tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC November 14, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
edwards. >> yes, very true. thank you. great political discussions today. that's all we have for tonight. we'll have more tomorrow with more "meet the press daily." >> good evening chuck, thank you very much. we have a big show tonight. trump ambassador sondland under fire for not revealing the phone call he had with donald trump. donald trump's lawyers are down playing the evidence of bribery, rudy giuliani talking about an insurance plan. and did you know the roger stone jury is beginning deliberations? we have the report on all that and how it relates to the mueller probe ahead. we begin right now with a major development in the impeachment case. the speaker of the house of representatives, nancy pelosi, who has been so careful throughout this process that for months she was opposing the plur ralty of her members, she is out there making a clear case.
i want to show you as she stepped out to the cameras today and made it clear the speaker says congress can impeach president trump for bribery. >> quid pro quo, bribery. the bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance. that's bribery. it's perfectly wrong. it's bribery. bribery. and that is in the constitution attached to the impeachment proceedings. >> that's bribery. that's the speaker of the house making headlines today. pelosi making it plain that she views this as a potential way to impeach trump, that an article of impeachment would be based on accusation that trump demanded ukraine investigate bidens in exchange for money as a bribe. in this case, it's your money. remember, that's donald trump misappropriating money that taxpayer dollars were supposed to go to this other country. now, this is new. this is the first time speaker pelosi has made these specific bribery case against donald
trump. she's obviously the top democrat in power. and several other key democrats have also recently discussed bribery as the article of impeachment that they may lead with against donald trump. so, this is all brand-new this week. pelosi, brand-new today. that's why it's news tonight. if you happen to watch the beat, some of this may sound familiar because we have been reporting out the constitutional case here about this for some time. in fact, i wrote in october, on october 20th, about why bribery makes a strong constitutional case for impeachment. at the time, the democrats had not settled on a core legal rationale, especially in public, but the constitutions's answer, i wrote, was staring them in the face. donald trump's action reaguarding ukraine fit one of the few offenses the constitution specifically lists as impeachable, bribery. we wrote that then, we reported on it here on the beat, and it is interesting to see now the congress looking at this as one
of the potential articles of impeachment. an increasing number of witnesses, of course, are part of the evidence yar reasoning for that. you have now more and more people out in public stating the evidence that would support a bribery case, and you have more democrats getting on board with the bribery argument. >> the president broke the law. this is a very strong case of bribery. >> president trump was indeed soliciting a bribe. it's extortion. >> if you sought to condition, coerce, extort, or bribe an ally, if this is not impeachable conduct, what is? >> so, that's how the case is being outlined. what is the evidence for that case? well, again, with these hearings kicking off we're learning more and more. it's quite fast the way this is coming in. let me show you a couple of highlights, a key witness now in hot water today. trump's million dollar donor mr. sondland is facing evidence
about the call that he had with donald trump about the biden investigation. now, remember, he already spoke to congress in private and reportedly did not raise, address, or honestly talk about this call. he also originally testified in his private appearance that there was no bribery. then he pulled something that we call a reverse mulvaney. he changed his testimony after other witnesses came forward. he moved over into the bribery camp. today the a.p. reporting that another u.s. official heard that donald trump was on that call. this is in the midst of the ukraine plotting. that's an article and nbc has not reported that story. more on sondland will be in the show tonight. i have something special to look at a problem with trump's defense about it. before sondland testifies next week we're going to hear from yovanovitch tomorrow. she was pressured to back up the
trump administration in public, threatened in terms of her career. democrats basically are going to dig into all of this and why that is part of the plotting. then you think about what happened this week. i can tell you this is new today, the new numbers we have in, those hearings were seen or heard by over 13 million americans across all the different news channels suggesting the story continues to break through. i want to bring in experts right now. good evening everyone. juanita, speaker pelosi is known to be a careful strategist, to think first, to huddle with her folks, and then come out. when you see her make that very clear, very aggressive bribery case today, what does it mean to you? >> it means that she knows that she has the information needed
to see it through. just like she waited to hold a vote on this, just like she waited to begin proceedings, she knew the conditions she needed and as soon as he got them, she moved. this is her moving on this. after yesterday, ambassador tailor's revelation, the fact you have another staffer coming out saying they can corroborate this story means she feels comfortable in moving her caucus in this direction. what is interesting here is it's going to likely yield results. we know that one of those staffers who worked for ambassador taylor is being deposed later this week. so, what is going to come from that is additional corroborating information which is going to drive this forward. >> and juanita, this is a story line and a question for any investigation is what's the evidence for the story and how do you tell it? so, thinking about her, again, embracing what could be one of the articles of impeachment, a big deal, bribery, right there in the constitution, and then looking at the way that she is taking on trump in public, the
