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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  April 15, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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♪ good evening, and if you've been watching our special coverage, i want to tell you at start of our broadcast of "the beat" tonight, we will continue to follow this heartbreaking story of the fire in notre dame cathedral in paris, and we'll bring you updates as warranted. turning now tonight to washington, trump attorney general bill barr has for the first time named a day he will release his redacted mueller report. that day is thursday, and we're told that in an announcement today. it comes after barr testified he was on pace to release the mueller report this week. and today the justice department says they have this planned.
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it is plan so they could move again. but the timing is notable because barr is picking when to release his redacted version of this obviously very anticipated report. now it could be a monday to start the week. it could be a friday or the weekend, like some of his memorable letters. it could be good friday. that hits this week. and i'm here to tell you tonight, barr is pretty close because he's told the world for the first time today that of all the days that could begin if multi-day process of reading and reacting to this redacted report, the attorney general has picked the eve of good friday and passover, which could be a sign that barr wants to use this process to try to play down the report heading into a friday holiday weekend rather than play it up. and that's interesting because it matches these new reports that trump's team is concerned about what's in this report, with plans to uncork a potentially aggressive response, including a rebuttal from rudy
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giuliani in a so-called counterreport, and they're already leaking they have 250 pages of counterreport but it could be whittled down to 50 by thursday with rebuttal to arguing against any potential obstruction of justice. the larger signs are becoming clear. donald trump's allies are fixated on getting ahead of this actual mueller report from barr's letter that went beyond the findings in the mueller report to trump claiming a report that he hasn't read yet, it completely exonerates him. this tack is obviously suspicious, because if the report really exonerated donald trump fully, he wouldn't need a count counterreport from their perspective and wouldn't need a strategy or excerpts or a holiday news dump that might plal down the report. if the report were a slam-dunk, you would expect they'd want the thing out there for days of coverage and time for victory laps and coverage on television, especially with this administration. now there is nothing new about trump and giuliani contradicting themselves while attacking the
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russia probe, going from honorable and angry democrats back to honorable. what is ominous are the signs that the barr justice department appears in a closer lockstep with trump's defense strategy than, say, rosenstein and mueller did, and we're hearing that from legal experts, even as many have credited mr. barr as a respected and serious legal figure. >> he is a serious adult who would run the justice department and be respected. >> barr is coming in with a reputation as relatively speaking a pretty independent force in the justice department and somebody who wants to maintain that integrity and respect. >> i've always thought him to be a principled man, a man of integrity. >> barr brought solid legal experience to the justice department. if you watch our coverage, you've heard me reference and report that you've heard me note his esteem among the conservative legal establishment in washington. the scrutiny on barr right now isn't as much about as what he has done in the pa leading the
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department in this unusual trump administration, from his rushed weekend announcements about what we now know was a 400-page report he downed and then released conclusions on by sunday night. what we're dealing with now are his selective quotes from that report. what we're dealing with now are his statements objecting to criticism of the report. don't call it a summary, as he memorably said in his ll cool j moment, or his provocative reference to spying at a recent hearing. now any one of those moves -- i say this seriously, because it is important to be fair -- any one of those moves in isolation you might dismiss, just like you might dismiss this apparently obviously curious announcement that he's going to drop the report on the eve of major holidays. alone you might dismiss that. you might give it benefit of the doubt. take it all together, though, and the scrutiny intensifies, because burying controversial moves around the holidays is a
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go-to washington move because it works. it works even if you get called out for it, because while you're getting called out for it, many people are understandably busy with the holiday so, they hear less about you getting called out for it. that was the case when president trump pardoned joe arpaio on a friday night, heading into a hurricane, if you remember. and that was the case when president bush pardoned six people for iran/contra on christmas eve in '92. people knew what the move was, but that was the timing because that stuff does work. now that was ultimately president bush's call, a call that he was advised on by then attorney general bill barr. now timing is something that mr. barr still lawfully controls. as for how much he redacts, that may not be up to him alone. there is a bipartisan push, news breaking today that the leaders telephone house intel committee, adam schiff and devin nunes who sparred in the past are together demanding barr provide all of
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mueller's materials and a briefing from mueller and his team that is interesting. so what is mueller up to? we know barr has been name-checking him and saying him and his team are involved in redactments. we haven't as is typical heard much from mueller himself. but we have heard that mule wizard heading into his office again, a sign that he is working, or meeting with the doj during this period when his probe, of course, has officially ended. i want to bring in panel align heard in new york. and i'm excited to say i have maya wiley, john flannery, also a former prosecutor, and sam nunberg, a trump campaign adviser who was interviewed by mueller's team and faced the grand jury, a unique experience compared to most people. thanks to all of you for being here. john, when you look at this timing, we now learn that the report would come thursday, in addition to what else we know. does this strike you as on the level or concerning? >> oh, it's concerning.
