This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," January 22, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: So, my final thought is that the Democrats who think the so-called moderate, even though they are conservative people, moderate republicans are going to save them in this impeachment trial, I don't think it will happen. I'm going to go on record now. I predict that Susan Collins of Maine will win reelection. Mitch McConnell will definitely have her back and she will be considered one of the heroes of 2020. That's my thought (INAUDIBLE).
GREG GUTFELD, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: I'm a hero.
PERINO: Set your DVRs as you are here. Never miss an episode of THE FIVE. "SPECIAL REPORT" is up next.
GUTFELD: I'm a hero.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: Good evening, welcome to Washington. I'm Bret Baier. "BREAKING TONIGHT" as opening arguments began in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. The president unleashes a scathing attack on one of the House impeachment managers, who accused overnight senators of being part of a cover-up. President, also threatening to attend the proceeding and sit right in the front row. Democrats began their presentation about five hours ago and have a total of 24 hours to deliver this opening argument. We have "FOX TEAM COVERAGE". John Roberts in Davos, Switzerland, where the president went off on the impeachment prosecutors before leaving home. But we begin with chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel with what's happening right now. Good evening, Mike.
MIKE EMANUEL, FOX NEWS CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bret, good evening. President Trump's attorneys did not file a motion to dismiss because they say their focus is on acquittal. On the other side, House Democrats are now in the early hours making their case for conviction.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): The president's misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box. For we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly one.
EMANUEL: Lead impeachment manager, Adam Schiff laying out the case against President Trump, and appealing to senators to keep their focus on this urgent matter.
SCHIFF: I recognize there'll be times during the trial that you may long to return to the business of the Senate. The American people look forward to the same, but not before you decide what kind of democracy that you believe we ought to be. And what the American people have a right to expect in the conduct of their presidents.
EMANUEL: Then, it was judiciary chairman, Jerry Nadler's turn.
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): This is the story of a corrupt government-wide effort that drew in ambassadors, cabinet officials, executive branch agencies, and the office of the president.
EMANUEL: Allies of the president greeted today's presentation with a yawn. Democrats get up to 24 hours to lay out their case against the president, and then attorneys for President Trump will take over.
JAY SEKULOW, CHIEF COUNSEL, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: We will challenge aggressively the case that they're putting forward based on what we're hearing. And we also have an affirmative case that we're going to make as well. So, we're going to do both.
EMANUEL: Schiff is once again caught up in controversy. POLITICO's first to report that he mischaracterized a text message between two players in the Ukraine scandal. Schiff sent a letter to fellow impeachment manager Jerry Nadler last week, summarizing evidence gathered from Rudy Giuliani associate, Lev Parnas. Parnas tells Giuliani in a text message, "Trying to get us Mr. Z", Schiff took that to be a reference to Ukrainian President Zelensky, instead, it was the founder of Burisma, Zlochevsky. Schumer is defending his own tactics, keeping senators in the chamber until nearly 2:00 a.m. on opening day for 11 amendments which all failed. And gave Schiff high marks for today's presentation.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Adam Schiff's speech was one of the most compelling I have heard. It was a tour de force. And I think that a good number of my Republican colleagues for the first time, heard the entire arguments powerfully, succinctly, and completely.
EMANUEL: The Senate Republican whip, says Schumer's focus is really on Senate races in November.
SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): Senator Schumer, you know, their goal is to win the majority in the Senate. And so, this has a lot less to do, I think, with litigating the case then with, you know, and trying to drive a political message.
EMANUEL: House managers are arguing the Senate must act or it will send a terrible message to future presidents, but it's not clear how that message will resonate with senators tied to their desks for long days of presentations. Bret.
BAIER: Mike Emanuel, live on the Hill. Mike, thanks. Also, "BREAKING TONIGHT", President Trump has just landed. There you see Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, after two days at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. On his way out, he took some parting shots at impeachment. He also retweeted a number of senators and congressmen as he was flying home on Air Force One. We expect him to deplane there any minute. We'll bring you that. Chief White House correspondent John Roberts, meantime is in Zurich tonight, with all the latest from the president. Hi, John.
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Bret. And just the very fact that President Trump made the trip to Davos, as the Senate trial was beginning to unfold was a real finger in the eye to Democrats who were trying to boot him from the Oval Office. And on his way out the door from Davos today. President Trump poke them in the eye just a little harder.
