Skip to main content

tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 28, 2019 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

9:00 pm
second, you don't have to worry about what's happening in washington, d.c. because you're worried about the american league east. at least he is. he's from boston. our closing thoughts for this opening day of 2019. that is our broadcast for a thursday night. thank you so much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. ♪ september 9th, 1998, a wednesday, two white vans pulled up to capitol hill and what capitol hill police officers opened up the back of the vans, they started pulling out big banker-sized file boxes and hauling them into the gerald r. ford office building. and that day, that unexpected arrival of vans containing big banker's boxes is how their learned ken star finished his year's long report on clinton. he was appointed to investigate the white water real estate deal that to this day nobody
9:01 pm
understands. ultimately, though, that investigation by ken star morphed into an inquisition of the president over his affair with the young white house intern named monica lewinsky. that four-yearlong investigation ended with an exclamation point. that wednesday afternoon, 1998, without warning, those vans pulled up and that's how we learned. here it is. it's done. a 445-page long report from ken starr and his investigators typed, bound and presented to congress. but those boxes and boxes and boxes pulled out of those vehicles, they were not multiple copies of the 445-page long ken starr report. what all of those boxes contained was the report but also all the accompanying
9:02 pm
evidence that went along with the report, as well. >> tonight, the future of the bill clinton presidency is in a locked vault in a congressional office building. the voluminous report of ken starr has depositions, video and audio and information that may support impeachment of the president of the united states. the white house immediately denied that claim. >> on capitol hill, the independent counsel report arrived this afternoon. 36 boxes, 2 copies of each piece of evidence that could lead to impeachment hearings against the president. >> after 4 1/2 years of investigation, it took 2 fbi vans to deliver the evidence. 18 boxes of what ken starr and his prosecutors say is proof of possible impeachable offenses by the president. starr's report and more than 20
9:03 pm
hours of audio tapes of monica lewinsky telling linyninda trip lurid details of her relationship with the president were delivered to congress this afternoon with a copy for each political party. >> starr aids shed no confidencial light of the report that was delivered today. >> tom, house leaders will move quickly to move on the starr report as much as they can. >> so what got delivered that day? i said it was white vans. but it was a mix of white and black and navy blue vans? i stand corrected. what all those vans brought up to capitol hill, that wednesday afternoon september 1998 was the starr report itself. more than 400 pages and 18 boxes of supporting evidence, including everything from audio tapes to videotapes to transcripts of witness testimony before the grand jury. they made 2 copies of all of that material, so 36 boxes in all. 18 boxes of evidence. they made a copy to give one complete set of evidence and one
9:04 pm
copy of the report to the democrats and one complete set of evidence and one copy of the report to the republicans. and they hauled all of that stuff up to congress. all on a wednesday afternoon. you want to know when the public got the report? friday. yeah. i mean, all the supporting evidence, all the grand jury material, that went only to congress that didn't get disbursed to the public. but the report itself, 445 page was in the public domain less than 48 hours after ken starr finished with it and submitted it. i should say more or less 48 hours. the way congress chose to release that report to the public in september 1998 was by using a then quite newfangled machine called the internet and in 1998 really nobody knew how to download anything. a 400-plus page document they didn't break into smaller parts to make it an easier download was an impossible mount everest of an online task for the slow dialup modem speeds we had at the time but they did do their best to make it available to the
9:05 pm
public that friday after they received it only two days before trying to post it online, they crashed every server they posted it on. news organizations ultimately did get their hands on the starr report. they distributed it as best as they could. i also remember that the starr report was also published as a pulpy paperback. that's how i remember it, as i remember. and then i showered. but the legacy there, the precedent there, it was turned around to the public within two days, after being completed and submitted. and there was immense public interest in the report. tens of millions of americans reportedly read that thing within a couple days of it being released. but that is apparently nowhere near what we are doing this time
9:06 pm
with this report on this scandal involving this president. it has now been six days since the special counsel's report from robert mueller was completed and submitted. and this time the trump administration appears to be in no rush whatsoever to provide anyone access to it. i mean, forget the public. they are not even letting congress see it. after releasing a less-than-four-page document from trump's newly appointed attorney general, which provides a largely but vaguely summery he says on robert mueller's findings, now nearly a week after mueller's actual report was completed, the actual report remains totally unseen. and given the historical precedent for how things like this have been handled in the past, and the intensity of the matter and the strangely vague non-specific but definitely supposed to be exculpatory summery we've been asked to swallow by this administration,
9:07 pm
by a trump appointee, this effort by them to keep the actual mueller report completely under wraps indefinitely, well as of today it's showing its first cracks. today for example we got the first credible reports about the rough size the mueller report might be. if you squint from a distance or maybe weren't wearing your glasses but could get up close, could you tell the general size of it? "the new york times" was first on the spot the size of the mueller report story today. but over the course of the day, we got a bunch of different sources and leaks saying mueller's report is multiple hundreds of pages of long. ultimately a justice department spokesperson did confirm in the most general terms, that, yes, okay, in fact, the mueller report is over 300 pages. that's your range. minimum number is 301 and maximum is infinity.
