Listen: Ukraine, Russia, Speaker Pelosi discussed on Impeachment: A Daily Podcast
"This is impeachment a daily podcast from WNYC. I'm Brian Lehrer. It's Friday December six. Here's a decision for the Democrats that you might think they've already made by now. What is impeachment actually about well Speaker Pelosi? It's about Ukraine right. This isn't about Russia. Who benefited by our withholding tolling withholding of that military assistance show was about Russia? Sometimes people say well. I don't know about Ukraine. I don't that much about Ukraine. Low our adversary in this is Russia. All Roads Lead to Putin understand that Speaker Pelosi yesterday Saturday at a news conference. It's not about Ukraine. It's about Russia but that came shortly after. The speaker said this in announcing that an abusive power our articles of impeachment will now be drawn up. The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit it at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation Gatien into his political rival. Well that sounds like it's about Ukraine. The president abused his power for his own personal benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding the military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement investigation into his political rival Ukraine. Of course impeachment could be about Russia and Ukraine. Nine it could also be about a monument and the hush money ruling stealing from charity. Admission last month in court and obstructing justice and threatening a new civil war is that an act of treason. But how broad. How narrow should they make? These articles of impeachment are supposed to be finished in just a few days. So we'll talk about that and other impeachment news now with Emily Basil on New York Times Magazine Staff Writer. SLATE POLITICAL GAP fest. co-host lecturer and senior research scholar at the Yale Law School and author of the book which seems to land on another best of two thousand nineteen list every day called charged the movement to transform inform American prosecution and end. Mass incarceration happy Friday. Emily thanks for coming on Brian. How much do you hear those two Pelosi statements from yesterday s contradictory or how much as part of a cohesive whole the Russia? Ukraine question doesn't seem to me to be a contradiction because because we're talking about the United States relationship with Russia and Ukraine and Russia's role as an aggressor in the in Ukraine a couple of years ago and the American response wants to that. I do think though the other questions raised about the breadth of impeachment are still kind of hanging on there for the Democrats. There are a lot of of ways in which they could argue. That trump has abused his power. Emoluments is one you can go back to some of the aspects of the Muller investigation if you WanNa go oh there and then the question is whether that's a mistake and it's better to stick with this easier to comprehend story about truly comes down to trying to use US foreign influence to steal the election or cheat on the election is it sort of politics versus history. Like I think the tension is real between wing making the strongest possible narrow case for clarity of communication to the public. He shook down Ukraine to help. Corrupt the twenty twenty election clear. And then there's the broader case which is what history might record a hundred years from now. He engaged in a pattern of abusing his power for personal gain witch Richard from beginning to end. Also benefited our adversary Russia which he knew is trying to destabilise American democracy but then our cases much more concrete. So I'm curious for you. Who are both the research scholar and a lawyer? Would it be right to say you can relate to this tension between what useful in the real the world right now and what's the deepest possible understanding for the long run. Yeah I think that's a good way to frame it. I mean I guess in a lawyer Lee Way. I've been thinking about the tension between okay if you frame articles of impeachment and you make them narrow have you just said everything else was okay and is that a problem right right because then you sort of excused for the future as you were putting it a pattern of conduct which. Maybe we shouldn't excuse me. I could imagine a top line nine statement that allows a lot of flexibility underneath. That says something like. He abused his power by buying and selling influence with foreign countries ace for his own political gain than abused his power again to try to cover it up. That's pretty direct Excuse me in clear. I think then they could fill in the particulars that they think they can use to prove it to the public right and then today something like for example which then makes makes it more concrete them to lay out the specifics but also kinda hedges and suggests that well there could be other examples out there wrote and since they're in this actual articles of impeachment. righting moment I looked up the Bill Clinton articles of impeachment. For just this question and as you know there were four of them originally and they seem to go with a general accusation of the abuse and then a numbered list of particular so for example article. One John was Clinton has willfully corrupted and manipulated the judicial process of the United States for his personal gain there's personal gain again for his personal gain and exoneration honoration impeding the administration of Justice and then number one the nature that says perjury and then number one the nature and details of his his relationship with a subordinate government employees. Monica Lewinsky number two. They're numbered number. Two prior perjury. Perjury is false and misleading testimony. He gave in a federal civil rights. Action Paula Jones brought against him three prior false and misleading statements. He allowed his attorney to make to a federal judge. Then there was a fourth one too so overarching charge followed by specific alleged instances. Do you think it will probably go like that. Yeah I mean that makes sense senses way to frame it right. And for Clinton by the time of impeachment there was perjury and obstruction and it was like pretty clear I think right eight I mean it's not like Republicans approved of other things he did but that's what they were focused on. I noticed how many New Yorkers and Californians are leading leading