tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN March 8, 2019 4:00am-5:01am PST
winter, down to the south for summer. i'm a night owl anyway. >> have a great weekend. >> you too. >> get some rest. >> i'm going to try. thank you for your international viewers for watching. for you cnn talk is next. for our u.s. viewers, new day continues right now. this sentence failed to do justice to the very serious crimes that manafort has committed. >> i did not wish a special counsel investigation on my worst enemy. it's a terrible place to be. >> harry ellis has shown a bias since before the trial began. it's very clear that that bias has come through. >> judge ellis made it harder for the president to pardon paul manafort. >> we came here to condemn anti-semitism but this resolution now condemns just about everything. >> it's not about her, it's about these forms of -- >> nancy pelosi brokered a fair deal. >> we have a president who's never apologized for charlottesville. >> why can't we call it anti-semitism and show that we've learned the lessons of history. >> announcer: this is new day with alisyn camerota and john
berman. >> it is new day. good morning and welcome to it, your new day. up first, president trump's former campaign chair paul manafort has been sentenced to less than four years in prison for tax evasion and bank fraud. this is well below the sentencing guidelines, the federal sentencing guidelines of 19 to 24 years. a jury in virginia convicted manafort of defrauding banks and the government for not paying taxes on millions of dollars of income he had earned from ukrainian political consulting. now, democratic lawmakers, a lot of legal on lists, are blasting this light sentence and calling it inadequate and an example of the disparities between street crimes and white collar crimes. >> manafort spoke in court, but did he not express regret for the crimes he committed. his attorney and the judge both noted that this sentence was not connected to any collusion with russia. democratic congressman adam schiff who is spearheading a probe into the president called yesterday's events a deliberate appeal for a pardon. so what will president trump say
today about manafort's sentence? let's bring in laura coates, former federal prosecutor. susan glasser are staff writer for "the new yorker" and michael sk smerconish. laura, just explain what the debate is. four years in prison is nothing to sneeze at, and some people believe that the idea that prosecutors had asked for something like 14 years to 25 was overreach given, you know, how much other criminals, as i've pointed out, rape, the standard sentence for rape in this country is 11 years. so your thoughts. >> well, there is a huge sentencing disparity among criminals who are considered white collar and those who are considered street level crimes. there's a whole racial and socioeconomic dynamic to those zis tingss. people are talking about this because it points out that manned doer minimum sentence do remove the discretion from the judge to say, look, this person
should have some leniency. i should show compassion or this person to the reverse should have a much higher sentence. judges often don't like to have the mandatory minimums because it takes away their actual prerogative. judge ellis one is of those judges who has been notorious in the last couple years saying i don't like the fact that i have zero discretion of where i want to move the needle. on the other hand, white collar criminals compared to street crime criminal are treated differently and most people think there should be kid gloves because they're nonviolent offenders and the term white collar crime denotes some form of respectability that should be given to these criminals as opposed to others. and that sort of cast system has been to detriment of people of color in this country for a long time. also to nonpeople of color as well. but the bigger issue here is why this particular judge decided to divert from the sentencing guide looin lines by 15 iers, particularly given the fact it was a jury that convicted manafort.
