tv KQED Newsroom PBS March 2, 2019 1:00am-1:31am PST
tonight on kqed newsroom, president trump under siege as his former lawyer calls him a lia and a. raci while in california, the state gop undergoaj mor changes. we'll have a round up of president trump and kim jong un fail to reach a deal in their second summit. we'll take a look at the ramifications. newly released document show an alarming number of california police office have committed crimes themselves, nearly 12,000 of them sofar. hello, and welcome to kqed newinoom, we b with a growing confrontation over the presidency. michael cohen, president trump's former personal lawyer delivered a scathing account wednesday of
what he says was alying, cheating president who used his money and power to hide illegal behavi cohen told congress mr. trump remains involved in paying hush money or a film actress even after arriving in the white house and directed him to lie about it. california played a prominent rolesen the h oversight hearing. the state has sticks members on the panel and some of the most cinted questionsame from ro na kh and southern california representative katie hal. califor republican party has picked a new leader, the first woman and first latina to head the gop. joining me to discuss all of this are scott schar, jason clark, bay area regional vice chair of the california republican party, and tal kopin, joining us via scape in the nation's capitol. what are the ripple effects in washington following theha m
cohen testimony. will we be seeing additional investigations of people h implicated including president trump's son, donald jr. and his cfo, allen wisenberg. >> the short answer is, yes, we're going to see more investigations, in some ways, michael cohen's testimony was he kickoff of what's going to be several long months for the trumpadministration. you know, he was actually up on capitol hill for three days thit week ying only one day was pick that was the one b oversight committee, and that committee has already said iney want to before them every one he mentioned by name in his testimony and what they'rely reagoing to have jurisdiction over is looking at some of these ethical issues and financial issues, really divi into the trump organization and the trump foundation was menoned in his testimony. those types of things are really the domain of the oversight committee and then we already have the intelligence committee where michaelso cohen a appeared in a classified setting
that's investigating a lot of the russia issues and then the judiciary committee is also interested in most this and has put pieces of both where it falls in sort of the criminal le yl sphere. 're going to see all of those committees begin to sort of start diving in a untangling what they see as a web leading to president trump. >> and what we saw on tv this week, scott, was quite extraordinary, and dramatic and going back to the house eversight committee, the public hearing, there six californians who are members of that committee. what stood out for you in their liquestioning? we heard from jackie spear, ro khanna, katie hl from southern california. >> harley ruda from orange thing. >> the most exthe record therao that taring ham happened. democrats didn't have any power. now they do. i think in some ways, this is a huge stage for two freshmen in
particular, but i think,ou now, jackie spear is an attorney, ro khanna is an attorney, and i think in sayme they really got to the heart of some things but the one exchange that i think has really gone viral is when jackie spear asked cohen, how many times has mr. trump asked you to threaten a person or an institution, times, more, a hundred times, more, and that has now become a meme that's all over the internet and i think in some ways it's more funny than haything, although it does indicate just kind of operation michael cohen was part of. >> and jaychn, you're wg this and what's going through your mind? orat are the key take aways from cohen's testimony you as a member of the republican party? >> well,i think it's a big charade. the democrats doli not this president and they are trying as much as possible toust take him out. the mueller investigation hasn't given them really anythingdi credible toctly tie him to any wrong doing, so they have reduced themselves to dragging a
disbarred lawyer who has been known to lie to come and tell a big story toche mittee, and it makes for great television. it makes for a big distraction on the north korea summit that was happening at the same time but as we've seen already, mr. cohen is being referred to the justice department for perjury based on his testimony to congress. >> doesn't it strike oou that no the republicans came to president trump's defense, that they were all there to impugn chael cohen, why didn't they stand up and defend the president? i think it's a complete charade. you have be a liar and who's making things up as he goes. >> me lied onehalf of the president. the president directed him to lie. >> he's the president's attorney and as an attorney myself, i find it very discouraging and isturbing that when the president relied on him for legal advice, he did illegal things. when the president hires a lawyer, when anyone hires a lawyer, they want the lawyer to follow the law, to keep them out
