Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY SATURDAY

Senate Posed To Acquit Trump After Vote For Witness Fails; NYT: Bolton Book Says Trump Directed Ukraine Pressure Campaign; Candidates Make Final Push With Iowa Caucuses Two Days Away; How Acquitting Trump Will Impact American Democracy; Tight Security In Miami For Super Bowl 54. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired February 1, 2020 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[07:00:00]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Impeach process is over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The yays are 49, the nays are 51. The motion is not agreed to.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): No witnesses, no documents. In an impeachment trial. It's a grand tragedy.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): You know what I believe about all this? There was a bunch of partisan (BLEEP) in the House, it continued in the Senate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just took the guardrails off. They've just said President Trump, you can be a serial violator of the Constitution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump was incorrectly accused of a lot of things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is a shocking disgrace that will haunt the Senate for decades.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the sun is coming up over Washington, D.C., and over the capital. The sun will rise again. I believe it is saying to us, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The question is: how change is that Capital? The structure is the same but what goes on underneath may be changed for the foreseeable future.

CAMEROTA: Welcome to a special edition of NEW DAY. It is Saturday, February 1st, 7:00 here in New York. A lot happened last night with the impeachment trial of President Trump, though not much changed in the Senate trial, but it is not over. This morning, it's on pause.

It will reconvene on Monday and final vote will be on Wednesday. Next week is a big week. Tuesday is the President's State of the Union Address. And then, there's all that's happening in Iowa as well. None of this is the scenario, the White House envisioned.

But Democrats and some Republicans wanted to delay the trial for reasons that we will get into. Despite the delay, there will be no witnesses or documents in this trial after 51 Republicans voted against it.

BERMAN: I like how you say all that's going on in Iowa. It's the Iowa caucuses. It's the first state to vote in the nominating process for the Democratic nominee. It's kind of a big deal. So, the new schedule allows Democrats campaigning for president to fly to Iowa now before Monday's caucuses, but will they be back in Washington on Monday?

The guidelines say all senators should plan to be in attendance at all times. Should does not mean shall, and we will debate at length the difference between should and shall. At least one Democratic governor is refusing to say what he plans to do.

CNN's Lauren Fox is live on Capitol Hill. And Lauren, honestly, this got very strange in terms of the scheduling here. This is not how we all thought this was going to end. It's still going to end the same way, but the path there is a lot more winding (INAUDIBLE).

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. John, you know, yesterday morning, it became very clear that Democrats were not going to be able to convince those four Republicans that they had been working so hard to convince to support witnesses. Instead, they got only two of them: Mitt Romney and Susan Collins. But as the day went on, it became very clear that it was a little bit go -- it was going to be a little bit tough to close this out. There were a lot of late negotiations last minute deals that were brokered. Here's what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FOX: President Trump's likely acquittal will have to wait until after the State of the Union.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If not the yeas are 49, the nays are 51. The motion is not agreed to.

FOX: Despite Senate Republicans narrowly ending Democrats' last efforts to bring witnesses into the impeachment trial.

SCHUMER: It's a grand tragedy, one of the worst tragedies that the Senate has ever overcome. America will remember this day, unfortunately, where the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities. If the president is acquitted, with no witnesses, no documents, the acquittal will have no value.

FOX: Democrats highlighting new damning allegations from John Bolton's unpublished draft manuscript as the last-ditch effort to convince moderate Republicans. According to the New York Times, the President's former National Security Adviser alleges Trump personally directed him to help pressure Ukraine into launching investigations into political rivals, like former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump denying Bolton's claim. Bolton describing an oval office

meeting, where he says the president provided instructions alongside Rudy Giuliani, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and White House Counsel Patsy Baloney, who is now part of Trump's impeachment defense team.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Yet another reason why we ought to hear from witnesses, the facts will come out. They will continue to come out.

FOX: President Trump's lawyers arguing witnesses are irrelevant.

JAY SEKULOW, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The problem with the case, the problem with their position is, even with all of those witnesses, it doesn't prove up an impeachable offense, the articles fail.

FOX: Ultimately, Democrats were only able to convince two of the four key Republican senators needed. Florida Senator Marco Rubio releasing a mind-bending statement defending his vote, writing: "Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment, does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a president from office."

