tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC March 9, 2015 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
anks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> end of these negotiations isn't an unintended consequence of congressional action. it is very much an intended consequence. >> republicans declare war on peace talks writing an open letter to the mullahs in iran to try to sink a nuclear deal. tonight the president is responding? >> it's somewhat ironic to see some members of congress wanting to make common cause with the hard-liners in iraq. >> meanwhile in hillary land -- >> all of this is just the same cook nammy stuff. >> plus, a true crime bombshell from hbo. >> this was found inside this. >> charlie baggily of "the new york times" on re-opening the case against robert durst and why a hip-hop musical about america's first treasury
secretary has everyone from paul mccartney to rupert murdoch raving. >> bullets in your gun when we rule as one ♪ >> my interview with the genius behind "hamilton." >> the fight between hamilton and jefferson are the fights you're still having on your network. >> "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. a stunning escalation in republicans' attempts to sabotage nuclear diplomacy with iran was on display today. the latest move an extreme lie unusual open letter signed by 47 republican senators written to the iranian regime essentially trucking them that any deal they reach with washington won't be worth the paper on which it is printed. quote, it has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear weapons program that is not approved by the congress as nothing more than an executive agreement
between president obama and ayatollah khomeini. the next president could revoke it with the stroke of a pen and future conditions could modify the terms of the agreement at any time" the letter was organized by senator tom cotton of arkansas who proudly admitted to a conservative audience back in january that he wanted to quash the ongoing negotiations. >> certain voices call for congressional restraint. urging congress not to act now lest iran walk away from the negotiating table, the always absent moderates in iran are favored but the end of these negotiations isn't an unintended consequence of congressional action. it is very much an intended consequence. a feature, not a bug so to speak. >> in other words, all this time the white house has been urging congress not that pass new sanctions while negotiators were working out a deal with iran because they might spook the iranians and kill the deal.
republicans are saying yes, that's the point. a strategy been playing out in other ways too, last week we saw the culmination of another highly unusual diplomatic gambit on the part of republicans when house leaders invited a foreign lead story come to washington to speak to congress to essentially campaign against the president's iran policy without even notifying the white house the invitation had been extended. it is perhaps an unpresence depthed series of power play and experts say negotiators are close to a historic deal. the white house today framed republicans' latest move in the context of a partisan strategy to undermine the president on the issue. the president himself sought to remind everybody who shares the republican goal who else wants to see any potential nuclear deal scuttled. >> i think it's somewhat ironic to see some members of congress wanting to make common cause with the hard-liners in iran it's an unusual coalition. i think what we're going to
focus on is whether we get a deal or not. >> whatever the merits or objections that might be reached the details of which we do not know i should note it's striking to consider a world in which the opposite scenario were playing out. imagine a president planning an open military engagement with iran and nearly the entirely democratic caucus accepting a letter saying he doesn't have the pow story go to war and expressing an interest in a negotiated peace deal. joining me senator chris murphy democrat of connecticut. your reaction? how unprecedented is it? where does it rank in that scale? >> i have never seen anything like this and to play out your analogy to recent events imagine if in the days or weeks or months leading up to the iraq war, if democrats in congress had sent a letter to saddam hussein advising him of
