tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 15, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> i think when all is said and done we will find that rudy giuliani once the greatest mayor of this country is nothing more than a small town crook. >> the moon running trump's shadow foreign policy took a half a million from foreign interests. >> i stand behind rudy giuliani, absolutely. >> tonight new trouble for rudy giuliani as yet more officials head to the hill to testify. >> mr. kent, did anyone try to block frau yum speaking? >> then as new testimony brings trump's chief of staff into the scandal what did john bolton know? >> john wasn't in line when what we were doing. >> former national security advisor susan rice joins me to talk impeachment, trump and the situation in syria. >> this is bat ple[ bleep ] cra. >> and house democrats return with a formal impeachment inquiry on the table.
>> let's impeach the president, isn't that a good idea? >> when "all in" starts now. good evening from new york. i'm joy reid. chris hayes is in ohio covering tonight's debate. well, at this point it's not a question of if the president of the united states, donald trump, committed an impeachable offense. he's already admitted to it in public statements and in documents that the white house itself released. we know that when the president of ukraine said that he wanted to buy more american weapons to protect his country from military aggression by russia, donald trump immediately responded, i want you to do us a favor, though. and then he proceeded to ask that ukraine investigate former vice president joe biden's son and give life to a nutty right wing conspiracy theory that would absolve russia from meddling in an election. and trump told the ukraine wherein president multiple times to talk to the man who had
essentially become his personal fixer, rudy giuliani, about those investigative favors. quote, mr. giuliani is a highly respected man. he was the mayor of new york city, great mayor and i would like him to call you. rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. if you could speak to him, that would be great. i will have mr. giuliani give you a call and we will get to the bottom of it. trump wanted to have his own perjury foreign policy carried out in ukraine by a man who is not the secretary of state. a man who is not and has not been confirmed by congress and whose salary is not being paid by american taxpayers. well, today we learned the man trump tasked with carrying out his shadow foreign policy in ukraine, rudy giuliani, was being paid and by whom. the same ukrainian businessman who was just indicted this week. giuliani himself tells reuters he was paid $500,000 for work that he did for a company called fraud guarantee, a company
cofounded by lev parnas who was one of giuliani's soviet associates who was arrested last week on campaign finance charges. they had lunch with giuliani at trump's emoluments central d.c. hotel. reuters bombshell report comes just days after another reuters scoop that lev parnas the indicted ukraine kian businessm worked for a man previously indicted on federal bribery charges. a man who u.s. prosecutors called an upper echelon associate of russian organized crime. reuters reports both indicted giuliani associates, the guys who was arrested last week not only worked for the oligarch but
also financing their activities. so a ukrainian oligarch linked to organized russian crime were linked to two businessmen who were in turn paying the personal lawyer to the president of the united states. "the new york times" reports that trump's former top russia aid told congress yesterday that former national security advisor john bolton was so concerned about giuliani's pressure campaign in ukraine he told her, quote, giuliani's a hand grenade who's going to blow everybody up. and that shadow foreign policy included a smear campaign against the former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, marie yovanovitch. well, today deputy secretary of state george kent reportedly told house impeachment investigators he tried to warn colleagues about the smear cam page wage bide giuliani. and after raising the alarm kent was told by a supervisor to lay
low according to congressman jerry conally. and "the washington post" is reporting tonight that kent told investigators today that acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney organized a meeting this past spring in which officials decided to take ukraine policy out of the traditional channels. joining me now by phone is paul kaine, one of the reporters who wrote that "the washington post" story. what does it mean to take u.s. policy out of ukraine official channels. >> george kent roughly responsible for six countries one of which is ukraine. and at this meeting, at this white house meeting that mulvaney convened according to jerry conally who was in the testimony today, at this meeting they basically told him to lay low and that his views on foreign policy as it relates ukraine were no longer wanted.
