tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC May 29, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
we've done this hour. i'll be back at 6:00 p.m. tonight with a very special edition of the beat. but right now, chris matthews is picking up our coverage. ali velshi at 3:00, nicolle wallace at 4:00. so we have a very big day of news. chris, what a day. >> big news day. thank you so much. good afternoon, i'm chris matthews in washington. and this hour new calls for congress to act after robert mueller broke his silence for the first time since he was tasked with investigating russian interference in the 2016 election. mueller was very clear about the conclusions of his report. he didn't say the president committed a crime because he said that the doj wouldn't let him. >> under long standing department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. that is unconstitutional. even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public
view, that too is prohibited. the special counsel he's office is part of the department of justi justice. and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. >> that calls in to question what william barr told reporters when he said that mueller told him that it played no part in the report 's conclusions. >> we specifically asked him about the olc opinion and whether or not he was taking the position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the olc opinion. and he made it very clear several times that that was not his position. he was not saying that but for the olc opinion, he would have found a crime. he made it clear that he had not
made the determination that there was a crime. >> regardless of the implication and apparent rebuke of his own attorney general there, president
trump seemed undeterred or acted so by mueller's findings. he tweeted, nothing changes from the mueller report. there was insufficient evidence and there were in our country the person is innocent. the case is closed. thank you. well, it is unlikely congressional democrats agree that the case is closed. we're expecting to hear from jerry nadler any moment now. in fact joining me right now is white house correspondent kasie hunt, and also hallie jackson, and correspondent covering the doj, julia ainsley, and university of mad michigan law plofgts professor barbara mcquaid and also national security analyst
frank fri sghchlt u sch ichlfri. >> the summer just got hotter. and nancy pelosi's statement didn't mention impeachment. but jerry nadler suggested that he wants to move forward. and we've been hearing rumblings of that behind the scenes that particularly the judiciary committee was really anxioiage for impeachment. so i'm interesting to see how far he goes when he talks to reporters in a couple minutes because i think that it will tell us a lot about where we stand here. i think we seem to be moving toward a place where impeachment may be inevitable. the dam really seems to be breaking wide open because miller i think to tmil
mueller i think the message has really been mueller wants us to take action. >> and the language of his report today, hallie jackson, we just have a minutes, but the spoken word of robert mueller had a clarity to it which had been blurred in the written report by william barr. it is now clear, i didn't indict because i'm not allowed to under the constitution. so this proceeds in another constitutional direction, ie the u.s. congress. >> right, but the white house is making the argument that in essence that didn't matter because the mueller report found what it found and william barr the attorney general made the determination that he made. that was very clear in an interaction that we gist had with sarah sanders holding what you could call a driveway briefing here.gist had with sarah sanders holding what you could call a driveway briefing here. reporters peppered her about mueller's statement. sanders 234z er ers insisted th
president was exxonerated when mueller very specifically did not find that. you remember the statement that mueller said along the lines of just because we didn't exonerate the president of a crime didn't mean that he didn't commit one essentially, that that was not what the special counsel was looking at. sanders argued that even though congress, congressional democrats specifically, have lifhave -- here we go. >> here is jerry nadler. >> i want to thank robert mueller for his service to our nation the past two years. mr. mueller and his team of prosecutors and investigators worked tirelessly to follow the facts and pursue justice to the furthest extent allowed. although department of justice policy prevented the special counsel from bringing criminal charges against the president, the special counsel has clearly demonstrated that president trump is lying. he is lying about the special counsel's findings.
