Transcript for Top Dems seek Trump-Putin meeting records amid obstruction of justice probe
Everybody welcome to bury her mind that Maguire Washington drive where political director Rick Klein and our Capitol Hill reporter Ben Siegel. On this Monday as Muller is winding down the hill is wrapping up. Major investigations now under way and then give us the headline here we've just learned that the House Judiciary Committee has sent. Document request letters to over 8080 count and eighty individuals in president trumps orbit whereas it's on the. That's right well this is what divided government looks like and Washington when you have a president. And now you have some antagonists on Capitol Hill with subpoena which oversight power in the house Democrats in the on the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler of New York UT's this yesterday on this week. He he and his committee have sent out letters the requests for documents with the more than eighty. Entities that's the trump inaugural. Armed the the trump foundation members of the president's family people used to work in the White House people in the campaign. And they're concerned with obstruction of justice potentially. Allegations of instruction of justice allegations of corruption. Added that we'll take what they say this is up for a fact finding mission of course this is important because this committee as you know I was the one that would take a very. Sort of impeachment of the president and Rick this is just to remind everybody as the special counsel is literally wrapping up we expect that report to come very soon. This is something now that we're just beginning this is a process. Has been in the seine where it will look a lot like impeachment smell like impeachment but. Whatever it is it's sure is gonna stretched into the dead end of the president's first term this. One of the most important signals that wolf C out of divided government to Dan's point about how Democrats are approaching. It the the trump presidency. Could they try to impeach sure Jerry Nadler the senate yesterday yes we think construction justice has occurred the deciding not to do that they decide to go broader and in some ways it may be riskier. A bet because they're going to be on a lot of fishing expeditions trying to find something and for president that we know is already fired up about what he views is just the death and the budget democratic witch hunts its gonna give them more fodder to say look it people are just run away investigators is investigating as they wanna slow this presidency to a halt. All of these folks are gonna take a lot of time to respond you know there's going to be issues are gonna have to issue some subpoenas they're have to force people in. It's going to be a messy process a long drawn out process in the right DeVon there's no way. Then all of these different strands can get wrapped up in time for the election. No chance in this is going to be in the back crown as the points when he campaign heats up and here's what chairman of the Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler had to say about what he's looking for. In inner yesterday with George Nicholas. They can be crimes and not impeachable offenses and impeachable offenses and not crimes that just two different tests and we have to focus much more broadly. On and abuses of power than what I said a moment ago. So then what exactly whom he's here document requests that such a. A broad thing what sorts of things is the committee asking for from this laundry list of truck people what do they want. It's it did the brush strokes are pretty brought we've done a look our team has looked through all 81 letters that have gone out. And everyone is different depending on the person and and what they were involved within the trump campaign for Jared Kushner for example there question there refuse a request. For documents and records. Would you sort of about a broad request but its language relating to anything would that trump tower meeting. For other people it's about the inaugural committee for others it's about potential conflicts of interest in firing of Jim call me so. You're the president's even the president's secretary run aground Friday is in there and then they want any emails from her paperwork from her related to any number of topics. It's a magistrate take some time take a poll that stuff together here's that the president had to say just a few minutes ago about whether he plans to cooperate. With this request. We'll have. Great all the time we have here. Your illusion it's all a hoax. As you grow older it's a political hopes this help. And to your point Rick we heard from cirrus Sanders also in addition to the president saying. They're taking a look at this they're in due course going to committee consider turning over documents. This is in the very early stages and in fact the White House may want to draw this out as long as possible. They're maybe some political venison and to the perception of the Democrats trying to tip to litigate everything in fine every document. I'm curious how they followed this up because you know there's going to be folks as am I given that to you. Were I'm I'm gonna take my sweet time. And so what kind of what Hannity today put into the next round of requests which Clark what court bison they have to pursue because they're gonna have to fight this every step of the way we know the White House is the president says he cooperates and everyone has not actually out works guys. Although not spoil those spoilers here but if it's going to be a lot more complicated than that and that's where it's gonna get really interest thing with all of these overlapping committees this is just judiciary. You also have house oversight which to Michael Cullen just last week. Of course the intelligence committee which is bringing my hope on back again so there is a lot suddenly moving just a couple months into the end money