This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," October 2, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF., CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: To say that we are concerned that the White House will attempt to stonewall our investigation. We don't want this to drag on months and months and months, which appears to be the administration's strategy.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: I always cooperate. This is a hoax. This is the greatest hoax. This is just a continuation of what's been playing out.

They have been trying to impeach me from the day I got elected. And this is the easiest one of all, because this one is based on one conversation.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., HOUSE SPEAKER: It is unworthy of the Constitution of the United States to do what he did in that call.


BRET BAIER, HOST: Just some of the sound today. We are being told that the White House is really going to step up the pushback on the process starting tomorrow, a number of different fronts, in part because of the story about Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee Chairman. Here's what he said before the official whistleblower complaint came out.


SCHIFF: The Director of National Intelligence has made the unprecedented decision not to share the complaint with Congress. And I want to thank the Inspector General. In the absence of his actions in coming to our committee, we might not have even known there was a whistleblower complaint.


BAIER: He did know, though. Official word from the spokesperson, "The whistleblower contacted committee for guidance and how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of Intelligence Community. Consistent with the Committee's longstanding procedures, Committee staff appropriately advised the whistleblower to contact an Inspector General to seek legal counsel. At no point did the Committee review or receive the complaint in advance." That is the statement from Schiff's staff. Obviously, this is raising a lot of eyebrows here in Washington.

Let's bring in our panel, Tom Bevan, Real Clear Politics co-founder and president, Susan Ferrechio, Chief Congressional Correspondent for the "Washington Examiner," and Charles Lane, opinion writer for "The Washington Post."

Susan, when this hit, the president jumped on it right away. And he was asked about it, and said he probably helped write the complaint. That is denied by Adam Schiff, but it does raise questions about the outreach.

SUSAN FERRECHIO, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Yes, and Republicans have been sharing these concerns with me for quite a while, that they felt that Schiff had some kind of advance notice about the whistleblower, and their belief that he orchestrated or worked with the whistleblower to write this complaint, to have it look a certain way.

Now, the Intelligence Committee Democrats are saying that is absolutely not the case, that they followed the protocol, that they sent him to a lawyer, but this does have the feel of something that maybe Schiff knew about in advance, and Republicans have been worried about this for quite some time.

BAIER: We just played one interview. There were numerous Adam Schiff interviews where he said we wouldn't have known about this whistleblower had it not been for the I.G. Well, no. You sent him to the I.G.

TOM BEVAN, REAL CLEAR POLITICS CO-FOUNDER: Right. And there was another interview that he gave --

BAIER: Or her, I should say.

BEVAN: -- where he was asked point-blank, have you had contact with the whistleblower? And he said we have not had contact, we implying him and his staff. And that turns out to not be true.

Look, this is a gift to Trump. And as everybody is racing to try and frame the narrative here, this is a gift to Donald Trump in the sense that he can now muddy the waters and say, look, this was a set up. This is a fraud. This is a hoax. And as this impeachment train is now racing down the tracks, it is very valuable for Trump to be able to muddy the waters with this.

BAIER: There are things that Adam Schiff gave the president. One was the made-up statement of the call which he read in Congressional testimony, which the president has hit on again and again, and then this story.

CHARLES LANE, OPINION WRITER, "WASHINGTON POST": Yes, they're footfalls, I would say. And they do emphasize the fact that when you have something moving this fast, people are going to commit to their footfalls. But I think the problem, I agree with Tom it will help the president muddy the waters. But the problem with muddying the waters is that the president, however this whistleblower thing came to light, whether it was a set up or not, the president himself released the transcript that supports the underlying accusation here, which is that he might have been up to no good in terms of steering -- conditioning aid to the Ukraine on their doing him a, quote-unquote, doing him a favor.

BAIER: Obviously, the administration and the president says that that's not the case, and he wasn't holding, and they point to the Ukrainian president's comments about --

LANE: In all of this, the strongest ammunition against the president, whether you buy it or not, has been supplied by the president himself in the form of that transcript.

