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Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) Was Interviewed About the Amendments that He and Other Democrats Have Submitted to the Senate Floor; Trial Without Witnesses Added in United States' History Books; Senate Approves Monday Closing Arguments and Wednesday Final Vote; President Trump Told Bolton to Help His Ukraine Pressure Campaign; Presidential Historian Gives His Historical Perspective About What Happened in the Senate Impeachment Trial. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired January 31, 2020 - 23:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, an agreement between both parties puts us possibly days away from an end to the Senate impeachment trial, but not the controversy that's formed it. The New York Times is reporting tonight a more revelations that an unpublished manuscript by John Bolton, a meeting about nine months ago in which President Trump told his former National Security Adviser to insist in the pressure to put on Ukraine for investigations. Attending that meeting were Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney and the president's Chief Counsel, Pat Cipollone, who last Tuesday on the first day of the trial said the calling Bolton as a witness would be, quote, "not right."

Today, Cipollone and the president got their wish, no witnesses. Next week an acquittal is likely. However even in the eyes of some Republican senators their votes do not appear to be an exoneration of the president's actions.

Senators Lamar Alexander and Rob Portman both called the president's conduct inappropriate. Senator Marco Rubio tried to startle the line this way. Saying, quote, "just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a president from office."

He said later in his statement, quote, "can anyone doubt that at least half of the country would view his removal as illegitimate. It's nothing short of a coup d'etat. It is difficult to conceive of any scheme Putin could undertake that would undermine confidence in our democracy more than removal would."

And as journalist Tim Alberta put it today, quote, "to summarize, there are multiple jurors who believe the defendant is guilty as charged, but disprove of the -- disapprove of the sentence that awaits him, so they're voting to acquit the defendant who they believe is guilty as charged."

While the president signed off on this deal during a phone call with Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, he does not get everything he wants, in particular a final vote just before his nationwide State of the Union address Tuesday. For more on the days' events, we check in with CNN's Athena Jones.


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): The American people deserve a fair trial. The Constitution deserves a fair trial. The president deserves a fair trial. A fair trial means witnesses.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With the impeachment trial inching toward its final hours Democrats pressing the case for additional witnesses and documents, before deciding President Trump's fate.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Rob this country of a fair trial, and there can be no representation that the verdict has any meaning. How could it? If the result is baked in by the process?


JONES: House managers seizing on a New York Times report posted just hours before the Senate gaveled into session that President Trump personally directed his former national security adviser John Bolton to help with his Ukraine pressure campaign in early May.

Bolton writing in an unpublished book manuscript Trump gave the order in an Oval Office meeting that included White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, the president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, part of Trump's defense team.


SCHIFF: Yet another reason why we ought to hear from witnesses. The facts will come out. They will continue to come out.

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): You shouldn't let the president escape responsibility only to later see clearly what happened in Ambassador Bolton's book.


JONES: This as Trump's former chief of staff John Kelly told a New Jersey newspaper he believes Bolton who described as a copious note taker, arguing a Senate trial without witnesses is, quote, "a job only half done." Republicans saying the House already heard from more than a dozen witnesses. And Democrats didn't prove their case.


JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: What they're asking you to do is now become the investigative agency, the investigative body. Mr. Schiff went through every sentence of the articles of impeachment, just a few days ago, and said proved, proved, proved. The problem is, would it prove, prove, prove is not an impeachable offense.

PATRICK PHILBIN, DEPUTY COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT: These articles of impeachment on their face are defective. And we've explained that --


JONES: In the end Republicans succeeding in blocking Democrats' motion to hear more evidence.


JOHN ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES: Yays are 49. The nays are 51. The motion is not agreed to.


JONES: Just two Republicans, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney, join in the Democrats.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): No witnesses, no documents. In an impeachment trial is a perfidy, it's a grand tragedy.


JONES: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer later offering amendments that force Republicans to vote several more times against hearing additional evidence.


SCHUMER: I send an amendment to the desk to subpoena Mulvaney, Bolton, Duffey, Blair and the White House, OMB, DOD, and State Department documents.


