tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC December 3, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
well, that's all we have this hour. we'll be back, of course, with more tomorrow. "meet the press." ari melber has rolling press himself. you've got the book report. >> you and i are the same, when the government does big things, it's worth reading the primary source. and now people see on twitter, we've been reading it. >> it's amazing. i was just going to say, if you choose to read, you will learn something. >> i agree. and that's not unlike supreme court opinions. there's a lot in the footnotes. >> thanks a lot, brother. we begin with breaking news. as congress releases its blueprint for impeaching the
president. releasing the fact finding in this ukraine plot, releasing a definitive account of president trump's alleged abuse of power and chairman schiff has receipts, as i was just discussing with chuck todd, about 3 h00 pages of receipts, what could only be described as an exhaustive document that formally shows that congress completed its fact finding and democrats say they have here a factual basis for impeaching the sitting president. this, i really, having spent some time with it, don't think it's another prop in the seemingly endless battles of this trump era. this report, which the committee will formally vote on tonight, forms the evidentiary blueprint for what congress decides to do next. if they decide to impeach, impeach for what? details matter.
then if it passes the democratic house, it will act like a bit of an indictment against sitting president to be presented at the potential trial of the sitting president. right now i'm going to walk through the key evidence on the ukraine plot with you. later we'll turn to obstruction, other new evidence and later in the hour to some new revelations about the nature of this propaganda plot. we'll break this down, all the key parts of the report, with key evidence and experts that you see on your screen. here is what you need to know about what democrats say is an impeachable plot. they gather evidence from all the witnesses. trump's abuse of power was not confined to one phone call with a foreign leader, that it was a multi-step conspiracy stretching over months. can you see it all laid out over here that lays out trump's
misconduct. step one, this is how it started. it didn't start with shaking down the ukrainian government. it started with ousting the ukrainian ambassador, who might have been kind of a good cop who would tell on them. step two, you heard a lot about this one. it's in the report. put giuliani in charge. step three, freeze the military aid to ukraine, which democrats say was the key to get leverage for extorting donald trump's re-election help. execute the plot by showing ukraine the conditions for the money and the military help they needed, desperately needed according to those witnesses we heard from. this report documents in more detail than we've ever seen in public how donald trump's white house meeting and this critical military funding was explicitly going to be in exchange for the enlisted political investigations against the bidens. trump and his key aides long
before the call about those demands, to announce toes political investigations in public. right here, that is a lot. it's backed up by the evidence. now if this new report was documenting a shadow or rogue plot, the white house could have, of course, stopped it when it was exposed. this is where the cover-up is key and why the news tonight shows congress moving toward impeaching president trump on multiple grounds, on more than one ground. let me explain to you exactly what we're learning. the report shows that as the plot raised, quote, alarm within the u.s. government and military, the trump white house didn't stop the behavior yet covered it up. showing more of its cards, teeing up potential impeachment for what looks like obstruction, abuse of power and the bribery scheme, which is why the evidence is important that this
all went way beyond one phone call instead of encompassing, according to this report, a month's long plot documented now in contemporaneous text messages, emails in whatsapp messages. if you take one thing from the whole ukraine section of this new report, it could be this. again, i'm going to lift it up because i've been working with it. this report's evidence basically has democrats saying they don't even need the infamous phone call to prove that donald trump committed impeachable offenses. they now have, they say, more damning corroboration beyond that phone call. that's pretty interesting right there today. let that sink in for a second. this is how investigations often work. sometimes the worst thing at the start that seems like the whole smoking gun, it actually ends up paling in comparison as
subpoenas start to fly, as people start to sing. that is why all of this ultimately goes, in his view, beyond the ukraine call and beyond ukraine itself. >> this is not about ukraine. this is about our democracy. this is about our national security. this is about whether the american people have a right to expect that the president of the united states is going to act in their interests, with their security in mind and not for some illicit personal or political reason. americans should care deeply about whether or not the president of the united states is bow traying their trust in him. we should care about this. we must care about this. if we don't care about this, we can darn well be sured that the president will be back at it, doing this all over again. >> back at it, doing this all over again. this is real stuff tonight. this is real talk about real potential abuse of power. adam schiff is fundamentally