they did not acquit on the remaining ten crimes and said they hung. and as part of a plea agreement, the prosecutors in this case said if you hold up your end of the bargain and continue to scratch our back, we won't try you on those remaining ten. so now he gets the benefit of the bargain and now at sentencing too when a jury of his peers has said, i don't care if it's not collusion or not, the crimes you were charged with were proven beyond a reasonable doubt and now that has had their noses thumbed at them. >> michael, you look at this in sentencing and you see the same numbers and you have a different opinion about that. >> well, i think he didn't get too little, i think others have gotten too much. he's about to turn 70. he just got four years. he faces up to ten next week. look at the actual aerial tables. it's doubtful that he gets out of prison. i would caution those who are incensed about the perceived leniency of manafort's sentence
because the blow back to other perceived leniency in the past what gave us mandatory minimums. and the next person to get sentenced probably won't look like paul manafort and might really be the one to have the book thrown at them. so to overreact to this, i think,
would be a mistake. >> senator elizabeth warren tweeted to that very effect. suzanne, she said trump's campaign manager paul manafort commits bank and tax fraud and gets 47 months. a homeless man, fate winslow, helped sell $20 worth of pot and got life in prison. the words above the supreme court say equal justice under the law. when will we start to act like it. we've seen these discrepancies before twrooe street crime and white collar crime. where are you? >> first of all, people who have been sent away essentially zr d destroyed their entire lives for what we would consider mine
offenses. you look at manafort's crimes, he's led a criminal life, but it goes to the heart of our system. i was struck in the accounts yesterday of the lack of remorse, the complete lack of remorse on the part of this man who is not only, you know, helped to corrupt the american political system, but also other countries taking essentially the good name of the united states and really perverting democracy in places like ukraine and places liking an gola around the world. and, again, it goes to the heart of why we have a legal system. to me, i was struck by his lack of remorse, whether they're still playing for a pardon from trump or not, i don't know. but the prosecutors made a strong point of saying that in his cooperation deal before it fell apart, he never cooperated. he never provided them any useful information and he lied to prosecutors as well as not
being sorry for the crimes for which he was convicted. >> the lack of remorse was notable, and you're right there could be two different reasons for that. one, he's not sorry. and, two, because is he playing for a pardon. and his lawyer, kevin downing, went out of his way to say is there is no collusion here, something that the judge notably went out his way to say as well. laura are do you think this is a public plea to president trump who has not yet commented this morning by the way? >> i do think it is. first of all, i do believe that people have every right go to trial and to profess their innocence even after conviction. if i didn't believe that i wouldn't believe in the appellate process as well. so i do believe he has the absolute right to do that. however, i think his decision not to express remorse is because he has been praised by the president of the united states in direct contrast to somebody who has been called a rat and a snitch like michael cohen as being stoic, as having an unbreakable spine that says he will not be -- be man handled
in this way to say, look, i have to actually cooperate and i have to lie. so i think he was saying, look, i still remain strong, i'm still the person that even rudy giuliani has said has been treated very unfairly and he's hoping for that. now, of course, the sentence of the judge does put donald trump in a particularly precarious position because one could foresee a more likely pardon if it had been the quote, unquote, excessive sentence of the upwards of 25 years or less. but now you have a four-year where he'll only serve 85%, meaning he'll probably get out in 2022 if it all goes well for him. well the president is in a situation saying do i excuse a crime like this, eight criminal charges, felony offensives and dealing with millions of people in government and the united states, maybe not. >> the bigger issue is if we look at the amount of people now close to president trump in and around the campaign and around his organization, i mean, let's just pull up the graphic. these are trump associates charged in investigations.
cohen sentenced to three years. papadopoulos sentenced to 14 days. michael flynn pleaded guilty. roger stone has been charged and manafort now 47 months. you know, this is, if you play the what would we have done if president trump obama's campaign chairman was sentenced to 47 months, what would the answer be? >> should i stay for him, no collusion, alisyn, no collusion because you know that's what his response will be after he sees this. look, he clearly has surrounded himself with some very nefarious individuals who were up to a lot of wrongdoing. i think we're getting close now to the watergate level in terms of how many people have been implicated, convicted, or otherwise pled guilty to charges related to this investigation. the biggest piece still remains uncertain and hopefully soon we're going to see the conclusion of the mueller report. >> again, i'm very interested to see how the president plays this both rhetorically and with his
actions over the next few days and minutes. we do have a new statement from rudy giuliani. i don't think we have a graph for this yet. dana bash got this from giuliani. the sentence was a lot less than the out of control angry democrat prosecutors wanted. they should be ashamed of their horrendous treatment of paul manafort who -- it should be whom, they pressured relentlessly because unlike michael cohen he wouldn't lie for them. so, susan, first of all, i just want to point this out. paul manafort did lie. >> that's why he's going to jail. >> well, this next case that will be sentenced, he lied to the grand jury and he lied to federal prosecutors after he pleaded guilty. so paul manafort absolutely lied. and i think it's fascinating that the president's lawyer rudy giuliani, his statement is comparing manafort to paul cohen the minute after this sentencing. >> well, right. he also lied to the united states government on his taxes, he lied to banks, his whole career was based on lies and fraudulent acquisition of millions and millions of dollars
at the expense, by the way, of fledging democracies around the world as well as our own democracy here in the united states to the hear rudy giuliani, a former elected mayor of new york city, you know, i grew up in new york city, the greatest city in the world, this is shameful. i'm sorry, come on. this is just embarrassing to talk about this way in a convicted criminal whose crimes go to the heart of our democracy. it shows you the degradation of our politics that this is the statement of the lawyer of the president of the united states on this morning, really. it's just embarrassing. >> laura, i mean, he wasn't prosecuted for some of the other crimes. you know, think that we've already talked about what happened inning angola, this l named 15,000 of the poorest people there. he's not prosecuted for that, but it is interesting that the judge decided to use the term an otherwise blameless life.
