tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC October 30, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT
special investigation. let's run through what the charges are here, gang. there's conspiracy against the united states. conspiracy to launder money. being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal. false and misleading statements. and then you've got seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. paul manafort, former head of the trump campaign, along with his deputy, rick gates, indicted and facing pretty serious charges. we want to get to our team of correspondents that we have fanned out across the capital city. everything from reaction at the white house to what is happening over at the doj and beyond. i want to bring in matthew miller, former spokesman for the justice department, now a msnbc justice analyst. but i want to start with nbc's garrett haake. you are outside the field office in washington. we know that paul gamanafort isn the building here. give us some of what is
happening behind the scenes. >> reporter: you can hear me but you can't see me. i'm here to not block the door to the fbi field office where paul manafort has been for approaching two hours now and being processed, essentially, like any other person in charge of a crime. if you are brought in by the fbi, you are fingerprinted and photographed and talking with fbi agents here. we expect that process to wrap up any time now, really potentially in the next few minutes. we just saw an suv backing into the exit here and expect him to come out of here. as soon as they are done, they are going to move him a few blocks down to the federal courthouse to have his first appearance at 1:30 this afternoon. something like a less formal arraignment process to stand before a judge. he could be in and out in a few minutes. and i think you probably saw this gate come down, well, the gate is coming up here. i don't know if i can add much more to this than you'll see live here. but we're watching. >> we are taking a live look at
the suv. >> the suv is coming out of here. we'll see if we can see who is in the front seat there pulling down the visors. i have matthew miller with me onset as we take a look at the glare of the windshield moving now at the field office. not a great look at who is inside that car. garrett, i'll have you play back that tape and see if you bring us anything as we get it. >> i'm over here on the near side of this street on the passenger side of the vehicle. and it was very difficult for me due to tinted windows, but the passenger did turn the visor to block me from seeing who it was. i'm going to take a look at my photos and video to see if i can tell you more in a second. >> we'll have our producers check that video as well. paul manafort pulled the visor down as well. we are waiting for the potential for more as we keep an eye on the locations. walk us through the charges. we all have our copies of the
indictment onset. you have been looking through that for the past hour as it came out from the justice department. >> this is a sweeping indictment from bob mueller with 12 counts against paul manafort and rick gates all involve in this kind of extensive conspiracy. i would put the charges into three buckets. one, the two of them worked on behalf of a foreign government, the government of ukraine, to lobby in the united states. and they did not register as required under u.s. law. two, they took the money they received for that work, laundered it through various shell companies, money laundering is of course a crime, and did so to avoid paying u.s. taxes. three, when confronted that by the justice department last year, they then lied about it. which shows they were trying to conceal this and shows motive. that shows that they will try to convict paul now. >> let's go through the buckets now. bucket one, when you look at what you describe, which is the lobbying they did on half of
this, let's say pro-russia and ukrainian political party. that's an important point here and something we have been reporting for the last year and a half ever since the campaign when paul manafort joined up, the connections there. so both he and gates, deputy, involve in that. before we talk about buckets two and three, i want to go back to garrett. he has new information for us. garrett, what you got? >> reporter: hey, hallie, the fbi on scene here is confirming now that manafort and the second person who they never explicitly confirmed was gates, but who we have assumed was gates have departied here. so we do believe that the suv was the one taking them down the street to the courthouse. so again, the fbi and press folks putting out the dots and forcing us to connect them, but manafort and the other person processed here have left the building we are told. >> so garrett, we now know that paul manafort is on the move and presumely rick gates as well over to the courthouse. i want to bring in robert
driscoll, carol lee, thank you for joining us. when paul manafort gets to that courthouse, this is not a far drive for those of you who don't noah. this is a quick ride for manafort and gates. what is going to happen when he gets to the courthouse? >> he'll be presented to a district or court judge and read the charges against him. he'll plead not guilty. it should take -- >> it is an in-and-out kind of job. >> right. >> do you think we'll get statements for paul manafort or rick gates here, carol or elise? >> it depends on whether they want, they feel like it is in their interest to issue some sort of statement. >> we have been talking about the charges here being faced, being laid out in this indictment, matt miller joining me onset laid them out into three buckets before we saw paul manafort pull out in the suv. you talk about bucket one being foreign registrations.
