tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC December 4, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PST
that is our broadcast for tonight. thank you so much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. >> michael cohen is lying and he's trying to get a reduced sentence. >> the president attacks michael cohen. >> he's a weak person. >> and grooms roger stone. >> there's no circumstance under which i would testify against the president. >> as robert mueller prepares what could be another bombshell. >> darn right, you're exactly right. >> tonight, a compromised president lashes out as the special counsel closes in. >> i feel badly for general flynn. >> then, the new yorker's adam davidson on what he says is the last phase of the trump presidency. plus, what looks like a massive case of election fraud by republicans in north carolina. protests of republican power grab in wisconsin. and as george herbert walker bush lies in state, assessing
the legacy of the 41st president in the era of the 45th. >> there was a kindness about the man that was evident to everyone who ever met him. >> "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. at this hour, the vigil continues for former president george h.w. bush, who is lying in state at the capital. donald trump is expected to visit within the hour. we will keep an eye on that, and that solemn seen comes on a day when the current president is having yet another angry public tantrum about the russia investigation. if you think the president is lashing out now, well, just you wait. robert mueller's prosecutors have reportedly told defense lawyers that they are tying up loose ends in their investigation and what they plan to layout just this week is expected to be explosive. today trump went after his former right hand man michael cohen who admitted last week he lied to congress to cover up the
president's extensive business interests in russia. cohen is set to be sentenced next wednesday and he asked the judge to give him no prison time in part because he's cooperating with the government. trump proclaimed it would be outrageous for cohen not to end up behind bars, quoting him here. you mean he can do all the terrible unrelated to trump things, fraud, taxis, et cetera and not serve a long prison term? the president of the united states went on to suggest cohen's wife and father-in-law should also go to jail. just like rod rosenstein and hillary clinton and pretty much anyone else trump doesn't like. lock them all up. now, let's be clear. when the president says cohen's crimes are, quote, unrelated to trump, he is lying. cohen has, in fact, pleaded guilty to multiple crimes related to trump, and specifically related to getting trump elected president. last week he admitted covering up trump's ongoing effort to build trump tower moscow. before that, he admitted to illegally paying off trump's alleged mistresses to keep them quiet before election day.
that's a lot of trump-related crime. remember, michael cohen is far from trump's only problem. tomorrow robert mueller is scheduled to file a memo regarding former trump national security advisor michael flynn. remember him? he pleaded guilty to lying about contacts with the russian government. in the memo they're going to file in court, we will all see information about any bad acts flynn committed for which he was not charged and details about his cooperation with the special counsel. senior u.s. official tells nbc news that memo will be made public with possible redactions or an addendum filed under seal. then on friday, we're going to get another detailed memo from mueller. this one explaining why mueller's office pulled out of a plea agreement with former trump campaign chair paul manafort who was, we later learned, secretly briefing trump's legal team while ostensibly cooperating with the government. the special counsel's office confirmed today that memo also will be made public, and it will layout in detail -- this is
according to language of roberts mueller -- manafort's alleged crimes and lies about a variety of subject matters. okay. if you're donald trump, that is not good. remember, trump has already submitted written answers to mueller. he can't take those back. today after attacking michael cohen, trump then praised his former campaign advisor roger stone whose mueller team is investigating as it looks into possible trump/russia collusion. stone has vowed not to testify against trump, prompting trump to tweet, nice to know that some people still have guts. that's one way of putting it. earlier this year, stone wrote a book called stone's rules in which he laid out the maxims that have guided his eventful career. here's one of them. quote, admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack. admit nothing, deny everything, well, sounds familiar, doesn't it? during the campaign stone bragged about his contacts with julian assange of wikileaks which of course released the e-mails that russia stole and made public as part of its effort to help get trump elected.