9:08 pm
somewhere in there. that of course, even that tells us nothing about the content of the report and doesn't tell us the minimum length of it. the pages could be the size of a postage stamp or the size of a bed sheet. the print could be like a billboard or like inscribed on the head of a pin. i don't know. it's a minimum of 301 pages. that double-sided? single-spaced? we don't know. we know nothing about it. but with a justice department spokesperson confirming this one barely useful metric about the actual mueller report, that is showing they are trying to keep this thing secret from everybody. if they are confirming the thing is over 300 pages long -- that doesn't tell us anything what is in it but raises further questions why thus far we are only allowed to see the less than 50 words of it that were quoted in william barr's statement about it. which is nuts. right?
9:09 pm
i mean, on what basis has he selected those 42 words as the only ones we're allowed to see indefinitely? congress, those are the only words in the mueller report they are allowed to see. especially since the one statement william barr quoted from mueller, that the white house and the conservative media are coming apart at the seams over, so excited to the grounds in which they are declaring this scandal to be over and subtle and the president to be heroically exonerated, that one quote from mueller that appeared in barr's letter is not even a full sentence. you notice that, right? i mean, in barr's report, they are excited about the line he quotes from mueller. the investigation did not establish members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in its election interference activities. look at the first letter of the quote. they had to put the first letter in brackets to make it a capital letter and look like that was
9:10 pm
the start of a sentence and that is a complete sentence. but the brackets mean there isn't actually a capital letter there, which means that isn't where the sentence starts, which means this statement about there being no criminal conspiracy established by the investigation is the back half of a sentence that starts some other way. but we're not allowed to know how that sentence starts. we're not allowed to know what else is in that sentence. i mean, literally at this point, on the right and in the republican party, they are hanging the entire trump presidency on that fragment of the sentence and not letting us see what else is in that sentence. why is that? why do we only have william barr's statement about what mueller found instead of anything at all from mueller? >> i have said and i'll say again, no thank you, mr. attorney general. we do not need your interpretation. show us the report and we can draw our own conclusions.
9:11 pm
we don't need you interpreting for us. that was condescending, it was arrogant and wasn't the right thing to do. >> do you feel that the committee should still be full steam ahead on the issue of collusion? or given the discrepancy between the mueller report and barr summery should it be on obstruction of justice? >> how can i say this more clearly? show us the report. show us the report. >> nancy pelosi speaking to reporters and getting more and more blunt about it with each passing phrase, where at the end, she's like, show us the report. this is not that hard. this is not that complicated. i can't say this any more clearly. show us the thing. i mean, it is amazing that as of tomorrow, we will be a week into the existence of the completed mueller report and they are still sitting on it. still trying not to release it. not release any of it. democratic congressional staffers today started
9:12 pm
circulating lists of previous reports into president's scandals and executive branch scandals and how long -- how those reports had been handled on capitol hill and in terms of public access. the last time there was a special counsel, which is what robert mueller is was john danforth's report about waco. his report was provided publicly. and then before that ken starr, his report was provided on a wednesday afternoon and released to the public on a friday morning. even as the grand jury material and underlying evidence was held just within congress and not released to the public, the public got the report congress got all the underlying evidence and it happened zip, zip. before that, it was the independent counsel lawrence walsh and his report about oliver north and the iran-contra scandal.
