tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC November 28, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PST
senate race is wrapping up tonight as we speak. and we are going to be covering this over the course of this the great state of alaska, the state division of elections certified the results of this year's midterm elections in that state in alaska. one of the races that was certified today by the state is for a state legislative district, so a state house district. i think it's in fairbanks. it's house district 1. and i believe we can put up on the screen the results of that state legislative race in alaska as certified by the state today. the republican, bart lebon, got 2,661 votes. the democrat, kathryn dodge, got 2,661 votes. not a typo. the official state certified results in that house seat in alaska, it's an exact tie. and that tied race is for a seat in the state legislature. and the state legislature is also tied. so not only would the shift of a single vote determine who wins that seat, the shift of a single vote could also determine which party controls the entire legislature.
i love this story out of alaska so much, right? when they realized the democrat and the republican were tied, in the initial count, they did a machine recount of the ballots. it turns out it's tied. after that, they did a recount by hand. after the hand recount, turns out, yeah, it's tied. and then today it was certified as a tie. but here is the incredible drama in this one. this is from the "anchorage daily news" today. so, after the initial results shows a tie and the machine recount shows a tie and the hand recount shows a tie, and it becomes clear that this tie means that the whole legislature is tied, after all of that, they found a vote. what? they found one vote. quote, a single ballot remains uncounted. quote, that ballot was found in a gray secrecy sleeve on election night and was deposited in a ballot box normally used for absentee or questioned ballots. in conjunction with this story, the "alaska daily news"
published this picture of the state review board considering this tied race in trying to figure out how to do a complete count of this race. i think in this picture in the foreground there, do you see the little hand holding that ballot? i think they're showing us the one lonely ballot here that they can't decide what to do with. you can see what it says there, from fairbanks precinct number 6. this ballot was found loose with the questioned ballot materials. there was no questioned ballot envelope to account -- i think this might be the actual one ballot in question. "alaska daily news" reports that this one loose mysterious ballot is a vote for the democrat in the race, but because of the weird circumstances under which this one ballot was found, they still don't exactly know how or if they're going to count it, according to "the daily news," even though the vote has been counted and recounted and recounted again and now certified. that single ballot, which could decide the whole thing is still legally considered to be on the bubble because of the strange circumstances in which it was
found. it's as yet uncounted, quote, pending further legal analysis. so that one house race and partisan control of that state legislature look likes it come down to a tie or maybe that one ballot -- mmm. and they're not mmm -- if that doesn't inspire you to vote and that your vote could matter, i don't know what could inspire you, except for maybe the news that this is actually the second time this year that this has happened. at the beginning of this year in january, the exact same thing happened in virginia. republicans had had a big majority in the house of delegates in virginia, but democrats had a really big year in the off-year elections in virginia in 2017. democrats swept all the statewide races and made up all this ground in the legislature. ultimately the question of which party would control the legislature came down to the last race that wasn't called in virginia. it was the 94th house district. they counted and recounted and
double checked and it turned out that race was an absolute tie. the exact same number of votes cast for the republican and for the democrat. and the control of the state legislature riding on whether the democrat or the republican won. and the way they decided that one in virginia was by drawing straws. they pulled a piece of paper out of a bowl in a ceremony that would have been way more fun if they had, like, cut cards or flipped a coin or something. but if the news gods of civic participation do this to you, right, do this to your country twice in a year, right, where it's not just your local representative but your representation in your state is decided by a margin of zero votes, and ultimately has to come down to maybe the luck of the draw, because it's that close, or maybe one ballot that was put in the wrong box and nobody knows whether or not to count it, if you get that happening in your country twice in one year, those are signs from the news god heavens that your voter registration matters and your efforts to vote matter,
