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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  February 21, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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incentives are aligned so that it's embarrassing, for sure, to hear this on national tv for facebook employees, probably, but if you've got facebook stock, you're doing great. that's the problem, there's no incentive on them to fix this at the moment, besides that we're talking about it. >> both fantastic writers on this topic. that is "all in" for this evening. rachel maddow starts now. >> thank you at home for joining us. we're following a lot of developing news stories. very happy to have you with us. one of the things that's going on in the conservative media right now is that the fox news channel and conservative media online, they've started agitating today for something you would not expect. they've started agitating today, advocating today that trump national security adviser mike flynn should withdraw his guilty
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plea. now mike flynn of course pled guilty in december, signed a cooperation agreement with mueller's prosecutors at that time. conservative media have decided that as he pled guilty that was a mistake or miscarriage of justice. it is a strange argument. it is so far not making that many waves in mainstream media circles. but as you know, when it comes to the scandal and this white house, things have a way of moving very quickly out of the fringes to become the big idea in washington. you should know that is happening out there on the fringe, including some expert advice that i think will help make some sense out of that strange story. that is percolating out there. we're watching it. we also just tonight got the transcript from the court hearing that happened yesterday
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involving alex ven der swan. from that transcript and the court filings in his case which have been unsealed, we've now got confirmation that unlike mike flynn and unlike trump foreign policy adviser paup dau done lois, he did plead guilty but did not agree to cooperate with prosecutors. why is that important? he is a dutch citizen, russian speaking. it has been of interest. this question of whether he might be cooperating in the mueller investigation, particularly because of the family that he just married into. his father-in-law, the father of his new wife, is a multi-billionaire russian
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oligarch close to vladimir putin and part of the founders of alpha bank. over the course of this scandal involving russian interference in our election and whether the trump campaign was involved in that interfeerns there have been questions. the way that putin's russia works these days, there is a private element. there is evidence behind that hi hypothesis when they indicted those russians last friday. in the case of alpha bank, a private enterprise, there have been intriguing questions raised as to whether or not any part of alpha bank might have played
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some role in the russian interference in our election. there have been specific questions raised as to whether alpha bank might have been involved in surreptitious contacts between the trump campaign and the attack by russia was under way. you might remember that baffling reporting about unexplained communications during the election between computer servers in russia linked to alpha bank and a computer server in trump tower linked to the trump organization. very interesting reporting. ultimately, it's open ended. we don't have any idea what that server communication was about, but it raised questions. alpha bank and its founders are also mentioned prominently in the christopher steele dossier which outlines conspiracy to carry out this attack. alpha bank is suing fusion gps and buzz feed because they disagree with those allegations. but when alex van der swan was
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indicted, surprise, and that was unsealed yesterday. when he pled guilty in federal court yesterday, that did raise the prospect, oftentimes when people plead guilty, it's because they're cooperating, it raised the prospect that he might be an inside source, a very interesting inside source of information for mueller's prosecutors about alpha bank. one of the three members of alpha bank is his dad now, his father-in-law. so, interesting prospects raised yesterday by his guilty plea, given his family connections. now with the release tonight with the transcript of his case we can see that whatever alex van der swan told prosecutors league up leading up to his court appearance yesterday, whatever he told mueller's prosecutors about the mueller investigation
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of russia attacking our election, we now know for sure and on the record that there was no explicit, written, cooperation agreement between him and the prosecutors entered in court filings to go along with his guilty plea. now i raise that right now in part, because there's been a lot of misreporting on that point since we first learned that van der swan was being indicted. it is now clear from mueller's prosecutors in the transcript that there was no cooperation agreement, just a guilty plea. we're raising that as a point of order. people who have misreported that should clear it up. and we're going to have expert advice later on in the importance of that distinction. there was a new sealed filing in the government case against paul manafort. the way this filing was made and what led up to this filing in
