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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Senate Approves Monday Closing Arguments, Final Vote Wednesday; Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) is Interviewed about the Impeachment Trial; NY Times: President Trump Told Bolton To Help His Ukraine Pressure Campaign; President Trump Denies That Happened; Senate Approves Monday Closing Arguments; Final Vote Wednesday; Ambassador Yovanovitch Retires From The State Department. Aired on 8-9p ET

Aired January 31, 2020 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[20:00:17]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.

You've been watching the end to a rather chaotic day on the Senate floor. Proceedings continue 11:00 a.m. Monday. It looks like we have a possible road map to resolve the Senate impeachment trial. It comes in the form of a resolution signed off on by President Trump after speaking with Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

It follows a series of failed votes on Democratic attempts to subpoena witnesses and a stop and start date with a lot of deal making evident on the floor itself.

It also follows a damning new report in "The New York Times" that not only has the President Trump asking John Bolton to aid his pressure campaign on Ukraine back in early May of last year, but puts a member of the president's own defense team, Pat Cipollone, in the room when it happened. The White House is denying the story, which is based on an unpublished manuscript by Bolton.

Tonight, while the president -- while President Trump may be getting the victory he wants in the Senate, it may not come before the deadline he desires, his State of the Union Address on Tuesday.

For more on that and the game plan ahead, we go to Capitol Hill, CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash.

So, Dana, what's next?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: What's next is -- well, first of all, the Senate just adjourned. You're looking at pictures of senators flocking for the doors, going home. And they really started the day not thinking that that was going to happen. But what occurred throughout the whole afternoon was some pretty intense negotiations, first of all, within the Republican caucus, sort of competing desire, some saying, you know, we don't want to just do the final votes tonight, we want to take some time for senators to have conversations, to have statements, to make clear to the constituents why they are voting how they're going to vote. So what happened was, they came up with the deal. And the deal says

that they are going to adjourn for the weekend, they come back on Monday. There will be closing arguments from each side. It will be four hours, so 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday. And then all day Tuesday, senators can do just that. They can make their speeches, they can explain their votes. And then the final votes on the articles of impeachment will be Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.

Now, you might ask, why such a long runway there. Tuesday, there's a state of the union address. The president will be here and the White House really wanted this to be done as quickly as possible. My colleagues have heard that the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, called the president tonight, before finalizing this deal, to make clear to him that he didn't have a choice but to wait until Wednesday, because if they said that they were just going to kind of let the debate go on, Democrats could have pushed it into the State of the Union, which is exactly what the president was trying to avoid.

So this, the Democratic and Republican leader, believe, is the best way to deal with those competing desires. And also the fact that the Iowa caucuses, Anderson, are Monday night. So this also allows the Democratic candidates who are senators to come back and then go back if they can make it.

Or maybe even -- in some cases, not come back at all. That will depend on the person.

COOPER: Is there any discussion at this point about, I mean, what happens next in terms of -- I mean, the House trying to get witnesses, trying to get John Bolton? Somebody trying to get John Bolton, any pursuit of documents. Or is this just done?

BASH: Great question. You know, they -- the house managers and in particular, the lead House manager, Adam Schiff, who would be the person who would likely be the one who would try to subpoena John Bolton in the House, he wouldn't -- he hasn't gone there. He wouldn't go there at all. He said over and over again, I'm not even going to discuss plan "B" until the impeachment trial is over.

Well, the desire that he and other -- and Democrats had to get John Bolton as a witness, that died today, first in the big vote on witnesses, which was 51-49, against witnesses. And then we just had a series of amendments just before your program started, where Democrats just kind of threw out some last-ditch efforts to get him to testify, and those, of course, all failed along the same lines.

So the answer to that question is, that is a big question that we don't have an answer to, that Adam Schiff and other House Democratic leaders are going to be contending with, especially as we see and hear more from this book that John Bolton is going to put out there. And again, he raised his hand to testify in the Senate. We don't know what it means when the trial is over and House Democrats are going to want to hear from him under oath.

COOPER: Yes. Dana Bash, stay with us.

I want to bring in S.E. Cupp, Kirsten Powers, Jeffrey Toobin, Carl Bernstein, Rick Santorum and Alan Frumin.