talking about deterrence right there that we just showed. that's the basic foundation for why you punish in western law. that when you punish, you deter current and would-be criminals. i don't care what you think of donald trump as a person or his ideology or the way he comports himself. it is a sad day when that criminal logic is applied to how the president acts or how he uses his powers to run the military. adam schiff is saying that the evidence shows that that criminal logic does apply to the president right now. he has released scores of phone records that we've never seen before that show tonight rudy giuliani in regular contact with the white house months before this plot had spelled out. in contact, this is so key, with the people who had control over the ukraine money. in april, hours after rudy giuliani went on fox news to promote conspiracy theorys about ukraine, he had three secret
phone calls to the number linked to the office of management and budget, the office that months later ordered the hold on ukrainian assistance, and eight calls with another white house number. the president's lawyer can call the president for all kinds of innocent or boring reasons, but the budget office? rudy giuliani has no legal authority there. he has no statutory authority there. he has no business calling the budget office. and you might say okay, ari, but anyone can call anyone and rudy giuliani is rudy giuliani. maybe he was just calling around. no. these receipts, these new records, these call logs show omb, office of management and budget also initiating calls with giuliani, and having them for several minutes, over ten minutes, what look like substantive conversations and those calls coming the same day pedaling conspiracy theories, tweets again in august around the same couple of days while trump aides rode out their plot to take this money, to seize money, your taxpayer dollars to
extort ukraine so there wouldn't be a fair and free election in 2020. this report has a lot in it that you have to care about, regardless of what you think is going to happen in the house or the senate. this is a report about efforts on the record now, because the record suddenly has been released to steal an election, to subvert your democracy. as i said at the top of the broadcast, not a drill. it puts new heat on giuliani, because you can bet new york prosecutors have them, too, or are about to get them. and for the pressure on ukraine, the report also debunks another trump defense that he couldn't have done anything all that wrong if the ukrainians never knew the function of the extortion. if they didn't know the aid was being frozen for these reasons, how big of a threat was it? that's an interesting defense if it were true. however the evidence shows multiple people testifying,
supporting and corroborating ukrainians knew about this before it was publicly reported. those are some of the most important factual highlights for you to know about, this ukraine plot, in this report. there's more evidence on obstruction, there's stuff i haven't even mentioned yet on implicating the top republican on the intelligence committee in some of this and on one of giuliani's associates and the other mysterious calls coming from inside the white house. we always like to tell you what we're going to do with the facts on "the beat." we have reports on those items as we go through the hour tonight. former u.s. attorney joyce vance, mother jones david korn and emily bazzalon. david, is this a damning report? what does it do for the growing case for impeachment? >> what is foremost important about this report is that it is a wonderful synthesis of the
information that's come out the past few months, out of the hearings, out of reporting. and i find it really hard to believe that anybody who manages to read the report, even the executive summary, which is 10, 20 pages and lays out the chronology, cannot escape the conclusion that there was a quid pro quo. it wasn't just because ambassador sondland said there was when he testified but you see it again and again and again being forced on the ukrainians. >> to break out your point in pieces, quid pro quo, and the report makes that allegation, it's a type of bribery, which is an impeachable defense. >> that is a question that people out there can argue about, but it makes it clear that the fact pattern here is that there was conditionality. ukrainians want favorable action from the white house, a meeting, phone call or military aid, they
have to do these political investigations that have no legitimate basis, despite what republicans are saying. it would be wonderful if we could have a debate in the country about whether this fact pattern is bad enough that it should lead to the ultimate political punishment of impeachment or not but the republicans out there denying that any of this is really actually happening. but the chronology here that schiff's staff and others laid out is compelling, simple and shows again and again, it wasn't just the phone call, as you said early on. it was a month-long pattern of trying to put this deal together that followed almost a year-long campaign to smear the ukrainian ambassador as part of rudy giuliani's campaign to either get russia off the hook, or to do other business-related things that the report does not go
into. it's a straightforward account that is rather damning. >> joyce? >> you know, i think david's absolutely right. and the key thing that i take away after having read most of this report is that schiff comes up with what mueller was lacking in the russia investigation. schiff has the evidence that president trump, as he says in the report, personally and with agents inside and outside of government directed this scheme as it was in operation, directed a scheme that was an effort to extort a foreign country, to get evidence, to get information that trump could use for personal advantage to cheat in a campaign. so, this is sort of like the russia investigation, but the obstruction didn't work in this case. >> joyce, i want to walk through some of that key evidence. it is possible that a president could do some of the things in
