Larry C. Johnson: Did John Brennan’s CIA Create Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks?

Guest post by Larry C. Johnson

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report insists that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were created by Russia’s military intelligence organization, the GRU, as part of a Russian plot to meddle in the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election. But this is a lie.

Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were created by Brennan’s CIA and this action by the CIA should be a target of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation. Let me explain why.

Let us start with the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment aka ICA. Only three agencies of the 17 in the U.S. intelligence community contributed to and coordinated on the ICA–the FBI, the CIA and NSA. In the preamble to the ICA, you can read the following explanation about methodology:

When Intelligence Community analysts use words such as “we assess” or “we judge,” they are conveying an analytic assessment or judgment

To be clear, the phrase,“We assess”, is intel community jargon for “opinion”. If there was actual evidence or source material for a judgment the writer of the assessment would state, “According to a reliable source” or “knowledgeable source” or “documentary evidence.”

Pay close attention to what the analysts writing the ICA stated about the GRU and Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks:

We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and WikiLeaks to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets.

    • Guccifer 2.0, who claimed to be an independent Romanian hacker, made multiple contradictory statements and false claims about his likely Russian identity throughout the election. Press reporting suggests more than one person claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 interacted with journalists.
    • Content that we assess was taken from e-mail accounts targeted by the GRU in March 2016 appeared on DCLeaks.com starting in June.

We assess with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks. Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity. Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.

Not one piece of corroborating intelligence. It is all based on opinion and strong belief. There was no human source report or electronic intercept pointing to a relationship between the GRU and the two alleged creations of the GRU–Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com.

Now consider the spin that Robert Mueller put on this opinion in his report on possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Mueller bluffs the unsuspecting reader into believing that it is a proven fact that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were Russian assets. But he is relying on a mere opinion from a handpicked group of intel analysts working under the direction of then CIA Director John Brennan.

Here’s Mueller’s take (I apologize for the lengthy quote but it is important that you read how the Mueller team presents this):

DCLeaks

“The GRU began planning the releases at least as early as April 19, 2016, when Unit 26165 registered the domain dcleaks.com through a service that anonymized the registrant.137 Unit 26165 paid for the registration using a pool of bitcoin that it had mined.138 The dcleaks.com landing page pointed to different tranches of stolen documents, arranged by victim or subject matter. Other dcleaks.com pages contained indexes of the stolen emails that were being released (bearing the sender, recipient, and date of the email). To control access and the timing of releases, pages were sometimes password-protected for a period of time and later made unrestricted to the public.


Starting in June 2016, the GRU posted stolen documents onto the website dcleaks.com, including documents stolen from a number of individuals associated with the Clinton Campaign. These documents appeared to have originated from personal email accounts (in particular, Google and Microsoft accounts), rather than the DNC and DCCC computer networks. DCLeaks victims included an advisor to the Clinton Campaign, a former DNC employee and Clinton Campaign employee, and four other campaign volunteers.139 The GRU released through dcleaks.com thousands of documents, including personal identifying and financial information, internal correspondence related to the“Clinton Campaign and prior political jobs, and fundraising files and information.140


GRU officers operated a Facebook page under the DCLeaks moniker, which they primarily used to promote releases of materials.141 The Facebook page was administered through a small number of preexisting GRU-controlled Facebook accounts.142


GRU officers also used the DCLeaks Facebook account, the Twitter account @dcleaks__, and the email account dcleaksproject@gmail.com to communicate privately with reporters and other U.S. persons. GRU officers using the DCLeaks persona gave certain reporters early access to archives of leaked files by sending them links and passwords to pages on the dcleaks.com website that had not yet become public. For example, on July 14, 2016, GRU officers operating under the DCLeaks persona sent a link and password for a non-public DCLeaks webpage to a U.S. reporter via the Facebook account.143 Similarly, on September 14, 2016, GRU officers sent reporters Twitter direct messages from @dcleaks_, with a password to another non-public part of the dcleaks.com website.144


The dcleaks.com website remained operational and public until March 2017.”

