tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC December 12, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PST
here and, of course, secretary cohen and phil. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow the show online, on facebook, at twitter. here's ali velshi and stephanie ruhle for "velshi & ruhle." >> thank you. we'll continue the coverage now. good afternoon, everyone. i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle. it's wednesday, december 12th. let's get smarter. >> we are watching a shot now live of michael cohen getting out of his car. here he comes. he is getting ready to head into court. >> just hearing he was sentenced, michael cohen the president's former attorney, and personal fixer was sentenced to 36 months of prison time. >> a deeply emotional michael cohen breaking down several times. in the course of speaking to judge pawly. when he was speaking about his family. he says that today is the first day of his freedom. that he's been incarcerated mentally, personally since the day he started working for president trump. and he respected him for his
business and real estate accumen and said it was a decision he deeply regrets. the judge said along the way as much as he appreciated the cooperation that somewhere along the way he lost his moral compass. >> president trump defiant telling reuters in a new interview he is confident he won't be impeached. the president also denying payments made by his former attorney michael cohen to buy the silence of two women about alleged affairs which he denies right before the election were campaign contributions. >> president says it's a witch hunt. >> we'll find out. >> the newly created opportunity zones. when i first heard about them, i thought they were a great idea to help the poorer areas get investment. we are taking a look at how the friends and family and possibly the president himself could directly benefit from this new program. >> may hours away from a vote of parliament that could end up
with her out of office. >> i'll contest that vote with everything i've got. a change of leadership in the conservative party now will put our country's future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it. >> the cia says that they're highly confident that the saudi crown prince did order the murder of khashoggi. >> some of the reporting on that is inaccurate. >> i think we need a serious, hard talk with the saudis to let them know we won't condone this. we won't give you a pass. >> all right. it's judgment day for the president's former personal attorney and fixer michael cohen. in the last hour a new york federal judge sentencing cohen to three years in prison for guilty pleas in two separate cases and set to surrender march 6th and pay a $50,000 fine, as well. >> here's what he was up against. from the special counsel's office, one charge of lying to congress. that is not all. >> from the southern district of new york, a total of eight charges including dodging taxes,
bank fraud and hush money payments at the direction of individual-1. individual-1 is the president. you will see nonsense on social media saying we don't know that's true. that's true. the president has kept quiet about the sentencing today so far. to be clear, cohen got three years for illegal hush money paid to two women, the money was trump's money at trump's direction. it was paid to influence an election. and those payments that trump first denied knowing about then denied directing acknowledges and says they weren't really crimes. >> and remember, those payments were related to affairs the president supposedly had with the porn star and former playmate soon after his wife was home with a newborn baby. michael cohen had powerful words in court before hearing his fate. i'm paraphrasing. i take full responsibility for the one that is relate to me and the ones that relate to the president of united states. this is one of the most
important days of my life. because i'm getting my freedom back. i blame myself for the conduct that has brought me here. blind loyalty to that man had led me to choose darkness over light. >> all right. joining us outside the courthouse -- >> that's heavy. >> it is. nbc news investigative reporter tom winter, legal ablist danny cevalos covering this all morning. let's start with you, danny. three years is not a small sentence for a guy who did cooperate. >> that's true. he didn't cooperate as that term is used in the southern district of new york. cooperation's a term of art. he is given substantial assistance. on the other hand, both the southern district of new york and the office of the special counsel acknowledged that cohen was helpful. he provided information but it didn't rise to that level of substantial assistance