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manafort's case today makes it appear that these might be new charges against paul manafort, maybe even a whole new superseding indictment in the manafort case. that's just a guess. as of now, it's a sealed document, basically a mystery and a very intriguing one at that. we'll have more on that tonight as well. so watching all of those stories tonight, we'll have more on that over the course of this hour. but if you saw any news today, undoubtedly, what you saw was this. miami herald reporting tonight, that this was the largest demonstration in tallahassee, the largest demonstration at the state capital in florida in 20 years. we knew there would be protests today at the state capital in tallahassee. we did not know it would be thousands of people, and mostly teenagers. this was described by a lot of reporters as a boisterous protest, a boisterous rally at
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the state capital. i don't know if boisterous is the right word. but it was big. it was loud, and it was emotional. >> i'm not here for a fight. i'm not here to argue with you. i just want to speak. i just want to see your face and know why. >> have a heart, have a heart! >> never again! >> we lose confidence in our government, because we are told that nothing can be done, time and time again. and we are tired of hearing that. because we know there can be change in this country. never again should a tragedy of this caliber happen in this country, never again. and, as always, be positive, be passionate and be proud to be an eagle. >> the eagles, the mascot of the high school where the massacre
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happened last week in south florida. so that was the teenager-led rally at the state capital today in tallahassee, but there were student walkouts and protests today all over the place. this is minneapolis, minnesota, look at this turnout. students took their cues from the teenagers in florida. they converged on city hall. in the washington, d.c. area, students came from all over. look at this train station in downtown d.c. have you ever taken the train into d.c., you know union station is walking distance from the white house and the capitol. so these kids all flooded into d.c. today, including all of these kids streaming out of union station to go protest. for at least the second time in the past week, teenagers held these dramatic protests on the street right outside the white house, between the white house and lafayette park. kids protested in gilbert, arizona, parker, colorado, pittsburgh, pennsylvania and
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stafford township, new jersey and bellingham, washington. they protested all over florida. florida's a very, very big state, population wise and geographically. and when the kids from parkland, florida arrived in tallahassee today, they had had to travel seven hours across the state to get there, and they did. in florida, state politics are republican-dominated now and pro-gun-republican-dominated now. the state has been among the most extreme, even experimental policy environments for the nra. but these kids already have succeeded in getting florida's republican less laters to talk about something they wouldn't talk about. we don't know what's in the package of reforms, but it's suspected that it might include some minor legal changes that
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would restrict long guns to the same as handguns, you'd have to be 21 years old to buy a long gun. they're talking about subjecting rifles to the same waiting period that applies to handguns. that waiting period is a whopping three days in florida. so, when i say these are modest changes to state law that they are considering, i'm not even doing justice to the word modest there, but for florida republicans, for florida republicans, given what they have been doing in recent years, even these teeny, tiny little changes might be considered radical reform. veteran political reporter, mark caputo says until last week's shooting, any of these proposals from republican leadership would have been unthinkable in the florida legislature, he called florida a laboratory for the national rifle association,
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saying for years, the nra has scored win after win in this gun-shaped state. but these kids, the kids from the school that just got shot up, the proud eagles, and these kids from all over south florida and the rest of the state, they have flooded out of their schools. these kid whose are better at arguing on this subject than most adults i have ever heard in my life, they seem to believe, they seem to be determined that they are going to turn this around. they're going to win something. it is heartbreaking to even think about betting against them given what they have been through, and the pressure is on in a big way. the clock is ticking, at least in florida, that promised package of reforms from the pro-gun republican governor is supposedly going to come the day after tomorrow. so the proof will be in the pudding very quickly in florida. at the federal level for the
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country, as a long-time observer of these types of fights, i feel like for now it is hard to believe what is really happening. it's hard to know what to believe, and i can tell you why in just a second, but i can also tell you that something very real and very emotional happened right in the middle of the white house today. and it was unavoidable. it was show-stopping. and that's next. ♪ let your inner light loose with one a day women's. ♪ a complete multivitamin specially formulated with key nutrients plus vitamin d for bone health support. your one a day is showing. wnhill skier...when you lou canu down. that's why i use bounty, the quicker picker upper. (vo) bounty picks up spills quicker... ...and is two times more absorbent. bounty, the quicker picker upper.
