Sen. Elizabeth Warren reacts to Legal Experts. TRANSCRIPT: 12/4/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
And we saw three eloquent law professors speaking in favor and support of
impeachment in that hearing today. On this hour now, we have three
eloquent law professors who I think also will be speaking in support of
impeachment. Professor Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School. Also,
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, “TRMS”: Ooh.
O`DONNELL: Former law professor now senator, soon to be possible juror in
the impeachment trial, candidate for president of the United States.
O`DONNELL: And former law professor Jamie Raskin one of the members of the
committee today who was asking questions in the hearing, with whom, by the
way, I think I have a disagreement, perhaps a minor disagreement about what
this possibly means in the future. But it`s law professor day in the
hearing, law professor night here.
MADDOW: With that kind of legal firepower arrayed on your show, I might
take it easy in terms of picking fights. I`m just saying.
O`DONNELL: Now, Rachel, to the unsung hero I mean hero of this hearing
today. That was, of course, Madeline Strasser. Madeleine Strasser, she
did not ask any questions.
There`s a shot of her. That`s her long hair hanging down the side,
Congressman Swalwell right now.
O`DONNELL: She is the clerk, Rachel, who called the roll call votes faster
than anyone has ever called roll call votes in the House of
Representatives, 40 members of that committee. She did it at an incredible
speed. She did the math of adding up votes faster than I`ve ever seen
anyone do it.
She`s a junior member of the staff. She`s a 2017 graduate of Penn State.
She`s been with the committee just this year.
Madeline Strasser, I have never seen anything like it.
MADDOW: Saving the country from dilatory tactics in terms of slowing
things down with those – with those roll call votes, well put. I`m glad
you suss that out.
O`DONNELL: Let me share a personal secret about this. When I took over
the top job at the Senate Finance Committee, staff director job, the
tradition then 1993 was that the staff director, the top staff member of
course calls the roll publicly on C-Span in the hearing and does the math
of adding up the votes and announcing the vote.
MADDOW: Can I play clips of you doing that? Please tell me where this
O`DONNELL: I was terrified to do that, so I handed the roll to Rob Conner
who was one of our junior staff members at the time. He was basically our
Madeline Strasser. I gave it to the lowest ranking member on the staff
committee to do it and I may have ended up committing a bit of trend, the
top guy ducking that job and handing it to the junior staff, Madeline
MADDOW: In order to graph this story we have to get our head around the
fact you didn`t want to be on TV.
O`DONNELL: Well, no, I didn`t want – Rachel, I was afraid of doing math
live on TV. That`s what it was.
MADDOW: That was actually smart and fair.
O`DONNELL: But, yes, I was a little bit more modest in those days.
MADDOW: Well, you`ve grown into it well.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Well, three out of four law professors say Donald Trump should
be impeached, and the fourth says Donald Trump should not be impeached yet.
The dissenting law professor at today`s hearing, Jonathan Turley, did not
actually defend Donald Trump`s actions that are currently under
investigation. Professor Turley simply argued that the House of
Representatives should slow down and spend months fighting in courts to
force the testimony of Trump officials who are refusing to testify. And
after that, then maybe – maybe Donald Trump should be impeached.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN TURLEY, PROFESSOR, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Impeachments
require a certain period of saturation and maturation. It is the public
has to catch up. I`m not prejudging what your record would show. But if
you rush this impeachment, you`re going to leave half the country behind.
And certainly, that`s not what the president – what the Framers wanted.
You have to give the time to build the record.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The three other law professors testifying today, Noah Feldman,
Pamela Karlan and Michael Gerhardt agreed that the president`s
unprecedented order to not testify issued to everyone in his administration
is in and of itself an impeachable offense as obstruction of Congress.
Jonathan Turley did not disagree that it could be an impeachable offense.