>> i actually have communicated with assange. i believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the clinton foundation. >> stone now insists he never talked to assange and he appears determined to stay in the good graces of the one man who could get him out of jail, even if he is found guilty. >> you say you're always going to be loyal to president trump. if you're indicted or convicted, do you expect that he'll pardon you? >> first of all, generally speaking in politics, you avoid hypothetical questions. that said, there's no circumstance under which i would testify against the president because i'd have to bear false witness against him. i'd have to make things up. >> joining me now to break down where the investigation stands, white house counsel under president obama and coauthor to piece titled, yes, collusion. let me start with you as white house counsel. imagine that you are serving a president who wanted to tweet what the president today tweeted
about one individual who has cooperated with federal prosecutors and one who hasn't, praising one and insulting the other. george conway sort of cheekily suggesting that's witness tampering. what do you make of it? >> as white house counsel, i'd tear my hair out. if you take this together with all the ways this president has launched attacks on the criminal justice system, attacked the spibl counsel, derided particular witnesses, expressed opinions about the evidence, i think taken in the aggregate, these are all very dangerous steps that he's taken, quite apart from the norms that he's violating. he could well at some point be subject to an investigation into these matters, certainly as a question of law and without any doubt, in the aggregate, they could inform an impeachment proceeding. >> your story i thought was very good, your article which you could wrote, yes, collusion which is about the bigger picture as things fall into focus. what's your main take away as
you follow this? >> we hear a lot about collusion, but oftentimes what we're really talking about gets a little bit lost in the public dialogue. the federal campaign finance laws prohibit u.s. nationals from colluding, if you will, cooperating with foreign nationals that are making expenditures to influence elections. they may not solicit that support. they may not benefit on a coordinated basis from that support. they can't provide substantial assistance as the regulations term it to foreign nationals engaged in that activity. that is precisely what happened between the trump campaign and wikileaks. standing alone as a foreign national entity and also as an agent of the government of russia. >> you also write today about the possibility of michael cohen's lies to congress and the degree to which they may end up back at the doorstep of the president, particularly in light of the president saying, no trump-related crimes. what's your case there? >> there, it's from the sentencing memo, that you find the intriguing suggestion or statement from michael cohen's
lawyers that he was in regular and close contact with the white house and with the president's lawyers while he was preparing his testimony before the congress, that he now admits included a major falsehoods. falsehoods about the president's negotiation during the campaign with russia over a possible moscow hotel project. what was taking place in those conversations? presumably they had some conversation about the content of his testimony or why would he be in contact with them at all? and if he did, did the president know and signal through lawyers and his staff that he wanted michael cohen to tell these lies? we find in 1974, when the house judiciary committee took a look at richard nixon's various acts of obstruction of justice, they not only cited as impeachable direct acts of approval of false testimony to investigators, but also actions by the president to condone or acquiesce in testimony to the congress and to other investigators that nixon knew to be false.
that may very well be the case here. >> just to take a step back here, even before you get to the content of what the president might have been discussing with michael cohen, again, as a lawyer, as someone who worked as white house counsel, someone who works at the high legal stakes, you don't want to screw things up. the fact the president was talking to cohen about this at all, particularly while this is going on is worrying itself, right? >> it is. and cohen, of course, in testifying was also at the very same time still -- and this is also in the sentencing memo -- a personal lawyer to the president. >> right. >> so the conflicts were rife. was he operating here as the president's attorney when he testified and, therefore, giving him cover on the moscow hotel project? did he somehow think he owed him careful attention to the president's own interests at the expense of his own? had he told the truth, michael cohen, about the moscow hotel project, he wouldn't have been in any legal jeopardy. he lied, and now he is. who did he lie for? and on what understanding with whom when? >> that's a great -- you know, that is a great point.
his involvement itself, he's not transgressing by pursuing this deal in his capacity. the lie doesn't help him at the first door level at all is what you're saying. >> correct. we know, and this is also true in the case of michael flynn's lies to the fbi -- >> right. >> -- that there is every evidence of what was driving the president during this period of time all through 2016, frankly to the present day, was the desire to deny any of the facts showing the connections to and the dialogue with russia and russia agents. >> that's a great point. bob bauer, thank you for taking time tonight. >> pleasure. thank you. >> nick ackerman, special assistant in watergate and retired federal judge nancy, harvard law school. nancy, let me start with you. on the question of the president of the united states, this person saying who pledged he wouldn't testify against me on his guts, this other is weak. he should go to jail. his wife should go to jail. and his father-in-law should go to jail. >> right. first of all, that certainly
could look like witness tampering as george conway was saying. but again, we are now -- maybe the best way to keep on looking at this is to look at it in terms of the articles of impeachment against nixon. >> right. >> would this be sufficiently -- whatever the ambiguities of the law, this is coming close to manipulating the testimony. and if you add to that, basically dangling a pardon to anyone, it would also vitiate in my view a pardon 0 coming down the pike. in other words, if he put it in the context of who was doing what for him, that would raise some interesting questions about the pardon itself. >> you know, we've got two big documents set to come out this week. we've got the michael cohen document late friday night, his lawyers making the argument for why he should receive no jail time. something for flynn on tuesday. manafort on friday, this is coming off a big week last week. what is your sense watching what's being made public in the succession it is, nick? >> first of all, you have to realize, it may not be made public.