[07:05:18]

Now, Trump's GOP allies eager to clear his name, suggesting the end of the impeachment trial will impact Democrats at the ballot box.

GRAHAM: You know what I believe about all this? There was a bunch of partisan (BLEEP) in the House that continued in the Senate is going to end Wednesday. The President is going to get acquitted, and it's going to blow up in their face.

FOX: Senate Democrats disagree, instead of believing Republicans have doomed themselves in the fall.

SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-IL): They need to be worried for November of this year. The truth will come out and those who voted against allowing the American people to see the evidence, you know, they will be judged poorly.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOX: That much anticipated vote to acquit the president is expected to come on Wednesday, Monday and Tuesday are closing arguments and an opportunity for senators to make their closing statements on the floor of the Senate. John and Allison.

BERMAN: All right. Laura Fox for us on Capitol Hill. Lauren, thanks so much for being here. Joining us now John Avalon, CNN Senior Political Analyst, Joe Lockhart, former Clinton White House Press Secretary, Charlie Dent, former Republican Congressman, and Laura Jarrett CNN Correspondent and "EARLY START" Anchor. The schedule is one thing, this is going to end the way it was always going to end. But what has emerged over the last 24 hours are the justifications for the Republicans for why they have decided not to hear witness. CAMEROTA: And what I heard was radical honesty. No, I think that they have been very honest, at the end of the day, finally, now that the smoke has sort of settled, I hear honesty in what they're saying.

BERMAN: I agree it's radical, but it might be radical obfuscation. Let me read you --

CAMEROTA: Well, that as well.

BERMAN: A couple of these. First. First, Rob Portman who says basically what Lamar Alexander said. Rob Portman, Senator from Ohio says: "I believe that some of the President's actions in this case, including asking a foreign country to investigate a potential political opponent, and the delay of the aid to Ukraine were wrong and inappropriate."

Again, so Portman saying what Alexander said the case has been proven. The President did it. It's inappropriate. I don't think he should be removed. Marco Rubio said something even more nuanced. And by that, I mean, strange. He said, "Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a president from office."

Now, Rubio at no point in his statement actually said whether or not he believed the President did what he is accused of. So, there's that. John, these statements, the fact the Republicans are making them and what it means for standards for the presidency going forward?

JOHN AVALON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: These are tortured explanations trying to square the circle for why they don't need witnesses, but will vote against impeachment, and where they've come to after all the President's denials in the White House legal team's efforts is the President lied, the Democrats proved that case beyond a reasonable doubt, thereby the Trump lawyers lied and we don't care.

We don't care when it comes to actually imposing a punishment, and that's a problem. But at least they've gotten to the place where this is not an exoneration. This isn't a meant that the President has been lying from jump. So much so they say that they don't even need to see other witnesses to prove it in their mind.

CAMEROTA: I think that Senator Lamar Alexander put a finer point on it and explained it, explained what he was thinking because all eyes were on him, as we remember about whether or not he wanted witnesses. And here's how he explained it, Charlie: "Whatever you think of his behavior, with the terrific economy, with conservative judges, with fewer regulations, you add in there and inappropriate call with the president of Ukraine, and you decide if you prefer him or Elizabeth Warrant."

BERMAN: Can I say one thing? That was an answer to a direct question, though, after he called the call inappropriate and said what the President was wrong. He was asked if he was going to vote for the president in November. It's a little bit of a separate question there.

CAMEROTA: But I think it's the same answer. I think it's actually the same rationale, which is he just spelled it out? That, that all of that, that the Republicans who voted who will vote not to convict, like the conservative judges and the rollback of regulations so much that they're willing to deal with the corruption and the dishonesty? I mean, we've seen the dishonesty, the lies, I will go through it during the show that go along with it.

CHARLIE DENT, FORMER CONGRESSMAN OF PENNSYLVANIA: Well, you know, John just raised the issue of standards. And you know, when I was in the House, I spent eight years enforcing standards of conduct. I didn't like having to do that. I don't like being head of Internal Affairs in the Police Department for Congress. But that's what I did.

And I'll tell you what, as soon as the president is rolled, he's not removed, I think that there should be a motion on the floor of the Senate, essentially, the President. There's nothing in the Constitution that sets that forth. There's death penalty, and there's nothing else. In the House, you know, a member of the House can be expelled by his colleagues. He can be censured. He can be reprimanded. He can be reproved.

