tv MSNBC Live With Richard Lui MSNBC October 26, 2019 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
at xfinity, we're here to make life simple. easy. awesome. so come ask, shop, discover at your xfinity store today. . thanks for watching this hour. i'll be back tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. eastern. you can follow me online all the time, twitter and instagram, of course. the news continues right now with richard lui. >> hey, brother. >> have a good saturday. i'm richard lui live at msnbc headquarters in new york city. it does not seem like a saturday with so much breaking news. right now the acting assistant secretary of european and eurasian affairs testifying in a closed session on capitol hill. reeker is ignoring his boss, secretary pompeo in his call for state department diplomats not to testify. reeker is the ninth official to appear for the inquiry. a federal judge rejects claims by the president and republicans
that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate. that same judge says the justice department must turn over secret grand jury material from the mueller report and they need to do it by wednesday. outside of d.c., democratic presidential candidates are at a criminal justice forum made controller by an appearance by president trump. but first, it's our six under the lights for one diplomat. acting assistant secretary of european and eurasian affairs testified before three congressional committees. reeker appears today before congress under subpoena despite the state department discouraging his appearance. communications with key officials with efforts by president trump and rudy giuliani to pressure ukraine into investigating political enemies. and what did secretary of state pompeo know and when? just overnight a legal ruling that both leader pelosi and the president are watching closely. charles kupperman is to appear
monday for the inquiry, but his lawyer wants clarification from the courts. who should he be compelled to follow requests from? the white house in its request for executive privilege? or the inquiry subpoena for him to show up? back to the other big court ruling in the last 24 hours. a federal judge says the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate, or rather is legitimate, not to be authorized by a house vote. it does not need that. the doj must turn over relevant grand jury evidence from the mueller report to the house judiciary committee. let's go to correspondent leigh ann caldwell, white house correspondent kelly o'donnell, georgetown law school professor paul butler, and political senior legal affairs writer and msnbc contributor josh ger stean. how is philip reeker doing?
hour six more or less right now he's been behind closed doors? >> yeah. we've just begun our sixth. it's a longer day than we anticipated. we were told he would wrap up around 2:00 or 3:00, but sounds like reeker has a lot to say. republicans and democrats keep going back and forth asking him questions. one democratic congressman representative lynch from massachusetts emerged from these closed-door depositions saying reek certify a quote reservoir of information. he's corroborating what a lot of previous testimonies have already said. we know that reeker is supposed to talk about the ouster of the former ambassador to ukraine, marie yovanovitch. we know from other testimonies that rudy giuliani, the president's personal lawyer recommended to the president that yovanovitch should be ousted and that the president agreed to that. and so she was recalled from her position in may.
we also just learned just now from a republican lawmaker who came out from this deposition. i asked him if mike pompeo, the role of mike pompeo was discussed behind those closed doors. he said yes, it was. he wouldn't go into a lot of details, but we know that's a big question, especially for democrats and these geshl investigators on what role mike pompeo had. what did he know about the shadow state department operating in ukraine, and what did he do about it? but richard, we are also told that we could have at least two more hours left of this deposition, so the day is not over yet. >> which has been typical for those who have come to give testimony so far on the hill. kelly, your white house correspondent hat on right now and the ruling that came down from the federal judge saying this is legitimate. on top of that you must turn over documents that are related to the mueller report.
how is the white house reacting to that ruling that happened just within the last 24 hours? >> certainly the department of justice has the opportunity to appeasement although we haven't been given notification of that, one might expect they would because the court has given them a a few days for a deadline to turn over the material that had been redacted in the report that we all were able to read. so this would give the lawmakers who are a part of the impeachment inquiry access to the secrets of the mueller report that the white house has fought very hard and the administration has fought hard to keep secret arguing that grand jury proceedings and things that are typically in an investigative process kept secret, should remain so. but as you point out, the court looked at this and said the impeachment inquiry is a lawful judicial process, and there are exceptions for judicial processes where grand jury-type information, redacted content is
permitted to be shared with the understanding that not doing so could be harmful. so it is a big decision and one that the president has not directly reacted to, but he has used his twitter feed to talk about the fact that he's not concerned about this and protesting that he did not do anything wrong. there will be the back and forth. we've seen the strategy of the white house to try to slow down what lawmakers are doing with respect to the impeachment inquiry because they believe that is helpful to them, although court decisions like this certainly put into perspective the peril of fighting back. now, again, could they appeal, we expect that's a possibility. but for the white house having this information shared, we don't know how consequential it will be now that the focus is on ukraine and everything related to the mueller investigation is an earlier chapter. but expect there will be pushback from the white house because that's the playbook they use. richard?
