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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  February 20, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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mitt remains very concerned as he was in the past. i just -- i'll just confirm that. >> all right. >> he remains very concerned and i think you're going to see a senator whose willing to stand up to trump. >> we will see. time will tell. author of "the common good" that south today and evan mcelderry mull mull mcelderry m thanks for joining us. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. lots of news breaking late in the day into this evening. the president today making a surprise announcement he told the justice deputy to recommend new regulations against accessories that modify semiautomatic fire articles foe -- arms to turn them into machine guns that make them fire automatic. that would be the bump stock, which is what was used in the las vegas massacre. it would presumably mean trigger
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cranks to increase the speed at which you can pull the trigger on a semiautomatic rifle. we don't know exactly what he meant because the president didn't specify but there is a lot of questions. administration reportedly looked into this issue and reportedly decided that only congress could make laws restricting these kinds of accessories for assault rifles. the justice department couldn't do it by regulation alone but now the president told the justice deputy to produce these recommended regulations and so nobody quite knows what that will mean. so we're watching that develop tonight. we're basically looking for more clarity of specificity in terms of what the white house thinks its doing here and also what it is actually doing here and sometimes those are two different things. we'll have more on that ahead over the course of this hour. there is also a new cloud of confusion that has just blown in off the horizon concerning the
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president's family and high-profile white house role the president has given to his son-in-law jared kushner. as we report in detail last night. john kelly just a few days ago released new white house policies for dealing with security clearances in the white house in the wake of the domestic violence scandal concerning rob porter. rob porter who served as staff secretary for more than a year even though he only had an interim security clearance because he couldn't clear the fbi background check for a permanent clearance due to the domestic violence allegations against him. chief of staff john kelly's policy, which was announced on friday night, that new policy says that as of this friday, this week, three days from now, the white house will no longer allow access to classified material by people that can't get full clearances. well, jared kushner is the highest profile person in the white house who reportedly has
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not been able to get through the background check process to get cleared for a full clearance despite the fact he's been working in the white house for over a year. this policy from white house chief of staff john kelly seemed aimed at jared curb nekushner's forehead. it looked like he would be out of a job in the white house as of friday or bumped down to where he doesn't need to see anything sensitive and by the end of this week, that's what is in the black and white document of the policy john kelly just released but then tonight because you can't spell chaos without o, o, something new from john kelly put out a statement praising jared kushner and state stating despite this policy, he expects jared will be just fine in his white house job. quote, i have full confidence in jared's ability to continue performing his beauties in his foreign policy portfolio.
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what adoes that mean? nobody knows. it means that john kelly thinks that you don't really need a security clearance to run foreign policy in the white house. that seems unlikely or it means that john kelly's new crack down on security clearances in the white house maybe isn't going to happen. they haven't going to change the rules. they will let guys continue to access classified information without permanent clearances. so either he can do the job without a clearance, not likely or the policy is off or i guess, one third possibility is that the president is just going to give kushner a security clearance himself even though kushner can't pass his fbi background check. why would he -- you know, family. don't ever take sides with anyone against the family again, ever. why would you do that? anyway, those are two big
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developing stories now and i confess, both of them have a lot of questions of how it will work out and whether the president gets to keep his children as white house officials. there is also news tonight that the democrats may have flipped yet another legislative seat. looks like the democrats may have won the seat tonight in one of the biggest swings since we have been watching all these special elections over the past year and a half. so i'll have more on that coming up, as well. raise your hand if you picked alex vanderswan as the next person charged in the bingo game. did you have a square marked
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alex vanderswan? is there a single person on earth that had alex vanderswan as the next best guess for the robert mueller case? anybody telling you they know what the special counsel will do next and anybody that tells you they can see how the russia scandal will end for the white house and president, that person is taking you for a ride after the 13 russians get indicted on friday and today alex vanderswan, huh? the man who pled guilty today in federal court in washington is named alex vanderswan, he's 33, and trained as an english lawyer and today facing prison in a u.s. federal prison. prosecutors are holding his passport and preventing him from leaving from lawyers.
