tv Dateline Extra MSNBC March 25, 2019 1:00am-2:01am PDT
the best place to listen. to start your free 30-day trial, text listen5 to 500500 today. ♪ welcome back, i am ari melber reporting on the mueller report. bob mueller did not find chargeable collusion. democrats calling for r a full releast of the report. let's get right to it our paul butler, eleanor cliff is here. a senior doj official and jean rossi. we have been doing a lot of laws here. eleanor, i turn to you on what washington thinks. what do they think of this collusion and barr who's taking
a big swing with a big muscle move against the person who was the biggest muscle, affiliated with the doj, bob mueller. >> the resistance has spent the last 22 months with mueller and spending a lot of time and every jot and everything having to do with russia. the results of this have really made a lot of democrats question whether they put their faith in the wrong horse. and no one is going to bail on robert mueller. i think that's not appropriate.
right now i think they're looking at barr, at the attorney general and wondering how rigged this whole thing may have been going in. >> did he work it this weekend? >> well, those hours spent pouring those many pages. if he had not come out of some sort of a letter or conclusion, we would all be jumping up and down. >> he gave us something on friday, he could have said i hope to update by the end of next week. i am going to take a vigorous approach. >> he says i am going to give top line conclusions. those are favorable to the white house. >> you were on the mclaughlin report. i don't claim to be anywhere near that level. >> what would your mclaughlin's panelists would say? >> i heard criticism of barr for his potential approach whether
he was trying to put the fix in. i am curious because you are an expert in this. what about his skills here? >> he's got that long record behind him and he was very careful when he testified. he dodged all the serious questions. he's operating within the lines. he has not done anything that's so -- prosperous that he make himself the target. i think there is going to be a lot of court fights going forward. the democrats understand that there is no easy way to get this president out of office legally. i think he's going to have to be removed the old fashion way which is the ballot box. to me that basically says he's going to get elected. he's going to spin this report from mueller clearly this is not exoneration.
>> your view eleanor clift that donald trump is more likely to be on the path of reelection at the end as oppose to the beginning. >> he's in better shape, yes, legally, he faces a whole world of woes afterwards >> we got lawyers all over the place but eleanor, you are saying something people do not want to hear. >> reelection of $22 million and they did not find anything. i think a lot of people are going to believe that. i think the democrats need to continue to investigate but i think they have to be careful. they have to have to go about the business of passing legislation for the people and not get totally caught up in the russia collusion which apparently did not happen. >> let's lawyer out for a second. >> the single most important word in your intro today was chargeable.
no chargeable collusion. nothing that could meet the reasonable doubt standards, at least with mueller and the blessing that barr could find, that does not mean there was not misconduct or collusion or attempt to obstruct. the assessment we should make, why the president of the united states should be behaving this way. go back to 2016, you have the trump tower meeting and we can relitigate the facts their. you are smirking. >> i don't smirk. >> he's smiling. >> i do think the mere fact that the president could not be charged, i don't think it is the only conversation here particularly given that. congress is the arbitor. >> i am looking a you because i know you worked in the obama justice department, correct? >> yes, i did, proudly.
>> you know this probe is to deal with crimes. i found a lot of crimes. donald trump had more criminals advising him at any presidents at this point. he fired james comey in a stupid way. >> everybody looks up to me. >> how about this? i look up to you because you serve your country. i look up to eleanor because i have been watching her my whole life and i love that i get to talk to you. i do look up to you. i am not being picky about that.
is it incumbent on people like you to say yes on the collusion side the fact that mueller did not find a crime, is it self-significance? >> the president of the united states is not an ordinary target when there is an entire body which is the congress of the united states that can investigate. i investigate overseas. the oversight process is critical and separation of powers of the function of government. so i don't want to say it is insignificant that the president was not charged and frankly we -- >> you don't want to say it is not insignificant. >> it is a lot of negatives. >> that's a xxx. >> let me get jean. >> i look up to you. >> we look up to each other >> we do. >> we are bromance here. >> here is what i want to say right now. as a threshold matter, bill barr, made a huge mistake and here is how.
