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tv   MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi  MSNBC  October 30, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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things he has about anyone and he will have to fight this to the ends of the earth. it will be interesting to see if he comes out, if he speaks publicly, what he says, how he addresses these things. these are difficult things to refute. pretty much all of it is based on hard documents. so i don't know how he can really push back on that, but i guess we'll see has here. >> we will watch and see. michael schmidt, thanks to you. that wraps up the hour for me. i'm chris jansing. ali velshi picks up the continuing breaking news coverage here on msnbc. >> quite a day and not gotten to basic matters like what's the situation with bail? will these guys post bail and get out? thank you. i'm ali velshi. we're awaiting to hear from the attorneys of paul manafort and rick gates. if they come to the mike we'll bring it to you live. we just got a statement from rick gates' attorney. the man ultimately involved in
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running the president's campaign five months. paul manafort and his right-hand staffer just pleaded not guilty to being a foreign agent among a dozen other charges. the white house is not saying much about this bombshell indictment. >> how did the president respond to this news about two people who did work for his campaign, was he disappointed that paul manafort received this news today he was being charged on these counts? >> he responded the same way the rest of us in the white house have. that's without a lot of reaction, because he doesn't have anything to do, it doesn't have anything to do with us. >> at the same time this is going on we learned another member of the president's campaign is also facing charges. george papadopolos, pleading guilty to lying to the fbi about contact with the kremlin. while this might seem insignificant, documents show that he was talking to a professor linked to the russian government who had told him they had dirt on hillary clinton, including e-mails. the white house is downplaying
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pop dapadopolo papadopolos' role. >> extremely low, no activity done in official capacity on behalf of the campaign that, too, may turn out not to be true. more on who this papadopolos character is and where we go next. garrett haake is withous outside the courthouse and pete alexander. we just learned about this today but was entered october 5th. >> reporter: a well-kept secret. turns out he was arrested in late july at the dulles airport outside washington and then in another secret hearing went into court on october 5th and pleaded guilty to charges of lying twice to the fbi. the court documents in which he admitted all of this say that when the fbi questioned him about whether he had contacts with people who said they could
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represent the russian government, whether at that time he was working for the campaign, and he said, no. and the, turns out he actually was then a volunteer staffer, foreign policy adviser, to the trump campaign. now, what he's pleaded guilty to is communicating with people who said that they could get him dirt on hillary clinton, and also hillary clinton e-mails, and according to the court documents, these russians were promising that to him before we even knew that the russians had hacked into the dnc e-mail system. now, of course, what we don't know is whether these russians that were making these claims actually had any hillary clinton e-mails, but nonetheless, that's what they told him. and the goal of these russians was to try to set up a meeting between donald trump and vladimir putin, a meeting that, of course, never happened. >> pete, do we know what part of that constitutes a crime? the communication of somebody claiming to have information? what's the crime in this?
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>> none of that. the crime is lying to the fbi. when the fbi questioned him twice and said, did you, when you were communicating with these russians, were you working for the trump campaign? he said, no. that's the crime. lying to the fbi. now, pretty clearly he's been very cooperative with the federal authority since he was arrested in july. he's answered many of their questions, and in return for that, the government is obviously seeking a lenient sentence when he is sentenced. that will be probably several weeks from now. the sentencing guidelines call for a higher punishment but they are suggesting zero to six months, and what several prosecutors tell me is, when that appears in the court documents it basically means, the prosecutors think he should be out on probation. >> interesting. all right. bring gate hake i-- garrett haa that courthouse. what's going on? what do we know about that --
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garrett, you with me? >> reporter: a little bit of a -- ali, can you hear me? >> yes. >> reporter: in a little bit of a news black hole. it when we last heard from these gentlemen, terms for their release, home detention, turning over their passports's manafort, a $10 million bond, rick gates, a $5 million bond. the judge asked for a recess to review those conditions. best we can tell, either they're remaining in that recess or just now have gone back inside. this is the situation, no cameras, no cell phone use allowed in the courtroom. we're in a little black hole waiting for them to come out. we expect to hear from manafort's attorney at the camera positioned that is just behind me. you can see sort of the backs of all of these photographers that lined up to hear from manafort's attorney after this. he has said he would speak. we've heard in the form of a statement from gates' attorney, which says, in short, that they have not yet really gbegun the
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fight and intend to fight these charges vigorously. both men pleaded not guilty and both already scheduled for a preliminary hearing later in the week. the beginning of what could be have very long, and if the delay means anything, contentious court process for these two men. >> put out the statement you referred to about rick gates where it says, he would appreciate you respecting his and his family's privacy as they weather this hasty and designed proceeding designed for press considerations rather than his right to have counsel of his choice by his side during this most troubling and challenging day for him. that's what we have from him so far. maybe we'll get more from the attorneys. were you in the prowse white house meeting when sarah huckabee sanders was asked about this. how is the white house characterizing this? >> reporter: the white house's strategy is very clear.
