Impeachment advances quickly; Bloomberg faces sexist accusations

House readies for a possible vote on impeachment Wednesday; Michael Bloomberg is accused by multiple women of sexist behavior; Congress to pass funding bill to study gun violence.
27:41 | 12/16/19

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Transcript for Impeachment advances quickly; Bloomberg faces sexist accusations
Yeah. Hi everyone I'm Mary Alice parks. Washington bracing. For impeachment we are just days from that highly anticipated vote on the house floor. I'm here with our Capitol Hill team to break down exactly what we can expect from this week. And what we know about a pending senate trial. And them will also take a look at that big story out maybe seek about Michael Bloomberg the four former New York City mayor and presidential candidate. Facing some serious allegations of sexism. In his company. A whole chair of denigrating women lawsuit say he is spot back over the years we're going to be joined by two of our lead reporters on that story. Plus more to com on whether congress is potentially gearing up. To make it significantly harder for young people to buy tobacco. Stick with us and that's a big story. As well like I said I'm joined by two of my colleagues from our hill team Katherine folders and Ben Siegel who had been there every single day tracking the members of congress. So you guys start by just breaking down what can we expect in the next few days and when as a spoken. At this I think over the next few days tomorrow. That has been and I Nen of the rules committee. Is meeting for what could be many hours usual essentially a set of how the debate in the vote. The full house vote on Wednesday. Will look like and then we have the full house vote on Wednesday so will be of on the two sept part. Articles of impeachment when mammoth and and that's great Wednesday as the big day almost 21 years to the day that President Clinton was impeached actually the house will vote to impeach president trump on these two charges. Tomorrow's space with a window dressing the rules committee essentially helps set the dia parameters of debate on the house floor will learn how long. The house will actually debate both of these articles on the 41 say tomorrow. That is really the significance but Wednesday again is the big day and we will see the president impeach for just the third time. Any other thing though and and I bet and I were just talking out of here is that. We still need those house impeachment managers not managers and house members of the house who will. Make in the case essentially for the house and the senate so we still don't have it in Indonesia this and anticipation and senate trial also. And that could come this week to Wear a tracking I can't even though we think gap rates about earning it back. Some jockeying and yet these are heightening our position Enola Democrats are vying for that spot. But first we expect on that house I mean we've we've been talking a lot about whether this sort of a foregone conclusion. You know they had to close he basically saying that a speaker she's prepared to lose a few members of our caucus is pretty much a done deal now are there any last minute fireworks they could still. A lot. Well I think it's a done deal we know these two articles will pass that we don't know what the vote tally will be and I think the members to watch tomorrow or the Democrats 31 Democrats in the house are from districts that president trump carried. In 2016 more than half of them say they're gonna vote for both these articles still a good number about a dozen who have not said where they're gonna vote we expect at least one Democrat to vote against and that's Collin Peterson from Minnesota. Jeff Andrew was another Democrat who voted against impeachment earlier. He's gonna switch the Republican Party so now we have the small universe of Democrats to watch. Ahead of this vote on Wednesday to see where they're gonna go obviously president trump is a big presence. Their districts and great transition their bank to get at least slat can was one of minutes right democratic members that Enron was watching really closely she had slipped her district from red to belittle. Some swing district outside Detroit in Michigan. One of our campaign reporters Kristin Otto was a Daryn this morning when she held a town hall to explain her decision to vote for impeachment we're joined by Craig. A Chris tell us a bit about what the scene was like today at her town hall. Spirit Mary Alison so the town halls a little while you know. When I got here early this morning that there was a line outside the hall outside in the hallway from. Bombing where she was gonna have her town hall on one side works from supporters chanting four more years. The presence Anderson on the other side for. Supporters of impeachment and you know at times a two did go at it she could. And spoke about impeachment when she said as she was voting and paper for impeachment you know. The trump section to go a little while. Really for heckling her throughout the time mention at one point she even sent you know. I'm gonna keep going and talk over you guys because I'm a little microphone so do so it was a scene inside. It. Even though it's quiet now where you are but I wouldn't hurt a little bit and that video that you shot from this morning here's some from some of those voters and I think you talk to you let's listen. Oddly the president has committed in lemont. Abuse that power currently an impeachment is necessary because you just have no regard their offices and I'm over here a combination that can. To impeach. Because that's what I believe the majority for constituents want it's what America needs. I think it's a sham and when it's gonna bond entirely wrong. Republicans didn't get a kiss father. There witnesses. And we subpoena. But so is basically one side I think digital out. This could favor the Republicans in the upcoming 20/20 election. And I think we're seeing the alliance of the Democratic Party. I want her son's story I wondered yeah. Write cancel we are glad that you're