9:13 pm
and some lesser known ones henry sisneros that was released fully to congress and released with very limited redactions to the public. there was an independent counsel report into an agriculture secretary that was released fully to the public. it's just the mueller report they want to sit on. this isn't how things like this are previously handled. but for this one, we're heading -- tomorrow it will be a week and we haven't seen any of it. a few days ago here on the show we talked about the president of the watergate report that came to be known as the road map to nixon's impeachment. this was a document drawn up by watergate special prosecutor and the grand jury that he convened to hear evidence in the watergate scandal. and this one was a little bit of a special case. this was purely grand jury information. and a federal judge signed off on that grand jury conveying the information they had collected about the president directly to congress in a confidential manner so congress could look at that grand jury information and consider what it meant in terms of drawing up potential articles
9:14 pm
of impeachment against nixon. that one, it took us a long time to get access to the 62-page stack of grand jury material that did form the basis of the impeachment articles against nixon. but honestly, the precedent still stands here because that information on nixon, that wasn't kept secret and put in a vault inside nixon's justice department where only his appointees were allowed to look which is what we got now. leon road map was conveyed to congress as soon as the grand jury assembled it. they asked the judge's permission, we would like to give this to congress, journal. the judge said yes and it went to congress that day. in this case, we're not getting the mueller report but congress isn't getting it, either. only trump appointees get to see it and assure us it's good news for the president. don't worry your pretty little heads about it. we'll just keep this right here to ourselves.
9:15 pm
nbc news had interesting reporting on democrats' plans not just to try to obtain whatever version of the mueller report trump's attorney general wants to allow them to see, they plan in addition to try to obtain both the mueller report and any grand jury information that william barr plans to cut out of it. also, as in the case of the starr report, they want all of the underlying evidence that led to mueller's findings. they want vans unloading boxes of evidence for them to look at. they are now citing that president of leon jaworski and 1994 they can bypass them altogether as jaworski and his grand jury did in 1974 to get a federal judge to clear the release of grand jury materials directly to the house judiciary committee so that committee can
9:16 pm
on behalf of congress assess the president's behavior as a co-equal branch of government. if trump's justice department continues to try to keep the mueller report secret, and if they try to keep grand jury information from that report and the underlying evidence for that report secret, and the democrats and congress will go not just to fight the justice department about this, they will go to the courts directly to go around the justice department, to get that material, this is going to be a rip roaring fight about whether and when we get to see this stuff and whether and when congress gets to see it, too. and meanwhile, democrats are not playing along with the white house effort and effort that conservative media to declare this over based on one sentence fragment about the president and russia and one full sentence that barr quoted about obstruction of justice. a full sentence incidentally in
9:17 pm
which robert mueller says the president is not exonerated on obstruction of justice. today the house intelligence committee convened an open hearing on russian intelligence and russian influence operations around the world and how those work. house republicans at the outset tried to sort of hijack the hearing to declare the russia scandal over to declare the president totally exonerated and in so doing, they decided to declare that they were demanding the resignation of intelligence chairman adam schiff for him having temerity to investigate and because they are listening to white house statements, i'll guessing republican members of congress thought that this would be a big moment for them. i think they thought they would score big with their chest pounding demand today that adam schiff had to resign from the committee because the russia stuff is all fine and cleared up, everything is good.
