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tv   Cuomo Prime Time  CNN  October 14, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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p.m. or at any time on demand. tomorrow night the action takes place here in westerville, ohio. 12 candidates will take the stage. there's never been a debate with 12 candidates on the stage at once. we hope you tune in starting at 8 p.m. eastern time. >> i i'll turn it over to chris. >> i'm proud of the job you'll do in advance. we have new information on the criminal investigation surrounding rudy giuliani. this is the worst situation this president has had to deal with. why? let's get after it. the irony, the same federal office rudy giuliani once led is leading a criminal investigation into him. according to "the wall street journal," prosecutors in manhattan are examining giuliani's business dealings in
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union cra ukraine and elsewhere, long with his personal finances. they report investigators have been talking to witnesses since at least august. one question is how will the d.o.j. wind up dovetailing with congress? they're looking at the same situation. a short time ago fiona hill wrapped up more than ten hours of testimony on capitol hill. two sources say president trump's former top russia adviser raised concerns about giuliani's so-called shadow ukraine policy during her deposition. we have someone who heard directly from her at those closed-door impeachment proceedings. let's bring in house oversight and judiciary member jamie raskin. thank you for coming on "primetime." >> thanks for having me, chris. >> what do you want us to know about the value of the testimony today? >> there was extraordinary value. she was poised, in control, had
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a remarkable memory and recall. unfortunately i cannot relate to you right now the details of her testimony. but let's just say that she was a very powerful and effective witness and the intelligence and oversight and foreign affairs committees are gathering a far more detailed and fine grain portrait of everything that was taking place in ukraine with giuliani and with, you know, his henchmen. >> okay. i was anticipating that kind of answer. so let's stay away from the specifics, but let us find out how today informed your state of mind, which is allowable federal budget at trial, congressman. when you're looking at potential abuse of office by this president, where are you now in terms of your concerns after today? >> well, again, apart from what we heard today, all of the
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testimony that i've seen and everything that i've read about what's been going on there suggests to me that rudy giuliani and parnas and fruman were engaged in a shadow foreign policy with their own goals for the president. and it all came to light of course when we discovered that the president was on this july 25th phone call with president zelensky in which he essentially shook zelensky down -- >> do you believe this president knew what giuliani and others were up to in his name or to his benefit? >> well, certainly with respect to the core allegations, you know, the withholding of $391 million in military aid and security assistance to ukraine. >> do you believe you can show that this president withheld that aid on purpose because of his interest in getting ukraine to do his bidding with biden in. >> in order to gain coercive leverage over the government.
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we don't have to show that but i think it's quite demonstrable with the texts released and contemporaneous telephone memorandum made by white house staffers themselves, it's perfectly clear. >> you don't have to, congressman. there is no legal threshold, this is a political process, but even the founding fathers anticipated such a blowaway case of abuse of office that even the other side might buy in. do you think you're anywhere close to that? >> well, i think we are. of course justin amash has already left the republican caucus because he read the mueller report and determined there were multiple episodes of obstruction of justice there. there are several other republicans who have voiced kind of muted support for the impeachment inquiry. but if you look at what's happened with syria, i think it's shaken loose a lot of republicans to try to exercise a little more intellectual
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independence and -- >> do you think what they might see as abuse of power in terms of why the president kind of, you know, spontaneously listened to the head of turkey and after he had met with russia, the head of turkey and did this situation that now they're trying to undo but it's too late obviously. there's already been countless human costs because of turkey feeling, you know, basically free raein to do what they want in this area. do you think that might prove impeachment? >> if they can denounce the president for ruthlessly betraying the kurds, they can denounces president for ruthlessly betraying americans. he sold out our current election that's going on where he tried to get ukrainian investigators and prosecutors being involved. you know, i don't agree with pretty much anything that donald trump does or some of my
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republican colleagues, but i will defend with my life their right to participate in our politics but that's not true of all these foreign agents and actors that they want to bring over to participate in our politics. we've got to reclaim the integrity of american democracy. the bottom line, chris, is this is not like an agatha kristy mystery. the president bragged about the fact that everything that took place in the phone call, they withheld the money and showed total considerationne neconscio putting all the records of the phone calls in the secret server. we are filling in the portrait of an orchestrated campaign to undermine ambassador yovanovitch and they recalled her -- >> but the why matters, congressman. i'm not saying there's some legal threshold.
