tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC October 27, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
>> friday night at the end of the long week. that's our broadcast tonight. thank you for being with us. good night from nbc headquarters here in new york. >> there's a lot to talk about. there have been a whole bunch of scoops that have broken in the press today and this afternoon and now into tonight. this has been a name in lights day for a whole bunch of american journalists. for a conservative journalist in particular. for a "wall street journal" journalist. somebody from the office of the director of national intelligence made news in his own that's right. we've had some really, really really interesting reporting out of the eastern district of virginia. a whole bunch of important news has broken. we'll be talking about all of
that. but cnn has started to report in the last few minutes, citing two sources familiar with the matter, cnn is now reporting that the robert mueller special counsel investigation has produced its first criminal charges i would elaborate further on what cnn is reporting but that really is all they're reporting. this is not confirmed by nbc news or by any other news organization at this point. so this is just cnn's work. they're saying that a federal grand jury in washington, d.c. today approved the first charges in the investigation that's being led by the special counsel by mueller. now, we don't know what the charges are. the charges are apparently still sealed under orders of a federal judge. we don't know who the charges are against and we don't even know what the charges are.
we don't have any reason to believe any of they will have been notified of the fact that they have been charged, if in fact these charges are still under seal. so the headline is very provocative. we know very little beyond that. other than prosecutors associated with the mueller investigation were seen entering the room where the grand jury meets in d.c., in the federal courthouse if d.c. other than the attorneys being spotted in that room, which has happened before. we have no corroborating information about whether or not this is true. so obviously, this is a very provocative prospect. we're keeping an eye for additional reporting. lots of news organizations are working on their own approach to the story. i'll tell you as somebody who has covered the russian story probably more extensively than anyone in cable news, i'll just
tell you that there have been lots and lots and lots of rumors that this was about to happen. and there have been lots of sort of credible, single source reports, unconfirmed single source reports that charges were imminent from mueller's investigators. you follow all that. until you have multiple credible sources, it is not reportable. cnn says it is reportable at this point. nobody else does. if they're right, this is first reported multiple source account that these charges may happen. there's no reason to speculate further. how should we understand the significance of this if this is proven out.
i'm really glad you are here for this. >> we don't know. nbc news has not confirmed this. but as a law enforcement professional, tell us what this means. a federal grand jury in washington, d.c. approved the first charges in the investigation being led by mueller. tell us about the work of a grand jury and what it means to say that a grand jury has approved charges. >> typically what happens in a grand jury's investigation, they hear evidence. it could be a little case where they hear it for one day or a big case, like the one we're talking about where they hear testimony. and then at some point, the prosecutor makes a decision to seek or decline to seek an indictment. they think they've gotten to the point where they have probable cause to go forward. the pros clurt draft a proceedsed on indictment. present it to the grand jury to discuss the law and the elements
of the offenses. answer any questions and then leave the room and the grand jury on deliberate among themselves and make a decision whether they approve or decline to approve. they call it issuing a true bill or no true bill. and it sounds like in this report is accurate tlergs did issue a true bill. >> at that point that's not an adversarial process. nobody is making the case that they shouldn't approve it. this is between prosecutor and the grand jury without any intervention from someone who might be representing the target of the proposed indictment. >> that's right. and that's why the defendant is still presumed innocent. they have not had the chance to cross examine witnesses, confront accusers, or do all the things they have at trial. it has been very one sided. and the standard is not guilt beyond reasonable doubt but probable cause. you sometimes hear this complaint that a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich before a grand jury. i don't think that's true. not the least of which because
it is a strange metaphor but because, there is an obligation under doj ethics rules to present the grand jury with significant exculpatory information. >> does robert mueller over his years in law enforcement in the justice department, and the fbi, does he have a particular reputation in terms of how aggressive he might be about charging people? is he known for approaching these things any particular way? >> i would say the one thing he's known for is approaching investigations with a sense of urgency. i think we're seeing that here. to have charges filed now some of the people may think this is not very quick. it seems very quick to me. it is his reputation to work very hard. to drive his people very hard. to leave no stone unturned. >> according to cnn's report, this is not confirmed by nbc, the charges are still sealed under orders from a federal
judge. what would it mean for the grand jury, as you describe, to have approved a proposed sbimt but then for it to be sealed. why is that done? >> sealing is fairly common at the stage when you have an indictment that is issued, approved, as it may have been. the reason is that law enforcement kind of wants its ducks in a row before they go out and arrest the defendant or even notify him. it may be they don't arrest the defendant because they've worked out a relationship with his or her defense attorney, to bring them in to appear on the case. it is late on a friday afternoon. they want to keep it a secret so at a moment of their choosing, they can either inform the defendant or they can surprise them with an arrest first thing monday morning, tuesday morning. >> can charges like this be sealed indefinitely? >> it can be sealed for some time. sometimes there are strategic reasons to seal an indictment for a longer period of time.