bucket two is the money laundering issue. money laundering, it talks about the lavish lifestyle of paul manafort living in this country, or in his multiple hopes. and three, the false and misleading statements. there's no specific mention of donald trump or the trump campaign in these 30 pages, right? >> that's an important point. so the big issue we know that bob mueller was charged to investigate is, did any u.s. officials coordinate with the russian government to interfere in the u.s. election? this indictment does not address that question. it is not central to it. but that is not to say it is completely unrelated to that question. as you pointed out earlier, when paul manafort did this work in ukraine, it was on behalf of the pro-putin leader of that country. so those connections that he made continued while he was working with the campaign. we know two things that happened that are very important to this question of what happened in terms of interference. once, that campaign officials working under paul manafort's direction changed the platform of the republican committee to
make the republican party more favorable to the russian government. >> paul manafort denied it and went on "meet the press" with chuck todd in july of 2016 and said, hey, it wasn't me. we'll see if the denial holds up. two, the connections paul manafort made while working in ukraine include a ukrainian billionaire who then manafort was reaching out to while working on behalf of the campaign offering private secret meetings and briefings on what was happening. >>. i have already spoken to folks over at the white house. white house sources, and kristen welker has as well standing over by the white house, kristen, we are hearing the same thing. which is the line that the white house is not surprised about this according to one source, that this investigation is proceeding a pace as they phrased it. i'll let you walk through some of this. i remember sitting in the briefing room when sean spicer said paul manafort played a limited role for the trump campaign. that is not true. paul manafort joined the
campaign in the spring of 2016. was then promoted a couple months later and was crucial at the rnc when it came to all the delicate drama. tell me where the white house is this morning and what you expect from sarah sanders' briefing in a few hours from now. >> reporter: right. the first statements will come from sarah sanders. we are trying to get something on the record. i wouldn't be surprised to hear her reiterate that argument that sean spicer first made, that manafort's connection to the campaign were limited. but also what you have been talking about there, hallie, the fact that there is nothing directly in the indictment that links the activities to the trump campaign. that is the messaging i'm anticipating if i read between the lines. let me read you the statement we have from the top white house official we were talking to earlier today who says, the white house has been saying for weeks that the council is moving quickly. and the people are reporting that the fact that the special counsel is performing its duties
does not come as a surprise to the white house. and it is counter to what we saw from the president himself over the weekend. he was trying to redirect the conversation back from his former rival, hillary clinton. saying she should be under investigation for a whole range of issues, including the fact that she and the dnc funded research that ultimately led to that now famous dossier. so we'll have to see if president trump weighs in today. if he tweets, he's got a series of meetings with his top officials including the secretary of state, the vice president and his attorney general. the press at this point doesn't have access to the meetings, so the first time we see him today around 6:00 p.m. this is what we are waiting for, the official statement from sarah huckabee sanders this afternoon. >> thank you so much, kristen.
let's go to nbc justice correspondent pete williams. pete, bring us up to speed on what stood out to you and what to expect with the court appearance from paul manafort. >> reporter: stepping back here to summarize it, i think you can get lost in the weeds of what the actual counts are, but the theory of the indictment is that manafort engaged to earn millions of dollars in fees from politicians in ukraine and lobbied for the government in the u.s. lobbied members of congress, lobbied the administration for ten years, but it says they failed to register as foreign agents if they were representing a foreign government. and failed to report millions of dollars to the irs. instead, they funneled the money to offshore accounts.
they put $7 million through and he spent $3 million. there's nothing in the charges directionally act the russians or last year's election. and another interesting thing i think is that robert mueller was appointed special counsel in may, but the indictment says that the justice department actually started investigating both manafort and gates a year ago in september of last year said they made false statements and should be required to give up properties based on the money they earned. >> this indictment does not include the potential charges against paul manafort and rick
gates? >> reporter: absolutely doesn't preclude anything further. one of the things about federal court is, we see these cases develop and the government can always come along later and say, well, we now know more, so we're going to file a revised or as it is called in court, a super seeding indictment. and we are told they are being investigated for other relations. many people involve in this investigation think there will be additional charges, at least against manafort. >> pete williams. thank you. you are seeing political news here where we find kasie hunt. mostly democrats are coming out to talk about this, right? >> so far that is what we are surprisingly learning.
