Marc Short on impasse over impeachment on Capitol Hill; Rep. Dingell on Trump's comments about her late husband

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," December 22, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Chris Wallace, host: I'm Chris Wallace. The House of Representatives impeaches President Trump but lawmakers head home for the holidays with no clear plan for what's next.

[begin video clip]

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.: I'm not going to answer any more questions on this. When we see what their process is, we will know who and how many we want to send over.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi postpones sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

[begin video clip]

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.: It looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet in front of the entire country.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: Now the prospect of a Senate trial in political limbo.

[begin video clip]

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.: He's mad as hell that they would do this to him and now deny him his day in court.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: As the president blasts House Democrats' tactics.

[begin video clip]

Donald Trump: I don't feel like I'm being impeached because it's a hoax. It's a setup. It's a horrible thing they did.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: And new trouble as an evangelical magazine makes the case he should be removed from office. We'll discuss it all with Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Pence. Then --

[begin video clip]

President Donald Trump: Debbie Dingle. That's a real beauty.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: We'll talk with Congresswoman Debbie Dingle, a House Democratic leader, about the president's comments on her late husband and Nancy Pelosi's decision to hold on to the articles of impeachment. Plus, 2020 Democrats make the case for impeachment in this week's debate. We’ll ask our Sunday panel how it's playing in the battleground states. All right now on Fox News Sunday. And hello again from Fox News in Washington. A [unintelligible] fight is now shaping up between the Senate and House over the impeachment of President Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she won't send the articles of impeachment to the Senate until the two parties there agree on the rules for a trial. But if the articles are never sent over, does that mean the president was never actually impeached? In a moment we'll talk with Marc Short, the chief of staff to Vice President Pence. But first, let's get the latest from Rich Edson at the president's Mar-A-Lago retreat in Florida. Rich.

Rich Edson, Fox News reporter: Chris, President Trump begins two weeks in Florida taking a victory lap, even though just days ago, the House voted to impeach him.

Addressing thousands of conservative students at a Turning Point USA summit, President Trump claims victory in impeachment saying House Republicans voted unanimously against it.

[begin video clip]

Donald Trump: One ninety-five to nothing. You don't see that.

[end video clip]

Rich Edson: He also touted a strong economy and phase one of a trade agreement with China he says he'll sign very shortly. The president calls December a historic success for his administration despite a historic admonishment.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.: It is tragic that the president's reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice.

Rich Edson: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is withholding impeachment articles from the Senate, delaying a trial. Democrats want Republicans to allow witness testimony. The president calls the delay unfair. Senate Republicans are brushing it off.

[begin video clip]

Mitch McConnell: I'm not sure what leverage there is in refraining from sending us something we do not want.

[end video clip]

Rich Edson: Still, there has been some bipartisanship, a defense policy in government spending bills, a free trade agreement and an accepted invitation from the speaker for the president to deliver the state of the union February 4th. The president's campaign says he'll travel to Miami January 3rd to launch an Evangelicals for Trump coalition. Evangelicals have widely supported the president though in a surprise piece, an editorial last week in Christianity Today, the magazine said the president's conduct merits impeachment and removal. Chris.

Chris Wallace: Rich Edson reporting from Mar-A-Lago. Rich, thank you. Joining us now here in Washington, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, Marc Short. Marc, welcome back to Fox News Sunday.

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence: Chris, thanks for having me.

Chris Wallace: Speaker Pelosi, as we just heard, says that she won't send over the articles of impeachment until she knows what the ground rules are for a Senate trial and she wants Democrats to be able to call witnesses. Here she is.

[begin video clip]

Nancy Pelosi: The next thing for us will be when we see the process that is set forth in the Senate. Then we’ll know the number of managers that we may have to go forward and who we would choose.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: Is there anything the White House and Senate Republicans plan to do or are you just going to wait on Pelosi?

Marc Short: Well, Chris, I think her position is really untenable. The reality is that she said in the House that this president poses such a grave danger to the globe that we have to trample on his constitutional rights, not allow us to have any witnesses in front of the Intelligence Committee, not allow us to have counsel present, now allow us to provide evidence in our own defense. We're going to trample those rights to rush this through and now we're going to hold it up to demand a longer process in the Senate with more witnesses. I don't know when they became so concerned about due process after trampling over the president's rights, but to your opening segment, I think the president believes that we're winning right now. He believes that we’ve won on taxes. The economy is booming; unemployment is at record low. Military spending is rebuilding.

Chris Wallace: Okay, I get all of that, and there’s plenty of time for the campaign, but answer my question. Is there anything that you can do, or do you just have to wait for Pelosi to --

Marc Short: Chris, it’s not just the campaign. Congressman Al Green said, “We have to impeach him.” [unintelligible] --

Chris Wallace: I understand all of that. I’m asking you a specific question. Is there anything you can do to move this trial along, or do you just have to wait for Pelosi to do what she’s going to do?

Marc Short: We’re quite confident that the position is untenable, and she’s going to move it along, and that Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell reach a deal on how it’s going to proceed in the Senate.

Chris Wallace: So, you think that she’ll eventually give in?

Marc Short: She’ll [unintelligible]. There’s no way she can hold this position.

