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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  November 8, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PST

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and good night from our nbc news headquarters in new york. tonight, on "all in." rudy giuliani's campaign of lie. >> rudy is a great gentlemen, he >> tonight even more damning new details on the president's push to extort ukraine. and new reporting on just what rudy giuliani and william barr were willing to do to help him. >> where is william barr? where is he? >> plus -- >> the house and the american public must see all the evidence for themselves. >> judiciary chairman jerry nadler joins me live to lay out exactly how the public inquiry will proceed.
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and another billionaire enters the fold. what a mike bloomberg candidacy means for the democratic field. when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. ever since the president got elected he's been on the quest to make the role of attorney general, the peoples lawyer his personal lawyer. it's tempted to ask where is my roy cohn. roy cone he went on to be a consigliere for the new york mob. he was also a lawyer and mentor to one donald trump. and for donald trump he represented the perfect lawyer. it appears in the president's infamous phone call with ukraine's president he has not one but two roy cohns. on multiple occasions trump tells the ukrainian president to expect a call from those two people. one of them is the current attorney general, the top law enforcement officer in the united states, that's william barr. and one of them is trump's
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private attorney rudy giuliani. i quote from the call notes here, i will have mr. giuliani give you a call and i'm also going to have attorney general barr call, and we will get to the bottom of it. and i will tell rudy and attorney general barr to call. now, rudy giuliani is trump's private attorney, but in a kind of dubious metaphysical way. the president is not paying rudy giuliani. giuliani is the president's private attorney because giuliani calls himself that. there is no formal relationship that we know of. giuliani important to note doesn't do any actual legal work for the president as far as we can tell. i mean, president trump is currently engaged in, like, a million different lawsuits and rudy giuliani is not named on one of those briefs. there are people, professional lawyers who are barred in whatever state they're practicing in who go into court week after week and file briefs and argue before judges on behalf of the president. but that's not what giuliani is doing. no, no, no, he is playing the
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role michael cohen once filled. he is trump's fixer and his bag man but for free. and that is why giuliani is at the center of this whole thing. he was running point on the trump scheme to extort ukraine and get them to dig up and manufacture dirt on the president's political rival. if there are two themes that constantly come through in every single impeachment investigation transcript that we get it's that number one, there was a sprawling energetic corrupt attempt and two rudy giuliani was running that corrupt extortion attempt. today we got our latest example of that in the release of the deposition transcript of the deputy assistant secretary george kent, and the department of state i read from that, mr. giuliani had been carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information about the u.s. ambassador to ukraine, ambassador yovanovitch. it was clear the former mayor had influence on the president in terms of the way the president thought of ukraine. now, rudy giuliani was and is up to his eyeballs in this ukraine scheme. it has since been reported by multiple news outlets that rudy giuliani is also under federal investigation in the southern
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district of new york for his activities in ukraine. yesterday giuliani tweeted he'd hire a lawyer as anyone under investigation should. the interesting twist is that rudy's new lawyer a guy named robert costello is also the guy who represents trump's former fixer michael cohen. co costello is the guy who reportedly told rudy giuliani that he could, quote, sleep comfortably tonight because he had friends in high places. of course michael cohen is now in prison after committing crimes he pleaded guilty to on behalf of trump. which is why trump needed a new fixer in the first place. that makes me wonder, remember the president names two people in the call notes, right? so we know what giuliani was up to because almost all the people he was interfacing with have been testifying about his corrupt behavior. but what about the other guy? what was attorney general william bar up to? did he throw it out without discussing with him first?
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is there anyone at the department of justice taken the kind of steps those in the state department were forced into taking, taking contemporaneous notes and raising red flags about inappropriate behavior? those are open questions. we have had a succession of people in the foreign policy apparatus who have testified but no one yet from the justice department. and we do know that william barr has generally viewed his role as attorney general to be that of personally defending and protecting the president politically. remember he spun the mueller report for trump, went out and announced there was no obstruction despite evidence to the contrary. his own doj shut down the criminal analysis of the ukraine call notes and refused to look at any of the other surrounding contextual evidence. they put out a statement to defend the president, but there is one thing attorney general william barr would not do and that is go out in public in front of the tv cameras and defend trump. "the washington post" reporting last night in the middle of our show that trump wanted barr to hold news conference saying the president broke no laws on the call with the president of ukraine and barr refused.
