Amy Klobuchar on The Last Word. TRANSCRIPT: 11/21/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Lawrence, I`m sorry I went late.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Oh, please.
Rachel, at least you don`t have another seven hours of hearing to watch
tomorrow on top of everything else.
Are you going to have hearing withdrawal symptoms tomorrow do you think?
MADDOW: No, you know what I`m going to do tomorrow? Laundry.
O`DONNELL: Yes, yes.
MADDOW: I feel like I haven`t done any of the basic keep your life
together things because every moment I`m awake I`m either reading a
transcript or watching a hearing. And so, I`m really looking forward to
like walking the dog.
O`DONNELL: You will have almost half a morning to yourself tomorrow the
way this is going.
MADDOW: Ooh, am I dead? Are those angels singing?
O`DONNELL: Rachel, in our – in our viewer mail section tonight, we got an
e-mail from an Oscar winning director and screenwriter about the question
that was not asked in any of the hearings. And I got permission to read
that question, which I`ll do later in this hour. And it`s a really good
question. It – he says it would be in the movie version, but it would
actually add a lot to our view of this, including Republicans` reaction to
evidence. So that`s coming up a little bit later.
MADDOW: That`s an excellent tease. I`m totally hooked.
O`DONNELL: That`s my job. Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: So what happens next? Has the Intelligence Committee connected
enough evidence for articles of impeachment?
Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe will join us with his expert opinion
of where the impeachment investigation should go, needs to go from here.
Today`s hearing was about something that is going to happen to you.
There`s going to come a time in your life if it hasn`t come already when
you will have a very important choice to make. This could happen in your
workplace, could happen in your family, could happen among friends.
It will be about something that is very important to you. And very
important to everyone involved. It`s a simple choice. But many of you
will find that choice very difficult because you will have to choose to
tell the truth or say nothing.
And saying nothing is always going to be the easier choice. Saying nothing
won`t put you in a more difficult situation. Saying nothing will let you
And when you have to make this choice, you will know for sure that telling
the truth will get you attacked. That`s a guarantee if you choose the
truth. So what will you choose?
When you come to that spot in your life where you have the choice of
telling a very important truth or saying nothing? What will you choose?
For some people, that actually doesn`t feel like a choice at all. For
those people, it feels like an obligation, a moral obligation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID HOLMES, UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Since you
determined that I may have something of value to these proceedings and
issued a subpoena, it is my obligation to appear and to tell you what I
FIONA HILL, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR ON RUSSIA: I believe that those who
have information that the Congress deems relevant have a legal and a moral
obligation to provide this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: John Bolton doesn`t believe that. John Bolton should have been
in that hearing room today, but he does not believe that those who have
information that the Congress deems relevant have a legal and a moral
obligation to provide it. John Bolton has provided that information for
money to a New York book publisher that is paying him $2 million for a book
that will include the information that he is refusing to tell congress.
John Bolton is in exactly the same position as Fiona Hill who used to work
for John Bolton in the White House. John Bolton and Fiona Hill are both
ex-White House employees, now private citizens, who were asked to testify
to the impeachment inquiry. President Trump who has absolutely no power
over them as private citizens now told them both not to testify.
So they had a choice to make. Fiona Hill chose to tell the truth. And
John Bolton chose silence.
David Holmes is a career foreign service officer stationed at our embassy
in Ukraine, and his boss, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, told him not to
testify, told him that he could defy the committee`s subpoena as other
State Department employees have done at Mike Pompeo`s urging. But David
Holmes did something that no one working in the State Department thinks
they will ever have to do. He refused to obey the secretary of state,
because David Holmes felt an obligation to respond to the Congress, a
They all took an oath of office. David Holmes, Fiona Hill, John Bolton
took an oath of office. Every member hearing the committee took that oath
of office. It`s essentially the same oath the president takes. It is an
oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.
It`s not an oath to a person. It`s not an oath to a party. It`s an oath
to the Constitution, an oath to defend the Constitution.
I took that same oath when I served on the staff of the United States
Senate. And if you took that oath and you understood that oath and you
truly believe in that oath to defend the Constitution, you had to be filled
with pride today to watch two people living up to that oath under intense
pressure at the witness of today`s impeachment hearing.
What you saw at that witness table was true faith and allegiance. That`s
another line in the oath – true faith and allegiance to the Constitution.