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after a year or so of covering this new president and this new administration, i have found, in general, that it is always a safer bet to report on what they're doing rather than what they're saying. on this show, we sort of have a staff mantra about this, a silent movie. that's the rule, treat them as a silent movie. all good rules have their exceptions. but i think what we're seeing right now in the wake of what happened in parkland, florida is an example of why that rule has some weight. after the massacre in parkland, you may have seen that this is part of what the president said
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should be done in response. the president said online, we must now focus on strengthening background checks, background checks for people who want to buy guns. that is what he has said. l.a. times has done a good job of rounding up what the president has actually done on that subject since he's been in office. again, saying versus doing. since president trump took office, his administration has moved aggressively on multiple fronts to weaken the background check section for guns. narrowing the definitions means more people are eligible to buy guns. one way to be disqualified from buying a gun is if you are a fugitive from justice. that makes sense. if you are wanted by the law, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun under those circumstances. butt f but the fbi used to consider people fugitives if they had a warrant for their arrest. now a fugitive from justice will
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only be disqualified from buying a gun if he or she has also fled across state lines to intentionally avoid prosecution. if you haven't done that, they don't consider you a fugitive from justice any more for the purposes of the background check. they have thrown out tens of thousands of records that used to be included. certain forms and aspects of mental illness used to disqualify you. the trump administration has narrowed those definitions. and somewhat famously, in the first substantive stand-alone legislation passed by the new republican congress and signed by new president trump, they overtly went out of their way in stand-alone ligslation to change the law so people who have been adjudicated seriously mentally ill by the social security administration are no clonglong included in the back ground
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check section at all. they proposed slashing millions of dollars from the budget from the background check system. those are their actions, which is i have important to know, when you see that same president saying what he really wants to do is strengthen the background check system. those actions by him and that narrative tell one story, the story of what he's doing while he wants to convince you otherwise. now the president also made headlines last night when he said he would ask the justice department to consider regulations regarding bump stocks, one of these after-market modifications you can strap onto your semi-automatic rifle to make it fire like a machine gun. you should know that in terms of what he actually asked to happen, he requested the justice department to come up with regulations around these, the justice department has already considered regulating those kinds of devices. dianne feinstein, the author of the clinton-era assault rifle
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ban allowed to expire, she reminded that democrats have been asking for years for doj to stop these add-ons and accessories. the justice department is already on record explicitly saying that they are not allowed legally to prom you will gait tho -- promulgate those regulations. it's clear. almost assuredly, the only way to do it is to ask the congress, which is controlled by his party, to pass a law that would ban those things. but despite the headlines from last night, that the president has directed action against those accessories, there's no signs of any legislation request coming from the white house and no plans that the republican-led congress plans to do that. it's always a good rule, that at
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times like this, more than ever, watch what they're doing, not what they're saying. that said, maybe none of us really knows what's going to happen down the road here. because maybe all these kids protesting after the parkland massacre are going to change everything. look at all these kids. look at the funerals of all these kids. look at florida lawmakers visiting the school at parkland, florida where this massacre happened. these florida kids bringing themselves to the legislature today where they were an unavoidable force, the miami herald calling it the biggest demonstration at the state capital in florida in decades. and also at the white house, yes, watch what they do and not what they say, but also look at what is being said to this president. there was this awkward photo today from the associated press showing the notes the president brought with him to talk to these kids and their family whose have been through
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massacres. number five there is telling the president to say "i hear you." but even with notes to help him to know what to say, even with the best of intentions and even with the softest heart, i think it is hard to predict what happens to people and how it changes people when they have to face this kind of grief in person. when you're in the presence of this human emotional power. i want to show you a little bit of tape. you're going to see two different people talk to the president today. this isn't footage of the president talking. this is two different people talking to him. first one is a young man who is absolutely in the raw aftermath of what he has just been through, and he makes this incredible statement, this incredible plea from this raw place, and he is followed in his remarks by a mother who walked through her own version of this hell five years wag hago with h 6-year-old son. and in the five years since, she
