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The White House In Crisis: The Impeachment Inquiry. Aired 9- 10p ET

Aired November 03, 2019 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: It is 9:00 p.m. here in New York on Sunday. This is WHITE HOUSE IN CRISIS: THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY. The week that was and the one ahead, and it could be contentious.

The President is tweeting tonight about House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. And I'm quoting the President now, "If Shifty Adam Schiff, who was a corrupt politician who fraudulently made up what I said on the call is allowed to release transcripts of the never Trumpers and others that are and were interviewed, he will change the words that were said to suit the Dems purposes."

"Republicans," he goes on to say, " ... should give their own transcripts of the interviews to contrast with Schiff's manipulated propaganda."

There's a lot in there, never Trumpers. The idea that these transcripts are going to be falsified. It's a lot.

His ire at Chairman Schiff may be related to the fact that House investigators want to hear from a host of senior White House officials in the coming weeks, many in connection with the decision to hold up security assistance and other assistance to Ukraine.

Late today "The Washington Post" reported that one of them, the President's Acting Budget Director intends to defy his subpoena and that two subordinates will do the same. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is also refusing to cooperate, and then there's Former National Security adviser, John Bolton who is scheduled for Thursday, but seemingly resisting so far.

In short, the testimony that made last week so significant could be in short supply in this coming week; meaning, some of the unanswered questions in the Ukraine affair could remain that way for now.

There's plenty of them right now. CNN's Bianna Golodryga has more.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had a perfect phone call with the President of Ukraine.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST (voice over): Was it a perfect phone call, or was there a quid pro quo? And is there any hard evidence President Trump used military aid to get political help from a foreign government? These are some of the key things we don't know yet.

President Trump says he did nothing wrong. But his Acting Chief of staff said this before walking it back.


MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: I have news for everybody, get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy.


GOLODRYGA (voice over): The White House's rough transcript of the July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky shows that Trump asked Zelensky for a favor and talked about a conspiracy theory surrounding the 2016 election.

Later in the conversation, he brought up his political rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter who sat on the Board of a Ukrainian company. Ukraine was waiting for the U.S. to release nearly $400 million in military and security aid, which was withheld at Trump's direction about a week before the phone call.

Was the aid tied in any way to his request to investigate the Biden's?


TRUMP: There's no quid pro quo.


GOLODRYGA: Trump says the transcript is an exact replica of the conversation, though we learned this week that the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert who was on the same phone call disputed that claim.

Trump also says he was simply asking Ukraine to investigate corruption in their country. If that's the case, then why was the transcript initially hidden on a highly classified server?




GOLODRYGA (voice over): Another unknown, just how far did Rudy Giuliani go in his talks with the Ukrainians? Giuliani had been pressuring them for months to look into the 2016 election conspiracy theory and into the Biden's.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Did you ask the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden?

GIULIANI: No, actually, I didn't. I asked the Ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the Ukrainians for the benefit of Hillary Clinton, for which there already is a --

CUOMO: You never asked anything about Hunter Biden. You never asked anything about Joe Biden and his role with the prosecutor.

GIULIANI: The only thing I asked about Joe Biden is to get to the bottom of how it was that Lutsenko who was appointed ...

CUOMO: Right.

GIULIANI: ... dismissed the case against and --

CUOMO: So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden?

GIULIANI: Of course, I did.

CUOMO: You just said you didn't.


GOLODRYGA (voice over): Was Giuliani acting independently to find out information on the Biden's?



GIULIANI: The whistleblower falsely alleges that I was operating on my own. Well, I wasn't operating my own. I went to meet Mr. Zelensky's aide at the request of the State Department. Fifteen memos make that clear.


GOLODRYGA (voice over): State Department officials say they were working to contain the damage Giuliani may have done with his pressure on Ukraine, according to testimony from diplomats on Capitol Hill. But were there others within the State Department working with him? And how involved was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo? Was his client, President Trump aware of what he was doing?

Then there are the questions swirling around Vice President Pence.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As President Trump had me made clear, we have great concerns about issues of corruption.