there she tracks some of that drama. Ben her vote is significant and Sloc it was one of the key members of the Democratic Party who actually. Force the issue of starting this impeachment inquiry into the Ukraine. Of events the wrote president's relationship with Ukraine the withholding of some of that aid she wrote a key op Ed in the Washington Post with a number of other Democrats -- national security backgrounds. To essentially pushed the caucus in the direction of impeachment. And also that dumb idea Detroit suburbs that a slot can represented is really ground zero for many people of where the election will be won or lost and twenties when he said the fact that she's putting her Bette with the Democratic Party because she believes in and what they're doing and also politically she is as Kitchener horse of the party sort of shows what Democrats are thinking. Ahead of the election so it's very significant. Yet again we're putting it Michigan definitely at the epicenter of 20/20. And the Electoral College but with that it has accepted we know that the husband is gonna happen in just a few days until a home ready you can feel the attention move over to the senate. I bring another one of our Capitol Hill Cawley are reporters and colleagues at bear on the hill today Trish turner. Tryst tell us a little bit about what we. Home in the senate trial will look like there's been a lot of back and forth about what the White House minds about what. Leader McConnell wants what do we know this senate trial Clinton. I mean any. If there's a lot that we don't know who has attained but. We do believe that this is going to be a short and brief proceeding is to remind their 53 Republicans so and at any given motion indeed they need. The majority leader McConnell needs 51 senators so we think it's gonna have been is that it'll be media two week affair ten days to weeks. The big question looming large over this trial is whether or not to have witnesses and that's of that 51 comes and because 47 Democrats we believe are gonna want to have some kind of witnesses. And so it only takes a handful all Republicans to come over and join the majority Mitch McConnell has ever really. Difficult needle to thread here and enthusiast and somehow. You know conveyed in the White House that having witnesses is not a good idea we know the authority under way. Don't know what the president does it feel like we always Davis he's the wild card in any negotiation. And already we see leader Schumer in the democrats' side you know saying look we want to have nick Albanian women we want to have John Bolton. And it's interesting because back in 1999. You know very young senator Schumer had just come over to the senate side he had been in the House Judiciary Committee voted against. Impeaching Bill Clinton did he come arbor and said. In I don't want any witnesses I don't want any witnesses and today he told us. You know that's not that's not counter to what he's saying right now he's advocating witnesses now because you know back in 99 they've heard all of this testimony and grit you know in grand jury material. The Ken Starr investigation so there's so much more of a record that they had done that they don't have now. That's sad Republicans. Especially McConnell are really wary of opening this door to witnesses because they do not want to start dealing with witnesses light. Make more beanie the former national security advisor John Bolton. And so that that's kind of what we are really sure but we do believe it's gonna begin around January 6. It should hate Democrats saying that is exactly of those witnesses that could provide information to the president's. Thinking during all of this why exactly was there are holed up in finding their argument that those are the witnesses that would have the most information it's interesting. For you see they doesn't seem like there's going to be any give there. But looked taken a lot of heat not just on the witnesses and question witnesses but also on this idea of whether he is supposed to be an impartial juror. He said that he's gonna work hand in glove with the White House defends. And Democrats say it's. That that's that that's a foul. Yet it you know this is so hard I'm as him rail -- late partisan politicians this is an incredibly partisan environment. And and so we hear asking them to be jurors in the trial that we know is all that means it's very political by its very nature impeachment is very political. So the idea that they're gonna be impartial jurors is dishonesty you know nonexistent some of them are trying to stick to that some of the members that we knowing the metal but there's all kinds of political calculation that's going on into this but I will say even people who controlled. The floor I'm for the Democrats back in 19991. Former Daschle aide Tom Daschle was the democratic leader in the senate back then he said they really tried hard to have a firewall between the democratic leader. And the white house council of course Bill Clinton in the White House is White House counsel office were acting as. The legal team that was defending the president so the federal firewall between the two and they never talked that doesn't mean other Clinton staffers didn't try to call into the democratic leader's office. But we have so it's really the Mitch McConnell. Statement was really on kind of a bit jarring to hear. But but not since though and you know and in president charms Washington you know everything is a bit turned on it said. I'm everything is highly partisan and highly charged and and again I think you and and you and I both did. Could easily agreed the you know at this point there and there are there is in the two thirds majority of the senate to convict. So allow them are saying you know let's just get this over with let's do this quickly and move up. I think a big difference is Trish mentioned from. Twenty years ago to today is that back. For the impeachment of Bill Clinton the Democrats and the Republicans came together and actually agreed on how they would conduct a trial now you can't get these guys to agree on