tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC March 4, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
district. may 16th is primary day and 16th election day. the results were thrown out after months long investigation into election fraud. so that is all for tonight. we will be back tomorrow with more mtp daily. "the beat" with ari bell mourn begins right now. >> we begin with democrats opening up the widest investigation into donald trump since the launch of the mueller probe. the house judiciary committee, which is one of the most powerful investigative bodies of the u.s. congress has dropped the hammer officially. let me walk you through exactly what's happening. they are pushing now for evidence and documents from 81 different people, organizations and companies tied to or with knowledge of the activities of donald trump. this touches on virtually every aspect of his life in presidency and his contacts with russians. the requests go to donald trump's family, not to his
daughter, to his sons and jair kushner, his business and members of his outside legal team, it go es to the trump campaign, including every former aide already indicted by bob mueller. the house democrats are also looking directly into the lives of white house staffers, what did they do at work and what did the lawyers do in the white house counsel's office, which has leaked so much about potential requests for criminal activities by the president, whether he got people to do it or not. then new requests here to government agencies like the doj and the fbi, which donald trump has impugned and attacked and tabloid allies tied to the hush money payment itself to the women that michael cohen was testifying to last week and multiple people to wikileaks and a request to wikileaks, itself, and the people who went to the now infamous trump tower meeting. each of these people they have to provide the information
because of what is now this new sweeping investigation into alleged obstruction of justice by the president of the united states as well as allegations of public corruption and an inquiry into quote other abuses of power. now, some of these leads, of course, as i mentioned, they come from michael cohen. he is on the list, himself, 31 of the 81 people contacted came up in his blockbuster hearing. while lots of committees are investigating donald trump the judiciary is the one in charge of any potential beginning of the impeachment process. >> that is what gives this extra heft. this is something that show what is bob mueller's work could mean in the context of what our constitution always provides, which is that congress is the first place to adjudicate abuses of power or potential high crimes by a sitting president. chairman jerry nadler who studies these issues says this is not "i" word yet. he argues donald trump
effectively has provided the evidence to show he's committed a climb. >> do you think the president obstructed justice? >> yes, i do. if it is very clear the president obstructed justice. >> if that's the case, is the decision to pursue impeachment political? if you believe he obstructed justice? >> no we have to -- we have to do the investigations and get all this. before you impeach somebody, have you as to persuade the american public that it ought to happen. >> i am joined by the "wall street journal" shelby holiday, veteran prosecutor paul henderson and a washington correspondent for the "daily beast." this is congress. so we're going to get out to how congress makes this kind of investigation. starting on the narrower plank of the actual legal implications, paul, what does it mean when the chairman judiciary releases a finding, a conclusion that the president has already committed the crime of obstruction? >> it can mean a let.
let's be clear, they are looking for actionable bad behavior and actionable bad behavior what you alluded to is the high crimes and misdemeanors. i know that drifts us into impeachment. we're not at impeachment yet. we're definitely on the road. the car is on the road. and this is the gas for that car, this investigation. so we are looking for bad behavior and action items from this president and we already know a lot of what they are. but i think what stand out to me is how broad and how aggressive this investigation is that supersedes and expands beyond even what we're going to get from the mueller investigation, when j ever that comes out. but that's definitely what the goal is to cover more crimes. >> palm, if this is a car, a lot oof people thought bob mueller was driving it. the last time people remember an impeachment protect the then prosecutor ken starr was driving it. he provided a bunch of material that pushed congress in that direction. everyone knew the political nature of it.
that's what the republicans wanted. are you suggesting jerry nadler is now in that car, not bob mueller who is operating under narrower rules than ken starr was? >> i am saying there is more than one car, there are several investigations independent of this investigation, independent of mueller as well. but this car now is very aggressive and very broad and is going to include a lot of investigationive tools that heretofore had been limited in scope. and i think this car is going to pull in all of the other investigations in a more focused and a more narrow pathway that gets us to raising the question of imimpeachment, not just for congress, but for the broader public as well and they're going to tie in all of these other smaller investigations and weave them into a concrete and specific narrative focused on addressing the issue of imimpeachment. both for the broader public and for the rest of our elected officials to make a decision of what they node to do in termt of the next step. it includes everything. >> so i understand it the
nadnaden ler car like a big loud lamborghini and the mueller car was a much quieter kind of a mayback, something you can barely hear as it goes down the road? >> i like that analogy. and i like to think of this car as the bigger car and we see how big it is, because of the scope and the aggressive nature of how that car is moving and the other car, which can also get to that same goal are a little smaller, maybe a little quieter, because they don't encompass all of the things we are seeing here with a real focus on trump another past, present, and his future in the scope. they're talking about his foundation, his charities, his financial arrangements, his campaign, his election. >> it's sweeping, it's huge. >> it's all in the pot. >> eleanor, are you interested if getting involved in the automobile analogies? >> well, i'm thinking of a prius and a hummer. i'm not sure which vehicle i assign to either side.