and it may all come down to you. so tonight, at the bottom of the screen, you can see we are running this live ticker, as we get in the vote and watch the results of the last u.s. senate race from this year's elections. we are watching this unfold in mississippi, it's a runoff between incumbent republican senator cindy hyde-smith and upstart democrat mike espy, who is a former cabinet official in the clinton administration and a former mississippi congressman. this, of course, is bright red deeply republican mississippi. cindy hyde-smith should win this in a walk. she should not even have to contest this race, given the partisan balance of the state. she has made it a contest herself, in part, with her own stumbles, but mike espy has also made it a race by running a pretty good campaign. joining us for a look at how this is all shaking out is the great steve kornacki. >> rachel, thank you. actually, two elections to tell you about tonight. one, mississippi, so, yeah, cindy hyde-smith, the republican, she wins the runoff tonight. you can see nbc news now
projecting it almost all the vote in there. 54-46, the margin right now for hyde-smith over espy. put this in some perspective, you mentioned mississippi, obviously a deeply red state. look at how this went, just in 2016. hillary clinton/donald trump in this state, an 18-point race. trump winning it by 18. tonight, the margin eight. may actually be about seven when they count all the votes, given what's still outstanding. look, 2012, obama got 44, that was sort of the high water mark in recent years for democrats in mississippi. 43 for obama in 2008. so, you see for democrats, this is pretty much as good as they've done in mississippi in recent times here in a race for federal office. mike espy getting 46% tonight. what happened here? i tell you, early in the night, there was a lot of -- there was some stirring here, sort of on politics twitter, folks watching this thing closely, because early in the night, what you saw here was something we've been seeing, part of a national story, desoto county is big, suburban, fast-growing. this is actually outside memphis, tennessee, it's in mississippi, but it's a memphis
suburb. look at the jump for mike espy. hillary clinton only got 31%. a ten-point jump for espy. earlier, it was looking like it might be a bigger jump here. this is something we saw around the country in november. one of the reasons democrats did so well in congressional races, jumps in the suburbs. well, mississippi does have some suburbs and they got a jump. a big one here in desoto county. also saw a jump in madison. that's outside jackson a five-point jump for espy over what hillary clinton did. heck, go into hinds county, you had a jump there, six points from hillary clinton's performance. so, the democrat got strong black support, strong black turnout. they got some crossover votes in the suburbs, but then what happened? basically, they ran out of suburbs. mississippi is a heavily rural state, does not have a lot of
metropolitan areas in it, and in the rural areas, the heavily white rural areas, particularly up here, sort of in the mountain country, the hill country of northeast mississippi, rural white voters turned out in big numbers for cindy hyde-smith. did not have any real slippage there. she did better than mitt romney in this part of the state. so, that is enough to save her. that is enough to give the republicans the victory here in mississippi tonight. this is -- i think this will be the closest race, the closest democrats have come to winning a senate race in mississippi, probably since 1988. probably in 30 years. but the bottom line with the republican win here, it gives them a 53-47 majority in the senate. all the senate races now, with this one in the books, they are now complete, 53-47. on the house side, two elections to tell you about. the other one to tell you about, we have an outstanding race in the house.
the story on the house, of course, democrats have a net gain of 39 seats in the house. here's the outstanding one. the 21st district of california. this is the central valley part of the state. t.j. cox, the democrat, remember, california, every night you get a batch of new votes. last night, he took the lead over david valadao, republican incumbent, by 436 votes. we are -- we don't know exactly how many votes are left. we think it is somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 votes left to be counted. california, they're very suspenseful. we're not sure exactly how much, we're not exactly where, but basically, that few, those few votes left, in cox hangs on and wins this and unseats valadao, that would be a net gain of 40 seats for democrats on the house side. that's the last remaining seat left in congress. over to you, rachel. >> all right, now, to the other major story we've been watching unfold over the course of this afternoon and this evening. as you know, president trump fired jeff sessions and installed in his place a man named matt whitaker. given whitaker's previous report of highly critical statements
about robert mueller and the russia investigation, and mr. whitaker's otherwise thin and sort of troubled resume that by no stretch of the imagination would make him a contender to be the attorney general of the united states in any other circumstances, because of all that, it's been widely suspected since that appointment was first announced, that the whole reason whitaker was installed at justice was to squash the mueller investigation behind the scenes, with mueller now reporting with whitaker. the regulations that govern the special counsel's office say that mueller has to run by whitaker any major decisions about the investigation. including the decision to bring new indictments, stick a pin in that, also, any decision to make any sort of public report or any other major steps.