lying about the testimony of key witnesses in the special counsel's report. and above all, lying in saying that the special counsel found no obstruction and no collusion. in a statement this morning, special counsel mueller reaffirmed his report. it found substantial evidence that russia attacked our political 178, that the trump campaign benefitted from russian interference, that trump and those around him repeatedly welcomed russia's support, and that throughout the subsequent investigation, trumpstruct muel again. special counsel mueller today repeated three central points which are critical for the american people. one, the special counsel did not exonerate the president of the united states of obstruction of justice. two, obstruction of justice of which special counsel mueller found substantial evidence is a
serious crime that strikes at the core of our justice system. three, the constitution points to congress to take action to hold the president accountable for his misconduct. unfortunately, special counsel miller withdraws unabwas unable pursue criminal charges against president because department of justice policy prevents a sitting president from being prosecuted. i think that policy is wrong, but it prevented the special counsel from pursuing justice to the fullest extent as possible. therefore it falls to congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of president trump. we will do so. make no mistake, no one, not even the president of the united states, is above the law. >> congressman will move them toward impeachment proceedings
a and given what mueller has said, will you subpoena him to testify in front of congress? >> with respect to the impeachment question, all options are on the table. and nothing should be ruled out. but special counsel mueller said loud and clear today for the american people that president trump is lying when he says no collusion, no obstruction. and that he was exonerated. if mueller wanted to exonerate the president from having committed a crime, he would have said so. instead -- and he says he would have said so. instead the spk makes clear that obstruction of justice which he found substantial evidence of is a serious crime that strikes at the core of our justice system. and that the constitution points to congress to take action to hold the president accountable. that is exactly what we will do. the president's response to rye petedly lie to the american people and ignore all congressional subpoenas is immoralunlawful.
no one is above the law and we will hold the president accountable. >> so if i may follow up then, congressman, with regards to impeachment, will you move forward -- you say it is on the table, but what exactly does that mean? >> we areal following throur ar our investigation and we'll make decisions as they seem indicated. >> will you subpoena mueller to testify then? >> mr. mueller told us a lot of what we need to hear today. it is important to be clear on what he told us. he reaffirmed what was in the investigation which was in the report about the investigation. which found substantial evidence that russia attacked our political system, that the trump campaign benefited from russia's interference, that trump and those around him repeatedly welcomed russia's support and that throughout the
investigation, trump sought to obstruct justice and undermine mueller and the investigation over and over again. the president -- sorry, the special counsel did not exonerate the president from having committed a crime. doj policy prevented mueller from bringing criminal charges against the president. so the president is lying about the special counsel's finding, lying in saying that the special counsel found no obstruction and no collusion. and i should add the attorney general is lying about that tonight about that is serious and we will take action to hold the president accountable. again, i complete no one not even the president is above the law. thank you very much.an indictmee but said he wouldn't pursue actively impeachment. >> he did, he called the president's conduct immoral and
unlawful but would not go any farther. he said all options are on the tabled and nothing can be ruled out. he has said that before. i mean, that has sort of been the stance of house democrats. so this indicates to me house leadership is not yet ready to take a big step forward toward impeachment. what we have now is the status quo and also the suggestion there that they don't feel as though they need to subpoena robert mueller. that they feel like they learned everything that they were going to learn. now, i'm interested to see i think there is still pressure from within the ranks to hear from mueller in some way. i'm not sure that that will be a satisfying answer for a lot of the rank and file in the democratic caucus. but again, this is one of those things where what we're watching for, we're trying to figure out where the wave will crest, right? so right now members are scattered across the country. when they come back next week, i think that we will start to get a sense of if they all go behind closed doors in a room, where is that momentum. my sort of -- early reporting
suggests that that momentum will move pretty strongly in favor of pai impeachment. >> it is 40 now. i'll get ahead of you and say unlikely the number will go down. >> unlikely. >> so it will go up. what would it have to do to push nch? nancy pelosi? >> i think that you would have to see a majority of the caucus really shift in that direction. and i think that you are you getting to a point where -- and a member of her leadership team has put this way. he had been firmly in the don't impeachment, we don't have what it takes. he said how do i answer my grandchildren's questions, how do i say in 10 or 15 years when they are asking me what did you do in that moment, it is getting harder to conceive of the idea that i will look at them and say i did nothing. so this question i think is becoming increasingly when history. >> i think an old phrase