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it fits a pattern that's been transparent, unlike what i kplpt expect will be the mueller report. i think their theory is that old zen question, if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, did it make a sound? in this case, that means does anybody hear it who can act on it when congress is not in session on easter weekend? even the talking heads will probably be challenged on sunday as to how much they talk on this. >> how many trees have to die to print how many mueller reports? >> tlng ai think there are a lo trees that have to be printed about these people. >> you think these trees are giving their lives up for a lot of information and hopefully truth? >> for obstruction. we have a slight disagreement there in characterization. >> i don't go as far as you. but your point being what will happen. will people be able to understand and learn about this? >> transparent is a word in english that is not subject to distortion.
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and we are not going to be transparent. we are going to have, i don't know, a stained glass window which is opaque in part, probably because of the grand jury material, especially, because he never went to a judge and said can we have this because it's in the public service and the public interest to know what really happened here, and we're so confident that our president hasn't done anything wrong, let it all be out there. >> when you worked as a prosecutor, if you had an important announcement that you wanted to garner attention or you just wanted to proceed in the normal way for as you put it, transparenctransparency. >> yes. >> would you find the eve of good friday passover the right time to do that? >> no. because you have a public function when you indict someone that is you're trying to discourage and deter others from committing the same crime. that's why around this time of the year, we have tax indictments, to teach the public that this is something you've got to be careful about doing. and when we wanted to say something to the public, we said to it the court.
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we put it in a pleading. well put it in a conspiracy. we put it in a means clause there are reports that you can have the grand jury make. none of those things have happened here. and the most outrageous thing i think is we have to ask why are the targets not invited to the grand jury in question, even when they were subjects? and one way to kill an investigation is not to do it right, not to talk to all the people that are necessary. >> right. and you're worried about the process there. >> yes. >> in the news today, i'm very interested, sam, we're learning about how the trump justice department is going to deal with what according to giuliani in a counterreport apparently requires something to counter. and so i wonder heading into passover if you're familiar with the tradition of hiding the ofi komen. are you? >> yes, very familiar. so the question becomes heading into passover, the mueller report or sections of it being treated like some ofi komen that the justice department may be
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hiding. and is that the right thing in should this report be hidden? >> i love the analogy. you know, it's going to sound counterintuitive, but this is actually going to backfire. i've worked in many political campaigns or public advocacy campaigns, and we always would release, including when i worked for donald trump, we would release news during holiday weekends because you would own it that weekend. >> you think this '90s move, a christmas eve party, a holiday, you think that move -- you think barr, that may actually backfire if that's the goal. >> if that was their intention, it will backfire. it just doesn't work anymore, especially with the way the news cycle works. it certainly would work in 1992 when he did those pardons. but it's not going to work now. >> there is too much public interest. >> and given that you used to work with donald trump directly you used to work with him on his tweets and his strategy, when he says this report exonerates me fully, and leapts also hide the report, does that hurt him? >> it will and it won't, because politically, what you need to look at is everybody can talk
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about his stable approval rating, you can talk about his base, his opposition that doesn't move. but ari, what we've seen there are 20% depends that have switched. they've gone whether mueller's numbers have gone down. what i really think is how is this going to transform when they look into these hearing as opposed to an investigation which typically over 50% of americans approved of, the special counsel. >> maya, speaker pelosi has been out hitting harder against barr than most democrats, really. here she was on a new interview in "60 minutes" on whether there is a whitewashing. take a look. >> do you think that the attorney general is covering anything up? >> i have no idea. i have no idea. he may be whitewashing, but i don't know if he is covering anything up. having that discussion, all we need to do is see the mueller report. >> as you look towards what may be thursday, what is important here? because obviously there was a desire by the trump folks to pretend the letter represents the report. flow is going to be a desire to
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say whatever comes sought the whole story. we don't know until we see it how much redacting has been done. >> and how many colors, and which shade of report. i think what nancy pelosi is saying is important in the history of william barr, because we both have the fact that he testified at his confirmation hearing and said i think it's in the best interests of the american public that as much of this thing gets made public as possible. as john reflex, he had opportunities to do that he did not take, then he releases a summary, which really is i think by the way it was written a whitewashing, meaning if we hear that there were summaries he could have made available, that he did not much more quickly, that suggests that he was trying to game the system. and then finally, finally, he says to congress when he's at his budget hearing, yeah, i was surprised i didn't get summaries in some form from the mueller team that i could release,