JONES: All of them failing, setting the stage for a vote to acquit next week. But in a disappointment for many Republicans, and for the White House, that vote won't happen until Wednesday afternoon. With Monday and Tuesday reserved for closing arguments and the chance for senators to make speeches on the floor.

That means while the president is widely expected to be acquitted, he won't be able to declare victory in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Let's go to Phil Mattingly. He is up late on Capitol Hill with us. Phil, the new schedule of the final vote on Wednesday, can you just kind of walk us through what to expect in the coming days? PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, this is a surprise, we

didn't expect this going into this morning, but here's how it's going to work.

Obviously, the Senate is adjourned right now. They will not be in session over the course of the weekend, no Saturday session. They will come back into session on Monday and they will start at 11:00 a.m. with the impeachment trial, and they will have two hours of closing arguments for each side, the House managers in the White House will both get an opportunity.

Then the trial will adjourn until Wednesday and what that will allow is this, well, two things. One, senators who might have some interesting things to do in Iowa on Monday will have an opportunity to fly to Iowa, other senators who have made clear they want to make their views known publicly in terms of why they came to the decision they did on whether to acquit or remove the president will then be able to go to the Senate floor and give those speeches.

Each will be allotted about 15 minutes. When the Senate trial reconvenes, it will be Wednesday at 4 p.m. And Anderson, the expectation is they will immediately take up the two articles one at a time, each senator will be called to vote by roll call as we saw today earlier and be able to say guilty or not guilty.

So likely sometime around 5 p.m. on Wednesday the president will get the judgment he's been looking for, acquittal, but it will be a few days later than expected.

COOPER: And Mitch McConnell spoke with the president tonight. What more do we know about that conversation?

MATTINGLY: Yes. So, look, it was fascinating throughout the course of the day, the expectation was from Senate Republican leaders, from the White House that they were going to push through and they were going to deal with anything Democrats tried to put in their way to essentially finish this trial as quickly as possible.

And Athena hit on why in her piece, which is they wanted this done before the State of the Union, they wanted the president to be able to declare victory.

The reality became that internal problems within the Republican conference basically made that impossible. There were Republican senators who wanted to make their views known publicly on the Senate floor.

And while Leader McConnell has essentially dictated every step of this process, he can't do that if he doesn't have a majority. He didn't have the votes. And so basically, they had to go behind closed doors and negotiate this process out.

Democrats holding firm that the resolution had to wait until after the State of the Union address. But as part of coming to that agreement the leader actually had to call President Trump who is very keenly aware of the State of the Union optics. He had to walk him through, I'm told, the resolution and get his

signoff on that resolution to move forward. I think the bottom line I'm hearing from Republicans is they kind of felt like they didn't have any other option here and at least this would clear the path forward for Wednesday.

But the call to President Trump, the understanding of the cross cutting pressures they're dealing with, both internally and from the White House, basically ending the day not where they expected with acquittal, but at least moving them forward, at least from the Republican perspective and the White House perspective by defeating the witness vote and setting up the ground work to end this trial by Wednesday evening, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Phil Mattingly, thanks very much. Just before air I spoke with one of the jurors in the trial, Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen about the busy day of deal making we saw, also about the series of Democratic amendments that failed largely on party line votes.


COOPER: Senator Van Hollen, you introduced one of the four amendments tonight, can you just explain what that amendment would have required and what do you think of what took place today.

SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Yes, Anderson, it's good to be with you. My amendment was to guarantee a fair and impartial trial and process. So, what I said was that, the chief justice of the United States who is the presiding officer will make the decisions on whether or not witnesses that are requested are going to be relevant to the trial, or documents that we want to have introduced.

So, both sides would have an opportunity to make their case for witnesses and documents to the chief justice of the United States, and he would make that ruling. Just like judges make those rulings every day in courtrooms across the country.

But in this case, Republicans, if they didn't like the ruling, they could have still overruled it by a majority vote. So, there was still a failsafe. They didn't even want the chief justice in the first instance to call the balls and strikes as he saw them.

And that was their last chance to give us a fair trial. They failed and they just made this United States Senate the first Senate to have an impeachment trial with no witnesses and documents, the first one in the history of our republic. It's disgraceful what happened today on the floor of the United States Senate.

