This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," November 24, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
An inspector general report awaited for months is expected to find the FBI investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign was not politically motivated.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: This was spying on my campaign. This was an overthrow attempt at the presidency.
WALLACE: The Justice Department's top watchdog is expected to sharply criticize lower-level FBI officials, but he reportedly finds no political bias in launching the original Trump-Russia investigation.
Then, Democrats wrap up their impeachment hearing blitz. After two weeks and 12 witnesses, what more do we know?
GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.
DR. FIONA HILL, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR ON RUSSIA: I did say to him, Ambassador Sondland, Gordon, I think this is all going to blow up.
WALLACE: As the investigation moves to the House Judiciary Committee, new questions about how the process will play out.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We'll go where the facts take us.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): There is nothing more dangerous than an unethical president who believes they are above the law.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Putting the country through this is not healthy, particularly 11 months before the next election.
WALLACE: We'll discuss a potential Senate trial with Republican Senator John Kennedy and asked Congressman Eric Swalwell, are Democrats and too much of a hurry?
Then, ten candidates take the stage in the fifth Democratic debate. We'll ask our Sunday panel about the state of the race as we look ahead to the first in the nation contest.
And our Power Player of the Week, going viral by giving away cash on Twitter.
All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday".
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
Well, after 30 hours of public hearings, House Democrats are entering what may be the final phase of their impeachment investigation. The House Intel Committee is writing a report to send to the Judiciary Committee which would write articles of impeachment. A full House vote could come by Christmas. A Senate trial would follow in 2020, a move President Trump says he'd welcome.
Meanwhile, we're learning some of the main conclusion of that inspector general's report on how the FBI conducted its investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia. In a moment, we'll talk with Republican Senator John Kennedy.
But first, let's bring in Kevin Corke with the latest from the White House -- Kevin.
KEVIN CORKE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Legally justified with no political bias, that's expected to be the findings of a soon to be released inspector general's report on the FBI's opening at the Trump Russia probe into the Trump campaign leading up to the 2016 campaign. However, there's also some criticism about surveillance of onetime aide Carter Page leading up to the campaign.
CORKE: However, those familiar with the report's findings also say its author, Michael Horowitz, will cite serious missteps by officials including the alleged alteration of an email by an FBI lawyer. The report, which reportedly has launched criminal referrals, is expected to be revealed December, then followed two days later by Horowitz's testimony on Capitol Hill, where, over a two-week span, a dozen witnesses testified, arming Democrats with material to consider writing articles of impeachment.
And Republicans plotting (ph) a Senate trial that the president says he wants. This while one of the key figures at the center of the Ukraine controversy, the president's private attorney, Rudy Giuliani, insists he's done nothing wrong.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Are you afraid, Mr. Mayor, that you could be indicted?
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: Do you think I'm afraid?
HENRY: I don't know.
GIULIANI: Do you think I get afraid?
HENRY: Well --
GIULIANI: I did the right thing. I represented my clients in a very, very effective way. I was so effective that I discovered a pattern of corruption that the Washington press has been covering up for three or four years.
CORKE: So, while the public phase of the impeachment inquiry appears to be over, the House Intelligence Committee could still interview more witnesses in that inquiry, of course, send that report over to Judiciary, where they will ultimately make the decision whether or not to move forward with articles of impeachment -- Chris.
WALLACE: Kevin Corke reporting from the White House -- Kevin, thanks.
Joining us now, Louisiana Senator John Kennedy, a Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
And, Senator, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY, R-LA.: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: President Trump has been pushing a narrative for years that the FBI and other agencies of the government engaged in a conspiracy first to spy on his campaign and then to try to end or oust him from the presidency.
Here he is just a couple of days ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This was spying on my campaign, something that has never been done in the history of country. This was an overthrow attempt at the presidency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But as we've reported, the inspector general is expected to find that, yes, there was some misconduct -- a low level FBI lawyer may have actually doctored a document which would be very troubling. But on the other hand, that there was a proper basis for opening the Trump-Russia investigation, not political bias.
Does that blow a hole in what the president has been saying?
KENNEDY: I haven't read the report. Here's what I think right now. I think the FBI is the premier law enforcement agency in all of human history.
I also think that there were a handful of men and women at the FBI and possibly in other agencies who, in 2016 acted on their political beliefs both against President Trump and against Secretary Clinton.
Now, whether -- whether that activity rose to some inappropriate level, I'm going to wait and read the report. Mr. Horowitz is a serious, intelligent man and I will read his report with interest.
WALLACE: Yes. We should point out, Michael Horowitz, of course, is the inspector general for the Justice Department. Again, I just want to press a little bit on this with you, Senator.
The I.G. report is expected to say that, yes, there was this low level lawyer at the FBI who doctored a document. That's alarming. It could be critical -- but here are his main conclusions, I.G.'s -- the opening of the Trump-Russia investigation was legitimate. And reportedly, there is no finding that James Comey or Andrew McCabe or Peter Strzok took actions based on political bias.
If that's -- we have newspaper reports, we haven't read the report directly -- but if that's what the inspector general finds, will you accept that, sir?
