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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) Is Interviewed About How The Vote Is Going On And How He Sees The Impeachment Hearing Generally; Political Interest Seen On The Senate; Trial For The Articles Of Impeachment Of President Donald Trump. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired January 21, 2020 - 23:00   ET








ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: They're now voting to -- whether or not to table the motion that was before -- the motion is to -- to have a subpoena two White House budget officials, this is just one of several motions that have been put forward by Democrats hoping to get documents, hoping to get witnesses.

We've heard about how they've put forward a subpoena to get Mick Mulvaney to testify. These two budget officials. Also, we have not yet heard them put forward a motion to get Bolton, the former national security, John Bolton, the former national security adviser to come and testify. That is something we are clearly going to be hearing, probably next.

But right now, they are doing a roll call vote. And if it goes the way it has been going, which is along party lines this motion will be tabled because that is part of the strategy for Mitch McConnell to have all of these considered after the House managers have already made their case.

I want to go over to CNN's Athena Jones who is standing by at the Capitol. Athena, can you explain what is next tonight, what the rest of the night looks like?

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, that is a big question here. You just mentioned how we have not heard mention yet of an amendment to subpoena former national security adviser John Bolton in this process. And so, we would expect that to come up.

You'll notice that the amendment they're voting on now was about two aides that they want to have subpoenaed as witnesses and so at least that's combining two people. We really don't know how many amendments as Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has under his belt.

But you remember maybe an hour and a half ago there was an exchange on the floor between the Minority Leader Schumer and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, with McConnell saying, you know, maybe we can find a way to move forward more quickly on this, these amendments are similar and the results is going to be similar.


And you heard Minority Leader Schumer say, you know, this is something that is important to us, witnesses and documents are very key and so we're going to have a lot of votes. Schumer said, you know, we're happy to have these tomorrow.

But we know, Anderson, that not only Majority Leader McConnell but of course the White House, they want to see this trial end quickly. And so, they don't really want to have delays. Mitch McConnell said hours ago that they were going to have this vote on this resolution tonight. But, I mean, it's nearing midnight so it's very likely if they do have a vote it's going to be in the early hours of tomorrow.

COOPER: Athena Jones, I appreciate it. Joining us right now CNN senior political analyst David Gergen, CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams, who we should point out once worked for Senator Schumer on the judiciary committee where he served as a committee counsel.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins is with us as well tonight, along with CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers, and former RNC chief of staff Mike Shields.

David Gergen, it's going to be fascinating to hear the debate over Bolton, which we anticipate --


COOPER: -- if they decide to continue tonight will be probably coming up next. Because that is clearly where there is the most focus, this probably the best-known name among the four that Democrats would like to see come and testify.

GERGEN: Absolutely. Even though Democrats, I think, don't really know what Bolton will say.

COOPER: That would so -- nobody does.

GERGEN: Yes. But they're hell bent to get it.

COOPER: Right. Which it could --


GERGEN: This over all --

COOPER: I mean, it could play against them, you know.

GERGEN: It could. I mean, at the end of the day they may wonder how did we -- you would think they'd want to do a quiet deposition before they go over a cliff.

COOPER: It's the old thing a lawyer say that you never want to ask a question on the witness --


COOPER: -- if the witness who you don't know what the answer is going to be.

GERGEN: Yes, exactly.

COOPER: They have no idea what the answer will be.

GERGEN: Absolutely. But let me just say this. I thought that Democrats were very smart today on this first day, they went for substance right in the opening statement. They didn't go to process. They laid out the case behind the whole effort.

And at night, which is probably one of the biggest audiences, first time that the senators have heard all of that and I thought they were very smart to go for that and for the witnesses. They've created a situation now that it's just going to be a hard call.

If you call -- if the Republicans now vote to call witnesses they're voting for the unpredictable. But if they don't go for witnesses they've got 70 percent of the country who thinks they're wrong. That's not a very good choice.

COOPER: And Elliot, they're -- to David's point about what the Democrats are doing, there's a reason Chuck Schumer didn't agree, besides animosity, to not just kind of lump all these requests in at once and just get it over with, they want to play it out person by person.


COOPER: Mick Mulvaney, these two witnesses, Bolton. And they want to get details about the documents that they want from different agencies, and that's what they've been doing, they've been using this time to talk about specifics so it's not just as Adam Schiff was saying, you know, thousands of documents kind of a generic documents, it's actually specific things, these are why we need this particular document.

WILLIAMS: Right and put each of the 53 Senate Republicans on the record saying that they don't want the documents, that, you know, you can't compare this to 1999 because of the fact that there just haven't been documents here.

