This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," January 21, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MILY COMPAGNO, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: The Internet's dying, everyone is dying. Everyone wants them to be together again. I'm ambivalent.
DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: I think that they are new Meghan and Harry.
JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Wow! Yes, we have a body language expert like (INAUDIBLE).
PERINO: All right. Set your DVRs, never miss an episode of THE FIVE. "SPECIAL REPORT" is up next. Hey, Bret.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: Brad and Jen are not in the show. But thank you, Dana. President Trump prepares for an international economic summit, as his impeachment lawyers' preview their defense strategy. Democratic presidential candidates call out the president over race relations on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. And airports around the world are on high alert for the rapidly expanding threat from a deadly virus. This is SPECIAL REPORT. Good evening. Welcome to Washington. I'm Bret Baier. President Trump will leave the White House in just a few minutes for a major economic conference in Switzerland. Back here in the nation's capital, prosecutors and defenders for the impeachment trial are getting ready for a fight over ground rules anticipated all day, tomorrow. Chief White House correspondent John Roberts is in Switzerland tonight ahead of the president's trip. Good evening, John.
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Bret, good morning to you from Lenzerheide, which is just a little way away from Davos. We got a glimpse into the defense that the president's legal team is going to start presenting in the Senate tomorrow. In a lengthy outline of their case describing the articles of impeachment is a dangerous perversion of the constitution that should be swiftly and roundly condemned.
ROBERTS: On the eve of his impeachment trial, President Trump headed for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. And taking a swipe at his nemesis in the Senate tweeting, "Crying Chuck Schumer is now asking for fairness when he and the Democrat House members work together to make sure I got zero fairness in the House. So, what else is new? In Davos, the president will be talking up American prosperity, meeting with world leaders. At an Austin Texas rally with farmers last night, President Trump contrasting what he is doing and what Democrats trying to do.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to Europe to talk to world leaders and to talk to business people about coming -- everybody wants to come back to America. We're achieving what no administration has ever achieved before. And what do I get out of it? Tell me, I get impeached.
ROBERTS: As the president makes the rounds in Davos, his defense team will make the case that the articles of impeachment are invalid and unprosecutable. In a brief to the Senate, his attorneys writing, "House Democrats' newly invented abuse of power theory collapses at the threshold because it fails to allege any violation of law whatsoever." Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz will make that argument on the president's behalf, likely on Friday.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Abuse of power, it was a lead against John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it's a political argument. So, abuse of power can never be a criteria for impeaching or removing a president.
ROBERTS: The brief also challenges the article on obstruction. Saying, "Contrary to House Democrats claims, asserting legal rights and constitutional privileges of the executive branch is not obstruction." Democrats who will sit in judgment of the president dismiss those arguments is so much poppycock.
SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): What they're saying right now is essentially -- the president can totally abuse the public trust, and can commit what the -- what the founders believed were high crimes and misdemeanors.
ROBERTS: The president's legal team will present an aggressive case, but acknowledge the end result is ultimately up to the Senate.
ROBERT RAY, FORMER HEAD, OFFICE OF THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: The question about whether or not this is sufficient and serious enough to warrant the president's removal from office. And the Senate will be the judge of that ultimately, that's their decision. I'm not here to tell the Senate what to do.
ROBERTS: Democrats are keeping up the pressure to bring new witnesses into the trial, arguing it's impossible to render a verdict without hearing all the evidence.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): We know that the American people want witnesses and documents. They understand that's what a fair trial looks like.
ROBERTS: Democrats will undoubtedly file a motion to call the former National Security advisor John Bolton as a witness. If they do that, Republicans would likely counter by calling Hunter Biden and others. And at that point, the self-described world's greatest deliberative body could devolve into a food fight. Bret.
BAIER: John Roberts, live in Switzerland. John, thanks. Let's preview the week ahead for the president and impeachment. Senior political analyst Brit Hume joins us now. Good evening, Brit.
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Bret.
BAIER: You know, you heard in that piece, Robert Ray, one of the president's lawyers, essentially saying he's going to wait for the Senate to decide. More specifically, as you read this brief by the president's lawyers, they're really aimed at Republican senators.