He just suggested that the Democrats need to spend months in court fighting
the president over those witnesses before writing that up as an obstruction
article of impeachment. Harvard law professor Noah Feldman said that he
did not support impeachment efforts against the president until he read the
call record of Donald Trump`s phone call with the president of Ukraine in
which Donald Trump asked the president of Ukraine to announce an
investigation of Joe Biden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NORM EISEN, DEMOCRATS` COUNSEL: I`d like to focus the panel on the
evidence they considered and the findings in the intelligence committee
report that the president solicited the interference of a foreign
government, Ukraine, in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Professor Feldman, did President Trump commit the impeachable high crime
and misdemeanor of abuse of power based on that evidence and those
NOAH FELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC WITNESS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Based on that
evidence and those findings, the president did commit an impeachable abuse
EISEN: Professor Karlan, same question.
PROF. PAMELA S. KARLAN, DEMOCRATIC WITNESS, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Same
EISEN: And Professor Gerhardt, did President Trump commit the impeachable
high crime and misdemeanor of abuse of power?
MICHAEL GERHARDT, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF LAW: We three are
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The three law professors supporting impeachment now repeatedly
cited specific points of evidence in making their case.
Jonathan Turley never cited evidence in his repeated urging that Congress
slow down in its gathering of evidence. Stanford Law professor Pamela
Karlan to went out of her way to cite what she thought was the single most
damning line of testimony in the impeachment inquiry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARLAN: I spent all of Thanksgiving vacation sitting there reading these
transcripts. I didn`t – you know, I ate like a turkey that came to us in
the mail that was already cooked because I was spending my time doing this.
And the most chilling line for me of the entire process was the following.
Ambassador Sondland said he had to announce the investigations. He`s
talking about President Zelensky. He had to announce the investigations.
He didn`t actually have to do them as I understood it.
And then he said, I never heard Mr. Goldman, anyone say that the
investigations had to start or had to be completed. The only thing I heard
from Mr. Giuliani or otherwise is that they had to be announced in some
And what I took that to mean is this was not about whether Vice President
Biden actually committed corruption or not. This was about injuring
somebody who the president thinks of as a particularly – a particularly
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: No Republican in the room responded in any way to that point
raised by Professor Karlan. Jonathan Turley did not say one word about it.
All the Republicans on the committee pretended Donald Trump withheld $400
million in military aid to Ukraine while he was properly evaluating
Ukraine`s fitness to receive such aid.
Every Republican in the room knows they are all lying about that. They all
know that the Defense Department certified Ukraine`s suitability for such
aid before Donald Trump blocked it. Every Republican in the room pretended
in the end Donald Trump decided to send the aid to Ukraine even though
Ukraine did not publicly announce an investigation of Joe Biden and
therefore Donald Trump did nothing wrong. Every Republican in the room
knows they are lying ability that. Every Republican in the room knows that
Trump only – only released the aid to Ukraine when the Democrats in the
House of Representatives started investigating why Donald Trump was holding
up that aid. And every Republican in the room knows that Donald Trump was
warned about a whistle-blower complaint about this before – before he
released the aid to Ukraine.
In other words, everyone in that room, Democrat and Republican, knows that
Donald Trump released the aid to Ukraine only because he got caught in the
act of illegally withholding it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EISEN: Does it matter – I`ll ask all the panelists does it matter to
impeachment that the $391 million, U.S. taxpayer dollars in military
assistance that the president withheld, was ultimately delivered?
Professor Feldman, does that matter to the question of impeachment?
FELDMAN: No, it does not. If – if the president of the United States
attempts to abuse his office, that is a complete impeachable offense. The
possibility that the president might get caught in the process of
attempting to abuse his office and then not be able to pull it off does not
undercut in any way the impeachability of the act.
If you`ll pardon a comparison, President Nixon was subject to articles of
impeachment preferred by this committee for attempting to cover-up the
Watergate break-in. The fact that President Nixon was not ultimately
successful for covering up the break in was not grounds for not impeaching
him. The intent itself is the impeachable act.
KARLAN: Soliciting itself is the impeachable offense regardless of whether
the other person comes up with it. So, imagine that the – imagine the
president had said, will you do us a favor, will you investigate Joe Biden
and the president of Ukraine said, you know what, no, I won`t because we`ve
already looked into this and it`s totally baseless. The president would
still have committed an impeachable act, even if he had been refused right
there on the phone.
GERHARDT: One of the things to understand from the history of impeachment
is everybody`s who`s impeached has failed. They failed to get what they
wanted. And what they wanted was not just to do what they did but to get
away with it.
