Pelosis Impeachment Gamble
From The New York Times. I'm Michael Borrow this today. Crucial witness from inside the president's inner circle now says he's willing to testify in the impeachment. Trial the question is whether the Senate will let that happen. Julie Daynes with the latest on the impeach plus the Iranian retaliation begins It's Wednesday January. Julia was the last time that we talked about impeachment. Daily was busy busy day of impeachment in the House. What was supposed to happen following the historic vote after the house impeachment vote? The Democrats went and had a huge news conference December eighteen a great day to the Constitution Institution of the United States. A sad one for America that the president's reckless activities necessitated are having adding to introduce articles of impeachment. They talked about the significance of the historic vote. And so I do this this day. This it's something that we did to honor the vision of our founders to establish the public and everyone expected that they were then going to get a timetable table for where this is going next. When are they going to send these impeachment articles over to the Senate? We have legislation approved by the committee that will enable US queue of decide how we will send over the articles of impeachment. We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side and somewhat surprisingly Nancy Pelosi hedges. Wait to send the articles until you understand what the Senate's going to. We'll make a decision as a group as we always have a as we go along. She essentially saying that they're not in any rushed. Send over these charges and in fact maybe it's better to keep them until she can get some assurances from the Senate about how the trial is GonNa look whether they're going to allow witnesses whether they're going to have with Democrats would consider a fair process are joining us now. Is Senate Majority Leader Mitch. McConnell is with US and around this time Mitch. McConnell has been openly talking in interviews and on the Senate floor about how he he is planning to quickly move to a quick president trump. Everything I do during this. I'm coordinating with White House. Counsel there will be no difference between the president's musician and our position as to how to handle this. He wants to coordinate and work hand in glove with the White House to essentially clear the president's name after what he he says has been a completely unfair and illegitimate process in the house. Do you see any possible. Defections doubt there's zero chance. The president obviously would be removed from office. Listen I'm hoping we'll have notifications at all and so Pelosi is suggesting leader. McConnell has stated that he's not an impartial juror of that he's going to take his shoes and quotes from the White House. and well if if that's GONNA be their approach if they're just going to take what we've just done and essentially throw it in wastepaper basket Maybe I should wait around a little bit and see if I can't get some guarantees about what this process is GonNa look like before sending it over to the best of your understanding. What is Pelosi thinking about holding up? This process changes anything in her favor. Well there's two issues here. One of them is the issue of a fair. Trial is important to Democrats but it's also important to a handful of moderate Senate Republicans who could be key if they were to side with Democrats enforcing McConnell to change the rules of a trial to allow witnesses assists for example or to allow some new evidence to be introduced. She's thinking maybe that sort of tweaks the political calculus that McConnell is facing and persuades him and that he's really going to have to make some of these concessions if he wants to have his conference united among Republicans on how a trial looks the other factor factor. Here is that Pelosi knows that the president is extremely eager for the Senate phase of this trial where he envisions having a parade of people common publicly defend him and ultimately getting vindicated by the Senate in a quick and decisive vote. So part of this calculation I think is maybe the president is going to lean on McConnell to say. Let's just get this done if it's GonNa take more witnesses if it's GONNA take some more concessions nations from our side. Let's just do it because I want this trial to start the gamble here. Is that one way or another waiting. This out will somehow benefit Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic Party in this process. I think she calculates that. There's no downside to waiting. Then there there are there's something to be gained potentially and nothing to be lost and she can just do this. Hold the articles of impeachment back from the Senate pretty much indefinitely. Yes yes there is no rule that says that the house wants. It has voted to impeach president to send over the articles of impeachment. And she could just sit on them but there is a big risk to that. The House has just taken. What it has characterized as urgent and historic vote to impeach the president and and for a lot of democratic members particularly the ones in trump friendly district? It was a pretty hard vote. It was a pretty politically difficult thing to do. Oh and so having just taken this very high profile and politically risky. Vote to do what they said. They thought was right if they then don't follow through with the process us it looks pretty bad. Okay so then what happens so then the house finishes its business for the year and they adjourn without ever sending over the articles of impeachment and essentially leave the question up in the air as everyone goes home to their districts