HUME: That's right, Bret, because Republicans constitute the majority of the Senate, and it takes 67 votes to convict a president and remove him from office, which means that Democrats alone can't come close to doing it. They need about 20 Republican senators to turn against the president and vote for his departure. So, the smart way, it seems to me for people to look at the defense, the briefing, the defense that the -- that the president's representatives will be making is whether it gives Republicans, who were disinclined to vote to remove the president, to begin with, some material they can work with to defend their vote. The only way the president can get tossed, to the way I think any president could get tossed, for the evidence to be so overwhelming, and the wrongdoing so clear, that it -- that the public is outraged by it. And it becomes politically unsafe to vote not to convict. That's a tall order that Democrats are facing. And so, the question to -- that you, you know, if you look at that brief that was filed, you know, constitutionally insufficient, crazy to try to make an impeachment article out of the efforts to claim privilege and so on. The question then is, is that -- is that -- does that give Republican senators what they need and will want?
HUME: I think probably the answer is yes, but we'll see.
BAIER: And one of the battles is witnesses' other documentation. Our colleague, Andy McCarthy, looked to that brief and saw something different. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW MCCARTHY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: May go through the facts, and they say, the president did nothing wrong, there is no quid pro quo, et cetera. If I'm a judge or a senator reading that, it seems to me like they're begging for a trial on the facts, and I don't know that that's what they want, because that really helps the argument for witnesses and documents.
RAY: We will present and those arguments will be evaluated by Senators and deciding what's appropriate to do, and what's in the country's best interest to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: So, that really is the big fight to come. The witnesses fight.
HUME: Yes, it is. But you know, I think it's really a Hail Mary pass to need witnesses. After all, I mean, the Democrats in the House are arguing on the one hand that the case that they admitted against the president is overwhelming. That the -- that the -- that they should convict on the basis of it, and the same time, they're reaching out for more evidence. If the evidence is sufficient, you don't need more evidence. And the question that I think is been raised by all this is whether the Senate contemplating the prospect? I mean, if the president says, look -- if the Senate says, look, you can have your witnesses, you prosecutors. But the president then, to be fair is going to have -- to get to have his witnesses. And he's going to want to call Hunter Biden, and who knows who else. At which point that the trial takes on a very different cast? One that senators on both sides of the aisle may be reluctant to see. I mean, you know, you get Hunter Biden in there, talking about who knows what. And you've drawn Joe Biden, therefore, further into the mix, and there's a circus aspect to this. Thus, I suggest senators on both parties may -- both sides may want to avoid. I think that's what Mitch McConnell would like to avoid. But the Senate will decide. I mean, if it only takes a few Republican senators, you can't can -- you can -- you take 67 to convict, but only 51 to call witnesses. So, there's a significant chance that witnesses may be called. Weather in the end that will make any difference. So, I think he's very much in doubt.
BAIER: Brit, as always. Thank you. In tonight's "DEMOCRACY 2020" report, Democratic presidential candidates celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday by attacking President Trump over race relations and other issues. This comes amid an unusual vote of confidence for two of the contenders. Correspondent Ellison Barber is in Des Moines tonight.
ELLISON BARBER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar are the Democrats' best choices for president. That According to The New York Times editorial board. A two-candidate endorsement is unprecedented, but The Times' editorial board argues the radical and the realist models warrant serious consideration at a time when "There are legitimate questions about whether our democratic system is fundamentally broken." They say Warren and Klobuchar are the most effective advocates for each approach. According to a new Focus On Rural America poll, nearly a quarter of Iowans still support former Vice President Joe Biden. A full six percent more than his nearest rival. But when asked regardless of who they plan to vote for which candidate is best for rural Iowa? 29 percent said, Klobuchar. A number of 2020 presidential candidates began their day in South Carolina, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They talked about the work that still needs to be done.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As all mornings I wake up these days. I wonder whether it's 1920 or 2020.
BARBER: Some suddenly criticizing President Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can't go from hope and change to fear.
BARBER: Others calling him out by name.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, there are not many sides to blame, Mr. President, when one side is the Ku Klux Klan.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America is ready to move beyond this dark moment of Donald Trump.
BARBER: In an interview with NBC News, Michael Bloomberg, claims Trump's rhetoric --
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Encourages or freeze people to do things that they otherwise might not do.
BARBER: Between events, two candidates whose relationship has become awkward in recent weeks, briefly spoke and shook hands at an MLK prayer breakfast. No word on what was said, but the last time they were face to face, they both accuse the other of calling them a liar.
WARREN: I think, you told me a liar on national T.V.
