that does it for me today. "a.m. joy" with joy reid starts right now. today a limousine brought former attorney general john mitchell to court. they used to call him the big enchilada at the white house. he came to be sentenced as a convicted felon. for 64 days these men sat in the judge's courtroom. when a time came for a final statement, mitchell and his lawyer had nothing to say. all eyes were on the man who was nose an max mustn't john. the judge wasted no time on the speech. each must serve as long as 2 1/2 years in prison. john mitchell left, growling it could have been worse, he could have sentenced some he to live the rest of my life with martha mitchell. it could have been worse for
paul manafort, too, a lot worse. depending on how things go next week, he could still end of spending the rest of his life in prison, but this week it's how he ended up, an unusually light sentence. we know that t.s. ellis has been during this time cal of the mueller investigation, but it still was a shock when he handed down a 47-month sentence, which is one fifth of the guidelines. he said these guy are quite high. i think this sentencing range is excessive. manafort has been good to others, a generous person, lived an otherwise blameless life. an otherwise blameless life? generous to others? to the on tligarch he he generoy
shared data with? manafort's own admission of guilt for some of the crimes he's charged with proves that he's not remotely blameless. manafort's lawyer parroted trump's favorite phrase. >> mr. manafort finally got to speak for himself. he made clear he accepts responsibility for his conduct, and i think most importantly what you saw today is the same thing that we had said from day one -- there is absolutely no evidence that paul manafort was involved in any collusion with any government official from russia. >> huh. that sounds vaguely familiar. trump offered this predictable spin. >> the judge said there was no collusion with russia.
this had nothing to do with collusion. it's a collusion hoax, a collusion witch hoax. i don't cole collude also made statement that -- keep the hoax going. it's just a hoax. >> mr. president, you can be honored all you want, but the judge never said that. the judge said that collusion had nothing to do with the trial. this particular case wasn't about collusion, but it was manafort's no-collusion sign-off, we wonder if that's a signal to donald trump that he's still on board and he would very much like a pardon.
my panel joins me this morning. thank you all for being here. paul butler, when paul manafort's lawyer walked out and repeated "no collusion" for people watching michael cohen the ways donald trump quietly signalses to stay in the boss's good graces, that's what it sounded like. basically i'm still with you, boss, give me a pardon. >> first of all, he doesn't need a pardon as much as he did. paul manafort got a judicial pardon, but yes, it's more dangling of the pardon, more demeaning the russian investigation, and frankly, i think the extremely light sentence make a pardon from the president more likely, because
it makes it look like what manafort did wasn't really a big deal, which is opposite of the facts. >> you know, cynthia, we've seen a woman sentenced in texas to five years thinking she could vote in an election despite a previous felony. this same judge has sentenced politicians that got, like, 13 years. the former mayor of detroit got 27 years for corruption. this was a very unusually light sentence. people have gotten to jail for life for selling weed. when you look at a sentence like this, what makes you think was going on? >> two things. one, it shows the disparity between white-collar crime and street crimes, but more than that, it shows that this judge has gone too far.
he sees a white guy that could easily be at his country club or restaurant and he feels sympathy, because he's like him on some level. he gave him a pass. it's completely inappropriate. this is why we have sentencing guidelines. even if you look down from your lofty perch and see somebody who looks like you, ifs criminal conduct -- rises to a certainly level, you're supposed to sentence him that way. he didn't do it. frankly the guidelines should be mandatory, so everybody who gets does the same conduct gets the same sentence. judge ellis has done a very bad thing. there's no excusing it on any level. he sentenced a guy to prison for 40 years for dealing in metz
amphetami amphetamine. he sentenced representative jefferson to 13 years for white-collar crimes. >> but he's black. >> two black people. i'm just going to leave it right there. david corn, one of the things we have learned about donald trump and the way he operates is he consider it is anyone who cooperation with federal law enforcement, which he as the president of the united states is supposed to be on the side of but if you side with them, you're a rat. if you keep going and stay with him, and manafort has not been cooperative, lied and tampered with witnesses, that person might get a pardon is there any signal that he might be reward him with a pardon?
>> i agree with everybody else. the president has refused to take a pardon off the table. as he said, why should i? clearly i thought the same thing when manafort's lawyer got out there and said there's no collusion, that was giving donald trump mr. collusion. remember, mr. president, we're helping you here. what he said was really, really interesting. he said there was no collusion between paul manafort and any russian government official. government official. according to the filings in the manafort case filed by mueller and his team, even by mueller's own attorney, we see there was collusion between paul manafort and a former business partner who the fbi says is a russian intelligence asset or associate. and that he was meeting with
a deal on a so-called peace plan, on the behest of an oligarch named paraska. so it seems to me that's an indication there are things that manafort is keeping quiet on that might be beneficial to trump. so he is offering trump something with his silence. that's why this so-called wink and a nod through the lawyer to trump is highly significant. manafort knows more, he didn't tell the prosecutors, and i think he's willing to stay quiet to try to get a pardon. >> and walter, i really want to talk with you. you wrote something a couple years ago that you referred to, talking about the incentives for donald trump here, right? the incentives, obviously are to stay out of the prosecutor's
crosshairs himself. michael cohen has said the crimes i committed were committed at the behest of the president of the united states, full stop, he was involved in my crimes. if donald trump wants to steer clear of legal trouble, with you good way to do that is, a, pardon a lot of people so they can't hurt him, but number two, get reelected, so he can take advantage of the justice departme department's prohibition to prosecutor the president. s. >> i think that's exactly right. as all three of our guests this morning have said, friday was a very sad day for the administration of justice, but paul butler's spent his career talking about the problems of mass incarceration.