warranting that precious 5k-1 motion as it's called which can have a downward affect on a defendant's sentence. the gambit for cohen may have paid off in his mind because he was unwilling to cross whatever red line he didn't provide additional information and gotten him assistance. perhaps the time without the cooperation motion was worth it in the end. but a sentence of 36 months ends up being right around the median and the national average for similarly situated defendants. so in this case, while michael cohen wanted straight probation or technically time served, giving him credit for the few hours in processing, this was a very foreseeable sentence. >> okay. then tell me what i'm missing, tom. i think back to paul manafort and he had assets seized to the tune of $50 million and michael cohen is wrapped up in dodging
taxes taxes and bank fraud and paid 50 grand. what am i missing? i'm guessing he had to have dodged more taxes than $50,000 worth. >> well, actually, there's a $50,000 fine and going to have to pay $1.939 million back to the government in restitution. so in fact, there will be a -- in fact, he will have to pay back the tax that is he owes the government. they said in court paperwork a little bit less than $1.4 million and $500,000 of financial restitution so that's how it breaks down, stephanie. he is not getting off scot-free financially. he's going to do the jail time and then in addition the two months that he's going to be dealing with. so that's how -- so he's going to have to pay a little bit of freight here. >> guys, stand by. joining us on the phone is michael cohen's attorney lanny
davis. lanny, good to have you here. i want to read -- >> hello, ali. >> michael cohen, former attorney to donald trump, continues to tell the truth about donald trump's misconduct over the years. at the appropriate time after mr. mueller issues the final report i look forward to assisting michael to state publicly all he knows about mr. trump and that includes any appropriate congressional committees interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies. mr. trump's repeated lies cannot contradict stubborn facts. tell me what else you can about what that means because that sounds ominous and another chapter coming here. >> for sure you can read mr. mueller's report, who took a much different view of the word cooperation than the southern district of new york. and mr. mueller credited mr. cohen with addressing after 70 hours in 7 meetings with the office of special counsel.
two very important words that mr. mueller used. core issues involved in his investigation. when mr. mueller is done explaining that and he will and he knows more than we all know michael cohen will fill in all the gaps and will be publicly available to tell the truth and if i were mr. trump rather than lying about something that everybody knows is a lie which is that he knew about the stormy daniels payment, his own lawyer rudy giuliani said that, and yesterday he tweeted that michael cohen lied about being directed to make that hush money payment that corrupted the election in 2016, right before the election, mr. cohen will tell the truth and all of the truth about what mr. mueller heard from him as well as what is meant by core issues. >> are mr. cohen's legal woes over? in the last few weeks when we
heard from donald trump, he had said things like michael cohen is just looking to protect himself, his family members, he mentioned his father-in-law. so where do things go for michael cohen? does he have any family members who at this point to get tied up with legal issues? >> first of all, i don't know the answer to that question. i certainly hope not. i know his family has suffered like every family would. but today in court michael cohen did not ask for mercy. he took responsibility. he stepped up to the line unlike donald trump. and said that he owned his past behavior as well as the behavior that led to this sentence. but regarding his family, i can't answer that. if i knew i probably wouldn't anyway. >> you have mentioned today that you are no longer representing michael cohen as his lawyer. but you still are going to have a role advising him. >> yes. and for those in your audience, probably 99% who don't
understand what that means, when you're a lawyer you have great restraints on what you can say to the media. not only are you worried about how the prosecutors will react, you are worried about the judge. you're worried about various ethical rules acting as an attorney of what you are allowed to say regarding privileged information. i'm done. the sentence procedure is over. and now i can resume the role as somebody that advises, how to get facts into the public domain and in a case of michael cohen, i know for sometime he has a lot he wants to say about donald trump. he wants to take ownership to his past mistakes and defending donald trump. but most importantly, going back to mr. mueller. mr. mueller gave mr. cohen great credit for the time and effort spent in his office as i said 70 hours worth and we're going to see michael cohen finally with my help not with the restraints as an attorney but as an adviser