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has been fighting and learning and fighting and learning and fighting and learning. so the spectrum of what you see from him and what you see from her, watch this. watch him and then watch her. watch this. >> my name is sam zeiff. i'm a student from parkland. and i just want to take a second, first, to thank you for having me, mr. president, mr. vice president, mr. secretary. i was on the second floor in that building. texting my mom. texting my dad. texting three of my brothers. that i was never going to see them again. and then it occurred to me that my 14 year old brother was directly above me in that classroom where scott beagle was
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murdered. scott beagle got my brother in the class. he was the last kid to get back into that class. that's why i'm here. i lost a best friend who was practically a brother. and i'm here to use my voice, because i know he can't. and i know he's with me, cheering me on. to be strong, but it's hard. and to feel like this, it doesn't even feel like a week. time has stood still. to feel like this, ever, i can't, i can't feel comfortable in my country knowing that people have, will have, ever going to feel like this. but i want to feel safe at school, you know. senior year and junior year are
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big years for me, when i turn my academics around, started connecting with teachers, and i started actually enjoying school. and now, i don't know how i'm ever going to step foot on that place again. i turned 18 the day after. woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. and i don't understand why i can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war. an a.r. i was reading today that a person, 20 years old, walked into a store and bought an ar-15, in five minutes with an expired id. how is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? how will we not stop this after columbine. i'm sitting with a mother who lost her son. still happening.
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in australia, there was a shooting at a school in 1999. you know, after that, they took a lot of ideas, they put a lot of legislation together. and they stopped it. can anyone here guess how many shootings there have been in a school since then in australia? zero. we need to do something. and that's why we're here. so let's be strong. for the fallen who don't have a voice to speak anymore. and let's never let this happen again. please. please. >> mr. president, mr. vice president, madam secretary. my story is far too well-known.
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i have two sons who were at sandy hook school. my eldest, who was 8 at the time survived. and my 6 year old son dylan did not. and i have been working tirelessly on this issue for over five years now. the organization that i help lead, sandy hook promise, is very focussed on keeping kids safe at school, because no parent should go through this. every parent who sends their kid to school should know, without any question in their mind that they're going to be coming home that day. this is not a difficult issue. you're absolutely right. there are solutions. and this administration has the ability to put them in place. and after sandy hook, they said this, we wouldn't let this happen again, and yet it has continued to happen for five
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years. how many more deaths can we take as a country? how many more teenagers and 6 and 7-year-olds can we allow to die? don't let that happen anymore on your watch, there are things that you can do right now, mental health, you mentioned earlier. funding for that would be very much appreciated. stop school violence act, enabling prevention programs and reporting systems in schools across america, it's already passed through the house. it's in the senate right now. urge swift passage of that, that can get a lot of help to schools. there's legislation available to you right now. there are free training programs, such as our "know the signs" programs available across the state. you could mandate these sorts of programs. this is not difficult. these deaths are preventible. and i implore you, consider your own children. you don't want to be me. no parent does. and you have the ability to make
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a difference and save lives today. please don't waste that. thank you. >> that was this afternoon at the white house. joining us now is nicole hockly, the managing director of sandy hook promise, the mother of dylan hockly. thank you for being here. i'm sorry about these difficult circumstances. >> thank you, rachel. >> what did you think of this event today at the white house? you were so articulate, that young man sitting next to you, we could hardly stand it. >> it's hard to listen to victims and survivors share the their stories. i was incredibly encouraged by today's listening session that the president opened the doors to the white house to victims of different tragedies and said come and talk to me, share your
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stories, share your experience and come to me with your ideas for solutions. that is not something i had anticipated. so i am encouraged if they are truly listening and open to hearing the variety of solutions that are out there, maybe this is the time that we will see some change truly happen. >> you are incredibly good at talking about your own impossible story and about talking about this issue, and i was struck today, in the midst of so many people's raw testimony and so much emotion and so much feeling that you were being really, really concrete. you kept saying these enabling phrases. you septemb kept saying there are things you can do right now, this is in your power, can you do this. do you feel that people are stuck thinking it is harder than it actually is to make substantive changes that would make a difference?