we really run the risk of people losing faye in our system of criminal justice when we have an event like this that takes place by a judge that has no business being on the federal bench. on the question of the president's pardon, joy, you're exactly right. what we are seeing is basically a criminal enterprise unfolding before our very eyes, live and in color on television. we see the president engaged in what are continuing pieces of what happens to be an ongoing criminal operation, starting with his interference to try to get this investigation stopped from the begin ginning. i think -- the interference with comey to get him to stop flynn investigation, his interference with two intelligence chiefs to get them to intervene, the continuing and utterly inappropriate dangling of
pardons, which if done by a president corruptly, would be a crime. under existing department of justice policy, a president cannot be indicted while in office. i think that's wrong, but you need to be able to indict a president to stop the statute of limitations from running. i noted more than a year ago, that one of the problems with the department of justice pal about indicting a president, is it would give a president who might want to retire and go back to south florida and play gov, incentive to run for the second term just to use a white house as the sanctuary for justice so he could not be indicted. the statute of limitations for most federal crimes is five years. that's just got to be wrong. paul butler, have you ever
heard of a person accused of a drug crime that's gotten such a sweet deal that we saw paul manafort get? >> it rarely happens. i appreciate the shoutout from mr. dellinger, who is a it legal legend, but it's not just judge ellis. there was a rot last year that black men get 20% more time than white men. the reason is downward departures from federal judges, which is what happened in the manafort case. the other issue is overcharging by prosecutors. yesterday he saw jussi the e smollett charged with 16 felony charges yesterday. >> it's amazing how many crimes people get charged with. there's a sense we're seen rich
guy impunity. we've seen serial child molesters go home to their office every day. jeffrey epstein, just people acting with total impunity. at this point do the rich just understand they are above the law? >> well, i think we're seeing a real force in the country to do better in our criminal justice system. fortunately the case will be reopened. it's going to a united states for he reevaluate. there's a lot of screaming by business fancy lars are lawyers, and it's not working. thanks goods in "the miami herald" has gotten that story out. >> and to "mother jones." you guys released the 47% tape. even when it comes to alleged sexual exploits, the rich just
do what they want. >> i think that's in the manafort sentencing. there's another set of crimes he's guilty of, but a judge who has taken a lot harder view on his crimes throughout the trial. we'll see what happens there. if you want people to cooperate after they're caught or even after they plead guilty, michael cohen did so. he's gotten three years, and he's still going to jail after all the cooperating he's done, and he only stole a measly million or whatevered, manafort stole tens of millions, and he basically gets one more year? >> there's no sense between the two. >> in your view, can a sitting president be indicted?
>> i think the assinswer is yes and the departm the policy. i think they have not focused on the issue of a statute of limitations running while a president is in office. >> thank you so much for being here. paul butler will be back later. cynthia, always good to talk with you. >> and david corn, thank you. we'll take a deep dive into the 17 investigations involving trump world. up next alabama congresswoman terry sewell will be here to talk about democrats' big move to protect our democracy. ve to protect our democracy. your brain changes as you get older. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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this is a historic moment for each and every one of us, and for my generation in particular, but especially those that follow all of us. this is when we take our democracy back. so many of us ran and so many of us were elected because we believed that our political system is broken. >> on friday, the democratic-controlled house passed hr will have 1, the for the people act. it's a huge omnibus bill that lay us out the democrats' plans for addressing the issues of voting rights and the influence
of dark money in our elections. all yay votes came from democrats, all the nay votes were paced by the republicans. mitch mcconnell has basically said the bill is dead on arrival when it makes it to the chambers that his parties controls. it's meant to answer fundamentally what do democrats stand for? terry sewell joins me and serving on the house intelligence committee. good morning. >> good morning, joy. >> we want to acknowledge there's been a huge tragedy in your state. the president did visit and there's been a disaster declaration, those storms i believe killed 23 people in your state, so i want to first of all acknowledge that and ask how are those in your district doing? >> they're recovering. they're alabama strong, as we like to say, but this is the season of tornadoes. when i first got elected, we had
a tornado that impacted my district directly. this within did not, but we stand in solid dare not only in prayer, but also in action to try tohose starts of alabama fully recover. >> bell well, thank you for that. it would make ease elects day a federal holiday, restores voting rights for felons who have completed their sentences, and mandate that people who run for president release their tax returns. mitch mcconnell has said the bill will not happen, they won't allow it to come to the floor. let me play that. >> reporter: you're opposed to the green new deal. why is the green new deal getting a vote in the senate when hr-1 is not? >> because i get to doi what we
vote on. >> he thought that was a funny line, but he's deciding that ain't going to happen. what do you make of that? >> i think that is horrible. i think you're absolutely right that for the people agenda and hr-1 is our vision of democrats of what our democracy should be, and it's returning the democracy back to the people. automatic voter registration should be a no-brainer. somehow along the way republicans and democrats have made democracy and reforms in democracy a partisan issue. it shouldn't be a partisan issue. we should all be about making sure that every american has access to the ballot box. i not only represent alabama civil rights districts, but i'm from selma, a daughter of selma. i think restoring the voting rights act is critically important and i think hr-1 is a great foundation for getting dark money out of politics and
making sure we re-establish our democracy and give it back to the people. >> in your view, and i'm sure -- do reps believe if they -- they won't win? >> instead they'll say things like, terri, i know you want to preinstate preclearance, but why are you picking winners and losers and picking on old states of the confederacy based on what happens in the '60s. i say i would love it if voting is -- we should have preclearance for every state who tries to change voting laws. you and i know that's a very expensive proposition, and republicans aren't willing to pay for that or beef up the justice department. so we have to look for the most pernicious state actors.
we have seen being made -- our most vulnerable parts of the population ma populati population. but i believe hr-1 is a great placeholder, if you will, on what we as democrats believe our democracy should be. >> republicans have done lots of votes like that. let me turn to one of the committees you serve on, the house intelligence committee. i want to play michael cohen talking to the press after having met with your committee on wednesday. >> everything went very well. i believe they're happy with my responses. it's been a long day. it's been a long couple days, but again i believe they're happy and i have given them my assurance that any additional
information they need, i am here to cooperate and will continue to cooperate. >> we also know from reporting in politico that michael cohen turned over to your committee evidence that in his view or he says his previous testimony to congress was edited by attorneys associated with donald trump. do you believe that donald trump suborned his testimony? >> after 16 hours, i thought the testimony was believable. i thought but also in his candor, and his remorse in lying to our committee in the previous time he appeared before us. i think it's more important than ever that we get back to the
business of oversight. i believe my republican colleagues really did not do that at all last year. instead they saw themselves as defenders of the president and not defenders of the people. at the end of the day, i think that chairman schiff is right that we need to run a professional investigation. we also need to make sure that mueller's investigation gotten unimpeded. we need to follow the facts where they lead us, and we need to make sure we are doing all we can to be as transparent to the american public. >> and one of your colleagues, he would like to see the investigation of michael cohen for his view of lying about not -- since donald trump claims that have a one-on-one conversation, can you envision the house of representatives calling donald trump to come and testify before the house of representatives on this issue of whether or not he offered a pardon to michael cohen? >> you know, it is a he said/he
said situation. i don't know if we would get to the place where we would call or subpoena the president of the united states. i think at this point there's enough stuff in the ether, both in the public domain and a classified setting, to be able to make a decision not necessarily with the president coming to speak. congresswoman terri sewell, thank you for your time. >> thank you. coming up, the looming trump recession. up, the looming trump recession.
