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tv   AM Joy  MSNBC  December 8, 2018 7:00am-9:00am PST

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i am a techie dad.n. i believe the best technology should feel effortless. like magic. at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. that does it for me. thank you very much for watching. "am joy" with jonathan capehart starts right now. what he's trying to do, because he's a weak person, not a very smart person, what he's trying to do is end -- it's very
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simple -- he's got himself a big prison sentence. he's trying to get a much lesser prison sentence by making up a story. very simply. michael cohen is lying, and he's trying to get a reduced sentence for things that have nothing to do with me. >> good morning. welcome to "am joy." i'm jonathan capehart in for joy reid. it's clear why donald trump was so set on casting his former lawyer and fixer michael cohen as a liar last week. federal prosecutors in new york filed two new court documents related to cohen ahead of his sentencing next week. it's clear drum sp a centraonal central figure. prosecutors write this about alleged illegal hush money payments. in particular, and as cohen himself has now admitted with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of individual one. individual one in these
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documents refers to donald trump. that's important because it appears prosecutors are stating trump's role in directing the payment as plain fact. but robert mueller's memo may be even more ominous for trump because cohen is spilling the beans on some key issues central to mueller's investigation. the special counsel says cohen's assistance has been useful about four topics in particular. cohen's own contacts with russian interests in the campaign including about plans to build a trump tower moscow. certain discrete russian related matters that are at core of mueller's investigation. cohen's contacts with persons connected to the white house in 2017 and 2018. and the quote circumstances around how cohen prepared and circulated his, quote, response to the congressional inquiries. but leave it to trum tp to pushn
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alternate reality. tweeting last night totally clears the president. thank you. joining me now to break all of this down and make sense of it, maya wiley, malcolm nance, former u.s. attorney joyce vance, barbara mcquaid, and matthew miller. thank you very much nor being here on this important day after mueller friday. matthew, i have to come to you first. what does all of this mean? i will ask all of you this, but matth matthew, i want to start with you. what does all of this mean? >> feels like when you're reading a mystery or suspense novel for 300, 400 pages you see little clues, little nuggets, you wonder how it fits together. we're in the last 50 pages of the book. we're seeing all of the plot
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points come together. i think what we found out yesterday is the outreach from russians to the trump organization with the trump campaign started earlier than we thought t wasn thought. we found out the trump organization business matters are central to mueller's investigation. we found out that manafort's cooperation agreement wasn't just torn up because he lied about his own lobbying interests but he lied about contacts with a russian intelligence asset while chair of the campaign, and that that matter is still very much under investigation. there's a reason that section was blacked out. i think we found this new plot point that we had not heard much about lately. prosecutors in the southern district of new york, completely separate from the russian investigation, believe the president committed a crime. so while we all have been wondering how does the mueller investigation end? is it indictments? is it a report? we have a massive question hanging out there, what happens with this evidence that sdny
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found? if they believe -- if they can't indict the president, and that is the department of justice opinion, i think even maya wiley would agree that's binding on sdny. if they can't indict the president, what do they do? the only conclusion you can draw is that has to look like another referral to congress, which is what we've expected to happen at the end of the mueller investigation. >> before i let maya respond, i want to play something that congressman ted liu said last night. >> i'm a former prosecutor. trump did not say i made these payments, he denied doing it at all. right now we have a sitting president of the united states who committed two felonies while running for president. >> that's a member of congress, maya, give me your reaction to that and other things that matthew said. >> one, i think that probably
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the most important things about these filings, in addition to knowing there's activations continuing on collusion with russia and a lot more information about where those collusion points are, it is incredible that we are actually seeing a prosecutor's office say the president of the united states was engaged in a crime. more than one, right? it would be more than one count. and that the president has lied about it. to the public. if you dial back to what that really means in terms of matt's point about the sovereign district, which is very much a department of justice joke -- and i agree with everything matt said as i always do -- it is that the district attorney for manhattan and the state a.g. are looking into these transactions related to the trump organization, and that would be state or city prosecutions. that is not subject to the
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memorandum. and whatever -- whatever they find and the degree to which they think they have evidence of donald trump's direct connection, which we already know is out there because there is a tape recording of donald trump's conversation with michael cohen about the karen mcdougal payoff. remember donald trump is saying why open a separate corporation when you could pay cash or check. what about check? this is in september of 2016. it's clearly to influence the election and the impact on the election. but there are state and city crimes that he may have participated in violating as well. we shouldn't forget that. >> joyce vance, give me your takeaways. >> i think one of the most important takeaways here actually is an extra legal takeaway. it's the notion that as american citizens a candidate lied to us during the campaign. that has legal implications for the mueller investigation. but the bottom line here is that
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all the time that trump during the campaign was telling us he had no dealings in russia, no business in russia, he was actually sitting on top of a deal that was designed to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars according to filings that we've seen this week. the legal implication of that is that this entire story that we see coming forward from cohen, who tried to shift the timeline, tried to make it look as though the deal had been completed before the primaries started, when in reality conversations were still ongoing at least to the point in time where it was clear that trump would be the nominee. this is really shocking. it seems to me we're so numb from the dell luuge of wrongdoi from this administration, it's crashing into people. we need to think about how outrageous this is. >> as far as michael cohen shifting the timeline, can you talk about the significance of that and also your takeaways
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from what we learned yesterday? >> michael cohen takes us back to 2015 when they're having conversations with russia about putting together this deal for a trump tower in moscow. this is a significant matter. this is not just a regulatory offense when you talk about campaign finance violations. it could be that president trump procured the presidency by fraud. if you look at that filing by the southern district of new york, they talk about the seriousness of this offense. democracy is all about giving full information to voters so they can cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice. by lying and covering up about his past on the eve of the election and violating the laws designed to create transparency, they say that president trump clouded the process for the american voters. when immigrants procure their citizenship by fraud, we strip them of their citizenship. when a president procures his presidency by fraud, should we
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consider doing the same? >> that's a very good point, barbara. malcolm, let's bringhere. in the filing, there's a note here about how cohen was contacted by a russian national in 2015. it says in or around november 2015, cohen received the contact information for and spoke with a russian national who claimed to be a "trusted person in the russian federation" who could offer the campaign "political synergy" and "synergy on a government level." the defend recalled that this person repeatedly proposed a meeting between individual one and the president of russia. we should point out that cohen did not follow up on this invitation because he was already working on a trump project in moscow through a different person he believed to have russian government connections, which is also what the special counsel's office wrote. >> it is so easy in these documents to look at this and
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for people to say this is just political. this is donald trump dealing with paying off mistresses, however you want to see it. take a step back and look at the whole thing from the god's eye view, that one piece of data tells me and people in the intelligence community that russian was conducting an intelligence shaping operation to craft, hone, and groom a potential candidate for the president of the united states through bribery to become a national leader and to facilitate him to become president of the united states. anywhere else, any other person would have been arrested at this point because russia was -- this is not just happening at one point. there were multiple russian contacts. obviously put out by russian intelligence, the kremlin itself, the foreign ministry, the general prosecutor who all appeared to have a task of shaping donald trump's candidacy