You know, you made the point earlier, you know, lawyers say don't answer -- don't ask a question you don't know the answer to. Get the witnesses. You can't even ask the questions if you don't have the witnesses.

And so, you've been hearing a lot from the Democrats today about how you can't have a proceeding. You can't have a trial if you don't have witnesses, and I think the strategy, as David said, is put the Republicans on the record and make the case that this actually is a bit of a cover up because you have not heard from, I think, nine subpoenaed agency witnesses, thousands -- tens of thousands of pages of documents that they've requested.

And, again, this is far outside of the norm of any past impeachment proceeding that we've seen. There haven't been that many.


WILLIAMS: But at least in the past ones you've had.

COOPER: Kaitlan, from the White House attorneys we've been hearing, we just heard from Pam Bondi, a lot of similar kind of talk that we hear from the White House itself, the same sort of arguments, almost like -- I mean, clearly, they believe the president is going to be watching from time to time.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's the wee hours of the morning in Switzerland so it's unclear --


COOPER: Sorry, let's go back to Chuck Schumer.



COOPER: OK, so they're going to be taking a five-minute break. Before they actually have discussion about this latest effort by Chuck Schumer. Sorry, Kaitlan, what you're saying there?

COLLINS: We're talking about what the president is going to think of how his team has done today. We had reported that he actually had some apprehension about how Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel is going to do given that he doesn't have a wealth of television experience. Experience on camera.

So far, Eric Ueland, the legislative affairs director said earlier he's been pleased with everything, he's been constantly updated even though he's in Davos at this economic forum meeting with world leaders.

He'll be back in Washington by five o'clock tomorrow night, and of course he really wanted to keep a close eye on all of this so it will be interesting to see how he thinks that they're doing once we do hear from him. Because he's going to do a few interviews in the morning.

And you saw people like Jay Sekulow really trying to channel the president there as they were getting angry. Pat Cipollone even raising his voice and calling out Adam Schiff by name, going after him directly. So, it will be interesting to see how the president responds to that but also these moderate Republicans who of course is their real audience.

COOPER: Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I think for anybody who's watching this, they're probably wondering what is going on, right, because it's just -- they -- the Democrats keep asking for something that they're not going to get and it's pretty clear.

And I think it's -- there's a political strategy here, right, it's they want any persuadable voter that's out there to see that -- that the Republicans aren't looking for a fair trial, that they aren't doing what's typical in any kind of impeachment, which is to have witnesses and to have documents.

And, you know, and to convince people that they're engaging in a cover up. And I think, you know, the Republicans are just basically repeating the Trump argument, that this is an unfair process in the House and that you can't trust what's been done in the house.

COOPER: Mike, I mean, this is essentially the only power that Chuck Schumer has at this point to -- to do anything. I mean, he's, you know, this is the -- he has the power to make this go as long as possible tonight. Daring the Republicans essentially to cut them off and try to adjourn it.

MIKE SHIELDS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, and I think I actually agree with what you were saying in terms of how political this is. You're making the same point as well. That's what this is. This is about politics. They're not going to find the president guilty and remove him from office. That's not going to happen.

So, what does Chuck Schumer have to do to try win the Senate. And so, the idea that this solemn and somber -- and this is about all the evidence and they're really sticking to the facts, I think that's a great tactical thing for them politically to do to try and look above politics but the reality is this is about politics.

This is a political trial, the majority in the House ran it through politically. The majority in the Senate is going to stop it politically. And the Democrats politically are trying to win back the Senate.


SHIELDS: And the good thing is the public actually knows that at this point. They've seen enough of this now. There's nothing new. The arguments are literally the exact same things we've been hearing over and over again from all these managers on both sides.

COOPER: Elliot, that --

WILLIAMS: But both things can be true. It can be a political process but the person --


SHIELDS: The Democrats don't want to admit that though. WILLIAMS: Let me finish. Both things can be true. It can be a

political process but the person at the center of the process could have violated his constitutional oath of office. And frankly, all of the parties here have done what they set out to do. The Democrats have made a factual and legal case over the -- now you don't have to agree with it, but they've laid out a case quite sufficiently over the course of the day.

You know, the Trump's folks, the president's attorneys have essentially waved their arms and screamed for a day and said that commented on process and satisfied the president's need to see people showing indignation.

COLLINS: But the thing is, that is all they have to do is hold their support. They're not trying to win people over. They're just trying not to lose votes. The Democrats are actually trying to win people over.

