tv Inside Politics CNN March 24, 2019 5:00am-6:00am PDT
this is beyond wifi, this is xfi. simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. ♪ welcome to "inside politics." to our viewers in the united states and around the world, thank you for sharing your sunday. the mueller report is finished and filed. we should learn its major findings later today. from election meddling and potential obstruction among the weighty topics and the president often changing the truth. >> so i have a man who is a deputy who i don't know who i didn't know at all and he appoints a man who had just left my office. i didn't give him the job at the fbi. comey is his best friend.
>> we covered every -- >> you know better than anybody. you've been fair to me on that. i have a deputy appoints a man to write a report on me to make a determination on my presidency? people will not stand for it. >> we know robert mueller plans no new indictments himself, but not much more about his findings or how much was handed off to other prosecutors. we also don't know how much will be made public. democrats demand everything. >> it's imperative for mr. barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to congress. attorney general barr must not give president trump his lawyers or his staff any sneak preview of special counsel mueller's findings or evidence. >> the lack of detail isn't stopping the instant political debate. we don't know what's in the report. but word of no indictments from mueller is enough for the president's allies to celebrate
and his critics to cringe. >> why was there never an interrogation of this president? how can they let trump off the hook? he'll not be charged with obstruction or collusion without ever having to sit down with special counsel mueller and answer his questions. how can that happen? >> the left's favorite conspiracy theory is now dead. it's buried. and there was no collusion. no conspiracy. no obstruction. nothing. trump/russia collusion was, as we always said, a hoax. a lie conceived by hate driven by fear. a 22-month witch hunt. >> with us this sunday, cnn's sara murray, mark buzzetti, shan wu and legal analyst kerry cordero. we'll get back to the dicey politics in a bit. let's begin with the facts. what we know and the many, many important things we don't know. attorney general william barr and his deputy rod rosenstein worked a long day saturday
reviewing the report filed friday by special counsel robert mueller. they'll be back at it today with the goal of sharing a summary of the major findings by day's end. house democrats say a summary isn't good enough and are threatening a subpoena fight if attorney general barr is not willing to share the report in full and soon. ag barr just five weeks into his second stint at attorney general who announced friday that after nearly two years on the job, 675 days, the special counsel has submitted to me today a confidential report explaining the prosecution of declination decisions he has reached. i am reviewing the report and anticipate that i may be in a position to advise you of the special counsel's principal conclusions as soon as this weekend. not once was mueller blocked from pursuing something he requested. mueller will leave his post within days and sources tell us no more indictments are planned by the office of the special counsel. but we don't know what is in the report. repeat, we don't know what is in
the report. while we do know mueller has handed off a lot of clues to other prosecutors we're not certain of the true extent of it. not certain how many avenues of investigation remain open and their potential threat to the president, even as the special counsel's service comes to a close. appreciate you all getting up early on a sunday morning. we'll goet to the politics late. let's go through what we know and don't know starting with, where are they. they hoped to give us a summary yesterday. any information from inside the justice department on whether there was a hang-up and debate about something or they just realized there's a lot to go through and it will take another day? >> i think they need to take another day. i don't think there's any specific hang up that we're aware of. it was an ambitious timeline. we were surprised when we saw the letter from bill barr that he said i can brief you on this as early as this weekend. there will be some timeline for which you'll brief congress but stunning that he said i can do this in the next couple of days. what you have are he and rod rosenstein looking over everything that mueller has done, what i presume mueller
wrote as his top line conclusions and then determining what version of that, how they want to edit it to prepare to release it to the public. while rod rosenstein has been overseeing this probe for a very long time, bill barr has only been there for a couple of weeks. so he is sort of diving in on this full on and it's, again, we all wish we got it yesterday, but it is an ambitious timeline still to aim for the end of the day today. >> from the original rosenstein memo, parts of it redacted. we don't have the full memo. but what was bob mueller looking into? russian interference in the presidential election if there were any coordination between the russian government and trump campaign associates and any matters that arose from the investigation which is key and any efforts to obstruct the investigation. so we're waiting to see, is it safe to assume nobody was charged. mueller says no more indictments from his office. we assume if they were going to indict central to the mission. collusion and russian meds lmed that would come from mueller's