BARBER: Warren and Sanders spent the weekend hopscotching across Iowa and New Hampshire. The impeachment trial, of course, starts tomorrow and that will keep them in Washington, D.C. They and the other senators still running for president say they'll have surrogates even family members on the ground here in Iowa, campaigning for them. And some say they will even try to phone or Skype into town halls. Bret.
BAIER: That's Ellison, thank you. Continuing with electoral politics and a thought exercise tonight, has the Democratic Party moves so far left that its last president, Barack Obama would actually be unable to win the nomination now? Correspondent Doug McKelway takes a look.
DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Change has come to America. If you saw this live, you're now 11 years older time may be moving faster to you. And today's Democratic Party, former standard-bearer, Barack Obama, sometimes seems quaintly outdated.
DAVID BURSTEIN, FOUNDER, RUN FOR AMERICA: Because the world in 2007 was very different. We haven't invented -- we have barely invented the iPhone, barely invented Facebook, Twitter was just being invented. A lot of the tools that dominate the way we experience the world today didn't even exist.
MCKELWAY: The strong polling of far-left candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, has pulled today's moderates much farther left than a progressive like Obama dare to go in his time. For example, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg support the Green New Deal, despite its multi-trillion dollar price tag and potential upheaval of the carbon-based economy. Even moderate support the expansion of the public option for health care, public funding for college tuition, expanded immigration, restricting border enforcement, and broaden LGBTQ rights. That, while far-left candidates like Sanders and Warren openly embrace socialist ideas that America wants rejected as a dangerous lurch towards collectivism.
BURSTEIN: Enough of this kind of tinkering or tweaking around at the edges. We bold ideas to actually get from here to there.
MCKELWAY: Two factors may be contributing to this leftward lean. Millennials have come a voting age, 41 percent of them have a favorable view of socialism, much higher than Generation Xers at 31 percent, and Baby Boomers at 24 percent, according to the December Fox News poll. Secondly, Democrats may be tacking left temporarily to secure the primaries and may take back to the center after the nomination is one.
MCKELWAY: And there's a third factor to explain the left lean, Donald Trump. Hatred of him has so animated, so energized the democratic field that they move further left to draw the clearest possible distinction between them and the president they despise. Bret.
BAIER: Our Doug, thank you. President Trump visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial today here Washington. The epicenter though for the King Holiday celebrations, of course is Atlanta. That's where our correspondent Jonathan Serrie is tonight.
JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: At the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where several generations of the King family have preached, a passionate gathering of politicians, ministers, community leaders, and everyday citizens sing the praises of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Keynote preacher Howard-John Wesley urged the crowd to embrace King as a prophet of social change, not a watered-down version to make people comfortable.
REV. HOWARD-JOHN WESLEY, LEADER, ALFRED STREET BAPTIST CHURCH: Our challenge is not to remember Dr. King, our challenge is that we are prone to misremembering Dr. King.
SERRIE: The annual celebration in Atlanta marked the culmination of a long holiday weekend of events around the country to honor the legacy of the slain civil rights leader. In Memphis, Vice President Mike Pence, says he was deeply moved by a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum, which preserves the Lorraine Motel balcony, where Dr. King was shot.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we honor him by teaching our children and our children's children what Dr. King and all the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement accomplished for this nation.
SERRIE: Today is not just about honoring the past, but carrying Dr. King's teachings into the world today. Back at Ebenezer church, Dr. King's youngest daughter Bernice carried her father's message of unity to the political polarization that exists in America in this contentious election year.
BERNICE KING, DAUGHTER OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: Whether you are Republican, Democrat, Independent, or no party, we must fight with a fierce determination to discover a win-win pathway to build the beloved community.
SERRIE: And Dr. King's vision of the beloved community involved people, not merely coexisting but caring for one another regardless of race and other human labels that commonly divide us. Incidentally, Dr. King was born just a couple of blocks down the street from this church. If he were alive today, he would be 91 years old. Bret.
BAIER: Jonathan, thank you. What is normally -- excuse me. A fairly uneventful gun rights event in Virginia's capital is something much different this year. It's evolved into a massive lobbying effort and demonstration featuring thousands of activists, and a frantic response from the government over worries of violence that never materialized. Correspondent Mark Meredith shows us what happened in Richmond.
MARK MEREDITH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Gun rights supporters flooded into downtown Richmond to demonstrate against new gun control laws under consideration by Virginia state lawmakers.
GEORGE, PROTESTER: A.R.-15, this is a Glock 20.