he didn't have to say that. >> no, he didn't. he didn't have to point that at all and he could have simply said, look, the jury has found that this person is blameless. here's a dirty little secret in criminal justice system. our prisons are not full of monsters exclusively. they're full of people who have actually committed mistakes and been caught by their mistakes. their idea of them being soulless or in some shape or form never having standing in their communities is actually a complete fallacy. everyone who's in prison today has been caught in some shape or form by doing what's usually an aberration of their own character. so the judge pointing this out is actually quite odd. but it also does speak to the way in which the criminal justice system and in sentencing in particular takes into account the entire person. it's the reason you allow people to write letters in support of that person, to make statements to show why this person need not have or should have compassion. because, remember, it's about deterrence, rehabilitation, and another part of that is punishment. so perhaps he was pointing it
out for that reason. >> michael, you want to weigh in with the last word maybe on rudy giuliani's -- >> i absolutely go doh. >> go ahead. >> it's such a shame that the manafort sentence because a test and that rudy's comment when he references angry democrats further politicizes this. the partisanship used to end at the water's edge. the partisanship used to end when we were talking about criminal conduct, and yet everything today seems subject to this tribalism. and people will wake up today and weigh in on the manafort sentence based open whether they're ab r, a d, a red state or blue state person instead of looking at the underlying criminal conduct. >> and course manafort up again for sentencing next week. judge amy berman jackson, so relation. he could get ten more years in prison so stay tuned there. thank you very much. be sure to watch michael's show tomorrow 9:00 a.m. eastern, former starbucks ceo and 2020 presidential candidate howard schultz willing michael's guest.
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i just wanna get it right now. guess what i'm gonna do. (laughing) call today. comcast business. beyond fast. the house overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning anti-semitism and other bigotry following controversial comments made by congresswoman ilhan omar that some found anti-semitic. but some felt this resolution did not go far enough. >> the words spoken by our colleaguing from minnesota last week touched a very real and raw place for me. >> why are we unable to singularly condemn anti-semitism? why can't we call it anti-semitism and show that we've learned the lessons of history? >> joining us now is democratic congresswoman elisa slot kin. thank you so much for being
here, congresswoman. what did you think about that resolution yesterday? did the rebuke go far enough? >> i think the resolution was good, it was talking about being against discrimination generally. i think that's a pore thing. i think that any time anyone raises the issue of dual loyalty it's going to raise a lot of eyebrows and concerns, it does for me. but i think the resolution yesterday was at least a good first step. >> what about what the congressman said there why was it so hard to singularly condemn what sparked all of this? singularly condemn anti-semitism and perhaps even name congresswoman omar? >> sure. i think anyone is able to condemn it at any time. i think what happens when you brought it into the caucus is people, you know, pointed out that there were issues of discrimination going on across the country even last week and people wanted to do something more general. i don't think there's anything wrong with that, but it doesn't preclude other people from unilaterally condemning
anti-semitism as do we all. >> do you feel the way it was handled, it was described as messy, do you feel it gave republicans ammunition? >> i think this is -- they're trying to split us and make this a partisan issue. i'm not that worried about it. they've been trying to do this now for a while, so it just kind of adds to the pile of things where they're trying to split us. >> all right. i want to ask you about the exchange that you had with secretary kirstjen nielsen about the family separation policy at the border. let me just play how you chal lecced her and what her response was. listen to this. >> sure. >> when you saw those pictures of babies in cages, what did you do? what did you do to just scream bloody murder up the chain to the president to say i cannot represent an agency that is forcing its border patrol to do is this in wh? what did you do? >> i went to the border, i spoke to the men and women there. i looked at the facilities myself. i talked to hhs to understand and visited their facilities as