>> and the playbook in this case when you look at it, paul butler, this is not a decision that was brief, shall we say. it was 70-plus pages. from your perspective, how big a deal was judge howell's statements and the homework she put into this. >> it's important for two reasons. first, congress will get to see information that bill barr said congress shouldn't see. so typically grand jury information is secret, even congress can't look at it. an exception is when there's an impeachment. during the nixon impeachment hearings, a court ruled that congress could, under those circumstances, see information that previously is briktd federal law. and so, again, a lot of it depends on how much you have confidence in the attorney general. a lot of us think he acted more like trump's personal attorney
than chief law enforcement officer of the united states. now congress gets to see everything that made a difference to the mueller investigation. more importantly, richard, for the investigation for the ukrainian investigation, the judge said that this is the fact an impeachment inquiry. as you noticed, she wrote a long scholarly decision where she basically threw trump's defense that because they hadn't authorized an impeachment inquiry, she threw that out of the water. she said that's not only not required, it's not supported in the constitution and it's not supported by previous court cases. >> so josh, i guess for those who might be watching on both sides of the aisle here, is what she wrote somewhat appeal-proof? >> usually when a judge goes to that length in an opinion, they're trying to lay out their reasoning in a way that would be at least easy for an appeals
court to understand and maybe harder to pick apart. she gave many different grounds for several of her views laid out in this opinion. what we have to keep in mind, kendis, is not just the possibility of an appeal but how many cases like this are backed up behind it. you have a lawsuit involving don mcgahn, former white house counsel fighting a subpoena he received. you have four lawsuits relating to the president's tax and financial records. when one judge comes out and says the impeachment is valid, the subpoenas are valid, you need to comply with what the house is doing, it can have sort of a snowball effect in encouraging other judges to reach similar conclusions which could be problematic for the white house, even on the current ukraine investigation now we have a new suit filed yesterday by the former deputy national security adviser asking if his subpoena is valid. i think judge howell's ruling could really make its way through all those different decisions. >> leigh ann, are the democrats
celebrating in a small way? this could be potentially a big decision for them. >> they absolutely are celebrating. of course they know the reality that this will likely be appealed, but for the time being, they're saying it gives not only democrats but they're saying the house of representatives a big win here. it shows the congressional authority and the power that they have in the celebration of branches here. and so they're saying that this is a big win for them, for the people, and it really undercuts what the republicans and the white house have been saying, that this is a sham impeachment process. and the white house has been pointing to the fact that the house of representatives have not held a vote on the house floor to open an impeachment inquiry as our previous guest indicated. the judge said that is not necessary, so democrats are legitimately involved in this impeachment inquiry and they're plowing on forward. >> kelly, it's exciting for all
of you that work in the beltway this civics lesson we're watching in front of us as was alluded by josh carlson cooperman here. what might happen here? he's basically saying do i listen to the white house or the subpoena coming down from the inquiry? >> he is caught in a place that would be hard for anyone, especially a public servant who wants to do the right thing to deal with. he believes that he's been ordered by the white house not to comply because he was a member of the executive branch. at the same time he says there's a competing and irreconcilable wish from the legislative branch that he would come forward and would provide testimony, and he is saying that when there is a clash between the branches, it is the judicial arm of our government that should in effect play referee. and so he is saying, according to his lawyer, that he has no particular opinion about whether he should or should not, but wants the court to decide. he is due to appear on monday,
and so it will be interesting to see when we would hear any kind of a decision about that as leigh ann pointed out. it's now becoming a six or seven-day a week business in the impeachment inquiry in washington for all of the time concerns that democrats have. and so it will be interesting to see when we would learn about the fate of his testimony and if he would need to be rescheduled, if it'll happen at all. but it could, of course, set the framework for how many high-profile and important witnesses could be treated. >> bolton being one of those words out there, right, as we look forward in the discussion so far. great to have you, kelly o'donnell, white house correspondent for us. please stick around. we'll talk to you in a little bit. coming up, as more bombshells continue to drop, rudy giuliani is getting pressure as increasing scrutiny is aimed at him. the big question, might he be indicted? !