i this i the democrats have known they were going to be in a investigatory business for a long time, since really before election day. and they have carefully planned out a lot and with nancy pelosi at the helm, she understands the risks of heading down for impeachment when you don't have public opinion. and it is not robert mueller's job in his big hummer to bring along the marine people. he's just -- he's driving towards a legal conclusion. the democrats with their sustainable prius, they're going to educate the american people and if you don't bring the american people along, impeachment is a fool's errand. and the 81 people they are subpoenaing, the investigations they're going to conduct, it's going to educate the american people. and during watergate, there were 58 democrats in the senate.
now, richard nixon resigned before he was convicted and he wasn't even impeached. he knew the game was over. there were 48 democrats now and if the republicans want to hold their red wool, fine. but let's see when the public begins to weigh in. i think you know we have been talking to ourselves the last year-and-a-half and i think the public out there really, they don't really know what this is all about and why it should matter. >> right. >> the people elected trump because they wanted him to sort of shake things up. he's done that. so let the education begin. i think that's where we're at. >> shelby, michael cohen wasn't talking to himself. a lot of people saw that. they know he rides with trump. just looking at one person when we say 81, folks coming home their monday night are seeing this is a lot. but when you dig into the examples, we looked at the jared kushner example, specifically. >> yeah. >> you have documents here that the democrats want on michael
flirngs on the firing of comey, on jeff session's recusal. on the attempt to fire mueller. if jared kushner was in an active plot to do that, that looks like obstruction. the potential abuse of the pardon power, sdny, financing, we know jared kushner had some issues around security clearance, wikileaks, putin, qatar, saudi arabia, that's just on kushner. >> i think the family then what i would call the gaestkeepers of the trump organization could be the most dangerous for trump. they've known trump in so many different capacities, jared kushner is a great example, for the reasons you listed. his assistant, rona graft, the gatekeeper of information, people who wanted to talk to president trump. she was in touch with the russian family that helped set up the touch tower new york meeting, hope hicks was on the
airplane when president trump dictated the response to that trump tower meeting. >> to your point, rona, hope, they are trump's version of the e-mails. because he doesn't e-mail. he doesn't text. these are people who stand around him and are the closest thing to, if they keep notes or you can track, they say the president or the candidate wants to talk to someone, they write it down, those those notes are the closest to trump e-mail. there is no e-mail. >> that's a great point. keith schiller his body guard he traveled with executive trump to rmpblt he's familiar with the hush money payments and the women trump was surrounded by. there are a lot of those quote/unquote gate keepers around president trump that aren't affiliateing with his campaign and could be damaging to him. >> you mentioned eleanor a former trump executive that worked with these people discussed some of that on "the beat" on friday. take a look. >> do you think that there are other hush money payments that he may know about?