GOLODRYGA (voice over): What else will we learn about Pence? We know we sat down with Zelensky in Poland after the July 25th phone call, but denies that they spoke about the Biden's.

He also claims that he was unaware of the push for information on the Biden's even though his National Security adviser listened to the phone call.

House Committees have requested documents relating to Ukraine policy from Pence, but he has not complied.

Then there's the mystery of John Bolton.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): John Bolton is a very important witness. He has very relevant information, and we do want him to come in and testify.


GOLODRYGA: The former National Security adviser was present for a meeting with Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland about Ukraine two weeks before the Trump-Zelensky phone call.

His aide, Fiona Hill told congressional investigators that Bolton abruptly ended the meeting when Sondland brought up the investigations and said, quote, "I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up."

Hill also said Bolton called Giuliani a hand grenade who is going to blow everybody up.

Bolton who had a contentious relationship with Trump has been called to testify before House Committees, whether he shows up and what he knows is still up in the air.


TRUMP: I am very excited because you are going to do a fantastic job.


GOLODRYGA: Bianna Golodryga, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Perspective now from two of the best, CNN's Pamela Brown, who's just one of a team of investigative reporters who don't get much sleep these days or weekends off, apparently. With us as well is CNN's chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, the hardest working man in law and politics.

Jeff, of all the unanswered questions, what really do you think is the most pressing?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it's by far, what did the President know and when did he know it? I mean, you know, it's very interesting to know about what Rudy Giuliani did.

But, you know, whether the President himself pressured the President of Ukraine to investigate his political opponents, that's the key issue. It's even more important than the quid pro quo issue. It is like, what was he trying to do in Ukraine?

COOPER: But it's interesting when you look at the transcript, I mean, you know, there's a lot of Republican who claim they read the transcript and see no problem with it, when it seems to, you know, he asked for a favor and he even labels two things, the investigation of the server and the Bidens.

TOOBIN: You know, we live in a highly partisan age. But I think reading the English language is still something we can all do and make our own judgments about.

I mean, there is no doubt this is a deeply polarized situation. But you know, and it is not just the transcript. I mean, it is -- the transcript, as far as I can tell, is clear enough about what was going on.

But what we have learned through the opening statements and what we can tell of what's have gone on in these depositions is that this was a whole initiative. It wasn't just this one phone call. It was a whole initiative, led by the President, it appears; certainly, you know, executed largely by Rudolph Giuliani, about trying to get the Ukraine government to help the President politically.

COOPER: Pamela, as you try to square how the White House is playing this with what's happening on Capitol Hill, what's the most important thing that still needs be cleared up in your mind?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think for investigators looking at this, there's still a lot more to learn about the conversations the President had with his Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, who as you know had that press conference, saying that there was a quid pro quo, that money was held up to Ukraine in turn for an investigation that will be politically advantageous to the President.

Now, of course, Mulvaney walked that back. He said the President never directed him to do so, but certainly it raises a lot of questions about the conversations those two men had with the White House and what allies of the President point to in these witness testimonies so far is that it's second and third-hand information, that so far no one has made that direct link to the President and making the order to hold up the aid in turn for these investigations.

There are still a lot more to learn also about the President's conversations with Rudy Giuliani, who is basically in charge of his shadow foreign policy with Ukraine on all of this.

And also today, Anderson, with the President's tweets about the whistleblower, it raises a lot of questions because the President clearly is pushing for the whistleblower to be unmasked essentially and it raises questions on the extent that the President, the White House has gone to find out who the whistleblower is, whether they do know who the whistleblower is, and whether there was any discussion whatsoever about possible retaliation or firing this person. There's still a lot more to learn in that regard as well.


TOOBIN: Yes, if Donald Trump were the head of like a Fortune 500 company, and he was doing what he's doing about this whistleblower, you know, denouncing him, asking him for him to be unsealed, he would be fired by the Board of the company.

I mean, the way he is talking about this whistleblower is so contrary to all like modern law about whistleblowing. It's just -- you know, a deeply appalling thing.

