tv Face the Nation CBS January 19, 2020 8:30am-9:00am PST
captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: i'm margaret brennan in washington, and this week on "face the nation," the pomp and pageantry of the opening act of the senate impeachment trial of president trump is complete. the cast is celt as prosecutors, defenders, jurors and judge prepare for their roles in what is only the third impeachment trial in american history. but the question of whether there will be witnesses in the trial and who the witnesses might be will likely be delayed until act one is over. it was an unusually subdued senate as the gravity of a presidential impeachment trial set in last week. >> hear ye, hear ye, hear ye, all persons are command to keep silent on pain of imprisonment. >> do you solemnly swear that in
all things anker and thing to the trial you will do impartial justice according to the constitution? >> brennan: ceremony over, political posturing is well under way. house impeachment managers, the prosecutors will open their case early this week. it's a now-familiar one, charging with the president with abuse of power and obstruction of congress. >> there is an overwhelming case beyond any reasonable doubt the president betrayed the country. >> brennan: the defense team led by white house council pat cipollone and trump attorney jay sekulow has some new recruits, including high-profile celebrity defender alan dershowitz and former clinton prosecutor ken starr. they say the house-passed articles of impeachment are constitutionally invalid and the effort is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the 2016 election and interfere with 2020. we'll preview the senate trial with a top house prosecutor,
judiciary chairman jerry nadler and texas republican senator john cornyn. we'll also look into the impact of the new revelations from rudy giuliani associate lev parnas. he's under indictment for campaign finance charges but is implicating the president directly in efforts to push ukraine into investigationing hunter biden. >> president trump knew exactly what was going on. >> brennan: then former white house economic adviser gary cohn joins us for a rare interview, weighing in on president trump's economic record and what 2020 democrats should be talking about when it comes to the economy. all that and more is just ahead on "face the nation." >> brennan: good morning and welcome to "face the nation." we begin this morning with house impeachment manager and judiciary committee chairman
jerry nadler. he joins us from new york. mr. chairman, good morning to you. >> good morning. >> brennan: well, the white house legal team sent their correspondents last night to the articles of impeachment, abuse of power, obstruction of justice. on the first they argue there was no violation of any law, and on the second point, they argue that the president had the right to refuse to produce documents and witnesses due to executive how are you going to prosecute this case? >> well, both of those statements are errant nonsense. there is ample evidence, overwhelming evidence any jury would convict him in three minutes flat that the president betrayed his country by breaking the
law, the g.a.o., the general accounting office just came out this week and pointed out that withholding money from ukraine that congress had appropriated is against the law.
but we didn't need them to tell us that. and the reason he did that was in order to extort a foreign tical opponents for his personal benefit and to help try to rig the 2020 election as he worked with the russians to try to rig the
2016 election. that same pattern. so there is no question that working with a foreign -- working with a foreign power, trying to extort a foreign power to interfere in our elections is about as bad as you can imagine. the main fear the framers of the constitution had, why they put the impeachment clause in the constitution, was they were afraid of foreign interference in our domestic affairs. the second thing they say that he broke no law is absurd, abuse of power is the central reason
for the impeachment clause in the constitution. it's all over the federalist papers. it's all over the debates in the constitutional convention. there is no question about it. and the evidence is overwhelming. >> brennan: well, i want to -- >> the last thing is that the president is entitled to withhold documents. no, he's not. the house of representatives has the impeachment power under the constitution, and that includes and the supreme court ruled that in the nixon case, that he has... that we must demand adopts. he can't withhold all the evidence and then say, by the way, there's not enough evidence. >> brennan: on the question of witnesses, from what we are hearing from senate republicans, there will eventually be a volt on whether or not to hear from witnesses, not a commitment up front but an agreement to talk about it and vote on it later. is there any circumstance in which democrats would consider for reciprocity having hunter biden come and testify?