you may want to arrest other people that you're continuing to investigate and you don't want to alert them that someone else has been charged. i could be that someone is a fugitive. you don't want to alert them in the meantime while you look for them. >> at some point, it is considered against their rights. certainly the charge from the time it is committed. my guess is in this case, they're sealing it for some period of time so they can effectuate an arrest plan or an appearance in court. >> let me ask you an admittedly dumb question about this. >> i'm thinking about the treatment by the special counsel thus far of paul manafort in particular.
picking the lock and they find out when he's there. they told paul manafort, expect to be indicted. we have no reason to think if there are charges, that they have anything to do with manafort. that they seal to have taken to that one figure in the case. is it possible you would bring a proposed indictment, you would seal the indictment and you would do that basically as a form of pressure on the target. pressure on a suspect. not necessarily because the end game is to put that person in jail but because you want to scare the bejesus out of that person. >> i think it was not so much scare tactics as necessary steps in the investigation. in telling someone they're a target of the vegts, it just
puts them on notice. if you want to cooperate, now is the time. maybe you can talk us out of it if you can provide us information. i think you have to show a judge that you have a reason for that. there was some legitimate concern. the deleting of a document saved on a cell phone, for example. that would be done in the few minutes it takes for a nauk and the answer of a door. i think it seems unlikely they would file it just to scare somebody. i think if there's an indictment, they would share it. i think they will use it to get cooperation against more egregious offenders but it remains to be seen who the defendant or defendants are. >> let me ask you one last question. i'll ask to you stay with us and talk about it in a moment. before i let you go, you did mention that you feel like, in your opinion, this feels quick to you? this feels like it might have
been faster than you are expecting there could be charges? an indictment in this case? can i ask why you said that? >> it seems like psalm complex case. the big picture about anything between russia and the trump campaign. it seems like such an enormous case that it could take many, many months to get to the bottom of it. but even if it is a charge against manafort or flynn or someone else. it seems there is so much new news with so much complex issues. it seals like it would take a very long time. but robert mueller does have a reputation for working with urgency and he has 16 top notch prosecutors. i'm sure they're working days, nights, and weekends to get this done. >> thank you very much. i would love for to you stick with us. i have a feeling we have a lot more to talk about. i want to bring into the conversation, matthew miller. the former spokesperson.
you've heard the discussion that i just had with barbara mcquaid. you've seen this reporting. i need to underscore that nbc news has not confirmed this tonight. >> they said they're citing two sources familiar with it and they're saying the first charges have been brought. we don't know what they are. let me ask your top line. >> this suppose bob mueller is working quickly. there are a lot of people that thought he might pursue the investigation into months. maybe a report to congress about fwakss president that wouldn't result in criminal charges.