KENNEDY: Well, there's this person running around Washington, D.C., Chris, by the name of "anonymous source" and he keeps repeatedly getting quoted in articles. I'm not saying you do that, but others do.
And until I read the report, I'm not going to draw conclusions based on allegations by the anonymous source. I will read Mr. Horowitz's report carefully. I'll draw my own conclusions.
After reading Mr. Strzok's emails and Ms. Page's emails and watching Mr. Comey's behavior, particularly with respect to Secretary Clinton, I think any fair-minded American would look at those actions and say, there's a real possibility those people acted on their political beliefs.
Now, if Mr. Horowitz says otherwise, I'll consider it carefully. But I'm going to read the report.
WALLACE: All right. Let's turn to the impeachment hearings and let's look at some of the highlights over the last two weeks. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL TAYLOR, U.S. ENVOY TO UKRAINE: The meeting President Zelensky wanted was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.
LT. COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, WHITE HOUSE NSC UKRAINE EXPERT: It is improper to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and a political opponent.
GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: Mr. Giuliani's requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Now, Senator, you've drawn an interesting distinction. You've said, in asking a foreign country to investigate corruption by someone who happens to be a political rival is OK, but asking foreign government to investigate a political rival is over the line.
So, what do you see here? Do you see President Trump pushing on investigation or looking for dirt on Joe Biden?
KENNEDY: Here's what I see. I think that Speaker Pelosi is acting in a manner that's insincere even by the standards of Congress. I think she's turning impeachment into a routine political weapon. I think nobody is above the law but nobody is beneath it, and I find it unconscionable that they have not allowed the president to defend himself on the House side -- can't call witnesses, can't offer rebuttal evidence.
In terms of the substance, I think the quid pro quo is a red herring. I think there are only two issues in this case. Number one, according to Speaker Pelosi, President Trump asked for the investigation of a political rival. There is another scenario, and that is that President Trump asked for an investigation of possible corruption by someone who happens to be a political rival.
The latter would be, if proven, would be in the national interest. The former would be in his parochial, personal interests.
When I've raised this point of view about the analysis many of my friends in the media say, well, there's no evidence of any impropriety by Hunter Biden. And my response to that is that the absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence -- or the absence of evidence is not necessarily the evidence of absence if you don't look. And --
WALLACE: But -- if I may --
KENNEDY: I was just going to say, speak --
WALLACE: Go ahead, sir.
KENNEDY: I was going to say Speaker Pelosi has not allowed the defense to offer rebuttal evidence in terms of the possible corruption that the president was looking into.
WALLACE: Well, obviously, if there's a Senate trial, he will get the opportunity, not to say --
WALLACE: -- you know, he should before.
But I just want to focus on this phone call because on July 25th, the president is talking to Ukrainian President Zelinsky. He doesn't talk about corruption. He just -- he doesn't talk about Burisma for that matter. He just talks about two Americans, Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.
Doesn't it seem like he was really trying to get dirt on a political rival? And if so, do you think that's a serious act on his part? Is that -- is that a crime?
KENNEDY: In my opinion, and if I were back teaching in law school, this is the way I would teach this case. It doesn't mean I'm right, but this is the way I see it.
There are only two questions that have to be answered here. Why did the president ask for an investigation? And, number two, this is inextricably linked to the first question, what did Hunter Biden do for the money?
Now, you answer both of those questions and you can resolve this case fairly, and that's the way -- that's the way I view it.
The quid pro quo I think is a red herring. The quid pro quo tells you nothing, Chris. What matters is whether it was an illegal quid pro quo which leads you right into what I think is the correct analysis, which is what I just gave you. But that's just one person's opinion.
WALLACE: So, if the House -- and it's not a done deal -- if the House votes to impeach, there would be a Senate trial.
A couple of questions, quickly, do you think that the motion to dismiss and there would be no trial at all? Do you think it would be a two-week trial or a serious trial that goes on for six or eight weeks? And would you favor allowing both sides, Democrats and Republicans, to call witnesses?
KENNEDY: I think there will be articles impeachment issued. I think that Speaker Pelosi's judicial philosophy from the beginning has been guilty.
When it comes to the Senate I do not think that the allegations will be summarily dismissed. I think there will be a trial. And I'm in favor of doing it in accordance with the due process and let everybody offer whatever they want to in terms of evidence and bring whatever witnesses they want to.
If it takes a long time, you know, I was sent to the Senate to be a senator. I don't -- I don't mind sitting there as long as it takes.
WALLACE: Finally, the president and his supporters have said that Ukraine was behind the hacking of the DNC computers and that it wasn't Russia. That was a big issue this week because former NSC official Fiona Hill said that that is Russian disinformation. She debunked that.
But on the other hand, President Trump doubled down on that the very next day. Take a look, sir.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIONA HILL, FORMER WHITE HOUSE NSC AIDE: This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.
TRUMP: They gave the server to CrowdStrike, or whatever it's called, which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian. And I still want to see that server. You know, the FBI has never gotten that server. That's a big part of this whole thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator Kennedy, who do you believe was responsible for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign computers, their emails? Was it Russia or Ukraine?