he should have recused himself from pulling an al haake. al haake held a press conference, i am in charge here. i am in control. bill barr pulled an al haake by saying in this letter pitiful. he made himself al haake, i am going to decide. he should have recused himself. bill barr was deputy attorney general, head of the olc, my supervisor told me that the justice department prosecutor, you may have heard this. it has to be pure than caesar's wife. why? >> we'll see. we'll show people this like we did with john flannery. >> jean ross's notes.
what upsets you the most that you think it is not wrong but proper for an a.g. >> what is wrong and why this letter needs some sanitizer and it really does, he should not have made a decision on obstruction because in june of 2018, he already said i am not going to decide obstruction. number two, in those 48 hours. >> slow down. you are saying this attorney general took a position on this matter before he was put into power. >> yes, that should have been grounds for recusal so that's why this letter meant nothing to me. >> i look at the unsolicited -- he said it was grossly irresponsible, this is the man today made the decision of not enough evidence to bring
charges against the president. what we have here, we are learning through history. this is the most controversial investigation of the president and american history. all we have right now is some skeletal information. some of it is ominous. what is it that mueller learned which made him unable to exonerate the president on the issue of obstruction. the american people must know that. >> he basically said it was close call. he punt it and i think that's a shock. i think it is rare that a prosecutor leaves that decision up to someone else. as i recall, the senate democrats grilled barr and asked him if he would recuse himself and pressed him. he said no, what's to make him? he has to do it himself. there is no mechanism. >> eleanor, has barr done
something that no one else in the trump's orbit could do. i don't know if whitaker can pull this off or sessions work in this way. could barr come in and bend the heavy and closer, dennis erickson. >> our cleveland indians. >> sure. are we doing multiple teams? >> sure. some of the trump folks today seemed surprise by how strong the letter was. they felt the under lining material was worst for them and they got a letter that surprised them. >> he put his reputation on the line. i think even with matthew whitaker people thought he would stop if it came to throwing his own body across the track. that's what barr had done. people who worked with him, democrats, too, say he is a responsible and intellectual man
who cares about the justice department. i kind of trusted him. >> i respect him but again what he did today, he put people, rod rosenstein and they made a decision, a legal decision that mueller says it was hard and complicated. they made it in 48 hours where they have hundreds of lawyers. >> here is the final point. this is a letter that talks a lot about what mueller found but barely quotes him. name check, rod rosenstein, acted oversight of the probe. it is only signed by one person. it is not the mueller report, it is signed by bill barr. as promise, i have a break down. final thought from you. >> he did not have to make the determination on obstruction. mueller was silent on it. they did not have the evidence
to sustain an obstruction charge and then wash the hands and submit the letter. >> that would have handed off to congress which clearly he did not want to do. that's where the politics come in. >> imagine. >> this is all more reason why all these need to be made public. we need to see what the findings were and what the witnesses said and everything, subject to all the grand jury disclosures and so on. people need to see what's in there. there is a huge public appetite and public interest. >> i am going to turn to the break that i promised viewers as part of our special coverage. i think it was john mclaughlin who once said you could have been anywhere in the world tonight but you are here with us. >> exactly. >> was that john mclaughlin? >> if not, i am sure he wishes he said it. >> i thought it was aaron burr, i guess. the black rapping aaron burr. >> i believe he's with the
cleveland one time. >> or maybe with the sox. >> i think you said did barr work it? >> i think he flipped it. >> i am about to say that. >> this is not the beat. can go there, thank you paul butler. >> i will tell you something since i am a paul butler's fan. you wrote a book called the "hip-hop justice." i am going to play some important sound, i want to thank paul, eleanor and eliot and jean for being apart of my coverage. i want to show you before i do that right now how all of this news broke live today. we are coming on the air right now because today after a more than two years investigations, we'll get a sense of what is in special counsel's report mueller report.