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. welcome back. rudy giuliani indicted, well, not at the moment. the president's lawyer, though, is under scrutiny after two of his associates were indicted this week over dealings linked to the ukraine scandal that triggered the impeachment inquiry. now, there's speculation the former u.s. attorney could face charges of his own for allegedly acting as an unregistered foreign agent. this comes amid reporting by cnn that giuliani is on the hunt for his own personal defense attorney now. meanwhile "the new york times" reports the president and giuliani are moving forward with even more attacks on joe biden. this is over son hunter's work for a romanian batman who faces corruption charges. the only problem is that rudy giuliani also worked for that very same romanian businessman that was a couple years after hunter biden supposedly did. then this new bit of information courtesy of a giuliani butt dial
to an nbc news reporter. in that call he's heard on voicemail discussing his business dealings overseas and a big sum of cash. >> all right. joining us now, as ash win sang and josh gerstein and paul butler. what do you make of the call. we'll start with that. not a lot of details. we do hear big numbers. we hear turkey in there too. >> well, when it comes to rudy giuliani's foreign work, the story gets much broader and gets very international very quickly with a variety of countries.
for instance, this was i think the term bahrain was mentioned on that same call that you just played a little bit of the audio from. as we reported at the daily beast earlier this year, rudy giuliani, while he was still representing the president of the united states as the mueller probe was wrapping up, giuliani was in negotiations with the ministry of the interior of the kingdom of bahrain, a small island nation in the persian gulf, for his security company to do police and security consulting for the bahrainny security and police services. this is something that he ended up inking a deal for and was simultaneously doing that side gig while serving as personal attorney for president donald trump. some may see that as a bit of a conflict or something giving the appearance of a conflict given that the government in bahrain wants a lot of things from the trump administration, including
foreign aid and assistance. but because rudy giuliani has never worked for donald trump in a capacity as, say, white house counsel or white house attorney, he doesn't have to abide by these rules, even if the appearance of. >> where do you use solid line of scrimmage lines with what rudy giuliani is doing as described to us? >> rudy is steadilily hustling business he's the president's lawyer, private lawyer and fixer, and he uses that access to trump to try to get results for his client. the federal criminal law requires that if you lobby u.s. officials on behalf of foreign nationals, you have to register. and if you don't rectangle, you have committed a felony. we know that giuliani hasn't registered, so the question is the kind of work that he's doing
for his clients. >> if you're the prosecutors here, josh, and you were writing on this extensively on this very question, what's going to happen with rudy giuliani, is he going to go to jail is what your headline was. if you get rudy giuliani, do you get president trump? >> well, he's tying himself closely to the president at the moment, and the president is returning the love. there was a tweet earlier this week where giuliani was mostly quiet, sort of uncharacteristically for him. and then we had the president come out and make another statement supporting rudy as a crime fighter and a guy who's fighting corruption around the world. so i think there's a mutual hug going on here between these two men, which side put the president in some jeopardy if prosecutors decided to come after rudy. that said, i think things like
making a fortune agent case against somebody in court as a criminal matter has proven have have tricky for the justice department. i've sat through two trials related to that just in the last few months. and at the end of these cases the justice department ended up with egg on its face basically because it turns out that kind of case is a lot harder to prove as a criminal matter than sending somebody a letter and saying maybe you should be registered, would you mind filling out this paperwork. is this question of how the -- -- at the moment the attorney general and the department of justice might be looking at rudy giuliani, now looking into a criminal investigation, which means many more powers and complaints coming from the attorney general around the legal question of rudy giuliani. >> sure. it's too early to say one way or the other if rudy giuliani
actually will get indicted or spend any time in prison. it's obviously way too early to get to that. we have to see where this whole saga evolves to. if he ends up in even similar legal jeopardy or legally muddy waters as those two associates, fruman and parnas, again, way too early to tell. this wouldn't be the first time in recent memory that a person who likes going on tv and likes ostentatiously being public about his fervent support for donald trump were indicted. this obviously happened with michael cohen, with the whole campaign finance-related violations that eventually sent michael cohen, formerly a longtime trump loyalist to prison. he ended up turning on the president in a very dramatic, very public fashion, and michael cohen and rudy giuliani ended up becoming very public enemies and
