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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  September 20, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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new depend fit-flex underwear is guaranteed to be your best fit. that does it for our show tonight. this is one of those nights, though, where the news started breaking when you got up this morning and kept breaking all day and into this evening. this is one of those nights if you have the chance you may want to keep an eye on the news. we have a sense things are going to continue to develop over the late evening hours this evening. that said, we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for in"last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> donald trump will be speaking in nevada. and in the unlikely event he says anything worth reporting we will report that. but at this hour tomorrow night, rachel, when you and i are having this chat it is very hard to say where we're going to be. clearly that 10:00 a.m. friday deadline that chuck grassly was trying to force on dr. ford
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about the decision, that is all in play now. that and the negotiations are under way, and we are going to be waiting hour by hour tomorrow. >> i feel -- i have to say, lawrence, i feel like -- i feel like anything is possible here. i really have no idea how this ends in terms of the kavanaugh nomination. i've expressed my doubts as to whether or not it can survive. but in terms of how this is going to play out in the long run and what's going to happen next and how they're going to deal with this allegation, i really feel like it's a totally open road how this is going to happen. from your experience in the senate do you feel you know where this is going to end up or do you feel this is as open ended as i do? >> i cannot see where this is going to end up. because of the elements of this that we really cannot at this stage figure out the power is of dr. ford's side of this. i've been hugely impressed with how dr. ford has handled herself
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in this matter since her name became public and what has been her first week in the national spotlight and her intense national spotlight. i don't know whether she's going to accept basically a bad deal from the judiciary committee. i wouldn't. i wouldn't advise her not to accept a bad deal from injudiciary committee in testifying. i'm sure she'll be getting advice both ways on that. if chuck grassly does not deliver an adequate kind of deal about how to do this testimony, i have no idea what's going to happen. >> i mean, the on the republican side at this point are that the fbi shouldn't look into this as part of their background investigation even though that's what you would normally expect, and we must hurry for reasons that we don't want to talk about. and that's it. those are the back stops for their negotiations. whereas the back stops for her negotiations are i'm bringing you important nomination about a
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nominee to a very important lifetime post, and i would like it to be handled impartially and properly in a way that guarantees my safety. i mean her back stops are better than theirs in terms of how they're coming into these negotiations. but honestly i don't know how it's going to end. >> rachel, it's so generous of you to use the word "arguments" for what it is the republicans are saying. with my senate experience i do not have the strength to grant what they're saying the status of arguments. >> their assertions? >> don't get me started, rachel. it's a very short word, it's just that word lie, and i don't want to -- we'll leave it at arguments. thank you, rachel. well, brett kavanaugh finally speaks. today for the first time since brett kavanaugh has been facing an accusation of sexual assault we heard from brett kavanaugh in his own words and he said i will be there. but here is what he did not say,
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i demand an fbi investigation. i demand an fbi investigation so that i can clear my name. he didn't say that. in his letter to chuck grassly the senate judiciary chairman today he said i continue to want a hearing as soon as possible so i can clear my name. and he could have also said i continue to want an fbi investigation as soon as possible so i can clear my name. but with that letter brett kavanaugh made it very clear he personally does not want an fbi investigation because he had an opportunity to say it right there and he didn't. and until we heard from him directly in his own words we can only surmise he did not want an fbi investigation, and now we know. and we also know dr. ford will not be there monday because from a letter from her attorney sent
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hours before brett kavanaugh's letter was cept she said she wishes to testify provided we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety. a hearing on monday is not possible, and the committee's insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event. debra katz canceled her appearance on rachel's show tonight citing quote, active efforts to reach agreement with the committee. and so negotiations are under way, and chuck grassly's threatened 10:00 a.m. tomorrow is no longer a deadline. the truth is there are no deadlines in this story, none. there are no time restrictions. the hearing does not have to be next week. it does not have to be this month. as every member of the republican senate proved when they deliberately kept a supreme court seat vacant for over a year. nbc news is reporting tonight that the negotiations are considering the possibility of thursday as a potential hearing