KENNEDY: I don't know, nor do you, nor do any others. Ms. Hill is entitled to her --
WALLACE: Well, let me interrupt to say -- the entire intelligence community says it was Russia.
KENNEDY: Right, but it could also be Ukraine. I'm not saying that I know one way or the other. I'm saying that Ms. Hill is entitled to her opinion but no rebuttal evidence was allowed to be offered.
We know, at least the Republicans in the House, wanted to call a witness, a DNC political operative who lobbied the Ukrainian embassy to be involved, get involved in 2016 election. We don't know if Ukraine did that, we don't know what extent because they won't let the president offer his evidence.
And that's why I'll say, once again, the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence if you're not allowed to call your own witnesses.
WALLACE: Senator Kennedy, it's always interesting to talk to you and even more interesting to listen to you. Thank you. Thanks for joining us today, and have a good Thanksgiving holiday, sir.
KENNEDY: You, too, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, Democrats push their investigation despite the White House blocking key witnesses. Could that backfire, leaving big gaps in their case against President Trump?
Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell, a top member of both House Intel and Judiciary, joins us next.
WALLACE: Democrats may vote on articles of impeachment as soon next month to capitalize on momentum from their public hearings, but they still face big hurdles when it comes to drumming up public support for impeachment.
Joining us here in Washington, Congressman Eric Swalwell, a top Democrat on both the House Intel and Judiciary Committees.
And, Congressman, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."
REP. ERIC SWALWELL, D-CALIF.: Thanks, Chris.
WALLACE: So, as I discussed with Senator Kennedy, the inspector general is expected to say when he releases his report in a couple of weeks that the original Trump-Russia investigation was legitimate, was not based on political bias. But he's also going to find that there was some serious misconduct, a low level FBI lawyer apparently doctored some documents, new questions about the Steele dossier.
Isn't that alarming?
SWALWELL: No, and I reviewed most of this evidence on the Intelligence Committee and, you know, we had concluded, they had all the reason in the world to open this investigation, and this report shows that we want FBI agents, if they are told that any campaign is being reached out to by a former government or agents of that government, we want them to investigate this.
Now, if a lawyer at the FBI acted improperly, that person should be held accountable.
WALLACE: And what do you think this says about the president still saying that this was an attempt to stop him and then to overthrow his presidency?
SWALWELL: Well, it looks like the evidence is going to show otherwise. It's time for us to move on.
But, you know, to just respond to Senator Kennedy's remark earlier that maybe it was Russia, maybe it was Ukraine -- no, not at all. It was Russia, and as a country we have to make sure that we absolutely acknowledge it was Russia, condemn Russia for it, and it actually plays into Russia's hands if they have this equivalence with Ukraine, where we're saying, well, maybe we don't know which one it was.
WALLACE: You're -- as I pointed out, I mean, you don't end your role now because you're a member both House Intel and House Judiciary. So, what happens now? When does the Intelligence Committee issue its report? When will Judiciary start hearings?
And do you expect Judiciary to hold open hearings and hear from fact witnesses or just, for instance, talk to constitutional scholars on what impeachment means?
SWALWELL: So, Thursday was the last publicly scheduled hearing. We're still reviewing the evidence, you know, to determine what, if anything, should be done for this misconduct.
But I don't want to speak for the chairman, Chris. But it would go to Judiciary if we decided there needed to be a remedy and, of course, the president, as we voted on, would have rights and the Judiciary Committee to be a part of that process.
WALLACE: OK. Let's talk about his rights in the Judiciary Committee because under the House resolution that was passed that authorizes this inquiry, the president does get to have a lawyer in the Judiciary Committee and it even talks about him being able to cross-examine, being able to call his own witnesses. But there is an interesting article in that and it says that if the White House continues to block witnesses from testifying, then the chairman, Jerry Nadler, in this case, is well within his rights to shut down the White House lawyer.
Even in the Clinton impeachment hearing, the president's lawyer, President Clinton's lawyer got to question Ken Starr.
Are you really saying that you may shut down the White House lawyer?
SWALWELL: Well, the amount of obstruction here is unprecedented and I think it was frustrating to watch the last two weeks of hearings and hear the president and his defenders say, well, you don't have direct evidence, or all you have is hearsay evidence. You need to hear from XYZ person when the president is telling Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, Secretaries Pompeo and Perry not to come in. I think that can go to his consciousness of guilt.
But I also don't think you should be rewarded and be able to play such a large part of the proceedings in the Judiciary Committee if they're not going to give us any of the documents. But that's Chairman Nadler's call.
WALLACE: But, I mean, you just heard Senator Kennedy and you heard the Republicans were the last two weeks thing, this unfair, you haven't allowed us, in that case, the Republicans to call their own witnesses. Some yes, but some no. And now, here's a chance finally for the president's lawyer to participate and you're saying you may not allow that either.
SWALWELL: Well, I'm saying it's unfair to prevent witnesses who are key witnesses from coming forward. That is monumentally unfair.
WALLACE: Wouldn't it be worse to shut down the president's -- the White House lawyer?