>> the special counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examine conduct constituted obstruction. while the report did not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. >> we are in some instances sharing in realtime what this letter says. it sounds like everybody is seeing it at the same time and members of congress and the media. >> a lot of people are seeing this all for the same time. that's why as promised now i turn tonight to my special report for you on what this mueller probe in total found. what it accomplishes and what it means and what is left to be done. >> bob mueller captivated a lot of the country with the way he conducted this probe in a culture of shouting and political era by retrolling. bob mueller never held a press
conference or never leaked. this is more than something about style. this was approached to public service that yes operated as an inherit to donald trump's entire political existence. mueller was not assigned to get trump. he was assigned to investigate and he links to trump associates or other crimes arising out of the probe. you can think of it as three topics. the russian interference and trump links and other crimes. mueller have just finished his probe on friday and this ending marks the end of indictments on those three topics so what's different tonight is we can draw some conclusions of what mueller found. he found russian election interference indicting 12 russians in exposing their tactics. he found a lot of crimes
throughout these 22 months. 37 indictments. he found many action of trump related to the crime of obstruction which are noted in the new letter why barr wrote mueller did not exonerate trump, an issue that was decided by congress. mueller repeated all of that in one day in the end. if he issued 37 indictments simultaneously, one can imagine washington and much of the country overwhelmed and melting down by the efficacy and the crime and what he found. mueller was appointed because president trump fired comey and cited the russia probe as part of his reasoning. think about that as we reflected this. if bob mueller never been appointed, it is not clear whether the trump administration would ever evenly busted the interference plot, detailing
their acts to the public, led alone indict them and going out and having a trump's appointee. >> indictment charges 13 russian nationals and three russian committees for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the united states political system including the 2016 presidential election. >> as for the election conspiracy probe meaning did americans help those russians? let's be clear because i have heard some people debate this right here on our special tonight. we do know mueller took this seriously. we learned 13 requests of evidence for foreign government. he unloaded 2800 subpoenas, demanding evidence about trump campaign officials and business activities and he scoured all the areas for potential collusion and conspiracy. the questions of trump tower and
campaigns and stolen e-mails that would have come out from wikileaks. when trump's associates lied about those issues like michael cohen, mueller busted it them, too. when it came to this collusion itself, mueller did not find a chargeable conspiracy. there is no such indictments and no sealed indictments waiting on that one. that's an important result of this probe. we know mueller investigated thoroughly and while let me be clear. we won't have all of the context until more of the report comes out. chairman nadler noted that tonight. we know the mueller probe is over. mueller concluded there was not enough evidence for charging americans for conspireing with the russians. we knew the outline of that on friday. bill barr plucked a sentence from the mueller explanation releasing it to the world.
as we take stocks of mueller results, there are other crimes. i want to show you that, too. mueller busted a crime spree from michael cohen and security adviser and campaign adviser, the longest serving political advisers that donald trump had. rick gates and manafort and roger stone is still awaiting trial. if the mueller probe resulted in one thing that can't be wiped away, it is that donald trump now has the fastest highest rate of indictments for his advisers than any president ever. while no chargeable conclusion may be inconvenient for some. the crimes on your screen tonight which are the product of this entire probe are inconvenient for any trump allies trying to celebrate something tonight. donald trump has hired more crooks than most presidents have done in their full two terms. why am i telling you all this? these are the public facts
coming out of the mueller probe. some people would like some of these facts to be different, some trump supporters wish the probe did not uncover what you saw on your screen, so many crooks working at the highest levels for donald trump. it looks terrible. it looks terrible, michael cohen and roger stone have been now convicted in charge respectively. i want to be clear with you, there are others who wish this probe would uncovered more evidence for a chargeable election conspiracy in order to get trump associates. some people want those charges because they think they are true. they expected there would be a chargeable conspiracy after hearing so much about trump publicly asking for russia's help and his aides going to meetings. other people, let's be real may just hope for charges that challenge the legitimacy of this controversial president. those motivations are not what guides our justice system
considered. it is the independent prosecutors who have the far, greater grasp of all the evidence and some of its secrets and looked at this for 22 months and determined there was not enough evidence to press those charges on conspiracy and beyond a reasonable doubt. the rule of law require that is we respect these outcomes without regard for what people may have hoped or expected. we all know trump era had been full of calls for certain people to stand up to their side or their base and to stand up and defend principles or facts of the american way. if you watch the news or political discussions, i am sure you have seen many of those conversations and often those calls are directed to congressional republicans and for good reasons.
