Democrats on brink of impeachment proceedings

Nancy Pelosi moving forward in impeachment inquiry; more questions arise on whistleblower requirements for next Democratic debate; and Booker nears fundraising total.
28:04 | 09/24/19

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Transcript for Democrats on brink of impeachment proceedings
President trapped under fire on the world stage in New York did he pressure Ukraine to help them take down Joseph Biden had Democrats now we speak tipping point. On impeachment on Devin Dwyer we have reporting on this fast moving story coming up plus. Why are Republicans holding a presidential debate. The New York City all that in more on the briefing room. Right now. Every great to have you with us on this special addition of the briefing room today lots of breaking news as we come on the air we will get right to it. House Democrats now two thirds of them say they support opening impeachment proceedings. Against president from speaker Pelosi a short time ago after months a standing in opposed to that process signals she's open to it as well. The trigger in turning point. A whistle blower complaint about a phone call between president trump and the Ukrainian president in July. And the administration's refusal to turn over that whistle blower to congress hears the speaker a short time ago. This isn't down the constitution. Of the United States and we have many other shall we say. Candidates impeachable offense in terms of the constitution. That. But this one is the most understandable. By the public. And to know this it is there is no requirement that there be a quid pro quo in the conversations. It's a president brings up. He wants them to investigate. Something. That didn't have an up his political opponent the vat. Is self evident. That it is not right we don't ask foreign governments to help fight back. Significant moment there from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi enjoyed by our chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl here in New York with us also. I down an easier senior hill reporter. And producer Trish turner is at the US senate she joins us are remotely Trish great to have you John wanna start. With you because after months of dancing around this issue. It seems like a very significant moment we're in right now as Democrats take a big step towards impeachment isn't significant move it movement it's driven by the president's own words the president's actions. But also by the way. Democrats rank and file Democrats in the house of responded. Nancy plus he's reluctance to move forward with impeachment was in large part driven. Fire concern for the so called majority makers for Democrats that helped to win the majority by wining in districts the voted for Donald Trump and they. Those Democrats find large were extremely cautious on the question of impeachment didn't want to go forward. Now we have seen the dam is broken they believe that the president's latest. Own admissions and what he did on this phone call with the president of crane. You know weren't going for us what makes this so remarkable you've been following the president and UN he has been confirming. So many details about this call that started as a week to the New York Times in the Washington Post about a whistle blower can come complaint. He's basically now affirmed a lot of those details I mean it's amazing first he affirmed that he even talked about Joseph Biden. Which was extraordinary and assault as you heard Nancy Pelosi say the idea. The president of the United States would bring up a political rival any phone conversation by the way this wasn't a long meandering phone call and told it's less than fifteen minutes. So we confirm that on on Sunday and then he confirmed that he brought up the issue of of funding. And you know this morning confirmed the latest you know real bombshell report which is just. Days before that phone call he ordered his chief of staff. To caught off. To block the funding that was due to float 222 Ukraine's and he would have the leverage on the sport and the big question of course is why he says there's nothing nefarious about it but his story there is shifting in our play. His latest explanation just a few minutes ago our when he was at the UK prime minister. Did you explain why he Ukraine with. Because it is that other countries should be paying also why is the United States the only web page credit. That had been talking about this not only with respect he created a lot of other countries it. Hold it up let's get other people and then everybody called real pleased with that it. But it was never a quid pro quo all the letter was beautiful it was a perfect letter. The president is saying the reason he held it up was because. If you want other people the baby yesterday he said it was because of corruption. Ukraine get to totally different. Explorations of the also seems to be a little bit confused. Because he's talking about it being a letter of beautiful letters and phone call this is all about a phone call so a so I don't know what but the president has. Bin all over the map on his explanations of this but. You know nothing he has said has helped this case it's been for you know course that he's gonna release date they say I want to ask you about as you were had been skeptical that yes actually gonna have a may not happen still it despite his claims we shall see barber interest turner. I did mistress because Democrats. Have been leaning toward a patient they're also talking about getting the facts. First. Before taking that big step on I want it get your response to something former vice president Joseph Biden just said moments ago. About what he wants congress to do take a listen. Repressed couldn't believe there is no limit to lose power. From president believes he can do anything and get away with the but the president believes he's above the law. Pursuing the