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officials trying to distance the president and his campaign from the indictments and from george papadopolos pleading guilty today. sarah huckabee sanders saying that george papadopolos was an unpaid volunteer. she made the point, look, he only sat in on one key meeting there. of course, the reality is, if you look at the court papers, there were a number of e-mails exchanged between george papadopolos and campaign officials over several months. as it related to setting up a meeting with russian officials. now, of course, the court documents also stress that never happened. so sarah huckabee sanders sort of highlighting all of those points that i mapped out and when it comes to paul manafort and rick gates, she makes the case that all of these charges have to do with stuff that happened before the campaign. which is, of course, soon. you're going to see the white house hit that point over and observer again. she was asked, when was the last time president trump spoke to paul manafort? take a listen how she answered that question. >> as far as we can tell, we
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know they haven't spoken in several months. the last known conversation was back all the way to february. and as far as anything beyond that, with paul, i'm not sure of any other contact. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i know some initial contact after the president was sworn in. with him at meetings here at the white house, but nothing directly with the president. >> reporter: of course, manafort se served as the campaign chair several months over the summer of 2016 and then fired once some of his connections to foreign nationals became apparent. but a number of other headlines that came out of the briefing, ali. i pressed sarah huckabee sanders on what this says about the president's judgment? after all he vowed during the campaign, he was only going to hire the top people. she pushed back on that saying this isn't a judgment on his ability to vet people. shep was also asked if he's going to look into firing special counsel robert mueller.
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she said there are no plans for that. i can tell you in a statement from ty cobb, the president's special counsel here at the white house, he has said the white house will continue to cooperate with special counsel robert mueller. so the white house really trying to distance itself, even while trying to tamp down some of the heated rhetoric around all of this. president trump will be passing out halloween candy a little later on this evening, ali. that's our first chance to try to get some questions to him directly. >> kristin, thanks. thanks also to pete williams and garrett haake, who is at that courthouse. we are looking at those microphones expecting the wlo lawyers for rick gates and paul manafort will come out and make comments. if they do we'll go right to that. and a former watergate prosecutor with the special watergate prosecution force and a legal analyst for msnbc. i want to start with the comment christian made about the question about possibly firing robert mueller. it is something the white house
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floated before. >> they would love to do t. talk to me about the political implications. >> i think they'd love to do it but this made it a whole lot more difficult, because it's not like we've got a witch-hunt where there is nothing. now we've got something that's real. we not only have the campaign manager who is, unquestionably going to be convicted on these charges. these are iron-tight charges. it's all based on documents. there's nothing about witness credibility here. all you have to do is put into evidence these documents. >> these are deposits, transfers, payments, checks. >> right. e-mails. >> yes. >> and then ---along with -- >> we got richard gates walking out of the courtroom there. questions answered -- let's listen in. >> [ inaudible ]. >> well, i think you all saw today that president donald
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trump was correct. there is no evidence that mr. manafort or the trump campaign colluded with the russian government. mr. manafort represented pro-european union campaigns for the ukrainian -- and in that he was seeking to further democracy and to help the ukraine come closer to the united states and the eu. those activities ended in 2014. over two years before mr. manafort served in the trump campaign. today, you see an indictment brought by an office of special counsel that is using a very novel theory to prosecute mr. manafort, regarding a farrah filing. the united states government has only used that offense six times since 1966, and only resulted in one conviction. the second thing about this