>> you know, the question of witnesses in any trial, in any trial, all relevant witnesses must be heard. if you're accused of robbing a bank, testimony that i saw him rob the bank or he was somebody else, he couldn't have robbed the bank is admissible. it's not negotiable whether you have witnesses. this whole question of whether they should be witnesses is does the senate want to have a fair trial or are they part of the cover-up of the senator. any republican senator who says there should be no witnesses or even that witnesses should be negotiated is parted of the cover-up. >> brennan: so you're saying no way would hunter biden ever be called to testify? >> no, i'm saying that hunter biden has no knowledge of the accusations against the president. did the president, as the evidence shows that he did betray his country by conspiring
with a foreign country to try to rig the election, hunter biden has nothing to say about that. they're asking for hunter biden is more of the sneer of hunter biden that the president is trying to geto.but tht theter , let thief justice rule on -- the chief justice has ruled on evidence, the senate can overrule him, but no chief justice would think of admitting evidence that is not relevant. no trial judge would in any trial. >> brennan: i want to ask you about evidence, because lev parnas, the business associate of rudy giuliani, some of the documents that he turned over were included in the brief submitted by democrats just last night. many republicans say it shouldn't be admissible at all. do democrats want to hear him testify and given his legal troubles, given his ties to russian oligarch, why do you think he is credible? >> well, he seems to be
credible, because everything he says corroborates things we knew. new documents that he has brought out from the time corroborate what he was saying. but the mainll relevant evidence should be admitted, and the president has engaged in a consorted attempt to deny all evidence. everyone who testified defied the president. mike pompeo ought to testify. john bolton ought to testify. why what is the president hiding? the president says don't let these people testify. if they had exculpatory evidence, he would be saying, let them testify. >> brennan: as you know, the white house argues that it sets a dangerous precedent for future presidents. >> there is no precedent. that is nonsense. >> brennan: i want to ask you about the president's legal team or at least some lawyers who are going to be speaking on behalf of the president, alan dershowitz among them. ken starr also add as someone who is going to be speaking before the senate.
what do you think of their additions to the team? what does that suggest to you as someone who will be prosecuting? >> i'm not going to comment on their witnesses except that ken starr thinks that apparently asking a foreign government to involve itself in our elections is okay, but the president 0 years ago talking about a private sexual affair, that's impeachable. i mean, it's ridiculous. >> brennan: alan dershowitz says it's not a constitutional criteria for impeachment, abuse of power, it doesn't meet that standard. >> i was surprised to see alan dershowitz say that. that's simply ignorance. if you read all the history of impeachments in the country. if you read the federalist papers, if you read the constitutional convention debates from the 1780s, if you read the majority of the house
judiciary committee in 1974, there is no question about that. it's ridiculous. >> brennan: all right. chairman, we'll be watching. thank you very much for your time this morning. we now go to a senator who was part of a small group of republicans invited to discuss impeachment trial strategy with leader mcconnell. theax -- that's texas senator john cornyn who joins us this morning from austin. good morning, senator. >> good morning, margaret. >> brennan: what can you expect to see this week? how long will this process take? will there be a motion to dismis, or are we charging ahead with this trial? >> well, we'll start with the introduction of the resolution that will guide the schedule on tuesday, and in the clinton impeachment, that was adopted by 100 senators here. unfortunately, our democratic colleagues will probably not participate, but 353 senators -- but 53 senators will embrace essentially the same rules of
the road that applied to the clinton impeachment trial, deferring the decision about additional witnesses until after both sides have had chance to make their presentation and senators have a chance to ask questions. so we will be sitting there in our chairs probably on the order of six hours a day starting at 1:00 p.m. eastern time and then six days a week. so this is going to be i think kind of a grueling exercise, but also one that will be public. >> brennan: so you say there will be at some point a decision and potentially a vote on whether to allow witnesses? you're in leadership, do republicans have the numbers to block that vote from actually approving witnesses to be heard? >> well, if i can make a distinction, margaret, the house heard testimony from 17 witnesses, more than 100 hours of testimony. all of that will be available to the impeachment managers to present their case to the senate. and then after they're through,
then the senators, 51 senators want to hear more, then we can vote to subpoena those witnesses. >> brennan: as you know, house democrats argonaut all the facts have been revealed. that's why they're arguing for new witnesses and new evidence to be introduced. i know you've said you're open to hearing from former national security adviser john bolton. does that mean that the rest of republican leadership is opening to issuing a subpoena to compel him? >> well, i find it curious that chairman nadler of the judiciary committee called this a rock solid case. if the house isn't prepared to go forward with the evidence that they've produced in the impeachment inquiry, maybe they ought to withdraw the articles of impeachment and start over again. this is not the senate's responsibility to make the case. this is the house's responsibility under the constitution. the senate is supposed to decide the case sitting as a court of impeachment. so this is really on the house to make that decision. they can continue to process