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date, but that is not yet settled. nbc news is also reporting that dr. ford does not want brett kavanaugh in the room when she testifies. and dr. ford is asking that brett kavanaugh testify first. and dr. ford would like other witnesses to testify including the man she says was an eyewitness and participate in the attack on her, mark judge, who might have to be subpoenaed because he has told the committee in writing through his attorney that he never witnessed or participated in anything like the assault dr. ford describes and he does not want to be questioned. by anyone about that. the republicans apparently are discussing the possibility of hiring an outside counsel to ask the questions in the committee. dr. ford does not want the committee to hire an outside counsel for the republicans to ask the questions instead of the centers. and that means the republicans
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on the judiciary committee seem to realize just how bad they will look as a group of 11 men questioning a woman about a delicate subject. some of them must realize just how bad the republicans looked in that same committee when they attacked anita hill. >> and it bothers me because -- because she appears to believe everything that she said. and i myself don't want to call her a liar. but as an old trial leader i've seen witnesses like that that believe every word they say and every word they say is wrong and we've proven it wrong and they still believe it. >> that man who didn't want to call anita hill a liar is himself a liar tonight. said he didn't want to call
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anita hill a liar and then called her a liar. he went onto describe her right there some kind of hysterical, pathological liar. a liar who still thinks its true even after we proved to her what's she's saying is not true. orrin hatch has never proved she's lying. and when he tells the lie that there is no reason for the fbi to investigate this new information -- >> i want you to order an fbi investigation. i want an investigation by real appropriate non-senate staffers. i want some people who aren't affiliated with the senate to look into this matter because i think that's the only way even have the slightest chance any way of getting to the bottom of
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it. >> that's why i was struck with rachel's generosity and calling what orrin hatch is saying now an argument. what orrin hatch is saying now is a lie. back then orrin hatch didn't want senate staffers to do an investigation. no, no not senate staffers. he said he wanted real, appropriate non-senate staffers. and you're going to find out why that's a very good idea to have real appropriate non-senate staffers do the investigation. just a moment from now because we found out today and last night what the republican senate staffers on the judiciary committee are trying to do and what they're trying to do to dr. ford. orrin hatch is still on that committee and republicans are terrified tonight, rightly so, that orrin hatch will be allowed
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to ask questions of a woman accuser on the senate judiciary committee once again. they're terrified how that will look, and they should be. but dr. ford and her lawyers seem to want to the american people to see the senate judiciary committee for what it is. and it's not just the senators but it is the republican staff of the judiciary committee. and he noted he'd been interviewed this week by the republican staff of the judiciary committee. the democratic staff did not participate in those interviews. and last night judiciary committee's republican, chief counsel for nominations tweeted this. unphased and determined, will confirm judge kavanaugh. and also i personally questioned judge kavanaugh under penalty of felony and five years of imprisonment if he lies. i'm still waiting to hear back
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from attorneys. that's mike davis. mike davis is a prejudiced staffer who's determined to confirm judge kavanaugh. and he has not heard one word from dr. ford. and he doesn't have to because he knows the job chuck grassly has given him is to make sure judge kavanaugh is confirmed. and we know about these tweets because our first guest tonight found them and brought them to public attention whereupon the tweets were deleted because they are outrageous. but mike davis is still determined and chuck grassly is still determined and orrin hatch is still determined and every republican man who's a member of the judiciary committee is still determined to confirm brett kavanaugh. and they are willing, all of them, to tell any lie to do it. every single one of them. every single republican member of the committee and every republican member of the senate has collectively joined in the
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big lie that there is no role for the fbi in this investigation. every one of them has joined in the big lie that this nomination must be voted on quickly. and so dr. ford knows that if she walks into the judiciary committee hearing she will be walking into a room where more than half of the senators are determined to disregard every word that she says. and mike davis and all those republican staffers will be sitting behind the senators in that hearing room with exactly the same determination. those staffers all take the same oath of office as those senators. it is an oath to defend and support the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic. and it is an oath to faithfully discharge the duties of the office. mike davis has violated his oath of office. mike davis would be fired for publicly saying that he is determined to confirm judge kavanaugh before he has heard c