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indictment that i myself find most ridiculous is a claim that maintaining offshore accounts to bring all your funds into the united states as a scheme to conceal from the united states government is ridiculous. thank you. >> reporter: [ inaudible ] -- the white house -- >> all right. that was kevin downing. the lawyer for paul manafort. coming out there. i want to bring pete williams into this listening with me. starting with a very strong statement, political statement, that there's no evidence that paul manafort colluded with the russian government, saying that these farrah filings, which make up part of the book of indictments here is a novel theory, used only six times since 1966 with only one conviction, and he characterized this as ridiculous. your take on this? >> reporter: yeah, well, when he first started talking i wondered who his client was. the trump campaign or paul manafort. but farrah is the foreign agent
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registration act. the government's claim, that he failed to register as a foreign agent. the government says he was actually lobbying in the u.s. for ukraine withing on over issues sump as sanctions and had to register at a foreign act to do that. he certainly is right that -- >> reporter: the white house has no -- >> none. >> reporter: what else is -- [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: sounded like he was making other statements as people chased him down the sidewalk. but the government's claim is because he was lobbying in the u.s. he had to register as a foreign agent, and he is right nap is a seldom used charge and often when it is you're simply notified shouldn't you be registered and you're allowed to cure that. a couple other points in the hearing that just ended. the judge did set home confinement conditions for both paul manafort and richard gates.
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basically, they have to stay home. the only time they're allowed to leave their houses is to go to court to talk to their lawyers to see a doctor or to go to church. other than that, they're not allowed to leave their houses, without checking in with -- and have to periodically check in with the parole authorities that indicate that, rather, the bail authorities, to indicate they're abiding by those conditions. we don't believe that the judge has set a requirement that the defendants wear electronic monitors. we're awaiting for clarity on that, but at least for now, they've been ordered to stay home, except for those reasons, and another hearing is coming up on thursday and their lawyers will undoubtedly try to get that lifted, but that's the conditions for the next couple days. >> pete, thanks for that. bringing nick ackerman back into the conversation. fara is the foreign agents registration act. a quick look. seen about ten instances the government has gone after people from it. the idea, not typically
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prosecuted. tell you, why haven't you registered -- >> most people don't violate it so flagrantly. >> it's basic. like filing taxes. if you work for, as an agent for a foreign government you have to file that. >> and he was not only not filing it but hiding the fact in all kinds of different ways he was acting as an agent for the ukrainian and/or russian governments. >> the interesting thing. you and i talked a lot about the june 9th 2016 meeting. robert mueller has accesses we don't have. there's way more in here. >> it's huge, absolutely. >> almost makes the june 9th meeting secondary, because there's all sorts of payments and transfers and things like that. >> keep in mind, you're talking about the indictment. it doesn't reach to the campaign. >> right. >> has nothing to do with the campaign activities, but -- but -- you take that in conjunction with the information
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that papadopolos pled guilty to, and it's quite obvious that mueller is playing this out very skillfully. first of all that indictment is a slam dunk, as i said before. it's proven by documents. but then you look at the papadopolos one that they put under seal all of this time. you have to believe -- i mean that coincides -- >> which is a guilty plea. be clear. >> right. he's pled guilty. pled guilty to a felony, lying to the fbi, and he's basically, if you looked through her allocution, you have to al low dut halow -- allocate. they don't name names, it's against justice department to do that. but he refers to campaign officials, other officials. it's very obvious he has information on lots of people and on top of that, he's been cooperating since july. if i were the prosecutor and i guarantee you robert mueller has done this, he's had him out there wearing a body wire,
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playing dial a crook on the phone, trying to get recorded conversations to use as evidence against other people. if i were the other people, and they know who they are in that information, i'd be extremely nervous right now. >> you touched on something. that this remarkably detailed indictment does not contain things having to do with the campaign. i want to bring in bill mattea who worked at the department of justices white collar division and served senior counsel to deputies attorney including former fbi director james comey. to the point nick just made. this seems to me to be a thorough document sdibdesigned send a message to manafort, gatsz and others, we have stuff on you that may or may not have anything to do with you on the campaign. we know you have stuff for us. you might want to start telling us about more of that stuff and then some of this can go away or not weigh on heavily on you as it looks to?