Guccifer 2.0

On June 14, 2016, the DNC and its cyber-response team announced the breach of the DNC network and suspected theft of DNC documents. In the statements, the cyber-response team alleged that Russian state-sponsored actors (which they referred to as “Fancy Bear”) were responsible for the breach.145 Apparently in response to that announcement, on June 15, 2016, GRU officers using the persona Guccifer 2.0 created a WordPress blog. In the hours leading up to the launch of that WordPress blog, GRU officers logged into a Moscow-based server used and managed by Unit 74455 and searched for a number of specific words and phrases in English, including “some hundred sheets,” “illuminati,” and “worldwide known.” Approximately two hours after the last of those searches, Guccifer 2.0 published its first post, attributing the DNC server hack to a lone Romanian hacker and using several of the unique English words and phrases that the GRU officers had searched for that day.146

That same day, June 15, 2016, the GRU also used the Guccifer 2.0 WordPress blog to begin releasing to the public documents stolen from the DNC and DCCC computer networks.

The Guccifer 2.0 persona ultimately released thousands of documents stolen from the DNC and DCCC in a series of blog posts between June 15, 2016 and October 18, 2016.147 Released documents included opposition research performed by the DNC (including a memorandum analyzing potential criticisms of candidate Trump), internal policy documents (such as recommendations on how to address politically sensitive issues), analyses of specific congressional races, and fundraising documents. Releases were organized around thematic issues, such as specific states (e.g., Florida and Pennsylvania) that were perceived as competitive in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


Beginning in late June 2016, the GRU also used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to release documents directly to reporters and other interested individuals. Specifically, on June 27, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 sent an email to the news outlet The Smoking Gun offering to provide “exclusive access to some leaked emails linked [to] Hillary Clinton’s staff.”148 The GRU later sent the reporter a password and link to a locked portion of the dcleaks.com website that contained an archive of emails stolen by Unit 26165 from a Clinton Campaign volunteer in March 2016.149 “That the Guccifer 2.0 persona provided reporters access to a restricted portion of the DCLeaks website tends to indicate that both personas were operated by the same or a closely-related group of people.150

The GRU continued its release efforts through Guccifer 2.0 into August 2016. For example, on August 15, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona sent a candidate for the U.S. Congress documents related to the candidate’s opponent.151 On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona transferred approximately 2.5 gigabytes of Florida-related data stolen from the DCCC to a U.S. blogger covering Florida politics.152 On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona sent a U.S. reporter documents stolen from the DCCC pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement.153”

Wow. Sounds pretty convincing. The documents referencing communications by DCLeaks or Guccifer 2.0 with Wikileaks are real. What is not true is that these entities were GRU assets.

Democrats’ push to impeach Trump is just the latest chapter of US Civil War 2.0

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By Robert Bridge

The US is more divided today than at any time since the historic war between North and South, and whether or not the Democrats vote to impeach Trump, Americans won’t be spared a political storm looming on the horizon.

Today, millions of Washington watchers around the world are asking the same question: What happens if the Democrats go ahead and bring articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump? The answer is twofold, and just might be the shortest story ever told: At first nothing, and then, everything. The end.

The reason nothing will happen immediately requires no degree in political science to appreciate. Should the Democrats commit the mother of all political screw-ups by voting to impeach Trump, all on the basis of hearsay, gossip and maybe reading tea leaves, the circus moves next door to the Senate, where Republicans hold a majority. This is where House efforts to impeach Trump will inevitably smack into a brick wall and disintegrate.

That much was made clear earlier this week when Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded to call current and former White House officials to appear on the witness stand for stage two of the Democratic show trials. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was having none of it.

“I’m not an impartial juror,” McConnell retorted to applause from Senators, many of whom were thwarted in their own efforts to call witnesses and ask questions when the Democrats controlled the hearings. “This is a political process,” he added.

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So, if the inevitable prospect of certain defeat in the Senate won’t stop the Democratic impeachment train, then maybe the knowledge that the majority of Americans oppose their plans will make them reconsider, right? Think again. Not even a USA Today/Suffolk University poll, which shows that Americans oppose by 51-45% any effort by the Senate to remove Trump, up from October when the margin was 47-46%, has deterred the Democrats from their witch hunt.

Trump practically thanked the Democrats for the early Christmas gift when he said impeachment is “a very sad thing for our country, but it seems to be very good for me politically.” Indeed it has been. If elections were held today, Trump would likely emerge victorious against any of his Democratic rivals.