trading words with each other as that whole legal saga went on. so it's a bit of a -- i don't even know if the term is shakespeareian here. maybe more soap opera, that giuliani is the one in the hot seat and the one who has the feds bearing down on him in one way or the other. >> put it all together. what do you make of the recent reporting around the doj moving the criminal investigation potentially looking at rudy giuliani. is this protective in some way? if you were to think of the attorney general not necessarily taking on his legal ah hat but his political hat instead? >> i'm not sure about that. if you think you fu look at the charges against the two giuliani associates, it's clear part of what they're being charged for is their effort to influence u.s. politics related to ukraine, which is also something
that rudy giuliani was doing at the same time. and i was at the arraignment for those two fellows in new york earlier this week. one of the defense lawyers said, look, this is a very complicated case and one of the reasons it's so complicated is at least with respect to mr. parnas who's one of the associates of giuliani, he says giuliani was working for him and that he was working for giuliani and also he was working for giuliani as giuliani was working for the president of the united states. and all those issues are implicated and all the records might be evidence at this criminal trial. that's the kind of sort of complex situation. some might call it almost a nightmare for a prosecutor to wade through all that information and deal with the cross-currents in terms of people who might have interest in that case. >> a very large white board would be required for all of this. josh gerstein, thank you. senior legal affairs writer for politico, appreciate your time. paul butler, please stay with us. we'll talk to you in just a little bit.
coming up, big questions surrounding potential testimony from former john bolton aide charles kupperman. why he's asking a judge whether or not he can be forced to testify in the impeachment inquiry. ic 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! i'll only use an oral-b! oral-b. brush like a pro. aalexa: it's a masterstroke of sorrow by olivia watson. heartache, brutality and redemption. the mist crept into the pivot hole beside her... you're late. david! what did you think of the book? it's a...masterstroke of... heartache...brutality... ...and redemption. you didn't read it, did you?
adviser charles kupperman filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to determine whether he is required to speak to congress. he is scheduled to kick of a big week at the house of representatives with four witnesses expected to appear, including two members of the national security council and the acting assistant secretary of defense. but now there are questions on whether they will show up. a source tells nbc news that lawyers for john bolton, the former national security adviser are discussing the possibility of bolton testifying in the impeachment probe. joining us now, daily beast white house reporter, leigh ann caldwell, paul butler back with us as well. ash win, what do we know about john bolton at the moment? >> well, there's still reportedly some back and forth between his legal team and what's going to happen with the committees on capitol hill who have been looking into impeachment right now. we don't know if we're going to get a deposition from john bolton or anything like that yet but what we do know is he left
the administration earlier this year. he used to trump's national security adviser on extremely bad terms. the day he left, there was sort of a back and forth battle playing out hilariously in public on twitter, president trump's favorite forum apparently, about whether john bolton was fired or whether he quit. bolton insisting he quit and resigned the administration because of deep divides on national security and foreign policy issues that he had with his former boss, donald j. trump. john bolton, of course, a noted war hawk dating back to the george w. bush era if not before, was someone who wanted to do a lot more interventions overseas than president trump did. as we reported at the daily beast earlier this year, within six days, not even a whole week of him leaving or being kicked out of donald trump's white house, he was already talking to
various literary agents about writing a book and donald trump uses a book to settle scores. so beyond whatever happens with bolton on capitol hill in the coming days or weeks with regards to the democrats' impeachment inquiry, you can bet that in the coming months and years he'll be trying to settle scores with his former boss, president trump. >> he has a long memory. in my haste, ned price is also with us, msnbc national security in school analyst and former special assistant to president obama. i was reading through telepromter there. what do you make if we see bolton here? >> right. and i think that's a big if. john bolton has sent a signal that he has a story to tell, but so far he seems to be saying i only want to tell that story if i can monetize it as asawin was discussing. he is lease eager to go forward