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>> i totally agree. sends a strong message to manafort and others they have a significant case, that the punishment on this, it's off the charts. talking $18 million of monies that are laundered, supposedly? it sends that message loud and clear. >> what's your sense, when you look at this, look at this indictment, and listen to what the wus said today and listen to these responses and say, this is evidence that they don't have enough on the, the collusion side of things. they don't have that information. is that true to you? >> i think there was evidence of collusion. i think you would have seen something here that was in this indictment. because you don't see it that is notable. so, but, go to the papadopolos plea. the papadopolos plea in a way is more troubling, because here you have an individual who is a member of the trump campaign who basically lied about what he was doing in order to get dirt on
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hillary clinton. and it's dirt that was coming from russian officials. >> bill, thanks very much for your input. bill mattea and nick ackerman. thanks to you both. we'll be talking about this a lot. and from power broker to trump's beloved campaign chairman. >> paul manafort has done a fantastic -- and all of paul's people. paul brought on his staff, we really do have a great staff of talented people. >> all right. paul manafort, went from the top of his game to charges of conspiracy in a matter of months. this is what it's all about, jamie --
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you in the past have represented in your business life some of these russian allies. your clients, your past clients, or current clibts, conflict in anyway with the classified intelligence briefings that donald trump as the nominee is going to get? >> i have no other clients except for donald trump to start with, and i'm not getting the dreefings. he's getting the briefings. >> and what about your past clients? >> i don't have anymore clients. >> do you have any conflicts, do you think because of the people you've represented in the past? >> no. i don't represent them anymore. >> then former campaign chairman paul manafort in may of last year denying to my colleague andrea mitchell he had ties with past russian allies. dive into those ties.
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he and his former right-hand man rick gates had, manafort hired in 2016 by the trump campaign to count delegates at the campaign. two months later elevated to campaign chairman and in august 2016 a short-lived tenure, he left in part due to controversy around business ties with pro-russian leaders in ukraine. the stuff he said to andrea we already know isn't true. in 2008 court records so manafort was involved in an $850 million deal with a russian, a ukrainian oligarch. around that time, manafort and a group of partners paid $7.5 million in management fees from a russian known to be close to putin. officials tell nbc news, he was once denied entry to the united states for alleged criminal ties and considered part of vladimir putin's inother circle. later manafort worked for a pro-russian political party in ukraine, and ukrainian
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president, then president, viktor yanukovych, who fled the country in 2014. the manafort p. and less crucial, helped manage day-to-day operations of the campaign and worked as liaison between the rnc and the campaign after manafort left. amp the election, gates worked to advance the president's agenda, left in april amid questions around russian interference in the election. both gates and manafort have worked together for decades. lobbying for dictators like ferdinand marcos from the philippines. the "new york times" reports gates was the one who met with dare posca associates in moscow while manafort was working in ukraine. gates' name is the one on shell company documents allegedly used by manafort to receive payments from eastern european business people. now, like manafort, gates retroactively registered as a foreign agent.
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both have now pled not guilty to the charges. more on this, the duo duos's rio power, legal investigative reporter cynthia mcfadden digging into this situation for a while. cynthia? >> reporter: a really good summary where we are. we know paul manafort and donald trump have been friends, business friends and colleagues, for over 30 years. introduced to one another by roy comb, who represented, of course -- the unbelievable joe mccarthy during the mccarthy hearings. so they've known each other, worked together throughout the years. so any attempt to say, oh, well, i didn't really know him by the president really doesn't work. also, worth noting, during his work for the ukraine, he parted a $3.6 million condo in trump tower. part of the letter making himself available to donald trump as campaign manager advertised, i'm right in the
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building. don't have to pay anything. he wanted in on the trump campaign and he got in. >> an interesting matter to follow down. because we know that he offered his services up for free. that he wanted in there. and there's speculation his business with these pro-russian interests in ukraine and elsewhere were buffeted by, by the fact that he had access to donald trump lincht. >> listen, we don't know and that's not what is charged but also we know prosecutors don't have to put everything. as of law, they can put in other things later. and i think people in washington are having a migraine today. a senior policy adviser, named in the papadopolos papers, and a high-ranking campaign official. those two people know who they are. >> but the documents we've seen don't tell us who they are. >> correct. that's part of, again, legal precedence. >> the question, papadopolos,
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off to the side, virtually nobody knew about him. he doesn't come with a lot of experience. a young, young, man, suddenly put, in theory, an inner circle with the trump campaign. you heard sarah huckabee sanders saying he attended one meeting and wasn't relevant. we have donald trump's words, he introduced him as a policy adviser. >> the deal, he wasn't acting on his own. i was checking with the campaign. did they want me -- >> about meetings with putin and russians. a senior adviser for the campaign, unnamed. >> yes. >> who was giving him advice blah to do. >> two different people. senior policy adviser and high-ranking official will probably have a sleepless night tonight. >> no clues on that right now? >> we have lots of clues but -- >> we don't have any proof. all right. thank you so much, for the great work you're doing on this, as well as ken delanian, digging into one of the main players. this george ppapadopolos.
