tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC July 23, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
chuck will be back tomorrow with more "meet the press" daily. stay with msnbc tomorrow as robert mueller testifies on the hill. our special coverage begins at 8:30 a.m. eastern. "the beat with ari melber"" starts right now. >> thank you so much. we are 15 hours it away from history right here in washington. special counsel mueller testify before congress in public on the criminal evidence against president trump for the first time. that's why pretty much whatever happens tomorrow is high stakes. democrats think mueller's appearance in the flesh will bring to life a case they say already exists on paper. the evidence that the donald trump committed crimes in office. but many of trump's defenders say they're confident in the other side of this argument. that mueller did not charge an election conspiracy, that his worst findings have been out there for months and in terms of politically damaging trump, tomorrow could be if their words
a big dud. there are many ways to look at this. but as the hearing approaches we're getting all kinds of hard news about it. on the congressional side democrats holding a private mock hearing to prep for a witness proven to be dry, unyielding unshakableable in his appearances before this institution. then there's the mueller side. even the famous little tight-lipped operator has been compelled to reveal some things about his approach. he's being represented and prepped by an old partner in his law firm because congress has to list a lawyer written down in the formal subpoena for mueller. we know as of today mueller wants one of had his deputies to sit alongside him tomorrow. it looks like that's going to happen. given the exacting lawyer and boss he is, can you imagine what it's like for those two to prep and advise him on the most watched hearing of his life? can't be easy.
then there's the doj side. trump's attorney general bill barr phenomenon mali pressing mule other to stay in the boundaries of his report and the democratic chair already pushing back on that. >> it's arrogant of the department to try to the instruct him what to say as part of the ongoing cover-up by the administration to keep information away from the american people. he does not have to comply with that letter. he doesn't work for them. that will letter asks things that are beyond the power of the agency to ask even if he still worked for them. >> it's true that the doj can only limit certain information like classified material for release. barr's letter looks more like a fastball than a serious legal document. while barr keeps knocking other people for speaking out, he's not exactly keeping quiet. today, seeking out fox news cameras. >> and conversations with the department, his staff was
reiterating that that was their position and they asked us for guidance in writing to explain or to tell them what our position was. so we responded in writing the department sent a guidance they had requested. >> so mueller requested guidance? >> yes. >> secondly, what do you think of congress man nadler saying this was arrogant to send this let silver. >> he was misinformed as to the facts. >> the debate over mr. barr misleading the public is certainly important. but that's ultimately about barr and those few months when he was using his filter before people saw the report. as we get ready, tomorrow has the oh tension to be more than that, about the underlying facts. here are a few in terms of what the special counsel probe actually did legally. charges against 34 people and three russian companies. charges against several advisers and aides to d, a remarkable string of indictments in trump world that is sometimes
forgotten about this r in this era, but consider it compared with other presidencies tonight. richard nixon 12 aides charged in watergate, clinton saw three associates charged mostly from whitewater in the eight years in office, obama went eight years without facing a special counsel or any indictments of aides. donald trump holds the record for the most indictments this early in his term. six former advisers or aides. these facts are a product of our system, of an independent probe led by bob mueller. donald trump has the highest rate of indictment for his ates than any president in history. would you have the same result if barr had been the attorney general the whole time? i bringing in an expert panel on mueller eve. in the hot seat, former
prosecutor paul butler. and great panel for not just for washington nerds but for everyone, the eve of a really big thing. paul, put it in the con e-of what we just saw. all the emphasis whether it's good or bad for trump. this is the first time mueller will speak about his methods for that record breaking series of indictments. >> what tomorrow is about is whether there are going to be consequences. is the president of the united states above the law, will people be made to answer to justice. and so it's theater because we already know what the mueller report says. that's the script. the audience is the american people. the star is robert mueller and ari, that's the problem because thus far, he has not been an effective communicator, the spin by trump and barr, no collusion, no obstruction, that has been effective. polls show that's what the american people know about the
