tv The Reid Out MSNBC May 25, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
>> look up at what you did, big brother. you changed the world. >> tonight we take a moment to hear those voices who have the last word and as mentioned we have a fuller civil rights report digging into there on the anniversary tomorrow. on this big news night, i'm going to hand it off to the reid out with joy reid. i cannot wait to see the covers that comes barrelling toward you. >> thank you for ending your show that way. we had an entire plan to talk about a lot of these george floyd issues tonight but as you know better than i do, prosecutors had their own timeline and they don't care about ours. it's in way comforting that they don't pay attention to news cycle. prosecutors just do what they do. >> they do it on their own schedule. the information goes where it goes. i can't way to see what you do with it. what a news night.
>> what a news night. thank you. >> good evening, every one. i am joy reid. we have a lot of moving parts tonight. our plan was to spend a large portion of this hour talking about the anniversary of george floyd's murder and the legislation that's moving through congress to try and enact police reform in mr. floyd's name. the breaking news gods had other plans as prosecutors did in new york. we begin with explosive nutz of new york of the former president of the united states, donald trump and the trump organization. in a breaking story, the washington post revealed that manhattan's district attorney has convened the grand jury that is expected to decide whether to indict trump and other executives at his company or the business itself should prosecutors present the panel with criminal charges.
that's according to two people familiar with the development. one of whom said that trump related testimony in the secret proceeding has begun. it's not clear whether the grand jury will return any indictments. the develop suggests that vance believes he has evidence of a crime, if not by trump then by someone close to him or by his company. manhattan d.a. has been invest good faithing trump since 2018 and is scrutinizing whether his company misrepresented the value of his assets for tax or insurance purposes. that's also known as fraud. no president of the united states has ever been charged with that or any other crime. just the potential of that is a very big deal. last week we learned that cy vance team joined forces with investigators with the office of new york attorney general whose civil probe has become a criminal investigation. joining me now, two former
federal prosecutors, paul butler and cynthia. i'll start with you paul. the attitude we learn is they were there to indict folks. when you hear that a grand jury has been impanelled, what does that tell you as a former prosecutor? how likely is an actual indictment here? >> when i was a public prosecutor, i spent way more time in front of the grand jury than in court. prosecutors don't get grand juries for fishing expeditions. prosecutors think they have probable cause. he believe he has enough evidence to charge something or somebody. the something may be the trump organization. sometimes with corporate crime
the top executives are protected and middle managers get blamed for everything. the trump organization reportedly consolidated all decision making power at the very top. the individuals who have criminal exposure, include donald trump senior, don junior, eric, ivanka and allen weisselberg. >> cynthia, i think about the rock scott situation where he had a huge health care company that committed massive medicare and tricare fraud and he gave a deposition saying i didn't know anything about that. that didn't have anything to do with me. he was never involved directfully this case. in this case it's a little different. donald trump is involved in the trump organization. it's not a big massive company like the health care company was. prosecutors do impanel grand
juries not for fishing expeditions but because they have probable cause. how unlikely to convene this kind of a process for a former president of the united states. do you think the person who should be the most nervous is donald trump or is it one of these other people that paul mention? the son or allen weisselberg? >> i think it's the lower level people. this is six months period and it's a very important period. prosecution with the grand jury system in new york is very different than the federal system. if you put a witness in the grand jury in new york you immunize them. it makes it difficult. you have to work around the edges in a much smarter way. they don't have the same levers of power when using the grand jury system in new york. this isn't surprising at all. he's been doing this for two years. now he's got the tax returns.
we have pretty open process about the pressure. this isn't surprising news. it's a big step but he didn't mean for sure anything until we go through the process because the new york process is so different for the federal process in terms of grabbing evidence and flipping people and moving within the system. it's very different. >> flipping people that we know that eric trump has been interviewed, tim. >> under oath. >> under oath. yeah. we know that mr. weisselberg has been interviewed. you talked about the importance of him. if people were going to flip, it seems like those are the kind of people. the two cases have had in common from the very begin, tim, both leticia james case and the cy
vance case. they both seed to have proceeded from what michael cohen said under oath before congress. let me see if we have this. this is former congresswoman lacy clay. this was in 2019. people will remember this was around the pay off to stormi daniels and other women. here is michael cohen testifying. >> do your knowledge, did the president or his company ever inflate assets or revenue? >> yes. >> was that done with the president's knowledge or direction? >> everything was done with the knowledge and at the direction of mr. trump. >> that last bit seems to be the important part and this is where your reporting comes in. he said everything that was done was done with the knowledge of donald trump. that seems to be bad news for the former president.
