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Erin Burnett Outfront

Polls About To Close In Special Election To Replace Santos; House GOP Votes To Impeach Mayorkas, Passes 214-213; Ruling In Trump Trial That Could Kill His Business Expected Soon; Biden: Trumps Has "Bowed Down" To Putin, "Dumb" & "Shameful". Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 13, 2024 - 19:00   ET




The breaking news: House Speaker Mike Johnson about the hold a second vote to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after his humiliating failure to do that successfully just a week ago. So does he have the votes tonight?

And we are less than two hours from polls closing in the critical special election replace Congressman George Santos, a seat that Democrats are saying they feel competent about flipping tonight. We'll see.

Plus, it could end Trump's business empire as we know it, and force the former president to pay a $370 million penalty. New details in that judge's ruling coming in this hour.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news. These are live pictures of the House floor. You can see a vote count coming in.

In just a few moments, the Republican-led House of Representatives is hoping to avoid a second humiliating defeat. They are once again going ahead with a vote to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas.

So what you're seeing now is an earlier vote. We will tell you as these votes rollover and we begin formerly the vote for the impeachment. It takes place exactly one week after House Speaker Mike Johnson first put the bill on the floor. He lost by two votes, 214 to 216, and it was an embarrassing defeat.

Tonight, Mike Johnson is scrambling to save face, rushing a second impeachment vote just days after the House Majority Leader Steve Scalise returned to Washington following his treatment for blood cancer.

But that is not the only reason that Johnson is scrambling to hold this impeachment vote. Now he's frankly racing against the polls closing in tonight, special election here in New York. If the Democrat wins, Johnson does not have the votes to impeach Mayorkas, and those polls closing just two hours. So this special election is taking place to replace the -- replace the expelled Republican Congressman George Santos. And just to be clear here, this one is a complete toss up at this time, incredibly tight.

And it is the crucial win for Speaker Johnson. How it will go is totally unknown because voting today actually happened during a snowstorm that actually brought parts of the district their most substantial snowfall in seven years.

So, here's the math. If tonight's impeachment vote fails, and the Democrat Tom Suozzi wins in New York, and all the other Mayorkas impeachment vote stay the same, then Johnson would be looking at a tie. The speaker would have to 216 to 216. And that means the impeachment motion would fail. That would add up to another failure for Johnson unless he's got the numbers to just barely pushed through a partisan impeachment vote against Mayorkas tonight.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT live on Capitol Hill to begin our coverage.

Manu, these two stories dovetailing inextricably tied together at this hour. What's the latest you're learning from members and sources you've been talking to there about how this vote is expected to go. It is obviously expected to begin in just a few moments.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Well, right now, the House Republican leadership is looking intently on the number of absences that of members who may not have made it back for this vote typically, they don't hold these huge votes. These hugely significant votes on days that members are flying back into town because a lot of members could get delayed. They can miss their flights. And in this razor thin Republican majority, any single absence could essentially derail their efforts. And that's why they are looking at this very, very closely.

Right now, is a first vote takes place as they move on it later in the vote series to try to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas. There is absolutely no margin for error for the speaker of the House. He's already lost three Republican votes who were trying to vote against him, members who believe that this is setting up damaging precedent in the House should not be going down this route. The question will be, if someone unexpectedly he shows up and if forces the speaker to once again changes plans and that could be ultimately could scuttle the effort ultimately, especially in New York, and Tom Suozzi, the Democrat, wins tonight, ultimately is sworn in before another vote were to happen.

That could essentially prevent them from impeaching Mayorkas despite more than a year of trying. Now, I just caught up with the number two, number three, Republican in the House side, Tom Emmer. He told me that he, quote, we have the votes, but then I asked him about those potential absences. He said they've been told that members were going to be here are expected to be here, but it certainly cannot say that with 100 percent certainty. So, Erin, we will be watching this vote very, very closely, the people who are not showing up, and whether that changes the calculations at all. But even if this does pass, Erin, Democrats in the Senate. So they point to quickly dismiss these charges once they come over there, charging the homeland security secretary with high crimes and misdemeanors -- Erin.


BURNETT: Right, absolutely. It as you point out, no one who's going to absent, also potentially coming up to the weather that he does so disrupted travel across the Northeast throughout the entire day, affecting where you are, Manu, and this vote and affecting the vote and who may win in this crucial special election in New York. So we're going to keep going back to Manu here because as I said, these votes are starting, they're doing a couple of procedural runs for the speaker to try to ascertain whether he has the votes for the big -- the big central vote here, which is the impeachment vote on Mayorkas.

And as these votes happen, were going to be covering that live in these coming moments.

Now, Republicans are trying to thread a needle tonight, a pension to put, attempting to push this impeachment vote before the special election in New York tonight is actually called, and that's going to happen here over this next hour or two. That election could put another Democrat in the House. That Democrat would vote against impeaching Mayorkas. And, of course, it would fail if it comes to that. Polls close here shortly in New York.

Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT at the Democrat Tom Suozzi's campaign headquarters in Woodbury, New York. That is on Long Island.

