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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  March 19, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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get the aca and take healthcare from 20 million americans. i look forward to that debate. >> thank you to both of you, that's tonight's "last word," "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. and chambers. that is "the last word" for tonight. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. tonight, revealing new details of the span and scope of mueller's investigation into michael cohen. and why the probe believes so many pages that were not allowed to see are still more to come. tonight one fbi veteran says the president might have a lot to worry about from this case. plus, why suddenly rod rosenstein has decided to stay longer at the department of justice. is his departure being held up pending the release of a mueller report? and could the effort to do away with the electoral college ever really succeed? as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a tuesday night. good evening once again for our nbc news headquarters here in
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new york. day 789 of the trump administration and against all we don't know about the mueller investigation and a subsequent mueller report, just today some newly released documents are revealing details about the earliest stages of the investigation into this man, former trump lawyer michael cohen. hundreds of pages of court documents concerning cohen were unsealed today. it's a lot. it shows mueller's team start requesting search warrants just two months after robert mueller was appointed to the job in may 2017. prosecutors and the fbi received permission to execute search warrants for cohen's two g-mail accounts and stored data in his icloud account. that was july, august, and november of 2017. mueller was seeking evidence of cohen's involvement in a number of potential crimes including acting as an unregistered foreign agent and violate
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violating the foreign agents registration act, or f.a.r.a. the first warrant specifically sought communications, documents, records and other files involving essential consultants llc. that's the name of the shell company that cohen set up weeks before the 2016 election for the purpose of funneling hush money to stormy daniels. cohen was never charged with violating the foreign agents act, and it's not clear if mueller is still pursuing that particular angle. we do know in february of 2018 the special counsel ultimately referred "certain aspects of the cohen case" to the fed's new york office, otherwise known as the southern district of new york. that eventually led to the fbi's april 9, 2018 search of cohen's home and office. and that prompted this reaction from president trump. >> i just heard that they broke into the office of one of my
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personal attorneys, good man, and it's a disgraceful situation. it's a total witch hunt. i heard it like you did. i said that's really now in a whole new level of unfairness. this is the most biased group of people. these people have the biggest conflicts of interests i've ever seen. they only keep look at us. so they find no collusion and then they go from there and they say, well, let's keep going. and they raid an office of a personal attorney early in the morning. and i think it's a disgrace. it's an attack on our country in a true sense. >> earlier on this network a former chief counsel for the senate judiciary committee was asked about trump's reaction to the cohen search. >> he's always known that he is incredibly vulnerable from the material that michael cohen has. he was still at the same time writing hush money checks -- >> that's right.
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>> -- as president of the united states to reimburse michael cohen, the good man. he was in the middle of a criminal conspiracy as president of the united states. he knew that. >> last year michael cohen pleaded guilty to tax violations, lying to a bank, lying to congress, and to arranging hush money payments during the campaign to women who claimed they once had affairs with donald trump. much of the part of today's filings that deals those payments or what it calls the illegal campaign contribution scheme remains a mystery. 18 pages in all redacted. as we await special counsel mueller's next move nbc news is reporting deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, who first appoint mueller, let's not forget, and has been on his way out, now intends to stay on at the justice department a little longer. period of time undefined. the department refused comment when asked if that meant mueller is not yet ready to deliver a report. however, we did learn today that
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mueller's team has asked for an extension to respond to a request from the "washington post" for court documents in the paul manafort case. the mueller team indicating it won't be able to meet a deadline this week in part because of the "press of other work." we just don't know how much to read into that. meanwhile, the head of the house intelligence committee, the democrats in california adam schiff, has his own concerns about the scope of mueller's investigation. schiff tells nbc news he's worried that "the president has tried to draw a red line around certain aspects of his finances." the chairman also says he intends to have his committee focus on whether trump or anyone around him sunder the influence of a foreign government. former fbi assistant director for counterintelligence frank figliuzzi warns "this scrutiny from congress as well as from federal and state agencies will make life increasingly challenging for donald trump." >> he should be worried right now because the worst decision
