Next phase of impeachment begins as process goes public
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Next phase of impeachment begins as process goes public


>>Thompson: FOR MORE ON THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, NEWSHOUR WEEKEND SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT JEFF GREENFIELD JOINS ME NOW FROM SANTA BARBARA. SO, JEFF, WE’VE HAD THIS VOTE TO FORMALIZE THE PROCEDURES. SO WHAT ARE WE GOING TO SEE NOW?>>SOMETIME IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS, WE’RE GOING TO SEE PUBLIC TELEVISED HEARINGS. WE’RE GOING TO ACTUALLY GET TO SEE THE DEPOSITIONS THAT SOME OF THE WITNESSES GAVE IN CLOSED TESTIMONY. AND THEN THE QUESTION IS, WHO ARE GOING TO SEE IN PUBLIC? WILL WE BE HEARING FROM LIEUTENANT COLONEL VINMAN, THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR ON UKRAINE WHO WAS QUITE ALARMED BY WHAT HE HEARD ON THE CALL? ARE WE GOING TO HAVE JOHN BOLTON, THE FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER WHO WAS ALSO QUITE ALARMED BY WHAT HE HEARD? HE SAID HE WILL ONLY TESTIFY IF COMPELLED TO BY A COURT. AND THEN THE QUESTION WILL BE WHO WILL REPUBLICANS TRY TO BRING ON TO ATTEMPT TO UNDERCUT THE CENTRAL STORY OF THE PRESIDENT ASKING FOR A QUID PRO QUO IN RETURN FOR MILITARY AID? SO, BUT IT IS GOING TO BE PUBLIC.>>Thompson: I MEAN, WHAT IMPACT COULD THAT HAVE? DOES THIS REPRESENT A RISK IN SOME SENSE OR AN OPPORTUNITY FOR DEMOCRATS?>>WE GET A CLUE FROM THE FACT THAT UNDER THE RULES, EACH SIDE IS GONNA HAVE 45 MINUTES OF BLOCK TIME TO PRESENT THEIR CASE AND TALK TO THEIR WITNESSES. AND THE QUESTION IS GONNA BE DONE BY STAFF ATTORNEYS, NOT BY CONGRESSMEN. AND THAT MEANS THAT THE DEMOCRATS HAVE REALIZED THAT THIS BACK AND FORTH FIVE MINUTES EACH MUDDLES THE STORY. THEY WANT A CLEAR, COHERENT STORY TO PRESENT IF IMPEACHMENT EVER COMES, AS IT PROBABLY WILL, TO A FULL VOTE. THE RISK WOULD BE IF THE REPUBLICANS CAN GET PEOPLE TO TESTIFY WHO BASICALLY SAY THIS WHOLE NARRATIVE IS EXAGGERATED OR FALSE.>>Thompson: JUST THIS MORNING, WE SAW A NEW FOX NEWS POLL COME OUT THAT SAID 49% OF VOTERS SUPPORT IMPEACHMENT. DO WE HAVE REASON TO THINK THAT SOME OF THIS PARTISANSHIP IN CONGRESS MIGHT START TO ERODE?>>I REALLY THINK THAT EVEN WITH THE SLIGHT EROSION IN SUPPORT FOR TRUMP AMONG REPUBLICANS, IT’S DOWN, BUT IT’S THE 78%. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE RISK THAT REPUBLICAN SENATORS UP FOR RE-ELECTION MAY BE TAKING, THEY MIGHT WANT TO APPEAL TO MORE MODERATE VOTERS WHO WERE LESS HAPPY ABOUT TRUMP. BUT DO THEY RISK ALIENATING THAT FIRM BASE? SO THAT PART OF THE PARTISANSHIP, I JUST THINK, IS NOT GONNA FADE, BARRING SOME MIRACLE. ONE OTHER POINT. IF THIS GETS TO A TRIAL IN THE SENATE IN JANUARY, YOU HAVE SIX DEMOCRATIC SENATORS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT WHO ARE GONNA BE, IN EFFECT, CHAINED TO THEIR DESKS JUST AS THE CLIMAX TO THE IOWA CAUCUSES IN THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY APPROACH. AND I DOUBT THAT REPUBLICAN LEADER McCONNELL IS GONNA WANT TO DO THEM ANY FAVORS. SO THAT’S ANOTHER WAY THAT PARTISANSHIP MAY PLAY A ROLE IN WHAT WE SEE.>>Thompson: NONE OF THIS IS HAPPENING IN A VACUUM, OF COURSE. I WANTED TO ASK YOU HISTORICALLY, WHEN WE LOOK AT OTHER IMPEACHMENT INQUIRIES IN THE LAST CENTURY, HOW HAVE THINGS LIKE THE ECONOMY AND APPROVAL RATINGS PLAYED A ROLE?>>ONE OF THE THINGS THAT DOOMED NIXON WAS THAT IN 1974, AS THE IMPEACHMENT WATERS WERE RISING, THE ECONOMY WAS HEADED INTO RECESSION AND THE STOCK MARKET WAS IN FREEFALL. BY CONTRAST, THE ECONOMY UNDER BILL CLINTON IN THE LATE ’90s WAS AS GOOD AS IT HAS BEEN IN THE ENTIRE 20th CENTURY. AND SO, HIS APPROVAL RATINGS, EVEN DURING IMPEACHMENT, NEVER DROPPED BELOW 60%. IN TRUMP’S CASE, HIS APPROVAL RATINGS GENERALLY ARE LOWER THAN THEY SHOULD BE GIVEN THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY. SO YOU COULD SAY THAT IF SOMETHING WERE TO TURN IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS, IF THE ECONOMY WERE REALLY TO SOUR, THAT COULD BE A REAL PROBLEM FOR TRUMP MAINTAINING THE BASE THAT HE DOES HAVE.>>Thompson: ALL RIGHT, JEFF GREENFIELD, THANK YOU SO MUCH, AS ALWAYS, FOR BEING HERE.>>NICE TO BE HERE.

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