9:18 pm
that's what they have been hearing from the white house and conservative media because that's what they have been hearing, i'm quite sure they were not expecting what they actually got from adam schiff in response and part of the way you can tell is how absolutely flabbergasted they were by what adam schiff said. you might have seen some of adam schiff's remarks today and coverage that this sort of remarkable moment happened in congress today but i -- you may not have seen how republicans responded at the end. this was incredible. two things -- no, there is three things to watch here. first, watch what schiff says, which is sort of stunning, this riff. right? two, watch how the people around him at that moment respond including like his fellow democrats, at one point you'll see val demings sitting and watch to see how she reacts to what is erupting from adam
9:19 pm
schiff in the hearing room today. and the third thing that you really have to see is watch republicans completely bamboozled and upset and sputtering with what he serves up to them. they can't believe he's saying this stuff, and gosh, when you put it that way it sounds terrible and that's not what we mean. you -- stop talking about it like that. oh, gee. this was just a signal moment, i think, in this whole two-yearlong saga. this is incredible. sit down and watch this. >> we had no faith in your ability to discharge duties and consistent with your constitutional responsibility and urge immediate resignation as chairman of the committee. this letter is signed by all nine members of the republican side of the house -- of the committee. and i ask that it be entered into the record of today's hearing. >> i go back. without on junction, i'm going to turn to our witnesses who are
9:20 pm
the subject of the hearing today. but as you have chosen to simply attack me consistent with the president's attacks, i do want to respond in this way. my colleagues may think it's okay that the russians offered dirt on a democratic candidate for president as part of what was described as the russian government's effort to help the trump campaign. you might think that's okay. my colleagues might think it's okay that when that was offered to the son of the president, who had a pivotal role in the campaign, that the president's son did not call the fbi. he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help. no, instead that son said he would love to help with the russians. you might think it's okay that he took that meeting. you might think it's okay that paul manafort, the campaign
9:21 pm
chair, someone with great experience in running campaigns, also took that meeting. you might think it's okay that the president's son-in-law also took that meeting. you might think it's okay that they concealed it from the public. you might think it's okay that their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on hillary clinton wasn't better. you might think that's okay. you might think it's okay when it was discovered a year later that then lied about that meeting and said it was about adoptions. you might think it's okay the president is reported to have helped dictate that lie. you might think that's okay. i don't. you might think it's okay that the campaign chairman of a presidential campaign would offer information about that campaign to a russian oligarch in exchange for money or debt forgiveness. you might think that's okay. i don't. you might think it's okay that that campaign chairman offered
9:22 pm
polling data, campaign polling data to someone linked to russian intelligence. i don't think that's okay. you might think it's okay that the president himself called on russia to hack his opponent's e-mails if they were listening. you might think it's okay later that day the russians attempted to hack a server affiliated with that campaign. i don't think that's okay. you might think that it's okay that the president's son-in-law sought to establish a secret back channel of communications with the russians through a russian diplomatic facility. i don't think that's okay. you might think it's okay that an associate of the president made direct contract with the gru through wikileaks and considered that it's considered a hostile intelligence agency. you might think it's okay a senior campaign official was instructed to reach that associate and find out what that
9:23 pm
hostile intelligence agency had to say in terms of dirt on his opponent. you might think it's okay that the national security advisor designation conferred about undermining u.s. sanctions and you might think it's okay he lied about it to the fbi. you might say that's all okay. you might say that's just what you need to do to win. but i don't think it's okay. i think it's immoral. unethical. unpatriotic and yes, i think it's corrupt. and evidence of collusion. now i have always said that the question of whether this amounts to proof of conspiracy was another matter. whether the special counsel could prove beyond a reasonable doubt the proof of that crime
9:24 pm
would be up to the special counsel and i would accept this decision and i do. he's a good and honorable man and he's a good prosecutor but i do not think that conduct, criminal or not is okay. and the day we do think that's okay is the day we will look back and say that is the day america lost its way. and i will tell you one more thing that is apropo of the hearing today, i don't think it's okay during a presidential campaign mr. trump sought the kremlin's help to have a real estate deal in moscow that would make him a fortune. according to the special counsel hundreds of millions of dollars. i don't think it's okay he concealed it from the public and advocating a more and favorable policy to the russians even as he was seeking the russians' help, the kremlin's help to make money. i don't think it's okay his attorney lied to our committee. there is a different word for that than collusion.
9:25 pm
and it's called compromise. and that is the subject of our hearing today. mr. ambassador, i will not yield -- >> will you yield you made up things about all of us -- we think -- >> i will not yield. i will not yield. >> we think you should allow us to speak. >> you can use your five minutes to speak. you attacked me in your opening statement. >> i haven't had an opportunity to respond at all especially because of what we think. no one over here thinks that. >> order. >> mr. attorney, you're not recognized, ambassador mcfaul, you're recognized. >> and thus began the hearing on how russia uses its various points of leverage to compromise people around the globe including potentially people in our own government. the gentleman will not yield. and until the mueller report actually gets released, any of it, i don't think anybody should expect him to yield not an inch. stay with us. with usy
9:26 pm
that make those who live in it feel a little safer. who see the efficient shape and design of the ocean's wonders as the future of aerodynamics. at dell technologies, we see it too. if you'd like to transform your business, talk to us. and we'll show the world what impossible looks like... when it's made real. whooo! want to take your next vacation to new heights? tripadvisor now lets you book over a hundred thousand tours, attractions, and experiences in destinations around the world! like new york! from bus tours, to breathtaking adventures, tripadvisor makes it easy to find and book amazing things to do. and you can cancel most bookings up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
9:27 pm
so you can make your next trip... monumental! read reviews check hotel prices book things to do tripadvisor but i'm more than a number. when i'm not sharing ideas with my colleagues i'm defending my kingdom. my essilor lenses offer more than vision correction with three innovative technologies for my ultimate in vision clarity and protection together in a single lens: the essilor ultimate lens package. so, i can do more of what i love!