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i was looking at some of those big once incredible job-producing factories. my wife melania said, what happened? i said those jobs have left ohio. they're all coming back. they're all coming back. coming back. don't move. don't sell your house. don't move. don't sell your house. donald trump made a lot of big promises to american workers, as you just saw in 2017.
this week the livelihoods many workers when the plant closed. it's a huge blow to lordstown. it will eliminate nearly 1700 hourly jobs. heather, welcome to the show. i've been wanting to talk to you for a long time. you think about the plant that's closing, but can you talk more about what that does to the town? >> absolutely. the entire community relies on those jobs? it's the suppliers, the other -- the other companies that are supplying the parts for the cruze, but also the waiters and waitresses at the restaurants where people take their drinks and meals after the shifts. it's the schools that will see
the drop in tax money. i think it's an important point that this didn't have to happen. we didn't have to have manufacturing hollow out in this country. we didn't have to have what donald trump said be a lie. there were policies from the tax cuts which showed that gm could pocket more money without innovating and building, to the fact that the chevy cruze was a fuel-efficient cart, which -- to make sure that we aren't polluting ourselves to death. if those were still in place, instead of the president -- the cruze would still be a competitive car. nafta, he said what he was going to do. why is it that this plant is still going to move to mexico? >> after he supposedly renegotiated it. >> exactly. >> sarah, there's a question of whether or not it's even realistic for my politician to promise to save manufacturing jobs in a global economy when
it's just not realistic, or immigrants are the problem rather than automation, but i wonder the way the the jobs have been saved before, and they gave the auto industry a lot of money to save them. you have republican governoring saying we're going to save the coal industry, when it's dies. why is that not the answer here? >> i think he doesn't care. trump doesn't care. he shouldn't have made those promises. he doesn't see people as workers, he sees them as props, and the same seems to be true about general motors they workers have given up their lives for this company. lordstown is a small place that relies on these economic incentives. this is a long-term problem,
something you see going back to the reagan era, the decent mace of unions, but what we see now is an openly predatory nature that we haven't before. we see trump and his cohort taking the country apart, selling it for parts, without any kind of thought as to, you know, the devastation that they're incurring. they prey on people's pain like a vulture. unfortunately i don't see that changing any time soon. >> let's have the audience hear from a couple assembly plant workers. this is a gentleman named david green. he's talking about what losing this plant will do to the community. >> the village of lordstown itself, obviously, will be in trouble. this whole valley that is relied on general motors. it's kind of the backbone. iably they've have an able to land some product for our
workers, for our families, for this community. i mean, the alternative just isn't going to be good. the alternative is no work comes here, and everybody has to leave. >> i mean, you know, heather we're talking 1700 hourly jobs, but 3,000 union jobs last in 2017. i know on the campaign we took our shot to ohio and pennsylvania, and talked to steel workers who said all we have in our community now is dollar stores. the pull of cheap overseas labor is real. >> there is an answer, and one is the green new deal. this is the perfect example of where we need industrial policy. that's what the green new deal is. it's says we have a goal. we want to reduce climate emissions, and make sure -- >> what does that mean exactly? what would it do for this specific industry? >> we should be, as we invented
the electric car in this country, we should be the world leader in manufacturing electric cars. tess ha has shown trying to do it yow i've of the midwest base is very, very difficult. this actual plant should be the hub of the new not only the cars, but the new high-speed rail. the things that are made to makes sure we have fuel efficiency, that we are not polluting ourselves into an uninhabitable earth. there's no reason why the mass transit that needs to be invested in, all of that needs hard skills, the construction distill that right now are being left to atrophy. i want to make another point. this is not the case of the bailouts as it was in 2008. gm is doing extraordinarily well. they don't need a bailout right now. they made $12 billion in profits last year.
they spent $shall billion buying back their own stock, something that used to be illegal and should be again. this is a choice, to just say we would rather pay lower wages, nonunion wages, and that choice i think should not be something that policy is pressing them to be able to do. this is in lorraine, ohio, and we talked to them back in 2016. >> when i grew up, i thought it was a plate that was going to be there forever. when i personally started in a plant, we had 8300 people working. >> we went from manufacturing to dollar stores. that's the jobs. dollar stores. >> sarah, in the play where you live, is there a possibility that people could just be retrained to built the future, to build electric cars? to build high-speed rail? that is what the new deal was the first time marshaling
government resources to put people back to work in industries that's helpful to the country? is there any hope? >> yes, there's not a skills gap. there's a morality gap, a refusal to offer on the job training. there's insistence that people get expensive degrees for jobs that don't require them. there's not a magical shift in intellect or ability. it used to be you could enter and work your way up and learn skills there. i don't see why they can't do that with new kinds of jobs, with jobs, related to the green new deal. that's something that people, you know, they owe these workers that. it's cruel, it's unnecessary, and it can be fixed if you have the will. >> thank you both. i want to talk the green new deal in greater detail. thank you both very much.
in our next hour, a one-hour edition of "a.m. joy" to all the potential crimes of one donnell j. trump, so brew yourself some coffee and come back. it's close to 17,000 jobs that are attached to us. my brother works at mag in a, he's losing his job. everyone that has any seniority within the plant have to make the toughest decision of their life -- do they transfer, which we have the right to do they puf school, little kids, and start over? it's literally the hardest decision people are going to make. the hardest decision people are going to make name is austin, i am a two-time brain cancer conqueror. there are some days when i have my, my downs and then i have to rely on my mom to come pick me up from work. we need to be connected on a regular basis. sometimes i get hundreds of texts from her
just yes or no. are we putting children in cage? >> to my knowledge, cbp never purposely put a child in a cage if you mean a case like this. >> purposely or whatever, are we putting children in cages as of today? >> children are processed at the border facility stations that you've been at some of the areas -- >> i've seen the cages. i want you to admit that the cages exist. >> sir, they're not cages. >> welcome back to "am joy." homeland security secretary kiersten nielsen refused to call a cage a cage when she appeared before a house panel investigating donald trump's border and family separation policies and struggled with see
t -- semantics more when asked this. >> what is a chain linked fence enclosed into a chamber on a concrete floor represent to you? is that a cage? >> it's a detention space, ma'am. >> does it differ from the cages you put your dogs in when you let them stay outside? is it different? >> yes. >> in what sense? >> it's larger. it has facilities. it provides room to sit, to stand, to lay down. >> so do my dogs' cage. >> joining me is reverend co-chair of the sanctuary coalition who learned that customs and border protection has a dossier on her and flagged her passport. also joining me is bishop william barber, co-chair of the poor people's campaign. reverend, i want to start with you, give us a little bit of
what happened and how you woends up on a watch list. >> i'm not sure and didn't know until the story broke a couple days ago, but i have journeyed to the border to meet with and pray for and marry, actually officiate marriages, for people as part of the migrant caravan in tijuana. as i was coming back from tijuana i was detained and interrogated by customs and border patrol for several hours and they apparently have revoked my century and global entry privileges. >> what does that mean? >> it means that i have a flag on my passport. i believe i would not be able to travel to mexico if i tried. >> bishop barber, i know that you have also been to the border and prayed for those who are attempting to reach here and gain asylum. what does it mean when the federal government is flagging pastors to put them on a watch list to say that they cannot go and pray for migrants, but they are refusing to call a cage where children are in a cage?