SWALWELL: I don't know that that decision has been made yet. I'm just saying that we see that for this process to be productive for the American people, we need to have all of the documents. If the president is going to say, I'm not giving you any documents, I'm not letting any relevant witnesses come in, however, I want to throw pot shots, you know, from the gallery and try to fog up this investigation, I don't know, you know, if that's productive either.
WALLACE: Democrats say that you have enough evidence to proceed, and arguably write articles of impeachment, vote on articles of impeachment. But you haven't heard -- you could say it's not your fault, it's the White House -- but you haven't heard from a number of top witnesses, including national -- former National Security Advisor John Bolton who is asking a court on December 10th, tell me, I got an order from the White House not to testify, the House wants me to testify, you tell me what to do.
"The New York Times" had an editorial this week and I want to put it up on the screen. "The New York Times" editorial argued: No matter is more urgent than impeachment, but it should not be rushed for the production of the nation's security and for the integrity of the presidency and for the future of the republic.
So, why not slow down? Why not wait to see what the judge decides on December 10th? Why not take some of these cases to court? Why are you in such a rush when you' going to be missing some of the most important evidence you could conceivably get?
SWALWELL: Most importantly, the president invoked an upcoming election and voters, you know, in just a few months are going to be voting in the upcoming caucuses. So there's an urgency to make sure the election and the ballot boxes have integrity. And if he's asking a foreign government to interfere in an election, you know, we are on the clock to make sure that that election is protected.
WALLACE: Wait, the election isn't until next November.
SWALWELL: We know that the Iowa caucuses are in February --
WALLACE: But the president isn't going to be -- I mean, the Democrats are running against each other. They're not running against Donald Trump.
SWALWELL: Well, one of the presidents is who the president has asked a foreign government to create misinformation on. So, you know, we have to protect the integrity of those elections.
But your question is a fair one. What we have seen though is the president, every time we've asked for documents or witnesses, blocks those documents and those witnesses, and this court process is a nine to 12-month process. So, we could lose everything that we value in our democracy waiting on the courts when we already have powerful first-hand accounts from the witnesses who have come forward.
And, Chris, as a former prosecutor, what I think is most remarkable here, I don't think in modern-day history, you've seen a bigger investigation that relies entirely on first-hand accounts. Most prosecutors today to prove their cases, they put emails, text messages, financial documents.
WALLACE: Wait a minute, you talk about Watergate. You know, you had John Dean --
SWALWELL: Documents (ph)
WALLACE: No, but you had first-hand witnesses in the Oval Office. John Dean, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, John Mitchell. You don't have any of that.
SWALWELL: We don't have courageous -- as many courageous men in the White House like them right now, but we do have a lot of the president's appointees who have come forward. You know, people like Fiona Hill, people like Ambassador Sondland, you know, Mr. Holmes, Marie Yovanovitch.
WALLACE: Most of them never talk to the president.
I'm just saying, why not -- here's the argument. You guys say that the president used his political powers, used his office for his political benefit and what he is asking Ukraine to do. Aren't you in a sense doing the same thing, using your power on one of the most important, impeachment, for your political benefit which is -- well, we can't wait, we got to get this before Iowa?
SWALWELL: We have powerful evidence already. If the president thought these witnesses could clear him, he would allow them to come in. I think what's more relevant than how long we should wait in the courts is the fact that the president won't let them come in.
Innocent people would say, go cooperate with Congress, I did nothing wrong. Only a guilty person would block people like John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney from coming to Congress.
WALLACE: While you've been holding hours of hearing, public opinion has begun to actually move against you. And I want to put a poll.
Back in early October, people favored impeachment and removing the president by 52 percent to 46 percent, or plus six. Now, that's turned to 48 percent for removal and 50 percent against, or minus. That's an eight- point swing against removing the president, while you've been making your best case.
SWALWELL: Well, I saw an ABC News poll last week that said 70 percent of Americans thought what the president did was wrong.
WALLACE: But they didn't say impeach and remove.
SWALWELL: A majority of people in that poll actually did favor removing the president. So, I'm not focused on the polls. I know my colleagues aren't either.
This president leveraged his power, his great, vast power to ask a foreign government to help him cheat an election and I don't think we should be looking at the polls to decide what we should do. I think most Americans recognize that is wrong and there have to be consequences.
WALLACE: All right. I want to play something that you said this week. Here you are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIUP)
SWALWELL: This is a crime spree in progress. We have what the president did with the Ukrainians in his shakedown scheme of asking them to investigate his opponent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congressman, the hardest evidence --
SWALWELL: -- play that part of the "Hardball" interview.
WALLACE: Yes, that's true. People will have to go to the Internet to find out what we're talking about.
The hardest evidence that you've got is that the president conditioned a White House meeting, not military, a White House meeting on investigating the Bidens. When it comes to actually holding up military aid, all you've got are presumptions. You have nobody who directly says that's what happened.
Does not rise to the level of what you called a crime spree? And more important, does it rise to the level of ousting, removing a duly elected president of the United States?
SWALWELL: I'm not going to decide, you know, ultimately on impeachment yet. We're still weighing the evidence but it's worthy of our time and actually there's three different conditions.