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to understand how we got to him, you should meet victor. ha handsome devil. president of ukraine. and looks aren't everything but they do count for something among politicians and he was considered to be a dashing and fairly carismatic fellow. that is him in december that same year. july on the left, december on the right. almost not recognizable as the same man, right? happened between those two pictures, between that -- in that six-month period, what happened while he was running for president of his country is he got poisoned. he got poisoned and it disfigured him. it paralyzed half his face. left him with severe
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debilitating pain. >> with just two weeks to go before a rerun of the despicembr december -- disputed election, victor was poisoned during the campaign. nbc pat dawson reports. >> the effects were startling, the healthy vibrant opposition candidate for ukraine's presidency transformed in a matter of a few weeks this fall into a gravely ill man. his face almost overnight changed into a scared bloated mask. today, doctors at a private clinic announced that victor had been poisoned. >> translator: there is no doubt this was caused by a case of dioxide poisoning. we know 1,000 times normal concentration was found in his blood and tissue. it would be easy to administer in soup. >> somebody must have put it in his food. another thing that happened to
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opposition figures in ukraine, particularly someone promising and like him, the dictator who paul manafort worked for before he became donald trump's campaign chair. manafort was hired in 2004 to work on that presidential campaign. the one where this is what happened to the guy running against manafort's client. poison isn't the only thing opposition candidates faced in ukraine. you might remember at the republican national convention in 2016, manafort was still running the trump campaign and pulled out the lock her up signs and mike flynn led the lock her up chance from the podium. remember that? before the donald trump for president campaign, the lock her up idea for a campaign, that was something foreign to main steam
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american politics. but even though that sentiment was new to our politics here in the united states before the trump campaign, there are places around the world, plenty of them that really is the way campaigns work. that really is the way politics operate. so again, manafort's guy in ukraine was dispatched with poisoning but another presidential rival a few years later, they went ahead and locked her up. she was a major figure in the opposition in ukraine. she was very successful politician. she was prime minister. one of the things she made a big deal about was a massively corrupt natural gas deal between putin's government in russia and his chosen ol' gaigarchs in ukr. she ran for president against manafort's guy in 2010. she came very, very close to beating him. she came too close to beating him. and so she decided to lock her
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up. they brought a million different criminal charges against her in 2010, the year of the election they convicted her in 2011 and sentenced her to seven years in prison. by 2014 she was still in prison but something was changing in ukraine. the people of ukraine decided they had enough with him. they over threw the government, there were bloody protests and fatal confrontations. and he initially said he would never resign and step down but ultimately manafort's guy took off and fled in the dead of night and went to moscow for safe keeping and when manafort's guy got over flown and had to flee to moscow where putin could take care of him, that was finally when she could get out of prison. that was the occasion for her being released. it was really dramatic at the time. coincidentally, we're having the winter olympics now in pyeongchang. when this whole dramatic thing
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was happening in ukraine with her fleeing to moscow and the revolution in ukraine, that was during the winter olympics. this happened exactly four years ago when the sochi olympics were underway. >> good evening. it's been a day of fast-moving developments in ukraine 600 miles from here in sochi, a day after agreeing to a broad series of reforms and concussions, the presidential palace and protesters seem to be in control. what is going on here? >> it's our victory. >> people are gathering here in front of poor arliament. they realize something profound is happening here, their revolution for more democracy in ukraine may have won. >> hungry for information, they press their faces to parliament's gates for updates broadcast on loud speakers. parliament was taking over. the joy was spreading.