i mean, some of this stuff may be put under seal. >> right. we have reporting indicating at least some of it will be public, but your point is maybe not all of it. >> maybe not all of it. and really, maybe not the most important part of this. >> good caution. >> mueller has been very circumspect about what he's released publicly. you get clues from people's guilty pleas, but that's about as far as we've gotten now. i know everybody is salivating thinking there is something important going to come out this week. if you're able to get all of the proof mueller is going to present on manafort and why he lied, you probably have a blueprint to everything he knows. >> right. you think there might be incentive for mueller's office to keep some of that under seal because they don't want to giveaway what they know vis-a-vis other folks. >> exactly. because they're going to have other people that are still testifying before the grand jury. they don't want to let all of the information out at this point. and i think they want to present it all at one time in one major indictment. so, i mean, i think what you're
seeing is this is all being lined up for a major indictment. you've got three witnesses. you've got cohen who obviously takes us right into the sweet spot of the russian conspiracy. you've got rick gates, who was there straight through after manafort left in august of 2016. and then you've got michael flynn, who probably provides the motive as to what's going on with respect to -- >> the sanctions? >> a quid pro quo lifting of sanctions for the help. >> right. judge, i also wanted to get your feedback as someone who was a federal judge. to watch rudy giuliani who ran the southern district of new york, and who is a president of the united states lawyers dismissively referring to these things as process crimes, basically saying, there is this trumped up stuff. these are process crimes. so and so lied here, so and so lied there. there's nothing to this. as a former federal judge who had to preside over a courtroom every day, what is your reaction
to the president's lawyer using that term? >> well, i mean, it would be one thing if you're talking about lying of the date of the week. >> right. >> you're talking now about lies that are pretty central. and the other thing about the michael cohen lies which are extraordinary, these were lies that were done in a formal statement. he wrote them down. this is what he, you know, what he actually proposed and they're lies about something central to this investigation. let me go back to one thing that nick was saying, though. in one sense, one measure of how close mueller is to finishing is how detailed the submissions this week will be. >> right. >> because what he's been doing is doing a report in slow motion with all of these indictments. these are more narratives in these indictments than i have ever seen. so that will actually be one way we'll know how far along he is by the detail this week. >> just to follow-up, so you're saying the more detail, the further along he is? >> that's right, that's right. i mean, you know, you hold your
cards close to the vest at the very beginning, and then in addition, when you have someone like mueller who actually from the beginning had to know that he could have been in jeopardy by any -- by the president at any time by firing sessions or firing rosenstein, so what's really clear is that he's telling the report, this investigation, through these indictments, through these submissions. it's almost like a storyboard. you can put one up next to the other and see the links. that will be the que how far along we are. >> i think that's true. what's different that's happening here than in watergate, very early on you had someone like john dean who basically laid out the story. >> right, he told everyone what was happening. >> we knew the narrative very early on in the whole investigation. >> that's a great point. >> here, we don't have that. >> right. and what's remarkable, it was just confirming what dean said was the truth because he said, he said after that.
final question for you, nick. um been very focused from the beginning on the sanctions. >> right. >> the quid pro quo sanctions. very clear, even when they say what they talk about in the meeting in trump tower, lift the sanctions, lift the sanctions. >> right. >> that's interesting, when you go back and look at the trump tower deal they're working on, sater and cohen, he lined up financing for the trump tower building with the vtb bank. that gives cohen and trump and sater a personal financial stake in the lifting of sanctions. >> exactly. you look at this thing, go back to the christopher steele documents and the interviews he did, you can see the russian perspective. they were looking at trump as somebody who was trying to cultivate them and taking the help in the campaign. it's the same thing. what were they looking for? they were looking for lifting sanctions. and the key was the michael flynn plea, because the materiality of his lie was the coordination between the trump campaign and the russian government, and that was the
giveaway because this all related to sanctions. >> that's the question for tomorrow, why did he lie about what he lied about, the conversation with the russian ambassador about sanctions, specifically, we might get more light shed on that tomorrow. nick ackerman and nancy ge rtn er, thank you for your time. mueller signalling they've reached potential end game status. more on that in two minutes. this isn't just any moving day.