Alan, you're the parliamentarian, the expert on this. Can you explain in layman terms what just happened? Because obviously a lot of people didn't expect this.

[20:05:00]

ALAN FRUMIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What just happened was the Senate being the Senate. The Senate has its standing rules and the Senate has impeachment rules.

And the Senate has never put much effort in making those rules comprehensible. They don't want people to understand them. They want people like me to have a career.

And so, the impeachment rules basically authorized the Senate to act by majority vote. This is the distinction between its impeachment rules and its standing rules. But it doesn't really say how the majority goes about setting the ground rules for any particular impeachment trial.

This has always been done in the past by some degree of political consensus. This impeachment trial is the first such trial where there has been either no or very little bipartisan consensus. And so, figuring out the rules of the road has been a very difficult process of horse trading.

And this is what you saw. The original resolution that was adopted two weeks ago got us to the point of voting on whether or not to have second votes on authorizing subpoenas. After that, it was a jump ball.

COOPER: Jeff Toobin, are you surprised that it's gone down this road?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, let's -- you know, the scheduling, frankly, I don't think saw that important. What's important is the Senate's most solemn obligation to act as a court of impeachment, they have seen a witness who has evidence on the single-most important issue in the trial, that no one knows precisely what he would say.

Although there have been leaks. He's given speeches, he's given a book -- and he's got a book that's leaking out bit by bit. And the United States Senate said, we do not want to hear that evidence.

That is a shocking disgrace that will haunt this Senate for decades. The fact that they didn't hear John Bolton's testimony before voting on impeachment is an historic, historic disgrace in the history of this body. And, you know, good luck to them.

COOPER: Carl Bernstein?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's even worse, because the violence done to the Constitution by Mitch McConnell and these craven Republicans who have now established a precedent in which the president of the United States can do almost anything without being held accountable, the balance, the checks and balances that have been the basis of our republic, if we can keep it, have now been perhaps, probably, obliterated to some extent by what McConnell has allowed.

He is party not only to leading his troops into a cover-up with the president of the United States, he has trampled the most basic prerogatives of the Senate that he supposedly loves, capitulated so that the executive, be it a Democrat, be it a Republican from here henceforth, can do what he wishes and to restrain him is going to be much more difficult than ever in our history.

COOPER: S.E. Cupp, is it that bad?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENATOR: Well, look, you know, if you believe that impeachment is a political act fundamentally, then there was always going to be a political price to pay. Who was going to pay the bill for this? And I think there's a short-term bill, and we'll have to see if Trump ends up paying the price for this right now or Democrats do, then there's a medium term bill that comes in 2020, when we have to see if this affects the election.

But the long-term bill, who pays that? That's real clear, because the attention span and memory of history is a lot longer than Donald Trump's. And history will remember this moment correctly. And the correct memory of this is that Republicans, the Republican Party of Trump, let this president lead them by the nose around the Constitution, just so they could keep their jobs instead of doing their jobs. So that he could keep his job, instead of them doing their jobs.

History will not be unclear about what happened today, despite whatever immediate gratification Republicans believe they're getting by defending a corrupt president, who by their own accounts, has abused his power.

COOPER: I want to hear from Senator Rick Santorum and then I want to hear from Kirsten.

Senator, what do you make of what S.E. just said?

RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's probably not going to shock you that I don't agree with any of the comments that were just made. And can I tell you back in 1999, we were hearing similar things from Republican pundits who said that this was the end of impeachment. That someone who was admittedly, you know, would have been convicted of a crime, a serious crime, lying under oath and trying to disrupt an investigation by having witnesses lie.

[20:10:01]

I mean, so I've heard the same things. And I don't think it had long- term constitutional impact. I don't think this will, either. I think this will be seen in history for what it was, which was a rush to impeachment without doing the work that was necessary to actually have a successful impeachment.

CUPP: But, Senator --

COOPER: Let him finish. SANTORUM: Just let me finish.

In Watergate, had a group of Democrats decided, they saw something that President Nixon did and decided to rush and get an impeachment, they probably would have been unsuccessful and maybe Richard Nixon could have survived. But that's not what happened. What happened was, that they took the time, they did the work, they did their due diligence, they brought consensus.

And if this shows anything between 1979 and 2020, is that partisan impeachments are not going to be successful and will do damage to the country.