report. so. >> is that why barr seems nervous that is mueller might upend some of that. >> he might. it has not worked. this is what he said in the press conference. if we had no confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. what does that even mean? tomorrow for the health of our democracy, mueller needs to speak clearly and plainly and state in a way that the american people it can understand all of the criminal conduct by president trump that his investigation revealed. >> you made juanita laugh. >> i giggle a little bit. it's kind of like this. yes you're correct, paul. barr and trump have been out for months now really throwing their spin out there. no collusion, no obstruction we've heard from them repeatedly. this is an opportunity for members of congress, democrats to ask the pointed questions to mueller who is someone who is a ardent public servant and
principled and going to stay focused. getting him on the record to talk through the ten counts of obstruction and 272 plus points of contact that the trump campaign tried to cover-up and coordinated with a couple of folks behind the scenes? one thing about mueller is while he may be dry, is he direct. we saw that when he wrote to barr after barr released his summary in april and said this doesn't capture the con test, the content or substance of my report. please release the content that my team prepared. we've heard many times from his team that will barr has mischaracterized and misconstrued his findings. this is time to lay it all out there. >> how much of this should be about that beef which can strike normal memory audiences that might not have the read the mueller report itself ef let alone the filter is a little bit beside the point. >> i'm interested in the back and forth between barr and mueller but much more interested
in this man, i'm much more interested in his views about donald trump. is he a private citizen. he is bound by the rules of national security and his own sense of ethics of what he can reveal, given his previous bosses at the justice department and the pressure they've put on him. but he's going to be before the cameras and be grilled between four and five hours. he's got to give up something. the beast will be fed. something will come out of tomorrow. the question is, will it support the edifice that trump and barr have built of no collusion, no obstruction, or will that be denied or obliterateded? i think it could go either way. >> yeah, and betsy, i alluded to this at the top. there are trump era issues where there isn't a good argument on the other side, charlottesville. there are other trump issues where people are so in the habit of saying the president lies they forget, there's a very
strong argument here on the other side of the mueller report. you got into this to investigate an election conspiracy and volume one doesn't find a chargeable conspiracy as we've reported. number two, a lot of this does feel like let's in the water for america for your analysis, senator graham makes that be argument concisely here. >> i've heard all i need to hear from mueller. i've read his report. i accept the findings. i don't think it's going to change public opinion. >> i think he's right. i think for the most part, the way that the public views the mueller report is baked in. one challenge for democrats going into this is muellerent isn't going to be particularly helpful to them. there's been reporting some members might ask mueller just to read portions of the report. that's the kind of thing where you could see at the margins some public opinion changing. for the most part, he's a lay
lay conic guy and not super chatty when he goes into the investigations. >> we're always reaching for the thee saw russ for the ways to say he doesn't say anything. not chatty. >> i was working on my s. a. t. words. this is risky for democrats. i chatteded earlier with a democratic member of congress who said one of the concerns is mueller will give brusque and kurt answers and then the members questioning him might be caught off guard and might end up looking a little bit silly. this is not a risk-free environment. >> it's risky for the republicans, as well. >> who are probably going to plunge in there, i assume they're going to overreach and go into peter strzok and lisa page and all of that. mueller does not stuff fools gladly if at all. i think he could strike back at that kind of grandstanding. > is the republican argument fundamentally mueller didn't find anything so believe him or
don't believe mirl which suggests gosh, what did he find you don't want to believe in? >> they're arguing both ends against the middle. they want to portray him as someone who had a conflict of interest because they didn't refund his dues at a trump golf course and want to go into the origins of the investigation and yet want tonight accept the no collusion, no obstruction. i'm not one to quell bob mueller's judgment. he's rock solid. i do wonder why he wanted to golf so badly at the trump golf course. >> i have no clue. >> it's not substantive but i do wonder. >> irrelevant, ari. i still, i think bringing it back to. >> i've been overruled. irrelevant. go ahead. >> still, mueller is who he is. again, he's a creature of habit. while we're anticipating brusque responses, short answers not really tolerating any
foolishness or grandstanding, what he's going to do is stand by what he's written in this report. that's the one thing he has said repeatedly. while his language may not be the clearest krrkts you can speak in convoluted terms, democrats have the opportunity to ask straight questions and evidence. >> mueller is who he is. but at the end of the day, this isn't about mueller. this is about the rule of law and whereby his report will the have consequences. in hip-hop there's the expression "do it for the culture," which means speak of on behalf of shared values. mueller needs to set aside that did i have dense did, dryness and speak true to the american people and he needs to state clearly and plainly that the president of the united states committed crimes and that if he were anyone but the president, he would be behind bars right now the. >> i don't want it on the complete your verse for viewers to go no, paul butler years ago called "the hip-hop theory of
