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GOP Impeachment Trial Plan Remains A Secret; Deadly Rampage In Paradise; Super Bowl LIV, Chiefs Versus 49ers; Impeachment Trial Begins Tomorrow; President Trump Talks Impeachment At Texas Rally; National Security Council Official Escorted From White House Grounds; Two Honolulu Police Officers Killed In Shooting; Threats Of Violence At VA Gun Rights Rally; Formerly Known As His Royal Highness; Turmoil In Puerto Rico; Major Milestone In Space Travel; SAG Award Make History; Navy To Name Aircraft Carrier For Black World War II Hero. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired January 20, 2020 - 04:00   ET





SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Why is McConnell being so secretive about his proposal?


LAURA JARRETT, CNN HOST: One day from the president's impeachment trial, Democrats want to know how the GOP plans to proceed and why those plans are still private.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGON CORRESPONDENT: And the much coveted The New York Times Democratic endorsement is out. And more than one candidate has a reason to celebrate.

JARRETT: Two police officers dead, two people unaccounted for along with the suspect after a deadly rampage in Hawaii.

NOBLES: And who you got? Super Bowl LIV is set. The Chiefs and 49ers will square off for the Lombardy trophy. Good morning. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is Early Start, I'm Ryan Nobles.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett. So glad you're here, Ryan.

NOBLES: Thank you.

JARRETT: It's Monday, January 20th, 4:00 a.m. in New York, just two weeks until the Iowa caucuses.

Rules for the President Trump's impeachment trial still under lock and key just a day before the trial gets under way. Republicans who are already trying to limit new evidence Democrats can introduce are now trying to limit the trial duration as well. Instead of 24 hours of opening arguments over 10 days like the Clinton trial, four sources tell CNN Senate GOP leaders are considering two 12 hour sessions for both sides to move things along. With no formal plan in place Democrats are ramping up pressure on the majority leader.


SCHUMER: Why is McConnell being so secretive about his proposal? Well, there are two obvious answers. One, he wants to rush this thing through so quickly because he's afraid of what the American people might hear. And there's a second reason. He's afraid that more damning evidence would come to light.


NOBLES: Now, Schumer says he's prepared to force votes on additional witnesses and documents as early as tomorrow if McConnell's proposal doesn't include that. That demand echoed by House impeachment manager Jason Crow.


REP. JASON CROW (D-CO), IMPEACHMENT MANAGER: Let's call the witnesses, then. He has said that his call was a perfect call. He's said he's done nothing wrong. So let's have the people that are in the best position to confirm that, come in and testify before the U.S. Senate.


NOBLES: President Trump has until noon today if he wants to file a trial brief with the Secretary of the Senate. His lawyers fought back ferociously this weekend after Democrats' 111-page trial memorandum called the president's conduct quote, the framers worst nightmare. The president's lawyers called the articles a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the 2016 vote and interfere with the 2020 election. Republican Senators already lining up to support that claim.


SEN. DAVID PERDUE (R-GA): My personal preference, Chuck, would see this thing dismissed out of hand because I think it's an illegitimate process in the House.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has been a political hit job. This is political revenge and what they're doing to the presidency is a danger to the institution itself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've seen the president in public ask the Ukrainians to get involved, ask the Chinese to get involved.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, those are just statements, political. They make them all the time.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JARRETT: Alan Dershowitz is a newly named member of the Trump legal

team. Here are his abuse of power and obstruction of Congress even if proven does not amount to impeachable offenses. He didn't always feel that way, though.


ALAN DERSHOWITZ, TRUMP IMPEACHMENT DEFENSE LAWYER: Without a crime there can be no impeachment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it certainly it doesn't have to be a crime. If you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty you don't need a technical crime.


JARRETT: Trump ally Lindsey Graham says the president wants very much to deliver the state of the union speech on February 4th with the impeachment trial behind him.

NOBLES: Meanwhile the president on the road in Texas last night speaking to farmers, the loudest applause came when President Trump went off script talking about impeachment. And without question the crowd at that Texas rally had the president's back. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich has more from Austin.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ryan and Laura, the president speaking to a couple thousand farmers here in Austin, Texas. And he did not waste any time touting his two big trade agreements. The phase one trade deal with China, which he signed just last week and USMCA which he plans to sign very soon. But his biggest applause line actually came when he mentioned impeachment. Take a listen to how the crowd here reacted.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're achieving what no administration has ever achieved before, and what do I get out of it, tell me? I get impeached. That's what I get out of it. By these radical left lunatics, I get impeached. But that's OK, the farmers are sticking with Trump. They're sticking with Trump.




YURKEVICH: You hear the crowd really giving their support to the president. So we wanted to ask farmers how do they feel about impeachment?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump is innocent. He didn't do anything that he should have not done. He was doing everything that he did was for our benefit as this country. And we need to recognize that and let this move forward. The politics of it, it doesn't help us on the ground at all. It needs to go away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I go by what we see and what impacts us directly. The political side of it, there's always going to be that. That's just the nature of Washington, D.C. But as far as that goes that doesn't have an impact on how I vote next time around.

