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Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) is Interviewed about the Impeachment Trial; Injuries in Iran Attack; New Iowa Polls; Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired January 29, 2020 - 08:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We've hit an unpredictable phase of President Trump's impeachment trial. Today, each side will get to question each other.

Joining us now, Democratic Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, one of the impeachment managers.

Congresswoman, great to have you here.

Things are about to get even more interesting. So you both will be able to ask questions that have cropped up over the past few days of the other side. And we just had Rachael Bade of "The Washington Post" on and she -- her reporting is that one of the Republican plans is to zero in on Chairman Adam Schiff, one of your fellow impeachment managers, and to ask him many questions about what he knew about the whistleblower and when.

Have you all prepared for that question, and how will you answer it?

REP. SYLVIA GARCIA (D-TX): Well, we're preparing for any potential questions. And certainly all our questions will come from either side, either the Democrat members of the Senate or from the Republican members. So we're not sure what we're going to get. But, yes, we'll be prepared for any questions related to any of the issues that we've been sitting with this case.

CAMEROTA: Are you gaming it out? I mean just take me inside. How are you preparing for any possible question? Are you having, you know, mock debates?

GARCIA: Well, we're not having mock debates. We're essentially just sitting down. You know, some of us are lawyers. Many of us have been in trials. Some of us have watched trials. The American people have watched trials. They know what that looks like. It's evidence. It's testimony. It's documents. That's why we keep pushing for John Bolton to come in and be a witness. So we look at all of it and just try to anticipate questions. It's no different, I think, as a lawyer and former judge of preparing for an oral argument before an appellate court. You just try to anticipate every question.

So we're going through it all and we're still preparing. But we'll be ready.

CAMEROTA: So you're saying you're prepared for that question?

GARCIA: I think that we'll be prepared for any question that may arise.

CAMEROTA: OK. What are your burning questions fur the Republicans?

GARCIA: I don't have any questions. I don't get to ask questions. The questions will come from the senators themselves. So I don't get to submit any questions. But if I could, you know, I would want John Bolton here to explain what he knew, when he knew it and what he knew about the phony investigation of the Bidens. I would know -- want to know about the hold, the freeze on the Ukrainian dollars. I would want to know a lot.


GARCIA: But, again, that's why we need witnesses here.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean what you just laid out are your questions for John Bolton, but we don't know if John Bolton is going to testify. And the reporting is that Republicans have been quite unsettled. Behind the scenes they have been more unsettled by the revelations in John Bolton's book than they've let on.

GARCIA: Right.

CAMEROTA: What you hear publicly now is that some of them, like Senator Lankford, are -- seem to be suggesting that the contents are so hot of John Bolton's book that they shouldn't be discussed in an sort of open forum, maybe they need to be discussed in a classified setting.

Listen to this.


SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): Recommending to the House, the White House, turn it over, put it in one of the SCIFs here and so we can go through it even while it's going through the classification process. We can read all of it and see it and see for ourselves if there's anything significant there.


CAMEROTA: What do you think of that idea, reading John Bolton's manuscript in the SCIF?

GARCIA: Reading the manuscript in the SCIF. I'm not quite sure what the question really is. I mean the bottom line is he can add a lot --

CAMEROTA: Would you -- would you like that idea? If he's -- that's all you can get, would you agree to doing it in a classified setting?

GARCIA: Well, I would -- that's something that I would have to visit with the team to see what our position would be. I don't try to get ahead of the team decision. But I think what's important is that the reporting suggests that he knew a lot about this incident. He knew a lot about the Ukraine ties. He knew -- he -- and we have to ask those questions that senators that have questions about this, I think if it's good for them to fully understand this case, then I think we should have him here.

The American people agree. Seventy-five percent. Seventy-five percent of the American people say we should have witnesses.


We all know what a trial looks like. There's always witnesses.

CAMEROTA: Alan Dershowitz, part of the president's legal team, made an interesting case to the senators yesterday. Basically he said -- his argument is that even if everything that you've heard from the Democratic side and from John Bolton's manuscript is true, it's not an impeachable offense. And that seems to be winning over some Republicans. Let me just play for you how Dershowitz framed it.


ALAN DERSHOWITZ, CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER: Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense.

JAY SEKULOW, OUTSIDE LEGAL COUNSEL FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: I'm quoting exactly from Professor Dershowitz. He says, let me repeat it, nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, even if true, would rise to the level of abuse of power or an impeachable offense.


Alan Dershowitz's argument does seem to be holding sway with some Republicans. I'll just quote a few. Senator Roy Blunt said, quote, Dershowitz said it was not impeachable. Senator Mike Braun of Indiana said, that argument probably gave a lot more peace of mind to people that were wanting to see how to sort through all of this.

What do you say to the Dershowitz argument?

