Week Ahead: Where's The Impeachment Inquiry Headed Next?
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I'm Meghna Talker Bardy and this is on point a new week brings preparations for a new stage in the house impeachment inquiry Congress technically on recess but house investigators have a full lineup of depositions including maybe ousted former national security security advisor John Bolton the whistle blower offers to answer written questions from House Republicans but remains anonymous much to the president's deep Chagrin plus the Democratic Democratic field for twenty twenty narrows casualties mount in Syria and popular protests continue around the world at this hour on point top reporters guide us through another big week in the news and you can join us how did the house impeachment inquiry vote last week change your thinking on the preceding so far do you think this week's depositions if any of them actually happen will clarify things are you ready for the house to open the door on public hearings join US anytime on twitter twitter facebook at one point radio or on our website on radio DOT ORG as well we'll joining us now from Washington is Darlene Super Ville White House House correspondent for the Associated Press Darlene welcome back to the point thanks for having me on also with us from Washington as well as lenders Washington correspondent for Vice News lose it's it's good to have you great to be joining thanks and Nick Schifrin joins us from Arlington Virginia Nick is PBS Newshour Foreign Affairs and defence correspondent mic. It's good to have you back as well well thanks very much and a little later this hour we will be hearing from Democratic Congressman Roger Krishnamurthy of Illinois but Darlene. Let me just first start start with you it looks like the White House of the strategy that they're putting forth is basically no cooperation no witnesses at all is that what we have set for us this week yes that would appear to be what is on tap for this week there are a number of witnesses that are scheduled to appear this week starting starting today there are two officials from the National Security National Security Council on tap for today also too from the Office of Management and budget Energy Secretary Rick Perry is expected or was invited to to appear later this week House Democrats also WanNa talk to John John Bolton who is the former national security advisor to President Donald Trump none of those officials are expected to appear in fact secretary Kerry's office I said last week that he would not participate in this John Bolton's attorney has said that he will not appear voluntarily only under if subpoenaed if ordered are to appear and the four officials who are on tap today are not expected to appear and one of those officials is the NFC attorney who some some of the officials who have already testified approached with their concerns about the July twenty fifth telephone conversation that President Trump had with the leader of Ukraine And the White House has already you know weeks ago laid out that they will not cooperate with this process deeming it on fair saying that the president is doesn't have any to process so and so forth and and that is what what what you will see again this week we'll lose lenders darling pointing out John Eisenberg that's the White House legal adviser she was talking about who Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vitamin is is is said to have a testified that Eisenberg told him just to sort of underscored Darlene said not to talk about his concerns about that phone call he's almost certainly certainly not going to to appear as summoned I mean what what are the implications of of of that and and the complete stonewalling that we see here from the White House right well it completely breaks with precedent and I think that we keep seeing this over and over in many ways with this White House but they're refusing to cooperate and and this says not happened before in the past even Nixon and during Clinton years during those impeachment proceedings there were tons of documents turnover dover and chiefs of staff who testified so yes this is a complete stonewalling that this White House has taken but I will say that when you talk to Democrats rats on the hill they feel like even if these people do not come forward this week this se lawyer Robert Blair some of these people who are defying subpoenas they still feel that their case is being made to the public there are these opening testimonies that have become public we saw that from Bill Taylor and also from Finland as well and Democrats that that I've been talking to on the hill thank you know even if these other White House officials and NFC officials refused to come testify their case is still being built and they're still gathering the evidence that they think they need to impeach impeach the president Well Nick Schifrin we see from a House Republicans this continuing assertion or insistence that this is so far I've been in a non-transparent process I mean a House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy just this morning was was on twitter saying quote Democrats voted for an impeachment inquiry that they claim would provide transparency and due process but they're right back at it behind closed doors in the Ba- behind closed doors in the basement of the capital now I mean technically there are Republicans on these committees who can attend all of these depositions but what do you make of this continuing insist by House Republicans at the process is not transparent why think they've found a couple of arguments that they feel fit and work well with their base and the president is this is largely supportive of that or behind some of those messaging you know it started as well this is only second hand information the problem is that that lieutenant colonel of inman as was mentioned before had had firsthand accounts and they said well no pressure was applied on Ukraine but then they released a a partial transcript