YURKEVICH: Farmers we spoke to say while they will be paying attention to impeachment it is not top of mind for them. What they really want to focus on are these two new trade deals which they say are promises that have been delivered by the president. Ryan and Laura.


JARRETT: All right. Vanessa, thanks so much for that report.

And an odd development at the White House. The head of European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council, Andrew Peak, escorted off the grounds, Friday. Axios reports he's now on administrative leave pending a security related investigation. Peak had been set to travel with President Trump to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland but no longer. The two previous people to hold Peak's job, Tim Morrison and Fiona Hill, both who testified to the House impeachment inquiry about the Ukraine affair.

NOBLES: And breaking overnight. The New York Times editorial board bucking tradition with its highly sought after endorsement in the Democratic primary.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In this perilous moment both the radical and the realest models want serious consideration. For this reason we are breaking with convention and putting our support behind not one but two candidates. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.


NOBLES: The Times editorial board acknowledging divisions within the Party writing quote, Ms. Klobuchar and Ms. Warren right now are the Democrats best equipped to lead that debate. May the best woman win.

The board says, quote, any hope of restoring unity in the country will require modesty, willingness to compromise and to support of the many demographics that make up the Democratic coalition. For Senator Klobuchar that's acknowledging the depth of the nation's dysfunction. For Senator Warren, it's an understanding the country is more diverse than her base.

JARRETT: The decision is a blow to the front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden. The editorial board writes, his agenda tinkers at the edge of issues like health care and climate but merely restoring the status quo will not get America where it needs to go. And an almost Trumpian take down of Senator Bernie Sanders the Times writes quote, three years into the Trump administration, we see little advantage into exchanging one over promising divisive figure in Washington for another.

NOBLES: Sparring this weekend, both Biden and Sanders are both almost 80 over social security, Sanders directly attacking Biden's record but also forced to admit that a video of one of his aides promoted should have included a fuller context. That video supposedly showed Biden backing cuts to social security and Biden was mocking -- mocking those cuts proposed by former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.

JARRETT: Two police officers shot and killed responding to domestic violence call in Hawaii. Authorities say the first officer to arrive outside a home in Waikiki found a stabbing victim. When she and other officers approached the home suspect Jerry Hanal opened fire. Than another group of officers arrived. They were fired on as well. Officers, Tiffany, Enrique and (inaudible) -- were killed. The Honolulu police chief says the families and department are just devastated.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They left in the morning alive and you know, they come to the hospital and find out that their loved ones are no longer around, so very emotional, very emotional. I'm sorry? I did. They were like my kids.


JARRETT: The gunman also allegedly set a fire that completely destroyed at least seven homes. Police say it will take several days to process the scene. The work includes removing the possible remains of three people now unaccounted for. Two adult women and the suspect.

NOBLES: The FBI and local law enforcement in Virginia all responding to threats of violence at a big gun rights rally today in the state capitol of Richmond. Federal authorities already arresting several suspected neo-Nazis around the country concerned they were planning violence. Governor Ralph Northam declaring a state of emergency after it was learned (inaudible) hate groups planned to attend. Second amendment attorney, Tim Anderson acknowledging there is a bit of a different atmosphere at the annual gun rights rally.


TIM ANDERSON, SECOND AMENDMENT ATTORNEY: It just didn't start today. This started back in November. We peacefully demonstrated throughout the commonwealth. And if anything bad comes out of tomorrow, I hope that the world understands that it's not Virginia gun owners that are causing this. It is the same kind of terrorist organizations that have caused unrest in other places.



NOBLES: Virginia's Republican House leader says that anyone spreading, quote, white supremacist garbage is not welcome in Richmond. And Laura, I've live and covered Richmond for seven years. There are a lot of people nervous about what's going to happen there today, but they do feel like law enforcement has it under control.

JARRETT: Yes. Northam clearly trying to avoid another Charlottesville.


JARRETT: Well, Prince Harry speaking candidly about why he and his wife are backing off royal duties. CNN is live in Buckingham Palace.


NOBLES: Prince Harry making his first public statement since Buckingham Palace announced that he and his wife Meghan would give up their royal titles and would no longer represent the queen as working members of the royal family.


PRINCE HARRY, OF WALES: The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. There was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges.


And I know I haven't always gotten it right, but as far as this goes there really was no other option. What I want to make clear is, we're not walking away and we certainly aren't walking away from you. Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the commonwealth and my military associations but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible.