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to be a russians asset. that's all it could be. >> maya? >> building on also joyce and barbara's really important points about the financial implications of campaign finance crimes is exactly going back to this point that malcolm is making because the -- what is clear from the filings is the interrelationship between, if you take the fact that michael cohen is actively trying to create the trump tower deal. phillip seder, one reason he did not follow that deal is because he already had one. it's not because he had a problem with a synergy of a political operative from russia offering to make a deal, it's because he had -- he had the e-mail exchange in the spring of
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2016 that they could get their guy elected, get him into a meeting with putin and get the trump tower deal done. it's even clear from what was publicly filed that they were actively engaged in this interactive synergy between the business interest and the political interest. if you backtrack that to joyce's point, to barbara's point, it's even bigger than just the issue of this particular -- it all comes out to what you're seeing here, spy craft. you are seeing trade craft from a former distrirector of the kgo framed the candidacy of donald trump in money, conspiracy, bribery knowing he can blackmail every person in involved in this because they all lied. >> matthew, i'll come to you in one second. malco malcolm, to what end -- why is putin working so hard to not only groom a candidate for
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president of the united states but to install a president of the united states? to what end? is it just to get rid of sanctions? >> no, this is old-school espionage operations. to control a foreign leader throughout the entirety of the cold war, the russians have been trying to get assets and people close to national leadership. they oent na own the national lp here. with that they can lift the sanctions, tear the united states down and make russia great again. >> matthew, i have to ask you, you sent out a couple of tweets that to your mind is probably the most important thing that was in mueller's documents. we have them up here on this screen. can you talk about this real quick? >> it's critical that the spshl do special counsel noted that michael cohen did not just lie to congress but he released his
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statement publicly and by doing so that he was trying to hinder the investigation and having an impact on other witnesses. who else does that sound like? who else has lied publicly about this investigation? obviously we know the president did about that trump tower meeting. he dictated that false statement that his son put out. we know he lied throughout it. i think you would never see prosecutors bring a charge of obstructing justice just because someone lies to the press. if you look at a pattern of events, if you look at a pattern of obstructing justice, you can see the president's lies and false statements coming into play. >> we have to leave it there. my guests will join me again throughout the show. coming up, more democrats are starting to talk about the "i" word. that's next. place, the xfinity xfi gateway.
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congress moved to impeach richard nixon when the special prosecutor described his crimes. the house of representatives moved to impeach and did, in fact, impeach bill clinton on the fact that he impeached perjury on that civil case involving paula jones. if history means anything in the trump era, donald trump will be, must be impeached because of the crimes prosecutors say he committed in the michael cohen case. >> that is the question, should
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congress take lawrence o'donnell's advice? with democrats set to take back the house next month, will impeachment proceedings be on the agenda? joining me now is maya wildly, paul butler and david korn of mother jones. before i throw out the first question, let me play for you what congressman joaquin castro had to say yesterday. >> are you in a position to consider discussing impeachment in congress? >> i think we have to be. nobody runs for the house of representatives or the u.s. senate because they want to go impeach a president. but when the evidence becomes so clear that you very likely have a criminal sitting in the oval office, what is the congress left to do at that point? >> paul butler, that's some strong language from a member of congress, very likely have a
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tral s criminal sitting in the oval office. are we at that point where we should be talking about impeaching the president? >> what the congressman is doing is echoing what the united states department of justice said yesterday in filings. the president, donald trump, is a criminal. if he were not president of the united states, he would be under federal criminal indictment today. the constitutional remedy is impeachment, when someone -- when a president has committed high crimes and misdemeanors. when the department of justice develops evidence against other presidents that they have been implicated in crimes, they've been impeached. when that evidence was developed against richard nixon, he was impeached. when that evidence was developed against bill clinton. he was impeached. based on the legal precedent, president trump should be impeached.
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>> maya, it is a very strong thing to call the president of the united states a criminal. for people at home who are not as steeped in this as we are, what is the one thing in there, in these documents that make it clear, at least from the prosecutor's perspective, that the president was involved in something that was not legal. >> federal prosecutors said publicly in their court filing that michael cohen was directed by the president to make these payments, to buy the silence of stormy daniels, stephanie clifford and karen mcdougal. that's clear. even if you put the court filings aside, you have -- remember that andrew johnson was the first president of the united states to be impeached. he was impeached because he fired his secretary of war.
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that's why he was impeached. >> gentler times. >> let me just say, donald trump fired james comey and publicly stated it was because he had the mueller investigation on his mind. that in and of itself should have triggered, if we had a different set of politics about our country not party, that would have triggered active debate within congress to get and look at the evidence itself rather than try to cover it up to see whether or not the president in fact was abusing his authority. in addition to high crimes and misdemeanors, abuse of authority is a ground for impeachment. he has clearly abused his authority. >> impeachment is a political process, it requires having people in congress who are willing to take those significant steps to impeach a
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president. david, let me play something -- since maya brought him up, former fbi director james comey. here's what he had to say with his interview on capitol hill yesterday, hours-long interview. >> are you prepared to return next year when democrats regain control of congress to testify perhaps on the questions of obstruction of justice and impeachment? >> i always want to respect the institution of congress. i'd love it if they didn't want me to testify. if they want me to testify, and we can do it in a responsible way, i will abide by it. we'll see what happens. >> that's incredible. the question was specific. if they bring you up here to testify on obstruction of justice or impeachment, he basically said, yeah. >> well, let me take a bit of a hybrid approach here. a lot of us in the clinton years, it was clear that bill clinton lied, had denied a relationship in a civil lawsuit, and that was the perjury that
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the republicans impeached him over. democrats fought against that saying it wasn't a big enough criminal violation to go through the political exorcism and deny the americans who voted for clinton their representation in the white house. i think that was a good, solid position. this time around i think before rushing to impeachment, i think lawrence is right, paul is right, maya is right, there's a case for it, a strong case for it. but i would argue that because it's political, you want to build and develop the case for it. so i would suggest that the democrats, once they take over the house, they proceed as they're doing, with a variety of oversight investigations including calling in michael cohen or comey and others to talk about these matters and get more information than what we may have gotten from robert mueller. we still don't -- we read these filings, we've been doing this the last 24 hours, there's still
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a lot of questions. there's things about connections with russians. there's things that the trump organization did. there's trump organization executives that could be members of trump's family, maybe himself. let's put the question of impeach. aside and find out all these answers first, as much as we can, then decide at that point if it's worth going through what will be a hellish process of impeachment that is unlikely to succeed in a republican dominated senate. >> david, real quickly, since you -- you and your co-author wrote the book on the russia everything, do you know or have any idea what has been redacted in all of these documents? >> the big redactions came in the manafort submission yesterday about his relationship
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with constantine, a russian intelligence asset. he was in contact with manafort throughout the campaign and was a go-between between manafort and a major russian oligarch who is close to putin. i always said there's a lot there to get into. we don't have all the answers. that's one thing that congress can look into. >> all right. with that we have to leave it there, sorry, maya. coming up, donald trump's former campaign manager lies about lies while he's lying. ♪ voice-command navigation with waze wifi wireless charging 104 cubic feet of cargo room
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morning discussing men who are going to jail. another man is going to jail. james fields, the man who drove a car into a crowd of counter protesters at a white nationalist rally killing one woman and injuring nearly 40 other people. on friday a jury found fields guilty of first degree murder. he faces a sentence of up to life in prison. the verdict was celebrated by activists across the country. the head of the anti-defamation league says it sends a strong message to others that hate has no place in our society.