leader of another nation to investigate a political opponent. Cope when this election is not to conduct. Governor Chris scenario reputable publication is look at that charge that has been made against me. I found the baseless and untrue and without merit. Test not about to stop him. I can take the political attacks. Dot com and they'll go then time goes to be forgot. But it we have. A president. To get away where it shredded the United States constitution. That will last forever. And Biden has been one of those Trish she's been sort of like Nancy Pelosi and laying back on this question of impeachment but. Not so anymore what what wouldn't want what are the house Democrats actually going to do next what what can they seek here troops were in information wise. Cigarette about and house Democrats speaker it has been very clear she they want to see. What's this whistle blower complaints going to be they really aren't as concerned about the transcript they want to see that. We've already heard them saying that's not gonna be nearly enough they wanna see this whistle blower complaint so that's the first thing. And so they set a Thursday deadline for that. But but they are meeting tonight a 4 o'clock rate now in fact the speaker has called in her committee chairman who are investigating this matter. And they are going to be plodding way forward. We are expecting a major impeachment related announcement at about 5 o'clock that comes just after the speaker is meeting with all of for Democrats. Minister Thomas saying you know was really a pivotal moment kind of a dam breaking moment. Four these moderate Democrats these majority makers to come out and the Washington Post come out in favor of impeachment but what they have also been telling us today as luck. Two speaker and they were coordinating the speaker was very aware of what they were doing. Days said in no uncertain terms if we're going down this road you have to be with us he can't go half then on impeachment. So a lot is riding on this speech that she makes to us tonight and and so that's what will be looking for that's what they are looking for. And never gonna look to see just how this plays out what is it called. Is it impeachment is a den and kitchen an inquiry and more all starting to try to figure out what those terms are. But and there's a lot riding on what she says tonight there. What if this transcript comes out John and it doesn't show anything nearly as soon condemning as these reports no whistle blower complaints have suggested. Does it continue to closely take a step back that she is she basically all Lin now and an assist as the train left the station she basically has to go. For an inquiry impeachment inquiry I think she's all in the transcript does not change anything as far as close he's direction on this and and the reason for that Evan is. The transcript is one piece of this remembered this. Was triggered by a whistle blower in the intelligence community. Who filed a complaint with the inspector general for the DN on. And that complaints. The the administration has blocked from being turned over to congress Democrats say that's a violation of the law. They're gonna push to get that complaint get access 22 the whistle blower. So the you know the transcript is one aspect of this it's been reported that they did the New York Times reported. The the whistle blowers complaint was about more than a single incident so not just one phone call. But I have to say you are right I was skeptical that they would go forward and release other transcript it is an extraordinary move. We never see these transcripts. Unless they leak and we saw two of them weak in the early months of the of the trump presidency. And they were there were they when they were embarrassing to two it to the White House they were angry that the transcripts came out and now the idea the president's gonna. Platter on retract it acted transcript is is extraordinary. And fresh if they do take the step of actually opening a formal inquiry. What does that look like what should people expect. Today that process took to go. So. Wii is still have to hear helpful as he wants this to go but essentially we expect. They're going to likely need to change the rules to set up the select committee we saw about with the V being Ghazi. Investigation. And those select committee that was set a bare by a and then a Republican speaker. And these are ways also that the speaker can kind of manage what's happening there is they a minor firestorm going on behind the scenes. And that is that a number of Democrats have really not been happy with the way Judiciary Committee chairman Nadler has been managing. He is so called impeachment inquiry nobody is known what we what what exactly where some doesn't call it. And so there is really a feeling that you know topple OC ally Adam Schiff he's the Intel committee chairman. The the feeling is they want him involved and that's he's a former prosecutor he really has one source told me he really did. Poll home an actual result with this whistle blower complaint. On something that pat admit they've actually experienced a bit of success so to speak. And so they want him as part of this Phil will be interesting to see how she lays out the membership on this committee. What Republicans do in response and then I believe it seems like we are months away. They have to set up the route the you know the ground rules do they have subpoena power and their cell much more were also issel trying to figure out. Does the fact that they're setting this up depending on what they call it. I'm does that strengthen their hand in the courts that they try to subpoena witnesses we know that this administration has been stonewalling you guess it talked about this a lot on the show. They've been stonewalling every house inquiries so far so does this strengthen their their hand in the eyes of the judge. And that's really what