COOPER: Our next guest right now has spent the entire day on jury duties. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic from Connecticut joins us during this five-minute break. We appreciate you joining us in this the limited minutes you have.

Senator Blumenthal, the revised rules from McConnell giving three days to each side for opening arguments rather than two days, is that a fair move in your opinion?

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): I'm not hearing anything.

COOPER: Senator Blumenthal, it's Anderson, can you hear me? We will try to get -- we'll try to get connection with that. We'll continue back with the panel. Kaitlan, I'm sorry to interrupt you.

COLLINS: Well, we were talking about these arguments that you're making and whether or not you think that the White House attorneys have been effective but they really don't have to bring a lot of people to their side, all they have to do is hold this wall of support.


That's what makes it so interesting when it comes to the witnesses of course. Because right now they're not sure they're going to be able to hold that support.

COOPER: I want to g back to Senator Blumenthal. Senator Blumenthal, it's Anderson, can you hear me?


COOPER: Great. I'm wondering what you -- what you have heard, what's it like sitting in that room? How do you think it is going right now?

BLUMENTHAL: I am continuing to be really awed by the sense of history and purpose here. And the real historic task we have ahead of us to uncover the truth, presented to the American people, the House managers are doing a very able job of making the case for these witnesses and documents.

And for us to hear them now rather than turning the trial on its head and hearing the evidence after the trial is over and I think that's what the American people want as well, a full, fair proceeding. And that's coming across very clearly to the chamber. And I'm impressed by how intently all hundred senators are doing.

COOPER: Senator Blumenthal, to those who said that this is just all about politics, that this is a political process, the votes have been along political lines, no new arguments are being made, what do you say?

BLUMENTHAL: I think there are new arguments in the sense that the detail that has been provided, the masterfully done summaries by the House managers, which really make the case for why these individuals should be called as witnesses, they were in the room.

Mick Mulvaney took the order from the president as he himself has said. We want to know why he did it, when, what the president said, and of course, John Bolton tried to talk him out of it. Called it a drug deal.

We want to hear from Robert Blair and Michael Duffey who executed the scheme. And the documents, black and white documents don't lie. They have made the case. And it should be bipartisan.

Unfortunately, the votes have been, you're absolutely right, along partisan lines. But the country will not react as the Senate chamber does on a partisan basis. Seventy percent of the country believes that we should hear the evidence, that we should seek the truth. And investigate, continue to uncover this abuse of power corruptly by the president to serve his own personal interests.

And at the heart of this scheme and it's coming out clearer and clearer, is the illegal abuse of power by the president in holding hostage millions of dollars in taxpayer money simply to favor himself.

COOPER: In order to get any witnesses or to get any documents you need at least four Republicans. Do you believe any minds have actually been changed so far today?

BLUMENTHAL: My colleagues are now on record. And they will be haunted by history and perhaps by the voters because they're on record against witnesses and documents. I think what they will see by the end of this trial is the peril of continuing on that track. And maybe we will see them change their minds.

But I will be very blunt. I'll believe it when I see it. I hope they will be on the right side of history. But so far, the indications are they are going to do as Senator McConnell is doing, take their cues from the White House and allow the president to dictate the rules of his own trial.

COOPER: If you've got to go, you've got to go, so let me know. But it's been stretching now over 10 hours in that chamber. All the senators are sitting there. You can't look at your phones, you can't really do anything other than sit there and listen. What is it been like? I mean, do you see people grumbling? Do you see people -- you're not allowed to even speak?

BLUMENTHAL: Great question, Anderson, because it has been a unique moment and I have been really astonished to see a hundred of my colleagues in the chamber at the same time for hours, literally hours on end.

Rarely do a group of senators, even a third of that size, attend any event for that long. And yet they are listening intently, without those cell phones. And I am sure that the separation anxiety is severe. But it is a moment that really demands us to put country above personal interests and party. And I hope that we will hear the better angels of our nature and rise, hopefully, and meet that challenge.

COOPER: Senator Blumenthal I know you've got to go back. I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.

BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.

COOPER: Back now with our legal and political team. David Gergen, I know you wanted to respond.


GERGEN: I wanted to jump in just for a moment about the people who came to defend Donald Trump. I do think that they were there very much channeling Trump, no question about that. And there's a certain confidence factor there like a guy holding four aces with one up his sleeve.

But they weren't dismissive. They didn't spend much time putting this together. You can see the Democrats spent hours upon hours compiling these factual scenarios, getting these charts and graphs, and everything like that. These guys came in and sort of blew it off. You know, the truth is history may come down on their side.