>> first of all, as pastors we are supposed to do what the reverend is doing. as clergy speak up for the needy, the poor, those who cannot speak for themselves. one of the greatest sins in the bible is mistreatment of immigrant. look at the hypocrisy. this administration talks about religious freedom and the lbgtq but target pastors they disagree with. this reminds me what they did to civil rights leaders, mccarthyism, the red scare, and think about the extremism of -- and the racism this week. we have lies and refusal to call a cage a cage, by the racist caging of brown children. we have over 190 congress persons refusing to support a bill to stop racist voter suppression. over 20 republican congressmen saying they would not vote against hate, racism,
islamophobia, anti-semitism. a black immigrant woman being targeted because she dared to speak and said things she didn't even say. a judge giving a multiconvicted fell an few years when homeless people can go to jail for years for just stealing some food. even one clergy, joy, this week, had the nerve to say the democratic problem is not only anti-semitic, it is godless. we are in a deep moral crisis and it's a dangerous crisis when the government is being used in this way to target people who would dare criticize it. >> you know, reverend dousa, you had kristjen nielsen, the department of homeland security head, straight out denied it like she denied children are in cages. is that true? >> of course people are being turned away. we have tried to accompany all kinds of people who normally would be able to cross under
extreme circumstances like unaccompanied minors or people who are vulnerable because they're lbgt, especially trans folks, usually able to cross much more quickly but they've been turning everybody away and putting them in vulnerable situations as they wait at the border with growing numbers. >> and when you were interrogated by i.c.e. or by -- >> by cbp. >> what did they want to know? >> they wanted to know who i met with, why i was there, how many times i've crossed. they had a dossier on me and they were trying to see if i would lie to them, which i never did. they wanted to know if we were encouraging peoples to cross illegally, why we would even meet with the people and we said we don't encourage anyone to do anything illegal. they wanted to know if we were part of the protests and falsely claimed that i have this dossier because i was part of protests in mexico which i was not. >> did you get the sense they were looking to arrest you? >> i don't know. i don't know. i didn't have that sense. yeah. >> bishop barber, we're in, as
you correctly said a moral crisis where we can't get the person in charge of this policy to even acknowledge that children are in cages when reporters including our own jacob and others have seen them, senators have seen them, so i don't know how we get out of this when republicans still control one half of the first branch of government and they aren't going to change their mind? >> well, democrats have to stand strong in the part of the government they do control. clergy and pastors have to refuse to bow. we've seen this before in our nation's history and as tracy said, supporting the reverend in a written piece we refuse to bow, our god right, our first amendment right, we have to continue to protest in the street. the hundred million people that did not vote in the last election must turn out and vote now. we have to be concerned and take back this democracy. >> amen. bishop barber, thank you very much. reverend dousa keep us updated on what's happening with you. thank you so much. coming up a special hour of "am joy." much more after the break.
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i want to say this to the television audience. i made my mistakes, but in all of my years of public life, i have never profited, never profited, from public service. i've earned riff cent. in all of my years of public life, i have never obstructed justice and i think, too, that i can say that in my years of
public life, that i welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their president's a crook. i'm not a crook. i've earned everything i got. >> welcome back to "am joy." right now, we are witnessing the biggest political scandal in american history. that is not hyperbole. if you ask historians the only thing that even comes close is watergate, the scandal that brought down richard nixon's presidency. over the course of this hour, we're going to walk you through the alleged crimes and misdemeanors of donald trump. i'm going to warn you, there is a lot. but we start with the number 17. that is the number of known trump and russia investigations touching everything in trump's world. according to wire magazine that includes investigations led by local, state and federal prosecutors. now the alleged crimes and misdemeanors fit into five key topics and we're going to start with conspiracy. trump allegedly asking is russia
to find hillary clinton's e-mails. his siding with russian president vladimir putin over u.s. intelligence agencies. trump allegedly having advanced knowledge of wikileaks release of the dnc and clinton e-mails before the election and allegedly knowing michael flynn would lie to the fbi to cut a side deal to end sanctions on russia. the potential cases around obstruction of justice. trump's firing of fbi director jim comey, his suggestion that according to comey, that then fbi director drop the probe into michael flynn. trump reportedly ordering the white house counsel to fire robert mueller and allegedly wanting michael cohen to lie to congress. the next alleged crime, abuse of power. the handling of security clearances for trump's son-in-law jared kushner and his daughter ivanka, attacks on the justice department and federal judges and potentially dangling pardons in front of witnesses
and the trump administration's family separations at the border. there's also campaign finance related felonies that trump's former lawyer michael cohen has allegedly pleaded guilty to and is headed to jail for. trump is the unnamed individual one who cohen says directed him to make hush money payments to stormy daniels. that could make trump an unindicted co-conspirator. the potential evidence, checks he and his son donald jr. and the man who runs the trump organization's finances allen weisselberger signed. the alleged lies about trump's knowledge of those illegal payments. and finally the allegations of corruption that includes the use of presidency for personal enrichment. possible trump organization insurance and bank fraud using the trump foundation for personal spending, ties to saudi arabia, and the fact that by running for president, donald trump may have exposed decades of corrupt financial dealings
that could include things like money laundering and tax evasion by himself and by members of his campaign, including paul manafort. the bottom line, once trump was under investigation for potential collusion and obstruction, everything became fair game for prosecutors, including once hidden business dealings between trump and banks like deutsch bank. joining me is the chairwoman of the house financial services committee, which is looking into the trump/deutsch bank connection among other investigations and that is congresswoman maxine waters of california. congresswoman, thank you so much for being here. >> you're absolutely welcome. i'm delighted to be here with you this morning. >> thank you very much. we wanted to talk to you this morning because donald trump running for president, essentially opened up his life. >> yes. >> and you and your committee are now looking into one aspect of his life. >> that's right. >> around the deutsch bank connection. tell us about that. >> as you know, i started over a year ago when i understood that something was going on with
deutsch bank and the fact that they're the only bank that will lend him money. >> right. >> all of the other banks basically in the world have said they won't touch him. he has filed all these bankruptcies. files lawsuits. he had filed a lawsuit against deutsch bank. but they continue to lend him large sums of money and other members of his family. we started to look a little closer to see what the relationship was and we've discovered there was something going on with what is known as mirror trading and that this possibly could be a way that money was being laundered. >> what is mirror trading. >> mirror trading is basically where you have maybe used by some of the oligarchs or some of the governments and the kremlin by which they trade money and it is being basically traded at the same time in london and it gets traded from, you know, the
russian money into the united states money. >> souns like money laundering. >> it's money laundering. >> we saw paul manafort convicted even though he got a very short sentence which we can talk about that in a little bit, when he was accused of doing essentially was money laundering, earn money from corrupt foreign leaders and hiding that money from the irs. could donald trump be in a similar spot? >> he very well could be. we've got to find out a lot more about his financing. we've got to find out a lot more about something called the panama papers that were put out about units that were being sold basically to gangsters and to criminals out of russia. we've got to find out more about the mirror trading that i just alluded to. we've got to find out a lot about mr. manafort and his relationship to the bank of cyprus that seems to have some connection even with deutsch bank. there's a lot to unfold. we are, you know, looking for information. we have requested documents.