for the holidays. No highly unusual step speaker of the House continues to him and hall about whether and when she intends to take normal next step and transmit. The house is accusations over here. The Senate and rather than reacting in the way that Pelosi may have thought that he might have Mitch. McConnell seemed really gleeful. show-me House Democrats imply. They're withholding the articles for some kind of leverage and and he's basically taunting Pelosi and saying this strategy that you think you have of trying to pressure me to do something is never going to work. Mark Admit I'm not sure what leverage there is an refraining from sending us something we do not. What so? We'll say you. We'll see whether House Democrats ever WanNa work up the courage to actually take their accusations to trial but then then as everyone goes home for the holidays and as with their families and celebrating Christmas and taking a break. Things start to Happen Happen that appeared to vindicate in some ways. Pelosi's decision to wait what I do. You Have Lisa Murkowski Hausky Senate Republican a moderate gives an interview. Where for me to prejudge and say there's nothing there or on the other hand and he should be impeached yesterday? That's wrong in my view. That's wrong. She says she's disturbed by the fact that McConnell has said that he's GonNa coordinate with the White House on the trial. She's sort of suggesting she might be open to this argument. That this not fair or that. Somehow this is short-circuiting the process then a few days later Democrats are hoping that new revelations by the New York Times that president trump overruled his own national security to to hold up military aid to Ukraine is a potential impeachment game changer and colleagues at the Times published a big investigation about the machinations inside the office of Management and budget. The White House budget office around President Trump's decision to withhold this military aid from Ukraine. That's at the center of the impeachment. Saga in response to all of this. This news story shows all four witnesses that we Senate Democrats have requested Mick. Mulvaney Amy John. Bolton Michael Duffy and Robert Blair were intimately involved and had direct knowledge of President Trump's decision to cut off aid in order to to benefit himself. Democrats like Chuck Schumer. The minority leader are basically saying this is exactly why we are saying we need to have witnesses. We need to you have the ability to review and admit new evidence in a Senate trial simply put in our fight to have key documents and witnesses in the Senate impeachment Richmond trial. These new revelations are a game changer because the argument is the impeachment charges themselves based on obstruction of Congress the fact that the president and the White House directed all of the administration not to testify in the house in the impeachment inquiry at not to give documents. That would be evidence. We don't know how these witnesses will testify. We don't know what the documents if we get them. Our hands on them will say. Maybe they'll be exculpatory of president trump. Or maybe they'll be further condemning president trump's actions. We don't know but we should see them regardless godless of what they say so. This unexpectedly eventful holiday. Season seems to be proving pollution strategy right to some degree it's making her case that you moderate Senate Republicans Senate Republicans who maybe are facing reelection next year. You may want to think. Think twice before you just snap to and Follow Mitch. McConnell's lead on how this trial is going to go by the time. Name the holiday break come to a close. Has Anything really changed well a little bit. But it's only after sure everyone gets back from the break and the Senate reconvenes that something happens that really reshuffles. The picture very then guard was founded on the simple but radical idea that in investment company can succeed because it puts investors first vanguard is client own you own their funds and the Fund's own vanguard which means vanguard is built to ensure that your interests will be the priority. Together other vanguards thirty million investors are changing the way the world invests visit vanguard dot com or talk to your financial advisor to learn more. Hi Hi I'm Megan twohey I'm an investigative reporter at the New York Times. You may be familiar with the Harvey Weinstein Story that my reporting partner Jodi Kantor and I broke. I think it's really important for people to know how many obstacles we encounter when reporting these stories. Harvey Weinstein actually hired private investigators to trail us and our sources one even adopted a fake identity and tried to dupe us into believing that she was a women's rights advocate. If you're in New York Times subscriber you provided lighted crucial support. That helped us nail the story and confront a bully. There are investigations like the one that Jodi and I did happening every single day and the New York Times. Newsroom this room when you subscribe to the New York Times. You're actually becoming a stakeholder in those investigations if you believe in this work if you want to support it please subscribe and ny ny times dot com slash subscribe. So what is this development that as you said. Start to reshuffle this picture. Welcome to inside politics. John King we begin the hour with the just breaking major news related to the trump impeachment inquiry the format development is that John Bolton the former White House national security adviser who has been one of the figures that Democrats have most wanted to hear from throughout this impeachment inquiry puts a statement on his