go online today. that does it for me today. thank you for watching. "am joy" with joy reid starts right now. the delivery of the mueller report could be imminent. >> i'm going wait for the mueller report. we have to see what the mueller report says, i think, before making any conclusion. >> mueller's work is nearly done. and he'll likely submit a report to the attorney general bill barr in the next week or so. >> the big question now is, are we going to get to see both the report and the underlying evidence. >> president trump is waiting. rudy juliangiuliani waiting, wi barr, waiting. newsrooms, waiting. >> good morning and welcome to
"am joy." for months and especially since february, washington and newsrooms nationwide have been waiting and waiting and waiting on mueller time. abuzz with speculation that the mueller report was dropping any minute. we can finally say it. the mueller report has arrived meaning the special counsel concluded his investigation into russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by donald trump. the final counterintelligence report ushers in a new landmark chapter in the russia-gate scandal that cast a shadow over trump's white house since day one. so far, what we know is mueller is not recommending any further indictments, and that has the president's allies high-fiving al over mar-a-lago. as to what's actually in the report, we actually don't know i. guess you could say we're now on william barr time because the attorney general is the one, the only one, who gets to decide how much of the report, if any, will be made public. frankly, that should alarm you because right now all of these
months and years of investigation into whether the president of the united states colluded with a foreign power in order to gain the white house, that crucial question for american democracy is in the hands of just one man, william barr, donald trump's hand picked ally leading the department of justice. and we are left to wait for some sort of document, likely redacted or bullet points outlining what mueller found which will be briefed to congress by that one man, william barr. given how the trump administration operates, there will likely be a fight to find out exactly what's in the mueller report and what it reveals about the crucial question for you and for your security, whether the president of the united states is an asset of a foreign power. that is what this is about. joining me now is malcolm nance, msnbc contributor and author of "the plot to destroy democracy." joyce vance, former u.s. attorney. david corn, washington bureau chief for mother jones and author of "russian roulette."
former watergate prosecutor, medi hasan, host of the deconstructed podcast on the intercept and up front on al jazeera english. and sayer va kenzier, author of "the view from flyover country." . i think this is a mega panel. i want to go around the table. malcolm, i think i say this every time. we've been at this for three years. >> three years almost. >> three years in july. what we started with is where we end in my view, whether or not the president of the united states used help from a foreign power to gain access to the white house and whether that asseture continues. do you have confidence that robert mueller will tell us the answer to that. >> yes, i have great confidence he's going to tell us that. he only has two options as to what he can tell us. there's an enormous amount of evidence already out there. he can tell us he was an actual
handled russian asset who worked and willingly coordinated and conspired with russia, or that he is -- what many other people suspect, he's a dupe, and that he foolishly found his way into this, stumbled through it and didn't really intend to do it, but used what he found to get himself elected president. that's it. those are the only two options. both of those are a betrayal of the public trust. >> joyce, there are things we know. there are the known knowns to quote an old saying because i don't want to bring back, because the iraq war was a disaster. the known knowns pled guilty and have been indicted. put them up on the screen, lots of people. 13 russian nationals indicted. 12 russian military operatives, roger stone. we know there's been lots of fruit of this labor. but what's out there still are the people approached by
russians who still remain unindicted, donald trump jr., jared kushner, ivanka trump, felix saider. we know some of the people on this list appeared, carter page. there are people out there who we haven't seen touched by this mueller probe. does that make sense to you? >> it does make sense. here is why, what malcolm is discussing. prosecutors have a limited role to play in government. bob mueller has been a large part of our dreams or nightmares. prosecution is a blunt instrument. it's designed only to determine if someone voc very specific criminal laws. for instance, conspiracy, did you agree on an objective and perform it. maybe these folks did that. maybe it's something that while still very harmful to our national security, something that needs to be addressed on capitol hill and through other mechanisms isn't criminal. we don't know the answer. we won't until we see the content of mueller's report. >> that's if we see it.
david, that is what people's concern is, the if we see it. william barr is a partisan, a trump partisan. to get the job, he essentially tore down -- i'll use a pg term -- to the mueller probe in advance. so he gets to be the guy that tells us whether we get to see what's in the report. that doesn't sound like the way a constitutional republic should function, to me. >> it does make him king in this regard, right? >> yes. >> also at the same time we don't know how important the mueller report is. people have to remember this. under the justice department regulations, mueller has to give a report at the conclusion of his investigation outlining the prosecution decisions he made. i prosecuted these cases for these reasons. i didn't prosecute for those reasons. that could be a 12-page memo or it could be a 600 page exposition of everything he looked at and why he decided it didn't rise to the level of a crime.
we shouldn't put all our eggs in the mueller basket. it may not be worth fighting over. we should note what it is, we should be briefed on what type of report it is. then we can determine if barr is doing anything nutty. it gets to the big issue that it's not just the crime. we already no the scandal. there's a scandal without crimes. what malcolm has been talking about. it's betrayal in terms of trump, whether he was an asset or not, he aided and abetted the attack. whether he colluded or not, he aided. >> this is william barr on january 15th. this is the question, nick, about what will he share. here it is. >> when his report comes to you, will you share it with us as much as possible? >> consistent with regulations and the law, yes. under the current regulations, the special counsel report is confidential, and the report that goes public would be a report by the attorney general.
>> will you commit that you will explain to us any changes or deletions that you make to the special counsel report that's submitted to you in whatever you present to us? >> i will commit to providing as much information as i can consistent with the regulations. >> nick ackerman, you've been down this road both with the watergate investigation and with the southern district of new york where you also worked. i'll get back to that in a little bit. does that answer give you confidence that william barr is going to share with the public what your committee, what your investigative committee was able to share about richard nixon. >> well, he wasn't a good explainer. he left it in general terms. the fact of the matter is there's information in that report i'm sure that comes from the grand jury investigation. as a matter of law, that kind of information cannot be shared unless you get the approval of a federal district court judge.
that's not real difficult to do under these circumstances and is something that they may have to do before they release that part of it. the other part of it also goes to classified information. now, what mueller has that no other investigator really has is not only the witnesses, the documents, but he also has this huge body of classified information that is intelligence data that comes through all the various intelligence agencies that are out there, that basically concluded that there was interference in our presidential election in 2016. so that is going to be the real tricky part because, on one hand, you do not want to be revealing sources. on the other hand, some of this could be extremely vital information and some of it must have been used in those two russian indictments that you referenced at the beginning of the show. >> right. medi, i want to come to you on this, the things that we know
are that the russians did attempt to get donald trump elected. they did intervene in our election and attack the hillary clinton campaign and use cyber warfare, as malcolm nance has described so often on this show, to try to get trump elected. so we know that happened. we also have answers that the american people want. the trump tower meeting is a big one. if you think about who was in that meeting in trump tower, that jared kushner was in it, donald trump jr. was in it, rob goldstone, paul manafort, natalia veselnitskaya. we know it happened. we know it was significant. we don't know if robert mueller found anything criminal took place. people feel that the unknowns remain a big problem for what the american people deserve to know. >> definitely. i think the fact is on the basis of the mueller report so far from what we know from yesterday, nobody called trump or kushner will be indicted.
that's why people in the trump world are high-fiving. for them that's a win. at the very basic level, no one is being indicted called trump or kushner. there are several other investigations still going on. what's fascinating for me is, we've watched the mueller investigation over the past two years kind of in realtime, both in terms of court appearances, indictments, prosecutions. think about if we hadn't watched it in realtime over the last two years. think about if bob mueller put out a report on friday evening, here you go, i'm done. here is 37 indictments and guilty pleads including the national security adviser, the trump campaign manager, the deputy campaign manager, including the lawyer to the president, including one of his closest confidants. trump world would be in chaos and disarray right now. the tone of the coverage would be very different. weave kind of become immune to it because we've been following, oh, yeah, yeah, the campaign guy will spend the rest of his life in prison. we accepted that.