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he's ever made has. to accept the nomination of his party for president of the united states. he is looking at the destruction of his organization, his foundation. certainly his presidency and its legacy. and possibly even criminal exposure for family members. he should be worried every day. ? on that note let's bring in our lead-off panel on a tuesday night. jeremy bash, former chief of staff at the cia and pentagon. former chief counsel for house intel. barbara mcquade, former federal prosecutor, former u.s. attorney for the eastern district of the state of michigan. and clint watts is here. he's a former fbi special although, an expert in this area and the author of "messing with the enemy: surviving in a social media world of hackers, terrorists, russians and fake news." clint, i'd like to begin with you. talk having gone on raids like this, talk about the underpinning documents and what you read in here. what they were looking for, timing. what stands out to you here? >> i think the thing that stands out the most is how quickly this
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came after the special counsel essentially started. that is a book essentially of documents. this does not happen overnight. i would imagine that they were already looking into cohen somewhere in the fbi or some sort of investigative apparatus. and what you learn in that is within 60 days they'd gone up on multiple e-mail accounts and they were looking for very specific things. they had fraud down there. they had foreign influence. so when you look at that stack and how quickly that occurred, remember when you rewind to the summer before they were talking about russian influence and there were four people that were essentially named as being the targets of a fisa. now you're looking at a hard search warrant that is being filed within two months of the counsel starting. the first two weeks is where are the offices and how do we get everybody in a room. that is a pretty remarkable turnaround. another thing we always need to remember is there are always two people in an investigation that are essentially the choke points for investigations, lawyers and accountants. that's where the finances flow
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through. that's where the communications go through. and here you see the president's lawyer being looked at in a very detailed way, looking at very specific months, and you see a pen register being used which really shows where the incoming and outgoing phone calls are from those communications. >> let me stop you right there. this term pen register sounds quaint, from the old days of law enforcement. if you've crossed the threshold with a judge, a judge is saying i'm going to allow you to listen in to phone calls, why would you opt for a pen register? and please define that. versus a straight up wire tap. >> a pen register does not allow to you listen to phone calls. it just allows to you see incoming and outgoing phone calls. >> so you log numbers. >> yes. so you see who is calling in and calling out. that is a less intrusive search warrant, a less intrusive means of search -- >> it's easier to get from a judge? >> it's easier than going in and doing a title 3 or a wire as you'll commonly hear it referred to in the criminal code.
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so what they're doing is trying to build a case for going into more intrusive methods. whatever they decided to do, which is kind of interesting because we don't see a title 3 application for going up on a wire, all you see is a pen register in this, is they either got what they wanted in this case or when they did the raid on cohen offices they got everything that they needed. so there is no indication that anyone in the white house orbit was being tapped. which is also a question we have to ask. probably special counsel mueller's very in tune with this. you'd have to say there's no other way you can find this evidence unless i go for this method. it seems in this case they did not need to do it or at least we don't know about it at this point. >> jeremy bash, let's take a second and remind people choice of words here. the president called this a break-in of cohen's offices. rudy giuliani, former u.s. attorney, referred to the fbi as storm troopers. with that in mind, what stands out to you in these hundreds of pages? >> well, these investigative tactics, brian, were conducted
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under the purchaview of air cou under the purview of an article 3 judge in which warrants were obtained after the government showed particularity, they showed with specificity and predication the things to be seized and searched and the places and manner that the searches would be conducted. so this was no violation of the law. in fact, this was upholding the law in the way we want our federal government to do so. i would just add to clint's point, though, there maybe things we don't know about. there could have also been a fisa warrant, a national security warrant up on potentially michael cohen if the feds suspected that he was working in conjunction with the russian federation in the aftermath of the moscow trump tower deal. >> and clint, what would that mean? >> that would mean it's almost a dual case in the sense of what you saw there were the pen register, the warrants they found were really in the criminal code. if it goes to national security, any tie to a foreign influence or a foreign country, then it goes to the foreign intelligence
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surveillance act, which is really part of the national security branch of the fbi. so it could be something done in parallel whenever it ties into a foreign power. >> and now to the former u.s. attorney among us. and that's you, barb. we hate the black pages of redaction around here, but the judge explained the pages that were blank today. they had to do with campaign finance hush money. "this is federal judge william pauley, "at this stage wholesale disclosure of the materials would reveal the scope and direction of the government's ongoing investigation. it would also unveil subjects of the investigation and the potential conduct under scrutiny." barb, what does that tell you? >> yeah, i thought the redacted pages spoke more loudly than any other page among those disclosed documents today. 18 pages. what it says is they're still investigating either additional crimes or additional defendants.