to. Talking about tax returns and that's the date in the president's tax returns Democrats a lot that's a whole different conversation hammered out talking about subpoenas yet exactly opening shot there will be subpoenas those will be challenged so there will be. Quite a lot of fight to come then thanks so much for that's as shifting gears slightly we're gonna bring in our. After Paul there's now our investigative reporter. I speaking a different committees the house oversight committee is investigating. Security clearance issue at the White House we got some news Katherine Friday that chair cushion the president's personal. Advisor son in law received the highest level security clearance in the White House. Not overriding the decision of the vetting process the president saying give it to them. The committee wants answers are they gonna get it from this White House Illumina turn over documents maps and a question. President of them cooperate with anything my hand held but the M. The ramp up even more significantly when the New York Times reported that John Kelly the former a chief of staffing and on the and a former White House counsel and put in writing that. And they were ordered by the president to be in his son on Jared Kushner. Security clearance and and I think that raised a lot of red flags because the president himself has said. That he wasn't involved in this at all on an on the record interview with the times a vodka. Trump his daughter told told ABC and that they were given. And a special treatments in the bottom line here is that after that report that came out comings and sent a letter to the White House counsel. And is demanding a response by today now. If you know history is anything with the White House responding to Cummings letters I don't think that we'll see any documents from the white Cassidy media letter just responding broadly. But nothing that will give them. Information ever trip to Britain that the committee wants to know what information did these intelligence speak. Ancestors have. Have that the president over Rhoden and what's what concerns about Jared Kushner were so high. That they block his clearance in the president wrote it we don't know what connections what flaws would issues made him be related to him that that causes problems. That's right they're two very separate issues here that they be looking at one is we'll just do acknowledge the president has a right to do this is only the president can do we is overrule the intelligence community anyone is these who wants to do anything he says will not want this done. Question question one is did he lie about it did he mislead people as he is said directly as sick as as the marketed as well that the president and for the same was not involved in anything with security clearances. But second as a what was what was underlying concern we know about his very complicated business relationships we know about the attempts by the Kushner. Organization to try to get something of a bailout for. For particular building in Manhattan that it may have involved foreign investors says a lot of things they could have been concerned about but yes what exactly. I held them mop and in gave them any pause that becomes very important. In your manager has had am and it problems with his security clearance in the White House previously it was a year and a half. Opt in to his job in the White House until he was granted full security clearance. And then Kelly and I had previously downgraded his clearance prior to that when there were issues surrounding. The staffers in the White House who had temporary security clearance a Solana focusing. On Jared Kushner and then the memos alleged memos from Kelly and Donna began her specifically about Kushner there's also more questions surrounding other White House officials and clearance visions of opt. Sooner you'll see on the case today the oversight committee again expecting to hear from the White House demanding here from the White House by the end of the day today. On documents pertaining to Jared Kushner his secret security Clarence how he got that Clarence. Stay tuned up more tomorrow thanks Catherine fall is for that meanwhile up on Capitol Hill. They're challenging the president's policies specifically that national emergency declaration for the southern border and his his money grab their Rick. This is very interest in because the stage does seem to be set now for the first Vito. The tri presidency with a number of Republican senators now getting on board with a vote to terminate. The national birds. Senator Mitch McConnell majority leader acknowledging that the votes appear to be there to actually approve this Ogden this disapproval to its it to send it back to the president say no we don't want to do this now. Technically what happens next the president vetoes it it doesn't look like of the votes will be there to override so ultimately the policy goes into effect in the biggest challenge in the court. But the president has never issued a deal before for him to do his to have to issue his first one on this issue of a national emergency. You're averaging four port all of his energy into this isn't the whole month of January with the government shut down several primetime a drug trying to address plus a state of the union. Making the case for this national emergency. That would be a pretty big blow politically to a president has been able to count on his party to come through for him and I think they'll be more defections on looking at some of the senior Republicans. Look at Lamar Alexander from Tennessee who is retiring spoke out last week on that's right warning on this look at Mitt Romney what does he do as of now a freshman senator from U top there's a lot of conservatives that are deeply uncomfortable why this and that's why. I send the Rand Paul fromm Mitch McConnell some state of Kentucky I came out and said actually this is not something I'm