COOPER: Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, the problem with that is that it suggests that if the Democrats would have gone more slowly, this would have been a bipartisan impeachment. And I'm sure Rick Santorum doesn't even believe that. There's no scenario where Republicans were going to go -- do anything against the president.

And the thing is, it's true. Some of them are trying to save their own seats, but you know, a lot of them aren't up for re-election for quite some time. So this is --

COOPER: Which is the whole idea of the Senate, by having six-year terms, that you're not --

POWERS: It's supposed to be this sort of cooling mechanism, right? And here you have people who won't go against Donald Trump because he has so re-made this party in his image that it is now the party of Donald Trump and they won't do anything, you know, facts be damned, to go against him.

And so the real focus has been on process, that they didn't like the process. But something really terrible has happened here. And to focus on process rather than focusing on the fact that you have somebody like John Bolton who could testify. And frankly, I wish we could put Pat Cipollone under oath, as well, right? Because, I mean, he's a witness.

And, you know, they've been standing up there saying a lot of things that aren't true. And that that isn't troublesome to these Republican senators, to even compare it also to the Clinton thing, I'm sorry, it's just not the same thing.

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: With all due respect, Kirsten, what you all have been arguing since we've been on this show is just process. You're saying, they wouldn't call a witness. They trampled the Constitution. Process matters.

What the House did was, in my mind, a travesty. You can make the argument and you have that the Senate should have heard it. And there's certainly a reason we're going to do it.

But this was -- as they say in law, the taint of the poisonous tree. That's what we have here and that's what we had here and it's bad scene the whole way through.

COOPER: Is there anything in your mind to prevent the president from tomorrow calling up Zelensky and saying, let's do it again now, let's get this going, announce an investigation, or calling on China or any other country? I mean, is there any guardrail now?

SANTORUM: I think there is a guardrail. And look, I think you -- number one, the president was impeached for doing this. And a big part of the country was -- is not happy that the president did that and a lot of them wanted witnesses.

So I think anybody who walks away with this thinking that the president just sort of got a hall pass to do whatever it is I think is absurd.

COOPER: Do you really believe that the president feels chastened or apologetic? I mean --

SANTORUM: No, what you're going to see, you've already seen it from some of the statements from Republican senators, you'll see a lot more on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. You're going to see Republicans, some will defend -- unequivocally will defend the president.

But a lot are not going to do that. A lot are going to come down where Lamar Alexander and Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey have come down and be very critical of the president.

CUPP: But to what end, Senator? I mean, to what effect? The scolding seems to be for posterity, because this president has said multiple times over, he did nothing wrong. He, in fact, did the thing he's accused of in public, telling China and Ukraine to go ahead and investigate his political rival, on camera.

So if the effect of impeachment is not only to prevent future presidents from behaving this way, but the current one, what proof do you have that he won't try to crime again?

SANTORUM: I would align with what Lamar Alexander said. Look, the president saying those things I think was improper. I don't think he should have been encouraging other people to do it. But that doesn't mean that you give him the death penalty. There's other things you can do to a president other than kill him, remove him from office and banning him from running in the next election --

COOPER: I understand, but what can you? Like what is to stop him from doing it again?

SANTORUM: There's all sorts of things --

COOPER: Other than conscience or a sense of shame, but I don't think he has a sense of shame.

BERNSTEIN: Rick, your Republican history is wrong.

SANTORUM: There will be more investigations. There will be more congressional resolutions passed. There may be, you know, if he does it again, there might be a censure, there might be another impeachment. Who knows?

The idea that the Congress is going to sit there and if the president does -- if don't think he will, but if he does, that the Congress will sit there and benignly allow the president to do it is ridiculous.

(CROSSTALK)

[20:15:06]

POWERS: But the problem is, he hasn't apologized for it, he hasn't said he did anything wrong. Like bill Clinton did. So why would we think that he's going to change, Rick? That doesn't make any sense. I mean, Bill Clinton actually apologized --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: If that was the perfect call, why not have more perfect calls?

POWERS: Yes, it just doesn't make sense why --

CUPP: And now he knows that Republicans in Congress are going to defend him to the end. So there's literally no reason for him, no incentive for him to not do this or worse again.

