Democrats split on impeaching Pres. Trump

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not introduced impeachment proceedings against Pres. Trump, despite facing pressure to do so from fellow Democrats.
27:13 | 05/21/19

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Transcript for Democrats split on impeaching Pres. Trump
And. Everybody welcome to the briefing her mom Devin Dwyer Washington great to have you with us on this Tuesday lot of headlines today get to we have full team coverage. Out there are turf on the area will be reporting in shortly from the White House and the latest. In the subpoena battle with house Democrats a major development overnight either we will help break down you want to stay tuned for that also. Will bring in our friends from 538 Emilia Thompson Devoe is here to talk about the abortion battle she's been tracking those restrictions. Rolling out across the United States. We're also joined by Jorge so tell with the national fair housing alliance on a big development today. In the trump administration's housing policy you probably haven't been tracking that one. Could lead 55000. Children evicted from federal housing to more on that to come but we start. A what they're reporting team Kathy or folders are investigative reporter Margaret Taylor senior fellow. I at the Brookings Institution also the editor of loft here blog great to have you with us Barbara thank you Catherine. This post to impeach president trump. It's been out there for quite a while giving a lot louder overnight. Some house Democrats went into Nancy Pelosi office you were staked out there. And they really turned up the heat on the speaker to start doing something in an impeached. A gallon there were definitely last night clashes behind closed doors between Pelosi and in leadership frankly now of course. Some leadership agreed with the with Nancy Pelosi but impeachment. Advocates really as one source described it to me quote stood tall. And really even trying to drive from the this idea of starting impeachment proceedings am for example graft skin a congressman raskin one of the members of the Judiciary Committee says. That if they start this now it that's it actually will strengthen their investigations. In court may be able to to obtain a more documents and he went on about about how will strengthen their investigations but our job Parkinson actually. Put to speaker Pelosi today are you feeling pressure from your caucus and she said now to other. You're usually in between a couple of her rocker harmless or she'd politically doesn't wanna be moving towards impeachment she sees that as a bad game for Democrats. Going into the election on the other hand Democrats Margaret aren't getting anywhere with these subpoenas they are being completely shut down. Might in impeachment proceeding or at least the beginnings of one help them in some of these court cases to get what they want. It probably would. Some of the legal arguments that does trump administration is making to really stiff arm congress in terms of documents and also testimony. By senior advisors. Is that there's no legitimate legislative per best that the congress is pursuing here. In the impeachment proceedings you don't need to talk about a legitimate legislative person purpose because you're talking about impeachment proceeding specifically which is a separate part of the tonight. Constitutionally mandated investigation so there's room would be purpose written and into the into the law. Aunts and made it would help them but we don't know because it has been tested. It hasn't been tested and it will and so one thing we don't know is whether courts would move the use cases along so content. Citation cases are subpoena cases would court's move them along what even more quickly in the context of impeachment proceedings than in these sort of run of the mill. Investigative proceedings might my sense that they probably wouldn't. Sense the urgency although we have seen just yesterday yesterday. A district court issue an opinion very quickly their eye on an issue that relates to these things and so. We have seen at least one judgment pretty quickly to an opinion it's sensing and recognizing the urgency even of the investigative powers of congress. You want to get to that particular case and the second but want to come back to this this issue subpoenas and we've even trying to keep track at home house Democrats from several committees have been dropping subpoenas and the White House all over the place. Document requests interview requests. And Catherine won the big ones kind of the mother of all subpoenas. That's looming although hasn't yet come down would be for Robert Mueller the special counsel himself him here we are almost June. And there's no deal to hear from him what's. Honey yeah and Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee said this tentative date to hear from all are you remember that date has come anonymous may fifteenth. I'm now that the chairman Jerry Nadler you think seems shifting his toe and a little bit publicly he's been saying words more. Like we may have to resort. A two impeachment he's been saying that the Department of Justice has been cooperating but it but he's just saying it is depends of that is and they haven't that it did but at least. Now our reporting and what we are learning today is that in TJ officials have in fact. Offer for Mueller to come in but what they want is public opening statement and then a testimony behind closed doors now we've learned that Democrats on the committee are. Pushing back against that they want his testimony to be public but the bottom line is. They are still negotiating. With Muller's team. Because they would be willing to budge