>> at least one indictment, maybe more than one set of indictments early in the case. this does not mean that we are at the end of the investigation. i think i think the first seventh indictments. there could be more to come. >> from a doj perspective. part of the reporting that cnn has done which is more background rather than something had, some new fact they dug up. the way they're characterizing the report. the deputy attorney general, rob rosenstein who is overseeing all matters related to this, as the person overseeing the mueller investigation, would he have had to see it? would he have had to be infwormd
these proposed charges for the mueller investigation to go this far? >> technically, he would have to see the indictment. it would be up to the relationship that he and mueller worked out under the terms of the appointment. the document itself, it is very narrow, it sets it up. it doesn't set tim working relationship that they would have. i would expect mueller would have informed him about this. would have briefed him on who he plans to indict. i don't know if he would brief him on what he's done. the real concern that's people have raised about rosenstein's independence. i think mueller might be careful of how much detail he does share. >> matt, on the issue of the political opposition that the mueller investigation, that the congressional russia investigations have run into.
one of the things that has been discussed is whether the mueller budget request, the actual funding that needs to in some ways go through congress, to keep it going. whether that might be a point of leverage that republicans in the white house could use against the mueller investigation. and given the timing of when that started. when he was put in charge of this probe about, six months ago, maybe that question was starting to come due. i want to know what your reaction is to that recent reporting of the concerns by people in the investigation. >> i think it's clear that everyone from the president to his allies in congress to the conservative media have been orchestrating a special drum beat. i think it is always showing a bit of nervousness about where it might go, what he might find. and what changes now. if indictments are unveiled next
week, it is not just interfering with a criminal investigation but an investigation that a grand jury has found probable causes to charge someone criminally. it becomes a question of really, it is obviously not obstruction of justice for congress to do that. it becomes blocking an investigation that has go borne fruit. and it becomes an even more questionable activity after he's filed charges than it was before. >> one last question for you. one of the stories that we were planning on leading with tonight, before this news broke, was the interesting and unexpected news out of the district of virginia. dana who has played a number of standin roles, being brought in as acting attorney general, he is now acting assistant attorney general and national security matters, he announced his resignation today. that may be a totally separate matter from this. it may be absolutely unrelated.
there has been some speculation that because of the job he had in trump administration, particularly being the person at d.o.j. who james comey was reporting to during that contested time that jim comey has said the president was pressuring him on the russia investigation, there is been some speculation that maybe he may end up being a witness in part of this investigation. maybe that has something to do with him stepping down today. do you have any thoughts on that matter? >> i don't know if it is true that he'll be a witness. i talked to someone today who said they talked to dana as recently as several days ago. all they could talk about was how eager he was. he's been the attorney general, to be confirmed so co-retake his job in the eastern district of virginia. what that says to me is, he did not just decide two days later, after having that conversation the resign. that he was forced out of the trump administration. we don't know the answer to that. whether it has anything to do with the mueller investigation.
but the timing has been, i think, a little curious with the sudden departure of the department. >> to underscore what you said, that was a conversation that he had a couple days ago in which he did not express any desire, in fact, expressed enthusiasm about continuing in the eastern district of virginia. and then today, mysteriously, at least, surprisingly, he resigned. >> exactly. i think you can draw that wasn't a resignation completely of his own volition. >> fascinating. doj spokesperson. thank you for being with us. i want to bring into the conversation now, another former u.s. attorney, paul fishman who was the u.s. attorney representing the great state of new jersey. thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having me back. >> let me underscore that this is news that has not been confirmed by nbc. this is one news organization that is reporting that charges, the first criminal charges have been filed in the mueller investigation.