tonight some of those calls may apply to some congressional democrats who have every understandable rights to focus on getting the mueller report release. democrats want to assert their constitutional role which is theirs, not bill barr to determine of any potential obstruction. there is reported on that, too. just as so many people called on congressional republicans to stand up on principles, this tonight and the days ahead are certainly a time for congressional democrats to stand up, too. bob mueller did not find a chargeable conspiracy. the report which should come out and we'll stay on. the report will not come out with surprising indictments for a later election conspiracy. that's not going to happen according to what mueller has submitted. our system requires respecting and the results of the investigation and not just the results that may match one's interest. that position does not procollude other consequences of
the mueller report or measures based or public interest concerns or raised by evidence that fell short of the criminal standard. i want to be clear of that as well. again, let's be real. a very big part of this 22 months mueller investigation was a criminal probe. the results of that criminal probe is, bob mueller busted my crimes from russians to trump advisers. he revealed problems that the justice system can punish wider problems that may require broader reforms. that's where you and the voters come in. there is something else that we may want to reflect on. bob mueller and his silence shows through his actions and not speeches or lectures or leaks. he shows through his action and approached of fact finding and following evidence and not assumptions. that's not a total contrast to trumpism but also contrast of
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>> i think there are two things. the criminal aspect of this is over. we presume it is over. maybe he kicks something to the seventh district. we assume it is done from a criminal perspective. we never had a full accounting for the public of what happens with the russian attack and how trump interacted with the russians and george -- the meeting between paul manafort and kilimnik and the russian oligarchs when they talked about pro quo. this is a lot we need to know. it is not criminal but it could be wrong doing. getting the foundation of the report to see to what degree mueller looked at that and what he said to barr about it would be essential. the other thing is congress, it is congress' job not to prosecute but to tell us what we need to know as a public to evaluate and make sure it does
not happen again. >> did the democrats and congress other than nadler looked a little surprise by how this went down this weekend? >> yeah, i have been saying the last year or two that focusing on mueller alone was a mistake. i mean they needed to put pressure on congress. it was hard when it was in the control of the republicans who just wanted to protect trump and not look at these issues. and not to let mueller do everything. searching for crimes is different for searching for the truth. and now we have adam schiff and others in charge of committee to committed themselves of doing a real investigation. now it happens to be 20,000 different things for them
investigating regarding trump. i hope they are not dissuaded by this and trump and others are saying it is all over. go back to what congress should have done from the very start and give us an investigation of what happened whether crimes are committed or not. >> david, we benefit from your expertise here. >> thank you. robert wray, he was the last independent counsel. he led the investigation against the clintons. the clintons did lead to a house of impeachment and a senate acquittal. thank you for being part of our coverage tonight. >> that's really me, 20 years ago. >> thanks, i appreciate that. that was a nice thing for me on a sunday evening. >> there we go. >> bottom line, what do you think this outcome means tonight?