communicatio communication. take a look at this moment today. >> the president has something that is exculpatory. mr. president, that means you had anything that shows your innocence -- then he should make that known. and that's part of the inquiry. >> juanita. >> look, she knows he's watching. as much as he says he's not, she knows he's watching this with baited breath, huddling with his team in the mouse every day. he's making the case to him, if you've got something, put it up. if not, everything you've done has obstructed this process and i am not backing down. she sees her mark and is going after it with full force. >> robert, i wonder what you think given your experience as a government lawyer at the highest levels of the way the speaker made the case today that there was something trump wanted to help get him reelected, he
demanded it, she said in return for money, and she said that's bribery. >> well, i think there's a very clear mapping of this under the bribery statute. the bribery statute says it's a crime to solicit anything of value in the exchange for the performance of official duties. and in this case, the thing of value was the president's desire to have ukraine aid him in his re-election efforts. the official act was the withholding of the aid. and the solicitation is what we've seen both in the transcript and in the other testimony that we've had about trump insisting that there was a linkage between the two. so, i think as you said earlier, it's very easy to fit these facts into the framework. >> if this were a governor who wouldn't have the type of quasi immunity that presidents tend to have in our federal system or that's the way doj has treated it, would a governor be in trouble? could a governor go to jail for this? >> absolutely.
a governor, a county official, any kind of government official who uses his or her power to take or withhold actions in exchange for something of value to them. >> heidi out on the hill, a lot of debate. i want to show a little bit of the highlights back and forth. take a look. >> these liberals here in washington continue to try to throw baseless allegations and accusations at the president. >> the bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. >> it's a disgrace. i think people saw yesterday they don't have anything. there are no impeachable offenses. >> bribery. and that is in the constitution attached to the impeachment proceedings. >> heidi. >> look, for some time now,
speaker pelosi has known that she has first hand fact witnesses starting with the acting chief of staff mick mulvaney who acknowledged the aid was being withheld for political investigations that the president wanted. they felt they had the goods for some time. whether the actual article of impeachment is going to read or belabel bribery we don't know for sure right now. but what we do know is that they're narrowing the messaging, that they feel that the message that needs to be communicated to the public in order for this to be understandable is to use words like bribery instead of quite frankly the latin phrases we've been using, quid pro quo, because you don't have to speak latin to speak the language of bribery. it is the president himself, his words, that they believe fit into that bribery framework. and you saw that laid out by the democratic council in the hearing with ambassador taylor. let me give you a few examples of how the president was
speaking the language of bribery in their view. he used words according to sondland like stalemate. if the investigations weren't performed, they would be at a stalemate. sondland said he is a businessman and zelenski had to, quote, pay up before president trump cut the check, that zelenski had to go to a microphone and do it himself, that giuliani wanted the words br burisma in there. that's the language they wanted in there instead of the quid pro quo language. >> i think you went through and that's interesting reporting there. you're talking about the way that the hearing was trying to pin down what each of those things meant if there was a plot. i would say as reminding viewers, this is than language. we think about framing and branding and yada yada. we're talking about what is the
reason to remove a sitting president. >> what is the crime? >> right, if congress does that. the reason the constitution gives is bribery, treason, or high crime. the first two were very much defined at the time. the third is a catch all. all of you please stay with me. let's turn to a member of the intelligence committee, joaquin castro. good evening sir. >> good evening. good to be with you. >> good to have you. you are on this committee. my first question to you is why is the speaker and the chairman of your committee making this case explicitly about bribery right now and do you think that could be one of the articles of impeachment? >> it could very well be. and i think the reason that speaker pelosi mentioned bribery and it's likely there could be other things as well in the articles of impeachment is because president trump was trying to take out a political rival. the way he tried to do it was by withholding military aid in
exchange for a favor. he asked directly for a favor. that favor was to investigate a political rival, joe biden and his son, hunter biden, and the company that hunter biden had done work for. >> let me ask you a short question and a longer follow up. the short question is do you think that donald trump obstructed justice in the mueller probe? >> i do actually. >> i know you do. let me ask it this way because we've talked about that and you've been clear on that. how do you have a set of articles of impeachment against the president that does not include that in addition to ukraine if you and others are on the record saying that that was that bad? in other words, even if speaker pelosi and others think that the messaging might be better to be more focused, do you have an obligation as someone who said that it's that bad under the constitution to make sure that that's included? >> yeah, i think that's a fair question and we're not at the part obviously where we've drawn up the articles of impeachment yet. and that's something that the
judiciary committee will probably take up first before the whole body takes it up. but yeah, i thought there was obstruction of justice in the mueller probe so it's a discussion we'll have to have. >> stay with me, robert. i'm curious what you think of what the congressman just said. you would be an expert witness at one of these hearings. the congressman says there's a reason to include that. i wonder what you think. >> i think that mueller's report laid out a very strong case that the president did obstruct justice. i think whether or not to include that in the articles of impeachment is a political calculation rather than a legal one. it's a question of what speaker pelosi and the judiciary committee think is the most effective articles of impeachment to send to the senate for trial. i do want to make one additional point on the bribery if i can, and that is that it's important to understand that the bribe doesn't have to be paid.