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the fact that michael cohen has now been prosecuted, pleaded guilty, and sentenced suggests to me that what they're looking at is other defendants. and it is under that category of illegal campaign contribution scheme, and so what we know about that scheme so far is that michael cohen has admitted that being involved with paying hush money and involving a.m.i., the national enquirer, david pecker, president trump and donald trump jr. we know that a.m. sxi david pecker have entered into non-prosecution agreements or immunity agreements. that leaves president trump and donald trump jr. as potential targets of that investigation. maybe other people we don't know about yet. but the fact the judge made that finding and continued to keep that part redacted, which requires a showing before they're going do that, suggests to me that there are individuals under investigation that could include those two that are yet to be charged. >> and barb, we tend to forget at least on our part, we tend to not repeat often enough, southern district of new york
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during cohen's plead in court, didn't they say that he admitted to crimes that were done at the direction of individual 1, later identified as our president? >> yes. it says even in the document itself that it was at the direction of and in coordination with individual 1. people say that is akin to saying he's an unindicted co-conspirator there. then we run up against this whole idea of whether a sitting president can be charged. so it could relate to president trump himself. it could relate to other people who were involved in this scheme. and based on the judge's statements, robert mueller continues to look at that piece of the investigation. >> clint, i'm with barbara. when you hear the judge talk about additional subjects of the investigation, i don't mean to be smart. it doesn't sound like a witch hunt, does it? >> no. it sounds like a broad-based investigation looking at multiple points of entry. and we already know this.
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i think what we learned from each piece of this case that sort of reveals itself is that this has already splintered in many different directions. you learn that the southern district of new york was it appears most likely from this already looking into those campaign finance violations or some sort of violation in new york. separate from the special counsel's office. so when you look at how this branches out, this book essentially of search warrants that we look at here today is expansive and deep. and just i would like to add one thing about the pen register and how they play together just for the audience. a pen register allows you to see phone numbers coming in and going out. but then also informs who is actually communicating in and out with cohen. so if it's an overseas target that relates to a foreign power, that can at least give you the probable cause to look into or use a fisa or title 3 wire if it's a criminal case. that's how these sort of play together. there's steps in the chain but one oftentimes leads to another if they need to pursue that investigation further. >> jeremy bash, as you saw, it
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took ron klain to kind of remind everybody in this very studio earlier today oh, yeah, it's alleged the president was making these payments while president during this period. >> that's right. so his presidential conduct i think is of acute interest to mueller and of course to congressional investigators. but i think it's also important to note that in the initial ms. of the trump presidency and even on this broadcast, brian, in 2017 we knew about michael cohen's role facilitating the real estate deal in moscow. we knew of the role michael cohen is playing as a conduit between the russian federation and the trump organization. we now know that the sfb and the special counsel was looking intensively at michael cohen in early 201737 that tells me they were intensively looking at the trump organization and donald trump himself as well. >> and barb, you get the last word. what does it tell you that rosenteen is staying, even for a day? >> it i think it says the mueller investigation may be extending a little longer than we thought.
