tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC January 25, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
around and they will redefine what a wall is -- >> that's right. >> as we've begun to see, it's gone from a medieval thing or slats you can pick up at home depot. >> nancy pelosi pointed to the flowers on the lawn and said he can plant these and call them a wall. >> thank you for joining us. that is all in for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. >> have a good weekend, my friend thanks to you at home for joining us welcome to another totally normal weekday in the donald j. trump presidency totally normal day, right? when i went to bed last night, i thought the big suspensionbful - sustain involving president trump's campaign chairman. paul manafort convicted of multiple felonies facing a likely prison sentence seven to
ten years. the drama underlying the hearing from manafort is he could be facing an additional decade in prison on top of the seven to ten that could be the whole enchilada if you're already 70 and not in great health. he's facing an additional decade in prison on top of his other sentence if the judge in his case concludes that he breached his plea agreement by lying to prosecutors after he had agreed to cooperate with him. manafort himself was in court today. we got these great sketches by the great courtroom artist manafort was allowed, as you can see, was allowed to wear a suit this time instead of his jail jump suit. he's now white haired. as you can see, he's using a cane reporters at the hearing today described him as leaning heavily on that cane but with all the prosecutors there and with manafort's whole defense team there and manafort himself in the courtroom, everybody there in person today
in federal court in d.c., today the judge in his case ultimately elected to not today to make a decision on the substance of these current allegations against him, which again, are that he broke his deal by lying repeatedly to prosecutors. manafort was there today and had to go back to jail he'll be back in court a week from monday and then that will be the day that this same judge will finally conduct a hearing behind closed doors to determine whether manafort is going to be on the hook for these extra years potentially tacked on his sentence so that's going to be a closed door sealed hearing a week from monday and it is going to be sealed because of the sensitivity around manafort's testimony and how much of his criminal case is on going investigations and other people who have not yet been charged.
remember, paul manafort has done at least nine interview senses with the special counsel's office and testified before the grand jury at least twice. we will ultimately get some redacted transcript of that manafort hearing after they have gone through and taken the sensitive stuff but they are holding that next manafort hearing hear hearing behind closed doors because they expect not all of it to be suitable for public consumption because of the cases it relates to. and it tells you something about this presidency and this moment in american history. that the sitting president's campaign chairman turning up in court today with white hair using a cane trying to avoid the extra decade in prison that could determine whether or not he dies behind bars, it tells you something about this time period we are living through and this presidency we are living through, that that doesn't make the front page today for this particular president it doesn't make probably the first ten pages of the paper tomorrow morning because on a day like today, it
just couldn't compete. when the government shutdown crisis finally started to end today, with the president appearing in the rose garden to announce that the government will reopen under its old funding levels with no change in policy whatsoever with no freaking wall between the united states and mexico or a down payment on it or a sample portion of it or any other thing related to a wall whatsoever, when the president announced today he will accept the exact same offer he rejected over a month ago that started this catastrophe for the government and hundreds of thousands of people who work for the government and their families, when the president made that announcement he said he would never ever make, which is that the shutdown will end for him getting nothing, when that dark cave opened and swallowed all light and made it briefly early cold and breezy for a moment, what that moved off the front page of every newspaper in the
country and off every moment of tv news in the country was not just what was going on at that moment with his already convicted campaign chairman, it also moved this. the indictment of the president's long-time friend and longest serving political advisor, the self-promoting republican party roger stone we will be talking about the end of the shutdown tonight at the moment that the president declared the end of the shutdown today. it displaced from the headlines momentarily this indictment. roger stone was actually it turns out indicted yesterday under seal the special counsel's office requested that the federal court in d.c. keep that indictment secret yesterday, keep it under seal until stone could be arrested this morning. quote, the united states of america by and through special counsel robert s. mueller the third respectfully moves this court to seal the indictment and arrest warrant and delay entry to seal all related matters
until the defendant named is in custody. quote, law enforcement believes that publicity resulting from the disclosure of this indo i want prior to arrest will increase the risk of the defendant fleeing and destroying or tampering with evidence it is therefore essential any information concerning the pending indictment be kept sealed prior to the defendant's arrest these facts present an extraordinary situation and compelling governmental interest that justifies not only the sealing of the indictment and pleadings, warrants, records and filings in the case but a short delay in the public docketing of these sealed proceedings and the accompanying order until the defendant's arrest so that is dated yesterday from the special counsel. that's the special counsel saying to the judge this indictment should be sealed. i request to seal the indictment should be sealed this should be kept off the docket until we got him. and the judge apparently agreed