since whitaker was appointed, we have, in fact, seen no new indictments from mueller and his team. now, if you're worried about the importance and the integrity of the mueller investigation, if you're worried about the possibility that it might be shut down behind the scenes, given the importance of what that investigation is into, it's a little unsettling to recognize that if matt whitaker is throttling the mueller investigation within the justice department, if he's blocking new indictments, say, we wouldn't necessarily have any way to know that. i mean, if mueller's team goes to the grand jury and gets the grand jury to issue an indictment and then mueller brings it to the justice department to whitaker, to whom he reports, for whitaker to sign off on it and whitaker says, nope, i'll take that and stuffs it in a desk drawer, how would we know? it's not like anything has to make an announcement about that. how would we know if that's what's been happening since matt whitaker arrived three weeks ago tomorrow? that's why it is all the more interesting that tonight, we are getting a first look at what might be robert mueller's
notebook. his sort of working file. because tonight, nbc news has obtained a draft criminal information, which is the kind -- it's basically an indictment when you agree to plead instead of having a trial. also, a draft plea agreement, also a draft statement of the offense. all these documents appear to have been created by the special counsel's office, though we have no way of verifying that directly. the documents were reportedly created by robert mueller's office and sent by mueller to a man named jerome corsi, a long-time conservative writer who has been getting a lot of press recently for telling anyone and everyone that he believes he is about to be indicted by mueller. i will declare my bias. i am not inclined to believe anything that jerome corsi says at face value. after all, he is one of the world's leading proponents of the fabulous conspiracy theory that president barack obama was secretly foreign and not born in this country. he was therefore secretly never really president, says jerome corsi.
because of that past and everything else he is known for, jerome corsi says thing is no evidence to me that thing exists or is worth writing down, just as a general mathematical principle. but what nbc news has now obtained are apparently court documents that were prepared about mr. corsi by the special counsel's office to show him the way in which he was going to be criminally charged and the plea deal he could choose to sign on to if he wished in order to avoid more serious charges or potentially even any jail time. so these are the documents. they were obtained by nbc news reporter anna schechter tonight who is a superstar. because we've got these documents, i can tell you, this is a draft of the charge, the criminal charge that the special counsel's office was offering
jerome corsi as the one count he could plead guilty to in order to avoid further criminal exposure. the draft shows they were considering bringing the charges in federal district court in washington, d.c. you see there on the left, united states of america versus jerome corsi, defendant. the charge here would be one count of false statement. quote, on september 10th, 2018, defendant jerome corsi did willfully and knowingly make materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the government of the united states. to wit, the defendant falsely stated and represented to the special counsel's office, including special agents of the fbi, that he denied an associate's request to get in touch with an organization that he understood to be in possession of stolen e-mails and other documents pertaining to the 2016 u.s. presidential election. the associate -- excuse me. corsi also denied that the associate never asked him to have another person try to get in touch with the organization and that he did not provide the associate with any information about what materials the organization possessed or what
it might do with those materials. so, again, those are the false statements as outlined in this potential criminal charge. this is from the draft criminal information that apparently was provided to jerome corsi from the special counsel's office. again, a draft, not filed with the court, but given to corsi. here what's we want to charge you with. here what's your plea agreement would look like. if you want to boil down all the nonspecific nouns there that make it sort of hard to read out loud, what this charge says is that jerome corsi lied to the special counsel's office and he lied to the fbi when they questioned him about his contact with wikileaks. wikileaks had started to brag that they had information that had been hacked from hillary clinton and democratic sources. roger stone, who was associated with the trump campaign, although he never formally had a staff position on the campaign as far as we know, special counsel's office says that roger stone told his friend jerome corsi that he needed to get in touch with wikileaks about those stolen clinton documents.