to tell all the facts about mr. trump and in my statement today i reminded mr. trump that acts are stubborn things, even when you lie, the facts are still the facts. we know that he lied about the stormy daniels payment because he lied on air force one about the trump tower meeting. >> and the thing is -- >> and the stoerrmy daniels payment. the lies won't be hard. >> for the ten years michael cohen worked for donald trump he was the guy lying on his behalf. why do you believe michael cohen has had such a change of heart? because what you are asking and michael cohen is asking is for people to listen to cold, hard truth and the facts but we know he's a liar and chose to lie professionally for quite sometime. >> so i have two quick answers to that. one is he owns what he has done for trump. and as expressed his regretds. b -- regrets. but he has a hard road with
people like yourself and me when i first decided to represent him, that he is genuinely changed and transformed. the second answer to your question is you would have asked that question even worse of someone named john dean who was in the middle of an obstruction of justice, tampering with witnesses and hush money payments on behalf of the president of the united states. you would have been much tougher on john dean who wrote a book called "blind ambition." we now have another day where somebody who looks back and what he did for donald trump and he may not write a book called "blind ambition" but used the express today blind loyalty. we have to decide whether facts are facts despite the fact that the past ten years have not always been truthful in defending donald trump. >> lanny davis, i want do go back to the president's response after the sentencing memo came out on friday night. part of what michael cohen is going to jail for for three years is hush money payments
made to two women at the direction of individual-1 and he testified is donald trump and the southern district of new york seems to believe that's the case and the special counsel's office and done to influence a election. treated as a felony. he's been convicted for that. at the direction of the president and who as you mentioned on air force one denied knowing about the payments and then admitted to knowing about the payments and rudy giuliani said so and said they were civil, they weren't violations of the campaign finance act but they might be. the bottom line is courts in the united states have now found michael cohen guilty of an offense that he was directed to commit by donald trump. where does donald trump sit on this? we >> well look. to say donald trump is a liar is a redundancy and not funny anymore to count the number of times that not only lies but he knows you are lying and he
repeats the lie and when his own attorney says on a tape he didn't use the word cash and i go on another network and i say don't believe me. i'm a democrat. listen with your own ears to donald trump agreeing to pay cash and it was his idea to use the word cash to hush up and cover up so that his election wouldn't be endangered. that's corrupting an election. not just a campaign finance violation. it is corrupting an election and the government, the federal government, his own justice department, not mr. mueller, called that a crime in their memorandum on sentencing. so, we'll have to have mr. trump with his alleged credibility versus michael cohen who takes ownership to what he's done in the past and now wants to as stephanie asked me quite rightfully, how can we believe him? we have to wait to see whether he meets the challenge of persuading us that he's telling
the truth. >> i almost forgot about that tape that we heard. we know president trump doesn't use e-mail. and we know you're somewhat limited in what you can say. when michael cohen's office and when his apartment was raided, a whole lot of tapes were taken. can you give us an idea, the amount of information that michael cohen turned over, that could be incriminating? it wasn't just campaign finance issues. he worked with the trump organization for years. and who works there? don jr., ivanka, eric. besides what position is the president in, knowing what you know about all that michael cohen has told the government, how much danger are president trump's children in? >> first of all, anybody who is responsible for the kinds of activities that occurred in trump tower while mr. trump was a businessman, much less running for president, the contacts with russian government officials and
everything we know from the media ought to be worried. period. secondly, mr. mueller has already indicated by his actions by the guilty pleas that they have a lot to worry about. the ones that haven't been indicted yet. thirdly, the answer your question, i can't tell you about tapes or anything else that mr. mueller knows everything because we're not going to speak before mr. mueller speaks but after he's done, i said that you'll see mr. cohen cooperating with one or more congressional committees and answer every question, stephanie. >> you could say whether -- you could say whether -- >> i would be nervous about this. >> you could say whether or not president trump's children will be indicted. >> i would never do that if i thought that. they're entitled to wait to have government -- before i tell an opinion about their being indicted. i would say they have a lot to worry about. i don't know the they. anybody associated with the trump campaign has a lot to worry about.