you heard representative jordan and others yesterday making a big point about the fact that the aid was eventually released. the meeting took place. but the bribery statute makes it a crime to solicit a bribe even if the bribe isn't actually paid and that's a point that should be emphasized all the time. >> it's such an important point you make. it's not pre-judging what the evidence will show, but you're defining the terms which is how a lot of court cases work and how an impeachment process is going to work. we heard a lot about people saying if he didn't pull off the whole plot, does that make him innocent? the answer was no. we were discussing whether governors would go to jail for this. trying to sell the vacant senate seat in illinois where he was governor and he had that power and barack obama vacated his seat to become president. that seat ultimately was not effectively sold because the investigation stopped i can't goi vich from doing it. >> that's right and that's a
great parallel. that seat was never sold to anyone. and yet the governor ended up in jail. and that's the point that i was making yesterday in the hearing. for example, with attempted robbery, you would still be charged. attempted murder, you would still be charged. here with bribery, it doesn't matter whether actually there was an acceptance or not. the president made that offer, or tried, then he's guilty. and it's a crime. >> congressman, before we lose you, what do you think is the next most important thing we might learn or that you want to get at in these coming hearings? >> i think that that's pretty clear. it's the interview with ambassador sondland and what he says about that conversation that he reportedly had with donald trump that was overheard in that restaurant. remember there's a witness who says i over heard a conversation that donald trump was inquirying
about the burisma and biden questioning. they're going to ask what happened in that conversation. >> i got you. that's going to be a big answer people are going to be waiting to hear. >> i'm going thank the congressman and each of you. heidi, hang with me. i want to play one more piece of business. take a listen to one of the republican defenses today. >> the only person i saw yesterday doing the job that they were elected to do was the president of the united states. the question is nothing there is impeachable and we should not be putting our country through this. we're less than a year away from election. >> i showed the top democrat, heidi. there's the top republican in the house. i wonder if you can give your reporting on that part of the defense we're hearing. >> the defense really is at this point that you can't prove it, right, because there's nobody sitting in the room with trump when he said let's do a quid pro
quo. however, you're seeing all of these fact witnesses who are going to come forward who were there including the individuals who heard the president themselves on the phone pushing for investigations. so, what this is is really a preemptive attempt to try and form the narrative early that none of these guys have any credibility because it was all here hearsay. well, this undercuts that. it was hearsay because he was being pushed aside. marie yovanovitch was being pushed aside. now we have proof that the president was conducting this personally on an unsecured phone call in kyiv which is one of the most notorious places for our lines to be tapped for surveillance by the russians. >> you laid it out. it's a lot there. wanted to get the last piece from you.