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two other clues we got in recent days today in this finding by the judge. he permitted robert mueller an additional 60 days before he has to come back and discuss whether those redactions will continue. 60 days was also the a time robert mueller asked for to extend the sentencing date for richard gates. that gets us to about may 15th. and rod rosenstein is saying on a little longer than expected. maybe all those things are quinn sooigd with the end of the mueller investigation. >> that's very crafty of you. that's why we've invited the very best guests in television. to jeremy bash, to barbara mcquade, to clint watts, our thanks for starting off our conversation tonight. coming up, one of the biggest names in the president's circle is the third wheel. in an increasingly nasty skirmish between her boss and her spouse. and later, you may have heard the president mention the electoral college a time or two. tonight, why democrats are talking about it in a different way. "the 11th hour" just gettinging started on a tuesday night. 1th started on a tuesday night
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president trump is now going after the husband of kellyanne conway, one of his longest-serving and top white house aides. earlier today he called the prominent conservative d.c. lawyer george conway "a total loser." trump was responding to a post from his campaign manager that said "we all know that donald trump turned down mr. kellyanne conway for a job he desperately wanted. now he hurts his wife because he is jealous of her success.
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potus doesn't even know him." george conway is a frequent critic of donald trump and as we mentioned last night he post the diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder and anti-social personality disorder after trump's weekend tweet storm. well, today the "washington post" published a new interview with george conway pointing out among other things of course the president knows him. he points to a number of notable interactions with trump over the past decade. conway also said that he was the one to turn down a job at doj. the "post" also reports, "conway suggested his own tweets questioning the president's mental health were aimed in part at avoiding conflicts with his wife. it's so maddening to watch," said conway. "the mendacity, the incompetence, it's just maddening to watch. the tweeting is just the way to get it out of the way so i can get it off my chest and move on with my life that day. that's basically it. frankly, it's so i don't end up
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screaminging at her," his wife, "about it." earlier today former fbi assistant director for counterintelligence frank f figliuz figliuzzi, who we heard if earlier, offered this analysis on conway's posts about trump's mental health. >> if this were somebody else, what i would be thinking about would be what behavioralists talk about as the pathway to violence. there's a flash-point that has warning signs and indicators before it occurs, and it involves obsessive behavior and brooding on one issue, the inability to step back and see reality for what it is. where is this going? i'm concerned about where it's going because on a workplace violence level it would be headed toward violence. if you're president of the united states that flash-point could look like something that is completely unexpected on the world scene or on the national scene. and that's what should be troubling us about what conway is warning us about. >> with us for more tonight and returning to our broadcast from maternity leave and months on
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end without sleep, ashley parker, pulitzer prize-winning white house reporter for the "washington post," and robert costa, national political reporter also with the "washington post." he is also moderator of "washington week" on pbs. and during a good week he doesn't sleep much either. ashley, welcome back. it's great to see you. i guess i'll start by saying if this is couples performance art it is of the hyper uncomfortable look away variety. what do you think is at work sneer and i know you have a very, very memorable vignette from election night regarding this couple. >> yeah, that's true. on election night i was in the bar, in the midtown ballroom for president trump's party, and i was standing there and george conway, once it became clear that trump was going to win, he came barreling in and tears were just streaming down his face. he was standing with a group of people next to me and he was
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sort of weeping with joy and pride and saying "she did it, she did it," referring to his wife, kellyanne conway. and saying she managed this campaign, she got him elected. and he was just so deeply proud and truly happy for her in that moment. so it's sort of striking to see how things seem to have at least from a public point of view descended in just those two years. so when you ask is this sort of performance art for the trumpian era, it's a great question i've been asking. is this sort of the james carville, mary matalin shtick? and the people in the president's orbit i've talked to have said no. again, if you're not in a marriage, you don't know exactly what's going on. but they have said that this is -- their sense is that this is real and these are actually tension points and it's not just something to give them a book deal or tv deal after they leave the white house, or after she leaves the white house, rather. >> robert, here's how your colleagues at the post reported one of these interactions between george conway and donald trump. "in a conversation with trump at the wedding of treasury
