Sen. Van Hollen: President Trump violated the law by withholding the aid

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," January 16, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: What impeachment? No sooner did the Senate give President Trump his biggest legislative victory so far?, passage of that big trade deal with Mexico and Canada, then we heard this:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I announce the presence of the managers on the part of the House of Representatives to conduct proceedings on behalf of the House concerning the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States.


CAVUTO: The Senate formerly accepting the articles of impeachment, as the Senate trial officially gets under way, while, on Wall Street, well, they're just continuing what they're doing, making records almost every day. Investors are more than excited about, well, trade deals than worried about any impeachment articles. It is the biggest of disconnects we have seen in some time, but it continues throughout all of this. Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto. FOX team coverage now with Mike Emanuel on Capitol Hill with more on where all of this is going, and John Roberts at the White House on what the president is saying. We begin with Mike.

MIKE EMANUEL, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Neil, good afternoon. It is in the hands of the United States Senate now for an impeachment trial. Chief Justice John Roberts was escorted into the Senate chamber this afternoon by bipartisan U.S. senators, a powerful visual reflecting this serious moment in American history. Then it was up to the chief justice to swear in all 100 senators for the trial.


JOHN ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE U.S. SUPREME COURT: Do you solemnly swear that, in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice, according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God?



EMANUEL: Then, one by one, all 100 senators left their seats and went to sign the oath book reiterating their commitment to delivering impartial justice. After it was over, the Senate Democratic leader made this appeal:


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We have asked for four fact-based witnesses -- fact witnesses, and three specific sets of relevant documents. The witnesses are not Democrats. They are the president's men, his top advisers, who he appointed. The documents are not Democratic documents. They are just documents, period.


EMANUEL: This has now shifted from the Democrat-led House to the GOP- majority Senate. And Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says you will notice a difference.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The House' hour is over. The Senate's time is at hand. It's time for this proud body to honor our founding purpose.


EMANUEL: The substance of the trial gets started on Tuesday. The stakes are incredibly high and serious preparation is under way -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, thank you, Mike, very, very much. In the meantime, the president was scoring another victory on trade. A former Rudy Giuliani associate, meanwhile, was making the rounds, raising more questions about the president. It was a weird juxtaposition that, in the middle of it all, had stocks racing two records, as if none of this were going on. John Roberts at the White House with more on that. Hey, John.

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And the president this afternoon, Neil, really was highlighting the contrast, the fact that the Senate passed the USMCA, which, combined with yesterday's U.S.-China trade deal, gives the president a one-two punch in terms of big trade victories. But the president saying that all of that is going to take a backseat to the new tizzy the Democrats are in over this Lev Parnas business. Parnas, who was a former associate of Rudy Giuliani, claiming that he gave two ultimatums to Ukrainian administrations, the first ultimatum delivered to the former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. He says that he allegedly said that, if he announced investigations -- that is, Poroshenko -- into the Bidens, that Poroshenko would get an Oval Office visit. The second ultimatum to the administration of the new president of the Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, warning that, if Zelensky didn't announce investigations into the Bidens, the vice president wouldn't attend his inauguration. Parnas says that the day after he delivered that ultimatum, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev told the Ukraine that Pence wouldn't be attending. Parnas claims he did all of this at the direction of Rudy Giuliani and at the behest of the president. But, in the Oval Office this afternoon, the president denied even knowing Parnas. Listen here.


TRUMP: I don't even know who this man is, other than I guess he attended fund-raisers, so I take a picture with him. I'm in a room, I take pictures with people. I take thousands and thousands of pictures with people all the time, thousands during the course of a year. And, oftentimes, I will be taking a picture with somebody, I will say, I wonder what newspaper that one's going to appear in? No, I don't know him. Perhaps he's a fine man. Perhaps he's not. I know nothing about him.


ROBERTS: House Democrats want the new information from Parnas included in the upcoming Senate trial. Among the material, a claim from Parnas that the vice present, the acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and the former National Security Adviser John Bolton were all in the loop at attempts to get Ukraine to open investigations into Burisma and Hunter Biden. Parnas saying that the Senate should take up Bolton's offer to testify under subpoena. Listen here.


LEV PARNAS, INDICTED GIULIANI ASSOCIATE: I think Bolton is a very important witness, because I think, between me and Bolton, we could fill in all the dots, I think, because I was on the ground there and he was over here.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: And you would be willing to testify?

PARNAS: I would be very willing to testify.