and this is moving day with reliable service appointments in a two-hour window so you're up and running in no time. show me decorating shows. this is staying connected with xfinity to make moving... simple. easy. awesome. stay connected while you move with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. back in april, when michael cohen's home and offices were raided by the fbi -- big story -- adam davidson wrote this piece in the new yorker titled, michael cohen and the end stage of the trump presidency. his argument was that the president's business dealings are so shady, they cannot possibly withstand sustained examination by prosecutors. and that an examination of the trump organization could end up implicating trump's family along with his business associates. now, in light of last week's plea deal, as we head towards michael cohen's sentencing next week, adam davidson's prediction seems more and more prescient. adam davidson, staff writer of the new yorker, joins me now.
you wrote that. you got a lot of push back. people have been talking about, we've been talking about the end forever. it's one of those things like the jar lid, you try and try and at some point it pops off. where are we now? >> i think that where we are now is where we shifted to that week when they raided cohen's office. basically before that, it was still possible to imagine this would be a fairly limited examination of trump's campaign and its specific relationships with the russian government, and that it would not look at financial matters at all. if you remember, that was what trump's legal team was arguing. there was academics and others saying, yes, yes, mueller should stay only on this one narrow question and it should be mueller looking into it. what we learned that week back in april when cohen's office was first raided is that, no, this is going to be a multi-pronged investigation. first of all, it's not just going to be mueller. it's going to also be the southern district of new york, and then presumably -- and then
we learned, in fact, new york attorney general, maybe other -- state taxation -- taxation body. >> four entities just so people are clear, the sentencing memo filed by cohen's attorneys say they were four cooperated with. mueller, state taxation, state a.g. and federal. >> trump's businesses and the businesses of people close to trump are now fair game and part of this investigation. and i think what that opens -- we spent a lot of time appropriately talking about impeachment, talking about things in washington, centered in washington. but what i have to imagine trump's greatest fears are around losing money, losing his wealth. he now has a very serious possibility of having to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in back taxes to new york state. his son don junior has told people reportedly that he expects to be indicted. i'm of the view, based on other
reporting i've done and some of my colleagues have done, that ivanka is at risk of prosecution. so i think that even -- >> wow. >> -- if nothing happens in the mueller report, even if congress is, you know, dead on arrival, they're not going to do anything, we now see a massive investigation of trump's entire world that is going to be painful for him. >> and i think one -- so, what's also interesting, when you talk about that sort of red line notion, there's like russia and there's the campaign in russia and finances over here, red line, it's untoward or not fair to go looking at those things. to me the significance of the cohen plea last week is the two are the same. >> they are the same. obviously. >> which is to say the financial interests in a russian deal seems to be clearly part of the campaign to compromise him -- >> absolutely. >> -- in effectuation of what appears to be say conspiracy on the part of the russian government. >> if you talk to prosecutors, it's really hard to do white collar crime at all, and it's especially hard to do white
collar crime that crosses borders. >> i'm going to stop you right there so people know what they're looking at. the the president of the united states arriving at the capital to observe george h.w. bush lying in state. he there in the capital rotunda, the president departing from the white house there, we will keep our eyes on that. >> great. so, the -- these are really hard cases to prosecute because you need documentary evidence. you need insiders ratting out the bosses. it's very hard to do that. but when your partner is a government that wants to influence you and makes clear to you in a variety of ways, we can destroy you by leaking these documents, or providing these documents, it becomes a very different case. he's extremely exposed. >> this is a great point that you made back -- you talked about a theory of trump kompromat. i think because we introduced the notorious ritz carlton tape, there is an idea there is this one thing they can expose, they hold it over you and wave it over your face.
what they do is draw you in enmeshed in a web, sent me illicit interactions that you know about and they know about. >> absolutely. we know well, this is well documented, well studied throughout the former soviet union, which is -- there is not really a legal way to become a billionaire or to do major real estate development. >> right. >> someone asked me this week, is there a chance that trump tower moscow was part of a money laundering scheme? i said, i would think most people know about it would say by definition a luxury real estate development in moscow is part of a money laundering scheme. they bring you in, they make clear, they have a lot of tools to do it, that you can't get out of line. we see it in extreme with other people who go against putin and are suddenly thrown in jail on charges that clearly nearly every russian oligarch is guilty of, but only those who go against him are arrested. they know how to do it, and he's deep in that system.
