- what's in the Constitution, what's in the Senate rules so far and what's in precedent. How did Bill Rehnquist preside over the trial of Bill Clinton in 1999.
First of all, the Constitution gives only one role in writing to the chief, and that is to preside when the president has been impeached. So he's sitting as a presiding officer, not what he does across the street at the Supreme Court as a judge. Over here, he will have -- he'll be in a very visible role, but with very little control.
It will be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's show. He will be -- the Chief Justice will follow the procedural rules that the Senate has under the current Senate rules, which can be amended. He can make determinations on evidence and witnesses, but he can -- on the relevance of materiality -- but he can be overruled by a majority of the Senate. Again, reinforcing that this is the Senate show.
Now precedent holds that the Chief Justice will not cast any deciding vote. There's a lot of swirling around about exactly whether the chief will jump in on something like that. But in the past -- in the recent past the chief has not seen that kind of authority.
PAUL: So "The New York Times" has an article, and refers to his responsibilities as this way. They talk about him, I think, personally and on one hand.
They say he will leave behind an institution, meaning the Supreme Court, that prides itself on reason and decorum and into one marked by partisan warfare. It does not paint a pretty picture as we don't really know what's coming at the end of the day. What do you think he's walking into?
BISKUPIC: Well, he has studied what happened to Bill Rehnquist back in 1999. And Chief Justice Rehnquist made a comment at the very end of his service there after five weeks and said, I've left the very structured world of the Supreme Court for lack of a better word, let's say, free form of the Senate.
And just think, Christi, how much has changed in the last 21 years. He will be entering a very polarized world. And, remember, that in his day job across the street at the Supreme Court, they're actually going to hear some cases involving Donald Trump in March. So Chief Justice John Roberts is going to try to recede into the background as much as he can.
His hand might be forced at various times. But I think he's going to turn it over to the majority of the Senate to actually decide the substance of things that will determine whether Donald Trump is acquitted or convicted. And remember that requires two thirds of a vote.
PAUL: So let me ask you this, because "The New York Times" also says of the Chief Justice's responsibilities that they will be full of peril for his reputation and that of his court. So connect that thread for us, though, that starts at the Supreme Court and where he's going to be with the Senate trial in the next couple of weeks. How will the outcome in this Senate linger perhaps in the Supreme Court?
BISKUPIC: Well, when he is at his job at the Supreme Court there are no cameras there. He's not as visible. When he crosses the street by car, by the way. He will be driven across the street each day. And presides in public view to the cameras, all of America, all the international world will see him in a way that they don't normally see him.
So, yes, a lot will be at stake for how he -- his stature, how he comports himself, how things run. But, he will, as much as possible, not want to take a very active role. It's just that he will be in a very visible role. And there'll be times when he will be put on the spot. And I know he has the weight of that kind of history on him. Only twice before have his predecessors presided over impeachments. And John Roberts is very much a student of history.
Before he became a lawyer, he thought about getting a PhD in history. So he knows that everyone will be watching him. And he has said, when he thinks about Chief Justices, you think of the great Chief Justice John Marshall. You know, you can't rise to what he is, but you certainly don't want to be regarded as Roger Taney who wrote Dred Scott. So he's always thinking about where will he fit in in history and this role will be part of his legacy.
PAUL: Such a good point. Joan Biskupic, I always learn from you. Thank you so much.
BISKUPIC: Thanks Christi.
SAVIDGE: New this morning, audio recordings of President Trump giving new details about that strike that killed Qasem Soleimani to high dollar donors.
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TRUMP: Sir, they have approximately 1 minute to live, sir. 30 seconds. 10, 9, 8. Then all of a sudden, boom. They're gone, sir. Cutting off. I said, where is this guy?
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PAUL: And Delta Airlines trying to smooth things over this morning after one of its plane dumps jet fuel over several Los Angeles schools. Many residents are not having it.
[08:15:00] SAVIDGE: At private fundraiser last night President Trump gave minute by minute details of the operation that killed Iran's top military commander.
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TRUMP: He was supposed to be invincible. He said bad things about our country. He was saying like, we're going to attack your country. We're going to kill your people. I said look, how much of this (bleep) do we have to listen to?
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PAUL: Now the president didn't mention an imminent threat which the administration has said justify the air strike. Instead, he described in detail watching the operation unfold as Soleimani arrived at Baghdad International Airport.