congress' role in declaring war on a foreign enemy. there's no way that would have happened and democrats would have been roundly and rightly denounced for doing it. so i've never seen anything like it. i'm glad at least that tom cotton is admitting that the reason for this is really to scuttle negotiations. and hopefully republicans now will be willing to you know have a really honest conversation about what they really want. because if you are so enthusiastic about scuttling negotiations but you are also so enthusiastic about making sure that iran doesn't obtain a nuclear weapon then there's really only one place to go a military strike against iran. that is a war with iran. it's something that even president obama has left on the table but maybe now we can have an honest conversation about the consequences of their actions that they're undertaking? >> let me sort of get on the sorry side and play devil's advocate. i find myself torn between sort of two different impulses on foreign policy one is a preference for diplomacy over war particularly in the
circumstances as the general rule but the other is a belief that the executive has gotten too powerful. congress has really passed the buck on matters of war and peace and there is something -- there is some sort of institutional prerogative for congress to insert itself. what do you think about that? >> i think that's right and, you know, of course, if you read that letter there's nothing to really disagree with except for the, you know maybe significant point that cotton and his friends actually get the constitution wrong, it's not actually the congress that ratifies an agreement. it's the president that root fights it. congress approves that ratification, but the reality is that congress has abdicated its role on setting foreign affairs but there is a line which i think is inappropriate to cross. when the president is sitting down across from a foreign power negotiating a deal that can save the world from war, the congress should wait until that deal is signed and then weigh in appropriately. i agree that congress has the ability to step in and essentially cancel out this deal
by legislative initiative if it's a bad deal but we don't have a deal yet and so it is inappropriate for congress at this point to be stepping in and essentially trying to substitute itself for the executive. not what the founding fathers envision had had they asked congress to play a role but with an oversight and approval of these agreements that the executives are tennering into. >> today on twitter something trending was #loganact, 18th piece of legislation that makes it a criminal violation, illegal to conduct foreign policies with private citizens. so some saying the republicans are guilty of this. what do you think of that? >> i don't buy that. i think it's certainly within the bounds of congress' legal ability in order to send an open letter to the iranian leadership as they did today. but again, i just think we should take this for what it is and there's this you know corresponding effort to have congress weigh in immediately upon this deal being reached and i've been arguing to a lot of my
clicks to be careful about going down that road because i just don't think the republicans will look at this deal honestly. i think everything will be colored by their hatred for the president. and i think this is just another signal coming on the heels of the partisan invitation to netanyahu that republicans really aren't interested in evaluating this deal. they're just interested in trying to embarrass this president and let's be honest if this deal results in iran divorcing itself from nuclear weapons this a very phiable way there is no president, a republican or a democrat who is going to walk away from that deal and, of course none of us have seen it yet. >> senator chris murphy thank you, sir. appreciate it. >> thanks. joining me now msnbc political analyst and former rnc chair michael steele. politics as usual or unusual step. >> this is politics of the unusual in many respects. the senator is right. i don't think we've seen this kind of reaction to a president's negotiation in the past and certainly i know as well as you and the senator
noted if this were on the other foot the shoe on the other foot republicans would be outraged if democrats had done a similar thing during the gulf war and during the war in iraq. having said all of that though i think there is certainly recognition or there should be that the congress does have a role to play here. the question is are they playing it prematurely. i think a lot of that has to do not to shift the focus or blame or anything like that but how much is the administration really working with the intelligence committees and the house and the senate the respective leadership to make sure they are part of this process and they have this sense that there is a level of verification. there is a level of truth to what the expectation is going to be once this deal is executed. no one in washington or the diplomatic community, political community, foreign affairs community believes that right now iran is going to be a position to adhere or support or live up to any agreement that is broached by the administration.