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except then we hear that he did. so all of the information starts to make it look like william barr's operating as a political operative with the president rather than in the best interests of the country. >> i think that goes back to two things. one, the scrutiny on whether he is operating in that way to defend the president. but two, the conjoined implication, which is if hiding it helps the president, that also suggests that what's in there is worse than what he and the president have said. >> absolutely. and, you know, one of the things that came up, and i think it was ryan goodman who supported on this is that barr actually has done this in the past. which is when it came time to change an opinion that had been long standing in the office of legal counsel at the department of justice, saying you can't go and kidnap someone from a foreign country, he actually hid that report from congress. he refused to make it public. congress had to subpoena it. went through a long court process to get the opinion that
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normally would have been turned over to congress as a matter of course. so i think there is reason and there is history to be concerned. >> this is where i'm interested also in your experience advising and being a counsel to a politician. which is different. you have to worry about the worst faith interpretations, right? i'm sure you advised mayor de blasio, who i said on this broadcast many people like him as a progressive, and many people in new york have beef with him. that a fair assessment? >> yes. >> there is some beef. >> there is some beef. >> you won't get that from the white house. >> i'm sure when you -- >> and public record. >> when you advised him, i'm sure there may be times when you said i know you're not doing something to bury something, sir, but let's pick a different day to even avoid the perception we're doing that. wouldn't there be anyone at justice department who would say you can pick any day, any time, it's been 22 months. you said it might be monday or tuesday. you said under the hearing last week it would be early this week. let's steer clear of the eve of major holidays simply for
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perception. and yet that's not what we're seeing. what we're seeing, according to legal experts we're hearing from is a trial balloon to see what they can get away with this week. >> i obviously can't comment on any advice i gave mayor de blasio as his counsel. what i will say is it suggests a common conversation, and we heard this from mcgann, right, who apparently made statements about being yelled at constantly is you have lawyers often saying, look, the best thing for you, there is nothing here that hurts you. so just put it out. just get it out, and let's just -- let's just talk about it. there is stuff people are going to say. then the communications team says mmm, we're going to hide it. we're going hide it because we don't want to talk about it. and then you have this back and forth that can happen. so the question here is what conversation is william barr having with the white house communications team about how they're handling this. that would be an interesting question. >> well, i think the direction, though, comes from the white house. in a normal communication team, it may be a collaborative
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effort. but in this case, out of the blue, okay, let them have everything, no, i've changed my mind, they can't have anything. you better stomp on this. don't go to the court. don't get anything released. and he is -- he would be an impossible politician to advise because he doesn't listen. >> i also think he is in an impossible situation, though, having to deal with the trump white house. this is somebody who said he believes in the unitary executive. if you look at the memo he wrote, he believes that officials, there is no independence in the executive branch. and working for that white house, i give him a compliment for being able to get this out in that time frame, frankly, because i always assumed that we would have a longer delay getting this report out. in light of the trump white house, in light of emmet flood being hired, in light of donald trump. >> but, again, when you say you're a former trump adviser and you have spoken independently as well. you're a former trump adviser saying you'd want to delay or
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hide it because of something bad in there. it can't be both things. either the argument is hey, this was mostly about tweets and his unusual style, but at the end of the day there was no conspiracy indictment so there is really no underlying crime. let's get through it and be done with it. that's one argument. a good lawyer can make that argument. or it's oh my god, when you read this whole worreport, you're go to have things that call into question his oversight, his judgment, and frankly assessments of whether that impacts his reelection. >> which is why the president has been complaining about it via twitter. he is saying whatever is released, it's never going to be good enough for the democrats. >> i'm sorry, there will be a trail of crumbs that come from this, even if pages are blacked out, just like we've done with other documents. we have a whole nation of people -- >> blacked out or redd out or yellowed out. >> oranged out, whatever. that is another fear he has. he lives with fear. this is a bully who is terrified of everybody else. and the trouble is nobody stands up to him.