Our first guest tonight, Congresswoman Val Demings, took that oath, and she
had this to say to David Holmes and Fiona Hill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): Policies change, but U.S. interests don`t. At
least not for those true public servants who are committed and dedicated to
protecting our nation. Thank you both for being two of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: John Bolton wasn`t there today, but he came to life in Fiona
Hill`s testimony. She said that in his role as national security advisor,
John Bolton was frustrated that Rudy Giuliani and Trump ambassador to the
European Union, Gordon Sondland, and White House Chief of Staff Mick
Mulvaney were going outside of normal diplomatic channels to try to force
Ukraine to conduct an investigation of Joe Biden and his son.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: He then in the course of that discussion said that Rudy Giuliani was
a hand grenade that was going to blow everyone up. I had to go to the
lawyers to John Eisenberg. I was senior counsel for the National Security
Council to basically say, you tell Eisenberg Ambassador Bolton told me I am
not part of the – this whatever drug deal that Mulvaney and Sondland are
DANIEL GOLDMAN, COUNSEL FOR DEMOCRATS ON THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: What
did you understand him to mean by the drug deal that Mulvaney and Sondland
were cooking up?
HILL: I took it to mean investigations for a meeting.
GOLDMAN: Did you go speak to the lawyers?
HILL: I certainly did. I did say to him, Ambassador Sondland, Gordon, I
think this is all going to blow up and here we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Here we are. David Holmes testified, among other things, to
sitting in a restaurant in Ukraine when Gordon Sondland whipped out his
personal unsecured cellphone and called the president of the United States.
That is a phone call that the Russians surely have a recording of right now
since they have very strong telephone surveillance capabilities in Ukraine,
and they know who to target like American ambassadors who use their
personal cellphones to call the president of the United States.
Here`s what David Holmes heard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOLDMAN: And what did you hear President Trump say to – I`m sorry not
President Zelensky – to ambassador Sondland? Did you hear the president
say to Ambassador Sondland?
HOLMES: Yes, he clarified whether he was in Ukraine or not and he said yes
I`m here in Ukraine. And Ambassador Sondland said he loves your ass, he`ll
do whatever you want. And he said can you do the investigation.
GOLDMAN: So you heard President Trump ask Ambassador Sondland, is he going
to do the investigation?
HOLMES: Yes, sir.
GOLDMAN: What was Ambassador Sondland`s response?
HOLMES: He said oh, yes, he`s going to do it. He`ll do anything you ask.
GOLDMAN: And was that the end of the Ukraine portion of the conversation?
GOLDMAN: Afterwards you described a follow-on conversation that you had
with Ambassador Sondland where you asked him, I think, generally what did
President Trump think of Ukraine. Is that right?
GOLDMAN: What did Ambassador Sondland say to you?
HOLMES: He said he doesn`t really care about Ukraine.
GOLDMAN: Did he use slightly more colorful language than that?
HOLMES: He did.
GOLDMAN: What did he say he does care about?
HOLMES: He said he cares about big stuff.
GOLDMAN: Did he explain what he meant by big stuff?
HOLMES: I asked him, well, what kind of big stuff. We have big stuff
going on here like the war with Russia. And he said, no, big stuff like
the Biden investigation that Mr. Giuliani`s pushing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Here`s what Donald Trump said yesterday about the man who knows
him so well that he can call him on his unsecured cellphone from a
restaurant in Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t know him very well,
I have not spoken to him much. This is not a man I know well. Seems like
a nice guy, though. But I don`t know him well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: But Gordon Sondland knows Donald Trump very well. He knows
Donald Trump so well that he proved it in the way his cellphone
conversation with the president ended.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE (R-TX): How did the conversation end?
HOLMES: I only heard Ambassador Sondland`s side of the conversation, sir.
And at the end of the conversation, he said – he said – he was giving the
president advice on how to deal with the A$AP Rocky situation, and he said,
they should have released him on your word and you can tell the Kardashians
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: You can tell the Kardashians you tried.
Gordon Sondland knows that the Kardashians are very big stuff to Donald
Leading off our discussion tonight are Democratic Congresswoman Val Deming
of Florida. She`s a member of the House Intelligence Committee, and the
House Judiciary Committee, and she has taken part in all the public
Also joining us, Joyce Vance, former U.S. attorney for the northern
district of Alabama and MSNBC legal analyst. And Ron Klain, former senior
aid to Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama and former chief
counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He`s an advisor to Joe Biden`s
2020 presidential campaign.