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accusations against judge kavanaugh. if -- if mike davis was employed by a senator who still took his oath seriously. if chuck grassly took his oath of office seriously he would have fired mike davis already. but chuck grassly's lying knows no bounds now. he has crossed a line with tat. and i didn't think that with chuck grassly or orrin hatch when i was working with them on the senate staff committee and never dreamed of the day when i would prove either of those men were outright liars just by playing video of what they said about exactly the same thing in the past. the proof that chuck grassly is lying now about the fbi investigation is what chuck grassly said in support of the fbi investigation of anita hill. same thing with orrin hatch. i showed you that video last night of both of them. dr. ford knows she's going into
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a rigged hearing with a majority of the senators who have made up their minds about her testimony without hearing a word of it. and she doesn't want those senators to be able to an outside counsel to save them from doing their own dirty work on television. reports indicate republicans are looking for a woman lawyer to hire to do that for them. there isn't a single woman member of the senate judiciary committee, not one. and now those men on the republican side of the judiciary committee want to hire a woman as an outside counsel to sit there beside chairman grassly and save all of those men from humiliating themselves as most of them surely will. if dr. ford can come to an agreement with chuck grassly about when and how to conduct a hearing that is more fair than staffers like mike davis and centers like chuck grassly and
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orrin hatch have proven themselves capable of delivering. former senate staffers on the senate judiciary committee and others will all join us next with what happens next. othersil wl all join us next with what happens next ok here we go guys, you ready? hi! cinturones por favor. gracias. opportunity is everywhere. ♪ it's gonna be fine. it's a door... ♪ it's doing a lot of kicking down there. waiting to be opened. ♪ whatever your ambition... ♪ whatever your drive... ♪ whatever you're chasing... driver, are we almost there? we're gonna have a baby! ♪ daddy! daddy! opportunity is everywhere. ♪
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donald trump is in november tonight at a campaign event for dean heller, republican running for senate there who's in a very close race now. statistic tie with the democratic challenger.
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he just spoke to shawn hannity talking about the possibility of dr. ford testifying to the judiciary committee. let's listen to some of that. >> i said let her say what she has to say and let's see how it all comes out. but they've delayed it a week and they have to get on with it. >> and joining our discussion now, the former deputy chief of staff to senator harry reed, lisa graves, co-director of documented, the former chief counsel for nominations for the democrats on the senate judiciary committee and was the deputy assistant attorney general of the department of justice. and ron klain, a former senior aide to president obama. and i want to start with your reaction to what we just heard the president say. he has repeatedly said we should let her say what she has to say,
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was the way he said it tonight. he doesn't sound as strict about a deadline as the republican centers have tried to sound. >> yeah, lawrence, you know, it's ironic, funny, interesting that donald trump really has been on his best behavior the past couple of days about dr. ford's charges and that's because he's looking at a political playing field. brett kavanaugh is the most unpopular supreme court nominee in the history of polling of supreme court nominees. the republicans face a life and death election this fall and women are the deciding vote. college age women are the deciding vote, and they're watching this carefully. and trump may lose a supreme court nominee. he does not want to lose the house and the senate. >> and adam, i want to go to you about mike davis. because i discovered mike davis' tweet when he recaptured it and tweeted about it. and i was stunned by what he said, his job, he's just determined to get this nominee
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confirmed. obviously they pulled down the tweets as soon as it came up. but it was an amazing window into this republican staff investigation that chuck grassly and the republicans were trying to tell us is a fair and honest investigation. >> yeah, i mean usually grassley's staff is very skilled at erecting a facade of professionalism and sort of institutionalism in front of their relentless partisan hackary. and they gave the game away. they are trying to present themselves as so impartial that they can be trusted in place of the fbi to conduct an investigation into this. and today we realized that that's just not true. >> lisa graves, what was your reaction when you saw mike davis' tweets? >> i was shocked and quite frankly what you've seen in the press is lot of good press for senator grassly asserting he's