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lawmakers came out to tell the crowds the presidents' days in power were over. parliament voted to impeach him. >> you're witnessing the collapse of dictatorship but the idea is to start creation of ukraine and human dignity. >> there was still one burning question here, where was the president? he certainly wasn't outside kiev. ukrainians took it over peering in through windows seeing for the first time how their promoscow leader lived by a private pond with a private zoo but the president wasn't finished yet. he appeared on television from where he'd fled in western ukraine and vowed not to resign. by the evening, it was clear he lost the capital and more. the police joined the opposition. the army refused to back the president. and parliament ordered the
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release of his main rival. he'd thrown her in jail two years ago when she arrived at independence square, the protesters believed they had won. >> paul manafort's job when he ran the political operation was to make him over so that he would win elections. but also to make it seem vaguely legit the in the eyes of the world which frankly was a hard thing to do. it was a little bit nuts to even try. if you wanted to run a guy like this for president, if you want to run a guy that's a cross between al and pablo escobar and run him for president, that would be hard to do but if you want to do that and make him seem legit, paul manafort would be the guy you do that. in that instance, manafort would arrange an effort to say i know
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he's whitey bulger but very nice to strike had thes ats and clea tighty and we have given him a haircut. paul manafort's job is all over the world to put a shine on dictators. his job was to put a shine while the country was looted. paul ma th manafort is good at b and one thing he did to shine up victor is to hire u.s. law firms and p.r. companies to sell this guy in the u.s., to sell victor like a product in washington and make similar sehim seem legit a republican politics but at the time his client in ukraine was locking up her and manafort was trying to make that seem okay. here in the united states at that time, it was the obama
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administration in power and for manafort that put a premium on hip trying to sell her and hiring if i weres that had democratic credentials or bipartisan hearing in washington. to try to whitewash the fact that his client locked up his political rival manafort arranged to hire washington p.r. firms that had bipartisan credentials and arranged to hire this very famous, very well-known law firm. skadden could brag they had greg craig as a principal. manafort hired skadden to do a review of the lock her up adventure. a review of the circumstances his client locked up his political rival. we'll have this blue chip law firm look into it and check this all out, issue a report
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explaining what happened here. there are two things to know about this engagement arranged by paul manafort. it gave manafort what he was paying for. there was a face-saving rebuke, maybe not being up to western standards, but it basically excused the whole thing. freedom house called the report utterly baffling and quote down right pwrong. that's the first thing to know how this worked out. well done. well-regarded, big law firm that will forever have this big bloody asterisks next to its name because of the inexplicable dance with paul manafort's pet
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ti dictator. that also looks great for the firm. they threw that in as a sweetener. i don't know. but here is the second thing to know about paul manafort's real life lock her up adventure that he had in e cranukraine. that report that has just produced the latest criminal charges for special counsel robert mueller's investigation. special counsel bingo cards and really not on anybody's bingo card. not on anybody's radar. we know until recently last year he worked in the london offices of skadden and pled guilty to today and special counsel's office said he did. quote, in all relevant and into paul manafort and rick gates in connection with among other
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things their work in the u.s. the investigation encompassed work including the desimilar nati -- decimation weconcerning the tri of tymoshenko. an english lawyer asoels uasoci with law firm a on november 23rd 2017 three days before the charges were unsealed, november 3rd, 2017 in d.c. alex van der zwann didn't interview. he was represented by counsel. he was warned that intentionally false statements could subject him to criminal charges. he inkaltdicated he understood.