of legal trouble and it's clear here that michael cohen d not do that. >> let's let tal get a word in here. >> i was going to say it speaks to the complicated way that these hearings play out. you know, some of the members sort of treat it as if it's a trial, except there's no jury you're sort of appealing to the american people at home, and that sort of seemed to be whatc repub strategy writ large was geared around, was this notion of less just, impugn the character of michael cohen as way of sgnaling to the american public that they shouldn't believe what he said but you look atw members sort of this as an opportunity to begin to establish a record. this is sort of the approach as, for example, alexandria ocasio kor te cortez and ro khanna establathed things the committee can turn around and subpoena, looking like they were mo preparing footnotes for an eventual report that the
committee might put out. o that's sor why it feels so disjointed somemes is they are all trying to accomplish different things. >> and moving beyond the hearing itself in terms of what happenha next,are some of the challenges now for democrats, for example, becauseli you have ral lawmakers on the one hand saying, hey, let's find a w to start the impeachment process. >> i think pelosi knows that impeachment is an inherently political thing and if you do it in a partisan way, it's going to come back andyo bitjust the way it did to the republicans when they impeached bill clinton. it isn't ju the mueller investigation, you've got the southern district of new york, the u.s. attorney,l mich cohen said he's in constant contact with. if i were donald republicans i would be concerned about where that's going. quite apart from the mueller investigation a >> and whut the republicans, jason who keep on standing by the president throughout this? what are the risks the face?
>> well, i think there's a risk actually that if we bre party unity then a lot of the things, the agenda items that donald trump wants to get done, such as immigration reform and like that, won't actually get done because we'll be too busy infighting. >> i wana to also about gavin newsome, because the governor was in washingt this weekattending a conference of governors and attended a white house dinner hosted by president trump. i know you covered that what is his biggest challenge now as he's trying to build relationships in washington, d.c., relationtrips with the mp administration at a time when california has filed at least 45 lawsuits against white hse policies. >> yeah, it was sort of funny. i was standing outside the u.s. senate chamber, and off the elevator walks gavin newsome who was coming around with senator dianne feinstein, so i actually spoke with him for about three minutes and in three minutes, that due alty was on full on the one hand, he said he has had many conversations with president trump both in person e
and over phone and he's really making a concerted effort to build an open line of communication and a nonpolitical relationship so that when a disaster happens, like the wildfires last year that he knows he can have a relationship with mtrump andke sure that the state gets the relief it at me time, in that same e serves. conversation, had e sort of -- d into of drop conversation that his state was leading the lawsuit challenging the national emergencyec aration to move funds to build the southern border ll, so he's really strike th addlinh line. it seems to me he's trying to, in direct conversation with donald trump kind of keep the temperature down and letthhem go back to their corners and sort of offer the mouthpiece roles that each of them has to play. >> and i want to focus also on state politics because we had the state republican party convention recently and there's a whole new roster of people in yooffice, including you i new position, and it made some
incredible news because the new chair is jessica patterson, irst latina to hold the position, first woman to hold the position. jason, what issan we expect to see at the top of her agenda as she takesver? >> well, i know one of the many things at the top of her agenda is outrea to communities that sometimes republicans haveal traditi ignored, latinos, young asian americans, the older generations traditionally voted republican, and younger generations are not, so i know that she's going to make a real effort to target them for outreach and voter registratsan. >> i wouljim brulte who for six the chair years, that was very much at the top of his agenda as well. he was very effective in a lot of wayth problem is they have a mountain worth of problems that hey have to climb, and not the least of which is having donald trump in the white house, i mean, katherine a baker moderate republican in the bay area lost her reelection to the assembly, sheexaid having an r to her name was toxic for vors.