Congresswoman Demings, thank you very much for joining us after this very
What do you believe are the next steps for the Intelligence Committee?
Will there be more witness interviews or depositions or public testimony?
DEMINGS: Well, Lawrence, it`s good to be with you. And let me just say
today, we heard from two very powerful witnesses as you`ve already talked
about. What a way to finish the week? Today was really the last day of
scheduled witnesses. You know, we`ll regroup next week and talk about the
steps moving forward.
But I believe what we have heard from these very courageous very dedicated
Foreign Service officers who as you`ve indicated felt a moral obligation or
a duty to do the right thing has been their testimony, the evidence against
the president is overwhelming and pretty clear and convincing.
O`DONNELL: Now, you are one of those people who was on both committees.
What has the Judiciary, the House Judiciary committee been doing while the
House Intelligence Committee has been conducting these hearings?
DEMINGS: Well, I believe the Judiciary Committee under Chairman Nadler`s
leadership have been, of course, watching these hearings by the
Intelligence Committee very, very closely. Because they would be
responsible for reviewing every piece of testimony, every piece of
documentation, including text messages, e-mails and other pieces of
documentation so they can begin the critical work or we can begin the
critical work of articles – writing articles of impeachment.
And so I am assured Chairman Nadler has been meeting with his lawyers and
members of the committee having those discussions.
O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance, what did you see in the evidence established today
that could add to an article of impeachment?
JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: You know, I think the articles have
been pretty well-defined as we headed into this week, Lawrence. And what
happened today was evidence that made it very clear that Democrats have
headed the right direction.
So, when Dr. Hill testifies that she realized after some interaction with
Gordon Sondland that he was running a domestic political errand, which I
think was her very polite way of saying a bribery scam, it really brought
home that the Democrats have developed sufficient evidence to charge some
form of bribery or extortion along with contempt of Congress and perhaps
other articles of impeachment.
O`DONNELL: Ron Klain, I want to come back to the oath of office that these
witnesses took that we saw really on vivid display today. And those of us,
everyone on this panel has taken that oath of office, and most of us never
get tested on it the way they got tested on it today. Most of us never
have that moment where we literally have to step up to the battle line to
defend the Constitution the way they did today.
What was it like for you to watch them raise their right hand, step up and
defend that Constitution?
RON KLAIN, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO VP BIDEN: Well, you know, you saw it
today that Dr. Hill told the truth when Ambassador Bolton sold the truth.
And that`s the big difference in terms of how you view your constitutional
I think everyone, you know, staffers as you`ve alluded to before, Lawrence,
we`ve all taken this oath. And the day will come when you have to do the
hard thing. And we saw today with some people who did the hard thing and
at substantial risk to their careers, at substantial risk to their place
for continued employment, future employment in a Republican administration,
standing up to the president of the United States.
We saw Lieutenant Colonel Vindman testify about the threats that he feels
and the pressures his family feels. So, these witnesses are going on the
line to do a very simple thing which is to be fact witnesses, to explain
what they heard what they saw. And I think the thing today`s hearing had
was even more direct connection between President Trump himself and the
scandal and the corruption here. And I think that`s going to be a
powerful, factual element of the case that will go to the Judiciary
O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Demings, what was it like on the committee when
you discovered that there was a witness who actually heard the president`s
voice on the phone, in a phone call that at that time you had no idea
happened? There was no evidence delivered. Gordon Sondland had not told
any of you about that phone call, and here you have a witness to the Gordon
Sondland phone call who can tell you what was actually said. That was one
of the big discoveries of this investigation.
What was it like when you landed on that?
DEMINGS: You know, that`s absolutely right, Lawrence. But I`ve said it
all along that I believe the biggest witness in this entire investigation
has really been the president himself. When you read the readout from the
call that he had on July 25th.
But as you know, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle day after day
have talked about there was no first-hand knowledge, no direct knowledge.
It was second and third-hand information, and then along comes Mr. Holmes.
That information was quite powerful. But also quite baffling, that a U.S.
ambassador would use his as you`ve already indicated unsecured cellphone to
call the president of the United States and have that conversation in front
of Mr. Holmes and other staffers. But it was the additional evidence and
testimony that we needed.
O`DONNELL: And, Joyce Vance, Gordon Sondland has gone back to his job as
ambassador to the European Union. Some people are surprised at that that
he hasn`t resigned in what appears to be open conflict with the president
or the president hasn`t fired him.
