look what happened. we're out of time. thank you to you for watching. that does it for this hour. nicole wallace. "mtp daily" starts with steve kornacki in for chuck. >> hi, nicole. if it is monday, democrats are formulating a post mueller plan. good evening. i am steve kornacki in for chuck todd. welcome to "mtp daily." welcome to a big hour of breaking news. right now, democrats are discussing as we speak whether to move forward with impeaching
the president. nancy pelosi is holding a conference call with her caucus, charged with determining their next move. this is the first time house democrats have gathered together since the redacted mueller report was released last week. right now it is a party divided. a number of house democrats and one hopeful call for impeachment proceedings to begin immediately. others want to hear from witnesses like attorney general barr and robert mueller himself before going further. jerry nadler, chairman of the judiciary committee which would conduct any impeachment proceeding told chuck yesterday he is not ruling out impeachment. meanwhile, speaker pelosi is pumping the brakes. sent a letter to her caucus before tonight's call, cautioning against impeachment. it is a risky move either way for democrats when you look at the politics of it. go down the impeachment road with little to no chance of actually removing the president, remember, you need a super
majority in the senate and may end up regretting it. choosing not to go down the impeachment road, you may regret that too. here is president trump today. >> are you worried about impeachment, mr. president? >> ultimately of course impeachment is a political question. it is up to congress, not to the courts, to decide what does and doesn't constitute a high crime. speaker pelosi talking to her caucus now, we may be about to find out which path the democrats are going to take. with democrats formulating the post mueller plan, there's no one better to have with me than nbc news capitol hill reporter casey hunt and brett stevens who advocated for impeaching trump and is now against it. zerlina maxwell is here, she changed her view on impeachment, she's now for it. in washington, msnbc contributor, editor and chief of
the law fair blog, ben whitis. no mystery. nancy pelosi is not enthusiastic to go down the impeachment road. week before the report came out are, she said he is not worth it. what would it take, anything that could happen that would move her on that? >> if the majority of the democratic caucus wants to go this route, i could see her adjusting. i think she would work hard to convince them otherwise, nancy pelosi is nothing if not an incredible politician for the caucus she leads. if that pressure builds, you could see that change. but there's also incredible amount of trust in her from the caucus, and i think there are going to be a lot of people listen to go her if she's arguing forcefully behind the scenes against impeachment. there's a couple of friends that laid it out clearly. on one hand, political considerations, moderates from swing districts risk dividing
districts, losing seats. liberals getting pressure from the left. one set of calculations. the other is moral and ethical. we've now seen what the president it in office. democrats have to decide are they going to allow that conduct to be normalized. one way of looking at the argument. the other way of looking at it, this would be a partisan process. republicans aren't going to get on board, do they want to drag the country through something more divisive. >> on the last point, 20 years ago, 21 years ago to be exact, 1998, bill clinton, republicans in congress were moving to impeach clinton. jerry nadler warned against that impeachment trial. he said the effect of impeachment is overturn popular will of the voters, we must not remove a president from office to defend our system of government or constitutional liberties against a dire threat and must not do so without
overwhelming consensus of the american people. he said it couldn't be one party pushing for it, one party pushing against it, or the consequences, paraphrasing, would be catastrophic for political institutions. democrats go forward, that's the keen. >> i make a distinction between the american people and elected republicans. those are two different things. if the american people are reading the mueller report, they can go and read it for themselves are reading that and are troubled by the behavior described to be clear is very troubling, it is not as if the mueller report was a dud. this is something that has a lot in it that implicates the president in actual crimes. if you are a citizen and voter who feels as if the 2016 election had some manipulation by a foreign government and the trump campaign took that help and went on to win, and that puts a question around legitimacy of the election, make that known not just to democrats on the hill but republicans. >> my question is --