Chris Wallace: The president says that he wants his day in court. How frustrated is he right now by what Pelosi is doing? And he’s been sort of back and forth on this. Does he want a full trial in which he can call witnesses -- Republicans can call witnesses to defend him?

Marc Short: He’s frustrated with what he found to be a completely unreasonable impeachment, so, sure, he’s frustrated by that, but he’s also anxious to get not just acquitted, but exonerated in the Senate. So, he’s looking forward to his opportunity to have a fair trial in the Senate.

Chris Wallace: And does a fair trial mean both sides call witnesses?

Marc Short: I think what’s happened, and 20 years ago in the Clinton impeachment, is that you saw that they agreed to let both sides lay out their case, “and then we’ll take a vote about additional witnesses.” That’s what they agreed to. And it wasn’t just -- it was a 100-0 vote on the process, including Chuck Schumer supporting that process. So, when Schumer says he wants the same proceedings that happened with Clinton, I don’t -- I think that’s what we welcome, too. He’s trying to now change the rules and have a whole different process. And, Chris, if her case is so airtight as she said that she had to ram it through, and it’s undeniable, why does she need more witnesses to make her case?

Chris Wallace: That’s a question for Speaker Pelosi. I hope we have her on. What does the president make of Pelosi this week inviting him to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress, a joint session, on February 4th? Does he read that as her acknowledging that her case is going nowhere?

Marc Short: We think her case is going nowhere, yes, and I think the president looks forward to addressing the whole country on February 4th to talk about how well this country is doing.

Chris Wallace: And how does he feel about the fact that she invited him this week?

Marc Short: Well, I think it’s the same thing, Chris. In the midst of the impeachment, we had 15 to 20 House Democrats over in a black-tie event for a Christmas party with the president. It’s like, how serious are they really doing this, or, again, is it really just a political exercise to placate the radical left of their base? That’s what we think this has been all along. It’s why this was the seventh impeachment vote. It wasn’t the first. They’ve tried seven times. They had 70 votes for impeachment even before Mueller even testified on the Russian collusion hoax. They’ve been trying to do this from day one of this administration, and the reality is that they continue to see us racking up victories for the American people, and they know they can’t beat him at the ballot box.

Chris Wallace: On Friday night, President Trump tweeted this headline. We’re going to put it up. “Russian president Vladimir Putin says U.S. president Donald Trump’s impeachment is farfetched and predicts the U.S. Senate will reject it.” That’s President Trump retweeting what Putin said about him. At the same time, the president -- the White House threatened to veto the big spending bill, which would avoid a government shutdown, unless Democrats dropped a provision that would have said the president must release any funding that Congress approves -- military aid -- for Ukraine. I know there were separation-of-power issues there, Congress dictating what the president must do or not do, but does President Trump still believe that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election?

Marc Short: Chris, it doesn’t have to be an either/or. It can be both. But that reporting was once again miserable reporting by the Washington Post. We requested $250 million in aid to Ukraine. If Congress did its job and completed their spending bill on September 30th, we would have had it then. It was delayed for over three months because they did a sham impeachment. They’re the ones actually delaying aid to Ukraine. What our admiration said is that they tried to put a special provision there that said there’s no executive review on any of this aid, not just Ukraine, but other countries. But ultimately, the aid is in there, and we’re going to deliver that aid to Ukraine. So, it’s actually incredibly misleading and misappropriate reporting by the Washington Post to say that we were issuing a veto threat over aid to Ukraine. It was on the policy writers in which Congress was trying to say, “We’re taking the executive branch ability to review that aid.” Any executive would have had concern over that, whether it’s Republican or Democrat alike.

Chris Wallace: And I pointed that out; there were separation of power concerns. But you said it doesn’t have to be either/or. Forget the question of Russia. Does the president believe that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election?

Marc Short: He thinks we should at least investigate it, Chris. I mean, go back to 2016. I know this is inconvenient for a lot of people in the mainstream media, but when Russia interfered in our election, Barack Obama was president and Joe Biden was vice president. And Joe Biden himself said he was in charge of Ukraine policy, and his son is getting between $50,000 and $80,000 a month to serve on a board where he has no experience whatsoever. So, his question is, why shouldn’t we investigate it? It seems like we can never get enough investigation of interference -- foreign interference in our elections for three years, but as soon as the president asks for it, it’s like, “Hey, we must impeach him.”

Chris Wallace: Well, that’s not why it happened, as you know. I mean, there was a phone call, and there was a question of conditionality of a White House visit and giving the military aid, and that it was on that basis that he was asking for the investigation. But let me take your point --

Marc Short: There was not conditionality.

Chris Wallace: You say, “Well, we can -- we should still investigate.” Every major U.S. intelligence agency says it was Russia that interfered in the election. During the House Intel Committee hearings, a member --

Marc Short: [unintelligible] --

Chris Wallace: Let me just finish. A member of the Trump National Security Council, Fiona Hill, said, “This idea that Ukraine interfered in the election is Kremlin disinformation.” So, why does the president think it’s still worth investigating whether Ukraine did something?