office. no one is going to be charged with conspiracy against the united states? direct colluding to impact the election? >> robert mueller and his team are going to charge no one and so, therefore, there would be no indictments coming on that issue of conspiracy directly involving the election and russia. what might spin out of the mueller inquiry, future indictments we don't know. we know he's farmed out several of the investigations to other u.s. attorneys' offices but i think it is safe to assume to the extent that anything is safe to assume that there won't be any more indictments on that issue. >> to that point, the president twisting the truth almost always, cynically in some ways, reckless attacks on institutions in others has said this no collusion, no collusion, no collusion. we'll go through later the people that have been charged and gone to jail but they've set this standard if you don't catch the president colluding, nothing else matters. that's for people at home to decide. when you think about what we're
going to be released, what are we going to get from this attorney general? >> i think his words are being parsed very carefully right now. and i think it's really the barr show. he said he may be in a position this weekend. he's trying to look like i'm really moving quickly to be as transparent as possible but we'll see if it's not really a facade for a slow walk. >> don't say that. come on. >> i'm being a cynic. >> to that point let's first listen. democrats knew this was coming when bill barr was being confirmed. he was attorney general in the george h.w. bush administration. a lot of people were surprised trump picked an experienced guy to come in as attorney general and now has the challenge, the responsibility of a lifetime. here's what he said at his confirmation hearing and you can read this either way about how much are you, the american people, going to see. >> i also believe it is very important that the public and congress be informed of the results of the special counsel's work. my goal will be to provide as much transparency as i can consistent with the law.
>> what does that mean? >> bill barr knew when he was nominated to this position and when he was sworn into this position that the decisions he was going to make this weekend and in the coming days were the most important decisions that he would ever make. this is his second tour as attorney general. he didn't have to take this job. he didn't have to come in and take this difficult job a second time. he did it, and he knew this was the point. so i tend to think that friday when they determined that the report was going to be files and when he sent that notice that he already has a pretty good understanding from prior briefings of what it was going to be in mueller's report. i don't think that attorney general barr was surprised necessarily by what was delivered on friday. now they're trying to work out what he's going to be able to report publicly immediately. but i think that no matter what -- whichever way he goes in these top line conclusions, they're still going to be a demand from both sides as to what is the underlying information.
>> and that's what's fascinating. you can think of bill barr as an establishment republican. bob mueller, company man as you get. former u.s. attorney, long time fbi director, known to be a conservative sort of establishment and notably in the letter from bill barr to congress, he said not once was robert mueller told no. that's a big deal in the sense democrats were asking, you know, was either rosenstein who they mostly trusted or thn when the acting attorney general matthew whitaker or bill barr came in, were they doing anything to shut mueller down? that argument is gone. >> that argument is gone. this is in part something donald trump fueled himself by being out there putting matt whitaker in a job in a bizarre way and constantly talking about firing mueller. there was always speculation someone was going to get in mueller mueller's. now this letter says no one did. it also raises another question, okay, why didn't you try to interview president trump? if no one said we're not going to let you subpoena the president, we're not going to
let you try to push for this interview, why if there was this investigation, did you not ever want to ask the president questions about what he's thinking, whether he was trying to obstruct justice? that's something he did not address in the written questions. >> will he address it in the report? yes, he can protect some stuff. it's a counterintelligence investigation. how did you find out about the russian meddling and troll farms. you need to protect that for the intelligence community. but the attorney general may determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest to the extent the release would comply with applicable legal restrictions. will we find out about some of this? as a company man, bob mueller asked for an interview. he finally accepted written answers. bob mueller decided not to provoke a constitutional crisis by subpoenaing the president. we don't know whether he would have been told yes or no. they said he was never told no and he didn't subpoena the president. will that be laid out? will we learn about how that process played out?