imagine if this were obama and even one of those people i just mentioned had been indicted or pled guilty to any of the crimes that bob mueller has mentioned over the last two years. we would be talking about the end of obama's presidency. very briefly, david made the point about not putting eggs in the mueller basket. sadly too many democrats and liberals have done that over the last two years. i was worried as i saw that happening. a, what if mueller comes out and doesn't indict kushner or trump. it happens in front of our eyes every week. >> that's what frustrates a lot of people. i'll go to natasha on this. the report i heard were that the trump world were high-fiving. to mehdi's, imagine high-fiving because only the national security adviser, the campaign manager and like 30 other people were indicted. wow, we got off scot-free because it was shown our campaign really was talking to russians secretly and who back channel them. who, whoo, we got away with it.
that was the atmosphere. those are talking points. do they really believe that? is that putting a brave face on the biggest scandal in the history of the republics. >> congrats, your son didn't get charged with a federal crime. joy, i think what mehdi said was completely on point. we've become extremely desensitized to what is one of the biggest scandals in u.s. history. the russians interfered in the election. the train was very eager for their help as we saw with the trump tower meeting. the only question left is was there other behavior we don't know about behind the scenes that bob mueller can tell us that will kind of connect the dolts of all these different events that happened during 2016 that can't possibly be coincidental. you can't have that many contacts with russian nationals as they were trying to hack the 2016 election and as they succeeded without there being some kind of coordinated effort there. i think that's why people are a
little business disappointed that there were not more sealed indictments. how can this possibly not be a crime if there were efforts under way to help the russians essentially interfere in the election? we have to remember, also, that so much of this was a counterintelligence investigation. so much of this may not have risen to the level of provable beyond a reasonable doubt. that's why we've had to kind of lower our expectations a bit from the mueller report. it's also why he's spun out so much of his inquiry to different districts of the country that are now investigating this. state and federal investigators have launched a dozen investigations spinning off of what mueller has given them. i think that's because he knew -- he was a aware of the sensitivity surrounding this investigation and politically he was aware of the fact that you can't indict a sitting president. maybe he did find that the president obstructed justice but, of course, he couldn't indict him. perhaps the southern district of
new york is looking into his financial wrongdoing, et cetera. there's so much we don't know. until we see the actual substance of the mueller report, him outlining the actual conduct that occurred by the president, what he actually knew during the election, we really cannot draw any conclusions or be disappointed here. >> that's if we see it. sarah, that's if we see it. imagine living in a world -- i came to you last on purpose because i knew you were going to say i told you so. i follow you on twitter. can we put back up on the screen who has been guilty in indictments. the whole column at the top worked intimately on the trump campaign. the campaign itself and the others who are russian nationals clearly -- collusion isn't a crime. it's a thing that happens when you have a campaign intimately involved with a hostile foreign power in order to help get their candidate elected. now let's look at all the investigations still out there. there were 17 of them.
ruble mueller's was just one of them. one into wikileaks, middle east even, paul manafort stuff, trump tower, it's on and on. sarah imagine living in the world where the president of the united states can declare all that to be a victory for him just because he kids aren't be indicted. as long as his children or himself aren't literally indicted by one guy, robert mueller, he wins and the rest of the country saying that's right, he did win. >> i think the issue is not so much what trump thinking about this. it's what happens do him. the issue is not so much what's in the mule ever report itself but the efficacy of it. the effect of it on national security, the effect of it on public safety. no matter what is in this report, we have a crisis, a transnational crime i understand cat massacre reading as a government. we have people who have pled guilty in this var probe, people like flynn just walking around. people who have traded nuclear
secrets, plotted kidnappings. roger stone has threatened a judge just walking around. this is a very vast apparatus. it includes guilty parties both in the united states and abroad. it's not stopping any time soon. trump intends, as from the beginning, to rule like an autocrat. he's attempting to build a dynastic hep to being rah see by installing his children. we've been hearing more about laws that ivanka and jared have broken and face no repercussions for. this is very dangerous. from the start i've been much more concerned about the indictments than the reports. as mehdi and the others have said, we have seen all this with our own eyes. we have seen this transpire in front of us, both before the campaign and after. it's a disaster. it needs to be tackled by law and you cannot assume that things are just going to naturally work themselves out. i do think people have way too much faith that mueller was this kind of magical guy that was
going to fix america's problems. these problems are deep. they go to the core of corruption within the american government and they still need to be handled regardless what comes today. >> i'm going to throw it out to the whole panel. i'll start with mehdi. is it not a hep to being see, if a leader completely protected by at least half of the first branch of government, no matter what's in the report, you know republicans, they're not going to care. and if he can literally say i can get away with this, right, there's nothing to happen to me. if he can have that kind of confidence, there are other countries around the world where that happens. it usually wasn't this one. >> yeah. i think he will be -- very early days. it's saturday morning. if it turns out this report is, quote, unquote, good for him, even from the perspective of his critics, of course he's going to be emboldened and say i told you it was a witch hunt, hoax. this is a president who is
basically a man child. he'll behave in that way, i won, rah, rah, rah, ha, ha, ha. that has different implications given how he behaves in general. other panelists mentioned there are more than a dozen other investigations on going. he desperately wants to be re-elected. we know, of course, the democrats in congress are also doing their own investigations. we know the house judiciary committee asked 81 people for documents. we noel lie gentleman cummings asked ivanka and jared, you brazen hypocrites. you played a clip from chuck schumer saying let's wait for mueller. i agree with sarah. that was a mad strategy in the beginning saying we're going to outsource all our decisions about what we do to this president in terms of holding him into account, in terms of impeaching him to bob mueller. no, you have your own views, your own powers. you never needed russia-gate to
make the case for impeachment. he obstructs justice in front of o our eyes, he illegally tried to divert puerto rico funds to texas and other states. the list goes on and on. emoluments clause, the brazen corruption, trump hotel, hush money payments. i could go on for hours and hours. >> mehdi, i almost feel like we need glenda the good witch. dorothy, you had the investigations inside you all along. you never needed the wiz. you don't need it. let me play jerry nadler of the judiciary committee, he would be in charge of impeachment. this is what he said on friday about if barr tries to keep the report secret. >> if the justice department doesn't release the whole report or tries to keep parts of it secret, we will certainly subpoena the parts of the report, and we will reserve the right to call mueller or to
testify before the committee or to subpoena him. >> okay. it's process. they still -- they need the mueller report. they can't act -- like a security blanket. >> mehdi is right. there are 47 different investigations out there that all occurred before our eyes and all are pretty obvious what's going on. i would say that the russian bit of this is different. it's more profound. it's not about corruption, greed, kleptocracy. it's about the sanctity of our elections. the united states was attacked. people might want to argue this point. i could after gu it was an attack that had a real impact and was one of the decisive factors in the outcome of a presidential election. so right then and there, the public is owed, is owed an explanation as well as a plan to make sure it doesn't happen again. we've never truly had that. the republicans covered and didn't do that. now the democrats are reviving the investigation on the house
sign under adam schiff. they may get there. by and large, when we talk about process -- also if we get bogged down on the question of impeach or not impeach, we lose sight of the fact that the public needs to know what happened with the russian side and what the train did to help that attack occur. >> you're getting a high five from over here. >> these guys are failing in their fundamental constitutional duty. is it going to take alexandria ocasio-cortez to come and tweet something for them to get all worked up? defend democracy. the army motto, this we'll defend. they should be saying i don't care what's in that report, we're going to go to town and find out what the facts are. you know what? we were attacked. that's one component of it. the other things, the most corrupt administration in the history of the united states, we're going to find out because this nation is far better and worth the effort. >> very quickly.