Marc Short: Why don’t we go and try to find the bottom line and the answers? We’re not questioning Russia’s interference, Chris. I’m accepting that. But it doesn’t mean that -- just because Russia interfered doesn’t mean others didn’t as well.

Chris Wallace: Well, but they’re saying -- Fiona Hill -- that the whole question of Ukraine is Russian --

Marc Short: I don’t think --

Chris Wallace: -- disinformation. And in fact, according to reporting you may say is inaccurate, Putin, supposedly in a meeting they had in Germany, told the president that it was Ukraine, and he apparently said to some people in the administration, “Putin told me it’s Ukraine.”

Marc Short: I’ve read that, again, reporting in the Washington Post. I never heard that. I believe that there can be -- just because you’re saying, you know, “My house was robbed last night” means your house couldn’t have been robbed last night. It’s quite possible that both were interfering in elections, so why not investigate that?

Chris Wallace: Okay, let’s turn to a new subject. An evangelical magazine, Christianity Today, ran an editorial this week under a headline, and there you can see it. “Trump should be removed from office.” It said, “That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties, but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.” Here is editor Marc Galli, who wrote that.

[begin video clip]

Mark Galli, Christian Today editor: The question is, when does his behavior, which is described as immoral accurately, rise to the level where he is no longer fit to serve office? And to me, we crossed that line with the impeachment hearings.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: Now, your boss, Vice President Pence, is an evangelical. How does he feel about President Trump being called by Christianity Today a, quote, “leader of such grossly immoral character?”

Marc Short: Well, I don't want to put words in the vice president’s mouth, but, Chris, I think for a lot of us who are celebrating the birth of our Savior this week, the way that we look at it is that this president has helped to save thousands of similar unplanned pregnancies. This president has helped to make sure that religious liberty is protected. This president has done more -- as we celebrate today in our churches across the country this morning, they’re singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” There’s been no president -- no president has been a greater ally to Israel than this president. So, for many of us who are Christian, we look at this and say, “I am thankful that Donald Trump is president, and I’m thankful that Mike Pence is vice president.”

Chris Wallace: You talk about morality and character. Finally, I want to ask you about the president’s comments in Michigan this week, where he suggested that the late Congressman John Dingell might be in hell, looking up, rather than in heaven, looking down. Here’s the reaction of Dingell’s wife, Debbie, to the president’s comments.

[begin video clip]

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich.: I loved my husband very much. I’m still having a hard time. He was my partner and the love of my life, and so I was already having a hard time with this holiday, and the comment that he made was just -- it made me sad.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: How do you explain the president making a comment that hurt her so deeply -- you talk about Christmas; this will be her first Christmas in 38 years without her husband -- and why won’t he apologize?

Marc Short: Chris, I’m sorry that she’s hurting, and I’m sorry -- and I certainly, you know, hope that -- wish her the best as she deals with her circumstances. I think that our administration respects the service of John Dingell, and service -- we respect -- in uniform. We respect his service to our country and Congress, and we respect her service to our country in following her husband in Congress. I think that, you know -- I’m sorry that she’s in this circumstance today, but, you know, in light of where we were on -- what was it, Wednesday night -- I think the president saying -- you know, John Dingell was not exactly a wallflower. John Dingell called the president an imbecile in his closing months. John Dingell himself, as well, had a lot of critical comments about the president, yet he took time to call Debbie Dingell to express his personal condolences at the passing. He lowered flags to half-mast. I think at the time in the moment the president's feeling that, you know, that in midst of an impeachment vote that that was something that came up in his rally speech.

Chris Wallace: Marc, thank you. Thanks for your time this week and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Marc Short: Merry Christmas to you, Chris.

Chris Wallace: Up next, the White House and Senate Republicans say Democrats suddenly have cold feet about impeachment. We’ll talk with a member of the House Democratic leadership, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. Next.

[commercial break]

Chris Wallace: President Trump spent impeachment night at a rally in Michigan, a state critical to his re-election, where he made waves on both sides of the aisle by insulting a prominent Democratic family. Joining us now, Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, whose late husband John was the target of the president's remarks. She is also co-chair of the Democratic Policy Committee and Congresswoman, welcome back to Fox News Sunday.

Debbie Dingell: Thank you, Chris. Good to be with you.

Chris Wallace: All right. Why is Speaker Pelosi delaying in sending the articles of impeachment over to the Senate and how long is she willing and prepared to wait?

Debbie Dingell: So, I don’t know what the timeframe will be, but I would like to remind people that when President Clinton was impeached, he was impeached on December 19th and the managers were not appointed until January 6th. The Congress doesn't return until January 6th and was kind of referred to by Marc Short earlier. There were two resolutions at that time. One was a resolution to proceed that was passed by 100 to 0 and then there was a second resolution about who the witnesses would be. I think that --

Chris Wallace: But there were no witnesses. You're talking about in the Senate.

Debbie Dingell: There were witnesses in the -- there were three witnesses for Bill Clinton. The first resolution did not approve witnesses, but ultimately there was a second resolution and there were three witnesses in the Clinton impeachment. And I think what the speaker is trying to do is to ensure that there's going to be a fair trial. I think they're going to continue to be discussions. I don't know. I'm not part of those very tight discussions but Senate Schumer's trying to work with Senator McConnell to make sure there's a fair hearing. I think there are witnesses that would not -- that the president would not allow to testify like the chief of staff, like John Bolton, and others that people would like to get that testimony from to ensure it is a fair trial.