it is not a witch hunt, as he would have it described. it is -- we have enough information to know that something is going on that should be exposed. >> and so if you think about the people, the kremlin, the russian, the way that is set up. it's been described as a maf fa, you have the kremlin operating in conjunction with oligarchs able to operate in the financial realm people from realm freely as long as they play ball with vladimir putin. >> we're certainly talking about the oligarchs of russia and the kremlin involvement and we know things about such as one involved with some of the sanctions issues we're dealing with. we believe there are those in the united states who are operating and in cooperation with some of the oligarchs of russia and they travel back and forth. >> right. >> we're looking at that also. >> is there any evidence that your committee has uncovered that russian money was actually
funneling not just potentially into the presidential election, but into some of the congressional races as well? >> i don't have that evidence yet, but we believe that this is true and particularly, as you have heard, we believe that there have been some russian money put into the nra operation and so a number of things are being looked at. we have five committees that are looking at all of this. i happen to be financial services. we have the judiciary committee. we have the oversight committee. we have the foreign affairs committee. and we have ways and means looking at the tax returns. we're meeting together and we're trying to make sure that we are focused on each one of these issues and we're not overlapping. i do work in connection with one of those committees where we are looking at deutsch bank. >> let's talk about just a little bit the businesses. you know, initially i think donald trump was targeting you a lot because he thought you were going to get his tax returns. she specifically is going to get my tax returns. it's another committee trying to get them. >> that's ways and means. >> one of the things they're trying to look at is the fact
that donald trump's business is really like 500 llcs. part of the way the real estate market works. if he was using all of that complicated structure to hide money from the irs, do we wind up in a situation where a committee needs to see his tax returns? >> let me say this. we want the tax returns. i think this will reveal a lot. in addition to him claiming a lot of debt which would prevent him from having to pay taxes on much of the money that he's earned, i'm getting a lot of information sent to me unsolicited about the fact that money that he has earned has been funneled into the foundation to keep from paying taxes on it. i'm turning some of that information over to the attorney general here in new york. >> we saw in michael cohen's public testimony by the congresswoman ocasio-cortez donald trump may have been inflating and deflating his assets to defraud banks and insurance committees. is that something your committee -- >> donald trump has told us in
much of his not testimony but in the way that he talks about how he handles his finances, that number one, he has worked and he knows all of the tricks. >> yep. >> and he does not pay taxes, and he is proud of that. we know that he's used every trick in the book to try and avoid paying taxes. it's very necessary for us to see exactly what he has filed. >> we have the "new york times" reported in february donald trump was seeking loans during the campaign, read a little bit of that. senior executives in new york argued that mr. trump's candidacy made such a loan risky they feared the bank's reputation could be hard if the transaction could become pluck because of the po polarizing statements on the trail. have you ever seen a president actively seeking business loans and deals and a tower in a foreign country running for president? >> absolutely not. this is not just the president.
this is jared kushner. >> yep. >> who has gotten a loan, at first we thought from saudi arabia, now we believe it's from qatar, while this president has been president, he was seeking out money to save some big project here in new york that r. just near here. and he did get money and it was not saudi arabia, it was qatar. >> let me focus on that. we were fixated on that during this show. jared kushner as you know over leveraged his company purchasing a building for a billion dollars, 666 fifth avenue, a couple blocks from rockefeller center, owed a balloon payment on that last january and all of a sudden he travels mysteriously to saudi arabia and qatar who has worked with us and gets cut off on the outs. then he gets the money. >> that's right. >> they're back in the good graces. >> that's right. >> is that something congress is going to investigate? >> i'm very concerned about that. it appears that jared kushner was first trying to get the
money from saudi arabia and then he did not get it, and he went to qatar. he did not get it. then qatar said that those -- that the company that organization that's responsible for their investments literally loaned him the money and they were not aware. >> right. >> they had done it. >> yeah. >> he got the money in the middle of this presidency. and we're trying to deal with foreign affairs in a credible way. all over the world. and you have the president of the united states and his family going out soliciting money from those other foreign countries that we're trying to have foreign relationships with in a credible way. >> will there be an investigation? ivanka trump is getting patents in china and other countries while an adviser to the president of the united states. you have don junior's signature on some of the checks that michael cohen turned over both to congress and the new york "time" showing donald trump was signing checks to him to reimburse him for the stormy
daniels payment while president. could this wind up broader than donald trump touching on his family? >> absolutely. i said there were five different committees that are looking at different aspects of this. each one of what you've just alluded to may fa fall in one of the committees. mr. cohen has been there testifying before oversight and investigations and they were talking about the hush money that he was involved with. that's ones aspect of it. also, you have the judiciary committee looking at obstruction of justice and corruption and then you have me and one other committee that's looking basically at, you know, what has been going on with deutsch bank and some of his finances and so on and on it goes. this president has basically been involved in initiation all kinds of actions that's unheard ofp. >> >> yeah. >> for the president of the united states. >> what frustrates a lot of people about this process is
that other than you to be blunt. >> yes. >> members of congress, including democrats, will not discuss impeachment, even though impeachment would be the public hearings that would allow the public to know what you are learning. they are all waiting on the mueller probe, all hung on robert mueller. is that fair to the american people to only allow the mueller probe to be decisive rather than initiating an impeachment hearing so that the public can find out what you know? >> i believe in the constitution and the constitution gives us the authority and the responsibility to decide whether or not a president is acting in the best interest of his country. this president is not. as far as i'm concerned, he has enough violations, he's been involved in a lot of activity that we believe needs to be made apparent and so i believe that we have everything that it needs to basically impeach him. i believe that. you're right, we're depending on mr. mueller, the american people
should be depending on the people that they elected to represent them to determine whether or not this president is undermining the constitution, whether he's acting in our best interest, and whether or not he's putting us in danger because he may be compromised in the way that he's dealing with other countries. >> congresswoman maxine waters, great to talk to you. glad to have you on set. >> you're welcome. thank you. >> keep it right there because we're going to have more of the potential crimes of donald trump or as john oliver puts it -- >> tonight, we have to track the latest developments in what we've been calling stupid watergate. a scandal with all the potential ramifications of watergate, but where everyone involved is stupid and bad at everything. discover. hi, what's this social security alert? it's a free alert if we find your social security number on the dark web. good, cuz i'm a little worried about my information getting out. why's that? [bird speaking] my social is 8- 7- 5 dash okay, i see. [bird laughing] somebody thinks it's hilarious. free social security alerts from discover.