this article drafting process. The committee chairs involved are off from the two states. Unless I'm missing something jerrold Nadler from New York. City is the Judiciary Ashari Committee chair. Carolyn Maloney Chas the oversight committee. She's from New York. City Eliot Engel chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee maxine waters and Adam Schefter from California chair finance and intelligence respectively. I think those are all the committees. Draw up the articles of impeachment. And it's really the chairs who Pelosi says they're doing it. Pelosi is from California too so the articles of impeachment may not be bipartisan. But they will be bicoastal. Yeah that's a good point as a Resident of Connecticut. I guess I should feel kind of left out. And certainly the Republicans can make some Hay with the lack of representation from anywhere other than the two coasts. Yeah but you get too many senators and too many electoral votes. The next public hearing is scheduled for Monday in the Judiciary Committee. They're saying presentation tation of evidence by lawyers for certain committees from both parties. How clear is it to you? What will happen on Monday? I think we will hear this. All laid out in concrete terms. We had a day this week of lawyer of law professors really making more abstract constitutional arguments for and kind of against impeachment or at least against the process. The Democrats are using for impeachment. That was from Jonathan Turley who was the Republicans law professor representative. So now. I think we're going to turn into the specifics and some of the questions you and I were just talking about how you frame this. What facts do you emphasize how clear a case can you make For people who watch the public hearings in the intelligence committee they know the Democratic Staff Attorney. Daniel Goldman Oldman and Republican staff attorney. Steve Caster who questioned the witnesses. All those witnesses. Colonel Vin men Fiona Hill. All of them. Is it going to be like oral arguments then almost like at the Supreme Court. These attorneys now argue. That can be the ones answering the questions. No new fact witnesses but lawyers the presenting oral arguments. Yeah I think it will be more like that. I'm not sure how much the members of Congress will be able to interrupt the other decide whether it's still going to be conducted in kind of question answer form or whether lawyers will be able to speak uninterrupted for longer periods of time The Supreme Court has actually adopted a new rule where they're trying to let lawyers talk a little bit at least at the top before they start going at them and the idea is that makes for a more coherent presentation. Asian let's take a phone call Diana in Manhattan you're on WNYC with Emily Basilan. Hi Diana Hi yes hi Ryan I wanted to say first people. I don't see the contradiction on what on as you said that And I do think we need to highlight the national security issue In the impeachment proceedings By withholding military aid from crane is dealing with Russia as an aggressor so that affects us as Russia expanding is potentially than a greater ah threat to us His weaken our relationship with NATO That jeopardizes our national security. Also his I don't know if this is impeachable that his not protecting appointing people who are actually opposite of the their their responsibility that he points you whose interests are financial rather than actually with their what they're supposed to super example in our environment We are getting more dangerous insecure You know toxic environment. He's not protecting us He's also threatening getting the the democracy by all his obstruction of justice. All his assumptions of His lying he's Threatening the freedom of press this is the fourth estate he's by by condemning. The press so much and and trying to still so so much a lack of faith in them and confusion so that's throwing offer democracy which depends on trust in a free press and an objective. Press Supernet Diana. I think you are titillating. The tension perfectly. which is that for you? And so many other Americans people's hair is on fire there are on fire. What's your hair is on fire? People's hair is on fire. Because you think he's you know attacking our democracy and in corrupting it and turning it into an authoritarian form of government to the extent that he can in so many ways but then it starts to lose people with their eyes glazing over in a haze when we list so many things right right. I don't know whether it actually helps her. Not so that's a judgment for others but I do think we need to. I think these are really important that that the large large weather. Gop understand that things that we take for granted our freedom so the way democracy functions Our security in the world. I think these are you know our water quality of our water and other aspects of our environment. I think these are so important than they are part of his responsibilities president so perhaps we can because they all fit a single theme that he's he's not helping this country even though he keeps saying it's better than ever Diana. Thank you so much 'cause again and Judy and port Washington you're on WNYC. Hi Judy thank you. What I WANNA simple emoluments? It's I want to add enough information about how public money our tax money is going into his pockets. It doesn't come up nearly enough every time. The secret service go to mar-a-lago money for their room their food their drink their golf cart. Whose pocket does it go into including in the context of Ukraine? Let's say Hunter Biden Beta million dollars. There who's pocket does it go into Hunter Biden's whereas everywhere that Donald Junior goes. WHO's pocket does it go into? Well his pockets are still attached to his father's because trump senior never divested so I think think American citizens can understand. Follow the money. Judy thank you very much. Emily do you think they will go to a monument. Do you think they should go to emoluments. I think they won't in this impeachment context. I understand why people are so frustrated about this and I also think it's it is kind of simple You know it's like well. We have this clause in the constitution that says the CON- The president can't accept gifts from is really from foreign agents to emoluments clause but that's like the Clear one and it seems like that's happening.."