tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN November 25, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
state. the president's own intelligence community it shows that they were shifting blame from moscow to ukraine. we hope senator kennedy will join us soon. ""erin burnett outfront"" starts right now. "out front" next. a judge ruling that the former white house counsel must testify in the impeachment probe. even trump may not be immune from testifying under oath. also breaking, federal prosecutors digging deeper into rudy giuliani. the president still coming to his lawyer's defense. what's the quote, unquote, insurance policy they're talking about? and what his republican colleagues are telling him behind closed doors. good evening. i'm erin burnett. major ruling that could have a big impact on the impeachment investigation. a ruling that opens the door to
president trump himself testifying under oath. a federal judge just ruling that former white house counsel don mcgann must cooperate with the impeachment investigation. this is a huge win for democrats tonight because they have called mcgann a, quote, principal witness. obviously it was more than 100 pages here, he lied. as far as the duty is compared, they're saying they're not absolutely immune from compulsory process no matter how much they've asserted over the years even if the president expressly directs nonofficials. now that doesn't shatter trump's claims that his top aides have an absolute immunity from testifying. that means it could open the flood gates including acting chief of staff mick mulvaney, secretary of state mike pompeo, security advisor ambassador john
bolton. all of them could be forced. three men who could incriminate the president. according to a letter from adam schiff. now this judge also ruling in mcgann's case that trump himself may not be immune from testimony. that crucial lie is here. the president himself has been with testimonial immunity. they found combineding supreme court cases that compelled the opposite conclusion. i want to go straight to evan perez who's "out front" live. obviously a lot in this ruling but some crucial developments tonight. what's the bottom line? >> reporter: erin, some very hard words from this judge who says essentially 250 years worth of history. she says presidents are not kings. she is basically taking not only the don mcgann question, the
question whether it geese beyond don mcgann. it goes on to john bolton and some people in the administration claim even if you make don mcgann. she is saying absolutely not. and then, of course, as you pointed out, she's saying that the president is himself not immune. what does this mean when don mcgann does show up if he does show up? it means that he may still, however, refuse to answer certain questions because of executive privilege. we don't know, erin, how long it will be before this all gets resolved. we know the justice department says they're going to appeal the ruling. we're looking at an appeals court ruling in the next couple of months before it may even get to the supreme court. we're still looking at several months of litigation during
which time, of course, the democrats want to wrap up their impeachment inquiry. she's a member of the judiciary committee which will be drawing up articles of impeachment. i appreciate your time tonight. congresswoman, obviously your a right now looking at potential articles when it comes to ukraine. do you think this ruling about don mcgann will compel others to testify was imminently. i think it was a resounding victory for the rule of law and our constitutional. the president's claim of absolute immunity, i think that at the end of the day we have an okd gags. still reading the full opinion but the judge says in the opinion that blatant disregard
of congress's ability to compel witnesses to come and testify before us is an affront to the mechanisms that the framers put into the constitution to control abuses of power. so i expect that this president will continue to try to obstruct justice, will continue to stop people from 2e6g, i hope that these witnesses, don mcgahn and others will look and say, we're going to put country above party. and i hope that they do the same thing. >> now in the ruling though the judge also noted, i know you've obviously seen it, evan was just talking with this part. so, you know, there's a lot of assumptions here. let's assume the doj appeal is quick. mcgahn comes in to testify. do you worry he exerts executive
privilege. he's there. what do you have to say? >> nothing to say here. nothing to say here. >> i do worry about that because as long as don mcgahn has his ear, i worry he'll have a bogus privilege. what it's going to take is for a done mcgann. other bolton did. we have to make sure we are giving all the information here so that congress can appropriately act as that check of abuses of power. we're seeing constant abuses of power coming from the white house where he is -- >> shaking down ukraine to get political 3er7b8 game. >> when you're talking about ukraine, obviously the mcgahn testimony.