ROBERTS: Wrapping up the Davos economic forum, President Trump today told Fox News he's not pushing for a swift acquittal.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that the -- I would rather go the long way.
ROBERTS: The long way, included witnesses that Democrats had been arguing to hear from.
TRUMP: I would rather interview Bolton. I would rather interview a lot of people.
ROBERTS: But just as quickly as the president raised the idea of hearing from former National Security advisor, John Bolton, he appeared to shoot it down.
TRUMP: The problem with John is that it's a national security problem. He knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders, and what happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader, and it's not very positive, and then, I have to deal on behalf of the country.
ROBERTS: The president also suggesting Bolton may have an ax to grind.
TRUMP: I don't know if we left in the best of terms. I would say probably not, you know, and so, you don't like people testifying when they didn't leave on good terms, and that was due to me, not due to him.
ROBERTS: Bolton was the catalyst for the confrontation last night between Jerrold Nadler and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. Today, President Trump left to his counsel's defense.
TRUMP: Jerrold Nadler, I've known him a long time. He's a sleazebag. Pat's a brilliant guy, but I've never seen that emotion. And that's a real emotion that's because he knows this is a hoax. And I was very proud of the job he did.
ROBERTS: The president mused today that he'd like to watch the trial unfold in person.
TRUMP: I'd love to go. Wouldn't that be great? Wouldn't that be beautiful?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anyway (INAUDIBLE) so, why don't you go?
TRUMP: I don't know, I'd sort of love to sit right in the front row and stare their corrupt faces. I'd love to do it.
ROBERTS: President Trump's news conference kept a day and a half of meetings with world leaders and business executives in Davos, meetings he and his team claimed along with new trade deals will boost America's economic prosperity.
LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: It is the American blue- collar middle class. They have the fastest wage growth. And in fact, the lower wage folks are getting the fastest wage increases, exceeding significantly from what their managers are making.
ROBERTS: But the president also waited into controversy when asked about injuries sustained by U.S. service members in that Iranian missile attack on January 7th.
TRUMP: I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things. I've seen what Iran is done with their roadside bombs to our troops. I've seen people with no legs and with no arms. No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries. No.
ROBERTS: On his way back to Washington, the president tweeted several times about impeachment, including one tweet that simply said, no pressure. He also retweeted a tweet from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who said, I heard you'd like to come to the Senate and watch the trial. You have my invitation to appear. Bret?
BAIER: And that would be something. John Roberts, live in Zurich. John, thanks. We just missed the president coming down Air Force One as he heads back to the White House. We are going to head back and we'll be doing this throughout the show to Capitol Hill. Right now, House manager, representative from New York Hakeem Jeffries continues to lay out the case for impeaching and removing the President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): -- corrupt former prosecutor-general. Joe Biden did nothing wrong. The witnesses testified that Vice President Biden was, in fact, carrying out official U.S. policy to clean up the prosecuted general's office in Ukraine. This policy, of course, aligned with the perspective of many in this very distinguished body, as well as our European allies throughout the world, as well as the International Monetary Fund. Vice President Biden did not remove Yuriy Lutsenko, the corrupt prosecutor, the Ukrainian government did with the support of the free world. Nonetheless, on October 3rd, 2019, when a reporter asked President Trump, what exactly did you hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens after your phone call? President Trump responded as follows.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, what exactly did you hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens after your phone call? Exactly.
TRUMP: Well, I would think that if they were honest about it, they'd start a major investigation into the Bidens. It's a very simple answer.
JEFFRIES: Start a major investigation into the Bidens. The evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump is hiding in plain sight. During the July 25th call, President Trump also repeatedly press the Ukrainian president to coordinate with his personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani. Why was Rudolph Giuliani's name mentioned multiple times during the July 25th phone call? Giuliani is not the Secretary of State. He's not an ambassador. He's not a member of the diplomatic corps. Rudolph Giuliani is a cold-blooded political operative for President Trump's reelection campaign. That is why he was referenced multiple times on that July 25th phone call. And it is evidence of corrupt intent by President Trump. By the time the call took place, President Zelensky understood Giuliani's connection to the shakedown scheme. He recognized Giuliani's role as the president's political operative. As matters related to Ukraine. Zelensky informed President Trump that one of his aides spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes. The Ukrainian leader knew Giuliani represented President Trump's political interest in his country and could help unlock the long sought-after Oval Office meeting that President Zelensky desire. The phony investigation sought by President Trump on July 25th call were not designed to bolster the national security interest of the United States of America. Quite the contrary, President Trump sought to benefit himself and his own reelection prospects. On the July 25th call, President Trump also suggested that President Zelensky speak with the Attorney General William Barr about the -- two fake investigations that the president sought. This is important to keep in mind. At no time during this entire sorted scheme --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Representative Hakeem Jeffries on the Senate floor talking about the phone calls. We've heard a lot about that phone call, obviously. The president during this trip, tweeting out, read the transcripts. We'll head back in as the House managers continue to make that case. Want to bring in the panel early Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist. Katie Pavlich, news editor at Townhall.com. And Jonathan Swan, national political reporter for Axios. Jonathan, your sense of how the White House and his -- and its team looks at what's happening here and how it's being absorbed.
