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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  December 3, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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elections. you know how well georgia elections went this year. runoff for secretary of state in georgia tomorrow. also tomorrow we're expecting a very interesting sentencing memo right now tonight the final episode has just posted. the final installment of this little mini series. it is live right now, all seven episodes are free. it almost killed me. now it's time for the "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> and rachel, please, never say never.
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don't say this is the last podcast you're ever going to do because there are now billions of people around the world, billions upon billions who need you to do another podcast when they finish -- you don't have to do it immediately but they're going to want another one at some point, at some point. >> i mean right now just from the cutting room floor i could do an amazing set of refrigerator poetry related to antidotes about spiro agnew that didn't make it into the podcast. but another podcast i'd have to produce and make happen, that would kill me. >> we're going to have another guest tonight where you tied it all together with the, it's all one project. the russian project to influence our election and the trump project to build a trump power in moskow and the motive that exists that's finally been
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revealed. donald trump's motive that has been revealed by the new michael flynn -- michael cohen guilty plea. we have a former deputy special prosecutor picking up on your points of this your extraordinary op-ed today about this motive which really is the new element of the story. thank you, rachel. well, it was a day of high crimes for the president of the united states. the congress that adopted articles of impeachment in the house judiciary committee against president richard nixon would have used each of the president's tweets today about robert mueller's investigation as a separate article of impeachment against this president. today the president of the united states committed a crime in public, on twitter, a federal crime. an impeachable high crime. the question now is not whether
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the president is a criminal or whether the president is impeachable. the question now is has america lost its mind? has america lost its legal mind? have donald trump and trumpism and fanatical trump voters so unbalanced the united states of america that the law does no longer apply to the president of the united states? and the answer might be yes. the answer might be yes because there was no new collective cry in congress today for impeaching the president after he committed a crime in public. that is the benefit the president is now reaping from his years of utterly insane and reckless tweeting beginning with his pathological lying about president obama's birth certificate on twitter. twitter is the form where the president lies more than anywhere else. so the country has grown used to the president being crazy on twitter.
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the country has become accustomed to shrugging off trump tweets. filled with madness, mistakes and inexplicable quotation marks. today donald trump actually put quotation marks around the words, president trump, as if he's not really president. such is the dementia of a typical trump tweet, and so trump tweets are not taken seriously. but are they not taken seriously to the point that donald trump can commit a crime on twitter and it will be ignored? ignored by the special prosecutor who is investigating donald trump? here is the most criminal trump tweet of the day. i will never testify against trump, this statement was recently made by roger stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about president
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trump. nice to know that some people still have guts. article i of the impeachment articles adopted by the house committee against president nixon said in his conduct of the office of the president of the united states richard m. nixon in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute and to the best of his ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed has prevented, obstructed and impeded the administration of justice. that was article i. article i specified that the president, quote, using the powers of his high office engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede or obstruct the investigation. count five of article i of the
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nixon impeachment articles said the president should be impeached and removed from office for, quote, obtaining the silence or influencing the testimony of witnesses. influencing the testimony of witnesses, that is what donald trump was doing today. that is what donald trump has been doing publicly and expressed sympathies for paul manafort while paul manafort was on trial. the president was trying to influence a federal criminal jury in paul manafort's case with tweets. that would have been an impeachment count against richard nixon if richard nixon did that. because the congress that moved against richard nixon had not lost its collective mind and stopped caring about the rule of law. donald trump has publicly dangled a pardon in front of paul manafort saying he's thinking about it. it's not off the table. the president is obviously hoping that paul manafort does not tell robert mueller anything
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incriminating he knows about donald trump. count 9 of article i of the impeachment articles against president nixon said the president should be impeached from office for quote, endeavoring to cause prospective defends and individuals duly tried and convicted to expect favored treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony. donald trump is guilty of that beyond a reasonable doubt. and so the question is has america lost its mind? has america lost its legal mind, as the united states congress lost its mind? that is what donald trump is counting on, that he has driven america and the congress crazy to the point he can commit crimes publicly in writing, on twitter and get away with it, and so he also wrote this today.