>> right. when paul mentioned about how complex corporate investigations can become, he's totally right. the thing is the trump organization is not really a complex organization. it's not even as complex as your local super market in term of its size. big corporations have controls in place and levels of deniable for the chief executive at the top of the organization. the trump organization is this mom and pop shop and donald trump ran everything in that place through two people and a handful of others. anything of significance didn't happen with his knowledge or him signing off. that's been true forfling asset decades. this is all coming home to roost
now. the significance of the grand jury proceeding, where ever it ends up and we don't know where it will end up is i don't think cy vance would be convening a grand jury and his team would not be convening a grand jury to hear evidence unless they believe they have compelling evidence. those are both serious warning shots across the trump organization. it doesn't mean he winds up in an orange jump suit. >> really quickly, tim. you reported on the family. the father was accused. it was a lengthy new york times talking about the father cheating on his taxes. wasn't allen weisselberg the coo then. what i'm trying to get to is how difficult it might be for donald trump to distance himself from lower level employee, to pull a rick scott and say that wasn't
me. how intimate was he involved and also want the father along the same lines in terms of his avoidance of taxes. >> weisselberg joined in the mid-1970s at the same time donald trump did. he started add fred trump's accountant. donald trump made him the coo. donald trump will have a hard time saying he didn't know. the prosecutors will have a hard time that ties him through evidence to knowledge of this. that's why witnesses will be important. donald trump doesn't use e-mail and has a long practice of deny blts. >> this is what michael cohen about what he might do if he feels backed into a corner. >> i think donald trump will flip on all of them. what do you think about that? including his children. what's going to happen when they turn around and start asking him
about his tax returns or about the devaluation of the assets or the way that he took deductions. i don't do my taxes. it's my accountant. he will point the finger. he will say don junior handled. ivanca. don't take me. take melania. he will tell them to take every one except himself. >> in a public corruption type of case, eric trump testified under oath. how likely is it they become a finger pointing exercise where every one is trying to blame others. how does that impact a kind of case? sgla he will not buy that defense. if there's exposure, if he thinks he has an airtight case will bring that case and every one else will be subordinate to
the target. that's a legal word. we don't know that president trump is the target. all indication s major focus on the trump organization. there's never been this intensive investigation of his business dealings, the corruption trump admitted to with regard to his charitable organizations. it's not surprising his business may not have been law-abiding. >> that's a really good point. can't do a charity in state of new york. on his blog, i find it funny to say. he's typing on his blog and accusing her of being political
saying she will go after these organizations which she had alleged had been corrupt for a long time. how effective might it be to try to turn the into politics especially since cy vance is on his way out. he's a lame duck prosecutor pursuing there case. >> i think they ought to give him his twitter account back because all he does is get himself in trouble. there's nothing sweeter than if everybody accuses everybody else. he is likely to blame other people. he's intensely loyal. he's not going be easy to flip. that's why they will need every lever of power in order to get limb to flip on donald trump. it will be very difficult. if they dorks it will be a jackpot. >> it's something else. let me bring in one of the reporters who broke this story.