CAMEROTA: There has to be accountability, you're saying. And the death penalty is too strong, meaning removal.

[07:10:06]

DENT: Yes, there's a legitimate debate should it be removed or not, but there should be a sanction of some sort, and there isn't any coming out of the Senate.

AVALON: And I'll just say quickly, there is a precedent for this. Andrew Jackson was censured in the Senate, you know. Joe McCarthy was centered. But it requires a simple majority, not a two-thirds. And so, the question will be in addition to whether Mitch McConnell will raise that. The arguments that these Republicans have made to date, it was inappropriate. The President did it; would suggest they'd vote for center folks.

BERMAN: You care to bet on whether Mitch McConnell will allow?

AVALON: I don't think, obviously, for one second, the Mitch McConnell will do that, but he should and they should be asked why, they should be asking every interview: would you vote censure?

BERMAN: I do want to make clear that one of the reasons that people have been arguing the House Managers and others for more witnesses or more evidence is because we're getting more information every day. And Laura, OMB came out -- what was it like at 11:58?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just before, just before midnight.

CAMEROTA: And OMG.

BERMAN: Right! OMB then OMG. Explain exactly what happened here? Because they came forward with evidence that may have really been interesting. JARRETT: So, they've been stonewalling. They didn't produce a single

thing. Obviously, the House Democrats have been trying to get these documents. This was the whole point was the vote on getting witnesses getting more documents. But meanwhile, all of this Freedom of Information Act litigation has been going on.

And so, we've seen the drips and drabs that have come out. We saw 200 documents just a month ago that sort of laid out the timeline, but what this shows is that there are documents that actually reflect the President's thinking about all of this, while the lawyers at the same time have been saying no, no, no, he didn't have anything to do with this.

At least in these documents, there's an acknowledgement that the reason that they're holding them back is because they reflect the President's thinking, the Vice President's thinking, and so they're being now withheld and they'll never see the light of day unless other people, not Congress, but private parties are pressing these in court and judges are going to keep releasing them. So, despite the fact that Congress doesn't want to see them, we will see them.

CAMEROTA: That is, I think the really important point this morning. The impeachment trial may be over or soon to be over, but the reporting and the revelations are not. And there continue to be things that come out that are jaw dropping, like this OMB revelations of we now know about all of these redactions. These were the e-mails that were redacted, and we now know the context of what was redacted. So, that will continue. And Joe, how do you process everything where we are this morning?

JOE LOCKHART, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, for one thing, the extension through next Wednesday gives the Democrats and actually some of the Republicans more time to torture those who have to explain why they didn't want witnesses, because we are going to see stuff over the next couple days. I think there's a couple of things.

The, the Republican senators were all coming out and saying it was inappropriate. It sounds a lot like 1999 were Democrats said inappropriate, awful outrageous, but not impeachable with one small difference. Bill Clinton took responsibility for what he did and apologized. Donald Trump not only hasn't apologized, he said: "I'll do it again." So, these Republicans are all sitting there saying, not only was it OK, we're going to give them a pass. He's told George Stephanopoulos: "I'll do it again," and that makes it more unconscionable.

The second thing is the real longer-term meaning is Congressional Oversight, this morning, is dead. There is no reason to believe that presidents going forward based on the president said here are going to cooperate unless they take a different view. And you know, no one gives up power in Washington, D.C., no one. They have to -- it has to be taken from them. And we saw in the 1970s an overhaul and guard rails put up around the presidency. They came down yesterday because there's no reason to cooperate with Congress if there's no accountability and no recourse. CAMEROTA: Put a pin in that, everybody, we have many more questions including what John Bolton is saying this morning.

[07:14:01]

Yes, there's more information from him as well. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: It's a new morning and that means another allegation from John Bolton's unpublished book manuscript. According to the New York Times, the former National Security Adviser says now that the President directed him to help pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on Democrats back in May of last year, that's earlier than previously revealed. But here's where it gets really interesting: Bolton also says that Patsy Baloney, the lawyer representing President Trump at the impeachment trial, was also in the Oval Office at the time of this conversation, and so was Mick Mulvaney.