JONATHAN SWAN, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS: This squarely focused on four or five Republican senators, which is the same audience that Adam Schiff and the Democrats are really addressing. This is the Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, perhaps Rob Portman, perhaps Lamar Alexander. The senators who could conceivably vote for additional witnesses. So, what we saw today was Adam Schiff, trying to appeal to their sense of grandia, loftiness, guardians of the democracy, saw him quoting founding fathers and things like that. That was really a way of appealing to Susan Collins and those other senators to, in Schiff's mind do the -- do the duty? As for the White House, look, I think they're letting this play out, they're taking notes, they're watching, they haven't determined how long they're going to take for their defense. This -- I'm hearing they're probably going to take less than 24 hours to defend themselves. So, we'll see how that ends up playing out. And they're trying to make a really strong national security argument to these Republican senators to say, listen, you would be jeopardizing executive privilege. And you saw the president say that today. The argument they're making to Susan Collins is if you vote to subpoena John Bolton, you are compromising future president's ability to have confidential conversations with the National Security advisers.
BAIER: So, and that's important because the vote on witnesses and the vote on executive privilege while tied are two different votes.
KATIE PAVLICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: They're two different votes and the witnesses have different consequences. So, Hunter Biden is not someone who is affected by executive privilege and calling him as a witness as maybe a trade for John Bolton doesn't put --
BAIER: Which they've talked about.
PAVLICH: Which they've discussed, doesn't put the issue of executive privilege in a press -- in a press -- setting a president context of damaging the Office of the President. And so, that has been put on the table and walked back a bit by some Democrats, who maybe wanted to try and get John Bolton. But, I think the bigger picture here is that Adam Schiff is yes, playing to the senators, of course. He's also trying to play to the American people. You noted earlier, Bret that the number one question being asked on Google today is what is the president being impeached for? And what I noticed today during Adam Schiff's opening statement is very close to the beginning and to the end, and Jerry Nadler did the same thing, discussed Russia a whole lot. And he talked about the Mueller investigation. And if he wants to go back to a narrative that didn't play out in terms of what he had been pushing for two years, while having a credibility problem that we saw today, with his mischaracterization of new text messages, I think Republican senators and the American people are going, we went through the Russia narrative, why are the Democrats bringing us back to that? And are they now impeaching him over Russia or is this about a phone call in July about Ukraine?
BAIER: The other thing is, Ben, that overnight. A lot of people didn't see it, but Jerry Nadler really went on the offensive. Republicans noted that many times today about how he was calling the senators as part of a cover- up if they vote against the removal of President Trump to the point where the chief justice had to admonish. Now, he admonished both sides, but it was specifically after the Nadler engagement. Take a listen to Senator Mike Lee, on this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): I'm grateful to the chief justice. He did a good job, his demeanor was great. He maintained his patience. I thought that was unfair of him to direct that at both sets of councils because it felt to me like collective punishment for isolated guilt. This was the fault of the House management prosecution team. They were rude, they were insulting. They were demeaning not just to the president, but to their opposing counsel, and indeed to the Senate itself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: And again, it happened early in the morning. And the chief justice said you need to remember where you are essentially. Today, I noted that Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, they all started saying thank you, so much for your patience.