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secretary steve mnuchin in june 2017 conway said trump approached him and complimented him for not taking a job under then attorney general jeff sessions. he said to me i remember it clearly, you were smart not to work for that guy, conway said. he is so weak." trump then complained for several minutes that sessions should have never recused himself from the mueller investigation, conway said. i told him i'd heard the recusal issue was pretty clear, that session his to recuse himself, conway said. he took great affront at that. robert, what's the lesson of that interaction and what do you think is going on here? >> those scenes with president trump are common when you talk to top republicans in washington but this situation with mr. conway is a revealing microcosm into the republican civil war. so many republicans recount these kind of scenes often privately it reporters about how they see the president operate
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in unorthodox ways in their interactions when the doors are closed. but they choose to consider to support him publicly because they've made a political bargain, in some ways a personal bargain that despite his behavior, his conduct, some of which they criticize in severe ways, they feel he is responsible for bringing along conservatives on the supreme court. he provided a tax cut and tax overhaul law that republicans are pleased with. so they've accepted his behavior. but republicans like bill kristol, the never trump movement, mr. conway, they do not accept it and they publicly rail against it. those are the fault lines. but those scenes, both sides say they happen with frequency. >> and ashley, this public airing of a diagnosis from a physician's handbook, for a long time it was michael moore, it was bill maher, and kind of that corner of the public realm using diagnoses like malignant narcissism. now we have a respected d.c. attorney who happens to be married to one of the
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longest-serving aides to this president. just posting diagnosis. and this is all in the public realm now. >> that's right. and that's what's so striking. if you look at george conway's earlier criticisms of the president. they sort of started out in his area of expertise. legal criticisms. criticisms from the point of view of a constitutional conservative. then you saw him delving into mental health diagnoses. and that seems to be one of the things that possibly got under the president's skin. our understanding is that the president has long been deeply frustrated with george conway's tweets and his public pronouncements and his sort of gleeful willingness to take on his wife's boss. but the attacks from george conway reechtly got more personal and even though huh aides urging the president not to tack him publicly, not to tweet back, it seems this personal level avenue tack and ratcheting it up is what prompted the president to ultimately respond in kind. >> robert, we're coming to you
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on the other side of the break and when we come back we're going to talk about this. trump once again lashing out at the memory of the late senator john mccain. this time from the oval office in response to a direct question. more on that with our guests when we come back. directly to petmeds.com.
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we mentioned this before the
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break. president trump once again attacking the late senator john mccain nearly seven months after his death. it was earlier today at the white house our own kristen welker asked trump about why he attacked mccain over the weekend. >> i'm very unhappy that he didn't repeal and replace obamacare as you know. he campaigned on repealing and replacing obamacare for years, and then he got to a vote and he said thumbs down. and our country would have saved a trillion dollars and we would have had great health care. so he campaigned. he told us hours before that he was going to repeal and replace. and then for some reason, i think i understand the reason, he ended up going thumbs up. and frankly, had we even known, that i think we would have gotten the vote because i think we could have gotten somebody else. so i think that's disgraceful. plus there were other things. i was never a fan of john mccain and i never will be. >> senator mitt romney who like mcsxan trump held the title of republican party presidential nominee weighed in on this