everybody stay right there. we don't that donald trump is the target. it would be allen weisselberg or eric trump. is there any chance they are pressuring weisselberg and his children? >> yes. we know they want to flip allen weisselberg. they see him as a human equivalent to those millions of pages of tax returns they got a few months ago. even better, he wanted to could give you information about trump's intent. we took this move because donald trump told me. he understood what he was doing and did it any way. it's key to this case and that's why there's so much pressure on him. >> can we talk about the
specific properties at issue. this isn't broadly across every property. it seems like it's narrow. the chicago property and there's a new york property. can you give us more on that. >> we don't know everything about this case. remember, cy vance got millions of trump's tax return a few months ago. it's a handle of properties. all around two thing, one he deceived taxes authorities by getting what he called conservation easement on his properties and saying he had given up development rights that were many more than they were, savoring money on his taxes. a question about a 100 million dollar plus loan that was forgiven on his chicago tower. generally you have to pay income tax. there's a question of whether he had done that. this question is whether he mislead lenders by saying he had more money and assets to make himself look like a better candidate. >> let talk about these tax
returns. there was a lengthy fight over the tax returns. it went to the supreme court. this is something that cy vance had been working on. is that because they got their hands on the tax returns. how far are they through them? is this something they are gone through or are they still pouring over them? >> the timing of this is all about the tax returns. vance made a decision to ask for everything. he couldn't move until he got the tax returns. once he got them, he's had a lot of prosecutors going through them. they had a few months. we don't know how far in they are. i imagine they are learned a lot. joy, you mentioned earlier the trump foundation. trump charity that happened under investigation. when you peeled it open, there were all kinds of things wrong.
they were misstated accounts, missing paper work and that was a big part of the case that leticia james made against trump that resulted in a 2 million dollar fine. the one time we have seen their work in producing taxes the, there were a lot of problems. >> let's talk about the merging of these two cases. were you able to develop any reporting of why the leticia james case, she has this track record of going after trump civilly and this case flipped and merged into a criminal case. do you have any reporting on what triggered that merger? >> we don't know what specifically or what person it is attached to. the key here is the kind of evidence. what people wo worked in the ag's office have told us is the kind of evidence that makes you switch from civil to criminal is that it's about intent. civil case all it requires you to do is prove somebody broke the law. criminal case requires they knew they were breaking the law and
did it any way. it points to somebody's state of mind and criminal intent. that can make it a criminal case. that's what the ag office took away is they must have found that kind of evidence. >> it is fascinating. this has never happened to a former president. thank you very much. really appreciate your time. stay with us. as we continue tonight's breaking news from the washington post. grand jury has been convened by the manhattan da to decide whether to indict the former president of the united states or any others in his company. the reid out continues after this. machine continues after this machin
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committed by donald trump, his company or anyone associated with it regarding taxes. regarding misstating the value of assets to avoid taxes. joining me now frederick, former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york and current distinguished lecturer after the georgetown law center. i want to start by going back a little bit. donald trump had never hidden the fact that he was not somebody who was really prone to want to pay taxes or not to do it willingingly. i want to play the debate between himself and hillary clinton, former secretary of state and she pressed him on his tax returns. there was in 2016. >> you want to ask yourself why won't he release his tax returns. we don't know all of his business dealings but we have been told that he owes about 650
million dollar to wall street and foreign banks or maybe he doesn't want all of you to know he's paid nothing in federal taxes because the only years that anybody ever seen were couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license and they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax. >> that makes me smart. >> that makes me smart. tim, i want to go to you on this first. you reported on this for a long time. he was never hiding the fact he was not willing to pay taxes. >> because i don't think he ever thought he would be under the microscope of a criminal prosecutor and now he is. there's a lot of legitimate ways real estate developers minimize the income taxes they pay. he's hardly the only real estate developer to take advantage of very generous loopholes that exist around the tax code for people who develop real estate. having said that, his use of
write offs has been extreme. in some cases, there's an issue as to whether or not he was forgiven loans that he owed to banks or to other lenders and he didn't adequately account for that in his tax returns in way that's possibly criminal. his flip response to hillary clinton that it makes him smart, he's walking a very fine line because it also might make him a criminal at the end of the day. >> he might have gotten away with it. he's put mafia bosses behind
bars and prosecutor john gotti's son. what does that say to you? >> that guy is one of the stars in the office when i was there. the fact he was brought in meant they wanted somebody with experience in high profile cases and complicated cases. cases that have a lot of paper or a lot of evidence that you have to put a whole complicated timeline together. this case feels like it's been around forever. why is it takes so long? it is complicated and they are doing it with great detail and you're watching each of the steps now. sgla it's a lengthy process but it's not usually six months. can you walk us through how that works. why would a grand jury be seated
for that long and while the grand jury is seated, i don't know most see a lot of cases all at once. are they there that long because they are just focused on this or would they operate like a normal grand jury and look at other cases. is that what would extend it to six months? >> new york county you have two different kind of grand juries. people will put cases in front of them for burglaries, armed robbery, murder. all the cases the da's office will do. then you have an investigatory grand jury where they are putting the evidence together. that's the grand jury that will give them subpoena and bring in witnesses, that will start having testimony brought in. it may not take six months. it could take longer than six months. they have the authority to go back to the judge and ask a judge to extend that. nobody should be thinking something will happen tomorrow. this will take time.