COOPER: This argument from Senator Lamar Alexander which is essentially he doesn't agree with what the president did, he thinks, you know, the case was proven, he thinks he did what it seems obvious that he did do. Yet he doesn't think it rises to the level of impeachment.

Does the argument make sense to you? And do you think that's an argument that other Republicans, other Republican senators who may believe that would actually admit to or do you think they will just say, well, they'll stick with the -- it doesn't rise to impeachment but they won't say that it wasn't a perfect call?


VAN HOLLEN: Well, that's right. There are two issues here. One is, a Senator Alexander may have reached the conclusion that the House managers met the proof on all the elements of abuse of power.

And so we should pause to let that sink in because this is a Republican senator who said, yes, the House managers are right that the president and his entire team are lying about the fact that when they say they did not withhold the aid, Senator Alexander say, you bet, you did withhold the aid in order to get these political purposes.

But you know what, there are a lot of other senators there who still apparently claim that they're -- they don't know what all the facts are. And for them to vote against documents and witnesses is a dereliction of their duty to find the truth.

And then there's the question of Senator Alexander's conclusion because he says, wow, I just found that the president did all these terrible things and abused power. But he talked about it like it was jaywalking. He said maybe an error in judgment.

And so that leaves a very, very low bar and standard that allows future presidents to run rush shod over the constitutional order. So, I found no -- there was no sort of gratification in that conclusion both denying witnesses on the one hand but providing for no kind of accountability on the other.

COOPER: Is there anything stopping him? Because he still says it was a perfect call. He says he did nothing wrong. There's no ramifications for him thus far. So why wouldn't he do it again?

VAN HOLLEN: No, they just took the guardrails off. They've just said President Trump you can be a serial violator of the Constitution of the United States. And this could just be the beginning.

And I wouldn't be surprised at all now if President Trump continues to seek, actively seek foreign interference in U.S. elections. After all he's been saying, hey, China, you know, help me out, hey, Ukraine, help me out.

So, this is a very, very dangerous precedent and the Senate Republicans, without providing any guardrails or accountability, have created a reckless presidency.

COOPER: Yes, Senator Chris Van Hollen, I appreciate you being with us, thank you.

VAN HOLLEN: Good to be with you.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: We've got certainly a lot more ground to cover tonight,

including White House reaction to the impeachment trial deal that may end with an acquittal of President Trump but without giving everything he wants.

And later we dive into that New York Times story that we flagged at the top, new information from John Bolton's manuscript and this time it involves the president's chief counsel.



COOPER: A deal has been made that creates a path forward to bring an end to the impeachment trial of President Trump, but one that does not give him certainly everything he wants, though, certainly the main things.

Kaitlan Collins at the White House tonight with the reaction. So, any word from the White House about the timeline or how they're feeling about what happened today.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We know the president did sign off on this resolution, with this timeline of that acquittal vote not happening until Wednesday. But, Anderson, we've been hearing all day from White House officials who had essentially been telling Republicans they wanted this vote to happen Tuesday at the latest.

Now of course, that's the night of the State of the Union address. And they had essentially been visualizing over the last several weeks that maybe we have to go through this impeachment trial, but at least we can get the president acquitted by then. He'll be able to walk into the House chamber with an acquittal next to his name not just impeachment. And now they're not getting that.

We're told they were essentially resigned to that fact earlier today after they were seeing what was happening behind the scenes back and forth between the Democrats and the Republicans. And essentially how they felt at the end of the day was they just wanted to get this over with.

COOPER: And is there any word of how this is going to be dealt within the State of the Union address, I mean, besides like a fist pump or you know, do we know, is he actually going to address it?

COLLINS: That's the big question. This is President Trump so you would expect that he would want to take a victory lap here. But when we were here in this briefing room earlier a senior administration official was essentially outlining what that speech is going to look like, and they did not mention impeachment.

And when we asked, is he going to bring it up, they wouldn't say. And they also wouldn't say if this is going to affect the timing of that speech given the fact that the president now is not going to be acquitted until Wednesday. So, it's really going to be the question of whether or not he wants to

bring it up. In this script that is typically much more muted, where the president is not like he is at these rallies.

The other thing, Anderson, you have to consider, the president also has his Super Bowl Sunday interview that he does every year and he is going to be giving that. Of course, the acquittal is not going to have happened by then.