and obviously the president did apply a little pressure on Ukraine then they said well aid was delayed but not for Biden every step of the way they've they've created rated message thrown against the wall and it's Kinda fallen off until they hit this process argument and this is the one that has hit most consistently that this is behind closed doors now what stopped that argument of course is the vote to move toward public hearings into released transcripts but here we are on Monday morning a a few days after Democrats voted to go public with this effort and we still have closed door depositions going on Democrats say this is still part of the process there are quite a few view people they still want to hear from not only the people we've mentioned already but also people close to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the counselor at the State Department and the Under Secretary of the state for political affairs or both scheduled for Wednesday but Republicans say hey look you're still doing this close-door depositions this isn't a real process we deserve to have this public and of course you see the president leading that message in which they believe is working now Democrats seem seem to be saying that open hearings could begin next week we'll have to see see but let's just listen to what's White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said when she was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace yesterday talking about whether the White House will cooperate at all with the impeachment inquiry and here you'll hear Kellyanne Conway talking about whether the president will stop stop former national security adviser John Bolton from testifying well ambassador Bolton publicly and his lawyer said he's not sure he'll appear that has nothing to do with the president he's not sure the president the I'm not sure the president has talked to Ambassador Bolton but we as a as a White House will continue to exert executive privilege we're here we feel that it is necessary that the House vote doesn't make a difference in terms of a flawed process somehow becoming open been and transparent and they should have done this from the beginning Darlene. Help US understand is this is this Kellyanne Conway following what Nick was saying this this what they've found to be perhaps a successful line of attack you're on transparency or or what what exactly she saying I think it strikes me as is a little bit of both right you had transparency argument everything is going on behind closed stores and then you have flaw makers leaking in view of the White House host portions of testimony that amplified they're part of the story the President I think it was yesterday when he was returning from from a weekend in New York City was asked the question about Bolton and whether he would try to keep him from testifying and his response was that that was up up to John Bolton and his attorneys that of course remains to be seen because as Kelly and Conway said in the clip that you just played the White House is still still very much interested in exerting executive privilege wherever they can and Bolton was obviously a very close advisor to the president and I I could certainly see the president and the White House telling Mr Bolton Ambassador Bolton don't go to the hill lose your thoughts on that well I I think that if Bolton appears before Congress which by the way it sounds like he might his his lawyer has been Dan kind of coy but said that he might appear if he has subpoenaed well it turns out that basically all of these witnesses have been subpoenaed the morning of I believe today Robert Blair was subpoenaed just this morning as well he was supposed to be one of the people who is supposed to appear today so if they do get Bolton and a chair our Bolton is key to all of this right I mean we saw in the Bill Taylor testimony that Bolton's name is littered throughout that and you you know he was very close with president trump and it seems the way that the White House is reacting to this that they are nervous that the president is nervous about what Boulton Bolton may reveal to Congress and it could be beyond this Ukraine call remember that I mean there are so many calls that would have been on that he may reveal something saying to Congress that we don't even know about Well Nick we've just got about a minute here before we have to take a break you just a couple of days ago you spoke with Adam chef with Congressman Adam Schiff what insight did he give you about the next steps at the house might take so Adam Schiff told me that he would try and release transcripts or the House Committee he will she chairs trying to release transcripts early this week and and he has since said that other reporters and his aides have said the same thing so they're on the record having to release these transcription just to make a quick point about the transcript so as we see them presumably not in full release but presumably in drips and drabs starting over over the next couple of days is that both sides will cherry pick them Democrats will obviously point to the excerpts that say that the president put pressure on on new a new president Ukraine let them use Alinsky Republicans will cite examples where they feel like the president did nothing wrong and and these transcripts will be hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages and so we'll have to sit sift through them and that'll take quite awhile schifrin Liz lenders and Darlene Super Ville standby here for second we're talking about what to expect in get another big week in the news we'll be right back this is on point Gal Support Ron Point and the following message come from MIT's system design and management jointly offered by Mit School of Engineering and the MIT's Sloan School of Management Earn a Master's in engineering and land-management SDN educates mid career professionals to lead effectively and creatively by using systems thinking to solve large scale complex challenges in product