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finger he stop giving him a break and being surprised each time when he does something, like giving him the benefit of the doubt, which by now there can be no doubt, not about barr, not about hill, not about any of his henchmen. i can modify that a little bit, but that's pretty straight on. >> you opened with ll cool j. and i just want to say, i want an around the way doj, okay? i want the doj that is paying attention to the country and that understands how much of this report is going to be redacted. >> to be fair, i think i opened with exodus. >> well, okay. fair. i got hung up on ll cool j. but here is the point about that around the way doj. if one of the areas of redaction we see heavily redacted is counterintelligence material, which i think we may see that. national security becomes a predominant color we have five countries that alerted us to the fact that trump aides had been
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heavily in contact with russia and were concerned. we have the issue of whatever ongoing counterintelligent investigation mace be going on which we will not find out about. the reason we need to know as much as we possibly can is there is a fundamental question that the evidence that is public tells us, which is whether or not we have a president who is operating in the best interests of the country. >> right. and we do know from what little barr has released is there were requests for information, 11 requests for foreign government information, which raise as lot of questions about, again, the leads that were pursued in good faith or with evidence of those questions. sam, i think by friday, the question will be why is this night different from all other nights. >> i'll be asking it. >> you'll be asking that? are you the youngest person at your seder? >> actually, no, not this year. >> someone will be asking that. and the answer always is a family explanation. but one of the answers may be potentially, they just dropped the mueller report. we'll find out.
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>> we'll be reading it at passover. >> just like the angel. >> in the mueller report, right? >> well, that's the -- and i hate to do this. i hate to do this. it makes me uncomfortable. i think maya's question is whether the report for trump will be something like a hillel sandwich. >> you didn't hate to do it. >> i was very happy to do it. i want to thank a very special panel, maya wiley, sam nunberg, much to discuss. we'll be calling on each of your st. peter tease as we get the report. we have a lot in the show including neal katyal and the president and how these investigations may explain why past is recurring. also, later, bernie sanders has released ten years of tax returns tonight. a lot of people talk about that and the fundraising. and speaker pelosi was pressed, very interesting, in what she said about aoc and why she is drawing the line, the
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democrats are democrats and not socialists. a lot of stuff in our rundown of the show. stay with us. i'm ari melber. you're watching "the beat" on msnbc. n msnbc. end said, "well, maybe you should switch over to verizon." and then i'd heard that i could get apple music if i switched over, and i said, "boom!" (laughing) music is very important to me. i come from the techno era, but i'm hip-hop at heart. (vo) the best network is even better with more music on us. get apple music included with unlimited. plus save big when you switch. only on verizon. i swibecause they let metual, customize my insurance. and as a fitness junkie, i customize everything, like my bike, and my calves. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ let's see, aleve is than tylenol extra strength. and last longer with fewer pills. so why am i still thinking about this?
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last justice department under barr, he was attorney general under george h.w. bush, and the president issued six pardons in the iran/contra case when? on christmas eve. >> mr. bush granted a christmas eve pardon to former defense chief caspar weinberger and five other reagan officials. >> bush called it an act of healing. the iran/contra prosecutor called it the completion of a cover-up. >> "the new york times" reported at the time, it was accused as a cover-up, and the president was consulting on those very christmas eve pardons with attorney general bill barr. i want to bring in u.s. solicitor general neal katyal. thanks for joining me tonight. >> thank you. >> i want to get to several things, but starting with this big news, your view of both the announcement of thursday as a time to get the redacted report, whether that raises any questions, and how you view that more broadly with mr. barr's approach thus far. >> color me skeptical. i think there is reasons to
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doubt barr's up and upness on this. so it's not just that he wrote a 19-page memo last summer saying that trump basically couldn't obstruct justice on a really flimsy legal theory, it's not just that he cleared the president of obstruction of justice in 48 hours when it took mueller two years and he didn't make that conclusion and said it does not exonerate, it's also things like his testimony last week where barr said like that there may have been, quote, unlawful spying going on, and this weekend that led the trump campaign to even do ads around that saying oh, this effectively deep state is engaged in unlawful spying. you know, there is the perception and hopefully not the reality that the attorney general is really trump's attorney general and not the attorney general of the american people. >> right. and as you say, it's a matter of looking at this holistically. and the testimony he gave, we didn't give it a lot of time on the show because the underlying claims were so weak as to not in
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themselves be actually newsworthy, although one can decide whether or not criticizing the sort of congressional hearing by tweet storm approach is something worth criticizing. as you say, i think that goes in to the analysis. i also want to ask you about the trump side defense, which would seem to be aided by mueller not indicting on a conspiracy. so for your analysis, a fellow former prosecutor like yourself, a former doj official, renato molinari puts it like this. what if the trump team truly believed that the mueller investigation was meritless and a waste of time? central to the collusion investigation and thus he had good reason not to believe a crime had been committed? the idea that the one thing that mueller and trump may agree on is no chargeable election conspiracy, and that saves otherwise potentially unlawful