>> look, ari, i take your higher road message to heart which i think is the right tone and that was -- i hope the public comes to respect the results of this investigation. we all as citizens of this country may have minor disagreements about one thing or another and i am not suggesting that congress does not have a role to play here. after 22 months, i think it was important today as what you saw the republicans focused on one point. the attorney general is committed at least to the maximum extent possible. reasonable people can disagree about it.
more of the report will be coming. it is a question of how much time that'll take. >> let me ask you this as a prosecutor, can you speak to the right way to evaluate a probe. there is people criticizes mueller pursuing the crimes he did find. that's odd. when you find the crimes of manafort and cohen committed, you go after them. in the manafort's case, he went to his boss, i want to make sure this is in. republicans are criticizing that. i wonder if you can speak to that piece and what we are seeing this weekend which are some other folks saying wait a minute, maybe he did not find collusion crimes and that held out with something's wrong with the probe when our prosecutors are supposed to follow the facts and not be biassed. >> he starts with the mandates and his job is to press and press hard which he did. it takes time. it requires he be thorough.
it was in the country's interest that it would be done that the public can respect the integrity of the investigation. i think he proved that by having little leagues of the investigation. i think it was important as the investigation goes. >> very fast. >> very fast, on that point, i wonder do you think donald trump has further shown what a mistake it was for him on both rule of law grounds or basic strategy grounds to malign mueller and the probe is a witch hunt. trump does not have credibility as one might to invoke these findings given he spent the better part of the presidency. >> there is a human dynamic here that should not be overlooked and that's as i have said on many occasions, i would not wish a special counsel or independent
counsel investigation on anyone. because it is a very difficult to position to be in. the president well recognizes by this point that the firing of the fbi director has the consequences of putting him in a middle of a 22-month investigation >> it is still appropriate for a president to or anybody to push back because there is obviously, it is a political environment. >> did you always welcome it when you were running your probe if somebody told law enforcement folks that they were basically doing something illegal and people should not corroborate with you and people should not do that or they're rats? >> my job was to defend the integrity of the investigation when ever i saw or need to do so. >> i am curious if it is good or not. >> i will leave to others to decide. no one said this was going to be easy. the take away from this weekend
beginning on friday is that it was in the country's interests to have this investigation. it was painful. we now have the results at least in part of that investigation. >> i have to know robert, you are not exactly meeting us half way here. you are seeming -- i don't want to let you off air before i give you a chance. you seem to be a former independent counsel to say it is okay to call people rats. that's kind of mafia stuff. you don't want to fix that before i let you go. >> let's keep it oen the appropriate claim. >> that's what i want to make sure. you are defending the president calling it a witch hunt. >> i didn't start this -- i listened to your three senator guests accusing blumenthal that the attorney general was devious and eleanor clift suggesting the conclusion of the investigation was rigged. and your first guest flannery, accusing -- none of that is
helpful, okay? that's not helpful either. >> my viewers are too smart for the game you are playing. >> there is no game. >> will you answer the question? >> i listen to your prior guests all think this is comical. >> i am happy to do it all. >> i am happy -- serious to me, too. >> you have the losing end of this argument. i hate to do this on national television. you know you just missed two opportunities to address the president calling people rats for cooperating with law enforcement like yourself. you can own that. >> that's not why you are doing what you are doing. you are trying to perpetuate a -- >> democrats are not prepared to accept the findings.
>> i am going to turn to other guests. i did giver you your time. after flannery goes, i am happy to give you a rebuttal. you have been on the show. i just offer that. i thank you for going on our special coverage tonight. >> that's a cheap shot. >> it is always interesting when you offer someone rebuttal time and they don't say thank you, that is characterized differently. >> i work hard on the diversity and all sense of the people we have here. i appreciate mr. ray coming on. i give you a chance to giver you your views. >> when a lawyer does not fill a gap in speaking. you gave him an opportunity to contradict. i standby it. i didn't hear anything that
contradict it. it is interesting -- >> he would argue and i want to stay on the substance here. he would be concerned that some of the guests were issuing sweeping judgments of barr before we know everything. we have done a careful analysis of the letter of what he's doing. the question for you would be, if you are tuning in late, oh my god, what is all this? what's the fireworks? we are out of the footnote and into the fire. what's your best evidence for your concern and what we heard from chairman nadler and concerns on the hill that barr has proceeded tonight with an incomplete picture. >> he certainly has. he cherry picked a press release that upholds his decision to kill the entire investigation. the justice department has become the just us department since the original attacks -- he
fires comey. he won't go easy with flynn. what happens after he fires them? he goes into the oval office and high fives the ambassador from russia, kislyak, about that won't be a trouble anymore. we are asking whether or not there is a link between what our government is doing and in connection with russia and whether or not there is obstruction. >> do you think what you just mention would be in the obstruction session potentially as okay as i emphasized, there is no collusion indictments but mueller may have a mass evidence that kind of behavior seemed to be a negative for anyone looking at potential obstruction? >> when you decide not to bring a case, often put evidence and stove pipes and say independently they don't work instead of looking at the whole picture, for instance, when the russians are setting up the equipment to scheme with america and set up those outlet is and
then they steal the information to put into it. early on, who did they identify? they identified trump. he's the beneficiary of this. so you have to define normal logic and what people on the streets think. when we tell a story, a narration of what makes sense or not, people get it and the law follows that narration. one unintended consequences of this going from sessions to whitaker and barr, is that now there will be no pardon for any federal offense that could be brought and say the state of new york or the county of manhattan because there won't be any pro-clusive effect.