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>> oh, yeah, absolutely. i think people across our country think this is a hopeless issue and they're helpless to do anything about it. they think these shootings are part of life in america and other than calling their senator or congressman there's nothing they can do. and it's just not true. there are so many things we can do in our schools and communities and so many things we can do at a state and federal level. me wi we need to focus on common sense solutions that are not about taking away guns and aren't about giving everyone more guns. we have over 300 million guns in this country. they're not going away. so let's deal with that. keep that on the table, say how are we going to ensure appropriate access therefore. how are we going to recognize the signs of someone who's at risk and make sure they can't get their hands on a weapon. no one is pro gun violence. no one is pro school violence.
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>> on that point about access, people having access to the hundreds of millions of guns that already exist in our country, i think that's a, i mean, a, you're spot on, obviously, in terms of the way you're describing the reality. and then, when we get to talking about how people have access to weapons, that's when we get very quickly into things like the national background check system. i just a moment ago highlighted the contrast between the president saying he wants to strengthen background check systems and things that have happened in the last year to weaken it and put more holes in it. do you feel like it's possible that there is a common sense, increasing background checks solution that could avoid some of the super contrary second amendment politics that tend to stymie those things?
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>> the president today was talking about comprehensive background checks. that goes a little bit further than what is on the table, which is the fix nics legislation. i do think this moment is different than has been for a couple years. lawmakers, gop in particular, are feeling pressure in their younger constituents. we can look to extreme risk protection orders. we can look to other forms of gun safety regulation and reform to ensure appropriate access and look at what we can do to help people before they ever get to that point that they want to hurt themselves or someone else. >> nicole hockly. it's practical and constructive as well as being pretty inspiring. mother of dylan hockly killed in
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the sandy hook shooting five years ago. really appreciate your time tonight. appreciate your advocacy. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is the number one selling brain-health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. most people come to la we came with big appetites. with expedia one click gives you access to discounts on thousands of hotels, cars and things to do. like the garland hotel for 40% off. everything you need to go. expedia
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we've helped the marine mammal center go solar, install electric vehicle charging stations, and become more energy efficient. pg&e has allowed us to be the most sustainable organization we can be. any time you help a customer, it's a really good feeling. it's especially so when it's a customer that's doing such good and important work for the environment. together, we're building a better california. we have two mysteries tonight that we are puzzling over. the first has to do with a single piece of paper that was filed in federal court in washington, d.c. today. you see in that big, beautiful, old school font, "sealed". that single piece of paper
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appeared in a binder. that binder is routinely updated with new criminal charges related to any number of different cases heard in that courthouse. so because of which binder it turned up in, we think that sealed filing is something to do with new criminal charges, but we can't tell for sure. the other hint is the number that's right at the top of the page there. you see it in the upper right, 17-cr-201. that is the case number for u.s. versus paul j. manafort and richard w. gates. with the sudden appearance of that sealed document, marked with their case number, in the new charges binder in the courthouse today, everybody wanted to know what that was about. we got a big burst of new speculation today about what that means. that sealed filing could, obviously, mean new charges have been filed against paul manafort and/or rick gates.