because the first sign that we all got of what happened today to roger stone was when this footage was caught on video by a cnn producer who had been assigned by the network to essentially stake out roger stone's house in the event that anything like this might happen. and this in itself is a remarkable milestone in the mueller investigation. we've seen a lot of people charged in this case and marched in and out of courthouses and suvs pulling in and out of parking lots outside government buildings. their movements have been tracked around potential testimony before secret grand juries but nobody else got arrested by the fbi in this fashion. i mean, even when they raided paul manafort's house in virginia, remember the drama to take away files and computers and ipads and nice suits and ostrich jacket and everything? at least then they left paul manafort himself behind. this is the first time where we have actually seen them grab the dude from his house and take him
into custody now, we do not have to speculate as to why the special counsel's office and the fbi chose to do it this way. the special counsel's office laid out their reasons in their motion to seal right? they said, they told that judge in d.c. yesterday they believed roger stone would flee and/or destroy or tamper with evidence if he knew that he was being indicted and so surprise, they arrested him before dawn today and yes, if you are trying to snip every loose thread here, yes, you're right, because that happened in the predawn hours today, hours before the proclaimed end of the government shutdown, it is likely that those fbi agents that arrest eed roger stone did so while not being paid but we got the unsealed indictment that lays out seven felony charges against them nothing about the indictment suggestions stone has previously had any contact at all with the special counsel's office which
is interesting doesn't appear mueller ever bothered to interview roger stone before indicting him today but stone is charged today with lying to congress and with attempting to intimidate another witness to other lie to congress or refuse to congress. all of the charges against stone today and the narrative that prosecutors layout that supports the indictment, it all relates to stone's contacts and communications during the presidential campaign related to wikileaks, wikileaks of course distributed the documents military intelligence stole from the democratic party and clinton campaign roger stone is alleged in this indictment to have lied to congress repeatedly about his efforts to communicate with wikileaks personally and through intermediaries and lied whether or not his efforts to communicate with wikileaks were done on his own say so, on his own initiative or whether the trump campaign put him up to it. we'll get expert help on this
tonight. a lot of people that follow this stuff from a legal perspective are suggesting today and tonight the stone indictment is something that puts the central question of the mueller investigation closer to president trump and his campaign then any other indictment we've seen thus far. we'll get expert help on that coming up in a moment, including the significance of the fact another person close to the president has been charged with witness tampering in the mueller investigation and something where the president himself sort of increasingly looking like he may have some legal problems of his own. again, we'll get to all of that but i'm quite sure you've heard a lot about this case already today. again, the arrest happened before dawn. we got the indictment early this morning. i won't go through it line by line and try to connect every dot and flush out all of the sorted characters in this, partly because i can't stomach it but also because there is really just two things i want to focus
on and they are both open questions for me but in terms of where my head is at in terms of figuring out how this fits intoed scandal and how close we are to the end here and how close we are to getting the biggest and most important questions answered, these are the two things that i am sort of stuck on the first one is a dynamic, a pattern that we are seen over and over and over and over again in this scandal when it comes to people surrounding the president and even the president himself this is something we saw from the very beginning from december 2017 when trump national security advisor mike flynn turned up in court pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors what mike flynn admitted to lying about, remember, was his contact with the russian government during the transition his contact with the russian government about u.s. sanctions on russia. what never made sense about flynn and him pleading guilty is
why he felt the need to lie to the fbi about his contact with the russian government and him talking to them about sanctions. i mean, at the time he had that contact with the russian government, he was the incoming national security advisor and maybe it was a little weird before he was technically sworn in, he was already having policy discussions with another government but it's not that weird. had he publicly asserted yes, i talked to the russian ambassador about sanctions. we on the trump campaign have been clear about the fact that we have a different take on sanctions than the out going administration and it was urgency. had flynn said something about that, that would have occasioned half a raised eyebrow but instead, he lied about it multiple times to the fbi. i mean, what about those communications with the russian government were so what? i mean, embarrassing linked to a larger thing you