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acts by the president. your response to that argument. >> yeah, a couple of things. one is it's just bizarre to think we are even talking about a legal defense. remember, this is the president who said the mueller report totally exonerates him, and now he is preparing a 50-page rebuttal. i guess it's down from 140 pages. but that isn't the way an innocent person i think would behave, particularly in light of a report that supposedly clears him. now the argument is effectively that the trump lawyers in the trump white house basically don't -- they discount what the president says, and he says one thing and says things that are outrageous, but doesn't act on them. here is the case for obstruction of justice has never been about the president's intentions. it's been about his actions. it's been about firie james comey. when asked about it he said it was because of the russia thing. i don't think renato's
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explanation is likely to carry the day. we'll see what the report says. obviously we don't know what it says. trump evidently does, because barr i think it was revealed over the weekend did give him something of a heads up about the report. but we don't know yet. >> legally we have some breaking news. let me turn to that. breaking news here at msnbc. "the new york times" reporting that house democrats have now subpoenaed deutsche bank and other lenders for russia-related materials on donald trump's finances. reading from "the times'" story, issuing new subpoenas to deutsche bank and, quote, numerous other banks, seeking information about trump's finances and quote the lender's business dealings with russians. this is sourced to multiple people dealing with the congressional probe. an interesting story, one we've been following, many people have been following for years. neal katyal, who served in the justice department did not know this story was breaking any more than the rest of us, but i do believe with what legal i've told you, you can at least speak
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broadly as to what it means when congress takes the step of subpoenaing and what one might be looking for on these records, which of course have also been an issue in the mueller probe that you've been analyzing for us for some time. >> yeah, i think they're looking for two things. one is evidence of any potential crimes that were committed, not just by trump, but by the organization, by people around him. and second, broader than that governance issues and whether judgment was a good judgment was exercised, and ordinarily there would be some protection and not all these documents would need to be turned over, but it was the house republicans when they were in charge just a few months ago that blew past every tradition and restriction, going so far as to seek subpoenas for classified information about fisa, about search warrants, very highly classified information. so it's going to be very, very hard now for them to turn around and be oh, we can't share these documents or see these documents. >> that's the other piece, neal. we talk a lot about tradition. and there are many good reasons
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that lawyers, who of course are also employed by these house investigators, will give time and try to use what is sometimes called less restrictive means to pursue information before they go to subpoenas. what do you make of here we are in april. so roughly just three or four months into this new congress with a president who is so blatantly said he will defy these requests. he will fight them at every turn, he won't cooperate. how does that fit into we're seeing what looks like a much higher and earlier subpoena rate, sort of going to the mat this early in this young congress' tenure? >> well, i've been quite impressed with chairman nadler, because he was under pressure to subpoena starting on january 5th, or whatever day he was sworn in some months ago. i think he has gone carefully and deliberately and tried to get information through other means. so the fact that he is going and doing this suggests to me he thinks not that there is probable cause that a crime has been committed, but there is some probable cause to believe
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there is a need for the investigation, for these materials, and he hasn't been able to get them through any other mechanism. >> and let me do one more question on this, and then i do want to get you on some of the supreme court stuff that i also want to ask you about tonight. reading from "the times" article, it explains they're jointly investigating deutsche bank's relationship with trump, and it mentions that he is, quote, the only mainstream bank consistently willing to do business with trump, given his bankruptcies. the bank lent him well over $2 billion. trump had more than three outstanding loans from deutsche bank from the time he took office, and the spokesman for the bank said we're going to provide appropriate information to authorize investigations, kind of a boilerplate statement, neal, and yet one that is probably not great news to trump. we know this week he has also been urging his independent accounting companies to try to hold back his tax returns, which are also being pursued through multiple doors from congressional democrats. and soy wonder here what you think is important from the oversight perspective that might be different from mueller.
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for example, if mueller looks at all the financial records and doesn't see basically crimes in the united states, my understanding is other than what else he tells people, he sort of moves on. where as with congressional investigators, if they find out that there was, for example, a lawful private auction of the sitting president's debt, saying there was debt, that deutsche bank or others were holding, and they sold it, say to a country's sovereign bank or some other entity, that might be very much in congress' interest to deal with as oversight even if it's not technically, potentially a u.s. crime. >> right. so the special counsel regulations gave mueller only a very limited mandate to look at russia and things like obstruction of justice of the russia investigation. and so, ari, you're absolutely right to the extent that other crimes related to, that we don't know whether any have been committed or not. that's why the investigation is seeking these documents, to try and figure that out. whatever we learn on thursday from barr and mueller, no matter how redacted it is or how open
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it will be, it's only about that one lane, russia and obstruction,s no larger than that. >> well, it's fascinating to get your views of barr and this breaking news. i'm not going press you for passover or good friday legal analogies, partly because we don't have time. i want to get you on something i know you're preparing for, which is one of the reasons you're such an interesting legal analyst, your extensive experience arguing before the supreme court, on behalf of the obama administration. i know you're preparing to do that again. we have a little cameo, we can't show you inside the courtroom because they don't allow cameras. but you did a simulate in a house of cards cameo. let's take a look at that. >> if you do not say that this is wrong, that this is unconstitutional, there is nothing to prevent the sort of senseless tragedy from happening again. we ask for nothing more than reform and oversight. your ruling is a crucial first step. thank you. >> thank you, mr. katyal.