>> it is worth making your voice heard. >> we have seen polling on it to date. new one last hour says the immediate aftermath of the mueller report, still saying 37 in favor, 41 oppose. if that doesn't budge, does nod lett -- nadler's point hold? >> i think the process can allow for a movement in public opinion. following the watergate model, they didn't put articles of impeachment forward and then have everybody vote, they had open, televised hearings. if you put hearings in the appropriate committee, say the judiciary committee, and say we're going to investigate x, y, z from the mueller report, because the american people have to have it laid out in detail, not everybody has time to read 448 pages, but they must be informed and educated on contents of the mueller report. and that can be through hearings. that absolutely can shift public
opinion. three days after the report is released, the fact it is 37% is just a place holder. >> now on zerlina's point, she's saying start the proceedings, see how the country reacts to an investigation. thinking back to -- >> hearings, not impeachment proceedings, but hearings, open, televised hearings. >> the case made in 1998, henry hyde who chaired the judiciary committee then, republicans in congress was handed the starr report. henry hyde said we have been handed this, it requires further investigation. he said we should launch an impeachment probe, not necessarily impeachment proceedings but probe, hearings of the judiciary committee. he said the central question congress is faced with with that report, shall we look forward or shall we look away. does that question apply here? >> very quickly, i think the impeachable act is what president trump conspired to do with michael cohen on the eve of the 2016 election with regard to violations of campaign finance
laws, different subject than the one we're talking about with the mueller report. when it comes to the mueller report, i don't think -- where i disagree with zerlina, i don't think you'll find a process that will change anyone's mind. for that, look no further than the way the country reacted down the line with the release of the mueller report, which was supposed to form some kind of consensus about what exactly happened and what it is that we should do. i remember i got my start, i started at the "the wall street journal" in 1998. i remember the impeachment process of bill clinton back then. very, very well. no one came out. there was no moving of the american people. and the only beneficiary of the process in the end politically speaking was the incumbent president, was the man who was in fact impeached. what i fear is what we're moving toward is a kamikaze mission by democrats that are so intent that they'll burn up all oxygen and political capital pursuing something that is not going to result in the conclusion they desire, which is removal of a
president they think is unfit. >> i don't think there's any question the president wouldn't be removed, the senate wouldn't do it. that's another huge factor for democrats that are remembering the lessons of the '90s, saying maybe we don't want to go there. you laid out on twitter some important differences between the two things, but i don't know that most members of congress understand it on the nuanced level that you do. >> quickly to kasie's point, there's something called a censure. they could vote to censure the president for behavior mitt romney calls outrageous, despicable, troubling. that provides you an ability to rebuke the president without going through the process. >> 20 years ago, that was the alternative the democrats proposed. the group move on.org started with that. censure and move on. move on is calling for impeachment, not censure. i want to get to breaking news. a statement just coming in. jerry nadler, chairman of the
house judiciary committee issues a subpoena for former white house counsel don mcgahn. the judiciary committee issuing the subpoena, saying the special counsel report even in redacted form outlines substantial evidence that president trump engaged in obstruction and other abuses, now falls to congress scope of misconduct and what steps to take in exercise of oversite and accountability. ben, your reaction to the subpoena of don mcgahn, what this could potentially lead to? >> i think the first interesting question is whether don mcgahn will agree to answer questions about his interactions with the president. upped normal circumstances, that would be pretty core executive privilege material with respect to the president's conversations with his lawyer before congress. now, here you have this weird
situation where the lawyer has spent 30 hours with bob mueller, and the judiciary committee and american people are sitting on results of that investigation in the form of this report, so we know a great deal about these interactions, but it doesn't answer the question to me whether mcgahn and the white house will assert executive privilege over that with respect to live testimony before congress, so i think mcgahn's testimony is potentially a very, very big deal, but i do have a head scratcher as an and the seed end matter whether we'll see it happen at all. >> for what it is worth, i worked with don mcgahn many years, a fixture in washington way before donald trump was president, and one thing i think we learned from the mueller report and from his actions that were taken behind the scenes is that he was really one of the people that was the most uncomfortable and outspoken against what the president was