But another way of looking at that is Gordon Sondland, as condemning as his
testimony was, at many points in his testimony seemed to be shading it,
seemed to be leaning it as much to favor the president as possible. There
could be a lot more things that Gordon Sondland knows that he didn`t say,
and Donald Trump might know that he didn`t say those things.
VANCE: That seems really likely to me. Something that surprised me about
Gordon Sondland`s testimony was that there was very little contrition. He
seemed almost proud of what they had done and what they had accomplished.
And it was hard to get an assessment of whether that was just a
businessman, not a career diplomat who simply didn`t understand the
contours of the work he was involved in or if something else was going on
But you hit on the key point which is the president who has been looped
into this entire sort of effort abroad this week with testimony ranging
from Mr. Holmes to others who have given him a personal link in, he`s the
one who knows what these people know that they`re not telling us. And so,
he may have a favorable view of Sondland. Sondland may have to have a
three point diversion of his testimony at some point to get the full truth
out if he`s inclined to go there.
But one thing we can be certain of is that if any of these absent
witnesses, if Ambassador Bolton or Secretary Pompeo have things to say that
were helpful to the president, that established that the president wasn`t
guilty of what`s being bandied about this week, those witnesses would have
probably been driven straight up to Capitol Hill by president Trump himself
so that they could testify. The fact that those witnesses are absent is
the best guarantee that we have at this point that Trump is right in the
thick of this.
O`DONNELL: And Ron Klain, what do you see as a possible time estimate of
how long it would take for this case to get to the Senate as an impeachment
trial in the Senate?
KLAIN: Well, I think the excellent work that Congresswoman Demings and
other people in the Intelligence Committee has done lays the factual
predicate for articles of impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee.
Now, she gets to put on her other hat and go to that committee.
And the committee has an important job to do here. They have to take all
the facts that have been laid out and put it in a legal context. You start
to hear Republicans today make this argument – well, Trump`s defenses are
all gone. Yes, he did it, yes, but it`s not illegal. It`s not really
And I know you got Professor Tribe on later to talk about this. But I
think this is the next phase, Lawrence. And hopefully that`ll get down
between thanksgiving and the end of the year so you can take this factual
evidence about the crimes our president committed and frame it up into the
legal consequences for having committed those crimes.
O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Val Demings, we`re going to be watching as the
action shifts to your other committee, the Judiciary Committee. We, of
course, will always want you to join us whenever you can. Thank you very
much for joining us tonight.
DEMINGS: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance, Ron Klain, thank you for starting us off also.
Really appreciate it.
KLAIN: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Yesterday, Gordon Sondland testified everyone was in the loop.
Those were his words, everyone was in the loop. Does the House
Intelligence Committee now have enough evidence for articles of
impeachment? Professor Laurence Tribe answers that question, next.
O`DONNELL: Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret. That was the
testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the
president, secretary of state, White House chief of staff and the former
national security advisor Bolton and other top administration officials in
the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an
investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine
that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE E.U.: I followed the directions of
the president. The suggestion that we were engaged in some irregular or
rogue diplomacy is absolutely false. These e-mails show that the
leadership of the State Department, the National Security Council and the
White House were all informed about the Ukraine efforts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: So should the Intelligence Committee pursue the testimony of
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney
and former National Security Advisor John Bolton?
Multiple members of the intelligence committee from both parties tell NBC
News that they do not anticipate any additional depositions or hearings.
So, has the committee collected enough evidence for an article or articles
For that question, we turn to Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law professor. He`s
the professor of constitutional law, and the coauthor of “To End a
Presidency: The Power of Impeachment.”
Professor Tribe, thank you very much for joining us tonight. So, has the
Intelligence Committee made a case? Have they established the evidence for
an article of impeachment?
LAURENCE TRIBE, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR: I think the answer is clearly yes.
They have made it very clear in the evidence that we have heard from first-
hand witnesses like Mr. Holmes who actually heard the president`s voice and
then the president`s words himself and the readout from the call that the
president was engaged in bribery, extortion, the usurpation of Congress`
power of the purse, an abuse of his office and violation of his oath.
These are all impeachable offenses. And on top of that, it`s very clear
that the president`s unprecedented erection of a stone wall in which he
directs everybody connected to the White House and connected to the State
Department not to testify, not to comply with subpoenas, not to do what Mr.