website. Right saying he's now willing and ready to testify in a Senate impeachment trial. I would be willing to testify. If if the Senate issues a subpoena demanding his testimony. The let's get straight to. The state and Bolton is a person who left the White House last year under pretty tense circumstances broke with the president and everyone has been wondering what Bolton has to say volts it has until now been complying with the White House's directive not to cooperate great in the impeachment inquiry and while the White House is downplaying the significance of Bolton's announcement Democrats see him as a potentially key witness. His lawyer has indicated in the past that he actually has a lot to say that he has knowledge of a lot of conversations and meetings that would be relevant to the house impeachment inquiry pre. But he hasn't shown up even after house. Democrats asked him to so Democrats are in this position where they know he has information nation. That's material and they can't get it and all of a sudden he goes public and says actually if the Senate wants me me to talk I will talk and duly. Why do you think that John Bolton who we have long regarded as a very loyal Republican figure vigor? I mean all the way back George W Bush he is a foot soldier and the Republican National Security Apparatus. Why would he suddenly say? I am willing to testify testify in a way that could hurt trump. Well that is the million dollar question that everyone immediately began speculating on as soon as he came out with the statement. There's a few theories. Democrats favourite theory is ironically enough. That this person who they have detested as a Super Hawk and loyalist to trump might actually be the hero who has really damaging things to say about the president Who will be the one who had direct conversations ends with him in a way that could tie president trump to what he is accused of in the impeachment articles because remember during the impeachment inquiry? They were not able to get access to any of the people who had direct conversations with the president about linking aid to investigations or any of the other Pity accusations that they were making so Bolton could do that. There's another possibility to which is that. He having been a part of the National Security Council at the White House is very keen to make it clear that he did not agree with some of these decisions that the president was making particularly with. Regard are two withholding military aid from Ukraine. And since we already know from our colleagues on reporting that he actually had meetings with the president trying to talk talk came out of freezing military Ukraine. He wants to essentially flesh out that picture that the president was going in one direction and he couldn't stop it um but there's another possibility here too. which is that John? Bolton is loyal to President trump. And perhaps he wants his day in the Senate to say things that are going to exonerate the president given that we don't know exactly what born would say if he testified. The what does this turn of. Events mean for Policies Strategy of holding back the articles of impeachment. This gamble that she took in order to ramp up pressure sure on Republicans to hold the kind of trial that she wants them to have. Well I think it really Proved out her thesis. which was? There's no downside waiting because as it turns out the pressure has mounted now instead of sort of a theoretical discussion. About what if we wanted to call witnesses. Senators are faced with the prospect of an actual human being who a lot of people wanna hear from as a witness actually coming forward and saying yes. I will appear if subpoenaed so it's is a more concrete thing that they're facing and that makes the negotiation. That still has to happen between Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell All about the terms of this trial a lot more complicated. So let's talk about those negotiations and what we expect to happen in the Senate how are are members of the Senate responding to this development and to all the other developments that you described as happening over the holidays well not surprisingly issue. Anyone and he was followed. Mitch McConnell well hello everyone happy. New Year he has completely dug in Wanted to make sure you understood that we have the votes Wants the impeachment. Trial had gone and on Tuesday. He announced that he plans to move forward with this impeachment. Trial even without an agreement agreement on whether to call witnesses or whether to admit more evidence. What's good for president? Clinton is good for president. Trump will get around to the discussion of witnesses. We got around to discussion witnesses after we got through phase one twenty years ago and the Democrats are where they were which is protesting and complaining being in saying they don't want to go forward with trial until they are assured of at least the possibility that they are going to get to call witnesses and possibly ask for renew documents as well as part of this process. But it's also put the moderate Republicans and some of the folks who are up for reelection under under intensified pressure because while they are willing to go along it seems for now with starting trial without committing to witnesses. It's not not at all clear what they're gonNA do when they're faced with the actual question which they will be at some point of. Should we subpoena John Bolton or not. Should we issue subpoenas Pena's for other people or shouldn't we and that's a question that will really affect what kind of trial. President trump has in the senate. So you're saying that even if the Republicans come up with rules