ROBERTS: Parnas' public statements of the documents he provided to House committees brought sharp reaction from the White House. The vice president's chief of staff, Marc Short, dismissing what Parnas is saying in a statement to FOX News, saying -- quote -- "Democrat witnesses have testified under oath in direct contradiction to Lev Parnas' statements last night. This is very simple. Lev Parnas is under a multicount indictment and will say anything to anybody who will listen, in hopes of staying out of prison. It's no surprise that only the liberal media is listening to him." Parnas is indicted under charges of campaign finance violations. Parnas also claiming that the attorney general, Bill Barr, was up to his neck and all of this Ukraine business, a claim that a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, Kerri Kupec, said is -- quote -- "100 percent false" -- Neil.

CAVUTO: John Roberts, thank you very, very much. To John's point, though, it's not just the liberal media focused on this. The president dismissing a lot of the comments he's been hearing as just a big old hoax. Take a look.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know Parnas, other than I guess I had pictures taken, which I do with thousands of people, including people today that I didn't meet, but just met them. I don't know him at all, don't know what he's about, don't know where he comes from, know nothing about him. I can only tell you, this thing is a big hoax.


CAVUTO: Well, my next guest was among the first lawmakers to call for the president's impeachment, saying back then that there was smoke, and now there's fire, the Democratic Congressman Al Green from Texas. Congressman, very good to have you.

REP. AL GREEN (D-TX): Thank you for having me.

CAVUTO: What do you make of the -- Lev Parnas' comments, particularly with Rachel Maddow? I thought it was a sort of a very surgical strike at almost everything we thought we knew. Republicans have seized on that to say, Congressman, well, this is a guy looking for better treatment to spend less time in prison. What are your thoughts?

GREEN: Well, let me first say that I was in the chambers today over at the Senate when they brought the chief justice in. And it was a very solemn moment, very dignified, if you will. And I think the senators will take this seriously. That's my hope. I did see Rachel's program. And they did cover a good amount of information that I was totally unfamiliar with. I think that your John Roberts gave a great summary of what was said. And I think that he merits being heard. I think that the senators will judge the credibility of the witness. I think that they can consider the fact that he is under indictment. But I think that he should be heard, because he made a good point when he said, why would these people, meaning the president and others in Ukraine, why would they see me? I'm not a person of note as it relates to that kind of activity. So, I do believe that he should be heard.

CAVUTO: So you don't think he's damaged goods and not to be trusted?

GREEN: I think that a good many people who have been under indictment and found guilty of offenses have testified at trials and have been found to be credible on the issue at hand. And, as a result, people have been found guilty based upon such testimony. So, I think he should be heard.

CAVUTO: So, your argument, just to be clear, sir, is that a lot has developed, and comments like his have changed the landscape a little bit to warrant follow-up interviews, or, in this case, first-time interviews and extending way beyond him? The reason why I mention it is, if that is the case, and the Senate opens this up to talk to him, to talk to a variety of others, and Republicans then will demand talking to Joe Biden, and Hunter Biden to get to the bottom of a lot of stuff, that this could go on forever. Your thoughts?

GREEN: Well, I think that the senators are perfectly capable of negotiating and coming to conclusions as to what witnesses should testify. In my opinion, you have a good many that should. Mr. Bolton should testify. There can be others. And if the senators have witnesses, they should make their proposals, and they will negotiate and come to some reasonable conclusion. But I don't think that this should be done without the testimony of witnesses. There are too many of them available with knowledge of what has happened that has not been expressed. Some of them were blocked from giving their testimony by the president, by the way, which has resulted in one of the charges of impeachment.

CAVUTO: What do you tell Americans, Congressman, who look at all these developments and say, I don't care about any of this, I'm making money hand over fist, I have had more job security than I have ever had, the markets are racing to new highs, and my 401(k) is off the freaking chart, what are these guys doing? What do you tell them?

GREEN: The majority of Americans are paying attention, to the extent that they have come to a conclusion that this should go forward. They favored impeachment, and a good many now favor removal from office if the president is found guilty.

CAVUTO: Well, I don't know if they favored impeachment. I think, depending on where you are, in battleground states, that support has been dipping. But you're quite right it's very, very close. But I'm wondering, how do you tell those people who like the economy that this president is presiding over, and they don't want to remove him, because they like what's happening?

