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Trump Impeachment Trial: Senate Will Vote on Whether to Admit House Evidence; Dems Furious Over Impeachment Trial Rules; Washington Post: Trump Allies Working to Prevent Bolton Testimony; 4 Dead from New Virus Strain in China; Celtics Hand Lakers Worst Loss of Season. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired January 21, 2020 - 05:00   ET


RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: The third presidential impeachment trial in American history begins in a matter of hours.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): It is a cover-up. It is a national disgrace.


LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Democrats are furious as Senate Republicans push to finish the trial as quickly as possible.

NOBLES: "The Washington Post" says Trump's team is maneuvering to make sure senators never hear publicly from former national security advisor John Bolton.

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to EARLY START. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Ryan nobles.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett. So much, thanks so much for filling in here, Ryan.

It's Tuesday, January 21st, 5:00 a.m. in the East. Thirteen days to the Iowa caucuses.

Well, Democrats are furious this morning with just hours to go until a debate and vote on the rules for President Trump's Senate impeachment trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released his rules proposal last night and Democrats are calling it deeply unfair.

Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer says McConnell's resolution shows he is, quote, going along with Trump's cover-up hook, line and sinker.


SCHUMER: When you look at his resolution, it's no wonder he delayed it until the last minute. He didn't want people to study it or know about it.

[05:00:02] After reading McConnell's resolution, it's clear McConnell is hell- bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through.


JARRETT: Our senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju has the latest from Capitol Hill.



Now, just hours before the Senate trial is officially set to begin, Mitch McConnell unveiled resolution detailing the parameters of how the trial would actually take shape. And under the rules that Mitch McConnell put out, put forward, it's going to -- expected to be a pretty fast-moving trial if senators don't agree to subpoena witnesses or documents. If they decide to reject all that, then we could see the president potentially being acquitted by next week.

Now, this is how it essentially will play out under the resolution that McConnell laid out. After the debate on Tuesday, in which the lawmakers will take up the resolution that President -- that Senator McConnell put forward, there will be lots of amendments that Democrats will offer. Those Democrat amendments undoubtedly will be rejected by Republicans, probably all of them will fail. They'll seek to require witnesses and documents coming forward. Republicans will say we'll deal with that later in the trial. Ultimately, the McConnell plan will be adopted sometime late Tuesday.

Then, Wednesday comes the opening arguments. The Democrats will have 24 hours to make their case but they can only use two days of the 24 hours. So that means it could go probably on Thursday and -- Wednesday and Thursday of this week. That's when the opening arguments for the Democrats would happen.

And then afterwards, the White House would -- the president's team would have 24 hours to make their case. So that would happen on, probably, Friday, Saturday, and maybe they might use all that time, they could yield that time back. And then at that point, the senators will question all of the member -- question the two sides for up to 16 hours.

Now, it's possible those questions could extend into Monday. And then if we get into Monday, that's when the question time could be up. And then they will have a vote about whether to bring forward any witnesses, subpoena any witnesses. If that vote fails, which is very possible, then they'll move on to question about whether to admit any new evidence in the case, the evidence being the ones that have -- what has been gathered by the house Democrats in the impeachment inquiry.

This is different than the Clinton case that allowed the House evidence to be automatically admitted to the record. Now, the Senate will have to vote about whether to admit the evidence into the record. No matter what happens there, if there's no witnesses that have been agreed to to come be subpoenaed, no documents that have been agreed to to be subpoenaed, then the president could be acquitted if the Senate moves to acquit him sometime by the middle of next week.

And this is exactly what the president wants. He wants to be cleared by the time of his State of the Union February 4th and it appears increasingly likely that will be the case. But, of course, this is a hugely consequential trial, lots of twists and turns on the way. We'll see if anything surprises along the way.

Back to you.


NOBLES: All right, Manu. Thank you.

President Trump's lawyers and allies in the Senate are working behind the scenes to keep former national security advisor John Bolton from testifying in the impeachment trial. Impeachment witnesses said Bolton expressed alarm at the president's shadow Ukraine policy, comparing it to a drug deal.