I keep wondering -- somebody here may have a good idea about this -- did we actually cross an important threshold today? With every vote being 53-47 in favor of the Republicans, it's going to be much, much tougher now than just getting four people to get one witness.

They got nine or ten things Schumer wants to do. They're never going to get all that stuff done, especially at the end of a trial. They're going to have to be very limited. I wonder if the die is now cast already in a serious way.

COOPER: Die-cast against having witnesses, against --

GERGEN: Well, you may get something, but it will be --

COOPER: It's not going to be all the witnesses Schumer is wanting.


WILLIAMS: But it will be interesting to see how it plays out with the fact that the resolution came out, if you saw McConnell issued it last night and then pulled it back this morning because I think it was Portman and Collins had raised concerns about it and the question is, is that a crack in the armor or the cynical view that maybe he just put it out there knowing that he would have gotten opposition from Susan Collins?

COOPER: Right. It's a give to Susan Collins or anybody who might have had some concerns.

WILLIAMS: Mike -- you know, he's controlling his caucus.

GERGEN: You think he knew in advance he would play that card?

WILLIAMS: I don't know, but --

GERGEN: Show his --

COOPER: Mike, Mike, you think that?

MIKE SHIELDS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, McConnell is a master at this and he knows that he has to give some room to some senators, right? That is what his job is. So, if he takes the hardest line possible, he's now drawn a line where he can move from to give them some room without having that room be something that's damaging. It is an artful thing. He's the best there is at it.

COOPER: You give a little to get a little.

COLLINS: What's interesting about that is people are wondering why they pushed for this two-day timeframe of 24 hours to make their arguments. We're told it was the White House who initially pushed for that because they feared that if we're going late into the night like we are tonight that they could potentially not start their arguments if it's three-day period until Saturday.

Then it would be broken up by Sunday and they'd not be able to make their arguments in consecutive periods. They don't think that their coverage would be as strong since it wouldn't be during the week at the beginning of this trial. And now it looks if Democrats do take up their full time, that that's what the White House will be working with, if they are making their arguments Saturday, Monday and Tuesday instead of what they had hoped for.

POWERS: Yeah. Now, he can say that -- he can tell the White House, well, I did what I tried to do, right? I put it out there exactly the way that you wanted it. Maybe knowing full well that he was going to get pushback from his members and he was going to have to capitulate and that was going to be good for them.

COOPER: I want to read the -- the Senate is about to take up an amendment and I'm going to read it. It would require that if during the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump any party seeks to admit evidence that's not been submitted as part of the record of the House of Representatives and that was subject to a duly authorized subpoena, that party shall also provide the opposing party all other documents responsive to that subpoena. What does -- (LAUGHTER)

WILLIAMS: I think it's -- look, I think they're just trying to get documents in. They're looking at various ways to get documents in. this isn't just -- we're talking a lot about the witnesses and how much we want to hear from witnesses. But at the end of the day, documents are critical as well.

COOPER: That was one of the gives that McConnell gave this morning, which was instead of -- initially he had said all the stuff -- the House evidence is not automatically going to be admitted. He's now changed that and saying somebody can object to it being admitted but otherwise it will be admitted, which is really --

SHIELDS: There's one -- you would know better than me on this. But there was an issue that came up before. The House of Representatives sent over an official document that's sort of the case, and then some of the managers started talking about things that weren't in it.

And so there was a question raised that should the chief justice not rule that out of order because, wait a minute, you're talking about Lev Parnas and they're sort of going off on their political arguments that aren't a part of the case that the House Democrats put together, which is at the heart of what this problem is.

The House Democrats created a case without calling these witnesses or getting these documents. They claim they had a bunch of reasons, but the fact is they didn't. They didn't do it.

WILLIAMS: There's a big reason the president didn't allow them.

SHIELDS: But Schiff was just arguing -- but they could have gone to court. And Schiff was just arguing.

WILLIAMS: Oh, come on.

SHIELDS: Schiff was just arguing. He was bragging. We went to court over Don McGahn and we won in court. Well, that's very interesting. What an amazing tactic that is. The House had the responsibility to put this together.

You said this was different from Clinton. I worked for Newt Gingrich during the Clinton impeachment. Mr. Schumer argued during the Clinton impeachment against witnesses and against new documents because it had been handled in the House who had the responsibility for it.


SHIELDS: My point is, back to this thing, I think that this may be a way for Schumer to try and say, we want to talk about things that weren't -- listen, as long as we share it with both people, we can talk about it.