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supposedly providing all these options. that's the language thoib beey'n trying to get there. so what you see there n gap of the stagehandling and t handlin reality. the extreme partisanship and getting brett kavanaugh now matter the allegation, the severity of the that and the significance of that for our supreme court. >> let's listen to something orrin hatch said during the confirmation about anita hill's testimony. i guess we don't have it here. i'm just going to read it to you. and this orrin hatch's understanding of this subject. this gives you a sense of what he actually knows about it. i guess the control room has a ready now. let's listen to this. >> i do not minimize sexual harassment on the job if it
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occurs, and in nase it did not occur. and i feel confident saying that having known the judge for so long, having watched his reputation, having worked with him. >> orrin hatch thinks that's true, what he knows of the judge he thinks it's impossible for the harassment to have occurred. >> that's why we have laws. because just leaving it up to men or people who are in a position of power to decide what counts or what's real or not is not adequate. we need to have laws to protect women, protect people in the workplace. and also i think that goes to a point on which we've seen of the committee. it needs to have rules and practices. practices in cases like this it needs to be sent back to the fbi
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to be examined. chairman grassly has repeatedly violated the rules and norms of this committee. racing forward with no constitutional requirement he raised forward and trying to rig this system. i have to say i'm so humbled by the courage of dr. ford in being willing to come forward in this sort of rigged process that senator grassly and his republican men on that committee and their staff are trying to put forward because she wants the truth told. and as you point out she's the one asking for a full investigation and a full hearing. brett kavanaugh ask that today in his letter and he was there all week and apparently didn't ask it either. >> and i don't believe she's going to be able to negotiate her way to a fair hearing. i believe she's going to be able to negotiate her way to a more fair hearing, but it's going to be marginal. a senior democratic aide said that reopening fbi background checks is routine, ten of them
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have been reopened for judicial nominees. ten of them have been reopened for judge nominations in the last three months alone. and ron klain, you were there when everyone on the committee agreed that of course the fbi had to investigate anita hill's accusations. >> yeah, lawrence. for 27 years i've carried out the fact i was a staffer on the committee that held the worst judicial confirmation hearings in american history. and now senator grassly looks like he's on the verge of lifting that burden off my back with the way he's handling this matter right now. it was not even an issue in 1991 that the allegations professor hill made when she gave us permission to convey them to the fbi would go to the fbi. it wasn't even -- there wasn't even a second thought about that being the right thing. the democrats on the committee knew it was the right thing. the republicans on the committee knew it was the right thing, the and the bush white house, president bush's counsel
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immediately sent this matter to the fbi. the argument the fbi doesn't do it, shouldn't do it, hasn't done it is just complete and utter baloney. >> and adam, we're going to watch this negotiation over the shoulder in whatever way we can tomorrow. it clearly will continue into the day tomorrow. at some point it might be resolved tomorrow. it might not. but they're already floating thursday. that's emerged publicly as a possibility. thursday of next week. what risks does that include for the republicans each day that passes? >> oh, i think you saw this week there's enormous risk. i mean, giving them time this week to sort of gain a little bit of confidence just resulted in them completely shooting themselves in the foot. i think time is not their friend for a number of reasons, but one of them is that every day that passes is a day that's filled with terrible damaging quotes
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from republican senators and their staffers. and the reason they keep stepping in it is that they are just deeply out of step with what's happening. it's extremely clear that they just don't take this matter seriously. and it's also clear that they fundamentally don't understand that they don't really hold the cards here. dr. ford holds the cards. she can choose when and where she wants to tell her story. and watching this panel of old, white men and their staff struggle to grasp that reality has been very interesting. and i think the longer it goes on the worse it will be for them. >> and lisa, i was very struck by the idea that the republicans were smart enough to think we shouldn't ask the questions, we should hire a woman lawyer to do it. and it's sad that on the republican side they have to hire a woman lawyer to do it because they don't have someone and they don't have a woman member of the committee. but it's pretty rare -- i've never seen it in a confirmation hearing. it has occurred famously.