bob mirl, akural, atin to a sub fueled by facts and just facts and watch and wait and then michael will tell the truth once mr. mueller is finished with his work. >> lanny, tell me one thing. danny cevalos was discussing that cooperation is a term of art in new york. why is michael cohen not a coop rating witness with the southern district of new york? >> well, again, it depends on -- i hate to use this expression often. a cheap shot used against me about my past that depends on your definition of cooperation. why don't we ask the head of the southern district to pick up the telephone and have a debate with bob mueller who praised michael cohen, even though michael cohen was according to mr. mueller guilty of a serious crime and pre-publicized the false statement to congress so the president of the united states and the white house would know that he's conforming to their lies, yet he gave mr. cohen
great credit. so maybe the southern district of new york is a tale of two prosecutors. >> or maybe it's that they're going after a different crimes. >> they are absolutely different crimes. the difference between a bank false statement which is an unintentional error, that's what they charged him with. unintentional error on a loan covered more than ten times by the equity in his house and that's what they focused on. he pled guilty and he took responsibility versus the president of the united states potentially being guilty of colluding with a hostile foreign government. mr. mueller took the latter more seriously than the southern district took the three crimes that were pled to so this is a tale of two prosecutors. i'm not challenging the integrity of the southern district prosecutors. they have their own rules. but it depends on your definition of the word cooperate. >> also, can't you separate the two? the southern district of new
york could be going after businesses related to mr. cohen aez h and his taxi medallions and nothing to do with the election and separate. so wouldn't it be fair to say it's not just two prosecutors and their point of view but crimes unrelated? >> yes. well, they are unrelated and up to each american to decide which is more important. what mueller's investigating or the southern district or maybe they're equal. but the question i would ask the southern district is, a fact revealed by mr. petrillo, a fact that most people have forgotten. it was not until the friday before the monday that the southern district announced the guilty pleas. that michael cohen was allowed to come in and talk to the southern district prosecutors. he had been requesting for weeks
an opportunity to come in and talk. and they waited until friday and gave him an ultimate tuum. their definition of cooperation is we wanted you to agree to a cooperation before we let you come in and talk to us and that's completely their policy. i'm simply pointing out the fact they were not allowing michael cohen to come in until the friday before the monday. >> so, lanny, in your opinion, in your legal opinion, and this is what i think you're getting to, the fact that michael cohen cooperated with bob mueller possibly more fully should in the eyes of the public be more significant than the fact that he committed other crimes that the southern district of new york might be interested in. >> the president of the united states misconduct which bob mueller is investigating is far more important to the national interest than the crimes that mr. cohen has taken full
responsibility and is going to jail for. that's my opinion. >> right. >> but even if they're equal, at least mr. mueller gave mr. cohen credit for cooperation. the southern district has a different -- >> don't you see that in the sentencing? you know, you are not seeing robert mueller go after him. if robert mueller hadn't been so positive, the fate of michael cohen would be significantly worse than 36 months. >> you know, i don't know if this is the last question but it's a great ending. what we received today, we meaning my friend michael cohen, was the middle between the least and the worst. and i consider it to be at least i was relieved that the credit that i think mr. mueller gave to michael allowed this result to be somewhere in the middle rather than the maximum which i said in my public statement today i questioned the proportionally judgments and today's result i think is -- i
was relieved that it was somewhere in the middle. >> lanny, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> we look forward to talking to you when chapter two as you describe it comes around. >> thank you both. >> he's leaving that position to advise him on a more public strategy. >> i thought that was an important distinction. he is not leaving him but be in a position to be more forthcoming. >> that's right. let's go back to the coverage outside the courthouse of this. tom winter and analyst danny cevalos. let's ask tom, to the extent that the three years, the 36-month sentence, has to do with a bunch of crimes, personal income tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, the unlawful contribution and an excessive campaign contribution, do we know how it divides up? how much of that jail sentence has to do with the hush money payments to karen mcdougal and stormy daniels? >> that's a very good question.