COOPER: Especially coming up close to an election, now you know you can do anything close to an election and nobody will do anything, because it's close to an election.

BERNSTEIN: This is about Republicans. And what rick just said about what happened in Watergate with Republicans is absolutely not what happened. What happened is throughout the process in Watergate, there were open-minded Republicans, they favored Richard Nixon through most of the process, from beginning to end, there were open-minded Republicans looking for the truth, who wanted to see the president of the United States held accountable if he had done what was alleged. But they were open to it from the beginning and what --

COOPER: Wait, hold on. I've got to get a break in.

BERNSTEIN: -- was what the president had done.

COOPER: OK, I got to get this break in.

Still lots to discuss to what we saw tonight, where it's going to take us next.

Also just ahead, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy joins us to break down what all the votes add up to and what happens next.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:20:43]

COOPER: Hours before the Senate vote calling -- vote against calling witnesses, "The New York Times" dropped another damning article, this one according to an unpublished manuscript by John Bolton. The report, which the White House denies, says that the president asked Bolton to aid his pressure campaign in Ukraine back in early May of last year. A number of top advisers to the president were also reportedly at that meeting.

At the top of his remarks, after arguments began today, Congressman Adam Schiff noted that one of the participants was someone who sat a few feet away from him during these proceedings, White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Mr. Trump gave the instruction that Mr. Bolton wrote during an Oval Office conversation in early May that included the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and, the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, who is now leading the president's impeachment defense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Cipollone has obviously been front and center of the proceedings. Yesterday, he called the House manager's theory of the case, quote, incoherent, and bashed Schiff for, quote, falsely accusing, unquote, members of the Trump administration.

With me now, Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy.

Senator Murphy, in this new schedule, closing arguments expected Monday followed by a final vote on Wednesday, where does it go from here?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Well, the Senate Republicans have decided to speed this trial to a conclusion without any witnesses. We gave them a variety of options this evening. We were able to force votes on not only witness testimony from the four witnesses we requested, but a vote on Bolton alone, a vote on an expedited process to get Bolton before the Senate, and a vote on giving the power to the chief justice to decide which witnesses would come before the body. Republicans did say "no" to all of those.

And so, given the fact that Mitch McConnell is so tightly controlling his caucus, we now are going to move towards debate in a final vote. I think it's a really, really sad day for the country that the Senate has, you know, turned into basically an instrument of the president's cover-up, and that's, I think, real damaging to us in the long run.

COOPER: You know, we heard the argument from Republican Senator Lamar Alexander. Do you think there are going to be a lot of other senators what actually critique or at least, you know, mildly criticize the president's actions? And then say, yet, I didn't think it was an impeachable offense? Or do you think most of them are going to just remain silent on it and just say it wasn't impeachable offense?

MURPHY: You know, I've been struggling all day to figure out what I think of Senator Alexander's argument, because I think there will be other Republican senators who will mirror it. On one hand, it scares me to death, because Senator Alexander is saying, I believe that this corruption happened. I believe that the president bullied a foreign power into interfering in our elections and I just don't care. I don't think that there's anything that Congress can do about it. That scares me to death.

On the other hand, I appreciate the fact that Senator Alexander recognizes the truth, that he actually stipulates what the facts have shown during the trial. And as scared as I am about the threat that Trump presents to the country, I'm also scared that if we don't believe in facts anymore, I'm not sure how we run a government.

And so, to the extent that other senators on the Republican side make that same argument, I think there'll be a part of it that scares me and a part of it that gives me some consolation that we at least can agree on fact sets moving into the future.

COOPER: Right, there was certainly more consolation if the president himself did not continue to insist that this was a perfect phone call. Are there -- this is something we were just discussing and frankly have been talking about all day. I mean, what is to -- in your mind, anything to prevent the president from doing this tomorrow? To calling up Zelensky again or calling up China or calling up, you know, Russia or anybody else he wants and trying to get them to announce investigations into the Bidens?

MURPHY: Well, I mean, the answer is, clearly, there's nothing to stop him from continuing to do it. And what we know is he's been engaged in that same kind of corruption during the trial, during the impeachment process. In December, he sent Giuliani back to Ukraine, back to Europe to dig up dirt on the Bidens.