Holmes and Dr. Hill did today, and that is not to tell the truth, not to
come forward. That amounts to contempt of Congress. It`s a far more
sweeping and serious violation of the separation of powers than even
Richard Nixon was guilty of in Article 3 of his articles of impeachment.
So, the evidence is all there, and there is nothing left to do but collate
it as the Judiciary Committee surely will into articles of impeachment.
O`DONNELL: What about – especially with this concept of everybody was in
the loop, what about the valuable evidence that could be obtained from the
testimony of Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, should the committee
pursue that testimony? Hard to get because they would fight apparently any
kind of subpoenas?
TRIBE: Well, the committee is certainly open to it and quite welcome to
hear it. But as Joyce Vance points out, if anything they had to say was
favorable to the president, they`d be rushing to the Hill to offer that
So, I think Chairman Schiff is right to say that we can draw negative
inferences from their refusal to show up. And the fact that Bolton would
much rather earn 2 million bucks and tell his story in a book that he`s
going to be selling then to the Congress and the American people says it
The fact is that they can testify, but there`s no good reason for the
Intelligence Committee to hold things back while they fight subpoenas in
the courts, no matter how quickly the courts move. That takes time.
Whenever they rule, there will be an appeal.
There`s no reason to hold it up, and in fact holding it up risks giving the
president more opportunity to manipulate the 2020 election. We can`t wait
for that election.
O`DONNELL: And so, on the assumption that the Intelligence Committee using
the evidence they`ve gathered so far will write a report, send it to the
Judiciary Committee. Judiciary Committee staff and members will work on
that and see if they can produce an article of impeachment or two or three
from that work from the Intelligence Committee.
Should the Judiciary Committee also consider possible articles of
impeachment that are outside of that evidence? For example, possibly
obstruction of justice evidence developed in the Mueller report?
TRIBE: I think we`ll certainly consider that. But whether that will lead
to a newly protracted and prolix impeachment articles is a question of
strategy and tactics that I think it`s a little too early to decide about.
But I think the Judiciary Committee is not going to forget about those
things. And even if they don`t form separate articles of impeachment, they
can be folded into the context by forming part of the pattern of behavior
that involves claiming to be above the law, not complying with legal
obligation and legal requirements.
And that pattern establishes that we are not just dealing with a one-off
event. It`s not just a phone call. It`s not just a plot that lasted several
months in this one case. It is a completely lawless presidency. I`ve called
it an anti-presidency. And I think that it`s important for that entire
picture to be painted in however many or few articles of impeachment are
presented by the Judiciary Committee for a vote on the House floor.
O`DONNELL: Professor Laurence Tribe, always an honor to have you join us.
We really appreciate it. Thank you very much, Professor.
TRIBE: My pleasure. Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, Donald Trump is so worried about his
trial in the Senate that he`s having a lunch with Mitt Romney.
O`DONNELL: President Trump is working the jury, especially the jurors who
could turn against him in the United States Senate. Republican senators
Mitt Romney and Susan Collins were among at least eight senators invited to
lunch at the White House today. Here is what Senator Romney and Senator
Collins had to say after lunch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): He had made some initial comments that related to
the impeachment process, but it`s nothing that I haven`t heard on TV from
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was the President looking for any kind of loyalty from
you or Senator Collins when it came to impeachment? Did he say, “You guys
will be with me?” Anything along those lines?
ROMNEY: He said nothing of that nature.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there a sense that he`s trying to sort of–
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, guys. Sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: –butter up the people who will be his jury?
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I didn`t get that sense.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry, guys–
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Tomorrow morning on “Fox & Friends,” the President will see this
ad run by Republicans for the rule of law.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: Was there a quid
pro quo? The answer is yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): President Trump held up military aid to
Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens.
WILLIAM TAYLOR, ACTING U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Withholding security
systems in exchange for help with a domestic political campaign in the
United States would be crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Republicans know that a quid pro quo is
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): If you could show me that Trump actually was
engaged in a quid pro quo outside the phone call, that would be very
SONDLAND: Was there a quid pro quo? The answer is yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Republicans must stand up to Trump`s abuse
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Paul Rosenzweig. He was a senior
counsel for special prosecutor Ken Starr in the investigation of President
Bill Clinton. He also served as Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Policy in the Department of Homeland Security during George W. Bush`s
And also joining us, Republican strategist and contributor to “The Daily
Beast,” Rick Wilson. He is the author of the book on Gordon Sondland`s
night table, “Everything Trump Touches Dies.”