additional witnesses in the house. they can even vote on additional articles of impeachment, but this to me seems to undermine or indicate that they're getting id wt ty' d ar. >> brennan: but yet you say the door is still open to holding a vote to hear fromea ws number two for some time. do you think he can control the caucus to prevent a vote to approve witnesses? >> well, this is a very serious matter. obviously this is the third time in american history where we've had a trial on impeachment charges. unfortunately, this seems to be more of a political policy difference than actually a high courtroom and misdemeanor as the constitution requires. so i think -- >> brennan: so you reject that government watchdog report, the gao report, that does say there was a violation of the law? >> certainly not a crime and
something that no one has ever dreamed in the past would have risen to the level of impeachment. this is one of the basic problems with the house -- >> brennan: but i i ntral to that question of the president withholding aid for personal dwayne, which is the allegation? >> well, it is -- he's been charged with abuse of power, which is not treason, which is not bribery, which is not a high crime and misdemeanor. so this is the first time in history where a president has been impeached for a non-crime for events that never occurred. ultimately the investigation never took place and ultimately the aid was delivered. this is really unique. i think every senator will take this very seriously. >> brennan: well, that is certainly what the white house is arguing, but i want to ask you about the legal brief that democrats did submit. it included a number of things, including documents that have been revealed recently by lev parnas, an indicted business associate of rudy jean-baptiste,
among -- of rudy giuliani, among them a let theirine approval anf the president when he was reaching out to the president of ukraine. should all of these items admissible during trial? >> well, as you know, margaret, i was a judge for 13 years in state courts, and in no court in america would that kind of hearsay be admissible, but -- >> brennan: it's a letter from rudy giuliani. >> well, i would be careful before crediting the voracity of somebody who is under indictment in new york, the southern district of new york, and who is trying to get leniency from the prosecutor and who has ties to russian oligarchs. >> brennan: exactly. >> the russians had a lot to do with our election and disinformation campaign, and this could be part of it. >> brennan: you certainly would have knowledge since you're on senate intelligence, but given what you're saying, are lev parnas's ties to russian oligarch, which is often
short-hand for russian mafback doesn't it trouble you that he was working so close with rudy giuliani, who was acting on the president's behalf and saying he was acting on the president's behalf? >> well, there is no question that there have been a series on that have associated themselves with the president's campaign or claim to have special relationships with the president, but this is not the issue that the senate is going to be deciding. we'll take the issue of evidence as it comes. if the impeachment managers want to rest their case on the credibility of someone who is undeer indictment in the southern district of new york with extensive ties to russian oligarchs and organized crime, as you point out, then that's their choice. >> brennan: is congress going to investigate? should they investigate what was going on with ambassador marie yovanovitch, who according to these documents released by lev parnas appears to have been under surveillance? >> i'm sure that will happen, and i know the ukrainian
government has asked for sometos campaign. we no that ukraine was plagued with corruption. we know the ties between ukraine and russian oligarchs which are proxies for vladimir putin, and so that's why i think we need to approach all of this with a little bit of caution and make sure we have our facts right and make sure we know about the credibility problems that some of these purported witnesses have before we take it at face value. >> brennan: but these text messages, are you saying there's reason not to believe that she was indeed being surveilled or potentially at risk? >> yeah, i just don't know the answer to that. i would say -- i would say anything is possible in this smarmy environment in ukraine and russia. >> brennan: do you have questions for rudy giuliani about any of this? >> not relative to the
impeachment. that's a relationship that cause ms of us to sort of scratch our heads, but i'd say he's not relevant to the articles and what the senate is going to be asked to do, impeaching a president for the third time in american history for a non-crime over events that never occurred. >> brennan: senator cornyn, thank you. we'll be back in one many inwith former national economic council director gary cohn. stay with us. vent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%. always go for 100. bring out the bold™ uhh, excuse me, is there a problem here? you're in a no parking zone. oh, i... i didn't know. you didn't see the sign? that... that wasn't there when i was here earlier. (whimper) really? you know, in italy, they let you park anywhere. have a good day, sir. with geico, the savings keep on going. c insurance.