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more "am joy" after the break. t of nowhere. you do, too, but not in time. hey, no big deal. you've got a good record and liberty mutual won't hold a grudge by raising your rates over one mistake. you hear that, karen? liberty mutual doesn't hold grudges. how mature of them! for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their first accident. liberty mutual insurance. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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nobody said how much police repo reportsaid how helpful paul manafort was to the campaign. >> a new report shows how far
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the campaign manager was willing to go to hide his crimes, reportedly getting caught in his own lies and then lying about the lies. back with me now is maya wiley, and also cynthia oxney, paul butler is also with me. i need to read the statement on sarah huckabee sanders. the government's filing in mr. manafort's case says nothing about the president. it says even less about collusion and is devoted almost entirely to lobbying related issues. once again the media is trying to create a story where there isn't one. cynthia, there's a story here, isn't there? >> i believe there's a rather large story here. the document is interesting because it's, of course, not complete. it says right in the first
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paragraph all the good stuff is being filed under seal. so the reason why sarah huckabee sanders doesn't get to read it is because bob mueller is not ready to give it to her. it also says other things are missing here that might not be under seal. for example, there was a whole issue with manafort double dealing and spying and violating joint defense agreements. it's just not mentioned here. that was a big deal when it was revealed that he was back channeling to the white house. explain the significance of that. it's double dealing. >> double dealing, but a spy and a fink. it's very bad to be a fink and a spy. what's interesting about it is when did the mueller people find out? if they found out in time, did they do anything about it? since they knew he was feeding information to other people, did they feed him some information that affected trump's answers to
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his questions? how exactly did that work? it's just a big gaping hole here. it's fascinating. >> matthew? >> yeah. that's a great question from cynthia. i wouldn't begin to want to speculate about the answer. one of the most interesting things for me in this filing, ever since mueller came in a couple weeks ago, tore up the cooperation agreement and said that police repo that paul manafort has been lying, what has he been lying about? has it been his personal lobbying issues or was he lying about things relevant to the president and things relevant to the russian investigation? last night we found out the answer was all of the above. he was lying about his own personal financial dealings but also his contacts with the white house and he was lying about his contacts with konstantin kilimnik who mueller previously described in court filings as a russian intelligence agent while manafort was chair of the trump
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campaign in august of 2016. the most interesting thing about those contacts, that is the part most blacked out in the filing. what does that tell you? it tells you that unlike some other pieces where the special counsel told us what manafort lied about, here he's not willing to do so because that's a live part of the investigation. it tells you that those contacts with kilimnik are very relevant to the core thing mueller is investigating, and that is russian interference with the election. >> just in case viewers didn't see the graphic that we put up, you mentioned two of the five lies that we saw. there's also kilimnik's participation in obstruction, information about another doj investigation. maya, every time i see another doj investigation in these documents i keep thinking what? do you have any idea what that other doj investigation is? >> if i did i would have written a book. i would be on book tours.
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>> you would be rich. >> we all want to know. michael flynn's filing, we know there was another criminal investigation that was mentioned in that filing. it already seems like a year ago? >> when was that? >> days ago. >> not even a week. it already seems like a hundred years ago. you have to put that in relationship to this. remember that paul manafort, if we back up to who paul manafort is, michael flynn is someone who is having lots of relationships with russians at the time that he became the adviser to donald trump. we know that manafort actively sought out a role with the campaign because of his financial problems including his financial trouble with putin oligarch, very close to the russian government and to putin, and that he was -- there was a communication early in his involvement as adviser with the campaign around -- with
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konstantin kilimnik if i call correctly that was remind me where i am and will this help me fix things? >> will this make me whole? >> exactly. so this notion that there's nothing embedded in this that suggests a connection to trump is false. the fact it's not stated there explicitly doesn't change thing. >> maybe he came to the campaign to try to make money or maybe the russians wanted him to come to the campaign. >> and roger stone is the one who connected him, that's the next shoe to drop, i think. >> paul butler, i know you're there. i want to bring you in. >> yeah, because i want to talk more about kilimnik. that's about collusion. it's about national security. so we know that manafort is installed in the campaign in march 2016. then he and kilimnik start having e-mail exchanges about
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how can we make money off of this? the way they make money off of this is by helping trump win. kilimnik is a russian -- he's not russian, but he's tied to russian intelligence operatives. again, we have russian intelligence operatives talking to the campaign manager about how they can benefit the campaign. the other part that we learned from the filing yesterday has to do with obstruction of justice. we know that what both michael cohen and paul manafort have in common is that after they're charged with crimes, they're still reaching out to the white house, e-mails, text messages. we don't know the subject of those conversations, but we know that it sounds like there's some kind of false narrative being created. again, that's a crime. why would paul manafort want to violate his cooperation agreement? jonathan, he has a deal of the century. this is a man who is 70 years old. he was looking at 10 years in
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prison, and mueller says you know what? all you have to do is come clean, i will give you a break. when he violated that agreement, the only person who he benefited was donald trump. he did not help himself at all. so last thing, if he did that because in reaching out to the white house after he's charged, there's hints of a pardon, that's obstruction of justice on the part of the president. guess what, it's not going to work for paul manafort because crafty prosecutor that mueller is, when paul manafort pled guilty in d.c., he admitted to state crimes in new jersey, in california and new york. he could be charged by state prosecutors in those three states and president trump could not pardon him. >> i was going to ask about this issue of reaching out. paul manafort reaching out to the white house despite having this agreement. but actually paul brings up something that i think viewers should understand more clearly. this idea of a potential pardon
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of manafort by the president. a pardon is not necessarily a get out of jail free card, is it?no, it absolutely isn't. for some of the other people in this -- wrapped up in this investigation, someone like roger stone, a pardon might be a get out of jail free card. we have not seen evidence yet. we have not seen evidence of state wrongdoing. in paul manafort's case there's ample evidence that he admitted to. he's admitted he committed these fin financial crimes that he can be charged for. when we see these contacts -- we don't know what the contacts are between paul manafort and the white house. it could have been a business deal where he was trying to weald his influence. we've seen examples of him doing that. it's not just manafort reaching out to the white house, we know the president through his attorney, john dowd, late through 2017 reached out to manafort's attorneys and dangled the pardon. whether he issued the pardon or not he has completely tainted
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and corruptly influenced this investigation. once that is in a defendant's mind, it influence whether they cooperate or not. you see that with paul manafort and you're seeing it with roger stone. i think when we get to the end of this investigation, will you see the special counsel mention that as a part of his report or however he ends this probe. >> maya, cynthia and paul will join us again in the next hour. thanks, matt miller, for being here this morning. >> thank you. coming up, a lawmaker who saw jim comey testify behind closed doors is here to talk about it. e shown just how far le can go. (grandma vo) over one hundred national parks protected. (mom vo) more than fifty thousand animals rescued. (old man vo) nearly two million meals delivered. (mom vo) over eighteen hundred wishes granted. (vo) that's one hundred and forty million dollars donated to charity by subaru and its retailers over eleven years. (girl) thank you. (boy) thank you. (old man) thank you. (granddaughter) thank you.