on some things that may be a heat can't testify publicly tips or still. We're waiting to see what happens without but a look at here or are most of the ends in May and now Warren June and they wanted to. Hear from him earlier this month so you have Robert Mueller obviously also concern and from your sourcing about the public optics of having to testify publicly and have to be put it very awkward position terror pulmonary our White House correspondent. Has been tracking the White House side. Of this fight terror and its interest in they aren't explicitly mentioned as part of these quiet negotiations. Of between the Justice Department house Democrats and robber Muller's team. But the president's made very clear his desire not to see the special counsel testified. Right president trump wants this and more testimony from either dom again Robert Mueller bill Barr it doesn't. Brings up the Moeller report again and questions about obstruction of justice also rehash it a lot of the nitty gritty details in that report in as we know. That doubles and Andy tell and it is damaging politically for him but at the same time if you can turn this into a political war. We just heard Mitch McConnell calling it up presidential harassment that's a phrase that president trump uses a lot they need able to sort of shift the message you know we're seeing a house right now the House Judiciary Committee house oversight committee. Really struggling in this political game. You elected in the mid terms on a large part because they wanted. Voters want an oversight and it are not able to get oversight and that's a failure for them in 20/20 two an especially debates are hungry for oversight some even hungry for impeachment. But at what you're seeing right now is. Congress fighting to assert its way to show its constitutional power and you're showing the White House turning this into a political fight that they hope will be more damaging for the Democrats and but I. Yeah and score one for the house Democrats overnight in February or there is one case that our Margaret Taylor has been tracking closely here as well. From Brookings Margaret this is a case everybody should pay attention to because it dealt a blow to the White House a stone wall strategy. And a federal judge actually said. That this private company that president's personal accounting firm actually has to comply with congress' request in turnover. Financial documents to the president. That's right and keep in mind though that trump has actually appealed the case so it's not a done deal yet. But judge on May toth who is that the judge in the case then the reasoning and his opinion was very clear and very ground data in established Supreme Court precedent. And basically what he sad was the house oversight committee's investigation headed by Elijah Cummings a Democrat from Maryland. Is of valley end. An investigation its racially related to a legislative purpose and obtaining those financial documents from Mazar stumps accounting firm. Is valid and it there's a really really no legal argument dal legal argument that. Trump can make two to stop it. It certainly Christine we were talking before the show that puts it makes this case so unique and potentially. And could succeed for house Democrats is that needs ours is a private company said they're not able to invoke executive privilege they're not run by a trump appointee. To block these repress from Democrats they're very much in a much tighter spot in terms of being compelled to do something. That's right and it -- it also a simpler case for the courts they're really only looking at that question of whether. Debt committee is pursuing a Bala legislative purpose they're not weighing these more complex issues and executive privilege. That would come into play when you're talking about executive officials or former executive officials. And when it comes to executive privilege. One area that the White House are certainly has a leg up is with their former White House counsel John McGann. Catherine folders you know McGann well. Donna gam was that we should tell anybody remind everybody was the key figure in the Muller reports he was the guy who the president. Allegedly ordered to fire Bob Mahler several times the key player in that obstruction case. Other Democrats are hoping to make they would hear from them the president cavern has drawn a line in the sand he's not to show up. And is invoking executive privilege over those conversations. That's going to be tougher fight for the White House or for house Democrats and to play. Exact plane just you know to distinguish between the two that judiciary committee of course issued a subpoena for documents. Related in two McGann in the and the special counsel's investigation and then separately. A subpoena for his testimony now with those documents the White House is saying look without a conversation about them but. Some of these documents we think may be covered by executive privilege haven't formally invoke privilege over the documents but. There may a little bit of a different argument hasn't relates back to his testimony they're saying look he was a close White House advisor. And close White House advisors according two a new office of legal council opinion and previous ones and other administrations. That close White House advisors they are immune from congressional testimony they don't. Have to come in and speeds the committee now of course. Chairman Nadler you can see right there he was talking and an empty chair that said is on again yeah Capitol Hill today exactly was supposed to be there today and of course now they're vowing to hold him in content. Of course I'm against lawyer as saying look this is a dispute between congress and the