One, you just get the July 25 call, we learned in this last week's hearing that there was condition that to get the call, the investigations had to happen. Ambassador Sondland said that.
SWALWELL: Then to get the White House meeting, investigations had to happen. We have direct evidence of people saying, we talked to the president, we learned that.
Circumstantially, we can prove the fact that the aid was withdrawn after the Department of Defense certified it on May 23rd. The aid was withdrawn for the Ukrainians and everything we knew about the president when it related to Ukraine was conditioned. So the July 25 call, White House meeting. So, the fact that the aid was withdrawn, circumstantially --
WALLACE: And that rises to the level of potentially removing the president of the United States?
SWALWELL: And also, I should say, Mick Mulvaney in his press conference --
WALLACE: OK, I'm not asking you to review the evidence. I'm asking you, does that rise to the level?
SWALWELL: Yes, if it's proven, and I think we're at -- we're getting pretty close to making a conclusion here. If proven, I don't think any president, Republican or Democrat, should be able to leverage their office to have another government cheat our elections.
WALLACE: Congressman Swalwell, thank you.
SWALWELL: My pleasure.
WALLACE: Thanks for coming in today. And we'll obviously be following.
SWALWELL: Thank you.
WALLACE: You're a busy guy between your two committees. Thank you, sir.
SWALWELL: My pleasure.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss what's in that inspector general's report on the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation.
Plus, what you would like to ask the panel about whether Democrats should look at those polls when deciding whether to go ahead with impeachment. Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your questions on the air.
WALLACE: Coming up, Pete Buttigieg surges to the top of the polls in the first two voting states, but still struggles with a key constituency.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This was another opportunity to reach out and connect with black voters, who I can tell are still getting to know me and sizing me up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel how big a problem in winning the Democratic nomination.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They tried to overthrow the presidency. This is a disgrace. But I'm not surprised to see it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump standing by his claim the FBI was trying to bring him down when it opened its Trump-Russia investigation in 2016.
Now we're starting to learn what's in that inspector general's report that will be released on December 9th.
And it's time now for our Sunday group: co-founder of The Federalist, Ben Domenech; Charles Lane from The Washington Post; Fox New contributor Jessica Tarlov, and pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, who's now a Fox News contributor.
Ben, as we've been saying, the president and his supporters have been pushing this narrative for years now, that he was the victim of a deep state conspiracy by the FBI, other intel agencies. But we've now gotten the initial reports about Inspector General Michael Horowitz, everybody agrees he's a straight shooter, his report which says, yes, some lower-level FBI officials may have done some things wrong, an FBI lawyer may have doctored a document, obviously unacceptable, but that the origins of the investigation was not politically motivated.
BEN DOMENECH, THE FEDERALIST: Well, first off we should be clear, we're discussing a report we haven't read yet. We are getting these early reports about what's inside of it. I think we should all keep our judgment a little bit waited until we can go through this and -- and see everything that's in it.
But I do think that there's a lot of different concerns here about the process that went on. People that might have done things at various points within it to grease the skids for an investigation that might not of gotten started.
The real question that I have stepping back from all of this is, what do we think needs to change about that process going forward? How can we prevent any kind of questions about what the FBI does in future elections because we know that there is going to be attempts by foreign agents in a lot of different ways to interfere with our process going forward. That's not going away. So we need to make sure that those processes are really kept away from any kind of political biases within the system.
WALLACE: Jessica, your reaction to the reports, quite rightly, the reports about the IG report.
JESSICA TARLOV, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Right.
WALLACE: Although I will say they were widely circulated over the weekend. And how do you expect the president and his supporters to respond if it turns out that there narrative about this conspiracy turns out not to be true?
TARLOV: Well, I think that they'll respond as they do always when their narrative is taken down a notch, like it was last week by Fiona Hill in the impeachment hearings. They're going to turn around and say exactly the same thing, they did this consistently with Bob Mueller, continued with, this is a witch hunt, there's no legal, factual basis for anything that they're claiming.
So Democrats are going to have to figure out a way to effectively message this and probably not make it a linchpin of any 2020 campaign, but get the information out there for those that care, that there was no political bias at the top level of the FBI, that the Carter-Page FISA warrant was proper and legal and that the operation, Hurricane Crossfire (ph) --
WALLACE: Although apparently there was a doctoring of a document in the renewal.
TARLOV: Right, but Horowitz still found that it was proper and legal to be surveilling Carter Page, who has personally bragged about being a Kremlin informant anyway.
So Democrats have to walk that line and I believe the president and his supporters will continue to do just as they have and maybe even throw Horowitz into the deep state pool and say that there was something wrong with the investigation.
WALLACE: And, of course, we also have John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut --
TARLOV: Yes, coming in a few days.
WALLACE: And he's doing -- conducting a criminal investigation. So that's still out there.
Let's turn to impeachments and to, I guess, the Democrats' star witness, Gordon Sondland.
Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONDLAND: Was there a quid pro quo? The answer is yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You really have no testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for these investigations?
SONDLAND: Other than my own presumption.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which is nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel this week about polls that are beginning to show that rather than building up for support for impeachment and removal, support seems actually to be draining away. We got this on Twitter from Brian Foster, how can Democrats look at the poll now with regard to impeachment. Aren't they all in at this point?