thanks for your reporting tonight. coming up, a new witness to a different phone call, the one we were just discussing, they're breaking their silence. fox news handling the damning testimony like this. >> a bunch of deep state cry babies. >> washed up bureaucrats. >> professional nerds who wear their bow ties. >> what is this with the water bottle? >> water bottles and professional nerds? that's later tonight. also conservatives have a new defense that involves incompetence and what the jury wants to know as they deliberate in the roger stone trial. we have up ahead. you're watching "the beat" on msnbc. he beat" on msnbc. body of proof. man 1 vo: proof of less joint pain and clearer skin. man 2 vo: proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... woman 2 vo: ...with humira. woman 3 vo: humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further irreversible joint damage,
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. a trump donor has become the most famous ambassador to the europe union ever, hotel moegal gordon sondland under heat as several witnesses say he was plotting with trump on the phone. a second official overheard sondland talking to trump. one of the new revelations from the impeachment hearing. >> in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, sondland called president trump and told him of his meeting in kyiv. the member of my staff could hear president trump on the phone asking ambassador sondland about the investigations. the member of my staff asked
ambassador sondland what trump thought about ukraine. sondland responded that president trump cares more about the investigations of biden which giuliani was pressing for. >> sondland has revised his private testimony about some of these issues. he claimed his memory was refreshed by what other people said which moved him into the camp of people describing bribery. he did fail to mention this incriminating phone call. as sondland's stock has fallen, president trump has gone from shouting out sondland's great work to suddenly having memory problems. >> our ambassador to the europe union, gordon sondland, thank you gordon. where is he? great job. good. let me just tell you, i hardly know the gentleman. the text message i saw from ambassador sondland who's highly respected was there's no quid pro quo. i don't recall, not even a
little bit. >> donald trump is spinning this defense so hard he now claims he doesn't remember this famous person. the maneuver is not very believable here. it's widely known as a mariah carey move when the singer took a question about j-lo and implausibly claimed she didn't know her. >> i love beyonce. great singer. very sweet. i don't know her. >> oops. i don't know her. that quip was classic shade which worked because obviously carey know who is jennifer lopez and is trump knows who gordon sondland is which makes the
claim look weak. to paraphrase j-lo, don't be fooled by the bribes he got, he's still, he's still gordon from the block and on gordon's block people are not built for defying testifiers. they talk. live tv, it will be appointment viewing next week. we're going to get into all this with a very special guest, a top national security official when we're back in 30 seconds. onal s we're back in 30 seconds the van just talked. sales guy, give 'em the employee price, then gimme your foot. hands-free sliding doors, stow 'n go seats, man, y'all getting a hook up and y'all don't even work here. pacificaaaaa! at outback, steak & oh no, it's gone.ck. phew, it's back with lobster mac & cheese. it's gone again. oh, it's back with shrimp now! steak & lobster starting at only $15.99. hurry in before these three are gone again. outback steakhouse. joining us now tim edgar,
advised under president bush and served on the obama national security council and is with the brown watson international and public affairs. thanks for joining us. >> sure, great to be here. >> let's start with very simply this mariah carey defense. does it work to claim you don't know or don't remember someone that you do know? >> i don't think it works at all. it's pretty clear that ambassador sondland was key to this whole scheme to try to pressure ukraine to start this investigation. and he's only turned on him since he's changed his story to tell the truth. >> what happens then? if sondland comes out as expected and confirms a lot of this stuff, do you still need john bolton in the sense of evidence or is that pretty devastating because he was the point person on some of this? >> i think it's helpful to have john bolton, but the evidence is getting overwhelming at this point. we have the call itself. that was very suggestive, very
incriminating despite what trump says about reading the transcript. i read it, it's pretty damning. we have a lot of witnesses coming out saying yes, and actually it was a little bit worse than this. there was clear communication to the ukrainian officials that they had to play ball on this investigation or they weren't going to get their aid to fight the russians. and just to point out how serious that is. this is a national security issue. this is not just kind of a political football that we should be treating in that way. >> you're saying when the president basically seizes or steals military instruments, in this case military funding. >> that's right. this isn't selling a senate seat. this is selling $400 million in military aid to a country that's an ally of the united states as it's fighting against the russians. >> i think you're referencing the selling of the senate seat in illinois which came up earlier in the show. viewers remember that.
what you're saying is that thing that put that powerful politician, that governor in jail, he's still incarcerated, you're saying this thing trump did, the evidence supports it's worse than that. >> to me it's worse because we're talking about national security. we're talking about basically selling the national security of the united states for a political favor for a corrupt political motive. and i really don't see anything more serious than that when you come to the issue of bribery or extortion, shakedown, whatever you want to call it. >> yeah, and i want to underscore what we're hearing from you is your view objectively on the issues. you've been at the highest levels there including in the bush national security team. >> that's right. >> so, it's striking hearing that from you. i want to play a little bit of the other criticism of sondland from -- not sondland, of the case thus far which is some of these witnesses only have second hand knowledge.