doing, and who is incredibly kind of careful about how he conducts himself, and frankly he's got a career past donald trump to worry about in a washington he's trying to go back to. my sense of it, you know, we'll obviously see, but a prolonged fight from don mcgahn of the subpoena doesn't seem to work in his best interest in my view. >> i suspect that's correct, and from mcgahn's point of view the path back probably includes being a star witness at one of these hearings, but, you know, there's this question that the white house is i'm sure thinking -- the current white house counsel's office is thinking of this as we speak, i suspect, which is what leverage do they have and what kind of arguments do they have that while it is one thing to speak to an executive branch prosecutor, it is quite another to speak about your
conversations with the president to a congressional committee, so i just think there's an interesting question there that i will be interested to see how it plays out. >> again, zerlina, the news of the hour, right now, house democrats on the conference call talking about what to do. we mentioned at the top the idea that impeachment is political, not left to the court. this term high crimes, it is sort of up to congress to define and say when it applies and when it doesn't. given that it is in some ways a political process here for democrats as it plays out, if there are further developments with this, to what extent should those guide thecm. is this going to hurt us in 2020 or help us. how much should that be part of it? >> i think the democrats need to listen to the base. the base is telling them we want
you to do this. they didn't win the house of representatives because the democratic wanted democrats to waffle on some of these more important questions. >> they won because moderates, suburban democrats -- >> there's the tension. >> i think there is a tension, but i think that there are a lot of progressives that also want it. what i'm saying is while you can -- >> the majority is what, how many seats, most of those are moderates from suburban districts. >> but part of the calculus was oversight of the president. not saying every one of them ran running on impeachment like tlaib. i think oversight, conducting oversight and impeachment are different things. those are on a spectrum. >> democrats need to listen to moderates that voted for obama twice, then voted for trump and are asking how exactly does this
impeachment deal help my brother-in-law get a job. how is this going to actually advance my life? why are democrats talking about something that happened two, three, four years ago, not what's going to happen next year and the year after. there's limited oxygen. the clock is ticking toward the 2020 election, and it is not going to be about what donald trump did in 2016, it is about what the next president will do for them. >> i am curious, hopefully we'll get reporting maybe talk to somebody on the call now, but that's one of my questions. talking about 20 years ago with bill clinton, the reason that took off in congress and happened, the republican base wanted that in 1998, really it was republican leadership's hand that was forced by its base. >> and bush became president of the united states. >> we will get to that later. also the matter of a debacle in the '98 midterms, then -- >> assume it will backfire to
the original about, normalizing corrupt behavior, that's a persuasive argument of all political sides. >> one of the segments this hour, we're going to look deep at the lessons or lack thereof of the clinton impeachment. here's the tease. it is complicated. thank you for joining us. we have more on breaking news. democrats are mulling the next step now that the mueller report is in their hands. we'll talk to a democrat on that call now as soon as he hangs up the phone, he is dialing in to talk to us. russian interference in the 2016 election, some call it meddling, some call it a scandal, some call it both. is the white house calling it normal? t both is the white house calling it normal life isn't a straight lin. things happen. and sometimes you can find yourself heading in a new direction. but at fidelity, we help you prepare for the unexpected with retirement planning and advice for what you need today
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you know reliable support when you have it, and that dependability is what we want to give our customers. at comcast, it's my job to constantly monitor our network. prevent problems, and to help provide the most reliable service possible. my name is tanya, i work in the network operations center for comcast. we are working to make things simple, easy and awesome. do you think this is impeachable? >> yeah, i do.