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his role extremely limited, sarah huckabee sanders said that today a volunteer position, but big enough for a shout-out from donald trump himself back in march 2016. listen. >> george papadopoulos, he's in oil and energy a consultant, excellent guy. >> ken, a lot going on here. let's talk a little more about george pop dapadopolos and what know. >> because this was released about 90 minutes after "the meddler" and gates indictments, it took a while to understand. now that they've looked closely it's amazing and particularly current and former intelligence officials look at this, plain and simple, the russian intelligence trying to infiltrate the trump campaign. to be clear, the documents don't describe the russians involved with papadopolos as cutouts or handlers, the term former
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officials are using on our air today, but everybody an expert who'd looked at this said is going on. a low-level campaign functionary all of a sudden is being sort of seduced by these russian officials, and at one point in april 2016, this person described as a professor with close ties to the kremlin tells him that the russians have dirt on hillary clinton, and they have thousands of e-mails. that, ali, you know, was well before anyone in the public understood that the russians had hacked the dnc and the democrats, ken, to pete's earlier point. none of this information, the back and forth with the russians, the setting up of meetings potentially with putin. none of that would have been illegal. the thing papadopolos is in trouble is for lying to the fbi? >> exactly right, ali, and he's pleaded guilty and cooperating. another reason for concern among the trump campaign and another reason this is so significant. what experts say is, if russians did this once they did it again. didn't stop with this low-level
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guy. in fairness to the trump campaign, they are right this meeting he was proposing with vladimir putin did go forward. but also clear, you said before, he was in contact with more senior people in the campaign and at one point one said, good job, reporting back on his meeting. >> to cynthia's point, we don't know who the senior people on the campaign are right now, and that's going to be the interesting part moop was advising him, who was he reporting to? a lot more to learn about ken papadopolos. our intelligence and national security reporter. coming up next, the chances president trump will pardon paul manafort and can he even do it ahead of or without a conviction. you're watching msnbc. it's a small finger...a worm! like, a dagger? a tiny sword?
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i'm a citizen who knows it's up to us to do something. it's why i'm funding this effort to raise our voices together and demand that elected officials take a stand on impeachment. a republican congress once impeached a president for far less. yet today people in congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. and they do nothing. join us and tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. our country depends on it. you myour joints...thing for your heart...
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yet today people in congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. and they do nothing. join us and tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. our country depends on it. if you haven't served on a grand jury you may not know how they work. grand juries are large panels of regular citizens who don't formally charge people and don't determine guilt or innocence like a trial jury does. instead, grand jury's review the evidence and testimony that prosecutors gathered, and if they decide -- they make a decision whether prosecutors presented enough evidence to charge someone with a crime. they review evidence, issues
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subpoenas and make those determinations. grand juries are conducted in secret. if they decide a prosecutor has enough evidence they issue an indictment. after that, the prosecution can formally charge a subject. that's what's happened today. take a look at the scope of robert mueller's investigation which is much bigger than the indictment we've seen this morning. back in may the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein issued a letter. this letter here, appointing robert mueller as special counsel. in tx mueller is given power to investigate any links and/or coordination between russian government and those associated with the campaign of president donald trump and also investigate any matters that rose or may arise directly from that investigation. a lot of leeway in here and then this -- any other matters within the scope of 28 cfr 600.4. what is that? that governs the department of justice. this, 28cfr, 600.4, broad powers
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to investigate. destruction of evidence, witness intimidations into the list of imcrews the special counsel will actually prosecute. simply put, if you lie to cover up a past crime, you can now get charged with that as well. the indictment is a first step in a long legal battle that mueller is waging with this trump russia probe, but does the president have the constitutional authority to pardon his former campaign aides charged? the president tweeted in july, while all agree the u.s. president has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crimes so far is lyrics against us? fake news. joining me, stanley pottinger, former assistant attorney general for the civil rights division during the time -- the time during which president ford pardoned president richard nixon. his son serves as senior director for asian affairs on the national security council.
