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tv   KQED Newsroom  PBS  March 3, 2019 5:00pm-5:30pm PST

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tonight on kqed newsroom, ieresident trump under s as his former lawyer calls him a liar and a racist. while in california, the state gop undergoes major changes. we'll have a round up of political news. president trump andakim jong un to reach a deal in their second summit. we'll take a look at the ramifications. newly released documents show an alarming number of california police officers have committ crimesthemselves, nearly 12,000 of them so far. llo, and welcome to kqed newsroom, we begin with a growing confrontation over the presidency. michael cohen, president trump's former personal lawyer divered a scathing account wednesday of what he says was a lying, cheating president who used his money and power to hide illegal
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behavior. cohen told congress mr. trump remains involved inh paying h money to a porn film actress even after arriving in the white house and directed him to lie about i california played a prominent rsightn the house o hearing. the state has sticks members on the panel and some of the most pointed questions came from ro khanna, and southern california representative katie hill. california's republican party has picked a newleader, the firstnd woman a first latina to head the gop. joining me toiscuss all of this are scott schafer, 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 efwacts in ington following the michael cohen testimony. will we be seeing additiol vestigations of people he
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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 the kickoff of what's going to be several long months for the trump administration. you know, he was actually n capitol hill for three days this week testifying only one day pick that was the one before the oversight committee, and that committee has already said they want to bring before them every one he mentioned by name in his testimony and what they're really going to have jurisdiction over is looking at some of these ethical issues and financial issues, really diving in to the tru organization and the trump foundation was mentioned in his testimony. those types of things are really the domain of the oversight committee and then we already have the ntelligence committ where michael cohen also appeared in a classified setting that's investigating a lot of tte russia issues and then the judiciary comm is also
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interested in most of this and has put pieces of both where it falls in sort of the criminal legal sphere. so you're going to see all of those committees begin to sort of start diving in and untangling what they see as a web leading toresident trump. and what we saw on tv this week, scott, was quite extraordinary, and dramatic and going back to the house oversight committee, the public hearing, there are six californians who are members of that committe f what stood o you in their line of questioning? we hed from jackie spear, ro khanna, katie hill from southern california. >> harley ruda from orange thing. >> the most exthe record therao that this hearing ham happened. democrats d now they do. nk s, this is a huge stage for two freshmen in particular, but i th know, jackie spear is an attorney, ro khanna is an attorney, and i think in some
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ays 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 cohees how many ti has mr. trump asked you to threaten a person or an institution, 50 times, more, a hundred times, more, and that has now become a meme that's all over the internethi and i in some ways it's more funny than anything, although it does t indicate juhat kind of operation michael cohen was part of. >> and wayson, you'reching this and what's going through your mind? what are the key take aways froy cohen's testior you as a member of the republican party? >> well, i think it's a big charade. the democrats do not like this president t andey are trying as much as possible to just take him out. the mueller investigation hasn't given them really anythingo credibledirectly 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
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big story to the committee, and it makes for greatiotelev it makes for a big diraction 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 department for perjury based on his testimony to congress. >> doesn't it strike you that none of the republicans came to president trump's defense, that hey were all there to impugn michael tcohen, why didny stand up and defend the president? >> i think it's a complete charade. you have somebody who's known to be a liar and who's making things up as he goes. >> me lied on behalf of the president. the president d ected him lie. >> he's the president's attorney nd as an attorney myself, i find it very discouraging and disturbing that when the president relied on him for legal advice, he did illegal things. when the president hires a lawyer, when anyone hires a wylawyer, they want the l to follow the law, to keep them out of legal trouble and it's clear here that michael cohen did not