So, if the president doesn't address it in the State of the Union, we will likely hear from him on Sunday on what his thoughts on how all of this has gone down have been. And now the Democrats are saying, you know, it's not a real acquittal if they didn't have witnesses and documents.

That's actually a message that's being mirrored by his own former chief of staff John Kelly who said he viewed it as essentially a job half done if they did not have witnesses.

COOPER: Kaitlan Collins, I appreciate it. Thanks.

A lot to watch for. Joining me now our political and legal analyst S.E. Cupp, Kirsten Powers, Elliot Williams, Carl Bernstein and former Senator Rick Santorum.

Kirsten, I mean, I don't know if the White House is happy about the timeline but they've got to be happy with the end results.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, well, I mean this was the result that they always wanted, they wanted to be able to say that he was acquitted, and so he could go out and tell everybody, you know, ignore what happened over in the House, the Senate acquitted me but the Democrats, I think, are going to continue to hit hard.

I mean, John Kelly is not a Democrat, and same message that he has, which is, I mean, were you really acquitted, it wasn't really much of a trial, it was a bunch of speeches, basically, there weren't any witnesses. And somebody who worked for you offered to come up and speak directly to these issues and, you know, basically the people representing you weren't interested.

So, I think it's hard for them to really represent this as an exoneration. He's technically acquitted, that's true, but he hasn't been exonerated.


COOPER: Senator Santorum, were you surprised McConnell wasn't able to wrap this up tonight?

RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I guess a little bit. But, you know, I know Susan and Lisa, very, very well and I know they are very conscientious about making sure they follow process. The process has been in the past that there is a time for, quote, "deliberation" for where members have the opportunity to sort of lay out their rationale for their vote. And I think they -- I know it was probably, you know, just a small group, but I think it's probably best for every member. So, I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing.

I'm sure, you're right, the president doesn't like not having his speech but I think candidly, there's probably a lot of Republicans who are happy he didn't get this done by Tuesday. Because they -- he probably will be a little bit more tempered in the chamber and they're probably a little bit more comfortable with that.

COOPER: I see you --


S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm sorry. I don't know why this will stop him from -- I mean, this will be the first time he will be facing his accusers. And regardless of whether he's technically acquitted by then, or not, I don't think will stop him.

I mean, I will take you back to June 15th, 2015. It's the day before he announced running for president. I got a copy of the speech he was meant to give that day. He left it after the first word.

I mean, none of it was what he ended up saying. And I can't imagine that in the heat and the emotion and passion of this very, you know, vitriolic moment in his presidency he will be able to somehow resist the temptation to call someone out while delivering this address.

COOPER: He really gives voice to what he's actually thinking though. So, I'm just --


CUPP: Right.


COOPER: He'll read a speech.

CUPP: Let's make a bet, Rick. I mean, let's bet on.

SANTORUM: The State of the Union address, they read their speeches.

COOPER: yes.

SANTORUM: There's not much riffing going on at the State of the Union.

COOPER: We'll see.


BERNSTEIN: If anybody can --

COOPER: So, Elliot, let's just look back. I mean, let's just -- a big picture, just in terms of --


COOPER: -- what you saw today, the end result?

WILLIAMS: Yes, so the interesting thing about the Senate is that, look, the majority rules but they don't rule like it does in the House. And at the end of the day as Rick Santorum knows as well as anybody else, if you're not going to win -- if you're going to get the full majority you play with the hand you're dealt and sort of make the other side look bad and to some extent both Schumer and McConnell did that today.

Number one, obviously as you were saying a little bit earlier, the vote got extended until after the State of the Union but Senator Schumer and the Democrats also got a series of votes on amendments that they can sort of rub in the faces of Republican senators, you know, saying Susan Collins couldn't even vote on a subpoena and a deposition for John Bolton.

Now, look, this is a giant Rorschach test and it will work, you know, we used the term before.

COOPER: yes.

WILLIAMS: Some people will see what they want to see. They will see it as a victory for Chuck Schumer in some small way. Some will see it as a victory for the president and some will see it as a victory for Mitch McConnell.