don't want to explain. what about those communications were worth lying about there was nothing wrong with them why lie about it why lie to the fbi about it? that became a question that was even harder to answer when we learned it wasn't just mike flynn that lied about those communications about sanctions "the washington post" reported flynn's deputy mcfarland had made false statements to the fbi about the same thing denying the truth about those contacts with the russian government during the transition when they talked to them about sanctions. she lied about it to reporters at the time. we later learned she also lied about it to the fbi. and again, there was nothing weird about talking to the russian government about sanctions. so why create a big cover story about it why create a cover story that you stuck to the point where you open yourself up to potential criminal charges for lying about it and it wasn't just the two of them "the new york times" later reported that within the transition, there were a bunch of trump officials who were all
read in on the truth, which was that flynn was talking to the russian government about sanctions during the transition. they were all read in on it among the trump officials sent e-mails documenting in detail what flynn was doing with the russians, among the people read in was sean spicer who soon became the white house spokesman. sean spicer, too, knowing the real story, nevertheless gave the public a false story he publicly spread this lie about flynn's contact with the russian government when we know he was actually read in on what really happened. why did they all tell lies about that telling the truth about that would not have been a scandal. but yet, there was this elaborate coverup over a period of months involving multiple officials and false statements in public and to reporters and federal law enforcement agents and we have seen that dynamic over and over again in this scandal with characters large and small. speaking of small, remember old george papadopoulos who served
his prison sentence in this scandal? he is admittedly a minor figure in the sscandal, right he lied about the content and timing of his communications with somebody claiming to be connected to the russian government whenever you think of george papadopoulos, he was attached to the trump campaign and working as a foreign policy advisor for the campaign and him having conversations with somebody who purported to be linked to the government would not be crazy of illegal. that's the sort of thing he could have admitted to without much need to explain further but yet he lied about it to federal investigators and that's why he went to prison he is sort of the small end of the food chain, right? he's the grub. the great white shark in this food chain is of course the candidate at the top of that campaign we saw this same dynamic at work with trump himself now we know that through the presidential campaign, trump and his business were pursuing a
very large real estate deal in russia, trump tower moscow deal that would involve the permission of the russian government now we know that he and his business were pursuing that during the presidential campaign and the president says it's perfectly fine he was doing that after all, he's a real estate guy all over the world, that's what he does and as he says, everybody thought he would lose the presidential election so why should he forgo business opportunities that might otherwise elude him if he put his business career fully on hold while running for president. there was nothing wrong with him pursuing that deal that's what he says now. whatever you think about that explanation from president trump, [expletivexplanation woue held the same water during the campaign instead for months he explicitly lied and said he's not pursuing any deals in russia. it wasn't illegal. he has proved himself capable of
spinning a story about that that makes it sound okay or tries to sound okay but for months, he lied about it. he tried to keep it secret michael cohen went to congress and answered questions about the trump tower moscow project knowing the exact truth of that project since he was directly involved in it, one of the principal people trying to put it together. lies about the trump tower moscow project and how long it went on. again, that project wasn't illegal. there was nothing more wrong with it in june than january why did they have to invent a fake cover story for it that included committing felonies and lying under oath in order to keep it secret what was it about that that you had to tell a fake story it's all of them i mean, when jared kushner filled out his security clearance application after the inincoauguratio inauguration, why did he leave off he met with the kremlin head
of the russian bank and taken that trump tower meeting during the campaign with those russians i mean, all of those individual meetings and communications are things mr. kushner has an explanation for, he and his well paid spokes people spoke for they came up in the campaign and transition, nothing untoward why did he keep them all secret? in watergate, they said the coverup was worse than the crime. in this scandal, the coverup is the big red neon flashing aero that points it where the crown might be because, because time and time and time again we have seen this same dynamic all of them, up and down have all been caught telling lies, even to the point of facing prison time for telling lies about things that on the surface are not worth lying about. things that aren't illegal things that could have a totally normal explanation and that is a neon sign shaped like an aero pointing out what
must be beneath the surface of those things they went to such lengths and took such risks to cover up and so today, we see that again with roger stone and, you know, there is a lot of color in the stone indictment with him like threatening that guy's dog when he was going to try to stop that guy from testifying to congress there is that kind of stuff and him quoting the god father, right? there is a big headline grabber from the indictment today, which is the allegation from the special counsel stone did not make his overs on his initialtive according to the special counsel, a senior campaign official was directed to contact roger stone to get him to find out what wikileaks had on clinton everybody is scratching their head wondering who on a campaign would have the authority to direct a senior campaign official to make that kind of request. everybody is wondering if the only person with that authority in a campaign would be the candidate himself. maybe, i don't know. we don't know. special counsel doesn't say.