>> yes. lots. >> more than give? >> probably. >> more than ten? >> i can't say. >> but that strikes you as -- >> indistinstinctinstinctive. trump would draw out the check. probably trump would sign it, himself. >> in the order of priorities, how sit for democrats to dig into stuff like that versus things post-november 2016 that relate to the way he's running the government. >> yeah. i think there is a debate about whether you go after a president for alleged crimes committed before he became president. i think what he's didn't since he became president should be of a greater priority. also, you can put under a heading of does the public really care about hush money? okay. there are illegalities there, but we know what trump's character is. we know he's been with other women. we heard michael cohen i think say very convincingly, apologizing to the first lady,
you know, for lying to her. so i think that's salacious, but i think that's not as important as the way he has tried on government rules, the way he has profited from the presidency since he's taken possession of the oval office. and it almost feels that way. he's trying to run the country like he did the trump organization with all the same illegalities. i'm anxious to hear from the ceo of the trump organization and he has immunity to certain extent. but i think all these figures are going to take on lives of their own as they parade before congress and that, with again, iran contra, there was actually a handbook was issued so you could keep track of all the players, there was fawn hall, oliver north. i think these people will become three dimensional characters in
the lives of the american people. >> about the judgment that went into the powers that they were given. i will turn to richard painter. so i will thank the entire panel, shelby paul and as welleanor. thanks. i appreciate it. the other chairs demanding the white house give up more information on the inards, the secret details of what donald trump has been discussing with putin. including, of course, these translators. sometimes the only other american person in the room. so for the legalities of this i want to bring in the chief ethics lawyer in the george bush white house. >> good evening. >> let's get into this, not the wider 81 people. but something that goes to the way america national security is being conducted. what does it mean that donald trump made the opinion to have so few, sometimes only one
person in that room, and is this the right per view of congress or when you were in the white house, would you have argued against it as a lawyer, saying this is presidential prerogative, you don't get that kind of stuff? >> i would have argued against the president having one-on-one conversations with vladimir putin without anyone in the room. that's what i would have argued against. it's absolutely absurd. just to have a translator there, without anybody else, without any of the national security personnel, that's a very, very unwise move on behalf of the president and congress certainly should investigate. particularly when we have all of the other contacts with russia, the fact that multiple members of this administration have lied about their meetings with the russians. the fact that donald trump, himself, sought investment opportunities in russia. the fact that the russians weren't invited to hack hillary clinton's e-mail by donald trump, did do so. the contacts between roger stone
and wikileaks. the list goes on and on. you want to put all that together. >> you want to talk about it, it sounds more and more interesting. if you were advising that house panel, would you say, yeah, get this translator into closed session. don't let it become necessarily a public spectacle, but ask, did the president and putin what, did they talk about a joint defense agreement? did they talk about leaks? clinton? that kind of stuff? >> everything. i'd get that translator into a closed-door session with the committee and go through everything in those conversations between our president and vladimir putin. this is a very dangerous situation. we don't have conclusive proof that the president is a russian missouri but he's certainly acting like it. and the congress needs to investigate and find out exactly what was said to vladimir putin and look at the rest of this russia connection. remember, robert mueller is only responsible for alleged criminal
activities in connection with the russia investigation. there's a lot more going on here that can be very, very dangerous for our national security and this president's relationship with vladimir putin is very strange, indeed. >> well, you just put your finger on it. a lot of this gets narrowed to what's a felony? and at the end of the day, if any president, not just this president, had an exposure, for example, they were coordinating messages against our own cia with a foreign leader, that might not technically be a felony, but it certainly would be something the american people and congress would want to know about and do something about. richard painter, a busy night. i always appreciate you making your time for us. >> absolutely. stay warm out there in minneapolis, coming up, i have an exclusive lawyer, this is his first live tv interview since that fateful day. tonight, breaking news on a mueller filing against roger
stone. there is a flag for a possible regulation of yes the gag order he is accused of violating. this time it could be different. later, my look on mueller's end game, why understanding his unfinished business will help you understand how to analyze the end of his probe, whenever that day comes. later, the actor jeffrey wright makes his debut on "the beat." we will get into prison reform in the trump era. i'm ari melbourne. we'll be right back.