so, the judge was pretty clear on this because both sides debated whether or not everything should be grouped together. in other words, to the point i think you're alluding to there whether or not the tax evasion and the lying to a bank or making misstatements to a bank, whether or not that should be separate from the mcdougal and stormy daniels campaign contributions and so what the judge ultimately decided and the government said that it should be put together because it showed a pattern of deception, a pattern of greed according to -- that's according to their own words so in actuality they have to look at it in total and they have to weigh all of those charges in total. and then there's all sorts of things to take the rest of the program to talk about them but there's all sorts of other things coming into play with respect to the prior criminal history and the dollar amount of the tax evasion comes into it and it's basically like a scorecard and the more crime you
do, and the higher fraud you commit, and the more taxes that you evade, et cetera, et cetera, that tallies up. so when's happening over the last several weeks, the probation department and others looking at this had an opportunity to say let's tally up the score sheet and then based upon that they put out the sentence guidelines we had today and then the judge as we now know obviously went down from those sentencing guidelines at the urging of the special counsel's office and the recommendation of the southern district prosecutors so that's why we get to where we got today. you know, as far as the comment about whether or not i was listening to the interview you just had with lanny davis, as far as southern district versus special counsel's office, there's two cases here and i think something that people may not understand, the cases are separate. it just so happens that they were sentenced today on the same date in the same courtroom. these cases were not merged together so we really do need to
look at them as separate animals. they're not combined. they didn't try to group it together. so that's something that comes into play here so they have to look at the southern district case separately from the special counsel's case and i understand that michael cohen and guy petrillo raised questions if the sentence was appropriate and the comments made in the sentencing memo appropriate or not but one of the things that the southern district points out is, hey, we are looking at a period of crimes over several years and we are looking at the same types and patterns of behavior and that's something that's different so i think that's something that comes into play here and something that people need to understand. when they're weighing the statements of michael cohen's camp. shortly before coming on with you at the top of 1:00 p.m. i did ask mr. we trial low leaving court, michael cohen's attorney, whether or not he had any comment on today's proceedings and said, no no, s.
we have to wait and see if we receive anything from the u.s. attorney's office there. >> lots of great answers from tom and leaves me lots of questions. let's take a break. the special coverage of the sentencing of michael cohen continues on msnbc. you're watching "velshi & ruhle." 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. - [narrator] for powerful suction, you need a shark. with two swappable batteries, at maximum suction the shark ion f80 has more run time than the dyson v10 absolute. or, choose the upright model for whole home cleaning only from shark. or, choose the upright model for whole home cleaning if your moderate to severeor crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough it may be time for a change.
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sentenced. 36 months in jail, ali. this is stunning. >> yeah. and there are a lot of questions here. we've got danny, tom, mimi, dan all on the scene. i want to go to mimi. >> i want you to ask the question you asked me in commercial. >> mimi, i get on the train and somebody says, so, michael cohen got three years for doing donald trump's dirty work with paying off stormy daniels and karen mcdougal. true or false? >> partly true. he got three years for doing those crimes, dirty work for donald trump, i agree with that characterization. and a whole host of other crimes. so i think -- i wasn't in the courtroom and sounds like the judge made clear, you look at the defendant that you're sentencing as a whole. you look at everything that he's done. the good and the bad.
and michael cohen pled guilty to different crimes. now, the judge did note that each of the crimes including the one that he committed with donald trump is a, quote, serious crime and he also found that it was a sophisticated crime. these are important things to look at what the judge has said about michael cohen's conduct with respect to the campaign finance crimes because essentially those same things could be said of donald trump and that's our president and i think congress needs to look at that when they consider impeachment. >> same question to you, daniel. you were there. the president continues to distance himself from michael cohen and continues to say he wasn't all that involved in this thing and then, okay, maybe there was a payment and not a campaign violation. >> i think that's the most important thing. >> in the end, we're all going to forget about michael cohen. i'm sorry about that for him and
his family. that is not central about that. donald trump is central to thing. >> trump makes it sound like he was just a dirty business guy that did a little bit of legal work for him. >> you're right and the focus for us right now is on the implication and inferences drawn of donald trump's involvement but what really drove michael cohen's sentence was not the campaign finance fraud. what drove it was tax fraud and bank fraud and got the guideline up and that's what we had to work down from and his cooperation with the special counsel's office was valuable and it got him about a year and a half less time than he might have otherwise gotten. but it is -- and you listen to lanny davis and all he wants to talk about is the president and correct that michael cohen's cooperation about the president is most significant cooperation to provide and doesn't want to talk about michael cohen's five-year tax fraud and didn't
talk about the five years of tax fraud and that tax fraud and the bank fraud that followed was done by a licensed lawyer which the judge also referenced and relied on because lawyers are expected to have a higher sense of legality, of course. and so, the judge was focusing on the southern district case and the southern district prosecutors are focusing on the southern district case and while we are correctly focusing on the broader implications of this, what really drove the sentence was i think the other crimes that he committed. >> interesting. >> all right. speaking of other crimes or mabel not, nbc news -- let's bring back tom winter. you have breaking news on american media and let's remember who runs america media. this is david pecker, long-time friend of donald trump. that's national enquirer. us weekly and a host of other magazines. >> that's right, stephanie.