Rick, thank you very much for joining us tonight and bringing life to your
book once again this week.
But Paul, let me start with you and your evaluation of the evidence you
have seen developed in the Intelligence Committee.
PAUL ROSENZWEIG, KEN STARR INVESTIGATION FORMER SENIOR COUNSEL & DEPARTMENT
OF HOMELAND SECURITY FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR POLICY: Well, I
think it`s a very powerful case for establishing the fact that the
President sought to personally benefit himself through the investigation of
his political opponent by abusing his political - his Presidential
authority and tying an investigation of his political opponent to the
withholding of aid that Congress had passed and demanded that he deliver to
It`s almost exactly what the founders thought of when they thought of a
president beholden to or engaged in affairs with a foreign government to
his own personal benefit over the interests of the United States.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Senator Blumenthal said today about the
President meeting with his Republican jurors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): In no way should they be having intimate
lunches or private conversations with the President when all of us know why
he`s invited them. His agenda is pretty clear. He`s trying to taint the
jury pool, and they should be above it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Rick Wilson, what`s your reaction to the Republican senators
lunching with the President today?
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, THE DAILY BEAST CONTRIBUTOR & AUTHOR,
EVERYTHING TRUMP TOUCHES DIES: Well, it`s like the jurors in the middle of
a mob trial going to Rayos (ph) with John Gotti. I mean, it makes no sense
whatsoever. They know they`re going to have to face this impeachment trial
in the Senate, and they know they`re being lobbied by the President. I
found it quite astounding.
If they were going down there to do a Howard Baker, it`d be one thing. But
they weren`t. They were going down there to rub elbows with this guy and
let him lobby them. And I find that astoundingly bad judgment, frankly.
O`DONNELL: And let`s take a look at what Congressman Will Hurd said today
because he`s the only Republican member of the Intelligence Committee who
doesn`t go on the attack. He tries to present himself as someone who`s
carefully evaluating the evidence. Let`s listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. WILL HURD (R-TX): An impeachable offense should be compelling,
overwhelmingly clear, and unambiguous. And it`s not something to be rushed
or taken lightly. I`ve not heard evidence proving the President committed
bribery or extortion. I also reject the notion that holding this view means
supporting all the foreign policy choices we have been hearing about over
these last few weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Paul, your reaction to that?
ROSENZWEIG: Very disappointing. I think that if the Congressman had been
listening closely, he would have, in fact, heard evidence that was
compelling and overwhelming as to the President`s abuse of his authority
with respect to the Ukraine.
It seems to me that he`s looking through the - looking at the evidence
through rose-colored glasses. I understand that it`s a difficult thing to
stand up, but that was not a profile in courage.
O`DONNELL: Rick, the President went out into the driveway and recited from
notes because he needed notes for this. The “No quid pro quo,” “I want no
quid pro quo,” on the day that Gordon Sondland says, “Oh, yes, there was a
quid pro quo.”
WILSON: Lawrence, every single person in that committee and every single
person in America and maybe except for Devin Nunes, who has the IQ roughly
of a cup of warm yogurt, understands - even the Republicans, they know
there was a quid pro quo, they know there was extortion. They understand
the President has committed impeachable offenses in the course of seeking
domestic political gain by using the power of his office to try to
manipulate and extort Ukraine into supporting this ludicrous scheme to
investigate the Bidens.
The President can recite a million times there was no quid pro quo, but
every single other witness, whether an eyewitness or a secondary witness,
every single piece of evidence we have so far, except for the stuff that
the White House is withholding from us, indicates there is a quid pro quo.
Donald Trump has a great reality bubble on the Fox side of equation, but it
doesn`t mean that it`s real. He can think that it`s - that he`s committed
no crimes and there`s no quid pro quo, but every other piece of tangible
evidence in the world points to the fact that he has.
O`DONNELL: Rick Wilson and Paul Rosenzweig, thank you both very much for
joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
WILSON: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, tonight`s viewer mail from an Oscar-
winning director and screen writer about the question that was not asked in
the impeachment hearings. You want to hear this question. I will read that
O`DONNELL: In tonight`s viewer mail, we have an e-mail from Oscar-winning
director and screen writer, Barry Levinson, who writes, “If this hearing
was a fictional piece of material, it would be presented in a totally
different manner. One of the Democratic players would ask this question.