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i don't know why but one idea might be is because part of that would mean barr would have to take live questions from reporters about his role in the whole ukraine extortion scheme. quote, i would like to have the attorney general call you or your people and significantly, quote, there's a lot of talk about biden's son, that biden stopped the prosecution, so whatever you can do with the attorney general, that would be great. so did william barr follow up on that? did he ever speak to the ukrainian president or his people about joe biden's son? as far as i know since we got the call notes, william barr hasn't answered in real time a single question from a reporter about what he was doing around that call and mentioned in that call. so why is he mentioned there? joining me now for more on what is happening, from the department of justice, harry litman and former deputy assistant attorney general in the clinton department of justice and mimi rocah, former
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u.s. assistant attorney for the southern district of new york and now an msnbc legal analyst. it just seems to me there are really basic questions that william barr needs to answer one way or the other through his own mouth in front of reporters about what role he played or did not play in this whole thing. >> he needs to, but he doesn't want to, and i think he won't unless he's really dragged in. you're right. i mean, this would be flagrantly improper for him to have gotten involved even without it being a nefarious criminal conspiracy. just for him to be in this kind of, you know, foreign policy led by rudy giuliani. but we know that he really, as you say, has been willing to be -- to push the envelope, shred the envelope in terms of what he did with the mueller report. so is this just a bridge too far for him? it seemed to me interestingly, chris, that trump didn't have
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quite the same tone he had with sessions where he was really bitter, and trump is the guy that somehow revealed that barr wouldn't do this. something's a little bit odd and doesn't quite add up to it, but i think barr knows that it would be personal suicide or perilous for him to be dragged into the impeachment now. there's no end to that road. >> it's very clear the department of justice wants to have energetnothing to do with . they've put out a bunch of statements. they've distanced themselves from things at one point when someone said there was a joint investigation with the department of justice and the ukrainian government. we didn't know that existed. i guess the question is is it plausible or tenable for barr to remain silent without full accounting from doj? >> it shunt be. this is crazy, actually. what you just laid out. five questions, did bill barr talk to the president, before
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that phone call did he know trump was using his name, did he have a conversation with the president of the ukraine? those are questions that should be asked by people investigating what happened with ukraine, whether it be people in congress -- >> right. >> the impeachment committee or the southern district of new york, assuming -- which i think we all rightly assume that giuliani's case or investigation there ties into this. so barr is a witness, and not a peripheral witness, he is someone that needs to be asked questions and give truthful answers, probing questions. >> i mean, i just want to be clear. it's entirely possible as a story here the president did just throw this out. >> exactly. >> and did not check with barr. barr had nothing to do with it. being invoked because that's who the president wanted to invoke. i'd just like to know as a factual no matter. giuliani in the george kent testimony, we're going to get into that a little bit, but, you know, there is one theme in this testimony. there was an extensive attempt
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to extort ukraine. it almost worked and giuliani was running point on it for the president. giuliani saying this yesterday. i've been thinking about what this means all day. i want to get both your feedback. the investigation i conducted concerning 2016 ukrainian collusion and corruption was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges that kept changing one after another as they were disproffer. what does that mean and what does giuliani's relationship to the president mean in a legal and constitutional sense as we enter this impeachment? >> so talk about changing explanations. it's giuliani's. before he was rooting out corruption. what he's trying to do there is make a play for privilege. >> yes. >> but i think it won't work and, boy, is he tailor made to be the number two villain here. it's not just that he's unlikable and sinister, the fact that he's there makes it so clear that of course he's acted for trump's personal interests and not for any broader anti-corruption in ukraine. so he's front and center and they've got the pincer on him in
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a way they don't with other witnesses, because as mimi says, sdny is clearly making him a subject and now congress is as well. he is really fit to -- i mean, there aftvery few it seems to m strategies for the white house at this point, but one of them might be throw rudy from the train because that final communication between him and trump is not very clear, but we know everything that rudy was doing and it's all nasty and corrupt without a doubt. >> that is a very good point. i also wonder about the privilege play here. this is a technical legal question but i'm interested in it. there is this tradition of the mob lawyer, right? the mob lawyer is a lawyer but also kind of an adviser and the benefit you get from that is legally that's all privileged stuff and so you've got a privileged claim -- >> they think it's legal. >> exactly. i'm not saying that giuliani's a mob lawyer. what i'm saying here is that him calling himself the president's lawyer while not doing anything
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we would call legal work per se seems to me a play to put this in the penumbra of privilege. can that hold up? >> not if it's tested in a court. remember when michael cohen's office was raided and trump said, well, you know, attorney/client privilege. this is an attack on it. republicans all day, this was crazy. how many of those documents ended up being privileged when a judge reviewed them, like ten? >> you're right. they had a whole process to sort them. >> if you get a judge, a neutral observer looking or newt gingrich decisionmaker who knows the law and really understands what the very important principle of attorney/client privilege is actually about, this is a facade. and rudy giuliani's been doing this for years. he's been going out on tv. he's been a spokesperson not a lawyer. >> right. >> yes, he advised him on mueller. you can have more than one role.