do you think these should be solely focused on ukraine? >> we're waiting to get all of the information in front of us, but remember an article of impeachment is not based on a topic area. it's not like you have an article around ukraine. you have an article around the high crime and misdemeanor. that was the third article in the impeachment. these are the high crimes and misdemeanors that would frame an article. within that you might have a lot of what we heard in ukraine as a bulk of that article. but you could also have the same pattern that we were investigating that robert mueller was investigating around obstruction of justice and obstruction of congress. so you can pull in other things and certainly the don mcgahn testimony was a part of that. >> does the ruling today change
anything on your timing? obviously the intel chairman adam schiff says it's going to you soon after the first. does this change anything on your timing? >> well, let's see, we obviously want to get this done as quickly as possible but we are going to follow the facts. if we feel we need a little bit more time, we're not going to be bound by some imaginary time line. we need to make sure we're uploading it. we're into the going to succumb to a president who won't comply as the judge said. centuries old precedent around congress's ability to compel testify. >> when all of it comes down to it, chairman shiv acknowledges
what i've heard from several republicans i've spoken to. which is that republican minds haven't changed. he says, it has been our hope that our republican colleagues would seek the facts and seek country above party. we still hope that will be the case but we cannot relinquish our constitutional responsibilities because others will choose to do so mp mitch mcconnell said this. >> i can't imagine a scenario where the 67 been hung up. >> have you seen any signs senator mcconnell would say that before seeing any evidence presented for a trial.
it just shows that they can't look at this from the the bur sander guy, we are better than this. i bring into the room elijah cummings who would have seen that over and over and over. republicans need to understand, the damage they'll do if they don't put it over their own re-elections, it is tremendous to the history, profitability and understanding. >> thank you very much for your time tonight. >> thank you, erin. next our breaking news coverage continues. the judge writes, presidents are not king? plus the navy secretary, that
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try olay total effects. one dose provides more vitamin b3 than 50 cups of kale and improves 7 key areas of visibly healthy skin. try olay total effects. breaking news. major victory for house democrats. the former white house counsel don mcgahn must testify before impeachment investigators. this late ruling has immense implications. the judge says the bottom line is, quote, stated simply, the past 250 years shows that presidents are not kings.
i thank you both. how significant is this judge's ruling? >> well, it is just a district court judge's ruling, erin, but make no mistake about it, because she didn't find this to be a close call at all. she said in her ruling what most lawyers believed at the outset, and that is there is no absolute immunity of the type that doj was arguing here on behalf of mr. mcgahn. it wasn't a close call in her opinion. she described doj's arguments as baseless and so there likely will be an appeal. apparently doj has indicated it will appeal. i don't think most observers think there's much of a chance of a successful appeal in response to this decision. >> and -- meaning -- i'm sorry, meaning what? you think this decision will hold or be overruled? >> no, i think this decision will hold.
it's a 120 page opinion. it seems to be very, very solidly reasoned. as i said, the judge, at least this judge thought doj's arguments were baseless. i just don't think there's a good chance or much of a chance that an appellate court will overrule it. >> this comes down to the timing. there is an appeal. he thinks this ruling will hold. nonetheless, you go through this process. even if mcgahn comes in, he can still cite executive privilege. i'm forced to be here. michael, how does this impact democrat's time line on impeachment? >> in an odd way although this was a huge victory for the house democrats, it does put them in a bit of a bind because they're now wrestling with this decision. do they rapidly move forward with the articles of impeachment solely on the ukraine janish use or do they expand it to include obstruction in the mueller
inquiry, emoluments and others. i think that a ruling like this, which does strike at the heart of the white house stand of denying testimony from anybody, including key figures in the ukrainian matter like bolton, mulvaney, others, it would seem to increase the argument or enhance the argument of maybe we should take this further and justifiable point on that, if they don't and they go forward with the impeachment just on the ukraine janish use and the result is what everybody now expects, which is an acquittal of the president by the republican controlled senate, there will be an argument, well, if only we were able to bring the full case and if only we could get all the tnl from key individuals, the outcome might have been different. >> maybe. i don't know if you share my