9:28 pm
buy two pairs of essilor's best lenses and get a $100 back instantly. see more. do more. essilor ♪ do you ♪ love me? ♪ ♪ i can really move ♪ ♪ do you love me? ♪ i'm in the groove ♪ now do you love me? ♪ do you love me now that i can dance? ♪ applebee's 3 course meal. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. you know reliable support when you have it, and that dependability is what we want to give our customers. at comcast, it's my job to constantly monitor our network. prevent problems, and to help provide the most reliable service possible. my name is tanya, i work in
9:29 pm
the network operations center for comcast. we are working to make things simple, easy and awesome. i do not think that conduct criminal or not is okay. and the day we do think that's okay is the day we will look back and say that is the day
9:30 pm
america lost its way. >> the house intelligence committee today was an epic clash of civilizations maybe? an epic clash of partisan. it was an epic clash in which republicans demanded the resignation of the democrats for investigating what happened with russia in the 2016 campaign and democrats came back and gave them what four ten times and six times extra on sunday. about what russia did. and how important it is. joining us now is congressman jim himes of connecticut there today, sir, i really appreciate you being here tonight. thanks for being here. >> good evening, rachel. >> what was that? this was a hearing on the kremlin's use of money and intelligence in 2016 and beyond and it started off with what looked like a battle scene. >> it was remarkable. my pulse was around 200 just watching the play back. the emotional energy was amazing.
9:31 pm
and you sort of saw this happening. you know? devin nunes with the midnight run to the white house and his activities ultimately resulting in nancy pelosi after a year and a half of antics calling on him to step down. you can tell the republicans were waiting for this moment. and of course, what they did was they created a moment in which adam schiff reminded the nation that while and we're going to accept mueller for his conclusion, while the president's behavior does not rise to the level of an indictable conspiracy, inappropriate outrageous, every one of those actions was. it put little damper on the republican celebration. >> in terms of both where the hearing went today and with the grounds on which chairman schiff made the stand, it's interesting to me he has been asking to you
9:32 pm
guys on the intelligence committee, he's been asking whether the counter intelligence probe opened by the fbi into president trump and campaign, whether that investigation has concluded along with the broader mueller investigation. do you have any further insight into that and into whether any counter intelligence findings were part of what mueller produced as his report? >> yeah, i mean, that is a really good question and it's not necessarily true that those findings or on going questions that are counter intelligence related will necessarily find their way into the report. i mean, there is three big shoes that have yet to drop. one of course is that. they one may not drop. at the end of the day if this is about compromise in a way that would be classified, that shoe might not drop.
9:33 pm
the other two, the republicans realize that the high water mark of their political experience was two hours and released because there is two other shoes to drop. number one, the report comes out as adam detailed in his speech the behavior that the president and his people engaged in is not going to make them look good and second, this is why i wonder why we see so many victory dances on the other sere id, it was apparently not clear that the president did not obstruct justice. so when we see that, and i haven't seen it, but when we see that, and when we are asking ourselves looking at actual facts and stories and saying did the president of the united states obstruct justice, a crime for which two presidents were found themselves in impeachment proceedings, that will be an ugly political situation for the president and republicans that defended him. >> that's depending on the idea that we're going to have access
9:34 pm
to the mueller report. i mean, one of the things -- i started with the show is the remarkable situation we're in now six days after mueller submitted his report and we still have only seen like 40 something words of it including sentence fragments that were quoted by william barr. i don't know whether or not to be confident that the trump administration is ever going to allow it to be released and i feel like the more i talked to democrats about this, people, you know, who are on -- in the house, people in the senate, people who are staffers, people who have every intention of trying to pry this report out, it's not clear to me what the levers are by which they are going to try to get this released. it crazy we haven't seen it yet and i don't know how we ultimately are going to get to the part where we do see it. >> i have a little more confidence than you do, rachel. if worse comes to worse, we will subpoena the report. part of the reason we haven't seen it so far is that unlike
9:35 pm
the clinton report which you were talking about in this case there is lots of -- i'm almost certain, there is lots of classified information that needs to be redacted. where it gets interesting, we had a unanimous vote and the president himself said that the report should be made available to the public. it feels to me like only lindsey graham doesn't want this report out in the public. i think eventually it becomes public. i think where the fight is, this white house and president is going to demand that anything that is embarrassing to him, and i think that of those 300-plus pages, a lot of that will fall into the embarrassing category. they will use the tool for executive privilege to redact that. and if they do that, which i have every expectation they will do, we will find ourselves in the court, which could get lengthy. >> jim himes of connecticut, member of the house intelligence committee. thanks for being here. appreciate it. >> thanks, rachel. one of the best reporters
9:36 pm
on the president's business dealings, has a very, very very big news scoop today. that story and that reporter will join us here next. stay with us. next stay with us that's designed to e irritation during the shave. because we believe all men deserve a razor just for them. the best a man can get. gillette.