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. michael cohen shook the nation with his testimony against donald trump before congress, roughly 16 million people watched that history unfolding live, tens of million more watching the highlightins later. we turn to the person sitting there the whole time. anyone that watched the hearings can recall how cohen was flanked by the famous watchman right there lanny davis, he's related to the clintons and sought the questions on the committee. >> who is paying lanny davis? >> at the present moment, no one. >> so he is doing all the work for nothing? >> yes, sir. >> how did lanny davis come to represent you, did he ask you or did he urge you to testify here? >> i find the connecting of the dots here with mr. davis and you and, frankly the chairman and perhaps others to be rather
stunning that there is an agenda. >> those congressmen clearly concerned about cohen's role, excuse me, lanny davis' role in manifesting a case against trump. veteran lawyer and former u.s. attorney michael monaco, right there. he has become a celebrated criminal defense attorney after a stint as a federal prosecutor. while davis drew public fire. monaco is advising him on his testimony on what he can and cannot say if public. he had a fellow front row seat and backstage access to the hearings that riveted the nation. he is shepparding cohen through his remaining confidential testimony in the house. with me is former u.s. attorney michael monica. thanks for being here. >> thank you. nice being here. >> when you look at what came through in that hearing, what was most important in your preparation and your strategy and what did michael cohen get
across? >> well, i think the most important thing is for michael to tell his story. to tell what happened. and to tell the american people the truth about the president of the united states. and i think that did come across. >> what do you think was the most damming legally? >> well, i assume the checks would be the most damming legally. the fact that the president of the united states wrote a check as president to michael cohen that was part of a scheme to violate campaign finance violations and to violate the rights of the american -- this was a scheme to, in part to defeat the election. it was intend, as you well know, it was right after the billy
bush tape and the last thing that mr. trump wanted, it appears, was to have two other episodes of him being involved with a porn star or a playboy model and they wanted to avoid that at all costs so they paid $130,000 to stormy daniels through her lawyer and the first check, by the way, which was referenced in mr. cohen's testimony, was a $70,000 check which i have with me today. a copy of it i have with me today. a $70,000 check win on the donald j. trump revokable trust. which is also an interesting side light that the deck was written on a revokable trust theoretically begun so the president would have some separation between his life as a politician and his life as a civil servant. >> was that provided into evidence at the hearing? >> no we didn't have it at the time. we have it today. >> hold it up, walk us through
th what this means. >> sure, it means when michael cohen went to see the president for the first time in the white house in february of 2017 and the president as you may recall his testimony he looked at all the lovely art. the president was proud of the whole scene and it was very awesome as mr. cohen said. the president said to michael at that time, you will be getting the two checks soon. the two checks meaning the two $35,000 checks. because as you may recall alan, the president's -- >> weiselberg. >> weiselberg said that instead of paying the entire $420,000 up in one lump sum, he wanted to pay it over the course of a year $35,000 even each year. each month, rather. and so, this check, the $70,000 check, which is signed according
to my client signed by alan weiselberg and donald trump, jr., that this check was the first check and it's the check that the president, himself, said to my client when he visited him in the white house, said that that check would be forthcoming soon. and sure enough it was on valentine's day, 2017. >> so your review, that helps further demolish the denial that trump was somehow post-defacto authorizing something he didn't authorize? >> that's exactly right. >> let me play one of the tantalizing parts of this hearing. you are a former prosecutor yourself. here is some of the probe in new york. take a look. >> when was the last communication with president trump or someone acting on his behalf? >> this topic is actually something that's being investigated right now by the counterdistrict of new york. >> is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding donald trump that we haven't yet discussed
today? >> yes. and again those are a part of the investigation that's currently being looked at by the southern district of new york. >> is michael cohen then continuing to provide information about that to the southern district or do they have everything they need from your client? >> michael cohen continues to assist law enforcement both in the southern district and elsewhere. >> and do you think everything he's done up to this point increases the likelihood that his prison sentence could be reduced? >> that's hard to say. certainly, his, you know, it's completely and totally depends upon the southern district of new york and if they find he has helped out to a substantial amount, then they may help in getting a rule 35. >> rule 35, which can reduce someone's jail time, even after conviction. i understand you don't speak for them. but you are very knowledgeable.
you are former u.s. attorney. do you think he's provided substantial assistance to sdny? >> ah, that's a good question. and it really is not for me to determine. it isn't. >> do you hope he has? . >> i hope he has. if he hasn't yet, i hope he continues do. he does continue to assist the southern district. >> you said other investigations. is that other authorities in new york? >> yes. >> would that be -- >> yes, it is. >> would that be potentially including the new york attorney general? >> yes, that's true. >> and also the da in new york? >> that's possible. but so far the attorney general in the southern district are -- have asked us to help. and we are assisting. >> you have been as we pointed out a front row seat to all this, you are walking us through a lot of what looks damming for the president, based on the evidence that michael cohen is providing. i also want to press you on the
criticisms you witnessed in the hearing. let me show what the republicans are saying here now after the hearing. they're saying that cohen testified he never defrauded a bank, that he didn't seek employment at the white house after trump's election. >> that he didn't direct the commission of this online campaign, that he didn't have reportable contact with foreign government entities. they say these are new lies by your client, michael cohen. your response. >> no, michael, michael, we stand by everything michael said at the, in his testimony. he was truthful in his testimony and we stand by everything that he said. >> one of the most explosive legal claims he made would appear to contradict both roger stone and donald trump in public about collusion, which we all know is the heart of what mueller began looking at. take a look.