Kristin, how do you answer Brian and what do you make up the polls which show, not some dramatic dropping away, but the certainly is not an increase in support as -- as the Democrats have been making their case over the last couple of weeks?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Impeachment is our Constitution's in case of emergency break glass provision for the overturning of an election result in the face of enormous malfeasance on the part of the president. And what Democrats have shown, through a fairly compressed timeline of just a couple of weeks of open testimony, has been, in some cases, a game of telephone, quite literally, so and so overheard so and so. Some evidence that looks quite damning but is also a bit of an ink blot test, whether you're inclined to believe the president is a good or a bad guy will affect how you view things. And so in the absence of something that dramatically changes what we already knew from the transcript, which is that the president did want to see an investigation into Burisma and named the Bidens, there hasn't been anything more dramatic than that that I think would really dislodge the polls one way or the other on this issue, hence that -- that slight atrophy you're seeing in support for impeachment overall.
WALLACE: I mean, as a political matter, not as a matter of justice, when you see these polls, and you don't see this tremendous bipartisan buy-in, is it dangerous, is it risky for Democrats to go ahead and impeach the president?
ANDERSON: I think potentially. Of course this is going to go to the Senate and I think it would be -- have -- be very different if we actually wound up with the removal of a president, the ultimate dramatic conclusion.
I think the act, though, of impeaching and saying, look, we've put this down in the history books, I think there are many voters who say, look, issues like health care, issues like the economy are top for me. I don't understand why Congress is spending so much effort on this. I wish we could get back to the things that matter to me. I think that's the big risk for Democrats right now.
WALLACE: So, Chuck, let's -- let's play this out and the conventional wisdom, for whatever it's worth.
If we assume -- well, first of all, any doubt in your mind the House is going to impeach?
CHARLES LANE, THE WASHINGTON POST: I don't see how they could not after everything they've put in and indeed after all the evidence they've put together. So, yes.
WALLACE: All right. Any doubt in your mind -- I'll do this like a -- like Denny Goldman in a hearing. He was a pretty good lawyer. Any doubt in your mind that if it does go to the Senate, that they will not vote to remove?
LANE: That's a double negative. He will be acquitted is --
WALLACE: He will be acquitted?
LANE: Is the way I look at it. And for many of the reasons Kristen just outlined, which is that there was no movement, no drama that would dislodge Republicans from --
WALLACE: OK, so let's -- let's -- let's take what you've now posited, impeachment acquittal. What does that leave the president? What does that leave the Democrats?
LANE: I believe that in a way for the president and the Republicans, this has been just the latest in a long series of loyalty tests, things that you have to go through with Donald Trump as a Republican to kind of prove you are in the party.
And the results show that he's cemented the party behind him. Even a person like Will Hurd, who --
WALLACE: I should point out, a relatively moderate Republican from -- from Texas, who's not running for re-election, so he doesn't face that threat.
LANE: The Democrats had high hopes of peeling him off. He said, no, there was some wrongdoing here, but it's not impeachable. And I think the president comes through actually with his base fortified from this.
On the other hand, I think the Democrats come through with their base fortified. I think, in that sense, it wasn't that risky for them. I actually never thought impeachment was politically risky for the Democrats. It might have some upside just in re-cementing their base and -- so I think that's where we come out.
WALLACE: Well, what about the argument that Kristen makes, which is, it allows Republicans, it will allow -- let's say -- let's say this all goes out -- plays out. We're in February. He's acquitted. Republicans can then say, and you wasted all of our time on this?
LANE: They can say that. But, don't forget, there's a lot of Democrats who if they had not gone forward with this would have faced internal challenges and internal criticism from their own people, maybe even primaries for not going through with it. So I think that kind of cuts both ways. And, frankly, I don't think voters had a whole lot of expectations for legislation in this term to begin with.
WALLACE: Without -- without wasting any time.
LANE: Right, so I'm sure --
WALLACE: Well, we do have USMCA, which is important.
All right --
LANE: And that is -- that, for the moderate Democrats, that is as significant (INAUDIBLE).
WALLACE: All right, we have to take a break here, panel.
When we come back, Joe Biden remains a big target in the latest Democratic debate as he maintains his lead nationally, but what kind of threat does he face from Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who's at the top in Iowa and close to the top in New Hampshire?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUTTIGIEG: While I do not have the experience of ever having been discriminated against because of the color of my skin, I do have the experience of sometimes feeling like a stranger in my own country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Rising Democratic Candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg arguing at this week's debate he can identify with African-Americans because of what he's had to deal with as a gay man. A comparison Senator Kamala Harris later said was neither productive nor smart.
And we're back now with the panel.
Well, let's start with the latest Real Clear Politics average of the race among Democrats, at least the top four. Joe Biden, as you can see there on the left, still has a ten-point lead nationally, but Pete Buttigieg now has a solid lead in Iowa and is basically tied with Elizabeth Warren and Biden in New Hampshire.
Kristen, how serious a contender is Buttigieg with, on the one hand, his strong support in the early states, but is continuing almost complete absence of any support from African-Americans who, down the road, are an immensely important Democratic voting bloc?