we don't blaknow what they are. this is unconfirmed news but cnn is reporting. i know you're familiar with what cnn is reporting. let me ask you your top line response to it. >> well, so obviously, rachel, when we talk about this investigation, it is not just one investigation. there are multiple parts and lots of moving pieces. the manafort piece, the flynn piece, the potential obstruction of justice, the collusion with the russians. and it looks from the team that bob mueller has assembled, that he has different groups working on the investigation. it seems like one particular piece of that investigation has gotten to a place where mueller is comfortable returning charges against at least one person. cnn reporting is correct. it doesn't mean that it is correct. he has gotten to a place, the reports are true where he is
comfortable, asking the groog indict, knowing that he shouldn't do that unless he has sufficient evidence to convict. >> in terms of how this is being handled, if the cnn reporting is accurate, if the charges are sealed, cnn reports, plans were prepared today for anybody charged to be taken into custody as soon as monday. we just got an explanation for barbara mcquaid, your form he colleague in misch, about what it means for a judge to have sealed these charges. what is your take on the decision to seal them? the possibility that they would be unsealed on monday? and the question of whether or not attorneys for the targets of this reported indictment will be notified? >> i think all of those things are possible. what it means the majority of the grand jury has voted the person should be charged. and then the indictment the
presented to the judge and it is filed on the docket of the court. if they believe it was necessary to seal the indictment right away, they can ask the judge to do that. there's always a reason the prosecutors would give to a judge. styles as barb said earlier on your show, they want the element of surprise for arrest. sometimes it is because the investigation is continuing and they don't want to unseal at the moment. sometimes they haven't had a chance to tell the lawyer, because they've been having a dialogue over a period of weeks or months, they think out of fairness, they would like the opportunity to do that before it becomes a matter of public record. >> in terms of of a question i asked barbara mcquaid, is it possible these are charges that will remain sealed for a long time? is it being used as leverage against somebody in this
investigation who is maybe a smaller fish? who they're trying to pressure into talking about stuff they haven't been willing to talk to investigators about? in my experience, somebody like bob mueller gets to a place where he is ready to indict. a conversation would ensue between him and somebody on his staff. the lawyer or lawyers representing the target of the investigation saying here's a copy of the indictment. it is time to come to the table. typically if the person says no, indict me, that's what happens. the person will be arrested or given an opportunity to voluntarily appear in the courtroom to answer the charges and enter a plea of not guilty. what we don't know, is whether on monday, we'll have a lot more
information. if the story is true, it is possible somebody could be arrested over the weekend or on monday morning. it's possible on monday, bob mueller or somebody else could have a press conference or issue a press release announcing the indictments and the appearance in court will follow by some number of days. i just don't know. >> one last dumb question for you. if there are people who know they might potentially be indicted in this investigation, and they've just heard there's a sealed indictment sirgts possible people could flee the country this weekend? >> my guess is if bob mueller and his team thought anyone might flee this weekend, they probably would have taken them into custody today or over the weekend the pre sprenlt possibility. i think that's unlikely under a circumstance like this. particularly when people have known for a while their conduct is being examined. >> paul fishman from the great state of new jersey. thank you for joining us on short notice. >> so again, this is news that
is not confirmed by nbc news or any other news organization. but cnn is reporting the first criminal charges have been filed in a special counsel organization being led by the form he fbi director robert mueller. as you know, that mueller-led investigation started six months ago. the overall fbi investigation reportedly started a year ago. mueller is looking at the election and whether anyone in the trump campaign was in cahoots. we don't know what the charges. are it is being described as sealed charges, which we might find out about on monday. unconfirmed reports in terms of nbc news. this is cnn's reporting right now. stay with us.