BEN DOMENECH, FOUNDER AND PUBLISHER, THE FEDERALIST: We -- I think the American people are getting an object lesson and the differences between the two sides of Capitol Hill. And they're certainly things that have riled up the different members on the House side over the course of this period, that have led them to the point where they would engage in this type of behavior on the Senate floor. But for the senators themselves, they expect something better than that. They expect more of an honorable approach to this thing. I think that you saw today an attempt on the part of Schiff and others to readjust this whole thing and say, hey, look, you know, we're, we're not going to engage in that behavior anymore. But to circle back to, you know, Senator Schumer's remarks about Schiff's presentation, calling it a tour de force. If it is, it's in the context of performance art, because that's what this is. It's performance art for a handful of senators that they hope to peel away. And it's a performance art that they hope to use and a lot of different campaign ads across the course of 2020. That's something that I think we have to understand this in the proper context here. This is not designed to achieve some kind of a sea change. They don't think that they can get anything close to that.
BAIER: And barring witnesses that dropped some astonishing revelation, changing 20 Republican votes, we all get, we can't do that math, you can't get there from here, knowing what we know now.
BAIER: Knowing that, if that's the case, the all of this is to just paint a picture for the election?
SWAN: So, yes, in short, it's a way every day -- it's a way to try and make life very uncomfortable for these purple state Republicans who are up for reelection.
BAIER: And Doug Jones from Alabama doesn't feel any pressure?
SWAN: I don't know how he feels, but I can't imagine how he doesn't feel pressure. When you're a Democrat in Alabama --
BAIER: Anytime, yes.
SWAN: And you're not siding with Donald Trump? Yes, I mentioned you feel a little bit of pressure.
BAIER: And so, you wonder how all of that is going to play out when you get to that point. We will have listened to a lot. I mean, hours and hours and hours. And then, they'll have this vote on witnesses.
PAVLICH: And the political process of this is something that Democrats have denied is part of it. And Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said this was solemn occasion. Chuck Schumer has tried to argue that this is not about politics but knowing the outcome going into this situation of knowing the president will not be removed from office. That certainly is about politics, and it is about politics, specifically for Adam Schiff.
DOMENECH: And Schiff made that clear in his very opening remark that you played earlier, which is that this can't be decided at the ballot box. Issues in America are decided at the ballot box. This issue will be decided at the ballot box. And for him to say something like that is really saying, you know that even before, if we end up in November 2020, seeing Donald Trump reelected, he's already casting aspersions on that idea.
BAIER: Or just take a look at the different rules. We've said this was matching the Clinton rules for the Clinton impeachment not exactly, but it's fairly close. Prosecution: 24 hours. 24 hours over three days for the Trump rules. There you see the one to one. 16 hours written questions, these are questions from the senators that will be asked actually by the chief justice to either side. There is no guaranteed vote on a motion to dismiss, one expected after the presentations. And there you see the four hours of whether the call witnesses, little bit different as you take a look at the rules. Panel, thank you. We're going to head back to Capitol Hill. Listen in on the Senate floor as Hakeem Jeffries continues the House manager's case, impeaching President Trump. We'll take a break on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFFRIES: His staff at the White House apparently believed otherwise. The press office issued a short and incomplete summary of the July 25 call. Let me read it for your hearing. "Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke by telephone with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to congratulate him on his recent -- "
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesus Christ (INAUDIBLE) --
JOHN G. ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES: Senate will be in order. The sergeant at arms will restore order in the gallery.
JEFFRIES: And the scripture says, for the Lord loves justice, and will not abandon His faithful ones. Official White House call readout, July 25th, 2019. "Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke by telephone with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to congratulate him on his recent election. President Trump and President Zelensky discussed ways to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Ukraine, including energy and economic cooperation. Both leaders also expressed that they look forward to the opportunity to meet." That is the official White House call readout, dated July 25th, 2019. The official readout provided to the American people omitted key elements of the president's conversation. Let's review. The official readout did not mention the phony investigations requested by President Trump. The official readout did not mention the Oval Office meeting sought by President Zelensky. The official readout did not mention President Trump's elevation of a debunked conspiracy theory promoted by Vladimir Putin about 2016 election interference. The official readout did not mention President Trump's demand that Ukraine investigate his domestic political rival, Joe Biden. The official readout did not mention that President Trump maligned and threatened Ambassador Yovanovitch. And the official readout did not mention that President Trump praised a corrupt former Ukrainian prosecutor. The complete conversation, however, between President Trump and President Zelensky that we just outlined offers powerful evidence that President Trump abused his power and solicited foreign interference in the 2016 election. The 2020 election. Several members of the president's staff, listening in on the call, immediately grew concerned. As he sat in the White House Situation Room, listening to the conversation, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, realized that the president's demands of the Ukrainian leader were inappropriate and improper. He quickly recognized that as the president began referencing the Bidens and CrowdStrike, the call was diverging from the official National Security Council approved talking points that he helped prepare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: You heard there a protester, the first of the Senate trial. The chief justice, saying, the sergeant at arms will get everything in order. And then, you could hear the yelling in the hallway as that person was taken out of the hall. We're expecting the Senate to take a break soon for dinner. Before they do, we'll get to behind the scenes, look at the process on Capitol Hill after we take a quick break.