And the point of impeachment is – and it`s made possible through
investigation is to catch that person, charge that person and ultimately
remove that person from office. But impeachments are always focusing on
somebody who didn`t quite get as far as they wanted to.
(END VIDOE CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion on this historic night is Harvard
Law professor Laurence Tribe. He is the coauthor of “To End a Presidency:
The Power of Impeachment.”
Professor Tribe, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
I want to begin with the fact your book was cited by a Republican member of
Congress in the hearing today emphasizing a passage about the
undesirability of basically partisan impeachment processes, one party
moving toward impeachment. But that was a selective reading of your book,
which has more to say about this.
LAURENCE TRIBE, HARVARD UNIVERSITY CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR: Well,
actually the very next sentence says that even more dangerous is a purely
partisan refusal to impeach and remove a president who has so gravely
abused his office as to endanger democracy and endanger our constitutional
republic. That was the important point, and, of course, that`s not the
point the Republicans wanted to emphasize.
O`DONNELL: The hearing today had these two different tracks. The
Republicans do this pretend game where they pretend Donald Trump just
voluntarily decided to hand over the money, the aid to Ukraine and they
pretend that Donald Trump didn`t already know there was a whistle-blower
complaint filed against him and an investigation of what he was up to the
TRIBE: Well, the pretense is ridiculous. We know as all three of the
excellent law professors called by the Democrats made clear, we know that
this is a president who was abusing his office, abusing his power,
betraying his oath, corrupting the next election in a dangerous way. And
we know that the very fact that the whistle got blown and that he then
decided, well, he`d better release the transcript or almost transcript of
his call with President Zelensky, we know that that just shows that he will
do whatever it takes until he`s caught, and then he`ll wait and then he`ll
I mean, there`s a pattern that began with his asking for Russia`s help and
then accepting it. And then obstructing justice in the investigation of
the Russian thing, and as soon as we heard the testimony of Robert Mueller,
which the president thought exonerated him, he was at it again. And at
that point, he was trying to shakedown Ukraine.
This is as the witnesses made clear, the classic case for removing a
president who will not obey the law and who will the moment he thinks he
can get away with it, interfere with the central part of our democracy, our
electoral system. It really gets me that the Republicans say, well, just
wait until the next election. What, the election that he`s trying to
corrupt with more help from Russia. With help as he asked publicly from
China, with whatever he can get from Ukraine.
This is not a case for waiting. It`s a case where there is an urgent need
to protect the national security from an abusive president. That`s what
this hearing established, and it established it eloquently I thought.
O`DONNELL: Well, the case for waiting that Professor Turley made today was
that maybe after a long court fight you could get John Bolton to testify or
you could get Mike Pompeo to testify. And they might add incriminating
evidence of – to the case that then Jonathan Turley himself would support
Turley was careful not to say he`s an absolute proponent of impeachment at
this case. He said he doesn`t see enough evidence developed yet.
What do you make of his argument slow down and fight through the testimony
through the courts and John Bolton and others?
TRIBE: Well, obviously, what he`s trying to do is drag this thing out
until there`s no time left and we have a potentially corrupted 2020
election. That is a prescription for disaster.
The idea that we need to let this thing saturate and pickle for a while
longer is just crazy. When the president lays down the gauntlet, orders
his entire executive branch to stonewall, and then whenever any of the
subpoenas ends up in court, now you`ve got to wait until the courts decide.
That`s a prescription for not having an impeachment power.
And indeed the position that Jonathan Turley and the Republicans seem to
have taken is we really don`t need an impeachment power, we`ve got an
election every four years. And I thought that Noah Feldman and Pam Karlan
and Mike Gerhardt did a terrific job explaining that the reason the framers
put in an impeachment power was that we might someday have a president
who`s such a demagogue and so inattentive to the law and the rule of law
that it would be dangerous to wait for the next election. That`s why we
have the impeachment power. And I think this is the time we need to use
O`DONNELL: I want to take a look at an exchange with Congressman Joe
Neguse and Jonathan Turley in which Jonathan Turley does not disagree that
previous presidents in the impeachment process have been much more
cooperative with the process. Let`s listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO): We know as we count these examples, that President
Nixon did in fact allow his chief of staff and his chief counsel to
testify, and this president has not. We know President Clinton responded
to interrogatories propounded by that impeachment inquiry and this
president has not. At the end of the day this Congress and this committee
has an obligation to ensure that the law is enforced.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The Republicans search the entire country, that was the law
professor they wanted to hear from. And he did not disagree that the
previous presidents who found themselves in this situation were much more
cooperative than Donald Trump.