NOBLES: CNN's Max Foster live at Buckingham Palace. Max, the prince says this wasn't his -- it was his decision, not Meghan's.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, which is interesting. There's several nods to Meghan obviously during the speech and it does shed more light on how this all unfolded, why the duchess was in Canada, for example not here. he didn't dial in into the big crisis (inaudible) last week. He's making it clear it was his decision to do this. This is against a backdrop of, you know, this narrative that the duchess is manipulating him. She's changed since she got married.

He also said this is the same woman, the same woman that I married. So this is him taking responsibility for this huge seismic decision for the British monarchy and trying to protect his wife which is what he's always been about all along, since he got married, since he had Archie, he's just been concerned about protecting his family and feeling guilty frankly that his presence is affecting their lives.

NOBLES: So, Max, we do know that the palace did release some details about Harry and Meghan's future roles. Exactly what can you tell us about that?

FOSTER: Well, he gave a nod to it in that speech where he's expressing his sadness. He wanted to keep some of his royal roles and then move to Canada and carry out a private life. The queen clearly put her foot down on that, that was very firm on it saying you're either in or you're out. And if you want to go out, you're going to have to let go all of the public duties which are publicly funded and that includes for his military associations which is so close to his heart.

So, that's what he's talking about in terms of sadness. You've also got to remember that this is someone who's dedicated his entire life to his royal work and supporting the monarchy. So, he is having to let go of all of that. And it's very -- you know, it's going to be a bit of a shock to him going to the outside world having a different lifestyle, but also not having the support around him that he probably takes for granted.

NOBLES: All right. Max Foster, live outside Buckingham Place. Max, thanks for that update.

JARRETT: Three top officials fired in Puerto Rico after a warehouse filled with unused disaster supplies was discovered.



JARRETT: In Puerto Rico two more cabinet members have been fired after the discovery of a warehouse filled with unused disaster supplies. Governor Wanda Vasquez announced the dismissal of her secretaries of Family Services and Housing on Sunday. The Emergency Services Director was fired just a day earlier. Pallets of water, boxes with emergency supplies like food, diapers, baby formula and cots were found in storage on Saturday. It's believed they were there since Hurricane Maria struck in 2017.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Launch (inaudible) initiated. Dragging away.




NOBLES: A major milestone in space travel. SpaceX successfully launched a test of the abort system on its new spacecraft the Crew Dragon. The unmanned test paves the way for astronauts to use the craft for trips to the International Space Station beginning this year. In a test of the abort system the capsule ejected from the Falcon 9 rocket, to simulate carrying astronauts to safety in the event of an emergency. SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk called the test a quote, risky mission that's pushing the envelope in so many ways.

JARRETT: It was a historic night at the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the actor goes to, Parasite.




JARRETT: Parasite became the first foreign language movie to win (inaudible) coveted best ensemble prize last night. Other top awards went to Joaquin Phoenix, who won outstanding male actor for Joker. Rene Zellweger outstanding female actor for her role in Judy.

NOBLES: The supporting movie awards went to presumed favorites Laura Dern from Marriage Story and Brad Pitt for Once upon a time in Hollywood. In his acceptance speech, Pitt did not take himself too seriously.


BRAD PITT, ACTOR: I've got to add this to my Tinder profile. Let's be honest it was a difficult part, a guy who gets high, takes his shirt off and doesn't get on with his wife. There's a big stretch.



NOBLES: As if on cue Pitt's ex-wife Jennifer Aniston later picked up a trophy for the backstage drama of the morning show which is nothing like this show, right, Laura? It makers the first win for the fledgling streaming service Apple Plus.

JARRETT: Yes. Everyone went crazy last night seeing Jen and Brad just be nice to each other.

NOBLES: Well, there's a little bit of drama. I don't know. I don't know enough about that to talk about it.

JARRETT: As we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day the Navy is set to name a $12.5 billion aircraft carrier after the first African-American to receive the Navy Cross for Valor. Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.


He manned a machine gun on the USS West Virginia to fire back at attacking Japanese planes. At the time African-Americans were not allowed to operate guns in the Navy.

NOBLES: Super Bowl LIV will feature the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers 37-20 in the NFC championship game. Raheem Mostert had a record setting game rushing for 220 yards and four touch downs for San Francisco. The Kansas City chiefs defeating the Tennessee Titans, 35-24 in the AFC title game. Patrick Mahomes, threw for 194 yards in (inaudible). He also ran for a touchdown. This is going to be a powerhouse matchup. The Chiefs have the lead sixth ranked offense. The Niners have the second best defense. Super Bowl LIV, February second in Miami. And Laura, those are the two teams you predicted at the beginning of the season, right?

JARRETT: Oh, yes. I knew it. Do you have a favorite?

NOBLES: Between these two teams?


NOBLES: I don't know, maybe the AFC because I'm a Buffalo Bills fan. So, just stick with the AFC.

JARRETT: Do you like President Trump (inaudible).


JARRETT: Why are GOP plans for the president's impeachment trial still private? Democrats demanding Mitch McConnell release the play book.