According to "The Washington Post," they're gaming out contingency plans in case Democrats win enough Republican votes to force witness testimony. The first step would be a battle in the courts.

If that fails, they would consider moving Bolton's testimony to a classified setting, citing national security concerns. Now, that would ensure the former national security advisor's testimony does not become public. But it could come with serious political risks for the GOP with Democrats asking exactly what they're trying to hide.

JARRETT: Eight House Republicans are being added to the president's legal team, although, their legal role is a little unclear. Doug Collins of Georgia, Mike Johnson of Louisiana, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Debbie Lesko of Arizona, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, John Ratcliffe of Texas, Elise Stefanik of New York and Lee Zeldin of New York. None of them are expected to speak on the Senate floor. Instead, sources say they will serve as outside advisors and TV surrogates.

A number of House members have been meeting regularly with the president's lawyers to help them prepare for the floor arguments.

NOBLES: A majority of Americans believe the Senate should remove President Trump from office. Take a look at the latest CNN poll: 51 percent of voters say the president needs to go before the trial even gets underway. But you can tell this is a polarizing topic. Forty-five percent, though, do not believe he should be removed. Now, that's an increase of 6 percentage points since December.

And when asked if there should be testimony from new witnesses at the president's trial, pretty much overwhelming support, 69 percent said yes, 26 percent said no.

JARRETT: Meanwhile, as the Senate impeachment trial heats up President Trump is at the 50th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He's expected to deliver opening remarks about half an hour from now.


CNN's Jeremy Diamond live at Davos with latest.

Jeremy, the trial starts today. How's he not going to mention impeachment?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, we're going to have to wait and see, Laura. Obviously, the president's scripted remarks we expect him to focus on the economy, on the extent to which the president's policies have made the United States a more hospitable place for business and for investment. That, of course, will be the president's official message here.

Now, the question whether or not he'll go off script today given the impeachment trial is set to begin in earnest just a few hours from now. We know, of course, that impeachment has been top of mind from the president in recent days before he left the United States for Davos. He's been tweeting about it. He's been complaining privately to his allies at Mar-a-Lago about Democrats moving forward with these impeachment proceedings.

And aides are hopeful, though, Laura, that perhaps the president's busy schedule will keep his mind away from the impeachment trial in the Senate, away from those television screens and most importantly, away from his own Twitter feed as this is all unfolding. But there is potentially an up side here for the president and that is in the split screen moment that we will see here. At least in the way the White House sees it, you will have the president of the United States abroad carrying out official diplomatic business meeting with foreign leaders, including the president of Iraq and the president of the Swiss Federation, as well as business leaders trying to get investments in the United States. All the while that split screen moment is back in Washington Democrats, pushing to remove the president from office.

The White House sees that, of course, as beneficial because they have dismissed these impeachment charges against the president. Democrats, of course, are trying to make their case. Now, there is another potential moment of controversy here at Davos as the president arrives, and that is because the theme this year of this forum is the climate crisis. And we know, of course, that President Trump has been in denial about the overwhelming science that backs the climate change, and so, it's possible that the president could be pressed on this issue today as he sits on stage with the head of the World Economic Forum.

Again, that is the theme today and the president of course not on the same page as many of the business leaders here in Davos.

JARRETT: Not on the same page. Jeremy, thanks so much for being there for us. NOBLES: All right, less than two weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses

and President Trump's impeachment trial already having an impact on the 2020 race for president. We're going to have more on that when we come back.



NOBLES: President Trump's impeachment trial will have an immediate impact on the 2020 Democratic race. Less than two weeks out from the first voting in the Iowa caucuses, four sitting senators will have to leave the trail and return to the Senate to serve as impeachment jurors.

We get more from CNN's Arlette Saenz in Des Moines.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Ryan and Laura, we're 13 days away from the Iowa caucuses, and these White House contenders are facing a new challenge, running their campaigns against the backdrop of an impeachment trial. Four of the Democratic contenders are turning their attention from the campaign trail to Capitol Hill.

Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Michael Bennet, all preparing to sit as jurors in President Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate. That could take them away from the campaign trail for a good chunk of time in these final weeks before voting begins. So, these senators who are campaigning for president are going to have to find creative ways to stay involved in the 2020 race. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren are planning on deploying their spouses out on the campaign trail to stamp for them while they're back in the Senate.

And for candidates who aren't sitting in that impeachment trial, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, they are going to try to take advantage of this time when they are some of the only people on the grounds here in Iowa. But they also need to find ways to stay relevant as impeachment is going to dominate.

And let's not forget, 60 percent of Iowa Democratic caucus goers either aren't committed to their first-choice candidate or are still undecided, showing just how crucial these final weeks for the Iowa caucuses will be in swaying voters' minds -- Ryan and Laura.


NOBLES: Arlette, thank you.

Protesters in Puerto Rico calling on Governor Wanda Vasquez Garced to resign.

Puerto Ricans are frustrated with their leadership, and they took those frustrations to the governor's mansion on Monday following the discovery of a warehouse filled with unused disaster relief supplies including bedding, food and medical equipment. The island has been rocked by ongoing earthquakes and is still recovering from hurricane Maria more than two years later.

JARRETT: At least four people have now died from the Wuhan coronavirus in China. Nearly 300 people have been sickened by the new strain of the respiratory virus. Chinese health officials confirm some cases have been spread from person to person. They previously said the virus was primarily passed from animals to humans. Fears of a major outbreak come as China prepares for the Lunar New Year holiday this week.

In the U.S., three major airports in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are all screening passengers arriving from China to check for signs of the new virus.

NOBLES: Listen to this: a New Hampshire father kills a coyote with his bare hands after it attacks his 2-year-old son. Somehow I'm feeling like insignificant as a father after reading this story.

Ian O'Reilly says he was hiking on a trail with his family when the coyote grabbed the toddler and dragged him to the ground. O'Reilly was bitten and scratched by the coyote as he struggled to free his son but he finally prevailed.


IAN O'REILLY, KILLED COYOTE: I had its snout here, pushed it into the snow. And then just took my hand and got on its windpipe the best I could. And then I put in its ribs to try and pin it.

Never underestimate the power of survival I suppose. That coyote was very much interested in living. But, you know, so were we.



NOBLES: Very much interested in living, I think that's going to be my motto today.

O'Reilly was treated for his wounds, and his OK.

His son wasn't even injured in the attack. Police say the same coyote had earlier attacked a vehicle and went after two dogs, biting their owner.

JARRETT: And here's another one for you. In California, a 3-year-old boy attacked by a mountain lion. The child was also saved by his dad, who threw a backpack at the big cat after it came out of nowhere and grabbed the boy by the neck. The lion dropped him, picked up the backpack, and raced up a tree. The child suffered injuries to his neck but is listed in stable condition.

California fish and game officials at the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park confirm the mountain lion was put down.

NOBLES: I don't know, I'm nervous my kids are going to hear this story and expect a bit more.

JARRETT: You're feeling inadequate, aren't you?

NOBLES: Yes, I'm going to be looking for some wild animal just to take on just to show --

JARRETT: For their sake.


JARRETT: Chandler Parsons of the Atlanta Hawks severely injured by an alleged drunk driver. Will he ever play again? Andy Scholes with this morning's "Bleacher Report", coming up.



NOBLES: A law firm representing NBA player Chandler Parsons says he may never play again after being injured by an alleged drunk driver.

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

Andy, this a heart breaking story.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It is, Ryan. Good morning to you.

You know, Chandler Parsons, he was driving home from practice last week in the middle of the afternoon when he was struck by an alleged drunk driver. Parsons attorneys, Morgan and Morgan, say Parson suffered multiple severe and permanent injuries including a traumatic brain injury, disc herniation, and a torn labrum. The firm said the driver who caused the crash admitted drinking and had alcohol in the car. Attorneys said he was arrested and charged with DUI.