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bobby kennedy was counsel to a committee in the 1950s investigating labor unions, and he was up there asking the questions, becoming kind of a bigger star than some of the senators, and got a bit of a reaction from that. we saw it in the watergate hearings, but we haven't really seen it ever in the confirmation process that i'm aware of. and i was really struck by dr. ford's counter which is, no, i want these senators to be forced to do their own work. and i wouldn't have thought of that counter but i'm very impressed with it. i think that's a smart way to go. >> i think that's right. and i think they definitely know this is going to be a difficult hearing for them to be attacking her the way they basically are attacking her through proxies or the white house or brett kavanaugh's buddies are attacking her. his associates and friends. i think that what you have here
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is a situation in which they want some woman to give them cover. i don't know maybe if kellyanne conway is available for them to push some sort of fact versus what's a real fact and what's true. but in this situation as you point out it's just not normal and not typical at all for this committee to engage in this process for a confirmation hearing. and i think in this case what you just have is an ever shifting set of processes they're just floating one thing after another to try to escape. following rules and also just following common sense -- common sense would say that these members would be concerned and troubled about these allegations versus trying to squash them. >> lisa graves, adam, ron klain, thank you all for starting this off on this important discussion tonight. and when we come back how the republicans now struggling with these allegations again, on
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brett kavanaugh on the campaign trail and elsewhere. and a report tonight michael cohen is now fully cooperating with robert mueller's investigators. very bad news for donald trump and for his adult children because michael cohen is also cooperating with the new york state attorney general in another investigation of the trumps. trumps i've got to tell you
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a little hiccup, that's what nevada republican senator dean heller called dr. christine blasey ford's accusation of sexual assault against brett kavanaugh and assured them the republicans in the senate would
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quickly put that little hiccup behind them and confirm brett kavanaugh. what he left unsaid was his belief that none of the republicans in the senate didn't care what dr. ford might say in the testimony. he believes their minds are made up. having been caught saying what he really thinks, today dean heller issued a written statement that you believe at your own risk. i do not believe sexual assault allegations of any kind are ahicle. i think it's important for dr. ford to have an opportunity to share her story with the judiciary committee in public or private should she kmooz to cho so. the president is now campaigning for dean heller. flooded with protesters visiting chuck grassly and susan collins who claims to be undecided in her confirmation votes. 66 protesters were arrested by
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capital police today. joining us now the president and ceo and msnbc contributor. and christine lucious, a former staff director of the democratic staff is also with us. kristine, i want to get your reaction to the strategic negotiations going on here. there's a report indicating that the republicans would like to hire a woman lawyer to act as a counsel in the hearing and ask the questions and save all those republican men from embarrassing themselves. there's also a report indicating that the democrats on the committee intend to rely on their women members of the committee. amy klobuchar, kamala harris, for them to focus the questions on the democratic side. how important do you think this part of the negotiation is? >> well, i think this part of the negotiation to me is strange. you know, i worked on the committee for more than 14 years. never have i seen an outside
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counsel question witnesses before the senate judiciary committee. i think that's just an attempt for republican members to cover-up the fact that they have no women on their side of the aisle on the committee. buts what i think you're seeing today is that cleary dr. ford is working here in good faith. she wants to testify before the committee. but on the republican side they're facing a decency test. and so far they're failing it. they are not treating her with the respect she deserves. she certainly is reasonable for her to understand what she'd be walking into next week when she comes to testify. and i just think this additional piece of the notion that would have an outside counsel question just shows that they are embarrassed there's no gender diversity on their side of the aisle on the committee. >> the halls of the senate offices were filled with protesters today. and i want to get kristine's
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reaction to this, too. but i can tell you from my experience working in those offices senators are very much afraid on those kinds of days. and they're trying to duck those protesters and they're just hoping it all goes away. and this looks like a pretty spontaneous wave of protests that have taken over those buildings. >> and lawrence, it's not going to stop. the fact they're basically going after a survivor coming forward and she's asking to basically bring in her story and they're trying to block her by bringing in a female buffer is not going to help their case. and the republicans just can't help themselves. if you recall when justice sotomayor was before them and saying she seemed too tough and too bold for them, you can only imagine they're trying to save themselves when it comes to actually cross examining dr. ford. and the wave of activism is not going to let go. if you can recall this is all
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stemming from the election of the president himself. right after inauguration we had the womans march from every continent basically trying to come and speak for women. in the era of me too they know they're in trouble. and the fact that right now the president is in nevada trying to help heller. the fact heller just said this is hiccup, i think you see all those ads right now that are obviously going to help rosen who's basically trying to take that senate seat from him. >> i want to get your reaction to what it means when the buildings fill up with protesters like that. i know my personal experience is it has a real impact. >> it does have an impact. it changes the whole mood of the building. and when protesters are in your office, whether you're a staffer or the senator, you can feel it.