but if you set that aside for a second, consider the overall dynamic we've seen with these other figures in this scandal thus far lying about stuff that on the surface it doesn't seem like they need to lie about just look for a second in the stone indictment at the specific allegations that are spelled out about what stone lied about. with all of the other people in this scandal, we've seen them again and again and again in their security clearance applications, under oath risking prison time to tell lies about things that do not seem to be crimes things that on the surface do not seem to be illegal and don't seem like they need to be lied about. well, in this case, in this new indictment today, what roger stone is alleged to have lied about under oath and threatened this other witness he needed to lie about it to or not testify if he couldn't commit to not lying about it, what he's
accused of, the big lie at the heart of the stone indictment is something really, really, really small and specific what is spelled out today is that roger stone concocted a cover story to say the way he tried to get information from wikileaks is through this guy, a guy who roger stone knew and had a radio show on which he interviewed julian assange and said he thought he could be a good contact if the guy could interview him, he could also reach him to get information on what wikileaks had on the campaign. according to prosecutors, that the the cover story he tried to sell to the house intelligence committee under oath that story is false. and the real story is that stone actually dispatched this guy different guy. to contact julian assange in order to figure out what wikileaks had on clinton
now, put -- can we put them upside by side okay again.up side by side okay again. this is the big lie. roger stone says the guy on the right is how he tried to contact wikileaks. actually, it was the guy on the left okay who cares? why does that matter why would the difference between those two paths to wikileaks be worth not only lying about it to congress but doing back flips and making all these broke threats against another witness to prevent that cover story from unraveling page 18 of the indictment today, roger stone goes nuts the cover story will be exposed as false and the real story will come out quote stone wall it, plead the fifth, anything to save the plan he tells this witness he's going to give out the cover story and tells him to refuse to appear and take the fifth and do a "god
father 2" show up to testify in front of congress and surprise, refuse to testify what he knows and makes up a fake story to protect everybody else okay, what the heck was so important about the difference between those two stories? honestly i used radio show host randy to get to wikileaks versus i used jerome corsi, weird conspiracy theorist to get to wikileaks. who cares? who cares? that distinction between those two stories was apparently enough to risk all of this, which is now resulted in seven felony charges and getting arrested on cnn before dawn and so now, we have a new neon sign in the shape of an aero blinking, pointing out what otherwise not seemed to be illegal or even particularly scandalous behavior. what is it about this story you have to go to these lengths to
protect? this story that doesn't seem to be anything scandalous risking years to go to prison. in this case, what the red neon aero is pointing at, whatever this line of communication from the trump campaign to roger stone to jerome corsi to wikileaks to russian intelligence distributing the stuff i have never cared about that before but boy, do i now boy, do i now now that i know the lengths to which these characters are willing to go to make sure that stayed secret and briefly, there is one last point to know about this roger stone indictment, which i think points us to what we may be able to expect next or where to look to figure that out there was a way to know this indictment was coming. in mid december, carl lenning was the lead reporter in the
report robert mueller requested a full transcript and we reported that on this show december 19th because it was "the washington post" suggesting pretty overtly in that story that that request from mueller to get the official transcript, that might be a sign that mueller was about to indict roger stone for lying in that testimo testimony. that would explain why mueller needed an official transcript of what stone said. that prediction from carol and her co-authors in the washington post proved to be exactly right. he did get indicted for false testimony in that testimony that mueller got the official transcript of in mid december. because of that, we spent today trying to figure out who else has had their transcript peeked at by special counsel robert mueller. what we found is not necessarily what you would expect but i think it tells us where we should look to see what's about to happen next and we got that little bit of news coming up stay with us o) it's easy to shrk into your own little world.