these reported indictments show that the special counsel's probe is ongoing in a very serious way. the rule of law is paramount in america and the investigation must be allowed to proceed unimpeded. the president must not you should any circumstances interfere with the special counsel's work in any way. if he does so, congress must respond swiftly, unequivocally and in a bipartisan way to ensure that the investigation continues. so this gives you a sense of where the political concern is for democrats. and while we have not heard it yet, this has been something that republicans, at least in the past, have responded to with some sort of degree of focus. there are a couple of bipartisan bills to take some action if, in fact, the president were to say fire bob mueller or do something else to impede this investigation. so they have tried to fire warning shots. and there's a real sense of nervousness and uncertainty about how the president is going
to respond to this new phase of the investigation. so what does this mean for the congressional investigations that are going on? they have always said all the way along that, look, this is a situation where we don't want to interfere with what bob mueller is doing. dianne feinstein, the chairman of the rank iing member is comi out to say this can't be used as an excuse. she has struggled to get subpoena power to get more into this. they had trouble getting manafort to appear today. now it seems we are learning why. >> kasie hunt on capitol hill. thank you. elise? >> we should take a step back to remember that congressional republicans have been avoiding every mention of this at every moment possible. they are probably very grateful that they are not in washington yet. the senate doesn't come until
later. mitch mcconnell is saying, we are only focused on the investigation. but this is a bad day for them and it will be difficult for them to answer these questions. because again, their relationship with donald trump is really on the rocks here. >> when we come back, we want to watch a couple things. carol, i want to come to you after the break, because we want to look at paul manafort and rick gates presumably arriving to the courthouse any second. you saw the suv pull out. garrett haake is on his way to the courthouse now. and we are coming up with a closer look at this guy who rose to power in 2016. cynthia mcfadden is joining me on the drill-down coming up. which egg has 6 times more vitamin d, 10 times more vitamin e, and 25% less saturated fat?
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we are following breaking news in washington. you are looking at the federal courthouse here in d.c. where we expect to see former donald trump campaign chair paul manafort this afternoon along with his deputy rickgates. both indicted on a number of counts of conspiracy to launder money and others. what relationship do they have to donald trump and to the campaign? let's bring in cynthia mcfadden who has more now. one of the things i was talking about this morning is the idea that paul manafort is well-known. a lot of people know who he is. he was on tv a lot, did the sunday shows, out there during
convention, he's got a long history as this sort of political heavyweight. breakdown his background for us here. >> you can say that paul manafort was born into politics. his father was a three-time mayor of the hometown of new brighton, connecticut. he worked in the ford white house after getting out of college in 1978. from there he worked for ronald reagan. he's spent his life in this. and really interesting to note, he was part of the creation of what we now think of as the modern day swamp. he figured out along with roger stone and others how to monitorize his work for reagan, turning it into a lobbying operation, at the time that was really considered not okay. it was way outside the normal bounds. but they monitorized it by creating a company, the man they just helped elect, they have lobbied for other various interests. so in some ways, his life was built to this moment.
there's a lot of detail in the ways that he did that. we interviewed someone who said, this was interesting, i think that when donald trump talks about getting rid of the swamp, that paul manafort was one of the original swamp creatures. so that has strained credibility a little bit. it was, essentially, this lobbying on behalf of a party connected with the russians in the ukraine, which he did along with mr. gates, which seemed to draw the attention of investigators. pete williams knows from the indictment that the investigation began in september of 2016, which is just a few weeks after he stepped down after "the new york times" reported that he had been taking millions of dollars in cash payments. and that seems to be crucial to what prosecutors have to uphold. >> there's word now of another person related to these indictments. nbc news justice correspondent
pete williams is in washington. pete? >> reporter: well, not these indictments but another case of george popadopolis pleaded guilty to federal charges. and i'm just now looking at the documents here, to see what the charges are. >> i know it is just coming in. i'm going to read it here, he's pleaded to making false statements to fbi agents. the case unsealed today. >> i've got it now. he was interviewed in january of this year. this was before robert mueller was the special counsel, that the fbi had an open investigation. it was doing the investigation of possible russia meddling. and he made a number of statements that were false. he claimed that his interactions with the overseas professor whom he understood to have substantial connections to russian government officials
occurred before he became a foreign policy adviser to the campaign. it says that he told the fbi that the processor was a nothing, just a guy who was talking about connections or something. in fact, it says papadopolous knew the professor had substantial connections to government officials and had met with some of them in moscow immediately before telling papadopolous about a number of e-mails involved in this investigation. and so it's basically that he lied to the fbi about his connections with the russian government's efforts to influence the presidential election. so these are the first actual charges connected to bob mueller's basic homework assignment, which is to look at russian meddling in last year's election. >> pete williams doing an admiral job of reading and talking at the same time at your first look at this. pete, i'm going to give you a minute to look through the documents and come back to you.