they're biding time given what's going on economically in that their country. >> i disagree. lots believe that they have up tered into a deal and can enter into a verifiable deal. >> that's not the same as honoring it three, four years from now. >> the question becomes what are the -- >> why do you put that provision on the deal? >> right? >> why is the administration advocating a sunset provision on a deal like this? ten years out we'll revisit this conversation about whether or not iran should have nukes, either they're allowed to have them now or they're not allowed them ten years from now? >> that's not the issue. the issue is it's not a question whether they're allowed to have nukes, the problem is they could be a signatory to the -- the allowance for civilian develop, develop civilian weapons and step out of the treaty or within six months have a weapon. the question is how long that's delayed and if bombing is going to set them back for five years and diplomacy sets them back ten
i think ten is greater than five. >> yeah by the new math you're absolutely right. >> it's not new math. it's the old math. >> but i think -- i think -- i think in terms of how we're calculating the security of the middle east and security of the world whether or not we want to even go down that road and i think it's a legitimate question for congress to ask what is the administration negotiating? yes, they can wait and see what the administration signs and puts on the table then play catch-up but i also think it probably given the significance and severity of in that it is in the administration's best long-term interest to get a deal done to have at least some input, some communication -- i'm assuming there isn't given the senate's reaction. >> let me ask you this i thought the document -- the document was interesting in a few ways. one, it's couched as an open letter to the iranian regime and sort of constitutional lesson. presumably right i mean whatever you think about the sort of moral stature of that regime and all the terrible things they've done in terms of
human right as becauses like they're not idiots. like presumably a country sophisticated enough to put together a nuclear bomb can hire people to they will them how the constitutional system works, right? >> i have to admit that part of it was a little bit off-putting to put it politely. it was like a little civics lesson. i was thinking -- remember that old program in the '70s this is how a bill is made. >> they should have sent them -- they should have tweeted them -- >> just send a tape. >> michael steele -- >> go ahead. >> please finish your point. >> you know this, is serious stuff and i think, you know the congress has a role to play the question that needs to be worked out between the administration and the congress is do they have a role now or do they have a role lateer. >> let me just say this i do think -- i sort of on the question of sort of treaty ratification advice and concept a strong question what role congress plays but it's massive massively premature. michael steele always a
pleasure. here's a quote today from a piece i love from journalist michael brennan dougherty "it will be a boring substance-less grind that turns on just which candidate's operation can direct slightly more of the public's disgust over the last two decades." on the bright side could be quite the learning opportunity and tell you why ahead. stick around for that. oh yea, that's coming down let's get some rocks, man.
co-creator of "the simpsons" sam simon died at 59 after being diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and given just three months to live. late 1980s he put together a show based on animated characters created by matt groening which became "the simpsons" the longest animated show in history. he ran the writers room and came up with the look including mr. burns, dr. hibbert, chief wigham and left the show after four seasons because of tension with graining but sam is more than just the co-creator but an
animal rights activist ardent vegan and poker champion and decided to spend the fortune he made on charity telling "vanity fair" in an interview i'm an atheist but there is a thing called tithing. 10% was the minimum and i always outdid that here's simon in an interview last year. >> so how does that work? someone tells you have basically very limited amount of time to live and you say it's the happiest you've ever been? explain that to me. >> somehow i ended up surrounded by people that love me and take care of me and would do anything for me. it's a good feeling. that's called happiness. >> when people around you that love you and you let it in. >> i think i may have had a problem letting it in before. >> so cancer has been an incredible lesson to you?
>> it's -- it's been a fight. it's been an adventure. it's been an education. it's been the most amazing experience of my life. >> all day people have been sharing their favorite "simpsons" moments. if you'd like to share yours go to facebook.com/allinwithchris. like half the price! and we'll have to use like double! maybe more! i'm going back to the store? yes you are. dish issues? get cascade complete. one pac cleans tough food better than 6 pacs of the bargain brand combined. cascade. now that's clean. doers they don't worry if something's possible. they just do it. at sears optical, we're committed to bringing them eyewear that works as hard as they do. right now, buy one pair and get another free. the volkswagen jetta is really fun-to-drive. go for it. okay. wow... woohoo! i'm dreaming... pinch me. no, not while you're driving. and, right now, you can get a one-thousand-dollar