With regards to the economy, Wall Street appears to be on steroids, smashing records almost weekly. All of this points to smooth sailing for Trump up to the 2020 presidential elections.

Despite things looking favorably, Trump is not out of the woods just yet. The reason is because the Democrats, due to their chummy relationship with the media, are still able to control the narrative. That much is clear considering how House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff has been dominating the impeachment proceedings without much criticism from the press. The initial impeachment inquiry was held without transparency in the dank basement of Congress, far away from public scrutiny. He also staunchly refused to release the identity of the so-called whistleblower, who is alleged to have heard secondhand information about the now-famous call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

However, since any impeachment trial promises to be a major televised event, the Democrats will not be able to leak to the media their handpicked breadcrumbs of information. Everything will be out in the open and discussed 24/7.

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How to explain the Democrat obsession with removing Trump?

First, the Democrats’ chances of removing Trump from office are somewhere between zero and none, and they are certainly aware of that fact. Second, impeachment is proving unpopular with the majority of Americans, and that must be particularly worrisome in a major election season. Finally, the Democrats risk throwing their top presidential contender, Joe Biden, under the bus by their efforts.

Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans will certainly investigate how Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, for example, had come to serve on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, reportedly being paid up to $50,000 a month despite having no experience in the Ukrainian energy sector. No less interesting is the fact that Joe Biden essentially forced Ukraine to fire its prosecutor general as a precondition for releasing $1 billion dollars in US aid. In the event that Ukrainian officials are called to testify in the Senate during the impeachment trial, it could turn out to be very ugly for the Biden clan.

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Considering that the Democrats have absolutely nothing to gain by trying to impeach Trump, another possible motive must be considered, which is that the Democrats are desperately trying to protect themselves. Unknown to many, high-level Democrats, intelligence officers, and former White House officials have been under investigation for many months by Attorney General Will Barr and federal prosecutor John Durham. The reason has little to do with Ukraine, and everything to do with Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp.

In a nutshell, Barr and Dunham will soon be releasing their highly anticipated attorney general’s report, which will determine whether the FBI had submitted false documents for obtaining a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump administration in 2016. The word ‘treason’ is even being whispered on Capitol Hill. The investigation involves a mind boggling array of top characters who played a role in creating the Steele Dossier (home of the famous pee tape), a largely debunked ‘intelligence’ document that ultimately failed to prove a link between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Last week, after Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a preliminary report that shows the FBI committed numerous mistakes in applying for the FISA warrant, including falsifying a document, former FBI Director James Comey back-pedaled on his earlier claims that the FBI had acted appropriately. “I was wrong. I was overconfident in our procedures. It’s important that a leader be accountable and transparent,” he told Chris Wallace of Fox News.

But that is not the end of the story. Not by a long shot.

Durham, who has had access to foreign governments and US intelligence agencies not available to Horowitz, played down the IG report, suggesting fireworks down the road when he commented “last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.

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Needless to say, Barr and Durham’s report has got a lot of people in high places very nervous. This could make the impeachment process a top priority in that it provides cover and would look as if Trump were attacking the Democrats simply out of rage if he acts. Clearly, the Democrats, with their groundless Russiagate theories and now an impeachment scandal, are desperately trying to buy time to avoid their own impending doom.

In other words, there is a real civil war taking place behind the scenes in Washington, and Trump’s impeachment is just one small part of the action. What is happening now in Washington DC between the Republicans and Democrats is just mere dress rehearsal for far more disasters down the road.

I just hope the costumes don’t end up being blue and gray, once again.

 

SEX CRIME – Former Bill Clinton Pilot Charged with Aggravated Child Molestation, Sodomy and Statutory Rape

The rabbit hole goes deep.

By Shane Trejo – 11/22/2019

Steven Robert Setzer, a former U.S. Marine Corps pilot who once escorted former President Bill Clinton on the crew of the Marine One, is facing years in prison after being hit with child sex charges.

Setzer was put behind bars in May with sexual exploitation of a minor, sodomy, enticing a child for indecent purposes, statutory rape, and aggravated child molestation. He has been forced to shut down his aircraft charter company, Strategic Moves, due to loss of clients after his incarceration.