i want to bring in robert, carol, matt and elise onset. matt, as pete was talking there, you were reading the latest news about george papadopolous was an adviser to donald trump during the campaign. someone involved at the time and was helping to sort of formulate some of his policies, his foreign policy views. >> one very important thing about this charge as we digest exactly what is in it, he's pleading guilty. he's not been indicted, he's pleading guilty, which may be the sign that bob mueller has a cooperating witness in the entire case. the fact he's pleading guilty, we'll look and see what happens when he makes a court appearance, does he get sentenced or does he hold that for later? >> robert? >> that's very important. when you look at the indictment just quickly, the one-count indictment i view as someone who works on the defense side is usually a sign that you have a co cooperator. sometimes if there's multiple charges, you plead to one and then there's cooperation. when you see the massive
12-count things like we did with manafort, you know, that does not generally indicate they have a cooperator. that's something to look at whether papadopolous is someone who entered into an agreement with the government. >> cynthia mcfadden, put your legal hat on here, what does this say to you well-versed in this world? >> reporter: we are seeing bob mueller put together the logistics of a case. this is putting prrk on paessurl manafort to flip. this is putting pressure on gates to flip, if he knows anything. now that we hear about papadopolous who has pled guilty, one can imagine the carefully laid-out plan by a very seasoned prosecutor, even though who are not fans of bob mueller, say that he's a first-rate prosecutor. and i think we are seeing in public the elements of the building block being built. this is the intention to go all
the way to the white house. >> cynthia mcfadden, thank you. carol and elise, pull back. the campaign contacts when it comes to george papadopolous and bill gates. >> you have bill gates who worked on the campaign and george papadopolous was a foreign adviser to the campaign, and he is reportedly tried to set up these meetings in march of 2016 between trump campaign officials and russian officials. so he has -- >> the meetings were rebuffed at the time. >> correct. so he has, when we have been talking about how this indictment doesn't have any links to the campaign yet, that and those charges could come later, this indictment feels like a 31-page warning shot to other -- >> this one here. >> right. if you add in the play, the guilty plea, it just bolsters that and feels like there's a circling around to get to what is at the heart of this matter,
which is was there any collusion between the trump campaign and russia during the election? >> george papadopolous has always been an interesting character in this. he was one of the youngest and least experienced advisers on trump's campaign. he could come in and reportedly make trump's advisers uncomfortable by trying to broker the meetings. at one point, sam clovis said, shouldn't we be consulting nato allies before meeting with top russian officials? i'm looking over some old "washington post" reporting three days after donald trump named his foreign policy team in march 2016, the youngest of the new advisers sent an e-mail to seven campaign officials with the subject line, meeting with russian leadership including putin. this goes to the heart as pete williams said of, excuse me, the special counsel's whole investigation here. >> i want to go to our nbc intelligence and national security reporter, ken, as we digest the news related to george papadopolous and the
31-page indictment against paul manafort and rick gates. walk us through some of the reporting. >> reporter: well, that is what is really important to emphasis here, hallie, you did the reporting during the campaign as well. it is not like this is revealing for the first time that paul manafort had links to the russian-backed political party. that was known. we reported it and others reported on it. and there are other links between paul manafort and russian oligarchs. >> before you get into it, let me set this up with a tweet from the president. the first reaction from donald trump related to all of this coming in in tweet format, he says, sorry, but this is years ago, before paul manafort was part of the trump campaign. but why aren't crooked hillary and the dems the focus? with a serious of question marks there from president trump. so this does a couple of things. number one, gives us insight into what we'll hear from sarah
huckabee sanders when she takes the podium at 1:00. president trump as he has done for weeks turning the attention back to democrats, turning to hillary clinton, he called her crooked "h." and trying to put distance between himself, his campaign and paul manafort. this happened prior to manafort joining the trump campaign. we have to point out, while the members of the trump team may want to distance themselves from manafort, he was an integral part of campaign 2016. that is just a fact. ken? >> reporter: absolutely. and another fact, hallie, is that the indictment allegations the conspiracy here went on through 2017. so it's not something that happened in the past according to these charges by robert mueller. but i was looking back at the reporting that we did in the summer of 2016 that you were involved in, hallie, where we interviewed a senior republican, david cramer, a former mccain aide, about paul manafort's connections to russia that were disturbing. and he was raising questions about what they said about
donald trump's plan for rush russia. what they did according to the indictment is conceal the fact they were lobbying in the united states. and then they according to the indictment didn't want to pay taxes on their millions. so they laundered the money through offshore bank accounts. and they evaded taxes. this indictment said that $75,000 went through offshore bank accounts and alleges that paul manafort laundered $18 million. so that's the issue here. and the other point is, for those who want to say this isn't about russia, the ukrainian politician they were representing was a russian-backed politician opposing the forces that wanted to bring ukraine into the u.s./nato orbit. he was the putin guy. and when he was ousted from power, he fled to moscow where he lives today as far as we know, hallie. >> ken, i want to go to carol quickly with reaction to the reaction from donald trump.