he was essentially told to go deal with the other five countries that you really spend a lot of time on. and instead it got turned into basically the three amigos as they called themselves, energy secretary rick perry, volker, and sondland. the other two being much closer and aligned with the sort of trump-giuliani view of ukraine policy. the deputy secretary actually took the advice, and he went to his daughter's wedding and then went hiking in maine. but he believed this was actually a terrible thing. he told the lawmakers and the staff today in an interview that it was undermining 28 years of u.s. policy as it relate today the ukraine. >> let me just play for you some sound of mr. sondland who i want to remind folks was a big donor to trump's inaugural. that's how he got the job.
here he's talking about referring to themselves the three amigos. >> the three amigos are secretary perry again ambassador volker and myself. and we've been tasked with sort of overseeing the ukraine-u.s. relationship. and let me ask you this question, sir, are any of those three people, these three amigos, mr. volker, mr. sondland, mr. perry, experts in any way on ukraine or russia or the region? >> i think volker would be considered a expert on it. coming from some traditional republican channel on that. sondland is the eu ambassador, so it's sort of close to the ukraine -- it is another effort to just sort of pull things away from the career types of people who have been overseeing foreign policy for many years.
you know, trump and his associates would say that's good, that's what we want to do, we want to get it out of the hands of those people. but most members of congress will see them as the experts on this issue and by side lining somebody with so much experience you're trying to basically make the decision making process a lot easier and smoother to get what you want done. >> paul cane of "the washington post" thank you very much for your reporting. and joining me now is one of the reuters reporters who broke those big stories on who's funding redau funding rudolf giuliani. can you talk to us a bit about this funding source for rudy giuliani because it appears it was passed through this company to jewgiuliani.
tell us about where the original money came from? >> we don't know where the money originally came from. the president's lawyer, he insists can came from what he calls the domestic source. he says it was legitimate. he says he vetted it, but so far he hasn't shown what the source was. and when he's saying that of course the money would have come from somebody in the united states, but where did it come from before that? and that's the question, of course. he's saying he should be somehow believes it comes from a domestic source. we don't know that, though. >> to be clear was this salary that was being paid to mr. giuliani where what he was doing for donald trump or was this money being paid to him for something else? >> as i understand it it was more along the lines of a fee, consulting fee, retainer fee, that sort of thing. spl and is it in your reporting typical for an ad hoc foreign policy official, somebody who's
outside of officials of washington being paid whether it's by a domestic or foreign source to conduct foreign policy? >> i mean, clearly this isn't a very routine thing. you know, but it's a tough question to answer. it's -- he was paid he told us in 2018 or this deal with this company called fraud guarantee which is run by lev parnas, one of those ukrainian americans, he was paid to work for that company as a consultant and advisor and the total was $500,000. the issue is he says he's pointing out this was a extended period of work. he says it was 12 or 13 months and he says this would come to about $40,000 a month rather than one lump sum of $500,000.
>> does he admit any of the work he was doing whether it was paid in a lump sum or paid in installments was specifically to alter the u.s. foreign policy in ukraine? >> no, no, there's no indication that he was paid for that. and he's not saying that at all. >> all right, thank you very much. really appreciate you being here tonight. thank you. joining me now are two legal experts who have been following the impeachment investigation from the beginning. glen kirschner, and mimi rocah. the reason i ask that question is when i hear about an ad hoc foreign policy official doing foreign policy and receiving money from foreign countries immediately what comes to my mind are paul manafort who was caught in this little black book getting lots and lots of money from ukraine for work he did. he of course now is itissing in federal prison. and general flynn, general mike
flynn doing a sentence because he was doing some things in which he was getting paid by foreign governments as well and not admitting to it. from what you heard giuliani was doing, does he face the same kind of legal jeopardy mr. flynn and mr. manafort have faced? >> he certainly faces the possibility, the strong possibility of that kind of jeopardy. we've talked about this before in the context of mueller. criminal cases which require prosecutors to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt are built on bricks. and each different piece of evidence is a brick. this $500,000 payment to giuliani from these ukrainian americans is clearly a big piece of evidence. evidence of what? we don't know yet and he's right we shouldn't speculate but we're starting to see some of the dots connecting. we know these men were being paid to influence american foreign policy. they were trying to get
inukrainian ambassador out. who wanted them out besides just them, who in ukraine wanted them out? and was giuliani being paid in part or in whole to help with that? we don't know yet but you know who's going to find out? the southern district of new york and probably congress. >> you have sondland himself who donald trump hired to be his ambassador to eu after he gave a million dollar tuesday the inaugural calling himself one of the three amigos. the three amigos being himself, and rick perry. rick perry who we've seen reports was also trying fooencourage the state oil company, oil and gas daechl in ukraine to put him on the board. so you have a lot of people who have varied interests who admit they're running aside foreign policy and then you've got the money. are those the bricks in your mind to start forming the case those are operating outside the norms of foreign policy?
