Trump Is “Surprised” He’s Being Impeached for Ukraine Scandal: A Closer Look

-Today the House
Judiciary Committee debated two articles
of impeachment against President Trump, setting the stage for a vote
of the full House. For more on this,
it’s time for “A Closer Look.” [ Suspenseful theme plays ]
[ Cheering and applause ] Well, here we are. We’re gettin’ closer to the day
when the full House will vote on two articles
of impeachment against Trump. For three years, this moment
has somehow felt both inevitable and also impossible,
at the same time. We’ve all been in this weird
limbo where, every day, Trump does something
that makes you think, “That dude’s
gonna get impeached,” [ Laughter ]
and then, the next morning, you wake up, check your phone,
and there’s a news alert that says something like,
“Republicans Shrug Off Trump Threats
to Release Nude Pics unless France Sells Him
the Eiffel Tower.” [ Laughter, clapping ]
Then, you tune in to CNN, and, sure enough, there’s
one Republican after another, dodging reporters and literally
hiding in elevators to avoid answering questions. Republicans spent
so much time in elevators, Ted Cruz is just gonna start
showin’ up to the Senate lookin’ like a bellhop. [ Laughter, clapping ] Thanks to Trump, Republicans
in elevators react to reporters the way the rest of us react
to that weird coworker who’s always inviting you
to his DJ gigs. “Oh, [bleep], it’s Gary. [ Laughter ]
He’s gonna give me one of those flyers that says
“DJ G-Money.” [ Laughter ]
In fact, Trump, himself,
is reportedly angry that he’s being impeached,
and also, shocked! that it took
this long to get ‘im. CNN reported yesterday that, after all the scandals
he’s weathered and all the crimes
he’s been implicated in, Trump’s actually surprised
that this! This is the one that got ‘im. -We’re hearing President Trump is growing
increasingly aggravated over the likelihood
that he will be impeached. Meanwhile, a separate
Trump advisor said the president
has been preparing, in his mind, for some time,
that this moment would arrive, suspecting, for the better part
of the last year, that Democrats
would try to impeach him after taking control
of the House last year. This advisor said Mr. Trump
is somewhat taken aback, we should note,
that it’s the Ukraine scandal that is leading to this moment, leading to his impeachment
in the House. If we could put this
up onscreen. This advisor said —
and we wanna show this quote — “Frankly, I think he’s
a little surprised” — talking about the
president here — “that it’s the Ukraine
thing that’s done it.” [ Laughter ]
-That is an amazing confession. Think about that.
That’s like getting pulled over for a broken taillight
and sayin’, “Taillight?! I got, like, ten dead bodies
in my trunk! [ Laughter ]
Ain’t this a kick in the head!” [ Applause ]
But it’s true: Trump has blatantly and
repeatedly abused his powers. He obstructed justice
in the Russia probe, inflicted human rights abuses
on migrant families, profited from his office,
solicited a bribe, and paid hush money
in an illegal scheme to cover up an affair
and, on top of all that, he attacked a 16-year-old
climate activist, Greta Thunberg, simply
for trying to save the planet from an existential crisis. Trump tweeted today — today! —
“Greta must work on her Anger Management problem,
-[Murmuring] -then go to a good old fashioned
movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” [ Laughter ]
You want her to chill?! Whenever you scream,
you look like a tick that’s about to burst. [ Laughter and applause ]
I mean, look at him. He looks like a rabid possum
hissing at you for disturbing his nest. [ Laughter and applause ] Also, you are a 73-year-old man attacking a 16-year-old activist because she cares
about the environment. Think about how sad that is.
You are a husk of a man. Actually, not even. For there
to have been a husk of a man, there would’ve had to have
been a man, to begin with. You’re a husk of a husk.
You’re a Russian nesting doll of husks. [ Laughter and applause ]
And, on top of all that, -Ow!
-on top of all that, at this very moment,
Trump’s henchmen are still in the process
of committing crimes for him. His lawyer, Rudy Giuliani,
traveled to Europe and, specifically, Ukraine, to keep digging up dirt
on Trump’s political opponents. -With the heat on Rudy Giuliani
in the midst of the Ukrainian investigation,
Rudy has decided there’s no better time
for a trip to Eastern Europe, interviewing people
about Ukraine. More specifically,
working on a new project to discredit the Democrats’
case against the president. -That’s right: In the middle
of an impeachment inquiry about Ukraine, Rudy decided
to go back to Ukraine. That’s like going back
to the bank you robbed to get your Christmas card photo
taken on the security camera. [ Laughter, clapping ] Rudy also went to Ukraine
as he himself is personally under criminal investigation
for his ties to Ukraine. And one of his already
indicted henchmen, Lev Parnas, is also in even more
hot water now. Remember? These two,
Lev and his buddy Igor, you know, the guys who look like
two cab drivers from Queens fightin’ over a passenger.
