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The Brief with Bianca Nobilo
Sen. Chuck Schumer Lays Out Democrats' Demand For Senate Trial; Source: Boeing To Suspend Production Of 737 MAX; Prime Minister Johnson Greets New Conservative Lawmakers; Protests Grow Against India's Law That Excludes Muslims; China Reacts To Star Player's Tweet About Uyghurs; F1 Heiress Tamara Ecclestone's Home Robbed Of Jewelry; Five Titleholders Of Pageants, All Women Of Color. Aired 5-5:30p ET
Aired December 16, 2019 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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ANNOUNCER: Tonight on THE BRIEF, a historic week as the U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to vote on the impeachment of President Trump.
A source says Boeing is halting production of the 737 MAX, the plane involved in two deadly crashes. And outrage on the streets of India over a
controversial citizenship law that could exclude Muslims.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Live from London I'm Cyril Vanier in for Bianca today welcome to the show.
So we are approaching a milestone in U.S. history. This week Donald Trump is probably going to become the third President ever to be formally
impeached. The House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
If just one of those articles is approved, and we're expecting both of them to pass, the Senate will then hold a trial. Now that could begin next
month. And Democrats and Republicans are already battling over how it should play out. Alex Marquardt explains.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Conducting an impeachment trial in the Senate is an enormously weighty and solemn responsibility.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The tables are turning as the Senate trial looms. While Republicans will run things,
Democrats today trying to push their proposal for what the trial would look like.
SCHUMER: To engage a trial without the facts coming out is to engage in a cover up.
MARQUARDT (voice over): Which Minority Leader Chuck Schumer hopes will gain Republican support.
SCHUMER: Do they want a fair, honest trial that examines all the facts or they - do they want a trial that doesn't let the facts come out? Trials
have witnesses. That's what trials are all about.
MARQUARDT (voice over): In a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Schumer called for subpoenas to be issued for four witnesses who have
direct knowledge of the Ukraine affair. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, his Deputy Rob Blair; Budget Office Official Michael Duffy and
former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who allegedly called what the President's envoys were doing in Ukraine a "drug deal."
SCHUMER: Each of them will have information to share about the charges made by the House - information that no one has heard at this point.
MARQUARDT (voice over): Sources say McConnell does not want witnesses. He's been working in lockstep with the White House counsel on the trial's
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Everything I do during this, I'm coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the
President's position and our position--
MARQUARDT (voice over): Enraging Democrats like Schumer who told CNN there's a difference between discussion and working on the President's
SCHUMER: For him to talk to the President is one thing. For him to say I'm going to do just what the President wants is totally out of line.
MARQUARDT (voice over): Schumer hopes to model the trial on Bill Clinton's in 1999. To get his way and have more control on what happens during the
trial Schumer needs at least four Republicans to join Democrats to give them a majority.
Seven moderate or retiring Republicans are being targeted, including Utah senator Mitt Romney, a vocal critic of the President's, all this ahead of
the full House impeachment vote expected on Wednesday.
The Judiciary Committee which approved the Articles of Impeachment issuing their final report overnight blasting the President for betraying the
nation through abuse of power, which Democrats claim, includes multiple federal crimes.
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): This is a crime in progress against the Constitution and against American democracy.
VANIER: Alex Marquardt is in Washington. Alex, we've also got some new reporting today. In an interview with "The New Yorker" President Trump's
personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said this about former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Quote, "I believed that I needed Yovanovitch out
of the way. She was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody." Alex explain this to us. It's surprising to me that Giuliani is
leaning into this.
MARQUARDT: Yes, Cyril. It really is an extraordinary statement and this was, as you mentioned, interview to "The New Yorker." That interview took
place in November. And what we have here is, what seems to be the first time, that there is a direct link between the removal of Marie Yovanovitch
as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and what the President had been pushing for in Ukraine via his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
So think about this. We have a three time Ambassador, someone who has been a foreign service officer for more than 30 years, who is being recalled
from her position because, in the words of Rudy Giuliani, she would be in the way of those investigations.
This sets up all sorts of potential ramifications for Rudy Giuliani, who as you know, Cyril, is being investigated by the Southern District of New
York. And, of course, this comes right before we expect a Senate trial to start in which the President's defenders are going to say he didn't do
anything wrong, he was simply trying to root out corruption in Ukraine. Meanwhile, his own personal envoy to Ukraine - his personal lawyer was
calling for the removal of an ambassador who is known for her anti- corruption efforts. Cyril.
VANIER: Alex Marquardt reporting live. Thank you very much. Also, in about 15 minutes we'll talk about impeachment with Joe Lockhart. Now, he was the
White House Press Secretary for President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial, so he knows what it's like from the inside to go through
this and he'll be telling us about that.