(glass shattering) (frustrated yell) (car horn blast) (yelp) johnsbut we're also a cancer fighting, hiv controlling, joint replacing, and depression relieving company. from the day you're born we never stop taking care of you. >> we're back with gary cohn, he's former national economic council director under president trump. he's back in the private sector these days. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> brennan: so the economy will be front and center in this election. many exists say we're overdue for a resetion. do you think we're on the brink of one? >> first of all, it's great to be here. i know a lot of people have been talking about a recession. i do not see a recession on the hordes. the u.s. economy is strong and continues to be very strong. the u.s. consumer is very strong. if you look at what's happened in the last couple years with tax reform, we have put more
disposable income in the hands of the u.s. consumer, and the u.s. consumer is out spending it. >> brennan: so why is the president and the man currently in the job you once held, larry cud criticize the fed chairman? >> i think our interest rate policy is in the good place. i think the consumeer is in a good place. i think the u.s. economy is in a good place. interest rates are where the economy is growing. fourth-quarter g.d.p. will come in around 2, 2.5%. >> brennan: so you defer from the president on that? >> i think we agree completely that the economy is strong. i think the fed is in a good place on interest rate policy. >> brennan: i want to ask you about trade. this week the united states and china, two largest economies in the world, signed this phase-one trade deal. there's like $200 billion in promised purchases, but there's still like $300 billion worth of goods under tariff. so what does this actually accomplish? what do you see? >> first of all, any time the united states and china get to e
should applaud that. the mere fact that we got a 90-plus page agreement signed between the two countries is very good, relative to where we were a month ago when everyone thought we would continue a feud with china some we have some trade agreement in place, the chinese are going to buy some more goods from the united states, which has to be a good thing, but there's also in that agreement, there are some provisions that free up trademarks and trade patents and trade secrets, which is very, very good. >> brennan: i thought this was about intellectual property. >> it didn't address, this did not address the big issue. the big issue that the president and i agreed upon is the chinese have been stealing our intellectual property and infringing on our trademarks. they've been infringing on our copyrights. it has not addressed that. we have to continue to address that. >> brennan: do you think china will hold up its end of the deal and enact some reforms? >> i think they're going to open up their markets. i think chinese have been close
to opening up their markets for the industries listed in. there i'm cautiously optimistic that the chinese are going to start reforming and opening up their markets. >> brennan: so you resigned over a difference about tariffs. >> yeah. i don't think that's accurate but go ahead. >> brennan: well then why did you resign? >> i left the administration for a variety of different reason, and the president and i had very open conversations about my policy views and his policy views. we accomplished a lot. and at the end of the day, he was going a different direction on some of the trade negotiations than i would have gone. i agreed fundamentally on what the issue was. i just didn't agree on how to solve the issue. >> brennan: so the steel and aluminum tariffs is what many thought was the impetus for your resignation. you're saying it's not? >> i didn't think the steel and aluminum tariffs were helpful to our economy. >> brennan: but when it comes to the tariffs used to get toeay ended up with a free trade deal, the new nafta so to speak,
usmca, the president can say, people don't like my tactics, but i got it done. were they wrong? >> i don't think the tariffs helped us get to any different outcome. >> brennan: did it hurt the u.s.? >> i think it has further the u.s. i think it's totally hurt the united states. the u.s. economy is very strong, very solid. employment growth is great. but we're missing a big component. we're missing the capital expenditure from companies in the united states. that was a key component to tax reform. >> brennan: lowering the corporate tax rate is what you thought would -- >> not going. we gave them expensing of cap x for the first five years. they can 1400% expense their cap x. but the minute you put steel and aluminum tariffs on. you go out and buy steel and aluminum. that's how you build factories, that's how you build equipment. so all of a sudden the advantages we were trying to give companies to help stimulate the economy to build facilities
to go out and hire people to drive wages, we took away that advantage by taxing the input that they needed. >> brennan: you're saying the president got in his own way? >> i'm saying the policies collided with each other. >> brennan: gary cohn, stay with us. we will be right back in a moment. s, we're a reliable partner. we keep companies ready for what's next. (man) we weave security into their business. (second man) virtualize their operations. (woman) and build ai customer experiences. (second woman) we also keep them ready for the next big opportunity. like 5g. almost all of the fortune 500 partner with us. (woman) when it comes to digital transformation... verizon keeps business ready. we do things differently and aother money managers, don't understand why. because our way works great for us! but not for your clients. gated ut clnts first. that's why we're a fiduciary, so, what do you provide? cookie cutter portfolios?
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