the u.s. office of new york is announcing it reached a non prosecution agreement with america media incorporated in making the $150,000 payment before the 2016 presidential election. they acknowledge they admit the payment in concert with the candidate's presidential campaign, of course, donald trump and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election. this next segment, this next sentence is important and significant. ami further admitted that its principle purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman's story so as to prevent it from influencing the election. this means that ami's now saying that it made this payment in order to not influence the election. up until this point, it was a he said/he said with michael cohen and the president. >> and this is -- >> michael cohen stated he made this -- >> but help us understand this. >> michael cohen had stated --
>> this is about attention kill. this is about the former playmate has a story to tell so american media pays her to tell her story and then -- >> doesn't publish it. >> never gets published. >> that's exactly correct. and now, instead of just michael cohen saying, hey, i made this not to influence an election because the president has stated this was a private settlement which, of course, would be completely legal as pete williams pointed out several times today and changes things because now american media's saying that this payment was made not to influence an election and it continues to say the agreement acknowledges among other things ami's acceptance of responsibility and they note that the -- that ami's role in assisting the investigation was significant, as well. so those are two important pieces of information. a non prosecution agreement, excuse me, reached with american media incorporated, the parent
company of national enquirer coming from the u.s. attorney's office as part of a press release following the sentencing of michael cohen. >> put that through -- thank you for that reporting. put it through the daniel goldman filter. we don't understand non prosecutorial agreement. to the point that most of america is focused on what donald trump and michael cohen did to possibly influence the outcome of the election and now american media enterprise said, yeah, that catch and kill, that was about influencing the election. >> this is quite significant, ali. you put your finger on it. basically a non prosecution agreement is an agreement without the requirement of pleading guilty to crimes. so basically ami is agreed to accept responsibility for their conduct in return for not getting charged. it's very rare that corporations get charged. it can be devastating to the corporations so oftentimes
corporations that engaged in wrongdoing reach a nonprosecution agreement but the critical aspect is what tom pointed out. ami saying they made the payment in order to influence the election. exactly the same thing that michael cohen said about the stormy daniels payment. so this is what we call in prosecutorial world corroboration. you have two different essentially witnesses saying that these payments were made in coordination with the campaign and in order to influence the election. i quote an article about how i think there's enough evidence without ami to charge donald trump with campaign finance fraud if michael cohen were to cooperate. this now really ratchets up the evidence. and provides important and significant corroboration to the fact that donald trump likely committed campaign finance fraud. >> it also speaks to how much information they must have. we can't stress enough. david pecker has been a friend
and ally to president trump -- >> right. >> to jared kushner for years and years. he and trump have been in business together. i can think of stories that investors who have backed ami told me where they said they were in meetings, over the years, with david pecker and when that phone rings and it's donald trump, he's got something to say, pecker leaves the room. these two have been tangled together for decades. mimi, what does it say to you? >> so, what this does, stephanie, gets rid of the john edwards defense. just -- >> huh. >> -- a couple of days ago rudy giuliani was on twitter saying, you know, this is a settlement, a civil settlement of a suit or -- i forget his exact language. he was trying to divorce it from the election. and now you have, again, as dan said, not just michael cohen but ami, the corporation who has, you know, made the payment and is obviously a business, they are saying, no, this was done in
agreement with the president's campaign to influence the election. so remember, we had the president who first said he didn't know anything about these payments. then, they said, well, it is no big deal and just him settling with women to keep them quiet. no. it's a federal felony to make these payments, to keep them quiet for the purpose of influencing the election. and john edwards, who i think trump has, in fact, cited in some of his tweets. >> right. >> -- he did not get convicted because it was -- there was no clear evidence. so what this shows is you have a legal theory and the facts as to john edwards didn't show his guilt and looking more and more and more like the facts here would show donald trump's guilt. >> okay. let's talk about something entirely different but related to this. and that is what is happening in the state of new york for the president. there are more legal worries for president trump and his family and friends. >> we have to remember the trump