MEREDITH: George, who did not want to give us his last name, says he drove from Michigan to participate in Monday's rally. He like many people proudly marched while showing off their gun collection.
GEORGE: I just want to show people that we are all here supporting the Second Amendment.
MEREDITH: Virginia's democratic controlled legislature is considering several new laws, among them, limiting handgun purchases to only one every month, enacting universal background checks for gun purchases, and allowing local governments to ban guns from some public spaces. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has made gun control a top priority of his administration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I bet you, nobody here is going to comply with any other laws is going to pass.
MEREDITH: Law enforcement remained on high alert during Monday's rally as officials feared hate groups would show up to create chaos. In response, Northam declared an emergency last week, banning weapons from being brought on to state House grounds.
GOV. RALPH NORTHAM (D), VIRGINIA: State intelligence analysts have identified threats and violent rhetoric -- some rhetoric similar to what has been seen before other major events such as Charlottesville.
MEREDITH: The Virginia Citizens Defense League, organized today's rally. Its leader says his group's only goal was to defend the Second Amendment and that the rally had nothing to do with hate.
PHILIP VAN CLEAVE, PRESIDENT OF THE VIRGINIA CITIZENS DEFENSE LEAGUE: The governor declared war on gun owners -- law-abiding gun owners, and that activated grassroots gun owners across the state in a way I've never seen before.
MEREDITH: Tonight, the governor is praising law enforcement for de- escalating what he says could have been a volatile situation. Police estimate some 22,000 people showed up here for the rally, and they say only one person was arrested. Bret.
BAIER: Mark, thank you. Up next, we look at the Democrats' lead impeachment manager and his ironic connection to the last presidential impeachment.
ANNOUNCER: This program is sponsored by Advil. What pain?
BAIER: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, met today with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and other regional officials in Colombia. They were there for an international conference on terrorism. Pompeo and leaders condemned, disputed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and tried to buy international support for Guaido, whom the U.S. and other nations recognized as the country's legitimate head of government. Our next story is part history lesson, part cautionary tale. It concerns the lead House impeachment manager, California's Adam Schiff, and whether his national profile could damage his standing among his constituents. As correspondent Anita Vogel reports from Los Angeles, it's a scenario that Schiff knows all too well.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): In America, no one is above the law.
ANITA VOGEL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: He's become the face of impeachment. California Congressman Adam Schiff is the leader of seven House managers. But exactly 20 years ago, Schiff campaigned against impeachment and defeated incumbent Republican Congressman James Rogan, who was a House manager for the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.
MATT KLINK REPUBLICAN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Adam Schiff, when he took office 20 years ago, I don't think he planned that his wildest dreams to lead the impeachment against a republican president.
VOGEL: At that time, the race for Southern California's 27th congressional district, now District 28th was the most expensive in history. Schiff won, in part, by accusing Rogan of ignoring the district, spending too much time on impeachment and exploiting his notoriety.
SCHIFF: He is embarking on a national fundraising effort, targeting ultra- right conservatives around the country, saying the president's out to get him.
VOGEL: -- trial.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are so many ironies in this thing. It's almost as though somebody's written it.
HARRY BEY, RESIDENT, CALIFORNIA: Adam is so -- I've been off for Adam. He's always a hustler, a go-getter, and he's always looking out for himself.
KEN SIMON, RESIDENT, CALIFORNIA: I'm totally proud of Adam Schiff and his integrity. To me, he embodies integrity.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA): And he has been impeached, he's been impeached forever.
VOGEL: Even though California is 2,700 miles away, experts say it is fitting the state is so involved with impeachment. With Nancy Pelosi, Schiff and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of Northern California, all playing starring roles.
KLINK: We are at the forefront in California fighting the Trump agenda, and many cases to the state's benefit, but in some cases to the state's detriment.
VOGEL: Another interesting fact regarding impeachment and the 28th congressional district, the congressman before James Rogan was Republican Carlos Moorhead, who was on the House Judiciary Committee back in 1974. And cast a vote to spare Richard Nixon from impeachment. Bret.
BAIER: Anita, thanks. Up next, laying out the rules of the road. Ahead of the impeachment trial in the Senate, new information, next.
BAIER: "BREAKING TONIGHT", the Senate impeachment trial against President Trump essentially begins tomorrow. We now have the proposal for the trial framework, and there will be a fight over ground rules in the U.S. Senate tomorrow. Congressional correspondent Chad Pergram, a preview tonight with the Breaking news on Capitol Hill. Run us through what's expected, Chad.