skepticism. >> that will be argued. >> who knows. who knows. you know, so, greg, what does this mean in terms of you take this ruling. obviously it's a different judge but the same court as another case, right, for national security advisor john bolton, right? what's it mean for him? is he going to end up having to testify? obviously that would be specifically related to ukraine. >> well, what i think this means is that at least as you say one judge has said, and i think it will be affirmed on appeal, that there is no absolute immunity that the white house can assert to prevent senior officials from testifying at all, from even showing up. >> yeah. >> so that i think will be established. the question will be at what point will that finally be established. if every adverse ruling is appealed, how long will those appeals take? at what point does the house simply say as it perhaps has said already, you know what, we're going to chalk this up to
obstruction. we don't necessarily need these witnesses' testimony to make our case, and they move on. >> and so, michael, the other issue is of course the judge says the president himself is not immune from testifying. obviously the chances on that would be -- i mean, i don't know. what do you say? >> i don't think there's any likelihood of that happening that takes it to a whole level when you -- a whole new level when you demand testimony from the president, but i -- just one more point on mcgahn. as you pointed out, this was only a ruling on the broad claim of testimonial immunity, that he doesn't even have to show up. he can show up and then seek to invoke privilege on -- executive privilege on some of the questioning. that could lead to further questions and giving simply the
words he gave to robert mueller. simply repeat them. i'm not sure how much that advances the case because they've got those words. the hope is mcgahn said would change public opinions. >> clearly from a political perspective, if they get their vote, they impeach him in the house, he's not removed but the cases are continuing, other cases that are out there, one that may have implications for john bolton and therefore others, is it possible whether it's mcgahn, john bolton or anyone else in the spring as part of oversight in a way that people would hear the testimony. if it's damning, it affects the election but it's not relevant to impeachment. >> i doubt it frankly. if the impeachment has --
process has been completed, the house loses a lot of its legal basis for litigating these issues and trying to force these witnesses in for hearings. i doubt that, a, the house will be interested in those hearings and, b, that it will be able to successfully litigate the issue of witnesses not wanting to show up. >> thank you both very much. next, federal prosecutors zeroing in on rudy giuliani and his sources. plus, told what the public really thought of the impeachment hearings. man: sneezes
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breaking news. rudy giuliani could be in deeper legal trouble. we're learning this hour that federal prosecutors are investigating not only his associates but his business. we're learning a subpoena sent to one potential witness indicates a range of charges against giuliani are being considered including obstruction of justice, campaign finance and money laundering. boris sanchez is here. you think of this person who is mayor of new york city, known around the world and now here he is, this investigation. what is the president saying about his personal attorney tonight? >> reporter: hey, erin, president trump has not yet weighed in on the specific news about these charges being considered by prosecutors, very serious charges potentially against rudy giuliani. the president has been nothing but effusive about his praise of his personal attorney. notable because as news of this investigation broke the president was relatively mum about giuliani and some of his allies, republicans, were trying
to create space between this white house and giuliani. some like congressman mark meadows suggesting giuliani was acting as a rogue agent insin e eighting he was doing things he wasn't aware of. giuliani was asked about being thrown under the bus by trump or other republicans. he joked about having insurance against trump. trump was asked about that today. in his response he said he didn't know what rudy was talking about and he added this -- >> rudy is the best mayor in the history of new york. in my opinion, the strongest mayor, the best mayor. rudy is a great crime fighter. rudy is a great person. >> reporter: rudy backtracked and said that he was simply being sarcastic. he said his real insurance policy is a trove of negative information that he has about joe biden, a potential 2020
rival to president trump. >> boris, thank you. i want to go to the former defense secretary, leon panetta. i appreciate your time, secretary. always great to have you with me. rudy giuliani's attorney came out and said his client, giuliani, has nothing to hide. when you see this, these subpoenas, how much trouble do you think giuliani could be in? >> i think it's pretty clear that they're facing a lot of trouble from the prosecutors in the -- obviously the u.s. attorney's office that are looking at a number of issues here. the other prosecutions that are going on with regards to his associates. i mean, you're looking at several things. number one, this effort to take over the natural gas company in the ukraine. the effort to get campaign
contributions from the ukrainians that they funneled into pacs in this country and the whole issue with regards to what was his involvement in the ukraine affair, particularly with regards to ambassador yovonovich. >> it's not just giuliani. the washington post is reporting tonight, i don't know if you saw this, they're reporting that the white house counsel's office found emails between the acting chief of staff, mick mulvaney, and white house budget officials. they were discussing how they could legally justify president trump's hold on military aid to ukraine and the emails were being sent after the hold was already placed. they're looking for justification for something he's already done. does that make sense to you or does that look to you that they were trying to cover up what they were doing somehow?