organization, actually very small business. >> yep. >> mom and pop or really just pop shop with president trump and his children. the new york state's attorney general elect james said she plans to launch sweeping investigations into the trumps and anyone in his orbit who may have violated the law. there's criticism thus far that cy vance didn't go far enough. >> james tells nbc news we'll investigate president trump and his business transactions and that of his family, as well. she laid out what exactly she intends to pursue, it is a long list. trump's real estate holdings, the june 2016 trump tower meeting with the russians, government subsidies received by the trump organization, potential violations of the emoluments clause and the trump foundation. this is new information and she's stated, daniel goldman, specifically that he aim in doing so is to ensure that
pardons can't be held over people, that there's some state crime that the -- that they have determined that donald trump can't then dangle the offer of pardons to friends and family. what do you make of her statement? >> well, she campaigned a little bit on this promise. >> yes. >> of being a check on donald trump. and making sure that he doesn't get away with any criminal activity as a result of his pardon power as you pointed out. there's an investigation into the trump foundation that has been moving along quite briskly, in fact. they scored a victory a couple of weeks ago and now what she is saying is we are looking into his businesses and to his family and the trump administration more broadly. there's a lot of reporting out there, ali and steph, about some suspect dealings related to the trump administration. but to date we have not seen anything in any of these investigations either southern
district or the special counsel's office that indicates there was any -- >> what are the consequences? help me understand what the consequences are, mimi. as it relates to the investigation into the trump foundation, to daniel's point, he said it's moving along briskly but to what end? the articles came out that the trump foundation shouldn't operate for ten years, the kids shouldn't operate it. until there are actual consequences, i think it gets unnoticed. >> well, that's true. and i think that has to do -- that's sort of a political question, right? i mean, we have said this before. but the things that have already been found by a judge i think including the judge today and when you're talking about new york state, the judge in the case about the trump foundation, these are things that for any other president i think would have been a significant blow if not the final blow.
but they keep building up. i think one thing, though, that will be different here is the new york state attorney general has the ability to go after things, certain crimes civilly and certain crimes criminally. i think if you see, you know, entities like the trump administration or people who are senior executives, even if they're family members, in the trump organization get charged, either by federal or by state, because we know there are still investigations going on in the southern district of new york, investigations that they wanted michael cohen to cooperate in, so i think if you get people actually charged criminally, even if it's in the donald trump himself or the trump organization ends up being charged criminally, i have to think that would have some impact on really the -- you know, republican wall of protection around donald trump. >> all right. this is a continuing story we'll continue to cover. thanks to all of you. tom, danny, daniel, mimi.
>> all right. our other big story right now, conservative members of the british parliament are voting on whether or not theresa may will be prime minister. the future of brexit, the eu and even the u.s. economy are all on the line or the very least directly impacted in a big way and this could be just the start. how the rise of nationalism is putting global trade agreements in jeopardy. you are watching "velshi & ruhle." ♪
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and accessoriesphones for your mobile phone. like this device to increase volume on your cell phone. - ( phone ringing ) - get details on this state program call or visit all right. welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." a consequential day in the united kingdom. prime minister may fights to keep her job. members of the conservative party are voting in a secret ballot to determine whether or not they have confidence in the prime minister. >> if may loses this vote it could trigger a no-deal exit when the uk leaves the european union next march possibly leaving to a total breakdown of trade between the two. but what does all that mean? what is the big picture here and most importantly why should you at home care? >> let's walk over here for a sense of it.