In a statement, Parsons' attorney said Chandler was in peak physical condition at the time of the wreck. He's now working with a team of doctors to regain his health and at this time, his ability to return to play is unclear.

All right. Now, Martin Luther King Day is always a big one for the NBA. The marquee matchup was the Celtics hosting the Lakers. But this is not much of a game at all.

Third quarter there, Jalen Brown just throwing it down over LeBron. The Celtics were up 18 at that point. They go to hand Lakers their worst loss of the season, 139-107.

And it may have been a regular season game but for Kemba Walker it was a big one. He was 0 and 8 against LeBron entering this game. Well, Kemba now 1 and 0 against LeBron as a member of the Celtics.

Now, earlier in the day, LeBron was at his son's high school basketball game in Springfield, Massachusetts. And look closely, when Bronny was getting ready in bound this ball, a fan threw something at him. Now, play was stopped immediately and the young fan was removed from the game.

Now, LeBron, he talked about that incident later that night.


LEBRON JAMES, LOS ANGELES LAKERS FORWARD: It was disrespectful and I know it was a little kid too. I don't know how old that little kid was, you know, so I don't know. I don't know if he learned that on his own or learned that at home, whatever the case may be, but it's disrespectful. But that made me (EXPLETIVE DELETED) mad when I saw that.


SCHOLES: LeBron also tweeting about the incident saying: Hating has no age limit. #JamesGang is build for it and well equipped.

All right. Finally, Damian Lillard, he had a career and helped the Blazers beat the Warriors, making 11 threes on his way to a career high 61 points for points of 60 that Willard already set earlier this season. Now, the Blazers, they beat the Warriors in overtime now, 129- 124, and now, Ryan Lillard said after the game, I guess if somebody's going to beat my record, it's going to be me.

Word to live by right there, yes.

NOBLES: That's my philosophy about everything, Andy. I try to break all my own records. I have to set some first, of course. But we need to get to that point.

Thanks, Andy. Appreciate it.

SCHOLES: All right.

NOBLES: Is that a good philosophy, Laura?

JARRETT: Yes, especially when it comes to your man versus coyote.

NOBLES: Exactly, I'm going to kill as many -- I'm going to break my record of killing coyotes to save my son. That's my plan.

JARRETT: All right, Ryan.

Well, history will be made in just a matter of hours. President Trump's impeachment trial begins with a bitter battle over how the case will be carried out. Our coverage continues next. Stay with us.



JARRETT: Well, patients at risk for heart problems need to be careful about using marijuana. A new report in "The Journal of American College of Cardiology" says there could be a connection between pot smoking and a range of heart problems, and that's because people who smoke weed typically hold the smoke in longer and it may deliver a more cardio toxic chemicals than cigarettes.

According to the report, about 2 million American adults with cardiovascular disease say they have smoked marijuana despite the drug being a potential risk to heart health.

EARLY START continues right now.


JARRETT: The third presidential impeachment trial in American history begins in a matter of hours.


SCHUMER: It is a cover-up. It is a national disgrace.


NOBLES: Democrats are furious as Senate Republicans push to finish the trial as quickly as possible.

JARRETT: "The Washington Post" says Trump's team is maneuvering to make sure senators never hear publicly from former national security advisor John Bolton.

Good morning, everyone. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

NOBLES: And I'm Ryan Nobles. It's 29 minutes past the hour. Thank you so much for joining us.

Democrats furious this morning with just hours to go before debate and vote on the rules for President Trump's Senate impeachment trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released his rules proposal last night, and Democrats are calling it a deeply unfair.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said McConnell's resolution shows that he is, quote, going along with Trump's cover-up hook, line and sinker.


SCHUMER: When you look at his resolution, it's no wonder he delayed it until the last minute. He didn't want people to study it or know about it. After reading McConnell's resolution, it's clear McConnell is hell-bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through.