when the special counsel's office asked jerome corsi about that, what they're saying now in this draft charge is that corsi lied to them when he told them that he turned roger stone down. he said, no, no, i won't get in touch with wikileaks, that would get us all in trouble. special counsel's office is saying in fact that is not at all the way it went down. corsi lied to them. we get more detail in this document, which is the draft statement of the offense, which has also been sent to jerome corsi, which was also obtained by nbc news reporter anna scheckter here tonight. so i can tell you what it says here. and i will tell you, thanks to nbc news reporting about the context of this case, i'm able to swap in some of the specific identifying information that will make this make more sense as i read it. so, just so you know, the code here is organization one, that's wikileaks. person one, that's roger stone. et cetera. quote, on or about september 67th, 2018, the defendant, jerome corsi, was interviewed voluntaily by special counsel's
office, including justice department prosecutors and agents of the fbi. at the time of the interview, the special counsel's office was investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including, a, the theft of campaign-related e-mails and other documents by the russian government's main intelligence directorate, gru, to wikileaks for public release in order to expand the gru's interference in the 2016 u.s. presidential election campaign. also, c, the nature of any connections between individuals associated with the presidential campaign of donald trump and the russian government, or wikileaks. quote, corsi was represented by counsel during the interview. at the outset of the interview, corsi was warned that intentionally making false statements to the investigators was a violation of federal law. corsi said that he understood. quote, during the interview, corsi said in the summer of 2016, an associate, roger stone, who corsi understood to be in regular contact with senior members of the trump campaign, including then-candidate donald j. trump, asked corsi to get in touch with wikileaks about materials it possessed relevant to the presidential campaign that had not already been released. corsi thereafter and knowingly made -- excuse me. corsi thereafter knowingly and intentionally made the following
materially false statements during the interview. corsi said he declined the request from stone and made clear to stone that trying to contact wikileaks could be subject to investigation. corsi also stated that stone never asked corsi to have another person try to get in contact with wikileaks, and that corsi told stone that they should just wait until wikileaks released any materials. special counsel's office is saying in this statement to the offense that all of those were false statements from jerome corsi. quote, corsi further stated that after the initial request from stone, corsi did not know what stone did with respect to wikileaks and he never provided stone with any information regarding wikileaks, including what materials wikileaks possessed or what wikileaks might do with those materials. and not here's the money. quote, in truth and in fact and as corsi well knew, after stone
asked corsi to get in touch with wikileaks, corsi did not decline the request, as he stated in the interview. instead, he contacted an individual who resided in london, england, a guy who we know is ted malek, to pass on stone's request to learn about materials in wikileaks' possession that could be relevant to the presidential's campaign. corsi thereafter told stone that wikileaks possessed information that would be damaging to then candidate hillary clinton and that wikileaks planned to release damaging information in october 2016. so we just got all of that tonight. draft court documents, apparently prepared by the special counsel's office and sent to jerome corsi basically to let him know what he will be, might be, could be charged with in terms of lying to investigators. prosecutors also included this draft plea offer which corsi -- in which corsi would agree to plead guilty to that one count of false statements, and in exchange, they would agree not
to prosecute him for other false statements he made to the special counsel's office and to the grand jury. they would also agree to not prosecute him for obstruction of justice or perjury either before the special counsel's investigation or the grand jury or congressional committees. they would also promise in this but the fact that we've got these draft documents gives us all sorts of new information about what the special counsel apparently knows, including now we've got the documented fact from them that after russian military intelligence hacked the
democrats during the election to try to help trump win, roger stone, who is associated with the trump campaign directed this guy jerome corsi to go to wikileaks and find out what they had stolen. this guy jerome corsi dispatched a guy he knew in london to go do that. julian assange lives in a embassy in london. about a week after corsi forwarded this request from stone that someone should go meet with julian assange, corsi reported back to roger stone that wikileaks had lots of information that was going to be damaging to hillary clinton, and oh, by the way, it will all start to come out in october, which it did. and the special counsel's got all that dead to rights. so, again, this is not a document that has been filed in court as far as we know. this has just been sent to jerome corsi, which is interesting. we'll see what happens here. this appears to indicate that the special counsel's office has found at least one bright link between the trump campaign and what russia did to mess with the election to benefit trump. congressman adam schiff is going to join us in just a moment to talk what this means and the