>> i realize i am taking a lot of time. he did not want his time. >> he's invited back and you are invited back. you guys are invited together or back and forth. i believe what i say out here is let's hear all the evidence and have good faith debates. everyone says you are a great presence and you look like robert redford. we may have found a person that who does not think that. i don't know if robert ray if give me that >> john flannery. >> we have a great cast and we have a lot that we are going to. we have more including what the democrats will do and what are their power and one of mueller's witnesses will join us live. you have not heard any witnesses yet but you will tonight if you stay with our special coverage. we'll be right back. k.
i am joined by michael caputo. thank you for both of you being here. >> i am happy to have you. i told you we would talk again when it ended. give us your view of what the results mean. >> from my family it means that after two years of having our lives on pause, we can press play again. i think for the president that it proves that his words there was no collusion and he was telling the truth all along. i knew it all along. i was in the trump campaign, i knew we were not working with the russian government anyway. i think we should reveal every single bit of this report. let it hang out. it is time to do that. do it as soon as possible. i think it is difficult for anybody in the audience out here across america decided they're going to drink every time
someone on national cable television news saying it is not over yet because it is over, ari. >> the president talked about it last week but then he did say it is up to barr. don jr. says let it all out. the house voted. do you think bill barr is making a mistake by slow walking it with only a couple of sentence s here. >> i think the report is voluminous. i don't think anyone is going to see the documents behind it all. i bet the report is large. of the careful redaction and source and methods of our investigation system. i think it is going to take more
than a couple of days. i would like to give it out late this week if he can. i think he intends to do it. >> i think eleanor has a question. >> would you say it is fair to say that robert mueller's trump's best friend? >> eleanor, i watched you for years, i think the world of you. i am glad to be on the same show with you. it is a real honor with for me. i don't think he's his best friend. i have not liked this investigation very much. >> sure. >> i don't like what they have done to manafort and george papadopoulos and flynn, i don't like any of that. these guys have been the strongest array, our nation is put together and our federal government put together in a long, long time. maybe the president was swinging
at them really hard. if these guys who the president thinks are against them, can't find any collusion. you know i think it is resounding result. >> huh. >> does it clear the wave for the president to pardon some of these people? >> and you get two sentences for that unfortunately. >> absolutely. i think evidence of no collusion he should pardon roger stone and general flynn immediately. >> wow. >> do you think he'll do that soon? >> i think it is hard for him to do that politically but all the grounds for everything that's happening for those people based on the idea of collusion and there was not. michael you had a front row seat. we heard from you before, i hope you continue the dialogue with us. >> thank you michael caputo and eleanor clift.
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good morning, everyone. it is monday, march 25th. i'm ayman mohyeldin alongside alex witt. the president and his allies are celebrating robert mueller's report on russia's interference into the 2016 election. mueller found no evidence of a conspiracy between the trump campaign and russia and reached no conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice. barr writes while this report done conclupd the president committed a crime it also does not