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the investigation being led by robert mueller has issued its first criminal charges. these charges are reportedly under seal and we do not yet know what those charges are or who may be being charged. we don't even know if it is accurate. we have not confirmed this reporting but we will update you if and when we get any more details on that front, either confirming or denying. this has been a wild day of scoops broken by reporters across the country. let me start with rebecca at the
"wall street journal." she got a scoop that i believe may end up being one of the more important stories about the russia scandal overall. it is about a crucial time when we first bail aware as americans that russia was doing something in the election. the first report that we as a country had about that was on june 14th last year. the "washington post" last summer, the headline from her, russian government hackers penetrated dnc. that was the first indication we had as a country that something was up in our mexico specifically had to do with the russian government. the date of that first public report ends up being really important. june 14th last year. keeping that in mind, there was some really interesting reporting from rebecca, that it was about the data if i recall, cambridge analytica. it is now famous as the data firm that worked for the trump campaign. but rebecca was first to record
that they said that last june, june 2016, he made an overture to wikileaks. he offered that cam bridge analytica would like to help wikileaks disseminate all the thousands of documents stolen in the campaign. they specifically offered to index the stolen democratic e-mails and documents to make they will online searchable so there could be more stories win about them. so they could spread further. that offer from cambridge analytica to wikileaks is very important. if you're looking for evidence of the trump campaign getting them to help out, that looks like a big deal, right? here's the trump campaign data firm offering to literally help more efficiently distribute to the democratic documents had the russians had stolen. that's potentially huge, right? here's the problem with that.
if that offer went to wikileaks in june of last year, the first important thing to know about that is that in june of last year, cambridge analytica didn't start working for the trump campaign. they started with the trump campaign in july. also, about that timing, we don't know exactly when in june that overture was made from cambridge analytica to wikileaks. because of that. we can't assume they knew the stolen democratic e-mails they were offering to help distribute, we can't assume they knew the e-mails had been stolen by the russian government. the first public reporting was june 14th. if cal bridge analytica made the before, that maybe they had no idea that what they were offering was weaponize the documents literally stolen by the russians. maybe had they known that, they
would have been horrified. if the overtures happened after june 14th, after it became public knowledge that those documents weren't just stolen by randos, they were stolen by the russian government, that would be an interesting story. that would be interesting to figure that out. is your overture before or after june 14th? before or after we knew the things you were offering to help with were stolen by the government. that puts a spotlight on cambridge analytica. we know exactly what they thought they were doing in making that overture. and whether they knew they were offering to help a russian intelligence operation. so there's definitely more reporting to do there. that's an important interesting thing. even if it turned pout the worst is true about cambridge analytica, they were not working for the trump campaign at the time the overture happen. that still doesn't the implicate the trump campaign in that part
of what might be russian collusion. if you're looking form, you had to wait for rebecca ballhaus's scoop that came out tonight. there goes my pencil. remember that date again. that specific date when we learned the democratic documents that were stolen weren't randomly taking by some they'll. they were taken as part of a russian intelligence operation. that news first broke june 14th last year. when that happened, it was not subtle. it was everywhere. this was the initial report. russian government hackers penetrated dnc. that started a litany, a tornlt of reporting about that. the refers confirm, the hack of dnc. russia is behind e-mail release. spy agency grows. security experts say russia probably thakd democrats. fbi indicating possible
connection. even if you can't read and all do you is sometimes watch the tv news, no matter what kind of tv news you were watching, you couldn't help but be exposed to this story. even if he the only tv news you watch is on fox. >> from the campaign trail, the "washington post" reporting the russian government sbhookd the computer network of the democratic national committee. >> they were able to access all e-mails going in and out of the dnc since last summer. so these hackers, and apparently the russian government now has inside information into the strategy for 2016. >> we're tracking another major story. a case of cyber espionage targeting the democratic party. u.s. intelligence agencies believe cyber spies sbhookd the committee. >> this was a clear espionage by the russian government to steal information about the u.s. political process. >> the clues point to two russian intelligence agencies. >> a bizarre story where
cyberspace meets the campaign trail. the "washington post" reports -- >> three private security firms have concluded that the hackers are russian. some say russian intelligence could be behind the attacks with the goal of interfering in the election. documents taken in the hacks have been showing up online will. >> several american cyber security experts say russia's goal in leaking was to sow chaos and help donald trump win the presidency. >> they are trying to give trump an indirect edge or an indirect weight by which they can help him accomplish his goals. >> should i say they were hacked by both russian military intelligence and the new kgb. nicknamed fancy bear and cozy bear. >> "the new york times" reports on the growing fbi investigation into the democratic committee he
e-mail hack. secretary kerry raised the issue. >> that's what the news was like last summer after the "washington post" first broke the news that the russian government was behind the stealing and hacking. now there was a lot of news like that. it was not subtle. if you were contacting wikileaks and offering to help in this operation, in early june, before that reporting started, it is possible you might not have known that this was an intelligence operation that wikileaks was helping with. once mid june hit. this was not a story that was hiding its light under a bushel. this story was everywhere. even if you didn't pay attention to the news biffle july 25th, trump himself was joking about russia leaking the e-mails. quote, because putin likes me. by july 27th, he was making his stone faced nobody laughed joke.
