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Amy Klobuchar on The Last Word. TRANSCRIPT: 11/21/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O'Donnell.

Guests: Val Demings, Ron Klain, Laurence Tribe, Paul Rosenzweig, RickWilson, Amy Klobuchar

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Lawrence, I`m sorry I went late. 


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 avoid conflict. 

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. 


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 know. 

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. 


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 constitutional obligation. 

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. 


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. 


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. 


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 cooking up. 

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. 


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. 


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? 

HOLMES:  Yes. 

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? 

HOLMES:  Correct. 

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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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 you tried. 


O`DONNELL:  You can tell the Kardashians you tried. 

Gordon Sondland knows that the Kardashians are very big stuff to Donald Trump. 

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 impeachment hearings. 

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 busy week. 

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 obligations. 

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 Committee. 

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 there. 

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 impeachable. 

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. 


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. 


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 of impeachment? 

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 testimony. 

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 all. 

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.


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 him.

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.



O`DONNELL: Tomorrow morning on "Fox & Friends," the President will see this ad run by Republicans for the rule of law.


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 wrong.

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 disturbing.

SONDLAND: Was there a quid pro quo? The answer is yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Republicans must stand up to Trump`s abuse of power.


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 administration.

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 the Ukraine.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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 next.


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 States.

Senator, it is because you`re a candidate for President of the United States--


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 (ph).

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 own hands.

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 absurd.

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.



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.


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--

KLOBUCHAR: Understand.

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 before.

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 that.

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 point?

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 States.

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.