>> if i were the investigator and investigating it i would feel pretty good at my prospects of obtaining an indictment from the grand jury based on what we've seen publicly reported. but, you know, the perry and the sondlands and the mulvaneys and the giulianis, this is not a diplomatic core. the diplomatic core are the george kents and the ambassador yovanovitchs and the fiona hills. and, you know, when they got wind of what was going on, i really like -- i want to focus on the bolton piece for one second, joy. because i really like that when fiona hill, a russia expert just trying to do the diplomatic work of the american people get wind of these shenanigans she goes to bolton and what does bolten say? you know what he character ices it as a drug deal and he recommends she report it to the attorneys at the national security council. what does that tell you about bolton? you know, agree or disagree with
his politics, he saw something wrong and he said this needs to be reported. and i couldn't help to think back on the interview that george steflopinous had to with the president who said when you get wind of foreign interference in the u.s. election aren't you going to report that to the fbi and what did the president say? yeah, right, that's not the way it world works, i'm not going to the fbi. what a stark contrast in how the president handles wrongdoing and how bolton decided to handle wrongdoing. >> and, you know, mimi, just to correct mr. volker is actually special envoy to ukraine. there seem tuesday be a delineation to who was in and who was out in terms of who got to help make foreign policy for ukraine. it was those who were trump partisans, willing to get involved and play ball in this scheme and the career people who said i want nothing to do with it. and while, you know, john bolton
is certainly a guy with a lot of strong opinions about foreign policy, he's also a lawyer. so he actually kind of understands when he sees something that she be admitted to other lawyers. >> clearly and his spiedy sense off. even john bolton said, wait, something's not right here. i think one of the keys here is trump is already trying to distance himself. you'll have to ask rudy about that, the way he did with michael cohen. but trump is the one who we heard on the phone call with the ukrainian president and we're hearing from the testimony, the depositions to dprcongress that he's the one he repeatedly said ask rudy, so he's going to have a really hard time distancing himself from this, and why do you need to turn to rudy giuliani, your supposed lawyer who's not really acting as a lawyer, i want to mfemphasize that, why do you need to turn to him when you have all these other as you say trained expert
people because you're doing something the trained expert people don't do. >> we're out of time, but very quickly if rudy giuliani is in trouble, he doesn't have a lot of people to give up other than donald trump. >> you've got to give up somebody who's higher up on the food chain than you, and right above the food chain for rudy giuliani is his client, the president. >> thank you you guys both very much. and joining me now is one of the members of congress who are investigating the president's actions towards ukraine, democratic congressman ro khana of california. with all you've heard testimony including testimony have you in your mind heard enough to vote for an impeachment inquiry or articles of impeachment against donald trump? >> yes, i have. the facts in this case are not
in dispute. the president has threatened national security and apuzed his office by directing a rogue foreign policy operation to get dirt on his political rival. you sounded the alarm about this president's abuse in compromising our national security months ago. the evidence now is there. >> thank you for that compliment. we've had a lot of people drawn in. we have here that former representative sessions who apparently received a campaign contribution in connection with all of this has actually been subpoenaed over his interaction with giuliani and giuliani associates. do you expect him to comply with that subpoena and what if he doesn't? what should be done? >> well, we need to pursue the law aggressively. i mean, if they do not comply with these subpoenas, they're breaking the law and we're going to aggressively pursue court actions where we have been winning. but let's be clear, they're strategy is just delay, delay, delay. but one thing, joy, i think all