galloping horse rides by and you should get in the saddle. so what do you think is in the works now? chairman of the house judiciary committee, which is the impeachment committee where the institution has called him a looir, a criminal, liar, a criminal, a wrong doer, but didn't move. >> i think that you will hear the president attack jerry nadler as he has so often. and i can tell you on the topic of impeachment, the white house -- sarah sanders is telling reporters that they are always prepared for that possibility. sanders declined to say what specific kinds of discussions they are having around the possibility that impeachment may be coming down the pike if more members of the democratic caucus get on board and speaker pelosi feels she needs to shift in that direction, but it is clear that the white house knows that is a possibility, it may ultimately be inevitable and are prepare
ending to that front. a couple other my lighighlights. response from the white house so far has been fairly muted. there is not that level of chaotic scrambling inside the west wing that we have seen in the past when there have been developments on the special counsel front. in this case the white house was somewhat policemeneded f ed fpr mueller would say, they received a head's up last night so had a sense of the broad outlines. the white house continues to make the argument that the president is exonerated december sig despite what we heard from mueller. but let me pull back for a second. this is something that rom fber mueller focused on. and that is the issue of russia interference in the election in the first place. robert mueller started and ended his statements on that topic. the idea that russia and other
bad actors interfered in our election in 2016, russia will be at it again come 2020 just a year and change away. i pressed sarah sanders on 24 because as this because president trump himself has been reduction ta reluctant to call out the bad actors. here was her response. >> you laid out a vehicle ruvig defense. why are we not here 245g frarinm the president? >> he had his entire team -- >> what about from him? >> that is his staff. he instructed the team to go out and layout what we're doing to protect from any interference from any government. >> have is he -- >> he said it a number of times that there was interference and
now we're taking steps on how we stop it from happening again. >> reporter: i would also add that the president himself has acknowledged that nobody really wants to be impeached, although my reporting is that the president privately has talked about the idea that impeachment may not be the worst thing for him since he is looking back to the example of bill clinton. >> pete, i want to get to the question of the motive. what do you think of the motive of the special counsel and why he came ford? first of all, it seems to be he is saying i'm not going to testify. that is one fact. but what did he think he would get done in terms of tomorrow's headlines that he didn't get through barr in the initial 400 page report? >> reporter: you're right he said he wasn't going to testify and that no one was keeping him
from testifying. so that is getting around someh especially after the president's tweet that he didn't want him to testify and the attorney general to hold him back from doing that. he also, chris, underlined a point about why he didn't come to that obstruction decision which is the big question everyone in the public has, why i did not make that decision. and we wondered whether we can trust the attorney general's word on that. and today suspepecial counsel's office put together a handout with barr's words from the statement today that further explains that. what they say is that the olc opinion was heavily considered in the obstruction investigation, but it was considered insofar as they would not go down the path to even look at whether or not the president could be charged one way or another with a crime. and as robert mueller said today, the criminal justice system is not the venue, not the avenue for accusing the president of lowrongdoing, leavg
to congress. he did not contradict -- we said did you contra duct what the attorney general said when that he said if it had not been for that pin whopinion, you would ye charged. and they said we are not contradicti contradicting. they didn't look at this, they didn't walk down that read because they stopped because of this opinion. other thing and this is what robert mueller left us all with, how important the investigation was in revealing the very complex and systemic work by the russian government and private individuals within russia to u influence voters. and he gave a warn thanksgiving that is still important work that needs to be focused on. the threat continues. and so i think that is especially important as the president is calling this a
witch hunt and the attorney general is asking people to look into the or xwhigins of this investigation. he's saying they had important work to do here and what they revealed was important in itself. >> here is the question for robert mueller. and i think it manhatthasn't be answered. if he accepted the justice department guidelines that you can't ib ditndict a sitting president, why didn't he alert the american people to that finding months before his report came out so that we would not be looking as the country has been -- or had been for some sort of verdict on his guilt or innocence? >> reporter: i wondered that. i think the point he made today is that the obstruction investigation was not just about the president positihimself, bu others. he said that was the first conversation and then he got to the olc opinion. it might have been other people
were attempting ob strubs around t obstruction around the president. so it was worthwhile. but yes, why go through this for two years if you weren't going to come to this conclusion if early on you realized twlofs way that you could charge the president. and he's saying his charge was to look into russian interference and possible collusion with the trump campaign. which includes more than just the candidate himself. >> barb, the constitution is pretty clear if you ignore the excitement about the investigation of mueller. everybody has been watching it for a gil verdict, guilty or no. congress said wait until we hear from mueller. he will decide whether to impeach the president. and now we find out, oh, i'm not going to look at that because you can't indict the president. well, you're telling us that now? why didn't you tell us back in the beginning? i can look into this matter, i can investigate it, but don't look to me to be the prosecutor. that is the role of house of representatives.
