CHUCK TODD: Let me start with this: Will there be new information the public learns from these public hearings on Wednesday morning?REP. JIM HIMES: There will be new information. I suspect most of the public has not read the release transcripts. And what they’re going to hear is -- they are going to hear immensely patriotic, beautiful articulated — articulate people telling the story of a President who -- let’s forget quid pro quo; quid pro quo is one of these things to muddy the works -- who extorted a vulnerable comp -- country by holding up military aid. So yes, they are going to hear something new.And Chuck, if you’ll, if you’ll grant me one second here, my head is only now decombusting from the exchange you had with Rand Paul. I’ve spent 11 years in public service defending the press, and when Senator Rand Paul comes on and says that what Donald Trump did -- and the transcript is there -- extorting a foreign government for his personal political gain, and that’s exactly the same thing as Joe Biden, “Exactly the same thing,” is what he said, as Joe Biden saying that this prosecutor should be released. When Joe Biden is acting in consistency with American foreign policy and back then we had a whole list of things that had to be done and this was American foreign policy, it was European Union policy, it was IMF policy that this prosecutor needed to go.When Rand Paul says that that’s exactly the same thing as the president of the United States saying, “You need to find dirt on my political opponent,” and with all due respect, Chuck, when you say, “Well, do two wrongs make a right?” Let’s be very clear. The president of the United States demanding, extorting a vulnerable country to do his political bidding, to go after his opponent, has nothing to do with Joe Biden executing the foreign policy of the United States or Hillary Clinton, who is a private citizen, doing opposition research on her, on her presidential opponent. Those are radically different things. What the President did is wrong and impeachable.CHUCK TODD: Let me ask you something. You just said you think the words quid pro quo shouldn’t be used anymore. . . .REP. JIM HIMES: Well, I have two problems with quid pro quo. Number one, when you’re trying to persuade the American people of something that is really pretty simple, which is that the President acted criminally and extorted, in the way a mob boss would extort somebody, a vulnerable foreign country, it’s probably best not to use Latin words to explain it. But the other thing I object to is that this is where the Republicans went. Extortion doesn’t require a “you give me this and I’ll give you that” kind of quid pro quo. It’s simple requires using your muscle to get something that you don’t have a right to. . . . And what we’re dealing with here is corruption, abuse of power in a way that damaged American national security.
November 11, 2019 at 10:30 AM EST