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>> for most of us who don't go inside those hallowed halls and were curious, how much does that look like your experience? and it's part of our open arguing series that we're happy to have you for, walk us through this case and what you're doing, what it's like to prep for what you're about to do, which is going back before the high court. >> well, ari, why is this night different than any other night? because we're talking about the supreme court, which is not something that we talk about on nightly news. but it is our third branch of government. it's crucial to the rule of law. and yeah, in 36 hours, i'll be arguing my 39th case before there. and i wish actually that all americans could see the supreme court in action and not be reduced to netflix fictional episode. because it really is the one branch of our government that works. so in oral argument at the proportionate is now only a half hour per side. it used to be nine days back at the founding, the days when daniel webster argued. it went on and on. but now it's a half hour compressed. like my indian wedding was from
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three days, the traditional wedding, it was compressed to 28 minutes. same thing for supreme court arguments today. very, very compressed. i get about 70 questions, 7-0 in any oral argument. so what i'm doing now is really just preparing for with moot courts, trying to prepare for rapid-fire questions. there is a lot of talk about the justices, but this is really the one branch of government that works. they bring their a game every day, and it's pretty disconcerting sometimes for an advocate to face all those questions. >> it's fascinating, when you put it that way in terms of how it works. it's the arm of government that doesn't typically do press releases or tweets or press conferences, as you say, it's through those oral arguments that we can hear the audio, we can read the transcript and through the force of law, the opinions. you've been a front row participant in that. as we all know, there are four types of children that we answer that question to, with different types of answer. i think it's fair to say the
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answer for you would be the intelligent son or daughter, the smart child out of the four. but, you know, if you're viewers have input, you can tweet us at "the beat" with ari which child you think neal katyal would be. >> oh, no! >> well, there is only four. none of them are terrible. my vote is the smart one. thank you, neal, for being here. >> thank you. >> and by the way, if you like what we're doing with neal, go to already opening arguments and you can see all of them. we have a lot more on the show. bernie sanders just dropped his tax returns. 2016 numbers are in on financing and there is this effort to try to kick trump off the ballot. how is that playing? all of it when we're back in 30. . we don't follow conventional wisdom. ♪ ♪
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political news breaking tonight in our hour. senator and presidential candidate bernie sanders has just released ten years of his tax returns. this is notable because he actually didn't do that during the primaries in 2016. the return shows sanders making over a million dollars in 2016 and 2017. this was after the publication of his book, "our revolution." the returns also reveal his income dropped in 2018, although still over half a million dollars. all this news coming as sanders is also releasing his campaign fundraising for the first quarter. this is the deadline today for those numbers. $20 million between january and march, a big haul, leading the pack on the democratic side. senator kamala harris also revealing her haul, a very
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significant $13 million. mayor pete buttigieg raised $7 million. that's part of the reason that his campaign is seen as having more grassroots support. and it doesn't count the $1 million rehe raced within four hours yesterday after formalizing his presidential bid. all of this is coming with plenty of media buzz. you're look at the cover of "new york" magazine. "how about pete?" meanwhile, donald trump says it's raised a whopping $30 million. i'm joined by long-time washington reporter eleanor clift with the daily beast and with the south republican party. good evening to you both. >> good evening. >> eleanor, walk us through what these numbers mean in your view and specifically mr. sanders, whose tax returns are being seen effectively for the first time in his role as a recent presidential candidate. >> yeah, and we haven't examined them enough to understand why he
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wasn't eager to release them in 2016. he is rich, and he spent a lot of his campaign rhetoric railing against millionaires and billionaires. i think somebody suggested he is going to have to railing it against billionaires and zillionaires to keep his brand. but he's made his money legitimately. so i don't really see an issue there. but his campaign fundraising totals definitely put him at the front of the pack and show that he has sustainability in this campaign, because a lot of the money he has gotten, small donations, these people will keep giving. he has a long list from 2016. he has a lot of devoted supporters. so i think any democrats who are thinking, well, he can't prevail once again, he is going to be a formidable force as we go forward. >> okay. >> especially mayor pete is new