of us should focus on is the president's action. it's not just pete sessions or giuliani, this is the president that was at the center of this effort to try to get dirt on joe biden. and he's bragged about it on national television, so the facts are there. the house needs to move expeditiously. >> and the sort of taught going into these proceedings is the way to do it would be to have public hearings so the public could also all come to an understanding of what's happening. of course the down side to that is that republicans could then add their theatrics to the proceedings and make them more confusing. in the end do you find it's been more effective to do these behind closed door meetings where staff and attorneys are questioning these folks coming forward? >> i do. first of all, i think more people are willing to cooperate pause it's behind closed doors. many of them are true patriots, they are following the law. and this is helping us see the extent of the corruption and wrongdoing. we already have the facts about the president's abuse of office,
but now adam schiff and other committees are doing is really putting together the pieces of the puzzle. and you see that this was a very extensive effort, it involved a lot of people. and the full facts are going to come out. >> and i wonder today, there was this caucus meeting i prommed you were in as well where the speaker came out and said she's not going to allow and the caucus was not going to allow republicans to dictate how this plays out. but i wonder what you think might be a reason not to go ahead and hold the vote. it seems there's a lot of evidence being put forward and pie donald trump. >> the president would use it to attack more adam schiff and the committees. we will have a vote in the house. that vote will be on the articles of impeachment. we certainly have no obligation to have a lengthy debate and more procrastination on
something the speaker is entitled to do under house rules and the copconstitution which i begin an investigation. >> appreciate it. and up next we are getting a better picture of just how many officials were involved in the ukrainian scandal. and tonight the vice president is saying he will not comply with the impeachment inquiry. the latest next. impeachment iny the latest next. ♪
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were counting on career civil servants to also remain silent and give onto the president and his cabinet demands to keep trump-ukraine secrets that dam has broken. starting with the initial whistle-blower and the first civil servant to come forward to congress, former ambassador to ukraine marie yovanovitch. the whistle-blower's complaint alone implicated not just the president but also his tv lawyer rudy giuliani and attorney general william barr. it also introducedtuse the now former u.s. official representative for ucrepe kirk volker and the u.s. medical records to the ergs u, gordon sondland. today we learned more about the role of white house acting chief of staff mulvaney who was a part of it all. congressman gerald conally tells reporters that the white house
told george kent to lay low on ukraine. quoting "the washington post," george kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for ukraine, told house investigators he was instructed to lay low, focus on the five other countries in his portfolio and refer to volker, sondland and perry. this revelation comes one day after fiona hill, an aid to former national security advisor john bolton testified bolten n was so alarm by what he was seeing he told her according "the new york times" to notify the chief lawyer from the national security council about a rogue effort by mr. sondland. mr. giuliani and mick mulvaney, acting white house chief of staff according to the people familiar with the testimony, quote, i am not part of whatever drug deal sondland and mulvaney are cooking up, mr. bolton told ms. hill to tell white house lawyers. joining me now to discuss the
ever broadening scandal is "the new york times" white house corresponde correspondent. and there are so many names to keep up with at this point. i think what it boils down to is there were trump loyalists who were in when it came to yeah crane policy and there were career people plus the national security advisor who were out and who raised lots of alarms. is that a pretty fair way to lay it out? >> that's what it's looking like with some cross over figures like kirk volker, the special envoy to yeah crane who got caught in a bit of a pickle because he understood he had to work with the outside people like rudy giuliani and george sondland a political appointee to get the policy goals he wanted to achieve in ukraine. and he ended up being kind of enmeshed in this whole drama. he's a career civil servant, a career diplomatmism so there are some cross over figures who