9:37 pm
woman: ahh! need a change of scenery? kayak searches hundreds of travel sites and lets you see how your baggage will affect the cost of your flight, so you can be confident you're getting the right flight at the best price. kayak. search one and done.
9:38 pm
what do all these peoplet have in common, limu?oug . [ paper rustling ] exactly, nothing. they're completely different people, that's why they need customized car insurance from liberty mutual. they'll only pay for what they need! [ gargling ] [ coins hitting the desk ] yes, and they could save a ton. you've done it again, limu. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
9:39 pm
the letter was weird in general. but it was particularly weird given that it was supposed to be a health related document. you probably remember this, right? mr. trump has had a recent complete medical examination that showed only positive results. his blood pressure and laboratory tests were astonishingly excellent.
9:40 pm
his physical strength and stamina are extraordinary. only positive results. astonishingly excellent. extraordinary. this is the way it ended. this is the last line. mr. trump i can unequivocally state will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. ever elected. we went back and checked all the corpses. really? did you mean that? >> doctor, phrases like astonishingly excellent seem a little over the top to some people. what do you think about that? is that the way that you write most of your medical letters? >> no, but for mr. trump i wrote that letter that way. >> that was donald trump's personal physician back in august 2016. he was trump's
9:41 pm
gastroenterologist doctor and released this over the top letter. it was baffling, right? for one, this is not a thing that candidates usually fudge. also, it was worded really strangely. for example, that thing about all positive results. in the medical world having all positive results is not usually a good thing. if you get test results back from your physical and your doctor is like everything is positive, that's not good. but it was also just, you know, obviously weirdly exaggerated. we later learned that donald trump himself literally dictated that letter describing his health and told the doctor what to write to create the impression he was the healthiest, strongest person on earth and as crazy and weird as that was, that early experience gave us as americans some valuable insight into our new president's way in the world. it should probably have prepared us for "the washington post" scoop that dropped today how mr. trump did this exact same kind of thing all the time when it came to his finances.
9:42 pm
here is the lead. quote, when donald trump wanted to make a good impression on a lender, business partner or journalist, he sometimes sent them official looking documents called statements of financial condition. these documents sometimes ran up to 20 pages full of numbers laying out properties, debts and net worth but for someone trying to get a true picture, the documents were flawed and omitted properties that carried big debts and some over valued and some key numbers were wrong. the post was able to report this out because they got copies of these statements of financial condition for five different years and in those documents, you know, it's all astonishingly excellent and extraordinary and very clearly fake. trump claimed his national golf club in florida had 57 home lots that he was going to sell along
9:43 pm
the golf course. and in reality only had 31 lots available. and claimed his virginia vineyard has 2,000 acres. it only had 1,200 acres. he also claims that the trump tower is 68 stories tall. it is only 58 stories tall. these are all easily fact-checkable things but trump lied about these things in financial statements again and again and again. and we first learned about this as one of trump's ways of doing business last month during michael cohen's testimony before the house oversight committee. he testified trump regularly used statements like this to inflate his wealth or reduce insurance premiums or get loans. that put the question squarely on the issue of legality. the question is, is this just run of the mill lying and self-ing a diezing behavior by donald trump, or is this something potentially more serious?