>> i don't think barr is going to want to talk about that. if mueller committed those thoughts to paper, that's exactly the heart of the kind of things that justice does not want to come out. and barr is going to not have that come out. they'll fight tooth and nail over that. >> so help me. sorry to interrupt. but help me on this. the american people have been told about this trump tower meeting in the middle of the campaign. donald trump jr., jared kushner, bring russians in. they've been promised dirt on hillary clinton. that's outside the norm. is it illegal? you're the legals, help me out. but it's way outside the form. a foreign government not a friend of the united states, they meet in trump tower. obviously not prosecuting anybody for that, least not now, robert mueller's not. can you issue a report to the american people after 22 months and say nothing because the process is, if i might think you robbed a bank, i might know you robbed a bank or feel it in my gut, if i can't prove it, you put the file away and bite your tongue. is that what's going to happen here? >> in that kind of report we're
assuming it looks like a declination or prosecution report. he'll talk about they went to the bank, had the guns, had the getaway car and decided that's not enough. that's the editorializing he's able to do. is that a principal conclusion or was the conclusion it's not enough to indict? those details are what he has kra control over what he talks about. >> rod rosenstein has hinted in the last few weeks that expect less rather than more. they will not get into these decisions because that's not what the justice department does. he has said. and yet there are -- i mean so many threads of this as you said. the trump tower meeting. any number of different episodes, contacts, et cetera that have been reported, the voluminous reporting about this that some want to have answers to. we all want answers to that we certainly don't expect to get today. and who knows down the road. >> to that point, the down the
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prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. we could know, should know by day's end robert mueller's big findings on collusion and obstruction. perhaps his take on the infamous trump tower meeting in 2016 with russians at trump tower or why, if they did nothing wrong, so many members of team trump, including the president himself, lied about meetings or business dealings with russians. in mueller's 22 months on the job, five people were sentenced to prison. one themp convicted at trial. seven individuals pleased guilty. 37 people and entities charged with a total of 199 criminal counts. six trump associates are among those charged, including the president's lawyer and fixer, his campaign chairman, deputy campaign chairman, longtime political adviser and his national security adviser. and we know that no matter what is in the mueller report, the president, his family and his business are hardly free of
scrutiny. ongoing investigations, several begun with information handed off by the special counsel's office include whether there was any illegal foerreign financingf the trump inaugural committee, whether the trump administration committed tax fraud. you've done a ton of reporting on this, the spin-offs. roughly a dozen we know. which means there's also stuff we don't know. as the white house is happy to close this chapter, mueller is over, but -- >> yeah, and the president and his allies have liked to describe the mueller investigation like this blob that gets bigger and bigger, consuming everything in its path. in fact, it's actually the opposite. the mueller investigation is getting narrower to the core issues and what he has done is spin different aspects of the investigation to the southern district of new york, eastern district of virginia, the eastern district of new york.
so there's several ongoing investigations that -- and we've only gotten glimpses of some of them. for instance, in the sentencing of michael flynn, there was a memo that says michael flynn is participating in several ongoing investigations. what are those? and we certainly know more about the southern district of new york because that's the one that involves michael cohen and the hush money payments. so this is why this will continue, right? and beyond today, there are these ongoing investigations that could go on for months, years. >> and to the point, i don't know if we can put the graphic back up. it's a cynical political argument but it's been effective in the sense the president says collusion, collusion, collusion. he says, see, this was all a waste of time. six people close to this president are going to prison. now some republicans will say, yeah, but none of those charges directly affect the president and none of those charges are about russian collusion. they didn't make that argument, republicans, when ken starr went
from a real estate transaction in western arkansas to linda tripp to monica lewinsky. this is what happens in a special counsel investigation. but the company you keep argument, that's a damning indictment of this president. even if there's no collusion? >> that's why what mark is describing in terms of the related investigations to the extent we heard from trump surrogates friday night that there was sort of an end zone dance going on regarding the fact there would be no more indictments from the special counsel's office is premature. because there still -- we still know there were referrals from congress that individuals lied in their testimony. we still know that there are a variety of financial related crimes. there's other prosecutions that still will go -- take place and there still may be more charges just because they're not brought by the special counsel's office specifically whether they are brought by a u.s. attorney in another district doesn't mean people are out of legal jeopardy yet. >> there was reason to look into the russia matter. that's why this investigation started. the goal did not have to be you