COOPER: Just in terms of witnesses, I mean, this week, it seems like the White House now is going to be stonewalling more, a number of these witnesses in the Office of Management and Budget, they're planning not to go ahead and testify.

And according to reporting, there's been -- the President has been upset at the number of people at the White House who have testified already, but John Bolton's testimony --

TOOBIN: He is head and shoulders, the most important witness. As Pam pointed out, there is a legitimate claim on the part of the President's supporters that many of the people who have spoken so far, most of their information is second hand.

You know, it is not -- it does not come from the President directly. John Bolton saw the President every day. John Bolton was deeply involved, and it appears appalled by what was going on with Ukraine.

The fact that he knew so much about this and the fact that he dealt with the President makes Bolton, I think, by far the most important witness that we haven't heard from so far.

COOPER: And Pam, what we don't know -- A, I mean, Bolton's attorneys had said he won't come forward without a subpoena. It's still not clear if he even would come forward if there is a subpoena, not clear that that's -- I mean, publicly that is not known yet.

What's also not really known is what he would say even if A, did you have access to information which Jeff seems to believe, you know, he would have given his position? And is he willing to say exactly what he what -- he saw and heard? Or are there other factors in play in terms of his decision making on that?

BROWN: Yes, that's a big question, because remember, he left on horrible terms with the President, and that is something that allies of the President, of course are concerned about when it comes to Bolton that he could be a major liability.

He left on bad terms. Remember, he left, I believe it was the day before the funding was released to Ukraine. That's also been unanswered, whether the Ukraine situation that Bolton was privy to played any role into him leaving the White House at all. So those are all some big questions, and of course, Bolton was there

at the White House for that important July meeting where he abruptly ended it when he felt like Sondland was going down the wrong path with the Ukrainians, bringing up the investigations and so forth.

And then he said, he likened it to a drug deal what Rudy Giuliani was doing with Mulvaney is what he said.

So he has a lot of information and his testimony could be explosive. I agree with Jeffrey that his could be the most important testimony out of any one. But the question remains, will he comply with any subpoena if he has received one? We don't know if he will.

Kupperman who was below him at the N.S.C., as you know, that there is this ongoing court case that has been moved to December. So the question is, is he going to wait for that to be settled? Or will he show up sooner?

TOOBIN: I mean, if I can just put in one word for -- I've ranted about this before.

COOPER: All right, go ahead.

TOOBIN: That this judge, Judge Richard Leon in the Federal District Court can't even hold a hearing on Kupperman's case until December 10th.

You know, like, does he have really that much more important things to do than to deal with something that's about the impeachment of the President of the United States? It's outrageous.

COOPER: Jeff Toobin, thank you. Pamela Brown as well. Up next, the Republican ally of the President whose name keeps coming up in the Impeachment Inquiry, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and his ties to Ukraine, and later Rudy Giuliani and his connections to another Eastern European country. Why that is leading to even more questions.



COOPER: As we mentioned in the last hour, the GOP doesn't have a single unifying impeachment defense right now, and according to "The Washington Post," a growing number of Republican senators are ready to acknowledge that there was a quid pro quo on Ukraine, but that it's not worthy of impeachment.

Through all of this, the President, certainly, his steadfast GOP allies, among them, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. His role in this has more than one dimension, however, now his own meetings and conversations on Ukraine are being scrutinized. We want to take a look at that with CNN's Phil Mattingly.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Senator Ron Johnson isn't just a Trump ally.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): What I'm seeing right there in the transcript, that's President Trump being President Trump. I certainly don't see anything impeachable about that.


MATTINGLY: As a leader on U.S. Ukraine policy, he has emerged as a player in some of the more mysterious episodes in the ongoing investigation.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: He was in Ukraine. He talked to President Zelensky.

JOHNSON: Well, first of all, I'm Chairman of the European Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I've made six trips to Ukraine.


MATTINGLY: Back in May of this year, Johnson attended the Ukrainian President's inauguration with five other U.S. representatives, including Gordon Sondland, Ambassador to the E.U. Two months later, July 25th was Trump's now infamous call with the Ukrainian President, where according to a rough transcript of the conversation, he asked Zelensky to, quote, "Look into the Bidens."