On Thursday, WBTV in Rowan County, NC broke the news of Setzer’s arrest and associated charges. This report was only revealed due to the shuttering of Setzer’s company, an entire six months after Setzer was accused of the heinous victimization of minors.

Strategic Moves made the announcement that they were shuttering on their website: “Thank you for your patronage and loyalty over the last 15 years as clients of Strategic Moves. Strategic Moves has discontinued operations as of 10/31/2019. Many of our clients have transitioned to Davinci Jets who are capable and excited to provide an excellent level of service.”

According to Setzer’s biography, he learned quite a bit while helping Clinton jetset throughout the world. Setzer claimed that he learned precise attention to detail, which assisted him in being able to achieve excellence for the VIPs who obtained his services. One can only wonder what details Slick Willy wanted Setzer to handle while they were aboard the Marine One.

Setzer is not the only cretin with whom Clinton has shared an aircraft. Clinton was among the most high-profile companions of deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein aboard his infamous “Lolita Express.” Clinton is one of the powerful individuals who allegedly participated in Epstein’s illicit child sex trafficking network.

Big League Politics reported earlier this year on how Clinton had flown on the “Lolita Express” during on least 26 separate occasions:

One man who might be particularly concerned is former President Bill Clinton, who reportedly traveled on Epstein’s infamous ‘Lolita Express’ on a stunning 26 separate occasions.

Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s alleged child victims, claims she saw Clinton herself while traveling to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Travel logs reviewed by Fox News indicate that Clinton traveled aboard Epstein’s jet to assorted locales such as Russia, Africa, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, the Azores, China, New York, Norway and Belgium.

Clinton also brought up to 10 secret service agents on board the plane with him while traveling on the Lolita Express, providing federal protection to Epstein’s illicit operation.

Epstein received a slap on the wrist when he was last brought to trial in 2008, after the federal government refused to charge him, only having to serve 13 months of confinement in the Palm Beach County stockade with work release that is usually barred for sex offenders.

The list of sexual predators and abusers connected to Democratic Party politics is seemingly limitless. It turns out that the swamp runs deeper than anyone could have imagined.

Nadler: “Possibility” Senate Will Vote To Remove Trump From Office

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/11/08/nadler_possibility_senate_will_vote_to_remove_trump_from_office.html?jwsource=cl

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Posted By Ian Schwartz
On Date November 8, 2019

In an interview on Thursday night on MSNBC, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) told host Chris Hayes there is a “possibility” that the Senate will remove President Trump from office given the results of the off-year elections earlier this week.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Do you see the process as possibly ending in the removal of the president of the United States? Is that a live possibility in your mind?

 

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): I think it is a possibility. I don’t know how to estimate the possibility, but I would certainly say it’s not a zero possibility. … I think it’s possible, depending how strong the evidence is, and depending on other political considerations, that maybe the Senate will act to remove the president. But I’m not going to give an estimate, and I can’t estimate that, but I will say I don’t think it’s a zero possibility. That’s a very cynical view that it’s a zero possibility. I also, to be political about it, I think some Republican senators may take a look at the election results the other day and start thinking, maybe I should be a little more fair and not dismissive.

Hillary Clinton Pitches Conspiracy Theory That Tulsi Gabbard, Jill Stein Are Russian Assets

By Tyler Durden

Hillary Clinton is still peddling election-related conspiracy theories, this time hinting that 2020 Democratic contender Tulsi Gabbard is being ‘groomed’ to split the Democratic vote as a third party candidate, thus handing the election to President Trump. 

Speaking with former Obama 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe on his podcast, “Campaign HQ with David Plouffe,” Clinton said – without mentioning Gabbard by name: “I’m not making any predictions but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians.” 

Of course, that’s “assuming Jill Stein will give it up – because she’s also a Russian asset,” Clinton continued.

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Earlier in the interview, Clinton hinted that the Trump 2020 campaign is still in “contact with the Russians,” and that “we have to assume that since it worked for them, why would they quit?” 

“Donald Trump is Vladimir Putin’s dream,” Clinton added. “I don’t know what Putin has on him – whether its both personal and financial, I assume it is. But more than that, there’s this bizarre adulation Trump has for dictators.” 

Clinton also insisted that Russia “did affect the outcome of the election” in 2016, despite the DOJ concluding otherwise.