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today, saying "i can't understand why the president would once again disparage a man as exemplary as my friend john mccain. heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-epffacingself-e self-sacrificing and driven by duty to family, country, and god." still with us, our ashley parker and robert costa of the "washington post." robert, everyone should know by now but it bears repeating, john mccain was tortured for the better part -- the worst part, actually, of six years in the hanoi hilton. at times driven only by love of country to survive to make it through to the next day. at the risk of going into even more psychiatric diagnosis, trace the antipathy that donald trump has for john mccain. where does it go to? how far back? >> it goes back decades. at least to 1999, when then businessman donald trump was flirting with the white house bid. senator mccain was running for
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the white house at the time ahead of the 2000 election. in an interview, television interview at the time, mr. trump said he couldn't believe how mccain could be a hero because he was captured. the same language he used years later in 2015 when he was sitting with a republican pollster frank luntz at an iowa event. comments back in 2015 that many in the republican establishment, some people forget, thought would end mr. trump's campaign but he was only fueled by that incident. continued to grow popular within the republican party. this is a president and a politician who is unapologetic about these incendiary views about a late senator. he does not apologize. people inside the white house tell us they can't control his rhetoric on senator mccain. it's been a fixation for the president for years. and there's no real answer or solution from those close to him. >> ashley parker, how do military vets who make up a large portion of the president's
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base react? how do fellow republicans react? and harder still, how do republicans working in the west wing for this guy react to this -- all of this episode? >> well, what's interesting here is the president does a number of things, says a number of things that are outlandish and scandalous and controversial. but when it comes to senator mccain, even people inside of the white house find this deeply uncomfortable. a lot of the people in his orbit sort of share the same sentiment that senator romney expressed publicly. now, they don't necessarily express it publicly, but when he goes after mccain, which he did when the senator was alive, and especially now that the senator has passed, there's just a level of unease and discomfort and people in the white house and people in the republican establishment, even if they disagreed with mccain on some issues, they respected his service to the country and the military, in the senate, in running for president. and it's just not how they want
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to see the president act. >> is there any provable upside if you're donald trump, ashley? and let's assume people have maybe approached him and said boss, you might want to lay off this line of reasoning. is there any upside to donald trump? >> it's hard to see the upside right now. especially after mccain is dead. and health care is a dead issue as well. the president is relitigating things with a man who can no longer fight back. there's just about no one in his orbit who thinks it is effective politically or any other way. perhaps the personal upside for president trump is he likes to vent, he likes to get stuff off his chest and it gives him something of a relief valve, but i think there is no one who is telling him that yes, this is a good strategy, this is the question you should be responding to while sitting next
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to the president of brazil. >> and robert, the question i try to ask at least once a week, you get the first asking for this week. how did the trump agenda advance today in washington? >> the most interesting event today was the meeting with the brazilian leader bolsonaro. you have a far right populist connecting with a conservative republican populist in president trump. we often talk about brex sxit struggles in the uk. the rise of nationalism in western europe. the nationalistic agenda going within o'xi jinping going on in china. but pay attention to the south, to our southern border. there is nationalism rising there. and to have that kind of amiable relationship between the president of the united states and the president of brazil it tells you where global politics are going. there's forces far beyond this country that are growing in strength and have real consequences for the global economy and global discourse.
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>> two of the best informed and hardest-working reporters on this story and in washington. ashley parker, robert costa. our thanks to you both as always. coming up, an interesting incident in federal court today. in a case against donald trump. something you don't see every day. josh gerstein takes us inside that courtroom when we come back.
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president trump has been accused of profiting off his presidency, and today a lawsuit to determine if he violated the constitution reached its highest level thus far. at issue is the rarely used emoluments clause, which basically says the president can't accept money from a foreign state. in this case a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of d.c. and maryland point to the profits brought in by the trump international hotel. it's just down the street from the white house. it's the landmark converted former post office building just steps from the mall.