>> i want to may you one more piece of michael cohen. >> to your knowledge did the president provide inflated assets to an insurance company? >> yes. >> do you think we need to review his financial statements and his tax returns in order to compare them? >> yes and you find it at the trump org. >> tim, do you think ta donald trump tonight is regretting throwing that man under the bus? >> i think he undoubtedly is. i think it's just -- it's a measure of shortsightedness and his arrogance. his company and the people around him threw michaelcohen to the wolves and it wouldn't
boomerang in a negative way. it's given rise to two situations. i'm certain he regrets that. a lot of the things that michael cohen brought up is issues we litigated with trump. trump wanted to settle that case because the fact pattern emerged was dam ingdamming. >> yeah, it's something else. what a time line. if he had not run for president, he might have got away with it all. thank you very much. our breaking news coverage continues after this. plus, today marked the one year anniversary of george floyd's murder. still no action in congress on police reform. still no aioctn in police reform.
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it's velveeta shells & cheese versus the other guys. ♪♪ clearly, velveeta melts creamier. i hope the breaking news that's changed the world. it's changed the news cycle. prosecutors convenes grand jury to hear evidence a and weigh potential charges. executives at his company or the business itself should prosecutor find crimes and find criminal charges. joining me is karen bass. i want to get your reaction to this news. no former president has ever
faced this kind of legal scrutiny. >> i have to tell you i was surprised but i wasn't shocked. there's so much that went on in those four years that this is probably the beginning. i also wonder about the corruption from so many people associated with the president. the president's cabinet, for example. definitely not a shock but surprised. this would be historic. >> i think about the body that you are serving in, the minority leader of the u.s. house of representatives is completely beholden to this man who now faces potential charges in georgia over interference of the election. potential huge debt entitlement, those debts he has to deal with, other potential lawsuits over sexual harassment and even one over assault. with all of that raining down on the former president, can you understand why kevin mccarthy
continues to essentially act as if he's this man's employee and do you think that will continue with this news? >> i think the party has been completely taken over. i know a lot of people hoped once trump left washington, that maybe they would get their party back. clearly, that's not the case. there's only a couple of directions to go here. either the party is reformed or a new party is created. we will see. the impact, as long as you have a network that continues to be the mouthpiece, that continues to spread just tremendous lies about everything under the sun. people still believes the election was stolen. people still trying to investigate the election. with all of that going on, it doesn't surprise me. joy, one thing that's different now since january 6th, my republican colleagues who know better but they are still beholden because they are afraid, in the past, they were
afraid of a primary opponent. now they are afraid for their safety and that's a profound change. that's very frightening. >> i do wonder about that and whether or not there are increasing concerns as more pressure builds on the former president whether that changes the safety and security situation that you feel, congresswoman. >> right. we know until a serious investigation of january 6th takes place and we get to the bottom of it, how it was organized, who was involved. what it has exposed is the right wing element is an absolute threat to this country. we know the domestic terrorist that has taken place, we know who is responsible for it. all of these ideas on january 6th, the damage done to our democracy over the last four years is profound. the entire world has watched us
and i think it's critical that we have a commission and it's critical that the grand jury go forward and all these investigations need to take place. >> you're the principle negotiator for the criminal justice reform measure that we invited you onto talk about initially. i wonder how this kind of news, which is in the critical justice forum, does that impact your negotiations? are you negotiating with people who feel confident that can take a step away from a potentially criminal former president in order to negotiate in good faith with you on the george floyd bill. >> >> that's primarily tim scott on the republican side. it's senator booker but we were talking about republicans and i really don't have any doubt that she negotiating in good faith.