southern district of new york, is it going to do anything? >> let me say, the house has issued 81 subpoenas and did it basically based on the russian investigation and all these other matters. they're not sitting back. the best thing that happened was that the public got out and voted out that republican house of representatives. they are the unsung heroes of this whole matter, it's the public. it's the public that's got to get rid of this president the next time if we can't get to impeachment. >> we're counting too much on mueller. >> i think nick makes a really good point. the obligation is the voters, the public. we live in a politically divisive age. that's probably the biggest understatement i've ever said. it will be very difficult for congress to come together. what congress can do is it can educate the public so voters are better informed in 2020. i'll tell you why i think it's okay that congress waited on the mueller report. we've all seen investigation fatigue happen.
there's so much going on, people are overloaded. congress now has a product that they will hopefully get that was put together by the best investigators and best prosecutors in the country. they can go through that and pull out the five, six, seven most important things and then proceed down those paths and educate the country. then in 2020 it's up to the voters to make a decision. >> do you think out of this process, sarah, the public will learn the full facts of what happened in this election? >> it's hard to tell. they're certainly owed that information. that's why harry reid was writing to james comey warning him that the election was compromised. we have agencies purged, courts packed, barr put in to be trump's personal lackey. it's possible the information will be concealed from the pub lidge. we have trump tweeting out information.
they have put their own guilt in the public domain. i think the public can judge, they can use common sense, they can see what's happening to our institutions. they can see what's happening to our country. i hope they'll stand up and fight for that country and not just rely on a savior because this is the situation in which we the public need to save our hefls. >> mehdi, are the trump world folks getting too giddy too soon? >> definitely. every time they have any perceptual or substantive win, the president of the united states or some corrupt member of the administration undermines it. even the day before the mueller report happened yesterday, on thursday, you had again what would be a massive story in any other presidency, president's daughter and son-in-law, also appointed to the white house, given security clearance they shouldn't have, were conducting business via whatsapp. the people who chanted lock her up in 2016 decided, i'm going to
use my personal e-mail now. that stuff will be with us for a very long time. david mentioned the multiple investigations, all the other investigations going on. the trump inauguration committee is being investigated. under any other presidency that would dominate the news. that's not even number 24. it could be a huge corruption story if we ever pay attention. >> they haven't moved it over to the window. they threw a giant boulder through it. >> any other presidency we eat be focused on what's happening with the interior. >> we're absorbed with the major scandals. >> look at the days we spent on president barack obama putting his feet on the resolute desk or wearing a tan suit, fast and furious. >> the beer summit. >> my god. malcolm, joyce, david, nick and natasha will be with us. medi hasan, thank you so much. sarah, thank you. congressman john lewis joins us to talk about the democrats'
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general william barr's decision on what to release and when on the mueller justice department probe, justice department officials are telling nbc news that barr is in his office today as expected. we'll be back at 6:00 p.m. with special coverage of the mueller report. up next, what all this could mean for the trump kids. s. [zara larsson - "wow"] ♪ ♪ baby i'm not even in a gown ♪ and the only thing u have to say is wow ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop make u say oh my god ♪ ♪ and you never felt this type of emotion ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop make u say oh my god ♪
concerns you. >> no. >> some of the president's former aides have now been charged and people are saying the walls are closing in. sitting here now, knowing it is almost over, are you concerned about anyone in your life that you love? >> no. >> being involved? >> there's nothing there. yet it's created weeks and weeks and months of headlines. no, i have zero concern. >> i've been saying it for a while. put it all out there. how about don't redact anything. >> okay. i think a lot of people would take him up on that. one of the biggest questions, when and if the mueller is report is made public, weren't donald trump jr., rhee van can trump or jared kushner indicted? several other investigations still pending. it wasn't meeting with russians at trump tower, donald trump helping don junior create the
explanation. even after being warned that russia could be trying to infiltrate the campaign. joining me ellie, joyce vance, david corn, mimi roker, former district attorney for the southern district of new york. which brings me to you. the spotlight feels like it's shifting to sdny. in your view, is the confidence of donald trump jr., he's out there, has his new beard, feeling good. should he be feeling so confident? >> no. i don't think it's only because of the sdny. i'll get to that in a second. as to the mueller russian piece of it, don jr. was never subpoenaed or charged. he hasn't yet been charged. i'm not convinced that there is not a charge in his future as to the russian piece. but i will answer your question. on the southern district of new york, he's in clear jeopardy. now -- he's not the president so there isn't that debate of could
he get charged. he has been implicated in a crime. the crime is this campaign finance contribution scheme which is actually the words the southern district used to describe it. we call it campaign finance violation. it's a scheme, a fraud scheme. that's essentially what it is. we know already, and there may be more, we already know he signed one of the checks that was used to pay back michael cohen. i will tell you that the 18 pages of redactions in the michael cohen search warrant which was recently partially unseal unsealed, it is not just about michael cohen because if it was, i believe that most of it would have been unsealed and there wouldn't still be 18 pages of redactions. who else could that redacted part be about? one person is donald trump jr., and that was a year ago. they have since gathered more evidence. he should not be breathing easy. he should not be doing any victory laps yet. >> the thing is, the over
confidence -- let me play ivanka trump. she's very blase about the whole thing. more of her interview with abby huntsman on abc. >> the moscow project in russia. >> i've learned a lot more about it watching the news. >> but you did have a role on this. what was it? >> literally almost nothing. >> she's barely eefr heard of moscow and towers. what? the kids run the business. the hotel business is run by the children. she's saying she just barely had no idea that there was anything like that. >> my kids cannot buy a pack of skittles in this country without having -- with the blase attitude that ivanka trump walks around this earth with. i do not understand -- i hear what you're saying, mimi.
i don't understand how we've investigated these people for 22 months and nobody has asked these children a question? we can't ask them a question, put them under oath and ask them about a single question about their involvement in the hotel business. i do think sdny is coming for them. when you look at the way that criminal justice is applied to everybody else in this country, when you are the top head of an organization, people understand that, if they squeeze your children, that is a way to get you to tell the truth, and they put no, as far z i can tell, no pressure on these children. >> do we have evidence -- to mimi's point, usually you're a target. when nobody is asking to talk to you. do we know if potentially they were asked and said we're going to plead the fifth and, therefore, mueller backed off? could that be a possibility? >> we don't know for certain. that's a possibility. doj policy is if you have a target who tells you or witness
who tells you they'll go in and take the fifth amendment over and over saying they have a right to avoid incriminating themselves, prosecutors don't take them into the grand jury. you make the decision, i want to give this person immunity. that happened with allan weisselberg. it's frustrating in a case playing out in public like this. i think we have to be will to wait and let the southern district of new york do its work because we've seen situations in this country before where premature interviews on the hill can impair a prosecution, a conviction on appeal. this is a long game about holding people who are guilty of crimes accountable. we've got to have a little more patience. >> the other thing i was just reading in my briefing book as i'm trying to do my homework on this mueller thing is prior to the grand jury -- correct me if i'm wrong -- congress can't get access to grand jury work product, right? that's sealed. they have to go to court to get that. >> right.