GREEN: Well, there are a good many who don't, but let's not debate that. I'll answer your question. We have to say to people, this is about the Constitution. It's about whether or not there will be guardrails around the president. Do we want a monarchy or do we want democracy? And I think that if we put country above politics, and country above what is perceived to be a good economy, I think that we will do the right thing. I don't contend that the Senate will find the president guilty. I do contend that the Senate should have a trial that includes witnesses and documents that are to be presented.

CAVUTO: All right, Congressman, thank you very much.

GREEN: Thank you.

CAVUTO: And whether people agree or disagree with you, you were first on this -- this bandwagon that's now gotten to be quite the bandwagon. Thank you very much for joining us.

GREEN: Thank you, Mr. Cavuto.

CAVUTO: All right. All right, in the meantime, Democrats are betting on this new evidence from that Rudy Giuliani associate to try to strengthen their impeachment case, but it was this gentleman's interview with Rachel Maddow that suddenly changed the landscape dramatically, more than I suspect even he knew -- after this.



PARNAS: President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all my movements. He -- I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president. It was never about the corruption. It was never -- it was strictly about the Burisma, which included Hunter Biden and Joe Biden.


CAVUTO: Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas telling MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that the president knew who he was and certainly knew what he was doing. What he was doing, he tells Maddow, was getting dirt on Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden. This wasn't about addressing corruption in the Ukraine. This was about getting useful information on the man the president thought was most likely to end up challenging him in the general election in the United States. Now, the White House says all of that is nonsense and that Parnas himself is an indicted former associate, and likely trying to simply cut down his prison time. But talk about the timing of all of this, the very same day senators are sworn in for the president's impeachment trial amid growing indications that might not be a quick trial after all. Here's why, simply a lot more developments that someone has to address. Like, today, we also learned that the Ukrainian government has launched a criminal investigation into possible surveillance of the former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. That's not all. The Government Accountability Office slapping the White House for breaking the law when it froze military at Ukraine. Specifically, the GAO states -- and I quote -- "Faithful execution of the law doesn't permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those of Congress that it has enacted into law." Now, Adam Schiff says there is simply too much here to ignore. The question is, whether you get witnesses or not, does just the sheer volume of new developments require this whole Senate trial to last longer than, well, senators thought? Who better to ask than former Justice Department prosecutor Jim Trusty. Jim, what do you think?

JAMES TRUSTY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Neil, oh, who knows? I mean, look, there's a lot of information that's coming out. I think the general response the White House should have is, OK, none of that, even if believed, translates this conduct, this phone call into an impeachable offense. I think that still remains kind of their best line of defense here. And Mr. Parnas, what he kind of reminds me of is an Eastern European version of Michael Cohen. We have got somebody who comes out of the woodwork who's got a real motive to help himself because of a criminal case that's pending. And suddenly he's got this incredible information. So you have to be -- it doesn't mean it's not accurate, but you got to be pretty careful before you jump on a bandwagon with a guy like Mr. Parnas.

CAVUTO: What did you make of the GAO response to all of this? Now, obviously, it's cited other presidents for doing things that it said ran afoul of what they should do, whether it was President Obama, President Bush, both President Bushes, I might add, but in this case saying that the White House Budget Office violated the law when it froze that military aid to Ukraine, as if to say it was frozen at all or frozen for nefarious purposes. That's something that's still of considerable debate, right?

TRUSTY: Yes, I think so. I mean, thank God I'm not a GAO expert. I mean, I tend to think my legal practice has been a little more fun than that over the years. But at the end of the day, it could be a very technical violation. It could be something that's kind of honored in the breach, where presidents over time have violated that more times than you can shake a stick at, but it adds a wrinkle in terms of the timing, right? It says, oh, well, here's another issue, at least a technical issue, with the way the funds were withheld. Doesn't translate into the prime minister of Ukraine being aware of that or a quid pro quo suddenly being established, but at least gives the defense, gives -- I'm sorry -- the Democrats something to play with.

CAVUTO: Do you wonder that, and the fact that Ukraine has launched this investigation into whether our former ambassador was surveilled or followed while she was there, that these require time to iron out, if you iron them out, that that prompts this Democratic attack line on Republicans, they're in too much of a rush for updated information? Legally, what is their obligation?

TRUSTY: Well, it's unchartered territory, Neil. I mean, we're talking about a political exercise. And it's fun for us to kind of draw the comparisons to criminal cases or civil cases. But, at the end of the day, there's not a whole lot of reliable framework or infrastructure in place to guide how these proceedings are going to take place. In a criminal or civil trial, you would have a record that would close at some point. You can't keep producing new evidence. You have got to get on with deciding whether this evidence establishes guilt or innocence or liability or non-liability. So, again, that stuff -- there's going to be a little bit of ironing out of the rules in the Senate, but it's not a particularly bipartisan atmosphere. So I there's going to be procedural fights from today forward as to what gets heard or what doesn't get heard.