and i believe there's a second part or another tweet that has come out in the last couple of seconds here. simply donald trump saying, also, there is, all caps, no collusion. something that is not a definitive statement from the intelligence community. this should not surprise anyone following donald trump and the reaction to his special counsel. >> this is what you would expect the white house to do. because this particular indictment does not link paul manafort and his time during the trump campaign. so this is going to be their obvious defense. the president just this summer was calling paul manafort a good man, a very decent man. and also saying, but he worked for me for a short amount of time. which as you pointed out, is not true, he had a significant role. this is what we expect the president to say. going forward, what we see special counsel roll out will depend on what the president is able to say going forward and what we see the special counsel role out. and will there be a link and will the argument he's making be
undermi undermined. >> it is now a half hour, we have hit the half hour mark. let's get up to speed on everything happening over the last 30 minutes with developments as we wait potentially to see paul manafort and rick gates appear in federal court. president trump's former campaign chair paul manafort has left the fbi office in washington. again, presumably on his way to the courthouse after being indicted on a dozen criminal counts. you've got rick gates, manafort's deputy, also been indicted. and we also just learned in the last couple minutes in a separate case that a former trump campaign adviser, george papadopolous pleaded guilty in giving false statements to the fbi. the president responding to this on twitter saying there's no collusion. later on this afternoon, we expect to see sarah huckabee sanders briefing reporters from the podium at the whouls. we want to go to nbc justice correspondent pete williams in the washington bureau. pete, we have been talking about george papadopolous talking
about this separate case. robert driscoll says this seems to him like it is a cooperative witness. can we go that far yet? >> reporter: well, sure. because he's agreed to plead guilty. we don't know in return for what here yet, but a couple of interesting things, first of all, the court documents indicate that he was actually arrested on july 27th. papadopolous lived for most of the time here questioned in london. on july 27th, he was arrested. when he arrived at dulles airport and after his arrest, he has met with the government several times to provide information and answer questions. so i think that is a pretty clear indication that he is cooperating with robert mueller's investigation. secondly, it says that the basis of this plea agreement and the charge here is that the fbi questioned him twice. once in january of 2017. again in february of 2017.