justice," which i liked. >> thank you, my friend. >> jay-z in that line says do it for the culture to let hem know. it sounds like you want bob mueller to let them know. the question is, which parts of the report are these questioners going to get at. volume 1 has good news for the white house if there's substantive questioning, the focus is on that. the american public may go the whole thing that was started to see if the election was like a crime, that could be news if they focus on wait a minute, donald trump's own lawyers so that's like his guy got an order so flat lit illegal in his view he didn't just plan to resign. i called his own criminal defense lawyer. do people know about that? >> certainly lots of people don't. a significant portion of americans don't know that mueller wrote a report. trump's relationships with lawyers could be an interesting through line for tomorrow. there's a section in the report
where it describes one of trump's lawyers calling one of michael flynn's lawyers and in this my mouthed way and hemming and hawing and suggesting flynn might get a pardon. i spoke with a doj official upwards of two years about the relationship trump had with lawyers and had person based on their knowledge of his history and having a sense early on, said look, trump view lawyers like they're tools and sledgehammers that he can use to get his way. >> some lawyers are tools. >> eleanor, you wanted to disagree with something. >> yeah, the roy cohn image always comes up when you think of donald trump. but it's a good thing that a light is going to be shined on this report that says if we could have exonerated the president from wrongdoing we would have done so and we didn't. mr. barr in a burst of candor recently said he was puzzled why
mueller didn't bring a charge of criminal behavior. he understood why he couldn't indict him but why didn't he make a judgment about criminal behavior. that was pretty amazing coming out of barr's mouth. now, if somehow we can get or we could get democrats can get mueller to acknowledge that this is criminal behavior, perhaps going through those ten instances one by one and asking him what they mean, i mean, i think that's a service to the republic. >> the first question i would ask is mr. mueller, tell the american people what trump said when he learned you were investigating him, what he said was oh, my god, there is terrible. my presidency is over. i'm screwed. except he didn't say screwed. >> do it for the culture and do it for the committee. it will be very interesting. i would shake everyone's hand but i can't. >> we can reach. >> eleanor, betsy, and juanita
as well as paul, thank you so much. fitting in a break. come can up an exclusive guest making a beat debut. bob woodward is here live. he's seen it all. we're excited to have him join us on the eve of these hearings. later in the show, a member of congress questioning muellerer questions me live. how do you actually do it? and we have aer dive what some are saying is an explicit effort to the gag mueller by trump's attorney general. i'm ari melber. by trump's attorney general i'm ari melber distracted teenager has the car. at subaru, we're taking on distracted driving [ping] with sensors that alert you when your eyes are off the road. the all-new subaru forester. the safest forester ever.
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our top story is a reckoning over two years in the making. arriving first thing tomorrow morning, something donald trump didn't want. he never wanted to speak to mueller himself and never wanted mueller to speak to the nation. but notice it's also something bob mueller didn't want. he never wanted to talk about his report and pleaded to let it speak for itself. in our democracy, it's not his call. congress says he must take questions under subpoena like anyone else or if you think about it, like 500 of those witnesses that mueller made speak under subpoena. now, tomorrow, bob mueller will testify just like any one of them. it's literally about 13 hours from now. you can see capital live where democrats have been huddling in
extra prep sessions including prominent attorney norm eisen playing the role of mueller like some kind of presidential debate prep. today aides were scurrying back and forth, making phone calls, finalizing details. there were negotiations over new pressures from the justice department, questio. mueller's attorney aaron zebley will be at the hearing tomorrow morning. if you see bob mueller turn to someone tomorrow, that's who will be conferring with him. questions like did your report find no obstruction. when did your team decide it could not indict a president. what did your other protest letter to bill barr say and why did you rebut a president's potential defenses to obstruction unless you were implying donald trump did the obstruct justice in preparing rebuttals for that and an then a really big question, did 0 bob