BAIER: Welcome back. We're still looking at the Senate floor. Hakeem Jeffries continuing the House manager's argument in addition to the drama we're witnessing on the Senate floor. There's plenty of action obviously, behind the scenes where we cannot bring you. Congressional correspondent Chad Pergram has that part of the story tonight. Good evening, Chad.
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS SENIOR CAPITOL HILL PRODUCER: Good evening.
BAIER: First up, though, Chief Justice John Roberts inserted himself into the debate. We talked about that earlier just after midnight last night, cautioning both sides about their language on the floor, but may be pointed at one.
PERGRAM: Yes, we saw nothing like this in the 1999 trial with President Clinton. You know Chief Justice William Rehnquist presided, he liked to keep behind the scenes. And John Roberts is a little bit like that, too. He assures the limelight, but he interjected himself last night after some remarks by Jerry Nadler, in particular, the Democrat from New York. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADLER: Any senator who votes against Ambassador Bolton's testimony or any relevant testimony shows that he or she wants to be part of the cover-up.
PAT CIPOLLONE, WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: He accused you of a cover-up. The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler, is you.
J. G. ROBERTS: I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: Now, Josh Hawley is a Republican senator from Missouri, who clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts. Hawley, says the admonition was out of character for Roberts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY, (R-MO): That statement from him is a very extraordinary thing. I've never heard him deliver an admonishment like that from the bench ever. He chooses his words very, very carefully.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: Hawley says if Democrats are trying to convince Republican senators to convict the president, they took a step back last night, Bret.
BAIER: Chad, the Senate controls the cameras and the feed of what we see inside the Senate chamber during the trial. We have to rely on sketches, actually, to get other views of what the cameras see. What' it like in there?
PERGRAM: A good example of that is that protest just a few minutes ago. They didn't show the demonstrator. You could only hear that person once they dragged them out into the hallway. I was in the chamber a few minutes ago. There's a lot of senators who are milling about. Doug Jones, Democrat from Alabama, leaning on a back wall here. Some are kind of cycling back and forth between the cloak rooms. There are senators taking notes, copious notes. Susan Collins of Maine, Cory Gardner of Colorado, they had big folders and binders at their desk there. Someone I noticed in the gallery a bit ago was Alyssa Milano, the actress. She was very present in the fall of 2018 for the confirmation hearings with Brett Kavanaugh. And the most popular place in the Senate chamber is the candy desk. A senator from Pennsylvania, in this case Pat Toomey, a Republican, has the candy desk -- remember, Hershey is based in Pennsylvania there -- and they stocked it with candy so senators can come by and get a sugar fix whenever they want. But I'll tell you, fatigue is starting to set in with these senators. That is why they're milling about. Just last night just two minutes after 2:00 right here I walked past Val Demings, one of the impeachment managers, Democrat from Florida, and I said good night. And she looked back and said, well, good morning. It was 2:00 in the morning, Bret. Back to you.
BAIER: Chad, thank you very much. We want to take a moment, a few other stories making headlines today. Chinese authorities are trying to curtail the spread of a deadly virus by isolating the city where it began. More than 400 people have been infected and 17 now are known dead. Here in the U.S. the Centers for Disease Control, CDC, Disease Control and Prevention, is already dealing with one confirmed case inside the United States. Correspondent Jonathan Serrie is in Atlanta tonight.
JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chinese authorities are taking the dramatic step of quarantining the city of Wuhan, the suspected epicenter of an outbreak of a new coronavirus blamed for at least 17 deaths.
TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Having the strong action, not only they will control the outbreak in their country, but they will also minimize the chances of this outbreak spreading internationally.
SERRIE: President Trump praised public health officials for quickly identifying and quarantining the first U.S. patient to become ill with the virus.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're in great shape. The CDC did a fantastic job, immediately got the person.