for a Senate trial but does not commit them to having new witnesses that it's still somehow possible that if someone like John Bolton might get called in the middle of his trial right so how it would work from here on out. Is that at some point Nancy Z.. Pelosi would send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate. The trial would begin. Each side would give its opening statements and then at any time Democratic senator or one of the democratic impeachment managers from the House could move to call a witness and that would lead to a vote and and that is a vote that could put a lot of moderate Republicans or rather the few moderate Republicans there are in the Senate in really tight spot. And who are those moderate senators and how many of them are required to vote to have someone like John Bolton. End Up testifying well. This is a tricky question. It would take four Republicans to side with the Democrats who control forty seven votes. In order to you make the majority that would be necessary to do something like this. And that's because normally in the Senate you have the vice. President who breaks ties is but in an impeachment setting the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over a Senate trial. So there's there's no tiebreak from the vice president no and what's needed is a simple majority so if four Republicans were to side with the Democrats they could control the process. The Republicans were in play. Here are Mitt Romney Republican of Utah. Who has been very clear that he wants to hear from Bolton but love to hear what he has to say he has pretend information and Assuming that articles I'm Jewish. His Senate like I'd I'd like to hear but has also said that for now he's content to start or a trial without an upfront commitment. That will happen. Susan Collins of Maine. WHO's up for reelection? Has Already said that she would be open to witnesses. Potentially really there are a number of with this said may well be appropriate of which he would certainly be. One of Lisa Murkowski ski from Alaska. Who as I mentioned has expressed discomfort with the way that Mitch McConnell has talked about this trial and then the question is who's the fourth and that's a real question and that is one of the things that when Bolton came forward we all wondered whether there would be sort of a ground around swell among Republicans for hearing from someone who they know well and who clearly has something to say in is making it clear that he's willing to say it so far the damn isn't breaking but it would just take four Republican votes to side with the Democrats to force someone like John Bolton to come and testify and furnish information? That could totally change the course of the trial so for now it seems like this strategy is working. Well at the moment it's looking like it panned out pretty well. It might produce some new revelations in a trial that we never really expected to produce much in the way of new revelations this has been a very predictable process from start to finish in the house. Everyone knew that the house was GonNa vote on the articles impeachment and then the Senate was going to quickly move to acquit. President trump with no muss no fuss and now it looks like well. The acquittal is not really in doubt but the path that gets you. There is a lot more wind e and a lot more uncertain and that is a place that did not look likely even a couple of weeks ago so you could say that. This has paid off for the Democrats because it's a least open the door to a bit more of a thorough process than they thought they were GonNa get but the longer you wait to start a trial the less control you have over the events surrounding what else is going to be going on in the world when the impeachment trial unfolds and that was really demonstrated last week when another issue that has nothing to do with impeachment began overshadow all of this and that was the strike that president trump took against Qasim Sulejmani the Iranian general in Iraq and that has totally re-jigger. The conversation reordered the priorities for the moment on Capitol Hill Bill so even if things are not going to change very much on the fundamentals of the trial I think Democrats are in place now or they recognize. It's time I am to move forward. And the articles ultimately are going to have to move to the Senate Thank you very much. Thank you We'll get back. Anyone who loves books knows there's never enough time for all the titles they want to read and that's where audible comes in audible has the world's largest selection of audiobooks from bestselling mysteries thrillers memoirs. To Science Sifi motivation audible also includes audible originals stories scripted shows and documentaries created exclusively for audio that you can't hear anywhere else try it free for thirty days. You'll get one audiobook of your choice. Choice plus to select originals absolutely free get started at audible dot com slash the daily yours. What else you need to tendered? You'll have on Tuesday night. Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two. US military bases in Iraq in an act of retaliation for the US killing feeling of general Qassem Suleimani in statements after after the attack Iran was quick to say it did not want war with the United States and it discouraged further escalation there were no immediate reports of US casualties from the attack which came on the second day of funeral. Services for General Sulamani. Those funeral services ended in tragedy on Tuesday when a procession in Sumani hometown triggered a stampede. That killed more than fifty mortars and injured hundreds more. Yeah that's it for the deal. I'm Michael Barr See Komo.