TRIBE: You know, it`s not a matter of just grading the presidents. What`s
involved is no president in American history has ever basically said, you
can`t indict me, you can`t investigate me. And although you can try to
impeach me, I`m going to hide all the evidence, order all of the members of
the executive branch to stonewall and to defy subpoenas. And then I`ll
claim you don`t have enough evidence.
Well, in this case, there were a few upstanding public servants who
wouldn`t obey the president`s order to stand down. And as a result we have
a very impressive 300-page report that I actually managed to read without
getting a hell of a lot of sleep, that establishes that even with all of
that stonewalling, the evidence is really the disputable that we have a
president that did exactly what the Framers feared might someday happen.
This is what they were afraid of. And if impeachment is set aside in this
case, we will then be doomed because future presidents, Democrats and
Republicans, will know that they can get away with the equivalent of
murder. And with enough Ukrainians being killed because the aid was
withheld, it really is a kind of murder. We really cannot afford to wait.
O`DONNELL: Harvard`s constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe, he`s the
author of “To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment”, Professor Tribe,
once again thank you very much for joining us on this important night.
TRIBE: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Professor.
TRIBE: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, another Harvard law professor. Well,
that was her old job. Elizabeth Warren will join us.
O`DONNELL: Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman testified today that he was
not in favor of the impeachment of the president until he read the record
of President Trump`s phone call with the president of Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NORM EISEN, DEMOCRATS` COUNSEL: Professor Feldman, you were somewhat of an
impeachment skeptic at the time of the release of the Mueller report, were
NOAH FELDMAN, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR: I was.
EISEN: What`s changed for you, sir?
FELDMAN: What changed for me was the revelation of the July 25th call and
then the evidence that emerged subsequently of the president of the United
States in a format where he was heard by others and now known to the whole
public, openly abused his office by seeking a personal advantage in order
to get himself re-elected and act against the national security of the
United States. And that is precisely the situation that the Framers
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Our next guest is a former Harvard law professor who was in
favor of impeachment as soon as she finished reading the Mueller report.
Elizabeth Warren is now a member of the United States Senate where she will
very likely serve as a juror if there`s an impeachment trial of President
Senator Warren is also, of course, a candidate for president of the United
States, and she joins us now with her reaction to today`s impeachment
What was it like for you to see Professor Feldman today reacting to the
phone call when you finished reading the Mueller report and thought you saw
it all right there, the case for impeachment?
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, you know, when I
first got into this presidential race, I didn`t for a million years think
this going to be about impeachment. I – going to hold (ph) him for the
corruption that was – that was evident at every level, but nothing like
And on the day the Mueller report came out, I read it, all 448 pages, read
it into the next morning. And when I got to the end, it had shown three
things. And when I say shown, I mean chapter and verse. You know, it was
all there with references to the affidavits and the sworn testimony and so
A hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election for the purpose of
helping Donald Trump. As a candidate for president, Donald Trump had
welcomed that help. And when our federal government tried to investigate
number one and number two, Donald Trump as president did everything he
could to obstruct that investigation.
So, for me, the pieces were there. And I thought it was time to open an
impeachment inquiry at that point. The way I see it no one is above the
law, not even the president of the United States and a president does not
get to obstruct justice. That`s outside the bounds. And this has been
So I thought that was done. I mean, I felt like the Mueller report, I
called for it on that day.
And the thing is I believed that if we didn`t hold him accountable, he`d do
it again. He`d break the law again. He`d say, you know, I can get away
And now it turns out, sure enough during the summer, he turns right around
O`DONNELL: The day after Robert Mueller testifies, he`s on the phone with
the president of Ukraine.