>> yeah. i mean, that is the thing that i keep thinking about, this is dangling over everyone's head. we know peskov and the kremlin and putin know they're lying. that in itself, they could blow the whistle on that whenever they want to. >> trump knows that russia is reaching out saying, hey, we have these e-mails. and then he's saying, they don't have those e-mails. i'm not doing business with russia. so, i tell you, at a bare minimum, to me, we have reached the point where it is no longer responsible to talk about this as, who knows, maybe we'll find something. i feel strongly we are at the place where we know there's extreme wrongdoing, extreme problems, and it's just a matter of the breadth of it and what the reaction will be. >> final question for you. you wrote a great piece, investigation into trump real estate project in azerbaijan. what do you make of the story sater and cohen offered vladimir putin a $50 million penthouse in trump tower moscow? >> it is pretty unbelievable that --
>> that's a violation on its face basically. >> yes. >> the foreign corrupt practices act is a strange law. it makes it illegal in america to do something that might be normal in another country, which is bribing a foreign official. but, yes, you are not allowed if you are a business that does business in america to give things of value. by the way, people have been convicted for like giving a flight or giving like a nice pen. so a $50 million apartment is beyond the pale. >> adam davidson of the new yorker, thank you. i want to turn to the president of the united states who is in the capital rotunda, they cleared the way for him to pay his respects to president george h.w. bush who passed away friday evening and is now lying in state there in the capital. he has not made his way into the capital rotunda. that is the image, of course, of the coffin of george h.w. bush who is lying in state as part of the official observance of his passing and mourning, an
official day of mourning will be recognized by all parts of the federal government on wednesday. here with me now, msnbc contributor jennifer ruben who writes the right turn for the wash post. in the era, as the first president who died in the era of donald trump, all of the focus is on the ways that he contrasts, right? people say, well, he was affable and kind and he was graceful and humble and he had a life of service and he served in world war ii. he sacrificed. and all these things that are obvious rebukes of donald trump. it's almost inescapable that context, it seems to me, in the way people are talking about h.w. bush. >> it absolutely is. that's because donald trump is a president like no other president. perhaps george h.w. bush was the end of an era. he was the end of the last generation who became president, the last of the war heroes, last of the world war ii generation. so he really is an extraordinary individual. but we have now departed so far from presidential norms, so far
from the minimal standards of conduct with donald trump that, frankly, i think any president who dies from now on will have a little bit of that contrast, it's now just so great because we're talking about someone from a great generation. >> we were making an observation during super bowl commercials, because donald trump is so aberrant as a personality, so abnormal, recitations of the american civic creed seem as a rebuke to him. if budweiser says we're all americans, oh, they're going after trump. there is a little bit of that it seems to me in the ways people are talking about george h.w. bush's policy and political legacy. >> you're right. when you heard paul ryan make a point about what a family man george h.w. bush was, that was political number one. is there anybody who didn't think it was a rebuke of the current president? it was obvious that it was. i think that, you know, obviously, his political legacy
is a complicated one. he was part, i would argue, of the republican party that made donald trump inevitable at some point, or someone like donald trump inevitable. he could have beaten michael dukakis without lee atwater, without willie horton. he didn't have to run against the 1964 civil rights act, but he did. he said the only smart thing a republican has said about economics in the last 40 years. he said it was voodoo economics. and then when he took the job with ronald reagan, had he to reverse himself on that. he had to reverse himself on abortion which was handing a lot of the party or his part of the party essentially the cristian right. >> yeah. >> and the one thing he did that was courageous, which was raise taxes, looked bad on him because he had felt obligated to butch
himself up in an acceptance speech by borrowing a line from an arnold schwarzenegger movie. >> right. >> i think the primary legacy of george h.w. bush as president is battle field courage does not necessarily translate into political courage. >> i couldn't disagree more. you can pick small things, small mistakes in anyone's career. in the large sweep of his career, blend in the plain as they say without a shot being fired, having the self-discipline not enmeshing us in an occupation in the middle east. the amendments to the clean air act, his signature on the americans with disabilities act, these were great steps. and, yes, he made mistakes in his career. none of these people are saints, but it was downhill after that, put it this way. he was not of a peace with the recent modern republican party to my great chagrin. >> he bent -- he bent the knee
of fealty to the element that's created the modern republican party. >> the far-right was there when ronald reagan was there. he just came along after him. i will say this. the biggest contrast is on foreign policy and we had someone who was really probably the best prepared person to ever hold the office on foreign policy who navigated us through an incredibly tricky time, who was perhaps the master of those international relationships that held the world together for 70 years since -- went on to settle the world together since 1972. now you have someone who is destructive and has not a clue what americans' role in the world will be. foreign policy in particular, and at this moment when donald trump is so destructive and he's so at odds with our allies, the contrast becomes even more great. >> well, donald trump has never been part of a conspiracy to sell missiles to the ayatollah. >> neither was george bush, he