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but half the things he was doing on tv were about putting out talking points, taking the sting out, things like that, and everything he's done with ukraine, i mean, he can say it as a lawyer, but just ladling it doesn't make it -- he was a de facto -- >> yes. >> secretary of state. i don't know. >> that's my point. the other thing is, like, the president has a legal team. he's in court all the time. there are some really highly paid adept lawyers defending him in court. rudy giuliani's not doing that. thank you both. >> thanks, guys. >> joining me now is democratic senator chris van hollen of maryland who has been investigating the trump administration's freeze of military aid to ukraine. senator, i wanted to talk to you about that because i think it has got a little lost in the shuffle about whether the freeze itself was lawful or unlawful. what is your sense of why the freeze happened and whether it is lawful or unlawful? >> well, as to whether or not it
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was a lawful or whether it violated the budget process, i've asked gao to take a look at it. i think it is important to remember, chris, the big picture here. which is that the president's withholding of taxpayer-funded military assistance to ukraine in exchange for them interfering in a u.s. election is the cause for the abuse of power that the house impeachment inquiry is very focused on. the separate issue is whether the president in withholding the money violated what's called the control act designed to prevent presidents from essentially withholding moneys that have been duly appropriated by congress and running out the clock at the end of the fiscal year. the gao said it would be illegal for a president to do that.
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the question was whether or not they needed to provide notice requirements. of course in the end under political pressure they ended up releasing the funds. i've asked gao to look at this. this is a separate question of the larger issue of abuse of power. >> it connects in this case. "the new york times" reporting as that deadline crept closer of the end of the fiscal year and the money vanishing, zelensky and the ukraine essentially came to conclude the only way to get the money released was in fact to go along with the president's extortion, was to give them the announcement they wanted, which means it almost did work. what's your response to that? >> well, that's exactly right, chris, and that is why the house of representatives has tried to get information from the office of management and budget. from those who actually control the funding spigot to find out what their plans were, what their intentions are, but as is the case with other white house officials they've refused to provide that information, refused to provide that
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temperature and they're stonewalling the house of representatives. but it is relevant to collect this information. i will say that the budget committee yesterday adopted an amendment i proposed that at least going forward would prevent any president from threatening another country by withholding money the way the president did. because we take that running out the clock option off the table entirely. >> i should note that the testimony released by george kent today says that -- he says that the president personally ordered that money to be withheld. that jives with everything else we've heard. the first public hearings are happening in less than a week. now i wonder as a u.s. senator what your approach to the hearings in the house is going to be. do you think you're going to watch them? do you think your colleagues will watch them? how do you see your role? >> oh, i expect to watch them very closely, chris, pay a lot of attention to the evidence. my view of this right now is the evidence to date is overwhelming in that the president abused his
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powers. i've said if the president and the white house have exculpatory evidence they should be coming forward. this is the time to do it. instead they seem to be taking the opposite approach by, you know, preventing witnesses from testifying which will lead us to the conclusion if they never provide that exculpatory evidence they don't have it. and in fact, any testimony from these witnesses would be even more damning, but i will be watching very closely. >> one thing that hangs over this and we talked about it at the top of the show is the role of the attorney general in all this. rudy giuliani's role is fairly clear based on the evidence we've gotten. of course giuliani doesn't work for the u.s. government. the attorney general is the people's lawyer. the administer of justice in the u.s. do you have confidence in him? do you feel he can be trusted with that position not to abuse that authority? >> oh, unfortunately, attorney general barr has showed that he's nothing more than the president's lawyer. he's not the people's lawyer.