what to have for launch. And you can't even get as Catherine has you can get the Republicans in the senate and the White House to be on the same page and they've sort of been. Trying to get on the same page but it's been a little to trump. If a whole other McConnell and White House according nation whether it's at the White House counsel. Is fascinating easy but it also not particularly surprising it's really what bands as getting on the same page apparently from sources in the White House we've. As spoken to at first the president that he is no legislative affairs director was on a hill saying on the record that he wants to have. This trial is live trial with all these witnesses and then that's still a public position that by the way and now. From people that we've talked to inside the White House scenes of the president might be. You coming around to calling no witnesses but also remember that Schumer has asked for these witnesses at the White House blocked in the house but the president also said. Maybe they should come forward where they can get a fair trial so there's all of this. You know what does the president want who does he want to represented that does he but the White House counsel will he have is outside attorneys it's all. It at least from but the people who are speed to a Fenway has since completely at the air which is not some. Red is not it is not uncommon Preston not be able to pin down right it's exactly the senate. On something thank you both thank you to Trish turner and you'll be giving us all the updates and especially tracking that marathon rules committee hearings. Tomorrow as we get ready for the bout think you know. I do not turn out another BA story that was just driven by ABC news. Enterprising reporting from our investigative team and our political team. Mayor Michael Bloomberg former mayor of New York City who's been running a new Brent Knight well funded self funded presidential campaign. Has faced on multiple occasions. Allegations that he made sexist comments to women in his office including a claim that in 1990s that he told a pregnant employee. To quote kill it. I want to bring in two of our reporters who are leading on this story. Luke rivermen it with our investigative unit might think is there in New York I hope we have a look. Her hire him yet and is the hutch said pat neck. Well then you guys at big story out today I want to quote this line. From your story that I think really get to the hard at it you wrote over the years a number of women alleged in legal filings that Bloomberg's use of lewd comments around coworkers. Fostered us rat like culture. At the company. Now there's a lot of documents and sort of court filings that you cite in this story I know you guys are piecing through all those court records. So tell us little bit more about what exactly found in the court documents. It seems like he was actively involved in biting and back against Lebanese Los. And that's exactly right Mary Alice in these lawsuits go back decades as you said back to the ninety's. No most of the mood the allegations have to do pregnancy discrimination common sexual harassment in the workplace but. One in particular and I think you referenced that in the open. It had several allegations against Michael Bloomberg. Himself of saying lewd crude sexual comments towards female employees. One notable one again as he said was when when a colleague of his approach him and told him she was pregnant. She allegedly told her to kill it. Now he's repeatedly denied that specific comment but just litany of remarks that are tribute to him or is really staggering income certainly something he's gonna have to deal on the can. Injured but none of these cases made it to court. So where they all they were all settled some of them drops. Explain tests are what happened I think a few of them are still active. Yet there are three active cases and in the more recent ones don't say misconduct by Michael Bloomberg remember he was mayor of New York City from 2001. When he fourteen. And so for a long period of time he wasn't technically at the company but the most recent ones when you return to the company's site. His inability to Foster change at the company and they called a top down culture that he's responsible for. And as he said many of these cases never admit none of them admitted to try many of them have been settled out of court. I'm we've spoken with several women who have signed nondisclosure agreements as part of those settlements. And so that's why I think in part you probably haven't heard many of these allegations. And Sasha you also found your team also found a gifts that the mayor received from his colleagues in 1990. A compilation of alleged quotes from Bloomberg is that right tell us little bit about what was in that gift and and what he's saying about it. Yeah that's right so this is a gift that came out in 1990 to honor his 48 birthday when he was sort of a rising star at this really you. Exciting company that was at the nexus of technology and news. It was their celebrate sort of though the wit and witnesses and it's called actually the portable Bloomberg DeWitt and racism of Michael Bloomberg. And it's allegedly. Direct quotes that he used to say in and around the office and a lot of them are are quite lewd and crude some of them. Off color humor. This press came to light in 2001 right when he was first making his foray into. Politics for the first time when he was running for mayor. And it got a little bit of pick up then that's that went away for a long time and this really now we got our hands on one of the only original copies. The book that is still out there having in my hands here and it's really something that. No person running for president of the United States wants. To beat floated this kind of thing. The forever reading from a here if women want to be appreciated for their brains they'd go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale's. Many other things that you can't repeat on TV but it's sort of speaks Qiyue in his own words allegedly a larger culture of harassment and derogatory