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the hearings went very, very well. i believe that all of the members were satisfied with the statements and the responses that i gave to them. i told them that any additional information that they would want they should feel comfortable to reach out to my counsel and i would continue to cooperate to the fullest extent of my capabilities. >> after spending two weeks on capitol hill talking to lawmakers about donald trump michael cohen is suing the trump organization for breach of contract for refusing to pay
$1.9 million in previously agreed to legal costs. after cohen started cooperating with federal prosecutors. the trump organization is calling the lawsuit a desperate money grab. cohen has been a key figure in trump's alleged felonies involving the hush money payments to stormy daniels. federal prosecutors have called ate criminal scheme directed by trump to violate campaign finance laws by buying the silence of women alleged to have affairs with trump in order to keep those women's stories from impacting the election. joining me is nick ackerman and jill winebanks both watergate prosecutors and paul butler professor at georgetown university school of law and nick you're here at the table with me. i want to start by getting people to understand because i think after the manafort sentence people were shocked by it and those who want to justify it saying it's a white collar crime. before you were in the watergate world you prosecuted things like tax evasion and money laundering. why is that a crime that's
significant to the american people? >> it's extremely significant because if the tax system isn't working we have a volunteer tax system, money laundering is important, i mean, if people are not obeying the law and a lot of this is self-regulatory and you don't have a deterrent effect on this the whole system can break down. >> yeah. >> with respect to this particular situation with the manafort sentencing, i mean, i think one thing that a lot of people missed is that there is a real philosophical difference between judge ellis and john sirico the unsung hero of the watergate case. you had john was willing to give the burglars enormous sentences and basically tell them, he would reduce them if they cooperated. >> yeah. >> judge ellis from day one was very hesitant saying this whole case is here because you're trying to get donald trump. >> right. >> he just has this philosophical bent.
two judges appointed by republicans who come at it a different way. i agree with the sirica approach but in fairness judge ellis is not really viewing this as his job to break open the case. >> do you think he's being partisan, straight up partisanship on his part? for trump, didn't want to put somebody away for having helped him? >> i don't think that's right. i think it's a philosophical view on how he uses sentencing. judge sirica had a different view. his view was a big sentence that will break the case open and that's what it did. >> yeah. one of the challenges people have with what he did and we'll move off of this, is that the cooperator, michael cohen, different judge, mind you, is getting three years. the non-cooperate ter gets one more year than him with time served they could serve the same amount of time. as a matter of law as a matter of advancing the cause of justice, this seemed like a
complete ab brigation. i will throw that to you. >> you are completely right and it does show the inequities in our sentencing system. i mean just using the two of them, the amount of money that was hidden, deliberately by manafort the foreign accounts set up, the lies that he told, all of that is much larger than what anything michael cohen did. both are wrong. both are guilty. but the dimensions are much more for manafort and saying he got 47 months is not enough more to show a justice. if you compare it to the watergate defendants and other white collar criminals or even worse, when you compare it to what poor defendants get for lesser crimes, you see the inequities in our system and the sentencing guidelines were put in place so people across the nation for similar crimes would be similarly sentenced. >> yeah. >> and when you have a dramatic
downward departure like we have in this case, it reflects a bias in the judge who was throughout the trial, judge ellis, was very hostile to the prosecution. he attacked them. he attacked one of their witnesses rick gates. he said something like, obviously mr. manafort didn't know enough or he would have seen how much money you were stealing from him. that is not an appropriate comment from the judge, whereas judge cirica kept looking and the fear of his sentence that led mccord, one of the burglary defendants to write a letter to him saying you're right, everything was done here that was wrong, there were people who lied in the courtroom, money was paid that was to keep us silent, he broke open the real obstruction of justice. >> yeah. let's talk about these specifically, these campaign finance violations. i want to get two of you on the record about this.