mueller hold back from what prosecutors did back in watergate because trump didn't do anything as serious as nixon in watergate or did he hold back because today's laws governing special counsels are much narrower than the broad powers of prosecutors in that watergate era? that's part of the context for our special interview next. "washington post" journalist bob woodward whose dogged pursuit of the watergate was part of the process that led to his resignation. he joins us when we're back in 30 seconds. he joins us when we're back in 30 seconds ize 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. ♪ don't miss your gto experience our most advanced safety technology on a full line of vehicles. now, at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2019 es 350 for $379 a month, for 36 months,
and we'll make your first month's payment. experience amazing. welcome back on "the beat." we're joined by bob woodward who had won a pulitzer prize for his watergate reporting and continues to report on washington power right on through the current trump era. >> five men were arrested early saturday while trying to install eaves dropping equipment at the democratic national committee. the country tonight is in the midst of what may it be the most sisters constitutional crisis in its history. the president has set himself against his own attorney general and the department of justice. >> reports bob woodward and carl bern teen pieced the story together bit by bit. >> suppose we had not written those stories. we've thought about it and we've realized it's futile because you can't answer it. >> these are the people who said
the fruth is it negotiable. >> "fear trump in the white house" paints the portrait of a chaotic white house driven by dysfunction. >> bob woodward joins us including the author of "fear about the trump administration." "time" magazine his work remains perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history. thank you for being here. >> thank you for inviting me. >> i'm thrilled to have you. let's begin with the bakes. how should americans watch this hearing tomorrowle? >> i think as you've suggested, this is democracy. and this is the president being held accountable in a way. he does not want this testimony. he does not want this spectacle, but we're going to have it. and the question is, how do you
look at the evidence that mueller presented as you pointed out earlier in the show? it's very clear in volume one on the basic investigative issue, was there is coordination, was there some sort of conspiracy. they didn't find it. that was a big deal. that shocked lots of people. probably shocked you, didn't it? >> you're being a journalist in asking me. it 150e78d to me to take your question seriously, that at least by the ninth inning of the probe, a lot of the investigative focus was on roger stone. and not the type of people that would have pulled off a true conspiracy. >> but they didn't find it. and that's very significant. on the obstruction issue, it is has not got that kind of tape recorded intron tro investigatorable evidence that
we saw in watergate. >> let me get to that exactly. >> sure. >> because you mention it. listening to those tapes that you record on that shocked the nation, here is a short one where the president himself starts talking about blackmail. >> i have been a con foout duty for information on taking care of people out there who are guilty of crimes. >> oh, you mean like the, uh-oh, the blackmail. >> the blackmail. >> how important is that when you're investigating a president? >> when you listen to that tape and look at the transcript, the president is told we're going to having to pay blackmail money to the watergate conspirators to keep them silent to keep them from telling the truth. and you look at the whole watergate story and the evidence it was not only a cover-up, lots of crimes, 17 wiretaps ordered or white house aides and
reporters. so in terms of magnitude, we don't see that in the trump investigation so far. but there are lots of things in the obstruction investigation, these ten items that are presented, that you think of a president doing these things, whether they're criminal or not, they really should be intolerable. that's not what a president should be doing, sending aides out, stop the investigation, cut it back. and oh people are going to look at that through the lens of politics or the law. and also the wonderful lens that i think is on this issue more important, common sense. what was going on here? was this some sort of effort to strangle an investigation? clearly it was.
was it criminal? trump talked about and sent people out to let's get rid of bob mueller, the special counsel and his investigation, but it never happened. in the case of nixon, he did. >> let me pause you on the word you just used. to a criminal degree, you say the mueller report does show an effort to "strangle the probe [yes, clearly. >> what should americans make of that? >> people are going to look at it very, very differently, and that's the beauty of this report. this is the beauty of having somebody like mueller testify. and people are focused on it, and they're going to learn from it. and where it goes i don't know. in the case of nixon, when all the evidence or the evidence up to the month nixon resigned in
1974 was barry goldwater, the conscience of the republican party went to nixon and essentially said, because of what's on the tapes, all the criminality, all the lies, are you finished. and 95 senators out of 100 are going to vote against you. and when nixon was told that, he resigned the next day. >> bob, you keep stressing the stock in trade that unites good prosecutors and good journalists. which is evidence. not a theory of the case, not a speculation about what will motives might be, but the evidence. in nixon, we look at blackmail which we just mentioned. you have this overwhelming evidence from the tapes. "we're being blackmailed." says dean. >> they say the blackmail is continuing. i think we have this here.