And, Miguel, you been covering this race since the very beginning. So when you're standing there now and you've been there today through the snowstorm. And now, weather obviously has cleared, what does turn out look like and who seems to have the momentum?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Turnout was very, very low this morning, and its certainly picked up in the afternoon. Right now between the early votes and the absentee votes and day of votings, Democrats are up maybe by about 10,000, but it's not clear how many of those votes -- those Democratic votes well switch over and vote for Republicans. Also not clear how many Republicans will be switching over to vote for a Democrat.

That's where Tom Suozzi hopes in a few hours time to make the announcement that he has won this district. Again, remember he won this district three times.

I want to walk out here though, because the big story today was the weather here in town and this is Crest Hollow Country Club, which is a big country club in the center of Long Island. And the weather at this point has cleared substantially. And polls are still open for two hours. We have seen the numbers start to climb in this election as the roads have been cleared and as the weather has improved.

Here's two voters who told us how they voted today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


REPORTER: And why is that?

ANG: I mean, he represents Glencoe and I'm pro-choice. He's a proven politician. You know, he has decades of experience and I think he's the right move.


REPORTER: For Mazi. And do you mind if I ask you why?

ELEANOR: I'm pro-life. New York is already out balance because it's way more Democrat. And in Washington, we need balance.


MARQUEZ: So because things are so perfect and clear, Tom Suozzi is -- he's been working the district has afternoon trying to get people to go out to vote. Now, the numbers appear to be going up at this point. They were very, very low as morning concerning many Republicans here. But this may be a real squeaker, that we've been saying that for some time now, but with the low turnout today, we will see if it picks up throughout the night, another two hours to go.

But this one may not be called tonight, tomorrow, or even by the end of this week -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Miguel, thank you very much.

And Bruce Blakeman is with me now, the Republican executive of Nassau County in New York; Jamal Simmons, also former communications director for the vice president, Kamala Harris; Harry Enten, our data reporter; and Shermichael Singleton, Republican strategist.

Okay, so thanks to all.

Bruce, let me start with you going through these numbers because this race is crucial and matters to the balance of power overall. And then of course, in the specific moment were in now, it may be, it may be the vote that determines the Mayorkas situation, whether he's impeached.

What do you see in terms of turnout? I'm just doing quick math here. And it looks like you had in Nassau County where you're from, at least up until 6:00 p.m. And now, we do have two hours of voting here. But about 1,000 -- 1,500 more Republicans voting than Democrats in person today. But obviously in the early vote, Democrats did significantly better than Republicans.

BRUCE BLAKEMAN (R), NASSAU COUNTY, NY EXECUTIVE: Yes. So basically, we got off to a slow start. Republicans like to vote on Election Day, Democrats like devote and early voting so we got off to a slow start, but the numbers are really increasing very quickly. There are two hours left, and I'm optimistic. I think that Mazi is going to pull it out in the last two hours.

BURNETT: Jamal, how do you see it? What are you hearing?

JAMAL SIMMONS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, this is a Republican leaning district. I think everybody I talked to you today, talked about Chuck Schumer lost this district in his last campaign you know, president --

BURNETT: Biden had won it. But --

SIMMONS: But Biden, Biden now is at about 33 percent. He's like in the low 30s in this district. Donald Trump's maybe about ten points and 11 points ahead of them, in some of the polling that I'm hearing about.

So, you know, it's a district that should, that Republicans should be able to win this district.


Now, people feel good about what happened in the early vote and that the numbers should be okay today. But the question is, who shows up on election day and that the Republicans do show up on election day, this is going to be a one-point race, where two-point race, one way or the other.

BURNETT: And, Shermichael, when I'm looking at the numbers that we have here from both early voting and in-person, there's this one category.

First of all, Queen section of this district -- I mean, I guess we got to get, you got to get into detail here. They tell you how many people have voted, but they don't tell you anything about their party affiliation. And then they also have a category of no party affiliation. And if you take that total number, you're looking at 16,000, 17,000 votes.

All of that is way bigger than any margin between Democrats and Republicans that we know of right now.

SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yeah, no, that's a great point, Erin. I reached out to a couple of individuals, Republican strategists who are familiar with the politics. One actually lives in Nassau County and I asked and said, what are you hearing on the ground and he's gave me a very interesting response. He said some of the more affluent individuals that he's worked within the past, they've fund raise, held fundraisers for candidates, they were not leaning towards Mazi.

And the reason that they gave, Erin, was because they stated they wanted someone who they believe would go to Washington to govern. However, when you talk to other individuals who were maybe on the lower end of the economic spectrum, they were leaning towards Mazi in part because of the immigration issue. And he said, one particular lady told him that she was worried that there were not enough resources for her everyday struggles, yet there were resources for new people coming into the country. And I thought that was an interesting dichotomy.

BURNETT: Yes. And you do -- you do hear that frustration in New York where you've obviously had a hundreds of thousands influx, Bruce.