judge ellis. paul butler, why this is important, why it matters, we know that michael cohen said that there was a criminal conspiracy directed by donald trump to pay this hush money to stormy daniels and perhaps to other women to keep them quiet ahead of the election. we know from "the new york times" that at least eight checks were written now in the public domain, some of them writtent in white house, signed by donald trump, signed by his son, signed by allen weisselberg who took care of his money. a, quote, the president hosted a foreign leader in the oval office and then wrote a check. he haggled over legislation and then wrote a check. he traveled abroad and then wrote a check. on the same day he reportedly pressured the fbi director to drop an investigation into a former aide the president's trust issued a check to mr. cohen in furtherance of what federal prosecutors called a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws at trump's direction. why is that a crime? >> so joy, it's not a crime for donald trump to pay hush money
to his alleged mistresses. that's between him and mrs. trump. what the evidence suggests is that these hush money payments were about trying to get donald trump elected in office. we know from cohen that these conversations got heated after the "access hollywood" tapes came out, the last thing trump needed was more evidence of his problem with women and if the payments were on the up and up, why try to disguise them. it's always the cover-up. trump directed cohen, according to mr. cohen, to either pay the money, pretending like it was a retainer payment to him, trump told cohen to pay it from his home equity line, so it couldn't be traced to the campaign. we were talking about the sentencing guidelines, jill mentioned those earlier, one reason they were so high for paul manafort is because it's an aggravating factor if you direct a scheme, in this case according to the southern district,
president trump individual a, directed cohen to -- and again, apparently weisselberg and don junior in this illegal enterprise, the only reason trump wasn't charged by the southern district because he's the president of the united states. if he had been charged he would have more criminal exposure than michael cohen. >> to that point, nick, richard nixon was going to be charged with a crime. if donald trump participated in a scheme to violate the law why is he not charged the way nixon would have been? >> nixon was pardoned -- >> would he have been charged? >> i think he would have been charged -- >> in office. >> no. we purposely held back on that. >> okay. >> i know there are people in the office that wanted to charge him while in office, but we made the decision, because of the house impeachment committee, it was then ongoing the evidence provided there and it was his determination that that was the appropriate way to go. now there is nothing in the constitution, nothing in our laws, that prohibit donald trump from being indicted for these
crimes. >> in your view, can donald trump pardon himself? >> no, i don't think he can. i think the pardon power does have certain limits. he has to execute the laws faithfully. that's what the constitution says. it is not executing the laws faithfully to pardon yourself, your son, your relatives, co-conspirators. i don't think that's going to fly. keep in mind they could still file an indictment against him. there could be one filed for all we know that would be under seal because that would be totally appropriate. we do it all the time. we do it because people are fugitives and they're not accessible to being arrested and brought in under the indictment. this certainly would be a case under second circuit law that would be justified because he's president that you wouldn't announce the indictment. this is a very indictable case. >> yeah. this brings us back to walter dellinger's point he could then avoid the sealed indictment by becoming president again. that is what scares a lot of people. jill and paul will be back later.
nick ackerman, we have to get you back soon. apreash ite it. nick is going to be appearing at msnbc's documentary, "russia if you're listening" tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. eastern hosted by the great ali velshi. coming up we move on to obstruction and witness tampering in the ongoing investigations of donald trump. that's next. ngoing investigations of donald trump that's next. i'm a dancer, casting directors will send me a video of choreography. i need my phone to work while i'm on the subway. you'll see me streaming a video, trying not to fall. (laughs) (vo) there when it matters. buy the new galaxy s10 and get a galaxy s10e on us. guys go through a lot to deal with shave irritation. so, we built the new gillette skinguard with a specialized guard designed to reduce it.
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i hope this is the president speaking, i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or for that matter for any other criminal offense where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome? >> i don't know well enough to answer and the reason i keep saying his words is, i took it as a direction. >> right. >> this is the president of the united states, with me alone, saying i hope this. i took it as this is what he wants me to do. >> allegations that trump obstructed justice intensified after former fbi director james comey testified before the senate intelligence committee. comey said he believed trump was directing him to drop the investigation into general mike flynn who just resigned as trump's national security
adviser after less than a month. nearly two years later trump's former lawyer and fixer michael cohen testified before a house panel saying this. >> mr. trump did not directly tell me to lie to congress. that's not how he operates. in conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time i was actively negotiating in russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me, there's no russian business and then go on to lie to the american people by saying the same thing. in his way, he was telling me to lie. >> joining me now is senator harano of hawaii, a member of the judiciary and armed services committee. thank you for being here. >> good morning, joy. >> so far, we know that the obstruction allegations against donald trump include the firing of jim comey due to the russia probe, suggestions that comey
dropped the mike flynn probe which we heard the move to fire robert mueller, dangling pardons potentially in front of witnesses and wanting cohen to lie to congress. from what you've heard in the public record and committees have you heard enough to make the allegation that donald trump has been guilty of obstruction of justice? >> there may be more to all of the growing body of factual evidence relating to obstruction of justice because as you know, there are five house committees that are investigating all of the different things that the trump organization has been doing, and so i think that when you build a case like that, you just keep adding to it. this may not be all that is there for obstruction of justice. >> let me -- >> did you mention witness tampering? >> uh-huh. >> yeah. tampering with witnesses. we have it. >> going after michael cohen and by threatening that maybe his father-in-law has something to
hide. this is an entire array. joy, i'm glad that you're going through so much of what's going on with the trump organization and everything that is happening because we've never seen anything like this. i thought it was bad enough during the nixon watergate time when you had a president who was concealing his crimes and not to mention he had a vice president who was on the -- before and during his time that was vice president, we thought that was bad enough, but there was so much going on with what i call the trump organization, not just the trump presidency, he has an entire organization, his foundation, his taxes, everything, that we need to investigate and i'm glad that the house is doing it. >> and we know that there has been public reporting that donald trump at least at some point was being investigated for potentially being an agent of a foreign power and in that investigation it was said that the obstruction was part of the collusion, that it was part of covering up the collusion during the campaign. but is there evidence in the public domain or in what you
have heard thus far as the united states senator, that the obstruction might have also been about covering up things like money laundering and tax evasion? >> i think it's all of a piece and that's what i mean. president trump, donald trump, behaves as though the u.s. government is his own company and so he acts as though this is a family business. sometimes it's hard to determine where the criminality or the allegations of money laundering and everything, whether it occurred before, during, or during his presidency, so we really need to follow the threads. you don't go far wrong when you determine that what president trump does is motivated by a desire to protect himself and for money. so if you keep those two things in mind, you can get to a lot of the motivations of everything that trump does. >> and what do you make of the fact that the senate intelligence committee chairman who was an ally of donald trump during the campaign has come forward and said that he determined much like devin nunes in the house that there was no
evidence of crime or collusion? >> i think that was a very premature position it take especially as we now see that house committee under the democratic leadership are going over so many aspects of the trump organization that nef wve were investigated because you had republicans under nunes not going there. there will be more revelations and i'm glad that house committees are going after all of these activities in a way that is deliberative. >> senator, thank you for being here. appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> let's bring in jill winebanks. when you think about the obstruction piece of it, it really stems from the comey testimony about why he was fired and what he was told before he was fired. i want to play june 8, 2017, this is james comey the former director of the fbi, talking about a dinner that he was invited to with the president. >> the dinner was an effort to