was never involved. excuse me. he was not. >> that's right, that's why he pardoned everybody out the door. >> we should make the point as the president and the first lady pay their reexpects to george h.w. bush there, lying in state in the capital, that george h.w. bush did, jennifer, offer a bunch of pardons to people that were implicated. >> he did. but he was not himself involved. many people including frankly gerald ford pardoned people just to avoid a political scandal. but, listen, to put that on his shoulders is ridiculous. he was not involved directly -- >> he was the master of foreign policy and he couldn't turn that ridiculous escapade off. and george schultz's diary which is under subpoena -- >> let me say this. well, mayeda understanding of the my understanding of the facts, it was never implicating george h.w. bush. it's true, gerald ford, as we watched when gerald ford died, that was the sort of -- ford's pardon of nixon, a signature moment in his obituary, ended
his presidency for better or worse. his pardons here, a less prominent part of his historical record. jennifer, in the context of what we're seeing, what do you make of it? i'm saying the pardons. given where we are right now, given the fact we're thinking about pardons, we're thinking about presidential pardon, we're thinking about accountability and the rule of law, the pardons that george h.w. bush did offer and there were quite a few implicated in the special counsel's investigation of iran contra, how that has weathered versus how he managed the end of the cold war. historians agree have weathered quite well. >> i think the difference there is he did follow a process. he went to the justice department. he followed the process. these were not cronies. this was not a spur of the moment indication. these were done in consultation with the department of justice.
>> yes. >> and that they really were of a different type. we're not talking about sheriff joe here. we're talking about people who were represented, who made a case for clemency, went through the process and got a recommendation from the justice department, and he proceeded. so, listen, it wasn't my favorite part of his legacy either, but i think it's a long way to go from there to the current state of affairs. and i will say this. george bush actually did stick up and give it to the far-right in a lot of instances. you forget, he wrote that beautiful letter to the nra resigning because they dee famed the people who keep us safe day and night. it was a beautiful letter -- >> jack -- >> it stands in such contrast to what you have now, where the president is slobbering over the far-right and they over he. so i think that may have been arguably the last republican president who was willing to
stand up to some of these groups and to say, no, i have a higher obligation and this behavior is unamerican. >> and, charlie, he didn't stand up to them when he was trying to become president. he flip-flopped on abortion. he flip-flopped on gay rights. he never could get behind a civil rights bill, even the first race he ever ran -- >> he voted in favor of the 1968 fair housing bill. and in terms of rights -- >> he ran against -- he ran against ralph yarborough -- >> as a final moment on his civil rights legacy, something that jennifer mentioned which i think should get a lot of attention in the remembrance is the americans with disabilities act, a really remarkable piece of legislation that is very inconceivable to imagine the modern republican party signing given the expense that it has produced for folks. jennifer ruben and charlie pierce, thank you both. >> you're welcome. >> ahead, accusations of a stolen election in north
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thing 1 tonight, as the mueller investigation gets ever closer to the president, it is amazing to behold the brilliant legal minds that work on team trump. they appear to be down to two people. the president himself and rudy giuliani who have been taking their case to the court of twitter. giuliani complained, just as the president left for g20 in july
-- now, i don't know if he meant to write g20.in, he created a link everybody can click on. it takes you to g20.in, a website with one sentence, donald trump is a traitor to our country. well done, rudy. if you want the really good stuff, as always, you have to go to the tweets the president himself who today reached perhaps a new low besmirching a good man by the name they call scott free. thing 2 in 60 seconds. today is the day you're going to get motivated... get stronger... get closer. start listening today to the world's largest selection of audiobooks on audible. and now, get more. for just $14.95 a month, you'll get a credit a month good for any audiobook, plus two audible originals exclusive titles you can't find anywhere else. if you don't like a book, you can exchange it any time, no questions asked. automatically roll your credits over to the next month if you don't use them. with the free audible app,
you can listen anytime, and anywhere. plus for the first time ever, you'll get access to exclusive fitness programs a $95 value free with membership. start a 30-day trial today and your first audiobook is free. cancel anytime and your books are yours to keep forever. audible. the most inspiring minds. the most compelling stories. text "listen27" to 500500 to start your free trial today. donald trump has never been much of a writer and his tweets are often filled with interesting stuff, like unnecessary quotation marks and misspellings and, of course, unnecessary capitalization. like this week, from today, michael cohen asked judge for no prison time, capital p capital t. and part two of the tweet he says cohen has lied to get his wife and father-in-law off scott free. in that moment, the internet needed to wait, no, who the heck is scott free? scott free was trending on twitter as a reactions started
pouring in. this guy who may or may not have just changed his twitter name to scott free this afternoon replied to the president, leave me outta this. folks at merriam webster tweeted the correct spelling. some guy probably. everyone's favorite lawn mowing meme, are you scott free? i know of one person who can't manage to board a plane scott free. i'm alex trebek here to tell you
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respect our votes. respect our votes. respect our votes. respect our votes. respect our votes. respect our votes. >> protesters ascended on the wisconsin state capital today 0 decrying what they are calling a last-minute lame duck power grab by the state's republican legislature. you might remember this year's election was a good one for wisconsin democrats.