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we had a position to possibly do a deal, to bald bui build a building of some kind in moscow. i decided not to do it, the primary reason, there could have been other reasons, the primary reason, it was simple, i was focused on running for president. there would be nothing wrong if i did do it. i was running my business while i was campaigning. there was a good chance that i wouldn't have won, in which case i would have gotten back into the business. why should i lose lots of opportunities? >> plans by the trump organization to build a trump to
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you n tower in moscow are once again in focus. according to a filing, the same russian national who promised he could give the campaign political synergy proposed a me between individual one, president trump, and the president of russia. the person told cohen such a meeting could have a phenomenal impact not only in political but in a business dimension as well, referring to the moscow project because there is no bigger warranty in any project than consent of the president of russia. cohen, however, did not follow up on this invitation. back with me, joyce vance and barbara mcquaid. this is -- this is a pretty incredible piece of the story here. one of the things that buzzfeed reported and time just sort of blends altogether, i can't remember when the story hit, the buzzfeed reported on plans by the trump organization to give a
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$50 million penthouse in trump tower moscow to putin. joyce, i'll start with you, explain to the viewers why this is such a big deal. >> so, it's really coming together at this point. when we see there's communication between cohen and a russian talking about political synergy, to me as a former prosecutor that sounds like we're talking about conspiracy at this point. in that context, the buzzfeed payment is very interesting because one of the strictly prohibited practices under u.s. law for our companies that are doing businesses over -- doing business overseas is to pay a bribe in order to facilitate their business transaction. that's what the $50 million penthouse looks like it could be. we don't know for certain, but this notion that you would give someone the leader of the russian union a $50 million penthouse in order to permit you to build a building if you could prove intent and that the --
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that everything was linked together, would look like a violation of the foreign corrupt practices act, certainly it would be investigated to see whether that took place, and this really helps us understand the connection between the president's business dealings and any influence that that may have led the russians to hold over candidate, now president, trump. >> i got to show you this tweet that president trump sent out with regard to the trump tower moscow piece and the key thing i wanted to focus in on is the highlighted piece there, very legal and very cool. >> yeah. you know, very legal and very cool to make an investment. very illegal and very not cool if that investment is part of a plot to interfere and direct the outcome of the election. you focus correctly on that paragraph that talks about political synergy. maybe synergy is the new
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collusion. it seems that this promise of a phenomenal business deal that could profit hundreds of millions of dollars is a classic espionage dangle. it appears to be the kind of trade craft that you might see from sophisticated espionage agents like the russians to reach out and find what someone wants most and for president trump in those days, business, lucrative business deals with russia. you present those opportunities and then it becomes intertwined with politics. they're very patient and over time they get to the point where they are able to control someone. what they wanted in exchange was the political synergy, the ability to control politics. for trump it was all about making hundreds of millions of dollars and that's the way they wanted to get their hooks into president trump so that they could install him in office and control him as president. you see things like getting favorable terms on sanctions and normalizing relations with russia and all of these kinds of things. that picture, which once seemed
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to me so far fetched, is starting to come into focus. >> what i was going to jump in, as you were speaking, barbara, you're echoing what malcolm nance said a few segments ago about how he believes what we are witnessing and reading in these filings from mueller and from the southern district is an ongoing operation that we are seeing through these documents, a former kgb spy, meaning the president of russia, vladimir putin, setting up an asset and installing that asset and then using that asset to his will. >> yeah. that's where the filings on paul manafort also come into play and provide a window into this because one of the things about which paul manafort lied when he had every incentive to tell the truth was about his conversations with konstantin kilimnik. much of this is redacted but kilimnik is someone paul
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manafort said had ties to russia, business partner in russia, they were working together to try to tamper with witnesses in paul manafort's lobbying case and what was his role? that's the person with whom he e-mailed things like how can we use my position on the trump campaign to make ourselves whole, when he was very indebted to russian oligarchs. he talked about arranging for a private briefing for the oligarch. all start to come together and paint a picture to deep connections to russians. when we talk about it as business synergy and political synergy, it does suggest that the business is tied up with the politics and that that was trump's goal, but in exchange what was russia's goal? >> you know, joyce, again, as barbara was speaking, i go back to what our colleague rachel maddow talked about last friday, which was that the business piece here, the trump tower moscow, and the russian
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interference piece are all part of one big operation being conducted by moscow. is that to your mind from what you've read in these filings, is that what is coming into clearer and clearer focus? >> you know, barb says it best. she says it seems so far fetched at one point, and it did. i think we all resisted this notion that it could possibly be true that a president was compromised by a hostile foreign power. >> right. >> but now at a bare minimum it's cleared that the president lied about his business dealings with moscow during the campaign and moscow knew about that. he was compromised. he could have been blackmailed. that's really the least of the bad possibilities in this situation. it only gets worse from here. >> with that we're going to have to leave it there. thank you, joyce and barbara. more "am joy" after the break.
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russia is a ruse. i have nothing to do with russia. i haven't made a phone call to russia in years. i don't speak to people from russia, not that i wouldn't, i just have nobody to speak to. i spoke to putin twice. he called me the election. i told you this. he called me on the inauguration. i have nothing to do with russia. to the best of my knowledge, no person that i deal with does. >> welcome back to "am joy."