build a relationship, in fact he asked specifically of loyalty, in the context of asking me to stay. my common sense told me, what's going on here is, that he's looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job. >> in that -- in your view, jill wine-banks, is that an element of potential obstruction of justice? >> i think there are so many elements, that is one of them. i would say it started sooner than that when he fired sally yates. she was the first person who came forward and said to the white house, you a problem. flynn is subject to being compromised by the russians. obviously the next step should have been they should have acted on that, but they didn't. instead of firing flynn, they fired sally yates. they didn't want the information. that's part of the obstruction that was going on even then. >> and we know that during the
watergate hearings, one of the elements of obstruction against richard nixon was the firing of the special prosecutor. if donald trump discussed with members of his cabinet firing robert mueller, could just discussing the idea of firing the special prosecutor be an element of obstruction? >> yes. the elements of the public attacks to undermine the special prosecutor. to me that's as serious and may be more serious than actually firing him. firing him would be out in the open. but all of these attacks to make it look like robert mueller is not doing a good job, that he's off on a witch hunt and politically motivated and i want to compare it to something that happened during watergate, the press officer for watergate felt that in order for the american people to believe that what we were doing was honest and that we were not out for any political purposes, that the public had to know us and he actually arranged for the trial team lawyers to have interviews
with the press. they got to know us and trust us. and i think that's important. it's missing here where i mean, honestly, i don't think anyone in the american public would recognize a member of the team except for robert mueller himself. >> yeah. >> we know their names because we've seen them on indictments. but we don't know them. when they get attacked by the president, there's some credibility to it and that's a serious problem. >> and lastly, jill wine-banks, if donald trump were to pardon, begin pardoning people like paul manafort, potentially his son-in-law, his son, would that in your view be an act of obstruction? >> well, i -- yes, it would be. just as all the other dangles. i mean we know there were conversations about pardons and one thing you cannot do is do it for corrupt purposes. yes, the pardon power is unlimited. but you can't take a bribe to give a pardon if it was anybody
else, even if it was not for his own benefit, he couldn't take a bribe to do it. that would be an improper use and abuse of his power and so i think that there are many ways in which he could violate the constitution by doing something that is actually within his power. he seems to be trying every which way to do it. >> jill wine-banks, always great to have you on the show. the equal rights amendment, we will have you back to talk about that. we appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> next up, we're going to get to conspiracy and collusion. to conspiracy and collusion.
russia, if you're listening, i hope you are able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. >> and now we have come full circle back to where all these investigations began. the question, did donald trump conspire and collude with russia
to get himself elected? joining me, the editor-in-chief of national memo and back with me is paul butler. so i'm going to start with you, joe, the question of the clinton impeachme impeachment. did he conspire to his own team to lie with his team about a sexual affair w. donald trump, it's considerably more serious, we are talking about a president of the united states potentially engaged if a conspiracy with an ad ver saadversary. what do you make of this so far? >> that half of that is true, this is the biggest scandal in american history. this is what the founder is worried about the most. when the public was created that foreign powers would attempt to manipulate the government through all kind of means. and it's taken a long time to reach the point where that appears to have happened. here we are.
this is what they warned us about. >> even the sexual affair with clinton. >> that became the crux of the whole argument this this case covered up with payoffs becomes a separate crime. on the conspiracy piece have you seen thus far, have you seen much so far as a journalistic point of view to be able to say confidently donald trump's election as president of the united states was aided and abetted by a foreign government? >> there is no question, joy, the foreign government attempted to do that. there is a lasting debate over how effective that was. what did it achieve in terms of a very, very narrow victory for trump in the elect tractor-trailer college? and there the a good argument made by academics and others who studied the data that it did have an impact. the social media and other interventions by the russians that we know occurred had a measurable effect on the election. >> yeah. >> but to me, it doesn't matter whether you can prove they swung
the election for trump or not. first of all he lost as we know in the popular vote. what matters is they tried to do it and what matters it's clear that his campaign welcomed that assistance, instead of reporting it to the fbi as they ought to have done. >> that gets to the point of whether or not there was criminal activities. not collusion, but conspiracy. let's go to the crimes related. donald trump asking russia to find hillary clinton's e-mails. the hey, russia, you are listening quote we played. having advanced knowledge of the wikileaks dumps, knowing about the trump tower meetings with russia by his son, son-in-law and paul manafort and others, siding with vladimir putin over u.s. intelligence and knowing that michael flynn lied to the fbi about trade dealing sanctions with cooperation with the trump administration. where in that list of things do you see actual potential for crimes? >> so, joy, robert mueller has
indicted 12 russian intelligence operatives tore illegally conspireing to get donald trump elected. the question is, are there american co-conspirators including donald trump? the very day donald trump said, russia, if you are listening, go get hillary's e-mails, that's the day that the russian intelligence operatives made their first attempt to hack clinton's e-mails. now, maybe that's just a coincidence, or maybe it's evidence that suggests that there were people in the trump campaign who were co-conspirators. consciousness of guilt. president trump when the information about the meeting with the russian lawyer hit the news, trump got on air force one and dictated a press release about that meeting that was a complete lie. you don't cover up a political campaign meeting that legitimate
to a prosecutor, that suggests that president trump knew something was going on at this meeting that was down and dirty that he didn't want the american people to find out about. >> if he says he was joking, paul butler, can he get out of it that way, the russia if you are listening was a joke? >> not if you look at all of the other evidence. if you look at why president trump is again lying about how long these conversations with the russians about building trump tower moscow are going on. he's lying to the american people about that guess who knows he is lying? the russians. so trump is compromised by the russians. what do we see next? t this incredible russia-friendly platform that trump is responsible for. i'm going to ask you the same questions i asked nick ackerman. how do you explain to the american people how this matters? >> well, i think the american people understand why it
matters. the americans understand that the russians have no interference interfering in our elections any more than we had interfering in other people's elections or in europe in the past several years, turning brexit. all kind of things have happened. they are not operating in the interests of the american people. they were operating in the interests of vladimir putin. and that's not something that we ought to tolerate or people around the world ought to tolerate when it happens in their countries. >> what do you anticipate, pardons, issuing them to family members and himself? >> well, that's a risky business, joy. i've pointed out before when bill clinton issued a pardon with marc rich, they found no evidence he had done anything wrong. but the theory that was operating at the time, endorsed by people like jeff sessions and every republican was, if you were a sitting president, who issued a corrupt pardon, you could be prosecuted for it. >> thank you very much, paul butler. appreciate you very much.
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stop cuts to part d drug coverage. i found a companyeans to who believes in me.rt. they look out for me. and they help me grow my career. at comcast it's my job to constantly monitor our network, prevent problems, and to help provide the most reliable service possible. my name is tanya, i work at the network operations center for comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. that's our show for today. see you tomorrow on "am joy." throwing et over to alex whit. >> if they can understand. >> they can't hand tell between show. >> send us the show.