WARREN: That`s right. Offering taxpayer dollars, in effect, dangling it
out there as bait and a trip to the White House, and saying, but what I
want in return is not something for the United States of America, not
something to protect the world against Russian aggression. What I want is
something Donald Trump is saying to line Donald Trump`s own pocket, to help
advance Donald Trump`s own political future.
And that was just kind of like, what do you expect? The guy thinks he can
get away with anything. That`s what the Mueller report showed and that`s
what Ukraine showed.
And then, remember when he was first called out, when the Ukraine
conversation leaked out, you`ll remember one of his initial responses was
to go out and say, I`m going to ask China to do the same thing, too. And
he`s engaged repeatedly in trying to block any investigation.
So, in a sense, nobody should be surprised here. The evidence just keeps
accumulating in the same vein.
O`DONNELL: Chairman Nadler specified in the hearing today that this would
be the moment where the president`s lawyers would be invited to
O`DONNELL: The president`s lawyer wasn`t there. Instead, the president`s
lawyer was at the caucus luncheon today with all – usually all of the
Republican senators, almost all of them show up for that lunch, meeting
with them privately talking about the trial in which they will be jurors.
But that`s because they don`t want to mount a public defense. What they`re
trying to do is to figure out a way to politic this around the edges and
once again try to avoid accountability.
Look, that`s what they did with the Mueller report, right? Remember the
delay. That wasn`t about releasing the report to the American people. It
was, well, if you delay it and spin it and maybe get enough confusion
So, it`s another clever political move at a time when we should really not
be playing politics.
This is one of the most serious undertakings for a Congress. We took an
oath of office not to a political party, not to a particular individual
president, but to uphold the Constitution of the United States. And the
Constitution makes clear no one is above the law.
And the way we make certain that a president is not above the law is we
have the tool of impeachment.
So, I`m glad the process has started, and I hope we hold him accountable.
O`DONNELL: Mitch McConnell has invited Chuck Schumer to get together to
figure out rules for the impeachment trial. In the past, that`s been easy
to do. That was a very cooperative decision made by Senate leaders in the
Clinton impeachment trial.
Do you think that`s possible this time, that they will actually have –
they will be able to cooperate on a set of rules for the trial?
WARREN: I don`t know. And I`ll tell you why I don`t know. Because I`m
worried about exactly the lunch you were talking about today.
WARREN: This notion that they`re not looking for a set of rules that moves
this forward and we get a sober deliberation of the facts, but instead to
try to keep – how can you – how can you play the political angle on this?
Where will you have the most room to spin?
And if that`s the case, it may be tough to get a cooperative set of rules
out of them.
O`DONNELL: We have to squeeze in a break.
When we come back, I want to ask –
O`DONNELL: – how this works. An impeachment trial in January works into
the presidential campaign. We`ll talk more about the presidential
We`ll be right back with Senator Elizabeth Warren.
O`DONNELL: Sen. Elizabeth Warren is back with us. I want to try to rush
through some presidential campaign but let`s begin with you are probably
going to be a juror in a senate impeachment trial in January when you were
scheduled to be campaigning for President.
The impeachment trials usually mean the senators have to physically be
present in the Senate chamber the whole time. How do you manage that?
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, some
things are more important than politics. I took a constitutional oath and
that`s it, I`ll be there.
O`DONNELL: To the campaign, your colleague Senator Kamala Harris was forced
to drop out, having trouble financing her campaign. She`s nowhere near the
lowest in the polls. There`s plenty of people below her in the polls who
are still in it.
Lot of talk of Kamala Harris as a possible Vice Presidential candidate.
Would she be on your shortlist already?
WARREN: Oh yes. I mean look, Kamala Harris will be on any Democrat`s
shortlist. She`s smart, she`s confident, she`s got this terrific voice and
look what she did. You know, I started working with Kamala back during the
housing crisis when she was Attorney General of California and I was
setting up the consumer agency.
And boy, she was a tough advocate for families and watch what she did
during the - during the Kavanaugh hearings, holding our attorneys general
accountable, going after Barr, going after Sessions. Kamala is terrific and
I guarantee, we`re going to hear a lot more from Kamala in a lot of
different ways in the coming time.