>> mr. trump knew from roger stone in advance about the wikileaks drop of e-mails in july of 2016, days before the democratic convention. i was in mr. trump's office when his secretary announced that roger stone was on the phone. phone >> . >> if your client told the truth last week, there under oath, does that mean donald trump is lying about that. >> and if he told that lie to mueller, what would that mean? >> well, my client told the truth last wednesday when he testified that he heard roger stone on the phone, his voice he recognized, talking to the president of the united states prior to of course winning the election and in that phone call,
he told you exactly what he heard and shortly thereafter, there was a dump of e-mails that was accomplished through wikileaks. which now we know wikileaks, it happened to come through wikileaks through the russians. you know, that is -- there is no doubt about that, that the russians were involved in the hacking. and they have been, 13 of them have been indicted for it there so that means trump was lying, in your view? >> you know, i can't say whether someone is lying, whether he forgot, whether he's confused, whatever. he's certainly not the same as what mr. cohen remembers from that day. >> finally before i let you go, anything important that you see out of what's going to come this week in cohen's private testimony? >> i can't say for sure. i know that since it's private, i will not be able to talk about
it. but it should be an interesting week. >> what itself the old saying, those who tell don't know, those who don't, don't know. you have been more in the latter category, michael monaco. i appreciate your time tonight. >> my pleasure. we have breaking news from bob mueller. a new filing tonight, which experts say could lead to roger stone's imminent imprisonment. the mueller report could drop this week or week after that we have clues when he does conclude when we are back in just 30 seconds. s conclude when we are back in just 30 seconds. advice for what you need today and tomorrow. because when you're with fidelity, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward. because when you're with fidelity, tthis is the invitation to lexus sales event. lease the 2019 is 300 for $329 a month for 36 months. now thru march 31st. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
. attorney general bill barr announced bob mueller's probe wouldn't finish last week. it implicitly restarts the clock today. now barr wanted everyone to know mueller wouldn't be done by friday. so we got to factor that in. now these announcement versus many people assessing the current state of the mueller probe. think about it like this. if mueller finishes say tomorrow or soon what can we glean from that timing? the answer is a lot. because we already know what might be called mueller's unfinished busy, things he hasn't done yet. things could be ominous for trump world, some could be good for trump world. we will look at these things to watch for when mueller does reach the end of the road. the biggest piece of open business are all the potential witnesses that mueller hasn't interviewed according to public
record. for in-person interviews, that would be the president who provided the written answers which is less intense than prosecutors who deposed past presidents in person. if mueller finishes without insisting an interview from trump. >> that could be good for him, that there wasn't enough evidence. it could also be bad if it means there is overwhelming evidence that made the more intense interview unnecessary. as for trump's kids, well, two of them haven't faced mueller's team. >> are you concerned about anyone in your life that you love? >> no. >> being involved? >> i'm not. i'm really not. i have zero concern. >> but are you scared you could go to jail? >> i'm not. i know what i did, i'm not worried about any of that. >> if mueller finishes without compelling those family members to talk. what would that mean? in the case of top aides, corey lewandowski. he didn't force an interview, in
the case of roger stone, he never interviewed him, gathered evidence on him, in the case of assange, there are signs they are investigating him in virginia. he could have clues to what russia did in 2016. in fact, you should know a separate grand jury subpoenaed a new witness, leaker chelsea manning in a case that could shed more light on wikileaks. so those are a couple examples. what does it mean if mueller finishes without interviewing someone? for lewandowski, it meant he wasn't close enough to alleged crimes to talking to. good news for him. for stone it meant he was a target in the first meeting with the feds, was this right here not the kind you want, a morning raid. for assange, all it really tells us is he wasn't available. so for trump and his family, if mueller does finish without further indictments or in-person interviews, that could mean he found no credible everyday to charge. if there are further indictments, well, we will all be reading them. if mueller were to finish tomorrow and say no further
indictments, that would be significant. remember the core of his assignment is potential collusion. now we already nailed one part of it, indicting the russian side of the election hacks. and he did so. let's remember, despite many false denials by trump, claiming russia wasn't responsible, mueller set up the chain of events where donald trump's own appointee rod rosenstein contradicting trump noting, remember, rosenstein noted that indictment did not find knowing misconduct by americans. >> the indictment charges 12 russian military officers by name for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. the conspirators corresponded with several americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet. there is no allegation in this indictment that the americans knew they were corresponding with russian intelligence officers. there is no allegation in this indictment that any american