WILLIAMS: I don't want to play the game of talking about who said what in 1999 because that is a game that every Republican --

SHIELDS: But both managers have done that tonight. Both sides have actually --

WILLIAMS: The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee --

COLLINS: Can I point out that argument about they should go to the courts to resolve this? That actually contradicts what the DOJ has been arguing when they've been saying that they want to get -- they're trying to essentially avoid these subpoenas. DOJ attorneys have been saying actually it's not up to the courts to resolve this dispute. They should work it out on their own.

And that's actually not what Jay Sekulow and the president's other attorneys were arguing. They were saying, look, you actually really wanted these people, you would have let the courts resolve it and let it be a judicial decision. But that's not what we've been seeing argued by DOJ attorneys.

WILLIAMS: You can't compare 1999 to now given the fact that President Clinton didn't walk in the door from the first day and say I'm not going to comply with this, we're not going to make --

SHIELDS: Also, Ken Starr had eight criminal referrals, so that's a whole other --


COOPER: -- Senator McConnell said back in 1999 at the Clinton impeachment trial. Keep in mind what the senators have been saying about hearing from witnesses. This time around, this is to Mike's point that both sides have been doing this sort of stuff. Do we have that?


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): My view was that we were entitled to witnesses. I voted for live witnesses myself. I voted for the one live witness the House asked for. And I voted to allow the videotaping of the witnesses that they asked for.

In addition to that, we had as the Democrats continually reminded us, a mountain of evidence in the independent counsel's report. I think we had enough information to make a decision. I think it was overwhelmingly clear what happened here.


COOPER: Again, different case, different time, different argument.

SHIELDS: Look, both sides have switched on these things and the public that doesn't have their feet in concrete, partisans on each side sees that for what it is. These are all politicians. They switch sides when it's convenient. This is all about the election. It's a big partisan thing about the election.

POWERS: But the Democrats didn't really switch sides because there were witnesses in the House. So it's not the same thing. There aren't witnesses this time. It's a different situation. I don't agree that you should have to get a court order to get the president to comply.

COOPER: Mike, do you agree that the strategy by the Trump administration of just a blanket, non-cooperation, is different than 1999, is different than what has happened where Ronald Reagan telling people just to go up and testify?

SHIELDS: Yeah, look, I mean -- yeah, I think there are some circumstances that are different. It's a successful strategy. I mean, this is a legal --

COOPER: No doubt.

SHIELDS: -- strategy and every defense lawyer will tell you that every -- their job is to defend their client and to come up with things until someone tells them they can't do it to defend their client.

COOPER: In successful governing strategy, if the House has a role here, Congress has a role here, if in the future --

SHIELDS: There's always -- there were things that the Obama administration fought over with Republicans in Congress.

COOPER: Right, but those were specific things as oppose to --

WILLIAMS: No presidential administration in history, Obama, Clinton, Bush, Carter, whatever, has taken the position, the blanket position that number one executive privilege applies to every single word that's ever said.

POWERS: Even though it's never been invoked.

WILLIAMS: It's never been invoked. Go ahead.

GERGEN: Well, the other point is the cover ups don't work. Ultimately they come unravelled. Bolton is going to write a book. You know, do you think he's going to leave some stuff out? That would really help to sell the book, and he probably knows things that won't be helpful to the president. I think there's probably a good chance of that.

COOPER: The question is though --

GERGEN: In the short term. Cover ups can work in the short term. In the long term, they tend not to work.

COOPER: I'm not sure. Bolton, I find fascinating. Again, it seems like Democrats are putting a lot of faith in thinking they know what he is going to say just because he called it a drug deal. If he wants -- I mean, you can take a cynical view and say, well, look, who is he doing this book for?

Is he wanting mass audiences to buy this or is he wanting a conservative audience to buy this, that he's going to go on the conservative lecture circuit and have a perch on Fox News as the savior of the president who wanted to testify, wasn't able to, and then wrote a book -- GERGEN: Right now, as a conservative, writing a good book, you've got a good chance to be number one.

COOPER: Well, yeah.

COLLINS: But also when he talked about the drug deal, he said Mulvaney and Sondland. He didn't say the president.


COLLINS: And so I do think people are hesitant that he may be ready to spill the beans on the president. Don't forget, he is still raising money for Republicans. However, some people have said that Mick Mulvaney and Mike Pompeo could be potential targets for John Bolton.

POWERS: Another thing on the witnesses though that I think shows a lack of seriousness for the Republicans is this kind of retaliatory witness, right? This idea that if you get your witnesses, then we're going to bring in people that have really nothing to do with this. We're going to bring in Hunter Biden that has nothing to do with the case that they're actually arguing.