prospect that this indictment of jerome corsi has been prepared, but it hasn't been filed in court. could that conceivably mean that it's being blocked by trump's new loyalist appointee at the justice department? so we are watching this story develop. tonight just within the last hour "the washington post" reports that the white house is very upset that president trump's name appears in this draft court filing, and they've lodged some sort of protest with the justice department than. again, this story continues to develop. well will have congressman adam schiff, incoming chair of intelligence in just a bit to talk than. and actually, since we got on the air, a little bit more breaking news from this same story on what paul manafort has been telling the trump white house. "the new york times" just within the last -- within less than an hour has just broken the news of what may have led prosecutors to yank paul manafort's plea agreement. his communications with the white house apparently going way out of bounds in an effort to help trump fight this
after you have a few days off, you're a little logy, a little slow, don't necessarily have everything firing all at once. so naturally, as we're racing toward show time tonight, all of these gigantic stories break all at once, including a series of bomb shells about the president's campaign chairman, paul manafort. already we had as of last night the special counsel's office saying that manafort broke his cooperation deal with prosecutors by lying to them after he plead guilty and agreed to cooperate. now tonight "the new york times" reports more of what happened after manafort made that cooperation deal with mueller's prosecutors, the one that appears to have gone so badly wrong. i'll read you the lead here. this is just posted by "the new york times." quote, a lawyer for paul manafort repeatedly briefed president trump's lawyers on his client's discussions with federal investigators after mr. manafort agreed to cooperate with the special counsel. that's according to one of mr. trump's lawyers and two other people familiar with the conversations. the arrangement was highly unusual and it inflamed tensions
with mr. mueller's office when prosecutors discovered it after manafort began cooperating two months ago. quote, some legal experts speculated that it was a bid by mr. manafort for a presidential pardon, even as he worked with the special counsel in hopes of a lighter sentence. so we started yesterday with the news that prosecutors say manafort broke their plea agreement. he lied to them so they're rescinding the deal. now we get the news that paul manafort while he was supposedly cooperating with prosecutors at the same time, he was feeding information to the president about the investigation, including about his discussions with prosecutors and what prosecutors were asking him about when he was supposedly cooperating with them. secondly, is that legal? can you do that? joining us now is barbara mcquade, former u.s. attorney
from the eastern district of michigan. barb, thank you so much for being here there has been a lot of news on this subject in the last few days, thank you so much for helping us through it. >> oh, you bet. >> this is described in "the new york times" as something unusual. mr. manafort had plead guilty. he had a cooperation agreement with prosecutors. we know from yesterday's court filing that prosecutor says he blew it. he lied to them. he committed crimes after this deal by lying to them. he's thereby released from the deal and his sentencing should go ahead. now "the times" is reporting that while he was supposedly cooperating, he was secretly feeding information to other people who were actively part of this investigation, including the president. is that also a violation of the plea agreement? >> you know, it's not technically contemplated by the plea agreement because i can't tell you how unusual this is. i don't know that i have ever seen this happen. i think this is even potentially an act of obstruction of justice. if it goes that far, then it would be, because he is prohibited from engaging in other crimes. but i don't know that it would be even contemplated that he would be then feeding information to the other side. a couple of things that
ordinarily prevent this. when someone switches sides, you refer to it as flipping because you now assume they are all in. the agreement says you will cooperate truthfully, fully, completely in all -- and be forthcoming with all information. some prosecutors refer to it as joining team usa. so the idea that you would be double dealing and sharing information with other subjects of an investigation is really the joint defense agreement where they're sharing information, usually that lawyer says we have to withdraw once my client decides to cooperate because we recognize that our interests may diverge. and so ethically, typically the lawyer understands that he needs to be out of that picture as well. so incredibly unusual, and i think that it's quite possible if information is being fed in either direction that there could be an investigation for obstruction of justice here. >> are you suggesting the lawyer himself or herself who is
involved in conveying this information to the president and the president's legal team, that lawyer could him or herself be in trouble for this? >> i think so. if the lawyer is sharing information that's sensitive to the investigation that he's learning from his client based on the questions that he's being asked and reporting back to people who are themselves within the scope of the investigation, i think one could argue that that's an effort to interfere with the investigation or similarly if people on the trump camp are feeding information back and instructing manafort not to answer certain questions or to lie about certain things, i that could be obstruction as well. certainly facts would need to be learned about this before you could make such an allegation, but it is incredibly unusual and i can understand why mueller's team would have been very angry to find out about this, and to the extent they found out manafort was lying to them, to sever all ties. >> barb, i have an overactive imagination and i read too many spy novels. so when i read this story tonight, i immediately went to like the melodramatic explanation for this, which is