publicly and certainly doesn't seem to be all that eager to go before congress. but i think the fact is we have to remember that john bolton was the national security adviser during almost the entire period in question. the aid to ukraine was released the next day, september 11th of this year, and the whistle-blower complaint came out the following day. all that to say john bolton had a front row seat to all of this. he was national security adviser on july 25th, 2019, when president trump spoke to his ukrainian counterpart. and we know from witness testimony before congress that john bolton was certainly not one of the -- did not appear to be one of the conspirators in this scheme. in fact, he called this a drug deal. he said giuliani was a hand grenade waiting to explode. so certainly it seems like he would be able to tell congress about his reservations, and some
of the wrongdoing and perhaps even worse, perhaps even criminality that he witnessed during his time in the front row of this administration's foreign policy. >> we move to who might be to who is. we're in hour six. have we heard anything in terms of what may be happening there inside the skiff? >> so what we know is that fellowsh philip reeker is talking about the firing of marie yovanovitch, the former ambassador to ukraine who was much loved and respected by her colleagues. she did a fantastic job. we have since learned from previous depositions that her firing was recommended by rudy giuliani, trump's personal attorney, to the president, and the president took giuliani up on that advice and fired yovanovitch. we also just heard congressman mark meadows was talking with reporters a couple moments ago and that yovanovitch -- or philip reeker also did talk
about the trio, the three amigos who came in to run ukraine policy after yovanovitch was fired. that was eu ambassador sondland, that was special envoy volker and energy secretary rick perry. we've heard these names over and over again. apparently he had a lot of information about that as well. now, congressman meadows, a republican who's defending the president, he's saying there was no new revelation that philip reeker has exposed and it's the same thing we've been hearing over and over again. we're hearing that from democratic members of congress as well as saying -- they're saying that what reeker is doing is he's corroborating what other witnesses have already said about this time line and the series of events that led the united states to push and to pressure the ukrainians to investigate the president's political rivals, the bidens.
we have to remember that, that's the big picture while we're hearing these details from these witnesses all leading up to this larger story of if the president abused his power. >> paul butler, at this time a week ago we had just experienced what some were saying was the the biggest week in with the inquiry so far. this last week, how would you characterize it? >> i think ambassador taylor's testimony was a game changer. there doesn't have to be a quid pro quo for impeachment. but if there is a quid pro quo, it makes what the president doing is even sleazier, looks like a shakedown. what ambassador taylor testified in no uncertain terms trump put both a meeting at the white house for the ukrainian president and military aid that
this very vulnerable country subject to russian aggression needed, when trump bartered american political -- i'm sorry, american public money, taxpayer dollars for that, that's extremely incriminating. and so it goes to the classic idea of high crimes and misdemeanors which the the framers didn't mean to be statutory crime but abuse of the public trust. that's what ambassador taylor testified to. again, i think it's very damaging to the president. >> like you, ned, ambassador taylor, an admirable public servant here. would you call his system the biggest in this past week? what stood out to you? >> i don't think ambassador taylor's testimony really changed the contours of this scandal as we know it. president trump, according to his testimony and testimony
before it and presumably according to testimony that is to come, betrayed his oath of office, betrayed the american people, and betrayed our national security by putting his own narrow domestic political interests ahead of the national interest. what ambassador taylor did is that he really underlined and underscored for us the scale and scope of this as well as laid this directly on president trump's feet. by that i mean that we learn from ambassador taylor's prepared statement, it was actually president trump's instruction to the u.s. ambassador to the eu that he approached the ukrainians. the ukrainian president zelensky, and made it clear, leave no doubt that there was, in fact, a quid pro quo here, that there would be a stalemate between the release of these funds and what the ukrainians wanted, and that was the release of these funds and a white house meeting.
if they didn't commit to these political investigations that president trump wanted. so i think he needed much more granular. he provided more detail and made it much more damning for president trump himself. >> thank you so much. leigh ann caldwell, paul butler, ned price, and asawin, thank you so much. coming up for you, we'll turn our attention to the 2020 race and a big gathering happening right now in south carolina. the 2020 candidates are out in full force at the criminal justice forum in columbia. we got their messages to voters and why president trump's speech there yesterday caused some controversy. ♪ to walk along the lonely street of dreams ♪ ♪ here i go again on my--- you realize your vows are a whitesnake song? i do. if you ride, you get it.