SERRIE: Doctors at this hospital in Washington state to say the man, in his 30s is, in satisfactory condition.
DR. JAY COOK, PROVIDENCE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: Out of an abundance of caution, we have the patient being monitored in a special isolation unit.
SERRIE: The patient says he did not visit this market in Wuhan were Chinese health officials believe live animal sold for meat initially passed the virus to humans. But he had been traveling in the region before returning to his home in the Seattle area. U.S. health officials are retracing the patient's travel history.
ALEX AZAR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: We are now tracing the close contacts of that individual to ensure that none of them are showing those symptoms.
SERRIE: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has activated its emergency operation center and is sending personnel to airports in Atlanta and Chicago O'Hare to assist with enhanced passenger screening already in place at airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York JFK.
SERRIE: An emergency committee of the World Health Organization will continue meeting Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland. The committee is currently split 50-50 on whether to declare this outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Bret?
BAIER: We'll follow that. Jonathan, thank you. Also making headlines today, just announced, President Trump will become the first president to address the March for Life live on the National Mall in person. That's according to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway. A big deal, especially for pro-life supporters of the president. The event is scheduled for this Friday here in Washington, D.C. In the meantime, in New York opening statements began in the rape trial of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Prosecutors say he assaulted a woman in a Manhattan hotel room and 2013 and attacked another in 2006. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. appeared at the same courthouse for a hearing in the case in which several women have accused him of groping. He has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. And on Wall Street today stocks were mixed. Today the Dow lost 10, the S&P 500 500 was up one, the Nasdaq gained 13. As we had to break, let's listen in again to the Senate floor. House Representative Hakeem Jeffries wrapping up as they're getting ready to take a break in the opening statements by the House managers. We will take a break as we listen in.
HAKEEM JEFFRIES, (D-NY) HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE: -- and in competent. And in a perfect call, the president would not have directed a foreign leader to follow up with Rudolph Giuliani, a human hand grenade. This was not a perfect call. It is direct evidence that President Donald John Trump corruptly abused his power and solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election.
JOHN ROBERTS, SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE: The majority leader is recognized.
MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Mr. Chief Justice, colleagues, we will now take a 30-minute break for dinner, and reconvene at five minutes after seven. So I ask consent the Senate stand in recess until that time.
ROBERTS: Without objection, so ordered.
BAIER: It is time for dinner for the senators, for the chief justice, for the House impeachment managers, and for the White House lawyers. We will take a break as well. On the other side we'll give you an update on the campaign trail, plus bring back our panel. Stay here.
BAIER: In tonight's Democracy 2020 report, some big numbers among Democratic presidential contenders. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is suing Hillary Clinton for $50 million. And Bernie Sanders grabs 27 percent support, good for first place in a new national poll. Correspondent Peter Doocy has the latest tonight from Des Moines.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: The caucuses are 12 days away.
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, (D-IN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My hope is that in a few days Iowa once again will be prepared to make history.
DOOCY: But some of the top tier are stuck in a Senate trial.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Obviously I would much prefer to be in Iowa campaigning.
DOOCY: Sanders is doing fine anyway, knocking Biden out of first for the first time this cycle in a new national CNN poll and finishing a clear second to Biden in a new national Monmouth poll. So now he is trying to use Biden's words against them.
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I argued if we should free federal spending, I meant Social Security as well.
DOOCY: The Biden team claims comments about spending bills are out of context, and they have got a file on Sanders too.
BIDEN: It's like my going back and pointing out how Bernie voted against the Brady Bill five times while I was trying to get it passed.
DOOCY: Sanders doesn't care.
SANDERS: Biden wants to look at my record, that's fair. I will look at his record.
DOOCY: Hillary Clinton went on the record saying, nobody likes Bernie Sanders. And now she is walking that back, tweeting, "I thought everyone wanted my authentic, unvarnished views. But to be serious, the number one priority for our country and world is retiring Trump. And as I always have, I will do whatever I can to support our nominee." Sanders didn't ask Clinton for an apology, but Tulsi Gabbard did when she suggested Gabbard is a Russian asset. And no sorry from Clinton led to a Gabbard defamation lawsuit alleging actual malice, plus personal jabs like this. "Tulsi Gabbard is running for president of the United States, a position Clinton has long coveted but has not been able to obtain." Ultimately, though, the focus today is on impeachment, or is it? Do you get a sense that a lot of the people you're talking to here are rushing from this event to go watch the impeachment trial, or are there other things that they are considering ahead of February 3rd?