>> perhaps, the fact that these guys weren't put before the grand jury leaves them available for congress if they wanted to bring them before congress, meaning the kids. >> i'll leave that to the lawyers here. to your point about waiting, there are things we don't have to wait on. we know that in the negotiations with felix sater and michael cohen for the trump tower project in moscow, while trump was campaigning that he lied to the public about, one part of it was spa by ivanka. >> she didn't know about that. >> surprise, sweetie. i gave you a spa for your birthday in moscow. we also know a year and a half earlier when trump was again trying to do a trump project in moscow, ivanka was sent to moscow to look at sites. >> didn't she sit in putin's chair at one point? >> that was years earlier. she was involved very much in
that. donald trump jr., something that gets lost in this, an again, not everything is a crime, he was at the trump tower meeting. we all talk about that. at the convention, the democratic convention, four weeks or so later when it comes out these e-mails are being deployed against them and the hillary campaign and computer experts saying it's the russians. the russians are attacking our election. he goes on tv and he says this is absurd. look at what the clinton people are saying, the russians have nothing to do with this. i would suggest of all the people in the universe who had reason to believe the russians were doing this, he's one of the three, him, manafort and kushner, because they're in that meeting. he's out there fronting and protecting the russians. may not be a crime, but he's skated on that. >> not only that, but his father then crafts a false explanation for the trump tower meeting, just made it up. and the president of the united states is on air force one writing a statement that's a lie. this is a big glaring gap we're
still waiting for an answer on. >> look, we could sit here frankly and spend two hours going over what he still don't know, what the gaps are. we know a little more today than we did before the report was transmitted. but not much. and why is that? because we haven't seen the report yet. everything is premature. the fact -- i completely agree with you, elie, the fact that donald trump jr., he's at a minimum a witness. so somebody needed to interview him about the trump tower meeting. did they try and they couldn't compel it because he was a target? maybe. as joy said, we need to wait and find out. it feels unsatisfying right now. i keep thinking back to the night of the midterm elections. and then over the days, it was wait a minute, actually, this was what i was expecting and thinking and people had been predicting. i don't know obviously, but we may be in that boat right now. we may need to see this report.
there are so many holes that someone like robert mueller would not leave unexplained and unresolved. he's not going to just drop the ball. >> let's talk and jared for a minute. i think people have confidence in robert mueller for the most part. still stuff out there, you have the security clearance that donald trump ordered his national security operators to give jared even though he has all these sketchy ties, particularly to the crown prince of saudi arabia. you have the use of personal e-mail. this is crazy because that campaign was lock her up based on hillary clinton using a private e-mail server. we know jared and ivanka were using private and personal e-mail and whatsapp. this guy was conducting foreign policy using whatsapp which is an encrypted service that is not completely secure. there's so much out there. >> my only ray of sunshine today is that the investigations continue. fundamentally the mueller report
was focused on things that happened before election. lucky for people on my side, the trump family has continued to commit crimes after he was elected. the incompetence of the family is always what i think is going to save us, like they're very bad at being criminals and they continue to have been criminals after the election. so i do think that every day jared or ivanka or don jr. or eric, they all do more crimes and now as people have pointed out in your last panel, now congress is controlled by democrats. those investigations will continue, sdny will continue. there are multiple ways to get at these people and those multiple ways are still open. my issue is with this one way. >> i have to ask you, joyce, the fundamental question i guess is, if, let's say, the trump children, donald jr., ivanka and jared were attempting to do
business using their father's presidential campaign as a pretext to make money, is that illegal? >> well, it could be illegal. the most interesting thing about that question is that was not within mueller's jurisdiction to investigate. that's on going sdny sorts of material or other places. mimi makes a great point about people feeling unsatisfied with the outcome. and we're really at an intermission, not at the end of the play. we've seen the criminal justice act. now we'll see the political accountability piece. that's a little different. >> to go back to the criminal justice aspect. is there a way the public could sue to get the report? when the ken starr report came out, first of all, it was a bestseller, but that was made public in full. i know that was an independent counsel as opposed to special counsel, different rules, different law. but could the public sue to get access to this report? >> sure. >> could congress? >> you can sue anybody. >> i think congress can subpoena
it. that would be the more likely course. also, we should not have to get to that point. i know i'm speaking to the choir here. you have a man out there who is saying i did nothing wrong, and this report vindicates me. okay, then show us the report. if donald trump wants to have a presidency, as he seems to really crave that people believe is legitimate, then let us see that report. you know what? i have said this and some may not agree. if robert mueller tells me these are all a bunch of strange coincidences and nobody in trump's orbit was deliberately -- i use the word purposely -- colluding, not talking about crimes, with russians to manipulate our system, i would believe robert mueller. i think a lot of people would. that's how you get a legitimate presidency. let the facts come out. we don't have them yet. >> that's a good point to end it
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justice department right now. hee says he could give lawmake a summary of the findings of the mueller report as early as today. but, will congress and the public ever get to see the full report? joining me now by phone is georgia congressman john lewis. thank you so much for your time this morning. >> well thank you very much, joy, for having me. >> so, you know, i think that thing that's giving people the most anxiety is the prospect that william barr, a known ally of the president, could simply bury this report and give congress a skewed summary that tends to seems to exonerate the president even if that's not what theon report says. do you have more confidence than the most cynical among us? >> i truly believe that we will not be patient, we will not be still until w we see the entire report. >> and -- >> this report belongs to the american people, not just members of the congress.e, we all have a right to see what is in the report, the entire
report, not a sanitized copy version of the report. i believe that our leadership will insist that we see the entire report and it be made available to the american people. >> and congressman jerry nadler, the chairman of the house judiciary committee, has said that if the congress is not given the full report to review, that there's a possibility of subpoenaing the report and maybe even subpoenaing robert mueller. do you support that, sir? >> i support it 100%. we spent millions and millions of dollars, a lot of time, we believe that if something did occur, i was one of the first members of congress to suggest that thees russians played a mar role in the determining of the outcome of the election and i still believe that today. >> and do you -- republicans are already kind of expressing pre-expressing optimism because there were no new indictments
issued by robert mueller. do you have confidence that william barr has not simply told the white house what is in the report, which i understand he should not have done, but are you confident he has not just told them what's in the report? >> no. i'm not confident. i believe in mueller, but i don't have the same feeling for barr. >> andr do you believe that william barr would potentially, just based on his confirmation hearings, the things he's written thbeforehand, do you believe that there's a possibility that he might just suppress the report? >> well, it is my belief that he may just try to do what he needs to do to protect the president and the people who place him in this position. >> you know, i think for a lot of people f who remember or who have read about watergate the shocking thing here is that there don't seem to be any republicans who are willing to be shocked by the possibility and maybe probability that the
president of the united states was elected with the help of a foreign power. behind the scenes, when you talk to republican members of the house,of are they shocked and a theyhe disturbed by that fact? >> i think some republicans that are disturbed by what they think took place and they are shocked, but it's not a growing number. we need people to come to the point and agree with the democratswi and a growing body the american people that something didat happen, that it waspp a deliberate, systemic effort to rob the american people of an open and clean election. >> and i think because you are so, you know, associated with the fight for voting rights the idea that a foreign power would helpre elect the president essentially disenfranchises the american people, but in your view, sir, that and other things that donald trump has reportedly done, do you believe donald trump should be impeached?
>> well, i think that day will come. i think that day will come. i don't think he's legitimate. i said it at end of the election, and i still believe that today. >> that he is not a legitimate president? >> he is not a legitimate president. >> wow. strong words. congressman john lewis, thank you very much for your time. >> thankry you. >> thank you, sir. more "am joy" after the break. it's kind of like playing your own version of best ball. because here, you can choose any car in the aisle, even if it's a better car class than the one you reserved. so no matter what, you're guaranteed to have a perfect drive. [laughter] (vo) go national. go like a pro. see what i did there?
there's been no collusion. there's been no obstruction. it's all a made up fantasy. >> there was no collusion. there was no obstruction. there was no collusion with russia. >> where is the collusion? >> there's been no collusion, folks. no collusion. >> everybody understand there was no collusion. there's no russia. it was all made up by the democrats. no collusion, no nothing. >> there was no collusion whatsoever. there never has been. >> it's like good morning, donald trump. no collusion. welcome back to "am joy." no collusion. uncharacteristically quiet on special counsel robert mueller finishing up his report. no matter what mueller report's says trump will try to spin it to his advantage. they are high fiving over the fact that he isn't recommending further indictments. trump ally david bossy, the republican activist you will remember behind citizens united is said this to the "washington post" the fact that there are no
more indictments is a big deal. he goes on to say, quote, this president has had his entire two-year presidency under a cloud over this fake made up russian collusion story. sounds very trumpian. the folks at trump tv gloated as follows last night. >> happy no collusion day, tucker. >> the people on tv have been lying to you. they'll deny it now. they'll tell you this was always about trump's taxes or some foreign real estate deal or hush money he paid to a girl. that's a crock. >> the left's favorite conspiracy theory is now dead. it is buried. and there was no collusion. no conspiracy. no obstruction. nothing. the witch hunt is over. >> what would be on their air on monday? hillary clinton news somebody at the table said that i'll take credit for it. they're feeling good. let's not forget there is more than just mueller's investigation that trump and his ile lies have to worry about.