SHIELDS: Yeah, I think that that's a --

POWERS: That's not how it's supposed to be. You're supposed to bring people in who can add something that is germane to the case at hand.


SHIELDS: The reason I like it is it is kind of punk rock because it is --


SHIELDS: -- a recognition of the farce of the entire thing.


SHIELDS: And so the Democrats try to wear this mantle of a sort of being respectful when the entire thing is political from the very beginning on their behalf, which is why Senator Schumer knows he's going to lose all these things and he wants to get every record -- every senator on record as you stated.

COOPER: By the way, what I love, when I look at you, I think punk rock --


COOPER: You are representing punk rock here back from the mud club. They just got called to order. It was supposed to be five-minute break. It was about a 20-minute break. But it is just being called to order. They're now going to be starting to talk about this move put forward by Schumer. Let's listen in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Favor. Mr. Cipollone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chief Justice, we are opposed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought that would be the case. Two hours for argument equally divided. You may proceed first.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Senators, the majority leader amended his resolution earlier today to allow the admission of the House record into evidence, though the resolution leaves the record subject to objections. But there is a gaping hole, another gaping hole in the resolution.

The resolution would allow the president to cherry pick documents he has refused to produce to the House and attempt to admit them into evidence here. That would enable the president to use his obstruction not only as a shield to his misconduct, but also as a sword in his defense. That would be patently unfair and wholly improper.

It must not be permitted and that is what the Schumer amendment addresses. The amendment addresses that issue by providing that if any party seeks to admit for the first time here information that was previously subject to subpoena, that party must do a simple and fair thing. It must provide the opposing party all of the other documents responsive to the subpoena.

That is how the law works in America. It is called the rule of completeness. When a selective introduction of evidence distorts facts or sews confusion in a trial, there is a solution. It is to ensure that documents that provide a more complete picture can be introduced to avert such distortions and confusion.

The rule of completeness is rooted in the common sense of evidentiary principle that a fair trial does not permit the parties to selectively introduce evidence in a way that would mislead fact finders. The senators should embrace it as a rule for this trial and the amendment does just that.

This amendment does not in any way limit the evidence the president may introduced during his trial. He should be able to defend himself against the charges against him as every defendant has the right to do around the country.

But this amendment does make sure that he does it in a fair way, and that his obstruction cannot be used as a weapon. It is an amendment based on simple fairness and it will help the Senate and the American people get to the truth.

House managers are not afraid of the evidence, whatever it may be. We want an open process designed to get to the truth no matter whether it helps or hurts our case. That is what the Senate should want and that is what the American people certainly want. This amendment helps that process of getting more evidence so we can get to the truth and we urge you to vote for it. The amendment also addresses another omission in the majority leader's resolution by providing for the proper handling of confidential and classified information for the record. This amendment seeks to balance the public's interest in transparency with the importance of protecting limited sensitive information bearing directly on the case you are trying.

As for confidential information, some of the evidence in this case includes records of phone calls. They establish important patterns of conduct as we explained in the Ukraine impeachment report. But the original phone records including a great deal of more information and context should be available for this body to review if needed in a confidential setting.

It contains personally sensitive information concerning individuals who are not at issue in this trial and would potentially subject them to intrusions of their privacy. The secretary of the Senate has the capacity to handle such material and make it available to you as needed. The amendment allows the privacy interests of many individuals to be protected while allowing senators access to the full record.

As for the classified information that this amendment addresses, there may be several very relevant classified documents. Let me just highlight one in particular. It involves the testimony of the vice president's national security aid, Jennifer Williams, and it concerns a conversation between the vice president and the president of Ukraine. House managers believe that it would be of value to this body to see in trying the case.


SCHIFF: Let me start by saying that we have twice requested that the vice president declassify this document. We have reviewed it and there's no basis to keep it classified. The vice president has not responded. We can only conclude this is an additional effort by the president to conceal wrongdoing from the public. But as it stands now, it remains classified. It must be handled like any other classified document by this body and the amendment would allow that.

But let me just take a moment to go further. The public should see that supplemental testimony as well. That supplemental testimony, that classified testimony, was added to the record by the vice president's aide because she believed I think on further reflection that it would shed additional light than what she had said publicly. And you should see it. You should evaluate it for what it has to say. But what's more so should the American people.

And so I would urge not only that you support this amendment to make sure that you can handle the classified information, there's a mechanism for it and the personally identifiable information that need not be public, but also information that is improperly classified, that bears and sheds light on your decision, should be accessible to you and should be accessible to the American people. And I reserve the balance of our time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice. Mr. Philbin and then Mr. Sekulow.