and this is the substance of the charge, that both times he falsely said that he was talking to russians who were interested in meeting with president trump who thought they had information about hillary clinton to sharp and that he told the fbi at the time that he was, in essence, acting as the intermediary, not part of the trump campaign when the indictment says, in fact, he was on the foreign policy team for the trump campaign. so a second point i would make here is that there is nothing in these charges that directly says that he helped the russians try to interfere in the election. which again is the essence of what robert mueller is trying to investigate. but it does say that he attended a national security meeting, papadopolous in march 31st of last year with trump and other foreign policy advisers for the campaign. and said that he had connections, papadopolous did to
arrange a meeting between trump and putin. but there's nothing in the charges that said he wanted to set this up so that the russians could interfere with the election. but it is a contact with the essence of the charges to be false statements to the fbi. >> pete williams in the washington bureau. thank you. msnbc legal chief correspondent and ari melber is in new york along with folks back in washington here with us onset including matt, carol, elise and robert. matt has been pointing out when you look at the george papadopolous information here, thing do yume documents we havet was the same day we had some action related to james comey at the white house. >> reporter: the back story here is a long one and this individual will be unknown to many people because he's not known to be a senior -- >> not a big name, not a paul manafort-type name. >> reporter: let's be clear. it is 10:35 a.m. on a monday and we are reporting the first
russia-related charge in bob mueller's investigation. that is a significant development. and it is distinct from the rather detailed charges against mr. manafort and others. this is a false statement's charge that includes the words dirt on hillary clinton and high-level russian officials. and an individual that is pleading guilty. so no dispute here, no debate here among the parties. he agrees with the bob mueller narrative here that he signed to as part of the plea that he did lie to the fbi about his contacts with the professor who was promising dirt on hillary clinton that was allegedly coming from russian officials. now, that does not draw a line of conspiracy or collusion as is the non-legal word to the top of the trump campaign. that does not tell us all of that as other analysts have mentioned. but let's be very clear, the morning started with financial allegations, which have yet to be proven in court. and now we're looking at the unsealing of a plea agreement
that involves confession to lying about russia-related activity. >> ari melber, as you're speaking, we have our folks onset listening in. robert, what is standing out to you when you listen to what ari is putting out there? >> i still think from the white house perspective they're probably taking the long view that this isn't to them yet. and i think that they, from my view, is that this is kind of why people don't like independent counsels in some ways, they focus on an individual, not necessarily on the crimes. and so we have this investigation. now the first thing we have this morning is 10-year-old manafort working for ukraine going on forever. sure, the conspiracy goes own, but that's a conspiracy to conceal. the actual taking of the money happened years ago. the fact that we are talking about a statute of limit takeses means we are talking about a really long time ago. so here we are with stuff before trump's campaign glimmering in anyone's eye, that's the focus of this. and then, i mean, are we shocked
that there's somebody who is a little seedy hanging around with the trump campaign in foreign policy that may have fibbed the fbi. again, it could be that papadopolous is the spoken center of everything to bring it all down. but to me, it is much more likely that trump didn't necessarily have the a-team, he got people with problems surrounding him during the campaign, particularly early on, and these people are some of them. and i think, if i'm manafort or papadopolous, the white house's paw prints are firmly on your shoulder blades at this point, because you're about to get tossed overboard. and saying, hey, these guys may have done what they did, had nothing to do with the trump campaign. >> and the president is saying this happened years before he joined the campaign. we have a ton of developments on this story and they are changing basically every minute. we'll take a quick break, but
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we are back with breaking news related to not just the indictment on paul manafort and rick gates, but george papadopolous, a young adviser pleading guilty to making false statements to the fbi. any minute now, we expect to see potentially at some point before 1:30 when their court hearing is set to happen, paul manafort
and/or rick gates outside u.s. district court in washington. that's also where we find msnbc's garrett haake. garrett, you have made the journey down from the fbi field office to get where you are, any activity? what are you seeing? >> reporter: well, hallie, i made that journey in two minutes. it's a short walk. we have a half dozen cameras here as does every other news organization in the western hemisphere. watching all the different entrances here. and nobody that i can find has seen that muddied-up dodge dur a durango leave the fbi office. the local district is across the street, those accused of crimes locally is that way, and a couple government buildings are right here in one area. why this matters is there are lots of ways that the government could take someone into this building and have them be seen. if they wanted to make a big scene out of bringing paul
manafort into the building, there are plenty of cameras and doors to do that. there are also plenty of ways to do without being seen. there are garages to this building and garages to nearby buildings that would make it pretty easily to get somebody into this building. and i sort of feed this into the conversation that you have been having more broadly. because if you area prosecutor and trying to get somebody to work with you with a whole bunch of charges in front of you, potentially you would try to make it easier for them to get in and out of here without it being a big scene today. so we have our eyes and ears at every entrance that we can get close to on public property to see if we can see manafort and gates arriving, but so far we have not. they don't have to be in the courtroom until 1:30. we are expecting they are probably in this building or on their way here, very quickly, just a question of how public the arrival will be or not. >> monday brunch when you're waiting for your court hearing is not so much probably a thing