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he will bend over backwards to do the political bidding of this white house. we've seen that pattern repeatedly. so it's unfortunate to say, but in this case i don't think we can have any faith in the attorney general to be a fair arbiter or administrator of justice, and that's just a sad statement of where we are with this trump administration. >> all right. senator chris van hollen, thank you very much. up next brand-new revelations from the impeachment hearings from someone who had a bird's eye view of the entire ukraine scheme, the pieces he was able to put together. we're back in just two minutes. surprise!
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so come ask, shop, discover at your xfinity store today. it's got all my favorite shows turn oright there.boom, i wish my trading platform worked like that. well have you tried thinkorswim? this is totally customizable, so you focus only on what you want. okay, it's got screeners and watchlists. and you can even see how your predictions might affect the value of the stocks you're interested in. now this is what i'm talking about. yeah, it'll free up more time for your... uh, true crime shows? british baking competitions. hm. didn't peg you for a crumpet guy. focus on what matters to you with thinkorswim. ♪ when george kent who is the deputy assistant secretary of state for european affairs testified privately before the house impeachment inquiry last month, his testimony barely leaked, and it didn't generate the kind of headlines we got for some other key witnesses. but today when the transcript of that deposition was released, we discovered there were some real
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revelations. george kent is in the position of the state department hierarchy to have a kind of bird's eye view of this whole scheme and to put the plot together and see the point of it. here's how he spells it out in his testimony. ambassador gordon sondland had talked to the president, potus in shorthand, and potus wanted nothing less than president zelensky to go to the microphones and say investigations, biden and clinton. and other crucial witnesses were in silos. they couldn't necessarily see the big picture of what was taking place. george kent's testimony is illuminating because he sees what's happening and lays it out for the committee. he told them, quote, ambassador sondland was pushing a line in which he would send this public signal of announcing a willingness to pursue investigations. going on to explain, quote, i think the anticipation or the hope was that sending that signal would clear the way for both the white house visit as well as the resumption or
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clearing of the administrative hold on security assistance which had been placed by omb. for more on what was in the most recent impeachment transcript that dropped today, i'm joined by the national security reporter for "the washington post," john hudson, who has been pouring over this as well. i guess i'll start open-ended. what jumped out to me in this testimony was that kind of bird's eye view kent has. what did you find most striking in in? >> chris, we're talking about george kent who is basically considered in diplomatic circles the foremost expert on the state department. this guy has a very granular view how the country works. and in his testimony it's essentially him describing a slow motion train wreck in his mind of really the degrading of longtime u.s. foreign longtime u.s. foreign policy which is to convince these former soviet states that it is wrong to have politically motivated investigations. that's not what you're supposed to do. and he saw the state department becoming used in a way that was
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totally doing a 180 on that policy and saying actually you should do a politically motivated investigation, one that actually happens to politically benefit the u.s. president. >> you know, that point is -- it's well stated on your part because one of ironies here is what the scheme amounted to is pushing ukraine to be more corrupt, that they wanted them to essentially be using the apparatus of justice which should, you know, work on some factual predicates or some fact finding to be the tool of a political power. >> that's absolutely right. and, you know, he's been in these discussions working in these former soviet satellite states for so many years, and he's been the one pressing on these officials. so for him to be part of this system where they're saying actually this military assistance, actually this meeting with the president could happen pretty quickly if you just get in from of a camera,
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where go on cnn and announce them, that these investigations are starting, it made them extremely uncomfortable and it made him feel dirty going through the whole process, and he was an extremely detailed witness, and that's one of the reasons why democrats are putting him on stage next week where he'll be in televised hearings talking about his experience. >> there's an interesting exchange on that point, on the sort of propriety of the whole thing with volker. volker's an interesting character. he's kind of working both sides. he seems to think this is not great, but if it's what you've got to do it, if it's the price for it, then we'll do it. and his reaction or response to me was well, if there's nothing there, why should it matter? what if there is something there? it should be investigated. my response to him was asking another country to investigate a prosecution for political reasons undermines our advocacy of the rule of law. this is shared by people other than kent but it's interesting he's having that fight right there with volker. >> absolutely. and he is another witness who