for the first time in eight years after trying and failing, democrats won the governorship along with lieutenant governor's race and race for attorney general for the state. so naturally, republican majorities and the state legislatures have moved quickly in the last days of unified governance to pass a slew of measures that would limit the authority of both, you guessed it, the governor and the attorney general right before democrats take those offices. that includes making it difficult for the new attorney general to withdraw wisconsin from that lawsuit seeking to strike down obamacare, even though health care and obamacare were central issues in the campaign that the democrats just won. at a press conference today, people in the room apparently outright laughed when the state gop suggested this was all just a bit of good government house keeping before the term ended. in a week ago before the plan was made public, state majority leader scott fitzgerald described it as, quote, inside baseball, it's hard for me to believe people get excited about. spoiler alert. that didn't go so well. two years ago you might recall
carolina republicans pulled the exact same stunt when they lost the governor's mansion and right now as i speak the republican majorities in michigan are reacting to the loss of the governor's mansion in almost identical fashion. like the efforts to make voting harder and shrink the electorate which republicans in state after state have adopted, this transparent attempt to unwind the will of voters shows a party that is increasing little declaring war on democracy itself.
it now seems distinctly possible as we learn more and more every day and every hour the republicans have attempted to steal a congressional election in north carolina with the most brazen electoral fraud in a generation. the state's board of elections, which is a bipartisan body, has now twice declined to certify the midterm results in north carolina's ninth district where republican mark harris appeared to win by only 905 votes over his democratic opponent. that is because of really striking irregularities in absentee ballots in the
district. in affidavits, some voters say that people came to their door and collected ballots, often unsealed and unfinished ballots. as wfae in charlotte noted, unless a voter is disabled, it's against the law to collect absentee ballots from voters and they have appeared to have disproportionately affected voters of color. more than 40% of the mail-in ballots requested by african-americans and more than 60% of those requested by american indians did not make it back to elections officials. for white voters, that figure was just 17%. brian murphy, a reporter with north carolina newspapers has been following this story. all right, what is the latest as of today? >> well, the biggest development today is there's another report that the consultant for mark harris may have picked up -- may have had these ballots just delivered to his house and that no one is quite sure what happened to the ballots, if they
made it back to the election board or didn't. as the numbers you pointed out just illustrate, a lot of these ballots did not make it back. >> so i want to just be clear here, and i'll play this sound from local news reporting on this. there's a guy who's a local sort of conservative grassroots campaigner who's done time for fraud before. he was working for the harris campaign, the republican campaign, is that correct? >> that's correct. he was an independent contractor with the harris campaign. >> and that's confirmed. he was an independent contractor, he's got a history of fraud. i want to be clear on this north carolina law. you can't send people to collect people's absentee ballots even if you don't tamper with them. that on its face is illegal in north carolina, right? >> right. >> so you can't do that? >> you cannot, no. >> because i just -- there are places where you can do that, i just want to be clear here. this is the local news reporting from wsoc tv contacting some folks that appear to have worked
with him in collecting ballots. take a look. >> so what were you doing for these? >> i was helping mccray pick up ballots. >> easton says mccray dallas paid her $75 to $100 a week to go around and pick up finished absentee ballots. dallas is the soil and water conservation supervisor who appears to be at the center of the state investigation. he was named twice in sworn affidavits as a worker for the mark harris campaign. eason said she never discarded ballots or saw who they were voting for. but after picking them up, she didn't mail them, she gave them to mccray dallas. >> did all the people who voted, did their votes count? >> i guess. like i said, i don't know nothing what happened after i dropped them off. >> some great local reporting from joe bruno there. what does that mean if this is true? >> well, there are investigations by not only the state board of elections, wake