What about that point though? Oh, that there are some and he made -- Smermichael's making the point that it is economically, economic spectrum here, but that some are saying they actually want someone who's going to govern. And that that is not in her favor.

BLAKEMAN: Well, Biden is wildly unpopular right now, so I think that that's a very important issue in the district because Tom Suozzi has 100 percent voting record with Joe Biden. He couldn't think of one bill that he differed with Joe Biden.

So I think that's going to hurt him. I think the blanks and the independents are trending Republican. And if Mazi gets 60 percent of their vote, she will win. And some of the modeling I've seen has shown that she could get 60 percent of that vote and then again, there are a lot of Democrats that are dissatisfied with their party. They are anti-immigration, they are against the open border policy and if Tom Suozzi doesn't do very well there, he -- he will lose.

So I think there's a lot of variables here, but again, I think the next two hours are going to decide the race because if the turnout continues at a high level, Mazi will win.

BURNETT: Right. And as you point out, the next two hours really could decide it because you had in some places the greatest snowfall in seven years. When people were not voting earlier, they weren't able to get out.

Harry, when you --

SIMMONS: Erin, I was just to point on this --


SIMMONS: -- because immigration was a point, I think very clearly but also abortion was another point. And, you know --

BURNETT: We've heard that from one of those voters, yeah.

SIMMONS: Yeah, I live in the district -- not in the district, I live in the media market. I saw a lot of these TV ads and it basically was immigration versus abortion with Suozzi, with a little bit more and I've heard this from people who are close to the campaign, Suozzi with a little bit more, I can work together with everyone in Washington.

So he was making this point about being able to the govern that he is somebody who can work with everyone.

BURNETT: Harry, you know, there are some who say you look at special elections as canaries in the coal mine about where things will go. So when you look at it in that context, what do you say?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yeah, I mean, look in the special elections that have taken place since 2023, we see that Democrats have, in fact, when winning the vast majority of them, 59 percent of the special elections for state legislature and for Congress. And that kind of lines up with generally what were seeing Democrats for pushing an abortion message, which does seem to be getting Democrats out.

And it's not just that. Compare what Democrats are doing versus the 2020 baseline of Joe Biden. What we see is Democrats have been outperforming Joe Biden's performance in these individual districts by about two points on average. Now, obviously, New York's 3rd District is a weird district that's kind of gone back and forth.

Remember, Joe Biden did carry that district back in 2020.


ENTEN: So if these previous patterns have held, it'd be good for Democrats going into this evening.

BURNETT: All right. All stay with me because the breaking news coverage continues here because the House in just moments is set to go ahead with that vote -- vote again on impeaching the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, after failing the first time. So we're going to bring you that vote count live from the floor as it happens.

Plus, President Biden tonight ripping into Trump and Trump's comments about Putin and NATO.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For God's sake, it's dumb. It's shameful. It's dangerous. It's un-American.


BURNETT: And incredible video tonight of what appears to be the Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, seen reportedly for the first time since the October 7th terrorist attack.



BURNETT: And we're back with the breaking news. Members of Congress are voting now for a second time on whether to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas. These are live pictures from the House floor on your screen right now, Republicans say they think they have the votes to get this passed. And the vote tallies that you see here reflect the actual vote in the impeachment.

Manu Raju is back with me on Capitol Hill.

So, Manu, as we watch this vote tally move, what's the latest you're hearing?

RAJU: Yeah, there is confidence among the top House Republicans that they do indeed have the votes to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas, in large part because of the number of absences that's going to affect the total number of votes here that they can afford to lose because it requires a majority of people who are actually present and voting.

And all day long, there have been concerns about some members simply not being able to show up to vote, but in the previous two votes that just occurred on the House floor, there have been essentially for members are missing least in the last vote, two Republicans, two Democrats, that does not affect the vote tally. And there are three Republicans right now at the moment who have voted against it.

That is all Speaker Johnson can afford to lose. So if another Republican would vote, no, that'd be enough to scuttle it, but there's no indication that that is going to be the case. In fact, the three Republicans who have voted no are the same ones who voted no last time. Congressman McClintock of California, Ken Buck of Colorado, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, the only three Republicans to vote no. No Democrats voting for this very, both historic and extremely controversial measure to charge the homeland security secretary with committing high crimes or misdemeanor over his handling of the southern border with Mexico.


This has not been done before. The homeland security secretary, only the second time a cabinet secretary has faced such charges to try to remove him from office by Congress. This though at the moment, Erin, appears that they are on their way to doing just that because right now is deadlock, 213 to 213.

There are three Republican no votes, not people -- Republicans who are not voting at the moment. There are two Democrats who are not voting. If that one Republican who has not yet voted votes, yes, that should be enough to push him over the finish line, assuming those other members do not return your 214 to 213, could be the majority vote here.

So Republicans are watching, is this is deadlock now to 213 to 213. We'll see if anything has changed, but from no, there we go, Erin, 214-213. Republicans right now have the votes to impeach Mayorkas. The question was, if anything, changes here and he said, last second surprises among Democrats walking in here to change the vote, but we will look like that there's going to be an announcement here behind the dais. That could be the speaker of the House himself announcing that vote total, Erin.