GARCIA: Well, respectfully, I disagree. And I think respectfully the American people disagree. I think if you look, what all the scholars have said, I would think that he, frankly, is the lone ranger on this issue. When you look at the abuse of power -- I mean, again, that July 25 call, when he picked up the phone and called the Ukrainian president for help, in cheating on an election, for help in distorting and, frankly, just making things up about the vice president, Biden, I mean that is seeking something for your own personal, political gain. That is a betrayal of a public trust. That is an impeachable offense.

And I think if you look back at the judiciary hearing, when we had the panel of constitutional scholars, they all agreed, if this is not impeachable, nothing is. So I think that with all respect to the professor, he's the lone ranger on this issue. CAMEROTA: Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, we will be watching very

closely how it all plays out today. Thank you for your sim.

GARCIA: Thank you.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A larger than life superstar reduced to tears in an emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant on his home court, next.



BERMAN: So the excitement is building in Miami. Kickoff for Super Bowl LIV now just four days away. The San Francisco 49ers are looking for their record-tying sixth Super Bowl title. Tying because the Patriots, of course, have won six.

CAMEROTA: Oh, I knew that.

BERMAN: Also the Steelers too.

The Kansas City Chiefs are going for their second and the first in 50 years. Chiefs players are well aware of what a win would mean to fans.


ERIC FISHER, CHIEFS OFFENSIVE TACKLE: The good, the bad, the ugly. Chiefs fans, Chiefs kingdom is there supporting us and, you know, we're just -- we're doing our best for them.

FRANK CLARK, CHIEFS DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: It would mean the world. Fifty years, man. Guys haven't seen a championship. We need -- it's about time we put a Lombardi Trophy in our museum.

PATRICK MAHOMES, CHIEFS QUARTERBACK: There's a passion that they show every single time we're at Arrowhead. And it really is amazing. And we want to make sure that we can bring a trophy home to them.


BERMAN: The Chiefs' only Super Bowl title was in 1970, as you well know.

CAMEROTA: Oh, I know it well because if there's one thing I do know, it's the Chiefs and their kingdom since much of them live in my house.


They won that Super Bowl when they beat the Vikings. That was Super Bowl IV.


A new photo of Kobe Bryant on the day before he died. This is a young fan taking a selfie at Kobe's basketball academy on Saturday. And he later told "The New York Times" that Kobe Bryant game him a fist bump and it made his day.

Last night, tearful tributes to Bryant on his home court in Los Angeles. Former teammates pouring out their hearts trying to come to grips with his death.


SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, NBA HALL OF FAMER: We're not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony. We're not going to be able to say, I got five, you got four. The fact that we're not going to be able to say, if we would have stayed together, we could have got 10. Those are the things that you can't get back.

JERRY WEST, NBA HALL OF FAMER: Honestly, I felt like his father for two years. I don't know if I can get over this. I really don't.


BERMAN: That's Jerry West, NBA legend as a player and then the general manager who brought Kobe Bryant to the Lakers.

CAMEROTA: Man, I feel their grief. I mean I just feel their grief. It is so raw there. And the idea that some things you actually don't get over and that's what they're saying right there.

BERMAN: So we've now learned that 50 U.S. service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries following the Iranian missile attack on U.S. forces in Iraq. That's a big jump from the number previously disclosed by the Pentagon. And, once again, the official U.S. note was that there were no casualties after the attack. Now we're learning 50.

CNN's Barbara Starr live at the Pentagon.

More cases coming to light, Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: There are indeed. As the days pass, more and more. Of course last week it was at 34 diagnosed cases of traumatic brain injury. Now, 50. So an additional 16.

The good news in recent days is about half of all of those with diagnosed injuries have been able to return to duty.

But, look, the bottom line here, 50 American troops injured, brain injured in this Iranian attack. The Iranians clearly able to carry out what turned out to be a mass casualty, mass injury attack, if you will, because they fired ballistic missiles at this base.


Thousands of pounds of explosives. A massive blast wave literally careening across the base causing these brain injuries from that blast wave. The Pentagon is fully prepared, they tell us, to even see more cases

in the coming days because they are continuing medical assessments. About 200 people estimated to be in the blast zone when it happened. They assessed those people and the symptoms are reported. They try and make a diagnosis about exactly what has happened to them. The Pentagon emphasizing it wants troops very much to come forward if they are experiencing symptoms.

The good news, many of them able to return to duty.

John. Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: This story just keeps developing.

Barbara Starr, thank you very much.

So different polls show different winners in Iowa five days out from the caucuses. Our Harry Enten will explain why and what he's seeing, next.



BERMAN: Just five days now until the Iowa caucuses. And there is this conundrum, this thing that is bugging so many people looking at all the new polling coming out of Iowa, which is we have different polls showing different leaders. Why is that?

Let's get "The Forecast" with CNN's senior politics writer and analyst Harry Enten.

And, Harry, the answer actually tells you a lot about Iowa.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: It does tell us a lot about Iowa. So, here we go. This is essentially what we're talking about here. There was a "New York Times"/Siena College poll. Bernie Sanders at 25, Joe Biden all the way down at 17. A Monmouth University poll, this was their earlier January poll, we're expecting one later today. But what you see here is Biden at 24, Sanders at 18.