have to bring charges of conspiracy. it was to do the investigation. and over the course of this, wee learned 16 trump associates had contacts with russians that at times -- >> and most of them lied about it. >> and most of them lied about it. the question is why? >> they were offering them dirt on hillary clinton when in a normal campaign you'd call the fbi. they said let's take the meeting and they want and lied about the context and content of those discussions or that they had them whatsoever. there's a reason this investigation started. and you can say, fine it was a big waste of time, there was enough suspicious behavior it had to be looked into. >> one assumes mueller, given his pedigree and experience understands he has to explain some of that. the question is whether we so it. or just the attorney general see it. where's the argument here? adam schiff, now the -- the democrats are in charge of the house. error different environment than if the republicans were in charge. democrats are in charge of the house. adam schiff says if you want to send your summary today, we'd be okay with that but very soon we
want everything. not just the full report but access to all the documents robert mueller had as he investigated. >> the attorney general committed to making as much of it public as was consistent with law or policy. if he's true to that, it means the entire thing. and we're going to insist upon it. perhaps even greater importance, congress needs the underlying evidence because some of that evidence may go to the compromise of the president or people around him that poses a real threat to our national security, and we need to know it if that's the case. >> where's the line? this is not, again, back to the normal criminal case analogy. if a prosecutor can't prove it, their job is to bite their lip, put the file away and shut up. what's different because this is the president of the united states and this is a political investigation as well as a counterintelligence and criminal investigation. >> what's different from doj's point of view is nothing at all rosenstein already spelled it out in old letter he sent to grassley that says we don't talk
about the inner workings. we don't like congress interfering with it and i say that's what barr is going to adhere to. he may give a little more but, no, it's not consistent with the law and the policy to wholesale hand over everything to you. we don't do that. >> does congress have legal standing toifi ing ting t ing i? nadler tweeting yesterday, they sent preservation letters to the nsi, dni, the white house, essentially retain anything. anything mueller asked for, keep it. we're going to ask for it. >> congress absolutely has a job to do here. whether or not something -- the conspiracy charge is a hard charge to bring. whether individuals were charged with quote/unquote collusion, that's whether they could be charged with conspiracy to defraud the united states and in particular, in relation to the hacking of the dnc and related cyberactivities. that's a high bar to meet as a prosecutor. what's different for congress is they still do have an obligation to understand why it is that this presidential campaign appeared to be willing to accept
the assistance of a hostile foreign power and that's the question that congress, if that's not answered in the attorney general's report or his preliminary findings, that's the question they'll want to know the answer to. >> that's the big thing. if that's not answered, which is bill barr's job today. >> they also have an obligation to figure out if they believe that donald trump did something wrong and they believe it's an impeachable offense. the justice department guidelines are that you can't indict a sitting president. in that sense it's different than just declining to prosecute someone because they knew they were going to have to decline to prosecute trump. so they we'll not hand over this full report, that ties congress' hands. it's their job to determine, based on this investigation and the evidence available, do we want to move forward with impeachment proceedings? i don't know if you are a lawmaker how you do that without the full evidence that mueller has collected. >> given his history and his pedigree and i give mueller the benefit of the doubt, he knew that. if he decided i'm going to be a
company man and -- i am not even going to think about indicting a sitting president, doesn't it just factor into that, therefore, that your report to congress, your report to the attorney general would give the road map. anything here for congress to look at? yes or no. wouldn't that be his responsibility? >> he would have to cover that in his report to the attorney general. i mean you have to lay out why and why you didn't do things. i just don't think that justice is going to get over that part of it. absolutely congress is right to fight for it. not without a fight. >> i think there's a distinction between whether or not the special counsel thought that there was information that if it was somebody other than the president, it would be chargeable conduct. so obstruction is the easiest case for this. if the special counsel determined that they had evidence that, if it was anybody else beside the president, they'd have a chargeable case. then i think that would be in the -- >> that would be a key finding. >> and it would say, here's all the information. we determined that we could not indict because he is the
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president trump spending the weekend at his resort in florida waiting with the rest us to find out what the special counsel says in his final report. just moments ago, this tweet from the president. good morning. have a great day. make america great again. he appeared to be in good spirits as well yesterday enjoying a round of golf that included kid rock. i don't have those pants. and then flashing a double thumbs up as his motorcade headed back to mar-a-lago. the president was talk with attorney emmitt flood on friday.