Incredible!

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WATCH: GOP Rep. Andy Biggs DENIED ACCESS to Schiff’s “Secret Chamber” Where He is Running Unauthorized Impeachment Inquiry

Screen Shot 2019-10-16 at 3.25.51 PM

 

Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) said Wednesday he was denied access to House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff’s “secret chamber” where he is running his unauthorized sham impeachment inquiry.

“I was just denied access to Adam Schiff’s secret chamber where he is running the unauthorized impeachment inquiry of President Trump,” Biggs said shortly before he called for Adam Schiff to be condemned and censured. Over 160 members of Congress have co-sponsored Biggs’ motion to censure Schiff.

“Chairman Schiff and Speaker Pelosi are intentionally running Soviet-style hearings to deprive the American people of representation,” he added.

Rep. Biggs told a gaggle of reporters that Pelosi and Schiff are running ‘Soviet style’ impeachment hearings to block Minority members of the House of Representatives from sitting in and listening to testimonies.

To further add to the secrecy surrounding the testimonies, Biggs said the Democrats won’t even release to the GOP representatives the transcripts from the hearings.

If the full House were to vote on the impeachment inquiry, it would give every member of the House access to the hearings — this is one of the reasons why Pelosi refuses to bring the vote to the House floor.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) confirmed to her Democrat Caucus on Tuesday that there will be no formal floor vote to officially launch an impeachment probe against President Trump.

Fox News host Sean Hannity said it’s because Pelosi simply doesn’t have the votes to support her impeachment probe.

FBI Employees Conducted 3.1 Million Questionable and Illicit Searches, Including Searches on US Citizens in 2017-2018

 

According to a new declassified ruling FBI employees abused NSA mass surveillance data in 2017 and 2018. In 2017 FBI employees conducted over 3.1 million searches from the NSA database including searching activities of US citizens.

Under current FBI rules surveillance data can only be searched if there is reasonable suspicion of crimes having taken place or clear risks to national security. But FBI employees and even contractors were searching the database to see what information they could find on U.S. citizens.

The bureau is OUT OF CONTROL!

CPO Magazine reported:

According to a new declassified ruling from the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), FBI personnel systematically abused National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance data in both 2017 and 2018. The 138-page ruling, which dates back to October 2018, was only unsealed 12 months later in October 2019. It offers a rare look at how the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been abusing the constitutional privacy rights of U.S. citizens with alarming regularity. The court ruling is also a stinging rebuke to the FBI’s overreach of its ability to search surveillance intelligence databases.

Key elements of the FISA court ruling

The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, itself a super-secret court that traditionally approves each and every request of law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, found that employees of the FBI searched data collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in an inappropriate and potentially unconstitutional manner. These abuses, says the FISA court, included accessing NSA surveillance data to look into the online communications of U.S. citizens, including fellow FBI employees and their family members. All told, there may have been tens of thousands of these improper queries, all of them carried out without any reasonable suspicion of a crime or illegal activity posing a risk to national security. Moreover, many of the FBI’s backdoor searches did not differentiate between U.S. citizens and foreign intelligence targets.

In 2017 alone, the FBI conducted over 3.1 million searches of surveillance data, compared to just 7,500 combined searches by the CIA and NSA. This is particularly troubling because, under current FBI operating procedures, this surveillance data can only be searched if there is reasonable suspicion of crimes having taken place or clear risks to national security. And, yet, FBI employees and FBI contractors were at times searching the database to see what information they could find on U.S. citizens not at all connected to foreign intelligence matters.

The FBI and deep state operatives were also spying on the Trump family, the Trump administration and conservatives during this same time period.

Pelosi Informs Democrat Caucus There Will NOT be Formal Floor Vote to Launch Impeachment Probe – It’s a Scam!

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) confirmed to her Democrat Caucus on Tuesday that there will be no formal floor vote to officially launch an impeachment probe against President Trump.

Fox News Congress reporter Chad Pergram and Congress writer for The Hill Scott Wong both confirmed Pelosi has no plans to hold a full House vote.

Rather, Pelosi and her fellow Democrat coup plotters are moving full steam ahead with secret impeachment proceedings ‘to keep President Trump and his lawyers in the dark,’ as Adam Schiff previously stated.