paul manafort faced two trials, one in virginia and one in washington, d.c., and the point at which he plead guilty was in between those two trials. so he got creamed in the first trial. he got convicted of multiple felonies. he was to be start trial in the second jurisdiction. and in the spy movie, you know, political thriller version of this that runs in my head instantly, somebody from the white house or the white house directly comes to paul manafort and says paul, put up a good fight. we know you thought you'd do great here, but you're getting cream and you're going get killed in court. so here's what you do. we know you wanted to be a good soldier and not flip, and you criticized rick gates when he flip and all that we know your
loyal. we know that's a very important thing for you, but flip go. ahead and flip. plead guilty. agree to cooperate. if you just become our mole, if you just tell us everything that you can learn from that position, don't worry about it. we'll hook you up with a pardon. you're already screwed. you're already convicted. do this now and that's your way out. this is the way that you can prove your worth to us. that's, again, i'm imagining that that's the way this could have gone in a very dramatic version of this. if anything like that happened, would that itself be a criminal conspiracy of any kind? >> again, i think it could be.
paul manafort had had his plea deal yanked. prosecutors and special counsel's office said he repeatedly lied to them after he plead guilty and supposedly started cooperating. i was at home, because i had the night off. i was on the couch with the dog. i sort of -- this is what i do in my time off. i sort of idly checked the court docket, saw the filing. i yelped, scared the dog. scared the dog in a way that stuck. he jumped off the coach. he would not talk to me for the whole rest of the night until breakfast time this morning. then this morning, we woke up to this report from "the guardian" newspaper which the dog didn't care about at all. this record that paul manafort met with wikileaks founder julian assange on at least three occasions at the ecuadoran embassy in london where assange lives now, including a meeting in march 2016, right as manafort was taking over the trump campaign. i should note right now that "the guardian" is the only outlet that has this story. nbc news has not confirmed it. paul manafort tonight is strenuously denying it. julian assange and wikileaks are also denying that any meetings
occurred, for whatever that's worth. if it's true, of course, the implications are explosive, right? assange is the one who released the documents stolen by russian intelligence to help trump win the election. if trump's campaign chair was meeting with him right before he did that, that's really bad in terms of the trump campaign being shown to have colluded with russia. that said, as i mentioned, manafort is strenuously contesting this reporting from "the guardian," saying, quote, this story is totally false and deliberately libelous. i have never met julian assange or anyone connect with him. we're now watching for a couple of different things. first of all, mueller's office says they're going to produce a detailed sentencing submission that will set forth manafort's crimes and lies.
who among us is not interested in seeing something like that, even if it does scare the dog? we actually called the judge's chambers in d.c. today to ask when we should expect to see that document from the special counsel's office. we asked if we should expect to see it before or after the judge sets a firm sentencing date for manafort, which both sides are now asking her to do. we didn't receive a clear answer from the judge's chambers. they just told us to keep an eye on the docket, which we always do. but mueller clearly says that he intends to release this detailed evidence of manafort's lies and crimes in a detailed sentencing filing of some kind. so, provided that document is going to be public and not filed under seal, one major question is, why is mueller planning to do that? should this be seen as routine for this type of case to the extend that there is this type of case? or is mueller choosing this upcoming court filing essentially as a vehicle to release to the public information about the russia scandal and manafort that might not otherwise see the light of day? if, for example, it's otherwise going to be blocked by trump's
new acting attorney general, matt whitaker. could that be a factor here? is mueller planning on using these court filings to give the public information about what evidence they have collected and what happened in that presidential election? also, why was nbc news able to obtain these draft court documents from mueller's office tonight, show what appear to be draft charges and a draft plea agreement for a trump campaign hanger-on named jerome corsi? i have never seen a draft indictment made public before. why was this one made public? and with "the new york times" just moments ago breaking the news that mueller -- excuse me, that manafort may have lost his plea agreement because prosecutors found out that once he was supposed to be cooperating with them, he was actually secretly feeding information to the white house about the special counsel's office and their investigation and their lines of inquiry. with all of these stories now breaking all at once, how much reason is there to worry here about this very important national security investigation potentially being messed with? and if it is being messed with,
can the democrats in congress do anything about it now, no that they're talking over the house? the soon to be chairman of the house intelligence committee joins us next. i was on the fence about changing from a manual to an electric toothbrush. but my hygienist said going electric could lead to way cleaner teeth. she said, get the one inspired by dentists, with a round brush head. go pro with oral-b. oral-b's gentle rounded brush head removes more plaque along the gum line. for cleaner teeth and healthier gums. and unlike sonicare, oral-b is the first electric toothbrush brand accepted by the ada for its effectiveness and safety. what an amazing clean!