[20:25:02]

And as we heard testimony, he wasn't, you know, he hadn't gotten to the gate yet of the airport back in the United States when Trump was calling him up to ask him what he got on the Bidens.

This is all going to continue. And it's frankly an invitation for future presidents to engage in the same kind of behavior.

What I've said to my Republican friends from the beginning, is that today you might secretly celebrate that the dirt is being dug up on Democratic presidential candidates, but it's going to be you some day. It's going to be a Democrat digging up dirt on a Republican if we let him get away with this.

COOPER: What do you think of John Bolton at this point? I mean, how he has -- I don't know, I mean, I guess -- I mean, things from his book have leaked out. We don't know who's responsible for that. He was speaking and, you know, gave some tantalizing remarks at a paid speech behind closed doors apparently yesterday.

Do you -- do you want the House to get Ambassador Bolton on the record? Do you expect his book to actually come out? Do you expect the White House to try to squash it?

MURPHY: Well, A, he's no hero. He could have testified before the House of Representatives. He didn't have to contest that subpoena. He wasn't currently working in the White House.

Fiona Hill, his deputy, testified. She's not in jail today. So there's no reason that he had to wait until his book was written in order to tell this story.

B, yes, the House should bring him before the body. I don't think the proper forum for his story coming out is his book release. So, one way or the other, at least the House has to get him back before the body.

But the story he seems to be telling is entirely consistent with all the facts that we have heard already. And so it appears, from what we know, that he has telling the truth. He could have told that truth back in November or December. And if he had, we might be in a very different place than we are today, with only a couple Republicans willing to vote with us on anything as we move this process forward.

COOPER: Senator Murphy, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

MURPHY: Thanks.

COOPER: Coming up, more about today's twists and turns in the impeachment trial.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:31:29]

COOPER: "The New York Times" earlier today revealed some new revelations in John Bolton's book. According to "The New York Times," "More than two months before he asked Ukraine's president to investigate his political opponents, President Trump directed John R. Bolton, then his national security adviser, to help with his pressure campaign to extract damaging information on Democrats from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished man you script by Mr. Bolton."

In the room, as you heard, was President Trump's chief counsel, White House -- Pat Cipollone, White House Counsel, who's been on the Senate floor all week arguing against witnesses, as well as Mulvaney was there, as well as Giuliani.

Back with us, our political and legal team. Senator Santorum, I mean, you ran for president and narrowly beat Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucus eight years ago. I'm wondering what you make of him and Susan Collins voting with Democrats to call witnesses, obviously failed. They knew it was going to fail, but they wanted to get on the record anyway.

SANTORUM: Well, look, I think, you know, Susan Collins in particular, obviously she's in a very tough race and she's in a state that's, you know, certainly a blue state and has-- and had a pretty independent streak from the entire time she's been in it. This is very typical of her.

Same thing with Lisa Murkowski, I'm not surprised she was one of the last people to decide. As far as Mitt Romney, I mean, I don't know. I'm a little biased. I mean, I had -- I ran a pretty tough race against Mitt in 2012, so I probably should temper my tongue on that one.

COOPER: Let me ask then about Cipollone. I mean, does it -- I mean, now is -- do you consider him a witness in potential -- I mean, should he be coming in for an interview?

SANTORUM: Well, I guess, you know, from what I understand, you know, at least the two people that have spoken about it said that that meeting didn't happen. I don't know -- Pat has obviously not made a comment as to whether he was at a meeting of that sort. So the answer is that's an allegation. I assume there are records of the White House as to who's in meetings with the President. And so I think that's just a matter of --

COOPER: We're not allowed to see those.

SANTORUM: -- again, doing the investigative work.

BERNSTEIN: There also was a witness and then we can't have that witness come in under oath as part of this investigation. Let's talk about Mr. Cipollone for just one minute and how extraordinary this is.

What has been alleged and what Bolton can give some real context to may be somewhat exculpatory in terms of the President, maybe condemnatory in terms of the President. But what he is alleging here is essentially a conspiracy. And what this is all about is a conspiracy to engage a foreign power to interfere in our elections.

And at the heart of that conspiracy, at a crucial moment, according to what Bolton has said today, was the counsel to the President of the United States. And therefore, also part of the cover-up if, indeed, what Bolton is alleging, is accurate. And has the counsel said anything about recusing himself? Is this the kind of thing, Jeffrey, that the legal community, the bar, ought to look at?