well to understand the care that they provide to the children once they're in their custody. and then i spent a tremendous amount of time working with the northern trying an until mexico to stop the phenomena closer to the source to help stabilize those areas. so that the children and families are not traveling here. >> what did you think her response? >> so i think it sort of avoided the subject, right? she's the secretary of homeland security. she has an enormous voice on this issue. she talked about everything that she saw but not what she did and her actions. and i've been in national security my entire life, i'm a former cia officer and pentagon official, i'm a deep plefr belin border security but we have to be a nation of morals and moral core. and she avoided her specific actions to say something about what we were doing as a country, that, to me, just missed the mark completely. >> you remember that in june she tweeted this. we do not have a policy of separating families at the
border, period. did that come up yesterday? that was not true. >> it did come up, but of course there's been some documents that leaked, a number of my colleagues asked her about that. we have evidence now that it was specifically to deter people from coming up to the border. we asked her about that and she, again, sort of deflected and said, you know, our policy is to increase prosecutions so that families don't come up to the border. and so she just avoided it completely. >> i mean, jeff sessions admitted as much when he was attorney general. he said it was a deterrent. i just don't know how you and congress necessarily trust what she says after such an unequivocal false statement. >> i think it was a rather difficult hearing for her. it was the first time that she's come up here i think in 11 months and i can't imagine it was easy for her. we're all big believers in border security, but on the issue of family separation we just have to be a nation of morals. >> i want to ask you what you have been spearheading, what
you'll be talking about today in congress, and that is hr-1. for the people act it's called. it promotes automatic voter registration, internet registration, early voting, it prohibits state from restricting mail-in ballots. it makes voting day a national holiday. and you want to add an amendment to it. what's important to you here? >> again, as a national security professional, one of the things that really, really boggled my mind was how it is still legal for foreign governments, foreign people, foreign entities to buy ads on tv or in social media to affect our elections. it's a loophole that exists right now. we obviously -- i'm from michigan so we saw a disproportionate number of these social media ads targeting us, targeting our population. so i want to close that loophole, that's my amendment so that no foreign entity can buy an ad for or against a candidate in our democracy. >> i'm just not sure that many people know that.
people think that foreign dollars into a campaign is illegal and you are screaming, you're trying to, say that in fact, it was the 2016 election was rife with that sort of thing. mitch mcconnell doesn't like this idea, he is objecting to your legislation. he says hr-1 is a blatant power grab to give washington bureaucrats control over what american citizens can say about politics, how we stay and how we cast our ballots. do you understand his reasoning? >> hr-1 is a large bill and i'm not surprised that this is something he doesn't intend to take up. i presented my amendment yesterday on the floor of the house and my republican colleague stood up and agreed with it and said i don't support hr-1 generally but i support your amendment. so my hope, i'm a pragmatist. my hope is we'll pass this bill through the house. if mitch mcconnell doesn't take it up then we'll start breaking off pieces of it so that things like my amendment can get
bipartisan support and move forward and become law. i just don't think it's a partisan issue to say that russians or chinese or non-state actors abroad can buy ads in our electoral system. >> congresswoman, thank you very much for explaining all this to us on new day. >> that was a great discussion. we have something very special, in fact, something that has never happened before. they were on opposing sides of one of the biggest political scandals in history. right now for the first time former clinton white house press secretary joe lockhart meets former independent counsel ken starr. this was the first time they have ever been face-to-face. >> i think it went well. >> so far so good. i don't know what's going to happen after the break. you better come back to see what happens, next. (vo) parents have a way of imagining the worst... ...especially when your easily distracted teenager has the car. at subaru, we're taking on distracted driving [ping] with sensors that alert you when your eyes are off the road.