White House come up with an accommodation. And then we will of course you know be willing to to come in what ever. Agreement you come out in terror what's the president saying about all this is very pretty clear on them again in front but. How has he been reacting to that case in federal district court Margaret was talking about over those financial documents as he. Vowing to it to defy that judges or. Before the special counsel even starting his investigation and we were just having the FBI looking for a Russian investigation the president made it very clear upper hand. The Red Line. Is his business it's his company's it's his children into what he did before he became president. And doesn't want anyone going into that and the reason that their opening up its case again is because boring his longtime lawyer Michael Collins testimony on Capitol Hill. He suggested that the president may have been defrauding insurance companies. For many years. That he may have been inflating his Arafat's. L and he also suggested there might be tax fraud so this all the kind of stock that Donald Trump doesn't want. Anyone going to me here but at the same time we saw this court ruling that ruled in favor of the Democrats and that is giving. I speaker Nancy Pelosi a little bit of time as she tries to convince. Some of the hard line Democrats to hold on impeachment showing. Pay the court might be working for us we may not have to go that far. Important point there to end on terror primary thanks so much back context and for your reporting big day today. On the investigations from Barbara tiered great to have you with us from Brookings Institution Catherine thank you from. Your reporting appreciated. Moving on out of the day of protests around the country over those abortion restrictions that have surfaced in a bunch of state courts in recent weeks take a look. You can see here from the steps of the Supreme Court to city halls and state capitals in the midwest south. To the West Coast women raising their voices today as conservative states and those anti abortion activists. Push ahead. It was quite a spirited de out there on the steps of the Supreme Court were team is covering. But what does all of this mean it is there really a big movement afoot right now. And why now our friends at 538. I have been tracking this taking a closer look at which states are passing. I some of these restrictions and why they're doing so our friend Emilia Thompson devote joins us now from Chicago via Skype or merely it's great to see you. Certain this you know you he reported adding you're new column today that this push for abortion rights obviously didn't come out of I don't know where but we have seen. A more sudden move towards outright abortion bans why is that what is your research told you. Senate did is we have looked at then they could trajectory of abortion restrictions over the taxi years because there's been a real acceleration. Restrictions on abortions. In net Conrad leaning states and its twenty Iraq and and what we've seen is there have been hundreds of restrictions passed on in and number and a number of different types of restrictions. But as you noted. They are higher they're getting earlier. And they're getting more directly targeted at Roe vs. Wade so we're leniency before. Our restrictions that are really regulations. On abortion. And they have the effect of making a fortune harder to get. But they're not attacking the constitutional right to abortion directly. This shift we're seeing now is that. We're now seeing these new ban on abortion in the first trimester that are much more direct challenge to the legality of the procedure itself. It has public opinion though shifted. You know it's it's it's it's sort of give a ground swell to these movements or is this to. Really something that is. Opportunistic if you will given the politics of the day the politics of the court where where is public opinion stand on on those are right bands. The few national polls I'm you see your real division in public opinion in terms of whether people are in favor of restrictions on a portion. Earlier or leader in pregnancy so. It's there's that there's a fairly aren't substantial consensus around 60% of the general public. Wants abortion to be legal in the first trimester and that support falls off in the second trimester. So some of the earlier bands that we've seen that had been sort of more consistent since it's funny eleven. Bans on abortion around. Tough one 22 weeks of pregnancy. I'm those have been more popular then that's something like a first trimester abortion ban which really isn't in line with public opinion. We your team also. A stupidly points out Emilia that. Many legal experts actually think a lot of these hardline bands. Might not play so well the Supreme Court right it might actually. Make the court less likely to take up some of these issues and waited to this fight. Yeah good pretty big risk here because the Supreme Court has five justice conservative majority added that last fall for the first time in a long time so that would seem to get an opening. To folks who want to bring cases to the Supreme Court that would restrict abortion. The problem is that the Chief Justice John Roberts is very sensitive to the court not appearing political. And there is you know a very established precedent that there is a constitutional right to fortune. I answer the concern from some legal experts I spoke win. Is that I'm you know essentially. Abortion opponents may be asking for too much too quickly that the court might eat more receptive to a case that's about some of these restrictions. And then something that would overturn Roe vs. Wade entirely. Especially in an election year if the affected these fans is that the issue becomes more politicized. 