now word there will be no more indictments from mueller's office is enough for some trump allies to claim victory. >> if there's no collusion that was found, then it strongly vindicates president trump, but it raises those serious questions about who is going to be held accountable at the fbi, the bad actors that had a political agenda which goes against everything law enforcement is supposed to be about. >> i'm going to be a broken record. congressman scalise has no idea what's in the mueller report when he says that. the president from beginning to end has washed his hands of all the trouble his close associates are in and made a consistent political argument. >> the entire thing has been a witch hunt, and there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign. >> this is a pure and simple witch hunt. i think that the mueller investigation has been totally d discredited. >> robert mueller put 13 of the angriest democrats on the commission. it's all a big hoax.
i call it the witch hunt. it's all a big hoax. >> joining us to share their reporting, cnn's abby philip, matt and jackie kucinich. what's been remarkable, robert mueller filed his report on friday. the president has said nothing, tweeted nothing, except in rare event to accept the advice of his attorneys. >> they sent with him a lot of people, a lot more people than he usually has around him when he's in florida. in part because florida can be sort of almost like the devil's playground for president trump. he's surrounded by all these people who, a lot of them paid money to be around him and give him informal advice and so as the antidote to that, you had two of his top lawyers, his press secretary, deputy press secretary, his other people, his chief of staff, all of them down there to try to be there as he's getting this information that the mueller report is finished
and to also say, wait a second, it's okay for you to not say anything because we just don't know what's in this report. so far they've been successful but, i mean, it's sunday. we'll see what happens. >> in his political branding from the beginning has been no collusion and it's all about mueller. all about what he calls the witch hunt. he's still a little anxious. one chapter is closing. he knows about all the congressional investigations and they'll try to go after mueller's work product. he knows about a lot of the investigations that are spread out across the country. he knows the legal cloud is not going anywhere and somehow this is a big moment. >> mueller has had this mythic status. you even heard congressional democrats were going to be taking on these investigations for the next two years still talking about mueller, mueller, wait until he has to say. so if that is over and doesn't come down hard on the president in a way it's a little bit of an emotional victory, a political victory because so much focus was on mueller. he's already started the
campaign against the other probes. he's called the congressional democrats' probes presidential harassment. so he's working up that messaging that i'm sure we'll see roll out. but this big one if it goes away, it's a lot more diffuse because there's six house panels, another senate panel, a number of federal prosecutors and it will just be -- >> and nobody knows what's in the mueller report. add into that nobody knows how much bill barr the attorney general will share of what's in the mueller report. but i get the politics of this. it's fact free, but the president's allies, rushing to television on word there's no more indictments. and that means no one is being indicted for conspiracy against the united states by robert mueller. trump allies say game over. >> well, happy no collusion day, tucker. 675 days. i mean it's 675 days deep, tens of millions of dollars spent and a team of people who were biased against the president and they
could not produce evidence to even bring charges for indictment against people for the underlying allegation. >> the left's favorite conspiracy theory is now dead. it is buried. and there was no collusion. no conspiracy. no obstruction. nothing. >> the fact that adam schiff and eric swalwell have been on every media outlet for the last one year, 10 months and 6 days saying they have proof of russia collusion has now all fallen apart. >> we'll see as we get the findings and the additional fight over the entire report whether that holds up. smart to try to get out and spin the narrative from the beginning. nikki haley, the president's former united nations aam ambassador who left the administration, she tweeted this yesterday. after its long investigation, both sides agreed to let mueller do his job and complete the investigation. @real donald trump did not interfere in the investigation. now the american people need to accept the results and move on. you can read that as a defense of the president. read it carefully.