9:44 pm
it is one thing to lie to impress people, it's another thing to lie to impress a bank or an insurance company or some other tightly regulated industry. the question is not just what is the president's character, that's clear, but whether or not this might prove to be troubling for the president, as well. we'll have more on that, next. sl we'll have more on that, next. well, here's to first dates! you look amazing. and you look amazingly comfortable. when your v-neck looks more like a u-neck... that's when you know, it's half-washed. try downy fabric conditioner. unlike detergent alone, downy helps prevent stretching
9:45 pm
by conditioning and smoothing fibers, so clothes look newer, longer. downy and it's done. this and even this.hark, i deep clean messes like this. but i don't have to clean this, because the self-cleaning brush roll removes hair, while i clean. - [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans, now cleans itself. but i'm more than a number. when i'm not teaching, i'm taking steep grades and tight corners. my essilor lenses offer more than vision correction with three innovative technologies for my ultimate in vision clarity and protection together in a single lens: the essilor ultimate lens package. so, i can do more of what i love! buy two pairs of essilor's best lenses and get a $100 back instantly. see more. do more. essilor
9:46 pm
9:47 pm
when "the washington post" dug up financial statements from president trump for a scoop that shows how much trump regularly exaggerated assets and wealth in documents to potential investors and journalists and people he wanted to impress, on one hand that was yet another example of the president telling lies about provable things. on the other hand, though, this isn't exactly like lying about your hand size. is there a potential legal liability for the president in producing financial statements that materially misrepresent how much he's worth. here is how a professor from george washington university
9:48 pm
characterized it to "the washington post" today. how much would the errors impact an investor? i should also tell you this professor adds he's never seen a documented stretched so much for accounting. the professor told "the post," quote, it is humorous. joining us is "the washington post" reporter that broke this story today. great to have you with us. thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> this feels a little bit like some of the stuff that michael cohen laid out in his bombshell testimony before congress couple weeks ago where he talked about the president augmenting his assets playing down liabilities in order to try to get loans from banks or to try to reduce his insurance premiums. that seemed like potential legal jeopardy because the banking industry and insurance industry are tightly regulated and can send you to jail, which michael
9:49 pm
cohen is about to do. this reporting, though, is about president trump trying to impress different sorts of people. so i wonder where you come down on the issue this might be a legal problem for him. >> in the short term it is a legal problem. in the last few weeks we've seen subpoenas that to trump's lender deutsche bank and trump's insurer and document requests from the oversight committee. basically asking folks that cohen said trump influenced with these inflated statements asking to provide documents about how exactly they were influenced and what trump told them. i don't know will this lead to civil charges, lawsuit, criminal? that's in the future. already, we've seen this issue go from kind of an issue as you said of character or morals into a legal issue as these investigators start to dig in. >> david, one of the things you
9:50 pm
point out is that there is in the first paragraph from the statements, there is a caveat that says we have not audited or reviewed the financial statement that seems like a cya forgive me statement from the account tablet saying don't blame us. don't hold us accountable for what's in here. is that kind of a caveat so legally significant that it could actually be a get out of jail free card for numbers and documents and like this that might otherwise potentially get you in trouble? >> it could be. the experts we talked to said disclaimer, it's a two-page -- that's how many things were wrong with these documents according to normal accounting standards. it's a two-page disclaimer at the beginning of a 20-page statement describing all the different ways that trump has divulged -- diverged from normal practices. but even at two pages it doesn't cover all the document's flaws. that's the important thing here. there are other errors in the document, errors of fact, that are not disclaimed, that are not caveated, that you wouldn't know if you were reading the whole
9:51 pm
thing you wouldn't know are wrong. one of the ones you mentioned earlier is a $72 million error. trump said he had 24 more home lots to sell in california than he did and he said he was going to sell them at $3 million apiece. if you look at trump and say here's a guy who's got $72 million worth of future cash flow he really doesn't have, that could be a material distinction. >> david, does it make sense to you that new york state authorities are among the law enforcement entities and sort of accountability entities that are looking into these matters? obviously the trump foundation which you did such groundbreaking work on, the trump organization headquartered in new york, president trump is a resident of new york, these things mostly pertain to his time, all pertain to his time before he was president. does it make sense that new york state would be the entity that would be pursuing this now? >> it makes sense that it's one of the entities pursuing it. deutschebank which was one of trump's main lenders of this period.