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and help reverse early gum damage. gum detoxify, from crest. . 100 days, that's how close we are from the beginning of primary elections and caucuses. that starts in iowa. but today many of the candidates are in the palmetto state, that's south carolina. they're attending a criminal justice forum laying out their ideas on how to tackle the issue. their messages come a day after president trump spoke at the
same event which has taken place at a historically black college. >> since we passed this landmark legislation, ten states have followed our lead and passed legislation that takes critical steps to advance criminal justice reform at the state level. >> while there, the president received an award for that effort, triggering a twitter feud with presidential candidate and senator kamala harris. at one point she announced she would boycott that event, but has since reversed her decision of he talked about it in the previous hour here on msnbc. >> i received an invitation from the mayor of columbia along with the president of the university to participate today because today is the university hosting it. as a graduate of an hbcu, i felt it very important that on an issue like that the students be allowed to attend.
>> mike memoli, aj elrod, gideon resnick, and asawin suebsaeng back with us again. mike, how was it? what was the outcome of the gathering? if you could summarize for us here. >> well, richard, what's so interesting about this forum is that criminal justice reform is one of those issues where there's not just a broad consensus among the democratic candidates but also a bipartisan consensus. as you mentioned that's why president trump was speaking at the same event as the number of the democratic presidential contenders. the candidates had an opportunity to talk about ways they want to build on that, that's the bipartisan legislation that president trump signed last year. for john delaney it was talking about the need to investigate in public defenders to help those facing trial. for kamala harris it was her bipartisan bill with senator rand paul to end the cash bail system. and so we heard a number of proposals like that. pete buttigieg unveiling his
comprehensive criminal justice reform plan with a focus on incentivizing states to reduce the number of juveniles in detention. there was a controversy involving senator harris where she had initially threatened to boycott this event. it's been interesting to see how some of the candidates used president trump's presence here yesterday to make a different message for their campaign. cory booker chose a different tact than senator harris. rather than threatening to boycott the event, he began by trying to highlight the differences between his long record on the issues of criminal justice reform, fighting on behalf of the disenfranchised with what he said was president trump's mixed record, let's say. yes, he partnered with him on the first step act, but there was a much longer track record in which he believes president trump obviously has let down those who are seeking justice in this system. >> adrian, this is not the first stop for these candidates and they come back. there have been several fanatics.
i remember one of the gatherings earlier in the months was focused on economic empowerment, issues of the back pocket of your wallet, right? >> uh-huh. yeah, absolutely. this is a very important state for presidential candidates, and i want to applaud kamala harris for what she did today. i think she made right decides. not only did she protest donald trump who uses racism to divide this country, she protested him getting an award, but she also protested the fact that students weren't allowed to participant in this process, weren't allowed to be in the room. it was a smart tactic for her. the african-american vote is going to make or break the democratic primary. whoever gets the most support among african-americans will be the democratic party nominee. all these events are very important, especially at hbcus around the country, very important to decide who will be the nominee in the dpaemd.