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it could mean new charges have been filed against new defendants in their case, meaning new people could have been added to the case that is already pending against manafort and gates. it could also be what they call a criminal information, which is the document that usually precedes a guilty plea in a case. lots of speculation that gates is going to change to a guilty plea. maybe that's what this is, we don't know. could be any number of things. but now everybody is watching that case and that binder like hawks watch mice, because something is clearly happening there that may be a big turn in that case. but oh, wait, there's more. that story's next. can make you feel unstoppable.
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in fact, drivers who switched from geico to esurance saved hundreds. that's auto and home insurance for the modern world. esurance. an allstate company. click or call. like i said, two mysteries. the first is this sealed, single-page document which showed up in federal court today suggesting new charges, maybe or maybe a plea agreement in special counsel mueller's case
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against paul manafort and rick gates. lots of speculation in the press today naturally. i'm wondering when federal prosecutors see a filing like that do they know what something like that is likely to mean even when the rest of us don't? we'll get to that in a second. another development that i think we need some professional help with. if you had your ear to the ground on the political right today you would have heard new rumblings coming out of the conservative media saying that mike flynn should un-plead. he should withdraw his guilty plea in the robert mueller case against him. mike flynn pled guilty in december to lying to the fbi and simultaneously agreed to cooperate with the russia investigation. the new calls from the right that he should withdraw that plea stem from something the judge just did in flynn's case. the judge just issued an order,
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this order, that doesn't say anything specific about the case against fli against flynn but reasserts to mueller's prosecutors that they have the responsibility to hand over anything that tends to be favorable to mike flynn, the judge made the order, reminder, you have to hand over any exculpatory evidence to the defense. and i think it's the second time a judge has made that reminder. is it important that the judge has made that kind of an order? is it a red flag that the prosecution's done something wrong? does did mean that mike flynn should withdraw his guilty plea, which is the new rumbling on the right. if he did want to withdraw his guilty plea, would that even be an option for him? joining us is chuck rosenberg who has worked with james comey
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and special counsel mueller in the past. thank you for being here. >> my pleasure, rachel. >> first let me ask you about this sealed document under the case number that applies to the manafort and gates case. we're told that this is filed in such a way, like almost geographically in such a way that should make us believe that these are new charges or that there's something related to the charges in the case. how should we see that? what do you make of that? >> i think that's probably right, rachel, assuming it's not a clerical error and they got the number at the top wrong. it's probably either another defendant, new charges or both. i'm confident we'll see it soon. >> and what do you mean by soon? i know there's complicated aments a arguments and why they get filed under seal and then get unsealed. do you have any estimatation as
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to the time frame? >> if they are close to a plea agreement, he would plead to one of the counts in the existing indictment. what we may be seeing soon are those additional charges. hard to know for sure. >> on this matter of mike flynn. this is something that i'm reacting to, both in terms of this order that i've seen from the judge, the judge appears to have filed this order or issued this order on his, on his own say so. it doesn't appear to have been a response from anything else going on in the case, at least as much as we can tell from the public record. it has been responded to, on the political right, by a lot of people saying this means there's a real problem in the flynn prosecution. he should withdraw his guilty
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plea. there's something wrong in the flynn case, how do you see this matter? >> much ado about nothing. many judges around the country have a standard discovery order that they enter in every single case. and my understanding, that judge sullivan has a similar discovery order. in other words, in every case, regardless of its posture, he will file an order telling the government to make sure that it abides by its discovery obligations, that it provides exculpatory or impeachment information to the defense. my understanding is that he updated that order, that he does that from time to time. so i don't think there's anything to it, frankly, and i'm sure the government will abide by it. >> and there's no indication in him doing this that the government has proven itself to be, to need this kind of reminder because there's been some sort of misbehavior. >> oh, prosecutors know their stuff. there's no indication there's been misbehavior, or that
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they've failed in any way to meet their obligations. by the way, there's no indication that mr. flynn wants to withdraw his guilty plea. and even if he did, that is an awfully difficult thing to do. >> one last quick question for you, chuck. on the matter of alex van der swan who pled guilty yesterday. it was said in the hearing, we have the transcript of it today. one of the prosecutors, andrew wisem weissman said there was no substantive cooperation. >> fact that he doesn't want to cooperate doesn't mean he won't be compelled to give information. an important differentiation between cooperating and being compelled. it seems he doesn't want to be helpful. that happens in all sorts of cases all around country all the time. but once he is sentenced and his conviction is final, what
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prosecutors can do is immunize him from any other prosecution from any other crime he may have committed and then compel him to testify. so whether he wants to cooperate or not, they can still get information from him. information from him. >> very important point, chuck rosenberg, former u.s. attorney, and fbi official and clear thinker and speaker. thanks for being us. >> thank you, rachel. >> we'll be right back. stay with us. greatness comes from. save 30% at ancestrydna.com. and when youod sugar is a replace one meal... choices. ...or snack a day with glucerna... ...made with carbsteady... ...to help minimize blood sugar spikes... ...you can really feel it. now with 30% less carbs and sugars. glucerna. you wouldn't accept from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances.