tried to work with people outside the system to get the policy goals they wanted and it burped them in the end. >> let's talk about mick mulvaney who's the budget director and acting chief of staff. >> he's a critical figure in two important moments in the ukraine time line. he's the one who carried out the order from trump to freed the millions in aid had is part of the entire quid pro quo we're talking about wlrnt there was one. and second he was involved with john bolton, the national security advisor and he was involved in setting up and delaying the meeting that trump wanted, that the ukrainians wanted, that zelensky wanted with trump. mick mulvaney played a role in not setting that up. and because it wasn't fair that the white house was getting what they wanted in return. so he's a player in some critical moments in what we're
trying to figure out, which is were these things linked together? did they need to get political dirt to get this meeting, to get the aid? mick mulvaney's a player in these moments. and we see, you know, in fiona hill's testimony, we see he really clashed with john bolton who took an opposite position than he did on what the policy should be. >> and let's talk about mike pence now that he's joiningerts in refusing to comply with the impeachment inquiry is there a lot of reporting or any reporting on what his exact role was? we know he had a communicative role when it came to talking with leaders of ukraine and there's a photo circling every with it two men indicted with donald trump and was with rudy giuliani. what was his role? >> he was on the july 25th coal and what came out today was today was the deadline to get back to house investigators about a kind of unusual request
they made at the vice president's office to turn over a lot of documents to get more information about exactly this question, what was his role in terms of the ukraine relationship. and not surprising at all for the most loyal loyalists in this entire administration, he sent a letter back today that was like mimicking the pat sipaloni's hard line saying we're not turning over anything. >> thank you very much. really appreciate you being here. and up next as we learn more about john bolton's objections to the shadowy ukrainian dealings i'll talk to somebody who held his job during the obama administration what he knew and what he could say. former national security advisor susan rice joins me next. l secur susan rice joins me next walkabout wednesdays are back! get a sirloin or chicken on the barbie, fries, and a draft beer or coca-cola - all for just $10.99.
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giuliani. he reported said, quote, giuliani is a hand grenade who's going to blow everybody up. and then according to his aid fiona hill instructed had erto identify the chief officer for the security counsel about what giuliani was doing. our next guest would know a thing or two about national security council buzz she used to have bolton's job. she has a new memoir out entitled "tough love my story of the things worth fighting for." and ambassador rice, it's so great to have you here. national security advisor we know when a president makes a call to a foreign leader, there are lots and lots of people on the call. typically would the national security advisor be one of those people? >> typically yes, and actually, joy, there are not lots and
lots. there's a handful of national security council staffers. usually the national security advisor and/or the deputy national security advisor, somebody like fiona hill who's responsible for the office that was placing the call and one or two of her staffers and a couple or three people who were note taking in the situation room. >> and who then would have custody on the transcript of such a call? and i ask you that because we now know from the whistle-blower that this particular call to the president of ukraine, the transcript of it wound up in this super secret classified system where normally highly classified material goes but this transcript went there. who would be in charge of putting stuff in that database, in that server? >> well, normally a presidential call even one that is classified up to the top secret level would be stored in the normal national security council system that cleared staffers who have a need to know would have access to.