>> yeah, i agree. and one of the important things he said in his report and he emphasized again today is one of the reasons that he did his work was to preserve the evidence while it existed and preserve witness testimony while it was still fresh because then it could be handed to either a future prosecutor to prosecute trump when is he no longer a it is being prod or esident on or t over to congress. he said there is a mechanism into. and it does appear in his report that that is an appropriate mechanism. i think his area of disagreement and this document is what william barr refers to as binary choice. prosecutors decide charge or don't charge and i think what robert mueller is saying that was never my choice when it comes it a president. really what my choice was, if it is binary, exonerate or exonerate. i did it with conspiracy, but i did not exonerate with regard for obstruction. i couldn't charge so i leave to
others. either future prosecutors when this president is no longer sitting or congress to go down the road of impeachment. >> and the president wasfronted that he will be indicted after leaving office. does it create one more incentive for re-election? the committee to prevent the president from being indicted. >> i think that that is an interesting analysis point. just given that this is a question the white house has been forced to answer, did the president conduct any kind of criminal conduct basically. and the people around the president tell us definitely no, that that would not even be a possibility because they don't believe that the president did anything wrong. it is on obviously not up to them to make that determination. i think the president is motivated for re-election for a number of reasons. first and foremost politically for him, he wants to continue to be president. i think that he in some ways enjoys being president obviously and everything that goes along with that. but that is sort of an
undercurrent here is the idea that once he is out of office, what could happen it him from the sort of criminal perspective depending on what is obviously the special counsel and others decide to do. keep in mind even though robert mueller is done, he is a private citizen, closing up shop at the special counsel's office, there are still a number of other investigations that are happening in the southern district of new york and elsewhere that could be very problematic for donald trump related to his conduct during the campaign. and that is something else that the white house knows is a shadow sort of shahanging over them. but i have to stress the sense i'm getting from our reporting today so far, that despite this appearance of robert mueller, first one in two years on camera making this public statement, very little has changed related to the political calculus for this white house and related to their position. there is one notable change and that is the president himself, his reaction, not allobstructioy
there is sufficient evidence. that is a different tone, a different attitude that the president is now taking. not to say that we won't see an all caps tweet come out at some point, but we haven't just yet. >> because mueller made clear that he is putting all this evidence in a cryogenic state. he is freezing it for a later time nap time. that is pretty obvious. thank you so much. let me go to u.s. congressman. member of the intelligence committee. you're smiling and i'm wondering why. it seems that this is history day. you can skik tcan kick the can road again, you can do more subpoenas or test the administration's willingness to cooperate, all that is possible.