So we should listen in when he bangs that gavel down, but appears that they have the votes, Erin.

BURNETT: All right.

REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: On this vote, the yeas are 215 (ph) and the nays are 213. The resolution is adopted.

BURNETT: So, Manu, just to put the loud and clear here, that's -- let's listen. JOHNSON: Pursuant to Section 2a of House resolution 996, House

resolution 995 is hereby adopted.

BURNETT: So, Manu, to be clear, that means that the House has impeached the homeland security secretary.

RAJU: That he has been impeached, Erin, on the narrowest of margins on a day in which the New York special election could change the balance of power in this razor thin Republican majority. Had them there have been that Democrat Tom Suozzi, who is on the ballot tonight, they would not have had the votes to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas.

But tonight, they did on the 214 to 213 vote, moving on something that they have been working on for pretty much the past year, something that legal scholars really in both parties have questioned the whether or not this was deserved for the homeland security secretary, but one in which Republicans say that because of his handling and things that he had sent to Congress was enough to charge him with a high crime or misdemeanor.

Now, Erin, there will be a number of procedural things that will happen over the next several days, one of which is exactly send the two articles of impeachment over from the House over to the Senate. And then I sent it will have to make a decision on how to proceed here.

The Senate generally has can make its own rules on how to deal with impeachment trials. But one of the things that they can do is by a simple majority, simply vote to dismiss this altogether, and Democrats are 51-49 Senate. And there's an expectation that all Democrats will vote to dismiss it as an end this completely something that Democrats call a charade, a farce and an a hoax as in the words of Democrats here.

But nevertheless, a very significant move by the House Republicans after failing to move forward last week due to absences and miscalculation by the speaker of the House. Now, Mike Johnson has the votes they have just impeached Alejandro Mayorkas. Now, the actions over to the Senate and a matter of few days or weeks, Erin.

BURNETT: So, Manu, let me just ask you though, as you -- as you lay this out, it goes over to the Senate, the articles and I obviously people may remember when this happened with President Trump, right? There was a group who walked the articles over. There's a process. They walk over.

Now, they are dismissed, as you're saying it is, it is virtually certain that they will be. I understand there's a timeframe that that would happen under, but then what does that mean for the House if they're just outright dismissed by the Senate.

Are there -- can you walk through whether there's hearings or not or what the House is going to be doing with its time?

RAJU: It's over, Erin. Once they're done -- once the Senate acts, it is done. And denoted is kicked to convict. Of course, you need two- thirds majority to do that, and there's absolutely no chance that would happen in the Senate, given that there's no Democrats who supported this in the House who are not going to be expecting any Democrats to support this in the Senate.

And a lot of Democrats simply say this is a complete waste of time, given the real concerns and issues and policy changes, that both parties say are needed at the southern border with Mexico. But still, this is something that show -- shows how the -- how Republicans view the border issue, playing in this campaign season, even vulnerable Republicans in the House since people who represent districts that Joe Biden won, all essentially voting to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas here, recognizing they believe that this issue has potency with their voters.

So, Erin, they're moving ahead here. As we heard -- saw on the floor, but you're right, the Senate is going to kill this when they get back into session in a couple of weeks.


BURNETT: So, you've got a couple of weeks here where it's hanging.

I will point out though, Manu, Ken Buck, Gallagher there. I'm sorry, have announced they're not running for reelection, right. To two of the three in the House who voted against this. And, by the way, that was something that was supported by leading conservative constitutional scholars like Jonathan Turley, right?

They are doing so because they're not running for reelection or at least they have the runway to right. Otherwise, they could lose.

Ken Buck, by the way, is going to be with us in just a few moments.

But how do you anticipate this going in the Senate? Do you think it's just a simple party line or are there Republicans who are going to say that to say -- to go ahead with this, to say high crimes and misdemeanors would be ridiculous?

RAJU: Yeah. It's a good question, Erin, because there actually are fair amount of Republicans right now who actually are uncertain about whether or not they will go down this route.

In fact, senior Senate Republicans who I've been speaking with, people like Mitt Romney or others in the Republican leadership on the Senate side simply say that this was -- this have not weighed in the view of this is sort of a distraction of sorts, but they will be a lot of pressure on lot of those Republicans particularly the ones who are not retiring like a Mitt Romney to vote for this.

So I expect most Republicans in the Senate to vote for it, but maybe some of them who, as I mentioned, Mitt Romney, or Senator Lisa Murkowski, someone from Alaska, she is still very much potentially could run down the line, although she just recently won reelection. So she does not have those reelection pressures.

I asked her about that just a few days ago, too, Erin, she had real concerns about going down this route. So, it wouldn't be surprising to me to see a bipartisan Senate majority reject this going forward. Certainly not a bipartisan Senate majority supporting moving ahead, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Which obviously would be very significant.

Manu, thank you.