Chris Wallace: Okay.

Debbie Dingell: But it will move.

Chris Wallace: But I want to take Marc Short's point. It was a question I was going to ask anyway. When you guys were debating this in the House, House Democrats said you couldn't hold off on impeachment, you couldn't even wait for the courts to decide on House subpoenas because Donald Trump was such a threat to the nation. Here are some of your colleagues during this process.

[begin video clip]

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Ohio: The president's continuing course of conduct constitutes a clear and present danger to democracy in America.

Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La.: This is not a rush to judgment. It's a rush to justice and we must not delay.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.: Could we find a more perfect description of the present danger emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: So, if President Trump is such a threat, if this case is so urgent, why not send impeachment to the Senate right away?

Debbie Dingell: Well first of all, Chris, did you really think the United States Senate was going to start this trial before January 6th? You have no idea what's going to happen in the next two weeks as the leaders are trying to negotiate what's going to happen and as I remind you, Republican impeachment with President Bill Clinton, that managers weren't appointed until January 6th. I hope that the leaders are going to continue to talk. I think what -- you know, this was one of the hardest votes I think that and one of the most important votes I’ll cast in my career, however long it may be and it was about protecting our national security. I did not come out for this impeachment last summer under enormous pressure from Tom Steyer buying 40 ads and because I was worried about the division in this country but it became very clear there was a danger to our national security. There was a danger to our democracy and that's why we are aware of what's happening and have to protect it as we go into this next year's election.

Chris Wallace: Okay, but you certainly would agree. You say well, it always is a delay over -- between Christmas and New Year's, but Nancy Pelosi has made it clear she's hoping that by holding it up, it creates some leverage that will allow Chuck Schumer to make a deal with Mitch McConnell on the ground rules for the trial. The question is, why does she think she has any leverage here? The president and top Republicans say she's threatening not to give them something they don't want anyway. Take a look.

[begin video clip]

President Donald Trump: They don't want to put them in because they're ashamed of them because it's what they've done is wrong and it's bad for the country.

Mitch McConnell: Looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet in front of the entire country and second guessing whether they even want to go to trial.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: And one of the Democratic witnesses before House Judiciary, Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman says, “look, if you don't turn over, if you don't send impeachment to the Senate, then the president is never actually impeached.” So, isn't this almost the definition of an empty threat?

Debbie Dingell: I don't think that it is an empty threat and I don't like the words “threat.” I think this is about our democracy. So, what we're trying to do is to make sure that there's a fair trial and when Senate McConnell, you're supposed to be -- you're a juror. You're supposed to be -- go in with an open mind and listen to the facts. “There are more facts to be gathered” says I've already made up my mind and I'm going to do what the White House says. I don't call that a fair and impartial hearing or court trial.

Chris Wallace: Okay. I'm going to take one last crack at this because the Constitution is clear and for all of the complaints from Republicans well, you're not doing it right or wrong, the Constitution was very clear and very simple that impeachment is the sole purview of the House. It's equally clear, Article I, Section 3 says this, "The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments." So, according to the founders, let me finish. According to the founders, what happens in the Senate is none of your, you the House, is none of your business.

Debbie Dingell: All people are doing is making sure it's a fair trial and by the way, I've read that very same part of the Constitution. It doesn't say how quickly you have to move it from the House to the Senate. I think that you're doing to see it go sooner than quite frankly Mitch McConnell maybe even like. I think he'd like to never have to try it and try to -- this shouldn't be a political moment in our nation's -- it's a -- nation's history. It's a sad moment. I wish that it had not been just a partisan vote. Somebody will yell at me for saying that. I don't think this is a good time in our country's history, but we do all take an oath of office that requires us to protect our democracy and our national security. So --

Chris Wallace: All right. We’re going to turn now to a subject that is personally difficult for you and got a lot of attention this week -- and I discussed it with Marc Short just at the end -- the comments that President Trump made about your late husband John Dingell in a rally in Michigan this week. He talked about the honors that he ordered for your husband at his funeral. Here he is at the rally.

[begin video clip]

Donald Trump: She calls me. “It’s the nicest thing that’s ever happened. Thank you so much. John would be so thrilled. He’s looking down; he’d be so thrilled. Thank you so much, sir.” I said, “That’s okay. Don’t worry about it.” Maybe he’s looking up. I don’t know. [laughter]

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: What did you think when you heard that?

Debbie Dingell: It just sort of kicked me in the stomach. It was politicization of something that didn’t need to be, so -- and by the way, John Dingell earned -- he was buried at Arlington Cemetery because he was a World War II veteran, and that had been discussed with the Army a year before. He wasn’t laid out to rest in the rotunda. Quite frankly, Nancy had called me and tried to work through funeral details, and I didn’t want anything that other former members weren’t allowed, so we didn’t do that, and it wasn’t the president’s to give. He called me to tell me he was lowering the flags, and to this day and this minute, I’m grateful that he did it. I was grateful for the call. He was kind and empathetic, and it meant a lot to somebody who was hurting and loved her husband.