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>> a lot of people know me as george's boy or barbara's boy or w.'s brother. all of which i'm very proud of to be honest with you. >> i came back to work on my dad's campaign. >> campaigning for my dad and my brother. >> people in iowa treated all of the bush family so well. >> i really had a good time and my dad won. >> while bush was in iowa support he of hillary clinton were trying to play down the revelations she used a private e-mail something clinton is expected to publicly discuss for the first time later this week. much like bush clinton supporters spent a lot of time talking about the past. >> you remember whitewater, foulgate. travelgate. you remember pardongate. you remember benghazi? all of this is just the same cockamamie stuff -- the story isn't right but says something larger about the clintons this. is never going to end. one set of rules are not
clintons and one for everybody else. >> james -- >> it's always going to be a distraction in clintonland. there never is a time when there's not. i have lived through this for 20 years. >> as all of this was going on something clicked inper septemberly in my head. a feeling not unlike the despair felt by michael brennan dougherty when he considered a potential race. there's a good chance that's the race we get. clinton is in as strong a position as any trying to win and appears to be stronger than she was. bush locked down the most sought after minds in his party doing well in the exceedingly important gop primary. last week, i love this asking donors not to give him more than $1 million for now since all the big donations could appear unseemly. meanwhile, new polling today from nbc news and "the wall street journal" finds there is
some dynasty fatigue out there, some say they return to policies of the past and most do not object. now, i find the prospect of general election that no matter the outcome will result in america having four out of presidents in a row come from two families is dispiriting. also i have to say it would be a pretty honest reflection in which power in concentrated among the elite and well connected and where nose most social mobility is little more than an abstract idea. if it's what we get it's as truthful a mirror as you could hold up. now joining me is katrina vanden heuvel. >> there's something going on whether fluke or structural that we can front this dynastic moment. it does parallel the concentration of wealth and power and what one might call the end of social moebltd in this country. it is not healthy for our
democracy. at the nation we believe a contest the primary certainly on the democratic side is good for the country, the candidate, for the democratic party. >> for everyone. >> for people for activist everyone. debates, i mean this country has enormous challenges right? you want an election commensurate with the scale of the problems the challenges this country faces and if it's just this kind of even die has tick process, you're not going to get those debates. you need people who are going to come in and challenge the limits of the debate. there are people out there you know that chris, i mean whether it's bernie sanders, james webb governor o'malley of maryland and, of course there's senator elizabeth warren who has such -- >> i was going to say. >> resonated with the american people, many that you have a draft warren campaign. on the other hand i do think senator clinton to be fair you
know we hear a lot about dynastic politics. the clintons are not a dynasty. it is a political marriage and i think it's -- >> it's an important distinction. >> i have a lot of issues with her issues senator clinton's. substantively but two-time senator, secretary of state and one could argue the baggage of her marriage has not helped her. >> yes. >> so i do think we need to think hard about the differences. >> when you talk about the bush family, right and the clinton family, the bushes and clinton, there is a real distinction between two sons that ink heart a mantel from their father who inherited it from his fatherary down the line and a woman and a man who met as real equals and forged an equal partnership and has her own profile as rebecca tracer pointed out as they met
in a time in their lives when this was a way that it was very difficult to imagine running as a 25-year-old woman. >> when she spoke as the commencement speaker at wellesley on the watergate commission and children's defense fund then she made a wifely move move wrg her husband to arkansas. i do think -- listen i think senator clinton is too tethered to wall street. i do think you have a fight for the soul of the democratic party between the warren wing and clinton wing of the party, on the other hand she is going to run in a different way than 2008. she is going to embrace gender. she is going to bring to the fore the centrality of women's issue and link it to the struggle of the middle class and in an atmosphere where there's much more resonance for a pop lift tinged economic feminism than in 2008. >> there is this problem which is distinct. the thing about i think part of what was extremely prominent about president obama's story,