hey, russia, if you're listening, go get more clinton e-mails. and this is why the regular media and the conservative media on the campaign, by the candidates. it was a matter of why they reported diplomacy. starting in mid june, into july, august, it was no secret that russia, the russian government hacked the e-mails. well after the russian involvement was widely known, rebecca mercer, major trump donor, the pro trump media universe, and her billionaire family were the single largest financiers of the campaign. full stop. on august 26th, she drektsd cambridge analytica to help wikileaks distribute the democratic e-mails that by then, everybody knew had been stolen by the russian government.
and yeah, we know from reporting this week that cambridge analytica had had their idea on their own. she directed them to do it. once we all knew the wikileaks documents were part of a russian intelligence operation. and she directed came bridge analytica to help with that. once the mercer family was very much a part of trump campaign. and that means, bottom line, the major funder of the trump campaign appears to have knowingly tried to element out with the russian hack of documents to better weaponize they will on trump's benefit in the russia campaign. so that's a serious scoop from rebecca. then we got another one. conservative reporter byron york got the school about the republican funder behind fusion gps. the research firm that ultimately produced the christopher steele dossier. we have known since october of last year, since before the election, that the research if i recall that commissioned the
adult russian dirt on trump, we knew they had been initially funded by a republican who was opposed to trump and the primary. then after trump got the nomination. the fusion gps got a democratic donor to keep funding their work in spofrt clinton against trump in the general election. we really did know that from the beginning from david corn's initial report. we learned earlier this week, no surprise, that the democratic funder of the latter part of the fusion gps research was in fact the democratic funder in support of clinton. well now tonight, byron york is first to report that the initial republican funder of gps's work was-the washington free beacon. huh? it is a conservative website. like the washington times or the daily collar. the glenn beck thing. a flurry of conservative web
publications that started off in the next few years. no snark intended at all. serious credit to byron york for getting this. even before he got the school, he had done really good spade work this story. he had interviewed tons of operatives and candidates who had opposed him on the primary. he got lots on the record about them not being the republican funder of gps. but after having done all that leg work, he was rightfully first to report, who was that funder? so kudos to him for the scoop. now we know. now only trump dossier, whether or not you care who funded it. i think it is also flown a little under the radar in the last 24 hours that the general counsel of the office of the director of national intelligence, we have director of national intelligence. that's in office. the guy who is the top lawyer there. he has come out and declared in very blunt terms that when the intelligence community put out its assessment that yes, russia did attack our election.
they didn't rely on the dossier to produce that report. they didn't even use the dossier to produce that conclusion. robert lit was the top lawyer and the office of national intelligence tunneled obama administration. he is in a position to know and he says the dni, the intelligence community, they came to their conclusions about the russian involvement in the election, based, quote, entirely on analysis. they did not use the dossier. so that ends up being important for the political maneuvering that's going on in washington. the white house is trying to use all this new reporting about who funded fusion gps as a way sty, the whole story of russia interfering in the election is some kind of hoax. the logic is the thing in that claim anyway. but among the fireworks show of scoop that's we've had over the last 24 hours, is this news that the intelligence community came to its conclusions about what
the russians did in our election with no reference to the dossier whatsoever. so naturally, the tense community must also be denounced and discredited. it's terrible. for having found out a true thing. so, in all that news breaking over the last 24 hours, all through today, all through this afternoon into tonight. there is one other scoop that broke today that i actually think is the most interesting. especially given the late night breaking news from cnn tonight about robert mueller reportedly issuing the first charges in his investigation. the thing that i think is the most compelling, mysterious and oh, my god, i want to figure that out story of the day is next. stay with us.