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that's political pushback nonsense, but this does have to be overwhelming because it is political. if it's seen as just partisan, hamilton said expressly,hamilto just about numbers, that's not about impeachment. but rudy giuliani, this is the closest that criminal activity has potential -- potential criminal activity has come to this president in my observation. what you saw with michael cohen, campaign finance, what flynn and manafort and what they were doing and who they might be compromised abroad, that's both at play with rudy right next to the president. >> that's right. and parnas and fruman are like the holikman and ehrlichman of
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this strikadministration. it's a very ugly thing to say. understand we had the official u.s. foreign policy that officials were trying to execute and then you had this shadow effort by rudy giuliani with the support of other actors like ambassador sondland and donald trump. and they were undermining the official u.s. foreign policy in pursuit of totally illicit objectives. >> why is it shadow? if the president is saying in one way or another explicitly or implicit implicitly, you do what rudy says, there's nothing shadow about it. he has his tex messat messages, walking into the oval office with rex tillerson, asking for prisoner swaps. it was all done in plain daylight. >> except rudy giuliani was never a public employee. he was acting as the president's
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private lawyer and he was perhaps acting as an independent businessman seeking certain kinds of business deals, but you're absolutely right, he appeared to speak with the authority of a delegation from the president of the united states. and that will be one of the fascinating things, to figure out how much he implicated the president and purported to speak for the president. it's very clear the president is behind it and rudy giuliani was following his orders. >> is there nothing that could change your opinion of the president's use or abuse of the office? >> i wouldn't say that. that's why we're bringing all these witnesses in. one person talks about other people who have serious relevant information, and we're trying to bring them all in. unfortunately president trump and his team are doing everything in their power to
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obstruct the investigation, shut the witnesses down and keep them from coming and prevent documents from coming and so on. the good news is in the last week, federal courts like public opinion have swung dramatically on the side of congress in terms of being able to obtain the information we need to get a clear picture of what happened. i think there is overwhelming evidence. i don't want to deny that. on the other hand, i'm open to all evidence that everybody can bring forward that what was shown in that contemporaneous conversations were weren't true or whatever. >> just a yes or no answer for time, are you open to having a vote, you do not have to, it's not about must, in order to get bipartisan support for the impeachment process? yes or no? >> sure, i'm open to that.
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we can discuss that. we have great leadership in nancy pelosi. she'll have a great sense of whether or not we have to do that. >> congressman jamie raskin, thank you for weighing in. i appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> i was clear during the mueller probe. if you expect some prosecution implicating this president, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. in time i cannot wave away what we're learning about this investigation as quickly or as easily. this is not about political practice. this is not about impeachment. this is about law and fact. and the more we learn about rudy giuliani and this president and the people that they put into practice for their position, the more trouble it could mean. we have laid out the road ahead and all the forks that are in it and we got lucky. top law enforcement officer from the fbi who knows the law and knows what it takes to make a case. the way forward next.