design development and innovation using MIT's most advanced information and communication technologies join a virtual info session on Wednesday November number six from 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Intelligence Committee as well joining us today from Washington Congressman Welcome to on Point High Magna so first of all let's just pick a couple of Nick Schifrin left us off before the break here because maybe you can provide us more up to date answer when do you expect the House Intelligence Committee to release transcripts from depositions Titians that you've already taken well I think the chairman Schiff had told various folks in the media that he planned to do it this week so I I expect that to happen as you know there are a lot of witnesses that actually came forward to our surprise defying White House orders not to cooperate and gave extensive testimony sometimes upwards of ten eleven hours of testimony so I I I think that the staff will have to go through and and redecked you know for sensitive or other information that should not be publicly released but otherwise I expect maximum transparency. ESPN transcripts very shortly do you feel and does the committee feel a sense of urgency around this because as you well know Republican members of the House and the administration the Ministry and the administration as well have been consistently saying that they believe this whole process has not been transparent I think has been a really Bogus argument ah I'll just tell you what's happened in these clothes proceedings you know more than forty Republicans have actually been able to participate they've been able to question witnesses for the same amount of time the Democrats have and they've been able to question Emma as to any topic that they want and they've been able to offer opening statements they've taken the advantage of all those things so to say that that's an unfair as really unfounded but all that being said chairmanship wants to bring maximum transparency to these proceedings seatings we took a vote that allows for the transcripts to be released and so that's what's GonNa Happen this week say if it if it'd be Tuesday Wednesday Thursday I'm not sure I think it's more of a logistical thing right now than anything else and then do you have any further information about when we might see the beginning of public hearings I don't have a date Magna I think that Speaker Pelosi has made it clear that it's going to happen in short order again I think that it's a A matter of logistics and the calendar and making sure that witnesses are available on certain days more than anything else but I just WANNA say the people that you know hopefully will appear for these public proceedings the same ones that we questioned in the skiff the underground I guess bunker beneath the capital are you know members of the administration their career public servants apolitical and I would say are there really to be commended because they came forward sticking their next on the line their careers on the line coming at expense to themselves hiring their own attorneys to to tell the truth and I think that people will be be very impressed with the caliber of witnesses that they see publicly so congressman based on what you've heard so far and the public is already seen at least some of the opening statements from some of these witnesses Lieutenant Colonel Veneman Women Bill Taylor as well do you believe the house has a case so far or already for impeachment impeachment so I don't I want to withhold judgment on the ultimate question of impeachment because I I want to wait for all the evidence to come in and we're still we still yet to see everyone in public as well that being said there's mounting evidence of serious misconduct that took place surrounding the July I twenty fifth phone call from President Trump to presidents Alinsky and and they're at least two serious episodes of misconduct here one and merely requesting foreign assistance with domestic election efforts is illegal in and of itself but on top of that to US news security assistance to the Ukraine as well as the prospect of a White House meeting to pressure them you know adds to the misconduct and I think there's evidence of all of the above and that's extremely disturbing at this point well actually congressman let me just take a quick call here let me go to Marc Eric who's calling from Madison Wisconsin Mark you're on the Air Hi Magnolia love your show I want to know why hasn't the house with the people who have not responded to the subpoenas why hasn't the house indicted I did them in either jail or find them or else filed and obstruction of justice against the White House it seems like trump's people can flaunt the rule of law and get away with Mark Thank thank you for your call this question keeps coming up again and again so congressman Kushner Murthy response for mark sure thank you for the question you know anybody anybody who is not complying with the subpoena is basically going to be figuring into charges as a potential obstruction of the inquiry and any evidence that's withheld whether it's testimony or documents would be considered corroborative of the underlying complaint especially by the whistle blower but now we've seen a number of other claims come forward to there are other remedies as well but what's interesting interesting to me magna among other things that I think those particular the treatment of these witnesses and others who don't comply subpoenas I think has really encouraged a lot of others to come forward so that's that's I think very interesting to me what's the one question that you want the answer to more than anything I think that we've we've seen a lot of evidence with regard to the security assistance to Ukraine as well as the White House meeting being withheld for purposes of have you know investigating the president's political operatives I'm political initiatives and I think that I wanna hear from more people about what they saw heard and who