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michael cohen asked judge for no prison time. you mean he can do all of the terrible unrelated to trump things having to do with fraud, big loans, taxes, et cetera, and not serve a long prison term. he makes up stories to get a great and already reduced deal for himself and get his and father-in-law who has the money off scot-free, he lied about this outcome and should in my opinion serve a full and complete sentence. michael cohen pleaded guilty to crimes that involved donald trump, so that tweet is lying about that. involved donald trump to the point that donald trump was named an unindicted coconspirator in the case where michael cohen pleaded guilty for the first time. and so there in that tweet is the president of the united states saying that if you give special prosecutor robert mueller information against the president, you should be punished as severely as
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possible. you should serve a full and complete sentence. richard nixon would not have dared say something like that publicly because richard nixon did not believe that america had lost its legal mind or that the congress had lost its legal mind. also today donald trump tweeted, bob mueller who's a much different man than people think don't want the truth, they only want lies. the truth is very bad for their mission. count 4 of article i of the articles of impeachment passed against president nixon said that president nixon should be impeached and removed from office for quote, interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the department of justice of the united states, the federal bureau of investigation, the office of the watergate special prosecution force and congressional committees. every single one of those donald trump's now countless public
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attacks on robert mueller, every single trump tweet attacking robert mueller is an impeachable offense, according to the congress that brought articles of impeachment against richard nixon, the congress that did not lose its mind the way the trump republican congress has so fully and apparently irretrievably lost its mind. several legal observers today believe the president committed at least one federal crime in his tweets. kellyanne conway's husband, washington attorney george conway, responded to the president's tweet about roger stone simply by saying, file under 18 u.s.c. sections 1503-1512. it deals with obstruction of justice and witness tampering saying it is a crime for a person to, quote, attempt to influence, delay or prevent the testimony of any person in an
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official proceeding. is donald trump attempting to influence testimony? yes, he obviously is. and he put that in writing today and proved the case against himself in writing today beyond a reasonable doubt. most of the news media will not see it that way because the news media has indeed lost its collective mind. the news media lost its mind and its balance for donald trump years ago and is very, very slowly in recovery now but will not recover fast enough to know what to do when the president of the united states commits crimes in public on twitter. but legal professionals have been much more reliable and consistent in the face of the challenge that donald trump has presented to us. and lawyers like george conway can see clearly what the president is doing even if most
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of the news media cannot. as can former acting solicitor general neil katyal who tweeted this. gorge is right. this is genuinely looking like witness tamperwreck doj, at least with a nonfake attorney general, prosecutes cases like these all the time. the facts it's out in the open is no defense. trump is genuinely melting down. robert mueller is not melting down. robert mueller and his team know what a crime looks like when they see it. the president's tweets today and many other of his tweets will be in mueller's final reports on the criminal conduct of the president of the united states. and then they should be incorporated in what should be article i of the articles of impeachment voted on in the house judiciary committee against president trump. and that should happen when the democrats take control of the house of representatives next year. much more is at stake here than
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just the trump presidency. if the congress allows the president to publicly commit the crime of witness tampering in investigations of the president, then they are allowing every future president to do exactly the same thing. tonight michael is reporting in yahoo news that robert mueller is at the stage of, quote, tying up loose ends. special counsel robert mueller's prosecutors have told defense lawyers in recent weeks that they are tying up loose ends in their investigation, providing the clearest clues yet that the long running probe into russia's interference in the 2016 election may be coming to its climax potentially in the next few weeks according to multiple sources close to the matter. leading off our discussion now, jill wine-banks, and joining us is harry litman.