there are other investigations still open in other parts of the justice department namely in the southern district of new york not to mention investigations by house committees controlled by democrats. joining the table david kay johnson author of "it's even worse than you think" tara dowdell, sam none burg, david corn, mother jones washington bureau chief and [ inaudible ] and author of "au alone on the 68th floor." thank you for being here. i'm going to you first, david, on this. donald trump has been weirdly quiet. he went on like a 57 tweet tweet storm last weekend and it was bizarre. he started flailing all over the place and tweeting. he's been walking out to press, to the press, and before he even says good morning, starts yelling no collusion, no collusion, as we showed at the top. he's not saying anything. if the trump people are so confident, why isn't he saying anything? >> probably because his advisors are telling him you have to contain it for the moment but -- >> he never listens to them. >> you can be sure donald is
full of anxiety about what's in the report. donald wins to the extent people see this as a black and white issue. he loses to the extent when we finally get to seat report recognize that there was a collusion. we know lots of collusion. we have a series of convictions over this, indictments, 25 different russians, half of them military officers. >> yep. >> so -- but donald's followers are a black and white world here and he's going to -- they're going to crow about this but why donald hasn't started. he probably wants bill barr to give him a sense of what's coming. >> there's a question of whether bill barr is allowed to do that. part of the challenge we have to trust a lot of people that it's very difficult to have confidence in. bill barr got this job by essentially pledging loyalty to donald trump and by saying this thing was a witch hunt. he's now in church of the justice department and the only one that can give the report to the public. you have congress but for the mueller report, impeachment depends on his.
we're trusting a lot here that has to do with this report and bill barr could keep us from ever getting it. >> exactly. because at this point we're looking at as other people have stated the barr report. we don't know what information he's actually going to make public. we don't know if he's going to engage in actually talking to the trump administration and colluding with them around this report. we just don't know. what we do know is that the republican party has looked the other way for two years as the trump administration has committed crime after crime, corruption after corruption. we don't even need the mueller report. trump admitted on national television to obstruction of justice. the hush money payments are now public information. people are staying at his hotel, foreign governments are staying at his hotel, the predatory loan industry is staying at his hotels and after that are getting legislation and/or executive action that's favorable to them. this is all happening in broad daylight without the mueller
report. the mueller report was about collusion with the scope about collusion with russia, but there's been an array of criminality that's public information. >> yeah. and barbara, i want to go to you on this. the fact is that it's similar to what happened in a sense to bill clinton, once congress decided to go after white water, they were then -- the special counsel, the independent counsel at the time could go anywhere they wanted and wound up going from a land deal to monica lewinsky. they can go pretty far. this investigation has started to reach into donald trump's business. his safe space, the things he did before he was president that had to do with potentially corrupt business practices. should trump and his kids be as confident as they have been sounding because that stuff is now on the table? >> i'm a little disappointed in the report as some people might be and that there are no more indictments. as far as being confident, i think a lot has come out. i think especially with the
kids, i don't think they should be so confident. i do think that more is going to come out in time and i think that the congress is going to do some investigation and it's going to bring out even more. then you have the new york federal courts. so no, nobody should be so confident. >> and sam, not that i'm going to make you speak for the trump supporters out there, but if you look at the record right now, it is weird to me, in any other presidency, i'm going to put it up on the screen, having your campaign chairman indicted and sentenced, having your long-term attorney, michael cohen, pleading guilty and going to jail, having your national security adviser last 27 days and plead guilty to crimes, george papadopoulos, one of your advisors during the campaign, rick gates, alex van der zwaan, all directly connected to your campaign and russian indicted of interfering on your behalf, having criminal records, your former national security adviser has a criminal record, your
former campaign chairman and associate, roger stone your adviser, all of these people have criminal records, 34 charged, 7 pleaded guilty. one convicted at trial. four jailed or incarcerated and sentenced. i don't think there has been a scandal this big since the risky scandal in which ulysses s. grant testified before the first special council in this country, not since then have this many people gone down. the confidence is weird and can you explain it? >> i think when the president told maggie haberman a couple weeks ago when he had a "new york times" interview in the oval said he's not worried about the mueller report, i've been told i'm not a target and she said what about the southern district, he said i don't know about that, i think they're cautiously optimist nick teric of they stopped the indictments. you had the private russians and then the gru and then on roger,
it almost -- they almost got there but didn't. i thought in my grand jury testimony, especially when i had follow up questions from gene reed, that they were going to go there and -- >> they were going to go to roger stone? >> no. that people connected to trump were part of this conspiracy to defraud america. remember, rick gates, paul manafort, pled guilty, found guilty of conspiracy to defraud america vis-a-vis their ukrainian work. >> right. >> he was with lindsey graham last night. you and i talked about this last night and i realized this is one of his favorite nights at mar-a-lago. the palm beach gop having their annual dinner. lindsey graham has said he's chair of the senate judiciary committee, if it doesn't have to deal with russia i don't care. because of the stronghold that the president has over the party, over the financial apparatus for 2020, unless something comes out that really shocks the conscience, and his numbers go down, and you have --
it's not only the republican party, it's that independent, it's this 20% of independents that could flip, then i think that he's in cruise control to survive. however, the democrats are at an advantage, i've been through this in 2016 because they will feel that he got away with this. >> yeah. and that's the thing is, and david, you and i talked about this, i think in the last hour, that because four of the republicans to sam's point, unless it's clear case of collusion and conspiracy with russia, republicans are discounting anything to do with corruption, the immol lieuments clause violation, outright criminality they don't care. >> i have to say i'm glad you left the campaign early. >> you're lucky. >> you're not on those lists. i was talking about this with joy last night. >> didn't feel too good at the time but worked out. >> that's a good thing. >> right. >> we have a situation and everyone has said this over and over again, it's become a cliche, if obama, if obama, blah-blah-blah.
there are 17 investigations going on now. you probably could add in another couple dozen scandals and that doesn't even barely scratch if you include the cabinet members. >> yeah. >> it's clear from the base, from the base, the people that sam is talking about, the republican base and independents that lean trump, they don't give a dam. they want a guy who is mean and nasty and they want a guy who cheats. they don't mind that. you know, trump always came in saying i screw people. i know how to get things done. you know, he never said i follow the rules. >> right. >> it was baked into the cake. now the russian scandal as we talked about last hour, is a profound scandal. profound. it gets to the sanctity of our elections and why patriotic americans on all sides don't care, i don't know. >> yeah. >> the other things trump. but the other stuff is all about greed, corruption. i think it's easier for them to say that's part of the trump brand. >> right. >> he is corrupt. >> yeah. >> short point. what i worry about in terms of if you're looking at this from
trump having major problems for 2020, when did trump tower moscow start? when i was there i didn't know about it. i was asked about it extensively. they put me on the grand jury record about it. we will learn that from felix sater this week when he test nice. how far is mueller report going in his report and do we get into the transition into those meetings which very problematic. >> yeah. and not only that but by running for president, donald trump has opened up his life and the trump tower moscow project is an example of the parts where he merged his previous life, whatever you believe about his real estate dealings, you know more than i do, he's not really a developer as much as a licenser, we've learned more about that and that's open. is there stuff in there trump should be worried about from a legal point of view? >> one of the things when we see the mueller report, i want to understand is why they -- mueller report's team didn't press further about the meeting in trump tower in june of 2016 where don jr. openly welcomes the involvement of the russian
governments, told flat out the russian government wants to help you. the only appropriate response is to call the fbi's counterintelligence office which they didn't do. mueller report didn't bring a charge to this is one of the great mysteries we need to know about from the mueller report and why it's essential that it be made public. if it exonerates donald it exonerates him. if it doesn't we need to see the gray. >> particularly since during the cohen public testimony cohen basically made it sound like nothing gets done by don jr. unless his father gives him permission. >> that's exactly right. because they want his approval. so by definition, of course, they're going to take -- here's this wonderful thing that we just got delivered to us by the russians that could potentially swing the election. in any campaign that would happen, let alone the situation where it's a father/son relationship where the son is constantly seeking the father's approval. i want to make a point. people were saying that trump was unhimmed over the weekend. he, is he unhinged, absolutely.