A breaking news regarding Boeing and the troubled 737 MAX airplane. CNN has learned that Boeing is suspending production of its 737 MAX planes. The
shutdown will happen in January and will be the first time in 20 years that Boeing had stopped production of 737 planes.
The FAA told Boeing last week that the MAX wouldn't be cleared to fly again until sometime next year. 737 MAX planes have been grounded worldwide since
Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights crashed, killing more than 340 people.
CNN's Aviation Correspondent, Rene Marsh has been following this story.
Rene, tell me how Boeing came to this decision?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: They - this really is a change in tone for the plane manufacturer, I will say that, and
quite a drastic one, because if you've been following this story you know that all along through this process since this aircraft had been grounded
in March, Boeing had remained positive.
They were very bullish on the fact that they believe that the FAA would approve this plane to be flying by the end of the year, so around now, and
it just didn't happen. So what we are seeing today is quite a drastic change in tone.
Of course, lots of intense deliberations within the manufacturer before they got to this point. But, I think, that after - last week it just became
increasingly clear that this was the only move that they could make, because the FAA made it very clear that they did not plan on approving this
plane as safe to fly by the end of this year.
So what does that mean? That would have meant that Boeing would have to find a place to store these aircraft that they continue to produce. Keep in
mind, although you have aircraft that are grounded that are already in the possession of airlines, they also have aircraft that they continue to
produce - some 42 that they are producing per day Boeing was. And now they had to essentially find a place to store them.
Well, if they can't deliver these aircraft, storage of these aircraft is becoming an issue. And so here we are today where they have announced that
in January they will indeed halt the production of the 737 MAX. But this will be a temporary pause.
VANIER: Yes, this is going to have a huge trickledown effect. They're one of the - they are the U.S.'s biggest manufacturing exporter. Rene Marsh,
thank you very much.
VANIER: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went back to work today. He greeted the newest class of conservative lawmakers after his party
dominated the general election last week. Mr. Johnson is wasting no time getting down to business.
As Phil Black reports, the Prime Minister's Brexit Bill is expected to be put before British lawmakers on Friday.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL FREELANCE REPORTER: Cyril, Prime Minister Boris Johnson started his week working to fill cabinet vacancies and
congratulating the 365 successful Conservative candidates who together have provided him with that 80 seat majority in parliament.
He also spoke by phone to U.S. President Donald Trump, again receiving the President's congratulations. Together, they spoke about the importance of
the U.K. - U.S. relationship and future cooperation on security as well as trade and signaling their hope of negotiating an ambitious free trade
Here in Westminster over the coming two days, MPs will be sworn in to parliament. Then on Thursday the formal opening of Parliament by the Queen,
where she will read what's known as the Queen's Speech, a speech written by the government, detailing its coming legislative agenda.
Then as soon as Friday the Government has signaled it wants to get on with the business of getting Brexit done by reintroducing the EU Withdrawal
Bill. That's the piece of legislation that essentially triggered the recent election, because Prime Minister Boris Johnson feared that under the old
parliament it wouldn't have got through without being changed.
He doesn't have those fears anymore because of that 80 seat majority. It means Brexit by January the 31 is now a fact in waiting. Cyril.
VANIER: Phil Black reporting from Downing Street. Now we've seen the fifth consecutive day of protests in India over a controversial new citizenship
Protesters marched throughout the country Monday. The law is angering critics, because it fast track citizenship for religious minority
immigrants from neighboring countries, but it excludes Muslims. CNN's Vedika Sud has details from New Delhi.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCER: Protests over a new citizenship law continue to intensify in India. On the back of protests in three states in the
northeast of the country, the Capital, New Delhi, witnessed violent demonstrations Sunday after a standoff between a renowned Muslim university
and the Delhi police turned violent.
Protesting students from Jamia Miliia Islamia University told CNN they were beaten with batons and sticks, leaving 200 injured according to the
university administration. But this contradicts the Delhi police's version who say they were unarmed and used minimum force to bring the crowds under
Major cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai have witnessed peaceful protests over the controversial Citizenship Amendment
Act. Protesters claim it's anti-Muslim and against India's constitution. Leader of the main opposition Congress party Rahul Gandhi has called the
act weapons of mass polarization unleashed by fascists on India.
While the Communist Party of India Marxist has questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party's intention,
stating that religion cannot be linked with citizenship.
In an attempt to quell nationwide protests Prime Minister Modi once again reached out to Indian citizens. He says that the Citizenship Amendment Act
does not affect any Indian citizen of any religion. It is only for those who have faced years of persecution outside and have no other place to go
except India. Vedika Sud in New Delhi.