ANDERSON: I think he's going to have to come in first or second in both Iowa and New Hampshire in order to gain the type of momentum he'd need to build his support with those key pieces of the Democratic coalition who have not really given him much of a second look at this point, don't really think he's the guy for them.
Now, he is in quite formidable shape in Iowa and you have to go back to essentially be early '90s or even 1988, really, if you don't count the '92 campaign because there was an Iowa politician running for president, Democrats choose whoever wins Iowa to be their nominee and have done so for many, many years. So Iowa's a huge deal.
I think for Mayor Pete to build that, he's going to need momentum coming out of those two early states because nationally he's still not in that top three.
WALLACE: You know, I didn't know that stat, that they always pick the Iowa winter. I did know that no Democrat has ever won -- and sometimes they've lost both and still won, like Bill Clinton, but no Democrat has ever won Iowa and New Hampshire and then not gone on to win the nomination.
So where does that put Buttigieg if, obviously all this can change, but if he were to go ahead and win Iowa and either finish first or second in New Hampshire?
LANE: He'd be in super strong shape. And --
WALLACE: Even if he goes into South Carolina and he's at zero percent support?
LANE: That -- that is where he would kind of hit a wall. And -- and what's interesting about that is what the effect on a Biden candidacy would be of a Buttigieg sweep of Iowa and New Hampshire because at the same time it would be raising Buttigieg, it would be lowering Biden. And Biden would sort of be in the same position I think Jeb Bush was in and the Republicans side last time of having to make a last stand in South Carolina.
I have a feeling that's a little bit of the theory of the Deval Patrick candidacy here is that he's the guy who would say, look, Joe Biden has kind of fallen flat in this thing, turn to me because I'm more electable in the fall, I'm more experienced, so on and so forth. I can appeal better to African-American voters than Pete Buttigieg can.
I think there's just this one asterisk next to Buttigieg. For whatever reason, he doesn't appeal to black voters. And that's not only an issue for him in the primary, could be an issue for the party as a whole if he were the standard-bearer in the general.
WALLACE: And then there is the aforementioned Joe Biden, who, in this last debate this week had some more bumps. This maybe has been the bumpiest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know who I am. Three former chairs of the Black Caucus, the only African-American woman that had ever been elected to the United States Senate, a whole range of people. My point is - -
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, that's not true.
SEN. CORY BOOKER, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, that's not truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank -- thank you.
BIDEN: I said the first African-American elected. The first African -- so my --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Well, so he said he had the support of the only woman and then, of course, another woman, the second woman, Kamala Harris is right there on the stage with him.
Jessica, can -- can Biden stumble his way all the way to the nomination because that is sort of what he's doing so far, I think, and how seriously do you take late entrants Deval Patrick, former governor of Massachusetts, formally in the race, and apparently in a $30 million ad buy that starts today, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York City ends it, Bloomberg for president. Now, he hasn't made a former announcement, but when you're spending $30 million and saying Bloomberg for presidents, it -- it sounds like you're in.
TARLOV: You're intending to say Bloomberg for president. And, for full disclosure, I used to work for Doug Schon (ph), who is Mike Bloomberg's pollster, just to put that out there.
As far as Joe Biden, it does look like he can continue to at least quasi- stumble to the nomination. A lot of that is rooted in this African-American report.
I mean we're talking about Pete Buttigieg having zero percent in South Carolina, but there are two other people in the race, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who have shown an ability to get over 10 percent. So you could make more of an argument that Warren would be a more palatable candidate, for instance, to white, college educated liberals and African- American voters than Pete Buttigieg.
I do think his surge is largely overrated. I think something is going on at this moment. But we know that polls are just a snapshot in time and he's having his moment, like Warren did a month ago when we were all saying she's going to be the nominee, this is it. But Joe Biden continues to hang on in the mid-20s there and the debates, his supporters, at least his campaign would say this, are not paying attention to that because of the crux of his argument, which is, you know me and you've known me for decades. You know what I stand for and what I'm going to be delivering to you.
As far as the late entrants, I'm not sure it makes more of a -- much of a different and I see Deval Patrick actually as getting in as more of a VP consideration to introduce himself to the national audience and then potentially be considered by a Biden or a Warren down the road.
WALLACE: And, real quickly, because I want to bring in Ben, and Bloomberg with unlimited amounts of money?
TARLOV: Unlimited amounts of money, yes, but that doesn't mean that money is going to make people like you or support your cause. He's going to also continue to give to issues that matter for him, like climate change and --
WALLACE: Gun control.
TARLOV: And gun violence.
Ben, how much, as somebody on the other side of the political debate, are you enjoying watching the Democratic field?
DOMENECH: Well, I think that there's going to be a whole wrench thrown into this conversation by what's going to happen with impeachment. If we have a situation where all of the senators in this race have to come back to Washington, have to sit through a trial, a trial in which Joe Biden is going to be brought in, in a number of different ways in all likelihood. We saw it just this past week, Lindsey Graham and others on Capitol Hill saying that they're going to try to bring in Hunter Biden to --
WALLACE: You heard John Kennedy say that today, let's bring him in.