they're hoping it does so we'll see this will get tested and shore are very early on but we're months away from anything actually you know being ready for ready for televisions and speak. Great perspective Trish turner thanks so much that you get back to that reported in this fast moving story up there are capital John stand by if you will one of the a groups of house Democrats that John was referring to that helped. Move this sea change are Democrats from red in purple states states and supporter Donald Trump they came on board in the last 4448 hours. To support impeachment are very Bruce up on Capitol Hill. I just caught up with one of those Alyssa Slatkin from Michigan here's how she explained her shift toward impeachment. These latest allegations he mount. In the idea that the president of the United States it would be using his influence to go to a corner and ask for dirt on his opponent. Just it was beyond the pale and it was different it was prospective it was looking at 20/20 and the threats for Tony when he. And so I think we just felt like it regardless of political calculus we have a responsibility. All right for more on this in the political calculus let's bring in Emilia Thompson and to vote from our friends at 538 she joins us from Chicago she's been doing some analysis. On the data side of the impeachment question today in really great to see you sent. I explained to us why these red state Democrats have made this shift why is someone like Alyssa slot can all of a sudden now. I've joining the cause of impeachment. Don't. A lot of different arguments for why he impeachment wasn't something that perhaps some house Democrats want antics go forward Rick. I'm you know that it would be device is de Aaron you know wasn't something that folks in their districts Garnett. And you know is pointless because you know you can impeach it's not contract Pakistan it. But it seems Blake many have just concluded that these allegations. Are too serious not to get more information and really move forward with an impeachment inquiry. And lead in building to this moment in some ways because the number of Democrats in paper of impeachment has been writing over in the past month or two but. This obviously has been a really big shift their really big turning point. And it seems like for many Democrats who aren't in districts Aaron. It you know lean republic cannot warrant that Democrats don't win by a very big margin you know this is something that day he was serious enough tent move forward with an impeachment inquiry despite act public potential political costs. And we're seeing on the screen there seven of those freshman Democrats from those states wrote an op Ed in the Washington Post today explaining some of which are talking about but I guess. The big question I have for you is where's the public on this they have been opposed. For two years in the Muller investigation any opening of impeachment proceedings against president trump we know the last ABC news poll in July. Found that only 37%. Of Americans supported opening and impeachment proceedings. Do we have any indication right now how these these latest developments may have changed the mood and the public on its. Let's obviously this is moved brilliantly fast act and simply don't have SAT gap for how this will play among the public that as you mention. I'm public opinion is going to be huge question for the Democrats because. We didn't see it shift really at all opt throughout the entire Muller investigation even though it was getting a lot of news coverage Aaron. And so we sorry you know throughout that period it was that impeachment was popular among Democrats. I am not so much among independents in and certainly not among Republicans. And that's what we see in the most recent poll Ling. I'm and so a recent quinnipiac poll found that I'm 61% of Democrats and paper impeachment so those numbers may now go opt now that this is something that bore house members are supporting and so one thing to watch out for. Is whether that kind of twenty or 30% of Democrats that haven't been an paper impeachment so far gonna start to come around on this. But one challenge is independence Aaron that poll I just mentioned. And found an independent voters are mostly against impeachment I'm 62%. Opposed so you know that that's a barrier for Democrats and they're really gonna have to work to convince the public that case is that these allegations are you know. Under a different kind and and really come weren't moving forward. We have very very serious stacked against the president. Yes speaker Pelosi has said as much she needs that public support on her side to be successful and impeachment we know you'll be following an Emilia Thompson develop 530 pick so much million. Hot and among those who are lending their voice to the impeachment effort that could help change public opinion today. Was congressman John Lewis of Georgia civil rights icon in his own right who has been mum on this question of impeachment. I for months but today he broke his silence in a moving speech on the house floor. Here's a little bit of that. We cannot. We must not. If that time to act. I have been patient. While we try and their murder of apparent use. Theory of the two. Ruben never find the truth as we don't Apollo didn't also rep benefit. And how low to begin an official investigation. As dictated by the constitution. If you'll talk about. It that's. That come a time when it happened to. This strip. To take action to protect the desert interpreter the my nation. You. Sure don't need. The time to begin impeachment proceedings. Against as president. Have come. To delay but to do otherwise. Would be traded to foundation. Oman democracy. Current it was John Lewis in the house for today for more. On what the house is going to be looking at in the days ahead and whether this impeachment effort will actually come to anything and joined