county which is where raleigh is, is also investigating it. there are irregularities not only in the general election but dating back to the primary. if you go back to the 2016 gop primary in the ninth district and in bladen county, there are also irregularities. wade county's investigation dates all the way back to that. the next step will be what the state board does. they can order a new election, even if the number of votes that were affected, the number of ballots that were affected would not swing the entire election. if the taint affects the entire election or if they feel like there's no way that this election could be considered fair, the state board does hold the power to order a new election to happen in north carolina 9. >> i want to go back to one thing you said. there's similar statistical irregularities going back to 2016 in this county and in the primary in this county, right? that harris does better and other people had dropoffs in their absentee coming back to the office compared to harris in
the republican primary, right? >> in the republican primary in 2018, harris got 437 mail-in acty ballots from bladen county. robert pitinger, the sitting representative from that district, got 17 in a race that was basically 50-50. it was decided by 828 votes and yet about 400 different in mail-in ballots. if you look in the general election, even in union county, which harris won, mccready won the mail-in absentee ballots, the only county in the district in which harris won the mail-in absentee ballots was bladen county. >> where mccray dallas apparently was paying people $75 to $100 a week to go around and pick up those ballots. here now wayne goodwin, the chairman of the democratic party. is it the democratic party's position there should be a new election in north carolina 9? >> yes, that is our position. we also wanting to ensure that there is no certification of
this congressional race until after a full, thorough, public evidentiary hearing by the state board. >> republicans are complaining about two things. one, they're saying that the board of elections is operating secretly and the person in charge of that board is a democratic party, quote, hyperpartisan. what do you say to that? >> i'd say they're trying to change the narrative. it's quite interesting that for years now, particularly the last couple years, all they could talk about is voter fraud here or alleged voter fraud there and they would never want to touch or talk about the problems with absentee ballots. now that their candidate, their nominee is in the midst of the greatest election tampering i've seen, perhaps any of us have seen in a generation or more, they are nowhere to be found. so they're trying to talk about the former chair of the state board of elections who has resigned and that was the right thing to do. the board should be allowed to do its investigation and the republican party should step out of the way and let this investigation happen. i believe there should be a new
election. >> what's the timeline look like? have you ever encountered a situation like this? i have covered politics for a while, and i've never quite seen something like this. >> i have never encountered this in my life. i've been involved in politics for 40 years now, since i was a kid, and i've never seen this happen before. but we have -- the election itself is called into question. it has been tainted. with the stories that i've heard from folks in the two counties where these activities happened, it's shameful that the victims here are voters themselves. this is not voter fraud, this is where voters have become the victims -- >> right. >> -- by this scheme, by this particular scheme. and it's shameful and there needs to be a full investigation of this and the republicans need to let the investigation happen. there is a new chair of the state board of elections, so they can't be crying that any further. >> that new chair, do you have a sense of the timeline here? is this the kind of thing you can wrap up in a week? you've got to move pretty
quickly. congress is going happen soon. >> the state board decided that they would have a public hearing on or before december 21st, so there is quite a quick turn-around on this. and this is to ensure that the facts are found out and that if there needs to be further actions taken, they can be taken. it also takes into account the fact that congress does reconvene january the 3rd, so this is a quick turn-around but they'll do the very best they can. and i have every confidence that this board is going to give it a full and thorough investigation, as it should. >> should there be criminal investigations? >> yes. i mean the allegations that we have all heard about violate the law. and when you hear about folks who have people come to their door they don't know about collecting absentee ballots, when you hear about folks who come to their door and are telling voters, oh, don't worry about filling out your ballot, we'll take care of the rest of it and ballots are not being
sealed, they're not being signed, they're being sent to some unknown address. and then when you have folks that have completed sworn affidavits where they say that mr. dallas, who you've talked about a moment ago, has allegedly been promised $40,000 if mark harris won the election. and then another affidavit that says that he has 80 people working with him on acty ballots. this is criminal activity, i believe. >> all right, wayne goodman, thank you for your time. >> the current president pays respects to a former president, george h. w. bush 41 has returned to washington. resting in the rotunda of the capitol where he served in congress. a somber day in the nation's capital and we will talk about 41. a retired-star army general and his biographer who will deliver a u lodgeo wednesday.