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then i found aleve pm. aleve pm is the only one to combine a safe sleep aid plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back. aleve pm for a better am. do you recognize this man? doesn't really ring a bell, right? we did put his name up there that helps. he became the u.s. attorney for eastern district of virginia. it is a really powerful prosecutor's office, right outside washington, d.c. they often end up doing really important terrorism and national security cases. he was president obama's case for that very important u.s. attorney's job in 2013. then in the you were era, he got
all the jobs all at once. if you're in law enforcement circles, you've heard of the guy in eastern virginia. outside of that, why did dana boente get every job? within the first two weeks of president trump being in office, you may require he fired sally yates. the attorney general. she had famously personally come to the white house to warn that mike flynn was compromised by the russians, whereupon they didn't respond for eastbound days. she wrote that the muslim ban was likely to be found unconstitutional. whereupon trump fired her. when he fired her, he need someone else to come in and he chose dana boente who was still on board in eastern virginia. he bail the acting attorney general in the united states. he served in that role until
jeff sessions was confirmed by the senate and then sworn in ten days later on february 9th. so at that point, no longer acting attorney general. at that point he became the acting deputy attorney general. deputy attorney general is the person who really runs the justice department on a day-to-day person. he went from acting ag to deputy acting ag. he did that until rod rosenstein got confirmed to be the deputy attorney general as of late april. you might remember in the meantime, president trump decided to fire all the u.s. attorneys all over the country. no warning. be gone by midnight. when it came time to do the firing, i think it was dana boente as the acting deputy attorney general who actually got on the shown in did the firing of all those prosecutors. but then rod rosenstein came on and game confirmed deputy ag.
and then he got another role. he became the attorney general for national security. that's a big deal as well. and yes, in addition to all of that, he stayed on as the u.s. attorney in the eastern district of virginia. so he had five jobs. and that is, you know, that's a lot. even just the eastern district of virginia is a busy, big important national security prosecutor's office. even in normal times. at these times though, in the eastern district of virginia, in addition to all the other jobs he was dealing with in justice, in the eastern district of virginia, it was dana boente's office that we saw the subpoenas related to mike flynn, to paul manafort, handling the investigation into wikileaks, and potential criminal charges associated with wikileaks, and his office, the eastern district of virginia, that's where the special counsel rob mueller
first started using the grand jury. so this dude is like right in the middle of everything. and today he quit. now, i don't know what that is about. we're about to talk to somebody who might know. but here's one really important point as to what he's been involved in. he had all those jobs, plus this crucial east virginia job. spoub robert mueller is reportedly looking into whether the president he is object instructing justice when he fired james comey. james comey testified under both the president contacted him under oath multiple times. according to james comey, one of the witnesses to those inappropriate overtures by the president was dana boente. >> after april 11th, did he ask you ever about the russian
investigation? did he ask you any questions? >> we never spoke again after april 11th. >> you told the president, i would see what we he could do. what did you mean? >> that was kind of a slightly cowardly way of trying to avoid telling him, we're not going to do that. that i would see what we could do. it was a way of getting off the phone, frankly. and then i turned and handed it to the acting deputy attorney general, mr. boente. >> after that, did you take phone calls from the president? >> yes, sir. >> so why did you say -- why didn't you say, i'll not taking the call. you need to talk to the attorney general. >> did i on the april 11th call. and i reported the calls, the march 30th call and the april 11th call to my superior, who was the deputy attorney general. >> at the time that was dana boente who today just quit. maybe he quit because he's tired of being central to everything.