CAVUTO: You know, Jim, while I was watching this Rachel Maddow interview with Lev Parnas, I began to wonder, all right, he's really saying a lot there, implicating the president, that the president of the United States should remember him, know his name, his face. what have you? Does he have a chance, giving that type of information, extracting a better deal, less prison time? I don't know. Many have told me, no, it won't change the meter.

TRUSTY: I think that might be a logical effort in terms of where he is. Like, look how much value I have, if somebody will listen. But if I'm the prosecutor assigned to his case, I'm not at all a fan of him running around on the media circuit and talking about his information. That pretty much guarantees he will never do anything proactive and that even his reactive, his older historical information, is going to be challenged left and right. So it's not generally helpful for a defendant to get out in front of the cameras early and announce all the information he's sitting on.

CAVUTO: All right, Jim, thank you very, very much. We will watch it very, very closely. Also, in that interview, one of the things that was interesting about it is how Parnas was trying to implicate a lot of other people, again, depending on your point of view, whether it was justified, from Devin Nunes to the vice president of the United States, who skipped out on going to Ukraine, precisely as a strong-arming effort here. So much, we don't know. This much, we do. It has gotten very, very complicated. We will have more after this.



PARNAS: I want to get the truth out, because I feel it's important for our country. I think it's important for me. I think it's important for the world to know exactly what transpired and what happened, because I think a lot -- there's a lot of things that are being said that are not accurate. And I just want to make sure that they're accurate, because things happened that need to get out. And I think the world needs to know.


CAVUTO: Well, Lev Parnas might want to get the truth out, or so he says, but the truth on Wall Street is, well, Wall Street really doesn't care, because it was another day of records, another day of strong numbers on the economy, and another day we get closer to Dow 30000. So the guys who literally bet money at the corner of Wall and Broad are saying, this is going nowhere, and fast. Are they right? James Freeman, Jeanne Zaino, Jonas Max Ferris. Jonas, what do you think?

JONAS MAX FERRIS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think they are right, in the sense that the strong market, the strong economy takes over. And you don't see negative -- investors do this too. When their portfolio is up, they don't look for bad things to find. They don't ask questions about what's in the account. So I think when they see their investments doing well, they don't think there's something wrong with the economy, because there's not.

CAVUTO: Well, they also don't think this is going to go anywhere, right? Isn't that view? They could be surprised. They have often been wrong, but they don't think it's going to go anywhere.

FERRIS: Well, even if it goes somewhere, I don't think it would necessarily undo the positive things for the market that are going on. And I know they just passed to the NAFTA redo and the -- the China deal is -- my initial take was to dismiss it as well. The market is glad it's not going worse. But, in fact, the stocks that are kind of leading in the last few days are pharmaceuticals and tech companies. Those are the main beneficiaries of the way it's worded, this current draft, which is a little bit more of a mission statement than an actual trade pact, but it specifically talks about those companies and how they benefit from their I.P. protections.

CAVUTO: And that's a good backdrop. Jeanne, we have talked about this so many times, that the market abhors uncertainty. Remove an uncertainty, like the China deal finally getting sealed, nice, this thing finally getting done, the trade deal with the Canadians and the Mexicans, nice, all this other stuff, and that it will result in the impeachment of the United States, not happening. That is kind of their view of the world. What do you think?

JEANNE ZAINO, IONA COLLEGE: Yes. And I think you just use the key word, which is uncertainty. If there was uncertainty about the outcome of this process, we may see the markets respond to that. But whether you're a Democrat or Republican, almost everybody agrees, at least if things stay the way they are in terms of what has come out, the president is going to be acquitted in this process. So it's only a matter of time. And I think that's why we're not seeing the markets really respond to this. There's very little uncertainty on this. There's this uncertainty on who's going to get the Democratic nomination, but not on what the outcome of the impeachment trial will be.

CAVUTO: Right. Right. But, James Freeman, I'm not a lawyer, but when I was watching the Maddow interview with this guy, I began to think, you can't ignore everything this guy is saying. He might be trying to hunt for a better deal. You can't ignore the GAO comments. I mean, other presidents have -- and they have cited other presidents of similar things that have proved to be a little bit Byzantine. You can't ignore the Ukrainian government now looking into whether we were surveilling the former ambassador, whether you get guests or speak or witnesses in stuff that could extend this -- this trial, whatever we're calling it, longer than maybe the markets thought. What do you think?