JOHNSON: I'd put in a call to Gordon to find out what's happening because I knew he was obviously involved. He was part of the delegation for the inauguration. And that's when he kind of was talking about something potentially in the works if, you know, if Ukraine does something, the funding would be released.


MATTINGLY (voice over): In other words, what Democrats now allege was a quid pro quo. Johnson was concerned and the next day, set up a call with the President of the United States.


JOHNSON: I'm the one that raised the issue about you know, that I'd heard some rumor that, you know, Ukraine has to do something and again, it's pretty nebulous. I'm not exactly sure what that was, and then he let that funding flow and that's where President Trump immediately denied and as I've described in the past, adamantly, vehemently, angrily denied it. I mean, I felt guilty even raising it quite honestly.

[21:20:22] TRUMP: In the call, there was no quid pro quo, so --

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: So I would say two things. One, the President of the United States, quoting "The Washington Post" has said more than 12,000 false or misleading things since coming into office.

Two, we, as intellectual people, particularly as elected officials, your job is to take all available information and make the best decision you can.

What you can't do, in my opinion, is decide before that.

JOHNSON: There's nothing per se wrong with that.


MATTINGLY (voice over): Five days after his phone call with President Trump, Johnson was back again in Ukraine, this time with Democratic Senator Chris Murphy to meet with recently elected President Zelensky.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Senator Johnson didn't hide the fact that he disagreed deeply with the President's decision to suspend aid. He had said that publicly, and he went to Ukraine with me to tell them that he was willing to work with them to try to get that aid turned back on.


MATTINGLY (voice over): And when Johnson returned to the U.S., he went further working with Democratic Senate colleagues to ensure the aid went through.


JOHNSON: One of my messages was let's not make a big deal with this. The President has serious reservations. Let's just make sure that we take this out of the President's hands, if he is not willing to provide that funding.


MATTINGLY (voice over): Neither Murphy nor Johnson recall Zelensky expressing he felt any kind of pressure from the President in order to receive the aid, something Trump would highlight in the coming days.


TRUMP: They said there was no pressure. There was nothing done wrong. This is a hoax, just like there was no collusion --


MATTINGLY (voice over): But come late October, questions around Johnson's role deepened, after "The Washington Post" reported that he met with a former Ukrainian diplomat known to have spread unproven claims that Hillary Clinton's team worked with Ukrainians in the 2016 election.


JOHNSON: The level of corruption in Ukraine, and Mark, there's all kinds of smoke about the Hillary Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. being involved in the 2016 election.


MATTINGLY (voice over): For Johnson, who also chairs a Senate panel with investigative authority, these aren't just theories, they are active investigations from the F.B.I.'s role in the Russia investigation to the Clinton e-mail server.


JOHNSON: Let's face it, President Trump supporters, you know, 40 to 50 percent of the population have serious concerns about that happening. There's concerns that need to be addressed.

QUESTION: And what do you say to the 40 or 50 percent of the population who says these are conspiracy theories?

JOHNSON: So they should also want to know if anything happened to maybe disprove the fact there are conspiracy or if nothing happened, then they'll be proven right. And again, we can move forward.

So the American people have a right to know this. There are way too many unanswered questions here.


MATTINGLY (voice over): Yet where the President is unable to separate his suspicions and theories from broader U.S. foreign policy, at least with Ukraine, Johnson has no problem doing just that.


JOHNSON: I'm not saying the President's concerns aren't legitimate. Okay. I mean, he's got -- again, do I agree? No.

CILLIZZA: I think Ron Johnson sees a lot of Donald Trump in himself. Right? They are both businessman.

TRUMP: Thank you, all.

CILLIZZA: He had never run for office before; Donald Trump had never run for office before. They were in some ways both scorn by the political establishment of their party -- Donald Trump. We know about Ron Johnson. He was not the first choice of a lot of Wisconsin Republicans when he first ran.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MATTINGLY (voice over): That combination of views and his front row

seat to the administration's Ukraine policy will likely move Johnson even further into the spotlight, should the investigation ever reach a Senate trial?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think conflicts of interest and other things maybe one of the issues that the -- that the Senate has to work out. There is no process and no rules that provide for a recusal. And in fact, the rules actually contemplate that a senator could be both a witness and a trier of fact.