Meyer went as reporters were and Phelps Jon Karl our chief White House correspondent is still here guys. We thought we close out this flocked today taking will become of the three big unanswered questions about the soccer event. People are still trying to put their minds around here's Ukraine to your phone calls the president. What we know what do we don't know. Let's focus on what we don't know and start I think we have a graphic of these first three questions Jordan and you've been taking a look up at these questions and start. With why was the money withheld we've heard from the president today but. Why was the aid cut off what we know. That you have courses debate in his you have been talking about it's complicated by the fact that the president's story is changing you know yesterday he said he wanted to make sure there was no corruption in Ukraine today in the story's totally different he says. Now that it's all about and and making sure I did that add. Other European countries are doing their fair share so that's complicating out but Democrats are trying to connect the dots and building this quid pro quo case. So this is very critical. And Jon and you've made a point that that wouldn't necessarily need to be explicit there are ways. That messages with money and yeah millions of dollars of aid can be given imports yes it was so and it. Did let me get back to what we do know we get a that was the president that ordered the money to be with power and congress had. Appropriated it depended on it actually issued a press release announcing that the money was about to flow and it was the president who directed. His chief of staff for why it matters to stop it so so so why matters the president offered you know as Jordan salute to two entirely different explanations. But. You know the president. Stops the flow the money and Intel's. The the president of Ukraine that he wants XY and Z dawn. You know. Happy existence makes second question that is unknown some mean another big contours of presence that he didn't pressure. The president have you tremble what does that mean what does it look like the language won't matter right why wouldn't matter if actually I mean do they wouldn't be releasing this transcript if if the president said if you don't do this wouldn't take all this money back but. I'll have indicated if indeed he. It hangs over over and over the discussion no question. And Jordan the other big mystery here is who is this whistle blower the president says this is a political hack. Somewhere in the government but the sounds like really trigger in an incredibly great along lake you know we have no idea who it is now. No idea and this is the big question of course because Democrats are asking her to see that whistle blower complaint they want to hear from this whistle blower this transcript wiley is critical is not. Likely to satisfy Democrats who want to see what was behind this complaint and we know you know Nancy Pelosi said it was the fact that this complaint was being withheld was what really turned the page for her in saying that this. Could be in new stage of this investigation so this is. This is the critical thing that has turned up the dial on his impeachment talk and that whistle blowers keep. Would you know two things though the whistle blowers from the intelligence community so was employed by one of the US intelligence agencies. Currently so at city. You're somebody from within the intelligence community. And somebody who is still employed by the Angel and somebody that the inspector general of the intelligence community found credible on us to find the sisters sister John Karl thank you so much we've done. And a big announcement from John Carl coming up in the next few months about a new book that's an area it covers I don't just show you some galleys you an early reiterated that so water will get the exclusive here yes this will be his girlfriend all the news radar and Jordan felt soreness report that you guys both very much for a little bit more on how this is plain. Out on the campaign trail the democratic primary race ohrnberger political director Rick Klein he's got to Washington wreck. Before we get into it some of the new developments in that racists just get your hot take on what this impeachment push means for the primary. All these developments are moving incredibly fast and this essentially freezes the primary campaign in place everything that we were talking about just a few days ago is off the table. Everything that we thought were the major story lines it's all stuff to the side now has this impeachment thing plays out and I was actually meeting with that there was some campaign officials one of the democratic campaigns just today. And and the point gets on these officials are making is that. This could be handy from the perspective of Democrats because he keeps this issue in the news but frankly they don't know what it means for this time friend keep in mind. This is going to be quite potentially be playing out now in the context of actual voting. It's very easy to see if this process begins sometime this fall it's going to extend well into the Windsor that means February march the voting season. There are several senators and members of congress who are running for president right now how to they split their time had in this that there energy had a they split their attention and how does the public. Managed not just a field of you know dozen or fifteen candidates but now a very compelling and very important impeachment inquiry. Those elected officials that are in this race Rick may be headed back to their day jobs. Both tragic day job soon enough talk to us about the new debate. Entry requirements that the democratic national and national committee has just released overnight to sort of tighten the screws on this field now lie and get some of these candidates out of the way. Yet these new rules that a