citizen committed a crime. >> so if mueller finishes tomorrow with no new indictments on the other side, you heard rosenstein talking about, not chargeing americans with helping an american plot, that's a sign how terrible russia's conduct was, mueller would not find everyday to charge americans helping them, also known as no chargeable collusion. if mueller does that, that's one outcome. if he adds more indictments before finishing, we could see the option. we are in maybe 9th inning, trump is clearly expecting a no collusion outcome. he has committed a no collusion offense. he denies a heads-up from roger stone according to reports. if trump lied about those things to mueller, then you could have a coverup, without collusion. one crime of obstruction without the crime of the underlying act and mueller would have to decide what to do about that. what do you tell congress about that? that brings us finally to
obstruction. many campaign aides have been charged with lying all the time. now, look at the white house, though, mueller interviewed a lot of white house aides, these people in all fairness have not been indicted except one mike flynn lying about conversations with the russian ambassador during the transition. as of now, flynn is the only member of the trump administration who served to be charged with a crime. now that could change, again, because we are looking at what we know now and what mueller could do. so as you enter mueller's end game, as everyone sits around, bar-b-ques, bars, talking about this, we do sister indications from bill barr last week that it would be starting the clock again today. so you have to keep an eye on these areas as we think about what it means, who has mueller talked to and not talked to? who has he targeted? and who is he looking at for obstruction. if there are no new indictments and mueller finishes up, that would seem to suggest that he didn't find americans helping
with collusion. that's a big deal no matter what you think of the president. if he does add indictments or sends congress other too early to say, hey, some other really bad stuff happened. well, that kicks it over to congress and a whole another national debate if you looked at the hill today, it looks likes a lot of people are gearing up for. that's our special report. when we turn next, we have what mueller is actually doing, a late-day filing that puts the prospect of roger stone in jail way closer. >> that story breaking news with the prosecutor to break it down is next. the prosecutor to break it down is next. he essentials in retirement, as well as all the things you want to do. because when you're ready for what comes next, the only direction is forward. named 'park' in the u.s. ninety-six hundred roads it's america's most popular street name. but no matter what park you live on, one of 10,000 local allstate agents knows yours. now that you know the truth,
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pg&e wants you to plan ahead by mapping out escape routes and preparing a go kit, in case you need to get out quickly. for more information on how to be prepared and keep your family safe, visit pge.com/safety. . breaking news in the mueller probe, a new filing regarding roger stone. i am joined by federal prosecutor john flannery. what did mueller file late today and what will it do in your view? >> well, he filed a notice about the government's side of the question whether or not mr. roger stone had violated the court's gag order not to say anything about the prosecutor or the prosecution in any media at
all, including instagram. and it turns out even as he was standing be every the judge, he had written a book with a new introduction. the introduction talked about how crooked mueller was put him on his hit list among other things. >> right. >> so in addition owe ho. >> when mueller tells the judge, stone is talking about the case. do you think that makes it more likely this judge will jail stone? >> oh, yes. in fact, the judge said at the last hearing when the judge wasn't happy about having a target next to her picture in an instagram publication by mr. stone, she said, this is the last time. so, if she stands by what she said in the last hearing, i hope he brought his toothbrush, i hope he brings his toothbrush when he goes to court. i think he is going to the slammer this time. >> the filer doesn't have him sending him to jamie, it says, hey, look at what he said. do you sue that comparably
similar? >> i think it's a haiku. every good advocate knows his or her or its judge. in this case the judge coulden have made it more clear that this kind of conduct was fought good so what they did was, they said, here's the ammunition, your honor, take a look at these excerpts on google books, on amazon. here's a picture that he put on instagram two days after you asked for this hearing. not good stuff. >> as you know, anyone following it knows, the judge that told stone to knock it off, no more shots. we will keep an eye on it. quite a development. john flannery, thank you. michael cohen was brought to a dangerous place, calling him a rat at that hearing. next i have a special guest discussing this and a lot more on prison in the trump era. on prison in the trump era and now we have zero account fees for brokerage accounts. at fidelity, those zeros really add up. ♪ so maybe i'll win, saved by zero ♪
