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Three Legal Experts Say President Trump Committed Impeachable Offenses, One Disagrees; Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) is Interviewed About the Impeachment Inquiry. Aired on 8-9p ET

Aired December 4, 2019 - 20:00   ET




Welcome to the next and pivotal act in a drama that's about to consume the Trump presidency and if the Founding Fathers had to right, to have strayed on the most fundamental notions of what the country is and how presidents should behave.

Day one of impeachment hearings in the House Judiciary Committee, four distinguished law professor testifying to what the Framers of the Constitution considered impeachable offenses and whether this president meets their test.

In short, did the president's demands on Ukraine constitute bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors? Was there -- were there any abuses of office?

This is what the law professors were asked to consider. But it's hardly all that's on the table. The hearing was also a venue for Republicans to make the case that there is no case. It was as you might imagine also an opportunity for lawmakers in both parties to play to the cameras and to the voters back home.

As this was all unfolding, one of the central figures, Rudy Giuliani, is apparently continuing his mission for the president which has landed his boss in the kind of trouble only three presidents faced before.

We'll talk about all that tonight.

CNN's Sara Murray sets the scene.


MICHAEL GERHARDT, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF LAW: If what we're talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three legal scholars invited by Democrats told lawmakers today the president's conduct is worthy of impeachment.

NORM EISEN, HOUSE MAJORITY COUNSEL: Did President Trump commit the impeachable high crime and misdemeanor of abuse of power based on that evidence and those findings?

NOAH FELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC WITNESS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Based that evidence and those findings the president did commit an impeachable abuse of office.

EISEN: Professor Karlan, same question.


EISEN: And, Professor Gerhardt, did President Trump commit the impeachable high crime and misdemeanor of abuse of power.

GERHARDT: We three are unanimous, yes.

MURRAY: The hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the legal foundation for impeachment kicks off the next phase of the investigation into President Trump, which largely focuses on Trump's push for Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and the 2016 election, in exchange for a White House meeting and military aid.

While Republicans took shots at the Democrats' witnesses --

REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): Unless you're really good on TV and watching the hearings the last couple weeks, you couldn't have possibly actually digested the Adam Schiff report from yesterday or the Republican response in any real way.

KARLAN: Mr. Collins, I would like to say to you, sir, that I read transcripts of every one of the witnesses. So, I'm insulted by the suggestion that is as a law professor, I don't care about those facts.

MURRAY: Democrats sounded the alarm ahead of the 2020 election.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): If we do not act to hold him in check now, President Trump will almost certainly try again to solicit interference in the election for his personal political gain.

MURRAY: The scholars expressed the importance of holding presidents to account.

FELDMAN: If we cannot impeach a president mo abuses his office for personal advantage, we know longer live in democracy. We live in a monarchy or we live under a dictatorship. That's why the Framers created the possibility of impeachment.

KARLAN: I'll just give you one example that shows you the difference between him and a king, which is the Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility. While the president can name his son Barron he can't make him a baron.

MURRAY: Later, she apologized for her comment about the president's son.

The Democratic witnesses lid out legal reasoning why they believe President Trump abused his power, obstructed Congress and may have even committed bribery.

The lone witness for the Republicans argued today that Democrats were rushing the process.

JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW PROFESSOR: I'm concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and abundance of anger.

MURRAY: Claiming there is insufficient evidence to impeach Trump for bribery or any other misdeed.

TURLEY: This is an improvisational jazz. Close enough is not good enough. If you're going to accuse a president of bribery, you need to make it stick.

MURRAY: He advocated for letting courts sort out challenges over whether witnesses must testify or the administration must hand over documents, and encouraged lawmakers to gather more evidence before moving forward.

TURLEY: This isn't an impulse buy item. You're trying to remove a duly elected president of the United States. And that takes time and takes work.

MURRAY: But Democrats are pressing on, preparing for a possible impeachment vote on the House floor by the end of the year.

NADLER: The hearing is adjourned.

MURRAY: Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Well, there was, of course, more to the day and we are surrounding hearings on that, it's too much to get to but we are going to try over the next hour.

Joining us, the legal and political team of Elie Honig, Anne Milgram, Whitewater independent counsel Robert Ray, impeachment law specialist Ross Garber. Also, Dana Bash, Carl Bernstein and David Gergen.