people liked her but they didn't like the party. it's been 12 years since the republica a have won statewide office. schwarzenegger was the last se, along wieve poisner. they have real work to do. it's going to take a lot more than outreach. they have to change their image and come up with candidates that are appealing not just to republicans but to independent vot >> do you think the fact that patterson is latino, will that help with latinote candi in california, especially many have been feeling not veryond of the republican party because of their stand on illegal lwmigration. >> it's helpfuls to have a fresh face and someone who's a woman and someone who's it's a great talking point but as i said the party is so out of step with what california is ong imtion, climate change and gun control and other issues, it's tough for her, a little bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic. >> you can see in 2018, some latina republican candidates
nationally lost their feet under the weight of some of the parties moves on immigration. you'll get cars carbello in florida, ran a moderaten campa on the forefront of getting moderate reform in congress. it was not eno th to saveir seats back in the district. to a certain extent sometimes the wins are just so hard nationally, it can be very difficult back home. >> we will have to leave it there. tal with the chronicle in washington, d.c., tank you for ining us via skype, and thanks to scott shaffer and also jason clark for being here. nice to have you all. >> thank you. >> thank you. now to an international development that's being closely watched in the bayarea. president trumand north korean leader kim jong un abruptly ended their summit in vietnam this week after they failed to reach a deal toenuclearize the korean peninsula. president trump wanted -- in exchclge foring one nuclear site.
north korea's foreign minister disagreed saying north korea wanted partial sanctions released to end its enrichment of nuclear material. secretary of state mike pompeo and president trump stressed progress had been made since the first meeting between the two leaders last year in singapore. joinings now is yan lee deputy dector of the korea praogram at stanford university. >> thank for having me. >> you wrote an article for the diplom. one day after the article, the summit ends, how would you characterize their relationship now. >> i think it did abruptly end, but their relationsp seems to be still in not bad terms, seems likemp when talked away, he did mention that they're stilll w to negotiate. one thing that was noticeable is that when north korea presented this result in their own
domestic news, th never mentioned that trump walked away, that they're still working towards makingprogress, so i think both of them are trying to maintainhe close ties, and trying to be hopeful of what might come up next. >> this was their secondi summi eight months. they had much more time this time around than they did during the talks in singapore to prepare, to kind of think ahead the deal might be. so why wasn't progress, more progress made. >> yes, it is somewhat unexpected. even the north korean, when the u. diplomatic teams met together earlier or last week, to actlly work out the details before going into the summit. but this happened. there seems to have been an unexpted factor that came up during their talks. >> what do you think that factor was? i think the north koreans wanted somethi bigger thans initially discussed upon, ando,
rightfully i think president trump backed out of that deal. >> how much of a role do you think the politicsh in country had in what happened during those talks in vietnam because he was overseas, but i'm sure that the north korean, especially kim jongn could not miss the drama that was unfolding here with the michael cohen testimony. did that affect president trump's standi and leverage in the negotiations? >> that is a very correct observation. the north koreans observed u.s. politics very closely. and they know that t election cycle here, and i think they followed the recent turn of events with the cohen testimony yesterday, a few days ago. and maybe i think that factored wto their decision of okay, maybe trump islling to strike a bigger deal to divert aention to this, and maybe they put on a bigger package than they had initially aeed upon.