So the question is, why is that? Why are these polls showing different results? And I think that this is rather important. It has to really do with projected electorate of what each of these polls are expecting. So that "New York Times"/Siena College poll, it was plus 7 Sanders. But if that poll had used the Monmouth projected electorate, it would be Biden plus three. So something very different is going on in terms of the projected electorate at each of these polls is seeing.

CAMEROTA: What is the projected electorate?

ENTEN: Right. So this is -- this is what it is. Take a look here.

So the percentage of the electorate that "The New York Times"/Siena College poll expects will be under the age of 50 is 54 percent. Just 46 percent of 50 plus. Take a look at the Monmouth University poll. A much older electorate

is expected. 40 percent under the age of 50 versus 59 percent 50-plus. So "The New York Times"/Siena College poll is seeing a much -- is expecting a much younger electorate to turn out and caucus on Monday night.

CAMEROTA: And which one is right?

ENTEN: Well, that's a big question. But, you know, I just want to point out why this is just so important. And that is because look at this age difference in Bernie Sanders' support. Under the age of 50, 31 percent in the average or the Monmouth and Siena polls, right? Sixty-five-plus, he's only getting 9 percent there versus Biden. Look at this, 12 under age of 50. Twenty, 50 to 64. Thirty-eight percent, my goodness gracious, the early bird special, 38 percent for Joe Biden, 65-plus. This is huge. And when you take into account the fact that Monmouth is expecting a much older electorate versus Siena, that's what makes the difference between these polls.

BERMAN: You know, you joke about the early bird special but weather could be a big factor here. If the weather is bad, you often think that older voters won't necessarily get to the polls. That could matter there.

We do know something. We don't know about who shows up to vote in Iowa exactly, but we do have a sense of general electorates in caucuses versus primaries.

ENTEN: Yes. So essentially over the last few cycles on the Democratic side there have been a bunch of states like Nebraska, Washington, who have held both caucuses and primaries in the same year. And I went back and I said, OK, how did those results differ between the caucuses and the primaries on average? So here are the caucuses in 2016.

In the states that held both caucuses and primaries, Bernie Sanders won by an average of 30 points. In 2000 in those same states, Barack Obama won by an average of 37 percentage points. Take a look at the primaries, though. Look how much worse Bernie Sanders did in those same states that -- when they held the primaries. Clinton actually won by six points. And back in 2008, even though Obama won in those same state primaries, he did 31 points less.

And what was the similarity between Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders? They both were much stronger among the youth than they were among the older folks. So it does seems to me that in caucuses, in caucuses, folks, what we see here is that the candidate who appeals to the younger voter tends to do better in the caucuses suggesting a very different turnout model from a primary. And this may suggest to me that "The New York Times"/Siena College poll may be on to something.

CAMEROTA: And what about Iowa specifically?

ENTEN: Yes, so, you know, here's the deal, folks. There is no accurate public records of who actually caucuses. This makes it very difficult for pollsters to know what's going on. And indeed if you look back since 2000 in the final three weeks, we see the range of results being six points wider in Iowa than in New Hampshire, which suggests that the pollsters really don't know what's going on and it's sort of a guessing game.

BERMAN: Just quickly, some history.

ENTEN: Yes, just some history. I just want to point this out. This is rather important. In Iowa, five days before the 2012 caucuses, Rick Santorum was trailing Mitt Romney but was gaining 3 to 4 points a day. Santorum had the greatest comeback in Iowa history. It's not over yet, folks, There still is time for things to turn around.

BERMAN: To Senator Santorum's regret, he wasn't actually declared the winner that night. It took some weeks to realize he won.

ENTEN: It did. It probably hurt him. But it was still a very value (INAUDIBLE) his part.

CAMEROTA: Harry, thank you very much for all of that history and number salad.

ENTEN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right, it is time now for "The Good Stuff."

A Texas community coming together to give a beloved high school hall monitor a big surprise. A new car.



I'm overwhelmed at this point. I'm still trying to embrace this day.


CAMEROTA: 2019 was a tough year for Rose Edowin (ph). The Army veteran lost one of her sons, and she had to share a car with another son who works at a different school.


So getting to work has been tough until now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every day I get up and interact with these students and parents, I need you all just as much as you need me.


CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

BERMAN: What a beautiful gesture.

CAMEROTA: That is beautiful. The school community raised money through a GoFundMe campaign, enough to pay for the car as well as insurance and gas for a full year.

We did not like our hall monitor at my high school as much as they love Miss Whin (ph) there. We would never have given her a car.

BERMAN: The lesson for you, clearly, is you were mistaken.

CAMEROTA: Ms. Wilson, we're sorry.

BERMAN: All right, we're entering a brand-new phase of the president's impeachment trial in just hours. The question and answer stage, huge uncertainty about where this goes. Our coverage picks up right after this.