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TRUMP: They said sir -- and this is from, you know, cameras that are miles in the sky. They're together sir. Sir, they have 2 minutes and 11 seconds. No (bleep). They've 2 minutes and 11 seconds to live, sir. They're in the car, they're in an armored vehicle. Sir, they have approximately 1 minute to live, sir. 30 seconds. 10, 9, 8. 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 him. And then we had 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.
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SAVIDGE: During the fundraiser, the president also repeated claims the leader of ISIS died screaming during a U.S. raid on his compound last year.
PAUL: Now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, we're learning, could be subpoenaed to testify about the administration's policy in Iran, Iraq and Middle East.
SAVIDGE: The House Foreign Affairs Committee has re-invited, there's a word, Pompeo to appear before them later this month. The Secretary did not show up for a hearing on the same matter this week.
In a letter to Committee Chairman, Eliot Engel, said lawmakers want more information about what led up to that airstrike that killed Iran's top general. And he threatened to use quote "all legal means" to make sure the secretary shows up.
[08:20:00] PAUL: There's some serious backlash this morning for Delta Airlines after one of the flights -- their flights dumped jet fuel over several schools in Los Angeles.
SAVIDGE: The airline has been hit with a lawsuit and an air pollution violation and a chorus of angry residents are concerned about what might be the long term effect. CNN's Nick Watt reports.
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NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Delta Managing Director booed Friday night in a Southeast L.A. community.
This Delta jet approaching L.A. asked for an emergency landing Tuesday morning dumped fuel without warning over six L.A. schools.
MARIAN TORRES, STUDENT: I was so scared, so that we just ran inside. And then my eyes started itching and then -- so I came to the auditorium.
WATT (voice over): And now the fallout, four teachers from Park Avenue Elementary School where 20 kids and 11 adults were doused in the playground just filed suit against the airline, stating the pilot made the conscious decision to dump massive amounts of toxic jet fuel onto the plaintiffs. They've asked not to be named.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My students began screaming and crying, because their eyes and skin were burning. Fear, dread, panic and helplessness ensued.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The next day, I woke up with a severe headache and nausea. By noon I went to urgent care, because the pain wouldn't go away.
WATT (voice over): Delta says there was an engine issue, the fuel dump was normal procedure required to reach a safe landing weight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to be clear, you're saying that the FAA prevents you, Delta, from telling these people what had happened. Is that your answer today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're not able to comment.
WATT (voice over): But Friday night this low income, 96 percent Latino community gathered asking why us?
WATT (voice over): Why is it that it only hits where Latinos live.
WATT (voice over): The local teachers' union says they are horrified by the fuel dump on neighborhoods that have historically borne the brunt of many environmentally racist policies and practices.
JUAN RAMIREZ, VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED TEACHERS LOS ANGELES: It's a concern that it keeps happening and happening.
WATT (voice over): A nearby battery recycling plant polluted this area for decades until it was forced to close in 2015. This very school closed for cleanup in 1990. It's built on an old dump.
RAMIREZ: This plane came around and then flew over -- more affluent areas of L.A. and then decided to do unload in this area. So it's -- you know, it's something to think about.
WATT (voice over): Fuel dumps are usually done from higher altitude, away from people. This wasn't emergency, but Delta 89 did break from standard procedure, failing to tell air traffic control.
ATC: OK, so you don't need to hold on to dump fuel or anything like that?
WATT (voice over): The FAA is still investigating.
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN AVIATION SAFETY ANALYST: Regardless of how we break this down, communications were lost. The fact that this failed gives us a real opportunity to learn and improve and make sure that next time that it's very clear to both parties involved not to dump fuel over schoolchildren.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to yell -- (bleep)
WATT (voice over): Nick Watt, CNN, Cudahy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Thanks Nick. Still to come, Democratic candidates are in Iowa this weekend, campaigning before the Iowa caucuses. It is a crucial last pitch for some, because they may have to head back in Washington. They will head back to the impeachment trial next week. We'll discuss.
SAVIDGE: We are 16 days away from the Iowa caucuses. That's the first major contest in deciding which Democrat will face off against President Trump in November. And today, many are in that state. They're campaigning at various stops. For the U.S. Senators in the race, it's their last chance to make their case to voters before they head to Washington for the start of the impeachment trial.
And here with me to discuss is Editor and Publisher for Inside Elections, and CNN Political Analyst Nathan Gonzales; and Campaign Director for the Center for American Progress Action Fund Juanita Tolliver. Good morning to you both morning.