i do think that if proven, if proven, which hasn't been proven yet, some of this, if proven, some of this would be impeachable, yes, obstruction of justice if proven would be impeachable. >> welcome back. that was house judiciary committee jerry nadler on meet the press yesterday with chuck todd saying obstruction of justice if proven would be impeachable. right now, house democrats are on a conference call, discussing the next steps in the aftermath of the mueller report release, and whether that would including impeachment. we learned the house judiciary chairman issued a subpoena to former white house counsel, don mcgahn. joining me, someone that would have to vote to convict or acquit if they impeach the president, senator ben carden. you have been through one of these before back when you were in the house 20 or so years ago when bill clinton was impeached and the senate acquitted him
then. we played that clip from jerry nadler, saying he sees potential impeachable conduct. do you? >> one thing is clear to me, that the mueller report gives us sufficient reason to conducts a very thorough investigation, first in the house of representatives on impeachment, but also house and senate on action that russia took against us to protect us from future attacks. both cases, it is in couple bent for congress to follow up. the chairman of the judiciary committee is doing the right thing, getting all of the information before his committee, having mr. mueller testify before congress. he wants to get all of the material. he wants to see if we can establish the case for
obstruction of justice. if there's evidence for obstruction of justice, there's consideration how to proceed and hold the president accountable. >> i want to put up something that ezra klein wrote about sort of a skeptical argument about impeachment. he said, he asked is the case for impeachment that trump wanted to fire attorney general jeff sessions but didn't, they wanted to fire mueller but didn't, that he fired james comey, that he asked the staff to do illegal things, then accepted their judgment when they refused, that being a liar, which is obvious about trump since long before the american people elected him is a high crime and misdemeanor. getting out some questions that perhaps kemt mueller and the report from issuing some clearer statement on criminality, some clearer statement on obstruction of justice, when you get into the area of intent, when you get into whether the president wanted this to happen but didn't
follow through, can you build an impeachment argument when you have questions like that? >> that's one of the questions we want to ask mr. mueller. he seemed to be guided by principles of the justice department, he didn't go down the path whether there was adequate information for indictment. it would be interesting to hear from mr. mueller the strength of the information. obstruction of justice does not require that you succeed in obstruction of justice. it is a crime in and of itself. i do think that's an issue that we need to hear mr. mueller directly and look at the source information to make our own determination. that's the requirement of the congress of the united states. >> what about td politihe polit it, jerry nadler, one of the arguments against i am impeaching bill clinton 20 years ago, he said you cannot have an impeachment driven by one party,
opposed by the other, and doesn't have broad support amongst american people. if you look at polling and look at the partisan reaction to that, you would have one party driving impeachment and no broad consensus. does that weigh on you? >> absolutely. i'm hopeful the process will bring about more bipartisan conclusions than one party moving forward, another party saying no. it is very important that the process be conducted in a nonpartisan manner. this is an extremely important responsibility of the congress of the united states. and i would hope republicans and democrats would recognize the historic importance of this. the mueller investigation raises serious questions how america is prepared to deal with attacks from russia and the conduct of the president. it is incumbent on congress to take that report, give it proper oversight, do it in a way that's befitting the constitution of
the united states. >> you want more in terms of investigation now, but the argument is made that launching a formal impeachment inquiry in the house as was done in 1998 when the house received the starr report, i think it was two weeks after they got the report they voted to open up and launch impeachment inquiry, that that would be part of the fact-finding process. do you see value in that? >> i would hope that in the house there would be conversations between the republicans and the democrats as to how is the best way to proceed with the mueller report in getting to the facts, that there's more consensus as to what the facts are in this case. maybe i'm just wishful thinking on that, but i can tell you this country wants this issue handled in a professional manner by congress. they're very serious issues raised by the mueller report, and it is critically important congress carry out its responsibilities. clearly the responsibilities with the democratic party as the party in power in the house, i recognize that. but the minority party in the
house, republicans have a responsibility to make sure that in history this matter was handled the way the framers of the constitution intended. >> senator ben cardin, democrat from maryland, thank you for the time. >> thank you. coming up, we have had a presidential impeachment in the not so distant past. what was the political fallout then for the party that pushed it and is there a lesson for democrats now, going to the big board after this. o the big board after this up. up. down. down. ah ah! that's one. up. that's two. down. down. get down, get down. bleech! aww! awww! ♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft for the win win.