>> i don't think there's any question they were trying to cover up their rear end on an action that there were a lot of questions in their mind about the legality of suddenly holding up 400 million in military aid to the ukraine. they were basically trying to backfill and see if they could find any kind of legal justification. so, you know, i think all this really points out that based on the judge's decision today with regards to the consul, i think it opens up the possibility that all of these individuals were part of the ukrainian affair, whether it was the chief of staff, whether it was the secretary of state, whether it was the other individuals that have been involved here. all of them could be subject to the requirement to testify now.
and i think the search for the truth requires that they do that. >> which obviously would be very significant to everyone in this country to see that if that happened. i want to turn, mr. secretary, to the navy s.e.a.l., eddie gallagher, who was convicted of posing with a corpse. the president intervened and wanted to undo that. here's what he said about gallagher today. >> he was a great fighter. he was the -- one of the ultimate fighters. tough guy. >> secretary, how damaging was it that the president intervened to overrule what the military courts and military had decided? >> i think it seriously undermines the discipline that
is critical to our military fighting force. you know, we've got some of the fanciest weapons and technology on the face of the earth but, frankly, none of it is worth much without the men and women in uniform that are the warriors that have to fight for this country. and the only way they can fight is with discipline. they have to have discipline in order to take a hill, in order to conduct a mission. and so the president of the united states undermining that process of discipline that is absolutely essential to having an effective fighting force i think is very damaging to our military. they have to operate based on discipline, and the president has to respect the disciplinary process, not only in the military commanders but at the pentagon as well, in order to make sure that these people are getting due process and a fair
trial, not interfere in that process. i think that's damaging. >> and, of course, that's what he's done. you know, i know obviously you know secretary esper and secretary spencer. he says trump's decision to stop a pentagon review of eddie gallagher sends the message that you can, quote, get away with things. in his resignation letter he continued to say, quote, i no longer share the same understanding with the commander in chief who appointed me. i cannot in good conscience obey an order that i believe vai owe lats the sacred oath that i took. how big of a deal is this? for someone to write this in a chain of command to their commander in chief. >> you know, the bottom line is about the rule of law, and this president has a pretty callous approach to the rule of law. he basically does whatever he wants to do regardless of the
law, regardless of the requirements of good discipline and good order, particularly within the military. i mean, how can this president stand up and say we have the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth and then undermine the very discipline that is critical to that fighting force? >> right. secretary panetta, i appreciate your time. thank you so much, sir. >> good to be with you. next, pete buttigieg may be leading in important polls, but he is struggling with black democrats. >> i guess his personal life might come into play. >> and by his personal life you mean because he's gay and married? >> yeah, because he's gay. plus, michael bloomberg's 2021. not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it -
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tonight 2020 presidential hopeful mayor pete buttigieg says this will put him, quote, on a trajectory straight. can he do this without a key voting group? abby phillip is out front. >> reporter: it's sunday morning in south carolina and this is isaiah mccall's church. isaiah is young, black, gay, from the south and he supports pete buttigieg. >> when barack obama did it, he
was the first black president so he inspired other african-americans to, you know, take that step. so like with pete buttigieg, he's inspiring other lgbt individuals to, you know, run for office so you can change laws that needs to be changed. >> reporter: his flock is small but committed. a little bit like the south bend mayor's support among black voters here which right now doesn't even register in some polls. >> good morning. >> reporter: buttigieg is the front-runner in iowa and a top contender in new hampshire, but he's hitting a wall with black voters, which presents a crucial challenge for him. no democrat has claimed the party's nomination without winning black voters in more than 30 years. >> a majority of black voters in south carolina say they don't have an opinion of me right now. >> reporter: if he's going to break through here, it might start with voters like isaiah. >> he has to find what makes us tick in south carolina. he got me so that's why i'm out