Dana, I mean, who do you think benefited most from today's hearings?


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's hard to say if anybody really did, if you're talking about the ultimate goal of the House Democrats in having this hearing in the first place, which is their broader goal in general, moving public opinion towards what they want to do, which is impeaching the president.

And listening to these law professors for us was, you know, really interesting. But for the public, I am not so sure that any of these four swayed them in their point of view.

You know, it could possibly be that Jonathan Turley, for example, the one Republican witness who was making arguments, not on the substance that what the president did was right but on the reasons the process --

COOPER: When you say Republican witness, he is not -- he said he is not a supporter of President Trump.

BASH: Right, precisely. But he was brought by the Republican side, by the minority, because they understood that he was going to testify differently than the other three, which he did.

But, so, he gave Republicans, maybe not so much in the House but later in the Senate potential roadmap for things that they can say about why they are not ready to say yes on impeaching the president of the United States, about moving too fast, about other issues -- again, not on substance but more about the process. And his read of how impeachment should go constitutionally.

COOPER: Well, David Gergen, one of the arguments that the professors made and we have had him on the show for years, is that there is not enough evidence. Of course, Democrats then say, well, there is not enough evidence if -- there's not enough evidence it's because the White House has successfully not giving over documents and witnesses.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, well, that's true. Listen, I thought that the Republicans made some gains on arguments about fairness. And they're not being treated fairly.

I thought it was a mistake, a symbolic mistake to have three lawyers out there for the Democrats and only one lawyer for the Republicans. It seemed to me that sound automatic signal this is rigged in the favor of the Democrats.

Having said that, I thought the lawyers they brought did an excellent job. They are well-spoken, especially -- well, there are two -- all three were actually very good. But I think they helped to bring light on the central questions of the day, and, you know, essentially the Republicans have been arguing this ineligible exercise. I thought they showed and were compelling on the point that this case rests upon solid legal foundations. I thought they put that away.

I also thought that they brought in the conversation that there parallels between how the president handled this and how they handled the Mueller report. And in both cases, you know, he denied, denied, he made up fictions. You know, he came up with narratives, but basically then got stonewalled and refused to participate in the process.

I think they laid out that case very, very well and Republicans members did. So, I thought that worked out well.

The last thing I would say briefly is I think they introduced the notion, that if you don't stop this now, if the checks and balances don't work, this president will assume he can get away with it in the 2020 election and he will be looking for foreign countries to help them. COOPER: Well, Carl, that was one of the points Chairman Nadler made,

which is that, you know, this phone call to the Ukraine president was made the day after Mueller testified and that was an example of -- if the president feels he's vindicated on one thing. He then will do it again.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's true, I think what the Democrats are trying to show in evidentiary case and show how the facts stack up against the president of the United States.

What the Republicans are trying to do is say the process is unfair. One of the things is we have seen no attempt by the Republicans, from the beginning, going back to Mueller, to try and learn the facts about this presidency. At every turn, they have tried to obstruct fact and truth. And that's what we are watching again today.

If you watch the lawyers, particularly the first lawyer that the Democrats brought up. You know, it was as if James Madison head conjured Donald Trump when the impeachment clause was being argued and Madison was laying down who should be impeached and why. It right -- it was a box right around Donald Trump in his conduct.

COOPER: Ross Garber, you're an impeachment expert. What did you make of the testimony?

ROSS GARBER, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I thought it was interesting in the way that he set the table, brought everybody back to the notion that this isn't just about voicing disapproval for a president. This isn't just about condemning conduct. This is about the potential for removing a president from office. And the standard has to be high.

I thought it was interesting that there was some agreement among the witnesses, all of them, about the fact that you don't need a crime for impeachment, about the Founders and the Framers of the Constitution concerned about foreign influence, and about abuse of power.


But then I thought the differences, the distinctions were also very interesting. And one of the points that I think Jonathan Turley made, which I think is going to be where there's going to be a lot of the action, is the evidence there, and isn't there yet. And if it's not there, then what do you do about it? I think that's a -- that's going to be a good point.

The Democrats released along report in if you go through it you can see there are some holes there. And in particular I think with respect to the president state of mind. And then you get to the question about what to do about it.