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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,th some o members sort of treat it as if it's a trial, except there' jury or judge. you're sort of appealing to the american people at home, and that sort of t seemed be what republican strategy writ largeed was gearound, was this notion of less just, impugn the characterichael cohen as way of signaling to the american public that theybhouldn't ieve what he said but you also saw members sort of look at this as an opportunity to begin to establish a record. this is sort of the approach as, forxample, alexandria ocasio kor t cortez and khanna established things that the committee can turn around and subpoena, t looking liey were more preparing footnotes for anpo eventual that the committee might put out. that's sort of why it feels so
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disjointed sometimes is they are all trying to accomplish different things. >> and movingeyond the hearing itself in terms of what happens next, what are some of the challenges now for democrats, for example, because liberal lawmakers on the one hand saying, hey, let's find a way 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 k come bnd bite you just the way it did to the republicans when they impeached bill clinton. it isn'l just the mu investigation, you've got the southern district of new york, the u.s. attorniy,ael cohen said he's in constant contact with. if i were d ald trump or republicans i would be concerned about where that's going. quite apart from the mueller investi wtion. >> aat about the republicans, jason who keep on standing by the president throughout this? what are the risks they face? >> well, i thi there's a risk actually that if we break party unity then a lot of the thing
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the agenda items that donald trump wants to get done, such as immigration reform and like that, won't actually get done becauseo we'll be t busy infighting. >> i want to also talk about gavin neesome, because governor was in washington this week attending a conference of governors and attended a white house dinner hosted by trump.dent i know you covered that visit. what is his biggest challenge now as he's trying to build relationships in w.,shington, d. relationships with the trump administration at a time when california has filed at least 45 lawsuits against white house policies. >> yeah, it wasort of funny. i was standing outside the u.s. senate chaf er, and ohe elevator walks gavin newsome who was coming around with senator dianne feinstein,spo i actually ke with him for about three minutes and in three minutes, that due alty was on full display. on the one hand, he saidd he h ny conversations with president trump both in person and over the phone and he's really making aconcerted effort to build an open line of
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communicatn and a nonpolitical relationship so that when a disaster happens, like the wildfires last year that h knows he can have a relationship with trump and make sure that the state gets the reliefit deserves. at the same time, in that same nversation, had e sort of -- he sort of dropped into conversation that his state was leadg the lawsuit challenging the national emergency declaration to move funds to bui the southern borderwall, so he's really strike thaddling line. it seems to me he's trying to, in direct conversation with ki donald trum of keep the temperature down and let them both go back to their corners and sort offe the mouthpiece roles that each of them has to play. >> and i want to focus also on state politics because we had the state republic party convention recently and there's a wholinnew roster of people office, including you in your new position, and it made some incredible news because the new chair is jessica patterson, first latina to hold the
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position, first woman to hold sse position. jason, whats can we expect to see at the top of her agenda as she takes>> over? well, i know one of the many things at the top of her agenda is oueach to communities that sometimes republicans have traditionally ignored, latinoso asian americans, the older generations traditionallyte v republican, and younger generations are not, so i know that she's going a ma real effort to target them for outreach and voter regisulation. >> i say jim brulte who has been the chair for s years, that was very much at the top of his agenda as well. he was very effective in a lot of ways. fhe problem is they have a mountain worth problems that they have to climb, and not the least of which is having donald trump in the white i mean, katherine baker a moderate republican in the b ar lost her reelection to the assembly, e said having an rext to her name was toxic for voters. people liked her but they didn't like the party. it's been 12 years since the repubcans have won a statewide
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office. schwarzenegger was the last one, along with steve pesner. have real work to do. it's going to take a lot more than outreach. they have toge change their i and come up with candidates that are appealing not just to republicans but to independent oters as well >> do you think the fact that patterson is latino, will that help with latinodi ctes in california, especially many have been feeling not very fond of the republican party because of their stand on illegal immigration. >> it's helpful always to have a fresh face and a someone who's woman and someone who's latina, it's a great talking point bute as i said arty is so out of step with what california is onm gration, 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 onmmigration. u'll get carlos carbello in