to move it as apparently the case in this instance to a highly classified super secret server which frankly is used for things we don't talk about on television is very unusual and arguably inappropriate. the only rational responsible reason for moving a transcript to that system would be if in fact its content were classified which clearly wasn't the case in this instance and rarely ever is the case. so this transcript was moved for some other reason and it appears to be to hide it from scrutiny. >> and we're being very generous and calling it a transcript. we know it was a transcript sort of summary put out by the white house because they thought it was exculpatory weirdly enough. and you write in your book about setting up calls between
president obama and vladimir putin. from your standpoint as a former national security advisor, what might the other party have taped that call or might the russians who we know are in conflict with ukraine and occupying part of ukraine, is there a chance that there's a real transcript of that call, a full transcript that either the ukrainians have or the russians have? >> well, it's possible certainly that the ukrainians have it. it's possible certainly there's a more full ver baiten transcript on the u.s. side. i would hope that it russians wouldn't have it. >> well, i think that's a good hope for everyone. but i want to just ask you quickly before i turn because i want to ask you about turkey as well. what do you make of donald trump's attitude toward the kremlin, toward vladimir putin? it seems to be very solicitous. he seems to have lots of secret phone calls with him that aren't detailed even to his national
security staff we find out later sometimes from the russians. what do you make of his attitude towards russia? >> donald trump's attitude towards russia? >> yeah, or his relationship with them. >> it's bizarre to say the least. everything he seems to be doing is geared to benefit the russians. whether it's denying ukraine $400 million in badly needed military assistance when the russi russians are on their territory and denying the new leader white house meetings to benefit his own political interests that benefits donald trump and that benefits vladimir putin. in syria we're seeing this inimpulsive, you know, incredibly dangerous decision to pull our forces out and again that benefits in this case isis, turkey and of course vladimir putin. and we could go through a whole range of policy choices that the president has made from denigrating our allies in nato to trashing our intelligence
community when, you know, standing next to putin in helsinki. all of these things make very, very little sense for any normal and patriotic american president. >> do you think that donald trump is compromised by vladimir putin? >> you know what, joy, i can't point to evidence that would validate that argument. i can only say it's very strange, it doesn't add up, and i'm searching for as we should all should be as americans a plausible explanation for trump's deep affinity for vladimir putin to the development of our national interests. >> you write in your book about the russian attitude toward ukraine and why it is so toxic, the factatory more concerned that ukraine would tilt towards the european union, would tilt towards nato and tilt away from them. and that is sort of the crux of their problem, well, with
ukraine. does the fact that trump, one of his favors that he wanted from the president of ukraine was to prove that russia was essentially innocent, a conspiracy theory they didn't do it in 2016, what does that say to you? does it say to you again donald trump was attempting to compromise u.s. national security and to corrupt another country to benefit putin? >> well, what it does say, joy, is that he was prepared to sacrifice the u.s. national security and our national interests which is in bolstering ukraine against russian aggression in order to extort out of the ukrainian president assistance to attack his political adversary. false bogus assistance. that is problematic. it's not altogether clear why he would want to do that except for personal political gain. other thing he did on that phone call whereby the way he did
nothing to advance u.s. foreign policy was try to illicit once again false information from the ukrainians to suggest it was ukraine and the democrats that interfered in the 2016 election rather than russia on behalf of donald trump. again, sanitizes russia, tars his political adversaries with a complete falsehood that has been repeatedly repudiated pie our intelligence community, by bipartisan committees in congress and by anybody who knows anything about what happened in 2016. >> let's talk about what's happening now in syria. what do you make of the fact donald trump has a phone call with the autocrat from turkey and suddenly yanks u.s. troops out? he does have financial interests in turkey. we know he has a personal interest there. what do you make of that decision, and how would that impact our national security? we know that isis was at least in some camps where they seemed to have disappeared. >> well, the implications for
our national security are nothing short, joy, than from a strategic catastrophe. it's just incredible. this is the equivalent of donald trump saigon. we have american forces scrambling to get out of harms way now in syria. we have isis with no pressure on it and tens of thousands of prisoners potentially and family members able to escape should they be able to. the kurds who fought and sacrificed and died for us and our partners in syria in the fight against isis have been betrayed. they lost 11,000 men and women in compat. and we just threw them under the bus, sending a message to any potential ally around the world thought our constancy is something they can't count on from one day to the next. and we have given a strategic victory to assad, the russians and iran who are now moving into