the story that is the kind we like to tell ourselves only in america could this kid go from where he was to go to the white house and i think everyone -- a lot of people felt good about themselves we were the kind of country that produced that. that's not looking like -- even the insurgent -- even one of the big insurgents anti-establishment candidates is just the son of the last insurgent anti-establishment candidate. >> to. >> back to the issues chris, you began by talking -- this is the first real post citizens united open the slosh gates of big money -- >> without an incumbent. >> what we're witnessing is the corrosion of american democracy and in that we will witness if we don't -- when i say we i'm talking about independent movement independent activists, people who want to have a debate that will raise the issues this country needs to hear and i think that is incumbent upon us the people because we the people deserve better than this dynastic. >> it's not an accident big
money and dynasty go hand in glove because social networks katrina vanden heuvel always great. >> thank you. if you come from an irish catholic family like i do you know often the way our people deal with problems and crises is simply never to mention them. hoping that somehow makes them go away. apparently the state of florida is trying that too with perhaps a single biggest threat they face. i'll explain ahead. a 401(k) is the most sound way to go. let's talk asset allocation. sure. you seem knowledgeable professional. would you trust me as your financial advisor? i would. i would indeed. well, let's be clear here. i'm actually a dj. [ dance music plays ] [laughs] no way! i have no financial experience at all. that really is you? if they're not a cfp pro you just don't know. find a certified financial planner professional who's thoroughly vetted at letsmakeaplan.org. cfp -- work with the highest standard. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] you wouldn't ignore signs of damage in your home. are you sure you're not ignoring them in your body? even
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investigative reporting had a big scoop about how they run things in florida off governor rick scott. according to it the state's environmental protection has banned the term climate warming. the state denying it saying there is no such policy but it has interviews some of which on the record with people that used to work there saying it was no win you could not talk about climate change or global warming ing ing. if you had to pick a state in the union that was risking the most from climate change florida would be right up there. south florida is facing as "the new york times" says ominous prospects from rising waters and, of course florida is in the hurricane path most of the climate modeling we have shows that as the earth gets ss warmer
hurricane also get stronger and they have a way of finding themselves on the florida peninsula. so governor rick scott decides the way to counter make sure that his state agent sill doesn't discuss the thing. the way that at a family dinner you might talk about your uncle who is alcoholic. this reminded me of a piece of art i saw that had stuck with me by an artist name isaac cordall. not imaged there. the tight surveillance politicians discussing climate change. if you squint real hard you can make out rick scott.
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winning rave reviews from andrew lloyd web story rupert murdoch. recently i had the opportunity to talk about the genius behind hammond. lin-manuel miranda who has been working on this project for years. >> i'm thrilled the white house called me tonight because i'm actually working on a hip-hop album that's a concept album about the life of someone i think embodies hip-hop, treasury secretary alexander hamilton. ♪ ♪ how does a bastar son of the whore" in the caribbean by providence impoifrner squalor grow up to a hero and scholar ♪ >> they're probably weren't expecting a hip-hop performance as told by his nemesis aaron burr but that's what they got from actor and composer lin-manuel miranda.
♪ inside he was longing for something to be a part of the brother was begging steal ♪ >> what they also got was a very early sneak preview of the biggest hottest ticket currently off broad way. so i started write fwhg 2008. i wrote that song i performed at the white house in 2009. the only thing i had written. >> the show's opening number. >> that show is called "hamilton." i was lucky enough to catch it in previews after all lin-manuel miranda and i go way back to our days at hunter college high school. and over the last few weeks a parade of bold-faced names have made the pilgrimage to new york's public theater to see it everyone from bill clinton to paul mccartney. as hamilton lyric will tell you the story of the $10 founding father without a father as chronicled through hip-hop anthems and r&b balance latds and years in the making. ♪ my cousin ♪ >> reporter: fresh off "in the
heights" for which he won a tony for best score miranda got his inspirit race from an 800-beige book. >> i picked up ron chernow's biography. he captures the relentless of hamilton and that's whey hooked into too. this is an immigrant who wrote his way into -- to the top of american society. helped create the country and then wrote himself out of it. >> reporter: miranda spent the past seven years working on his latest creation. >> i wrote -- spent 2009 writing my shot and then in 2010 -- >> you spent a year writing that. >> i spent a year writing that. >> what -- this is what is fascinating. what does it mean writing a year -- >> hamilton is so much smarter than me that i need to -- this is the song where hamilton like comes into the room and blows everyone away with the strength of his oratory and so every