COOPER: Eliot, do you see those holes as well?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I disagree with Professor Turley, I don't think he articulated a specific standard for what the evidence must be, other than he didn't think it was enough. I don't think that's particularly helpful from a constitutional law scholar. And, look, one thing that came through today, I think the Democrats'

strategy here is crystallized. It's becoming clear they are focusing on abuse of power. They've gotten away, I think smartly, from terminology like bribery, quid pro quo, extortion. That was going to be ultimately a losing or difficult battle, and they made this clear this is about abuse of power.

I don't know how you look at the evidence, how you look at those dozen witnesses, the July 25th phone call. And just to clear, it's not enough for. I was a prosecutor for 14 years, it would be enough for me to charge criminally.

COOPER: Robert, did you think that there was?



RAY: No surprise.

Look, despite whatever the floor said I have said from the outset, and the testimony of these four witnesses doesn't change my own view, although I do think it's presumptuous that anybody would know what James Madison thought.

All I can glean is what they said in the Constitution and to the limited degree that there is explanation in the Federalist Papers, that's about all we have to go on, plus front prior experience.

But I remain of the view that it must be treason, bribery, or other high crime or misdemeanor, and high means that that only certain crimes that -- but also constitute an abuse of power pass the high threshold of impeachment.

I don't think that threshold will be met. And however we got here and for whatever reason, whoever is to blame for, it we do have to deal with the state of the evidence as it is now, or at least as it will be maybe for the next two weeks. To think otherwise is ridiculous.

This thing is on a train going down the track for an impeachment vote before the House, before the end of the year, period, full stop. So, whatever the evidence is at that time, that's what it is.

COOPER: Anne Milgram, what do you think of the evidence as it is now?

ANNE MILGRAM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So I think there are a couple points worth making. First of all, my read of the 300-page Intelligence Committee report is that there is a substantial amount of evidence, and there's a substantial amount of evidence on the abuse of power, on the question of bribery, and particularly on the obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice. So, I do think it's legally sufficient to move forward. The answer is yes.

The bigger point I think, today, and the purpose of the law professors really is that when they go into impeachment, it's not just a conversation about the facts in the evidence. It's a conversation about how does this apply to the law and how this does fall under the law, and how should be thinking about it? And because bribery is written in a Constitution, but was before the federal bribery statute existed, there were real questions around, what does it mean? We talk about this a lot.

But it was worth having this conversation today with the scholars I think to set this forward, to talk about foreign interference, to talk about bribery and to talk about elections.

COOPER: We're going to take a quick break. We're going to have more.

We're going to dig in deeper into the White House decision to not cooperate with the investigation it all. What Committee Chairman Nadler today called a level of obstruction without precedent.

And later, one of the lawmakers doing the questioning, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell joins us.



COOPER: In his testimony today, law professor Jonathan Turley criticized Congress for what he called, quote, a facially incomplete and inadequate record in order to impeach a president.

There's, of course, a reason the record is incomplete. As we said before, the president wanted that way. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former White House counsel Don McGahn refused to testify. Former National Security Adviser John Bolton is not talking either, nor is Rudy Giuliani.

And then there are the documents, the White House has, so far, refused to turn over any, including briefing materials from the July 25th Trump-Zelensky phone call, as well as staff notes relating to it. They did release a summary of the call.

The August 15th presidential decision memo prepared by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman conveying that aid be released. National Security Council staff summaries and conclusions from Ukraine meetings, White House review of the aid freeze revealing, according to "The Washington Post", efforts to craft and after the fact justification for it. Also withheld call recalls between President Trump and Ambassador Gordon Sondland, emails and messages between Sondland and senior White House officials, including Mulvaney and Bolton.

The administration has also refused to turn over a string of briefing materials and memos relating to Vice President Pence.

Back now with the team.

Should that be taken into account? I mean, the fact that the White House is not turning over documents?

GARBER: I think there are two places it might come up. One is a potential impeachment charge of obstruction. And there, you

know, what Jonathan Turley said is, wait a minute, presidents back since Washington have asserted privileges and immunities. That's what Trump is doing. You don't -- you don't impeach a president for doing that. The Democrats could go to court, they haven't.

The second place that may come up is that Adam Schiff threatened that noncompliance with the subpoenas could be considered adverse inference. Which means if you don't turn this stuff over, we're going to assume it's bad for you and find facts against you.