this report and not have committed, by any stretch, a high crime. many people have pointed out there's all sorts of deals in foreign policy. of course there are. there's treaties. that's a deal. there's leverage and pressure. of course there are. that's why the u.s. wants a strong military. the issue is not that those actions occurred but with any crime, why it's a high crime or impeachable activity, the question always goes back to whether there was, essentially, corrupt intent. did you do a thing for the wrong reason? when you look at this, the most damning pieces in the report that we haven't mentioned yet -- i may be a broken record, as we get to new things, something fascinating. basically the whole giuliani gang wanted to ghost write the announcement. what you see under august 12th, ukraine said maybe we'll
announce special attention should be paid to interference in the u.s. ukraine is trying to say something that sounded okay. and on the right side this is what, according to the new intel report giuliani added in, in bold you see the burisma/biden issue. it had to say burisma and the 2016 elections. we rely on you and our other panelists as well. i have not seen something that direct and damning that shows rudy giuliani and donald trump are trying to ghost write for the ukrainians what the investigations are. it has to have the b words, biden and burisma. >> uh-huh. >> those side-by-side changes are incredibly powerful, with the insertion of a couple of phrases, they changed the entire meaning of what the ukrainians
were about to say. and this, as you say ari, this isn't about typical for foreign affairs, which involves horse trading for favors. this is about a favor that has nothing to do with the national security of our country. this was about a favor that was for the president's personal political advantage. he was trying to extract something of value from the ukrainians that would help him cheat in 2020, and he did that by withholding an act that he was supposed to take, an official act that was turning over aid that congress had already allocated for the ukrainians. this, i think, on every level resonates as impeachable conduct, probably as criminal, too. >> emily, as someone who specializes in basic legal storytelling. we read you and you're quite good at it. what do you think of the evidentiary story of the report? >> it's so important at moments like this where we take a step
back, we often get caught up in the drip of the news and you're seeing one new fact, but to have a report lay out everything and connect all the dots tells a whole narrative about what happened. and the report also has some new information in this, right? we're finding out that giuliani was in touch with omb much earlier than we knew before. >> april. >> exactly, and implication that the aid was frozen, whose idea was it, how long was it on the table for? and there's some news in the report. the most important job it can do in this kind of masterful way, as david was saying, was lay out the whole case. whether or not you've been paying attention up till now, you can take a look at this and ask yourself whether you think this is acceptable conduct for a president to be engaged in. >> david, sticking with the substance of this, i'm curious, having covered many administrations in washington, what would have happened if george w. bush or barack obama
was caught red hand ed using military money to get re-election help? >> i think we're at a point now where the political divide is so severe and the republicans are so committed to protecting their dear leader no matter what that they can't concede the basic facts. i mean, during the iran-contra scandal way back, ari, there was not much debate eventually, after the investigation was done, of what oliver north did, selling arms to iran, giving money to the contras. whether congress forced them to break the law, whether it was impeachable. that's what the argument became. what we have now, and eventually when it came up with the clinton business that he had the affair with monica lewinsky, clinton didn't argue that nothing
happened. there was a debate about whether this was impeachable or not. what do you do about this? at this point in the game after the report came out, and i read the republican report and wrote about that earlier today, they are still holding fast to nothing happened that was wrong. they denied all the evidence that schiff lays out and has a soviet-style take on the phone call. what do we do at this point when one side of the political equation won't recognize basic facts and just says that there was no conditionality, even when you have sondland and others saying there was, and there are multiple examples, as i said earlier, besides that phone call. and giuliani's story is breaking down, too. i hope we can get to that. his cover story is completely falling apart, when he said that everything he did was to defend trump in the mueller case. that's not true when he's calling the omb. >> to your point, and you lay out very clearly, rudy giuliani