But this was, you know, if you read the LBJ books by Robert Caro, this is sort of what happens, they use these procedural tactics to make each other look bad. When at the end of the day the vote sort of matters, but doesn't, if that makes sense.

COOPER: Carl, what is this, you know, if lessons were learned from the Nixon -- the effort to impeach Nixon, the Nixon resignation for subsequent presidents, or changes were made in terms of, you know, Congress made changes about the potential abuses of power, what is the lesson of this?

BERNSTEIN: This is the most dangerous abdication of responsibility by a political party in the Senate especially in our modern history with possible exception of the Republican Party in the McCarthy era and perhaps the segregationist Democrats of the '30s and '40s and early '50s.

But this is a grievous abdication that we are going to feel in our system going forward. Because there is a, now permanent record in which it has been established that this theory that the president can damn near do anything and there's no such thing as a real abuse of power anymore and that is what the Nixon impeachment was all about.

It was about horrible abuse of power and what happened as that abuse of power was both found out and dealt with by heroic Republicans, Bob Woodward and myself in a book called "The Final Days," we went to interview Barry Goldwater, a Republican nominee of his party, and he told us, he pulled out his diary. And he told us how he and the Republican leaders of the House and

Senate after John Dean's testimony, the witness, like Bolton, and documents, like the tapes had been looked at by perseverant Republicans open to the truth, these three leaders went to the Oval Office, sat down with Nixon and said, Mr. President, you will not get the votes in the Senate to be acquitted.


And we, Barry Goldwater, myself, you do not have my vote. It's one of the great moments in history of real courage and principle. And the idea that, look, there are two real winners in this thing, Trump and Putin. And -- really, I think we've got to look at this.

COOPER: I want to get Senator Santorum on this. We've got to take a break though. We'll come right to you when we come back because it's an important discussion to have. We'll have some more on the reporting in the New York Times on John Bolton's manuscript, the allegation that involves the White House counsel, the same lawyer who pushed for no impeachment trial witnesses. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Before the break we were talking about the winners in President Trump's likely acquittal next week, Carl Bernstein said the winners are President Trump and Vladimir Putin. I want to go to Rick Santorum because I know you wanted to respond, Rick.


SANTORUM: I don't think there are any winners in this. I think the president -- you saw it. He was impeached. That's not a winner, number one. Number two, the president's -- you heard many Republican senators. I think you're going to hear a lot more give their statements as to why they voted for acquittal. I think most of them are going to hang their hat on the fact that this didn't rise to the level.

But anyone -- very few, let's just put it that way, we are going to talk about this is a perfect call and the president -- I -- the president will get a slap on the wrist. I think Republicans in the Senate felt like they were dealt a raw deal and that the president did some things that he shouldn't have done, probably not impeachable, he shouldn't have done.

And then on the other side, the other loser in this is the House of Representatives, in my opinion. I mean, House of Representatives did what they -- what they have been trying for years to get this president. And unlike the era that Carl Bernstein talks about, that era is gone out of Washington, D.C.

You know, there were conservative and liberal Republicans, conservative and liberal Democrats. There was a lot of work between -- on both sides of the aisle. That's not the United States Senate. It's not the House of Representatives today.

BERNSTEIN: You're right about that.

SANTORUM: And these folks were in a partisan mode to get President Trump for the last few years. When they jumped on this, they rushed, they didn't try to get any kind of bipartisan consensus on this, and then they dumped a lousy unprepared case on the lap of the Senate.

So, I'm a senator, yes, and maybe I'm defending the Senate, but I think the senators are the ones who felt like, you know, this was just a bad deal all the way around, both from the House and from the president, and they did the best they could with it.

BERNSTEIN: Rick, you're talking about -- about no possibility of bipartisanship. So, what happens when you have a president of the United States who goes ahead, invites a foreign power to interfere in our election, and you say that the senators are somehow the victims of this as opposed to being courageous?

SANTORUM: Your characterization of that, I think, is inaccurate, Carl. I think this goes back to the White House's point. The idea that he goes to the Ukrainians and that there was no other possible motivation for him to ask for an investigation of the 2016 election, which is not a future election, is because of his own partisan advantage. There were legitimate concerns that he believed, at the time, had to do with Hunter Biden and with the 2016 election.