here spreading the word about him. >> reporter: isaiah says he is drawn to how openly buttigieg talks about his faith. >> back in the day for most african-americans we got together in the church. so if he can connect with the faith community, that would be a strong way to get the african-american vote. >> reporter: that's something the campaign is ready to seize on. >> it is time for a white house where no one ought to look on the news and ask themselves, whatever happened to the scripture that says whoever oppresses the -- >> reporter: here the message is simple. >> spend time in the state. >> come out to more events. >> reporter: buttigieg has been slow to organize here only recently building up senior staff in the state. city council woman nakita jackson hasn't endorsed in the race, but she introduced buttigieg at a recent rally in
rock hill. that wasn't attended by many black voters. >> sometimes you need to meet people where they are if you want to get your message across to them. >> reporter: and this year more than ever voters are hesitant to take chances, says jamie harrison, a democrat running against trump ally senator lindsey graham. >> you also have to understand these voters. they're extremely pragmatic. the drawing force is we have to get rid of donald trump. >> reporter: another concern -- >> i guess his personal life might come into play. it might throw them off a little bit and make them a little standoffish. >> reporter: because he's gay and married? >> yes. >> reporter: but for a supporter like isaiah, he is proof that change is possible. >> how do you expect to move forward if you don't embrace the new? you have to embrace the new. >> reporter: the campaign does not by any means believe that this problem is insurmountable. in fact, just this weekend they
are planning to kick off what they're calling a southern cities tour starting in north carolina at the church of reverend william barber, an anti-poverty leader. the campaign also is trying to address this issue of how many voters actually know who pete buttigieg is pouring $2 million into ads right here in south carolina. erin? >> abby, thank you. next, you've heard what republicans are saying publicly about the impeachment hearings but what are they saying in private? now that we've heard all of those people say quit pro quo and conan gets a hero's welcome at the white house. with an adjustable precision jet spray and advanced pad system braava jet breaks up messes and gets deep in corners. braava jet. only from irobot.
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choose the longest lasting thiaa battery...son (music) energizer ultimate lithium backed by science. matched by no one. tonight michael bloomberg making his feelings for the democratic field loud and clear today holding his first formal presidential campaign event. the former new york city mayor was asked if the field was too weak and his answer was pretty damning.
>> let me phrase it this way, i think there is a greater risk of having donald trump re-elected than there was before and in the end i looked in the mirror and said you just cannot let this happen. >> out front now cher rot brown of ohio. he has a new book, desk 88. and i want to talk to you about the message of that in a moment. i think it's important and relevant to the field as we look at it. when it comes to mayor bloomberg, you considered running for the white house. you decided not to. do you agree with him, that there is a greater risk of president trump being re-elected now. >> i do not. trump is in more trouble now. it's in the gene. it's in the democrat's gene pool, i think, their genetic makeup. woe is us, we're going to win. we have a good shot of beating them. my state's harder than the other midwest industrial states. he will leave the white house
sometime in early 2021. >> i want to ask you about your date on that, too, because obviously that's important in the context -- >> the operation? >> i'm thinking about the impeachment conversation. you told "the new york times" in july, quote, you never thought joe biden would be the nominee. do you still feel that way? >> i don't know. i think that -- i think it's wide open. i think any number of five or six or seven people, i'm not going to let you narrow it down to which five or six. i think it is a wide open race. the leader in state by state at this time in the campaign often isn't the one who wins that state. i think we all have to talk about it. that's what we do. i'm not really that concerned. i think we're going to win. >> in your new book you write about the generations of progressives who occupy your seat in desk 88. president obama has been ta-- p
trump is talking about parity tests in the 2020 race. here's what he said at a recent event, senator. >> this idea of purity and you're never compromised and you're always politically you should get over that quickly. the world is messy. >> he wasn't saying that for a laugh line. he continued, senator, we will not win by increasing the turnout of the people who already agree with us on everything. which is why i am always suspicious of purity tests during elections. do you share that concern? when you look at elizabeth warren, bernie sanders, are they pushing the democratic party too far? >> i would like everybody on the stage to look at it this way. take health care. every reasonable democrat, everybody on this field wants to get to universal coverage at can i have speeds, perhaps, but universal coverage. the issue is that donald trump wants to take it away.