arn haldeman says the problem with the blackmail. nixon says to pay the blackmail. you look at this up and we'll leave it up here to sink in. does the mueller report have this level of presidential conduct proven? >> it does not. and we need to face the that and people who are so object to trump in the last book i did, i didn't find anything new in the russian conspiracy. but i found the way trump governs. we really have governing crisis and you pull out how he has handled mifr saudi arabia or china or the tariffs, this is not the way we need to be governed and we had better worry about that also but you know, i
applaud that we're having this hearing quite frankly. >> yeah, you this is a worthwhile endeavor despite all the political noise attacking it. because you're here, i want to go deeper with you. let's put up the legal evidence that does compare this. we hear these comparisons so often. let's look at the legal evidence here. it starts out bad for trump as you'll see here, bob. you look at the attempted firing. the alleged crimes and you have the attempt, documented in the mueller report of trying to fire mueller. that's the trump version and the saturday night massacre famously with nixon. then when you go to the action, what prosecutors would call the overt act of firing the prosecutor, let's look at the evidence. you have the massacre with nixon. you don't have it with trump. partly don mcgahn may have save the presidency. for your analysis as discussed, this idea of what did trump want
to do, what did he secretly try to do, what was his intent. the mueller report gestures at it. plotting caught on tape with watergate have you it. in your view, is that the key difference here at the end of the day or not? >> well, there's an unwritten rule in the justice department going back decades. and that is the more evidence, the higher quality evidence you have, you need it, you need more of that the higher you go. everyone talks about in these thousand prosecutors who have said right litany average citizen who had this kind of evidence against him or her would be indicted and charged. but the president is not the average citizen and to mueller's credit, he adhered to the office of legal counsel opinion that a
sitting president cannot be indicted. if you just think of that not through any partisan lens, that makes sense. you can't go around and indict the president who has all these responsibilities in the executive branch. >> let's be clear. there were plenty of people who felt that was the obvious and clear standard until donald trump became president. even in the legal community which is supposed to pride itself on consistency, we saw some shifting among some. i want to touch to some of your reporting. you interviewed bob mueller and he told new 2002. >> when he was fbi director. >> as director, he says i don't feel that i get the substance or texture of an issue without going far down in the organization as it takes to find the person hob is dealing with it day to day. i could be an used of micromanaging and i'm sure you am. bob, couldn't someone wave that quote at him tomorrow when he
says i don't know, i'd have to check back and say mr. mueller, our understanding is every day you've already checked in with everyone and know what you know. >> well, but this is a wonderful description and it was not a question i asked him. he volunteered it. he aid i'm interested in substance and texture and i want to dig to the level in the organization where you have the people who have day-to-day responsibility. he did this in this investigation. i think as i've read the report now the three times my god to be punished like that, because. >> 1600 pages then. >> it's a slog, but you see something new each time. and it is a very important presentation of findings about presidential behavior. and in the end, and i think this
is what attorney general barr hung so much on, the report says mueller says this report did not find, did not conclude that the president committed a crime. and that's very important, whatever the reasoning is, go back to watergate. they did find that nixon committed a crime. and the special prosecutor in that case had nixon indicted as an unindicted co-conspirator by the grand jury in secret and mueller said no, we're not going to do that. and he talks about that is in this report. so i think lots of people are going to look at mueller and say, okay, i don't necessarily agree with all after it, but this is a decent process.