and maybe hopefully assung a trump would actually bite it. are at kinds of sanctions they most focussed on? what do they want lifted? >> so one thing we learn out of this is that sanctions really do matter for them, right, it was the sanctions that they were ealy key on, and so i've actually done rh on sanctions myself. >> you're an economist. >> i am, and i was looking into ed the nortns affe korea economy. especially until 2013 or so, thi elite to shield negative impact of sanctions at the cost , but marginal interla the recent round of sanctions, the so called maximum pressure w sanctions the levied since 2016 target exports, coal, iron ore, minerals, which are the major source of revenue for that country, and restrict bann
imports of oil or luxury goods, and what that does is it targets the elites of dpyongyang, they are the ones who are fuelling the brunt of the pain now as well, d the elites matter to kim jong un, i mean. >> so the elites are starting to hurt, then you would think that the pressure on kim jong un will be buiing, right. >> that's right. >> to get these sanctions lifted, so what do you think he will do next? is there a risk here that he will escalate nuclear fuel producon to put pressure on president trump to lift those sanctions? >>well, i think that would be a risky move. andf firstall, yesterday the north koreans actually ga a press release where their foreign minister said that they would not continue testing. i think that's the right direction. once they start testing, that would basically move back to ground zero, so i think that's not the way they would want to pursue this, but i think
maintaining channels of negotiation andnv sation will be the critical point forward for them to try torelax some sanctions and develop the economy. >> and so what do you think will need to happen n to bring them back to the negotiation table? >> it is a difficult situation. but i think they will try to maintain some sortof way to communicate with the u.s. obviously didn't materialize but currtly the past couple of months, i believe the north koreans and u.s. diplomatic have been in good relations so if they continue this path, there might be hope for them, a better ,utcome. >> real quick 15 seconds left, president trump also said that he and kim jong un discussed the case of otto warmbier, the american college student who died last year after north koreaoned in and said he takes kim jong un at his word that heoidn't know warmbier's medical condition. is that possible that he wouldn't ktow?
>> t am also a bit skeptical that he wouldn't know abouthis. given how grave the situation was, i wouldmagine hewould have known. >> all right. yong lee deputy director of stanfor's program. ank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. we turn our attention now to police misconduct, a jointga investion by several news organations including kqed has brought to light a lengthy previously secret list of police officers accused of crimes. a new california law allows the mnd the public to request certain police records that were previously inaccessible. the newly released records reveal a disturbing reality. in the last ten years, nearly a12,000 police officers h committed crimes ranging from shoplifting to embezzlement to child pornography. attorney general bacerras responding forcefully, threatening legal action against porters who have obtained the documents. here is one of the reporters, robert lewis of the uc berkeley
reporting program as well as thomas peel, investigative reporter who covered government accountabiliy and public ecords for the east bay times. with k to both of -- welcome to both of you. >> thank you. >> the records youbtained cover law enforcement officers over the past decade, 12,0 in all, and people who were applying to be police officers. what were some of the most egregious crimes you uncovered. >> everything you can imagine. it's everything fro sho shoplifting, petty theft to stealing money from the department, domestic violence.er mu >> someone robbed a bank wearing a fake beard. >> that was covered some in the local media. yes, it is a pretty broad range. >> and how man officers are still on the job? >> we don't know that. so the agency that gave i to us as well as the attorney general's offe refuses to say who on this list is actually a current or former officer as opposed to say an applicant. we're trying to analyze it. it's one of the things we're
doing now.ow we here are officers who have committed crimes, who have been convicted of crimesntwho ae cur working in the state of california as peace officers, we just don't know how many. >> and these records were provided by the california commission o peace officer standards and training in response to routine public ecords requests andthomas, this takes place amid a larger battle over california' new police transparency law which took effect january 1st,wn k as senate bill 1421. explain what that does. >> it opens police disciplinary records. officers who were found who have committed sexual assault, which isdldefined br in the law, and also dishonesty related offenses, lied in a report, planted evidence on someone. those records become public, they also release records of serious use of force incidents including officer-involved