all right. moments ago there was a meeting that made history. >> look at how comfortable joe looks. >> on the left is joe lockhart, former white house press secretary under president bill clinton. on the right former independent counsel kenneth starr, the men meeting for the very first time. and they join us now on live
television to talk about, oh, ha happened 20 years ago, oh, what's happening today. but first let me start with that moment, joe. i mean, did you ever think you would be face-to-face with judge starr? how did that feel? >> i -- i looked forward to it. >> i read body language and you -- >> exactly. >> and that was not the most comfortable exchange. was there a time 20 years ago where you thought if you ever saw him you'd punch him in the nose? >> i never thought that. i thought i might yell at him but i doubt i'll do it this morning. i described it as we came away from it as kind of a bad surprise party. >> judge, your take on it. >> totally pleasant. you know, i like people so joe, very nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. >> thanks for not punching me out. >> you're a people person. >> yes. >> that's what they say. so judge starr, let me ask you about the news this morning. we watched yesterday judge ts ellis, you've been in that role before, give a sentence that was
far below the federal guidelines for the crimes that paul manafort was convicted of, 47 months in prison. your reading of that sentence. >> he was tempering justice with mercy. here is a 67-year-old defendant who's obviously not in the best of health and judge ellis made a very interesting comment about federal prisons. and i've been in a number, as a visitor of federal prison. people die, not through terrible things happening, but just it's a very stressful place. i think judge ellis who's been on the bench for 30 years understood that and i think he also just said to bob mueller's prosecutors, this is really excessive. what you're seeking is really excessive. that's one judge's sfwlu there are two aspects to that. number one, you say it's really tough, federal prison is. well it's equally tough for young black men who get convicted of crimes. >> absolutely. >> that people don't think why are they being convict of crimes and getting far bigger sentences than ager white guy convicted of
tax fraud when that is a crime? >> each situation has to be analyzed by the judge as opposed to i'm going to do a lot of comparisons here. that's why you have a presentencing report. the presentencing report looks at the person's entire life. so you're right, there are disparities? that's the reason we have sentencing dpiedline sentencing guidelines. but it's also the reason congress has seen fit to gift judges the ability, it's reyou'll have so we'll see. if the prosecutors decide we're going to appeal this downward departure. they have the authority to do that. >> the discrepancy between street crimes and white collar crimes getting a lot of attention and many people feel the judge was too lenient, one of whom is monica lewinsky who's pointing out the sentence that he got. she says, yep, i had been threatened with 27 years for filing a false affidavit and other actions trying spradespery
to keep an affair private. do you see the point? >> of course i see the point. no one should have to face these horrible sentences. and so, but, who provides the framework for the criminal sentence? the congress of the united states. i think we have overcriminalization of the laws and i think many of the sentences are much too harsh. and there are too many people sitting in prison. now that's one person's view, but it's increasingly, as i think we're seeing politically, the view of the american people and the members of congress saying, we need to recalibrate. we've gotten carried away with these very draconian sentences. >> but who was threatening her with 27 years for filing a false affidavit? >> there may have been a conversation dr conversation, i did not. that's the first i've heard of it to be honest. >> joe, you're skeptical zblooim skeptical, only because it's reported widely. it's in her book, it's in a number of interviews her lawyer did dozens of interviews where
they talked about holding her in a hotel room and telling her that if she didn't tell the truth she could spend 27 years in jail. so i'm skeptical. >> well, first of all, she was not held in a hotel room. she had the opportunity, so if we want to relitigate that i'm happy to do that. >> well, this morning is -- >> let me finish because he just made a very interesting comment. they held her in a hotel room absolutely false. that was exactly what she maintained and what her lawyer at the time maintained. and guess what? a district judge, norma hallow way johnson heard what they had to say. she was not in custody. she was, in fact, free to leave. >> she was 21 years old, she had several older prosecutors sitting in a room threatening her with spending a considerable part of her life in jail. so she may not have been technically in custody, but in this case i believe her. she felt like she had no choice.