TOOBIN: Well, Jerry Nadler --

BERNSTEIN: Should it be sanctioned if true?

TOOBIN: -- one of the House managers actually raised this issue even before this trial and said that Cipollone should not be representing --

COOPER: Because he was a material fact witness.

TOOBIN: Because he was a material fact witness. And this was before that the story of this particular meeting came out. You know, I'm not ready to condemn Pat Cipollone yet.

BERNSTEIN: I don't know. We need to know the facts.

TOOBIN: Well, that's just it. I mean, this is just --

BERNSTEIN: And Bolton has them.

TOOBIN: -- yet another example of why it was inappropriate to have this vote and why it's inappropriate to end this trial before we inquired to all the facts.

[20:35:02]

Did this meeting take place? There's now a factual dispute about this meeting, as I think you pointed out, there are records of who's in the Oval Office. What was said in that meeting? There may be different accounts, but it certainly seems like what was said was relevant to the issue of whether the President should be impeached.

All of that should have been aired out before the senators voted. I mean, this is no joke. This is a very serious national event. You know, the accusation against the President is incredibly serious that he abused his power as president by, you know, pressuring a foreign -- you know, a foreign head of state for his political benefit and the Senate just sort of blew it off. They didn't even look into it. And the Cipollone thing is one corner of it, but only a corner of why it should have been --

POWERS: But the other thing is that -- what happens so often is that there is -- so John Bolton is willing to come and testify, right? So he's willing to actually go under oath about the story that he's telling. The people who are saying it didn't happen will not go under oath.

And this is something that we've seen over and over and over where they will come out and say that when you have diplomats coming and testifying under oath that they're not telling the truth. But then the people who are saying it didn't happen won't go under oath and say the same thing. So that's why I'm inclined to believe John Bolton, because this is a person who said, I'm willing to go under oath and I'm willing to testify that this is what happen.

SANTORUM: You guys are creating -- with all due respect, you're creating a false dichotomy here. The idea that John Bolton could easily go up to the Senate and give testimony is, of course, not true because the White House will go to court and block him.

POWERS: But he's willing to do it, is my point.

SANTORUM: Just like they would have gone to court and be -- just like it would go to court -- well, there are serious national security implications for having someone who's a national security adviser. And there's clear constitutional protections the President has with regard to that, which can and should be litigated. So this idea that, oh, well, he could just go up and testify because he wants to, either way, whether the House called him or the Senate called him, there is going to be a court battle.

POWERS: Rick, he's willing to do it.

SANTORUM: And here's my --

POWERS: And he's could -- he also could do it behind closed doors with members of Congress. I mean, you know that you can actually --

SANTORUM: No, he couldn't.

POWERS: You can talk about national security issues with members of Congress, assuming, assuming that it's even true that this is covered by executive privilege, which by the way, has never been invoked.

TOOBIN: Rick, your position is, you can investigate the President for obstruction of justice because he's still obstructing justice.

BERNSTEIN: And there's a trial going on, Rick. And there's a method --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Let Rick respond.

SANTORUM: If the White House is going to object, they have a constitutional basis to do so. It needs to be litigated as it has been throughout the course of the history of this country, not by the Senate impeachment or not by the chief justice. It's litigated in court and probably at the Supreme Court and that takes time.

And what the senators are saying is, the House had an obligation to do that. Don't lay this on us. If you want to make your case, make the case and do the work before you send it to us.

TOOBIN: And today, in court, as Adam Schiff pointed out, the White House is saying, we don't -- we're not going to let witnesses testify. The case is no good. You should impeach if you don't like it.

SANTORUM: That's not -- they said they had -- what they said, if you read the transcript, is they had plenty of remedies available to them, ultimately impeachment, but they talked about appropriations. They talked about, you know, hearings. They talked about a lot of different things they could do.

BERNSTEIN: This is not about appropriations.