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welcome back. impeach or don't impeach. the big sticking point for plenty of democrats are the political ramifications of impeachment, and there are a lot of lessons perhaps that could be learned from the last time there was impeachment. democrats talking about whether to impeach donald trump. of course two decades ago we had another president that was impeached and caused interesting political consequences. so what could democrats today learn from what happened to republicans two decades ago when they impeached bill clinton but didn't succeed removing him from office. he was acquitted by the senate. where's public opinion. you can see the recent readout, there's opposition to trump being i mpeached. 59% oppose, 36% in favor. here's a question. will the mueller report and fallout bring support for
impeachment back up, especially among democrats. it was 36-59. with bill clinton, 24, 71. fall of 1998. october when the republican house voted to open impeachment inquiry. they voted to do it in the face of poll numbers like this. what happened, a month later in the midterms, republicans lost seats. at that point it was an unprecedented result. the party not in the white house is always supposed to gain seats in the midterm, republicans lost. it was so traumatic for them, days later newt gingrich was ousted as house speaker. that's one of the lessons from '98. here's the thing, of course, after that election republicans went through, formally impeached clinton, he got acquitted by the senate, and republicans for all of that political damage, george
w. bush got elected. you can go through impeachment, even if the public doesn't like it in the moment and end up winning the next presidential election. couple things to keep in mind. it was 21 months between acquit alf bill clinton in february of '99 and the election. clinton himself couldn't run in 2000, it was left to al gore. he put bill clinton on the sidelines. trump's job approval rating is lower than bill clinton's was back then. there are all sorts of variables unique to the 2000 election. bottom line is this. you're going to hear people say don't impeach trump because of lessons of 2000, you'll hear people say do impeach him because of lessons of 2000. when you look at this example, we don't have many examples to go by, it is probably a unique set of circumstances then and unique set of circumstances right now. you know what, you wouldn't know until it actually happened, if it does happen. truth is, you can't read too much in terms of absolute lessons from 2000. you'll be hearing a lot about
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even if it comes from a questionable source, i'm going to use that information. and there was nothing to suggest this was manufactured evidence. >> so it is okay for political campaigns to work with materials stolen by foreign adversaries? >> depends on the stolen material. >> welcome back. that was rudy giuliani, president trump's personal attorney on meet the press saying materials stolen by a foreign adversary shouldn't necessarily be off limits to an american political campaign. he said more. >> there's nothing wrong with taking information from russians. depends where it came from. >> you would have accepted information from russians against a candidate if you were running?
>> i probably wouldn't. i wasn't asked. i would have advised out of excess of caution, don't do it. >> but you're saying there was nothing wrong with doing that. >> there's no crime. >> not talking about crime. >> we're going to get into morality? >> yeah. >> that's not what prosecutors look at, morality. >> with me, two experts that say guilliani was rewriting the rules. rick has en, and frank fashiglu. rick, you gave an interview to "the washington post," said guilliani is offering a green light for campaigns to accept in kind contributions from foreign government. elaborate. what do you mean there? >> sure. mueller said there were a number of reasons he didn't go after donald trump jr. for the june 2016 trump tower meeting. one of the reasons offered was maybe there's a first amendment right to have campaigns receive
information, valuable information, opposition research from foreign governments. that might be something that we're going to have to live with. and that's pretty startling. what i suggested after i read the mueller report is campaigns are going to start saying this is okay. you already see guilliani doing that, giving the green light to say if foreign companies, foreign governments, foreign entities will start giving us valuable information, we're going to take it and we're going to use it. >> frankly, this is an area that hasn't come up in this way in the past before, so where is the law on this question right now, strictly in terms of the law when it comes to this sort of thing. what can and can't a campaign do? >> this is where i believe that the criminal only standards that were applied by mueller and by attorney general barr are not serving us well. you remember that the special counsel inquiry started as a