sondland would appear to be different than that. take a look. >> officials alarmed that the president's actions was typically based on second hand, third hand, and even fourth hand rumors. >> we've got six people having four conversations in one sentence and you just told me this is where you got your clear understanding. >> we're not in the court, gentleman, and if we were the sixth amendment would apply and so would the rules of hearsay and opinion. most of your testimonies wouldn't be admissible whatsoever. >> a, what is your view of the general objection that some people are not first hand witnesses to everything they're describing. and b, how will this shift because even if people find that persuasive, sondland was on the call, in the room, et cetera. >> that's exactly right. we're going to hear directly from sondland. those witnesses that overheard the conversation, that's not hearsay. that's their direct recollection of what trump said. the transcript of the call from july which as i say is very
damning, that's certainly not hearsay. what we have is a huge number of witnesses who are all saying the same thing. some of them are more peripheral. some of them are more central. but the question is, you know, where's the other side? there's no other narrative here. there's no other explanation for holding up the military aid other than the simple one we've already received. and in fact we've gotten from mulvaney, from the chief of staff, essentially confirmation of that saying yeah, of course we use foreign aid for political purposes, get over it. so, i don't think the hearsay objection matters when you've got so much overwhelming evidence from people where it's direct evidence and where it's all pointing in the same direction. >> and tim, finally, did you ever think in law school you would be discussing hearsay objections on the gnanational n? >> i didn't. it's a terrible time for our country. we've had real problems during the bush administration, war in
iraq, major issues. but the difference is with this we have a corrupt personal political motive and that's why i think you're seeing national security experts and officials, you know, regardless of their political views or affiliation just reacting with a certain amount of horror here because that is misusing the national security system for a corrupt personal political motive. we haven't seen that since watergate, since nixon. and you know, to see that, you know, sort of dismissed as if it's not important really makes a lot of people pretty steamed. >> a sobering account and i know it comes from your concerns and your public service and thank you for coming on "the beat," sir. >> sure. happy to be here. right now the jury is deliberating in the roger stone wikileaks trial. we have new developments on that later tonight. right now we're going to get into the rebuttals and whether bribery is okay in some places when we come back. when we come back. any comments doug? yeah.
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a lot of donald trump's media allies are taking a certain view of how to cover this current impeachment era. they're blaring headlines like this as one way to deal with -- well, i should say a lot of the newborns have headlines like this. but in the right wing e cho beca chamber it looks different. >> self-important uncompelling, well, seemingly more important than they really are bureaucrats. >> a bunch of professional nerds who wear their bow ties and have their proper speak. >> these two guys who were testifying, i couldn't tell if they were doing a job interview, talking about their great grandfather and his wife or they were homless guys. >> what is this with the water bottle? do you see this? >> fish are not this hydrated.
>> professional nerds. i don't think there's any denying it. fox news has been focusing on a lot of other things critics say could be distractions, winter snow, a college student selling doughnuts, wild bores in italy. there's a lot of other news getting in there arguing impeachment isn't interesting. >> there's no burglary, break ins, no sex, no monica lewinsky, most important there's no skriem. >> this only works if you have a consistent message and that can be hard depending on the evidence piling up. >> i think that william taylor was a very impressive witness and was very damaging to the president. >> asking for a favor in return for doing a legal obligation, releasing the funds, is pretty clearly a violation of the criminal bribery laws. republicans may not want to
acknowledge that which is why they would rather undermine the witnesses than address the merits. >> i am joined by senior political editor mark murray and mark thompson. the two marks. >> you have to say which is which because people may not know. >> mark and mark. >> i like it. >> it's very close to marky mark which is and in spanish, so there's something there. mr. thompson, you see there the nuance because the facts are so strong that even people who might be expected to be rooting for trump or softening for trump, mr. wallace said no, some of the testimony is tough. on the other hand, there is a lot of effort by trump's allies to just get on to something else. >> obviously chris wallace and judge napolitano know that there's life after fox news. and they want to sustain some type of integrity. they really have no choice
because this is compelling testimony. it's going to get worse. you're going to have ambassador tomorrow and from what we've all heard, she has a photographic memory. she's going to give a lot of detail. i think we're going to have the two individuals who could speak to the call which was the bombshell news from taylor's testimony on yesterday. i think we're going to have them shortly. i don't agree with bill bennett. this -- what taylor did the other day when he talked about that call and everyone overhearing, that's the real hearsay. everybody hears what trump says because he talks so loud on the phone. this is a security issue. you're in a restaurant in ukraine and you're screaming over the phone, i need biden, i need baden information. that's just insane. wi we know his history of talking on secure lines to.