I think that's inappropriate. But those are two places that might come up.

COOPER: Dana, you exchanged I think text messages with Rudy Giuliani today. Where is he?

BASH: Well --


BASH: He wouldn't -- he wouldn't -- "The New York Times" reported that he is in Ukraine, apparently working on a documentary to try to prove the innocence of his client, the president of the United States.


He would not confirm that that's where he was. One thing he did say is on the question of the intelligence impeachment report that came out yesterday, suggesting that Giuliani made several phone calls to the Office of Management Budget. I asked about that and he said that that is -- that he doesn't remember calling OMB and not about military aid. He never knew anything about it.

BASH: One thing I would just add on the House Intelligence report, they got their information from Verizon and AT&T because of what you were just talking about. They did not get information phone records from the White House, because they're not playing ball. They did some -- they had some information in the report on the ranking member, weirdly. Devin Nunes, they did not get it from him.

So, these are general numbers. So this is kind of the tip of the iceberg about what the phone calls really were and who they were to, because it's a --

COOPER: During the break, you are saying that you thought if President Trump was a different kind of president.


COOPER: Explain --

GERGEN: I was just suggesting that if you were a normal president, an upstanding president who was obeying the laws, and appreciating the traditions of the country, and then this happened. And he made this phone call, I think we wouldn't be impeaching him. If somebody is arrested for a crime and they are 40, 50 years old and

they never have anything on the record, the judge goes very light on them. And so --


COOPER: That sounds -- I mean, that's -- if that is your belief, that would -- that would be an argument against impeachment. That the evidence is --

GERGEN: No, no. I think that when you look at the totality of who he is, he is a walking abuse of power. I mean, almost every day he's doing something that offense or takes advantage of the system, exploit things.

I think that this is the first time we have ever had this. Blockbuster (ph) is not going to have worked. But I think it's right to call him on it.

COOPER: Robert, is that a fair criteria to --

RAY: I don't know if the walking abuse of power standard under the Constitution, whatever J. Madison might think about it. I mean, you know, seriously, with regard to the phone call, you watch it play out. Today evidence it at some point does matter. As much as I hear about trying to turn, what was in the face of a call, a request for assistance with regard to an investigation, as equivalent to a demand that was coercive, that had conditions in order to dig dirt up on a political opponent.

They are not the same thing.

BASH: What if it isn't quid pro quo?

RAY: And in attempt to try to make them the same thing, I would suggest to you, respectfully, if the objects here is to garner what is necessary in order to impeach and remove a president from office, which is bipartisan support, today's effort frankly was dead on arrival.

COOPER: Elie, the counter argument to that is, well, if you are extorting somebody, you don't have to say I am now extorting you. You can just, you know, have two statements of fact which is, this person wants aid, I want you to do me a favor. And isn't -- I mean, you can make an argument that there is an implied --

HONIG: Right. Very much not the way it works in real life. People do not say I hereby extort you. I've done more extortion cases that I can remember. That never happens. It's always implied.

And the power dynamic is so important here. We've had testimony. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman said, 10 percent of their military budget the Ukraine gets is our foreign aid, and the comment by Zelensky, President Zelensky yesterday or two days ago I think reaffirmed that. He essentially said in a diplomatic way, I really have no choice, I -- we are engaged in this war with Russia and we need this. I think to the point the David was making before about this call.

This is where the Mueller findings play in, because Trump was on notice. This wasn't just some naive person who was new to the office and didn't understand how things work. He got a warning basically.

He got away for the most part with, Mueller, and that's how I think were going to see this play into the larger picture here. He got the Mueller report and the next day he makes this call.

COOPER: Right. I've got to take a quick break. We're going to have more.

Elie, Robert, and Ross, thank you so.

Everyone else is going to stick around.

A member of both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, Eric Swalwell, joins us next, to talk about what comes next after today's hearing.

We'll be right back.



COOPER: Today, we're going to look at Republicans' latest arguments against impeaching President Trump. The Judiciary Committee's ranking member, Doug Collins, complain about the process and called today's hearing, quote, a railroad job.

The law professor Republicans tapped to rebut Democratic arguments kept coming back to the idea that one of the problems was things were happening too quickly. Quoting now from Professor Turley: Fast is not good.

Here to talk about what we heard and what he heard and where we go from here, someone who was there, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell, who sits on both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.