that territory which they have been denied because of our presence and the presence of the kurds. so this could not be more of a screw up and more detrimental to our national security than it already is. >> do you believe what donald trump did visa vi the kurds and turkey should be grounds -- additional grounds for his impeachment? >> well, joy, i'm not a lawyer and i'm not going to be part of drafting up the impeachment counts assuming they come forward. but i think when a president of the united states makes a rash, it impetuous decision without consulting with his national security advisers that runs so directly counter to our direct national security interests, it's dereliction of duty and the most important duty a president
has is commander and chief. and so i certainly think that bears scrutiny, and i certainly think among the many horrible things he has done, this is right up to the top. >> very quickly before we let you depot, what's it going to take to reset the lost prestige of the united states and oare or allies feeling they can count on us after this president has realigned us with multiple autocracies around the world whether it's the saudis or russians or in this case the autocrat in turkey? >> well, joy, it's going to take brands new leadership that values our allies and international institutions. in my years with the united nations we forged partnerships, we forged coalitions to deal with the threat of isis, tadeo l with the ebola epidemic, russian aggression, deal with the iran nuclear threat, to protect the
planet from climate change. and i detail all these efforts in the book in addition to what's a very personal story. and we see none of that now. we're undermining our allies, lifting up our adversaries. and the repair work that will be necessary from a new president and hopefully a new congress is going to be critical. and if we don't get it right in 2020, i really fear that it will be too late, that our leadership will be squandered, our security compromised irreparably and nobody will trust us. nobody will believe we're worth partnering with. >> the new book from susan rice is called "tough love my story of the things worth fighting for." ambassador susan rice, thank you so much for your time this evening. thank you very much. and just ahead house speaker nanciy pelosi announces the house will not hold an official vote on the impeachment inquiry. why and what happens next after
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congress is back in session today after two weeks of recess. although house democrats have been forging ahead over the break. holding closed-door hearings with key witnesses in the impeachment inquiry. the house -- but the white house is refusing to cooperate with democrats' requests. demanding they hold an official vote to open an impeachment inquiry first. well, tonight after a meeting with her caucus, speaker nancy pelosi announced that the democrats will not let trump and the gop dictate how they move forward. >> we're not here to call bluffs, we're here to find the truth to uphold the constitution of the united states. this is not a game for us. this is deadly serious. and we're on a path that is -- is getting -- taking us to a path to truth and a timetable that respects our constitution. >> and so that official vote off the table at least for now, what happens next?
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i'm not concerned about anything. you know, they can't -- they can't -- they have no substance. they can't defend the president so they're going to process. we're not going there. >> house speaker nancy pelosi said today that she doesn't need to call republicans' bluff. the gop has been making process arguments, calling the impeachment process a sham or illegitimate. and that probably sounds great to trump fans on state tv, but if that's all they've got for the rest of us, they're already losing. "the washington post" quoted what can be called the michael barone rule on process arguments. quote, all process arguments are insincere, including this one. as democrats build their case even in the face of republican obstruction, what becomes of the gop defense? they sure are having a tough time making the agent that what trump did is a-okay. joining me to talk about that is associate professor of political
science at fordham university. by the speaker saying she won't go ahead and take a vote, a lot of people are like why not? you've got the votes. about 225 people on the record saying, yes, impeachment inquiry. but i put it to you not taking a vote means she doesn't have to make her conservative members walk the plank but they still get the same exact effect. they're having people come forward and listen to their subpoenas. do they even need to take a vote? >> i don't think they need to take a vote on this inquiry. in the rules, that's not the case. the house has a rules committee where they come up with these things. there is nothing that says the democrats or republicans actually have to come and vote on even having an inquiry. what's brilliant about nancy pelosi. i'm a steadfast supporter of her strategy. a few things. one, she is the daughter of the former mayor of baltimore. she knows grassroots local politics. two, don't forget, she helped usher in the successful passage of the affordable care act under