be clear, this is messaging, the no collusion over and over again, the repetition of that, the repetition throughout conservative mad and specifically on fox news of that no collusion happy no collusion day, and i shouldn't be repeating it right now because what it is about is planting that in the psyche of the american public. >> it's like r. kelly jumping up into gayle king interview. >> it's advertising. >> absolutely. >> so barbara, from your point of view, as somebody who worked at trump organization, is there more there in that business that donald trump should be very concerned about, that those things are being investigated? >> i do think that definitely every element of the dirty money element of it, the corruption element of it, all of that is available for investigation and i'm expecting and hopeful it will be. let me go back to one thing you were talking about for a second the meeting in trump tower, there's no question that donald
not only knew about the meeting but probably directed it. i'm sure that he told, prepped the people that were going to be there on what to say and how to react to it. his attitude was we'll see how it works. >> yeah. >> the fact that he's getting away with that, may be getting away with that, is very problematic to me. that goes to everything else that he does. when you start right there, and then you go through it, he was running that operation throughout and i do think that there was collusion with russia whether they show it or not. it's unfortunate. >> we will see. it's not over yet. there are still other investigations happening. i think it's important that we just keep paying attention to it. david kaye johnson will be back at 6:00 this evening. tara, sam, david, barbara, thank you all very much. coming up, the 2020 contenders respond to the mueller report. that's next. to the mueller repo. that's next.
it's frustrating me a lot. it's ridiculous. it's taking away from everything trump is doing and it's just like a distraction. >> why does he get -- he should be the one that is more uncomfortable than anybody else in this country. why are we treating him differently. >> every i think person left of center wants to see, you know, dirt on trump, but if it's there it's there. if it's there it's there, if
it's not it's not. the person to have found that is robert mueller. >> that was eye iowa voters reacting to the news of the end of the mueller report investigation and some of their expectations are being echoed in the halls of congress and on the campaign trail as democrats are waiting to see just how transparent attorney general william barr will be about robert mueller's report. here's what senator cory booker told leeann caldwell in south carolina moments ago. >> do you think that the report should be subpoenaed if it's not released? >> i'm going to say very clearly that i believe it should be released and believe this moment of history i think barr is going to understand that this is a moment where he can affirm and support the integrity of our government and restore people's faith in the system. i think history has got its eyes on him and he needs to do the right thing and release the report, with obviously the appropriate aspects of national security or personal information redacted, but he should release the report to the public. >> joining me now by phone is
julian castro. thank you for being here. i want to start by reading you the joint statement that was put out by congressman jarlds nadler, elijah cummings, maxine waterss, and to be clear if the special counsel has reason to believe that the president has engaged in criminal or other serious misconduct the justice department has an obligation not to conceal such information and must be subjected to accountability. if the justice department is unable to do so then the need to provide congress with the relevant information is paramount. because the justice department maintains that a sitting president cannot be indicted to then withhold evidence of wrongdoing from congress because a sitting president cannot be charged is to convert justice department policy into the means for a cover-up. sir, do you conquer wiand belie a cover-up could be in the works?
>> i believe this administration has not been forthcoming with congress or the american people, so it is essential for the department of justice to release the report. on top of that, i think that, you know, it's essential that congress be able to do its job as you know and a lot of our audience knows, this is not the only investigation that is going forward. the house intelligence committee, the judiciary committee, continue their investigations. the southern district of new york continues its investigation. it's important that we have that report. and i believe that that's the only way that the american people are going to have any confidence that they're getting the full truth here. >> what if william barr refuses to do it. you're seeking the presidency. sounds like at the moment the president of the united states has extraordinary power and he controls the justice department and the person leading the justice department at the moment has the means to cover-up any crimes in that report. do you believe that the president at this point is too powerful? >> well, believe that there
needs to be a shifting in the balance of power back to congress. and that this president has usurped a lot of the power of congress, whether that's his declaration of a national emergency to try get his wall funded, even though he couldn't get congress to appropriate the funds, or withholding information from important committees like the judiciary committee, the intelligence committee, so yeah, i do think that congress needs to assert its power. if need be they should subpoena the document and the american people should get a look at it. of course if there is truly sensitive national security information there, things like that can be redacted, personal information can be redacted. all of those things are very common. but the report should be released. >> and again, knowing that you are seeking this office, do you believe the president of a united states should be indictable? >> yes, i do. especially if these are crimes that were committed before he was elected as president. that's the other thing, you
know, we take a step back, as i'm sure been mentioned before, first that the fact that this president may well be celebrating that he's not being indicted, tells you a lot about the status of his presidency. how low he has gone. secondly, it may well be that there's no call for an indictment of the president because robert mueller is following established department of justice guidelines that say a sitting president should not be indicted. until that full report is released and we know the perspective of robert mueller and the findings of fact, the american people really are not going to know what donald trump did or didn't do or other members of his team did or didn't do. what we do know is that several folks on his campaign team that he was close to have already been indicted, including for relations that they had with
russians trying to influence the election. >> and i asked earlier, congressman john lewis, if he believed donald trump was a legitimate president and he believes he is not legitimate. do you believe that donald trump is a legitimate president? >> well, i think this is going tell us a lot about that. the question i have is, how much of his victory was actually chaukds up to russian meddling. he won three states, michigan, wisconsin, and pennsylvania, by less than 75,000 votes. it was a very, very close election. he didn't win the popular vote. he lost it by 2.8 million votes. only won the electoral college with a very, very slim margin. so is it believable that russian meddling he and his campaign team certainly encouraged, we remember the press conference where he said, russia are you listening and talked about finding those e-mails, they definitely encouraged it. did they collude. he was the beneficiary i think of that meddling and we'll see the extent to which that made a
difference. >> julian castro, if you become the nominee, the democratic nominee, you will presumably facing a president who had ep from russia before and other attorney powe foreign powers and could have that help again. how could you defeat an incumbent president that has the help potentially of foreign powers? >> that is a great question and one of the reasons he has not been forthcoming in this whole process and that he wants the same assistance that he got last time. he wants the same help. and that just means that we have to be as vigilant as possible basic things like the campaigns, you know, instituting security measures that we're more aware of now, and also the american people, the public, have to be a little bit more skeptical of what they see on platforms like facebook and twitter and even instagram and others. we need to be a more informed electorate in addition to the campaigns being as secure as they can. >> julian castro, democratic
candidate for president, thank you very much for your time. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> thank you. coming up more "am joy." jo" >> i don't think he's legitimate. i said it at the end of the election, and i still believe that today. >> that he is not a legitimate president. >> is not a legitimate president. president. [zara larsson - "wow"] ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop make u say oh my god ♪
the network operations center for comcast. we are working to make things simple, easy and awesome. we've said all along look, we looked into collusion and found no collusion. yet that was only a few months into the trump administration and yet mueller report continued to -- mueller continued to go on. if it turns out we're hearing there aren't going to be further indictments it does vindicate president trump but also raises and gives credence to those claims this was a witch hunt. >> some congressional republicans and conservatives are spinning the mueller report as vindication for donald trump and appear to have forgotten that the mueller investigation has led to criminal charges against 34 people including six former associates and advisors. those indictments have been in three buckets related to the cyber attack on the election, to
help trump win, lyes to the fbi and financial crimes. so what would have to be in the actual mueller report for republicans to conclude as republicans ultimately did with richard knicksen there is, indeed, a cancer on the trump white house? joining me is republican strategist caden dawson. what would have to be in that report for the average republican the steve scalise of the world, to say there is a cancer on this presidency? >> i think really, joy, that conversation is over. if it was there bob mueller report and $40 million would have found it. as the report becomes transparent, which it might not over the next couple months, you'll find a lot of things in there. like you said, there have been 34 people charged with crimes, five people have been convicted of crimes, $40 million has been spent, and the president's message has been reinforced in the base of there was no obstruction of justice, there is no indictment. i've always said for the last
six months the biggest fear the administration had was an obstruction of justice charge that would have paralyzed the presidency and that now seems to be over. so the politics of the democratic presidential campaign and 16 or 17 people running is going on. everybody is going to talk about this. the congress is going to continue to especially the subchairman and everybody in the democratic house will talk about it, but at the end of the day, as far as the trump administration is, he will continue to talk about it also is the problem. it seems to be that mueller report h-- mueller has vindicatd the president. >> we don't know what's in the report. that's -- we don't know what's in the report. i think people might be a bit premature. if 34 people had been indicted in the obama administration and six people including his campaign chairman and his national security adviser had been convicted, and his former attorney was facing prison, what would republicans be saying