Back with us: John Avalon, Joe Lockhart, Charlie Dent and Laura Jarrett. Laura, I'll just read a portion of this from the New York Times: "Mr. Trump gave the instruction," Mr. Bolton wrote, during an Oval Office conversation in early May that included the acting White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, the need the President's Personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the White House Counsel Patsy Baloney, who is now leading the president's impeachment defense." Patsy Baloney, correct me if I'm wrong, had said that the President didn't do anything wrong, and he didn't know anything about this.

JARRETT: Well, there you go. I think I think two things about this. One, the fact that it happens in May is notable. We can all remember that Giuliani had gone out to tell the New York Times he was going on this adventure in the Ukraine, he eventually doesn't go after all the hoopla about it. But that was what the purpose of this was and why in the world is the president directing Bolton to send Mulvaney on -- I mean to send Giuliani on this excursion? If he really was so worried about corruption, there are so many other ways to go about it, but instead, he used his fixer, Giuliani, to do his --

CAMEROTA: His personal lawyer who has nothing to do with the U.S. government as Giuliani himself tells Ukraine that, too, is --

JARRETT: And then, at the same time, Patsy Baloney is in the room. So, as you mentioned, he is now a fact witness to some key events, while at the same time being an advocate for his client, but really the presidency is his client. And so now, I think there are fair questions about whether the D.C. bar should look into this. I am not confident that anything will be done about this, even though I know John Avalon has some strong feelings about this, but I don't think that we have seen any suggestion that there are going to be any repercussions for this whatsoever.

[07:20:29]

AVALON: Well, look, in the political realm, we've seen that people are willing to allow hypocrisy and partisan self-interest and polarization to cause them to abandon anything resembling a principle that they've advocated for decades. But there's still the hope that the law retains a degree of integrity beyond politics, and there is a thing as you know, called the witness advocate rule. It's an ethical standard in place but you can't be an advocate in some place for you should be witness.

And this is the White House Council got the floor of the Senate in front of the Chief Justice and appears to have lied, and a lot, and that should matter. That should matter. This is not simply Lionel Hutz, making a case on it and an infomercial on T.V. This is this is a very serious moment. And if he knew he was lying, advancing an argument to the American people, there should be, there should be a recourse.

BERMAN: Let me just read a little bit more of what the New York Times reports, it says: "Mr. Trump told Mr. Bolton to Zelensky who had recently won election as President of Ukraine to ensure Zelensky would meet with Mr. Giuliani, who was planning a trip to Ukraine to discuss the investigations that the President sought in Mr. Bolton's account. Mr. Bolton never made the call, he wrote."

Now, the President put out a statement overnight saying that he never told John Bolton to do this. And Rudy Giuliani put out a statement which denies nothing, as far as I can tell. Giuliani says, "I think he's making some of it up. He's sure making up. Well, I wouldn't call it making it up, but he's acting like a real scumbag by never telling me that he objected once and then saying, I was a time bomb or a firecracker or something."

It was a hand grenade but, but we'll give him that one. So, look, you have the President denying it, you have John, you have John Bolton telling one story and the President telling another. There is a way to find out the truth. Sometimes you can put someone under oath, right? But the Senate's not going to do that. And now from a political standpoint, Joe, it is interesting, because there's the Alexander, Lamar Alexander, doctrine now, which is Republican senators can say: Oh, I believe all this happened.

I believe John Bolton story here. I believe it could get even worse than that. But I still don't think the President should be removed, and I still don't want to hear everything John Bolton has to say under oath.

LOCKHART: Well, I mean, that that's the hard part. for them. It is it is legitimate to say something doesn't reach a threshold. And that's a decision a senator has to make, you know, with his own conscience and having talked to his constituents. You can't then extend that and say, there's evidence out there, there are witnesses out there, but we don't want to hear it. That, that what they're saying, in effect is there is no threshold. There is nothing the President could do that would make me want to remove him. And that's an abdication of their responsibility as a United States senator.

AVALON: This president, because he's popular with the base, despite the fact he's massively unpopular with the American people and 75 percent of the American people want witnesses and the founding fathers were incredibly clear about the fact that foreign interference, asking for foreign interference in a domestic election was exactly the kind of thing they were worried about.