she felt it was only when she called her mother and her mother came down and her mother talked to a lawyer that she recognized the idea that she didn't need to be there and she should leave. >> it was her impression that she was being -- >> it was certainly her impression. >> with all due respect, utterly revisionist history. she played our prosecutors very effectively. she knew exactly what she was doing. >> how could she know exactly what she was doing when she was 21 years old and hadn't been in that situation before spl she was extremely smart and sophisticated. she kept the prosecutors waiting. let me -- let me get my mother down here. and her mother encouraged her to, in fact, cooperate with the information. but what she made clear to her mother, and joe knows this, she was not going to do anything to hurt the president of the united states. >> well, let me just add one other thing, which is there, prosecutors that worked in judge starr's office who were extremely uncomfortable with the process. they went on the record afterwards on how uncomfortable
they were and when i look at this and i balance out the statements, i'm going to side with them. >> well, the final thing i would say on this is let's look at the entire record of what happened. she was at the ritz carlton, she walked around, including on her own. she got a starbucks, she was able to call the president of the united states but didn't get through. she was trying to warn the president that this, guess what? you're about to commit a perjury, you shouldn't do it. i've committed perjury. others were being encouraged to commit perjury. this is serious stuff. so, look, she was a very able, smart person who , i think, handled herself extremely well unfortunately for the country. she put us on for six months. >> it just doesn't add up. if she didn't feel like she was under threat of going to prison and if she didn't feel like she was being held there against her will because she didn't know her rights, why did she have to -- high didn't she in the hotel
room pick up the phone and call the president of the united states? there's a reason she left that hotel room, because she felt her life was under threat and that's why several of the prosecutors working in that office were extremely uncomfortable. they thought it was over the line and unethical. >> well, i just totally disagree. and there's been one prosecutor that's made some statements about his own discomfort, but not that anything was over the line. prosecution, we've seen this with the mueller team. prosecutors, in fact, use the tools in the tool chest to say here's what you are facing. and you need to be aware of this. and now it's time for you to make a decision. so, are you going to cooperate with the investigation because you have committed a serious crime. and joe doesn't want to talk about that. she had committed perjury. and she knew she had committed perjury and she was encouraging others. now, all of a sudden when we see people committing perjury in the mueller investigation, we are outraged. rightly so. but let's now look back at
exactly what happened. what happened was the president has a poll done and he's told that the american people will forgive adultery but they will not forgive perjury. he was found in contempt of court because of not of perjury, but obstruction of justice. we think obstruction of justice is pretty darn important. so let's look at the bottom line facts of what happened in that investigation with 14 criminal convictions. and monica ary wish her well, i hope she does well. >> do you want to -- anymore comments on this before we -- >> let's move on. >> i do think it's interesting, though, i do think it's interesting here that it didn't take much to get this discussion to go back 20 years. >> well, it seems very relevant somehow today. all these same things in play. >> is it does beg the question, this is a -- this is at its base, it was about perjury, but it was about a relationship between a man and a woman.
and there was all this -- there's all this passion about it. axios has a story out in the last 24 hours which says look at what's happening with russia. look at what's happening with the mueller investigation call it the biggest political scandal in american history. is there an issue with proportion a proportionality here, joe, between what's happening now and what happened 20 years ago? >> i think axios makes a great point because this was when it came down to it a question about a personal relationship, however inappropriate, and whether the president was truthful and whether he obstructed justice. the senate made their decision and, you know, the country moved on from there. the axios story, though, points out how much deeper and how much more dangerous and how unprecedented what's going on with president trump. because it involves a foreign nation trying to influence our election. it involves the president's financial misdeeds, paying hush
money to a porn star. it involves so much -- it involves the national security adviser getting fired for contacts with the russians. it involves the president while in office writing checks on this hush money. it involves the president potentially putting our national security at risk because of some dealings well, the russians that we've yet to fully understand. so from a proper portionaliropoy point of view, the thing that bothers me most is you have all of these things, you have counterintelligence, you have our national security risk and bob mueller and his team have manage dodd this t managed to do this the right way, which is to keep it redact and they'll review their cards when they want. with judge stard and his team, i read it every day in the paper. i read about secret grand jury
testimony every day in the paper. i saw judge starr in his driveway doing press conferences in the was an attempt to put political pressure on the president to get him to resign. it didn't work, he was eventually acquitted. but it looks that axios is wright right, this is unprecedented. we've never seen anything like it. even you look at the tae pot scandal as paling comparing to this. that was done right. i don't think the investigation of the president was done right. >> the axios piece is very intriguing and these are serious matters, they're being looked into. but the issue with monica lewinsky and the relationship came in a context which is we believe the president of the united states had committed perjury during the course of the white water investigation. we couldn't prove it. prosecutors will frequently say there's a difference between what we know and what we can prove. his business partner and hillary
rodham clinton's business partner mcdougal, he said this in his book, bill clinton committed perjury in his trial. now, you might say, wait a vekd that are was one failed land deal in arkansas and so forth. there are other prosecutions, 14 criminal convictions. now, none of that came to the house. 31 democrats did say this is serious enough, what happens, you can dismiss it for all you want, it's just where people can agree to disagree. but the point is, 31 democrats joined by saying we cannot abide by a president who has committed perjury and obstruction of justice, especially before a federal grand jury and especially when people in his own party were warning him. so we've not had that yet, have we? we've had people around the president plead guilty to lying. you would say, that's really serious. i agree. lying to a grand jury is really serious and that's what
president clinton did. >> i guess we have a question about where lying to the american people about some of these issues fits in. we'll take that up after a quick break. much more with joe lockhart and judge starr next. different generations get the same quality of customer service that we have been getting. being a usaa member, because of my service in the military, you pass that on to my kids. something that makes me happy. being able to pass down usaa to my girls means a lot to both of us. he's passing part of his heritage of being in the military. we're the edsons. my name is roger zapata.