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good to see you. >> night sow sce to see you. >> the president has authority to pardon those convicted of federal crimes. a lot of discuss regarding the state attorneys of new york and other stones general, prepared to go in with robert mueller or separate and the president can't pardon state charges. >> true. they cannot. you would also have defense lawyers in event of a pardon defending a state charged client. saying, wait a minute. you can't have this many bites of the apple. the answer is, you can. technically you can. whether or not you would find just a non-prosecution agreement in one jurisdiction, say in florida, operates effectively in another jurisdiction, say in new york, technically is does not but typically courts say, wait a minute. this happened over there. you have a an agreement over there. we're going to respect it. >> let's talk about what has
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changed. now that we have an indictment. we have a fairly detailed indictment. what changes in the way the trump administration needs to think about paul manafort and other campaign aides and guys like michael flynn? >> well, it's this -- picture the castle. picture the skirmishing going on and there's a moat around it. what's happening is that the special prosecutor is moving in on people. grabbing them outside the moat. whether he can breach the moat and get to the castle is the question. i mean, that's the ultimate question. we've got a lot of skirmish and discussion, a lot of news a lot of yakking what's going on at the ground at the castle door but noted in. what i think is happening is the special prosecutor, who they're charges, faucets that talk. they will tell everything they know. if they don't, they're pretty nuts. >> what's the reason to and not to tell everything they know? >> you have to. otherwise you are going to be penalized deeply either for
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lying or holding back. >> and there are real jail sentences attached? >> i agree with nick ackerman. this particular indictment, based -- carefully written and based upon documents, not upon interviews or witness testimony. he said/she said. i think it's very solid. by the way, keep that in mind, because the style of the special prosecutor is to be cautious. is to be careful. be precise. that means that what he and his group say is probably going to stick. now, everybody says, why didn't he do that or do that? doesn't need to do this or that. he needs to know what he knows can work. >> what he knows can work. >> absolutely. >> some look at this and say, this is how the white house described it. they said, see? there's no evidence of collusion. >> they're right about that. we don't know if something else is coming, but the white house is correct. there's no evidence of collusion. evidence of silly crimes. i mean, serious but silly things to do, like not reporting income for tax purposes.
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>> right. >> that's about as bake sic youn get in america. you pay your taxes. various crimes happened. some even before the campaign. >> how do you know that mueller's not on a fishing expedition with this? how do we know? given he hasn't talked about collusion, how do we know he's not saying, i'm going to charge you with this and see what we come up with. do you think he believes something is there? >> he wants to scrub that possibility as carefully as he can and that's what a special pross does. isn't fishing in the sense of beyond the bounds what he's permitted to do. in that sense not fishing. he's using his powers to make sure he scrubs every piece of fact he can get to find out. end of the day, the reason his precision is so important to the white house, end of the day, if manafort, gates, papadopolos did not link, that didn't cross the moat into the -- then i don't think that, that the special prosecutor bob mueller will make things up and charge people with
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lies. i don't believe that. therefore, if there is no collusion that there is no exposure -- >> hang on. this is paul manafort who now left the d.c. courthouse. he came out, not answering questions as we can see there. but if you're paul manafort right now, stanley, this is -- he's all of this stuff you're talking about, he's thinking about. >> oh, yeah. he's not happy. >> tell everything i know? the question if i were paul manafort, say i wasn't involved, there was no collusion. do i get off -- am i going to still pay the price because you didn't find something you were looking for? >> a huge irony. the more innocent he is of collusion, the less he has to offer to this -- >> right. >> therefore, he faces a worse situation. >> what i'm wondering about. if bob mueller doesn't find something that is substantially deeper than this does he still throw the book atm m? >> oh, i think he will through whatever crimes he has been guilty of. i mean, they'll be a trade-off
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of some kind depending upon other equities but he's got him cold, seems to me, on various things that don't necessarily involve trump. what he wants to know is, whether the president or the campaign above him was involved in any of these crimes here. there's no evidence that's the cases but he wants to know and will squeeze him and squeeze these other -- >> look at that june 9th meeting others were at. donald trump jr. and jared kushner and paul manafort. mueller i think is trying to find out was there quid pro quo. we know he was working for -- not news to anybody. was there some link there to the campaign? >> that's what he wants to know and others who haven't spoken extensively from the white house will say that's the reason why 90 days amp he was hired he was fired. doing something didn't make a lot of sense. didn't like it. got rid of him, didn't collude or use him for collusion.