also went out in public and claimed he was taking orders from the state department. that made them look bad. but, in fact, he was part of a plot to run the state department, to run omb. he and mulvaney are, to a degree, that definitely has criminal consequences. the intent by the cynics to narrow this to what will the senate vote be and that's the only thing that matters? there's also giuliani clients who are indicted and other people who have rising legal exposure. i will say as an analyst, reading this report, what's in this report today makes it look like other people are more likely to face potential indictment than what we knew yesterday. david and joyce, thank you as always. we'll be coming back to you on this story. emily, i'll see you later in the program. i've been telling you at home how we'll go through the steps of this. before i bring out our next
expert i want to walk you through something you need to know about if you're going to discuss any of this in the days and weeks ahead. what the democrats say is another impeachable offense, that trump covered up and obstructed the probe. this is the key. it is the democrat's answer to donald trump's very brazen month's long defiance to this. the only two presidents who have ever been impeached both faced articles of impeachment for, guess what, defying congress and obstruction. tonight's new report says despite that history, donald trump may have gone further as he is the first and only president in history to defy all aspects of the constitutional impeachment process and the investigation laying out examples like defying 71 requests for documents, attacking and impugning people who are cooperating with the investigation or law enforcement, including, count them up, 100 statements against the whistle-blower, who is protected under federal law. also blocking testimony from
another 12 witnesses, including key officials like mulvaney, perry, bolton. i'm speaking of some of the amigos, if you will. ambassador volker arranging a key call and requested that they use the encrypted messaging service, whatsapp, noting that the ability to delete forever what comes up in conversation. there's a bit of irony here maybe. maybe it's already on your mind. these individuals went out of their way to avoid using government emails so they wouldn't get caught. but then there was so much heat on some of them that the only reason we know any of this, is that some of the whatsapp messages were not deleted. state department and trump white house continued to defy and stonewall those requests, gordon sondland's whatsapp messages
corroborate this. i want to turn both of your expert attention to the obstruction portion. glenn, what case does it make? >> so, ari, if the abuse of office allegation is a bit of an outside jump shot, then i think the obstruction allegation is going to be a layup. you have the president, who is often his own worst enemy, who stood up on camera and said i will comply with exactly zero congressional subpoenas. and then he made good on that promise can -- courtesy of this report and we knew it before we began to observe this report, they can provide incriminating information about the president's plot to bribe and extort president zelensky for his own, trump's, political
gain. that is a charge, obstructing the congressional inquiry that i think you can make in your sleep, given the evidence we have. >> matt? >> i would agree with that. there's a few things that strike me about the instruction portion of this report. number one, just how far reaching and wide ranging the president's obstruction was. it wasn't just any one thing. it was withholding documents, blocking witnesses from testifying and when some witnesses came forward, actually trying to attack them on twitter and keep them from testifying. it's so impressive that the report notes that even richard nixon, the only president asked to resign in the face of impeachment inquiry, even he allowed witnesses to come forward and provide documents. one thing that i'm struck by is how much more information we would have if the president hadn't obstruct this had inquiry. we were watching the hearings
and mick mulvaney and john bolton, who met with the president discussing withholding aid to ukraine. how much more information we would have if those witnesses came forward. you see that rudy giuliani was calling omb, somebody who he should be having no contact with, you see why the president prevented omb officials coming forward and testifying. >> you prep witnesses for testimony and they could be bruising. cory lewandowski caught heat for being a liar and we fact checked on him. the mueller probe did not find him to be a criminal. he showed up, guns blazing, in front of the judiciary hearing, some felt he was okay because he was able to push back on the criminal stuff. they didn't really land that. that's my take. i'll leave time for yours. by contrast, if mr. giuliani, who is currently under this, defying it, if he showed up and said what the heck were you doing, calling and getting calls
back by omb in april, what the heck were you doing, taking money, hundreds of thousands of dollars from these foreigners without registering them with the foreign lobby and trying to frame the bidens, what the heck were you doing, i'm not sure under oath he would farewell. he might increase his legal exposure in the open probe in new york. how much of this comes down to the fact that as bad as defiance looks even to this day, it might be impeachable, cooperating for some of them looked even worse, matt. >> i think that's exactly right. i think that's the calculation that they made. that's why you don't see rudy giuliani or any of these other witnesses from the administration. because if they came forward and testified truthfully, their answers would be incredibly damning to the president. it's kind of to go out and do what mike pompeo does with the press, you can't do that in front of a congressional committee unless you want to -- if you want to avoid criminal charges. >> glenn there's no backsies.