counter intelligence investigation. that's not putting people in handcuffs. that's whether people are compromised by a foreign power. it is clear that there were incredible amounts of contact between kremlin associated people and people in the trump campaign. if the new standard in our country is if it ain't criminal, it is fine to do, then we're missing the point of what a counter intelligence national security threat looks like. and americans and congress need to hear people like rudy giuliani say that's the new standard, we're fine if it is not indictable. that should factor into congress' decision what to do next. is this acceptable behavior from an american president or is it not. >> i guess my question is going forward, whether it is the 2020 election, 2024, any point in the future, trying to say if congress, if the political
system wanted to say this is something that is not acceptable going forward, is the solution to pass laws, is the solution that you find ways to have more transparency and there's a penalty paid in the court of public opinion, what would the solution and remedy look like? >> i think what should happen -- >> rick, go ahead first, then frank. >> i think what needs to happen is that congress needs to tighten up laws, make it clear that receiving opposition research from foreign entities counts as something that's illegal under the federal campaign laws. i also think they need to tighten up laws related to all of the social media interference from russia. they need to make it clear ads intended to influence the election that are coming from a foreign source are illegal. and that's something today if they're being run on the internet, lots of russian ads that he talked about are not
illegal. >> frank, how do you look at it in terms of remedy? >> i would like to see longer term congress say look, we're going to pass regulations on election laws that say foreign contacts during a campaign need to be reported, almost like a foreign agents registration act. you have foreign contacts, we need to be transparent and the fbi needs to know. the fbi at a high level briefed this candidate and his team and said here's what a solicitation looks like. russians are coming after you. let us know. here's the business card, give us a call. it never, ever happened. so the rules could be written, but they're not written for people that try to circumvent them. secondly, you can always launch sanctions against countries trying to mess with our election, but this president is resistant to congress' efforts to address what happened with russia with additional sanctions.
one way to do that is signal to foreign powers we're going to come at this president, we're going to impeach or censor him, and it is a foreign power, say this is unacceptable. cease and desist. >> reporters talk about when it comes to this topic, they talk about the steele dossier. there was reporting that was funded by the clinton campaign, by the dnc, some more sensational claims i think didn't hold up against the mueller report. this was something compiled by a foreigner british intelligence official using russian sources, this times article over the weekend said not impossible. maybe there were elements of russian disinformation. is that something that should be addressed going forward, that kind of document? >> you have to remember the steele dossier was something paid for. there's no prohibition paying fair market value to a foreign entity to get services. for example, if a campaign wants to have bumper stickers printed
overseas, as long as they pay fair market value, that's fine. the problem what happened with the trump tower meeting was that information, dirt on hillary clinton was offered for free. that's an in kind contribution to the campaign. i think there are different kinds of situations and while they might look on the surface to be similar, one involves a transaction, the other involves a gift. >> thank you both for being with us. ahead, breaking news. we have been talking about it all hour. the conference call of democratic members of congress about what to do now that they have the mueller report. we're going to talk to somebody who's been on that call, hearing it all after this break. break. did you eat all of your treats? ♪ help! i need somebody ♪ help! not just anybody ♪ help! you know i need someone
♪ ♪ ♪ welcome back. joining us from washington, a congressman from maryland, democrat jamie raskin, he was just on the conference call. thank you for joining us. the call, is the call ongoing now or is it over? >> i can neither confirm or deny existence of the call. it is a private matter. but i'm happy to talk about public issues that are on everybody's minds. >> i got to ask you, though, democrats are trying to figure out what to do. we know the call is going on. what is your sense, is there a consensus? are you seeing, hearing, picking up on a consensus among fellow
democrats whether i mpeachment s a course to take. >> setting aside the call, let me tell you where i think the caucus and congress is right now. we have sworn a solemn constitutional oath to uphold the constitution, to defend public interest. we're going to do that. part of that of course is the legislative work we do every day, we passed the violence against women act reauthorization, passed hr 1 to reform and defend our elections against foreign and domestic threats to people's participation. we are working on reducing prescription drug prices. >> i understand that. here's the bottom line. we asked about whether democrats now that they have a majority in the house are going to pursue impeachment against the president. >> yes, i do. >> wie have seen the leadership of your party and caucus, starting with nancy pelosi, seem to have a negative attitude towards pursuing this. this report hit last week. we started to get signals from