COOPER: Right.

BERNSTEIN: Let him use legal channels to do it, Rick, if that's the case.

POWERS: But also, but also, but also --

SANTORUM: Excuse me, excuse me, he's the president of the United States. He has the authority. What do you mean legal channels?


COOPER: Just logically, you're telling me that the channel he chose, go to a country known for corruption and ask them to announce an investigation rather than going to his treasury department and asking them to look into the finances, going to his justice department, I mean going to Barr? It makes no sense. You honestly do not believe that this was -- he was really --

BERNSTEIN: Sending Rudy Giuliani.

COOPER: -- looking for legitimate investigation. He would not go down the road of hanging his hat on Ukraine, would he?

SANTORUM: Yes, well --

COOPER: If he does, that is the stupidest idea of investigation in the history of the world.

SANTORUM: Well, I mean, I'm not going to make a judgment on the -- on the wisdom of that.

COOPER: But you don't really believe it. I just don't believe that you believe he was going to Ukraine for legitimate -- I mean, come on, of all the places you would go for a legitimate investigation, Ukraine --

BERNSTEIN: It's about a bribe. It's about extortion, Rick. That's what he did.

SANTORUM: Well, I disagree with that. I mean -- and there was a question actually that one of the managers -- that was asked by one of the senators. If there was any indication that the president directed someone to let the Ukrainians know that they -- you know, they weren't going to get the money until they gave the meeting -- excuse me --

COOPER: Yes, Lev Parnas did it. Lev Parnas is the one who --

SANTORUM: And the answer is, no, the president did not direct anybody to do that. They had no evidence of that. So --

COOPER: OK. So, Rudy Giuliani was running a rogue operation and Lev Parnas was running a rogue operation from Rudy Giuliani. I mean, Lev Parnas -- I mean, again, if you believe him, but he's the guy that Rudy Giuliani picked and the president, you know, met with. Lev Parnas would stand in front of Ukrainian official, hold up his cell phone, and the voice of Rudy Giuliani would come across the speakerphone, being like, listen to this guy, this guy represents us. I mean --

BERNSTEIN: This is his goon squad, let's be clear.

SANTORUM: Again, all I'm saying is, I don't think the evidence is there. I know you can say that, you know, Rudy Giuliani did this and Lev Parnas said this. I mean, I just don't think they're particularly credible people.

COOPER: Well, let's get them under oath. I mean, they're the only ones who are willing to talk at this point, I mean all the credible people are running for the hills.

BERNSTEIN: How about Bolton being a credible witness?


BERNSTEIN: How about Fiona Hill?

SANTORUM: Bolton is not testifying that he was asked to do a quid pro quo. He was not asked to do that.


POWERS: He has said that the president told him that. So --


POWERS: I think this idea that the Democrats, as you just said, you know, served up this terrible case, that's just not true. The Democrats actually put forward a pretty airtight case. What was missing was somebody who heard it directly from the president and it turns out there is somebody who did hear directly from the president. That's John Bolton.

COOPER: The reason you go to shady Rudy Giuliani from life lock is --


COOPER: -- because no one at the Justice Department would do it because there is nothing to be done. I mean --

WILLIAMS: Even Barr --

COOPER: -- you don't go to Rudy Giuliani if you want a legitimate thing. Maybe back in the day you did when he was, you know, legitimate. But now --

POWERS: Yes. And it's also -- it's just -- it's what Mick Mulvaney said in a press conference. It's what basically in the readout, you know, whatever you want to call it, if you want to call it transcript. I mean, it's all there. If you choose to look the other way, you can. But you can't seriously say that the Democrats didn't put forward a good case.

CUPP: It just feels like a copout to complain about the bum deal the Senate got when you have the mechanisms inside the Senate to fix the things you're complaining about, like, you think the House went too quickly. OK, Senate say let's slow it down a little bit. You think the House didn't interview the right people. OK, Senate say we want to interview these people.

You have the tools to fix the things you're complaining about. I don't think that's your best argument. I've said all along, if you think you can make the case that he should be acquitted, you can also make the case you didn't think this rose to impeachment. But to complain about the case you were given, the complaints that you could have fixed in the Senate on your own, just seems a little dodgy, a little whippy.