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on the idea of a recusal?

JOHNSON: I wouldn't consider it. The people who elected me deserve to have a voice and deserve my vote in this process. So I wouldn't even consider it.


COOPER: That was Phil Mattingly reporting. Coming up next, defending a President who says that he is his own defense team and whose Press Secretary calls him his own war room. Can a president really be one -- a one-man army here?

What could it also bring in the week ahead? Two people who served in a real impeachment war room, join us next.



COOPER: If you've been watching the President and his defenders over the space of a week, you've seen a lot of different kind of approaches attacking the process, but ignoring the substance, pointing to substance even when it appears to hurt the case, conceding to central allegation, then taking it back as Mick Mulvaney tried, and finally conceding it, but suggesting it's no big deal because Ukraine got the aid despite not giving the President what he wanted.

It all sounds somewhat unfocused and spur of the moment because it could well be. A source tells CNN the President does not want to set up a war room as it's called, because it could make him look weak or guilty.

His Press Secretary saying, quote, "He is the war room. We don't feel the need for a war room and we'll see what happens." So for those famous last words, with us now two veterans of Bill Clinton's impeachment war room, democratic strategist Paul Begala and former Clinton White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart. They are both CNN political commentators.

Paul, you know, the thing I remember you always saying about President Clinton that would -- the strategy was he doesn't talk about impeachment publicly. He is focused on the people's business. That's the message he is sending to the public and let his, you know, the folks who are designated to do it, deal with it.

President Trump is, if he is the war room, can he be President and do actual stuff or is he focused just on this?


PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, he needs to get back to the business to the American people and that should be his message and his day-to-day reality.

All right, the ad that his team ran during the World Series Game 7 was a terrific ad, because it was all about jobs, economy, the middle class, oh, and the evil Democrats who are trying to distract from that.

If he could bring himself and to conduct himself in office that way, it would make an enormous difference.

Now, the alleged improprieties are vastly different in the two cases, but still people want their President to work for them. And all he does talk about himself, his grievances and his conspiracy theories, and it's going to convince the country that that's all that he cares about, not about their lives.

But the message I think that, you know, his folks will try to say is that he is fighting for you. I mean, he is fighting against this effort against him, but it's really fighting for the American people.

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the problem is, is it's focused all on him. It's not about -- he is not adding at the end of a witch hunt tweet, and that's why the economy is slowing down or adding you know something about healthcare or something about China. It's all about him.

And the other problem for him is he changes his attack, depending on what bothers him that day, I think. I think it's --

COOPER: And also what he saw on television.


COOPER: There were a bunch of TV reports for several days about how the Republicans are arguing the process, not substance, he then comes out and says, you know, the process is great, but I really want to focus on substance, which is --

BEGALA: He is far too reactive, and the problem is for his defenders out there in the media, but more importantly, on Capitol Hill, he pulls the rug out from under them. Like there's -- you're dancing in quicksand with this guy.

And it is now -- apparently now that the position, as you said, they've gone through several, right? It was perfect call. It's -- okay, there was no quid pro quo. Well, there was, but it doesn't matter because Kellyanne said this morning that she got the -- that Ukraine got the aid anyway. Well, that's a lot of shifting ground. And if you're asking members

of the House and Senate to stake their political careers on a defense, you better settle on one, you better make sure that it can stand up over time. And so far, that has not been the case.

COOPER: It also just seems from the White House, from a messaging standpoint, I mean, Stephanie Grisham, the Press Secretary, I mean, there are no briefings anymore. She'll appear, you know, I guess, on Fox News and stuff, but it doesn't seem like there's a lot of people actually managing this.

LOCKHART: Yes, that mean that the Hill is all over the place. The President is all over the place. The one thing they do have going for them, and it's a little counterintuitive, is their campaign.

Their campaign can do this through paid advertising, you think about where Bill Clinton was. He was never running for anything again. He couldn't go out and spend $200 million pushing some false narrative.