comfortable with that's what put it over the edge is gonna force this first presidential veto. And let's take a listen to some of those Republicans Rick's talking about already on the record Thom Tillis Susan Collins Lisa Murkowski we caught up with them a little while ago today. About why they plan to terminate vote to terminate the president's emergency checklists. That failure of congress. Tip past finding Indian mound. That president perk for errors cannot. Become an excuse. Ford that president she usurped the powers. Of the executive France. Got to see it mr. Trend over time not in this administration in the past administrations past congresses that are conferring power to the executive branch that I think are within the purview of car. So I'm going to be voting yes and resolution just. And as Rick mentioned in the Estrada broke the camel's back on this from a senator Rand Paul there on the left he tweeted over the weekend that after much deliberation. He is now going to vote in favor of that termination declaration let's bring in our first turn option turner she's up on capital a senior a producer for us Trish. This is got to be a blow to the president this isn't the house Democrats this is members of his own party including and it. A close ally Rand Paul. Well something of a blow but I might I might play devil's advocate with you a little bit here. So Mitch McConnell them warning him not to do this he was morning in for quite some time but this isn't a president that really likes to take those warnings to heart. I'm in this is an issue that's like red meat to his face so. I don't think he really yes we will perceive it as a blow and it will be his first veto but. If you're looking at it through the prism of twenties when he politics and this president's base. What better event to do something on the issue a border security this is what he likes to talk about this is his signature campaign issue. So why not challenge congress why not challenge the swap. And say I am going to. Minute stand up to these members of congress that you know and a stand up to those members in Washington an imminent doom us. And and quite frankly you know when McConnell warns him he didn't take it to heart. He is he went ahead and did it anyway and now McConnell turned around supporters and south. I do agree with you guys I do on you know Rick is saying that. But he thinks there will be more members to come we've been waiting for that's we know there will be more members to come on. It's always difficult to be that one that Clinton every he had Sperry Rand Paul doesn't mind about that but but Romney is so many others that are you know having a little more difficult time. The law and order guys the institutional guys like Lamar Alexander who you recognize there. You know they were there will be more to come we do not think in either the house of the senate though it they can Muster a veto proof majority is so there's that. Our interest turner force a Capitol Hill thanks so much tradition as pastors for not Rick she did need. You do need to have that veto proof majority city in any event we didn't expect that to happen at rice case. So does look like it will it will go through now the president just said it has to identify which. Targets in the Pentagon budget he wants to shift money away from which will be a whole other fight on its own. That's right in the legal challenges that will that was that the authority be honored are gonna happen regardless of any lawsuit sixteen states a number of landowners down in Texas as well challenging this those I. I don't think have even had the first day of hearing in federal court yet we could see still see an injunction against construction on the borders while. Let's move to your real we a house a little more explicitly. Now with a 20/20 field kicking a heck of lot bigger over the weekend where does this thing get a stopper at fourteen candidates. Two governors into the race for the first time just in the past few days I think let's take a look. At the feel we have the list of faces if you're not keeping track at home. You should be an extraordinary field of democratic candidates at many more are still waiting in the wings the two newest Rick. Today on Good Morning America John Hickenlooper former governor of Colorado gating and let's take more of these and a timer tells of a come come out as sort of the climate change candidate yeah I'm. First and went one interesting point these last two more governors in the first two governors out of this entire list of fourteen about a senators former. Former house members house members and even a former even a mayor of South Bend, Indiana as part of that but this is the first time we're seeing governors that's traditionally they've done pretty well. In presidential nominating contest Ainsley from Washington State had a very successful run with the Democratic Governors Association last cycle. And he is basically running on one issue or putting one issue first and foremost a nasty environment that's climate change global warming he is said. This is the existential threat is the challenge of our generation's challenge maybe our lifetimes. And he is putting everything on that and hoping to break through with one big issue that he hopes will become his calling card. It's a bold strategy but it might be the kind of thing you need if you're someone like James Lee. From a kind of obscure corner of the country love Washington State and cut my got a lot of the American mass grave digger the studio is gonna have that problem so if he becomes the candidate of climate change we know it's an issue particularly with younger voters you know you can draw a very clean contrast for the president. Who denies the climate change is real or an issue. I and so it could be something that that they gets insolvent and on line. Published John Hickenlooper here the former governor a moderate someone who prides himself on being a moderate