O`DONNELL: I want to take a quick look at 12 seconds of video that involves
President Trump on the world stage. This was the video that`s come out of
London. Let`s - let`s take a look at that, the other world leaders making
fun of President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Is that why - is that you
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER, CANADA: He was late because he takes a 40
minute - 40 minute press conference off the top. I watched his team`s jaws
drop on the floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And when President Trump discovered that, he basically fled the
scene and didn`t do a press conference. Your competitor Joe Biden now has a
TV ad out showing that the world is laughing at our President. What is your
reaction to that?
WARREN: Donald Trump embarrasses America on the world stage and he does it
repeatedly and there`s a real cost to that. It`s not just about being
humiliated. It`s about what ally wants to work with, who can trust the word
of the American President and that undercuts everything we try to do.
Our allies are important because they help magnify what we want to do, our
leadership is important in the world and it`s clear, Donald Trump has just
burned that at high.
O`DONNELL: The Mirror Times this week, it was the Monday edition. Front
page of the business section had some very disturbing news because that was
of course, the billionaires` favorite section of the Mirror Times.
The very disturbing news was that the Warren wealth tax as the Mirror Times
put it is the most popular economic policy advocated in the presidential
campaign. They`re showing a support of 63 percent total. 77 percent of
Democrats. Amazing 57 percent of Republicans support the Warren wealth tax.
The - the - where do you think this discussion is going from this point
forward in the campaign? I mean, the other candidates watching this have to
be thinking about that.
WARREN: So look, what this says is people get it, regardless of party
affiliation. Democrats, Republicans, independents, they get it. This
government is working great for those at the top and it`s not working for
anyone else. That`s corruption, pure and simple. It`s why I`m in this race.
But it`s also about our presidential race. You know billionaires look at
that and you might be surprised to hear they take exception to it. They get
on the phone, call other billionaires and say why don`t you run for
President and another one goes on TV and cries about it. That`s the
O`DONNELL: Wait, which billionaire cried? Did a billionaire cry? Are you
WARREN: Oh yes. No, I`m not exaggerating. See the video clip. This guy
cries. Keep up.
O`DONNELL: Find me the crying billionaire.
WARREN: Find the crying billionaire, roll the crying the billionaire but
here`s the thing. This is a fundamental question we have to ask as
Democrats in this primary. Can people just by elections, can Michael
Bloomberg come in and drop $37 million and suddenly he`s really a
candidate, that we have another billionaire in the race that gets to buy
all these ads.
That or are we actually going to build a grass roots movement, the kind of
grass roots movement that means we aren`t just a country that works for the
billionaires because if - what it means is, if you have to either be a
billionaire or suck up to billionaires to be the democratic nominee them
buckle up because world`s going to keep working a whole lot better for
This government will work better for them but if you think the alternate it
is true, that we build this from the grass roots, that`s what I`ve done
from the beginning and I hope everybody who thinks that`s the right way to
do it, goes to Elizabeth Warren.com, pitches in 5 Bucks or volunteers an
hour or meets up with a group in their locality because the thing is
democracy is in the balance here.
Whether or not this government is just going to keep working better and
better and better for those who already made it big or whether that two
percent wealth tax, we`re going to say, you got to pitch in to make this
country work, not just for those at the top.
Universal child care, universal preschool for every kid in this country.
Stop exploiting the women, largely black and brown women who do this work.
Raise the wages of every child care worker in America. Put $800 billion
into our public schools, provide technical school 2-year college, 4-year
college for anyone who wants an education.
Put $50 billion into our historically black colleges and universities,
leveling the playing field and that`s same two cents does all that and lets
us cancel student loan debt for 43 million Americans.
This is about numbers, it`s about money but it`s about our values. It is
about how we think democracy should work. Are we going to run this place
for the billionaires or are we going to run this country for everyone else.
The door has opened just a crack in 2020. We`ve got such an opportunity,
not to go back to business as usual.
But an opportunity to build an America that doesn`t just work for those at
O`DONNELL: Let`s squeeze in healthcare which is the other issue that was in
this poll. Medicare for all, pulling well among Democrats, not pulling as
well generally as the wealth tax. Your position now has been to pull away
from an immediate enactment of Medicare for all.