I just want to go quickly to Melanie Zanona, also on Capitol Hill because Melanie, I know you had a chance to speak to the deciding vote in this case. Steve Scalise. The reason for the failure here a week ago today. But you did have a chance to speak with him and now, of course, we've got this vote and they did succeed.

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Right, Steve Scalise really was the decisive vote here. It was his presence in the capital today that helps Republicans finally push this over the finish line. I got a chance to sit down with him exclusively in his office right before the vote.

He talked about the significance of his return. He has been battling cancer, so he is a way getting retreatment. He is now in remission, but he was back tonight and he acknowledged how tight the margins are in the House.

But when I asked him whether it was a mistake for Republican leadership to push ahead with this vote last week when Scalise wasn't here, he defended the strategy from leadership and he said, in effect, the vote last week helped pin members down into saying, yes, he said in some cases, if you let this thing sort of linger that more members who are maybe on the fence could flip into the no column. Of course, that could also work the other way.

But he really defended that decision making, and he also disputed the idea that Republicans were rushing to jam this vote through the House floor ahead of the special election in New York tonight. He said, when you have the votes, you vote and that is why they decided to push ahead tonight with his return to the Capitol. But no doubt that special election in New York is going to have immediately, immediate implications for the razor thin House majority here, Erin.

BURNETT: Absolutely. And, of course, we're waiting as I said, now, you've got just less than two hours before polls close, about an hour- and-a-half here in New York, when you're actually going to find out if they find out tonight. And I know everyone there is watching that.

Melanie, it was interesting watching the House speaker, though, as he announced the result, it seemed clear that he was relieved that even though he had counted and double counted that failure a week ago was, you know, a real sort of slap in the face. It was not what he expected.

ZANONA: A very different attitude than what we saw last week. I watched Speaker Johnson as he was heading up onto the floor last week ahead of that vote. And you could tell he was visibly frustrated. Republicans in the chamber were silent last week, Democrats were cheering, but we saw the reverse today with Republicans cheering that they finally only got this over the finish line, but this was definitely a black eye for Johnson last week. And as Manu outlined, this is going nowhere in the Senate anyway.

And so there are a lot of questions about Republicans and what they're doing with their majority, how they're choosing to spend their time, and the fact that it even took two votes to push Mayorkas over the finish line, I think is also raising questions, Erin, about whether they are going to have the votes to impeach President Biden.

That is something that has been an even taller lift, a heavier tasks for the Republican conference, and it just at this point doesn't seem like it's likely to happen at least anytime soon.

BURNETT: All right. Melanie, thank you very much.

And, Jamal, it is obviously significant for the speaker that he's able to get this through, even though of course its meaningless in the sense of it isn't going to happen. But he gets a victory and in terms of saying, I got to vote through, I mean, that's what it is for him. He got to vote through which he had failed to do.

SIMMONS: Erin, this is just political cookery, right?


BURNETT: I know but what's the right word, you kind of create a new word, yeah.

SIMMONS: I'm creating one, sort of the word I want to use.

Like there isn't -- there is not a reason for this particular party to have done this today. It's high crimes and misdemeanors is not a policy difference. Meanwhile, the United States Senate has been working on a bipartisan deal to deal with the problems at the border, to send it over to the House.

And the speaker because he was listening to the former President Donald Trump decided that he didn't think that they would take that. It was going to be dead on arrival, right? This deal would be dead on arrival. So it killed it in the Senate. They had a chance to actually solve the problem, and they said no.

And so instead, they chose to do a symbolic thing that's just politics and then nothing happens as supposed to resolve something that's supposed to be a very major question in the American public.

BURNETT: It absolutely is. And it's been crucial to the New York vote tonight.

I want to bring in now, the Republican Congressman Ken Buck, though. He went against his party, voted twice now against impeaching Mayorkas.

And, Congressman, last time we spoke, you voted against you voted against now, last time you said it would probably end up this way because they would go ahead with the votes once they got everyone in the room and indeed they have.

You stuck with your point of view as did your peers Gallagher and McClintock. Did you reconsider your vote at all before tonight because you are receiving a lot of backlash? I would tune into Fox News, occasionally. I would hear your name, always used in vain on this particular issue. Did you reconsider at all?

REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): No, the reality is the facts didn't change in my opinion of him. I prosecuted for 25 years, I know what a high crime and misdemeanor are, and I know that this doesn't qualify. This is a policy difference.

You can try to put lipstick on this pig. It is still a pig, and this is a terrible impeachment. It sets a terrible precedent. The first impeachment of Donald Trump was a bad impeachment. And we've got to stop this in this body, or we are going to lose our credibility with -- further lose our credibility with the American public.

BURNETT: Are you surprised, Congressman, that no additional Republicans joined you and your other two colleagues today, did you have any hopes that you would be able to convince just one more? And have this vote fell.

BUCK: Yeah, I didn't really feel it was my responsibility to try to convince anybody and I think that people had made up their mind. They had voted before. They had made their own record and they're going to live with.

