Transcript for Breaking down the first day of impeachment hearings
Reporter: Back now with a round table of our powerhouse political team ready to break down day one of the public impeachment hearings. Here in New York, I'm joined by Dan Abrams, ABC news chief legal analyst and Yvette Simpson, ABC news contributor and CEO of democracy for America. And in DC Alex Castellanos, ABC news contributor and Republican strategist. Candidate did the did Democrats do what they needed to do? They said what we expected them to say, which is they were upset about the conduct that they saw. They believed there was a quid we learned about an additional new witness we hadn't known about before who is going to talk about overhearing the president on the phone, talking about a different ambassador having a conversation with him, talking about exactly what the president was focussed on, which is Joe Biden. All of that definitely supports the Democrats' case. But when you ask the question, did this move the needle, did this change anything today, I'm not certain it did. But from the Democrats' perspective, they're going to say this is the first piece in what has to be a larger puzzle. You're nodding your head E for you what's been better, the movie or the book? Definitely the movie. One I think allowing attorneys to ask the questions and set the stage served the Democrats as opposed to the back and forth. I think it created a through line easier to follow. The think the witnesses right off the bat established credibility from the beginning and made it more challenging for them to be attacked by Republicans. At the end of the day, the bigger picture was set. And I love the bombshell that you're talking about that ambassador Taylor said which is going to set the stage next week when ambassador sondland testifies that there is evidence that Donald Trump was involved in this issue, and not only that was pushing forward fire the investigation and that was his main objective. That's going to be compelling as well. Alex, you're shaking your head. You completely disagree with I think what happened today is more of the same, the same argument we've heard for two and a half years. We've been hearing that everything is a reason to impeach Donald Trump, and if everything is a reason, nothing is. You know, politically, I can't see how the Democrats keep licking the same cold frozen metal bar and expecting their tongue not to stick. This is exactly what happened during the Mueller hearings. It deflated the democratic party. America's been required to read this big 500-page murder mystery novel, but we all know how it ends. This goes over to the senate, and the senate heard nothing today that is going to make 2001 single Republican senator vote to impeach Donald Trump, so why are we going through all this? If this is how it goes for the next week, I think the Democrats are in big trouble. When asked about the hearing today, president trump said he was quote, too busy to watch it, reiterating that it's a witch hunt and hoax. You agree with that, obviously. Did president trump watch something about him? Did he mis watching something that was all about him? I don't think so. That would be alien to his character. So no, I'm sure he was watching, but, you know, for Donald Trump, even impeachment is good if it gets good ratings. We should remember, though, Donald Trump was elected to disrupt the establishment in Washington. And what are people seeing now? Two fat guys fight over a ham sandwich. Democrats and Republicans fight over something that's not going to change anything and not going to make their lives better. So, in the long run, this helps Donald Trump. This is the Washington people hate, the Washington that doesn't do anything for them. And here's Donald Trump, their enemy. He may be right that it may not change anything, but just to sort of throw up your arms and say oh, you know what? This is just an example of president trump disrupting. Look, the bottom line is, to believe that, you have to completely marginalize the people we heard today, one of them being a war hero, and you saw, there was a reason Republicans did not suggest they were lying. Why? Because they both came across as very credible. And this isn't just another little piece in the various things that have happened in the last three years. Nancy Pelosi made a decision not to move forward with impeachment until this. That doesn't mean this is going to be enough. Alex is probably absolutely right that it isn't going to change anything in the senate, but to lump it in and say this is the same old stuff is to ignore the significance of what these witnesses are saying and who they are. There is this huge cultural divide in our nation, in our politics. Does this process bridge that? Did anything happen today that you think will make people see the same information and see it the same way? I think there's a small minority of people who will agree with Alex, right, that no matter what president trump does, this is who he is, you know, there's nothing wrong with it. For those folks, I don't think their minds change. There are a lot of folks, 52% of people went into hearing today believing they should happen. That's larger than the number at the Nixon impeachment. The more they hear the more they're going to be compelled. And Dan's point is absolutely right. You've got people saying in my decades of foreign service, I have never seen president do this before, that's compelling. What's going to happen now? We'll have more witnesses testify. The single most important is Gordon sondland, this is the guy taking directions. He's already changed his testimony once. We'll see what happens. Alex, we'll give you the last word. The idea that the Democrats do this reluctantly and are prayerfully reluctant to impeach Donald Trump is not something Republicans are going to buy. This kfbs will continue. We'll be right back. About being a scientist at 3M.
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