JAMES FREEMAN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, but it it's really a continuation of kind of this partisan warfare that's gone on for years. And I think that's why it's partly discounted by markets. Lev Parnas is sort of the flavor of the month now. We remember, a year or two ago, it was Michael Avenatti. I think -- I'm not saying that Parnas is Avenatti, but the point is that there's been kind of one allegation after another. Many of them obviously haven't turned out. I think there's a lot of reason for optimism about the economy. But I think the markets really, through this whole era of the last few years, have been kind of a healthy reality check, where you hear this noise of doom and destruction from Washington, and there's investors with their money saying, we don't see it.

CAVUTO: Yes. And it wasn't by accident. The president, when he was talking to reporters today, was citing all of this stuff, the economic stuff, the market stuff. That's his backdrop. That's a nice backdrop to have.

FERRIS: Yes. And there's -- look, there's the legal issues, which are several things, as you mentioned going on. They're not not serious. They're serious. But then there's the reelection issue, because, ultimately, that's all that really matters. And are the policies that have driven stocks going to get reversed? is the corporate tax rate going to go back up? Are those things going to happen? And the current betting is, that's not likely at all, even though...

CAVUTO: If the markets had its sense that the president wasn't going to be reelected, that would be reflected in this, because they -- I always say that they're not red or blue. These guys are green. They wanted Bill Clinton to stay because they were making a lot of money under him. They want this guy to stay because they're making a lot of money under him. Isn't that a fair conclusion that, if they get a sense that could tip the other way, maybe this market goes the other way?

ZAINO: I think that's absolutely right. If they got a sense that, say, an Elizabeth Warren or a Bernie Sanders could possibly be the next president, I think we'd see some more volatility in the market. At this point -- and we have talked about this before -- in a good economy, the president's reelection rate is going to be about 80 percent, the chances he will be reelected. So it is looking good. It's also looking good in those seven states that will decide, seven to nine states that will decide this election.

CAVUTO: Very good point. That's a very good point.

ZAINO: So, that's why it's -- this is an uphill battle for Democrats at this point. I think, if it wasn't, the markets would reflect that.

CAVUTO: Real quick take.

FREEMAN: Yes, there's also a lot of good economic news.

CAVUTO: You can't deny it.

FREEMAN: The end of the trade fighting. And those bank earnings reports, they suggest businesses are back confident again, just like consumers have been for a while.

CAVUTO: All right, guys, thank you very much. We will see how this all factors out. A government watchdog group, meanwhile, finding the Trump administration broke the law, but did it? Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen on that and a separate investigation he's calling for -- after this.


CAVUTO: By the way, we're a little over 2.5 percent from Dow 30000, but the real story today, Google, the parent company, Alphabet, just hit a trillion bucks in market value. A trillion bucks, that's a lot. More after this.


CAVUTO: The Government Accountability Office issuing a legal opinion saying the Trump administration violated the law by withholding aid to Ukraine. The White House coming back to say: They got the aid. What's the big issue here? The Maryland Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen joins me right now, says it is a big issue. Senator, good to have you.

SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Neil, it's good to be back.

CAVUTO: Now, I know the GAO has sort of -- it's supposed to be this unbiased body without any political leanings. It's gone after President Obama for inroads that he took that he shouldn't have, the same with both the President Bushes. So, is this as big a deal as it's been made out to be? Explain.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, yes, for the reasons you just said, because the Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan entity. They call the balls and strikes as they see them. And they issued this opinion, which, beyond a doubt, finds that the Trump administration violated the law when they withheld that security assistance from Ukraine. And we also know from separate public documents that President Trump himself ordered the withholding of the law (sic). So, it -- the result...

CAVUTO: Does it matter, Senator, that the aid got there, that they got the aid, and all is said and done, move on?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, first of all, they didn't get all the aid before the end of the fiscal year. In fact, a lot of that aid still has not gone, about $30 million worth. So, they did not get...

CAVUTO: And that's why the GAO states that this was against the law, because, within the fiscal year, they didn't get it?