CAMEROTA: Hey, Charlie, how are your Republican friends, your colleagues in Congress that you, I assume, are still in touch with? How are they wrapping their heads around that this is what they'll get for the next five years, if they have their way in the election, that the President doesn't think what he did was wrong with foreign interference and he'll do it again?

DENT: This is they're being tortured by all this. And that's why so many have retired. Let's face it, I suspect you're going to see more retirements. I mean, this is -- I've said this for since Trump's been the president, this has just been simply exhausting.

And they're very frustrated by this whole thing. I mean, it's -- they don't -- I think their silence speaks louder than anything. They're silent. They can't explain it. They can't justify it.

And they, they just, they just muddle through. And I think it's -- I don't know, when it breaks, I really don't. But somebody should talk to the members who lost in 2018, because I can tell you what they'll tell you why they lost their elections, for the most part is because of the President. And that's where we are again.

AVALON: But, but silence is total cowardice. I mean, you've got people with real power acting completely impotent. I mean, Senator Murkowski's statement was nonsense. The Senate's broken, I'm very sad. I'm a member of the Senate and I could help make it better by voting for witnesses to make the system work. But instead, I'm going to feel overwhelmed about how broken the system isn't very sad. What the hell is that?

LOCKHART: In their defense, they're stuck, Charlie, you know, this, which is if they, if they cross the president, they lose their base voters. They lose -- they'll most likely lose their seats. If they defend the president, they lose 60 percent of their constituents.

AVALON: She got re-elected as an independent candidate.

[07:24:58]

LOCKHART: He has put them in this situation. And I think this one of the things that was behind extending this beyond the State of the Union was their little feeble attempt to say, you can't tell us what to do, Donald Trump. We're going to we're going to do this to you. It was feeble.

BERMAN: The witness vote was the way to do that. That's --

LOCKHART: Yes, of course.

BERMAN: That's why the witness vote was important here to a lot of people because you can say, you know, what, removing the president is an incredibly high bar. But I will call witnesses as a middle path here to signify that what the president is saying here is not OK with me, and I want to hear a different story. They did not choose that route. They did not choose a route that was available to them.

LOCKHART: But it was -- they were motivated by fear. They were motivated by the fact that the President would retaliate against them and, and, and it's cowardly, but it is these it is a state of --

DENT: Most of them represent very safe districts. So, they have to really cater to their base. There weren't many guys like me who represented swing districts. I always had to be thinking about those independents, I ended 25 percent of Democrats to win. I just couldn't speak to a base and most of them don't have that experience. So, you've got to -- and they're in this no one situation if they crossed the president, they lose the base. And if they, if they step, step away from them, they needed the independents and moderates.

BERMAN: I am very interested about how the President will treat the State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, because if he does walk in there and say I made a perfect phone call, right? Does the Lamar Alexander clap? Do all the senators who have said that it was inappropriate? Are they going to cheer everything he says there? He asked --

JARRETT: Probably. Probably. I mean, to the extent that their judges are getting cleared, and to the extent that Elizabeth Warren doesn't win? I think the answer to that is yes.

CAMEROTA: I mean, the chances that President Trump doesn't say that he's completely vindicated and that all this was a sham are zero, of course.

JARRETT: That's what he's been saying.

LOCKHART: It's not likely, he's not given a major speech recently off a teleprompter, a big policy speech. He's been doing rallies, so it's really hard to think that he'll be disciplined and read the words in front of them. He's going to, at some point slip, and tell us what he really thinks. And it going to be, you know, I'm persecuted. They tried to get me. They didn't do it. I'm protecting you from them and just all the nonsense you hear in these rallies.

BERMAN: All right friends, thank you for being here on Saturday morning, much more to come. The first vote inside the Democratic nominee, the Iowa caucuses.

CAMEROTA: Is that what you're calling it?

BERMAN: I'm calling it the Iowa caucuses.

CAMEROTA: The Iowa caucuses, got it.

BERMAN: 48 hours away now. The candidates are in Iowa.

CAMEROTA: For the caucuses.

BERMAN: For the caucuses. Campaigning. We're going to go live next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:31:45]

CAMEROTA: Iowa voters will have their say in two days. Who are they leaning towards this morning? Senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny tells us. He is live in Des Moines. What's the situation on the ground, Jeff?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, good morning. There are 48 hours left for candidates to make their final pitches here. Voters already respond to them.