but politically i think that the power for action now is much stronger than it was yesterday. what do you think? >> i was smiling because i think that you are right that he was putting a lot of this evidence in a cryogenic state. the oracle of the truth, robert mueller spoke and every word seemed to count today. he could have said there was insufficient evidence for the obstruction of justice. he wasn't willing to do that. he could have said there was sufficient evidence but he didn't want to do that for constitutional reasons. and instead i think he landed on something that i went back and started rereading the report on page eight of stroll ivolume tw says there are difficult issues that would need to be resolved in order to make a decision about whether to proceed with a charge. so he kicks it over to congress
and a process to resolve those issues. and that is what we have to do right now. that is what is incumbent on us to pursue in the various committees of jurisdiction. >> let's talk about the congress' royal here. it seems that west the reason we have jury trials -- we could have bench verdicts of course. it comes down to judgment and the way humans look at other people's behavior and understand mitigating circumstances. the reason i think the constitution was designed the way it was, so peers of the president would have to make this judgment, that it wouldn't be a bench judgment by a court. it would be made by people who get elected. so the judgment of you folks, men and women up on the hill, to make up this decision. what good are all the hearings
if you will never make a decision on this? because the decision is the judgment. it is not the hearings, not the subpoenas, not the documents. in the end you have the evidence really that the president fired comey, his fbi director, because he wouldn't play ball with them. he tried to fire the special counsel who was basically commissioned to investigate him. trying to get rid of him, we know that from his lawyer, mcgahn. seemed like it was a bank robbery in broad daylight and you try to outsource to mueller and he says can't you see what i see? it is up to you guys to make the judgment. you got to do it. >> so last night i had a town hall meeting, and i think that probably haft room thought there was half the room thought there was a bank robbery and the other half didn't. so the overall question that you have to ask is what is the best
course for the country. not for democrats, not republicans, but what is the best course for the country. right now i think that the best course is to address that central issue that robert mueller put squarely before us in that conclusion section on page 8 of volume 2 which is resor resolve these issues. you have to surface more evidence and do the full investigation that we're trying to pursue in the various committees with some success by the way last week. and then make a decision about whether on prosecute. in illinois, i learned that as special assistant attorney general. you have to investigate and then prosecute. >> when is it over? >> good question. i think we're making more log. i'm starting to see some independent opinion emerge even on the other side of the aisle.
>> where? >> well, we saw this with senator richard burr. we obviously see people like justin amash. and so they are demanding information beyond the report. >> all right. xwrats to ha great to have you on. one last question. we're past memorial day. we'll be at fourth of july fairly soon. we'll get into august where nothing gets done around here. it gets very hot in washington. they don't really work that hard in the summer. you take your summer vacation. then we're into the fall which is the full 2020 political season with three or four debates by then. they are going into the iowa cauc caucuses. is there time to impeach this president? >> you know, i don't know the answer to that question. honestly. i think we have to do what is best to the country this moment and the challenge staring us in
the face is we have to punch through the obstructionism with regard to our normal every day oversight including this investigation. >> i think that is where things are. thank you so much. stick with me, frank, we'll get to you. robert mueller says if he is called to testify on capitol hill, he will say nothing new. will they still try to get him to appear? last year, the department of veteran's affairs partnered with t-mobile for business. with va video connect, powered by t-mobile, vets can speak to their doctors from virtually anywhere,
anyways... i've got their app right here, i can troubleshoot. i can schedule a time for them to call me back, it's great! you have our number programmed in? ya i don't even know your phone anymore... excuse me?! what? i don't know your phone number. aw well. he doesn't know our phone number! you have our fax number, obviously... today's xfinity service. simple. easy. awesome. i'll pass. robert mueller says he won't reveal anything new in front of congress he hasn't revealed already. written or spoken. will house democrats renew their push for a public hearing? that is the big question. kasie hunt is still with me. and frank of course and ken dilanian covering the security and intelligence. it was a beautifully written review of the andrew johnson impeachment the other day.
i'm saying that the ghal lgalluf history is passing by and people have to decide whether to jump into the saddle. >> i think that you are right. it is true johnson gets impeached in his re-election year. there is a lot of the same political pressures. you have the super bowl majority th supermajority and they think that this might tear the country apart. the originrinloriginal pass pei. but essentially forced by johnson's own behavior it move
toward impeachment. someone put this way, if you have one foot on the dock and one foot on the boat, you end up in the water. and right now that is the way it feels. every democrat that i've heard, you can feel the tension, rhetorical tension in the instruments of each of the members ev members of congress as they try to keep one foot on the dock takes keeps floa-- as it keeps floating out to water. >> and we know the people that come on the tube all the time, that he a they are fantastic. how many are honestly undecided? how many are taking the lead of the speaker? >> just saying i would have been for impeachment and next nanosecond it should say okay.