we also live in the environment now of the unexpected, the witness that appears. i know people, i know myself and working on all of these issues, i'm looking for new witnesses. and if you look at the history of watergate, it was only kind of an accident that they found the secret taping system that nixon had. we don't think trump had one. but let's keach digging. and you know, to a certain extent, it's the probably the best digger around is mueller and it's toot bad he's home or playing golf at this country club. >> i think as you say, it was interesting to hear you fairly draw comparisons and contrasts and it's a fitting point to end on for today let's keep digging. bob, thank you so much for
coming on "the beat." i hope you'll come back. >> yes, sir. >> ahead, a judiciary committee member who will be doing some of that questioning joins me live. we'll be right back. ome of that questioning joins me live we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, hmm. exactly. so you only pay for what you need. nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner? not again. limu that's your reflection. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ [ text notification now that you have] new dr. scholl's massaging gel advanced insoles with softer, bouncier gel waves,
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we chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. and the report is my testimony. i would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before congress. >> bob mueller's famous declaration house he wants to testify will be tested tomorrow. my next guest is one of the lawmakers questioning mueller. congressman joe neguse which begins the questioning first thing in the morning >> good to be here. >> what do you want to know? >> a lot. there's a lot of ground to cover for our committee. look, tomorrow the judiciary
committee, the intelligence committee, the congress and ultimately the american people will finally have the opportunity to hear directly from the special counsel at length about his findings, the exhaustive investigation. >> i'm asking you. what are you going to ask him? >> i'm not going to reveal the questions before tomorrow morning. suffice it to say, the committee and committee staff and members have been working diligentlily for quite some time. >> i deal with difficult witnesses like you right now and you'll deal with one tomorrow. if bob mueller says to you and your colleagues, see the report, i addressed that in the report. i'm not going to going beyond the report, is that acceptable as a guidepost for those hours which to some degree people would say what was the point of all this or do you feel that your role as a coequal branch of government it's your call to get that from him and not the
justice department's job to not say anything. >> there is value in the special punish counsel providing claritity in public testimony before the committee. most of congress has not read the report and most of the american public has not read the report. having the special counsel come in and detail his findings out loud i think that that will be incredibly helpful and important for the american people to hear. i would say obviously as you've covered on your program, to the ikts tent the special counsel decides to stick within the four corners of the report, that's his decision to make. that is not in my rule a rule that he has to adhere to. >> bill barr says it's a rule. >> well i think bill barr is wrong. that's not the first time i've found that the attorney general has made the wrong legal conclusions. suffice it to say, that esa 448 page report that most people have not read. so the ability for the special counsel to go into greater
detail about his findings, i think again is important for the american public to hear that directly from from him. >> which leapts and accidents of obstruction outlined there are most concerning to you? >> it's a tough question. what i would say is i think in particular the obstruction incidents involving white house counsel mcgahn pop to see they're the most disturbing and the most an green jus. i'm interested to hear more about that from the special counsel tomorrow. >> do you think don mcgahn is still trying to defend trump sort of or is he past that. >> i hope not. we all were puzzled by his decision to defy the subpoena that was duly issued a few months ago. i'm hopeful eventually we will secure his testimony of the committee. he has to be keld to testify as are a number of other fact witnesses as you know. >> congressman, you did not answer every question to the fullest extent.
but nor did you violate the law or your oath. a preview of tomorrow is what i'm jokingly saying. it's a busy night for your committee. i appreciate you giving us some of your thoughts. >> of course. i'm happy to share more tomorrow evening. > i have a hunch it will come in due time. thank you, sir we're not going anywhere. i want to tell all of you one other important story. there's a lot going on in washington. hours ago, a story we've been covering for a while, the senate did finally act on this legislation to fund 9/11 victims support. and it will be done for decades now if you remember, this is the product of a pretty intense lobbying campaign by a whole group of first respond ersand new yorkers and comedian jon stewart. just before the vote went to the floor, this photo of stewart went absolutely viral. what you see is jon stewart i would say almost puckishly smiling at the camera as mitch mcconnell strolls by in the
capitol. stewart also spoke after the legislation was passed. >> we can never repay all that the 9/11 community has done for our country. but we can symptom penalizing them. and today is that day. >> today is that day. jon stewart gets the lavender word on that today. when we come back after a quick break, bill barr, of course, is accused of spinning the mueller report and is trying to muzzle mueller's deputies. i have a former deputy who worked directly for mueller when we're back. worked directly for mueller when we're back the worst... ...especially when your easily distracted teenager has the car. at subaru, we're taking on distracted driving [ping] with sensors that alert you when your eyes are off the road. the all-new subaru forester. the safest forester ever.