leaders, including presidential candidates, that now is the time to move on impeachment. there's a call going on among your colleagues. i am asking, what's the temperature among your colleagues? is it moving toward impeachment or not? >> so i'm getting there, be patient with me. part of the constitutional duty that's been assigned to us in our committees is oversight over what's taking place in the administration, and on the judiciary committee to look specifically at potential high crimes and misdemeanors and offenses against the state. i think chairman nadler laid out a very sober and aggressive plan for getting to the bottom of lawlessness and corruption which have come to light, both from the mueller report but also from a bunch of other contexts. he has laid out an aggressive plan for us to interview a bunch of witnesses both about the mueller report and other potential offenses, alleged
offenses against the character of our regime. and i know that everybody wants to turn it into like a crime and punishment thing but that's not the way the founders saw impeachment. impeachment is not about crime and punishment. nobody goes to jail there. impeachment is about defending our constitutional system of government. it is about defending the rule of law. so we've got to focus on the public character of the offenses that the president mavy have engaged in. >> based on you and fellow colleagues having a chance to talk today, the attitude towards making impeachment inquiry part of the process you're describing, tell me if i'm wrong. if i'm hearing you correctly, it sounds like that has not changed in your view? >> there have been no formal articles of impeachment that have been adopted and referred to a committee. >> but i'm asking if the appetite, here is what i'm asking. when the starr report 20 years ago hit congress, within two
weeks, the republicans voted to open an impeachment inquiry. >> yes. >> they said it is essential to the investigating process to have the inquiry. the chairman of the investigating committee is the choice is shall we look further or look away, and the vote was to open that. i'm asking again, the sentiment of your colleagues, is it to improve that progress or not to go there. >> got you. i toemwill tell you what i thine sentiment is, i don't purport to speak for all of them. our sentiment is republicans that impeached bill clinton did it wrong, let me tell you why. it goes to the current situation. they received the starr report and to his credit at that point ken starr turned over the whole report, unedited, unredacted with supporting materials and huge boxes sent to the house of representatives. at that point, the house of representatives moved quickly just to impeach the president. they didn't have witnesses, didn't have hearings, didn't
have public discussion. seemed like it was a complete partisan hit job. and the truth is, they impeached bill clinton for obstructing justice for one lie about a private act of sex. we would descend to that level. we do not think that impeachment is for private lies or lies about private life. we think it's about obstruction of justice going to the whole system of the constitution. more importantly, if you read the founders, especially if you look at alexander hamilton on this, if you look at george mason, it's converting the office to an instrument of self-enrichment that is converting the government of the united states to a money making enterprise for the president, who acts more and more like a king. well, i don't think we have enough evidence yet to know. i'm speaking for myself here. but the reason why the emoluments clauses in the constitution is to say the president cannot be receiving presents, emoluments, offices and titles from foreign princes, kings and governments. there are a lot of allegations that the president has been
collecting millions of dollars at the trump hotel, the trump office tower, the golf clubs, other offices from foreign governments and princes and kings. and i think that really needs to be at the heart of the investigation we're doing into the corruption and lawlessness that are engulfing the trump administration. >> all right, congressman jamie raskin, democrat from maryland, thank you for taking a few minutes. >> thank you so much for having me. >> all right, casey, brett, zerlina, casey, you speak fluent capitol hill. i'm going to lean on you to tell me what you just heard. i think he was on the call, first of all. i think he was on the call. but second of all, it sounds like somebody who is not too eager to move forward with impeachment and perhaps a signal about leadership. >> i think it is a signal as to where he stands. mr. raskin has become close to nancy pelosi and the leadership team. so i was hearing a little bit of what the back people tends to say about this kind of thing. it sounds to me from talking to another source on the cal that this is the direction they're