BAIER: Here is Nancy Pelosi about the formal impeachment inquiry vote.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you taken off the table, or do you plan for a full House vote on an impeachment inquiry?

PELOSI: There is no requirement that there be a floor vote. That's not anything that is excluded. And by the way, some Republicans are very nervous about our bringing that vote to the floor.


BAIER: Well, that is interesting. There are some moderate Democrats who are nervous about the possibility of that vote as well. Without that vote, Susan, it prevents ranking members on the Committee from issuing subpoenas on their own. It also prevents the minority from arguing the case on the House floor before that vote. And if you look at the formal impeachment inquiries before, Richard Nixon, the vote was 410 to four in 1974, Bill Clinton 258 to 176. This is to launch the formal impeachment inquiry. So she's not unprecedented right now what she's doing.

FERRECHIO: No, not at all. And I think you are right about that, it does shut out the minority. They can just bring it up on the floor as articles of impeachment and they can proceed without special rules that would be set in place.

For Bill Clinton, there were four hearings. The minority didn't get much. They can ask for subpoenas, but they don't have the power like the majority does to just issue them. They have to get agreement from the majority. So that's a little bit of a stretch to say they would be able to subpoena. However, they did get the White House Counsel to come on behalf of Clinton, so that did help. As part of their impeachment inquiry, they got one of their citizens. They could get that in this instance, too.

But what this does, I think, is it give the speaker maximum flexibility to decide how she wants to proceed. This just could go nowhere. If it was a formal inquiry, people would be expecting to come back on the floor at some point. So although it looks like this is barreling towards a vote on articles of impeachment, this gives her maximum control, which I know she really wants.

BAIER: Right, and when I said the White House is pushing back, we're hearing there is going to be some formal pushback about the process, this lack of a vote, the lack of a minority representation, the Adam Schiff stuff, it will come formally.

BEVAN: It gives Speaker Pelosi maximum flexibility, but what it also does is impart to the public that it's not a serious inquiry, that she's not willing to take the step to make it a serious inquiry. And that implies that it's mostly political. And if Democrats go down this road and all they have is this transcript, as Chuck mentioned, which, by the way, the Republican side and Trump supporters see nothing wrong with what happened in that transcript, if that's all they've got and they are going to jam this thing through and try to get it done by Thanksgiving I think is what they are now saying, that could be a huge political mistake.

BAIER: On the flipside, Republicans obviously are trying to hold ranks here, but they've got some concerns of their own. And the president, speaking out, pushing back angrily today, because he feels like he's been under attack for his entire presidency.

LANE: Well, it is interesting that they are finally starting to, according to what you're reporting, organize a real impeachment defense, which is what other presidents have done with lawyers and organized communication strategy, and not the president just kind of raging and embarrassing the president of Finland at this press conference.

And this talking point about the House vote is one of their stronger points, because it is an exception to the past practice, and so forth. But so far, I don't think that has affected, sunk through the way Tom is saying to the public perception of those. I think the Democrats -- Adam Schiff was not kidding. The Democrats are worried that this will sort of spiral on and on. And they want to do something crisp and quick. That would certainly be in their political interest, I think.

BAIER: Because the longer it goes on and, the more that is added, the more confusing it gets for somebody following along.

FERRECHIO: And I think ultimately what is going to matter here is less the procedure, although with everything we are saying here, because once they bring up articles of impeachment, no one is going to be talking about an inquiry vote anymore. This is where the rubber meets the road here. Here is the article vote, let's have it. What is going to really matter is where these poll numbers are on the president's behavior. Do people feel like he should be impeached for this? Do people feel like he acted in the wrong way? That I think is going to ultimately dictate what happens on the floor of the House.

BAIER: OK, next up, the president on immigration, not impeachment, immigration, another i-m word. Stay with us.



COL. EDWIN ROESSLER, FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA, POLICE CHIEF: Our officers shall not participate in the civil process of ICE.