yes, bill barr said nobody tried to stop mueller. mueller was never told no. so republicans can make the case, robert mueller got to do his job. she didn't say the president was innocent. she said everyone needs to accept the results and move on. what if the results are very damning to the president? should we accept them and move on? >> that's this interesting period where everybody on both sides are jumping to conclusions without much knowledge of what this is. also notice in that sweet a little bit of a turn from this is a witch hunt, you know, it's been tainted from the start to, look, there was an in-depth investigation and it didn't find what they thought it was going to find. they're buying credence into the mueller investigation which president trump has called a witch hunt. watch him to see how he reacts to some of it. >> the one word that i keep on focussing on is no more indictments. there have been indictments. and from some pretty high level
people in the president's campaign. i think at the end of the day, they would have tried to spin this no matter what the report came out with. if it came out the president was culpable in some way or form, back to that mueller and everyone was a democrat. this is all the democrats. choose your own adventure we would have ended up in the same place. >> you don't think that steve scalise or matt gates would be on television if this was a president obama or president clinton and six people close to them were going to prison saying the president had been completely vindicated. is that what you're saying? >> yes, i think so. up next, democrats serve notice. a summary of the special counsel's notes will not be enough. and administration agencies to preserve all documents shared with the special counsel. from insurance to savings to retirement, it takes someone with experience and knowledge who can help me build a complete plan. brian, my certified financial planner™ professional,
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his findings. talking points distributed on a saturday afternoon house democrats' conference call included this. if necessary, democrats would be prepared to use its subpoena authority to obtain the full report and underlying evidence as well as to obtain briefings and testimony from the special counsel, the attorney general, the deputy attorney general and other necessary officials. >> the american people really deserve the mueller report, not the barr report. they paid for this investigation. they deserve to see all the findings. >> we don't get the report in full to our satisfaction, robert mueller will be subpoenaed for the judiciary committee. >> people are on their way to jail, have gone to jail. there's probably a farming out of other investigations. but, yes if you have a tv or twitter account, you've already seen obstruction of justice. >> the mueller report is filed. but we have many fights ahead of us. we'll see what bill barr releases for summary of key findings. then the fight over the report itself, the full report.
then the fight over we want everything robert mueller saw as he built his report. if the justice department resists we could end up in court. this could go on for a very long time. >> and i think there's the fight among democrats about what is too far and how far is too far for them? i think there's going to be some disagreement. you heard eric swalwell say you've already seen obstruction of justice. it's apparent on your tv screens. the question is, is that enough to pursue an effort in the congress to sort of make that the number one issue for the next two years? this is going to be really difficult. and it's going to be a needle to thread for democrats because they have to strike the right balance between what they don't like about president trump and his behavior and what is enough to really occupy the time of the congress and potentially even push toward impeachment even though nancy pelosi has -- >> the speaker has done a good job pufti ingof putting that ge in the bottle.
but if mueller disappoints the democrats, that push will come back? >> it could. that's where disagreement will be an issue. if you can say there's already obstruction of justice, you'll say you'll do impeachment proceedings over obstruction of justice or corruption or any misconduct not befitting of the oval office. right now the democrats seem to be well aligned about what they want to see. if they'll disagree about what they want to do, they want to see everything. and that's going to get to the point where it's going to be a push and pull between the doj. also they were talking about precedence to put out there. the fact this happened during the waco investigation. the special counsel after that. there's the nixon precedent and all the documents the doj gave the gop when looking into hillary clinton's e-mails. >> that could be the biggest problem because it's recent. president trump pressured his justice department, give them everything. why not now? >> and this is going to be -- how we have the legal argument, right, and the political argument also. so you are going to see the full
piling on, suspicion of even if they get the full report, nothing about the president, is that just because the doj doesn't indict sitting presidents so they want to see everything tlels? and at every stage of the game it's going to be an awkward fight with the doj. if you take them to court it's also their prosecutors that are going to be fighting you. but also, at every turn there's a political argument to be made. if you fall short of impeach you can use this on the campaign trail going down the road. that's going to be the balancing act. >> investigations going on in the congress. personal e-mail use, trump's taxes, meetings with putin, the democrats are just opening new doors. >> the question is how they're going to prioritize all of those things. but i think it's going to be really interesting. you mentioned the campaign. it's going to be interesting to see how this breaks down on the campaign trail because you have several candidates that actually
will have some power in this. yes, the senate is controlled by republicans but the senators that are running, i'm sure they're going to be, are you doing enough with -- they have where the candidates that are not in congress that don't have any power it will be interesting how that breaks down as we go forward. >> and you mentioned, how do they prioritize it? how do they not get too far out there and seem to be just partisan and political. this is republican congressman chris stewart who says, wait a minute. at the beginning didn't you say robert mueller was the perfect choice. let him do his work because he's the right guy? >> for the last two years we've been told trust mr. mueller. and i have. in some cases i think people are implying we don't trust him now. we want him to come before the committee and justify his conclusions. and i think that's unfair. okay, you didn't give us what we wanted so now we're going to dive into it. >> that will be the republican pushback as the democrats say, no, no, no. mueller was one thing. he had a limited jurisdiction, we're going to broaden this out. >> the weight that the democrats
have placed has given them an excuse to not argue for impeachment. on the campaign trail they've said wait until mueller released his report and then we'll decide. that's going to open up this huge debate among democrats, depending on what's in the report and how strong it is, how that changes and how nancy pelosi, who has been on the record saying, no, the ballot box is where we need to focus this, not impeaching him in congress. if there's damaging bombshells in there, how does she remaneuver into a different position? >> obviously depends and we still don't know a lot. to the point just brought up here, how does the special counsel investigation play out on the 2020 campaign trail? it's probably gonna be dinner and drinks.