JUANITA TOLLIVER, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS ACTION FUND: Good morning.
SAVIDGE: So nice to see you.
NATHAN GONZALES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Hello, good morning. SAVIDGE: Where to begin? So let's start with Senator Sanders and Warren -- Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. They, of course, have to head back to Washington. They've got to be there for the impeachment trial. How much of a setback, a problem, difficulties is this going to be for those three senators do you think. And Nathan I'll start with you.
GONZALES: Sure. Well, I understand the narrative is that they're going to be trapped in Washington. And while, Vice President Biden and Mayor Buttigieg and the others are going to be on the trail in in Iowa.
But I'm not convinced it's exactly going to play out that way in terms of that it's going to be detrimental to the Senators. I mean, this is going to be a very public trial. I mean, this is going to be a made for TV event.
And while during the trial itself, the Senators aren't going to have a speaking role. There are going to be scores of reporters as they come into the trial, as they exit the trial. If they want to have access to the media, they will have plenty of opportunity to talk to reporters and talk to voters through the media.
So, I -- you know, I know how it's we say -- we think we know how it's going to play out, but it could actually benefit these senators as well.
SAVIDGE: Juanita, let me ask you what are your thoughts on that. Because I get it, they're going to get a lot of media attention. But we're talking about being able to talk specifically to the people of Iowa who get the very first say who, as we know, often sets up the whole tenor of the rest of the election season.
TOLLIVER: I think in addition to Nathan's point, yes, Iowa voters were not exactly where these senators are. But on top of that, these Senators oftentimes have robust ground games. And as a former field campaign staff, we know it's all about who shows up at the caucus, who shows up at the polls and when it really comes down to it.
And on top of that, they also have robust media budgets where they're still injecting their campaign message into the massive hits that Iowa voters are receiving in the lead up to the caucus day. So I honestly agree with Nathan here and I don't see a massive disruption.
They are on the trail right now. They're out there making their case. And, again, these highly engaged Iowa voters know exactly where they are. This is not a snub. This is Senators in D.C. upholding their constitutional duty to participate in this impeachment trial.
SAVIDGE: Yes. No, absolutely, they have -- they have that is they must do it. Nathan, let me ask you -- let's move on to this whole issue of the feud that was taking place so very publicly between Senators Warren and Sanders. And I'm wondering, first of all, Nathan you see it, is it over and done? Have voters moved on from that? And then also who won out of that sort of verbal fist fight? GONZALES: Well, we'll know in a couple of weeks who won. I don't -- I think that this probably -- this initial or this back and forth is probably done, but the contrast or the campaign is certainly not done.
I think when we zoom out, that this is an incredibly valuable Democratic nomination, because the president is in an extremely vulnerable political position. And so, as we get closer to Iowa and the rest of the primary calendar, these candidates are going to be forced to make a contrast with each other.
Up until a week ago Senators Sanders and Warren had basically had this sort of non-compete or nonaggression pact, but we're getting close to voters actually making their decision. So this primary is going to get more bitter, more divisive. At the same time that doesn't mean that Democrats can't win in November, but this is going to be a messy process.
SAVIDGE: Well, Juanita, I've read some reports that say that Joe Biden really won out of that or got a lift as a result.
TOLLIVER: Staying above the fray is something that Joe Biden has done impeccably well here and I think that's reflected in his very steady poll numbers. But to the previous point on who won, no one wins in this case. Senator Warren is fair in calling out the sexism that she has faced as a female running for President.
I think the big issue here is, though, recognizing that when it comes to supporting the nominee -- the ultimate Democratic nominee, the DNC has taken multiple steps to ensure that everyone on the debate stage, everyone engaged right now has signed on to unity pledges and promises to not run as a third party.
So when it comes to preventing the fracturing of the Democratic Party, I think, that's something that Democrats have to continuously keep a pulse on. And these candidates have to recognize that at the end of the day, you're going to need to corral your supporters behind the eventual nominee with a focus of beating Trump in 2020.
2016 left a lot of people with bad taste in their mouth. They weren't pleased with the way that there wasn't just this clear convalescence around Hillary Clinton. And so, looking to 2020, that's something that DNC and progressive organizations are taken to heart.
They know that Democrats have to show up with a unified force and these candidates have to provide that onramp for their supporters to ultimately support the nominee. And seeing trends --- trending hashtags like #NeverWarren is completely unproductive here. But one thing that did emerge from that trending hashtag was the slew of voices decrying that, denouncing that, saying this is not the way for Democrats in this election cycle.