And a lot of my colleagues are coming back in the next Congress. If there's a Republican president in next Congress, you better expect an impeachment of a cabinet official and they're going to be very hard pressed to try to distinguish how they voted against the Trump impeachment for the Mayorkas impeachment, and then voted against another Republican impeachment. That's a bad situation to be in.

BURNETT: So, Speaker Johnson obviously rushed his vote to the floor. I mean, it was week ago today that you and I were speaking in the same situation except for the vote that failed but obviously the context now is what's happening here in New York, which is that special election.

Our polls are going to close and then just about an hours-time that could change the makeup of the House, that if -- if the Democrat wins would have made this vote a fail for the speaker. How does that play into your thinking? Do you think that the speaker from did the wrong thing by not waiting essentially for the will of the people?

BUCK: Well, obviously, I think its the wrong thing because I voted against it, but I think what's really important here, impeachments should be broadly bipartisan.

When, when Richard Nixon was involved in Watergate, it was broadly bipartisan. And when you have a very, very partisan impeachment, it is the wrong thing for the speaker to bring it to the floor. Speakers need to be above the fray and they need to take into account the reputation of the institution. That didn't happen in this situation twice.

BURNETT: So your fellow Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher obviously also voted like you against this. You told me that he was a last-minute switch on this issue and that I give him a lot of credit for having the constitutional knowledge and intestinal fortitude to do the right thing. That's what you told me one week ago, and as he voted the same as you.

But four days after that vote, he's getting crushed, just like you were about his vote. He announced he wasn't going to seek reelection, and obviously you're not seeking reelection either, Congressman.

How does that make you feel that essentially, you know, it seems as if to vote the way you want to vote on these issues means that you've got to give up winning at least in a GOP primary and getting through an election?

BUCK: Yeah. Erin, I sleep well at night and I'm happy that I was able to cast the vote the way I wanted to cast a vote. What happens when a leadership caters to the unserious, the serious leaves. And that's a huge problem in this place. If you don't have all that many serious people who really want to work on policy and who really want to get serious difficulty problems solved.

And if you continue to run these kind of messaging bills where you misinterpret the Constitution and really harm the future credibility of the Constitution, you're going to lose good people.


BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman Buck. I appreciate your time.

BUCK: Thank you.

BURNETT: And, Bruce, you know, I find this interesting because you and I spoke when George Santos was in office and putting aside how you feel tonight and tonight's race.

I just want to make the point. You were very vocal that he needed to go because he was deeply unserious. That's the point Congressman Buck is making. There are too many un-serious people in Congress and more and more serious people are opting out.

BLAKEMAN: Yes, on both sides. The Democrats started this process. They went down this road and I'm sympathetic to my Republican colleagues but I don't like weaponizing prosecutors and I don't like impeachment proceedings unless the evidence is overwhelming.

Secretary Mayorkas was doing what President Biden told him to do. So the best way to change policy is in November, fire President Biden.

BURNETT: As opposed to going through an impeachment process, which Jamal, it's interesting as Congressman Buck saying should be bipartisan. We should note the second Trump one, you did have a bipartisan, then you had ten Republicans on that. But the reality of it is --

SIMMONS: But even about the insurrection of the Capitol that the president from it, right?

BURNETT: Well, that's what -- I've talked with the second. But the reality of it is, is this issue of un-serious people is very serious issue. We see it every single day now.

SIMMONS: It is very serious and I think, you know, I was talking to someone earlier today, was talking about if you're a young person and you're finishing school and you're thinking about what you want to do with your career. You want to go to Capitol Hill, right? Do you think that this is a place where you can go make a difference in the country, or do you leave and you go off to Silicon Valley or someplace else? Where do you think you can actually build something that has an impact?

And I think we were losing quality people in American politics because American politics just isn't serious. It's not solving problems.

BURNETT: Well, and it's terrifying. It's terrifying what it means.

Now, Harry, this comes as House Republicans are under fire because they've refused to bring the Ukraine funding bill to a vote. That is a deeply serious issue. Okay? And now it's -- you didn't even have the intestinal fortitude to get a vote on it. But they're devoting ample time to what we obviously have seen here.

So what -- what did they actually gotten done for voters? Have you going to look at? Forget whether you like it or not, but what have they actually done, passed?

ENTEN: I mean, look, if you look at the number of bills and resolutions that have become law during this Congress. It's less than 40. It's 39. That is by far the lowest at this point in any congressional session in the last 50 years. In fact, it's less than half the previous low of 81 that occurred about 10 years ago.

So, you know, when you go out and you ask voters, you know, why don't you care about politics? It's because they feel like Washington doesn't get anything done for them. And you know what, based upon these numbers, they're absolutely right.

BURNETT: Shermichael?

SINGLETON: Look, I think everything that everyone said on the panel, Erin, I agree with 100 percent. I mean, there's disintegration of our norms, politically speaking. I think is why so many Americans are looking for someone outside of the two individuals that will see a repeat of in November, to lead the country forward.

