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CNN "Erin Burnett Outfront" - Transcript: Interview with Rep. Eric Swalwell (D), California

Interview

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BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you. And I want to go now to Democratic Congressman Denny Heck, member of the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, good to talk to you, sir. So this is the first time you're speaking out after getting this 300-page report which you've now voted to pass along to the Judiciary Committee. What's your reaction to what is detailed in these 300 pages?

REP. DENNY HECK (D-WA): Erin, I'm just very sad. In seven years here, this is the saddest week I can remember, as a matter of fact. I'm sad that we've come to this point. I'm sad that we feel compelled because of the President's behavior to have to pass this report that he abused his power, that he betrayed his oath of office.

I'm equally if not more saddened by the fact that my friends across the aisle, many of whom I believe are good people. Nonetheless are either abjectly self-diluted or worse beyond comprehension in terms of cynicism. The President did this. He did this. He violated the law and what he did, moreover, was wrong. And I'm sad that we've come to this point.

BURNETT: The report lays out calls we did not know about, pages 156 to 159. For anyone at home who wants to skip to some crucial parts, it lays out a whole bunch of calls here that we did not know about involving Rudy Giuliani, his indicted partner who was helping him get dirt on the Bidens and Devin Nunes. Obviously, your colleague on the committee.

It also shows multiple calls that Giuliani had on these crucial days where he's having these conversations publicly about Ukraine. He's pushing these investigations with a number of shown simply as quote one, quote-1. And these calls with quote-1, one of them is 12 minutes, one of them is almost nine, another one is almost nine.

These are meaningful calls. Who do you think Giuliani was talking to? Who was number one?

HECK: Probably somebody in the White House. But look, there's lots of information here. We just got what we call meta data. That is when the calls occur and what their duration was, but there's lots of information that would have further helped us elucidate exactly what went on here that the President in an unprecedented move to obstruct Congress refused to allow it to be brought forward.

The contents of those calls would be one, because if we were allowed to talk to those people, we would know exactly what was being said.

BURNETT: And I'm just getting at one of these calls on April 24th, duration three minutes says White House number. But the others all in April 23rd or 24th, these are the longer ones, eight minutes and 42 seconds, eight minutes and 28 seconds, 13 minutes. These are all to dash one.

So I'm just wondering, do you think it's possible that's the President of the United States or are you not comfortable even speculating that?

HECK: Because it would be speculating at this point, Erin. I don't think we need to speculate about the misdeeds here, because the evidence that bears it out that there were misdeeds is overwhelming in and of itself.

BURNETT: So these calls show Giuliani was on the phone with the White House in some way eight times in just one day, and that's April 24th. The reason that could be so important is it's the same day that Giuliani, according to The Washington Post took credit for ousting the American Ambassador to Ukraine. A person who the President of the United States disparaged on that phone call with the Ukrainian president. What does this tell you, eight phone calls with the White House on the day Giuliani takes credit for ousting Ambassador Yovanovitch?

HECK: Well, it tells us what we already know intuitively, again, for which there's overwhelming evidence that there was a long-term concerted and coordinated campaign for reasons that I'll go to my grave not understanding to oust Ambassador Yovanovitch through character assassination.

[19:10:09]

Remember, he had fully the authority, President Trump, to remove her. He did not have to attempt to destroy her professional and her personal reputation. He chose to do that because that's his style. Because frankly he can be cruel and for no purpose. He could have just removed her. But yes, Rudy Giuliani is in this up to his neck and we've known it all along.

BURNETT: Before we go, Republican Senator John Thune, obviously, this is going to go to the Senate as soon as the House votes on it, if you all vote to impeach. He was asked if the President should have asked the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens, just the basic fact was that acceptable, and he was very careful to say - the question here is not whether it's appropriate, it's whether it's impeachable. We can all read between the lines on what he's saying. Is that disappointing to you.

HECK: I would love to be having the debate about whether or not the President's misdeeds are impeachable. But that's not the debate we seem even to be having though, right, Erin? Because the Republicans are in mass in the House denying that there was anything wrong or improper that happened. They are in mass propagating this completely debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine engaging in interference in the 2016 election.

Let's have the debate about whether or not this rises to the level of an impeachable offense, because that's a debate that would be healthy for America.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman. I appreciate your time.

HECK: You're welcome.

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