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has described this exact situation where he's saying, actually, a quid pro quo is a really bad thing, it's not something we should do, and he's confronted with a sort of more palatable which is saying like a businessman before he signs a check, he wants something in return. surely you wouldn't be opposed to business-like practices. and kent just like ambassador taylor whose deposition was released yesterday really is not convinced that metaphor makes anything really better. >> so final point here, it's fascinating to me how giuliani and the people around him got sucked into some of the internesting grudge matches of ukrainian politics, right? and kent talks about the former attorney general -- prosecutor general, widely seen as corrupt and not hard enough on corruption. and kent says based on what i lawsuit know it was him who provided information to rudy giuliani in hopes he would spread it and
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lead to marie yovanovitch removal. it's a remarkable wagging the dog situation that's playing out here. >> yeah, absolutely -- it is remarkable, and especially because this is exactly the thing that he's pushed back against. and so there's no way that this was ever going to be something that kent viewed as palatable, and so that's essentially how it played out. >> all right, john hudson, thank you very much. still to come our first look at a potential impeachment schedule that could see a house vote in time for christmas. judiciary chair jerry nadler here to talk about what happens next after this. if you have medicare, listen up. the medicare enrollment deadline is only weeks away. with so many changes, do you know if your plan is still the right fit? having the wrong plan may cost you thousands of dollars out of pocket. and that's why i love healthmarkets, your insurance marketplace. with their new fitscore, they compare thousands
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today we got our first glimpse of what appears to be a planned timeline for the impeachment of president donald j. trump. the chair of the house intelligence committee adam schiff announced yesterday that public hearings will start next week, next wednesday, with several key witnesses skechched to testify. and that process is expected to go along quite quickly. cnn's manu raju writes democrats are on a fast track, quote if that time line is followed that could setup a full house vote, a historic vote that may come 31 years after president bill clinton was impeached by the house december 19, 1998. right now the impeachment process is in the intelligence committee but eventually actual articles of impeachment will be likely drafted by the judiciary committee. the judiciary committee has been the body out of which all
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articles of impeachment have been passed. and joining me now the chair of that committee jerry nadler, democrat from new york. >> good to be here. >> it's sort of an interesting setup with these sort of oversight committees and the depositions. there's going to be public hearings in the intelligence committee starting next week. what do you see as the judiciary committee's role here? >> well, the whole thing is really in two phases. one is the phase of fact finding, which the intelligence committee is doing now and with the national security component and oversight with the emoluments judiciary committee with respect to obstruction of justice. the next stage is to get the conversation of the evidence, the intel kmilty and maybe some of the others will write reports to the judiciary committee as their findings and consider the evidence, to draft possible articles of impeachment, to consider those, to afford due process to the president in consideration of those articles of impeachment and then to vote on them.
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>> you just mentioned emoluments and you mentioned obstruction of justice which i think you're referring to some of the incidents that are laid out in the mueller report. that's interesting to me. do you see those as possible -- >> i'm not going to speculate on what they may be. i'm simply saying those are the things the various committees look into. certainly the intel committee, maybe some of the other committees will write reports to our committee, and then we'll have to consider all the evidence in front of us and decide which, if any, are deserving of articles of impeachment, draft the articles of impeachment, hold hearings and provide the president with due process, consider the evidence, give the president and the minority the opportunity to ask questions. participate fully in the process. educate the american people also and decide what to vote on. >> this is interesting. so i think i learned something there. when you say it's not just you're going to draft these articles should that be the case
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and then pass them, there will be impeachment hearings in the judiciary committee. >> there may be. >> there may be? >> there may be. it depends on does the president or minority want to call witnesses that haven't been testified already. i don't know that. it depends. we'll have to see. >> when you say due process, this has been a contentious term here. it's interesting to me to see the president who once praised police officers for banging the heads of suspects against cop cars get religion on due process. but what do you understand as due process in this context? >> due process means the opportunity to lay out the evidence for the court, in this case for the committee and for the american people and for the congress if we vote -- if we end up voting articles of impeachment, the opportunity for the president and people on his behalf, the republicans to present exculpatory evidence to exonerate him, to examine all of this, perhaps to call witnesses, and to give the opportunity for