directed these particular episodes I wanna see more evidence of that because we need to fully flush it out and hold everyone accountable who may have participated in the misconduct we can't end this by just holding one or two people bowl accountable if the if the misconduct actually occurred and then others to go off Scot free that would be really bad because we would send the wrong message pitch to those who actually participated that they can get away with it and then from very practical standpoint we can't allow allow them to continue with that misconduct going forward so we need to know the full outlines of what's happened well Congressman Roger Kushner Murthy Democrat from Illinois member of the House Intelligence Committee Congressman Awesome. Thank you so much for joining US thank you MAGNA Darlene Super Ville White House correspondent for the Associated Press anything that you heard the congressman say that sort of makes you wonder what my about what might happen this week or in the coming weeks I think a key thing for this week will be when the transcripts start coming out out and you know nick was talking about that earlier it's going to be volumes and volumes of pages and you're going to see both sides the Republicans and Democrats try to Cherry pick doc and you know use whatever they find to their advantage and it's GonNa take reporters like us three and all of our colleagues hours and hours to sift through all of those pages remember some of these many of these depositions lasted nine hours ten hours so it's going to be a lot of paper to go through and then then also wants the transcripts do come out the reaction from the White House and from the president himself to You know what we see these witnesses has said right so liz landers speaking of the President I mean he's been focused a lot on the whistle blower I mean he's he's sort of taken his twitter shots at at other people who testified so far but there's this unrelenting focus on on the whistle blower who's who's attorney says that now the whistle blower will offer to answer written in questions but that's not good enough for the president he just tweeted today that he believes the whistle blower ought to be compelled to testify he seems completely consumed with us right now and you're right right he's been tweeting about it he tweeted about it you know probably ten times this past weekend he's been answering questions about it as he's coming to and from New York and there was a reporter yesterday who even asked the president if he was thinking about naming the whistle blower and revealing that person's identity which is supposed post be protected of course that is the point of being a whistleblower you have protection to remain anonymous in the president did not say no when he was asked that question which that really stuck out to me and I think that you see Republicans right now who are also very hung up on this idea of the whistle blower as well Oh and who that person's identity is and whether they have political leanings and affiliations I think that there are some claims that have been made I think they're unfounded at this point that the whistle blower has political ties to candidate But this is clearly I think we're going to keep seeing this as part of the messaging for this next phase when this becomes a public impeachment inquiry and it's not behind closed doors I think we're GonNa see this a lot from Republicans bookends well in fact the president said very recently that he's even he's even calling on members of the media reporters to name name the whistle blower were he believes some members of the Washington media do know who it is here is the president just yesterday on the South Lawn at the White House they know they know who it is you know you just don't WanNA report it. CNN does do it is but you don't want to report it the way and you know you'd be doing the public acerbic Arbizu to whistle blower gave a four three four Nick Schifrin it first of all just it seems as if much of what we've already heard from or know of testimony the money that's been given actually supports verifies the whistle blowers report just wanted to point that out but in normal times even whoa someone calling for whistle blowers identity to be revealed I mean I've seen critics of the president say that just in and of itself that ought to be an impeachable offense but the president just said it I mean what do you think about his focus here on on the whistle blower magnetic if these were normal times be talking about different things every day for the last couple of years I'd say so look there are a lot of reports suggested of the whistle blowers name And we do you know a a few details about this person and yes a lot of media members are are not reporting those details because as lists suggested and it is federal law that protects whistleblowers identity now that said of course the the fact that some conservative media outlets are printing nineteen A person's name means that we've all asked him this person's lawyers and the lawyers simply refused to confirm or deny so you know th that's that's where we are in terms of the whistle blowers identity at at this point but the president will continue to make the argument and I think that depending on which details of the whistle blower come out the argument will be associated based on the timing of this person's appointments to the agencies he's that that this person has worked and that will be somehow a sign of political leaning and and of course what historically if you call it in normal times times we have believed is that this person is in the intelligence community you know intelligence officials whether they are appointed under a Democrat Democratic president or Republican president does not matter they serve the higher purpose if you will of analyzing intelligence and so that argument has largely been lost and and probably will continue to be lost given that Republicans on the three committees that are questioning witnesses right now