VAN HOLLEN: No, no. No, it's not just because they didn't get some of the aid, although that's obviously a factor. It's because they withheld the money illegally, without notifying Congress. The whole purpose of what's called the Impoundment Control Act is to protect the Constitution and the separation of powers. And it prohibits an executive, any executive, from essentially saying, well, I don't care what Congress did, even though they did it on a bipartisan basis, and I signed the law. I'm going to play games with this money, and I'm going to try to change things. In this case, he held it up. And we also know he held it up to try to extract this commitment from the government of Ukraine to have a press conference to look into his political adversaries, to impact the 2020 election. So, this...


CAVUTO: Now, you know, you have heard on the right, Senator, that they don't think that was what was going -- they were going after corruption. I know very smart people on both sides can disagree and have different takes on this. Having said that, do you -- have any Democratic minds been changed in the Senate to side with the president? And do you know of any Republican minds have been changed to go against him?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, just on your point, Neil, I mean, let's -- with respect, the fact has been documented and the president's own phone calls reveal that he wanted the government of Ukraine to launch an investigation, announce an investigation into Joe Biden and the Bidens, right? So let's -- let's not pretend this was some generalized concern about corruption. The president hadn't raised the issue of corruption in the Ukraine. As to going forward, my view is...

CAVUTO: Well, he said he did. He said, in communications and all, he said he did.


CAVUTO: I understand what you're saying, and we can argue it out.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, I...

CAVUTO: I guess what I'm asking you is, is it compelling enough right now to get any -- any of the Republican senators you know to say, you know what, we have examined this closely, we have heard what Parnas has to say, we have now heard what the GAO has to say, we just might change our point of view?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, only the trial and time will tell that. But that is why it's so important to have a fair trial. And every American knows a fair trial requires hearing testimony from relevant witnesses and getting the relevant facts. Everybody should be sworn in, under penalty of perjury. I don't know what all these witnesses will say. I will wait until all the evidence is in before rendering any final verdict. But it would be a farce of a trial if we don't allow evidence. Every impeachment trial for a president has had witnesses. And this should be no different.

CAVUTO: Who would you like? Who would be your first witness choice?

VAN HOLLEN: There are four witnesses we need. And they're all people who are fact witnesses with almost eyewitness -- eyewitness information. You have got John Bolton, who, by the way, says he wants to testify. He says he wants to get a subpoena.

CAVUTO: Right.

VAN HOLLEN: You have got Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff. Then you have got a Michael Duffey, who is one of those people who has been instructing the federal agencies, at the direction of President Trump, to withhold the aid.

CAVUTO: Right.

VAN HOLLEN: And then you have one other person in the Office of Management and Budget, Mr. Blair. Those are the witnesses. And then there are documents. By the way...

CAVUTO: So if -- all right, let's say you got all those witnesses.


CAVUTO: You know Republicans are going to demand witnesses of their own. While we're at it, we want to get Adam Schiff. We want to get any of these people who have been cited in the past, Hunter Biden, maybe Joe Biden. You see where this could go. What do you think?

VAN HOLLEN: So here's -- here's the issue. And, obviously, there can be a discussion. But there are two articles of impeachment. And in any normal trial, a judge would call relevant fact witnesses, witnesses with information directly relevant to the case. Joe Biden has zero information about President Trump's decision-making in the White House to withhold the aid from Ukraine and all of the Trump administration's efforts to get Ukraine to interfere in our election. He just...

CAVUTO: All right.

VAN HOLLEN: He just doesn't have any testimony. But -- but, to your question, let's decide who wants to call which witnesses. But there -- a fair trial will require that at least these key fact witnesses come before the Senate and raise their right hand and testify, under penalty of perjury. And if there's nothing to hide, then nobody should be afraid of hearing those facts under oath.

CAVUTO: All right, Senator, thank you very, very much.

VAN HOLLEN: Thank you.

CAVUTO: We will see how everything goes.

VAN HOLLEN: Yes, indeed.

CAVUTO: Senator Van Hollen. By the way, Bernie Sanders and this dust-up with Liz Warren, I don't know who's telling the truth. I do know this. Bernie Sanders has been raising a lot of money over it -- after this.



SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think you called me a liar on national TV?


WARREN: I think you called me a liar on national TV?

SANDERS: No. Let's not do it right now. You want to have that discussion, we will have that discussion. You called me a liar. You told me -- all right, let's not do it now.

TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't get in the middle of it. I just want to say, hi, Bernie.

SANDERS: Yes, good. OK.



