What to watch in House impeachment inquiry of Trump

ABC News chief legal analyst Dan Abrams and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie analyze the latest details after House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry.
4:00 | 09/25/19

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Transcript for What to watch in House impeachment inquiry of Trump
Let's talk about it with Chris Christie and Dan Abrams. How serious is this to president trump? Any time someone -- something like this happens it's a serious threat. Everything I've been hearing out of the white house is that they think that this is not going to amount to what the reaction that they've gotten from the they feel like they're overreacting to this. They are now saying they're releasing the transcript unredacted and saying they'll release the whistle-blower complaint and allow the whistle-blower to talk to the committees of congress. And I will tell you I don't see it as a seismic kind of reaction that they're having. If the president of the United States was encouraging a foreign leader to investigate a political rival, that is arguably an impeachable offense. We have to look at the context. For instance, if he's saying, listen, do me a favor, go investigate Joe Biden, that's one thing. If he's saying, listen, I'm concerned about corruption, you've just gotten elected. We send hundreds of millions of dollars over there, you need to start looking at this, for instance, one of the things that occurred was the hunter Biden situation. That becomes totally different so what I say to everybody, let's take a breath and read the transcript and let's read the whistle-blower complaint and then we'll make real judgments I think the mistake the speaker made was that she jumped at in that quickly when she's been the one who's been the most calm throughout and she's admitted herself she hasn't seen neither the transcript or the complaint. How serious is it and how -- First, it would be an odd example to use. Chris is suggesting the president may have just used it as an example, oh, one of the things you might look into is hunter Biden. That's the same thing as saying in effect you ought to look into that. When he knows that country wants military aid. Exactly so I mean, look, this happens in trials all the time. There's no specific comment. You ought to do this. There's just the suggestion and the implication, et Tera. But as a legal matter, look, does this move things significantly yet? Not really. It moves it a little bit. The closer you can get to a quasi-judicial proceeding, the stronger the argument of the congress is meaning they're still trying to get documents anticipate still trying to get people to testify but have already been trying to do that and already have pretty strong arguments in terms of getting these people there. The fundamental question is going to be does this expedite the process? Will the courts say now that there is an impeachment inquiry we need to move -- One of the other big questions they'll have to face, if they decide to go forward is how broad or natural to make the articles? Really important. I think the American people in general by a majority have kind of rejected the Mueller package as I would call it. They don't see it as impeachable. I think there is a lot of members in the house feel differently. So how is Nancy Pelosi going to be able to discipline this? Will she keep it narrow to what we're talking about with Ukraine when they get more information if it warrants it or is she going to blow this open and let everything up? If they do that's even bigger political Rick for the Democrats. Let's always remember too, Dan and I talking about the legal this as you though is a political process. Fundamentally political. It's fundamentally political. No standards. Using legal phrases, right. Legal terminology and in both the Nixon and Clinton cases they went broad. There were a lot of different kinds of impeachable offenses and I think Chris is right. Here they'll want to keep it more farrow. Will it necessarily be just this issue with Ukraine, who knows. The one final point this is a dynamic process. Once it gets started you don't know what will get uncovered. Of course not. You don't know what witnesses will say. How they'll perform in front of congress and how the American people will react. You still have the fights over who should testify. The same fights we're having today. And you'll remember this too, really important, you know the president doesn't want this to happen but what he will do is make Joe Biden the issue here. We know that. He will try, okay, guys, thanks very much.

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

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