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a fair hearing, fair for all sides, and a hearing that is fair and that is seen to be fair. >> so, okay. there's -- well, those can be two different things, obviously. >> no, but you want to do both. >> well, one of them you can't control. you can control whether you present a process whether you believe is fair. >> that is true. >> but you can't control whether it's perceived as fair. my suspicion is that the president and his allies and the network devoted to his propaganda will all devoted themselves to saying it's not fair. >> we can do hearings or procedures that are in fact fair and that fair minded people will regard as fair. >> well, here's my question. the president tweeted just now a complaint. he complains a lot about this stuff, but his lawyers won't be present in the public hearings the house intelligence committee are having. and i guess my question is from the point of view of process, right, how much are the president's lawyers important versus the minority, the republican members of these committees? >> i don't know. that's impossible to say at this
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point. but in the -- when we have whatever procedures we have in the judiciary -- >> i'm talking about you. i'm not talking about the intelligence. >> in the judiciary committee, the president's lawyers will be appointed to be there as well as the minority lawyers. >> this is an important part of this process. it's not just the republicans but also the presidents lawyers? >> essentially. i think it'll probably come to the same thing as a practical matter. >> i think the president has conjured the idea that none of his defenders are in the room. >> that's certainly not true. the minority, the republicans are doing nothing but acting as a definite team. >> well, what we want to achieve should there be for the fourth time in the history of the american nation an impeachment in your judiciary committee? we develop ourselves, and the drafting of impeachment articles if indicated and proper consideration that are fair and
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proper action to report to the house. >> what is your -- what are you reading? what are you looking at? what are the sources that you go to? i mean, when i read a great book about the first impeachment, andrew johnson, they don't know what to do, right? it's never happened before and they're going back -- >> we have precedence -- i'm not talking about the precedence from andrew johnson, but we certainly have precedence from the nixon impeachment and the clinton impeachment. one notable thing is that the rules and procedures that the house adopted on our behalf to coverage the procedures in front of the various committees, specifically in front of the intelligence committee and the judiciary committee are modelled, in fact, give the president and the minority all the same rights and students that were given to the president and the minority which at that point was democratic in the clinton administration -- in the clinton impeachment and also in the nixon impeachment.
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>> is your mind undecided about whether the president committed impeachable offenses? >> i certainly have opinions, and i think you can guess those opinions, but as chairman of the committee i really have to reserve judgement or at least expressing that judgement. >> i don't know if that's a bell you can unring. >> i -- well, let's put it this way, there's a heck of a lot of evidence that the president's committed impeachable offenses but we have to give a fair hearing, we have to try to be open-minded and see. >> when you talk about this fairness and the open-mindedness, what i get from you is both a genuine principled commitment in value and also a kind of political consideration. like, i guess the broader question here is, we've never removed a president from office, right? there have been four impeachments. in one case the president -- there will have been four when this happens most likely. in one case, nixon he was -- he resigned. he was probably going to lose that vote. the other two did not result in
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conviction. do you see the process as possibly ending in the removal of the president of the united states? is that a live possibility in your mind? >> i think it is a possibility. i don't know how to estimate the possibility, but i would certainly say it's not a zero possibility. one of the things that's going to happen both in the intelligence committee open hearings and whatever proceedings we pursue, whether the hearings are -- or whatever is the american people will watch it. i think it's going to be riveting. the american people will watch it. they'll develop their own opinions. they'll express those opinions to their senators and members of the house. and i think it's possible depending how strong the evidence is and depends on other political considerations that maybe the senate will act to remove the president. but i'm not going to give an estimate. i can't estimate. i don't think it's a zero possibility. >> all right. >> that's a very cynical view it's a zero possibility. also, to be political about it, i think some republican senators may take a look at the election
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results the other day and start thinking maybe i should be a little more fair and not dismissive. >> all right. congressman jerry nadler, great to have you here. come by any time. >> great to be here. amidst the wealth tensions proposed by warren and sanders a new billionaire prepares to enter the race. how the newest candidate could change the field ahead ha. e newd change the field ahead ha.