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counsel's office unsealed is because of the action that the house intelligence committee took last month. last month, we think december 14th, the special counsel robert mueller made a request to congress to make an official transcript of roger stone's testimony to the house inat the je -- intelligence come hit mitco. that committee voted to turnover the transcript of roger stone's testimony. they voted to turn that transcript over to robert mueller. now, in mid december, "the washington post" flagged that as a sign that mueller might be moving soon to charge roger stone with making false statements in that testimony, otherwise why would he need an official transcript? "the washington post" was right in the prediction. the special counsel charged robert stone with five counts of making false statements with congress which raises the
question to get anybody else's transcripts. interesting question i can tell you we have a single source tonight and it is just a single source but it is a source close to the investigation that tells us that the special counsel has viewed a number of transcripts from witnesses testifying before the senate in the russia investigation we believe mueller would have to officially request transcripts to bring charges on the basis of the transcripts if witnesses lied we seen that in the senate testimony of patton, he was charged with lying to investigators and his plea agreement included lies to the senate and one official transcript was conveyed from the senate to mueller so his lies in his senate testimony could be included in the plea agreement for other people whose transcripts have been reviewed by mueller, he's got an official copy close to the investigation.
so far we have that to go with on the house, he's been charged with lying to the house intelligence committee they were hit with felony charges for lying to house in l intel, congressman adam schiff said he's happy to convey the transcripts with the witnesses that appeared in this investigation thus far he's happy to convey those transcripts to the special counsel's office as soon as possible chairman shift saying today quote, the first order of the committee will be to release here is something to watch
all right. we've got two people indict, cohen and stone and had to obtain from the intelligence committee to file the charges. is house intelligence sending mueller anybody else's transcripts transcripts? the thing to watch it turns out they actually can't. they can't until they have the intelligence committee up and running and cannot do that until they have a full list of members from the intelligence committee and so far republicans are not naming any members for the intelligence committee really by our count, republicans managed to name members for 23 different committees, everything to appropriations to veterans affairs but thus far they have not named anyone for the int intelligence committee, which means the intelligence committee cannot act at all including to send mueller the transcripts of further witnesses who may have
lied to them a democratic come hmittee aid s if republicans finally get around, if republicans finally get around to naming people for the intelligence committee, if able to do that by monday, mueller could have all the transcripts from all the house intelligence witnesses by wednesday. adam schiff means it it will be their first order of business but the republicans can stop him from doing it anyway as long as they won't allow him to conduct any business by not giving him any republican members for his committee. that's called small ball when did soup become this?
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joining us is eric who has a seat on the judiciary committee. great to have you here thanks for being here tonight. >> thanks for having me back. >> what's your reaction to the indictment of the president's long-time advisor roger stone today? the white house said this has nothing to do with the president at all and do you believe that it does? do you know how this fits into the larger scandal >> it certainly has all the markings of something the president would be involved in and so you see here an intense interest by the trump campaign and the president's decades-long friend to get the russian hacked goods that would help donald trump and so rachel, what we want to know next, it's a follow the shovel's theory, i think, what you laid out earlier which is why would they lie about
something they have later on an ma explanation about and i believe they are lying and bearing the evidence because the truth goes to the underlying crime in question, which is working with the russians and we now are in a position to find that out and the republicans can sit on their hands and not name people to the intelligence committee this will be the last gasp of republican obstruction because for two years they set to respect the president and act as counsel so we'll find out in short order. >> one of the things that struck me as sort of vindication is fo you and your fellow democrats, roger stone lied to your committee in his a.testimony an had there been a subpoena in the communications that followed or accompanied the testimony, the committee would have known he was lying. one of the things they laid about in your interim report in the investigation was that there was no interest by republicans
on the committee in subpoenaing documents and doing anything to check the documents in the witnesses that appeared to be lying. is it true stone's lies that were the basis of the felony indictment today could be evidence to the committee had you obtained those materials >> you are we take no pleasure in being right but the cost to our country has been grave because for two years, we've sought to test mr. stone's story and mr. kushner's story and donald trump junior's story and they were o protected by republicans that wouldn't allow to subpoena outside documents and people inside washington, they say nobody outside washington really cares about the russia story and sure, it's not as fatal as a near -- as fatal as the shutdown we experienced but i find it fundamentally unamerican the trump campaignis so eagerly embraced an adversary that never