demand a lot more as as we've been saying then just the written statements that the whistle blows attorneys vow or or or or offering to provide they are calling for some kind of public testimony even though as you point out magna that the whistleblower did not have firsthand account firsthand knowledge of the phone call and we have now heard from half a dozen at least officials behind closed doors who have had first-hand knowledge who have corroborated much of what the whistle blower Believe that that that had happened well let's go back to our callers let's go to Aaron calling from from Omaha Nebraska Aaron you're on the Air Hi Magna my question I guess is sort of along the lines lines of what you guys were just talking about a mind is still trying to bring everything back into the normal times and it is I can't quite understand what the I guess legal or even a rational sort of justification there is from wanting to see who the whistle blower doc is especially given the fact as you guys have stated that we have so many witnesses first hand witnesses who corroborated what the whistle blower brought out so how is it that the Republicans and the president himself and the president's supporters what justification are they trying to give other than kind of a witch hunt and wanting to get at his political enemies outside of that is there any good reason for us meeting to know who the whistle blower or is right well Aaron thank you so much for your call and Darlene let me turn back to you on this because just as Nick said there's federal law protecting whistleblowers so oh there's really no legal justification but I think nick was getting to this where when you said really it's a political question and ultimately in the biggest picture so is impeachment it's a political question so this this is we're seeing pub continuation of a strategy here from the president and from the White House Darlene right and I thank the caller for the question I would just say that we have seen this playbook before right this is an attempt by I president trump and his Republican allies in Congress to basically try to discredit the whistle blower every day when the president student gets a speech he does a rally he talks to reporters going and coming from the White House his comment always that he had a perfect call with Ukraine's leader he did nothing wrong the whistle blower got it wrong it's an attempt it's another attempt to sort of discredit the witness and we saw this for the past two years during the Russia investigation that was led by special counsel Robert Muller there was a daily attempt by the president through tweets and public comments to undermine that investigation and I think that's the same thing that we're seeing right here of course the point has been made excuse me that at this point the whistle blower does seem irrelevant because we have had testimony from so many people who actually listened in on the call the whistle blower said that he had secondhand information he was not on the call we have had a few you people testify who were on the call so it would it would seem to make the whistle blower a little bit irrelevant but nevertheless it is just another attempt by the White House the president and his allies in Congress to discredit this individual right and Darlene as you said it's an it's an age old device used by defense attorneys in virtually every case to discredit a witness exactly when we will come back we'll talk about what's happening on the on the Senate side of things regarding guarding the views on the impeachment inquiry and also the effect all of this is having on the twenty twenty presidential race will briefly touch down a little bit of international news news as well we'll be right back 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This is on point I'm Meghna Chakrabarti were talking with the roundtable of top reporters today about what's going to be another big week in the news we already know that several people who who have been subpoenaed to provide positions to the house impeachment inquiry investigation are likely not going to show up that's just one of the many big stories also what effect is all of this having on the twenty twenty presidential race we're joined today by Darlene Super Bowl she is White House correspondent for the Associated Press Liz landers is with us she's White House correspondent for Vice News and Nick Schifrin also joins us he's foreign affairs and defence correspondent for PBS. Newshour now everyone I just wanted to get your quick takes on how Senate Republicans are sort of crafting their their messaging in this in this moment now because I think we were seeing a move towards perhaps acknowledging that some kind of conversations some kind of quid pro quo may have happened between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian president but with that Senate Republicans are saying it's not necessarily wrong to do that I mean here's House Minority Whip Steve Scalise Republican from Louisiana of course on the house side here so not the Senate forgive me on the House side he was on with George Stephanopoulos host of ABC's this week talking about the appropriateness of the president's interactions here scalise here's responding to Stephanopolous multiple attempts to ask whether or not it was right for the president to do see what he did that wasn't first of all about political opponents the Law George requires president trump or any president when they're sending foreign aid taxpayer money to another country three to I ensure that that country's rooting out corruption he ends Alinsky we're talking about that on the phone call the Democrat since he raised were crowd strike in two thousand sixteen involving the Democrats Burris Min two thousand seventeen and eighteen involving a Joe Biden and again it's just a very simple question do you think it's appropriate for the president to ask the Ukrainians or the Chinese which is also done in public to investigate his domestic political opponents