How is it possible that President Trump was looking into corruption in
Ukraine? Suddenly he is a crime-fighter. Has the President ever tried to
end corruption anywhere at any time in his life over the years he`s been
found guilty of stealing from his own charity? Also, the President has been
found guilty of running a fake university and stealing money from people
who believed in him. The President has paid off women because of his sexual
aggressive behavior. Now, out of the blue, he wants to clean up corruption
in Ukraine, not Russia where Putin has killed off opposition players,
poisoning them in far off countries. President Trump has no real problem
with the Saudi Prince MbS having his butchers chop up a “Washington Post”
reporter. Not a real problem. Or Turkey`s aggression against Kurds, not a
big problem. But the Ukraine is corrupt, that needs to change? Are we
supposed to believe this? Donald Trump wants to clean up corruption,
starting with Biden`s son in Ukraine?”
The Democrats have not yet emphasized this absurdity at the center of the
Republican defense of Donald Trump. Might that moment come in the House
Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings or in the impeachment trial in the
United States Senate?
We are joined now by one of the jurors in the possible impeachment trial of
Donald J. Trump if he is impeached by the House of Representatives. Senator
Amy Klobuchar is a Democrat from Minnesota and member of the Senate
Judiciary Committee. She is also a candidate for President of the United
Senator, it is because you`re a candidate for President of the United
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: –that I believe you have - you already had the strength but
have built up the strength to deal with the kind of frustration that Barry
Levinson is feeling and people all over the country are feeling about this.
KLOBUCHAR: You know what? As a movie person, he knows that truth has become
stranger than fiction. So that is one thing.
O`DONNELL: Yes. He makes - he makes that point as he goes on in the e-mail
KLOBUCHAR: The second thing he has to remember is you can`t - that long of
a question would take up all your time. The third thing is, I think Adam
Schiff was trying to focus and did a very good job of this on what was in
front of him.
And I think these arguments will be made later. But remember, this phase of
this was gathering the evidence from career diplomats, career military. I
just will never forget seeing Fiona Hill today. I saw snippets of it, of
course. And just her stoic nature and the thought of her, my favorite story
that I read today about her was when she was a little girl in school and
some boy behind her set her pigtail on fire, and she doused it out with her
There she was, and she was focused on what was before her. And that was
what Russia did, what Ukraine didn`t do. And as I learned from going to
Ukraine twice now and once with Senator McCain and Graham, I mean, Russia
tried to influence, as we know, in a big way Ukrainian elections. They`ve
put up a puppet. And not only that, they invaded their country and annexed
Crimea. So that this thought that it was Ukraine that was the bad actor is
And I was really glad that you pointed this out. It`s not to say they don`t
have problems in their country with corruption, but I loved how she
explained today that for the President, corruption, in this case, was code
word for going after getting dirt on Biden.
O`DONNELL: I had a different introduction for this segment tonight–
O`DONNELL: –until I got this e-mail just minutes before the show.
O`DONNELL: And what I thought it captured was the kind of viewer
frustration that there is out there in watching this. And so, just to
clarify, we know that in a courtroom, that wouldn`t be admissible. If
Donald Trump is on trial for X, you couldn`t bring up all these other
things you know that are about his life. But this is different arena.
Would we - will we hear something like that said, for example, in the
Judiciary Committee when they`re considering impeachment, or could that be
said - that kind of thing be said in the Senate impeachment trial?
KLOBUCHAR: This is example of evidence because of the fact that, in this
case, he was allegedly the corruption crime-fighter.
KLOBUCHAR: And when you have other countries and other things that happen,
including the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, he showed no care
really about standing up for that.
O`DONNELL: So that could be made relevant in the–
KLOBUCHAR: I would think it would be, but I think, again, a lot of this is
going to depend on what our Republican colleagues do. And this is their
moment to decide, are they going to put their country first or not?
O`DONNELL: What`s your reaction to Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and others
having lunch with the President today?
KLOBUCHAR: I - it disappoints me. It`s not illegal or anything like that.
KLOBUCHAR: I could see if they were going over there on a major issue,
that, of course, would be fine, but instead, this is what`s happening. And
I just hope that they listen to the evidence and that they remember what
this is really about. It`s putting private interests, partisan interests in
front of our country`s.
O`DONNELL: We`re going to squeeze in a break because I`ve heard you`re
running for President. And we`re going to–
KLOBUCHAR: And we had a debate last night.