I mean, again, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Congressman Buck. I know many people on his staff. He's a good man. He's a true constitutionalist conservative in the traditional sense, as described by Edmund Burke. That idea of conservatism though, Erin, no longer exist. And I will

say, I agree with the Republicans been angry about the immigration issue. Most Americans are. There's a reason why this third congressional district race as fundamentally important, there is a sense of loss of national identity within many Americans.

There is angry people across the country. But what are we going to do to move the needle forward?

BURNETT: Right, right. Well, certainly impeaching someone when they're not going to be impeached, it's not going to change any policy obviously doesn't do anything, anything to that end.

All right. Thank you all very much. I appreciate it.

And next, the breaking news, we are now learning when Trump will find out the fate of his business empire and whether hell be forced to fork over more than $300 million for fraud, new reporting in just a moment.

Plus, President Biden unleashing on Trump were saying that he would stand by while Russia invaded a NATO ally. In fact, that he would encourage him -- Putin -- to go ahead and do so. Comments that have America's allies ramping up their defenses. You're going to see exactly how. We're going to go inside a factory in a story you'll see first OUTFRONT.



BURNETT: Breaking news, Donald Trump expected to learn on Friday whether he will be ordered to pay roughly $370 million and be banned from doing business in New York. This potential punishment coming as part of a civil fraud trial where New York's attorney general has alleged Trump engaged in fraudulent business practices for a decade. Now, the ruling has already come in that he did that in a court of law, but now, the judge overseeing the case will issue the penalties on Friday, barring unforeseen circumstances, a person familiar with the matter tells CNN.

Kara Scannell is OUTFRONT.

And, Kara, you've obviously been reporting on this from the beginning. So what more can you tell us about this pending ruling?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, this is the significant moment here, the completion of this five-year investigation, the trial that lasted three months, and it all comes down to this judge's decision in this case. And the real issue here is exactly the issue of the money. How much will he say that Trump and the Trump Organization needs to pay in what is called ill-gotten gains, that's the money that he made as a result of the fraud that the judge has already found existed and that fraud he said was the issuance of false financial statements to insurers and banks to get better terms on loans. Now, we're expecting this ruling on Friday barring any unforeseen

circumstances. And in addition to the money, the other big question here is the ban. The New York attorney general's office is seeking a lifetime ban against Donald Trump from doing business in New York and a five-year ban against his sons. They are the two that are running the Trump Organization at the moment. So the ruling could be significant.

Now, throughout this trial, the judge has -- you know, he already made that initial determination and then at the end of the trial, when the Trump Organization and lawyers for Trump said that they wanted the judge decided in their favor saying that the A.G.'s office didn't prove their case. The judge issued a scathing ruling at the time, that was in December, where he rejected many of Trump's key defenses in this case.

One of them being that valuations of these properties with subjective. The judge ruling at the time, quote, a lie is still a lie. So, Trump's lawyers have anticipated that this will be a verdict against them. They have already indicated that they plan to appeal -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Kara, thank you very much.

Ryan Goodman is OUTFRONT with me now.

So, all right. Ryan, let's just start with where Kara is reporting. What kind of punishment do you expect is going to come down on Friday? Obviously, this is both financial and a possible ban on business operations.


RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: So I think its going to probably be a very heavy price because the underlying claims, it looks like the judge has been convinced by the prosecutors and they were very strong case. He was very skeptical of Trump's expert witnesses. And then the cost is $370 million tag is predicated on the strength of the case. And if the case is strong, then that'll be it.

And so it's not necessarily a punishment, but its discouraging him from the undue profits that he got from the banks is a big part of it. So I think that's big. And then I think it's an open question as to how long he bans Trump from practicing in New York. I don't know if it'll be a lifetime, maybe it'll be five or ten years. And then the other one is does he actually banned Trumps sons?

I think he might not do that kind of like judges like to split the baby a little bit and he already indicated that he's maybe not convinced that there's enough evidence against the son, and that allows it to not knock the company out of existence. So there's I understand what you're saying there.

All right. So as we await that, we did get a development today also in this whole immunity situation, right? So the Chief Justice Roberts gave the special counsel a week, a week to respond to Trump, you know, appealing to say that he should have immunity. And a lower court obviously had ruled unanimously that he does not have immunity. The court could have just immediately said, okay, good, that stands. We're going to -- fine.

But giving a whole week in response, how did you read between the lines on that?

GOODMAN: Yeah. So just to be candid in terms of my thought process, the first impression I thought was, oh, wait a minute, maybe the Supreme Court is taking their time. They're trying to contemplate this.

BURNETT: Like, are they really taking Trump's argument seriously?

GOODMAN: Yeah. But I think at the end of the day, they're just out of a kind of a courtesy to the Department of Justice saying you have a full week if you want to take it and then in all likelihood, I think Jack Smith might file tomorrow and he'll just say, no, we want to move this thing forward and it's Jack Smith asking the court, let's move this forward quickly. Not the court deciding to do it on a turn.

So I think we still might see a court that very quickly does away with the situation --

BURNETT: We say we don't certify.

