Impact of Republicans’ defense strategy from Day 1 of impeachment hearings

ABC News’ chief legal analyst Dan Abrams and law professor Kate Shaw weigh in on the first day of hearings.
3:32 | 11/14/19

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Transcript for Impact of Republicans’ defense strategy from Day 1 of impeachment hearings
Let's bring in chief legal analyst Dan Abrams and Kate Shaw, professor of law at Cardoza law school. We had that new revelation which added to a stream of evidence we saw laid out yesterday making it clear that there was an effort to condition aid to Ukraine on them pursuing investigations. I think that definitely supports the case that the Democrats have been making. The question becomes did it advance it? And I think that's the fundamental question as you're coming what happened yesterday. I think they definitely supported it. They didn't seem to want to be there. They were subpoenaed to be there. You saw the Republicans didn't go after them questioning their credibility because of that. But when you ask the question, did they advance it, this is the single most advancing thing. There's going to be a new witness now who is going to testify about another conversation and overhearing the president himself. That is significant but it all fits into the same basic fact pattern that's already seems to be clear. They didn't really go after the witnesses' credibility. You saw a number of different Republican argument, it is hearsay, the president had the right intent going after corruption and in the end the aide went through no harm, no foul. You saw responses to all of those laid out. In terms of no harm, no foul, well, so bill Taylor made the strong case that, yes, the aid went through but the threat to withhold it at all, that in and of itself was damaging. Also I think when you look at the time line, a number of members pointed out it looks like the whistle-blower comes forward, congress gets word of it and the aid is released like that. It is not like it wasn't a plot but thwarted by detection. We'll see it continue to develop in the coming day. Then to the point that you raise, Dan. We don't know how the public will react. We'll see that over the coming it does appear that there is -- at least the Republicans on the committee are impervious to new evidence. And both sides have made up their minds. They're impervious to new evidence on this particular finite issue, right, of was there a condition -- was aid conditioned upon an investigation of Biden? It's almost as if they're willing to accept that, yeah, yeah, there was some level of conditioning going on that doesn't matter. It wasn't a quid pro quo and in the end it was released anyway so any time you add facts to that pattern the response from the Republicans is in effect, yeah, okay, but that doesn't change anything. But the question will be going forward, this could be a relatively long process. A few more weeks goes to the judiciary committee, vote on the house floor, a trial in the senate could be several weeks long. I think that as sort of the narrative develops I think there was both a framing and foundation laying effort yesterday. But I think that the narrative actually changed a little bit in a couple of ways. One way is the Democrat story had been going in that this was corrupt and it was an abuse of power and that's because it was about the president putting his political interests ahead of the U.S. National interests. The witnesses seem to show it not only ignored national interest but might have hurt it and from the perspective of the seriousness of conduct that seems like an important development. You'll join us tomorrow morning. The next witness, ambassador Marie yovanovitch will take the stand at 9:00 eastern and I'll cover it with our whole political team here on ABC and

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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