Congressman, what do you think? What do you think was accomplished today, or hope was accomplished today?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): The American people saw, Anderson, serious scholars lay out the president's abuse of power by using his office, your taxpayer dollars to ask a foreign government to help him cheat an election, and that we're not helpless to that. In a kingdom, you might be helpless. In a dictatorship, you might be helpless. Thankfully, are Framers, they weren't prophets, but they did foresee that someone maybe do this and they gave us the remedy of impeachment.

COOPER: To the point though that Professor Turley made and he's respected --

SWALWELL: Yes. Well, and Professor Turley's perfect world, though, the President is an honest broker and he would not have invoked an upcoming election where the clock is running and he would abide by court rulings. And he's neither of those.

And so, you know, we have overwhelming evidence right now. And, yes, of course, it would always be nice to have more evidence. But we can't assume that the President would follow a Supreme Court order. He's never said, oh, if this goes to the courts, I'll follow what the courts do.

And most of these matters that Professor Turley is referring to, it's settled precedent in the Supreme Court. They decided in the U.S. v. Nixon case that there are limits to executive privilege. And so, it just seems that it's a delay tactic by the President and we have a duty to protect an upcoming election.

COOPER: So, is it -- for you, is it bribery, is it obstruction of justice, is it some other high crime?

SWALWELL: I think they're all on the table, Anderson. And to most people watching at home what it is, is that if your hometown mayor called the police chief and said, I know that you need more police officers to keep the streets safe, however, before I'm going to give you that money, I need you to investigate my political opponent. Most of us would say, you know what, you just don't do that. That's abusing your office. That's exactly what the President did on a much larger scale.

COOPER: Did Democrats and Chairman Nadler miss an opportunity to, you know, say to Republicans who want more time, sure, we'll do that. In exchange, we want all the documents, you know, we've requested, all the witnesses, you know, we've subpoenaed to come testify. Would that have been possible?

SWALWELL: He did make that point but I think, you know, you reference Professor Turley earlier and I thought it was interesting and I do respect the fact. In his opening statement, he said he thought the call was he, in his words, anything but perfect, and second, that this issue was worthy of investigation.

What's interesting about that is that is not what the Republicans are saying. If our Republican colleagues would say the call was not perfect and we will join the Democrats to investigate this, maybe we could get the White House to move and provide these documents and allow these witnesses to come forward. They have not done that and yet we've still been able to receive powerful evidence of abuse of power.

COOPER: Chairman Nadler specifically mentioned five incidents from the Mueller report today as evidence that the President committed obstruction of justice. Will -- do you think there will be an article of impeachment related to obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation?

SWALWELL: It certainly shows a pattern of conduct, meaning that the President in the past has invited foreign governments to involve themselves in our elections and he has obstructed justice. In this case, he's asking the day after Mueller testified a foreign government to investigate his opponent and he's obstructing Congress. I can't say right now, Anderson, if that will be a part of it, but it will certainly be a part of explaining the President's intent.

COOPER: So what is next? I mean, is there a working time line for when Democrats are going to begin work on drafting articles of impeachment, when would they'd be introduced and voted on?

SWALWELL: All of that and-- Anderson, you know, we're working on a prescription drug bill. We have to fund the government before December 20. But we will receive the report next week from the intelligence committee, so a presentation will be made to the judiciary committee. And then we have to make a decision, how do you hold the President accountable for what he's done?

COOPER: Congressman Swalwell, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

SWALWELL: My pleasure. Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: We will continue to look at how the Republicans on the judiciary committee spent their time condemning the impeachment process and in some case attempt to undermine the Democrats' witnesses. And later, did President Trump leave the NATO meetings in a huff after some of the leaders appeared to bemoan his tactics?



COOPER: More now on the world politics of the day. Republicans on the judiciary committee often expressed apparent disbelief, as well as similar talking points about the process and at the end some sardonic acrimony. Take a look.


REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): So we are here, no plan, no fact witnesses, simply being a rubber stamp for what we have but, hey, we got law professors here. What a start of a party.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): The facts on the President's side, four key facts, will not change, have not changed, will never change. We have the transcript. There was no quid pro quo in the transcript.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): You gave $1,200 to Barack Obama?