has our interest in mind and i think our country will suffer until we get to the bottom and know what russia did and how many americans worked to help them. >> congressman, i'm going to ask you two questions here neither of which i believe you can answer in detail because of the nature of the intelligence committee and the way you do your work but i'd like you to consider answering them in broad terms, that still preserve the work of your committee the first one is this, has your committee made referrals to the justice department for other witnesses that you believe have lied to you? i'm asking because stone and cohen are now two people who have been charged with felonies for lying to your commitcommitt, both have come from the special counsel's office that conducts work with tight lips and do not explain necessarily the background work they did to get there but can you tell us if intelligence made criminal referrals. >> what i can tell you is that
we are very, very eager to get all of our transcripts in the hands of the mueller special counsel team because we saw other witnesses give conflicting accounts or invent privileges or just out right refuse to testify and we saw the republicans tell them that if they didn't want to continue a voluntary interview, they could just walk away and so we weren't able to pursue our lines of inquiry, which i think would have shined a lot of light on who worked with the russians and what we could do to protect. >> has the special counsel's requested transcripts from intelligence whether or not the committee has been able to convey them to mueller as of yet? >> i can't go into that rachel but again, what i can assure people is that right now, we see that at best, the trump team are
trying to say there is no evidence of collusion and we think you have seen now a number of high-profile, high-level individuals with shovels in their hands and dirt all around them because they have been working for two years to bury evidence as to what they were doing and the interest they had to work with the russians during the 2016 campaign and we think that's important enough to shine light on and hold those accountable who sought to work with the russians. >> congressman eric, i'm looking forward to learning who your colleagues will be if only you guys can get up and start doing work. >> we're ready to work thank you, rachel. >> much more to get to tonight, stay with us okay. [ buttons clicking ] [ camera shutter clicks ] so, now that you have a house, you can use homequote explorer. quiet. i'm blasting my quads. janice, look. i'm in a meeting. -janice, look. -[ chuckles ] -look, look. -i'm looking. it's easy. you just answer some simple questions online,
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chase ink business unlimited. chase ink business unlimited, with unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. chase for business. make more of what's yours. the shutdown is now here by te technically over the president agreed to a deal to open the government for three weeks. tonight, we can now report that the president has signed that
legislation. hope you enjoyed the ride barf bags by the emergency exit take as many as you need we've never had a shutdown this long and that's not just a quantitative thing but quality in terms of the effect it went on for so long, among individual families of federal workers on bread lines, individuals themselves have been monkey wrenched by this. how do you restart agencies and reup government functions that haven't just been paused, haven't just been stalled but actually hurt how long this went on we're going to see what this looked like for the first time the office of management and budget told federal employees they should expect direction from their agencies as to when to report for duty, yeah, don't go too far out on a limb there the state of the union was
planned for tuesday but nancy pelosi said she and the president need to work out a mutually agreeable date, not tuesday. that remains up in the air despite the uncertainty, there is some relief in sight for those federal employees who have been working all of this time without pay and for everything, that means with their families right now, the best estimate when they will get back pay is sometime next week "the washington post" reports it will be next thursday, friday or even saturday before employees are paid workers will then expect to see their usual paycheck as of february 8th so that does mean that things will grindingly and, you know, as best they can try to get back to normal but this isn't normal. isn't even even normal for a shutdown and will be painful gearing back up. stay with us
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xfinity home connects you to total home security you can control from anywhere on any device. and it protects you with 24/7 professional monitoring. i guess we're sleeping here tonight. xfinity home. simple. easy. awesome. call, go online or demo in an xfinity store today. quote from page 20 ready? quote, you are a rat, a stoolle, you backstab your friends, run your mouth, my lawyers are dieing to rip you to shreds. according to the latest indictment today from the special counsel, these are tender greetings from longtime trump associate roger stone to a man whose testimony the indictment continues, quote, stone also said he would, quote, take that dog away from you, referring to the potential witness's dog. also subtly, quote, i am so