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House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) admitted on Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the reason for holding secret testimonies behind closed doors is to keep President Trump and his lawyers in the dark.

And so Schiff can selectively leak to the media…

The crooked Democrats on Tuesday changed the rules again in their sham impeachment inquiry.

The Dems shifted the closed-door interviews to depositions in order to limit the questioning to one attorney per round.

Another reason why Pelosi won’t hold a full House vote on the floor is because she will expose vulnerable red-state Democrats who are up for a tough reelection in 2020 — Pelosi knows the majority of Americans do no support impeachment.

Furthermore, the Dems are able to block the Minority members from issuing subpoenas and questioning witnesses.

 

Democratic Presidential Candidates On Impeaching Trump At CNN/NYT Debate

Posted By Ian Schwartz

CNN: The 2020 presidential candidates comment on the impeachment inquiry at the CNN/New York Times debate in Westerville, Ohio.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN MODERATOR: Since the last debate, House Democrats have officially launched an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, which all the candidates on this stage support.  Senator Warren, I want to start with you.  You have said that there’s already enough evidence for President Trump to be impeached and removed from office.  But the question is, with the election only one year away, why shouldn’t it be the voters who determine the president’s fate?

WARREN:  Because sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics.  And I think that’s the case with this impeachment inquiry.

When I made the decision to run for president, I certainly didn’t think it was going to be about impeachment.  But when the Mueller report came out, I read it, all 442 pages.  And when I got to the end, I realized that Mueller had shown, too, a fare-thee-well, that this president had obstructed justice and done it repeatedly.  And so at that moment, I called for opening an impeachment inquiry.

Now, that didn’t happen.  And look what happened as a result.  Donald Trump broke the law again in the summer, broke it again this fall.  You know, we took a constitutional oath, and that is that no one is above the law, and that includes the president of the United States.

Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences.  This is about Donald Trump, but, understand, it’s about the next president and the next president and the next president and the future of this country.  The impeachment must go forward.

COOPER:  Thank you, Senator Warren.  You’re all going to get in on this, by the way.  Senator Sanders, do Democrats have any chance but to impeach President Trump?  Please respond.

SANDERS:  No, they don’t.  In my judgment, Trump is the most corrupt president in the history of this country.  It’s not just that he obstructed justice with the Mueller Report.  I think that the House will find him guilty of — worthy of impeachment because of the emoluments clause.  This is a president who is enriching himself while using the Oval Office to do that, and that is outrageous.

And I think in terms of the recent Ukrainian incident, the idea that we have a president of the United States who is prepared to hold back national security money to one of our allies in order to get dirt on a presidential candidate is beyond comprehension.  So I look forward, by the way, not only to a speedy and expeditious impeachment process, but Mitch McConnell has got to do the right thing and allow a free and fair trial in the Senate.

COOPER:  Vice President Biden, during the Clinton impeachment proceedings, you said, and I quote, “The American people don’t think that they’ve made a mistake by electing Bill Clinton, and we in Congress had better be very careful before we upset their decision.”  With the country now split, have Democrats been careful enough in pursuing the impeachment of President Trump?

BIDEN:  Yes, they have.  I said from the beginning that if, in fact, Trump continued to stonewall what the Congress is entitled to know about his background, what he did, all the accusations in the Mueller Report, if they did that, they would have no choice — no choice — but to begin an impeachment proceeding, which gives them more power to seek more information.

This president — and I agree with Bernie, Senator Sanders — is the most corrupt president in modern history and I think all of our history.  And the fact is that this president of the United States has gone so far as to say, since this latest event, that, in fact, he will not cooperate in any way at all, will not list any witnesses, will not provide any information, will not do anything to cooperate with the impeachment.  They have no choice but to move.

COOPER:  Senator Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that members of Congress have to be, in her words, fair to the president and give him a chance to exonerate himself.  You’ve already said that based on everything you’ve seen, you would vote to remove him from office.  Is that being fair to the president?

HARRIS:  Well, it’s just being observant, because he has committed crimes in plain sight.  I mean, it’s shocking, but he told us who he was.  Maya Angelou told us years ago, listen to somebody when they tell you who they are the first time.