Chris Wallace: A number of your congressional colleagues have called out the president for his remarks, and some of them are Republicans, and I want to put these on the screen. Your fellow Michigan congressman Fred Upton: “Most unfortunate. And an apology is due.” Senator Lindsey Graham: “He said the same joke about John McCain. It is not funny.” Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw: “Merry Christmas, Debbie. You deserve to be able to heal in peace. Those comments were totally unnecessary.” But here is the only comment since the president’s, the only comment from the White House, from Stephanie Grisham. Here she is.

[begin video clip]

Stephanie Grisham, White House press secretary: I think that, as we all know, the president is a counterpuncher. It was a very, very supportive and wild crowd, and he was just riffing on some of the things that had been happening in the past few days.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: I guess the argument is he did something nice for you -- he did order the flags to be lowered --

Debbie Dingell: He did --

Chris Wallace: -- to half-staff --

Debbie Dingell: -- and it was appreciated.

Chris Wallace: -- and you voted to impeach him.

Debbie Dingell: Those are two different issues for me. You know, we have to learn in our country that you can disagree agreeably. I understand that this impeachment was a very personal issue to him, but I think there are lines that you don't cross, and I think he crossed a line there. I don’t want -- need an apology, don’t want an apology. I don’t want a campaign to begin around that. What I do want is people to take a deep breath and think going forward that their words have consequences, that they can hurt, and how do we bring more civility back to our political environment, and not actually just the political environment -- the rhetoric in this country has turned so ugly, vitriolic, and bullying. It’s not okay. Social media is destroying our sense of community in this country.

Chris Wallace: I -- well, it’s interesting you said that, because this week you put out -- I don’t know if people will be able to see it, but this statement. This is a picture -- you were all younger then; we were all younger then --

Debbie Dingell: [unintelligible] --

Chris Wallace: -- of you -- of the Bushes and the Dingells -- the George H.W. Bushes. And your husband John in his final days of a year ago last November wrote a statement on the passing of Bush 41, and I wonder if you could read, because I -- frankly, I think this is an important message, particularly at Christmastime. This is what your husband wrote on the passing of John Dingell -- I mean -- I’m sorry, on the passing of George H.W. Bush.

Debbie Dingell: “George Bush came from a time, as did I, when we believed that American equality demands that we treat one another with the same dignity and respect with which we expect to be treated. He was horrified at the harshness of our national discourse has taken and deeply disturbed at watching too many people speak past each other. We both shared deep concern about the hateful taunts, the despicable actions, and language that plague our political culture.”

Chris Wallace: Still has a lot of resonance, doesn’t it, as we --

Debbie Dingell: You know, someone sent that to me on Friday morning, and, yes, it has a lot. And the day that John Dingell died -- the night before and the day John Dingell died, he dictated an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post with that same message. He was worried about this country, and he wanted us to know that we all had responsibility for it and that “compromise” isn’t a dirty word. He used to say to me, “People -- God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. We need to listen to each other more.” And, look, this is going to be a hard holiday for me. It’s been hard. I miss him with my whole heart and soul. But if something good can come out of this, if maybe the president can think a little more sometimes, if all of us -- all of us -- I would like to work with the president and everybody else to just be a little kinder, and that random acts of kindness can make somebody’s day a whole lot better.

Chris Wallace: Congresswoman Dingell, thank you. Thanks for coming in today. I hope you know that a lot of people in this town will be thinking of you and are thinking of you this Christmas.

Debbie Dingell: I’m very blessed, and so was John. Thank you, Chris.

Chris Wallace: Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the standoff between the House and Senate. Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about Speaker Pelosi’s strategy of holding up the impeachment trial? Just go to Facebook or Twitter, @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.

[commercial break]

[begin video clip]

Male Speaker: Resolved, that Donald John Trump, president of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.

[end video clip]

[begin video clip]

Donald Trump: This lawless partisan impeachment is a political suicide march for the Democrat Party. Have you seen my polls in the last four weeks?

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: On the same day the House of Representatives voted along party lines to impeach him, President Trump rallied supporters, predicting it will backfire on Democrats. And it’s time now for our Sunday group, cofounder of The Federalist, Ben Domenech,; Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, former DNC chair Donna Brazile, and Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal. Ben, let’s start with you. Your thoughts about House Speaker Pelosi's decision -- first of all, about the House impeachment and then Pelosi's decision to hold off on turning the articles of impeachment over to the Senate. Does she really have any leverage?

Ben Domenech, The Federalist: Nancy Pelosi's one of the smartest Democrats in Washington and in the country. She was really boxed in on this in a way that I think she was uncomfortable with and I think that she's made a huge error in the way that she dealt with the immediate post-impeachment reality. Extending this out is not in the interest of the Democrats who make up the majority in the House of Representatives, those 30 Democrats from Trump-friendly districts who are going to have to defend this decision back home. They don't want this story to extend. They want to be able to go back to their districts and say we did this because we thought we had to. But then we immediately proved that we could work with the president when it comes to issues like trade. They want to move on to other issues that they can talk about in the campaign trail and 2020.