gshootings. dless of what the thsciplinary outcome of the investigation of incident was. >> and then how are law enforcement groups responng to law? new >> there are numerous police unions around the state who have gone to court seeking temporary straining orders trying to block release of the records, claiming that the law is not retroactive. five judges have ruled so far on the temporary restraining orders. four judges have ruled in favor of disclosure. and these records have stayed secret for so long. the public has neverad a chance to look at them, and on a separate issue, the records that y got, fell under a different law, but state attorney general javier bacerra is threatening legal action against you as well, and other reporters who have obtained details abo the roughly 12,000 officers who have been convicted of crimes. he ss he has privacy concerns. little bit of a background, there is, within the state of california and within
the attorney general's office, e data b of convictions for everybody, not just peace officers, current and former, and there was a technical change in the law that allowed this ccrediting body ecaasiedly lan te disqualified from being peace officers and sort of to comply with that law boasasically they went to the state doj and said give us a list of everyone in our d wta base has been convicted of a crime, and that's what the ag's office prepared myd gave to this post commission, and understanding is what they were going to do is go through it and figuei out who in database they should flag as being disqualified from serving in law enforcement. >> police unions say the whole situation is unfair, making all of these documents public because they say they're still mandated broad public disclosure of crimes by other like doctors and teachers, are they being singled out? >> if anyone should be singled
out, it should government employees who have the most power againstny individual californian. they have the right to take their liberty away. a if certain circumstances where they can take your life away. these are the employees we should know the most about, not the least. for 40 years in california, we have known the least about the conduct ofnd police officers what they get disciplined for within their ranks. we also know that incredibly ercentage of police officers are honorable public servants who risk their lives every day to save people, to help californians, it's kind of mind boggling to thin that those who carry themselves at the highest ethical standards w wouldnnt the disclosure about those who don't. >> as we mentioned, you're both part of a broad reporting project that includes kqed looking at police misconduct. in the end, what is the bigger picture, robert that you're hoping to give ine public by
g access to these misconduct records. >> tom alluded to it, it's building trust intehe sy i think the public has an oversight role. we the publicw empower enforcement and law enforcement officers to have these capabilities of taking inlibert tlife torks prote, to protect u we then have a right and responsibility to provide some measure of oversight,nd without the information we can't serve that function and i give ou justne tiny example that's a local example, one of the officers i mentioned in thest y was a san francisco cop who was pleade guilty to accessing confidential information inappropriately. around the same time, there was another officer also within the san francisco police depard ent convicf basically the same crime. now, both of those were handled by internal affairs, and the ffpd so it seems like they took it sly but because neither of those cases were reported, there was no public discussn over the controls of confidential information.
we the public lost out on the ability to provide tt oversight role. >> i know there's certainly more this.e with you're both still continuing to investigate this. robert lewis with the uc grkeley invesive reporting program and thomas peel with the bay area news group. thank you both. >> you're welcome. >> thank you. before we go, we would like to mark the passing of san fr cisco publicfender jeff adochi, he died at the age of 59. the state' only elected public defender. he was a tireless advote for iminal justice reform including ending cash bail for criminal defendants and defending immigrants facing deportation. he appeared on our program to talk about a bill later passed in san francisco iminate the hefty fees and fines criminal defendants have to repay when they're released from jail. >> we want to encourage people to live productive lives, crime free lives, n feel li they have to break the law in order to support their families, and a lot of people in san franciho are in situation, and so if
you're going to burden them with fines and fees, it's kind of like a payday loan, in a sense, you plead guilty and a lot of people plead guilty ju to get out of jail because they can't afford bail, and then when they get out of jail, they have this huge debt on their back, and what's going to happen, they're going to feel more pressure to do something dperate in order to pay these fines and fees. >> and there will be a public memorial service for jeff adochi on monday at 11:00 a.m. at san francisco city hall. that will do it for us. as alway you can find more of our coverage at kqed.org/newsro
robert: president trump returns from vietnam with more challenges than when he left. i'm robt costa. welcome to "washington week." -- i'm robert costa. "washington week." president trump follows criticism following a report that he secured a top security clearance for his son-in-law jared kushner. overseas -- he t wanted the sanctions lifted in theirir ey and we couldn't do it. yobert: the president walks a from kim jong-un. and onol hill -- >> i own mistakes. i own him. >> remarkablestimony from president trump's former lawyer. >> the president ofhe united states wrote a check for the payment of hush money as part of