he's exhausted from playing an instrumental role on every instrument in the band. maybe that's just tiring. is it possible he had to quit because he's maybe going to have to be a witness if somebody brings charges against the president on this obstruction of justice matter? matt miller just reported on air, as recently as two days ago, he said he was looking forward to handing off control so co-get back to work as u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia. that was two days ago. reportedly. then suddenly today, he quit as u.s. attorney west don't know why that is. we are literally actively trying right now to figure that out. joining us again, barbara mcquaid. the former u.s. attorney. i want to ask you, given your understanding of dana boente's role, not just in the eastern district, what do you make of his resignation today? >> i was very surprised to see
it. he sort of, i take great comfort knowing he's there. as he career prosecutor who has worked through and cares about the institution. so it alarms me a little bit. >> is he the person called on to fire you and other u.s. attorneys? >> yes. i got a call from dana. you know, announced it publicly 3:00 p.m. and then began making phone call it is each of us. we're all in contact and e-mails each other and i heard from people in alphabetical order and close to the "ms" my phone rings and i see it's dana and take the call, i said is this my grim reaper call and he said i'm afraid it is. he was professional. i commented to a colleague i was disappointed he didn't push back about the decision and my colleague pointed out that we don't know that he didn't. i always had great respect for
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kind of bonkers story about the former cia director james woolsey who adviser of trump in the transition and this spring he told "wall street journal" he was present at a meeting in the campaign with several turkish officials and mike flynn. flynn was then national security advise tore the trump campaign and secretly on the payroll of the turkish government. james woolsey said there was a serious, unnerving discussion about kidnapping a dude in the united states and shipping him off to turkey in the dead of night. james woolsey apparently unnerved by that meeting and doing stuff like that is illegal. now reuters reported that he himself the very next day after that meeting he had his own meeting with the turkish businessman who was paying mike flynn and according to reuters woolsey offered his own services to the turks for $10 million to
mount a lobbying and pr campaign to discredit the same guy that mike flynn discussed kidnapping. according to reuters says that woolsey -- spokesman for woolsey tells reuter that is woolsey has no recollection of this proposing this $10 million deal and did say that the people that funded mike flynn, they're trying to smear jim woolsey. look at the quote. quote, with growing speculation that indictments could be handed down soon, it is not a surprise others attempt to accomplish in the press what they can't in the grand jury room. so this story about woolsey wanting $10 million to -- from the turks to -- this story's coming out right now because everybody else is about to be indicted and turning on each other? interesting theory. we reached out to the spokesman and gave us this statement which is exclusive us to and nbc news. they have been in communication with the fbi.
regarding these september meeting, ambassador woolsey invited to attend by one of general flynn's business partners. they responded to every request from the fbi or recently from the office of the special counsel. it's unfortunate yet predictable that in an effort to defend themselves certain individuals attempted to impugn the woolseys' integrity. this is the first we know of requests of james woolsey saying he was at the crazy meeting with turkish officials and mike flynn while mike flynn was a trump campaign adviser and secretly on the payroll and went public about the meeting in march. since then, he's been in communication with the fbi and with the mueller investigation. and now, according to him, the people who had mike flynn on their payroll shopping this story to make james woolsey look bad. and we don't know why.
these are very intriguing allegations from people we understand very little about. why is this happening? why now? and is there any connection to this reporting tonight from cnn that mueller has actually filed the first charges in his >> once again, we can't go in with the plans we had. it is always getting blown up by trump himself. >> if you would like to borrow my intact show -- >> i think i'll be -- >> which is not touched with the breaking news tonight, you're welcome to use it. >> i know. the one we had to import monday and lawrence can use it. >> we need to give the viewers little time machines to fit over the heads to go back to friday noon when a whole lot of other stories seemed important. >> we'll bedazzle the time machine so they look cute on.