couple couplet has to be amazing. ♪ not throwing away ♪ >> reporter: "hamilton" not only reinvents the musical genre but america's founding father and showing him as wreaking of new money, hamilton and his contemporaries are depicted as over the top brag guards full of swagger and wit. ♪ take a shot ♪ >> new money. >> new money, yes. >> in fact jefferson says smelling like new money in the second act. >> yeah yeah and people made fun of him because he overdressed like crazy. he designed his own uniforms for his own like group of soldiers. he was like well my soldiers are wearing this. it's very kanye. it's very like -- it's very like -- like my guys have to be dressed tight. it's really quite mad. >> the story of alexander hamilton is a story of ambitious 18th century immigrant from the caribbean. a man who bichir force of will helped lay down the foundation
for a country. unique and quintessentialally american. how much was he a genius. >> surrounded by genius. >> more watching your show made me realize how much of a genius he was. >> yeah, because he was largely self-taught. he really wrote his way out of his circumstances and sort of played catch-up. he was reading about monetary policy during the revolutionary war in the event he'd be call to serve -- like he was thinking ten step as head. i think if that's the essence of jeengs if it's okay we have to win this war but figure out how to not be in perpetual revolution which is what we see all over the world today and time and time throughout history an america stick the landing and french revolution which goes -- which cycles from chaos to dictator robespierre and napoleon and says we're going this way and american really
stuck the landing and it's a credit to one, you know the virtue of coming up in the age of enlightenment and these men who thought how do we -- there was a lot of trial and error and i think one of the things that i'm proud of about the show is they come off as very human and their fights are petty and, but the stakes are a country that will last and so the fights between hamilton and jefferson are the fights you're still having on your network. ♪ i am not throwing away my shot ♪ >> reporter: the genius of alexander hamilton as told by the genius of lin-manuel miranda. what would you tell 18-year-old or 20-year-old lin-manuel miranda who is like working on the heights or someone else watching this saying i want to be -- i want to do this? what do you now know you didn't foe then. >> i know now that life is not short. it's long which is the thing that washington keeps telling hamilton. dying is easy. living is harder. to really get it right you
think, oh, my gosh look at this amazing first draft and figure out what ten whacks at it can do and, oh i didn't know anything. and so i would just tell them to hang on in the words of outcast hold on be strong. >> if you're watching that and you're a hip-hop head a history buff someone who loves musical theater or just loves things awesome and thinking to yourself how can you see that you're in luck. the run to the public is sold out but announced they're moving to broadway and ticktempt s on sale. when robert durst was acquitted of murder it surprised a lot. >> "the new york times" not generally known for their ironic take new york city real estate heir is acquitted of murder in texas. durst who cut up body argued self-defense. that's as close as "the new york times" will ever come to literally just making a joke on
the first page. "the new york times" going can you [ bleep ] believe this? >> all right, now a new documentary the jinx may lead to the re-opening of that case. we'll talk about it ahead. the same regardless of where we come from. um, there are definitely things that are different about us culturally and everything else but at the end of the day we are the same and we really need to start seeing the world as a place that was gifted to us. [thunder and rain] [thunder and rain] [thunder and rain] you can find a new frontier. there's nothing stopping you and a lot helping you. technology that's with you always. this is our promise. it's never been better to wander because wherever you go, you'll find
us doing everything we can, so you can. today we had a lot of questions about the format. people saying they really like the investigative journalism out of the studio on location shows. and i want to tell you, we know that. we're trying to do as much as possible and if you missed our original reporting that aired last week and want to check it out watch clips from the 11th hour special on facebook at facebook.com/allinwithchris. we hope you like it and we hope you'll like our facebook page list rally. and the wind-blown watery eyes. that's why puffs plus lotion is gentle on sensitive skin. so you can always put your best face forward. a face in need deserves puffs indeed. and try puffs softpack today. doers they don't worry if something's possible. they just do it. at sears optical, we're committed to bringing them eyewear that works as hard as they do.