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS SENIOR CAPITOL HILL PRODUCER: Well, good evening, Bret. Well, just at about the past 45 minutes here, we've gotten the actual proposal that Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, will put out on the floor tomorrow. And this is something that they'll have to vote on later in the day. What are provides for and this is what we've been told over the past three or four days here is that there will be 12 hours a day, 24 total spread out over four days for the House impeachment managers to present their case, that's Wednesday, Thursday, and then Friday, Saturday for the president's defense team to offer their side of the story. And then, sometime, the middle of next week, they get two witnesses. Now, what that means, if you're going to start at 1:00 in the afternoon because they have to accommodate Chief Justice John Roberts, he is sitting before the Supreme Court, they can't start to 1:00 in the afternoon, you're going to go until the middle of the night. And just before we went on the air here, we got a statement from Chuck Schumer, the minority leader who will offer a counterproposal tomorrow. And he says the following, McConnell's resolution stipulates that the key facts be delivered in the wee hours of the night simply because he doesn't want the American people to hear them. And Bret, that's going to be a key point you're going to hear tomorrow, especially from the House impeachment managers. They will be debating this on the House floor -- excuse me, on the Senate floor, not the senators that they want to bury the facts in the dead of night. Bret.
BAIER: So, that's open session. There's a possibility of a closed session?
PERGRAM: That's right. I've learned that once -- you know, McConnell puts out his resolution, and then Schumer puts out a counter resolution. There is about a 90 percent possibility that they would go into a closed session tomorrow. That's where they kick out everybody except essential floor staff senators, Chief Justice Roberts. The impeachment managers can't be in the room. The president's legal defense team can't be in the room, and that's where they hammer out how they're going to handle this and how they're going to entertain Senator Schumer's proposals. That means a late night tomorrow and they probably don't actually vote on the underlying proposal by Mitch McConnell, until very late -- sometime tomorrow night. Bret.
BAIER: All right, Chad Pergram, live on the Hill. Chad, thank you.
PERGRAM: Thank you.
BAIER: Also, "BREAKING TONIGHT", U.S. and Iraqi officials say two rockets have landed in the Baghdad's Green Zone, very close to the U.S. embassy. At this hour, they say there are no casualties reported. Again, two rockets into the Green Zone near the U.S. embassy. Iran and its Shia militias have been behind some of those rocket attacks. Iran, meantime, is warning that it is planning what it calls a final, more effective step to reduce its commitment to its nuclear deal with the west. Senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot has details tonight from Amman, Jordan.
GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS SENIOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Iran is making more nuclear threats today following European countries move to trigger a dispute mechanism, the response to Iran's stepping up of uranium enrichment. Iranian officials say they withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty, which bans countries from acquiring atomic weapons if that complaint got to the U.N.
ABBAS MOUSAVI, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY: If these statements continue, Iran is designing a final, more effective step.
PALKOT: Iran already says it would reject any new President Trump backed replacement of the faltering Iran nuclear deal. Meanwhile, the replacement for Revolutionary Guard Quds Commander Qasem Soleimani, recently killed by the U.S., was sworn in today with some dangerous talk. Despite the targeting of bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops by Iran, more trouble could be planned.
GEN. ESMAIL GHAANI, REVOLUTIONARY GUARD QUDS FORCE: They hit him in a cowardly way. But with God's grace and with those who want vengeance for his blood, we will hit his enemy in a manly fashion.
PALKOT: This amid more fallout from the Iranian shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger plane. An official from the Iran meeting Ukrainian President Zelensky amid word from Tehran it's not willing right now to hand over the plane's voice and data recorder black boxes.
FRANCOIS-PHILIPPE CHAMPAGNE CANADIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER: The wish of Canada, the wish of the coordination group, would be that the black box be sent quickly either to Ukraine or to France.
PALKOT: Canada and all countries involved are calling for the return of the remains of the 176 killed in the crash. Ukraine's 11 victims arrived in Kiev yesterday.
PALKOT: Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif now says he won't be attending this week's Davos, Switzerland, business conference as expected. No word if President Trump's planned appearance there had anything to do with it. Bret?
BAIER: Greg, thank you. Some of this country's busiest airports are screening passengers from China tonight over growing fears of a deadly virus which apparently can be passed easily from one person to another. They are more than 200 confirmed cases in China. At least three people have died. President Trump is off to Switzerland to talk economics, while all the talk back home is impeachment. We will talk about it and the new rules that just came out with the panel when we come back.