>> i think that people with pelosi tend to be genuinely with her. and i think you can tell someone who is towing the party line. >> nadler. >> i don't want to put words in jar wri nadler's mouth, but if you listen closely, it is different from say hakim jeffries. and when you talk to people privately, i mean, frankly the voices calling for impeachment, they are louder. often more progressive, people who are more comfortable maybe in front of the cameras. these new freshmen from -- >> and they own the tv camera. they get to it immediately. west side of new york, voters are to the left. aoc may be on the political left. there is the nonpolitical left which is it further out there, would never run for office, but
always -- seems that pressure is not from the center on these people. or practical politics. it is i'd yol gi. >> i think it is a hard question for everyone.deology. >> i think it is a hard question for everyone. i did think some people -- amash is the biggest example because he has done it with zero political up side. just genuinely have an objection to the behavior of the president. but when you talk about the 40 front line seats, so the people that gave that democrats the house majority that i think nancy pelosi and everybody is obsessed with, i think the question is okay, what are you going to do to resolve the current situation. they want to go back to
statist constituents, but there is no cloud over in. the president is the president. and i don't see a plan that resolving the inherent tension in the absence of moving forward on inquiry. >> i think sometimes wait a minute, would could it be what they are most afraid of, if there is a kcosmic shift and trump is impeached, he will be faster and nim bler. he will be much better and he will find a way of turning it into -- >> you're right. he thrives on the attack. his base will eat this up. you thought the deep state was bad? how about the actual threat of
impeachment, a coup is how he will portray it. but i think mueller made it much harder and he is getting a pass. i'm seeing criticism is of mueller that he essentially punted. we expected a verdict. >> why didn't he tell us we would get the verdict. >> we knew he couldn't charge the president, but we didn't know that he couldn't even say i think the president committed these crimes, over to you congress. that he should be charged. >> yeah, the not proven. i can't exonerate. where did come from? frank, what is the smart move for the democrats in the house right now because it is their turn to vote. >> for my the takeaway, they
have the green light if they want it that the ball is in their court. and now they have to pick it up and run with it and do the right thing. and the other thing that i think we aare glossing over, what we learned about our attorney general. and that is that we have further confirmation that he simply has not been an honest broker of information. what we had today in measured terms, a rebuke of this attorney general. the attorney general has been telling the american people that mueller was operating -- not 3r5i9ing under the constraints that you couldn't indict a signature presidesitting presid. the attorney general has been saying that there is no collusion when in fact we heard again today that he focused only on criminal conspiracy. and i think with regard to obstruction, the attorney general has been wrong pli telling us that it was his job to make a progression could ypr. so we have to deal with the
question of impeachment and what to do with an attorney general who has lost all credibility. >>. >> do you think he went beyond just distorting what mueller had said to him? he asked would you have indicted, and he said no. but that is not what mueller is saying. he said i didn't go down that road because of the guidelines. but the way -- my guess is that mueller purposely got mueller into making a comments he could manipulate. what do you make of it? >> i think that is true, but it is even more reason why we need mueller to testify in front of congress. we need to ask these questions. what were your conversations with the attorney general, was this miswe weinterpretation.