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and different and quite interesting. >> i'm going to get caton in and i'll come back to you. caton? >> yes, sir. when you look at the money that bernie has made himself and the message early on, that will come and go. $20 million is a substantial sum. but i will explain to you it takes about $40 million to start and put the gas in a presidential campaign to get ballot access and everything it takes to do that. so pete's got about $8 million raised. it takes -- the fundraisers get about 35% of that. but right now, the big news there is donald trump's already spent $83 million doing town halls and events and has $30 million in the bank with the republican national committee's bank account. a sitting president certainly has a lot of advantages, and donald trump is taking advantage of that right now. >> eleanor, on mayor pete, whatever this boomlet may be, the money side is a rough indicator that the boomlet
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includes some democratic base voters who are giving to him in a way that is more than many other, i would say, better known candidates at this point. >> yeah. and if you watched his announcement speech on sunday, if he wrote that speech, or whoever wrote that speech, he delivered it beautifully, it was well crafted, it had lines that were reminiscent of jack kennedy, barack obama, i think democrats were kind of swooning over the possibility of this young man. but granted, i don't know that everybody is looking at him and sees an instant president. but this is someone who is probably going to be part of our political future for some time to come. >> yeah. >> picking up on the other point about president trump, he has set a goal of a billion dollars for his campaign, and he's raised far more than all the democrats together. and remembering barack obama and hillary clinton in 2008, barack
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obama raised almost 26 million in the first quarter. so the numbers this time around, they're interesting, but they're not blockbuster really. >> as you were speaking, we're looking at live pictures of mayor pete buttigieg in brooklyn where he is speaking at a fundraiser, and this is someone that brooklyn 6:43 p.m. on the east coast, this is something democrats are interested in as well as kamala harris, who had even more impressive numbers, and of course senator sanders is to some degree known for his grassroots fundraising. katon, i wonder what you think the republican party learned in the wide, wide field last cycle. because that is something that is shaping up here where money matters but is not necessarily determinative, and where it can be a real challenge on that debate stage when it's filled with so many people. >> i can tell you what we learned. we learned how to be miserable. we had 16 candidates.
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we had donald trump that was self-funding himself. we had a lot of qualified people, and then you end up having two different debate stages, some that can't get on the big stage, and it is absolutely -- from an operative standpoint, my friends on the democratic party now know what true misery is because every week there is a flavor of the day. it was marco rubio for a while, ted cruz for a while. then donald trump started nicknaming all of them. so for my friends on the democratic side, good luck. pete's the flavor of the week, and then we'll have another one. beto o'rourke will come back. he's got a little bigger fundraising base. but they get to enjoy the carnage we enjoyed of having a lot of talented, qualified people separating a finite part of the piece of the pie. >> enjoy the carnage. it sounds like a "game of thrones" teaser. my thanks to katon dawson and eleanor clift. a programing note. many of these candidates have announced an then chosen to go
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on rachel maddow. pete buttigieg will be on with rachel tonight. his first announcement his 2020 bid which should be interesting. house democrats issuing formal subpoenas to deutsche bank to get trump's financial documents and russia information. the reporter who broke that story just called in and joins me next. t. every day, visionaries are creating the future. ♪ so, every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work. ♪ the united states postal service makes more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. ♪ because the future only happens with people who really know how to deliver it.
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breaking news. "the new york times" the congressional democrats have subpoenaed deutsche bank. i'm joined by phone with one of the reporters who broke this very story, david enrich of "the new york times". maya wiley, a former prosecutor in the southern district of new york also with me. david, your story has all of the big items in it, financial records, trump-related, russian dealings, and i see a reference to investigating moneylaundering. what did you find? >> well, we've known for a while that two of the most important
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committees on capitol hill, the house financial services committee and the house intelligence committee are conducting a joint investigation into deutsche bank's long, long very unusual relationship with donald trump, and tonight for the first time, we learned that the subpoenas have actually started being issued, which means that deutsche bank is very soon i think going to be handing over reams of material to some investigators and former federal prosecutors who are working on this case on shrill. >> let's dig into that point you made. you say it's a big development because of the nature of the information going back to congress. viewers are familiar with times where the word subpoena is used and then it sets off a long fight with, for example, people who follow orders from president trump. the point you seem to be digging into there and that the article makes is that deutsche bank appears to be working on an action plan so that they would actually fork these records over. is that right? >> yeah, that's right.