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i'm jonathan in for joy reid. his denials are a little harder to buy after federal prosecutors in new york and special counsel robert mueller's office released three memos yesterday, two regarding trump's former lawyer and fixer michael cohen and one on his former campaign manager paul manafort. if one thing is clear from the filings, it's that individual one, or donald trump, is a key figure. prosecutors in new york fleshed out a little more detail in their filing about michael cohen's illegal hush money payments to two women who say they had affairs with trump. quote, in particular, and as cohen himself now has admitted with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of individual one. meanwhile, we're getting some details about paul manafort's alleged lies to the special counsel that led to the unraveling of his plea deal. mueller says manafort lied about his contact with trump administration officials after donald trump took office, including that he had been in
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contact with officials as recently as this spring. prosecutors write, quote, in a text message from may 26th, 2018, manafort authorized a person to speak with an administration official on manafort's behalf. that could be key because as "the washington post" points out, the text message came two days after trump issued a posthumous pardon to boxer jack johnson and he has raised the possibility of pardoning manafort. let's bring in our panel former prosecutor cynthia oxley and maya wiley, senior vice president for social justice is back with me, paul butler, professor of law at georgetown law school, david corn, mother jones' washington bureau chief and elliott williams, former deputy assistant attorney general. thank you all very much for being here. all right. i'm going to raise the question that i raised in the previous hour about pardons and manafort.
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cynthia, a pardon of manafort, let's say president trump does do it, that doesn't necessarily mean he is completely out of the woods. please explain why that is the case. >> it's two things. one, he can be charged in the state which i think we've covered, and two, once he's pardoned he no longer has worry about self-incrimination, right, because he's pardoned so he can't take the fifth amendment if he's called to testify. if he testifies and testifies untruthfully which is what he always does because he's a liar, he can be charged on that testimony as well. it's just a river of disaster for manafort in every direction at this point because he's made such a bad choice not to cooperate with the special counsel. >> maya, have you been surprised by the fact that paul manafort, even though he had a cooperation agreement, continued to lie and continued to have contact with
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people in the administration? >> yes. absolutely. one of the things we should ask ourselves is, at every step of paul manafort's decision making around his indictments, he made decisions that make no sense legally. i can't imagine his lawyers were advising him to make the decisions he has made. going to trial in virginia on that first set of indictments on bank fraud, wire fraud, they had him dead. we saw the evidence. there was no argument that -- usually that's why you have an agreement before you go to trial. you would have expected him to do what michael cohen did, say accept a little better, which is to say let's make a deal. i have some information for you. he didn't do that. then on the eve of his d.c. trial he does what we thought he should have done before the virginia trial which is to say, now let's make a deal, now i get it. except he blows that deal up.
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the question -- and he continues to have conversations not just authorizing his attorneys, he himself has direct, in addition -- >> he's going around his attorneys' back to do stuff. >> that actually exposes him even more. >> right. >> because even to the extent they argue the joint defense agreement he's gone around that process and even that was a little bit of a suspicious argument, so why? >> elliott, i'm going to give that question to you, if you have any idea, why would manafort go around his own lawyers to get in touch with the white house? since you are the newbie in this conversation, i would love to get your perspective on the filings that came out yesterday. >> well, let me tell you something about the filings and show you something, jonathan. when a page in a filing looks like this, and it's about your connection potentially to russian intelligence, you at best a reputation problem, at best a public relations problem, but a federal offense you're at the center of that could bring
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down the presidency of the united states. we have to take seriously this connection he has to konstantin kilimnik with ties to russian intelligence and this is very serious. this is all very serious and all melding sort of the personal, the political and the business ties of donald trump when we view these two -- pardon me three filings together for the first time we're seeing the connections between the trump organization. i think it was barb mcquaid, i can't remember who, some of this seemed too fanciful, too implausible to be real -- >> i think it was bash brbara. i was with her on that months ago. this is getting clear all this is converging on the president. the other thing we haven't talked about in all of this talk with the ties to the russians and so on, manafort's connection to witness tampering and potentially trying to affect people's testimony. all of these are crimes on our system, they are all crimes on the integrity of our justice system and our courts and frankly our banking and financial systems, and they
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carry a very serious offense. that's what we're seeing here today. i haven't spoken yet. that's the thing that struck me the most in all of this. i know, you know, we joke about these redactions but the page that's redacted the most is the page about konstantin kilimnik and think about what this means to him and the rest of the investigation. >> david, you're the perfect person to try to ask that question. what does it mean? since you have written the book on this, the name of your book is named "russian roulette," correct me if i'm wrong, do you have any idea or perspective on what could be redacted and to elliott's point why that is so important? >> to me, what's most important is that paul manafort felt compelled to lie about this connection to konstantin kilimnik. it's already a matter of record that he had one. it's a matter of record that hes used konstantin kilimnik as a go between while he was managing the campaign, to offer inside information to the russian
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oligarch who is close to putin about the trump campaign. if he gets that information you know where it's going, right, to the kremlin. a lot of this is out there. at this point, why is he not taking cynthia's advice and cooperating? why is he hiding some element of this? last night on "hardball" there was a lot of speculation, but the bottom line is if you're not cooperating or if you're lying, you're doing it for a reason. you fear something, you're protecting someone, there's an admission that you're just not willing to make, you are not willing to get out there and say this is speculation that you yourself colluded with the kremlin while running trump's campaign. there's some things you psychologically draw the line on, other things involving his family maybe he wants to keep out of this. we don't know. this is one reason why we need the house democrats when they get in there to start looking at questions like this because it may never come up in any mueller
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filing or prosecution. there's still a lot here and we need a wider and deeper look than what robert mueller is doing because it's not his job to tell the public what happened, it's his job to search for crimes and prosecute them. >> the scope of his investigation is narrow. we've been talking about paul manafort. i want to put back on the screen the areas where paul manafort lied to the special counsel. as you're looking at that, paul butler, let me bring you into the conversation to talk about the other person in all of this and that is michael cohen and put this next graphic up, the key areas where michael cohen has helped robert mueller. cohen's own contacts with russian interests in the campaign including about trump tower moscow, certain discreet russian related matters that are core to mueller's investigation, cohen's contacts with persons to connected to the white house in 2017 an 2018. the implication there, that is when trump was already president.
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the fourth, the circumstances around how cohen prepared and circulated his response to the congressional inquiries. seeing all of that, paul, give me your reaction to all this, your perspective. >> so we know a couple of things, jonathan. first of all, president trump is locked in with regard to certain statements that he's made on this investigation because he submitted written statements to mueller's team. he can't go back and change that, regardless of the evidence that comes out from people like michael cohen. the federal prosecutors in new york, they weren't crazy about cohen. they say we don't think he really deserves any big reduction in his sentence. mueller, on the other happened, was a lot friendlier and mueller said he has provided substantial assistance to my investigation and, in fact, tell you what i'm going to do, he's got to serve these charges for the federal new york crimes, i'm going to let him for the crime that he
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pled guilty to in my investigation, i'm going to let him serve that time concurrently, which means he doesn't have to do additional time. that's a signal that he's helping -- cohen is helping the mueller investigation. jonathan, the other thing that keeps coming up is lies. five people have been charged by mueller with lying. these are all trump operatives and almost all of the lies are about russia. the reason that should be frightening for every american is because if these five people know that trump is lying about russians, then the russians know it too, which means that the president of the united states is compromised by russia. >> you know what's interesting to me here, especially in the cohen filings, you've got the mueller filing which is he's been helpful, he's been great, and then you've got the southern district of new york filing which is he's a bum, he's a liar, he's a cheat.