today? >> we would be yelling as loud as the democrats are yelling now. politics is politics. we'd be trying -- >> impeach him, right. >> one at a time and continue to talk about it. sure. that's what we do. >> and so mitch mcconnell yesterday said on social media that he said he hopes william barr will provide as much information as possible and i welcome the announcement that the special counsel has completed his investigation in russia's efforts to interfere with the election. i hope the special counsel's report will help inform and improve our efforts to protect our democracy. that's a little hard for people to believe because mitch mcconnell stood in the way of a joint statement by republicans and democrats that would have been bipartisan with the former president of the united states, barack obama, with warning the public about russian interference. he essentially threatened the former president that if he tried to warn the public, that mcconnell would interpret that as election interference. is there any reason that the american people should conclude that mitch mcconnell cares at all about russian interference? it helped his party. >> i think that we all know that
the internet is out there and social media there is, joy, and this is not the last time or the first time we're going to see interference in our elections. we have to be smart as the voting public to figure that out the best we can. at the end of the day i never question mitch mcconnell but i will warn you if you think you're going to see the full mueller report unredacted you got a better chance of getting donald trump's tax returns first. you're not going to see either one. >> you think william barr will cover it up? >> i don't think he'll cover it up. there will be a lot of stuff redacted, at love things that mueller had in there -- >> isn't that same thing? >> classified and we'll have that conversation time and time again. >> i think that's the same thing. i think you guys said the same thing. always great to talk to you. thank you very much. thank you. this is a big news day. i'll be right back. no, not right back. i will be right back. i will be right back, but also back at 6:00 p.m. tonight. joe, stop laughing. special coverage of mueller
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now that donald trump -- sorry. special counsel robert mueller has officially submitted his report it all comes down to trump's attorney general william barr who will decide how much will be made public. a real question of whether barr, who is a clear ally of the president, and on the record opponent of this investigation, has a duty to share mueller's findings with us, the american people, or if he will bury the report and if he does bury the report what does that mean for constitutional republic or at least in theory the people have a right to check on their government and a right not to be ruled by a president who can use flunkies and political allies to bury investigations against himself. joining me is msnbc contributor malcolm nance, nick ackerman, legal analyst, elie mystal, editor of above the law.com, natasha bear, staff writer at the atlantic, and pollster fernand amandi. i want you to answer that question, fernand, we talk about this a lot, is this a constitutional republic if the
president of the united states can use a flunky in the attorney general's office to bury an investigation against himself? >> absolutely not. joy, i think we need to think of it in these terms. number one, regardless of what comes out of the mueller report, and we all need to be patient and wait for those results, that doesn't mean we need to be placated by what comes out of that report, the american people and our american congress does not need the mueller report, joy, as a permission slip to continue investigating donald trump for the committing of crimes that as everyone has said this morning, has happened before our very eyes. having said that, i believe in robert mueller. i think that everything we've heard about this man in terms of duty to country, duty to the rule of law, suggests to me we have take very seriously what comes out of that investigation and recognizing it's very limited in scope. at the end of the day, do we wait for the mueller report? absolutely. should the mueller report be the
be all, end all of what we do with this president that every day continues to walk us down the path to autocracy? absolutely not, joy. >> to natasha, those are fundamental questions. let me ask them to you, natasha. in your reporting, has bill barr briefed the white house on what's in that report? has he told them, given them a head's up? >> no. the white house has not been briefed on the content of the report and they kind of received the notification just before everyone else did yesterday that mueller had submitted it. as far as we know, the white house doesn't know what's in it and there was also reportedly a conference call held by gop leaders last night in which they were happy, they expressed happiness there were no more indictments but also said let's hold the brakes and see what the report says. they're not all out celebrating just yet. the white house, of course, is still kind of in the dark which may explain the president ace lack of tweets this morning. it's very interesting that he has had nothing to say on the matter. but look, i totally agree with
what fernand was saying and i also think we need to remember that bill barr is going to continue to consult with mueller throughout this process of what can be made public in the report. and consult with rosenstein who has been overseeing this investigation. it's not just going to be -- it will be barr's ultimate decision, but he's not going to make it alone. he's going to continue to meet with mueller and ask him look, what parts of this, should we make it all public, things we need to protect like sources and methods we can't make public, how can we get around that kind of like how the intelligence community released an intelligence community assessment about russia's election interference that was public and another one that was classified. they were able to release both. is something similar going to happen here. there's going to be conversations about this. i think that the first step that we're going to see is barr is going to release the principle findings to congress to reporters who cover the justice department but that's not going to be the end of it.
we may see a report that's completely declassified that covers and really encompasses all of mueller's findings. >> reporting there was a nbc news reporting that gop members were on the call, interesting names that were part of that report reported briefing, devin nunes, jim jordan, another one of his chief defenders, steve scalise, you've seen out talking, liz cheney, the gop conference chair, daughter of dick cheney and others, another wait and see and caution but glad no indictments. nick, is there any reason to have confidence in william barr here? >> so far so good. the letter says all the right things. >> yeah. >> he's really adhered to the letter of the regulations which is good. he has said that he wants to make this as transparent as possible. >> yeah. >> there are things he cannot release that are grand jury or that are classified. i think we have to wait and see.
we just don't know if he's going to be true to his word. all i can say is so far so good. >> the letter nick is talking about, a little pull out, his letter to congress in which he said i remain committed to as much transparency as possible. i remain cynical. are you on the cynical side with me or optimistic side with nick? >> is trump's flunky going to release a report that might be damaging to his sugar daddy? i don't think so. i don't know why we think that barr isn't the one who stopped the investigation. this is a 22 month long investigation, barr has been on the scene a month and now we're done? that doesn't strike anybody as odd? no. i have absolutely no confidence that bill barr will do anything other than what is in the best interest of donald trump. now, what might be in the best interest of donald trump is to release information about all the people that mueller prosecuted and why and release information about all the reasons mueller didn't choose to prosecute trump or his children,
without releasing any of the information about what they actually did. why wouldn't he do that? what trump administration official has conducted themselves honorably blue this entire process? none. why would barr be different? >> that's the challenge. unlike the independent counsel, which can be a run away thing of its own, that's controlled by congress, but in this -- you know it will leak, if it got to congress it comes out that day. the fact that this investigation takes place within the justice department which donald trump essentially controls and he got rid of the problem jeff sessions who the one decent thing that he did was recuse himself, this guy is not recused, it feels like the seeds of a cover-up are here. >> i mean, theoretically it could happen, right. these are humans all fallible maybe he does feel some sort of loyalty to him. that's -- bill barr is one guy. there are secretaries, there are people who have to handle these documents. there are the fbi agents who did this themselves. i don't think that there's room
for a cover-up because why cover up the greatest scandal in the history of the united states with the greatest scandal in the history of the united states. an attorney general trying to engineer that. i don't believe that's going to happen because if they do, then you can just see copies of this thing falling out by the palate load in front of "the washington post." >> this could be the pentagon papers in a sense. the challenge i think malcolm, if there are implications in this report that donald trump actually is or was an agent of a foreign power, it feels like the american people deserve to know that. >> they do deserve to know that. the only thing we don't deserve to know, as the former spy on the panel, which intelligence agency dialed to what frequency to collect whatever. right. all you need to know is some stuff was collected, it was collected technically and it said x. all right. i want to see that. i can tell you where it dpls at that point. i don't care about the classified sources and methods. i want the bottom line. did the president of the united
states, was he a bum bling fool, that this document is front of actually his indictment document. >> and fernand, you're down in florida, which at the moment is trump country where mar-a-lago is, and the questions are, there are a lot of loose threads. still roger stone down in florida as well. all of these questions about wikileaks and julian assange and what involvement the campaign had with them. they were the carrier for all of the information about the clinton campaign. that's all out there. i wonder if down where you are, do florida voters get that and care about that? >> i mean, i think they do, but i think florida voters are like voters across the country. everybody is looking for that moment and i think malcolm made a comment yesterday that really resonated with me, i think julian assange, that was the one missing indictment if we're to believe the reporting that suggests that nothing else is to come out of the mueller investigation, that's the one that i think is somewhat perplexing.