looks a lot like Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota except he's not a senator has executive experience. I'm talk about his record he's sort of running on the economic growth thing he turned Colorado around. Sentenced set up a craft breweries is coming up that common man thing going on but again no name recognition. You know what he what do you make of John I think. Hickenlooper is this a lot of fodder for presidential nickname based on the names of the name recognition might might change yet I think I think governor Hickenlooper he's called himself a radical moderate centrists through and through. He's his answer to George Stephanopoulos today about how you fix Washington say I've talked to Mitch McConnell and let's figure out what the problem is. That's menace calling card in Colorado a state that. Has a lot of Republicans and it is out we traditionally been a red state it's more purple now maybe even bluish under his leadership he's got a good record as you mentioned a business record included Annie has a reputation for working with people from both parties. Does that sell he may be the most. Moderates so to speak in this field among you be first tier candidates of senators and governors to make that your calling card when we see how the base. So the energy over the weekend again Bernie Sanders are already drawing enormous rallies Elizabeth Warren. And Harrison Booker so many of them or are looking at the laugh he's saying let's look at the center let's be realistic about where this country is. I and yes we're in the age of trump were the rules may be different but the idea of a pragmatist pragmatic leader. To remove the country forward that's what he's gonna say. And as we've seen in this field of so many candidates this does seem to be a year for Democrats. Of our diversity embracing diverse candidates women. A minority candidates in fact over the weekend we saw many of these Bernie Sanders Cory Booker Sherrod Brown. Link arms if Hillary Clinton down in Selma Alabama on the anniversary of the Bloody Sunday. Riots there will be. Is it harder this cycle for two white men to compete in a primary with what when diversity. And giving net you know women a platform minority candidates a platform is such a top priority in in the democratic. They see it is interest thing because white men are likely to be that the minority in this in in this field first time in American history the you'll have a feel that looks like this. And they're being forced to answer the question why should you get elected when white male men it has so many advantages over the years usually got questions been reversed how can you as an African American. Or Latino how can you relate to the to the full huntress. How RO a female candidate that you with ground breakers like like Hillary Clinton it has reversed the the calculus I think wanting to look at. Is he sort of limits the potential pairings for running mates as well the idea of two white men becoming the presidential and vice presidential nominee. Basically announced hard there's been a Biden get so rumor for a long time I think. Most Democrats that are that are still in the no on this or that just is not realistic for where the party is these days so it's changed some of the expectations and it also means that. I'm any traditional way to lock up a segment of voters I think is going to be out the window there's not going to be one candidate for African American voters are for Latino voters or for LG BT voters are for female voters they're going to be multiple candidates who all make appeals at different segments and I think. It's gonna reflect the true diversity not just kind of the paper diversity that is the Democratic Party. Going to be fascinating to watch we know you'll be on the case Rick but speaking of diversity and appealing to women voters we know the president. It's 116 relied on his wife to get out there and do some of that according maligning your trump we'll she's back on the trail today she's actually taking a tour. The country on her own two day three state tour for the B best initiative here she is today. In Tulsa Oklahoma. Perhaps a warm up first. From the tweets when he reelected and out there and doing some public appearances she's kept a pretty low profile today she says she's encouraging kids to. Show kindness in their lives talk about character are strong values. Everytime I see this Rick I'm I'm struck by these these sort of the split screen. Between the message she's pushing and what we see your president during she constantly pushes back on that but clearly that's are not lost and they raise that watcher. Ya and I think the split screen is just it's a fact of life it's not going to change she is not when he changed her husband's behavior. She's gonna talk about these issues she's going to be an apologetic and talking about these issues and on apologetic to some degree in the evening in how she addresses in saying. It is a difference here the taker at face value for what she does and I think for a large segments of the country. That know about The Who the president is at how he acts. This disconnect almost doesn't matter any you have to just. GAAP factoring out it is what it is we all pointed out rightfully we should be pointing out these the these instances but she's gonna go out there where she is a lot more popular than her husband. And pushing issues that she feels passionately. A lot more popular indeed in calls it just came out in the past few days as well Gilani at trump tour will be following at this week thanks for that Rick great to have you with us thinking in the briefing room as always thank you for watching us here at ABC news live will be back 3:30 eastern time tomorrow be sure it. Download the ABC news have to follow the latest on these and all the stories we're following today I'm Devin Dwyer Washington. We'll see next time.
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