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are they playing a good cop/bad cop here do you think? >> i think they're playing their respective roles and they're akuwaiting themselves as they should in the investigations. the one thing i would say is i don't read them as inconsistent because what the u.s. attorney's office is saying, he walked in here, he's a career criminal, and he's a lawyer who's a career criminal which matters a lot when we think about sentencing, and he's a career criminal who's a criminal and walked in and bold face lied in our faces -- >> and went out -- >> and went out and said, by the way, i should be treated better than dmx. none of that was -- all of that is perfectly considered in the context of sentencing, but they agree with robert mueller because what they say is, after that first session where he
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bold-faced lied to us about the trump moscow tower communications, that he then, we feel, was very honest and forthcoming. i think what they're saying is, we get and agree with the fact that he has been helpful. what we are saying, though, for purposes of sentencing on the crimes that he committed that we have charged him with, he has been a bad actor. >> the other thing that is out is -- jumps out on these cohen things is that cohen was communicating with the white house. are you familiar with the term woodshed? woodshedding a witness? this is a key word and you need to know this word. >> what does it mean? >> what it means is, somebody who is getting ready to testify, that lawyers is saying, oh, isn't it true that on tuesday you did this? and the person goes, yeah. that's what i did on tuesday. like i just want to be sure. i don't want to put words in your mouth. if on tuesday you did this, and
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on wednesday if you did that, and it's a way of manipulating a witness without saying hey, look, say you did this on tuesday. right. >> right. >> that's woodshedding a witness. what is cohen doing? he's taking his testimony into the white house. i'm thinking about saying this. what is their response? there are teases in this document that something was going on there. it should not have been so. >> i see. i get it. i get it. from what i understand, the president is awake and he is tweeting. >> oh. >> yes. he is awake and tweeting. here's his tweet. this is a collusion illusion. there's no smoking gun here. at this late date after all that we have gone through, after millions have been spent, we have no russian collusion. there is nothing impeachable here. @geraldo. he's quoting geraldo. time for the witch hunt to end. look, anyone breathing, reading these documents, the three
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documents released yesterday, plus the michael flynn documents which we have all forgotten about it seems, the president is wrong. paul butler, the president is wrong. right? >> this is -- if it's a witch hunt, it's extraordinarily successful because robert mueller is finding a whole lot of witches in the trump administration. >> real quick, david. >> there are three points of collusion we know of already. the trump organization through cohen secretly colluded with putin's office to advance a business deal. trump's campaign advisors including manafort and kushner, met with a russian emissary as part of a plot to help trump. there's collusion there. and then throughout the campaign after being told the russians were doing this, trump got out there and said nothing is happening, he colluded with the russian disinformation campaign. three points of collusion without anything else. >> and with that, collusion, we
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got witches and we got to go. cynthia, maya, paul and david will be back with me. elliott williams, thank you for coming in. up next, lordy lordy, jim comey is testifying again. when i book at
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we're talking about hillary clinton's e-mails. i'm not sure we need to do this at all. >> james comey answering questions from the house judiciary and oversight committees behind closed doors for almost seven hours and he's expected to face more questions when he returns to capitol hill on december 17th. comey's testimony came in the 11th hour of the republican majority and we won't know exactly what lawmakers asked or how comey answered until a transcript is released. but my next guest knows firsthand what happened because he was there. joining me now is democratic congressman steve cohen of tennessee, a member of the judiciary committee. congressman cohen, thank you very much for being here. >> jonathan, here in memphis, nice to be with you. >> so were you the only democrat there? >> no. chairman nadler was there and there were several others, probably five or six democrats in the first couple hours. >> so then what -- so what
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happened? what did you hear? >> james comey was as he always is, straightforward, professional, i use the word rectitude, and he made it clear his past statements are consistent with what happened, that there was no bias in the fbi or the justice department, even though peter strzok and lisa page may have written notes to each other where they showed their partisanship, it didn't affect their work and peter strzok worked with him on the note that -- the decision to announce they were going to in late october look into hillary clinton's e-mails which may have cost her the election. where could there be bias when he was here and he never saw that bias. the fbi and the justice department are professionals whose credibility has been damaged by trump and that has hurt our national security and
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our desire to follow the rule of law which is what makes us a special country. the republicans just went after hillary clinton the whole time. >> i was going to ask you, what was the purpose of this hearing in the first place? >> well, it was just their last opportunity to try to help trump with his diversion tactics of throwing things off on hillary clinton and james comey. trump asked the justice department to indict and look into indictments of hillary clinton and james comey recently, and now they're looking at loretta lynch who was involved with a discussion with president clinton and was the attorney general at the time and james comey and the questions were about the tarmac and lynch and clinton and lisa page and strzok and their possible bias and their horror at trump becoming president and questions to comey about would he have fired him and those type of things. constantly the last opportunity they had to continue on this
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vain that they've been on two years of attacking comey, attacking the investigation, and not looking at the realty of the fact that russians were involved if our election and were responsible for the result and that the president we have is directly an agent -- not an agent, but directly a byproduct of vladimir putin and russian interference in our election and i believe mueller will show that he participated and was a -- part of a conspiracy. one -- comey paid clear there's no such thing as collusion and there is no such thing as collusion in the law. trump saying collusion illusion, maybe he thinks he's muhammad ali but there's conspiracy and aiding and abetting and one of the republicans said how would you compare conspiracy and collusion and he said i can't because there's no such thing. >> a piece of an op-ed from may 2017, i will tell you who it was, the headline was former
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attorney general trump made the right call on comey. this is -- it was in the washington post. when comey announced the outcome of the fbi investigation into hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail server while secretary of state, he crossed a line that is fundamental to the allocation of authority in the justice department. that was written by william barr. >> that was bill barr. >> the person who president trump announced yesterday is going to be -- is his nominee to be the next attorney general of the united states. what's your view on bill barr? >> i would be concerned about anybody that trump appointed because right now his main concern is getting somebody that will take care of him, be his roy. bill barr has made statements about too many democrats being hired, people that showed their democratic support through contributions by the special
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counsel. he's questioned going -- that -- he said that you could go after hillary clinton on uranium one. all these right wing conspiracies he's bought into. the statement about firing comey, based on rosenstein's statement if that was the basis for his firing that he had gone too far in his july 5 press conference and taking authority that was really loretta lynch's about the investigation and the statements he made, those were not part of the fbi policy. those were very unusual circumstances. comey has explained that as he's explained the reopening of the investigation in october which was real close to the election, as being necessary to protect the integrity of the fbi and he is being the head of the fbi, his integrity, because he said the investigation was closed. i think both of those things were outside the parameters of the fbi and if that's why he fired him, then barr might be right, but that's not why he fired him and he went on lester holt and said he fired him because of the russian thing.