First 3 years of your presidency at least would be a kind of build in,
phase in, what would be the difference at this point? Legislatively -
legislatively, the real legislative reality difference between the Warren
first term President health care plan and the Biden first term healthcare.
WARREN: So let me start with the first day health plan and that is I will
do everything a President can do on her own to help people get relief
because my overall philosophy is I want - people are struggling with health
care bills, millions of people who didn`t have a prescription filled,
didn`t have to lump checked out at the doctor because they can`t pay the co
pay, they can`t pay the deductible, it`s not covered even if they have
So my view is let`s give them maximum number of people, the maximum amount
of help in the shortest period of time. Day 1, I will reduce the cost of
prescription drugs. You know, the President has the power to do this, march
in orders on a whole lot of prescription drugs.
I`m going to do it on things like epipens and other important drugs,
insulin. That will save millions of families hundreds of millions of
dollars and help bring down cost in the system. Then in the first 100 days,
let`s open up opportunities for people. Lower the eligibility for Medicare
so that people who want to leave private insurance or don`t have insurance,
can get on to Medicare if that`s what they want to do. Let`s make Medicare
for all available to everyone and because I`ve already got it paid for,
without raising taxes on middle class families, we could do this.
O`DONNELL: But I–
WARREN: We can make it free.
O`DONNELL: But I - it`s like your current version of the plan has delayed
phases, Medicare for all.
WARREN: No but Lawrence, it`s 18 - everyone under 18 can do it for free, a
family of four can do it for free if their incomes under $50,000. Look what
that does. It creates opportunities and it creates options for people. Then
we get tens of millions of people who figured out that they can get
healthcare and it`s about them and their doctor and their nurse
practitioner and their mental health professional and their physical
therapist with no insurance company in between.
We got a lot of allies and I think that`s when we vote and we get Medicare.
O`DONNELL: We are running out of time. Let me just leave you with a sign or
veto quick question. Say you`re President, Amy Klobuchar is still a
senator. Amy Klobuchar pushes through a modest bill that includes a public
option for Obamacare, no phase in, no direction toward Medicare for all at
all. Would you veto it?
WARREN: Look, I will - I will sign anything that helps and I`ll keep
fighting for more ways to help because I think that`s the right way to do
it. That`s why I said, I will start on day one by lowering the cost of
prescription drugs. This is about trying to get some relief to the American
You know, this has been a big part of my life`s work, it`s been about
trying to just get out there and fight for working families. America`s
middle class has been hollowed out. Working families are under more
financial stress than ever. And we have a chance to help them.
We have a chance to help on housing and health care and childcare and the
cost of sending a kid off to school. We need to move forward on that
because it`s time to stop investing in the billionaires and start investing
in the rest of America.
O`DONNELL: Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, thank you for joining
us once again.
WARREN: Let`s just see.
O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it, thank you and when we come back, member of
the House Judiciary Committee who is also a former law professor will join
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Is it fair to say that all three clauses for
impeachment explicitly contemplated by the founders: abuse of power,
betrayal of our national security and corruption of our elections are
present in this President`s conduct, yes or no? Professor Feldman.
PROF. NOAH FELDMAN: Yes.
RASKIN: And Professor Gerhadt.
PROF. MICHAEL GERHADT: Yes Sir.
RASKIN: And Professor Karlan.
PROF. PAMELA KARLAN: Yes
RASKIN: You all agree, OK. And do you are any of you aware of any other
president who has essentially triggered all three concerns that animated
GERHADT: No as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Congressman Jamie Raskin, Democrat
from Maryland. He`s a former constitutional law professor. He`s now a
member of the Judiciary Committee. Also with us former Chief Counsel to the
Senate Judiciary Committee, Ron Klain. Ron is an advisor to Joe Biden`s
2020 presidential campaign.
And Congressman Raskin, I just want to show one more sentence of something
you said today in the hearing. Let`s listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RASKIN: If we let the President get away with this conduct, every President
can get away with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Congressman, I have to say from where I`m sitting, I disagree
with that. I think if you let this President get away with this conduct,
every Republican President can get away with it. You know that those
Republicans in that room with you would immediately vote to impeach any
Democratic President who did any of this.