162020 candidates talking about that's allot. So the more this sort of becomes part of the political atmosphere. I'm the period hitting it mighty I am making it less appealing for the Supreme Court to waiting to that's right now. Fascinating set watching C on Tuesday when the court convenes again whether or not they will. Take up some of those cases that have been in the pipeline and we know there's been some petitions pending Sobel. Stay tuned for that Emilia Thompson broke from 538 thanks so much for analysis and their Avery to see you. Moving on now to a little known story that's not getting a lot of attention to neighbor probably deserves a bit of the spotlight there's a new trump administration policy announced recently by the housing and urban. I development. Agency that could evict 55000. Children. From federal housing. Housing secretary Ben Carson was on Capitol Hill today to answer some tough questions about the planet got quite contentious and emotional. Part of his effort is to purge Federer housing. For families with mixed immigration status of this is comes back to immigration are and clarity who covers immigration and housing agencies here with us and. Bob tell us what this policy does what people need to know about these new rules that were sort of slipped in under the radar. Rate will DeVon will we know is that a lot right now does not allow people who are undocumented immigrants to receive any kind of federal assistance with federal housing method for some time and that has been for sometime so what they have done for the past twenty years has come up with a formula an assist both and Republican administrations and democratic administrations. To say that we will that the federal government we'll pro rate the assistance that families received so. For example a child who's born in the United States that his family might not happen to be eligible speaking from an immigration standpoint. That would still received some money now that money would be pro rated so when applied to everyone in the house. And two at how this changes and it is that secretary Carson is proposing a plan that would basically say. Everyone in the house who receives. If a household receives. Federal assistance everyone must be meet up eligible immigration requirement. And so in other words of flip that around if anyone in your household anyone right family and it's not illegal resident of the United States no need housing needs for anyone in the femme. That's that's correct and that's why we're expecting Hud's own analysis of this. Is that little and little impact about 25000. Households and in those households. Are about 55000. Children. Well so this is and the shift that could have a very big impact do as you were watching this hearing today up on Capitol Hill. As could be predicted house Democrats are very emotional. Many of them from immigrant heavy communities. Media Vasquez of New York was particularly outspoken we have a look. At some of the grilling of secretary Carson this afternoon on this new policy people. You are going to put children. On this street. To open up for any five to 35000. Units and these sock on Macon children. Where are they going to go. We're going to the shelter sees them they would become homeless. They continue to ask you questions. And not allow you to a man from I mean that's you know that's pretty selfish pretty. Bad behavior so that means it does seem a little Italy have a hearing US component question and you can answer. Seems like more plant formed what that yes that might yield any rate now. You call me self I yield dipped by fighting I have four children in a man I'm sure we have to think logically rather than just emotionally if we're gonna solve these problems. To the secretary there and talk talking about. The logic here round Andre in motion which certainly got a lot of people riled up but. So what is there a logic what are what are they saying their logic is wise extra cost savings why cut out these famines. Is there about four million Americans that are on a wait list to get federal housing that's a lot I mean in in cities like LA could take years before you get federal assistance. So this is part of president trumps America first and Ben Carson said it you know I want to save this. For Americans but as we saw the congresswoman pointed out this actually would out of four million people on the weightlessness would probably open up 25000. Homes or are you know vouchers section eight vouchers and so forth so. Is this probably won't have a big impact except for the people who are on the receiving and that's. Initially impact American children. Who are children of undocumented parents exact. Incidents thereby being disqualified her pestering us 55000 are in the country illegally by the hunt and asked him. In thirty thanks for your reporting for different perspective on this now want to bring in Jorge Soto. He's the director of public policy at the national fair housing alliance in New York Jorge it's great to see you Sahara advocates like yourself view this and. What can you guys do to fight back. I'm think is much for having me yes so one of the things that we are planning on nom engaging in right now it's you make sure that we're working with all over national and a local and state based organization I'm partners that. You know Carolyn about these issues and work with people we will be directly impacted by this. In one of the things that I'm comes after a policy announcement like this or change in policy announcement like this is an opportunity for the public to react. Not for organizations like the national housing alliance and others choose make comments. On base their perspective