BAIER: A lot of breaking tonight. The president just boarded Air Force One, heading to Davos, Switzerland, the big economic addresses tomorrow. Obviously also tomorrow, the official start of the Senate trial. The ground rules first, both sides making their case as this all gets worked out tomorrow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR EMERITUS: -- is not, is not the criteria for impeachment, any more than dishonesty would be a criteria for impeachment.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D-CA) CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: That's the argument I suppose you have to make if the facts are so dead set against you. You had to go so far out of the mainstream to find someone to make that argument. You had to leave the realm of constitutional law scholars and go to criminal defense lawyers.
ROBERT RAY, TRUMP IMPEACHMENT ATTORNEY: Our job as part of the president's defense team is to show why how the House managers do not have a case.
HAKEEM JEFFRIES, (D-NY) HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE: The most important thing is that the American people deserve a fair trial. The Constitution deserves a fair trial.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: A number of pages to the White House's effort, the brief. One of them essentially makes an abuse of power argument. "By limiting impeachment to cases of treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, the Framers restricted impeachment to specific offenses against already known and established law. House Democrats newly invented "abuse of power" theory collapses at the threshold because it fails to allege any violence of law whatsoever." The House responding to that, the managers, "This is the argument of a monarch with no basis with the Constitution. When the Framers worked the impeachment clause, they aimed it squarely at abuse of office for personal gain, betrayal of the national interest through foreign entanglements, and corruption of elections. President Trump has engaged in the trifecta of constitutional misconduct, warranting removal. He is the Framers worst nightmare come to life." Just some of the of the back and forth. Let's bring in our panel, Chris Stirewalt is politics editor here at FOX News, Leslie Marshall, Democrat strategist, and Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at "The Federalist." I'm keeping distance year. I have tea here. I promise I will talk this way. Mollie, this is the argument that's being made. Tomorrow is about the ground rules in the U.S. Senate. And that is going to be a battle. What we are seeing from McConnell is that there's going to be 24 hours to make these cases for the House impeachment managers and for the White House over two days. That's 12 hours a day, 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, SENIOR EDITOR, "THE FEDERALIST": These are going to be very long days, and I think that's part of Senator McConnell's strategy to just get this done as quickly as possible by running it throughout the day. I want to make a quick point. Adam Schiff, I think, was suggesting that Alan Dershowitz is not a constitutional scholar. He is a criminal defense attorney, but he is also a known constitutional law scholar, and that is probably why the president picked him. What is interesting about today is finally got a little bit more of a feeling for what the president's defense is going to be, and we'll hear this as the cases are made, both the prosecution and the response. And the president's team says there is no crime, first and foremost. This is the first time we've had impeachment with no actual crime being alleged. Even with the Johnson impeachment, he was accused of breaking a law. That law was probably unconstitutional, but he was at least accused of an actual crime, which is not the case we have here. They also say that the process was flawed. This was an argument that the Republicans in the House did a really good job of making. That was sort of one of their more successful things. And then they say, even if you take the best possible interpretation of their case, there are no facts to support it. We're kind of seeing that response that you just showed from the Democrats. They are really overstating what they have in terms of the quality of their evidence as suggested by the fact that they're trying to bring out more evidence.
BAIER: Leslie, they are, the White House is going down the route of fighting on the substance, the abuse of power back and forth. Here's Senator John Cornyn and Jerry Nadler on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN CORNYN, (R-TX) SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: He's been charged with abuse of power, which is not to reason, which is not bribery, which is not a high crime and misdemeanor. So this is the first time in the history where a president has been impeached for a non-crime or events that never occurred.
JERROLD NADLER, (D-NY) HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Abuse of power is the central reason for the impeachment clause in the Constitution. Trying to extort a foreign power to interfere with election is about as bad as you can imagine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: But to Brit Hume's point earlier, this is really aimed at Republican senators. They have to get 33 of them to make sure he doesn't get convicted and kicked out.