me that's the butterfield moment. when butterfield was asked in the watergate hearings is there a taping system. you know, taylor saying there was another call and several people heard it in his own voice, not on tape, i think that's pretty compelling. >> to mark's point, i do think these hearings just began. and on wednesday you're going to have gordon sondland go on. that might be the most pivotal testimony yet on whether or not he can confirm yes or no this conversation happened with the president. this is what we discussed. i do think it's important to look at how conservative media is playing out this story because at the end of the day if there is going to be impeachment and removal from office, a conviction, the 67 votes, you're going to need a sizable number of republican defections. as long as those are the messages, it's going to be very hard for democrats to be able to convince people that this was a really difficult situation and rises to an impeachable offense.
>> on this scandal on the substance is national security scandal, we have seasoned government officials including from republican administrations on tonight speaking to the import on that. on the political side this is a very now, very 2019 conspiracy theory echo chamber type scandal because donald trump ultimately didn't care whether hunter biden was literally jailed in a ukrainian prison which sounds a little silly to even say out loud but rather that image,that meme could be on facebook, that idea would be circulated, that programming. i put for you, mr. murray, the other mark, parts of the hearing yesterday that we pulled that seemed to echo the right wing media but they're in government. take a look. >> the ukrainians brought me substantial evidence of ukrainian collusion with hillary clinton, dnc, george sor ross.
>> worked to provide dirt to the hillary clinton campaign. >> there is plenty of evidence to show the clinton campaign was cocolluding with the russians and the eukraine. >> didn't he lament that the ukrainians were out to get him? >> they're speaking a lot to the conspiracy theories as you pointed out not only fox news but really talking only to their own audiences. if you're a fox news viewer, you know exactly what they're talking about when it comes to ukrainian and hillary clinton and alexander cha lilupa and go down the list. devin nunes was talking about star chambers. and to me it does really emphasize and underscore just the difficulty of all the different defenses they're trying to juggle. >> yeah, i would agree. i don't think they have anywhere
to go. as someone once said in court, if you have facts, you argue facts. if it's about process, you argue process. if neither work frs you, you just pound on the table. that's all they're doing right now is pounding on the table. this is very dangerous. having this conversation about let's have a trial and draw it out for six or eight weeks and hurt the democratic primary. how is having a trial for the president's misbehavior going to hurt the democrats? that's insane. so, as usual they're flailing. they don't know what to do. there's a panic. and they better be careful because this could affect the senate. this could help flip the senate for the democrats depending on how they vote. >> and whether it does or not, it certainly puts pressure onsen t senators to be in the spotlight. i get it, you want us to come at trump every day, we have a life and career before that. we have other things to do. that's fine. but you at a constitutional
level have to be answerable to what you think these cases mean if it gets there. mark murray, mark thompson, thank you both. breaking news we just got from the "washington post" on another trump official breaking ranks and testifying. we'll explain. we're still watching potential verdicts. could be tonight in the roger stone trial, up to 20 years he's facing when we come back. to 20 s facing when we come back and save in more ways than one. for small prices, you can build big dreams, spend less, get way more. shop everything home at wayfair.com you too, have a great day. five years ago... ...i had psoriasis everywhere... ...head to toe. people were afraid i was contagious. alright, i'll be back in one hour.