I agree with Paul, the ad is the first time I've seen something that makes sense, which is, yes, he may break some rules, but he is doing it for you because Washington is broken.

I think if you put, you know, several hundred million dollars behind that, between now and the beginning of the Democratic primary season that actually might break through.

COOPER: Does -- I mean, do you think they would need a war room? I mean, again, because even if they had one, he undercuts the message of all his people.

BEGALA: Yes. I mean, I've talked to people who have worked for President Trump as they've left, and of course, I always say the same thing everybody says, which is, why don't you take away the Twitter machine? Like, oh, yes, good idea. I never thought of that.

They can't, and they -- he won't surrender the self-destructive impulses. It's just -- to me it's tragic.

COOPER: But those impulses are the same impulses that got him.

BEGALA: That did and maybe that's self-justifying. But with President Clinton, the work was therapy. It wasn't just a strategy. He really thought it would be worth going through all of this if I could -- while they were impeaching him, he doubled the funding for Head Start. He created a really cool initiative for at risk kids in Middle School, passed unanimously from Republicans while they were impeaching him. And he balanced the budget and everything else. The work was therapy for him.

For Trump, it's just all primal scream therapy. It's terrible.

COOPER: Paul Begala and Joe Lockhart. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Coming up, Rudy Giuliani's fingerprints -- they -- well, they're all over the Ukraine affair. We know that. Coming up next, could they also be found in another Eastern European country as well? I'll tell you what ahead.



COOPER: Safe to say Rudy Giuliani has been all over the Ukraine controversy. He is said to have been involved in the shadow campaign to promote President Trump's theories and interest in nearly every step along the way.

Now, there's new information that the President's personal lawyer may be caught up elsewhere in a different Eastern European nation, Romania. CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It took just one erring statement from Donald Trump to put critical focus on the real business of Rudy Giuliani selling his connections to Donald Trump.


TRUMP: Well, I think what Biden did and his son and now I guess they're finding also Romania that just came out today or some other country and I'm sure there are more than that.


GRIFFIN (voice over): What happened in Romania is now in the spotlight but not for what Joe Biden's son, Hunter did. President Trump's attempt to deflect from his troubles has connected the dots between Hunter Biden and Trump's own personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

A law professor and ethics expert, Kathleen Clark, says Rudy Giuliani could be in real trouble.


KATHLEEN CLARK, LAW PROFESSOR, WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: What Giuliani did is so much worse than what Hunter Biden did.


GRIFFIN (voice over): It all centers around this man - Gabriel Popoviciu. He is a Romanian businessman convicted in a land fraud scheme north of Bucharest. His case, part of a lengthy struggle by the former Eastern bloc country to crack down on corruption including corrupt politicians, something the U.S. through official channels has been pushing for years according to former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Heather Conley.



HEATHER CONLEY, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: For Romania, its fight against corruption is its fight in some ways for its survival as a democratic state.


GRIFFIN (voice over): To help him fight corruption charges in Romania Popoviciu turned to the power brokers in the United States. He first retained Hunter Biden when Biden's father was the Vice President. It didn't help. Popoviciu was convicted in March 2016.

Biden referred the case to another well connected attorney, former F.B.I. Director Louis Freeh to help with his appeal a source told CNN. The appeal failed. Freeh hired Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani wrote this letter to the President of Romania just months after becoming the private attorney for Donald Trump in 2018.

Giuliani has said in interviews Freeh's firm paid him to write it, though it did not mention Popoviciu by name.


SEBASTIAN BURDUJA, NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY OF ROMANIA: It sounds just like the propaganda that we've been fed by the former government weakening the rule of law, decriminalizing abuse of power, amnesty for corrupt people.


GRIFFIN (voice over): What the letter did do was attack Romania's anti-corruption unit. It said there was damage to the rule of law and that directly and negatively affects the flow of foreign investment in Romania.

Giuliani demanded amnesty to those who have been prosecuted and convicted by the unit. Less than two months earlier, the U.S. State Department and 11 other nations issued a statement that was the complete opposite of Giuliani's letter, urging Romania to continue this crackdown on corruption.