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♪[woof] ♪ the president, it's about potential criminality. you think it's easy for the d.o.j. to go after the president's lawyer, even with an investigation? they must have facts that are pointing to rudy giuliani and we know they do. how important, how relevant, where they lead, those are the questions. andrew mccabe made these cases, okay? so he is an invaluable resource. thank you very much. now, feel free to push back, andrew, on my insertion of importance. impeachment's political. this ain't political. i have not seen the nexus of campaign finance and potential greater criminality in this point fara, having to register
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as a federal agent this close in proximity of the president. flynn, remote, manafort a long time ago. here you have the two big sticks in someone that the president can't deny knowledge of efforts. how do you see it? >> i think you're exactly right, chris. it's not required to make the case for impeachment but it does make it a lot more convincing when you have people like giuliani who were inextricably intertwined. at the same time rudy giuliani is tied up with folks involved in criminal activity that looks like what we're talking about in the impeachment inquiry. >> forget about impeachment. let's say it goes somewhere, doesn't go anywhere. if you're running this case, sdny, and you're looking for potential criminality, what are
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the potential crimes involved with what we know about rudy so far and where questions might lead. >> we don't know. the southern district has many, many more facts than we have at this points but from the few facts we have, i think one of the things you would have to consider with respect to mr. giuliani is a possible fara, foreign agent registration act, that requires any person acting as an agent of a foreign principal to file a very detailed registration for the department of justice. >> that means if you're working for somebody outside the country and doing work for them inside the country, you've got to register. so rudy says i wasn't doing that. i was only working for the president. >> so lots of people who are contacted by d.o.j. say the same thing. one possible theory of a fara problem for mr. giuliani here, this is just a theory, is that you look back to parnas and fruman and in their indictment
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it's alleged that they received money from a ukrainian political figure, which they then used to donate to a congressional campaign -- >> they're americans those guys. soviet born but american naturalized. they had their own accusations but that they were funneling money to elections out west. >> the problem is the ukrainian political figure that was the source of some of these donations. that is your -- that's your foreign principal for the terms under the fara statute. so if mr. giuliani was participating in that effort to have the ambassador removed, which we know that parnas and fruman were doing by their lobbying of then congressman sessions who wrote a letter to the state department seeking the ambassador's removal, that could provoke a foreign agent registration obligation, which mr. giuliani may have not have
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seen through on. >> on the campaign finance side, he says i was working for the president, i was working for free. well, did he mark that as a donation? was that donation recorded by the campaign? those become relevant considerations. >> it does and it also becomes relevant if mr. giuliani was participating as a co-conspirator or counselor to parnas and fruman in their alleged fec violations. >> how does rudy giuliani, as smart as he -- people don't even really remember the genius that was ascribed to him as a prosecutor and as tough guy and a savvy guy with like a bloodhound's nose for people like these two guys. how does he get into cahoots with them? what would have been the tonic for him? he doesn't need the money. >> it's really hard to say, chris. you're absolutely right. this is a guy who has a storied reputation as a crime fighter in new york, in the organized crimea. to go from that background of
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course to go from that background and really rubbing elbows with questionable figures over in ukraine, having these two gentlemen as clients involved in a lot of campaign shenanigans, here and in the west of the country, as you noted, it's unfathomable to me that someone of his legal background wouldn't have seen the potential backgrounds here. >> do we know whether he was registered when he was working for the turkish guy trying to get a prisoner swap? that could be foreign power. >> the fara law has an exception for people engaged in an ongoing le legal issue. for instance, his client was indicted, charged by the southern district. that's likely the sort of situation that would lead to an exempti exemption. >> very good to know. thank you for that nuance.
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andrew mccabe, the more we learn, the more i'll lean on you. with that as a starting point, what are the questions that surround mr. giuliani with a closer look at his word and actions. take a look at it and what kind of exposure there is and remember the exposure for this president as well. we have not seen someone this close to the president working with the president in ways that are now being investigated. let's go down the road together next. the new $3 little john from jimmy john's is just like our original sandwiches...only we bought a little ad...on lil jon. little johns, yeah! $3, what?! take prilosec otc and take control of heartburn. so you don't have to stash antacids here... here... or, here. kick your antacid habit with prilosec otc. one pill a day, 24 hours, zero heartburn. this fall, book two, separate qualifying stays
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look, you can we talking about political implications but
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you can being talking about a lot more. what did mr. giuliani do? what did he know what he was doing it? who paid him? what did he know about where the money came from? the answers create potential legal avenues for jeopardy for him and for this president by implication. this president has never been this close to someone involved with these kinds of questions as president. it starts with lev parnas and igor fruman. rudy met with them before they tried to flee the u.s. if true, did he know what they wanted to do? did he help? it's not speculation, this is the kind of legal analysis. it would be pure speculation if there weren't an investigation going on. they're legitimate questions. the answer may be very satisfies for mr. jewel agiuliani. was he part of this effort to get rid of the u.s. ambassador?