RASKIN: Well, I suppose that`s right. You know, that is a scary topsy-turvy
world we`re contemplating if we really let President Trump get away with
it. You know at that point, I think the Democrats would be forced to stick
to our constitutional principles and say, this is a sell-out of our
constitution and let`s get back to basics.
But you`re right, I mean what we`ve seen from our colleagues is incredible
inconsistency. I mean, they`re willing to impeach Bill Clinton over telling
one lie about sex but they`re not willing to even conduct an inquiry into
whether Trump should be impeached for selling out the national security in
the election in 2020 and our democratic sovereignty by allowing the
President to shake down a foreign government.
So you know, what we keep wanting to ask them hey, you know if Barack Obama
had done this, would you feel any differently about it? And they just won`t
answer. They just kind of roll their eyes.
O`DONNELL: Ron Klain, I think we know the answer to exactly what they would
do. And Johnathan Turley in a way represents it. Jonathan Turley testified
to that very same committee that President Bill Clinton should be impeached
and here he was back today testifying that President Trump should not be
RON KLAIN, FORMER CHIEF COUNSEL, SENATE JUDICIARY CMTE: Yes, even more
crazy Lawrence, even as this President is being impeached, you know Rudy
Giuliani to mock an internet meme is like, here hold my beer. I mean he is
over in Europe, still trying to find people to come interfere in our
So even the act - even the act of the House picking up the impeachment is
not enough to stop Trump. This is why he`s going to have to be removed if
this conduct`s going to end.
O`DONNELL: Yes, Congressman Raskin, your Republican colleagues, I think
learned today that Rudy Giuliani is in Ukraine this week again. What can
you tell us about what happens next in your committee?
RASKIN: Well, the House resolution we`re operating under will have the
lawyer for the Intelligence Committee Mr. Goldman come and present the
findings formally. The Republicans will get to have their say on their
dissenting report. We will analyze it. We will thoroughly ventilated the
whole set of factual findings and then we`re going to begin to decide how
to move forward.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Jamie Raskin, Ron Klain, thank you both for joining
our discussion tonight. Really appreciate it.
KLAIN: Thanks so much.
O`DONNELL: We`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: We close tonight with some amazingly good news. Yesterday on
Giving Tuesday, millions of people around the world demonstrated their
generosity through record breaking giving, volunteering in acts of
kindness. In the United States alone, Giving Tuesday broke records
yesterday with nearly $2 billion contributed by donors in the United States
alone, about one fourth of that was contributed online.
The organizers of Giving Tuesday report that $511 million in online
contributions poured in in the United States on Giving Tuesday. That is an
increase of over $100 million from the online total of last year on Giving
MSNBC and NBC news are signature media partners of Giving Tuesday for the
sixth year in a row and many of our LAST WORD viewers supported Giving
Tuesday by contributing to the KIND Fund. Kids in need of desks.
The program that I created with UNICEF and MSNBC which provides desks for
children in African schools, where they have never seen desks as well as
scholarships for girls to attend high school in Malawi where like most
African countries, public high school is not free.
Lisa tweeted, “For Giving Tuesday, I made a donation to the Kind fund to
give the gift of the desk and a bench for school kids in Malawi. I hope
you`ll consider donating too. Valerie tweeted, “Donated to the KIND fund in
honor of my mother Lola McBee Cowan who struggled to get her education. She
would be delighted that a girl in Malawi will get a year of high school.”
Thanks to your generosity I was stunned today to discover that you set a
record for Kind Fund donations. Since Monday night at this hour when I
reminded you of the Kind Fund for Giving Tuesday, you have contributed
$637,300 to the Kind Fund.
This is by far the largest Giving Tuesday in the history of the KIND Fund.
Your contributions this week bring the total that you have contributed
since we began the KIND fund on this program in 2010 to $22,330,105.
We still have a very long way to go to provide desks for every school in
the Malawi that needs desks and scholarships for every girl in Malawi who
needs help to graduate from high school there.
You can continue to donate any amount at lastworddesks.msnbc.com. No
contribution is too small. I am in awe of your generosity and kindness and
some girls who are attending high school right now in Malawi, thanks to
you, would like to say thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHILDREN IN MALAWI: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That is tonight`s LAST WORD. “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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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