LESLIE MARSHALL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't think he's going to be convicted and kicked out, but I do think it comes down to what will happen going forward, whether there will be witnesses or not. Some people are considering Alan Dershowitz a witness because he's not technically a part of the legal team. But to Alan Dershowitz, who I sat in on his class twice because I'm from Boston, I went to school there, and I used to be a big fan of his, quite frankly, but he's changed his tune greatly when it comes to specifically impeachment and the Constitution. In 1998 he said not only in his classroom but on national television, it certainly doesn't have to be a crime to be impeachable, abuse of power is not a crime. And also when he cited Hamilton and "The Federalist" papers, number 65, when you read that, it said, quote, inevitability of partnership as a reason to support the constitutional approach to try impeachment, which is completely opposite what Alan Dershowitz was saying and was putting forth. When you look at polls that show 70 percent as of late today of the American people feel that there should be witnesses, I'm not sure what the Republicans doing is going to help them in the long run, especially politically, because they are not fighting, it looks like, facts, especially when they're talking about Democrats who are trying to undo an election. And I think the American people, regardless of their ideology, regardless of their politics as voters, are smarter than that.
BAIER: But Chris, this White House brief, this argument is essentially for those Republicans to take back home and say, look, there's nothing here. I'm not voting for witnesses either.
CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICAL EDITOR: We will see when we get there, right. We'll see when we get to the end of this. McConnell's process that he has laid out, the joke is they probably don't have 24 hours of arguments to make, and they didn't certainly in Clinton. So they're taking it and pushing it into fewer days. It's the same number of hours, but gosh, they are going to be under pressure to look busy and stay up late. Even if they don't have 24 hours in 12 hour increments to make the argument, they have to look like it because McConnell is now saying, you didn't want to use all of your time?
BAIER: With all due respect, there are some old birds in this group.
STIREWALT: That like to leave the nest on the early side, yes, quite so, quite so.
BAIER: In the most respectful of way, the early bird.
STIREWALT: Right, median age -- Methuselah. The reality for Senate Republicans, there are plenty of them who believe that Trump did exactly what he is accused of and exactly what he said in public that he did. He said, yes, investigate Hunter Biden, I hope China does too. He said it in public. The House is within its rights to impeach the president for these things, and the Senate is within its rights to dismiss the charges against him. And that is how the system works. It's OK. Nobody needs to freak out. It's how the framers saw this happening. They knew it would be partisan, they knew it would be contentious. But they thought it was worth including anyway, so we've got to run the traps on this thing.
BAIER: And McConnell, they are not moving to a dismiss motion at the beginning. They're going to play it out first.
STIREWALT: But he has got it tucked in there in case things get out of hand. He's got a failsafe that if it looks like the matter is turning into a circus and it's belittling the Senate, they can move to kill it quickly.
HEMINGWAY: There is this inside the beltway consensus that there are these Republicans that you need to watch because they might side with Democrats on something, which is kind of interesting. Yes, we know these Republican senators who might have pressure to get all the media, people asking them questions. There are also Democratic senators who are under pressure too. They're running for reelection in states that President Trump won and will be contesting very hard.
BAIER: Doug Jones, Alabama.
HEMINGWAY: Gary Peters in Michigan. People might be willing to split their vote with a Trump and Gary Peters. They might be less likely to split their vote if he doesn't vote the right way in their mind on impeachment. And we forget that as popular as impeachment is in the media enclaves and the coast, it's not popular in the middle of the country, particularly among independents where the votes actually matter. Democrats and Republicans have already gone to their corners, but you're fighting for people who already have quite a bit of fatigue over this, and it might not be improved by more discussion of the same.
BAIER: Wait until tomorrow when the votes on the different things, there will be many different votes, and we're going to cover it, but it's going to get -- this is not a good tease for this.
BAIER: But it's going to get a little in the weeds here during that. But one thing on the vote on witnesses, you have a vote on witnesses, but then the White House could say executive privilege for somebody like John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney. That is a different vote. It would also be a Senate vote potentially. And it's a different argument that the Republicans who vote for witnesses may vote against changing executive privilege.
MARSHALL: Absolutely. And we know when the cameras are rolling and you don't have to have reality TV on MTV to show you how people do react, and politicians are not exception to that. To Mollie's point, I won't entirely disagree, but when I look at what happened with Democrats in the House, even those where they were in very red districts where Trump is still very popular, and they were freshman and still are freshman Democrats, they still voted to impeach. So I think in the Senate they may go along more party lines both on the left and the right, regardless of people saying, look at Susan Collins. No. She talks, and then she votes with her party.
HEMINGWAY: And not a single Republican voted with Democrats on that impeachment, of course, and several Democrats did side with Republicans, which is another reason why the focus on Republicans when it was Democrats who were unable to build a coalition is interesting.
BAIER: We shall see. And there is more tea tomorrow.