Chris Wallace: So, why do you think that she's doing this?

Ben Domenech: I think she's doing it because she's not actually in control anymore. The base is in control of this party. Okay? And the base of the Democratic Party wants to impeach Donald Trump, wants very much to see him impeached for anything under the sun. They want asterisks all the way down for his presidency.

Chris Wallace: Okay. Donna Brazile, off-camera I should tell you was laughing a little bit at that. She's going to get her chance to respond. We asked you for questions for the panel and on the issue of Nancy Pelosi delaying and turning over the impeachment articles to the Senate, we got this on Twitter from David Almo [spelled phonetically]. “He must not be that much of a threat to democracy if they're willing to hold it off, right?” Donna, how do you answer David and how do you answer Ben on the issue of whether Nancy Pelosi is in control?

Donna Brazile, former DNC interim chair: Maybe I'm showing my age now, Ben, but I remember after the Clinton impeachment in 1999 was a Hill staffer back then, he was impeached on the 19th and the mangers and everyone went to the Senate on January 6th. So, in terms of timeline, we might be operating on similar timelines as we saw in 1999. I believe she's right. First of all, she's not just one of the smartest Democrats and I know a lot of Democrats. I think she's one of the smartest and impartial defenders of the Constitution. She is -- she's using every tool in her toolbox to make sure that the resolutions that are conducted in the Senate -- now she can't control the Senate, McConnell has made that clear -- but she wants to make sure that every tool will be used or utilized so that when she sent over the managers she understand what game that the Senate will be playing.

Ben Domenech: But Donna, you have to, I mean, this doesn't really fly. When you see things like Clyburn coming out and saying that “oh, well, Mitch McConnell is colluding with the White House” or Jerry Nadler coming out and saying --

Chris Wallace: But he did say, "I'm taking my cues from the White House."

Ben Domenech: Right, but Jerry Nadler coming out and saying, "We can't trust Mitch McConnell to be an impartial juror." This doesn't fly with anybody. Nobody really thinks that that's what's going on in the Senate, that they're just going to sort of remove all of their partisan loyalties from the situation.

Donna Brazile: But if you recall, if you recall, and Chris is right, the -- Mr. McConnell said that he's going to work with the White House counsel and he's going to take an oath to be an impartial juror. That's like the jury working with the defendant. Look, at the end of the day, Speaker Pelosi will do the right thing. She will send over managers. They will march over to the United States Senate and announce the articles of impeachment and at that point the Senate will begin their actions.

Chris Wallace: Our audience will be happy to know we actually have four panelists, not two. Let's bring Jason Riley in. Where do you come down on all this?

Jason Riley, Wall Street Journal: Well, it's not just Mitch McConnell that has told Nancy Pelosi that the House has no say. It's the Constitution, Donna, that says -- Chris showed the language from the Constitution earlier. Sole power to the House for impeachment. Sole power to the Senate for the trial. And the issue is not whether Mitch McConnell is impartial. It's not his job to be impartial. That's the job of Chief Justice Roberts who will be overseeing this trial. Of course Mitch McConnell is a partisan Republican. No one is expecting him to be partial. But the problem here as Ben said is that Nancy Pelosi initiated this process to please her progressives and she rushed it through to please those House members that she knows want to go back home and talk about something else. And now she is in a bind here.

Chris Wallace: Is she in a bind?

Juan Williams, Fox News political analyst: I don't think so at all. Boy, I was surprised, shocked, to hear anybody say Nancy Pelosi is not in charge of the Democrats. Wow, she's had quite a streak here but I would -- I mean, she held her caucus together. I mean, look, oh of these 31 who have -- who come from districts where President Trump won the election, she's going to see a number of defections. She did not see any large defections. She held them together. Anyway, the bigger point here is is this going to be like an O.J. Simpson jury? Jury nullification. In the O.J. Simpson case it was “we don't like the cops.” In this case “oh, we don't like the Democrats.” So, we're going to ignore the facts. We're going to ignore the evidence. There will be no evidence. Not guilty. The problem would be that would be a sham. So, Nancy Pelosi does -- can't control what goes on in the Senate according to the Constitution as you read here for us, Chris, but she can try to say “if this is going to be a sham well then I don't need to really put any energy into the managers that I send over there. Send political. Send rhetorical people. If it's a matter of actual witnesses, if John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, are called to give firsthand testimony about the president's actions, then I need to send someone who knows about the case.”

Jason Riley: Juan, how can the House force the Senate to call witnesses that the House itself refused to call?

Juan Williams: They didn't refuse to call them. They couldn't call them because they wouldn't come because guess what, Jason, the president said don't go up there.

Donna Brazile: And they withheld --

Jason Riley: They refused to let that process run its course. [cross talk] And now they are claiming --

Juan Williams: Wouldn't that -- [cross talk] --- into their slow walking strategy at the White House?

Jason Riley: My problem with it is that they're claiming that this testimony is so essential to this process. If it is that essential, why didn't they let it play -- go forward in the House?

Juan Williams: Because the president wouldn't allow it. He not only withheld witnesses, he withheld evidence.