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she says yes. if so, giuliani could be part of the conspiracy charges that parn yes, sir -- parnas and fruman of faci facing. if his work for mr. trump was as personal lawyer, so he was doing a pro bono? did he report that? did the campaign? you're supposed to. the answer matters. the sdny believes it knows the trail here. they say parnas and fruman were being bankrolled by an unknown foreign national. did they promise him they could get the dirt on biden? did he lose sense of good guys and bad guys for that political purpose? then there's the first part of rudy's disclaimer quote. keep in mind the trip to madrid, the one the whistle-blower described as a direct follow-up to the july 25th call, that's
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where giuliani met with representatives of the ukrainian president, of ukraine's president, he said that trip was paid by clients other than president trump. who? because if other clients include like a city in ukraine, did it dovetail to anything he was doing in the united states because that could be fara, the foreign agent registration act. that becomes relevant. but in giuliani's own words, i never registered to lobby. so if he was doing that kind of work that can pass the test, he's got a problem, unless he gets the exemption that it was only legal work in an ongoing case. did it check that box? important to know. giuliani, however, says he was only serving one client, donald trump. and if that is true and nobody else is involved in any of this that has to do with this ukraine
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matter, nobody he will get the lawyer's exemption. why am i shading it toward him? i want to be fair. i have no interest in seeing rudy giuliani or anybody else be in jeopardy. maybe he'll get that exemption. we've got to find out the answers. the lawyer is working to educate u.s. policy makers. that's another definition under the law. that could include advising potus on whether the new ukrainian president will play ball, or promoting the public interest of a foreign country. say like striking a deal for the military assistance. if you're doing those things, then you have to register. well, then does that jam up rudy giuliani that you were doing exactly that you say by your own depe depic depiction, that you were trying to get him more information.
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the foreign corrupt practices act says a u.s. citizen can't offer any of value to a foreign official. we'll have to see if giuliani discussed ways to unfreeze the aid money. that could be a problem. legal exposure. it's no the abot about politics. at the same time, you can't solicit, ask for anything from a foreign government, which brings us to this. >> you never asked anything about hunter biden? you never asked anything about joe biden -- >> the only thing i asked about joe biden, how -- >> so you did ask ukraine to look into joe biden? >> of course i did. >> that wasn't just a silly gotcha session but it wound up putting a light bulb on. rudy there was to get dirt on biden for the president.
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mueller says oppo research could constitute a banned contribution. it's right in the report. that part of the reason that don jr. wasn't charged is not because it wasn't a thing of potential value, it because they weren't sure the namesake knew it would be a crime. mueller seemed to accept that trump jr. could be that ignorant, but no one will accept ignorance as an excuse for giuliani, which brings us to the text messages, the ones giuliani has been reading on tv to show he was working for the state department, despite him telling me this -- >> no, i did what i did on my own. >> now, clearly at this point i don't know what he meant by on my own because he was working with the state department, he was working with these other two guys who just got indicted. if giuliani was officially part of the state department, even
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unpaid executive branch officials have to follow financial disclosure rules. you say it's penny ante, fine, but that's the law. each answer creates a responsibility that rudy must satisfy or justify. each answer from the two men in custody could be key to a case on rudy. do you really believe the sdny went after these two guys just for what they have on them so far or for where they could lead them. this might be the most serious legal jeopardy for any trumper today. let's take it to better legal minds. what do these two believe are the questions and concerns, if any in cuomo's court next. e ful. full of flavor. color. full of... woo! full of good. so you can be too. try our new warm grain bowls today.
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. now let's being very clear. mr. giuliani's explanation to this point is that his push for investigations in ukraine is all about defending mr. trump, our president. but as federal prosecutors dive into his bank records and interview who they believe are potential key witnesses to his business dealings in ukraine, and maybe somewhere else, raises in you questions about whose interests he worked towards and why is the law on his side? let's put it to cuomo's port.