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one of the obvious problems tomorrow for the the justice department is that it has had all kinds of critiques of bob mueller speaking out, but he is now going to speak out under subpoena. and chairman nadler has said this about why that scares attorney general bill barr. >> of course the attorney general bob barr does not want mueller to testify. he doesn't want to be contradicted in his lies and misrepresentations. >> mr. barr has obviously changed his tune over time about this whole issue. take a look. >> i have no objection to bob mueller personally testifying. >> what about bob mueller? should he be allowed to testify? >> i've already said publicly i have no objection to him. >> i'm joined by former prosecutor glenn kirschner who worked directly for bob mueller in the washington attorney's office. what do you make of mr. barr's
shift? >> you know, ari, i see this last-ditch attempt at the bill barr department of justice to try to muzzle bob mueller by sending the letter, the two-page letter that was sent yesterday. i would say it's a letter of do's and don'ts, but it's really just a letter of don'ts. when you read that two-page letter, it's surprising how many prohibitions they could actually cram into just two pages. let's just tick through them really quickly. they say bob mueller, you better stick to the four corners of your report, and here's what you're prohibited from doing. don't talk about grand jury materials. don't talk about redactions. don't talk about ongoing investigations. don't mention uncharged persons. don't talk about executive privilege. don't mention the deliberative process. don't mention any attorney-client work privilege. >> do you think it will move mueller in any way? >> you know, they're trying to muzzle mueller, but i don't think they're going to be able
to do it. mueller is not going to be impacted by outside forces trying to edit him and trying to limit him. the only thing that edits and limits bob mueller is the internal man. he will be guided by what he thinks is right and just and fair. he is not going to be pushed somewhere he doesn't want to go, but, you know, i think the most interesting question, ari, if he is asked questions beyond the four corners of his report that don't implicate any of the privileges that i think he should be concerned about, does he answer? because he did take an oath to tell the whole truth and to be responsive to questions. so i think that may present bob mule were a little bit of an internal struggle. >> let me ask you more widely about what we've learned here? because we are at this inflection point tomorrow that is going to put a button on the probe. we're very happy to have bob woodward on "the beat" for the first time this hour and he sort of threw the question back were you surprised they didn't find the election conspiracy. and i alluded to the fact at
least by the end we weren't on this show because we had been talking to so many witnesses. so we had a sense where investigators were going. it did look like worse findings coming on obstruction than on volume 1 conspiracy. since you've been helping us think about these issues along the way for the whole ride, i want to tee up some of the witnesses we've heard from throughout this program right here on "the beat." take a look. >> they can take down donald trump, take him down. if donald trump did something, take him down. i'm not going to go into a grand jury for them to set up case. >> i will not lie to keep myself out of jail, and i realize i could go to jail for the rest of my life. >> what was it like in prison for you? how were you treated by the other inmates? >> it was trump country. quite frankly, i was treated excellent. >> and the other inmates were trump supporters and viewed you through that lens? >> let's say i had some street cerd. >> if knew how dishonest people
would be behaving behind the scenes, i would have done some -- i would have been more careful. >> when you take it all together, what is your interpretation of who was charged and who wasn't? because on obstruction, one of the arguments the trump side will make is there is no co-conspirators on obstruction. mr. mcgahn and others who were caught up and request to commit crimes according to mueller and the court refused them. >> you know, ari, i think what we are forgetting is that bob mueller referred out 14 cases and investigations to various u.s. attorneys offices. i have a hard time believing none of them will bear criminal fruit. i expect to hear some indictments in the future. i don't think we've seen the last of the defendants. so i don't know that we're going to learn much more about that tomorrow, but we move forward, when we start to hear from the don mcgahns and the corey
lewandowskis, bill barr and donald trump are so deathly afraid that the american people are about to see for themselves the movie. >> right. >> that's not going to bode well for donald trump. >> i think you're right about the fear, because we're picking up numbers of it out of the white house. as for whether this is case closed or not, we'll have to wait and see. glenn kirschner, thanks for being here. >> thank you, ari. >> yes, sir. we're going fit in one more break, and we have one more thing on this big show, when we come back. now, at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. get 0.9% apr for 60 months on all 2019 models. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. 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. ♪ iand grew it toy i$36 billion dollars. 6
in 2010, i signed the giving pledge to fund good causes. then i left my business to combat climate change, fix our democracy, and hold president trump accountable. last year, we ran the largest youth voter mobilization in history - helping double turnout and win back the house. i'm tom steyer and i approve this message. let's make change happen! ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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i'll be back here with you tomorrow morning on msnbc bright and early from reporting inside and outside the rayburn office building room 2141, where everyone is gearing up for this hearing. join us for "morning joe" starting at 6:00 a.m. "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. the american connection. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. 13 hours from now, the house judiciary and the intelligence committees will gather on capitol hill to question former special counsel robert mueller for the first time. my favorite question came just hours ago from james comey, the former fbi director to my colleague nicolle wallace. it's the question he said that started the whole investigation in the first