DOMENECH: John Kennedy saying that. Yes, exactly. That's something that's going to help Mayor Pete. And Mayor Pete gets to be out there still campaigning, still on the trail, still talking to people. I actually think he could ride this momentum further than some of the other folks at this table necessarily think. I think that he has a lot going for him, especially for people who have taken heed of what President Obama was saying just this past week warning a lot of Democrats, let's not get too extreme. Let's not go too far. Let's not go to the revolution. Let's try to be more gradual in our approach to understand where the country is.
WALLACE: And Jessica, you've got 30 seconds. It's every political reporter's fever dream that we would have a contested convention, multiple ballots like in the 1950s, smoke-filled rooms. I know that's not politically correct. Is there --
TARLOV: Vape-filled rooms.
WALLACE: What -- vape-filled -- well, that's not -- that's unhealthy!
DOMENECH: Hopefully (INAUDIBLE) but hopefully (INAUDIBLE).
WALLACE: What -- where -- what you think?
TARLOV: I think it's still a possibility. I mean you could feasibly see four different people taking the first four primary states. I think Biden will get South Carolina and Nevada. I think it's fishable because of the rule changes with the DNC delegate system and the schedule. But, still, I think right now low likelihood.
WALLACE: Just once in my -- in my reporting career, a contested convention. Ballot 34.
TARLOV: Well, I hope for it for you then.
WALLACE: All right. Good. Do it for me.
Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our "Power Player of the Week," the man giving away some of his fortune one tweet at a time.
WALLACE: It's a familiar story, a wealthy person giving big bucks to charities or foundations. But social media has led one man to rethink that process and use Twitter to help individual people in need.
Here's our "Power Player of the Week."
BILL PULTE: I went out on my patio and I said, you know what, what the hell, why don't I give away $10,000 and I'll see how it goes? So I pumped out this tweet and the next thing you know it went viral.
WALLACE: Bill Pulte is talking about the moment last summer that led to what he calls Twitter philanthropy.
PULTE: Twitter philanthropy is using social media for good. And it's about time we connect Americans, we connect humans from all across the globe to solve each other's problems.
WALLACE: Here's how it works. Pulte gives away money --
PULTE: I'll be giving away $10,000.
WALLACE: To people he reads about.
PULTE: You won the $10,000.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you serious?
WALLACE: Or who tweet him asking for help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I appreciate it. That money is going to good use.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really cannot believe it. I'm so thankful.
PULTE: I've given over $300,000 in the form of cash. I gave away a Tesla. Just to build awareness for giving. I'm trying to promote giving, because when we give, we receive.
WALLACE: He also mobilizes his Twitter followers, who he calls teammates, to make their own donations.
PULTE: I'm only one person, but if I can inspire tens of thousands or millions of Americans, that's when it becomes really interesting.
WALLACE: Pulte made headlines when he tweeted he'd give a veteran $30,000 if President Trump retweeted him. The president did and Pulte gave a vet a new car.
PULTE: All right, this is your brand new car.
WALLACE: Pulte's following exploded.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We sure will. And we'll cherish every day for the rest of our lives.
WALLACE: His focus is on people who have immediate needs or are facing a crisis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so thankful to win this money. Keep spreading joy. Keep spreading love. Keep doing what you're doing.
PULTE: A 106-year-old is about to get evicted, we need to come up with $600, $700 or something like that. A cancer patient, terminally ill, these are the kinds of life transformative things. You know, they could be $500 to $7,000. You can change people's lives.
WALLACE: He helped a veteran get new teeth.
PULTE: Going to give you a brand new car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of here.
BLITZER: He encouraged donations for a homeless vet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to thank you, sir, for honoring all vets.
PULTE: People get $5, $10, $20. Boom, Twitter philanthropy gets him a car.
WALLACE: And he pushed for a drug company to lower the cost of a life- saving treatment for a baby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys have given us an opportunity to give our baby a life.
PULTE: And I think it saved the baby's life. So does the mom. That's the power of what the Internet should be used for.
WALLACE: His teammates keep an eye out for fraud.
PULTE: I know I probably have been scammed, but I say, if 10 percent of the people were trying to get at me are scams and I help 90 percent of people, I'll take those odds all day long.
WALLACE: Pulte is the grandson of the billionaire who followed Pulte Homes, but the younger Pulte made his own fortune.
WALLACE (on camera): He made it clear, you're going to have to make it on your own?
PULTE: I was cleaning out porta-pottys and sweeping out basements and -- he wanted us to have to work hard for what we had.
WALLACE (voice over): Pulte had 30,000 teammates when he started. Now he's close to 2 million. And they recently built their own crowdfunding website.
PULTE: I think the beauty of the movement of Twitter philanthropy is, I don't really know where this thing is going to go. I have no idea.
Here's a laptop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just changed my life.
PULTE: But I wake up every day and it changes and it gets bigger and it's - - it's viral.
WALLACE: Pulte says he's helped raise money so some families can buy Thanksgiving turkeys and he's considering a $100,000 giveaway for Christmas.
And that's it for today. Have a great week and a happy Thanksgiving and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
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