leading. and my question is really did the mueller report itself change nancy pelosi's fundamental calculus. what i'm hearing so far is try to find out more fax, find more evidence. let the committees do their work. that's another classic pelosi line that has to do with the internal politics of the house, but also says we're not going push anybody anywhere. let the judiciary committee do its work. and the upshot is there isn't a groundswell in the democratic caucus around impeachment at this point. to zerlina's point, there is a loud group on the left that definitely do want it. but so far it does not seem to have expanded very far beyond that original crew. >> given what your views, what did you make of what you heard there? >> look, i think the democrats are now digesting the report with the rest of us. the report has only been out a few days. even in the example when you used the 2000 example, that was at least two weeks. who knows where we'll be a week from now. maybe next monday we'll be
having an entirely different conversation. again, going back to the american people, because, again, they need to read the report or at least try to get as much information as they can about the report, and maybe that is through hearings. maybe that is through a public airing out of all of the facts so that the american people can make the judgment in the 2020 elections. but, again, i think democrats will listen if they are hearing from their constituents. so i never like to think that politics is a fixed thing that cannot be changed. i believe that we have an active participatory role here. so the american people are reading the report and they are horrified by the fact that the trump campaign willingly took help from a hostile foreign government and then went on to win the electoral college and then went on to help cover up that, what took place, they need to make that known. that means that they need to call congressman raskin that. >> need to call nancy pelosi and say i'm a constituent, or i'm a democratic supporter, and i think that this warrants at least a very serious series of
hearings that could ultimately end in impeachment, but may not, right? i think that all of this is about making sure that we get all of the information necessary. and that actually starts. it's possible too that there is a calculation here that they're not calling for impeachment today, because they need to still see the rest of the mueller report. and putting impeachment on the table right now, it actually cancels out a move that they can make later on. >> but brett, though, quickly, the question of timing here. now you've got the subpoena from mcgahn, and we'll see what happens with that you're going have all these subpoenas out there. the clock is ticking. we're april 2019. if you start taking months on to it, the 2020 campaign. >> this is all anyone is going to talk about. you saw in the exchange you had with the congressman. he wanted to mention three pieces of legislation, stuff the democratic congress is actually doing for real people, and we're saying hang on a second. all we want to talk about in the kind of rage machine is impeachment, impeachment, impeachment. well, impeachment is not going happen, okay. it's not going remove the
president. it's going to suck a lot of oxygen in the air that could be devoteded to stuff people actually care about, and it's going to energize the republican base that's going say wait a second, we just got a mueller report that leaving aside the question of the interpretation of obstruction issue, concluded no collusion or conspiracy. that's the result of it. there is a moment when democrats have to say what is the goal? to rebuke the president? to know more about what a cad he is, or is the goal to find a democrat who can take the nomination and win the election in 2020? and if that second goal is your goal, right, then we need to start lowering the volume on this. there is going to be a period of rage now with the mueller report and feeling like god, this president is so awful, and we knew he was so awful. and let's remind ourselves of just what a terrible human being he is. buff at a certain point, i hate to say this, we have to move on to stuff people care about. >> move on. 20 seconds. >> i think the strategy is going
to be dig up as much information as possible to inform the electorate in 2020, and make it all about 2020. what does nancy pelosi want? she wants to win. she wants a democrat in the white house. impeaching donald trump in the house of representatives is simply not going to accomplish that goal, period. >> if it started right now, the entire process and got through the house and got to the senate and the trial, realistically, i think you're probably at labor day, and that's if you started today. there is a calendar consideration probably. kasie, brad, zerlina, thank you all. we'll be right back. i switched to liberty mutual,
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and that's all for tonight. we will be back tomorrow with more "meet the press daily." do not miss rachel's interview with congressman seth moulton from massachusetts. his first television interview since announcing his presidential bid, tonight, 9:00 eastern right here on msnbc. and "the beat with ari melber" starts right now. good evening, ari. >> good evening, steve. we have a big show tonight on "the beat." two legal powerhouses are here on the democrats' epic fight that shaping up over what to with this mueller report. david kelly and neal katyal are both here live. plus, our special report in the overwhelming obstruction evidence against president trump. >> and what don mcgahn told mueller and why democrats tonight in breaking news are going to force him to testify. president obama's white house counsel also here on "the beat" in an exclusive. as you can see, we are back, and we have a lot to bring