SANTORUM: You're missing the larger point. The larger point is when I say they gave them a bum case, it was not because they didn't interview a bunch of witnesses and didn't have documents, it's because that the charges that were laid out in the impeachment are not -- are not -- as Marco Rubio said, they may be impeachable, although I don't believe they are, but you shouldn't remove a president for what is alleged in those articles.

CUPP: But that's what the Senate to try. The Senate tries that case.

SANTORUM: But you missed the point, that if you even -- as Lamar Alexander said, I think you're going to see other senators say the same thing, even if you accept the charges as alleged, they're not sufficient to remove a president. That's why I said they were handed a bum deal.


SANTORUM: They were handed a deal that in the end could never be a conviction.

COOPER: I got to take another break. We are going to have more of this conversation. Stick around. Also, were just talking about John Bolton. Next, we will have more on the new allegation revealed in the Times, new information from Bolton's unpublished manuscript that may never be published. We don't know. That raises a lot of questions for the White House counsel.




COOPER: This is about John Bolton's revelations. The New York Times is reporting Bolton wrote in his draft manuscript that President Trump directed him to help with the pressure campaign against Ukraine more than two months before the president asked Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.

Congressman Adam Schiff, the Democrats' lead House manager, zeroed in on that on the Senate floor today. Listen.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Mr. Trump gave the instruction, 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.


COOPER: Pat Cipollone, as Schiff was just saying, has been on the Senate floor all week arguing against witnesses and the president is denying, of course, the allegation.

We are back now with our political and legal team. Kirsten, are you convinced Bolton's book will even be published? I mean --

POWERS: I don't know. I'm sort of curious if there are any, like, options for somebody where the government just sits on the book. It seems like there needs to be some sort of recourse for somebody if they're just holding it out --

COOPER: Clearly, there is not a lot of -- I mean, was talking to Jeff Toobin about this earlier.


COOPER: He was saying there is not a lot of recourse that essentially if you go ahead and publish, they take your money.

POWERS: Right. But I guess it seems like -- I don't know. I just wonder if you can sue the government because -- I mean, theoretically, the government could do this all the time. They could just say we don't want this stuff out, so we're just going to sit here. Aren't they required to follow some sort of review process? I mean, do you, Elliot?

WILLIAMS: It would just be reviewing for the confidential or classified international security secrets. So, if they went far beyond the bounds of that, I don't think you would -- you could probably bring a lawsuit. But the problem is because it deals with all this classified information, all of it happens in secret, so it would be hard for even a litigant to be able to bring a suit about it if that makes sense.

BERNSTEIN: There was a CIA book many, many years ago in which an agent of the CIA was stopped from publishing his book and he did sue.


BERNSTEIN: -- and subsequently --

COOPER: There was another CIA agent, Philip Agee, who fled to Cuba. He published his book "CIA Diary." I think it was in the 70s.

POWERS: It's just kind of hard to believe that Bolton would put classified information in there. That's the thing. That's why I'm saying this seems like they would be -- they're just doing this to hold it up because it's going to be harmful to the president, not because --

COOPER: Rick, do you think that book will -- I mean, obviously we have no information about it. Do you think the book will actually see the light of day?


COOPER: Do you have any sense -- is that office and the National Security Council, which are professional people who do this, I don't know if they're subject to, you know, pressure from political folks who run the National Security Council or the president.

SANTORUM: Well, if they are, they're leaking --


SANTORUM: Not very heavily pressured. And from what I understand, they -- folks and the political people in the administration weren't aware of anything that was going on there. So I suspect this is a professional process. The question is, how much information, if it tends to be a lot of information then there may be a substantial rewrite which could delay publication.

COOPER: Do you think anything in the book would make a difference, Rick?

SANTORUM: Make a difference how?

COOPER: I don't know. Just in public opinion, in senators' opinions, in the campaigns.

SANTORUM: Anderson, I mean, I think what --

COOPER: Where is it baked in at this point?

SANTORUM: I think everything is sort of baked in on this president. I think that they know that the public knows. The president does a lot of things that are very atypical of a president and that aren't necessarily wise things to do, some would say even stupid things to do.