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asha rangappa, jimmy schultz but here. traditional split of asha making the case, jimmy, you defend it. asha, when it comes to legality, let's put impeachment aside. i know it has implications for impeachment. that's politics. on the law, do you see exposure? >> well, they're definitely looking at something. the southern district of new york has gotten giuliani's bank records and finances and they're following the money. what potential criminal liability he has, i just don't think that we know enough facts to discern. you mentioned the foreign agent registration act before. i think that the facts are a little thin to come to that conclusion, but i think that facts could emerge that would potentially substantiate that. >> one of the concerns for him, jimmy, as you saw with manafort, is they get you on the fara side not just based on what they're looking at now but before. this guy that he came to, this
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turkish gold guy that he came to the white house to negotiate for, he says, you know, i'm exempt. that was legal. that exemption isn't as generous as it sounds. do you have any concerns about potential exposure? >> look, i think any time the united states government's looking into you, rudy giuliani would have cause for concern. it doesn't really matter what i say, whether i say cause for concern. but if i'm rudy giuliani, i have some concerns because they're asking questions but at the end of the day he felt very confident that the exception for lawyering under fara applied to that and it may very well apply. >> doing certain things in furtherance of a case -- >> i understand the law and i don't know that we know the answers to that in terms of what he was doing. i think asha is right. i think there's a lot of questions that need to be answered before we can jump to any conclusion. >> here's the bigger problem for
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him as legal exposure. these two guys that just got indict indicted, these guys are going to be known commodities that someone like rudy giuliani would never get near. why was he near them here? why did he let them put money in his pocket? what did he know about where that money came from? here he is. this is not innuendo and speculation. these cats have pictures and obvious intimacy with giuliani and the president. it's not just like they got him as a christmas party. you know? so what do you see there? >> look, these two guys have been indicted for conspiracy, for acting essentially as straw donors for foreign funds in violation of our federal election laws. you know, did giuliani know anything about this scheme? was he doing anything in furtherance of that scheme? that could make him liable for the conspiracy. now, we also know that part of what they were doing for these foreign donors is advancing their interests, one of which
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was to get this u.s. ambassador to ukraine recalled. this was also one of giuliani's goals. now, is it possible that giuliani had this goal independently of these two people? yes. i will say, though, that to the extent that there is any foreign agent registration act liability, i don't think the lawyer exemption would cover him. that only extends to representation in front of a court or agency or committee or proceeding and cannot extend to trying to influence policy. in fact, paul manafort's law firm had to settle because of a fara violation because they were trying to do things beyond the scope of the lawyer exemption. >> right. >> i'll also say the other defense that rudy can put out there is that he was acting at the direction of the president. i don't think this is so great for the president because it means that if giuliani has any criminal liability, he's basically suggesting that the president not only knew about it but was somehow directing him to
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do it. so i don't see -- i don't think things look good for giuliani. i don't think he's making the president -- putting the president in a particularly good place either by his defenses. >> jimmy, at this point is the biggest thing for us to watch the connection of mr. giuliani to these two guys? you know the southern district, you know, isn't so excited about making this kind of case. it g it's got to be about what they think these people can tell them. >> well, right. that's the whole thing is to see what the connection is between rudy giuliani and these two folks, what capacity everyone was acting in. it's going to be center to those questions. i'm sure the southern district of new york is going to sort it out. when we were talking about fara earlier, i was talking about the prisoner swap, not as it relates to this particular matter. i think asha, is right on that to the extent that giuliani was doing something on behalf of a foreign government or a foreign
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official. yes, then fara could come into play. remains to be seen whether that happens or not. >> friends that i share in common with the mayor and, again, i have no personal interest. i don't care of argument i have with the mayor on television, i have no personal interest in seeing had i deal with any negativity, but people don't understand why rudy giuliani would get close to guys like this, jimmy. that's he's the guy that would tell you not to get near guys like this, be careful, be careful. is that one of the things tripping your spidey sense on whether it adds up here? >> i don't know if it's tripping my spiedy sense but you raise a good point. it's not characteristic of the rudy giuliani that we all knew but we don't know all the facts yet either. >> hundred percent. asha, the reason i'm going down this road and i asked you guys to come in tonight speculation of they're going to impeach or not and i get why that's
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speculation and why we do a minimum of that on this show. this is not that for me. these eavavenues have to be satisfied with answers. no disrespect to the d.o.j. no one's opening a case on rudy giuliani on a whim, not in this administration. >> no, i think that the bar would have been high for them to go down this road. and to answer your question on why he would be kavorting with these people, i think we've seen this happen in other context. general michael flynn was respected at one point. >> very respectable guy, known for loyalty, but he was getting paid, asha, in a way that giuliani didn't need. i don't know what happened in his diverse, but he's been making a ton of money for a long time, 500 grand from guys like this doesn't make sense. i got to go. i'm out of time. as we get more facts, i'll come back to you for more of your brilliant insights, both of you.