in this instance. pete williams, justice correspondent back from the washington bureau. pete, you had an opportunity to go through these documents related to george papadopolous, young policy adviser who worked with the donald trump campaign back in the spring of 2016. anything else standing out to you? i'm looking specifically at some of the timeline issues here when it comes to the papadopolous situation. >> reporter: the government says he falsely claimed when the fbi started asking him about his contacts with russian officials, that he was not at the time working for the campaign. they say that is just not true. that he signed on as a foreign policy adviser to the campaign. now, i should point out that nothing in this charge or guilty plea says that he was trying to influence the election. it says that he was trying to set up a meeting between donald trump and vladimir putin to talk about russian issues, if president trump became president. so that's worth bearing in mind. but a couple other sort of interesting points here, hallie,
number one, this plea agreement was reached with the government earlier this month on october 5th. and it has been under seal ever since then. so mr. papadopolous has known for almost a month this was going to be his deal. he was arrested in late july and apparently has been cooperating with the government. so this is a plea agreement but it is also a negotiated plea. because it appears that in exchange for agreeing to plead guilty, the government will recommend a much lower sentence for this charge of lying to the fbi. and under the plea agreement, it says that the government says his sentencing guideline range would be zero months to six months imprisonment and a former federal prosecutor that i just talked about said when it is worded that way, that's often a signal that the government would agree to probation. so it's appearing that he'll get a break in his sentencing in exchange for pleading guilty
here. >> pete williams there going through all of this. thank you. with us back now is robert dris s ko driscoll, along with carol lee, matt miller as well. robert, i'm giving you a chance to go through this. this plea agreement mentioned specifically a campaign supervisor that george papadopolous was interacting with. and matt, when garrett was talking about what is happening at the courthouse, i'm going to call you over for a second and said, they are there, they are definitely there. >> yeah, they are there. there are a number of ways to sneak peek into the courthouse. that shows that bob mueller is acting responsibly. the perp walk that is you see, sometimes you are not supposed to do that. mueller is not that kind of prosecutor and not that kind of fbi director. he's handling this quietly and carefully and playing it by the book.
i think they are both waiting in the courthouse waiting for their appearance. >> they don't have to be in court for another three hours. >> they are waiting in a room somewhere probably with their counsel. waiting for their first court appearance. >> what are the conversations many the room? are they in a rom togethom toge? >> they are probably talking about bail. when they come in to enter the plea, the first question that becomes relevant is, are they held without bail or allowed to make bail? you would expect in a case like this, these two people aren't flight risks, they would be allowed to make bail. >> carol? >> well, you raised, i think, a key point. what is it that george papadopolous knows and who is that campaign supervisor? what were the interactions? >> i'm looking at the dates to bring folks up to speed here. march 2016, a person who is supervising the campaign in march 2016, there are only a coupment fo menmenle folks that >> and one name we have not mentioned is michael flynn.
he was a key foreign policy adviser to the trump campaign. and candidate trump. and george papadopolous was in the foreign policy spear, we just don't know, that is why this is so important. >> there's been some reporting out of the white house. reportedly, there's a background saying paul manafort was a bad guy when he got here and a bad guy when he left, which is an interesting suggestion of the defense that sarah huckabee sanders could say, we thought he was bad from the beginning. >> if he was bad from the beginning, why did donald trump say this? play it. >> and paul manafort has done an amazing job. he's here someplace. where is paul? paul manafort. oh, good, you made it. paul manafort has done a fantastic job. and all of paul's people that paul brought onto the staff. so we have a great group of people. and we have a group of people that really wants to win.
and i think knows how to win. and we have also been winning all our lives. this group of people in front of me, i know so many of you, we have been winning all our lives. >> you see who is over donald trump's shot, rick gates, directly behind him. does the bad guy defense hold water? >> it is not even that. we can roll tape that's more recent than that, this summer when the president said he was a good man and a decent man. you know, we've seen this white house do things like this time and time again. they just ignore recent past or, you know, things that were happening during the president's campaign, to make an argument that, you know, to say the opposite of what they've already, on the record, said. >> matt made a good point earlier, which was donald trump remained in contact with paul manafort for quite some time after it was appropriate to do so. >> reportedly. >> exactly, reportedly. so that goes to show that this white house is handling things in an unconventional way. >> as we sit on capitol hill, one of the things some in congress mentioned on the democratic side, has been this
warning shot, hey, donald trump, don't interfere with this. there's a couple of ways that could potentially happen that i think people are k llooking at here. pardons, raised by the "wall street journal" over the weekend. or the threat of firing bob mueller. the white house said in the past that the president has no intention of firing the special counsel at this point. where do we see this going? we can't predict, robert, but what are the consequences for either? >> i can't imagine the white house would fire the special counsel. i think it is within the white house's authority to do it, and you'd get into sticky constitutional questions at some point, about whether or not that can be an impeachable offense, something like that. i can't imagine. i think that whatever, for lack of a better term, establishment or traditional republican, kind of legal community would be, you know, fully off the train if mueller were fired in the middle of an investigation, or particularly after some indictments. i think that, you know, you might see more traditional
criticism of mueller, the way ken star was criticized, how other special counsels have been criticized. that's probably more likely. i think there's probably some senior people that would advise very strongly against a flat out firing of mueller. >> there is a lot that is going to continue to develop the next couple minutes, couple hours, including later on this afternoon. we'll get an opportunity to hear from mitch mcconnell at a news conference later today, unrelated to this. we'll keep it up after this break.