it might have been revealed inadvertently he was under the eye of suspicion. one last point to all of those watching across the country and at home, a lot of people are nervous and tense, speaking of florida, it was actually in florida where al capone was during the saint valentine's day massacre. elliott never found the smoking gun audiotape of al capone giving the order but got him on tax be evasion because they ne he was a criminal. the same rules apply to donald trump. i think they will get him eventually even if it does come out of a smoking gun mueller report. >> i'm glad you brought this up. about elliott ness and the untouchables, does that line from sean connery, right, what are you prepared to do now and what we don't know is what the democrats are prepared to do now. so far, not a lot. >> the democrats, you've got the southern district of new york, you've got very professional prosecutors there. >> you worked there. >> i did. >> they can't be shut down by this. >> i know the woman who is now
in charge of that investigation. audrey strauss. shea is excellent. she's is super intelligent and super diligent. she is a female robert mueller. there is no way anything is going to be covered up in the southern district of new york. >> you also have state investigations, investigations of the state of new york, cy vance investigations, [ inaudible ] is still out there. i wonder about the democrats quickly, let's go to that side of your reporting, are the democrats prepared to act in addition to trying to get the mueller report or are they going to do a timeline where inn they have to obtain the mueller report before they take further action? >> i think this is actually a pretty big misconception and one that i wanted to bring up earlier as well, the democrats, it's always been a line that they wanted to wait for the mueller report to come out before actually taking action, but when buzzfeed wrote that story saying that the president had essentially subborn perjury for michael cohen, saying that he had told him directly to lie
to congress about the timing of the trump tower negotiations in moscow, that -- they sprung into action. at that point, conversations started to pop up in which many democrats, and it was evolve consensus were saying we need to seriously look into launching impeachment proceedings. that was not something that mueller found that he released to the public. that was something publicly reported that democrats were saying we need to investigate this further and if so, we're not going to wait for mueller to release his report. we'll launch proceedings based on this finding. i think it's always been a pretty big misconception here that the democrats are kind of going to sit on their hands and this is according to my own reporting from the house judiciary committee. they're going to sit on their hands and wait and see what mueller finds. i don't think that's the case. they're going to pursue their own investigations and they're going to be more emboldened if they're not able to get the full report and if the findings if they get it, are not
satisfactory. >> nick, you went through this process as an investigator during the nixon years. is that how it works? if criminal findings are made but the mueller report says we can't take action on it because of this rule that you can't indict a sitting president, if those get turned over, that is the pretext potentially for an impeachment hearing. > oh, absolutely. the reason they have that rule in place such as a rule it is, is that it's because congress ultimately has the ability to remove a president for impeachment. that's the only justification for that rule. if you didn't have that, there would be no reason for the justice department to take any kind of a rule like that. so yes, this could wind up being a road map to the impeachment particularly if it comes down that what donald trump did was tantamount to treason. that would make all the difference. i will leave it to malcolm to talk about the treason. >> about the treason aspect. >> i've got finish a book. i've been getting this for the
last 24 hours in large numbers. people upset that donald trump jr. and jared kushner weren't indicted and that be little video of everyone being arrested by the fbi didn't play out the way they waned. intelligence activities are funny. when you do counter intelligence, you're out after the players an infiltrating the united states. we got the internet research agency and everyone all the way up to the kremlin's guy who ordered it. maybe they couldn't get jared kushner for going into the russian embassy and asking for cryptologic systems. mueller may have had that discussion and said we can't get these guys on this, and the southern district of new york goes hold my beer. >> they can get them on other stuff. the other issue that is annoying a lot of people is that part of the calculation on the democrats' part seems to be political. that somehow it will help donald trump politically in 2020 if an
impeachment proceedings took place. the constitutional argument is that's not supposed to matter. it's your job to investigate this. have you independent investigative authority and democrats should use it. >> i hate to be in the position to criticize speaker pelosi who i think is doing an outstanding job otherwise. she was absolutely wrong with those ridiculous comments that impeachment is not really worth doing for donald trump. there is a constitution had duty to engage in the process and it is the very process of impeachment that nick akerman will speak to or the beginning that have is what got the republicans in '74 to finally flip on nixon. i think that methodical comprehension of taking this case to the american people and having the american people be the judge because they're the ones who impeachment is for, not republican senators. it's for the american people and rule of law. that's why we need to begin impeachment proceedings. i don't think we need that will mueller permission slip from the report again to do so. >> you're getting a high five.
nick and ellie. >> i think it's already started. we saw 81 different organizations and people being subpoenaed already. i mean, that is the precursor to impeachment proceedings. >> it could.coming. >> nobody kills -- there are other things that can happen and there are other ways you can go about this. >> from the princess bride. nobody kills the prince. >> you kill my father. >> i want to. >> it's a great movie. >> mueller grandpa, why did you tell me the story. >> on that be skeptical note is, actually, let me give you the last word on this. we come back to where we started. i'm going to finish where we started with you because it does bother me that the average american doesn't see the sort of through line between the potential for a president of the united states got elected with a foreign power and why that matters to them. >> right. >> why does it matter to the
average person if donald trump in fact used help from a foreign power to become president? >> let me put it this way. when benedict arnold tried to sell west point to the british for the equivalent of about $1 million today, and at the same time was going to turn over general george washington and his staff, benjamin franklin said you know, judas sold one man. benedict arnold may have tried to sell 3 million. the question that we have right now was did donald trump try to sell 340 million people to russia. that's the question. >> it is a question. we hope we'll get an answer from mueller. i agree with the panel that congress is the entity in power to find out for us. another great super panel. more after the break. before we go, we're doing it now? let's have a total change of pace. i'm going to go all today show and wish my bestie miss kim
mcrae a happy birthday. she's down in the mia with in the sunshine having her birthday. hopefully having cupcakes. i spoke to her this morning. i wanted to do it on television. love you and we'll talk to you guys later. i'll see you after the break. bye. guys later i'll see you after the break bye. [zara larsson - "wow"] ♪ ♪ baby i'm not even in a gown ♪ and the only thing u have to say is wow ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪
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i love being in the same studio space with you. >> i love the appreciation for all that you have for setting this story up for me and taking it from here. talk about big news. here we go. >> this is the thing. happy mueller day. >> good day to all of you from world headquarters in new york. it's 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to weekends with alex witt". the mueller report landed with dems making clear what they want. >> everything in this report and its work product should be released to congress. >> the most important thing is that the mueller report needs to be released in its entirety. >> the whole report right away is what we will be demanding. >> the end of the beginning of the investigation not the beginning of the end. >> back to the beginning, new insight into the president's son-in-law and how the