[ sighing ] ♪ oh my momma she gave me ♪ these feathered breaths ♪ ♪ oh my momma check in from afar with remote access. and have professional monitoring backing you up with xfinity home. demo in an xfinity store, call, or go online today. , we back with our spirited and slightly awkward conversation with joe lockhart and ken starr, the man who led the independent counsel investigation of president clinton and was previously solicitor general. i want to ask you, just to respond to what joe had said before the break are he says he woke up to news every day about the investigation into president
clinton in the "new york times," press conferences from you. robert mueller has not breathed a word. and, in fact, so much so that the american public may never know what his findings are if bill barr decides not to release it. what do you think of that? >> well, i mean, first of all let me respond and then talk about the report. we had press outside our offices, we had press outside my home in mcclain, virginia, every single day. so i respectfully disagree. joe, let me finish. with what joe will to say that i hold press conferences. i did not hold press conferences out side my house and the like. i did hold press conferences and i think that's appropriate and i'll defend that in terms of public information. >> hold on. >> no, he made a very serious charge. he also talked about grand jury information. with all due respect, joe, we've been down this trail before. we litigated that, i won, the president's lawyers lost. and this was an elaborate
investigation that said you have gone beyond releasing what i think is appropriate and important, public information that's appropriate for the public to know and you've gone across the line. joe said it again today. and it's wrong. i have a judgment of norma holloway johnson who then affirmed the findings of a special master saying the charges that were leaking grand jury information are false. now, we move to the -- >> well, my point is that there are reporters outside of robert mueller's office every day but he's choosing not to talk. do you think that's a wise decision? >> i don't think so, no. i respectfully disagree. so here we have the scene in the court yesterday where the prosecutors are being upgraded. why are you seeking this? and how are you responding to the defense by paul manafort that you have been spreading this information about this man and that is the worst case in a
generation of spreading this information to him. ? he's guilty of serious offenses, there's no question of that and deserves to be punished. but i just have a different perspective. bob mueller has a public relations officer, public information officer, i think it's important to provide public information that's appropriate. >> let me push this forward. there is -- there are justice department guidelines that a sitting president can't be indicted the why does that matter? well, there is a glitch in the system which is that robert mueller's going to provide a report to the attorney general. the attorney general gets to decide what do with it more or less. if justice department guidelines don't provide that a pres president can be indicted, there are those that say you can't even suggest that there are charges here that you could bring for the president. do you think a sitting president can be indicted? >> yes. and i disagree with the justice department's of the
department and it goes back to the days of bob work and the nixon administration and judge bork make a decision that a sitting president could not. i think the case of clinton versus jones when president clinton made a legal claim that he was entitled to immunity from a lawsuit was rejected by the supreme court. no person is involved in the law means a president can be di indicted, but that is not the justice department policy, and he is required to follow that policy. he cannot indict. >> there is the glitch. >> there is a glitch, and there is a couple of -- bob barr, does
bill barr have the ability to keep and suppress this. they could take a couple weeks figuring out what their response is. we saw judge star's report as everyone else did. we had a pretty good idea because we read a lot about it, we had a pretty fulsome response ready. i think one of the rare bipartisan moments in washington was at the end of this investigation and congress said this doesn't work. this independent council exceeded what we thought they should do. they let the coup sile still la.