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he wasn't satisfied with the russian thing. that's what he has to pledge loyalty to. >> real quickly -- >> i'm concerned about bill barr. >> since on the judiciary committee, real quickly, last night our colleague lawrence o'donnell said that impeachment should be the focus of the democrats coming in next month. you're on judiciary. you're a member of congress. from everything that we've seen especially with the filings yesterday, do you think impeachment should be on the table when you become the majority next month? >> well, let me say this, h-621 which i authored and filed is an impeachment resolution. we put it in in november of 2017. it now has 17 cosponsors after a year and after a lot of work. if anything is put in at any time in 2019 it's going it take more work to get more sponsors on it. this is the most impeachable president ever and the facts need to come out to show the american public he has committed
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impeachable offenses. what he's done in trying to influence witnesses with his tweets if he makes pards than would be considered possibly obstruction of justice and i think there's no question that mueller has him dead to rights on russia. there are probably recordings and smoking guns that will come out and then it will be like watergate. >> we have to leave it there. congressman, thank you very much for being on the show. >> you're welcome, jonathan. thank you for having me. >> donald trump consults his closest advisors, "fox and friends" to select his new u.n. ambassador. that's next. here we go. discover. i like your card, but i'm absolutely not paying an annual fee. discover has no annual fees. really? yeah. we just don't believe in them. oh nice. you would not believe how long i've been rehearsing that. no annual fee on any card. only from discover.
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resignation to president trump. >> of course. if the rumors are true, this time, and kelly does hit the road, "am joy" will be the first to let you know. up next, the personnel changes that really are happening at the white house right now. stock and bond index funds with lower expense ratios than comparable vanguard funds. and we now offer the industry's first true zero expense ratio index funds directly to investors. plus, we have fidelity mutual funds with zero minimum investment. how many other firms give you this much value? absolutely zero. ♪ why don't they do what they say ♪ ♪ say what they mean ♪ baby, one thing leads to another ♪ i couldn't catch my breath. it was the last song of the night. it felt like my heart was skipping beats. they said i had afib. what's afib? i knew that meant i was at a greater risk of stroke. i needed answers.
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. >> the attorney general has an obligation to enforce the law with respect to all ers. . no one is above the law. to that extent the attorney general has that responsibility.
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the attorney general, however, also has a policy position and to that extent if he's pursuing the policies of the administration, he is a subordinate to the president. >> 6 years ago william barr had no idea that he could possibly be the attorney general for a president who is already understand investigation by a special counsel but that's where we land as donald trump has chosen barr. also on friday, donald trump picked former "fox and friends" news reader heather nauertette to be the next ambassador to the united states. for the last two years nauert has been the spokesperson for the state department could help her during her confirmation hearings but she may have to answer for things like this. >> when you talk about germany, we have a very strong relationship with the government of germany. looking back in the history books, today is the 71st anniversary of the speech that
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announced the marshall plan. tomorrow is the anniversary of the d-day invasion. we obviously have a very long history with the government of germany and a strong relationship with the government. so we want to reaffirm the strength of our relationship with germany. >> joining me now msnbc contributor malcolm nance, maya wiley of the news school and david corn of mother jones. david, i'm coming to you. >> okay. >> can you explain that? >> you know -- >> heather nauert and d-day? >> i'll give her a break. we all get caught up in words. >> oh, please. >> once or twice in your illustrious career. i used to work with heather and do tv spots with her and she's very nice. i don't see her as having the foundation that you usually want in a u.n. ambassador. you think about samantha power, susan rice, daniel patrick moynihan. >> madeleine albright. >> these are people who know
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foreign policy, they know history, and to think of her sitting down with the russians or the chinese in a situation like susan rice had to do when they were trying to get u.n. approval for humanitarian intervention in libya and deal with them, i don't see her having the foundation to do that. then again, you know, i assume she will be taking her marching orders from john bolton who used to be ambassador to the u.n. and mouthing whatever he says. it may make it very hard for her to be in the sessions when she has to keep running out to call john bolton to figure out what to say next. >> and to make matters worse, if you will, it's no longer -- it's being downgraded from a cabinet position to a non-cabinet position. >> in this case that might be good. >> all those nice things, david. william barr and the clip that we just showed about him saying,
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you know, the a.g. is, you know, not the president's lawyer but the government's lawyer, but he is also supposed to view to the policy positions of the president. that i get. when the president is asking you -- when you know that the president says he wants his own roy cohen, he's upset the a.g. is not protecting him, that's not a policy position is it? >> no. that would fly in the face of what william barr said in that interview, which is if you are the nation's highest law enforcement officer, what you are protecting is the nation. you're not protecting the president. the president is not the nation. it would not be a policy position to say it is now my policy to ignore the fact that we have laws and a constitution and i will protect the president at any cost. to be fair, that is not what william barr is saying. i'm not attributing that to william barr. that's what donald trump wants.
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>> right. >> i think we should be -- unlike other appointments that we have seen this administration make, it is reassuring that he's actually appointing someone who understand the distinction between his law enforcement role and his policy role. >> i want to put -- sort of give you this, an article in "the washington post" from november 3rd, 2018, the president is the chief executive and if he believes there's an area that requires an investigation there's nothing on its face wrong with that, there's nothing per se wrong about that, barr said. i don't think all this stuff about throwing clinton in jail or jumping to the conclusion that she should be prosecuted is appropriate, barr added, but i do think that there are things that should be investigated that haven't been investigated. any clue, malcolm, maya, david, to what he means there? >> well, there's a whole myriad of things you can make up.