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david corn is with us, the washington bureau chief and msnbc political analyst. and jill, whenever i go back to read those nixon articles of impeachment that the house judiciary committee voted on, when you look at them in the context of what president trump does every day now, that same congress would be voting a very long set of articles of impeachment against donald trump. >> that's been clear for many months, for maybe even many years now. he has committed so many crimes in public, i think i'd use the words that the public is numb and is starting to accept as normal things that are completely abnormal and totally illegal. he cannot be permitted to continue the attacks on the department of justice, the
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mueller investigation, on everything we believe in a democracy, but that's what he's doing, and he's not only obstructed justice and tampered with witnesses, he has done so many other things that are completely wrong. i think that your opening statement was so compelling that i would not want to be the defense lawyer arguing against that. he has clearly shown that he is ready to be impeached if not indicted. >> i want to report two congressional reactions. one, i think fits in the category of numb, of what jill just called numb and that is senator mark warner who tweeted this in reaction to what the president said today. this is serious. the president of the united states should not be using his platform to influence potential witnesses in a federal investigation involving his campaign. now, there's a senator who just says it's serious and he shouldn't be influencing
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witnesses. he doesn't say it's a crime. he doesn't say it's impeachable. he doesn't express extreme outrage. it seems that senator warner's tweet is one of those examples of a congress that has been desensitized. but let's listen now to congressman adam schiff, and i think this is more important because congressman adam schiff is in what will be the democratically controlled house of representatives. >> the president continued to dangle a pardon for paul manafort, which only adds to the growing body of evidence that the president is engaged in obstructing justice. that i think is the ultimate significance here. >> and david corn, adam schiff seems to get it. it doesn't seem as though he's been desensitized by the president's tweet campaign. >> i think that's right. and, you know, i've not been a big fan politically of democrats in the house rushing towards impeachment. i'd rather see 12 different
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oversight hearings on it russia investigation and other matters to precede first. today was one of the first times i really thought that there may be no way around it. and one reason is that the office of legal counsel and the justice department has put out two opinions. in 1973 and 2000 saying that they believe that the president cannot -- that a sitting president cannot be indicted. that guideline is supposed to govern how federal prosecutors handle their cases. so if the justice department can't bring to bear any of this evidence against a sitting president, well, the framers gave us one other option, and that is impeachment. it's the nuclear option, but it's the only other option there is. and if he is out there witness tampering, and i take george conway at his word here, i mean others have come out and said this, too, that's a crime. dangling pardons, that's criminal as well.
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so we may be heading to a situation where the only sanction available to the -- you know, to the public here is through impeachment. and you know what that's going to be like. >> and harry litman, i for one don't think impeachment should be a political calculation. i think impeachment should be brought when the situation and the charges merit it, whether you believe you will win the impeachment vote in the house of representatives or whether you believe you'll win the trial verdict in the united states senate. and in this instance it seems to me if donald trump is allowed to publicly tamper with witnesses, and who knows what he's doing privately, but publicly tamper with witnesses and the congress does not move to impeach over it, the congress is saying in effect, yes, the president of the united states at will can tamper with witnesses, dangle pardons, do whatever the president wants to obstruct and tamper with witnesses in any
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federal investigation including the federal investigation of the president. >> that's right. and the demeaning of the rule of law, the derogation of so many executive responsibilities that seem so completely contrary, historically contrary to what a president should be doing. and what else is impeachment reserved for? yes, there are political calculations but i agree it's a grave and first and foremost democratic responsibility to assess. one point on this public -- i mean, we are sort of blown away and have trouble even assessing it because he does it so brazenly in public. but remember the first question that robert mueller will ask of a stone or a corsi or a manafort is did you talk to trump and what did he say? he's practically not able to speak to them privately.
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and this sort of public campaign, this tweeting is the only way that he can in fact afeck cht witness tampering and obstruction of justice. so it's not such a surprise it's open and notorious in that way. that's how it's got to be. >> yeah, jill, harry makes a great point. there are plenty of criminal defends or people in trouble who try to find ways to influence witnesses. but the witnesses are surrounded by lawyers and there's all sorts of -- it becomes very difficult to get often direct communication, the kind of communication people like that want. and here's donald trump who just decides i'm just going to do it publicly. i'm just going to do it through the media, and i'm going to use my image as a reckless speaker to my advantage. >> well, let's go back to his first pardon. it was share joe arpaio for contempt of court. that was as i said then was a clear message to future witnesses, don't worry, you can
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lie or you can refuse to testify and i will pardon you. i have your back. that was his first message that i considered obstruction and witness tampering. and i also want to point out that all that he's doing in public, i hope your viewers really get that it doesn't make it legal because he's doing it in public. one of the categories of evidence that we turned over as part of our road map to the house who was looking at impeachment was all the evidence of the lies that richard nixon told to the public, because lying to the public to deliberately mislead them as is clearly going on here, and all you have to do is check any fact check source and you will find thousands of lie, many of them related to this investigation. and that was an impeachable offense. so i think the fact that it's in public is confusing people. and they're going well, if it was in public it can't be
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illegal. it is illegal. >> david corn, revealing his reporting that the special prosecutor is at the stage of tying up loose ends or at least the special prosecutor's staff has told defense lawyers tying up loose ends is where they are now. if that is the case added with that, though, the michael cohen plea last week, it does seem that the president of the united states is himself now at loose ends. he has moved to what seems like a new stage of hysteria. >> you know, lawrence, we really say that every week. we say he hit 11 this week and we have to go up to 12 and 13, it's euclidian, the amount of outrage here. it seems mueller is tying up some loose ends. we do know from court filings
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that michael cohen has spent about 70 hours, 70 hours talking, telling all to mueller's investigators. and of course he's talking to the southern district of new york and others as well. and i just have to believe that might give them more leads to pursue. there are other matters out there that we suspect mueller might have been looking at that we haven't heard much from. so, you know, again, we just don't know when he's going to finish or what even is going to come out at the end of this, a report or just some more prosecutions? >> david corn, jill wine banks, harry litman, thank you for leading off our discussion tonight. and when we come back congressman eric swalwell will join us with his reaction, and according to a former deputy prosecutor robert mueller is now laying the groundwork for a conspiracy case aimed at donald trump and his family.