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a popular spot for visiting foreign governments. the future of this case seems uncertain right now, however. josh gerstein of politico, who was in the courtroom and waiting to join us in just a moment, wrote today, "a federal appeals court panel was indisputably hostile tuesday to a lawsuit accusing president donald trump of violating the constitution. the uphill battle the suit faces was evident before the arguments even began when it was revealed that all three 4th circuit court of appeals judges assigned to the case are gop appointees." back with us tonight, bjork josh gerstein, senior legal affairs contributor for politico. so josh, take us into the courtroom starting with the entrance of these three jurists and why was even that a surprise to counsel? >> well, counsel i think got their first indication of what kind of a battle this was going to be just minutes before the judges actually entered the
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courtroom on some boards outside the courtroom, they post the names of the judges. and in a lot of courts those names are available for a week or more before arguments. 4th circuit happens to do it this way. maybe it's a bit old-fashioned. where you don't learn until just minutes before the argument. and it became clear that we were going to have three gop judges, a george w. bush appointee, a george h.w. bush appointee, and a trump appointee, which is a very unusual draw on the 4th circuit. it may have become more common in the years to come as the numerous trump appointees get onto the bench. but the 4th circuit is a court that had swung from being very conservative at one time folth reagan and bush and even clinton years to being a fairly liberal court more recently. and so the folks from d.c. and maryland who are challenging trump on these emol' yumts issues knew they were in for a rough sxried that's exactly what they got. >> when you reach adult life you
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realize that what they teach you in civics about justice being blind isn't quite the case, and it looks like you saw the display, the illustration of that today, that there are consequences following our elections. tell folks what happens to this case now. is whatever the 4th circuit determination is going to be the end of the line for this? >> i think it effectively could be the end of the line. obviously, these three judges, whatever resolution they come to, which i think will be throwing a significant hurdle in front of this case, discovery, depositions and subpoenas in this case are already on hold. it could be taken to the broader bench of the 4th circuit. but that all takes time. and there are several other cases like this that also seem to be moving at a rather glacial pace. i have to say after listening to the arguments and seeing some of the lawyers involved here the
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attorney general of maryland came in the courtroom and when he saw that panel he literally slapped his hand against his forehead in disbelief and his colleague from d.c. said to him, you know, keep your head up, keep your head up. it was pretty clear they were facing a very tough road to hoe here. and i really do wonder if the action on this emoluments issue may now move to the house of representatives. because they do have subpoena power. and even if the white house may be able to obstruct those kinds of subpoenas, businesses even like the trump organization will have a harder time i think fighting a congressional action like that. >> that's a really interesting point. and i have to ask you back to the story that normally has you on this broadcast, what stood out to you today in this book-length release of documents regarding the michael cohen case? >> yeah. i was really interested in this murky question of what investigations are still going on here. do the redacted portions of
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those documents refer to president trump? do they refer to other individuals? particularly, are there other folks in the trump organization who may have equities in those documents? and also the way we saw that there is some sort of continued role for robert mueller here. we thought that a lot of this investigation had been handed off to the prosecutors in manhattan but sort of reading between the blacked-out lines it seems like there are still things there that do relate to ongoing mueller issues. and perhaps as we've seen in some other court filings that will all come to a head in the next few weeks and there will be more to be able to be said on these subjects. >> josh gerstein, always a pleasure having you on the broadcast. thanks for your work today and your reporting tonight. coming up for us, the effort among democrats to abolish the vehicle that delivered donald trump the u.s. presidency. back with that story after this. .