Chris Wallace: All right. You know what? It's a good question. Why didn't they do it? And it'll -- you folks, you can ruin your Christmas. [laughter] [cross talk] You can talk about it over Christmas dinner. All right, panel. We have to take a break here. When we come back, as the timing and scope of the Senate trial remain in limbo, we'll discuss how it's playing in the key battleground states as we head into 2020. Impeachment and the election. That's next.

[commercial break]

Male Speaker: Better trade deals, delayed. Stronger borders, obstructed. Funding for our troops, incomplete. A do-nothing Congress focused on a witch hunt, and your congresswoman, Abigail Spanberger, is siding with them.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: That’s part of an ad from a pro-Trump group targeting a freshman House Democrat from a Virginia swing district who voted for impeachment, and we’re back now with the panel. Well, let’s look at the latest poll in a couple of the swing states on the question of impeachment. In Florida, 50 percent now oppose impeaching and removing the president, while 46 percent support those actions. In Wisconsin, another swing state, 52 percent oppose impeaching and removing President Trump, while 40 percent are in favor. Juan, will what the Democrats did this week in impeaching the president -- will it help the president in terms of 2020, his reelection prospects, and will it endanger the Democratic House majority?

Juan Williams: I don’t think it endangers the majority. In fact, we’ve seen a rash of Republican retirements. Mark Meadows from North Carolina, for instance, this week is another one -- another Republican who just left. But what you do see in those polls is a distinct tilt in those very critical electoral college states against impeachment, and that’s not good news for the Democrats. It is better news for the president. By the way, those polls stand in contrast to our own Fox poll. This week, the Washington Post had a poll; it’s about 50 percent generally nationally who support impeachment and removal.

Chris Wallace: Yeah, but there seems to be a difference between nationally and swing states.

Juan Williams: That’s what I’m saying. But the -- but it’s also the case that in those swing states the majority supported the impeachment inquiry, and a majority, if you look again at the national polls, say, “We want to have, for example, witnesses and a fair trial in the Senate.” And finally, what you see is that a majority -- and this is -- a super-majority in the national polls say he did something wrong. So, I think the Democrats in those swing districts, Chris, need to talk more in terms of “he did something wrong; this is unconstitutional” more so than they need to talk about impeachment, because that’s not helping the Democrats right now.

Chris Wallace: Jason, how do you see it -- the House action this week to go ahead and impeach the president? Net-plus or minus for Democrats looking forward towards November?

Jason Riley: Well, it looks like it’s going to be a net-minus, Chris, because it’s not just where the polls stand today, it’s the direction in which they have been moving, and they have been moving in Trump’s favor. I think Pelosi and the Democrats thought they’d be able to peel off some Republicans in this process. They have not been able to do that, so it’s seen as this highly partisan exercise. Also, I think the Democrats overpromised. They were -- they said bombshells were coming -- bribery, extortion, collusion -- and the articles themselves seem to be pretty weak tea, and I think that’s a problem they have going forward. They couldn’t deliver on what they said was coming.

Chris Wallace: All right, let’s switch subjects. It’s easy to overlook, but there was another Democratic debate this week in California -- a Democratic presidential debate -- and the big target was Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who now leads in some polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire. And one of the big issues, and Elizabeth Warren went after the mayor on this, was the issue of campaign financing. Take a look.

[begin video clip]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Ma.: The mayor just recently had a fundraiser that was held in a wine cave full of crystals and served $900-a-bottle wine.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, D-Ind.: This is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass.

[end video clip]

Chris Wallace: So, Donna, it’s now turned out, and this is no surprise to anyone, that, in fact, when she was running for the Senate -- not when she was running for president -- that Elizabeth Warren held a lot of big-ticket fundraisers, including one in a penthouse in New York, one at Fenway Park. Does she look like a hypocrite?

Donna Brazile: Well, I think the point that she was trying to make was that Mayor Pete should open up his events, and he should be more transparent. On the other hand, I do believe that -- what we saw this at the debate this past week -- was that the Democrats are ready to take off the gloves. We’re within 45 days of the Iowa caucuses, over 1,600 precinct caucuses. I’ve done a few in my life. It’s now down to the final weeks before we choose someone who will ultimately, I think, be in a front-row -- get a front-row seat. I can’t help but think about the political calculus. This is not about the political calculus of the president or -- in his reelection -- or the Senate or the House. It’s about our Constitution and validity and integrity of our election. I keep saying, I experienced the Russian hacking. This was not a myth; this was not a hoax. This happened in real time, and if we don’t protect our elections from future interference of foreign governments, then we don’t have a democracy anymore. So, I had to say that, Chris, before I go home for Christmas.


Chris Wallace: Okay. I’m glad you got it out at this dinner table and not that dinner table. Let’s go back to politics. Where’s the Democratic race at this point, Ben?

Ben Domenech: Well, I think what you just saw there is it’s a bunch of different elites adjudicating who’s more elite. Why do you go to wine caves? It’s because it’s where the money is [laughs]. This is a situation where I think you have a field that a lot of Democrats are not particularly satisfied with, because they see a lot of the different defects that each candidate has. You kind of want someone who’s able to step forward and really inspire a lot of people. I think that Mayor Pete has done that to this point, and whether he’s going to be able to ride that into the future in success in Iowa is, I think, a real question. To me, one of the most interesting aspects of this debate was the success of Amy Klobuchar, who I think did a very good job. This is a kind of a do-or-die moment for her, though. If she loses in Iowa, if she’s not able to make some noise there, she may not be able to withstand much future into this cycle.