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that former deputy special prosecutor peter zidenberg will join us. ♪ our mission is to make offshore wind one of the principal new sources of energy.
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unstopand it's strengthenedting place, the by xfi pods,gateway. which plug in to extend the wifi even farther, past anything that stands in its way. ...well almost anything. leave no room behind with xfi pods. simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. special prosecutor robert mueller is laying out the predicate for a wide ranging conspiracy case that will likely inspire the president's family and quite likely trump himself.
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those are the words of a former deputy special prosecutor during the george w. bush administration in the scooter libby case, peter zeidenberg. that line appears in his op-ed today in which he says we should expect, quote, a case of conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 election to be laid out in court. peter zeidenberg agrees with the point rachel made so forcefully friday night that michael cohen's new guilty plea last week of lying to congress about how long he was working on the trump tower deal in moskow is the key development in what is to come next in the mueller investigation. zeidenberg says that cohen's new plea deal, quote, provides a key ingredient, motive. for those who long wondered why throughout the presidential campaign trump could not bring himself to say a critical word about russian president vladimir putin, we now know the answer. trump was hoping to do business in russia and doing so would
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require the approval of putin. once trump repeatedly and publicly denied having any business interests in russia, putin had leverage over trump because he knew this claim was an easily disprovable lie. cohen's disclosure proves not just trump as lying about business interests in russia, it potentially also exposes his family as well. donald trump, jr. and jared kushner have both testified before congress. robert mueller wrote in the criminal information filing last week that michael cohen, quote, briefed family members of donald trump on the trump tower moskow project. zeidenberg writes, trump, jr. was asked about his role in the negotiations about building trump tower moskow, and while a transcript of kushner's testimony has not been made public, it is hard to imagine that he was not also asked about the trump organization's business ties to russiaa. joining us now is the author of that op-ed piece, peter
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zeidenberg. thank you very much for joining us tonight. make your case on why you believe that special prosecutor robert mueller is working on a wide ranging conspiracy. you make the point that collusion is not a legal term, a wide ranging conspiracy that involves the trump family. >> well, as to the conspiracy itself i mean there's been several dozen indictments of russians who were charged with 371 conspiracy. it's a conspiracy against the united states for unlawfully interfering with the functions of the 2016 elections. so we know that robert mueller believes that this conduct violates u.s. conspiracy law. now, the question is did they conspire with anyone. so that's what i mean that they're building this piece by piece. we already understand that he believes there's a legal basis for it, because a lot of people have been saying, well, it's not
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illegal even if they did it. well, robert mueller disagrees with that. so what i think we're going to see possibly within the next few days when robert mueller files his pleadings regarding manafort and on why manafort, why the prosecutor feels manafort's been lying is they're going to be laying out in that a great deal of facts, and i think that those facts are going to start pointing the fingers at people closer and closer to president trump including his family. and i think that like a lot of people i think that meeting in june in trump tower is going to be a focus of the government prosecution. >> you make the point in your article that the filings that robert mueller intends to do in the manafort case provide him with an opportunity to do what
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you call an end run around matthew whitaker who's been installed by donald trump as the acting attorney general. what do you mean by that? >> what i mean is under the statute the report that mueller's supposed to write goes to the attorney general. and i think a lot of people, myself included, have concerns about whether the attorney general will release that. now with a democratic house, perhaps it can be subpoenaed, maybe they'll fight that. but at least there's a legitimate question about whether that will be made public. this opportunity in open court would be a way of getting a lot of those facts, not 100-page report certainly, but significant factual predicate for why robert mueller believes paul manafort has been lying. this is going to be a contested issue. manafort's attorneys are going to say, no, our guy was telling the truth all along.