GAETZ: And you gave $2,000 to Hillary Clinton?

KARLAN: That's correct.

GAETZ: Why so much more Hillary than the other two.

KARLAN: Because I've been giving a lot of money to charity recently because of all the poor people in the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I yield back. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for bringing down the gavel hard. That was nice.


COOPER: Back now with our legal and political team. Joining the group, Scott Jennings, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, and Paul Begala, obviously a long time Democratic strategist, both CNN Political Commentators.

Paul, obviously you're a Democrat. How do you think the Republicans did today?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you could see the two strategies, right? First, the Democrat strategy is to elevate. And so they had this terrific I think constitutional law professors and they -- the more you hear about James Madison the better it is for Democrats. It elevates this into something large and important.

And the Republicans have the opposite. If the Democrats want to elevate, the Republicans want to denigrate. And so you gave money to Barack Obama and, you know, your mother dresses you funny. You know, it's just like -- that's what they want to do. I think each of them executed on their strategies.

COOPER: Scott, is that how you see it?

BEGALA: Your mother dresses you impeccably, by the way.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's a recent development for me. Number one, I thought Turley was excellent today. I thought it was smart for the Republicans to call a Republican law professor who could say, look, I didn't vote for Donald Trump. I didn't support him all the time, but this is why impeachment being rushed is wrong. I thought that was smart. Whereas, the Democrats called three people who've been on this bandwagon for quite some time.

Number two, I thought Professor Karlan was particularly hurtful to the Democrats today because I thought she was petty in some cases, a little snarky, and a little bit triadic (ph), honestly. Whereas the other ones I thought were more scholarly. Number three, I don't think the ball really moved today.

And number four, based on what I've heard from people in the White House and on the -- in the Congress tonight, there are going to be some legitimate questions raised about the intelligence committee report that didn't get brought up today but are going to be brought up in the next few days. We didn't cover any of that ground today.

So, my thoughts are, as Paul -- I agree with Paul. I think both sides executed their strategy, but for the Democrats it struck knee as a lost day. I'm not sure what they gained out of the whole day today.


COOPER: Just into the process, I mean, what does -- what happens next? Do you have some staffers testifying next week?

ANNE MILGRAM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. Next week, there are going to be staffers from the intelligence committee. I think very much similar to why they wanted Mueller to testify about the 2016 investigation. Nobody is necessarily going to read. I've read the 300 pages. I think most people are not going to reading the 300 pages. So it's going to be a conversation about what's happened.

If I could also just say two things about today that I think are worth touching on. First of all, Pam Karlan is one of the preeminent legal scholars in the United States of America. I had the opportunity to work with her in (INAUDIBLE) on an amicus brief in an important Supreme Court case. I think she's extraordinary and I thought she did a very good job explaining constitutional law today, so I would disagree with Scott respectively on that.

COOPER: And I think she -- I think, you know, a lot of people obviously pointing -- she brought up, you know, the President's son.

MILGRAM: Yes, and she later apologized, which is -- yes, I think the right thing to do, not to engage in those kinds of conversations at all. But the second thing I would say about Turley, and I just want us to pause on this, is that I think it's one of those arguments about speed that makes sense when you hear it because why are we moving so quickly, this is such an important thing.

But look, I also personally think on behalf of the American people, Mueller went on for a long time. There is a real argument to move this quickly. And in some ways, the President is a victim of his own success, right? He was able to push off a lot of the Mueller investigation. He didn't answer questions in person. He dragged it out for months.

And the House Democrats watched that and they saw it drag on and on without a resolution. And so they're now deciding, you're going to categorically say no documents, no witnesses, we're going to keep moving.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: And if I could just add to what Anne was saying on the process. Yes, next week or maybe you even going to hear tonight an official notice of another hearing in the judiciary committee next week where the staff councils, the ones that we saw asking the questions in the intelligence committee, they will come and testify and prevent -- present their findings. And that's going to be a time when the members are going to try to poke holes in what their findings are.

But after that, it's going to move very, very quickly if they stay on track and if Nancy Pelosi doesn't change things, which is very well could be that at the end of next week the House Judiciary Committee could begin to start to vote on articles of impeachment. Maybe not until the beginning of the next week, but that's going to happen pretty quickly.