But we've been following some key voters who've been listening to these arguments all year long, catching up with them to see what they say. They're making up their minds this final weekend. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZELENY: Finally, it's their turn. Iowa voters are poised to render the first verdict of the presidential race.

PAT MUNDY, IOWA VOTER: I have never been not willing to take a chance. And I think this election, we maybe need to take a chance.

ZELENY: Pat Mundy has been busy sizing up the field.

MUNDY: I started first with Elizabeth Warren, and I was very pro- Elizabeth in the beginning. My next candidate was Pete. I've heard him speak twice. Joe Biden, he is a source of comfort. Bernie Sanders comes off, much more compelling in person that he does on the screen.

ZELENY: So, Monday night, whose corner will you be in?

MUNDY: I have committed to caucus for Pete.

ZELENY: Mundy, a retired teacher has taken full advantage of a front- row seat. Shaking hands with Biden, asking a question of Andrew Yang, and finally coming face to face with her top choice.

After a year of listening to candidates at town hall meetings --

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to win this campaign.

ZELENY: And through T.V. ads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elizabeth Warren is the president this nation needs.

ZELENY: Voters are making up their minds.

JON HEITLAND, IOWA VOTER: This is the year to play it safe and go with a proven candidate, which I think that's Joe Biden.

ZELENY: We met Jon Heitland at a campaign stop for Buttigieg, where he made his final decision to support Biden.

HEITLAND: And we need to nominate the person who can beat President Trump. That's the number one issue.

ZELENY: The signs of the season are everywhere in Iowa. From storefronts to front yards. This time, many voters have been slow to choose as they search for the strongest candidate to challenge President Trump.

Their decisions are driven by issues, but above all, electability. On that front, Democrats are torn whether to choose a progressive path.

DENNISE DIAZ, IOWA VOTER: I am supporting Senator Sanders.

ZELENY: Why?

DIAZ: I just love his message. I think that he has integrity.

ZELENY: Or a more pragmatic one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My first choice caucus, I think it's going to go with Amy Klobuchar. My second is uncertain.

ZELENY: It's that question of second choice that's critical here. Candidates must win, at least, 15 percent support in the first round of voting. If they don't, voters turn to their plan B.

For Hope Bossard, that's Biden. She respects him and is comfortable with him. But after seeing him up close, she wasn't electrified.

HOPE BOSSARD, IOWA VOTER: I have to weigh this out. I like a lot of the new ideas that Tom Steyer says, but, I am good with Biden. If he's our guy, I can support him.

ZELENY: But not everyone is making that choice. After seeing Biden and Buttigieg on the same day, just before Christmas, Cheri Scheib faced a tough decision.

[07:35:02]

CHERI SCHEIB, IOWA VOTER: What's a guy to do? I don't know yes. I got to think about it and sleep on it. I don't know yet.

ZELENY: We caught up with her again this week.

Who you're going to be with Monday night?

SCHEIB: I'm going to be with Pete. I am. Mayor Pete, you got my vote. As many times as I've seen him, I've enjoyed him every time. I appreciate everything he says, smart guy, today really solidified my thought process on it. So, I'm going to Pete.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZELENY: Now, these voters have made up their minds, but so many others are still doing so this weekend. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders back in Iowa to be campaigning for this final stretch. They, of course, have been in Washington most of the week. Alisyn, one interesting thing we've seen throughout the week talking to voters here, we've run into many first-time caucus-goers of all ages. So, that is the question. How many people will turn out on Monday night?

Bernie Sanders have said if it's a big turnout, that helps him. He says a small turnout does not. So, that is the question. Monday night, how many Iowans come out at their caucuses? Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: That is an interesting dynamic, Jeff. And it's also just interesting to hear when you talk to those voters how they're wrestling with it. So, thank you very much for all of that reporting.

ZELENY: Good day.

CAMEROTA: So, with only 48 hours before the Iowa caucuses, the final CNN Des Moines Register, poll numbers will be revealed live during a CNN special event. That is tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Our special coverage Monday begins at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

BERMAN: Now, I know you don't care about this as much, but I'm actually going.