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>> mr. giuliani is not the first person to come under scrutiny of dealing with foreign powers, right? we need a reminder of why these laws matter so much. this is not penny ante. from the founding fathers on down the line, you can't let foreign powers mess with our politics next. ♪ do you recall, not long ago ♪ we would walk on the sidewalk ♪ ♪ all around the wind blows ♪ we would only hold on to let go ♪
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...and choose any car in the aisle. and i don't wait when i return, thanks to drop & go. at national, i can lose the wait...and keep it off. looking good, patrick. i know. (vo) go national. go like a pro. look, right now we all know that impeachment is about politics. that is good and bad. these questions about rudy giuliani and our president are not exclusionively about politi. many are about fact and law. they may cause real problems for both. this may be the biggest legal exposure to date. it matters in part because once again this president has a personal lawyer doing potentially illegal and certainly shady things for him, this time with a foreign power. and this road with rudy takes
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this president closer to ruin than ever. here's the argument. rudy says he was working for the president for free. all right. now there are going to be campaign finance issues there. but he was doing this president's bidding with shady guys who were paying him. what was he doing for them? and who knows who else and what else that these people wound up knowing about our president. and what he the scary thing here is not rudy and trump would have things exposed. if they were successful and undiscovered. feds are looking into rudy and his money, they are guessing he must have been clouded with judgment and leading to russia
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who would have serious leverage on both of them. anything of value pass for dirt on biden had been delivered. this is why laws exist. why there are strict rules and why founders saw soliciting foreign interference is a major abuse of office. it is not just ukraine that calls the hoops. why do i say pal instead of lawyer? before he was hired, rudy giuliani represented iranian turkish gold trader. he used his relationship with potus and the campaign to get into the office and secretary of state rex tillerson and he pressed for the release of his client as part of a prisoner swab with turkey. does that exempt him legal services from farrow?
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i don't know. tillerson says no way. either way it is an example of our president being leverage by his lawyer for profit which exposes both to foreign players and puts the judgment of both of them in serious questions. rudy giuliani was once known as america's mayor. i argued for good reasons. this latest chapter cast hs him someone really different. maybe using diplomacy for personal gains? what does he know about his close associates and how they got the money to pay him? where did it come from? why would he put our president in his crime of any kind of loop
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with people like this. this is not conjecture and innuendo. there they are. next to pence and rudy, all party picture. he knew the people. he was working for the people. this is not about hunting trump to my people. trump knew about it and wanted him to do it. we are finding out what -- what avenues of our own government and the intention of congress will put on the shelve in exchange for this president's political journey. they put themselves in prison
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and no one else. as a loyalty for potus and nothing else. look at where that got him? >> i don't know, i have not spoken to rudy. i spoke to him briefly. he's a very good attorney and he has been my attorney. >> wow. i don't know. trump later said rudy was still his lawyer. the first answer shows this president's priority always. himself. it is not about loyalty for him. it can't be about politics for us. our primaries must be facts and law and never matters more. that's my argument. now anticipation building for the first debate of the impeachment. less than 24 hours away right here on cnn. we'll tell you why. a lot is different this time and the proof is in the numbers. next. the new $3 little john from jimmy john's is just like our original sandwiches...only we bought a little ad...on lil jon. little johns, yeah! $3, what?!
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we are going deep tomorrow night. a lot of round that shifts since the last one. you can expect the "i" word to stir the heated debate. voters are divided. voters 44% say this and 47% say it ain't. how will the democrat candidates play into this. now they all say impeachment inquiry, can they make their case to the american people.
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it is increasingly looking like a two-way race. warren and biden. biden slips. you can say it is a dead even race. warren is doing a consolidation game from bernie sanders now at 11% of the poll. tomorrow make that is much more of an impact. you get the headline and buzz and you get momentum and donors. that's the set of state that makes the cnn debate so big. thank you for watching. let me get right to d. lemon starting the show right now. >> you get people going to the polls though. >> you are dead right. you are dead right. i am talking politics with a small "p." momentum in this primary. your question ends up being the ultimate one. those people you are identify, i am going to still don's


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