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you know when you're a kid and you have a difficult question, one that your parents
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don't want to answer or talk to you about and you ask your mom and your mom says ask your dad and you ask your dad and your dad says ask your mom. that happened to us yesterday. last night we asked one part of the u.s. government for information about something our government did. their response was that we should go ask russia. seriously, we asked about something our government should know, something that is our government's business, our government's decision, and the u.s. government told us yesterday, you need to go ask the government of russia. today that story got much, much weirder than that. the update is next. it's so weird. come on dad!
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this story is getting so weird. it was nuts last night, now today it's more than nuts. three weeks before the trump inauguration in one of his final acts president obama hit russia for interfering in our elections. sanctions against 35 russian spies, and agencies, including the intelligence agencies. that's the agency that some of our intelligence agencies says was behind some of the attacks on our election. in addition to the gru as an organization president obama named four officials as having been involved in that attack. that list colluded this guy who heads up the gru.
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in the "new york times" write up on the day of sanctions, they pointed out maybe that was symbolic. it's not clear how much effect the sanctions will have after all gru officials rarely travel to the u.s. rarely come here. so that's when this started getting weird because at the end of last month, russia started publically bragging that the head of one of its intelligence agencies, the svr just travelled to the u.s. we didn't hear from our government. but he did. they met with dan coats and mike pompeo, we learned about it first from the kremlin. then there was this other reporting that the head of the gru, the agency behind the specific part of the attack on our election also came. quote current and former u.s. intelligence officials said they couldn't recall so many heads of
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russia's espionage and security apparatus coming to washington at one. so one it's weird they all came at once and our government didn't say anything about it, we had to learn about it from the kremlin bragging about it. and of these three intelligence chiefs two of them are sanctioned and come to the u.s. on their own steam. the guy from the svr, he's sanctioned and the guy from the gru also sanctioned. we know how the svr guy got in, he was here to meet with p pompeo and coats so they got him a waiver. but the gru guy, he's sanctioned and no one admits to him coming here. someone would have had to make the case to the state department, it's worth him coming into our country, let's issue him a waiver. who did that? we reached out to the state department yesterday, was this
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guy here? nobody admits to meeting with him. "the washington post" stands by their reporting, he was here. and we asked state if he was here, how did he get in? he was sanctioned. did they give him a waiver. so for the second part of our question, they can't discuss issuing visas. as to the first question, was he here, the state department told us to call russia. they literally referred us to the russia government on this matter. this is rachel, can i talk to -- the head of the vru is sanctioned. today we try to get more information and a senior u.s. government official now tells us, quote, reports that the gru head was in the united states are inaccurate. yesterday they told us call russia, today they're saying, he wasn't here. phew, i guess. we did reach out to the r

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