CAMEROTA: I do care about that.

BERMAN: I'm headed to Iowa.

CAMEROTA: You are?

BERMAN: Like right after this show tonight.

CAMEROTA: I feel like you should told me this sooner.

BERMAN: I'm going to Iowa.

CAMEROTA: OK, that's important for me to know. Who will be your -- who is sitting here?

BERMAN: I don't know what you're doing on Monday, but I'm going to be in Iowa.

CAMEROTA: All right, I will be here holding down the fort and we're really looking forward to you before --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: To me, be being gone. That's what you're saying.

CAMEROTA: Pretty much.

BERMAN: OK. So, does condemning the president's conduct and acquitting him anyway, what does that do to the constitutional process put in place by the founders? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:41:48]

BERMAN: So, the question being raised this morning by the actions of the Senate, which is to say the decision not to hear fact witnesses or see any new evidence in the impeachment trial with president, the question is, can a Senate punish a president for anything?

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander conceded that House managers proved their case in the impeachment trial of President Trump, but says he will still vote against hearing any new evidence at all.

Joining me now is Jeffrey Engel, CNN presidential historian, and co- author of Impeachment and American History. And Professor, it's always great to have you. And let me read you something Marco Rubio said and as somewhat tortured statement explaining his vote, to not hear any witnesses and to vote against conviction to the president.

He said, "Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it's in the best interest of the country to remove a president from office." Is the Senate now in the position going forward where you almost can't exert any punishment on a president for anything?

JEFFREY ENGEL, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes, I think we're in a very dangerous situation, now. Exactly, the kind of situation the founders were particularly concerned about. Remember, they expected that each branch of government would jealously guard his prerogatives and jealously guard its rights against the other.

So, the idea that a Senate and a Senate majority leader, in particular, would actively defend the rights of a president to deny legislature information, is just would have been mind-boggling to the people in 1787.

I mean, they expected a president to do bad things. That's why they have impeachment? But they also expected the Congress to try to make sure our president was reined in, especially on issues of impeachment.

And it's really hard to imagine at this point, what the president could do that a Senate wouldn't -- would possibly convict him for?

BERMAN: Well, would have to be in the second term? Because there's this new measure here that Republican Senators seem to be putting in place, which is that if there's an election anytime in the future, then the voters should decide. The founders talked about this. They talked about whether or not it should be left to the election. And what did they say?

ENGEL: Well, first of all, I don't recall reading that line in the Constitution. I mean, it's amazing to me. There is no -- nothing that says unless the president has finished three-fourths of its -- of his term or one-half of the term.

I mean, the whole point of an impeachment is that if you have a dangerous president, that means that he is a danger at this moment, and should be relieved, even if it's 24 hours before the election. That there's more than enough time there for a president to essentially do what the founders feared, which was to win election, perhaps through some nefarious means. But then, use the power of his or her office in order to cover up the first crime.

That is to say, if you keep winning elections, you can continue to use the power of the office in order to convince the people that you didn't do anything wrong the first time, or keep the information from coming out.

I mean, it's really amazing. We oftentimes, ask ourselves, what would the founders think? And I find myself being very uncomfortable even with that sentence because they were such an incredibly varied and diverse group of political thinkers. But here we have a good example where the founders explicitly discussed at the Constitutional Convention, what to do with a president who manipulates elections and perhaps lies to manipulate the fact that you lied in the first election. And they were clear, that was impeachable offense number one, essentially.

[07:45:08]

BERMAN: And what you have is a legislature, empowering an executive here. And I'm not talking about this Congress empowering this president, I'm talking about the institutions here because this will last, this will leave a mark.

Arthur Schlesinger, wrote about the imperial presidency, and, in a way, Congress is now adding to that.

ENGEL: Yes, I mean, I think there's a sense -- I'm really glad you brought that up. Because there's a sense in which we shouldn't be talking about 1787, necessarily, but rather, I think, 1903, as they go back to Theodore Roosevelt, the rise of the imperial presidency.

And we've seen over the 20th and 21st century, presidents accumulate more power, I think than the founders would have expected it. Almost as much power as we might expect the regent or a king to have.

In fact, the entire discussion that we had just a few weeks ago about the president's war power abilities during the crisis with Iran, was about whether or not, the president could be constrained by the Congress.