9:52 pm
michael cohen said they got a lot of these flawed financial statements. this particular office trump went to is down at 30 wall street. the insurance regulators and the new york attorney general have jurisdiction over both ends of the transaction. the accountants, trump, as well as his insurer and his lender. >> david fahrenthold, reporter with the "washington post," pulitzer prize winner. sir, thank you for being with us tonight. much appreciated. >> thank you. >> much more to come here tonight. do stay with us. tonight. do stay with us. ♪ and you never felt this type of emotion ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop make u say oh my god ♪ guys go through a lot to deal with shave irritation. so, we built the new gillette skinguard with a specialized guard designed to reduce it. because we believe all men deserve a razor just for them. the best a man can get. gillette.
9:53 pm
9:54 pm
need a change of scenery? kayak searches hundreds of travel sites - even our competitors - so you can be confident you're getting the right flight at the best price. kayak. search one and done. the matters.ar... introducing the all-new 2019 ford ranger, it's the right gear. with a terrain management system for... this. a bash plate for... that. an electronic locking rear differential for... yeah... this. heading to the supermarket? get any truck. heading out here? get the ford ranger. the only adventure gear built ford tough.
9:55 pm
after postponing the sentencing several times so she could continue cooperating with federal prosecutors, today the u.s. attorney's office in d.c. told a federal judge they were ready to sentence maria butina.
9:56 pm
maria butina's the russian national who pled guilty in december for running an influence operation targeting the nra and other u.s. conservative groups. butina will now be sentenced by that federal judge on april 26th. about a week before that we should see prosecutors' recommendation for her sentencing, which should hopefully tell us more about what kind of cooperation she's provided since she pled guilty, how helpful she's been to prosecutors. that u.s. attorney's office in d.c. has taken on a whole bunch of the case that's have been handed off by robert mueller's office or that derive from mueller's work or that are connected to the russia investigation. that u.s. attorney's office in d.c. has been handling butina. also the roger stone case. they're also handling the manafort case now, the rick gates case, the case against konstantin kilimnik. they're also handling -- the mystery case of some mystery company from some mystery country that's being fined $50,000 a day for not complying with a mueller subpoena. that office may also get the
9:57 pm
flynn case or the concord management case or the g.r.u. case. that u.s. attorney's office in d.c. is handling a huge chunk of what started as mueller's work. and trump had been planning on taking that u.s. attorney out of that office, out of that job. a couple of weeks ago the trump administration announced their intention to move u.s. attorney jesse lu out of her u.s. attorney's job in d.c. where she's been handling all these russia-related cases, to instead bring her over to the justice department, to give her the number 3 job in the justice department, where incidentally she would not be handling any of the cases she's previously been working on. she wouldn't be handling criminal or national security matters at all. so we got that news in the first week of march. the white house was going to move that crucial u.s. attorney out to a new job that would handily give the president the opportunity to put somebody else in that u.s. attorney job to handle all of those cases. presumably it would be like a
9:58 pm
trump child or like melania's pilates instructor or something. somebody who would do what he wants. today that fell apart, actually. jessie liu's name withdrawn for consideration for that doj job. a republican in the senate apparently objects to her nomination. we think it might be because she's not anti-abortion enough or something else random like that. but that effort to take her out of that u.s. attorney's job, put her at doj has come to an end unexpectedly today. we don't exactly know what that means, but watch this space. than clarity and protection together in a single lens: the essilor ultimate lens package. so, i can do more of what i love! buy two pairs of essilor's best lenses and get a $100 back instantly. see more. do more. essilor
9:59 pm
whooo! want to take your next vacation to new heights? tripadvisor now lets you book over a hundred thousand tours, attractions, and experiences in destinations around the world! like new york! from bus tours, to breathtaking adventures, tripadvisor makes it easy to find and book amazing things to do. and you can cancel most bookings up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund. so you can make your next trip... monumental! read reviews check hotel prices book things to do tripadvisor
10:00 pm
>> i'm -- good evening, rachel. i'm confused. so how will we see you on the chris hayes show at 8:00? or is this kind of one of those tv things where i'll be watching, you'll be watching, i'll know you're watching, we can't see each other watching but in our imaginations we can see each other?

62 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on