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is he going to start investigating the accusation that barack obama wire tapped trump tower? i mean the question that's on the table here is -- and there's been a lot of writing about barr -- is that who is he going to serve? will he serve the constitution and the people and in the face of what are clearly becoming crimes of the president of the united states, or is he taking this job to be a lackey and to essentially cover up crimes for the president of the united states? >> jonathan, can i ask another question? this is my question to william barr, why the heck do you want this job? >> yes. >> i mean, i'm not trying to be glib here. he had this job under george w. bush. he's in the private sector making lots of money writing op-eds whenever he wants. donald trump, as we noted, has signaled that he believes that the head of the justice department should do his bidding, should not investigate
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republican members of congress because that gets in the way of political plans, should protect trump. he belittled sessions relentlessly. why would anybody who is already established, who i can say this, later years of life like i am, you know, want this job? >> right. >> that's -- that would be the first question i would ask him. >> you know, to the point of jeff sessions and why -- i mean he is there to replace jeff sessions. the president was -- has been mad with jeff sessions since almost moment one because jeff sessions recused himself. >> yep. >> what the president gets with a bill barr nomination and a.g. is someone who is not conflicted out of the mueller investigation, so is the mueller investigation to your mind, maya wily, in danger? >> the mueller investigation has been in danger as long as donald trump has been president for the very reason you say, meaning that the president has been
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trying and we know from other news reports that at every step of the way he was fighting with his own lawyers about whether or not he could interfere with the fbi's investigation. the idea that donald trump has not been a danger to robert mueller is false, and the republicans in congress, frankly, have been complicit because while they have said mueller should not be interfered with, they have refused to pass legislation that would actually protect him. if we back up to the william barr question, i think we remember one of the things that jeff sessions did was advance every single policy decision that donald trump wanted, meaning on the policy side of the job he caged children at the border, he tried to ban muslims virtually by definition because of their religious beliefs, not conduct or whether there was any connection to any terrorist. >> right. >> he has reversed efforts by the department of justice to
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rationalize sentencing laws and reduce incarceration. he advanced every single policy position up to the point i would argue of actually potentially violating established supreme court precedent. the line he drew in the sand, which he had to be forced to draw by the way, let's be clear, he didn't just say oh, yeah, right, i was in the kislyak meetings and better recuse myself, but he did draw that line in the sand saying but i did have to recuse once i was told i had to recuse. whim ba william barr is going to be better than that, right. he is much more of an institutionalsist in terms of the role of justice and he has a history. this is actually a decent nomination. it would be wrong to suggest that william barr doesn't have this long history that we should pay attention to caring about the rule of law in the department of justice. the problem goes back to david corn's, you're putting yourself in the position where the values you hold and espouse will be
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daily challenged by your commander in chief. >> and also -- >> david, i'm sorry -- >> when he worked for bush trying to shut down the iran contra investigation. he has a history of intervening to a certain degree. >> we have to leave it there. thank you, malcolm nance. maya and david will be back with us. coming up, i will ask my panel what the last 24 hours really mean and what happens next. hi. maria ramirez! mom! maria! maria ramirez... mcdonald's is committing 150 million dollars in tuition assistance, education, and career advising programs... prof: maria ramirez mom and dad: maria ramirez!!! to help more employees achieve their dreams.
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it's been quite an eventful 24 hours. my panel is back with me with final thoughts. it's been a long 24. back with me are cynthia, maya, david and paul. maya, when we were talking in the break you made a good point about these filings. the fact that a lot of this stuff we already knew, but why is it significant now? >> what's significant is we already knew, for example, that trump had had a phone conversation with michael cohen about the payments, so clearly he knew. we already knew about connections with russia through multiple members of his team. we knew about lying. we knew that manafort was lying. there's a few things we've learned including manafort having communications with the
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white house. >> right. >> and cohen as well and what those communications were, we don't know. the fact that they're in a court filing and the fact that there are indications of additional criminal investigations that we don't know what that is, related to russia collusion, that there's enough going on in the examination of russia collusion that russia doesn't want to tip his hand means, one, it's the power of putting it all together and making it public in one package, so that the american public is better able to track just how serious and historically serious there is for the country. just how compromised the president is with regard to russia, and that there is a lot more that's going to come and it is going to go directly to collusion, conspiracy to defraud the united states. >> it's not that it's in a package, it's in a legal package. >> it's the big stamp "i believe cohen." the other big legal stamp is
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mueller said i basically knew the stuff already. what does that mean? does that mean there have been wires? and he has information can conversations that we don't know anything about? that's sort of out there. he knew everything cohen had to tell him. there's a lot more witnesses that we don't know. two things -- because we're so obsessed with this story and trying to figure it out and translate it for people, it gets like it's -- like we think it's a game to figure out. i don't think any of us feel that way. this is serious, serious stuff for our democracy, but one thing that, in figuring out this, we have forgotten everything that happened last week. you know, stone, corsi, indictment of done junior, it turns out all them -- >> don junior has not been
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indicted. >> >> no, but that question is coming. >> so there's just a lot -- as we try to digest this, remember a week ago we are digesting a completely different set the facts andi hard to bring it together in a serious way and remember the threat it is to our democrac democracy. >> people can see it. putting it in this document shows the american people the story. i want to play once again congressman ted lieu reacting to the findings. >> if you look at what donald trump said, he did not say, hey, i made these payments because i thought it was perfectly fine. he denied doing it at all. that's because he knew it was illegal. right now we have a sitting president of the united states who committed two felonies while running for president. >> i wanted to get europe
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reaction. is congressman ted lieu being higher bowlic here? is he being partisan in saying that the president of the united states that is committed two felonies while running for president? >> not at all, jonathan it is federal prosecutors would have had to get the highest levels to make those charges. they're saying he ordered and directed an illegal conspiracy to violate election laws. that is a serious charge. the other thing they said is people who helped donald trump on this were both michael cohen and members of the trump organization, and then very scary next words for people who are in donald trump's orbit, the
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investigation continues. so co-conspiraciors would be people in the trump organization. >> you used the word charges. to my mind having watched a lot of "svu" and "law & order." what you mean is in these documents there are accusations. >> yes. the charges are against michael cohen, but what they say is that michael cohen was directed and coordinated by individual a, the president. so that's a criminal conspiracy. he isn't charged exclusively because he happens to be the president of the united states. so the statute for this crime probably runs in 2022. if the president is reelected, he will never be charged. if he's not reelected and
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leaving office, he could be charged as the co-conspirator that the justice department believes he is. >> david, you've written a book on this, from the flynn documents, the cohen documents, the manafort documents, the things that came out about cour corsi in stone, have you learned anything you didn't already know? >> yes, there are things in it. like in the michael cohen filing, it says that he gave information on russian-related matters, according to the investigation, that are related to the trump organization. we don't know what that refers to. we just don't know. i have to say all of this reaffirms that we shouldn't l e lose, and that is that this is the most consequential political scandal in america history. it affected the outcome of an election.
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watergate didn't do that. the tea party didn't do that. iran-contra didn't do that. in this scandal we already know that the president lied. he lied about the hush money payments that the prosecutors say clouded the election, and he also lied about secret contacts with russia that his office had, so he could make money. so again and again he's denied this whole russian angle. he's tried to diminish this, but it's reshaped the future of this country and the president keeps call it a hoax, and it's not. >> thank you all very much for being on the show today. coming up, former trump aide sam nunberg offers his take on
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unstopand it's strengthenedting place, the by xfi pods,gateway. which plug in to extend the wifi even farther, past anything that stands in its way. ...well almost anything. leave no room behind with xfi pods. simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. that is our show for today, "a.m. joy" will be back tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern, but alex has the latest next. a good day to all of you. it is high noon here in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. this hour breaking down new and pivotal court filings from the president and alleged hush money payments by michael


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