During that election, Donald Trump told us he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.  And he has consistently since he won been selling out the American people.  He’s been selling out working people.  He’s been selling out our values.  He’s been selling out national security.  And on this issue with Ukraine, he has been selling out our democracy.

Our framers imagined this moment, a moment where we would have a corrupt president.  And our framers then rightly designed our system of democracy to say there will be checks and balances.  This is one of those moments.  And so Congress must act.

But the reality of it is that I don’t really think this impeachment process is going to take very long, because as a former prosecutor, I know a confession when I see it.  And he did it in plain sight.  He has given us the evidence.  And he tried to cover it up, putting it in that special server.  And there’s been a clear consciousness of guilt.  This will not take very long.  Donald Trump needs to be held accountable.  He is, indeed, the most corrupt and unpatriotic president we have ever had.

COOPER:  Senator Booker, you have said that President Trump’s, quote, “moral vandalism” disqualifies him from being president.  Can you be fair in an impeachment trial?  Please respond.

BOOKER:  So, first of all, we must be fair.  We are talking about ongoing proceedings to remove a sitting president for office.  This has got to be about patriotism and not partisanship.

Look, I share the same sense of urgency of everybody on this stage.  I understand the outrage that we all feel.  But we have to conduct this process in a way that is honorable, that brings our country together, doesn’t rip us apart.

Anybody who has criticisms about a process that is making all the facts bare before the American public, that works to build consensus, that’s what this nation needs, in what is a moral moment and not a political one.  So I swore an oath to do my job as a senator, do my duty.  This president has violated his.  I will do mine.

COOPER:  Thank you, Senator Booker.

Senator Klobuchar, you have — what do you say to those who fear that impeachment is a distraction from issues that impact people’s day-to-day lives, health care, the economy, and could backfire on Democrats?

KLOBUCHAR:  We can do two things at once.  That’s our job.  We have a constitutional duty to pursue this impeachment, but we also can stand up for America, because this president has not been putting America in front of his own personal interests.

He has not been standing up for the workers of Ohio.  He’s not been standing up for the farmers in Iowa.  And I take this even a step further.  You know, when he made that call to the head of Ukraine, he’s digging up dirt on an opponent.  That’s illegal conduct.  That’s what he was doing.  He didn’t talk to him about the Russian invasion.  He talked to him about that.

So I’m still waiting to find out from him how making that call to the head of Ukraine and trying to get him involved in interfering in our election makes America great again.  I’d like to hear from him about how leaving the Kurds for slaughter, our allies for slaughter, where Russia then steps in to protect them, how that makes America great again.  And I would like to hear from him about how coddling up to Vladimir Putin makes America great again.

It doesn’t make America great again.  It makes Russia great again.  And that is what this president has done.  So whether it is workers’ issues, whether it is farmers’ issues, he has put his own private interests…

COOPER:  Thank you.

KLOBUCHAR:  … and I will not do that.

COOPER:  Thank you.  Secretary Castro, is impeachment a distraction?

CASTRO:  Not at all.  We can walk and chew gun at the same time.  And all of us are out there every single day talking about what we’re going to do to make sure that more people cross a graduation stage, that more families have great health care, that more folks are put to work in places like Ohio, where Donald Trump has broken his promises, because Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania actually in the latest jobs data have lost jobs, not gained them.

Not only that, what we have to recognize is that not only did the Mueller Report point out 10 different instances where the president obstructed justice or tried to, and he made that call to President Zelensky of the Ukraine, but he is in ongoingly — in an ongoing way violating his oath of office and abusing his power.

We have to impeach this president.  And the majority of Americans not only support impeachment, they support removal.  He should be removed.

COOPER:  Mayer Buttigieg, you have said that impeachment should be bipartisan.  There’s been, obviously, very little Republican support to date, yet Democrats are proceeding.  Is that a mistake?

BUTTIGIEG:  Well, it’s a mistake on the part of Republicans, who enable the president whose actions are as offensive to their own supposed values as they are to the values that we all share.

Look, the president has left the Congress with no choice.  And this is not just about holding the president accountable, for not just the things emerging in these investigations, but actions that he has confessed to on television.  It’s also about the presidency itself, because a president 10 years or 100 years from now will look back at this moment and draw the conclusion either that no one is above the law or that a president can get away with anything.