Opposition party officials Sebastian Burduja said Giuliani's letter was a shock.


BURDUJA: There was Mr. Giuliani basically siding with the crooks, siding with -- the government was trying to roll back anti-corruption reforms.

When somebody as important as Mr. Giuliani who is close to the President speaks on the stopping, the country listens that Romanian people listen.

And so again, confusion and frustration, and just simply, you know, a puzzlement as to why somebody would do that. (END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN (voice over): The letter especially in light of what Giuliani has been doing in Ukraine is extremely troubling to ethics expert, Kathleen Clark, for what Giuliani left out.


CLARK: He was paid money. Louis Freeh asked him to write that letter, hired him to write that letter and he doesn't reveal that.

And so the people who receive it, the Romanian politicians and then the Romanian public, they don't know how to receive this letter. They literally do not know in what capacity Giuliani is writing.

GRIFFIN (on camera): It is clear from the letter he is more or less threatening future investment in Romania. Certainly, at that time he wrote it. He was very much visibly, President Trump's lawyer.

CLARK: That's correct. It's sort of rhetorical saber rattling on Giuliani's part. I think it interferes with U.S. anti-corruption policy internationally.


GRIFFIN (voice over): Rudy Giuliani's response to CNN about his Romanian letter begins with asking CNN, "Are you serious?" He goes on to say, "I was giving an opinion in an area where I have 50 years of experience, criminal justice." Then he launches into an attack about the Biden's.

Ken McCallion, a former Federal prosecutor says Rudy Giuliani maybe showing signs of stress.


KEN MCCALLION, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: So there's this jumble of legal representation, business dealings, and private diplomacy that Mr. Giuliani is engaged in that I think from what I hear is a subject of some intense scrutiny by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, which he formerly headed up.


GRIFFIN (voice over): According to his firm's own website, Giuliani Security has done business all over the globe, including in Ukraine, Guatemala, Colombia and El Salvador and Serbia, reportedly making millions.

Democratic senators have asked the Department of Justice to investigate Giuliani's foreign entanglements since he started working for President Trump, including a meeting with the King of Bahrain and conferences in Armenia and Albania.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GRIFFIN (on camera): His number one client doesn't pay him. So he

has got to get paid by somebody. I mean, are you suggesting that Rudy Giuliani's primary purpose for representing the President is so that he can sell his influence overseas?

MCCALLION: Absolutely. The quantum of influence peddling with President Trump has led to millions of dollars in receipts by Mr. Giuliani and his firm.



COOPER: Drew Griffin joins me right now. Hey, Drew, we know prosecutors have been investigating Giuliani's business dealings in Ukraine. Is he a target at this point?

GRIFFIN: Anderson, what sources are telling CNN is that Giuliani's actions are certainly a central focus of this now months long inquiry into Ukraine, but because he is the President's lawyer and an election is coming up, we're told not to expect things to move on him that quickly, not just because there's an election, but also because these cases involving violations and foreign lobbying acts are very hard to prove and just -- they just could take longer -- Anderson.

COOPER: You also mentioned in your piece that Hunter Biden stepped away from the work in Romania. Do we know what he was doing exactly?

GRIFFIN: Officially, we do not know what he was doing there. We do know that he was called in for some kind of legal help from a source, apparently, he didn't have the ability or the skills needed for the job and so he immediately assessed the situation and brought in Louis Freeh, but we don't know what the exact work it was that Hunter Biden actually did.

COOPER: All right, Drew, thanks very much. Appreciate it. A year from today November 3, 2020, Americans will go to the polls. Coming up next, what voters in one swing state are telling us about what they are seeing in Washington?



COOPER: All right, we touched on earlier, there's new polling on the Impeachment Inquiry. In the NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, 49 percent think President Trump should be impeached and removed from office; 46 percent say he shouldn't. So the question is, what do voters think when you talk with them face to face, especially in a key swing state like Pennsylvania.

Our Randi Kaye sat down with a group of voters in Bucks County, four Republicans, four Democrats, two Independents. Here's what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How many of you think that Donald

Trump should be impeached? Raise your hand. Four, maybe five.