>> gideon resnick, we're waiting to hear from the former vice president. theoretically this would be a group that's friendly to him. what do you think he needs to say? and then we'll get to mike. >> i think the former vice president needs to sort of continue on this track where he is kind of evolved on criminal justice in a number of ways since his long legislative history in the senate. one of the things he has emphasized is his work with president obama during those years, class crucial pitch he's used throughout this primary. but he also has newly evolved criminal justice issues. he's been highlighting those to various communities with whom he's spoken. like the other candidates that have been at this forum thus far, the presence of trump is going to allow biden to draw a good contrast. that's the blessing in disguise of the fact that trump had actually been there on the first day of it, is that everybody who gets to step up and make their pitch is getting that direct contrast now too. >> what we're seeing is a cross
of what's happening in the beltway and the election at the same time. before toying mike to finish here, i want to ask you, asawin, the thing that's going to happen is many candidates, if there's going to be any sort of vote, trial, that this is going to pull mcht candidates who are in the senate right now away from the campaign trail who are there in south carolina today. >> absolutely. and while i think most of them would prefer to be on the campaign trail talking about pocketbook issues or health care, immigration, policy issues, just grappling with impeachment on capitol hill is not the killer in terms of national polling or even state by state polling that has been for democrats in the past. so i don't think they'll be nearly handling with kids gloves as they would have even just a few months ago, of course. that goes without saying. but one thing i wanted to say about president trump's side of this, especially given his remarks yesterday, is that going into this what may be a tough re-election year for him, he is
going to say over and over and over again how much a great criminal justice reformer and warrior he's been on this issue. yes, he did sign the first step act, but it's very important to put his record on raise and also criminal justice in context. yes, he signed the bill, but initially he also underfunded it by roughly 80%. under jeff sessions the former attorney general, trump and the department of justice were accomplice in the reversal of numerous obama-era steps on criminal justice, whether that was on equitable sharing or civil asset forfeiture or local policing and doj investigations into them. i could go on and on and on. but it's important not to let trump get away with it they don't want to say talk about how great he is on criminal justice. it's just not the case. >> we'll take a short break. stay with us. we'll be right back. it was that voice asking me, "is your daughter ok?" that's where i felt relief. we're the rivera family
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right mind can equate marijuana with a killer drug like heroin. >> there in south carolina for an important gathering. our panel joins us again. mike memoli is on the ground right now. one poll from monmouth puts joe biden on top, not necessarily a surprise here. >> yeah, that's right, richard. actually we've seen obviously conflicting polls since the last debate. but actually, i want to bring in senator klobuchar. she just got off stage at the forum. she joins us live now. senator klobuchar, there was some controversy over this forum and given president trump's participation yesterday. why was it important for you to attend? >> i think everyone ended up attending. for me, this is a major issue. i'm a former prosecutor, but i was a sponsor of the first step act. i think we need to make some major changes to our federal sentencing. we got a first step, but there's more we have to do including
expanding drug courts and doing more about mental health. and i came out with a proposal on that. so i think we ended up having a really good discussion. i was fortunate to have a brand-new prosecutor from st. louis interview me, and it went really well. >> as you know, there's so few bipartisan legislation coming out of congress. was it a mistake, though, to honor the president as one of the sponsors of this organization yesterday? >> i don't think that right now i feel like giving a prize or an award to donald trump. but i'm going to put this behind me because i think what was more important at this amazing school with these great students that i got to meet was to have all these candidates come here today. and i think there will be more tomorrow and hear about the work we want to do as president. that's what this was about for me. >> you served on the senate judiciary committee. some significant developments in the impeachment inquiry, a federal judge ruling that the house committees are entitled to grand jury material.
what is the significance of that potentially to impeachment going forward? >> well, i think we'll have to see what that material is. but it just shows that the judiciary, whether they're democratic or republican-appointed judges know they have to do their job and follow the law. i wish the supreme court will get the same message. no one is above the law and that right now i was appalled by the stunt the republicans played over in the house. i've been in that skiff many times. that's a secure area, and you can never bring your phones in. they take they can away and they take your fit bits away. and to have those guys barge in with their cell phones to make a point when the republicans were already in there asking questions. it was even steven, democrats and republicans could ask questions of the witnesses, and i think they were creating subterfuge because of the testimony of ambassador taylor,
who had been so devastating to the administration. >> just a few seconds left. so much unprecedented about these tiechltz if there was a trial in the senate, would you be likely to spend your full time in the senate or in iowa if it's just before the caucus. >> i have made this clear. we have a constitutional obligation. this is a very serious matter, something that goes back to the founding fathers when james madison said it at the constitutional convention that he feared a president could betray the trust of the american people for a foreign power. that is our job, and i have the most endorsements of anyone in iowa of electives and former electives. i'll have plenty of surrogates if that happens right before the caucuses. we're really excited about our momentum and the contributions that came in at amyklobuchar.com. we raised over $2 million in six days after the debate and we are on the rise. >> thank you so much for joining us, senator. >> mike memoli, thank you so much, sir.
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