ready. let's get it on. prepare to die, expletive. prepare to die you expletive. drama much special counsel's office today laid out those threats and other messages from roger stone in making the case for the seventh felony count in the roger stone indictment today, which is for witness tampering. i have a question about that if roger stone's alleged wannabe gangster style of pressuring a witness, if that's not setting off a not too distant bell ringing for you it may be because other witnesses we've seen along those lines about other potential witnesses, only those other messages, those are ones that weren't conveyed in private text messages or e-mails, they're were conveyed in public. ones like this quote, lying to reduce his jail time, which the president tweeted last week about michael cohen when it look like mr. cohen might offer new testimony to congress. quote, watch father-in-law watch father-in-law for what what is going to happen to
father-in-law? here's my question roger stone got hit today with a felony charge of witness tampering for text messages and e-mails he's alleged to have sent in private to a potential witness who reportedly could undo this cover story that stone was trying to sell about wikileaks and the stuff that russian military intelligence stole from the democrats and the clinton campaign for that witness tampering charge, does it matter in legal terms whether a message -- whether the witness tampering message is sent in private or whether that message is broadcast to millions of people over twitter does that legally make a difference to prosecutors? can you tamper with witnesses really, really, really out loud? joining us now is barbara quick quaid, former u.s. attorney in michigan barbara, thank you so much for being here. >> oh, thanks for having me, rachel. >> i see a tonal relationship between the witness tampering messages that mr. stone was charged for today and the sorts offer things that the president has said in public about michael cohen. does it matter whether these
things are said publicly or in private? >> no, it really doesn't the law doesn't say so i mean, other than the fact that they both clearly watch too many gangster movies, there's a lot in common between the statements that roger stone is making and that president trump is making the witness tampering statute says that it's a crime to knowingly intimidate, threaten or corruptly persuade another person with intent to influence or prevent or delay their testimony in official proceedings. so seeing what they did is usually the easy part. the harder part is usually determining someone's intent but here the mere fact that this is done out loud versus quietly and privately i don't think should throw prosecutors off the scent. you know, certainly it's unprecedented that somebody's using twitter to make thee kinds of statements, but if you look at the elements of the offense, the fact that they're done in an open and notorious way doesn't make them any less fitting of those elements
>> does it matter, barb, if the attempted intimidation or pressure -- does it matter if it works? >> it does -- >> i'm asking because of michael cohen cancelling his testimony this past week before congress, saying that he was too intimidated by the president's remarks. he felt that his family was in defense of marriage act. >> yeah, actually, it doesn't matter whether it works or not even the attempt alone is enough so even if the person stands firm and decides to go through with it anyway, what the person did to try to intimidate them, to persuade them not to testimony is itself a completed crime. >> when you look at this indictment today, barb, obviously one of the things that jumped out for me is that it appears mr. stone had never had any contact with the special counsel's office before this indictment today he was charged with lying to congress and with witnessing -- tampering with a witness who could potentially undo the allegedly false cover story that he gave to congress. that really leapt out to me in terms of how this fits overall what seems important to you about this >> well, i think that the
language in the indictment that talks about the senior campaign official being directed to have these communications, i think as you pointed out suggests very strongly that that is only a select few of possible characters in this story it's someone at a very high level of the campaign, if not trump himself directing this coordination i think another really telling statement in this indictment is in paragraph two where it goes out of its way to say that a month earlier in june the dnc publicly announced that it had been hacked by russia. so when it talks about these events occurring in july, it makes it clear that the trump campaign officials knew that it was russia that was working with wikileaks. >> so when they were interacting with wikileaks about this stolen material, it was already a matter of public reporting that that stolen material had been stolen by russian intelligence >> yeah, exactly which i think brings that conspiracy full circle. >> barbara mcquade, former u.s.
because it's never just a cough. tonight, as we sign off, i want to say good-bye to a wonderful producer on this show, julia nutter, who is leaving "the rachel maddow show" for greener pastures after today every show has turnover. people cannot stay forever but julia started here as an intern and my assistant. she worked her way up to be one of the most valuable people on staff. i also have to tell you the ten years she has work on this show literally make up a third of her natural life on this earth so, julia, we are all going to miss the h-e double hockey sticks out of you. good luck. we'll miss you now it's time for "the last word." joy reid in for lawrence tonight. >> good evening. julia's leaving? my goodness. >> i can barely hold to together i literally can't -- >> somebody wh