BLAIR ELLIOT, PENNSYLVANIA DEMOCRAT: We're seeing the evidence in real time almost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That looks like a lot of abuse of power.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's violated the law.

KAYE (voice over): This independent voter who didn't vote for Trump in 2016 isn't quite ready to say Trump broke the law.

JIM LUNDBERG, PENNSYLVANIA INDEPENDENT: Well, I'm embarrassed that he is our President. But I'm not a lawyer, and I don't know if those things rise to the level of high crimes.

KAYE (voice over): Ask this Republican if the President did anything wrong, and the answer is an emphatic no.

GARRETT GUMMER, PENNSYLVANIA REPUBLICAN: I don't think David Copperfield or if Harry Houdini or whoever it was, I think they pull a quid pro quo out of that a transcript.

KAYE (on camera): How do you explain away testimony from others who say they had concerns about the call?

MILO MORRIS, PENNSYLVANIA REPUBLICAN: Those are not data points. That's opinion. And I don't know that we can necessarily try somebody based on somebody else's -- or a set of opinions.

KAYE (voice over): Despite the inquiry, the four Republicans in our group who all voted for Trump in 2016 plan to support him again.

KAYE (on camera): What if the President is impeached? You would still vote for him as a Republican.

ANDREA TAMBURRI, PENNSYLVANIA REPUBLICAN: Absolutely. And I will be out there recruiting as many people as I can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it kind of sounds like he betrayed the country in several different ways.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a characterization I don't agree with.


KAYE: What if it was -- what if he admitted it? Would that --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did admit it.

KAYE: But if he admitted it again?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't say he did anything wrong. And I don't --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did not betray this country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who do things wrong often get defensive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has been fighting for the people of this country every single day, every single day.

And the way I'm being treated right now is a perfect example of why I will vote for Donald Trump because my voice matters. And I won't be talked over.

GUMMER: And with the evidence we have right now, I mean, there's no way we're even close to high crimes and misdemeanors.

KAYE: So you'd be okay with voting for a President as a Republican who was impeached if that is what happens.

GUMMER: If what we know now, okay, and nothing more comes up. Absolutely.

KAYE (voice over): Neither of the two Independent voters in our group voted for Trump, and they don't plan to in 2020 either. But the prospect of impeachment has little to do with their decision.

LUNDBERG: I don't like his policies. I don't like his demeanor. I don't like his condescending attitude.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've decided that our politics are bigger than principle in many ways.

KAYE (voice over): In the end, under pressure from a Democrat in our group, one Republican hinted she could possibly change her mind.

ELLIOT: If he was a Democrat and it was proven that he broke the law, I would have trouble voting for him.


ELLIOT: Well, in fact, I wouldn't.


ELLIOT: I wouldn't vote for him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it's going to depend on the alternatives and what I see as best for my children and the future of this country.

ELLIOT: If he broke the law on one side, and whoever on the other side, you would still vote for that criminal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think Donald Trump is a criminal.

ELLIOT: Well, he is a criminal. Do I vote for him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's something I would have to think about.

KAYE (voice over): Randi Kaye, CNN, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: A small sampling of voters in Pennsylvania. We'll be right back with a quick big picture of the week yet to come as our Special Coverage of the Impeachment Inquiry and a WHITE HOUSE IN CRISIS continues.



COOPER: We just learned tonight about several more White House officials who will not be cooperating this coming week with House investigators. Three Office of Management and Budget officials are now refusing to give depositions. They join Energy Secretary Rick Perry who will not participate in a closed door deposition, but according to his office would consider answering questions in an open hearing.

The biggest name and biggest question mark of course is John Bolton, President Trump's former National Security adviser. He is expected Thursday, but says will not show up without a subpoena and he hasn't been issued one yet.

And tomorrow National Security Council attorney, John Eisenberg is scheduled. Other National Security Council officials and two State Department officials are also scheduled to appear this week.

That does it for this Special Report, WHITE HOUSE IN CRISIS: THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY. Thanks for joining us.