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we're back, continuing to follow the breaking news. indictments for paul manafort and rick gates. former campaign chair and deputy for trump during the campaign. and also george pop dap loupapa. i want to bring in nbc national political reporter cara lee and reporter for the ""washington post" post". for 55 minute, we've been living in all these developments. there have been many, including manafort leaving the fbi field office. reaction from president trump's tweet. you have the george papadopoulos
news that broke here. step back and put this in context, why this matters, matt. >> the president's campaign chairman, the person who engineered getting him the nomination, leaving the campaign in the first stages of the general election has been indicted in a massive corruption scheme. another member of the president's campaign, earliest foreign affairs advisers, is going to plead guilty for lying to the fbi about his contact sz with russian officials. all that said, we are just at the beginning of this investigation. we should look at this as one of the first steps in bob mueller's investigation, and nowhere near the end. >> robert? >> i'd agree. i think that, you know, it's interesting to see some action. we haven't seen any. it's all been speculation. i think that this is -- i mean, were it to end here, the white house would be happy. no one thinks it'll end here. the money laundering, tax charges go way back. although it's bad that he had this around the campaign, i think the white house can kind
of -- we're already seeing it -- the white house can distance themselves from him. i think this papadopoulos reads to me as though he was using his connections with the russians to enhance his role in the campaign, not necessarily the other way around. he was a young guy who was trying to say he had these contacts and used that to leverage the campaign. he must have walked in unrepresented to an interview. afterwards, he, you know, deleted his facebook account and did a bunch of other things that weren't that bright. this is almost like a criminal stupidity plea here. once you've done that stuff, it is obvious you lied. when you go to do an interview, delete evidence of what you just said that contradicts it, it is a problem. >> carol and elise, i want to look ahead to what we could see happen over the next few hours. we have the court appearance at 1:30 eastern this afternoon, where we'll likely see paul manafort and rick gates. we also have the press briefing with sarah huckabee sanders, which we will be running over to the white house for after this show.
>> it is going to be an action-packed four hours. if you're looking at just the white house in and of itself, i think they signalled where they're going to be on this. >> yes. >> it is clear they're going to try to distance themselves from paul manafort. >> final thought, elise? >> the question is what does the rest of the gop do, right? this is a pivotal day for the party, a pivotal day for congressional republicans. how much distance do they introduce between themselves and donald trump and his campaign? do they do it at all? maybe they don't feel like it is bad enough to introduce the distance. we'll wait and see. >> won't wait long. mitch mcconnell had an unrelated news conference at the capital la -- capitol later on this afternoon. i'm headed to the white house. i'll turn it over to my colleagues ali velshi and stephanie ruhle on what has been anything but a slow news day. >> it is the opposite of a slow news day. going over indictments. >> working up till the last second. >> we'll see you later today, hallie jackson, in washington. it'll be a busy one. i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle.
it is monday, october 30th. let's get you started. >> this news that has washington, frankly the whole nation, on pins and needles this morning. >> the first indictment into the investigation into alleged ties between the trump campaign and russia during the 2016 election. >> former trump campaign chairman paul manafort and a deputy campaign official, rick gates, will turn themselves in to face charges toe. >> -- today. >> 12 counts. conspiracy against the united states. conspiracy to launder money. unregistered agents of a foreign principle. false and misleading statements. false statements on seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. >> they'll be booked and, shortly, they'll have a hearing and initial appearance before a federal magistrate. that starts the legal process. >> big picture, we have never seen a criminal investigation result in indictments of senior officials tied to a president this fast in the first year in office, ever, full