And then after that, it's going to go to the House floor and there will be votes on each of the articles on the House floor by Christmas, probably by the weekend, so that's, you know, the 20th and the 21st. And we're talking, believe it or not, Christmas is only, you know, three weeks away. So it is going to happen very, very fast unless Nancy Pelosi who is looking at this and talking to her members as we speak, I believe, is -- unless she changes the time line.

COOPER: Do you think there's any chance of the House not moving forward with this?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No. The House is going to move forward. They're going to impeach and we're going to see new information. There's a cover-up going on. There's been a cover-up going on going back to the first questions about the President, his campaign, and Russia, context with -- contacts with Russia, that's what the Mueller report is partly about. That's what the obstruction charges in the Mueller report are about and the two fit together.

Context is everything, both in finding the truth and it also figures in impeachment. The Nixon impeachment was very much about the context of all of his criminal acts. This impeachment is about cover-up and the actions that the President has taken both in public and in private, and what he has done to undermine the free electoral process. But it also goes to all of the lying that we have seen.

David is trying to make this point, too, I think that you can't isolate everything. And the reason that we are watching the Republicans refuse to have real investigation is because they know there is a cover-up. They don't want the facts to come out. And there has been that kind of obstruction from the very beginning of the investigation of this President of the United States.

COOPER: David?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I keep thinking, what if Mueller had actually resolved whether there had been obstruction of justice instead of leaving it open so that they could have that second or third count, you know, come straight out of the obstruction materials. That's why I think they're going to go back to the Mueller thing. I think it really strengthens their hand for this pattern.


BEGALA: I think Swalwell told you that they may refer to it. But I think just raw politics, if they broaden this, it becomes too complicated, it looks like they're just trying to get him by any means they can. I think what's going to happen is that this will continue add seriatim that the Ukraine issue will be a --

COOPER: Right. But add seriatim --

BEGALA: Sorry, one after the other.

MILGRAM: A lot of Latin there.

BEGALA: You know, I went to law school.


BEGALA: The only subject I was good at. It's also the catholic background, you know, we always fall back in Latin. But that -- so what's going to happen is I think they're going to have to continue an open impeachment investigation.

BERNSTEIN: Yes, that's right.

BEGALA: If you believe as the Democrats do that this President is a recidivist, that there's not a coincidence, as Congressman Swalwell told you, that the day after Mueller testified he was on the phone trying --


COOPER: Right. So you were saying that there's going to be -- you think that the Democrats will keep an open impeachment investigations --



BERNSTEIN: Even in the Senate trial. Even in the Senate trial it is very possible we are going to see evidence come in from the press, from Trump's own mouth and --

GERGEN: Right.



BEGALA: It's like Joe Louis the great boxer.

BERNSTEIN: That's right.

BEGALA: They ask him like if fighting pass (ph) as friends, he said fighters fight. Criminals commit crimes. This guy won't quit.

COOPER: Is that the idea of an ongoing --

BEGALA: Are you kidding?

BERNSTEIN: That's right.

COOPER: -- ongoing trials? What --

JENNINGS: I think that this would -- you know what, I hope they do it. I hope all next year they show a complete lack of confidence in whoever they nominate for President of the United States by trying to throw this President out right up until Election Day. Because part of what's going on here is this isn't just about Ukraine, it's about everything they wanted to get him for from the beginning and they're scratching this itch of a political base. I agree with you that they're going to maybe keep it open because they have to keep scratching that itch. And I just -- I think a lot of people who don't follow this day after day after are like, why don't we just try to beat him in the election and --

COOPER: Prosecutors go after John Gaddy for like trial after trial after trial and didn't public support. I mean I was a kid at the time, but like didn't public support sort of people kind of appreciated that John Gaddy was getting away with stuff.

BEGALA: Yes, I don't know and I don't -- but they don't appreciate the Donald Trump scheme.

COOPER: He did end up in jail.


BEGALA: 50 percent, this is unprecedented. Every president has about 30 percent that want to impeachment even he's done nothing impeachable. Clinton never got above 30. 50 percent of the country wants, not just to impeach him but remove him, and I think where that would move is when he defies a Supreme Court order to comply with the subpoenas, if or when he does that.

COOPER: All right.

BERNSTEIN: Scott, I think the Republicans are going to come up with some new things too into --

JENNINGS: Oh, yes.