O`DONNELL: And we had a little bit of a debate last night. We`ve got to
talk about that when we come back after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KLOBUCHAR: I think you`ve got to win. And I am the win, Mr. Vice President,
that has been able to win every red and purple Congressional district as
the lead on a ticket every time. I govern both with my head and my heart.
And if you think a woman can`t beat Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi does it
every single day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That`s Presidential candidate, Senator Amy Klobuchar - in fact,
with us now. My rule is I don`t usually show video of the person I`m going
to cut to here. But–
O`DONNELL: But the Pelosi line was so good. OK? That`s the line one. And I
hadn`t - it had not occurred to me that one of the - or you are among the
possible beneficiaries of the way the country is watching Nancy Pelosi
work. Because there is a woman, clearly, running circles around Donald
Trump every day, has him tied up in knots. The idea–
KLOBUCHAR: With dignity.
O`DONNELL: Right. And showing - and I think showing very effectively - I
didn`t need the lesson. I didn`t need this lesson, but for anyone who does
need the lesson - of course, a woman nominee can run very strongly, very
effectively against Donald Trump.
KLOBUCHAR: Exactly. And I - it`s interesting that I made that point, but I
- because I`ve run two races now, were for my county attorney job and my
Senate job where I was the first woman in the job. And it didn`t happen
O`DONNELL: Was it an issue? Did you have to talk about–
KLOBUCHAR: People would ask about it all the time. Can a woman win? Can a
woman win? A woman has never won. And I would just always say, I`m running
on my merits. I am proud to be a woman candidate. I`m running on my merits.
But as you get to this level, the presidential, and you start hearing
people say things like “you don`t look presidential,” I keep being reminded
of Barbara Mikulski, who is always hilarious and is still strong, strong
person, who was a dean of the women senators. So one said–
O`DONNELL: Former senator, yes.
KLOBUCHAR: Someone said, “Well, I don`t know if you look like a senator,”
and she said, “This is what a senator looks like.” And so I wanted to make-
O`DONNELL: And Barbara was about this high.
O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes.
KLOBUCHAR: So I wanted to make the point that given that we have had 45
presidents and they`re all men, maybe we do have a higher standard. I
believe I can meet that standard, but we need to dispel some thoughts here.
You don`t have to be the tallest person or the louder person or the
skinniest person. You just have to be able to do your job and do it well
and have the back of the American people
And then, finally, yes, Nancy Pelosi is the ultimate representation of that
because she`s been doing this a long time, and she`s shown that, one,
experience matters, and she`s shown her caucus that. She`s someone that has
bridged left to right in her own caucus. She`s someone that brings people
with her. And she has literally made her point to him with one - my
favorite one was when she left that White House meeting and one flick of
her sunglasses. She showed him what power was.
O`DONNELL: Not to mention literally standing up to him in the cabinet room-
O`DONNELL: –in that shot that we can never forget. And that was a
demonstration, I think, to - so symbolic, so powerful. In last night`s
debate, there was kind of a forgotten kind of ghost outside the building
called the United States Congress. But this is true of all Presidential
debates. The candidates always talk about what they`re going to do as if
there is no Congress, as if there`s no House of Representatives, none of
And so, what do you - what do you think is a realistic set of proposals
that you could handle if the Democrats - let`s grant the Democrats a
possible majority in the Senate. It wouldn`t be an overwhelming majority.
There`s no math that gets you to that. What becomes reasonable at that
KLOBUCHAR: So, first of all, I think you can`t divorce yourselves from
Congress. And I`ve been the one making that point, that we can`t just eek
by a victory for a new president at 4:00 in the morning when one state
comes in. We can`t just win. We have to win big, because if you truly want
to get these big things done on immigration reform and climate change and
health care, we can`t just eek by a win. And that`s one of my major
arguments that I bring in those states, and I will bring in the suburban
districts and the rural.
And then once we`ve done that, oh, yes, you`ve got to do some things
immediately. And that`s why I`ve put out a 100-day plan. FDR did that in
the middle of an economic crisis. We`re in a trust crisis. And when you
look at what just happened in Kentucky and Virginia where we brought in
voters, independents, moderate Republicans, that`s how you build that
coalition. So you immediately make change with climate change, immigration
reform, health care, and economic issues and get it done.
O`DONNELL: We`re out of time. That seat is always there for you whenever
you`re in town.
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Senator Amy Klobuchar, candidate for President of the United
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: She gets tonight`s last word. That is “Tonight`s Last Word.”
“The 11th Hour” with Brian Williams starts now.
Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>
Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the