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you can tell the temperature change. and i think that what we are seeing here reminds me of what we saw in 1991. women are watching how the republican senators are treating this woman, dr. ford. and women are spontaneously moved to come to the senate. there have also been, of course, lots of rallies and an enormous out cry on social media and on the phones calling into senator's offices. but, lawrence, you're right, the senators don't enjoy it, they find it uncomfortable. but i think people are fed up and they feel with this rigged process they need to express how upset they are how with dr. ford they're trying to rush this process through. >> it seems dr. ford is now proving that the republicans were engaged in a phony kind of rush because they've already delayed it all of this week.
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they thought they were going to be taking a vote on this nomination today. and they are engaged in an ongoing negotiation about how to make their own hearing fair. and it's dr. ford who's trying to force fairness into a republican controlled committee. >> force fairness in making sure they actually are playing by the rules. there are actually senate rules of what happens when you bring in individuals forward. and they were trying to circumvent them, and she's holding them to be honest. and i believe she's also encouraging people to do protests. let's not forget there were protests from the very beginning the moment the kavanaugh hearings started, people every single day people filling those pug pews, and we must not forget one of the principles of our democratic process is that protests is patriotism and
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they're showing that every single day with that courage. coming up, new reports tonight that michael cohen, donald trump's former lawyer, is now cooperating with robert mueller's team of investigators. he's talking about donald trump's interests in russia, and he's cooperating with the new york state attorney general investigating donald trump's family businesses. family busine.
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thnch . the kavanaugh confirmation crisis is not the only bad news for donald trump today. there's more very, very bad news for donald trump and his family tonight. in a report from abc news revealing that donald trump's former lawyer michael cohen has been cooperating with special prosecutor robert mueller since cohen pleaded guilty to federal crimes he says he committed in an active conspiracy with donald trump. michael cohen's guilty plea was entered into a case referred by robert mueller to the united states attorney in manhattan who then took over the case and rather easily obtained those guilty pleas from michael cohen. abc news is reporting that michael cohen's hours of interviews with robert mueller's staff have focused on all aspects of trump's dealings with russia including financial and business dealings and the investigation into alleged collusion with russia by the trump campaign. investigators were also interested in knowing, the
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sources say, whether trump or any of his associates discussed the possibility of a pardon with cohen. on another front that could be threatening to donald trump and his three oldest children, abc news is reporting that michael cohen is cooperating with the new york state attorney general's investigation of the inner workings of the trump family charity and the trump organization where cohen served as an executive vice president and special counsel to trump for ten years. michael cohen's cooperation with the special prosecutor only increases the likelihood that president trump will someday face a subpoena from robert mueller. a subpoena that president trump hopes his future supreme court justice brett kavanaugh will say the president does not have to comply with. after a quick break here, ron klain and maya wily will consider what michael cohen's cooperation with the prosecutor means for trump, donald trump,
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you know, so that i'm going to do that right away. >> give it to me. >> and i've spoken to allen weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with do? >> funding -- yes, and it's all the stuff, all the stuff because, you never know where that kwp -- never know where he's going to be. >> gets hit by a bus. >> correct. i'm all over that. >> joining us now mia wiley, msnbc legal analyst, we are back to michael cohen. this time with robert mueller's people spending apparently a great deal of time with him. >> what's fascinating about this to me is that he's both cooperating, but he's cooperating without a cooperation agreement. >> yeah. >> right. >> which is very interesting because he's clearly trying to position himself in a way that is both about his public profile
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and part of the lanny davis role is to help him with his public image. at the same time, you know, mueller never gave him a cooperation agreement. so that raises a question about how valuable is the information that he has to offer? because generally what you get in exchange for the information that you're going to share when you cooperate is an agreement that says essentially, if you tell us, you know, the truth and give us things that are useful, you know, it will benefit you when it comes to sentencing on the things you've been willing to plead guilty on. that's not what we have here. at the same time, all roads lead back to the trump organization and his long-standing connection to russia, to people like felix saider who is a long-time friend connected to the russian mob, someone who sent him an e-mail and had an e-mail exchange with him about trump moscow, while donald trump was running for the presidential -- in the presidential election. so there's no question that he