it hinged on a time line investigate p established by stacy's family. there is no other forensic evidence linking him to her murder. a jury just took hours to convict him. his case is now in the hands of the innocence project who says there's new evidence that exonerates him and thanks to their work a court stayed reid execution. remains what that court will decide about his guilt or innocence but over the course of our investigation into his case and what it might indicate about the state of criminal justice in texas, one juxtaposition kept resonating, the difference between rodney's trial and that of another far more famous murder trial in texas, the 2003 trial of durst. durst is the wealthy son of one of new york city's most successful real estate tycoons lavaing under an assumed identity when arrested for the murder of his 71-year-old neighbor. the victim's body was found
dismembered. robert durst skipped bail and was on the rupp for a month before get ago rested in pennsylvania and extradited back to texas. his defense team argued durst was the victim in the case that his neighbor had confronted him with his gun and in the ensuing struggle, the gun went off. that in a panic, durst chopped up the body put it in garbage bags and tossed them into the sea. after deliberating for five days the jury bought that self-defense argument finding durst not guilty. even though he admitted to butchering the body dumping it and skipping bail the jury didn't find enough evidence of premeditated murder. the reason he was in galveston in the first place was because a new york prosecutor had re-opened the investigation into the 1982 disappearance of his first wife one of the people prosecutors were hoping to talk to was a friend of robert durst a woman by the name of susan berman but she was murdered in her home on benedict canyon in beverly hills in december 2000.
and as detailed in the hbo documentary miniseries "jinx," there was a clue as to the identity of berman's killer. an anonymous letter sent to the beverly hills police department postmarked on the day they believe she died alerting them to a cadaver at her home. >> susan berman was found shot dead sdmrt first person i thought of was robert durst because we were about to speak to her. >> the police department got a letter in the mail 1527 ben ticket canyon and word cadaver. >> writing a note to the police that only the killer could have written. >> then on last night's episode of "jinx" a shocking discovery. susan berman's stepson finds a handwritten letter from him to her that looks horribly familiar. >> the letter from before she was murdered. the address written on the front is exactly like the cadaver
note the misspelling the beverly. >> that bombshell could be a new break in the case. today "the new york times" reporting the district attorney in los angeles has recently re-opened an investigation into the killing of mr. durst's friend susan berman and is tiger it to the case about his missing wife in new york according to four people who spoke to investigators. the reporter who broke that story and reporting on it for 15 years joins me next.
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joining me "the new york times" reporter charles baggily and author of "indefenseible" david fayga. you've been reporting on durst for 15 years. this moment in the "jinx" which i say is incredibly well done series you're in it and feature fairly prominently in. the way the cops know susan berman is dead they get this note, right? this anonymous note or they know -- they find the body before that but this is the big clue. last night we see a letter that came from robert durst in which beverly is missmelled the same way and it looks exactly like the handwriting. did you know that reveal was comeing? >> no, you know it was so shocking because it looked like a -- an exact copy and here's
the thing. in 2002 while robert durst is sitting in jail in texas, the l.a. police ask for a handwriting sample and so you know, bob writes out something, but, you know it's very hard to get a handwriting expert to say the block lettering is the same because -- >> ah interesting. >> -- because it's different. they thought, okay that's a dead end so for, what is it now, 13 years it's been a dead end so this is a complete shock. >> so you saw that moment live in realtime. >> yes. >> you were just like oh. i mean -- >> it was a holy -- moment. >> apologies for the word there. they don't put that in "the new york times." did you -- so you reported today about the fact that they are now re-opening the investigation? >> yes. >> what's going on with that?