CAVUTO: My best part of that is Tom Steyer just, hi, how you doing? Anyway, still fighting, and, apparently, Bernie Sanders is making money from this spat he had with Elizabeth Warren. Sanders says this campaign has raised $4 million since that spat. I don't know if it was related to the spat. Anyway, Kristen Hawn joins us, Vince Coglianese, Holly Turner. Holly, what do you think of that?

HOLLY TURNER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, listen, I mean, when it's a case of he said/she said, and one of them that is saying that the other one did something, and that same person is one who lied about being Native American, lied about being fired for being pregnant, and lied about her child going to public school, it's easy for us to know which one we need to believe here. But the thing that is most interesting...


CAVUTO: Well, careful, careful. We don't know. There was only the two of them there. We don't know there.


CAVUTO: Kristen, what I would like to ask you is that the fallout on the party with all of this, it might be helping Bernie Sanders raise money. But I was thinking, after this, is it actually helping Joe Biden or one of the other candidates, if these two start canceling each other out? What do you think?

KRISTEN HAWN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I mean, I think so. That's always been a situation with Bernie and Elizabeth Warren. They're kind of fighting for the same demographic of voters. They're fighting for the far left. Now, I don't think that Bernie falls in line with the mainstream of our party, much less the mainstream of the American people. So I'm not sure what impact it will have long term on the Democratic primary. Clearly, tensions are high as the field is narrowed. One thing that was interesting to me, though, the basis of this is the idea that a woman -- and it's remarkable to me that we're still having this conversation, that there's this glass ceiling and a woman cannot be elected president or is not electable. And I think that that's -- that's wrong. And if Bernie -- if Elizabeth Warren is correct, and Bernie did say something like that, I think he does it at his own peril, because women elected a record number of women to the House in the midterms, and they're going to be a significant force to be dealt with.


CAVUTO: No, I have no doubt. I think it's just a matter of time. It's not as though we're anti having a woman in the White House. The issue is we just haven't found the right woman yet. But, of course, the history across the world is that there are plenty of female leaders. They tend to be on the conservative side. I mean, go back to Golda Meir. We can go back to Maggie Thatcher. We can go back to Angela Merkel today. So, the irony might be, Vince Coglianese, that the female president we someday get might be a Republican, but your thoughts?

VINCE COGLIANESE, THE DAILY CALLER: Yes, I think most people have already factored in that they think a woman will be president soon. And nobody's really thinking about that too seriously, which is why, when they assess this, they're not doing it based on gender. I think a lot of people just see this as a political hit job by the Elizabeth Warren campaign. And actually she kind of got an assist from CNN, who, throughout its coverage, ran with the presupposition that the Warren version of events was true and that Sanders needed to be the one to explain himself. And that, of course, is nonsense. Bernie Sanders was able to stand on that stage and say, I didn't do this. And he's pushed back. And I think what's - - what you have seen is a lot of people responding very strongly, not only his supporters, but this week, on Twitter, for instance, Warren is a snake was one of the top trending topics.

CAVUTO: Yes, I did see that.


CAVUTO: But the one beneficiary from this, Holly, seems to me to be the president. And I say that in this sense, that he's got this strong economy going, the strong markets, of course, these two trade deals, the one with the Canadians and the Mexicans approved in the Senate today, just waiting his signature, and, of course, the China one, to say nothing of these markets. And so these guys are arguing about who is or is not justified to be president, whether they're male or female, that almost is a distant issue to the bigger one here, the economy. What do you think?

TURNER: Yes, absolutely. And I think voters are seeing -- they see CNN playing a role with the Democratic establishment in trying to take Bernie Sanders out again. And it makes them lose faith in the Democratic Party. And the thing that will be interesting to watch in Iowa on the caucus night is, what kind of turnout do we see for those Democratic Caucuses? If they do not exceed caucus participation from 2016, the Democratic Party is in real trouble, because that translates into participation in the general election. And their issue is not swaying people from one way or another. There's only a small group of people that can be swayed from Democrat to Republican. The key to winning in November is turnout. They have got to have enthusiasm now.

CAVUTO: All right, guys, I want to thank you all very, very much. In the meantime, Iraq told us to get out. What if we called their bluff and did just that? After this.


CAVUTO: Well, we resumed operations with coalition forces in Iraq, despite that country's seemingly sending a signal get ready to, well, get out. Former U.S. Navy SEAL commander David Sears. It's always good to have you, Commander. I'm wondering what you think of that is. Should we, as Rand Paul was saying, call their bluff and just leave? What would happen if we did?