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>> in the end, paul manafort could have just been trying to make more money? >> that's what they'll say. unless you have something you haven't seen yet, we don't know, maybe not. we don't know about a brgreater collusion. >> former attorney general under richard nixon and gerald ford. tip of the iceberg, took less than six months for robert mueller's investigation to lead to charges against two top campaign officials. what's still to come? we'll dig into the strategy here next. we get there are some responsibilities of love you gotta do on your own. and some you shouldn't have to shoulder alone. like ensuring your family is protected, today and tomorrow, no matter what the future brings. see how life insurance from lincoln can help start protecting your family's financial future now, at lincolnfinancial.com.
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well, i think you all saw it today. that president donald trump was correct. there is no evidence that mr. manafort or the trump campaign colluded with the russian government. mr. manafort represented pro-european union campaigns for the ukrainian, and in that he was seeking to further democracy and to help the ukraine come closer to the united states and the eu. >> that was manafort's attorney just a short time ago. both paul manafort and his longtime associate rick gates have pled not guilty to all 12 charges leveled against them, of course, this story is far from over. this is manafort leaving the courthouse just a while ago to help break down the legal complexities bring in msnbc's chief legal correspondent and host of "the beat" and msnbc
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legal analyst and former prosecutor. good to see you both. thank you for being with us. lots of information coming out since early this morning, really since friday since we first learned of this. what do you make of where we are white now? much developed today, heard from lawyers and representatives saying this is politically motivated, not true. paul manafort's lawyer invoked donald trump's name, which surprised me. >> the most important thing we learned today is that bob mueller has secured a guilty plea in the trump/russia probe. that is not something everyone woke up expecting. >> the george papadopolos plea? >> correct. a real contradiction to one of the talking points from the white house that if there's any problem, it's all an old, unrelated problem. and we are likely to see a lot more traction on that charge and that guilty plea which is someone admitting that they lied to the fbi about their contacts
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with kremlin didn't backed intermediaries offering dirt on hillary clinton and it adds, as our nbc reporting, several colleagues pointed out, it adds to the evidence here, undisputed, because it's a becay plea that there was a sustained plot, at least from the russia side, to try to get dirt on hillary clinton to the trump side. >> so paul, let's say that i accepted that. there seemss to be all sorts of evidence the russians are trying to get somebody to bite on the hillary clinton stuff. without evidence that somebody bit, what do i do? >> we know that papadopoulos was busted by the fbi at dulles airport in july and he's been cooperate with mueller since then. and we're just finding that out. so it's safe to assume that mueller is also aggressively getting other people to cooperate. that's pretty much what today was about, i think, with manafort. they threw the book at him. he's looking at 10 to 15 years in prison, at least.