comments about women. Wow yes. You hinted there too would be potential impact on his presidential race obviously his opponents in the democratic primary and already had very little. Love laws for Michael Bloomberg they are not out there saying nice things about him already. We see as a way to candid saying that. A billionaire shouldn't be able to buy his way into the rays that he got into laid. Are really seeing some blow back from other candidates and we expect we'll see more. I'd be very surprised if some of his fellow attorney twenty years weren't jumping on this something you also have to be very careful how you approach this. You don't want to seem like you're jumping on some things what's happened is for the sake of attacking them we've seen. Can be attacked so far for his money rape and some really crucial time for him he's just getting into the race at an eleventh hour sort of thing he's port a lot of his own money into this but this is a time. When he needs to be introducing himself to the American people as he's asking for their vote. So well a lot of the experts political experts that we spoken to say. This honestly could not have come at a worse time for him if this is the first thing that comes up on Google when you search Michael Bloomberg that's not going to be a great look for him especially if you're saying. I wanted to present you. In the future. I think you're exactly right we've seen democratic primary voters have very little stomach for any allegations of sexism. Or wrongdoing in that space the two of you congratulations on a big story we appreciate all airport and we look forward. To more according to come think you know. You know congress is not want to end on this impeachment vote this year. We've heard from house Democrats that they want to close out. The 2019. On a different note we seems a big push for some bipartisan bills. In particular congress has a massive funding bill they're expected to pass by the weeks and we'll have to pass it by the weeks and there's a big. Deadline. That grand funding bill there are two possible policy changes that I think pretty significantly want to break down those right now I can see on the screen. 25 million dollars expected to be included in the funding bill that would go towards. The federal government studying gun violence from a health perspective and some of the health research agencies of the government. Seconds there's talk that this big bill will raise the federal minimum age for purchasing all tobacco products to 21 years old. Now that would include beeping and artists in many states have already passed laws raising the minimum wage and his interest in the biz is bipartisan legislation. Bipartisan legislation. And it had a self. That is supported by leader McConnell. I think that that is going to be quite by the once people realize that that is and there are going to be voted on just later this week some joined again by bank to help meets at. Need tops to two experts and break down. What some of this means ought to bring in those two experts as well we have doctor Jonathan that's all professor and director of the center for medicine health and society at Vanderbilt. And he's written a lot on the gun violence epidemic in America they are professor thank you for joining us. And also Matthew Myers the president of the campaign for tobacco free kids. So let's start with idea. Federal money going towards federally funded research on gun violence I think this is interest gain a lot you'll might understand it is historic. So professor Michael talked to us a little bit about why there has not been more federal research on gun violence. In the past Democrats accused Republicans of basically banning ads. Tell us about why this is a store act. That that's in fact true I mean we've had this ridiculous situation in the United States for a morning hand guns and violence and gun death and gun injury have gone up exponentially year after year. And in the meantime we've had a federal really is effectively a ban in place since the 1990s in the mid 1990s. There is a writer attached to the to the congressional budget that basically said that congress was. Prohibited from giving any kind of federal money to places like the CDC or the and I nature other places that study that said he. Gun violence and so what we've seen is that over the years. Got an injury and death have become just dramatically underfunded in relation to the public health risks that they that they pose. And every couple of years there's been an attempt to basically say we need to overturn this stand. And I think it really it should be a bipartisan issue we have about 40000 gun deaths a year in this country and many mark on injuries. It doesn't matter you know Republican Democrat everybody's suffering from that's but year after year the congress has basically maintain this stand. Out of this kind of faulty idea that gun violence researchers somehow partisan. And so as a result gun violence and gun deaths are one of the most under study causes of death in the United States and it's just really fantastic to see some movement from congress on this issue. What kind of studies are you imagining the CDC are and I H might be able to. To get going nine in the new year. Well I think there're couple things that are important here number one is of course the United States is a very unique society on one hand we own a tremendous amount of a fire just more than one handgun per person almost at in this country. And sure I think what we've really lacked so far are major databases to basically saying what kind of gun violence prevention efforts work in a society where there are guns and people what what are the most effective ways to prevent to prevent gun injury I think that's one. There are courses mass shootings have been underfunded consider what we're the best measures to stop the step that the flow into trying to be a mass shootings instructors like that and I think they're just bigger questions just about. And I mean when you think about it as I just mentioned we have about 40000 gun deaths a year and in this