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deutsche bank has spent the past several weeks, if not months, cooperating with investigators from capitol hill, helping them, in fact, frame the language on these subpoenas so it is narrowly crafted enough that the bank believes it can easily comply with the materials wille handed over in fairly short order. >> did your reporting suggest that donald trump would have any way to stop that? >> you know, that is something that committee staff had looked at and they are a little anxious about, in fact. deutsche bank is going to need to notify the white house and the trump organization that it intends to hand over pretty detailed information about the president and his family company and trump does have the right potentially to go to court to try to block the bank from handing that over. you know, i don't think anyone knows right now whether that is actually going to happen, and if it did happen, how successful it would be. >> it's a very interesting scoop. stay with me. maya wiley, i want to zero in on one legal part.
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david is leading the charge for us on what he found that this is happening. on the way an investigation would work. i want to read to you from his reporting here along with emily flitter at "the times." the subpoenas seek records on the business the banks did with suspected money launderers from russia and other eastern european countries. how does congress approach something like that? >> well, i think directly, which is what we're sort of hearing in this reporting. if you know you have the potential for money laundering that impacts a president, remember, we're talking about a president who not only would not disclose his tax returns, which was highly unusual, but has also not created a blind trust for all of his business dealings. so he has the ability to see into all of this financial transactions if he wants to. congress is doing something that is very much directly in its authority, it seems to me, to say that it wants to look at these transactions, particularly, and as we were talking about earlier, where
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there are issues related to counterintelligence. >> right. >> and the possibility that you could have a president of the united states that might be in trouble. >> right. david, before i let you go. final question here. you name check in your reporting citigroup, jpmorgan chase and bank of america. what's that about? >> well, a number of these banks have like deutsche bank been involved over the years in moving money for very wealthy russians, whether it's oligarchs are people connected to the kremlin, and some of them acknowledge as much on capitol hill last week when they were being grilled by maxine waters. and i think this is -- with the banks other than deutsche bank, this is a fairly standard investigative move to see what they have and what they can come up with. with deutsche bank, it's much more targeted. they know exactly what they're after and they intend to get it. >> fascinating. congrats to you and emily on a big story here. thanks for jumping on the phone with "the beat." >> my pleasure. >> my thanks to maya wiley
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playing with us on several topics. appreciate your expertise. coming up, we have some more politics. this is interesting. speaker pelosi weighing in on aoc. she says she's wonderful, but has a message for democrats flirting with socialism. drawing a line. next. cialism. drawing a line next ♪ memories. what we deliver by delivering. with peak season berries, uniqcreamy avocado. and a dressing fit for a goddess. come taste what a salad should be. and with panera catering, there's more to go around. panera. food as it should be.
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keep goin' man! you got it! if you ride, you get it. ♪ here i go again geico motorcycle. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more. there's a huge debate inside the democratic party that's not just about 2020. it's about the new members, it's about what happened in the midterms and it's about who is in charge. so before we go tonight, we wanted to show you something pretty interesting from speaker
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nancy pelosi, addressing what has been the excitement and power of aoc's new progressive wing in the party. here's what she said on "60 minutes." >> you have these wings, aoc and her group on one side -- it's the progressive group. >> i'm a progressive, yeah. >> like five people. >> distinction that pelosi's making is that if you talk about ideology, there are so many self-identified progressives in the party of various wings, but these so-called, like, five freshmen don't define the whole party. she's also talking about what should define the party economically. >> i do reject socialism as an economic system. if people have that view, that's their view. that is not the view of the democratic party. >> and that's a difference between progressive and socialism. all of this comes after pelosi said that aoc's green new deal was basically a green dream, and last week talked about aoc's
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social media outreach as saying, look, twitter followers are not what ultimately matters, but, rather, the votes on the floor of the house. some of this isn't about ideology. some of it is about old school and new school about outsider politics and insider politics. an interesting conversation within the party. and here is the message speaker pelosi says she wants to send her members. >> by and large, whatever orientation they came to congress with, they know that we have to hold the center, that we have to be -- go down the mainstream. >> they know that? >> they do. >> they know that. hold the center. that's something that parties often talk about. pelosi is a san francisco progressive. she's speaking strategically about what to do. in london today, she spoke again after there were questions about these new comments. >> she's a wonderful member of congress. i think all of our colleagues will attest, but those are districts that are solidly
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democratic, and if we're going to be helping the 1 in 5 children in wherk wamerica who sleep hungry at night and win the war on poverty in our country, we have to win. >> there you see it, the speaker making it clear she thinks aoc is wonderful but also wants to have this nuanced conversation. it's one we'll be following and try to cover it with all the nuance it requires. thanks for watching "the beat." "hardball" starts now. church and state. this is "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews from washington. right now you're looking at live pictures from notre dame cathedral in paris. the edifice that survived nine centuries, world war, the nazi occupation has been saved from the brink of total destruction tonight after a massive fire that began before 7:00 p.m. paris time and raged well into the night.


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