PATRICK PHILBIN, DEPUTY COUNSEL AND DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Mr. Chief Justice, members of the Senate, the president opposes this amendment, and I can be brief in explaining why. This amendment would say that any subpoena that was issued pursuant to the House's impeachment inquiry, that's any subpoena that they issued at all, becomes defined as a duly authorized subpoena for purposes of this amendment.

And as we've explained several times today, because the House began this inquiry without taking a vote, it never authorized any of its committees to issue subpoenas pursuant to the impeachment power. The first 23 subpoenas at a minimum that the House committees issued were all unauthorized, and that is why the Trump administration did not respond to them and did not comply with them.

That was explained in a letter of October 18th from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to Chairman Schiff and others. That is a legal infirmity in those subpoenas. There has never been an impeachment inquiry initiated by the House of Representatives against a president of the United States without it being authorized by a vote of the full House.

And this is a principle that the Supreme Court has made clear in cases such as United States v. Rumely, that no committee of Congress can exercise authority assigned by the Constitution to the chamber itself, to the House or the Senate, without being delegated that authority by the House or the Senate.

And in Rumely, the court explained that determining the validity of a subpoena requires "construing the scope of the authority which the House of Representatives gave to the committee." So this is a legal issue and infirmity in those subpoenas. And this amendment proposes to do away with that legal infirmity by defining all their subpoenas as duly authorized. We do not support that amendment.

In addition to that, I just want to respond briefly to Chairman Schiff's description of the rule of completeness. This is not about the rule of completeness. The rule of completeness has to do with -- if a particular document or particular piece of evidence is misleading in itself, that document, there's something specific about it, that there's another response on the e-mail chain, something like that, that particular document has some specific thing attached to it, that that should also come into evidence.

Since all evidentiary motions are being preserved, objections can be made later. Evidentiary arguments under the underlying resolution can be made. The rule of completeness can be argued. There's no need for that to do this amendment because this amendment doesn't have anything to do with the rule of completeness. With that, I'll yield the remainder of my time to Mr. Sekulow.

JAY SEKULOW, OUTSIDE LEGAL COUNSEL FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. Mr. Chief Justice, members of the Senate, I'll be brief. This resolution, which the amendment which we oppose and Mr. Philbin just said, is in essence an unconstitutional attempt to cure a defect, a defect in their own proceeding. To be clear, we are reserving our objections as it relates to hearsay, which is what the record primarily consists of.

I also want to respond very briefly to what Manager Schiff said regarding the proceedings in the House of Representatives and lack of agency counsel. He said it's much like a grand jury.


SEKULOW: He best be glad and the members of his committee best be glad that it's not like a grand jury. Because if it was a grand jury and information was leaked, which was consistently throughout this process, they could be subject to felony. I want to be clear, utilizing this amendment to cure a constitutional defect, that's what this is, is exactly what we have been arguing about now for almost 11 hours.

It's changing the rules, different rules. I can't determine if we are dealing with a trial, a pre-trial motion. We have now spent 11 hours arguing about something that we'll be arguing again next week. The idea that you can cure in three paragraphs constitutional defects doesn't pass constitutional muster. We yield the rest of our time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: House managers have 54 minutes remaining.

SCHIFF: First of all, counsel makes the argument once again that the subpoenas the president gets to decide which are valid and which invalid, any subpoena the president doesn't like, he may simply declare invalid and that's the end of the story.

Therefore, it is invalid and no documents are required and no witnesses need show up. And therefore, you don't need to consider whether the president should be able to gain the system by showing you a handful of documents to mislead you and deprive you of seeing all of the other documents relevant to that same subject.

That's their argument. President didn't like the way the subpoenas were issued even the court already ruled on this issue and said no, Mr. President, you don't get to decide whether a subpoena is valid or not in an impeachment proceeding. That's the sole responsibility of the House.

No, I guess they would suggest you the president would never mislead you about documents. If they seek to introduce something, you can be assured that that document tells the complete truth. We already know you can place no such reliance on the president. How do we know this? You have already seen it.

Look what they did in response to the Freedom of Information Act request. They blacked out all the incriminating information. They blacked out the -- we can't represent anymore that we're going to be able to spend this money in time. We can't represent that we're not going to be in violation of the law, the Impoundment Act. They redact that. Is that what you want in the trial for them to be to introduce one part of an e-mail chain and not show you the rest?