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comes out right now from "washington post." mark sandy is going to break with the white house and is now expected to formally testify in weekend depositions. this would be the first budget official to cooperate with the impeachment probe. and t"the washington post" in te new report notes something very interesting. it is this person's signature that appears on the formal letters that dealt with the delay of the money going to ukraine. federal prosecutor glen ke kerrshner. when you look at this individual, how important are they as important as having instruments and execution of delaying the money? >> if i am mark sandy, a ten-year omb employee who has worked under republican and democratic presidents, i am looking down the street to see if the bus is headed my way under which i will be thrown
because as "the washington post" just reported as you indicated, sandy's signature appears on one of the, what they call, a portionment letters which is basically one of the letters designed to put a hold on the money that congress had designated to go to ukraine for its own protection against russian aggression. so, if i am -- go ahead. >> i was going to say so this is key. this is the cash for the thing trump wanted. this is what we open the show with speaker pelosi for the first time making the case that the whole point of this, she said, quote, that's bribery, because it she says quote that's bribery because it's money in return for election help. and the congress is going to have the person who actually had their hand on the money. >> and the question has got to be, mr. sandy, who was it that authorized you or directed you to sign that letter putting a hold on those funds that were supposed to go to ukraine while
frankly ukrainian soldiers died as a result of russian aggression. i'm quite sure mr. sandy, who sounds like a low level bureaucrat, didn't make this decision on his own. made he even made it in protest. we'll have to see. but this is the money piece of the bribery scheme that you've been talking so much about. and it could be a really important piece. >> well, you referenced bureaucrats. there has been some deriding of different people from where they sit in the chart. mr. limbaugh called some of them, quote, professional nerds. the problem with that is these bureaucrats, these nerds, these individuals, they are the people who make the federal government run. they are the people who get the money out, who get the work done, who back up the pentagon and the diplomats and all that stuff. and so what happens if this person goes into congress and says -- say they confirm the fact the munpy was held up which would go to the executing of the
plot but they don't know why. you can't imagine trump or mulvaney would probably brief this bureaucrat on the reasoning. >> he may not know to the top of the food chain, but you can bet he's going to be able to tell congress who was it that provided you this apportionment letter. who was it that directed you to sign it, and did they provide you a reason as to why all of a sudden $400 million appropriated by congress is being held up? i predict mr. sandy even though he has served under both republican and democratic presidents, as of tomorrow we will hear the president calling him a never-trumper. >> well, my lest question to you is we did a fact check earlier on why obviously attempted crimes are still crimes. but putting that legal frame aside, if this individual says there was an unusual and specific freezing of the money, does that make it worse because it shows they actually were doing this plot, they weren't
just discussing it? >> yeah, the plot really did come to fruition, and the only reason, ari, that the money was ultimately released was because they got caught. and here's the thing, if you get caught by the whistle-blower outing you and you are righteously withholding that money from ukraine, you don't have to change course. you can say, listen, the whistle-blower's out to lunch, we made a decision. it was righteous, it was appropriate and we're going to stick with it. now, when they got caught, that's when they released the money. >> you make a great final point there which is everyone can link arms and say what happened if there's exculpatory material. any thoughts on this roger stone trial? >> there were some interesting developments today because we got a little bit of a glimpse inside the jury deliberation room. they sent two notes out and there were seven counts. the first one is obstructing justice by basically obstructing
the congressional inquiry. then there are five counts of lying to congress, and then there's a witness tampering for basically telling randy credico do not testify, forget what you heard, threatening him. so this one pertaining to count three, which was that the allegation is that roger stone falsely testified to congress that randy credico was his go-between between julian assange. the way the prosecutors drafted that indictment, there was one exposed by the jury because roger stone never testified randy credico was his go-between. he testified that a person i will not name was my go-between. and the problem is it wasn't until after his testimony was complete when his lawyer sent a letter saying, by the way, that
go-between, that person unnamed as randy credico -- >> what's interesting as you pointed out is sometimes it's juries who are citizens who find out things and nail things and then the whole system has to adjust. we're keeping an eye on the trial. i've got to fit in a break. glenn kirschner, thanks as always. >> thank you. enn kirschner, thanks as always >> thank you now you get jeep eme pricing... as if you work here. at the jeep black friday sales event, you pay what we pay on select models... like the legendary capability of jeep renegade. the capable, compact jeep compass. and the go anywhere, do anything jeep cherokee. the most capable midsize suv. move fast and take advantage of employee pricing plus at the jeep black friday sales event. jeep. there's only one. i wanted more that's why i've got the power of 1 2 3 medicines with trelegy. the only fda-approved 3-in-1 copd treatment. ♪ trelegy. the power of 1-2-3.
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started deliberations today in the case. i can tell you now five hours went by, they didn't reach a verdict. and they did ask those two questions we discussed. that means they are done for tonight but they will be back deliberating tomorrow morning. "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. witnesses 2, trumpsters 0. let's play hardball. good evening, i'm chris matthews up in new york. the case for impeachment is gaining strength after the dual testimonies of ambassador bill taylor and deputy assistant secretary of state george kent. more than 13 million americans watched live on television as both witnesses described the president's scheme to leverage ukraine for political gain. and thatum