Democrats discuss impeachment at 6th debate

Seven Democratic candidates for president met in Los Angeles for the sixth debate of 2019, sparring over impeachment, healthcare and taxes.
5:27 | 12/20/19

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Transcript for Democrats discuss impeachment at 6th debate
But first we're gonna take a look at what we know right now about the senate trial ahead involving president trump any new controversy over his faith capture we're gonna get to that in a second. Put tell us with what we know so far Catherine about December breaking news actually the president has just confirmed to Nancy Pelosi that he'll appear. In that. Annual State of the Union Address to congress in February. We have February 4 I think she said which is significant for two reasons is the day after the Iowa Caucuses. But also in this will be the first the third time in history that a president has been impeached in his state of the union and I was surprised academic Jim Hammer how. When the president was invited to the state of the union last year there was some drama around and stick her bluesy kind of withhold how lit. He then says she couldn't go on the canal but he. Except it right series is president tropics ups. The state of the union so that we on February 4 insignificant because it could possibly be either in the middle or asked are the senate trial. Imagine that Dan you've been tracking the latest on the senate trial this week the speaker. I got those articles of impeachment in her possession but now she's sitting on them what what the what do we know about the likelihood of this happening in January. So we know what's gonna happen next after the question is why and isn't gonna happen the speaker has to name the managers. Of the impeachment trial Beazer. Democrats in the house will argue the case before the senate once they are named formally and announce they deliver the articles of impeachment of the senate. To begin this trial but right now she is not doing that until she gets a better sense of she said what constitutes a trial in the senate. Democrats and Republicans senator Schumer senator McConnell are at odds over what that is this trial should be Democrats want witnesses they want a chance to. Have some more people who have not cooperated with the house testify before the senate Republicans are not on board with that and right now they're not she sort of letting it play out for the next couple weeks we'll see what happens in January. Democrats did put a timeline on the table if your mark your calendars at home for the new year here's what we think could happen then you can walk us through this because. Right after the New Year's holiday when members of congress come back exposed to be in town on the sixth. Of January with the asterisk right there are graphic that's when things actually could kick off yeah for an impeachment trial in the senate. So there's a lot of moving pieces there's not that much that we now open here's that the few things that we do know the senate will be back. On that Monday the six. Democrats in the requests to to senator McConnell wanna to begin this trial on the seventh and ninth sort of kick off that process and we know Republicans. Both on Capitol Hill and close to the White House anticipate this will be a ten day to two week process if they had their way to that would take us want to January possibly. Interacting with one of the last democratic debates before I a wins go to the caucuses less about the dynamic that'll play itself out but we expect that processed. To get more shape as we go on it'll be interesting to see if we're still the same place after this Christmas holiday. And the constitution does not say how quickly this process needs to happen. Or that the articles actually need to be passed although it's assumed that they do 01 constitutional expert today guys caught our eye. Familiar face a familiar face Catherine. Yes or no Feldman is actually one of the witnesses at a democratic witnesses and and one of those impeachment hearings kind of a constitutional aspects of the city in the argument that. Hughes the president really impeached if the house managers is then was talking about don't deliver. These articles of impeachment to the senate your memory in Clinton it happened that same day were delivered at 3 PM that day I'm now I know the White House to some sources I've spoken to attend the last third kind of looking at this argument element but the Democrats had time to really don't think this carries much weight and I was speaking to somebody earlier who sent. A look these articles will be true. Admitted to the senate an early in the year it's really just a game of chicken. It's right now as a parlor game to think about it Noah Feldman here on the screen wrote in an op Ed today a warning if you will to Democrats say. If the house does it communicate those impeachment articles to the senate it has not actually impeach the president. If they're not said trump could legitimately say. I am not impeached at all because impeachment of the constitution means the house and in those articles band that auto you gave me and stir some nerves endeavor. Craft so fell this point. Is that impeachment under the constitution is to part its vote in the house and the trial in the senate that constitutes impeachment but he goes on to say something that Democrats have also made the point sank. That it is a fact that the house voted to impeach president trump. So that has not changed regardless of what constitutionally where we are these uncharted waters the house has voted to impeach Donald Trump for only the third time in its history that has happen to a president. And another harbor professional look out for us this breaking news in the negotiations continue his Laurence Tribe he's somebody who's in Nancy Pelosi kitchen cabinet of advisors he was tweeting last night I saw -- where he was saying that Democrats. Similar to what capitalist hearing from a source do not expect to hold this forever this is not indefinite. Withholding of these articles this will happen so and let's also keep in mind that if there was an agreement on a trial. There would still be nothing happened over these next two weeks so as far as Democrats he had this is just an opportunity to get some more leverage against the president. Infuriate the president something Nancy Pelosi has some experience doing getting under his skin. And reevaluate this when they come back in January and it is going to be something to watch for sure as these guys negotiate meantime.

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

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