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van der zwann made the comments during the interview. three days later this is. and then in the statement of the offense, the special counsel's office lists three things they say van der zwann falsely stated his last communication with rick gates had been in mid august and it was -- mid august 2016 and it had been a text message. they say he falsely stated that his last communication with a long-time business associate of manafort and gates of ukraine was way back in 2014 when he talked with that person about that person's family. according to the special counsel's office, he falsely stated that he had no idea why skadden hadn't gave an e-mail that dated from september 2016 between him and person a, him and this person he said he actually hadn't talked to since 2014. statement of the offense lays all that out and lays out in detail why all of those things
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were false saying that despite those denials, in fact, this lawyer who is charged today, he was still in communication with rick gates about this whitewash report on tymoshenko early september 2016 after paul manafort was kicked off the trump campaign. gates was still working for the trump campaign. according to the special counsel's office, this lawyer who was charged today communicated with gates using an encrypted app which appears to have made them think nobody can listen in on what they were saying. gates sent van der zwann documents. van der zwann called person a and discussed in russian, he speaks russian, criminal charges might be brought against the criminal justice minister, law firm a and paul manafort and we don't know why but the special counsel's office and statement of offense also say that van der zwann made recordings of the
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phone calls he had in september of 2016 about this whitewash report on the jailing of tymoshenko and possible criminal charges being brought against manafort. he was recording these calls. we don't know why the special counsel's office knows that but apparently they know that. they know about his notes on the calls and recordings of the calls and discussions that led to the calls and they know about him deleting e-mails and using encrypted apps to avoid records of the communication and they charge him with making materially false statements and today mr. van der zwann signs. he signed it last week on valentine ease day but th-- val day. this has some really interesting implications for what's going on in robert mueller's investigation. this is yet another example of
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mueller's team apparently being able to use statements from rick gates to bring new criminal charges, new criminal allegations against other people. we saw that with the new criminal allegations made against paul ma manafort. we saw it today against this lawyer from skadden.nafort. we saw it today against this lawyer from skadden. presumably this plea today adds to the pressure on paul manafort himself, the pressure that he, too, should start cooperating with prosecutors given the stuff they have on him and the people that worked around him in various meets. aside from the big implications, i have specific questions about the guy that charged and plead guilty. part of what is interesting about this guy charged today nobody knew he was before today. it's also interesting to know that last year he got married to the daughter of one of the rich's men in russia who is very close to vladimir putin. we'll have more on that in a
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moment but there is really specific stuff here and if you're not a lawyer like me, there is very specific questions. this guy is not a u.s. citizen. he's a russian speaking dutch guy born in belgium and working in london so how did they get him in court today? we had those 13 indictments against russia nationals unsealed on friday. nobody thought they would end up here but this guy is in court today in d.c. charging a non-u.s. citizen complicate these kinds of cases at all? secondly, is it weird they are bringing charges against a lawyer? is a lawyer a different kind of defendant in a case like this? either in terms of bringing charges specifically or in terms of what kind of messages these charges might be sending to other lawyers who are involved in defending people in this case? one of paul manafort's other lawyers was forced to testify to the grand jury early on. is it weird to charge a lawyer? third, there are references in the statement of the offense today that the law firm itself
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skadden would face criminal charges in this matter. does that make sense? would this lawyer who just got fired, would him getting arrested and charged have anything to do with that possibility? that seems like a big deal and the stuff we learned in this guilty plea today. this comes out as very dramatic terrible and resent stuff in ukraine. tymoshenko started screaming bloody hurter what they had done to ukraine which u.s. law firms and u.s. p.r. firms may have been involved in greasing the skids for. ukrainian prosecutors have been asking the u.s. for access to manafort, for access to skadden and this specific young lawyer just charged today. did those requests get met? how do requests demands like that from an allied country, how
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does it affect prosecutors about bringing charges in a case like this that is this high profile and has stakes this high? these questions can be answered. stay with us. ♪ let your inner light loose with one a day women's. ♪ a complete multivitamin specially formulated with key nutrients plus vitamin d for bone health support. your one a day is showing.
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he faces a sentence of five years, that's what the law says if you lie to the fbi but his lawyers and prosecutors agree that the likely sentencing range is zero to six months and i suspect if he cooperates with the government i doubt he'll do much time at all, if any. his lawyers said his wife is in london. she's pregnant and they want to get the sentencing over with so he can serve whatever time he may have to so he can get back over there and help her with the birth. >> pete williams of nbc news talking about the road ahead for alex van der zwann. joining us is paul fishman. a few questions. he is not a u.s. citizen.