But everyone on this stage, by definition, is competing to be a president for after the Trump presidency.  Remember, one way or the other, this presidency is going to come to an end.  I want you to picture what it’s going to be like, what it’s actually going to feel like in this country the first day the sun comes up after Donald Trump has been president.

It starts out feeling like a happy thought; this particular brand of chaos and corruption will be over.  But really think about where we’ll be:  vulnerable, even more torn apart by politics than we are right now.  And these big issues from the economy to climate change have not taken a vacation during the impeachment process.

I’m running to be the president who can turn the page and unify a dangerously polarized country while tackling those issues that are going to be just as urgent then as they are now.

COOPER:  Thank you, Mr. Mayor.  Congresswoman Gabbard, you’re the only sitting House member on this stage.  How do you respond?

GABBARD:  If impeachment is driven by these hyperpartisan interests, it will only further divide an already terribly divided country.  Unfortunately, this is what we’re already seen play out as calls for impeachment really began shortly after Trump won his election.  And as unhappy as that may make us as Democrats, he won that election in 2016.

The serious issues that have been raised around this phone call that he had with the president of Ukraine and many other things that transpired around that are what caused me to support the inquiry in the House.  And I think that it should continue to play its course out, to gather all the information, provide that to the American people, recognizing that that is the only way forward.

If the House votes to impeach, the Senate does not vote to remove Donald Trump, he walks out and he feels exonerated, further deepening the divides in this country that we cannot afford.

COOPER:  Thank you, Congresswoman.

Mr. Steyer, you’ve been calling for impeachment for two years.  Does there need to be bipartisan support?

STEYER:  Well, Anderson, this is my first time on this stage, so I just want to start by reminding everybody that every candidate here is more decent, more coherent, and more patriotic than the criminal in the White House.

(APPLAUSE)

But I also want to point out that Anderson’s right.  Two years ago, I started the Need to Impeach movement, because I knew there was something desperately wrong at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that we did have the most corrupt president in the country, and that only the voice and the will of the American people would drag Washington to see it as a matter of right and wrong, not of political expediency.  So, in fact, impeaching and removing this president is something that the American people are demanding.  They’re the voice that counts, and that’s who I went to, the American people.

COOPER:  Mr. Yang, do you think there’s already enough evidence out there to impeach the president?  Please respond.

YANG:  I support impeachment, but we shouldn’t have any illusions that impeaching Donald Trump will, one, be successful or, two, erase the problems that got him elected in 2016.  We’re standing in the great state of Ohio, the ultimate purple state, the ultimate bellwether state.

Why did Donald Trump win your state by eight points?  Because we got rid of 300,000 manufacturing jobs in your towns.  And we are not stopping there.  How many of you have noticed stores closing where you work and live here in Ohio?  Raise your hands.

It’s not just you.  Amazon alone is closing 30 percent of America’s stores and malls, soaking up $20 billion in business while paying zero in taxes.  These are the problems that got Donald Trump elected, the fourth industrial revolution.  And that is going to accelerate and grow more serious regardless of who is in the Oval Office.

The fact is, Donald Trump, when we’re talking about him, we are losing.  We need to present a new vision, and that even includes talking about impeaching Donald Trump.

COOPER:  Congressman O’Rourke, on impeachment, please respond.

O’ROURKE:  You know, I think about everyone who’s ever served this country in uniform.  We have two examples here on this stage tonight in Mayor Buttigieg and Congresswoman Gabbard, those who have willingly sacrificed their lives to defend this country and our Constitution.  We are the inheritors of their service and their sacrifice.

And we have a responsibility to be fearless in the face of this president’s criminality and his lawlessness.  The fact that as a candidate for the highest office in the land, he invited the participation, the invasion of a foreign power in our democracy.  As president, he lied to investigators, obstructed justice, fired James Comey, head of the FBI, tried to fire Mueller, head of the investigation, then invited President Zelensky to involve himself in our politics, as well as China, in exchange for favorable trade terms in an upcoming trade deal.

COOPER:  Thank you, Congressman.

O’ROURKE:  If we do not hold him to account, if there is not justice, not only have we failed this moment, our Constitution and our country, but we have failed everyone who has sacrificed and laid their lives down on the line.

COOPER:  Thank you.

O’ROURKE:  And we cannot do that.

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