updates and let me refresh my memory, too much of that on substantive matters will get you indicted. >> i agree with you both. defiance is all that's left for giuliani, pompeo, mulvaney, perry. no coincidence in paragraph two of the executive summary, guess who gets called out as potential co-conspirators, perry, mulvaney, pompeo. ag barr thinks that the president can't be investigated, indicted, tried, convicted or imprisoned because of this crazy executive theory. there is no such thing as an olc memo that protects a secretary of state, secretary of energy, omb director or acting chief of staff. there is no unitary secretary of state theory. when i read this today, ari, i thought i certainly hope that the fbi is investigating the people who can and should be charged because of their
complicity with the president's scheme to coerce this help from zelensky. >> there's a lot of people who have gone down for less at a lower level for lower stakes and lower dollar figure for what is laid out in this report. matt miller, glenn kirshner, thank you. lot more in the program. nunes' secret call log. did he know this was about to hit him today? we'll get into all of that. plus, way more details on giuliani's role in the alleged conspiracy. including new intrigue about, quote, minus one phone number. is it donald trump and how adam schiff has laid out a blueprint that will drive the very first judiciary impeachment hearing tomorrow. i'm ari melber. don't go anywhere. we'll be right back. i melber don't go anywhere. we'll be right back.
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>> i can't go into specifics of, you know, dates when we obtain certain evidence or, indeed, whether we obtain communications from one or multiple parties, but certainly the phone records show that there was considerable coordination among the parties, including the white house. >> phone records, that's new. tonight, chairman schiff, discussing one of the clear
evidentiary bombshells in this report, new phone records that show cooperation of upper echelon inside the white house. we've been working with these all day to report on exact type of thing that you don't want to see if you're being prosecuted. normally this alone would be a wall-to-wall covered bombshell if it were a "new york times" or nbc story. these are pieces of evidence coming from congress themselves. and these logs considerably advance our understanding of this plot and one of the mysteries in it. why was the white house taking such a risk in holding everything back, which can make them look guilty? they didn't want this stuff to come out if they had to hand it over. they didn't get it from the white house. it appears frrks what we understand, they got it from subpoenaing at&t itself.
another takeaway that subpoenas matter. yesterday or the day before, when did this all start with money? how early did rudy giuliani get involved with that aspect of it? i can tell you, all the way back in april, they were having phone calls and conversations. take a look. three calls between giuliani and the office of budget and management. one of those calls 14 minutes long. that's bad because they don't have any good reason to talk to giuliani. that same day, oh, giuliani, as you see in yellow, talking to the white house, basically phone tagged eight times over. i asked this earlier in the show and i'll repeat t what was rudy giuliani, donald trump's personal attorney doing trading so many calls with the office of management and budget? he's not in the u.s. government but does stand at the center of an elicit plot to seize u.s. government omb funds to ex-tort ukraine.
