Impeachment inquiry moves ahead with 2nd round of hearings

The report from the House Intelligence Committee concluded “the evidence of the president’s misconduct is overwhelming, and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress.”
5:51 | 12/04/19

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Transcript for Impeachment inquiry moves ahead with 2nd round of hearings
A lot of news to get to. A big an capitol hill. A new round of impeachment hearings set to begin led by the house judicry committee. They have just received that 300-page report from the intelligence committee making the case that president trump has abused the powers of the presidency by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political opponents and by conducting an unprecedented campaign of on instruction to prevent congress from investigating his actions. Terry Moran starts us off from the hearing room on capitol hill. Good morning, Terry. Reporter: Good morning, George. Well, this morning in just a few hours with a bang of a gavel right up there, house judiciary committee chairman Jerry Nadler will begin that next phase of the impeachment process. This panel will begin the solemn task of weighing impeachment charges against president Donald Trump and they will base their debates on all the evidence gathered by the house intelligence committee over the past few weeks under chairman Adam Schiff. This is not about Ukraine. This is about our democracy. This is about our national security. Reporter: Democrats are laying out their case against Donald Trump in a 300-page report approved by the house intelligence committee by a party line vote last night. The report alleges the president pressured Ukraine to influence U.S. Elections by demanding its leader publicly launch an investigation into trump's rival Joe Biden and that his administration held up nearly $400 million in military aid as part of that effort. In a surprise Democrats also accuse some of those closest to the president including vice president Mike pence, secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Mick Mulvaney being knowledgeable or active participants in the president's scheme pointing to this moment Mulvaney acknowledging in the white house briefing room there was a quid pro quo. I have news for everybody. Get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy. Reporter: The report concludes the evidence of the president's misconduct is overwhelming and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of congress. The president instructed witnesses not to appear. The president used his office and his bully pulpit to try to intimidate witnesses. Reporter: The president fired back. I think Adam Schiff can -- is a deranged human being and I think he is a very sick man. Reporter: He claimed he would be open to some of his top advisers testifying in an impeachment trial in the republican-led senate despite locking every attempt by the house intelligence committee to obtain that very testimony. So when it's fair and it will be fair in the senate I'd love to Mike Mike Pompeo, Mitch. I'd love have have Rick Perry and many others to testify but I don't want them to testify when it is a total fix. You know what a fix is. Reporter: Republicans are issuing their own report. They're having one big problem and the big problem is the president did not wrong and they can't prove it. Reporter: But Democrats continue to build their case revealing new evidence uncovered after the last round of public hearings, phone records between the president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and the office of management and budget. That's the agency that controlled the withholding of aid to Ukraine. Certainly the phone records show that there was considerable coordination among the parties including the white house. Reporter: Now Democrats say they're ready to move on to the next question in the impeachment inquiry. The question now is what does congress do about this? Reporter: That's what the hearing about be about. The panel will hear not from fact witnesses but from constitutional scholars who will debate the question, what the president is accused of amounts to an impeachable offense. Expect firework us because this committee is even more divided along partisan lines than the intelligence committee. One of the most partisan in congress. Let's bring in our chief legal analyst Dan Abrams. As Terry said in his report there was new evidence, the evidence of these phone calls between Rudy Giuliani and what looks like most likely omb chair, chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. If you read the Republicans' report it would indicate that Rudy Giuliani was basically advising the president sort of broadly on corruption in Ukraine. He was sort of serving as his emissary but in a legal capacity an advisory capacity, this would suggest Rudy Giuliani was leading foreign policy in the area and that's the key difference here is if this -- if these phone calls can demonstrate Rudy Giuliani was, in fact, leading this quote/unquote -- Had contact with top officials. This irregular channel, that is exactly what many of the witnesses are testifying and what the Democrats are arguing and that's why the phone calls are so important. It separates that role of what the Republicans were saying Giuliani was doing which is sort of broad corruption in Ukraine kind of advice versus leading foreign policy which would be a problem in we also have the president saying he'd like to see his top aides testify but he blocked them going to the house and that was written about in the report is what they called an unprecedented ago of obstruction That's I legal decision, to suggest, well, I'll let them testify when it's fair. That's not a legal objection. Up to this point the reason that the president's closest advisers haven't testified is this claim of executive privilege or immunity from having to testify. The claim of I'll do it when it's fair is not really a legal and, look, as a practical matter, of course, the president is not going to have these people testify in front of the senate either. Dan Abrams, thanks very much. You'll join us for our coverage at 10:00 eastern right here on As we heard the president is

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