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so this fall we took our podcast, why is this happening on the road for the first time, and we went to austin, and los angeles and going to chicago next week. that's going to be a great one. now we have the details for our
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final stop. on sunday, december 8th, we will be bringing it back to new york city at the historic town hall in midtown manhattan. most admire, one of my all-time people to talk to, the one and only tony kushner. tony famously wrote "angels in america." rightly won the pulitzer prize. is now in the american feeder canon for all of eternity. his play a bright room cold day is back on stage in new york for a modern update. he's won a tony, an emmy, nominated for a couple of oscars. in 2013 president obama awarded him the national medal of the arts, but the newest accolade he will add to his resume is guest of what many people are saying the podcast of our generation. it'll be an incredibly fun night. you can get presale tickets right now. you'll find the link. make sure you have the very secret pre-sale code no one knows which is withpod.
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do it quick. the presale ends tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern. i don't want you to miss out. i hope to see you there. there.
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i think it is fair to say the most unlikely member of the united states senate is one alabama democratic senator doug jones. alabama is about as red as it comes. donald trump won the state by nearly 28 points. in 2017 republican roy moore eked out a primary victory despite the fact he is an out and out theocrat who has no business being in the u.s. senate.
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and then during the election, "the washington post" published extremely damning and credible allegation of repeated sexual assault and stalking of teenagers. since that day everyone has said themselves, well, doug jones time in the united states senate is probably not long for this world, will probably end with the general election, 2020, which he has to run in. but there is a way jones could be re-elected and that is basically if the republicans implode in a war of infighting in the primary, and that looks like it could happen. roy moore is already back in the race, part of the crowded field that also includes famous former college football coach tommy tubberville. and just a few moments ago another candidate announced he was jumping in. attorney general jeff sessions. sessions would probably be a lock to defeat doug jones in a
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general election. he has strong roots in the deep red state. sessions has one big problem, the president hates his guts, just hates him. and he hates him because just about the only thing jeff sessions did right as attorney general was to recuse himself from the russia investigation over his contacts with the russian ambassador, and ever since then trump has blamed sessions for his plight. sessions released an ad seemingly targeted to a man who is not an alabama voter but could have a huge impact on his campaign. >> did i write a tell-all book? no. did i go on cnn and attack the president? nope. have i said a cross word about our president? not one time. the president's doing a great job for america and alabama, and he has my strong support. >> that's the ad. now, that is probably i'm just guessing not going to appease the president. nbc news reports it has been made clear to sessions that trump intends to campaign against him. according to "the washington post" trump has even joked to senators and white house aides
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that he would move to alabama and compete against sessions himself in the primary, which would be weird and i guess not interesting. so the question is will the president go to war to the person most likely to carry the state for republicans? we could find out on saturday when trump will attend the alabama/lsu football game in tuscaloosa, which is part of the white house's staff pathetic quest to find a sports venue where trump won't be booed. after the loud boos in the world series and somewhat amazingly at the ufc fight. and that may be where trump goes after sessions in what trump views as his disloyalty and potentially in the process helps doug jones extend his unlikely tenure in the senate at least since years longer. is still the right fit? having the wrong plan may cost you thousands of dollars out of pocket. and that's why i love healthmarkets, your insurance marketplace. with their new fitscore, they compare thousands
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well time is money. switch to comcast business now and get a great deal when you get fast, reliable internet. with a 30-day money-back guarantee, installation when it works for you, and 24/7 customer support. so what are you waiting for? get this great deal when you sign up for fast, reliable internet. call 1-800-501-6000 today. comcast business. beyond fast. billionaires have been increasingly vocal about their displeasure our for calls to redistribute weather, particularly the wealth tax
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plans proposed by elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. and now it looks like one of them plans to do something about it. a longtime advisor michael bloomberg confirming to nbc news the former new york mayor is positioning himself to enter the democratic party primary as first reported by "the new york times." bloomberg is expected to file paperwork this week for the primary in alabama which is the early filing deadline. i'm joined now by alexis goldstein. also with me john harwood, a host of the cnbc digital video series "speak easy with john harwood." when we conceived the segment we were going to talk about the billionaire versus and sanders and there's been a bunch of them. bill gates had some quotes and someone cried on cnbc about how unfairly he was being created. and now we have just one, you know, coming forward basically to run on the agenda which is you guys are nuts, we want to keep our money and some other stuff. what do you think about bloomberg's entrance?