debt that start to apply come November I and now you're gonna need a 165000. Donations as a from a 132000. Donations. And you're gonna need out one of two different options really any 5% in a series of also owns the national polls or 2% are are higher in a series of early state polls so there's two different ways in but assessing quite a bit more complicated and it's not clear. What this is going to mean I should say they'll even as these rules have come out. Music that's Hulsey Gabbert has qualified for the October debates the debate next month. Now have a minimum of twelve candidates no official word yet. From the DNC or from CNN in the New York Times. As whether this means another multi night affair public twelve candidates at a minimum level plot I will have qualified for October that number's going to be dramatically smaller November. However Klein thinks so much for that up political take from DC let's bring in one of our political road warriors Beatrice Peterson she's tracking one of those senators in this race Cory Booker. Beatrice thanks so much copper coming in eight Cory Booker was on defense about this October debate he says and he doesn't rate raise enough money he can't stay in the race any longer. I give us an update on where he's at today. Well today at a campaign announced they've reached 700000. Dollars a little bit over 700000 they say they need one point seven. Million dollars by the end of the mom. To stay in the race so that means he's got seven days to raise one million dollars for yet another problem as well. The Rick earlier talked about the upcoming debate. He doesn't have the polling requirements but another thing he hasn't he does not have the donor requirements excuse me. But upcoming of the date it's. 165000. Dollar and sit want is to get back thousand donors excuse me he does not have that so he's also trying to raise one million. One million as well as 160000. Donors. And union secondly can you need to spend money as everybody knows to get donors can he get advertising drama ends with a vicious cycle it's gotta be tough for Cory Booker. We shall see SO the end of the month Beatrice Peterson thank you so much for that update. I'm accord brokered I'm joined now here in Europe are two of our other political rock star reporter Sasha has nick and I will seek it is here guys let's talk a little bit about the new polling in this race. Sasha you cover Elizabeth Warren she is skyrocketing new pulls on today's show she's on top. Potentially in Iowa and New Hampshire. Yet answered DeVon as she surging for the second pole in a row now she surging ahead of Joseph Biden for the first time not only an island which we saw over the weekend but now in New Hampshire to really key. Primary states such as her two points ahead both back going to Iowa poll and now we're seeing that maybe there's sort of a shift. In the race here also her favorability. A ratings. Our surging oil going up and we'll send you cover the trump campaign how they view this rise four I think even watching persons over the summer. Are reporting shows an internal polling they seen arise from her. Internally before you happen pump up and public polling. Com but you know they'll they'll say publicly that they think they can take on anyone. Tom I tend to think that the medium. More concerned about Biden but they're definitely surprise on worn out to more than they had in the past and we know that's there's a big event tonight here in New York city's image that might not be on many of our viewers just. Radars the Republicans are holding in presidential debate. We'll just all about not sanctioning body aren't seeing they're probably either I mean they seem to be pretty unhappy about it but. I've yet to be only two of them there's three people running are now yet. Former congressman mark Sam's or we have Mark Sanford though governor bill weld and Joseph Walsh are running mark shepherds not showing up. And so many things will be there as Donald Trump would. It certainly should mention that. And the only interest in the show I talked to both candidates catering and neither Walsh and wells and they're gonna be two different strategies are wild is gonna come out he does one talk about trump was Doug about as conservative values as a reference was the audience for us. Yeah I do is going to be it'll be interesting you know I talked to Walsh and Walsh's mechanized of some fiery things to say about not only the president. But Bob senator he's not there are so he's he's he's trying to make news. He's a news maker and I think that's whose mantra. All right column we'll stick it on Twitter probably updates from the Republican presidential debate tonight and before we let you have such a real quick sixty seconds left here. Where is Elizabeth Warren headed next what's in store for her this week. You know she's been striking with the UAW workers and attrition is gonna be back there to be went of workers to trade again this weekend then she's gonna be on to Las Vegas next we got she's going to be all over really hitting these key primary states going everywhere and showing up for people and she also has a new. Round of advertisements actually her first television ads. Ever she's investing which is eight figures in them so really he's showing up calling no injures and visionaries trying to ride that. We have good polling numbers for her but a lot of race still left to go we'll see concessions like thank you guys have both. I so much and thank you for joining us here on the special edition of the briefing room from New York City today on this Tuesday a big news day. Stay with us here at ABC news live for the latest always breaking headlines involving impeachment. Of course the political debates as well on Devin Dwyer a New York. Hope to see you right back here tomorrow.

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

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