and the interview actually goes on and Stephanopoulos asks scalise a couple more times about the appropriateness and congressman scalise continued to deny that the Ukraine call was about the president's political opponents opponents at all so liz landers what do you see here in in in what GOP members are saying I have experienced a contrast between between what the House Republicans are saying and what the Senate Republicans are saying I think House members that I speak with are going along the lines of what you heard from squeezer saying there is absolutely no quid pro quo the president didn't do anything wrong and basically saying that there's no there are there when you talk with members of the Senate and I thought that this was so interesting from Lindsey Graham about two weeks ago Graham is one of president trump's biggest defenders on the hill he held a press conference about the houses handling of the impeachment inquiry and Graham said look the president isn't perfect and I think that there are members of the Republican Party in the Senate who acknowledged that they would not have had that phone call and conducted themselves selves that way on a call with Ukraine but do not think that it's an impeachable offense and I think that you know with the Senate coming as the jury in this impeachment each month process that they are trying to right now sort of you know stay a little bit of an arm's distance away from this I don't think that a lot of Senate Republicans want to comment met on this and they are talking about the process as why they don't want to comment on it but I do think that they are more willing to say yes this is not something I would have done but it's not impeachable well let's go to Greg who's got a question about exactly this calling from Omaha Nebraska Greg you're on the Air Hello Oh thanks for taking my call yeah I think this has been an peachable fan but my take on the whole thing is is the Republicans and get remember to Democrats but I know they're in every Republican area where they're from and they voted against it and my take is they're trying to appease their base because their basis against it the impeachment and I think they're just looking at votes and my thinking that they do that the Democrats the need to bring this up I don't care what the Republicans do they need to go forward with this because if they don't then I mean why have a government Well Greg thank you for your call a Nikki one responded Greg yes a Greg's talking about Colin Peterson and Jeff Andrew drew to Democrats and he's right from republican-leaning districts who broke with their party an and voted against voted against the Thursday vote hello to proceed toward public airings I let me just make two points we are all looking at this through both legal and in political lens but but it's clear from the constitution that this is a political question you know and and go back to your question to the Congress men about what happens happens when people do not show up the response was well this'll be part of our obstruction case so so this is not a question of criminality or or or legal google question that this this is a real political question and then secondly you know it it's just not clear right now what message is going to stick I I think that as we've been talking about before the messaging from the Republicans and the President have been multiple all the way from you know the whistle blower only a second hand information to the criticisms of the process and now we get to a phase which is what Liz was was referring to which is look this call might have been problematic but it's is not an impeachable offense which is what the caller said and so that is the message that is seems probably going to take hold over the next couple of weeks but as as we talked about for the Democrats still have or the the intelligence committee is still leading these close-door depositions and so the argument that this is still closed door will remain at least for another week so I think that you know all of these messages will continue to go on but we do have to remember that ultimately this is a political decision it is a political vote and what we expect is is if the House house does vote for impeachment mostly if not all along party lines the Senate is likely not to convict the president again along party lines which just reinforces enforces that this is a political question criminal right well let's go to Philip who's calling from Westfield Wisconsin Philip you're on the air hi just got a comment I like you know if you're a national public radio I don't understand why is thing is so skewed one direction all your comments all your guests that you have on it you know I used to love your programming I gotTa tell you so this getting old oh real old for me well like non stop attack on the president of the United States there's things that he says I don't really care care for either but I'm GonNa tell you something I I really think you're doing yourself at this service it's national public radio if you guys are only GonNa have guests on the look at one side of the state what about all the goodies done well on here for a second so just I just want to say that we have three reporters here who aren't taking aside they're simply reporting the facts as we know them so far in the IMP impeachment inquiry and what members of Congress have told them they're doing their jobs as a reporter but as reporters but what are you what are you saying here I mean do you do you not want to hear about the details of the impeachment inquiry anymore and if not why not you're saying facts as we know them you're saying faxes they're being reported and you're not getting no you only you're only putting on air one side of this thing what what is so the would be the other side I mean we we regularly request Republican members of Congress Congress to join us on the show all the time I can't compel them to come on the air I really wish they would I I really think you're doing the country just