VANIER: And moving now to a story about human rights in China that is playing out on the football field. It all started with a tweet sent out by
Mesut Ozil, a star player for Arsenal David Culver reports.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China on the defense in yet another sports tweet controversy. The Foreign Ministry now responding to a star soccer
player's tweet that slams China for its alleged human rights abuses.
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil posted social media messages Friday in support of China's predominately Muslim Uyghur community. Ozil, who is
Muslim, harshly criticized China for the mass attention taking place in the far western Xinjiang region.
The U.S. State Department estimates some 2 million Uyghurs have been detained in what some describe as internment camps. China has been adamant
in defending what it calls counterterrorism and d radicalization efforts, referring to the detention facilities as vocational training centers.
As a response to those comments, Chinese state media pulled Sunday's coverage of Arsenal's English Premier League game against Manchester City.
This is not the first time that sports and geopolitics have clashed here in China.
In October, the NBA's relationship with China was tested following a now deleted tweet by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey. Morey tweeted
in support for anti-government protests in Hong Kong. That led to a near severing of relations between the National Basketball Association and
Meantime, Arsenal is distancing itself from Ozil, saying that the comments do not reflect the club's views, but rather are his personal views.
A spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry suggested Ozil has been "blinded by some fake news," adding "he doesn't know that the Chinese
government protects Chinese citizens, including Uyghur ethnic peoples' freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law. He doesn't know
that Xinjiang has not experienced a violent terrorist incidents for three consecutive years." They invited Ozil to see the region for himself.
David Culver, CNN Beijing.
VANIER: Right now a manhunt is under way for three men who police suspect stole tens of millions of dollars' worth of jewelry from Formula 1 heiress
Tamara Ecclestone. Her entire jewelry collection was allegedly stolen from her home after she left the country for the Christmas holiday. CNN's Scott
McLean as details.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you were a thief looking for an easy target, this is probably not the neighborhood that comes to mind. Yet,
police here in London confirm that just after 11 o'clock on Friday they were called here for a report of a burglary.
The house in question, which is just down the road here, belongs to Tamara Ecclestone. She is the daughter of Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone. Her
spokesperson called this a home invasion and said that her and her husband were left angry and shaken.
According to the British tabloid "The Sun," the couple had just left the country hours earlier for a vacation and that the thieves took millions of
dollars' worth of jewelry, including a single bracelet worth more than one hundred thousand dollars U.S.
The obvious question is, how would thieves get inside a highly secure complex like this one and stay undetected long enough to steal that much
jewelry? This postcode is one of the most exclusive in all of London, probably in all of the world.
You're not even allowed to take pictures on the sidewalk. There's this gate post here 24/7 and the house is literally across the street from Kensington
Palace. Plus to get from where I'm standing to the home, just a couple hundred yards down the street, you have to walk past two heavily armed
police officers who are on guard outside of the Israeli embassy just a couple of doors down
What makes this even more puzzling is that the latest police statement says that the call came from an internal security guard who reported three male
suspects inside. The police here in London say they are reviewing security footage and there was probably a lot of it. But so far no arrests have been
made. Scott McLean, CNN, London
VANIER: And after the break its back to impeachment with Democrats saying what they hope to get out of a senate trial. I'll talk about that with one
of Bill Clinton's closest advisors when he was going through impeachment. Stay with us.
VANIER: At this point it seems there's no longer a question if Donald Trump will be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. The focus is on how
the subsequent impeachment trial will work in the Senate.
The top Democrat in the senate Chuck Schumer wants to call several witnesses to testify. Witnesses at the White House has already blocked from
talking. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that he's not interested in hearing from witnesses. Back in 1999, during Bill Clinton's
impeachment trial, McConnell had a very different attitude about witnesses. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: Every other impeachment has had witnesses. It's not unusual to have witnesses in a trial. And I think we're handling this in exactly the
appropriate way under the Constitution and it will end soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Well, that was 1999 and that's what Republicans said then go after the evidence, bring in the witnesses, have a robust trial. Democrats, well,
the Clinton White House at the time wanted the trial over and done with as quickly as possible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE LOCKHARDT, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We think what the Senate should do is follow the Democrats' lead today. Vote "yes" on the motion to
go directly to the articles and have a vote on this and get this over with once and for all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: So let's speak to him. Joining me now, 20 years later, the man we just saw speaking for Bill Clinton during impeachment days, Joe Lockhardt,
Press Secretary to President Clinton during the time of his impeachment.
Joe, today the shoe is on the other foot and it's Democrats going after a Republican president. Do you still think that the Senate trial should be
short, as you did in 1999?