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so this is -- mueller has got very good reason for putting in chapter and verse what was asked, what was answered and what the facts are which lead bob mueller to say he's been lying to us. and i expect that will include e-mails, text messages, bank records and other witness statements to support his contention that manafort has been lying to them in their debriefings. >> peter zeidenberg, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i appreciate it. congressman eric swalwell joins us next. ♪ let's do the thing that you do. let's clear a path. let's put down roots. let's build something. let's do the thing that you do. let's do the thing that changes the shape of everything...
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democrat jerry nadler will be the chairman of the house judiciary committee when the democrats take control of congress. here's what he had to say yesterday. >> the fact he was lying to the american people about doing business in russia and that the kremlin knew he was lying gave the kremlin a hold over him. and one question we have now is does the kremlin still have hold over him because of other lies that they know about? >> joining our discussion now democratic congressman eric swalwell of california. he's a member of the house intelligence committee and the house judiciary committee. congressman swalwell, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i want to get your reaction to the president's day today where he was obviously publicly in the business of trying to influence witnesses. >> good evening, lawrence. i think the mueller investigation if you were comparing it to a chess match has put the president in check, and the president is now making erratic moves that is exposing
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his position. as a former prosecutor i've seen this before, as you get close to the end of a case or close to a verdict, defendants start acting quite irresponsibly and they reach out to witnesses, try to delay the inevitable, and i see that happening here. they were eager to collude with the russians, they were eager to do business with them, and when they were confronted they told a lot of lies. >> what the president did today would have been incorporated in an article i article of impeachment if the congress that brought impeachment articles against richard nixon was in place today. this seems to be a different congress. the sensitivity to these things seems to be very different from in richard nixon's time. is that true on the democratic side also?
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is there a lack of reaction to this today? >> for the last two years, lawrence, we've quite frankly felt powerless, and we've had to rely on people on the outside, the people who have gone to the streets, run the protect mueller protests. and with their respect they were able to help us elect 40 people to win the house. so we're not powerless anymore. actually we're in this position now we have to really assert our confidence and tell the american people, it's going to be okay. we can prevent the president's worst instincts now. we can intervene where necessary. we can put a straitjacket where the president wants to pea harmful. and that's going to start by conducting all the investigates where he was given a free pass before. one, to hold him accountable. but two, we've got the presidential election coming up. the same adversary that helped him in 2016 just as capable and just as likely to want to help him again. >> mike quigley, one of the
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members of the intelligence committee, one of the members of the committee you're on told nbc's kasie hunt today, she asked does he think donald trump, jr. lied to the committee? because in the wake of michael cohen's guilty plea there's a lot of speculation about that. and what mike quigley said, i wouldn't be surprised if he lied to us. there's some questions about the communications with his father and about the meeting at trump tower. do you believe donald trump, jr. lied to your committee? >> i think he showed a conscienceness of guilt, when he was asked about conversations he had with his father, and he told us, lawrence, he told us he's not going to answer any questions with his father, asserting a father-son privilege. which is privilege privilege, only something that the trumps could create. and i think innocent people would have been straight with us. don junior didn't want to be straight. bob mueller will know the answer
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to that. >> and congressman, there's a lot of speculation now in the wake of michael cohen's guilty plea that it's more than just donald trump, jr., it is possibly the president's son-in-law, that this is the key turn in the case. knowing what you know, is the michael cohen plea as big a turn in the case as it has been? >> it is. and the reason is michael cohen has been one of the individuals that's lived in donald trump's all three of his worlds. his political world, he acted as a surrogate and his financial world, he was the trump organization lawyer. and he has come clean. i think the american people would greatly benefit with him sitting before congress just as you saw during the watergate era and giving a full allocution of what he saw.
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and his personal world. >> congressman eric swalwell, thank you for joining us. coming up there is now an active criminal investigation of possible election fraud in a congressional race in north carolina. and that possible election fraud would have been conducted by republicans to steal a very close election from the democrat. a state board of elections is refusing to certify the result. we will have an expert joining us who has looked at the balloting in that race. that's coming up.
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there is now a criminal investigation under way of potential voting irregularities, that's what they're calling it. the local district attorney is now investigating what happened with the absentee ballots that delivered an election night win to republican mark harris over democrat dan in a very tight race. the state elections board, though, has now twice declined to certify the results of that election because of, quote, claims of irregularities and fraudulent activities related to absentee mail ballots. at the center of this controversy was a convicted felon who was paid by the republican campaign. his specialty is absentee ballots. that man's name is leslie mccray.