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money laundering, $18 million. he's going to jail. the question is how long and whether he's got the goods to give up. there could have been a great investigation with the campaign chair paul manafort as the top of the pyramid, the ultimate, but you're starting with manafort? so again, we can only imagine where it's going. >> tell me how that works. they're starting with manafort but the threat is big. there's a lot of money involved. potentially a lot of jailtime involved. he's come out. nobody said anything yet about what the evidence is. at this point, what's the best case scenario for manafort and the best case scenario for mueller? >> if you're paul manafort's lawyer and talking about his own individual interests you may say we have to look at the seriousness of the stacked charges here and figure out whether there's anything factual that you can offer to become more cooperative. that would be the way a criminal defense attorney looking at manafort's interests would point
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it out. he came out and started talking about donald trump and ukrainian foreign policy, a much broader argument. and that's understandable at this early stage. that's what you ultimately want to do. >> what he said is not going to play when they're in negotiations with the government? >> i don't think so. it's rare to see prosecutions for failing to register as an agent of a foreign power. it is rare. >> but that's not the biggest part of this. >> it's only one of multicount conspiracy set of charges there. >> we know the government goes after people for not paying their taxes and there's some not paying your taxes. >> you've got tax fraud, $75 million in foreign accounts, 31-page indictment there. eight pages of it is just listing wires and facts. so unless all of that is somehow wrong, this is, i would say, i'm curious what you think, i'd say on the scale of an opening salvo, this is a lot of evidence. i've seen indictments that led to successful prosecutors with less evidence. >> you look at the list of charges, the 12 counts.
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some of these seem more serious than others. like conspiracy against the united states. but we -- you have seen people go to jail for avoiding taxes for much lower -- smaller amounts. >> absolutely. paul manafort's big decision is what he's going to please guilty to. here's the thing. mueller knows his charge is collusion and obstruction of justice. and if this is all there is, even though it's a big deal because we're talking about the president's campaign adviser, i think we'll look at the investigation as not living up to its promise. so again, i think he's only going to bring charges against higher ups if there's evidence, if he thinks he can win a case before a jury. but i don't think this is where it's going to end up. >> you heard stan say a few moments ago this puts manafort in a tough position. if manafort really doesn't know anything about collusion if he was just making money off selling his access, which it's quite likely. he likes to make money. if he has nothing to trade up,
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he has a lot of convictions which he can be convicted. >> he is presumed innocent. he has due process rights. we're at the early stage. today, invariably, we hear one side of the story because we have the product. >> the one side of the story from the prosecution. >> what i'd add is we also have the first guilty plea in the trump/russia probe. that's undisputed. both sides of the story. so we're in the early stage and this is all coming out and we're furiously working through the implications of other individuals. nbc investigations is working on this. individuals suggested in that document that are not named but that appear to be also implicated, to your question whether manafort has anything else to say. according to the mueller information here, appear to be implicated in meetings about getting e-mails and dirt on hillary clinton from foreigners which itself is a separate felony and potentially trying to set up a meet with vladimir putin and donald trump in a, quote, neutral location in
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london. we're learning so much we can barely process it. >> we're moments away from probably more information on who these yet unnamed people are in this prosecution. paul, if you were to characterize this on the train home tonight, when somebody says, so what happened? is this it? have they got something, what is it that your response would be? there's something here, but it is not the thing that a lot of people have been expecting. >> it's not the thing yet. i'd say this is the third inning in a nine-inning game. again, if there's a big case with regard to money laundering but all the stuff with regard to manafort is about the ukraine. ultimately, that's not what this investigation is about. at the end of the day we'll see charges directly related to either colluding with the russians by the trump campaign or trying to cover it up. >> but this isn't where we are. we're in early innings. the first salvo. good to see you both, paul and ari. check out ari on "the beat" at 6:00 p.m. on msnbc.
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that does it for me. i'm going to see you right back here tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern, then again at 3:00. you can always find me on twitter, instagram and snapchat. "deadline: white house" starts now. >> it's 4:00 in washington, d.c., where this morning the first indictments in special
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counsel bob mueller's investigation were unsealed. president donald trump's former campaign chairman paul manafort and his top lieutenant rick gates were indicted on 12 criminal charges that focused primarily on their work as pro-russian lobbyists and their complicated money laundering schemes to hide the proceeds. those charges include conspiracy against the united states and lying to federal agents about their work on behalf of a foreign government. both manafort and gates have pleaded not guilty. separately today a lower profile aide, george papadopoulos, plead guilty to lying to the fbi about his contacts with russians, and he's now cooperate with investigators. according to "the new york times," the plea represents the most explicit evidence that the trump campaign was aware that the russian government was trying to help mr. trump and that the campaign was eager to

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