this no-confidence vote is a step in the shift away from the global liberal democratic political order that dominated since the end of world war ii. the shift away from globalism and in some circles is a negative term and to protectionism, isolationism and nationalism, in the united kingdom, conservative prime minister may is squeezed from all sides on brexit. which she didn't support but she is in charge of implementing. on her left are mainstream liberals and conservatives, people in the middle of the political spectrum that never wanted to leave the eu. they want to keep things as is. on the right protectionists thinking trade alliances are bad for the uk and want to cut all ties to europe. and they're joined by many in the working class liberal or conservative who think think trade with the eu is great for elites but bad for workers and farmers. now, this is not too far off from the struggle facing may's european colleagues bilike merk
and macron. in germany, merkel acknowledged a decline for her party and announced the plans to step down. in france, macron's given in to the macron has given sinto the demands of protesters but it hasn't assuaged them. they feel cheat and left behind by only major trade deals that only benefit the rich. isolationist politicians are seizing on their anger as an opportunity to push their agenda. if western democracy in europe is under fire, what does that mean for america? that's an interesting question because all of these things we saw happening in europe before we saw them in america. brexit came before the election of donald trump. >> great points. their all connected. joining us is columnist and
writer for the times hugo ripkin and matt bradly. you have a wicked analysis of brexit and a submarine made of cheese. can you explain it? >> not really. it was just an idea i had. the problem with brexit is completely impractical and teresa may is under attack for doing this impractical thing. it's not going to work. it's a bad idea. you can do it well or badly, but it's still a bad thing. >> ultimately, it's a submarine made of cheese. she's trying to make it a less cheesy submarine. that's the problem. she didn't believe in brexit in first place and trying to moderate this exit from the european union on march 29th and she can't seem to cut a deal that gets broad support. >> that's the best thing that she has going for her right now.
she can turn around and say no one else will be able to do this. this is a submarine made of cheese. try piloting that. you're going to fail. nobody will be able to negotiate this agreement and navigate these waters between all these different people who none of them really wanted brexit to begin with. it's all of these people trying to reluctantly bring about a deal. one of them wanted and they all believed the country country want. in britain, a lot of people think about immigration. >> good point. we often look at it through a lens of economic degree. a lot of immigration issues to do with economics. how do you think -- how should the uk be look at this?
>> well, you're right at the beginning suggesting that brexit was a protectionist movement is not quite right. a lot of people supported brexit might have protectionist leanings but they are largely more free trade than the eu. that's their problem with the eu. for the uk, the challenge is do we do this thing? do we do this? 52% voted for it but there seems no way forward to do it and a lot of lack political courage to do it. >> sooner or later the debate has got to be reopened with the public. whether that happens in an election or another referendum, i have no idea. >> there's a lot of people who supported brexit not because they are anti-trade. they don't like the regulations and the con strastraints that t believe part of being the eu imposed upon brits. >> as i'm sure in way you see in
america as well. there's a big di viegs between the politicians who are driving brexit a and the people who voted for it. they want to bring back industry and rekrakt industry in the north. the project was driven by free trade. people who wanted to internationalize. >> to hugo's point, it only underscores the idea there's so many parties on either side of this thing. what does this end up looking like to you? on march 29th there's some deal or does british trade end? >> it all depends on the next couple of days. teresa may gets rejected by her own political party then we'll have to have a new prime minister. that could take weeks or months to come up with.
by march 29th, britain will lead the eu regardless of what happens. if they do it without a deal that would be a hard brexit. that means just casting britain o out. >> that doesn't -- if you're a free trader, that doesn't help you. you have to renegotiate them. thanks very much. thanks for your time. next, more on today's huge breaking news. the former personal attorney and fixer for president trump, michael cohen, snnentenced to three years in prison after paying illegal hush money to a porn star and playboy bunny on the president's behalf. our coverage continues on msnbc.
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some of it is the fact we have had sell offs and some investigators who are thinking might not be all that bad. >> what we have here is volatility. if the market is going down, we talk about this all the time. there might be a price out there right for you. >> thanks for watching. i'll be back here at 3:00 p.m. eastern. >> connect with our show. right now, steve kornacki is here to pick up coverage. good afternoon. it's 11:00 a.m. out west. 2:00 p.m. in new york. that's where we're following breaking news. this afternoon president trump's former personal lawyer and so called fixer, michael cohen, sn sentenced to three years in prison along with $3.4 million owed in taxes and a $50,000 fine. cohen who once bragged he would take a bullet for the president
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