country but many many more guns and so I would also like to see studies just about. You know what are the characteristics of guns that are never fired out of people live safely with guides and structures like that's hardly the take home point here is we really lack of big kind of studies that we've seen with in her seat belts and smoking and dating as you were about talk about how are really think that you know these are the kind of studies that we really need to do in this country to assess kind of what what are the best practices in a society like ours. And I think it's notable too that Democrats. They have the house this year this is one of the things they brought to the table. When these government funding goes a usually hashed out Republicans in the house and the senate bring some under the table the other chamber bring something to the table the president also brings his demands this is one of the demands that Democrats in the house insisted on having in this in this government funding measure. Now it's across the finish line and a big win today for for a gun safety advocates and of course Democrats who think that this could as as doctor mental set help shed light on on on some of the questions surrounding gun deaths in this country. And another guy and he's I'll secretary Anson and I just say it's remarkable I mean this is really decades in the making that this has been an issue Purcell loss of the fact that the Democrats in congress. Were able to push this act to start three part million dollars purse the server that the national in this race. I think it's as really really momentous and just a huge win for the Democrats in congress. Well doctor matzo from bitterly university thank you very much for joining us. There's another interesting piece of policy that they might get done is a part of this government's funding bill and that is raising the federal. Minimum age on buying tobacco to 21 I was surprised by this. This under really big deal on their way to do it so quickly here at the end of the year so it's at I want talked about the Myers the president of the campaign for tobacco free kids. So what do you think the state you are Carly excited about this news and in this is a big win for your organization. Tells little bit about. Your reaction and if you knew this was coming up. And we have and make a very important caution. Arm so parts are raising the age of sale to anyone has been growing for several years. There's no question it by region needs to anyone and then actively enforcing the law. We can boast reduces number of young people who use tobacco products. But also reduce the number of young people who use other products cautioned though is really important. This bill is now supported by jewel. And Altria. And they do because they care about young people. Because they're trying to deflect congressional action and other even more active actions might reducing. I'm in eliminating the flavored. So if congress. Passes La and boost lowered on legislation. To be in the flavored products added that he did so many of our kids it'll be a win win the American public. Is the other hand Altria and she'll get their way in this new legislation is used to deflect. Action on the other bills. Then it's a march or Cox's story. That's interesting leads season back and forth from the white house on whether or not he should move by new regulation regarding Beijing will be tracking all of Max I'll ask you also. It is potential downs higher and a vulnerability here. If you'll make it harder for teens to buy a regular cigarettes and regular tobacco do you encourage the use of things. Spent art regulate and that are that are often it's clear on the black market it can that Clinton teens at risk. Now does that happen whatsoever with got a different periods. When they raise the age sailor accused his 1618. We heard something similar. In it didn't happen. Reality here is at this we'll do is reduce the number of young people who become addicted to cigarettes. And hopefully making modest impact. On the number of young people use. There is no real downside to this issue. I am. Yes I'm Altria and Jill are successful. In using it to prevent more effective action. You know flavored cigarettes is what led to over five million kid it's becoming addicted in our country to that product. It is reverse literally decades of progress that we've many. Each each year is now that we're raising the age to 21. To eliminate the products industry is used to attract new generation. I Matthew Myers ensure that your organization will be tracking that pushing congress continuing to lobby thank you for joining us. Then anything else in that funding bill that we should be looking out form. I think we expect the tax for that to come out later today but the big picture is this is also the building keeps the government lights on we have the historic shut down last year. Over president trumps a demands for money for the border wall that he's so so intercity and in funding and building on the southern border with Mexico. He avoided that this year there is not going to be the showdown over. That key project of his so so far and what is have to see when the tax comes out there's obviously a lot to dig into every year would this. Thousands of pages we'll have to see what else jumps out of us. It sounds like you do think they're getting this done impeachment vote and home for Christmas. And not just that also possibly vote in the house on the US NCA trade deal that was recently agreed to others a lot for the president to be happening more and they allowed for Democrats to be happy foreign and some of this is they wrap up the and they did not want to wrap up here but their final vote being on impeachment it seems like they're gonna get their wish as well that's what. Mark Labatt is Siegel thank you so much for tracking all the developments for Capitol Hill. We will be back here following all of those impeachment votes. And watches on ABC news live thank you so much.

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

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