BUTTIGIEG: I cannot remember the last time I got a question from a voter about impeachment.
DOOCY: Joe Biden just got a question from a voter about impeachment, though. Would he or his son Hunter be part of a deal and testify in the trial if it meant John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney would testify in exchange? And Biden said he wants no part of that. Bret?
BAIER: Peter Doocy live in the snowy Des Moines. Peter, thank you. We are back with our panel, Ben Domenech, Katie Pavlich, and Jonathan Swan. Ben, your state of the race and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, it only seems to be helping Bernie Sanders.
BEN DOMENECH, "THE FEDERALIST": This was the worst possible timing from Hillary Clinton if she wanted to hurt Bernie Sanders. Coming out in the way that she did, she just steps on her own message over and over again. Even that tweet, these were my authentic views, I think we all know what your authentic views are about Bernie Sanders. And to the degree that they are out, they actually help him in this moment.
KATIE PAVLICH, NEWS EDITOR, TOWNHALL.COM: It also hurts the party. There is a reason why you continue to see players come out and say, no matter what happens with the nomination, even if Joe Biden were to win, we all need to vote for the nominee. Bernie Sanders are not interested in voting for an established candidate. It is a movement that is growing, and Hillary Clinton, I'm sure, the candidates in the Democratic race are not clamoring to get her endorsement.
BAIER: We saw "The New York Times" with its double endorsement. There's probably an alert going around Democratic establishment types, CNN national poll, as Peter put up, Bernie Sanders with the lead. But if you look at the national Iowa and New Hampshire polls, he is right there. He could really surprise and win a couple of these.
JONATHAN SWAN, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER, "AXIOS": Bret, at this point it wouldn't even be a surprise. I'm having flashbacks to January, 2016. And the way I read that "New York Times" endorsement, it was actually an endorsement, it was anyone but Bernie Sanders basically. And it's the same sort of -- the way Bernie Sanders is being treated largely, and I don't say, use a broad brush for the media, but he's been largely ignore until very recently. It's all right, you will see, like, he's number two in the polls or number one in Iowa and New Hampshire, and so doesn't get the coverage that, for example, Elizabeth Warren got when she was surging. And now you look, we're getting very close to Iowa and New Hampshire. He is probably the candidate best placed to win Iowa or New Hampshire given the demographics in those two states. And then you have, as we talked about before, he has organic support, real online support, the ability to build the sort of movement that Donald Trump did in 2016.
BAIER: And his ground game, frankly, Ben. And you look at someplace like Iowa, he could go in there with a win, change the dynamic and the rules, the structure has changed after 2016 when his people said, this is not going to play with us.
DOMENECH: I think that this, to Jonathan's point, this is a point where Democrats who have not been taking Bernie seriously all this time really do need to look at him and evaluate him in the lens as a serious potential nominee for the party. They need to understand what that does for them in 2020. We have heard a lot of different people come on here over the past year and say that that was maybe something that the White House wanted. I'm actually not sure that's the case. I think that Bernie is someone who excites a lot of people across a lot of different perspectives. He is viewed as authentic in a moment in which that is something that is very prized. And I do not think that this is something that people should treat as a fanciful fairy tale anymore. It's very real.
BAIER: Next up -- thank you, panel -- final thoughts, and we're working a possible interview from Capitol Hill. Not going to promise it yet, but we'll see. We will check in on Capitol Hill either way. Jay Sekulow just off the Senate floor, we will talk to him live here on SPECIAL REPORT.
BAIER: Breaking tonight, analysis right now from one of the president's defenders, been on the Senate floor, attorney Jay Sekulow is on the impeachment team for the president. He joins us from Capitol Hill. It feels good to stand up, I'm sure.
JAY SEKULOW, TRUMP IMPEACHMENT ATTORNEY: It does. Thanks, Bret.
BAIER: Tell me what you thought of today so far and your impressions.