DAVE SEARS, FORMER U.S. NAVY SEAL COMMANDER: I think we should definitely look at leaving there. I mean, we have to -- we have to look at the reasons that we went in, what are we doing now, and kind of say, why are we still there? And some of those questions have to be answered. I think President Trump actually called for that at the beginning of his term to say, what are we doing there? And if we don't need to be there, let's get out.

CAVUTO: So I'm told that a lot of this vote that was going on left out a lot of key players who protested by not going to Parliament and voting, and that the acting prime minister is just that he's. He's acting he's. Not the real McCoy. So his views, their views are not reflective of what the Iraqis want. They want us to stay. What do you think?

SEARS: That's in general. I think that the Iraqis -- the Sunni population definitely wants us to stay. And, remember, that's -- the Shia is the majority. They're the ones that are more aligned with Iran. And the Shias do want us to leave. They'd rather have total control. The Sunnis would like us there to keep it fair.

CAVUTO: They would rather have Iran have total control, Commander?

SEARS: The Shia would rather have Iran having control, yes.

CAVUTO: Got it.

SEARS: So, the Sunni portion of it that's been massacred under a lot of the Shias are looking to us for some sort of protection and to kind of stabilize things. So we can play that role. It's just a question of, what are we there for? Let's really define that.

CAVUTO: What are we there for?

SEARS: That's what I'm working on. I'm waiting for an answer. It's the same thing as Afghanistan. What are we doing there? What are the goals that we hope to achieve? Do we hope to achieve a stable Iraq without Iranian influence? And do we need military there to do that? That's a good question to ask. Same questions in Afghanistan. So I think that we would like it to become a stable country in the region, not have Iranian influence, not be able to launch terrorist strikes. And the question is, what are the means that we're going to do that? But I haven't heard anybody really talk about this in terms of exactly what we're doing there.

CAVUTO: Yes. No, I hear you. Dave Sears, thank you very much, and more for your incredible service to this country, sir. Thank you.

SEARS: You're welcome. Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Meanwhile, impeachment officially now moving to a Senate trial. Why it won't be your typical trial, though, or, for that matter, even courtroom drama -- after this.


CAVUTO: All right, have the impeachment articles, we will go to trial. That's the dealing right now in the United States Senate. The question is, what happens now, and what is the timeline looking like? Who knows better than Chad Pergram, following all of this from the Capitol. Chad, what do you think?

CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have several temporal markers to watch over the next couple of days announced at the end of the session today. They talked about briefs which were going to be doing. The House of represent it has to file its brief with the Senate by Saturday. The president and his team has until Monday. And if the House wants to rebut that, they can turn something in on Tuesday at noon, just before they go back to the trial at 1:00. Now, the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, was complaining at a press conference just last hour saying, we don't even have the resolution yet that the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, plans to propound on Tuesday. That actually sets the parameters of how they're going to conduct the trial. He says it's ridiculous that they don't have that, because McConnell has talked about adhering to the Clinton model, which is 24 hours for both sides to present their cases and then 16 hours for the senators to submit written questions through the chief justice. But they haven't even laid that out yet. And they talk about transparency. This is where Democrats are starting to turn up the heat on Republicans. I will say it was an interesting day, the juxtaposition, to have the president get his foremost bipartisan policy achievement moved through the Senate nanoseconds, nanoseconds, Neil, before they brought the impeachment managers over. They walked right past here over to the Senate, and then formally began the impeachment process. It was whiplash, again, one of those days where you have this big policy win for the president; 89-10, they pass the USMCA, and then they go immediately to impeachment. But I will tell you now, nobody's going to be talking about the USMCA. The administration might be, but most of the focus now on Capitol Hill is going to be on this trial. And it's going to be very hard for any other issue or topic to kind of muscle through and get out there, until they figure out how long this trial is going to be and what those parameters are. That's why Tuesday is so important, Neil.

CAVUTO: How do they handle these late-breaking developments, the GAO thing, the Parnas comments, Ukraine and the investigation now going on? How do they do that?

PERGRAM: Well, you can certainly see where the House impeachment managers will use that, seize that, and try to say, this is the new evidence that we need to present. You have had some Republican senators saying, wait a minute, why didn't you incorporate that in your initial documents you sent over? That's why these briefs are going to be very interesting over the next couple of days. Do they include that, Neil?

CAVUTO: All right. Thank you, my friend very, very much. You have been invaluable, Chad Pergram. We're going to follow the business impact and the market running up on FOX Business tomorrow. In the meantime, here comes "The Five."

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