every time they debate within the confines, they're all progressive. some more than others. they always make the contrast with trump. trump has betrayed workers. democrats are the party of workers. he has stripped overtime from 40,000 ohioans and hundreds of thousands. millions of americans. and i think we make that case. we beat trump with any number of these candidates. >> so you say trump will be gone in january, 20, 21. i know you said you didn't mean that. but on this issue of impeachment, two weeks ago you were on cnn in the morning and you said republican senators you've talked on have been talking to you about how they think the president acted improperly. that conversation that you had was before the public hearings. so now there's been these public hearings. we've heard the word quid pro quo from everyone. what are your republican senator friends telling you now? >> what they say privately is very different from what they're doing publicly in saying
publicly. it is clear that this president committed this, this president did something that richard nixon never even did. he tried to bribe a foreign official. his own, some of his own staff people he had promoted and who work for him and who had given him big campaign contributions have said that. tried to bribe a foreign official to help him in a campaign. that's never been done in american history. clearly an impeachable offense. then it comes to the senate. and we have to decide. >> are they clamming up now? >> no. they make excuses. some of them make public excuses. i haven't talked to a lot of people in the last few days since one after another intelligence official, military person, diplomat came forward. all people whose jobs it is to protect this country and all of whom are pretty upset that the president keeps trying to blame ukraine when that undermines our policy and helps russia. and it does help russia. >> so if none of your republican
friends in the senate vote for removal, will you think less of them? >> i don't think it matters what i think of them, really. it is hard to have a lot of respect for colleagues that have shown no spine in standing up to a president who lies a lot, who clearly is, clearly, clearly, went to a foreign power to help him. i will continue on work with my colleagues. i work with many, many republicans and it is disappointing all the time. >> i appreciate your time. senator brown. thank you so much. >> thanks. now, the top dog at the white house today. well, there he is. man: sneezes skip to the good part with alka-seltzer plus. now with 25% more concentrated power. nothing works faster for powerful cold relief. oh, what a relief it is! so fast! (alarm beeping) welcome to our busy world.
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here's jeanne. >> remember the time president trump said -- >> how would i look walking a dog on the white house lawn? would that be -- feels a little phony. >> well, here he is, walking with a dog out of the white house. the hero dog that chased down leader of isis. >> so this is conan. we just gave conan a medal and a plaque. >> you can almost hear conan thinking, i was told there would be junk food like the athletes get. even fox news hosts analyzed the body language. >> mike pence was snuggling up to that delicious conan. president trump a little bit further away. >> the president was hands off while vice president pence couldn't stop petting conan and conan kept sniffing and nosing pence. conan himself had nothing to say to the white house press. not a whimper, not a bark. unlike "snl's" version -- >> have a sip of water. >> reporter: with a canine
interpreter providing conan's commentary. >> what is this fake medal the president put on my neck? it has a picture of a paw on it. what the hell is that? you don't give humans a medal with a foot on it. >> reporter: when the real conan emerged he was greeted with -- >> oh, boy. >> reporter: actually the poor reporter was told that conan is a good girl. a female. then a white house official reversed gender and the pool reporter noted, conan is a good boy. again. finally resorting to conan is a good dog. which led to comments like, did not anybody just look? it's not like dogs wear pants. conan is dog had better clarify their gender situation before trump tries on ban them from serving. at the last minute, a report he yelled -- >> do you want to adopt a dog? >> reporter: but conan didn't tate personally. >> cone dhan is a tough cookie. >> reporter: don't call him a
cookie. give him one. make tail wag even more. cnn, new york. >> thanks so much for joining us. "ac360" starts right now. a federal judge hands president trump a major defeat. gives impeachment investigators a big boost, and sends a clear signal to anyone who is thinking about testifying but holding back for now. looking at you, john bolton. john berman here for anderson. late today, different judge brown jackson ruled the former white house counsel and mueller star witness don mcgahn must comply with the house subpoena. and he must exert executive privilege at appropriate moments, it makes very clear, there is no basis for the white house claim mcgahn is absolutely immune from being compelled by congress to testify. absolute immune is not a thing, she writes. at all. presidts