COOPER: All right, everybody stick around. I got to get a quick break. Just ahead, we're going to check in at the White House for reaction there to tonight's developments in the impeachment trial.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:42:15]

COOPER: President Trump will not get his reported wish to be acquitted in his impeachment trial before the State of the Union speech before Congress next Tuesday. Let's see how that's playing tonight at the White House. I want to go to CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta. Jim, the new schedule, final vote on Wednesday, I knew we've got some new reporting about how the White House is feeling about it?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I mean, I think they're resigned to this fact at this point. I talked to a White House official earlier this evening who described their feelings as -- they see this as truly workable. I think they see the end in sight and they're relieved by all of that.

Also, we know, Anderson, that the President and the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talked about some of this timing and that the President signed off on all of this. That, obviously, is going to raise some eyebrows among Democrats that the Senate Majority Leader was talking to the President about this.

But, Anderson, the other thing we should point out, you know, you were talking about these revelations with John Bolton, there's a lot of time between now and next Wednesday, plenty of time for more revelations to come out in John Bolton's book.

I talked to a White House official earlier today about this who said, no, we're not concerned about this. It's basically boiled down to a he said/they said, is how this White House official described it.

But I was talking to a GOP official up on Capitol Hill who's been in touch with both White House officials and these Republican senators who have been on the hot seat who said this is a gamble. And if revelations come out after the President is formally acquitted, that could become a very big political problem if not for the President, but for these Republican senators who are vulnerable in some of these states out there where it could be a very tight race later on this fall.

COOPER: But the State of the Union is Tuesday night, correct? I mean, that's definite?

ACOSTA: That's right, yes. At this point, there are no plans to change the State of the Union. That was part of the timetable that the Senate Majority Leader and the President talked about. And I will tell you, Anderson, one of the things that this White House was envisioning was an acquittal tonight. They wanted the President to have a victory lap beginning tonight.

And rolling into Sunday with the President, you know, sitting down with Fox during the Super Bowl for this interview, and then the Iowa caucuses being on Monday, the White House and the Trump campaign have a lot of counter programming plans coming up on Monday night where they're going to try to get their message out there as these Democratic candidates are going to be out there trying to get caucus goers to their meeting locations in time to support these individual candidate.

The Trump team wanted it to have this sort of rolling victory lap into the State of the Union speech. Obviously, all of that is going to be affected now by this acquittal vote, which presumably will take place on Wednesday. We all know how it's going to play out at this point, but there are still some risks for the President between now and then. If more bombshells come out, you know, buckle your seatbelts, Anderson.

COOPER: Jim Acosta, thanks very much. Back with our political and legal team. Kirsten, if you are Nancy Pelosi or you are Adam Schiff, do you just try to, you know, wait for the election, see what voters do? Do you try to get John Bolton on the record somehow? What do you think the moves are for Democrats?

[20:45:07]

POWERS: I mean, I think, you know, once they've gone down this road, you've got to keep going down this road. I don't think you just suddenly like throw up your hands and say, oh, well, you know, the Senate didn't do what we wanted to do. So if I was them, yes, I would try to get John Bolton under oath, assuming that you can, assuming that, you know. And we have to see, will the President actually invoke executive privilege, for example.

(CROSSTALK)

POWERS: They keep saying that, but he hasn't actually invoked it. And often when a President does invoke it, there are ways to work around it. You can figure out other certain things that we wouldn't be included or would be included.

So I think if I was them, I would move ahead with it because I think that the reason that they did this, I don't think it was for political reasons, actually, I think it's because they felt like when something like this happens, you can't just look the other way. You have a responsibility to hold the president accountable.

COOPER: The other question, of course, is this, and Jeff, you and Carl both know quite a lot about publishing books. I mean, his book is supposed to come out March 17th, I guess. We don't know what the White House is going to do. We don't know how long this classified review is going to be and how Bolton will respond to that.

TOOBIN: Well, he's at their mercy. I mean, I've gone through this pre- publication review process. And you know, based on a Supreme Court case involving a supreme -- a former CIA agent named Frank Snepp, if you publish a book in defiance of a pre-publication review judgment or without, you know, without getting pre-publication review, they don't censor the book, they take all your money away. They do what's called a constructive trust. They just take your money.

And that -- and he's not going to defy the national security counsel. The question is, how long will that review take? And will they actually censor the book to a degree that he doesn't want to publish it?

COOPER: Right. I mean the people who are reviewing it, in the National Security Council, are they under the sway of political --

TOOBIN: They are, apparently, career officials. But the National Security Council is run by the White House and the national security adviser, who is very much a political appointee. How that process is going to work in this extremely high-profile setting, I don't know.