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does that complicate bringing charges in a case like this? >> no, the department of justice prosecutes people who aren't citizens of the united states all the time and most recently last week, bob mueller indicted 13 russians in various financial frauds, in drug dealing and organized crime. it's not uncommon if somebody commit as crime in the united states likelying to t lying to robbing a bank, those people are subject to u.s. law. >> lawyers don't have special protection or exposure to u.s. laws. i wonder if in this case or big complicated cases like this like a lot of high profile prosecutions you've been involved in, if there is a message that comes along with charging a lawyer, there are a lot of lawyers involved in representing peep's interest in this case, we have seen the special counsel's office subpoena one of paul manafort's
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lawyers, does it strike you as interesting this is a lawyer and one from a very well-regarded big firm? >> the fact he's a lawyer is not as important as the fact he's a fact witness. let me answer your question first. you know, i think prosecutors feel like lawyers should know better so when a lawyer does something that is contrary to his or her training and contrary to the norms he or she should know about, prosecutors may be more offended because they are officers of the court and when a lawyer lies to the fbi, it has a special residence. in this circumstance, i don't think he was being interviewed. if you look at the manafort indictment, half way through there is during the allegations that described the fact that paul manafort and gates were pulling the strings on this lobbying on behalf of the ukraines and russians with whom they were associated with. there is talk about lobbying firm a and b. there is a sentence that says
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paul ma -- manafort funneled money. it was unsealed on the last monday in october and a few days later, this fellow van der zwann showed up voluntarily with his lawyer and asked questions about his dealings with gates having to do with the report and lied about it and so he wasn't really acting as a lawyer in that conversation with gates. he had a different kliclient if had one at all. in this particular instance, he was a witness to whether gates and manafort were actually pulling the strings behind the skadden report. >> if you look at the evidence they laid out, does that read to you as it does to me this is information they were able to put together in part because rick gates is sharing information with them. >> maybe but maybe not. because it all happened pretty quickly, the two meetings he had
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with the prosecutors were in november and december and if gates cooperates, maybe he didn't start that early. they have access to e-mails and chats and electronic media gates had and this fellow van der zwann showed up in some of that and may have been what happened. what is interesting here is that -- and it's something we've talked about a lot on your show, that the investigation doesn't stop with the indictment. here we are four days later and bob mueller and his team of prosecutors and agents are interviewing somebody that's a fact witness in the same case and they are just as offended when it happens then as before when somebody lies to them, they will prosecute you for it. >> we see them pop up in court but that doesn't mean they aren't working on a million other things. >> right and not the first guy on your bingo card who was a surprise. papadopoulos and the identity theft will continue to see as this investigation unfolds surprises and people you never
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heard of. >> i have no expectations whatsoever. former u.s. attorney for the great state of new jersey. thank you, sir. we'll be right back. stay with us. woman: i'm a fighter. always have been. when i found out i had age-related macular degeneration, amd, i wanted to fight back. my doctor and i came up with a plan. it includes preservision. only preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula recommended by the national eye institute to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd backed by 15 years of clinical studies.
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surprising breaking news out of kentucky as the democrats have been flipping seats from red to blue all over the country in districts that went heavily for donald trump in 2016. while it appears to have happened again tonight in
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kentucky. tonight it is a legislative seat just outside louisville in bullet county, kentucky. democrat named linda belcher ran for the seat in 2016 and lost in 2016. she lost the seat on a night when donald trump won that district by like 50 points. well tonight, linda belcher went for that seat again and won by a ton. she won by almost 37 points. did i mention this was a district trump won by nearly 50 points? depending on how you like your rounding, that's a democratic swing in kentucky of 86 or 8 7 points. this flip from red to blue in kentucky tonight is we believe the 37th legislative seat that democrats have flipped from red to blue since the presidential election. that's what is making democrats excited about the midterms. we'll be right back. you were saving other home s. neighbors helping neighbors and strangers alike. - this is what america's about.