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michael cohen logged three big days on capitol hill and he's not even done testifying. when he's all over, it will be one of the most momentous watched activities of any person as a final act before returning to prison. otisville, one of america's cushiest prisons according to forbes, will differ greatly from the over 2 million americans currently incarcerated. in a new hbo film, og explores the actual prison system going inside to the story of someone while fictional in nature, the
actual piece is shot almost entirely get this inside a real maximum security prison in indiana. a real environment for a fictional universe exploring re problems facing anyone trying to shift from hard time to freedom. >> no future in that, especially with what's going on right now. when it pop off, you'll be the first to get it. >> hey, dignity, self-respect, grace. at the end of the day that's what you want to hold on to in here. might not mean much to you now but something to remember. >> i'm joined by that very actor, the star of "o.g.," jeffrey wright, an emmy and tony award winner. why was it important for you to shoot inside a real prison? >> i did it i think to educate myself, to inform myself a little deeper on the issues, but also on a create rive level, toe if i could pull it off, if i
could deliver an authentic performance in the company of these men who know this story in much more detail than i do. and they were a big help to me. they had like at any given moment i had a hundred expert consultants on set to talk me through various things. it was an incredibly moving process for me. >> michael cohen, as i mentioned, is headed to prison. chairman cummings in that dramatic hearing said the way president trump has talked about cohen has actually put him in danger. >> i know it's painful going to prison, i know it's got to be painful being called a rat. i live in the inner city of baltimore, all right? and when you call somebody a rat, that's one of the worst things you can call them because when they go to prison, that means a snitch. >> is he right about the
implication that donald trump was putting michael cohen? extra dangers? >> i have been to otisville, i've been there screening a film with the tribeca institute. when i look at these guys and i look at the opportunities that the michael cohens have had, that the paul manaforts have had in their lives to better themselves, the opportunity they've had to develop positive outcomes on a personal level for themselves and yet choose an egregiously immoral path, i don't think that i look at them with the type of understanding that i look at some of these guys who did much more violent crime, simply because these guys never had the opportunity to explore more. >> you know how plots work. >> sure. >> how do you see the plot of this mueller probe ending? >> certainly what we've seen
from the cases that have been made public, the charges against manafort, the implications there relative to foreign policy decisions made at the republican national convention, if we can only wonder, only speculate at what the business ties of the president, how those might have informed or are informing policy decisions relative to saudi arabia, to russia and any other place that he might have business. you know, it seems pretty evident that there's something going on that's undermining the strength of our democracy and undermining the strength of our governance. something is rotten in this denmark. >> before i let you go, van jones has worked on these issues. he was speaking at a conservative conference about reform. take a look at what he just said. >> the conservative movement in this country unfortunately, from my point of view, is now the leader on this issue of reform.
take some dag-dom credit for being smart. >> talking about the first step act, which was bipartisan, although i'm not sure the republicans have always been in the lead. your view. >> well, they weren't in the lead when obama was in the office and they wouldn't -- mitch mcconnell wouldn't bring it up for a vote, so i'm not sure -- this is politics. i think van is playing some politics as well. i appreciate he's trying to reach out to the other signed and find common ground but i'm not so sure why he's so then enthusiastic about playing praise at the foot of the republicans and donald trump. for me the experience of working on this film spoke less about trillion justice reform as it did about the drivers that lead young men, young people into situations in which they find themselves with multi-decade prison sentences.
>> it's an important conversation and it's one this film goes at in an important way. jeffrey wright, the film is "o.g." available now on hbo. one more thing about the sweeping probe of the house and the newsmaker of the day next. we don't follow the naysayers. ♪ ♪ you have 4.3 minutes this time,to yourself.rn. this calls for a taste of cheesecake. philadelphia cheesecake cups. rich, creamy cheesecake with real strawberries. find them with the refrigerated desserts.
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documents and evidence from 81 different companies and people tied to trump. count us as officially jealous of our colleague rachel maddow, who will have chairman jerry nadler tonight. don't go anywhere, "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. did i miss anything? let's play "hardbal"hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews, back from two weeks in beautiful new zealand. getting up at 5:00 in the morning 8,000 miles away to hear michael cohen was well worth it because it gave me a clearer picture of this president. cohen testified what it was like being in the room with trump, taking orders from him, feeling his attitude toward those women he had been with. it's differe