MIKE HOWELL, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: These are officers who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, and now they are being put in a position where they either do that, or they can potentially lose their job. So it's a terrible position, it's terrible for morale, it's terrible for public safety. It's only good for the virtue signaling for local politicians.


BAIER: Fairfax County, Virginia, police, one police officer supposedly violated policy, alerting ICE about a man who was wanted for missing his deportation hearing. They say they can't work with ICE, so he is suspended. Here is Chicago's mayor.


MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT, D-CHICAGO: CPD will not cooperate with them on any of their immigration raids. So that is the reality. And of course, we know that we've hurt them and hurt their ability to do their job here in the city, but so be it. That's the point.


BAIER: What about this, where we are? We're back with the panel. Tom, you're from Chicago.

BEVAN: I am. We've been a sanctuary city for a long time, but have become more and more strident over time, especially during the Trump presidency. Mayor Emanuel was like that, Lori Lightfoot seems to be pushing it even further.

This is a problem where we have federal law that says one thing and then we have states and local jurisdictions passing laws and policies that are in direct contravention of those and contradiction with those, and it puts people in an awful situation. Sanctuary cities are just one of them. We have the same thing with marijuana policy, we have the same thing with abortion policy, and this is something that's going on all around the country. But it's not a good spot for -- it's certainly not a good spot for police in Chicago.

BAIER: You feel for the Fairfax County police officer who was suspended. He was just trying to call the federal authorities because the guy missed a deportation hearing.

LANE: I feel for him and I don't feel for him, because there is a lot we don't know. If it is true that there was a clear policy, don't do this, and he did it anyway, then I kind of don't feel so sorry for him because he was on notice. The key fact -- and again, I repeat, there is a lot we don't know --- the key fact is that he detained this person, right, he held him.

BAIER: Who is in the country illegally.

LANE: But there is only a civil warrant out for him for skipping his deportation proceedings, and local law enforcement do not have, under the Constitution or anything else, as far as I understand it, the authority to enforce civil process. It's different from a criminal warrant. And a lot of the cities, rightly or wrongly, do have a policy that their local police will not detain people to enforce this.

BAIER: A lot of the focus has been on what the president did or didn't say about the moat or the snakes or the alligators, the wall, the electric wall, but really this is the heart of the immigration issue, that Congress does not get in there and solve some of these big items.

FERRECHIO: You are reading my mind. I think the great, untold story about immigration and the whole controversy is how it affects local jurisdictions, how it affects police officers, how it affects crime, school systems, school budgets, property taxes, quality of life. A lot of the people living illegally in Fairfax County, Montgomery County, places around Washington are members of the community who pay taxes and have been here for a long time. Some of them are people like the person pulled over driving on suspended license, may well have had other offenses there. That is often the case with people who are pulled over like this.

These are issues that local communities grapple with, and they don't often know the details, what the jurisdictions are deciding in their favor. A lot of people don't even realize that someone is not going to be detained by ICE and that their governments have decided to do that.

BAIER: The prospect, go ahead.

LANE: To your point, about the confusion about these policies in Prince George's County not too long ago which resulted in the release of someone who then went out and committed a homicide. So the confusion of local law enforcement is a real problem.

BAIER: But the prospect that Congress is going to do anything about solving the confusion, probably zero?


BEVAN: We already have laws on the books, federal laws on the books regarding immigration policy that local authorities are ignoring. And you just saw our mayor say we will not assist in enforcing those laws.

BAIER: We'll follow it.

When we come back, a bunch of third graders surprise one of their own.


BAIER: Finally tonight, a sweet surprise.


CROWD: Surprise!




BAIER: When a fire destroyed his family's home, Tennessee third-grader Daniel Hunt was surprised by his teachers and classmates at a Philadelphia elementary school. You see, they started a secret toy drive and they replaced all the toys that Daniel had lost in that house fire. His reaction before taking a look at any of these gifts was to ask his classmates for a hug that you just saw there. so that's pretty cool. Nice job.

Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. That's it for the “Special Report,” fair, balanced and unafraid. "The Story" hosted by Martha MacCallum starts right now.

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