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in 2003 bp announced a partnership in russia with a group called alpha group, controlled by four russian billionaire oligarchs. it was the largest deal in russian corporate history but within a few years, things went south. they started being harassed. russian police repeatedly raided their offices. more than 100 employees had their visa status ranked. the current ceo of b.p. managed things on the b.p. side of the venture was among the b.p. employees who got kicked out of russia. he fled the country. he was forced to go into hiding and it was determined he was poisoned as part of the harassment in russia. he started feeling ill and had the blood tested and doctors found poisoned. once he stopped eating the food
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provided by his company, he started to feel better. b.p. had to cash out of the 50% stake and ended up forced to sell it to the russian state oil company. it was a deal that was brokered by vladimir putin. b.p.'s russian oligarch partners did very, very well with this deal forced by putin. the alpha group partners got $27 billion for their stake in the venture. one of the partner was a man named hermann conn. he has an estimated fortune of $10 billion and gets a mention in the dossier specifically his company's closeness to vladimir putin. an alpha group deny any wrongdoing and are suing buzz feed. but today, hermann conn found himself in the news for a
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different reason because he's the father in law of this guy. alex van der zwann who today pled guilty to lying to robert mueller's envest gatuyenvest -- investigators. these new charges are interesting for a lot of reasons but what happens when you're a multibillionaire oligarch ally and the young man who just married your daughter gets arraigned and possibly jailed in the united states by robert mueller? if you're hermann conn in this circumstance, what do you say to your friend vladimir putin about this? if you're robert mueller, did you just indict someone knowing full well that that's really going to bug valid hladimir put personal reasons? hold that thought. and had geico help with renters insurance- it was really easy. easy. that'd be nice. phone: for help with chairs, say "chair."
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last year the new york tyims reported among many things robert mueller was investigating he was looking into a report paul manafort arranged from a blue chip u.s. law firm, a report that whitewashed an incident in which the president of ukraine manafort's client jailed one. who was involved in the preparation of the report pled guilty in washington d.c. as the latest court proceedings of the special counsel's investigation. joining us is ken vogel who has
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been on this story from the beginning. mr. vogel, thank you for being here. >> thank you, rachel. >> the through line for me for understanding and the special counsel's investigation is that paul manafort was representing the ukrainian president who did the bad thing which was the subject of this report through this law firm. it's a sort of winding road you have to follow in order to see how this connects to the initial charge of mueller's special counsel investigation. >> yeah. that is the most direct through line and i agree, it is a torturous one. however, there are also bread crumbs that lead to sort of a different bucket of the mueller investigation. that is current connections to russia, russian oligarchs and that is through this young man's father-in-law who as you pointed
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out is one of the founding oligarchs of alpha bank and closest to the russian security services and interestingly alpha group in addition to being the subject of ongoing fbi investigations into a connection between alpha bank servers and the trump organization, there is also this tie which is that alpha group has retained them in the past to represent it. >> so i feel like the cast of characters here is getting large and also a little scary when you start looking at all the other things that we know about the people who involved here. do we know anything about the strategy of the mueller investigation or how they ended up at the circumstance over the past week where on friday and now today they've charged nonu.s. citizens? they've charged those 13 russian nationals, the man who was charged today was working in the british offices of an american law firm. he is reportedly a dutch citizen
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who speaks russian and is married to a russian woman who is the daughter of this oligarch. the international turn of the investigation as far as you can tell, is this happenstance or does this mark the way this is going to go from here on out? >> i think the commonality is following the money and following the money overseas. in the case of friday's indictment, you have laying the groundwork for a post-release control charge of foreign money influencing in u.s. elections. that wasn't charged in the indictment but that is the underlying crime that could ensnare u.s. citizen. th if they are seen as conspiring. here what you have is following the manafort money trail but in a way that sort of brings in more of this d.c. base lobbying that we see mueller continuing to sniff around, including subpoenaing folks who work with the podesta group and mercury
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public affairs through manafort on behalf of this european center for modern ukraine which is essentially just a front group. while these appear to be two different buckets, the commonality is money. >> and with mercury and the podesta group, any indication that these are koutrouble here? >> i have heard that they are concerned. many of them are lawyered up. they were afteroffered pool atts through those cases but many of the folks i've talked to have opted to get their own lawyer. their interests may not necessarily be aligned with those of the company's. >> fascinating. ken vogel, political reporter for "the new york times." congratulations on being on this story before anybody else and thanks for being here tonight. >> it was a pleasure.