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florida, ran a moderatepa cn on the forefront of getting moderate reform in congress. it was notnough to save their 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., thank you for joining us via skype, ands tha to scott shaffer and also jason rk for being here. nice to have you all. >> thank you >> thank you. now to an international development that's being closely watched in the bay area. president tump and north korean leader kim jong un abruptly ended their summit in vietnam this week after they failed to reach a deal to denuclearize the korean peninsula. president trump wanted -- in exchange for closing one nuclear site. north korea's foreign minister disagreed saying north korea wanted partial sanctions
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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 leaders last year in singapore. joining us now is yan lee deputy director of the korea praogram t stanford university. >> thank for having me. >> you wrote anrcle for the diplomat. one day after the article, the summit ends, how would you rize their relationship now. >> i think it did abruptly end, but their relationship seems to be still in not bad terms, seems like when trump walked away, he did mention that they' still willing to negotiate. one thing that was noticeable is that when north korea presented this result in their own domestic news, they never mentioned that trump walked
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away, that they're still working towards making progress, so i think bothhe of are trying to maintain the close ties, and trying to be hopeful of what might come upxt >> this was their second summit in eight months. they had much more time this time around than they did during the talks in singapore to prepare, to kind of think aheadt about w the deal might be. so why wasn't progress, more progress mad >> yes, it is somewhat unexpected. even the north korean, when the u.s. diplomatic teams met li together e or last week, to actually work out the details before going into the summit. but this happened. there seems to have been an unexpected factor that came up during thhr talks. >> do you think that factor was? >> i think the north kore wanted something bigger than was initially discussed upon, and rightfully so, i tunk president backed out of that deal. >> how much of a role do you think the politics in this
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country had in what happened during those talks in vietnam because he was overseas, but i'm sure that the north korean, jong un could not miss the drama that was unfolding here with the michamo cohen tesy. did that affect president trump's standing and leverage in theia negions? >> that is a very correct observation. the north koreans observed u.s. politics closely. at there is an election cycle here, and i think they followed the recent tu of events with the cohen testimony yesterday, a few days ago. and maybe i think that factored into their decision of okay, maybe trump is willing to strike a bigger deal to divert attention to this, and maybe they put on a bigger package than they had initially agreed upon. and maybe hopefully assuming a trump would actually >>te it. hat kinds of sanctions are
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they most focussed on?w t do they want lifted? >> so one thing we learn out of this is that sanctions really do matter for themright, it was the sanctions that they were really key on, and so i've actually done research on sanctions myself. >> y're an economist. >> iin am, and i was lointo how sanctions affected the north korea economy. especially until 2013 or so, the elite tried to shield negative impact of sanctions at the cost of the marginal interland, but the recent round of sanctions, the so called maximum pressure sanctions that wereed le since 2016 target exports, coa iron ore, minerals, which are the major sourcenu of re for that country, and restrict ban on imports of oil oruxury ods, and what that does is it targets the elites of pyongyang, and
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they are the ones who are fuelling the brunt of the pain now as well, and 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 building, right. >> that's right. >> to get thes sanction lifted, so what do you think he will do next? is there a risk here that he will escalate nuclear fuel oroduction to put pressure on president trump lift those sanctions? >> well, i think that would be a risky move. and first of all, yesterday the north koreans actually gave a press release where their m foreignnister 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 w they would want to pursue this, but i think maintaining channels of negotiation and conversation will be the critical point forwardor them to try to relax
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some sanctions and develophe economy. >> and so what do you think will need to happen now to bring them back to the negoti table? >> it is a difficult situation. but i think they will try to maintain some sort of way tom cicate with the u.s. viously didn't materialize but currently the past couple of months, i believe the north koreans and u.s. diplomatic have been in good relations so if they continue this pahth, there mie hope for them, a better outcome. >> real quickly, 15 seconds left, presiden that he and kim jong un discussed the case of otto he warmbier, american college student who died last year after being imprisoned north korea and said he takes kim jong un at his word thahe didn't know out warmbier's medical condition. is that possible that he wouldn't know? >> that i am also a bit skeptical that heldn't know about this.