the fix doesn't work though if this catch 22 holds and none of this stuff comes out. >> how much of this do you want to be public? >> i would love to know more rather than less. however that is not didn't with the department practice and i need to respond to what was just side. there was a statement and you full well know we knew here, and the idea that they're reading about this and that is true, but i also knew at the time what our lawyers knew and what we knew and there was information consistently that we were unaware of. and i know this, you can say, a
prosecutor a k say i never talked to the press. i'll use one example. he got it wrong once. a newspaper had to detract that story. and they are getting group from friends at the under lying act was against what the justice system should be. >> i just once again disagree on everything that joe is litigating. this was examined and looked at fully. i know you have your views, trust the justice system in this respect, and the lawyers and the president's lawyers made serious allegations and they were unanimously rejected by the
special master and by -- >> i would just finally say to that when you trust the justice system congress and the american public trust the justice system. when this affair was over congress changed the law. i need to respond to that is that what you failed to note is that similar kinds of allegations were being made and the republicans no longer supported it, and after the monica lewinsky faze the democrats no longer supported it. one of the things that was here is that it took the appointment process and put it in the hands of jums, that was totally wrong. send the impeachment referral to
the congress. >> that is an aapprovement. >> i can agree this was partisan. >> judge, you brought up lying and i understand that lying to investigators is against the law, lying to the public and the press suspect. i wish it weren't so, but it is. how do you treat public dishonesty which we have seen from the president? provable lies. some of them have to do with stormy daniels. he said i don't know anything about stormy daniels but now we see he wrote checks to michael coh cohen. >> public dishonesty, lying to
the american people is something that the house of representatives can hoeptly say i think the president is abusing his power. that is the way we viewed what president clinton say. >> i didn't have a sex with monica lewinsky and that was an abuse of pattern? >> it was a pattern of abuse of power and we laid that out. what we're really at right now is we're not about impeachment as far as we know. in the next calendar year. i think that is what is going on. >> i'm not in position to know. don't know all of the facts. >> alison, don't argue when i'm trying to say that i don't make
judgments until i know all of the facts and it is important not to be rushing to judgment. i said that lying to the american people for self interested reasons can in fact constitute an abuse of power. then it becomes you analyze the facts. i don't jump to conclusions about whether or not the facts constitutes -- >> on the question of stormy daniels payments, the president said on camera i know nothing about it. now we know as individual one he not only knew about it but he orchestrated it. that is an abuse of hour, i would assume using your logic that is an impeachable offense. >> that is something that you weigh in the balance. the false invocation of executive privilege. the making up of a so-called phantom privilege to protect secret service agents.
encouraging others to lie. it was an pattern of behavior that we felt that congress should consider. it was up to the house. >> do you see that pattern now? >> i don't see enough of the facts to say it is a pattern. i few it as a very serious matter. what do you think of it. at a political lefr, they did not hire a sunday school teacher. i think people knew that, when they went in to vote, they well knew that you had two individuals with very interesting backgrounds. the american people spoke and now let's allow -- here is the way i see it. we are really outside of the province of law and we're into the province of politics. and presidential politics.
>> i think one of the critical prosecutors in your office is why i'm taken by that. we were passing moral judgment on president clinton and i believe that. i believe it is now revisionist history saying we'll, we didn't elect a sunday school person. it should be an equal standard. there is politics in here, democrats that said one thing, republicans have totally flipped, and i, you know, i think the public lahas a right know and trust that the system works for them and it's not partisan, and i think as recently as last night we had another example of a judge making a decision that leaves
people scratching their heads. >> what happens in the clinton years, when crimes were committed, the president should be held accountable, then how do we go about it. the president was held in contempt by united states district court judge for obstruction of justice. so this can be dismissed as moral justice. president clinton committed t m crimes. >> obstruction of justice. we don't know how much robert ra mueller will go into that. you cannot indict a sitting president, but if you can't charge someone you don't put it in the mueller