barack obama. so she would never bring this to any sort of situation where she doesn't have all of the votes that she needs plus a little more. so she doesn't want to damage some of the sort of weak-leaning democrats in their respective home districts, especially when they go to the polls in 2020, especially some of the first-term democrats. so she is playing the long game as we have seen her do time and time again, even though certain democrats are a little restless. >> yeah. >> and frustrated with her. i think she is essentially saying be steadfast. i actually know what i'm doing. i've done something similar before and i've also held off the dam before. >> right. >> when we're thinking about the clinton era in the '90s. so i think that she would never put the democrats in harm's way. >> right. >> and she's been in d.c. quite a long time. unlike the president and his friends. >> absolutely. and, i mean, she's not the o.j. prosecutors that are going to try the glove on not knowing if it was going to fit. she isn't going to do that. the bottom line is she's now
getting compliance. the people who are career officials are, like, ignoring the state department. they are complying with subpoenas. she is building up a record now where without the theatrics of devin nuneses of the world they're getting the information. >> i think the process, the conversation that i'd be very curious about, what kind of conversations is she having with mitch mcconnell? and is mitch mcconnell talking to her about whether or not she would tolerate mike pence? and if she would tolerate mike pence, will they come to a point where they agree that there is some way they both can be comfortable with mitch mcconnell maneuvering in the senate to remove donald trump? and i think when trump made this disastrous move in -- in syria, it set him up as a national security disaster to even his most stalwart supporters in the republican party. can she take an argument like that to mitch mcconnell and say it's only going to get worse. by the way, we've been doing all these interviews and there's
more damning information coming out. how can we orchestrate this? >> i'm going to stay with you for just a moment. in order to cut such a deal, you know the minute he's from the presidency, he's also free to be prosecuted. not just federally, but in the state of new york. a free donald trump is a donald trump who is in a lot of jeopardy legally. it's hard for me to imagine the attorney general of new york making any sort of a deal for donald trump. how does that deal go down? are we looking at a gerald ford situation, if it were to get that farther would have to be some promise of a fell pardon. >> that would have to between pence and trump. i don't think anybody in that party really likes donald trump and would care whether or not he got prosecuted once he was out of washington. i think what they're trying to weigh right now is the political calculus of standing by him as the news gets worse. and what more they could get out of him in a second term from a policy standpoint. >> judges. mitch mcconnell is still taking judges. >> they'll get that with pence. >> they'll get that either way. >> we're also making the assumption that pence will not
go down with this titanic with the president. he's on the phone calls as well. so we can make a deal with mcconnell about pence. >> i think that's where pelosi starts to cash in chips. will they lay off pence get a transition in place? >> let's talk about republicans really quickly before we run out of time. they're in an awkward position. corey gardner's agony maneuvering to say it's wrong to take money from a foreign government. they can't answer the question. they can't. >> it's something they've said and ringing the alarm for years and years, there is no way we can have foreign entities, the constitution says it, the framers talked about it all the time, and up until donald trump became president they were against it and now they're not. >> what happens to donald trump in this impeachment inquiry? there used to be this theory he wants to be impeached. it's going to be his finest hour. doesn't look like it. >> it's early stages and money is involved. susan rice was very smart earlier when she mentioned we're still trying to explain why he's always beholden to putin. in most of these cases it comes
down to money. >> will people find out about the money? >> look at ukraine. part of the ukraine probe. these guys were all maneuvering to get control of the biggest gas company in ukraine. >> money is always the answer. >> it's always the answer. it's getting hard to get people to stay is in line. telling the truth. thank you for joining me. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now with ari melber in for rachel. thank you for joining us this hour. rachel is off. will be back tomorrow. i'm ari melber. we have a lot for you on this very busy evening in the impeachment probe on capitol hill. it was exactly three weeks ago today that nancy pelosi announced congress was moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. sparked by the revelation that president trump had pressured a foreign government to gin up dirt on one of his political rivals. and would go on to admit it. today lawmakers returned to capitol hill from a two-week recess during which most of them went back to their districts and began to hear what their