SAVIDGE: I want to bring in something--
GONZALES: Hey, Martin, If I could add.
SAVIDGE: Yes. GONZALES: I think we can't underestimate the power of President Trump to unify the Democratic Party. Even if some of these candidates -- after this is over -- even if some of the candidates themselves are reluctant or they hold you know these hard feelings after the process, the voters -- Democratic voters are determined to defeat President Trump. And that's going to smooth over a lot of things.
And that I see that, because, I think, we saw this year ago when the Republican Party was divided and the Tea Party was attacking the establishment and all that. But they had President Obama as a unifier. That he unified the Republican Party against him. And I think we're going to see a lot of that in November.
SAVIDGE: As this field is consolidated, we've seen it become a lot whiter. And I'm wondering, Juanita, you know -- one, Hispanics, how do they feel about this? And is it that they're willing to vote for anyone as long as Trump is defeated? Or are they really going to be hard feelings about those who have been left behind?
TOLLIVER: Well, I think, we have to also understand the premise in which folks like Senator Booker, Senator Harris and Julian Castro entered this race. They did -- it comes down to name recognition and buying power of ads. Right? So this is what voters are reacting to or responding to.
Something that we have seen in recent days, especially with Steyer investing millions in South Carolina, now shooting up in double digits or even sent Joe Biden's and his consistency by having Barack Obama and his relationship there, playing a passive role in his entire candidacy and message and branding. Is that, these are folks who voters, generally, as well as voters of color have the opportunity to get to know.
So bringing it back to the sense of how much do you have on hand to increase your name recognition is key here. I don't think it's a rejection from voters of color, especially Latinx voters who will have a massive voter share in this election cycle coming to rejecting any minority candidates. It really is about reach.
SAVIDGE: Yes. Nathan, I wanted to get your thoughts on that, but I'm sorry, we're out of time. Nathan Gonzales and Juanita Tolliver, thank you both so much for joining us this morning.
GONZALES: No problem.
PAUL: Still ahead, I don't know if you've heard this yet, but there are 15 more women now who have come forward after Evelyn Yang, the wife of Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang, spoke in an exclusive CNN report to Dana Bash about being sexually assaulted alleged by her doctor. How was that doctor able to make a plea deal with no jail time? We'll talk about that.
PAUL: Welcome back. 40 minutes past the hour. And Evelyn Yang, the wife of 2020 Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang is revealing for the first time that she was sexually assaulted, allegedly by her doctor, while she was pregnant. And we know at least 32 women have accused the doctor of sexual assault.
SAVIDGE: And now 15 new women have come forward since Evelyn shared her story on CNN. According to an attorney representing Yang and the other alleged victims, this morning, we're hearing from another woman who says that same doctor assaulted her. CNN's Drew Griffin has the details.
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DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The indictment reads like 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 DA'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 THE SAME DOCTOR AS EVELYN YANG: There's clear evidence of a 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.
Marissa Hoechstetter is one of dozens of accusers 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 some staff, coworkers and even patient chaperones looked the other way.
A nurse tried to send out warning in the early 90s, 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 two were victims of Dr. Hadden.
GRIFFIN: Not a day in prison?
ANTHONY DIPIETRO, ACCUSERS' ATTORNEY: Nothing.
GRIFFIN: Does that make sense to you?
DIPIETRO: 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: He got away with it.
DIPIETRO: Got away with it.
EVELYN YANG, WIFE OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ANDREW YANG: It's like getting, you know, slapped in the face and punched in the gut. The DA'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 is 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. Patients weren't told the OB-GYN they were seeing, had been accused of sex crimes. And in the weeks that followed, two of those patients would become his next alleged victims. Evelyn Yang was one of them.
YANG: Can you imagine the audacity of a man who does this, continue to do this after being arrested? It's like he knew that he would -- he wouldn't face any repercussion.
GRIFFIN (voice over): The doctor's arrest was voided. He wouldn't be charged with any crime for another two years while the DA's office investigated. Hadden hired a powerful and connected attorney, Isabelle Kirshner, a former colleague of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Kirshner, had donated at 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 at least four years behind bars would be reduced to nothing. The DA's office even agreed to lower Hadden's sex offender status.
He wouldn't appear on the public registry, though he was convicted of a felony. Kirshner told CNN Hadden had great lawyering and even brags about the win on her website.