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there are numerous reports of people knocking on doors in the district offering help with filling out and mailing absentee ballots. but what happened to the ballots after that is unclear. some of the ballots might have been filled out by the person offering the help. others might have been destroyed by the person offering to help. but in the end there was an extraordinary outcome in the absentee ballot count, a north carolina political science professor studied the results in bladen county where 42 ers% of the mailed in absentee ballots were from democrats. but the republican got 61% of that absentee mail in vote. and the democrat got just 38%. michael is is the political science professor who did that ballot analysis, and he will join us next, and we will have many more details on what happened to those absentee
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>> mccray paid her $75 to $100 a week to pick up finished ab centee bals ones. he was named twice in sworn affidavits as a worker for the mark harris campaign. she never discarded ballots or affidavits as a worker for the mark harris campaign. she never discarded ballots or saw who people voted for. after picking them up, she gave them to mccray. >> did all the votes count? >> i guess. i don't know what happened after i dropped them off. >> joins the discussion, a political scientist and historian writes state michael, you analyzed these ballots and found that the outcome democrat republican doesn't make any sense at all. >> it really doesn't. as you indicated earlier in the
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county among absentee votes, that was the only county out of eight counties in the ninth congressional district that went for the republican, mark harris. all the other counties, particularly those with absentee by mail went for the democrat. i started looking more deeply and found while the state had an average of about 16% of non-return ballots, meaning ballots requested by mail that the voters asked for that did not return the ninth congressional district had about a quarter of those ballots not returned and in bladen county, they had about a 40% non-return rate. those are extremely high non-return rates for -- while it may be only 3-5% of the
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electorate, could have decided out of 280,000 votes. >> the low reporting indicated mccray who is a convicted felon was hired by the republican campaign and then paid other people to go around door to door collecting people's absentee ballots and they required two signatures to witness the signature of the voter. one witness signed 45 absentee ballots and another signed 43. another witness signed 44 and five people who signed multiple ballots listed their address as the same one bedroom apartment where the landlord said it is occupied by one person. all of those people are suspected associates and that is
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what is making this look like some kind of criminal fraud on the ballot system. >> it does. if those people were collecting ballots, if they were going to the voter and asking for the ballot unsecured, they would have access to that voter's ballot and would have been able to manipulate the ballot or simply do away with the ballot. there are a lot of pieces of the puzzle that we don't fully understand yet, but there is something obviously going on. the data is telling us one thing and we are starting to get more of a narrative of what potentially could happen and what the state board of elections and their evidentiary hearing is working towards in terms of an investigation. >> what is the authority there to order a new election? >> the state board of elections has discretionary authority through the general statutes if four conditions are met and the last one is probably the most
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important. it says if there are improprieties that taint the overall election and call into question the validity of the vote, then the state board of elections can order a new election. it doesn't matter if there are questionable ballots that could potentially even switch the election or keep it as is. it is up to the general tainting of the election. >> thank you very much for joining us. tonight's last word is next. aaaaaahhhhhhhh! ballooned your car.
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running in the republican primaries in 1979 and 1980. >> even your friends, the minority know who you are and admire you in the party, one of the things that always comes up is maybe george bush is too nice to be president and not tough enough. >> i heard that. >> what are about the tough enough question. >> i don't equate toughness with attacking some individual. >> is ronald reagan too old? >> no. let the press determine it like on the democrat side. there are extraneous issues. >> is john conley too slippery. >> is bob dole too mean? >> no. >> what's the difference? >> the breath of record and my overall performance and conviction about this country, about our ability to solve problems, our ability to restore the credibility in the united states has been diminished under president carter. i believe i can do that better than anybody else.
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that's the difference. >> president george h. w. bush gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight, the current president pays his respects to a former president. george h.w. bush, 41, has returned to washington. resting in the rotunda of the capitol, where he served in congress. a somber day in the nation's capital. and we will talk about 41 tonight with three who knew him. a retired nowstar afour-star ar general, a former head of the cia, and his biographer, who will be delivering a eulogy on wednesday. as for the 45th president, tonight he is being accused of obstruction, of witness tampering in real time and in plain sight because of what he said on twitter today, praising roger stone, trashing michael cohen. the backdrop for what will be a revealing week in the mue


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