[ Laughter ] [Slavic accent]
Hey, I was here first. I’m going to kill you. Okay. See you at Christmas. [ Laughter ] You are my brother. [ Laughter ] We have to say,
prosecutors asked to revoke Parnas’ bail and revealed
an incriminating detail about a large sum of money
from a foreign country and you’ll never guess which
country that money came from. -And U.S. prosecutors
are seeking to revoke bail for Lev Parnas,
an associate of Rudy Giuliani, for lying about a $1 million
payment from Russia. -That’s right, he got $1 million
from someone in Russia. The only way that
could be more suspicious is if it came in the form
of a gym bag filled with unmarked rubles
with a luggage tag that said, “V. Putin.”
[ Laughter ] It’s like all the threads
of every Trump scandal are comin’ together: Rudy,
secret money, Ukraine, Russia. I wouldn’t be surprised if,
at this point, Robert Mueller himself
came to arrest Trump, tore off his mask,
and revealed that he was Stormy Daniels the whole time. [ Laughter, oohing ]
Now, usually — usually — Republicans are able
to dodge questions about all this
by hiding in elevators. That’s one of the many reasons these public impeachment
hearings have been so valuable: Republicans have been
forced to sit there and confront the evidence
in plain sight and we’ve all been able to see,
in real time, that they have no defense;
they have nothing. That’s why, for example,
so many of them talk so fast. They’re hoping you can’t
make out any of the words because they know what
they’re saying is bull[bleep]. -“Ambassador Taylor recalled
that Mr. Morrison told Ambassador Taylor
that I told Mr. Morrison that I conveyed this message
to Mr. Yermak on September 1, 2019,
in connection with Vice President Pence’s
visit to Warsaw.” They forget the fact
the two guys on the call, President Trump
and President Zelensky, have said repeatedly
there was no pressure, no linkage, no pushing.
[inhales] They forget the fact
Ukraine didn’t know aid was held at the time of the
call and they forget the fact, most important, they did nothing
to get the aid released, no announcement of any type
of investigation. -He sounds like the narrator at the end of a drug commercial,
warning you about the side effects.
[ Laughter ] [as Jordan] Impeachment
may cause fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea,
blurry vision, and, of course, loss of balance. [ Laughter ] These guys don’t have
any actual argument. So they just speed through
a string of right-wing buzzwords as fast as possible and hope it
sounds like a coherent sentence. But, sometimes, even they get confused
by their own bull[bleep], like the time Lindsey Graham
tried to attack the motives of Trump’s handpicked
ambassador Gordon Sondland, the guy who gave $1 million
to Trump’s inaugural committee, who said, unequivocally,
under oath, that there was
a quid pro quo with Ukraine and who pulled a “Fleabag”
in this photo, where he looked directly
into the camera during his hearing. [ Laughter ]
That’s fantastic. That looks like
the post-credits scene from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” [ Laughter ] Well, Graham tried to claim, on Fox News, that Sondland was somehow working with the
Democrats on the committee and that the Ukrainian company
Hunter Biden worked for, which was called Burisma,
deserved to be investigated and, yet,
Graham couldn’t pronounce either the name Burisma
or the name Sondland. -There was concern that
the prosecutor was getting too close to Hunter Biden, that people from Bearmoosa,
whatever the name [ Laughter ]
of the company, a conversation with Sunderland. Now, here’s a question: Why did Sunderland
change his testimony? Was there a connection
between Sunderland and Democratic operatives
on the committee? It makes me incredil–
incredibly suspicious. Why did Sunderland
change his mind? -I don’t know.
Why did you change his name to Sunderland? [ Laughter ] It’s like when your dad
tries to text you about a movie he just saw, but can’t remember any
of the names. “I like that actor.