Next up, the latest on the Democratic presidential race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D-MN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We get a lot of questions about, how are you going to keep running? I always tell people that I'm a mom and I can do two things at once. The three of us up here that are going back there, we may be just three of those 100 jurors, but we know we represent all of you. And our job is to bring Dr. King's spirit of justice with us.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Michael Bloomberg has already dropped $200 million. And he plans to skip the democracy part of the election. Instead it's all going to be set up for TV, run it as TV ads and make it work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Two Senator, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar getting the endorsement of "The New York Times," both of them. "The Times" saying that Warren is the standard bearer for the Democratic left, and Amy Klobuchar is the standard bearer for the Democratic center. We are back with the panel. Chris, you can't choose one?
STIREWALT: Just pitiful. I have to say, the dereliction here by "The New York Times," I think of myself still as a newspaperman, and I think that endorsements are important, but you actually have to endorse. They have special access to the candidates. They spend hour upon hour talking to the candidates. They convene their editorial board, they have these discussions. And at the end with all of their special privilege and all of their special access, they get to the end and they're afraid of offending one faction or the other of the Democratic Party, so it's very much a story of Amy Klobuchar this race. This could've been a huge boost to Amy Klobuchar's campaign, but "The Times" were chicken, and they watered down their endorsement, and it ends up being useless to everybody. This is a fail.
BAIER: If anything says the battle between the Democratic Party for the heart of the Democratic Party, this is it.
MARSHALL: I don't buy this. I really don't. I think "The New York Times" was sending a message to Bernie Sanders because they chose two women after he was accused of saying a woman couldn't beat Trump. And I don't think they're putting it out there --
STIREWALT: He's going to drop out now?
MARSHALL: He's not going to drop out, but I think that they were in a sense sticking a middle finger to the guy, I really do, because quite frankly, although Elizabeth Warren has been popular, and she's had her rise, she's been falling and Bernie has been rising, Amy Klobuchar, we were just talking off the air, she is in a sense never seems to get what's due her, which is she is a very strong moderate candidate and you just don't see those numbers that Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden gets. So I don't take this endorsement seriously because there are two, and I really do think this is about women, and I wish "The New York Times" were honest about it.
HEMINGWAY: I actually typically don't take endorsements very seriously. I don't think they affect people that much. In this case, "The New York Times" really is the house organ of the left in a way that newspapers maybe in the past would have endorsed a Republican and a Democrat, what they're doing here is trying to endorse two sides of the actual party that they represent, and they picked two people and they made their case for it. What was curious to me was that for picking Warren, they kept trashing her throughout the endorsement, which was a very weird backhanded way to handle their problems with her.
BAIER: Meantime, Joe Biden on his way to "The New York Times" was in the elevator and this video came out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you doing?
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm great. I love you. I do. You are like my favorite.
BIDEN: Thank you. Thank you so much. What's your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jaqueline (ph).
BIDEN: You got a camera? We'll take one, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Peter Hamby tweeting out, the "New York Times" video, "Biden in the elevator now has more than six times the views on Twitter than "The New York Times" opinion videos for Warren and Klobuchar combined." Chris, there is, as we can't take this off the table, the possibility that Biden wins Iowa and then wins New Hampshire, and then South Carolina falls big time to Biden, and this thing is over soon.
STIREWALT: For all the liver consuming, hair pulling, garment rendering in the Democratic Party about the differences between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and all the overheated stuff, Joe Biden just keeps winning. There is a poll out of Iowa that was out today from an agricultural group out there, Biden way ahead, looking good. The reality for Democrats is they have never been able to put a glove on Biden for real, and they've been stuck fighting with themselves, and he keeps moving along to the top.
BAIER: We shall see. We've got to wrap it up there. Thank you, panel. When we come back, a first of its kind honor for an American hero.
BAIER: Finally tonight, honoring an American hero this Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His story deserves to be a member remembered and repeated wherever our people continue to stand to watch today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: In 1941, African-American Mess Attendant Second Class Doris Miller was not allowed to operate a gun. That did not stop him from helping his fellow sailors, tending to the wounded, and returning fire against Japanese planes during the attack at Pearl Harbor. Miller was killed two years later aboard another ship. Today Miller was honored for his heroism by becoming the first African-American to have an aircraft carrier named after him on this MLK Day. Thank you for your service. The family there to celebrate. That's it for the SPECIAL REPORT, fair, balanced, and unafraid.
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