and you know their analysis of of the proposed regulation and national housing alliance ethnic definitely going to be engaging in a process of doing that in court meeting armed number no I'm numerous partners across the country to trying to train express you know. Concern an average for those outraged. About the whole the policy change that this administration trying to pursue don't. And what about the families in all this Jorge I know the organization. Works with a lot of families that are seeking for housing and. In the New York area what can be done to identify those families how how can you reach them particularly given the immigration status of some of their. Their family members. I think a lot of this is going to reap what first and foremost in the primary objective for costs and for earth are our partner and does it. Sure that this policy department. The reality is that has been mentioned before that. Emmys will be broken our children will be put into Foster sponsor care or taken taken by other family members an end and a lot of other things we just really don't understand the full impact of just yet what's gonna be really important is making sure that folks on the ground organizations that have direct services or I'm all types of damage but in particular people who speak to undocumented immigrants and give them advice and counsel. Sits to be resource and to be able to address had to be able to address these Emmys very real meets. I'm if this if this program actually or rather if the policy does take effect and building a little bit. It'll take a little bit of time for it to be fully to take fully and took come into effect fully. So you know I think one of the things we're trying to make sure we do right now is get a really strong sense of Atlanta. In Jorge you know and I want to ask you about the secretary's comment that this is a logical. Approach in certainly to play devil's advocate there are many people in this country who might. Look at the new policy and say you know hey it's kinda common sense. That the limited number of resources tax dollars should for housing aid for example should go do. Two Americans that they shouldn't go to our undocumented persons. While what do you say encountered of that argument why is it important for these families. And why should they did deserve this money. Never studies showed that stable affordable housing is one of the best ways of reducing. I'm overall our tax Payer costs for just about anything until if you have a strong stable I'm pleased lives. You can essentially you know. How backs this all sorts of resources. You know kind of live your life according to news and of the status quo so to speak so that you don't have to fear eviction or anything else like that. Or any of the negative harms alluding in sub standard housing. The reality is is that this this policy is hot actually going to open up any more housing in fact it's actually gonna cost more money armed for this program for this policy to be implemented. I'm that bend than anything should crowds and analysis actually says that it's gonna be over 200 million dollars two just replace mixed income or mixed status families with full. Fully on certain X status ends with lead. Fully qualified fully eligible trim so just going back that's to say it again. It's gonna 200 million dollars just just switch out. Mixed status families with Apple's that would fully eligible families. I'm and then that doesn't even get into the cost that we were somewhat describing earlier about what happens to children who are separated from their families and and and meet a beyond and beyond the costs. You know what people perceived an undocumented immigrants have to eat in this country. This doesn't get at heart of the affordable housing crisis this is not a solution politics. And certainly gonna continue to be a matter of debate as he said it doesn't going to affect yet this is a proposal by the house and secretary there will be entered into the federal register but. Certainly one that that we will continue to follow here in the briefing room Jorge Soto. With the N national for housing alliance think he's so much sir for coming ensuring you Beers. Eighty security. I finally today we want to pay tribute to some of America's fallen heroes those that are unseen and unknown working. In America's clandestine services the CIA today. As having their annual remembrance ceremony for the fallen in the line of duty in the past year this is what they called the star ceremony you see here. And the memorial wall at CIA headquarters. Where there have been 129. Stars. Did designating the memorializing remembering those officers and agents who died in long line of duty many of their names and faces. Have been kept secret to protect their identity CIA invited. ABC news live out to their headquarters last week and a for close look at a tradition that has never been seen before by the public we will bring it to you. A tomorrow here it's going to surprise you learn some things about one of the most secretive work forces in the United States government. You're never imagine what we found when we were very that is tomorrow our cameras were allowed inside. We believe all of our phones in the car it was a pretty neat experience and you'll meet some of the agents that work inside that building. Right here on ABC news lives tomorrow 3:30 eastern time great to have you with us today on this Tuesday I'm Devin Dwyer Washington hope you follow us. All day long all week long by downloading the ABC news app. The latest turn ABC news live also all of our stories and abcnews.com. Right there. I'll see you back here tomorrow 3:30 eastern 5:30 eastern cedar.

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