i'm viewing bar r as the street fighter. and boxer versus street fighter, the street fighter wins. >> well said. chris, you are thinking about the interplay between the guy who got to be the interpreter that was lost in translation here an awful lot of information here because the interpreter was giving us a totally different spin. he was telling us the guy said he was sbninnocent. >> yeah, this is the statement that mueller would have made or wanted to have made when the initial report was delivered. and i think it is in-disputable that barr has not acted in good faith, that he viewed position as a spin master for the president to massage the facts to best benefit the president as well. i think the other question you can you know, there is a constitutional qui,estion, but
also a school yard question which is going forward, what will restrain this president. the president we know he feels like he finally has the guy that needs. the question of how do you restrain the president's behavior i think has to weigh on the minds of democrats in the house who now have one branch of the government which is what do you do to make him not do this, what do you do to make sure that the saudis don't have hack the democrat democratic nominee. this is not an issue that is in the past dead and buried whatever mueller said. it is a live issue as we head into a campaign in which the russians and saudis have interest, other foreign governments have interest, and also the president has signaled his willingness to essentially use the tools of the justice department and help foreign
adversaries to gain whatever advantage he can. >> the ideas are flying around. an lies talyze the politics out in the country. we are lucky to be on television and they stop you all the time and sthey say when will you get rid of this guy, keep it up, keep -- whatever they say, they are totally emotional involved. i don't buy the theory that the country isn't focussed on trump and impeachment. what will this do to that answer? >> i think that it will make people go further and further into the camp that they were already in. politics has been tribal in this country. on the democratic side, they say why can't we get rid of him, he
has lied. he is leaning on the attorney general's narrative of no obstruction, no collusion to try to basically make the case that he is all cleared. you aboabout but we know robert mueller said i didn't say to. i asked sarah sanders how is this case closed, and slepd the the attorney general cleared the president. but if you are a republican -- i should say sources within the trump campaign tell me if it is impeachment, bring it on. because they think that we would love nothing more than to really relit gate whether or not president trump deserves to be in the white house. and they really feel like they have the narrative there. they will be able to say democrats are sore about 2016 and now they are going after the president. so really i think it is all about tribalism and how polarizing this country is. >> ken said it well, if we go
the impeachment route, the opportunities are unlimited. because he can accuse of a coup carried out by politicians. and it would mean his deepest theories that sells to the people every night. thank you so much all. new reaction from 2020 contenders after the break. th. small things. big things. too hard to do alone things. day after day, you need to get it all done. and here to listen and help you through it all is bank of america. with the expertise and know-how you need to reach that blissful state of done-ness. so let's get after it. ♪ everything is all right what would you like the power to do?® ♪ all right
a new reaction to two major democratic candidates. bernie sanders and joe biden both weighing in. joe biden's campaign released a statement minutes ago. he agrees with speaker pelosi that no one would relish -- it was be a divisive impeachment process but it may be unavoidable if this administration continues on its path. bernie sanders tweeted if the house judiciary committee deems it necessary, i will support their decision to open an impeachment inquiry. he highlighted a rift with the attorney general. we all agree on that. before the investigation even began could mueller have charged president trump with a crime? >> a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while she
in office. that is unconstitutional. charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider. >> the very prosecutorial function in all our powers as prosecutors including the power convene grand juries is for one purpose and one purpose only. it's determined yes or no. was alleged conduct criminal or not criminal. that is our responsibility and that's why we have the tools we have. we don't go through this process just to collect information and throw it out to the public. >> back with me is kasie hunt and doug burns and clint watt. doug, it seems the ball is in the house court but it's also looking forward in the control basically of the president and
the attorney general. >> i agree. >> they think they are innocent. they think they have beat this wrap. case closed. what's coming next in terms of their behavior with regard to the congress and whether they will honor the subpoenas? >> today made it a lot more difficult to go scorched earth and i'm completely exonerated. let's break down a couple of the quick bombshells. the first one was insufficient evidence. the take away from everybody is that's a different discussion, obviously, from somebody who didn't do a crime. now you're talk about the amount of evidence. that's point one. point two, as you guys have been saying, there was always a d disconnect between the special counsel and the attorney general on the question of obstruction of justice. as you pointed out, it's the 80 pound gorilla in the room the