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my view is that every vote matters. we can have national voting. and that means get rid of the electoral college. >> if we really want every person to vote, give them every reason to vote, we've got to make sure their votes count and go to the candidate of their choosing. i think there's a lot of wisdom in that. >> so this is becoming something of a thing on the campaign trail. this list of litmus test questions that the democrats are all being asked. do you support the green new deal in do you support reparations? do you support adding more justices to the supreme court? and another one is do you support doing away with the electoral college? it's not hard to figure out why it might be popular among democrats. their candidates, after all, won the popular vote in 2000 and again in 2016, as you might have heard, but lost the electoral
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college vote and thus the election. and you'll recall our current president has mentioned his deep affection for the electoral college. >> it started on november 8th. remember that beautiful, beautiful day? >> we had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the electoral college. >> huge disadvantage, the electoral college. very, very tough. they say almost impossible for a republican to win. >> they say there is no route to 270 and we ended up with 306. >> we were not supposed to crack 220. you know that, right? >> there is no path. there is no path to 270, right? how many times have you heard that? thousands? >> that was going to be 269 to 270. the one vote was going to be important so i went to maine like four times. >> i ran the clock out. the whole thing, ran up the east coast from north carolina to pennsylvania, then we go up to wisconsin and michigan, states
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that hadn't been won for many, many years. we won those states. >> i also got michigan and wisconsin and pennsylvania. >> we won south carolina, we won north carolina. >> with the electoral college, it totally changes the map. >> the electoral college is genius. >> you know why i won? because the electoral college is a very special thing. >> so let's agree it matters to him. his affection continued late tonight, writing in part, "with the popular vote, you could -- you go to just the large states. the cities would end up running the country. smaller states and the entire midwest would end up losing all power and we can't let that happen. i used to like the idea of the popular vote, but now realize the electoral college is far better for the usa." just days ago colorado joined a list of 11 states plus d.c. that plan to give their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, but this
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is tricky, it's unlikely the bill will pass by 2020. in order to get enacted, it needs to be signed by states representing at least 270 electoral college votes. with the addition of colorado, that number now stands at 181, speaking of numbers. another break for us. and then coming up, a guest in your home is celebrating a major anniversary. we'll unlock the puzzle when we come back.
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last thing before we go tonight. back in the days before every american had the ability to broadcast their own personal
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television network, before individuals had viewers or followers of their own, it was a downright novelty to be able to watch our congress at work. on this day, 1979, c-span went live. first speech they aired was by a young congressman from tennessee named al gore. and on c-span's 40th anniversary, tonight we thought an expression of appreciation was in order. starting with what we'll call the big three. brian lam, steve scully and co-chief executive susan swain. just three of the faces we've come to know as our on-air friends and interlocutors over the four decades. c-span is unique. they don't get a dollar from the government. they're funded by the cable and satellite industry and the idea of private industry funding a public service was brand new. c-span helped launch a lot of political careers back before it was apparent that some of those
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overwrought speeches were being delivered to an empty chamber. it started with cameras in the house of representatives, and because everything takes longer in the senate, it took the senate seven years to allow c-span cameras to come in. and also there is this. it's safe to say that whatever time you watch, whichever c-span network you watch, you'll come away smarter for it. a commercial network would probably market it as the c-span guarantee, you will learn something, sometimes many things just for watching. and shows like "booknotes" let us get to know the people whose books we've come to live. not every c-span moment has been great, but some of them have been memorable. >> you're right i'm from down south. >> oh, god, it's no, ma'am. >> and i'm your mother. >> i do not like green eggs and ham. >> meet the mets. meet the mets. >> 12. 12. >> are you stupid? >> i like green eggs and ham. >> you're out of here. 13.
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>> you should be fired. >> mike lee, i am your father. >> everybody's coming down to meet the m-e-t-s, mets. >> what kind of work do you do? >> i'm an entertainer. >> oh, what kind of entertaining, are you uso? >> no, i actually was called by the uso, but i'm -- i'm just -- i'm an entertainer, i don't want to go much past that, but -- >> is this cher? >> yeah. >> okay. >> news reports say after a game-winning goal at a soccer match in spain a player celebrated by biting his teammate who scored on the genitals. beam me up. now, i've heard of high-fives, back slaps, butt slaps, but ladies and gentlemen, this takes the family jewels. >> it all actually happened. happy 40th to the cable satellite public affairs
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network, a staple in 90 million american homes. that's our broadcast for this tuesday night. thank you very much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. tonight on "all in." >> so i just heard they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys. >> the michael cohen warrant is unsealed. >> i'm going to be the personal attorney to mr. trump. >> what we're learn about the early and intense surveillance of president trump's lawyer and the questions it raises about ongoing investigations. plus greing calls to the president to denounce white supremacist in the wake of christchurch. >> the president is not a white supremacist. i'm not sure how many times we have to say that. plus devyn nunes sues.

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