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>> well, i'm not convinced mike bloomberg is going to run. he has considered it in the past and decided he can't win the election, but it is hard to separate this emergence of the news from the recent angst amongst people, leon cooperman and jamie dimon and bill gates thinking that the hordes are coming for their money. the interesting thing to me is there are serious tax hikes on the table right now from bernie sanders and elizabeth warren but these billionaires felt -- many of them felt the same way when barack obama was proposing trivial tax hikes during his presidency. we all remember steve schwartzman saying it was like the nazi invasion. you had all these complaints we were being vilified for being successful. some of this is a phycological thing that i don't really know how to account for because the policy itself doesn't seem to necessarily be related to it, but there is policy on the table now. there's concern that joe biden
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is not as strong as some people like mike bloomberg had thought. as for warren and sanders, his complaint is that they're not electable, but one of the reasons that they're not seen as electable is that people with money think that they're going to break up the system. >> slash go to war against them. >> right. >> that's the other thing that always hangs in the balance in the citizens united era. i thought this tweet was pretty funny, alexis. the fact that each random billionaire's thoughts on elizabeth warren is itself a news story ta demonstration of the powerful influence of a billionaire. what can money buy? tom steyer's spent $43 million so far and it's gotten him a few points in the polls and qualified for debate stage but he's certainly not a front-runner. >> ask howard schultz. >> exactly. alexis, what exactly can you buy? >> well, it's interesting. tom steyer is the only billionaire to his credit that
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his his own wealth tax proposal of 1%. warren has a higher were. it's 2% from 50 million to $1 million and 3% over that. and sanders has the highest one which is 8% over 10 million. they think they have the solution and they can solve the world's problems better than the federal government can with its millions of workers, many of whom are experts. i seem to remember we had another billionaire businessman that thought he knew better than the entire federal government and all of the workers that worked for him named donald trump. >> right. >> and i think the difference here, at least in this sense, is not very much, right? in this one sense bill gates is basically donald trump with better table manners. >> well, here's what i think is also different this time around, speaking to both -- both to trump and what john said about previous fits of rage from wall street about being taxed. the wealth tax is a real thing. it's a new thing. it would genuinely change the balance sheets of billionaires in a way that other forms of
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taxation wouldn't, right? because most of their wealth -- most of their money is in wealth it's not in income. it would be a new addition. this is what bloomberg stead to my colleague stephanie ruhle about some of the positions taken in the primary. i want to get your response, john and alexis. take a listen. >> i think a lot of the pandering on some of the more liberal things it's really not practical. the economics wouldn't work. the public wouldn't want it, but in order to get through a primary, a democratic primary or a republican primary, the candidates take positions that are more extreme than what the public wants. the public does not want revolutionary change, it wants evolutionary change. >> now, that's a defensible argument, but one thing i find so interesting is how well the wealth tax specifically polls. there's lots of things in the democratic agenda that poll poorly but that one really does poll well. >> it does poll well, and in general raising taxes on wealthy people -- on people with incomes
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over 250,000 or 4,000 polls very well. now, the fact that it polls well doesn't mean the wealth tax itself as proposed by warren and sanders is a good idea. you've got people like larry somers, former treasury secretary, he's not conservative, making the argument that it wouldn't raise the money that she's talking about. >> right. >> it would distort behavior. it might not be successful. so there are meritorious arguments -- >> i don't know that i buy those arguments, right? i used to work on wall street and the wealthiest traders lived in manhattan and voluntarily paid higher taxes because they wanted the glamorousness of limbing in manhattan. i think at the end of the day this polls really well. look, billionaires pay 2% fees to participate in hedge funds so they can make more money just to get in the door. so why shouldn't billionaires by a 2% wealth tax just to participate in society? >> the 2 and 20 hedge fund fee,
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sort of going out the door, but it is its own wealth tax. >> for the very, very rich people. >> alexis goldstein and john harwood, thank you for being with me. that is "all in" for this evening. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. th brn williams starts right now. the white house calls it a work of fiction. impeachment evidence against this president is piling up. today's new testimony warns of t rudy's campaign of lies in ukraine.w mike bloomberg's people say he's hedging his bets, today's surprise news threatens to shake up the democratic race and the w president calls him his biggest mistake. tonight, jeff sessions jumped pock into politics. "the 11th hour" on a very busy thursday night begins right nowy