i believe us working together, we will be able to reach a bipartisan deal. i wish it would have been today. we have a substantive piece of legislation. >> is there anything the family told you that they want to share this evening? >> they just encourage us to continue. i appreciate they do have faith in us and they were not disappointed that we didn't produce a bill today and they agree, what's most important is the substance and not the date. >> absolutely. congresswoman, thank you so much for your flexibility this evening and for joining us. our breaking news coverage continues after this. marjorie taylor greene's unhinged ranting continued today comparing covid rules to the holocaust and kevin mccarthy is totally not convincing as he preadviser to be out raged. she's now running the show. stay with us. aged she's now running the show stay with us trelegy for copd. ♪ birds flyin' high you know how i feel ♪
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so much to get to onight with the breaking news out of new york about the potential indictments of donald trump and his company. potential, i want to emphasize that. joining me is tim miller. thank you for being here. i want to start with the indictment piece. this is the question i just asked to congresswoman karen bass. an unindictmented trump, a trump that is free and clear to blog away at home is one thing. a trump under pressure, i wonder what that does and how that signals into the republican party as it stands now. >> that's a good question. i think that donald trump obviously is just his natural state is unhinged. the idea you can say he will be even more donald trump even than before, seems kind of silly. a man whose back is against the wall, he sees his indictments,
maybe he looks at 2024 differently. maybe he uses it to continue to foment anger and violence against established institutions against the legal institutions we have seen in many other cases. they will have to defend him where he pulls all the stops. we know a grand jury conveing against his business. >> what seems the most likely outcome is now he demands the party that he owns and control convene all of its resources toward protecting him from the potential legal harm that's facing him in new york and that includes ron desantis, every one
needs to get on board. if donald trump runs the party then i guess you could say his chief enforcer is marjorie taylor greene who i would argue is far more powerful than kevin mccarthy. nobody cares about kevin mccarthy. she's still out there tripling down on required mask wearing is equal to the holocaust. kevin said this is wrong. not nice to say. doesn't strike me that will do anything to hold her back now that he has an orange man to defend from legal consequences in new york. your thoughts. >> look, i think that's exactly right. consider what donald trump will be able to do with the grass roots fund raising. if these indictments do come down, that's going to mean more and more money into donald trump's existing organizations. we saw evidence of that how well marjorie taylor greene did fund raiding in first quarter.
after all her other insane comments. we don't need to go through her racist and bigoted comments. she tweeted out somebody calling kevin mccarthy a feckless and deleted. it was pretty bad. if you ask the republican base, are you with marjorie taylor greene calling kevin mccarthy calling him feckless. she's winning 60-40, 70-30. that over hangs the decisions that all these other police station -- politicians have to make. >> first they'll have to look up feckless. that was me. it's been one year since george floyd was killed. senatorcory booker joins me.
it has been a full year since george floyd was murdered by police officer derek chauvin has three other officers looked on. it was a nine minute murder that world watched thanks to a 17-year-old girl who stood with other members of her community to bear witness. this is a recurring nightmare. not just for george floyd's family, but the number that have been killed since, and the number cut down before george floyd lost his life over an allegedly counterfeit $20 bill. george floyd's family marked the
day by meeting with congress to pass the george floyd justice and policing act. they also met with president biden where they raised their fists in solidarity in front of the white house. floyd's family members said the president expressed disappointment that congress missed the deadline, and stressed he wanted to pass a big with substance instead of signing a bill without meaning. here is mr. floyd's brother after that meeting. >> we just want the george floyd policing act to be passed in the future. here's the fing. if you can make federal laws to protect the bird the bald eagle, you can make laups to protect people of color. >> moments ago, vice president harris told reporters what it was like meeting with them today. >> i commend them. i am in awe of their courage, their continuing courage.