>> well l.a. has been -- they've been in new york interviewing witnesses relative to kathy durst -- >> disappearance of his first wife. >> and interviewing people in california relatives of susan berman. because there's a whole story there too about susan's relationship with bob. >> and these have been cold cases for a very very very long time. people sniffing around trying to solve them. david, let me bring you in here and ask you this. i want to -- when you think about how important resources are to a defense, i mean one of the episodes in this is this -- it seems like this guy is dead to rights i mean he admits he chopped up the body of someone. 'found with the saw that did it. usually, usually -- >> a bad fact. >> usually a bad fact. usually your lawyer will say, hey, buddy, let's plea this one out and hope for the best. the question is, is it the case that with enough resources can you beat anything? >> no.
it is the case that you're more likely to beat anything. but, remember for every durst, there's a dennis kozlowski, there is a ken lay or jeff skilling. they spent tens of millions of dollars and all got convicted so it is inaccurate though tempting to say that you can always buy your way out of things. what's true is you have a much much better chance and that money influences every aspect of the criminal justice system from the beginning to the end. >> and i think the other thing to keep in mind is how much of -- we are used to watching "law & order" and see big celebrity trials go to trial and easy to lose sight of the fact that 95% of the iceberg sitting below the water is plea deal plea deals, plea deals, plea deals. >> absolutely. >> and your lawyer telling you to take the plea because that's the most efficient way to operate and go on to the next client and deal with them. >> i'm glad you brought it up. frankly, one of the biggest places money last an impact is
bail because bail is what determines whether you get to fight your position have a freedom or sit incarcerated until it winds its way through the system. it doesn't make that big difference in mom side cases because there's never going to be a three-year offer but in the vast ma majority of cases and homicides are only a small fraction of what happens in the criminal justice system. >> tiny. >> you sit in jail because you can't afford to pay your way to freedom and often confronted with a deal that goes like this plead guilty go out, maintain your innocence and stay in and that i would say is perhaps the biggest place that money literally cash money affects the outcomes in criminal cases. >> there's also a fascinating way that resources and mow play a role in the durst case. we find out the durst family hired a lawyer when his wife went missing lawyering up before anyone's named you as a suspect or puts cuffs on you, charles, right gentleman. >> absolutely. it's also clear here kathy goes
missing in westchester county. on a sunday night. so monday tuesday, wednesday, thursday, it's not until friday morning that bob goes to a police station and reports her disappearance. but it's in manhattan, it's not in west chester, county. so the investigation is off on the wrong foot from the first day. >> five days right. and we also note -- dave do people -- >> yeah please. >> i was going to point out and i think you were driving at this very thing. there is another big difference in terms of money which is by and large if you are a poor criminal defendant, you can't get prearrest representation. most public defenders -- i mean by the way the place i used to work in the bronx opened 24/7 you can walk in and get a lawyer but most public defender offices do not take cases prearrest so you don't get that service. >> right and that's a key -- i mean we see time and time again and ee often in cases where there's an exoneration that a lot of exxon rations stem from
false confessions because people aren't lawyered up and from the very moment with bowe bob durst that family made up he was lawyered from the jump. charles. >> absolutely. i do want to say one thing. in the trial, there is no question, bob had three of the best lawyers, perhaps in the country, defense lawyers, i mean they were great. but i think also that they -- the prosecution stumbled because here you've got this horrific event, somebody cutting up a human being, you know very carefully with a bone saw, double wrapping in plastic bags and tossing it. but the prosecution thought they had alls evidence in the world. they had a newspaper that was in one of the plastic bags that tied it back to the house. they had bob's optometrist appointment and tied it back and so they didn't think they had to explain motive why this happened or anything. in the absence of an explanation of a good narrative from --
>> fill in the blanks. >> here's morris black, your nightmare, your worst nightmare of a neighbor and he was. >> charles bagli and david feige. that's "all in" for this evening and steve kornacki is sitting in for "the rachel maddow show." >> happy monday, as well. thanks to you at home for joining us for the next hour rachel has the night off. this what you are looking at this is the brown chapel ame church in selma, alabama, a church that played a major role in the civil rights movement back in the 1960s was used by martin luther king jr. as his headquarters and it was in front of the brown chapel in selma, alabama, that on sunday march 7th, 1965 in the face of a ban on protest marches in that city it was on that day in front of that church that 600 demonstrators gathered and kicked off their march from selma to the state capital of