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the pro russian forces today seizing ukrainian ships in the crimean port. shots fired but no injuries as the russians raised their flag. ukraine's forces heavily outnumbered prepared for the worst. barack obama responded today with tougher sanctions this time against vladimir putin's banker, his childhood friend and partner and the oligarch known as cr cronies. >> that round of sanctions targeted government officials and individuals connected to vladimir putin. including this fellow. at the time he was head of the lower house of parliament in russia, but soon there after he was appointed to be the head of russia's foreign intelligence service, the sbr. he's still under sanctions by
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our treasury department which means any assets under u.s. jurisdiction are frozen but this is important. transactions by u.s. persons or within the united states involving sanctioned individuals are generally prohibited. transactions within the u.s. are generally prohibited for anybody on the sanctions list. that means if you're on the sanctions list you can't come to the united states. except in this guy's case, he's still on the sanctions list and he was just here. he came to the u.s. last month. we learned he was here because the russian government started bragging on twitter about how the head of the sbr just had a great trip to the usa. he what now? then we learned that he didn't come alone. the head of the sbr, russia's foreign intelligence service who is under sanctions turns out he came to the u.s. with the head of the fsb which used to be the kgr, russia's equivalent of the fbi. while they were here they reportedly met with our director
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of national intelligence dan coats and mike pompeo. then "the washington post" reported there was actually a third guy here. the head of russia's military service, the lead russian government agency responding for attacking our election in 2016. he reportedly also came to washington at the same time as those other russian intelligence chiefs. that's what's been reported. i should mention that the gru guy is also under sanctions. so he's not really allowed to travel to the united states either. which makes it interesting to have it reported that he did travel here. well, today we got confirmation that the dni dan coats did meet with the guy with the sbr and the fsb in the united states in washington, d.c. senator chuck schumer had sent a letter asking about the meeting with these russian intelligence chiefs, how the guy sanctioned got into the united states. today director coats responded by confirming that meeting. he said the head of the sbr was admitted into the country in
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full accordance with applicable u.s. law and policy governing ve visa and visa waivers which made the case to the state department knits in our interest to allow him into the united states, please give him a waiver even though he's sanctioned. but then there's this continuing mystery about the head of russia's military intelligence, the guy from the gru, this agency very much behind the meddling in our election. he was reportedly here in the united states at the same time as the other russian intelligence chiefs. in his case we don't know anybody that he met with. we do know that he was named in the most recent rounds of sanctions that president boobam announced before he left office for russia meddling in our election because his agency was partially responsible for the attack. so he's sanctioned, right? but this is a total mystery as to how he got in the u.s. and if he did get here, who did he meet with? his buddies were meeting with
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the director of national intelligence and the cia but no u.s. officials have admitted to meeting with him. we reached out to the state department to see if they could tell us since that's the aemgen that would issue the visa a spokesman answered by referring us to the russian government. what? the state department here would have to grant a waiver for a sanctioned individual then to the united states. the russian government wouldn't necessarily be able to comment on that since they wouldn't be the ones issuing the waiver? mystery continues. did the head of the gru in fact come to the u.s.? how did he get in? who did he meet with? we'll let you know if the russian government gets back to us on that because that's who the state department referred us to today. seriously. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you tomorrow. >> good evening, rache