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has a lot he could potentially offer, particularly with regard to the business dealings, there's no question it's vulnerability for donald trump and he should be worried. but it's also a signal that there is no formal cooperation agreement. >> and, ron, one thing that donald trump knows tonight as a result of this reporting is that robert mueller now knows from michael cohen exactly how many women michael cohen arranged payoffs for to keep quiet about their histories with donald trump. >> yeah, you know, you played that tape a minute ago, lawrence. it sounds like a high school theater production of good fellas. >> yeah. >> we have the future president of the united states about a guy getting hit by a truck. it's crazy. but, you know, in addition to what robert mueller knows, the other thing in the reporting tonight is how much michael cohen has talked to the new york state attorney general. now barbara underwood pending an election here this fall. and that's super significant for
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this reason, lawrence. donald trump could go crazy and exercise his pardon power and putatively pardon all the people involved, his family members, michael cohen. but his pardon power does not extend to prosecutions by state attorney generals. so as much as he's worried about mueller, he has a second front to worry about. what's going on in barbara underwood's office with regard to the trump foundation and his family members, and that's an investigation he literally can do nothing about. >> and, mia, there is now a record, there is an fbi and mueller record of what michael cohen has told them. you know, so you can pardon michael cohen, you can do whatever you want with anybody, you can fire robert mueller. the written record of everything he's told them, those fbi agents and prosecutors about donald trump exists. >> that's exactly right. i think ron is exactly right. so, it exists. it exists for a wide number of
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prosecutors, right? because there's nothing that precludes the federal -- the feds from sharing that with the state. we know that when eric schneiderman was attorney general of new york state, he was actively engaged in discussions with the mueller team, and ron is exactly right. i think there's vulnerability on both sides. i don't want to say it's not that michael cohen doesn't have information that may be useful to mueller, but it's absolutely true that the vulnerability here is the amount of evidence, the no questions of the roads that all connect michael cohen, donald trump, the trump organization, the trump children and connections to moscow, oleg deraposka, we can go down the list. all of that is a matter of record. another thing is a record that may be public, that is a challenge that the mueller investigation has in terms of the grand jury proceedings. the attorney general may be able to do it in a way that it becomes much more public. >> and, ron, quickly, there is
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an interview james comey did recently. i'm not going to play it. he said it starts to feel to him like mueller is in the fourth quarter of the game because as prosecutors move, they tend to move up the chain, and now that he's all the way up the chain of command to paul manafort, comey says i think there is an argument to be made that they're just about as high as they can go. >> yeah. i mean, the fourth quarter is the most interesting quarter. manafort flipped recently. the interviews with michael cohen, this is really getting to the interesting part, no question. >> thank you for joining our conversation tonight. tonight's last word is next. hi! cinturones por favor. gracias. opportunity is everywhere. ♪ it's gonna be fine. it's a door... ♪ it's doing a lot of kicking down there. waiting to be opened. ♪
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time for tonight's last word. >> the spokesperson from the judicial crisis network who equated this assault to, rough horseplay, which raises the question, what has brett kavanagh done to horses? >> we're talking about 35 years ago. i'd hate to have somebody ask me what i did 35 years ago. >> chuck, 35 years ago you were 50 and a senator.
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>> stephen colbert and samantha b. get tonight's last words. the "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. >> tonight, new details on the negotiations underway for dr. christine blasey ford to appear on capitol hill. it now looks like thursday at the earliest and the fate of brett kavanagh hangs on her potential testimony. plus new details on michael cohen's repeated conversations with the mueller team and what it means for the former boss, donald trump. and the president goes there tonight. at a rally in las vegas, nevada, "the 11th hour" on a thursday night begins now. and good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 609 of the trump administration and republicans are bracing for testimony from brett kavanagh's accuser, dr. christine blasey ford after her attorney said today she is open to testifying next week, just not


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