their selflessness. truly selfness, and george floyd should be alive today. no question about that. >> joining me now, senator cory booker. thank you for sticking with us and being with us this evening. i want to play a bit of george floyd's sister. >> i thought george's death was going to be the last death at the hands of policemen. but as we have all seen, the names have been added on and on and on. i don't think that we have really seen a change, a change that we want. so i'm going to keep on fighting this good fight, and keep getting up, putting my boots on and hitting the road. >> you know, senator, 229 black americans have been killed since
george floyd's death. how likely is it we're going to get a bill? >> i think it's more likely than not. let me just say, this family, they remind me of the same spirit that the till family had when emmitt till was ordered. and their presence here today helped with the conversations. her a conversation with my republican colleagues, who met with the family. i'm grateful for them. they are in pain and hurt, but they want to stop an american trend that we know have its roots in your founding, i'm encouraged by the progress we made. this is a big that will not solve every problem. but i think we can get something really meaningful and
substative. >> it is in the kurnlt bill, there is a lot of talk whether it will remain. do you think a will bill will come will have qualified immunity. >> this is the idea in america if someone violates your constitutional rights, your civil rights, there should be a consequence for that. and the challenge we have right now, is that when police officers do that, they get a shield, in civil cases, against that accountability. so i feel strongly that we should not live in a country where someone is effectively above the law, where they can violate some of the principles and have no consequence.
so that is one of the things that is still on the table that we're working on. i'm going to push this bill as far as i can. to see if it winds in the sail of the bill make it worth it in society. i have to say, there are a lot of people involved in it, that feel the weight in this moment of american history. and i have conversations can police leadership that wouldn't have been possible before the horrible murder of george floyd, and we have seen senior senators get their names on the bill. we are making progress. there is nothing certain. i think it's more likely than not we get things done. we are talking weeks, not days. >> april ryan did a piece where she talked to folks on the hill, and one of the sticking points with republicans, they want
police buy-in before they are willing to get support of the bill. they are eating up 44% of the budgets of a city. they have tremendous power. they are gobbling up 40 cents on every dollar, and on top of that, the rates of actually solving crimes. the amount of time, that what people think police do, it's low. you don't have a high rate of crimes solves. will you be able to get to a place of agreements? >> well, again, i'm working with tim scott and a handful of others. i have had moments in this negotiation that have given me solace and strength as i watch him scott share stories about his own encounters with police.
he is not caving to the politics of this. he is sincere. we may have disagreements on parts of the bill. but i'm telling you, as a black man, tim scott is sincere wanting to see us address these problems. and we are thinking creatively how to deal with that very graphic you put up. for example, in oregon, there is a program called cahoots where responders for mental health -- remember, blacks are more than twice as likely to be killed by police. if you have mental health issue, you are more than ten times. cahoots has been able to lower the police calls 17%. or for police to be spending more time dealing with the serious crimes that even the black community -- we had
clearance rates that were unacceptable and needed to be risen. so this is two people -- the first time in american history you had three black men serving at the same time in the united states senate. and we are thinking creatively about this, how to get some of the problems that -- we all know that we should not live in a society with this many unarmed people being murdered by the police. but more than that, where we don't have the levels of transparency and accountability to pro ent the violent crimes -- >> and very quickly, does tim scott have the ability to deliver votes? we know his sincerity. but his party has veered off the rails to the right. how much influence does he have? >> joy, you're a friend of mine and i'm a fan of your show.
i had to go in with good faith as well. that means not painting police with a broad brush. not painting republicans with a broad brush but talking heart to heart about what the shared values are and how we're going to get it done. tim, come toll me and answer my questions. mitch mcconnell, lindsay graham, i'm putting my faith. this is a moment we rise. >> we hope you success. senator cory booker, thank you so much. that is tonight's reid out. tonight on all in, break news from the ap and the washington post. a grand jury is convened in the investigation of donald trump and the trump organization. tonight, what we know about this big step forward for prosecutors. what we know about the manhattan d.a.'s time line. what happen the potential indictment means f