LOCKHARDT: Well, there's a real big difference between 1999 and today. In the Clinton impeachment there was a very thorough year and a half long
investigation conducted by the independent counsel Ken Starr.
Everyone who had any direct evidence or even indirect evidence was brought before the grand jury, including President Clinton.
So all of the facts were out and when he delivered his 2,500 page report to the House, all they did was kind of read it out loud and then moved to
impeachment. So in that year there was no compelling reason to bring people to the House floor.
Now a compromise was reached and three witnesses, Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and a White House staffer named Sidney Blumenthal were deposed and
the managers were allowed to use that video. But they - there was no compelling reason to bring those people to the floor on the Senate.
This time, we haven't heard, you say from the graphic you put up, the people who have the most direct evidence who were with the President when
these decisions were being made have refused to testify. And I think Democrats believe that a subpoena from the Supreme Court from Justice
Roberts might force and compel these people to actually testify. And if that's the only way to get to the bottom of this, then I think, most
Democrats and some Republicans agree.
VANIER: Do you actually think at this stage of the Senate trial could end up unearthing evidence information that we haven't been privy to yet,
because so much of this seems like a foregone conclusion right now.
LOCKHARDT: Well, the result may be a foregone conclusion, but we haven't scratched the surface of the evidence and the Democrats have said that and
they're frustrated. The White House and the State Department and the OMB have not turned over a single document. They've not turned over 12
witnesses that the Democrats and the House wanted to hear from.
So there is evidence out there and it just - I assume will make the case stronger, because if it made the case weaker, the President would probably
run that stuff up to the Hill himself. So, again, it's not necessarily the conclusion. It's the process of how you get there.
And remember, it takes two-thirds of the Senate to remove the President. It will only take four Republicans to vote with the Democrats on what the
rules of the trial will be. This is, you know, when Mitch McConnell says, no other impeachment in history didn't have live witnesses, he really
didn't know what he was talking about, because we've only had one trial and that was in 1866, I believe so.
VANIER: OK. So it would take - just so this is clear for our audience. It would take four Republicans to vote with the Democrats to essentially give
them a hand in shaping the rules of this trial.
LOCKHARDT: Yes. Yes.
VANIER: However, it would take 20 Republicans to vote with the Democrats to actually convict and removed from office President Trump, so that's a
different - I just want to make that clear for our viewers.
LOCKHARDT: Yes. No, it is. But it - go ahead.
VANIER: Yes. I want to throw some of the latest poll numbers at you, and this is a Fox News poll. But, essentially, I'm looking at the top left
number. Number of Americans who want the President impeached and removed, half of American respondents do.
And my question to you is, if the Democrats have such a strong case, why don't they have more than half the country with them?
LOCKHARDT: Well, I mean, listen, at this point - at a similar point in Richard Nixon's impeachment process only 47 percent of the public supported
impeaching and removing him. The voters for Trump and his base get kind of a distorted narrative of what's going on. They still think this is about
Joe Biden for some reason and the President has been a hero.
And all of the evidence isn't out. And, I guess, the last thing I'd say is at the end of the day, politicians aren't elected to read polls. They're
elected to do what their oath of office says, which is protect the country and the Constitution.
And if he if you sat through all the hearings, like I did and read the depositions like I did, you have no - there's just no question that the
President abused his office and obstructed Congress. And even if it was even if it was a very unpopular move, that's why we elect these
VANIER: Joe Lockhardt, thank you so much for joining us on the show today. Pleasure speaking with you.
LOCKHARDT: Thank you.
VANIER: And when THE BRIEF returns, five beauty pageants, five winners, all women of color. We look into this historic first.
VANIER: Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss America, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA, five major pageants one thing in common, they're all currently held by
women of color. The latest was Toni-Ann Singh who represented Jamaica. She was crowned Miss World over the weekend, but it was the reaction of another
competitor that really had the internet talking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jamaica.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss World 2019--
VANIER: And the lady you saw in the green, Miss Nigeria, Nyekachi Douglas, extremely happy to see her fellow competitor win. The feet is even more
remarkable than you would think.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Black women weren't allowed to compete in the Miss America Pageant until the 1940s. The first black contestant didn't take that stage until 30
years later, so there is progress. But other rules are still there.
A competitor, for instance, was stripped of her Miss Ukraine title for having a child and for having been married. Veronika Didusenko is suing
Miss World, claiming discrimination.
All right, that's the show for today. That's THE BRIEF. I'm Cyril Vanier. Up next you have "WORLD SPORT" on CNN. I'll be back at the top of the hour
with more news. Stay with us.