BERNSTEIN: -- into the trial phase. It's not just the Democrats.

JENNINGS: I'm going to watch it tomorrow.

COOPER: To be continued, a lot to sort through. Coming up, President Trump has just arrived back at the White House from London. Did he leave the NATO meetings in London abruptly because of this video of other world leaders talking about him behind his back? You'll hear what they have to say.



COOPER: Just a few moments ago, President Trump arrived at the White House back from meeting of NATO leaders in London. Over the course of the three-day trip, the BBC reports that British prime minister would only meet with President Trump off camera and on camera face-to-face.

For instance, president appeared to cascade the president on ISIS and NATO as they sat side by side. The trip ended abruptly after Canada's prime minister was caught on the hot mic talking about President Trump's to other world leaders. Mr. Trump cancelled a planned news conference and left London. Take a look.



JUSTIC TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: He was late because he takes a 40 minute press conference off the top every time. Oh yes, yes, yes, 40 minutes. He announced -- I just watched, I watched his team's jaws just drop to the floor.


COOPER: The person you heard talking about President Trump's team's jaws dropping to the floor was Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. President Trump was asked about those comments this morning. Here's what he said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you heard the video of Prime Minister Trudeau talking about you last night?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think the --

TRUMP: And honestly with Trudeau, he's a nice guy. I find him to be a very nice guy.


COOPER: And right after that, he cancelled his planned press conference, boarder Air Force One, and took off. He's back at the White House now where CNN Senior White House Correspondent Pamela Brown is as well. So Justin Trudeau, according to the President, is both two-faced, also a very nice guy.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. According to the President, two-faced, nice guy, those two things don't necessarily go together. Of course, these two leaders have had a very rocky relationship from the beginning.

And I'm told by a source familiar who has recently spoken to the President that he was annoyed and bothered by that exchange that you just played there, that hot mic moment where Justin Trudeau seems to be mocking the President, laughing about the press conference, the lengthy press conference he had there. And so that really seemed to bother the President.

But this source said that these two men will probably work through it as they worked through other issues in the past but it certainly, Anderson, is something that was just another layer to this rocky NATO trip for the President in London.

As you pointed out, he also had some strong words for French President Macron over a comments he had made about NATO saying they're brain dead and then the ISIS fighters commencing that he should take on more ISIS fighters (INAUDIBLE) with those two. And then, of course, this interaction with Trudeau and for Trudeau's part, he has not walked back what we saw in that video.

In fact, he talked about it and made light of it saying that, yes, the President did hold this impromptu press conference before they met. And that it was notable but he didn't apologize or express any regret publicly what remains to be seen here. What we don't know about is privately whether the two men have spoken, Anderson.

COOPER: The -- it's interesting because, you know, President Trump has over the course of several years often said, you know, countries used to be laughing at us, they used to be laughing at us and that seems to be a kind of recurring refrain of his and that they're not laughing anymore.

Obviously this video, you know, you don't -- they're not laughing in that particular moment, but they are laughing in that -- in their grouping. That would seem to obli (ph) his -- you know, or at least feed into his concerns that people are laughing at him. How much did the video do we know have to do with the decision to cancel the press conference and fly away?

BROWN: Well, it certainly seems based on timing that it would have had some sort of impact on the President to make that decision. I did speak to someone tonight who is familiar with the situation who spoke with the President who said actually that the President made that decision on his own, that it didn't have to do with that video in particular because the President felt like he'd already given so much time to the press.


He had the press conference, of course, before Macron and Trudeau. He had had many press availability, so this person seemed to suggest that it didn't play a role. But, it is hard to believe that if the President had seen that before he made that decision, Anderson, that that did not get under his skin to call it off.

We should also note that this was all happening during the hearing in Washington today with the judiciary committee and we're told that the President did watch some of that on his flight from Air Force One back here to Washington, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Pamela Brown, thanks very much, at the White House.

Coming up next, breaking news, there's report of a shooting at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. We'll have the latest with that in a moment.


COOPER: Quick breaking news out of Hawaii. Live pictures of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, which is currently at lockdown base security. They're responding to reports of gun fire at the Pearl Harbor naval shipyard, which is on the base. Local hospital telling us it has received one patient. No word yet whether there are going to be more. We'll update you throughout the night.

The news continues. I want to hand it over to Chris for "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?