For example, you know, this meeting that he's talking about. I mean, the president shouldn't be telling John Bolton, if that's true, they say it's not true, but he shouldn't be telling John Bolton to do that.

There are certain things that -- I come back to the fact that the public sort of expects this out of this president and they sort of expect the people around him to stop him from doing things that could be harmful to the country and so far it's worked for three years.

BERNSTEIN: That raises a larger question, not just about Bolton, but many, many national security aides to the president: McMaster, Mattis, and Tillerson. Many of them have come to the conclusion, like Bolton, that the president of the United States is a danger to our national security.

And the fact that none of these advisors has spoken out loud and instead comes to reporters, like many of us, and tells us about these things without being willing to go public, is they too are craven, the same way we're seeing in the Senate. We should know about this from the people who experienced it before we got to this point with Bolton, before we got to this point with Mattis, Kelly and on and on and on.

SANTORUM: Just remember, the Ukraine policy under this president is actually the right policy as opposed to the old president was not.

BERNSTEIN: It's not about the policy, Rick. It is about taking --

SANTORUM: Well, it is about the policy. Ultimately, that's what we're dealing with.

BERNSTEIN: -- under law really.

SANTORUM: Well -- go ahead.

COOPER: Yes, let's leave it. We've got to leave it there.

SANTORUM: I understand.

COOPER: Rick, thank you. Thanks to everybody. Just ahead, how history might look at what happened today and next week's outcome.




COOPER: It's the end of a long and consequential week, a week bound to be in the history books, a week of hours and hours of impeachment debate and ended with a surprise most didn't see coming, the extension of the process by at least several more days.

Joining us to discuss is CNN presidential historian and former director of Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Tim Naftali. Since you are a historian, can you just try to put today in some historical perspective? Obviously, history is being written. It's not clear how history will see this, but what do you think?

TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN, FORMER DIRECTOR OF RICHARD NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY: Well, I always expected that the president would be acquitted. And for me, what was important was the journey. I have been thinking a lot about this since Lamar Alexander's statement and then the statement from Lisa Murkowski and the statement from Marco Rubio, because they have a profound significance.

In the 1970s, senators and members of Congress began to absorb the data that proved that the president of the United States abused the enormous power of the presidency to hurt people in ways that weren't necessarily violation of statute.

COOPER: Mm-hmm.

NAFTALI: The president had an enemy list to use the IRS to go after people. The president had the FBI dig up dirt on people. The president forced parts of the government to shift money around so that his opponents didn't receive federal assistance.

Not all of this was a violation of some very precise statute. And so not just Democrats, but Democrats and Republicans together in the Watergate process began to think, you know, we don't have enough protection against abuse of power.

Fast forward to the arguments being made now, the president can abuse power and not be removed. The president -- there are different kinds of abuses of power. Abuses of power are never going to be subject to impeachment because they are not violations of the law.

In 1970s, bipartisan coalition formed that said, hey, a violation of the law, that's one reason to be moved out of office. But you can violate our constitutional system. You can actually pose a danger to our constitutional system without violating a law.

COOPER: I mean, for many of these -- for some of these senators, this could be the way they're remembered, this vote.

NAFTALI: There is no question. It was very interesting Lamar Alexander last night was reading a book that I co-authored with Jon Meacham, Peter Baker --

COOPER: He was reading it on the floor.

NAFTALI: He was reading on the floor -- and Jeff Engel -- and he was reading -- I think he was reading about Andrew Johnson. And what he did was he picked one part of that story where the deciding vote, which resulted in the acquittal of Andrew Johnson by a senator, Edmund Ross, and Ross argues the president didn't commit a crime and therefore he should not be removed.


NAFTALI: He is fastening on that as a way of trying to explain why the House managers could be right and yet the impeachment is wrong. And I am thinking to myself, Lamar Alexander, you worked in the Nixon administration. You saw the consequences of the Nixon cover up on not just the country but on your friends. How, how could you reach back in time and pull out a parallel that is not relevant when the one that is relevant staring you right in the face is the Nixon parallel?

COOPER: Tim Naftali, thank you. Appreciate it.

NAFTALI: Thank you.

COOPER: We'll be right back.


COOPER: Our impeachment trial coverage continues.