Chris Wallace: Jason?

Jason Riley: Well, first, Chris, I want to thank you for putting together a more diverse panel than the Democrats could muster on Thursday night. [laughter] I think that was very impressive. Maybe they should call you for more --

Chris Wallace: We didn’t have strict guidelines on donors. [laughter]

Jason Riley: I’m sure Donna appreciates that. But in any case, I think Biden had a very good night, Chris. He stayed above the fray, no stumbles, no huge gaffes there, and he let the other candidates fight among themselves. Donna said they’re taking off the gloves. Well, no, they’re really taking off the gloves, I think, when Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren start going at one another, because I think Biden will stay up there while those other two are splitting those progressives [unintelligible].

Chris Wallace: [unintelligible], Donna, and I’ve got less than 30 seconds. They really -- they focused their attention, I understand it, on Mayor Pete Buttigieg because he’s leading in Iowa. Joe Biden kind of was under the radar.

Donna Brazile: And that’s the reason why he’s still on top. Voters know who he is. They trust him; they believe that he’s going to be able to beat Donald Trump.

Chris Wallace: Thank you, panel. Merry Christmas.

Donna Brazile: Merry Christmas.

Chris Wallace: Glad you got all of this all off.

[laughter] Now you can just have a very Christmassy time with your families.

Donna Brazile: A lot of [unintelligible]. Thank you.

Chris Wallace: Up next, our power player of the week, honoring America’s veterans this holiday season. Plus, another visit from the Wallace grandkids.

[commercial break]

Chris Wallace: It’s a Christmas tradition here to share the story of how one family has found a way to express the meaning of the holiday season. It’s a moving example of love for our country and personal generosity. Once again, here is our power player of the week.

[begin video clip]

Morrill Worcester, Wreaths Across America: We wouldn’t have the opportunities if it wasn’t for the people that fought for us and who gave their lives for us.

Chris Wallace: It’s that plainspoken wisdom that has driven Morrill Worcester for years on a mission that has touched America’s heart. Each December, Worcester places wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery, and thousands of volunteers are there to help him.

Morrill Worcester: I think a lot of people think like I do. They just want to -- you know, they appreciate the veterans, and they want to show it.

Chris Wallace: This story begins back in 1962 when Worcester, then a 12-year-old paperboy from Maine, won a trip to Washington. What impressed him most was Arlington, its beauty and dignity and those rows and rows of graves.

Morrill Worcester: Every one represents a life and a family and a story. They're not just tombstones. I mean, those are all people.

Chris Wallace: Thirty years later in 1992, Worcester was running his own wreath company in Harington, Maine, but as Christmas, approached he had a bunch left over.

Morrill Worcester: These wreaths are real fresh raked, just made and I just didn’t want to throw them away.

Chris Wallace: He thought of Arlington and all those graves. When the cemetery approved, he and a dozen volunteers drove the wreaths down and laid them on the headstones. And so it continued for years until a few Christmases back when an air force sergeant took this picture, which ended up on the Internet.

Morrill Worcester: It kind of struck a nerve and people emailed it to each other and it really went around the world.

Chris Wallace: We were there the next year as he and his workers at the Worcester Wreath Company loaded up 5,265 wreaths. Then they embarked on what Worcester calls the world's longest veteran's parade, a 750 mile journey that at some points attracted more than 100 vehicles. And when they got to Arlington so many people wanted to participate.

Male Speaker: This ceremony you are about to witness is an army wreath laying ceremony to be conducted for the Worcester Wreath Company.

Chris Wallace: For years, Worcester paid for all of this out of his own pocket and he started Wreaths Across America, sending hundreds to cemeteries and war memorials around the country. But he will need help to reach his new goal.

Morrill Worcester: I think around 2.7 million graves and that's a tall order to decorate 2.7 million graves. So, --

Chris Wallace: But you'd like to do it, wouldn't you?

Morrill Worcester: I really would, yeah. Some time. I don't know how but hey, you know.

Chris Wallace: How long are you going to keep doing this?

Morrill Worcester: I'm going to keep doing it for as long as I work and then I know my family's going to continue. So, it'll be here for a long time.

Chris Wallace: This is the 28th year Morrill Worcester has taken on his Christmas wreath project. This month, volunteers placed 2.2 million wreaths on veteran's graves at more than 2,000 locations in all 50 states, including 254,000 wreaths here at Arlington National Cemetery.

And now, another Christmas tradition. Here's a look from the last few years at the Wallace grandkids as they keep getting bigger and bigger and here they are again. Oh my. We've got Sabine and Livie and Caroline and James and William and Jack who has had a very big year and is walking up a storm. From our family to yours have a very Merry Christmas.

Male Speaker: And we'll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”

Chris Wallace: All right guys, three, two, one.

Multiple Speakers: Merry Christmas.

Content and Programming Copyright 2019 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.