But, I mean, just keep in mind, the White House and the Republican Party succeeded in keeping John Bolton off the witness stand during the trial. At the moment, they are succeeding in keeping his book from being published. Perhaps it will be published on March 17th, and then he will be allowed to go give interviews about it, but it is not clear that he will.

COOPER: We also don't know who is leaking it, and I mean, obviously, there's only a certain number of people who are involved in this process who could be possibly leaking it or leaking details of it. That -- we don't know if the whole thing could leak out at some point.

CUPP: You know, it's a bit of a double-edged sword. I think, yes, Democrats have laid down this gauntlet that the reason -- the stated reason they pursued impeachment was because of a moral obligation and to uphold the constitution. It was their constitutional obligation. I believe that's partly true. I think politics also played a part in it as well, because some Democrats admitted they were hoping to impeach the President before even all the evidence came out.

But now that they've laid this gauntlet down, if he keeps doing what he's been accused of or if more revelations come out of Bolton's book or anyone else's book, and we have, you know, ceased to be surprised at all the corners that these revelations keep coming out of, then it's a double-edged sword.

They have to pursue it in a way because they've said it's important to, they've said they must. But on the other side, do they want to keep losing, losing to Trump in this sort of game of chicken. Do they want to keep losing coming up to an election?

COOPER: Also, Senator Santorum, you know, just from the Democratic side, they have Iowa on Monday. They've got New Hampshire coming up. And are they really going to want this to be still the thing that is being talked about? They want to clearly get momentum, certainly the candidates do and I guess the rest of the Democrats do. Do you think this helps or hurts Democrats if they keep pursuing this, witness subpoenas and so on?

SANTORUM: I think that the Democrats will not be able to help themselves. I think they'll continue to pursue Donald Trump, up until -- well, up until and after the election, if he wins, they'll keep at it. They won't miss a beat.

You know, there's a danger to that. I think that we saw some of this danger. I mean, you have a Democratic caucus coming up on Monday and nobody is paying any attention to it. No news coverage, really of it. It's been sort of subsumed in this impeachment.

And if they continue on and that, you know, the Bolton thing becomes the issue, the press will be gravitated towards that more than they will -- because Trump just sort of sucks all the energy and all the air out of the media in pursuing him. And so that's going to be a real problem for Democrats, as the primary goes on.

[20:50:08]

COOPER: Yes. Everybody, thank you. Still ahead, what we've now learned about the former ambassador to Ukraine at the center of the impeachment investigation when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Let's check in with Chris to see what he's working on for "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: We are talking about the obvious, processing the perfidy, processing what is arguably the lowest moment of this administration, not the outcome. We've argued all along on the show, there are good faith arguments to be made against the removal of this President even while owning what is obvious about what he did and why, but did not vote for witnesses. This confirms every point of cynicism that people have about politics. This is the first time we've seen a party try one of their own as president, and they confirmed every suspicion.

[20:55:02]

They are bigger than nothing than their own interest, and now we have process that and find a way forward. So we'll be talking to senators about what comes next, but who cares about what comes next. We know what's going to happen here. What they did by denying the witness, I don't know how it gets fixed and I don't know how it becomes anything other than dynamite in the election.

COOPER: Chris, we'll join you in about four minutes from now. I look forward to that, thanks.

She was ousted as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. She's been a key figure in the impeachment of President Trump. Now, we've learned about what is going to happen to her, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A footnote to this historic day. We've learned that Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine at the center of the impeachment of President Trump, has retired from the State Department. Yovanovitch served 33 years as a Foreign Service office until this past May when the President pulled her from her post.

You may recall in November when testified in the House impeachment investigation, she said she was the target of a "smear campaign" by the President and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani. She called Giuliani's work "campaign of misinformation."

Yovanovitch also said her firing was not the way she wanted to end her career. Her service to our country spanned three decades, as I said, with her moving 13 times, serving in five hardship posts risking her life, including in Somalia during at Civil War and getting caught in the crossfire between Ukraine and Russia. The news continues. I want to hand it over to Chris for "Cuomo Prime Time."

CUOMO: All right, Anderson, thank you very much. Appreciate it.