two memoranda are not binding in court. you can sort of argue this both ways. on the one hand if he went into it saying you have these olc memos then he's not going to engage in normal prosecutorial function and then the bar, we above you would decide whether the olc memos block prosecution. it starts getting complicated. >> it seems to me that mueller was very clear that he didn't just say legal counsel, he said it's their understanding of the u.s. constitution that he really was constitutionally kept from indi indicting. he made it sound more grandu rergrandure. >> i'm so glad you made that point. for him to say it's unconstitutional isn't accurate. it sort of overstates it. back to my earlier point. no court has said whether or not it's constitutional and many
legal experts, including me, i'm open on the question of whether a sitting president can be indicted. i'm not clear. i recognize as i must that the office of legal counsel issued two memoranda saying it will be doj policy that you can't do it but if they did it, hypothetically, law school classroom, i'm not kwinconvince court wouldn't say it's okay.pu gun and shoot cabinet member, they won't say we'll wait until he gets out of office. >> that's practical versus academically. say he bludgeons ten people with an ax, are you going to contend you can't indict him. they would and you have the other point which is he can be indicted and you've heard everybody discuss this after he leaves office. >> yeah. the only thing we have evidence on that is nixon shoving his
press secretary. i guess that's assault. i don't think he brought charges against the boss. you're thinking about this where it stands because i always thought about watergate. i guess the worst thing is they all got away because god knows what would have come next. he had all kinds of stuff going on. he was setting up his own separate government. in this case, it may be he does get away with it. this president will not be impeached in all likelihood the way things are going tonight. >> we need some rule changes. a candidate is encouraged to commit as many crimes as possible as long as they win because then they can be investigated or indicted. that's not a good system. the second part is i think this really shows the flaw of the attorney general position being appointed by the president and now being the president's sort
of lawyer or defender. how do you feel about your department of justice at this point when a person who is completely outside of the government, who was not involved even in the campaign can come in and make a decision about whether his boss, essentially, the president will be prosecuted. i think this speaks to our entire justice system at this point whether it was loretta lynch meeting bill clinton or a tarmac or a.g. barr is he really impartial. is he for the people or someone to keep the president out of trouble and hot water. >> it's changed over the years, hasn't it? >> yes. if we look back if we're going to do something, it comes down to congress again. the impeachment proceedings comes down to a dozen republicans or so. are a dozen republicans willing to do this. what you're teaching the president is win over the popular support and you can do whatever you want in terms of following the rules or not. >> we had bobby kennedy who is the brother of the president, loyal to the end and janet reno
when bill clinton called her, she got a note pad out to put it on the record. >> new york senator, kirsten jill bra jill brand said it's time for congress to begin impeachment. robert mueller expects to exercise constitutional authorities and take steps. we can't let the president defy constitutional measures. they are lining up. >> they are. >> i thought biden did a great job of capturing where the center is. to basically suggest it may become inevitable and there may be no way around this. democrats, especially nancy pelosi's allies would say she -- >> what's the straw that breaks the camel's back.
>> after today, i don't have a good answer for that question because afterdon mcgahn, the subpoenas are getting defied. that will be the challenge for democrats defending not launching impeachments, like what is it going to take. >> the firing of the fbi director because he wouldn't protect him and attempting to fire the special counsel because he was investigating him. how do you beat that for obstruction. thank you as always. that's it for this hour. i'm chris matthews. i'll be back at 7:00. ali velshi picks things up from new york. >> i'm never sad to do tv but i'm sad you're leaving. this has been a remarkable hour. >> thank you. by regulation it was bound by that department policy. for the first time special counsel robert mueller went before cameras today. he spoke about his own 448 page
report before officially resigning from his post. in his final words as special counsel. mueller chose to read the conclusions from his report making clear that right from the start justice department policy prohibited his office from charging a sitting president with a crime. mueller reiterated the same point also written in his report that he did not clear the president of obstruction. for those who missed it, i want to play out the full press conference so you can hear for yourself exactly what the special counsel had to say. this is important. >> good morning, every one. thank you for being here. two years ago the acting attorney general asked me to serve as special counsel and he created this special counsel's office.