you don't mess around with bob mueller. the worst thing you can do when you're facing serious felony charges, i think, is refuse to cooperate, but even worse than that is agreeing to cooperate and then lying, because you're going to get caught. you're going to face all of the punishment and then some. and so, this is, i think, very serious business. you don't mess around with the special counsel. >> joining us now is adam schiff. who is the top democrat on the intelligence committee in the house of representatives. congressman, thank you so much for making time for us tonight. really appreciate you being here. >> you bet. >> "the new york times" has just reported tonight that paul manafort funneled information to the white house, to the president's legal team, during the time he was supposed to be cooperating with the special counsel's office after he
entered into this plea agreement with them. what's your reaction to that news? do you see this as a serious matter? >> it's a very serious matter, and i think barbara is exactly right. it represents an effort to essentially double deal by paul manafort, to pretend that he is cooperating with prosecutors, but at the same time, betray the government, betray the prosecution, by sharing information with the president's legal defense team. i wonder whether one of the lies that paul manafort told the mueller team was that he wasn't talking, wasn't sharing information with the president's legal team. but certainly, i would have to think that the mueller prosecutors would feel that as a complete betrayal of a cooperation agreement, and it also appears to be how giuliani and others have been obtaining information about what the special counsel is doing, when the special counsel has made such an effort to keep a tight ship. i will say this, though, not only it is going to infuriate the special counsel's office, but it will also infuriate the judge.
i mean, judges don't like having defendants that are lying to the government, because they're also through the government through that lying to the government, they're lying to the court. they're trying to take advantage of the court. so i think that mr. manafort miscalculated once before when he attempted to suborn witnesses or tamper with witness, and i think he just committed a another very serious blunder. >> if this turns out to have been not manafort's own idea entirely, if this turns out to have been an effort organized by the white house or the president's legal team to try to compromise the investigation, to try to get inside information from the investigation to advantage their own legal defense for the president, would you expect that to become a matter of investigation for your intelligence committee or other committees in the house? >> absolutely. i mean, the first role, i think, for the congress in all of this, is to try to protect the independence of the justice department and the integrity of bob mueller's investigation, and
that means learning, finding out, exposing if there's any interference, any political interference by the president or his team in any way, shape or form. and if so, exposing it. and then, there's a whole series of potential consequences. it would add to a growing of evidence that the president is involved in trying to obstruct justice. that might mean the special counsel, in his report, makes those findings, or recommends prosecution, either, you know, during the presidency or when the president leaves office. it obviously would be something the house would have to consider in terms of whether it rose to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor, but -- and it, you know, it also may mean that this is merely information that is going to be provided to voters so that in 2020 they can decide whether they want a president who is willing to obstruct justice, but there are a lot of potential consequences that can flow from it and our ultimate obligation is to expose any
interference in this investigation. >> you're also a former prosecutor yourself, sir. nbc news tonight obtained draft charges and a draft plea agreement that were apparently sent by the special counsel's office to jerome corsi. mr. corsi has chosen to share those documents with reporters, he has also said that he has rejected this proposed plea agreement and i don't necessarily believe everything that mr. corsi says, but it is unusual to see these documents. we can't directly verify them, but they appear to be work of the special counsel's office. just wanted to get your reaction to that. feel like it's very unusual to see what is, in effect, a draft indictment. >> well, it is, but you know, what i imagine would have taken place here is the special counsel would have presented this packet to corsi and his lawyers so that he could be sure, okay, this is what i'm prepared to plead guilty to, this is what the cooperation agreement will say, this is what i'm admitting, so, it wouldn't be unusual to provide that in detail, it would be very unusual for them to make it public like