And I think what we're seeing at this point is that the Congress has really abrogated its requirement to restrain the president. And we're seeing a president, that it cannot be restrained.

I mean, there's a real sense in which I think we've been talking about 67 votes to impeach, we've been talking about 51 votes in order to get witnesses. I think the number we need to focus on is 33.

That's to say what this whole exercise has demonstrated is that if a president can get only 33 senators, a real small part of their party perhaps to go along with them. There is nothing that can possibly check a president during their first term, or that can keep the president from manipulating the election to ensure that they have a second or perhaps even more terms after that.

BERMAN: Jeffrey Engel, again, you raise really important questions here that people should be thinking about going forward when this is over. These questions will linger. Thanks so much for being with us.

Alisyn?

ENGEL: Good to talk to you.

CAMEROTA: OK, John. By air, land, and sea, police are making sure the Super Bowl is safe and secure. Here are some of their preparations. So, CNN is live in Miami, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:51:35]

CAMEROTA: I don't know if you've heard yet, but the Super Bowl is tomorrow. The 49ers and The Chiefs are preparing behind the scenes, and security teams are doing the same. CNN's Rosa Flores is live in Miami with more. So, what are they up to?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Alisyn, it took us a few days but we went behind the scenes with law enforcement agencies by air, land, and water. And I can tell you that there is a mini-army of officers and agents here in South Florida to secure the big game.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FLORES: Hosting Super Bowl 54 in Paradise is a security nightmare. The NFL says hundreds of thousands of fans are expected at three venues, in three South Florida cities, along an international border that's invisible and unknown corridor for illegal sex, drugs, and merchandise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically, right about here is where the cruise ship security zone begins.

FLORES: The law enforcement presence begins miles away from Hard Rock Stadium, overwater with the big guns of the U.S. Coast Guard in full display.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is deterrence as well as if we have an actual threat, they could go to disabling fire and actually you'll remove the engines.

FLORES: At Miami's Bayfront Park, one of the concerns is hidden in the skyline.

Since the Las Vegas shooting, the urban land escape is considered a potential threat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The team members can stand on the handrails and --

FLORES: And while the FBI doesn't disclose tactics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In regards to high rise buildings, no security concerns are being addressed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn and go.

FLORES: The agency says, it's sharing intelligence with local state and federal partners like Customs and Border Protection, who alongside Miami-Dade Police have been training for the unthinkable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A terrorist threat. A terrorist threat is going to be our biggest concern.

FLORES: That's why these fully armed agents are trained to repel into packed venues from black hawks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See who we got here.

FLORES: Meanwhile, other agents are intercepting counterfeit merchandise mostly from China by the box load.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Counterfeit Super Bowl rings, caps, jerseys, you name it, anything that goes along with the big game itself.

FLORES: While the full security strategy a secret, Florida's attorney general has one message for criminals.

ASHLEY MOODY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF FLORIDA: We're going to get you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FLORES: There is also a no-drone zone and the FBI is already cracking down. And John, law enforcement is very serious about security, but they're also very serious about this. They say that fans should focus on having fun.

[07:54:19]

BERMAN: Look, and that's why they do what they do. They are keeping it safe, so we all can enjoy the game, and our thanks go out to them.

To the Senate, well, no doubt acquit the president in the impeachment trial. But the timing of it isn't exactly what he wanted. These major changes that happened overnight. Why they happened and what it means for the 2020 Democratic nomination Iowa caucuses on Monday? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN G. ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES: The yeas are 49, the nays are 51. The motion is not agreed to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that they didn't hear John Bolton's testimony before voting on impeachment is a historic disgrace.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Whether there was a quid pro quo, whether there wasn't a quid pro quo, as a matter of law, it didn't matter. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a very dangerous precedent. The Senate Republicans have created a reckless presidency.

GRAHAM: It's going to end Wednesday, the president is going to get acquitted, it's going to blow up in their face.

SCHUMER: If the president is acquitted with no witnesses, no documents, the acquittal will have no value.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

BERMAN: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Saturday. It's February, all of a sudden. February 1st, 8:00 in the East.

CAMEROTA: How did that happen?

BERMAN: I have no idea, no one told me.