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given howra the situation was, i would imagine he would have known. >> all right. yong lee deputy director of st thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. we turn our attention now to police misconduct, a jointnv iestigation by several news rganizations includi kqed has brought to light a lengthy previously secret list of police officers accused of crimes. a new california law allows the media and the public tost reque certain police records that were previously inaccessible. the newly released records reveal a disturbing reality. in the last ten years, nearly 12,000 police officers have committed crimes ranging fromif shopng to embezzlement to childrn raphy. attorney general bacerra is responding forcefully, threatening legal action against reporters who have obtained the documents. here is one of the reporters, robert lewis of the uc berkeley reporting program as well as thomaspeel, an investigative
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reporter who covered government accoun records for the east bay times. with k to both of -- welcome to both of you. >> thank you. >> the records you obtained cover law enforcement officers over the past decade12,000 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. murder. >> someone robbed a bank wearing a fake beard. >> that was covered some in the local itdia. yes, is a pretty broad range. >> and how many officers are still on the job? >> we don't know that. so the agency that gavet to us as well as the attorney office 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 tngs we're doing now. we know there are officers who have committed crimes, who have
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been convicted of crimes who are currently working in the state of california as peace officers, we just don't know how many. >> and these records wepr ided by the california commission on peace officer standards and training in response to routine public records requests and thomas, this tak place amid a larger battle over california's new police transparency law which took effect january 1st, known as senate bill 1421. explain what that does. >> it opens police disciplinary records. officers who were found who have committed sexual assault, which is defined broadly in the law, and also dishonesty related offenses, lied in a report, planted evidence on someone. those records become public, they also release records o serious use of force incidents including officer-involved shootings. regardless of what the disciplinary outcome of the investigation of that incident
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was. >> and then how are law enforcement groups responding to this new law? >> there are numerous police unions around the state who have gone to court seeking restraining 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 rec have stayed secret for so long. the public has nev had chance to look at them, and on a separate issue, the records that you got, fell under a different law, but state attorney general javia bace is threatening legal action against you as well, and other reporters who have obtained details about the roughly 12,000 officers who have been convicted of crimes. he says he has privacy concerns. >> to give you a o little ba background, there is, within the state of california and within the attorney general's office, a dase of convictions for everybody, not just peace
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officers, current and former, and there was a technical change in the law that allowed this accrediting body called post to more easily label people within theirba data as being disqualified from being peace officers and st of to comply with that law boasasically they went to the state doj and said give us a list of everyone in our data base who has been convicted of a crime, and that's what the ag's office prepared and gave to this post commission, and my understanding is what they were going to do is go through it and figure out who in their database they should lag as being disqualified from serving in law enforcement. >> police unions say the whole situation is ukiair, m all of these documents public because they say they're still mandated broad public disclosure professionalsther like doctors and teachers, are they being singled out? >> if anyonehould be singled out, it should be government employees who have the most power against any individual
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californian. they have the right to take their liberty away. and if certain circumstances where they can take your life away. these should know the most about, not the least. for 40 years in california, we e have known tht about the conduct of police officers and what they get disciplinedw for hin their ranks. we also know that incredibly high percentage of police officers are honorable public servants who risk their lives everyle day to save peto help californians, it's kind of mind boggling to think that those who carry themselves at hethe h ethical standards wouldn't want the disclosure about those who don't. both we mentioned, you're 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 the public by gaining access to these misconduct records. >> tom alluded to it, it's building trust in the system.
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i think the public has an r oversigle. we the public empower law enforcement and law enforcement ngficers to have these capabilities of taliberty, taking life torks prote, to pro we then have a right and responsibility to provide some measure of oversight, and without the information we can't serve that function and i give you just one tiny example that's aocal example, one of the officers i mentioned in the story was a san francisco cop who was pleaded guilty to accessing confidential informationinappropriately. around the same time, there was another officer also within the san francisco police department convicted of basically the same crime. now, both of those were handled by internal affairs, and the ffpd so it seems like they too it seriously but because neither of those cases were reported, there was no public discussion over the controls of confidential inrmation. the public lost out on the ability to provide that oversight role.i >>ow there's certainly more
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to come with this. you're both still continuing to investigate this. robert lewis with the uc berkeley investigative reporting program and thomas peel with the bay area news group. thank you both. >> you're welcome. >> thank you. before we go, we woulthlike to mar passing of san francisco public defender jeffo i, he died at the age of 59. the state's only elected public defender. he was a tireless criminal 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 o in san francto eliminate 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 li s, not feelke they have to break the law in order to support their families, and a lot of people in san fr ncisco ar this situation, and so if you're going to burden them with fines and s, it's kind of
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like a payday loan, in a sense, you plead guilty and a t of people plead guilty just to get out of jail because they can't afford bail, and then when they get out of jai they have this huge debt on their back, and what's going to happen, they're going feel more pressure to do something desperate 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 always, you can find more of ouroverage at kqed.org/newsro
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