You want to be able to have a situation with the president who has withheld all these documents from you, can introduce a document that suggests a benign explanation but not the reply that confirms the corrupt explanation? That's what we're really talking about here.

Now, they clothe this in the argument, well, we don't think these were dually authorized subpoenas. We are merely categorizing the universe of documents. They should turn over if they want to turn over selective documents. Let them call them unduly authorized, if they will. The point is that the documents that are called for should not be cherry picked by White House that has already shown such a deliberate intent to deceive.

Finally, counsel says they can't tell whether we're dealing with a trial here. You know something? Neither can we. If they're confused, they are confused for a good reason, because this doesn't look like any other trial that they're used to and people watching, they are confused, too, because they would think if this was a trial, there would be no debate about whether the party with the burden of proof can call witnesses. Of course, they can. Of course, they can.

The defendant doesn't get to decide who the prosecution calls as a witness. If you are confused, so is the public. They want this to look like a regular trial. And it should. That's been the history of this body. That's been the history of this body.

I know it's late but I have to tell you it doesn't have to be late. We don't control the schedule here. We're not deciding we want to carry on through the evening. We don't get to decide the schedule. There's a reason why we are still here at five till midnight.


SCHIFF: There's a reason why we are here from five till midnight. That's because they don't want the American people to see what's going on here. They're hoping people are asleep. You know a lot of people are asleep right now, all over the country, because it's midnight! Now, maybe in my state of California, people are still awake and watching.

But is this really what we should be doing when we're deciding the fate of a presidency? We should be doing this in the midnight hour? You know, the -- I started out the day asking whether there could be a fair trial and expressing the skepticism I think the country feels about whether that's possible. How much they want to believe this is possible. But I have to say, watching now at bed night this effort to hide this in the dead of night cannot be encouraging to them about whether there will be a fair trial. I yield back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The majority leader is recognized.

MCCONNELL: I have a motion at the desk to table the amendment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there a sufficient second? The clerk will call the role.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Alexander. Ms. Baldwin. Mr. Barrasso. Mr. Bennett. Mrs. Blackburn. Mr. Blumenthal. Mr. Blunt.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, this is something that should be a little bit familiar now during this marathon process. I'm Chris Cuomo. Welcome to a special hour of "Prime Time" because we are in a special period in our collective history. This is the first day of the trial for the articles of impeachment of President Trump.

Now, what this is basically been is a fight over the rules. And the democrats were asked to bundle them in to one big motion. And they said no, each one matters so much, and they believe the Republicans want to hide this, that's why we're doing it in the midnight hour. So they want them individual, they want them known, they want them recorded as such.

Right now, this is something that has become somewhat familiar. It is called a quorum vote. It is taking attendance. What does it do? On one level, it has a ministerial function of making sure everybody who is supposed to be there has to be there.

Remember, this is very unusual. Those senators are in that room without access to devices. You know, none of this. No game playing. They're not supposed to be doing that. They're supposed to be paying attention the entire time, which has been the entire day since -- you know, since everybody can remember.

What will they do during a quorum call? It is a chance to talk. Is Mr. McConnell talking to Mr. Schumer right now? Are they negotiating something? Is something going on? That's what we'll be paying attention to. The reporters have been spelled because, you know, you just can't burn that much energy all the time.

The rest of us are here holding down the shop until this finds its completion. How long will that be? Certainly, we're going to go past the couple of minutes to take us to midnight. It could be an hour or two after that. That may be discussed right now.

Let me bring in Andrew McCabe. Thank you very much. Also, Asha Rangappa, also pedigree with the FBI, law professor at Yale. Thank you both. Andrew, that's what they're doing right now. The hope is -- not just because it's late. This is history. You know, we're lucky to be here and witness to it and helping the American people through it.

The idea of bundling the amendments sounds great from an efficiency standpoint. Yeah, let's do it. But this is about votes, not administration. Why does it matter for the Democrats to do each tactically? ANDREW MCCABE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The Democrats have executed this strategy over the better part of the day because they are trying to essentially draw a line underneath each and every one of these amendments.

They want all those senators and the American public who are watching to see how strongly they feel about each one of these witnesses that they want to appear, and each one of these bundles of documents that they believe should have been turned over to them, and they're now asking the Senate to subpoena in this trial.

The Republicans, on the other side of this issue, would prefer to bunch all those things together and dispose of it.

CUOMO: And each one of these votes thus far has been down the party line, 53-47. Now, Asha, another obvious reason, this isn't about the law, this is the practice of politics and the kind of conflation with law is this is the minority leader, Schumer.