What’s his name? Leonardo DeCrapio?” [ Laughter ] We’ve seen this
in hearing after hearing. Republicans just ramble
nonsensically because it’s their only tactic. All the evidence is there
as Democrats laid out in their speeches
during the Judiciary Committee’s markup hearing on Wednesday
night and again this morning. -President Donald J. Trump
wielded the enormous powers of the presidency to cheat
in the 2020 election. -We must hold
this president accountable for corrupting our democracy. -The ongoing pattern of this
president’s abuse of power his obstruction
of investigations, refusing to turn over
even one document. -In this scheme, Donald Trump
was not an incidental player. He was the central player. -The president was the first
and best witness in this case. The president is
the smoking gun. -It’s true:
Trump is the smoking gun and, much like a gun,
his brain is only capable of holding six words at a time. [ Laughter ] Republicans have
no coherent defense, so they just have
to make stuff up and, in some cases, I mean, they’re literally
making up words. Today, during the
Judiciary Committee debate, the ranking member,
Doug Collins, complained, once again,
about the impeachment process, which is both
in the Constitution and has been open to the public, and Collins seemed
to make up a word. -It is a amazing, though,
to hear, now, they’ve gotten really sensitive about process
on the majority side. When we actually pointed out
the tragedy and the travesty of being a rubber stamp
in the committee and the gentleman from Florida
has brought out a couple things. But let me just remind. As he
said, just a few minutes ago, the White House
could’ve seen everything. No. It’s just like
everything else. It all goes to the whim
and the whimber of the chairman
and the majority. -The whim and the whimber
sounds like the name of a Russian soap opera
about Lev and Igor. [ Laughter ] Republicans keep insisting
that Trump was just worried about corruption, in general,
and that he wasn’t demanding an investigation into his
political rival Joe Biden, even though Trump mentioned
the Bidens by name on his infamous phone call,
multiple times. So, that argument
is obviously ridiculous. This whole thing was all about
Joe Biden and the Democrats. Trump and Republicans had full control of the
government for two years and didn’t say a word
about corruption in Ukraine until Biden announced
his candidacy and denying that basic fact
makes you look ridiculous, which is what happened to Republican lawyer
Steve Castor at the Judiciary hearing
on Monday, when he tried to claim
that Joe Biden was not a front-runner
in the presidential race. -Sir, would you agree
that Joe Biden was a leading
Democratic contender to face President Trump in 2020? -I wouldn’t agree with that. -You disagree with it. So, sir, it’s your testimony
-Too early. [ Laughter ]
-that President Trump
did not view President Biden to be
a legitimate contender, is that correct?
-I don’t know what
President Trump believed or didn’t believe,
but it’s too early. -Sir, as part of your inquiry,
did you determine whether President Trump tweeted, at all, about former
Vice President Joe Biden between January and July 25th,
and how many times? -I didn’t look at Twitter. I try to stay
off Twitter, lately. [ Laughter ]
[Castor] I know. I don’t get my news on Twitter. I keep all my information
right here in my grocery bag. [ Laughter ] I’ve got some old shoes
I’m takin’ to Goodwill and… [ Laughter ] got some trail mix that I made.
Uh. [ Laughter ]
Oh, here’s that Metro card. I found my Metro card, you guys.
[ Laughter ] Republicans seem to believe
that, if you disagree with them, you are illegitimate,
that the process of holding a lawless
president responsible for his abuses of power
is illegitimate and that Trump and his cohorts
are simply above the law. And so, as the House prepares
to pass articles of impeachment and move to a trial
in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, who chairs
the Judiciary Committee in the Senate,
has said he has one goal: to end the trial
as quickly as possible without even calling witnesses. -My goal is to end this
as soon as possible, for the good of the country,
because I think it’s a danger to the presidency
to legitimize this. -A couple things here, then. Does that mean
no witnesses at all? -I don’t need
any witnesses at all. -Okay. And then —
-I am ready to go. -In terms of time,
-[Chuckle] -is it a week, is it two weeks,
is it a month, what is it? -It’s closer to a week,
for sure. -A week?!
You wanna call zero witnesses and hold the trial in a week! Most trials take forever. Roger Stone’s trial
took so long, it started in the 18th century.
Look at that! [ Laughter ] That’s his actual outfit
from the inauguration. He looks like he got arrested
for carjacking the Hindenberg. [ Laughter, clapping ] We now finally have
two articles of impeachment awaiting a full House vote,
which will likely make Trump the third president
in history to be impeached. Republicans have no defense. All they can do is
accuse Democrats of following… -The whim and the whimber. [ Laughter ]
-This has been “A Closer Look.” ♪♪
[ Cheering and applause ]


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