YANG: He was getting off with a slap on the wrist, basically.
GRIFFIN (voice over): 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 (voice over): 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."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Robert Hadden remains a free man. His attorney says he will not talk and in court filings he is fighting the allegations being made against him. As for Columbia University Medical Center, not a single answer to any of CNN's detailed questions about the possible cover up in this case. Only a statement saying the allegations are abhorrent and they deeply apologize to those whose trust was violated. Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
PAUL: All of those documents, it's just dizzying. Evelyn Yang, by the way, is expected to speak today at the Women's March in New York and that's just one of the many marches being held across the country, really around the world today. We're live from the Washington march. That's next.
PAUL: So doctors say the number of cases of a deadly mysterious new strain of coronavirus in China is likely grossly underestimated.
SAVIDGE: Officially for new cases of the SARS like disease have been reported in Wuhan, the Southeastern part of China. In all, two people have died there and at least 45 are infected. But the researchers say this. At the Imperial College of London, they say more than 1,700 people could have been infected since last Sunday.
PAUL: Now three airports in the U.S. have begun medical screenings to check passengers arriving from Wuhan, China. Staff from the CDC or at JFK in New York, San Francisco International and Los Angeles International, and they're looking for symptoms such as coughing and high temperatures.
SAVIDGE: This week, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley shared with the world a very personal struggles. She has alopecia. It's a condition that can cause permanent hair loss.
PAUL: Yes, the Massachusetts Democrat says started losing her hair from last fall. And this was a revealing video. She told "The Root," she wants to confront any shame associated with the condition. CNN Health Reporter Jacqueline Howard has her story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Christi and Martin, alopecia is a common disorder that causes hair loss. Here's what Congresswoman Pressley has to say about her journey.
REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA): This is my official public revealing. I'm ready now, because I want to be free from the secret and making peace with having alopecia. I have not arrived there. It's about self- agency. It's about power. It's about acceptance.
HOWARD: As you can see, she really opened up about her own personal experience. And when it comes to alopecia, the triggers of it are complex and still being studied. But it's considered an autoimmune condition and a combination of factors could be behind it. Changes in genes and in the immune system. And there are some treatment options available -- steroid injections, medicines applied to the skin or UV light therapy.
And in some cases, the hair that is lost may grow back. But, overall, many people in the medical world have applauded Congresswoman Pressley for opening up about her hair loss. The American Academy of Dermatology tweeted thank you to her for, and I quote, "sharing your story and raising awareness about alopecia," end quote. Other people with alopecia may have that same gratitude. Christi and Martin back to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: What a wonderful story. Well, right now people are starting to gather near the White House, that is for today's Women's March, which gets underway about an hour from now.
PAUL: CNN Political Reporter Rebecca Buck is with us live. Rebecca, what are you saying?
REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Good morning. Well, as you mentioned, people are just starting to gather here this morning. Things don't kick off officially until 10:00 am. The marching itself will begin at 11:00.
But we're expecting a much different feel for this year's Women's March, the fourth March since President Trump took office, then we have seen in past years. Of course, the first Women's March on the day after President Trump was inaugurated into office was one of the biggest demonstrations ever recorded across the country and here in Washington DC.
Today, we're expecting something smaller. Organizers say they're expecting tens of thousands of people. As you can see, though, the weather is not cooperating. It is a very wintry day here in Washington. Cold, we had a dusting of snow this morning and are expecting some precipitation later this afternoon. So it's not clear whether that will put a dampen on the festivities here today.
But we will have sort of a different tone as well from the speakers and the lineup here today in the program. No celebrities expected, the lawmakers as well. It's going to be really a grassroots feel here today. Christi and Martin.
PAUL: All righty. Rebecca, hang in there. Hope you stay warm. Thank you so much. We're going to check back with her by the way--
PAUL: --after the match begins little bit later this morning, as we said, around 10 o'clock. We're also speaking with a board member of the Women's March about how the organization really is fighting for the rights in the LGBT and immigrant communities now as well, so a little bit of a shift in their mission.
SAVIDGE: We will be back at 10 o'clock Eastern. We're in "CNN Newsroom".
PAUL: "Smerconish" is up next. President Trump's impeachment defense attorney Alan Dershowitz is with him. Also Democratic Senators Doug Jones and Chris Coons, as well as Democratic Presidential Candidate Tom Steyer.