this goes to the whole question and the whole plot. was rudy giuliani calling all these shots? we have a new player on the call log as well, indicted associate lev parnas, having very high level contact with the white house. a call from mr. parnas came that same day and negative with one, new mystery number, that lasted eight minutes. negative one appears several times on the log. this report doesn't say who it is. we do know in august that negative one number dialed giuliani three times rapidly and minutes later giuliani dialed the white house. this isn't just thinking the worst. it's not just a spokesperson but the president's lawyer. on the republican's side of the
intelligence committee, something else came out. congressman devin nunes is not just signing this report or minority report like we normally see. he is actually in the report. chuck todd and i were talking about these fascinating footnotes. call records show ranking member nunes exchanging five calls with giuliani in april, few days before speaking with mr. parnas, who was a client of giuliani's and now indicted. that went on for eight minutes. what are the answers and why are these calls newly released tonight in the impeachment report? experts to dig into that when we're back in just 30 seconds. we're back in just 30 seconds. you can find it in the vitamin aisle in stores everywhere. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. steven could only imaginem 24hr to trenjoying a spicy taco.burn, now, his world explodes with flavor. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts for all-day all-night protection. can you imagine 24-hours without heartburn?
we're back. a lot of evidence in this report. what do you make specifically of this newly released set of call logs? >> well, in a way, it confirms what we knew. nunes is paid by congress but works for the president and was playing defense for them in congress and was up to his eyeballs in this. but i think that the specificity, the chronology, the calls in relation to each other paints a picture that is missing from the documents the white house wouldn't share, the witnesses who wouldn't testify. the house, schiff, has been enterprising in putting the story together in a short period
of time around the total obstruction, the total noncooperation. >> would you say yes or no, faster than mueller? >> well, it's certainly faster than mueller. >> faster than mueller? >> faster than mueller. >> on the issue of election-relate election-related more devastating than mueller? >> it's also looking forward to our next election. that makes a difference. we want that one to be fair. >> critics would say that donald trump did what he needed to do in 2016. although there was no finding of election conspiracy by mueller, the 2020 is from donald trump himself. >> exactly and this whole plot, if that's the right word for it, is about trying to gin up evidence against joe biden that would damage him as a candidate. you're seeing the president use his office for that end. and i think we do know that from the phone call with the ukrainian president zelensky. >> that's why it stacks up in a different way tonight with the
level of the evidence and corroboration. nunes part would be a huge deal on its own, given that he is supposed to be doing this investigation. chairman schiff was quite careful in his generalized remarks about it tonight. and they still have a relationship, a professional relationship with this committee. but he did use a very legal word here in discussing the potential complicity of members of congress. take a look. >> it is, i think, deeply concerning that at a time when the president of the united states was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival that there may be evidence that there were members of congress complicit in that activity. >> the entire republican party, which i think has revealed itself to be rotten to the core, has taken the position that the
impeachment inquiry is illegitimate. not that they need to present their side, that things might be unfair, but it should not be allowed to take place and it should not be accepted in any way. and in saying that nunes was complicit, i think what schiff is saying is the white house, in obstructing our legitimate constitutional role has had help from inside the house. there are people who should be on our team institutionally, even if they agree, but they're playing for the other team in arguing that congress isn't allowed to investigate the president. >> which not to get too constitutional, emily, that's the founders' core concerns was abuse of power. the checks and balances, why you have impeachment function, and factions and parties would eventually supercede patriotism. i put that somewhat high
faluting point against a basic one. let's look at the august 8th call. no one knew this last night. giuliani contacting and texting office of the omb over and over and over. to put it in different media language, this would be a front page story, huge deal that the president's personal lawyer and ukraine fixer not only has but is talking to omb for 14 minutes. no one at the office of management or budget had the reason to talk to him. >> acting as the president's personal lawyer, not in government. to go back to your point about congress, framers expected congress to have institutional interests that would transcend politics and we've seen a complete breakdown of that set of functions with this particular congress and devin nunes' role in the middle of this is an amazing example of