this, and it does beg the question, why is all of this happening all of a sudden. why is it all happening now that manafort is attempting to double deal, that corsi looks like he's attempting to double deal. is any of this related to the appointment of whitaker, has that changed the calculus of these witnesses that were willing to cooperate, do they feel like they're going to get a pardon, and if they do, why do they feel they're going to get a pardon? we're going to have to explore all of that. i will say one other thing that leapt out to me about the statement of offense, and that is the discussion that corsi and roger stone had after our committee interviewed mr. stone. there's a lot of material that i think needs to be shared with the special counsel, because as more and more of these facts come to the surface, it looks increasingly likely that witnesses committed perjury before our committee and that's something the special counsel needs to consider, as well. >> and in the plea agreement, one of the things they offer to
not prosecute him for is anything related to perjury to a congressional committee with mr. corsi saying he's rejecting that agreement, he's rejecting protection from prosecution. adam schiff, i really appreciate you being here tonight. thank you. busy news night. >> thank you. >> all right, thanks. more ahead. today is the day you're going to get motivated...
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little bit of breaking news. this is the senate's to-do list today. they did not get to one important and controversial thing. this was unexpected. they didn't get to the nomination of thomas farr for federal judgeship in north carolina. maybe they'll get to it tomorrow. maybe it was just a scheduling thing, but there might be trouble brewing with this nomination, but it's not at all obvious that farr is going to have the votes to get confirmed. jeff flake has said he will not vote to confirm any legislation that he is seeking that would project robert mueller. late in the day, the republican leader in the senate, mitch mcconnell, made clear that, no, he's not going to do that, he's going to continue to block any legislation that protects mueller, even if it costs jeff flake's vote. that means for thomas farr and all over judicial nominees, that's a no vote, and thomas farr can't afford to lose one more republican senator. thomas farr is exactly the kind
of nomination that might reasonably pose a problem for republican senator tim scott. republican senators mostly stick together like a bag of iron filings near a strong magnet, but over the summer, tim scott sunk a trump judicial nominee named ryan bounds when it turned out bounds had written racist articles when he was in college. mitch mcconnell had to withdraw the bounds nomination, after finding out about that. that was maybe just too much. well, senator scott is not saying what he's going to do this time with thomas farr, but thomas farr has a history on this same issue that is a bigger deal than articles in a college newspaper. when thomas farr was a campaign counsel for jesse helms in 1990, the helms campaign blasted out 125,000 postcards to black households in north carolina. the postcards warned sternly about how strict the residency
requirements for if you wanted to vote and how voter fraud is punishable by imprisonment. was a clear attempt to intimidate black voters. thomas farr got busted for that. the justice department filed a complaint. in order to settle that lawsuit, they had to sign a consent degree. the official that signed that degree was thomas farr. thomas farr then went on to a long, prolific career in north carolina developing and implementing some of the most racially specific voter suppressive techniques ever seen in this country. and that guy is now sweating it as he waits to see if he can get the votes he needs to be confirmed. maybe the senate not getting around to thomas farr today was no big deal. maybe they'll get to it tomorrow, but there is a lot of pressure on this farr nomination and it is, tonight, looking a lot wobblier than it did this time yesterday. watch this space. that does it for us tonight.
the breaking news tonight is from the "new york times." paul manafort's lawyers have been passing information on to trump's lawyers after manafort agreed to work for the feds. the reporter who broke the story standing by. plus the "washington post" has landed an exclusive interview with president trump where he doesn't deny talking to his new acting a.g. matt whitaker about the russia investigation. one of the reporters in the oval office for that today also standing by for us tonight. and the last senate race of 2018. results from election night in mississippi, steve kornacki at the big board as "the 11th hour" gets underway on a busy tuesday night. well, good evening once again from our nbc headquarters here in new york. this has been an eventful day, 627 of the trump administration. tonight we begin with breaking news, the first of which from the "new york times." michael schmidt is standing by