SEKULOW: It's been as it was yesterday, these are long days. And so far the conclusion today, you heard through their statements and their presentation, this is what seems so odd to me. They're complaining -- we had a whole section where they were complaining about no Oval Office meeting because the meeting was actually at the United Nation's General Assembly with the president of Ukraine, with President Zelensky. That was an issue that was going on. And then a complaint that the delegation sent to President Zelensky's inaugural was not high enough. This is not impeachable. These policy disputes are not what the founders had in mind when it came to the seriousness of an article of impeachment or a conviction on impeachment. So I think, look, we basically are already into what I would call repeat cycle. We are hearing the same thing each time. Obviously we haven't put on our case yet. That's a couple of days away, but I'm quite confident of where this goes at the end of the day, but we are going through the process right now.
BAIER: I want to take you backwards to early this morning, and then I want you to look forward. But backwards early this morning, there was this dust up between Jerry Nadler on the floor, and then you and Pat Cipollone came up and admonished him for what he was saying. And then the chief justice got in the middle of it. What is your take of that moment and how it all went down?
SEKULOW: Look, Jerry Nadler accused the United States Senate of being liars and also of a cover-up. He accused the president's lawyer, Pat Cipollone, of basically trying to make it as if he had done something that was unethical. He was representing his client. And then he makes the statement on the floor of the United States Senate when he says executive privilege and other nonsense. These are constitutional privileges recognized by the Supreme Court, and by the way, overwhelmingly recognized by the Supreme Court. Executive privilege, which has been applied in multiple administrations, dates all the way back to our founding, actually. And to be that cavalier on the floor of the Senate, albeit it was late at night, and so emotions were a little high. I've appeared before John Roberts before, of course, and I have known John Roberts. He is doing a great job as the presiding officer of the Senate. He basically said, lower the temperature down. But I'm going to tell you something, when they accuse my client on the floor of the Senate or they accuse senators of not being able to keep their oath and not being truthful and being involved in the coverup, we are going to say something. We're going to have to respond even on the floor of the United States Senate.
BAIER: Now I want you to look forward, because this is something you haven't done. In the House, obviously, in these committee hearings, the president's lawyers were not there. The counterargument was not essentially made. Besides, the Republicans were making it without really witnesses there. How do you structure your arguments going forward, if you can shed some light on that?
SEKULOW: Look, in part, Bret, we are responding to what they are saying, but we're also going to put on an affirmative case, that not only the president was completely legal, completely unconstitutional, perfectly legal, perfectly constitutional, perfectly appropriate. But that the idea that this reaches the level of impeachment legally speaking is rarely absurd. But we are going to put on a series of lawyers that are going to be dealing with the issues on the facts in great detail, on the law and the Constitution. We have got two constitutional law professors, one former solicitor general of the United States with Judge Starr, Alan Dershowitz, of course, professor emeritus from Harvard Law School. We're going to talk about the foundations of what it means to rise to the level of what is impeachable and what is not. We have got a tremendous fact presentation. And look, we're going to be responding also to what goes on in the next few days. That's part of what you have to do when you go second
BAIER: Zero to 10, what is your level of concern, 10 being the highest, and you look at this list of GOP senators potentially who suggested that witnesses may factor in. Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Lamar Alexander, Cory Gardner, as you look at that list, zero to 10, what is your level of concern that you may have to have witnesses in this Senate trial?
SEKULOW: Look, they're going to have to prove the need for witnesses in the sense that they are presenting all of this information. They've been doing this now for almost two days. I'm not going to predict what the Senate does. I'll tell you this. I'm not concerned about it because I know the facts and I know the law and we have a great team, and we're ready to proceed in any way it goes. I don't believe that it will get to witnesses, but that is going to be the Senate's decision.
BAIER: So I'll take a two?
SEKULOW: You know what, listen, here's how I operate -- prepare for every contingency. We're prepared for every contingency. We're going to put on a strong case. We're going to make the case on why it's not necessary to have witnesses. We're going to talk about what the law requires, and we will deal with whatever the Senate decides and move forward. Our job, and we've been saying this for basically 18 hours, was to get this process started. And it's taken 12 hours to get it even started, and now we're getting started.
BAIER: Jay, we appreciate you taking time and talking to us. I'll put you down for a three and we will follow every element.
BAIER: Thanks, Jay. Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. We are going to cover everything on this Senate trial. We have got you covered through the day. We have got you covered through the night. We'll be dipping in and out through our coverage, and each show will handle it. Martha is up next here in Washington. We'll be back tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. And that's it for SPECIAL REPORT, fair, balanced, and still unafraid. It's a busy time in Washington, and, oh, yes, the Iowa caucus 12 days away as we look alive on Capitol Hill. Keep it here on FOX.
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