that. >> yeah. the report starts with a quote from george washington, from his farewell address, in which he is warning the country about unscrupulous, cunning, ambitious, i think that's washington's term, men that will use the power to subvert democracy, take away democracy. about a third of the way into it they've centered this very much around the constitutional principles and what the founders thought impeachment was for. and i think they do that very well because it goes to the heart, and this is what we're going to hear at the judiciary committee hearing tomorrow. >> you're talking about president washington warning against cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men who could subvert the power of the people destroying afterwards the very engines that have lifted them to unjust domination. >> have we ever had that
president before? that's the question. we've had terrible presidents. we've even had presidents that were corrupt and abuse of power in various ways. but really in the minds of the founders in creating the impeachment procedure, have we had that president? >> the report answer on the evidence is worse than nixon, not as an opinion, not as an assessment, but in the measurable, accountable ways of abusing the levers of power and defying congress. the evidence is here. that's one answer, that is so striking. jacob and emily, thanks to both of you, special guests for special coverage. still ahead, what is the blueprint that will pave the way for tomorrow's judiciary committee? a special guest on that when we come back. ial guest on that whe come back. ♪ look at me ♪ there is someone
what many have been waiting for, what the white house may have been dreading. now we turn to the blueprint it creates. a blueprint for impeachment, using specific and often constitutional language that provides a road map. the report alleging donald trump acted in his official capacity using his position of public trust and withholding, quote, official acts to benefit his personal and political interests. those are very specific words if you want to make an article of impeachment. very experienced lawyer that has held many positions. good evening, sir. >> good evening. >> when you look at this document as the blueprint for what the judiciary committee may ultimately do in writing articles of impeachment, what stands out to you? >> what stands out to me are the phone calls. i wondered throughout whether
the committee would obtain telephone records. as you know, i spent a lot of time at the nsa. telephone records are often the most damning, even if you don't have the content. if you just have the fact of the phone call. and to me what's damning about them is that it does lay out the road map. it basically tells you the beginning of the story, sort of each step of the story. i think what's helpful from the committee's standpoint is that they can use this as a way of telling a very clean, straightforward story to the american people. >> they tee up the facts. here is the bad or incriminating evidence. but then you have to bring down okay, what did i do wrong? the president can do many things that look, quote, unquote, bad, that are impeachable. you see the reference to the official acts and official office duties used for personal gain, what do you see there? >> well, i see the very second
specific item mentioned in the impeachment provision in article ii, section 5, i think. it lays out treason, then bribery, then impeachable offenses. bribery was number two. and the reason treason and bribery were so high on the list was the concern mentioned by one of your prior guests in the founding of the republic. people in official office, particularly the president, used that position as a way to self enrichment. and so bribery is a huge red flag. >> yeah. >> teamt seems to me that the report lays that out. >> we have 30 seconds left that you see the outline of three articles of impeachment, abuse of power in ukraine, soliciting the bribe or exto. ting it from ukraine and obstruction.
>> if i can add one thing about that, this is also -- this report, along with the phone records, kind of eliminates a defense that i've seen in the last couple of weeks, a defense i call the three stooges defense, which is the president and the white house were not sufficiently competent to organize such a thing. >> we've gone from the three stooges to three amigos. and you know what comes after amigos, it's just migos. i don't know if you're familiar with them. >> i am. >> favorite snong. >> no. >> but you're familiar with it? >> i do. >> and rudy giuliani was walking it like donald trump wanted and there was a quid pro quo. glad to have you back. thank you, sir. we'll be back with one more thing. 'll be back with one more thing. can we have both? at bp, we're working every day to make energy that's cleaner and better.
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breaking news. when we came on the air tonight we've been reporting on this newly released intelligence committee report on ukraine plot and potential obstruction by the president. i can report now in the hour we've been on-air the intelligence committee has now formally passed this report on a 13-9 party line vote. what this means officially this has passed out of committee. it is now formally the majority view of the democrats in congress. if goes to judiciary committee and all goes according to their time line with the judiciary committee hearing beginning tomorrow morning. we'll be back with one more thought in our breaking
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we are in the middle of a big story here at msnbc in new york. and i can tell you we have a lot coming. tomorrow morning special coverage begins at 9:00 a.m. of the judiciary hearing. tonight msnbc prime time has you covered. i'll be filling in with some expert analysis on all in today and again at the "last word" with lawrence and don't miss any of the line-up including with rachel and chris matthews which starts now. the whole damn story. let's play hardball. good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight we can see that these are not different stories but a single story with a consorm of players playing their distinct