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he already sees it as case closed. >> you have a president who, in my opinion, beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to, however hamhandedly, collude with the russian government, a foreign power, to undermine and influence our elections. >> most other 2020 democratic contenders are more measured saying the immediate challenge now is getting the full report released. >> that report needs to be made public. the american people have a right and a need to know. >> the report was paid for by the american taxpayer, and the american taxpayer has a right to see it. >> mayor pete buttigieg requires transparency but worries americans are putting too much stock in the idea that new revelations are the ticket to victory in 2020. >> i think where we might be making a mistake in our party is if we think that this is going to change everything in terms of how the president is viewed. a lot of people have made up
their mind about this president, and a lot of people who voted for him already understand that he is not a character of great integrity. they voted the way they did to send a message. >> it does not come up a lot at candidate town halls. a question here, question there. will this be a pivot point as we get mueller's findings and then the fight over more congressional investigations? or do the candidates think it's better off to talk about the economy and health care and jobs? >> i think it's more the latter. most of the candidates don't bring this up. beto o'rourke gets the closest in the way he talks about it but even he is not calling for impeachment. he says congress could begin that. he hedges a little bit. i don't think it will be a dominant theme. i think they'll try to focus on these other issues, and they want to run against donald trump. they are in this race because they view themselves as the best positioned to go up against him. so i don't know that they'll sort of push for impeachment, even though aspects of the base may be animating that.
>> yeah, i think a lot of it, there is the acknowledgment that a lot of the mueller report has been baked in. even though no one has seen it. the president has spent months trying to, or years, trying to disparage and degrade what's going to come out no matter what it was. so i don't know that that's going to change any minds going forward which is why you see the focus on more salient issues. >> as much as they might want to talk about the other issues and domestic issues, they'll have to keep responding to this. it's going to keep being throughout. it's not going to go away and they can't say they haven't seen or heard anything about the mueller report. what do they say and do they trip up? >> can they find the balance? talk about what you need to on the campaign trail. harris is among those saying we want the materials. we have to take them classified, we'll take them classified but we want them all. >> ironically, the president may be forcing the democrats into talking about this. he and his allies view this as
something they can use to their advantage if there's nothing, you know, extraordinary in it. and i think they believe by the fact there are no further indictments that they can -- they are safe on that ground. but they are going to use this to try to force democrats off message from all these other issues and on to this issue of impeachment and the mueller report and so on and so forth. it will be an odd dynamic. maybe a reverse dynamic from what we've seen. >> interesting to see by day's end we should have robert mueller's key findings. we'll see if that changes the conversation on the campaign trail. that's it for "inside politics." catch us weekdays at noon. up next, "state of the union." dana bash filling in for jake tapper. she has the chairman of the house judiciary committee jerry nadler.
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♪ case closed. 675 days later, robert mueller's work is done. what will his report say about president trump, and what did it find about potential conspiracy with russia? chairman of the house judiciary committee jerry nadler joins us in moments. plus -- principal conclusions. the justice department plans to share the report's key findings with congress while democrats look ahead demanding transparency. >> it's imperative for mr. barr to make the full report public. >> will attorney general barr agree? and political fallout. could the mueller report flip the script? republicans suggest the findings could clear the p