GOODMAN: Yeah, we're not going to --


GOODMAN: Yeah, we're not going to -- exactly and then greenlight. The trial goes ahead in D.C. on the January 6 case.

BURNETT: All right. And one more point. There's a court hearing on Thursday in the Alvin Bragg case. That's the hush money payments, Stormy Daniels. This case is scheduled for March and it seems like this is in many states the week I guess for a lot of reasons, whether politically motivated or perceived that way, whatever it might be that, he's not going to go to jail even if he is convicted. But it does seem that this going to be the first one to go to trial no matter what.

GOODMAN: Yes. It looks like. This is the case that the American public will get as the very first case against Donald Trump as a criminal matter. And like you say, it is I think by all accounts, essentially it's the weakest of the cases for the reasons you say. The reason that he would pick this case of falsifying business records, the evidence, relying on Michael Cohen and the fact that they might not be any sentencing to criminal incarceration means like why this case?

BURNETT: Right. But nonetheless, that -- that's going to be the first one up to bat.

All right. Thank you, Ryan.

And next, a special report. See how America's allies are responding to Trump's comments that he would encourage Putin to attack some NATO countries. Comments Biden tonight is condemning.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No other president in our history has ever bow down to a Russian dictator.


BURNETT: And stunning video of what the IDF claims is the leader of Hamas in reportedly for the first time since the October 7th terror attacks.



BURNETT: Tonight, President Biden raising his voice and anger as he slammed the former President Trump, saying that Trump, quote, bow down to Putin. This came after Trump's comments encouraging Russia to attack any NATO member that does not pay enough for their own defense.


BIDEN: Can you imagine a former president of the United States saying that, the whole world heard it. The worst thing is he means it. For God's sake, it's dumb. It's shameful. It's dangerous. It's un- American.


BURNETT: Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT tonight reporting on the fallout from America's closest allies over what Trump said.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): A German-made Leopard 2 tank hitting Russian positions on the eastern front. This video provided by the 21st mechanized brigade, showing they say, how effective Western weapons are on the battlefield.

UNIDENTIFIED UKRAINIAN SOLDIER (through translator): Every infantry is scared of the tanks. Tanks go out and work and they fire frightfully. They fire straight into their faces, and they don't even have time to think about what to do.

PLEITGEN: The Ukrainians say they need a lot more Western arms and the ammo. But Republicans have blocked U.S. military aid in Congress, and their likely nominee for president, Donald Trump, even suggested he might encourage Russia to attack NATO members who didn't meet military spending guidelines.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever they hell they want. You got to pay.

PLEITGEN: Those comments literally have Europeans up in arms, now ramping up weapons production for Ukraine and for themselves.

Germany's chancellor visiting a major arms plant with Denmark's prime minister trying to downplay Trump's comments.

OLAF SCHOLZ, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: NATO is of essence for the United States, for Canada, for European countries, and we cooperated so long since World War II. And this is really something which is good alliance for the future, we stick to it. The president of United States sticks with, and I'm sure the American people will do so.

PLEITGEN: But Denmark's prime minister says she has no illusions U.S. support for European NATO members no longer seems certain.

METTE FREDRIKSEN, DANISH PRIME MINISTER: No matter what will happen in U.S. this year, I think the conclusion has already now that Europe needs to be stronger and we need to do -- we need to be able to do more on our own.

PLEITGEN: And ammo production is the biggest concern as NATO allies struggled to help Ukraine make up for massive shortfalls while facing overwhelming Russian firepower.

This is one of the most important things for the Ukrainians to stay in the fight. They're not only outmanned, they're also outgunned. And the biggest problem they have is a lack of ammunition.

They broke ground for a new ammo plant here, and the company CEO says they will drastically increase ammo production quickly, especially for artillery.


ARMIN PAPPERGER, CEO, RHEINMETALL: They need 1 million to 1.2 million. And if I give them 700,000, I think there are also some other producers in Europe. We have to give them something. So 700,000 is at the moment the maximum that we can produce.

PLEITGEN: And the Ukrainians say they need the maximum their allies can give with or without the U.S. to keep their forces in the fight against the Russians.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Unterluess, Germany.


BURNETT: And next, we want to show you new video. The IDF claims that this video that you're looking at here is the leader of Hamas seen in a tunnel in southern Gaza.


BURNETT: Tonight, the IDF is releasing new footage and it is stunning. It's what they claim is Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, inside a tunnel below the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. You can also see what the IDF says is his wife and children, but you see there highlighting him there. Now they say this video was recorded days after the October 7 attack.

Israel has publicly accused Sinwar of being the mastermind behind Hamas's attack at the IDF, then released a second video which they say show Israeli forces in a section of the tunnels where they believe Sinwar was hiding.

And what they're showing here is a kitchen, bedrooms, and tons of money again, these are IDF footage. CNN cannot independently verify what it is or that Sinwar is the man seen in the video, or when it was recorded. The IDF has not provided additional evidence to support their claims. Nonetheless, that footage is, of course, fascinating.

Thanks so much for joining us.

CNN's special coverage of the New York special election starts now.